Thursday 28 February 2013

The Good Old Days by Alison Bomber

Hello everyone, Alison (butterfly) here for my final post as Guest Designer this month with The Artistic Stamper.

So, I promised you something simpler for my final piece (in the hope of writing a post shorter than War and Peace for once)... and I did make something simpler, but I ended up making it in two different versions!

I knew I wanted to work with the glorious Victorian advertising bills - they are so much fun: fantastically detailed in their wording, with brilliant cartoons.  They are simply wonderful pieces of print ephemera that rocket me back in time when I look at them.

So my first thought was that I wanted to stick them on a wall; a grimy, crumbling wall in a forgotten alleyway, with these three ancient posters still clinging on.  So I had to create a wall background... lots of ways to do that - you could use the Decorative Strip Die by Sizzix, or some texture paste through a stencil.  I used an embossing folder, Tim Holtz's Bricked Texture Fade on a large tag (running it through twice to emboss the whole thing).

Then I set about it with some inks - Vintage Photo, Pumice Stone, Black Soot and Aged Mahogany - until I had a suitably grungy look.  I used the Paper Distresser on the edges, and then ran the Black Soot DI pad around them to give it a good strong inky edging.

For the posters themselves, I did a bit of TH's wrinkle free distress technique using Old Paper and Antique Linen DIs - not too much ink, as I wanted age spots rather than a complete change of colour.  (I'd already done one version with darker inks, very beautiful, but once I'd stamped the images, they didn't really look like posters.)

So with this new, paler version, I stamped the three adverts in Black Archival, and then did lots of distressing - ripping, rolling, using the TH paper distresser, and adding Vintage Photo to some of the tears and creases.  It's one of my favourite things to be able to age a piece of paper like this!

Simple enough then to stick the bills on the wall (hope I don't get prosecuted), all in a row, and add some trimmings.  And you can read what you like about Victorian society into those trimmings: it's raffia, inky twine and some leather all tied up with a beautiful shiny satin black ribbon.

I was pretty pleased with that, but I still had those spare stamped images still sitting on my desk, stamped on the darker inky paper (two sets in fact, safety in numbers you know).  I started shuffling them around, thinking that they'd look pretty good in a slightly grungier version of the tag.

I grabbed some corrugated card, and added Distress Stains and thick Gesso to it randomly and roughly.  I created a background like this for a recent project and really liked it, so it was fun to resurrect it.  It creates a fantastically grungy, textural mess - no other word for it really.

I gave my three posters the distressing treatment again, and started positioning them on the tag.  They seemed to want to go in the other direction for this one, so I let them.

It was crying out for some metalwork, but I didn't want to go too smart, so I used some black alcohol ink to grunge up a key and some pen nibs from my stash, as well as an Idea-ology clock.

I particularly love how the clock looks, with the black face and the figures sanded back to reveal the gold underneath.

I've always sort of thought that I was born in the wrong century, and I'd love to go back in time and visit, but looking at these images did just make me wonder whether my historical glasses are a little rose-tinted... were they really the "good old days"?

So I added a little slogan at the bottom asking just that question... stamped in black on paper inked to match the advertisements.

Again, I added some varied trimmings: string, raffia and some black paper string to tie them together.  So there are my two variations on a theme using these fabulous little stamps, and I think I've brought it in under the 10,000 word mark!

I'd like to say a huge thank you to Jennie and Emma for having me here - I've had a ball; and thank you also to the rest of the DT and all of you for your fantastic support.  Happy Crafting!

Stamps: Goose Grease, Phineas Pinchbeck and Squaretoes Continuous Lunch
Distress Inks: Vintage Photo, Aged Mahogany, Pumice Stone, Black Soot
Distress Stains: Vintage Photo, Walnut Stain, Old Paper, Antique Linen
Ranger Archival: Black
Alcohol Inks: Pitch Black
Idea-ology: Time Pieces, Game Spinners
Decorative Strip Die Brick Wall (as an alternative to Bricked Texture Fade)
Tim Holtz Paper Distresser
Manila Tags

Tuesday 26 February 2013

Promises of Spring by Astrid

Hello everyone and welcome! Can you believe it is nearly the end of February and in less than a month time the official start of Spring has come? Well I for one am certainly ready for a bit of warmth and sunshine!!

