Tuesday, 30 December 2008

A challenge

Several members of the Stamping Mad forum join in challenges and following some of their links I eventually found the inspiration I needed for my next project.

The first was a template on the Stamping Challenge blog; the second the colours from Kristina Werner's challenge earlier this month.

Unfortunately the colours in my scanned card don't match the originals, even though they do in reality, which is a bit irritating.

Sunday, 28 December 2008

I'm crafting again!

Some people, like Tim Holtz, can do mess well, but when I do messy it turns out ... well, messy! After a couple of traumatic days of searching I at last found mini-misters and Moon Shadow Mists. I almost wish I hadn't! I had another traumatic day getting the spray everywhere but where I wanted it and in the end decided to stamp over a bit of it and see how it looked.

I had bought a second-hand Hero Arts flourish stamp and thought it might look well stamped with Versacolor burgundy. I should have used the burgundy for the Hero Arts Happy Birthday stamp as well, but it didn't stand out well enough, so instead I used jet black Stazon which I think was a mistake.

I tore the edges of card pieces, mounted them onto gold mirriboard, wrapped them with a burgundy organza ribbon, added a flower, and stuck the whole lot onto a burgundy card.

The result is not what I intended, but at least I'm crafting again!

Monday, 8 September 2008

Learn Something New - Day 6

Here's the latest completed page. For the embossing I cut the cuttlebug embossing folder so the halves could be used at each end of the card front.

Thanks for looking

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Learn Something New - Day 5

I've decided I'm going to continue making a page a day throughout September, following Shimelle's sketches, but not the ethos of the class as I was getting far too confused, and wasn't enjoying it. Looking at the forum this morning it appears I may not be the only one as the number of people posting their daily page has dropped considerably over just five days, which is a real shame.

This is my latest Yule card, and therefore my latest page.

Thanks for looking :)


Friday, 5 September 2008

Learn Something New - day 4

I can't say I'm enjoying this year's Learn Something New as much as last year's - I'm totally confused about which day I'm on, and what I'm supposed to do, so I've just made a page! As I'm also making Yule cards, this is a photo of the latest, so this is going to be an album of my cardmaking!

Learn Something New - Day 3

Nothing new under the sun. When I made this Yule card last week I thought it was quite original. Then a member of the Stamping Mad forum posted some Christmas cards she had made ... and one was almost identical to mine!


Thursday, 4 September 2008

Learn Something New - day 2

I'm finding working a day behind very confusing - here I am, on the 4th of the month, posting a page I made on the 3rd of what happened on the 2nd. Being a bear of very little brain I think I prefer marmalade sandwiches!

The lesson I learned (two days ago) is that photographing metal is difficult. Waaaaay back in my art degree days I remember creating an elaborate open-sided 'box' of white gauze fabric in which to photograph metal sculptures without reflection, but I didn't have the wherewithal to hand.

Six by four metal challenge

September's Six by Four challenge on the Stamping Mad forum is to use metal in any form. It took three attempts before I managed an image I would show to anyone!

After embossing the holly tree, and before removing the stencil, I added some of my new alcohol inks to the leaves and berries. This was a little more successful than the previous attempt on vellum, but the jury is still out on whether I like them or not.

Thanks for looking

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Day One

Today, the second day of September, we were to scrap something that happened yesterday - apparently we will be one day behind all though the month, which could be difficult for someone easily confused!

Yesterday I received, and tried for the first time, some alcohol inks, using them to make ATCs for this month's swap on Stamping Mad forum.

I had been warned they are messy, and they are! However, I'm not sure the final result is worth the mess - the photograph makes it look much more interesting! I'm not at all sure I like alcohol inks after all, but at least my ATCs are made very early in the month, for a change!

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Learn Something New Every Day - 2008

I have enrolled for Shimelle's excellent Learn Something New Every Day, as I enjoyed last year's so much. Although it doesn't start until September 1st I have been busy preparing for the first day of term.

This year I decided I didn't want a standard 6" x 6" album, so I've created a 15-page concertina-fold book, which measure 6" x 4", and it's now ready to go.

The papers I'll be using are from the Muted Mission collection in the Now That's Funky CD, by Funky Hand

This year I intend using less photography and more rubber stamping techniques. We shall see how I get on!

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Two more six by four experiments

I have quite a lot of large stamps by Stamp Camp, but I'm never very happy with just stampiing and colouring them - I just don't feel I get a good effect. However, I love using the stamped images in Photoshop and this is using #S167 [Floral Bamboo]

The second uses images from several smaller flower stamps by various manufacturers.

There were about 25 layers in each of these images, to build a texture gradually.

