My little crafting world....

Hi all
I'm a complete craft addict! I have a small business called Surrey Crafts teaching craft workshops from my studio in Esher, Surrey and at venues around the country. I teach mixed media, decorative painting, card making and papercrafts, jewellery making and creative embroidery classes. If you'd like to find out more just leave a comment, or take a look at my other social media pages:
Crafty hugs & stuff


Friday, 9 August 2019

Elephant Anniversary Card for CS August Blog Challenge

This month for the Craft Stamper Blog Challenge, I've gone all romantic and made this card for my hubby for our 27th wedding anniversary! There are (as usual) lovely prizes to be won in the challenge, AND a chance to be featured in the mag! Take a look here.
PaperArtsy stamps, stamped with Versafine, watercoloured with 
DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics and fussy cut.

I was going to use this die cut design in the background, but changed my mind and used a very pretty chipboard embellishment by Scrapiniec instead.  I cut out the hearts from the die cut to dot randomly in the background.

I cut a base layer of white card just a little smaller than the card blank.  
Inked the edges with Fired Brick distress ink to lift if from the base card.
The heart chipboard embellishment was painted with Pyrol Red and Titanium white.
A couple of the little Paperartsly stamped leaves painted, cut out and added to their heads.  Then stamped out the sentiment from a Papermania set, adding some white dots to the larger letters. Added a bit of shading underneath the ephalumps and that completed this simple, colourful card.
Hope you like it, hubby did. ❤😍
Thanks for looking

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Creatures of the Deep, Andy Skinner DT

Hi all
Here's my project for Andy Skinners DT, featuring loaaaaads of his new products and lots of pics of how I used them. I hope you like it.
 I took 3 sizes of greyboard by Tando Creative and gave them a coat of DecoArt Gesso
 A second coat of gesso, and while still wet, I blended in 2 fluid acrylics; Phthalo Turquoise and Cobalt Teal Hue.
A generous layer of DecoArt Crackle Glaze (really fine cracks with this), and once dry, a layer of white antiquing cream, not sure why I put the turquoise paint in the pic!
Close up of the cracks with the antiquing cream, very subtle.

I wanted to use the AWSOME Lava Paste for the texture of the sea bed, but also to see if you could colour the Lave medium before using it, which you can! It looked really dark after I added Burnt Umber and Carbon black mixed together, see below.....
But it did lighten quite a bit once I'd heat activated it, which was perfect for this - but I'd have added paint on top if I needed it really dark again.
Using a fine brush, I painted seaweeds on all three. Then for the middle sized board, I added one of Andy's new rub on transfers from the Alchemy Plus set.
I painted over it with Titan Buff and Metallic Gold, keeping within the outside lines.
There are two sets of transfers in each set, so I was able to use the first as my guide for painting...
And once the paint was completely dry, I went over with the second transfer.
I stamped Andy's fish skeleton stamp 'Dem Bones' using gold paint, then Versamark ink with one of his new embossing powders; Super Nova, but the gold didn't really show up, so I painted on a bit of the Metallic Gold. I also stamped his Seahorse but left that piece out in the end as I liked the 3 little ones together. I used up the spare metallic paint by dabbing a tiny bit of gold over the top of all the Lava Paste.
Added a teensy bit of Phthalo Green Blue back over the top halves of each shape for a bit more sea like colour, hardly noticeable. Also neat Phthalo Turquoise around the edges of each piece.
To highlight the plants and fish, I used a fine liner with Titanium White paint. For the shading - to give the fish a bit of depth (see what I did there, sea, depth....) I used a black Stabilo All watercolour pencil, dragging out the black for a watery look.
Pyrol red dotted on all the eyes gives a bit of colour and character, and the cheesecloth (a bit of old bandage) ties in with the sea theme.
Another transfer, a word this time, also highlighted with white paint.
I put the pieces together using a strip of hessan and the bandage, which I stapled on - my stapler opens right out so I could use it even on these thick pieces. Then some repurposed string, tied top and bottom around pieces of driftwood and it was finished!
I loved playing with all these products, and I hope you like it. Any questions, leave me a comment.
Thanks for looking.
Oh and here's a pic of the products used, and a link to Country View Crafts where you can find most of them. 😊

Friday, 12 July 2019

Silk Painting Flamingo using Hobby Art stamps

Hi all
My post this month for the July Craft Stamper Challenge is a fun flamingo card, using Pebeo silk paints and stamps from Hobby Art.  There are fab prizes to be won this month by one lucky winner and a chance to be featured in this amazing magazine, why not have a go! Click HERE to have a look.
I'm running a silk painting class in just over a week and was curious to see if stamping onto one of the silk fabrics I'll be using would work.

First attempt at stamping directly onto the fabric failed! So the second time I inked up the stamp using the beautiful, Vibrant Fuchsia Archival Ink (one of Wendy Vecchi's) then laid the fabric on top and brayered over the back of the fabric.
It gave me enough of an image to then go around with  a fine black Micron pen, that made it easier for me to see the image and add the Gutta Outliner (which creates the barrier on the fabric to stop colours running into each other). 
Then it was just a matter of mixing the silk paints (Pebeo Settasilk) to get the colours I wanted, and gently painting them onto the fabric.
Then comes the hard to bring it all together....
I framed the picture by using an aperture card from Hobbycraft - these were disappointing as only had one aperture side and a blank side, normally a decent aperture card would have a third panel. So to make it work I had to stick the fabric inside the aperture card, then trim the whole thing down a bit so I could glue it onto another separate card blank. To finish off I added some faux stitching with a marker pen around the edges and circle, then added the stamped sentiments and a little bow.

