Monday, 21 December 2015

Merry Christmas!

Well Christmas is just a few days away so....

We hope that since we both launched our craft blog '2 Crafting Minds' way back in July of this year that we have helped inspire you in some way to craft and try something new. We still have plenty more inspiration for the New Year and the pictures below are just a sneaky peek of the very first post for 2016...

So until then we both hope you all have a fantastic Christmas and wish you all the very best for the New Year!

Until next time, Happy Crafting!

  Samantha and Antony

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Up-Cycling using paper napkins to decorate with

Hi crafters, Antony here! This weeks post is all about up-cycling, or making relatively cheap objects look both expensive and beautiful without costing the earth. So as Christmas is just round the corner it is a great time to give this type of craft decorating a go as you can easily personalise any object using this technique! The main decorative element is the simple paper napkin, there are loads of fantastic designs out there. So why not co-ordinate different items in your room by using napkins of the same design.

The products used in this weeks post are Viva Decor micro crackle undercoat, Viva Decor micro Crackle colour paint, Pinflair Napkin Glue and a decorative napkin.

 Step 1 Take one old or cheap clock or other house hold item and make sure that the surfaces are clean and dust free. In the case of the clock I am decorating I also removed the clock mechanism. But if your are decorating objects with handles or that have other furniture such as hinges on, remove them all if you can. Once removed if the surface you are going to decorate is already painted, lightly sand the surface. This will help the glue have something to key to.

Step 2 I then took a napkin and separated the layers. Normally a paper napkin has 2 or 3 layers. The one you need is the one with the printed image on. Now place this over the area you wish to decorate. In the case of the clock I decorated the main body. Squeeze a small amount of the napkin glue on top of the napkin and using a very soft brush gently start to spread the glue over the napkin. Wait until the glue has completely dried before you trim any of the over hanging napkin, other wise the napkin will tear. You can trim the overhang by using a craft knife or rub it away gently using fine sandpaper on a wooden block.

Step 3 Next start to apply the Viva Decor micro crackle undercoat primer to the area that you wish the crackle paint effect to be. Then let the undercoat dry, this can take about 1 hour. Once dry I painted on the topcoat. In the case of the clock I used a similar colour paint to that was also in the napkin design.

Step 4 Leave the top coat to dry. I left mine overnight and when I returned in the morning it had cracked nicely. The thicker you apply the topcoat the wider the cracks will be.

Step 5 Next I turned my attention to the clock face. I was able to remove the clear plastic cover and also the hands. I cut out two small butterflies from a napkin and again used the napkin glue to stick them to the clock face surface.

Step 6 I used some Viva Decor micro crackle transparent primer over the whole of the clock face. Then when the primer was totally dry I used Viva Decor Transparent Crackle Paint and left it to crackle overnight. Next I used a fine gold powder I filled in the cracks on the clock face to highlight the cracks. I then replaced the hands and clear plastic cover and placed it back into the main body of the clock.

I also decorated a small chest of draws using the same design napkins as I used on the clock. I removed the small wooden knobs on the draw and used Pinflair Buff-it craft polish on them and then stuck them back on.

Until next time, Happy Crafting!
Samantha and Antony

Friday, 20 November 2015

Bella's 2nd Birthday Plaque

Hello crafty friends!!
Thanks for popping by our blog, today's inspiration comes from a special plaque I made for my daughter earlier this year for her 2nd birthday! She is my little Princess in a house full of boys so what better way to show her! I hope you like it as much as I do, and as always if you have any queries at all Antony and I would be only too happy to answer them!

MDF board with DREAM carved from the top, Paper air dry clay (Hearty)
Chalky paints, White gesso, Sugar Buttons moulds, Katy Sue moulds
Sheena Douglass die cuts, Sue Wilson die cuts, Tattered Lace die cuts
Pinflair Liquid Buff its - various colours, Pinflair Antique Silver Buff It
Brick wall mould, Spider webbing, Cosmic shimmer glue
Crafters Companion Stick n Stay

Top tip..... Leave the air dry clay out of the pack for a while before putting into the moulds or it will be too wet, and lightly dust the moulds with cornflour and tip out excess before using.

