Monday, 28 November 2011

SDC 43

The latest Stampotique Designers Challenge is to make a non-traditional Christmas card and NO red or green allowed! On this card I stamped Sheer and Smile onto white card, masked the images and then sprayed 3 colours of Glimmermist across the card. When it was dry I added colour to the images with Copics and some Flower Soft for the snow. The Christmas tree was made by gluing lots of punched 'branches' using a fern punch onto a triangle of card.

Monday, 21 November 2011

The Moving Finger!

This was one of those projects that seemed to take on a life of its own! I began with a vague idea of making a vintage style collage and I also wanted to include an interactive element of some sort, but once I started it all came together really quickly. I used mainly stamps from Tim Holtz's Steampunk set which includes the hand, so I thought it would be fun to use that as my moving piece - I have attached it with a brad so that it can be rotated and the finger can point in any direction. Lots of fun! I've also used a TH philosophy tag and a small strip of tissue tape which was folded almost in half, leaving a small piece on the right hand side to attach it to the card, creating a little flap.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

SDC 42

The latest Stampotique Designers Challenge is a sketch and having missed the last couple of challenges I've actually made two cards this time, although one was a happy accident! I'm glad to say that I now have a new stamp - Smile - so at last I can use a different image.
I had already decided to use an acetate clock (by Kaisercraft) for the circle and coloured it using alcohol inks. The background paper was a free art paper that came with one of last year's Somerset Studio magazines. I have a friend who occasionally passes old copies to me, but usually she has removed the free papers. However, this time she had left one of them in the mag - I think it may be a little too arty and abstract for her use, but I loved it. I had pretty much finished when I suddenly thought it would make a good belated card, so I added the wording.
Sometime later I noticed that the waste paper I had used to protect my work surface for this and earlier projects had an interesting pattern, including a circular area (where I'd inked the clock), so I thought I'd see what I could come up with using this. I went for a Christmas theme and stamped Smile onto the paper, made him a party hat out of another bit of waste paper with stamping on, and also used the star stamp which was a recent Craft Stamper freebie designed by Jo Capper-Sandon. I highlighted the circle shape with a thin line of Stickles. The band across the centre of the card was made by masking off the areas above and below, blending inks in the gap and then overstamping with the pine branch.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Message in a bottle

Having visited the Hobbycrafts Fair at the NEC last Friday I have been enjoying myself playing with some of the new stamps and stuff I bought. Here are three cards I've made, all using at least one new purchase, although completely different techniques.

I couldn't resist buying one of the new sets of Lynne Perrella stamps by PaperArtsy and on the first card I've used a couple from the set. I have coloured the main image using wax crayons as well as dripping melted crayon onto the card and then pressing a stamp into it while it is still warm (techniques featured in Craft Stamper a couple of months ago) . When the wax had cooled I rubbed Inka Gold over the raised surface to highlight the pattern. The bottle is another stamp from the set which I have added onto a memo pin, and the 'message' is just a small piece of torn paper that I crumpled up and then applied Antique Linen distress ink to the surface.

Towards the end of my visit to the NEC I spotted some wonderful stamps by Dina Wakley for Stampington. I would have been tempted to buy more but by that time I had already spent a lot and had nearly run out of money!! However, I chose this silhouette stamp which I have used on the next card, along with a few other stamps I already had. I also discovered that there are some new special edition distress inks just out! They come in sets of three - an autumn series and a winter series. I bought the winter set which includes the colours Evergreen Bough, Festive Berries and Iced Spruce. I have used these on the background, using the wrinkle free distress technique on glossy card - this gives a slightly different result to matte card and the colours tend to be more vibrant.

On the third card I have used this gorgeous heart stamp by IndigoBlu and the background was created using a flower stencil and spraying over with various Glimmer Mists. I have used some Tim Holtz's lavish trims at the bottom which I also sprayed with purple Glimmer Mist to match.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Crinkled ink background

I'm always excited when the new edition of Craft Stamper arrives - there's usually an idea or technique featured that I just have to try out immediately! The latest copy of the mag is no exception, there is a wonderful background technique by Jo Capper-Sandon using a plastic bag. I have tried a similar idea ages ago using scrunched up cling film, but this is definitely cleaner on the fingers as your hand is inside the bag! Anyway, here is an effort of mine using this idea and a stamp by PaperBag Studios.

