Seaside Dreams

Well firstly, thank you all for your very encouraging comments about me doing some workshops – I had lots of replies over on Facebook too, so I’m trying to get something planned for the end of October and will let you know what, when and where.

Meanwhile, Chocolate Baroque  just launched a set of Seaside themed stamps last week (Seaside Dreams) and of course they are instantly my favourite stamps ever.

I used them to create this week’s Monday Mojo inspired card which features a transparent strip along the front to reveal the inside of the card.  Click here to read the tutorial showing how I created this type of card.


The inside is a gelli print which I stamped with Archival Aqua ink.  The shells on the front were stamped with Pale Ochre Archival ink, masked off and stamped again.  I then drew a pencil line above the shells, simplifying the shape slightly and cut them out to form the base of the card.

The line below the beach huts was drawn using a useful gadget – the curved Tonic rulers which are handy when you want a wave shape bigger than anything a paper trimmer can do.

seaside bunting

When Lesley came to visit a couple of weeks ago, we had real fun playing with these stamps.  I had the idea of making seaside bunting, but I got carried away with colouring and I think it might take a while to do a whole string of bunting!  Lesley made a super postcard which you can see on her blog  (  My bunting is coloured with polychromos pencils, including the sea behind the huts which uses lighter and lighter shading to fade out to white.  Today the view from my window is of a sparkling grey-blue sea, but we sometimes see it where the sea fades out to sky with no visible horizon and the boats look like they are floating in mid air.


seaside mermaid

We also did some gelli printing and the mermaid card below uses one of my prints as the backing paper.  The mermaid is coloured with copic markers.


mermaid seashells


The scalloped circle card seemed very appropriate for the shells. I stamped in Archival Potting Soil and coloured with pencils before covering with a mask. Once masked, I used a large brush to add colour to the sky and sand. The two starfish are from  Underwater Kingdom which are also coloured with pencils. Just when it was all looking good, I noticed a smudge at the top of the card, so I picked out the tiny shell from Mermaid Queen and stamped it all around the edge which disguised the mark and gave the whole thing a nice frame too.

I hope you are enjoying the same glorious sunshine that we have here at the moment. We are making the most of it while it lasts – we were out last night on the putting green then we took a trip out to sea to watch the sunset.  The sky was fantastic!




PS – you can click on any photos to see a larger image – just use the back button on your browser to return to the post.


A couple of cards

Mackintosh Lady

Mackintosh Lady

I wanted to share a simple card made with the Mackintosh stamp sets.

I stamped the lady from Mackintosh Windows onto white card and coloured her with Copics. I cut it out with a thin white border and layered it onto a background made with Dylusions sprays.  I sprayed onto very absorbent watercolour paper – the more absorbent the paper, the softer spray inks blend (try blotting paper sometime and you’ll see what I mean).  I stamped the background with the rose border and layered it up very simply onto an aqua layer and plain white card.

I like to have a few cards ready made that have no sentiment.  They are useful when you need a card in a hurry, a birthday, a get well or even just a thinking of you card.  You can add the words that are appropriate at the time and the recipient will be grateful that you have sent a hand made card.

Sometimes though, the words are the focus of the card.

sending a smile

This little card says it all really.  Again, the background layer is Dylusions, this time sprayed onto a textured card.  The sentiment (Amazing Birthday) and the floral edge are stamped with Archival Magenta Hue and the flower is made from scraps, including leftovers from the sprayed background.  The brad in the centre of the flower is a standard brass office paper fastener pressed onto a Versamark pad and embossed with WOW Sparkling Snow embossing powder.

If you’ve never tried customising your own brads, then my top tip is get a lump of polystyrene or blu-tack and put the brad in it before heating – you can do a whole batch in one go.  Poke holes in a piece of card to store them or even give them to your crafty friends as a little gift – just be sure to use an opaque powder rather than transparent, unless you want the brass colour to show through.


