Monday 31 May 2010

Another Hot Pick is born

Here it is peeps. The June Hot Pick. We will be shipping it later this week, but I knew you guys, the keenest of all PaperArtsy stamping gurus would want to know first, so I am sneakily sharing with you slightly ahead of schedule!

Mark very cleverly designed it so that you can use the moth die, and the leaf from the Grungeflower die set with this stamp too...nice that you will probably already have those, and if you don't have them, then maybe this will swing you!

So here's a wicked treat for 3 special people. 

Leave a comment about what you enjoy about these and previously released April and May Hot Pick stamps and matching dies. That's not hard!!

On Tuesday we will randomly select 3 people to win a PaperArtsy Mega Goodie Bag worth £35. Contents will include a couple of EZ mounted PaperArtsy Ink and the Dog stamps, a birdcage die, 2 picture packs, and 2 pieces of german scrap and a pot of Sahara Terra. Wow all the things you can do with that stash!! This is open to all peeps all over the world, so let your bloggy buds know to join in too.

Have a great stampy-inky week. 


Saturday 29 May 2010

Off to market we go

Just had to share one of the quirks of our local farmer's market which we try to get to every fortnight at Barleylands. 
A steam engine! To put it into persepective, a small child only would be as tall as the centre of the wheel! They always have it steamed up and chugging away. And in September there is a huge Steam show on with literally hundreds of these of all shapes and sizes which makes a nice day out, epsecially if it's a sunny one!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday 27 May 2010

May 2010 {ArtsyCrafts} Action

Yes another 2 fabulous weekends are over. It's so hard for us and the peeps attending to keep quiet about what we actually made until both events are over, but I am sure you will see from the following pics what a fantastic time was had by all! 
 Linda (LB Crafts) is my partner in crime and the other half of ArtsyCrafts, together we develop these wonderful weekend retreats so we can share with you our ideas with Ten Seconds Studio Metal, PaperArtsy Stamps, and all our other most favourite brands and hottest new products out there. Can you believe these weekend were our 7th and 8th events! We have been doing this for a few years now.
Here is the team, from left Jo, Lynne H, Linda B, Karen and me, Leandra owner of PaperArtsy. This is a pic from last year, we added Linda E to the lineup this year as Lynne H snuck off to New York for a surprise weekend with her hubby.
We tend to be so focussed on the classes, that we always underestimate how long it takes us to set up the shop, but Lynne Howe (when she retires we will have to get her blogging!), Jo Firth-Young and Linda Elbourne set about developing their own unique style of merchandising on the Fri evening set-up, and then Karen had the job of trying to find where everything was Saturday morning. It always looks scrummy by the time everyone arrives though.
 The theme was Flights of Fancy, and we made 3 fantastic items, one was a quicksie, and the other 2 projects were more in depth and took several session to complete. Overall, our weekends are all about techniques that you may apply to many situations, and learning how to use new colour combinations. When participants book, they get an opportunity to indicate their preference, but usually when you see the item samples in real life, you inevitably wish you'd picked something more adventurous! No fear, there are chances for free choice, so over the weekend you get to try one or two things that might be way out of your comfort zone if you wish.
We started out clean and tidy, 
 but boy those girls can craft up a storm! 
Oh look, there's Linda E, bet she led those Shabby Blue girl's astray...have you seen her desk lately?? Well no need to be too tidy when you are on a mission to enjoy yourself is there?
One of my fave technique of the weekend was using a new spray from Crafty Notions on top of Distress Ink. Instant softness, mottled-ness and loveliness! And no hard work at all, just a squirt here and there, hey presto. This (sample above) was created by the hilarious Rita from Spain. She gave everyone the warm fuzzies on Weekend 1, and we learned how to communicate in a mix of Spanish, French and English. Very entertaining.
And how beautiful those BG's looked with a bit of stamping on top using HP1004 and HP1005. Love how the Pink and orange, sunrise people made samples ranging from vivid and bright, to soft and subtle.
Or how about a tissue flower, die cut (grunge flower die), stamped (HP1004) distress-inked and sprayed with sparkles. Love the crumply texture from this technique too. Oh there was soooo much to loooove!!
How coould I forget the ohhhs when we demoed this bit. Ferro paste and stencils work really well together. Who knew? We did of course! another of those.."I wonder...." discoveries. Add some colour and spray and you get yourself one wicked tree. Soft and pale, or bright and colourful, the choice is yours.
So that was the first half of day one, and we had loads more to come!! We really do work hard to give you lots of new fun ideas to enjoy at these retreats!

