Tuesday, 4 July 2017

It's in the Bag!

Hi Everyone

It was great being up at the Hochanda studios again and to catch up with everyone there - they are such a lovely bunch! The DoodleArt stamps, Versafine Inkpad set and mini carrier bags seemed to be the most popular items so I thought I'd share the instructions for the Orient Elephant Stamped Bag I demonstrated on the first show. (If you missed the show but would like to catch up you can do that here.)

Materials needed:
Orient DoodleArt Stamp (45 110 83)
Mini Blue Versafine Inkpad (45 113 15)
Cotton Canvas Mini Bag (12 149 03)
Stamping Mat (45 109 99)
Acrylic Block (45 109 04)
Textile Markers (19 903 12)
Painters Masking Tape (local DIY Store)
Scrap paper
Stamp cleaner or Babywipes
Heat Embossing Tool and Iron for Heat Setting

(Efco product codes in brackets)

Step 1. Use a piece of masking tape to mark where you want the bottom edge of your design to be on your bag. Then place the stamping mat on your work surface with a piece of scrap paper on top and then your masked bag on top of that.

Step 2. Position the orient stamp on your acrylic block and ink it up with blue Versafine ink.

Step 3. Position the stamp face down at the left edge of your bag just above the masking tape, making sure the design reaches the just over the edge without losing any of the elephant. Apply pressure to the back of the acrylic block making sure you pay particular attention to the seam edge of the bag.

Step 4. Slide the bag by pulling on the sheet of paper so that the bag seam is off the stamping mat. Make sure the bag seam butts up tightly with the edge of the stamping mat without actually being on top of it. Then press hard on the whole of the stamp to transfer the ink to the bag.

Step 5. Remove the stamp and you should find the entire image has transferred to the bag.

Step 6. Re-ink the stamp without worrying about cleaning it. Carefully stamp it down lining it up with the edge of the first image and the top of the masking tape. Being clear you should be able to see the first image through the block and stamp as you get close to the bag. 

Step 7. Re-ink the stamp one last time and stamp it next to the second image, again following the top edge of the masking tape. Apply pressure to the stamp paying particular attention to the seam edge of the bag.

Step 8. Once again use the paper to slide the bag off the edge of the stamping mat so that the seam butts up against it. Then apply pressure all over the stamp to transfer the ink.

Step 9. Remove the masking tape and clean your stamp. Heat set the ink with your heat embossing tool before colouring it in with textile markers. 

Step 10. When you have coloured in as much or as little as you want heat set the design with a cool iron for 5 minutes. (nb. Cover with an old cloth with ironing.)

Once heat set, the bag can be washed occasionally. If you want to be able to wash it regularly then you will need to use a fabric ink pad which is deliberately designed to be washable rather than the Versafine one used here. Versafine ink pads are oil based inks which have been designed to get the best images when using detailed stamps. They are also good for your stamps unlike alcohol based ones. The Efco textile markers are permanent and can be washed at 40º once they have been heat set as per the manufacturer's instructions.

Happy Crafting!

Thursday, 29 June 2017

The Next Dimension in Doodling!

Hi Everyone,

I've been busy getting ready for today's Hochanda TV DoodleArt Shows (at 3pm and 7pm) and reliving my childhood too! I don't know if anyone else remembers the Doodleart posters that used to be available - I know I spent hours and hours colouring them in. 

Anyway Efco have taken adult colouring to the next dimension with their range of DoodleArt boxes and letters...

They can be coloured in with pens and pencils, even watercolour pencils and acrylic markers and embellished with crystals and glitter etc. Some, like the heart design can even be part decoupaged!

Efco have also brought out a range of DoodleArt Stamps some of which tie in with their range of Texture Mats. These are intricate designs which are great for adult colouring and creating backgrounds etc. You can use them to make cards, decorate bags and other items too. 

You can even use them in mixed media projects such as this book cover...

I will upload instructions for the book cover and also how to get the best images on the fabric bags when creating repeating patterns, so watch this space!

Happy Crafting!

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Bags of Cork!

Hi Everyone

Here's the instructions for how to create the small cork leather bag I promised Hochanda viewers on my last show...

