Thursday 22 October 2009

Taking a Breath before the next weekend....

Nearly time for ArtsyCrafts Number 2. Busy little beavers we have been here at PA world HQ all week to get ready for another round. Lin and the LB Crafts team has been flat our re-ordering stuff that we *need* to have for you, and it's all arrived from the USA in less than 4 days! She pulled some strings!

Tonight another 50 people are packing their bags and making their way to Newport Pagnell, near Milton Keynes. Everyone will be arriving tomorrow eve and Saturday morning for a fun filled weekend of techniques, ideas, new products and the chance to make new friends, and for some of you an opportunity to hook up with some older ones.

 Last weekend I was struck by how friendly, warm and supportive the atmosphere is at ArtsyCrafts events. Naturally this is how we hope every event we organise could be, and it was such a joy to realise within every group throughout last weekend there was such a wonderful creative vibe of enthusiasm, enjoyment and encouragement of each other - it was a delightful, extremely supportive learning environment, and made our job as teachers a very smooth path, and an extremely enjoyable experience. Thank you to all who came and contributed to it being such a success. I hope you learned lots of new ideas, and will put them all to good use.

Now I really can't wait for this weekend to do it all again!

The way Lin and I decided to organise ArtsyCrafts events is a little unusal compared to other weekend events that I have taught at in the past. Because we let people indicate their colour preferences, we aim to provide an opportunity for you to use your preferred colours, plus you get the chance to try others combinations that might be new to you. This system means you can work within or beyond your comfort zone, but best of all, it provides plenty of opportunities to make new friends, and by the end of an AC weekend there are many people who have swapped email, blog and facebook details. I am sure this style of organisation is at the core of ArtsyCrafts events being such warm and freindly ones.

You can see here some of the lovely colour schemes we have generated for this event with these table samples we use to indicate the kinds of effects you can create.

 Here are the class notes and kits ready to hand out.

So what is in store for you this coming weekend if you are about to join us in another weekend of learning?

A few snippets from last weekend might whet your appetite, although I'm sure you are very excited already! 

There are many people already asking when are the next ArtsyCrafts events? Well I am happy to let you know that we have booked the last 2 weekends of March 2010, so you can start putting the pennies in the piggybank ready for that. We will announce booking information shortly. Usually there is a priority booking system for recent AC delegates, followed by a month of early bird pricing available for everyone.

Lastly, on a personal note, my Dad and his wife Sue (behind Hugo in the piccie below) were here in the UK for a fleeting visit from New Zealand this last week. We caught up with them for a couple of meals, one of which was Monday night after ArtsyCrafts. Mark took this piccie, which is a nice one of us all (except Mark, of course). The only reason I am taller than Courtney is because I had on higher heels! But you have (L-R) Dad aka Roy, Leandra, Courtney (15), Sue with Hugo (9) in front, Millie (11) and Ella (13).

We had a really lovely evening with lots of laughs, good food and wine, and we all slept through the alarm the next morning...Kids got up and out the door in 20 minutes !!! Who knew that was possible, a big improvement on the usual 90 minutes!!!

So for those of you coming to ArtsyCrafts on Friday night, let's meet up in the bar at 8pm for a relaxed chat before the event begins!

See you there!!


Wednesday 14 October 2009

3 more sleeps...till ArtsyCrafts

Yes we are very nearly ready for 2 jam packed weekends of creativity.  

All the organisation, the planning,  kitting up, preparation of class notes, photocopying, ordering of stock, getting together prizes, name tags, figuring out colour combinations, booking venues, accomodation, packing the's all nearly done. 

We just have to put all the stuff in the cars and drive...tomorrow is the last day of getting ready...

So just a few more sneaky snippits of what you might make.....only teeny tiny snippets.....


new stamps

a beak...

See you there.....just 3 more sleeps until it all kicks off Saturday morning need to be in your seat by 8.30 am...don't sleep in!!!

It's going to be uber fabulous...mega

I'm talking about ArtsyCrafts organised by Lin of LB Crafts, and me from PaperArtsy. 

We LOVE it!!!

Teaching it is the best bit...can't wait to see what you think of all the classes....

See you there!!!

(PS. I literally couldn't sleep last night I am so ready for this to happen)

Monday 12 October 2009

Part 4 - Viva Decor Paint Effects

The backgrounds I used on lots of the samples I have been showing you over the last few posts are all using Viva Decor Products. 

 This silver metal sample is done with a base coat of Graphite Ferro into which I stamped with a really fine script stamp from Clocks Plate 1 . I quite like the graphite colour because when you paint over it you can see the nice black texture being accented by the Metallic Paints (precious Metal Colour) over the top.

People often ask me how to choose which colours to work with. 
First you want to identify what colours you most often use and are drawn to, are they soft muted tones, or bright and vibrant? When you shop for clothes, are there particular shades you are drawn to all the time? Generally the colours that automatically come to mind for you are your starting point. 

Lets say you pick Pink as you fave colour, next look at the range of colours in Viva, and pick another colour either lighter or perhaps Blackberry. Now you want to choose something contrasting, green is often partnered with plum shades (so check out Olive, Golden Green or Emerald Green). In this sampleI used Olive
I often finish with the tiniest touch of another contrsting colour on top, in this sample I went lighter to Mother of Pearl. But the colour I opt for most for this job is gold because it goes with everything beautifully, one of those 'must have' colours. Below is the same colour combo, but this time with Gold on the top..see how it warms it up, and add another striking contrast.

Nearly always when working with these combinations I will also use what I call a standard metallic: gold, copper, silver etc.. on the very top layer, it just adds a bit of sparkle.

 Now this sample above is interesting. On top of the graphite Ferro I started with a Turquoise Kaisercolour acrylic paint. Using Cut and Dry foam, this beautiful paint was pushed right down into the recesses of the stamped ferro , particularly on the right hand side of the background, the left side was left with the black peeking through. On top of that I brought the contrasting colour of Olive kaiser colour. I found if you add 2 thins coats you get a deeper version of the same colour highlighted. When applying the Olive, just drag it across the Turquoise, and the stamped texture pops. The last step here was to add the Gold Viva Precious Metal Colour. It really lifts a piece in a way that a picture just can't capture.
Here is another close up. This one is in really pale shades. Pistachio, Silver gold, and Ice blue on top of a black background make a nice modern metallic palette.

Remember to spray your rubber stamp with water before you press it into the Ferro. The water acts as a release agent.You can really see what a great result such a fine detail stamp gives.
Yes the effects are awesome, but now that you can see them close up like this you get a better idea of how beautiful they really are!

All these productds are available online in our shop 

The countdown is on to ArtsyCrafts.  Only 5 sleeps to go!!! Lin and I are putting the final touches to kits, notes, table products and my Mark is pressing rubber for everyone to use!

Tomorrow Lynne and Jo come to me for our fianl day of prep together. It's going to be a great couple of weekends to come and I am very excited to see what you all think of the several classes we have planned.


Sunday 11 October 2009

Part 3 - squishy moulds

Have you noticed how in interior design trends, embossed metal is really huge these days? I have seen Laura Ashley selling metal embossed lamp bases, furniture and candle sticks, and metallic things have been huge as accents for the home for a couple of years. 

A couple of years back, metallic accents for the home started out gold and silver, and now we are moving to softer metallics like Champagne and Platinum shades which work beautifully with deep wintery shades of chocolate, plum, aubergine, burgundy but platinum and champagne. Soft metallics go equally well with pale modern colours like duck egg blue, latte, sage or pistachio, through to coral, salmon pinks or lilac.

You don't have to pay a fortune to get these effects. With metal, moulds and a few metal working tools, you can easily create your own pieces for the home. Maybe start with something simple like a picture frame, or chipboard shape, mini book to practise your ideas then move onto covering a box or a wooden or paper mache shape before takling something huge like a chest of drawer! The principles are the same though, just on a different scale.

Recently we have aded some moulds to our website. Moulds can be a bit like tummy buttons: innies or outies! and which side of the metal is the finished side? It's up to you if you have the innie up or down, or the outie up or down. These options can make moulds look so different.

