PEP tangles - my Zentangle Inspired Art blog

Friday, 31 December 2010

Favourite 5 of 2010

I sat last night scrolling through my blog to pick 5 for Debby's Favourite Five of 2010; this is the selection I decided to sleep on & review this morning with some comments added.

Unconsciously I chose only one image that I had actually coloured. Not that I didn't colour - it's just that it seems they weren't amongst my favourites. Now psychologists would have a field day with this - but............ it does actually reflect where I'm at in crafting terms. It was February last year that I first discovered artistic/realistic colouring (light, shade etc.....). During the past year I have spent hours sitting colouring with different mediums (media?) but still do not have any theoretical understanding - so that is what I shall tackle this year. I already have some of Suzanne Dean's Classes that I am enrolled for on line & have collected sufficient Copics colours now to do that justice & give it the time due to it. I was given these for my birthday last August & had to put them on hold whilst we organized my computer & the MCC Stamping Techniques opportunity presented itself to be completed within a specific time frame. With the techniques classes completed & enough computer skills to get by I can now tackle this.

This was the first stamp that I won upon discovering blogland - fittingly it is a Sugar Nellie whose advert in the Feb 2010 Craft Stamper caught my eye & it was following that up that led to my discovering images, colouring...... The rest is history.
details HERE

The other company I learnt much from was Whiff of Joy. I was given this Melinda stamp & love using it. I spent hours colouring this image & I lost count of how many I ditched - this one included when it didn't fit my first colour scheme but I kept it as I thought the colouring was good enough to do something with. I later used it for this card which I ended up being particularly pleased with.
details HERE

This I think is my all time favourite card.  There's just something about Leanne Ellis' Alice in Wonderland image with the caterpillar body, Alice head & rabbit's Top Hat juxtaposed with the different white textures & various golds.
details HERE

With this one it is the stamped chandelier White Resist background that I was particularly pleased with.
details HERE

Another of Leanne Ellis' distinctive Sugar Nellie designs that took on a life of its own when I made this Tent Card with her - it's the way the pearls fitted into the scalloped edges of the design that delighted me. I also had to work quite hard at solving the problem of finding an ink that would cover the brayering of the Joseph's Coat Technique.
details HERE

Saturday, 25 December 2010

My Christmas Musings

This Christmas being my first as a blogger I find myself thinking about the international dimension of blogging amongst Crafters - how we variously celebrate this essentially Christian festival with different images & traditions. Without realising it my choice of cards in the previous post also reflects the different iconography associated with this season - from the cute to the traditional, snowflakes & baubles to The Star of Wonder & Bethlehem

"........ which is called Bethlehem........ For unto you is borne this day, in the citie of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a signe unto you; yee shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the Angel a multitude of the heavenly hoste praising God, and saying, glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good wil towards men."
(Holy Bible 1611 Authorized Version, Gospel According to Saint Luke - Chapter 2: verses 4 &11-14).

Christmas Eve was the day for gift giving in my Swedish family with the traditional Lutfisk (white fish)  & Rice Pudding Christmas lunch followed by unwrapping of gifts as soon as darkness fell. Here in the UK it is Christmas Day Morning for the parcel opening followed by the Christmas meal of Roast Turkey with trimmings & Christmas/Plum Pudding later in the day. 

And so, 
I wish you all a peaceful Christmas 

Thinking about crafting & blogging I am reminded how it began for me; the following is my entry into the Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 36 which is to post a particular favourite creation alongside the first/earliest one (of which there is a photograph).

I stumbled into crafting when my Mum bought me a paper embossing kit just before she died (Feb 2008). When she saw what I started to do with it she told me to go to a box & to have the contents - in it was some card, a small guillotine, craft mat, knife & a few other bits & pieces. She had some books & I looked but said I didn't think I'd be interested in stamping so would leave the stamping one - I managed to retrieve that stamping book before the house was cleared & now it is stamping that thrills me.

My very first experience of stamping an image was at a Sakura Pens Craft Workshop 28th March 2008 when I coloured the peel off dragonflies & stamped daffodils with an assortment of Sakura Pens to produce this

My favourite/latest is this Christmas card 
details HERE

Favourite 5 For Christmas 2010

To choose & post the favourite 5 of your own Christmas cards is what Debby of A Scrapjourney has set as a condition for entering her candy. I surprised myself when I looked back over what I've created this year as I really didn't think I'd made sufficient Christmas cards to make it worth picking out 5. Anyhow, these are my own picks:

details HERE

details HERE

details HERE

details HERE

details HERE

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Take Two.......

