Monday, 20 February 2017

Soar Free

Greetings and a warm welcome to you!
I'm delighted to be sharing my 3rd project as guest designer this month with the fantabulous Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge. Thanks so very much for all your visits and kind comments on my previous two projects.

The days are rolling by rapidly as it's Monday again! This means it's time for a new challenge, and this week's challenge theme is 'Transport It'.

I decided to do something a little different (for me anyway!) so have made a mixed media canvas showing my favourite mode of transport i.e. hot air balloon. Without further ado, here it is...

Apologies for poor photos - I took some snaps with my phone as I went along for a 'step by step'.

All products available from Simon Says Stamp store are listed at end of post.

1. Began with a blank canvas board. Yikes - my first one!

This board was already primed with gesso.

2.  Dabbed some Ranger Distress Inks on my craft mat

Spritzed them with water. Swooshed the canvas through the inks and heat dried with heat tool.

Then painted with Paperartsy blue and white paints and gesso and allowed to dry.

3. Painted again with white gesso.

Adhered a woven trim.

Stencilled some texture paste using Prima stencil.

Stamped corners (although later on I fairly well covered up this stamping).

4. Painted yet again with watered down white paint.

Dabbed white crackle paint randomly.

Made textured lines by 'stamping' white crackle paste here and there using edge of an old credit card. Sprinkled mini art stones on top of this paste whilst still wet.


5. Painted die cut film strip, a drinking straw and chipboard with white paint. Adhered these to canvas. (The two shorter inner straws are positioned to balance the balloon).

Dribbled blue and gold Prima sprays around embellished areas.

Added little blue fragments and metal elements.


6. Die cut balloon from chipboard and painted with Prima metalliques. (Balloon actually triple layered).

Sprinkled around gold and pale blue microbeads.  Painted alpha letters and various metals with a mix of black & white gessos and metallique paints.  Filled tiny bottle with sequins and beads.

Layered balloon in place on top of more chipboard and sisal fibres. Added copper beaded trim and light bulb to balloon basket.

Stamped text onto tissue, tore tissue into little strips and glued with multi-matte.


7. Added some splatters.

Laid out painted stars, chipboard cogs and sequins to see how this looked but it seemed 'over crowded' given that I wanted the balloon to be main focus.

So scrapped this arrangement!

(Actually I scrapped several 'arrangements', but am just showing this one!)

8. Kept the stars and just added some crystals and pearls instead.

Smeared brass paint around edge of canvas. Painted cardboard panel the same blue as balloon and matted to canvas.

Rubbed white paint into metal wordband so that sentiment became clearer.

Decided to declare it finished at at this point...but further suggestions are welcome!

Do check out this week's challenge to view the always impressive creations from the fantastic design team. Each week one lucky challenge entrant wins a $50 gift voucher to spend instore.

Many thanks again to all at Simon Monday Challenge and at the Simon Says Stamp Store for allowing me feature in the 'Designer Spotlight' this month.

Very many thanks for taking the time to stop by today!
Wishing you a lovely week,
Nicola x


I used products that are available from Simon Says Stamp Store as follows:

Memory Box - Grand Voyage Balloon and Quilted Balloon Stripes


Prima Marketing Metallique Paint in Deep Waters and Brass Hardware. Paper Artsy Fresco Finish Paint in Snowflake

Sprays and Liquids
Prima Marketing Color Bloom Sprays in Gold Foil and Fairy Pond. Ecoline liquid watercolor in Black

Ranger Distress Inks in Tumbled Glass, Salty Ocean, Broken China, Weathered Wood. Ranger Archival Ink in Black

Prima Marketing Mixed Media Essentials for Black and White Gesso. Prima Marketing Heavy Body Gel. Ranger Distress Crackle Gel in Clear Rock Candy.  Dreamweaver Texture Paste. Ranger Texture Paste Opaque Crackle. Prima Marketing Mini Art Stones

Tim Holtz Idea-ology - Hinge Clips, Metal Word Bands, Game Spinners, Wire Pins, Swivel Clasps, Locket Keys / Metal Hardware Keyhole.
Prima Marketing Junkyard Findings and Micro Beads in Copper.
Stampendous Powder Blue Fragments from the Blue Encrusted Jewel Kit.

Sticky Stuff
Scotch Double Sided Foam Tape, Ranger Multi Medium Matte, Aleenes Tacky Glue


  1. Gorgeous canvas Nicola, I absolutely love this, the white and delicate blue background really does transport me up into the clouds and the balloon is fabulous. I love all the little extra details too 💙 I have never been in a hot air balloon but think I should give it a try ;-)

    Lols x x x

  2. I love this, Nicola! The background you created behind the balloon is fabulous and I love all the texture on your piece. It's beautiful!

