Wednesday, 25 January 2023

Sharing Some Tips With You

Hello everyone, I hope that you are keeping well, I have a final few projects to share with you from this month's TV shows today.

To create my first project, I smooshed some Distress Oxide onto a craft mat. I used Twisted Citron and Broken China, which I spritzed with water. I placed a piece of Drawing Catridge over the top, and then turned it over, and presseded a piece of scrunched up cling film to the surface, before leaving the card to dry. I used another piece of Drawing Cartridge to mop up the left over ink on the craft mat, and I will use that background for another project.


I used the Universal Butterfly stamp to stamp just the bottom portion of the stamp three times onto some patterned paper, using co-ordinating colours of ink. I chose an olive green, a deep pink and a claret. I cut the todstools out for later. Once the background was dry, I used the same three ink colours to stamp a foliage image from Silhouette Grasses along the bottom half of the page. I used first and second generation stamping to create some depth to the design. I added a couple of dragonflies from Just Butterflies to the 'sky' area of the background, and also a sentiment from Technical Butterfly, I coloured elements of the toadstools with coloured pancils, and stuck the images to the background. On some of the toadstools, I covered up the ladybirds, I moved the smaller toadstools around to make the colour groupings more random, and I added the butterfly to a toadstool over another ladybird. I did not want all three toadstool groupings to look identical, but more individual. I also varied the height of the middle group. Once the images were glued down, I added some shading at the base of the images with a grey pencil to ground them.

My second demonstration on this show was a very quick card using the Mini Slim Words. I used a gelli plate and Distress Ink to add some colour to a piece of Smooth Stamping Card. I chose Squeezed Lemonade as my base colour. I then inked up the heart strip with Kitsch Lemonade Distress Ink and stamped over the background until I had covered all of the yellow. I moverd the strip along slightly each time to make the pattern slightly random.

I took the Love word strip and created a frame, you have seen me do this before with the larger word strips. I simply started stamping slightly along one side, and then turned the background and butted up to the edge of the stamping each time. I found that I need to miss some of the words off as the strip was slightly too wide for this size of background. If you are not sure how something will work out, you can always practise on some copy paper first.

Finally, I added a sentiment from Loud and Proud in the centre. You can make lots of variations on this card design, and vary the colours. It would make a great batch card idea for Christmas too.

I mentioned practising on copy paper, well I was preparing for the TV shows and we also had A Year of Stamping Issue 1 - January on the show. I wanted to try out an idea and used copy paper, as I quite often do to see if it workedokay. My copy paper sample looked so good that I made it up into a card. I would normally have repeated the project on smooth stamping card, but I wanted to show you my finished copy paper project.

I used a stamping platform to stamp the image, which I then coloured with Pan Pastels. I stamped the image again, to ensure a nice crisp finish, as sometimes Pan Pastels can make your image look rather cloudy. I have used a piece of background paper cut to size. It was teal and brown as you can see, but one side was rather plain where it had been trimmed. I added some colour with Distress Ink, and tghe stamped a splatter stamp from the Timeless stamp set to add some detail. The paper looks more complete now. I edged the background paper with a black inkpad so that it matches the main image.

I hope that you have enjoyed my projects and that my tips will be useful. Thanks so much for stopping by, your vists are always appreciated. Take care xx

Monday, 23 January 2023

Gifted Blankets

Hello everyone, I hope that you are keeping well. In a change from my usual posts, I have a couple of crocheted projects to share with you today. These are both recently gifted items that I have made for special females in my life. 

The first blanket is the Fields of Gold blanket, designed by Jane Crowfoot. I have had the kit for ages, and knew that I wanted to crochet the blanket for my Mother-in-Law. Her favourite flowers are sunflowers, and mine are poppies, so this blanket seemed  the perfect gift for her, as it is made up of both motifs. She was extremely ill last year, and we nearly lost her, it seemed a very fitting time to create this blanket. I started to crochet the blanket in my spare time, something of which I have very little, and I took the blanket on holiday with me to Mexico in November, so that I could get it finished in time to give to her for Christmas. I spent lots of relaxing time on the beach crocheting away, and managed to get the blanket put together, and only had the ends to sew in when I got home. It was hot work sometimes, as the temperature was 29 degrees some days!

