Sunday 30 August 2009

Moleskin Journal Cover

Yesterday, I decided to quickly decorate the cover of my new moleskin journal with some texture and the new Kaiser Paints that arrived in a couple of weeks ago. This journal is a work in progress, so there is still more to happen, particularly in the centre region which I deliberately left blank but I thought I'd share what I have done so far in no more than 10 mins!

I was itching to get my paws on these bright kaiser paints. I have used my faves of bluesy-greens already, but now it was turn for the pinky orangey shades. Yes I know a lot of people don't "get" pink and orange as a combo, but ever since I saw Teesha Moore's work in True Colours, I was hooked on this combo. It's so fresh and summery, and I think we will have to do some papers in these shades one day. I adore them!

First I wanted a variety of texture around the edges, so starting with Vivia Ferro texture apply it with a spatula to the edges. Next stamp into it with a variety of damp stamps. Making the stamp damp with a babywipe helps the release out of the paste and helps with clean up! You need deeply etched rubber to do this. I mainly used SM08 (flourish), MN23 (numbers) and a couple of others, but in general I try to get a balance of round with linear designs for a nice contrast. Tip: if the stamp lifts off and you get sucky "lift off" texture, then reduce the thickness of the ferro. If the impression is too shallow, then add more ferro texture. "simples"! lol

Step 1: Paint the ferro white I needed white because I intended to use vibrant pink and orange shades, however if you are using metallic or darker shades, then you could get away without a base coat of white. Decide if you want the white to sink into the crevices made by the stamps or not. As I was aiming for fresh and funky, I needed the entire piece to be white.

Step 2: Mango In general my aim is to not obliterate the layer that went before, but instead to add depth with layers of colour. Start with light shades like mango, and build up to darker ones. Leave some areas white so that the true tone of the pink can pop off the white base.

Step 3: Candy Now to the remaining white areas, add some candy pink. Squeeze a puddle onto the craft sheet, and pick up with cut and dry foam. I like to have a thin even layer of paint on the foam, so I prefer to dab the blob of paint on the craft sheet until it is flat all over the foam. Candy is a nice soft pink just like the mango is a soft orange. You can repeat Steps 2 & 3 over until you have the depth of colour you prefer, Also you can consider if one of these shades should be pushed into the stamped recesses. So many options at this point.

Step 4: Orange Once you have the base established and a nice balance of Candy/Mango, you can add depth with the darker shade of Mango which is Orange. You will only use a small amount of this, and you are really aiming to get it around the edges of the cover to create a darker 'frame' at the edges. You also may like to catch the peaks of the texture with this colur too. The only caution is don't cover up all the Mango. You need to leave that showing too, otherwise, what was the point of putting it down in the first place? The only time I obliterate is if i don't like what I did. Paint is very forgiving in this respect, you can't make mistakes, you keep layering until you get it how you like it.

Step 5: Hot Pink Same deal as the Orange. To get the Hot Pink standing alone and popping independently of other colours, you would need to make sure the Orange is dry first. If the orange is left wet, then you will get some sections where the Orange and Hot Pink blend together...this can be a really good thing, so try wet into wet and dry on dry to find your personal preference. Again, Hot pink at the edges and on the texture is the aim here.

Step 6: Glimmer Once you are happy with the balance of the cover so far, then you can bling it up. Either make your own glimmer spray from mica powder mixed with water in a mini mister. Spray over the paint. If you want you can add a dye to either of these mixes to enhance the colour of the paint. You could use any dye based ink, try a few drops first. If you have a good selection of glimmer mists, then you may find Dreamsicle works well (an orange with a gold Glimmer), Sweet Pea (pink). On my cover I mainly used Iridescent Gold, this is a no-dye spray, just a pale gold shimmery mica powder and as it is iridescent it pops more on darker areas. I also added a touch of Timeless Lilac which is purple. On top of the pink areas the purple mica, once dry, pops nicely.

Glimmer mists are tricky, because they are never permanent, if you add water they re-activate. They dry off a lot paler than how they look wet. Once you get used to this, you realise you can spray a darker shade onto a light paint and it will dry as an accent, and not dominate. Select the colour by considering the dye and the mica pigment at the same time.

