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Archive for the ‘Hint & Tips’ Category

Welcome Back

In today’s post I’ll be sharing a video tutorial featuring Zig Brushables. These are brush tipped markers, I’ll show you around the pens and then share some techniques using them.

I’ve really enjoyed using these versatile pens. I do hope you will give the techniques a try, they are quick and simple and I hope effective. For more information on the pens, do check out this earlier post where I wrote a review of the Brushables. Please use the links below to find a stockist near you.

Links

  • Kuretake The UK Website with full range of products. You can download a catalogue which will show you entire product range with visual of the entire pallet of colours in the range.

Here are some tutorials, (not by me) that I found on the web.

  • Zig Brushables This is the Brushables page on the Kuretake Website. It includes a video demo of lettering
  • Lettering Demo; Featuring Brushables

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

In today’s post I’d like to share a picture of a card I made recently.

Vintage Floral Card

Vintage Floral Card

Stamps: Anna Griffin, sentiment & corners. Katzelkraft Floral stamp

Inks; Tim Holtz Distress inks

The base card is hammered so it is a textured surface, the text stamp I used was clear and the ink I stamped it with was Distress ink, for these reasons, in some areas the ink skipped out (didn’t stamp). Rather than ditch the card, I chose a similar toned pigment ink and stamped the text again. The pigment ink, clung better to the stamp and stamped perfectly. Rather pleased the original ink went a bit wrong, as this new technique looks a lot like a shadow and makes the text look 3d.

Shadow stamping

Shadow stamping

I should add that shadow stamping wasn’t a technique of my own invention, Barbara Grey has shown it on C&C a few times, and it was remembering that which gave me the idea of trying to add a pigment ink to the background. Looks good though, doesn’t it.

Have fun and don’t forget, there’s no such thing as a mistake in stamping, just a new opportunity to try a different route :) Even if some elements of a card go terribly wrong, you are sure to be able to save some parts to use again on another project.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

There are plenty of online classes for art journalling and lots of You Tube videos about art journalling, but I couldn’t find any to help me choose a journal design. With this tutorial rather than point you at a journal design that I like, I wanted to give you the information that will help you make your own choice, based on the kind of journalling you do.

In this way you get a journal that will work for you, rather than be a chore to use and perhaps put you off journalling altogether.

What do you want to use on your page?

If you use dry media; like pencils and only limited ink, just to write your journal, then lighter cardstocks like Cartridge papers may well be suitable for your journal pages. On the other hand if you like to layer on lots of inks, paints, glues and glazes, then a heaver weight card would be best. Try out a variety of watercolour cardstocks as these will take all kinds of media.

How do I find out what card is suitable for my needs?

Theres no quick answer to this, it is a matter of experimentation. Art shops often sell individual sheets of cardstock and papers and this is an excellent way to try a good variety of surfaces, with the materials you wish to use on it. One tip though, if you are buying a selection, do make a note of what card is what on it, before your leave the store. That way if you find a favorite, you will know which one it was :)

What kind of journal to buy?

When you have decided on which surface you like, you can then choose the kind of journal you wish you use. Watercolour papers are often available as pre bound books, either sewn or ring bound. It is a matter of personal taste and what suits your style of journalling. I have experimented with bound books, spiral bound books and loose sheets. These are a good way to go if you want to start journalling right away and don’t have the tools or time to create a journal from scratch yourself.

Sewn bindings

If you like stamping on to your pages, the sewn bindings can be great as you can get right to the inside edges of the page. The disadvantage of this kind of book is that if you like lots of bulky layers or dimension to your pages, then the pages will quickly get too bulky for the spine of the book and it won’t close properly.

Sprial or ring bound books

Spiral bound books are great if you like dimension on your pages. There is a lot more scope for the pages to increase in bulk with this kind of binding. The disadvantage is that if you like stamping in your journal, then personally I found the wire binding in the way and restrictive in where on the page I could stamp, without bumping into the binding. If you aren’t needing to stamp to the inside edges of the pages, then these kinds of journals are great.

