Monday, 31 December 2012

January Calendar Page by Deborah


As a child I remember making a calendar each year at school for Mum, using one of my drawings and those little one month-to-a-view calendars. Amazingly, you can still buy them (the cheapest I found are in Wilkinsons). So I thought that this year I would make a calendar page each month to showcase the latest stamps available at That’s Crafty!

January features one of the amazing Alice Palace stamps: British Bulldog. After stamping and colouring him with ProMarkers, I cut him out and glued him (glue stick) onto another stamped image - Crafty Individuals CI343. Then I mounted that onto Creative Expressions Newsprint, coloured with Mustard Seed Distress Stain. Everything is stamped with my favourite Jet Black Archival Ink.

I tore off the January page, trimmed the ragged top and coloured it with the Mustard Seed Distress Stain. I stuck both parts onto grey card from my stash and used my Bind it All to make the perforations.

Rather than a calendar, which ordinarily you would make all in one go, you could also use the calendar pages as dividers in a home-made smash book for 2013, binding it all together at the end. (You could also use book rings, bakers twine or Tim Holtz Idea-ology Crinkle Ribbon.) In keeping with the deliberate chaos of a smash book, the dividers don’t even have to be the same size or orientation.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

This Weeks Specials

Our "This Weeks Specials" will be lasting for 2 weeks but please don't miss out on the bargains, as we have had several sell outs already!


Friday, 21 December 2012

Venus by Paula Tidman


I used the Venus stamp from B Line Designs for my little hanging. It is a gorgeous stamp and is now back in stock.
I stamped onto matt photo card with Tuxedo Black Memento ink and lightly coloured with ProMarkers. I cut around the stamp and outlined with a gold leafing pen. I used the Tando Creative Arabian Style Layered Arch Frame which I painted with matt emulsion, (Fresco Finish paint would be ideal too) then stamped with a script stamp. I glued Venus onto the frame with matte medium. Then I triple embossed with Cosmic Shimmer UT Crystals. I added a metal  embellishment whilst the UT was still warm. I then rubbed on  gold gilding paste to the frame, adding a fringe and some flowers to complete my hanging.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Clockwork Angel by Carol Fox



I wanted to use mainly non Christmas stamps to make this little hanging decoration. I have given it a bit of festive cheer by adding glitter to it.

I cut the main shape out of a bit of waste mount board left over from a larger project.

I inked this using one of the new Seasonal Distress Ink Pads, Evergreen Bough. I stamped the back ground using Black Archival ink, masking as I went. I ran a Metallic Gold Dabber round the edge.

The wings are die cuts using a black shiny card and then my little clockwork angel was coloured in using Distress Markers, assembled and added to the die cut shape. I Glossy Accented the key to make it “pop” a little bit.

I punched a hole top and bottom for hanging, finishing it off with a reclaimed chandelier droplet from my stash.

I used:
Rubber Stamps

Graphic 45 Old Curiosity Shop - Set 1 and Set 3
Oxford Impressions - Christmas Wish

Other items

Distress Markers (applied with a water colour pen) Barn Door and Walnut Stain
Ranger Black Archival Ink Pad
Glossy Accents
Frantage Crushed Glass Glitter

Carol x

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Memories Note Folder Combo by Alan Scott


I wanted to do something different this time round. I have a few electronic die cutting machines, however I have only used them to cut out layers and simple embellishments. I have always wanted to explore the options offered to me via the Silhouette web site and projects that you can purchase for as little as 99 pence. This was one of the projects I downloaded and it came in one download. Some of them can be in as many as 2 or 3 downloads.
The stamps used to embellish the project were once again from my fav stable of stamps Dylusions and the main stamps used was How Does Your Garden Grow along with using a mixed collection from the other stamp sets I have for added decoration.


