Monday 30 September 2013

A weekend demonstrating Sizzix dies and embossing folders at The Glitter Pot

He añadido en la columna de la derecha el Google Translate (justo debajo de la imagen de Crafty Storage), para que podais traducir toda la pagina de una vez, ya que tardaba demasiado en traducirlo personalmente. 

Last Saturday and Sunday I demonstrated my new Sizzix dies from the Winter collection.
As usual, I had a blast. I honestly wish I could demo more! I love it sooo much. Seeing old friends, meeting new ones, charing the knowledge of die cutting... I am so lucky that I get to be able to do this.
It felt busier than ever and I could feel the excitement of crafting was back on, something I think has been lacking all over the country in the last year and a half. So glad it is back!

Apologies for the bad quality of the photos. I forgot my camera so the phone had to do!

You will see many projects on display that have been featured on my posts both on this blog or on the ones I contribute monthly, Scrapbooking with Tubo or Sizzix EU.

I brought all my dies, from my Everyday collection, Fresh Moments, Big Shot Starter Kit or the latest Winter Moments.

This is one of the cards I made during the demo. I rarely have time to make a card as I am busy demonstrating the new products and techniques. But I was quite pleased with this one. 

For this one above I used a s a base the Tag Framelit set, the Leafy Tree Framelit and Stamp set (to die cut the tree), the Leafy Tree Embossing folder set and the Snowflakes Framelits and Stamps set (to stamp and die cut the star at the top).

For the one on the left, I used as a base the Banner Framelit and Stamp set and the Snowflakes Framelits and Stamps set. The message is from the Winter Charms Framelits and Stamps set.

For the one on the right, I used as a base again the Tag Framelit set and then I used the Leafy Tree Framelit and Stamp set (to die cut the trees) and the Snowflakes Framelits and Stamps set (to stamp and die cut the snowflake at the center). The message is also from the Winter Charms Framelits and Stamps set.

One other great thing about demo days is that I get to see my craft buddies. And usually at the Glitter Pot, I get to see two of my oldest craft buddies as well as some of the newer ones.

I would say that Jane Gill is my oldest craft buddy. We go along exactly ten years, as we worked together at The Craft Barn (Surrey) for a few months. She is one of the most talented ladies out there as well as a lovely girl with a great sense of humour. We dont get to see each other much as we both have busy schedules, but it is always nice to see her.

Jackie Huckstepp is one of the newer craft buddies. She was demonstrating waxes and inky stuff using the Snowflakes embossing folders.

And this is the demo table of one of my closest crafts buddies, the one and only Julie Hickey. I often think that it would be good to clone her so that everyone could have a Julie Hickey in their lives. 

I am not going to say how talented she is, half of what I know about crafts, demo and teaching I owe it to her - the other half I owe it to Pete Hughes, but that is another story.

I wanted to show as well these two projects - a frame and a card - made by Alison Moore from The Glitter Pot using the Home die. I love seeing what others do with my dies.

And finally, I wanted to share this one card above that I made with acetate. I love the floating effect you get with acetate and I think it is perfect for all those floating snowflakes.

Today, I am a but tired but I am recharged creatively, there are many things I want to try inspired by fellow demonstrators and customers alike. Thank you!

Saturday 28 September 2013

Monthly blog post for Sizzix EU!

More Winter Moments, this time with a step by step tutorial over at Sizzix EU.
You can see the step by step here!

And remember today and Tomorrow I will demonstrating Winter Moments at The Glitter Pot, Burgess Hill, West Sussex.


Más Winter Moments, esta vez con un tutorial en el blog de Sizzix UE.

Friday 27 September 2013

Demo at The Glitter Pot

Tomorrow and Sunday (28th and 29th of September) I will be demonstrating my latest Sizzix die designs, Winter Moments, at The Glitter Pot, Burgess Hill, West Sussex.

If you are in the area, make sure to pop by as there will be many more demonstrators including my friends and super talents Julie Hickey and Jane Gill.

I can't wait!

Thursday 26 September 2013

Sizzix Winter Moments dies Layout!

Especialmente quiero dar gracias a todos los comentarios tan positivos en español, me hacen una ilusión que no veáis!

I am so excited about the blog candy that is running on this blog (until the 7th of October 2013) I thought I would share some more Winter Moments projects this week.

It is a very simple layout that I did using the Winter Elements Decorative Strip. Sometimes, less is really more!

