Monday, 29 August 2016

Northern Lights card tutorial with Sheena Douglass Scenic Winter

Hello lovely peeps!

Wow, what an amazing weekend it has been on Hochanda, as well as Sheena being on, which is fabulous, it has also been their 1st birthday. I've so enjoyed all the antics and the funny.

Also, thank you so much for all the likes and lovely comments about my Northern Lights card. I really wasn't expect that. I hoped people would like it but did not expect the reception it got, so thank you muchly. It really has meant so very much to me.  There was a funny moment on Hochanda when I became a Southerner, not that I was offended, I love both ends of our fabulous country and it's people but ey by gum I am a Northern lass, from t'up mountain in Yorkshire!.. I think I must have put my posh voice on when Sheena and I  last spoke.. ;)  To be fair, I probably sounded high pitched, like a chipmunk, as I was so excited to talk to her. lol..but she is right I am south of Newcastle.. :)

I've had a love of aura borealis (just going to refer to it as AB for the rest of this post) for many years and dream of seeing them one day, as many of you probably do too but the good thing is, if you can't find the real thing, you can bring the Northern Lights to you via the medium of Aquatints.

I've wanted to do full on AB for awhile, the image has been floating around in my head for sometime and then Sheena brought out these new dies and stamps and as soon as I saw them...  ta-dah, dream can now be realized! Thank you Sheena! :)  I've also been wanting to do this before I got my hands on AT's, as I had a feeling they would work perfectly for this after watching Sheena's demos with them.

There is something so utterly magical about them and ethereal and I hoped to portray that. I have a few photos saved that I have been in awe of for years.  A good tip if you want to do an AB sky, google some images and see how the light plays across the sky, which colours appear and how they form and then take inspiration from these captured moments in time. Because of the medium used , AT's, each time will be unique just like the Northern Lights themselves.

So, I'll stop waffling now... so you can know how to do it too.  lol :)

We are using these dies from Sheena's new collection Scenic Winter and the matching stamps.

This was created using an 8" card, so I cut a 7.5" square in white Sheena Stamping card and then laid the dies on to see where they wanted to be before cutting them out. I would suggest the edge by the decorated Christmas tree and church be 3" up from the bottom of the panel. This allows you a decent amount of sky and room for the other die cut trees to sit well in the scene. 

The landscape was then cut into another piece of card which measured 7.5" by 6.5" as the one above was going to be used for the sky.  The card panel below didn't not need to be as tall, so 6.5" will give you enough to cut out the trees against the horizon. I taped it down with washi tape to make sure it would not move. It is always best to put the tape on the bit of the card you are cutting away, then if it does damage the surface slightly, it's not going to matter as you don't need that bit anyway. 

Crafty tip:  Also when your cutting plates get really marked they can leave an impression on what you are cutting out and you don't really want that. So, you can put a thin layer of copy paper underneath the card before you cut and it helps. Don't throw the little arched doorways away form the church , leave them safe in the die, we need them later. :) 

I then took the matching stamp from the new "Festive Greetings" stamp set.  

As Sheena was discussing on Hochanda this weekend, some of the stamp images that match the dies are built into a stamp scene, this is to give you more versatility. To transfer the ink to the die cut you need to concentrate on one area at a time and then press that down before moving on the next. I started with the tree branches first and moved across. You just need to slightly jiggle the die to perfectly line up the other parts. 

Then you will end up with a stamped image on your die and if you missed any bits, you can go back and press it down again. I used black Stazon as I don't have a grey yet (which I must get) and it is waterproof so perfect for use with AT's or AquaBlend pencils.

The evergreen trees die was cut out, embossed and stamped in the same way.

I then laid the scene against the 7.5" panel that would become the sky. I drew a faint line round the edge so I knew where the horizon would be, along with the church and trees.

Okay... so let's add colour! Are you ready?  Brace oh before I forget, nearly did... you will need two pots of water to do this.. One to wash your brush and one to keep clean to paint on as clean water. You will need a 3/4" smooth brush. 

Well, I will hold my hands up here.. I got my greens mixed up lol... I used the green from the Landscape AT's set instead of the brighter green from the Pastel set.. forgive me, I've slept since I made the other card and crafted other things inbetween... anyhew... I thought I will stick with it and you will see the difference between the darker, emerald type green and the brighter zingy green of the pastels. 

I then added the paler blue from the landscape set (03)..

For those of you out there who may be thinking... what is she doing?  Bare with... I did study art at college..even if this photographic evidence would suggest it looks a bit...erm. yeah...hmmm at the moment doesn't it?... but it will you can see I added the darker blue from the landscape collection too.. 

I did add some streaks of the paler green and pink (in hindsight not enough pink I think but it will be different every time you do this.) Now,  this is when you take your clean water and clean brush and sweep it across one of the streaks of colour to blend it into the next. Then you clean it and do the same again. This softens all the edges into the next. 

Then as you can see above. I added some of the silver AT to my glass matt and added water to it.I did not want it full on metallic, I just wanted a silvery hint of sparkle. I took the same brush, cleaned, and either side of the green stripes. stroked it across the sky (in the same direction only.) I did not want it all over the sky as I still wanted the dark blue patches to remain dark. 

Then take your heat gun and dry this sky panel you have created. When this is done, you then take the same clean brush and sweep clean water across the colourful strokes again, in the same direction. Cleaning the brush in-between. This then starts to bleed the edges more and you end up with a feathery, streaky edge, which almost mimics the lacy curtains of colour you see in the Northern Lights. Every time you do this, the effect will be slightly unpredictable, but that is part of the beauty of it. It is important to get the balance right when doing this, you don't want to overwork the card and ruin the surface but you also want a bit of effect and texture to the sky. 

Also above you can see that after it was dried the second time, I took a silver pen and dotted stars in the dark blue parts of the sky, this helps to add contrast and pulls the colours forward as it looks as if we are peaking through the green streams into the starry night sky behind, it adds depth. 

A close up so you can see the bleeding..I like this effect.. I am going to play with this more. :)

Then I took the trees that were die cut and painted them with a mixture of the dark blue and green from the Landscape AT's. You can use Aquablend pencils too if you like. As it's night time the trees need to be a rich dark bluey green. 

The die cut scene was then also painted with Landscape AT's. I added a paler green/yellow glow to the snow around the Christmas tree and the tree itself, to signify the glow coming from the lights. 

Above, I then swept a paler green/blue wash over the white bits on the trees, where the snow would be as I did not want it to be in your face white as it would not fit the evening scene.

And next we turn to foils! Oh how I love these. Personally, I prefer this to Mirror card as it always seems such a waste to layer mirror card when most of it is hidden, and when you add Mixtion relief and foil you get texture too. This panel is 7 3/4" to matt and layer on to my 8" card. Silver was chosen as it would compliment the tones of the snowy scene better. 

This is the textured finger print technique you may have seen me use on previous posts and describe in depth. I then added this to my card blank and started to build my layers. I covered the card blank in a thin piece of black card as it was cream. 

Next I added the coloured scene. I wanted this quite flat against the sky, so it would contrasted with the layered trees later. 

Crafty Tip:  If you are wanting to stick anything down which is small and thin, like tree branches.. this is what I do anyhew...add a small spot of tacky glue to my glass matt and use a pin to place it where you need it. 

I then began to add snow and and more Mixtion Relief to the Christmas tree in small dots, then this would make golden glowing lights when it was dry. I also coloured the church archways in yellow, so it looked like people were inside and glued them back in place. 

To the back of the trees I then added a small amount of glue so I could attach a bit of foam tape. If you have 3D glue you can use that too. I always use glue on foam tape and then I know things won't come apart. 

I only added foam to the top sections as I wanted them glued flat at the base. 

This is the 3D snow technique I have been asked about, which I also used on the Robin, deer and small snowdrop card.  You will need some white liquid pearls and pure white glitter.  I applied the liquid pearls to the trees where the snow would be and then sprinkled the glitter over the top straight away. This gives you a raised texture rather than just being flat like other glue would be. There maybe other glues out there that do this too but I am not currently aware of them myself but the other reason for using this is that it stays white underneath. In all probability there is another glue out there that may do both of these if you know of one...let me know.. thank you. :) The Dovecraft version I have used is pearlized and slightly translucent so it works well on night scenes too as it does not scream white at you, but works really well on white card as a background too. 

This is the same method and same tools above.

So, as you can see below, this is the finished card, it is different to the original you saw on Hochanda but no two will be the same when you do this. I think I like the zingy green on the original and the fact that the bright green burst out behind the trees and there was more pink, ( I did this intentionally on the first one) but this one is slightly more sutble.. it just depends which one you prefer. If you like it brighter, just use the green from the pastels set instead, along with the pink. At least now you can see the difference.  Knowing me as the perfectionist I am, I will go back and work on that pink bit. Ooh and I added extra sparkle with the clear sparkle pen on the snow. 

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial.. It was a long one wasn't it! I'm big on detail.. has anyone noticed? ;) I hope you are feeling inspired to have a go too and at the end of the day, if you don't like the results first time round, as Sheena says, it's only a bit of card and you can play again. You never know what might happen.. but I promise you it will be fun! :)

So just to recap, this is what you need:

Sheena Douglass Scenic Winter :

Evergreen Trees die
Winter Scene die

Matching stamps:
Wishes of the Season
Festive Greetings

Landscape AquaTints:

(For sky)
Dark blue (08)
Lighter blue (03)
only use dark green if you want it darker. 

Trees: Dark blue, green and the brown (42)

And from the Pastel set
Green (25)  - for the sky if you want a brighter green
Pink (55)
Yellow (35) for light around tree. 

Sheena Stamping card
Black card
8" card blank (preferably black)

Pebeo Mixiton relief paste
Gold foil
Silver foil

Collall Tacky glue and All Purpose

Dovecraft 3D Pearl Effects
Pure white glitter.
Stazon black ink or a a grey Archival would be good too. 
fine silver pen. 
Foam tape/3D glue. 

Adele (aka Northern Lights ;) )  


Thursday, 25 August 2016

New Year card with Sheena Douglass

Hello lovely crafters!

Are you as excited as me and ready for a long weekend of Sheena shows? As you may know the Teamies have been posting inspirational projects for the last month and today is my turn. The idea is to show you how you can mix up the collections and how they work together.

I decided to create a New Year card. This would be perfect for friends or family you know who may not be religious but to whom you would like to send your very best wishes for the year to come.
And the thing is we aren't even using Christmas stamps to do this.. I admit it, I hold my hands up I am totally in love with the music stamps, guilty as charged lol... but you can get so many amazing effects with them. These are the stamp collections I have combined to create this card.

And so it begins... are you ready?... you may want to make a
So I cut up a kitchen sponge and pulled out bits of it randomly to make it more natural and took a 7" square piece of card. I would suggest wearing gloves if you don't want to look like a Smurf...

I used Landscape Aquatints, the two blues and the green and then the purple (58) from the Beautiful Grunge collection and sponged them on to the background. Remember to leave some white patches so you get full colour and where the colours overlap it blends. 

Then you end up with something like this. I again used a technique also used on  my other post 'Techniques used for Sheena,' where you add silver Aquatints too.  A little tip for this is to add some water to your glass matt and then a drop of the metallic to it. This waters it down so that you get a hint of sparkle rather than full on gold or silver. Also the extra effect of this, is that the water you have soaked up also pulls some of the colour out of the background, so you get a lovely pattern with lighter areas too. I only did this around the edge as I wanted it to seem like smoke drifting away in the air. 

A close up so you can see the effect better...

I then took the music stamps and began to randomly stamp the rays and stars. They were stamped with Memento silver and gold ink. This gives you a base to work with. 