Today I am sharing a kind of card book made from two envelopes. Inside are two pockets for tags or gift cards or whatever you please.

This is how to make it:
First put the flap of one of your envelopes inside the other one and then glue them together as shown on the photos.

Next cover  the out side with scrapbook paper. You could of course also just ink them and create your own background, but I have an endless supply of papers and decided that really I should use some of it, also to add more strength to the project.  I inked and stamped over it to add more colour and make it more interesting. For this I used the following back ground stamps: Calligraphic Mat 12 and Chicken Wire Background. I also used various Distress Inks and Dylusion Sprays.
Before covering the inside flaps with paper in a similar way, I ran them through a Texture Fade embossing folder to add texture. I then stamped some images from the Insects and Butterflies 1 set and the Birds of a Feather set in Archival Ink Jet Black, fussy cut them, coloured with water colour pencils and then after the papers were stuck to the envelopes, used them to embellish my project. I'll let the photos tell the story of how ☺...

A few spritzes of Perfect Pearls Heirloom Gold added some sparkle still and I rubbed some gilding paste over the raised ambossed bits.
I then made a die cut tag to fit inside one of the pockets and inked and stamped it in the same way using the Birds of a Feather set. Again I coloured the images with water colour pencils and added shadows around the images to add depth.

For the other pocket I computer generated a card with a Spring Poem on it
Finally for the front cover I die cut a label  out of scrapbook paper and then stamped the Caterpillar Words in Jet Black Archival again and finished it all of with some roses and a piece of String to tie it shut.
Well, that's it. Hope you found some inspiration here today to create your own gift card and thank you so much for visiting!

Sunday 24 February 2013

New Stamps at The Artistic Stamper!

Jennie here with news of the most gorgeous new stamps that have been released at The Artistic Stamper. We are so proud to show the wonderful designs from Katy Fox, editor of Craft Stamper, and Neil Walker, artist extraordinaire! Neil's stamps are eclectic and witty, and Katy's have that element that you know you need for collaging and creative work. Did I get time this week to create something with them....sadly no, but I did manage time to whip up a little tag for you.

Here is a little taster for you of the stamps

You can find Katy's stamps here, and Neil's here.
If you would like to see them in the flesh, so to speak we are at Stamperama today. We Have a very creative day

Friday 22 February 2013

Stamps, stamps and only stamps by Titbelsoeur

Salut les patouilleuses, ici Titbelsoeur !

The card I am showing you today is made with stamps and only stamps, to show you how easy it is to make beautiful cards with the fabulous stamps from The Artistic Stamper !

I started spraying Vintage Photo and Chipped Sapphire inks here and there, and then had a blast stamping my watercolor papers with
Calligraphic Mat 1
Carpe Diem from Journaling Words 3
Family Values  
on the large one, and 
Calligraphic Mat 1
on the small one

 I played with the watercolor paper texture to have a fuzzy print of the Family Values stamp, in contrast with the girl's face I stamped strongly.

I hope you like my card,

thanks for stopping by, 

I am looking forward to reading your comments ! 

A très bientôt !!

Wednesday 20 February 2013

Hot Pants by Alison (Craftytrog)

Hello Stampers! I have a hot little canvas to share with you today. I've been using the fabulous Nudes Plate again.

On a 6x4 inch canvas board, I used a palette knife, Studio gesso &  the Crafter's Workshop Harlequin stencil, to add some random texture around the edge.
Once the Gesso was dry, I spritzed the canvas with yellow, red & pink Dylusions inks. The Gesso resisted some of the ink, so you can still see the diamonds.

