Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Freedom Art Journal

I've been interested in Art Journaling for several years but up until about eighteen months ago, I've been an intrigued bystander rather than an active participant. However, over on UKStampers (the best crafting forum in the world!!) I got drawn into this arty hobby when Efemera started a weekly challenge with prompts to get the creative juices flowing - I was hooked! More recently I have joined a Circle Journal group on the forum and have created a journal which is making its way around the country being filled with artwork by a number of talented crafty artists (or is that arty crafters?) I've decided to blog my pages - I was going to wait until the book came back but I'm impatient ...

Here's the cover:

And the inside pages explaining why I created the journal and my requirements from the rest of the group:

I chose the theme of creative freedom to see what that means to people - to me it's doing exactly what I want within my art and not worrying about the 'rules'.

My own pages within the journal are here:

I cant wait to get the book back full and see what everyone else has created!

I'll be blogging the pages I've created for the other journals soon. Hope you like my creation!

JulieD x

Monday, 2 July 2012

Book of Secrets and It's Spawn ...

Back in blogland after a prolonged absence and various personal problems turning my world on its head - thank heavens for this amazing hobby I have - it keeps me going through all the ups and downs....

Anyway, on a crafty note - a while back my friend Gwen (of Stamp Pad fame) and I did an online workshop with Andy Skinner called the Book of Secrets - check out the link here, it's brilliant and I created this...

It started out as a wooden box/book with a variety of chipboard shapes and other embellishments and with various clever techniques ends up looking like an ancient metal artifact - brilliant!

Here's another view:

We had a great day working on the project together with plenty of treats, a cooked lunch, dessert and even a sneaky glass of wine (well we would have done if we'd been to the pub for lunch wouldn't we?!) The most bizarre part of the workshop was painting cling film with Vasoline but you'll have to sign up to find out why!!

After loving the workshop, I decided to transfer the techniques to another project and so was born the Steampunk House:

Hope you like them - I certainly enjoyed creating them... Now that I'm back I'll be blogging more often and hope to put up some journal pages soon - my latest passion!

JulieD x

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Who Says I Only Do Dark and Grungy...

I've loads of stuff I want to blog at the moment but I'm going to start with this ever so funky little house that I've finished today instead of doing the housework (tut tut...)

 I started it a while ago by painting and spraying the house then adding texture paste to the roof and painting that blue when it had dried - I also started choosing and stamping characters to live in my world of colour - they are all Stampotique and are stamped in Archival black then sprayed generously with Dylusions, Colourwash and Perfect Pearls Mists - even the patterning on the letters is Stampotique - from Angel Boy's wings!!! Most of the decorating has been done today - it's totally out of character but I loved creating it! The little bouquet started out white and got a good spraying and the lightbulb at the top is an Idea-ology one which I coloured with purple alcohol ink. I'm entering it into The Stampotique Challenge (Colourful theme) and Simon Says Stamp and Show (Anything Goes theme). Hope you like it - it certainly cheers me up! JulieD x

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Lollipop Tree Pieces

These three were created using the IndigoBlu Lollipop Tree stamp which I'd never used before - it's always fun playing with a new stamp!

I stamped the tree with acrylic paint and misted the stamp with water to get this dreamy watercolour effect. I stamped the words from Sarah's Choice and stippled the edges with a make up sponge using the same acrylic colours I used for the trees (Raspberry and Grape). The button and purple twine are by IndigoBlu too and are available here.

Terrible photography... I inked the leaves with green Distress Ink then inked the branches and trunk with brown Distress Ink. I coloured the ribbon using the same brown (Frayed Burlap I think) and stamped the text from Sarah's Choice along with one of the definitions from the same plate. I stamped Twit Twoo onto shrink plastic and coloured him with chalks before shrinking and my side panel is stamped with the burlap panel from Sarah's Choice. The Stamp Pad have them in stock if you're interested!

Finally same stamps but I've stamped into molten UTEE and added MegaFlakes onto the black panel, stamped onto the ribbon and squished up the inked and stamped card then reinked over the creases - the IndigoBlu smooth card works well for this technique as it goes really leathery.

Enjoy! JulieD x

Monday, 21 May 2012

More IndigoBlu

I've been pretty busy doing Design Team work for IndigoBlu recently so I thought I'd post a few more samples! Kay will be on Create and Craft later today - the stamps they will be showing have changed so these samples are unlikely to be shown but I thought I'd post them - shame to waste them!! They are very different and needless to say the first is much more my usual style than the second!

