Tuesday, 30 August 2011

FELLOW STAMPERS - I need a small favour...... please read.....

Hi everyone.....
I had an idea last night, it's a little something I want to make for my nephew. For this I require stamped people/characters such as the Stampotique people and Dylusions ones or others similar size. Style doesnt matter. Can be imaginary creatures too. Maybe you can think of other companies who have similar character stamps? Then I'd love to hear from you.
What favour am I after you are wondering? Well, I can't buy all these stamps just to use them once, it would not make sense. I have looked at buying a few and I am hoping to get others with the help of YOU! If you have stamps like the mentioned above and wouldnt mind stamping these for me once or twice (in black, staz on or archival on strong white card) then I would be ever so grateful. Of course I will pay for any materials, postage and offer any stamped images or something interesting from my own stash (embellies, altered art stuff etc). Basically a little swap. So if you feel like helping out a fellow crafter get in touch. Either leave a message and I'll contact you or email me at anikraft@hotmail.co.uk.
Thanks for reading!!!

Friday, 26 August 2011

Stampotique Designers Challenge - Bookmarks

Do you ever find yourself going through phases of taking part in certain challenges? I do and at the moment I am just loving the Stampotique Designers Challenge. Not just because I recently really got into their stamps but it's fun challenges every week with great DT inspiration and some weeks you can join in using any stamps.

This week we have been challenged to make a bookmark using Stampotique stamps only. So I used my lovely owl stamp for the first time. And I am totally in love with the alphabet stamps. They are just so playful and fun. LOVE THEM!

So I'll leave you with my entry for the week......

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Eye can see you.....

Here is something I prepared earlier.... well last week to be precise. It's a canvas (what else!).
I used an image that Kate Crane used in some of her journal pages, it's rubber glove moulds and I just love using any kinda hands so I had to have a play with these ones. Do check out her blog - The Kathryn Wheel - it's full of great colour and inspiration! And the original image too if you wanna create something with those hands yourself.

If you like my inky background I used once again on this, scroll down for a previous post on how I create my inky backgrounds. There is step by step instructions with photos.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Zamak & Leather Jewellery

Today I'd like to share something a little different with you.

I have recently been inspired by some jewellery I saw whilst on holiday in Spain. It features these lovely, some quite chunky, silver coloured clasps and closures. Combined with leather cord and charms they just looked so lovely I had to try and come up with some myself.

It took a while to source the clasps and other metals parts, which are made from Zamak, a zinc alloy. It's non-allergenic which is great news if you suffer from skin allergies.

They are made in Spain and that's where I got mine from. Hours of fun trying to order from a Spanish website when you don't speak the language. But I got there in the end.

These are just a few examples of what I've been making in the past few days.

This one features little nuts in the bead design and makes a great male bracelet, I gave it to my boyfriend and he loves it. Already had some interest from other people too.

This one is certainly more girly. I have been using a fair bit of coloured leather.

I'll be showing more creations in the next week or so. Pop back if you like what you see. They will also be going on sale in my folksy shop soon!

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Happy Daze - Seaside Challenge

Seaside is the challenge theme over at Happy Daze this month and this really is a challenge. I'm not much of a seaside theme person but nevertheless I made an effort to join in. I filled a little glass vial with beach sand from last years holiday in Malta. I added some charms, a shell, some shell discs and there you go, a seaside keyring. The word stick and swivel clasp are available from the Happy Daze shop. Check out the current challenge here: Happy Daze Challenge.

Friday, 19 August 2011

A slightly different challenge.....

I stumbled across this challenge by chance the other day and loved the idea. Basically the Design Team over at Eclectic Paperie have been challenged to use

- distress inks
- an egg carton
- a die

in their creations. And everyone is welcome to join in. Don't mind if I do.

I used some sequin waste to ink through with my distress inks and I cut a bunch of flowers from an egg carton, using a die. Then I inked the flowers with various distress inks. Voila, this fun and playful card is the result. Check out the challenge for yourself here - Eclectic Paperie Challenge.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011


I have recently had a bit of interest in my painty, inky, splattery, messy, collagy mirrors and someone asked me if I'd do a tutorial. So as I was creating this mirror I thought I may as well take step by step pictures.

