Saturday 31 December 2011

A fabulous {SALE} .......

We don't really often do sales here at PaperArtsy. Usually we can't fit them into our busy schedule. I think it's been at least 2 years since we had a sale. So with a couple of weeks up our sleeve this January, this is a blue moon opportunity for you!

The sale is only for 3 weeks, Jan 1st - 22nd, and everything on our website is in the sale: stamps, dies, paints, papers, metal card, metal tools, ranger, ideology etc, so have a good mooch around.

Here's how it works:

If your shopping cart subtotal (that's the total before freight & tax) exceeds £50 you will get 10% off your entire order
If your subtotal exceeds £100 you will get 20% off your entire order
If your subtotal exceeds £150, you will get 30% off your entire order

In other words, spend £150, and only pay £100 (plus tax/ shipping if applicable)

There are no codes. Just add items into your basket, and the cart will activate the discount automatically as your subtotal exceed the thresholds.

Have a fabulous New Year!

Mark and Leandra

Friday 30 December 2011

Hip Hip {Ho Ho}

Festive Greetings to one and all!
We haven't seen any of this white stuff this year down here (yet).
Despite no snow- it's been a fab Xmas season here.
All children present and accounted for. Millie and Ella were hoping to go to NZ this year, but due to GCSE exam commitments that was a no go, I think they have enjoyed snuggling up with Ma and Pa bear and siblings this year. 
This is our new gingerbread PaperArtsy HQ for the festive season!
The house is full of Christmas baking aromas. It all started pre-Xmas with the gingerbread house. Miss Millie designed the plan, we found a recipe, and the rest was just a matter of gluing together and decorating with royal icing. Our piping skills are not so great, but we had a lot of fun doing it.  We have decided that dismantling will commence on New Year's Eve. Might need a hammer -that icing has dried rock hard!
In mid November I had kids home unwell, so I distracted them from headaches and runny noses by getting them a busy making tags to go on a few presents to match the gold wrapping papers under the tree. Manila tags, fresco paints and archival black ink was all it took. The stamps were all from Ink & the Dog Noel Plate 4 
We all headed up to the stunning Cambridge just before Xmas. Mark recently found this snapseed app that does a wicked blurry effect, so now we have a bunch of blurry pics.
My sister Emma, has recently moved from NZ with her boyfriend Nic to Cambridge to do some post grad study. I booked an apartment at the end of their street for us to stay in.
Kids were a bit gob smacked with the decor- as were we! 
Very rich colours. We loved it, seemed very opulent.
Check out the red and gold lounge - Hugo didn't take long to settle in, chuck his coat about and find a remote or some other device.
This was the other bedroom in rich blues.
Courtney choreographed this picture of the munchkins in the phone boxes just off the central town square  L-R:Hugo (11), Millie (13), Ella (15), Courtney (17)

Emma organised for us all to go to see the local panto. With the flat in such a central location within 5 min walk of everything it was fantastic to be able to access everything so easily. Cambridge really is a beautiful place to be and there are lots of interesting quirky independent retailers.
And while we're doing family pics,who can forget the day the awesome All Blacks won the rugby world cup! Just thought I'd drop that in there - lest we forget... This was Mr PaperArtsy and moi on the morning of the big final. Nervously trying to eat breakfast at the autumn ArtsyCrafts event in our AB supporter strips. Course we are thrilled to finally be world rugby champs!!
Millie and I (on our baking mission) tackled macaroons yesterday. Pistachio green and flavoured. Something she has been wanting to do since Ed Kimber won the first Great British Bake Off. They taste great. I think she would have entered the GB junior bake off, but just as the auditions was announced she turned 13 and the max age is 12. Never mind, we are constantly on the receiving end of her experiments...usually all good.

