I'm travelling into a new way of working, a new country, a new language, and a new hobby which I'm passionate about. Come with me for some of the journey...

Friday, 23 October 2020

Inktober Week 3

Hello all, thanks so much for your company on this bright autumn day (well, it is here anyway).  I'm keeping it short today but with lots of photos, as it's time for another Inktober catch up.  Here are days 15 through to 21, and the daily challenge is definitely paying off in terms of what I'm learning as I go.  (You can find out all about what I'm up to and what materials I'm using in Inktober Week 1.)  With no further ado...

UPDATE - dash it all, I was in such a hurry I completely forgot to say that some of these are from photo inspiration by Helen Lindfield of stampingbyh and photosbyh, from her weekly visits to Kew.  It's the rosehips on Day 17 and the Physalis on Day 20.  Sorry, Helen - I'm going to blame it on moving-brain!

Day 15



Day 16




Day 17



Day 18



Day 19



Day 20


Day 21



That's your lot and I hope there are some new favourites for you to enjoy... I know I have my own particular delights (and frustrations - but we won't go into those!).  




I hope you are all managing to stay safe, well and creative.  Take care out there and I'll see you again soon, either here or elsewhere in Craftyblogland.

The tastiest berries are often hidden.  Do not despair if you haven't found true love.  Look under the leaves and branches of convention.
Khang Kijarro Nguyen

I'd like to join in at Paint Party Friday where they have reached the Week 34, Year 10 check-in

And the lovely Chris still wants us to Hold the Line at Art Journal Journey - my line and wash technique is how I'm holding the line

Again, there's one painting where I've got Purple, Orange and Green, so I'd like to play along at the Funkie Junkie Boutique Blog too

#newbloggersucks

Monday, 19 October 2020

Rusty Tin by Candlelight for Simon Says Stamp

Hello all!  It's the beginning of the week and time for another challenge to start at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge.  I'm delighted to be in the Designer Spotlight there this month, and so happy to be creating alongside some of the best makers in the game.

The new theme is Not A Card.  Well, regulars here will know that's not really a stretch for me - I've only made maybe 8 or 10 cards in eight years of crafting!  But I wanted to get into the spirit of the thing, so I decided I wouldn't make a tag either (too similar to a card - those are my rules, not Simon's!).  

Instead, I went the fully dimensional route and, given the nights are drawing in, I thought it was just the season for adding a bit of candlelight.  So here are my altered jar candle lanterns to set an autumnal mood...

They are a slightly chameleon kind of a project.  How they look all depends on the light falling on them.  So in full sunlight, as above, you can see my faux rusty tin finish on the houses really well.  But if the sunlight comes from behind, then the jars light up and the buildings become more shadowy silhouettes...

... and of course if you go the whole hog and light the candles inside, then you get a whole other look to enjoy.  It's pretty much three sets of jars for the price of one!

Let me quickly take you through how I created my misty, textured backgrounds...

... and that decaying rusty tin finish on the paper Ghost Town Thinlits die-cuts.  Sadly, Ghost Town seems to have been discontinued - that's the trouble with the seasonal dies, you've gotta grab'em while you can - but you could create something very similar with the newer Haunted house, or any other dies in your stash.  I've made quite a lot of these jar lanterns now, and I haven't used the same die twice!

I started by putting some Transparent Matte Texture Paste onto the jars through the Tim Holtz Harlequin stencil.

You have to do it in stages to get all the way round the jar, letting a section dry before doing the next one, otherwise you get very grungy Harlequins, smudged out of all recognition!

Over that, I sponged and spritzed some gesso, keeping it very rough and random.  It's all about creating a swirl of autumn mist or soft fogginess, and highlighting some of that lovely Harlequin texture underneath.  And it's really as simple as that.

(You could go a step further if you wanted... When the gesso had dried, I had a little play with adding extra shadows or a touch of blue with some Distress Crayons, but decided I preferred the straightforward white mist, so I spritzed it all away again with some water before it could dry and become permanent.)

I sponged some PaperArtsy French Roast Fresco paint around the bottoms of the jars to give my buildings and trees something to "stand on", and layered on some other rusty browns there later too for a slightly fuller more layered look.