When I first started painting these and also my recent canvases I had to learn everything by trial and error, which is fine but hopefully you can learn from my mistakes and achieve similar results. It's definitely a fun project.

Step 1

I used a Malma mirror from Ikea, cheap and cheerful and a big wooden frame to decorate. But you could use a canvas. Whatever surface, simply paint on a layer of gesso and leave to dry, preferably overnight.

Step 2

Prime mirror using a base colour, I used buff titanium. This colour works well as a base for all my creations I find. When that is dry paint on some yellowy/browny acrylic paint, only a small amount and wipe it off using a baby wipe. I go back and forth from left to right, that achieves a streaky kinda look.

Step 3

Using a brown paint I go in again wiping it back and forth with a baby wipe. Leave to dry and repeat with a darker brown and black. This builds up nice streaky looking layers of paint. Leave to dry.

Step 4

Using old bottle caps I stamp a bunch of circles in black and white.

Step 5

Using a paint dabber I dab on some dots, little clusters of them. I used a gold dabber here. I find with some dabbers it dabs on little bubbles, which I like cause it adds to the texture. If you want a smoother look you could use a dot stamp or a stencil would work too. Try thinking outside the box, use everyday items (like the bottle caps) or anything that falls into your hand to try and stamp with it. Anything that creates patterns and adds to the texture is good.

Step 6

In this step I mix some white paint with a bit of water and splatter it over the surface. Different techniques create different looking splatters so just give it a go and have a play.

Repeat with black paint. Let dry.

Step 7

I added more splatters this time using the old toothbrush technique. Mix paint with water again and get your toothbrush in there, then "spray" across surface. This creates more of a fine splatter. Leave to dry.

Step 8

Using stencils I then sprayed on some ink spray. I personally love using the Dylusions sprays but colourwash would work or glimmer mists if you want a bit of a glimmery shimmer. Leave to dry.

Step 9

Spray on some more ink and tip the mirror to make it run. I used 2 different brown inks here, but depending on how colourful you made your piece you can use all sorts of colours. Or try using a perfect pearls spray, it won't show much but just add a bit of glimmer. Leave this to dry again.

Very important: Once it has dried give the whole thing a spray over with a matt artists varnish. I use one from the art shop, it just says varnish for acrylics and that. As we have been working with water soluble paints and inks we need to protect our background before we get glueing so varnish it and leave to dry for at least an hour or two.

Step 10

Now get all your pictures and words ready. Sometimes I know before I start what picture or stamped image and quote I am going to use, other times I just start painting a background and then see what picture may suit the mood and colours. With this one I painted first and then picked my picture. Here I am using a photo of my grandad which I turned sepia in photoshop and then printed it on a high setting. Print this on good quality card, give it a light spray with the varnish too as otherwise the ink may bleed later. Leave to dry then cut out.

The words I made with a labelmaker and I really like just having one or two words big and standing out so I used grungeboard letters and painted them black.

Step 11

To glue the image and words I use a matt medium. Brush it on the surface and the back of the things to stick and place them, you still have a bit of time to move them around. When you're happy with the placing brush over the top with more matt medium.

I've found that the printed pictures can bleed a little ink even though we varnished it earlier. But don't worry about it, it's suppoed to look grungy and a bit rough. It just adds to the feel.

In this case I stuck on my photo overhanging the edges and cut around the mirror with a scalpel later. That gives a nice neat edge.

I also added a not planned red heart here. Once all your things are on the background you'll see if it needs anything else, a few more chipboard shapes or an embellishment of some sort.

Step 12

When everything has dried I go in with some black and white paint again stamping some bottle cap rings and using a credit card to make a few lines and "scrapes". It helps blending the photo , heart and words in with the background. I also splattered some more paint on. If you get splatters on a part of the photo where you don't want them you can easily wipe it back with a babywipe as the picture is covered in matt medium and therefore easily wipeable.

Once all that is dry I use some charcoal to go around the edges of some of the words and the photo. You can make a chunky black outline or if you want a softer finish just work it in using a paper stump.

Now your mirror is ready to varnish, add some hooks and hang.

I hope you enjoyed this little step by step instruction.

