lauantai 31. joulukuuta 2016

Happy New Year!

A really last minute entry for the VivaLasVegaStamps December challenge! Check the lovely moodboard and other challenge entries here. Since the colours are similar to the moodboard at Our Mixed Moods, I'm also posting for that too. It would of course be impossible to ride a hot air balloon in space, but... who cares? I'm really looking forward to everything we're headed for in 2017 :)

I used a mixed media background (scrap paper glued on scrap card and covered with gesso), sprayed with Dylusions Calypso Teal spray. The stamp is from Viva Las Vega Stamps and I stamped with Versafine Onyx Black. I was quite satisfied how well the image turned out, even though the background is uneven. I added texture paste through a star stencil and since the spray seeped into it, I  coloured over the stars with a paint marker.

maanantai 26. joulukuuta 2016

Dreaming of a white Christmas

Here are my Christmas cards for this year. I'm posting them for the Country View December challenge (Christmas) and the WOW embossing powders challenge (winter, links in the comments). I wanted to do mixed media and use some scraps... and the results are quite cool, though my husband said they look like wedding invitations!

the joy of their children
I layered down book pages, off white cotton fabric. Sewed around them and added white texture paste (Aleene's glitter snow), heat embossing and a small sentiment. Each card is different, because the sentiments are all cut from the book pages. The book has nothing to do with Christmas, and I was surprised how many suitable sentiments I was able to find. Most of the sentiments got some white behind them to stabilize the layers.

above all trails
at a very slow pace

rejoicing hearts
the glimmer of thousands of lights being lit
in halls of stars
full of smile, satisfied
the faraway tinkle of bells
life and time rejoiced

M and P

The Craft Barn alpha/dictionary challenge 2016 has come to an end: one letter every other week all year through adds up to the whole alphabet (missing the å,ä,ö we use here Finland :) ) I have animals from a wildlife dictionary, both underwater predators this time: the Matamata turtle for the M challenge and the illuminated netdevil (pensaskrotti in Finnish) for the P challenge. Here are the cards. I used some underpapers with embossing as backgrounds.

The matamata turtle looks rather weird. It lurks underwater and swallows small fish, check this little video here. The illuminated netdevil is an angler fish, one of those deep sea ones, but besides the lure, this has a bush-like thing dangling under it's chin (the Finnish name means bush-crott). Both the lure on the head and the bush are luminous, obviously to attract food... And this is the female, males are tiny and attach themselves as parasites to the females abdomen! Here are the backs of the cards with the definition texts.

And so all the cards are done! Here are links to the previous posts, I guess I'll have to make a post with all the cards. Let's hope we get a sunny day, so I can take some new photo's.

sunnuntai 11. joulukuuta 2016


I've been burning to join in the Paperartsy bleach challenge... so here's a last minute entry :) I took the pictures, though the cards aren't quite assembled yet! I played with infusions  (and blue bister, because I don't have a blue infusion) on ink jet photo paper, bleach and some Everything Art stamps. I washed over the paper with Sunset Beach (it gives a decent skin colour), bleached out the parts I wanted white and added more colour with a watercolour brush. Just quickly showing the pictures, got to take the dog out for a walk!

I and Y

I managed to miss the I -challenge, which really bugs me, but I made the card anyhow... would hate to be missing one! My I is for the great tinamou (isotinami, "iso" means large in Finnish) and my Y is for the nocturnal currassow (yösaku or yöhokko, "yö" means night in Finnish). Two South-American birds. Here they are, I'm posting for the Craft Barn Alpha challenge "Y" and the Paperartsy challenge (bleach).

I sewed some scrap paper on the front of the cards and used Distress inks on the back. I used faux bleaching (stamped with water) and really liked the effect so much, that the scraps on the front of the card started looking ugly.

So I tore the fronts off, added gesso, infusions and some stamping. They got a bit warped, but the frame is quite cool.

