Monday 30 January 2012

Any Excuse to hit {Bluewater} but this is the best one yet|!

Many of you already know about the HobbyCrafts shows around the UK, the biggie is the NEC in Spring and Autumn. Well we won't be exhibiting at Birmingham this Spring due to other commitments in Paris (not hard to pick Paris any day of the year is it!) but the crowd at ICHF who organise the HobbyCrafts shows have added 2 new shows to their schedule, and its just 40mins from PA HQ, so of course we are going to....BLUEWATER MALL to do a show. Woooohooooo! Excited Much! And all the Downton Abbey costumes are on show!! So excited to see that too!!

So what's not to like about a craft show at my favourite mall. A zillion shops AND a HobbyCrafts and Creative Stitches show all in one - my 2 most favourite things to do ever! Shop and craft....and.... (shhh) eat, and there are loads of yummo places to eat! I can't wait!!
And my partner in ArtsyCrafts events, the one and only Mrs Linda Brown will be making an appearance demoing on our stand for all 4 days of the show! How lucky are you to see her back in action??? So.... if you are having LB withdrawal symptoms, then get your tush down to Kent, and you can catch up with all her goss and of course coolio techniques with all things PaperArtsy. Look at the flash brand new demo desk Mr PA has made just for her!

A word of advice re driving, if you are coming from the Essex side on the M25, come off the bridge in the left hand lane, and take the very left hand toll gate, because the slip road to Bluewater is straight ahead of you and its easy to sneak onto it from the left hand toll booth! Don't say i didn't tell you!!! You do not want to be 12 toll booths over on the right hand side and trying to cut across all those lanes of traffic!! 
So we have porta-loos for sale at the show! I know, this is no ordinary PaperArtsy stand I tell you, and you can rely on us to bring you the newest must have crafting items!! If you were following me on twitter over the last 5 days, you will have seen sneaky peeks of us trimming our piles (not THAT kind of piles!! We are talking rubber of course!) And of course we are taking lots of the new products we have just received for the show. Including the portaloos. (technically they are beach huts, but they really do look like the cutest little outhouse don't you think??) 
We also have 12 brand new stencils from Crafters Workshop, these are on offer at the show, almost £1 off at £3.95, here is just 2 of the newest designs. Plus rusting powder - you need to see this stuff..take a look at Kim Dellow's blog, scroll down to WOYWW on January 25, 2012, she's mega-rusting!

And today Lynne H (aka @bodgerbird on twitter, aka Cheryl, Tim's class know.... Blingy Lynne) got busy on packing up several walls of grid wall with numerous PaperArtsy stamps, here they are ready to load into the van tomorrow.
So I guess you want to know the show details right???

Where: Glow event Centre, Bluewater Mall, Kent, DA9 9SG
When: Thurs - Sun  (this weekend) Feb 2-5,  9.30am - 5.30pm
PaperArtsy Stand: BB42, Lower Level
 (HobbyCrafts on the lower level, Creative Stitches on the Upper Level)
Nearest Car Park: Thames Walk Car Park (near Marks and Spencers)

And if you follow our blog, or tweet me please tell me, i often know people look familiar, but can't place if they are an ArtsyCrafter, a Tweepster, or a long time show-groupie. just remind me where I know you from so I remember! Don't be shy!

See you later this week


Wednesday 25 January 2012

WOYWW 138 - {neon} UTEE, hair and tan???

 Do you want to play along with other desk divas? They don't muck about! Pop on over to the Queen of desks, Julia's blog to see the rules. Share a few pics and visit the others playing this week, you're sure to be inspired, amazed and probably horrified at the desks on display. It's fun being proper nosey mid week!
This weekend, as you can see from my last post, it was brainstorming for 3 days with Lin to get the ArtsyCrafts ideas flowing.....but late Sunday evening Miss 17 arrived to create with her arty friend Lilly, and they were on a mega UTEE mission. Bissfully unaware that Lin and I had moved about 36 boxes to get to the meltpot box in the back bottom corner of the shed! Teeneagers huh. Raving about all things Suze, Courtney duly gave Lilly a crash course in UTEE fondue options.
So when I went out to the desk this morning...yes MY desk had been invaded by the overflow from her experimentation from her desk....
I think they have dipped fresh flowers, and wire wrapped them....but I can't be sure.....
 For me it's more mega rubber trimming this week, but I am really looking forward to deliveries arriving later this week with new goodies ready for the new show at Bluewater 'glow' exhibition arena....cracks me up that name.....I imagine I shall be demoing looking like a luminous beacon..... I live in towieville's own Brentwood, perhaps if I pop into Amy Childs salon I can get a neon styley fake tan that glows in the dark or something.....

