Saturday, 5 November 2011

October 2011 Crafty Retreat

Hello Everyone,
Just wanted to show you what we got up to on our recent Stamp Pad retreat at The Huntsman near Holmfirth.
Here are all the lovely ladies who attended and we all had a fantastic weekend packed with craft, good company, good food and great fun.


This is one of the projects we made.
A Vintage Frame

We created a really cool paint effect using acrylic paint, Distress stains, Rock Candy Distress crackle and mica sprays. I've tried to take a close up so you can see the finish better.

We used lots of techniques to create a shabby chic kind of look and the project was intended to feature an ancestor  - this is my great aunt and is a gorgeous vintage photograph.

In this picture below, you can see the flowers we created using the Spellbinders Spiral Blossom die, along with a Prima flower and a Marianne foliage spray. There are some Marianne flowers which we coloured with Antique Linen distress stain, the bobbin is wrapped with French lace and there are a few buttons there too. We used quite a few Alterations dies: flourishes, the tailor's dummy, the clock, vintage findings and these were coloured with Distress inks, stains or embossed with distress powders, to create a variety of finishes. The whole piece is pulled together with a background of scrunched and inked Prima Madelaine paper.


And here's the mannequin decorated with some of the Madelaine paper and Marianne's netted flowers, again coloured with antique linen.


What I loved about making this project was that everyone's was different by the time they were finished. We offered different colour finishes for the frame and some of them almost looked like tortoiseshell. using walnut stain and mushroom paint with vintage photo distress stain. Some of the photographs evoked very special memories too and it was lovely to hear the stories behind them.

Hope you like it. Bye for now, back with more from the retreat soon.

  



Thursday, 13 October 2011

Hello bloggers,
       Well it's been a while but I thought I had better come back and catch up.
I would like to share these cards we are making for this week's workshops. The title is "Vellum & Velvet" - two of my favourite papers to use but sometimes a little tricky to work with.
I absolutely love velvet paper, it is so lush and strokable. It has a plush velvety texture and the colours are really rich. It embosses beautifully with folders and can also be stamped and heat embossed. It die cuts really easily as well.
Be aware though - all velvet papers are not the same, I like SEI's paper.
 Similarly, vellum can be embossed with folders but you have to treat it gently and stretch it gradually or it can split. Again, heat embossing works really well too.


The text on this card has been embossed in a sparkly gold powder and the velvet paper has been die cut using a nestie. Here's a close up of the velvet panel .

This next sample is really simple - a panel of lovely holly paper sets the background and a wrap of vellum with punched borders and the text embossed in Winter Wonderland powder which is white with a slight sparkle.


Here I have used one of the Marianne Designables. If you've never played with these, it's well worth doing. They part cut the design and emboss the rest - really fab. I've used a white vellum for the panel and set it against a strong blue glitter card. The vellum mutes the card it covers but the glittery bits show through the cut out areas and around the border - I like this effect. Another nestie panel with a stamped message and some gorgeous ribbon completes the design.  


This next sample shoes just how well the velvet paper embosses with a folder. The central beige velvet panel has been embossed with a Christmas text folder and the detail is taken on very deeply.


It has been die cut with the postage stamp nestie and mounted against a deep red card. 
Marianne die cuts,  Basic Grey Wassail paper, lace and some poinsettias finish the card off. 

The tiny but detailed poinsettias are from Artoz and we love these products in the shop, the quality is amazing.


Friday, 19 August 2011

Fantastic Stamp set from Hampton Art

Hello again,
            I just wanted to share a few ideas with the amazing stamp set we have got from Hampton Art. They are part of the Studio G range which is their budget selection but there is nothing budget about the quality of these wood mounted rubber stamps. They are available in a set of 16 stamps, all of which are very usable and "on trend" and you get them for a fantastic price of just £16.00. That's only £1.00 per stamp. So check out the web site at http://www.stamp-pad.co.uk/  in our offer of the week to purchase your set. Don't hang about though because they won't be available again, once we sell out.

This card was made using a Marianne die cut panel, a nestabilities label, embossed with a folder, some BoBunny double dot paper and Wild Honey distress ink. 
I just love this little bird cage. It's fab!


And here's another idea using this lovely butterfly stamp. Here I've used Nestie scalloped circles, Blossoms and Butterflies paper from DCWV and some Marianne flourishes.

Another gorgeous little bird cage stamp. This time, I used a metal stencil through the Big Shot to create the embossed design and then inked with Wild Honey. The image is stamped using the same ink.


This design was done in a similar way but inked using wild honey and bundled sage inks. The image was stamped in rusty hinge.


And this one is stamped onto hand made paper which has been die cut with a nestie.

Well, hope you like them. Hop on over to the web site and grab a set while you can.






Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Leave A Trail

Hi peeps! How fantastic is this weather? I don't want to be working but there we are, c'est la vie.
      I wanted to share another example of a coin album insert I have been playing with. This one features my gorgeous boy Callum and his mates on one of there legendary camping expeditions.
I have used BoBunny Cambridge papers and some of the phrases seemed very apt! ( Especially the bit about leaving a trail if you know what I mean - teenagers !!!).



This time I have used the bubbles which are available to fit into the windows and set the photos behind them. Sorry the photos aren't better but it's very difficult to photograph curved plastic surfaces.
The board was covered first, a bit of flourishy stamping and some birds added, then the edges of the windows inked before inserting the bubbles and then placing the photos behind. I backed the piece as well to seal everything in.
       I really like these panels - must get some in!
See you soon, Gwen x


Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Paris Tableaux


This is a piece I designed from a coin album insert (EK Success) and I have used 7 Gypsies papers to cover it. I then stamped some flourishes onto the stripey paper. In the top three windows I have added some little tiles which came from a sheet of K & Co. images. The photo below shows a detail of two of these. One of them was enhanced by adding a tiny metal frame and adding Diamond glaze. The centre panel has an inked background and is then stamped with the chandelier which has also been glazed and a few gems added.



