Faux Acrylic pouring

Faux Acrylic Pouring

Faux Acrylic PouringI have been playing with paint effects for many moons and am very taken with the Acrylic Pouring technique. There are loads of YouTube videos to watch if you fancy.

However – when I did quite a few last autumn, I wasn’t the most popular person in the house ….. it has to be said that despite it being huge fun to play – the mess is pretty intense. The table was well covered with a plastic sheet and I deliberately played in the kitchen as we have a laminate floor. HOWEVER, two chair cushions, one shirt, and quite a lot of cleaning up of floor, sink and flip top bin created a few growly moments! Not to forget the large number of disposable gloves I waded through (I have many, many boxes of them from when my parents needed help).

If you are not put off by my messiness, then we have a lovely selection of pouring acrylic paints and accessories here on the website.

So I came up with this idea – the effect of acrylic pours but in a printed format. I made about 30 or 40 paintings and then we had them professionally photographed and printed onto our usual high quality satin finish cardmaking pad paper. I did some on canvas and you can see the texture coming through and some on Tim Holtz Yupo paper for a change.

This card was one of the demonstrations I did last week on Create and Craft – I think it was Friday’s show.

I was thrilled that the faux pour pads sold so well. It’s always gratifying when you really love a product and the sales fly to match your hopes!Faux Acrylic Pouring

The centrepiece of the card is created using the Long Stemmed Rose and the Gypsophila dies and the Hello is a Sue Wilson die. You could make a similar design by doing three strips or four circles – just whatever shape takes your fancy. Here I took one sheet of the faux pour paper (interesting how different the four pieces look despite coming from the same sheet) – anyway I took four pieces and then matted and layered them onto pink mirror card and then some silver.

One tip is when you come to place the four pieces on your card blank, you might like to use something like Pinflair glue gel that gives you time to move the squares slightly to ensure they are completely aligned. I used 2mm foam tape and add its instant grab to the pressure of being on TV I am amazed that I got the squares close to where I wanted them!

There’s so much you can do with these sheets – yes of course card making but also use them like original artwork – you can add glitter to make a geode, pens and stamping to add a special touch,  make a clock, frame a sheet, cover a notebook, top with some glaze and just hang on the wall like a canvas. Have fun and no mess!

Click here for more information on our Faux Pour Paper Pads.

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New Foodie Collection in Signature Dies

Wowee zowee – it’s not often I am jumping about saying how much I love a new range of dies – but our new Foodie Collection in Signature dies – I am just loving to bits.

You can see from the samples, they are bright and breezy – you can paper piece or colour, whichever you enjoy and they make just the most wonderful cards.

I have had fun making a couple of doughnut cards for friends – it just amused me that we have to avoid the real thing like the plague (we are all on a diet!) but you can play with these as much as you like and add as many sprinkles and icing as you wish!

You can send chocolates and frothy drinks, cocktails and goodies galore to everyone and it’s such fun planning and colouring – these samples were made by Sylvie Ashton and they are fabulous!

If any of you have other foodie collections you fancy – why not email me at Joanna@joannasheen.com and I will see what our designers say!

There are five new food & drink themed dies:

Hot Chocolate, Doughnuts, Gelato, Cocktail and Chocolate Box.

Why not click here and have a browse at these and other Food & Drink inspired Signature Dies – perfect for making those celebration cards and projects.

 

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The all-conquering conker!

Conkers mean the arrival of Autumn.

I spotted a request for conkers from a friend’s mother on Facebook this morning. Was she about to stage a local conker championship or challenge her grandchildren to a match, I wondered? No… she was one of the many people who believe conkers can keep spiders out of their house! Hmmm, I thought, is there any truth in that, and are conkers good for anything else, other than looking lovely, confirming Autumn has arrived and entertaining kids in the playground.

Are conkers spider killers?

I hate to disappoint you, but there’s no proof this is true. The story goes that conkers contain a noxious chemical that repels spiders but no-one’s ever been able to scientifically prove it. Legend has it that if a spider gets close to a conker it will curl its legs up and die. Others say spiders will happily crawl over conkers with no ill effects at all. What do you think? Are you one of those people who have conkers strategically positioned around your house?

Bake a cake with conker flour?

Chestnuts, the edible ones!

Do not confuse horse chestnuts (conkers) with chestnuts, the latter is a pleasant and popular nut, the former is actually mildly poisonous! Despite this, I have read that those old stalwarts, the Victorians, wrote recipes for making conker flour. The seeds were shelled, ground and then leached to remove bitter flavours.

Conkers can cure sprains and bruises?

It is said that the horse chestnut is so named because its seeds were once used to treat ailments in horses. It has since been discovered that aescin, which can be extracted from conkers, has anti-inflammatory effects and is an effective remedy for sprains and bruises in humans.

Leave conkers in your wardrobe to deter moths

Horse chestnuts… the much less edible ones!

Is this another spider scam? It seems not. If moths are munching their way through your winter wardrobe then conkers could help stop the little critters. Conkers give off an aroma called triterpenoid that wards off pests. Place fresh conkers in among your clothes and as they dry out they emit the moth-repelling chemical. I shall be investigating this!

