Stamping off – textures and patterns using foam stamps and easy quilled flower.

I love making cards! it’s one of those things where you can use all your scrap papers, pretty elements and best of all stamps. So when I got to play with Chiswicks foam stamps i had so much fun creating borders and backgrounds for a set of cards I made as a gift. So today I am sharing my favorite card of the lot with you.
I started off with some patterned papers in different colours to add colour to my card. To add some interest to my paper strips I made my own patterned paper strip. I used plain white cardstock, selected 3 of the Chiswick ink pads in 3 different colours, some foam stamps and then randomly stamped some letters onto a strip of cardstock.
I used the stamp-off method which means I inked the stamp and stamped it onto my cardstock once, but before inking the stamp again I stamped it onto the same cardstock pieces in a different area at a different angle. This gives you some darker and lighter stamped images which creates an interesting effect.
To add some texture and interest to my matted image I used the edge distresser to rough up the edges of my pink and gold cardstock. I love this little handy tool that enables me to add a distressed look in an instant.
Finish off your card using paper and fabric flowers, clay tile and diamante.
To create some paper flowers using my scrap papers I pulled out my Chiswick quilling tool.
To create these easy rolled flowers all you need is a scrap paper cut into a rough circle. After cutting the circle, use your Chiswick scissors and cut the circle into one long continues thread. Start from the outside edge and and cut towards the inside leaving a small circle as a base in the middle.
Insert the tip of the paper strip into the quilling tool and start rolling from the outside inwards. Once you  are finished rolling adhere the rolled area to the base using a liquid adhesive. The adhere it to the card using adhesive.
To add some texture and interest to my matted image I used the edge distresser to rough up the edges of my pink and gold cardstock. I love this little handy tool that enables me to add a distressed look in an instant.
I used the stamp-off method which means I inked the stamp and stamped it onto my cardstock once, but before inking the stamp again I stamped it onto the same cardstock pieces in a different area at a different angle. This gives you some darker and lighter stamped images which creates an interesting effect.
TIP – Remember that because foam stamps give way, it is very important to ink the stamps by applying the ink pad to the stamp instead of pressing the stamp into the ink. When you press the stamp into the ink, the ink transfers onto the outer edges and when you stamp you will get a “halo” effect giving you a misprint. So when you apply the ink to the stamp you only get ink onto the areas you want that will ensure a clear impression.
For this card I used these wonderful Chiswick products available from your nearest craft store. For more information or finding your closest craft store contact Denise on (031) 569 6116 OR visit

Three's a charm - Urban Market double page layout.

I have scrapped for many years and some layouts just didn’t make the cut. Maybe it was a bad day, maybe it just wasn’t good enough for me, maybe my craft has evolved, or maybe times have just changed and I have changed. Maybe I just like the paper ranges more than ever before…
And so it is with anything creative – as we grow and change so does our creativity. Which brings us to the Urban Market range of papers by Teresa Collins? Now if you talk to anyone who really knows me, you will know that I don’t do two colours in anything – 3 or more please! But somehow this range was different, it has blue, grey and black and some white of course and that’s Ok – I could deal with no third colour until I started looking for photographs to use. And as soon as I threw in the gold I realised that to try and not live by what you believe or know or trust is simply wrong.
I have always trusted my accent or third colour as you will – because it is one of those design principles that just work. It takes a beautiful collection of paper and turns it into a layout that I can live with for years – simply charming to say the least.
So here’s my advice for today’s layout – trust your Gut instinct! And do what you love and believe in and your craft will speak to you and you will love it for always – as I will!
So back to crafting, for my layout I used only the TC papers, but when it came to adding photos and embellishments I picked out the golden hues from my photos and added that colour in the form of buttons, thread and diamonds (there’s that 3 again) and it simply lifted the layout to something that I love! It just goes to show that a few simple elements can change something in a big way.
Happy scrapping - no matter what always enjoy your creative process!

Floating glitter elements - card and envelope set with shimmering die-cuts.

