Friday, 16 November 2012

To ink, or not to ink

That is the question...and Simon says "No!" ;o)

    The Simon says challenges are ones I have watched in awe - before I even started the blog - all of them are so amazing and the people who take part are so very talented. I do like a challenge, even if I happen to fall flat on my face doing it! And of course, as well as the 'Simon says' challenge there are many others that I will be entering this into......

    So - stamping without ink. I decided to raise the bar slightly by not using ANY might say "Wow"! and part of me hopes you do ;o).....but I have to admit that my bravado declaration to abstain from using any inks, is due to the fact that when I did this tag I didn't have any worth using!

    My inks in the ink/stamp drawer are from a birthday gift in 2004 and I am afraid are nowhere near as good as the ones available today...the stamps are very cartoony and basic and the inks are opaque and bright....and very limited colours. Not where I wanted to go at all....(I do now have some inks in the form of a wonderful early Christmas gift that arrived yesterday from my wonderful sister-in-law)...three of my fav Tim Holtz distress inks and a blending tool....which will no doubt be used on my next project. Daughter's eyes lit up when she saw them and she exclaimed "WOW!...Cool!!!" - Never a truer word spoken!

     Anyway, back to no ink....and honestly - NO ink has been anywhere near this project....if it had, you would see a lot of yellow, blue and black since they are the only colours I owned!

     I sat and thought about this project....wondering how on earth I do it. Rummaging through the horrible cartoon stamps I came across a leaf stamp that I had forgotten about...acrylic paint...autumn...rustic....ideas, ideas, ideas!!!

    I stamped the image onto card and used that as a template to cut out a stamp out of craft foam. Marking it with a knife to create creases and holes, I used this to stamp red, green and orange acrylic paint onto similar coloured card. Then I darkened the original colours with brown or black paint and I used this darker paint to stamp the original leaf stamp over the top...bit haphazardly - it is difficult to re-stamp an image - but in this case it didn't matter, as I wanted it to be messy and rustic....not a uniform colour.

    Then I cut the leaves out and distressed the edges. Added chalk in brown, red, green and black. Then crumpled the leaves in my hands. Had great fun hunting for suitable autumn toned paper in the scrap box....I had so much to choose from in the end it was tricky to decide, but had to limit it or run the risk of overloading the card....but oh, I was sorry to push aside some of the pieces (perhaps another project?!) I arranged all the patterned paper and used green, brown and black chalks to make it look more rustic/dirty!

     I wanted the leaves to look like they had been just picked up from the I worked more chalk onto them and when attaching the leaves and twine I used a glue that dries like a varnish to give glimpses of wet leaves...I am not convinced this worked great and with hindsight a better way could have been found...but never mind - we learn!

     Copper letters and brads added along with twine and ribbon ....oh, and some sticks - I decided at last minute these were needed and raced outside to find some. Luckily at this time of year there are many! Got some string and wound it around them and there was my autumn tag....with no inks!


    Hope you like it - Please leave a comment if you do!

This is being entered in the following challenges -

simon says stamp and show - Stamp without ink
CCEE Stampers - Fall or Thanksgiving theme CCEE1246
Chalk N Stock  - Anything goes - must use chalk
Tuesday alchemy - Anything goes
divas by design - Anything goes
The Stamping Shack - Anything goes
The Artistic Stamper  - November challenge - Anything goes



  1. Good luck with the challenge Laura! That raises the bar - no ink! I'm seriously impressed and what wonderful leaves. These are really lifelike, so right up my street. Brown parcel paper is brilliant (and quite cheap for a huge roll) especially when you wet it or scrunch it up. And I'm glad I'm not the only one picking up stuff from outside (pine needles are fab too)! Think we all need your photography skills - does this run in the family? They show up all the amazing detail beautifully. Hugs, Buttons x

  2. Laura, first of all, thank you for the kind words about our Simon Says Stamp and Show challenge. I am thrilled that you find them so inspiring. :) Now...your autumnal piece is beautiful! I totally love your leaves and how you've made them look so realistic! Loved reading your process for that! I also love the way you've tucked them into the twine and twigs. I love copper and your copper letters look perfect on the burlap looking textured paper. Love how you've torn and distressed it! Love your background, too! Beautiful job! Thanks for sharing your art with us at Simon Says Stamp and Show! <3 Candy

