Friday, 29 December 2017

Bold Blooms Wall Art created for Chocolate Baroque

Good morning. I used the Bold Blooms and Tangled Garden stamp sets to create this 3D wall art piece.

  • Bold Blooms and Tangled Garden stamp sets
  • White Board Shapes – Hearts and Circles sheet, 8 X 8 inch construction acetate (recycled packaging), black card (for decorative die cut frame), mount board (backing and outer frame)
  • StazOn Inkpad (Jet Black) and Versamark
  • Alcohol ink pens (blues and pinks)
  • Gesso (White)
  • Acrylic paint (light blue satin and metallic pearl)
  • Coloured art pens, glitter and metallic pens (Pentart and Sakura, blue & pinks)
  • Double sided sticky sheet
  • Embossing powder (clear with sparse fine blue glitter), Ultra thick embossing powder (UTEE - plain clear and clear with mica sheen)
  • Glitter (extra fine clear and chunky black) and glitter glue (silver)
  • Large decorative frame die (Tonic) and texture stencil
How it was made:
  1. The flowers were stamped onto the acetate sheet using StazOn Ink. Alcohol ink pens were used to add colouring to the back of the images (StazOn would bleed with alcohol markers). Some areas were left uncoloured. White gesso was then painted onto some areas to make them opaque (alcohol inks are transparent).
  2. Double sided sticky sheet was then attached to the back and extra fine clear glitter applied with some chunky black glitter around the edges. A decorative die cut frame was then glued to the front.
  3. The shapes were pushed out of the laser cut sheet and the waste was painted with light blue acrylic paint and trimmed around to make an overlay. Images were stamped with StazOn, aligning them carefully with the images on the base acetate sheet. They were coloured with various art pens. Versamark was then applied and a layer of clear embossing powder with fine glitter applied.
  4. Some of the circles were stamped and coloured with art pens. Versamark was applied and they were double heat embossed with UTEE (one layer with mica sheen, one plain clear).
  5. The embellishments were all glued down with 3D glue gel. Silver glitter glue was added around the border and onto elements of the stamped images.
  6. The mount board frame was decorated using pearl blue paint using a texture stencil. The piece was then mounted onto backing board and the outer frame glued in place.

Sunday, 24 December 2017

New Year, New Beginnings, Sculpey Polymer Clay Butterfly Necklace Set

Good morning. I had only ever tried out polymer clay once several years ago to make some beads but experienced absolute disaster as I scorched most of them on baking. The majority were consigned to the bin and I never got around to trying it out again! I would just look in envy at the gorgeous projects others were making with this medium.

I have since used various air dry clays and had been meaning to give polymer clay another try for ages, particularly for making beads and jewellery. However, I wasn’t feeling all that confident with my ability, or with my very old gas oven which varies so much in temperature (front to back and top to bottom).

I was immensely flattered when renowned polymer clay artist Debbie Bulford asked if I would like to take part in this month’s Sculpey polymer clay challenge. Oh gosh! I really wanted to get the process right this time. I needed a challenge like this to push me into giving it another try.