My second blanket was crocheted for my lovely Daughter Megan. She works so hard, and truly deserves something handmade. When she opened the blanket, she was really touched, and said that it would make her feel like she was getting a hug from me every time she used it.

I chose to make a beautiful blanket called Colours of The Sky Throw designed by Jane Czaja, using Sirdar Jewelspun Aran. The yarn is variegated, and every square is different. The dark squares are placed around the outside, and the lighter squares are placed inside. I love this blanket, and have started one for myself, it is so soft and cosy.

Thanks for stopping by, take care xx

Wednesday, 18 January 2023

More Anniversary Butterflies

Hello everyone, I hope that you are keeping well. I have more projects to share with you today from this month's TV shows, showcasing the brand new stamps that we featured on the shows.

My first project is two cards really, but I used the long Universal Butterfly stamp, and wanted to show the stamp in its entirety, but also how you can stamp just a part of the image to still create a great little card too. I used some kraft card and dark brown Versafine Clair ink for the stamping. I coloured both images with pencils, and used some black card to create the card bases. 

For my second TV demonstration in this show, I used an MDF bokmark, which I covered with a piece of designer paper that Lesley had designed for the TV shows. I used matte medium to attach the paper, and sanded the edges once the glue was dry. I added some extra colour to the paper with Distress Ink and blending brushes. I used Ripe Persimmon, Picked Raspberry, Twisted Citron, and Salty Ocean. I added some stamping using the Vacuum Flange image from the Technical Butterfly stamp set. I used Versafine Clair in toning colours; orange, teal and green. Finally, I stamped a butterfly from the same stamp set several times, and a sentiment from Loud and Proud in black ink. I added white accents to the butterflies, and some white dots with a white gelli roll pen.

I hope that you enjoyed my projects, I will be back with more samples to share with you later in the month. Thanks so much for stopping by, your visits are always appreciated xx

Tuesday, 10 January 2023

Happy New Year to You All

Hello everyone, I hope that you are all keeping well. It's been a while since my last blog post, so firstly I would like to wish you all a very Happy New Year. 2023 looks set to be a very busy year for us on the personal front as our Daughter is getting married. We have lots of planning to look forward to, and no doubt the months will fly by as we head towards the big day.

I have lots to share with you today, as I did not manage to post last month. I will add a few projects from last month's TV shows, as well as some from the shows that we did just last week. I hope that you managed to watch the shows, we were very busy. The shows were our 6th Anniversary shows with the TV studios, it's amazing to think that we have been affiliated with the Company for that long. They have gone through a few name changes in that time, but we have enjoyed a good working relationship with them throughout the changes. I have been with Chocolate Baroque for a lot longer than six years, as those of you who know me will be aware. I have been on the Design Team for about twelve and a half years now, and Design Team Leader for eight and a half years. Goodness, I had to check, as I couldn't believe that it had been so long! 

Unfortunately Lesley was rather unwell last week, and so I needed to do a few more demos than I would do normally. I really enjoyed working with the beautiful stamps and so I had created lots of projects. I was ready to help out and show how to use the stamps in lots of different ways. My first project was created using some Drawing Cartridge, and stamps from the Technical Butterfly stamp set. I stamped and embossed the vacuum flange image using white embossing powder and Versamark over the background, and added Blueprint Sketch Distress Ink over the top. On a piece of scrap card, I stamped and embossed some of the butterflies, using Versafine Clair Nocturne and clear embossing powder, then coloured them in using a variety of Distress Inks and a blending brush. I cut them out and attached them to the background. I used a little strip of card and stamped the sentiment, brushing a bit of Distress Ink around the edge. 

The TV demo sample was a smaller version of my finished card, simply for speed.

 My second demo on the show was a journal page. I used stamps from some of our older stamp sets; Timeless, Make Your Mark, and Floral Parapernalia Elements. I also added colour to the background with a circle stencil and our own Chocolate Baroque Mask - Kaleidoscope of Butterflies. I used Distress Ink and blending brushes for the stencils, and Versafine Clair in toning colours for the stamps. I chose some stamps from Technical Butterfly to add to the page and then added the fabulous Friendship strip from the Mini Slim Words stamp along the edge. I added some coloured pencil accents to the images, sticking to a limited colour palette of blue, pink, yellow and green. 

