Thursday, 11 October 2012


At last I have had the chance to have a play with my Dylusions Ink Sprays and the new Christmas stamps.

I only have two of the character sets so needed to mix and match a bit.
I need to experiment a bit more with them but they are certainly unconventional.
Off to Kettering in the morning for the BSSBS at Kettering Conference Centre. If you are going to the show come along to stand 17 and say hello xx

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Dylusions & Pan Pastels

Last Saturday the afternoon workshop I taught at Snazzys was all about Pan Pastels. I was trying to illustrate my belief that their versatility means just having a few colours of the pastels need not limit what you can create, but actually allows you to really explore all the techniques you can use with them.

This was the final project of the afternoon using Bright Yellow Green and Pthalo Green Pan Pastels, Tsukineko Versamark and Versafine Onyx Black inkpads plus some of my favourite masks and stamps from the brilliant Dyan Reaveley's Dylusions collection.......and with thanks to the lady at Artstamps Cornwall who gave me the idea, my new favourite tool, a Derwent Eraser Pencil.

Often I fail to do anything with my workshop pieces but I set to on Sunday and added a quote which says 'Home is where you can say anything you please because nobody pays any attention to you anyway' - anyone with a brood of children will know exactly how that feels lol!

Thanks for visiting
Back soon xx

Friday, 1 June 2012

Happy Birthday Mum

Today is my Mum's 84th Birthday, and the first birthday in the past six that we have not spent at least part of the day with her. Sadly, she now lives in a nursing home almost 500 miles away (she said she didn't want to emigrate to join us at her age lol!) so we do not see her as often as we would like. She suffers from dementia and so time has become a little meaningless to her but, as is often the case, her recollection of earlier times is much more vivid than the recent past.

Each time we visit I try to make her a little book including photographs from past events with spaces so we can fill in the details together. This one will have to wait until I get the chance to visit later in the Summer so it looks a little bare at the moment, but here are a few of the pages......

I think these photographs were taken in 1957 at Hazelhead in Aberdeen

...and at least some were taken on their honeymoon.

Each of the pages to the left contains a pocket with a tag.....

and each on the right has a flap.

I'm not sure how Mum will feel out in her swimming cossie in blogland lol,

but I'm sure she will enjoy the memories of happier times - she and my Father both doted on their nephew Gordon pictured here with them.

We made a version of this mini book in a workshop at Snazzys last Tuesday so I will try to blog the workshop 'for instance' and all the measurements etc over at sosimplysnazzy soon.

Hope you enjoy the long Bank Holiday weekend, I will be working as Snazzys will be open as normal, but I will find a mo to raise a glass in celebration of Mum's Birthday xx 

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Studio 490 Art School

As you know I am more than a little fond of Wendy Vecchi's wonderful Studio 490 stamps and Art Parts but have been so busy with workshops at Snazzys recently I have been collecting rather than using them, an entirely unsatisfactory state of affairs lol!

So, I have decided I need to make something with every Studio 490 plate I have bought - 'tis all right I haven't got all of them. Yet.

I managed to use four of my stamp plates - Rubber Stamp Art (65), Art By Hand (68), Supplies for Art (74) and Art School (85) in this project. So I then needed a whole host of Art Parts, from Art Frames, Supplies for Art Co-ordinates, Art School Co-ordinates and Tools for Art to use with the stamps. The Art Parts were a huge extravagance but I have absolutely loads of leftovers which I will use in future projects. 

I created the tub to hold all my pencils,brushes and paint from a rectangular Art Part piece cut in two to fit with the stamp end of the rubber stamp Art Part with the joins hidden under twine. I added a layer of  Picket Fence Distress Stain with some more stain in Stormy Sky and Faded Jeans on top before the Picket Fence layer had completely dried so some of it would lift and give the effect of being worn at the edges. I used Picket Fence as the base for the bottles too with some colour on top to represent the ink and paint, this time once it had dried, then I Triple Layer Enbossed both to give the appearance of glass - in the right light and at a distance maybe but hey ho!

The ruler and stamp also got the Picket Fence treatment with Wild Honey Distress Stain over the top then both were stamped with Ranger Archival Ink in Coffee and Jet Black respectively. The stain remover container got more of the same treatment this time with just the blackened cap Triple Layer Embossed.

Same old, same old with the pencils and brush and the tube of paint got the Triple Layer Embossed treatment too, except the cap which got a smidge of Paint Dabber in Silver instead.

I painted the inset with Ranger Adirondack Paint Dabber in Pitch Black then stamped the disclaimer in Versamark and embossed with WOW Bright White EP...... before the paint was properly dry! No patience, hence the messy speckles which I decided to live with. The pen nib is of course Tim Holtz Ideaology.

