Wednesday, 30 May 2012

ONE STAMP project

This project has been a long time coming to fruition and now it is coming up fast I am beginning to panic a little! At every studio open day, show or demo I get frustrated at the way some people think a stamp is JUST for adding Happy Birthday to the front of a card, and how dismissive they are about the techniques involved,  I have a wonderful selection of items in my studio all beautifully decorated with stamps, but this project is about taking ONE STAMP with all the inks and paint I possess and maybe the odd complimentary stamp and creating a display of such items. I have roped in friends and in fact some folks I have just met the once (well everyone is a friend in the crafting world aren't they?) and at this point I am asking you to help too.
If you are close enough to my studio to pop in over 9th and 10th June pop and cheer me on or do a bit of cutting out or make a brew, bring your own projects so we can photograph them.
If you live further away, send photos, email them or post them on the facebook page.

Pop by the facebook page and show some encourgement there too. Watch the blog for guest designers will be posting as well as myself. If you want to post your project on your blog you could leave a comment and a link to your blog on here or facebook....any other ideas I am listening.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012


Whilst on a recent demo I was asked if I was self taught or if I had been on a course. Not a simple answer to this one. I haven't been on "a course" although I did study Printmaking whilst at Leeds Met Uni in the 70's ( it was Leeds Poly in those days) but too be honest it was something I did as a break to the science heavy part of my course, I did really enjoy it and it was probably when I first made cards to send to friends, hard up student and all that. I had wonderful tutor who helped me overcome my fear of drawing and I can't even remember her name how bad is that!
On the subject of making my own cards to give, for that I was inspired by the great Dave Moutrey who sent me the most lovely etched Christmas card in 1976. I still have it somewhere.
Did do some projects over the years, most of which I would not want to see now, but I started to get more involved again, when I started working full time with Martin after I left teaching, since then I have been the proverbial sponge, you soak up things here and there. I have done workshops that last 30 minutes and three day escapes and treats. I have watched TV and you tube too.

The scientist in me makes me think, what will happen if, as a scientist you use your present knowledge to predict the outcome and then you test that theory.
I did a short workshop with Leandra Franich at a recent trade fair where she suggested a different way of doing Crackle Effect, also done something different with Jo Channon 12 months earlier, so recently sat down with a dozen or so pieces of mount board and trailed variations of their ideas and the method I had been using for about 10 years and worked out the factors that worked for me with the material I use.
I think that is a good illustration of how I work.

I would suggest that is how you all craft, you listen to what others have to say, to try things out and you work out what works for you.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Clematis Tower Challenge

Hi, it's Elaine here and I'm very excited today as Lynnda has asked me to be a Guest Blogger here on the Oak House Studio blog.

As all the talk recently has been about ONE STAMP and what you can do with that stamp in 24hrs (June 9th & 10th), I thought I'd show you a wall hanging using the CLEMATIS TOWER stamp.

The Clematis Tower was stamped onto some Ten Second Studio aluminium with black Stazon and then worked with tools to create the raised effect. For the label I wrote on a piece of paper and drew over this with a pointy tool. Both pieces were then stuck to card, the edges folded under and finished with a wheely tool.

I used black acrylic paint to create an aged effect and then coloured the metal with alcohol inks - Red Pepper, Cranberry and a bit of Black Soot. This was done for a wall display with a red, black and white colour theme, but you can use any colour you like for the clematis!!

Well thanks for looking and thank you Lynnda for inviting me here. I hope this post has stirred your interest to use the Clematis Tower stamp and join in the fun!!

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Day in Nottinghamshire

I know it is only just over the border from Yorkshire but this part of the county was quite important to my family as I grew up, so a trip to Blyth is always special, but when you include a day at Blyth Craft Studio then the day is VERY special.
Martin and I did enjoy a lovely day out and it was probably the best weather we have had for weeks. We set off early then stopped to eat just before we got there, ready for the shop opening at 9:30am. I had, as usual put half the studio in the back of the van (in no particular order).
As we brought the gear in, Martin was recognised by one the customers who so pleased to see him, and then made a huge fuss following to the toilet etc. (I know it takes some believing for most of you but was a pretty special moment) Hence took a while to get in the stock and display it. I was ready to demo by 10am and was joined by a lovely group of ladies.
Lots of questions later and dashing off at random tangents hopefully kept them all entertained. To add to Martin's joy I kept sending him to the van to find treasure like cotton wool and glue spreaders only to find them whilst he was gone!! oh dear he kept smiling though and did a great job of doing all the washing up all day.

The afternoon workshop was scheduled to be a small group of 5 possibly six, it turned into ten cheerful ladies who seemed to thoroughly enjoy their afternoon.
They threw more questions at me and I did my best to answer them all. I am pretty sure they were amazed to see how easy to could be and the joy of being able to wash off the stamping you didn't like and start again was a new pleasure for them. However I am not sure they expected to spend so much time watching paint dry...and enjoying it!

Really LOVEd our day at Blyth as always and hope to be back real soon. And a big Thank You to Martin for treating me to breakfast out, drive there and back, washing up, taking the photos and looking for lots of wild geese! we all love you.