Thump back to reality....we have paint bottling ahead of us too....that should keep me, the elves and Lynne (aka Cheryl/@bodgerbird) busy. I wonder what colour Cheryl's hair is now...we bunked work on Monday to go to the trade hair/nail supply warehouse.....she 'advised' me on professional colour this wise to attempt pre-Bluewater .....maybe I will end up neon after all!!!

Watch this space!

Monday 23 January 2012

Fabric Fascination

 What fun we have had this weekend. Lin arrived Friday morning for our first proper ArtsyCrafts exploration session. We had a few ideas floating that we have been discussing for a few weeks, so after refining them somewhat, we decided to embark on a fabric kick. This entailed spending most of the day of our most favourite things to do!
We arrived back at PaperArtsy HQ, armed with a whole lot of stuff that sounded really alien and started to play. Lin needed a quick lesson on my sewing machine, and we were off, cutting, embellishing, trimming, transferring, burning, name it, we tried it.

The first craft I mastered as a young child was sewing. I learned how to smock and embroider by 11 years old at school- I was always finished first, and mine was always the neatest in class, it just seemed to be really easy for me.....but I had spent hours at home mucking about on Mum's sewing machine just for fun, so maybe I had a head start without realising it at the time.

Through high school and University I more often than not sewed my own clothes. When the kids came along I went to quilting classes, and enjoyed hand-sewing teddy bears (which I taught Mark's Mum to do), and I usually had a cross-stitch or 3 on the go as well as a quilt, beach bag or Christmas stocking... Now, after 10 years of paper-crafting I'm trying to deliberately sew as wonky as possible. 

How times change. Loose threads, ragged edges, crooked seams...I am unlearning all the things that mattered - which makes me think that anyone can do it. If you were a train crash sewer at school then this is perfect for you! There is no skill involved in this kind of crafty fabric construction.
Have you tried it? machine sewing? With paper or fabric? A line of machine stitching is the fastest, cleanest and easiest 'gluing' method. 

Layering fabric is pretty much the same as layering paper, except you get to fiddle with transparent, chunky and lace layers, then one row of stitching combines the lot in a blink. I'm in love with fabric all over again, but attempting a whole style that is completely new to me. But I'm thrilled how my paper experiences give me ideas for good composition with fabric. Stamping is easily incorporated, so it's a familiar process, but softer and very exciting to explore.

And (uh-oh)... Lin now wants (*needs*) a new sewing machine. She must have said it about 50 times. "I'm loving this. I need one like this. I've got to get one soon." over and over and over. 
After 3 days of fabric play (1.5 more than we budgeted...) we have dreamed up a really cool fabric project for one of the ArtsyCrafts days. The pics here are a few early sneaky peeks. I think class is going to have to be BYO machine...but you will probably need 1 machine between 2 or perhaps 3 people, but that's do-able, isn't it? 

Do you guys have machines or access to one from a friend, Auntie, Mum or Gran that is stashed in the back of a cupboard somewhere!? We have a handful of people who travel by air, and I know those people would be able to share with those UK based lovelies who come by car. You only need straight and zig zag stitch, so a basic model is doesn't need to be an all beeping, computerised gizmo ....but that could be interesting to watch in action!! This event will be at the Warrington venue which has a HUUUUGGGGEEEEE room, with loads of sockets for electricity and lots of tables and plenty of space. 

So we know 1 of the 3 classes will need a machine, but the other 2 days won't, so if you really don't want to tackle a fabric item, then there will still be 2 other days of painty, metallic and other crafty tasks to get stuck into! And we have a couple of great ideas for those too, but they need refining further before we can spill the beans!!
The purpose of this blog post is to get some feedback on your thought about working with fabric. The piccies give you a taste of where we are heading with this idea. Do you likey? Are you happy to bring a sewing machine with you? I promise the sewing is all flat layers, there are no seams, inside outie complicated stuff. Simple simple simple.....

Please, take a moment to give us your honest thoughts, ArtsyCrafts isn't until June 8,9,10 so we have lots of time to make changes, but you are the ones who come to these events, so tell uswhat you think. Thanks for your time.

