Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Summer Sun - Playing with my Distress Inks

One of the swap groups I belong to on Facebook has just started a monthly Rolodex Card swap and being a bit of a nut for slightly retro office supplies I thought I'd join in.  I was lucky to find an old Rolodex full of the index cards at a very reasonable price so I treated myself :o)  It's plain black at the minute so I need to 'alter' it but I need to decide on a theme for that!

The card size for this swap group is 4" x 2 1/4 (there are other sizes around as I found when I was looking to see if there were any other groups out there) so a little larger than an ATC, but just as fun!

The theme for the swap was 'Summer Sun' and there were 4 others in this month's swap these are what I created:

I started with 5 blank cards, so I could keep one for myself, and set to on the backgrounds.  I had recently seen a technique working with distress inks through a stencil and wanted to give it a go, but just for the background itself so I took a handful of inks from my ever growing collection (I used Dried Marigold, Worn Lipstick, Peeled Pain and Tattered Rose) and then pressed each onto my craft sheet, sprayed it with water and then using a mini blending tool worked each colour into the card in turn.  I really love the way that they have blended into each other to give a seamless background - I think these are one of my favourite mini-makes ever!

Once dried I then stamped the word 'Sunshine' on each, together with a floral stamp and added a small metal embellishment and some card candi from my stash.

These are actually the second set of rolodex cards I made as (foolishly) I hadn't realised the theme of the swap and actually made a collaged set with a Vintage Advertising theme to start with.  I sent both sets in though which meant everybody got a bonus card - a win-win really!  This is a picture of the first set:

My return swaps arrived yesterday and I'm really pleased with them, so that's a good start to a collection that will hopefully grow and grow!

I would like to enter my Summer Sun Rolodex Cards into the following challenges:

Hels Sheridan's Sunday Stamper - Week 321 - Moon Shadow (Backgrounds) - here

Use Your Stash at Try it on Tuesday - here


Fan-Tastic Tuesday Challenge - No 49 - Anything Goes (Must be square or rectangular) - here

Thanks for reading
Steffi xx

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

A little bit of inky fun :o)

I've been on another play-day (ahem - workshop!).  This one was up at Craftique in Hessle again - a great craft shop which stocks loads of goodies including Stampotique stamps!!  We had a great time playing with dylusions spray inks and stamps - learning new ways to use them to make some really great backgrounds and getting very inky fingers! Our workshop leader was Sandra Botham - do visit her blog: - who is very talented, her journal pages and canvasses are amazing!  I was really keen to go along and learn about using these inks as I've seen them around but always been a bit nervy about using them.  Having seen some of Sandra's work online though I knew I was going to have fun!

We started out using 3 Dylusions ink sprays and a water mister on some card - 4 pieces in total.  We used combinations of either hot colours (ie reds, pinks and yellows) or cool colours (ie blues and greens).  using the water allowed the colours to blend into each other.  We then used various stencils and more water to develop the faint patterns you can see in the pictures above.

We set a sheet of each aside to use for backgrounds later and then stamped out some Dylusions flowers and swirls on the others, before fussy cutting them out.  We then put all the bits together on a Kraft card, card blank and my finished two are shown below.  These are the first proper cards I've made - I'm really pleased with them - and even better I've loads of extra bits left over to make more!!

Amanda at Craftique is putting loads more brilliant workshops together, including a Dabble Day on 14th September 2014.  This will include mini workshops, each about 1 and 1/4 hour from the likes of Hels Sheridan, IndigoBlu and Sandra will be back too. For more details and to see what else is coming up, take a look at the website:

Thanks for reading :o)
Steffi xx

I'd also like to enter the FanTastic Challenge 48 - Anything Goes (Hip to be Square) here -

Sunday, 10 August 2014

A workshop with Ali-Craft

Last weekend I spent a lovely day crafting with Ali and Ian from Ali-Craft  a great supplier of crafty goodness including Graphic 45 and of course Tim Holtz - they are a lovely couple too :o)  One of the best bits though was finding another crafting venue only an hour or so from where I live - brilliant!


The aim of the workshop was to make a mini storage box following the instructions provided by Anne here at Redanne - this being her design I won't share all the measurements etc here as that wouldn't be fair but I will show you a few of the progress photos I took on the day, along with the finished box - which I just love!!

