Friday, 21 April 2017

Metal Embossing on Hochanda TV

Hi Everyone

It's been a busy couple of months since my last post. I had my first day of Hochanda shows for over a year - yay! :) I had a lovely time showing everyone the joys of Cernit polymer clay and Efco's fabulous Texture Mats. And so far, my shoulder is holding up - yay again!

Anyhoo, tomorrow I will be back at the studios again and this time I will be sharing Metal Embossing with Hochanda viewers at 10am.

It's such a versatile craft as it can be used to create wall art, and other home decor projects as well as for card making and scrapbooking. You can create your own designs or use stencils and embossing folders and once embossed, you can colour the metal with a variety of media including glass/ceramic paints, alcohol inks, acrylics, Pébéo Prisme and Moon paints. 

Coloured aluminium foils can be sanded back once embossed to create distressed or two tone effects!

Here's the instructions for how to create the card above...

1. Diecut a piece of coloured aluminium foil.

2. Place the foil face down on the acrylic sheet and lay your stencil over the top, fixing it in position with a piece of low tack tape. Trace around the edges of each area of your design with a pointed teflon tool.

3. Flip the metal and stencil over and rub over the metal with the paper tool.

4. Still on the acrylic sheet, use the point of the paper tool to push out the areas of the design.

5. Use the pointed teflon tipped tool to trace around the edges of each area.

6. Flip the metal and stencil over to check that you have embossed every area completely.

7. Once you are happy with the embossing, gently sand the raised surface of the metal to remove the colour.

8. Fill the back with silicon glue to protect your embossing and to stick it to your card.

Of course you can just run the aluminium sheets through your die cutting machine as you would with card. It works beautifully with embossing folders as can be seen in the card below - the background was created using green foil and an Efco embossing folder and the flowers and leaves were diecut using a Spellbinder's die set, then coloured with alcohol inks before being embossed by hand.

There really is no end to the possibilities of what you can decorate with embossed metal - a bird box, a wooden box...

I hope that has given you a little inspiration and perhaps encouraged you to dip your toe in the art of metal embossing.

For more information check out the Creative Toobox YouTube channel. (The videos are in German but you can see how the various tools are used.)

Another great video which I'm sure will inspire you to create beautiful embossed pieces of art is by Metal Artist Elitia Hart - click here to view her Introduction to Metal Embossing YouTube Video.

Well that turned into a bit of a long post! I will be putting a couple of downloadable metal embossing project sheets onto the website in the next few days for those who prefer to be able to print out instructions.

Happy Crafting!

Fee x

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Chalk Book Cover

Hi Everyone

Well it's been a while since my last post... mainly due to a shoulder injury which has stopped me crafting completely. This was me last October - do you like my festive fashion accessory?...

I can't believe it's been almost 5 months of no crafting, blogging or project sheets - sheer torture!  At last I am finally (albeit slowly) getting back into the craft studio - yay! :)

I had planned to bring you some festive projects before Christmas last year but I found trying to type with one hand drove me around the bend with frustration and pain, but at last I'm back to my usual touch typing (in small bursts)... woohoo! So here's a quick little project for anyone who fancies creating their own chalkboard book cover...

Materials needed:
Notebook (15 082 01)
Chalk Fabric (34 650 50)
Ribbon (12 714 16)
Fox Button (11 747 80)
Craft Knife, Mat & Ruler
UHU Kraft Glue
Strong Double-Sided Tape & Scissors
Needle and Thread
Decorative Papers
(Efco Product codes in brackets)

Step 1. Cut a piece of Chalk fabric approximately 36 x 24 cm. 

Step 2. Stick a piece of double-sided tape along the ring bound edge, wrapping the ends around to the inside of the cover.

Step 3. Stick one long edge of chalk fabric along the double-sided tape.

Step 4. Pulling the fabric taut, cut and remove the top corner from the chalk fabric. 

Step 5. Stick two strips of double-sided tape to the top edge of the fabric and, pulling it taut, stick it in position. (Two strips will give you extra security.)

