#3UP with Paperartsy! Altering the whale!

As regular readers of my blog will know, a friend of mine designs stamps for Paperartsy.  Darcy is a talented artist and I love what she and the other Paperartsy designers come up with… They are all so talented. Over on the Paperartsy blog there is a fortnightly topic challenge to join in with, which I sometimes do.  Termly there is a draw to join them for the #3UP challenge and actually get to be on their blog as a guest designer.  And guess what… I only went and got drawn out of the hat to join them!!!!! … What’s more I got to be in the Darcy team.  Having been organised by Darcy before, I knew to keep her calm and happy, I needed to work fast.  So I started that very night (partly due to insomnia caused by having a rotten cold, partly excitement!).  The rules were to use the topics of the previous couple of months as a starting point… I chose texture paste and shiny things… Oh and the colour scheme was red, black, grey and white.

Warning: picture heavy post … You may want to sip coffee and relax to read this one! 🙂 Enjoy! 

I decided to take one of the items I had in the pile of things to alter and use that for the project.  I thought maybe a little plaque would be a nice thing to create.  I also thought it would make a nice gift for some friends who were getting married.


The little wooden sign I had bought in the sale at a discount store for the grand total of £2 knowing it was perfect for altering! I started with a base of gesso, then stamped some tissue paper with a text dictionary stamp, and then glued it to the plaque, making sure there was some texture (smudges, tears, ripples all add to the final effect).


Next bit of texture was to punch some circles of different sizes from some scrap paper.  I glued these down, then used the waste of the punched paper as a stencil for the circles I added roughly using Gelatos.  Next I added some pen doodle circles, and some red paint dots and circles.  Finally I used my finger to rub some red paint around the edges.   

The next step was to use the texture paste to add some depth to the texture.  I love using texture paste… It is so satisfying scraping through a stencil.  I used a clarity stencil for this as I wanted to keep to the circles idea.


As you can see from the photos I was a little impatient in getting to this and didn’t let the previous layers dry properly, so the red has smeared into the texture paste.  It won’t matter though… Just wait and see, but in the meantime, admire that gorgeous texture you can see in the bottom two pics.  

Unfortunately playtime came to an end for a couple of days then as the cold turned to sinusitis and extreme pain meant I had no way of sitting at the desk for playing, so the lovely plaque had plenty of drying time! 

A couple of days later I ventured into the room to see if I could sit up and do anything and managed a few more steps… 


First a light covering of white acrylic to knock back the layer a little ready for the next layer.  Then I stamped the lovely flowing heart leaf Darcy designed for Paperartsy. I then used some Inktense pencils to colour the hearts and add some strength to the stems.  I love that Inktense is permanent when water has been added so it stays where it is put when you add other media on top of it.  

I also added the chipboard letters and a layer of white paint over the top.  Next I added black, a bit extreme at first glance, but i wanted some more depth and to grunge up the little plaque.  The black helps show up some more of the texture too!  Next step… A bit of shiny! 


Shiny = treasure gold!  In this case ruby treasure gold.  First added through the fun Lin Brown Paperartsy stencil, then added to a couple of the texture circles, and then round the edges.  Of course the letters got a coat of the polish too! Gorgeous! So this is the plaque done, I next needed to sort the hanging part.  The original rope wouldn’t go with the new plaque, so it’s time to get creative with wire!  This however was far more than I could achieve in one day… And it was back to bed for poorly me! 

Fast forward to the next day and in front of the TV I managed to wrestle with some wire.  The rusted wire was leftover from making the art doll and needed softening so added fibers, ribbons and trim.  Was going to add some dangling bits too, but when I got to this stage I decided it was done and pretty much anything else would take it over the edge. Of course I couldn’t resist one more bit of shiny… Some stickles and enamel accents.



But suddenly there was no shine… Partly due to bad photography, but also lack of sunlight.  At this point I shared it with Darcy to check I was meeting the brief and it was good enough.  I also mentioned struggling with the shine.  Her suggestion was to try and add some gloss over the letters to make them stand out, which would also help with the shine factor.  So I tried Glossy accents on the letters… And boom… Shine! 


So now all that remained was to take some good pictures… In daylight!  Plus as this was destined to be a gift for a friends wedding present, I needed to make a card to go with it!   So yes, you get another project in this post!

I started with a piece of 6×6 cardstock and stamped Dictionary over it in a patchy manner. Then overlaid the lovely Lin Brown stencil and used cut and foam to add some white acrylic, which did not do very much, so immediately went over it with some black.  Adding the paint using cut and dry foam means you get quite a lot of control to not add too much paint.  It sort of gives a spray paint finish too.  In the later photos of the finished card you can see a sort of halo for the black circles in places which is because I obviously added more white than black in some cases.  This turned out as a nice surprise! 


Next it was time to add the texture paste.  I used a punch to create my own stencil to add these so it was easier to place the circles where I wanted it.

When it was dry I then used the Clarity Jo Bubbles stencil to add the Fired Brick distress ink circles round the edge.  Then went back to my own stencil and added some circles of Ruby Treasure gold.  Some of these I went straight over the raised texture paste circles, and others straight on the flat card or overlapping the texture circles. 

Here endeth playtime number one on the card.  Playtime number two was a rather rapid process which has resulted in no progress pics… So I jump straight to the finished project!  


I have two pictures because under the light you can see the shine and in daylight you can see the true colours.  Each photo has its merit.. Which brings me back to taking pics of the main project… Very tricky!  I took about twenty photos and each had its problems… But think these are the best.  Pop over to the Paperartsy blog to see which ones got chosen! 


Thanks for popping along to my blog to see what I made. And thanks to Paperartsy for the opportunity to play along with #3UP!  

Happy crafting!


4 thoughts on “#3UP with Paperartsy! Altering the whale!

  1. Hello Catherine,
    What a delight it was for me to come and visit your Blog. I love your little plaque, it has a beautiful design and there are not too many circles, there is depth and value in your palette; it is just gorgeous. I did not know who my partners for 3up were until today, and goodness I have been so blown away this week by all the creations this past week.
    I will want to encourage others to participate as this has been so much fun.

  2. I loved seeing this on the blog, Catherine! I thought you really ‘rocked’ this wonderful colour scheme. I was working with Darcy today at Ally Pally. She is such an amazing talent! xx

    1. Isn’t she just? Love Darcy’s creative mind, wish I had an ounce of her talent! Lol!
      Thanks for your kind words about my plaque.
      C xxx

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