Saturday, 23 July 2016

NEW PA Products {Everything Art} Stamps

Hi Everyone, Leandra here with the first of several Saturday blog posts over the next 2 months.

This time of year has always been a traditional New Release period, but instead of doing a one-week bombardment, we will do weekly posts through to late September.

Tonight I'm showing you the newest addition from Kasia of Everything Art and her lovely stamps can be found in the Eclectica³ {Everything Art} series.

Before we look at the stamps in detail, let me tell you a bit about Kasia, and also the fist 2 stamp sets, then lower down the post you will see info about set 3!

Kasia along with her partner Jamie (one of our long time stockists, Artist Trading Post) started an online class this year called Wanderlust, you can still sign up through to the end of July. 

Each month they have 2 guest teachers who release a couple of videos, and in between, Jamie and Kasia incorporate product teaching and art journalling classes as part of their very detailed programme. 

All the information shared is so useful for the budding and experienced mixed media artist alike.

Kasia already has a line of stencils with The Crafter's Workshop, and so we were thrilled when then asked us to make stamps for them to work alongside, and independent of her Wanderlust classes.

So let's take a closer look at the Everything Art stamps...

This year Kasia has released a set every 3 months. Let me remind you of the first 2 sets.

Here is an introductory video from Kasia about Set 1...

I found this stunning piece pinned by Julie Bell on pinterest here, I can't figure out if Jules made it or if she pinned someone else's piece, how fab it looks in layers of encaustic wax!

And a periscope from Leandra..

And another journal page by Kasia...

A Lin Brown Demo...

Lovely ideas from Frieda Oxenham...

So here we are, and its time for the newest offering, set 3. This time Kasia has created a stunning colour wheel system, but she uses it beautifully as a mood board too.

How cool is this as a way to create colour palettes for your projects with inks, paints, watercolour, fabrics, patterns, papers etc...

This is a great way to wrap a gift for an arty friend...

Kasia had made this video of introduction to the stamps too...

I really love Kasia's style, she is so explorative and her relaxed loose flowing style is very refreshing. I am certain you will enjoy these stamps, and perhaps you can get cracking with some colour mixing or mood boards with the colour wheels..

All these stamps are available now from your favourite PaperArtsy stockist, as you know,  we urge you to support your local independent retailer.

Enjoy! We'll see you back here next Saturday for another new product release!


Friday, 22 July 2016

Peek Week {Secret peeks .... for realsies}

Hi everyone, Leandra back again

So this is the most annoying blog post ever!

We have 9 Saturday evenings coming with new stamps from 9 designers, 3 of whom are brand new to the PaperArtsy family. 

Not all of our designers are releasing stamps over the coming weeks, some are saving their secrets for the New Year, but never fear, there is lots of gorgeousness to share with you!

Every Saturday night we will feature something or someone new!

You might have 2, but 3 makes a set of these lovelies!

Bubbles or blobbies...only time will tell!

We do love something abstract, so who is the new kid on this block?

First up will be tomorrow night! It's going to be so much fun! We can't wait to show you what we've got!!


Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Peek Week {Crayons, Watercolour}

Leandra here again for another Peek Week Post

Crayons and watercolours seem to be pretty hot products at the moment, as they offer so much flexibility for the mixed-media artist. This year we have added a lot of new things to our website in this category, so I thought i'd run through the basics. I have tried to stock cheap, mid-range and high quality brands and options. Tonight we take a look at this category up close to explore colouring options surfaces to work on, brushes etc.

Water Soluble crayons - product options

So crayons are a bit odd. How IS a wax water reactive? Well, that is one for the chemists, but for all, but there must be pigment, and a binder. Some are creamier than others, and some are more easily dissolved in water.

1. Portfolio Oil pastels (Crayola) £9.95 pkt of 24,  0.50p each
Student grade product, pigmentation and blendabililty varies from colour to colour, yellow, orange, reds, pinks seem to perform wonderfully, blues/purples are less pigmented and harder to blend out, some colours are a bit naff, a very good starter set.

2. Neocolour (Caran D'Ache), £12.00 Tin of 10, £1.20ea
Very similar to the above, more expensive, pigmentation more consistent, nice range of colours, cute tin, overall slightly creamier.

