Wednesday 30 June 2010

No card today

Apologies for the lack of cards yesterday and today. I do have some that need photos and then posting, but at the minute I am feeling a bit lazy to do that. Hopefully this evening I wont feel so lethargic and do some work.

Yesterday was really fun. I went to help Dawn set up at QVC and then we went or dinner at a lovely Seafood place. I came back home really late so everything has been a bit slow today. And, it was supposed to be a quiet day!

Tuesday 29 June 2010

The english heat

I must admit that I love English summers. They are, in my opinion, perfection. One or two days medium heat followed by a rainy day, then medium cold day followed by more rain and then back to medium hot day and maybe a couple of really hot days thrown in the mix for a good measure. That is to me a perfect recipe for a summer. And, no, I a not joking.

For those who think England does not produce real heat, this is my proof. I left this box of strawberry sweets in the car, and a few days later, they melted completely.
Maybe this will also make me not to eat this type of sweets ever again.

Now I am off to QVC as Dawn requires some help today.

Monday 28 June 2010

Even more distressing

This card was one of the cards we did last Thursday at Craftability.

I wanted to show how using one of the circle tags that is a very clean and graphic design, you can in fact achieve a distress look.

Sunday 27 June 2010

The importance of...

There are so many important things in cardmaking. Personally, I think that a good knowledge of paper/card is the single most important. It's not essential, but once acquired paper crafting seems much easier. I am talking about knowing how paper works, the advantages of printed card, the best techniques to use on pearlescent card and so on. The best part of learning about paper and card is that it only takes practice, the more that you use it the more that you learn about the capabilities.

For this card I used printed card to create a patchwork panel. Thick Card (above 270gsm) is not ideal for this technique, and this card I used here it is around that gsm, however because it is a printed card, i.e. solid color printed on white card, still worked, although I had to use extra power on my die cutting machine. To reveal the white core, just sand the top off gently.

Saturday 26 June 2010

Mixing up techniques

At first glance my style does not say: distress inks. But that is just at first glance. While I like the finished look of a card to be clean and simple, the elements I use as panels may not be that clean and simple.
Take this card. The panel, which unfortunately the photo does not capture that well, has a two layers distress effect that I learnt from the super talented Jennifer McGuire. The flower is cut from the same paper as the panel, which gives a textured look.

Friday 25 June 2010

Questions and Answers

Since I often get comments that ask questions on this blog that are quite good or I think that the answers can help other readers, I have decided to answer them in posts. I will do this Questions and Answers posts as the questions come along, so I invite you to make as many questions as you have. I may not be able to answer them all but I will try!

Jenny said...

I love that card Paula! I tried using your stamps for the first time the other day, I haven't mastered the art yet but I was using them with SU inks, and the clear block coloured parts of the stamps didnt come out well on the card I tried. I then tried some smoother, SU card and it worked much better though so I need more practice!

Ink pads are always a key ingredient of rubber stamping. I love the subject! The first thing I will say is that as a general rule, clear stamps work much better with pigment inks that dye based inks such as the StampinUp inks. The impression you will get from dye based inks usually is less crisp than if you use Versafine ink pads, my preferred type of ink for any detailed and solid stamps. The only dye based inks that I think work really well with clear stamps are the Memento pads. That is not to say that depending on the image you will get a decent print from a SU ink, but it is much more of a hit and miss chance than a standard occurrence. For more info on inks and my stamps, click here.

Smooth card is essential to get a proper impression, specially with small detail and fine lines stamps such as mine are. Something like Bazzill or Coredinations cards will give you an uneven impression which can be very effective for certain techniques.

Rukhshana said...

Gorgeous card Paula. How do you do the patchwork technique?

I often get questions about techniques in this blog. I take them as huge compliment to the cards I make, so I do really appreciate the requests. I love the idea of sharing of the crafting community and I do not wish to be ungenerous, which is why I share most of the cards I make here and give general pointers about them. However, I have learnt that sometimes people will take advantage of this free sharing of ideas.

At the beginning of this blog, I had an unpleasant experience regarding this matter. I received a request from a reader about a project I had made that she had seen at a shop, so I shared a step by step tutorial on how to make it. A few months later, I found out that the reader who had made request had taught a workshop on that project, copying my original to the last detail without giving me any credit. Furthermore, she got paid for it while I did share for free with her. I was naive to do so. Since that happened, I decided not to do any tutorials except for the ones that involve my stamps as I design them with certain ideas in mind, like using certain punches or inks, and I think the bog is the best way to explain those ideas.

