Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Tim Holtz - Distress Crayons

Hi folks, how are you?  It's a bit chilly here in Peterborough.....still waiting to see some snow though. I feel we've missed out this year.

I've been busy prepping my Let Leonie Loose show for today, and have got a great selection of Tim Holtz goodies.  I wanted to demo with a mix of products, just to see the difference between the products, and how they work alongside each other.  Needless to say, I've run out of time before idea's...maybe I have spent to long just watching ink dry! The battle is real, crafters will relate to this.

I also picked some more wonderful stamps from Carabelle.  I know I've showcased their products quite a few times now, but they are all different - and stunning.  These are just as special.

I wanted to share a couple of projects with you.  First I used a set of the Wax Crayons from Tim Holtz, and literally just scribbled my colour to cover a sheet of A4 cardstock:

I love it!  It looks a total mess doesn't it.  The thicker you lay down the crayon, the easier it will be to blend.  You will be able to keep adding colour and layers to build up the density of colour.

I have blended the colours with water, and where needed I have added more colour to help the blend.  I didn't aim to get it completely smooth though, as I rather like the texture of the distress crayons.

Next I used this stunning stamp.  It's massive!!  

I added a little of the distress dabbers, which are an acrylic paint.  This means I can easily sweep the paint over which will add texture as well as colour

I then stamped my wolf stamp onto Paperartsy wax paper.  

I added white gesso onto the back of the image to make it pop 

I stamped the image again, and cut out the wolf head, which I coloured with the crayons

The wax paper scrunches up wonderfully, but the ace thing is how it reacts when heated.  I glued it down with wet, clear drying glue, and then blasted it with my heat gun.  The wax melts, and the paper merges into the background.  It's really cool.  I then glued my wolf head in place.

Take the stunning border, and stamp at the top and bottom

And then use the mandala stamp.  I used white gesso to stamp randomly over my piece.  Making sure I was stamping off the page.

To finish, I stamped my sentiment and embossing with black embossing powder, which really makes it stand out.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Decorating Candles

Good evening folks.  I hope my post finds you well and safe from some of the weather that has started to hit the UK.  Peterborough is chilly, but pretty unevenful...for which I'll be grateful.

I have wanted to share this post with you for days, but have only just got round to it. This week on my Let Leonie Loose show, I took a bit of a risk and put on some candle decorating things.  We didn't know how this would go - but I was really happy people seemed to like them.  I must admit, it's another line of products that could be used in so many ways, given time to have a proper play.  I really enjoyed the short time I had to experiment.

First, I used the sheets.  These are pre-coloured, and in some cases, designed, wax sheets, which are simply layed onto your candle.  No need to heat, glue or anything. As long as your room is at a nice temperature, they will adhere.  And you can do loads with them.

First I took one of the printed sheets and simply cut it into shapes with a craft knife

 I then layered it onto the candle (I did doesn't magically change colour :) ).  Using the wax paint, I added some little dots.  And I also added a border with the wax strips.  So easy.

With this one, I added the wax paint along the edge of each piece of wax.  I added dots and lines, which look really cool. To finish it off I also added another gold border along the top of the candle.

This one is much more time consuming.  I used a spellbinders die to cut my wax sheet.  Be careful not to use to much pressure, and protect your surfaces with a wax sheet - I didn't - I now have wax all over my cutting plate!  Use talc on your die to help the wax sheet release from the die.  I was quite impressed it cut this detail - but I don't think I'd try anything more complex.  The branch then easily sticks to the candle.

I built up my wax blossoms, I love this mother of pearl wax sheet, it's beautiful.  I also added little dots with the wax pearl paint, which just finishes it off.

Next, I used the candle wax paint.  This is SO easy.  Literally hold your stencil in place, and use a sponge to dab the paint onto your candle.  You can mix and blend the colours, and they dry really quickly.  I think it looks fantastic.  I finished the candle with the wax border strip.

This is easy.  You can either cut the wax sheets free hand with a pair of scissors, or, as I did, use your dies.  I used my collection of mixed media dies, which are nice and thick to go through the wax easily.  I didn't run them through the machine, I simply pushed the wax into them. I then used the foil sheet to add a touch of silver.  This easily adheres to the wax by just using a ball tool.

Obviously, the wax doesn't have to just be used on the candles.  This was my favourite bit...using them on my Art Journal.  I simply sponged the wax through the stencil, then used my distress inks over the top.  The wax acts as a resist.  It's so effective. Can you imagine the different looks you could achieve!!  I've got to play a bit more with this!!!

