Monday, 31 March 2014

Last Monday Make for March with Creative Expressions


Well hello again! Great to see you here. Today is the last day of the month and as such I am just able to squeeze in one more make for Creative Expressions showcasing the lovely Get Well stamp. Next month, or more exactly tomorrow, Creative Expressions have given me more lovely things to work with so there is no sadness in bidding farewell to these products, different ones are on the horizon.

This card uses the lovely Get Well Soon stamp from the Singles range. I really like the crispness of the image and the opportunity for using the pattern part of the design in its' own right.

I started by stamping the whole stamp with Jet Black Archival ink onto a piece of pure white card, I used Foundation card. I then stamped the swirl part of the stamp several times onto the same type of card.

Once this was dry, and it doesn't take long with that ink, I started to colour the images. I used one of the Cosmic Shimmer Drawing inks. They have a lovely fine applicator making the colouring in of the detail very easy. I coloured the actual swirl on the lower panels but reversed this for the main image by colouring the background. 

Next came a fair bit of matting and layering using black, white and red card. 

I embossed some more white card using a leaf design embossing folder as I didn't want a large expanse of flat white card behind all the features. It is surprising how much difference the embossing makes. There are times when only flat white will do but on this card it simply had to be textured!

I finished it all off with ta large bow, some pins and a Dazzler. If this card doesn't cheer somebody up when they are not feeling too good, I don't know what will. 

Here is the list of the main Creative Expressions products I used (click to link as always)

This first month with Creative Expressions has seen a variety of projects from me, some simple, some a bit more complicated, some very delicate and some very bold. I hope that you have enjoyed what you have seen this month and that you come back for more in April when I will be showcasing some different products, in different ways, with different colour ways and different techniques.

Quick reminder of the upcoming Big Stamp & Scrapbooking Show. 
The link is at the top of the blog and clicking on it will whizz you off 
to all the information you will need. 

Right, there we are then, the end of March, "Hello April". More than just a new month on the calendar for me. I have a new life ahead of me as I am now officially a lady (debatable!) of leisure. I plan to use my newly found 'no longer employed' time doing something that I couldn't live with out........CRAFTING!! 

Have a great week, come back soon and hopefully I can inspire you to make something pretty.

Kim xxxxx

Friday, 28 March 2014

Friday Feature with Visible Image - 2 for 1 deal today!

Well hello! Hope you are having a good week? My week has been rather busy what with one thing and another. Some highlights were going to see the totally fantastic Lisbee Stainton at our local music venue. Lisbee was part of the line up recently with another one of my favourite musicians, Seth Lakeman and when I saw that she was doing a gig local to me I simply had to go! Down side of the week is this is the last week of being employed for me, my job is going, along with a few hundred other people in the same 'gang'. We are being made redundant at the end of the month and for some it is a very hard time. For me not so much, as I have major plans. Watch this space! Onwards and upwards, or in my case onwards and Westward. Say no more, a lot needs to happen in the right order..........

So, today I am going to show you 2 things using the fantastic polymer stamps by Visible Image. Always reliable, crisp images and with such fab designs it is hard for me to choose which ones to use each week!

First up is a little number I created using the Two Stamp Background which I blogged about recently. It is such a useful technique and it creates fantastic results! I mentioned before that I have a liking for 1950's kitsch textile designs, I like the colours and the bold black overprint that seems to slightly miss the mark.

I used yellow, lilac and teal inks and played on the yellow to make this bright card. The sentiment was stamped onto a piece of the card that hadn't received the black overprint with the flower head as it allowed for the words to be seen clearly.


Second I am going to show you a really quick way to colour a butterfly if you plan to cut it out. This is how I made the 77 butterflies for my wall art entitled 77 PAIRS OF WINGS and all my other butterfly projects, which are too many to list as I simply love the butterfly stamp!

So, it is quite simple really. Instead of colouring the butterfly after you stamp it, colour the place where the butterfly is going to be stamped first.
  • Stamp your butterfly onto a piece of scrap card to get a feel for the size of it.
  • Swipe stripes of colour onto your card, starting with a central 'body' coloured line then keeping them matched either side swipe more stripes until you have enough to fill the wings.
  • Stamp your butterfly onto these stripes, keeping the body in the centre stripe.
  • Cut it out! 