The theme was ‘New Year Celebrations’ and could be interpreted how I liked to make any item with Sculpey Polymer Clay. I thought that ‘New Beginnings’ would be an apt title for my creation. New year, and evolving myself with new techniques and challenges. What better than the metamorphosis of caterpillar into butterfly. So here it is – my ‘New Beginnings’. I am going to enjoy wearing this over Christmas.
Before starting on this piece I knew that I had to research and learn more about the properties of the clay. I also wanted to ensure that the baking was done under more controlled conditions. I put my scientist head on first this time. I read around, watched lots of YouTube videos and carried out several baking trials before I started on my piece. My baking times are longer than many others use but I have based them on my trials with my particular baking conditions. Renowned polymer clay tutor Cindy Lietz is also an advocate of longer baking. I am going to blog all my findings and trials in another posting after Christmas. I hope that others just starting out will find it useful to help them begin with their own creations.
  • Von Chef table top oven with raised silicone baking mat and oven thermometer (see pic below)
  • Scrap card to sit items on for baking
  • Sculpey Premo Polymer Clay (57g packs): Black (2 packs), Antique Gold (1/2 pack), White (1/4 pack),Wisteria (1/4 pack), Blue Glitter (1/8 pack)
  • Sculpey Bake & Bond
  • Antique bronze coloured copper wire (1mm and 0.6mm), plain copper wire (0.8mm and 0.6mm)
  • Mica powders (Jaquard – Super Bronze, Aztec Gold, True Blue, Flamingo Pink)
  • Clay extruder with petal and circle discs plus an adaptor to make hollow tubes
  • Acrylic roller, glass mat, Teflon mat, various clay shaping tools
  • Leaf shaped push cutters (3 sizes – 5cm to 3cm length range)
  • Pasta rolling machine
  • Ready made antique bronze leaf toggle clasp and earring hook findings
Step by Step – how it was made:
I first tested my oven to achieve even temperature without big fluctuations – 125 to 130 degrees centigrade. The important thing is to have the oven hot enough but without it getting too hot and causing scorching. I used a raised silicone baking mat to raise my baked pieces away from the hot surface (the temperature fluctuates immensely right next to the base as the thermostat clicks on and off)
Note: The clay will give off a slight plastic smell while baking but if you get an acrid smell it is too hot (ventilate the room well if this happens). I have given baking times for my pieces based on my experiments – different ovens may give different optimal baking times. Thicker pieces will need longer than thinner (more about all this will be included in my blog after Christmas along with how I tested my optimal baking times etc.).

Clay was conditioned by hand kneading and by passing repeatedly through the pasta roller. Black clay was extruded using a circle disc and adaptor to make a long tube of clay (approx. 6-7mm wide). Different coloured micas were applied to the surface to give shimmer. This was then baked in a lightly curled up state to set a slight curve into the tube (40 mins). The baked clay was then sliced to make beads approx. 2-2.5cm long.
The beads were then threaded with 1mm antique bronze wire.  At one end the wire was looped and pushed into the end of the bead to close the opening. A loop was created at the other end with  extra twirls and coils added for an organic look. A little space was allowed at the bead ends for wrapping clay to cover the open bead ends and loops were aligned in a horizontal orientation (see next step).
Thin ‘cords’ of black clay were created with the extruder and wrapped randomly around the beads using Bake & Bond to ‘glue’. The open ends of the beads were covered to hide the holes and ‘set’ the wires in place.
The bead ends covered and wires anchored with clay coils.

The leaf/petal shaped disc was used and the extruded ‘cane’ sliced to make little leaf shapes. These were squished, shaped and attached onto the beads. A little Bake & Bond was used where needed (i.e. if attaching to the prebaked clay areas). I designed the slightly curved beads to fit around the neck so they had a front and back side. Leaves were added to the front so they would not be lumpy and sticking into the skin (particularly as the pendant section is quite heavy). The fresh clay embellishments were dusted with mica powders then baked for a further 60 minutes (10 beads for the necklace and 2 for earrings).
Beads, extruded ‘cords’ and ‘leaf cane’ created with extruder discs.

Leaves added and mica powder applied ready to bake.

Finished beads after baking.
The beads were joined together with 1mm wire using random swirly joining loops (5 beads each side of the clasp). Note the slightly curved beads were orientated so that they would fit the curve around the neck. I tried connecting with double jump rings but they gave too structured a finish. The random swirly loops gave the more organic look that I was after.

