Saturday, 12 August 2017


I don't think that I'll do much of this as I was a bit underwhelmed with the result, however this might just be a function of lack of practice so I probably should give it a few more tries before I give up.

I stamped and embossed the fish with black powder, then used a versamark pen to colour in the silver bits of the fish, then the copper, gold and white in turn, heating between each addition, and finally covered the brown background with clear embossing powder.

You can see on the back that the silver powder is "overcooked" and patchy, whilst he white powder has "escaped" its borders, spreading more that the copper and gold which, if anything, seemed to shrink when heated.

If I try this technique again, I think I'll try just heating the powders until they are stuck in place until the final layer to try to avoid the overheating issue, and I might also choose a design that's larger so that I can space out  the embossed areas a bit between heating,  A sensible person would also do a little trial to determine the properties of each of the different embossing powders before throwing them onto the main project! kind of looks OK, and is quite nicely raised and textured (even if the latter is not quite in the "supposed to be" category) so I've probably talked myself into trying again during the course of writing this entry!

Saturday, 15 July 2017


Back in the day.............and I'm talking 20+ years ago, this is how we did our stamping for greeting cards.

Emboss the outline with gold and reach for the marker pens!

It still looks nice, and is ironically less "old hat" today than it was five years ago.

I've used Tombows and a blender pen for the colouring, and cut the lovely design (from Paper Roses) in half to fit over the aperture, mounting the top on some foam tape to add dimension.

A final "retro" touch is the gold outline sticker that I've carefully stretched around the edge of the oval cut out..  This is a little reminder to myself that no matter how exciting new techniques are sometimes the "oldies but goodies"are worth dusting off too.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017


This is an easy technique but a very effective one,

Just chose a die with a lot of open spaced suitable for colouring.  I cut this Art Deco parrot with double sided adhesive on black card so all I had to do was peel off the backing
to stick it onto Kaiser crystal glitter card.

The next step is to use some Tombow pens to colour the image.  (You can experiment with different types of pens but I was happy with these).

The glitter stays glittery and the end result is a cheery "stained glass" effect,

Saturday, 17 June 2017


This shows the traditional way to "layer" stamping.  It was one of those things that people probably don't do so much today, but in past times it was one of those basic techniques.

On the off chance you haven't come across it yet........

Decide which stamp you want to appear in the front,(in this case top hat man) stamp it on a piece of paper (you could use a post it note - the removable adhesive will help hold it in place in the next step).

Cut out the image.  You might like to cut around the edge leaving a little border as I have done (this certainly make the cutting easier around highly detailed edges), or you might prefer to cut more precisely around the outline.  Experiment to see what suits you best.  Repeat with all the images except for the very back one.  In this case I've only used three pictures so I only need to stamp and cut around the compass image.

Stamp the front image where you want it to appear, then mask (cover) it with the cut out image.  Stamp the next image in place, and over the edge of the mask.  Remove the mask and repeat with the next and any other layers.  Keep the masks with your stamps so you don't have to cut another every time you need one.

These stamps were foam mounted cling rubber so I could position them accurately enough for this project.  Clear stamps are a lot easier.  You might need to use a stamp positioner for block mounted stamps if you are doing a more involved project

I've just used a single colour and three basic stamps but you can get really impressive effects, especially with landscapes by adding more colours and layers.

Friday, 12 May 2017


Here's an easy way to get a layered look without mucking around with masking or resist techniques.

It just involves stamping on the base layer then adding a vellum (parchment paper) sleeve over the top, with stamping on both sides.  When assembled there is a real sense of depth.

I've used black Staz-on (a lot of inks don't dry very well on vellum) so there is a real dark to light effect.

I've just stuck to one colour and one stamp but you could obviously experiment with combinations. I do intend to get around to doing this - I'm thinking maybe words in one layer, small stamps at the front and a background stamp on the base

For the base layer of this example I've used a textured white card, the vellum has been folded around it and secured with twine tied through two holes (made with a darning needle), centred on the fold.

Friday, 14 April 2017


Here's another idea for your small stamps - combine them to make a border.

I guess the technique is pretty self-evident, but there are a couple of things that might be worth mentioning from my experience.

The first is that drawing a light pencil shape that can be erased later, is very helpful.  The second is that it might take a couple of goes (by couple I mean about five) to get the colour and shape combo working to your satisfaction so playing around a bit on paper or a piece of cardboard to be later mounted onto a base card is a good idea.  Better still, photograph the result and file it away or put it on your blog to save you some time in the future!

