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


Sunday 28 December 2014

Tree treat boxes

Made these little tree treat boxes as gifts for my workshop ladies. I designed the boxes so the lids could slide up wire so that I could pop a treat in them.. Bit fiddly as I'd decided to use jewellery wire and beads as a decoration on the mechanism, but this did mean they could hang from a tree. I thought the fiddliness was worth it as they did look lovely, if I had been making less of them I'd have added even more beads! I didn't take step by steps so I've made a tutorial with pics below.

You can make these boxes any size.
1. Punch 6 circles out of lovely papers,....

....then another from scrap. Fold the scrap circle in half one way then the opposite way. Draw a line from the ends of two lines and cut a square this size to fold your circle over.

 If you want to make the inside circle defined, then fold the circles TOWARDS you over the squares, that makes them really easy to run the ink over with a blending tool or ink pad.
If you are not inking then fold the opposite way.
 I find it helps to decide which circle will be the top and I use the least blingy circle for the bottom. I line them up and then take two at a time in the order they will stick and punch a hole through for the wire.
I use a glue stick for speed, and as I use paper that is strong enough. I stick the bottom and sides so that the punched holes line up - but not the top as this runs free up and down the wire (see main image above).
 Then I glue the two other sides which don't need holes.
 This is a pick of the bottom, with all sides and bottom glued

And this pic is with the box upright and just needing the wire, beads and lid added.
 I put the lid in place, thread jewellery wire through from the top, down each of the two sides, adding the beads before threading through the final hole at the bottom and back up twisting the wire to secure (have a look at the main pic). Then the lid will slide up and down the wire so make sure the wire is long enough for a generous handle - this also means it can be hung from a tree or other decorative object if yo u wish! PLEASE IGNORE THE PIECE OF PAPER WITH "BOTTOM" WRITTEN ON IT¬  as that relates to previous steps. 
Voila! Have fun, Suz xxx

Tuesday 9 December 2014

Mini Christmas Pud card

Here's the cute mini card I made for my lovely workshop ladies. 
Great card when you need to make lots. Here's how and products used:
Mini white card blank. Cut gold card 1cm smaller than the card. Then a red square 1cm smaller than the gold. Punch a 1inch circlefrom brown card. add white to the top (I used a white corrector pen as they were cheap and gave good, quick opaque coverage). Punch a holly shape from green card and add gems or stickles glue (I used stickles as quicker, but go lightly). Stamp the base that sits under the pud, I used one from the spellbinders set that I got free with a mag. Then stamp the greeting. I used on from a fav Christmas set by JoFy. Draw lines with shapes using a micron pen and colour in with a white pen or the corrector pen. Then glue the brown circle and add the holly and berry shape. Voilla! Have a go, it's easy! Suz xxx

Monday 8 December 2014

Poinsettia Tree decoration

Here's a Christmas Bauble I made using the Oak House Studio Poinsettia and Winter Words stamps.

I painted the wooden shape with white Gesso and once dry I inked the whole thing withVersamark then heat embossed with Stampendous Aged Aqua embossing enamel ( had this for years but never know what to use this for before!!). I then stamped the Winter Words across the whole thing with Valentine Pigment ink (also from OHS). I stamped the poinsettia twice onto red card and once onto green, cut out and layered them up, glued them onto the bauble and added Stickles glitter around the shape and leaves and some seed beads to the centre of the flower. Then a bit of ribbon and a bow and voilla! Have fun with your baubles! Suz xxx

Saturday 15 November 2014

Winter wishes diamond pattern card

Hi all

Here is a simple card I made using the beautiful decorative diamond stamp. I love the shape and pattern, very stylish and Art Deco looking to me, but I wanted to use it in a different way.

So I inked up a piece of glossy paper using the OHS French Mint Spray ink, dabbing some away to leave some lighter areas of interest. Once dry I stamped the diamond using an Archival ink in a circular motion laying each side together, sometimes overlapping a little. Then I went around the square with a black marker pen, layered the card onto a complementary piece of coloured card from the Paper Mill, then onto a square white card blank. I then just stamped the lovely text and added a few gems - one in the center, and others elsewhere to tie it together.

Wednesday 29 October 2014

Mens Winter Tag

So here is a colourful mens tag which I still managed to squeeze a little glitter and jingle onto!

I stamped the image onto a plain tag putting both Spring Green and Cobalt Blue on the stamp to give a colour graduation - a nice idea from the Craft Stamper Challenge - then embossed using Crystal Sparkle embossing powder for a snowy sparkle. I stamped and embossed twice more onto white paper and coloured all the leaves in with watercolour paints and cut them out. 

