Monday, January 19, 2015


So February being just around the corner and Valentines Day being the big event for the month and all, I created a set of 6 quirky valentines cards focusing on 4 elements - Metal, Stamping, Die-cuts and Embossing. Here is a quick overall snapshot of all. 

Feb Quirk ed

Now I am going to show you each of the cards all up close and personal and write a little description of how I included the stamps, metal, die-cuts and embossing powder in these quirky little Valentines Cards.


METAL: Brads and  Lab tubes. To make the bottles look like a lab set, I shaped black craft wire into a system of lab tubes and raised the bottles/beakers on foam tape.
DIE CUTS / EMBOSSING POWDER: Tim Holtz Apothecary Bottles die-cut out of Ranger Shrink Plastic, Heat-Shrunk and dipped in melted UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel). Provocraft Books and Apple Die

STAMPS:  Santoro Gorjuss New Heights Stamp (I drew in a different face though).I shadow stamped the blue-printy image from the Tim Holtz Steampunk Collection so that I had faint formula-esque background.


METAL: Junkyard Findings Jeans Plate and Metal Brads
DIE-CUT: Tim Holtz Fanciful Flight (Bottom wing)
EMBOSSING POWDER:  I mixed a bit of iridescent glitter into some UTEE that I ground up finer in an old coffee Grinder and made sparkly embossing powder.  I coated the wings in that and het set. 
STAMPING:  Wood grain stamp from Heidi Swapp, Cartographer from (Prima??), various other Map stamps.


METAL:  I made some metal embellishments by twisting thick gauge wire into shapes and hammering it flat (cos I’m wild like that!).  I made all the grungy scratches with ridged flat-pliers.
DIE-CUTS:  the “Wild Thang” sentiment was cut from the Tim Holtz Chip Block Strip-Die, the little heart die-cuts were from the Sizzix Movers and Shapers.
EMBOSSING POWDER:  the background is actually an embossing folder from the Provocraft line which I inked up with a pigment based dye-pad (CHISWICK), I then ran that through the Cuttlebug and then coated it in Ranger Fine Embossing powder so that it stuck to the inked debossed bits and heat-set.  I also stamped the border of the card with one of the branches and fossil leaves stamp set  from  Inkadinkado. I stamped the teeny hearts with a music score stamp that I got ages ago and dont know who makes it.


METAL:  Pen Nib Tim Holtz Alterations
DIE-CUT: Tiny Heart Sizzix Movers & Shapers, Bottles (not technically a die-cut as much as it was a fussy-cut.
EMBOSSING POWDER: I used a Ranger Embossing pen to selectively mark and fill-in the areas that I wanted to be all glossy and glass-like on the bottles, I then coated that in UTEE ( I LOVE UTEE), the bottles started to look glass-like after about 3 coats of UTEE.  You have to do this on low heat though to get it to look glassy but without it bubbling and burning.
STAMPING:  the “letters” are all stamped in various background text stamps.  The Bottles were all stamps as well.


METAL:  I shaped pink craft wire into the Love Sentiment. Metal Brad on the banner.
DIE-CUT:  the hot-air Balloons are cut from X-CUT Build-a-scene Hot Air Balloons and the teeny balloons are actually ornament dies from provocraft.
EMBOSSING POWDER: I made some homemade pearly coloured embossing powders by mixing in crushed eyeshadow (YUP, that’s right eyeshadow!!!) into UTEE. I used an embossing pen from Ranger to fill in the sections of the balloon and used the homemade Pearly EP to add colour to the little balloon.  I stamped the background card with the swirl set from Chiswick and used clear EP to create a tone-on-tone effect.
STAMPING: I first stamped the “sky” background with the swirl from Chiswick in watermark ink on stamping paper. It created a nice resist.  I then stamped all over that with  the Hot-Air Balloon stamp (from Inkadinkado I think, the set with the blimp etc).  I added more blue tones to the sky with distress ink in Broken China, Milled Lavender and Tumbled Glass.  The Swirl on the background card that I mentioned above is stamped in Clear Embossing Ink.


METAL:  Brads DIE-CUT:  Ornate Label 2-die-for, the “hide” die is a self-design and cut with my plotter.
EMBOSSING POWDER:  I covered the entire hide in embossing ink using the Ranger Emboss It Dauber.  I coated it in Fine Clear Embossing Powder and then did an Iron-off technique to take the glossiness down a tad. I made the hide look like leather this way
STAMPING:  I stamped the heart in a zebra pattern (cant really see it behind the jute bow there in this picture). I did the ol’ ink up your embossing folder stamping trick again to create the black and white zebra pattern.  I also stamped random leaf, twig and and map designs on the background card.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

STRING, LIGHTS, ALCHEMY!!!! - Our Creative Corner January 2014 production -

I am still celebrating having made the design team over at OUR CREATIVE CORNER for this year and I am so amped (pun intended) to present a little tutorial for my stringform lamp project that I created for the January 2014 challenge.


