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Tuesday, 10 July 2018

A Burst of Colour

Hello everyone, I am back to share more of my prickly projects with you today, featuring the stamps from last month's TV shows on Hochanda.

To create my first card, I trimmed two pieces of drawing cartridge slightly smaller than A5 in size. I sprinkled Purple, Lime Green and Turquoise Brushos over one piece of card and spritzed the card with water. I then placed the second piece of card over the first, to create two coloured backgrounds. I left both backgrounds to dry. The second background will be useful for a project at a later date.

I stamped three of the images from the Scrumptious Succulents stamp set onto the background, then covered the images with masks that I had already stamped and cut out. I stamped two more images in between the masked images and then drew a line between all of the images to create a landscape, using a fineliner pen. Using the Square Bubbles stamp, I stamped below the landscape line using second generation stamping. The stamp creates a stone effect, which is perfect for the cacti to stand upon.

I used the same colours of Brusho powders to colour the cacti images, adding a couple of additional colours, (red, orange and yellow). I sprinkled a little bit of each colour onto a large acrylic block, but you could use your craft mat, and added a bit of water to them, so that I could use them like watercolours. More water creates a paler colour, but you can then go over the images with a bit of stronger colour to add shading. You can be as creative as you like with the colours, I had a lot of fun creating a vibrant fantasy collection of cacti. I then painted the little stones in the same colours, being completely random. I added a sentiment from the Blossom and Grow stamp set.

My second project is full of colour too. I wanted to create a lovely sunset, and stamped the tall leafy image from the Blossom and Grow stamp set a couple of times first of all. I masked the images and masked an area for the sun, then coloured the background with Distress Inks. I chose Seedless Preserves, Picked Raspberry, Ripe Persimmon and Fossilized Amber, blending them, and adding a spritz of water.

I stamped some foliage from the Wild Meadow and Silhouette Grasses stamp sets, using Versafine Clair inks. I added the little birds from Landscape Edges and a sentiment from Scrumptious Succulents. I removed the masks and coloured the foliage with Faber Castell watercolour pencils.

I hope that you will be inspired by my projects to try out some of these ideas. Thanks for stopping by, xx

Sunday, 1 July 2018

Grow Positive Thoughts


Hello everyone, I have three projects to share with you today using the stunning Captivating Cacti stamp featured on last month's Hochanda TV shows. This super image has been an absolute pleasure to work with, and I hope that my very different projects will give you lots of ideas.

For my first project, I decided to create a little mixed media piece, and used a 6" x 6" canvas as the base for the design. I chose three colours of acrylic paint; mint, magenta and lime green, and mixed them directly into blobs of white gesso, and applied each colour onto the canvas with a large wet brush. Mixing the paint with the gesso cuts out the need for an extra layer of gesso, saving time, and I am all about getting on with the interesting part of creating my project! I was not too precise about this first coat, as it was simply a base for further layers of paint. I dried the layer with a heat gun. I applied the next layer of paint with a baby wipe, and used long strokes, blending the colours into each other, to get a soft effect. I dried the layer again. While I had the paint on my craft mat, I used some to paint a watery wash onto some drawing cartridge to use later.

I stamped the Captivating Cacti image onto drawing cartridge three times, (I also stamped the image once onto the canvas). I coloured parts of the images with Inktense pencils and a water brush.  I added darker colours for shading to create depth and then I cut out the images. I added yellow seed beads to the centre of the smallest piece of flower head, using Glossy Accents as a glue, and let this dry thoroughly. I adhered the cacti image to the canvas, building up the layers. I added some shading to the base of the image on the canvas, to 'ground' the picture, again using Inktense pencils and a water brush.

I stamped a sentiment from the Blossom and Grow stamp set onto the spare piece of drawing cartridge. I masked the words so that I could stamp each word separately, using masking tape before I inked the stamp. I cut each word out and edged the pieces of card with Seedless Preserves Distress Ink, before adding the sentiment to the canvas.

