Sunday 27 December 2009

New coolio things to {play} with

We had a fabulous Christmas this year, the snow, albeit a few days early was magical, and all the trees looks just like a scene from Narnia! We had people over for snowmen competitions and lots of soup and bread was consumed to warm up those cold fingers! Our 3 bird roast was superb on the day, and is extremely tasty on sandwiches too!! (Chicken, Duck and Pheasant with 2 stuffings in between)

Courtney's GCSE mock exams are over so she is more relaxed, and my mother is here to visit from New Zealand too, so she is enjoyed catching up with the kids (and all her many rellies up north) after a couple of years.

I look forward to the week between Christmas and New Year being a great time to play with arty things and ideas. This creative time often continues well into January once life settles back down after the hustle and bustle of Christmas.

Mark was a busy bee putting some new goodies on the site recently, so I thought I should let you know what is there, I am itching to play with many of these bits too!!!

This little 'jewellery' box caught my eye as a nice thing to alter. I would look superb with some metal or paint on it, but it has a clever insert to accommodate a necklace or earrings, so if you make jewellery for gifts, then this is a must for you and at £1.08 (GBP - pounds sterling)

We also have a pair of papier mache suitcases; these are the best and would look great on display in a room. £2.84 for both suitcases before VAT.

The small notebooks are a reasonable price too. The ones with the window niche have graph paper, just pale grey squares, so not too dominant, but I totally love that niche in the front. The plain covered books have regular lines, and again, books like this work well with a metal cover to jazz them up.  10x10cm are 51p, 14x14cm are .83p (before VAT)

A simple idea to cover the notebooks would be this. Put humungo tape over the entire cover. Run some strips of metal through the cuttle-bug then arrange them on the sticky tape. Where 2 pieces of metal meet each other, it’s a good idea to run a texture wheel (fine dot, or diagonal are good) along the join to ensure the metal has good contact with the humungo tape. Don’t scrimp on the tape, I know it’s expensive, but you need a super strong tape like humungo to do this job or the metal will fall off the book cover before too long.

Next up, the micro canvases. I have been doing all kind of projects on these for a couple of years now and they are so cute. We have 2 sizes, and you get one of each size for .85p I am quite partial to the idea of making these into little houses, with some metal rooves!!

We also have 3 sizes of square canvases (those flat hard backed ones) which fit into a wooden frame. Use them together or separately. Prices from .69p to £1.51 (before VAT)

Loving these wooden ‘icon’ frames, both as a double (£1.05 ex VAT) or triple (£1.56 ex VAT) hinged pieces, they are beautiful to alter and of course, being solid wood, they take metal very well.

Lastly the 3 in a row small frames and the pencil cases are back in stock, these are always popular items. Leandra had a project with the frames in one of the pre-Christmas issues of Craft Stamper magazine.

And a paint palette may come in handy if you plan on using those Viva paints! You will find all the terra, ferro, croco and Viva precious metal colour paints are back in stock so if you were gifted some money to spend over Christmas, those are very versatile products to play a round with for sure!!

Yes we are open this week, and we will be shipping out orders super quick, so if you need stuff either call us on 01277 212911 or place an order online.

Have a great week, we are nearly at 2010!!!! The millenium celebrations don't seem like 10 years ago!!! Yikes! Keep safe.


Thursday 17 December 2009

Weeks whizzing by

Yesterday we had snow, and this afternoon and tonight it's going to snow heavily down here in Essex, and the East of England, so I think this morning is my last chance before school ends to get those last few presents sorted out. You  think you have it all done, and then you think of another 6 things you forgot about. So just thought I'd get a note out to you all before I hit the panic button.

My mother is here from New Zealand this year, she has just spent the last couple of weeks up in Lancashire for a family wedding, and catching up with some old school friends, then on Monday she will come down to us. We have lots of evening parties planned next week, so I think by the time Christmas eve arrives we will enjoy a day on the couches watching the tele!!

We launched a PaperArtsy Youtube channel last week and I have put a couple of videos up relevant to recent blog posts. 

