Friday, 22 April 2011

Heat guns. Which one do you like?

Hairdryer style or paint stripper style the heat gun is an essential crafting item.  I could not be without it, ever!  At my last demo I was using it to dry ink and painted pieces when a lady said 'oh what a good idea, I've never thought of using it for that'.  I was gobsmacked, it's never really occurred to me that people wouldn't use it for other things.  You don't have to be a card maker to make full use of it either.  I use it when I'm illustrating as much as when papercrafting.

In total I have 4 different heat guns. The first one I bought was the DoCrafts one, mainly because that was what my local craft shop sold.  I have to say I was never overly impressed with it as it doesn't blow out heat evenly and misses areas.  It was however better than nothing and is now in the drawer just in case my others all decide to blow up.  My second heat gun was the hairdryer styled one by personal Impressions, very quiet which is brilliant for nighttime crafting, and it's nice and gentle so it's good for the ultra thick embossing crystals and shrink plastic.  Like the first one it does seem to miss areas though, and I am on my second one as I managed to burn the first one out.  The third heat gun is the Creative Expressions one, over all it's a very good heat gun and until recently it would have been my first choice.  The newer versions of this one now have two speeds so it you get the best of both worlds, good quality and versatility.  My last heat gun was given to me when I did the filming for Kuretake and in my opinion just beats the CE one by a whisker.   It's directional blow is excellent and it heats embossing powders very nicely.  It's also pink if that's your thing, personally I'm not a pink lover but I don't hold that against it, lol.

So if you haven't already got a heat gun (why not) or are thinking of getting a new one I would highly recommend the Kuretake and the Creative Expressions heat guns.
This weeks challenge over at Polka Doodles is to use 3 different backing papers.  I used papers from the Double Sprinkle of Kraft Cd, added a bow made with raffia and some gems.  Check out the blog to see what the talented design team have made.
Below are all the samples from my last Creative Expressions demo.  I was demoing the Eco Green products and boy did I have fun with the spackle and paints. 

Friday, 8 April 2011

Hello everyone it's Friday and it's Polka Doodle challenge time.  This week it's my turn to set the challenge and I chose a sketch for people to follow.  The idea behind it is to make people think and  mix up their layers and interlink the different elements.   Take a look at what the talented team did with it over here.
I used papers from the new Wonderland CD which I distressed and inked with Weathered Wood distress inkpad.  I used some chipboard flowers which I covered with the paper or painted with paint dabbers and added some big brads to the centres.  I also used a sentiment from the Polka Doodles Sentiment stamp sheet.
Below are my sample cards for the Clarity Stamps show last Sunday.
 Kitten and Verse set
 Cottage and Waymarker set
 Floral Crook and Sentiment Set
 Floral Crook and Sentiment set with the Kitten stamp
 Dandelion Fairy and Verse set
 Floral Corners and Verse Set
 Scotland Framer and Miniatures set
Leafy Bough Frame set
 Stamps Stamp set
 Take care all

Saturday, 2 April 2011

It's mainly alcohol inks then!

Well here we are again playing silly buggers with Blogger.  It won't let me sign in on any of the blogs I have access to on the main pages, but it will log me in to write a post.  To be honest it's getting right on my wick, and I'm already in a bad mood.  I had a lovely special dinner all planned for tomorrow.  As we aren't buying Mother's day pressies for our Mums I thought we'd give them a nice dinner.  It's ruined before it's even the day.  I'm so disappointed I can't tell you.  God knows what the dinner is going to be like!  I may as well be cooking a casserole, because that's what it's going to taste like.

OK so enough of my bad mood, here is my card for the Polka Doodles design team challenge.  The challenge was set by the lovely Ruth and we weren't allowed to use any printed backing papers.  I used elements from A Sundae of Seasons CD, added wooden ladybirds and some spotted candy.  For the background I marbled a piece of plain paper using Kurecolor alcohol inks by Kuretake.
On Wednesday I travelled up to Oxfordshire to meet up with Buffy and Steph from Kuretake to do some filming for alcohol ink video tutorials.  I had a fabulous time and Buffy and Steph are so nice.  I did a spot of marbling with water and then with shaving foam.  I had no idea if it would work with shaving foam till I tried it the day before, I was a little worried that the alcohol would react with the foam, but it works just fine although it is a little messy and if you don't like getting inky hands I would wear gloves.  I also inked everything I could possibly think of, OK well not everything as time was limited, lol.

I made up some samples the day before but like an idiot I didn't photograph them (might have been something to do with the fact that I was up till 3 that morning finishing things off and packing up all my gear).  I gave them some of the samples so I'm waiting for Buffy to send me the pictures when she has a spare minute of two.  I do have some pics for you though and when I get the others I will post them.  The tutorials will be on the Kuretake website soon so keep your eye's open for them.
I stamped a sentiment on the one above, but I stamped it upside down (you'd think I would have learnt to check first by now, obviously I haven't).  I hid it behind the inked metal heart. 
I marbled the stamped panel using the shaving foam technique and I inked the sequin waste too.
Ha ha, nothing escaped my mad inking, bubble wrap and shrink plastic (I can hear Lynne screaming now lol) which I double embossed afterwards with clear embossing powder with a light sprinkle of white.

Below are some samples and swatches of different techniques and surfaces.
Marbling with shaving foam of coated cardstock above and plain cardstock below
Marbling with water
Inking on fioled cardstock and sticky-back plastic
 Inking onto holographic and foiled cardstock and glass
 Inking on mirri card, gloss and satin cardstock
 Inking on satin cardstock, acrylic, glass, bottle top and gold heat embossed chipboard
Well I think that's more than enough for now.  If you've made it this far I salute you.