Also, I would like to share what Sizzix says about the collection:
Winter Moments - Europe Exclusive!
Have an ‘oh so chic’ Christmas this year! 
With the latest collection from designer Paula Pascual, you can create a winter wonderland in your home, or beautiful gifts and cards to send out to your lucky friends! The dies in the Winter Moments range are fresh and contemporary, but still retain the charm and versatility that is so often found with Paula’s designs for Sizzix.  Heart-warming phrases, cute Framelits with matching stamps and much more mean this collection is one you’ll use year after year – and not just for Christmas!
I hope you like it!

Monday 23 September 2013

My father's - Angel Pascual Rodrigo - studio

I have spoken in the past about my father, Angel Pascual Rodrigo. He is a proper professional artist. 

My father put both my sister and I through University - granted is much much cheaper in Spain than in the UK - with his art being his only income in the family, as my mum had one of  the most important and demanding jobs, mum and housewife. You have to be a very good artist to do that. 

My father's studio is near my parent's house in a very irregular piece of land. Because of the terrain, the studio has two levels. The entrance is the top mezzanine level. When I took the photos we were having a barbecue outside hence the Tupperware staff on the table.

My uncle Vicente Pascual Rodrigo was as well an artist. In fact they started painting together as La Hermandad Pictorica. They used to paint a lot of pop art in the seventies and my dad still has some one them on display.

My dad's style for the last few decades is more what I call minimalist landscapes with conceptual and historical references. He uses his many walls to store and display some of his favourite paintings.

 On one side there is a massive window that is two floors tall. As the lower floor of the studio is a semi basement, that window light is essential.

Bellow the stairs, you can find one of my father great crafty storage ideas. A way to store his working-on-paintings.

Those carts are old, very old. I remember them from my early childhood. I just love the look of those half empty half full oil tubes, the paint splatter utensils...

On the left, one of his amazing conceptions. A clever system to see who is approaching the car entrance. 

My dad still has loads of cassettes that he still listens too. As well as cd's. As he teaches painting classes every week, there are plenty of spare easels folded away during the week.

And that s a very important little storage area. On the left, you can see the paper and card storage, and it is important to me because is where I first found beautiful card and paper to use for my crafting which then led me to cardmaking all those years ago. I like the heavy duty and cutting tools on the right. Easy to reach, easy to store. Plus all his packaging stuff is hidden away there.

And, in case you were wondering, yes, my dad has a computer in there. Just a relic of the years past still in use, the up to day one is at my parents house.

I love this studio, it has happy memories from my early crafting days, clever storage ideas and beautiful art from my dad. What more can you ask for?

Thursday 19 September 2013

Designing, Designing, Designing

- He añadido en la columna de la derecha en Google Translate  ya que tardaba demasiado en traducirlo personalmente. -------------------------------------->

A couple of weeks ago I spent a day in London with the uber talented Julie HickeyWe spent all day shopping, talking and enjoying ourselves.

- Circa 2004 -

One of the things it kept coming in our conversation was paper craft styles and how much we liked the trend CAS, Clean and Simple. The funny thing is that both Julie and myself have been doing CAS projects since we started our journeys in this industry, which is a long time in case of Julie - in my case only ten years!

- Circa 2007 -

I remember having conversations with Julie in 2004 about Clean and simple, quick and easy, the importance of design... It is after all, our natural style.

- 2009 -

But somehow through the years, the more fussy, vintage or elaborate trends have ruled the scenes and inspiration overflown with those. Consequently, not sure if consciously or unconsciously, we created our projects to suit the trends.

- 2010 -

Inks, distressing techniques... I love them all.

- 2011 -

Now that our natural styles are back on trend, I am both happy and apprehensive

- 2013 -

My question is: Am I being a style butterfly

Or am I just simply a professional that adapts to the current industry's fashions?

- 2013 -

Whatever I am, I think I will just keep doing what I always have tried to do. Crafting things that I like the look of it, without too much care - at least consciously - about how it fits within the current trends.


Talking about Julie, The last few days I have been immersed into redesigning her blog, as well as giving her a complete revamped Brand design.
We are near to be able to go live with the blog, so still a while away. So excited!

I have enjoyed it so much, that I think I may start offering my blog and brand design services.  I am no coder but I love deigning so much that I am willing to put the hours learning to code. But we will see...

Tuesday 17 September 2013

Traveling, family, food, glorious food...

The last few weeks have been all systems go, mostly for personal reasons. I have officially become a godmother for the first time, as my sister daughter got baptised back in Spain, a beautiful family event.

We landed in Madrid late on a Thursday night. We spent the night on one of those sterilised hotels near the airport. The next morning we got up and pick up a rental car to drive down to the province of Albacete where my brother in law is from.