Loose pages

If you are new to journalling and want the option of ditching a page to start over if it goes wrong, then this is a great way to go. I know there are going to be purists that hate me for saying that but you know what, lifes too short. You do learn as much from a page that goes horribly wrong, than one that works, but you don’t always want it there looking at you ;)

I found using loose sheets, that I punch for binding later, a great work around for the issue of stamping to the edges of pages. I can chop and change papers during the book if I am using different media and stamp where ever I like. For me this is the way I’ll be journalling for a while, at least till my confidence improves. Its not for everyone but for newbies like me, its a great way to find your feet and have the freedom to change your cardstocks as you experiment, while finding your own style.

Making your own journal

The advantage of binding your own journal, is you can tailor it to the size, shape and binding style that suits you. It can be as simple or involved a bind as you like, depending on the tools you have to hand.

If you like your pages joined, more like that of a traditional book, I’d recommend going with a Long stitch binding style. You still have the option of pages right next to each other for double page spreads, but the bind is also good for allowing for extra bulk that layering would create.

 Spine detail showing the longstich binding

 

Inside the book
Coptic stitiching is another great binding style to use, as like longstictch, it allows the book to open completely flat. Coptic stitching won’t easily accommodate as many layers as longstitch, but if your journaling stlye isn’t heavy on bulky layers then it is ideal.
Spine detail of Coptic stitched book covers are alcohol ink onto gold mirror board

Another binding style that may be useful, is by using pre made wires. Either using binder rings or by pre punching your pages and binding them at the end. Both these style of books will give the option of single pages and allow for additional bulk as your journal grows. Binding at the end will allow you to create right up to the edges of the pages, without bumping into the binding wires ;)

BIA Calendar Tutorial BIA Calendar Tutorial

Later in the year, once the brighter weather returns, I hope to make a video tutorial of how to create your own  art journal. Until then check out different cardstocks till you find one you like so you are ready to get binding.

Bear in mind that I am still new to art journalling, but if you have questions, I’d be happy to try and help you out. Just leave me a comment :)

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

I don’t know about you but I am hooked on Christmas stamps. Over the years I have collected LOADS, I seem unable to pass a snowflake stamp without buying it. As my recent tutorials have shown I’ve just got the hang of easel style of cards, and I thought I’d have a go at creating my own design of advent calendar. I’ve re-inforced the base and back of the easel with mat board to help it keep its strength for longer life and over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing the daily images I create for it.

Advent Calendar 2010; Day 1

Advent Calendar 2010; Day 1

After making a few pages I decided that I needed a box, to store the pages in, so I created a box to store them in. Having stamped the top of the box with holly stamps, my advent calendar looks kinda good resting on top of the box. Don’t you just love the timeless elegance of Anna Griffin stamps.

Advent Calendar 2010; Box to store additional pages/treats

Advent Calendar 2010; Box to store additional pages/treats

You could make an extra box, if you wanted this to be the kind of advent calendar with a daily treat for someone. But I wanted to get back to a simpler time when the changing image was enough of a gift. Call me old-fashioned and all that. I admit I don’t have classical religious stamps on my advent calendar, but they are seasonal images and I much prefer this sort of design than the awful chocolate filled calendars themed to TV shows and movie characters! {Sorry bit of a soap box moment, I do try not to get ranty on here! I’d rather share inspiration than a winge fest. OOPS!}

Advent Calendar; Day 1

  • Stamps Used; Rubber Stamp Tapestry; SH020024 Partridge in a Pear Tree
  • Inks Used; Ranger Adirondack; Bottle, Cranberry, Pesto. Versafine; Onyx Black
  • Paint; Adorondack Acrylic Dabber; Gold
  • Cuttlebug Alphabet; Olivia

Download a tutorial to create an Advent Calendar

Would you like to make your own calendar like this? Here is a downloadable tutorial for how the base easel was constructed.

Billie’s Advent Calendar Project

Join me each day for the next page in the series. If you make one of these, I’d love to see your results.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

In today’s post a sneaky peek at just one of the tags, I’ll be showing you how to create in Fridays tutorial.

