Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Using NEW Sue Wilson Dies

Something of surprise for you today. I was asked a few weeks ago to do some projects using the NEW Sue Wilson dies and sworn to secrecy until the lady herself approved of the work. I had the 'all clear' the other day to blog about them so here it is! As it was a few weeks ago when I made them and I no longer have the projects in my possession, I am going to have to reply on memory and the photos I took to guide me through the writing! 

The projects feature the Cordoba die set from Creative Expressions, designed by Sue Wilson herself, and a stamp that works well with the die. It fits inside the die cut, and there are other stamps and dies that will work well together in this way.
Spanish Collection Cordoba Die   Woven Leaves Pre Cut Stamp

The first project is a blue and white card where I have used the die, parts of the die and the stamp to create a multi-layered focal point. 

I started by experimenting to be honest! I made several pieces with and without embossing, with and without stamping and brought them all together with some dark blue card. Let me show you some close up shots to help you (and me!) see in more detail what I did.


The main whole piece was first stamped then cut and embossed. The edges were distressed and it was mounted on a piece of plain navy blue card. Using the experimental pieces, one just cut and embossed and another done the same way as the main piece, I cut them into quarters and placed them in such a way so as to give the impression that they are much bigger. This is a great way of making the dies work for you. The pieces of the die that are in the middle along the edges cover up the gaps left by the pieces placed at the corners. I used Tim Holtz distress ink in Chipped Sapphire.

The centre panel with the sentiment was stamped onto the oval that pops out of the middle of the die. I used the Thank You from the A5 Frame stamp plate.

The Purple Iris card was made in much the same way, experimentation and selective cutting! I used the polka dots embossing folder to give the background a link to the dots around the border of the die. These embossed areas were highlighted with distress ink, brushing gently over the paper directly with the ink pad.  I used the Iris stamp from the same A5 Frame plate, mainly because it fitted perfectly on the oval but also because it was on my workspace! Looking closely at the picture I think I can see that the stamp was used on the piece of card which is under the die cut. I used Tim Holtz distress ink in Dusty Concord.

Hope you have enjoyed this additional blog? I enjoyed making the pieces and am thrilled that Sue approved them!

Kim x

Monday, 28 April 2014

Amazon Blue with Creative Expressions

Hello and welcome! Now for those of you that have stumbled into here looking for exotic Amazonian birds then I am sorry, you are in the wrong place. My blog title refers to a lovely product that the mail order company Amazon send to me regularly. Well, every time they send me something they send this to me free. I am talking about the packaging! I am a hoarder and a recycler so it was only natural that sooner or later you would be seeing one of the projects made from a 'waste' material.

Doesn't look like my card was made from something you would normally put in your recycling bin does it? I used one that carried a DVD, so a bit bigger than A5. (The one pictured is a CD box so slightly smaller than A5) Anyway, the inside is usually totally blank and with a bit of trimming you can get some decent sized pieces. Granted the decoration has done a great job of enhancing things but free card is free card at the end of the day! 

First thing is to trim off the glued, ripped, printed on, damaged bits from the packet leaving you with a nice thick piece of card ready for treatment!

I used the fabulously versatile Ivy Corner to create the background. I used a couple of brown distress inks, Brushed Corduroy and Vintage Photo but any brown shades would be fine. I also added a couple of impressions of the lady bird that comes with the Ivy stamp.

I really like the idea of mixing tough chunky card with delicate lacy die cuts and for this I used a standard piece of kraft card.

I would be *****VERY CAUTIOUS***** about using the thick Amazon packaging card with a thin die. It may well work but I don't see it as worth taking the chance. I used Foundations Kraft card for the die cuts, better safe than sorry!! 

To make these die cuts stand out I coloured them using Faded Jeans distress ink. I love the way this denim blue goes so well with this brown/sepia/vintage look. It won't be the last time you see me using this combination! 

I used the denim blue again to stamp a few butterflies onto Kraft card which I then cut out and placed on the card in 'the right place'. You will probably want to play around a bit with the positioning before you stick them down. Only you will know the 'right place'. The butterflies and sentiment are from a couple of Sam Poole plates, Butterfly Kiss and Natures Wonders, both available from Creative Expressions.

Some final touches, like roughing up the edges of the Amazon card with a blade and a piece of twine for the sentiment and it's done! 

Main Ingredients
Right, I am a busy lady at the moment, packing ready for my move to Wales. I can't wait for moving day! 

Hope you have enjoyed my post today, why not tell me what you think by leaving a comment? It is so nice to hear from you. Have a lovely week. Take care and I will see you again next week.


