Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Bow-Easy has landed

You might remember my post about the Bow-Easy bow making tool a while ago. I've just heard that Jenny from Stamp Antics has them in stock at the moment and can ship them Australia-wide ($9-95 incl postage!). Give her a call at the shop (07 3393 3022) or send her an email and she'll be happy to help you out.

Jenny has asked me to demo the Bow-Easy at the Australasian Scrapbooking & Papercraft Expo (Brisbane Convention Centre -Queen's Birthday weekend 7-9 June). So if you'd like to see how to use it first hand, stop by the Stamp Antics stand.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Sanded stars

Here's another idea for distressing Core'dinations card - place a chipboard shape underneath the card and hold it firmly in place whilst rubbing the surface with sandpaper. This works really well with the colours from the Black Magic Collection. Here I've used a star from Making Memories but it reminds me of starfish.
Here's a closeup of the sandpapered star. The base card is the same coloured cardstock which I sponged with a slightly darker ink.
And the finished card with some embellishments. The sand dollar is a stamp from Stampington & Co which I pressed into Delight Air Dry Modelling Compound and the starfish is a mould I cast in Vanilla Sculpey.

Distress away

I'm having loads of fun playing with the Core'dinations card stock.

Having run the Hocus Pocus card through the Cuttlebug, I started thinking about other ways it could be distressed. So here, I've lightly crumpled it and then sandpapered the ridges. This piece is from the Spell Caster Collection.But I didn't stop there - I also rubbed and inkpad across some of the ridges just to add a little more interest. There seems to be a slightly glossy finish to the Core'dinations card stock and my usually trusty Encore! gold inkpad seemed to smudge so I used Brilliance Galaxy Gold to highlight.

Here's the finished piece with a few gold highlights. I used it as the background on a card I submitted to a challenge, so that card is under wraps at the moment but check back later and I'll post a different card using the same technique.

This post edited 31/5/08: I've just had word that the card I made this background for was published in the June issue of Vamp Stamp News. I'll post a pic later in June.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Core'dinations Part 2

I've done a little more playing with this card stock since my last post.

I wanted to try sandpapering the surface to see what sort of effect I'd get. Nothing technical about this - just scratch the surface with the sandpaper to reveal the hidden colour!

Well that worked, so I pulled out the Cuttlebug and an embossing folder and ran a piece of card from the Hocus Pocus collection through. Once again the front is black and the back and core are another colour. I used 180 grit paper, but you'll get different effects with different grits.

Because of the linen texture, it didn't completely remove the black surface but it still revealed the core colour in a distressed sort of way. I used the same card to die cut the letters and also to make the card. The back of the card is about 1cm wider than the front so that you can see the inside card colour which is black.

The flower pic is a Rachel Greig black and white image from Stamp-It and I've used chalks to add just a hint of colour to it. To see how to tie the bow, check this earlier post.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Whilst I was at Stamp Antics this week Jenny showed me a snazzy new card stock called Core 'dinations. What a great idea......... 2-sided card stock with a coloured core!

After a quick explanation on the effects you can get by distressing the surface, I left the store with a few sheets to play with.

So, what makes this card stock so different?
Well, you can do all the usual things you do with regular card stock, but if you sand or tear it, you'll reveal the core colour. What I really like about it though is that it takes the guess work out of colour coordination because the core colour is a lighter shade of the main colour.

I didn't have much time for playing when I got home but I couldn't wait until I did, so I just ripped right into it - neat effect. These are a couple of sheets from the Black Magic Collection.
The front of each sheet in this collection is black with the back being the same colour as the core (the photo shows the back of the card stock). You can almost make out the black edges (the front) if you look carefully. Tearing is the easiest way to reveal the core colour and you can more or less control the tear to get either a narrow or a wide strip of core colour - too easy!
And look at the lovely linen texture.....
I'll play with this some more tomorrow and post a finished card or two.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Cubby storage

Now that my Expedit bookcase is all assembled, it's time for the fun part!

I bought some magazine holders for those magazines which just seem to multiply all by themselves. I'm not sure how I've come to have so many (this is only a small part of the collection) but I hate parting with them. I love sitting down with a cuppa, flicking through a magazine and enjoying the eye candy! But at some point, I will have to pare down that collection. For the time being though, they look tidy and they're more or less organised!

I added a couple of Strikt magazine boxes for deep storage in a gorgeous burgundy colour. My studio currently has cornflower-blue walls so I'm not sure why I chose burgundy boxes but I do like the colour, just not with the blue walls. These boxes are really deep and house my collection of patterned serviettes. I've stacked them vertically inside the box so it's easy to slide the packets in or out, without having to rifle through the whole box. The box is deep enough for a second layer, so I'm looking for a basket with handles that I can lift out to get to the contents below.

And I also picked up a couple of Knipsa baskets. These are quite sturdy because of their wire frame and so they're able to be stacked on top of each other and two stack nicely in each cubby. My tin collection fits nicely in here!

The beauty of all these Ikea products is that they fit inside the Expedit shelves so they're neat and tidy. But then I discovered that the Starmaid 10 litre plastic bins fit quite well in the shelves too. And they have the added bonus of being clear so I can see the contents.

