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

Wednesday, 10 August 2016


This easy background is a simple way to use up leftover papers.

I used a dark brown background card.  The papers were cut at an angle....just somewhat randomly, an then stuck them side by side with a little gap between.

Then the layers were sliced vertically and reassembled, alternating top and bottom, and leaving a similar sized gap.

I've used "outback" colours with a bit of copper shimmer to lift it, but I think if you used a black base and primaries you'd get a very sixties look which could be fun.

Saturday, 6 August 2016


My craftroom had sort of grown organically over time.  It had green walls and well-worn pink carpet. There were plastic boxes, and cardboard boxes and an assortment of plastic bags, unrestrained piles of paper get the picture.  After spending a number of evenings drooling over other people's creative spaces as shown on various sites, my husband, good bloke that he is, suggested we could do something fact.... as he enjoys woodwork, more or less whatever I wanted.

Lucky me.....yay.....followed by sudden panic.  What did I want?  Well,  I wanted to be able to store the same sorts of things together for starters.  I wanted to be able to find them too, and then access them easily!  I also wanted to be able to work either sitting down or standing up. Most of all, I wanted a comfortable, usable space - not cluttered, but not so pristine that I was afraid to throw a bit of paint around.

Well.....a few weeks later, and as of yesterday (today if you count cleaning up) we're finished!  I was going to say that I'm not posting this as a "look what we did!" but have to confess there's a bit of that - I wish I'd taken photos of the old room so you could actually see why I'm so pleased with the end result.  The official reason, I'm writing about this and posting pictures over the next few weeks is that I have really enjoyed looking at what other people have done for storage and how their craftrooms are set-up and feel like I should feed a few ideas back into the system.  Hopefully someone might find some inspiration here too.  I know its not strictly papercraft, but I'm fairly sure that getting  myself organized is going to be a big plus in actually producing some!
The New Craftroom

Saturday, 9 July 2016


Sunflowers as line drawing
Colouring is still a popular activity which many people find really relaxing.  If you have access to an image editing programme such as Elements you can easily turn your photos into images for colouring. 

I've just used the auto pencil sketch function for this, made a duplicate layer, blended the layers using "Multiply"and then adjusted  levels to increase the contrast.

If this all sounds too hard (believe me it isn't, but its probably easier to have someone show you if you aren't familiar with how to do this) then you're welcome to use the sunflower image (Yes I did grow them!) to colour.

I have to confess I haven't really been bitten by the colouring bug - I spend far too long agonizing over colours for it to be in any way relaxing - but should it strike I think it would be kind of nice to use some of my own images, and as I draw at around grade 3 level, photos are my one hope!! 
Original photograph

Saturday, 4 June 2016


Fabric is easy to die cut as long as the die you are using is not too intricate.

In this example I'd stuck some thin cotton fabric to double sided Jac paper which is a good way to not only prevent fraying but apply an even layer of adhesive to the surface.

The actual shape I wanted was the butterfly, but it seemed a shame to throw away the left over fabric so I stuck it onto a scrap of embossed card and die-cut both layers with a circle die.

Fabric frames have potential.  You could add real or faux stitching or frame a photo of someone wearing a garment made of the actual fabric for a scrapbook page etc.  I'm not sure its something I'll do a lot but its worth adding to the list!

Saturday, 7 May 2016


I have to work really hard not to get loose embossing powder all over the place when I heat emboss.  (I do know that this is because I don't follow my own advice re: not touching the surface, flicking stray bits off with a hard brush, and in extreme cases using an anti-static pad etc etc).

After a particularly messy effort (due to lack of effort on my part) I wondered if this could be "a technique" - perhaps for a little star trail (as in the picture), or specks of rain, or seaspray etc, so I just sprinkled  a bit of embossing powder here and there and heated it.

Rule one (of course) is don't lift it up or, without ink or some other medium to hold it in place the powder will simply fall off.  Rule two is if you are going to heat it flat then do so on a heat resistant surface.

It worked OK I guess but a little too randomly for my liking.  Unlike heat embossing with ink, you can't just shake off the bits that aren't exactly where you want them.  I'll stick to little dots with an embossing pen in the future but inkless embossing is possible.

Saturday, 9 April 2016


If you have some left over crochet cotton, why not use it to add a special edge to a card.

I've pierced holes down the side with a single needle tool, a reasonable distance from the edge. This was a precaution in case the card tore.  As it happened, this was unnecessary as everything stayed put.  There are lots of ways to space holes  evenly, but I used the most "low tech" which was simply to pierce them against a metal ruler at regular intervals.

I blanket stitched along the holes, so there was a larger space into which to crochet, and then just made up the edging as I went along.

If I was doing this "properly"  I would have used a much finer cotton, and probably either worked out or copied a more decorative edging (there are lots of free patterns online).  You don't have to confine crochet to the edges of cards - crochet motifs can be used as the main focus (flowers, snowflakes, small doileys etc), and you can also add borders to simple shapes.

Saturday, 5 March 2016


Photo and dies

Die-cut birds from repurposed photos

I like playing around with photos....sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't end up quite as I imagined it would, or I get carried away and have extra prints, when one is sufficient.  The red daisy photo was an example of the latter, but as I hate throwing things away, I decided cut out a flock of little birds instead.

I'm quite pleased with the end result - the photo (commercially printed) has a nice surface sheen, the paper is stiff enough to be mounted with foam dots and keep its shape, and it cut easily.  If you were really keen you could even design your own prints especially for certain dies (I'm already imagining a collage of tiny feathers for these guys).  You can get a 15 x 10cm print for just a few cents from many processors nowadays - bargain thick patterned paper!!

Saturday, 6 February 2016


Stamp and Folder

Stamped Embossing
This is a quick and easy technique that could result in some really interesting backgrounds - I'm not claiming that my example is one of them, but it should give you some idea of how it works.  I've used a foam stamp (any stamp will do but I'm fairly sure that the less detail the better), ink it up with a non-permanent ink (I've used a chalk pigment), stamp onto your embossing folder, then insert a piece of paper or card and run through your Cuttlebug (or Bigshot etc).  I'm going to play a bit more with this technique - perhaps make some of my own stamps from fun foam?  If it works out I'll post the results at a later date.

Saturday, 9 January 2016


I don't often do complete cards for this blog, but made an exception this time you probably wouldn't be able to see the "idea" if I hadn't!

If you're getting a bit fed up with the usual card bases made of.....well......card, how about trying acetate.

Its a little trickier to deal with as you have to deal with the back being visible I left the sticker "as is" and cut a panel of red card to disguise the back of the 3D picture.  Then, because my red backing/border proved a bit dodgy (thus proving once and for all that I can't cut straight with scissors!) I added a border sticker on the front.  Rest assured I do take more care with the cards I actually give people - this one is just "by way of example".

As the picture I was using, coupled with the backing, stickers etc ended up being quite heavy in relation to the thickness of the acetate, I double scored the middle so that the card had a little spine, which added stability when it sits up to display.  As the picture had height already, it didn't add much, if any thickness to the overall card.

(All the materials came from Regal Craft Cards)