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Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Clarity Stamp Challenge - New Beginnings

Morning all, I am writing this post a bit before time ( not like me at all) so that I can be organised with my Crafting over Xmas.  So I will keep it short and sweet because anything I have to say will be out of date by the time you read it?  So Hope you all had a Very Happy Christmas and
 Happy New Year. xx
The Challenge over at our Clarity Stamp Challenge Blog has just launched with the theme of
New Beginnings - now this could be in anything, new job, new car, new dog?  In my case its
New Year Resolutions
I always set myself some every year, I never do things like go on a diet (although actually this year might be the first time I do add it) but more like - What do I want to achieve this year, what do I want to be doing this time next year, what needs to be cleared out of my life and what needs to be brought into it?  So my Book of New Year Resolutions is not always for the faint hearted!!!

So why don't you give our Challenge a go and see if you can't add to your Resolutions, "try to win a £50 Gift Voucher from Clarity Stamp Challenge," now wouldn't that be a good one to keep??? There is some fabulous artwork, as usual, from my fellow Design Team Members so if nothing else its worth going and having a little look at that! 
I myself was inspired by Lynne Hammond,  when I saw that she had made a bottle cover, I felt it gave me licence to go a bit mad - I love note books and can't get enough of them. This cover is made of MDF from our very own/ popular MDF Man - seriously put that in google and there he is!
So here is my picture tutorial, hope you enjoy.
 Items Used : MDF Book
Tissue Paper from Clinton's! (checkered)
Ranger Distress Inks - from AFTH
Glue n Seal - this doesn't leave a "film" on your work
Ranger Embossing Paste - White
Sweet Lilac Flowers -
Clarity Items Used
 : Acrylic Paints - Gold & Titanium White
Letterbox Stamp Set
Lilly Stamp
Madeleine Stencil
Dotty Wave Stencil
Sunshine Stencil
Square Honeycomb Stencil

I do a lot of painting with a sponge onto the MDF - it gives a lovely smooth finish.

Put the Stencil on the wet paint and go over it with the sponge already damp with the gold paint

Just randomly

It gives a subtle effect - but also anything going on top will have a different look right to the end.
Sometimes when you add layers you could be forgiven for thinking "what's the point its going to be covered over"?  but every layer has a point, whatever you put on top will be different to the areas that haven't got this underneath it all adds to the final interest in the project.

Oh I do enjoy painting - doesn't that white look lush!

 Once dry I sanded the white paint back off the gold swirl a little, some of it I even took back to wood and dry brushed the edges with the Gold Acrylic.

So I wanted a bit of depth with the Stencil now so I went back over it with the gold onto the white.

At this point I didn't know where I was going with this project I just knew I wanted to leave some light areas to stamp onto or to embellish.

Here the Red Acrylic is watered down and I sponged over the top of the swirl area, it doesn't have the same sticking power over the paint when watered down so can be used a bit like a translucent paint. If you overdo it like I did you just get a baby wipe or clean sponge and wipe some off, be careful of  the paint underneath though make sure it is dry. In this case because it is Gold it acts differently to other paints anyway and won't wipe off as easily.  I just wanted a hint of colour here.

I love my Lilly Stamp I would give her a different dress every day if I could. I sponged the gold paint onto the stamp and stamped onto a Manila Tag. I haven't got a picture for the next bit you wouldn't have been able to see it - so I stamped Lilly again onto the very lovely tissue paper and cut out her dress wasn't easy to see but I got there in the end.

This tissue paper I got from Clinton's Card Shop and which I will be going back and stocking up on, cost next to nothing to buy. It acts like fabric when you rip it, I was trying to get odd shapes but it wouldn't let me it kept ripping in straight lines along the pattern - very interesting!!

So my way around the straight lines was a method I use with the stamped tissue normally too. Wet a paint brush with water, brush onto the edges of the tissue and it will start to pull away in threads, so you get a rough edge, let it dry before you use the Glue n Seal

 I layered the tissue where I thought it was needed - see what I mean, see how on that bottom piece of tissue it was ripping in strands of pattern. Anyway - I then got out my stencils and had another play, I did some stencilling with paint and some with ink.

  I nearly stuck this Sunshine stencil to the project, doesn't it look gorgeous in RED??

 I knew by this point I was going to raise the tag with Lilly on slightly off the book cover so I layered her flat and stencilled over her and the Book cover so that it would look joined up when she is raised, I love this look.

