Wednesday, 10 February 2016

S is for Stamping and Sapphire

I'm very excited to have been asked to be guest designer at Mrs A's Butterfly Challenge. 
                                      Grab My Button.

Exciting but nerve racking as I've never been asked to do this before. 
The Butterfly Challenge is two years old! Congratulations. I think I discovered the challenge about a year ago. The entries are so varied and inspiring.
We are starting the alphabet again and Mrs A has added a new twist. We will still have a theme starting with a letter of the alphabet but there will be an added optional colour challenge starting with the same letter and extra prizes!
I chose S which I am happy to report turned out to be for Stamping, I was worried it would be something I would really struggle with. 'Shoes and ships and sealing wax'.
The extra colour twist was Sapphire. Lovely.

I've made two cards, things never quite go to plan do they? Not for me anyway but it is fun along the way. So here's what happened:
I wanted the image to be circular and I chose my favourite Inky Doodles stamps and drew round a circle die to get a rough idea of where the design would be. 

Sapphire immediately said rich colours and jewels to me so I wanted to use embossing perhaps reminiscent of a brooch. I stamped a black one at the same time to try out different ideas. 

The way I have made these is by stamping the flowers and then painting in the colour using a brush, ink and water. I use the Big and Juicy ink pad squished onto an acrylic block for this as the colours blend so well. I mix with water to get darker and lighter shades. This pad is ancient but still inky.
To finish off each circle, I cut out them with a die and then made narrow frame using two dies together. 
 Here is the first card:

This one is stamped with back ink. 
Arrgh! When I started painting I realised that I had used a Versafine ink pad and that the black ink was sort of bleeding into the colour

I carried on painting anyway and rather like the shadow that this ink pad gives. It almost looks like batik or similar fabric. If you don't want the shadow, a dye ink is needed.
The frame for this one is coloured with a pro-marker. I mounted it on a circular card with a bit of thread knotted at the top.

I made this one first but there is not a speck of blue on it! I'm not sure what I was thinking when colouring as I really wanted to include the Sapphire. So I had another go and this is it:

I stamped the  flowers one at a time in Versamark then embossed in bronze. I wanted it to be covered in flowers so when each one was heat set I masked it and stamped the next one. Some patience was required but it didn't take too long. Then I coloured in shades of blue with green for the background. I embossed the frame as well by pressing it into the Versamark pad. 
A similar coloured Sharpie (other pens are available) is your best friend at this point. I always go round the edges to cover any white and if you happen to have missed any little bits you can touch up if you have a steady hand (or ruin the whole thing if you haven't).
My plan was to add a blue butterfly but, of course, it didn't really show up so brown was better. However I like this understated butterfly on the jewels.
This one is now winging it's way to an 80th birthday.

Phew, well done if you have made it to the end of this very long post! I really hope you enjoy the challenge and a new fluttery, alphabet year.


  1. Congrats to your guestDT. I was the one before and I also enjoyed it very much!
    I will follow you from now on!
    Greetings from a very wet Holland,
    Lia xx

  2. Congratulations on being Mrs A's GD for this challenge. I love your beautiful cards - especially the sapphire one, lovely rich colours. I'm now your latest follower and can't wait to see your future creations!
    Kath x

  3. Hi Alison, First many Congratulations on being Mrs. A's Guest Designer. They really are two absolutely beautiful cards using those lovely stamps. I also like the shadow on your first card. It was meant to be!

    Your second card is a stunner. Great colour combo and the brown butterfly is perfect. Barbxx

  4. Hmm shoes,ships and sealing wax now there's a thought!!Lol. I shall hav to put them on the list for future years. Thankyou for being my 1st guest designer of the new theme. I love the cards you have made. The stamping on the second card is very rich loking but I also like the delicate colours on the first card and think the background to be a shading of sapphire. Well it certainly works for me. Hugs Mrs A.

  5. Congratulations on the guest DT spot Alison. A lovely pair of cards but I would have loved to see the shoes, ships and sealing wax x

  6. wow what brilliant pieces of work and really love both of them, have that first pad think its called hydrangea in big and juicy, and real favourite ..
    Well, two wonderful work, so very well worthy of any guest derringer, Alison, so big congrats for filling the role so very well!

    Thanks so much for popping over and for sharing.
    Happy WOYWW! Shaz in Oz.x #25

    {Shaz in Oz – Calligraphy Cards}


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