Thursday, 22 December 2016

The Not Advent Calendar


Hi All!

This project was meant to be an advent calendar but then became a mantle decoration mainly because of a mistake and then because I thought putting numbers on it would spoil it. 

This project started as a playtime with my friend Carol Fox and the lovely Mandy Chilvers....the idea being we would make the calander. Firstly a huge thank you to Carol and Mandy for all the die cutting they did before I was a lot!!!

Be warned this might be rather long as I am doing this blog for a friend who could not make the day. Also I have an early Christmas gift so I am full of drugs....sounds more risque than  Night Nurse doesn't it? Yep I met the secret santa cold giver...woohoo!!

To begin....are you sitting comfortably?....

Stuff needed...

Die cut arches....used Tim Holtz/Sizzix gothic arches. How many you need depends on how long you want it to smutty jokes!!.....see Night Nurse is fab!!....sorry now on Lemsip.

Modelling paste
Matt medium
Tyvek...or an alternative
Paper scraps and washi tape
Paint...I used Decoart fluid acrylics and Pebeo dyna acrylic: decoart colours used were gold, primary cyan, ultramarine blue, dioxazine purple, primary magenta, phthalo green-yellow and interference violet and Pebeo studio acrylic dyna range in irridescent blue/green.
Archival black ink
Cosmic shimmer glue
Stencils byThat's Crafty and Joggles
Stamps by PaperArtsy and Andy Skinner
Images ...I used icon images

Here we go...

So firstly gessoed all the arches. Once the gesso was dry I added torn pieces of vintage papers and washi tape randomly over the arches using matt medium to adhere them.

While the arches were drying I used strips of tyvek to attach the back arches together. I then painted the tyvek and around the front edges of the arches as these would be covered by the images and framing arches so it would be a waste of paint to do the whole area.

This was when I realised my mistake. The initial idea was that there would be twelve arches on each side...I did not leave enough room between each arch to be able to fold it  all together so it became a decoration instead.

When the arches were dry applied modelling paste through a couple of mini stencils by That's Crafty which are brilliant for smaller projects....I used a Moroccan style one and a starry one but the choice is yours. When this was dry I applied a variety of paint randomly over the arches. I used the Decoart ultramarine blue on the tyvek hinges. I used my fingers to apply the paint. Also the Decoart paints have a translucency that I really like and I didn't want to cover up the vintage papers.

When this layer of paint was dry I then added some Pebeo dyna acrylic in  iridescent blue/green and then some Decoart interference paint in violet.

When this was dry I then stamped some text on the arches using Archival black ink. I used one of my favourite stamps for this... a Paperartsy mini text. It is a fab background stamp and its been hard used with paints, inks, bleach and still going strong! Next, using a joggles stencil, I applied Decoart gold paint to the arches after which I used an Andy Skinner texture stamp, which I love, to stamp some more gold paint over the piece.

Using Cosmic Shimmer glue I attached the icon images to the arch surrounds and glued these onto the backing arches. When the glue was dry I edged the whole piece with gold paint. 

Finally I attached some ribbon to each end of the piece and the arch covers. Finished!!!!

FYI most of the products I used I purchased from That's Crafty and I tend to use a lot of recycled stuff so the card used for the arches was a large sheet of waste card from a fish market....thankfully not smelly....well the cats didn't take any more interest in what I was doing than!!

If you've still here....thank you muchly and happy messiness to you all xxxxx


Sunday, 27 November 2016

Another Starry Night....Somewhere Else.....

In for a second entry for the PaperArtsy alcohol inks and marker pens challenge! As I said on my previous post, I have not used these inks in a while. I don't see myself using them much again either as I much prefer paint although I do like the idea of colouring embellishments with them and I really enjoyed making the snowflakes on this project.

The canvas board was painted several weeks ago when my friends and I had a crafty day and we decided to do a little Christmas canvas. Needless to say I spend most of the day having a natter and drinking copious amounts of coffee with the plan of finishing the canvas that evening.....nope didn't happen! It has been glaring at me since then so this challenge was a godsend.

So the canvas was built up using corrugated card, and onion bag netting which I stuck down with heavy matt gel and then sealed with if I recall correctly. I find it easier starting off with a black background and then going lighter. For some reason I really don't like working from light to dark and I never like the result.

I then used a variety of Fresco paints to produce the background....then the crafty day finished, friends went home and my poor little canvas lay there on the table, unloved, until now!!

