Tuesday, June 30, 2015


This background technique is made using the humble white plastic shopping bag!  Layers and layers (about 12!) of white plastic bag is ironed together to create a beautifully textured background that is further enhanced by adding paints, wiping off, adding more paints, wiping off again, then metallic paints, wiping off.... well, you get the picture.  You must remember to protect your iron from the plastic with either baking paper or brown paper or you 'll have a huge mess!  Of course these samples on the computer do this background absolutely no justice at all, they are really beautifully textured in real life.  I used a combination of Jo Sonja Paints, Golden Paints, Ranger Distress Paints, Plaid Metallic Paints.
"Seed Fairy"... (colours for this one are:
Paynes Grey, Celadon, Silver & Micaceous Iron Oxide)

"One-way ticket"...(colours are:
Paynes Grey, Indian Red Oxide and Copper)
"Collect Moments"... (colours are:
Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna and Silver)
"Thousand times"... (colours are:
Peeled Paint, Rusty Hinge and Copper)
This sample below is unadorned so you can see a little of the gorgeous texture that you get.  Colours used were:  Paynes Grey, Turquoise Phthalo and Copper.

Monday, June 15, 2015


Soot technique has always been one of my favourites, it never fails to impress people who have never seen it done before.  When I originally did the soot technique in my classes years ago, we did it on plain white gloss card, then when some of the newer girls wanted to repeat the class, as usual I had to try and put a spin on the original so the girls who had done it before, learnt something new.  Well, it's time to re-visit soot again and once again, there's a spin on it!  This time it's called Sprayed Reverse Soot.  For the girls who haven't done soot at all before, I'll be showing them how to do the original way and then this new way which is the reverse soot using a Versamark Ink Pad (clear embossing ink pad) to stamp your image first onto a coloured (sprayed) background, then applying the soot and wiping gently off with a cotton wool ball.  The Versamark holds the soot onto the stamped image!
"Joy"... (reverse soot stamping - Broken China spray
and Cracked Pistachio)

"Extremes"... (reverse soot stamping - Pumice Stone
spray & Iced Spruce)
"Kinky"... (original way of doing soot stamping)
"Wild Life"... (reverse soot stamping onto
plain white card)
"Without the dark"... (original soot stamping on sprayed
background using Fired Brick and Fossilised Amber)
"Salvage"... (original soot stamping on sprayed
background using Broken China and Cracked Pistachio)

Finally, here is the last of the Bokeh Technique atc's.
"Live Well"...

Tuesday, June 2, 2015


Bokeh Technique is a photography term and basically translates to a sharp focal point in front but with the light points behind blurry so as to make them round discs of light.  Hope I don't offend any photography buffs with my inelegant explanation but it's an easy way to understand for stampers to create a similar technique.  There are lots of examples of this technique both in photography and in stamping on the web. 
I have used watercolour paper (smooth) with dye re-inkers with a little water mixed in for the backgrounds, then a rectangular shape of either cardstock or acetate with various sized circles die-cut out of it and applied white pigment ink, getting darker with the white as the circles get smaller.  Remember these are atc sized which is about 6.4cm x 8.8cm (or 2.5" x 3.5")so pretty small for this particular effect.  I've also included a couple of atc sized ones unadorned down the bottom so you can see the effect without all the stamping on top.
"Single Step"...
"Freak Show"...
"Sparkle Today"...
"Beyond Normal"...
Sample 1 Plain Background...

Sample 2 Plain Background...

Tuesday, May 5, 2015


This fortnight's class is called Mica Embossing Magic and we'll be using Mica Flake.  Mica is a natural rock product that generally is known to come in sheets that you can separate into thinner layers and add over images etc or it can be used in jewellery making to enclose items (flat items only) and then use those in wired jewellery.  Mica flake is simply the mica that has been broken down into smaller pieces.  The best way to adhere Mica, both flake and sheets is with a clear glue like Glossy Accents or Dimensional Magic as these both dry crystal clear and don't hide the sheerness or shimmer that Mica has.  
In this class we'll also be mixing some Mica Flake with embossing powders as the embossing powder will act like a glue to hold some Mica Flake in place.  Of course you can't use too much Mica Flake or it just comes off and you generally have to heat from underneath to melt the embossing powder without the Mica Flake blowing all over the place.  A low blow heat gun works best for this technique.  As Mica is very flat and scanners don't show shimmer or shine very well at all, you'll struggle to see the Mica Flake in the below samples... trust me, it's there and you can try it for yourself!  If you don't want to mix it with embossing powder, simply do some scribbly lines (or coat a chipboard piece) with Glossy Accents and sprinkle on the Mica Flake, press down gently and shake off the excess and allow to dry.... gorgeous shimmer!
"Why fit in"...
(mica flake mixed with some multi-coloured
embossing powders to create the
coloured areas down the bottom.  I then
drew in some seaweed shapes with
a black sharpie pen)

