Monday, 27 April 2015

Card It Monday - Fiskars 3 in 1 Tag Maker

Fiskars 3 in 1 tag maker

Recently I got my hands on one of the new tools from Fiskars, have you seen it yet? It is a tag punch that also punches the holes and sets the eyelets - the Fiskars 3 in 1 Tag maker. Of course I have been having a fun crafty time giving it a work out.

Ok so here is how it works:

Punch the tag shape with the Fiskars 3 in 1 Tag maker

You punch the tag shape, I have the one called Label and the size of the punch out is approx 7.5 cm by 5 cm at the widest points for this tag.

Place the tag in the hole punch slot of the Fiskars 3 in 1 Tag maker

Then you place the punch-out tag into the hole punching slot, and this is my favourite thing about this tool, it seems to perfectly centre the hole. Super quick and super easy and if you have ever had one of those moments when you are doing it by eye and the hole is slightly off, then you will know how cool it is that it centres the hole with minimal fuss!

Set the eyelet with the Fiskars 3 in 1 Tag maker

Finally you can use the eyelet setting bit to...yep you guessed it...set the eyelet!

So after punching lots of different tags I made this card using papers from the Heidi Swapp September Skies paper pad

A card made using the Fiskars 3 in 1 Tag maker

and with a handwritten sentiment using watercolour and a brush.

A close up of the card made using the Fiskars 3 in 1 tag maker

Pretty cool huh? I don't think it is quite in the UK or EU shops yet as I could not find it so keep your eyes out as I'm sure it will be there soon, but my US readers might be able to find it in some of their stores. You can find out more about them and decide which is your favourite shape on the Fiskars website.

Have a fun Card It Monday.

Catch you later Card-inators!

Kim

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Friday, 24 April 2015

Art It Friday - Show Your Face

My word! When I started on this little portrait discovery thing I'm on at the moment I did not expect anyone to be really interested. So what a shock when you guys took the time out of your day to link up your wonderful work in my linky in last week's blog post.

Thank you SO much! I've loved seeing all your lovely work it is really, truly inspiring.

But I've got to do a shout out for the wonderful Mo from So Much To Learn who really has championed this idea and has been spreading the word far and wide! Thank You Mo! You are a superstar!

So what about it? Shall we make this a thing? 

Link up your face / portrait artwork to inspire and share all the wonderful faces you have been working on. It can be any face from the week just past or the week ahead. Haven't got a face from this week? No problem! Link up one of your older pieces, that is fine too. The linky will be open from 10am Friday morning until the next Friday so add away through the week.

Show Your Face and shout it out! The more the merrier!

To get the ball rolling again this week I would like to share a couple of portraits from my week. If you follow my Instagram feed then you might have seen this pic:

Self portrait Kim Dellow

I plucked up courage to try a self-portrait with acrylics but I made it super easy on myself and did it from a stylised photo that I had used to make an art journal page almost a year ago.

The second share is my first attempt at painting a face in watercolour.

Painting faces using watercolours

This portrait started as a pencil sketch and then I sketched her out again onto watercolour paper and used Kuretake Gansai Tambi traditional watercolour to colour her.

Finished Watercoloured portrait of a woman

I was aiming for wild hair, but it didn't turn out quite how I had it in my head! But that is the journey. You live and learn!

You can tell I have been having fun with my portraits this week and I hope you have too.

Go on then - Show Your Face!

Link up below any of your portrait art work in any medium or style and shout it out, if you know anyone who would like to join in share this post and let's inspire each other!

Don't forget to visit the other links if you can and share some blog love too.

Can't wait to see what you have been up to this week.

Catch you later Face-Artinators!

Kim

ps. If your art happens to be from an art journal page you have done this week then go link up with Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's Art Journal Everyday post too!

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Monday, 20 April 2015

Something Sweet For Monday

Welcome Monday and time to start this week with something crafty, something papercrafty in fact. I've been meaning to post this card on my blog for a couple of weeks now but time has always got away from me. It has been sitting on my desk in pieces waiting to be assembled.

