Sunday, 29 January 2017

Pink and Orange Pocket Letter

Hello Folks! Welcome back to Wendy's House. This evening, it's all about pink and orange. 

Restricting yourself to two colours is always challenging, especially when you are creating nine separate items. I ended up making a pocket letter for a Paperartsy Blog Topic this time. The topic is pink and orange and it would have been more sensible to make one greetings card, but where's the fun in that? Also, a bit more planning might have been a wise decision, but again, it sort of takes some of the fun out of it. So I started, as I often do, with a masterboard.

I used the two orange shades of Tracy Scott's new limited edition Paperartsy Fresco paints. I made an irregular checkerboard-type pattern over a sheet of heavyweight Smoothy Card with the square and rectangular mini Gelli plates. I wasn't bothered about being too careful and some shapes overlapped or didn't quite meet others. 

Next, I used Prawn on the square mini plate with a Darcy stencil (031) and then sponged directly through a Dylusions stencil (Fresh Dots) in the centre of the masterboard. Darcy's dangly dots were great for the edges and extra dots in the middle just satisfied my circle 'thing'.

It all seemed incredibly bright so I lightly brayered over the top with Sherbet and doodled into the patterns with a selection of Sakura pens...

...and dimensional gluey bling, namely Nuvo Drops from Tonic and Liquid Pearls from Ranger.

While that was drying, I settled on the idea for a pocket letter, although this was influenced by my declaration of "I'm in!" in a Facebook group I'm in called Mini Marvels. They have a challenge to create a pocket letter this month with the intention of sending it to another group member. That makes two ticks on my 'To Do' list in one fell swoop. Whoop! 

As I began to trim the chunky, lumpy masterboard into 2.5 x 3.5" pieces, I realised a big mistake. I should have either trimmed it before I added the dimensional bits (but I hadn't decided what I was going to make at that point), or I should have used a ruler and craft knife. As I used a paper trimmer, the blade struggled to get through the chunks and, consequently, my straight lines are ... let's say they're arty and contemporary.

ZA01, ZA05, ZA06, ZA07

The first four. Don't these ElenaZinskiArt stamps look right at home? Oh, I did add some googly eyes from my stash. I tried to use different media to colour the monsters and flowers so that they would stand a chance against the orange and pink background. This included Zig Clean Colour Markers, Copic Markers, Prismacolor Pencils, Chameleon Pens, Derwent Inktense Pencils all in various shades of Pink and Orange, of course, and Glossy Accents because you can't have too much shine. 

ZA01, ZA06 

Chopping up some of the larger characters and flowers so that they would fit in the diddy space available. I left these leaves overhanging at the top for a bit more variety.

Removing the bits that you can look through...


...doodle, doodle, doodle, fun, fun, fun... 

ZA01, ZA05, ZA06, ZA07, ZA08 

...squeeeeeeeze them all into the pocket letter pocket sheet... 

...pop some crafty goodies into the back (pink and orange, of course), et voila! 

I just have to write and hide the letter, but some things should be kept secret.

Enjoy making, sending and receiving pocket letters yourself. There are many groups on Facebook and on the internet. Just please be careful where and with whom you share information. Why not also restrict yourself to using two colours. It's great tonal practice. Keep it sweet. 

Love and peace,

Wendy x

The Paperartsy blog challenge is open to everyone and the topic changes fortnightly. 

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Houses And Flowers And Birds, Oh My!

  Hello and Happy New Year!               

I am very excited to announce that Paperartsy have just released new stamps from Elena Zinski Art. I'm even more excited to announce that I, along with Lauren Hatwell, am one of Elena's wingmen!

Here is Leandra Franich with some of our samples...

Elena's new stamps are definitely born to mix and match. Hold onto your hats...

And to accompany these gorgeous stamps are some fun sentiment and quote stamps...

I love the birds, so I grabbed all of the birds from all of the sets, put them all together. There's always one, isn't there? ...

I covered a #8 Manila tag in Bora Bora, then stamped all of the birds onto Smoothy Card. Doing this made it easier to place the characters and the very cool quote. I had already fussy cut the branch, which I extended by masking with Post-It. Then I cut out the birds, but not the legs (life is way too short for those sort of shenanigans!)

Next, I stamped the birds into place and heat embossed the sentiment with Versafine Black Onyx ink and clear embossing powder, then paper-pieced the birds on top of their legs. A little bit of shading with Prismacolor pencils and the tag was done.

ZA05, 06, 07, 08 

Phew! There's a lot to get through this time.

More birds next and Elena's flower houses deserved a look-in. I stamped one that looked like it could hang as a bird house. Then I wrote the 'new home' sentiment with a black Pigma Micron pen...

...added flowers and leaves and a branch for the house to hang from and then painted the card using Bora Bora, South Pacific, Tinned Peas, Haystack and Pumpkin Soup. I then added more dimension with Prismacolor pencils.

ZA05, 06, 07 

Next, I cut out 5 pieces of Smoothy card at 2.5" x 3.5" for ATCs (artists' trading cards - my favourite!) Leaving one white, I painted the others with Rose, Bora Bora, Tinned Peas and Haystack.

