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Welcome Back

In today’s post I will be reviewing;

Daler Rowney Hard Backed Sketch Book

Daler Rowney Hard Backed Sketch Book

Product Details

  • Manufacturer/Brand; Daler Rowney
  • Item number 813500500
  • RRP at time of writing: £8

Reason For Buying

I’ve been using this range of sketch book style for years. I usually go for the Blue Wave but I can’t find it in the A5 format so I went for the Natural instead. Its cover looks like handmade paper with leaves embedded in it, but it is a wipe clean cover so fine to take out and about.

Pros/Cons

Pros

  • Sewn bound so no pages falling out
  • 150 gsm Acid free cartridge paper,
  • A5 Sketch book great for location sketching as its robust but not too heavy to carry
  • Great for pencil sketches, some ink sketches
  • Will take a light wash without cockling too much, but don’t overwork this
  • Great with Kuretake pens, no bleed through
  • Great for Art journalling

Cons

  • Havent got any

Build Quality

Excellent! Ive been using these for years and they are always a joy to use and reliable quality. The sewn in pages  mean theres no fear of pages dropping out as could be a worry with a glued in page.

Value for Money

Excellent. Not the cheapest sketch book but its quality cardstock, acid free, well bound so worth it.

Would I buy it Again?

Yes!

Summing up

A perfect companion for sketching away from home. No ring binding to snag on your bags lining. Keeps its shape well. I Have these in A4,5 and A6.

Links

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

To give people more of a chance to play along with The Virtual Crafting challenge, in case they are going away or have kids around The Virtual Crafting Challenge theme for August 2011 continues the July theme of;

Paint

Great I hear you say, but now what? Well for those of you who would like a few ideas to get you started, here are some  colours, products and techniques to help you choose, where you could go with this month’s theme. Feel free to use your own ideas for the theme.

Colours

  • Try new colours or paint effects

Products

How about trying a different type of paint than you usually use, or adding a different paint into your projects?

  • Water colour
  • Acrylic
  • Oil
  • Iridescent paint
  • Metallic paint
  • Florescent or neon colours
  • Glass Paint
  • Ceramic Paint
  • Watercolour Pencils (its only the ‘holder’ that’s different, it’s still watercolour paint).
  • Water soluble wax crayons (its only the ‘holder’ that’s different, its still watercolour paint).

Surfaces

How about using your paint in a new way or on a different surface?

  • Paper
  • Card
  • Ceramic
  • Glass
  • Metal
  • Wood
  • Fabric

Techniques

How about trying different techniques with your paints

  • Glass painting
  • Decorating a ceramic object, a mug or plate, perhaps a tile
  • There are lots of metal objects available to decorate.
  • How about painting on wood? There are lots of blanks available to ‘alter’
  • Mix your stamping and other types of craft with the paint
  • There are lots of fabric things to decorate and alter too. How about a t-shirt or shopping bag. Old jeans or jackets.
  • How about getting napkins and table mats and decorating those for the patio?
  • Decorating terracotta could really brighten up a dark area of the patio.

 

The most important thing about this challenge is that you have fun and explore. Don’t feel pressured to have a finished item at the end of the month. Explore different styles and techniques either in person, if you have the supplies, or through research, looking online.

You learn so much more when you take away the rules and just PLAY. Adapt this challenge to a creative style that interests you. Enjoy :)

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

The Virtual Crafting Challenge theme for May 2011 is:

Die Cuts & Embossing

Great I hear you say, but now what? Well for those of you who would like a few ideas to get you started, here are some  colours, products and techniques to help you choose, where you could go with this month’s theme. Feel free to use your own ideas for the Challenge too.

Products

  • Brass Stencils
  • Embossing Folders
  • Die cutting machines; Cuttlebug/ Wizard etc
  • Electronic Die cutting machines; Slice/ Cricut/Vagabond etc

Surfaces

  • Card
  • Paper
  • Metal
  • Fabric
  • Acetate

Techniques

  • Embossing different surfaces
  • Colouring your embossing (Video tutorial coming soon)
  • Using dimension with your die-cuts (Video Tutorial coming soon)
  • Use your die cuts on Cards/ATCs/ Art Journals/Books etc

 

The most important thing about this challenge is that you have fun and explore. Don’t feel pressured to have a finished item at the end of the month. Explore different styles and techniques either in person, if you have the supplies, or through research, looking online.