Card using Clearly Besotted stamps from Simply Cards and Papercraft

Well finally I got a chance to stick it all together, photograph it and process the photos for my Monday show and tell.

The stamps were actually from the gorgeous free set of Clearly Besotted stamps that came with Issue 133 of Simply Cards and Papercraft. You need to check that issue out if you didn't get those stamps, they are YUM!

close up of Clearly Besotted stamps from Simply Cards and Papercraft

I've used some masking and stamping to fill the jar with the yummy sweets and the background was hand printed with MementoLUXE inks, a stencil and the old bubble wrap stamping trick.

Hope you like it and thanks for visiting and seriously, you NEED those stamps! *EnablingAgain*

Catch you later Craftinators!

Kim

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Friday, 17 April 2015

Art It Friday - Bitten By The Portrait Bug

I've been well and truly bitten by the painting faces bug! It surprises me as I never thought I would be drawn (no pun intended) to portraiture as I've pretty much avoided it up to now, even though it is a massive trend in the mixed media world as you know. I've never been good with faces and have appalling face blindness that has lead to some squirmingly embarrassing moments I can tell you! But all of a sudden portraiture fascinates me.

Last week I shared with you my first attempt at painting a face and boosted by the fact that it didn't turn out nearly half as bad as I thought it would I gave it another go and I'ld like to share the results with you today.

The first portrait to share is another go at realistic faces.

A male face done in acrylic paints

I didn't start with a drawing this time, I just painted. I got a little lost around the eyes and nose but overall I'm happy with the attempt. He was painted with Liquitex Basics Acrylic Paints using Burnt Sienna, Raw Sienna, Titanium White and Dioxazine Purple.

The next attempt was a go at a whimsical face.

Art Journal page with a whimsical face

I was aiming for a sad face with a bit of cute character but I don't think I quite got it. So more work needed here too!

So they are my arty shares for the week.

Now over to you!
Do you fancy joining in on this portraiture journey? I've got a linky below so link up your face paintings, drawings etc.

It can be any type of face, realistic, stylised, whimisical and you can use any materials you like, pencil, paint, pastels etc., just as long as it is your own work, i.e not a commercially available stencil or stamp.

Don't forget to link directly to the blog post or picture in your gallery!

What do you reckon? Are you up to for it? I do hopes so! Let's have some face fun! Meet you here next Friday for some more.

Catch you later Face-Artinators!

Kim
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Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Say It In Fabric New Baby Card

Every now and then I love to breakout my sewing machine and get all stitchery. So when I was asked to make a new baby card I decided that it would be fun to do a little faux free-motion machine embroidery.

Faux Free-motion machine embroidery card

I do love drawing with a sewing machine, it is such a gorgeous technique. With real free-motion machine embroidery you go off-road so to speak. You either don't use a foot at all on your sewing machine - watch your fingers! - or you get one of those 'jumping' feet (that's what I call them!), you know the quilting or darning ones that lift off with each stitch so that you can move the fabric freely.

What I call faux free-motion machine embroidery is where you draw with your sewing machine but you use it just as you would to sew a seam with an ordinary foot. It does require a bit of patience and some use of the sewing machine's flywheel but it is nice halfway house if you are a little worried about going completely off-road.

Close up of the faux free-motion machine embroidery new baby card

This scenic baby new baby card was made using the faux free-motion machine embroidery techniques and fabric.

All the elements use stitch, the lettering, spot on the ladybird all of it. However, the inside and the envelop where stamped with a stamp from Clearly Besotted Stamps but they seem to have discontinued the stamp set, which is a shame 'coz it was super-cute.

Matching stamping inside a card and on the envelop

Do you ever use your sewing machine to draw your designs and not just stitch a border with? Is it something you would like to do more of but aren't sure how? Are you a fan of the free-motion machine embroidery? I would love to know so do drop me a comment if it is something you would like to know more about.