3. Slick Stix (Crayola) £12.95 pkt of 12, £1.08ea
Super-Creamy, really pigmented, easy to blend. 2 metallics included. Nice colour range, easy to make any colour of the rainbow.

3. Distress Crayons (Ranger Industries), £10.95 pkt of 6, £1.82ea
Matches the distress palette of colours, creamy, well pigmented, a bit crumbly when applied, smallest pen/ stick size, probably 1/2 or 1/3 of the slick stick in actual product to use.

4. Gelatos (Faber Castell), £20.50 pkt of 15, £1.35 ea
Pigment varies colour to colour, lipstick style container, very little permanence once dry. Spray fixative required, or combine/ activate with Gum Arabic or glaze to help permanence.
{NB we are not selling these at present, as the price from kit to kit style varies and single colours not easy to source of newer shades, larger kits very expensive}

More Crayon Information:
(A) Pinterest: For more examples of crayons and ideas, go here to my Pinterest Page

(B) Videos: Videos listed below.

(C) PaperArtsy Blog: use the search bar at the top of the blog, type in Distress crayons, Slick Stix, Portfolio Oil pastels etc and posts using those products will pop up. Idea posts below.

MY TECHNIQUE TIPS with crayons:
  • Working on a sealed surface (snowflake chalk paint, PaperArtsy Matte glaze, Clear gesso, Distress crazing collage glaze) are all brilliant ways to give tooth to the surface, and allow your crayons to 'grab' on the surface more easily.
  • Working onto stencilled texture (remember Grunge Paste has awesome tooth) also gives an interesting surface for crayons to grab onto.
  • Blending can be with your finger, a baby wipe, but also with a brush or Cut n dry foam wet with mediums like matte glaze, Snowflake paint
  • Heat setting does not necessarily make a crayon permanent, but with Distress, Portfolios and Slick Stix, it seems to help a lot. Not with Gelatos though.
  • Applying direct through a stencil is easy, soften with a baby wipe or your finger.
  • Grating your crayon into texture pastes can be fun! You then can alter the colour of GP to anything you like
  • You can even dissolve the crayon in water and make sprays.
  • Try working on watercolour papers (unsealed) to achieve more traditional watercolour effects.
Kim Dellow Comparison

Sandy Allnock Comparison

Sandy Allnock Distress Crayons used as traditional watercolour

Neocolour Crayons

Blog Posts:
Chris Cresswell, making sprays from crayons

Lin Brown, Blending crayons with Snowflake paint...

Hazel Agnew, Using crayons to watercolour doodles on vintage papers...

Anneke using gelatos in all kinds of ways to create a notebook...

And if you go back to the Wax challenge bog post here, scroll down and I summarised a bunch of samples i made with various Portfolio techniques from about 5 years ago...

Surfaces to work on

1. Smoothy 
This is an incredible, super smooth Italian Card stock available in Regular (£2.90, Pkt 10) and Heavyweight (£3.40, Pkt 10). It is beautiful paper that accepts all media, from paints to inks. Images such as photographic stamps will show fine detail of the images beautifully. The card is an un-coated, matte, surface, so inks do not bleed into the 'grain' of the paper as it is so smooth, but not shiny. This paper is perfect for journalling, scrapbooking, and all your stamping or mixed media crafts.

2. Watercolour Papers
In the online shop we have numerous brands of Watercolour papers. My comments are based on information I have read or videos I have watched online.

Paper comes as Hot Pressed (smooth), Cold Pressed (more tooth/ texture) or Rough (even more textured Cold Pressed), which relates to the smoothness of the surface (may be important for those stampers out there) and affects how you want the colours to sit and grab on the paper, how fast you want them to dry, vividness of the colour, and layering. On the hot pressed you will get paints pooling and sitting on the surface more than on the cold pressed.

Watercolour papers can also come in different weights, and artists will wet and stretch the paper, tape it to their working surface. This prevents buckling when you work with it. If it buckles/ cockles, the paint will not lay down onto the paper properly.

