Friday 28 March 2014

Lavinia Stamps DVD review

Hi everyone, design elf Katrina here with something a little different today. Sarah- Jane, The Fruit Pixie, asked me if I would like to review the new Lavinia Stamps" The wonderful world of Stamping 2" DVD. So yesterday I cleared my craft table, made a cup of tea, fired up the DVD player and settled in to watch the DVD.

Now, if you like your stamping and want to learn how to use them in a different way then this DVD is for you. It is professional and is made in real time so you could craft along with it, although it is not a workshop style DVD. I don't think I would recommend it to complete beginners to stamping, it is DVD 2 but as long as you know how to handle a stamp and can stamp a successful image then you will be well away.

The DVD show you how to make 12 different scenes to add to your cards. There are 2 discs in the set, 1 hour, 6 demos per disc. They all use the same techniques which are -

* Using a brayer make a colourful background
* Using multiple stamps to make a scene
* Adding a reflection 
* Using cut and dry foam
* Tearing paper stencils to add depth to your backgrounds.

This DVD set if full of inspiration but it would been nice to know which stamps they are going to use before they begin the demonstration so you could craft along if you want to. Also to see the finished card not just the stamped panel to see how they finish them off but then that is just me.

So after watching all this wonderful stamping for 2 hours I had to have a go myself! It has been a very, very long time since I have used my brayer with ink but it did came back in the end. 

This isn't one of the cards in the DVD but it did use most of the techniques shown.

If you have any questions about the DVD I'd be happy to answer them, either here or on our Facebook page.

Do have a look at this DVD and the lovely collection of stamps too.

Happy Crafting
                  Love Katrina 

Friday 21 March 2014

Wax Collage know how

Hi everyone, Katrina the Fruit Pixies design elf here to show you what I have been up to lately.

   Now you could say I have been planning this project for a while. I bought my melt pot 8 years ago and at the same time I bought the project pan so I could work with wax.................and umm this is the first project I have used it for!!     I had such fun with it though and it definitely won't be another 8 years before I get the wax out again!!

    There are a few tips and tricks I learnt about working with wax I would like to pass on to you, just to make it easier to work with.
                                  * First you do need to be careful about the temperature the wax gets too, after all wax is flammable, so I recommend using a melt pot and project pan which will keep it melted at a safe temperature.
                                   * Remember that you are working with a hot substance so keep an eye on pets and children if they are around you while you craft.
                                   *  You will need to have a natural hair paint brush that will only be used for wax. You need the natural hair brush because a synthetic brush will melt in the hot wax.

                                  * Have your heatgun at the ready, as you will see it really helped.

                         So, here is what I used for my project -

                                       * Melt pot and project pan
                                       * Cosmic Shimmer bees wax granules
                                       * Natural hair paint brush
                                       * Heatgun
                                       *  A Canvas
                                       *  Kaisercraft Miss Empire Paper pack with stickers
                                       * Metal embellishments
                                       * Distress paint Rusty Hinge

   So the first thing you need to do is put your melt pot on and melt the wax. After you have finished your project the remainder of the wax will just harden and live in the project pan so no need to worry about how much to melt.

While the wax is melting paint the outside of the canvas with distress paint

Then its time to have fun with the paper pack. I tore my papers to the sizes I wanted, inked the edges and decided where I wanted everything before I started to add the wax.

For this project you don't need to use any glue as the wax will do that for you. So to attach the first piece brush some of the wax onto the canvas and push the paper onto it. If your wax sets before you can get you paper on then just use your heat tool to melt it down again on the canvas.

On top of each piece of the collage you attach with the wax you need to paint a layer of the wax over the top too. You will find the wax will set so I found the best way to get the perfect smooth finish was to paint it onto the paper and then use your heat gun to melt it down again to a smooth finish.

before I used a heat gun

After I used my heat gun.

Continue to build up your collage with layers of paper and wax until  you have finished, using your heat gun to get a smooth finish

You paintbrush will set solid now and again but just hold it onto the bottom of the project pan for a few seconds and the wax will melt again

For the heavy embellishments all you have to do is add some wax to the area you want them to go and push the embellishment into the wax. Mistakes are easy to fix as you can just melt the wax and remove the piece then melt it again to go smooth.

So here is my finished piece. all the images I used were the stickers in the paper set and I had no trouble using them with the wax

To add glitter and guiding flakes just sprinkle them onto the melted wax

Using wax might sound a little bit daunting but once you get started and realise there is noting to it, it is a lot of fun and will give you a beautiful finish which will impress your friends!

Thanks for reading my tips for using wax, please give it a try I know you will love it!

Happy wax crafting!

    Love Katrina

Saturday 8 March 2014

Sherlock Holmes stamped cards

Hi everyone, Design Elf Katrina here. Sorry its been a while but I have not been too well for the last few weeks but hopefully, cross fingers, I am back to my old self!!

      I have been able to have a play with the wonderful Sherlock Holmes stamp set by Creative Expressions talented Sam Poole.

     I am a huge Sherlock Homes fan, the real Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes, don't get me started on the film versions :( So I loved playing with this stamp set.  

  Here are 2 cards I put together -

This first one I used a page from an old Sherlock Holmes book for the background, used the blank pieces of page on the sides of the text to stamp my 2 border strips using the finger print stamp from the set. I then stamped and coloured the magnifying glass, pipe and Sherlock and coloured them using the Distress markers and cut them out. For the panel in the middle of the card I found a blank part of a page in the book and stamped the words in black, then cut then out using a die, then cut a larger shape in black to mount the words. As it looked a bit flat I used a black pen to draw a border.

For this second card I decided to try the stamps with my stamp cog to form the oval border using the finger prints and the wonderful specks from the set over a page from an old Sherlock Holmes book. I then stamped the collaged stamp from the set onto a blank piece from the book and cut it out. I also stamped the pipe and the word confidential and cut those out also. I then mounted the collage image and the word onto brown card and cut them out to leave a border.

I hope you like my 2 cards. Do checkout this great stamp set, wonderful for mens cards and there are lots of elements there to make a card up that has nothing to do with the great detective if you wanted too.

What every you choose to do with these stamps have fun!
                                                                    Love Katrina