Friday, 30 May 2014

Docrafts DT blog hop

 Today I am going to share with you a card I made for one of our DT members who will be leaving us. I wish Paula luck on her creative journey and you will be able to keep up with her projects at and in Creativity magazine.

we are also hosting a Creativity Club DT blog hop so everyone will have the chance to meet our team and keep up with their latest projects 

Nikki -
Michelle -
Keren -
Heather -
Denise -
Sarah D -
Jill P

There will also be a blog hop at The Crafting Craft over on Facebook for you to sign up for and it will run from 30th May to 1st June so sign up and get hopping.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Coming soon: Roald Dahl by Docrafts

I promised to keep you all up to date with the latest news from Docrafts and here is a sneak peak of one of the new ranges being released in July.  As a child I have read many of Roald Dahl's books from Georges Marvellous Medicine to the Twits. the collection conjures up some childhood memories which I plan to share once I get my hands on this range.  I also have news on a new set of Xcut flower dies and Sentiment Dies coming in July so some very exciting developments. will keep you posted as more info come to hand.

How to emboss with stencil masks using the XPress

With this tutorial you can learn to add texture to your projects by using stencil masks like an embossing folder. There are numerous tutorials on how to do this with the Bigshot and Cuttlebug machines but non for the Xpress machine.

 1) place your chosen stencil mask on to the base plate, which is the really thick one.

2) place your card or paper over the stencil mask. If you do this the other way around then you will not get enough tension to emboss on to the card.

3) place a silicone mat over the top of the stencil mask and card.

4) place top plate over the sandwich and set the dial to no 6.

the masks will emboss both sides of the card and work the same way as an embossing folder which saves you a few pennies.

Fun Fair By Trimcraft

I have a new layout to share with you today, using the new Fun fair range by Heldi Cuppleditch.
the bright colours are perfect for scrapping all those seaside memories.
 I took these photos in Great Yarmouth at the pleasure beach a small amusement park full of crazy rides I would never go on.

Trimcraft have started to create their own range of dies, I have used the ticket die a lot already and I love this one because it cuts and embosses adding more detail to the finished die.  You can also separate the tickets like you would with a real ticket because it has a perforated edge. The dies all come with a nice thick metal shim that doubles up as an embossing mat. if you find the die moves about a bit just secure it to your cutting plate with washi tape.

my other favourite embellishment is the enamel dots mainly because they are shiny and give your projects a nice finish. these are available in a range of colours and in glitter.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Docrafts new product releases for May/June

if you would like to check out the current Docrafts ranges then here is some information for you. More product info will be released next month for the July releases.

TMN May Challenge Leslies' Sketch

The first sketch for May and this week the challenge is to use the phrase and sketch to inspire some creativity. link your projects up at The Memory Nest

I had a lot of fun with this challenge and used the rainbow colour theme as the focal point of the layout. I created layers of colour using the Artiste Spritzing inks with various textured stamps. I used a black and white photo as it really pops out amongst all the colours.

I started by dabbing ink on to the page and blowing on it so it spread down the page like branches. I tried to combine the colours so that they blend from one colour to the next like a rainbow.

 once the ink had dried I dug out my stamp box and sorted out a few that had different textures and just filled in the gaps with them. the butterfly stamp is from Kaisercrafts and is called botanicals. I love there stamps as they are so detailed.
 I used a few masks to fill in the larger spaces, the masks I used are Punchinello and Harlequin  from Tando creative.
 the Tim holts typeset alphabet dies have become my new favourite. I just used the card that was left over when I popped the die-cut letter out, I found it was a great way to make up words with out having to constantly use more card.
 the frame I made from a 6x6 pad of Papermania Happy Days cardstock. I used a boarder punch to punch a pattern across the bottom and to use as a marker so I could trim the card to the correct size.
 if you don't own any stamps with textures on you could use patterned washi tape instead.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

The Liebster Award

The Libester Award is a blog award for bloggers with less the 200 followers and is a way to network with  other bloggers and increase awareness of your blog. It means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome in German

 I was nominated by Rachel Coleman a fellow member of The memory nest design team. Who I thank for leaving comments on my projects. I thought I would be a fun way of getting to now everyone and a great way to network with other blog owners.

