Sunday 31 August 2008

In search of white pen goodness

Along with the perfect trimmer, the perfect white pen must be among the most sought after of scrapbooking tools. I've collected a few over the last year or so but still the search goes on. So when Vanessa suggested I take a few more and conduct a little group test, who was I to refuse?!

I wrote the samples once to a piece of Staples plain black A4 card and then to a piece of Bazzill Raven.

The Inkssentials from Ranger is a medium tipped pen which writes smoothly and with an even ink flow. It's a lovely bright white on both the plain card and the Bazzill.

The Sakura Souffle was kind of magical. The text was really dull and barely there when it was first written and then, before my very eyes, it brightened up. The pen has a broad tip and writes fairly smoothly with a reasonably even coverage on the plain card although less even on the Bazzill.

The Sakura Gelly Roll has a fine tip. It writes smoothly and with an even ink flow although it's not a very bright white, particularly on the Bazzill.

The Uni-ball Signo UM-153 has a broad tip and writes very smoothly with a very even ink flow. It's a nice bright white on both types of card.

The Pilot G-1 Pastel has a fine tip. It writes smoothly and gives a fairly even ink flow but it isn't a very bright white. Since compiling this, I've discovered that the Pilot G-1 Pastel has been discontinued.

The Uni-ball Signo UM-120 is the little brother to the UM-153 and has a fine tip. It writes smoothly with an even ink flow and is a fairly bright white.

The Sharpie was very scratchy to write with and really doesn't show up well at all. I wonder if this might be better on glossy surfaces rather than the card that I was using.

The American Crafts Galaxy Marker has a very broad tip and was fairly smooth to write with. It isn't very bright and I wonder if this is another pen which may work better on glossy surfaces.

So there you have it. A round up of all the white pens that Papermaze currently has available and a few more besides. If you were still looking for the perfect one, hopefully your search is now over!

Thursday 28 August 2008

Birdie Bits

Some papers I find very easy to work with- they tend to be the ones with small regular patterns all over them.
Others I find much harder- especially ones with large brightly coloured pattern or pictures.

So when I received a package containing a selection items including papers from the Dream Street Birdie Bits collection, I got very scared!
The layout was going to have to be big, bright and fun, or this was never going to work.

First I chose my base, a pale blue cardstock, and cut it to 8.5x11 inches.
Next I took the "She's Not Alone" paper, and cut the scalloped striped section from the edge.

The reverse of this paper is also striped, so I was left with one strip with a scalloped edge, and the rest of the sheet was left edged with an inverted scallop.

The cut off portion I then trimmed to 8.5 inches wide, to fit the cardstock, and inked the edges.
I then punched some holes along it on each scallop, and fixed some white cardstock underneath. This I then adhered to the lower part of my page, leaving a 5mm strip of the blue base showing at the very bottom edge.

Using the inverted scallop I cut a wide band; and from the "Nothing to Lose" sheet, I cut a strip to fit across my page.
I then inked the edges of all these pieces, and fixed them to my page, along with a strip of white card cut into scallops using the EK Success medium corner rounder/scallop punch; and two other strips cut from the reverse of some of these papers.
Next I cut out some of the pictures from the papers to make elements for my page- speech bubbles from the "Sing Just Enough" paper; and some of the birdies from the "She's Not Alone" paper.
The edges were all inked, and I fixed sticky foam pads to the backs to give height.

I matted my photo onto white cardstock, and fixed this to the page.
I then cut thin strips for my journalling, and inked the edges before writing on them.

Included with this package were some felt flowers, which I layered, added a punched out circle to the centres, and held together with small black brads.

Now it was time to finish assembling the page.

And this is the completed layout...

Certainly not the usual sort of papers I'd choose- but definately great fun to play with :o)

Monday 25 August 2008

Basic Grey Euphoria

Now this paper really wasnt something that I would have bought myself but the hot pink cs that I was sent with them made me realise that these papers are so useable. Sorry the colous havent come out too well in the photos, it found it impossible to get a good photo because of the pink cs.

I cut three circles, 2 from white cs and one from the packaging of the rub-ons, the smallest circle I used the one of a king rub-on, the middle circle I painted and the largest circle I stamped a 7 gypsies journalling stamp

Then I layered the circles using 3D foam, to give them some height

I mounted my photo on Basic Grey Euphoria - Arcadia paper and then bazzill scalloped edge cs. I used 2 of the scallop rub-ons down the side of the photo.

Next I tore a strip from Basic Grey Euphoria - Ferver and Basic Grey Euphoria - Bless and stuck them to bazzill hot pink cs, I layered 2 large heidi swapp flowers so the bottom one was slightly off centre

Then I attached the flowers, photo and circle embellishment to the LO

I made an arrow using the basic grey stickers, I drew the arrow head on the sticker then cut it out

I smeared some paint where I wanted my title to go then added the title, brackets arrow and flower. Then I put white paint on my finger and swiped the paint roumd the edge of th cs

To grunge the LO up a bit I then smeard some black paint round the edges of the LO and on the white flower. And to finish off drew black scallops on the scallop cs

With the left over stickers and rub-ons I made a few cards.

I used the fern sticker to make a flower

Sunday 24 August 2008

Time for...

...another offer just for our blog readers! We know that you love American Crafts thickers, and let's face it you can never have too many alphabets! We have over 80 different styles available, and we're giving you 20% off until 5pm on Wednesday 27th August! Just enter the code ACT20 at the checkout, or mention it in the shop! The discount will not show on your invoice, but we will charge your card accordingly, or refund your paypal account.

Thursday 21 August 2008


The 7gypsies Nottinghill papers really caught my eye back in February at CHA, and I had to send some to the DT to play with! First is Stephanie's layout:

and this is from Deb:

Tuesday 19 August 2008


When Vanessa asked me if she could send me some Grungeboard to play with, I was a little nervous.
I'd heard so much about this material, so many people rave about it, that I was worried I wouldn't know what to do and would make a mess of using it.
The first thing I did was to search out the Tim Holtz You-Tube video to see if that would give me any suggestions.
It didn't really give me any other ideas, but it was good to see someone using it, and how much you can abuse it without damaging it at all!

When my package arrived, the first thing i noticed was the very distinctive smell- it reminded me of the ballet shoes I used to wear as a child!

Vanessa had sent me some assorted Grungeboard shapes, along with some Love Elsie papers from the Forrest range; with some co-ordinating Bazzill cardstock, and assorted other embellishments, including some Queen and Co. Felt Fusion.

To decorate these Grungeboard pieces, I first painted them with a base colour acrylic paint- brown for the large wings and heart; bright blue for the smaller wings.
Next I inked around the edges using a gold inkpad.
The pieces I had been sent have the harlequin pattern already embossed onto them. To highlight this I then lightly brushed the inkpad over them, holding the inkpad very flat, but going over again and again to build up the intensity of the colour.

This is the whole of the layout...

and some other detailed shots...

I followed a very similar technique for my second layout, but this time I used a ink dabber to colour the swirls yellow, then inked over the top with a brown chalk inkpad.

And this is the complete layout...

Monday 18 August 2008

The winner....

The winner from last weeks blog posts, as picked by my youngest dd, is Annie! Drop us an email Annie and we will get your prize in the post! And thank you for all your suggestions, I know Wendy has lots of ideas for her next inspiration week in September!

I thought I would share one of Stephanie's layouts with you today. I love bright colours and the Love Elsie Daisy range is certainly that! The papers are dog-themed, but many of them can easily be used for non-dog layouts.

Friday 15 August 2008

Day five... scalloped edges

This is one technique that i use on every page and mean every page, since i figured out how to do it. I am a big layerer of pattern paper and using the scalloped technique breaks up all the layered lines of pattern paper.

We have posted how to do this before, but as i am always being asked how to do this, i thought i would put it on here again.

First you need a corner rounder that you take take the guard off, you cannot make scalloped edges with the guard on.