I then cut some snowflakes using a couple of Tim Holtz dies, one of which had an embossing folder with it which I thought would look good with the alcohol this ides from the challenge blog post. I cut the snowflakes out of the plastic packaging that the dies came in.

I embossed the large snowflake using the embossing folder. I then used a variety of blue alcohol inks on it. I also coloured a couple of the smaller snowflakes with the inks.

One of the snowflakes was covered in heavy gel and then dipped in blue glass glitter. Another couple were covered in silver glitter.

Then I dripped some inks onto the canvas. Additionally I dabbed some silver glitter around the edge of the canvas which I then tinted with ink in an espresso colour.

Oh I also used an old typewritter key, which I coloured in blue ink and filled with glass glitter, as the centre of my main snowflake flower.

I then attached the snowflakes to the canvas, added a sentiment and....tadah!!

Thanks for visiting and happy messiness to ya xxxxx

Saturday, 26 November 2016

PaperArtsy Challenge


Hi All, this is my entry for the PaperArtsy challenge on their blog on the theme of alcohol inks and markers.

This was certainly a challenge as I haven't used alcohol inks for years...bought a few feeling all enthusiastic then I was distracted by the next shiny painty product and they were left languishing in a dusty drawer...poor, sad inkiwinkies!!

I think my technique is as dusty as the inkies as I did use several different shades of blue and a couple of different brands...Adirondack and Letraset... and I managed to blend them all into ome shade!!

So I mixed silver glitter with heavy gloss gel and applied it to the acrylic substrate through a Thats Crafty mini starry stencil....onto what would be the back of the finished piece. For those of us new to working on acrylic (2nd project with them for me) you work backwards. So the layer you want to be most visible will be applied first.

When the gel was dry I applied the ink using a blending tool. I then lost the plot a bit and dripped ink directly onto the substrate, then added blending solution, then let it dry and then did the same again! I ended up with quite a grungy background which I liked.

Next I applied some embossing powder around the edges of the triptych. I didn't want a neat look, more like snow on a roof and flakes being blown by the night wind... get me!!!

I then applied some silver paint through a word stencil and when dry I scribbled around the words with a black pen. I'd also embossed a cardboard christmas tree to which I added some sequins.

Silly me...I forgot to say that I attached some old book paper to the back of the triptych with matt medium!!


Thanks for visiting and happy messiness to you xxxx

Thursday, 10 November 2016


Hi Everyone,

This is the piece I have entered into the challenge.

I used the following products:

Canvas board
Fresco paints in Inky Pool
Bubblegum Pink
Yellow Submarine
Glass Blue
London Bus
Beach Hut
Little Black Dress
Black Gesso
Archival Ink Pad in black
Andy Skinner stencil
PaperArtsy stencil 020 Emma Godfrey
Grungeboard letters

To start I covered the board in black gesso. This is my go to gesso as I find it easier make a project lighter rather than start of with a white background although with this technique it does not matter what your base colour is within reason. Apart from canvas board I love using cereal packets and I don't always gesso them so sometimes my background will be grey or kraft coloured...all work.

An apology here for the poor photos. I started this project as a quick run thru for a friend, so was not intending to blog it. Then I thought I may as well get more blogging practice in!!

Also a big acknowledgement to Seth Apter and his fabulous techniques and inspiration. I now 'sethify' on a frequent basis! See...I even invent new words!! OK back on track...

Right once the gesso was dry I picked two colours to do my background. I find that using a dark and a light colour work best for me.I used Inky Pool and Concrete. I poured a litte of both directly on the board and spread them with my brush, trying to keep them in two distinct areas. I then scribbled through the paint with the end on my paint brush...very randomly.

I repeated this process for another two layers, alternating where I put the paint, ie, dark on light then light on dark. At this stage it won't look like much but keep going...

Next I put a little of each paint onto pieces of embossed wallpaper, roughly brushed the paint over it and then dabbed the paper onto my painted board,,,,again, in a random pattern. I also used corrugated card. I alternated applying the colours until I was happy with the background.

Next I edged the board in black using the archival ink. I stencilled stars onto the background using Snowflake after which I stencilled the figure using Little Black Dress.

I then painted the stars in a variety of colours and some grungeboard letters that would be part of my quote.

Finally I used a black pen to scribble round the stars and parts of the background and glued on my quote....Tadah!!