The main project this time was a sampler board with 9 different techniques with metal, terra texture and ink techniques onto a smooth polyester adhesive fabric. Onto that we added metal embellishments, and under we made a canvas as the support.
The different colour combinations and choices everyone made along the way gave each participant a totally unique finished project. 
Hairy terra caused a few eeuughhh ohhh ahhhh's, and when the colour went on top with the magic spray it was a winner technique (below).
And of course we had the new and wonderful 'goop' (aka Inka Gold) to play with. Look at how metallic it can be on black backgrounds, but we also coloured in with it on pearl metal too...yes it sticks to metal, yet rubs off if you get it in the wrong place, so mistakes just don't happen with this stuff! Check it out on black painted terra!
'But the metal is always a new thing for many people at these events, and they did beautiful work, both new and experienced crafters!
This was a really clever idea for a freestyle design with a pointy tool!
And I'm pretty sure this is Sue C's sample..who'd have thought slate metal would look so fab with Mocha kaiserpaint on top?? Love that Kabuka mould! One of my faves.
But when you stamp an image like the bird from SIFF4, and puff the metal, then colour with Inka Gold, you really start to bring metal to life! The depth you can add working metal this way is always stunning for any project.
Evenings are fun too at ArtsyCrafts, and we got our resident comedian Linda Elbourne to show us her special way to make a metal rose using the PaperArtsy dies (stamped Grunge Flower or embossed Scallop flower). 
Here she is doing her thing. Some people stamped theirs with the grunge collage stamp that fits perfectly on top of the die cut. (Tip match the notch in the die with the roman numeral clock petal) and others embossed their metal die cuts with an embossing folder, but everyone ended up with a fab bellie for their sampler board.
So once laid up on their canvases and with the metal bellies made on the Sunday, it all started to come together. The songbird die makes another lovely metal bellie that would be useful on cards or scrapping layouts too.
The hardest part was deciding how to lay out all the elements, but once in place each person created their own masterpiece which doubles as a great reference point.
Now this piece above is one of the Pink and Orange ladies starting work on the canvas backing board. Look how scrumptious those colours of Inka Gold looks through a stencil! I was soooo excited by this!
Bonnie on week 1 got the 'teachers pet' award for this discovery. She die cut the song bird, embossed on the dot folder, then she stamped over the top of that the image from HP1005 and sanded off the black from the spots. We were 'well impressed' as we say here in Essex!
And the birdcage was a fun embellishment idea too, the card and acetate were die cut together with the birdcage die, then overstamped with the image from HP1004. We had a trick for painting that that got a few ohhs. Love those ooooo's when you demo! LOL

To finish the weekend we did a new project that is actually made from these picture frames. You can find them here in the webshop.
They were painted, and decorated with frames cut from the largest of the square pointy dies. We also ran a size smaller frame die thru the bigshot with metal and an embossing mat on a kabuka or big daddy mould. This method of speed embossing opens up a whole new level of speedy metal crafting when you have one of those big-shot guys to play with!

Here is Karen's birdhouse in sunrise colours (BTW she stayed at the camp-site down the road which we keep hearing great things about. it's only a tenner a night!)
Here's one made by one of our younger attendees Bethany. She was brand new to this whole caper and made great stuff all weekend!

So if you want to come to the next round of ArtsyCrafts we have 2 more events planned for autumn. The Newport Pagnell venue (near Milton Keynes) is booked for October 23/24th, and the Warrington venue is booked for October 30/31. Mark your diary now! Booking opens on Monday June 7th, and you can't book without sending a booking form with payment. Please note, for security reasons we cannot take credit card payment over the phone without a booking form in our hands, so you must send your form in first, and then phone to make payment the next day. We expect both events to sell out fast, so please follow this procedure. Both booking forms will be available online in the next week to download from the ArtsyCrafts link here.

