Whootie Owl Card

The latest Quirky Crafts challenge has gone live today, and the latest theme is black and white with a tiny amount of another colour. Check out the original challenge post here.

One of the biggest challenges for me as part of the Quirky Crafts design team is using the digital stamps provided by all of our great sponsors. If you’ve seen any of my other art work, you’ll know I like to create each element on the page; I prefer to use hand painted papers over scrapbook paper, my own writing over computer generated fonts, my own drawings over somebody else’s. But you should also know that I love a challenge, and these images we’re given force me to push myself, and find different ways to make my mark.

So to that end, today I’m going to share an artsy card making tutorial using the ‘Whootie Owl’ stamp from Limited Runs.

Supplies:

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Half a sheet of sturdy watercolour paper * a pair of scissors * a glue stick * a tube of acrylic paint * a pencil crayon in the same colour as the paint * a flat paint brush * a black felt tip * a fine black pen (I used a gel pen) * a white pen * a piece of bubble wrap *  a black and white image

Steps:

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Fold your piece of watercolour paper in half, then water down some acrylic paint and cover one half in a light wash. While it’s still wet, blot with a piece of toilet roll or kitchen paper for texture.

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Coat your bubble wrap with a thicker layer of paint and print onto your background. Set aside and let it dry while you work on you image.

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Using a black felt tip divide the image into smaller sections. Then start adding doodles with the gel pen.

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Fill in the rest with doodles, I’d recommend picking two patterns and then repeating them across the image. Remember to leave some blank space, or it’ll just look too fussy. Add a splash of colour to those blank spaces.

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Add a few scribbles to your background to tie in the black and white of your main image.

Cut out your image and stick to the background. Add a border using your black and white pens and your pencil crayon. This will add balance out the card and make each element look like it ‘goes’ together:

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I hoped you enjoyed this little tutorial, and I hope you’ll consider linking up to the latest challenge!

D x

P.S. If you make anything based on this post, I’d love to see pictures!

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Myth and Magic Notecards

The latest Quirky Crafts challenge is now live! This week it was my turn to set the challenge rules and I picked ‘Myth, Magic and Use Some Paint’, and in celebration of this I’m going to share a tutorial for this set of notecards:

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  • Gather your materials.

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A – A selection of paints. I use a mixture of craft paints and cheap acrylic. If you want something a little bit more matte, add a smidge of gesso to your paint.

B – A few stamps. I chose a couple of handmade ones some from Crackerbox Palace. I’d recommend picking one or two that are patterned and one that has an image you’d like to use as a focal point.

C – An A4 sheet of paper or card (I used a sheet of sturdy watercolour paper because I had some lying around, but go with what you have). Scissors and glue are a must, if you’re using paper that is the weight of normal printer paper or thinner, I’d go with a glue stick, anything thicker than that and you can use a wet glue. A handful of pens and markers – mine included gel pens, felt tips, biros and permanent markers.

D – Blank cards. You could make your own out of cardstock, but I like that these come with matching envelopes.

Squirt a few blobs of paint onto your sheet of paper (make sure you only use harmonious colours i.e. that only incorporate two primary colours, or you’ll end up with swamp). Channel your inner child and fingerpaint until your page is covered:

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Once completely dry, pick up a brush and add a more neutral colour randomly across the page. Onto my red background I added a beige craft paint. Once that layer is dry, use one of your stamps to add a contrasting colour:

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Obviously this looks quite bright… not quite what I was going for with these, I wanted a more ‘antiquey’ look, so I added another layer of neutral paint, in completely random patterns:

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Again, make sure the paint is completely dry. Pick up another stamp and some more pattern. I mixed a little of the turquoise paint with some gesso to get a more muted colour, another reason I like to do this is that it makes it easier to write on with water based pens.

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At this point, if you’ve used thin paper it will have buckled. Cover your page with a clean sheet of paper and iron it to flatten out, then chop into quarters:

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Grab hold of your third stamp, and some dark paint. I used one called Stone Face from Crackerbox Palace and a bit of brown acrylic. Before you do anything to your backgrounds, I’d suggest testing out your stamp on some scrap paper. Depending on the amount of detail of the image, you’ll be able to see how much paint you should add:

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Stamp your images onto the backgrounds, you can play with the placement if you like. They don’t all have to have the image in the same place. I added a border with my fingers using the same colour as I did for the face:

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Let this dry completely. Now you can break out your pen collection and start adding some doodles! Why not try adding some pencil crayon for a bit of variety?

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Once you’ve done all four, you’re ready to mount them onto cards. First, trim your edges down (if necessary) so that they do actually fit onto the front of the cards you have, then coat with a thin layer of PVA, adhere to the blank cards and weigh them down. (This part is important as you paper will naturally want to curl upwards):

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(A nice shot of one of my text books there…)

Leave them for about 15 minutes, and then let yourself admire your handiwork!

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What do you think? I love using these kinds of techniques to make cards because you end up with something completely original. I also like making things in batches, and with these, even though they’re not identical, they all ‘go’ together. I think a set of handmade notecards is always a nice, quirky little stocking filler too.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little tutorial, and I hope you’ll share a link/photo with me if you decide to give it a go!

