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

31 August 2018



Now I can breathe freely and talk about christmas stamps!!  

I have six, yes SIX new sets of christmas stamps released today with PaperArtsy... you can see a full blog post over on the PA blog tonight with samples I've made using the stamps... so head on over there and take a look.  SIX plates of stamps will hopefully mean there will be something in there to please everyone... well almost everyone - but maybe not the bah humbugs out there..!! lol

This set has a more tradition feel to it - the candle with baubles around will be great as a stand alone image on a card.
All the single words on the left hand side of the plate fit into the little boxes with the rings...  They can be mixed and matched to create sentiments - and not just for christmas... here is the birthday card I made for my Husband's birthday:

How adorable is this Angel!!!  She is opening her arms and sharing happiness and all the good wishes (and sprarkles) that christmas brings... she makes me smile!

Meet Santas's Little Helper - be nice or he'll put you on the naughty list! lol  The festive words background is going be such a useful stamp!

These big words are going to look great on journal pages and on cards - they look lovely when embossed in glitter!

Oh Christmas Tree!  This big doodle tree is a favourite of mine!  I can see it being used in so many ways.

Aaaah here is this year's snowman!  Looking a bit (a lot) the worse for wear - I think he's had a bit too much christmas spirit!  The big word block is another great stand along image on a card.

Lots and lots of stamps to choose from - I hope some will inspire you to get started with your christmas crafting!

The stamps are available NOW from all the usual PaperArtsy stockists..

I am running a Christmas Card workshop on September 19th 2018, in Leigh-on-Sea - go HERE for details.  
Come and join me! 
I hope to see a few of you there!

Ho Ho Ho!!


27 August 2018

JoFY Bingo Wk.14

Happy Monday everyone!  This week's Bingo numbers are 18 and 60!  These sets are at opposite ends of the JOFY range but I think I can still make them work together...

I started out by making a card using Distress Oxides (yummy!)....

and I thought I would make more... but then I spotted the little sign stamp on JOFY18! and thought how good it might look with the flowers on JOFY60... so I made a fairly quick, clean&simple journal spread..

I'm really enjoying art journaling at the moment and it might be because
1. I really like the size of this journal - its the small Dylusions journal
2. Its almost full! and I'm keen to finish it!

The blobby 'trees' in the background are a stencil by The Crafter's Workshop called 'Mini pods on sticks' (ref TCW546s) - I really like the way they look with the flowers... hhhmm would look great with doodles on them don't you think?!

I used Fresco paints and Tombow brush markers for colour, and paper piecing for flowers.

Another week of Bingo done!  If you have the stamps and want to join in then please do.

Thanks for stopping by..


Christmas Card Class

I'm really excited to start offering classes - the first of which is dedicated to making Christmas Cards.

Yes, you read that correctly - a Christmas Card Class! On the day the class runs there will be less than 100 days until christmas (!!) so why not make a headstart?!

We'll make a selection of cards in the 2.5 hours, but unfortunately I can't show you samples because we'll be using the latest JOFY stamps (yet unreleased).  If I showed you those I would go straight to the top of Father Christmas's Naughty List! lol  but I can tell you there will be glitter, stamps and paint! (oh my!!)

The cost of the class is £30.00* - you'll receive a class kit containing all the substrates you need to create the cards, and one of the new A5 JOFY stamp sets (rrp £20.50) we'll be using in the class.

Everything you need will be provided but please bring an apron if you're a clean&tidy sort of crafter!

The class will run at the Community Centre, Elm Road in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex.  Its a great venue and there is a big public car park next door (free after 6pm).

I'm really looking forward to sharing the new JOFY designs with you - I hope you can join me for some festive crafting....

*To book your place, receive more details, or ask any questions please email me at jo@jofy.co.uk
(BOOKING EDIT: deposit of £10.00 (non-refundable) holds your place, payment in full on the day)


22 August 2018

ALBOTAT..... cleaning tip

.. (A Little Bit Of This And That)... I don't often blog about 'cleaning tips' .... its not that sort of blog but if you're creative you've probably needed to clean a stencil (or two)... today's blog post is about....

Cleaning Stencils!!

Cleaning stencils can be a nightmare and I wanted to share something I found out earlier this month... sort of by accident...

I clean my stencils in the sink in a bathroom which is next to my workroom... I was looking around for my art-scrubbing-brush to remove the black gesso from my stencil but couldn't find it, then I spied the exfoliating gloves drying on the side of the bath!

Gloves would make a great scrubbing tool wouldn't they?!  They're soft so won't damage the stencil surface and edges, abrasive enough to remove paint...

They worked really well, as you can see here from my little video - please excuse the quality - its hard to scrub and hold the phone to record at the same time!

The gloves also really good for cleaning rollers/brayers with a bit of warm water.. win win

Exfoliating gloves are a bit of a cleaning winner in my book:
  • great for cleaning stencils and brayers
  • they come as a pair! almost like a bogoff - when one gets too dirty you can use the other while you wash the first one!
  • they're inexpensive!
win win!!  (but as with everything - use with care!)

Hope you find this useful - I'm grateful for any tips on how to clean craft equipment!

(And yes, I have bought a new pair of gloves to use on my skin! lol)

Thanks for stopping by


20 August 2018

JoFY Bingo Wk.13

Woo hoo!  Its Bingo time again!  Two flower sets this week - 25 & 33

Another journal spread...