  3. I am so VERY impressed with this GORGEOUS "no ink" tag Laura!! WOW those leaves are so real like. Your added details like the burlap and metal letters all give it such textural interest!! Thanks so much for joining us at Simon Says Stamp and Show :)
    P.S. you have a bit of catching up to do with your Tim Holtz Distress Inks WILL need them all :)

  4. For not having a lot to work with and not using ink, I am very impressed with your results. I just love the way you brought different textures and fall colors into your creation. Thank you so much for joining the Chalk n Stock challenge. Jearise at from the Chalk n Stock DT.

  5. Such a beautiful tag and so many fab items :o) thank you for sharing it with us at Chalk N Stock this week and good luck :o)

    Nikki DT

  6. WOW! Beautiful!
    Thanks for sharing with us at SFC!
    xxx Andrea

  7. Oh I do like this very much! As you know autumn is probably my favourite season and this captures the feeling of it so well.

    Nice to know I need never wonder about presents for you and butterfly ever 'gen - it'll always be Holtz in some form or another.....

  8. PS The lovely sunflowers have gone so I guess you have changed the template - sadly the new one still doesn't let you leave comments if you hit the blog from the main heading, but only if you click on the individual post headings....

    Most blogs seem to allow comments to be left from both places.....

  9. Very well put together, such a stunning project, I love the tearing and the metal lettering. The arragement of leaves or gorgeous!
    Thank you very much for joining us over at The Stamping Shack for our new challenge, the best of luck x

  10. love the fall colors! great job! thanks for playing along with us at The Stamping Shack!

  11. Gorgeous fall creation. Thanks for joining at The Stamping Shack's first challenge

  12. Just tried to leave a comment but my internet dropped out! You may get two so my apologies if that happens. The gist of what I said is that your tag is gorgeous and came by to look because I did leaves on my card. You sound like a girl after my own heart: attention to detail is all! Beautiful make.
    I'm going to attempt to be your latest follower if the internet allows me!

  13. Beautiful autumn bundle on a fab tag! Good luck with the challenges - and I'm glad you like the inks!!
    Alison xx

  14. Such a beautiful autumnal tag...thanks for joining us at Divas!
    Helen x

  15. What a beautiful Fall Tag! Love it and Thanks for joining us at The Stamping Shacks 1st Challenge. Hugs, Chris B., DT

  16. Stunning, no ink project! Love the colors and embellishments. Thanks for joining us at Chalk N Stock!

  17. WOW! What a beautiful creation! Love your use of natural fibers/elements and your leaves look so real! Thanks so much for joining our "SCRAPS" challenge at Shelly's Images! Please come back and join us again real soon!!
    Shelly's Images DT

  18. Very nice work you did here without using ink. A total challenge for oneself. The additional elements in your tag gives a very natural fall feel. So glad you played along with us at the Stamping Shack challenge.

  19. Thank you for playing along with us at The Stamping Shack. This fall project os fabulous, a really great work of art. Katie

  20. My goodness, this is gorgeous! Thanks for playing with the CCEE Stampers.

  21. This is beautiful! I love the metal letters for the word Autumn! Thanks for joining us for the anything goes challenge at The Stamping Shack!
    Thanks for joining us for the Clear It Out "Use your red stash" challenge!
    visit my blog @ sandy's crafty creations

  22. love this, really clever and well designed!

  23. WOW! I love this! The colors are beautiful! Great use of some scraps! Thanks for joining us this week at HIMCR!

    Hiding in My Craft Room

  24. Thanks for playing along at the Artistic Stamper this month with your fabulous artwork.
    xoxo Sioux

  25. This is a great tag! I like the metal letters you used for the word Autumn. I like how you tied twigs to the tag too!

  26. Hello again,

    I just wanted to let you know that you won the Chalk n Stock challenge for November. Please contact me at jearise at g mail dot com and let me know you saw my post here. Thanks and congratulations.


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