Monday, 27 January 2014

Breaking out the alcohol... Inks that is!

 When you were growing up did you have a favourite teacher? Someone who really got under your skin so to speak. In a good way. I did. A few in fact. Some were my favourite because of the way they made me feel in the classroom and some because they gave me that 'AHA!' moment. The moment you finally get something that you have been trying to understand for a while. Well, I will remember these teachers for the rest of my life and I think that knowing that you made that kind of impact on a kid is what they all strive for.
I believe my daughter has one of those teachers now. A teacher who makes the kids enjoy learning and going to school. So I wanted to show my appreciation by giving her a Christmas gift. Unfortunately with my lack of timing skills, I didn't get around to it until near the new year but this is what I came up with.
I found these apple bowls in a charity shop and they also happened to be half price. Great deal for me and I thought they would be great to 'dress up' for a teachers gift. So I brought them home and broke out the few alcohol ink colours I had (luckily they happened to fit well with the apple!) and started 'painting'.
 Supplies used:
Alcohol inks-
  •  Currant
  •  Red Pepper
  •  Gold mixative
  •  Espresso
  •  Lettuce
  •  Meadow
Tim Holtz Blending tool and felt
Olive satin ribbon -wide
Cellophane plastic
I first cleaned the bowls really well. You don't want any sort of residue left on them especially sticky residue from price stickers. Then I turned them over and just started dripping colours down the sides. I tried starting with the reds first and then moving on to the gold but I also did the other way around where I started with the gold first. I think I prefer starting with the reds.
I dripped a few streaks of Red Pepper and Currant down the sides to give it a bit of depth. I also dabbed on some green in a few placed though it didn't show up very much. I used the blending tool with the reds to make sure I got into all the spaces and that the whole apple was covered. Then I added some gold and green and just kept adding and blending until I got the look I wanted. I left the gold fairly streaky. Make sure you mix the gold well, otherwise it wont run down the sides the way we want it to and will get a bit clogged.
I made one stem all gold and another I used a blend of espresso and lettuce.
Here you can see the before and after side by side. Such a difference!!

Two more apples done for a friend. The one on the right is where I used the gold for the stem.

All wrapped and ready to go! I added in a little 'adult' chocolate in the form of baileys chocolate truffles. I figured everyone could use a break from all the kiddie candy!
I also made her this, which was supposed to be a pendant but of course I had no luck finding any bails to make it one. In the end I stuck a magnet on the back of it.
I embossed a bit of tin from a red bull can and then coloured with alcohol inks. I coated it with UTEE in the melt pot which unfortunately smeared a lot of the inks but its ok. This was a first time thing for me so I was bound to run into some issues. I used Tim Holtz chit chat stickers and a teddy bear charm which I then covered again with the UTEE and finished. This isn't the best picture of it as I hadn't sanded anything down yet but you get the idea. Funny enough she liked this one best.


I hope this inspired you to get creative for the teachers in your life as well. We would be nowhere without them after all.













Wednesday, 1 January 2014

New year, New projects!

First of all, (and I know I repeat the same thing on numerous occasions) sorry again for it being so long without any activities on here. The blog was going strong and then sort of tapered off somewhere along the way. Most likely due to the many commitments that myself and my group have already had. However I will try to be better. I wont make it a new years resolution though! We all know how those never work out. On that note, I will also NOT have losing weight, spending more time with family and follow through with commitments in a more timely manner as my new years resolutions either! ;)
So some news on my end. I was approached by a lovely friend of mine, who is an amazing crafter herself, to join her very successful challenge blog, 'A Little Bit Crafty' ! Thank you Paula for your confidence in me. I hope that I live up to expectations.
My first challenge theme as DT is Celebrate! Should be easy right? There is so much to celebrate this time of the year. New beginnings, new starts, and for some of us, just making it to the new year is a celebration in itself isn't it?? This time though I decided to go for a birthday card for my husbands cousin. It was her 40th birthday and we were invited to her big bash of a party. I have only met her once before so trying to find a theme to go with for her card wasn't easy. 
As a lot of you who know me know, I am not a digi user. I think its mostly due to the fact I love the feel and control of a proper stamp and being able to play around with inks and positioning. So with this challenge I have definitely stepped out of my comfort zone. However I love the feel of this image from our sponsor 'Scribble and Scrap'. I immediately felt the 20's vibe to it and I thought that very appropriate for a 40th birthday. Don't ask me why, my mind works in mysterious ways!

First of all, I printed her off on regular, thick, white card stock. I like to work with my distress pens mostly but unfortunately my printer wouldn't take the water colour paper so I had to make due.
I used a mixture of promarkers, distress stains in tarnished brass and brushed pewter and a bit of distress pens here and there. I wanted the card to be mostly white black and silver with a hint of gold and a pop of colour with the red.
As you can see below, my colouring needs refinement but I'm hoping I can start working on a collection of copics and prismacolours in the new year and practise a little more. I covered the dress with glossy accents and dry rock candy glitter. I wish glitter was easier to capture but it definitely made the final product. I also added stickles in various places as well.

I think my favourite was using distress stickles in antique linen in her hair. It unfortunately covered any shading I might have done there but it gave it a little extra texture that I love. I coloured in the mirror with tumbled glass distress pen and water with perfect pearls to give it a bit of subtle shimmer. Its not my favourite as the paper I used wasn't ideal so the ink didn't blend out as much as I would have liked but in person it looks much better.

I did a bit of fussy cutting of the image and stuck her down onto a stamped and distressed background (stampin ups en francais large stamp with pumice stone distress ink) and mounted that onto back card stock. I finished it off with a few silver peel offs to make the whole thing a bit more.. art deco I think you would call it.
Anyway please check out the blog and our sponsors for this challenge below. I hope you enjoy the card and that it gives you a little push to try something out of your comfort zone!
Happy New Year!