Thursday, 28 March 2013

Not Quite ATC's

Hi and welcome! This time of the year brings back fond childhood memories of visiting aunts, my mum's sisters, and uncles. One of the times we visited Aunt Mary, was usually a week or two before Easter. There was a special reason for this. Aunty Mary and her husband, Charlie, owned and operated an Easter Egg factory!! They specialised in the candy eggs, all sizes; made commercially and some special ones, made to order. They came in the lovely pastels of blue, pink, yellow, green, apricot, lilac and white. Some of them had additional flavourings such as aniseed, musk or peppermint. Inside the eggs were conversation lollies, with their stamped messages. These were also made at the factory.
Uncle Charlie had a number of waste bins inside the factory where any damaged or broken eggs, or lollies, were placed. These bits were able to be taken,... as much as you liked. With small cardboard containers bulging, we would then get on with the other purpose of the visit... selecting eggs for purchase for family members. It seemed to me, at the time, the bigger the egg, the thicker they were and the longer they lasted. I believe that some years, I still had some piece of egg in the fridge, lasting from one Easter to the next!  They were very hard, and you had to break off small pieces and suck them to thinness before biting.  Uncle Charlie and Aunty Mary were very generous, because often we would find an extra egg or two tucked into the package, and on a couple of occasions, I was also given a box of conversation lollies, to share with my class at school... more than enough for all of the class with heaps left over!
It was the colours of these eggs that prompted the colouring of the pages for my spring-themed mini-book, which isn't quite small enough to be ATC sized (tho' not much larger). The book features small photos and quotes and poems about spring.
I used  white glitter finish A4 cardstock for the booklet. This has a satin finish and colours react in very interesting ways when applied to it.
Distress Stains (Picked Raspberry, Mowed Lawn and Shaded Lilac) were swiped across the page.
When slightly dry, I toned them down with Picket Fence and gave the page a light spritz with water. This gave some great blending. Then, while still slightly damp, I pounced on the same colours to make little splats on the page and did the same with Picket Fence over the top....... love Picket Fence!!! Such interesting result; almost like marbling or tie dying.

The A4 page gives 8 smaller surfaces to play with, by simply folding and cutting one slit.

It's a very simple technique, one I've revisited from use with students at school. It just involves folding in half lengthwise, then in the opposite direction, bringing in the two ends to met the central  vertical crease,  slitting along the lengthwise fold line (crease, to crease) then pushing the ends towards the centre to  make the pages. The two above photos are a different booklet.

The front cover has been stamped with an added teabag folded butterfly (quarter of a teabag tile)
The back cover, is a photo taken at dawn, at one of our local beaches (September, our spring Downunder, 2010).

                                                   Close-up of tea-bag folded butterfly

Inside pages 1  and 2  is a photo showing some of my green and maroon hippeastum papilios... the first of the season and usually flowering profusely in October / November. The metal embellishment is a bead cap, squashed flat. A poem torn from an old written -off school poetry book, was smooched with Distress Inks: Bundled Sage and Spun Sugar. Punched flowers, and Martha Stewart vellum leaves and bits of  bling have completed the pages.

I've used punched flowers again for the next two pages. These have been finished with Perfect Pearls , liquid pearls and bling. Quotes, one from an old madrigal, 'Now is the Month of Maying'  a song I learnt when part of my High School Madrigal group (and still remembered!!!!), have been written down. The photo comes again from my garden collection and shows a native Bridal Veil orchid, which flowers in September.

Page 5 features a teabag folded flower and another butterfly. Again I've used 1/4 sized tiles. The poem is a Japanese Haiku.

For page 6,  I've used the ghost stamping technique and spritzed the dry piece with glimmer mist. The poem has come from the same book as the previous one. The rabbit is a piece of washi tape, which features stamps and post marks.

I'd like to submit my little booklet into the ABAC Challenge 15: Spring or Alice in Wonderland theme. Look here, to see what the design team and other fabulous artists have done for this challenge.

Thank you for visiting. Your comments are very much appreciated. Cheers, Di

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

At 4

Hi and welcome. Today I'm showing the result of playing with alcohol inks, a medium I enjoy working with. I've used them on two very different products which were then used on a layout  as embellishments.
Aluminium flashing ( the self-adhesive, non-tarry one) from the hardware store was put through an embossing folder (TH Riveted Metal) and then daubed with alcohol inks: espresso, latte and ginger.