I used spray inks on the background between the embossed images the applied some Cobalt Blue pigment ink with my fingers to give more depth then heat set.  Once I was happy with the background colour I added the gold fence along the bottom, and placed the ribbons on top then started to layer up the decoupaged Ivy. 
I stamped and embossed a lovely sentiment using the Valentine red pigment ink pad on a die cut cream circle, then layered over the top of this with a gold die cut normally used as a watch frame. Finally I added more ribbon and bells to the hole in the top. 
Products used from Oak House Studio:  
Have fun. Suz xxx

Tuesday 28 October 2014

Upcycled beer mat

As you've probably noticed, I do enjoy taking something you might otherwise throw away and playing around with it. So here is an old cardboard beer mat I aquired which I've made into a coaster for my craft table.
I gave the beer mat a coat of Gesso to completely cover the advert underneath and used a narrow decorating paint brush to give the paint texture and make obvious brush marks. Once dry I sprayed with French Mint spray ink from Oak House Studio and let it run into the brush marks of the Gesso and dabbed some away with paper towel to leave white patches. I then used the Squares Border Stamp to create a frame around the coaster with Cobalt Blue pigment ink embossed with clear powder and wrote some words inside the squares which I coloured in with a white pen. I then cut two hearts out, one from scrap white card and another slightly smaller from a magazine page.  Magazine pages tend to be stronger then newspaper and you still see the text clearly after spraying (so make sure you read what the text says!!!). I sprayed both hearts with a mixture of French Mint and Spode Blue spray inks and because they are different papers the colour 'takes' differently, giving a nice variance. I layered the hearts up and stuck them onto the mat using a glue stick as they are thin paper. Once dry I drew around the heart with a black charcoal pencil and smudged it in to give some depth I stamped the border again onto a white card scrap and wrote inside the squares, cut out each square and stuck them onto the heart. 
Just a bit of fun, but I love the colours and textures. I will spray the mat with a clear varnish so that I can put a hot drink on it without damaging it, didn't do this before the pic as it creates glare. 
Have fun with your projects. Suz xxx

Saturday 11 October 2014

Oak House Studio October One Stamp!

Hi all
The first time I heard about this challenge I thought it was a fab idea; how many ways can you use just one stamp! Here are a couple of my ideas. Hope you like them:

Make an acetate box lid
For this project I took an old jewellery box and just made a new lid using heat resistant acetate. I stamped the Christmas Corner image with Versamark ink and heat embossed using Copper Detail embossing powder from OHS. I then used glass paints on the back so that I didn't need to worry about going over the edges too much. Once dried I then went over the back of the glass paint just on the flowers with DecoArt Americana white acrylic paint so it was less transparent. On the front I added some glitter glue and gems. Once it was all dry (I'd put the glitter glue on so thickly it took ages!) I made up the box using super sticky double sided tape. To hide this and finish off the lid I added some pretty lace all around the sides of the box with wet glue.
Original box -
I used the lid as my base as it had a ribbon
 to hang from the tree, plus
 it was a lovely colour and better shape.

For the second project I decorated a cheap candle which came in a pack of 3 from the 99p shop - great stocking filler!I stamped onto tissue paper from used packaging with an archival ink pad - I'll try a pigment ink next time. I cut out the image, laid it onto the candle, took the waxy bag from inside a cereal packet, placed the candle inside it (after cleaning out any crumbs!!) and wrapped it tightly around the candle to hold the image in place (holding the excess waxy paper at the back of the candle).  This means you can see the image and how it is reacting to the heat. Then just use a heat tool and move it across the image until the tissue paper disappears into the candle - careful not to overheat any areas as this will distort the shape of the candle.

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Oak House Studio October Borders and Frames challenge

This bright sunny card was made using OHS stamps and embossing powders. I stamped out hearts from the Stitch in Time stamp set in 4 different colours; firstly using a clear embossing ink pad then adding embossing powders: I heat embossed with pearl gold then copper detail powders. For the third and fourth colours I used a golden yellow and burgundy ink pad and embossed with the clear embossing enamel. I cut out all the hearts and arranged them as shown with one of the button stamps embossed in the copper colour for the middle piece, and also for the sentiment. I Then took a piece of cream card and stamped the frame border using clear ink and the pearl gold embossing powder and for the inner frame on the white card I again used the Golden Yellow ink pad and clear embossing enamel. I finally added a ribbon in a complementary colour and to that added a button. A cheery card great for a get well. For a more detailed list of the products used visit the Oak House Studio Blog. Suz xxx

Sunday 21 September 2014

Upcycled paper bag

 For this weeks project I decided to upcyle a plain brown paper bag (courtesy of the local Chinese take-away!!). It was the prefect size to put some parchment magazines in which I'd bought for my Aunts 97 year old mother, who still makes all her own cards and goes to her painting club on a Friday morning. Oh I hope I can do that at 97!!!
I added a piece of white A4 card which I'd spritzed with Brazil Nut spray ink then torn around the edges. I die cut the words using my Cricut Mini and sprayed them with my three main colours of Brazil Nut, Citrus Yellow then Paris Pink. 

