Thursday, 13 April 2017
Hello all! Firstly, apologies for being a poor blogger again at the moment. You'll see why over the next few posts - it's been a busy old month or so, and I'm away from home yet again so I had to do lots of making in advance to get ahead of the game.
Also I'm scrambling up the steep learning curve of doll-making, so that's taking lots of time and energy.
But I'm absolutely delighted to be a guest over at Frilly and Funkie today, sharing a project for their new theme, April Showers, hosted by the fabulous Suzz.
It's always a thrill to have something you've made singled out for recognition, and Frilly and Funkie is one of the places I discovered very early on this crafting journey, so it was especially lovely to have my Tiny Greenhouses honoured by their amazing Design Team.
From the moment I learned what the challenge theme was, I had an idea in my head about wanting visible raindrops on whatever I made.
It took a bit of experimentation, but I'm rather pleased with how it all ended up. I hope you like it too!
I always enjoy my layers, so way back in the invisible distance there is some dipped and spritzed paint and ink, over which I scraped a thin layer of the PaperArtsy Crackle Glaze.
Next step, once the glaze was dry, was a coat of Snowflake Fresco paint...
... and then some more dipping into droplets of Stormy Sky Distress Ink and Faded Jeans Distress Oxide.
I love the ink droplets over the crackle texture - already a slightly rainy sky, wouldn't you say?
Around the foot of the tag, I blended on some Peeled Paint and Mowed Lawn inks, and then spritzed with some water to create even more showery droplets within the layers.
At this point, I mounted the tag on some sturdy cardboard to give it strength and stability for what's to come.
The fabulous Calico Craft Parts provided my central image - a lovely MDF wood field full of flowers.
I don't seem to have a picture of it "naked", but regulars will know what how it started out (and if you need a reminder, you can get the idea if you hop over to my Three Little Birds where you can at least see a "before" of that Calico Craft Part).
As I did for that ATC, I applied a coat of gesso first of all, and then used DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics to paint the flowers, grasses and butterflies.
Since many of the Fluid Acrylics are translucent, you can build up layers of colour and create some really lovely effects.
Can never resist a bit of white spatter...
My sentiment - one of my favourites - is stamped in Leaf Green and Olive Archival inks. I apply one and then add touches of the second before stamping.
We're still looking for that showery feeling, so I clear embossed the sentiment.
You get that lovely glossy dimensionality - like a film of water just sitting on the lettering.
For extra watery effect, I also clear-embossed the inky shading right around the edges of the tag.
And then it was time for the raindrops. I settled on Glossy Accents and did some practising on a separate sheet of card to find out the best way to form a nice teardrop shape.
When they go on, of course, there's a slight cloudiness to the gel, but you just have to be patient and let them dry fully.
And yes, I know that raindrops aren't really that shape when they're falling, but we're allowed a little artistic licence, aren't we?
If I were making this again, I would spread my drops a little less regularly. I was concentrating so much on the shaping, that I didn't even realise I was doing the spacing so evenly.
But I do like the effect, even if you have to wave the tag around a bit in certain lights to catch sight of the droplets - I do seem to like to set myself photographic challenges. You can always feel them with your fingertips if you're in doubt!
I dyed some seam binding with Wild Honey and Picked Raspberry Distress Stains which gave me colour tones that blended nicely with the flowers and butterflies below.
And there you have your April Showers on a tag.
Thanks so much to Cec and the Frilly and Funkie Designers for having me along for the ride - I had a lovely time getting wet and watery! - and I hope it will inspire you to come and splash about in the April Showers at Frilly and Funkie too.
There's a clue in the last couple of posts about where I'll be bobbing up next as a guest, and there's another exciting project in the offing, not to mention those Tudor Tavern dolls. I hope you'll hop by again soon... but, for now, happy crafting all!
For after all, the best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow