Wednesday, 23 December 2015

rose candle

Another sample from the latest Chocolate Baroque TV show, this actually was shown, a candle in a gift box, using the rose image from steampunk butterfly
I made the candle first, and was so pleased that it ended up still looking like a candle - thanks to helpful tip from Anne Waller to use a baking parchment wrap when heating the design onto the candle.
The steampunk rose was stamped onto white tissue paper, coloured with marker pens and fussy cut out before heating gently to fix it to the candle. I did this twice.

Having got a decent candle, I then decorated a kraft box to go with it. The sides of the box were covered with gesso, crackle mediem and acrylic paint, and quite a decent crackle finish appeared. I tried to get a crackle finish on the corners of the box lid but failed, not sure why - I suspect a combination of not enough medium and too much green paint!
The steampunk rose image was inked with memento black ink and pressed into a splodge of paper clay. Once it was dry, coloured with promarkers and fussy cut out again then glued onto the lid  It made quite a dimensional image, but too thin a layer of the paper clay was too difficult to cut out.

Monday, 21 December 2015

pastel steampunk

 This was a bit of a mad idea (for me, anyway!) - a heart-shaped hanger I found in my local craft store. I painted it with white gesso first, the brushed the edges with emulsion paint, using a couple of those little tester pots - mine even came with a brush included.  I used mineral mist and gentle lavender, as I thought I would try pretty steampunk instead of grungy.
Once the paint was dry, I used the studded lattice stamp and a grey ink to stamp the background, then added the small butterflies from steampunk butterfly in dark blue ink. I stamped the butterflies again, once onto a sticky label and once onto card, and fussy cut them out.
The sticky label one went on the top butterfly, the card one on the lower one. A lavender ribbon replaced the string hanging loop to finish.
The Country Market that I bake for is held at a local ex-servicemen's club, and they have far more beer mats than they can use from the breweries, and I was given a whole pack of them. So four got transformed into posher coasters.
White gesso again, then the blue and lavender paints as before, but this time the background was stamped using the cogs stamp. The butterfly was stamped onto the mat again, then again onto sticky labels, fussy cut out and glued over the original image - this way you have the antenna from the original stamping and don't need to try to cut them out. I found that the very textured surface of the mat didn't lend itself to a detailed stamp like the butterfly, and sticky labels were a much better solution.
I glued felt over the back of the mats to hide the original advert - not too sure how well they will stand up to use, suspect they will really need a coat of a matt varnish to last at all, will find out over Christmas!

thanks for reading, and have a very happy Christmas with lots of crafty goodies

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

steampunk rose box

I had a spare image of the steampunk rose that had been stamped into paper clay from when I was working on a sample for the recent TV show on the Craft Channel, and found that it just fit onto this small square box lid. Red, black and white just seemed to fit it, so I got out the paints.
The original box was kraft coloured, so a couple of thin layers of black acylic paint on the lid, and red on the base to start with.
The lid then had a coat of crackle medium,, then a thin coat of white acrylic once that was dry. I was hoping for small crackles, and was lucky this time. I coloured the rose with alcohol markers, then cut them out and glued them onto the lid.
I stamped the cog stamp onto the sides of the lid using versamark and a red EP - I inked the stamp up, put it face up on the desk and then pressed the lid onto the stamp.
The base looked a bit plain, so I added the same stamp to the sides of the base, this time using black versafine and clear embossing.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

December postcards

A very quick post - these are my December postcards for the Chocolate Baroque postcard potpourri swap. The themes this month were poinsettia and/or dark blue, and for once I have used both.
The candle is from the Christmas angel of light set and the poinsettia from holly bells set. Both stamped using versamark , candle with a sparkly gold EP and pearlescent paints, ponsettia with a pearl green EP and glitter glue on the top layer.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

candle and box

Loving the new background stamps, this one is called baroque orchids and reminds me of brocade, and it seems  a shame to cover any of it up!

Recently I finally managed to get a candle that looked ok when finished – previously they have looked decidedly the worse for wear and rather mis-shapen. Using baking parchment wrapped tightly round when heating the tissue paper onto the candle makes all the difference! Pushing my luck, I thought that I would have a go with this stamp and my last remaining candle.......

