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...

Wednesday 27 June 2012

Time or Travel

The Stampman Challenge this fortnight is Time or Travel.  Well, I'm already doing the Travelling, trying to start part of a life in a whole new country (I sort of wish my ancestors had been Italian rather than Czech - it'd be a million times easier to learn the language!), so I'm sticking to Time for the challenge.

This card has a fairly simple central image theme - I present to you, tah dah... the clock!  But it's developed in several different ways as it builds up.  And of course, for those of you who've been keeping up, it's my standby colour combination of brown and blue...

The first layer is lots of higgledy-piggledy stamping of Kaisercraft's Tic Toc stamp.  I really enjoy using this stamp with all its many and varied clock and watch faces.  It's stamped in Ranger's Archival ink in Cobalt onto plain cream smooth cardstock.  I've then added the Tim Holtz weathered clock in Archival Sepia a few times, in random (but carefully-spaced) places.  It's important that these base images are stamped with Archival inks because of what's to come.  You need an ink that's going to stay in place.

The next step is to put the clock mask in place.  

I tried and tried to get hold of the Tim Holtz Timeworks Stencil set.  On that, the clock mask is an exact copy (though larger) of the clear stamp, with the additional small dial in the middle, and the hands all built in.  I would love to have it (not to mention all those lovely steampunk cogs and gears), but it always seems to be out of stock, and I suspect it may have been discontinued.  

(Anyone who knows of a secret supply, do please get in touch!)  

Timeworks-less, I had to solve the problem myself.  What I do have is the TH Weathered Clock Die, so I got myself some of his Idea-ology Mask Sheets, so that I could make my own stencil.  These sheets are ready to be cut with scissors or a die-cutting machine; they're slightly tacky so as to hold in place when you're using whatever you've cut out; and they come with protective storage sheets, so that once you've cut a stencil or template, you can keep it and re-use it multiple times.

I'm aware that all this stuff trips off my tongue very easily.  Just a few short months ago, I didn't really understand what the die-cutting thing was about at all.  Since I know that some of my followers are even more scrapping-innocent than I was, I'll use a future post to show off my much-beloved Sizzix Big Shot - which is a die-cutting machine - so that you'll know what I'm on about.

Anybody for whom that would just be a grandmother-egg-sucking situation is welcome to sit that one out!
Here's the mask I was able to cut using the die.  You can see that the hands are completely separate, rather than attached as in the ready-made stencil.  On the one hand, that's quite nice: it means you can choose what time you want it to be.  On the other hand, with a mask it's a bit tricky, because you've got three bits you need to make sure are keeping still in one place while you sponge, or spray, or ink over them...

... which is what I did next. 

Using a blending tool, I layered Weathered Wood, Tea Dye, Vintage Photo, Faded Jeans and Walnut Stain Distress Inks onto the card.  There might even be some Chipped Sapphire in there!  You can see that where the mask is, you keep a lovely pale shadow clear of ink.  

Because the mask is transparent, you can see the effect you're getting even before you peel the mask away once you're finished.  

If you wanted it completely white (well, cream really), without the clocks either, you could simply stick the mask in place before you start stamping at all.  

The die is also crucial to the next layer of the card.  I cut the Weathered Clock again, but this time out of Kraft cardstock, and inked it with Weathered Wood, Chipped Sapphire and Vintage Photo using the blending tool.
Top tip - if you want you can skip the mask thing altogether, and use your cardstock die-cut as your stencil... then your ink does double duty, on the die-cut and on the paper around it simultaneously.  (That's fine as long as you're happy to have completely the same colours on both the clock and its background.)  Because I wanted slightly different colour combinations, I inked the card clock separately - but you can be sure I kept the piece of paper from underneath for use in a future project!

Once inked, I covered the whole of the clock with embossing ink, scattered clear embossing powder over it, and heated it to get the burnished sheen which I hope you can see in the pictures; it's perhaps clearest in the one at the top of the page.  The enamelling effect of the embossing also slightly darkens the colours.

The quote is from a Personal Impressions set, Creative Thoughts designed by Lindsay Mason, and is also on plain cream cardstock, distressed using Antique Linen and Vintage Photo.  I think it's beautiful, and completely right, and it's a large part of what I'm engaged on right now, which is to try to listen to my heart and my gut, not only my head - which likes to measure everything out and analyse it.  

The other project I've been working on, which I mentioned in an earlier post, explores that idea in much more depth.  You'll get to hear all about it, and see the project of course, very soon.

Thanks for taking the time to drop by.  If you like the look of it all, why not join up as a follower?   And if you're interested in buying or commissioning any cards, albums or other pieces, do get in touch by leaving a comment.  In the meantime, spend some time with someone you love, or doing something you love... without thinking about the time!

Time is the coin of your life.  It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it is spent.  Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.
Carl Sandburg


Inkypinkycraft said...

Love the layers in the background trace x

Terry said...

Fabulous masking! Love that clock and your background! Thank you for stopping by and following me!