Tuesday, July 28, 2015


Years ago when I was a part of the Cloth Dollmaking World and when I dabbled in Free Machine Embroidery, Tyvek was a product that we played with and I was amazed at the results of this unassuming spun woven fabric-like product.  You can now by Tyvek through places like The Thread Studio here in Perth or you can simply google it to find other suppliers.  Alternatively, the strong white envelopes that you sometimes get goods delivered from the US in, well that's Tyvek too!  Tyvek reacts to heat, both an iron and a heat gun but very differently!  The heat gun is used to make the beads and the iron creates the bubbly surfaces you will see below on my samples.  If you're ironing it, there's no need to iron both sides, one will do but if you're doing beads, better to paint both sides of it.  Using a metallic paint gives this finished product a wonderful sheen and looks much better than just using a normal flat acrylic paint.  I've used a variety of metallic paints  -  Jo Sonja metallics, Folk Art Metallic Paints, Deco Art Metallic Paints and Lumiere metallics.... simply gorgeous!!!!  There are a few you-tube video's out there so take a look to see how this stuff works 




"Two inch sample square #1"...

"Two inch sample square #2"...

"Wrapped Tyvek Bead with Wire"... 

As this is the beginning of Book #14, this is my cover that's not yet complete...the Tyvek as you can see makes up the long wavy seaweed bits as well as the gold sections down the bottom.  The size of this page is 8" x 6".

These are unadorned beads, though the edges have been fluted (cut into diagonally) before I rolled and heated them on the skewer which gives them a raggedy look.

More to come!

Friday, July 17, 2015


For this fortnight's technique I've used my Big Shot (a Cuttlebug will work too!) and my embossing folders to create a double-embossed background.  The first two samples below are purely using the double-embossed method.  For this you need to have a background type of embossing folder, for example:  the first one below it is the stars folder and the next sample I used the tree bark folder.  Once your background embossing is done, use your ink pad to apply ink to the raised portions of the embossed areas.... it's important to note which side of your embossing folder will "push" the bits up so you can do this successfully.  Then you run the embossed card through the Big Shot again but this time placing the card on top of the embossing folder with a piece of paper towel over it.  When you run it through with your clear plate on top of all of this, it pushes the embossed areas back flat.  So your next step is to choose another embossing folder and run your piece of card through and once again use a different colour ink pad to hit the high points of this embossing folder to show up the design.  

The remaining three samples I've still done the double embossing as before but have used images over the top and used the double embossing as the background.  I used white card to create these first two and have sponged some colour onto the background so the card isn't just plain white.  Though the very last sample that is below I have left it white as I liked the strong contrast of the browns and the lighter stripes.  

"Outside his door"...

"Officially unfair"...

"Colour life"...

"Speak the truth"...

The eye sees"...

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.