Monday, 21 May 2018

Creating Faux Stitching

Hey All!

Just popping into my blog to share a really quick and easy technique using a Tim Holtz ruler to create a faux stitch look on paper.

Step 1
Ensure your paper is lined up to grid lines on your craft mat or alternatively use a foam mat underneath just ensure you create a couple of pencil marks at either end as a guide to keep the ruler straight (note that using a foam mat will create larger holes). Punch the required amount of holes.

Step 2
Using a good quality marker (I have used a copic multi-liner 0.5mm) and the ruler draw lines between the holes.  You can leave little gaps between them or fill them in!

You can use different coloured markers depending on your project and if you don't feel like getting out your threads this can be a way of achieving a similar look obviously without the texture - just depends on you project. 

Thanks for stopping by and ....

Keep Creating

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Mixed Media! What's All the Fuss About!

Hello There!

Where does the time go, I make a promise every month that I will do at least a couple of blog posts a month and then when I look at the calendar again a whole month has gone by!!! First world problems I know!  Anyway today I want to talk about the phenomenon that is "mixed media" and how it seems to have taken the papercrafting industry by storm over the past couple of years.

Firstly let me just say that I don't identify as a mixed media artist nor will I ever be! Mixed media is defined broadly as the use of various materials to create visual art as opposed to the use of one medium like only using oil paints for painting or stone for sculpture.  Keeping this in mind and applying this to a simple handmade card if you use distress ink and sprays effectively you have created a mixed media card!

At the moment in every facet of the papercrafting world, mixed media are buzz words, everyone who is anyone is doing mixed media and have been for the last few years.  But let's really sit back and think about what's new in the industry?  Looking at the recent pics and video's from CHA except for a few items there is not really much that is new more like new take on old products.  So is it really fair of us to keep pushing the teachers in this industry to come up with new stuff all the time? Yeah probably not.  

So I just ask you to give teachers that don't do mixed media a chance - don't write them off entirely as you never know what you can learn from someone.

When I write these posts I do like to include a picture related to the topic I am harping on about so I have including a little mixed media canvas I did for Imaginarium Designs last year.  Mixed media only because I used Colour Blast Shimmer Cubes and Mica Powders on the one project.

 Keep Creating

Saturday, 16 December 2017


Hi Everyone

And before I forget Merry Christmas and hope you will all eventually get some time to sit down and relax and maybe after all the relatives are gone you might get one or two days off to actually get some crafting done.

So the topic of embellishments has been playing on my mind for a while - probably for about six months as it was around this time I started seeing and hearing a lot about flowers in relation to scrapbooking, cardmaking, off-the-page and mixed media!  Now if you are a huge fan of what I commonly refer to as "flower vomit" you need to stop reading now as you are probably not going to like what I have to say.  

It seems there has been a huge shift to using flowers as the main embellishment on pages or cards to the extent that I saw not to long ago a male birthday card with a fish and then a big bunch of flowers down the side!!! This goes back to an earlier blog post I did about creating with a theme in mind and then creating with balance, this card had an identity crises not knowing if it was going fishing or coffee with the girls!! Now I am not saying you can't use flowers on male projects BUT I have only ever seen a few where this works.  So what to take from this - it seems like when we really don't know what to fill the blank space up with a lot of ladies are just reaching for flowers instead of deciding "what is my theme", what do I have in my stash that I can use to make an embellishment that is related to my theme.  I have a few ladies who come to my classes who don't like a lot of flowers so this forces me to think outside of the box when it comes to embellishments.  If flowers are your signature style that is great, continue to spread the love of flowers but if your cards, pages and other projects are all starting to look the same and you are bored then try something else.  I have listed some ideas below to get you thinking about what you can use instead of flowers all the time:-
  • Metal Embellishments (again we don't want to see "metal vomit" unless that's your thing).
  • Make your own tassels
  • Appropriate ribbon, string, hemp, burlap
  • Buttons
  • Enamel dots 
  • Try using just a 3 flowers instead of 33
  • Look at your paper stack and make embellishments from it
  • Beads, rocks & stones or elements from nature
  • Eyelets - in my opinion perfect for male cards / projects and by far not given enough exposure
  • Die cuts
  • Chipboard
  • Stickers
  • Brads
  • Feathers
  • Pegs 
  • Anything made from wood
  • Stamped Sentiments
  • Doilies
  • Make your own banners and flags from toothpicks and paper
  • Mini Stapler
  • Wool
  • Washi Tape
  • Old Watch Parts & old jewellery
  • Scrabble Pieces
  • Paper clips
  • Straws
  • Nails, screws and stuff hubby might have in the garage
  • Tickets and stubs
  • Bling (again where appropriate)
  • Make your own mini fans and envelopes (tutorials on you tube everywhere).
  • Jewellery wire or copper wire.
I could just keep typing but you get the picture, I know that a beautiful card or layout will mostly likely have a few of these embellishments for "balance" and to create "layers" and "texture" and that is what you should be looking for.

Couple of pictures of some of my earlier cards where I have made a retirement card for a man and and cute card using "Gorjuss" paper tole with just some pegs and a "molded" hard plastic flower.

So please stop going into the embellishment garden and picking all the flowers just pick enough for what you need to create something truly memorable. 

Have an awesome Christmas look forward to seeing you next year at one of my classes.

Keep Creating!

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Paper Piecing - With Stamps!

Hi All!

Just want to do a quick blog post this week and thought I would touch on "paper piecing" using stamps.  Below is a card I made some years back using this type of technique and I love the looks you can achieve with it.  If you google paper piecing my goodness there is no shortage of information, but one thing you will notice is the stamps used have nice clean lines and little or no fine details.  The reason for this is that often the stamps you use for piecing are also used with alcohol markers like copics to colour in, therefore they have nice big areas which you can create depth and shadows.  In my experience these are the best stamps to use, as you can see with my cards I have chosen a mannequin stamp which does have some detail but not too much.  