Merry Christmas Tag

Merry Christmas Tag

At the end of the week, I’ll be posting Part 2 of the Quick & Easy Tag video tutorial. This would be a good time to start looking out your favorite stamps, inks and embossing folders ;)  There are all kinds of designs shown in the film, not all are Holiday related.

How much of a tease was that!

Thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

In today’s post I’d like to share a video tutorial all about Clear Stamps. In this film I’ll be covering the following;

  • Advantages of Clear stamps
  • Storage
  • Cleaning
  • How to choose appropriate ink
  • How to use clear stamps
  • What inks to avoid.

Links

Suppliers mentioned in the film

QVC UK

QVC.com

Clarity Stamps

HSN This company do not ship outside the USA :( {sobs!!!}

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back 

In today’s post I will be reviewing; 

Knitting For Dummies

Knitting For Dummies

  • Title: Knitting for Dummies
  • Author: Pam Allen, Tracy L. Barr, Shannon Okey
  • Publisher: Wiley Publishing, Inc
  • ISBN: 978-0-470-28747-7

My Reason for Buying

My wonderful mother taught me basic knitting; Cast on and off, increase and decrease, stocking stitch and pearl, but sadly she died when I was still young and it wasn’t until recently that I have been interested in giving knitting another go. I have a neighbour who has been wonderful, helping me when I get stuck but I thought it was about time that I got a book to help me through the basics and tell me what to do when I mess up. This book covered a lot and looked ideal.  I tell you all this, as often a review is based on how well the book lived up to the expectations of its reader, for their purpose ;) 

Contents

  • Part 1; Getting Ready to Knit.Three chapters on what you need to start knitting
  • Part 2; Knitting Primer. Six chapters covering the basic stitches and what to do if it goes wrong
  • Part 3; Techniques for the More Experienced Knitter. Four chapters of more complex stitches to take you further
  • Part 4; Making Garments; Five chapters on the ins and outs of sweaters and some project patterns to try them out.
  • Part 5; The Part of Tens; one chapter on easing aches and pains then another with ten knitting projects and gift ideas.
  • Part 6; Appendixes; One section including more stitches and effects, and one with a host of links to knitting resources. 

Pros/Cons

Pros 

  • Gets you started if you haven’t knitted before
  • Teaches you lots of different stitch patterns
  • Guides to the different needles, and yarns available and charts for comparing needles.
  • Plenty of patterns to try out the techniques you learn along the way
  • How to sort things out when it all goes a bit wrong ;)

Cons 

These are really just niggles, nothing to put you off buying, just niggles. 

  • A spiral bound or hard backed version of this book would have been nice. It would make it easier to keep the book open as you learn a technique.
  • The only images of the finished projects from the books patterns, are at the centre of the book. The picture links to the chapter where you can find the pattern, but it would have been nice to have a reference image or where to find its image, next to the pattern. See page ‘X’ for example. The finished project images are full colour, which is nice.
  • Terminology differences. This book is American, so the terms used are American. For example in the UK a stitch known as Stocking stitch is refered to as Stockinette. If you are using vintage or UK patterns and are totally new to knitting this could cause some confusion. BUT if you buy patterns from Etsy and USA companies then you should be fine. Those with even minimal knitting experience will recognize the knitting stitch shown by its image diagram. So it’s not as major a problem as it first sounds.

Value for Money

Excellent! This book covers the core skills needed to start knitting, then takes you further for the more advanced knitter. A valuable resource for knitters of all abilities. 

Would I buy it Again?

Totally! 

Summing up

This book has been excellent and I wouldn’t be without it. Don’t be put off by the occasional differences in terms, if you are buying well-known brands of patterns or patterns from Etsy, it is likely that the book will use the terms you will find in those anyway. You will recognise the stitch patters from the illustrations if not the names. Buy this book for handy reference, but If you are a visual learner, do check out You Tube tutorials as they will help back up what you are trying to learn. If you have even the  tiniest experience of knitting this book will really help you progress. 

Links

Knitting for Dummies; on Amazon I’ve been reviewing the second edition, published 2008 

My fave knitting tutor on You Tube; Knitting Tips by Judy 

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon 

Billie :)

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