Recycled And Cracked For Creative Expresssions

Time for a proper bit of vintage for my Creative Expressions DT make this week. Well, I don’t know, maybe it isn’t that vintage-y but it does have a crackle effect layer and some distressing so that must count towards the vintage-ness of today’s offering right?

And of course the vintage-style stamps from the Umount Antique Dressform stamp set also help don’t they? There is a little bit of book page collage going on but would you believe that the tag and the crackle layer are all made from a cereal box? Oh yeah! They certainly are – Mmm… knew I should have photographed the back so that you could see.

Ok enough of this week’s recycling news and on with the make itself. Well the colours are all from the Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Stains range, mainly because they are the only items that I can get to at the moment. My workspace is in a kind of limbo state and has been for a few months now. I spend most of my time climbing over things to get to other things. 

I’ve used my two favourite colours of stains – Peacock Feathers and Squeezed Lemonade – and the vintage tints come from Gathered Twigs

I have to admit that I would not have picked the Gathered Twigs colour if it hadn’t had been for stock availability issues and a demo I was doing. My usual inclination is towards bright colours and not so much towards the Earth Tones, well other than the Ranger Vintage Photo and Walnut Stain in the distress range which I usually use a lot when distressing, if I can get to them!

But I am really glad I now have Gathered Twigs stain in my collection, it has turned out to be a really useful colour to have as you can see. Not only did I use it to distress the tag, but it is also the colour I used in the cracks of the crackle layer.

The crackles come from a layer of Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Crackle paint – Rock Candy over the Peacock Feathers and Squeezed Lemonade painted die-cut label. Then when the paint was dry I sponged on some of the Gathered Twigs Stain and let it seep into the cracks.

All the stamping was done on cartridge paper with the Ranger Archival Coffee Ink Pad.

Not bad for an old cereal box!

Thanks for popping by.



Playing With Kraft Glassine From Tim Holtz

How about another sample from the show? I think this might be one of my favourites.

Last week was the first time I got my hands on some of the Tim Holtz Kraft Glassine paper, I’ve been curious about the stuff but just hadn’t had a go at it. I’m very glad it was included in the show because it might be my new favourite thing, well at least for this month! It is great stuff, as I found out last week, and you can do so much with it. I had to restrain myself from using it in every sample.

For this sample I’ve printed out one of my own stock vintage photos onto one of the ATC Kraft Glassine envelopes with my inkjet printer.

The tag uses some of the Tim Holtz Kraft Resist stash and I’ve added some colour to it with the Distress paint. You can pull the tag out of the envelope to add a more personal message on it. 

You can also stamp on the kraft glassine, cut it, crunch it, colour it, all sorts of things, love it! If you print on it then don’t forget to heat set the image with your heat tool.

Would love to hear what you have done with Kraft Glassine.

Have fun


Blog, Digital Art

If I Had Wings From Creative Expressions

I’m having a bit of a blog re-shuffle again, Thursday is now my new Creative Expressions posting day so here is another make using Sam Poole’s Art Sayings stamp plate available from Creative Expressions.

For this one I’ve used the Art Sayings stamp plate to create the background by stamping over a surface that I’ve first textured with old sewing pattern tissue and then stippled on some acrylic paint in areas and added some gesso over the top to create this lovely textured look.

The sentiment is also from the Art Sayings stamp plate and I think it nicely matches her wistful look don’t you think?

If you are wondering about the image it is from one of my catalogue of images and ephemera that I’ve been unable to throw out collecting slowly over the years, she is one of my favourites.

 I was inspired by this month’s Ranger’s Video except I tinted my photo in Photoshop Elements as I wanted to keep the details and I’ve actually used Archival ink to stamp the Wendy Vecchi Studio 490 The Voice Of Art receipt stamp onto the photo but I did use Ranger Distress inks on the edges and on the whole tag to finish it.

I’ve also used some of the new Vintaj Patina and some acrylic paint on the metal photo tabs and the eyelet to change their colour and distress them. 

Hope you have survived all the photos, I did go a bit photo heavy today!

Have a lovely Thursday.


EDIT: Ok so this is how behind I am on my blog hopping, I did not realise that the photo tinting video was part of Tim Holtz’s 12 tags of 2012 theme as I came across it on the Ranger’s website and not his blog. Well what the heck, I’m going to enter my make into the June challenge, it isn’t exactly the same but it is inspired by the same technique – hope I’ve not broken any rules LOL!