I then stamped directly onto the cards and painted up the flowers and birds...

ZA06, 08 

Oh, well, I had to. This bird just looked like he was striking a pose, so he became John Travolta and the mirror ball was a flower 'tummy' that I heat embossed in silver and coloured in with a Spectrum Noir clear sparkle pen.  It's funny what you can see when you sit and contemplate the stamps.


These flowers looked very much in love to me, so I surrounded them with hearts and painted them up.

I love the fact that you can look through some of the flowers. But, of course, it works both ways. You never know what might be looking back at you. I think a wee monster escaped from an earlier stamp set...

ZA02, 07 

More pretty flowers now and those fab sentiments...

ZA06, 08 

"More!" I hear you cry. Well I seem to have a thing about patterns and birds. Oh, I just love the birds in these sets. They're so full of character, they seem to have their own stories to tell...

The leafy corners joined together nicely to create little boxes for the birds...

ZA05, 07, 08 

Very convenient for a 6x6" Smoothy card base.

I've had a great time creating different samples from this Paperartsy Zinski Art release.  I hope you have as much fun too. I'd love to see what you make and I hope I've given you some inspiration.

Don't forget to check out the Paperartsy blog now for even more inspiration and a list of worldwide stockists. Enjoy!

Love and peace,

Wendy x

Paperartsy Fresco Acrylic paints used: Tinned Peas, Snowflake, Haystack, Pumpkin Soup, Rose, Claret, Bora Bora & South Pacific
Paperartsy Smoothy Card: 


Wednesday, 30 November 2016

My November with That's Crafty

Hi all,

I've not blogged for ages! It's very remiss of me, but I have been busy and doing things. 

I was invited by Laura Holland to be Guest Designer for That's Crafty for the month of November this year. I was really pleased to be asked and jumped at the chance. Opportunities to get your work seen by lots of people must not be overlooked.

I will tell you about my November, but I'll try to keep it brief as the full blogposts and instructions on makes are on That's Blogging Crafty. So, without further ado...

Week 1 - I started big. Maybe I should have left it for a grand finale. I took four of the very many MDF storage boxes and, rather than decorating one, I did a big old design on all four.        


Week 2 - Every year, the press warns us of a really heavy snowfall on the way at least three times every winter. Most years, they don't even come close and this year, so far, they're wrong again. Thank goodness. Freshly fallen snow looks beautiful, but that's where it ends for me. In my heart, I hate snow. It's dangerous, goes hard and grey after a day and it's excruciatingly cold. So my second project reflected this.  


Week 3 - I was in a flurry of card making and I thought the best thing would be to create a card. After all, cards appear to be one of the most popular makes these days.

And finally, in Week 4, I was desperate to play. I've been taking direction from some of Kate Crane's online courses, Journal Soup 1 & 2 and Marvellous Miniatures. They are so addictive and they are the perfect way for me to relax and unwind. You may be different. I love to get messy. So I just wanted to play. I didn't really know where I was going with it; the only plan I had was to make 'Soup.' 

As it turned out, the last one was my favourite. I hope these posts inspire you to try something different. Don't do the same as everyone else. Be yourself. You're the best you there is.

Love and peace,

Wendy x

Monday, 29 August 2016

'Fauxdori' With Dangly Bits


This blogpost is one of 'firsts'. I'm not a stranger to making handmade books and journals but there are many different techniques and types of journal. When my friend, Karen, asked some advice on making a cover in the style of a Midori (an Italian, leather-bound travelers note book, not the melon flavoured liqueur), I decided it was time that I gave that style a go. I must add that she wasn't hinting and didn't expect me to make one. She just wanted some advice.   

Because this type of journal is in the style of a Midori, it is commonly called a 'Fauxdori'. I asked Karen lots of questions about what she uses her individual, stitched notebooks for and she told me that she draws out weekly diaries, finances, birthdays and events etc. She has a lovely style of creativity herself and I'm sure she is perfectly capable of doing this herself, which was her intention. She doodles toadstools and circles and was prompted to ask me about a Fauxdori after seeing my Bubbles notebooks.

Obviously Paperartsy sprang immediately to mind, and JoFY stamps in particular. I brayered Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylics in all of the blue and turquoise shades over an A3 sheet of Strathmore mixed media paper. I darkened it when it was too pale and lightened it when it was too dark. I carried on brayering in this way until I was happy with the look. Then, because Karen had liked the bubbles, I used my favourite Donna Downey stencil, called 'Bubbles', funnily enough. I lightly stenciled Antarctic through the bubbles using a makeup sponge, then Snowflake through JoFY's Bloom and Grow flower stencil (PS008) and finally, Guacamole through the lettering. I stamped a selection of JoFY stamps strategically all over. I left it to dry and turned my hand to making some things to dangle from the journal.

