Blog, Mixed Media

New Paperbabe August Stamp Release

Fancy a bit of a sneaky peek at some of the new August release stamps from Paperbabe Stamps*? I think you will like these!

Kim Costello has designed some stunning Japanese-inspired stamps this month for Paperbabe Stamps. There are some beautiful MayLeeDee stamps, which you can get as digis or clear stamps. Then there is the gorgeous Oriental Zen stamp set with its wonderful Kimono silk fabric style designs that I’ve used on my makes today.

(BTW – you might have already noticed that I’m using affiliated links* in this blog post. If you want to know more about them then please read my Disclaimers and Disclosures.)

The wonderful Japanese theme of these stamps made me think of antique Inrō which are small, decorative containers that used to be worn like a pouch from a sash around the waist. You can see what I mean over at the V&A website or if you do a quick Google search of course (other search engines are available!).

I’m always fascinated by these little containers when I visit the Japanese sections of my local museums and they inspired me to alter some dominoes to mimic some of the small scale designs you see on the panels of the Inrō.

The stamps fit beautifully and I just love the way Kim designs her stamps to be used both individually and to be layered on top of each other like a jigsaw to build elements.

The colour comes from stamping with coloured Archival ink then I added colouring details with my Prismacolor pencils.

I’ve also used some newspaper pages, Distress inks and a gold leafing pen to finish the dominoes.

Aren’t they beautiful stamps? They go on sale over at Paperbabe’s Etsy shop* on Friday 9th August 2013 but checkout the Paperbabe blog for lots of inspiration and sneaky looks at the new stamps over the next few days.

Thanks for popping by.


Blog, Mixed Media, tutorial

How To Make Your Love Fly Free!

Hi guys, we have reached Sunday again and last Sunday I posted a little altered canvas called Let Your Love Fly Free and promised you a post with a step by step of the process for putting the canvas together.

So go bookmark this page and grab yourself a cuppa (with biscuit of course) and read on!

You will need:

A mini canvas 10 x 10 cm

Stamps – Crafty Individuals CL-234; The Artistic Stamper Music#1 011; Basic Grey Aviary; Studio G Alpha stamps

Inks – Archival Jet Black; Versacolor Grape, Opera pink, Heliotrope, Cyan, Lapislazuli

Kuretake ZIG Wink Of Stella clear pen; ZIG Millennium pens

Caran D’Ache Neocolor II

Washi / Tissue tape

The Crafters Workshop Mini Cosmic Swirl



Golden Heavy Gel

Winsor and Newton Matte Varnish

Glossy Accents

Blending tools and foam

Heat tool

Water Spray bottle

Paint brushes

Rock Salt

Gosh what a lot of stuff for such a little canvas!

I started out by building up a base of colour onto the canvas by scribbling the Neocolor II crayons onto the surface and brushing with water, adding texture as I went along with salt.

I let the colour dry naturally before putting on the next layer of colour. Make sure your background is dry before starting to stamp.

The next step is a bit of a leap of crafting faith as stamping on mounted canvas isn’t always easy. Be brave and remember you have the get out clause that imperfections add texture to a piece!

I used one of the music stamps from The Artistic Stamper Music#1 011 kit, luckily it was the perfect size for the 10 x 10 cm canvas and the stamps aren’t wood backed. I have mine on EZ Mount.

The trick to stamping on mounted canvas is to use the stamp as it is, i.e. DO NOT use an acrylic block or any other solid surface to back the stamp.

Ink up your stamp, I used Versacolor Grape, lie your canvas on your table, decorated surface face up. Place your inked stamp onto the canvas and, being careful not to let the stamp slide or nudge out of place, press it gently down making sure to press a little extra on the areas of the canvas that are not supported by the wood of the canvas frame, like the middle of the canvas.

Ok scary part over – the rest is all a breeze!

Using my Versacolor inks, the Crafters Workshop Mini Cosmic Swirl template and my blending tools, I started to build up some more texture to the edges of the canvas; I wanted to keep that lovely light pink glow of the Neocolor crayon in the bottom right hand side of the canvas as this would fit my design. So I built up the colour to be a bit darker on the top left hand side of the canvas as I knew this would be the background to the wings and cage focus.

I did this process gradually by applying colour than drying it completely with my heat tool to stop the colour from just wiping off again as I used the blending tool.

Once I was happy with my background, I sealed the canvas with a layer of Winsor and Newton Matte varnish and let it dry.

Some more canvas stamping but this time I only want the image on one side of the canvas and we have the added bonus that I’m stamping in Archival Jet black so if it doesn’t stamp perfectly I can just go over it with a black pen like the ZIG Millennium pens from Kuretake.

Same principle as before with stamping – don’t use an acrylic block with the stamp and apply slightly more pressure on the stamp where the canvas is unsupported.

Once the ink was dry I carefully went over the black image with my Glossy Accents and let that dry whilst I worked on the cage, wings and sentiment.

Cover a piece of card big enough for two wing shapes with Washi / Tissue tape in a random manner. I made myself a little wing template and cut out two mirror-image wings. 

Using my finger I covered both wings with Gesso (you can use a brush – I just found it quicker to get messy!) and before the Gesso had a chance to dry I pressed the wings together and then lifted them apart to get that lovely river and stream texture (you might need to click on the picture below to get a larger image to see what I mean).

Once the Gesso was dry I scribbled the ZIG Wink Of Stella Clear pen over the wings to get a lovely touch of sparkle.

More card was covered with Washi / Tissue tape and then I painted a light layer of Gesso over the top, let it dry and stamped out the sentiment with the Studio G Alpha stamps and cut it out. 

The cage was stamped onto card, cut out and then coloured using the Versacolor and blending tools. I used the Golden Heavy Gel to attach the cage, wings and sentiment to the canvas.

There you have it! 

Hope that was of help to you and I would love to see if you have used any of the techniques or ideas I’ve used here in your own makes so just pop on by and leave me a comment and I’ll hop on back for a nosy! 

Have fun!


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Kaboodle Doodles Altered Box

Just thought I would blog one of the creations I sent to Andrea at Kaboodle Doodles for the design team call. Particularly as I can’t do any crafting because my stuff is all packed away at the moment 🙁
I needed a new buttons box so thought I would alter a large crispbread tin I had been saving to make into something (I hoard everything, literally everything). So here is the result. I used some wonderful free download papers Andrea has on her site and scanned some buttons then, using Adobe Photoshop Elements, I put together the label with the lined paper from Kaboodle Doodles. So here is the result:



Mmm, might need another buttons box soon, this one is almost full already!


Bitten By the Challenge Bug

For a while now I’ve been wanting to alter the cover of my travel journal from my trip last year to China and this week’s challenge of Travel/Places from Arty Girlz gave me the inspiration to finally do it. So here is my go at the challenge:

The background uses a black and white photocopy of a map of China that I have coloured in using the same technique as the background for the flower card but then highlighted areas with watercolour pencils. The main highlights being the actual journey we took from Beijing to Xi’an to Zhengzhou and back to Beijing. I then stamped a dragon onto acetate with StazOn and coloured the dragon with cosmic shimmer mixed into three-dimensional glue. The letters were all cut out by hand and ‘China’ has been accentuated with three-dimensional glue. It was great fun doing this AND I’ve ticked off one of my jobs from my ‘To Do’ list 🙂