Mixed-media paper crafter; stamper, freelance craft tutor, designer of PaperArtsy JOFY stamps

22 February 2016

'Stitches' CHA 2016

Yesterday I visited the 'Stitches' trade show in Birmingham - a really inspiring place to see all the latest products that the craft companies have to offer.. this was one of the Creativ displays opposite the PaperArtsy stand..
This company has a fantastic range of substrates on offer ready to be painted and decorated - I really liked how it was displayed on a dark blue background - really sets off the wood items... I mentally added the hexagonal box to the left of the photo to my shopping list!
All the stands have really picked up their game in how they display products which makes it all the more interesting and inspiring.

The PaperArtsy stand looked VERY fine indeed but I forgot to photograph it (but its hard to do that anyway as there are always people on the stand!)... but I did Periscope! - this is my first 'action/reporting' periscope so please excuse any sound/camera issues! lol... but it captures the stand with all its lovely samples and stamp releases... enjoy!

I demo'd on the stand while Leandra & Lin were teaching - thanks to everyone who stopped at the stand and watched my demo, asked questions, liked the new products - its good to see you all and get feedback.

So here are my samples - I mixed up the ranges on each sample...
 'Dream' and spots are from Emma Godfrey EEG18, flowerheads are Kay Carley EKC02, bud stems and loopy border are JOFY42.... paints are Coral, Chalk and White Fire.. word is stamped in Plum.

 Lovely blended background of Bougainvillea and Coral washed and lifted off with Chalk.  Numbers (JOFY22), flower heads as before - this is a new favourite stamp!!

Dusty Teal and Hint of Mind background, numbers are Hot Picks 1604 (in Chalk),flowerheads & loops as before - loops stamped in Dusty Teal to give tone on tone.

and finally here is 'Skid' - so called because of his mismatched feet - he always skids to a stop!  The background is Slate & Antarctic, the numbers (Hot Picks 1604) are stamped in a paler version of the same.  Skid, nuts and bolts and words are from JOFY44.

And I've saved the best 'til last - the VERY new, very exciting & very lovely product from PaperArtsy...INFUSIONS - these are little bottles of stain powder in fabulous colours - you 'NEED' them all.. seriously, you do.... the eagle-eyed of you may have spotted the little bottles in a 'crate' on the sample table during my periscope... these are such an interesting addition to the PaperArtsy range.. sprinkle them on to your project spritz lightly with water and release the 'colour' as listed on the bottle.. spritz liberally and Walnut Stain brown is released.. Lin Brown was making a lovely sample with the powders, and Emma has created a great colour chart - photos of which I hope will come your way soon! Add these to your shopping lists for Stamperama and your local PaperArtsy stockists.

(nb names are still works in progress so for now just sit back and enjoy the colours!!)

I only went to Stitches for the day - wish I'd gone for longer - there is a lot to see, lots to take in.. I went to a seminar by Sara Neumann on (diy)videos - really informative - if she is giving a seminar at a show you're visiting then go and watch it - really interesting.

That is my (very) mini report from Stitches... key points - lots of wool, fabrics sewing and haberdashery making a come back - not a bad thing at all!... stencils and paints still popular... sparkly things (again, not a bad thing!)... stamps still strong in the market... all good and very creative!

(note to self - next year go for 2 days!!)

20 February 2016


This post on the ACP2 project is brought to you by the colour RED and the letter D... as with C there is lots of craftiness beginning with D.. and I had different plans for a 'D' project until I was hit with a cold/cough/sinus bug that floored me for about a week... sniff sniff cough sneeze lol  but I rallied (thanks to Sudafed, Strepsils, Karvol and Meltus lol)(other medicines are, of course, available lol).. and my project took a different route.

I've chosen to mix all shades of red from 'blood' red through to orange...  and my chosen topics were distress and doodling....

I like doodling... but its 'controlled' doodling - it has to have some sort of plan, structure.. purpose..
So I've been doodling in my small sketchbook/journal - it measures 6x4 inches - great for mopping up paint, gelli prints or just mini journaling or sketches..