I took the card out of the frames and painted all three frames with Gourd and Birch EcoGreen Acrylic paints. Once they were dry, I stamped the text stamp from Sarah's Choice in Green StazOn and inked the edges. The three frames have different textures - the first is inked and then stamped with the Twit Twoo stamp; the middle frame has verdigris Ferro in it which I stamped into with the text stamp and the third has Terra which I heated til it bubbled then painted with Birch paint and a touch of gold mica powder. Plenty of charms, beads and a few stamped words later I'd finished! I will be running a workshop to make a similar creation at The Stamp Pad next month - if you fancy coming along, you'll find the details here.

Second sample - a bit girly for me this one!

I embossed Poppy Heart onto vellum in white then stamped round the edges with Fuchsia StazOn and stamped the image onto acetate then layered them slightly to one side to create a shadow. Hope you like them! JulieD x

Sunday, 20 May 2012


Thought I'd post a little altered mini tray which I created for an altered thingamebob swap on UKStampers and entered into this week's challenge on Simon Says Stamp and Show - anything goes was the theme! It started life on the counter at The Stamp Pad filled with charms. Once we'd sold all the charms, Gwen passed the little box on - she knows I collect all manner of junk! It's been in my stash ever since just waiting for an opportunity like this.

I painted the tray with gold Inka Gold then filled each compartment with something different - a feather; embossing powders and mica flakes; stamping (with black StazOn); Ferro with a charm embedded and mica flakes; scraps of patterned paper; crushed glass glitter; tiny beads and more charms! I smudged black StazOn on the edges too and decided that it needed a little stand so I painted and added a touch of gold embossing to a mini easel. Enjoy! JulieD

Monday, 14 May 2012

Sewing Mends The Soul (Apparently...)

I can't believe I've not blogged for so long - been poorly and very busy - lots going on including doing samples for IndigoBlu and prep for some workshops I'm running - starting with Art Journaling part 1 this Saturday! I thought I'd post some pictures of the samples I did for the last IndigoBlu Create and Craft show plus this picture of hilarity at the Stamp Pad last weekend...

Kay came up to the shop to do a Demo Day which was a big success and we had a great day - for those of you who don't recognise her from the telly, Kay's the one on the left with my great friend (and boss...) Gwen in the middle and me on the right! Kay was demoing lots of her stamps, FlitterGlu, MegaFlakes and the new buttons and ribbons pack - all available here.

These are the samples I did for the 'Sewing Mends The Soul' plate of stamps for Kay's April show - I absolutely love these images but in the real world, I'm useless with a needle and thread! As for previous posts, apologies for the photography...

This is my favourite IndigoBlu stamp yet - I have a thing about corsets (not sure if I'm supposed to admit to that...) and this is a beautiful image. It's stamped in black Staz-On on the silver card and stamped in FlitterGlu with silver flake on the black card. I've also stamped and silver embossed the tape measure image as a border with thimbles down the middle - add a black feather and ooh la la - Burlesque!

These two were a bit rushed - hence the uneven stamping (as a gay crafting friend of mine once said as we compared the wonkiness of our creations, - "straight's overrated..."!) Very simple inked background, clear embossed cotton reels on the black card and a lovely button. Done.

Another quickie this one - I used the thimble stamp as a frame and added faux stitching with a Micron Pen then added a gilded quote - I love this quote even though I wouldn't swap my hubby for the world (well most of the time ...)

Hope you like them - enjoy your week! JulieD

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Family Canvas

I don't normally blog my scrapbook type projects but thought I'd like to share this canvas I made for my Mum's birthday last November:

The base canvas was from a workshop I did a few years ago and I was never happy with the results so when bits started falling off it I completely dismantled it and started again! Recycling at its best! I covered the canvas with pieces of serviettes using gel medium, chose some recent piccies of my girls (and Grandma and Granddad) which I matted onto black card, painted some chipboard letters and a smaller canvas board in green patina eco-green paint, added a couple of charms and ribbons and the canvas was done - the most time consuming bit was deciding how to arrange the bits - quite a quick, cheap and easy project but my mum was over the moon with it! Hope you like it.  JulieD x

ps if you look hard enough you'll see the whole family dressed as Tudors on a National Trust day out last year!! My hubby gives a good Lord Melchett impression ...

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Fran-tage It!!!

