Copic Blog Candy

Over on the Charmed Crafts Blog, they have been running a competition to win 72 Copic Markers!

All you had to do was create a coloured stamped image – I used my only Magnolia stamp (which looks like my niece Katherine).  Inked in Stazon, coloured with Derwent Watercolour pencils and a bit of Sakura Glitter pen, I think it will make a nice card for her birthday in June!

I used some Imaginisce spring papers from last year, some flowers, buttons and gems and voila – a card and an entry for the blog candy!

Simon does some crafting!  Don't faint

Simon does some crafting! Don't faint

You have until 10th April to make your entry

Published in: on April 6, 2009 at 6:26 pm  Comments (1)  

Aunty Crafty

We have had some cries for help!
Dear Aunty Crafty,
I have now got quite a few red rubber stamps and currently they are all stored in zip lock bags in a drawer. I am a little worried that they might become damaged, so I was wondering if you have any tips or ideas as to how I could store them better.
Many thanks
Concerned in Cheshire
Aunty Crafty writes….
Storage is an issue we all have to contend with.
It can be hard to look after your stamps. The zip lock bags sound ideal but I would make a suggestion which might make things easier to find.
Cut a piece of stiff card to fit inside the bag. Cover one side of this card with plain white paper and then stamp each of the designs from the bag on the piece of paper. Now you can put everything back into the bag and the card will keep it all flat – plus you can look at the bag and see from the design sheet what you have got in there. This should help you find things more quickly and protect your stamps.
Aunty C x
Dear Aunty Crafty

Please please please can you help me to understand the differences between all the different types of ink pad.

I can never remember which ones are best for embossing, when you should use a dye based ink pad etc etc etc.

I’ve always been a bit wary of stamping ( other than my feet in temper tantrum of course) but recently I have become more interested in the technique.

Please help me sort this out


Aunty Crafty writes….
Kazza, you are not alone. I would ask that you be a little patient as I have been told that your question will be answered in full in the next podcast – which will be a rubber stamping special! You don’t have much longer to wait.
Aunty C x
Do you have a crafting query? Get in touch at
Published in: on March 30, 2008 at 12:12 am  Leave a Comment  

News from the Forum

At the time of recording, there are a few days left to join in the Birthday Book project. I really hope we get a good number of people joining in – there are already some lively discussions going on! Much more to follow.

I have had a bit of a spring clean on the forum – creating a new section BLOG CENTRAL which has all the threads relating to blogs, blog challenges etc. I hope that meets with everyone’s approval!

Challenges are still being set – it would be great if more people were able to join in. I know that there are so many tempting challenges out there – but CSF has some great ones for you to try. Go on – it will make the day of the people who set them!

CSF is getting wider exposure as a result of the explosion of the blogosphere – which is fantastic. I hope our new members enjoy being part of our caring community.

Published in: on March 30, 2008 at 12:11 am  Leave a Comment  


Thanks to Crafty Individuals, we have a great prize this time round.

A set of their new springtime papers and a selection of new stamp designs.

I am certain that you are all going to be excited at the prospect of winning this great prize!

The Question:

What are the names of the two people who run Crafty Individuals?

Answers to by Monday 14th April please

Published in: on March 30, 2008 at 12:11 am  Leave a Comment  

Inky and Messy Debate

Can you get too messy?

Many people would answer no. Perhaps I am a bit inhibited – but I think you can go too far with things!

I am all for being creative and exploring new ways of using materials – but sometimes you have to look to the key elements of your work and make sure that your fun isn’t getting in the way of good design.

I tend to stick to 3 colours for most of my work – it is harder for me to control things if I go too mad. 2 can be toning with 1 as a contrast or they can all work well as a whole. However I would aim to not be too clashing in my choices.

Now, I am not a minimalist – but there are times when less is more… so I tend not to put too many things into one design otherwise the eye gets confused. Many people use odd numbers of elements to help create balance. Even numbers have to be aligned perfectly to work – whereas with odds you have a lot more freedom.

I guess I follow the KISS principle… Keep It Simple Stupid!