As crafters, we generally don't bother with the stretching paper process, but maybe you should try and see if you notice a difference. make sure you stretch onto a sealed surface, and its important to wet both sides of the paper.

Obviously the quality of the watercolour paint products you work with also plays a big part on how they sit on the paper. High quality will wet out, blend, dry and layer colours better, low quality may separate the pigments and look more grainy. There are lots of videos about this online. If you are using cheap paints, then use cheap paper, Don't use cheap paints on expensive paper. Craft brands are less likely to represent value for money than artist brands, you can get reasonable quality artist grade papers for less than some of the craft brand papers.

Arches- One of the top end brands. You might find it easier to work on the more expensive stuff, due to the way it absorbs the liquid, and allows colour to blend nicely.

Canson XL - Good quality product at a reasonable price.

Prima - cream in colour, better than Ranger, but still a cheap option. Type not differnetiated on packaging.

Ranger - Fairly low quality, very white paper, but the paint seems to struggle to sink into the paper, not clear which type of paper it is, seems to take time to wet.

3. Vintage Papers
As some old book papers are quite absorbent and sucky, you can get surprising results on this type of paper.

4. Sealed Surfaces
By adding tooth to a surface by sealing with a matte glaze, chalk paint, gesso (white or clear) you will create a surface for the watercolour to pool on. 

This can be fun to get 'tide mark' effects, but I am sure watercolour artists would be horrified at us experimental crafters using them on sealed surfaces! 

Personally, I have never understood why you would buy good quality watercolor paper and then seal it with gesso. I think it makes more sense to use a cheaper heavy paper, eg cartridge paper. If you are working onto of gesso, then logically what does it matter what paper is underneath, and certainly I wouldn't be wasting my Arches by putting gesso anywhere near it, perfect with the Ranger or Prima stuff though.

Watercolour Paints

Watercolour paints either come in tubes or pans, both options can be in various sizes. You can make your own palettes using tubes into an empty palette. The advantage of this is you can use the colours you prefer rather than standard primaries. (see picture below where I used tubes to create colour wheels onto cold pressed paper)

Tubes are creamier, more pigmented and wet out more easily. Pans are good to be spritzed with water a few minutes ahead of working with them to soften before you start using them

We have a few travel size pans for sale, which are compact and good if you scrap on the go, or take stuff with you places.

Kuretake Gansai, 36pan £49.50 - High quality for a full pan, nice range of colours, wets out nicely.

Koi - 18 pan £25.50 or 24 pan £29.95, reliable, blends well, nice range of colours, travel box with useful palette.

Prima - Confections (3 colour options) £22.50 Considered to be quite opaque for a watercolour, but cute tins, and you can stack way more extra pans in the tin if you re-arrange how they sit onto a magnetised backing.
We also have a range of masking fluids and paint mixing palettes online too.

Watercolour Brushes: 

We have a range of watercolour brushes, the set of 3 pentel is useful, and its a great pen. 

As far as real sable or squirrel brushes go, you probably need to visit an art store to see the size, feel the brush, and decide what you need. Sizes from brand to brand are not consistent, and price varies too depending on the quality you wish to purchase. 

A basic set you would need a large mop, a small, medium and large point, a flat wash, and maybe a rigger.

I hope that helps as a starting or reference point if watercolour or crayons are new to you. Remember, pinterest and YouTube are a great source of information!

People to watch online if you are getting started as a crafter.

See you Friday! We are off out tonight for Courtney's graduation meal, postponed from last night as it was too hot! And we were too tired after being oop North for the ceremony!


Monday, 18 July 2016

Peek Week {Chippie Niche}

Hi Leandra here for Sneak week!

At the beginning of the year we developed some niches with Claire Charvill from Greyboard.

There are 2 styles, a niche with a drawer (as shown in this blog post) and a Niche with Shelves. Both have a curved back board (shown above) that can be positioned on the front or back of the niche as an accent frame.

Both styles are available in 2 sizes, A5 (shown) and smaller A6. They are dead cute, and a lot of fun to decorate, you can easily spend a whole day enjoying the process.

The assembly instructions come with the niche, and you will need some high tack PVA glue or similar. It all goes together fairly easily if you place out your pieces first, and work methodically.