These are the two masculine cards I came up with instead of the pink marshmallows of yesterday's post.

(click on photos to enlarge)

 Image heat embossed (Stampendous Jewelled Gold); after bleaching, stars coloured with Twinkling H20s & glazed using Glossy Accents.

front of card

close-up showing heat embossing &
 crackle of Glossy Accents stars

inside of card showing paper pierced message panel
Stamp Penny Black 3881H Sparkle.
Inks Aged Mahogany Distress Ink for inking some cardstock/paper edges.
Punches Woodware (circle & scalloped circle), Xcut (corner).
Sequins, ribbon, assorted cardstock & paper.

Front: Brayered Resist background with heat embossed (Stampendous Crystal) image. 
Inside: VersaMark Tone on Tone stamping & edging of lime green cardstock.

front of card

close-up showing sparkle of heat embossed image
& Brayered Resist background

inside of card

close -up showing tone on tone stamping
& paper piercing on message panel
Stamps Hero Arts CL234 Winter's Butterfly (background), Elusive Images UA5SP0334 New England Winter (pine cone branch).
Inks Pine Needles Distress Ink for inking some cardstock edges.
Punches Woodware (circle & scalloped circle, scalloped rectangle), Docrafts (snowflake), EK Success (Wave Flourish).
Pearls, assorted cardstock (including Crafter's Companion Centura Pearl).

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Pink Marshmallows For Men?

Thankfully I was tactfully advised that these cards might not be suitable for the two men I'd intended  since the pink was really too feminine & the foam put one in mind of soft squidgy pink marshmallows or fluffy candy floss. That was a close shave - actually rather obvious - but I was so intent on not doing cute & was thrilled when I thought how well the pink foam would work with the Brayered Resist (brayering over VersaMark stamping) backgrounds that I lost sight of the colours being feminine. Saved from a rather unfortunate faux pas by a very good friend of mine - who also happens to have an innately masculine perspective.


close-up showing stamped foam &
 Brayered Resist background

inside of card showing pearlescence of stamped border
& shine of Mirri Card


close-up showing stamped foam with glittered edge 
& Brayered Resist background

inside of card
(click on photos to enlarge)

Stamps Hero Arts CL234 Winter's Butterfly (snowflakes)  Elusive Images UDLCW0029 Church Mandala (star design stamped into foam).
Inks Kaleidacolor Berry Blaze with VersaMark watermark stamp pad (background), Brilliance Pearlescent Purple (star design & inking some cardstock edges).
Cardstock Black plus an assortment of pinks & violets in various finishes from "stash".
Punches Woodware (circles & scalloped circles, scalloped rectangle), Xcut (ornate corner; the tiny black snowflakes are the waste from this).
Miscellaneous Pink Funky Foam, Ice Stickles Glitter Glue (Grape Ice), Liquid Pearls (Pastel Raspberry).
The gems are from "stash".

Challenges Entered
Oldie But A Goodie Challenge 8 - You're A Star (I have had the stamps for more than 6 months & the star iconography is the central focus of both these cards) 
Simon Says....ANYTHING GOES!!!! (my pink candy floss & marshmallows should be OK for this!)

Monday, 20 December 2010

Brayering, A Sparkling Bauble & Snowflakes......Plus An Icicle

front of card


close-up showing sparkle of bauble

 close-up showing stamped swirl detail

inside of card

close-up showing brayered resist swirls
& vellum/cardstock layered snowflake
(click on images to enlarge)

This card is a good example of my current creative process as I don't create to an exact plan. I need a starting point to begin & then I see what happens. I've had Lisa's inking technique in my mind & it was when I saw what created itself via the brayer that I added experimenting with that technique. I know I was also heavily influenced by Deborah's Sparkly Baubles here & here. Going back to look at her posts I see that the Kaleidoscope must have lodged itself in my head - I just picked one of the transparent multicoloured embossing powders from my box, & I definitely had her cards in mind when hanging my own bauble from a swirl.

I was playing about with the Random Brayering technique where the brayer is applied in short random strokes whilst turning the cardstock, but instead of being completely random I turned it in a circle keeping one end of the brayer (& so one colour) central. I thought it looked like a shining light & that's where the bauble entered the experiment. Again I adapted the technique - inking the bauble with Distress Ink then VersaMark prior to stamping the image & instead of using clear embossing powder I used Kaleidoscope Transparent.

