Thursday, 19 January 2017

Guest Designer - Leanne

It is time to introduce our Guest Designer for this month's challenge.  Please say hello and give a warm welcome to Leanne James of A Brush With A Stamper, who was the winner of our Tags, Bags and Boxes challenge.

Hi there, my name is Leanne Harris, I’ve been crafting for well over 15 years now, have won or been runner up in many different online challenges and design for Fashionable Stamping Challenges. I live in Northamptonshire, England, I have been married for 22 years and am Mum to two teenage daughters. I love rubber stamping and stencil work and my absolute passion is working with paints and inks (well really, anything that’s very messy!!!!!!). I live in a very busy household so my craft room is my “place for peace” and my go to room when I just need some therapy from all the madness that is going on around me!!! I bet there are lots of you out there that can sympathize with that?!!!!

I have a blog, “”, on which I post twice weekly the artwork that I have been creating - this can be anything from mdf work to mixed media to my passion of papercraft and card making. I love to read the kind comments that are left for me and to know that I am inspiring others - that’s what it’s all about for me.

I am really grateful to Cec and the team at Stamps and Stencils for asking me to be their Guest Designer for this challenge, I hope that I have inspired you to try something a little new with your stencils perhaps and I wish you all the very best of luck with the challenge.

I have completed this piece of artwork for the new challenge of Swirls, Whirls and Flourishes. As you can see I've got all three going on here.

Here are some of the supplies I used.

I have used a Stencil Girl stencil and inked through it with Watering Van Archival Ink on tissue paper.

I have attached the tissue paper to the canvas (this is a 12"x12" canvas so it is of some considerable size) with Mod Podge and allowed it to dry. I then put some modelling paste through a couple of different stencils to give me some swirls and whirls and then left it to dry completely.

Next I  sprayed it with some Powertex Bister spray to start the colour on the background.

I have now used the yellow and green Bister sprays and I've added some lace, which I've soaked in Mod Podge and sprayed too. A couple of flourishes from Sue Wilson dies and the sentiment of "Dream" from Clarity Stamps have been added. Now came the fun bit - I had to completely enhance her face as she was lost and buried deep in the artwork and I needed to bring her to the foreground.

As you can see in this photo of the finished product again, it worked a treat. This will show how you can use a stencil to not only ink through but to use the stencil to enhance a picture or piece of artwork and make it your own.  I went to town completely on her eyes.  They were "cold" on the original stencil and by changing her hair it brought her completely forward on the canvas.  Some further shading of the hair, which is modelling paste and the face itself to help bring out that nose and mouth.  I finally used some gesso and gold and silver gilding wax to highlight areas to show depth and then I was done.  That made her more beautiful in my eyes and the whole artwork began to sit around her now.

I hope everyone really enjoys playing with their swirls, whirls and flourishes - I most certainly have. Have fun and good luck everyone!

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Inspiration Post ~ Upcycle Your Packaging.

Hi everybody! It's Toni here with the first of our 'Inspirational Posts' for 2017. Heck! it doesn't seem five minutes since the year 2000 ! Now, if you're anything like me, you will have kept various pieces of packaging from all of those lovely new goodies, you had for Christmas. I can never bear to throwaway those firm pieces of acetate, so many crafty goods come in. After acquiring a few more, I decided it was time to put them to good use. Here's how I got started.......
I selected my packaging, and trimmed it to size. I ran one piece through my Big Shot, using a Seth Apter embossing folder. I had to create an embossing sandwich, as unfortunately my machine does not like the Spellbinders brand of embossing folders. Once the acetate was embossed, I painted one side, using Deco Art Media Acrylic Paints, in green gold, burnt umber and touches of turquoise.

As soon as it was covered with paint, I flipped it over, and pressed it onto a clean piece of paper, as if taking a print. this removed the paint from the high spots.....
Whilst this was drying, I stamped my image with Staz On, onto another piece of acetate. This is where my new stamping tool came into use brilliantly. If you have a Misti or similar tool, you'll know what I mean. It is notoriously difficult to stamp onto a slick surface, but a stamp press makes a huge difference.
 Once the Staz On ink was dry, I coloured my image with a variety of Alcohol Inks. The stamp is from a Lynne Perella set.
I really love the stained glass effect. My next move was to add a sheet of 'gold' metal leaf to the painted image. To do this, I sprayed the side I'd printed and painted, with repositional adhesive and
gently pressed a sheet of gold leaf onto the surface. This made the colours really glow. I haven't tried it, but I imagine you could use gilding flakes in the same way.
I repeated this action with the embossed panel too........
This is the back and this is the right side...........
I then attached the background panel to a small canvas, using some rusty tacks. I added a wash of acrylic paint to the surface, using one of Andy Skinner's dirty wash recipes, quinacridone gold, paynes grey and yellow iron oxide. This toned down the shiny surface, but still allowed the gold to shine through.
I then trimmed the stamped image, and added border with some left over sparkly, washi tape. I secured it to the canvas with small brads.
Finally, I added a word band, a rusty wire hanger and rubbed the sides of the canvas with Treasure gold. I'm really pleased with this little canvas. When I showed it to my husband, I asked him what he thought the background was and he said, 'some kind of metal'. Result!!! I hope this inspires you to put some of that hoarded packaging to good use. x

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Winners - Christmas Wishes

It is time to announce the winners from our December challenge - Christmas Wishes.