Catch you later stitchinators.
Kim

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Saturday, 11 April 2015

A Journey Through Art Journal Fear

If you follow my Twitter feed or Instagram account then you might have spotted the sneaky peek at an art journal page I started last weekend. This wasn't meant to be anything other than a quick play with some new materials in my art journal but it turned into so much more. This page represents a little journey of overcoming fear for me and I hope it will inspire you to push through what you fear.

PaperArtsy paint and stamps

So starting at the beginning and the new materials I wanted to test out. I got my inky, painty hands on some lovely bits and pieces from PaperArtsy and just had to have a play. I used the JOFY Collection 32 and the Lin Brown Limited Edition paint set.

I used a double page in a new A5 repurposed flier that I'm using as my current art journal. I started with a semi-transparent layer of Gesso and the PaperArtsy Caribbean Sea paint, stamped the images over the top and painted them with the PaperArtsy paint then went over the outlines with a black Derwent Graphik Line Painter pen.

Finished!

But as I looked at it I thought perhaps it needed something else. This is where the fear factor kicks in. I want to be better at drawing and I do practise when I have a moment. But faces, human form and the such are super difficult for me. So I decided to be brave and do something that I have never done before. Paint a face.

Underdrawing for a face

I know the trend is very much towards whimsical, stylised faces but I really wanted to see if I could draw something closer to a real face. I didn't work from a photo or use a mirror so it is an imaginary face but I wanted it to be as real as I could make it. I seriously have no idea how to paint a face so I was learning as I went along.

I sketched the proportions of the face in pencil and then set about putting a thin layer of paint on the underdrawing. I used Liquitex Basics as I have the colours I needed to make skin tones in this range.

putting in details on a face

At this stage, pictured above, I was tempted to leave it as it was turning out far better than I expected it to and I was afraid to mess it up! But I gritted my teeth and pushed through...

Art journal faces

and I'm glad that I did. She isn't perfect but seeing as she is the first human face that I have ever painted I'm really pleased with the result.

Close up on a face in the art journal


Things I have learnt and wanted to share with you guys:
  • Try something that you haven't done before - you might surprise yourself.
  • Push through the fear - if it turns out rubbish you still will have learnt a whole lot from the process.
  • Working in arts and crafts is full of transferable skills - you will be surprised how much you improve a certain skill set even when you are doing something else that isn't directly related to that specific skill set.
  • Don't paint your first face over a fold in your art journal!

Now I need to overcome a new fear - trying to paint another face, this one might have been a fluke!

What lessons have you learnt recently from your art and craft work? I look forward to hearing all about them in the comments below.

Catch you later artinators!

Kim

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Thursday, 9 April 2015

A DIY Storage Tip For Studio, Office Or Kitchen

If you are one of my regular readers then you might remember that I have recently moved house, so when the guys at the Self Storage company Space Station Storage asked me if I would like to share a storage idea I thought 'what a good idea!' I mean storage is a bit of an ongoing project for me at the moment as we are still unpacking boxes. Ok so we moved in July last year but I don't think we will finish unpacking any time soon.

Here is one of my favourite storage tips that can work well for lots of areas in the house but is super perfect for my studio and seeing as I'm still not sure where everything is I do need to make some more of these!

Turn a cutlery drainer into storage

Turn an uninteresting cutlery drainer into a pretty, sectioned storage basket. The great thing about this upcycle is you can theme it to fit any room in your house and store anything you need - even cutlery if you want!


Things you need to Turn a cutlery drainer into storage

You Will Need:
Cutlery drainer
Patterned paper
Glue (Mod Podge is perfect for this)
Brush
Spare card
Pencil

Step 1
Stand the Cutlery drainer on card and draw around the bottom sections

Give the cutlery drainer a good clean to remove any dust and dirt then stand it on the card. Draw around each of the bottom sections and cut them out. Then place the cut outs into the bottom of each section and trim them to get a good fit. The cardboard covers up the draining holes and makes a flat floor for each section.

Step 2
Glue strips of torn paper to the cutlery drainer

Tear the patterned paper into strips and decide if you want the white paper core to show or not, both looks work well depending on what you want.