Once all my stencilling was done I got out my embossing paste - you know I have never actually heat embossed this paste??? It dries very quickly and has a spongy texture, it also picks up the colour from underneath it.  So I roughly spread it through the Sunshine Stencil leaving large areas missed out. I also did a few random Honeycomb areas too.

I also pasted the Art Nouveau flower  through the Madeleine Stencil onto some of the corners.

Then it came time to embellish - this sometimes takes me ages, it has to look just right and it has to have a reason to be there!  You can see the raised areas from the Embossing Paste here, see how it has taken on the colours underneath it.
Once I got these Sweet Lilac Flowers out everything else got put away, they were perfect for this project and look really pretty.  

 With the Clarity Stamp Letterbox set I stamped my sentiments onto tissue paper, some of the letters  bled into the tissue a bit giving thicker areas - PERFECT !
 I positioned them, then used the Glue n seal so now they look printed onto the book cover. You can see that on the finished project.
So here are the letters - see  how they look printed onto the cover. You can also see the corners from the Madeleine Stencil here too, I coloured these straight from the ink pad, just dabbed it on top.

And here is the final result. Looking at this I am dying to give Lilly some gold buttons.

So there you have it, I hope this shows you at least how you can just have a good old play with your products - I really enjoyed making this and I will use it too. Or should I put it into my Art Café Collection??? Anyway if this isn't your thing there is plenty more inspiration on the
Clarity Stamp Challenge Blog  So go ORRRNNNNN  have a play!xx

I always appreciate feedback./ comments/ your thoughts.
Thank you for visiting & Carry On Crafting, Sam xx


  1. Oh my word I just loved seeing your step by step guide. You are the master of layers Sam (as well as the Gelli Queen!).
    I absolutely love this project it's superb.
    Happy New Year and looking forward to seeing more art from you in 2014 xxxxxx

  2. Bliadhna Mhath ùr dhut!
    What a fabulous tutorial to begin the new year Sam! I feel very inspired! Going to have a play today with some new things but I might just give a book a go too.

    Looking forward to everything you have to show us in the coming year.

    Emma xx

  3. Great project and it looks like you had a lot of fun making it. Cheers Sam and Happy New Year

  4. Wonderful Sam, amazing detail and a super blog. Love it. Hope you have a great New Year.

  5. What a great project Sam this would definitely take me out of my comfort zone, but I would love to give it a try ! Happy New Year xx

  6. Great project Sam and it's so lovely to see how you made it. I really love the tissue paper - I can see a lot of people making a trip to Clintons for some! I look forward to seeing what else you create in 2014. x

  7. Truly fantastic step by step tutorial , looks amazing xx

  8. Fantastic project Sam and such an informative truly are the Gelli Queen.....looking forward to many more great projects this new year....crafty hugs.....Jo. X

  9. Blimey! I had to have a sit down after reading this - I was exhausted! What a lot of work you put in - worth it though, the end result is fab xxx

  10. ... me too Janet!! What a delightful project Sam... fantastic photos and instructions! Love your projects and most of them are on my To Do list!! xx Thanks for the inspiration!! xxx

  11. Truly enlightening - thanks soo much for sharing how you did this - fantastic x

  12. Love it Sam thank you so much for sharing

  13. wow this is very nice Sam. Alessandro also thinks it's great. So much work has gone into it. Ace xx

  14. WOW Sam you're ace, not only do you create lovely artwork, you also bring us step by step tutorials as well. Great inspiration for those that are not frightened of getting their fingers dirty :-) xx


    1. Yes of course you can Sue. I put a link on you FB don't know if you saw if. X

  16. This is incredible art! Helene

  17. WOW this is Awesome! Love the depth you have created. Happy New Year
    Linda xxx

  18. Lovely, super detailing! Fab tutorial too! Xx

  19. What a fabulous journal cover - thanks for the tutorial - I enjoy "playing" too!!

  20. A fabulous creations with beautiful detail, a fab tut too. Now your newest follower
    Hugs Debbie

    1. Hello there Debbie I meant to get back to you earlier to say thank you for following me.


About Me

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Teesside, United Kingdom
I am proud to be on the Design Team for Claritystamp & for the Clarity Stamp Challenge Blog and the Fussy and Fancy Challenge Blog. I have always had an interest in Arts & Crafts and studied for six years and gained certificates in Arts & Crafts, Interior Design, and Soft Furnishings, I even did a Painter & Decorator course. I was originally taught everything I know by my Mam and I now have a passion/obsession for crafts as I develop my techniques. I archived my Goal and have now worked as a demonstrator too.