Here's a sight you don't expect to see in London in December
On the first 3 days of Christmas week, Ella and I went up to London to a method acting drama course she had booked for. This meant I took a different buddie with me days 1 and 2 (Millie and Mark), and boy did we walk all over London.
We walked miles and miles and miles and miles....But it was so lovely to have a good look around with no fixed agenda. Loved borough market, in fact got our Xmas dinner there - a chicken stuffed with a pheasant with almond/apricot stuffing ... It was perfect on the day too.Enjoyed a glass of mulled wine from the south bank Xmas market, and the antiques at Coventry garden, and Camden Passage were interesting as ever.
I've also had a few days over the last few weeks to plan some classes that I'll be teaching at Version Scrap. It is a wonderful show in Paris in Spring. Lots of classes and scrummy exhibitors that are so different to anything you see in England. Last year the attendees were keen to see more about using metal, and as it's a scrapbooking show, I have reflected that in this particular project. I'll be teaching 2 classes, this is one of them, a layout framed by a metal niche. Papers, paints, embellishments new, made and found. Lots to learn in this 3 hour class. 
The other is a re-vamped ArtsyCrafts class with layered grungeboard letters and die cut shapes, over-painted and wiped back with our gorgeous Fresco Chalk finish paints - and I mean lots of layers and layers of acrylic paints  I loved that class this year, one of my faves. We embellish with ideology and found objects. This looks wonderful on the wall in my lounge - it gets loads of comments.
I think booking goes live in the New Year. The show is the first weekend in April (March 30th - April 1st, 2012)
The PaperArtsy stand got pretty busy last year! Here you can see Mark and (stamp) Sally almost finished the set up 
And this was how it looked later in the show.
And I managed to get a pic of Lin chatting and demoing too. The ladies were fascinated with what we demo.

So that's my news update. Always guaranteed to be an epic tale. And so much I left out!

Wishing you all a safe and celebratory end to 2011. Thank you so much for your friendship, custom, shared laughs and your presence at shows and ArtsyCrafts events this year. We love to get out and about to see you in person, online or passing through the online shop. I'll be back in the New Year to keep you in the loop. If you fancy a chat, then see you on twitter, I usually check in late in the evenings.

Leandra & Mark

Sunday 30 October 2011

Coming to the NEC soon....

How is your weekend going??

Well we are busy little bees getting ready to bring you lots of gorgeous goodies and demos to the NEC HobbyCrafts Show next weekend...a nice long weekend, because it's a Thursday to Sunday show..... so do you wanna see what we are bringing????

I thought you might....

As you know, we recently released HP1106, HP1107, HP1108, HP1109, HP1110, and  HP1111.

These stamps have a lovely classic, quirky PaperArtsy feel to them. Lots of unique elements, and fun ideas.  A real steampunk vibe, which I adore, and is so useful for those more masculine things you need to make for the blokes in your lives. We will have a nice sample with us at the show of how we used these at the recent ArtsyCrafts event. Plus of course I will be demoing with them throughout the weekend.
And we also very recently released a collection of stamps with Lynne Perrella. Lynne is an iconic, hilarious, amazing and creativity-enabling art goddess who has so much experience in the world of mixed-media creativity. Of course we are totally thrilled and honoured to bring to market her first new stamp release in many years since she owned and operated her inimitable stamp company Acey Deucy. The outing at the NEC will be their first proper public airing by us and I will be demoing them all weekend I am sure! Many of you will remember her Acey Deucy line, well these are very much reminiscent of that genre, and of course look fabulous stamped over stunning backgrounds that we all love to create with ink paint and more....Please note, all of Lynne's stamp sets are only available on EZ-mount foam, not unmounted.

But before I move away from new stamps, we have snuck in a couple of brand new additions to the PaperArtsy Hot Pick family.... 

First up is our second 'stamp and die' set. Featuring a series of very useful slide mounts. I remember back in the day sourcing original Kodachrome slides to re-cycle to make cool frames for altered art purposes. So with this set, you get your own die to cut a slide-mount from card, metal card, paper or whatever you wish to die cut... and 6 PaperArtsy stamps to stamp over the die cut shape. Loving that idea! It's a great way to embellish a card, layout, or mixed media creation, and fun to make each slide-mount a little different with stamping images on top. 
As with all our 'Stamp and Die' sets, the stamps come on EZ mount foam ready to cling to acrylic blocks, and re-store back on the laminated index sheet provided.

We also have a cool halloween plate....I know Halloween is literally right upon us already, but if you like this kind of style, the elements may have some year round potential...or you can always get mega organised for next halloween!
Next up in the new products department...paint.... Fresco Chalk-finish acrylic paints to be exact. As you are aware...development of these has gone thru more than a few hiccups along the way, but they are so worth the I speak we are furiously bottling, painting labels and getting as many colours ready as is physically possible. We expect to have 10-12 of the new 27 colours... they will all be online over the next 2-3 weeks as they arrive here and get bottled. 
Here is an idea of what is to come, although the colours on screen are not exactly how they look in real life, but it gives you an idea. We have turquoise blues, zesty citrus, and olive greens, plus eggplant. 

