Saturday, 29 November 2014


Most articles reccomend using Staz-on when stamping on wood, but as I wanted to use an non-water based varnish on another project, I was interested to see if a water clean-up ink would do the job.  (A solvent based varnish makes Staz-On bleed and blur).

I'm pleased to report that Verafine does the trick beautifully with only the tiniest amount of bleed, even although the text on the stamp I used is tiny and very finely detailed.

Its hard to see the size of these wooden shapes from the drawing, but the clock is about 2.5cm wide (i.e. they are little).

Right now for the next project............

Saturday, 22 November 2014


This is a bit like kiss stamping, but instead of removing colour you add it by using an inked background stamp to stamp onto another fairly solid stamp inked with a contrasting colour.  You then stamp with the latter so that the outline of the solid stamp is filled with the pattern of the background stamp.

I was happy with how well the black pattern showed up on the pink ink, although I think I'd use other colours if I intended doing anything other than playing with this technique.  I'll be playing with it a lot more though, as it has lots of possibilities, especially if you make your own "solid" stamps from fun foam and die-cuts.

Saturday, 15 November 2014


R. Maria Sabina wrote an article for Craft Stamping magazine outlining this technique and I couldn't wait to try it!  Basically you just drop some nailpolish on top of water, swirl it with a toothpick and print off the result.

As with most things it wasn't quite as easy as this.  The author did address most of the issues I had but of course I read the article properly after
the issues arose.  So, for fellow skim-readers here's a few tips.

Firstly unless you have a very warm room, use lukewarm water - most of the nailpolishes I used just sank in little drops to the bottom - something I ascribed to the brand (which did make a difference) but was probably a temperature issue.

Secondly, as mentioned, all the polishes I used were of the cheap and chips variety (no more that $2.50 per bottle) but there was a lot of variation between brands - some just sank, others created a "skin" on the top of the water, and a couple of the brands seemed to interact with each other to make a sort of lumpy mess.  In other words - buy one bottle of a single brand and do a test run before you get carried away.

Thirdly gloss card has bolder results than matt but the latter still gave a nice albeit more subtle result.

And lastly......wear rubber gloves, or you'll be typing up your blog posting with dark green fingers!!!!!

Despite making a bit of a mess of the whole thing, I was. overall, pleased with the results, and might give it a go again soon, having learnt a few lessons from the first attempt.

Saturday, 8 November 2014


The papercraft aspect if this project are the flowers in the vase - the lilies that have featured previously, and the little text flowers that were made by stacking up three layers of two sizes of retro flower punched book pages.  The layers are secured with wire threaded through a button and twisted underneath to form stems.

Actually the flowers are a bit of a pretext to share these little vases (made from an empty jam jar and herb container).  I was feeling a bit overly tired and wanted something that involved a minimal amount of brainpower (since I'm not very good at sitting in front of the TV and doing nothing with my hands) and saw these in a craft book from the 1970s - all the go back them, and making a revival now, I think.  Just pick a jar, get some string, and wind, coating the jar with a thin layer of tacky craft glue as you go.  I had some hessian trim in a contrasting colour to add as a feature but this is optional.  If you like to fold paper flowers or want a container for pens and pencils these are ideal - very low cost and even lower brain power required.

Saturday, 1 November 2014


I haven't done any digital bits for a while so I thought it was about time.  I keep some examples of things that I really don't like as well as ones that I do (although not as many of them!).  It sometimes helps to try and work out what it is that you don't like, so that you can produce more work that you do.  (If that makes sense).  My start image was this rather horrible concoction of stuck together papers and brown paint stamped on with a cork so.......what don't I like?  Well, for starters the colours are foul, the white panel is too stark and the cork stamping just looks like muddy blodges.  so can it be saved??

I opened up the picture in Elements and started with the colours which just don't work together.  I played around with variations adding lots of blue and green until it looked a bit better.  The cork stamping still looked a bit splodgy and messy to I went into the filters gallery and from the Pixelate section selected and applied "Pointillise" which introduced a little order to the "blodges".  Last of all I just used the elements cookie cutter tool to cut out a butterfly and there you are...!!
Truthfully, I probably won't ever use this background again, but I had fun trying to make it at least semi-presentable!!