Thursday, 21 September 2017

Meet today's guest, Nate !

Hello ! Welcome back, today we have a little something different for you. We've changed the format of the Guest Designer post to more of an interview format so you get to know a little more about our guest and what really makes them tick ! Our first guest to use this format is Nate who was the winner of the Colour, Texture, Shape challenge. So, let's move on to learn a little more about our guest ....

Hello everyone ! 
I am Nate, I live in France and I am passionate about crafting ! 
Thanks to all the Stamps and Stencils team for inviting me to be their guest. 
It's a great opportunity for me to show you the world I've created through my blog. 
I discovered crafting 15 years ago and fell in love when I discovered the craft shops in Paris, the magazines that were published and the blogs that I saw. This is when my blog started in 2007, Le Scrap de Nate.  
I quickly found my style and with time this took on another dimension. I began by creating pages, cards, mini albums, frames  - keepsakes for my family. I took part in challenges on various blogs that motivated me and eventually became a DT member for a French team - Infiniment Scrap, also Scrapsanctuary and currently Sandee and Amelie's.
During this period of discovery I've tested various techniques and products: inks, hot and cold embossing, various papers including G45, pastes, paints, masks and stamps. I am currently also on the Decoart program. 
After trying different styles I must say, with time, my inspiration has moved towards recycling objects to transform and pat ! I moved on to Steampunk and also vintage, which I love. 
I have some projects to share with you that I have entered into some of the Stamps and Stencils challenges:

Thank you everyone for the invitation to join you for today ! 

Thank you so much Nate for sharing your crafty journey with us, it's really interesting to see how you got started and the direction you've travelled in. If you would like to join us and share your crafty journey then all you need to do is join in with the current challenge which is Metallics and is open until the 4 October.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Metallic Blooms !

Hello everyone it's Sue here and it's my turn to share an inspirational post with you. I decided to indulge my love of metal for this post so grab a cuppa and get comfy !

The magic of seeing embossing powder melt for the first time is almost on an equal with the first time I was introduced to using metal in my art work at a PaperArtsy Artsy Craft weekend many years ago. There are so many techniques you can use with metal and it adds that different element to your projects. I've covered some of them but there's loads more, so, without further ado, I'll get started !

 I've used the reverse side of a framed canvas for my substrate, before I knew what I wanted to do I taped the top of the sides to cover the staples, but after I'd applied the Texture Paste you wouldn't have seen them anyway !

The tape lifted off the frame in places as the paste dried but I actually quite liked this as it made it look more rustic and shabby.

I glued small square pieces of mountboard onto the canvas, having in mind the sort of pattern I would go for if I were having paving put down in a garden. This piece is in part inspired by an old UK gardening programme called Ground Force. They've been showing re-runs recently and I've been hooked, I love to see the transformation of the gardens and the process is not disimilar to designing a craft project, get all your hard landscaping in first before you plant any flowers ! 

I used Prima Art Alchemy metallic acrylic paints to paint the background canvas, these blend beautifully and have a lovely, subtle metallic sheen.

Now that my hard landscaping was done it's time to turn my attention to the flowers. I've used the Tim Holtz Tattered Flowers die and cut the flowers from my dwindling stash of Ten Seconds Studio metal.

Metal is great for creating texture so I wanted the flowers to have lots, so used a technique by Lin Brown. I was very fortunate to attend a metal masterclass workshop by Lin before her shop closed and I still refer to the piece we made as a reminder. The tools you can see above are a ball and cup and one of the many different wheels.

When working with metal it's really important to work on the correct surface for the technique. I'm using the ball end on the ball and cup tool above and because I need it to make an impression into the metal I'm working on a thick piece of cardboard. This has some give so allows the tool to press into the metal. You'll also have noticed the metal has changed colour ! This is because I wanted to use the silver side and all of the pieces I have left are all coloured on one side.

You can see on the above the impression made by the ball, now it's time to use the cup. The surface to use for this end of the tool needs to be hard as you don't want it to make an impression into the metal only refine the ball effect, which is why I'm using an acrylic block.

To create detail on the petals I've flipped the flower over again and using the wheel I'm drawing lines out from the centre using the cardboard underneath so the wheel will make an impression into the metal.

The above is the finished effect !

For the next size flower I'm using the cardboard as my platform and using the Teflon tool which is a plastic, pointed tool. If it was metal the tool would puncture your metal and you'd be left with holey flowers ! This technique is just scribbling in to the metal, easy !

The above is what you end up with !

Time to add some colour and Alcohol Inks work really well on metal.

I've knocked the colours back slightly by using some of the Prima paint and dabbing it around the edge of the petals. I love this colour which is Blackberry.

I've trimmed the smallest flowers petals and given them the same treatment with the Alcohol Inks and dabbing more paint onto the petals.

If you're still with me you'll be relieved that I've jumped ahead to the finished piece !

 Being able to photograph metal effectively is something I've never mastered so I've taken a second finished shot.

 The metal flowers were all layered up and I've shaped the petals around my fingers to get the shape I wanted.