As with my previous cards, I picked my animals from a wildlife encyclopedia that I've been cutting to pieces. The tinamou is a pheasant-like bird, that has beautiful glossy eggs in different colours. Check this pic from National Geographic! The nocturnal curassow is actually a day-active bird that happens to "sing" by night, hence the name. If you want to listen to the call (a bit like an owls hohoo), click the "listen to recording" on this page

sunnuntai 30. lokakuuta 2016

V and U

Still playing along with the Craft Barn Alpha/dictionary challenge. I really haven't had time for any crafting lately, and I guess the only reason I'm doing these is that I would hate to quit without having the whole alphabet done. I once again searched my wildlife encyclopedia for animals with weird names... though I guess I've heard of vikunjas before. So welcome on a short trip to South America. Starting with the challenge letters V (challenge ending tonight) and U (challenge opened today). Oh,how I hate to have to take picrures under artificial light, but the sun set an hour earlier today than yesterday (and it's been gloomy all week, so lights are on anyway!)

Both of the backgrounds are age-old masterboards that I have lying in a drawer. Not much to say otherwise. The Vikuña has just brayered paints and some stamping with "aztec doll" stamps from Rubber Dance, though I guess the Peru/north Chile is Inca area, not Aztec... The Unau is called the Linnaeus two-toed sloth, and it's background just has paints, both brayered and stencilled. Here are the backs of the cards with some info about the animals... but you could just as well check wikipedia!
Vikuña and Unau.

sunnuntai 2. lokakuuta 2016

X and E

The Craft Barn Alpha/Dictionary challenge is going forward, and I just almost forgot to get my cards done. I had decided to do X and the next letter (E) at the same time, but somehow didn't quite register that X has to be posted tonight. So here goes... X is quite an impossible letter for me, because it is practically not used in Finnish. I checked through all the x- latin names in my wildlife encyclopedia and chose Xerus Erythropus, an african ground squirrel. And for the E-animal I kept to the previous principals: choosing something I never heard of...

The ground squirrel has a gelli plate background and the lizard has a scrap of an old masterboard. Here are the definition texts for the animals: The text tells us that the African ground squirrels are social and greet each other with a short kiss... cute :)  As for the Emoia, well, not much to be said, he spends his days hiding among banana leaves.

The previous cards for this (all-year-long) challenge can be found under the following links. I haven't added the links for a while, and all of a sudden this is looking quite full! The year is nearing it's end, where does the time fly?!?


sunnuntai 4. syyskuuta 2016

H and O

The Craft Barn alpha/dictionary challenge is going forward every fortnight... and I'm making two cards at once: H for the challenge that ends tonight and O for the challenge that just started. I'm piecing a wildlife encyclopedia for this challenge, and today we have two mammals: the hoolock and the oribi.

The hoolock gibbon spends all of it's life in trees, hence the green background. They are light grey when they are born and turn black at a few months age. The females turn grey/tan after puberty. I picked him not only because of the never-before-heard-of name, but also because of this gorgeous video. Those eyebrows are adorable!!! (and the mom looks a bit fierce compared to the cute baby) Here is the back of the card with the info text.

The oribi looks (to my eyes) like any other small gaselle or antilope, but is actually the only member of it's genus. It has a peculiar bald black spot on both cheeks, almot like having two eyes! I layered some gelli prints for the background.

tiistai 30. elokuuta 2016

In the garden

The theme at Art Journal Journey is "nature's wonders" and I'm kind of playing with the flora part on this spread. We have lots of apples this year, and I spent the weekend cooking apple sauce... the snow last winter ripped the old tree in two and it's amazing that a half dead tree can push such a harvest! Since this well might be one of the last times it does so, I decided to use the apples in my journal too. It's quite a shame that I can so barely squeeze in time for a single spread per month, but that's the way life gets in the way every now and then.