Go With Your Heart

Hope you all had a good long weekend, did lots of fun relaxing and art making. I have my Make The Day Special project for this week and I went with a grungy, shabby chic tag using the Unity Itty Bitty and Authentique Co-branded stamp Go With Your Heart.

Such a pretty stamp. I’ve used the ZIG Black Sparkle Embossing Powder to emboss the stamp on top of an acetate panel treated with Eco-Green acrylic paint and ZIG Alcohol Inks which are also known as their Kurecolor Refill Inks.

The papers are from the Prima 6x6inch Printery paper pack (which I am totally in love with!) and then added some pearls to finish the piece. 

Have you checked out some of the new stamps in the Make The Day Special shop? Here are some of them:


Simply Betty

Paper Smooches

PICTURES OF THESE STAMPS HAVE BEEN REMOVED – people have been pinning these pictures into their ‘Digital-stamps and Printable’ boards on Pinterest BUT THEY ARE NOT digi-stamps they are copyright protected images.

Please respect people’s copyright – not respecting copyright is stealing.

Which are your favourites? 

Have a great day.


Blog, tutorial

Creative Expressions Calling Card Challenge

Got something that might interest you guys looking out for DT calls. Have you seen the Creative Expressions DT call?

Creative Expressions is a UK craft manufacturer and distributor supplying many of your favourite crafty retail shops and they also have their own lines of rubber stamps designed by various designers. If you haven’t seen the recent steampunk themed stamps from Sam Poole then you should go check them out!

All the details for the DT call are on the Creative Expressions Website but it is in the form of a challenge:

Calling Card 

The only other requirements are that there is an ATC somewhere in the make and that the make uses stamping.

So I thought I would have a play and for my project I’ve made a photo album / scrapbook from recycled packaging and business or ‘calling cards’ – see what I’ve done there? LOL!

What you will need:

StampsCreative Expressions Umount Vintage Photo, Creative Expressions Umount Texture

Inks – Ranger Tim Holtz Distress inks Tea Dye, Vintage Photo, Walnut Stain; Ranger Archival Coffee; StazOn Jet Black

Paper – Calling/business cards; Cardboard; Kraft packaging paper

Usual Suspects – PVA Glue; Golden Heavy Gel;

Equipment – WRMK Cinch; Scissors; Blending tool; Heat tool

Other – Tea-dyed fabric; Kuretake Screwtop brads; Acetate; Spiral wires; Prima Mask Set 5; Gesso; Acrylic paint Sand, Raw Sienna, Burnt Umber; Kitchen towel; Red ink

Making Backgrounds From Calling Cards

Ok so what do you do with your old business / calling cards? Between me and David we have boxes of these things from jobs we have moved on from over the years so what better way to get rid of them than to use them in making backgrounds?

Tear The Business Cards Into Strips

Tear the business cards into thin strips approx 1cm wide.

Weave the Business Card Strips

Weave the business card strips onto a spare piece of paper with dilute PVA and using the same principle as the Collage Background Technique but a bit more structured and leave to dry.

When the weave is dry cover with Gesso and allow to dry.

Paint The Weave Background

Cut the weave background down to the size of an ATC (2.5 by 3.5 inch) and build up layers of colour by adding paint then wiping the majority of the colour off again with kitchen towel to show the layer underneath. I started with a layer of Eco-Green Acryllic Paint Sand, the next layer was Raw Sienna and then I finished with Burnt Umber. When the paint is dry edge the ATC with Ranger Tim Holtz Walnut Stain and dry with the heat tool.

Prepare The Album Covers

Cut the album covers from packaging cardboard (~17cm square) and punch holes in one side. Paint the album covers with Gesso and when it is dry paint with Eco-Green Acryllic Paint Sand.

TIP: You might also have noticed that I’ve stamped out the images I wanted to use on spare paper first? I usually do this so that I can play around with the composition of the piece before I commit myself!

Build Up Texture With Masks And Stamping

Start building up the background with blending Rangers Tim Holtz Tea Dye Distress ink and the Prima Grid Mask from Set 5 and then use Creative Expressions Umount Vintage Photo stamps and the writing stamp from the Creative Expressions Umount Texture set to decorate the corners. Then finish with Rangers Tim Holtz Distress inks Vintage Photo and Walnut Stain and dry with the heat tool.

Add The Sentiment

Stick down the ATC with the Golden Heavy Gel and stamp out the photographer stamp onto spare card in Ranger Archival Coffee and colour with red ink before sticking to the cover. Tear a rectangle of acetate and paint the back with the sand paint. When the paint is dry stamp the sentiment from Creative Expressions Umount Vintage Photo in StazOn on the front and attach with the Golden Heavy Gel and add the Screwtop brad.

Finish With A Stamped Film Strip

Stamp the film strip from the Creative Expressions Umount Vintage Photo in StazOn onto acetate and carefully line up the image to stamp again giving the effect of a continuous strip of film. Attach it to the cover with the screwtop brad. Assemble the album and finish with strips of tea-dyed fabric tied around the binding wire.

Have fun with the challenge and catch you later.


Blog, Mixed Media, tutorial

Quixotic Paperie – Mini Book Using Wooden Shapes – Tutorial

Well it has been a busy month of tutorials here at Crafty Makes and I have another one for you this week. This time I’m using the wooden alterable shapes from Quixotic Paperie along with other yummy items to make a mini-concertina book. If you follow the Quixotic Paperie blog you would have seen this on Saturday 18th June 2011.

You might have noticed it is the round ornament bauble shaped wooden shape? You don’t have to use them just for Christmas!

What you will need:

StampsArtistic Outpost Ephemeral Backgrounds; Artistic Outpost Birds Of A Feather; Studio G Alphas

PapersKraft Card; Graphic 45 Steampunk Debutante

Colouring – Pencils

Inks – Distresss inks; Distress stains; Archival Jet Black; Archival coffee

Usual Suspects – Golden Gel medium; Gesso

Tools – Scissors; Crop-A-Dile; Cuttlebug; Spellbinders Nestibilities Circle dies; Blending tools and foam; Ruler; Scoring tool

OthersWooden Shape Round ornament with hole; Fabric; Tim Holtz Idea-Ology Sprockets; Viva Decor Gel Pen Walnut; EZ Mount

Make A Template For The Inner Pages

If you need to make the hole in the wooden shape bigger then before making the inner pages template use the Crop-A-Dile to make the hole bigger. Then use the wooden shape to cut a rough template to give the size of the inside pages. I’ve made sure that the hole in the ornament is not covered.

Score And Fold Kraft Card

To make the inside concertina pages use the template to score a line in the Kraft card and
fold it.

Use the fold to score the next line and keep scoring and folding until you have the number of pages you want or until you run out of card! Make sure that your first and last pages are both folded in the same direction i.e. the first and last page are both valley folds when attached to the covers (see picture below – ‘Assemble Mini Book’).

Cut Inside Pages

For this step you can either use your template to cut out the inside pages, making sure you leave the left and right folded sides of the circle uncut to give the concertina effect.

Another method is to use the Spellbinders nestibilities dies. Pick the die nearest to the size you want and line up the folded Kraft card on the die, again leaving the left and right folded sides untouched by the die. Use the thinner cutting plate and some shims with your cutting machine and run the card and die through the machine a couple of times. It wont cut all the way through and you might need to experiment with the shims to get the right thinkness.

Finish cutting the pages with the scissors, the die will have left guidelines in the card it has not cut through.

The inside pages are ready to decorate anyway you want. For this tutorial I’ve used distress stains to colour them.

Prepare the wooden shapes with a layer of gesso and once it is dry colour as you wish, I’ve used distress ink and stains in this tutorial.

Assemble Mini Book

I used soft Golden Gel Medium to apply the first and last page to the covers making sure that the holes are next to each other at the ‘spine’ of the book.

‘Bind’ The Book

I’ve used a strip of fabric coloured with distress stains to tie the covers together, making sure that it is not so tight that you can’t open the book. You can of course make the knot easy to tie and untie so that you can see both sides of the concertina pages if you have decorated both sides.

The book is finished and ready to decorate however you want!

I’ve linked this up to the Artistic Outpost June referral program and whilst you are there also check out their fabulous stamps.

Have fun with this tutorial and don’t forget to come back to let me know how it goes!


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Happy Father’s Day

To all the Dads out there – Happy Father’s Day! Hope you are all having a good day!

What are you doing to celebrate Father’s Day?

This Father’s Day make is a card made using an altered book page that I’ve coloured with distress inks using one of the fabulous Crafter’s Workshop masks from Happy Daze.

The little hearts are made from used postage stamps and the post marks are stamps from Crafty Individuals.