Wednesday 18 January 2012


I wish it was a play day today because I have lots of ideas whizzing about for ArtsyCrafts that I want to explore, but that might be happening later in the week if everything goes according to plan.....for now this is a small bit of the lot that is on my production table to tackle today. Is it OK to show my work desk rather than my play desk???...., it is craft related...think of it as a top secret BTS (behind the scenes) sneaky peeky of my day job.... You can share your desk with other like minded, craftty, nosey people too if you want. Go to Julia's blog and follow the destructions. Its easy -spesh if you are nosey like me!! I love seeing how people organise their spaces...or in these baskets...minis waiting to be packaged up to go in stock.
I have about 400 minis to do today, this is just the tip of the mini iceberg....
Ohhh heres the best bit....this week we have had a regular supply of baking from Miss Millie (age 13) who cooked up a storm over the weekend. Mary Berry's banana bread recipe (no failures here, unlike those slebs who don't know the diff between a t and T of baking powder!), and Gran's caramel slice...aka Millionaire's shortbread or its called 'sticky wicket' if you ar a northerner I hear. Whatevs, it's yum and calorifically off the scale!!! But we don't have it very often, so it's allowed!
This morning I'm working on orders to go out later today to craft shops in Belgium, Canada, France and the Netherlands. It's a never ending battle here to keep the hundreds of hooks as full as possible. I prefer it when we can pick, pack and ship in minutes. So we usually press and trim rubber nearly every day to keep hooks as full as possible....we do have elves to keep productive.....maybe I should try to get a pic of an elf one day for you to see!!
Piles of sheets of minis and stamps waiting to be trimmed peeled and stuck to their index sheets. I quite like these jobs. I find myself dreaming about all the things you could do with them....probably spend much of my day dreaming come to think of it! And in the distance, Hot Picks etc. I need to get cracking I think!
Keeping our PaperArtsy world fully stocked is the same challenge as having your house looking show-home perfect, your clothes washed and ironed and your fridge chokkka full on a daily basis. It's probably not achievable all the time is it!!!  Oh well...back to the dreaming then!
Still, it's all worth it when I get to wake up to this view every day...well on frosty winter days anyway!! Just snapped as the sun was coming up across Creaseys Farm yesterday morning. Always amazes me the number of trails in the sky from airplanes. We are pretty much under flight paths of Heathrow, Stanstead and London City airports. We don't really hear the planes as they are pretty high, but I always feel a niggling concern about those trails and the effect they have on the environment.
Have a great week!

Monday 16 January 2012

Portfolio Pastel Idea for Newbies

I can tell from the orders coming through over the last few days, that plenty of you are really keen to get started with these Portfolio Oil Pastels. So a whole bunch of you have had nice mail days lately, so let's use the new stash!!!

Today I was showing them to the PaperArtsy part time PA (or shall we say very occasional PA because she is always on holiday...) she whom I speak of is Lynne (not to be confused with LB Lin)...our Lynne is also known as Cheryl to those of you ArtsyCrafters who have met her at our events...she was the one helping in Tim's class when he came over...she's also called Essex Lynne, Blingy Lynne on twitter she is @bodgerbird .... well she answers to anything really...., but Mark and I have started calling her Chezza....just because .....well the gold ipad case has a bit to do with it ......I'll stop....she is so going to kill me.......

So, she read the last blog post over the weekend, but I prattled on too long and she lost the plot she wanted the lunchtime demo instead ...demanding PA PA that she a couple of minutes later this tag was made. And that's what I'm going to share in a second with you.
Now you know how I told you these things are soft,...and well kind of pliable...well I really can't tell you enough how amazing it is each time you use them, they literally melt and blend under your finger's almost like face paint....a bit like that, soft blendy, mix-y....and when Lynne saw them, she said "I know you said they are soft, but I never thought they'd be that soft" .... So I did tell you, but you will still be very surprised....

It occurred to me that when you get your new box of pastels in the post, this tag is a nice starter idea. You will blend, colour, stencil, melt and layer. All the techniques I mentioned in the last post and all on the same tag! Are you up for it? Let's get started!
Go and grab the following:

  1. Stamp the central image in jet black archival ink, heat set thoroughly.
  2. Apply white pastel around the edge of the heart up to 1cm surrounding it, now skin tone. Blend with your finger.
  3. Working further out, keep applying spots of colours, small patches, then start blending with your finger, yellows, oranges, pinks, a touch of red. Yu should almost be at the edges.
  4. At the edges light blue, teal, dark and sage green. Blend again.
  5. So you can feel the waxy finish. ZAP IT (that means heat tool!)
  6. Now it should feel more like card stock again. If you want more colour, you can add more, and zap again...otherwise let's colour.
  7. I used a small paper stump from this set and tried to use blues and brown pastels....or ideally not too much yellow/pink/orange apply colour, and blend out with the stump, now apply a slightly darker shade, and blend to get a soft shadow.
  8. Stamp your script randomly around the tag leaving some black zones for the stencilling. Heat set to dry.
  9. Next up stencil. I need to put a touch more stencilling on this tag, but you can see the concept. Lay down the stencil, grab the black pastel, you only need a little, apply into stencil, and use you finger to spread it out within the stencil, lift off and zap the lumpy bits that caught on the stencil edge. Let those cool before you re-position the stencil. 
  10. Last thing, the lines....use the straight edge of the stencil to draw a line with the brick coloured pastel. Leave the stencil in place, grab a paper towel, and really lightly use the paper towel to drag the colour across away from the stencil. 
Well let me know how you get on, and don't forget to tweet me your pics, or you can leave a link to your own blog post from the comments on here too... And don't forget to tweet @bodgerbird and ask her how she's getting on!!! Have fun!


Friday 13 January 2012

Doing the {melty} thing with oil pastels

I am keeping my promise to show you some more Portfolio Oil Pastel fun you can have. So what are these pastels? They make no sense to me. How a product can be so waxy-soft-oily and water soluble at the same time defies logic, but these pastels are all those things.

When I first heard about them from Lynne Perella, I thought, why would I need those, I have my aquarelles? And in blog comments i've seen, I can see some of you think that too. There are quite a few brands of water soluble crayons out there. When you touch the feel of the Portfolios on paper you instantly know these are different! We don't have touchy-blog capability yet......So how do the portfolios differ? Well for starters here are a few reasons.

Price: They are cheaper. In the UK £15 ish for a set of 24 crayons has pitched this product at school/college not the high end art shops, and thus made an affordable product.

Feel: They are soft. Other crayons I have used are generally a typical hard crayons. These are soft, almost pliable, and blendable with your finger; put one line on your paper, and rub it and it softens out instantly, the warmth of your hands assist with this.

Vibrant: With 24 colours, you do have a lot of choice for the money, the brights are really bright and there is a large range. There are several shades of each colour, blues, greens, oranges, pink-reds etc so you can build depth add shading, and blend to create new shades. I think these must be loaded with pigment to get such great colour from such a small amount of crayon. (stamps from Lynne Perella collection)

Dissolvability: They are easily dissolved with water. You can take a damp fine brush, swipe it lightly over the pastel, and apply to your image. This is great for fine detail work and layering colours for depth. Of course you can scrape a shaving onto, or write directly onto your craft sheet, mix with water to get stronger colour or mix bespoke colours. Or you can apply the pastel direct to your surface, then apply water or a liquid glaze to mix on top of that. To soften as you apply, blend or dab off excess.

Melty: To melt most crayon-style products it's easy to do with the help of a melt pot. But cool things happen when you introduce a heat just one quick zap you can make awesome backgrounds. Like I'm talking a 2 second zap. Wicked!

Notes on supplies: 
  1. I am working on Manila tags. These do suck the true colour of the crayons a little, so for a more vibrant, true colour use white card. Whatever product you use for today's techniques, it needs to be smooth and matte (ie uncoated). In my language: sucky..... But smooth and sucky OK! If its not smooth, you don't get properly stamped images, and if it's not sucky, the wax can't sink in when heated....makes sense.
  2. I am using a permanent ink. I prefer ranger archival because it is a proper black, it is permanent once heat set, the oil in this ink coats our detailed rubber stamps nicely and stays wet long enough to stamp it out well, it gives sharp defined image. Memories is similar, but it is not as black as archival, so I don't use it anymore, and not many people sell it, so re-inkers are hard to come by. Ancient Page is also a permanent dye ink, and their black is also good.
Technique 1: Zappy Backgrounds
When working with portfolios you will begin to notice that the colour you put down first onto the sucky card will stay put in that spot. For example, if you want a darker edge to the tag, then apply blue or teal to the edge, and as that is the colour that sinks into the virgin, sucky surface those colours will 'own' that spot.  So if you want some lighter areas in the centre of the tag, then you need to make sure the light shades 'own' their space too.

I start by scribbling white, yellow, skin tone up and down the tag and blend them with my fingers.  Next move the mid tones towards the edges, blend again, and last darker shades at the very edge. If i want to add some bright orange, or red for a bit of zing and contrast, then come back over what you have done, and add more pastel on top, then blend. (see pink orange BG below) Too much colour, or no likey? Take a paper towel and rub to knock back while warm. So once you have created a light, waxy base, it's much easier to blend darker shades into that, and if you don't like them so much, take a paper towel and wipe back to remove, cool huh! This gives you control.

So do you like what you have done? Great!....So how are you going to stamp ON TOP of that...???? Its all waxy, no ink in the world can stamp over that surely?? Feel it. It feels  sort of sticky-waxy yet smooth...right?? Kind of greasy.....well we can 'fix' it...

Go grab your heat gun. And zap it! It only take a few seconds. Now feel it, totally different right? It feels kind of like a manilla tag again, yet none of the colour has changed. So the heat has melted the waxyness into the you know why we needed a sucky tag!!! If you don't have a heat tool, just turn on your toaster, and hold the tag (pastel side up!) over your toaster, the same thing will happen. *lightbulb moment*

Technique 2: Stencil detail

Right i'm so excited about this idea, I figured it out when demoing at the of those happy accidents again....I'm sure I am not the first to do this by any means! But if you don't try you'll never find out right?? When we go to shows we take loads of these...stencils...I'm sure you all have some in your stash...

The thinner the stencil is are the better for this, although, the thicker ones you can build more texture.... 

So the next thing is put your stencil over your BG, and lightly scribble a LITTLE bit of a contrasting darker colour over the light parts of your BG.....or if you have done an all over dark BG, then use a very white perhaps...over your BG...for that matter white could look good over light backgrounds too.....oh for goodness sake, don't listen to me...just put any colour over the top of any other colour OK. Got it . Good.....

Just a little is all you need, now take your finger and smudge it around. 

Keep the stencil/mask still, and rub, see how easy it is to blend it and make sure you go right up to the edges of the pattern

There's hardly any on this one....but it does show you how cool the white portfolio pastel through a small round dot stencil can look on top of other shades.....I'm itching to add more red to the edges in just a few places.....

Once you have finished applying colour through the stencil, I sometimes give a light rub with a paper towel, and then lift off the stencil, and voila, check out the texture. Right touch it. Oops, you just smudged it all over didn't you? Take a paper towel and wipe of the smudgey bit...see you can edit this way.

Zap it! Yes I said ZAP IT. Only until it rises up a bit like EP, once the sharp edges look raised and rounded like the picture above...then stop. Now keep your fingers off for a minute or two. It needs to set up. Once it has cooled, you won't be able to smudge it off as easily as before. *lightbulb moment* I sooo love that texture..wicked.
Technique 3: Stamping (3 methods)
OK are you still with me? There's a miracle.....bless you for sticking with me!

METHOD ONE: After the Zappy thing...
If you prepare a BG that got zapped and therefore the oily stuff sunk into the sucky paper.....(I hope no one is reading over your shoulder by the way....people just don't get craft-speak these days)....then you can now stamp an image directly onto it with ranger's archival ink.

You will need to heat set the image, and because the sucky surface is already 'oiled', it will take longer than usual for it to dry off. When the ink is dull instead of shiny looking you are done.

Now you can go ahead and add more pastel colour to the images (bottles HP1109, Lynne Perella images at the top) to boost or highlight the stamped designs where appropriate. {isn't this fun....i just soooo love this.... I have no idea why I'm loving it this much.....feeling a tad more excited than is acceptable...but i'm just trying to share the products always do that to me} So you can see I have done the extra colour thing in the sample above. 

TIP: If your black ink starts to travel then your pastels haven' sunk enough or your archival wasn't dried enough. More zapping should solve both.

METHOD TWO: Glaze then stamp...
OK more excitement (is that even possible....), because this uses the new PaperArtsy Fresco acrylic already know how easy it is to stamp on top of our fresco paint collection because of their matte chalk finish right- I mean you've been using our paint for a whole year already right?? Haven't you?? 