I stamped the hot pants image and words from the Nudes Plate onto white card, cut them out, & used a waterbrush & the Dylusion inks to colour the image.
I edged the image & words with black ink, then used Studio Matt Medium to adhere them to the canvas.
I used a lid to stamp some black Studio paint circles, & an old credit card to add some black lines. 
To finish, I inked the edges of the canvas with black Archival ink, & used a black pencil to shade around the words & image.
Thanks for looking,
Alison xxx

Saturday 16 February 2013

Red Nose Wings by Sioux Jenneys

Hellooooo! Inspired by Red Nose Day coming up in March (15th) I'm here to share a card :)

1. Stamp the crackled wings from Dance A5 in Versafine black and then mask off.

3. Take the smallest of the dots from the Swirls, Splats and Dots A5 set and without thinking too much about it ;) stamp over each of the sequin waste dots in Archival coffee.

4. Stamp a portion of the Large Dotty Closed background in Distress fired brick and cut out one circle for the nose. Use the word laugh from Journaling Mini Words 1 and layer onto a bit of black card and attach both with glossy accents.

5. Age the edges with Distress scattered straw.

6. Make an insert for the card and stamp the Into Each Day sentiment in Archival crimson.

Happy Stamping :) See you again soon!
xoxo Sioux

Thursday 14 February 2013

Journey to Yourself by Alison Bomber

Hello everyone!  Alison (butterfly) here again with my second Guest Designer piece this month. Long Post Warning: get your cup of tea before you start!

Lots of inky fun in making this one, Distress Inks, Perfect Pearls, Distress Stains galore, and gorgeous stamps from several different Artistic Stamper plates, with the main focus on the glorious Gibson Girls.  (All the ingredients are at the foot of the post, with links to take you straight to them.)

Despite all the fun, the project has ended up having a slightly melancholy, or at least contemplative, "story" to it, which wasn't where I'd planned for it to go at all.  But these creations sometimes have a mind of their own it seems.

I've always loved Charles Dana Gibson's drawings of turn of the century American girls, it wasn't until I was stamping and looking in detail at these particular images that I realised that, for me, they also have a definite sadness within them.

I started with the fabulous Vintage Valise die from Tim Holtz, cutting the main body of the suitcase from the Kraft Resist sheet of the world map.  I daubed Distress Stains in various blues along with Picket Fence direct onto my craft map, and swept the kraft resist paper through it until I liked the look of it.

Using the Picket Fence means that the blues keep their colour integrity better than if you use them on kraft by themselves, which can make them look slightly greeny.  The strappings were cut from Kraft-Core, sanded and inked, and I used tiny brads to attach the strap holders (which I used the other way up to get the plain kraft side, inked).

The luggage label comes from the AS Labels plate, and encourages journeys of all kinds: Seek, Question, Explore the outside world, and the inside one.

I wanted to be able to put things "inside" my suitcase, so - having done two virtually identical cases - I had to work out a way of creating a pocket, preferably one stable enough to allow the suitcase to stand up...

Let's hear it for ice lolly sticks (that's popsicles if you're here from across the water) - one of the most useful things to have in any craft stash!  I used two (one cut in half) to form a framework inside the suitcase, glued with Glossy Accents, and left overnight to be sure of a good firm hold.

At this point, I was thinking that I would fill the case with tags depicting a young girl travelling the world, exploring, discovering and generally having a fantastic time.  But, as I said, as I stamped the various images they started to tell me a very different story.  And the voyage became less an actual journey, more a journey of exploration into the girl's inner self.

So there are two sides to each tag... the front, which just shows you the surface, the exterior, and then - when you turn over - the interior questions bubble to the surface, revealing what's going on behind the eyes.  I honestly didn't go looking for any of these phrases; they arose as I was inking each tag - they seemed to come from the girl(s) themselves.