(NB - always advisable to wear some goggles if you are using a heat tool with glass when you're too impatient to wait for the paint to dry.)

So, those rusty tin houses...  I have to confess it was all largely accidental.  I started by smooshing Distress Inks and Oxides in various shades - Vintage Photo, Walnut Stain, Rusty Hinge, Ground Espresso and Crackling Campfire were certainly amongst them - onto a sheet of A4 card, ready to run through the BigShot with the Thinlits.  But somehow things all got a big foggy, even after I added a bit of Tarnished Brass Distress Spray to perk things up with a metallic look.  I don't have any photos of that stage because frankly I was planning to bin it.

However, instead I decided to paint over the whole lot with some DecoArt Chalky Finish paint in the rusty Rustic colour, and I did it before the inks were fully dry.  Lo and behold some of the Tarnished Brass and Oxides started to "peel" up through the coat of paint.  It was a cool look, so I decided to intensify it with some splatters of Vintage Photo Distress Oxide spray (spattered on from the tube on the unscrewed lid of the spray bottle) which gave me even more lovely splotches of rusty decay, in very organic patterns.

I splattered on some Crackling Campfire in the ink formulation too once it was all dry, as well as dabbing on a little bit of Quinacridone Gold paint in places.  It was all pretty random, and I wasn't really keeping track, but that's the method as far as I remember it.  I think it's a rather good faux rusty tin, though I do say so myself - serendipity and just saying yes to whatever turns up!

The Thinlits set also includes a little bare-branched tree, so I cut that a number of times out of some kraft card which I spritzed liberally with Ground Espresso so that I could have darker tree trunks to contrast with the rusty buildings.  I reversed a couple of them so that some point in one direction, some in the other.

But I needed a bit more arboreal variation, so I also cut the Tangled Twigs Thinlits from some of the same inked card and cut it to pieces to create some more random tree trunks and branches to put between the buildings.  Now we've got plenty of nice natural randomness to our trees.

And then I glued my little village scenes in place.  Simple!  And as the light caught them from behind on my craft table, I knew I was on to something good...

You can see I've added some extra paint layers to the "ground" now, embracing imperfection and allowing it to spread up around the bases of the houses too, which earths them even better - they were sort of hovering before.

I'd been toying with tying some autumn leaves around the tops of the jars, but when it came to it, they really didn't need it.

Instead, I finished things off with some of my favourite rusty wire - it's great how the threading at the top of the jar actually helps at this point, giving the wire something to hold on to as you wrap it round.


And off each bit of wound wire dangles a Halloween Typed Token, also given some rusty texture and colour.


The colour is provided by alcohol inks - Mushroom, Ginger and Rust if memory serves.  And the texture is really very easy.  I just used my fingertip to dab on some Matte Collage Medium, pouncing it up and down a little to give it the rusty texture.

And even though it's matte, you do still get a dull metallic gleam when the sun hits at the right angle.

So there you are, by day and by night, some autumnal candle jars.  And yes, they are eerie enough to work for Halloween, but I definitely think they'll work for the whole autumnal season, and even into winter.




I hope you enjoy these as much as I do, and do hop over to the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge for some incredible inspiration for the Not A Card theme from the team there.

As always, the designers will be selecting some of their favourite projects to spotlight at the end of the week, and one lucky entrant will win the lucky dip voucher to go shopping at Simon Says Stamp.

I'll leave you with a final shot where you get the best of a couple of worlds... a look at the rusty tin but also a hint of what happens when the lights go out!

Thanks so much for stopping by today.  Good luck everyone, stay safe, stay well and stay creative.

Nature is a haunted house--but Art--is a house that tries to be haunted.
Emily Dickinson

At Country View Challenges they are playing Halloween - Make a Scene so these should fit right in

And it's Halloween Time over at Try It On Tuesday, so these should fit the spooky bill nicely

I'd like to play along at the Creative Artiste Challenge where as always Anything Mixed Media Goes

At the More Mixed Media Challenge this month Anything Goes with Optional Orange - it's a rusty orange, but I'd say it's orange!

#newbloggersucks - it can't even time a post right - sorry I'm late!