I stamped with black memento ink on to what I thought was white tissue paper (reminder, don’t choose your tissue paper by artificial light next time!) then cut out around the image to make a strip to fit the candle, which was too short for the whole image.  I tightly wrapped the candle with the baking parchment, and held it by this while heating gently – I still have a very old hairdryer type heat gun, which has a more gentle heat than the newer guns.
Those who saw the fab shows at the weekend with Lesley on the Craft Channel will notice that the image is actually upside down - it was a bit late by the time I realised this, so I carefully made sure that the image on the box lid was the same way up as on the candle when I took the my defence, I think it works any way up!
 The box was painted with black acrylic paint, and I smudged the corners with versamark and copper EP to make it a bit more interesting. The image for the lid was stamped in versamark onto black card, embossed with copper EP, cut to size and glued down.

Finishing touch was the tissue paper, black paper  randomly stamped using a copper pigment ink pad.
Fortunately my daughter doesn't have time to read my blog, as this is part of her Christmas present!

Friday, 27 November 2015

brusho swirl flower

More brusho backgrounds and the swirl centre flowerhead.

The first one is very simple, the flowerhead stamped in versamark and white embossed onto watercolour paper before sprinkling with turquoise brusho powder - I brushed the colour out over the flowerhead .
Sentiment stamped in black, mat is turquoise card, base 7" square white card was randomly stamped with the flowerhead in broken china distress ink and the same ink sponged round the edges.
For the second card I used the same technique, but stamped all over with the flowerhead and used two colours of blue brusho - one was turquoise again, and the second was cobalt blue, added generously until the paper was covered. This was cut down to fit the black A5 card blank. I stamped the flowerhead again with versamarkonto black card and used bright pink embossing powder, fussy cut it out and glued onto the background.
I never for a moment expected to use this pink powder, which was among some I inherited from a retiring WI demonstrator some time ago - it is actually a shocking pink colour, the photo shows it as more of a lilac

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

November postcards

 The colour theme for November was claret - this was the darkest winey red I had (it looks more brown on the scan than it really is).
I used the swirl centre flowerhead, as I thought that it looked quite like a single chrysanthemum, whihc was the flower option.
For the first card, I tried an experiment using PVA glue after I had seen a Facebook post by Barbara Cleggett - it did work (eventually), but when I do it again I will use less PVA so it won't take 3 days to dry in the airing cupboard and I won't ink the stamp up first with black memento ink! The back of the dried-clear PVA was coloured with red promarker and mounted onto a torn piece of watercolour paper coloured with ost red Brusho powder and sprinkled with salt while it was wet. I added some  microbeads into the centre of the flower.The strip of mesh was added to brighten the whole thing up, as it looked a bit grungy.
                                                                                      apologies, the post was by Doreen Sympson, which would explain why I couldn't find it last night! Check out - the link should take you to the right post.........Barbara's blog is still worth a look!
I went back to normal for the second attempt - didn't have time to try the PVA again!- using the same stamp in black onto ordinary card and sprinkled with the ost red and purple brusho, sprayed with a lot of water, fussy cut out and clear microbeads added to the centre with double sided adhesive (PVA did work, but was too lumpy and uneven even for me in a rush!) and coloured with red promarker.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

it takes two....

Good morning everyone - welcome to my first post as a member of the Chocolate Baroque design team, I hope you will like what you see!
I was thrilled when Lesley invited me to join the ladies, and would be taking a larger size in hats if I ever wore them. I have loved the stamps since their first appearance under the Graphicus label, back in the olden days of wood mounted stamps - and yes, I am that ancient (though I prefer the recycled teenager label!)

My first set of stamps from Lesley was the flowerheads, BIG stamps already cling mounted and ready to use, they make very quick cards on their own - the Brusho powders too longer to dry than the rest of the cards did to make.
I decided to use my Brusho powders for the backgrounds, and my first card uses the Swirl Centre Flowerhead, stamped with versamark onto watercolour paper and clear embossed. After spraying with water Brusho powders in lemon and orange were sprinkled round the flower (using the dinky little spoons in the accessory pack, which will hopefully be back in stock at some point), sprayed again with water and then brushed out with a paintbrush to fill the flowerhead.
Cut down to fit a 6" square  black card blank, sentiment from Loving Sentiments was stamped in black Memento, and the mat layers are black and dull gold.

For the second card I used the same Brusho colours, but this time the Circle centre flowerhead was embossed with white EP to make it stand out a little more from the background. I also added some brown powder to the centre of the the flower, which made for a more vibrant colour as it spread out into the petals.
The 7" square white card blank just had an orange mat layer, and the sentiment this time is from Words of Comfort and Cheer, again stamped in black Memento ink.
I have really enjoyed playing with these stamps and the Brusho powders.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Hobby Art again

 Yesterday I spent at Moira's last Hobby Art workshop for this year, and these are the results.
Ozzy owl gatefold card has a band to hold it closed, but I left mine plain - still thinking of adding something to the currently plain front panels, too.