Monday, 19 September 2011


Kiss-stamping... or is it stamp-kissing? ... seems to be one of those old techniques that is making a come back at the moment. After seeing an article about it in the Australian Card Making Stamping & Papercraft magazine, I have been inspired to have a play. This is a card I made using one of my trials. The flower stamp is a simple bold one and so ideal for this technique - I inked it up with Scattered Straw and Bundled Sage DIs, then stamped the flourish onto it using Vintage Photo, before stamping the flower onto cream card. I have also used Scattered Straw on the right hand side of the patterned background paper and then stamped the French text in Vintage Photo.

SDC38: black, white and a hint of colour

Here is my entry for the new Stampotique Designers Challenge to use black & white with a hint of colour. Any stamps are allowed for this one so I have used a few of my favourites, and my Black Soot Distress Ink got an airing too (I must admit I don't use this very often). I stamped three flowers using Versafine black ink onto white card and masked them, then stamped the girl's face over them (stamps by ISC). Leaving the masks in place, I then used cut n' dry foam to blend Black Soot ink around the edges of the card, creating a darker area on the right hand side. I stamped the quote (by Paperbag Studios) and a couple of flowers again in black, and finally the flourish (PaperArtsy) in Victorian Velvet DI. I used a pink Pro-Marker on the girl's lips and the centres of the flowers. The background panel was created using the familiar scrunch it up, swipe with ink and then spray with water technique - also using Black Soot.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Calligraphy Christmas Card

This is another project we worked on during the week the Knuston. It actually looks a lot more difficult to produce than it was! You only have to make one wedge shaped section which is then photocopied six times, cut out and glued together to make the star shape. This can then be photocopied and reduced as many times as you like for your cards... all you have to do is add a little colour to each one as I have here.


I'm just back from a wonderful week of calligraphy at Knuston Hall residential centre in Northamptonshire. We had a real international group this time with students from Belgium, Netherlands, USA and Japan... as well as one or two from England. I think I was the 'local' as I only live about 40 miles away! Here are a couple of pieces of work I did during the week:

The first one was written in gouache, the large letters in the background (As You Like It) were written using very watery black paint using a piece of wood, and then the quote written on top using a steel nib.

The second piece was written in watercolour, with colour painted inside some of the counters of the letters (I used Derwent Inktense Blocks for this). The fish was traced with pencil and I used a narrow nib and gold size to draw in the outline, then covered with transfer gold. I've added a few spots of gold to the text as well. The 'sea' at the bottom was made using tracing paper which I painted with acrylic paints, tore and then glued to the watercolour paper.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

And another rosette...

... but this time on a Christmas card. I can't stop making these since I bought the die! I've used another stamp by Crafty Individuals here.

Birthday card for Mum

At a visit to one of my local craft shops last week I treated myself to some stick pins and the Tim Holtz rosette die. As usual, I couldn't wait to try out these new purchases so I decided to use them on a card for my Mum's birthday in November. I used a big 8ins x 8ins card blank (bought these ages ago and have only used a few!) and used a stamp by Crafty Individuals in the centre. The background papers are from DoCrafts V & A Hanovarian collection. Sorry the picture is a bit wonky - because of the 3-D elements it was difficult to scan.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

SDC - Altered book page

Yes, we've got to alter a book page for the latest Stampotique Designers Challenge - so here is mine: Moon Girl sitting in a tree! I used a page from an old book which I first glued to some card. Then I embossed the tree using a Tim Holtz embossing folder in which I had dabbed inks - this colours the background but not the embossed part.

Monday, 15 August 2011

PaperBag Studios stamps

I've been busy over the weekend trying out a couple of stamps I've just bought, both by PaperBag Studios which is one of my favourite stamp companies. It's great now to be able to buy some of their stamps singly, cling mounted. My two latest acquisitions are 'Laugh' (I've wanted this stamp for ages!) & 'Lily and Zoe'.