Friday, 25 April 2014

Visible Image - Friday Feature - The Sewing Room

Hello and welcome to my blog. Today is Friday and so it is with great pleasure that I bring to you the Visible Image Friday Feature. 

Today I am showcasing a card I made using only stamps from The Sewing Room. I just L O V E this set, it is crammed full of lovely stamps including some stitching, buttons, cotton reels and a tape measure with those little end things. What is cool about this set is that there are 2 tape measure stamps, one taken from the start of the tape and one leading up to the end! Most tape measure stamps only give the first part. It just makes sense to have the other end as well. Anyway, here is the project and this is how I did it. 

I first made the background paper by stamping the tape measure all over a piece of brown kraft card in a brown ink, probably Tim Holtz Brushed Corduroy as it almost always on my desk! Then I stamped the buttons and the stitching over these tape measures to add interest. This was mounted on some black card.

Next came the feature panel with the dress makers dummy and the sentiment. I stamped the sentiment and dummy with a black ink onto a larger than needed piece of card. I then trimmed the piece of card down to make the words straight on the piece of card. I often do it this way round as the last thing you need is a lovely stamped image where the words are not at enough of an angle to call 'jaunty' if it comes out crooked!! I stamped around the edge with one of the stitch stamps. I couldn't get to my sewing machine to actually sew it as I had planned to, it was packed, but the stamps worked perfectly anyway.

Then it was a case of adding cut out stamped images. I am particularly fond of the twisted tape measure showing off 'both ends' making it look like the rest of the tape is behind the picture. I also stamped on the back of the each piece so that there was no blank space showing on the tape! Of course the buttons needed to have the stitches added to make them look like they had been sewn onto the card and the cotton reels were stamped and some masked and stamped to give a layered look.

Hope you like it? I know it is similar to my earlier shadow box but I wanted to do something with just the stamps from the set with the addition of some black to make things 'pop'.

Just to remind you........

As always I highly recommend you check out the Visible Image blog HERE where you will see more work from the Design Team. There is also the Facebook group HERE, where you can chat to all of the Team and each other about Visible Image related stuff, and don't forget the monthly challenge HERE where you get to see the DT projects which will hopefully inspire you to enter your own project with a chance of winning a fab prize. The theme this month is TAGS.

Packing is my #1 priority at the moment so I need to get back onto it straight away! Who knew so much stuff could be crammed into a tiny little craft room? My new house has a really big spare bedroom which is going to be my temporary craft room until I get the studio ready. Studio? Did I say studio? Yep, I have bought a house with a self contained shop/studio unit......................


Kim x

Monday, 21 April 2014

Gilded Bee Box with Creative Expressions

Hello readers and welcome to the new followers. I hope that you have had a pleasant week? As usual at the moment my week has been a busy one. A mixture of packing, sorting, crafting and trying to carry on with the usual things us 'housekeepers' do. And it is back to school tomorrow for my son so the traditional cries of  'Mum I need new shoes' came in as expected over the weekend; too late to act on and no time to go shopping given that it is a Bank Holiday here! *sigh* I do love him though!!

Right onto the blog project, a sweet little hexagonal box which fitted perfectly with the bee on the stamp. My mind wandered on to golden honey, the yellow and black of bumble bees, and honeycomb hexagons. Aren't bees interesting? I love the improbability of the flight of a bumble bee, something so tubby shouldn't be able to fly should it? And the fascinating way honey bees tell each other where the best nectar is and how that without them we wouldn't be able to pollinate the crops we need for our foods. VERY interesting. Yet again I have digressed......

Back on track, I started with a new inexpensive wooden box. It needed no preparation or undercoating, but if you are using a pre-used box then you may need to sand off any existing finishes and even give it an undercoat. Next step was to measure the faces and cut a piece of black card to fit each face. 

I stamped onto each of the pieces of card with gilding flake glue using the botanical spray stamp. Be careful to clean the stamp between each impression to avoid the glue from 'drying' onto the stamp. Try to get as much of the image onto each piece, you want to have plenty of gilded areas on each piece. Cover with the flakes and once completely set, give them a rub to buff and remove any excess flake. Stick the pieces onto the box with Cosmic Shimmer glue.

Using my finger I applied flake glue to each of the edges and gilded them to add more interest. I didn't add any flake to the edges where the lid meets the base of the box simply because I was worried it might interfere with the closing of the box. Trust me I wanted to gild almost everything at this point it is such a fab technique!

The top was crying out for a bit of decoration in addition to the gilding and what better than the bee itself! I used a couple more pieces of hexagonal card, one completely gilded the other with the bee stamp and glue as before.