Cork Leather Sheet (Marron) 45 x 35 cm (3370600)
Cork Tape 5mm x 100 cm  (3374005)
Cork Tape 10mm x 100 cm (3374010)
Cork Tape 20mm x 100 cm (3374020)
Sewing Machine & Thread
Wonder Clips & Pencil
Small piece of Mountboard
Scissors, Knife, Ruler & Cutting Mat

Step 1. Cut a 7 cm strip from the long edge of a piece of cork leather. Cut 2 x 18cm long pieces from the strip and from both pieces cut a 5 mm square from two corners (see photo).

Step 2. Mark the centre of the large cork piece and the middle of the two side gussets. Place the side pieces on the main piece, wrong sides together, lining up the marks and the side edges.

Step 3. Sew approx 5mm in from the edge along the bottom of each gusset.

Step 4. Position the 5mm cork tape approx. 25mm from the edge of the short sides of the bag. (You can use the 20mm tape as a guide if desired.) Sew down the middle of the 5mm tape, securing the ends with back stitching. Trim the ends flush with the Marron cork.

Top Tip: When sewing the tapes in position across the top of the bag make sure you overhang the tape at either end as it tends to travel a little whilst sewing. This will stop it appearing to be too short at the edges.

Step 5. Cut the 10mm cork tape in half. Position the ends approx. 3cm from the side edges, butting them up to the 5mm tape.

Step 6. Sew the ends in position with a square of stitching going onto the 5mm tape to firmly secure the handle ends. (See photo)

Step 7. Sew the 20mm tape along the top edge of the bag on either side, trimming the ends as necessary.

Step 8. Line up the side seams with the gusset on either side and sew them approx. 5mm from the edge.

Step 9. You will need to finish the corners by hand as they will be too tight for the sewing machine.

Step 10. Cut a piece of card 27 x 6.5 cm to help shape the base of the bag.

There are four different cork leather designs available: Marron is the only dark one so you get a great contrast with the cork tapes, but there are also Granulo, Mosaic and Stripes if you prefer a lighter coloured bag.

Cork is also available as paper and fabric (The fabric is called Tissue but it is definitely fabric with a woven backing and not tissue.) Both the leather and fabric can be hand washed and ironed on a low setting.

Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Creaflexx film from Efco

Hi Everyone

I've just realised I never posted images of the Creaflexx samples I created for the efco stand at Stitches this year - duh! I think my injured shoulder is affecting my brain!

Creaflexx is a film which is malleable when heated and hardens, retaining its shape, when cool. You can rework it if necessary by reheating it. It can be cut with scissors or a knife and can be shaped around heat-resistant surfaces. (It can even be diecut by some of the stronger dies e.g. the thick dies from Sizzix.) It is available as transparent and white sheets both of which can be coloured using various media e.g. paints, inks etc. As you have to work it whilst hot it is advisable to work on a heat-resistant surface and to wear thin cotton gloves to protect your hands.

As I will be demonstrating a tiny glimpse of the world of possibilities open to crafters when using Creaflexx on Hochanda TV on 25th May I thought I had better upload some photos as inspiration for everyone. So here goes... 

Creaflexx Flower

Alcohol Inked Flower Earrings
(coloured with alcohol inks)

Creaflexx Flower

Creaflexx Flower Ring
(coloured with pearl acrylic)

White Creaflexx Frame Embellishment
(coloured with acrylics)

Creaflexx Bangle
(coloured with tissue paper & Mod Podge)

Creaflexx Gift Bag
(coloured with iZink inks)

Creaflexx Gift Bag (reverse)
(decorated with transparent Creaflexx 
coloured with alcohol inks)

White Creaflexx Box Embellishments
(coloured with acrylics)

White Creaflexx Feather Necklace
(decorated with a napkin)

Creaflexx Poppy
(coloured with alcohol inks)

Creaflexx Flower Pin
(coloured with alcohol inks)

Creaflexx Poppies

New Baby Gift Box
(Creaflexx used to support stamped images & diecuts)

These are just a few ideas of what you can create using Creaflexx. It doesn't matter whether you're into card making, scrapbooking, jewellery making or general arts & crafts I'm sure you'll find a use for Creaflexx! For instance you could even make a suit of armour from it...

I will also be demonstrating Efco's Starshine film which is another fab product...

I hope you can join me on 25th May for the Creaflexx and Starshine show!

Happy Crafting!

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