Brush glue over a section of the cutlery drainer and add the paper. Brush more glue over the top of the paper. Keep working in sections until both the inside and outside of the drainer is covered. Then let the whole thing dry.

Use the new storage for pens, brushes, bits and bobs or even cutlery!

There you have it, one very handy pen holder for my desk.

If you are looking for some more desk storage ideas then try this upcycled tin can make over.

Tin can upcycled into a brush holder

Thanks again to the guys of  Space Station Storage for the inspiration to share one of my favourite storage ideas.

I would love to hear your storage ideas, particularly if they are upcycle and recycle ideas, but really any of your storage ideas would be great I need them all! Do share in the comments below if you have any.

Catch you later storagators!

Kim

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Thursday, 2 April 2015

Tutorials For The Long Weekend

I'm in celebratory mood! I've cleared away some deadlines and the long weekend is stretched out ahead! YAY! So as I tuck into a cup of tea and an orange, to stop myself from pigging out on a packet of celebratory biccies, I thought I would drop in and share a quick blog post about two tutorials of mine that you will find on the Blitsy Discovery blog.

If you fancy a bit of inspiration for projects you can get done this Easter weekend then check out my method for making layered stamps...

Layered stamp making card

Or what about a bit of card making mixing and matching your stamps and dies...

Mix and matching dies and stamps to make a card

Right, I'm going back to my tea and orange, doesn't have the same ring as tea and biccies does it?

Hope you have a super duper weekend,
full of biscuits!
Kim

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Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Get The Look - Watercolour Using Ink Pads


Welcome back to my Get The Look series. We had some fun in February's Get The Gold Look and you can find those posts here. This week I wanted to try digging into another on-trend look and that is the Watercolour look. But before we go rooting around for our watercolour paints or rushing out to buy some, why don't we try our ink pads?

Yep, it is Get The Look – Watercolour Using Ink Pads!

Let's get stuck in!

Why Ink Pads?

Well, I'm guessing that if you are a stamper or a cardmaker then you might have a couple of these just lying about, am I right?

As a stamper and cardmaker, you might have been checking out all those lovely watercolour looks and wondering if you should invest in some watercolour paints. The answer is 'YES', you most definitely should! I love watercolours!

But before you do, let me give you some bridging ideas to play with using products you probably already have and then hopefully build up your confidence to make that leap into paints.

lots of ink pads

Not a stamper / cardmaker? Don't worry – I'm not being exclusive! You might find a little exploration into ink pads fun and useful too.


OK, Which Ink Pads Can I Try?

Try them all! Yep, all of them. OK, so I say 'all' but don't bother with those that are designed to dry immediately such as the solvent-based ink pads like Tsukineko StaZon, it just ain't gonna work. But do try everything else!

There are now a quadrillion ink pads on the market. I've counted them all and it comes to just under a quadrillion, but, hey, whose counting? I just said I was – pay attention!

Yep, there are loads and they come in lots different formulations – dye, pigment, hybrid, some are water-based and some are solvent-based. Subsequently, you are going to get some that work easily with this technique and some that don't like it at all.

A rainbow of ink pad colours

Water-based dye ink pads like the Ranger Distress inks work beautifully with this technique, as you probably already know if you have these ink pads. Distress inks are great if you want an aged look to your watercolour effects. But I'm going to go out on a limb here and say I'm usually a bit disappointed with the effect of distress inks once they are dry. Some of the colours I love but some just don't rock my boat (or should that be float my boat?).

Call me fussy but for my watercolour looks I want that translucent, bright colour that comes from artist-grade watercolour and if I can't have it, I'm gonna fake it!