 I only added the word strip partway along each page, but as I showed on my TV demo, you can easily join the word strip to stamp all the way along the page. I felt it was well balanced having it just along part of the side in my design, but it is really up to you how you use it.

As Lesley and I mentioned in the shows, we discussed the design of these stamps over a cuppa in the Green Room after one of the shows, we often do our brainstorming that way. We live so far apart, and we only meet up at the studios nowadays. Hopefully this year will see a few more new stamps in the pipeline, including some designs that I have had mulling over for a while now....

Anyway, here are one or two projects from last month's shows that I did not get a chance to share with you before. 

The first card is a remake of an old design, but I added some words from Words of Inspiration to the background. I used two of the little trees from Fantasy Woodland to make the flower.

I created an inky background for my next card by adding Distress Ink to an acrylic block and spritzing it with water. I placed it onto textured card. I have added stamps from Essence of Nature and Baroque Meadow, using Versafine Clair Inks.

These next two cards were very quick and simple to make. I simply took a piece of white or kraft card, and added the splatter stamp from the Timeless stamp set, using coloured Versafine Clair ink. I then added words from Words of Gratitude over the top. I created a matching tag for a gift.

This was another quick card, using a piece of brown kraft paper for the background, to which I added Brushos and spritzed them with water. I stamped a sentiment from Essence of Nature all over the top, to make the background look like a book page. I coloured some Drawing Cartridge with the same Brushos, and stamped two more images from the Essence of Nature stamp set. I used clear embossing powder over the top.
I reworked an old design once again for this card, using the Patchwork Landscape stamp set. I stamped several of the images onto some Drawing Cartridge upon which I had already created a wrinkle free Distress background, and used a fine liner pen to add lines to create more hills and attach the images to each other. I used a circle mask to add more Distress Ink, to give the appearance of a sun. Using the fine liner pen, I added some birds freehand. I coloured the scene using pencils, choosing a palette of five colours, plus the slightly darker versions for shading.
I created an alternative colour option which is more masculine in grey and terracotta tones. You could use kraft card and add white accents too, or create a black, red and white version. There are so many possibilities, why not create a monochrome version in blues, or greens?

I hope that you have enjoyed my projects. I will be back later in the month to share more of this month's demos with you. Thanks so much for stopping by, your visits are always appreciated.

Take care, xx

Monday, 7 November 2022

Inky Skies

Hello everyone, I hope that you are keeping well. I am sharing a couple of projects today using stamps featured in our latest TV shows from Create and Craft.

My first project mixes stamps from the stamp sets Celestial, Sacred and Owl Edges. I first stamped the circle frame, and then placed a mask around the edge of the circle. I stamped the bull rushes into the circle and added the moth, before removing the outer mask, and covering the circle with a mask of its own. I coloured the background using Wilted Violet and Blueprint Sketch Distress Ink, then spritzed the background with gold Perfect Pearls spray.

I removed the circle mask, and painted the inner background with Salty Ocean, Peeled Paint and Picked Raspberry Distress Oxide.

 The two frames on the Celestial stamp set are just perfect for creating little scenes, and I can imagine using them with so many of the Chocolate Baroque silhouette stamps.

To create my second card, I used a wrinkle free Distress background that I already had in my stash, created with blue and green Distress Ink. I know that I used Salty Ocean and Twisted Citron, as they are my go to colours. I blended Wilted Violet, Blueprint Sketch, and Uncharted Mariner over the top. Once this was dry, I added a little bit of white liquid pencil here and there, and embossed the large moon, some stars and the word Celestial, using Versamark and white embossing powder. I added some Weathered Wood Distress Ink to the moon to add a bit more definition.

I will be back later in the month with some Rennie Mackintosh inspired projects.

Thanks so much for stopping by,

Take care, xx

Saturday, 1 October 2022

A Big Post Today!

