Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Create your own calm

Hi Everyone,

Visible Image from the UK produces high quality clear photopolymer stamps, their designs are unique, original and great for any craft project!  My project was inspired by the "Create Your Calm" stamp set from their new releases for 2018.  

Working on a ceramic tile , I stamped the seahorse with Ranger Archival Ink Sepia into a rolled out piece of white DAS Air-Dry clay. 

Cut out the stamped image with a craft knife.

Smooth all the edges with a rubber tip tool and place the ceramic tile with the seahorse in the oven to speed up the drying time.  I baked it at 70 Degrees Celsius until dry. I turned it over a couple of times and baked it for about 1 -2 hours.

After the clay has cooled I sprinkled Brusho Crystals (Sandstone) onto the seahorse and sprayed with water.

I used a heat tool to dry the Brusho and stamped with Jet Black Archival Ink.

Prime the MDF Plaque with Gesso and as I am using watercolours I also painted with Golden Absorbant Ground. 

Sprinkle Sea Green and Turquoise Brusho Crystals and spray with water.  I dried in between the layers with a heat tool.

Spread Ranger Transparent Matte Texture Paste through the Bubbly stencil with a palette knife and use a heat tool to dry. 

Use the circle stamps included in this stamp set and stamp randomly on the background with Ranger Archival Ink in Manganese Blue and Cornflower Blue.

Seal the background with Dorlands Wax Medium.  

Stamp the sentiment included in the stamp set with Jet Black Archival Ink.

Use Diamond Glaze and add pieces of string to the background. Also add dots with Ranger Stickles (Turquoise & Mermaid) and Ranger Liquid Pearls (White Opal).

I used iCraft Mixed Media Adhesive to adhere the seahorse. I glazed the Seahorse with Diamond Glaze and added Stickles and Liquid Pearls.


Monday, 12 February 2018

Mixed Media Distress Crayons

Hi everyone. I’m using my Distress Crayons for today’s page.  I've had them forever and never used them. The smooth water-reactive pigments are ideal for creating brilliant backgrounds, watercoloring, smudge effects and more!

To start I glued down dictionary pages, then covered with Gesso. When dry I scribbled over the page using distress crayons in mustard seed, twisted citrus and picked raspberry smudging each colour. I sprayed the surface using the Ranger Distress sprayer and turned the page to allow drips to run down the page.
......... and then for some reason I changed my mind and continued to cover the page with distress crayons smudging to blend them.

I applied some Gesso using a pallet knife and cut some scallops from dictionary paper then added them to the page. I squiggled some Dayler Rowney Acrylic Artist Ink in two places. Mmmmmm didn’t like it very much.

I covered up some of the white with distress crayons and used Distress Crayons through various stencils as well as applying the crayon to a stamp, spraying with water and stamping.

I punched some circles from left over gelli prints to which I had already added some stamping and glued them down, coloured in some petals, the stem and some leaves using a Faber Castel Pitt pen through a Stencil-Art flower stencil and another stencil.

 I used a wet baby wipe to wipe away some crayon in various places; love the effect.

Now to the mess at the top of the page; I covered the black squiggles with Gesso, but being the impatient person I am, I tried to apply more Distress Crayon before it had dried. I then applied another layer of Gesso and when that dried I  reverted to my acrylic paints in an attempt to cover it up.
I used by finger and some pink acrylic paint inside the scallops and outlined them with a Posca black pen. Used a dried up Ranger paint applicator for the white circles.

Last but not least I used a stencil for the word “believe”.

Ranger Distress Crayons
Dictionary paper
Circle Punch
Various Stencils
Black and White Posca pens
Faber Castel Black Pitt Artist pen
Pink and White Acrylic paint

Monday, 5 February 2018

Art Journal - Digi Stamps

Hi everyone. I bought some Digi stamps from Vera Lane Studio and have been wanting to share how I used them in an art journal page.  They can easily be used for cards as well, so here goes.

A digi stamp is an image you can buy (or occasionally download for free) from craft websites. They may also be called digital stamps, or more affectionately ‘digis’. Once you’ve bought your stamp, you can simply print it off and colour it in as you would with a traditional stamped image.

