Thursday 2 July 2015

Happy Holidays at Stamps and Stencils

Hi everyone, the very talented Toni is our host for this months challenge over at Stamps and Stencils. The theme is Happy Holidays and I'll let Toni explain in her own words...

It's that time of year where you may be thinking about dusting off your passport and digging out your swimsuit! Yes it's holiday time ! Whether you're a lover of the seaside or someone who enjoys a city break, we would love to see your holiday inspired projects. This could be journalling, altered art, or even a good old card. Just remember that we are a mixed media challenge blog and your project should reflect that and as the name of our blog  suggests, don't forget to include some stamping and stencilling

So how did I get from the above to my creation? Well a happy holiday for me would involve the sea and walks along a sandy beach with our dog. It hasn't changed from when the children were young, it was something we all looked forward to on arriving at our destination... looking for 'treasure' on the beach or exploring rock pools. At first I was thinking whitewashed or bleached wood and sandy colours, with plaster moulded shells but I was restricted by the supplies I had and the moulds or stamped images into plaster just didn't work. I then remembered a holiday where we visited a 'fossil beach' and found an ammonite and then wondered if I could use UTEE instead instead of that's the route I travelled.

I started off with a 6x6 deep edge box canvas, I removed the canvas and flipped it over.

The supplies, the ammonite stamp is quite old but you can get alternative ones or a nautilus shell stamp would work well.

Clear UTEE heated till it starts to turn amber and then a little gold leaf and brown mica flake was added.

Poured on to a mat and the stamp had some versamark and chalk fresco on it before stamping. I had no idea how it would turn out but boy did I like the result....the bubbles just added to the effect.

I could have left it as it was but I wanted it to look more defined so I added some treasure gold to the ridges. The base is grey board which I roughly marked the aperture on to.Next grunge paste firstly just textured with a palette knife, then once dry I stencilled some more through the bubble stencil. To finish some fresco paint in pumpkin and irish cream dry brushed on.

I wanted the image to be raised up so the light would show through from behind so I've used 3D transparent gel medium. (UTEE doesn't normally adhere well, I used some superglue on the back of it and adhered it to a piece of clear acetate before adhering that to the gel)

Onto the frame, chalk fresco lightly washed over the whole frame. On the sloped sides of the recess I randomly covered half with irish cream, then filled in the remainder with pumpkin soup. Crackle glaze and a top coat of chalk.

Onto the sides

Saffron archival stamping, then a wash of thinned chalk fresco.

Stamping in irish cream and another 'wash'

Grunge paste again through a stencil, dry brush irish cream and a wash of chalk fresco.

A tickle of treasure gold to finish. 

Please hop across and see what the rest of the very talented design team have made, We're so looking forward to seeing your holiday inspired projects.  Hope you enjoyed the post and as always thanks for stopping by!


  1. Wow wow wow, this is truly amazing, I love the way you have made the shell, especially on all the awesome texture. Love the added sparkle to the UTEE, and the frame looks fantastic. Happy Art :-) Kezzy xxx

  2. What a gorgeous project Ruth! Love the crackle on the frame, and the wonderful seashell focal piece! hugs :)

  3. Fabulous, Ruth... this is so subtly beautiful. The gentle golden glow, the perfect crackle, and that wonderful shell imprint embedded in its niche... it's simply wonderful.
    Alison xx

  4. Totally beautiful and elegant ! Your shell is stunning and the crackled frame is the perfect surrounding. Sue C x

  5. Fantastic project Ruth, your fossil shell looks awesome and it has a wonderful crackled frame.
    Yvonne xx

  6. wow wow wow Ruth, you have excelled yourself here ... absolutely exquisite and fantabulous x

  7. Wow indeed! I love the stamping into UTEE.... what a fabulous effect Ruth! An altogether stunning piece of art!

    Lesley Xx

  8. Wow, this really is so clever Ruth. I'm sad to say my melt pot is lying at the bottom of a box somewhere unloved so must dig that out again and have a little play. I think this might just be my favourite creation of yours too ;)
    Big hugs
    Donna xxx

  9. Oh that stamp in UTEE is amazing, Ruth. Beautiful is the word, for your creation,- the golden shell in the wonderful frame. I would love to have been able to see it in real...thank you for showing !

  10. Ruth, this is absolutely positively Fantastic!!! What a clever clever piece!! I must try your technique! May I ask what you use to heat your Utee? I have the small melting pot, but can't seem to get the rest of my leftover black out of there"(
    Well done for sure- Love it! xo

    1. Thanks so much Jackie...for all your lovely comments. For the UTEE I've used a melt pot...I find the best way to clean it after pouring as much as I can to take a pad of kitchen paper and whilst the pot is still on, VERY carefully wipe all the UTEE away, Ruth x

    2. Thank YOU, so much dear Ruth! xo

  11. I love this project Ruth! The utee with those little flakes of gold and mica is just fabulous and all mounted in such an elegant frame! I can see this hanging in a little gallery shop with a hefty price tag attached ! Great work Toni x

  12. Hi Ruth seeing this has reminded me how much I love Utee techniques. This is so effective, love it.
    Happy crafting, Angela xXx

  13. Ooooh I missed this, it's fabulous, love your crackle xxx

  14. Wow this looks amazing and how fab would a set of these look in a bathroom!! Or anywhere for that matter!!! Gorgeous creation hun xx

  15. Ruth, that is stunning, what a wonderful nautilus, looks like you picked the fossil right off of the beach complete with the sun and sand. Spectacular, thanks for sharing it!

  16. Wow Ruth! This looks like a real treasure!! Chrisx


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