Firstly stamping into texture. In this video I used Terra and Ferro, but you don't have to use both on the same project, you could use one or the other. I put a couple of dark colours into the dips, but you can put light in the dips, or leave as is and put darker colours on top. It really is a lot of fun, and great for onto wooden frames or surfaces as well as papier mache or chipboard.

I am expecting a delivery of Terra and Ferro today, so there will be plenty of choice in the shop, plus we have a whole lot of new wooden items to put online too, so get your orders in now ready for that wonderful week between Christmas and New year whihc is a great art-play time!

The second video is the technique of 'puffing' metal. For this you can stamp an image and puff out sections of it. The image might be a bird cage, the castle turrets, birds on a wire, or in the case of the video, a simple flower which makes a beautiful card or scrapbook embellishment. But I also added a simple frame to it.
We will continue to add more videos to the PaperArtsy channel so you can see first hand how to use products that we stock. If you have any specific request, then let us know.

Wishing you all a totally fabulous Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

Leandra & Mark.

Saturday 12 December 2009

Official {ARTSYCRAFTS} dates for 2010

Here it is...the waiting is over......
we have been getting loads of phone calls, emails and enquiries...every day for a few weeks from keen peeps wanting to book.....and now all the info for 


is online ready for you!!


Bookings open Monday 14th December 10am. 

We have had to make some changes to our original March plans as .....big news..... Lin's daughter has set her wedding date for the end of March (much excitement) so here is the new plan.

We have 3 events scheduled for the first half of 2010

Event Dates

March 13/14, 2010 at DeVere Daresbury Park, Warrington (nr Manchester).
This is a one weekend only "Best of" ArtsyCrafts  event). This will include the fabulous Gothic Arch with a new twist, plus the most popular classes from our 2008 ArtsyCrafts events. 

The March event is going to be perfect for people who missed our first ever AC classes in 2008, or for those who have never attended an AC event before and of course for ArtsyCrafts addicts who need a hit of inspiration during the winter months. PLUS it's happening in the North of England, so those of you living up that way won't have so far to travel! The venue offers superb, 4 star accommodation, has a healthy food restaurant, wireless internet throughout and a really nice large room to work in, easy access from the motorway, and only 20 mins from both Manchester Airport and Liverpool's John Lennon airport.

None of the classes will be exactly the same as previously taught, so even though the event is based on prior classes, all of the projects will involve different stamps and twists on techniques to keep it fresh.

Techniques you will learn:
  • metal embossing (cuttle bug and moulds)
  • stamping on metal
  • sanding metal
  • tape sandwiches
  • adhesive metal
  • alcohol inks on metal
  • making a metal frame from a wooden substrate
  • stamping/colouring fabric
  • embellishing stamped fabric
  • Terra texture with kaiser-colour paint
  • the Leandra bead from UTEE (ultra thick embossing enamel)
  • working with PaperArtsy papers and Stamps
May 8/9, 2010 or May 22/23, 2010 " Flights of Fancy" at DeVere Harben House, Newport Pagnell (nr Milton Keynes)
  • new curriculum based on the theme "Flights of Fancy" developed by Linda Brown (LB Crafts) and Leandra Franich (PaperArtsy)
  • plenty of innovative techniques to learn in every session using metal, stamps, paints etc.

The Price for every weekend is £275.00. This includes 

  • use of plentiful class supplies (stamps, inks, paints etc)
  • prepared class project kits (items to make your projects)
  • full colour step by step notes for each project
  • innovative, technique-loaded class projects over 8 sessions using a wide variety of current products
  • personal metal working tool kit (on loan for the duration of the weekend)
  • tea/coffee cold drinks and snacks on tap
  • beautiful lunches in the restaurant Saturday (buffet of many choices) and Sunday (carvery)
  • spacious venue workroom: beautiful large working area with plenty of space and easy access
  • Well known craft teachers Lin and Leandra facilitating the weekend with their additional experienced staff on hand to assist
Earlybird booking price: £250.00 valid until 31 January 2010

The Accommodation

Accomodation on site is available at both venues if you require it. You will need to book this directly yourself, or elsewhere nearby if you prefer. 