The cogs were die-cut from glitter cardstock (silver) and coloured with alcohol inks: espresso and denim. I tipped these directly onto the cogs before dabbing them slightly to spread the ink; no blending solution was used.

The frame around the photo was the one that originally came with it. It was also put through the same embossing folder and smooched with distress inks: weathered wood (a favourite of mine) and antique linen. Some dots of copper Kindyglitz were added to some of the rivets and the foam title.
A journalling tag, which can swivel from a brad, completed the layout. The tag lists some of  son's favourite things at the time. These included using tools and building with Lego and Meccano.

This layout is being entered in the ARTastic challenge for march: using a portrait photo. Find out more about there challenge here:

Thank you for visiting and leaving great feedback. Come again. I love hearing from you.
Cheers, Di

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Irish Wishes

Hi! and welcome. Firstly, a huge THANK YOU to the DT members for selecting my "Luck" layout, as one of the featured artist pieces for Challenge 13.
I had a great day  at Julie's (  ) on Saturday playing in her Explore class, trying out some different techniques with alcohol inks, Viva: Glitter Paint, Glass Effect Gel and 3D Stamping Paint. This play led my challenge piece for ABAC ( to go in a slightly different direction by incorporating some of the play techniques. So this is my take on Challenge 14: St Patrick's Day or Green Theme. My project is Irish inspired (Irish blessings and wishes), and green  two ways (the predominant colour and using upcycled acetate from packaging).
I've selected a number of Irish blessings and wishes and used these for a shamrock-shaped mini-book, the pages of which are also showing some different finishing techniques.

There will be quite a few photos to show these finishes. A common one for the background for  the wishes, was smooshing with Distress Inks: Peeled Paint, Forest Moss and Mowed Green. Some  were also sprinkled with water for that lovely mottled effect. These were then completed with a faux stitch finish using either Liquid Pearls: Peacock, or an ultra-fine Sharpie, green. The wishes backgrounds were then adhered to a green  background, after the backgrounds had some finishing touches.
The cover for the mini-book is made from up-cycled acetate.The leaves were traced in Viva Gloss Effect Gel: Contour Copper. The reverse side of the design was painted with Ranger Vintaj Patina: Jade and Moss. The whole of the reverse side was then smooched with Alcohol Inks ( Willow, Citrus, Oregano and Sailboat Blue).

The Title Page was done on white  cardstock, and given a couple of different treatments. First, I painted it with Distress Stains: peeled Paint, Forest Moss and a touch of Mowed Lawn. I sprinkled it with water and while still slightly damp, smooched over with Picket Fence. then in an 'Aha!" moment, decided to smooch over the lot with Distress Inks in Peeled Paint and Forest Moss and re- sprinkling with flicks of water.... great algae effect! Definitely a background method I will use again. When dry, I gave the page a quick edge of Kindyglitz: Crysalina and added the title. These were bought silver glitter cardstock letters, but to give them more of a moss effect, were coloured,  with alcohol inks: Willow and Oregano.

The green background cardstock for this page was covered with a layer of washi tape, which was also roughly pleated to give a ruffle effect edge.

Page 2 was finished with Glitter paint- green.

This page was stamped with Versamark and finished with Perfect Pearls: Forever Green. Just a fine shimmer, hard to capture in the photo.

With this page I had another of those 'Aha!" moments. I've always used a free-form style for applying tacky glue for foiling... BUT!! how would it go, if I stamped on the glue. It worked! I did use an inexpensive clear stamp (just in case). When the  glue 'tacked' off I foiled the design in silver.

Page 5 was put  through an embossing folder and smooched over with Brilliance Pearlescent ink:Olive. A few finishing touches were added with Liquid Pearls:Peacock.

This page has my play with the Viva 3D Stamping Paint; Metallic Moosegrun.  Again I used a clear stamp to see how it would go, because this medium dries so quickly and has to be scrubbed immediately after use. I loved the effect this medium has and will be using it more.

For the final page I've dropped on Opals Embossing Enamels: Furneaux- a deep  green,  in patches (one section at a time) heated them and while still molten, stamped on a leaf pattern (used stazOn for  this). This gave a fabulous texture which hasn't shown up on the photo. The only thing you have to remember with this technique is to leave the stamp in place, until it releases slightly (about 30 seconds),  before removing it.

The book was put together using a binder ring and some ribbons and braid to complete it.
I hope you have enjoyed your visit. Thank you for coming and for your inspiring comments.
Cheers, Di