Although the stripes look very bold and, well, stripey for want of a better word, once the butterfly has been cut out it looks very natural and more importantly it looks like you have spent ages colouring it in!! You could use pencils, watercolour paint, inks, whatever you fancy really. Keep it light and make sure it is perfectly dry before you over stamp with the butterfly. I am sure you will agree the result is a very natural looking butterfly.  If you want to make more than one as I often do, then make the stripes longer!

Right my lovelies, I need to crack on with 'other' things. Hope you have been inspired by my blog today? It would be so nice to hear what you think and so please leave me a comment. I think Blogger is still being a little temperamental, an error message comes up when trying to join the blog. This is affecting a lot of blogs, not just mine, sorry. As far as I know you can still leave comments though.

Happy crafting! Kim xx

Monday, 24 March 2014

Monday Make with Creative Expressions - Scent Bottles

Good morning to you all. Welcome to my new followers and readers. Just a quick gripe before we go any further about blogger behaving badly. It seems that there is a general issue with trying to follow/join any blogs. It is not just my blog. It seems that lots of people are having this problem. We need a solution - FAST! It is ruining everyone's experience in blogland!!


Today for my Creative Expressions® project I have used two of the very lovely scent bottle stamps along with a couple of embossing folders to create a soft, subtle card perfect for Mother's Day.

I started by stamping the bottles with white embossing powder onto some brown Kraftcard. They were cut out and then shaded with some distress ink to give them a bit of dimension.

Next I took some of the lovely Milk coloured Foundation card and ran it through my embosser with the Spellbinders M-Bossabilities folder Flora. While I was there I embossed a piece of Sand coloured Foundation card with the Dainty dots embossing folder. I cut the embossed pieces to give me 3 different sizes for layering. I took a Tim Holtz Brushed Corduroy distress ink and added highlights to the embossed side of the 2 outer pieces and to the de-bossed side to the other, middle, piece as well as a brief swipe over the polka dot embossed card. 

Next step was to measure each of these embossed pieces and then cut a piece of the brown Kraftcard  just slightly larger. Using a sharp blade or the cutting edge of a pair of scissors, drag carefully along the edge so as to roughen up the edges of the Kraftcard. The trick is to make the ragged edge only just bigger than the embossed piece, it should fit fairly snugly like a frame. 

Just to add a little more interest I wrapped some cord around the panels before layering it all up! Of course it needed a sentiment to round it all off and what better than the message Pamper yourself?

So here is the 'shopping list'. Just click on the link to find out more about the product and stockists.

Just need to remind you of the BIG STAMP & SCRAPBOOKING SHOW event.
Click on the link at the top of the page
 to book your tickets in advance to get a discount on the box office prices. 
you can also call on 01536 481778

Thanks for dropping by, hope it was fun for you reading about my project? It was fun for me making it and writing about it. Leaving a comment before you go would be nice and it means so much to me knowing what you think.

Happy Monday! Kim 

Friday, 21 March 2014

Sewing Box - The Friday Feature with Visible Image

The Sewing Box, but not as you know it!

When I was younger I remember my Great Grandmother having a rather beautiful sewing box with wooden cotton reels, a darning mushroom, little scissors with a swan as handles, and a lot of fancy buttons. I had wanted just such a box ever since I can remember. When I left home one of the first things I purchased was a sewing box but it never lived up to the sewing box I had admired as a child.

My project this week has a vintage feel to it and making it reminded me of so many wonderful things that I loved about my great grandmother, not just about her sewing box!

The set I used for this project was The Sewing Room. It is a lovely mix of stamps including buttons, a measuring tape, and the very trendy body form. I started with a box frame. You might be able to buy one the right size, or be canny enough to make your own, but my frame started life as the bottom of  a box of baklava which, by the way, were delicious! I then took a couple of pieces of very cheap brown paper and began stamping them randomly with the butterfly and rose stamps also by Visible Image. I used three shades of brown by Tim Holtz, Brushed Corduroy, Vintage Photo and Antique Linen. You can just see a bit of the butterfly on the frame itself. 

