Monday, 8 February 2016

Guest Feature: Colour with Love - Angela Ludlow

Every now and then we love to feature the lovely crafty creations that our customers have shared with us, and today we'd like to showcase Angela Ludlow.

Angela says:
"I enjoy all the Craftwork Cards programmes on Create and Craft and have always been delighted with the products. I have been a crafter for many years and I suffer from Rheumatoid arthritis and Lupus, so crafting is a very important part of my life. I craft at home, in hospital and in waiting rooms! The Colour with Love Pad has been superb, as I can take the pad, or images from it with me, then make the coloured pictures into cards or home decor. I have purchased A Pocket Full of Paper and this is a superb piece of kit, but I do hope there will be more colouring pads. I have enclosed photographs of some of the cards I have made."
Here are Angela's cards:

If you'd like to 'Colour With Love', the 32 art card pack is still available to order from our website, here.

And big thanks to Angela for allowing us to share her wonderful creations.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

A Pocket Full of Papers: Fitting Different Card Sizes

Here's the first (of hopefully several) top tips for making the best use of your 'Pocket Full of Papers'.

I was thinking it would be great to be able to use the whole of a fabulous paper on smaller cards, rather than chopping bits off. This is particularly useful where the artwork is nicely framed. If you are using the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader (DC) the process is fairly easy.  You can download it from here if you don't already have it installed. In the 'Print..' dialogue box, you can choose a 'Custom Scale', and use the figures further down the page. The preview image will resize to show your reduction.

For older versions of the program, you'd have thought it would be as easy, but the print function in older versions of Adobe Reader is a little unfriendly if you don't want to print the page at full size. But the good news is, I've found a work around.

Open your choice of paper - I've used Chalkboard - Summer Time 4.pdf for my examples.

To print at full size (roughly 8x8" depending on your printer's margin settings), click on 'File' then 'Print...' and make sure 'None' is selected in the 'Page Scaling' drop down list. Press 'Print'.

For the reductions in size, you'll need to tweak the 'Page Setup...' under the 'File' menu.

For 7x7" final size, type 88 into the 'Scale' box, then click on 'Ok'. Print as above for the full size version.
For 6x6" final size, type 75 into the 'Scale' box, then click on 'Ok'. Print as above.
For 5x5", type 63.
For 4x4", type 50.
For 3x3", type 38.

For all the reductions, the preview window in the 'Print' dialogue box of the older versions of Acrobat Reader will still show the image at full size. This is normal! The scaling happens at the printer.

For other sizes, divide your desired size (in inches) by 8 and multiply by 100 and round up to the nearest whole number.

If you change the 'Page Setup... > Scale' options as above, make sure you change it back to 100 before printing off something else you want full size.

I'm sure you'll find something to do with the paper offcuts as the program doesn't allow you to change the position of the image when printing out. And you'll be able to print more as it'll all use much less ink :)

If there's anything else you'd like to know about the 'Pocket Full of Papers' please let me know!

Neil Burley

Tuesday, 2 February 2016



Hope you are all well and keeping warm - it's so cold today! I think you all need a little something to brighten up your day - well our gorgeous new Celebrations collection will certainly do that!  It's bright, cheerful and an absolute pleasure to work with.  We have a fantastic Project of the Month for you, together with all Celebrations items with FREE P&P!!  Click here to see all the Celebrations goodies on the website!

We have some stunning Stamps in the Celebrations collection too, I have to say I have had the most fun with these, my favourite stamp set so far!  So versatile with all the wonderful sentiments and the balloons, candles and little confetti stamps means you can do so much with them.

I wanted to share a tutorial with you today using our amazing Overlays.  These are die cut white cardstock - well Overlays! You can add them to your cards as they are, tie ribbons or twine around them, glitter them and then after a chat with the 'boss', Sue, she said try stamping on them!  Well that was it!  I'm in love!

So the tutorial shows how to colour them with ink pads, add confetti designs and a sentiment or too, but the fun and exciting bit for me was not only the finished result, which I have to say I think is simply gorgeous but wait till you see what you can do with the waste too!

You might want to make a cuppa and sit back and have a read, lots of photos and what I did.....


Choose your 'Overlay' leaving all the pieces in place.  Select some colours of ink pads that you want to use, I choose Distress ink pads in Pickled Raspberry, Mustard Seed and Broken China.  You can use any dye based ink pads.

Working on a craft sheet and using a blending too apply the first colour of ink....

Fill in the gaps with some of the second colour ink....

And finally completely cover any remaining white spaces with the third colour....
You dont really want more than 3 colours and these work so well because when you blend them you get purple, orange and green as well.  I go back over all the colours to intensify them and also to blend the colours together more.

Now pick a confetti stamp and there are lots to choose from!  Over stamp in each of the 3 colours, so stamp in Mustard Seed in the yellow/orange areas....

Until all those areas are covered....

I changed confetti stamp and using Pickled Raspberry (what a great name) went over the pink and purple areas....

Finally, using the Broken China ink pad I finished all the blue/green areas....

Now to remove all the little pieces.  They are whats called 'kiss cut' and have little notches to keep them in place.  You can pull the pieces out by hand but I found you could really see the little notches so I went round each piece with my craft knife, cutting through and the result was much neater.

