Thursday, 19 April 2018

Welcome to today's Guest Designer, Ioulia !

Hello and welcome back ! Today we are welcoming Ioulia as our Guest Designer, Ioulia was the winner of the Off to Collage challenge and was therefore invited to join us for a day. Let's move on to hear from Ioulia:

Hi Stamps and Stencils lovers! I am Ioulia Deligiannidou (julD) from Greece. I live in Thessaloniki, it is a seaside city. I am so happy to be a Guest Designer at Stamps and Stencils. It is such an honour 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. I love to create with whatever I can get my hands on. Mixed media fascinated me because I can combine many techniques and materials. My favourites are clay and texture in paintings. 

My project is a mixed media painting on mdf.

At first, I applied modelling paste with stencils on an mdf  board..

Then, I used a coat of white gesso and when it was dry, I added two colours of acrylic paint. While the paints were still wet, I dropped drops of alcohol. The paint reacts and creates a circular effect.

I used oil paint and wiped it back with a cloth. I rub with sandpaper the flowers.

I stamped with circles, words and butterflies stamps.

 I stuck gold leaf to the petals of the big flower.

I applied gesso and acrylic paints with alcochol drops on a second mdf board to use it as a frame. I wiped back the alcohol with kitchen roll.

I stuck the two mdf boards together and I applied gold paste at the edges.

I hope you like it. 

You can find me

Wow Ioulia your project is gorgeous ! Thank you so much for joining us today and providing such fabulous inspiration for the current challenge, In the Meadow.  

There's still plenty of time to join us !

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Funky Foam Stamps and Gelli play

Hi, Ruth here with an inspiration post all about making your own foam stamps and using them with a Gelli or Gel Press plate. For those of you who might follow my instagram posts you'll be aware that I joined in with a daily challenge in March set by the very talented Birgit Koopsen. It was all about getting to know your Gelli plate following daily prompts.....I can highly recommend it, so many fab techniques and inspiring posts by other creatives. I definitely got hooked on using my Gelli plate and one of my favourite prompts was all about making your own foam stamps.

I used funky foam which had an adhesive backing and I got lots out of one sheet which cost about £1. I cut them freehand and found the organic nature of these very effective when using with a gelli plate, the 'rougher' the better. The first few I made I stuck to cardboard but then remembered I had some wooden blocks that I'd salvaged from old fashioned rubber stamps that I didn't use anymore so they got a new lease of life.

I also used some heat moldable foam which I've had for years.

I was so inspired I made a short video that I shared on's less than a minute long (it has to be for instagram) and I thought I'd share it here.

I now have lots and lots of background papers that will form the basis of my cards this year...and I can't stop making even more papers. Here are a selection of them.

I also used another fab prompt on this one - egg boxes!

A tag this time, I love the way the foam removes some of the paint

Lovely mix of green paints on the Gelli plate

Once dried I added a thin layer of pearlescent green

before pulling the print.

Such a variety of prints

Another version using the leaf and circles stamps

These last 2 cards used the moldable foam impressions I made. First I enhanced the buttons theme

lastly I added some splashes of gold to this pearlescent painted paper.

I hope I may have inspired you to have a go at making some foam stamps..... and getting to know your Gelli plate is highly recommended!! There is plenty of time to join in with our 'In the Meadow' challenge this month and as always thanks for stopping by. Ruth x

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Winners - Wax Lyrical

Hello and welcome back ! Today is the day when we announce the winner and top 3 of the last month's challenge. This post is slightly different as there were only 2 entrants for the Wax Lyrical challenge, so I guess you guys don't like wax ! Therefore, there will be 2 winners for this challenge, congratulations go to:

Congratulations to you both ! Please contact for the details of your guest post and your winners badge.

There's plenty of time to join in with the curent challenge In the Meadow.

Thursday, 5 April 2018

In the Meadow

Hello there! Rachel here with a new challenge for the month of April. I have chosen the theme of ' In the Meadow.'

I want to see your interpretation of that theme which could involve lots of grasses, wildlife or whatever you think. Just make sure you use stamps, stencils or both in your make! Here's what my teamies and I came up with. I just love what everybody has done! Just click on the names to be transported to their blogs!

I do hope you'll be able to join us!

Big hugs

Rachel x

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Inspiration Post - Feather Collage

It is Cec here and I am bringing you the inspiration post today and in keeping with the current challenge, Wax Lyrical, I am including some wax on my project.  I have created a little collage and here is how it came together.

I started with a 6"x6" canvas (Above Ground) and gave it a coat of white gesso (Liquitex).

Next I added some stenciling with Molding Paste (Golden) through a Bubble stencil (Tim Holtz).

I forgot to take a photo but the next step was to paint the canvas with Khaki Acrylic Paint (Craftsmart) and then spray it with Gathered Twigs Distress Spray Stain (Tim Holtz).

Once the canvas was dry I added some Vintage Photo Distress Ink (Tim Holtz) to the raised areas and the edges of the canvas.  Now it was time to prepare all the collage elements.

Using Jet Black Archival Ink (Ranger), I stamped a feather (Inkadinkadoo) onto a torn scrap of buff coloured card stock.

Once it was stamped I crumpled it up a bit and smoothed it back out and then inked all over with Tree Branch Archival Ink (Wendy Vecchi) making sure to highlight the creases.