The front branch was created next. I estimated the size by holding up the beaded section onto my neck and estimating the width and depth that I wanted. I created a shallow ‘V’shaped branch approx. 10cm across and 5cm deep using 1mm wire as an armature for the clay (to give it extra strength). Attachment loops were created at the apex and tips.
2 ‘sausages’ of black clay were slit and wrapped around the wire armature to create an organic branch shape. Extruded ‘cords’ of black and gold clay mix were wrapped and twisted around the branch to give added texture. Mica was brushed over to colour (see pics below).
Next the leaf embellishments were created using a blend of black and gold clays and push cutters (rough Skinner Blend to get colour variations – see below). The clay was put through the pasta roller to create sheets of approx. 1.5mm thick. The push cutters were used to cut and emboss the shapes at the same time. Leaf fronts were cut from the blended colour sheets and the backs cut with black clay.
0.6mm copper wire armatures were added for extra strength and to help with shaping (which also held the shape while baking).
The leaves were arranged onto the branch and wires pushed into the clay to hold. Mica powders added extra colour variation. The branch was then baked for 40 mins.
Note some wire ends were left protruding on the left and right sides to aid attachment of embellishments later.
The branch back.
0.8mm copper wire was used to make an armature for the caterpillar. Black clay was rolled and cut into slices to make disc shaped beads which were thread onto the wire and pushed together. A small amount of white clay was extruded with a small circle disc and sliced to make little circles for eyes. Shaping tools were used to add texture details and a little mica powder added extra colour. The caterpillar was attached to the branch using Bake & Bond and baked for 30 minutes.
Several Skinner Blend mixes were created to makes canes which were wrapped with black clay and joined together to make a butterfly cane. There are lots of video tutorials out there about making blends. Triangles of glitter blue or Wisteria clay were blended with white by repeatedly passing through the clay roller.
The long blended strips were then folded concertina style and eased into a sausage shape. I didn’t worry too much about getting it perfect as it was not really essential for this project. A thin layer of black clay was then wrapped around the outside to make a Bulls Eye cane with a colour gradient across the middle.
I then started combining these canes to build up my butterfly cane. I really struggled with this bit.  However, I did manage to get some pretty canes. I definitely need a little practice at this!
Some of my attempts at butterfly cane – oh dear! One of my distorted canes was however perfect for creating the newly emerged butterfly wings and I was really pleased with how it looked. I again used a 1mm bronze wire armature to add strength and to create an attachment loop (baked for 1 hour).
I persisted and made another butterfly cane. I really struggled with reducing it so made it close to the size that I wanted. However, where I wanted a delicate butterfly look it turned out to be more of a moth look instead! Again I used a wire armature (0.8mm copper) to add strength and to hold the shape while baking. The butterfly was attached to the branch using Bake & Bond and the piece was baked for another hour.
The newly emerged butterfly was attached at the base using double jump rings created with 1mm wire. The branch was attached to the necklace beaded section using 1mm wire and ‘organic’ loops.
One of my ‘reject’ butterfly canes also made some lovely earrings to coordinate. I made a couple of delicate slices and added holes using a ball tool. Baked for 1 hour.
The butterfly wings were attached to the beads using jump rings created with 1mm bronze coloured wire. Ready made hooks were attached to the bead tops.
I have loved my first big adventures with polymer clay and I know that I will enjoy wearing this one. A definite statement piece! Here’s to new beginnings x.

Hopefully there are not too many typos or errors in my post – rushing around to get ready for Christmas – tee hee. Wishing you all Happy Holidays and a fabulous New Year, Anne xxx.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Easy Christmas Earrings

Good morning. These Christmas earrings are a really easy make and don’t take too long. Great for blinging up a Christmas outfit. I made them with earring clips for friends without pierced ears but they could be attached to stud & loop fittings or earring hooks too.

I used ready made wire hoop earring findings and simply wrapped then with lovely tinsel thread (Madeira Glissen Gloss). I used high tac fabric glue to attach tiny star sequins and to add a little fine polyester glitter for extra sparkle. I attached a simple beaded drop for extra dangle and movement.

Last Minute Christmas Card Makes

Good morning. Today I am sharing some quick Christmas card ‘panic’ makes. I cannot believe that yet again making my Christmas cards ended up being a last minute rush in order to meet the last posting dates before Christmas. I start making Xmas cards in July but all are sent in as TV show samples and I ended up making none for myself. I really must get more organised next year. I just couldn’t resort to buying in the cards as my friends expect a hand made card and would feel that I no longer loved them if I gave a bought card – tee hee.

I decided to stick with a similar theme and formula in order to make my cards quickly but have some variation so that they weren’t all the same – so that my friends feel they have something more individual to them.

