Wednesday, 25 September 2013

The Happy Couple by Alan Scott

This project started out as a find from a car boot sale. The surface of the canvas is protected so it's important that you do use a good branded Gesso to give a good coverage over the canvas. When I say good, it's worth while in the long term to pay that little more. I have bought a tub of white gesso from a high street store that cost £5.00 - it was gesso but such a watered down liquid, it could cover a white sheet of card never mind a canvas like this one. So it's best to buy a branded tub as it will cover the surface a lot better and save you money and time long term.

I revisited an old faithful set of stamps for this project. it just goes to show that these sets of stamps have a long life and not just like some out there that are '1 trick ponies'. The products used here are 99% available from That's Crafty (who have just had a up-grade on their web site, so is now so much faster and easier to navigate!). Where I have used a product, I have highlighted a product that will be a very good alternative. Over the years we all collect different products so we all understand that we do have differing products.

This project does rely upon items that I have explored in different projects on my blog.



10 inch square canvas thats been reclaimed
White Tile
Scrap White Paper
Black Waterproof Drawing Pens (try to build up a collection of different widths, they last and are worth that extra few pennies for them)
Tim Holtz Distress Embossing Ink Pad 
Strip of Dry Wall tape and Silver Plumbers Tape (raid your partners' D.I.Y space!)
Eco-Crafts White Acrylic Paint White or White Gesso
Posca White Pen
Dimensional Tape
Print out of Computer Typeface Text
Silver Holographic Metallic Card
Cricut Electronic Cutting Machine


Now then we have been round several car boot sales and found some canvases that were originally bought to hang on the wall, with the intention of Home Design. I came across a set of 4 that were bought for would you believe it 25 pence EACH! As they were massed produced, they will have a easy clean surface on them.
A nice thick coat of black Gesso is just what is needed.

Using drywall tape, place two strips close by to each other. The silver tape is there just to hide the joins. As the tape isn't equal in the gaps, there is no great need to be 100% accurate. Then to help protect the tape, a layer of decoupage glue is used. This layer will take a paint medium, so there isn't any issues for further layering. As an after thought, I decided to protect the black gesso layer, so once again I used the same medium to protect it.
While the canvas is drying we can get started with the images. For the figures, I decided to use the stamp sets below in the photo on the left. The only bit of technical crafting is the hair for the bride!
Taking the stamp figure from the Pondering Petunia, I inked the stamp up and made an impression on the stamp paper and then while it still had some ink on, I re-stamped some scrap paper so I can make a mask for later.
Using a piece of scrap paper, the next step of the project is to make a hair cut out. Be as wild as you want or be as neat as you want, it's your call now. Here I have gone for a kinda combed back with a quiff look. Make sure that the base of the hair matches the line at the top of the head.  
The section was been cut out using a crafting knife and cutting mat. You can use your scissors, however I would strongly advise you to use a craft knife as the following steps will show you. The middle is discarded but kept safe as it will be needed later, it's the cut out area or mask that we are going to use.
Place the stamped out figure first onto the stamped image on the white card, secure with a little dab of glue from a glue stick. Then place the hair mask on top of this so you have a 2 part layer stack.
1. The stamped image on the stamping card.
2. The stamped image on photo copy paper
3. The hair mask/template. 
Then using the stamp you have selected for the hair here its a stamp from Background Love. As its a patterned one there wasn't a great deal of matching up to be done. Just be careful when placing the stamp. 
After the hair had been stamped and while all the layers were still in place its a perfect opportunity for the next stamped layer. Remove the hair template and place over the hair impression the middle that was cut out.
Placing the figure from the Dependable Dotty stamp set, ink up again with StazOn and make an impression so that it will look as if the figure is standing behind the female image.
After all your hard work stamping, masking and layering, it should look something similar to the photo on the right.
By using a black micron drawing pen. you're able to join any lines that are not quite matching. Use a waterproof black pen for this stage.
In the Bits of This stamp set there are two flowers that can be used to make up the bouquet of flowers for the bride. This time we are going to stamp onto silver metallic style card, so the StazOn ink pad is used again. This is the best ink pad for stamping onto non porous surfaces. One of the smaller houses in the Right Up Your Street stamp set would make the perfect Church in the background.
I wanted to make this a black and white project. As I used StazOn I'm able to use a water based material. So armed with my Black Soot distress marker, a water brush and a white tile, I started to lay down colour, just highlighting areas. Just relax experiment with some paper that you used in the stamping. It's just like using your water based coloured brushes. Only this time we will be using the one colour, by adding more water to the mix you're able to give a lighter layer of colour.
When the stamped image was as I wanted it to look, the next step was to cut it out. This was done using both a good pair of sharp tipped scissors and a craft knife leaving a small gap surrounding the image, don't worry this will not show up. Using the same black Gesso that we used in the covering of the canvas ,this small extra from our stamped image will be covered up using a fine tipped brush and the gesso.
Now then, it's time to get back to our canvas. There is a wonderful collection of stamps from Prima called Stitches and they are sets of sewn image stamps in LinesCircles, Squares and Rectangles. They are cling backed and to me, can become a very good investment for future projects. I opted to use one of the straight lines. Again, StazOn was used as I was going to be stamping onto a non porous surface.
The stamped layer. When dry, I once again put a layer of Collage Glue over the image to protect it.
To give more interest and definition, I opted to use a white paint. The top photo on the right shows what I did. I selecting certain squares and I filled them in with the white paint. If you don't have white paint in your crafting supply box, white Gesso will work.  
The background needed something as it was just flat. Before I finished with the white, all that was needed was somewhere to place the church building. By drawing freehand with a pencil, I started to draw 2 hills - this would also give depth to the image. Just 2 simple lines can work miracles to your project. When I was happy with the two lines, I took my Posca white pen and drew over the pencil lines. You can use paint if you're steady with your hands.
The background was still lacking something, it was flat. So armed with embossing Ink and the background stamps of Alphabet and Numeral Figures, I started to stamp freehand over the canvas. When I say free hand, I mean I didn't use a stamping block. As quickly as I stamped, I put a layer of embossing powder down. When I had finished, that's when I used my heat gun to fix the embossing powder. You can make out some of the embossed imagery in the photo on the right.
When it came time to secure the imagery onto the canvas, I used a roll of dimensional tape. This was done in a double layer to give height. Now then, looking back I have not mentioned how l did the bouquet of flowers.
As the flowers were drawn, it was quite easy with a steady hand to separate them, so I had in effect, 2 separate flower heads and stems. By giving the stems a thicker base using a black pen, the line was drawn. Then to make it look as if they were being held, I just cut the flowers from the stems at a point where it would look okay to hold them. Then with some Cosmic Shimmer Clear P.V.A glue, I secured them on top of the hands and then the stems below the hand. Overlapping the flower heads, made it look bigger and as if they were part of the image.
The Cosmic Shimmer Clear Varnish was used in the glasses to make it look as if there was a layer of glass. It's all about layering, even if they are small it's still part of a bigger picture.  