Recently I've been starting my doodles by stamping images on the pages and working around them - the ones below started by stamping a Hero Arts flower (which I LOVE - I used it on a masterboard project for Craft Stamper - you can see snapshot HERE) (shocked to see that this was SIX years ago!!) aaaaanyhoo I digress.. here are the two spreads I made with that stamp..

There is something striking about the black and white isn't there.. I like leaving the white space in the centre - gives breathing space...  I wanted to give each flower a different pattern...

So that was all very nice and relaxing.. but its not RED is it!.. but I was in a doodling mind set so I bought a pack (from Amazon) of white (and black) blank zentangle squares (shown by Chris Cresswell in a photo on a Facebook page).  The 'tiles' are 9.5x9.5cm so not too big, not too small - ideal for what I had in mind.

So that's the 'doodling', the 'distress' part of my project comes in the form of Distress Inks.  I haven't played with these for a while and I'd forgotten how easy they are to work with.  I pulled out all the red and got busy ( Barn Door, Ripe Persimmon, Festive Berries and Dried Marigold)

I taped four of the tiles together to make a...... yep, a masterboard lol well I couldn't wait until 'M' to create one of these - M's not due as part of this project until  JULY!

The distress inks used were. I created the spots using the tried&tested old favourite technique of water flicking/splashing. :o)

Next came the doodling - I methodically doodled each type of image - worked each of the leaves, then small circles, etc - I like to be organised and methodical about the (apparently) free doodling. :o)
and eventually it looked like this...

It was ready to broken apart and used - I created two cards (I like to mount these panels on different coloured backgrounds because they can look so different depending on the mount..) I also added more doodling - this time in white pen... These panels remind me of batik printed fabrics...
The sketchbook I used earlier for the black&white doodles is shown above - now with a nice masterboard panel on the front cover.

I hope this has inspired you to doodle around stamped images - give them your own spin - or dig out some inks or paints you haven't used in a while (as I did here with the Distress Inks) - or just to doodle!

I'll see you back here on the 1st of March (if not before) for a new colour and 2 more letters of the alphabet - E & F - if you have any suggestions for crafting themes for those letters add them in the comments section on this post and I'll add it to my lists.

As part of my 'research' for the Alphabet Colour Project I created boards on Pinterest for each colour - you can see my RED inspiration board HERE

Thanks for stopping by.



10 February 2016

ACP:2 Red + C

This is the first 'proper' post for the Alphabet Colour Project:2 .. I'm really enjoying putting together all the bits and pieces for the project... so much so that I have refiled all my decorative 12x12 papers in readiness! (the administrator in me raises its head again!!)

This post/project is brought to you by the colour RED and the letter C... lots of craft options beginning with the letter C (the further down the alphabet, the less options there seem to be - could you all please start thinking about options for x, y, & z! lol)(and yes, I have zentangle and zippers...)

Here are the colours I chose to work with red for this project... a kraft Cardboard base to create Cards.. simple..  I love seeing red with paler, tealy/turquoisey blues...

Cards with red as the focal colour, both basically created in the same way but different finishing touches and decoration...
I recently bought a couple of phrase/word block dies from 'Lil'inker designs' in America (www.lilinkerdesigns.com), and what with it being Valentines Day in a few days used the 'love you so much' die for these cards.
I die cut the word block from a panel of black card and trimmed it leaving just a narrow frame.

I die cut several hearts, cut parts from around their edges to make them slightly more asymmetric, then I doodled around the hearts to tie them in with the stamping on the red panel (image is from JOFY24)

The flowers on the card below are from JOFY12.

So that's project one of the ACP:2 project done and dusted.... just another 20ish to go... :o)



9 February 2016

Fun Friday...

... spent with a lively & lovely group of ladies from the U3A.  My Mum belongs to the local group & they have several craft groups that meet regularly to create all kinds of cards with all sorts of techniques, and I went along last Friday to talk/teach all things stamping to two groups... It was lovely to help them with their stamping, and hopefully inspire them to use stamping more on their cards and other crafts.

Here are a few notes for those ladies:

This is the 'stamp press' - I was demonstrating with the larger size... Its made by Fiskars and is available online.

