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challenges start 8th October


Saturday, October 31, 2015

Fifth Saturday - Technique time

Hi - Jane here with our 5th Saturday technique tutorial and this time I'm going to look at Batik stamping, a technique that was popular about 20 years ago when crafters all had a huge stash of Mulberry paper, that fine, fibrous tissue that was popular for matting and layering at one time. I suspect many of us have a stash of it tucked away somewhere - I certainly do - and if not, it's easily available. In fact I saw a pack in the local bargain store yesterday, 5 sheets for £1.

You will need

a piece of white mulberry paper
a colourless embossing pad or a Versamark pad
clear embossing powder
scrap paper and plain white kitchen roll
water-colour paints and brushes  - or use felt pens scribbled on a plastic palette and pick up the colour with a  damp brush for a subtle effect
A fine spray bottle filled with water
your chosen stamp
heat gun
iron and ironing board

First, choose a stamp that has clear uncluttered lines  - I used an old Rubber Stampede stamp called Whimsical Butterfly.

Tear the mulberry paper to roughly the size you want and stamp and emboss the image using the embossing or Versamark pad and clear powder. Make sure the powder is thoroughly melted so it soaks into the paper – if you were doing ordinary stamping you would say you had heated it for slightly too long!

Now protect your work surface with something waterproof – I use the lid of a plastic storage box. Place your stamped image on this and spray it lightly with water. Then paint your design, remembering to aim for a slightly blotchy effect like you see in real batik. The embossed lines will resist the paint and stay white.

Leave your design to dry completely, then protect your ironing board with scrap paper and place the image on it, sandwiched between two sheets of plain white kitchen paper. Iron this carefully with a hot dry iron. The embossing powder will melt and soak into the kitchen paper, which you may need to change to make sure all the powder is absorbed. Now lift the image out from between the papers and allow it to cool – your design will show up in white against the watercoloured background, especially if you mount it on a plain white background.

This is a great way of making your own backgrounds - I've added some die cuts and a stamped and coloured butterfly, using the same stamp, to make this card.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

The results - Challenge #5 Vintage/Retro

Thank you very much for playing along with my Vintage/Retro challenge - visiting your posts was like stepping back into the middle of the 20th century!

Now let's see who has won the $20 Alleystamp gift certificate:

It was very hard to choose a winner, ALL the entries were so great. But there can only be one winner and this time it is Pia


Our top 3 are, in the order we received their entries,


Pia please email Christi at StampinDiva at Yahoo dot com with the subject Challenge 5 Winner, complete with your mailing address and she will forward your info on to Alleystamp so you can collect your $20 gift certificate. Congratulations everyone!! Don't forget to grab your badges from our badges page.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Colour, Blue Green and Yellow

Loved your Vintage/Retro challenge Jane, it was great fun remembering the 1900's.

My time again now and I've opted for a colour challenge.   Indulging my love of the cool colours and restricting us to just those colours, black to stamp with (If you cannot use one of the specified colours) on backgrounds that are either black or white.   Thats all, no additional colours for 'realism' or any other reason, just use Blue, Green and Yellow with rubber stamping.

Sponsored by Alleystamp the winner of this challenge will get a $20 voucher to spend at the store.

Big thank you Alleystamp

When we were talking about that to do for this challenge, my original idea of abstract was completely beyond me and my playing cards!  Someone suggested colour and once I'd named them they rushed to their craft rooms and came up with their fantastic samples.

With my original idea still in mind using cool colours like these it seemed time to make the playing card aspect of my cards the focal point.

I also found some terrific little suite shape stamps by the English Stamp Company, they are a little large but will be perfect for those challenges when the suite takes centre stage on my playing card set.  Having the stamps all that remained was the colour and how to use it.

4 of clubs (or clover leaf if you prefer) stamped and masked the image 4 times.   Using a block stamp with a dotted edge Blue and Green stamped top and bottom.   The yellow was added with Inkylicious Ink Dusters.   Back to front 4 added with White pen and a tiny row of flowers also in yellow along the top of the green.  By the way I see little hearts in this clover leaf stamp as well, watch this space. 

4 of Spades, clearly Mondrian inspired design here,  I used thirds to section the card and again used stamps and masks for the spade image.   Coloured with felt pens the pen marks show clearly and are rather random giving the backgrounds movement.  On the green panel a pair of feet have been stamped in yellow. 

Take a look at the inspired ideas Christi and Jane came up with, they would love you to visit their sites and to know what you think, me I think they are great.  Zoe.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

And the winners of Challenge #4 ~ Sassy ~ are:

We are so pleased to see more entries than ever before - please let all your crafty friends about our little challenge!  The downside is now I have to choose a winner and top 3! Not an easy task with such sassy and fun entries.  However, it must be done, so here is the winner and the top 3:

WINNER of the Alleystamp $20 Gift Certificate

Top 3 Picks (in no specific order)

Please don't forget to grab your winners badges (found HERE). 

Cornelia please email me (Christi) at StampinDiva at Yahoo dot com with the subject Challenge 4 Winner, complete with your mailing address and I will forward your info on to Alleystamp so you can collect your $20 gift certificate. Congratulations everyone!!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Challenge 5 - Vintage/Retro

Here we are with another fortnightly challenge. We've not been getting very many entries yet, so it would be lovely if you would join us and also spread the word among your friends and fellow bloggers! Don't forget that you only need to make ONE project now, and you could win a $20 voucher for Alleystamps

This fortnight our theme is


and we are particularly thinking about the 20th century - there is so much to choose from! Just think of all the developments in transport and technology, the growth of television and radio, the changing fashions, modern art movements, pop music  - I could go on all day!

I decided to go for a Clarice Cliff look.  Clarice Cliff was an artist and ceramic designer who was extremely popular in the 1930s and 1940s and her work is still very sought-after. I love her ceramics: art deco style pottery decorated with bold crocuses and surreal landscapes in vivid colours. You can read all about how I made this card on my blog.

Now take a look at what the others have come up with for you:


Please join in and make us feel all warm and fuzzy inside!