I've not blogged for a few weeks so that's my justification for such a long post...

On a 'works trip' to Stitches trade show in Feb with Gwen, I was mesmerised watching Fran Seiford of Stampendous demoing her fabulous Fran-tage range - apparently it's Fran for, well, Fran and tage as in vinTAGE, and it's a range of gorgeous powders and flakes - textured embossing powder, crushed glass glitter, mica flakes, shaved ice, matt fragments - an array of loveliness! I managed to talk Gwen into buying a load of their products to stock in the shop (The Stamp Pad) including some lovely stamps as well as the messy stuff! Anyway, Fran did me a sample to bring away and this is it:

She calls this sprinkling of lots of the products in a random way Encrusted Jewel Technique - basically you sprinkle on your embossing powders first then add other texture and colour in the form of the glitters, flakes etc and when you heat it (from below otherwise you get it up your nose!!!) the powder melts and the other bits are secured in the molten embossing powder - you don't use any ink or glue, just sprinkle it straight onto the card - this seemed wrong at first! I'm addicted and as we had a shelf full of the stuff at the shop, I thought it only polite to do something with it so I offered to run a workshop!

We did three sessions and these are the samples of the pieces we did:

A nice simple tag using the Stampendous Daffodil stamp embossed in the Shabby White embossing powder and Encrusted Jewel using Aged Taupe powder plus the bronze and green Crushed Glass Glitter. I coloured parts of the image with chalk.

This second one uses my favourite of their stamps - I think it's called Three Gifts:

I piled some other products onto this tag to create 'treasure' - including the mica flakes, shaved ice and fragments as well as the powders and glitters used on the Daffodil tag.

We then got a bit more advanced and used one of Fran's other techniques - coffee spritzing! This piece is based on a sample Fran does on a video she has on YouTube - we had the stamp in stock so I thought I'd have a go:

Same products but I did the background by spritzing the card with black coffee in a spray, then sprinkling instant coffee granules onto the wet patches and spritzing again - I dabbed off a little of the coffee then heated until the coffee bubbled and dried! The Encrusted Jewel part was done in exactly the same way as before. Once they'd tried out the technique a few times, I thought the workshop participants could do a finished piece so we did this canvas:

I was glad I'd prepped a sample a couple of days before I had the first session as I hadn't considered the thickness of this canvas board and the fact that I had to heat from below - it worked eventually but it took the best part of an hour and my wrist was aching a lot! The second attempt was done in the oven and it worked perfectly - remember to consider where the fan is if you do this in a fan oven as otherwise your oven will be wearing it!! I sprayed the ready gessoed canvas panel with three colours of Ranger Colour Wash and dried it with my heat tool (which all reacted with the gesso and went much paler - serendipity as the colours were much more vintage looking). I then stamped and roughly cut out the frame and placed it as a mask on the canvas to give an idea of where to sprinkle - I then did the sprinkling and put it in the oven at 140! Once the powders had melted and the canvas had cooled down, I finished off with the stamped and embossed frame, cameo, the stamped and embossed corners (using the flourish from the frame) and embossed the edges by versamarking and dipping each edge into a line of powder in the fold of a piece of paper.  I hope you like my samples - all products including the stamps are available here!

Enjoy the rest of the Easter Weekend. JulieD x

Friday, 23 March 2012

Blogging IndigoBlu

I've not blogged for ages - been far too busy making samples for IndigoBlu and prepping workshops for The Stamp Pad (new workshop list available!) I can't remember the last time I did any crafting that wasn't for one of those causes but I'm having a day out crafting tomorrow and doing whatever I fancy!! I'm going to a Craft Day at the Stamp Pad - "Complete A UFO" - I was expecting a rude answer when I asked Gwen what it stood for but apparently it's 'Unfinished Object' - so a bit like a crop but take a project you've been meaning to complete and GET ON WITH IT!!! I've got dozens of things I could take ...

Anyway, I blogged two of my samples on the IndigoBlu blog which I created for the Create and Craft show on Wednesday - they didn't get much of an airing - they were on a stand next to the presenter but you can see them here!

I thought I'd show you the two samples I did using the T'wit T'woo stamp as well - it's a beautiful big owl stamp - my next idea is to shrink it, I think it would look great in shrink plastic!

