Sunday, 13 November 2016

Christmas wall plaques...

Hello everyone! 
Here are two decorations I made for hanging up at Christmas...
I used a chipboard blank taken from a DoCrafts Basics chipboard mini album. This little kit contains 6 blank chipboard pages with two binder rings. I felt I could spare a couple of these pages as I tend to just use two at a time for the front and back covers while filling the inside up with other random bits and pieces like card and acetate using one of the chipboards as a template.

© DoCrafts -versatile and I always try and have a supply to hand!

The Santa Stop Here! plaque was first painted with gesso then once dry I gave it a coat of pale blue acrylic. The edges were sponged with white to give an icy, snowy feel and then I painted the whole lot with iridescent glitter glue. This is so pretty when it dries - all lovely and shimmery! The letters are die cut from red glitter card stock using Xcut Wedding Alphas. The stars are also die cut - I used an Xcut mini die set for this - it has a selection of stars in different shapes and sizes. The red pudding and present embellishments are from the little set of felt die cuts I keep mentioning.... This is what you're looking for here :-

© DoCrafts
These have been a great addition to my Christmas supplies and have come in so handy - if you can still find them I would highly recommend them. They actually come in two sizes - these are the mini ones which are maybe about an inch square in size, but there is a larger size available too. I find these a great size for cards tho! Lastly, to finish off, I die cut three Christmas stockings, backed them with matching red glitter card stock, cut round them and attached them to the back of the plaque with baker's twine.

Next up is a more traditional style decoration. So, using the same technique as the blue plaque, this time I chose a traditional Christmassy colour scheme, sponging the edges in gold acrylic. I diecut a wreath for the focal point decorating with lots of diecuts cut from plain dark green, white and silver mirri cardtock. I finished off with a big bow from scraps of ribbon I save up from Christmas presents down the years (they come in so handy for these projects). This piece is printed with cute little leaping reindeer which tie in with the die cut reindeer decorating the plaque. Lastly, I attached three tiny bells on some twine and stuck them to the back of the chipboard - who doesn't love the tiny tinkle of little bells at christmas?
I hope you enjoy creating Christmas too and that my little blog inspires you to try something featured here...
Have a creative crafty day!
See you back here soon,
Love Jak

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Good Saturday morning....

Staying with the Christmas theme - here's something a bit more involved - a mini book which incorporates all your favourite christmas cards and more...
For anyone who stops by my blog from time to time, you may have noticed I'm a sucker for a hand made one off mini scrapbook and I love to use my fave cards in these random styled books - I've even used pretty wrapping paper in them. I always save the girls letters to Santa and put them in one of the pockets and I just find it a great way to save christmas memories. So let's have a look at one I prepared to use in my demo which I have saved to use as this year's album...

I made the covers for the book with some corrugated card from an old box which I first painted with a layer of gesso. Once this was dry, I gave it a coat of gold acrylic paint. Next up I slapped on a really thick layer of cheap PVA glue then quickly "laid" a layer of red acrylic on top of the glue. Now, this is the bit where the magic happens... I think the science behind it goes thus - The PVA takes longer to dry than the (red) acrylic on top and this causes that top layer of paint to split. The PVA then goes on to dry clear, revealing the under colour behind it making for a cool distressed effect. It's a great way of achieving this look without having to invest in expensive ready made branded distress paint and although I haven't tried it, I believe you can use this technique on bits of furniture too. I would imagine that would require a sealing with varnish once dried tho! So that's the technique for colouring up the covers front and back - next job is to decorate!

This is the creative bit! I die cut a doily in green glitter card stock, cut this in half and stuck either side of the cover. This left a space in the middle for a pic. I cut out a frame which will hold a family pic (once the event itself has happened!) but for now there's a cute little christmas kitty keeping that space cosy, lol! I tied a bow from organza ribbon and chunky twine for embellishing the top corner of the photo. I added a big glittered wooden sentiment (Christmas) which is from a Create Christmas pack of seasonal sentiments from DoCrafts. These are great because they are a really good size for making a main focal point on your project. I used some DoCrafts adhesive chipboard numbers from a set of alphas and numbers for adding in the year and die cut two leaping reindeer to decorate.

I'm not going to bore you all with every page inside but here's a look at how the whole thing hangs together. You can see all the mis-matched cards and different sizes of pages inside - I even have pages of acetate stamped with staz-on ink. The joy of these makes is no two are ever the same - love it!
I hope this inspires you to try one of your own. As always, if you have any questions re this minibook, leave them in the comments section and I will try and answer if I can!
Have a lovely crafty weekend everyone!
Love Jak xxx

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Christmas cards! More Christmas cards!