My second project was a much quicker design! I used a piece of kraft card, and stamped the image using Versamark and white embossing powder. I painted the image using Koh-I-Noor paints. The image pops off the background, and the paints work really well on kraft card. I have used the same sentiment, but in one piece this time. This card would make a great pick me up for a friend who is down.

 Finally, I made a little brooch using Soft Form Relief Paste. We often tell you on the blog and on the TV shows how versatile Soft Form Relief Paste can be; how you can use the medium for so many things, that you can sew it onto your bags and mixed media projects, etc. I decided to make a practical demonstration of how this can be done. I coloured some Pearl Soft Form Relief Paste with some purple Brusho powder, and spread it over the main flower head of the image that I have been using throughout this blog post. I then left the paste to cure overnight. Once the paste has set into a film, I peeled it from the stamp, and trimmed around the flower image. I adhered the image to some felt, using some strong double sided tape, then sewed some seed beads to the centre of the flower. I also added a brooch back at this point.

I very carefully dry brushed a tiny amount of paint onto the brooch to add some extra color to the flower, using red and teal tones. If you add too much liquid to the Soft Form Relief paste when it is a film, you will dissolve the film, so a light touch is essential. As you can see, the purple Brusho has coloured the Pearl Soft Form Relief Paste brilliantly. I have used this technique before and you can see my project here.


I will be back later in the month with some more projects for you, but in the meantime, do keep checking back for inspirational projects from my Team Mates. Thanks for stopping by, xx

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Mostly Masking

Hello everyone, I have several projects to share with you today showcasing the lovely stamps featured on the May TV shows on Hochanda. We also took Masking Tissue onto the show, and a lot of my projects reflected the use of this product.

For my first card,  I created a Pan Pastel background, tearing strips of paper to create hills, and adding a green colour at the bottom half of the card, toning in some grey as I moved up the card, to represent hills in the distance. I created a sky using blue and pink pastel coloured tones. I hardly ever use Pan Pastels these days, and this background was so easy to create. I always wonder why I do not use Pan Pastels more often!

I stamped the floral spray from the Lords and Ladies stamp set repeatedly across the lower half of the card, varying the height of the stamp. I added a stamp from the Silhouette Grasses stamp set using second and third generation stamping for this stamp, to create some depth, as if there were a meadow of flowers. Two little butterflies from the Baroque Meadow stamp plate, and a sentiment from the Words to Dazzle and Sparkle stamp set completed the card. All of the stamping was done with Olympia Green Versafine ink, and the images were coloured with Faber Castell watercolour pencils. This little card will make a great store cupboard card and I might make a few more of these.


I wanted to create a one layer card that would be cheap to send in the post, but still have the look of a multi layered card. Using a piece of masking tissue, I cut out a hexagon shape using a die. I used both the inner and outer pieces of the masking tissue on my project. I coloured a piece of drawing cartridge with Peacock Feathers Distress Ink, first around the outside of a masked central panel, adding shading with Blueprint Sketch Distress Ink, and then stamped over the background using the Square Bubbles stamp and Danube Blue Memento Ink. I then removed the mask, and added the corresponding reverse mask, leaving the central panel uncovered, and inked the edges of that area with the same background colour as before.

I stamped the foliage stamp from the Rose Duo stamp set using first and second generation stamping in Danube Blue and Cottage Ivy Memento Inks, then ensured that all of the ink was completely dry. I stamped and embossed the foliage image with Versamark Ink and copper embossing powder. An optional extra at this point was to edge the background with Versamark and tip copper embossing powder over the edges, before embossing the foliage.

My next two cards are based on a very similar colour scheme to each other, and use the lovely Cuckoo Pint image from the Lords and Ladies stamp set. For the first card, I created a background using the foliage stamp from the previous card, stamping onto kraft card with Plum Archival ink. I created the main image by stamping the Cuckoo Pint, masking the image, and again stamping the foliage, again using plum coloured ink for stamping. I coloured the flower with Polychromos pencils. adding Distress Ink to the background for a soft finish.

