Feel free to leave comments on blog posts- & thanks for doing so. Comments need to be 'approved' (filtering out the pesky spammers) so don't worry if comments don't appear immediately.

6 August 2016

Roll up... Roll up...

New JOFY stamps are coming to a store near you!!!

I've been soooo looking forward to sharing this stamp release with you... 2 new large plates and 8, yes 8!, minis (but no cats.. apologies to the lovely lady who always puts in a feline request... still no cats!) but there are 2 new little characters (squeal), a few backgrounds and of course there are flowers!

Over on the PaperArtsy blog tonight there's the release post which you can find HERE

Here are the new designs...
Those of you who follow me on Twitter & Instagram (or read this blog) may recognise the big flower on the plate above... it started out as a doodle in my holiday journal:

And look at all these (in my humble opinion) cute little minis...

Here are 2 quick pages from my mini journal using JM55 & JM56

In case you missed it here's a close up of Leandra's birthday card that she showed on Periscope featuring Dolly....

I hope you like them as much as I do.. I can't wait to see what you create.


Imagine That Papercrafts....

.... are closing the doors of their online shop.. you have until Midnight tomorrow to pop over there (click on the image below) and grab yourself some bargains..

25 July 2016

ALBOTAT.. making the most of mail..

.... I'm talking about junk mail. 

I seem to receive mini brochures from clothing companies - most of which go in the bin but some of them are worth a quick flick through - you never know what gems might find and cut up...  The Boden catalogue is always full of great page titles (very useful for junk or art journaling), the Made (furniture company) catalogue is a great little fold out brochure and then there is...

the Hush catalogue... I like this one: nice paper, nice clean layout and the model in it has such a beautiful ethereal face - like an innocent yet cheeky fairy - (if Shakespeare's Puck from a Midsummer Night's Dream were to arrive in the 21st Century, or Tinkerbell from Peter Pan, then this is her) and so when the catalogue arrived recently I couldn't resist giving her a quick makeover... I let her spread her wings and take her place on a toadstool...

This is how it looked after five minutes with a Sharpie pen.... 
When I look again at the photo on the right, with the toadstool, - her expression seems to be saying "really! you sat me on a toadstool! I expected a throne!"  lol

Might as well make the most of the junk mail that comes through the door.... now where did I put the Boden catalogue and my scissors.....


9 July 2016

Our house....

... over at PaperArtsy this evening I have a blog post featuring 'paper piecing' - click on the photo below to go there...

After I'd finished making this project (using JOFY29) I had some bits and pieces left over (I always seem to make more than I need - I like to have choice!) and so not wanting to see them go to waste I created another little project..

This time its a simple card starting with stamping images in black onto a white card base to form a background:

.. and these are (some of) the leftovers:

Here is the finished card....
the eagle-eyed of you may notice I've replaced a couple of green branches with book text - and that's because the overall look was too 'green' - using the booktext neutralised it a little bit.

I love how this card looks - and how my houses look when they're stamped onto patterned paper.

I kept looking at this card and it reminded me on something.... maybe something way back had inspired me......

(I am a child growing up in England in the 1970/80s).  I like how Paddington is the only coloured (dimensional) element and everything else is flat/sketched..
(not that I am in any way shape or form comparing my stamps to the charm of the Paddington illustrations!)

Kids tv back when I was growing up was GENIUS!! but I suppose all generations think that don't they... I am a child of the Blue Peter generation!  (bring on the sticky back plastic!) (my husband even has a Blue Peter badge! (its not why I married him, obviously!))

Have fun with paper piecing - and don't forget to head over to the PaperArtsy blog to see what myself and all the other contributors have created for this theme.


29 June 2016

All taped up....

This blog post is about the gum tape that didn't make it into the 'perfect travel art kit' that I shared with you a few posts ago (here) - I thought it was only fair to give it a moment in the spotlight (and to get the ideas out of my head at the same time!)

My plan was to decorate the tape - creating a type of washi tape, and use on projects - and here it is:

and here's how I created it, really simple.....

The tape (Gum Tape) is made of kraft paper with glue on the underside (similar to the glue on envelope flaps) that is activated with water...

I tore strips, licked the ends to moisten the glue and stuck them to my craft sheet.. if you don't want to lick the tape you can moisten with water and a paint brush.  I only attached the ends of the strips NOT the whole length.

I decorated the strips as a whole panel - creating a sort of masterboard.. I used only 3-4 colours and simple motifs... layer 1 was the biggest stamp motif - mesh (from JOFY36)

Next layer was stenciling... in the gorgeous Caribbean Sea Fresco Finish paint.. I chose opaque Fresco paints for this project to ensure that it popped against the kraft background.

 then lines of open spots...(JOFY36) in

 then the mini alphabet stamp set stamped in black Archival ink...

Circles in neon pink acrylic paint - love the pop of this colour!

Black sketched circles were added ... (JOFY36, again!... its a useful stamp set!)

I added details to the strips - white pen (seen here as the dots on blue circle), black rings drawn around other circles and the gold paint spotted inside the white circles...