You learn so much more when you take away the rules and just PLAY. Adapt this challenge to a creative style that interests you. Enjoy :)

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

Wanting to use some of your favorite papers or new Papercraft CDs for a quick n simple project? Didn’t get a diary for Christmas and wanting something a bit more original than the run of the mill, high street options? Read on :)

I’ve been wanting to do this tutorial for months but Microsoft have only just published this template. Did you know that Microsoft have loads of really useful templates that you can download and print? I found some great calendars on there a couple of years ago.

BIA Calendar Tutorial

BIA Calendar Tutorial

You Will Need

Tools & Materials for BIA Calendar Project

Tools & Materials for BIA Calendar Project

  • Microsoft Word 2007 or later
  • A Calendar template, I’m using 2011 Cal Blue Border 3pg
  • 3 sheets of card stock
  • A4 sheet of decorative paper
  • A5 sheet of co-ordinating paper
  • 2 pieces of  mount board 10 cm x 14.8 cm
  • Glue stick
  • Steel Ruler and Craft knife
  • Hole punch and binder rings OR Bind It All and wire.
  • Cutting Mat

Method

  • Print off the calendar template onto the three sheets of card stock.
  • Cut the printed sheets in half so that the two months next to each other stay joined.
  • Score the card in half down the short sides. If you wish you can glue the pages together but they will stay together once bound.
BIA Calendar; Inside Pages

BIA Calendar; Inside Pages

  • Place the printed cardstock into the BIA and punch holes in the blank area next to the named month.

For the Covers

BIA Calendar; Inside of Covers

BIA Calendar; Inside of Covers

  • Take your sheet of A4 decorative paper and cut it in half to A5. Cover each sheet of mat board with a piece of decoartive paper and glue in place using the glue stick. Give a wider fold in of card on one edge, where you will be punching the holes to join the book together.
  • Once the glue has thoroughly dried, punch the short side of the mat board using the BIA.
  • Cut the A5 cardstock into two pieces measuring; 12 cm x 8 cm. (End Papers)
  • Glue one piece of co-ordinating cardstock to the uncovered side of the mount board. Align to the un-punched end, leaving a 1cm gap on three sides. This will leave a 1 cm gap before the punched holes.

Assembly

BIA Users

  • Hold the two covers in your hands as if they were already on the book. Now turn the front cover around to the back (as if you were folding it back to read).
  • Place the covers onto the O wires
  • Stack you calendar pages in the order you wish to view them and place them on top of the covers, on the O wires.
  • Set your BIA machine to match the guage of O wire used, and then place your calendar o wire down into the BIA.
  • Place the open ‘feet’ of the o wire toward the bottom of the machine, and press the BIA handle to close the wires.

**New users check out this video tutorials on You Tube ;)**

New to the Bind It All? Have I confused you with the written instructions. Check out this video by mrspaturzo

Crop A Dilers

  • Your best tool for punching holes in mat board and chip board is definately the Crop A Dile.
  • Set the depth of bite to 1/4″. The size of hole you cut will depend on the thickness of your binder rings.
  • For a three hole book, mark the centre of the short side and punch your first hole there.
  • Mark the centre of the short side between the last hole and the edge of the board and punch at the top.
  • Repeat this for the lower hole.

Optional Extras

For a Ribbon Closure

BIA Calendar Tutorial

BIA Calendar Tutorial

Tie a length of ribbon around all the pages and the front cover. Glue the centre point of the ribbon underneath the co-ordinating lining paper. Once the glue has dried close your book and use the ribbon to hold the book closed.

Belly Band

Not a pretty name but it can be a pretty result.

  • Cut a piece of card stock to the desired with and long enough to wrap around your book and overlap itself.
  • Use decorative scissors or punches for pretty edges.
  • Wrap the band gently around the short edges of the book. Lightly pressing the edges, remove the band from the book and use a bone folder to reinforce the scored edges.
  • Allow a half to 1″ over lap and trim off access length of card. Place the band back on the book loosely and glue the ends of the band together. This can be slid off the calendar to open the it or put back on with the calendar set to the current month, to hold the calendar open to the right place.