I used a stamp set containing a variety of snowflakes and decorative baubles that matched some die cut card bases making lovely fold back cards – from Hot Off The Press (HOTP). I also used sentiment stamps from Chocolate Baroque – Let’s Get Festive stamp set. I made them all 5X5 inches square and fairly flat for posting. Where I added foam pads for dimension I used the thinnest thickness from my stash. I also made use of my Tim Holtz stamping platform to help make these. It enabled me to repeat stamp quickly in the same place on each card and batch make the sets.
On these first sets I used the pre-cut and folded card blanks that matched the bauble and snowflake stamps (HOTP). I stamped the images with Versamark (Majestic Blue) and added a little colour with Distress Ink (Tumbled Glass). The sentiment was stamped with Versamark (Onyx Black). I added clear glitter glue for sparkle.
On the next set I used just the stamps straight onto plain flat card blanks – some with Noel and some with the Hugs sentiment – not everyone is into hugs. I added little ribbon bows. I upcycled some of those thin ribbons that are stitched into clothing for hanging – ideal for using on cards.
Then then made a set with coloured card blanks, stamping onto a white panel topper.
I also had some green and red scalloped card blanks in my stash. Been meaning to use them for Christmas for ages.

I stamped with green or red dye based ink onto the waste pieces left over from the shaped fold back cards. The background was stamped with Encore Ink (Silver) but it didn’t really stand out well enough so I overstamped with Versamark (Onyx Black). I finished with opaque white pen to draw faux stitching around the edges, and silver glitter glue for sparkle.
Hoping that you all have a lovely Christmas without too much stress if you are entertaining. Hugs xxx.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Fantasy Pine Scene Canvas created with Powertex

I had so much fun creating this pine cone scene.

I used some twigs and pine cones from my stash (they must be fully dried out to avoid development of mould), hessian, T shirt fabric, kitchen paper, Sand & Balls and even broken egg shells (fully washed and membranes removed).

The background sky was created with Pebeo Fantasy paints (Moon, Prisme and Vitrail).


Friday, 15 December 2017

Quick and Easy Bold Bloom card created for Chocolate Baroque

This one is another very quick and easy make.

Flowers from the Bold Blooms stamp set were heat embossed onto black card using a mix of pink/purple powder. The sentiment was stamped with StazOn onto metallic card. Finished with glitter glue and pearls, ribbon and some twiggy die cuts.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Imagination Meets Reality card created for Chocolate Baroque

Good morning. This one is another of my recent samples for the Steampunk shows. I used Soft Form Relief Paste to create the 3D embellishment, the lovely lace with cogs stamp to create the border and stamped onto a pretty floral paper from Crafty Individuals. I thought that the sentiment ‘imagination meets reality’ was fitting.

I mounted everything onto a ‘recycled’ 8 X 8 inch card which was a previous sample that had gone badly wrong. Rather than throw it away I just covered up what was originally there. No-one would ever know – ooops I just told you – tee hee hee.

How it was done:
  1. The background paper on my ‘recycled’ card was created using the shaving foam technique. This is a fun method for making pretty marble effect papers. Shaving foam is spread onto a shallow tray and inks dropped onto the surface. Paper is then lowered onto the surface to pick up the ink. Versamark was then sponged through the leaf stencil and heat embossed with pearl powder. Distress Ink was then blended over the top, the embossed areas repelling the colour. A ribbon band was drawn on with pen. This was then mounted onto and 8 X 8 card. Faux stitching was added around the edges using a piercing tool and drawing with a fine tipped black pen. PVA pearls were then added to the corners.
  2. The lacy border and sentiment were stamped with Versafine onto the decorative floral paper, then mounted onto black card to frame. I had a spare scrap of this paper from another project so cut out the daisy and shaped it to add dimension and decoupaged it up onto the background.
  3. The beetle stamp was coated with StazOn Ink, then a thin layer of Relief Paste and left to dry overnight before peeling away. It was then trimmed to neaten up and glued to the card.

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Key to My Dreams card created for Chocolate Baroque

Good morning. This is another of my samples created for Chocolate Baroque using the Key to my Dreams stamp set.

