As Featured On Blitsy- Decorate Your Happy Planner With PanPastel

Time for a tutorial and a Me & My Big Ideas Create 365 Happy Planner hack from me over on Blitsy blog today. I’m sharing how to decorate and add a bit of colour to your Happy Planner with PanPastel and stencils.

[I do use affiliate links and there are some in this blog post]

Close up of PanPastel on MAMBI Create 365 Note and Graph Paper

It has been a while since I last got my PanPastels out and I was thinking that it would be a great way to add a mixed media page to my planner. As PanPastels are a dry medium you don’t have to worry about the paper curling, as you do with liquid mediums, so you can even use the Me & My Big Ideas Create 365 Note & Graph Paper as it takes the PanPastel really well.

You can find all the steps on how I did it over on the Blitsy Blog so do go take a peek!


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Get Stamping Issue 4 Is Out…

Just in time for the weekend! Feet up, tea and biccy – the latest issue of Get Stamping is out, Issue 4, and it is Christmas inspired with some lovely Christmas/ winter cover stamps and some that would be great for Halloween too.

I’ve made cover girl! Yay! Tee Hee! With some Christmas PanPastel makes. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on this issue.

Hope you have a super fab Saturday.



Simply Cards & Papercraft – Cover Girl!

The new copy of  Simply Cards and Papercraft, issue 107, is out in the shops and how much of a lovely surprise did I get when I opened my copy to see that one of my cards had made the cover! YAY! (Thanks Stéphanie!)

So for this issue I’ve had some fun with my PanPastel using them with stamps, masks, some resist and on designer papers. Hope you like them!

That’s it from me today.



Blog, Mixed Media

Papercraft Essentials – Collaged Creations

The latest issue of Papercraft Essentials, Issue 85, will be hitting the shops very soon, if it isn’t on the shelves already, and in this month’s magazine the lovely Lee Jepson (Editor of Papercraft Essentials) asked me to do an article making lots of collage backgrounds repurposing those sometimes overlooked paper sources. Oh yes one of my pet passions, as you know!

I had a lot of fun with this one using PanPastel to colour my collages and stamps from Creative Expressions and even some Basically Bare items

But get this – you can get a little preview as there is one of the makes as an extra on the Crafts On The Net site and it has the step by steps and everything!



Art Journaling, Blog

What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday – WOYWW

What is this? I’ve managed to join the WOYWW revellers on two consecutive weeks? Shock!

Yay! Hello WOYWW-ers!

I thought I would show another mini-journal page this week on my rather untidy work space. I’ve been playing working with PanPastel and Zig Millennium pen.

With a little bit of old map page altering, well tiny really – the ickle house on the hill. It is only a little bit of cutesy journalling fun 🙂

If you want to join in the WOYWW fun then don’t forget to pop on over to Julia’s blog Stamping Ground!

Catch you later Jounallaters!



Good News Everyone!

It’s PanPastel Christmas offer time at

All the single colours are now £4.99 instead of £5.99. PanPastel 5, 10 and 20 Sets are reduced by up to 20% and the Sofft tools are also 20% off!

Told you it was good news, but that is not all they are all FREE P&P too until the 25th Dec!

Stock up time! 

Don’t forget to check out the Pan Pastel Challenge blog too, the DT call is still open…

Tee Hee!



Experimenting With…PanPastel On Surfaces

No finished makes to show today but a bit of experimenting instead for a change.

Readers of Crafty Makes will know that I did a PanPastel review recently and that I have a special offer of 10% off all PanPastel and Sofft Tools with code PanPastel10 sponsored by

I’ve continued to try the pastels out, I wanted to see how the PanPastels worked on different surfaces and I thought I would share the results so far with you all. Another long post I’m afraid, but it is mostly pictures.

I grabbed some of my favourite papers and surfaces and some other scraps that I had to hand. I brushed the PanPastels on with Sofft tools, used masks and also tried a spot of stamping with Versamark.

First up I used different colours of the Daler Rowney Murano Pastel Paper:

Purple Pastel Paper with Bright Yellow Green and Turquoise

Black Pastel Paper with Permanent Red and White

Cream Pastel Paper with Bright Yellow Green and Turquoise.

