Sunday, 26 April 2015

2015 Topic 8: Sprays {Challenge}

Topic 8: Sprays

Hi everyone, Leandra here

It feels like years have passed since I last spoke to you, but it was only a few short weeks. Our manic period has finally come to an end. We are enjoying life settling back into normality after a very busy first quarter kick off to 2015.

It's now time to add lots of new things to the website over the next few weeks, and plan for the upcoming shows at Port Sunlight (Happy Stampers) and the Doncaster Dome (Stamp Magic). We also have 3 groups of friends and family coming to visit from New Zealand in the near future (exciting), the munchkins x 2 are into exam mode for 6th form (scary), Miss almost-21 is submitting her year end uni projects, and Master H is also doing his Year 11 end of year exams. Before we know it summer will be here and it feels to us like the year has only just started!

I am very excited about this next topic. numerous brands of sprays have been utilised in many different ways in my creative life for several years. Be they non-permanent, permanent, with a bit of sparkle, or not there are so many things you can use them for. BUT, as the video will show you, add paint into the equation, and you have a whole new baby to start exploring!

But first, here is Darcy to announce the challenge winner for Topic 7: Niches . As we have been away at shows, followed by a conference last weekend, I have not been able to get around all your challenge submissions the way I anticipated, but I can see you have really enjoyed the topic and I must admit, its bonkers how many 'niches' you see when you start to look at objects with that in mind. Here's Darcy....

Hi everyone, Darcy here. Another great topic comes to an end, and again we have been wowed with your ideas. it never ceases to amaze us how you take the theme and run with it, producing some fabulous projects.
Sooooo, the winning name from Topic 7: Niches..goes to... Kristiina from Paperimajuri
 To claim your £50 voucher, please email me, Darcy with your details to and I'll explain how you claim your prize. 

Thanks Darcy for drawing the prize winner, and well done to our latest winner Kristiina.'s Leandra back for the rest of this post to chat some more about Sprays. Check out this week's video for a few tips that might kick start your brain into action ...

Perhaps this is how your spray life started...a clear ink resist as show below by Tim Holtz...

He also showed us how to use ink pad re-inkers and mica powders to make your own sparkly sprays. I love to make new colours this way, but i find you sometimes have to watch how much mica you add, and how grainy it much and or too-chunky particles can clog your spray nozzle making it harder to use.

Add stencils into the mix, and you can have good and bad times. Yes its a lot of fun to layer, but remember that ink is translucent when making decisions about colour; some colors don't look so good on top of others, and sometimes they look fabulous. 

You may have to consider drying a layer before adding the next, or you may wish 2 colours to mix and blend to create a new colour. Also bear in mind that some inks are reactivated when they get wet, this can also affect outcomes in good and not so good ways!   You need to work these features to your advantage.

Also think about the surface you are working on. Lots of water is going to buckle paper immediately as it is wet on one side and not the other, this can make life tricky when trying to use stencils. Consider sealing both sides of your surface with gesso, but bear in mid this will affect the absorbency of the surface, and dyes do like a porous surface to sink into.

Fabric can be a good solution, as it won't buckle, and stays nice and flat when working with stencils.

Of course, using your dye sprays to tint ribbons is fun too, and a great way to get the perfect colour ribbon to match your project.

And lets not forget about making paint into sprays. This offers you control over the opacity of your spray, and a paint spray can provide similar effects as dye inks, but it will always be a permanent option once dry. 

A white paint spray is very exciting, and you simply vary the opacity by how much paint you add to the water. You can then also tint the white mixture with reinkers, other colours of paint or even powdered pigments, grated crayons or pastels, mica powders etc.

So there you have it, just a few starting pointers, but I know you guys adore your sprays for journalling, mixed media and lots of other applications, so I really hope you get a chance to play along this week, and show us your preferred techniques.

This is such a broad topic, I can't wait to see what you do too! I know our designers have got awesome things lined up to share!

We would love you to join in with the 2 week challenge for Topic 8:Sprays. Feel free to join in and share your ideas and link up your creativity to this page.

All links go in the draw to win a voucher to spend on products of your choice from the PaperArtsy online store. The Sprays link will close 17:00 (London Time) Sunday, May 10th, winner will be announced 2 hours later at 19:00.

1. The challenge is a chance for you to show how you have been inspired by a particular technique of the fortnight. Your entry should contain:
- a mention of which post inspired you and why, and 
- a link in your blog post to that original post on the PA blog.

The whole concept of this challenge is 'play along with us'. You are encouraged to put your own twist on ideas you see on our blog. We love to see how you are inspired!

2. The link you put on our linky page must lead directly to the specific post on your blog where you have explored the technique/ idea mentioned in point 1 above. Don't link to the home page of your blog, or we will be unable to find the post to leave you comments.

