Hello all! I'm very excited to be here as a Guest Designer for Country View Crafts new challenge for May: How Does Your Garden Grow (a GD spot earned for me by my Glampunk Birdhouse).
I'm a busy bee today, there's also my Artistic Stamper DT post (it's my debut for them, so it would be lovely if you had a moment to take a look at it!).
And don't forget today also sees the launch of the first challenge over at the all-new Our Creative Corner (thankfully I'm not on duty until half-way through the month, or else I'd be on a hat-trick of posts today!).
But for now, let me show you the canvas which was sparked off by this lovely challenge theme.
The minute I saw the challenge theme, my head went to a traditional English country walled garden. And this canvas ended up being all about the Decorative Strip Dies!
I recently got the Brick Wall Decorative Strip Die (mostly thinking it might be useful for dollshouse duties) and I decided to press it into action.
And the other main feature of the garden is obviously the flowers - cut with the Tattered Flower Garland Decorative Strip Die.
I've always had a bit of a thing for old red brick walls - I love the warmth and variation of tone in the bricks, so I set about trying to recreate it.
I used Distress Stains in a number of colours to cover a whole sheet of A4, cut several strips of wall, and then pressed out all the bricks.
For the mortar, I mixed some Antique Linen Distress Stain into some texture paste and smoothed it onto the card that I'd cut to size.
Then I did my brick-laying... fiddly, yes, but great fun seeing it take shape.
You'll see that originally I had a whole different background planned for this. I even got as far as having everything stuck down, but it just wasn't working for me.
So I had to carefully peel off all my painstakingly stuck down elements and start all over again.
I was much happier as soon as I'd taken it all off and had a look at it, even on a blank canvas.
So then I started afresh (luckily I'd picked up a bunch of canvases incredibly cheaply at Kik, which is kind of the Woolworths/Poundland of the Czech Republic).
I had a lovely time with Distress inks and stencils, keeping it very gentle and soft in look.
The Distorted Hive Mask from Tando is a great texture creator, and I combined it with the Crafter's Workshop chicken wire.
Obviously there's some stamping... the Tim Holtz Papillon script rolled on randomly in places; some delicious hedgerow plants from some of the TH smaller stamp sets; and a touch of my all time favourite script stamp from the Apothecary stamp plate.
I love the texture of the canvas through it all.
I was also pretty happy with my brainwave for the "flagstone" pathway... strips of torn tissue tape.
This is one of my favourite bits of the whole thing in the end!
The quote is a PaperArtsy sentiment, stamped on watercolour paper in Olive Archival. I used Distress Inks to echo the colours of the canvas from the grass up to the sky, with some Wild Honey for added sunshine.
It's mounted on padded tape for extra dimension.
The flowers are all cut from a sheet out of Prima's Tea Thyme collection.
I had a lovely time layering them all up.
They've all had an edging of Antique Linen, and then just a touch of Wild Honey for extra warmth (not that it was needed when it came to photograph time - we went up to 39 degrees that day - but don't be envious, I'm back on the hot water bottles again now!).
The long attachers have been given little dabs of Distress Paint to tone in with the papers.
The little butterfly is also cut from the Tea Thyme papers, but he's had a good dose of Peeled Paint DI to differentiate him from the flowers.
He got a good coat of Rock Candy Distress Stickles too, but it doesn't seem to show up much in these photos, sadly.
The little fluffy clouds were almost an afterthought... it suddenly occurred to me that if we were in an English country garden, it's highly unlikely that there would be no clouds at all in the sky (it does happen occasionally, but really not that often!).
I pulled apart a cotton wool pad (for cleaning your face really) and added some of the wisps to my blue, blue sky.
As always, when I work with a canvas, I carried the creation over the edges, so I'll leave you with a couple of angled shots to show you that overflow, and some of the dimension of the piece.
I hope this canvas encourages you to join in with the How Does Your Garden Grow challenge over at Country View Crafts this month. You'll find a lots more inspiration from the regular DT - as well as a special celebrity guest designer appearance - and all the challenge details right here.
Forgive me for adding just another little reminder about the other May 1st excitements: my debut DT piece for the new Artistic Stamper challenge, and the all-new Our Creative Corner challenge also beginning today. You have a whole month for each of them (well - until the 28th for OCC), so why not play all three?!? Hope to see you there. Happy crafting!
Her heart was a secret garden, and the walls were very high.
From The Princess Bride, by William Goldman
Give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers where I can walk undisturbed.
If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.
From The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett
I'd like to enter this in the following:
Fashionable Stamping Challenge's current Sentimental challenge
At Unruly Paper Arts, they are looking for Paper Flowers for RAQ2
At Pile It On the theme is April Showers bring May Flowers - well, we're in to May now, so here are the flowers
Simon Says Stamp are having an Anything Goes week, and I think I'm just in time to join the hordes!
At Kreativ-Scrapping they would like to see What Spring Means To You - it's the flowers coming out, and the long awaited blue skies and sunshine!