And then came the foils!! You saw it coming didn't you? lol And the fab thing is I managed to get hold of some coloured foils for half price on Hobby craft!! Yay! I love it when a plan comes together. :) You can see how I was planning to layer it up on the background...

For this I drew out an 8" square on a piece of card so I had a guide line to tear along. Always tear towards you and then you get the rough edge on the top.

The Hands of Time stamp then came into play and I stamped it round the edge. Distress Inks, Tea Dye and Walnut Stain were used to age it. 

The clocks were stamped several times as I was going to decoupage them.

I began to add colour with AquaBlend pencils

I decoupaged the torn edges and clock faces and added gold foil highlights to the centre of them.

I then mounted the time flies background on to an 8" card (which I had covered with black card as it was cream) and layered the fireworks on top of it. I wanted this card to represent the moment when we great the new year and all the fireworks explode.  And I thought the Time flies fit with this really well too as, like most of us, I don't know where most of the year has gone already! I had to photograph this at an angle so you could see the way the foil catches the light. I've also just realized... you know how some people trim their houses up for Christmas and they look like they can be seen from space?..This is probably the equivalent in a No one will miss this if you send it to them! I added the same foil colours randomly around the edge to finish off this panel.  

The sentiment is taken from Sheena's Christmas Notes stamp set. I thought the freehand style of the font was perfect for this as it reminded me of how you can write words in the sky with a sparkler. :)

I hope you have enjoying seeing this project as much as I did creating it.  Why not have a try? It's great fun and whoever you give it too will be amazed and wonder how you made it. :)  And you can say oh I can't possibly give away my crafty secrets! ;) 

My fellow teamie, the lovely Penny Butler, will be blogging on Monday 29th August with her inspirational project.. you can check out her blog here... :)


Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Sheena Perfect Partners Christmas Launch

Hello everyone,

What an exciting weekend it is going to be as Sheena launches her new Christmas collection, Scenic Winter. Are you ready peeps? It has been an absolute honour and privilege to work with these stunning dies and stamps.  This is Hochanda's Weekend WOW... and you will be able to wow your nearest and dearest with cards made from these!  You won't want to miss the shows!  All the Teamies have made such wonderful things and Sheena will be sharing with you her hints, tips and demonstrations.

Friday  26th August 10am, 1pm and 5pm
Saturday 27th     1pm and 5pm
Sunday 28th        11am and 3pm

I love this delightful, cheery little robin and thought he went really well with the church stamp (called Believe) from an older collection. I've used a 3D snow technique I developed awhile ago. I will do a tutorial on how to create this effect after the shows. :) And these dies lend themselves perfectly to diorama cards.

I love snowdrops. I am waiting for mine to come up this year, so looking forward to it, they are so pretty. This was created by decoupaging the flowers and holly as well as shaping the frame outwards like a bay window to add depth.The small holly flourishes either side of the sentiment came from the Victorian Christmas stamps collection.

Ahhh, sigh, the Northern Lights... I dream of seeing them one day... but until then... I shall make my own! These dies are fabulous for creating those festive scenes. I wanted to show that you could take the same imagery and use it in a completely different way. This is the same landscape used in the snowdrop card above, except with dies which I stamped and then layered on to the Aurora Borealis sky which was created with Aquatints. Further texture was added with the snow technique I use. They are so versatile. 

I adore this stag die frame, fell in love with it as soon as I saw it, I love these majestic animals. For this card I was inspired by a visit to Sweden where I saw forests of silver birch trees (one of my favourites ). Silver foil was added to highlight the trees and stag and again I used the 3D snow method on the background.

This collection works perfectly with the recently launched Victorian Christmas stamps. It's as if it was all planned isn't it?  Sheena is very clever like that. :) I decoupaged the roses to add depth.

And finally, I made this little card, to show how you can also design a quick but effective little card with the new range. 

On these cards I have used Aquablend pencils, clear and silver sparkle pens as the colouring mediums. 

I shall be back tomorrow as it is my turn for the Teamie inspirational post. :)