Tuesday 12 September 2017

Autumnal tag

Hello friends and thanks for dropping in. Today I am sharing an autumnal tag.

Below I will take you through a quick step by step:

I started with a Ranger size 10 Manilla tag and scraped on a thick layer of rather old gesso, I mention this because it is a bit dried out and very thick, just right for what I wanted it for on this occasion:

I scraped it on with a palette knife and while it was still wet pressed down some old book pages, which I then peeled off again, just leaving some tiny scraps behind, I also pressed a Tim Holtz layering stencil (the crackle one) right into the gesso, using it like a kind of impression plate, this gave me some additional texture. Below is a close up:

I was after a sort of stucco wall effect. Looks kind of all right, but now watch what happened after I brought out some of my sprays, that's when the magic starts to happen....

All I did was give it some quick sprays of a dark brown Ground Espresso Distress spray, I love how it almost looks like birch bark. Here's a close up:

Next I wanted to deepen the colour a bit in the center, so I gave it some further spritzes, dabbing off some of the excess with a bit of paper towel.

On to the embellishing, - I die cut a couple of leaves from thick white card and started to play with some autumnal coloured paints.

I then edged the leaves with a bit of dark brown Distress Ink (Ground Espresso)
Now all I had to do was add a few bits and bobs from my stash to create a kind of autumnal cluster, a sentiment, and I was done.

The wreath thing was a Dusty Attic chippy that I gave a few spritzes of dark brown spray

I added some wired raffia twine, curled around a thin paintbrush to give it all a bit of a rustic look.

The sentiment is just a sticker from the 7 Dots Studio Dreamer collection by Finnabair, I chose it because the colours just matched my project to perfection.

A few bits of ribbon and twine at the top, to carry on the rustic theme, and that was pretty much it....

Even though it is Spring here in Australia, the weather has been pretty cold and wet, and often feels more Autumnal than Springlike so far, fingers crossed the sun will come through before too long.
Many thanks for your visit like always

Saturday 9 September 2017

Second Look - an Autumnal Journal page

Hello friends, thanks for dropping by. While I am away from home and unable to do many new crafting projects, I thought I would share some of my older Shimmerz projects that have never been shown here.
I started this spread by covering the pages with a layer of extra thick gesso uisng a credit card

Here you can see a close up of the texture, - dried with a heat gun to add some additional bubbles and raised bits.
Next I adhered two of Tim Holtz's Layered Leaves, embossed with the matching folder and then painted with some Decoart crackle paint.
Here you can see more clearly what happens when you heat the gesso with the heatgun. I love the additional textures you get.
Next I set to work with sprays in autumnal colours of browns and greens

I added some background stamping and some random strips of tissue tape to add a bit more interest to the background.
I added some darker coloured spray with a paintbrush, to add a little more depth. 
And finally a word die to finish it all off.

Well that's it for today, thank you for your visit like always and happy weekend, with hopefully some crafting and creating!

Thursday 7 September 2017

Travel update

Hello lovely visitors, thanks for dropping by.
Today I have a post of a more personal nature to share, as so many of you have asked for a travel update....

I had an amazing two weeks in China, first teaching at a conference for primray school teachers and then a week holiday at the foot of one of China's 4 holy mountains, Emei-Shan about 2 hours by bullet train from Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province, SE China.

The photos are all from that second week as during the conference I was so busy I never got round to taking photos, though my lovely students must have taken hundreds (literally) of selfies with me, - I felt like a celebrity lol...