On twitter the other night, we had a bit of a giggle playing a bit of a game. I named the paint colour, and followers tried to describe it to me....they got hang of describing the paint quite cheekily, and a few descriptions of the evening are quoted was entertaining...until Nikki and Mark lowered the tone!
London Bus - @netrix "red like a bliddy London Bus wots got the number 38 on it...not sure bout the reg tho" and @gillianSimson stated the obvious "London Bus Red". @DeeParamour flashed some creative writing brilliance with "little girls lips on a frosty morning" we almost called it post box red, but IRL it has a nice orange warmth to the red, this is going to be perfect for mixing other colours from...

InkyPool - @pinkhairedelf got in quickly again with "creative literary pool of blues swirled with blacks and shadows" which shut up a few players....and @gilliansimson again got closer with "turquoise/blue with deeper tones" , and @isisArts "bruise blue" was getting close too but @toonkat63 was the closest with "a warm bluey turquoisey shade"

Mermaid - after agreeing this is a fab paint name, figuring if the colour was green based or blue based was the initial @miriamgrazier suggested silvery greeny blue , @jeangenie1 "aquatic",  @nikkyhall1 gave a load of suggestions, many raised eyebrows "white bread mould" but "aqua/iceburg blue/teal" was pretty close, and again the @pinkhairedelf blew the rest out of the water with"a shimmery illusion of turquoise blues and sea magic greens" 

After a Thames Mud diversion we didn't need ...we went onto 

Limelight - which was a hole in one to @netrix "so limelight- is that a vivid fresh limegreen with lemon sherbet mixed in all zingy like?" Yes it is Jill, you nailed it! (not pictured above though)

Well that little game took us about an hour to recover from, but it was a lot of fun. Yhanks to all for playing along. Some of the colours shown above are: London Bus, Smoked Paprika, Zesty Zing, Muddy Wellies, Hyde Park, Hey Pesto, Inky Pool, Beach Hut, Mermaid, Eggplant. 

Lastly, fingers crossed, if the UPS man makes it to us in time, we will have a new colouring product that has not been sold here before. Great for making fast backgrounds, great through stencils, and really easy to are a few samples I knocked up in an hour or so yesterday. At the moment it looks like these babies might not be with us till Friday at the show, but you never know! Beautiful bright shades...affordable price...more will be revealed when it gets here!
Of course on top of this, we will have all the usual bits and bobs, loads of PaperArtsy Stamps plus an awesome show offer on all Tim Holtz Ideology products and Stamps.

And where are we? Stand C05 Walk in the main doors of the show, turn left, and aisle C is the first on your right hand stand.

Hope to see you there! 

Wednesday 26 October 2011

ArtsyCrafts Oct 2011 {Weekend 2}

Hello bloggers
As ever, another weekend hanging out with wonderfully talented ladies was huge fun for Lin and I last weekend. Teaching classes really is the most enjoyable part of our work, and when I get to do a whole weekend of it with Lin, after months and months of preparation, it's the rewarding culmination of a meticulously planned event. 

Kudos to DeVere Harben House at Newport Pagnell. Both the accomodation and conference suites have all been thoroughly redecorated, and the restaurant and bar food (now the same menu for the same price) was far superior to anything we have experienced in the past. The staff who work there know us well now, and are very willing to help however they can. A big thankyou and well done to them!

For all ArtsyCrafts events, the biggest challenge for Lin and I is to create projects for each event that are quite different from previous ones, and incorporate new techniques and idea with existing and new to market products. Our techniques tend to have a metal and stamping focus, but we always try to create an item that is completely different to what has gone before.

On this occasion, we designed from scratch a wooden bird house with a cool new tin foil technique, as well as other more traditional metal ideas with Ten Seconds Studio adhesive metal, and Ten Seconds Studio Metal rolls, PaperArtsy Fresco Chalk Acrylic Paints and new Hot Pick Stamps. Lin's husband Mark is fairly handy with design programmes and routers, so he made the plans for our birdhouse with its interlocking segments, told the computer to cut one out of mdf and voila. Perfect birdhouse glued together easily and instantly.
If only life were that simple! When the 50 ordered from a man who cuts birdhouses (and other wooden objects) for a living from wood by computer was sent the plans, his computer somehow cut all the plans slightly to one side of the 'line' and nothing fitted together. This was 3 days before the Warrington event. Lucky for us we knew it could be done as Mark had done it already, and realising their error they told the computer to sort itself out, and eventually we got the items in the nick of time. Yay to the birdhouse man for resolving this for us so promptly!