Download Cutting File
2, 12 x 12 inch card stock
Selection of papers from your 'Cutting Pile'
Adirondack Ink Pads - Espresso and Pitch Black
Selection of colouring materials ie Alcohol Pens - Sakura Pens - Marker pens
3 times 2 foot of Cord or very thin ribbon
4 times small lengths of ribbons for Journal tags
I have used the Silhouette Cameo Electronic Cutting Machine


The first thing to do is to cut out the design. This took 2 sheets of 12 inch card stock. For this I used some backing card that was used to protect some card stock I bought. I don't throw anything away as you never know, when it can be used. Also the 'Kraft' paper look is in vogue and gives you that Rustic aged look.
The next step was to have a look at what was cut out and then secure with a good clear glue the flaps that indicate where the glue goes and then secured into place.
To decorate the pockets, I dipped into my scraps box and then used 3 different papers to cover the pockets. You don't have to do this, you can leave them 'bare' it's your project so it's your call on this.
When I had covered the pockets it was time to start decorating them. I wanted to use a new stamp collection that I had bought How does your Garden Grow. You can build up several scenes with these stamps. Using my colouring medium, the next step was to colour in the impressions. To give extra highlights, the Sakura pens were used in a complimentary colour ie green was used for the leaves, gold was used for the yellow beaks etc.
Using other stamps from the same designer, I stamped onto each pocket. Some were the How does your Garden Grow to keep a theme moving along, other pages were done using the edging stamps. These were coloured in again using pens and alcohol inks.
Now I have used alcohol inks, as this is the medium that goes well with theses ink pads. Always make sure that you use the right ink for the right colouring medium. If you don't, you will find that the stamped impression will bleed into the colour and it can end up a mess.
The part of the project when it comes to decoration, is a pure personal one. Be inspired by what you see but try to put your own personal slant onto things. While it's nice to see a project that has been copied step by step, it's always nicer to see a project that has been given a different treatment.
Now then, while I was doing some research into how some other crafters have decorated and made their Memories pockets, I came across the wonderful art of the paper beads. It's a wonderful crafting area and I'm looking forward to building up a large collection of beads. The ones I have used here are some of the first I have made. They have not been varnished yet - this is something I'm looking forward to over the coming weeks to take them to the next level. I have seen some of the finished results and you can't believe what results can happen. I recommend highly that you do a search on YouTube and take a look. The best paper bead template on the market is available from Thats Crafty - it's something I can highly recommend to add to your crafting mask/template collections. It's also at a very very good price that's not going to break the bank.
This project when cut out, is in two parts, with a flap at the front that when secured into place, covers the side securing parts. To do this, I took the tread and threaded through the two holes that is included in the design. A good layer of glue was placed on the spine and I tied some thread into a knot. This would be covered up by the front flap, so it didn't have to be tidy! Beads were then threaded onto the threads - you can place charms etc. Several knots and then some glue secured the knots when I trimmed as close as possible.
There you have it a keep sake or something that can be made to pass on as a present. You can include photos onto the Journal panels and give to someone as a keepsake or something can that can go into a bag and shown to friends when you want to share something of yourself/family or something you have done or place you have been to.
I hope this might inspire you to try something like this. I enjoyed making it and will be making a few more to give as presents in the coming years.
Any questions please ask and I will do my best to help.
I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season. My hope for 2013 is that more people join in our wonderful world of crafting.
Have fun and take care.
Best wishes to you all .............

Monday, 17 December 2012

A Joyful Decoration by Mandy C



Christmas decoration chipboard shape


·       Take the chipboard shape and paint with gesso, once dry put a coat of the Brilliance Olive over the top.

·       Use the Chestnut Roan Chalk ink and stamp a couple of random rows of music across the decoration. Then use the Olive Archival and stamp the crackle stamp all over the background.

·       On a piece of white card and using the black Archival ink, stamp the angel and the ‘Joyful Christmas’ stamp. Cut around the images and then ink the images with a selection of chalk inks.

·       Place the words at the bottom on the decoration centrally.

·       Edge around the decoration with the olive archival and then the dark brown chalk ink.

·       Add the angel to the decoration using 3d foam to add dimension.

·       Finally spray with glitter varnish.

Winter Celebration by Deborah


Not everyone celebrates Christmas and as we are only days away from the Winter Solstice I thought I would make a card celebrating Winter.

The Crowned Bunnies are from the new Alice Palace range at Crafty Individuals. I stamped them in Jet Black Archival ink onto the waste (copy) paper that catches the spray and splats from when I am using Dylusions Sprays and Distress Stains or mopping up Distress Inks. I also tore strips from the paper to make the clouds.