The outer frame was covered in Vintage Photo Distress Stain and over stamped with Jet Black Archival ink, all the labels were similarly stamped onto Claudine Hellmuth's Sticky Back Canvas with some Vintage Photo Distress Ink applied to the edges.

I wish I had taken the time to distress the edges of more pieces before I stuck it all together (with Cosmic Shimmer Acrylic Glue) as it is all a bit too clean for my taste - but I did finish it lol!

Thanks for stopping by, more soon xx

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Pan Pastels

Now that I finally have my internet and laptop back in full working order - 12 days, yes twelve WHOLE days with no service has had a seriously detrimental effect on my Twitter, Facebook & Blogland surfing habits - I can finally share my demo bits from Snazzys stand at Shepton Mallet, which seems like eons ago, with the lush PanPastels and some of my favourite Studio 490 stamps. The stamps were Botanical Art, She Created Art & Be Inspired...Make Art. 

There are more photos from Shepton Mallet over at So Simply Snazzy but I also wanted to share some pieces with Pan Pastels and the Stampotique and Octopode Factory stamps I just had to buy at Ally Pally last month........

All my pieces are raining hearts at the minute as I am so in love with this heart background stamp.....

Mind you this tree stamp runs a very close second.....

Thankfully the lovely Peggy, quilter, lace maker & knitter extaordinaire did not take offence at the rather offbeat looks of her namesake!!

A very chilly lokking White Rabbit from Octopode...

....and my theme tune from the White Rabbit Page also from Octopode, and lastly...

A very gloomy version which IRL doesn't look quite so bad, but I guess you can't win them all!

If you want to see lots of inspiration with Pan Pastels you will be thrilled to know these are featuring over at Snazzys Design Team Blog from Monday 7 May for four whole weeks, and if you leave a comment to let them know you have dropped by, you could win three Pan Pastel colours of your choice!

I will be back later in the week, packing and stamp cutting for Port Sunlight permitting.

Thanks for popping by xx

Friday, 30 March 2012

The Steampunk Phantom

I was working on the sample for my Steampunk Angel workshop at Snazzys, (you can see the workshop results and the ingredients list over at when these blank phantom masks were delivered, and I couldn't resist using up my leftovers, & a bit of Ideaology, to create this striking chap.

Well, I like him anyway and I think I may include him as a project in our Taster Weekend at Snazzys later in the year. What do you think?

Once up on his stand he might even qualify as tall, dark and handsome.


You're probably right, there is no accounting for taste lol!

More soon  xx

Monday, 20 February 2012

Love Canvas

This is a project that has been lingering on my desk for a few weeks, and although I finally finished it ahead of Valentines day, our unexpected trip to Scotland meant I didn't get around to sharing it.

I used several different blanks, a couple of Tim Holtz bits and my last few pieces of a favourite 7Gypsies paper (called Requiem I think) and various inks and paints.

I covered the square blank from Eco Green Crafts with their paint in Sand and added a few smears and smudges of Ranger Distress Inks in Fired Brick and Aged Mahogany - neither were quite the right colour but together..... The hearts were inked with Aged Mahogany Distress Stain coated with Fired Brick Distress Crackle Paint then smeared with Viva Inca Gold in a light gold shade.

I painted the edges of the word blank with the same paint and then covered the front with the scriptiest - maybe not a word but you know what I mean - scrap of my precious paper, sanded the edges with an emery board then smeared with the two red Distress Inks and smidge of Brushed Corduroy.

I stamped the Love Wordblock stamp from Darkroom Door in Versamark onto the scraps of paper with the Harlequin background and embossed them in Ranger's Detail Brass Embossing Powder and then did the same with the heart images from the Hero Arts Untitled Love plate. The remaining scraps of the paper I then tore into strips, inked the edges and stuck them to the base with Rangers Matt Medium.

I stamped an unmounted script stamp from my stash inked with dabs of both red Distress Inks, (yes, together on the same stamp!) dried that and then used Versamark and the Detailed Brass Embossing Powder too. I then cut up the Wordblock words and stuck them and the heart images down with more Matt Medium.

I hung the hearts in the aperture using fine twine and secured them, one hanging towards the front and one the back, by lining the aperture with Tim's Tissue Tape. I then went a little mad with the Tissue Tape and wrapped both the outside of the square and the word with it too.

I added some inked 7Gypsies ribbon to an Ideaology token, and an inked Ideaology Ticket attached with a Memo Pin, a few more general smudges of ink and Inca gold and then left it alone - the bit I always find hardest - and it was done.

Back later in the week with some Studio 490 samples and over at tomorrow with some 'photos from Stitches. Meantime pop over to the DT blog at where there are some really inspirational projects using Studio 490, with the chance to win goodies too!

See you then xx