Thanks for looking :)

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Six by four challenge - August

This is for the first 6 x 4 challenge on the Stamping Mad forum. It's for any style of crafting, so I have chosen to combine two images from Joanna Sheen's Dancing with Shadows CD, and manipulated them in Photoshop.

Harebells by moonlight

I really enjoyed creating this, so I may add more before the end of the month!

Saturday, 10 May 2008

Day 21

A totally different type of doodle last night - my mind must have ben going around in circles!

Friday, 9 May 2008

Day 20

Back to the combination of Sakura Micron and Marvy Le Plume pens. Instead of starting with a scribbled line, this time I tried adding one element at a time. Not sure it worked too well ...

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Just Joey

No doodle today - instead I spent some time yesterday on a Photoshop 'painting' of one of my favourite roses, Just Joey. Unfortunately, there's not yet any way of conveying its wonderful scent online!

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Day 19

Once again I used the Sakura Silver Shadow pens, to see if I like them any better, but I still can't see myself using them for anything other than doodles.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Day 18

I seem to have lost about five days through not being too well, so this is probably day twenty-something-or-other, really. However, in terms of doodle-days for me, it's day eighteen ... I suspect it shows just how wishy-washy I feel at the moment! This was made with Sakura Silver Shadow pens - I can't decide if I like them or not.

The second is chalk on a navy blue background, just to try to brighten things up. I realised it wasn't really going to go anywhere, so gave that up!

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Day 17 - May Day

It's May Day today - the only day of the year when you can take a sprig of the May [Hawthorn] into the house without incurring bad luck! However, it's not yet Beltane, so no fires, even though it's cold enough! This little drawing was made with Sakura Micron and Marvy pens. I think I should have used a brush and a watercolour effect for the background, but I couldn't be bothered searching for my water brush!

My doodle yesterday evening was again made while the crown on The Apprentice attempted to reinvent the greetings card! Does it show? Again, Sakura Micron and Marvy Le Plume pens.

I also made a computer doodle in the wee small hours when I couldn't sleep ...

Enjoy !

Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Day 14 [late!]

I've just discovered Day 14's doodle lurking on my computer...

Day 16

Although I felt pretty rotten all yesterday, I did perk up just enough in the evening to created my doodle for the day.

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Day 15

I wasn't feeling 100% yesterday, so last night's doodle is a highly unimginative scribble, trying to capture the flowing lines that Lynn Taetzsch achieves. It's very easy to see why she sells her art and I don't usually show mine in public!!

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Sunday playtime - part 2

Once again I've been playing with some of my rubber stamps - scanning the stamped image, then manipulating them in Photoshop.

Sunday playtime

Back to doodles proper this morning, again using Sakura Micron pens, and coloured with Marvy markers, which is rapidly becoming my favourite combination for doodling.

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Day 13

I realised that if I was going to use Photoshop to paint actual pictures, as opposed to abstracts, I would have to start learning how to use the pencils and brushes better. Unfortunately, Photoshop's descriptions aren't awfully helpful - hard brush v soft brush - which to use and for what?

I started from a photo, and what I've produced is definitely not in the David Hockney class, and I will forgive visitors for sniggering, but I'm sticking it up here so that as I improve - and surely I MUST improve with practice? - I can look back at this and have a snigger myself.

I certainly find abstracts easier, but is that a good enough reason for not trying figuarative work?

A doodle from last week has been lurking on my computer, and as I haven't actually made one today, I'll post this one instead.

Day 12a - I think!

I'm slightly confused about which day I'm in - that's what comes of posting last night's last night!

This is the scribble-doodle that goes with last night's computer one, even if it is the next morning!

The doodle was created with Marvy pens on cartridge paper.

Friday, 25 April 2008

Day 12

Tonight's computer doodle is derived from a stamp in my collection by Stramp Camp , and I've entitled it EarthShift. I'm really enjoying using these vivid primary and secondary colours after what seems like years of pastels!

At the moment, every day's an arty adventure, and I'm looking forward to more playtime over the weekend.

Day 11

I had a lovely day yesterday, meeting a cyber-friend from America - the one for whom I made this book. She had travelled across the Atlantic, navigated Heathrow's T5 without a hitch, flown to Manchester, then taken a train to a little station in the middle of Cheshire, and she was on time.

Embarrassingly, we were late!

We got to know each other over a lovely lunch in a Cheshire hotel, and my friend seemed to like her book.

I was very tired when we reached home, and only made a quick, but I hope effective, computer doodle last night, when I learned how to make different dots!

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Day 10

The first doodle was created as I watched The Apprentice last night, which probably explains the lack of flowing lines!! Honestly, some of the people on that show!

