Saturday, April 12, 2014


The class this fortnight is called Tissue Paper Stamping and it's a way to create a perfectly stamped image on a very textured, pre-coloured background.  I used these Stampotique stamps as they really need to be stamped onto a smooth surface to get all the detail in them but by using tissue paper to stamp onto first, then tearing out the image and gluing it down to your textured background, they show up as if they were stamped on smooth card stock.   I have then coloured them using watercolour crayons and an aqua brush and a little Twinkling H2O's as well.  The backgrounds for this class is made using gesso on plain card stock and the texture is created by using a palette knife to make marks into the gesso after it has been applied.   I used the Ranger Distress Paints to colour the gesso... I must admit I wasn't going to get sucked into the whole "I have to have the whole range of Distress Paints" thing, but after buying a few of them that idea flew right out that window and over the horizon!  Love them!!!


"Take a number"...
I'll have more Tissue Paper Stamping atc's when I next update my blog. 
Finally, here is an atc from my previous Splatter Brush Background technique.
"Iced vodka latte"...

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Splatter Brush Background

The technique this fortnight makes use of the Noodle Brush we used a little while ago in another class but this time we'll be using it to apply gesso as a base on watercolour paper.  Distress Stains are then applied over the top of the dried gesso brush marks with the gesso making a resist so the Distress Stains don't soak into the watercolour paper.  You can also add more colour after the Stains have dried by applying the Stains colour directly with the Noodle Brush.  The Noodle Brush is also known as a Silicon Pastry Brush and as the "noodles" are quite separate, you get good definition of the marks as opposed to how it would look if you just brushed on gesso or stains with a paint brush.  I tried this with several types of paints as well and found them all a bit too thick whereas the Stains being more liquid, it was easier for the noodles to stay separate than clump together.  Some samples follow with the colours of Distress Stains in brackets.
"Family Skeleton"... (Seedless Preserve, Broken China & Salty Ocean)

"Sleep"... (Dusty Concord and Gathered Twigs. 
That shimmery bit of goodness down the left
hand side is Angelina Film that has been heated
and attached with double-sided tape!)
"Luminosity"... (Evergreen Bough, Chipped Sapphire & Barn Door)
"Forbidden"... (Tumbled Glass, Rusty Hinge & Wild Honey)
"Go for Baroque"... (Picked Raspberry, Scattered Straw, Black Soot & Rusty Hinge)
Finally, these are the last few samples from the previous class - Marble Rolling.  Loved how easy this class was and how quick you can make loads of different backgrounds for your stash!
"Do Nothing"...

"Temptation"... (this one also incorporates
a black glue border from the
previous Glue Embellishment class)

Friday, March 14, 2014


So apparently I'm the last to know that marble rolling has been around for years and it's something that kids have done at school as well as at home.  It's a pretty simple technique and after having a play around with a few different combinations of doing things I've worked out I like to let it dry a little and then smudge it a bit with a baby wipe so you'll reactivate the re-inkers to subtly colour your stark white background.  If you google "marble rolling technique" you'll see loads of good examples of how this technique is done for card backgrounds!  Here's my samples for this fortnight's class.
"No imagination"...
"Fashion taste"...
"Fancy terrible"... (I love this Dorothy Parker quote!!!)
"Die good"...
Last weekend a group of my atc girls attended a camp at Landsdale Farm where we played all weekend and I taught a mini canvas class.  Below are most of the canvases the girls completed, only a couple are missing.  I have another camp coming up in another couple of weeks where I'll have a different group of girls and am teaching the same canvas again so I'll post those pics as well!  A wonderful time was had by all. 

Friday, February 28, 2014


Several years ago I taught a class where we used black glue sticks in a glue gun to create embellishments on atc's.  Type in "faux wax" in the search box down on the right hand side to see these earlier samples.  I'm doing this class again as I have new students who have never used black glue sticks.  To prevent my older students who have been with me for quite a few years don't get bored with doing the same thing again, I've thrown in a little twist to keep it interesting.  You can use clear glue sticks to make little embellishments and when they are cool, simply paint them with black acrylic paint and then rub over with a little Gilding Wax or Treasure Gold or Rub'n'buff to pick up the highlights!  
Just to clarify, I'm talking about glue sticks that go in a glue gun,
 not glue sticks that you stick paper to other paper.
Of course, the dribbling method around the border of an atc can only be done with a black glue stick but the mini embellishments using stamps can be made with the clear glue gun stick.  A hint here though, always ink up your stamp with *clear embossing ink before stamping into the melted glue and let it dry COMPLETELY before trying to remove the stamp.  I can't stress how important this is, you'll ruin your stamps if you don't do this step and I wouldn't recommend using clear stamps, the good ol' red rubber ones work best, oh and don't press hard or you'll push the stamp right through to the bottom, just rest it on the glue and the weight of it will make a nice impression.
"Dramatic"... (the black glue is the leaf shapes)

"Ravish"... (clear glue with metal screws
placed in hot glue and left to cool
before painting black and
rubbing silver gilding wax on them)