I cut the bunnies out and glued them with a glue stick on paper onto which I had previously brayered acrylic paint (if I remember correctly: Eco Green Eggplant and Coral). I stamped the words from Alice Palace British Bulldog over their bodies in the black archival ink. I used a Ranger Inkssentials White Opaque Pen for the snowflakes and edged the purple painted paper with Silver Encore Ultimate Metallic ink.

I matted the piece onto lilac paper from my stash and then onto a navy card blank using double sided tape.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Alice Palace Beer Mats by Carol Fox


Hi, for my piece this week I have used two of the lovely new stamps from Crafty Individuals range of Alice Palace Stamps.

I am still working on my length of beer mat bunting for my fireplace, so I have made a couple additions to it with these stamps. I have worked out I need 13 to go across it and give a nice curve, so I am now in a quandary, should I do 14 to avoid the unlucky 13. These are number 11 & 12 so not far to go now.



I love the robin one as he is such a saucy looking little fella and the plate has a real retro look to it.



Hares always make me think of winter especially these ones with their little crowns, the masked snowflake back ground makes the whole thing very wintery.

I used

Quote from Creative Epressions Stylish Christmas 1
Distress Inks : Walnut Stain, Festive Berries

I really enjoyed making these and the stamps are a joy to work with. 

See you next week,
Carol x

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

The Steampunk Bride by Alan Scott


This project didn't start out as I had worked out in my Small Brain. I guess when they say an idea has too much room to move in, kind of works with ME! However when I did start to work on the imagery, I threw everything at it. Alcohol Pens, Marker Pens, Indian Ink Pens and Pan Pastels.
The main image is from a new stamp set from Creative Expressions called Steampunk Sirens.

A4 White Stamping Card
My fav Black Ink Pad - Adirondack Pitch Black (perfect for ProMarkers)
Several sheets of Post-it Notes (for masking)

Pan Pastels
Indian Ink Pens
Felt Tip Pens
Adirondack Alcohol Inks
Dylusions Ink Sprays
Fine Black Marker Pen 

That Special Touch A4 Mask - Watch Face 
Glass Beads Texture Gel plus IndigoBlu Plastic Palette Knife
Ranger Inkssentials Blending Tool 
Empty Cereal Packet
2 sheets Black Card Stock to make up the card
A Spellbinders Die
Roll of Silver Engineering Foil
Spellbinders M-Bossibilities Folder Industrial 
Silver Ribbon
Craft Mat, Scissors, Craft Knife, Ruler, Good Strong Clear Glue