Also, it is important to explain that paper crafting is as well as my hobby my only job, so teaching, demonstrating, designing stamps, doing articles for magazines are my only income. If someone is willing to pay to come to my classes to learn how to make them or to read my articles to get written instructions, I think it is unfair to them to share it for free on the internet. I know it is not the same, but still, I don't think it would be fair on them. So that is another reason why I do not go on detail on certain techniques.

And, by the way, I have an article on Cardmaking and Papercraft coming up in September-October with the Patchwork Technique, with step by step instructions and photos. I will let you know when it is up for sale.

Please note that I do not mind at all that you copy to the last millimeter my cards featured in this blog as long as you copy them for personal use. In fact, I rather like the idea that you like my cards so much as to do so. However, if you are going to sell the cards or to teach how to make them please ask me permission first.

Embossing Folders

Does anyone remember crafting days pre embossing folders? I know that as a die cut fan makes sense that I find them one of my essentials of my crafting, but I am sure than most cardmakers will agree with me that they were an important addition to the paper crafting industry.
When I am asked to do a die cutting class or demo, I am always delighted to do so and the first thing I choose for the samples are of course embossing folders.

A close up to show up the shimmer from the mica powders. In this case I think I used Perfect Gold Pearl. As you can see I have used once again my patchwork technique. I am sorry if I am boring you with cards that showcase once again the same technique. However, I like to share cards that I have done recently that I like -yes, I don't like all of my cards!-, but more importantly, I think that cards using the same technique that have different looks and colors is more inspiring.

The inside features a panel that actually was itself a leftover from the front.

Yesterday I had a blast at Crafability, Vanessa Noonan's shop. The ladies were all a delight to work with and everything went smoothly. A bit manic, of course as all my classes tend to be as I am the kind of teacher that always prefers to give to much than too little.

Thursday 24 June 2010

9 Squares

One of my favorite design layouts is the 9 squares. Funnily enough I haven't done a card using that layout and my square Tags stamps. But it seemed obvious when I was preparing for today's workshop at Craftability.
By the way, on Saturday I will be demonstrating at Colemans Craft Warehouse in Rushden (Northants), which will be my first time there. As always, really excited to meet new faces, so if you are going to see all the demos please come and say hello.

Wednesday 23 June 2010


More butterflies using the same Marianne die as before onto a patchwork panel.

A close up to show how great the pearlescent gold mica powder shimmers on the black card.

Message: Mix and Match.
Die: Butterfly Marianne Designs.
Embossing Folder: Polka Dots.

Tuesday 22 June 2010

Still busy, but...

Still, I just wanted to share this little card I made last week using the same die as last time.

Monday 21 June 2010

Busy days

One of my former bosses used to always say when you are busy is when you actually do what you want to do, as opposed to when you are not so busy, it is harder to accomplish anything. Well, that really applies to me, albeit everything comes up a bit later than expected. And this june has been the busiest June I remember. So, hopefully you will understand not posting any images today!

Sunday 20 June 2010

Simple, small, easy

My friends know that they can not expect a birthday card from me on time. My excuse? the same as for anything: "I am Spanish!" Like in most occasions, the excuse is genuine, in Spain we do things differently. Like the French or the Italians do certain things in a different manner, like so the Spaniards.
Personally, I am pretty proud of being Spanish, even if that means that I am not very good at sending birthday cards, because such tradition does not exist in Spain. Yes, in Spain, people do not send birthday cards, nor thank you nor congratulations. If anything, a christmas card, and even that is rare. So why did I started making cards when I was growing up in Spain? i had the creativity and artist quality paper leftover from my father artwork, it seem like the natural thing to do, just play with paper.

Big intro done. That was just to explain that as soon as I could I wanted to a stamp set that included something about belated birthdays. The Double Sayings set covered that one. A simple, small and easy card to make is perfect for those sort of occasions.

Message: Double Sayings.
Die: Marianne Designs Creatables, Flower Ribbon 1.

Saturday 19 June 2010


Today I am going to do some resting. Since I came back from Zaragoza I have been working pretty much without a day off, so I am looking forward to two days of tidying and resting.
But, I couldn't make a post without sharing this card I made last week while demonstrating at the Craft Barn. I have a few more cards in that style to share so if you like it, check the blog tomorrow and the day after!

Patterned card: Plain white thick card (270 gsm) sprayed with Tattered Angels Glimmer mist in six colours, Turquoise blue, Mustard Seed, Key Lime Pie, Pink Bubblegum, Timeless Lilac.
Die: Butterfly Marianne Designs.
Sentiment: Mix and Match, clear stamp set.