It was then a case of tearing strips of the brown paper into manageable pieces and sticking them to the frame with some fairly runny PVA glue. This needed to dry thoroughly before moving on to the next stage. As luck would have it the tape measure was exactly the right size to fit on the frame! I stamped it several times onto the same thin brown paper and added it to the frame top and bottom. 

All the feature pieces were stamped onto a more robust brown card, I think I used the inside of a food box. Cereal  boxes are good as they tend to be a rustic brown inside. I used the same selection of brown inks to stamp the images  to give some variation in colour. 

I really enjoyed making this little project, I shall no doubt make another one soon, which will of course mean I will need to get another box of baklava!!

Don't forget there is the March challenge over on the Visible Image blog. The theme this month is Your Favourite Visible Image Stamp. Perhaps you fancy having a go? There is also the Facebook group where you can meet up with other Visible Image fans, hear about new products, get to see DT inspiration and upload your own projects. 

Right, I need to get a move on with some more inspirational projects for you! Hope you have enjoyed my offering today. Why not leave a comment to let me know what you think. If you have any questions please feel free to ask. 

Happy crafting! KimB

Monday, 17 March 2014

Something Clean and Simple with Creative Expressions

Oh Hello! Nice to see you again! And welcome to all my new followers!! Here we are with my second project for Creative Expressions. This week I have created a couple of cards using 2 of the Singles stamps, Thank You and Get Well Soon. I used the Thank You stamp last week on the Treasure Chest to make a chunky black cartouche but this week I have used it, and the 'partner' stamp in a classic way .. .. .. .. .. .. as a stamp!

I am not know for my use of pure white card. I am quite a messy crafter and so my grubby mitts and white card are not the best of friends! With these 2 cards I wanted to emphasize the clean, crisp design of the stamps. The deep cut rubber gives a great impression time after time, but I didn't want to use black ink. The style of the stamps suggested sophistication to me so I was drawn to the regal colours of navy and purple. I used Seedless Preserves and Chipped Sapphire.

With both images I used a moist brush to draw the ink from the stamped lines to colour parts of the image. For the Thank You card I drew the colour into the petals to emphasize the flowers but with the Get Well Soon card I kept the design white and coloured the background area. The blue Thank You card has a look of Delft about it don't you think? 

Sometimes clean and simple is enough. There is a certain elegance about crisp white with a dark colour stamped image. One thing is for sure, I have created a project that is quick, elegant and easy to make. Quite a contrast from the Treasure Chest of last week. You see what I mean when I say I shoot off in a different direction!! 

I hope you have enjoyed this project? The stamps I used are here, (click to link)

Thank You Pre Cut Stamp                 Get Well Soon Pre Cut Stamp

Don't forget it is The Big Stamp and Scrapbooking Show in a few weeks time, get your advance tickets by following the link 'up there', top right on the side bar.

It would be great to hear what you think by leaving a comment below. See you next week!

Kim xxx

Friday, 14 March 2014

Blue Roses - The Friday Feature with Visible Image

BLUE ROSES, but they could be any colour you want!

Well Hello everyone! It is nice to see you again.

My project for today is a card I made using the free Visible Image designed stamp that came with Craft Stamper recently, the big blousy rose.  Don’t worry if you didn't get the magazine as this rose is available direct from Visible Image right now. It is in the Immortal Love set, in fact there are 2 roses in the set.

Now this card was made using the masking technique, or maybe I should say the EXTREME masking technique! I started by shading a piece of white card with my favourite shade of Gentle Blend, Denim. I applied the colour more heavily at one end than the other so that I had some very pale areas as well as a very dark area.

My next job was to cut masks of the rose. I use those little sticky notes, not necessarily the well known brand as any brand will do so long as it doesn't leave a residue! My local supermarket has a £1 aisle and that is where I get mine from. Stamp the image over the sticky bit and your mask will stay in place.