    Cathie ♥

  3. WOW Nicola this is absolutely breathtaking make! Love that hot air balloon! Great way to interpret the challenge theme! Thank you for the inspiration.
    Paper Talk with Samra

  4. This looks wonderful, love the tiny charms, thanks for joining us at Allsorts, xxxx

  5. Absolutely fantastic, Nicola. So happy you have shared with us your first canvas! It looks amazing. Great step by step pictures and the final one of course. I love the sweet balloon the most! Hugs, Marzena

  6. This is fabulous! Nicola and thank so much for sharing its development . Love those textured cc lines . Wonderful layers and embellishments and your balloon with lightbulb is fantastic. Another great GD project .
    hugs x

  7. Awesome canvas, Nicola! Love how you have made the balloon appear to be rising through the atmosphere. Love the little charms you added! I too love hot air balloons, but have never yet been up in one. I had my students convinced I kept an airship in the field behind my house and wondered why they never saw me! :)

  8. Oh wow, Nicola, this is absolutely spectacular!! The texture is amazing!! I love the hot air balloon and all of the details you added!! What a gorgeous, gorgeous canvas this is!! I love it!! Have a great day!! Big hugs :)

    A Mermaid's Crafts

  9. Love your soaring balloon, Nicola - and all that wonderful texture in the background. Great step out photos taking us through the process, thanks. I'm probably late in saying so (on constant catch-up these days), but I love the fresh new look of your blog too.
    Alison x

  10. Well, I love that you did something different for you, your canvas is just stunning! The hot air balloon is such a wonderful mode of transport (says she after one flight - lol), it feels amazing. The trim and the wooden element, along with the straws add some great texture, I really love the keyhole on the balloon and the little bottle and key are great additions too. Great step by step too, it is good to see your process! Love this Nicola! Hugs, Anne xx

  11. A gorgeous canvas with wonderful layers Nicola, I love the colours and composition and the overall finished look you have achieved. Great job xxx

  12. Absolutely brilliant Nicola, what a stunning Mixed Media piece!! Wow, - your guest design spot is so well deserved!!!

  13. This is a splendid card Nicola ! thank you for sharing your method of work, it is very interesing indeed. Hot air balloon is a very poetic and soft way of travelling and your interpretation of this theme is awesome. I love the association of blue and yellow and what a good idea to put the tiny bottle and the old looking key. Wish you a nice day. xxxx Véronique.

  14. Such wonderful texture ,you created dear Nicola, love the added trim, and the crackle paint lines..a beautiful sky to fly into, in the shiny blue balloon ,filled with stars and all kind of heavenly bodies,- a great mixed media card.Xoxoxo

  15. This is stunning Nicola, and yes, quite different for you.
    Love the theme of the hot air balloon. Lots of gorgeous embellishments and lovely details as always.
    Avril xx

  16. Nicola, this is such a awesome project! I love all the details and color. Congrats to you!

  17. fabulous canvas Nicola!!Thanks for sharing all the step outs and pics. Inquiring mind wants to know -have you ever gone on a hot air balloon ride? Sounds like so much fun!

    1. Thanks so much Linda. Yes - it's a fabulous experience, so can definitely recommend. Nicola x

  18. A fabulous canvas. I love the colours and details. The textures you've created are wonderful.
    Thank you for joining in with our February challenge "Anything Mixed Media Goes" at Creative Artiste Mixed Media and good luck x

  19. Great make and fab tutorial! Love it! //Cardsbyangie

  20. As usual running well behind here Nicola, but what a beauty this is, the hot air balloon and whole canvas looks so textural, I am thinking this one was great fun to make. Many thanks for sharing it with us at Allsorts challenge.

    B x

  21. Lovely canvas, great embellishments, thanks for sharing at MTTC.

    Pat xx

  22. Gorgeous! Loving all the details!

    Simon Says Stamp!

  23. An awesome creation, I love the detail and textures you have added... Thank you so much for entering our challenge over at Creative Artiste Mixed Media Challenge Blog, we hope to see you join in again...

    Hugs Rhonda DT & Owner xxx

  24. Thank you so much for entering our challenge at Allsorts with this lovely creation!

  25. Wow, this is stunning! I love the background, balloon and all the wonderful little details. Beautiful!!

  26. beautiful canvas wonderful it would be soaring upwards in your hot air all the fabulous details and textures you added...hgave a great weekend...hugs kath xxx

  27. What a beautiful canvas, Nicola! I adore all the texture and that balloon looks amazing amongst all the details you've added to create the perfect scene! It's wonderful as always... xx

  28. A gorgeous canvas, Nicola! Love the fabulous background and all the details on it! Thank you for joining us at Try It On Tuesday.
    Mar x

  29. Oh my goodness! I am so impressed with your creative vision and how you build texture with so many different things. Straws?? That is genius! The end result looks incredible!

  30. Brilliant! love the air balloon and your step by step is absolutely wonderful! thanks for sharing with us! barbara

  31. Very cool canvas and a great take on the challenge. thanks for playing with us at TIOT.
    Hugz, Z

  32. Oh My! This is so beautiful! Love how you added such scrumptious texture! So pleased you joined us at Try It On Tuesday! Chrisx

  33. Love your beautiful creation! Nicola. The texture and the embellishments are fabulous. :)

  34. This is so cool, Nicola! Love the amazing colors and the hot air balloon made out of fabric is so pretty! Love all the details. Stunning project! Hugs, Sandra

  35. this is so very beautiful - I love the airy feel to it. Thanks for joining us at Stamps and stencils! Hugs rachel x

  36. Fabulous piece Nicola! I love the splashy background and the fibres you used under the balloon, it's like a shabby mess but yet still CAS with the white space you left. Amazing composition! hugs :)

  37. Nicola, you've achieved so much beautiful texture on this project, amazing! Thank you so much for sharing with us at Stamps & Stencils. Hugs, Autumn

  38. I'm sorry I've been absent. I am so glad you where a GD. I love the balloon, and especially the key hole in the middle...grand!


Thank-you! Your visit and comment is very much appreciated. Nicola x