Below are the two corner rounders that i own and use all the time.

Place the punch up against the side of the pattern paper or cardstock that you want scalloped, as shown in the photo below.

Please make sure you practice this before doing it on your paper as it takes a few goes to get it right.

This is what it will look like, after one punch.

Then line up the next one and punch again

THis is a seriously easy way to make scallops. I have used this technique alot on this page and layered all the different sizes and colours to add to the page. Click on the page below to enlarge so you can see all the scallops properly. As it said before i am a big paper layerer and i use it to soften the lines of all the pattern paper.

Thanks for looking all this week. Dont forget to leave a comment on one of this weeks posts to win the Provo Craft tin and a set of pattern papers that have been used in this weeks blog.
THanks for looking.

Thursday 14 August 2008

Day four- threading water.

I am sure that most of you know about these punches and how fab they are. I was lucky to get one a little while ago and it is rapidly becoming one of my all time favourite punches. Basically what they do is, punch the edge of your cardstock or paper and the pattern is a scalloped edge with small hole in it.

Now i know these are not in the Papermaze shop at the moment but they are on there way so keep a look out for then in the new products section in the coming weeks.

I have been hunting round the internet on different ways to use this punch and i came across this post on You Tube. One of the things that i find really hard with the corner punches and threading water punch are making the corners and making them line up with the rest of the scallops.

This will show you how to make them match up.

it does take a bit of practice but it does work!!!!

Okay now i am going to show you how to make this....
First chose your paper that you want use. Now you have to cut it into a strip with the width of 2.2cm.

THe width is the important part as it makes the scallops line up.

Punch one side if the strip of paper/cards...

The strip of extra paper at the top when you have punched the scallops just cuts off to leave you with the scallops.

Then turn the paper the other way and line the little holes up and punch again and volia you have a long strip of circles.For those of you who are wondering the scallops size is - 1cm across so fairly small.

dont forget to post a comment about something you would love to see on the blog to be entered into this weeks competition.

See you 2m. ( edited to add - NEW PINK PAISLEE!!!!!!! in the new products section!!!! gorgeous!!!)

Wednesday 13 August 2008

Day three- scalloped circles

Todays post is using the gorgeous scalloped circle punch. The one i am using in this post is the large 3"one.

I decided to use it to make a card but not a normal one, i wanted to use the scalloped circle as the opener, so i made my own gatefold card.

To start you need to make the card. The size of the one i made is 18cm in length and 9cm from top to bottom. I then scored the folding bits to the size of about 4 1/2cm.

I made it fairly small as i wanted the scalloped circle to be the focal point on the front.

I then cut out the green Basic Grey pattern paper to cover the folded bits of the card. Before sticking it down ink round the edges. You may have realised i ink round everything!!! lol. I think it defines the edges of the layers and you can see the colour differences more.

I then used the yellow corner rounder and scalloped a thin piece of pink Basic Grey paper. I adhered them to the edges of the card. You can adhere them to the inside of the card as you will cover them up later.

I then cut out a small rectangle of white card and then added an extra blue pattern paper and adhered that leaving a small margin.

Before sticking down add a small bit of ribbon.

I then punched out the scalloped circle with some pink pattern paper and then cut out 2 more circles just a smaller than each other.

Adhere them all together

and attach to the left handside of the card. Only adhering the lefthandside or you will stick the card together.

I then embellished it with a Heidi Swapp flower, punched small Retro flower and a button.

I also covered the back using the same pattern as the 2 front parts...


I then covered all the insides as well. Leaving the middle panel fairly empty to write the words on...


I then made an envelope to go with it. I made it alot bigger than the actual card, as the card is fairly thick.

The pattern paper i used for this card is the gorgeous line from Basic Grey

Thanks for looking and dont forget to leave a comment about what you would like to see during the weekly blog posts to be entered into the competition. The winner gets the Provo craft tin i used in mondays post and a line of pattern paper that i have used this week.

See you tomorrow.