Hello everyone, I hope that you are keeping well. In a change from usual procedure, I am only posting on my own blog this month, as the Design Team blog at Chocolate Baroque is closing down. We have decided, due to decreasing visits from viewers, and ever increasing popularity on other forms of social media, like Facebook and Instagram, that we will discintinue the blog. It is still there, if you wish to visit the archives, but we will not add anything new.

I have a bumper packed issue today, with projects from last month's TV shows, plus some older projects using stamps from the TV shows that some of you may have seen before. I hope you will enjoy what I have to share with you.

My first set of projects were made using a stamp from the Shaded Baubles stamp set, and I wanted to show that you could use this stamp all year round, it is such a versatile stamp. The stamp set is essentially a Christmas stamp set, but you can make cards for any occasion using this stamp.

My first two cards started out in the same way, I made a Distress Ink background in shades of blue and purple. For the first card, I kept the background plain, but added a sentiment from the Kings of the Orient stamp set, stamped in dark blue. I coloured a piece of Drawing Cartridge with Distress Oxide in blue and purple inks, and stamped the circle from Shaded Baubles with the dark blue ink, adding an image from the Following Yonder Star stamp set. I added highlights with a white gel pen, and cut the circle out. I adhered the circle to the background, and edged the background with the dark blue ink, before attaching it to a card blank.

The second card was made in pretty much the same way. I stamped the text from the Gold, Frankincense, Myrrh stamp set all over the background using a purple ink and added some shading around the edges of the background using purple Distress Oxide. I masked a section of the image from Kings of the Orient before I inked it up using masking tape, as it was slightly too long. I only wanted the tree and part of the building. I added a star and again used a white gel pen for highlights. 

To create my alternative season cards, I sprayed a piece of Drawing Cartridge with some green ink and left this to dry. I added some colour around the edges with Seedless Preserves Distress Ink, and stamped a little leaf from the Hyacinth stamp set all over the background using green ink. I used the same green ink to stamp the circle from Shaded Baubles onto a piece of card which I had lightly shaded with green Distress Ink. I added the cone flower from the Fuchsia stamp set, and more of the little leaf to create a fuller effect. I coloured the image with pencils. I edged both pieces of card with the green ink before attaching them to my card blank.

I am sharing an older example at this point that I had also made with the circle from the Shaded Baubles stamp set, using a butterfly and sentiment from Butterfly Perfumery. The background is once again sprayed with ink, and I stamped a splatter stamp from the Timeless stamp set using brown ink. I coloured the butterfly with Inktense pencils, and added a touch of brown shading to the circle background.I used a fineliner pen to draw a frame on the background.

A final Christmas sample that I made for last month was this brightly coloured tag card. I used a DL card base, and cut off the two top corners. I did the same for the piece of Drawing Cartridge. I coloured the background in shades of yellow, orange and purple, and added stamps from the Gold, Frankincense, Myrrh stamp set over the top. I stamped and embossed the main image from Kings of the Orient using gold embossing powder. I coloured the image using Zig clean colour markers.

This next card is a remake of an old favourite, but I found a much quicker, easier way to create the card. The first time around, it took me ages to make the card! I had decided to make the card as a TV demo, and needed to make the card quite quickly, so a bit of lateral thinking helped me devise a better way of making the design. I used some masking tissue to create the wavy hills, and these held the top spotlight piece of the card in place as I inked both pieces of the card, much easier than last time. I inked the main card in tones of grey, and the spotlight portion of the card in greens, and heather for the hills, adding blue for the sky, and a sun, using a circle mask. I used the folige from Floral Edges on both pieces of card, using grey ink for the main card, and green ink for the spotlight card. I added a sentiment from Amazing Mackintosh Words.

Another one of the edge stamp sets that we had on the TV shows was Poppy Edges, a beautiful stamp set, and I decided to combine this set with some of Lesley's black and white papers that we had on the TV show. I inked up the paper using Distress Ink and blending brushes. I stamped the big poppies at the bottom and masked them off, adding the poppy seed heads afterwards. I coloured these with pencils, and added a couple of bees, which I stamped on a separate piece of card and decoupaged. The sentiment comes from Loving Sentiments.

Now for a few golden oldies, this one uses the Decorative Edges stamp set, and the image is hand drawn by me.