I added some feet, and a closure which came from another box. I covered the screw heads with little black gems as they were ugly!!

Main Ingredients - there aren't that many this week!

Hope you give it a go, it is a simple way to breathe new life into an old box! I will certainly be doing it again, you know I love boxes and this gilding technique is a breeze to do.

Thanks for dropping in and I hope you make it back next week to see where I went with some denim ink and a bit of brown cardboard......

Kim X

Friday, 18 April 2014

The Friday Feature with Visible Image - Chandeliers in Pink

Hello you lovely people! What an exciting week it has far! Just a very quick post today I'm afraid. I am up to my neck in bubble wrap and packing boxes. Moving is fun but chaotic. 

What I have for you today is a bit of a detour from my usual path. I have gone all pink and yellow, quite sharp, acidic colours for me, but I am really pleased with the result. What do you think?

I started with the background. I have been meaning to use the polka dots for a while and here I used them with Sunshine Yellow and Hot Magenta Gentle Blends. It is a great product for inking stamps with multiple colours especially if you want a blended look. Funny that! They are called Gentle BLENDS after all. 

I also found that they were fairly good as an embossing powder 'glue' although if you want a more perfect finish I would still say use traditional embossing ink. I used the Hot Magenta to stamp the chandeliers and the sentiment then heat embossed with clear powder before cutting out. I used the double line of stitching from the Sewing Room set as the cables for the chandeliers.

For a change I used some ready made flowers and brads to finish off the card. I had white paper flowers which I coloured with the Hot Magenta. 


As always I highly recommend you check out the Visible Image blog HERE where you will see more work from the Design Team. There is also the Facebook group HERE, where you can chat to all of the Team and each other about Visible Image related stuff, and don't forget the monthly challenge HERE where you get to see the DT projects which will hopefully inspire you to enter your own project with a chance of winning a fab prize. The theme this month is TAGS.

Need to go, things to pack! If you have any questions feel free to ask or just leave a comment to say what you think. I love reading your thoughts about my projects.

Have a lovely weekend, it is a loooooong weekend for most of us, just think of all that extra crafting time!


Monday, 14 April 2014

Easter Egg! - My Monday Make with Creative Expressions

Hello friends and welcome to my new followers, it is great to see you here. Are you all 'stamped out' after a busy weekend at Alexandra Palace? I have heard great reports from people who went, sadly I couldn't go as I am in the middle of moving house but there is always next year......

This week for Creative Expressions I have made a seasonal card featuring an egg, symbolic of the spring. I had great fun playing with gilding flakes too. 

I started by looking at the products I wanted to use and had a play with the folders and the ink colours I wanted to use. This is always an exciting time as you never know what might develop during the experimentation! Using the Spellbinders Flora folder, (yes I do have others but this is my favourite!) I carefully inked the raised side of the folder with Peeled Paint and a hint of Faded Jeans. I needed to make sure none of the ink went onto the background of the folder as it was just the leaves that I wanted to have colour. I then ran this through my machine. Hey presto! Coloured leaves. 

I then fancied using something to emphasise the raised bits in the leaves and rather than just using another ink pad I decided to use some gilding flakes. I squished some of the flake + glitter glue onto a scrap piece of paper and using my finger I carefully added glue to the raised bits of the leaves. Of course some was going to go elsewhere and there were also parts that didn't take the glue but this is not about perfection. I prefer things to look a bit shabby, a bit vintage. When the glue was ready, and I had washed my hands, I added the gilding flakes. I used Autumn Leaves, but any would work. 

I then wanted to make a contrasting egg to go on the card and decided that I should gild the whole egg shape to make it stand out from the background. I cut an egg shape from a piece of the embossed card. What I didn't realise at the time was that I was in fact using the other side of the embossed card, but hey ho, this worked just as well. Gilding glue was applied to the egg shape and flakes were added. I stuck the egg on a piece of white card and cut a very narrow edge to define the egg. Some ribbon, mounting card and a sentiment completed the project.

Main Ingredients

Foundation Card 220gsm A4 White 

M-Bossabilities Flora embossing folder

U-mount Flower A5 Stamp Plate for the sentiment

Hope you have a great week, the weather here today is fantastic! I already have my project for next week well under way so I hope you will come back to see it? 

Kim x

Friday, 11 April 2014

The Friday Feature with Visible Image - TIME

TIME - A reminder of just how busy I am!