3. Spam links will be deleted.

4. We prefer your challenge post is created exclusive to our challenge, but if our topic fits perfectly with another challenge, then of course your post may link to both if you feel it is appropriate.

5. You are most welcome to use stamps/ products/ substrates you have to hand from a variety of companies, we do not expect you to exclusively use PA products - it's lovely when you do though!

6. You can enter as many times as you like in the fortnight. We don't want to restrict your creativity or participation! Link closes at 17:00 Sunday May 10th (London Time)

7. The winner of the random draw will receive a £50 credit to be redeemed on the PaperArtsy Website, the credit includes VAT and postage. We request that one of your purchases is an A5 rubber stamp. You can add any other items to your basket, but the final total should not exceed £50

8. Each Sunday fortnight the winner will be announced at 19:00, also, in the same post, the link for the next fortnight will be posted. It's your responsibility to claim your prize coupon from Darcy: email her

Good Luck! If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!

Friday, 24 April 2015

2015 #7 Art Doll {by Trish Latimer}

2015 Theme 7: Niches

Hi everyone Trish Latimer here, joining you this evening with a post about niches! This is very much a 'create your own' niche project, not a ready made niche in sight! Art Dolls are my go to project if I have a total free rein on what I create, and when I saw Clare's fabulous face stamps I just knew where they would end up! This little lady is named after her stamp designer... may I introduce 'Happy Clare'....

Step One: Whenever I create an Art Doll, I always start off with a sketch so I know where I'm heading. In this case, I stamped the face (Eclectica Clare Lloyd 04), then sketched in the rest roughly.


Step Two: As she is to be a free standing clay doll, I made an armature from wire. This does not need to be perfect, it's just a rough shape upon which the clay can be added.

Step Three: I've now added the clay to the shape. This may look like a heavy solid lump of clay but it's not! I used air dry Hearty clay, which is very light and has a spongy feel once dried out. As you might notice, I decided to chop off one of the wire legs from the armature, it was much easier to shape my dolls legs around one strand of wire!

Step Four: No, I haven't forgotten this project is all about niches! The niche in my Doll holds her sparkly heart, and to create it we need to 'cut out' the shape. I've used a cookie cutter for this, it works perfectly through the soft clay.

Step Five: As you can see, we are now left with a perfectly circular hole in the body of the doll. This hole will have a back added to it to form the niche, this is done simply by gluing a decorated piece of card across the back.

Step Six: Once the clay has fully dried out, it can be decorated! I painted the dress with Blue Oyster paint, then added stamped tissue over the top to give the dotty effect. The dots are from the Eclectica Ellen Vargo 06 plate. The glue used to attach the tissue gives the doll a nice glossy sheen, a look I followed through with the rest of the doll.


'Happy Clare' was then finished off with bunting, before adding the stamped and coloured face. I emphasized the edge of the niche with doodled circles, before placing in her red sparkly heart!

I just love all of the faces Clare has created, and I'm in the middle of creating a doll for each of them. It's funny how the dolls seem to develop their own quirky personalities as you create them, you will never manage to create two the same! As you can see, adding a niche to this kind of project isn't difficult, and I think a niche just adds that extra detail that will make your art stand out. Why not have a go, I would love to see!
Thank you so much for having me, I've loved sharing 'Happy Clare' with you today!
Trish xx
My Blog  - Ink,Paint,Beads

Thanks Trish, we love your art doll,she is so sweet..with her pretty dress, sparkly heart and red shoes! You have skilfully taken a 2d image and created a 3d doll, fabulous. I hope you will share the rest of your dolls when they are done. ~Darcy

We would love you to join in with challenge #7: Niches If you are inspired by any of our guests who blog with us over the fortnight, then please join in and link up your creativity HERE. 

All links go in the draw to win a voucher to spend on products of your choice from the PaperArtsy online store. The Niches link will close 17:00 (London Time) Sunday, April 26th, winner will be announced 2 hours later at 19:00.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

2015 #7 Treetop Owls {by Helen Chiltonl}

2015 Theme 7: Niches

Hi everyone Helen here, joining you this evening with a post about niches. This theme appealed to me as I wanted to puzzle out how to create a niche rather than use one ready made. Ideas of hammering metal cake cutters into my book page did go through my head (still considering that one!) but in the end I decided to try out one of Tim Holtz's dies and see if I could jiggle around the die sandwich so it would go through the machine. I'm very pleased to say it worked! The book pages were very brittle due to age and I didn't quite get the die truly aligned each time, but in the end it didn't matter - Lin Brown's owl still had somewhere to sit:

First of all get your book and choose your die. I used one of these thicker ones as they cut through more pages at a time. Play around with folding back pages until the die goes through the machine and cuts. keep repeating this until the niche is deep enough:

Coat edge of book and inside niche with glue and then gesso. Paint the book and extra loose pages using Frescos, Mermaid and Smurf for the sky and Autumn Fire, French Roast and London Night for the tree and branches:

