Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Christmas in July - gift wrapping, decor and ornament ideas.

Sharing some ideas from my Christmas photo shoot in 2013 for The Christmas Magazine. Each year i hope to get organized and start prepping for the festive season really early (don't we all) - although the commercial side of it does put a damper on it all, there still is that magical true meaning side to it all.I love these rusty ornaments and especially this cake stand from my home - so I incorporated it into my decor and filled it with my handmade fabric wrapped baubles.
The photos were all taken on my old farmhouse style table i inherited (or got) from my dad's parents. I painted it white and sanded it to get just the perfect amount of chippiness to it.
more rusty urns filled with sweets and decorated with berry garlands
and finally some handmade quick and easy kid friendly decorations for the tree - Using buttons and ribbon to create miniature wreaths - add them to candles, around serviettes, on cupboard doors - and when you are done recycle them to create something else
Strips of torn fabric wrapped around and pinned to the top of a polystyrene ball and then a ribbon loop added with a decorative pin
simple gift wrapping ideas with brown paper and paper garlands to string on the tree
and an old recycled curtain ring covered in ribbon and a festive berry - quick and easy and earth friendly decorating
are you planning anything for Christmas in July to help you get an early start to your special season?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Engraved Recycled spoon keyring.

So this week i tried my hand at engraving – no a very steady hand i might add but nonetheless. I have always been fascinated at my sister who is a goldsmith and can make the most beautiful jewellery and work with all those fancy tools. Anyways, so when Chiswick sent me their gorgeous little engraving tool to work with I was beyond excited – if only it came in pink like their heat gun it would have been perfect (for girls at least). So here’s was a made – a recycled spoon keyring. Years ago my mom bought me a set of red and white dotted cutlery – and this was the back end of that set as they were really pretty but not functional at all. After the handles broke off i kept the metal parts like any good hoarder will do.
I used one of their stamps to get a pattern and then engraved it onto the spoon after my DH flattened it for me.
I love how it turned out – functional and recycled – just the way i like it!
Here’s a sxs of how i went about the process
step 1 – You will need a stamp with a fairly easy pattern on it, solvent based ink pad, and a flattened spoon. I ask my DH to hammer the end over to form a loop for the keyring to go onto.
Safety tip: Always wear protective eye gear when working with the engraving tool as well as hammering metal objects
step 2 – Ink your stamp with StazOn ink – this ink is made for metal, plastic, glass and shiny surfaces so it will dry and be permanent while i engrave my image. Press the metal spoon onto the stamp and lightly apply pressure to transfer the image onto the metal.
step 3 – Make sure you are happy with the image – if not you have a few seconds to wipe the image clean using a cloth and try again.
step 4 – Wearing your protective eye gear (for the sake of the photo I placed them in the frame but was wearing them when i did the actual engraving) trace over the stamped image lines. Depending on the settings you can regulate the depth of your lines.
TIP – Use light pressure when engraving while guiding the point over the surface.
step 5 – Once you are done wipe the image down with a soft cloth to remove any metal bits removed from the engraving. Add a layer of black acrylic paint and let the paint dry until almost fully cured. Use a cloth to wipe down the paint on the surface.
step 6 – The paint inside the engraved areas will remain there and make the engraving more visible – this also adds a nice distressed look to the project.
I really enjoyed playing with this fabulous little tool – and i can see loads more missed media projects happening using this baby!
Now if only i can colour mine pink….
This wonderful product is available from your local craft store – visit for products available in their range.

Electric Engraver with Stencil cr1355

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Feline gift tag - stencilling and stamping on a burnishing paste background.