This is the first one:

I stamped him onto white card and embossed him in black then painted him with a variety of brown distress inks and a touch of gold mica powder. The black panel behind him is a die cut Vintage Cabinet Card (using an Alteration's die I bought a couple of weeks ago and now I don't know how I lived without it!!) which I've stamped with the Script stamp in Versamark and clear embossed. For the rust coloured panel I've used the Crackleglaze stamp and the word panel is stamped with the burlap and the word Inspire - both from the Sarah's choice plate. I used two more Alterations dies for the branches - the one he's perched on is the Branch Tree die on its side and the side of the tree is an on the edge die - Twigs!

This is my second T'wit T'woo piece which was shown on Wednesday:

I stamped and coloured the owl in the same way as the first piece but masked him and overstamped with the Jack stamp in FlitterGlu then gilded with Morris Dance flake. I used a piece of corrugated card from an old box (one of my favourite crafting items at the moment!) a chunk of Core-dinations card which I stamped and embossed the words from the Pomp and Pageantry plate onto, then added the butterfly from the Wild Meadow plate.

Hope you like them and enjoy your weekend!

JulieD x

Monday, 27 February 2012

Discover Your Passion

That's the name of one of the new releases from IndigoBlu which I've been playing with for the last couple of weeks - they are beautiful designs and I've enjoyed working with them. I created the following two cards for the Stitches trade show and they were real quickies as I only got my hands on the stamps on Monday night and needed to send the samples by Thursday!! They were slightly different by the time I sent them as I added ribbon down the left side of the card and gems to the corners literally on my way to the post office (I stopped in at the Stamp Pad for the final touches!!) - they were up on the wall when we visited Kay on her stand which was a real thrill for me!!

For this second card I used my distress inks to colour my card background and the top panel with the quote on. Next, I stamped the flourish onto the background using VersaMark - I pounced on a copper coloured mica powder then stamped the two word stamps in FlitterGlu, gilding with MegaFlake. I stamped the dragonfly from the same plate onto grungeboard with Archival black, got hubby to cut out (not my strong point and he's a whizz with a scalpel!!) and added a charm!

This second creation has a sprayed background (ColourWash) and a gilded flourish. The butterfly is again grungeboard which is cut out and inked.

Thanks for stopping by! JulieD

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Memories Canvas

I came up with the idea for this canvas months ago for a challenge on Grungy Monday relating to remembering those we've lost, but the idea got bigger and bigger and it's taken me til now to add all the finishing touches.

I covered the 12" box canvas with 7Gypsies printed tissue paper, then added a photo of my grandparents' wedding plus lots of little details which remind me of them - they both died before I was ten so my bank of memories isn't huge but I do remember particular moments and items quite vividly. Some of the embellishments which signify particular memories include: a crown as my Nana was a Royalist; a clock mechanism as my Granddad bought me my first watch when I learnt to tell the time; a teapot as they used loose leaf tea in a pot; a rose charm as I used to make rose petal 'perfume' in jam jars in their garden; buttons as I remember my Nana's button jar (she was a hoarder like me!); a bird charm as I remember watching goldfinches in their garden through the window.

The flowers are die cut with the Tattered Florals die from Glassine paper then scrunched, inked and layered up, the trim has been coloured with Distress Stain and the words are die cut, inked Grungeboard at the bottom and TH Salvage Stickers on GB blocks at the top.

It's quite a personal piece and I've added a tag which slips in behind the photo with all this info on to refer to in later years!

Enjoy! JulieD x  

Saturday, 25 February 2012

IndigoBlu - Stitches Samples

I'm not good at this blogging lark am I? I must get more organised and make some time to post ...

I've recently done eight samples for IndigoBlu for the Create and Craft show tomorrow but I'm saving them for next week's blogfest - two are from a new plate which hasn't been seen by the general public yet so I'm under oath not to post those until after the show!!!

However, I did some samples for Kay to display on her stand at Stitches last week - on this occasion, I could use any stamps from her range for two of the pieces so I thought I'd share them today!

I've stamped with the Harlequin on the background with Champagne Encore ink then stamped over with Script in Black Archival. The Map has been stamped in FlitterGlu on black gloss card then gilded with Morris Dance flake. I embossed the quote (from Wild Meadow) with gold embossing powder. I'm not a fan of punches but I treated myself to the Martha Stewart punch you can see under the bird charm then left it in the box for a year - I got it out and used it for the first time on this card and it's really lovely, I might have to change my view on punches!!!