I’ll leave you with a little teaser – we launch new stamps over on the Design Team blog tomorrow …

castle teaser




Back from Amsterdam


I really should be careful what I say, shouldn’t I?  After what I said in my last post, maybe I invoked Murphy’s law because shortly after that, our phone line went out completely!  And it is still out completely – no voice line whatsoever, but lots of static and crackles on the line.  What is weird is that we occasionally get moments online, but never for very long.  (Apologies to everyone on chat last night – my visit was cut rather short.)  It turns out to be a major fault affecting not just us, but several houses in the area.

Anyway, we’re back safe and sound from a wonderful weekend in Amsterdam.  I taught a bouncy boingy card class at De Posthumus Winkel, a gorgeous shop in the heart of Amsterdam.  I will put some pictures up here when the connection is back up (my photos are at home, I’m at work … ), but I have to say a huge thank you to all the lovely ladies I met – those who looked after me and those who came along to the classes.  I really enjoyed my time, but I definitely want to learn Dutch now so I can understand what you are all saying!

Now as I don’t have any new photos to show you, I thought I’d show you an old halloween project.  This is a canvas that was published in the old Guild newsletter back in 2009.  It is made with a stamp set called Twilight Zone and I have included the original instructions for you.

You will need:

  1. Cut a large label from scrap cardstock with the Labels 4 die and stick to the canvas with soft gel.
  2. Peel apart the printed napkin so you have just the top printed layer.  Apply a coat of soft gel to the canvas and scrunch up the napkin, then open it up and lay it over the canvas.  Press down and pat it down all over the front of the canvas, aiming for some texture.  Burnish it gently around the die cut, taking care as the napkin is quite fragile at this stage. Turn over the canvas and apply more gel to the sides and back, then wrap the napkin around and trim off any excess.
  3. Leave for about 5-10 minutes for the gel to set, then paint a coat of gel over the top of the napkin, sides and back as well.  This seals and protects the napkin from being torn by further layers of paint.  Leave to dry thoroughly.
  4. Stamp the spider’s web stamp onto white card using Tuxedo Black Memento.  Colour in the image using Copics or ProMarkers
  5. Mat onto black cardstock then give it a light coat of Soft Gel Matte or Glue ‘n’ Seal.
  6. Stamp the black cat with black Versafine and emboss with a sparkly embossing powder such as Black Glint or Clear Hologram.  Cut out then cover with Glossy Accents.  For the eyes, I fished out two tiny sequins from a jar of Beadazzles and dropped them onto the Glossy Accents – it’s a little difficult to control, so an alternative would be to add a couple of dots with a gold pen once the Glossy Accents is dry.
  7. Using a large flat paintbrush, apply iridescent gold paint to the edges of the canvas, aiming to lightly skim the surface and highlight the texture of the napkin.
  8. Spell out the word SPOOKY with the chipboard letters.  Mine were self adhesive, but because of the textured surface, I had to stick them down with gel or Glossy Accents.  Once dry, sand the surface of the letters to reveal some white, then colour over the white with an orange marker.
  9. Use the same orange marker to colour over the iridescent gold paint around the letters and around the edge of the canvas.  The transparency of the Copic (or ProMarker) ink over the gold paint creates a beautiful glowing orange colour.
  10. Punch about a dozen fern leaves from black cardstock.  Stick the stamped image to the canvas with gel, then arrange the leaves around the picture to create  a frame.  Stick them down with gel, then give them all a top coat of gel and leave to dry.
  11. Lightly spray the bottom of the canvas with orange and the top with purple spray inks and blot off the coloured picture.
  12. Apply vine rub ons to the corners and orange Stickles to the chipboard letters.  Finally, stick on the black cat and you’re done!

And while we’re on the subject of black cats, here’s another blast from the past – my Basement Cat album featuring the late, great Basil.

Click on the image to view the original blog post with more photos.

The good news is that a BT van was spotted heading for our house this morning, so who knows, we may get home to find a working line once again!