Sunday 1 August 2021

Mystery, Myth and Magic!

Well, my poor blog has been very neglected of late, life getting in the way as usual, but with a new Crafty Individuals release coming up this Friday, August 6th, I simply had to make time to tell you about it. New stamps from Crafty Individuals are always exciting, but the latest ones are extra special, as they have been designed by one of my fellow Crafty Individuals Design Team members, the very talented Dena Rangeley.

Dena has produced some stunning fantasy images which are absolutely gorgeous, and I'm sure they will be extremely popular. I can't show them yet in their full glory, but here are a few sneak peeks!

The new stamps will be released on The Craft Store (formerly Hochanda) on Friday 6th August at 10.00am and 2.00pm, when Jean from Crafty Individuals will be doing some fab demos with the new designs. The stamps will be available from Crafty Individuals own website later in the month.

Friday 4 June 2021

Gorgeous new stamps!

Haven't had anything I could share recently, as I've been busy making samples for Crafty Individuals' newest stamp release, which is happening today on The Craft Store, at 10.00am and 2.00pm! There are four new stamps from drawings by Maria Kitano, plus a new background designed by Jean Hardy and they are all absolutely gorgeous! I've really enjoyed working with them. 

And now I can show you some of my samples, with more to follow. I think this lovely toadstool is my favourite. I kept the design quite simple, with an ink-sprayed background and stencilled leaves, to let the toadstool take centre stage.

Here we have the cheerful robin - or it could be a bluetit, or a sparrow, or a chaffinch, or any number of other similar sized birds, depending on how you want to colour it. It would work as a Christmas card, or could be used any time of the year by simply cutting away the background and holly leaves and adding other flowers instead. So it's a really versatile stamp.

Next is the pretty teacup, which I've coloured with pencils and adhered with foam pads over a Crafty Individuals background paper, with the addition of  a few extra flowers, a paper doily and an image from one of the Crafty Individuals Miniature Image books which I thought went perfectly with the stamp.

My second favourite is the gull, perched on his post at the seaside. On this card I've also used the new background stamp, which I've embossed in white. Again, an ink-sprayed background and various other seaside elements, all Crafty Individuals stamps.

The gull also appears on this 6" x 6" seaside canvas. Having stamped him on to Crafty Individuals white satin stamping card, I cut him out and coloured him with pencils, and then did the same with the lighthouse and small gull. I used blending brushes to make the background with Distress Oxide inks, then added some texture with grit paste, art stones and real shells. The alphabet beads spelling out "By The Sea" are threaded on to a wire hanger which was recycled from last year's calendar. A spot of glue kept the beads in place.

All the stamps I've used on these projects are by Crafty Individuals. Along with the new stamps, a few older Maria Kitano designs will also be on today's shows. I will show you my samples for those in my next post, along with more of the new ones. As usual, Jean will be doing some of her brilliant demos, as well as showing lots of stunning samples made by my very talented design teamies. I'm just off to make a cuppa and get ready to watch. I hope you enjoy the shows. I know you will love the stamps!

Thursday 8 April 2021

A Tale Of Two Kitties!

Here's my concertina book using stamps from Crafty Individuals' latest new stamp release, which will be available on their website very soon. Hope you enjoy the story!

The End!

Sunday 4 April 2021

The Big Reveal!

I didn't get round to posting more sneaky peeks, but I'm pleased to say that, since their release on The Craft Store (formerly Hochanda) last Friday I can now show you my samples for Crafty Individuals' new stamps in full! I have to say, I was a bit unsure about what I might be able to do with these stamps when I first saw them, because I thought they were not really my thing. However, I soon changed my mind when I started working with them, as they are so much fun! And as Jean from Crafty Individuals said on the show, a bit of fun is what everyone could do with just now!

There were sellouts on the two shows on Friday, so they are obviously going to be hugely popular. However, Malcolm will be working his socks off to make more stamps, and they should be available on Crafty Individuals' website very soon.

Anyway, without further ado, here are my samples. I won't go into detail about them all here, but if anyone wants to know how I made any of them, just leave me a message in a comment.

First, meet Syd and Albert, aka the Burglar Cats! I think they are my favourites! They are such cheeky characters! However, I'm not sure how well they succeed in their nefarious activities. "Bungling" is the word that springs to mind when I look at them! (NB. The "penchant for pink" quote is not a stamp, it is my own, printed on the computer.)

Next, please say hello to Luigi the Llama, who, according to his bio, was born in Peru but now lives in Nidderdale (a valley in North Yorkshire, England, for those who don't know it!). He is very clever and likes warm cheese and Mozart! In spite of his slightly aloof appearance, I think he may actually be a bit of a party animal at heart!


Now let me introduce you to Frank and Betty, a pair of seagulls from Seaton Carew (a seaside town in NE England)! They, like so many of us at the moment, are missing their summer holidays and dream of the time when they can fly off to the sun!