DeVere Daresbury: £50.00 incl VAT for bed and breakfast choice of twin or double bedrooms
DeVere Newport Pagnell: £39.00 ex VAT for bed and breakfast. Double rooms only available so not suitable for friend share.

Evening Meals
We leave you free to organise your own evening meal on Saturday in case you prefer to eat elsewhere locally for a change of scenery.

Transport Links
DeVere Daresbury Park, Warrington. You can fly either to John Lennon Airport, Liverpool, or Manchester. From Manchester take the train to Warrington, then catch a taxi to the venue (5mins).  From John Lennon its a 20 min taxi drive to the venue.

DeVere Harben House, Newport Pagnell. Closest airport is Luton (40min taxi drive). Or take the bus to Milton Keynes, then another to Newport Pagnell. You may need to consider arriving Friday night and leaving Monday morning for easier transport options.

If you want to read more about our most recent ArtsyCrafts event which was held in October 2009, then red about it here on Leandra's blog, or here on Linda's blog. Many previous attendees have left comments or links back to their blogs too. It's a great way to get a feel to see if this might be an event you would like to attend.

To Book you need to follow this link to the ArtsyCrafts Web Page.

DeVere Daresbury Park, Nr Warrington:March 13, 14, 2010 booking form here

DeVere Harben House, Newport Pagnell:May 8,9 or May 22,23, 2010 booking form here

How to book?
1. Download the relevant booking form for the weekend you wish to attend.

2. Fill it out, and send it with payment to:
    LB Crafts Ltd ArtsyCrafts
    6 Rose Court
    Market Place
    MK46 4BY

3. Pay. Either send a cheque in the post to LB Crafts Ltd ArtsyCrafts, or if you want to pay via Credit Card, then send your form, and once it arrives  we will call you for payment. (for card security we do not want you to send card details in the post, nor can we keep a written record in the shop)

4. Bookings will be processed strictly on a first come basis, and no bookings are final until the completed form and payment are both received.

Any queries please phone LB Crafts on +44 (0)1234 714 848 or PaperArtsy on +44 (0)1277 212 911

Tuesday 1 December 2009

A day of {cheers} at PA world HQ

PaperArtsy stamps in Stampington's Stampers' Sampler (try saying that 3 times in a row!)

Over the weekend an American retailer we supply emailed to say that some of our stamps were being used in the newest issue of Stampers Sampler that she had just got in the post. I hot footed it over to the Stampington website hoping to see some sneak peeks from inside the issue so I could identify the stamps that had been used.... but the new issue wasn't online yet. The today our rep Kay phoned to say that the artwork was on the front cover. Hooray we said, and went back to Stampington to see this. 

And here's the sneaky peeks of inside the mag. Some of our stamps nestled in among gorgeous hand drawn images by the author, who we are told is Anie Frazer so hope that information is right....well done, we love what you did!

So go get your copy now and then come to PaperArtsy to get the stamps. The image on the left is from SILK1, the arch shaped house. NExt is SIEN1 (xmas trees) with the tall house from SIBM3. The tiny little house nestled in on the flower is also from SIBM3 and Love you more is from SILK1. Then the row of houses under the flowers on the far right sample is from SIBM2.  

I love the combination of stamps surrounded by easily created hand drawn images. And colouring in like this ...lots of fun whether you use waxy pencils, watercolour pencils and of course copics.



Ohhhh { Love these metal birds}

 Before we start...A few words on the rugby...
If you were following me on twitter (@paperartsy) the other weekend you would have seen my blow by blow account of the New Zealand All Blacks playing the English. Yay to the AB's. and yay that Mark and I were able to go along to watch with some other kiwi friends. Getting tickets to go to Twickenham is never easy for games like this, so we got them through the New Zealand Rugby Union verified by our kiwi passports. A great method as the section of the stadium we were in was all black too, so that made it even more fun! Plus a try that was scored (AB's) happened in the corner right in front of where we sat, so we were up and out of our seats with excitement!. We had a great spot: the higher stands protected us from the wind and rain, and the corporate "boxes" we just behind us, so we had the same view as them but way more fun! And of course the icing on the cake was the win.