"Imagination"... (clear glue puddle melted on
non-stick craft sheet and *inked stamp placed on
top, left to cool, then painted black and
rubbed over with gold gilding wax)
"Pursuit"... (same method as above with clear glue stick)
"Alcohol & Calculus"... (black glue dribbled down sides
then rubbed with silver gilding wax)
"Twilight"... (black glue stick dribbling again, but with
copper and gold gilding wax on top)
Here's the last sample from my eggshell mosaic class from last fortnight.
"Love & Stuff"...
 When I originally started playing around with this eggshell mosaic technique, I found the brown eggs didn't take the lighter colours of alcohol inks very well so I painted the eggshells white and that solved that problem.  This sample below originally was very dark as it was the brown eggshells with a couple of green and blue colours of alcohol inks on it, I think Stream and Pesto.  So in the spirit of "no such thing as a mistake", I rubbed over gold and silver gilding wax to hide the darkness of it.  Even though you can still see some of the green through the centre sections of the eggshells, in real life it's very metallic looking and shimmery.  Good save!!!

Sunday, February 9, 2014


Using eggshells as a mosaic technique is another style that has been around for many years.  This technique works well in mixed media when used on solid chipboard shapes or as a background.  I found when playing with this technique that it makes a difference to the overall look of the finished product what colour your base that you stick your eggshells to is.... plain chipboard doesn't look so good but a white base or a black base makes a huge difference.  I used alcohol inks to colour the eggshells when they had dried and found spraying a bit of water on the eggshells before using the alcohol inks on them helped the alcohol ink to disperse and blend.  A good coating of Glossy Accents or Dimensional Magic just finishes it off with a wonderful glossy surface and protects the eggshells as well as the alcohol ink colours.
"Fracture, fragment"...

"Through this door"...


"Flight of a bird"...

These last two are from my previous class  -  Tri-colour Brayering. 
Rock Star is on plain paper and Math Geek is done on gloss paper.
"Rock Star"...
"Math geek"...

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


We have tackled the trickiness of brayering before in a cover class but that was using white embossing as a resist.   Once again we are using embossing as a resist but it's black this time and it goes hand in hand with good old masking.  It's surprising the amount of stampers who don't use masking as a technique more often as it gives a really good effect!   I also love how different the brayering looks when done on gloss card stock compared to plain white card stock. 
"Be seen"... (a zetti-style atc, love the colours of this one!  It's on gloss card.)
"Always know"... (this one is on plain card stock.  When you're unsure of
what colours to use, it's always fool-proof to stick with 3 colours that are next to
each other on the colour wheel - this one is Barn Door, Spiced Marmalade and
Scattered Straw - in other words, red, orange and yellow!)

"Gate Keeper"... (gloss card, much lighter colours this time - Stormy Sky, Shaded Lilac
and Scattered Straw.)
"With wild abandon"... (plain card stock - Evergreen Bough, Tumbled Glass and Iced Spruce.)
More to come......  (next time I post I'll be a Nan!!!  My
son and daughter-in-law are expecting a baby girl TOMORROW!!!!!!)

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Steampunk - New Year - New Book Cover

(more atc samples added)
So another year begins, which means a brand new Technique Book as well!  It takes 6 months for the girls to complete a Technique Book and this book is number 11.... that's a lot of techniques!!!
This cover is a theme rather than a technique though we will be using an old technique for the base, Julie van Oosten's (Collections chipboard products) "Industria".   From there it's a matter of carrying through the Steampunk style of Victorian/metal/industrialised theme.... so think cogs, watch parts, arrows, light fuses, wire, brads, pen nibs, hearts & wings, metal numbers, chain, in fact... almost anything metal will work.  The two round items on my cover page (which is 15cm x 20cm) that are at the top left-ish and bottom right are long-life milk lids.  These are plastic but take paint quite well and are relatively flat so will work on things that are quite 3d without being too large. 
Steampunk cover...
Steampunk cover close-up... (note the milk lid!)

another close-up... (image is made using the Cracked Glass technique)

and another close-up... (note that I've attached the lettering with the Tiny Attacher!  Works great)

"Steampunk"... (this is an older steampunk style atc that I made a while ago
using the Tissue Paper background)
"Steampunk"... (this is from a recent class using a Microbead Technique)
"Un-named"... (this isn't complete yet but you can see the metal elements
that I've used on this one.  The Mexican Milagro arms and
legs worked really well with this as did the
heart and wings for a face.  Notice the clock hands???   lol)
Because Perth has been sweltering with a severe heat-wave over the last few days I haven't had the inclination to spend time in my studio creating more Steampunk atc's.  Our weather is going to cool down a bit over the next few days so I'll get back into it and get some more made before the classes start next Saturday.   For the US girls who have been shivering in their own cold snap, we've been cooking with 44 (111 degrees F) degree temps here yesterday and by 9.40 this morning, it was already 41(105 degrees F)!  Thank goodness for the sea-breeze that arrived today.   I will have more steampunk atc's to post shortly, there's another 3 that are underway....
Added 14th January 2014...
Below are the new Steampunk atc's for this class as well as a completed "Metal Head" from above.
"Metal Head"...
"Dr. E"...
"Stay Calm"...
"Stay Calm"... (showing the 3d effect of the cut cardstock)
"Love"... (not sure if this one is finished, might
add some more bits to it yet)