Anyhow, even though we put many more hours preparation into this event than we ever have previously, we were still kitting up last minute due to these unpredictable hold ups. Thanks Karen, You are an ArtsyCrafts kitting wonder-woman star supremo!!!
But despite a behind the scenes panic, every one enjoyed crackling with the crackle glaze, painting with Fresco finish paints, and embossing and then distressing metal to decorate the main body of this rather large finished item. {Sorry international ladies for making your trips home a challenge - but you didn't look too silly wearing 8 layers of clothing on the way home....honest} ....

(PaperArtsy) Mark put together a video of how the birdhouse was constructed and the different colour combos people came up with when custom mixing the Fresco paints. This is now one of my favourite AC projects {i can hear you saying she always say that....soz, but tis true} And I am extremely keen to make another with Essex Lynne and Jo Firth-Young and decorate it beyond what we had time to do in class. That will be a great day! And yes it will be a shade of London Night I think...or maybe one of the new 27 colours of Fresco's due to arrive here in the next 2 weeks.......that decision won't be easy will it!!
 On Day 2 we made a great industrial styled item based on arranging left over configuration boxes randomly into a new assortment. We then bespoke mixed PaperArtsy Fresco Chalk Finish Acrylic Paints into a watery spray (50:50 consistency) in mini misters, and sprayed the nooks and crannies with lots of drippy bits. This is a great way to paint unusual textures of shapes, and of course our opaque paint gives great instant coverage even when watered down. 
We started with a cream colour to hide the weird colour of the config boxes, and then came over the top with a contrasting colour of choice, and hen more cream splats on top. Very fast, and quite entertaining when you got one of those hose-pipe mini misters that can shoot paint 1 metre towards your neighbour! {yes we saw that a few times didn't we!!}
The afternoon was spent making metal floors and roofs (rooves?) for each section, and decorating with many great ideas along the way. We sourced cool original vintage tape measures (metal, wood and cloth), old fob watches and watch faces, and the most teeny tiny gorgeous glass bottles too, as well as incorporating many of Tim Holtz' ideology goodies along the way.....any spaces were filled with images stamped onto PaperArtsy metal card, which has a special coating to accept stazOn ink beautifully, so stamping images onto this metal is easy peasey.
Here are a few close ups
And even though the World Cup Rugby Final was screening Sunday morning (with the New Zealand All Blacks playing a very close game against France - and JUST winning by the narrowest of margins....) Mark still managed to pull together another video of our Day 2 class from Newport Pagnell to give you a far better taste of the project than pictures ever could.
If you came to any of our ArtsyCrafts days in the last 2 weekends, please leave a comment here on the blog with a link to your blog post or you could leave a comment of how your day went on the paperArtsy YouTube page.

So what plans have we for 2012 ?

Well if you read Lin's blog post this week you will be aware she is retiring at Christmas. She has been at the helm of LB Crafts for 18 years, and is probably the longest established stamp-specific craft shop in the UK. Having done a way-more-than-fantastic job of this over the years, I have seen first hand how dedicated she is to her lovely staff, enthusiastic customers and regular suppliers, but of course, behind the scenes she also has a fabulous family with quite a number of gorgeous grandchildren, and naturally she would like to be available to do the things that normal nanas and grans do. Good for her! That's the right decision! She will still be as creative as ever, and she will still blog and tweet, and of course, she will still teach ArtsyCrafts with me for you (YAY!)

Here at PaperArtsy World HQ {imagine the HQ glass towers...LOL}, we also have been trying to juggle huge growth in our business over the last 2 years, so I am rather relieved that Lin's retirement gives us the opportunity to cut back ArtsyCrafts to just 1 event per year. We liked the way the Warrington 3 day event worked this year, so we will again repeat the booking system of allowing you to book 1,2, or 3 days as per your preference. The dates for 2012 will been June 8,9,10 at the DeVere Daresbury Park. Booking will open in the first quarter of 2012. But for now, you can put those dates in your diary! And book cheap your train or airfares well in advance!

So that's the latest Update from us. Have a great week, and talk again soon. I need to go clean up the shed before Jo turns up this arvo and sees all those boxes lying about!!!


