Colourful Christmas winner


I’ve been having problems talking to my blog. We still don’t have broadband (five months and waiting) and lately our connection via the mobile phone is getting more and more flaky – to say it’s driving us both potty is an understatement. My blog is not fast at the best of times (I’m moving away from WordPress and building myself a complete new website next summer) so I have had several attempts to get here to announce the winner of my little goodie bag.  A number of you got it right, so I picked at random and the winner is Sheila who got it spot on.

Congratulations Sheila!  (We have your address already, so watch out for happy post by the end of the week).

This is a wonderful project,Glenda,I especially like your use of those beautiful roses at the top which compliment the Madonna and Child perfectly.
I think the stamps you have used are A Child is Born(twice)Family Christmas(three times)and Frosty Trees(once)Super traditional stamps which sit well in your little house!

Sheila xx

Here’s what is used where – click to enlarge.


and here are the featured stamps (click on image to find them in the Chocolate Baroque shop).

A Child is Born Unmounted Rubber stamp sheet - A4

Frosty Trees Unmounted Rubber stamp sheet - A5



A Colourful Christmas

Believe Shadow House01

Can you work out which stamps I have used?  Read on to find out about a little ‘Name that Stamp’ contest I’m running.

I have always loved house shaped shadow boxes and this one has been sitting in my big box of ‘things to alter’ for some time.  I originally painted it pink and green, but not long after we moved into this house, I re-painted it in shades of turquoise and aqua.  I had plans to use our sea inspired stamps to make it a home for my growing collection of sea glass and driftwood.

Last week we had a delivery of these into Chocolate Baroque, so I was galvanised into action and sat down with the stamps.

And sat.

I looked at the images, tried out the seaglass in the sections, played around and in short, was thoroughly uninspired.  I realised it was just the wrong colour to use with seaglass – there wasn’t any contrast.  A sandy colour or even pure white would work much better, but I couldn’t face painting it for a third time so I put it to one side and decided to make a Christmas card.

I had been playing with Stampbord and had a couple of pieces out on the table, including the bright red piece below.  Inspiration struck – I put it against the blues of the shadow box and the idea for turning it into a Christmas box was born.

Believe Shadow House03

Out came the Stickles and the sparkly embossing powders, flowers and pearls and I delved deep into my stash of lasercut chipboard.  I even found some old German scrap borders to put along the roofline.  Deciding what to use and where to put it took longer than actually making the stuff.  I spent quite some time trying out different arrangements before I was happy.

Believe Shadow House04

The largest section called for a ‘feature image’ so I chose this stained glass madonna and painted it with Distress Stains.  When it was dry, I patted it all over with Versamark, then embossed it with a layer of clear embossing powder.  I sprinkled a little crystal glitter onto the halo, but I didn’t want to use any of my sparkly embossing powders as they are just too sparkly and would obscure the detail of the stamp too much.

I used up a lot of older stuff which felt good. As someone working in the craft industry, I always try to use things that are current and easily available, but not this time, I just dug through my stuff and used what seemed to work.  And it was actually very liberating.

Believe Shadow House06

I used a couple of pieces of domino sized Stampbord, both mounted onto a background made with Tim Holtz Melange tissue wrap.  The green piece holds another laser cut shape, a wreath which i painted and embossed with clear powder.  I used a few laser cut shapes in this project, the red rocking horse is a wooden shape and the little houses and the word Believe are laser cut chipboard.

Believe Shadow House05

Believe Shadow House06

I used embossing powders on all these shapes.  The word and the rocking horse are embossed with one layer of Ruby Romance WOW embossing powder then a couple of layers of clear embossing powder.  The houses are embossed with Sparkling Snow (three layers to give really good coverage).

Believe Shadow House02

One of the problems with shadow boxes is that if you just stick an image to the back, it can get lost in the shadow, so I came up with a cheap and cheerful way to bring items forward a little.  I have some old, scruffy mountboard and I cut it up into small pieces, about 1 inch x 1 inch.  Using PVA glue, I layered them up into several stacks to give varying heights to my stamped elements.

Now you may notice I have not mentioned what stamps I have used at all.  They are all Chocolate Baroque of course, but I thought you might like to have a guess yourselves.  During the Chocolate Baroque birthday celebrations earlier this year, the “name that stamp” contests we ran were very popular, so if you’re a fan of Chocolate Baroque stamps, let’s see how many you can name.  Just leave me a comment below with your guesses and I’m going to pick a winner out next week (Friday 14th November) who will get a special little stash pack from me, including some of the embellishments featured in this project.

One thing I will add is that this project was a nightmare to photograph – it’s not called a shadow box for nothing!  I had to use a studio light which has made the colours look a bit cold, so I hope we have a break from the storms soon so I can try again with the camera and see if I can get some pictures that reflect the colours better.

I had a few insights while making this that I’d like to share.

  • Firstly, sometimes changing direction is good – deciding to change from a beachcomber to Christmas theme was actually really fun and got me poking through my stuff looking for anything Christmassy I could include.
  • Which leads me onto my second point – using up older stuff felt good!  If you’re carrying around any guilt about accumulating too much stash, then get it out and either use it or get rid of it.  I found myself happily throwing rubbish in the bin that I’ve had for ages, but realise I am never going to use in a million years.
  • And finally, the greater the effort, the greater the sense of achievement!  Half way through the part where I was pulling things out and ‘auditioning’ them for the box, I got irritated at how slow the process seemed – I told myself I could have finished two or three cards in that time.  But a little patience and a lot of glitter later, it all started to come together and now that it is finished, I have a much bigger feeling of satisfaction and self achievement.

