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Needing new Glasses

Hi All

A break from the norm with todays post. If anyone is wondering why I haven’t visted or commented on their blogs and to explain any delays or lack of posting that are likely for the next couple of weeks..here’s why. 

I have been getting bad migrains, so far I’ve got round it blog wise by posting ahead of time and letting WordPress get stuff out for me, so I can avoid the computer. I’ve now caught up with myself but since I’ve been feeling poorley I haven’t got much crafting done, so haven’t any pretty pictures to share.  I’ve had an eye test and do need new glasses. Hopefully when I get them later this week things will improve and I’ll be able to get some crafting done.


I have plans to put some box making tutorials up here in November, December for anyone looking for some inspiration. I’ve written a couple and taken the photos for them, but need to wait for new glasses before I can process the pictures and write up my notes on to here so the post can go live.  As ever tutorials take AGES to set up and get ready so I hope the delays will be made up for with the inspiration.  I’ll try and post at least once a week, rather than have you all think I’ve gone off this whole blogging lark…which I totally haven’t.


So if my posts become shorter than usual for a little while, at least you now know why.


‘See’ you as soon, best wishes and thanks for reading


Billie xxx

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Welcome Back

I have been playing with alcohol ink, I have had my ink for a couple of years but not really made friends with it. Until a couple of weeks ago. I read a tutorial describing using it over card painted with metalic paint and decided to give alcohol inks a try over Mirror board.

I used quite a thick mirror board and applied Denim and Stonewashed ink over silver mirror board using the aplicator tool and got this;


Stonewashed and Denim Alcohol ink over silver mirror board

Stonewashed and Denim Alcohol ink over silver mirror board


I used the blending solution over the ink to give it the marbled look. Make sure you work on a craft sheet to protect your table. Use the Blending solution to clean any excess ink of the sheet once you have finished.



www.rangerink.com Ranger

http://www.rangerink.com/products/prod_alcoholink_adirondack.htm This will take you to the alcohol inks on the Ranger site

http://www.rangerink.com/products/prod_inkssentials_craftsheet.htm Craft Sheet

http://www.rangerink.com/products/prod_tools_adirondackapp.htm The ink applicator tool


I’ll show you the project I made, with the gold piece later in the week.


Best wishes and thanks for reading


Billie :)

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Welcome Back

I hope to post again next week but I am having problems keeping a connection with the internet. I haven’t forgotten you and will post more soon.


Have had a great time in the studio and hope to share the results with you soon.



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Welcome Back

Since we are such a global network I have tried to find a way of adding translation links to this blog. As you know I am new to blogging so haven’t worked out a ‘pretty’ way to do this yet.


In the mean time scroll down a bit to the Blogroll area and you will see a link TRANSLATE this page into other languages. This is a link to Babelfish over on Yahoo, if you copy and paste any permalinks into it, then it should translate this for you into many languages.


That should make it easier for my non English speaking friends.

Best wishes and thanks for reading

Billie xx

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Welcome Back

Today is another technique using the Ranger Colour wash inks. Here is what your finished piece will look something like. Remember this will give you a unique piece every time you do it so results will naturally vary.

Reptile Paper


**Please note the following cautions to prevent damaging your soft furnishings**

Please be aware that this ink will stain whatever it comes into contact with. So it is best not to do this over carpet, near wall paper or curtains. The kitchen is a good place if you don’t have a dedicated studio space.

You will need

Color Wash and tools for paper projects


  • Ranger Colourwash Spray ink. Three colours of your choice for this project. (Sell whatever you have to, and buy them all they are fabulous) Disposable gloves; the cheapest going is fine. You really need these!
  •  A large empty, no longer required cardboard box/plastic box. 
  • Blank newsprint; available in large sheets from removal companies; I got 500 A2 sheets for £12
  • A couple of bin liners
  • Watercolour paper, I used 280 gsm NOT paper. (The NOT in this case refers to not put through rollers, so the paper has a texture rather than being totally smooth.
  • Heat Resistant Surface
  • Heat tool


This is truly messy and best done over a hard floor just in case some ink goes astray. Don’t do this for the first time near wallpaper or curtains!
1.  Cover your entire workspace with at least two layers of blank newsprint OR cut open your bin liner and use this to cover your working area.
2.  If you need more drying space than your table allows for, cut open a couple of bin liners and place them on the floor.