Depending on what software you have, it is also possible to resize and even flip (create a mirror image of) the digital images to make them appropriate for cards of any shape or size. You can do this on Paint (which should already be installed if you have Windows) or Photoshop. Picasa and Gimp are image manipulation programmes you can download for free. It is easy to resize images in Word too and many computers will have this programme already-installed.

To create the background I cut off two 1” pieces from an Inkssentials Cut-N-Dry Stamp Pad Foam sheet and used the black side to sparingly apply Dylusions Fresh Lime and Calipso Teal paints to my art journal page. Just apply a little bead at a time and use a circular motion to apply the paint. It gives a slightly different look than when I use the foam side. It uses far less paint than using the spongy side. I didn't invent this technique.

Next I stencilled in a few places using the Stencil – Numbers Mix stencil and Dylusions Fresh Lime, this time using the spongy side of the cut and dry. Used Ranger Aquamarine Archival ink and stamped a couple of times in other places, then added splatters in Calipso Teal and white watered down paints. I love splatters – to me they lift the page.

I used a black and White Posca pen to do the border.

 I resized the images in my software programme and printed them out then fussy cut them. Coloured them using Jane Davenport mermaid markers.  Tip:  I used the tiniest little drop on an acrylic block and a water brush to colour them. I used a glue stick to attach to the page as the mermaid markers are reactive to water and might have run if I had used wet glue.  Added some Silver Stickles to the crowns and wings. I used a white Posca pen to add some extra detail to the images.

My sentiment reads……………..”No ordinary love story”.

Last but not least Vera Lane Digi stamps are “quirky” which I love.

Resized and Printed Vera Lane “Kiss the Frog” digi stamps
Inkssentials Cut-N-Dry Stamp Pad Foam sheet
Dylusions Fresh Lime and Calipso Teal paints
Stencil Art Stencil – Numbers Mix stencil A5
Ranger Aquamarine Archival ink
Black and White Posca pens
Silver Stickles
Jane Davenport Mermaid Markers
Acrylic block
Glue Stick

Monday, 29 January 2018

In my Imagination

Hello everyone! I can’t believe that we’re at the end of January already. Where does the time go??????????

Today I’m playing in my A5 loose page art journal. This is the first journal I ever made, and the reason its loose leaf is because I can add pages whenever I want.  In other words if the page is a mess it can disappear into obscurity into the wastepaper basket.  Well, that was my thought process a long time ago.  Every now and then I get it out look through the pages and add another one.

Back to today’s page.  Firstly I must apologise for the quality of the images.  The turquoise is really a beautiful shade of turquoise and the lime green is bright.  For some reason the turquoise looks blue ad the lime green looks yellowy.  I think it could be the overcast day??????????
The inspiration is definitely the image.  As soon as I saw it I knew I had to make a page with it.  I took the easy way out and printed the image directly onto my loose A4 page.  My intention here was to use Gelatos so I gesso’d the whole page except for the image. BIG mistake. Water colour does not like gesso!
Add a few torn strips of tissue page and glue down with Gel Medium.

Use a text stamp to stamp text here and there using black Archival ink pad.

Use a little white Gesso to the page to knock back the tissue paper and stamped text a little.

For some reason I changed my mind about the Gelatos and used my water colour palette instead. 

Spray quite a lot of water onto the palette and pick up the colour using a waterbrush and fill in all areas.

Use a stencil and white texture paste to apply a little texture to the page.

Colour her lips with a coloured pencil.

Add sentiments. Mine are: "in my IMAGINATION " [Tim Holtz rub ons and words.  I added two more sentiments. "Truth be told" and "creativity takes courage".

In the end I went back and used Gelatos in lime green and turquoise on several places.

Last but not least, I went over the edges of the page with a broken china distress ink pad.


