24 December 2015

The 12 Designers Of Christmas - Designer #12 Katy Leitch

Here we are at the end of our 12 Designers event on Christmas Eve and what a fantastic feast of inspiration it's been too. Each Designer post has brought something different and I really hope you've enjoyed looking at it all.

To round things off our final Designer is the super talented Katy Leitch. 
Katy is on several Design Teams and was previously the Editor of Craft Stamper Magazine. She creates gorgeous altered art pieces and can take a simple thing like a tin and turn it into something extra special like a wonderful shrine.

Katy has made this beautiful wintry canvas for us which is absolutely perfect for Christmas Eve. 

 The items Katy used are :

A massive thank you to all the Designers for their contributions and inspiration. I hope you enjoyed it. If you want to win the big Mixed Media Kit prize then just leave a comment here and on the other 11 Designer posts. You can go back to comment on any you've missed until December 31st and the winner will be picked out soon after that. 

Happy Christmas


23 December 2015

The 12 Brands of Christmas - Brand #12 Softcut

Ever fancied carving your own designs and making your own prints?  For our final brand of Christmas, I'm taking a look at Softcut (the cream-coloured stuff), Linoleum (the grey-coloured stuff) and the carving tools required for DIY printing and stamping.

I started with a piece of Linoleum, and drew a design using a waterproof pen.
Using a Lino Cutter with a narrow blade, I carved the outline.  (Always carve away from you with all fingers behind the blade, and outwards from the design, then if the blade does slip, you haven't gouged across your lovely image - or your fingers!)
Changing to a wider blade, I carved out the background areas.  It helps to ink the lino up with archival ink and make test prints every so often so that you can see what areas still need to be cut away.
Leaving roughly carved edges gives your image a rustic feel.  And it means you don't need to be too precise ;)  I brayered Dylusions Paint onto the image and took a print on white cardstock.
I popped the print onto a background of Distress Paints, and into a box frame.  Would make a nice 'new home' gift, I think.

So next, I had a go with the Softcut.  This is more flexible than the Lino and carves slightly easier.  I decided to carve circles, but somehow it morphed into a rose...
A few test prints on scrap paper...
Brayered with Red Dylusions paint, stamped onto a Gelli plate piece from my review of Gelli Plates.
A bit of paint for a stem and leaves, a bit of stencilling, a bit of black and white pen work, and it's ready to be mounted onto a card.

I hope you've enjoyed this little review, and maybe inspired you to have a go.  Have a wonderful Christmas, and I hope Santa brings you loads of crafting goodies :)

Shirley x

22 December 2015

The 12 Designers Of Christmas - Designer #11 Elizabeth Robinson

Well here we are at Designer Eleven already and in a few days it'll be Christmas Day. We're really getting warmed up to the big day now.

I'm very happy to present Designer number Eleven, Elizabeth Robinson. 

Elizabeth has been a supporter of the Sprinkle challenges for a long time with her beautiful, shabby chic, vintage style.  She can turn her hand to anything and creates stunning pieces of 3d work which just explode texture and interest. For us she's created this gorgeous piece of artwork in some beautiful wintry colours. I keep looking at it and seeing little areas of texture which I didn't notice before.

I love that winged heart it's gorgeous. look at the details.

Thank you so much Elizabeth for being part of the 12 Designers of 2015. If you want to see more of Elizabeth's work then her blog is well worth a visit at the Crafty Robin.

Don't forget to leave a comment at the bottom and on the other Designers posts to be in with a chance to win a prize.  Only one more to go xxxx

21 December 2015

The 12 Brands Of Christmas - Brand #11 We Are Memory Keepers

Every Christmas I keep a daily diary or journal but last year I did something a bit different and used a gorgeous 4 x 4 album from We Are Memory Keepers.   

I chose the mint colour but it was a tough choice.

I have a Canon Selphy printer so I can easily print mini 2 x 2 inch photo's from my phone but if you prefer bigger photo's there are big 4 x 4 inserts which fit inside too. 

I'm a huge Instagram fan so I imagine I'll be buying another of these cute albums.

Come back tomorrow for another amazing Designer presentation.



20 December 2015

The 12 Designers of Christmas - Designer #10 Shirley Bampton

Hello!  As promised yesterday, I'm back with some sloshing and splattering - my favourite way of using Distress Inks!