The next card was created by adding Brushos to kraft card and spritzing them with water. I added some toning hessian, a button and ribbon to the background. To create the focal piece, I stamped the Cuckoo Pint, and masked the image before stamping the On The Tiles image. I coloured the image with Distress Inks and a water brush. The two images have been coloured in similar colours, but the different mediums give a very different effect.

Thanks for stopping by, xx



Saturday, 16 June 2018

A Speedy Butterfly!

Hello everyone, it is time for the monthly epic Fifteen Minute blog post over on the Chocolate Baroque Design Team Blog. I am sharing my contribution to this month's post, as well as writing the post, of course!

I have made a butterfly themed card, using some of the feather stamps featured on last month's TV shows on Hochanda, and this idea just popped into my head as a suitable idea for a quick card.

I have created a background using a piece of drawing cartridge, adding lots of water, and brushing Dr P H Martins watercolour inks over the top. These inks come in a range of glorious colours, and I chose two of my favourites for this project. I sprinkled sea salt over the ink while it was wet and dried the background with a heat gun. (If I was not up against a fifteen minute deadline, I would have left the background to dry naturally). Once the background was dry, I brushed the salt away, and I stamped a leaf from the Tangled Garden stamp set, which I then masked, before stamping a large and a small feather twice. I drew some antennae using a fine liner pen, and added a touch of colour to the butterfly that I had created using Seedless Preserves Distress Ink. I blended the same colour of Distress Ink around the edge of the background. I added the main sentiment from the I Shall be Your Wings stamp set. A tiny bit of stickles glue was brushed over the wings to finish.

Do pop over to the Design Team blog to check out the projects made by my team mates, they have made some fabulous inspiration in under fifteen minutes.

Thanks for stopping by, xx

Sunday, 3 June 2018

Feather Projects Part One

Hello everyone, I have two projects to share with you today, showcasing the beautiful I Shall Be Your Wings stamp set that we featured on last month's TV shows on Hochanda.

For my first project, I decided to make a dreamcatcher. I chose a large flower from the Diamante Delights stamp set, as it reminded me of the centre of a dreamcatcher, and stamped that onto a piece of drawing cartridge. I drew two circles around the outside, using a circular die, and drew some lines inside using a fineliner pen to complete the design. I added three feathers underneath the circle, and again, hand drew some beads on 'strings', to add to the design, using the fineliner pen.

I wanted to create a very soft, dreamy background, and used a combination of soft colours on the background, blending Distress Ink, and splattering it with water. I painted the images with watercolour pencils and a water brush. Finally, I stamped the sentiment onto a spare piece of drawing cartridge, and cut it into sections and edged it with a fineliner pen, before adding it to the background.

My second project was a TV demo, which you may have seen. When I saw these stamps, I knew instantly that I wanted to make both of these projects, and they turned out just as I imagined them. I drew a large circle onto a piece of drawing cartridge, then stamped two of the feathers before adding a mask. I stamped the other two feathers, and masked them as well. I added foliage using one of the images from the Lords and Ladies stamp set, and I used first, second and third generation stamping to build up depth.

I painted some twigs using a medium and small brush with Distress Ink and water. I wanted the twigs to look rather rustic, so I added some little wispy bits with the finer brush. I added the rose from the Rose Duo stamp set, which I had coloured with pencils and fussy cut. A sentiment in the centre finished the project before I matted the background onto dark green card.

I hope that my projects have inspired you to use these lovely stamps. Thanks for stopping by, xx


Monday, 21 May 2018

Sketchbook Revival Part Two

Hello everyone, I have been working on a couple of sketchbook related projects again. The first was a project following a tutorial given by Tamara Laporte on the recent Sketchbook Revival course. Tamara created a timelapse video for us to follow, and this picture is what I came up with using her video. She instructed us to stick to a minimum of supplies; three colours of water based markers, I had some old Marvy LePlume markers that I dug out of my stash, a watercolour skin tone crayon, and a white and black marker. We also used a water brush for blending, plus a pencil for the basic drawing. Lots of the artists seem to prefer mechanical pencils, as there is no need to sharpen your pencil, I found using one much easier, and will continue to use one for my sketching from now on.