When we arrived we had two sheets of 12" x 12" mountboard waiting for us and the first step was to cut and score this down in the relevant pieces to make the box outer, a shelf and a central divider.

We then also made a little drawer. and once these were assembled we painted them :o)

As well as the drawer the box contains four little booklets two of which are an ideal for holding ATCs (you may have noticed I love ATCs!!) and the other two are designed with inner pages that can be journalled on or decorated any way you like.  

Above are a few pictures of the finished storage box once the sides, drawer front and album spines had been decorated with G45 papers and had mini fasteners attached.  I'm really pleased with it and am looking forward to filling it with ATCs and journalling techniques I learn along the way :o)

Thanks for reading
Stefanie xx

Friday, 1 August 2014

A 'Soft' Steampunk Tag

Hi - today I'm sharing an altered tag I've made for a one-to-one swap.

I really love altered tags - I've found many an amazing one on Pinterest but I've probably only made 3 or 4 myself so I joined up to this swap to challenge myself a little and push my boundaries :o). This was a different type of swap for me in that it had a list of elements/ingredients from which we had to choose at least 8 to incorporate into our tags. This is the list: Design paper, flowers, mini book, mini tag, bling, ribbon, doily, stamped image, dry embossing, heat embossing, stick pin, a single word, metal embellishment and bakers twine.

I started with a great piece of patterned paper - I can't decide if it looks more like part of the internals of a revolver or clock parts - I bought quite a few sheets of this just because I thought it was so unusual.   I cut this down to a tag that was 6 1/4" x 3 1/8". This was my base for the tag.

Next I took a slightly smaller manilla tag and sprayed it with small amounts of mica glimmer mists in Teal, Mulberry and Mango Crush, allowing the colours to blend gently into each other.

Whilst this dried, I decided I would make a little mini book. When you're making something for someone else, especially someone who you don't really know, it can be daunting as you don't know their particular tastes and how they marry up with your own. I mean I love steampunk but I know it's not to everybody's taste but having already chosen the base paper I decided on a slightly watered down version on a steampunk theme.   So to my mini book. I had some small pieces of cog embossed copper cardstock left over from a previous make (my steampunk trytich) which I decided to trim and use as a book cover. The inside of the book was made by accordion folding a length of watercolour paper. I then took a wooden toothpick, ran it through some Stampin Up ink in Soft Suede and dragged this across each page to (hopefully) give the impression of faded lines of text. I then over-stamped tiny symbols - such as crowns and fleur-de-lys - with Chocolate Chip ink and random words - like Smile and Beautiful - in a purple ink and I added little key and keyhole brads to the middle pages. I tied a little cord around the spine of my mini book and then glued the pages into place.

Next I moved back to the manilla tag. I stamped some cogs along the left hand side, and some criss- cross texturing to the top right hand side. I took some more watercolour paper to create a pocket for the mini book, leaving the 'bobbly' side outwards and then rubbed over it with the purple ink and added a little metal hinge plate.

Checking back to my 'recipe' list I decided to use the single word and heat embossing prompts. I've got loads of word stamps (might be slightly addicted!) and in particular some very ornate, swirly ones. Following my Soft Steampunk theme I chose the word 'Explore' and heat embossed this in three layers with copper embossing powders. I then restamped over the top with archival ink for definition.

For the finishing touches I edged each tag with my copper coloured Sharpie (which I also used on the metal hinge) and then glued then together. As a finishing touch - and to tick off my eighth 'ingredient' I added a small copper rose top left and bottom right.

I was really pleased with this tag (was almost tempted to keep it) and hope that it's recipient likes it too.

This is the tag I have received in return - it is lovely too :o). I especially like the folded brass filigree piece with the key (really love keys!!), the leaf and of course the butterflies. :o)

I would like to enter this tag into the following challenges :

SanDee & Amelie's Steampunk Challenges - Steampunk Summer Bonus Challenge 2014 - here:

The Artistic Stamper - August Challenge - Anything Goes - here:

Shopping Our Stash - Triple Threat (I've used ribboon; flowers; sprays/mists; and dry embossing) - here:

Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge - Anything Goes - here:

Art Impressions - Like an EmBOSS - Wet or Dry Embossing - here:

and That Craft Place- Anything Goes - here: