artfully distressed

pictures of what I create and the places, people and ideas which inspire my art.

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Creative Chemistry 101 day 2 tags

Just a quick post to share my day 2 tags from Tim's online class. I know I am doing these out of order - just picking whatever medium I fancy that day. Really enjoyed doing these techniques with the distress ink pads.

This was my favourite background and I thought the stamp complemented it very well.

I loved it so much I made it into a card.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Creative Chemistry 101 day 8 tags

Had a go at the paint tags last night from day 8, here are my attempts...

I used watercolour paper and a paperartsy stamp for the dabber resist technique.

My first attempt at rock candy crackeglaze was on the letters. I was too impatient and tried to dry it with my heat tool. It just doesn't give the same effect so I tried it again on the heart and left it to dry overnight. I decided I like both effects though.


Published my first blog post for the Indigo Blu design team yesterday. See the pics of some of my favourite samples here. I'll be back there soon with a tutorial.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012


Can't believe it's wednesday already, where did last week go? I have been playing with the techniques from day 5 of Tim Holtz's online class 'Creative Chemistry 101' so that is what is on my desk today...

Here's a close up of my tags

For the tag on the left I used Inkylicious flower stamps, Indigo Blu tree and a Personal Impressions butterfly. Middle tag I used Indigo Blu stamps, tag on the right a copy of Tim's as it was sooo nice so just Tim Holtz stamps.   

Also did you spot the tins in my window. They are from Tesco, I thought they were fab, not sure what I am going to put in them yet. Any ideas? Other makes of tins are also available. ;-)

If you want to have a look at what is on other people's workdesks this week or join in the fun yourself then pop over to Julia's blog at Stamping Ground.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Jubilee themed scrapbook page & NEC photos

Some of you may recognise this page from the WOW embossing powder stand at the NEC where you could pick up the accompanying instruction sheet. I just thought I'd answer one of the questions that came up and also show you a couple more pictures which might make the technique clearer. Any more questions leave me a comment and I'll reply asap.

What Dies did I use? - The dies I used for the banner are from Whimsy stamps. I got the die set from my local craft store but there is a link here to the product on the Whimsy stamps website.

Here are the instructions for anyone else who is interested plus photos:

Step 1 – Choose your background paper (I used Bazzill Dotted Swiss in a dark cream). Decide on the position of your photo and title.

Step 2 – Using masks (e.g. Tim Holtz) or alphabet stickers position your title. Using a sponge dabber quickly apply versamark ink generously around the letters and then remove the letters while the ink is still wet. Apply WOW Ebony embossing powder, (tap off the excess and return to the pot), and heat.

Sorry, not the easiest colours to photograph! 

Step 3 – Stick your photo down using your chosen adhesive e.g. double sided tape. Add stitching around the edge of the page if desired.

Step 4 – To make the banner first cut a number of rectangles of white card slightly larger than the die(s) or size(s) required. Apply WOWembossing powders in a number of colours e.g. Metalline Red, Apple Red, Opaque Primary Azure, Metalline Dark Blue, Metallic Blue. For some of the pennants apply embossing powder to give a solid colour. You could use one of the WOW Ultra high powders (e.g. Apple Red ultra high), use triple embossing, or both! To triple emboss - first apply versamark, then embossing powder, tap off the excess and return to the pot, heat the powder, whilst still hot apply more powder. Repeat the process for 3 layers if desired. For other pennants use WOW background stamps e.g. FunkyBorder Strips or Vintage Wallpaper

Step 5 – Use the die and a suitable die cutting machine and cut out the pennants. **I cut the top edge off some of the scalloped pennants to make a medium size.** If not available use scissors to make a template out of thick card and cut around this. Attach the pennants to string to make a banner using double sided tape, (apply the tape over the edge of the banner from the reverse and then fold over the string). Add a knot at each end of the string and adhere banner to page using foam pads to give dimension.

Step 6 – Finish by adding themed embellishments of your choice. **My buttons are from the Papermania Portobello Road collection.**


Photos of my projects on display at the NEC...


Sunday, 25 March 2012

Scrapbooking by extending the photograph with embossing powders

This is a layout I made for display on the WOW embossing powders stand at the NEC this weekend.

As some of you who have read my blog before may know, as well as papercrafts I also enjoy textile art and quilting. The inspiration for this page actually came from a textile course I took last year at Bramblepatch - 'Blending photos with thread painting' with Brenda Boardman. We learnt in class how to print a photo onto canvas and then use free machine embroidery to extend the photo and 'blend' it into the larger background piece. When I picked up this photo to create a scrapbook layout I realised it had some elements which would be ideal for this technique but using embossing powders instead.

