Tag Archives: crafting

One Dragon, 3 ways

I am pleased to say that I’m now part of the Get Creative Challenges Blog Design Team. It is an interesting blog, all about promoting the use of digital stamps. There is even a monthly challenge that anybody can join in, no matter what their skill level is.

My first digital stamp to play with was the Winter Frost Dragon by Colour of Love. I was so happy to get this design, as I love fantasy and am quite fond of dragons. The first thing I did was print off the dragon in different sizes to inspire me.

I had recently bought a Mica Magic set, after watching a demonstration by John Lockwood at Inspirations. I thought that the shimmer of the mica would look magical with the dragon.

I then decided to experiment with my Chameleon Fine Liner pens to colour in a smaller dragon. I used lines to colour it in, that gives it a slightly modern look.

Finally, I wanted to make the image look like it had come from an ancient book. So I carefully tore around the image and ink blended over it with some Distress inks. I then sprayed it with water to give a more aged look.

I decided to create cards with all 3 images, as they all had a distinct look. First off, the large dragon. I die cut a square and added a layer using Hunkdory Moonstone dies. I thought the background needed a bit of texture, so I used a Do Crafts embossing folder. I then used a combination of Mica Magic and ink blending to make the embossed design stand out.

The next card was using the Chameleon Fine Liner coloured image. This had a more Christmassy feel, so I decided to turn it into a Christmas card. I first die cut the image and a dark blue layer using Arch Sizzix dies.

I chose 2 different shades of blue card and embossed them with a Do Crafts embossing folder. Due to the folder only being a small one I had to repeat emboss with it to create the background. I then ink blended over it to give a touch of green. Finally, I stamped a sentiment and layered it with the lighter colour of the embossed card.

The next card I really wanted to achieve a certain look with strong colours that had a medieval/fantasy feel. I found some leather effect card in my stash that I ink blended with some Distress Inks to highlight the leather effect. I embossed some grey card with a Do Crafts embossing folder. I then used the same inks to ink blend the pattern. Finally, I sprayed it with Altenew Antique Silver ink spray.

Next was the sentiment, I wanted to create it the same way as the main dragon image. After one failure where I stamped before ink blending with Distress Inks. (The sentiment ink ran really badly.) I ink blended and sprayed water before stamping the sentiment. The sentiment was from Rare Earth and I thought it went really well with the fantasy image.

It just goes to show that digital stamps can be very versatile and that you can get completely different looks from the same image. It does help when the image is as beautiful as the ‘Winter Frost Dragon’.

Marbling with polymer clay

I decided to continue learning new techniques with polymer clay. Marbling looks confusing but is actually quite straight forward. I thought I would use my scrap clay to practise with, hence the unusual colour choices. My go-to clay is Sculpey Premo, but I suspect this technique will work with any polymer clay.

First, you need to make lots of little snakes of your clay. Then make a big snake with them all and twist it. Cut it nearly in half and flatten it out.

Then put it through the clay roller a few times to create a flat piece of clay. Note that the way you twisted the clay affects how the pattern comes out at this point. There are various ways to twist the clay, and its worth experimenting to find different designs.

Then use a wide pokey type tool, maybe a knitting needle or a crochet hook. I have a specific polymer clay one. Draw lines down the clay with this tool. Then put it through the clay roller again, but reduce the thickness of the clay. This way the lines that you have just made will disappear.

Then you can cut out whatever shapes you want for whatever project you would like to create. I decided to create 2 bookmarks.

Bake in the oven, making sure to follow the instructions on the packet of clay. Sculpey Premo states to cook under 130 C.

I still had scrap clay left from this project, so decided to make more bookmarks. But I made a huge mistake. I did not bake this lot of bookmarks for long enough. After they had cooled down, they were so brittle. I mean, like the slightest pressure would cause them to snap. Shame really as I liked the blend of colours. However, lesson learnt, always pay attention when setting cooking times for polymer clay.

Celebration: Stencil Techniques

Celebration: Stencil Techniques’ class is part of the Altenew Educator Programme. This class is taught by the talented Laurel Beard. This class concentrates on using just one stamp set, and how many different looks can be achieved combining it with different stencil techniques.

The best card from this class is the flower congratulations card, using the Altenew Celebrations stamp set. This is from the first lesson where I learnt how to use die cuts to create stencils.

First I die cut Layered Medallions cover die B using my Fabmatic Die Cutting machine.

Then I used purple tape to keep the paper in place. I decided on a yellow/orange gradation look to the background. To achieve this I ink blended: Warm Sunshine, Buttercream, Caramel Toffee and Paper Bag. I really enjoy the process of ink blending, and seeing how the colours merge into each other.

I always love the reveal when taking away the stencil. You are never quite sure what you are going to get.

I then stamped the bouquet using my ‘We R Memory Keepers stamping platform’. I decided to use a stamping platform with the image just being a line image, and if I missed bits it could be difficult to line up again. To colour in the stamped image I used a variety of Chameleon Alcohol Pens. I liked the way the background shows through the lighter colours of the flowers.

Finally, I stamped the congratulations sentiment and added a green border. I chose green to highlight the colour of the leaves in the bouquet. Then I mounted that on a 7x 5 inch white card.


So what did I learn from this class?

  • How to use die cuts as stencils
  • How to ink blend over stencils
  • That’s it is ok to use alcohol markers over ink blending.
  • Different techniques for stencils
  • How to use texture paste. (I don’t have any at the moment, so will revisit the class when I do)

Overall this was a really fun and informative class. I learnt a lot about how to use stencils in different ways.

Below are my favourite cards from this class.

Painting and other things

Recently I’ve been playing a lot of board games with my husband. We have even attended a few charity days of board gaming that were a lot of fun. My hubby pointed out that it was a shame that the miniatures weren’t painted in one of our favourite games ‘Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle Earth’

So I went into research mode, I haven’t painted anything like that since I was a child with Heroquest figures. I found a really good YouTube series called Sorastro’s The Lord of the Rings Painting Series. I cannot praise these videos enough, they are the perfect level for absolute beginners, like me. He doesn’t expect you to know anything at all about painting.

I learnt about base painting, dry brushing, washes, and detailing. I suspect that a lot of these skills will be able to be applied to my other crafts in future.

I had planned to continue with my Altenew course, now that I have a blog again. Fate intervened, I got a few orders for paracord bracelets in my Etsy shop. I like these colour combinations, and it enabled better photographs to be taken of the bracelets. It’s always fun creating these bracelets.

Finally, I was commissioned by Create and Craft to create a moon dreamcatcher for their Instagram page.

So this week I plan to do some work on the Altenew course, and some jewellery making.