Not a great photo - you can see the camera reflected if you look hard enough ...  I gilded EllaBella on black card then stamped her onto acetate at an angle using black Staz-On and overlaid them, alcohol inked the edges then attached with brads, added a violin charm and a row of flourishes - simples!!

Hope you like them - look out for Kay (and a few more of my creations) on C&C tomorrow! I'm off to the Stamp Pad to treat myself to some of the goodies we ordered at Stitches last week - the Mica Flakes and Colour Fragments from Stampendous which we saw Fran demoing and I fell in love with - it would be rude not to buy some after talking Gwen into ordering them really...

JulieD x

Sunday, 5 February 2012

My Drawers!

Having got out of the habit of blogging recently, I thought I'd get some of my many projects on! Last year for my 40th birthday, my friends and I had a Spa and Craft Weekend in Frodsham. I could choose from a number of projects for the craft workshop and requested the Kaisercraft 9 Drawer unit which I'd had my eye on for a while - the day was fab, we had a great time but I decided I wasn't too keen on the papers we were given to cover the drawers with so completed the project at home with my Tim Holtz papers, distress inks and fancy buttons! Here's the finished article:

I love it! Until the new limited edition colours arrived, it fitted my distress ink pads exactly as each drawer holds four inkpads and four sponges perfectly - even with my terrible maths I know that accommodated the 36 colours!!

My mum came on my birthday weekend too and as a non-crafter (she was more interested in the spa and wine...) she decided she would never finish her set of drawers so I'm now working on a second ...

Hope you like it!


Sunday, 15 January 2012

IndigoBlu Love Is Samples

If you saw the show on Create & Craft, hope you were tempted by some of Kay's beautiful IndigoBlu stamps! Thought I'd post a couple of samples using the Love Is stamp - this is such a lovely stamp, full of intricate detail and the FlitterGlu and MegaFlakes pick this up in an incredible way - none of the detail is lost!

I love working with black and so this week's challenge of using MegaFlake gilding flakes is great as I can use black in a really effective way - the flake looks great against a dark background! I started by creating a background using the Ranger ColourWash sprays and a touch of Heirloom Gold Perfect Pearls spray. Once this had dried, I stamped the image using FlitterGlu and added MegaFlake, used a bit of Krylon pen round the edge and mounted on a black card with a strip of heavily distressed gold card. I added a key charm - thought it might work as an alternative Valentine Card - Key to my Heart!

My second sample for this stamp was a wall hanging:

For this piece, I stamped the image in FlitterGlu onto acetate, gilded, then alcohol inked with plenty of blending solution. I've stapled the roughly cut out acetate to lilac metallic card, mounted onto black glossy card then added velvet ribbon, bead trim, a fabulous charm (also available from IndigoBlu) and a bead! Hope you like them! More tomorrow...

JulieD x

Saturday, 14 January 2012

IndigoBlu on Create & Craft!

I've not blogged for ages and not really crafted much since my last post - that is until the phone call I received from Kay at IndigoBlu last Sunday inviting me to be a member of the IndigoBlu Design Team! I've been doing samples for Kay since last Spring on an informal basis and I was extremely proud and excited to be asked to be on the official Design Team - then the reality hit me - IndigoBlu are showcasing ten of their stamps on Create and Craft tomorrow, Kay needed samples and I only had one of the stamps! So on Tuesday a parcel containing the stamps arrived along with FlitterGlu and MegaFlakes (which Kay will also be promoting on tomorrow's show) ready for samples to be created, so everything else went on hold for two days this week - I changed my hours at the Stamp Pad, hubby's been doing the school/ dance runs and I've been elbow deep in stamping and gilding materials!

Kay will be showcasing the stamps on the 11.00 am show on Create & Craft - here's one of the samples she will be showing!

I've stamped the EllaBella image on black card with FlitterGlu and then used MegaFlake to gild it - it's really straightforward - it takes the whole heating and melting stages out of the gilding process! I then loosely masked it and stamped the Harlequin over half of the image with Versamark which I clear embossed. The Morris Dance MegaFlake has a little copper and turquoise colour in it so I picked out some beads which matched these colours and threaded them onto some wire which I twisted and attached at the back with strong glue.

IndigoBlu will be on Create & Craft again on January 29th so I'm off to start the samples for that show - should be a bit less frenzied if I get on to it straightaway!!

I will be posting the other samples for tomorrow's show over the next few days. Enjoy!

JulieD x