I changed the stamps for this one, as I needed a sympathy card, but kept the gatefold layout. I used leaf stamps inked with orange and green inks for the front panels and inner background - I pulled the colour out with a damp brush on the front panels, and stamped the same leaf on spare card with black ink and coloured using the same inks I stamped with, cut out and added to the sentiment panel.
The inside panel used poppy head and poppy stamps, coloured with promarkers. The poppy stamp was masked several times to create the foreground, and the seed heads were stamped while the masks were in place.

 Moira's sample pop-up card used the mice stamps, but as I had an unused set of nativity stamps from last month I used those instead.
In hindsight, I should have cut a smaller step, as the nativity scene take sup less room than a mouse choir.

 Last two cards used a penguin stamp, with my version of icicles - stream stamp on it's side!- and a flourish for the background.
I used the remnants of the backing mat of the first card to stamp the penguins again for a second card -  should have used a brighter colour for the letters though, as they don't stand out even with sparkle added.On the other hand, the white marker pen did actually work fairly well, as did the blue stickles glitter added on the base with screwed up baby wipe.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

October postcards

 October postcards for the Chocolate Baroque potpourri challenge - had to use the colour this month which was heather, and this is what I eventually came up with. Have to admit that I spent a  lot of time searching for two particular stamps that I still haven't found in the disaster area that is officially my daughter's bedroom - even more disaster than normal as a good part of the contents went to a WI craft day, and still haven't made it back to their allotted homes....

Fast running out of time, I  decided to make landscapes using the terrific treescapes set of clear stamps (these seem to be no longer available, which is a great pity as there are some very useful trees there), the now traditional torn paper and brushes and sponges.  Inks used were victorian velvet, milled lavender and dusty concorde distress inks and Stampin Up concorde crush.

These would also seem to fit the challenge 167 at addicted to stamps and more, which is make your mark.

thanks Judith and Lesley for letting me know that the stamps will be back on the website soon - just out of stock at the moment!  Look out  for terrific treescapes, CBCL 0009

Thursday, 8 October 2015


Got quite hooked on this Chocolate Baroque  colour challenge - this one uses a brusho background and the angel from last year's Christmas set a child is born.
Background just uses grey brusho powder on watercolour paper (I found out that watercolour paper doesn't cut neatly on a trimmer - at least, my variety doesn't - which accounts for a few slightly wobbly edges). The angel was stamped onto white card, gold embossed and coloured with pencils. Fussycut out, glued down, and glitter added to the wings.
Mats are black, pearlescent silver,black, and the base card is pearlescent gold.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

challenge 15 again

another quick Chocolate Baroque challenge entry, this time using a stamp from terrific treescapes, and another sponged background.
Base card is 6x6 , and it is clean, spots are from scanner!
No greeting as I haven't decided what it will be for yet......

challenge 15

very quick post with an entry for the Chocolate Baroque colour challenge
Very simple, image stamped in black versafine, then the star sponged in yellow, sky in grey - base white card is A5

Thursday, 24 September 2015

blue postcards

My postcards for the September Chocolate Baroque postcard potpourri swap - had to go with the colour this month, wasn't any too sure exactly what an aster or a forget-me-not looked like, though there must have been a CB stamp featuring them at some point!
I used a brusho background for both of them (why are you not surprised?) - the silver came from a can of webbing spray that I discovered in a drawer. I was a bit heavy handed with it, and think it would look better if the can was further away from the card, but can se it coming in useful for Christmas cards.
The poppy stamp was stamped onto the base with versafine, and again onto another piece of brusho card. I cut the poppies and the butterfly out, and glued them over the first image after colouring the stems and leaves with promarkers.
The Mackintosh beauty stamp was done the same way, apart from the second stamping onto white card, and more promarkers. I was very pleased to pick this set up in a sale bin at the recent Thetford show, so another one crossed off the wanted list!