I was inspired by a pin on Pinterest to create a couple of cards:

I stamped the bird from Dina Wakley Scribbly Birds, then stamped a hat from Dylusions Couture Collection Mini Couture.  I drew some holly on top of the hat, sloshed some Distress Inks onto the image, then added some splattering.

For the sentiment panels, I dragged some card through the inks on my palette, then stencilled the sentiment using Tim Holtz Schoolhouse.

A few drops of Ruby Red Liquid Pearls for the holly berries, then I sponged the edges of the panel with Peeled Paint, distressed the edges and mounted the panel onto my base card.

He's looking rather dapper, don't you think?  And here's his lady friend:

Same process, just stamping a different hat, drawing some holly again, using Platinum Pearl Liquid Pearls for the berries.  She's rather sweet, isn't she?

Don't forget to comment on all the Designer posts and Brand posts to be in with a chance of winning a mixed media goody bag :)

19 December 2015

The 12 Brands of Christmas - Brand #10 Ranger Distress Inks

How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways... (with apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning)

Shirley here.  You can find plenty of tutorials for Distress Inks on the internet, but this is just a run-down of what I love doing with Distress Inks, my number one desert island item (as long as I can take them all!).


Get softly blended colours using a blending tool and sponge, working from your craft mat onto your card to get the best finish.  Or swipe the pads across your card for deeper colour, overlapping the colours with your blending tool.

Distress Inks contain stuff (technical term) that remains wet for a little while, and any handling before the ink is dry will partially remove the ink.  Ask me how I know.  To avoid this, give it a short blast with a heat gun to set the ink before handling.


The obvious way is to sponge inks through the stencil, but I like Tim's other method of applying the ink pad directly to the stencil, spritzing the ink, then laying the stencil, ink side down onto the card, dabbing up the excess with a paper towel.

Colour Stability

The colour is reliable and stays true when water is added.

Which brings me on to ...


Oh it's so much fun spritzing Distress Inks!  Ink up a stamp with your Distress Ink pad, give it a light spritz, then stamp onto your card.  Add a little more spritzing and watch the magic happen.  (Results will vary depending on the card you are using.)

The Magic of Walnut Stain

There's something magical about Walnut Stain.  If you sponge the edges of your work with Walnut Stain, it immediately adds depth to your work, and it seems to complement any colour scheme, even when you think it wouldn't.


You can stack the full-sized pads several high on top of each other to save space.  Keep them in colour groups, add an index label and a coloured label on the side for easy identification.  I had mine stacked in piles 8 high until I bought a craft storage rack.


Oh, Minis - you're definitely my favourite!  You can fit 48 Minis into an A4 plastic storage box.    The circular mini blending sponges fit neatly into the recess under each pad.  Two blending tools stop the Minis from moving around in the box.

I'm not a neat crafter (!) but I do get twitchy if the colours are out of order, or if the writing on the lids isn't all facing the same way. OCD, me?

Instant Colour Palette

I love to make a customised ink palette by dabbing select Minis onto an acrylic block, then I can pick up the colour with a wet paintbrush and paint neatly (not very often), or slosh and splatter (yeah!).

Pop back tomorrow for some sloshing and splattering - my favourite technique!  Here's a little sneak peek...

See you tomorrow!

Distress Inks here.
Blending tools and foam pads here.
Heat tool here.
Stencils here.
Acrylic blocks here.

18 December 2015

The 12 Designers Of Christmas - Designer #9 Tracy Easson

Today it gives me great pleasure to welcome our Designer number 9 who is Tracy Easson. 

When ever I look at Tracy's work I have a huge smile on my face. She has a gorgeous unique style and what ever she's working on I always come away thinking, "I wish I could do that". She makes everything look effortless and her water colours are stunning.
Here she's created a set of water colour cards for us using a Prima water colour pad as the base.

I adore this sketchy, fun look she's created with the white Sakura Gelly Roll pen. She kept the lines loose and scribble like for extra fun.

Tracy added colour using Distress ink pads which are great for water colour painting, simply press onto an acrylic block or craft mat and add water.

Thank you so much Tracy for joining us here. To see more of Tracy's work you can visit her blog at queeniesscrapmad.blogspot.co.uk  

Please leave Tracy a comment and don't forget if you leave a comment on all 12 Designer posts then you'll be in with a chance of winning a Mixed Media kit. 