The fourth newcomers to designer Sharron Bates's brilliant collection are best friends Fluffy and George, the Trilby Cats. They may profess to be sweet and innocent, but I reckon there's more than a touch of the Mafia about them!

As well as Sharron's new characters, Jean took a few older stamps on the show too, which she thinks will co-ordinate well with the new ones. They are all Alice Palace designs, and are available here now on Crafty Individuals' website.

Here are the Crowned Bunnies.

And the Favourite Ducks.

As well as the image stamps, Sharron has also designed a set which includes various sentiments and captions, which help to bring the characters to life. Also included are smaller versions of Luigi and the Burglar Cats, making it a very versatile collection. You can see some of them in my samples.

I also made a concertina book (A Tale Of Two Kitties!) about Syd and Albert, but I will show that another day, otherwise this would be a very long post! I hope you enjoyed meeting these engaging new creatures, who I suspect may be popping up elsewhere around blogland in the not too distant future!

Sunday 28 March 2021

Sneaky Peeks & More Bluebells

Just popping in with a few sneaky peeks for Crafty Individuals' new stamp release, which will be shown this Friday April 2nd on Hochanda (which will be changing its name on Thursday to The Craft Store!) .


The gorgeously quirky images have been designed by the very talented Sharron Bates, and I am sure they will be very popular. I'll be posting a few more sneaky peeks before the big reveal on Friday!

In the meantime, here's another card using the lovely new "Counting Bluebells" from Crafty Individuals, beautifully drawn and designed by the equally talented Jean Hardy. I made it with the remainder of the background piece I created with Pretty Gets Gritty Explosion Powders for the card in my previous post, stamping the image three times directly on to the background (having masked off the parts of the image I didn't want to show) and colouring them with Arteza coloured pencils..

The sentiment is from the "Woodland Words" stamp. Again, I masked the rest of the stamp before inking up just the words I wanted to use, and then die cut them with a Spellbinders die. The bee and butterfly are also by Crafty Individuals.

Hope you will be able to tune in on Friday to see the fab new stamps, at 10.00am and 2.00pm!

Thursday 25 March 2021


I've been busy making samples for Crafty Individual's next Hochanda show (which will be on April 2nd) so I'm afraid my blog has been a bit neglected. Will be posting sneak peeks very soon, but in the meantime, here's my first play with their beautiful new Bluebell stamp, which they have just released.

I made the background with Pretty Gets Gritty Explosion Powders, which I discovered only recently and I just love them! They are like Brushos with bling! You can just about see a bit of their gorgeous shimmer in the photo. I also used a Tando Creative mini mask "Flourish" which I thought echoed the curve of the flower petals. I painted the bluebells with Radiant Pearls. Remember those? Hadn't used them for many years and was quite prepared to find out when I opened them that they had dried up, but they were still as good as new! I felt very virtuous about having used some old stash. Don't think I made much of a dent in my stock, though!

Friday 19 February 2021

A Day At The Zoo!

Here are some more of my samples for Crafty Individuals. The new stamps, designed by Ellie Mulligan,  have now been released and will be on their website very soon. All stamps are by Crafty Individuals.

The background for this easel card was made with Distress Oxide inks using blending brushes. I hand cut a stencil for the footprints.

I had some lovely handmade paper in my stash, which I thought would go well with the elephants. I stencilled some hearts on to the background piece (stencil by Bee Crafty) and used the same paper, minus stencilling, to stamp the elephants on. I matted and layered them on to the background with some patterned paper from Crafty Individuals "Wonderfully Weathered 2" set of A5 papers.

Pink again for the flamingo, but this time with a stencil from Lavinia Stamps for the background. The feathers die was a magazine freebie.

Another Distress Oxide background, with a bit of shading on top using Arteza coloured pencils. The giraffe was coloured with Arteza Fineliner pens.

A simple Brusho background for this zebra portrait.

The elephants again! I was playing with some spray inks (Dylusions shimmer sprays and Distress Oxide sprays) and a stencil by That's Crafty (available from Crafty Individuals), and the resulting papers reminded me of Indian fabrics. I thought they would be perfect as a background for the elephants. I stamped them with Versafine Clair ink on Crafty Individuals white satin stamping card and embossed them with clear powder. I carefully coloured them with Arteza Fineliners, and then managed to smudge ink on to the white areas surrounding the image, having forgotten that it wouldn't dry over the embossed parts! What to do? I didn't want to just throw it away as it had taken ages to colour! I suddenly realised that it would be the perfect opportunity to try out my new Posca brush pen with gold ink, which I used to colour over all the white areas. I think it actually enhanced the image. Happy accident! A sentiment from Crafty Individuals CI-464 stamp set, and a little bit of bling, finished off the card nicely.

Hope you have enjoyed this little trip to the zoo! Thanks for looking!

Monday 8 February 2021

Sneaky Peek No. 2!