Welcome back to today's post- i hope you are finding lots of inspiration on using the new (and old) Couture Creations dies. I am finding that i am using them more and more as i see how creative the team has been with them. So here's what i did with my dies today....
I wanted to create an element for the front of a card that looked old and worn with some sparkle at the same time. So i used the Polaroid die and the Devonshire lady to create the front of my card. I first cut the Polaroid frame out of patterned paper and then inserted a piece of white and then added my punched circle.
I made a matching envelope for my card using the Damask Delight Paper Pad
For my decorative envelope seal i used the Elegant Square die. When i was playing around with the cut element i moved it around and suddenly it turned into a diamond shaped frame. I loved the look of it and so went with that. I added an insert inside using patterned paper and gave the frame a embossed and glitter treatment. I like the way you can manipulate your die-cuts into something new for a different look.
To add an accent colour I used the gemstones in a gold - i picked the colour from the hand dyed ribbon i used on my card
small punched flowers add some additional colour to my card alongside paint splatters
and a close up of the embossed floating glitter treatment on my die-cuts
and the same treatment on my envelope closure
step 1 - die cut your frame and Devonshire lady out of plain white cardstock
step 2 - Cover the frame in a gold burnishing paste - I use a soft cloth or my finger tips to wipe the die-cut with the gold burnishing paste. This gives the white a light gold colouring and a soft shimmer
step 3 - After the burnishing past i wipe a layer of gold glitter glue across the frame using my finger. TIP - wiping the glitter glue with your fingers avoids streaky marks from the plastic tip
step 4 - leave the glitter glue to dry and then emboss the frame and lady with a layer or two of clear embossing powder. The gold glitter flakes seem to float inside the embossed clear layer and gives a really luxurious and classy look to the die cut elements
I hope you are inspired by these wonderful dies and their versatility - and here are the direct links to the wonderful products. Remember to look online for more inspiration and visit our Facebook page for daily inspiration. Here's wishing you a wonderful and "cutting" creatively week!
I leave you a list for the wonderful products i used for my card and envelope set

Glittered Mixed Media Canvas.

There’s nothing quite as satisfactory as making a mixed media canvas. It’s one of those projects where you can play around with different mediums and just have fun experimenting. And that’s what this project turned out to be…a session of play with different mediums from Chiswick. And here’s the canvas i made…
I used a combination of products to add colour to my background, but it is when i added my texture that i really started playing with the different products to add shimmer. To finish off my canvas i added some flowers and diamante along with some vinyl die-cut words
here’s how i did it step by step
step 1 – Colour your canvas with paint and gesso to create a base. Once dry use a stencil and texture paste to add a dimensional pattern
step 2 – Leave the gesso to dry thoroughly
step 3 – Use spray mists to add colour to your texture paste and leave to dry.

step 4 – Once the mists are dry, add highlights using bronze texture past. I use my finger tip to add thepaste directly to the areas i want to highlight

step 5 – Using the Pearlescent pigment ink pad highlight the edges of the textured pattern by lightly swiping the ink pad across the texture areas. Do the same around the outside edges of the canvas.
step 6 – Add some liquid adhesive to the edges of the textured patterned and sprinkle lightly with silver glitter. leave the glue to dry and then shake off the loose glitter and return it to the container.

Finish off your canvas with some paper flowers from Chiswick as well as other handmade flowers for contrast and texture. Add some vinyl stickers or lettering, a photo or a favorite quote to personalize your canvas.
I used the following Chiswick products in my project and they are all available from your favorite craft store or visit

Paper Petals – Black 30 pieces pf1000, Face Paint Metallic 50ml – Turgoise pa2151, Burnishing Paste 25ml – Bronze pa2195 , Pearlescent Ink Pad – Sky Blue rs3340 , Ultra Fine glitter sb4225

Beating the winter blues creatively – shopping my own stash!

I am a winter person – I love the chill and the cooler weather and I love snow although not much of that here in South Africa. However I am also quite realistic about what the cooler weather brings. It brings a greyness over creativity, a time where things just don’t happen as quickly and passionately – it’s almost like we go into a dormant state and we need to find and discover and grow our creativity again. So how do we do that without spending too much money on things we don’t really need – but we think we do. Buying new stash doesn’t necessarily mean you will be creative – a common misconception.
One way I try and get myself to beat the winter creative blues is to shop my own stash. I stand back and just breathe for a while, to get perspective of everything around me. So this past week I took some time to dig through a pile of off-cut papers and used scraps that have been stuffed into a box under my desk, very convenient – out of sight out of mind. It’s a pile I kept after purging and giving away the rest of my scraps. And what I discovered is the most beautiful papers and scraps – the kind of scraps that really speaks to me, and they really aren’t scraps at all but rather large pieces of gorgeous papers I have used before. So I went through the pile and took out some papers and immediately I could envision a layout.
The one thing that I noticed is that it ended up being the same colour palette I have been gravitating towards for the last couple of layouts and cards – funny that. The only thing I could think of is that I am at peace, I am calm and content and in a perfect state for my own creativity. It’s a kind of peace that I always long for. The colour palette is also one that reminds me of snow and spring and beautiful moments – at the end of the day it speaks of a happy mind and soul.
for my title i used some chipboard letters embossed with AC embossing powders
The beautiful metal embellishments from Prima are unique and fun to use
I bet you know a way of beating the winter blues in your own special way 
and we would love to hear from you!
All the products used on this layout is by Prima and is from The Wholesaler - proud distributor of Prima Products in South Africa!