On the 'Laugh' card I used three colours of Memento inks to stamp the image, and a background panel made using green and blue Chalk Mists and some sequin waste. The flower stamps are by Artemio and the leaf stamp is the latest freebie with Craft Stamper magazine.

The 'Lily and Zoe' card has a background using the 'wrinkle-free distress technique' in Weathered Wood, Mustard Seed and Pumice Stone Distress Inks, and I have used some stamps from PaperBag Studios 'Little Feet' plate.

I thought Lily and Zoe would be a good image to use on a Christmas card so went ahead and made one of those too!

Friday, 5 August 2011

SDC 35: Red, yellow and orange

Here is my entry for the latest Stampotique Designers Challenge on the theme of red, yellow and orange. We can only use Stampotique stamps for this one, so I have used two designed by Jo Capper-Sandon. Jasmin was stamped using Memento black ink and coloured with Copics. The background was made using torn paper masks and a variety of Distress Inks in the three colours.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Embossing Resist

I've been playing around with stamping and clear embossing on patterned papers over the weekend and here are some examples I made.

On the first two cards I stamped the images on the paper with Versamark ink and embossed with clear ep. Dye inks were then sponged over. The third card was done in the same way but using an old bookpage.

SDC: Flower Power

Flower power is the latest theme on the Stampotique Designers Challenge blog. I decided to go for something bright and cheerful in the hope our weather might change! It's been so cool, grey and rainy for the past few weeks and I'm still waiting for summer to arrive. We could use any stamps this time but I have used two by Stampotique, as well as some old book pages at the base of the card and for the punched flowers which have flowersoft in the middle.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Christmas in July!

As I mentioned recently, I am already in the throes of making Christmas cards as examples for my Autumn term card making courses. One of the techniques I'm planning for the more advanced group is creating backgrounds using gesso, and here are a couple of cards I've just made. On the first card I've made a layered background - sponging and blending various blue dye inks onto the card and then stamping over in dark blue. This was then painted with a thin layer of gesso and when dry I have stamped again around the edges. The large snowflake was stamped and clear embossed onto white card and inks sponged over. All stamps are from Stampin' Up's Serene Snowflakes set. I used a Tim Holtz die to cut the letters for 'snoel'. I can't claim that this was my own idea... I saw a card by Pete Hughes (of Sizzix fame) in a magazine a year or two ago using die cut snowflakes and the word snoel which really made me smile. I thought it was such a good idea that I've used it several times since.

The second card has a background of 'blended paper' - torn strips of printed and stamped papers that have been glued onto card and then covered with a layer of gesso. I didn't add any colour this time as I wanted a simple white, black and silver scheme. The 'Peace' stamp is by Inkadinkado.

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Stampotique Designers Challenge: scraps

The latest Stampotique Designers Challenge is to use as many scraps as possible - so here is my entry. The background has been made using the 'Blended Paper' technique in which I glued torn strips of left over printed and stamped papers to a piece of card and then covered with a layer of gesso. I have added colour using distress inks, as well as bit of spattering. I stamped 'Sheer' three times on a piece of paper that had been used as protection under a variety of stamping and inking activities and made the 'skirts' using a short piece of ribbon. The flower was made using old book pages. I had a lot of fun making this card and I certainly used up lots of scraps that were just lying in a heap on my table!

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Tattered Floral

I recently made this flower using layers of muslin that I cut using the TH Tattered Florals die and then sprayed with Glimmer Mists. The background for the card came about by one of those happy accidents that happen now and again - I was doing some stamping using StayzOn white ink, some of which got stamped onto the paper underneath my card. A little later I was using the same piece of scrap paper under some card I was applying ink to and I noticed that the StayzOn was acting as a 'resist'. I really liked the soft and muted result it made, so thought I'd try it out to create a background. I have left the card deliberately simple, just adding a strip of TH tissue tape, and a short quote.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Crocheted flower