So I hope my project inspires you and I hope you’ll get out some of your stuff and make something this evening or this weekend – make the time to get your creative wheels turning, it’s good for you!



PS – don’t forget to have a go at guessing what stamps I’ve used, I’m putting a very pretty little stash pack together for the person who comes closest (or a random pick if loads of you get it right)

Experimenting with Brushos – with a video for you

We have finally got our official phone line in at the new house (yay!), but we don’t have broadband yet (should be here by the weekend).  I am connecting to the internet via my mobile phone, but it’s slow and very flaky, dropping the connection many, many times an hour which is all rather tedious, so I’m keeping this post short and sweet.

I’ve been playing with Brushos – which if you haven’t seen them are lovely little pots of crystals that mix to a beautiful watercolour just with water.  Because they come as dry crystals, you can have lots of fun sprinkling them onto wet paper, or scattering dry crystals and misting them with a water spritzer.

Today we launched new stamps at Chocolate Baroque – Autumn Edges and Mellow Fruitfulness and I was inspired by another video I saw featuring Brushos to use them with the tree stamp on Autumn Edges.   Purdy wanted to help, so you’ll see her in the introduction.

So below you will find the video and a selection of cards all using the same type of technique with Brushos.



Brusho Trees1

Trees from Autumn Edges stamp set

Brusho Trees2

Trees from Autumn Edges stamp set – this is the one I made in the video

Brusho seedheads

Poppy Seeds from Poppy Edges stamp set

brusho boat

Boat from Seashell Collage, sentiment from Seaside Dreams

Halloween Whitby

Whitby Abbey from Things that go Bump stamp set

And I’ll leave you with a little Happy Meowloween message from my co-presenter

purdy pumpkin1

purdy pumpkin2

She’s a little out of focus, but that’s because she just doesn’t stay still for a second!

Ten minute Autumn cards

I finally got around to making some cards with our latest Autumn stamps.  I need some birthday cards in the next month or two for men and of course Autumnal colours of green and brown fit the bill very well.

These are really simple, quick makes so for any beginners out there, I’m giving you the details, recipe style.  You actually get two cards for the price of one with this simple masking technique.

Leafy Green Birthday

autumn cards04



To make the card:

  1. Place the die cut onto the white card in the place where you want your sentiment to appear and hold it in place with a little masking tape folded over on the back.
  2. Starting with the lightest shade of green, stamp the little frond stamp from Autumn Poppy several times along the bottom of the card, varying the height.  Stamp right over the top of the die cut as well so you have some sticking up over the top.
  3. Take one of the leaf sprays and use your mid toned green inkpad to stamp leaves around the bottom, again stamp right over the die cut and vary the angle of your stamp each time.
  4. Choose another leaf stamp and repeat with the darkest green inkpad.
  5. With the die cut still in place, take the stencil brush and tap onto the lightest colour inkpad.  Starting on the die cut itself, gently swirl the brush all the way around the edge of the label shape.  This will help to define its outline once you remove it.  You can repeat this with your mid toned green if you want to make this a little stronger.
  6. Pick up the palest green again and swirl it gently around the edge of your card panel, but keep it subtle.
  7. Remove the die cut label and stamp your chosen sentiment from the Amazing Birthday stamp set into the middle.  These clear sentiments make it easy to position the stamp in the right place.
  8. Use your mid toned green inkpad to stamp a few individual leaves in the top left and bottom right corners of your folded card.
  9. Stick your stamped panel onto the sage green panel and stick centrally onto your folded card.

In my composition, I placed the die cut in the lower right corner and balanced the overall design with less stamping (more white space) in the top left corner.  I also stamped more leaves on the base card in the lower right corner – if I stamped too many at the top, it would look ‘top heavy’.


Birthday Label

autumn cards01

This card almost needs no explanation as it is the ‘left over’ die cut from the card above, but if you wanted to make it from scratch, it’s a super quick card to make.



To make the card:

  1. Stamp a selection of leaves and fronds from the Autumn Poppy stamp set onto your die cut label shape, starting with the lightest shade of green and working towards the darkest.  Leave part of the label with less stamping so you have somewhere to stamp your sentiment later.
  2. Let the ink dry, then use a large stencil brush to pick up ink from the palest inkpad and swirl it gently over the label to add some background colour.  Repeat with the mid tone green if you wish.
  3. Stamp a sentiment in orange over the lightest part of your label.
  4. Cut a length of decorative ribbon slightly wider than your folded card and glue it to the strip of brown card the same width as your card front.  Stick the ends of the ribbon to the underside of your card strip then stick to your card front.  This is a neat way of adding ribbon without having unsightly ends showing inside when you open up the card.
  5. Apply double sided foam pads to your stamped label and stick over the ribbon strip as shown.

If you are new to stamping, or you think Chocolate Baroque stamps are only for experienced and advanced stampers, I hope these cards go some way to showing that they are versatile enough for any level of experience or ability.  From next month you will see our Design Team bringing you a few quick makes over on the Design Team blog as we all know there are times when you just need to make something in a hurry.

The other quick project I made this week was these pillow boxes and you can read about those on the Chocolate Baroque Shop News page.

pillow boxes

Have a great crafty weekend everyone, but before I go, I must just leave you with a picture of my latest desk accessory.  It’s not exactly helping my productivity though …

purdy basket


Copyright 2008-2014 Glenda Waterworth. All rights reserved.