As a recipient of this award I need to do the following:

  1. List 11 random facts about myself.
  2. Answer the 11 questions the awarding blogger has asked me.
  3. Nominate 11 bloggers (with less than 200 followers) for the award and link to them in my post. or as many as you feel comfortable tagging.
  4. Create 11 questions the nominated bloggers have to answer.
  5. Let the nominated bloggers know they have been nominated.

What was the last book you read?
the last book I read was Cloud Atlas and it made more sense then the film. Basically its about how the same souls are reincarnated through the centuries and how each of the characters are linked together.

 Describe your perfect day?
   on the beach I like to collect things

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Peru I have always been fascinated by the Mayans

What is on your nightstand?

a note pad  in case I get any design ideas

Early riser or night owl?

Night owl all my best ideas happen at bedtime

Coffee or tea?

Tea I get grouchy if there milk runs out

You wake up to a rainy day, what do you do?

make scrapbook layouts and cards

You wake up to a sunny day, what do you do?

go on a day out some where then make a scrapbook layout about it.

What is your favourite flavour of ice cream?


What was the biggest surprise of your life?

Being accepted on 3 design teams in less then a year

Favourite animal?

Do dragons count? no ok I like cats as well

ok my questions

1) What are you watching at the moment
2) What is your favourite movie
3) If you were stranded on a desert island what would you bring
4) What is your favourite colour
5) Name a song that is stuck in your head
6) what is your dream job
7) Name your greatest achievement so far
8) Name a crafting item you cant live with out
9) Name a favourite place
10) What inspired the name of your blog
11) What is your favourite musician

ok now on to the hard part of listing 11 things about myself without putting you all to sleep.

1) I wont walk under a ladder, not because I am suppositious but because something might fall on my head

2) I am mildly dyslexic I don't mention this much as its too hard to spell. Its a strange condition that makes you write letters backwards and jumble up words in a sentence more often then everyone else. which is why I like auto correct. (Bloody English language with hidden letters). it also means that I cant tell left from right  I have no idea why. I cant drive either as I once indicated left but turned right making the car behind me rather mad. Don't worry it doesn't  affect me much unless I have to write something down or give directions.

3) I can speak 3 languages French , Spanish and Japanese. I'm am not fluent but I know enough to be polite and order food.

4) I watch paranormal shows of which some are interesting while others scare the life out of me. I can never tell if they are faking this stuff. I watched Paranormal Witness one night when the other half had gone to snooker and I wouldn't go upstairs without turning on all the lights first. I sent the cat up first to check if it was safe.

5) I own two cats Leo and Timmy who like to play me up by scratching my furniture and then running off and hiding when I go to tell them off. Timmy nearly lost one of his lives when he decided to eat my bakers twine. Leo likes to wake me up in the morning by jumping on my head and then purring loudly down my ear if I refuse to move.

6) I am an Ares which means I am playful and stubborn but loyal as well.

7) I was born on a Monday which means I am the first sign in the Zodiac and born on the first day of the week.  spooky

8) My name originates from Ireland and means pure.

9) Snakes and Eels creep me out, I hate that horrible wiggly motion they make when they move.

10) I am allergic to soap based products, don't worry I can still keep clean.

11)  I am a fan of Science Fiction, books, films and shows. I find it interesting how some of the gadgets they use in the older films have become things we use today. like Spock's hand held computer and mobile phones. Still waiting for a transporter and a robot that likes house work.

ok now its your turn

1) Jill Pryor
2) Michelle Gower
3)Dee Fletcher
4) Heather Mitchell
5) Nikki Smith
6) Sarah Douglas
7) Sarah Jackman read
9)Leslie Germaine
10) Paula Whittaker

Monday, 12 May 2014

Docrafts Monday: Introducing the Xcut Shadowbox dies

The new Shadow Box Dies from Xcut are simple to use but make your card look complicated. There are six all together Fun Fair, Street Scene, Theatre, Forrest, Woodlands and Ballroom. I am going to show you some of the designs I have made so far. When cutting out these dies you will need between 5-7 sheets of A5 sized paper. I found this was the easiest size to work with as you need to leave enough space to cut out a frame and have enough paper either side to layer up you projects. I will provide you with a step by step guide later as these dies do take a while to work out.

 Here is the Theatre Shadow box die, and this can be adapted in several ways. I have used Papermania embossing powder on the characters to give them a festive feel. You can either cut away a  section of the card to add dimension or layer the different cut outs on top of each other and then adhere it to the card. the dies can be layered up in any order and can be combined with each other.