Crocheted flowers seem to be very popular at the moment so I thought I'd have a go at making one myself. I used to do a lot of crocheting a long time ago... it must be at least 30 years ago, but I haven't done any since. I knew I'd seen the instructions for making the flower in one of my card making magazines some months past, so I had to search through my huge pile of mags to find it! I made two flowers which I layered together and then used gathered ribbon behind and have used it on this card. I was quite pleased with the result although the darker pink flower is a little bit wonky - this is due to uneven tension I think. Oh well, I'll just have to make lots more to get the practice.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Stampotique challenge - Clean & Simple

Clean and simple is the theme for the latest Stampotique Designers Challenge and here is my effort. We could use any stamps this time, but I have used two by Stampotique on this card together with one of Artemio's modern grasses. I have to admit that 'clean and simple' is out of my comfort zone and so I found this a REAL challenge!!

Monday, 6 June 2011

Something old, something new...

... techniques that is! Here are a couple of cards I have recently made, one using shrink plastic which I haven't used for ages, and the other using a technique I've never tried before - stamping on glass. On the first card I used a brayer & torn paper to create the background and then stamped the trees. The boy in the foreground was stamped onto shrink plastic.

I was inspired to try stamping onto glass after reading an article in Craft Stamper a few months ago. I had some Ranger Memory Glass slides that I bought simply ages and ages ago but had never used!! Anyway, I dug them out and had a go - I've tried two different techniques here, both using alcohol inks on the glass.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Trouble in Blogland!

Hi everyone... I'm sorry I haven't posted anything on my blog for such a long time. This has been partly due to holidays and being busy, but also I've been having trouble actually getting into the blog! I would log in and then a minute later I kept getting a message to say the page couldn't be opened and then I got thrown out!! Anyway, fingers crossed it seems to be OK today.
I have been busy making cards.... Christmas cards! I know May & June seem just a tad early to start, but having recently been asked to set the course programmes for my card making classes in the autumn term, I thought I'd start making a few examples using the various techniques. I made a Halloween card and a couple of Diwali cards, then started on Christmas. You know what it's like - as soon as I began I got completely hooked and just carried on. I think I've made about a dozen or so Christmas cards by now, so at least I'll have some to send out in good time.

Hopefully I'll have something to show you next week as long as I have no more probs.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Swatch Book

I loved Linda Elbourne's project in the latest edition of Craft Stamper - to make a colour swatch book of your distress inks, and couldn't wait to have a go and make my own. I am only just over half way through my collection of DIs, but it is something that can be added to at any time.

Vintage Text Moo

Here is my moo for the latest challenge on the Make a Moo or Two blog, on theme of vintage text. I used some of the new Distress Stains by Ranger on the background and used stamps by Viva las Vegastamps, Stamper Anonymous and PaperArtsy.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Craft Stamper e-zine

Did you know that Craft Stamper magazine now has a FREE e-zine that you can download at:

The e-zine contains twelve of the best projects from 2010, as chosen by readers.

This was one of those projects in which I had no plan whatsoever, it just evolved as it went along. Another product I purchased at the NEC was Fresco Finish chalk acrylic paint by PaperArtsty, I bought two bottles - Vintage Lace and Moon Light. So this card started off when I thought I'd try them out. I painted a piece of card with the Vintage Lace and when it had dried I randomly sponged on Moon Light. I then tried a variety of stamping onto the surface, some of which disappeared completely when it dried! Anyway, I carried on with darker inks and this is the finished result. I decided to use the text stamp (by Tim Holtz) as I thought it was quite appropriate, especially the bit about "not quite knowing what you're doing"! I made the big flower by die cutting pages from an old book and then painting each flower with the acrylic paints. The smaller flowers are die cut card coloured with dusty concord DI and then overstamped with the small spatters stamp in the acrylic paint. I felt it needed something to lift the whole thing, so I have added some gold accents... yes, using the Inka Gold again.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Remember... to buy tea bags!

It is the last session of my beginner's card making course on Friday afternoon. I had deliberately left this one 'empty' so that the learners could choose something they wanted to do. They have selected to learn how to make a paper rose, and to use tea to give card a vintage look. To save myself a bit of time I decided to make a card incorporating both of these techniques, but first I had to stock up on tea bags (if you saw one of my earlier posts then you'll know I had completely run out). I used the tea to stain the stamped panel, then distressed and inked the edges. The stamp I've used is by IndigoBlu, the chinese lanterns are by Lavinia Stamps... yes, I bought these at the NEC too! I made the rose out of book pages which I also stained with tea - I used two pieces glued together to make it a bit more sturdy.