The Design Team has chosen this wonderful little trio of altered jars by Rupa as the winner.  The jars make a lovely home decor piece and the musical JOY on the top definitely makes them festive.

Congratulations Rupa.  Cec will be in touch with you shorty to discuss your Guest Designer spot.

And now the Top Three as chosen by Toni, the hostess for this challenge.

Beatriz - B-Arte

Coco - Chez Coco

Sara Emily - sarascloset

Congratulations ladies.  Please email Cec at to claim your Top Three badges.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Swirls, Whirls and Flourishes

Hi everyone, Ruth here with the first challenge of 2017! First of all may we wish you a Happy New Year full of creativity, enjoyment and discovery. 

Swirls, Whirls and Flourishes is the theme this month. It may be chilly January but this months challenge doesn't have to be anything to do with winter, this month I'd like you to usher in the New Year by creating any mixed media piece you like as long as somewhere you include a swirl or a whirl or a flourish and some stamping or stenciling, of course!

Here are our first creations of 2017 to inspire you.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Guest Designer - Ioulia

It is time to welcome our Guest Designer for our Christmas Wishes challenge.  Please say hello to Ioulia of julD Handmade who was the winner of the Elements of Nature challenge.

Hello, I am Ioulia (julD handmade) from Greece and I am so happy to be a Guest Designer at Stamps and Stencils. It is such an honor to be here today. Thank you so much.

I loved painting and crafting from my early years, but instead of becoming an artist I became an engineer who loves to create things in her free time. So,crafting is my hobby. My favourite is clay and texture in paintings. I am impressed by new techniques and altered materials.

The challenge for this month is Christmas Wishes. I decided to create a small mixed media canvas.

First I made an air dry clay reindeer.

Then, I used a burlap canvas panel (14x22cm) and I stuck upon it a scrapbooking paper, corrugated cardboard and paper lace.

I made a paper flower with scrapbooking paper and a gear. I added a felt snowflake, black wire, red wooden beads, cords, a little bell and some fabric pieces.

I splashed with white gesso and stuck 3d balls and a piece of lace.

I coloured with pigment colours and I added the reindeer and the words “Merry Christmas”.

I hope you like it. You are very welcome to stop by my blog to see a few more close ups. Thanks again for inviting me to be a Guest Designer this month.

* * *

This is our last post for 2016. The Stamps and Stencils team would like to wish you a safe and happy holiday season and we hope to see you back here on January 5th for our first challenge of the New Year. In the meantime you still have time to enter the Christmas Wishes challenge and perhaps you will even have some new craft goodies to create with.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Dylusions Christmas Card

Hello, everyone!

Branka here and today is my turn to bring you an Inspirational post.

I would like to show you how to create the Dyan Reaveley's style Christmas card from start to finish.

I used a 4x6 inches manila cardstock, three Dylusions ink sprays in Lemon Zest, Postbox Red and Bubblegum Pink and a spray bottle with water. I sprayed my cardstock with water and then start to spray with my inks creating puddles. Then I sprayed more water on top and let my inks to bleed. 

This is the result of my first layer.

For the second layer, I used my Dylusions mini snowflakes stencil  (Let it Snow) on top of my background and I sprayed it with water. I waited for about 10 seconds to blot it with my kitchen roll.

Since the Dylusions inks are reactive with water, I achieved some nice ghosting effect here.

For the third layer I decided to use my White linen Dylusions ink and my mini snowflakes stencils. 

This is my finished background.

I used one of the border stamps from the Dylusions Around the border set and stamped it several times onto my white cardstock using my Black Archival ink. 
I used my Dylusions paints (in the same colors as my inks I used on the background) and  I also used some of my Amsterdam Specialties acrylic paints (fluo paints) to color my stamped images. I like to use my fingers to apply the paint but you can use a brush if you want.

This is the result of my coloring.

I wanted to add some border on the edges of my card, so I used another border stamp from the same Dylusions stamp set.

I stamped the image only on two sides of my card using the black Archival ink.

I cut out my colored stamped images using my scissors and distressed the edges using the same black Archival ink. I also distressed the edges of my card. Then I started to build my Christmas tree. I wanted to achieve some dimension so I used my double sided foam tape to glued down the images.

To create a star on top of my tree, I used my Dylusions stencils Starry Night to trace the star using my Fude ball pen in black.

I used my Distress Stickles in gold onto my star.

For the Christmas gifts, I used my Tim Holtz mini blue print stamp and colored it with my Dylusions inks and a brush.

I added some white highlights onto my border using my Sharpie white poster pen.

Thdn, I stamped the word JOY using the Dylusions Dy's Alphabet stamp and my black Archival ink.

I outlined the stamped letters with my white pens.

I wanted to create some more dimension so I added the Glossy accents on top of my stamped letters.

This is the finished card.

I decided to use my black cardstock for the card base but you can use any color you want.

You may wonder where is the photo of my finished card. Well, I left my finished card on my working table waiting for some sunny day to take a photo. I have a cat. She liked my card a lot. I guess you know the rest of my 'Oops story'...
If you have a cat/cats, please keep in mind that they love the Dylusions :)

I hope I have inspired you to create your mixed media piece and to join in our 'Christmas Wishes' challenge here at Stamps and Stencils!

Hugs! Branka xx