I had some yellow splats on the spread and used a spotty stencil to build up a leafy background. It is a bit restless, but that's my life. I tried stamping with an apple that I cut in half, but it really didn't show up, so I stamped on a piece of paper and cut it into a stencil. Sponged through the stencil, the apples were visible, and I continued with a charcoal pencil and some white highlights. ( The apples I've been busy with are a green/white colour ). I ran into this lovely sentiment the other day, and it of course fits for harvesting season!

lauantai 20. elokuuta 2016

Notebooks, version 2

I have continued piffing up my daughters notebooks. These are A4 size (originally dull grey) and I've used acrylic paints, stamps and heavy gloss gel to decorate them... playing with the Paperartsy patterns-challenge. The stenciled gloss gel gives a subtle shine and texture that depends on where the light come from.

I really like this brown one, that obviously became a math notebook (wonder why?) That stamp from the Paperartsy Everything Art -series is just awesome. Also the blue notebook turned out the way I wanted... Well, the gloss gel stars looked gorgeous in milky white before they dried, pity I didn't use molding paste instead!

This yellow one ended up stressing me a bit. There is a layer of gesso under the paints, but it isn't opaque enough and the grey cover distorts the yellow. After stamping the colour wheels I heat embossed some texture with WOW pastel yellow. While heating the first one I realized bright yellow would have been much better... but I already had the pastel all over waiting for heat, so on I went. I random stamped some orange and added the circles with gloss gel. Again it looked fine when wet and milky, but as the gel dried, the pastel embossing was just too light. I used a white Sharpie to colour the gel and balance the palette. Not bad after all! Those colour wheels have a citrus touch to them :)

sunnuntai 14. elokuuta 2016

No black

I decorated some matchboxes for the Lavinia Stamps challenge (no black). And since these contain matches, I'm also posting for the Simon Says Stamp Monday challenge (try to contain yourself). I picked a selection of Lavinia stamps... really loving the text, but the plants worked nicely too :)

I have a tub of texture paste that is drying out, and I found it is quite nice to stamp into, no need to wait for the paste to partly dry, just straightforward stamping with water. Once the paste was dry I painted the covers with acrylic paints, starting with a dark colour and then dry-brushing with lighter shades to bring forth the texture. The final layer was Golden Irridescent Gold -paint. I guess the same effect could be done with a metallic wax.

Notebooks, version 1

My daughter is starting high school, and that means we've been doing some shopping for school stuff. We picked some dull and inexpensive notebooks, and I decided to paint over the covers. Didn't ask my daughter for permission, but when she saw these, she didn't mind. So I guess I'll soon continue with the rest of the pile. I'm posting for the Paperartsy challenge (patterns).

I simply brayered paints (Fresco Finish and Golden) straight on the notebook cover. Even though I used opaque fresco paints, the grey cover is showing through (it was quite slick). I guess I'll use some gesso for the next ones. To create some repetitive pattern I stamped Everything Art stamps with a lighter colour of paint and finished with some heat embossing using Ellen Vargo stamps and WOW embossing powders. For once I had good reason to use the more colourful ones!

sunnuntai 7. elokuuta 2016

Gelli Prints

I've been playing with the wonderful gelli-printing technique Ellie Knoll showed on the Paperartsy blog: Acrylics combined with Infusions. My first tries used a brayer. I wasn't quite satisfied with the result, so I took out my 3x5 plate, smooched the paints around with my finger, misted, sprinkled, misted again... and I really love the prints I got. There was usually "too much" paint, which resulted in squishy prints, often even three in a row! As anyone who has done this knows, once you get started there's no end to it. I would have liked to go for a yellow-green colour scheme, but my cardstock pad ran out! Anyway, I'm linking to the Paperartsy colour mixing challenge, still 1,5 hours to go!

Here are some closeups of the smoochy texture combined with the resist effect that comes from the misted water on the gelli plate. I don't know what kind of cards these will end up as, but they do look nice...  I am kind of wishing I had the guts to print these straight on card bases... maybe next time :)