Today, I'm going to quickly post some more cards that I put together for my DoCrafts demo, so lets go...
Cute little doggy in a box, hello!

Look at this little face!! He's from a sheet of Anita's decoupage and credit for the design goes to the talented Sarah Jackman Reid for her inspiration! Ta SJR!

Christmas pudding easel card

This Christmas pudding is a basic circle run through a polka dot embossing folder

Cute little stocking card
This card features the mini Xcut Christmas stocking die - very handy and I can think of lots of different cards to make with this!

Chipboard and that embossing folder again!
I've used the herring bone embossing folder again on this card and that's another one of those cute little felt embellishments.

Christmas wreath die from Xcut
Now here's a lovely filigree die! I must admit I struggled with the intricacy of this die initially, as I hadn't used anything so detailed before but then a colleague put me on to tumble dryer sheets!!! What a difference that made! Basically, for anyone who isn't already in the know all you do is rub your dryer sheet over and into the cutting parts of your die and off you go die cutting. The dryer sheet just makes your die cut release so easily from your die. Brilliant!

Here's the wreath die this time on an easel card. I've decorated this one with the cute little felt embellishments too. Yes, that's that herring bone folder this time I embossed kraft card and distressed it with gold glitter glue.

Lastly, for today, more peel-off fun with a large snowflake as the focal point which I coloured with a water colour brush and ink. The sentiment might look like a peel-off too but it's a diecut from the Xcut mini die range.

Ok, that's my cards all up to date but I have three more projects to upload which I will defo do this week. Please pop back again soon as I have two hanging plaques and a Christmas minibook to share here and hopefully inspire you to make your own versions. Feel free to leave any questions you might have regarding any of the makes you see on my blog.
Have a happy crafty Sunday!
Love Jak xxx

Saturday, 5 November 2016

So, a recap on my christmas DoCrafts kit...

My September demo box was filled with glitter, dies, stamps and embellishments and although lacking in any patterned papers it was perfect for making some "Clean and Simple" style cards.

Lots of goodies to Create Christmas
So without further ado, here are a few samples I made for my ladies...

These glittered wooden sentiment embellishments are beautiful and a great size for a main focal point on your card!

As I mentioned, I initially struggled with the lack of patterned papers to work with but then I decided to get a bit creative with some peel-off stickers and make my own. This one was fun to make up. I started with a few snowflake peel-offs which I stuck gently (so they would peel off again and I could reuse them!) to some plain white cardstock and lightly inked over them with a pale blue pigment inkpad. I removed the peel-offs to leave behind a pretty snowflake pattern - yay! This was trimmed and triple matted in black white and gold on to a plain white card blank. The main focal point is a wooden gold glittered sentiment. I wouldn't normally do gold and blue together - silver and blue is the natural choice for me but the glitter embellished words were all gold so that's how that choice came about, but I think they work together anyway. The stamped sentiment is from a pack of six christmas sentiment stamps - a really useful set they were too, you'll see more of these in use as we get through these cards!

Love this embossed background. DoCraft herring bone folder.

I love the simplicity of this one. The main focal point is a chunky chipboard Noel with reindeer sticker. This was just one from a whole sheet of printed chipboard stickers which work great if you are short of time or just don't want to spend hours making each individual card - lets face it you could miss christmas completely if you get too get carried away with making the vast amount of cards you may need... I kept the background plain but used an embossing folder for some texture - this one is the DoCrafts herring bone folder. I love this embossing folder as it goes with anything. Try it over patterned papers too - sometimes adding texture to a pattern knocks it back a bit, softening the contrast of the pattern and colours. In this case though it makes the focal point stand out by enhancing what would be a bland white background. The cracker that holds the stamped and heat embossed sentiment is made from some stripy washi tape stuck on to card and cut in the shape of a cracker.

Next up is another one with more peeled off peel-offs but this time I've water-coloured over the stickers before gently removing them.

That's a clear button tied with a twine bow detail on the largest snowflake and another heat embossed stamped sentiment, this time stamped in red pigment ink and clear embossed.

Batch make this for quick and easy card!

Still keeping it Clean and Simple - I'll call it CAS from now on as that's how it's known amongst you Cardies out there - this time with some kraft as my base. Now, could a card be made any simpler than this? It's a kraft card blank topped with some embossed kraft card, embellished with some stripy cardstock cut into a pennant shape topped again with a felt topper, stamped sentiment and twine bow. Yes, you could add a few sparkles here and there too if this is too plain for your liking but this is definitely the kind of card you could batch make and get done quickly. Going back to the felt topper - these come in a cute little wooden palette/box in 9 different designs including little gingerbread men and trees which you'll also see more of here!

I think this one should be called a "So Simple It's Ridiculous" card. It's a big stamped sentiment on a white card blank which has been inked round the edges with a blue pigment inkpad, stamped snowflakes embossed with white embossing powder, a few white sparkly gems thrown at it and a little red bow for contrast. Done!
Ok, crafty peeps! I'm going to go and edit some more of my Create Christmas makes and I'll be back shortly with another post full of sparkly Christmassy inspiration! Stay tuned!
Love Jak

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Get cardmaking for Christmas...

Yep, tis the time to get busy if you make your own cards - here's a quick CAS card to whet your appetite for my next round of DoCrafts demo-ing!

Come back soon for more pics and details!!!
Happy crafting,
Jak xxx

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Scrapbooking a princess

Good Saturday morning crafty types!
Just a quick post this morning - I've a busy day ahead of me as this is my birthday weekend! Notice it's a weekend of celebrations, not just a day!!! Lucky me!!! So, just quickly, I wanted to share my latest scrapbook page here with you - images are a bit grainy as I swiped it from my an instagram post, sorry! Anyway, this one is all about layers and layers - I wanted a change from the plain backgrounds I've been doing lately and this kind of photo goes well with fussy embellishing and texture. The method I used goes like this -
Stamped a border round the dark pink card stock base,
A layer of distressed patterned paper, inked at the edges and where the paper has been torn - I've backed the torn pieces with patches of contrasting patterned paper.
The photo sits on a lattice die cut panel from my Silhouette Portrait which sits on a patterned paper matted on a contrasting colour of card stock.
There's a pleated paper frame this all sits on.
I've embellished with Hobbycraft paper flowers - gold Xcut die cut doillies, bows, buttons and some pieces from a Docraft Folk Floral Ultimate Paper Pack.

There's all sorts of stuff here from lots of different brands of craft supplies all mixed in together - a bit like dipping in to my box of leftover scraps but not quite so random and quirky...
I hope you like it! 

Layers and layers

Embellishing up close!

Thanks for popping by!
Have a thoroughly inspired crafty weekend everyone,
Love Jak x

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Truffling Around On The Beach...

I keep finding lots of older pics I feel deserve a scrapbook layout! This one is of Sadie when she was 4 years old - we were out beachcombing and I think she tried to bring half of Easthaven beach home with us!
    The main background heart paper is from a paper pack from Tiger which I felt was a lovely contrast to show off the DoCrafts Geometric Neon papers. I love mixing up different styles of patterns. I think you have to make sure you keep an eye on the scales of the design though. This combo works because the main background paper is only two colours and a simple design. The Geometric Neon papers I used have a slightly larger design but the colours are quite muted apart from the flash of neon pink and orange but this compliments the red and pink hearts. If you have lots of older stash, I would recommend trying this out! Sometimes it works and sometimes it just doesn't - it's another creative way to use up your scraps too!

I cut the arrows out on my Silhouette Portrait and backed them with Geometric Neon scraps and embellished the page with alphas from the DoCrafts Geometric Neon Ultimate paper pack. The wooden embellishments were a recent-ish purchase from The Works - I really wish I'd bought more of these at the time as they have come in really handy!!

Thanks for stopping by! Keep crafting,
Jak x

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Goodies bought in Tiger!!!

Hi folks, just a quickie!
    The Family Strachan were in Glasgow last week and while Leon and The Girls were getting their geek on in various comic/Manga shops I took to trawling the streets for anything crafty that took my fancy. It was kind of slim pickings in the centre of town but the usual suspects were there - Paperchase, Waterstones, Kath Kidston, and Tiger, or Flying Tiger as it seems to be called now. Paperchase was interesting as it had two floors and stocked American Crafts and DoCrafts bits and pieces and there was an area with desks where they must have little crafty sessions but as usual, it was Tiger that got my pennies. Honestly, you just can't beat it for quirky bits and cheap staple supplies like notebooks and canvasses etc, but looook - border punches too. They're a new one on me as the Tiger we have in Dundee doesn't stock them presently. So, they cheekily decided to jump in my basket. At £3 each they weren't exactly going to break the bank now were they. My other purchases were these cute cat "brooch" embellishments - these might end up on cards I think and a roll of sticky "post it" type notepaper - handy for masking off stamps as the whole back of it is sticky.

      Look how cute these kitty deco brooches are. Very kitsch!!!
I've tried out the punches and although they only punch one
section of border at a time, they cut really well on all the cardstock and paper I've used so far. Here's a wee sample of one I used for a scrapbook layout...

    Try them out if you find them in a Tiger store near you!!!
    I feel a card or two coming on now I have these deco brooches to experiment with...
Have fun Crafties!!
Jak xxx

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Play Forever scrapbook layout...

Good Saturday morning to you all! After I've done my stint of demoing which consists of mainly card making, I like to return to a bit of scrapbooking. It reminds me of why I got started on this crafting journey and makes me feel less guilty about buying new stash, even if my thing at the moment seems to be using up scraps on my layouts! Anyhoo, this one's called Play Forever and the pic was taken quite a few years ago while we were on a wee holiday in Easthaven. Those are the kind of holidays where the kids just play outside all day on the beach and long into the evening. 
   First of all, I roughed up the kraft 12x12 background with a bit of distressing, stamping and doodling. I selected lots of colourful scraps from my leftovers box with a vague colour scheme that kind of holds them together and makes it work coherently. Then it was a case of embellishing with elements I've not visited in a loooong time. Those turquoise glitter Thickers - can't tell you how old those are. There's also some tiny tags on there that came from the very first K and Company boxed collection I bought off the selly telly back when I had committed myself properly to the hobby/addiction. I think it cost about £36 back in 2007 and I remember feeling sick with guilt that I'd indulged myself and spent that much money on crafting. At the time I thought that it would be the one main expensive thing I'd buy and it would last forever... Hahaha!!! I got the latter part of this right as it's now 9 years on and there's still bits of it kicking around although I have to say the sentiments I thought would come in well handy turned out to be a bit ropey - so they ended up going with a load of unused and unwanted stuff to the local charity shop where for all I know, might have been just what someone else was looking for!
   Enjoy the layout - feel free to let it inspire your imagination and get those scraps out!
Happy crafting all!
Love Jak xxx

Some of those K and Company tags! I don't think I'll ever run out of these!!!

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Demo part 2

Ok, so as promised, here are a few more of those demo cards, starting off with embossing folders. I love a bit of embossing and I've recently started experimenting with embossing patterned papers etc with results I really, really like. Here's what I mean...

If you look closely, you'll see I've run the triangles background paper through a honeycomb embossing folder which just gives a bit of added interest and dimension to the card. But, if this is too much for you, just stick with plain cardstock.

This time I ran plain white cardstock through the DoCrafts Dogstooth embossing folder and then sponged gold acrylic paint lightly over the embossing which gives the cardstock real depth. You could easily do this with an inkpad if preferred, but I like to get mine into the sunk back bits too.

I soon got on a roll with this and began inking the embossing folders before I put the card inside so it presses the ink into the cardstock as it's embossing. I even tried inking and debossing too!

ink embossed paper

ink debossed cardstock

As you can see, the results are quite different with the debossed one being a lot bolder.
Next, I tried embossing a background I'd stamped with some colourful pigment inks. I loved this and although the Moroccan Flowers embossing folder is quite different in design style from the Folk Floral stamps, they really do work together. I think the key thing here is to make sure you experiment and mix things up. Sometimes things that shouldn't work together actually really do, so, be brave!

stamped then embossed

The embossing shows up clearly from this angle!
Then I got really carried away and did this acetate tag. I rubbed a bit of gold acrylic Ariste paint on the back of the tag, just to give a bit more definition to the embossing...

It's quite subtle and a bit quirky - I love it!

I hope you have enjoyed some of these samples and hopefully I've inspired you to give these techniques a try or revisit if maybe you've got a bit bored with them.
Have fun,
Love, Jak

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Another demo done!

Hi everyone, hope you are all feeling crafty today! I'm still buzzing from my latest demo for DoCrafts! This time we had a different kind of demo and instead of introducing crafters to our latest products we actually focused more on techniques - these being of a distressing and inky, painty nature. It was such good fun to go back and rediscover these techniques using the DoCrafts inks and paints, my only handicap being that there was no facility/power for speeding up drying times with my heat gun but my ladies were very patient and loved having a go at getting their crafty hands dirty too.

Lots of goodies to play with!

These paints are great quality with lots of pigment
So lets start with some marbling....

Once I'd nailed the natural looking black and white stuff I drifted towards a more colourful approach...heehee! This is such an easy technique to do and if you don't like the way things are going you can lightly brush out or dab over with a bit more paint! I took a piece of the natural black and white version and incorporated it into a card featuring one of the DoCrafts Gorjuss stamps and some debossed vellum.

She's such a cutie
Here's that piece of marbling in the background. The card has also been embellished with the X- cut Woodland Flourishes die set which I've found to be pretty versatile as it seems to go well with lots of different styles of cards. 

Next up was a bit of crackle painting...
You will need: Coloured cardstock, loads of PVAglue - the cheaper, the better, and acrylic paint - any colour - just make sure it contrasts with the colour of the background cardstock you are using.

It crackles as if by magic!
Now, I don't mind admitting that this took me quite a few goes before it worked but that was to do with me being an idiot rather than how difficult it was to do. I would say, the main thing to remember here is to work quickly, be messy with the bog standard pva glue and don't be tempted do go back and overwork your paint. One sweep of paint on top of the glue is all you need. I sort of imagine it as just sitting on top of the glue. Now, in an ideal world a quick zap of the heat gun doesn't go amiss at this stage but it really isn't essential as science/physics or some kind of sorcery takes effect and the paint starts to pull away from the slower drying pva underneath. Once dried this makes an interesting background for a card too! 

Gorjuss again!
Doesn't that crackle work well with a bit of Gorjuss? I love that this card worked well combining the crackle, distressy feel with the dark and mysterious Gorjuss girl! I used an inky technique for the stamped picture frame that contains Gorjuss, which leads us nicely on to the next technique which is:- ink spritzing and distressing.

Springtime colours
Now this is one style that's usually more associated with Tim Holtz distressing inks but I wanted to try giving it a go with the DoCrafts Artiste ink pads as these are water based inks too so work in exactly the same way. Start with your lightest colour ink first, pat down on a craft sheet or glass cutting mat - even a sheet of acetate would work here, spritz with a bit of water and start dabbing the card around in the ink. I guess you could add as many layers of colour here as you like but I would stop at three. Why? I don't know - other than the main principle of colour mixing which says mixing three secondary colours together makes brown ( I know yellow is a primary. I'm just trying to illustrate a point here...)  This is one of those rare times where less is more and if you want to stamp an image over the colours you've mixed then you don't want to make them too dark or muddy! Here's a close up of all that beautiful inky spritzing!

Inky spritzing overstamped with a brown pigment ink
Of course, the real beauty here is that no two cards will ever be the same! Fabsy!!!
Ok, so there are quite a few cards I have to let you see but I'm going to wind this post up for today as duty calls (pesky kids eh!)!!!
Thanks for coming  by for a look - I'll get those other cards up here ASAP!
Jak xxxx

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Mr. Smith's Workshop - Tool chest stepper card.

Good morning everyone! As promised last week, here's the tutorial for the tool chest stepper card I made for part of last weeks DoCrafts demo...

Please feel free to print this tutorial off and have a go at making the card up! It's an easy card to decorate once the basic stepper part has been constructed. It's been embellished with pieces from the Mr Smith's Workshop A4 Ultimate Die Cut and  Paper pack and the tools are from a charm pack which is part of that very same range. My one tip is to adhere your little tools with a hot glue gun if you have one. That way you won't have to put the card to one side to dry before sticking that final drawer on!

Of course, if you're feeling very adventurous you could always try making this... Not so much a card, rather a small shed!

This was also a make for my demo last week. Inspired by a tutorial for one featured in the new free Creativity Essentials flyer for May/June - it is a bit more time consuming as there's a bit of construction work going on and glue drying time but well worth the effort if you have an afternoon to spare. This is the flyer you need - the instructions are on the back. It's always worth picking up one of these flyers to supplement the Creativity Magazine as there's extra inspirational makes inside and more detail regarding the latest products...

© DoCrafts 2016

I was a bit surprised at the size the shed was once fully constructed with the roof on. As you can see from this pic, I took mine out into the garden to compare with a real shed...

I just wish my real shed was as well organised and tidy as Mr. Smith's! Lol!
Have a great crafty Sunday everyone!
Lots of love,
CraftyJak x