I made about 4 masks as I wanted to make sure I had enough. And then it began. I used a black ink to stamp the first rose. Waiting briefly to make sure the ink was dry I then masked this rose and stamped again, and masked again, and stamped again, and masked again… get the picture. It is all about making sure you mask any rose that is in the area of your next stamp. Turn the stamp so you don’t get any obvious repeats.

Once I had stamped a large enough piece for the background, I repeated the process on a smaller piece of card where the colour was less intense. I also deliberately didn’t fill the page as I wanted there to be some ‘empty’ space.

Then I stamped one last rose on the palest piece of paper which I cut out. Some careful 3D layering with some blue card and a piece of paper ribbon and there we have it!

If you didn't get the free stamp, just click on the image below to be whisked off to the online shop. While you're there have a look around at some of the other amazing stamps you can buy. 

You can find Visible Image on Facebook, there is a group to join where you will get to see DT projects, pick up some great tips and inspiration, upload your own makes, enter 'spot' competitions, here any news first hand and meet other like minded crafters. Theres the Visible Image blog too which hosts a monthly challenge. This month is 'Your Favourite Visible Image Stamp' - the DT inspiration for the challenge is there as always.

Right, I am off to my room, it is looking a bit untidy. For me that means I have no room to swing an ink pad! I have found that it doesn't matter how big my craft room is I always end up crafting on a space no bigger than a postage stamp!! 

Have a great weekend and I look forward to seeing you again soon. 

Monday, 10 March 2014

Treasure Chest - My first Creative Expressions DT Project

WOW! That was the first thing I said in response to my invitation to join the fantastic Design Team at Creative Expressions.

YES!  ...was then next word. 

Oh My Goodness, what shall I make????? ...were my next words.

So, here I am, doing my first blog for Creative Expressions.

For my new readers I suppose I should introduce myself properly. You may know a little about me already but here is a brief bio.

I am older than I would like to be but young at heart. I live in Buckinghamshire with my husband, 3 sons, 17, 26 and 27 and 2 dogs. I have crafted ever since I can remember.  I come from a background of crafty people.  Sewing, knitting, baking, painting, paper crafts, woodworking, pottery, model making, etc have always been part of my life. I have upholstered three piece suites, made patchwork quilts, done cross stitch, made my own paper, made stained glass pieces, and so much more but always come back to working with paper.  I started making cards 20 years ago. Things were hard to come by then, all that you could get was office stationary.  Rubber stamps were what the post office used, ink pads came in red, black or blue, and envelopes were either white or Manila!  And of course there was no Internet!  How things have changed! I am thrilled that we can now all get such wonderful products to craft with and have such easy access to inspiration. I look forward to sharing my passion for paper crafting with you. 

Right, I suppose I need to get on with the project! I have a passion for taking dull, uninteresting brown papier-mâché shapes and boxes and turning them into  "über" glamorous decorative objects and my project today is no exception. 

Look how uninteresting this little box is.  It really is dull, sorry box, but you are! What you need is a bit of black card, some gilding wax and an embossing folder. No, really that is pretty much all that you need to transform a drab box like this into a beautiful box. 

Ingredients (Click to link)

Take it Further
  • Key
  • Tassel
  • Beads for feet
The How2 Bit

  • Paint the box with the acrylic paint. As the central bits are going to be covered by the embossed card it is only necessary to paint the edges. Allow to dry.
  • Now this is optional but I did it before realising I would go wild with the gilding wax! Spray a couple of pieces of black card with your preferred colours of mister(s) and allow to dry.
  • Run the misted pieces of card through your embosser with an embossing folder. Select your pattern according to the size of your piece. I find the smaller the design the better and I try as much as possible NOT to use anything that has a specific direction, unless I am being VERY careful when cutting out the pieces. An upside down element is something to avoid!

  • Measure and cut out each 'face' of the box. Handy tip, use a silver gel pen to label the pieces.
  • Stick the pieces on. 
  • Rub on the gilding wax. Do this lightly with several applications to build up the colour. You can add but you cannot take away. Buff up to bring out the shimmer. You can barely see the earlier misting but somehow I sense that it would notice if I hadn't done it at all. It adds depth.