So the ink pads that have worked well for me are:

Tsukineko MementoLUXE - pigment
Tsukineko Memento - dye
Tsukineko Brilliance - pigment
Tsukineko VersaColor - pigment
Hero Arts Shadow - dye
Clearsnap ColorBox Chalk - blended ink (I'm guessing that is like hybrid?)
Clearsnap ColorBox Classic - pigment
My Favourite Things - Hybrid ('looks like pigment but dries like dye')
Avery Elle - pigment
Mama Elephant - pigment (although the colours I have come out very matt, almost chalky)

A note about Ranger Archival ink pads: Archival is a quick-drying dye ink and has an almost oil-like texture and doesn't play well with water, which is great for most of the jobs you traditionally would use it for. But in the spirit of experimenting, if you do mix it with water it turns into grains of colour that doesn't paint well but could look cool on the right project, so you might want to try it to see what you think. Also you will need a strong soap to wash out any brush you use with Ranger Archival ink – you have been warned!

OK, that is the full extent of the inks I have in the house, so feel free to try what you have and let me know how it goes!


Just Show Me How To Use Them Already!

Close up of watercolour effects on a greeting card


Not asleep yet? Then let me show you how to make these watercolour effects with your ink pads.

Materials needed for Ink pad watercolouring

You will need:
Ink pads - I've used Tsukineko MementoLUXE Dandelion and Hero Arts Shadow Raspberry Jam mid-tone
Piece of plastic (bit of old packaging)
Brush
Water
Cardstock (ordinary, smooth, white, around 290 gsm or more)

Step 1 


Add water to the card surface

Lightly wet your brush and swipe it over the cardstock, I'm going to cut my panel with a die so I've placed the die on the card to guide where I should place the colour.


Step 2


Press the ink pad onto a plastic surface

Press a corner of the ink pad onto the piece of plastic – you can use anything from old packaging to a proper palette as long as it is a non-absorbent surface.


Step 3


Pick up the colour with a wet brush

Use a wet brush to pick up the ink from the plastic and swipe it over the wet areas on the cardstock and watch it spread.


Step 4


flick colour onto the surface with a brush

Press a different colour ink pad onto the plastic and pick up the colour with a clean, wet brush and flick the colour across your watercoloured cardstock.


Easy, right?


Get The Look Watercolour Super Tips!
  • Working with watercolours, or 'fake' watercolours, is all about getting a feel for the amount of water you want for the look you are trying to get and that only comes with practice. 
  • Don't overload a surface with water; if you do, let it dry to a just shiny sheen before you work on it. 
  • The temptation is to overwork the colour on a surface but you will get your best serendipity looks if you just let it be and let it dry naturally.
  • Keep the plastic you have been using as a palette: some of your inks are still workable for quite some time, even weeks, especially the pigment inks.
  • Paper is key with watercolouring techniques – when people ask me, I tend to say try what you have already and aim for over 290 gsm. For my card making I am often using an ordinary smooth white cardstock with a high gsm. If you are going to get specialised watercolour paper, then invest in a good artist brand, it is worth it. 
  • Brushes – again it is worth investing in some artist, or student-artist, quality brushes, they are less likely to drop hairs into your work.
  • Final tip, some of the inks you are working with will be permanent once dry and some of them will still respond to water even after they have dried, so it's worth checking out if you need to put in layers over the top of your work.


A watercolour effect greeting card

The gold feather? Well the feather die was the free cover gift on Simply Cards and Papercraft Issue issue 132 (still available btw) and I used the transfer foil and Stick It method that I talked about in Get The Look - Gold Transfer Foils, go check it out!


Watercolours and watercolouring techniques are HUGE-MUNGOUS topics and this blog post doesn't even brush the iceburg tip, but if it helps you experiment with some of the products you might already have then my job is done and I hope that you have fun exploring what you can do with your ink pads!

If you are looking for some more watercolour inspiration, this time using various watercolour or acrylic paints, then check out these posts...

watercolouring with pencilsDIY Watercolour Gem project life cardsWatercolour background wedding cardWatercolour background for the retro camera stampSketching out and aboutstamping with watercolour pens

What things do you get up to with your ink pads? Do you like the Watercolour look? Thinking of trying it if you haven't already? Do share any of your ink pad or watercolour stories in the comments below.

Have fun Getting The Look this week.

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