It's with great delight I opened my Stampington Postscript newsletter email - to see that Kate of TheKathrynWheel has been voted for by readers as one of their TOP THREE blogs!

Not only am I totally thrilled for Kate, I can also say I knew her when ... I designed her blog for her! So I can bask in the reflected glory, just a little, lol. Go here to read her post about it all.

Kate Crane - The Kathryn Wheel

Way to go, Kate, and it couldn't happen to a nicer person!

Here are the links for the other two winners: 
If you'd like to sign up for Stampington's PostScript newsletter, go here.


Doors open

Here's a set of journal pages I've done (for my Steampunk class last Saturday) which I had a great deal of fun with. They are probably not finished... I'm feeling I need to add some text, but I need to think on it a while. Meantime, here they are so far...

The pages closed, with a Tim Holtz chain and a button as the fastener.
The photo is actually Louis Pasteur, but I think I'll call him Baron Frankenstein...
I made the 'doors' to this spread separately, and laid strips of paper on the outer edges, fastening down with eyelets. The strips were painted, stamped with gesso, overpainted a second time. The pages were stamped with Lumiere paint, then the blank spaces filled in with Twinkling H20 paints in bronze and copper. Very textured, and just a bit of shimmer in the paint.

Warning - do not try this at home! (and open at your peril)
I stamped the phrases (7Gyspies) with gesso, then sanded slightly. The images are copyright-free downloads from the web, which I've printed onto canvas photo paper. Where you see any colour, I've used Distress Ink and a cotton bud.

I definitely need to add captions!
I used industrial tape top and bottom of the central section. You're seeing the left-hand page here (the right side is still folded closed. I've tinted the dress and carpet with Distress Inks, and added Stickles glue at wrists and neck on the woman, to suggest jewellery.

Cousin Igor
Closeup of the right-hand inner page. Again, the photo is printed on canvas paper, and also tinted a little darker on the left (Distress Ink in Black Soot) to partially obscure that chap at the back, so Cousin Igor is the focal point. (I think he definitely looks like an Igor, and has Trainee Henchman written all over him...) The background was a swirl stamp used with gesso, overpainted with Twinkling H20s.

Pages open - a slightly different camera angle

 Now I need to decide whether captions will enhance or spoil the piece, so watch this space, as they say...


Scrapbooking papers, giftwrap, vintage postage stamps, chipboard bunting overpainted with gesso and acrylics and dotted round with a blue metallic marker pen (matching the word 'soar')
Another completed journal page.

Let Your Imagination Fly - this is in my Life&Loves journal. I have a feeling I'll probably do some more tinkering some time down the line... when is 'finished' really FINISHED, lol?

Here, I've used vintage lace on both page edges (dipped in tea to 'antique' it a little) and the In Flight phrase is a stamp image by Tattered Angels, from their butterfly scrapbooking set. I've used Stickles in Ruby Slippers over the top of the letters - lush! The phrases are vintage text cut from an old copy of Peter Pan, gesso over the top. I've drawn back into the bird with a fine pen, and doodled in some flowers etc.

Clopseup of the crackle on the chipboard butterfly
The chipboard butterfly was stamped and embossed, then sprayed, then I added more ink, some gesso, a thick coat of Distress Crackle in Rock Candy - and finally some Distress Ink (Mahogany) worked into the cracks when dry.

Closeup of the figure
The figure is a photograph of a little girl, cut out of a magazine. Which I then didn't like. So I used baby wipes alternated with Duraglit to remove the colour off the image, added a watered-down coat of gesso and stamped over the top, then sanded back and added some acrylic paint. Once it was all dry, I drew around the image with a paint pen. Next, I used a waterbrush to flood the paint,  blending out the colour to form a sort of halo around the image.

Finally I added all the lettering by hand. Hated the lettering in the background as it was too dominant, so out came the gesso and then the acrylic (white) added with a sponge and partially blotted off. For the word 'soar' I used a metallic pen in blue, then drew a border around to finish.

Hope you like it!


My journal page, with a window cut out in the left-hand page (opens with the turquoise ribbon pull)
Here's a journal page I finished today - a fun idea I saw, by Julie Balzer on Scrapbook Soup (the video tutorial is further below).

The left-hand page, showing the window open
However, I tweaked it - as you do - and drew into my figure instead, and also cut a window in the page, as you can see.

Good fun - do give it a try!

Great video, great idea -  thanks Julie!



I've found myself in dire need of a noticeboard as piles of Post-its just weren't working for me, and neither was my calendar. I needed something to hold notes, easily updated, that I couldn't lose. I've tried a blackboard and a corkboard, and they didn't work for me either. So I decided on a French-style noticeboard - the ones I've seen to buy are very beautiful - and very expensive - so I decided to knock up a rough and ready one on the cheap! And here it is.

Closeup of corner
I used a ready-made cork board (very cheap, from an office supply store, A3 size) and covered this on one side with some batting and a remnant of hessian. I then overlaid this with linen tape in two sizes (left over from bookbinding - I didn't have enough of either one to keep them the same, but I actually think it looks better).

Closeup of staples and hangers.
I folded the fabric over the long sides first, stapled in a couple of places to hold the fabric taut - then folded over the short sides and repeated. Next, I folded over the corners with a few more staples to hold the pleats in place. Finally, I laid the tape on top, folded the edges to the back (more staples) then when I was happy everything was in position, really pulled on the fabric to tighten it (LOTS more staples). The picture hangers were screwed on next.

Next step - add braid round the outer edge to neaten things up.
I had some braid in my stash, so the next step was to neaten the edges. I did this now, rather than after the backing was on, so I could attach my buttons with the back uncovered for poking a needle through, and also to see how the braid looked in relation to my button placement. (I DID think about placement even if it looks rather random!).

Closeup of braid corner
I started the braid at the bottom left-hand edge (as this would be out of my eyeline when hung) and overlapped just a little when all the braid was in place and stuck down with fabric glue. You'd have to look very hard to see the join. And this really has covered up all the staples etc and tied everything together.

The buttons were easy - placed on top of each junction of tape and holes poked through. I then threaded through some linen thread (doubled) and tied off with a knot. No sewing! I on pulled the threads, to give a cushioned look when tightened up against the batting and board.

Fabric glue added to both sides - allow a couple of minutes for it to go tacky before pressing down
I used another piece of scrap fabric - an openweave linen, very coarse. I didn't hem as I didn't have enough - so I used plenty of fabric glue. A layer on the linen and a layer on the hessian, allowed it to go tacky then stuck it down. Once it was dry, I trimmed off the rough edges just a little.

View of the back with the fabric covering all the raw edges and staples
Next step was to hang it up. I marked and nailed one hole and hung on one side, then got the spirit level on top before marking the second hole. It really isn't worth guessing the level and getting it wrong, because if it irritates you NOW, it's nothing to how it's going to irritate you a month or two down the line!

Always use a spirit level before hanging
I used masonry nails (solid brick wall) so I didn't have to dismantle my entire computer area to drill holes. This was a case of 'I need it NOW', so the less messing about the better.

Closeup of the buttons
Here's a closeup of the buttons - I used what I had, from my button jar. The only proviso that everything was in the same colour palette. It's a cream wall, so I didn't want anything too obtrusive.

Et voila! All done.
Pretty neat, huh? Took me around an hour and a half from start to finish, including hanging it up on the wall. It's actually above head height, so you can't even see those nails.

And it WORKS!


The entire spread - the right-hand page is shorter than the left (I mixed the papers) so you can see some other papers behind, in case you were wondering why it seems to have a brownish border. It's actually some very vintage text paper.

I thought you might like to see what I've been up to... I've been doing (and teaching) art journaling, and constructed a handmade journal from recycled covers and pages: a total mix-up of vintage text, art paper, sheet music, scrapbook paper etc - which I'll photograph and show in another post.
Closeup of the left-hand page - the turquoise lines are metallic ink, the white letters are a Posca poster paint marker, outlined in black. The spotty background is napkin tissue, and I've added some bunting cut from scrapbooking paper and painted with acrylics, then drew back in with a graphite pencil

Meanwhile, this is one of the journal pages I created to show some hand lettering examples. I found the photo in a magazine (an advert for something I think) which I'd saved for a while - and the page kind of made itself.
The right-hand page, featuring some more bunting (under the vintage clip art photo) and some ricrac braid, a chipboard heart which I painted and hand-lettered, and brush lettering for the title (acrylic paint)

It reminded me of an ideal childhood, when the sun was always shining, the birds were always singing, and the Summer holidays seemed endless. Picnics on the lawn, pretty cotton dresses trimmed with lace, sparkling white ankle socks... and those ghastly Clarks sandals that made your feet look like boats, that all our parents forced us into (with crepe soles that picked up every bit of gravel).

Those were the days (sigh....)


Detail of my scrapbook page, showing the waterfall pulled down  plus 'diamonds', Stampendous German Glass Glitter on the letters, Stickles glue adding extra bling on Her Majesty's crown, necklace and bracelet.
Cool Britannia - a scrapbooking project to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee. I taught a waterfall class yesterday, and thought it would make a fun addition for a scrapbook page.

The full page, showing the waterfall movement closed. The crowns stamps by Stampedous, and I've used Indigo Blu Flitter Glue and gilding flakes.

The images are all repro 50s advertisements of typical British products at the time, plus a facsimile Ration Book and page.

Notice how I've dotted the 'i' in Diamond and Jubilee with faux diamonds? Couldn't resist, lol.

Another view, showing that waterfall mechanism
There would have been more pix, but I had a fit of camera shake so these are all there are, sorry.

Here's my special blog header - I used Serif's Craft Artist software to create the bunting
Off to watch the river pageant on the telly now!


PicMonkey's landing page - as you can see, it's free free fee!
I've decided PicMonkey - a free online image editor - is the greatest thing since sliced bread! When you look at what I've done here... all I can say is that it would probably take me the best part of a day to reproduce all these effects, when it's taken me around 20 minutes to do BOTH pictures!

Image from the Windows 'Sample Pictures' folder (which came with my  Windows 7)
Size is 1024 x 768 pixels, 606 KB
After I played around in PicMonkey. Saved at 1092 x 796 pixels, 775 KB
Not hard at all - I just played around with all the special effects! The ticket came in the Overlays > Labels section in the sidebar. Click on an image, hold down the shift key and you can tweak the horizontal or vertical as desired. Click on the image and drag the points at the corners to resize the entire image.

Image from Life is Beautiful on Tumblr: size 500 x 500 px, 189 KB
The finished result: 610 x 719px, 84.6 KB
Another image
Image from Life is Beautiful on Tumblr, size 400 x 287 px, 25.7 KB - pretty low resolution

The finished result - you can tell I like that italic font. Size is 356 x 419px, 44.4 KB

TWO SHORT VIDEOS I've made, showing what I did and how I did it. Just to give you a few ideas.

Showing the final tweaks and finished result:

Original image from Life Is Beautiful on Tumblr

SIZE MATTERS - oh, yes, it does!

Mamarog left a comment on my original PicMonkey post, asking whether you save your PicMonkey at a large size when you save, ready to download back to your computer. Yes you can!If you upload at a large size, you can save as a thumbnail, medium size or large size (there's a choice of three sizes, all with names - see above). 

Common sense suggests:
If you upload a smaller size, like the tumblr image, then I'd advise you save at small or medium in case of pixellation (which can look very cool... if it's what works with that particular image...). Just look at the captions under the pictures to see the original and saved sizes. As you only have 3 choices, they won't be exactly the identical size, but near enough not to matter. The largest size (Russell) is a high enough resolution for excellent results when printing.

I hope this helps, and you'll have fun with this wonderful programme!


This Pink Saturday, I'm sharing images found on the web.  All images are from weheartit:

 I haven't had time to create anything specially, as this has been a difficult week, to say the least. I downloaded Speedbit Video Accelerator from RealPlayer - and unfortunately it upset my machine to the point that I couldn't even use System Restore to return to an earlier restore point. So I had to completely reboot my machine again, and reload all my programmes. Thank goodness for my external hard drive (which I only bought 4 days ago!)

So the lesson here is: even if you buy a programme from a reputable source, it doesn't automatically mean that it's compatible with your particular machine! At least I'm getting a refund...

pink saturday

Finally, please visit Beverly at How Sweet the Sound to see all the other wonderful Pink Saturday posts!