 I used a Marianne ballerina die to customise this congratulations card which was made with the Capsule Collection Eau de Nil and Parisanne Blue papers.
I used the vintage download papers off the creativity club to create this card.

The Street Scene Die can be used for all occasions, here I used the capsule collection spots and stripe jewel range to create this candy cane village. But you could use dark  colours and adapt it into an Halloween card.

The Fun Fair die is my favourite one so far and can be used with different colours to create cards for different occasions. for this one I used the Daisy Blue digital downloads.

I will be back later with a demonstration on how you can used these dies on a layout.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Blog your heart out

I have been nominated by Jill Pryor to take part in the blog you heart out challenge. this is a modern day chain letter where I answer 5 set questions and then pass it on to other bloggers.

Who/What encouraged you to start blogging?

I started my blog because I wanted to share my projects with a wider audience and its a bit like my crafting diary. Before I started my DT work I used to participate in craft challenges as this gave me a bit of direction and I liked the challenge a lot of the time this required me to like up to their blog.

How did you choose what to blog about?

I have been making scrapbook layouts since I was in college and I only just recently learned how to create a blog to share my layouts on. back in the early 00s social media wasn't as popular as It is now and the only way of getting inspiration for my projects was through buying magazines. now we visit each others blogs and social media sites, so I decided to share my ideas and founded my blog in May last year. wow its been 12 months already I honestly didn't think I would stick with it this long.

What is something most people don`t know about you?

I  hate to talk about myself and would rather learn about other people.  I was always a quiet person and didn't socialise much until I joined the Millennium Volunteer group and did voluntary work for them. I joined In 2005 and worked with them for a year before I had to give it up to complete my degree.  I studied a BA Hons in Tourism Business Management and learned all sorts of subjects other then tourism. I passed with a 2:2 and It wasn't until I had finished that I was a bit lost as I was used to studying for exams and completing assignments. so that's when I started putting my photos in to scrapbook.

What three words describe your style?

Honest this one gets me in trouble sometimes,  Problem Solver , Creative

What do you love to do when you are not blogging?

when I am not blogging I am busy creating projects but when I am not crafting I like to watch movies. I like action films and Sifi.

i tag

Leslie @
Sarah Douglas @
Sarah Jackman Read
Heather Mitchell

The count down begins

with only a few days left before my holiday to Great Yarmouth, I thought I would share some layouts of one of my favourite holiday resorts.

Here is a smashbook page I made using the new Fun fair range from Trimcraft. the bright and over the top patterns match the mood of this resort perfectly. As you can tell there are a lot of amusement arcades.

These photos where taken on the Britannia pier and these are wooden stands with a cut out in the centre for your head to fit so you can take a  fun photo. The Victorians started it all off when seaside resorts became popular. This page was made for a make it Monday challenge at The memory nest.

The beach in Great Yarmouth is beautiful and is a mixture of sand and pebbles. I love to go for a walk and treasure hunt along the way. I made this one using Papermania happy days and textured cardstock. I used a template to create the hexagons.

it wouldn't be a trip to the sea side with out the Sealife centre. it doesn't matter how old you are there is something about watching fish that is relaxing.

 did I mention that I like to photograph the bright shop displays? why not they make colourful photos.

                                     This one was my first entry for the memory nest summer challenge.

Monday, 5 May 2014

Docrafts Monday 5th April

its bank holiday Monday and time to share what you have created. post a photo of your latest creation on the Docrafts official Facebook page with the hash tag #docraftsmonday in the post so we can find you.

 This week I have been playing with the new Shadow box dies from Xcut, I wasn't sure about them at first as there is a lot of cutting and layering but once you have everything cut out and glued down the result is worth it. so I went out and bought two more sets which I will show you when my order arrives.  I used 3d foam pads on my layers to give it more dimension. and I decided to use up my old Christmas stash I had collected over the years. you might still have the joyeux noel and Christmas in the country range stashed away some where.
 I used black textured cardstock for the figures and lighting dies and with the two figures I coated them in watermark ink and sprinkled tinsel red and silver embossing powder on them to make them shimmer. The watermark is the most effective ink to use when heat embossing as it is sticky and holds the powder better.
 This is one of the boarder dies from the new English countryside boarder set. I again coated it in the watermark ink and covered it in Sea Foam White embossing powder which once heated gives in an aged look. I used glitter glue on the berries.
I even dug out my 12 days of Christmas stamp set and embossed it with Tinsel Red Embossing powder.

here are the products I used:

XCU 503047 English Countryside Boarders
XCU 503123 /Theatre Shadowbox Dies
DOA 550500 Watermark Ink
PMA 4021013 Tinsel Red Embossing Powder
PMA 4021005 Silver Embossing Powder

TMN Crystal's sketch May challenge.

Here is our first challenge for May and you can play along here at

I've chosen a seaside themed layout because that is where I am off to In a few weeks. the photos on this layout are from last year and were taken in Poole where we went for a second week. there is a marina and small beach at the bottom of the caravan site and it was a lovely Autumn walk but it was chilly despite the sun being out. there was a slight breeze in the air as the boat masts were making a sort of chiming noise. funny how some things stick in your memory. Any way about the layout.   I wasn't going to add all the stencilling but the  cat walked across my completed layout so I couldn't start again. Its not very noticeable but I know its there and I keep staring at it.

I stamped over burlap with the Papermania Left Overs stamps and adhered to the page, the sacking material adds to the nautical feel of the layout.

Here I played around with the boarder masks from That Special Touch and inked over a Punchinella  mask with Artiste inks. I used Aqua and Evergreen and these ones leave a nice shimmer like the sea glimmers in the sun. I am getting a bit nostalgic now as I look back on these photos.

 These little dots that look like the Enamel dots you get from your local craft store are actually Pony beads melted in the oven at 220 0'c for 12 minutes. they smell a little when melting so open the windows first and make sure you use a non stick oven sheet or you wont get the things back off. I got this idea of Corenescreation's you tube channel.

The polaroid frames are from Sizzix a wondrous invention as I n longer have to worry about leaving enough white space around the photos so I can cut them to shape. These Framelits come in a set of 4 and fit your square prints perfectly.

Product codes are here in case you see something you like

That Special Touch Bunting Mask
The Crafters Workshop Punchinella TCW219s
Sizzix Framelits instant Frame 658608
Papermania Ahoy there 12x12 paper pack PMA160147
Papermania Ahoy There Stamps gone to the beach PMA907113

A Beginners guide to Misting Sprays

                   A Beginners Guide to Misting Sprays

The Artiste Spritzing inks come in a wide range of colours and are very versatile. In this workshop I am going to teach you some of the basics and teach you a few techniques for your projects.

Before you start using these inks, cover your workspace well with newspaper but don’t worry if you spill some or get a bit of spray over something as these inks are washable and will clean off with soap and water.

To use the inks first you must shake the bottle well, its ok to give these a good shake as the nozzle doesn’t clog up like other brands of spritzing inks. Hold the bottle at a slight angle and then spritz,

There are 12 colours to choses from  Gold (DOA 550602) , White (DOA 550601), Black Night (DOA 550609) , Cardinal Red (DOA 550603), Ocean Blue (DOA 550607) , Electric Blue (DOA 550605),  Goldstone (DOA 550612), Hematite (DOA550608), Mint (DOA550610), Forest Green (DOA550606) , Violet (DOA 550611) , Aubergine (DOA550604). for more info visit and enter the product codes in to the search bar.

You will get a different effect depending on how far from your project you hold the bottle. If you hold it close to your project you will get a thick covering of colour like this:

If you hold it further away you will get a soft misty effect like the photo below. Have fun and try out different effects by altering the distance between your project and the bottle of spritzing ink.

now we have the basics lets learn some techniques

Technique 1 : Dripped ink

                                   Unscrew the cap and draw a line of ink across your project.

      Tilt your card or page up slightly to let some of the ink run down and then blow on it to branch it out.
  Leave it to dry for up to 30 minutes or use a heat gun to speed things up.  To prevent warping spritz some water on the  opposite side as the warping is caused by the moisture being removed from the ink too quickly.  You could also place two sheets of scrap paper over your project and place a heavy object like a book over it while it dries.

                           Technique 2 : Stencil effects

                               1) Select your card blank and place your chosen die into position.

2) Spritz Artiste Spritzing inks all over the die ensuring that its held down as firm as possible.

                         3) Carefully remove the die and dab off excess ink with a paper towel.

4) it should look like this, don't worry if its not perfect as you can cover up any blotches with embellishments.

For more project ideas visit