My computer doodle is an experiment in creating textured backgrounds from scratch, combined with some Photoshop brushes created by Vered.

Back to the drawing board!

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Day 9

Last night I discovered how to make text into a circle using Photoshop, so I thought I'd use the letter 'O' for my doodle. The temptation to go back to the pure colours I love so much proved too strong - sorry if it makes your eyes funny :)

For my arty project I drew, on my graphics tablet, a small portion of the blossom I'd photographed the previous day, printed it onto smooth cardstock, and 'painted' it with Derwent Inktense pencils, taking the colour directly from the pencil with a damp brush. I used only two shades of red, underpainting the dark areas with green to make a dark brown/black colour.

Back to the drawing board!

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Day 8

Last night's doodle is really a scribble using Sakura Micron pens and Derwent Aquatone crayons.

My latest 'arty' project is a Photoshop-manipulated photograph of a sprig of blossom from the tree opposite my window. I used the Artistic>Cutout filter, then edged each colour individually with the darkest colour using a 1px Stroke.
Back to the drawing board!

Monday, 21 April 2008

Day 7

I stayed with my graphics tablet and Photoshop for last night's doodle. I had discovered the Pantone colour swatches earlier, so made use of the gradated colours.

The drawing was a simple one, repeated and offset - something not possible with paper and ink. Although I like texture, I do prefer flat colours for this type of work, so I may well spend more time learning how to use this combination more effectively.

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Sunday afternoon playtime

As a change from getting my fingers dirty with chalks and pens I thought I'd extend my knowledge of Photoshop by learning some techniques that may prove useful in creating computer art. The mini-book After Denfert has obviously ensured that Victor Vasarely remains firmly in my mind, as i found myself following timidly in his footsteps. Where his feet trod, my slippers are shuffling in his wake!

Back to the drawing board - or should that be motherboard?

Day 6

Last night's doodle was created using my new graphics tablet, in Photoshop, then coloured with Sakura pens. Because of the glitter in the Sakura Stardust, scanning the image proved to be impossible, so I had to photograph it instead.

This is another doodle that's decided its own name - Biker Groove ...

Project 2 is copied from a book illustration. I used to think that copying was cheating, but it's really the only way in which you can understand how effects are created, and it helps to build up your own 'vocabulary' for later use.

Back to the drawing board!

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Water soluble crayons compared

A forum friend very kindly sent me a set of (very artistic) scribbles made with Lyra Aquacolour water soluble crayons. I had been considering buying them, and she thought I could compare them with the two small sets of similar crayons I already have.

Although I don't have all the same colours, the following illustration shows the result of the test. The three brands compared are Lyra Aquacolour (L), Derwent Aquatone (D) and Caran d'Ache Neocolour II Aquarelle (C).
NB: Where the letter has been cut off, it should be (L)

The first thing I noticed was that the Derwent colours are more waxy, and less pigmented than the Lyra. This is also very obvious once water is brushed over the lines.

My Caran d'Ache Neocolours have no discernible point - judging from the pictures online of these, that is more my fault than theirs! I have always tried to avoid wasting any of the crayon by sharpening them, but I suspect that's not a good idea, as I find it difficult to be sure where I'm going to make the mark!

This has been a very useful experiment - now I only have to decide whether to buy a set of Lyra Aquacolours, or to increase my collection of Caran d'Ache Aquarelle. Knowing my weakness for tins full of beautiful colour, I suspect I may go for the former ...

... or there again ...

Back to the drawing board!

Day 5

Derwent's Inktense water soluble pencils give "an ink-like translucence". My technique is not good enough to achieve the solid, flat colour that I was trying for on this doodle. Perhaps I would find them more suitable for flower drawings, where the variation in texture is an advantage.

I became so frustrated with my poor technique that I finished off the doodle with Caran d'Ache Neocolour crayons, used dry. This provided the deeper colours of red and yellow.

While surfing yesterday I discovered several step-by-step projects on the Derwent Pencils website. Although I only have an old set of their Graphic pencils, rather than the soluble Graphtone used in this demo, I gave it a whirl. This is the result.

Back to the drawing board!

Friday, 18 April 2008

Day 4

I was a lot happier doodling last night - so much so that I did two to make up for the previous day's disappointment.

The first is a quick doodle I've entitled Elementary - as in earth, fire, water and air.

Both these doodles were made with water soluble crayons by Caran d'Ache and Derwent Aquatone. I noticed that when I applied water to coloured areas, it lifted slightly into the brush, making it paler on the paper. I seemed to remember that the opposite happens while using the Derwent Inktense pencils, and have decided that tonight's doodle will be with those for comparison.

Back to the drawing board!