I started on a page in my journal which was a clean up spread - one where I'd wiped a brush/gelli plate/roller clean - and it was not pretty! lol 
I painted over it using a slightly dry babywipe (leaving some of that 'nasty' showing through to add depth) using Snowflake & Sea Glass - one of the lovely new Fresco Finish colours by Courtney Franich.
If you haven't seen them yet - here they are:
l to r, starting at the top: Mustard Pickle, Lemon Meringue, Mulled Wine, Peach Nectar, Blah-mange, Vintage Lace, Twilight, Surf's up, Pine Grove, Sea Glass, Koala, Eggshell.

I used Sea Glass and Snowflake on the background and then for the stenciled thistles I mixed Koala and Slate (irl Koala is lighter than shown on the photo) to get a mid grey colour.  The die cut stems are painted in shades of Peach Nectar mixed with Snowflake. The small 'flowers' are painted with Snowflake and Blah-mange.
The Thistle stencil is from the lovely people at Stencil Girl Products - if you're a stencil fan go visit their site - sooooo many stencils! lol

I coloured the stems with FaberCastell polychromos pencils - very relaxing to just sit and colour isn't it. :o)

OK, feeling good - 2 more weeks done and dusted - I am back on track....

I've been doing a bit of planning for the Bingo project - seeing where it will now finish because of the unscheduled breaks... it finishes (IF I don't take anymore unscheduled breaks...) on the 31st December!!!  How neat and tidy is that!  Couldn't've planned it better if I tried! lol

Thanks for stopping by, hope to see you next week...

Take care


13 August 2018

JoFY Bingo Wk.12

BINGO!! Yes JoFYBingo!  Its been a while.. but I am back on it - ready to roll out the all important numbers which this week are 2 & 30...
(if you've forgotten what JoFY Bingo is (and considering how long its been that would be understandable) the details can be found at the bottom of this blog post)

Baubles and Bees!  Could be tricky to combine - but I combined the large bauble and the honeycomb background (hexagons.. they're a favourite of mine!) to create a festive 'wreath'...

I could not have created this dedsign without the use of a Stamping Platform - if you don't have a platform already then GO AND GET ONE!!! They are such a useful tool to have - seriously - go buy one!!
(fyi: I use Crafts-Too's Press to Impress platform)

I started with a square piece of card (20x20cm). 

NB I work with my stamp platform so it opens and closes like a book (just pointing that out as some platforms work with the hinge at the top). I call the clear panel the stamps stick to the 'lid'... or sometimes the door

I'm going to repeat each image on all four sides of the panel of card. I positioned the large bauble in the centre of the panel (l to r) so I could see how looked, then I flipped it over and closed the lid of the platform transferring the stamp onto it.

I stamped the image.....

Rotated the panel, each time stamping the image.... 

I wanted images inbetween these so I drew a light pencil line corner to corner across the page,  positioned the image on the line, marked where it was to go....

Then stamped the second round of images... 

The stamping platform really is invaluable when you're stamping a design like the - it would be sooooo hard to repeat images accurately without one.

I wanted the design to have a background image so of course I used the honeycomb from JOFY30.  

First I need to create a mask so I covered the stamped images with light weight paper, traced around the image and cut it out (cutting only what was needed.)

I positioned and stamped the honeycomb design on all foursides (rotating the panel as previously)...

I repositioned the stamp and stamped around the panel again...

Here's the 'wreath' almost finished, but there were a few spaces that I felt needed filling...

I added the single fairy light bulb either sided of the bauble on the straight edge..

... and a single star in the small space in the corners...

You might be wondering where is the single star on either of this weeks stamp sets...?? Its actually the star from the top of the present pile...
I separated it from the main stamp with 2 clean cuts - I'm really careful when I do this so I don't damage the stamp's line.  The stamp will fit back together again when positioned on an acrylic block.

Here is the finished stamped design...  

I used a Tombow Brush marker to add splashes of colour and shadowing around the baubles to lift them off the page....

I die cut a circle and the word 'noel' added it (3d foam) to the centre of the wreath.  Here's the finished panel:

I'm so glad I have a stamping platform!! As I said earlier I wouldn't  be able to create this design without one.
I hope its inspired you to treat yourself to one. There are lots of tutorials on the web about how to use them - its a surprisingly versatile tool.

If you want to know about JoFY Bingo....here are the details:

The numbers are drawn on Monday, along with a project I've made using the corresponding stamp sets, then the plan is to:
  • Use/combine 1 or 2 stamp sets (use only those stamp sets - but not all the stamps in each set - that would be too much of an ask but as long as there are one or two stamps from each set then its OK!)
  • 7 days to create 1 project, makers choice:  cards... atc... journal page... dimensional project... tag...
  • Use any paints/media, colours, embellishments, stencils/masks
  • Load up your project to Instagram any time during the week.  Please use Instagram links #jofybingo and @jofyjo in the text (not 'tagging' me please) so I can find it :o)
I'm going to use/combine 2 stamps sets each week but if you'd like to join in but only have one of the chosen sets then join in using that set! 

Please come and play!

If you don't have an Instagram account you can add your project in the comments on the Facebook post linked to this blog post (facebook links:  https://www.facebook.com/JoFY.JoFirthYoung/ or https://www.facebook.com/jo.firthyoung )

Thanks for stopping by!

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