Another point worth mentioning is how much colour "colours" how we see things.  I showed someone this and they immediately thought "Christmas Card" which wasn't my intention, but it does work for those who like a neutral seasonal greeting.

You don't have to use flowers and leaves of course, a border of  the little men I used in last month's post would work well for father's day for instance, and you could carve your own easter egg stamps from erasers etc etc etc

Sunday, 12 March 2017


Its been a while since I've posted - no bad reason, just busy with other things, but I will do my best to put up something new at least once a month for the rest of the year!

I seem to have accumulated a lot of little stamps.  Often they come as part of a larger set.  I often add one to the back of a card, but thought it was about time to get them out of the cupboard and see what else I could do with them.

Making backgrounds is one idea.  These little chaps were part of a Kaiser set, and using different coloured ink for each design I've just more or less randomly stamped them over the front of the card, overstamping some of the edges.

 I used an oval cut-out to mask an area towards the top of the card to leave a clear space for a couple of larger stamps.  The result is slightly dodgy as I deliberately wanted a handmade look (honestly this time, although often I "achieve" this when I don't want to).  If you want a cleaner look, draw in some guidelines lightly with pencil to make sure the mask and stamps within it are straight and centred, and be sure to press very lightly and not overink your stamps to stop unwanted edge lines (which are harder to avoid with little stamps).

I made this card as an example rather than one I intend to give to anyone, but like it enough to want to play around a bit more with the technique

Sunday, 4 December 2016


I've featured these easy to make lilies before.  (There are lots of easy to find instructions available on-line), but just thought I'd pop in a picture of the difference some pearl stamens make.  They really do finish the flowers nicely and can be easily threaded through the already existing hole in the middle of the petals.

Sunday, 6 November 2016


A few techniques combine on this picture.

The one I was "showing" was that shimmer card (the copper of the ute) has a colour core so when you sand it, a matte colour shows through, in this case making the Ultimate Craft's"Rusty Old Ute" die look quite rusty!

The background was a combo of gold and copper paint randomly applied to turquoise card, then stamped with a corrugated iron background stamp (from Darkroom Door), but without using a block and just applying uneven pressure with my fingers so that not all the image stamped.  Heat embossing with silver pwder and a drawn silver line complete the background.

Sunday, 2 October 2016


I'm guessing most people with a die-cutting/embossing machine already know about this technique but ........

Don't forget that you can use your dies (this one if from Kaiser) to emboss by using a rubber mat with your B plates (or C plate and cardboard if its thick),

I've used a core colour card and sanded it after embossing to make the embossing more pronounced in this example.

The anchors on the red card behind were done more conventionally with an embossing folder.  After embossing the raised pattern was "swiped" with white ink to give a similar effect to the blue embossing even although each was achieved in quite a different way.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016


I wanted to stamp and colour over a manuscript but when I just used pencils the printing was so intense as to be distracting and the outline of the stamp was lost.

After a bit of playing around this solution seems to be OK (not brilliant but OK).  I stamped onto the background, then painted over it with gesso, which provided a nice "toothy" base for colouring.  The notes can still be seen underneath but much more subtly.

I then outlined the stamped image using a fine black marker pen.  As I was using an acrylic stamp (a freebie from a magazine) I could have tried re-stamping the image over the top but I quite like the hand-drawn look and wasn't totally confident about how well I could align the two pictures.

Saturday, 3 September 2016


For one reason or another I like to do a lot of my paper craft standing up so Marvin made the island bench at just the right height for tallish people (i.e. me!) to do this.  As its got lots of space around it I can trail long things over the top, if necessary.  (There's also a lot of floor space for extra-big projects - also it means that the horribly uncomfortable sofa bed can be opened up if we are desperate for extra sleeping space).

The framing is made from pine, the top and shelves from melamine.  We aren't too sure about how this will go - I expect it might stain quite badly....or well, depending on your viewpoint..........I don't expect pristine white is exactly "me"........a few paint stains here and there will probably be OK.  If not, Marvin assures me replacing the top is "no big deal"  I really should learn to do all this myself but as you can probably tell, I don't have much incentive to do so!)

The two shelves underneath are a good space for otherwise awkward items like paper towelling, sponges, high aerosols etc.  I'm also going to put my paints under there because I have a horrible habit of squashing tubes when they're inside containers with lids.

The "sit down" table is, as requested, long and thin.  A normal width of table takes up a lot of space and, quite frankly, I end up using the edge strip and just fill the rest with clutter.  The theory is, no back space, no clutter.  There's more than enough length to work, keep my pencils and pens at hand and, of course, fit the trusty Cuttlebug"

Saturday, 27 August 2016


The craft room (aka "The Craft Room") used to be a bedroom and thus it came equipped with a double wardrobe with glass doors.