Step 6. You can sew the fox button embellishment on at this point should you so wish. (Alternatively you can stick it in position with glue at the end.)

Step 7. Trim the bottom corner from the chalk fabric.

Step 8. Stick the bottom flap in position with more double-sided tape, pulling it taut as you go. Stick 3 strips of double-sided tape to the side flap for extra security.

Step 9. Fold the side flap over, keeping the fabric taut, and stick it firmly down.

Step 10. Apply a fine line of UHU down the edge of the chalk fabric, making sure that the glue touches both the fabric and the card book cover. (This will help add extra security stopping the fabric from slipping on the tape.) Stick the ribbon trim (approx 36cm) over the edge of the fabric. Leave it a few moments until stuck before wrapping the ends around the edge of the cover to the inside and sticking the ends in position.

Step 11. To finish or neaten the inside you can stick the first page to the inside of the cover with more double-sided tape. Alternatively you can use offcuts of scrapbook papers to decorate the inside and cover the ends of the fabric and ribbon at the same time.

Then all that is left is to decide what you want to use your new notebook for and what you want to write on the cover. One idea is to use it for daily positive affirmations...

Happy Crafting! :)

Friday, 7 October 2016

A 'Nifty' Little Nite Lite

Hi Everyone

Crafting season is getting into full swing now so I hope you are all able to enjoy some creative therapy now the kids are well and truly back into their school routine. :)

This week I'd like to share a 'nifty' little idea I picked up from a BuzzFeed Nifty video (you can view the video on Facebook). As I didn't have any food colouring to hand I thought I'd experiment with some Brusho powders and sprays (they are water-based dyes so I figured they'd be ok)...

Nifty's Galaxy Jar

Step 1. If using Brusho powders mix a little powder with a few drops of water before adding some Mod Podge and stirring. If using Brusho sprays, spray a little into a small dish and then add some Mod Podge and stir. (As you can see I used both!)

Also add a few more drops of water to each mix to thin the medium a little.

Step 2. Mix in some glitter and any iridescent inclusions you want to add - I think the more you add the better here as I thought I had added loads but it wasn't as obvious at the end as I'd expected. I added standard glitter, some mother of pearl flakes and some cut up glitterati. If you have large glitter flakes then I would definitely add that - or maybe some Jo Sonja's Opal Dust with it's holographic particles.

Step 3. I also sprayed some Brusho shimmer spray inside the jar in the hopes that it would give a more iridescent finish but again I'm not sure that it was particularly effective.

Step 4. Daub the mixes randomly around the inside of the jar. (I have a feeling that either I didn't put enough red mix in or that the red is more sensitive to the oven temperature than the blue as it wasn't very obvious when it was finished.)

Having covered most of the glass, rotate it in your hands to evenly distribute the medium.

Step 5. Turn the jar upside-down for 5 minutes for the excess medium to drain.

Step 6. Then bake for 15-20 minutes at 170ºC (340ºF).
(Please note that the video has the baking temperatures round the wrong way.)

I noticed that some of the medium seemed to pull away a little from the jar but what I hadn't realised was that my oven got far too hot (over 200ºC) for a few minutes which may have affected the finish.

I ended up mixing the remains of the three colours in one of the metal dishes and popping it in the oven for a few minutes too. I'm thinking I might use it in a mixed media project and even try punching a shape out of the thicker piece. 

You could always plaster a thick layer of the mix onto a poly pocket and leave it to dry naturally and then, when dry, peel it off and punch out shapes as window decals.

And here's the finished jar...

Looking at the final colours of the leftovers and the finished jar I think the answer is to not bake it too long (or even too hot, lol!)

If you want to see anymore Nifty ideas, check out their Facebook page. 

Happy Crafting Everyone! 

