Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass but learning to dance in the rain.
La vie, ce n’est pas d’attendre que l’orage passe, c’est apprendre à danser sous la pluie.

Friday, 2 May 2014

#3UP April - May 2014

Here we go again..... a new #3Up challenge from PaperArtsy! 

I postulated for the evening showcasing  Ellen Vargo new set of Eclectica3 stamps.... 
You  can see the full collection at the end of the post but here are the 2 sets that I have and used for this challenge...
(I will be buying more...they're so much fun)
sets 1 & 2

I’ve had two of promotional puzzle cubes from work hanging about the house for ages and had been wanting to transform them long before the #3UP challenge.
A publicity item that we give away at shows, exhibitions and communication events

I first thought of simply priming the cube with Gesso them then stamping but the Gesso didn’t adhere too well so I scraped off the paper, cleaned the plastic cubes with alcohol and started from scratch, time consuming!
one of the eight cubes

eight plastic cubes to be gessoed after hours of cleaning with alcohol

All the black cubes were primed with white gesso, I really should have painted them with my background yellows since I had to go around all the edges after I'd stuck the paper on!!!

I painted and stamped my background on quality cartridge paper but then realized that it was going to be too thick for the folds so.... yet another change of plan, but not the goal.

I started again from scratch using a sheet of address labels. the kind you put in your printer. It worked - solid enough to take the wet paint and thin enough to fold.

The “scratchy circles” were stamped in "Library Green” and “Crimson” (discontinued) Archival”, I base-coated with splotches of Zesty Zing, Yellow Submarine and Limelight. then highlighted the inside of the “swirls using Yellow Submarine and Limelight.
"Scratchy Circle" Ellen Vargo

For the stencil I used a Tim Holtz Dot Fade layering stencil with Smoked Paprika mixed with Metallic Glaze, which didn’t give the full metal jacket effect that I had hoped for but turned out interesting all the same....Maybe because Smoked Paprika is a translucent?? Leandra....?. I used the JoFy mini 16 to stamp on more labels and coloured the images with Spanish Mulberry, Orchid, Blood Orange, London Bus, Limelight, Hyde Park, Zesty Zing, Pumpkin Soup and Smoked Paprika.

The words for the quote were printed on standard copy paper, coloured with Promarkers from the limited edition set for 2013. All flowers and words were fussy cut, edged with waterproof black and then collaged using Glue and Seal.
Quote part 1
Quote part 2
Quote part 3

Finally I made a little tray from cardboard, using cardboard and kraft gummed paper (rolls I use for cartonnage). I then covered the outside and inside with strips ....
love my sticky kraft paper rolls

I then painted a strip of micro pore with my background colours and stamped it with the same "scratchy circle" stamp and Archival colours as the cube puzzle. 
Micro pore again! easy washi tape

The "swirl circle" is a piece of Grungeboard painted with Limelight, and stamped with Crimson Archival  on both sides. I painted a piece of Grungepaper with my background colours and using Library Green Archival stamped with Ink & The Dog Mini 09.
Library green Archival stamped over grungepaper painted with Zesty Zing and Yellow Submarine

I then hot-glued some acid coloured buttons threaded with thin strips of contrasting ribbon. 
assembled tray
view face on with puzzle
from above with puzzle
3/4 view

"Voilà, Voilu, ...." 
...as they say here in France..... all finished. 
Now that I'm inspired what can I get up to next??

Oh nearly forgot!! ....  There's no secret safe with Leandra...... the figure skating was supposed to be  my "...something we perhaps don't know about you" bit!!

Here are the first four sets in the Eclectica 3 Ellen Vargo collection

01- have this set
02 - have this set
03 Need, need, need!!!!
 The latest two to appear (want/need/longing for them both!!)



  1. SPECTACULAR project Steven, love your thinking around the box, not in the box, just be the box...

    Love all the step by step images and helpful bits that didn't go to plan!

    Superb way to use the Ellen Vargo stamps, wonder where you are going to place your wonderful project, somewhere prominent i hope, deserves pride of place :-) xxx

    1. xxx, thanks
      think I'll give it as present...no room in this house!

  2. Brilliant project, Steven, love how it finally all came together - you'd never had known how they started out.

    1. Thanks Helen, got another one "stripped down" and waiting on inspiration!

  3. Well, I've seen the figure skating photos although, for the life of me ican't remember where I saw them! #mindsgoing lol

  4. Well done Steven!! great project and photos..like Helen said you would't have thought they would end up like that!! go #patwits!! I have also seen the skating piccie on facebook..very impressive" :D

    1. Thanks Lin, wait and see for the next one!

  5. Oh my Steven what a great crafty project. I really love the puzzle idea of the cubes. The colours you chose are fun and vibrant. Really love it. And what great memories you must have of your skating days. Your photo is lush xx

    1. Thanks Deborah. The colours weren't really those which I was going for but liked them, very acidulous, so kept them. Have very few photos from that era and even less from professional

  6. Fab creation Steven and clever alteration of those cubes. You sure made life difficult for yourself, lol! Love the zingy colours you chose to work with and how you mixed the JoFY stamps with Ellen's.

    Lesley Xx

    1. Thanks Lesley, it was fun as always! Up for the next #3up challenge if there is one!

  7. Hi Steven, hope you've had a good day. Sorry I didn't get here earlier, been yet another busy day chez moi. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your #3UP post seeing all the photos of your terrific project. Your colours are gorgeous & I love the different stamping elements.

  8. Great project - loving the colour ways and that cute tray! Fab project

  9. Hi Steven, I've just found your blog! Well. easily... :D
    Fabulous recycling project here, that's fun and I love the colours and your stamping!! I discover your project only now, I will look it at PA's blog and leave a comment there too. Coco x