I learned several things from my experience with this drawing; I used an A3 sketchpad containing Windsor and Newton heavyweight Cartridge paper, which I normally manage to add a fair amount of water to. It did not work very well for this project, and in future, I will go back to hot pressed watercolour paper, which is my usual go to surface for something like this. My Marvy pens have probably seen better days, I can't remember how many years I have had them, but a long time, for sure. I needed something with a bit more juice to really achieve what I wanted, but they worked okay for a first attempt at the project. I was too impatient, and did not let the black Posca pen dry properly, and smudged it on my little bird. I needed to slow down and take my time a bit! Other than that, I enjoyed the process, and will definitely try out the techniques again.

The sentiment that I have added to the image sums up my thoughts whilst creating the piece, 'embrace imperfection'. I am not going to be too precious, but to learn and grow from these experiments, hopefully enjoying the process at the same time!

I have made another sketchbook, this time covered in fabric. I was gifted this fabric ages ago by Glenda Waterworth, with the instruction that I must use it. I have pondered over how to use these beautiful pieces of fabric for ages, and decided that I should start to appreciate them, rather than leave them stored away. Having cut into one piece now, hopefully I will be inclined to incorporate more of them into things that I make.


This book really makes me think of Summer days with the bright floral design.

I hope to share more of my sketchbook exploits with you soon, thanks for stopping by, xxx



Sunday, 20 May 2018

Bees and Butterflies


Hello everyone, I am sharing a few more cards showcasing the beautiful stamps that were featured on last months Hochanda TV shows.

For my first card, I have used one of the very versatile whiteboard shapes made by Tando, exclusively for Chocolate Baroque. These shapes are great, already being white, as they can be inked up straight away without needing any preparation. I added a bit of soft colour in tones of yellow, orange and green, and did the same to a piece of drawing cartridge that was going to become the card background. Using a honeycomb stencil, I added some colour using Distress Ink, repeating this on the background. I stamped a bee on the heart, using Versafine Onyx Black Ink, and masked the image, before stamping a foliage image from the Essence of Nature stamp plate using Versafine Clair Ink. I coloured the bee with pencils, and added a sentiment to the heart.

To complete the background, I stamped the honeycomb image from the Honey Bee stamp set, again colouring the bees with pencils. I added stickles to the bees' wings. To complete the card, I added some green ribbon and green card as a matting layer.

For my next card, I chose an old book page and stamped the pretty foxglove image on to the paper. I added two bees, and coloured the images with pencils. I added some shading around the edge of the page, and then stamped a pretty fern image from the Wild Meadow stamp set around the edge, using two coordinating colours. I used the same foxglove and bee images to stamp over some kraft card to complete a background for the book page focal image. I added Picked Pasberry Distress Ink around the edge of the kraft card to soften the background.  I selected some deep plum card to mat the layers. The background actually looked great on its own, and I have included a photo of that as well so you can see. I quite like this as a quick card in its own right:

Now with the main image added:

My final card was a fairly quick card showcasing the fabulous Textured Art card that is available on the website. I coloured the card very quickly by placing two colours of Distress Oxide Ink on my craft mat, spritzing it with water, and laying the card on top. I stamped the lovely butterfly tree from the Essence of Nature stamp set, and added the small tree either side, to create the appearance of a little woodland. I painted some colour under the trees to 'ground' them, and painted the butterflies.  Adding the main sentiment was all that was needed to complete the card.

Thanks for stopping by, xx


Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Two Quick Cards

Hello everyone, it's time for the monthly Fifteen Minute blog post over on the Chocolate Baroque Design Team blog.  I have two cards featuring in the post, and would like to share them with you.

The first card uses some of the incredibly versatile Drawing Cartridge available from the website. I have coloured the background with Distress Oxide Inks, which I spread over a craft mat and spritzed with water. I placed the drawing cartridge over the ink, and patted it down to pick up the colour. I dried the paper, and then patted it onto the mat again to pick up some of the left over droplets of ink for another layer of colour. I then stamped a variety of foliage stamps over the top using Versafine Clair inks in first and second and third generation stamping, to create lots of depth. I have added two bees, and given their wings some sparkle with Stickles glue. A great sentiment finishes off the card. I used black Versafine for the bees and the sentiment. The stamps are from the Essence of Nature, Honey Bee, Fragrant Honeysuckle, and The Rose Tree stamp sets.