Mixed media paper A4
Black Archival Ink
Text stamp
Stamped Tissue paper
Broken China distress ink pad
Water brush
Texture paste
Gelatos: lime green and turquoise
Daler Rowney Water Colour paints in lime green and turquoise [I mixed yellow and green for the lime green]

Monday, 22 January 2018

Purple Rain


Hello! I hope you all had a wonderful break over the holidays.  Holidays for some but not for all I’m sad to say. I’m so glad to be back on the blog.

Today’s play is in my 6 x 6” midori type handmade journal.  What I really like about this journal is that the signatures are made up using different types of paper. Some of the signatures are already stitched but not all.  In this case I used a double page of water colour paper that wasn’t stitched yet only because I wanted a double page spread and couldn't find an unused one.  I’m also a bit of a messy crafter and didn’t want to spoil the other papers in the signature.  When the signature is filled I will stitch it and add to my journal. In the meantime it lives in my journal but remains unstitched.
There are many ways one can work with Brushos. They are such a versatile product. Here's how I created this spread.
Spray an acrylic block with water. Shake Brushos then sprinkle over the acrylic block adding colour where you want it. Just like adding salt or pepper. Remember a little goes a long way. Be patient and watch the colour spread.  I don’t have purple Brusho’s for some reason so used Pop Rock purple magicals instead.  You can add more water or more Brushos if you need to.  Spray the water colour paper lightly and lay it down onto the acrylic block. Apply a little pressure to the paper then lift off the bock. Repeat for the second half. If you’ve got a really big acrylic block you can do the whole background at once, I did the two pages separately. There's no way of knowing or even replicating how the crystals fall so the result will always be a surprise, even if you have an idea of how you want it to come out.

You can dry with a heat gun if you’re impatient, but I left mine to dry naturally. I added a little more sea green to  the page but this time I gave it a light spritz with a fine mister then sprinkled a little of the powder over the area and waited for the magic to happen. I love the little bursts of colour here and there.


For the next layer, add a little water to a small mister. I’ve got this really amazing straw with a little scoop at the end.  I used this to add a little Pop Rock purple magicals to the mister. Lay a stencil over the paper and spray a little colour. Lift the stencil and use it like a stamp on another part of the stencil. Leave it to dry.  It adds a little more interest to the piece.


Apply Wilted Violet Distress ink to the rain stamp {this is the only purple ink I’ve got} and stamp the rain across the top of the page. You can see that I’ve varied where I placed the stamp. Stamp the puddles and the girl with black Archival Ink. 

Water down a little white paint and splatter here and there being careful to avoid rain girl. I got a little white paint splattered on her and used my black Pitt Artist Pen to cover it up when it was dry.

The words come from the song Purple Rain by Prince. I used a White paint pen to write them but they didn’t show very well so I outlined with a fine black pen.


Last but not least, I like to go over the edges of the page with a black Pitt Artist Pen.
I hope you will try this.

Daler Rowney 300gsm hot pressed water colour paper
Stamps: Visible Image Sparkle in the rain
Stencils: Blowing Bubbles  and Rainy Days both A5,
Black Archival Ink
Wilted Violet distress ink
Black Faber Castel Pitt Artist Pen, White paint pen
Brushos : Ultra Marine, Sea Green, Turquoise and a touch of Cobalt Blue
Fine mister and water and a small mini mister
Acrylic block


Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Get Creative with DIY gift bags

 Hi Everyone, Sometimes you just don't have a nice gift bag to use when wrapping a present, or maybe you just want to give a gift with a specially handmade bag, but regardless of your reasons, knowing how to make a professional looking gift bag is a great skill to have. I’ve mentioned before that I either decorate plain white or craft gift bags, or I make them myself, and today I have a DIY Christmas gift bag to share

To start use a Ranger applicator and sponge to apply Dylusions After Midnight paint to 2 x A4 size 160 gsm white cardstock.
Apply a little paint to the sponge and use a circular motion so that the application is pretty smooth [the same motion Dyan Reaverly and Tim Holtz use].
Lay a small amount of Dylusions White Linen to the craft mat and add a little water until it’s quite a runny consistency.  Pick up some paint on a thin paint brush and tap the paint brush to “flick” the paint onto the surface.