I started with luggage labels which had previously been stained with tea and coffee, which gives them a wonderful vintage feel straight away.  Once the images were stamped, I blended Chipped Sapphire, Stormy Sky, Vintage Photo and Wild Honey Distress Inks onto the tags.  I've been careful to leave at least the faces un-inked by extra colour, so that they stand out at the centre of each tag.

I spritzed and flicked with water after inking, and then finally added some gilding by spritzing Perfect Pearls Mist in Heirloom Gold onto the mat and splodging the tags onto it - again avoiding the faces, so that you'd be able to "read" what's going on inside.

So there's the woman reading her letter...  I stamped her in Coffee Archival both on the tag and on a separate piece of paper so that I could cut a mask. And then I stamped the Calligraphy Mat around her, using Cobalt, to represent the letter she's reading.

I haven't examined the Italian in close detail but in my "story", it's a love letter from an Italian count, approved by the girl's parents as a suitor to her hand.  Everything is tumbling forwards towards the wedding at great speed.

But in the angle of her head and the weight of her shoulders it's clear that for her it's not so clear cut, and so on the opposite side the question reveals itself as she reads his declarations of love.  It's lurking in the corner, in the depths of her mind:  Yes, but do I love him?

The woman with the book - to me it seems like a musical score; she's holding it at exactly the angle to read or sing from as a performer - has a look as though she's hearing something, but is not sure what.  On the reverse, we see that this is not the first time:  Sometimes I wonder... Does no-one hear the same music I hear?

She's masked again, and this time it's music which is floating in her mind. The music stamp isn't the AS one, I'm afraid, but they do have a marvellous music manuscript background so I've popped a link to that at the foot of the page.

The girl with the glorious hair piled high has a look which you could mistake for arrogance or disdain, but when you look again, there's a pain and a defensiveness somewhere at the heart of it... the chin just a little too lifted, the eyelids just a little too hooded, hidden.

She shares her secrets with us on the reverse, surrounded by flower images from Botanical Plate #1: My beauty is not all there is to me.

The utter dejection and exhaustion is easy to read in the girl resting her head on her hands.  She's probably the one who started me off looking more closely at the others.  Again I cut a mask so that I could stamp the Europe Map Background around her.

I positioned it so that you actually get a slightly removed masking effect - the thoughts hover a little way away from the main image of the thinker.  Her question is clear... in all the travelling, in all the bustle of society events, where does she belong, how does she fit in:  Where is my home?

And finally the wonderful image of the girl seated on the floor, her skirts pooled around her, in a moment's respite from the social whirl of arrival at a new hotel, dining, dancing.  The lovely vintage hotel stamp is again from the Labels plate.

There's such yearning in the angle of her body, leaning forward, listening intently as though to catch the meaning of life, the universe and everything, on the brink of discovery:  Sometimes I can almost understand why.

For the tag trimmings I used Chipped Sapphire and Stormy Sky Distress Stains to tint lots of seam binding, and Vintage Photo and Antique Linen to alter the slightly pinkish tones of some lace from my stash.  I knew these would all be peeking out of the top of the case, so they needed to tone with the suitcase colours too.

Wow... a longer post than ever - sorry!!  I'll have to come up with something very simple for my final project later in the month... two photos max!  Thank you so much for taking the time if you've made it this far, and I hope you've enjoyed the journey.

Alison Bomber
Words and Pictures

Ingredients: Gibson Girls Plate #1Calligraphic Mat #19Europe Map BackgroundMusic BackgroundBotanical Plate #1LabelsVintage Valise dieKraft Resist Paper StashKraft-Core;  Distress Inks: Chipped Sapphire, Stormy Sky, Vintage Photo, Wild HoneyDistress Stains: Antique Linen, Chipped Sapphire, Picket Fence, Stormy Sky, Vintage PhotoArchival Inks: Cobalt, CoffeePerfect Pearls Mist: Heirloom GoldSeam binding;