Don't get me wrong, this is the kind of 'busy' that I enjoy. I have a multitude of things going on at the moment and not all of them are crafty. If you visited me last week you will know that I am slap bang in the middle of buying/selling houses. All this 'getting ready to move' is giving a great opportunity to sort through my craft stuff and decide if it is essential. Of course ALL craft stuff is essential on one level or another but do I really need to keep those off cuts of card just because I could, at some point in the future, run them through the die cutting machine and create flowers with them? Who know, answers on a postcard please!!

Writing the blog today is forcing me to sit down and relax a little, take my mind off trying to put things in the I better get on with telling you about my project for this week.

It was part of a little test I made myself do. Last week I used only stamps from the Free Your Imagination set and this week I have chosen to use only stamps from the Time after Time set.

What do you think? I did my background first using Gentle Blends, but you could use chalks, water colours, distress inks, anything that will give that blended look. I then stamped the cracked stamp pretty much all over. It is a very good stamp to use for an all-over pattern. I never worry about any overlapping as it just adds to the design unlike some other stamps that you have to mask so you don't get any double images.

I did a fun thing with the faces of the watches, I used some Diamond Glaze (that is what happens when you tidy drawers you haven't been in for ages!!) but you could use clear embossing powder or whatever the modern equivalent of Diamond Glaze is! Sadly, the close up I took doesn't really show the gloss off very well and I didn't have time to take another picture but trust me, they look like glass!

Don't forget to join the Facebook Group to see what we all do, and go to the Visible Image blog to get first hand info about challenges where you can win a great prize each month! This month has the theme of TAGS, so get your Visible Image stamps out and make some tags! 

If you need something to do at the weekend, then pop along to the Big Stamping and Scrapbooking Show at Alexandra Palace, Visible Image will be there! Details are in the link 'up there' top right. 

Right, I am off to do some more sorting, and maybe some throwing away! My son is laughing at me because he knows I will keep everything!! 

Have a great weekend, see you on the other side.............

Kim xx

Monday, 7 April 2014

Spring has Sprung! - with Creative Expressions

Hello blog followers! Hello Creative Expressions fans! In fact just simply


I have had the most hectic few weeks ever! I have just got back from a little jaunt to view a lovely place in Wales that might (fingers crossed!) become my home! Me and the OH have been toying with the idea of running a B&B since we first met and it looks like something is starting to happen. Watch this space!

Following on loosely from that opening, I am thinking new beginnings, fresh start etc., I have made a card which is very spring like and fresh. It features some lovely little bees which are 3D! It would be wrong not to give them little wings so they can fly around the lush green foliage. To be honest this picture doesn't do the shimmer and colour justice. 
Let's go right back to the starting point and we will catch up on the bees a little later. I started by inking up the leaves stamp with green Cosmic Shimmer watercolour paint onto white card and then washed over it with plain water to soften the stamped images. I then took the same leaves stamp and stamped it using Tim Holtz Peeled Paint keeping the impressions over to the left side of the piece of card. Then using Tim Holtz Black Soot, I stamped the leaves again, mainly off the page. This formed the background for the bees to live in. I then stamped the bees in 3 places directly onto the background.

Next I made the side panel. I first stamped the leaves all over a piece of card using the same Cosmic Shimmer paint. When this was dry I ran it through my embossing machine with the Foliage folder and then highlighted the raised areas with Tim Holtz Mustard Seed.

Now the bees! I stamped the bees onto some yellow card with black ink and cut out just the bodies. Then I stamped the bees again with the emphasis on the wings onto some acetate. I cut these out and then it was a case of sticking the wings down on the bodies which were on the main card, then putting the little yellow bodies over the top. I thought it would be fun to put the little cartoon style flight line on using parts of the self adhesive swirls!

I made some flowers from yellow paper which I crushed and distressed with yellow ink. You could use some pre-made ones like the ribbon ones or the zipper roses, or use one of the many dies to cut some yourself. I used some Cosmic Shimmer mister in Golden Mint to add sparkle to the flowers and leaves.

The finishing touch was the sentiment which was cut using an oval die. The sentiment is from the Garden Sayings plate.

The Main Ingredients:

Would love to read your comments, feel free to leave one! I believe the blogger problem has been resolved so if you feel like being one of my followers then that would be great! Have a crafty week and I look forward to seeing you next time. Kim x

Don't forget about the Big Stamp and Scrapbooking Show this coming weekend! 