If you want more inspiration and see some of my other inky and painty creations check out my website at http://www.anikraft.co.uk/ or my flickr gallery http://www.flickr.com/photos/anikraft/sets/.

I would love to see your creations following this tutorial and feel free to leave a link here or email me at anikraft@hotmail.co.uk.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Can you take any more canvases?!

up canvas1
Originally uploaded by Anikraft

Have you seen enough canvases yet?!
I hope not cause I am working on a few more and there is also a tutorial coming soon on how I create my messy, painty backgrounds.

I just wanted to share this one with you today. I discovered the hand image in one of Kate Crane's journal pages and fell in love with it. It's by Tumble Fish Studio and even though this particular image is not available anymore there are so many other great collage sheets to pick from. Check them out!

Friday, 12 August 2011

Go Wild Challenge.... an yet another canvas....

fairy canvas1
Originally uploaded by Anikraft

Yes it is indeed another canvas. I just can't stop making them. I am very quickly running out of space in my house now.

I made this one for the new Tando Creative Challenge where this month the theme is Go Wild. I know a butterfly is not really that wild but still an animal, also I went a bit wild on the colours with the pink and orange. Not normally a colour combo I'd go for.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

New Dina Wakeley Stamp

Today I just wanna share a little moleskine journal with you, I used my new Dina Wakley stamp, the stamp I had to chase the postie down the road for (see previous post!).

That stamp combined with a sentiment from a Wendy Vecchi stamp set just works perfectly. Very quick and easy little present to make, if you're ever stuck for a little something to give away.

I am entering this into the Fashionable Stamping Challenges as well as Sir Stampalot Challenge.

Fashionable Stamping Challenges and yet another canvas....

As always I have been really busy and there just hasnt been enough time to craft and blog. But I got up really early on Monday to get working on some canvases and in true German fashion I have been very efficient and created 4 canvases at once. It's quite handy cause whilst one dries you can get working on another one and make the most of the time.

Oh, I also had to chase the postie halfway down the road in my slippers on Monday, lucky I did cause the parcel he had for me contained my new Dina Wakley stamp which I love and now I want all the others too. I used it straight away for this canvas. I am loving the beige/teal colour combination at the moment - I think they work so well together.

So I am entering this into the Fashionable Stamping Challenges where the theme is "Anything goes".

Also I have been asked on flickr whether I'd consider doing a tutorial for my painty backgrounds and how I created some of my mirrors recently so I have decided to do one and will get working on that next week. So watch this space!

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Where would you fly?!

I've been playing with some canvases again and this is the result. I used an old photo of my dad, the photo just works so well with butterfly wings behind it.

I made this for the Artistic Stamper Challenge where the themeis Male/Men. And I am also entering this into the Sir Stampalot Challenge where Anything Goes.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

The Stampsmith Challenge

It's time once more for The Stampsmith Challenge.
I have been saying for a while that I must get my order in for some of those amazing stamps of theirs but money is always tight and other things pop up so as for now I can only take part in the challenges that allow any stamp company to be used.

But did you know that the lovely Estelle from The Stampsmith also offers a service where you can have your own designs and even photos made into stamps? Just think of the possibilities. I am already sifting through old photos I want to have as stamps so watch this space.....

My mum asked me to make a birthday card for someone who likes owls so this is what I came up with. It is in German as this will be for a German lady.

I am also entering his into the Sir Stampalot Challenge where the theme is "Whatever you fancy".

Stampotique Challenge - Red, Yellow, Orange

Til a few months ago I never looked at Stampotique stamps twice, they just didn't suit my style and mood. But people change and moods change and styles too and since I started painting canvases in an art journally style i have found myself wanting more and more stampotique stamps.

For this canvas i had to re-size the little man a bit so I stamped him, scanned him and printed him in the size I needed, I hope this is acceptable for he challenge. The hearts hanging from the top are one of my favourite stamps at the mo, I just hang them from every page and card possible. Hehe.
The blablabla stamp from Stampotique is on my shopping list but I have not yet been able to afford it (have ordered many others though) so I had to make up my own BLAS!
I made this with the Red, Yellow and Orange Challenge in mind and this will be my first ever entry, sure it'll be one of many to come.