I'd planned to use it to bind a book so I've created a mini tag book to share how to do that - VERY simple:

Lay 2 tags bottom edge to bottom edge (without the string and hole) tear a piece of tape, moisten and stick down where the tags meet.

and a length of tape was laid on the front and around to the back to bind the spine.

 Here is the finished book.. the front cover has been covered in book text, with the pages stamped (2nd generation) with basic motifs ready for journaling, or photos, or whatever takes my fancy! :o)

I decorated a few tags:
... and of course I could use the tape to seal a parcel, and add these tags - all very coordinated! (the 'fun times' tag is created with text from JOFY28)

This card is created with the tape and die cuts (dies from Simply Graphic, a french company that makes lovely modern, delicate dies).

 and tape like this is great for using on journal pages (this journal is small - A6)- the lovely bluetext in the background is a Donna Downey stencil 'Scribble Script' (available from PaperArtsy at shows)...

So that is what I might've created with the tape if I'd taken it on holiday with me ... another time... and I'm adding it to my 'perfect travel art kit'.
Its so easy to create bespoke tape to use on projects - the tape is inexpensive and available from most stationery retailers.  It will take paint and ink - but you obviously don't want to add too much water to the tape otherwise it will become stuck to the worktop!

I hope this has inspired you to look at humble 'gum tape' in a new way!....


21 June 2016

Holiday makes..... Part 4: From cereal box to....

..... mini junk book

Every morning on holiday I try and eat healthily- I walk past the champagne bar "mimosa signora??", past the pastry counter (aaaaah the smell of hot croissants!!) and the sausages, eggs, waffles etc etc etc - you name it & its available - all very (too) tempting!!

Instead I have a box of one of these (which I like to jazz it up with fruit, nuts and... stuff...) ....and thank goodness for illustrations on boxes otherwise I wouldn't have a clue what they were! My Spanish vocabulary is very limited and the writing on those boxes is really small! and I mean really small!!

But, I'm not choosing these purely for their tastiness.. oh no.. I'm also choosing them for their packaging! Cardboard! Oh yes!! on a previous holiday I used it to make stencils but this time I had plans to make a book!!
I know this isn't groundbreaking or rocket science but I liked the challenge of making something out of nothing and with limited supplies...

I set up a creative station on one of the tables in the room - I chose this one because it had a glass top - now that was a revelation:  I NEED a glass top to my desk at home - great for use with paints, cutting on, easy to clean - why haven't I thought of this before!!

I cut up the boxes - discarding the narrow sides and cutting the remaining front and backs into 12x6.5cm panels, then scored and glued as the diagram below - easy way to create a book

I glued it together with Matte Medium and waited for it to dry. Then the decorating began... I limited myself to 3ish colours for the book - trying to makes sure these colour appeared on each spread working as a theme/scheme throughout the book.. Neon Pink (love!!), dark blue (I think its Baltic Blue), Gold, Aqua blue watercolour...

The front and back covers: made out of a piece of gelli printed paper I'd bought with me.. they were cut and glue on in separate pieces and where the pattern didn't cover  the page I stamped on the mini alphabet set as a block in neon pink acrylic paint... what is not to love about that colour!!  (neon pink circles were created with a bottle top)

The book pages that had cereal packet print on needed to be covered in paper to block out the bold colours - on this spread I used vintage music paper and another gelli print.  The doily came from one of the restaurants and the alphabet strip is a handwriting excercise book I have in my stash.  I doodled onto the gelli print on the right-hand page and the text strip is the title of the book pages I brought with me - considering the heat I was creating in it couldn't be more appropriate could it! lol
More paper covered pages, with stenciling - I brought 2 stencils with me - big number and an alphabet (Tim Holtz stencils)...I have neon paint and I am not afraid to use it!  The chevrons are a stamp (JOFY36) painted with Aqua watercolour.
NB a glue stick makes a great mini roller for spreading glue and getting rid of airbubbles after you've glued papers down (as above)

I really like this spread - the circles (stamped using a bottle top) and the chevrons - I like how they look dimensional - almost like bubbles.. 'happy' is cut from a magazine and the tag is one I brought with me they I washed with the watercolour paint... it flaps open to reveal the second page of this spread.

I've added this photo to show how shiny, metallic and pretty the Fresco Finish Gold paint is! and when used with the Neon and Aqua paint - LUSH!!

When you lift the tag (the added page in the previous diagram) it reveals a stenciled number 9 which is my 'magic' number so the clipping from a magazine was another apt addition....spots are from JOFY36

This is a top view of the book showing the spine and the added page - a really simple addition.

This is the final spreak - book text across the hinge are, another doily with doodling and a phrase cut from book text (again its a bit of a nod to the holiday).. the right hand page is the alphabet stencil and gold paint... more spots and neon paint.

That's all my holiday creations - not many from this holiday - I usually make more sitting at the pool but I couldn't on this holiday as there was a lovely breeze - papers would've been everywhere!

And when the temperature is upwards of 85degrees I'd rather have the breeze thank you!

Thanks for popping by.