Wednesday 26 May 2010

Deep Breath - WOYWW Virgin

Not sure if I have been hanging round Linda E and Jo F-Y too much in recent days, but I somehow feel compelled to share with you what's on one of my desks. (Fingers Crossed I'll get it right) (That just sounds like I'm showing off) But the sad thruth is that my 'real' desk is missing in the portacabin that is supposed to be my art space, but somehow turned into a storage I actually can't even get to my desk. I think its over there in the corner somewhere, but I haven't seen it for about 18 months! I hope I manage to follow Julie's instructions correctly about how to play along!

Not sure if this is stretching the rules or not, but I do have lots of other 'desks' that I do craft related stuff at/ on everyday here at PaperArtsy HQ, so kind of thought you might find that more interesting!

I promise I will endeavour to actually show you my desk one day, as Jo F-Y and I have big plans for the portacabin this summer, maybe we'll do a 'before' and 'after' thing at some point...but for now you will see my workshop desks. Deal?? 

So what IS on my desk??? 

This shiny new Epsom printer...its a bit of a long story, but the semi-edited version is we decided to change the packaging method, process, index sheets and bags for all of our stamp collections late last year. Since then Mark (OH/ Mr PA) and I have been debating (read: arguing) over how to do this. He insisted it could only be done with a big grandaddy of an Epsom printer that would cost in excess of a monkey (Essex speak for 500 quid) and once we found out using it to print frequently onto laminated card was going to immediately void the warranty that was a deffo "No chance Lance!!" (this is a common down-under phrase - In English you would say 'have a laugh') . So we had a stalemate for sometime until 'he' found another solution.

My blinding (if i say so myself) idea to go full colour, but still print the actual image onto the new backing cards (beautifully designed by Mr PA) was the bomb, except for the minor problem that we hadn't figured out how to actually print onto these gorgeous new babies that had already arrived from the printers. Kinf of cart before the horse situation!! Our reasonably expensive business HP was not really up to the job because the new laminated index card was too thick, and to slippery to be picked up by the roller, then it was too stiff to bend to go round the roller, and thus couldn't get back out the same side it went into the printer in the first place!. [ I feel at this point that i am losing you...Ok I'll cut to the chase]

Long story short, new printer does the job because it's a straight thru feed, and after a cunning 'Mr PA' modification we are also able to use compatible inks (we could have spent over 600quid just on branded ink in the last week if we had not got a printer that can use compatible inks). And yes i know, I can hear what you are thinking.... we have once again voided the warraty just right there, but it was such a cheap printer, that if we blow up one every 2 months it still works out cheaper than the grandaddy. So I'm cool with that OK!

So what looked to you like a boring printer on my desk is actually a highly revered, respected and well adored addition to PA HQ. The last several days she has been printing her little socks off to swap all the existing stock onto new index sheets and into fresh new baggies. So that little black beauty may just look like a boring printer to you, but OMG it is a total life saver and adored, very precious printer to us.!! And she was cheap...maybe we should call her Maureen!!  In fact i think we shall.

And this is what she has done for a few of the squiggly ink stamps.

BTW. If you are of a nosey disposition, then you should follow me on twitter (@paperartsy), as I post loads of piccies and snippets everyday/week about what is going on at PaperArtsy World HQ, (I am a much better twit than blogger). 

Thanks for dropping by.

Leandra (Mrs PA)


Friday 7 May 2010

One more sleep - and one peep's chance

So we are frantically packing the vehicles with stock, samples and goodies for this weekend's fabulous ArtsyCrafts event when Lin phoned to say one attendee has just got a text that her flight from Scotland has been cancelled due to that volcano getting busy again!

If you are at a loose end this weekend and fancy a weekend of creative enjoyment and would like to buy her place, then call Linda on 01234 714848 by 5pm

Looking forward to seeing everyone, the weekend will be so much fun!!