Flying high ATC

This ATC used up some of the card I had left over from the previous project, this part was sprayed with chalk mists in green and yellow. I embossed it with a Cuttlebug folder and then rubbed Inka Gold paste (another new purchase) over the raised parts. The bird was die cut from card, covered with Inka Gold, then stamped over. The 'flying high' words are courtesy of the latest free stamp with Craft Stamper magazine.

Having a play...

... with new stash I bought at the Hobbycrafts show at the NEC last weekend! This is me having fun with some of the stuff I got - I used the new Cosmic Shimmer Chalk Mist on the background, and stamps by IndigoBlu and Stampers Anonymous (Tim Holtz collection).

Monday, 21 March 2011


I can't stop making ATCs now that I've started again... yes, they really are seductive! Here are a couple more I made over the weekend.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

ATCs revisited

I had a very enjoyable day last Saturday at the first of my two day workshops, creating inky backgrounds with dye inks, water, salt, cling film, etc. The centre where I teach has asked the tutors to propose details of courses in the autumn term, so I asked for suggestions from the learners. One of the things they have requested is how to make ATCs! At least this is something I know a little about having made hundreds in the past (unlike the Never Ending Card). Although I have loads of ATCs made by other people, I haven't got any I've made myself as they have all been traded! Deciding to make a few over the past few days, I rediscovered the joys of making them. I made the two below for the Stampotique challenge, then went on to make these three. I want to try and make a variety using different techniques. The ATC at top right has a background using the paper blending technique, and the top left one is made entirely from grunge board and grunge paper (a first for me!).

Birds of Time ATCs

Here are a pair of ATCs made for the current Stampotique Designers Challenge which is on the theme of animals, insects or birds. I've used alcohol inks on glossy card for the backgrounds and stamps mainly by PaperArtsy.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

I, Robot

I confess that I was a bit stumped when I saw the theme for the new Make a Moo or Two challenge - robots and rocket ships. I don't have any stamps of either of these! However, I'd just finished my never ending card (below) and the Paper Artsy stamp of cogs and wheels gave me an idea... I have the technology... I can build a robot myself. I used some bits of paper left over from the previous project and that cogs stamp, for his arms and the antennae on his head I used tiny parts of the Artemio modern grasses stamps. As for his legs and feet... you may recognise that they belong to a certain Stampotique girl!

A never ending headache!

Last term I asked my card making group for ideas of projects they would like to do this term and one of the things they asked for was to learn how to make a 'never ending' card. I'd never made one of these, but I confidently said yes of course and put it in the programme. Last weekend I realised that there are less than 3 weeks to the workshop and so I'd better teach myself how to make one of these cards. I set to, using some instructions I'd found on the Internet. However, the finished card turned out to be HUGE. I should have realised, but I somehow thought it would fold down to about half the size! Well, I knew the group would not want to make a card that big so I had to reconfigure all the measurements to make a card 14 cm square, and start again. Mind you, it was good practice making that first card and it helped me to understand how the card works - for example, Face 2 shares parts of two panels on Face 3, so you have to bear this in mind when decorating. I made one card which I decorated mostly with printed papers and just a little stamping. Then I decided to make another but using a lot more stamping and background papers I'd made myself - here is the result.

I chose to go with a vintage, almost steampunk, theme and used a variety of stamps, quite a few by PaperArtsy. The backgrounds were all made with distress inks and water, with the odd spritz of glimmer mist. I was quite pleased with the finished card although it is far from perfect - there are a few wonky edges to some of the panels. You can't stick anything over the creases as this will interfere with the mechanism, so you end up having to measure, cut, decorate and adhere a total of 24 little panels!!! I have to admit that it is great fun folding back and flipping over the sections of the finished card to reveal the 4 different faces, and when you get back to front you just can't resist doing it all again... and again...