Monday, 21 September 2015

Hobby Art with Moira

Sunday was the second of  Moira's Hobby Art workshops, this time at a new venue at Costessey  - lovely light hall, plenty of parking, and best of all a caretaker to put tables and chairs out, and away!
We did 3 cards, all using Christmas stamps,
The first one used the bauble stamps - baubles were stamped in black on white card, coloured in (glittered if wished), cut out and mounted behind the circle aperture with its acetate centre.
I cheated and brushed wild honey distress ink all over my stamped baubles, which drastically reduced the colouring, and chose to mount mine onto black, adding the strings with a gold metallic market, which I also added to the bauble tops. The edges of the aperture were stamped with the holly sprig first, using memento london fog ink, and coloured with iced sprice distress ink for the leaves and marker open for the berries.
Not a quick card, but a very effective one.
Our second card used a snow globe die, and a pre-embossed snowflake background. I chose to use the mice for my image - just love that choirmouse- stamped twice with the central one stamped onto extra card, cut out and glued in the middle of the first two after colouring with promarkers.
Background,  the base card and the edges of the globe were all sponged with broken china distress ink.

The last card took rather longer to do, involving stamping the word in black ink, colouring in with promarkers, with a bit of liquid pearls on the berries. I used iced spruce distress ink to stamp and roughly colour the pine sprigs on the background card, and also brushed some round the wedges. Two narrow mats of red card, and a couple of holly sprigs finished it off

This one I did mostly last night - had the idea yesterday and started it then. Snowflake stamps randomly stamped across the black card using white pigment ink, which dried rather paler than I had hoped - one day i will find a really good white inkpad,  there must be one somewhere!-
with lots of glitter highlights using clear glitter and a quickie glue pen.
father Christmas was stamped in black onto white card, coloured with promarkers and cut out. Once he was glued onto the starry card, I added white fluffy stuff onto all the fur and heated it to give a bit of dimension, and some glitter onto the lantern.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Sunday at Gissing

 another Sunday afternoon at Gissing with Moira, Janet, Jill and Barbara in a toasty warm hall despite the dull weather outside.
Moira had a Christmas version of this owl card, which involved using practically every Christmassy Hobby Art stamp set she could lay her hands on, and a heck of a lot of cutting out. I thought I had a bright idea using different stamps, then found I didn't have them with me...............but I did have the set of leaf stamps.
I stamped the leaf onto green and orange card, added more colouring using sponges and distress inks and cut them out.
Moira had kindly provided the embossed square and its backing card, so I just added the owls in the hole and scattered the leaves down the left hand side. The white base card was randomly stamped with the leaf stamp in greens and sponged over with vintage photo distress inks.
 Janet's sample card was very simple, with the Claritystamp tree stamped in black and decorated with dots of  Paper Artsy fresco paint added with an embossing tool. Background layer was  from an old paper pad.
I had a quick play with the new stamp of the month from Hobby Art before packing up - a very quick card, took longer to finish up at home than to do! Masked off the central stripe with paper, brushed blue and green distress inks across it, then stamped the seed heads twice down the left and coloured the leaves in with marker pen.
Sentiment added later from some magazine freebie stamps, and base black card.
The random grey splodges are from the scanner, which obviously needs a good clean again!

Thursday, 10 September 2015

crazy birds

Just  a quick play with my new bird stamps from Tim Holtz - I had a load of small 4" square cards left over , and these birds are just the right size for notelets.
Background stamps from Chocolate Baroque and Ryn, and the birds were stamped onto left over bits of brushoed paper, cut out and decoupaged over the orginal image stamped onto the card. Could sit and cut birds out while watching the Vuelta on tv, less hassle than masking and also used more bits up!
A couple of the images look a bit pale, I originally stamped using black versafine, but it seemed to go grey over brusho, so the rest I used black archival ink, which stayed black.
As I used bits up, linking these to Pixie's snippets after a long absence

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

August postcards

 The August theme for the Chocolate Baroque postcard potpourri swap was either gladiolus or poppy or orange.
My problem this month was that I have a LOT of poppy stamps, and was therefore faced with the problem of which one to use! I thought I was being very sneaky deciding to use a patchwork layout, where I could cram in as many poppy stamps as I could easily lay my hands on............what I hadn't though of was how long it would take to do!
I ended up with 2 versions, one with the hexagons just masked off and stamped and the second with them cut out and separated by a border from each other.
Images stamped with versafine in both, coloured with pencils and distress ink smudged round the edges of the hexagons.
I am blaming all this work on my friend who showed me her stunning patchwork and quilted wall hangings, but on the other hand I owe her thanks for the inspiration......

Monday, 10 August 2015

Christmas starts here..........