These two are from Landscape Edges:

 This one is from Autumn Edges:

 Finally this one combines Floral Edges and Butterfly Dress:

Thanks for stopping by, I will be back very soon to share some projects from this month's TV shows. Take care, xx

Thursday, 22 September 2022

End of an Era

Hello everyone, I hope that you are keeping well. Firstly, before I share my project for today, I have to announce that we will be bringing the Chocolate Baroque Design Team Blog to a close at the end of this month. The Design Team will no longer be posting on the blog, as we are finding that our vistor numbers are sadly dwindling, and the preference these days is for Facebook and Instagram. We have a dedicated Facebook Group which is very friendly, you can join and see lots of inspiration over there. The Design Team share their projects there too, and we are always dropping in to answer questions if you want to ask us anything. You can post pictures of projects you have made with Chocolate Baroque stamps, we would love to see them. We have an Instagram Page too, which is full of fabulous projects. You can give us a like, or leave a quick comment, we really appreciate a visit.

We would like to thank you for your support over the years, and appreciate all of your visits and comments. The Blog was created for you, our readers, and would not have kept going for so long without you.

I will still be posting regularly here on my own blog, and would love it if you still popped by to see me here. I will share my tips and projects as always each month here and on my own Instagram page @judithatpoppycottage

Now onto my project for today. I decided to create a panel using one of the long collage stamps from last month's TV show, stamped onto a serviette for this project. We often use patterned serviettes in our mixed media projects, and peel away the two or three layers behind, which get discarded or do not get used for anything. These plain layers are great for stamping on, and using just like their patterned counterparts.

I stamped the large The Phenomenal Butterfly Slim Strip image using Versafine Clair Nocturne and left it to dry for a few moments. Also using Versafine Clair Nocturne, I stamped some of the images from The Phenomenal Butterfly Elements and Out of the Trees Elements over the MDF panel, checking that they were in the area that would not be covered by the serviette once it was stuck down. 

I covered the reverse of the serviette with Matte Medium and adhered it to the panel. Now this worked fine twice at home, but in the studio, with the air conditioning blasting away, it was a completely different matter! The serviette was wafting about all over the place, and anyone who saw the show will have seen that I had a heart stopping couple of minutes while they turned the air con off and I attempted to lay the misbehaving serviette onto the MDF panel. Phew!

I gently brushed a bit more Matte Medium over the top, and this does take a very gentle touch, as too much can cause the serviette to disintegrate. I left the surface to dry completely before moving on to the next stage. I painted the image using transluscent paints in several colours. You could water your opaque paints down obviously, but I wanted to paint my colours neat, so this option worked for me. I chose a limited palette of colours.

I really like the unfinished MDF against the painted area, and hope that you will try this idea for yourselves.

Thanks for stopping by, xx

Saturday, 10 September 2022

Dotty Strip Stamp

Hello everyone, I hope that you are keeping well. I have a couple of projects to share with you today showcasing stamps featured on last month's shows from Create and Craft.

I started my project with a large card blank, and drew along the opening edge using one of the Chocolate Baroque Draw and Tear Rulers Set 1 using a pencil. I cut the excess card away. On the inside of the card, I stamped the long dotty strip from Slim Word Strip 2 with a yellow dye based ink. I stamped a word strip from Slim Word Strip 1 over the top. I used one of the leaves from the From Nature 2 stamp set to stamp randomly over the front of the card using second generation stamping. I wanted a paler background because I did not want to detract from the other parts of the card.I added a splatter stamp from Timeless, using green and yellow ink.

I took a whiteboard heart and coloured it with the same yellow and green inks, and then stamped the same word strip as I had used along the card edge. I filled the heart, moving the strip across each time I stamped, to get a random compilation of the words. It looks great on one of these hearts. 

This card was fairly quick to complete, and I can see lots of possibilities for adapting the design to suit lots of occasions. Using the big word strips, especially now we have two sets for you to choose from gives lots of choices, and I hope that you will try out this idea, or a variation of the theme.