Friday, 4 April 2014

Friday Feature with Visible Image

Hello all, hope your Friday has started well? Today on the Visible Image Friday Feature I am showcasing the stamp set Free your Imagination. Quite apt really as my life is in total chaos at the moment, but in a nice way! I am heading off in a completely new direction having been made redundant at the start of the week!! Fear not, it has made me think about where I want to go and what I want to do. About 3 weeks ago I mentioned to my OH how I think now would be a good time to look seriously at doing the whole seaside B&B thing. We had spoken about it ever since we met but always referred to it as 'in the future'. Well, our house is sold and we go to view our hopeful B&B place tomorrow! Phew it has been a whirlwind of activity. Wish me luck!

Back to the matter in hand, my Visible Image project! Let's kick off by showing you the card I made. Bit of a funny angle, must have been wearing my heels when I took the picture!

It is rare for me to use ONLY the stamps from the set but I wanted to challenge myself. Wasn't much of a challenge to be fair, those guys at Visible Image had it covered! All the elements work really well together as you would expect. 

I started by doing my usual background colouring using Gentle Blends. For this I took Lavender, Sunshine Yellow, and a touch of Rose Red. I then stamped and embossed in black that lovely swooping eagle, some feathers and splats followed by some stamping using the Lavender Gentle Blend. Some careful mounting onto black card and a bit of fussy cutting and the project was finished. Or so I had thought........

Due to a happy accident along the way; I had cut and mounted the middle layer too wide, I needed to fill the space. I didn't have time to make the middle layer again! A ribbon didn't seem quite right, and it was while looking at some of the other stamps in the Visible Image range that I saw the Dreamcatcher. This reminded me of the beads and cord I use to bind my mini books. Before you could say 'Eureka' I was threading and knotting!! Anybody would think it was planned but trust me it wasn't.

Don't forget the April Challenge with Visible Image has started, the theme this month is tags. Check out the blog for more details. Enter there or if you are not a blogger then you can always enter via the Visible Image Facebook group page.

April DT Inspiration - Visible Image

Right my lovelies, I need to get going as I have a lot to do! Rest assured I will not be packing my crafting stuff until the very last minute. If I do go missing for a wee while it will more than likely be down to not being internet ready when I move. So much to organise!!

Have a great weekend and I will see you next week for another Visible Image project. 

Kim xxxxxx

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Visible Image - April Challenge Starts!

Think TAG!

This month on the Visible Image challenge we are looking for your creations around the theme of TAGS.

Big ones, small ones, singles, multiples, one off, collections, and anything else you can think of! 

I liked the idea of a set of tags that I could put on a card but having made a few small tags I didn't feel that they were doing justice to the stamps so I ditched the card idea and went for a set of large 'stand alone' tags.

What do you think? I haven't done anything with a moon for a while so I seized the chance with the tags. I also haven't done anything grungy for a while so I went with that too. 

First I made the tags by checking out the size of the flowers that come in the More than Words range. I used a cream coloured card as the base and then masked off the moon with some circles of paper cut from sticky notes using a punch. You will know if you have read my past posts that I like using sticky notes because if you cut them carefully they have a bit of built-in adhesive to hold the shape down. Then using my favourite Gentle Blend inks in Sage and Lavender, I coloured the tags. Gentle Blends can be purchased from a fab little shop in Rugby called DRAGON'S PAPER CRAFT  They also stock Visible Image stamps and regularly hold demos days and workshops.

Next came the jet black flower silhouettes. I had already got the Bronte Script and the Music Background  stamps out as they are brilliant for adding interest and I used them as supporting players.

Some sentiments, a bit of bling and ribbon and there we are! Once again I have used a whole host of Visible Image stamps! This is easily done as they all work so well together. (Just got to list them all now!)


Just for a bit of fun I also made a few tags using some of the little bits and pieces I had leftover from other projects and experiments. I love how speedy tag making can be if you do this. If you are like me and you have a stash of pieces that are too good to put in the bin then maybe you could do the same? I keep all my Visible Image leftovers in a box so that I can use them as part of my DT projects knowing they are all just made using Visible Image pieces. When you have plenty of bits 'n' bobs it can be an idea to group them into colours. It makes the tags, or whatever your project is, look totally deliberate and co-ordinated!

So, get making your tags! All you need to do is use some Visible Image stamps to qualify for entry into the challenge. All the details can be found over on the Visible Image blog. If you are a user of Facebook, then you can upload your entry into the group photo album. You will need to join the group which is really easy, just follow this link and request to join.

You won't have long to wait for my usual Friday Feature, only a few days, and I promise you it won't be a tag. At this moment in time I have no idea WHAT you will be seeing but trust me my cogs are whirring! 

Have a fab week, craft loads, and come back soon for more adventures with KimzKrafts!!

Kim xxxx