3.  Place your cardboard box on your table; you will be spraying the ink into this box.
4.  Arrange your inks on you now waterproof surface. Ready to go.
5.  PUT THE GLOVES ON!! Don’t think this is being OTT this is dye ink and will stain your hands for DAYS!
6.  Place a sheet of folded up blank newsprint in the base of your box, this will catch any overspray.
7.  Place your sheet of printer paper in the bottom of the box.
8.  Choose three colours of ink that you like and remove their lids.
9.  Spray the inks over the paper, start with the lightest and work down to the darkest.


First layer of Color Wash Ink applied



10.  Don’t be afraid of the ink, get the paper well covered and don’t forget the edges.


Three layers of Color Wash Ink


11.  Now spray your card heavily with plain water. Really go for it and you will have droplets of ink sitting on top of your card.

Colour washed paper once sprayed with lots of water


12. Carefully take your card out of the box and place it on a heat proof surface

13. Using your heat tool slowly dry your card.  Hold the heat tool quite high to start with otherwise you will chase your droplets around your card, this is fine when you want to experiment but will not give you the spotted mottled effect which this is aiming for. 


Tips and options

  •  If you find your card is warping too much then on another attempt tape your card to something before you spray it.
  • Hold the heat tool closer to the work and DO chase the droplets around, have fun see what happens.

Reptile paper that has chased droplets on it


The beadie eyed amongst you will have noticed that for steps 9 & 10 I have used pics from earlier in the week. This is just because other than the change to heavier paper the  start of this techninque is the same. Hope you don’t mind tooo much ;) about the duplication of the pictures.


I do have one more paper colouring technique to show you but that will be a little time in coming. I have to admit that these tutorials were until this one, shown on my older blog. Producing these tutorials takes a week! I will continue to post tutorials but they will be a little less frequent as they take soo long to make. But good things are worth waiting for right??


If there is any particular technique or product that you would like to see a tutorial on do let me know using the comments box. If I get any requests and have the required knowledge or products I’ll see what I can do for you.  I don’t bite and would be happy to hear what you think of all these things I post.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you next week

Billie :)

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Welcome back.

In the last in this series of articles ‘Changing the way you Craft’,  todays offering is for those of you who do like to make the same card more than once.  Have you ever made a card and then wished you actually didn’t have to send it to someone, or have sent such a card to someone, intending you make another to keep, then forgotten which colours or stamps you used. If this sounds like you, read on, there are a few ways to solve this.

  1. You could take a photo of your cards and store them on your computer or print them out. This is a good record to look back on to see how your craft tastes evolve over the years.
  2. Each time you make something you want to keep, you could make a second card and store this in a box or display folder/scrapbook.
  3. You could make a recipe card of how you created your card and what materials you used for it.
  4. You could make written notes, next to a picture of your card in a note book. List materials that you used.

The first method is fine if you don’t want to make a extra cards, but would like to keep a record of what you have made. If you want to be able to easily recreate your cards then a consider using  2,3 or 4.

2 & 3 can be combined by making a spare card to keep, then on the back make your notes of what was used to create it. If you sell your cards then you will probably wish to keep your notes in a seperate place, in this case use method 4.

I keep the first card of any design I make and either store it in a box, or put it into a folder. The folder is useful if you are selling cards and want to have something to show potential customers, and then take orders from there. I have a seperate note book where I have done a very simplistic sketch of my card designs and listed all the items used to create it and notes as to how I made it. This is handy if someone asks you to make a card that you haven’t made in ages.   If you aren’t sure which shade of ink/ribbon you used as it was a while ago, just look it up in your note book. You will need to number your cards, so that you have a way of matching instructions to finished cards, especially if you make a series that are very similar to each other.

If you are handy with a computer you could do the note book version on screen instead. Using a wordprocessing program such as word, you can insert a digital photo of your card and write the ‘recipe’ for it next to its picture. This massively cuts down on storage as you don’t have physical cards to store. But you do need to be handy with a camera to get a decent picture. If you have a scanner with your printer most cards come up better if you scan them in, you don’t need to worry too much about lighting then.

Here is a picture of my note book to give you an idea of how it works out, and also a picture of the storage box that my cards are stored in.

Card log notebook

Box of completed Cards

The box is from WH Smiths and is designed to hold photographs, since I have tended to make A6 cards it is perfect. I do use a different box for over sized cards.

