Owls are fun!

Owls are very trendy right now – in fact I would say owls have always been popular but as images in artwork, design, household foods etc they seem to absolutely everywhere at the moment!

This little chap comes from pad one in the Jane Shasky cardmaking collection. You get all the images you need to make a card on just one sheet and then you can add other things to taste (that’s making it sound like a recipe!)

The die used for that beautiful ivy corner comes from my Signature die range – it’s called Ivy Corner (now look we take a long time choosing names!) and has proved so very useful in many of my recent designs. Here the backing paper is very textured but you could just as easily use a flatter dark soft green to resemble ivy colouration.

If you don’t have an ivy die to decorate the corner, there are pretty little butterflies (or are they moths?) along the right hand border perching on the tree trunk, you could always use a butterfly die and embellish the corner with some butterflies instead!



A passion for Jane Shasky designs…

I am a huge Jane Shasky fan. Some of you may have had her CD before it was retired, but now we have a couple of cardmaking pads that give you the opportunity to have many different designs to work with and at really quite spectacular prices – only 20p a sheet.

This particular card uses her passionflower design (from pad number two). It is one of my favourites as I adore passionflowers. When I was a child my mother had a huge passionflower vine in the garden and I was always fascinated by the complex centres of the blooms. But I also love the colours in this design, so gentle and pastel.

Often the content of the topper, although clearly important, can be overshadowed by a bad choice of backing papers or tones of plain card. Take a lot of care when selecting what goes with your main image. Gentle colourways are very often a much safer bet than choosing something bold and vibrant.


Sparkling Lavinia Stamps

Lavinia Stamps are all designs drawn by Tracey Dutton. I have exhibited opposite Tracey for several years at the NEC – the Hobbycraft show – and every year I watch her demos and ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ over her talent and the fabulous effects she produces.

The great thing about stamping and crafting in general – and Papercrafting in particular – is that everybody can have their own style and be an artist without necessarily being able to paint or draw. It was suggested when I was about 13 that I might like to leave the art class as I so often wasted school supplies (my paintings and still life drawings were awful!) and instead increase my Latin lessons to include a conversational lesson each week.

Well all I can say is RESULT – I not only got rid of a hugely egotistical young art master who taught nothing and had a bevy of devoted 13-year-old fans, but I got to know a wonderful lady who taught Latin and gave a tea party each week for three of us to speak Latin. Really fun, great company and CAKE … what more can I say!

Seriously though, it left me feeling I was great at Latin but apparently devoid of artistic ability. Well, what nonsense, just because we can’t paint or draw in a traditional way doesn’t mean there aren’t a million other techniques we can all use to create wondrous pieces of art.

Here the Lavinia stamps have been stamped onto colourful backing sheets (we have some on the website here) and then wonderful touches of sparkle and other tints and colours have been added. What’s not to love and I would fight off anyone that said this isn’t art!


Sylvie Ashton’s Cardmaking Pad

We have a new cardmaking pad on the website with pictures by an artist that you may or may not be familiar with.

Sylvie Ashton has been designing with us for some time, you’ll find numerous stamp sets she has drawn for us and now she has moved up a gear and done some beautiful paintings that we have turned into a cardmaking pad. Go Sylvie I say! She started just as a crafter and look how her talent is blossoming! You can talk to Sylvie on our forum as she has been a long-time member.

This card uses one of the sheets in the pad. Remember with 24 sheets in the pad and the whole thing only costing £4.99, each sheet for a card is only 20p … can’t be bad! I love this particular image as hydrangeas are a firm favourite of mine. I must have ten or twelve hydrangea bushes in the garden at least. No, I just remembered there are three more at the front of the house – I am definitely a serious hydrangea addict!

I feel this shows how even the simplest card can look wonderful with beautifully toning colours and some great artwork! Here’s a link so you can have a browse and see what else is in Sylvie’s pad.


Thinking about Easter

It’s not long now until Easter – it must be about as late as it can be this year – with Easter Sunday falling on April 20th. I have so many possibilities for making Easter cards but I think Jayne Netley Mayhew’s animals will be my inspiration for cards this year.  Both of these designs use the decoupage in her spring collection and they make wonderful Easter cards.

The little row of ducklings always makes me smile, the decoupage is quite easy to cut out and you can put a plain card around it or something a little more decorative as we have here. The Grand Nestability die makes a good card shape and with some simple embellishments it’s a simple card to make.

The Easter bunny card is a little more complex but still easy for a beginner. The decoupage is simple and the backing paper has just been pleated which, once you have got into a rhythm, is quite quick and very effective.

These two decoupage designs come with Easter greetings on the sheet if you wish to use them, but there’s plenty more inspiration in the rest of the Spring decoupage pack – you can have a look through them here.

Happy spring cardmaking! 

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