Lin Brown from LB crafts taught me how to make the diamond mould have a greater variety of uses by pushing the rainsed portions back down again. On this mould there are 'up' diamonds and 'down' diamonds which form the mould pattern, but you can press all the raised ones down to make ridges to separate all the flat diamond areas. Like this.

To do this effect try the following
  • cut a piece of metal to fit the wooden or chipboard shape you are using as your substrate. Trace around the metal with your teflon tool. Cut out.
  • Use 1 or 2 small pieces of masking tape to hold the metal on the diamond mould. Emboss some of the diamonds onto the metal.No need to do the whole piece, maybe a few at the top or bottom. 
  • First use the paper stump to follow the pattern, follow this with the round teflon tool, then the pointed teflon tool to sharply define the mould. Remove metal from the mould.
  • place the metal on your acrylic mat, and use the paper stump to flatten all the un moulded parts. This is a tidy up.
  • Now use the paper stump to gently squash down any of the raised diamonds. this will naturally form a ridge as you start in the centre of the diamond and gradually flatten to the edge. Again refine with the rounded the pointed teflon tools.
  • Repeat for all the raised diamonds until you have a pattern of ridges as per the sample above.
Use humungo adhesive to stick the metal onto the substrate. Now you are ready to distress. This may be with ferro, terra, black acrylic paint, coloured acrylic paints and glimmer mists. These products will all create different effects.

On the sample above, I further added to each diamond with scribbled patterns, texture wheels etc to add more interest. Then I used black kaisercolour acrylic paint to antique the metal followed by glimmer mists.

Then I further embellished with a clock and a row of ball and cups.

You can also try this idea on the Kabuka grid mould found here, or the other big daddy mould 1 which gives this effect.

This sample also has terra texture paste which has been stamped into, and coloured with kaiser colour paints, with accents of viva precious metallic colour paints.

Here is another sample, this time with ferro and viva and precious metal colour paints all over the top of the metal. (yes those paints stick to anything!!!)

This is a close up of the mould bit. i think next time I will take the ferro right up to the edges of the mould.

So there you have it, the 3rd tutorial from more of last weekend's samples made in demos at the Artisan show. You don't have to use these moulds which you squish down, you can do the same idea with any other mould too, and leave it raised up, paint it then use the paints etc...I'm sure you can figure out lots of other ways to run with this idea!! Have some fun.


Wednesday 7 October 2009

Metal Working Ideas Part 2 - Puffing out stamped images

So once you have mastered the tape sandwich technique on copper featured yesterday, why not try adding some glimmer mist? This sample left is patina blue, and Garden Fairy green on Copper metal. I was heading for a verdigris effect. The stamp is the fleur de Lys from Crowns and Castles Plate 8.

Of course you can also stamp on coloured metal like appletini, periwinkle, Kiss me Pink or my particular favourite, pearl. I find pearl one of the most versatile colours of metal, because it's so pale and has a very matte finish, which makes it easy to change the tone with glimmer mists to suit the colour of the project you are working on.

Today we're going to take a look at one of the other techniques I demoed at the Artisan exhibition this weekend just been, and that's how to puff out a stamped image. Of course, clocks are well suited to this idea! And we have lots of scrummy new clocks.

So how is it done?

  • stamp the image in stazon onto the metal of your choice.
  • outline the part of the design you wish to 'puff' with a pointed teflon tool.
  • Flip the metal over (wrong side up) onto the deepest mat of the mat set, and with a paper stump, gradually rub the metal until it starts to give. This is an odd process, because the friction and gradual stretching of the metal means you will feel it suddenly 'give' and become easier to work. No need to press really hard, just go for a gradual stretch.
  • Once you are satisfied with the deepness of the embossing you have achieved, flip the metal over to right side up, and place it on the acrylic mat from the mat set. Use the paper stump again to flatten the surrounding areas inside and outside of the puffed section. This is called refining, and it helps tomake the popped section stand out, and it also helps to keep the surrounding metal flat and tidy.
  • Working on a wad of paper from the front, use the perforation wheel to outline the clock face either side of the puffed section.
  • Use a course dot wheel on the black section around the edge of the clock face
  • Use a teflon tool to add random dots to the centre of the clock face.
  • Now we need to support the puffed section. You can use a lightweight polyfiller from the hardware store, but i prefer to use glossy accents. This is a hard-drying glue, and serves the purpose of filling AND sticking card to the back of the metal at the same time. Fill the recess, then add extra glue around the flat section, use your finger to smooth out the glue on the fla sections, then press card onto the back fo the clock.
  • Fip over, and ensure the metal is pressed onto the backing card. It will grab within a minute, and then you can trim out the metal and continue to work with your embellishment. The glue will set up overnight.
  • The card backing allows you to secure the metal embellishment to your project easily.

