Tuesday 17 May 2016

It's all crazy now!

Hello again, I have been pretty busy this month with very little time to create but one of the items on my to do list was a display board with the new Tim Holtz Crazy Cats for Snazzys. The Headmaster's brief (aka despairing plea!) was to do something 'more colourful' so it would stand out on a show stand, what can he have meant lol?


...one display board, more colourful, but boy do those cats look miserable - I was combining them with a great Vertical Greeting set from Impression Obsession and had difficulty in finding one that looked cheery enough for the Happy Birthday greeting!

So, as I had the stamps lying about my desk together with the Bird Crazy Set (which also need to have a 'more colourful' display board), I indulged myself with a couple of cards that are absolutely not 'more colourful' but which I think suit the stamps better.

First, the cats....

....and then the birds.

Both simply stamped onto old book pages with some added Gathered Twigs Distress ink, my new favourite brown, a greeting from Dylusions for the cats with some twine, some Candied Apple Distress ink on the beaks and a greeting created with the Stepping Stone Alphabet from Hero Arts for the birds, and a fair bit of fussy cutting later.... What do you think? Brights or Browns?

Thanks for dropping by.

Val x


Saturday 23 April 2016

Just because.....

Hello all, it has been a very long time since I created anything just because....... Sometimes life is so hectic, the 'must do' and 'have to' gets in the way of the 'want to' and you forget why you got into this hobby in the first place!

After a long break I have returned to Scrapbooking in a 12x12 format and I thought I would share these two layouts which weren't made as workshop projects or for display, but simply because I had the photos and the germ of an idea.

I found these photos languishing on my phone but when I went to print them the photo paper slipped in the printer and they printed over two sheets. I decided to use them anyway, just as they were chopped in strange places, but I felt they actually added to the chaotic feel of the layout. The papers I used are a mix of Prima's Garden Menagerie and Lost and Found from 7Dots Studios with a bit of washi tape and some Kaisercraft stamps. The whole thing came together really quickly and I am pleased with the finished page.


The second layout started with these striking photos of the Water of Leith Walkway in Edinburgh, a city very close to my heart. I was born in Edinburgh, was a student at Edinburgh University and the Headmaster and I started our married life in the city some 36 years ago. Like all cities where underneath their public persona there often lurks a darker side, Edinburgh had it's share of less attractive areas which have been redeveloped and transformed over recent years. Each time we return we find ourselves amazed at the changes, sometimes so significant we find ourselves lost without familiar landmarks, but thrilled at the vitality emerging from the desolate.

I decided to go with the reflections theme with this layout using my last remaining sheets of my all time favourite Dreamer collection from 7Dots Studios. The base paper was a little darker than I wanted so I gave it a light wash of gesso to knock it back a bit, the dies are from Hero Arts Stamp and Cut Planner range by Kelly Purky, the stamps from Kaisercraft, finished off with the title from the reverse of the base paper, reversed. I was really pleased with how this one turned out, exactly as I envisioned - a rare occurrence for me lol!

Thank you for joining me, I won't stay away so long again as I have resolved to make time for more projects 'just because'.
Val x


Thursday 31 December 2015

Be at Peace

Just stopped by to share a very simple layout I made over the holiday. Sadly my Mother was never really at peace in her lifetime, my hope is she is at peace now.

The doily die is a fab new one from Prima and the clocks and cogs are by Kaisercraft, the stencil is Tim Holtz and the stamps are also Kaisercraft using papers and tags from the Lost and Found collection from 7Dots Studio. The photograph was taken during the Second World War and sent to my Mother's brothers who were serving in the Far East, I found it whilst going through an fascinating album one of my uncle's maintained of his wartime service. They scrapbooked too!

As this year draws to a close I wish you and yours a happy and successful New Year.

Val x


Thursday 12 November 2015

So Thankful

I thought I'd share a layout I made today, just because........ I had a couple of stunning photos of the central walk through The Meadows in Edinburgh which I grew to know well as I strode between the grotty flat share I was living in and my classes at the University many, many moons ago. The old Royal Infirmary might be long gone, to be replaced by beautiful sleek apartments but the peace and beauty of the tree lined paths remains a very happy Autumn memory of light filtering through those russet leaves.

I almost titled this post Leftovers #2 as the background paper is leftover BoBunny, and the leaves were stamped using Tim Holtz Falling Leaves (an old favourite), then hand cut from leftovers from Kaisercraft's Scrap Yard papers or die cut with Tim Holtz Alterations Tattered Leaves and Mini Tattered Leaves using random old book pages coloured with Distress Inks. The Kraft cardstock was leftover from next Saturday's Christmas mini book workshop project plus some other bits from my scrap tray. There is always something deeply satisfying to my thrifty Scottish blood when I can create a project out of almost nothing lol!