The leaves are also a Tim Holtz die and I've used the Teflon tool to draw the leaf veins on the reverse side of the metal before using Pesto and Oregano Alcohol Inks. 

The ink pot and quill is another die by Tim Holtz, I've used a metal wheel on the ink pot and then Alcohol Ink but on the coloured side of the metal this time. The ink removes some of the colour but leaves it looking worn. I used the Teflon tool on the quill and then Slate Alcohol Ink. A few splatters of Bombay ink around it to reflect it's use. On the Ground Force programme the presenter, Alan Titchmarsh, would always present a beautifully painted and elegantly written design of what the garden would be transformed into and I thought the quill and ink pot could be a tool of choice.
The tiny metal flowers have had the same treatment as the largest flower but I've used the coloured side of the metal.

Last, but not least, is the stamped sentiment which is by Yvonne Blair. It's stamped onto Smoothy card then with a baby wipe I've wiped some Prima paint over it to give a subtle metallic sheen. I also did this over the crackle frame to age it but not cover the crackles.

I hope you've enjoyed my indulgence today and hope you find time to join our current challenge Metallics.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Winners - Technique School

Hello everyone ! It's time to share the winner and the top 3 of the Technique School challenge. There were some absolutely amazing projects and techniques of course ! The team found it really tough to pick just one winner but we got there in the end......

Congratulations Pawsitively Creative !

We thought your project was really stunning and the impact of the black on red fabulous ! Please email for the details of your guest post and winners badge.

Now on to the top 3:


Congratulations everyone, please email for your top 3 badge.

The current challenge is Metallics and you still have plenty of time to join in.

Thursday, 7 September 2017


Good Morning all! It's Rachel here and I'm your host for this month ! I have gone for the theme of metallics - I'd love to see you create something, mixed media, using metallics in any form. That could be metallic paint, rusted metal techniques, actual metals, foils, anything that takes your fancy really as long as it has metals in it somewhere. The team have created some amazing pieces -


Wow great work everyone! 

I do hope you can join us!

Big hugs

Rachel x

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Another oldie - shrink plastic!

Hello there! I have a simple post to share with you today - a reminder of another old technique that I always forget to use....I am talking about using shrink plastic! For the uninititated this is a sort of plastic that shrinks on heating - either by use of a heat gun or the oven. Here's what I did....

I started by stamping onto the rough side of the shrink plastic. I used Archival ink but staz on would also work fine. At this point you could add colour - its best to use pencils and only colour lightly as the colour intensifies on shrinking. Because my stamp was relatively small Ididn't colour at all.

Next I did some fussy cutting and then put the stamped images onto a baking tray and put into a preheated oven at 190 degrees took a mximum of 30 seconds. Larger stamps would take longer.

This is how they look when shrunk. Really tiny!!!

I decided to use my shrunked leaves to form part of a card. I used a stencil from clarity and one from that special touch to create the idea of a window and wall. I stamped a chocolate baroque stamp in the window and added the ivy.

I hope you agree that shrink plastic is worth another look!

Big hugs

Rachel xx

Thursday, 24 August 2017

2nd class post....

Hi everyone..Ruth here and I know, I know, it's a terrible play on words, but I couldn't resist. 2nd post of the month, an envelope journal and after all it is Technique School so this is the next class! Well after the wonderful inspirational post by Autumn I didn't want to let the team down.

If you follow the link on my name from the original challenge to my blog, I shared a video of how to make this...and gave a sneaky peek of the front cover by mistake!

I usually share experiments or new products and techniques that I've tried when I do an inspiration post but sometimes teachers need to go back over things to check how much you've learnt and in the process developed.

I've revisited my Gelli plate this month as it's been a while and whilst I'm not going to give the basics (as there are lots of videos covering this already), I thought I'd share some of the things I've tried this time around. Inspiration for me came from a Birgit Koopsen video showing how to make backgrounds (thanks to Sue C for giving me the nod in this direction)

For the front cover, I've used lovely Seth Apter stamps again in creating this, brayering paint on a background of Kraft card before adding the stamped image.  Now for the inside pages.

I'm working with the same colour scheme as the last envelope journal, just love these colours together. I also used a drop of drying retarder to extend the drying time of the chalk paint.

They are a mixture of translucent and opaque colours, the only thing you need to remember is that opaque will cover the colour underneath but translucent will let the colour underneath show through...which can look muddy if you use the green (chartreuse) over the purple tones so I tended to start with the green and use the purple tones as accents on top.

I haven't gelli printed on book text so this was a new one for me and I also 'brayered off' on the book text and then stencilled on top.

And now for the results, warning - photo heavy!

Gold always lifts a's my go to

Alternating printed white card with book text and there's stitching of course.

The light and the dark and there's plenty of room for journalling.

A few detail photos to finish

This time around I felt good results came more easily and could have carried on pulling prints all day...but I stopped short of the whole floor being covered..I'll certainly be printing on book text again and I think some cards may be in the making soon.

The aim of a teacher is to inspire so now it's over to you and can't wait to see your results! I'm also hoping Mrs Clark at least gives me a mark for effort! Ruth x