Silver Washers and a Single Nut


As you know, I like to break down the card into various different tasks. With this, it's split into 3 different projects. The background, the layer and then the main topper.
Let's start with the background layer. Taking an empty cereal box, trim off the top and bottom flaps and then cut up along the overlapping part of the box that you can feel in the inside. What we are after is the front and back, we don't need the sides but don't throw away, as they make great Poor Crafters Grungeboard when glued together.
Taking the mask, place that on what was the inside of the box and lay down a thick layer of the Glass Beads Texture Gel with a palette knife. Carefully lift up (remember it could be heavier than when you first placed it onto the cardboard, as it will have some texture on it). Scrape as much paste as you can back into the bottle, firmly close the lid and then wash in warm soapy water the palette knife and the mask. Allow to air dry - this applies also to the textured cardboard, just let it dry over night.
Using the metal foil that's used to wrap round pipes (it can be found in most hardware stores and it also has a peel off backing to help with placement), take 2 cut lengths of the foil and run it through your embossing machine while in the folder. This will give you the impression that's wanted. All you have to do now, is measure up (don't worry if you're out by a little, as the silver ribbon will cover that up). We are going to use the other part of the cereal box for this. After you have removed the backing paper secure onto the box, then using the outline left from the folder, cut around and place to one side. The silver ribbon will cover up any overlapping issues. Using the Blending Tool and a selection of  Alcohol inks and blending mixture, just lay down some colour onto the silver foil. Again, just lay some random colour down, it's not a case of everything has to be done following the grid lines etc. it's just a case of let's make it more colourful.
Now then, the main image. This image is built up using two of the stamps in the set. To do this, we have to make a mask from the Post-It Notes. What ever image you have at the front, then that's the one we make the mask for. So looking at the image, it's the image of the woman standing side on. Ink up the image and then stamp onto the Post-It.
TIP TIP TIP TIP......Try to maneuver the stamp on the acrylic block, so that as much of the image is covering the section that is covered by the tacky strip of the Post-It - this will make the mask secure while over stamping.
Carefully using a pair of scissors that can cut right to the tip, carefully cut as close to if not clipping, the black line around the image. For those harder areas use a craft knife with a new sharp blade in. Now then, taking the white card, stamp the first stamp onto the card and allow to dry for a few moments. By the time you have cleaned the stamp and put it away and reloaded the next stamp, you will be fine. Place the mask you have made over the stamped image.
TIP TIP TIP TIP... Now then, not all of us are confident enough to go right in there and stamp one stamp onto another. It's fine if the stamps are clear - you know what you're doing. However, what happens if the stamps are solid rubber? We can't see what's happening under and if we have made that perfect match. So using some scrap paper just practice stamping and over stamping. The mask will not rub away and it doesn't matter how many times you place it onto the mask, it will last a long time - however, remember it's paper, so some care and looking after is always needed.
Now that we are happy with the placement we can build up our stamped image. Any small misses can be touched up by using the fine nibbed black pen. Let's start to colour in the image. If you want to build up layers of colour, then remember the simple rule of 3 shades of the same hue -light, mid tone and dark. This will give you the opportunity to give depth to your colouring. Like the dress - what I did was to lay down a layer of the lightest colour all over the dress. Then taking the mid tones, I built up where all the folds are. The dark tone was used just to highlight the shadows. Then when I was happy, I went over the dress again with the lightest colour to blend everything in.
When I had finished using the ProMarkers, I wondered if I could highlight using my felt tip pens. Again, before you jump into the main image TRY IT FIRST on some scrap paper that's the same as the surface you have already stamped onto. Just stamp out part of the image, lay some ProMarker colour down and then try the felt tip or any other colouring medium you want to use. Always use the same materials to test on as you are using. If you didn't, you would never get the same result. What can happen on one paper surface, might not happen on another.
After the colouring has been done, it's time to cut the image out - I have used a Spellbinders die. The outer edges were coloured in using Pan Pastels. These are something I'm going to have to spend time and start to explore using. I think from what I have done so far they have been just wonderful. They just blend into each other so well, also they can be rubbed out which is something ink cant be done lol.
Once again as with the colouring, I took 3 shades of the same colour and divided the topper into 2. I wanted to use the same colouring as had been used in the colouring of the images. This would give some continuity in colouring.
Now all that was left was to lay colour down onto the Glass Beads texture. I made a selection not worrying if they went together - I was not going to get all OH YOU CAN'T HAVE RED and GREEN! erm.. have you looked at a rose? Taking the ink bottles, I just pointed and pressed, even with some, after l had taken aim, I closed my eyes so that I couldn't make that choice of where. Using a roll of paper towel, I mopped up the puddles so that the ink wouldn't just lay there and gave it a few blasts with a heat gun helps.
When you're happy with the results, using the mask edge as a guide, cut out an oblong shape that's about 1 inch smaller all around than the black card you have constructed. Secure the textured card layer onto your card stock, followed by the silver metal tape layer finally the figure layer.
All thats left to do, is raid the garage or your partners tool box for some washers and nuts (MAKE SURE THEY ARE CLEAN!!!!!) and with the strong clear glue, secure into place.
There you have it, a card that each layer can be transferred to any other project as a single item.
Any questions please send me a message and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Merry Creepmas by Mandy C



Tim Holtz Seasonal Silhouettes ~ Background and Holly
Watercolour pencils
Card blank
Co-ordinating backing paper


·       Take a piece of white card and using the sprays and the stencil, make a background. Once dry, cut out a 11cm square out.

·       Take the silhouette background and mask off all the words except Christmas and 25. Using Olive, stamp the image at the top of the card.

·       Using the holly stamp opposite corners using the Black Cherry StazOn.

·       Stamp the Nutcracker on a piece of card, colour him in…. I wanted him to have a wonky neck so I cut off the head and made a false neck using a little piece of card that I coloured the same colour as his face. Position onto card and glue into place.

·       Stamp the cat from the mini Halloween set and the merry Christmas from the mini holidays set.

·       Edge with chalk ink, adhere to a piece of backing paper, I’ve used red as this seemed to co-ordinate nicely. Edge the backing paper and then glue to a card blank.

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