You can get clean with conker soap

Conkers contain saponins, which are soap-like chemicals that are sometimes added to shampoos and shower gels. It is believed that the Vikings (who were apparently surprisingly clean!) made their soap out of soaked, crushed up conkers. I’m not sure I shall be relaxing in a conker bath any time soon, but fascinating nonetheless!

 

 

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Very berry good!

It looks like a great year for blackberries.

The hedgerows are thick with blackberries already this year, I assume as a result of the rather extreme weather we’ve had of late. There are lots of berries that grow wild in this country – strawberries, sloes and elder to name just a few – and it’s a reflection on our modern lives that the vast majority of us wouldn’t be able to identify them, and certainly not feel confident to pick them! We all got terribly excited about ‘superfoods’ a few years ago and berries are top of the list being high in antioxidants, fibre, vitamin C and flavonoids.

The world-conquering strawberry.

As ever, ancient man (and woman of course!) knew all this and berries have been a valuable food source for humans since before the start of agriculture. They were a seasonal staple for early hunter-gatherers for thousands of years. In time, humans learned to store berries so that they could be used in the winter.

Berries began to be cultivated in Europe and other countries. Some species of blackberries and raspberries have been cultivated since the 17th century. The most widely cultivated berry of modern times, you won’t be surprised to hear, is the strawberry, which is produced globally at twice the amount of all other berry crops combined.

Rowanberries – impossible to miss even by the most shortsighted bird!

As ever, Mother Nature has got it all cleverly worked out and when ripened, berries are typically of a contrasting colour to their background (usually green leaves), making them visible and attractive to animals and birds. This is essential as it’s how the plants’ seeds get dispersed to produce new plants and so keep the growing cycle going…

As well as the old favourites – strawberry, raspberry and blackberry – there are plenty more berries out there! Here are a few more:

  • White and Golden Raspberry
  • Dewberry
  • Elderberry
  • Lingonberry
  • Cloudberry
  • Gooseberry
  • Cape Gooseberry
  • Mulberry
  • Loganberry
  • Tayberry

Fresh raspberries – so delicious!

What a gorgeous sounding list! The last two are especially interesting as they are ‘hybrid’ berries – hybrids of other berries, created by planting fruit cross-pollinated by two different plants. In the late 19th and early 20th century, botanists went on a bit of a hybridizing craze, crossing berries in the Rosacea family (like raspberries and blackberries) to try to come up with berries that had the best qualities of both parents.

Loganberry
Legend has it that the loganberry was accidentally created in the late 1800s in California by Judge J.H. Logan. Judge Logan planted an heirloom blackberry and a European raspberry next to each other. The plants seemed to grow well together, and with a little help from the birds and the bees, they cross-pollinated. Loganberries have a deep red raspberry colour and the size and texture of a blackberry. The vines, which lack the substantial thorns of a blackberry, have dark green fuzzy leaves. Unsurprisingly, the loganberry taste a little like a raspberry and a little like a blackberry!

Tayberry
Tayberries are a more recent cross between raspberries and blackberries, developed by the Scottish Horticultural Society in the late 1970s and named after the river Tay in Scotland. The Tayberry also tastes of a cross between raspberries and blackberries, but it is larger and sweeter than Loganberries. Tayberries have a naturally high level of pectin, so they’re perfect for jam and pie filling. Yum!

Elderberries – lovely when ripe… posionous when not!

Fruity facts:

  • If you feel you’re lacking in vitamin C, reach for the strawberries. Just nine provide you with your whole recommended daily allowance!
  • Did you know strawberries are powerful teeth whiteners? They contain Vitamin C which helps fight plaque.
  • Strawberries were regarded as an aphrodisiac in medieval times and a soup with the berries, borage and soured cream was traditionally served to newlyweds at their wedding breakfast. I don’t think I’ll be trying that recipe anytime soon!
  • Blackberries, raspberries and strawberries are all part of the rose family. So next Valentine’s Day, consider giving a bunch of berries instead.
  • Everyone knows blueberries are great for humans, but did you know you can freeze them and give them to dogs as a crunchy, healthy treat?
  • While many berries are edible, some are poisonous to humans, such as deadly nightshade. Others, such as the white mulberry, red mulberry, and elderberry, are poisonous when unripe, but are edible when ripe
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Several ideas from one set of dies

It’s important to be able to use any die you buy in several different ways. Flexibility makes dies so much better value and this little trio of cards gives some inspiration on quick and easy cards with our recent flower dies.

The bunch of roses uses Tied Bunch of Roses SD624, together with the Harriet Lace Edger SD191. I love the versatility of the lacy edger dies – well I like most things lacy I guess! On this card, the diecuts have been coloured with Promarkers, but you could easily diecut in a green and then pale lilac card and paper piece the design.

The orchid card looks so stylish, yet can be made up in a very short time once you have your diecuts. Again you could paper piece and cut in various colours but you can achieve such lovely subtle colours using a marker. The die for the vase and flowers is Orchid Trio SD634– the little banner with the forked ends you can just cut by hand.

Finally, the ‘Just for You’ card uses a combination of Tied Bunch of Roses SD624 and the vase from Vase of Flowers SD641. I think it’s important to be able to mix and match dies from any range of dies I buy.

The best value way to have all the dies used in these cards is to buy our special offer Floral Bouquets Multibuy!

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