Thank f*** the kids have gone back to school so I have a bit more time to think of crafty things!
A new craft shop opened at the weekend near where I live and naturally I had to go and pay them a visit. Quite a nice little shop they have there. I was very happy to spot some Twinkling H2O paints as I had seen something similar at a craft fair a few months back and kicked myself for not having bought some then. Much as I love my promarkers and sakura gelly rolls, I love my watercolours too, but have found that I can't always get the sort of effect that I want on my projects. These paints are totally different as they have sparkle :) You can use them in the same way as normal watercolours, blending and watering down to get very subtle shades, as you can see here which is handy as there were only 6 colours in my set.
The stamp I used is a Sweet Pea stamp, Elaine Cox's Little River Mermaid. Now I have seen the name of it again, it makes more sense as I was a little confused why there was a frog on it and no shells! Ah well, just a good job I didn't find any shells to add on as details lol I painted the stamp with the H2O paints and I can only enthuse about how lovely they are. Really nice to use, and the pots look like I haven't even used them so looks like they will last me quite a while. The colour names are really nice too, Pewter, Ginger Flower, Guatemalan Green, Wild Blueberry, Honey Amber and French Lilac (the only one I didn't use this time round). The shiny colours lend themselves so well to a shimmery mermaid. Anyway, I borrowed the stamp from my good friend Vix, so must thank her and give her credit for that. Handy having a craft guru living close-by and raiding her stash occasionally, plus she's been a good friend to me, especially when she looked after my daughter for the night when I was having my last baby!
Anywayyy I digress. Well it is my blog so I can ramble if I want to! The image was taking on a bit of a bluey green theme, so I accented the flowers with pink and added a little glitter. I bought the glitters months ago at another craft fair and I think this is actually the first time I have actually had a dabble with them. Glitter to me takes me back to school days with bigs tubs of PVA and seemingly even larger tubs of glitter. Somehow I always ended up with more glitter on me than on the paper! Much easier to do little details when you have a glue roller pen like I have now. I trimmed the stamp to size and was about to matt it onto the shimmery bluey green paper which I bought in Benidorm a couple of years back, but then I spotted my threads and thought hmmm, a bit of stitching detail would add to the shimmer, so I did a running stitch around the edge which framed it subtlely. A while back, my Mum gave me a tub of little blue tiles as she thought I might have a use for them at some point and they have just been sitting around waiting to be used ever since. I counted them all out and discovered I had just enough to create a frame to my image and stuck the individual tiles to a piece of DST. Took a while and a few botched efforts. but I finally got them all on and pretty straight. Now I had a framed mermaid and no idea what I was going to do with it!
I have, in the past had a go at doing a few easel cards but they have always been pretty standard in their construction and I wanted to make this one a little different. I started out with a piece of A4 card and folded it in the usual way, then trimmed it so it would fit the framed mermaid correctly. After rummaging thru my stock of papers and drawing a blank, I suddenly remembered that I had the perfect solution, my Starburst Stains! I have been very restrained with using them as I didn't want to waste them just playing about and not be able to get any more easily, so they have been sitting in a box on the shelf taunting me for months, so I decided to get them out for a play :) I love starburst stains. I got the version in the tubs so I have to daub them onto things rather than spray, so set to work with a piece of card, and used Carpathian bluebells and Maidenhead fern green which is a colour combo I haven't tried out before, and slapped a piece of cling-film over the top and had a squidge about. Luckily in our new house, we have a halogen hob which as Vix has told me in the past is the ideal place for messing about with messy stuff as it is so easy to clean up afterwards, so what it lacks in cooking practicality (I prefer gas hobs) it makes up for in craft use plus it has the added advantage of an overhead light - bonus! Of course, I can never wait for my stained papers to dry out so I gave it a little blast with my heatgun and got back to the project and trimmed and stuck a piece of the stained card to the front of the easel - the weight of the image needed a bit of reinforcement lol
I am always on the look out for ribbons for my various projects and I happened to mention that to my Mum ages ago and she said that she had a bag somewhere in the house, full of ribbons which she had found at my Nanna's house when she died. She's been gone just over 11 years now and when I opened the bag, it smelled of my Nan's house. Loads of memories came flooding back and my eyes were welling up. My Nan was a very talented knitter and crocheter before the arthritis in her hands got the better of her and used to buy ribbons for trimming baby bonnets and finishing off sleeves etc oh and a lot of knitted toilet roll covers too! She tried numerous times to teach me but I could never get the hang of it and it was only last year I taught myself to do a veryy basic crochet stitch and can now knit strings. Very useful, not! In the ribbon bag was lots of different shades of turquoise/aqua colour ribbons and so I ran my needle thru a few lengths to make some flowers - again a first for me! Pretty pleased with the results and finished them off with a punched flower and a gem. I tied a ribbon round the frame which matched the tiles and used another piece of it on the bottom of the easel which I covered with the same shimmery blue paper I stitched the image onto. I made a stop for the foldy bit (technical term) of the easel, as it needed all the support it could get to keep the frame upright out of a piece of the stained card adding a few punches to the corners so you can see the shimmer thru the holes. A few flowers and gems and a bit more ribbon finished it off. Here's a close-up of one of the ribbon flowers, I think it's quite pretty :)
The Crafts and Me challenge at the moment is for Gems and Sparkle. I doubt I could get anymore sparkle into this if I tried, so I am entering it there. One Stitch At A Time want to see Blooms Butterflies and Blings, and as this had plenty of two out of the three, I have entered it there too. Crafty Cardmakers are looking for Glitter and Sparkle and Craft Your Days Away have Girly 'n' Glitter theme and I feel this fits both of those specs too. PaperPlay Challenges theme is In Stitches so I hope the stitching shows up well on these photos. Really should get out the manual for my camera and learn how to do clear close-ups properly lol