So what if you glaze the waxy surface and then stamp on top of the dried glaze, you will naturally get a sharper image because your archival ink will not bleed into the oil pastel....
To be fair the archival doesn't bleed much... see pic below, but the glaze will provide a barrier between the pastel and the ink, but you can't see it because 1 coat of satin looks exactly the same shiny-ness as waxy tag BG !!! *lightbulb moment*
Well what are glazes? We have a satin and a gloss glaze.  These are mediums that can be added to paint to change how glossy the paint is. So it's kind of like paint with no colour, just different degrees of shine. I also use it to make an opaque, chalk paint more translucent. Or to seal a surface as above. So now look at this close up of this extremely fine detail flower stamped (HP1109) on top of the satin glaze. And here's the really cool can put more portfolio pastel on top of the glaze too, because our glazes have tooth! *that is another lightbulb right there*
Whew. This simple post is heading into the typical Leandra information overload, so I have one more thing regarding stamping

METHOD THREE: Stamp First...

I figured you knew this already...but of course, your ink is even less likely to have any bleeding issues if you stamp a blank tag first with a bunch of Hot Pick images in archival jet black. Heat set thoroughly, like really, really well. And now you add colour to the stamped designs.

This way the colour matches the design, each colour 'owns' its appropriate spot, you can still zap, blend, zap, blend with heat, add shadows, blend colours .....
...... or you can use the pastels water-colour styley for a more delicate/subdued effect.....
(errrr I must confess I don't have a sample of that....I'm more bull in the china shop than delicate and understated).....but you go do it!!  

Right for my last trick I just wanted to show you how the fresco paints and the portfolios oil pastel also can work together. Happy families.

A Lynne Perella Image was stamped on top of the Freco Background, and parts of the image were coloured with the pastels.

Now I will admit that it's possible here I did water down some of the pastels either before of after applying the colour, but I also glazed over the top with about 3 coats of gloss to seal. 

Layers of gloss glaze does make the very matte chalk fresco paint layers below 'pop' and look less chalky and more zingy.

This is good to know...if you want to give your paint a completely different look use gloss glaze! They will look far more vibrant than they do as a paint chemist tells me this is because your eye picks up more colour when it's glossy than when it's matte because more zing is reflected back at the eye....well something like that..... Probs not quite the words  he used....

I must have given this one away because I don't have it here to scrutinise further.

Right, that's your lot for today...plenty of things for you to try this weekend!

Do check out Lin Brown and Jo Firth-Young...they have both been using Portfolios and Frescos recently on their blogs. love what they both do!

If you liked the techniques in this post, please leave a comment. it's lovely to hear from you! have a fab weekend and I'm going to try to do some painty posting next week.

Wednesday 11 January 2012

WOYWW 136 - waxing...but not what u think!

Full of good intentions to be more regular on here than last year! I actually have a desk, 2 even, this year (so no excuses now), and it's generally clear, ready and waiting.
Except today its covered with the remnants of the tag I made yesterday. I've been playing around with a new product that Lynne Perrella brought to our attention last year at ArtsyCrafts: Portfolio Oil Pastels

She has her own take on them - an amazing and very unusual technique using them as a printer might with lots of layers of colour swiped through hand made stencils of a photocopied image. And so I've been playing about with stamped images, different ways of colouring, melting and more. The first example I blogged yesterday, but will add more in the coming weeks. 

It's nice to go and make something just because. I enjoy that when my day job seems to have an endless list of far more pretty boring admin-related crafting tasks to be done. I must make sure I go back and tidy up that desk though. Just in case someone drops by!

So if your want to share your desk, pop on over to Julia's and add you name to the list, and check out lots of the other desks out there in the crafty world of blogging!
Have a great week

Tuesday 10 January 2012

Slidemounted Metal

Today was time to head into the shed for a bit of Arty play. 

Fresco chalk acrylic paints with stencils, Portfolio Oil Pastels, and Lynne Perrella stamps were on my hit list along with our new slide-mount stamp and die set, and PaperArtsy Metal Card and a tag. It seemed to take ages, but that's how it is with me, as I work through the options, I faff about a lot....that's the enjoyable aspect of the process for me. I'm hope there's an idea here for you to try when you get a chance. First a little about the products used in this tag. Some FAQ may be answered for you.
PaperArtsy Dies
All our PaperArtsy dies are compatible with all die cutting systems out there, it's just a matter of getting the right 'sandwich'. If you have any spellbinder dies, then ours are similar in thickness to those, so it should be the same 'platform' recipe. 