17 December 2015

The 12 Brands Of Christmas - Brand #9 Uni Posca


Posca pens are my absolute favourite painty pens for art journaling. They write over almost any surface which means for art journalers they're ideal. Writing and drawing over some backgrounds is almost impossible with most other mediums. They come in various nib sizes and lots of colours so the temptation to collect them is strong. I started out using only the white as I found it really difficult to find something which would write over acrylic paint and other mediums in my journals but once I'd investigated the colours that was it. I was hooked!

In the picture below Trish used a white Posca pen to create her snow flakes.

The other colours are absolutely gorgeous. Here I (Jaine) used pink black and blue to doodle on this altered art piece.

Tomorrow we'll have the pleasure of introducing another fabulous designer so come back for that. 


16 December 2015

The 12 Designers Of Christmas - Designer #8 Karen Hayselden

Please welcome our 8th Designer, Karen Hayselden.

 Karen has such talent when it comes to putting colour and design together and always manages to pull off something extra special. She made this gorgeous cute snowman for us which is absolutely loaded with texture.

I love the random dotting of soft colour on the surface. The colours she's chosen are beautiful.

Here's a closer look at that yummy texture; 

In making this piece Karen has used,Tim Holtz Distress Inks, re-inkers, distress sprays and distress paints - with a bit of Christmas Ideaology thrown in too - Distress glitter and Dylusions white linen spray.

To see more of Karens fabulous work you can visit her web site here at Kassa.

Thank you so much Karen for showing us your artwork. 

Don't forget to leave a comment here and on the other 12 Designers blog posts to be in with a chance of winning a Mixed Media package prize. 


15 December 2015

The 12 Brands Of Christmas - Brand #8 Stampotique

Today I'm bringing you the 8th Brand and they are Stampotique.

STAMPOTIQUE Fine Art Stamps began June 1, 1996, in Phoenix, Arizona, out of the love for rubber stamping and papercrafting. They began as a fine art rubber stamp store and in January 2000, began manufacturing their own rubber stamps.To date they have 21 

designers, each one with their own quirky style. Among them is our very own Magda Polakow who's distinctive style is instantly recognizable. 

I love the Stampotique range of stamps, they're fun they're unique and guaranteed to put a smile on anyone's face.

Here's Nina,


and my favourite Agatha.

You can find the Stampotique stamps in the shop here.

Come back tomorrow for another amazing Designer, you won't want to miss it.


14 December 2015

The 12 Designers of Christmas - Designer #7 Tracy Scott

Hello there lovely people and a very Merry Christmas to all of you. Tracy here with todays post !!

I would imagine all of your festivities are well under way by now and the hustle and bustle of the season is being felt by all !!, as usual i am well behind, presents and food shop still to do, not forgetting the all important wine shop of course, we still have to get our tree (we get a real one and put it up the weekend before Christmas) so Christmas will be hitting the Scott household shortly !!

Have managed to find time to play with my fabulous Dina Wakley paints (of course there is always time to play !!) the coliours are perfect for all seasons and i decided to create a multi coloured Christmas tag to show how versatile they can be.

I started with the fabulous Distress Pads in Pickled Raspberry, Mustard Seed, Peacock Feathers, Spiced Marmalade and Mowed Lawn (all of these colours compliment Dinas vibrant colours perfectly) and stencilled through one of Dylusions stencils to give a multi coloured effect completely covering the tag. I turned my tag upside down so that the hole was at the bottom.

I then used a dylusions circle stencil and stencilled over the top with texture paste to give some extra dimension.

I then went in with Dinas colours Turquoise, Magenta, Lemon, and a touch of Lime and randomly dry brushed them onto my tag building up layers.

Once this was done i took some vintage book paper and vintage music paper and tore into various length strips, crumpled them up and added some lime paint with a dry brush, These were then glued down to create the shape of my Christmas Tree.

I raided my button box and glued them to my tree and then dry brushed some white paint over the top to tone them down a little, I used white paint and a credit card to add some random paint lines all over my tag and then to finish i stamped my sentiment and added fibres to the top and bottom of my tag to be able to hang it up.

I had such fun creating this tag and would be cool to have a whole bunch of them to hang across my fireplace for the festive season.

