Saturday, 31 March 2012


This background started as a bit of black card on which I was removing excess red paint from a brush I was using on another project.  I was about to throw it away when I thought....actually that has potential. 
A quick roll through the Cuttlebug and a bit of gold ink dragged over the top and there you are........I like it better than the ACTUAL background I was trying to make!!

Saturday, 24 March 2012


Remember the olden days....before die-cutting machines and fancy papers? If you weren't doing wonderful things with stamps, chances were, your cards looked something like this. All the shapes (squares, dragonflies and daisies) were cut using hole punches. All the paper is cheap as chips (140g office paper) except for the dragonflies and two diagonal corner daisies which were punched from curious metallics ice gold shimmer paper to add a bit of subtle highlighting. (We upped the budget to .45c a sheet for this). I cheated a bit by embellishing with Kaiser adhesive pearls (in “the day” it would have been something like liquid pearls). I know I've also strayed a little bit from my stated intent for this blog, as paper-punching is not a new technique but every now and again it doesn't hurt to re-visit some “oldies but goodies”, and as I've made a promise to myself to do something different every week, I might have to dust off some treasures from the vault now and again!

Saturday, 17 March 2012


I have been looking at Trish Bee's wonderful site at and been inspired to try one of her background techniques which involves tearing off pieces of masking tape,, sticking them to paper or card and then inking over the top. As luck would have it, I had a roll of ultra-sticky “well-past-its-use-by” masking tape in my craft lair which helpfully kept breaking while I was ripping pieces off. Anyone who knows me is aware that I just hate throwing things out, so this project was a perfect way to use up an otherwise useless product. (And no, I don't expect its acid-free or archival).

I stuck the tape to a piece of 200g card and instead of inking, painted over the surface with some Kaiser acrylic paint (brown made with a lot of red, a bit of yellow and a teeny bit of black). This seems to give a more subtle end product than the ink. I ran out of paint and had no way of matching the colour (as I had not, of course measured it), so I made a second brown mix with the same colours but reversing the quantities of red (this time just a little) and yellow (lots). 

You can see the first (darker brown) example without embellishment. I ran the yellow-brown through my Cuttlebug (favourite toy of all time) using the Couture Creations “Fretboard” embossing folder. I then coloured the nail-holes silver and the joints between the boards brown, using pens. The nails look OK but I wish I'd left the joints alone. I might try going over them with a darker colour.

Saturday, 10 March 2012


VERSAMARK RESIST is an oldie but a goodie, and a technique I haven't used for ages. Stamp with Versamark (or other clear slow-drying ink), emboss with clear embossing powder, brayer over with ink (Distress inks work well as they're thin) then, if necessary (and it wasn't in this case), wipe excess ink from the embossed area. The embossing protects the paper underneath so the original colour (in this case Kula Cream) is retained. You can, of course also do this with patterned paper but I think I'll use that as another post! The stamp is from Darkroom Door “Artist” stamp set. The card topper is ATC size and could have been used as this instead of being mounted on a greeting card

Saturday, 3 March 2012


I can't decide whether or not I like resin flowers, but when  I was playing around with some of my flower pictures I worked out that it was actually super easy (if you have Elements or a similar programme) to make a digital variety to experiment with (or “with which to experiment” if you don't like sentences ending with prepositions – blame my husband for the little voice in my head that made me add this). Here is how to make your own digital resin flowers
  1. Pick a suitable flower and photograph it on a piece of black paper. (There are less shadows in black backgrounds so the area is easier to select with the magic wand)
  2. Select the background by clicking on it with the magic wand tool (four down on the left in the tool menu), making sure that the box labelled “Contiguous” at the top of the page is ticked. Click on Edit at the top of the page, and then “Cut”.
  3. If necessary (and with any luck you won't have to do this) tidy up any messy bits around the edges of the flower with the eraser tool (side menu)
  4. Click on the new background with the magic wand tool again then click on “Select” (at the top of the page) and then on “Inverse” so that the flower is selected.
  5. Next click onto “Filter” (also at the top), then “Artistic” then “Plastic wrap.” Put the side sliders to high Highlight strength, low Detail and medium Smoothness. (Play around until you like the effect)
  6. Go to “Enhance”, then “Adjust colour”, then“Adjust Hue and Saturation” and click on the “Colorize” box to put a tick in it.
  7. Now play around with the Hue and the Saturation sliders to make the flower the colour that you want.
  8. Now copy and paste into your project or save your flower for future use (remember to select it each time so you don't get the background too!) You can add a bevel from the Effects menu if you want a more three dimensional look.
p.s. you're welcome to use my first two examples.....