When you take the pieces out - the waste, I lay them in order so I know which pieces go where so the colours blend together.  Put these to one side and finish working on the actual frame Overlay.

I took some of the sentiment stamps, stamped my message out on the solid strips using a Black Tuxudo ink pad.

Candi Fix foam pads on the back to add dimension to my card and I also stamped an 'Enjoy', cut into a banner shape and inked around the edge with Pickled Raspberry.

Attach to card front, leaving small white border around the edge.

To finish I simply tied an assortment of bright and cheerful ribbons to the edge.

So that's one way to use an 'Overlay' and now look what you can do with all those waste pieces!

I took a 6x6 card blank, laid a strip of paper where I wanted to bottom of the strips to be on my card and glued the first row of pieces in place, spacing them across the card.  A little Top Tip for you - glue both end pieces first and then fill in the area that is left with the strips you have left.

I added 3 rows of strips, which means you can make 2 waste cards from each Overlay.  I then stamped a sentiment in black and added a few cut out star shapes from one of the Celebration papers.
I love this!

Check out our Pinterest Board for Celebrations to see what else you can make with these amazing Overlays and stunning stamps!

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

A Pocket Full of Papers

For those of you that managed to get hold of 'A Pocket Full of Papers' on that nifty bright pink USB stick - well done! For those that didn't get their basket checked out in time, you may well have several of the papers that are featured, in different colour ways. As ever, the team at HQ have produced the most versatile collection of coordinating products. Unfortunately I didn't manage to take photos for a tutorial as I was creating, as I was pressured for time, but here are my top tips for getting the most out of your kits:

If you are colouring in your images, it is best to print out using a laser printer to avoid smudging the lines. Alternatively, print out using an inkjet and then photocopy it using a 'proper' copier.

For a 3D appearance, you'll want to use several shades. You can either add in greys, or a darker shade of the same colour, or layer the same pen over dry layers of the same colour. Use the pen strokes in the illustration to guide which areas should be darkest, and use a white gel pen to add highlights.
The translucent nature of alcohol based pens makes colouring tartan a doddle. Choose your colours and then follow the lines to fill in. Where they overlap you'll get an authentic interweave. Add shading once it's all dry, using various depths of grey.
When laying out your card, you can create a more subtle symmetry whilst appearing to have an asymmetrical layout.

For instance: the distance from the left edge of the flower to the marbled rectangle is roughly the same as the distance from the marbled area to the right edge of the sentiment. Not everything needs to be in the middle for the layout to be visually pleasing!
On the same card, I've used a bit of Candi Fix trickery to add a bit more depth. By gluing the stem directly to the card, and using a row of Candi Fix along the top edge of the flower, I have emphasised the curve of the flower. The drop shadow shows the flower leaning forward which just adds to the effect.

Besides which, the stem is too skinny to fiddle about trying to get slivers of foam pad attached!
Hope these tips are helpful! If ever you see something on Pinterest or in a blog post, or even mentioned on TV, and you wonder 'how did he do that?' - just ask! I'm always happy to share top tips.

Until next time, happy cutting and pasting!

Neil Burley

Monday, 25 January 2016

It's Coming Up Paper Roses...

Hello & Welcome to my little tutorial today.

I wanted to make something special for a lovely lady called Natalie Reeves, who deserves a treat to say 'Thank You' for running the brilliant Fan Page Group on Facebook. After giving it some thought, I decided to create a picture frame with the initial 'N' made from paper roses. I chose to make the roses with the Butterfly Parade papers from the Must Have Paper Pack, a beautiful blue colourway - my favourite!

So, here are the instructions to make a paper rose initial for yourself...

I cut out an 'N' to fit the size of the frame, in this case the aperture of the frame is 6.5 x 8.5 inches, so I made the initial 4.5 x 6.5 inches.

I used 4 different sizes of circles to make the roses from - 10cm, 8cm, 6cm & 4cm. How many of each will depend on the size of the initial that you are covering.

Each circle must be cut into a spiral, from the outside to the inside. I made the width of the spiral approximately 1cm for the 10 & 8cm circles, & 0.5cm for the 6 & 4cm circles.

To enhance the shape of the roses, fold over the edges of the spirals. The 4cm circle is a bit tricky to do this with, so I left those & it created a nice 'bud' shape.

Using a quilling tool, curl the spiral around from the outside in, with the pattern of the paper on the inside. If you don't have a quilling tool, a pokey tool or skewer are just as good!

When the paper is wound, allow it to unfurl slightly before gluing, this creates a more natural look.

Place glue on the bottom of the rose, gently squeeze together & hold until secure.

Continue to do the same with all the different sizes of circles & you will soon have your very own 'rose garden'.

Arrange the roses on the initial, then when you are happy with your design & layout, glue them in place. Once that is dry, glue the rosy initial onto some white card, mat & layer it with some co-ordinating cardstock & embellish away! I used some Candi & Stickles to finish the project.

I  hope you've enjoyed this tutorial & will hopefully try making one (or more!) of your own.

Until next time,
Take Care & Happy Crafting,

Phillipa xxx.