It's easier to see what I mean on the close up photo...

I extended the red carpet and brickwork from the bottom and sides of the photograph.

For the red carpet I used Apple Red embossing powder. I cut two pieces of card and laid them on to the page at the same angle as the carpet in the photograph. I then applied embossing ink in the gap. Allow the bottom edge to be less neat as it looks better than a straight edge. For the brickwork I used Metallic Platinum in the super fine grade. I made the lines using a ruler and embossing pen.   

Easy! Dig out those photographs with elements that can be extended into the page. I'd love to know how you get on.

Other elements on the page:
Chipboard hearts covered in Red Glitz, Apple Red, Burgundy Red and Red Puff embossing powders.
Twiddleybitz chipboard scroll covered in Metallic Silver Ultra High powder.

I'll be back tomorrow with some additional notes for anyone who picked up my Jubilee layout instruction page from the NEC.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012


Well, after joining in the WOYWW fun 3 weeks ago I haven't had a chance since but I'm back today. I'll try and visit as many as possible. If you don't know what I'm talking about pop over to Julia's blog to find out more. Here is my desk today...

At the back are my distress inks. I added a few colours to my collection at Harrogate and then was trying to figure out how to store them so I made all the labels and they are going to sit on my desk permanently. Then I can just grab the colours I want. I also have various dies out and the Indigo Blu stamps that I need to make the next lot of samples. Yikes - which have to be posted tomorrow! You can also see my sketchbook though where I have been jotting down some ideas. If only there were more hours in the day and I didn't have to work I wouldn't be so late doing them....wish me luck! Have you seen the new Indigo Blu stamps? Yummy. Anyway, best go and get stamping, I'll drop by as many desks as possible tonight. 

Monday, 19 March 2012

AFTH Workshops

Sorry I have been awol for a while, I have been so busy creating design team samples but I'm not allowed to share them yet! I made 3 new scrapbook layouts for WOW embossing powders which will be on their stand at the NEC next weekend and I have just posted my next batch of 12 cards for Indigo Blu ready for Wednesdays Create and Craft show. They are launching some fabulous new stamps - check it out at 11am or visit their website here. I'll also be doing my first blog post for Indigo Blu soon.

I did find a bit of time to just play on Saturday though. It was the GNPE show at Harrogate this weekend and my friend Sharon and I were going so we decided to drop in at Art From The Heart in the morning and take the opportunity to do a couple of the taster classes. We did the same last year when it was their 10th Anniversary and had such a good time we couldn't resist going again - especially when the classes are so cheap!

Each workshop was an hour. First we had Dyan, (owner of Art From The Heart and now a Ranger designer), and we played with her new line of sprays and stamps.

Next, after a break to browse the shop and samples, we had a workshop with Kate Crane. Her sample was made using Dy's stamps but when Kate said we should feel free to have a look through the stamps on the shelves in the classroom and use those instead I went straight for the Stampotique range. Love these stamps but as they are wood mounted they cost a bit more so I need to save my pennies. Using them was such good fun though they are definetly on my wish list.

Here's my version,

Like many of you out there I have also signed up for Tim Holtz's first online class. It started today, I haven't had much chance to look yet and this week will be busy but I have some leave coming up so you know what I'll be doing!

Friday, 2 March 2012

Stitched postcard #1 - felted flowers

Those of you who read my WOYWW post will know that I mentioned a piece of grey felt that was waiting to be sprayed with colour sprays. I was really pleased with how that worked, I sprayed several different colours on and then used kitchen towel to dab off the excess. Once dry this gave a really pretty background.

I've finished the project this afternoon. (Should probably have cleaned the house - oops!) It's a stitched postcard, (or artist mailing card). The basic idea came from a book called 'Stitched Postcards' by Christa Rolf. This inspired my layout of 3 felted flowers with free machine embroidery, the rest just came together as I played.

I took my sprayed felt and dry felted, (i.e. with a felting needle), 3 flower heads on to the background by laying red, yellow and orange wool fibres in a spiral. Then I used free machine embroidery to go over the flowers and to decorate the background. For the flower stems rather than use more felt I found an old paper bag handle (knew this would come in useful one day!). I cut slits in the felt to poke the ends through.

Once I had worked out where all the stems would go I cut a leaf shape from brown card to match and stitched this on with the machine first. I then put the stems back in place, couched these on by hand and added wooden beads to the flower heads.

The word ribbon seemed quite fitting since I love free machine emboidery, mixing textiles with paper, beads, the colours on this piece, the felting - I love it all really.
The flower heads had popped up a bit when I embroidered them so I decided to exploit this before sewing the backing on by adding some wadding behind them.

Hope you like the finished piece.