Next fabric – of course!

Fabric with Bright Yellow Green and Turquoise

Another favourite surface of mine – book pages:

Untreated Book Page with Magenta and Turquoise

Gesso treated Book Page with Magenta and Tuquoise

Then a bit of cardboard

Corrugated card with Permanent red and Bright Yellow Green

How about on some Designer Paper? 

Designer paper with Bright Yellow Green and Turquoise

My final swatch shows the PanPastels on Crackle Paste from Golden

Golden Crackle paste with Permanent Red and Bright Yellow Green

These are examples of some of the surfaces I tried out, I didn’t want to completely swamp you! The PanPastel worked beautifully on all the surfaces even the smoother papers like the designer papers.

I would love to know what surfaces you have tried PanPastel on and what you thought.

Happy experimenting.



No Sunday Round-up

Hey up all, how is your Sunday hopping going? I’m not doing a Sunday Round-Up today but if you are looking for one then Lou has one for you.

My Sunday post today is a guest DT make for this week’s PanPastel UK Challenge. Don’t forget the special offer on PanPastels:

Use the code PanPastel10 at to get 10% off all the PanPastel and Sofft Tool products. If you want to learn more about PanPastels then pop to my review post, or scroll down.

The PanPastel UK challenge this week is – Fireworks/Explosions

I did the background with PanPastels – the Sofft tools and Permanent Red, Bright Yellow Green and Magenta. A touch of a music stamp and the star burst stamps from the Unity Adventures in Happiness kit.

Oh and if you are interested the PanPastel UK Challenge blog is on the lookout for some new talent to join their DT.

 Hope you are having a great Sunday.



Review – PanPastel Colors And An EXCLUSIVE OFFER!

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I am so excited to be able to share this with you today, I’ve been barely able to contain myself! If you read nothing else on my blog for weeks, you are going to want to get to the end of this post as I have an EXCLUSIVE SPECIAL OFFER for all my blog readers courtesy of the kind people at Your Creativity Store!

So biccys and tea at the ready…


Probably like yourselves, I’ve tried various pastels (also known as chalks) in several formats, hard, soft, sticks, pencils and compacted in boxes like eye-shadow. I enjoy using some like the pencils but have a bit of a love-hate relationship with some of the others like the sticks because of the way that they feel and the colour and covering that some of them give. So when I came across PanPastel Color I thought it might be time to reacquaint myself to working with pastels.


(Copyright PanPastel Colors via

What Are PanPastel Colors?

For those of you that haven’t come across them yet, they are an artist-quality soft pastel compacted into a plastic pot or ‘pan’. They have been available to artists for a few years but are now starting to hit the crafting market. Being a bit of a science nerd, I quite like knowing the intricacies of the materials I work with – many don’t, so forgive me for the next bit! Now as I understand it all pastels are basically pigment, filler (e.g. chalk) and binder but it is the proportions of each, the quality of the base materials and the way they are put together that makes the difference to the end product (and the price!).

According to the PanPastel Colors website what makes PanPastel Colors unique is that they are specially formulated with less filler and binder so have a higher concentration of the artist-quality pigment. This formulation means that they are very soft, generate less dust and give a better pigment load (concentration of colour) and coverage than other pastels. Oooo…gonna need to try them out then!

Working With PanPastel Colors

Ok non-science nerds – eyes front!

PanPastel Colors come in 20 pure colours and then each pure colour has a tint (lighter), a shade (darker) and an extra dark shade – a link to the colour chart is on the Your Creativity Store website. That means there are 80 PanPastels currently available but considering that they all blend well with each other the colour possibilities are enormous. There are some specially designed tools for appling the PanPastels called Sofft Tools, but more about these in a minute.

