Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Nest - Jigsaw Exchange

February's jigsaw theme was 'Birds and Nests' for Jenny!  She loves little birdies, especially vintage imagery of them.  I've discovered if you put a little gel medium over gem stones thy have a soft and rounded finish, it almost looks like drop of rain.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Made In France - Jigsaw Exchange

I'm involved in a jigsaw art exchange this year.  It is a little challenging working with such a small and oddly shaped surface, but I've been finding that I've loved being out of my comfort zone!  Finding items that are small enough in scale forces you to be creative in little ways.

These pieces were completed for January.  My friend Trish's theme is 'Life is an Adventure'.  She is a cyclist and loves to travel the world, so I was picturing her cycling through Paris on a Penny Farthing - wouldn't that be an adventure!

The Eiffel Tower image comes from a collage sheet by ArtChix Studio and the 'Made in France' ribbon was a part of a gorgeous gift from my dear friend Debbi.  She purchased all sorts of delightful things at the flea markets in France and shared some with me.  How spoilt am I?

Thursday, 1 October 2015

All A Flutter

'Wooden' is October's theme for Darkroom Door's ATC swap.  

The wooden butterflies were my starting point for this project.  The lovely brushless watercolour technique has been used when stamping the butterflies from Darkroom Door's 'Butterflies' stamp set.  I find this technique works best on smooth watercolour paper.

Because I was replicating this work a number of times, I positioned all the butterflies stamps in place on a blank ATC in a composition I liked and then used an extra large acrylic block to keep them all in place at once.  This made the stamping of 12 ATC's so much quicker!  

Once the stamping was completed I affixed the wooden butterfly in place, adding hand stitching and velvet ribbon.  To complete this work I flicked Distress 'antiqued bronze' spray stain over the work (covering the wooden butterfly with a scrap of card) and added the word 'flutter' found in Darkroom Door's Wildflowers Vol. 1 stamp set. 

NB:  If you're flicking spray stain around, be sure to screw the spray mechanism back in place when you've finished, so unlike me, you don't flood your work space with gorgeous antiqued bronze liquid - what a waste!!!!

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Pocket Full of Posies - Darkroom Door

'Pocket Full of Posies' postcard

It can be quite difficult to create masculine cards for the men in our lives - especially with flowers!
I think choosing a neutral colour palette as a starting point can be very helpful!

Here's a postcard I've create that has a little pocket that holds the carved flowers within.
  1. Create a pocket using a large white luggage tag.  Fold the card over and stitch the bottom and sides together.  Stamp a carved flower (light grey ink), film strip, man and sentiment (black ink) onto the tag.  Add ribbon to the top of tag.
  2. Stamp film strip, photo no. label and more carved flowers in grey and black inks onto white card.  'Fussy cut' around them.
  3. Stamp rulers texture stamp onto postcard sized patterned paper that has been mounted on white card and once more on a panel of kraft card using black ink.  Swipe the edges of both pieces with black ink.
  4. Layer the kraft card and tag pocket onto postcard background.  Affix all the stamped embellishments.  I used some Magic Mount 3D tape on the photo no. label and the light grey carved flower to add an extra dimension to the piece.  
  5. Place remaining carved flowers into pocket.  Add black zig-zag trim to complete postcard.
Darkroom Door products used:
Texture Stamp - Rulers

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Stitched Up!

September's ATC swap theme over at Darkroom Door is, 'Stitched Up!'

As you may well know I do love to add stitching to my work, so it was terrific fun making this set of ATC's!  The floral fabric and carved leaves were my starting point which lead me to decide upon this colour palette.  I'm still very much an experimenter when it comes to stamping on fabric and I was quite pleased with the end result.  

There's still plenty of time to participate in this month's swap so head over here to find out all the details.  It's always a delight to receive an amazing collection of ATC's from other artists, so I highly recommend having a go!