  • Using a scrap of thick card I made a cartouche for the front of the box. Plenty of black embossing powder built up 'old school' style with embossing ink and a heat gun, and then while it was still liquid, I squished (technical term!) the rubber stamp into it. The floral section of the Thank You stamp was perfect for this project.
  • Cut out the design to get rid of the messy bit and then apply more gilding wax, especially on the edges to cover up the bare card.
  • Strips of card were cut to make the straps. A key was gilded to help it tone in.

  • The straps are glued to the box.
  • The embellishment was added on the front panel. I added a little gem for more interest.
  • You can if you like add some feet. These are beads glued on and then painted black and gilded. 
And there we have it. Remember that little dull brown box........ta..dah! It has become a beautiful box. I added the key and a tassel, simply because I could!

I don't know about you but I am ready for a sit down after all that! Hope you enjoyed this journey? I hope you come back to visit soon. My repertoire isn't limited to gilded boxes, I have another project lined up for you already which is nothing like this! Variety is the spice of life, or so they say.

Before I go I would like to remind you that the BSSBS is only a few weeks away! There is a discount on ticket prices if purchased before 8th April but you could still buy 'on the day' if you prefer. All the details can be found by clicking the logo to link to the web page. See you there?

Thanks for being here. I would love to know what you think about my project and my blog. It would be great to read your comments.

Bye for now! Kim xx 

Friday, 7 March 2014

The Friday Feature with Visible Image

How has your week been? Mine has been a little bit good, a little bit bad but a LOT crafty!!

Here we are again, it is Friday and as usual I am showcasing a card I made using some of the lovely stamps from Visible Image, in fact I have used the Thank You set from the More than Words range which were launched recently. It is great to work with such beautiful stamps, not just because they are pretty but also because they are so well made. Each stamp is deeply etched. The image you get is exceptionally crisp and the detail is phenomenal.

Although I am not old enough to have really enjoyed the 60's, I have memories of some of the bold fabrics my mother made her dresses from and the trend for black slightly off-set print over bold colours. Was the off-set deliberate or were they just bad at lining up the pattern? hehe!

Anyway, my card today features an homage to this design style. I must admit it was a devil getting those free-style stripes to look good!! I have a few 'not quite good enough' pieces which I might be able to use for something else.

I used 3 shades of marker pen, they could have been ProMarkers, they could have been Spectrum Noir!  I have both so for me it was just about the colours I needed, it didn't matter if they didn't blend properly, which I am sure they would have done but I wanted them NOT to blend for this.

Taking the stem of the flower and curving it slightly is no problem for these stamps because they are made from a high grade polymer. You could try curving other polymer stamps in this way to add interest to your project. I have found some single line sentiments or narrow pattern stamps that have a new lease of life simply because they can be curved. The main thing with deliberately curving the single line sentiments is that you don't end up with 'wonky words' which can ruin a project! How many times have you stamped what you thought was a perfectly aligned stamp only to see that it is a bit 'off'? 

A bit of mounting, and then onto a matching background made using the flower head only. Remember the tip from last week about only colouring the bit that is going to visible? Why waste ink on an area that is going to be covered over!!!

So there we have it! Hope you like it? Leave a comment if you have time. Any questions and I will be happy to answer them or pass them on to the guys at Visible Image if needed.

Click on the image below to be taken directly to the Visible Image online shop, but don't just stay on that page, go for a wander and look at some of the other amazing stamps they have!

Have you joined the Visible Image Facebook group yet? You really should. You will get the chance to hear about new projects before anyone else does, you can enter competitions, and even upload your own Visible Image makes. We love seeing what you do with the stamps, don't be shy! You can also enter your makes into the monthly challenge there. You will also get advanced news about the TV shows.

The Visible Image blog is a great place to see lots of samples, meet the DT and also hosts the Monthly Challenge which this moth is Your Favourite Visible Image Stamp. You can see the DT inspirations there to.

Don't forget the Visible Image web-shop where you will find more inspiration but more importantly you can buy the lovely stamps! 

