Thursday, 2 April 2015

The Light It Up Blue For Autism Awareness Blog Hop - Love You To Pieces

Hello and welcome to a special blog post today! I am taking part in a huge blog hop to celebrate World Autism Awareness Day, so thank you for joining me. You can read all about the blog hop and find the links for all the amazing artwork here on Veronica Fletcher Zalis' blog. If you would like to find out more about Autism I recommend checking out the websites for The National Autistic Society (in the UK) or Autism Speaks (in the USA).

I also have a very sweet friend whose eldest son is Autistic, so I am delighted to participate in this event to help raise awareness. For those that are interested, my friend Galina writes very eloquently about the subject on her blog Chez Maximka (where you can also find some lovely recipes).

I can also highly recommend My Son's Not Rainman, an amusing blog written by the comedian John Williams, who is a single parent to "The Boy" - who also happens to have autism. John is also writing a book (also called My Son's Not Rainman) about life with his son. My Son’s Not Rainman will be published by Michael O’Mara Books in 2015 (it will be dedicated to the memory of Connor Sparrowhawk and a percentage from each book sold will go to Express CIC.). I am very much looking forward to reading this later this year.

Anyway, on to the artwork! Here is my "blue" card, which was a total labour of love since it took me well over twelve hours to make! I am thrilled with how it turned out though! Please click on the photos for a clearer view. 

Yesterday my new Distress inks arrived, just in time for me to have a play use them on my card for this blog hop! 

For my main focal point I chose to stamp this gorgeous image, Norma J. Burnell's Mid Summer Dragonflies, available from Sweet Pea Stamps. I used VersaFine Onyx Black ink to capture all the fine details and to enable me to watercolour the image with Distress Markers, without them bleeding. I also used Strathmore Bristol Smooth paper, which I cut with a Lawn Fawn stitched rectangle die.

I also decided to stamp and colour some extra dragonflies and flowers so that I could layer them up for more dimension. I highlighted the dragonflies wings with my clear Wink of Stella brush pen - you can just make out the lovely shimmer if you click on the photo to enlarge it.

The photo below shows the selection of Distress Markers that I used to watercolour the stamped images. Previously I have used a clear acrylic block to scribble the ink onto before picking it up with a damp brush. However I recently saw a video on Kristina Werner's blog where she had laminated some white card to use as a palette for watercolour markers, so I thought I'd try it out. I'm glad that I did and I have to say that it's so much better than using a clear block as you can actually see what the colours will look like against the white background.

Below is a close up of the stamped panel after it had been decoupaged with clear foam pads. The background panel was sprayed with blue and silver glimmer mists, then repeatedly stamped (using Memento Teal Zeal ink) with some tiny hearts from the "You're my Fave Valentine" stamp set by Studio Calico. It's lovely and shimmery in real life! I tied a double bow with some Hug Snug "Elegant Peacock" seam binding and added a tiny silver dragonfly brad - so cute!

For the sentiment I die cut the word "Love" (by Papertrey ink) six times out of white card and stuck them all together for added dimension. I coloured the edges of the word with my new Mermaid Lagoon Distress marker and covered the top with some blue holographic foil - it's so pretty and shiny! (Now you know why my husband calls me a magpie - LOL)! I used three puzzle pieces from a blank white jigsaw and coloured then with Tumbled Glass Distress Ink and an ink blending tool. Then I used my Mermaid Lagoon Distress Marker to selectively ink up some of the letters from the sentiments in the Waltzingmouse stamps "Nutcracker Sweet" stamp set so that I could stamp the rest of the sentiment onto the puzzle pieces. I thought that this was appropriate since jigsaw puzzle pieces regularly appear as a logo on many of the Autism websites.

Finally I die cut some leaves using a Crealies leaf die set (CL CS 12) and added some details with Shabby Shutters and Peeled Paint Distress Markers. I added some tiny forget-me-not type sweetheart blossoms (from Wild Orchid Crafts) and added the arrangement to the corner of the card with some clear foam pads.

Thank you so much for reading this long post! Don't forget to leave a comment on as many of the blog hop posts as you can, as there are a whole load of fabby prizes to be won from the following kind sponsors! 

I had so much fun taking part today! Huge thanks to Tenia Renee Nelson and Veronica Fletcher Zalis for organising it all!