Metal Card
This is a product we released January 2011 after a long period of development. It's is a specially coated  aluminium metal (shim) that has been adhered to black card.  It was a very difficult thing to manufacture - the concept is that it takes all the effort out of the metal-tape-sandwich drama (metal sheet-humungo-ultra sticky tape-black card) ...and of course it's much cheaper. It's available in our shop, no one else in the world manufactures a product like this and we do it in 2 sizes: 12x12"  packs for £6.63+VAT or 5x7" packs for £3.75+VAT -perfect to die cut. 

As I mentioned, the surface has a coating, which is a very fine tooth that stops ink and paint from reticulating (pooling), so you will find it so easy to stamp onto this with staz-On, or paint with our Fresco Paints. And of course you can use metal tools with it to for creating indentations of the artsy variety.

TIP: when you die cut metal card, it's ideal to have a clean acrylic cutting platform ie no dents or blade marks, because these will transfer onto your soft metal. If yours is a well worn platform, then insert a sheet of smooth card against the metal when you cut to prevent marks transferring onto the metal. Also we generally suggest you die cut first, and then stamp the corresponding image because if you have bought your stamps pre-trimmed from us on EZ mount cling foam, then you will be able to line up your stamp and die cut shape really easily.

The Tag
  • Choose a scroll stencil and over a white area sponge limelight fresco acrylic through a small part of the pattern with cut and dry foam. TIP: don't use lots of paint, do a thin coat, then pattern-match and repeat for deeper green repeat for the lower part of the tag
    • Now position the stencil again over the same pattern and nudge it a small amount. Apply snowflake with a dash of Limelight mixed in and apply through the stencil. Don't be too perfect. When you lift off the stencil you should see a shadow of the darker peeping out from the lighter shade. 
    • Roughen the edges with a paper distresser, and apply a teal portfolio oil pastel to the edge of the tag and a little onto the front of the tag. Rub with your finger to blend. Take a fat wet paintbrush and dab all over the tag edges, then blot with a paper towel to soften back the teal colour to your preference.
    • Stamp a selection of Lynne Perrella images on white smooth card stock with archival jet black ink. Heat set. Colour with oil pastels and blend with a small paper stump as you work.

  • Mount the slide-mount over the face with sticky foam pads, position the hat and neck-tie over the top of the slide-mount. Place the small bird as shown
  • Finish with stamping some small splatters from HPXT01 in black, and the words from HP1105 onto the tag, and mount to black card.

I really enjoyed my afternoon playing with these things. I have a few more techniques with the portfolios oil pastels to show you. They are a crazy animal - cos even though they feel like a really soft waxy crayon , and blend oh so easily, they are also like watercolours when you apply water to them. It's really weird. And because they are waxy, you can melt them with a heat tool, which opens up interesting options!

Have a great day, and don't forget the sale is on until January 22nd, up to 30% off your order depending on how much you spend.

Friday 6 January 2012

Busy little {DT} bee

The very clever and crafty Joanne Wardle regularly lets me know of projects she has made with PaperArtsy stamps and blogged on her blog. I on the other hand, am not so consistently good at letting YOU know what she has told me!

So now I'm telling you about not 1, but 3 things she has done recently!

This z-fold cover-card is a fantastic way to present a voucher to someone to make it special. Perfect for those teen birthdays!  
Stamps are from the Ink and the Dog Collection: Backgrounds Plate 5 & Ephemera Plate 2
Next up is a card that looks quite simple, but she has masked, distress inked, stamped and overstamped...she is so good at this kind of thing. Very simple, one layer, and so versatile when you need a generic card.
 Again she used Backgrounds plate 5, there is a smaller version of this available as a credit card sized 'mini' too, MN28. From the Hot Pick Collection 1106 is the flower spray that was stamped to the left side.
And finally, a lovely card with one of my favourite stamps from the Squiggly Ink Collection. This is Flora and Fauna Plate 1, perfect to express some lurve to someones spesh! Joanne used it for an engagement card.  Valentine's isn;t far away though....go an check out the instructions on Joanne's blog here.
Thanks for sharing Joanne!

The sale is half way through at PaperArtsy, so if you haven't had a chance to check it out make sure you do. The more you spend the more you save 10, 20 or 30%'s all up to you! Even if you just click on the link and go and look at the rolling 'bill boards' that Mr PaperArtsy created for the sale banner - hilarious! I have no idea how he does it! But they are brilliant.

Have a great weekend