'Forget me not Kraft Kabin' is the shop local to us that stocks JOFY stamps, they are based in Rochford  - you can find them at 16 Golden Cross Parade, Rochford, SS4 1UV. tel: 01702 547833

JOFY stamps are also readily available online - another local stockist (online only) is www.imaginethatpapercrafts.co.uk

Thanks to all the ladies who came to the classes - happy stamping!

4 February 2016

All aboard... up Periscope!!

Well this was an exciting day lol... I popped into PaperArtsy - and was sucked into the Vortex that is PaperArsty HQ and didn't escape back out until I'd filmed a Periscope!!!  Baptism of fire!

It was a lot of fun!... brace yourselves - there could be a load more of these heading your way...lol but, one step at a time, here is today's 'scope and photos of the finished projects...

A big shout out (which I meant to do when we were filming) to Courtney who gave me a lovely manicure before I started filming .... ah the magic of television.

So here's a photo of the stamps and projects in progress.. I used one of Kay Carley's new stamp sets - EKC02 - GORGEOUS flower on that set, and JOFY32 for the large cherry blossom flower.

Here are all the different elements laid side by side - fabulous colours - during the demo'. :o)
((And in response to a comment on the 'scope I like to think I 'sweep' the colour from side to side...))

Sorry I couldn't comment, or say hello to you all as you popped up on screen but am very grateful you tuned in.
It was a lot of fun to film, I hope you enjoyed it.


3 February 2016

ALBOTAT: Stamps of a different kind..Part 2


Yesterday in my blog post I wrote about stamps and how interesting they can, and can be used in artwork - on cards, in journal - however you want really... Well, last week when I was tidying my workroom - oh yes! The 'big clear up/clear out'!!  - I became distracted (as usual!) by the bits and pieces laying on the desk... so I made this simple less-is-more page in a 6x6in journal.... I really like the white space on the page... 

The gold circles are a PaperArtsy Ellen Vargo image stamped and embossed in WOW 'Metallic Brass Sparkle' - a lovely colour which I use when I need gold... stamping the distressed circles over all the images ties it all together, and then the 'obersvation lessons' banner gives it a sort of subject/theme/focus. 
So there you have it - a clean and simple way of using stamps...


2 February 2016

ALBOTAT / ACP:2 Stamps of a different kind....

... little mini works of art..

I raided the vintage stamp albums that I have gathered/been given and searched for bits and pieces for moodboards...

What I learned from the search is that stamps ...

*  have lots of lovely shades of colour

*  are mini works of art

*  are not many stamps issued in yellow... from any country!

Anyone else think that this stamp album would be better repurposed into journal pages...

I think this was my favourite from the search - love the aqua/teal/turquoise against the dark backround.


1 February 2016

Alphabet Colour Project Mark.2

Waaaaay back in 2012 I had a plan for a project for my blog: 

For each calendar month I would choose a colour, and for each week of the year I would pick a letter & work my way through the alphabet picking a craft related theme for each letter.. ie:

I chose Grey for January, Week 1's letter was A for Aperture; week 2's letter was B for bunting (now there's a surprise!) so you get the drift how this was going to work.... or not..
(did I mention there were also colour mixes in there too for each project/week - grey+green, grey+blue... nightmare of my own making lol))

It lasted 8 weeks (hangs head in shame)... to the end of February and then it ground to a halt - there must've been a reason but I've no recollection of what it was.

but I really like the concept of the project so I'm resurrecting it.. a modified/ simpler version (obviously!)... 
This time around I'll still have one colour per month, but now just 2 letters... all spread out through the month..... the format is:
on the 01st -  a moodboard illustrating colour choice, the letters, and theme options
on the 10th - 1st letter and corresponding project
on the 20th - 2nd letter and corresponding project

I'm not starting right at the beginning again - starting at the logical place for February soooo:
.. RED ..

Red is my colour for the month and the letters C & D.... I've been making a list of any craft/art themes, techniques, equipment starting with all the letters of the alphabet - if anyone has any suggestions each month please pop them in the comments section of this post... suggestions gratefully received.. :o)

If you'd like to see any of the project from the Alphabet Colour Project Mark 1 then click 'ACP' in the labels listing on the left of the blog.

Best foot forward and all that....

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