Fairy Coaster Wallhanging

Firstly, just for PEP – the list of colours used in the tags in the last post.


Now I thought I’d written on the back of them all, but I didn’t so I’m going on memory here, but I think I’ve remembered them correctly (click on the image for a larger view).  For more on the tags, see the previous post here.

fairy-wallhanging On to today’s blog – I made this little coaster wallhanging last year with Lesley – she was teaching it as a workshop and I was inspired to make one too as she prepped her class sample.  (Lesley’s has since been published, you can see it in the March 2014 issue of Craft Stamper).

I painted each coaster with a mix of earthy tones with just a tiny hint of aqua here and there.  Over the paint I have some subtle stenciling using Cell Theory and Art Is Crafter’s Workshop stencils.  I then added a layer of stamping using water based dye inks like Memento and Adirondack.  They sink into the paint and dry back fainter than they first appear.  The final layer of stamping is done with Versafine which sits well on top of paint and retains its crispness.  I used stamps from Winter Fairies, Nature Fragments and Royal Fleur de Lys

I added some metal embellishments which I’d painted with Vintaj Patinas then punched holes and connected the pieces with some brown book rings that I’ve had in my stash for ages.  I used some Tim Holtz trinket pins at the top and added a couple of charms and pearls to finish it off.

The coasters I used are made from mountboard, normally used for picture framing.  They’re great because they don’t need any prepping, they’re topped with a lovely smooth, matte card which can be inked and painted and of course it’s ideal for stamping.  Last time I looked, we’d sold out of them all in the shop, but we will get them back in.

I’m off out to enjoy the unexpected sunshine, but I am making an effort to get back into some kind of regular blogging schedule, so will be back soon with some ‘experiments’ to share.



Three colour tag challenge

A couple of weeks ago, Lesley and I had a day of crafting while the boys prepared a belated Christmas dinner for us.  Oh, it was such a treat to be pampered – Lesley’s hubby (Chef) did all the cooking so we were left to our own crafty devices.

A couple of days before that, I’d updated my Distress stain tag swatch book and asked Adrian to choose me three colours to work with.


He chose Mowed Lawn, Pine Needles and Chipped Sapphire.  I picked out the relevant inkpads and began by swirling the colour on with Cut’n’Dry foam.  I then stamped with plain water (a stamp from Lace Fragments) and blotted the tag to ‘lift’ colour in places.  Here’s a close up of how that looked before I added any stamping.

three colour tags01

I enjoyed it so much, he gave me a couple more challenges and I ended up with these three:


My self imposed rules were that I had to use at least two of the three colours to create the background, but I could pick any Distress product in that specific colour to work with.  For stamping and foreground detail I could use any stamps, any colours.

So from left to right above, the colours and stamps are:

Lesley liked the idea so we took turns choosing colours for each other – sometimes we did a blind pick, sometimes deliberate.  This is what we came up with between us.

three colour tags10

And here are the close ups of my tags.  Can you guess what the colour trio is for each one?

three colour tags07 This tag uses distress stains as it turns out my  inkpads in these three colours are bone dry and falling to bits – time for a bit of shopping I think!  I used Breath of Spring and Amazing Birthday stamps.

three colour tags04 I used a mix of inkpads and paints for this one.  The wave was created with the paint, just lightly swirling the dabber top to create the shape, then using a paintbrush to add detail.  The stamps are from Seashell Collage.

three colour tags05 This was using Distress stains again and lots of water.  The image is from Seashore Scenes and is coloured with ColourSoft pencils.

three colour tags02 On this one I tried something Lesley had done on her first tag – put some paint down patchily then, when dry, use Distress stain over the top and the paint acts as a resist.  I used a stencil in the background too, then embossed the stamp from October Fairy.

The fun thing was that as the tag background came together, the idea for which stamp to use just came to me.  I read something recently about different types of creativity – there are some people that plan what they’re going to do from the start and then there are those that experiment and let the ideas develop.  These tags definitely fall into the latter of those two approaches and it was liberating and fun to work with no preconceived idea of what you would end up with.

Why not have a go yourself.  I’d recommend you make a swatch book – tags or small pieces of card you can punch and collate on a book ring or similar.  That allows you to fan them out and either pick colours that speak to you, or turn it over, close your eyes and pick them blind.   If you use Chocolate Baroque stamps, why not share your results with us on the CB Facebook group – click here to visit.  Or if you blog your colour challenge, leave a link in the comments to your blog post (remember to link to the specific post, not your home page).

Anyone fancy picking three colours for me to do my next tag with …?



Addicted to Gelli


I am finding Gelli Plate printing to be quite addictive.  I love to print onto thin papers like newsprint, tissue, dictionary paper, parchment and the brown kraft paper that Amazon often stuff their parcels with. I love experimenting with mark making – not all of it turns out great, but when it’s ripped up and used in conjunction with paints and pens, it takes on a different life.

gelli print03 Having a stack of this thin stuff is just great for collage which I like to include in my journals.

gelli print02 This journal page is a mix of gelli printed papers and paint.


The thinner papers are great for paper piecing.

gelli print01 The paper above ended up becoming the tag below.


This tag features the print shown above and some dictionary paper for the skin.  The stamp is from the Julie Nutting range (Ruffle Dress) and I drew the face in using a Sakura Pigma Micron pen. I even used the plainer border of the print for the top and ruffle to give contrast and to show off the print part of the dress better.  (I added an extra ruffle along the way too in case  you were wondering.)  The tag itself is also a gelli print which has been overstamped with Fancy Flourishes and Abstract Fragments.  I added a touch of shading under her feet with a pencil.

So do you have a Gelli Plate yet?  If you have one, but haven’t got round to trying it out yet, take a look at Monday Mojo Magic issue 19 for a basic introduction.   Last week Debbie showed me how she uses the gelli plate with inks rather than paints and that’s opened up a whole new avenue of possibilities.

If you have been bitten by the Gelli bug, I’d love to know if you’re as addicted as I am!


Starting to think about Christmas

Christmas Tags

Christmas Tags

I haven’t got as far as cards, but making a few tags has got me thinking.  Here I have used Dusky Damask with my latest favourite inkpad combination – Spanish Moss and Crimson Red – both Versafine.  I’ve also used the background stamp from Pears and Baubles then added words from Warm Christmas Greetings.  The ribbon is the lovely two-tone ribbon that we stock and the holly leaf is a Crealies die.

It’s a start …