We spend some time at the Lagunas de Ruidera. It is a beautiful place of natural lakes in the middle of very dry area. It feels like a true oasis of fresh water.

And we ate, and ate, and ate.

(As per Lindsay's request: on the left, jamon serrano and bread with fresh tomato puree, choquinos (tiny cuttlefish) and a salad obviously!)

The next morning it was the Baptism. I loved the simple and profound ceremony.

 We all dressed up. My cousin Angela on the left (I only have two female cousins and one male one, so I am extremely close to Angela even though I am eight years her senior and we always lived very far away). Omar - my husband -, myself, my mum - we are obviously related! - and my gorgeous dad.

And on the left, that is my sister, my only sister and the mother of my goddaughter.
Always it feels too short when I am with any of those two.

And on the way back we got to spend 24hrs in Madrid.

I love Madrid. It is not a showy city, but it is such a wonderful city that I always feel that is really underrated specially considered alongside the more touristic Barcelona.

This is one of the old entrances to one of the best museums in the world, El Museo del Prado. It truly is, not just because it is in Spain. There you can find Velazquez, Goyas, flemish art, and one of my favourite paintings in the whole world, The Annunciation from Fra Angelico.

And, while in Madrid is not like in London where the best museums are free, El Prado is free every day for the last two hours of the day. But of course, that brings queues. Luckily, they are extremely organised and even though we joined what seemed an impossible queue, we were inside within ten minutes of opening.

After spending those two hours we went to the Temple of Debob for the sunset. The view of the Royal Palace and the Cathedral is pretty stunning.

But the highlight is obviously the Temple of Debod itself.

It is an authentic egyptian temple gifted in the seventies by the Egyptian government.
If you have been to Egypt you will see it is not the best egyptian temple, but compared to some other Egyptian on display in other European Capitals (Paris' Obelisk anyone?) this is extraordinary! As I said, Madrid is such an underrated city...

Definitely worth a visit at sunset time.

And on our last morning in this trip, we visited the Royal Historical Botanical Gardens, not very impressive per se, but certainly an incredible oasis in the middle of the city. Although to be honest, one of the things I noticed most on this trip was how amazingly green Madrid is. The most beautiful trees that I have ever seen growing in the middle of a city.

And finally, what can I say? I love my Spanish food.

(As per Lindsay's request: on the left, arroz negro a seafood dish with sepia ink! and on the right, fideua, very similar to paella but with thin noodles.) We had dinner at Bocaito and lunch at Capitan Alatriste. Both were AMAZING!

Saturday 7 September 2013

Die cut letters and a wheelbarrow to carry them!

Very soon my goddaughter is getting baptised, as I am the godmother, I got her a little piece of silver, but I also wanted to make her something she can play with and be decorative as well.

I settled on creating her name with letters that would stand up and be rather solid and a little something to put the letters in. So here is how I did it.

I took my Sizzix Serif Essentials Alphabet set of Bigz dies and die cut with my Big Shot five times each letter out of mountboard. (You can also use chipboard, but as I wanted them white it made sense to use white board - the stuff to mount print and artwork.)

Then I glued all five letters together using a strong wet glue. I like many as long as they have a fine nozzle.

Once dry, I apply a modelling paste all over the edges to disguise the layers of mount board. I like to use Grunge Paste by Paperartsy. Once the paste is dry, I sand it a bit to make it as smooth as possible.

Then, a coat of white (or any colour) acrylic paint.

Finally, I die cut the letters once again using patterned papers, this time using Basic Grey KneeHigh collection. Once I was happy with the patterns I gave then a thin coat of Matte Medium just to seal all off and hopefully make the letters last longer.

And here you have the final letters. I added a little heart just to finished them off.

Now, to make the box holder, i decided against a standard box and i went for wheel barrow. I chose the Sizzix Wheelbarrow and flowers Bigz die. I die cut two pieces of mount board with the patterned paper already attached using strong spray adhesive, making sure the patterned paper was mirrored.

In order to create the box, I use another Sizzix die, this time Eileen Hull's Scroreboards Candy Jars. And I die cut only the base.

As you can see, it is slightly too long on the sides.

No problem. A small cut either side and sorted!

I attached it to the one of the wheelbarrow pieces with strong wet glue.

 And then I attached the other wheelbarrow.

Finally I used more patterned paper from Basic Grey KneeHigh collection to cut some flowers and then I die cut the wheel using mirri silver card.

And here it is, the wheelbarrow carrying all the letters!
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