Thank you for popping over and having a look. 
Happy messiness to you all xxxx

Monday, 7 November 2016

Typographical Transformations

Hi everyone!

I was really chuffed to be asked to do a blog post for PaperArtsy on the Typography theme. I  chose to use the new Tracy Scott stamps which I love, particuarly for journalling.

For this project I went back to my old cans and a chocolate box...sadly emptied. I love repurposing items and I drink lots of coffee so a match made in heaven!

So I started by gessoing a few tins. I didn't bother with the chocci box as it was already white. Two of the cans were done for later projects. While the gesso was drying I tore up a selection of old papers that had a variety of fonts. I tore them into differing sizes and then attached them to the tin/chocci box using matt medium. I was not too particular about this part so applied them fairly randomly.

When this was dry I decided I wanted the background colour to be a bit more uniform so I applied a coat of Nougat which I watered down slightly.

Then I heat embossed a variety of the ETS01Tracy Scott stamps and a couple of the PaperArtsy background stamps, BG4 and BG5 onto some deli paper using black embossing powder. On the reverse of the embossed side I coloured in the images with a variety of Fresco paints. I chose to do two different colour schemes but I think I am going to have to do another tin to match the chocci box!

For the box I used Sour Grapes, Eggplant, Lavender and Moonlight. For the tin I used Guacamole, Bubblegum, Haystack and Carribean Sea,

I then cut out the images I wanted to use and attached them to the tin/box using matt medium. When this was dry I drew around the images with a Stabilo that can be used on different surfaces...after which I used a fine wet brush to blend around the stamped images. I did this because I wanted to add a bit if definition and give a more grungy look.

I added paint drips and splatters in gold onto the can and on the box I roughly sponged the edges in black paint...Little Black Dess of course!! I think I am on myn 6th bottle of this as I used it so much.

When this had all dried I sprayed a shine spray onto both....very heavily and a couple of coats as I wanted to both seal them and give a glossy accent sort of effect.

Tadah!! Finished and had lots of fun. Two more storage containers for my craft room....when I can get into it but! I am going to be brave (or mad...its all perspective no?) and post some photos of my craft room...before and after the mega tidy. This is so I will NEVER let it get so messy least not for a few months.

A huge thank you to Paperartsy for giving me the opportunity to do this.
And a massive thanks to all of you for visiting and happy messiness to you all xxxx

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Deligeli Cans


Hi Everyone!

So how often do we look at sundry items and think 'ooo....I could do something with that!'? I expect we all have our favourite things too. Mine is coffee cans. Having said that I've never been that happy with the end results until now mainly because I have club hands and don't have the flexibility needed to get the effect I want without making such a mess I give up. I still kept on collecting the cans though!!

Then I met the latest love in my crafting life...deli paper. It's brilliant and cheap which is also brilliant! I initially bought it because I had seen other crafters using it with their Gelli plates and I adore my Gelli (called Flopsy) so she needed this. I tried it and fell in love...again.

So why do love it? because it is thin, between tissue paper and copy paper I'd say, it is easier to press into the design of my stencils. It has a semi translucent quality so good for layering. It's stronger than tissue paper so, for me, easier to stamp on and paint without disintegrating into a mucky mess. I also use it, as do others, as scrap paper for cleaning my brayer, stamps and Flopsy. And finally it is cheap...see I am repeating myself, because I loves cheap!!

Needless to say I keep all the paper I use for cleaning up stuff which brings me back to my coffee cans which I use for storing my brushes, pencils, markers etc. Also I have got to tidy my craft I can get in it again...not joking either. So, of course, rather than tidying my craft room I decide to decorate the coffee cans, which will make really useful storage, for when I tidy my room. Right, on with the make.


Deli paper
Coffee cans
White gesso
Black Archival ink
PaperArtsy Fresco paints
Dylusions acrylic paints
Black and white marker pens
Matt medium
A selection of PaperArtsy stamps

I used deli paper that I had saved from previous projects and I cut it to fit the coffee cans which I had painted with gesso.

Whilst the gesso was drying I did some stamping onto the deli paper. Some of the stamping I did with paint and some of it with ink. Here I also used my gelli plate. I brayered the paint on to it and then applied the stamp to the paint.I find this easier than applying the paint to my craft mat as I find I get a smoother layer of paint. Also I then use deli paper to wipe up the remains of the paint and so have more paper to play with at a later date.

I then doodled with the marker pens. When all the stamping and doodling was dry I used the matt medium to attach the paper to the cans and I put a coat of matt medium over the top as well to seal everything. The deli paper did wrinkle in places which I think was due to my technique but I rather like that effect although its not very noticeable.  I also put a bit of black gesso around the top and bottom rims of the cans and painted the lids with black gesso. 

I really enjoyed making these as it was really easy and relaxing as they did not have to be perfect. they will be used to store my beads, shells and beach glass....and I will need more cans....happy days!!!

If you have read this far, thank you very much and I hope you all rush out and buy deli paper!

Cheers and messy crafting to all xxxx


Wednesday, 13 July 2016



Hi All....

Am I excited.....YES I AM!!!!  I was chosen to be one of the PaperArtsy 3UP team. Once I had finished dancing on my craft mat, woohooing and generally scaring the cats and neighbours I got to work.

Now I have to be a bit of a sycophant here as I adore PaperArtsy and their products and have been using them ever since I began crafting as well as going on various workshops by the PaperArtsy team which I so recommend. I always learn a new way of using their products and come away with yet another gorgeous item to find a home for.

I was sent a lovely selection of products to use and supplemented this with items from my own stash.

So here goes...lets get messy!!

Magical Ingredients

Orange County
A Bit Jaded
Violet Storms
Are You Cerise

Fresco Paint

Grunge Paste
Satin Glaze
Crackle Glaze

White Embossing Powder
Black Archival Ink
A selection of PaperArtsy Stamps

The infusions are a new product which I have not used before so I was really looking forward to having some fun with them and experimenting with different applications. For this project I used the infusions in four different ways and I am sure there will be lots more from my fellow 3UPers which I'm looking forward to trying.

I used a cardboard plaque as my base which I painted in bubblegum. When dry I applied a very thin coat of crackle glaze. I dried this with my heat gun after which I added a thin coat of nougat paint. I was careful to apply this layer very lightly and to not over brush it so that I would not get a patchy crackle. There are some good videos on the PaperArtsy YouTube channel showing how do do this which helped me.

Next I did some stamping on the plaque which I then embossed in white.

I mixed some of the A Bit Jaded Infusion with some Grunge paste and applied this through one of my PaperArtsy stencils. I really liked the result. A great matt finish and the colour was quite vintage which I love. The products were easy to mix and an advantage was that by adding the infusions it did not alter the consistency of the grunge paste.

As the photo above shows I like to cut up my stencils! I find them easier to position where I want them

While the paste was drying I painted several pieces of white card with the satin glaze. I then sprinkled on  some infusions....and here less is best (boy do I find this hard to do!) which I then brushed through the glaze. This gives a lovely striated effect, showing the variety of pigments in each of the infusions as well as producing a subtle translucency. When this was dry (I let this dry naturally) I stamped the flowers and stems on top using black Archival ink and the cut them out.

I then sprinkled some are you cerise infusions onto some surgical gauze and spritzed with water. This gave me a fabulous vintage look and a luscious pink shade.

To add a bit more texture and depth and to knock back the crackle base I sprinkled on some violet storms infusions directly onto the plaque and spritzed with water, wiping back some areas , leaving it to dry naturally.

Finally I added all the elements to the plaque, adding a lot of bling!



In the above photo I've shown a few examples of playtime with the infusions. On the larger piece I had made a spritz of two infusions....the Are You Cerise and Violet Storms and sprayed this through a couple of stencils. This resulted in a lovely soft, misty effect.

On the tag I I used the metallic glaze over a grunge paste and infusions background and this brought out the walnut stain in the infusions quite nicely, giving an aged effect to the background.

On the last piece I was quite liberal with the infusions. I sprayed a piece of card with water, applied the infusions, spritzed with water and then covered with clingfilm and left it to dry. Love the effect!


This was such fun to do. A huge THANK YOU to PaperArtsy for this opportunity. A massive HUG to Darcy Wilkinson who has had to deal with my panicky emails and wonky photos!!

In all the excitement of being picked for this project I forgot I was going on holiday. I thought there would be no problem doing my blog on holiday....WRONG!! For some reason my tablet wanted to write it all in I only know three words, please...thank you and !!?!....this did not help. So I had to write this on my return which was a bit of a rush so my apologies for any mistakes and photo quality. Actually I might have been better writing it in Balinese !!!

Anyhoo, thanks for visiting and happy messiness to all xxx