Embellish the covers with images and text to suit your project. I’ve left mine plain, as I especially liked the paper and it was going to get a lot of use and I didn’t want it to get bulky. I hope you have enjoyed this project and will give it a go. It would be lovely to see your results.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Hi All

Welcome back, hope you all had a wonderful time over Christmas. Just had to share a picture of the wonderful gifts my friends and family gave me this Christmas.

Christmas Goodies 2010

Christmas Goodies 2010

 

Yes that is a Kindle snuggled under the tree, I’m getting on really well with it and if you have Dyslexia like me I can recommend giving one a go. They don’t solve all the problems and I still need to use my coloured overlays with it, but its very versatile and helps greatly. Also good if you suffer from limited dexterity, I struggle to hold the pages of a book open for long, so the Kindle is much easier for me to handle. I’ll be doing a proper review of it in a few weeks, once I had a longer play with it.

Look at the lovely books too! My wonderful hubby got me the sewing books, I’d had these titles on constant loan from the library for AGES and he got them for me YEY!!!! GM gave me the Bag book and the Polymer Clay one too. There are some amazing projects in these books. I’ve already reviewed the other titles but will review these new ones during the coming year.

Not yet pictured as not yet assembled is a new desk, also from Hubby. I can’t use the sewing machine on the dining room table as it’s not really very sturdy for that kind of thing. It’s often far too cold to spend time in my studio during the winter months as it hasn’t any insulation or proper heating. So DH bought me a desk that I can have in the dining room. Looking forward to having a nice new workspace and will share pics once I have them.

Struggling on the health front again, travelling in the car visiting relatives during Christmas has set off the whiplash again :( getting highly board of being in constant pain again! I was born without patience at the best of times and was really hoping for a healthier New Year. Trying to stay warm and resting up, so things settle again.

It’s been a wonderful Christmas and was white (there was lying snow left from the previous week). Hope you have had a lovely time too.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back   

Last month I shared a few pictures of the Card Storage Journal, that I made using a Bind It All. Today I would like to share a tutorial of how it was made. It would make a perfect gift for friends and family.   

Card Storage Journal; Cover

Card Storage Journal; Cover

You Will Need

  • Mat Board/Chip Board etc
  • Bind It All and 1″ O wires OR Crop A Dile and Binder Rings
  • Ribbon
  • Decorative Papers
  • White cardstock; I used 160 gsm card from Rymans
  • Cream/Ivory coloured cardstock 160 gsm
  • Glue Stick
  • 12 Envelopes
  • Tim Holtz School Days stamp set
  • Dye inks; I used Distress ink but you could use Adirondack Dye ink
  • Versafine Ink in Sepia
  • Alphabet set; I used; Making Memories; Rummage
  • Calendar Stamps; I used Making Memories Calendar Set
  • Distressing Tool

Card Storage Journal; Materials   

Method

  • Cut matt board cover boards to the same HEIGHT as your envelopes, and 1/8th inch wider than the envelopes.
  • Cover the boards with the decorative paper and allow to dry. For a ribbon closure, add this before you apply the end paper (inside cover paper).
Card Storage Journal; Cover Boards

Card Storage Journal; Cover Boards

  • On the white card, stamp the lined paper design from Tim Holtz Schools Days stamp set, using the (grey) Distress ink. Repeat this until you have 12 of the little pages.
  • Use an Edge Distresser to distress or fray the edges of your pages. Use your favorite colours of ink to distress the pages further and then heat set to dry inks.
Card Storage Journal; Distress inks used on inside pages

Card Storage Journal; Distress inks used on inside pages

Card Storage Journal; month pages

Card Storage Journal; month pages

  • Use the Alphabet stamps to stamp a month onto the top of each page of the lined paper; January, February etc. Set aside to dry.