Welcome to another fun post creating with the wonderful Chiswick products. I have some work colleagues coming into town next week and one of them is a cat lover, so what better way than to welcome her with a little feline love! And the great news is that Chiswick has an entire stamp set dedicated to cats! So by now you always know how much i love the Chiswick inks and burnishing paste, and i thought it appropriate to show you how to make your own glitter cardstock instead of buying the commercial version. I really believe in multi purposing my products and so i always try and find as much as i possibly can to do with any one product. That way i can justify my expensive instead of buying things that end up never being used – i believe you have to fully utilize it if you spend the money on it.
So to start off i used some stencils on my background. Stenciling is all the rage now and very fashionable. And I was super excited to see how well the Pearlescent ink pads work for stenciling together with a sponge dauber.
Once i was done stenciling i used my finger tips to apply a thin layer of Gold Burnishing paste to the background. I used a smooth cardstock so spreading the paste evenly over the entire background was very easy. You can see how the white cardstock changes to a off-white with a slight shimmer – it’s quite hard to capture the shine on a photo but in real life it is magical.
TIP – keep in mind that the paste will leave the cardstock even smoother than before and it’s almost like it now has a protective oily layer on top of it
I then stamped my feline image in the center of the cardstock piece. Because of the burnishing paste layer, the ink created a funky ‘halo’ around the solid cat image and also prevented the ink from drying immediately like it normally would.
I used my heat gun to simply heat set the ink of the stamped image before continuing to decorate my tag. Heat setting it dries the ink immediately preventing any smudges
I then trimmed down the image and matted it onto pink cardstock and patterned paper before adding it to my tag.
 I also die cut words in the Chiswick cardstock – i cut a black and pink word and then layered them on top of each other slightly off-set.
A quick and easy gift tag for a lovely cat lady.
 cool and creative in a few easy steps

and here’s a list of the Chiswick products i used for my tag

Pearlescent Ink Pad – Brown rs3350 Clear Stamp – Feline Script 140 x 180mm (ER-A14) rs3170 Burnishing Paste 25ml – Gold pa2190 Textured C/Stock 216g 12″ X 12″ Lipstick 10 Shts/Pck sb4990 Textured C/Stock 216g 12″ X 12″ Black 10 Shts/Pck (131) sb4965 Heat Gun in Gift Box cr1350

Remember that all these products are available from your local craft store, and if you cant find them please ask for them by name and code.
In search of your local craft store, then contact Denise 031- 569 5673
and she will be able to assist you
For more info on all Chiswick products you can visit
until next time – have a wonderfully creative week!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Prima’s frame of mind – the artist within.

I love my stamps – and a good design can be so versatile! The thing about stamps is that you can use them over and over again and they never go to waste. Using the same stamp in different ways combining them with different products and techniques is what makes stamps so versatile. So for this week’s project I took to the new artistic stamps from Prima – don’t you just love the “girls”. So once I decided on the image I wanted to use I thought it would be fun to do a bit of a masking technique and combine the image with different stamps and stencils to create a background effect.
Prima flowers add a lovely touch to this project
Inks and paint brushed recycled for this project are a perfect match
Finger painted glitter adds that special touch
More  Prima accents and embellishments ....
So here’s how I did it
Step 1
stamp the Karlie image twice. Once on the white cardstock you will use for your project and again on a scrap piece of paper.

Step 2
cut out the image stamped onto the scrap piece of paper. You want to cut on the line as opposed to just outside the line on the outer edge.

Step 3
use sticky squares to adhere the cut out image on top of the image stamped onto your cardstock. Then ink your second stamp and over stamp onto the background where you want your design to be.

Step 4
When you lift your stamp you can see that you stamped onto the background as well as onto the cut out image only. When you remove the cut out image from your project the second stamped image will appear as if it is in the background behind the original stamped image – pretty cool!

TIP – the cut out image also prevents you from messing up your original image – this is a great way of adding stamping to a project after you have finished it and if you think it needs a little something!
Step 5
Use your artiste markers and water to colour in your image. Once you are done colouring add some gold glitter glue to dress up your image and add some sparkle to it.

I cut my image smaller and added some stenciling and ink splats to the background. My stamped images created a corner effect to frame the center image. I then added flowers and other decorative elements to finish off my art work before popping it inside of an empty gift box lid. In the end I had a funky little artwork to use in my studio.
I hope this inspired you to pull out those stamps and utilize them even more! Happy stamping!
Products used
PM 980023 Cling Stamp – Karlie
PM 990114 Cartographer Cling Stamp
DDOA851303 Artiste Dual Tip Pens - Brush & Marker – Watercolour
ADCO 721981 Couture Creations Glitzin Glamour - Aztec Gold
PM 814144 Seashore Collection Kit
TVF-82 VersaFine Ink Pad - Onyx Black