Well after a busy week, I think we all deserve the weekend off. There have been a lot of new ideas to get your teeth into, let me know how you get on. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you soon.

Best Wishes.


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Image Catalogue

Welcome back.

Another long one today, so grab the beverage of your choice and a comfy seat;  todays challenge…

Never buy another double unintentionally again.

The larger your craft stash grows, the harder it is to keep track of it all. Do you ever get home with items that clash with everything you have, or discover that you have just bought the same stamp etc that you bought some time ago? If that sounds like you, there is a way to avoid this happening.

Now for all those lucky crafters who already have their craft space just the way they like it here is the way to keep track of all your stuff when you are out shopping. The following are just suggestions, ideas to get you started, amend them to your style of crafting and the products you have.

You will need an A4 binder, some blank card stock, and some clear page protectors. Page dividers are helpful too.

A4 Ring Binder

  • Stamps
  • Stencils
  • Colour
  • Ribbon & Thread
  • Punches

These groups are broken down into smaller groups

  • Stamps could be grouped by design; Animals/Christmas/Nature/Lettering, or by brand;
  • Stencils could be grouped by style of design, or by type of stencil eg embossing or paper pricking;
  • Colour grouped by type; chalk, dye based ink, pigment ink, solvent ink, pens, embossing powder;
  • Ribbon & Yarn; ribbon vs. yarn.

These smaller sections get a dedicated page each where you create a sampler.

At the top of each piece of card, title it with your chosen product, and then create a sampler as described below. For example;


Dye Based Ink (this is your page title)

Using a small stamp, stamp an image in each colour of ink that you have of that type, on to the page. Note the inks colour name, and the brand, next to each stamped image.

Repeat this idea with all the coloured products you have. Each type gets its own dedicated page. When you want to replace a dried out pad it is then easy to find out which one it was. And is also useful when you want to co-ordinate colours with those you already have.

Sampler page of embossing powders

This page shows a group of embossing powders. I cut squares of card and embossed them individually, then attatched them to the page. Each line is a different Brand, so you only have to write the colour name under the image.


Title your page with the name of the group of stamps you want to keep together, e.g. Christmas.

Stamp an image from each of the stamps you have, that apply to this title on your page.

If you wish you can also list the brand, stamp name and number next to the image. This is useful if you take part in swaps, where people are likely to ask you the details of the stamp that you used for your projects.  Repeat this idea with all your stamps, dedicate a page to each group of stamps, for a new group/style start a new page.

Sampler page of photocopies of rubber stamps

I am lucky that DH has a photocopier as part of his printer so I can photocopy the stamps onto a single page. If you want to do this, place the stamps picture side down onto the photo copier, cover with white card/paper then cover with a blanket and press print. You use the blanket as the stamps will be too bulky to let you close the copier lid but you need to block out the light.

The white paper is to stop the copier getting a patterned background from the blanket.

Threads & Yarns

Take a strip of paper about 1” wide, using a hole punch, punch two holes next to each other. Cut a small piece of ribbon and knot it between the holes. Note the brand and colour details next to it. Repeat with all the ribbons and yarns that you have. Place the finished strip into the binder stuck to a page titled ‘Ribbons’ or ‘Yarns’.

Sampler page of ribbons and threads

You could group your ribbon by type, size, colour or brand. Do list colour numbers as it is a pig to replace ribbon with the same type without it.

Scissors and punches

You could also make sampler pages in the same way for; punches and decorative scissors. Glue punched shapes to a page for their samplers, and for the scissors just cut a small scrap piece of card and glue on a page marked ‘Scissors’.

Sampler page of punched shapes and scissor cuts


Sampler page of photocopies of stencils

Stencils come up great photocopied.

Here are some pictures of my folder to give you an idea of how it all will look.

Now I realise this sounds like a lot of work and if you have piles of ‘stock’ it will take a while to do this. Take it in small steps, one shelf/ drawer at a time. Take lots of breaks and give yourself crafty rewards each time you finish an area.

How much detail you go into with your folder is personal preference. I find it useful to note brands and colour names/numbers next to items, as it really does make it easier when you want more of the same thing again.

You will find long lost stash in the process of creating this and if you take your binder with you when you go craft shopping you can easily see if you already have an item. It is also handy if you are looking for coordinating items to go with stock and images you already have, with the stamp images page open in front of you, finding the perfect partner for it is easy.

Thanks for reading and if you got this far go give yourself a crafty reward. You have earned it.


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