Here goes:
At the foot of the mountain (to walk to the summit is a full two days' hike, which in temperatures of between 35 and 40 degrees and about 100% humidity, we did not attempt)... As this is a holy mountain there are at least 20 Buddhist temples along the way. We hiked up to some of the closer ones, but planned to take a bus and cable car to the summit.
Entrance to the temple at the foot of the mountain, elephants are a big feature in many of them.
Front view of the entrance with a huge bell (similar to many we saw in Japan during an earlier trip this year)
One of the many, many Buddha statues surrounding the temples. This one was simply carved out of the surrounding rock face.There were also many Buddha statues, often covered in gold cladding, inside the temples but the lighting was never quite right to get a reasonable photo.
The roof of another temple as you can probably see
Chinese food in China is very, very different from the Chinese take out we knew from home. Having it for breakfast lunch and dinner took some getting used to!
Everything was kept spotlessly clean though, and people are super friendly, and like I said, always keen to take a photo of these strange looking Europeans.
We met these ladies on one of our hikes close to the top of the mountain, hubby took a quick photo of them as they were photographing us. I even had to pose with a special hat I received as a gift :o)

As it so happened, we never actually made it to the top of the mountain, as it was covered in a thick layer of cloud and completely overun with (Chinese) tourists.
These beautiful monkeys were everywhere near the summit, but as you can see it was so misty up there we could barely see 10 metres ahead, it was also a lot cooler.

I'll leave you with a few photos of my travel notebook, I had prepared at home. (I had to do a lot of doodling as I only had few craft supplies accessable while travelling).

Pfew, if you are still with me, thanks for your visit. While in China I was unable to access any social media sites including blogger because of their strickt censoring laws, but now I am in Australia, I'll try and visit you whenever time allows...

Monday 4 September 2017

Final Shimmerz project

Hello lovely visitors,
I thought that today I would have a vintage collage project going live over on the Shimmerz blog. 
However as I also wanted to announce that I have decided to resign from their team, as life has taken me in a different direction, it now appears that they have removed me from their blog, as some of you told me, the link did not work anymore... too bad, I'll just post the full project here :o)
I had great fun creating this vintage collage. I used a bit of old Indigoblu scrapbook papers, sanded it down, added some texture with the help of a stencil and Grungepaste and then used various Shimmerz sprays to age and alter it. The postcard was cut from another bit of paper as was the air balloon and a little sentiment finished it all off. Below are a few close up photos:

Thanks for dropping in and I hope that so far you are having a good month! I'll give you an update on my trip to China very soon. Meanwhile, waving hi from Australia, and in the days and weeks to come I will post some of my other Shimmerz projects here :o)

Friday 1 September 2017

Vintage for Mixed Media Monthly #40

Hello friends and happy September to you. It's the first of the month, and of course that means a new challenge at Mixed Media Monthly. Our theme this month is Vintage.
Well regulars will know that I love vintage, so I had great fun making this little folio But before I show you more, here is our graphic for the month:
If you decide to play in our challenge, - don't forget to add it to your post!
Our wonderful sponsor this month is no other than the....
But now onto my project, I had great fun making it and it is quick and easy to do.

It is a folded bit of manila card stock with a thin (1/8") scored spine, to allow room to decorate the inside.
I collaged the front with a torn, stamped ephemera piece and some of Tim Holtz's paper dolls.
For the inside I created two panels, with further collage elements, either stamped or from my stash and of course twwo further paper dolls.
The background for the collage was created by first adding texture paste through a stencil and when the paste was dry, colouring with a mix of Distress xide and normal Distress inks, plus some background stamping. Below a few close ups still:

The crackle effect was created by stamping a crackle stamp in Antique Linen Doxide over te darker background.
Before glueing the panels to the backing card, I adhered a ribbon underneath to be able to close the little folio.
And that was pretty much it. A fun little project that could make a nice gift for a friend, specially if you tuck a gift card inside.

Well, like usual, thank you for your visit and don't forget to visit the Mixed Media Monthly blog to see what my talented teamies have created and to get the complete low down on the challenge.
Have a great month everyone!

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Just got a whole lot of new stamps from a brilliant place called the Stamp Smith. This is the image that I first saw on Docraft and really liked. I asked the friend who has used it in an ATC, where she got it. Well she borrowed it from a friend who got it from ebay as a one off. But.... it had a title. I googled the title, and hey presto found the site. They have great stamps and offer a really friendly fast service. I highly recommend them!

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