 I then used the yellow and pink sprays on some old  'brief tape' (used in the old days to wrap the 'paper briefs' given to Advocates in the Crown Court. This was given to me years ago by a friend who worked for a Solicitors, but due to its course nature, off white colour and floppy texture I'd never used it. Now I've found how well it took the spray inks I'll be using it lots! I used it to make the bow, decorate the handles and as a band of colour under the sunflowers. Little hint here is to use the yellow first. This gives a better orange and prevents any being bright pink which I didn't want for the Autumnal Challenge - but will love for another time!

Perfect fit for the parchement mags!
 The sunflowers were stamped and embossed with the Copper Detailed Embossing Powder onto yellow card, then I just used a watercolour brush to again add a mixture of the sprays to colour. I didn't use the paper in the pic above with the orange/ yellow ribbon - that was just to show how you can create a beautiful bit of coloured card by soaking up the sprays from the ribbon. So no wasted colours! Have fun, Suz xxx

Tuesday 9 September 2014

Autumnal Colours

Here are two projects I've designed for Oak House Studios Autumnal Colours Challenge. Both are cards, one is a traditional simple combo of stamping and watercolouring. The other is a bit more abstract.

For the Sunflower card I stamped and embossed a central image using the OHS medium sunflower stamp and the OHS copper embossing powder. I Stamped the image again with black archival to make a mask which I cut out. Then after laying the mask I stamped another flower either side of the masked image and embossed with Pearl Gold embossing powder.- which I also used for the sentiment. I went around each image and the sentiment with a Spectrum Noir alcohol marker (EB2) for a little deptth  I then coloured these with watercolour paints.
 For the heart card I took a plain Kraft card 5x7 blank. Sprinkled embossing powders randomly over the card and spread around with my finger to give a swirly look then just heated from underneath so the powder didn't just blow away (as it wasn't fixed to the card with anything). I did this with the Copper, Pearl Gold and Seafoam white embossing powders. Then I sprayed the card with some OHS spray inks in Brazil Nut and Paris Pink to give the background a bit of interest.

 I took the Walesby Heart stamp and stamped onto pink card. Sprayed it to death with the inks. added some gel pens to the hearts and dots then, once dry I inked all over with a Versamark pad and embossed with Crystal Sparkle embossing powder which completely changed the look and gave it a sparkle with lots of different tones (love it!).

 I die cut 4 corners from black card then used gilding wax to give a metallic look. Die cut wings from pearl white paper. Wrapped some wire to create the shapes on the heart and across the card. Added silver pearls and hand wrote letters. I went around the letters and edges of the corners with a Pitt black marker pen and smudged to soften the line. See top card for the finished article as this pic was taken without some elements. Good messy fun! Suz xxx

Thursday 28 August 2014

New Home Card

Here's a simple 'New Home' card I made using the house stamps I bought along with the Kate Crane DVD (love her work, did a workshop with her in Harrogate last year) from The Artistic Stamper. So it's only right that I enter it into their Anything Goes August Challenge!
Anyway this was made by stamping and embossing onto scrap backgrounds I'd made, chopping them up and swapping bits around (paper piecing!). Before gluing the houses onto a card blank I stamped the sentiment a few times. I stuck the middle house on with raised foam pads to make it stand proud,in keeping with the sentiment. After gluing the houses on I then drew a little border to frame it all.
I made this in a real rush as we were unexpectedly visiting friends in their new home.....then FORGOT TO TAKE IT, lol!!! Suz xxx

Wednesday 27 August 2014

Stamping with Corrugated Card

Hi all
This was a quick make to enter the Craft Stamper Challenge.
The theme was anything from any issue in 2014! I chose a simple but fab technique from the September 2014 issue which was the Stamping with Corrugated Card technique inspired by Claudia Neubacher. on page 69.

I used book pages and chalky pink and white paints to create the backgrounds using two scraps of corrugated card for stamping and a brayer. I used a sentiment stamp from Oak House Studio and a Tattered Lace die which I cut 3 times and chopped into for the branches and additional birds - love that die! The focal shape was a frame die with an aperture cut.The flowers were circles of card I cut into scalloped spirals and rolled up with a quilling tool, finally I added a few gems to bring out the purple of the flowers. Photography was a bit dodgy because I had to do this in quick spurts during the late afternoon so finished it in the dark and in a hurry, but hopefully you can see what I was getting at! Ta Suz

Monday 25 August 2014

How to create the patchwork watercolour backgrounds

Hi all
Very excited to say I've been asked to be on the Oak House Studios design team for the next 3 months. Love Lynnda's spray inks and stamps so this is wonderful news!

