artfully distressed

pictures of what I create and the places, people and ideas which inspire my art.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Indigo Blu samples

A couple of cards I made last week for show samples, hope Kay likes them...

Collecting Flowers

Stamps used (shop here):
Collecting Flowers, Take The Time, Sarah's Choice (text stamp), Music Hall (swirl)

I didn't use all of the 'Collecting Flowers' stamp here, I wiped the ink off the part I didn't want to give more room for the sentiment. This main image is stamped in archival ink and coloured using various distress inks by swiping them onto a craft mat and picking up colour with a wet paint brush. The sentiment is stamped in FlitterGlu and then I have applied 'Yorkshire Dales' Mega-Flake (both available from Indigo Blu). Lastly the swirl and text stamp were stamped with vintage photo and bundled sage distress inks.

Write soon

Stamps used (shop here):
Circus alphabet , Take The Time

I stamped the whole alphabet and all the numbers from the 'Circus Alphabet' stamp plate using Faded Jeans distress ink to make a background. Then on a seperate piece of card I stamped the cogs and the 'write soon' sentiment from the 'Take The Time' stamp set using weathered wood distress ink. The hand was stamped in black archival ink and masked and then the pen nibs were stamped in stormy sky distress ink. I tore around the images and inked the torn edges with faded jeans distress ink.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Indigo Blu book of stamps

A while ago I set myself the task of stamping each and every one of my Indigo Blu stamps into a cheap spiral bound sketch pad so that I had a quick, easy reference guide to which stamps belonged to which plate. As I was stamping I found seeing the images on the page made it easier to visualise ideas for projects using the stamps. I decided to decorate the cover of the book just for fun and that I would then take the book with me wherever I go so that I can always leaf through and get ideas. For me, decorating the cover was a daunting prospect as by that point I had already stamped inside and I was a bit hesitant to start slapping paint on the cover in case it went horribly wrong. I'm sure many people can relate! Anyhow, I got over my nerves, got out the paintbrush and you can see the result above. I'm quite pleased with it overall.

Here's what I did:

As the sketchpad cover had a glossy finish
and was dark blue and yellow I first applied a
base coat of gesso and white acrylic

Next I got out a few colours of acrylic paint and
just liberally painted the cover in random patterns.
While the paint was drying I used a scrunched 
wet wipe to remove some of the colour and give
 a bit more texture to the finish.

I stamped some of my favourite Indigo Blu images 
onto a large tissue using archival ink, tore or cut around
the images and peeled away the bottom layer so that
 the tissue was just one sheet thick. Then I started to
lay the images onto the cover.

Using a brush I applied matte medum to an area
approximately the size of the image, laid the tissue
over the top and then painted on more matte medium
 to seal. The tissues go almost transparent.

I kept going until I had filled the whole cover and 
left it to dry then I applied another coat of matte
medium. Finally I added a title and rubbed Inka Gold
(in silver) around the edges.

Inside the book:


A useful project but good fun and I got over my fear about decorating the book cover!

Thursday, 10 May 2012

More Pan Pastel fun and the new Indigo Blu sewing plate...

I've just shared these two cards on the Indigo Blu blog as I used the new 'Sewing Mends the Soul' stamp plate. Check out the blog for full details of how I made the cards and loads of other inpiration for Indigo Blu stamps. I had great fun creating these cards last night and practising with my Pan Pastels. I also found my Pan Pastel colour boards (see post below) really useful for picking which colour to use. So that's great they are not just for decoration!

For this card I used Magenta Tint Pan Pastel to colour the
edges of the card that I stamped on. I love how easy it is 
to get smooth, even coverage. (It is actually more pink in
'real life' honestly, the camera doesn't do it justice really).  

On this second card I used Turquoise Pan Pastel and created
a background with the thimbles and tape measure images from
the sewing plate by first applying an even coverage of Pan
Pastel, then stamping with versamark and carefully adding
more of the colour over the top. The versamark picks up more
of the Pan Pastel colour so these areas are darker. Really easy
background. Just 'set' the image with cheap hairspray.

Finally here's a birthday card I made with a Pan Pastel background using a mask. Basically a larger version of the sample pieces I made for my colour boards. Tim Holtz butterfly stamps and the Happy Birthday is from the Indigo Blu stamp 'Aloysius / Happy Birthday' which as well as the sentiment has a lovely teddy bear image. The silver strip is double sided tape covered with Sheffield Steel Mega Flake from Indigo Blu.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

WOYWW 2/5/12

It's wednesday so it must be time to share what's on my desk today. To have a nosy at some other desks join the fun at Julia's blog here. I have been playing with Pan Pastels this week, yummy! I want to get to know how to use them and so was practising a technique that Lin Brown uses a lot, (check out her blog for loads of great inspiration at

Basically you put a layer of pan pastel on to your smooth card using a sponge and then dab versamark through a mask before putting more pan pastel of the same colour over the top. The colour will come out darker where the versamark is so it gives a really nice effect. Spray with hairspray to fix and stamp over the top. I used archival ink and the stamp is from a paperartsy hot picks plate. I have 12 colours of Pan Pastel at the moment so I decided to make these sample boards so that I could see how all the colours look using this technique. I think my favourites at the moment are the first three here...

I really like them all though, might save up for some more bold colours like orange, red and yellow.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

More Creative Chemistry 101 tags

Hope everyone had a fab easter. I've had a busy few weeks at work (fire brigade) and in the garden when it hasn't been raining. I have also been to visit my brother and sister-in-law near Preston and me and Martin spent a day in Scarborough the weekend before last and although, yes, it rained, we had a fabulous time as always.

So, not so much crafting done the last few weeks hence the absence from the blog but I'm determined to make up for lost crafty time and get loads done this week.

I thought I'd share some more of the tags I've made using the techniques from Tim Holtz's online class.

Day 3 using archival and alcohol inks

Day 4 using re-inkers

I've also been playing with Pan Pastels. Something to share soon I hope.