Limit the colour palette to 3

Work with odd numbers of elements

Keep the design clear

Now some may disagree…. Post a comment!

Published in: on March 30, 2008 at 12:11 am  Comments (5)  
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Digital Scrapbooking Links

These are just a few I have found. There are loads more once you start looking!

Digital Papers and Embellishments (*great site for free kits*)

Tutorials etc


For those of you into podcasting – there are loads of video podcasts relating to digital scrapbooking and even more concerned with Photoshop – go into Power Search on iTunes and start subscribing!

YouTube also has numerous Digital Scrapbooking resources to explore!

Published in: on March 30, 2008 at 12:11 am  Comments (2)  

Digital and Hybrid Scrapbooking

This is an area that is probably very new to people – it was to me until a few weeks ago.

What is Digital Scrapbooking?

Quite simply it is taking your digital photos and creating scrapbook layouts using your computer graphics programme. There are loads of digital papers, embellishments, frames and so forth that you can find – many for free – and you use these to create your pages.

Once you have finished your layouts you can print them out and put them in an album – as you would with regular scrapbooking – or write them to CD and create a completely digital album that can be copied and sent to friends and family.

One of the huge benefits of DS is the ability to change every element of your design. You can change the position, the size, the colour, the texture – anything. You aren’t limited to the colours of your materials – once you are used to your graphics programme, you can change them to any hue or size you wish.

*TIP* Only use elements that are created at 300 d.p.i (dots per inch) – that way they will look perfect on your layouts – other graphic elements might not have the same quality and thus stand out from your designs rather than working with them.

What is Hybrid Scrapbooking?

This is where you combine digital elements with traditional papers, embellishments etc
to create your layouts. You can print out entire pages and then add buttons, flowers, ribbons etc – or you can print out digital elements such as the photos, journalling and combine them on paper. The choice is yours.

What do I need?

Some photos on your computer (or you can scan them in!)

Some digital elements (see the posting about Digital Scrapbooking Links)

A graphics programme

A printer and suitable papers (and probably lots of ink)

Then you can start to play.

Many of you with have some form of graphics programme on your computer. They are often supplied with new systems. I have been experimenting with many types and have settled on Adobe Photoshop CS2. This is not a cheap option but given that I had it on my system, I found it to be the best for me.

However do not panic! You don’t need to spend a fortune on new software. I would suggest you look at Photoshop Elements 6 (which I think is the latest version) or perhaps Corel Paint Shop Pro. These are reasonably priced (about the same as a die-cutting machine) and will do all your digital scrapbooking tasks with ease.

I would steer clear of dedicated Digital Scrapbooking packages. They seem to offer less functionality and are more cumbersome to use. I tried two and quickly discarded them.

Photoshop and Photoshop elements are not easy – they take a lot of getting used to – but they are the sort of programme that once you know what you are doing you can great some simply stunning results. One bonus is that the online tutorials tend to use these types of programme and so you can get loads of tips and hints for free! I have included various links in another posting so you can explore this side of the craft.


Yes, this is the biggest problem you will face. I doubt if many people have got printers big enough to do an entire 12×12 layout. Inks and papers for photo printing are not cheap. However there are ways round this!

1 – Hybrid scrapping

Print out certain key elements and use them with your existing stash. Print out onto acetate to create interesting overlays. Print out onto your existing papers and see what you can create.

2 – Work smaller

Why not start with a 6×6 layout or an 8×8? You can set up your page to be any size – so don’t be put off

3 – Get to know your local photocopy shop

You can write your files to disk or just email them to them and they can print them out any size. I pay about £2.50 for an A3 colour print – which if you take into account the cost of buying paper, embellishments, photos etc is not a bad deal!

I don’t yet have a printer big enough for 12×12 layouts – but I have spotted the one I want – the Epson Stylus Photo 1400 A3+ printer with borderless printing

This can do all that a digital scrapbooker could ask for – and is available for under £250. Now, I know this is not cheap – but I do a lot of large scale printing for my theatrical projects and so it would not just be reserved for the occasional layout.