(this one is a few clumps of embossing powders
- Frantage ones by Stapendous - heaped on with
some mica flake sprinkled over the top and heated
from underneath.  Very hard to see on the computer but
it looks gorgeous in the flesh!)

"Embrace imperfection"...
(This one has a frame that has a couple
of colours of different embossing powders colouring the frame, then
after it was heated and cooled down, some Glossy Accents was
dabbed on and mica flake was sprinkled on and allowed to dry.)
(This has Mica Flake pressed onto Glossy Accents
around the edge of this atc as well as in the bubble circles.  The silver
patches are a mixture of white/silver/mica flake embossing powder
that has been scattered and heated from underneath.)

Thursday, April 23, 2015


This fortnight's class is using a technique that has been around for years on cards - Shaker boxes.  It basically means you build up a layer of foam tape around a "box" shape that has acetate over it and you trap little bits of whatever in the boxes before attaching it to a base, so the little bits inside float around.  I have also used a piece of tulle instead of acetate on one of the samples below (Reflection) as I used seed beads and small sequins and the tulle holes are small enough that the bits don't escape!   I used a few different things inside the boxes and found that static is just something you have to accept when plastic is involved.  Sure, you can brush on some anti-static powder (or baby powder) but it doesn't last forever and can give a dusty look to the clear acetate so you just accept it and move on.  :-)    
I also experimented with what shapes would work for the openings... for the first one it's a piece of cardstock left over from a previous class where we used peeled back sections to reveal an image underneath and the little cogs worked perfectly for this one.
"Certified Damaged"...
For this sample I used silver micro-beads and a piece of Canvas Resist from a previous technique over some metallic swipe background with a stamp on it.
"Finding yourself"...

This one is made using a window die-cut that has been embossed and the tulle is in place of the acetate as the seed beads and small sequins won't fit through the holes.
This shaker box is made using an old slide that has been embossed and Judikins Roxs in copper placed inside.
"Princess Sparkle"...

Finally, these two are the remaining samples from the Watercolour Drip class from last fortnight.
"What's the worst"...
This one is made using the gorgeous new Gelatos that I bought for this class and I'll definitely be incorporating more of these into future classes!  The grey drippy lines are glossy accents.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


The drip technique has been around for quite a while now and is seen everywhere from nail finishes to soft furnishings as well as art pieces and everywhere in between.   It's a fairly simple technique if you're working on a reasonable size canvas or whatever your substrate is.... the issue comes in when you are working on tiny little pieces of card (watercolour card works best) that are only three and a half inches in height!  You have to be very careful about the amount of water you use with your chosen colouring agent and lots of different products work, Distress Paints, Distress Re-inkers, normal acrylic paints as well as gelato's.  These are the products I've used to create the samples below.  One thing I noticed is a difference between using a gessoed piece of watercolour paper will make the dripping react differently than with no gesso and you also get different results on different watercolour paper.  Have a play, it's very hard to stop at just a few!
"Something wicked"... (gelato's on gesso)
"Emotional baggage"... (gelatos on gesso)
"Rapture"... (gelatos on plain w/colour card with glossy
accents dribbled over the top)
"Awesome"... (Distress Re-inkers on w/colour card)
"Freed by imagination"... (Distress Re-inkers on textured w/colour card)
Just a couple of more samples...
... and more samples (copper acrylic paint on the one on the right)

Finally the last of the Black Magic Resist samples from the
class from last fortnight.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


This fortnight's technique is called Black Magic Resist and is made by combining the beautiful colours of the Ranger Distress Stains, black acrylic paint and clear embossing powder.  The resist part comes in when you use a mini craft iron to remove the embossing powder, thereby revealing the distress stains under the black paint.  Gorgeous background technique and the colours really pop against the black.
"Colour of your dreams"...


"A dream is a wish"...
"Don't look back"...
More samples to come.