Step 7: Gold Viva Accents Nearly there, and yes I did do all this in less than 10 mins.... Now you just need to add some metallic accents to the peaks if you wish. I am hooked on Viva Precious Metal Colour paints because they are so extremely metallic! The gold is just like a Krylon Gold pen. Awesome. But on this piece I could go dark into Blackberry, or Coral, Rose Pink, Cinnamon, Pearl, Gold, Silver Gold....they would ALL work well. You can see the gold in this close up. The trick is to put pink on the orange areas, and gold on the pink areas, then it can be seen better.

Hope you enjoyed this idea. The kaisercraft acrylic paints are cheap, and the tubes are like a toothpaste tube, so it's easy to dispense. Tubes are extremely good value at £2.50ea for 75ml, and the colours are trendy!


Saturday 29 August 2009

Christmas Decorations

On Thursday I was mucking about with little Miss Millie (age 11) thinking about Christmas tree decorations, and how we could make some with metal.

I know it seems slightly mad and a bit early to be thinking along those lines, but I had a couple of ideas I was keen to try out, and as it turned out Millie had a few of her own.

First I needed a bauble image, and there are 3 on this plate (Noel 6) so I chose one of those, and stamped it in black onto barnyard red metal which had been sprayed with gold glimmer mist.

Trace around the outline of the design, the flip over so the metal i wrong side up on the thick mat from the mat set . In a circular motion, puff the metal with a paper stump until it reaches the depth you prefer. Repeat this process, as this is a double-sided ornament.

Stick some humungo tape onto the back of 2 pieces of rectangular card sized slightly larger than the ornament. Fill the recess in the metal with glossy accents or a similar hard-drying glue. Press the card (backed with humungo) onto the glue filled ornament humungo side upwards. And repeat for the other 'side'. Leave to dry overnight. NB. You can move on sooner, but you just have to take care as the glue won't have set properly, but as long as the edges are secure you should be OK.

Run a fine texture wheel around the edge of the baubles, and then cut away the excess metal. Peel off the humungo from both pieces of card-backing, and then match the 2 halves together. Trim the metal further if required if the 2 halves don't match perfectly.

To hang the bauble I used copper finding from the PaperArtsy Bijouterie Collection. Use an eye pin, star spacer bead, large crimps, oval copper chain, and a lobster clasp.

Millie also had a great time with metal and glimmer mists. She lightly tapped a little gold viva precious metal colour onto green appletini metal. You could still see that the metal was green, but the gold paint lightens the colour a little and the paint helps the glimmer mist stick to the metal. Next she applied beautiful green, purple and blue shades of glimmer to the green-gold metal. The result was gorgeous. Then she stamped the tree from Nut & Meg plate 1 in archival jet black ink.

The tree was made into a metal-tape sandwich with card-humungo-metal laid together and trimmed out. To add texture to the metal, dots and a cross hatched pattern were added freestyle with a teflon tipped tool. The background is stamped with gold precious metal colour with a background stamp Xmas plate 4. The corner scroll comes from Nut & Meg plate 7.

So that was last week. Yesterday was very exciting as we had a wonderful day when my sister Emma came to visit from New Zealand with her boyfriend. She has been working for a year since finishing Uni, but she managed to win a highly sought after place at an Italian university to do a post grad doctorate in International Law, so we are very proud of her, and it was so fantastic to meet her really nice BF and catch up with all their news. Before she starts her 3 year course late September, they are off a whistlestop tour of Europe for the next 4 weeks.

Wishing you all a great weekend, hope you get a chance to enjoy some great weather and relaxation.


Saturday 22 August 2009

The low down on what's new at PaperArtsy

New in the last few months have been several items to the PaperArtsy website

1. Stamps
Nut & Meg are the new Squiggly Christmas designs.
We have 8 plates of very useful images. Keep an eye on this blog as we will shortly be featuring the Design Team's ideas of what to do with them. If you click on each image, you will also see in the description ideas of how to use these for quick Xmas card ideas. nothing like being organised.

2. Minis
We also have some new Squiggly Minis (#'s 23,24,25,26)
The homepage artwork features the new birdhouse, and there are samples in the shopping cart when you click on each image.