The best part of rugby is the freindly atmosphere. When the poms scored we clapped, and when we scored they clapped...very sporting of us all and exactly how it should be....oh and the TV ref comes in very handy too!! Fair play all round makes for a great event. Had a few laughs on the train on the way back with other supporters from both sides.  Very very enjoyable.

Spinach Pie Success...
Oh and Patricia emailed me last weekend to say she tried my Spinach pie recipe, and her family loved it...that was funny...I know I put the recipes up there for people to try, but didn't think you actually would! SO I may have to put something else up there soon if you are liking that additional feature! lol Really tickled me that.3 bird roast for Xmas coming soon!!

Gift Certificates......

Mark has spent some time crating a series of VERY cool looking gift certificates. These are perfect for you to give firends or family vouchers that can be redeemed online, over the phone or as a postal order. Check them out here.

Back to the metal working....

After being out and about at a few shows in the last couple of months, I seem to get loads of emails from peeps asking me how I did this that or whatever, or how do they get started, usually that they don't remember a thing of what I demoed and want a blow by blow summary. lol. The shows over here like the NEC are absolutely massive. You are doing well to get around all the stands in a day, and you see soooo much thatit can be a bit of a brain drain. So thanks for taking the time to email and ask for help or inspirational ideas and reminders.

This blog is your first port of call. I do try to put up online the samples I made at the shows and give instructions of how they were made. That way, if you were stood watching, you can remember more easily how it was made. This works well until stuff "walks" off the desk....or people poke your samples so the metal gets crushed before the glue supporting it has set. 

Often I come up with new ideas while demoing, and this time, I had a great idea with some of the bird stamps and the little chipboard arches, and it was all looking awesome, but before the filler had set up, nearly every time I would go to show the sample to the next bunch of people watching, and bang, the blimmin thing was all mangled.  So on the last day of the show i tried to make some samples and hid them so i could blog un-poked items. :-)

I am pretty forgiving - poking raised metal is probably something even I would do lol... I guess we must all have some innate desire to have to just test to see if the metal is supported/strong. And people stood there aren't to know that it's not set hard. The drying process for fillers can be 24 hours, so usually the stuff on my desk is at some stage of drying out, but it certainly isn't fully set.

So let me show you what I was up to. If people are interested in how to stretch metal, then the samples above (fleur de lis) is a classic I do a lot, or maybe I might use a small flower, and stamp with a section that would look good puffed out will work, start with a simple design. 

The process is the same. Here is the same idea using the row of birds from that stamp(above) Or with a dragonfly stamp...this one is from the Squiggly Mini #13 .

  1. Substrate. Choose a substrate to work on (this is a mini chipboard arch -we have several new chipboard shapes going online this week) and trace the outline onto a piece of metal and cut out. 
  2. Stamp. Stamp the image onto silver, copper or coloured metal in the position you want with stazOn black ink and dry.
  3. Outline. Use a teflon pointed tool to gently outline the stamped design on the front. Lean on a wad of paper for this.
  4. Puff with paperstump. Flip the metal over, and on the back you will clearly see the outlined shapes. Put the metal onto a soft mat, and use a small paper stump in a circular motion to start puffing the metal inside the design lines. You might find the metal is resistant to you initially, then suddenly the warmth from the friction kicks in and you will feel the metal much more willing to oblige. Don't stop, keep puffing - you need to gradually stretch the metal.
  5. Refine on acrylic mat. Once you have the image puffed out to the depth you like, flip the metal over (puffy side up) and place it on an ACRYLIC MAT. People forget this bit and its the most important. You need to tidy up all the other bits of metal surrounding the puffed design that got mangled or stretched in the process. Use a large paper stump to gently flatten all the areas up to the edges of the stamped design. Don't press hard. Gradually encourage it to do what you want and again it will eventually play ball. At this point you can also place your refine metal back onto a wad of paper, and gently use a small fine perforated dot tool to outline the birds.
  6. Filling Metal. Now you need to fill the metal to support the puffed section. You need a product that will set up hard. Not silicone glue which is a soft flexible glue, even when dry.  You need to use either a glue or a poyfiller type product that will set hard. I use glossy accents for small areas, or polyfilla (plaster-like) for larger areas. There are many polyfillers out there, and some are more lightweight than others...which is good for cards that get muck about and do some tests to see which products you like the best. Apply the product to the recess and let set overnight. Cut a piece of humungo the same size as the metal. Stick the humungo tape to the substrate, then stick the metal to the humungo. Run a patterned wheel around the edge like a herringbone wheel to finish the edge nicely.
  7. Stamp again. You can add more flourishes, words etc to your piece, and use texture wheels around the edge.