Wednesday 16 June 2010

Chipboard elements

Today I am busy, busy at QVC. I am not going on air, thank goodness! (I get way too nervous for my liking) but I am helping out Dawn and Lindsay Mason who has her TSV. It is gorgeous. So till later, need to run!

Monday 14 June 2010

I am still recovering for this weekend. Sometimes, weeks pass by with very little outings for me, working most days from home, so I am used to the flexibility and comfort of not having to get dress properly, putting make up -I have notice since turning 30 that I need much more!- contacts and so on. No, I like to work from home in the comfort of controlled temperature, track pants.
But it gets lonely, so I need to get out and demonstration days and workshops are really great ways to get out and meet like minded people. And this past weekend I was lucky enough to be among the demonstrators at The Craft Barn June Extravaganza. There were a lot of demonstrators, and when I say a lot, I mean a real load of them, so many in fact that I think I did not have time to say hello to every one of them on my breaks.
But I had time enough to go to the tables of some of my all time favorite people in the industry. I never leave disappointed from Leandra's (Paperartsy), Linda's (LBCrafts) or Julie Hickey's, nor Suze Weinberg demonstrations. I mean, they all have different styles, they use different products but at the end I always learn something new from them. This time was no exception, and there were so many more talented demonstrators alongside them.

Tomorrow I am off to QVC to help out Dawn behind the scenes, and the same on Wednesday, I can't wait to see the lovely and super talented Lindsay Mason's TSV!

Die cutting Patchwork elements

This one is another card I made at the demo day at The Glitter Pot last month using die cutting and my own stamps. Because I am still in patchworkmania I did a lot of those cards during the two days demo. One of the things I tried was to die cut some of the patchwork panels, and they came out really well, like this A from the Serif Essentials.

Sunday 13 June 2010

Wishing you...

I am afraid more Patchwork, although this time without embossing. The message on the strip is attached at either end with a tiny amount of Tacky glue, because of the length of the strip is longer than the which of the patchwork panel, it buckles a bit without any help of foam pads it will keep the 3D effect. I am not sure that it would survive posting though, but if you are handing in the card, it should be fine.

Saturday 12 June 2010

Clare Curd

I think Clare Curd needs no introduction to crafters. Clare is the creative face of DoCrafts. She is so lovely! And good fun too!

I really enjoy so much taking portraits either posed or not. There is something very special capturing a split second of someone's smile or just any expression of joy or fun.

Friday 11 June 2010

Quick and easy

Sometimes there is this idea that quick and easy cards are indeed quick and easy to make. The truth about them, I find, is that they may be quick to make them but not necessarily that easy. Yes, they are not elaborate cards and usually they are not time consuming but a simple card can have elements that are very elaborate, technique and time wise.
But more importantly, for a simple card to work needs a strong design which is much harder to acquire than any technique, yes even the hardest ones, while techniques you can learn by practice, learning design is much harder as is more intuitive and paying attention to design elements around. Basically, it is not something that you can learn in a two hour workshop. You can learn it but it takes a bit longer.

For this card I used one shipping tag, embossed it using one of Tim Holtz embossing folders and then I colored it using distress inks. The square is one from my Square Essentials and the message is from my Double Sayings set.

Thursday 10 June 2010

Distressed Tags

Although it looks like three color inks, I actually used six different ink pads for this card. The white lines are actually the same splatter stamp as I used for background in the "Time for a man's card". The difference is that I stamp with VersaMark and then embossed with clear embossing powder over a white tag, then once embossed I applied the inks, making the contrast bigger.
The butterfly is from a Martha Stewart punch.

Wednesday 9 June 2010

Baby distressing card

You see? You can make cards for babies using distressing techniques. I love this little elephant from Martha Stewart. And the sentiment, one of my Square essentials. Talking about Martha Stewart, today there are two hours of Martha Stewart Crafts on QVC, at 2pm and at 6pm.
And this weekend is the June Extravaganza at The Craft Barn, Lingfield Surrey. I will be demonstrating die cutting.

Tuesday 8 June 2010

Gears over the edge

If you want to thank anyone for this card, that would be Jackie Hukstepp from The Glitter Pot. I mean the idea of the card is mine, an off the edge element combined with the shaped card made out of two identical die cut pieces.

No, it is not that that you have to thank Jackie. It is the use of the Gadget Gears, which is one of Tim Holtz Sizzix dies. I mean, I saw it at Stitches, I saw it on the web, I saw it on the Sizzix catalogue, I saw it hanging on The Glitter Pot walls and no creative reaction from me. Then Jackie came by my table to enquire about something and commented how great those elements were and I was like Really? And all suddenly all this ideas came to my mind, you know those cards that I really like to make, like Gap cards, Suspension cards and, of course, case in point, Over-the-edge cards.

They are fun, perfect size, ideal for making cards for men using the gears as a substitute for flowers that you would use for a card for a woman.

Monday 7 June 2010

On the edge

The earlier post has not much of an explanation. Well, I pressed
publish before hand! Anyway, the edges were cut with on the edge
sizzix Tim holtz dies. They are so versatile!
The real on the edge event this weekend was for me the final of Roland
garros. My Rafa, as in Rafael Nadal, won so not only he wins it back
for a fifth time but he is again from today the number 1 in the world.
After such a troubled year behind him, it was lovely to see him win,
specially moving when he went on and cried on his chair. He is such an
inspiration to me, as he is to so many people.
Vamos Rafa!

On the Edge

Sunday 6 June 2010

Time for a man's card

Distressing is a favorite technique of mine when it comes to make cards for men. I used a Judikins stamp called splatter and distress it using Frayed Burlap.
The message is just one of my stamps that I stamped using Vintage Sepia ink repeated times, I wished I had been more careful and got them in a straighter line, but i think that if i had used one of this acrylic blocks that have guidelines, like this ones, would be easier.

Saturday 5 June 2010

Shaped cards

Making shaped cards using two pieces of card that are identical makes me happy. I know, it is not that big of a deal, right? But it does, and that is what crafting is all about, or any hobby for that matter.
For the base of this card I used one Sizzix tag, the Super Crescent, the embossing is one Cuttlebug folder and the flowers are a Spellbinders die, Flower Creations. Mix and matching products, love it!
Of course no card of mine is finished without a little message or a big one form my range, in this case Mix and Match and Mixed Sentiments.

Friday 4 June 2010

A photoshoot with Dawn

It was really unplanned, like most of the portraits I take, just have the camera and sometimes a cooperative subject. The light was golden and matching Dawn's tanned skin, so I thought I better catch the moment.

Dawn had finished doing her weekly show at QVC and then had a business meeting. And before we went to Gabriel's Wharf for dinner -my half successful suggestion- Dawn sit in for a quick snaps. I love taking portraits of all of my friends, although most or them are not as patient as Dawn, so when I have the opportunity I click away.

Thursday 3 June 2010

Design, Simple

Sometimes it is good to break some designs rules, you know, like the one that it says that you should not mix more than two typefaces or fonts in one layout. Because sometimes breaking the rules just works!
I just want to point out that the birthday messages are from the Mixed Sentiments -small- and the Big sentiments -the larger one-. Because they are the same design just enlarged, they just combine perfectly.
The flowers are die cut using a Spellbinders die, Flower Creations.

All materials available from The Glitter Pot.

Wednesday 2 June 2010

Distressing a patchwork panel

I am happy to admit that when I get a technique that I enjoy I will keep repeating it until I get tired of it, which accounts for the series of postings on a similar note. For instance, the patchwork embossing technique using scraps of card and paper and the distressing ones. And for this card I used both. By the way this embossing pattern is one of my new favourites. It is a Cuttlebug folder that is 5 x 7 so can emboss much larger panels than the original ones.

Tuesday 1 June 2010

Fanciful flight

This card has a big focal point, the Tim Holtz Fanciful Flight. By the way, I see this one as a dragonfly, but it is actually a butterfly! Whatever it is, it is absolutely beautiful, although all the elements are individual cuts and the wings are only one side so you have to cut them twice and assemble them, check Tim's video in which he explains the concept behind here.

The card was made using another of Tim's dies, the Baroque one part of the Movers and Shapers range. I have to admit that when I ordered it, I wasn't to sure about it.

A close up just because I wanted to show the intricate detail of the overlay, the alcohol inked golden background and the glossy accented body.
I stamped the messages on to the back of an alcohol inked acetate. First, I inked it with my alcohol gold ink and then added some browns, turn it over after it was dry (a few seconds!) and then stamp the message with StazOn. Just to remind every one, you can use StazOn with clear stamps, just do not use the traditional StazOn remover, just use immediately after stamping a baby wipe, that will remove most of the ink on the stamp although it may still leave behind a stain, if that bothers you try the new StazOn All Purpose cleaner which is safe for acrylic clear stamps.

By the way, the Dotty border stamp that was featured the other day matches the 4mm crystals and the 3mm pearls, or vice versa, which are the most standard sizes for self adhesive or hot fix crystals or pearls.
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