3. Viva Decor Paints
These paints are the newest hot thing to have in your stash. There are 4 categories on our website, Ferro (a sparkly texture paste), Terra (a texture paste reminiscent of plaster or clay houses from around the world). Both these can be stamped into or splatted and dried to use as an undercoat for other paints or as a stand alone textured surface. For example to paint wood beads.
In the Viva collection, there is also Croco, a one step crackle, and Precious Metal Colour, the most highly metallic paints with beautiful colours.A little goes a long way, and they are just gorgeous. There are brochures on all these products which you can download online. These products have been restocked last week.

4. Bijouterie
New from PaperArtsy, copper, silver tone and silver plated jewellery findings, head pins, silver beads, connectors, chain etc. Also check out the wood beads which can be used with all the Viva products.

5. Metal Art
We carry a great selection of Ten Seconds Studio products so that you can stamp onto metal and emboss the images to create great embellishments or feature items. This takes stamping to a different level, and is so much fun. If you want to learn more, then you should book for ArtsyCrafts events. New colours of metal are now online, and all products are fuly stocked.

6. Metal Xtra
These stamps are designed to be stamped onto metal, then embossed with metal working tools to make special lids for boxes, frames etc. A helping hand rather than you having to think up your own designs.

7. Craft Stamper Sept issue offer (CS112)
Every month we have a special offer via Craft Stamper Magazine (UK), which offers a bundle of goodies at approx 15-20% if you "buy the lot" with one click. This month, Leandra has used a selection of stamps from Metal Xtra and Crowns and Castles. If you are in the UK and activate the code (find it in our advert in the current magazine) and you will get this item shipped to you free, and any other items you add to the basket will also be shipped free. If you are outside the UK, you still can buy the bundle at the discounted price, but you will have to pay freight to your part of the world, so it's still a great deal. This month Leandra has written instructions for all the projects with colour photo step get those too.

8. Ink & The Dog Minis
There are 12 new Ink & The Dog minis available online now. These are a fantastic variety of backgrounds, collage stamps, and quirky quotes for those of you who like our slightly warped PaperArtsy style. Check out the cute little fabric dude Jo Firth-Young made using the new minis. You'll see him as soon as you click on the link.

9. ArtsyCrafts
This is a weekend retreat taught by Leandra Franich (PaperArtsy) and Linda Brown (LB Crafts) . In October we have 2 weekends (same curriculum each weekend) where we teach a technique loaded weekend of classes. The focus of the event is how to use PaperArtsy stamps with metal, paints and Inks. In October the theme will be "time". And there are only a handful of spaces left on the second weekend. If you want to see snippet pictures, then become a friend with Leandra Franich on facebook, and take a look at the ArtsyCrafts photo album. or look at the previous blog post.

10. Staying in the loop

If you want to keep up with what is new on a more regular basis than this list. You can follow Leandra on:
Twitter: @paperartsy
Facebook: Leandra Franich
PaperArtsy Blog:

11. Out and About

Coming up this Autumn Leandra will be demonstrating or teaching at the following events:

Sept 12 & 13 - Craft barn Extravaganza weekend
Lingfield, Surrey.
Sept 26 & 27 - Ally Pally The Big Stamping and Scrapbooking show, London. (LB Crafts Stand)
October 3&4 - Artisan Stamping and Bead Show, Leamington Spa (PaperArtsy stand, plus Leandra is teaching workshops)
Saturday workshop 2:15- 3:15. Textured earrings. Learn how to stamp into Ferro texture onto wood beads, then over-paint with Viva d├ęcor metallic paints to create highlights, complete with PaperArtsy Bijouterie findings.
Sunday Workshop 1:00 - 2:00. Metal embossing with Nut & Meg Xmas Stamps. Learn how to work with metal and metal working tools to create a simple and fabulous Christmas card.
October 17 & 18 - ArtsyCrafts Weekend Retreat, Newport Pagnell, Bucks.
October 24 & 25 - ArtsyCrafts Weekend Retreat, Newport Pagnell, Bucks.

Thanks for you time and we hope you enjoy browsing our website at

Kind Regards

Leandra Franich
Church Lane, Brentwood
Essex, CM13 1RZ, UK
+44 (0) 1277 212 911

Thursday 20 August 2009

October ArtsyCrafts Sneaky Peeks

We still have a couple of months to go to the October Artsy Crafts weekend events, and so it's time for us to reveal some peeks of what you will be doing.