Next I shaved a bit of beeswax (ArtMinds) with a cheap grater from the dollar store into a tin cupcake tin and heated it on top of a portable element.  The beeswax was painted on the feather piece and then I used my heat gun to smooth out the streaks.

Here are a few tips from my experience working with the beeswax:
  • Make sure you are in a well ventilated room (I just opened the window of my studio).
  • Use an old paintbrush that you don't mind dedicating to wax because some wax will stay in it when it dries but it can be used with wax again - it will melt once you add it to hot wax.
  • Work quickly because the wax dries very fast.
  • Use a heat gun to smooth out the streaks left by the paint brush.
  • Try not to manipulate your piece after you have finished heating it because once it is dry, the wax can crack - learned this from experience when I tried to distress the edges a bit more.
  • Use archival ink because distress ink may bleed when you add the hot wax - I didn't test it so it is just my assumption.

I changed the colour of a piece of crochet lace from my stash by dragging it through some watered down Vintage Photo Distress Ink (Tim Holtz) and then giving it a few sprays of Burnished Brass Moonshadow Mist (Lindy's),

Using some Crafter's Clay (Martha Stewart) and once of her silicone moulds, I created a little medallion and once it was dry I painted it with Worn Penny Metallic Acrylic Paint (DecoArt).

I created the sentiment on the computer, inked it with Vintage Photo Distress Ink (Tim Holtz) and added a brad (Making Memories) to one corner.  The heart was in my stash and was hand cut, inked with Vintage Photo DI and then had some stenciling added with Tree Branch Archival Ink through a Splatter stencil (Tim Holtz).

To assemble the collage, I added a torn piece of natural paper from my stash and topped it with the lace and then the feather panel.  some copper wire from my husband was wrapped around a stick and added to the top.  A rusty washer and the sentiment were added in the right side and then some fibres (EK Success) with the heart and medallion were added on the left side.  I used a soft gel medium (Golden) as an adhesive for all my elements.

I don't know how the wax will behave if I use it to embed items on a collage but stay tuned because I am going to give it a try.  With a 50% off coupon from Michaels, this was a much more affordable alternative to encaustic wax.

I hope you like my little collage with beeswax and will give it a go yourself.

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Welcome to today's Guest Designer, Helen !

Today we are welcoming Helen Liu of Happy Stamping and Happy Life as our Guest Designer. Helen was the chosen winner of the On the Bright Side challenge. Let's move on to hear from Helen:

I’d like to thank the Stamps and Stencils DT for inviting me. I am thrilled and absolutely honoured. My name is Helen Liu. I live in Taipei, Taiwan and work full-time as a Banker in a Commercial Bank. I enjoy making cards/tags in my leisure time as it eases my work tension and balances my life. 
We asked Helen a few questions to get to know her a little better and find our more about her crafting: 

1.How long have you been crafting for ?

I started my stamping journey about 12 years ago. Wow!

2.What or who inspired you to start crafting ?

My crafting journey began with a few stamps and inkpads I bought for my daughter as her 5-year birthday gift. I then played with her and gradually fell in love with this hobby.

3.What is your favourite technique?

Stenciling with all kinds of Distress products and Mixed Media are my favorite technique. 

4.What excites you most about crafting?

The WOWs I get from my card recipients or whoever sees my artworks really make me thrilled.

5.What is your 'go to' product and why?

I have been addicted to stencils in recent years. Stencils are inexpensive and can be used to build layers with inks, paints and pastes, to create emboss effect like embossing folder, to doodle, to serve as stamps or even to play resist techniques. You can use stencils to create sophisticated Mixed Media projects or Clean & Simple cards. The possibilities are endless. 

6.Who would you most like to take a class with?

I love to take on-line classes alone due to time consideration and flexibility. I’ve taken Online Card Classes run by Jennifer McGuire and Kristina Werner, and also some Mixed Media classes taught by Shari Carroll, Marjie Kemper, Vicky Papaioannou via Craftsy.

7.What's your favourite style of crafting i.e. journalling, altered items etc.. ?

I like to make cards and tags. I like elegant images and colorful palette. And I am addicted to play techniques. If I have to name a favorite style, that would be feminine, multicolored and technique-driven. 

8.Where do you find inspiration?

I find inspirations from blog challenge themes and some blogs that I follow, including Stamps and Stencils.

Thank you so much Helen for sharing more about yourself and your crafting and also the 3 fabulous projects.

There's still time to join in with the current challenge Wax Lyrical.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Inspiration Post - Be Brave

Hi everyone, Lula here with my first inspiration post!
I decided to encourage you a bit to join us in our current challenge Wax Lyrical.
Although I am not an expert in this field I would like to show you that anyone could play with wax, even not having special, fancy tools!
I can guarantee you great fun!

I have prepared a male card where I used wax seal refills ( the one and only wax I could buy here) in silver and gold, to make a background.

Using my heat tool I started by melting the wax on gessoed piece of cardboard.

Here you can see a coat of  wax and some dripping added.

Unfortunately the whole piece started to crack...

so I gave it a coat of Deco Art crackle glaze to emphasize the effect.

I stamped some images on tissue paper and glued them with gel medium to the background.

I finish my piece off adding more stamping and some metal elements. 

I hope this inspires you to have a go at playing with wax

There is still time for you to enter our current challenge.....