The card sample below is one I used in my workshop on Saturday and uses the beautiful OHS Sunflower click here for details. There are two ways of creating the background; one uses squares of coloured tissue paper the other is to make your own coloured tissue paper using spray inks on recycled tissue paper from packaging - guess which we used! So once the paper is cut into squares you take a piece of card, must be thick enough to take water - so watercolour paperis good- spray it with water, lay down the tissue paper making a collage complely covering the paper. Keep spraying water on the back of the tissue paper and use a paint brush or your fingers to burnish the paper so that it completely makes contact with the card (otherwise you will get some white patches - though that can look cool). Leave to dry. Once dry the paper simply falls away leaving a beautiful pastel patchwork background that you can stamp on as usual.

Once I'd stamped the Sunflower I used Aquamarkers and dragged the colour down the petals with a waterbrush. To finish off I drew swirls around the stamp (to cover a mark!!) added cosmic shimmer glue to the middle and sprinkled on tiny small black sparkly gems.. For the mid layer I usedanother OHS stamp called the English Garden Words stamp, which worked a treat as a backgound. Details here. Great fun! Hope you like it, why not have a go yourself.
Suz xx

Monday 18 August 2014

Watercolour background technique with Clarity Stamps

Here is a quick post to show the sample card for my workshop this Saturday. We will make various watercolour backgrounds using a technique I've come up with (will post details after the classes) and using the beautiful Clarity Hummingbird and Vine stamps. Hope you like it - I loved making it!
Suz xx

I'll enter this into a couple of blogs as I've not participated for a while. Hel's Sheridan's Sunday Stampers  which this week is 'Backgrounds' and the Clarity Stamp Challenge which is 'Feminine' and I thing this card with the pastel background, vines and hummingbird fits that. 

Wednesday 30 July 2014

I wanted to make a quick and economical wedding gift for a friend who's getting married as our main gift was vouchers. So there I was in Ikea and saw this lovely little flower pot, but a bit too plain! I rubbed a little Archival Cobolt Blue ink around the edges then quickly, before it dried, I rubbed it all around with a bit of kitchen towel that had a splash of alcohol handwash on it to smudge the colour all around the base. I then just stamped randomly using the beautiful heart from Oak House Studios o a stamp block, rolling it across the surface. It worked a treat so will enter it into the Oak House Studio Challenge which is wedding themed. ! You could do this for the table centre pieces too, co-ordinating the colours and stamp to the wedding theme! Suz xxx

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Simple fella's card

Not that the fella getting the card is simple, that'd just be rude, but it was a simple card to make.  It's for my bike made uncle who is currently restoring some old two wheeled thing he treasures!

I stamped and embossed the Clarity Stamp motorbike image with a Cobalt Blue Archival ink pad. Printed out the sentiment on my PC, layered the bike image & sentiment onto blue card (which had been white but I coloured it using Chipped Sapphire distress ink, did the same for the background mat). Then I layered some patterned paper and a bit of ribbon, which was a lighter blue but I ran a deep blue alcohol marker over it to darken it. Popped it all together, added a few blue gems and voilĂ !

Think I'll enter this into the Clarity Challenge - my first one ever I think! Suz xxx

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Journal Pages - Nostalgia/ Technology and Courage

So here are the latest two pages I made for the Journal 52 FB group. Tehnology and nostalgia were two separate themes but I couldn't help feeling nostalgic when I thought about 'old' technology and how much things have changed so that was a fab excuse to combine the two....I wonder how we will network and blog in the future??? Acrylic paints, home made gelatine plate, die cuts, stamping and hand lettering in this one.

Courage is a funny thing. So whatever the change you would like to make in your life, I wish you the courage and love to do it.... Suz xxx

Saturday 19 July 2014

Resist technique with Lynne Perella Stamps

Too much??? This stamp set is soooo detailed and it just MADE me want to add stacks of colour.  I had to reign in on the embellies and forced myself to add white flowers though I was so tempted to colour then too - but wanted a balance with the pale colour embossing powder I used for the resist.....and if next week I still fancy seeing how bright flowers look then I might just pull em off and do it!
So the start was to paint the cardboard tag with white gesso. This gave a better base for the spray inks I used and helped show the bright colours. Then I embossed the main image from the set onto the tag using a pale pink powder. I then stamped the image three more times with Archival black, coloured them using sharpie fineliners and watercolours and cut various sections adding them to the tag. The border was created with another of the stamps from the set, and I used the beautiful scrip too but it's a bit hidden in all the layers. I hand made mini carnations (love these) under which I added a bit of crocheted wire.  I dripped alcohol inks onto some metal flower shapes to colour them blue/ green and added a selection of sequins around the main image. A pearl in the corner and pearls/ beads in the metal flowers.  A metal heart charm (filled with glue gun glitter) at the top is almost hidden really! And of course those vibrant feathers all made this a lot of fun. Subtle I think!!! Suz xx
Will enter this into the Craft Stamper Challenge.