D x

Dark, Light and Don’t be a Square

Well it’s time for another Quirky Crafts Challenge. This time the rules are to use one dark colour and one light colour (that isn’t white) as your main colour scheme, and avoid anything square or rectangle. You can have other colours in the focal image, but other than that, stick to your simple colour scheme! To see the fab Guest Designer/Design Team Creations, click here.

This is what I came up with for this challenge:

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I started off by fingerpainting the back ground (I used two shades of blue and an irridescent purple to make this smudgy indigo colour). Then I glued on the image (Starry Eyed from Stitchy Bear) which was coloured using Prismacolor pencils. I added some doodly bits and text with a silver gel pen (you can’t read it too well on this photo but it’s some Madonna lyrics: ‘Never forget who you are, little star. Never forget how to dream’).

If you fancy linking up to this latest challenge, hop on over to this site.

D x

All about boys

It’s time for the next Quirky Crafts Challenge. This time we have to create something on the theme of boys, using ric-rac, buttons, ribbon and a sentiment. I’m not going to lie, I was dreading this one, if there are three things I NEVER use it’s ric-rac, buttons and ribbon. And I challenge you to find anything I’ve ever made that’s even remotely boyish!

I decided to just view this as a way to stretch my creativity… and here is what I did:

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1. Stuck items with different textures to a piece of thick card. Used very strong glue and left to dry for an hour or so just to be on the safe side.

2. Covered the whole piece in a couple of coats of gesso. Allowed to dry over night.

3. Added lime green and white acrylic (in an attempt to avoid ‘girly’ colours).

4. Added some collage elements, blue tissue paper and then white tissue paper with a quote written on in sharpie (“A new baby is like the beginning of all things – wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities.” – Eda J. Le Shan).

5. Final touches: stuck on a few aeroplanes I’d cut from stamped paper using a Cutting Cafe digital stamp as a template. I also added a border and few other doodles across the piece with a black pen, a white pen and a lime green brush marker.

Although I really wasn’t excited by the challenge at the start, I really love how this turned out. I definitely enjoyed experimenting outside of my comfort zone… check out this post to see what the rest of the Design Team/Guest Designers came up with, and I hope you’ll consider entering!

D x

A Quirky Box of Chocolates

Hello all, it’s time for another Quirky Crafts Challenge. This time the theme is ‘a box of chocolates’ and the rules are – use the colours chocolate and cream and don’t not use any digital stamps.

Here is the art journal page I created:

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The first layer of the background was a quote on chocolate that made me smile: “Don’t wreck a sublime chocolate experience by feeling guilty. Chocolate isn’t like premarital sex. It will not make you pregnant. And it always feels good.” – Lora Brody. This was topped with water soluble doodles and drips of watered down acrylic (in an attempt to emulate melted chocolate). The collaged portions are chocolate wrappers that I found down the side of my bed (no judgement please), and the page is finished off with a stamp from Crackerbox Palace.

To see the original challenge post, click here, and if you’d like to join in we’d love to see what you come up with!

D x

Whimsical Checklist

As promised, here’s the step-by-step instructions for my whimsical reading checklist:

1, created for the Quirky Crafts ‘Rainbow Bright’ challenge. Find a surface any surface. I used a piece of brown paper that was inside a roll of wrapping paper.

2. Cover in paint. I dripped some magenta and some metallic red acrylic on my paper, then spread over with a foam brush:

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3. Add collage elements. You could use anything from photos, to images from magazines to your own drawings. I used images that I’d stamped on separate sheets of paper with acrylic paint and the ‘I’m so busy’ digital stamp from Stitchy Bear (which I coloured with Prismacolor pencils):

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4. Add doodles to bring all the elements together. I added patterns using acrylic paint, and then added outlines with a black gel pen. Bear in mind that a gel pen on top of such a shiny surface will not give you a constant line, but I was going for a ‘sketchy’ look, so that was fine with me:

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5. Add your list! I used the ‘stained glass snail’ digital stamp from Stitchy Bear, mounted on black paper, for the bullet points and then correction pen for the scrawling:

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6. The final touches – add any extra doodles you fancy. I simply outlined my lettering with a cd marker so that it would pop off the multicoloured background:

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I’m hoping that having this on my wall for the next year will keep me motivated with the reading challenge… as sometimes I start of very enthusiastically but get bored quick… so tell me, how do you keep yourself motivated?

D x

Quirky Crafts – Rainbow Bright

It’s time for the latest Quirky Crafts Challenge. This week the theme is rainbow colours. As you may have noticed, I love colour… so this was a great opportunity to cram every colour into one piece!

One thing that I promised myself I’d do, as part of the Quirky Crafts Design Team, is to think outside the box with regards to what I make. Rather than creating things like cards and tags (which the rest of the team are truly excellent at) I try to be a little more random. This is purely because I have perfectionism issues, I constantly compare my art to other people’s and the only way I can avoid this is to do something noone else would. So for this challenge I decided to make a big check list for my whimsical reading challenge using the ‘I’m so busy’ and ‘Stained Glass Snail’ digi stamps from Stitchy Bear.

Without further procrastination, here it is:

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What do you think? Rainbow coloured enough? I’ll be back later in the week with a ‘step-by-step’ of how I made this poster!

Don’t forget to hop over and take part in this most recent QC Challenge.

D x