I decided to make another card featuring the dotty strip from the Slim Word Strip 2 stamp set. I stamped the strip onto a piece of Drawing Cartridge several times using shades of green and orange Distress Ink to create an ombre effect. I stamped the fruit tree from The Tree of Knowledge stamp set onto a piece of book paper, and coloured it with Zig Clean Colour markers. I added some shading around the edges using green Distress Ink. This card would be suitable for lots of occasions- a graduation, a book lover's birthday, or even just to show someone you are thinking about them.

 Thanks for stopping by, take care, xx


Thursday, 8 September 2022

Leafy Bokeh Card

Hello everyone, I hope that you are keeping well. It's time for another monthly Fifteen Minute Card spot, and this month, I'm in a leafy mood. I have chosen to use the beautiful leaves from the From Nature 2 stamp set to create a quick Christmas card.

I stamped and embossed the leaves using a silver glittery embossing powder, and added a few snowflakes using white embossing powder. Keeping my background very speedy, I added shading with green and blue Distress Inks. I added some white circles with a stencil and Brilliance Ink for a bokeh effect. Finally, I added a sentiment from the Pears and Baubles stamp set. I love the font on this sentiment.

If you get the chance to make a quick card in Fifteen Minutes or less, then head over to the Chocolate Baroque Facebook Group where I have created an album for this month. You can pop your cards or other projects in there. We would love to see what you have made. Thanks for stopping by, 

Take care xx

Thursday, 1 September 2022

Creating Stamps Using Leaves From The Garden

Hello everyone, I hope that you are keeping well. I have some cards to share with you today showcasing some of the wonderful stamps that we brought to the TV shows last month on Create and Craft. If you watched the shows, you will have heard the story behind some of these images, and how they came to be created. From Nature 1 was an incredibly beautiful stamp set, created from leaves collected around where David and Lesley work. I offered to send some leaves to Lesley from my garden in Norfolk, as I have some interesting leaves which are unusual, and would make fabulous stamps. So, I packed them up in resealable bags, and sent them to Lesley. The leaves were in pretty good shape when she received them, and therefore, From Nature 2 was created. I did craze Lesley to add a particular leaf to the stamp set, but they are all so versatile, and I had great fun creating my projects with them.

For my first card, I created a Distress Ink background and added a few extra paint splatters. I stamped some of the various words and sentiments over the top. I chose colours that would tone in with the focal part of my card, using Versafine Clair Inks. I used a small spare piece of this background card for a sentiment too.

To create my topper, I covered a piece of Drawing Cartridge with cold tea, and added sea salt to the background while it was still wet. I left the background to dry naturally, and then brushed the salt away. The salt leaves great markings on the background. I stamped and embossed the three sizes of ivy leaf onto the background. You can use clear or white embossing powder, it doesn't matter, although white embossing powder will enable you to see where you are embossing more easily. I then added Distress Ink all over the top of the background. 

I placed some copy paper over the background, and then ironed the embossing powder off the design. I kept checking that the embossing powder had all gone, replacing the piece of paper each time I checked. You can use brown paper if you prefer. By taking away the embossing powder, you get a completely flat surface, this is called a 'faux batik' effect, it looks like the batik material that originates from Indonesia, which is created by using wax as a resist when dyeing fabric. I also felt that by using the tea dye behind the Distress Ink, the irregularities looked like the background had been sun bleached, as if I had created a cyanotype effect. 

I used blue inks on another piece to really highlight this effect.

My second project features the stunning Plume Poppy leaf, or Macleaya Cordata if you prefer the latin name. I used an actual leaf to create the background, using a technique that my lovely friend Elaine, an ex Chocolate Baroque Design Team member, taught me. To create the topper, I simply stamped and embossed the leaf, and added colour using Distress Inks, water and a brush. A few splatters of brown ink, and one of the smaller stamps from the set complete the design.

For my final card, I chose to use the Smoke Bush or Cotinus leaves, there are two on the stamp set. I arranged them in clusters, just as you would see them on the bush, and coloured them with pencils. For the larger background, I simply stamped them with a plum coloured ink. Both backgrounds are simple Distress Ink backgrounds, and I have edged both layers with a plum coloured ink to avoid using extra card to mat and layer.

I hope that you have enjoyed the story behind these stamps and will try out some of the ideas that I have shared with you. I will be back later in the month to share more leafy projects with you. Thanks so much for stopping by, take care, xx

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