How it was made:
  1. A thin layer of copper paste was spread onto lock and key stamps and left to fully dry before gently peeling away. This can take up to 2 days so you need to plan ahead. StazOn Ink was then applied to the stamps and the moulded pieces pressed back on to transfer the ink into the crevices. The surface was then lightly rubbed over with gold gilding wax to add more depth of colour.
  2. The card blank was textured with the embossing folder and rubbed over with Distress Ink. Faux stitching was added to the main panel using the fine tipped pen.
  3. Background topper panels were created with linen textured card. The keys were stamped with silver ink and the background was lightly spritzed with mica inks. The paper doilies were also coloured with ink sprays and Distress Ink, trimmed and glued to the backgrounds. The edges of the panels were roughened up using the edge of my scissors, encouraging small tears. The edges were inked with Distress ink and edges and tears lightly shaped and curled.
  4. The heart panel and keys were cut from copper card, and the suitcase from Kraft card. The sentiment was stamped onto the suitcase with Versamark and heat embossed with gold powder. Small snips of the coloured doily were glued down and the edges inked with Distress Ink. The handles were coated with Versamark and heat embossed with gold powder. After decorating the suitcase was folded and glued to make the 3D embellishment.
  5. Mats, die cuts and embellishments were glued to the card using foam pads and 3D glue where needed. Finally a little Stickles glitter glue was added for a bit of sparkle.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Memories card created for Chocolate Baroque

Good morning – hoping to catch up with some of my blogging over the next few days. This was another of my recent samples for Chocolate Baroque. I went for a pretty vintage style combining the stamps with pretty oval dies from Tonic.

I love this sentiment which is poignant to me having lost several close friends and family over this past year.

How it was made:
  1. A thin layer of silver paste was spread onto lock and key stamps and left to fully dry before gently peeling away. This can take up to 2 days so you need to plan ahead. StazOn Ink was then applied to the stamps and the moulded pieces pressed back on to transfer the ink into the crevices.
  2. The background was repeat stamped with the keys and silver ink. Faux stitching was added around the edges with the fine tipped pen.
  3. The oval layers were die cut from black, silver and cream card. The sentiment was stamped with Black StazOn (as my card had a high gloss finish). I thought that the black looked a bit harsh so I quickly covered with silver powder and heat embossed to give a softer vintage look.
  4. The mats and embellishments were glued to the card front with foam pads and 3D glue gel for added dimension. Finished with PVA pearls.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Sneaky Peek of Wrapped Buttons coming to Create & Craft TV Saturday

Good afternoon. Gina Barrett (Gina B Silkworks) is back on our screens this weekend with more gorgeous wrapped buttons with added embroidery patterns, and some lovely mini button frames which can be used to display and mount them. Here is a sneak peek at some of my samples. I have used some of the frames to create pendants too. Her show is this Saturday (9th December) at 2pm on Create & Craft TV (Freeview Channel 23 or watch via their website – they keep catch up videos too if you miss the show).

Splendid Hat Steampunk card created for Chocolate Baroque

Good morning. This was one of my recent samples for the Steampunk themed shows on Hochanda with Chocolate Baroque.

How it was made:
  1. A thin layer of copper paste was spread onto the small hat and key stamps and left to fully dry before gently peeling away. This can take up to 2 days so you need to plan ahead. StazOn Ink was then applied to the stamps and the moulded pieces pressed back on to transfer the ink into the crevices.
  2. The sentiments were stamped onto Kraft card with Versafine (Black Onyx) and were cut out with dies. Cogs were also cut from Kraft card.
  3. The background was stamped with Versafine (Vintage Sepia). The edges of the decorative panel, sentiment panels and cogs were coated with Versamark and heat embossed with rust powder.
  4. The large hat was stamped onto Kraft card with Memento, cut out and coloured with pencils. Note: I used Memento as I blended the pencil colouring with Sansador solvent (Versafine would bleed with solvent).
  5. Elements were stuck to the card front with 3D glue gel for added dimension. Finished with a few PVA pearls.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Butterfly Poppy Collage card created for Chocolate Baroque

Good morning. This is the last of my recent samples for shows on Hochanda using lovely poppy themed stamp sets from Chocolate Baroque. I have so enjoyed working with these gorgeous stamp sets.