These are relatively inexpensive (depending on where you buy them from). I picked them up at Big W but they're also available at other variety stores and I've seen them at my local hardware store too. And once again, they stack neatly on top of each other.

I still need more storage (probably another Expedit shelf or two!) but this has really helped to sort some of the clutter in my studio - no more stepping over the piles on the floor!


In earlier posts, I mentioned my efforts to become better organised and so I thought I'd show you another storage item in my studio.

The Expedit bookcase comes in a range of sizes but I went for the 4 x 4 option, mainly because they were out of the 5 x 5 option when I was in store, and I was in desperate need of an organising solution for my cupboardless (is that a word?) studio. Anyway, it's worked out really well, especially as I'm vertically challenged and I wouldn't be able to reach the top row of shelves anyway!

But I hit a snag when putting this piece of furniture together.

The second last piece to be assembled needs to be hammered on dowels which sit at right angles to each other. It's not easy to hammer both down and sideways at the same time!! Anyway, as I wanted to protect the bookcase whilst I was hammering, I placed a cork mat over the surface and used a rubber mallet instead of the hammer. "How clever!" I thought to myself. But this is the result!!!


Thank goodness we felt it give before we did too much damage.

It's not a support piece so it hasn't affected the stability of the bookshelf but it's not a really good look. Luckily it's near the bottom, where it can be hidden.

Ikea were really good about it and offered to replace the damaged piece (after all, the instructions do tell you to use a hammer!), but I opted for a credit towards a future purchase. I will probably buy another Expedit bookshelf sometime in the future....... but I think I'll leave it to one of their experts to assemble it!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Japanese Zori

Some time ago, I taught some workshops and classes where students created a really funky card in the shape of a pair of thongs (aka flip flops) using gloss card and alcohol inks.

Everyone really enjoyed themselves and it was a really fun class!

So, as I've been playing with the oriental theme a bit lately, I thought it might be interesting to do an asian take on this and make the card in the shape of Japanese zori.
The pattern only needed some slight alterations and with a change of embellishments, the card has taken on a much more oriental look.

You can find the full instructions for the Funky Thongs (including a template) in Issue 57 of Australian Paper Crafts.

By the way, did you know that zori is the name given to the woven straw-soled sandals worn by Geisha. Those gorgeous wooden clog-type sandals with the little platforms are called geta. I love shoes, but I have no idea how you would walk in these - hats off to the Geisha who move so gracefully in them!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Turning Japanese!

I seem to have the oriental bug just lately!

After turning the Polished Pigment backgrounds into a set of Asian inspired ATCs last week, it seeemed logical to make a box to house them.

I found a diecut pattern at my local stamp shop which was designed just for this purpose, and an oriental themed serviette from my stash in just the right colours. Add a few embellishments and some gold and black peel off stickers and you have a really neat box for storing the ATCs in. The black and gold symbol on the back is a Krafty Lady art mould (AM042 Asian Symbol No. 2).

Back view - The black and gold symbol is a Krafty Lady art mould (AM042 Asian Symbol No. 2)

Right hand side view

Left hand side view

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

In line bows

This post edited 3rd April 2008. I've replace the photos of the black ribbon with a bright orange/yellow ribbon - much easier to see the detail!

So, how do you get the tails of the bow to sit in a straight line with the bow instead of having the tails dangling down? Here's how I do it........

Follow the tutorial on how to use Bow-Easy up to Figure 9.
Hold the tail in your left hand and pull it up and over the loop. The tail is actually underneath the loop so with a little bit of manoeuvering, you will be able to get it to sit on top.

Now it should now be aligned with the bow loop.

Tighten the tail on the right hand side (as in Figure 12 of the tutorial) and then pull it in line with the loop. This is easier to do with the right loop than the left because it is already sitting on top.

And then the bow will sit in line with the ribbon!


Bow Ties!

As I wrote earlier, we had a birthday bash to celebrate my son's 21st birthday - a wonderful milestone for both him and my husband and I as we see our eldest child move into adulthood. So, to the invitations......

Being rather short of time (his birthday falls at Christmas) I thought a visit to the newsagent to purchase some pre made invitations was the way to go but he had different ideas - he wanted something a little out of the ordinary that reflected his move into the adult world (having just graduated from University) and so I borrowed an invitation from Cristina Re . There are some great ideas on this website and beautiful papers as well.

There's nothing difficult about these invitations (a bonus considering this was Christmas); and yet they are sophisticated and elegant. But then there were the 60 bows......

So later today, I'll post instructions on the little trick I use to get the bow to sit "in line" with the ribbon.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


I've been playing around with my bow tying tool this morning. I usually make pretty good bows without using the tool, but when I need to make dozens of perfect bows (as was the case recently for my son's 21st birthday) then I reach for my Bow-Easy tool. I remember buying this tool at SDU (Stamping Down Under) many years ago. I got a great demonstration from the lady who sold it to me, but when I got it home I was baffled by the directions that came with it and I just couldn't remember how she'd done it. I've pulled it out a number of times since then and had a go, but more often than not, I didn't make a bow of any sort, let alone a perfect bow. But when I had to make the 60 bow ties for the invitations, I managed to work it out. Seeing as those instructions were a little difficult to follow, I decided a tutorial was in order. So if you'd like to see what a Bow-Easy is and how to use it, then click here.