The church was also secured to the canvas using the Cosmic Shimmer Clear P.V.A glue.  
I wanted to put text on the canvas so that it looked as if it was a card or a hand crafted present as a keep sake. So after looking through the text on one of my Cricut cartridges, I saw this phrase. Also it came in handy as I did make an error while I was painting the outline using the black Gesso. It was not quite dry and as I was handling it, I smudged the male figure around the collar area. It did stand out, so I went into panic mode! However while I was searching, I came across small flower shapes - PERFECT I could give the male figure a flower pin and I could cut out small flowers to put on top of the flowers I already secured into place.
After looking at the canvas the following day, the text I had placed onto the canvas just didn't look right. A panic haze descended upon me. After all that effort I had put in, it could be ruined and I would have to start again. So the lesson here I have learnt is, don't place the text down securely until the following day and I have looked at it with fresh eyes. I grabbed the same card that I had used before and cut out a rectangle, just big enough to cover the space where there was glued parts from the other text but small enough to leave a border of the tape, as the last thing I wanted was to cover it all up. 
After it was cut out, I took a distressing tool and worked on the edge. This was then inked using a Black Soot Distress Ink Pad. Using a black marker, I drew a box a centimetre inside.
As I didn't have a stamp font I wanted to use instead I decided to print the wording out. Then using scissors, I cut them out and secured them onto the newly distressed holographic card.
I wanted to have that symbol that's in a lot of wedding imagery and that's Doves. This is where How does Your Garden Grow came in, I could use the birds as a symbolic image. They don't have to fly, so by placing them on the ground without legs, it kind of gave that impression. These again were coloured around the outside edges by using black Gesso.
The birds in place. You can also see the flower heads and the flower on the collar, that i mentioned a little  earlier in the blog.
There you have it a different style of wedding project it can be changed over with a little tweaking using the stamps from this collection of stamps to fit almost any occasion. 
Any questions please send me a message and i will get back to you as soon as possible.
Happy Crafting


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