Tuesday, February 11, 2014

And the surprise Guest Designer for February is...

As the host for this month's Our Creative Corner 'A three colour challenge', I am pleased and proud to introduce a very special Guest Designer for February...

Toni (otherwise known as the 'Artistic Craft Dabbler')

This incredibly talented lady has no fear of using colour and a natural artistic talent that allows her to create some stunning work. For this reason I knew she would take this challenge in her stride and come up with something to delight and amaze you. Guess what, I was right!


I was very flattered and excited by Jenny’s invitation to be February’s guest designer for Our Creative Corner. To follow in the footsteps of previous guests, Lynne Moncrieff from Adorn and Trace from Inky Pinky Craft, is indeed an honour. Lynne was one of my very first blog friends and I’m a great admirer of her wonderful romantic style. Trace’s work is always inspiring. I love her subtle use of colour and texture.

When I found out that Jenny had set the challenge theme for February and she had chosen to use a restricted colour palette, with shades of brown, purple, plum and blue, with no black lines allowed, I must confess I was a little nervous. I’m not entirely sure that I’ve ever created a project without a smidgen of black Archival ink featuring somewhere! That is of course until now......So, without further ado, here is the project I’d like to share with you. As February is the month of romance, I’ve chosen to make this canvas as a tribute to my lovely late grandparents.

I’ve used a copy of a photograph of them on their wedding day which was the 24th December 1930. I thought the sepia tones would fit the challenge theme perfectly. My grandma looks so pretty with her beautiful dress and trailing bouquet. My granddad looks pretty handsome too. I love that he’s holding a bowler hat and a pair of white gloves. I can’t imagine that he would have actually worn them on the day.

I started by applying some texture paste through a Tim Holtz ‘ Dot Fade’ Layering Stencil. I left this to dry and then added more paste using Wendy Vecchi’s Flourish stencil. I did this in sections, leaving each part to dry so that I didn’t smudge and flatten the raised areas. I then gave the surface a coat of white gesso, before painting with Distress paints in Antique Linen and Frayed Burlap.

Whilst this was drying, I made some flowers from manila card, using a small Movers and Shapers Tattered Florals die. I really like making flowers, with these dies. It’s a little fiddlesome but it’s very gratifying. In no time at all you can end up with a whole bunch of flowers ready to be painted or inked or both as is the case with these.

They’ve been painted with distress paints, and sprayed with Dylusion Inks and Perfect Pearls Heirloom Gold. They are amazingly resilient! So, flowers made, time to get back to the canvas. I took the plunge and started to spray the surface using my mini misters with diluted Distress Re-Inkers in Aged Mahogany, Chipped Sapphire and Vintage Photo. I sprayed and blotted the inks with a cloth to stop the colours from being too intense, once I was happy with the effect I dried the canvas with a heat tool.

The next stage was to highlight the flourishes with a little Treasure Gold, and a little more stencilling. This time, with ink rather than paste, I used Wendy Vecchi’s Archival Ink in Hydrangea, and a Trellis Layering Stencil.

Everthing was now ready to start assembling the canvas. I layered the photograph onto dyed watercolour paper, and card, then added the metal corners, which have a little Treasure gold on the surface. The flowers were secured with Matte Multi Medium and I finished off, with a die cut leaf and a little tag, handwritten, with my grandparents’ names and the date of the wedding.

I’ve enjoyed the challenge of using a restricted colour palette and will definitely try this again. It’s so easy to reach for the black ink but I hope this project shows that you can keep the lid on it, once in a while!

Many thanks to the wonderfully talented team at Our Creative Corner for inviting me to be their guest designer this month and don’t forget to upload your entry into this fabulous challenge and remember... no black lines !

Toni x


  1. So pleased you said yes and joined us this month Toni! That background is superb and your floral bouquet looks amazing against it. I bet your grandparents would be thrilled to see this. Jenny x

  2. Your grandparents photograph is soo adorable, Toni!
    I love the exquisit "frame" you built for this lovely image. Brilliant stencilling and your flowers are stunning! A delicate and also heartwarming make! Especially for the handwritten tag!
    Thanks for sharing and being our guest!

    Claudia x

  3. Wow, wow, wow Toni, this is exquisite work! Your background is absolutely gorgeous, love that stenciling and your flowers are so beautiful..... I love the photo of your Grandparents too. Gorgeous work Toni, thank you for joining us as our guest and well done to Jenny for choosing such a great colour combination! Anne xx

  4. It was a pleasure to have you here Toni! Your canvas is amazing and so very inspiring! Lots of love Laura xxx

  5. That is just stunning. An amazing piece of art that would enhance any space given. The colours, layout and all the flowers, flourishes and embellishments are incredibly gorgeous together! :o) Mo

  6. Oh wow!! this is just wonderful - I love all the steps which created this amazing piece. And your colour combination is quite amazing - I will try all of these things! Thanks for such a great inspirational piece.

  7. This is a gorgeous piece and I lve seeing how you built p those gorgeous colours and layers! Trace x

  8. what a stunning canvas - love this xx

  9. Tonie, I don't think I have ever seen anything prettier than your awesome canvas. Every thing about your work of art is outstanding. Love the flowers too - Oh to be as talented as you!!!!! I will keep trying.
    Sandy xx

  10. this is so pretty!
    what a wonderful keepsake you created.

  11. This is soooo gorgeous! I want to make one of these pages!

  12. Such a wonderful canvas, Toni - I love what you've done with the textured flourish, layering it up with so many fronds... and the photograph of your grandparents is wonderful. Stunning flowers, as always, and the composition is just beautiful. Thank you so much for being our guest this month.
    Alison xx

  13. Well, having seen this, I can say I am not at all surprised you were asked to be guest designer! This is a truly beautiful creation, starting with your very wonderful grandparents, through to the layout and the colours, and everything. Love it!

  14. Toni
    This is divine. Those yummy berry colours and that beautiful texture such a romantic way to honour your dear grandparents.
    Viewing that beautiful photograph brought to mind the wedding photograph of my paternal grandparents as my Gran Moncrieff was attired in the same style.

  15. A beautiful keepsake and your grandparents photo blends beautifully with the colour palette and textures created.

    Julie x

  16. I have loved your work since I first started blogging, Toni and this is the true jewel in the crown of all your lovely creations. Your flowers are divine; the photo is gorgeous - what a stunning couple and the use of texture paste is so skilled. I really enjoyed looking at every detail of this, Julie Ann xx

  17. Tony this is such a totally stunning canvas! The clever stencilling and gorgeous background colours are the perfect setting for that wonderful photo. The flowers are stunning (I so love their colour!!!), the whole piece is just fantastic! Thank you for being our guest designer!!!

  18. This is stunning with the beautiful flowers and wonderful embossing.

    Chrissie x

  19. Beautiful! I really like it :)

  20. This is amazing work that makes me want to try new things. I also love that Elsie is smiling! You don't see that much in photos from this time.

  21. This is absolutely gorgeous! Love the work with the stencils!!

  22. I am in awe of your work. You are a brilliant artist!

  23. Oh Wow this is absolutely stunning, wonderful layering and use of the stencils, great framing of their picture too!!


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