Thank you for stopping by today, i hope you all have a fabulous Christmas and i look forward to seeing you all in the new year.

Bright and Chrsitmassy Hugs

13 December 2015

The 12 Brands of Christmas - Brand #7 Dina Wakley Media Line Paints

Have you tried the Dina Wakley Media Line acrylic paints????.....No !!!!..... Well why on earth not???


Launched in 2014,  originally with 11 vibrantly stunning colours plus the ever popular  white, these fabulous paints are highly pigmented heavy bodied with a creamy texture and are perfect for a wide variety of applications.

In 2015 Ranger added a further 4 colours to the range including the ever useful black and 3 beautiful metallic shades.

Perfect for use on their own or for mixing, the thick opaque paints make it easy to create an unlimited palette of delicious colours that are fabulous for all manner of projects.  The colours easily blend together from one colour to the next to create seamless shading and colour changes.


The thickness of the paints mean that they can hold brushstrokes and tool marks to create dimension without the need for texture pastes but can be smoothed out or watered down to create some great effects.


Ideal for Journal Pages, 3D Mixed Media and Canvasses alike, these are the perfect all around paints for any project and a must have if you are new to acrylic paints or trying to break into the mixed media/art journaling world. They are a reasonably priced mid range paint and a little goes a long way. Definitely worth the investment

Pop over to the ASOI shop now to get your set....I promise you will not be disappointed!!!

Tomorrow I will share with you a project that I've made using these fabulous paints but check out the sneak preview below.....

Thanks for stopping by
Bright and painty hugs

12 December 2015

The 12 Designers Of Christmas - Designer # 6 Magda Polakow

It gives me great pleasure to welcome back Magda to the Sprinkle 12 Designers event. Magda was a much loved member of the team until she moved on to follow her own design dreams.

Of course Magda is an established designer with Stampotique and has brought us a reverse canvas featuring her own cute and quirky designs. Agatha is one of my personal favourites and in typical Magda style she's pictured here with a few quirky friends and loads of doodling.

Magda shows us here that a typical Christmas scene doesn't have to be all green, red and gold but instead the black and white border and simple black and white images stand out beautifully on the brightly coloured background.

To see more work by Magda Polakow you can find her here, http://littleeverland.blogspot.lu/
and in her Studio.

Thank you so much Magda for sharing your  gorgeous work with us. 

Don't forget to leave a comment here and on the other Designers posts to be given the chance to win a fabulous mixed media package prize. 

More tomorrow.


11 December 2015

The 12 Brands of Christmas - Brand #6 - Gelli Plate

If you're wondering what Christmas gift you can give to yourself this year, how about treating yourself to a Gelli Plate?  Not sure if it's for you?  There's a great video here at A Sprinkle of Imagination which shows you the basics, and you can find many more videos on YouTube.

The plates come in a variety of sizes, but if you just want to dip your toe into the water of Gelli printing, you could go for one of the smaller plates.  I like the 6x6" plate, which I find useful for creating card-sized backgrounds, and the baby-sized 3x5" plate.

With most of the plates, you take your paper or card to the plate, but the advantage of the 3x5" plate is that you can take the plate to your paper or card, just like you would with a stamp.  Simply attach your Gelli plate to an acrylic block, brayer paints onto the plate, remove some of the paint in a pattern, then stamp it onto your card.  Add a second layer of colour/s to the plate and repeat.  Keep going for as long as you're happy.

You can create a masterboard by covering an A4 sheet then cutting it to size, or you can trim your blank card first and work on the smaller pieces.  Here, I cut some A4 sheets into four and worked on each piece separately using the 3x5" plate.  (The piece, top right, is where I brayered off all the excess ink.  That will get used as a background in a future project too.)

I took the piece in the centre then added some stamping and stencilling, and it's ready to be trimmed and go onto a card.

You can make marks using stencils, brushes, or any soft blunt object that won't damage the surface of the Gelli plate.  Fabric, textured ribbon, punchinella and lace also give fantastic results.

Here's a card with a background made with the 6x6" Gelli plate, lace and textured ribbon.

You can find Gelli plates here, and brayers here.  You can use any acrylic paints, from expensive down to children's craft paints from the supermarket.  All behave slightly differently and give different results, but that's the fun of it!  Go on, release your inner child!

Happy Christmas Crafting!
Shirley x