Monday, 9 January 2017

Carabelle Studio's Let Leonie Loose Show

I think I'm definitely addicted to these stamps!  The designs are so cool, and different.  I really like working with them.  I thought I would share a few samples from last weeks show.  Check the web site, I'm sure we still have the stamps in stock if you did miss out on them. I was also able to play with some cool paints from Deco Art.  The first sample you can see the stunning iridescent paints.  I used masking tape to create my frame, painted black gesso, and then stamped and embossed my images.  I then painted over the gesso with the iridescent paint.

DecoArt have also brought out spritzers, which are permanent and fantastic for layering, making them perfect for mixed media.  For this card I simply used them for a blast of colour, and then used my little character stamp clutching his star balloon.

The floral stamps are fantastic for layering, and the DecoArt Tinting medium is nice to drag the distress ink to colour the flowers.  This gives a more opaque finish than when the colour is dragged out with water.

For this one I used the DecoArt crackle paint through a Andy Skinner mask.  When the paint was dry, I worked over the background with the paints.  The background stamp is fantastic, and for this image I just used one of the flowers and a few of the little circles.

This is the full background stamp.  It's so cool.  There's so much detail.  With this one I used the sentiment which I threaded under the largest flower, and then stamped onto the smaller flower, so it appears that the sentiment is flowing onto the flower

Finally - this guy!  Cool isn't he.  I used the DecoArt paints to create my background, along with the stamps, and the mask.  I used the same paints to colour my little chap in.

I've got the catalogue to plan some more Carabelle shows......this makes me very happy :) xx

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Inky fingers all round :)

I love my job.

I've spent the last couple of days in Chesterfield visiting the Crafters Companion store - which, may I add, is absolutely lovely.  Debbie and the girls are so helpful - they really did look after me.  The store is really pretty....and there's a Dobbies, Holland and Barrett and more!  What more can you ask for.

That's all brilliant, but the best bit about my job is, of course, the wonderful people I meet.  I did 4 make and takes each day, which is pretty hard work, I won't lie - but it is so incredibly rewarding it's worth every second.

Working on craft TV can sometimes be snubbed by people - in fact some people are quite disparaging about it, but what do they know!  I get to meet the viewers.  I get to see, and hear, just how much people love us sharing all the techniques, and learning how to use the products.  Craft is such an amazing tonic.  It's escapism.  It helps you relax.  It is mindfulness.  To look at something you have created and feel proud, is a brilliant feeling.  Meeting new people with the same interests.  And, lets face it, keeping our brains ticking by continuing to learn and enjoy ourselves.....these are just a few reasons why crafting is so rewarding.  And the TV makes it so accessible to so many people.

I'm lucky though, because TV is only part of my job.  I am a crafter first and foremost, so to share the things I have learnt is an absolute pleasure. I feel so privileged that  I am part of something that actually brings happiness to peoples lives.

I've come home, a little sleepy, but very happy.....can you tell :)

Now, I just need someone at home who can cook a really nice vegan meal and have the bath run for me....the hairy kids don't seem to have mastered either as yet.  Although, they are the masters of unconditional love and cuddles :)

I didn't take as many photo's as I should have, but I wanted to share just a few.  Can I say, a special hello to  Flo, what an absolute joy to meet you.  You are such an inspiration xxxxx

Thank you everyone who joined me...I can't wait to do it all again :)

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Let Leonie Loose - DecoArt Spritzers and Carabelle Stamps

I hope you managed to get hold of the cool stamps and DecoArt goodies I had on my show yesterday. I do have a massive soft spot for Carabelle....can you tell!!  And DecoArt do such a wide range of really cool products, it's tricky to know where to start.

For this post I have used the spritzers.  These are water based, but permanent, so when you spray them and then heat set them, you can spray over the top with another colour, and the original colour/image doesn't move.  It means they are fantastic for layering. I had a quick play with creating difference backgrounds first of all just to experiment with the inks and see how they reacted with each other:

Using my Carabelle stamps, I stamped and embossed using white embossing powder

I used some of the extra card which I'd spritzed and over stamped using one of the cool little characters

I then used the purple interference paint and painted a wash over my stamped card.  I love this, as you can still see the colours and the white embossing powder....

but you still get the wonderful sheen from the interference paint.  Cool.

I liked it so much....I decided to do it again on my cool little character using the blue interference paint

Sorry, bit of a rubbish picture!!  Anyway, I matted and layered everything up.  Added a stamped and embossed sentiment, and then added dots using black gesso.  I actually cut out part of the star from the element of card I cut away, and decoupaged this over my original star...this gave me a platform to stand my little cute character on