Hope you are enjoying Father’s Day



Gingersnap Creations Tutorial – Colouring Vellum

You guys all know that I’m a bit of a ‘fingers in different styles pie’ sort of person and like everything from fluffy and cute to industrial grunge and this week the makes have been more on the cute card side. So to shake it up a bit I’ve got my second tutorial for Gingersnap Creations today. Those of you who follow the Gingersnap Creations blog will have seen this on Sunday 12th June

Ok so you know that this month on Gingersnap Creations is all about using packaging in your art right? Well I’ve kinda cheated a bit for this tutorial. This one is making packaging rather than made from packaging!

What You Will Need: 

Stamps Paperartsy Hot Picks 01; Paperartsy Clock Plate 5; Creative expressions Vintage Flight
Colouring – Alcohol inks (Terracota; Butterscotch)
InksArchival Coffee; Archival Jet Black
Papers – Vellum (or tracing paper)
Tools – Blending tool; felt for blending; Envelope template; Ruler; Craft knife; Heat tool; Scoring tools
Other – Vellum glue tape; Alcohol Inks Blending Solution

Make An Envelope Template

My envelope is a very simple design and I made the template from an A4 piece of paper to make an 18 cm by 13.2 cm (7 1/8 inch by 5 3/16 inch) envelope when folded. 

Make the Vellum Envelope

I used my scoring tool and craft knife to make the envelope from the vellum and stuck the side flaps down with the vellum glue tape.

Colour Vellum

To change the colour of the vellum I used the blending tool and alcohol inks.

For this techniques I added two or three drops of the alcohol ink to the felt on the blending tool then added one drop of the blending solution and then using circular motions worked from the outside inwards.

I started with the lightest colour, the Butterscotch, to colour the whole envelope then added a bit of the darker Terracota colour to the edges and corners.

Then when you have the colour the way you want it try adding a bit of texture by adding drops of the blending solution to the blending tool, without colour, and ‘stipple’ the blending tool onto the envelope, i.e. dab it onto the envelope and lift directly up without moving it sideways. You can see the effect in the close-up photograph at the bottom of this post.

Get Stamping

I used the Coffee Archival ink with the PaperArtsy C5 and HPXT01 stamps as my background stamping then stamped the sentiment and airplane from the Creative Expressions Vintage Aviation kit with Jet Black Archival ink.

To stamp on vellum  just remember to try not to wobble or slide the stamp when it is on the vellum and I also use a bit of careful heat from the heat tool to help dry off the ink after each stamping.

I just love the effect of the alcohol inks on the vellum almost like the glassine papers that are very popular at the moment don’t you think? 

Have fun with this one and as always I would love to see what you do with it so drop by and give me a shout if you use it.


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Windows To Your Soul

Hello folks, it is Saturday so that means it is my Quixotic Paperie DT make for the week.

Now those of you that popped by on Wednesday will know that it is Quixotic Paperie’s 2nd birthday this month and Elaine and the DT have lots of fun things lined up for the month that we hope you will enjoy. The first being the yummy 10% off:

1st June to 8th June 2011

10% Off Throughout The Store!

(This does not stack with existing sale offers or discount coupons, and does not include Gift Certificates.)

So I’ve been busily beavering away at my craft desk – oh hardship LOL! Got a little ATC to show for it.

I’ve used stamps from the Artistic Outpost Birds of the Feather kit for the background, stamping with Archival Coffee and Ranger Distress Stains. The window and sentiment come from the Artistic Outpost Windows and Doors kit stamped in the Archival Coffee and coloured with more Ranger Distress Inks.

I’ve also mounted used some EZ Mount to mount my stamps.

I’ve linked this up to the Artistic Outpost June referral program and whilst you are there also check out their fabulous stamps.

Right well that is me for today, hope you all have a lovely Saturday.


Blog, tutorial

How To Make A Distressed, Vintage Style Card

Hi Guys, hope you enjoyed the new Natural Beauty Stamps illustrated by Carmen Medlin for SCACD blog hop yesterday. If you are interested here is how I made the card from yesterday’s post.

Inspiration note: When I first saw this fabulous stamp the idea of making the image look a bit ethereal immediately jumped out at me. The layering of this delicate looking image onto a ‘decayed’ background grew whilst I was working on the image. The overall effect puts me in mind of Estella from Great Expectations for any of you Dickens lovers out there (more from the 1946 movie perhaps than the book).


