Rusting An MDF Chalkboard

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I’m still beavering away in the studio making items to sell at the church Christmas Fayre. Yesterday I used what I had learnt at Andy Skinner’s workshop I attended last weekend to create a faux rusted enamel frame and stand for this MDF chalkboard. As it happens, I actually prefer the back – some of the paint had seeped under and the ‘chips’ appear much more organic against the gesso undercoat:

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Mass Production Line: The Burley Christmas Cards

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It’s that time of year again. That time when you’ve designed this year’s Christmas card, and it’s time to make all 75 cards that are apparently required. So, a mass production line swings into action. Here are some tips:

  • When heat embossing large numbers of images, consider getting a teppanyaki hot plate (top right). Cover with a heat resistant non-stick sheet, turn up to a temperature where the embossing powder just melts, and then as you stamp and add the powder to each piece, the previous piece is melting. Slide the piece off with the end of a paintbrush as the embossing powder finishes melting. Occasionally you may need to push the card to the hot surface (again with the end of a paintbrush) if it has curled up.
  • Liquid Pearl dots love to cling and merge to the next one if wet. In my mass production line, I dotted in the same place on each holly sprig before leaving the set to dry. After a minimum of an hour, I did the next dot on each sprig, and left them again. Finally the third dot was added in the same fashion.

    TOP TIP:
    If your Liquid Pearls is misbehaving, warm it up on a radiator or in your pocket. It become less viscous, flowing better and forming nice domes.

  • Assemble in batches – and take a break between batches to stretch, change your attention, and generally improve productivity. And prevent boredom!

As to the finished result – you’ll have to wait and see. Especially if you’re one of the lucky 75 that receives the real thing 😉

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Scented Tea Light Gift Card

IMG_6227_wI know there are myriad ways to make similar cards, but since I’ve been reminded that I offered to do some projects using the Eazi-Score board from Diamond Card Craft I’ve designed this version from scratch specifically for those using the board. You may remember I also made a tutorial video using their Eazi-Box score board to make multi-sided shaped boxes.

Just a quick note on the Eazi-Score board before the tutorial: it’s designed for use with A4 card stock and you can simply place your card to the guide bar and score using one of the individually named channels. It’s easy to make your Half Fold – Gate Fold – Stepper – Kinetic – Shutter – A5 – DL cards and more. For most projects, there is NO need to cut your card to fit the board as it was designed for use with A4 card. Boxes are just as easily made ( box template and instructions are included with the board) and it’s designed for left or right handed crafters. There are 5 Embossing patterns too – Heart – Diamond – Flower – Butterfly and Wavy line perfect for making your own embellishments.

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Laser Cut Planter Kits now available

Until I’ve got round to setting up a Kickstarter project and found funding for my own laser cutter, I’m having to outsource my laser cutting. For my first laser cut project since college, I thought I’d mass produce some ‘planters’, suitable for the topiary trees I make with polystyrene balls and Craftwork Cards Candi (examples here and here).

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The planters are roughly 2 inches square and 2½” high and cut from white faced 2mm thick greyboard. I’ve made sure that they are simple to construct and stiff enough to hold up the tree (or whatever else you choose to put in them). I’m pleased to announce that the kits are now available to purchase for £3.25 (including p&p and an instruction sheet). All you need to add is decoration and a cube of polystyrene to poke your tree into.
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ZIA on other surfaces: monoprinting

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I’ve just taken delivery of my 3×5″ Gelli Arts Plate, which is the perfect size to have a go at a technique I wanted to test for my forthcoming Zentangle Inspired Art workshop. I mixed black acrylic with a slow medium in equal quantities and used a brayer to cover the plate evenly with the black paint. Working as quickly as I could, I scraped paint off with a rubber tipped tool to ‘etch’ the tangle design. Despite the speed at which I worked, the acrylic still dried, so by the end I was scraping into dried paint, and to transfer the monoprint to paper I needed to add a layer of matt multi medium over the dried paint. After everything had dried on the page, I added Distress Inks to colour. A fast and furious sample, but a technique I think I will try again, perhaps with Golden Open acrylics or even a waterbased printing ink.

Have a go at this technique, along with others, at my workshop on Easter Saturday.

On a separate note, it is worth having a look at my original image – which was taken with a camera – the gloss finished of the acrylic played havoc with the light… Whereas the scanned image above shows off the piece far better. There’s also some resist happening with the black and the multi-medium which adds to the texture.

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Eazi-Box: How to make shaped boxes with ease

I’ve just finished and published my first commissioned tutorial video, for Diamond Card Crafts. It’s evidence to me that LinkedIn is worth keeping up to date as this is where contact first started.

Back to the video: I show how to use Diamond Card Craft‘s Eazi-Box Shape Board to make shaped boxes, starting with an introduction to the board, then the basic square shaped box (equally able to do rectangular boxes btw), and then moving on to triangular, pentagonal, octagonal and short lid boxes. The board itself is a deeply moulded score board, with templates for the shapes which are so versatile and can also be used to make shaped cards and mats as well. I share tips and tricks that aren’t in the instruction sheet for perfect boxes every time.

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