Paper piecing is super easy just stamp the image on the plain piece of card stock and then again on a patterned card stock of your choice and cut the image on the outside of the line - this is the most important. If you cut inside the line it's just not going to look as finished.  Stick your patterned pieces over the images on your plain card stock and wallah!!! You are done!

That's all from me - I need to pack for my retreat on the weekend!!! EEEK - going to create one of Jane Tregenza's lovely books at Brookfield, and I can't wait I have been looking forward to this for months.  Will keep you updated on facebook of what we are making!

Keep Creating!

Monday, 9 October 2017

Creating With a "Theme"

Hi Everyone

Hope you all had a terrific weekend and managed to do a little creating!  Today I want to talk a little bit about creating with a theme in mind! Now a few of you will most likely just raise your eyebrows and say "nope I just sit down and start putting things together and go with what works".  That is totally fine if it works for you.  If every time you sit down to make a layout or a card you struggle to get something you are happy with then read on.  

I always create with a theme in mind, even for cards.  The reason being is that I find my designs come together so much easier.  The theme might be the colours, the picture, the embellishments, the paper collection, the event (birthday or anniversary) or a set of stamps and dies.  I am going to use the canvas I did for Imaginarium Designs a couple of months ago as an example.

Firstly our brief was a "selfie layout" now I don't scrapbook so I chose a canvas.  I knew the photo I wanted to use was of myself wearing a sombrero, when I saw the "Sugar Skull" stencil I new that was what I wanted in the background.  The Day of the Dead is a celebration in Mexico where sugar skulls are used to celebrate the lives of loved ones passed away. I have a picture of the little skulls below that they make from white sugar. Now can you see where I am going with this? Once I had chosen the stencil and the colour paste in "deep water" I knew that I wanted to use orange in order for the word "fancy face" to stand out.  Can you also see how the swirly bits on the word match the stencil?  Tick, my colour theme is chosen and the skull and the word tie together.

I also had some barbed wire / thorn flourishes and knew that I was going to add some silver embellishments later on so I used "snow white" embossing powder to bling these up, can you see again I have tied in the Graphic 45 - Steampunk Spells cardstock to match and then added a rose. Again it ties together.  The dragonfly and arrowhead strangely enough were just a random selection but actually mean "change" and "alertness" which is very representative of life in general.

I love, love, love little crochet doilies and would put them on everything if you let me so I searched around and found a lovely little orange one topped it with a cog (cogs represent the inner workings of my brain!!!!) and a tassel (another item I love using).  I did have a little silver pistol I was going to poke under the doilies given what occurs in Mexico everyday but thought better (it did actually match really well).

Mini Sugar Skulls

I put this to you, do you feel your cards / layouts are a muddled mess some of the time?  Then just stop, look at one item on the card or layout you want to focus on either a stamp, a photo, or the paper and create your project around this. This also applies to art journaling, when you really look at some of the best in the business their art journal pages always, always, always have a theme, it might be colour, the writing, the free hand shapes of circles and squares, trust me if you look hard enough there is a theme in them all.

Even if you have a particular go to style you can apply this same style around different themes and this is probably the most important take away from this post.  True, I have a more vintage, grunge style but as long as I work out my theme I can work with bright and bold or shabby chic!  Speaking of which someone in my world has challenged me to create some shabby chic cards, as they know how much I dislike that style so you know what, I am going to take that challenge and will create something in the next couple of months just to show that even when you are not in your comfort zone as long as the theme is right the rest will fall into place.

I will be posting all my Deisgn Team work here (I know I have a few to catch up on) but I will be covering the "why" on my blog and the "how" on the Imaginarium Blog so stay tuned.

Next post will be about "embellishments" and do's and dont's (in particular I will touch on flowers and why peeps tend to over-use them as an embellishment).

Keep Creating

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Why Create?

Hi Everyone!

I know it has been a while since my last post even with all the best intentions to keep regular with my blog posts, I probably underestimated how much time it actually takes to write with purpose.  I wanted all the crafty people out there who took the time to visit my blog to get something from it.  
However what should have been evident to me is that, this is my blog to express my feelings and opinions about whatever the hell I want (mainly about crafting). The views I express here around scrapbooking, cardmaking and off the page projects are my own, from what I have observed since making my first card over 20 years ago. I see what works and I see what doesn't - I share as I please in manner aligned with my preferences and integrity even if you may not agree with it.  But none of that obstructs my willingness and desire help you in anyway that I can.

If for whatever reason you decided that I am not for you that is okay because I don't create for you, I create for myself, I create because I like to look at beautiful (sometimes useless) handcrafted projects, I create because it's good for my soul, I create to see the smile when someone receives one of my cards and lastly I create to ensure that I have a legacy.  

So as I always say - Keep Creating!

Image (C) Adobe

Monday, 31 July 2017

It's All Chipboard

Hi Everyone

Just wanted to share the link for my first ever batch of cards for Imaginarium Designs a great Australian based chipboard company.

Who struggles with confidence to create??? Tick??? Who always compares their own finished product with others??? I used to, BUT I am learning that really really deep down somewhere that I make things to because I love it and for no other reason.  When I'm at retreats or talking shop with people I hear a lot of "but what would you use it for" and I am often compelled to respond by saying probably nothing but making it took me to another place that unless you create "things" you will not understand.  Come on! You know what I'm talking about - that place where there is nothing in your head literally you are thinking about nothing besides the next ribbon or stamp or bow that you want to attach.  Creating is a zen!  Enjoy.

P.S Stay tuned - Custom card orders are coming!!!!

Keep Creating!