To create my second card, I used some of the fabulous Textured Art card, which has a linen like texture to the surface. I added some Decoart Media Tinting Medium, which I had coloured with Ultramarine and Turquoise Brushos to the surface, almost dry brushing the colour over the background. I stamped the words from the Essence of Nature stamp set all over the large background using Jet Black Archival Ink. I then stamped the tree panel onto a smaller piece of card, and mounted both pieces onto black card. The finish created by the medium and Brushos is chalky, which I could not have achieved with the Brushos by themselves. It is a technique that I will definitely use again.

Do hop over to the Design Team blog to see the cards that my Team mates have contributed to the post. They have come up with some great ideas, as always. Thanks for stopping by, xx

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Sketchbook Revival Part One

Hello everyone, recently, I signed up to a twelve day course called Sketchbook Revival. The course has finished now, but the material is available until 18th May if you are interested. The course consisted of daily videos created by a group of very talented artists including Tamara Laporte, Kiala Givehand and Kelly Hoernig, and they gave generously of their time and inspiration to show us how to create daily practices in a sketchbook.
I have been so inspired by the material available on the course, and although I have been really busy across the duration of the course, I have pushed myself to create some of the projects that have been demonstrated.

Kiala showed us how to make several styles of journal, including a concertina style journal, a simple journal made from one page, and also a stitched book incorporating lots of different types of paper. I even made a Coptic bound book, something that I had not done before.

Danny Gregory encouraged us to draw something every day, for example your cup of tea that you drink at the beginning of the day. By drawing the same thing every day, you will improve over time, and be able to look back at the gradual improvement. I have two cups in the morning, a proper cup of tea, and hot water with lemon. The glass cup was more difficult to draw, and I can see where it needed improvement. I will get better over time.

I have spent much of my time taking lots of notes as the tutors were full of really helpful tips for good habits going forward, and I do feel as though I will be more observant in my drawing and sketching from now on.

My final photo for today is of a journal page that I made following Whitney Freya's class on how to paint a Buddha. I loved this class, and created my own stencil using printable acetate. She helped us to use colours from the background as highlights and shading on the Buddha's face, bringing in the colours that we liked. We learned how to create layered backgrounds, adding words and stencilling, before painting the main image with black paint. I needed to be brave to do that!

I will be back in a few days' time with more to share from my sketching exploits, but I hope that you have enjoyed this departure from my usual posts. Thanks for stopping by, xx

Sunday, 6 May 2018

A Bit of Drama!

Hello everyone, I have two cards to share with you today, that I demonstrated on last month's TV shows on Hochanda. I used dark card to create my projects, and stamped the images with white Brilliance Ink, before colouring them with coloured pencils. The finished effect is very dramatic against the dark card, and I have shown how you can use the technique to create both backgrounds and a focal image.

For my first card, I used some dark brown card to create the background, and stamped a leaf image from the Essence of Nature stamp set repeatedly using the white ink. I then chose a selection of Koh-i-Noor pencils; yellow, green, orange and red, to colour the leaves. I created a central panel by colouring a scrap piece of drawing cartridge with Brushos. I chose Orange, Yellow and Lime Green as my colours. I sprinkled the Brushos onto a large acrylic block, spritzed the block with water, and then pressed the block onto the drawing cartridge. Once the background was dry, I stamped the image, again from the Essence of Nature stamp set, using Potting Shed Archival Ink. The sentiment was stamped onto a piece of the same background, and I inked around the edge of the panel with the ink that I had used for stamping.

For my second card, I stamped the image from the Fragrant Honeysuckle stamp set onto burgundy card. Again, I used a selection of coloured pencils, this time I chose blue, lilac, pink and green. I added some Stickles for a bit of sparkle to the flower centres, and around the edges of the layers. I chose a toning piece of Crafty Individuals paper as a main background, which worked really well with the image. It just shows how well Chocolate Baroque stamps mix with other brands.