Step 1 Begin by rolling the clay over the brick mould with a rolling pin and pressing gently, then turn over and release the clay. Do this 4 times Then cut away odd bricks here and there for a random effect on one side of each of the 4 pieces. Next Spray a piece of spider webbing with stick n stay and attach it to the MDF board and trim the excess. Line the straight edges of the brick work up along the vertical sides of the plaque, 2 on each side, sticking them with Cosmic Shimmer glue and blend the centre joins! Next roll out more clay thinly onto a patterned Katy Sue texture mould, spread glue onto the letters. Only lay the clay over the letters and trim with a craft knife carefully around each of the letters.

Step 2 Make all the clay and die elements to glue to your plaque. Make 2 fairy Windows and 1 fairy door from the Sugar Buttons moulds, 1 Katy Sue plaque, 1 fairy castle, 1 Princess, 2 toadstools, 1 snail, 6 large roses, 2 bows, many ivy leaves, small flowers, no. 2, letters to spell BELLA, I blossom flower.....all from air dry Hearty clay. Die cut Tattered Lace grasses 3 or 4 times and glues layers together to make them as thick as chipboard. Die cut swirls from Sue Wilson, ivy from Tattered Lace and lots of Hedgerow die cuts from Sheena Douglass. Glue all these elements into place, putting the die cuts under or over the clay depending on preference and use Cosmic shimmer or Glue it- glue to adhere them in place. The hedgerow die cuts look beautiful trailing up over the brick work and over and under the plaque and Windows. Position the fairy castle at the very top of the plaque sitting on the word and glue into place.

Step 3 Next once the glue is dry, paint the whole piece with a white gesso or cream emulsion, and allow to dry. I then began the painting on the wall background and brickwork with a grey chalky paint and used a brown in the recesses of the bricks and beneath the windows, and flesh colour on the princess. After the chalky paint the fun begins with the gorgeous Liquid
Buff-its! I didn't have a green colour to work with, so another top tip is to try mixing the colours you have to make entirely new colours! I found that the Caribbean Blue and Gold mix beautifully to make a lovely moss green. Proving that you don't need to spend a fortune buying everything in the range when just a select few will create so much variety. I used this new green to paint all the foliage, over the brickwork, the hedgerow die cuts, vines, ivy etc. The sparkle is amazing and so intense so a little really goes a long way, and it's best you use a dry brush with this technique to get a beautiful blend between colours. Paint the door and window frames with the Pinflairs Liquid Buff-it Antique Gold and the gold through the windows to give the effect of warm light.

Step 4 The word dream has been painted with Pinflair Liquid Buff-it ice blue at the bottom, blended into Caribbean blue, into Lavender, Amethyst and finally Hot Magenta, but not worked into the recesses of the clay pattern. The letters of the name were glued in place on the plaque and also painted just as the Dream word. The plaque itself I kept white except for using the antique silver Buff-it across the edges, and attached the 2 bows to the sides and paint with lavender. Small flowers were glued randomly around the vines and foliage and painted with Hot Magenta, as have the 6 large roses and glued to the Dream word randomly. The number on the door I painted red as well as the tops of the toadstools being careful to avoid the white spots. The snails shell was painted with the Pinflair Liquid Buff-it Antique gold. The castle I used a very light touch just on the raised areas with Liquid Buff-it Amethyst. The Princess I gave a die cut tiara from a Tattered Lace crown die and added extra clay flowers to her dress, then painted in a graduated blended fashion as with the lettering, using Liquid Buff-it Regal Purple, Hot Magenta and Amethyst, and Antique gold for her Hair and tiara and shoes. A die cut butterfly from Tattered Lace was added to the D and also painted in graduating colours.

The final stage was to use the Antique Silver Buff-it on a sponge applicator and gently brush over the wall in a random way and over every raised area except the Princess and the name to give a muted ethereal, shimmer!! The swirls behind the D and the edges of the large lettering I have coated with Liquid Buff-it Caribbean Blue for a shadow and contrast.
Hope this is clear to one and all but as always please don't hesitate to contact us with your queries or further explanations. Feel free to try it yourselves and ......
Happy Crafting!!

Until next time, Happy Crafting!

