Sunday, 29 November 2015

It's Christmas!

Christmas Bags and . . . . 
. . . . Exploding Boxes!
 I bought bags from The Range at four for £1, table favours (wedding) from Tesco and LED colour changing faux candles also from The Range.
The bags were decorated back and front with the Clarity Ribbon stamps - Thank You and Merry Christmas - on shaving foam backgrounds. (These were done in Kuwait and I had no inks so I used green, blue, red and yellow food colouring.) 

For the boxes, card (I used Crafter's Companion double sided pearlescent white A3) was cut to 9ins by 9ins, scored at 3ins and 6ins to create a grid. 
Cut away the squares from each of the four corners. These spare squares were retained, trimmed down and used as the decorative plaques on the inside and outside; the extra squares required were made from the card off-cuts and all were decorated with a variety of stamps from the 'Wee Folk' range, edged with a red chisel tip permanent marker and glued in place. Lids were made and decorated in a similar fashion.
Apologies for the cardboard boxes in the background - they were my storage solutions prior to the assembly.

Thanks again for vising and hope to see you again sometime.

Best wishes and a happy St Andrew's Day to you all tomorrow - 30 November. 

Shelagh. ;~}

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Clarity Challenge 33 - November 2015
Clean and Simple
Clean and Simple

Hello again, hello (as the song goes) and welcome back to Shelagh-land once more. Never mind the month, where has the YEAR gone??? I just cannot believe we are on the first day of the eleventh month! It has been a bit busy here this week as I'd set myself five deadlines - anniversary cards, birthday bunting, birthday cards and also my mum's Advent boxes. This leaves me with six projects for next week and so on until all the Christmas prep is done. Not planning my life away, honestly!!

'Clean and Simple' is the theme for this month's Clarity Challenge and I was a bit stumped until I espied some lovely hessian canvas boards in a little art shop in Kuwait City; they proved to be the inspiration behind my project and having stopped off for a cooling 'lemon mint' on the way home, the notebook was out, sketches made and the idea became a reality. 
I'd bought the lovely 'Matrix Feather' stamps at the Retreat and was itching to put them to use so that evening I set to work and the basic idea formed. I refined it a bit more the next day, played around with the colour of pencils and then called a halt! (That was the most difficult part, believe me!)

Materials:- (All items are available from the Clarity Stamps website.)
·         Stamps:- Clarity Matrix Feather Stamps and Verse set
·         White Card
·         Gelli Plate, Clarity Gelli Mount - 7 x 7
·         Stencils:- Clarity Framer Shapes Stencils Set 1
·         Inkpads:- Versafine Onyx Black; Distress Antique Linen, Pumice Stone
·         Brayer
·         Spectrum Noir Colouring Pencils
·         Micron Pen


1.       Cut white card to a 7ins x 7ins square and attach the stencil with the square aperture at the top with low tack masking tape.
2.       Using Versafine and the ‘Wing’ verse on 5 x 5 Clarity mount, line the stamp up in the middle of the stencil aperture. Stamp and heat set.

3.       Lift the stencil and stamp the large feather at the bottom left and top right corners. Heat set as before. Stamp also onto Post-It Notes and cut two masks out.

4.       Place masks over the feathers and replace stencil. Set aside on a craft mat.
N.B. I wanted to echo the linen effect of the canvas and achieved this by using Distress Inks, a Gelli Plate and a brayer.

5.       Place 6 x 6 Gelli Plate centrally onto 7 x 7 Gelli Mount.
6.       Daub Antique Linen and Pumice Stone over Gelli Plate.
7.       Brayer inks so the colours mingle.
8.       Place the inked Gelli over the stamped image,see (4) and press gently until you see the ink transferring equally onto the white card.
9.       Carefully turn over the ‘bundle’ and remove the card/stencil but leave stencil and masks in place.

10.   Using a make-up sponge, sweep in some of the residual ink from the stencil to darken the edges of the inked aperture.

(N.B. This was a technique which Barbara shared with us at the Retreat; thanks, Barb!)

11.   Remove the stencil and gently scribble an outline around the coloured square with a Micron pen.
12.   Colour in the feathers, again using a technique from the Retreat. Choose three coloured pencils – Light, Medium, Dark and colour each area of the feather ¾ light, ½ medium, ¼ dark. (Thanks again, Barbara. What a difference this has made to my colouring!!!)

Having placed the completed item on the hessian canvas, wasn’t too happy with the definition of the end result and as I’d made a number of these before choosing the one that ticked all the boxes, I chose one of the rejects, edged it with a black Sharpie then scribbled another line near to the edge to tie it all together. Happier with it now, I repeated this on the No1 example, mounted it onto the hessian canvas.

Et voila! 'Clean and Simple' complete!

I hope you find this easy to follow. It wasn't without the odd trial and tribulation as I had a limited amount of craft stash and even make-up sponges were difficult to find. (Although I tried the small Ranger blending foam pads and also Cut ' n' Dry, they weren't as good as the humble make-up sponge.)

Many thanks again for visiting my blog. It will be lovely to see your projects posted on the Clarity Challenge blog. You are all so talented and never cease to amaze and delight! If you haven't joined in the 'Challenge' before, then please consider doing so. You can find all the details on the Clarity Stamp website and don't worry if you don't have a blog, you can email your entry and it will be posted for you - that's how I started.

'Til next time,

Sincere best wishes and happy crafting!