I hope that you will give this technique a try, as the Brilliance ink gives you the option of using those dark surfaces to add a bit of drama to your projects if you wish. Combining them with lighter, brighter elements keeps the whole piece balanced.

Thanks for stopping by, xx


Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Springtime Wreath

Hello everyone, I have a floral project to share with you today, using some of the stamps from last month's TV shows on Hochanda.

I have created a wreath with a touch of Spring, by choosing pastel colours for the flowers. I created the project by first drawing a circle on a piece of card, and then stamped the blossom image from the Tranquility stamp set around the circle. I masked the images as I went along, and stamped an image from the Wisteria Lane stamp set, using first and second generation stamping.

I coloured the flowers and stems with Koh-i-Noor pencils, lengthening the branches to create a continuous wreath. I added a sentiment from the Loving Sentiments stamp set, and finally added some inking around the edge of the background, using Picked Raspberry Distress Ink. I chose a coordinating dark green card to mat the background onto before adhering it to a large card blank.

Thanks for stopping by, xx


Thursday, 12 April 2018

Stamping on Fabric

Hello everyone, I have some projects to share with you today incorporating fabric. I really like to add some texture into my projects whenever I can, as it adds a bit of interest and makes the project look and feel quite expensive, for very little cost. I demoed these three projects on last month's TV shows on Hochanda, and I hope that you managed to watch Lesley and I in action.

To create the first card, I cut some small pieces of cotton fabric, and put some Distress Ink onto a craft mat, which I spritzed with water. I chose relatively earthy colours, Fossilized Amber, Ripe Persimmon and Shabby Shutters. The colours are quite muted, and you could go for much bolder colours if you like, it depends on what sort of look you want, I just wanted a subtle backgrop for the stamps on this occasion. I patted the fabric into the ink, moving it around to blot up the ink. I added more ink and water if necessary to get a good coverage of the fabric, but was happy to leave some areas uncoloured. I left the pieces of fabric to dry by themselves, so that the colour did not fade too much, drying the fabric with a heat gun would cause the colour to be much lighter in the end.

I frayed the edges of each piece of fabric, and stamped a silhouette image from one of the stamp sets: Tranquility, Serenity, Wisteria Lane or Eastern Grasses, and added a sentiment as well. I chose words from Artistic Affirmations, Amazing Mackintosh Words, and Words to Dazzle and Sparkle. I used Archival black ink to stamp all of the images onto the fabric, leaving the stamp on the fabric slightly longer than I would on card or paper, to allow the ink to grab onto the fabric. You do not need to press any harder.




I attached the fabric pieces to a piece of black card before matting them onto a card blank. A little button with paper string tied through was a finishing touch to each card.

For my next card, I created a paint swatch effect by masking sections of a piece of cartridge paper, and inking three toning colours of  Distress Ink. I chose Peacock Feathers, Salty Ocean and Shaded Lilac. I stamped the silhouette image from the Eastern Grasses stamp set onto the piece of card. I matted the panel onto black card before adding the panel to a piece of linen card.

I coloured a piece of cream ribbon with Peacock Feathers Distress Ink and stamped it with Archival Ink as before, using a sentiment from the Amazing Mackintosh Words stamp set. I attached the ribbon to the background and then placed the background on a square card blank. I like to colour my ribbons to match projects, it is so quick and easy, check back to this project for another example.

For my final project, I used a Crafty Individuals tag, and stamped the main image from the Tranquility stamp set across the bottom of the tag. I coloured the image with pencils. I added the wisteria image using water based markers across the top, using first and second generation stamping for a fuller effect. The ribbon was made in exactly the same way as before, picking up colour from the craft mat, and then once dry, stamping with Archival Ink. I used a word from the Serenity stamp plate.

I hope that my projects will inspire you to try some stamping on fabric, I will be back later in the month with more projects to share. Thanks for stopping by, xx
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