Thursday 20 October 2011

ArtsyCrafts {October 2011}

We are in-between 2 fun-filled ArtsyCrafts events, and I just wanted to give you a quicksie heads up on how things have gone so far. Last weekend was a pretty special one I have to say, because we were very fortunate to have the amazing Lynne Perrella here with us for 3 days of superb classes.
Lynne is right up there as one of my most favourite artists ever, and she was funny, endearing, honest, encouraging and of course uber-talented. Lin and I took her Friday class, and we totally loved every minute of learning directly from her.  As did the 3 classes of people who also came by for 1 to 3 of her classes.
Her manner of teaching is to deliciously ooze through class. She makes loads of suggestions to really stretch you to think beyond your comfort zone. She is so encouraging of everyone, and her demonstrations are hilarious. Such a wonderful artist who shared so willingly with us all, no matter what your previous experience was, she spent time with every person to bring out the very best in us all. We all loved what we made.
 The icing on the cake was she used our fabulous PaperArtsy Fresco acrylics. Their gorgeous chalk finish was totally perfect with her stencilling and layering ideas and wonderful methods of building backgrounds. 

I can't thank her enough for coming over, so please, do take a few minutes to enjoy this video Mark shot of her final day of teaching with us on Sunday. It gives you an idea of how each student created their own unique piece in class. Remember, this is just one of her 3 classes. If you were there, please could you leave a comment on the youtube page to express how you felt about the classes you took.
I will demo some of Lynne's background techniques at the NEC November 3-6 In Birmingham, UK, so do drop by if you are heading to Birmingham that weekend.

And next week, no doubt we will have another video of Lin and my classes which are repeated to a new bunch of lovely ladies this weekend at Newport Pagnell near Milton Keynes, UK.

Hope to see you this weekend, or at the NEC


Saturday 27 August 2011

TIme for some {new} stamps

I love them. FACT. I really don't feel like I want or really need to say any more about our newest release. Maybe that they are amazing???!!!  Mark has done a fabulous job, and this is not all, there are more to come apparently. These can all be found in the HotPicks section of our website.

Suffice to say,they are available to order unmounted, or trimmed onto EZ mount foam. They all come with a nice storage sheet, and they are ready waiting for you in the shop get your thinking hats on and work out all the fabulousness you could make with a few of them in your stash!

So back here at PAHQ, we have had quite some excitement last weekend as Mark and I ventured off into the world of Music festival weekends. Even though Chelmsford is only 10 minutes up the road, we hired a camper van and trundled off for 3 days of LOUD music and tasty English beer. We took Courtney (17yrs) and her BF Sam too. They were both unwell with heavy colds, so they drank about 6 cans between the 2 of them all weekend, and realised they were acting like the oldies more than Mark and I. We saw so many bands I've lost count (we are quite partial to new Indie music), and enjoyed a weekend off in what was pretty much fabulous weather for the whole event. We had a hilarious Fri afternoon in the on-site pub, and met lots of people, many of who have become new twitter friends too. If you are ever going to do a festival, then the whole caravan thing is deffo the way to go. Full English breakfasts, bathroom and loo on board, comfy, warm beds - perfect!

So its almost back to school time. Courtney passed her AS exams and starts Year 13 continuing her art and media studies, and Ella also sat 1 maths GCSE as a year 9 student, and got a B which was pretty good, and better than she, we and her maths teacher expected. It will be Miss Ella's 15th birthday next week, so we have to muster some enthusiasm for that....we have just had 3 birthdays in recent weeks, so by the time it gets to Ella we are kind of done with the whole celebration thing. (poor Ella). Hugo is also off to big school, so in the evenings I am diligently sewing name tags onto stuff I am pretty sure will be lost in the first month anyway.

And just as school goes back we have our final batch of kiwis coming to visit. We are very much looking forward to seeing Dad and Sue, and I am sure they too are glad to have a break from Christchurch and  the constant tremors that still rock the city. My sister Emma is starting a phD in Law at Cambridge this year, so she will be heading this way too in the coming months.

Lin and I get together again this week to finish off our AC samples which are an absolute labour of love this time. We are both so loving our AC projects....yet again we are doing things that are quite different to anything we have done before. They are quite big projects this time, I think once we have the samples done we will put pictures up for you to see too. Lynne Perrella's classes are almost full, we have a few spots left on the Sunday. I have 2 of her 3 samples here and I wish I could do all her classes too!!

Oh and I almost forgot, new paint will be coming soon too.....lovely autumnal shades....