When it came to the inside it was a case of seeing the resist brayering (image stamped with VersaMark onto glossy cardstock then brayered over) I'd also been playing around with & taking it from there.

Apologies for my lengthy post but I want to credit those who have provided me with inspiration & explain how their posts trigger my imagination. Credit is also due to Glenda Waterworth whose thorough teaching via the MCC courses gave me such a diversity of techniques with which to work.

Stamps Artemio 10001030 (bauble & swirls on front), Hero Arts CL234 Winter’s Butterfly (swirls on inside).
Inks etc… Kaleidacolor Caribbean Sea (brayering), Memento Tuxedo Black (swirls & edging some cardstock), Chipped Sapphire Distress Ink (bauble & edging some cardstock), VersaMark watermark stamp pad with Stampendous Kaleidoscope Embossing Powder.
Cardstock Crafter’s Companion Centura Pearl (light blue pearl) plus an assortment of colours in various finishes from “stash”.
Papers Vellum from “stash”.
Punches, Dies etc... Woodware (circle & scalloped circle, large snowflakes), Dovecraft (small snowflakes), EK Success (Swirl Flourish).
The gems are from “stash”.

Challenges Entered
Bunny Zoe's Crafts Challenge 7 - Sparkle & Shine
Wags 'n Whiskers Challenge 42 - Snowflakes

We had some thawing of the snow yesterday so the guttering was dripping water (looks like the seals will have to be replaced when the weather improves). The temperature sank well below freezing overnight so that which had melted froze -  & I was met with icicles hanging outside my craft room window this morning.

Friday, 17 December 2010

More Snow...

It had snowed again during the night & continues to do so. The view across the valley cleared as I stood with my camera & I caught this with a glorious sky.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010


But, excepting Deborah who is giving me the award, my recent discoveries in blogland are not individuals. So as to be able to thank Deborah I have adapted  the rules:
  1. Thank and link back to the person giving the award.
  2. Share 8 things about myself!
  3. Forward the award to 8 crafters recently discovered.
  4. Contact the 8 people involved and tell them about the award.
Things About Me
  1. I'm less than 5ft tall.
  2. I don't like chocolate.
  3. A box of 72 Derwent coloured pencils were my prized possession as a teenager.
  4. I trained in the Hotel & Catering Industry & have worked in the Accounts, Housekeeping, Kitchen, Restaurant, Reception & Reservations sectors in & around London.
  5. I learnt to read & write when I started school at the age of 7.
  6. I learnt English by reading Enid Blyton books.
  7. I am looking forward to watching some Russell Crowe DVDs with my husband over Christmas.
  8. Until a few years ago I celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve - the Swedish way opening presents when it became dark in the afternoon.
Recent Discoveries in Blogland

Monday, 13 December 2010

Patience with Snowflakes in Red & White

front of card

 close-up showing texture of burgundy cardstock 
plus the layered sequin & "Blink Blink" snowflakes

close-up of image panel

close-up showing "Bleeding Inkpad" colouring 
& dimension of white on white snowflakes

 inside of card

The Sugar Bowl Challenge 49 is s a sketch by Marla-Therese with the optional theme of Snowflakes whilst the All Things Sugar Nellie Forum Challenge this week is RED & WHITE. I chose to make another Fancy Fold Stepper based on this tutorial but this time I worked out my own measurements using inches (click on photo to enlarge). 

To colour my image I used the “Bleeding Inkpad” technique where the image is stamped using water soluble ink (in my case Distress Ink)  & then shading added by applying a damp brush to the stamped lines. I gave further definition to the coat buttons by colouring them with a Sakura Stardust Pen followed by Glossy Accents applied with a cocktail stick.

Stamps Sugar Nellie Leanne Ellis Patience.
Inks Aged Mahogany Distress Ink for stamping & colouring image & edging some cardstock.
Colouring etc... Sakura Stardust Pen.
Cardstock A selection of white & red in various textures & finishes, all from "stash" except the linen effect white which is Bits N Pieces A4 Assorted Embossed Card (Snow White Textures).
Punches, Dies etc... Woodware (red snowflake, large red "Blink Blink"), Dovecraft (small white snowflake), Xcut (ornate corner; the tiny white snowflakes are the waste from this), Spellbinders Nestabilities (Large Deckled Rectangles), Cuttlebug Embossing Folder (Swiss Dots).
The ribbon, gems & snowflake sequins are from "stash".