If you haven’t already come from there – why don’t you click the image on the right to browse through the creatively diverse projects created by my fellow Our Creative Corner banneruber-talented teamies, you will also be able to see the challenge entries created by the readers themselves.  
The Challenge this month is hosted by Pamellia of my little craft things and this is what she says: 
"With the holidays merely a shadow behind us, my guess is you still have bits of Christmas leftovers stashed everywhere, not to mention bags of Christmas bits meant for the recycle bin. I am a hoarder of all things I think I might get around to using one day, and Holiday bits are no exception! Every closet, drawer and cupboard is overflowing with the little things I collected throughout the holidays. Things I think I might use and things heading to the curb.
Christmas wrapping, gift bags, tinsel, ribbon, gift boxes, tissue paper, Christmas crackers, wine boxes, empty gift wrap rolls, Christmas cookie tins, even the images from the fronts of cards I name, I hoard it!
Let's put those bits to good use this month!
With that in mind, for my introductory challenge theme, I have chosen........
To be clear, your project does NOT have to have a Christmas theme, I only want you to recycle your Christmas scraps.
If it's not obvious what Christmas leftovers you used, make sure to tell us about it, somewhere in your post."
And there you have it.  There are prizes to be won sponsored generously by, so be sure to get in on this action and make your own project, if creating something is not reward enough.  If you still want to stay on this page, dont worry clicking the image will open the link in another window. 

Find the tutorial for the string form lamp underneath this banner.

For this project you are going to need the following raw supplies:
*Cotton Twine or String – the amount depends on how much you want to wrap around your object.
*White Glue,
*Plaster of Paris or Casting Stone Powder,
*Paint, Dye or Ink.
* A protective medium like newsprint or lightweight packing cardboard,
*An long, rectangular object like a spaghetti jar or a rectangular vase. 
*Some bits and bobs or 
*Wrapping paper to make the Embellishments,
*UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel),
*Glossy accents or Dala Polyurethane Hard Varnish to seal the embellishments. 
*Wire (if you are going to make Wire do-dahs).

Gather supplies.


Cover your work surface in plastic wrap and then newspaper – this project is MESSSSSSSSYYYYY.  Put on some gloves as well.

When your string thing is dry to the touch and firm against pressure – you may begin the unmoulding process.
  • This however takes some creative figuring out.  Take a strong scissors and evenly cut away the top or mouth of your wrapped object.
  • Using firm but gentle pressure, pull the inner object (the glass jar) out of the sleeve covering it first!  You are going to have to wiggle this one out.  Be patient – it eventually gives and slides out
  • Using a chopstick or pencil – gently push the the sleeve towards the centre and pull out through the mouth you just cut. If you didnt cover the sleeve in cling film, the glue would’ve stuck to the sleeve and that would have been a mission to tidy up all the ripped pieces attached to the string form.
  • Pull away the Clingfilm from the String Form.


  • I initially covered the jar in Clingfilm, then sleeved, then clingwrapped again.  This made pulling the jar out near impossible. The inner layer of clingfilm just kinda bunched up and resisted the pulling force.
  • I had to pour loads of talc in between the inner film and the sleeve to get it out eventually, and so my moulded string form got covered in talc as well…
I solved this snag, by dusting off as much as I could with a soft paintbrush.  I then soaked the same brush in 2 parts Sepia, 1 part Black, 0.5 part white Dala suncolour and brushed that over all the spots that were still covered in talc ash.  I let that dry and my problem was solved.


lampdayYou can now add embellishemts to the outside of the string form if you want. 
I made some paper beads from leftover wrapping paper. I dipped those in melted Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel to get that glassy effect.  I also had some glass beads on hand. 
I made a few curly wire forms and threaded the beads onto that and attached the embellishments to the outside of the lamp. 


DSC_0328Get those Fairy Lights that are tangled beyond help, and stuff them into the String Form, making sure that they fill the whole form from top to bottom.
You can do what I did and had a few bulbs sticking out through the little spaces between the string wraps.
Plug in and love your new decor piece and tell everyone you made it all by yourself!!

Let me know whether you liked this tutorial and whether you were able to make one yourself in the comments below or even better on the January Challenge Post over at OUR CREATIVE CORNER
You also are going to adore all the gorgeous little goodies on offer by the sponsor for the month - here is a link to nicecranedesigns 
~hugs, light and love~
Candice (aka Tincan)