Hope you like it.
Thanks for looking.

Friday, 14 June 2019

New Home Card for the Craft Stamper June Challenge

In this post for the Craft Stamper June monthly challenge, I've made a fun and colourful 'new home' card for my niece and nephew-in-law, who moved into their new home last weekend, (and are coming to stay with me this weekend). There is a lovely set of stamps to be won by one challenge entrant, so why not have have a go!

This stamp is made by Chocolate Baroque, and was designed by my talented friend Kim Moody. When I saw it I had to buy it for this very purpose! I've added in a few extras and die cuts too.
Here's how I made it.

I stamped and embossed the image.
 Painted it using watered down fluid acrylics like watercolours. Added a bit of gold to the door.
 Some shading to add depth to all the elements.
 Painted some dot roses and drew in a black cat clinging to the fence for a bit of fun
 (they have a black and white cat). I did add pupils to his eyes after this!
 A bird on the roof too - though I almost ruined it with the shading later!
 Shading around the image with more watered down blue and some clouds dabbed on.
 Here's what I used for the additional bits (flowers, cat, birds)
 Die cut new home in black and white - layered up on the card. Also die cut the key, and the heart that fell out of the key I painted and stuck onto it.

 To finish I added some white highlights all over the place, drew a couple more little birdies in the sky, mounted the design onto black card and popped it on a card blank.
I hope you like it. I really hope my niece likes it too!
Thanks for looking. 
Ohhh and you can find this stamp here on the Chocolate Baroque website - search Kim Moody to see all his gorgeous designs!

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Freedom is Fragile

Freedom really is fragile. 
The gorgeous NEW range by Andy Skinner is now in my possession! I had so much fun with them!
Loved the Gypsy Queen moth stamp, so had to use that first, but I in the end I used a ton of his new stuff and loved it. Among the extra elements I used on this piece were a rusty nail I found buried in a field with my metal detector (birthday pressy!), a closure from a broken box, beautiful feathers I gathered in Richmond Park, ribbon cut from clothing and the cardboard backing from an old notebook.
I stamped and embossed the moth with the Raspberry Ice Cream powder. Masked off the moth then stamped with my next fav stamp, Enigma, using Satin Sunset embossing powder.
At this point I hadn't really decided where this piece was going, I was just having fun playing with the new products. It was the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day landings that week, we went to London and visited the Imperial War Museum. After seeing the Holocaust exhibition I knew I wanted to do something to commemorate all those victims who had their freedom and for so many, their lives taken from them. So 'Freedom is Fragile' became my theme. 
I dabbed white paint through the Let It Rain stencil. 
 Then defined the shapes with a black fine liner. The rectangular card was too plain, so I tore 
around it to get tatty edges and dabbed all the way around with red paint.
 On a piece of card, I stamped out another of Andy's new stamps Distressed Wallpaper.
Went in with Distress Inks - but these kind of obliterated the stamping. 
So I went back in with the dark brown ink and it showed up beautifully. 
Next I added a few paint splatters using diluted white paint. 
Tore some parchment strips and added a scrap of ribbon.
 I heat embossed a wooden heart with the Satin Sunrise powder and stamped in to it while it was still molten,with the wallpaper stamp. .
To give the moth a floaty feel, I smudged white charcoal pencil all the way around it. Then Using the black pen, I drew back around the moth to make it stand out. 
I used one of Andy's new transfers. Again I was a bit clumsy, but non of this was supposed to look perfect or crisp, so I wasn't worried. 
A rusted metal flower, chain, rusty wire twisted into spirals, the heart I embossed earlier (then added paint to) and a few other elements.
Then I made some barbed wire! 
 Twisted the wire into a heart shape to fit over the moth.
 For the base layer I used the cardboard from an old notepad. 
 Glued down some torn book pages and washed over with red and quin gold.
 Washed over with very diluted Prussian Blue Hue (love that colour!).
 Heat embossed the wallpaper stamp in the background (this stamp is also going to get a lot of use!).
 I laid the focal piece on the back board and worked out where to put my feathers. I just used the scraggiest as I wasn't sure how they would react once I covered them with hot wax! 
 Melted some wax in my melt pot. 
 Brushed it on...
 It was a bit thick so I used my heat gun to re-melt it and brush some away. This looked much better
 Then out came the AMAZING LAVA PASTE!!!
 Applied with a palette knife, then brushed up with my fingers.
 Back to the first layer - edged with metallic lustre.
 And the last step before layering up, was to add red then brown paint across the Lava Paste, then edge with the Prussian Blue!

 A few close ups...

 Products used:
There is a lot of symbolism in this piece. 
Read on for all the products used - and if you'd like to know more about the thoughts and meaning behind things.....  

Our trip to the IWM was very powerful, especially the Holocaust section.The numbers under the moth reminded me of the tattoos prisoners were made to have. Prisoners were not allowed to be called by their names. Because of all the awful things I read, raindrops on the day I used them, looked like tears, (just a reflection of what I'd seen - they will look like raindrops another time!). The barbed wire represents confinement. The box clasp represented things taken from victims in life and death. And the feathers, these can represent so many things, but commonly freedom, valour, and angels.  Those awful events should never have happened, and it struck me just how fragile freedom really is. And how quickly it can be taken away.
Andy's Gypsy Queen, Enigma and Distressed Wallpaper Stamps (find them along with most of the products I used here), Poe Diversity Media Transfers, Rain stencil, Lava Paste, Raspberry Ice Cream and Satin Sunset embossing powders. For a detailed list of the products used, take a look at my post on Andy Skinners blog Here!