Darkroom Door products used:
Stamp set - Carved Leaves Vol 2
Texture stamp - French Script

Monday, 20 July 2015

Recycle It!

The Darkroom Door ATC swap for June was Recycle It!

There's a whole lot of recycling going on in this ATC.  The kraft card base is courtesy of Book Depository packaging, all stamped images are on old book pages, a manila folder and a lotto game piece, as well as a scrap of vintage fabric.

Darkroom Door products used:

Other supplies:
Vintage fabrics and paper flowers

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Yellow & Grey

'Yellow & Grey' was the theme for Darkroom Door's ATC swap in May.

My Granny and Poppa had a caravan and I loved it whenever we were able to spend time in it.  I'd love to have a caravan for an art studio.  Imagine being able to hitch it up to the back of the car and take off to any given destination with all the essential supplies in tow!

Darkroom Door products used:
Stamp Set - Carved Caravans
Background Stamp - Mesh
Montage - Love Letters

Other supplies:
Flower pot punch, paper flower, gold staples and rhinestone

Friday, 17 July 2015

Let's Dance

Photo credit - Rachel Greig

It was all about 'Quote Stamps' during the April ATC swap at Darkroom Door.

I love the way this quote reminds me to dance through the tough times!
I decided to make this ATC a little interactive in that you had to open it up to see the quote and my quirky little dancer.  I had fun creating the umbrella's from the Carved Flower stamp set too!

Photo credit - Rachel Greig

I've stenciled and stamped the background of this set of ATC's.

Darkroom Door products used:
Quote Stamp:  Dance
Photobooth:  Ladies

Thursday, 16 July 2015


March's theme for Darkroom Door's ATC swap was 'Watercolour'.

I used one of my favourite techniques to create this ATC - brushless watercolour.  One of the best tips I can give when using this technique is to use good quality watercolour paper.  It makes such a difference to the result.  I used a smooth watercolour paper for this project.

There's a number of layers of thin brown paper in the background.  The images were stamped on torn watercolour paper with Adirondack inks/water and then embellished with lace, machine stitching, rhinestones and a punched heart.

Darkroom Door products used:
Stamp Sets:  Friendship Flowers and Montmartre
Texture Stamp:  French Script

Wednesday, 15 July 2015


February's ATC for Darkroom Door Swap - 'Neapolitan'

Darkroom Door products used:
Stamp Sets - Under The Sea, Seashells, Seaside Vol 2
Background Stamp - Circles

Other Embellishments
Lace, sequins, rhinestones, beads, tulle, beads, velvet ribbon

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Summer Garden

January's Darkroom Door ATC Swap sample
'Summer Garden'

The theme was 'Eclectic Stamps' and I decided to work with 'Coffee Stain', using it as a frame for one of Darkroom Door's gorgeous flower stamps.

Darkroom Door products used:
Eclectic Stamp - Coffee Stain
Texture Stamps - Scratches, Weathered Stripes
Stamp Sets - Friendship Flowers, Wings, Butterflies
Distress Ink - Mini Pads

Saturday, 11 July 2015


July's theme for Darkroom Door's ATC swap is 'Texture Stamps'.
The vintage floral fabric was my initial source of inspiration, along with the gorgeous Darkroom Door 'Buttons' texture stamp.
I inked the texture stamp using three mini Distress Ink pads (squeezed lemonade, spiced marmalade and wild honey) and stamped it onto dotted paper.
Then it was a matter of creating the collage using images from Darkroom Door's stamp sets, 'Little Ladies' and 'Dressmaker'.
Embellishments:  vintage floral fabric, tulle, machine and hand stitching, snap fasteners and a button
There's still time to join in the fun and participate in this month's swap.  For further details visit Darkroom Door here.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Dream Girl

'Dream Girl'

This year, I am once more abundantly blessed to have the opportunity to work with Darkroom Door, this time with a new title, as a Contributing Artist.  Darkroom Door is an amazing Australian stamping and art supply company and I can honestly say, working with them is a dream come true!

Darkroom Door has recently released a number of new and absolutely gorgeous rubber stamps.  The art work I've created above features one of the new Quote Stamps, 'Dreams'.  I've combined it with the 'Leafy Lady' Line Art Stamp and a sweet little bird from the 'Love Birds' Stamp Set, along with watercolour pencils, washi tape, a Project Life card, sequins, beads, sari silk ribbon and layers of card and paper, then finished off with a bit of machine stitch magic! 

Darkroom Door supplies used:
Dreams Quote Stamp
Leafy Lady Line Art Stamp
Love Birds Stamp Set
Mixed Media Cardstock by Ranger

These past number of months, I have been very absent from the blogging world and there is a story to explain why - a story with a happy ending I might add.  We discovered towards the end of last year that my darling Dad needed heart surgery.  It became a quite a journey getting him to that point, with a couple of false starts thrown in to keep us on our toes!  Three weeks ago today, Dad had a triple bypass and valve replacement and is now well on the road to recovery!  Praise the Lord!

Monday, 20 October 2014

On Silken Thread - Darkroom Door

I've been having a wonderful time playing with Darkroom Door's 'Carved Leaves Vol 2.' stamp set.  Here are two fabric postcards I created today.

I stamped the 'Emulsion Frame' onto silk.  I used Distress ink for the 'Create' postcard and found that it went very blurry and I liked that effect.  I used VersaMagic for all other stamping and find that it stands up very well to being stamped on silk.  Just make sure that the ink pads are pretty 'juicy'.

It does pay to experiment on scraps of silk or fabric to see how the ink you are using reacts!

I also stamped words from 'Simply Circles' stamp set onto card.

Then I simply layered fabrics, lace tulle and machine stitched them into place.  To complete the postcards, I embellished the leaves with beading and added twine and a word to complete the work.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Scrap Around The World with Darkroom Door

Darkroom Door are sponsoring a prize over at Scrap Around the World this month and some of the Darkroom Door Creative Team have created layouts and journal pages inspired by Scrap Around the World's gorgeous mood board!

I was immediately inspired by the mood board, especially when I saw the stunning colour palette.  The gorgeous opera glasses quickly caught my eye because I have a lovely pair that once belonged to my Great Grandmother.  I have a great love and passion for music and my journal page was all about reminding myself to make time to do more of the things I love!

So this bird-lover is ready to take flight!  Her heart is full and she's all set to dance, love, sing and live a life that fully embraces her dreams!

The Darkroom Door I used:

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Pina & Genevieve - Darkroom Door

Say hello to 'Pina'.  She loves to go exploring in the tropics!

To create Pina, I started out by transferring Darkroom Door's 'Tropical Lady' Line Art stamp image onto silk fabric using Lesley Riley's TAP (Transfer Artist Paper).  I also used the same method for Darkroom Door's 'Explore' Collage stamp, but gently water coloured the image before transferring it onto fabric.  I used Tim Holtz Distress pens to colour the stamped collage image on TAP paper.  To do this I scribbled the distress markers onto a plastic palette and 'picked up' the colour with an Aquash brush.  Note:  The image is reversed once it is transferred, but I tried to compensate for that by creating the word 'Explore' by stamping the letters directly onto fabric using Darkroom Door's stamp set, 'Alphabet Medley'.

Then it was a matter of layering fabrics, creating arms and stitching everything together to create Pina, my first Darkroom Door cloth doll.  I added a lei and a flower in her hair to complete the tropical island holiday look.

Now it's time to meet Genevieve.  She loves to be creative and is a crafty girl at heart.

To create Genevieve,  I began by stamping Darkroom Door's 'Crafty Lady' Line Art stamp onto TAP paper and colouring it gently with Tim Holtz distress markers in the same manner as mentioned above and then transferred this image onto silk.  