Well, straight away I can easily say that I love the colour choices, for us crafters particularly there are some bang on trend colours on offer. The first thing I did after ‘ooing’ and ‘ahing’ over the colours of course, was to see how the colour laid down. I used the cartridge paper in my sketchbook which isn’t totally smooth and has some tooth (roughness of the surface) but isn’t your usual high tooth pastels paper. Pastels usually like something to hold on to, so very smooth paper can be a no-no. Another advantage of PanPastels is that they are supposed to work on a wide range of surfaces (I’m planning to test this out later!).

Two or three gentle swipes of the Sofft Knife No. 2 over the surface of the pan picked up plenty of colour and with limited pastel dust formation. The colour stays on the knife sponge and then covers the paper with a creamy, easily flowing feel that is lovely. Ok so what about blending? As with other pastels, the PanPastels can have a translucent quality so can be layered over each other (sprayed with fixative between colours), blended on the paper or, unlike other pastels, blended in the pan (don’t worry you can easily clean the pan again with a wipe of a Sofft sponge so no contamination).

So you can blend your own colours as you use the pastels and get different tints and shades just by blending with black and white. As I mentioned the Sofft Tools have been specially designed to work with the PanPastels, they are far denser than any make-up sponge or Cut N’ Dry and I think that helps with the cutting down on the dust and the colour loading, but that is just my opinion after a very quick try with both a make-up sponge and Cut N’ Dry, I’m sticking to the
Sofft Tools.

The Sofft Tools are shaped so that you can get all of the marks and action that you can with a stick pastel or your finger and they are washable and re-usable. They are also easily cleaned with a wipe or two on kitchen towel between loading different colours so you don’t even have to change them for each colour if you don’t want to.

Ok so I’ve got the basics, how about making something? Well it just so happens that the PanPastels Challenge blog has a Dark and Mysterious theme running this week so perfect for putting PanPastels through their paces.

It is an altered book page all coloured and stamped with PanPastels, you will recognise my old friend the gentleman skeleton from Artistic Outpost of course!

After treating the book page, backed with card, to a couple of layers of gesso and letting it dry, I used a round Sofft Art Sponge to apply an intense layer of Bright Yellow Green. I then used the same sponge and the Crafter’s Workshop numbers mask with Permanent Red to add colour to two corners.

I then lightly stamped the opposite corners with a music stamp and Versamark, crumpled up the whole page to get the crease marks and lightly swiped the round Sofft Art Sponge loaded with Black to get the aged look. Now I fixed with a pastels fixative spray (I’ve been told that hairspray works too), you don’t have to fix as the PanPastels are worked into the paper by the tools. Personally I prefer to fix as you can get some lifting of colour and I was using black so wanted to make sure I didn’t transfer it to anything else.

I ironed the page to flatten it out and added my stitching. The skeleton and sentiment were stamped onto some spare card with Versamark and sponged with the PanPastels.

Ok so by now I think you can see that I am in love with PanPastels, there is a texture and a versatility to them that I really like and I enjoyed using them which I haven’t with some other pastel brands. I’ve put them through the ringer and they have exceeded expectations, I think they are a very useful and versatile addition to any artist/crafter’s colouring box. 

And The Exclusive Offer?

If you are anything like me then I expect you would love to try these out for yourself?…So I’m really excited to say that thanks to the lovely people at Your Creativity Store, thanks Berni, I can share with you this great offer:

If you use this code: PanPastel10 (it is case sensitive so copy and paste to be sure), 

you will be able to get 10% off of any of the PanPastel and Sofft Tool products in stock at Your Creativity Store.

That includes the PanPastel Single coloursPanPastel SetsPanPastel Accessories and Sofft Tools.

The code is valid until 12pm on 24th November 2011, so spread the word, don’t want folks to miss out!

Over To You…

I would love to know what you think. Have you used PanPastels yet? Have you seen them in use? How many colours have you got? Or which colours are on your wishlist. Any thoughts or comments are as always much appreciated.

Have fun PanPastel-ling!


(And now for the disclaimer – Your Creativity Store were very kind and sent me some PanPastel Colors and Sofft Tools to try out for this review, and to make some samples, but as with all my reviews I’m giving you my honest, unbiased opinion of these products, I can’t help it if they are fabulous and I want you all to try them too! (No pressure though, I’m not getting any commission!))