The bottom three windows have metal filigree flowers, stained with stazon and centred with pearls. The background to them is embossed brass sheet, again, inked with brown Stazon and gently rubbed back. Doing this removes some of the brass colouring and ages it really nicely. You can see this better in the image below.

To finish the piece off, I have added some ribbon, pearl tassels and random small patches of variegated gold leaf flakes. Hitch fasteners and some more ribbon create a hanger for it.
Hope you like it.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Introducing IndigoBlu

Introducing IndigoBlu

I'm really excited to be able to share this piece of news with you. My lovely friend, Kay Halliwell - Sutton has just launched her new company, "IndigoBlu" and has produced her very first range of stamp designs. They are truly amazing and I know you're going to love them. The first three A5 plates feature very English themes, such as Nursery Rhymes and an Englishman abroad. The images are very finely detailed and pressed beautifully. Kay wanted to make sure that all the detail was crisp and would result in a very clear image and she has achieved that. 

Here's one example of these gorgeous designs.

You can see the rest on my web site at http://www.stamp-pad.co.uk/ . The Stamp Pad has them exclusively at the moment and the first few sets come in a limited edition pale green rubber. The introductory price of £12.99 is sure to tempt as well. Check them out folks. 
Kay will be launching her new range with additional designs at Port Sunlight stamping show.
I will be there too but I'm demo-ing for Barbara Gray. Hope to see you there. 

Friday, 1 April 2011

Long Time no Posting !!!

Hi Everyone,
    Sorry I've been missing for so long. I got quite a shock when I realised just how long it has been since I posted on here. I can't quite believe that one quarter of this year has gone already. As you have probably realised by now, I'm not the most  regular blogger around but I am going to try to do more - promise !
Well, what's been happening here since Christmas?
The winter weather was unbelievably beautiful for photo opportunities with the fantastic scenery we have around here but it played havoc with the craft shop's life. So, even though we had a fantastic sale going on, with bargains to be snapped up, there wasn't much snapping happening. Besides the weather, we had major plumbing traumas which I won't go into detail about but suffice to say, it resulted in a completely new and horrendously expensive Saniflo system being installed. Now, visitors are treated to a unique gut trembling, booty shaking (not in a good way) ear assaulting experience and that's just when you flush the loo!   
   So January came & went.
Then in February, we started our workshops again and that brought new life to my four walls, (walls which incidentally are stuffed full of gorgeousness!) and we were busy gearing up for our March retreat. So, oh no! more product had to be delivered, sorted, chopped, bagged and stored in readiness. "Elastic Walls Carol" ( as she is affectionately known in here)  was beside herself! Sorry Carol but I know how good you are at squeezing in "just one more new range.".
   February was good with the added bonus of attending our annual Trade Show at the NEC where even more new stuff was discovered, ordered and ooooed over.
   Eager anticipaion of deliveries followed and then the boxes started to arrive.  Elastic Walls Carol is by now moaning in a corner and asking the delivery men to take them back. In fact, for a while there, the standard greeting from Debra  for the very nice delivery men, bringing parcels, was "Oh No!". (How Rude! I like my delivery men - they bring me goodies).
 However, they were duly deposited on the shop floor and soon their contents disembowelled for more cooing over and stroking. ( The boxes not the delivery men). lol
     So what were the new goodies? I hear you cry.
Well, we have a very extensive range of 7 Gypsies delights, including their new tissue paper sheets and gem studded book rings. Graphic 45 Once upon a Springtime, Curtain Call and Le Cirque papers are absolutely gorgeous.
 We also have a selection from Kaisercraft, not to mention fabulous Viva paints, Eco paints and special effects & finishes. I am in love with our amazing Steampunk inspired charms and we have some stamps along those lines too.
New papers from Echo Park ( something exciting to follow about that ). New Spellbinders' dies, Marianne and Tim Holtz dies and Distress Stains, some new Martha Stewart punches too.
Our beautiful French ribbons have arrived and these give a vintage shabby chic accent to any project and compliment our range of buttons.
Also, we offer a great selection of decorative wooden objects, perfect for gift giving.
There is more - much more - basically, you need to get over here! If that's not possible, then hop on over to our website where I am trying to update products and where you can find out about our workshops.
    You too could enjoy the Saniflo Experience!!!

Glad to be back. Catch up with you soon.



   

Monday, 10 January 2011

Christmas Cat

We aquired a new kitty in August and he is just the most mischievous one we have ever had. He is called Piper but he gets called a lot of other things which I can't publish here! He is very funny though and causes quite some hilarity with his antics. At Christmas, he decided he wanted to join in the present unwrapping and made himself very much a part of the goings on.


A Happy New Year

Hello,
Welcome back after the Christmas and New Year festivities. I hope you all had a lovely seasonal time and managed some r&r. I certainly did. This craft shop was shut up for a little while and I was at home enjoying some quality time with my family and friends and a much needed rest. We had a good mix of entertaining and also some time just flobbing.
Anyway, we are back and busy, which is absolutely fantastic. The SALE is on and there are some bargains to be had. Our first week back was a very busy one and it was lovely to see so many of you after the break.
I had a new batch of samples to create and post off to Barbara in time for her Sunday show, so I had to get back in the creative mode rather quickly. I think I did ok with them and I have added a few images for you to see close up.




If you have any questions about any of them, please send me a message or leave a comment.
Thanks for dropping in.

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