At the moment, all of my layouts are in digital form only! But I hope, soon, to rectify that and start combining elements into Hybrid pages.

Journalling – this is a scary thing for many scrappers. Most people hate their handwriting! Do it on your computer – you can choose any font, any colour, any size and you can print it out onto any surface – acetate, vellum, plain paper, coloured paper – voila – you are a hybrid scrapbooker!

Here are my first attempts at digital layouts

Girly Layout - no photo

Simple Tulip layout

Spring Layout - lots of elements

One of Lesley’s dog pictures!

2 more pictures from Lesley!

The last two layouts were created using photos provided by Lesley – I have already sent her the images so that she can see how digital scrapbooking techniques can be used!

Most of the elements for these designs came from – they have some amazing things for free! And lots of great designs to buy as well.

I must admit that, for a novice, I am quite pleased with the overall results. I have lots more to explore in this area of crafting – but I fully intend to do more.

Published in: on March 30, 2008 at 12:11 am  Comments (5)  
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Scrapbook Samples

Lesley has provided some great samples of her work which might well inspire you to join the world of scrapbooking.

Her monthly challenge on the the forum might well be a great place to start – why not give it a go?






Remember scrapbooking is about preserving memories for future generations, it is about telling stories and capturing moments.

Don’t leave it too late!

Published in: on March 30, 2008 at 12:10 am  Leave a Comment  
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Scrapbooking by Lesley Farrell

Scrapbooking is a great way to preserve memories and record events for future generations to look back on. It is so easy to forget who is in photos, what the event was and when it happened so making some albums is an enjoyable way of using some of those treasured photos that are living in old boxes and drawers!

If you are a cardmaker, you will already have a lot of the basic requirements, such as papers, embellishments, paper trimmer, adhesives etc. so there doesn’t have to be a big outlay for new materials to begin with. If you become addicted like I am, then that is another matter!

There are some good scrapbooking magazines available which are great for inspiration and ideas, but once you get started – anything goes! There are no right or wrong ways to scrapbook – however you like to do it is fine!

The important thing to remember is that everything you use should ideally be acid and lignin free – especially if it will come into contact with your photos on your page. Otherwise over time, your photos could become yellowed and damaged.

Scrapbook albums are available in a wide variety of sizes so don’t be put off by thinking you have to fill 12″ x 12″ pages. You can also get 6″ x 6″, 8″ x 8″, 8.5″ x 11″ and the new popular 6″ x 12 ” too. Sometimes it is best to start with something smaller then there is not as much space to try and fill, and then progress to a bigger album if you wish.

It is important to try and include the names of people and also the dates so in the future, people will know who is in the photos! I have seen some great pages done by people with no information on them, and that is a shame. Journalling can either be done by handwriting or on the computer and printed off. I think the trend is more for handwriting these days (which I prefer). Titles etc can be done in all sorts of ways – stamped, die cuts, stickers, rub ons etc.

All sorts of techniques can be used in scrapbooking so you can incorporate things you already have. Rubber stamping, peel offs (these are usually acid free), die cuts, rub ons, all sorts of embellishments such as eyelets, brads, ribbons, fibres etc. The possibilities are endless!

A good way to begin is to choose a few photos that you would like to start with. Look at the colours in them and pick out a couple of the dominant ones to give you an idea of which paper or cardstock to use. You can mat your photos if you wish to make them stand out more, but it is entirely up to you depending on how you want the page to look overall. Decide on a title if you are having one, or journalling and embellishements, but most importantly don’t stick anything down until you are completely satisfied with the postion of everything! Have a shuffle round until you are happy with it!

So dig out those photos and have a go!!

Published in: on March 30, 2008 at 12:10 am  Comments (1)  

Paper Artsy Competition Winner

I am delighted to announce that the winner of this fabulous prize is:

Angie (Angela Cox)


(If you can get in touch with your address, I can make sure the prize gets to you)

Published in: on March 21, 2008 at 12:02 am  Comments (3)  
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