Here is a closeup so you get a better idea of the texture.

Here is the pearl metal. Stamp the flower (egg and Nog Plate 4) onto pearl metal. Outline from the front, flip onto fat mat and puff with a paper stump from the back. Flip back to front, and on acrylic mat, flatten surrounding areas and centre of flower. Fill with glossy, secure to card. Use the edge of your acrylic mat to draw a frame around the flower. Edge the frame with the diagonal wheel (set C) , draw another line with the teflon tool outside the diagonal, and then draw random squiggles inside the frame with the teflon tool. Apply black kaisercolour paint with a piece of Cut n Dry foam to the pearl metal and cover the entire piece. Take a piece of paper towel, and gently rub away the excess paint...I said gently!  Do this before the paint dries. Note how the paint accents all the recessed areas. Now you can spray with glimmer here I used Creme de Rouge and Walnut Gold.

So that's today's tutorial. Can't promise the next installment in this series tomorrow as it's Mark's birthday (I am really bad at remembering birthdays!) so tomorrow i am going to make up for the last 2 years of forgettery and treat us all to an evening out for some shopping  for a few bits and a meal. I am looking forward to it immensely.

In the meantime a treat...Ding and Dong are now online!

Tuesday 6 October 2009

Artisan Show Samples with new stamps

We had such a great time at the Artisan show this weekend. It was wonderful that so many of you fllowing the blog mentioned how much inspiration you have had from the posts in recent months. Thanks for giving us that feedback, it's wonderful to get comments from you all and helps us know what your preferences are.

I know how hard it is to remember all that you see at the show, so I'm going to post some of the samples I made while demoing on the blog this week so you can see the techniques I showed. Often you can't stop for long when there is a whole show to see (although there were many people who came back several times for another dose!). I do tend to demo a different thing every 15 mins, so here is Part 1 of a summary of the weekend for you to use to remind you of the ideas you saw, and how they were done. 

It's also a quicksie tutorial for the many people for whom metal working is a new thing. We have restocked all the tools on the website, so I shall link to those products where appropriate in case you "need" any stash.

We also sold a truckload of Viva decor products at Artisan. They are such fantastic colours to work with, and I hope you enjoy using them. I have re-ordered today, just now the website is very low on stock, but the replenishments should be here from Germany within a week. If you have to have any of the colours mentioned, just jot down the colours you want, and you can always phone us on +44 (0)1277 212 911 and we will set aside product for you once the order arrives. 

Metal Working Methods - Part 1

'Flat' Embellishments (tape Sandwich technique by Lin Brown, LB Crafts)

  • stamp image in stazon onto metal
  • Apply humungo double sided metal adhesive to the reverse side of the copper metal
  • Apply card to the remaining sticky side of the humungo
  • Outline key design lines of the image with a pointed teflon tool. (in Basic Kit, or individual tool here)
  • Cut out with strong non stick scissors.
  • Apply image with adhesive to your project

This sample uses the collage stamp from Ding and Dong Plate 2 (this will be online soon)

Same technique, plus the clock face was embellished with a texture wheel (fine dot, Ten Seconds Studio Basic Tool Set), the edge was done with a diagonal wheel (TSS Wheel Set C, or you can use half of the Herringbone wheel to get this effect too)

Here is a 'build-a-bird'  from Ding and Dong Plates 3 (head) and 4 (clock) stamped onto the aluminium metal which is available as a roll or a small 4 sheet A5 size starter pack. The teflon pointed tool was used to add dots to each of the number circles and the bird's beak. The diagonal wheel (wheel set C) was used around the edge of the clock, and the perforated wheel (Wheel set D) added a fine dash to the bird's head feathers.