Score the one long side at ½” and the other long side at 2” [this side will be the gusset] . Repeat this for both sheets. Score the short side at 1 ¼ “[this is going to be the bottom of the gift bag] and the other short side at 1” [this is going to be the top of the gift bag]. Repeat this for both sheets. Fold the score lines and use a bone folder to make sure they are crisp.

 Apply double sided tape on both the ½” strips. Make sure the score lines at the top and bottom of both pieces of cardstock are aligned. Remove the double sided tape from one piece of cardstock and carefully lay the 2” strip from the other piece of cardstock over it making sure you keep it straight.

The base of the bag:
Use a pencil to mark about ¼” on each side of the score lines over both pieces of cardstock. Use scissors to cut a line from the ¼” mark to the score line. See pic below.

To create the Gelli print, place a little paint onto a craft mat, brayer over the paint [you need a very light layer] and brayer very lightly onto the Gelli plate and pull a print.  [Do not cover the whole Gelli plate with paint] Repeat the process a number of times. This technique requires that you build many layers with co-ordinating colours until you are happy with the outcome.

Draw or trace some houses onto the Gelli print using a thin black pen and cut them out quite close to the edge. Use a glue stick to stick them down to the bottom of the bag [just above the score line]. Use a silver Posca pen and draw some lines and stars from the score line at the top of the bag above the houses.


Apply double sided tape or a strong glue to the outside of gusset flaps and fold them in. Remove the top layer of the double sided tape, lay the back bag flap over. Stand the bag on its base and tap down inside the bag with a ruler to make sure the gusset flaps and back flap are adhered. Apply double sided tape or a strong glue to the inside front flap, and stick it over the other flaps. Stand the bag on its base and tap down inside the bag with a ruler to make sure the front flap is adhered. Fold the top flap inside. On the top of the bag punch holes on the front and back and thread through ribbons string and tie a knot to secure.

For this gift bag follow the above instructions except use Distress Ink Spray, Dylusions or Brushos to create the background and the Stencil-Art Snowflake stencil and Dina Wakely silver paint.

160 gsm cardstock
Dylusions After Midnight and White Linen paint
Ranger round applicator and sponge
Gelli plate
Scoreboard [optional]
Bonefolder and ruler
Thin paint brush
Black pen and Silver pens
Double sided tape or strong adhesive
Stencil-Art Snowflakes Stencil
Scraps ribbon and a small hole punch
Dina Wakely Silver paint

Monday, 4 December 2017

Get Creative – Christmas Crackers and Coasters

Hello …………….. Christmas is getting closer and I’ve been busy, busy, busy getting my Christmas Crackers and Coasters done. It’s something my sisters and I have done for years. I have to give credit to my sister for the measurements because I lost mine and she kindly let me use the coasters idea which was hers.

If you want to have a go, the step by step is below.

There’s a bit of prep but it’s worth it in the end.

Cut a sheet of white cardstock to 71/2” x 9”, and 3 smaller pieces at 2 ¾” x 7 ½” and about 4” x 4”.  

On the 7½” x 9” and 2 ¾” x 7 ½” and 4” x 4” white cardstock either brayer a light coat of Dylusions Pure Sunshine, then a layer of Cherry Pie and lastly a layer of Postbox Red and leave to dry. OR brayer a light coat of Dylusions Pure Sunshine onto a Gelli Plate and pull a print, then a layer of Cherry Pie and pull a print. Lastly a layer of Postbox Red but before you pull the print lay a stencil onto the Postbox red layer, pull a print with a spare piece of paper, lift the stencil then pull your last print.  It gives a lovely effect. Don’t clean your Gelli plate in between each layer.

For the embellishments

On the other 2 ¾” x 7 ½” piece of cardstock draw some black lines using a Faber Castell Pitt artist pen big brush. I used a stencil and sorry I forgot to take a pic, but here’s pic of the left over paper.
Cut two thin strips [about 1/8” and two wider strips [about ½’].  