I then created another fabric panel using images from Darkroom Door's stamp set 'Dressmaker', and two Darkroom Door Texture stamps 'Criss Cross' and 'Star'.  They were stamped within and around Darkroom Door's Frame stamp, 'Emulsion'.

The word 'create' was also made by stamping directly onto fabric using Darkroom Door's 'Alphabet Medley'.

Finally I layered fabrics together to form the shape of the doll and stitched everything together to create the front layer of the doll.  I then embellished it with buttons, ribbon, fabric scraps, trims, laces, a scissor charm and fabric snaps.  I then sewed the front and back together to complete this project.

Darkroom Door's Line Art Ladies are a wonderful way to start a cloth project doll!

Apple Cherry Pie - Darkroom Door

Have you checked out the recently released 'Line Art' stamps over at Darkroom Door?  There are currently six lovely ladies starring in this new collection.  I've used 'Cherry Apple Lady' for this piece.   

To begin with I coloured 'Cherry Apple Lady' with watercolour pencils and an Aquash brush.  I fussy cut around the image.  Then I stamped the image once more, coloured the apples and cherries at the top of her head and fuzzy cut around the fruit.

Next I stamped the wooden spoon and rolling pin found in the stamp set, 'From the Kitchen' with dark brown ink and swiped a lighter brown over the top to give a rich wooden colour and fussy cut around the images.

I layered a folded brown paper bag and some sewing pattern tissue paper onto the front of a folded piece of card, and machine stitched the layers together to create a recipe folder.  I then added the stamped images to the work, including a label, 'Recipes' also found in 'From the Kitchen'.

Finally I free motioned stitched 'Apple Cherry Pie' on the recipe file cover to complete this piece.

I'll be back soon with some more 'Line Art Ladies'.

Hmmm, in the meantime, I think it's time to warm up some yummy apple pie with a cherry on top!

Monday, 23 June 2014

About Time

Welcome to the Art Journey and Darkroom Door blog hop! All 23 members of the Darkroom Door and Art Journey design teams have joined together to bring you a 5 day creative extravaganza! Each artist will inspire you with a project using stamps from both of these fabulous companies.

'Time Flies' when you're having fun!  
And I've had so much fun preparing these pieces for my first ever blog hop.  I hope you enjoy your visit here!

In this first piece, I've combined stamp images from both Art Journey and Darkroom Door and discovered just how beautifully they work together!

To begin with, I created a background by layering a number of different scrapbooking papers to create the base of this collage.

Art Journey's 'Fabric' stamp provided the perfect textural effect for the 'grass'.  I used dark green ink with the 'Fabric' stamp, along with two different green background papers and fussy cut around the edges.  I also stamped Art Journey's 'Newspaper' stamp on the base paper, right at the bottom of the piece and then added a section of the sentiment from Art Journey's 'Clocks' stamp set.

I created a bird body and wing shape with some patterned papers and then stamped Art Journey's 'Newspaper' on the body and Art Journey's 'Clock' background, from their 'Clocks' stamp set, onto the wing.  I added some metal embellishments to the wing and an eye with Dimensional Magic.  I covered the wing with Dimensional Magic to add a glossy effect.  The 'Key' from Art Journey's 'Clocks', was stamped onto paper, coloured with a Distress Marker and received the Dimensional Magic treatment too!  The gorgeous 'Top Hat' is from Darkroom Door's 'Steampunk' stamp set.

Here's a couple of embellishments I created using the Art Journey 'Alarm Clock'.  I cut away the clock face from one clock, added butterfly wings and a glass pebble to the face.  With the other, I punched a face from Darkroom Door's Photobooth 'Gentlemen' collage images using a circle punch, layered it onto the alarm clock and added Dimensional Magic to give it a glassy appearance.

I've also added a number of 'Cogs' from Darkroom Door's 'Steampunk' stamp set here, in softer more subtle colours to tie it all together!

