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Archive for the ‘Art Journal’ Category

Welcome Back

In today’s post I will be reviewing;

Set of 8 Zig Writer Pens

Set of 8 Zig Writer Pens

Product Details

  • Manufacturer/Brand; Kuretake: Zig Memory System, Writer
  • RRP at time of writing: £10-£15

Reason For Buying

I bought my first Zig Writer for Art Journalling, a black one.

Pros/Cons

Pros

  • Photo Safe
  • Acid Free
  • Archival Quality
  • Lightfast
  • Non Bleeding
  • Odorless
  • Smear-Proof (Once dry)
  • Two ended pen; 0.5 mm and 1.2 mm
  • 48 Colours in the range. (At time of Writing)
  • Colours co-ordinate with other pens in the Zig Memory System ranges.
Zig Writer pen, close up of nibs

Zig Writer pen, close up of nibs

Cons

I don’t have any, one tip you need to store the pens flat as they share a central ink source. If you store them on end the opposite end will go dry.

Build Quality

Superb, well-fitting lids that are still easy to remove. Comfortable in the hand. Nibs last well and are robust. The ink tone is also superb. Strong stable colours in each pen.

Value for Money

These pens are fairly priced for their quality. They may not be the cheapest on the market but their quality and long life make them worth the investment. Also the fact that the colours co-ordinate across other pens is a big plus.

Would I buy it Again?

Totally. So far I’ve only bought a pack of 8, but that’s because I’m lacking budget for more. These pens are available singly or in packs of eight or ten.

Summing up

Superb pens, like the others in the Zig Memory System they are a joy to use. I particularly like the fact that the colour pallet co-ordinates across other pen designs in the range. This is wonderful and a great selling point.

Links

For a list of stockists check the Kuretake website, it will also list the full colour range within the online catalogue.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

In today’s post I will be reviewing;

Craft Artist Platinum Edition by Serif

Craft Artist Platinum Edition by Serif

Product Details

  • Manufacturer/Brand; Serif Craft Artist, Platinum Edition
  • RRP at time of writing: Around £40

Reason For Buying

My lovely husband had already given me Digital Scrapbook Artist v2 a couple of years ago, having taken a year and an online class to get my head around Adobe Photoshop Elements, I was wary of facing another momentous learning curve to learn this new software. I’m not a scrapbooker BUT have dabbled a little with digital scrapbooking and did enjoy it. Firstly as it is much more cost-effective you buy a digi kit of elements (like a pile of virtual stash) and the great thing is they never run out. Well, this Craft Artist is the next generation, it has all the elements of Digital Scrapbook Artist but lots of cool new features too. I want to use this for Art Journalling, making background papers to use in my own projects, to make card designs with. To make dimensional projects. They call this hybrid crafting, taking digital images or elements and combining what you create there with your more traditional skills of stamping, inking etc.

Pros/Cons

Pros

In the links section I will add a link to the Serif Daisy Trail site, where they list the difference between Craft Artist and Digital Scrapbook Artist.

  • A whole craft shop of goodies at your finger tips. You can re-use the elements in digi kits as often as you like. No more running out of letters half way through a project, or finding the shop has discontinued you favorite papers etc.
  • Mobility! I admit my laptop is quite a fast one, but if you put this software on your laptop you can create where ever you like! Great if you like to create with others, or want to take your creativity on holiday.
  • An excellent way to craft if you have limited space or limited dexterity. I recommend using a graphics tablet if you have limited hand dexterity, as its more comfortable than a mouse for long-term use. All the digi kits are available either to download or as collections on discs.
  • All the choices of card bases to design onto. Rather than just a square starting page as was the case with DSA2, although it had the option of creating your own custom sizes, it meant you had to work the sizes out for yourself. Now you have all kinds of card designs to play with.
  • Templates, as well as the card templates, this also has boxes, bags, bunting all kind of fun things to design onto.
  • You can design your own digi kits
  • Daisy Trail Community. Not in the box or anything, but this is a free to join online community with lots of friendly people. This is a great place to meet friends, ask questions and share your finished work.
  • Very handy for last-minute cards

Cons

  • As this is such a new program, there are a few reported kinks still in the program. Serif has excellent customer service and through Daisy Trail reported issues are being ironed out and resolved with updates to the program.

Build Quality

This program has been great, I haven’t had any major problems with it, a few printing issues but they are known and there are simple work arounds to any niggles that are still to be resolved.