For the decorative panel 

  • Cut a strip of cream card to slightly smaller than you envelopes. Colour using Dye inks and stamp background using the Anna Griffin background stamp. Edge with dye ink for depth.
Card Storage Journal; Decorative Panel

Card Storage Journal; Decorative Panel

  • Create a set of tabs from cream coloured cardstock, fold them in half and stamp a month on each one.
Card Storage Journal; Month Tabs

Card Storage Journal; Month Tabs

  • Attach a tab to each envelope and then add the decorative panel on top to hide the join.
Card Storage Journal; Month Tabs

Card Storage Journal; Month Tabs and decorative pannel

  • Make a Binding Template [see instructions below] and punch holes into each of your envelopes and cover boards.
  • Glue a month page to each envelope, allow glue to dry before continuing.
  • Cut a length of O wire to fit your punched holes
  • Layer your book up as you would like it to appear once bound. Take the FRONT cover page and (pretend it’s already bound for a moment) and fold the front cover around to the back of the book. Insert your O wires into your punched holes and use the Bind It All to close the wire.
Card Storage Journal;

Card Storage Journal; Binding the book

This is a great way to keep cards together and not forget birthdays and special occasions. Write names and dates on the front of each envelope on the lined paper you made, to keep track of upcoming events. When you buy or make cards, just pop them into the appropriate envelope, ready to go.   

Making a Binding Template 

Measurements will vary depending upon your size of envelope, so I have kept the instructions generic so they can be used by everyone.   

  • Cut a piece of cardstock to the same size as your envelopes.
  • Place your cardstock on top of your envelope.Measure down from the top of the envelope to where the edge of the closed envelope flap comes too. Mark this distance on your card stock.
Binding Template for Card Storage Joural

Binding Template for Card Storage Journal

  

  • Draw another line at the bottom of your cardstock the same distance from the bottom, as the top line was from the top. You now punch your holes between these two marks.
  • Punch first set of holes to just below the first line on the cardstock.
  • Move the setting guide to ‘B’ continuous and punch till you reach the next line.You now have a guide to place on the top of each envelope and cover board as you punch it, this ensures everything will line up nicely at the end of the project.

  

Binding Template for Card Storage Joural

Binding Template for Card Storage Joural

If you don’t have a Bind It All machine

Make a punching guide using a Crop A Dile, again so that all your envelopes and covers will align at the end of the project. Connect your journal using Binder Rings; 

Optional Extra’s

  • Add an extra envelope to the back of the book to keep a list of addresses in.
  • Add a pocket to the inside cover to hold stamps 
Card Storage Journal; Inside Cover

Card Storage Journal; Inside Cover

  

So there you have it, it takes a while to make but I think the results are worth it. If you are making more than one, you can easily have a bit of a production line going. Do the inking and stamping parts while waiting for covers to dry etc. It would be lovely to see your results if you have a go at this project. Feel free to change the stamps and images to suit your own favourite styles.  This would make a great present for all ages and genders, hope you have a go and will share your results.  

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon   

Billie :)  

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Welcome Back  

Originally this project started out as a way to collect together memorabilia from a holiday, it then evolved into a handy storage journal for hand-made cards.  

Card Storage Journal; Cover

Card Storage Journal; Cover

This is my first major project with the Bind It All machine and after working out how to make a cutting template so I got the holes just where I wanted them I was much happier. I used mat board for the covers (the kind picture framers use for layering) and added my own stamped papers to decorate the pages.  

Card Storage Journal; Inside Cover

Card Storage Journal; Inside Cover

On the inside cover I added a pocket to hold stamps, and then each envelope pocket holds a different month’s cards. I made little tab labels to easily navigate to the month I was looking for and the Making Memories Calendar stamp set made a nice finish to them. On the note page on each envelope I’m going to write the date and name of the person who needs a card, then when I’ve made a card I just pop it in the envelope ready. No more scrabbling around at the last-minute. I was going to add a ribbon closure then forgot when I pasted on the end papers DOH, now I’m waiting as I’m saving up for one of Tim Holtz Sizzix dies and hope to make a fancy closure with it and some grunge paper.  

Card Storage Journal; Inside Pages

Card Storage Journal; Inside Pages

This would make a great present for a friend and if you would like a detailed tutorial on how to make one leave me a comment and I’ll try to get one up in good time so you can make some as holiday gifts for friends and family.  

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon  

Billie :)

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