Marvin has filled the space with shelves and made wooden boxes (around 100 - you can only see half of them here) to fit on them.

As most of my stuff was in shoe boxes the smaller ones are large shoebox size, making it easier to simply transfer the contents.

The larger boxes are the same height but are based on the size of an A4 display book so that I can store full sheets of paper "as is" or sort my scraps out into plastic storage sleeves and put them into the boxes.

Once again I've gone with boxes rather than drawers so that I can pull the required one(s) out  and use the contents directly from the box.

Marvin has screwed a little metal label holder to the front of each box and and used a forstener bit to drill a semi-circle at the top for an easy grip.

I hand-wrote labels for each of them but to be honest, the phrase "its in the MDF box" has already become synonymous with "we have no idea where that is" in our household.  If I don't get the hang of finding things quickly soon, then I'll add some pictures - I think a little die-cut pair of scissors might make the scissor box easier to locate that the carefully written label or, as Marvin suggests I draw up a plan with easier-to-read listing co ordinates.  Its only been a few days (I'm doing all these posts re: the craft room at the same time but posting them weekly) so I'm hoping I'll just organize them according to what I use most frequently and then just remember, so I don't have to read too many labels to find what I'm after.

Saturday, 20 August 2016


Shelves for stamps and little bits.
I'm doing a series of posts about my craft room reno.  Hopefully you'll get some inspiration.  Sometimes seeing what someone else has done can provide an idea to follow (feel free if this is you) or a clearer idea of what you do want if you see something you don't like.

Here is what we came up with for the storage of the rubber stamps.  (Sorry Marvin, "the solution up with which we have come"......Really??!!)
From sad experience I know that it's best not to stack stamps, its certainly not good to squash them, or even store them face down for long periods plus the rubber is not particularly happy in the sunshine.

Marvin made these shelves a while ago, and we relocated them to the new room.  they spacing of the shelves has been dictated by the range of sizes of the stamps.

Its a bit of a hard call, because in some ways it would be nice to have all the same type fo stamps (e.g. Christmas) together, but the trade off is that larger spaces would be needed between all the shelves, hence less space overall.

The bottom of the shelves have been cut to fit over the skirting boards and the unit screwed to the wall, which means that it can be removed fairly easily, but that it won't fall over either.

There's space at the bottom for storage of other smaller items such as embossing powders and glitter glue, although perhaps one day all the shelves are filled with stamps!

I put all the really little stamps in large jars on top of the bookshelves at the side.  It only takes a moment to gently tip them onto the desktop, although a little longer to find the stamp.  I'll put them on the shelves if this proves to be a problem.

By putting the stamps on the shelves on an angle, I can see the front pattern but more will fit.  It was only after I'd finished that I realized that I should have angled them AWAY from the window. D'oh!!

Saturday, 13 August 2016


I've never been entirely happy with the way my embossing folders have been stored - thus far in a series of shoe boxes followed by wooden boxes made for the purpose.  The latter were fine, but always looked a bit messy.

Marvin (my husband, but not his real name) built this great storage unit - the boxes are based on the largest size of embossing folder, and lift out so that if I'm working with them I can just take them out, sit them on the desk and rummage.  Even although I have quite a collection it certainly doesn't fill up all the boxes.  The others have been used to store cards that I've made, my little collection of cards I wish I'd made, and blank cards ready to be decorated.

Marvin thought it would be a good idea to add labels to make things easy to find, and knobs to make the boxes easier to remove.  He is absolutely right except that I just love the plain white faces of the boxes "as is".  We can always add them on afterwards if it proves to be an issue.

 I still have quite a few of the small Cuttlebug folders as well as several border folders, that need a little bit of containment before being stored.  I found that the small folders fitted perfectly inside a business card folder - these are usually available from discount stores at a very reasonable price - I think mine was about $2.00.  I tried a variety of things with the border folders before settling on a 6 x 4 top opening pocket photo album (another $2.00 investment).  The folders wanted to slip around and slide together.  Marvin suggested placing a split pin at the top of the page between the folders and this worked brilliantly!!

Oh, and if you're wondering, the big vase in the floor is going to be for all those awkward rolls of brown paper etc. that just won't fit in the cupboard....once I find where I put them because I couldn't find anywhere in my old room!
A Work in Progess
Small folder storage

Storage for Embossing folders and cards