How to make it:
  1. Wet the watercolour card and randomly spray with inks. When dry, lightly stamp all over with the large text collage stamp and Forest Moss Ink.
  2. Cut to fit the card front leaving a frame of approx. 1cm base card showing. Stamp the right hand side using both blue and pink inks, and the left plus background butterfly with blue ink. Note: To get a good stamped image on textured watercolour card you will need to press the stamp down a little harder than usual. It will never be as clear and crisp as when stamping on smooth card.
  3. Stamp the butterflies using blue ink onto the offcut piece of coloured watercolour card and cut out. Further colour the butterflies with alcohol and glitter pens. Add highlights to the butterflies and to the stamped poppy collage using white gel pen.
  4. Cut the shaped square mat from smooth card and stamp the poppy image with Versafine. Colour the background with Tea Dye and Tumbled Glass Distress Inks, blending with a sponge. Splash with water and blot off colour to give a mottled background. Colour the poppies with watercolour pens and edge the mat with gold gilding wax. Add highlights with white gel pen.
  5. Cut a rectangle mat in white card approx. 9 X 13cm (3.5” X 5”), stamp the text with Scattered Straw Ink, and blend in ink from around the edges. Further enhance the edges with black alcohol marker and mount the coloured poppy image to the left side using foam pads.
  6. Align and position the mat onto the watercolour card and cut around the stamped poppy collage with a craft knife so that the mat can be tucked under the cut section. Cut 2 flourishes from pink card.
  7. Finally glue everything to the card front, leaving the butterfly wings free for added dimension. Oooh, and add a bit of glitter to the poppy centres (got to be done – tee hee).

Poppy Shrine Card created for Chocolate Baroque

Good morning. This was another of my recent samples for shows on Hochanda using lovely poppy themed stamp sets from Chocolate Baroque.
How it was made:
  1. The shaped card base was cut with the outer plain die (overhanging it just over the left hand fold of the card). The decorative frame was cut from metallic card and a black mat was cut using the plain dies.
  2. The text and poppies were stamped directly onto the card front. Colour was added with watercolour pens. The mat and frame were then mounted around the image with 3D foam for dimension.
  3. The poppies were stamped again onto watercolour card using watercolour pens to colour the stamp. A water brush was used to drag out the colour and more colour was added where needed. The 2 poppy flowers and bud were then cut out. I felt that the watercolour outlines were not really sharp enough so I laid my stamp onto my craft mat, coated it with Versafine, then pressed down the cut out flowers over the inked stamp (Sheena Douglass style – this is how she stamps up her ‘Perfect Partner’ die cut images). This added back stronger outlines and detail. I also added a few highlights with white pen. These were lightly shaped and decoupaged over the main image.
  4. Finally a little glitter glue was added to the poppy centres and butterfly. I also added clear glaze pen over parts of the leaves and butterfly.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Sneaky Peek Chocolate Baroque are back on Hochanda tomorrow

Woohoo – Lesley Wharton is back on Hochanda tomorrow with more gorgeous stamps from Chocolate Baroque. Thought that you might like a sneaky peek.

SHOWS: Tuesday 5th Dec 4 and 7pm – Freeview Channel 85 or watch live online via the Hochanda website.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Indian Bloom Card created for Chocolate Baroque

Good morning. This was another of my recent creations for Chocolate Baroque using the Bold Blooms stamp set. I have called it Indian Bloom. The stamp went perfectly with an embossing folder in my stash from Sheena Douglass (Indian Collection from a couple of years back).

  • Bold Blooms stamp set
  • 15cm square card blank, black card, silver satin metallic card
  • Pebeo Gilding Wax (Silver)
  • StazOn Inkpad (Black)
  • Sakura Glaze Pen (pink)
  • PVA pearls (pink), faux gem flowers (pink, red), glitter glue (silver)
  • Indian style embossing folder (Sheena Douglass)
How it was made:
  1. The black card was embossed using the embossing folder and rubbed over with silver gilding wax.
  2. The flower was stamped three times onto the metallic card, coloured with glaze pen, cut out and lightly shaped for layering. I used 3D glue gel to attach to the card front.
  3. Gems were randomly glued to the front and it was finished with PVA pearls and plenty of glitter for bling.