Get out the Grunge Paste and tint some with London Night and Stone and scrape through a woodgrain stencil - I've used a Prima stencil here but any will do. Stencil the spare pages as well:

Next cut out branches from the spare pages and stick across the page, tucking the ends under the right hand side book page:
Get out the Treasure Gold (Olive Bronze and Spanish Topaz) and use to highlight the woodgrain texture:)
Accentuate the wood texture by drawing round with a black pen.  Draw round the extending branches with a soft pencil, rubbed with a cotton bud to create a soft shadow:

To finish the tree scene, stamp and paint lots of owls and birds, plus a couple of semi circular nests to make the sun. In addition to the paints already used, I chose Haystack, Butternut and Purple Rain.


I love these bird stamps from ELB17 - they've got such wonderful expressions! By colouring them with the Frescos you can get great shading by diluting them with water. I've enjoyed making my niche and by using dies, you can create different shaped apertures to fit your theme. So find an old book, get out your dies and have a go!

Wow, Helen this is fabulous. What a truly brilliant idea, and that texture is so effective. Well done for being brave and experimenting with the book/dies in your machine. I can see lots of people trying this one. 

We would love you to join in with challenge #7: Niches If you are inspired by any of our guests who blog with us over the fortnight, then please join in and link up your creativity HERE. 
All links go in the draw to win a voucher to spend on products of your choice from the PaperArtsy online store. The Niches link will close 17:00 (London Time) Sunday, April 26th, winner will be announced 2 hours later at 19:00.

Monday, 20 April 2015

2015 #7 Abstract Niches {by Penny Nuttall}

2015 Theme 7: Niches

Hi everyone Penny here, joining you this evening with a post about creating niches. Obviously I had to sign up for this has to be 3-D, it has to have texture and it made me go all...well....archaeological! It happens sometimes!


I don't know why but I just keep getting drawn back to rocks. I started this project with a small pile of them and it grew from there. Heavy gel medium sticks everything!

I also have a liking for matchboxes and made my niches by glueing four together at
different levels.

I roughly brushed more heavy gel over the boxes and sprinkled rough sand all over.
(Top tip....don't try to dry your sand first with a hair dryer.....its gives a whole new meaning to the saying "life's a beach"!)

When dry, paint all over with Slate Fresco Finish Acylic Paint and dry brush with areas of Chalk, Blueberry and Brown Shed to echo the colours of the base rocks.

Glue the niches to the rock pile. Stamp images from Lynne Perrella's new collection LPC033 on Kraft card and colour using gel pens or Fresco Paint. Cut into niche-sized sections and use foam adhesive pads to give dimension to the images in their natural rock frames.

Finally add a few interesting dry sticks to give the whole thing an ancient tomb-like

I really like this wind blasted, primeval, less is more look. You could have as many niches as you wanted in your construction (and as many rocks!).

Until next time........Penny.

Wonderful piece of 3d/abstract art Penny. The natural elements incorporating the pebbles/twigs have created a great a tiered visual for your niches. The LP images fit perfectly with this project. Thank you for sharing your creativity.

We would love you to join in with challenge #7: Niches If you are inspired by any of our guests who blog with us over the fortnight, then please join in and link up your creativity HERE

All links go in the draw to win a voucher to spend on products of your choice from the PaperArtsy online store. The Niches link will close 17:00 (London Time) Sunday, April 26th, winner will be announced 2 hours later at 19:00.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

2015 #7 Niches Fantasy Flowers {by Liz Borer PA Signature Designer}

2015 Theme 7: Niches

Hi there everyone, Liz here again with a project based on the topic of Niches. To me a niche is a small space to put treasures into and I love creating this sort of project. However this time I decided to do something slightly different and use the project to show off some of the faces from my stamps and create some ‘fantasy ‘ flowers. I was inspired by the fact that the magnolias are blooming at the present and I love these flowers because of their amazing sculptural shapes.

I started with a deep frame (from Ikea). I could have used a Tim Holtz configurations box but I wanted larger spaces, so I made my own frame with Niches. I cut a piece of Grey Board to fit the frame and then cut the apertures in the board as I wanted them.


I then cut strips of board the correct width to sit behind the aperture frame so that the back of the main frame would form the back of the niches when it was reinserted into the frame. Using a strong glue I stuck the strips onto the back of the apertures to create the sides and support the whole structure.     

The back of the main frame can then be put in place with plenty of strong glue to hold it in place.   

I then lined all the niches with various papers (these are from Graphic 45) which had co-ordinating colours to fit my colour scheme. I find that if I sand the edges of the paper once the glue is dry I can get a neat finish around the top of the niches.

I wanted to add some Grunge Paste texture to the frame, but because the areas were quite small I decided to stencil various designs onto tissue paper first because it would be easier to get the designs onto the frame. Apply Grunge Paste through a stencil as normal but onto tissue paper and then dry it. 