Here is the clock from Clocks Plate 1 cut out to use an an embellishment on a small chipboard arch. Note how you can shape the meal to give movement such as was achieved with the wings of the clock.

And here is the rest of the arch. Better detail of this technique will follow in another post later in the series. In short the metal was shaped on a big Daddy Mould 4 with a paper stump, followed by a rounded teflon tool and then refined with a pointed tool. Next the raised diamonds were flattened with a paper stump and also refined with a pointed tool. 

This piece was stuck to the mini chipboard arch, and then distressed with black kaisercolour paint, sprayed with Creme de Rouge Glimmer Mist and Interference Gold Glimmer mist. A small row of ball and cups was created and squashed with the second largest ball and cup tool (available in a set of 4, or as an individual tool). The edges of the metal were etched with a fine herringbone wheel from Wheel Set C)

Similar idea here, except all the numbers were puffed out with a ball and cup tool while leaning on the fat mat of the mat set (available large or small).

So keep checking back for Part 2 in the series of metal working methods!


Thursday 1 October 2009

A big cheer for DIng and Dong

I had every intention of showing these to you last night, but at midnight I was at the supermarket stocking up on foodie supplies so the kids can get through the weekend without sufffering from starvation!

So what did we do yesterday? Pressed loads of clocks, trimmed up all the subs offer minis for Craft Stamper Magazine, priced up new stock just in fgrom the USA, arranged Viva and kaiser paints onto the shelves for the show this weekend, priced up all the metal tools, packaged up some new moulds and tools available as individual units, oh and pressed more Ink and The Dog Rubber....busy busy busy....

We have a big box of subscription offers for the November Craft Stamper magazine going up to the Artisan show with us, so if you want to subscribe to craft stamper magazine, then you can get your hands on an Archie on the spot!! (see yesterday's post for images)

I am also teaching 2 classes at the Artisan show this weekend. One of them is an Archie book project (stamped textured metal, with Rum and Raisin papers onto an Arch shaped wood base (class S7 1:00pm Sunday), and the other is making a pair of earrings using ferro texture and Viva precious metal paints (class S4 2:15pm Saturday), and PaperArtsy Bijouterie findings. You can book for these by contacting the show organisers Meridienne themselves, or I think if there are places left, you can also book at the show on the day. Classes are only 5 pounds each and they are about 45 minutes in duration.

And now for the BIG announcement and REVEAL......

Here is Ding and Dong, the newest addition to the Squiggly Ink family. We shall be using some of these stamps at the ArtsyCrafts events coming up at the end of October, and they are a LOT of fun! And they will all be available at Artisan this weekend could you possibly resist????

Ding and Dong 1

Ding and Dong 2

Ding and Dong 3

Ding and Dong 4

Ding and Dong 5

Ding and Dong 6
Ding and Dong 7
Ding and Dong 8

Ding and Dong 9

Squiggly Mini #31

Squiggly Mini #32

So if you can't see it by looking at them, the concept on some of these plate is "build-a-bird" with the round clock faces being the tummy, there are a variety of "bird heads" and "tails" and of course "legs". Oh this is going to be so great.

You could make this with copper metal little kiwi...

Or maybe this..bless him, Archie all grown you didn't know his legs were that long and lush! Oh err!

Here he is up close and personal...

Then there is Alfie the phoenix...his partner in crime

And Gertrude the majestic....who tries to keep them under control

So no doubt you get the idea about build-a-bird!! 

Please post a comment and LMK if you like my new babies. We love early feedback on stamps.

And I know it's just a little frustrating that they are not online in the shop yet, but they will be from next week, so practise among yourselves the art of patience for a few more know you can, just spend the time planning your projects in your journals!

We have to get the Artisan show done and dusted first this weekend, and we are up to our eyes getting ready for that...I love going to shows, and this is the first we have done in about 4 years! I can't wait, it's going to be such a great weekend, we have a fantastic show offer, buy 5 stamps and get the 6th free...this applies to all stamps of the same size either minis or A6 plates!! Hope to see you there!

Leandra (the skippy one) (taking deep breaths)