Value for Money

Fantastic! Seriously this is superb value for money. You can do so much with this program. I highly recommend you get some of the Digi kit CD ROMS to expand your creative possibilities with the program, but you can create so many different projects and elements to use with your crafting. I love it.

Would I buy it Again?

Totally. The new features like card templates and gift bag templates are excellent and mean you don’t have to work them all out for yourself, just create onto what is there. I highly recommend this to anyone with youngsters as well. Kids can quickly work out how to use this to create their own pictures, books, cards and other projects.

Summing up

A superb program, the only limit is your imagination. Use the digi kits when you start out and as your confidence grows you can create your own digi kits from your own photographs. Personalise any project. I was anti digi crafting at first but I’m totally hooked.

It’s so much fun to play with, and you can create endless projects with this software. This will make the most wonderful gifts for friends and family. If you have celebrations coming up this will help you create your own stationary for those occasions, and with extra digi kits available either individually or as collections on DVDs you have a huge choice of themes.

If you are on the fence, download the trial version of the program and a few of the free digi kits to see if you like it. I really do love this program, it has changed the way I craft. You will save a fortune on background papers and there are lots of alphabets and embellishments on there too. Its like having your own craft shop on your computer. The best thing is, you don’t run out of things. If you want that paper again, you just print another one ;) You can get as involved as you want to. Either create the whole project to print, and give as it is, or print multiple sheets with elements to layer on after printing, create your own decoupage.

Links

  • Daisy Trail Online community for Craft Artist and Scrapbook Artist.
  • Free Digi Kits A selection of free digi kits you can download to use with the software. Be sure to choose the one that matches the program you are using ;)
  • Daisy Trail shop You can buy the program from here, as well as other digi kits.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

Do you wish your die cuts had more appeal, were more interesting? Read on for hints and tips to create much more interest with your favorite die cuts.

You Will Need

  • Die Cut
  • Inks
  • Stamps
  • Cut n Dry Foam
  • Craft Sheet

Method

  • Cut out your favorite die cut using whichever machine you choose.
  • This bird was cur on a Slice Elite machine from the SD card Vintage Findings
  • Use good quality card, I’ve used Rymans; Bright White 160 gsm card
  • Spray ink over your die cut in a co-ordinating colour
  • Stamp text or pattern onto your die cut
  • Ink edges to add dimension
  • Curve image for more depth using a bone folder

    Spice Up Your Die Cuts with Colour

    Spice Up Your Die Cuts with Colour

 

Ink; Tim Holtz Distress in; Weathered Wood, Dusty Concord, Stormy Sky

Stamps; Elusive Images UDLGW0009

You now have a dimensional element perfect for embellishing your chosen project. Great for cards, altered art, art journals, cards etc.

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

Bit of a different post today. Just had to tell you about this wonderful chance of winning free classes for life with Julie Prichard & Chris Cosen online classes.

Julie Prichard is an amazing artist I have taken several classes with her, she rocks. Her classes ROCK and Chris Cozen does too. When you buy a class you have access to online video tutorial and a whole network of help. From making new creative friends to interactive help from the tutors and fellow students.

I highly recommend Julies classes, take one now for the amazing chance of winning all future classes with her and Chris in the Land of Lost Luggage Network.

Please visit Julie’s Blog, for full details T&Cs.

Click here to see our available workshops.

 

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 for more techniques in my Rock n Roll series with Zig Pens. This time I’ll show you how to create butterflies and bows.

 

For the projects on the video I used the following Zig Markers.

  • Brushables
  • Calligraphy Markers
  • Writers

You can also use the Art & Graphic pens too, I didn’t have those until after this film was made.

For more information on stockists and colours in each range, plese visit Kuretake’s website.

Best wishes and thanks for watching, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

In today’s post a peek into my art journal, where I’ve been doodling with my new Zig Art & Graphic pens.

Rock n Roll Flowers with Zig Art & Graphic pens

Rock n Roll Flowers with Zig Art & Graphic pens

Pens used; Zig Art & Graphic set of 12 Muted tones.

Sketchbook Used: Daler Rowney; Ebony Sketchook 

If you haven’t already, you have to try these pens! They are unlike anything else, but truly wonderful. The Art & Graphic pens work beautifully on the 150gsm acid free paper in the Daler Rowney sketchbooks.

Best wishes and see you soon

Billie :)

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