I spent a few hours in the studio today and made good progress on the mini-album I am making about our walk in Mamhead Woods.
For the first time for ages, I got Sheba (my Cougar cutting machine) going again, and after spending far too long messing about trying to get my Windows and Mac computers to talk to each other on the network (success at last!), I designed a little frame for one of the pages, and cut it out, adding some leaves at the same time to use up the card. Here are the pieces being removed from the machine’s cutting mat.
This frame was to go around the black-and-white photo you can see above, because I wasn’t quite happy with the faded-out edge I’d created, and as you can see, one of the two print-outs had a white border along one edge which wasn’t intentional. I couldn’t be bothered to print them out again and thought the addition of a frame would enhance the page anyway.
Here is one of the frames with some black soot distress stain added.
I dried this off with my heat gun and then daubed on some brushed pewter distress stain. I like these metallic ones.
This was a bit blotchy so I spritzed it with water and again dried it with the heat gun, deliberately moving the water around so that the pewter blended a bit better with the black. I was more satisfied with this result.
Here is the frame in place on the page.
I forgot to take a picture of it after I’d added some black soot distress ink to the right hand side, to darken the faded-out white part which I didn’t like. I left the faded-out part at the bottom because it looks a bit like mist, and the bottom of the frame throws the photo back into relief quite nicely. There will be photos in a future post.
I then moved on to colouring the leaves I’d cut out. Here are the oak leaves getting their first shade of green distress stain.
The second shade. Again, I forgot to photograph the third!
You can see the final result in the next photo, anyway – after applying the third shade all over, to blend the colours, I spritzed the leaves lightly with water for further blending, and dried them with my heat gun.
This photo shows the leaves being hand-embossed.
The completed oak leaves.
I had a couple of scraps left over from a project I made ages ago – this first scrap is a piece of glassine paper that I had coloured with alcohol inks and scrunched up – it was far too gorgeous to throw away so it had ended up in my backgrounds folder awaiting a suitable project in the future, and I thought it would be ideal for this project.
I cut out as many leaves as I could, using my Heartfelt Creations Botanical Wings die in the Cuttlebug.
This is the other scrap from that same project – a piece of card coloured with distress inks. You can see that I have turned some of the leaves over – I really like the mottled effect of the messy back of the card, so decided to use some of each, for variety.
Here are all the die-cut leaves.
This is the complete set of Cougar-cut and die-cut leaves, all embossed and ready for use. I am not sure how many I shall use, but I’ve got plenty to choose from, anyway. Clockwise from top left: die-cut inked scrap card, right side; die-cut inked scrap card, wrong side; oak leaves cut with Cougar cutting machine and inked with distress stains; die-cut leaves which I coloured some time ago with Infusions; die-cut leaves made from glassine paper coloured with alcohol inks.
Here are the remaining leaves that I cut with Sheba, waiting to be coloured.
I then moved on to do some further work on the purple pages I made the other day. I didn’t like the hard edges of the photos that I’d attached to these pages, and had a brainwave, remembering having done some random gold embossing on a project some time ago, so I got out the Bitty Grunge stamp set and added some spots of gold embossing randomly across the pages and on the photos, which softened the effect, and at the same time added a bit of metallic shine and richness.
I applied a very light dusting of gilding wax to a few leaves ready to apply to the pages.
The trouble is, heating the pages enough to melt the embossing powder caused them to warp quite badly. I have put the pages under a pile of heavy books and will leave them for a day or two to flatten out, before applying the leaves with Pinflair glue to prevent the hand-embossing from getting flattened. I am hoping the pages will be flattened sufficiently, but if not, I am trusting that being glued to other pages will keep them flat!
So – good progress made today! I also messed around with the pages I’ve made so far (most of which will require further embellishment) to try and decide which pages would go together but wasn’t happy with any of them! I’ve still got quite a few small photos to mount, and I shall think a bit more carefully about how I do that, so that I create reasonable pairs for those pages I’ve already done.
Watch this space.