A very basic layout if a bit time consuming, but I did have a very relaxing afternoon which is the point really.

Thank you for joining me, I hope to see you here again soon x


Tuesday 10 November 2015


Well, long time, long time and all that. I have just checked and it is almost 12 months since I last posted anything on this blog. It was always intended as a place to record projects I made just because.... clearly there has not been a lot of that going on in my studio! So, time to make some changes, and here is a journal page I made in my A4 journal simply because I had a leftover photo and some lettering from the title of a 12x12 layout I had been working on for a workshop.

The background was created with lots of very thin layers of Distress Paint in Wild Honey, Spiced Marmalade, Barn Door, Fired Brick, Seedless Preserves and Black Soot scraped on with an old plastic room key. Once the paint was dry the colours were a little too bright for me so I used a baby wipe to work in some Black Soot paint, wiping almost all of it away dulled the colours but still allowed them to show through. I then used BoBunny The Written Word stamp set to add random patches of stamping in Onyx Black Versafine with black texture paste through Tim Holtz Stripes Layering Stencil. A few lines stamped with the edge of the plastic card with Antique Bronze Distress Paint and a few splatters of the same, watered down a little, and it was time to add some Sizzix Die cuts, also Tim Holtz, and highlighted all the texture with Treasure Gold in Rose Quartz.

The letters were leftovers from a layout title I had die cut so I simply glued them to a couple of leftover strips of black cardstock.

I had only allowed myself an hour to play and I was quite pleased with the end result. I am going to try really hard to make an hour every week to make something, anything, just because.....

I hope you will join me x


Sunday 7 December 2014

Art Journaling Sunday

Hello everyone, thanks for dropping by especially since I have been absent for far too long.

Mostly I have been busy with workshop projects and just can't seem to find the time to craft just for my own pleasure. I do plan to be around in blog land much more regularly in future, with lots more step by steps and videos too.

Meantime....on the first Sunday of each month there is an Art Journaling session in Snazzys Studio between 11am and 3pm. There is no need to book your space, just drop in and join us. All you need is to want to have a go, bring your own journal if you have one, but if not we can provide everything you need for just £5 for the session, and that includes your tea/coffee and biscuits.

Being December, and with Christmas fast approaching, this month I wanted to create a rich page with a touch of metallic. I have been admiring the beautiful backgrounds using Brushos being shared in blog land, but with a studio full to bursting I really can't justify investing in them. So, having applied a layer of gesso to the blank page with Cut and Dry foam, I thought I would experiment by adding a few sprinkles of Polished Pigments/Primary Elements from Luminarte, whilst the gesso was still damp. I then immediately lightly spritzed the powders with water until they were wet enough to blend together, tilting my journal to get them to run a bit.

I was really pleased with the effect and the photo certainly doesn't do justice to the richness of the colours or the shimmer!

As often happens, I then got so carried away with some of my favourite Hero Arts stamps, Ranger Embossing Powders in Copper and Gold and Versafine inks in Crimson Red and Olympia Green, I forgot to take photos of all the steps but I think it is pretty self explanatory.

The only downside I found using the Luminarte powders in this way was they acted a little too effectively as an anti static powder and so made it quite tricky to get the inks to stamp cleanly and the embossing powders to stick evenly. I didn't really mind as the Hero Arts stamps were a little too modern for the vintage effect I was looking for, so I think the problems I had actually helped me get the look I wanted. Serendipity in action again lol!

This was the last AJ session for 2014 but the first of the new year will be on Sunday 4 January when I am looking forward to starting a brand new journal using an old book as my base. Many thanks to all of you who have dropped in to journal in 2014, new journal or old, beginner or regular, journal or old book, I do hope to see you in the studio in 2015.

Have a very Happy Christmas and good fortune to you and yours in 2015 xx


Friday 28 February 2014

A little coffee....

Hello there, long time no post but I thought I'd stop by and share a couple of projects I have been working on.

I started with these.......

the wood block stamps are from Inkadinkado, and the Polymer stamps are all Hero Arts from the latest 2014 release. I added these.....


stamping the images with Coffee Archival ink onto white tissue, chopping some leftover Bazzill Classic papers in Patina into strips. I used peacock Feathers and Frayed Burlap Distress inks for the focal pieces and the canvas board was randomly painted, using Cut & Dry Foam, with Bark, White and Ocean acrylic paints from Eco Green Crafts, then softened with a damp baby wipe.

This was the end result...

which I was very pleased with.
Although this project started as a home decor piece for myself I have been asked to run it as a workshop at Snazzys and you will find details over at the workshops page of Snazzys main website.
I also used one of the new Hero Arts polymer plates, CL758 A Little..., for some cards for my regular cardmaking workshop at Snazzys so checkout that on the workshops page too, but here's a peek at one of them...
... a good Mother's Day card I think.
Thanks for stopping by xx