Now it is possible to cut the paper up into pieces that fit wherever they are needed and adhere them to the frame. To adhere the Tissue/ Grunge Paste stencils in place paint a layer of Matte Medium onto the frame and the put the tissue over it. Carefully paint another coat of matte medium over the tissue and ensure the it is stuck down .                                                                                                     

I then painted the whole frame; The inner area was a mix of Buff and Pumpkin Soup and the outer frame was a mix of French Roast and a small amount of Little Back Dress to make the paint more opaque. I rubbed Treasure Gold over the raised areas when the paint was dry. Classic Gold over the dark paint and a mix of Classic Gold and Onyxite over the pale areas.                                                                                  

Now I started making the flowers. Firstly I wanted to make Magnolia shaped flowers, so I stamped several of the two larger baubles from EEB01 onto Smoothy White Stamping Card. I cut out the shapes and painted over the design – one side with Honeydew and the other with Nougat. I then washed Pumpkin Soup over the nougat and Autumn Fire towards the base of the baubles. Looking back I think it might have been more interesting to stamp onto card  already painted with honeydew so that the design could have remained and been seen on the inside of the flowers. Too late now! I used a large ball tool to shape the petals and then adhered them to a small wooden bead (also painted with Honeydew). The smaller baubles formed the inner petals and the longer ones formed the outer petals. I stamped some leaves from Squiggly InkFlora and Fauna 5 and painted them to create the base of the flowers. When everything was dry I made the stalks from dried poppy seed stalks but twigs would have done as well.



The blue flowers were made using ELB15. I stamped them onto card painted with a pale shade of BlueOyster made by mixing it with some Nougat. I washed areas of the flowers withBlue Grass and / or Blueberry and then washed small areas with Autumn Fire.The centers of the flowers were stamped onto the same card using Egg and Nog 4. I washed Autumn Fire in the center and Hey Pesto around the edges before cutting them out. I then cut down the side of on petal and cut out the center of the flowers so that I could curl it up to form a cone shape with the coloured side on the outside (put glue around the center of the flower before curling to stick it together). The flowers put together with two layers of petals with the curled bit in the center.    

Now for the little spikey flowers which were made in much the same way as the centers of the blue flowers. I stamped the design onto card painted with Nougat and then washesBlue Grass and/or Blueberry around the flower before cutting it out. This time I curled a second layer over the first to get more petals. When the glue was dry I stuck a headpin with a bead on it through the center of the flower and then stuck a pearl onto the pin at the base of the flower. With a little pinflair glue put around the top of the headpin I added some seed beads inside the flower.  

For the orange flowers I used the single bloom from JOFY 26 stamped onto card painted with Nougat. Again I washed Pumpkin Soup around the centers of the flowers and dotted Chalk around the centers for the stamens. I cut out and curled the flowers and made each one using two layers. I added a large blob of pinflair glue in the center of each flower and stuck seed beads onto it. 

I then stamped the faces from EEB03/04 and 05 onto card painted with Nougat and coloured them with colours from the palette that I had been using. You can see that the design with the lady who is dreaming doesn’t have the background design showing. Because I had stamped onto a painted background it was easy to paint over  the part I didn’t want to see. I stuck the painted faces into some shaped card and added a frame around one. I raised the pictures inside the niches  by sticking several layers of foam board behind them and then sticking it into the niche.




This final photo shows the little extras that I added. I stamped the bee from EEB04 and cut out two layers to give it some dimension. The fan was from my stash and coloured with treasure gold. The central niche holds a dried poppy seed head painted with treasure gold . I added more seeds beads around the base of the seed head. There are several buttons also painted with Treasure Gold.                                                   

Here are two close ups of the finished project after everything was stuck in place.


I hope that you have enjoyed my little adventure into fantasy flowers and I will be back soon with more ideas. 


 Liz you have created a beautiful niche using the different collection of stamped images. The attention to detail is wonderful. The application of Grunge Paste and Treasure Gold add beautiful orante texture to this project. We love the 3d dimension the flowers have added. Exquisite! Thank you for sharing your creativity.

We would love you to join in with challenge #7: Niches If you are inspired by any of our guests who blog with us over the fortnight, then please join in and link up your creativity HERE. 

All links go in the draw to win a voucher to spend on products of your choice from the PaperArtsy online store. The Niches link will close 17:00 (London Time) Sunday, April 26th, winner will be announced 2 hours later at 19:00.

A View from PaperArtsy HQ

A View from PaperArtsy HQ

About This Blog

Even though we've been blogging for quite some time only just figured out the followers button, so please follow us to hear about all that is new in the land of PaperArtsy. We'd love to share our ideas with you! Leandra

A View from PaperArtsy HQ

A View from PaperArtsy HQ