With this larger Art Journey 'Clock Face', I added some metal arrows and then used Darkroom Door's 'Alphabet Medley' stamps to create the 'Time Flies' wording, curving below the face.  'Explore' from Art Journey's 'Clocks' was a lovely addition here too.

'Time After Time'

Here's an ATC I created with Art Journey 'Clocks' stamps.  I added some metallic elements (including stitching) to add interest to this piece.  Once again, I've used a Darkroom Door Photobooth 'Gentleman' image as the central piece of Art Journey's 'Alarm Clock', adding Dimension Magic for the glassy effect.  

Products I Have Used:
Art Journey - 'Newspaper & Fabric' and 'Clocks'
Darkroom Door Stamp Sets - 'Alphabet Medley' and 'Steampunk'
Darkroom Door Collage Images - Photobooth 'Gentlemen'

And here's some very exciting news… 
There's a Giveaway to go along with the Darkroom Door and Art Journey Blog Hop!!

Darkroom Door and Art Journey will be giving away a few prize packs, with winners randomly chosen from ALL of the blog hop comments received by Sunday, June 29th. Lots of chances to win some goodies, just leave a comment on this post to enter!

Thank you for 'hopping' by to check out my blog.
I hope you have enjoy today's Darkroom Door/Art Journey blog hop!  I'm the last one on the hop for today.
Your next stop on the blog hop is Godelieve Tijskens.
Please visit her amazing blog tomorrow to see her stunning art work!

Remember, if you find a link that doesn't work, you can always hop back to the Darkroom Door blog ( for a complete list to all the blogs in the hop!

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Be Cool, Wear a Corset - Darkroom Door

The selection of images in Darkroom Door's 'Corsetry' stamp set are a fabulous mix!  

My starting point for this piece was a Project Life card, which I had lightly covered in gesso.  I stamped the corset onto a scrap of patterned paper, trimmed it to size, affixed it to the card and then stamped the 'lace' image towards the bottom of the card.  Next I stamped the work 'elegant' onto a small piece of organza, gently heat set it and adhered it to the card with gel medium.  A button, a scrap of satin and a couple of snap fasteners were used to embellish the card.

I stamped both advertisement stamps on white card, trimming away the words from one and layered these, along with scrapbooking paper, ribbon and black ric-rac onto a white card.  Finally I stamped the hooks and eyes in the lower right section of the card to complete this project.

Supplies used:  
Darkroom Door Corsetry stamp set
Project Life card, patterned papers and white card
Organza and fabric scrap
Black Onyx VersaFine ink
Ribbon, ric-rac, button and snap fasteners

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Typewriter - Darkroom Door

Having a secretarial background in my distant working life, I was extra thrilled to received the newly released Darkroom Door Collage Stamp, 'Typewriter' to play with.  In the foreground of this photo is a vintage paper punch that belonged to my Poppa.  I keep it in my studio because I love how it looks, however, it came in quite handy for this project.


To begin with I worked on a piece of watercolour paper (the smooth side) and stamped the collage stamp, 'Typewriter' and then added scripted text from the stamp sets, 'Correspondence' and 'Vintage Office,' which both work beautifully with the Typewriter collage stamp.  I also used the postmark stamp in red twice on the background.  I decided to keep the colour palette very simple using only black, grey and red inks, along with shades of white and taupe papers.
Then it was a simple matter of embellishing with other images from the stamp sets, a Tim Holtz pen nib and mini paperclips, staples, vintage postage stamp and text, and finally punched circles with Poppa's paper punch.

Now it might be time to search for my Poppa's old typewriter and put it to use once more!

Supplies Used:
Darkroom Door Collage Stamp Typewriter
Darkroom Door Stamp Sets - Correspondence and Vintage Office
Ink - Onyx Black and Smokey Gray (VersaFine), Red Brick (VersaMagic)
Tim Holtz mini paper clips and pen nibs
White card, vintage novel and old postage stamp