Dressing up your die-cuts.

welcome to today's post using.... die-cuts -you guessed it! i must say that the more and more i pull out the beautiful Couture Creations die-cuts and use them on my layouts the more i am falling in love with them. They are so simple to use, cuts beautifully and you can dress up anything with them! but how do you dress up your die-cuts themselves? mmm lets explore a bit
for this layout i kept things really simple to focus totally on my beautiful photos of my niece. Using  a selection of patterned papers including the gorgeous turquoise paper from the Sew Jo paper pad was perfect for this layout - i used it to cut the scallop edge for the top and bottom of my layout with the Chandeliers Set | CO723247 
and i think this is my all time favourite border die... 
but how do i dress up my die-cuts
1. Paint
For this doily die-cut i simply used acrylic paint to paint the plain white cardstock. I left my foam brush heavy loaded with paint and the paint to be streaky. Once dry i inked the edges with a brown ink to show up some of the streaky tecture
2. Diamonds and Pearls
I used pearls to dress up my die-cut strip by adding pearls on all the valley points. I used a light coloured pearl for a subtle texture.
3. Sewing
something as simple as sewing can dress up your die-cuts quickly. It adds texture and pattern to something that can be otherwise very bland.
4. Stamping
i am a stamper at heart so unless something has a bit of ink and pattern on it, i rarely find it to be finished. For this die-cut i painted it in the same way as before with acrylic paint. I then added a stamped layer with a script stamp. But here's how i did it...
ink your stamp with black ink, then stamp onto a sheet of scrap paper and then stamp onto your die-cut. this way you remove quite a bit of the ink on the stamp and get a perfectly imperfect stamped image that is not solid, but rather a distressed and worn look. perfect to match my background script paper.
There are loads of other ways to dress up your die-cuts like...
  • blind embossing using Couture Creations embossing folders
  • glitter - cover your die-cuts with glitter or micro-beads
  • heat emboss them using coloured embossing powder, gold or silver
  • dip your die-cuts into UTEE in a melting pot
  • stain them with walnut ink crystals or home-made tea or coffee for a vintage look
  • scrunch them up and flatten them for a distressed look
    .... and so on and so on! The point is there are so many ways to dress up your die-cuts making them one of the most versatile products around these days. and remember always buy your favorite designs first and pick ones that can be used over and over again by dressing them up in different ways to get your moneys worth - then build your collection with the rest of those gorgeous designs from Couture Creations.

    happy die-cutting everyone! A
    nd here's a list of my favourite products used on this layout
Sew Jo CO723545

Repetitive punched borders on a butterfly card.

So by now it is no secret that i love the Chiswick stamps. I wanted to make a quick card that involved layers, spotlighting and something a little delicate, like a border. So i set out to punch a whole bunch of paper strips with my favorite Chiswick border punch. I used a light colour so that the punched design will show up clearly and it did. Repetition is one of the key things in designing - repeating a pattern,a colour, an image or a theme will always work whether you are designing a layout or a card.
i layered the punched borders at the bottom edge of my card. For the top of my card i used my favorite butterfly stamp together with a quick resist technique. I love the effect! I first completed my technique part and then punched a section of of my card, and then raised it using foam tape to add dimension – this technique is called spotlighting – you are placing the “spotlight” onto a selected area of your card or stamp design.
I embossed the butterfly in clear embossing powder on an inked background – the clear embossing captures the colours underneath in a separate layer!
I then inked over the entire card with a dark brown which resisted the embossed butterfly. I misted, splattered and spritsed different types of ink and water onto the inked background giving it a wonderfully interesting effect in different colours.
I also stamped random images on the background in black and grey – imperfect and random! and here’s how i did it step x step using the Chiswick products: step 1 – Create a background by inking a piece of smooth white cardstock with 2 colours of ink. Leave it to dry.
step 2 – Ink the butterfly stamp with an embossing ink and add clear embossing powder. Heat set the image using your Chiswick heat gun until fully melted.
step 3 - Use a third darker colour of ink and ink over the entire surface. The ink will highlight the embossed butterfly and make it stand out.
step 4 – punch 5 borders from the same patterned paper or cardstock and adhere them overlapping each other. Start from the bottom upwards on your card so that the last border can be decorated and finished off in a creative way!
And there you have another new technique and a different way of how you can creatively use your Chiswick stamp sets! Try this technique on cards and on your next layout, in different colours and using different stamp sets. All these products are available from Chiswick – for more info visit their website and visit your nearest craft store.

Popular Posts

Like us on Facebook

Flickr Images