Challenges Entered
The Sugar Bowl Challenge 49 - Maria Therese's Sketch + theme: snowflakes

Friday, 10 December 2010

Waltzing Simon Says Christmas Without Red or Green

The shiny nature of the silver cardstock (including the Mirri) plus the silver pearlescence of the navy made this very difficult to photograph.

front of card

close-up showing scalloped circle split between 
Mirri & textured silver cardstocks

close-up showing heat embossing of star & 
sentiment panel

angled photo to show sparkle of
 Winter Wonderland heat embossing on star 

inside of card

I have rotated the sketch almost 90 degrees clockwise.

Stamps WS Designs Stars – Christmas, Hobby Art (Love, Joy, Peace).
Inks etc... VersaMark watermark stamp pad with Stampendous Winter Wonderland & Cobalt Blue Embossing Powders, Brilliance Mediterranean Blue for inking some cardstock edges.
Cardstock An assortment of white, navy & silver in various textures & finishes from “stash”.
Punches Woodware (Circle & Scalloped Circles, Scalloped Rectangle), Xcut (ornate corner).

Challenges Entered
Waltzing Mouse Sketch Challenge - WMSC26 (see above)

Sunday, 5 December 2010

My Creative Classroom - Terriffic Techniques Wk 5

The final set of “homework” for My Creative Classroom – Terrific Techniques (with the theme of texture) proved to be somewhat of an eye-opener. I wasn’t going to do the Funky Foam exercise as I’ve tried this once before & didn’t like it at all. However, that was almost two years ago, & experience has taught me that  I sometimes have to rethink an attitude. I managed to find some craft foam available to purchase in single sheets though the cleanest piece (I don’t think this stock sells very fast) was pink! Suffice to say that I loved the Funky Foam – I wonder if Santa might bring me the pack  of foam I’ve seen in WH Smith’s which contains a whole rainbow of colours.

Owing to the severe weather conditions the planned Open Days at Graphicus this weekend were cancelled. Instead there was a series of posts on the Graphicus Blog with competitions, a crossword, special deals & some free downloads which people were asked to use should they wish to enter one of the competitions.  Somehow the homework pieces & these free downloads matched themselves up.

Polymer Clay
Stamp: Elusive Images
Image stamped into clay & coloured with Perfect Pearls (Interference Blue & Violet) prior to baking

close-up to show the sparkle of the glitter & Perfect Pearls
I made a Christmas ornament from my stamped clay: inking the punched cardstock edges (Brilliance Pearlescent Sky Blue & Pearlescent Purple), glittering (Ice Stickles Grape Ice) & adding a length of ribbon. The back is another punched & inked piece of pale blue cardstock (thus sandwiching the ribbon) left plain for writing a personal message to make it equally suitable as a gift tag for someone special.

Funky Foam
Stamp: Elusive Images
Ink: Brilliance Starlite Black (image), Brilliance Pearlescent Purple (paper & cardstock edges)
Image stamped into heated foam, layered onto free backing paper plus cardstock & embellished with pearls

Stamp: Creative Expressions
Inks: Dusty Concord Distress Ink (Stampbord), Pastel Kaleidacolor (random brayered background), 
Brilliance Pearlescent Purple (paper & cardstock edges)
Stampbord inked & coated with clear UTEE into which image was stamped & the sides coloured (Sakura Stardust Pen); mounted onto randomly brayered background, cardstock & free backing paper; embellished with pearls

close-up highlighting heart motif on Stampbord 
& patterned paper
This came together when I spotted how the heart motif found in the stamped image is echoed in one of the snowflakes (which I embellished with a pearl).

Shrink Plastic
Stamp: Elusive Images
Embossing Powder: Stampendous Twilight
Heated shrink plastic stamped into, cooled & layered onto stamped heat embossed cardstock, matching the pattern of the texture in the stamped shrink plastic to the heat embossed image

close-up showing texture of shrink plastic
 matched with embossed pattern

Stamp: Crafty Individuals
Inks: Brilliance  Pearlescent Olive (stamping), Brilliance Pearlescent Purple (paper & cardstock edges)
Heated shrink plastic stamped into, cooled & layered onto free backing paper designed by Lesley plus stamped cardstock
This is the only one of the samples where I used the technique that I learned in the course to create a piece of artwork inspired by one of the motifs in the  backing paper – in this case stamping the crackle motif to make a piece of textured shrink plastic with which to embellish & coordinating stamped cardstock for matting onto.