These simple tag-shaped pieces make great tags for presents, and of course you can write a message on the that before you stick the metal down for ease, or if you forget, then place metal side down on a soft mat and then do your writing! The backs would look great with some rum and raisin papers on them!!'s a poked one! grrrr...

...and a few more samples so you get the idea...note how once the metal is on the chipboard base, you can still outline the stamped lines as the chipboard with humungo tape is soft enough to accept lines made with a teflon pointy tool.

Love this sample below where part of a flower from SIEN2 or use SIEN4 for a larger one.

Here's one with a difference for those of you who want more of a challenge! Love the added colour which comes from the glimmer mists with a dab of paint underneath.
  1. Outline. Trace around the tag chipboard shape onto a sheet of silver metal with your pointy tool. Cut out
  2. Sand. Use your sanding block to sand the metal in both directions (horizontal and vertical) This will give the metal a stainless steel effect, and adds some 'tooth' to the shiny doing this before stamping in general...but don't do it to coloured metal ..all you will do is sand off the colour! LOL (you knew that already didn't you!!)
  3. Paint. Apply paint to the surface...if you want the glimmer colours to be rally strong, then use a pale kaisercolour like white, eggshell, antique white, blossom, coastal blue, or one of those really ligfht shades. Swipe a very small amount of paint on with Cut and Dry foam, and then wipe off the excess with a paper towel. You still want to see the shine of the metal.
  4. Glimmer. Paint and sanding the metal gives 'tooth' so that Glimmer mists can stick to the metal. So now you can choose 2 colours of glimmer to use on the metal. Spray Patina onto part of the metal and then dry. Next spray khaki on the remaining area and dry. If you spray loads, you will get 'watermark' type effects. It's a good idea to heat the metal with your heat gun first, and then spray while its hot, this helps the glimmer to dry faster.
  5. Stamp. Now stamp your birdcage image from SINM6 in archival jet black ink on top....DON'T use stazon....why? Because stazon is used onto smooth and shiny NON-POROUS surfaces (eg. metal, acetate, acrylic). We just added paint, and glimmer to the metal, so now you want to use Ranger's archival jet black ink or a black pigment like brilliance would also work. These will give a much better black colour onto the painted, glimmered surface.
  6. Emboss the image. Puff out the image as before, so outline the image from the front with a pointy tool, then flip onto the soft mat and puff out the birdcage from behind with a paper stump, or for a lage area like this the round teflon tool is perfect!. Carefully refine on an acrylic mat to flaten the surrounding areas, and to finish, use a fine dot perforated wheel around the edge of the birdcage if you wish.
  7. Fill the metal. OPTION A: Fill the recess with glossy accents.  You can also apply glossy accents to the rest of the metal, but only a small amount, and you need to smooch it about with your finger so you have a thin even layer. now stick the metal directly to the chipboard. OPTION B: Fill the recess with polyfiller. Let dry overnight. Cut humungo to fit the substrate and stick to the substrate. Stick the metal to the humungo.
  8. Stamp. Add more stamping to the edges of the piece or words like those from SINM6. Also edge the metal with a decorative wheel, like the diagonal. You can also sand the edges of the metal after using the wheel to make a nice frame.

OK so that's your lot for today ..plenty to be going on with... we are mega fast on shipping at the moment, everything is going out within 24 hours, so what are you waiting for!!!

Don't forget that Tim has started his 12 days of Xmas tags today too, so many ideas and techniques to look forward to. I loved his iwred ribbon idea on Tag 1..I'm off to do that with paper!

And please leave a comment with your thoughts on what you will do with these ideas! I love hearing about what you are up to!