Stamp – Carmen Medlin SCACD Naturally Styled

Papers – Prima Melody; Kraft Card (make a card blank); Book page; Vellum or Tracing paper

Inks – Archival Jet Black; Tim Holtz Ranger Distress Inks Vintage Page

Colouring – Caran d’Ache

Usual Suspects – Glue; Double-sided tape

Tools – WRMK Sew-Easy;  WRMK Sew Easy Piercing Mat; Brayer; Paint brush; Heat tool; Paper piercer

Other – Make It Crafty Lasercut chipboard Filigree Jewels; Calico Fabric; Thread; Gesso; Scotch tape; nail file; Perfect Pearls; Golden Gel Medium

Making The Image Background

I started by glueing a book page to a Kraft card support and brayered it down for a to get rid of any winkles then set it aside to dry.

I then covered the old book page with some diluted Gesso, dried it with the heat tool (too impatient to wait!) and added another layer of Gesso.

Stamp Out The Image

I then used Archival ink to stamp out the Carmen Medlin SCACD stamp onto the book page and on a piece of vellum, but I didn’t have any vellum so I’ve actually used tracing paper. Allow the ink to dry then line up the two images and tear to the size you want the image to be on the card. Also tear the edges of the Kraft card blank.

TIP – Be very careful not to move the stamp on the vellum / tracing paper otherwise it will smear and smudge.

TIP 2 – When using unmounted rubber stamps use a little bit of glue stick to stick the back of the stamp to the acrylic block, you can use other products such as Tack n’ Peel, or sticky sprays instead, but glue sticks like Pritt stick work just as well and wash off easily. I then use a foam mat under the item to be stamped to get a good image. Practice on spare paper first to find out how hard you need to press to get a clear image.

Colouring On Vellum / Tracing Paper

I then used coloured pencils to colour the stamped image on the tracing paper, pressing lightly and building up the colour in layers.

Distress The Designer Paper

Next might not be for everyone, I know many of you might feel it a bit of a crime to distress those lovely designer papers, but sometimes a girl has got to do what a girl has got to do! Don’t judge me too harshly!

So a bit of paper distressing. First get those rips in the surface using Scotch tape, torn in thin strips, burnished onto the paper with my nail and pulled up, practice on a spare piece or in a place that won’t show to see how hard you have to burnish and pull to get the effect you want.

I topped this off with some sandpaper distressing and then lightly inked with the Distress ink and added a touch of Perfect Pearls in some areas. Also use the Distress ink on the edge of the book page, Kraft Card blank and a small torn strip of spare book page.

Prep The Papers For Sewing

Using the WRMK Sew-Easy tool pierce some sewing holes in the small strip of spare book page. Tear a piece of fabric and layer them on the distressed designer paper and stitch them in place. 

Stick the book page image to the designer paper with double-sided tape. Carefully line up the two stamped images and prick holes to stitch the image down.

Finish With Embellishments

I added a bit of Distress ink to the Make It Crafty lasercut chipboard then brushed with Perfect Pearls and used Golden Gel Medium to stick the embellishments down.

There you go, all distressed and vintage-fied! 



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BLOG HOP – Natural Beauty Collection Illustrated By Carmen Medlin For SCACD

The Quixotic Paperie design team have once again joined forces with the SCACD design team for a blog hop to celebrate the release of the fantastic new NATURAL BEAUTY COLLECTION illustrated by Carmen Medlin

 We hope you’ll agree that these are images to fall in love with.

There are SEVEN stunning images in this release, and they are available either individually or as a full set at a special discounted price!

If you’re in the UK/Europe you can buy the stamps NOW at Quixotic Paperie.

There is a special offer on SCACD Stamps during the next week – buy ANY FULL SET or FOUR OR MORE individual stamps from the SCACD Stamps range and receive a FREE STAMP (free stamp will be selected at random by Elaine)!

If you’re in the US you can buy the stamps NOW at Susana’s Custom Art and
Card Design

Susana is offering a Prima freebie to anyone purchasing the full set – see the SCACD Store Blog for full details!

On to the hop!

If you have hopped on over here from Alex’s blog Paper and String then you are on the right track, if not then start your journey at Elaine’s Blog – Quixotic Cards.

The stamp I’ve used from the NATURAL BEAUTY COLLECTION illustrated by Carmen Medlin is called Naturally Styled

I’ve matched the image with Kraft card and Prima Melody Paper.

Used the Make It Crafty Lasercut Chipboard Filigree jewels to embellish.

Thank you for hopping with us today! 

I hope you are enjoying the journey.

Your next blog on the hop is Melanie’s blog Paper Blessings.

Pop by tomorrow if you want to see how to make this card.