The great majority of attendees have booked knowing that they will learn some fab techniques with stamps, inks, paints, UTEE, and of coursde metal, but its nice to give you a taste of what we have planned.

We are very excited, we have new Ink and The Dog &Squiggly stamps to use, and of course we will be working indepth with Viva Decor products, as well as another line of paints, new metal and new glimmer mists. We try really hard to give you the opportunity to try new-to-market products, so you get a great opportunity to try before you buy.

We really don't want people bringing loads of stuff to class. All you need for the whole weekend is a ruler, pencil, Tim Holtz scissors, a small cutting mat and craft knife. THAT's IT!!! We provide everything else, and there's plenty to go around, so don't go loading yourself up with extra supplies, You won't need it!! We will also issue every attendee with your own personal metalworking tools kit to use for the entire weekend, and that will also include extras like adhesive, paintbrush, cut n dry foam, glossy accents and more! So please leve your own TSS tools at home, and just use ours. It's much easier for us to keep track of supplies.

Of course it goes without saying that we shall be doing lots of metal working in the weekend.

Whether we use moulds and antiquing the embossed metal with paints and sprays, or if we use stamps and emboss the stamped designs, or we might stamp over painted metal...the combinations are so much fun to learn, and so versatile for all kinds of applications in the future.

Every session you get a full colour hand out with clear step by step instructions and photos. This means you can work ahead on your own if you are a speed freak, or you can work slower than the class at your own pace. We tend to work at a steady pace, and we adjust the times of the sessions if we need to slow it down or speed it up. Either way, at the end of the event, you have a great record of what you did, so that you can re-visit that technique later and not foget a thing!

Then of course (huge excitement) we have the new stamps to play with, vintage or squiggly styley, whatever your preference, you will be able to choose how you want to play.

The way we run our events is quite unusual in that each table has a different colour palette. This time, for October, we asked for people to rank colours on their registration form, so we have picked the 5 most popular colour palettes based on the info supplied by October attendees. As people had a whiff that the main project is something you could put on the wall, the colours are overall neutrals with hints of secondary and tertiary colours. But we always have buckets of spare supplies, and so it's easy for us to keep everyone happy and tweak colour combos in any given session if required.

We encourage people to move around to a different table for different sessions. This means over the weekend you not only meet heaps of other crafters who like to do what you do, but you also get to try out a variety of colour palettes over the weekend. It's a fun way to experiment, and there is a safety net in that we have picked a group of colours that we know work well together. For people who come on their own to these events, its a really good way to make new friends, and everyone comments how much they enjoy the mingling.

So if you were still wondering about coming to this event, there are only 6 places left on the second weekend. We have reduced the number of places available from previous events to 50 per weekend to enable more space on each table so you have loads of elbow room and plenty of space to work.

If you're interested in altered arts, mixed media, stamping and metal working, then this is the place to be. We cater to people of all abilities, from beginner to experienced, and as well as Linda and Leandra, there is also Jo, Karen and Lynne on hand as classroom assistants, so there are plenty of experienced teachers to hand.

If you want more information about this event, download the booking form here or call Linda at LB Crafts at the shop on 01234 714 848, or Leandra on 01277 212 911.

Monday 10 August 2009

Ink & The Dog Minis

We get so many requests for new Ink & The Dog Stamps.....and we like to do as we are told at least some of the I spent all weekend getting Mr Mark into the groove to make us some more new stuff, cos he's been in the zone a bit lately.

A few weeks ago we released his newest creations, some cool minis. But we did some more awesome stuff this weekend that we'll have available in lips are sealed for now....but in the are some things the fabulous design team has done with the new minis.

First Mark (Mr PaperArtsy) has a new mascot. This little critter is by Jo Firth-Young. Can you beleive what her mind thinks up??? All from a splash of ink (MN57)!!! His splashed face is totally adorable, but wait there's more...look at the rest of sweet is this. I want a Xmas tree full of these guys!!! Look closely and the arms are made from the 100% recycled art stamp (MN55). His red belt uses on of the rulers from MN48. And his tum tum is an old fave, Squiggly Mini #8 SM08. I swear that stamps goes with everything!!

BTW If you want to meet Jo Firth-Young in person, she is one of our talented teachers at the Artsy Crafts retreat. Even though Linda and I develop most of the classes, we tweak them with the help and brains of Karen, Lynne H and Jo F-Y. They are not only there to help us, but they are all equally cheeky, able, talented AND organised thinkers. If we didn't have them as spare minds, hands and advisors and teachers Lin and I would be lost!!

We have an abundance of Jo's on the Design Team at the moment...they are definitely taking over...and next up is Jo Capper-Sandon. She was quick to come up with some fabbo samples within hours of receiving these stamps.

Again the ink splat seems a popular choice, and I love the way Jo and her gentle touch has used the same stamp in 3 colours. Simple but very effective. How easy is this for a quicksie all occasion card?

Being odd is a condition of being on the DT!!Yes we can see she is another Jo with an odd mind! That stamp is here BTW! In fact, if you look closely, you can see she has used it again on this lovely creation with more new minis.

She has actually managed to fit quite a few stamps into this sample. The bulls eye stamp isMN47. I think the image comes up a bit weirdo on the website due to reasons beyond me, but here you can see it stamped as it actually is!!

The Collage quote is MN49, and all the rulers and words at the bottom come from MN48.

Here's a close up of the detail. Gorgeous, I'm sure you'll agree!

Also playing with new minis this last week has been Isabelle Norris....BTW all 3 of these ladies are contributors to Craft Stamper if you think the names are ringing bells, that could be why!! Isabelle is an ink and background junkie, and she often like to build lots of layers in her work with inks and paints.

She used on of my fave stamps as the feature on this piece. It's mini 52, but she also likes the rulers MN48, and has managed to squeeze those into her creation too.

Look closely and you'll see the coffee cup stains (MN56) in the background.
I like how the few touches of white add contrast to this effect of this piece.

Here is a close up too.

Thanks to Isabelle, Jo and Jo for these fantastic ideas!


Friday 7 August 2009

Nut & Meg

Ho Ho Ho

It's that time of the year where we release new stamps ready for Christmas...Yes I know it seems crazy in the middle of summer, but that's how far ahead we have to work so that there is stuff in the shops when you are ready to start thinking about Christmas.

For those of you down under who are in the middle of winter, it will feel prefectly normal to get your cards organised now when the climate is perfect for crafting, so take a look at what's on offer, and get your creativity unleashed onto these little beauties!

The Design team are all my Christmas elves, and busily creating samples to pique your interest. Here is a sneaky peek of part of one of Joanne Wardle's creations

And this is the plate that the image comes from; Nut & Meg Plate 2. (SINM2)

So if you get your hands on some of these, send us a sample via email and we might feature you work on the blog, or on our website.

I can't wait to see what you come up with.

This weekend I am working with Mark to finish off some new designs for the October ArtsyCrafts, the theme is one of my fave's (Time) so it's more about which designs to keep in the selection. Later next week I get to go and play with Lin while we finalise class samples and start on the class handout instructions which require step out photos, so I hope to use my new birthday camera for that task at the same time!!

Courtney is also having her birthday (15 can you believe!!!) this coming week, but she will be in Devon camping with a friend's family. The camera is "ours" to share...she needs one for GCSE art this coming year at school, and I have needed one all my we are going to play nice and share it.

Otis and Milo (Our kittens) are growing like mad. The last few nights have been really warm, and with the full moon, come bedtime they have been running about outside like loonies, so we have left them to it to explore the farm at night. Yesterday we found a huge pile of feathers on the lawn, and Otis is slightly limping, so we are guessing he may have fallen out of a tree during his nocturnal scarecrow training exercises!! He seems OK, and Mark has checked his spine, joints etc from a chiropractic perspective, and we think it's just a mild sprain. So they found themselves back in the laundry on the low shelf (fave spot to sleep) for a quiet night in last night!! We call it being grounded until limp has gone. Just like having teenagers.

In fact the house has been really quiet at night, the kids are sleeping in the tent on the lawn...they love it! And this week with the weather improving, they have even been in the pool a couple of times...we were beginning to wonder if we should have bothered putting it out at all, they used it twice last summer. But when you get to 30 degrees piping hot like yesterday, it's bliss to have it there!

Have a great weekend.