Tuesday, 28 October 2014


Go HERE to vote for us!

I couldn't believe it when Deirdre (manageress) at the Blade Rubber shop told me that we've been nominated for an award in the Local Store section of the Craft Categories in the 2015 British Craft Awards!

I do hope you'll vote for us - it's the first time we've been nominated, and thank you SO MUCH, whoever you are! You can tell I'm totally excited....

GO HERE to vote - it would be incredible if we won, and I'm over the moon we've even been mentioned.

RE Deirdre, she's still on Cloud 9...

Friday, 24 October 2014

LETTERPRESS technique using embossing folders

Copyright Christina Griffiths

I'm pretty sure a lot of you out there have a stash of embossing folders - they're The Big Thing just now. As well as embossing paper for backgrounds etc, you can take the technique a lot further and get a ton more mileage out of your embossing folders, plus a whole new look. We're talking Letterpress techniques!

So now I hear you say 'What is Letterpress' and 'How do I do this?' Easy peasy, actually... Here's a great video by Christina Griffiths, which explains it all really clearly.

You can also use any dye inks you already have, eg: Distress ink pads, Mementos etc - and Brilliance, Versamark - in fact, pretty much anything except Staz-On. And why not Staz-On? Because it will permanently stain your embossing folders, that's why. I've also successfully used fabric paint and acrylic paint (this needs to be washed off immediately or the paint will be there forever and spoil the folder) and they're all really effective.

By the way... did you know we now sell embossing folders in the Blade Rubber shop? Plus all the inks you could possibly want, and of course the essential brayer...

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Foiled again! a Fabulous Foils and Gilding Flakes class with Chris on 1 November

We all love our foils and gilding flakes, and Chris is the lady to show you how to use them to their best advantage!

I know people worry about how to apply them - but Chris will lead you through, step by step, for perfect results every time.

Even easier, she'll also show you how to use your gilding flakes with stencils! Also how to use those Stamp and Stick powders with a heat gun (I've always had trouble with this).

You'll end up with some really stunning samples! And for those of you who took this sell-out class before... there are NEW techniques too!

This class is on Saturday 1st November, full details here.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Journal spread

As we're shortly coming up to Halloween, I thought you might like to see one of the spreads from my Art Journalling class.

This one is a vampire, from my Zombie journal - in the Faces&Figures section on 26 October. The face is heavily crackled, with lots of encrustation and a strip of flat-back crystals, dripped red inks (blood).

The quotation is by Virginia Woolf:
The beauty of the world which is so soon to perish, has two edges, one of laughter, one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder.

I haven't yet made up my mind whether this needs any further wording. I purposely made the writing loose and slightly illegible. I think it kind of speaks for itself....

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Masterboard class on Saturday 4th October with Chris

Chris is teaching her wonderful Masterboard class again on 4th October - creating one big piece of artwork, which you'll cleverly cut up to make multiple stylish and varied cards quickly and easily, and and arranged to produce different sized panels and tiles.

The variations and possibilites are endless!

You need to book early for this one, as it always fills up quickly. Go here for full details of the class, and how to book.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

The JOSEPH'S COAT TECHNIQUE - the original, plus the updated versions

Copyright Andi Potler
Many many years ago (at least 15 years) Magenta Stamps invented a stamping technique called Joseph's Coat. This was simply stunning, and really rocked the stamping world! I've managed to find the original videos (now on YouTube) which I've loaded up here for you.

Jan Tinklenberg's 'Joseph's Dirty Coat' technique - scroll down to the 4th video in this post

I apologise for the quality of the two Magenta videos - for some reason, they've loaded them up at a really low resolution (240px) so although a bit fuzzy, it's really worth sticking with it as the technique is so worth it!


You'll notice they are demonstrating boxes - don't let that throw you, just look at the technique! This works on any card which has a really smooth surface, including those fabulous giant shipping tags. You could also try glossy card (and really cheap photo card).


The original techniques were really labour-intensive: scribbling patches of colour using water-based marker pens (Tombow etc) then embossing using a clear pigment ink and clear embossing powder. Nowadays, you could use Distress markers, Versamark (not even invented then) or a clear pigment ink, eg: Perfect Medium.

If you think scribbling with water-based markers is too tedious, just use a piece of Cut'N'Dry foam or an Inkessentials Distress ink applicator and your favourite dye-based inks. Or use mini pads and apply the whole pad directly to the card!

VARIATION 3 - by Kathy Hamrick

This is Kathy Hamrick's take on this method - updated to the 21st Century! Just as effective, and so much quicker.She's using dye-based inks (Distress and Memento would be perfect!) and a brayer to apply the ink. You could also use sponges - or the entire inkpad, ink side down, directly on the actual card - you'll get the same results.

STEP BY STEP by Alice Golden
Copyright Alice Golden

Here's a great blog post by Alice Golden, showing everything step by step, creating a scrapbook page and the card above.

Finally, here's a method which doesn't even use embossing...


This doesn't even use embossing, just a Versamark pad (Perfect Medium or a clear pigment ink will work just as well) and dye inks. You'll also need your largest acrylic stamping block (or a Gelli Plate, glass cutting mat or similar).
So why not have a go?
These all produce wonderful backgrounds - and as a matter of interest, will also work very well over patterned paper - just skip the bit about adding colour first, as that's your paper - and go straight to the bit about stamping with clear pigment ink, Perfect Medium or Versamark. Add clear embossing powder, heat and emboss, then add your dark colour (dye based ink: Distress, Memento, etc). This is a great way to use up any papers you don't like.

Have fun!

Friday, 19 September 2014

BELLE OF THE BALL - class with Freyja on 27 September

Don't forget to book for this class on 27 September - Belle of the Ball, with Freyja Lee.

All about those wonderful portrait stamps we all love. Time to dust them off and treat them in a whole new way!

Freyja has created the most exquisite samples and the pix on the blog are nowhere near as fabulous as they look in real life! Do book early, as this class is going to be very popular.

Click the link here to see how to book.