Friday, 30 September 2016

A Miniature Cernit Fairy House

Hi Everyone

This week I've got a sweet little fairy house made from Cernit polymer clay. I had such fun creating the larger fairy house (Project Sheet PC/0013 which comes in two parts and is available to download for free from the Polymer Clay section of my website) that I wondered what it would look like if I made it in some of Cernit's newer colours and on a smaller scale too...

Materials needed:
Tiny Terracotta Pot
6mm & 10mm Round Circle Cutters (PME)
Cernit No.1 Polymer Clay:
Turquoise (79 412 80)
Coral (79 417 54)
Sahara (79 417 47)
Vanilla (79 417 30)
Raspberry (79 414 81)
Anis Green (79 416 01)
Cernit Knives (79 999 03)
Cernit Tools (79 999 06)
Cernit Stainless Steel Roller (79 999 02)
Oven & Oven Thermometer
Kitchen Foil, Scissors & Tweezers
Pasta Machine (Optional)
Wooden Skewer & Pliers
Ceramic Tile for working on and baking

(Product codes from Efco)

Step 1. Turn the tiny terracotta pot upside-down and crunch some kitchen foil on top of the base into the shape of a wonky cone. Wrap the outside of the pot with more foil, securing the cone in place. Fold the excess foil at the bottom around the edge to the inside of the pot.

Step 2. Condition some vanilla Cernit No.1 by warming it and manipulating it in your hands. (If you have a dedicated polymer clay pasta machine you can use this to condition the clay instead - it's easier on the hands doing it this way!) Roll the clay out into thin sheets, wrapping it around the pot on top of the foil. Trim the excess at the bottom and smooth the joins.

Step 3. Condition some turquoise, coral, sahara and more vanilla Cernit No.1. Mix the turquoise with some vanilla and sahara (approx. 2:2:1). Mix the coral with vanilla (approx 1:1). Roll out all four colours and cut them into assorted sized thin strips.

Step 4. Cut pieces off the strips and press them on top of the vanilla clay, starting from the bottom and working your way up towards the cone in uneven rows. Leave an archway open for the doorway and stop adding rows when you reach the start of the cone. Use the spatula from the Cernit tool set to smooth the joins and deepen the grooves between the 'stones' or 'bricks'. 

Step 5. Remove the vanilla clay from the arched doorway. Use the 6mm circle cutter to create a window either side of the doorway and the 10mm cutter to create larger windows at the sides and back. Use the spatula to ease out the clay if necessary.

Step 6. Add more pieces of clay to edge the door arch and windows. Use the spatula to smooth the joins and deepen the grooves between the pieces.

Step 7. Condition more turquoise Cernit No.1 and roll it out. Cut it into strips and then rectangles. Use the 10mm circle cutter to round off the ends to create roof tiles. Create 3 or 4 coral tiles too.

Step 8. Position the tiles in a row around the top of the wall. Press the base of them onto the vanilla clay to secure them leaving the rounded bottom edges curved out.

Step 9. Continue adding rows of tiles around the cone, allowing each row to overlap the previous one. Try and stagger the tiles and add an odd random coral tile. When you reach the tip of the cone pinch the base of the tiles into a soft point, smoothing over the joins.

Step 10. Wrap a wooden skewer with a strip of foil. Condition and roll out more coral Cernit No.1. Cut a small strip and wrap it around the foil covered skewer, cutting away the excess and smoothing over the join. Cut an even thinner strip and gently press this on top at one edge, cutting away the excess and again smoothing over the joins.

Create a hole in the roof with the 10mm cutter, removing the clay with a spatula if need be.

Step 11. Slide the 'chimney' off the skewer and remove the foil. Slide the chimney into the hole in the roof.

Step 12. Smooth the tiles around the edges of the chimney to secure it in position.

Step 13. Roll out some more conditioned turquoise Cernit No.1, this time making it thick for a door. Cut the bottom edge straight before gently pressing it up against the arched doorway opening.

Step 14. Use the clay impression as a guide for cutting out the door. Use the spatula to create two deep grooves in the clay. Make more light random grooves all over the surface for a wood effect.

Step 15. Condition a little coral Cernit No.1. Roll a small ball for a door knob. Roll two small sausages and pinch them at either end to create hinges.

Step 16. Use the hinges to attach the door to the archway, leaving it slightly ajar.

Step 17. Make tiny toadstools by rolling turquoise Cernit No.1 into a small ball. Use the large pointed tool to create a depression in it and at the same time shape the clay into a toadstool cap. Roll tiny balls of vanilla Cernit No.1 and press them into the turquoise clay for spots. Roll a small sausage of vanilla clay, pressing a little harder at one end to create a slight cone shape. Push the pointed end into the depression in the toadstool cap. 

Create a short groove at the base of the house's wall where you want to add a toadstool. Carefully press a toadstool into the depression created. Use a tool to make sure the edges of the toadstool stalk have bonded with the clay of the wall.

Condition some anis green Cernit No.1. Roll it into an ultra thin sausage, breaking small pieces off as you go. Use a pointed tool to press them onto the base of the house and over the toadstool stalks.

Step 18. Roll out some more anis green Cernit No.1 for the rambling rose stems. Press it onto the wall, starting at the base by the door and working up around the windows and over the door arch in wavy lines.

Step 19. Roll tiny balls of coral Cernit No.1 and squash them flat to create little flowers. Press them into the wall around the bottom of the house using a pointed tool in the centre of each one.

Step 20. Condition some coral and raspberry Cernit No.1. Mix some of both clays together 1:1 to create a third colour. Roll the mixed clay and the coral out thinly and cut them into strips. Use the wavy knife to cut curved wavy edged pieces.  Roll a piece of clay with the wavy edge at the top. Start tightly, loosening off as you go and gathering little pleats towards the outside. Tear off any excess clay when the flower is large enough. Squeeze the base of the flower, pinching off the excess clay as you shape the bottom of it. Use a pointed tool to carefully bend the tips of the petals outwards. Vary the size of the flowers for interest.

Step 21. Take tiny pieces of anis green Cernit No.1 and roll them firstly into balls and then into cone shapes. Squash them flat with your finger and then use the spatula to create a groove down the length of the 'leaves' in the centre. 

Step 22. Use the raspberry Cernit No.1 to make rosebuds. Roll tiny pieces into oval shapes. Take a couple of leaves and wrap them around the base of the oval, coming up either side with the tips of the leaves curling outwards.

Step 23. Use the spatula to adhere leaves to the house randomly along the rose stems.

Step 24. Position the flowers randomly along the stems, using the pointed tool to press their bases into the clay of the wall. If necessary, you can carefully press down the centre of the flower too.

Step 25. Use the spatula to apply more leaves around the base of the flowers.

Step 26. Add rosebuds at intervals along the stems, carefully pressing at their bases to adhere them to the clay walls.

Step 27. Roll two tiny balls of turquoise Cernit No.1 clay and press them into the centre of the door hinges.

Step 28. Very carefully make sure you can remove the terracotta pot. (You want to leave it in as a support whilst you bake the clay but you also want to make sure you will be able to remove it afterwards. As the Cernit will shrink slightly whilst baking you need to make sure that it isn't already gripping the pot tightly or else you will struggle to remove it afterwards.)

Bake the house on a ceramic tile following the manufacturer's instructions (110-130ºC for 30 minutes).

Step 29. Allow to cool after baking. Then carefully remove the pot and tear away the foil from the inside of the house. You may find it easier to use pliers to remove the foil from the roof area of the house.

Your fairy house is now ready for occupation! ;) You could pop it over a battery operated nite lite or leave it as an ornament...the choice is yours!

And here is the larger version...

Instructions for this one are available as a free downloadable project sheet from the polymer clay section on :)

It's amazing how different these two houses look considering they are created in very similar ways - the only real difference is the colour of the clays used. I hope you feel inspired to create your own fairy house and please do email any photos to the website or share them on the Facebook page.

Happy modelling everyone!