Step 1: Lay out your pieces
They fall into 3 groups:

(a) arch feet/ plinths (small square sits on large), 
(b) shelf for above the drawer 
(c) drawer front

back wall, side and top walls

(a) drawer; base, ends, back
(b) facing front panel

Step 2: Paint/ Decorate
You need to paint all your pieces, front and back. The paint does not need to be thick, so water it down to loosen a little, and apply a coat of opaque to cover the greyboard. Only one coat is required.

TIP: By painting both sides, the pieces will stay flat, if you only paint one side they will curve, of course you will be glad you painted both sides when it comes to assembly stage!

In the sample below, and ombre effects was created on the more visible front and outer side walls.

You might at this point add texture (GP) or stencils designs, in this sample, rusting paste was dropped into the GP.

NOTE: Rusting paste requires multiple spritzes of water to keep the rusting powder damp in order to activate the rust, so the ombre-painted base coat was a good protector of the grey-board. Lay pieces on paper towel while spritzing.

Pieces rusted: sides, top, facing panel, drawer front

Step 3: Assembly
A. Drawer/ Plinths
To glue, run a tiny bead of glue along one edge, hold in position for a few seconds, then take a damp paintbrush to wipe away the excess. Do one end and the long side, then fit the other end. If you have done it right, all edges should be flush.

The drawer front will go on at the very end (that piece will still be rusting)

The plinths simply sit on top of each other, and will be secured later, so set aside for now.

B. Niche
If your niche is dry, this can be assembled now too. 
  • All pieces sit on top of the back boar, and all edges should be flush.
  • The shelf needs to be positioned (check the front facing panel, you have 1 cm to manoeuvre the shelf up and down, it can be flush, or set down below the facing 'bar'
C. Finishing Elements
These can be done now or after you ahve decorated
  • Apply the plinth feel to the base
  • determine where the drawer front needs to sit (you may choose to rest it on the feet) and once you have decided, fix the drawer front to the rest of the drawer.
  • Arch. This can be glued to the front or the back of the niche.

Step 4: Decorating the Niche
Obviously there are many ways you could do this. I'll briefly explain how this sample was made

A. Backdrop
Rather than having a square niche, I stamped a piece of smoothy and bent it to fit nicely in the niche. You will need to measure your card after the shelf has been fixed to make this a snug fit. (first photo a bit washed out sorry)

The card was then brayered with paint in neutral tones, Lake Wanaka, Stone, and a splash of Haystack, then over-stamped with archival inks and Lin Brown foliage stamps from:

Plus some script and number stamps in archival inks. Stamping the images several times at differing heights created depth. Gold, Copper and White Fire metallic fresco paint was added with a pokey tool to the foliage, which had been stamped in black archival.

B. Focal Images
The same 'shrek girl' from:

can be made to look like 2 different girls as shown below. Crown, floral headdress, off with her legs...etc

For this it was logical to stamp 2 girls onto infusions sprinkled or glazed papers, glue together to make a triangle body. 

You can make a base from spare card of the 'behind' dress. 

I actually stamped the face again onto nougat painted card, and painted colour onto the face for a better contrast with the dress.

C. Foliage
Stamp onto green/yellow brayered Smoothy Card lots of foliage elements, the 'bushes' are from the spikey flower stamp on:

and the flower up the side of the niche is from 

A nice finishing touch is a knob for your drawer front!

Lots of fussy cutting may require scissors like these !!

...but the effort is certainly worth it as you build up the layers of foliage. Once you have cut the bushes etc out, you may need to add depth and shading to your bushes with coloured pencils or more transluscent paints like Yellow Submarine, Hey Pesto.

Or you could add infusions to your background and even infusions flowers would go in the background of the niche too!

From Vintage ink and the Dog Collection come this stamp set: VID10EZ

And finally this fitted perfectly on the arch at the top, painted with transluscent Fresos. 

On the sample below the foliage was only half way through being added...

So there you have it, I hereby give you the Large Chippie Niche! Lots of fun and all kinds of options!

The large Chippie Niche is available now from :
The Artistic Stamper 
Simply Craft

See you on Wednesday for more new sneaks! And a periscope!


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