The current Paperartsy challenge on their blog is Beads, Charms and Dangles. (That's handy, isn't it?) There are some YouTube videos on the blog to inspire you amongst all the other inspiration there. One is the Leandra Bead and another is European Paper Beads. I had a strip of paper trimmed from the Fauxdori masterboard which meant that I could make dangly bits that perfectly matched the cover in colour. I really enjoyed making these beads (except for the time when I dropped a molten bead on my hand... Oh and also the time when I dropped another on the carpet!) 

 The Leandra Bead 

        European Paper Beads

I couldn't guess the measurements for the cover so I stitched 5 single signatures, each with 6 sheets of A4 160gsm paper. Then I marked on the inside of the journal where the scorelines should go for the spine. I added 5 eyelets on each end of the spine. This is when I realised that I had measured from the wrong end and had to trim some of the stenciled lettering away just to make it look even. 

I threaded some elastic that complemented the turquoise shades through the eyelets on the spine. This forms a secure attachment for the signatures. I chose a larger eyelet and some more elastic in the same colour for the closure. I attached the beads so that they dangle from the top of the spine. A large knot wasn't adequate to keep the beads attached and it disappeared up the central core. A small jump ring threaded over the elastic fixed this issue and actually looked much neater than a big, scruffy knot.

Then it was just a matter of finishing touches. 

I used a combination of Sakura Gelly Roll pens (Glaze, Moonlight, Stardust Galaxy and Metallic), Dylusions paint pens in black and white, Fresco Snowflake and Sherbet, and even a thin swipe of Diamond Ice Stickles over the dragonfly. Basically, anything that I could put my hands on.

And ta-daaa!

Love and peace x

I'm linking this up to Paperartsy's 2016  Topic 16: Beads, Charms and Dangles challenge

Friday, 19 August 2016

Controlled Infusions

This week, quite serendipitously, I saw a blogpost with video tutorial by the very fab Kim Dellow in which she used Paperartsy Infusions with Versamark Ink.


Paperartsy Infusions are a dye pigment that can be used on paper and fabric. They come in a small glass bottle (you only need a smidge) and react with water. Along with the dye pigment, they also contain brown walnut crystals, setting them apart from similar products on the market. The walnut takes longer to react with the water and so allows you to choose between real vibrancy and a more vintage look. For vibrant colours, simply apply a heat tool to dry your artwork before the walnut kicks in. Anyway, I digress...

Kim produced two really quick and really easy examples using stamps and stencils with Infusions and Versamark. By stamping or stencilling a design with Versamark, the infusions crystals will stick to it (with a little persuasion from a paintbrush). I quite liked these stamps without the water at first...

But then, when I spritzed a mister over...


I used circle stamps from Kim's EKD01 set and also some from Emma Godfrey's EEG15 set, both of which are from Paperartsy's Eclectica range of stamps.

I just tried this out in an art journal. It's not perfect, but it's not bad for a first attempt and I'll certainly use the technique again. Also, it's a pattern, isn't it? I know I'm using circles yet again, but I'm not even sorry. 

Love and peace x

I'm linking this up to Paperartsy's 2016 Topic 15: Patterns challenge

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Go Away I'm Marking

This one is a bit different. Working on wood is a first for me, but I wanted to make something for my daughter, Danielle, that was a bit different from the last sign I bought her! That one read "Piss Off I'm Busy". Not really appropriate for a music teacher, but I thought it was funny at the time. You had to be there...

Anyway, out came my Paperartsy Fresco Chalk Acrylics. Obvs. I covered the sign with Little Black Dress and then ran some alpha dies through my Big Shot machine. I used Bigz Extra Large Die Word Play by Tim Holtz for 'Go Away', Just A Note Thinlits Alphabet by Jen Long for 'I'm Marking!' and then added the ink splat from Scribbles and Splat Thinlits die set by Tim Holtz for good measure. I tore some manuscript bits from some Tim Holtz tissue because Danielle teaches music.   

After all of those fiddly bits were stuck into place, I covered the whole lot with some Crackle Glaze, waited for it to dry, then I painted over with Purple Rain (*nods to Prince*). There was some amazing texture happening, just like magic...

I had to make it all pop a bit more, so I played with Chalk paint, pens, rubbing the paint back again, but it still looked all wishy washy and not at all me.

I squidged a warm grey Faber-Castell Big Brush marker around everything. Then sponged Little Black Dress and Chalk over the splat and 'I'm Marking!' I loosely scratched around the lettering with a black pen, trying to grunge it up. It did help to lift it from the background, but I asked my lovely PATwits family on Facebook if there was any advice to be had from here...

... and the wonderful Siobhan Brignull encouragingly said that it was fab, then constructively suggested I add some Treasure Gold. Now, I haven't got around to the Treasure Gold yet, but I do have a selection of Creative Expressions gilding wax in several colours. I rubbed some Pewter around the edge and highlighted the sticky up bits (technical term) with it. It was much better, but I still wanted more oomf (another technical term) so I highlighted everything with a white Posca pen. 

The good news is that Danni loves it. But then, would she dare say that she didn't? She seemed pleased that she had a sign that was suitable for children to see, anyway. 

Love and peace x