Samantha and Antony

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Christmas Sleigh decorated with Chalky Paints

Hi Antony here, for this weeks post I thought I would take a look at one of the many cartonnage kits available from Pinflair Creative Crafts. So as it's nearly Christmas I thought I would decorate the Christmas Sleigh using Viva Decor Chalky paints Christmas Collection, which are also available from Pinflair. 
Now I will be honest I can't really paint that well. So the very first time I used Chalky Paints I was a bit concerned as to how the end result would look. However I soon found out that you really don't need to be able to paint that well as the end result is meant to have that shabby, aged look. In saying that the paints are very forgiving and seem to give a great finish anyway!

So for this weeks project I shall be using the large Christmas Sleigh, Viva Decor Christmas Chalky Paints, Pinflair Bookbinding Glue or Glue-it glue, Pinflair Buff-it craft polish, Christmas themed stamps, a piece of wax from a candle, a soft wide paint brush and some sandpaper.

Step 1 Firstly take 2 of the main body parts to the sleigh and using Pinflair Glue-it glue stick the two parts together. You may see from the picture that I have dispensed the glue a little way in from the edge so that when I stick the 2 parts together and apply pressure very little glue squeezes out. Repeat this process again for the other side of the sleigh.

Step 2 Next I painted a thin coat of red chalky paint onto the sleighs main body, but not the sleighs runners. Only paint one side of each of the 2 sleighs. Whilst that is drying paint the other sections to the sleigh, remember only on one side.

Step 3 Once the paint has dried on the main body of the sleigh turn it over and draw round the piece of cardboard that will form the long side of the sleighs carriage. Then paint all round it, again apart from the runners.

Step 5 Now using a piece of wax from an old candle rub over the red painted area in a random fashion. Once you have rubbed the wax over the surface, rub over with a paper kitchen cloth until it is slightly shiny. This wax will act as a resist for the top coat of paint. Now give everything a second coat of paint, but this time use a different colour. In the case of this project white. Don't worry if the second coat isn't perfect, it won't matter. Leave this to dry for at least half an hour.

Step 6 Using some fine sandpaper gently sand over the all the surfaces. Sanding lightly will then reveal some of the red paint. Rub too hard and both the white and the red paint will be removed. Make sure you remove any paint dust before you move onto the next step. 

Step 7 Next I used a Christmas themed stamp and inked it up... so to speak, with blue chalky paint. Once loaded with the chalky paints I stamped over the painted surfaces. Again this can be done in a random fashion and don't worry if the stamping is not perfect... it won't matter. Place a sheet of copier paper over the sleighs runners so that you don't stamp onto them.

Step 8 If you want a really aged look you can lightly rub over the stamped areas with sandpaper too.

 Step 9 Using a very small amount of paint on a foam brush, brush round all the edges of all the shapes that you have painted. This will create a nice soft border.

Step 10 Using Pinflairs Glue-it glue start to construct the carriage. Once all stuck together paint the inside. In my project I painted it blue to co-ordinate with the stamping on the outside of the sleigh.

Step 11 I next painted the sleighs runners using Pinflair Gold Buff-it craft polish. To do this take some Buff-it out of the pot using a palette knife and put it onto a non-stick craft mat. Add a little water to the paste/polish and then using a paint brush paint the runners of the sleigh. Light brush strokes are the best and just be sure not to overload the paint brush. Leave it to fully dry for about 20 minutes and then polish with a dry kitchen cloth.

Step 12 When all of the elements are fully dry start to glue everything together using Pinflairs Glue-it glue. Ensure that when applying the glue you only put glue on one surface. That way not too much glue will squeeze out. When you glue the different pieces together ensure you hold them together for at least half a minute. The more glue you use the longer it will take to dry and ultimately stick.

Step 13 If you want you could add further embellishments from your own crafting stash such as netting ribbon, buttons or even a few die cut shapes using your festive dies!

Once you have used the Chalky Paints you will want to decorate everything in the house with them. As well as heavy duty cardboard as used in this project the paints will also work on MDF, wood and even glass. The only difference when painting glass is that you will need to clean the surface with an alcohol solution and then dab the paint on rather than brush it on. Also the drying time is a lot longer, but whatever you do, don't try to force dry it as the paint will crack!
There is one thing for sure... you will soon be hooked on using these paints!

For those of you who attended the Jo Channon Workshop/Dabble day on 1st of November 2015, here are the samples that we took there with the heart shaped back and heart button embellishments added to the sleigh.

Until next time, Happy Crafting!

Samantha and Antony