Use the Stencil-Art star stencil, Dylusions Fresh Lime paint and a sponge to stencil stars onto the red 2 ¾” x 7 ½” piece of cardstock. Remove the stencil and leave the paint to dry. Line the stencil up again and outline all the stars with a white gel pen.

Cut a star shape on the other coloured 4” x 4” piece of cardstock and stamp with Black Archival Ink. I found a scrap of white cardstock and cut the star shape then stamped with Twisted Citron Distress ink.

 Now to assemble
Score the 7 ½”x 9” cardstock [on the 7 ½” side] at 1 ¾, 3 ½”, 5 ¼” and 7. Score the 9” side at 1 ½”, 2” and 2 ½” at the top and the bottom.   Fold all scorelines with a bone folder. Make sure that the  1 ½”, 2” and 2 ½” score lines are folded : mountain, valley, mountain. see pic below.

Use a punch or decorative scissors to decorate both the top and bottom of the 7 ½” side.  Glue a narrow strip of black and white paper just before the first score line on the top and bottom.

On both sides of the 7 ½” side of the 2 ¾” x 7 ½” coloured cardstock glue a piece of the ½” striped paper behind leaving a small bit showing. On the long side, score at 1 ¾, 3 ½”, 5 ¼” and 7”. Glue this down the middle of the cracker; make sure you line it up so that cracker and embellishment score lines are aligned. Use a bone folder on each score line to make sure you get a proper fold.
If you’re using cracker snaps now is the time to glue them to the inside of the cracker. Don’t use a strong adhesive as you’ll never pull them apart.
You can use an envelope punch board or cut triangles for the next step. On the 9” side fold the first score line over. Punch with the envelope punchboard in the middle of the 1 ½”, 2” and 2 ½”score lines [in other words at the 2” score line]. Do the same at the opposite end.  Fold the next score line over and repeat. Do the same for all the score lines on both sides including the ½” strip. If you don't have an envelope punchboard, cut small triangles.  
Use glue or double sided tape on the ½” strip [on the long side] and carefully lay this side beneath the other to make a tube.
Tie each side of the cracker with a double piece of string and glue the stars down. Whew you’re done”.

Traditional Cracker

Instructions are identical as above, except for the embellishments.  Splatter some brushed pewter and iced spruce distress spray stain over white cardstock. [I took the lids off and tapped the black part of the lid that screws on until I was happy with the coverage] decorate the 7 ½’ edges with decorative scissors or a paper punch and add some trim.

Spray some Brushed Pewter distress spray stain onto the craft mat and smoosh a piece of 2 ¾” x 7 ½” paper into it until you are happy with the coverage and leave to dry. Use a sponge or Distress Ink Applicator to apply Pine Needles and Festive Berries Distress ink onto a slightly smaller piece of paper but here spray with the Ranger Distress sprayer here and there but only pulling the trigger halfway. Use decorative scissors or a paper punch to decorate the edges. Colour small tag the same way.
Colour the roses using Festive Berries Distress Spray Stain and ink the edges of a tiny little bought tag with Pine Needles Distress ink.

When the cracker is glued together put the embellishments together and add a tiny father Christmas cut out to the tag. [I adhered the roses using Ranger glossy accents.]
Ideas for inside the crackers are: crystal key rings, lip balm, nail polish, mascara, small compass small sharpie pen.
Use some shredded paper in each side of the cracker to keep the little gifts inside.
For the coasters I simply cut circles then stamped them. Make sure you use waterproof paint and/or inks otherwise if the bottom of the glass is wet it might stain your table cloth.
A bit of a job but so worthwhile.
160 gm cardstock
Dylusions Pure Sunshine, Cherry Pie, Postbox Red and Fresh Lime
Brushed Pewter and Iced Spruce distress spray stain
Brayer, bone folder, [Gelli plate, envelope punch board and stencil are optional]
Faber Castell Pitt artist pen big brush
Adhesive and narrow double sided tape
Border punch or decorative scissors
Black and Watering Can Archival ink
Ink Applicator and Pine Needles and Festive Berries Distress Ink
Ranger Distress sprayer
String and White organza ribbon
Shredded paper
Silver trim