Here's another of my samples for Crafty Individual's latest stamps, which will be on Hochanda TV this Friday, 12th February. Or to be precise, two samples, but using the same stamp!

The round thing on the right is a handbag mirror, which was a magazine freebie. I simply stamped and coloured part of the zebra image and cut it to fit the mirror. Then I stamped the image (again, not the full image, as it would have been too big), with Versacraft Ink on to a piece of calico, and heat set it, after which I coloured it with Arteza fabric markers, which also need to be heat set. Then I made it into a pouch for the mirror.A quick and fun little project.

A few more sneaky peeks to come before Friday, so watch  this space!

Saturday 6 February 2021

The Big Day Approaches!

This Friday, 12th February, Crafty Individuals will be on Hochanda TV for their first shows since I became a Design Team member, and hopefully a few of my samples will be shown! Am excited! The new release features more amazing designs by the very talented Ellie Mulligan, and they are fabulous and a joy to colour.

Here'a sneak peek of one of my cards. 

I made a background with Dylusions spray inks and hand cut leaf stencils. The toucan was stamped 3 times on heat resistant acetate, twice on one side and once on the reverse, so that I could have one toucan looking the opposite way to the others. All three were clear embossed and coloured with permanent markers. They were then mounted over a piece of white card to show up the colours. A few die cut leaves (magazine freebie) and a computer generated sentiment completed the design.

Between now and Friday my fellow DT members will be posting lots of their sneaky peeks on the Crafty Individuals Facebook Group page, so do take a look. And don't miss the Hochanda shows, which will be at 10am and 2pm. You won't be disappointed!

Wednesday 16 December 2020

An Announcement!

 It was just an ordinary Wednesday afternoon. I'd been making a few Christmas cards, and watching Jean Hardy's Facebook Live on the Crafty Individuals Facebook Page, when my phone pinged. It was a message from Jean, asking me if I would like to join the Crafty Individuals Design Team! It took a few seconds to sink in. What? Who, me?? Really?? Then the excitement set in! Wow! Crafty Individuals was one of the first British stamp companies I bought from, many years ago, and they have always been right up at the top of my list of favourites! To be on their DT would be a dream come true! I was so excited! I thought I'd better ask Jean for some time to think about it, because I didn't want to make a commitment unless I was sure I could fulfil it. Jean said that was fine, so I had a think, and about 5 seconds later messaged her back to say yes please! Did I say I was excited?!!

The next development was the arrival of a parcel of the newest stamps and papers! They are all fabulous (you can find them here) and I was so excited to get to play with them. Did I say I was excited?!!

Here are some of my first makes as a DT member! My favourite of the new stamps, which have all been designed by Sharron Bates, is the wonderful "Of The Sea" (CI-559), which is an old boat with a lovely vintage feel. I thought it would make a suitable subject for pyrography.


I stamped the image with Memento Desert Sand ink on to Cass Art 300gsm hot press watercolour card, a good strong card with the ability to take the heat of the pyrography tool. I then used the tool to outline and shade the image. I overstamped one of the papers from the new "Wonderfully Weathered" Set 1 with some text from CI-397 before mounting the image over the paper. I added a few elements from CI-397, CI-272 and CI-349 to complete the project, which is a free standing plaque. Here's a close up of the lovely old boat.

My next play was with the gorgeous "Flower" CI-560, Sharron's stunning interpretation of a cone flower (aka Echinacea). I decided to make a journal. 

I made front and back covers from mountboard and covered the outside of them with papers from the "Aurora Borealis" A4 background paper set and the insides with one of the designs from a brand new paper set "Vintage Style Journaling Papers". The pages are a mixture of watercolour card and black cartridge paper, as you can just about see in the next photo. The covers and papers were bound together with my Bind-It-All machine.

Next, the flower was stamped on to encaustic art card, clear embossed, watercoloured and covered with Ranger Glossy Accents to seal it. Then alcohol inks were sponged over to make a background. An aperture was cut from a piece of textured card with a die from The Works, the image affixed behind it and then matted on to contrasting card to frame it. This was then adhered to the front of the journal, along with a book plate holder which has been in my stash for years! The wording inside it was computer generated. 

My final show-and-tell for now is the utterly fabulous "Pablo the Penguin" CI-557! I had finished all my Christmas cards, so I made a gift bag instead and put him on that.

I stamped Pablo, various elements from CI-257 and CI-326 and the snowflake (which I think was a freebie) onto fabric with Versacraft ink, which I heat set, and then added colour with Arteza fabric pens, which also needed to be heat set. I fringed the edges of the panel and stitched it to the front of the bag. I was quite happy with the result, but felt it needed just a little something else to finish it off. Had a rummage through my stash and found some tiny bells, which I attached to his antlers. Perfect!

Here he is in all his glory!

I've loved working with these fantastic stamps, and have more ideas for future projects, so thanks for looking, and watch this space!