Yesterday was the regular monthly get-together at Gissing - due to holidays, it was definitely a case of quality over quantity, and the four of us did rather rattle around in the hall! It did mean that we got a whole table each to spread our stuff out, and we had a very pleasant time drinking coffee, eating cake and even doing some stamping!
Moira brought her new Christmas stamps from Hobby Art for us to play with - it didn't feel quite right making Christmas cards on a hot sunny day, but we managed. After last month's Clarity workshop, I now have 5 cards, which is already way more than at this time last year...........
I stamped the large greeting using Memento white ink onto black card, trimmed it down and added glitter with a glue pen. It was mounted onto silver card, which doesn't show up in the scan, then onto a base stamped using snowflakes and distress ink in broken china, milled lavender and iced spruce. Those colours didn't quite work out, so a quick sponge round the edges with more broken china to do a rescue job before mounting the panel on top.

The smaller Noel stamp from the same set as the first stamp was stamped in black versafine and coloured with watercolour pencils, as was the bird from the same set. Background card was randomly stamped with the holly swirl from the penguin set from last year, which was also coloured with pencils before more sponging with broken china.Another silver matt - I have managed to cut a bit off the left hand edge of this card scanning it, the topper is actually central!

The last card used the new Father Christmas stamp, this time coloured with distress inks, and a lot of glitter over the furry bits. Another snowflake background, this time stamped using a  multicoloured ink pad in blues and purples.
A silver matt again, and a diecut snowflake also in silver to finish him off (Memory Box die).

Thursday, 6 August 2015

July postcards

quick post to add July postcards for the Chocolate Baroque postcard potpourri swap - I was even later than usual sending these off, but at least I did remember to scan them first!
This months themes were larkspur or waterlily and/or coral.
I completely forgot that I did have some small modern waterlily stamps, but did remember having the waterlily mandala  dating back to the days of Graphicus (showing my age here!) and I could even find them.........and, wonder of wonders, the set is still available!..The smaller image was stamped in versamark across a piece of coral card, larger image stamped in black versafine onto white card, coloured with promarkers and fussy cut out.
I have to admit that this was the fall-back option, after failing to make my not-so-brilliant other ideas work!
The only usable one of these was this one - image from the fancy flowers  set was stamped in black versafine and clear embossed onto watercolour paper, then sprinkled with orange and green brusho powders and heavily spritzed with water. Once it was dry, I added more orange in the centre of the flower and spritzed it again. Tore it out, then simply glued it onto a piece of the orange card.
The August theme is poppies - only problem here will be deciding which stamps to use, I have a LOT of poppy stamps - think there may well have to  be a patchwork theme here.......

Sunday, 19 July 2015

poppy easel

This is the poppy easel card I made at Gissing last Sunday  starting from an idea by Moira Walters, using Hobby Art poppy stamps.
I used both stamps in the set instead of just the smaller one - just had to be different!
The base card is a 6x6 square  white card.
I stamped the larger poppy stamp across the centre of a piece of 6x6 white card, using black versafine. The poppies were coloured with distress inks in spiced marmalade and brick red, with peeled paint for the leaves, using a waterbrush. I added a fairly random wash of green and orange across the card to try to give the impression of more poppies in the background. I stamped the smaller image several times, coloured the flowers to match, then cut out the flowers and arranged them across the front of the stamped image. Fussy cut round the top of the image.
Stamped the smaller image again, and coloured to match the first image, then fussy cut round the top and sides, leaving a flap at the bottom so that it would stand up.
The tricky bit is placing this so that it forms the stop for the easel bit, but low enough down the base that the card will still fold flat. Moira had worked out how to hide the flap, which worked brilliantly - a piece of green card in my case, cut slightly smaller to fit inside the card. Place the stop piece in position, check the card will still fold, then mark where you want it on the base piece - cut a slit in said base piece, insert the stop and glue it down; then glue the base to the card. Much easier and tidier  then cutting strips of card!

Wednesday, 15 July 2015


I was lucky enough to win a recent Hobby Art challenge, and  one of my prize stamp sets was the new Have a very mice Christmas set.
I loved the little choir mouse, and set about making a choir up - after trying masking I just stamped, coloured and fussy cut them out - their tails really got in the way using masks!
The background stamp is from Chocolate Baroque, part of the gothic fragments set. I used kraft card as a base as that was stonewall coloured, and drew in a few extra stones for the wall, so I was pleased to see that the latest challenge on 52cc was to use kraft card! Not often that something matches up so well with a challenge.........................
I used bleach on the windows, and quite liked the pinky effect so didn't add any extra colour to the glass bits.