Next week is a very exciting week for me as I am starting a new venture! Don't panic, I am still going to be here doing my regular Friday Feature with Visible Image!! The eagle eyed among you will have already seen the clues! 

I haven't forgotten about the butterfly colouring tip, nor the stamp masking tip I promised you a few blogs ago. I plan to get those done over the weekend; clearing the decks so to speak!

Bye for now, do remember to leave a comment, I love reading them. Have a great weekend.

KimB xxxxx

Saturday, 1 March 2014

March Challenge - Visible Image

Favourite Stamps

Is it March already? Who did that? Who put February on fast forward?

Oh well, I suppose the pleasure of it being a new month is that there is a new challenge over on the Visible Image blog! Did you see the fab February entries both on the blog itself and in the Facebook group? You really are a talented bunch! Well done all those who entered. Keep your eyes peeled for news of the winners!

This month the theme is My Favourite Visible Image Stamp. WHAT? You are going to make me choose!! Instead of trying to make a choice myself I let my projects do the selecting for me. I sat and went through them and noticed a trend. It was obvious that I had a liking for the butterfly stamps. They come in 2 sizes. They featured rather a lot. Runners up were the Bronte Script, the Ink Splats, and the Grunge Flourish. Of course I am smitten by the latest sentiment sets, More than Words, but I haven’t used them that much yet. So here we are, my projects for this months’ theme.

I have a thing about making things in a production line style. If you have been to my KimzKrafts Facebook page you will see that I made a shed load of butterflies recently. I laid them all out and took a picture which I have called 77 Pairs of Wings. They reminded me of an old fashioned butterfly collectors’ box. Rest assured no butterflies were harmed in the making of this card!

12 Pairs of Wings

I used another ‘must have’ stamp, the Grunge Flourish on some card I coloured in rainbow colours. Being the frugal crafter that I am I only coloured the edges of the card with the inks and then only stamped the very edges! I have never understood why all that fab colour and stamping is often covered up! Anyway, I then selected 12 of the butterflies in various colours to go on the crisp white card. Boy was it hard to keep that card clean! I am not the tidiest of crafters. Once I had arranged them in the right way I stuck them onto the card with some 3D silicone glue so that the wings would remain lifted off the page. I have a great tip for colouring the butterflies which I plan to do a step-by-step for very soon.

Splattered Wings

The next card is another crisp and clean project. I struggle with bare white card at times but this time, like with the one above the white is essential to the project. I was playing about making background paper when I hit on the idea of using the small butterfly alongside the Bronte Script and the Ink Splats. I used Tim Holtz inks, Weathered Wood for the ink splats and the butterflies, and Chipped Sapphire for the Bronte Script and the main feature Large Butterfly. It is all brought together with a navy mount card and ribbon.

Rainbow Wings

Finally, in complete contrast to the first 2 projects is this rather colourful abstract card. I used a clock face mask and my favourite ‘paint’ product at the moment, Gentle Blends, to create the richly coloured background. Once again being a cheapskate, I used the inside of a cardboard postage packet, you know the ones from that mega company whose name is a South American river? Very useful card I have to say. Of course if you want to use this particular card then you have to order stuff from them like music CDs, but that isn’t a problem for me, I am not modern enough to simply have the downloaded music, I need the actual CD! So, once I had coloured this card I cut a piece for the main body of the card and started stamping the numbers from the Time after Time set in different colours. This was very pleasing! I used the Imagine, Dream, Inspire stamp for the feature on another piece of card and the Tall Grasses along the bottom of the card. A few carefully selected butterflies and job done!


I hope you enjoyed this blog and that it has inspired you to have a look at your Visible Image stamps. If you can, ‘cos I know it will be hard, work out which one is your favourite and make something. Upload it to the Visible Image blog or to the Facebook group and show us all which is YOUR favourite.

I need to go. I need to introduce my face to a sandwich before I fade away and then I have stamps to stamp, ink to use and card to colour! 

Have a lot of fun crafting with YOUR favourite Visible Image stamps. KimB xxx