Welcome to Snazzys blog where we hope to offer you regular inspiration using all the latest products both in store and the new Snazzys Online version. Plus, previews of upcoming workshops, product previews and reviews, mini tutorials and so much more.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

A Frugal Journey Through January Day 24

Hello again and welcome back to my frugal journey, I can't believe there is just one week left, how time flies.

It's been a very sunny and bright, if chilly week and I have really enjoyed my walk to work each day across parkland with the dappled sunlight through the trees. I have a bit of a thing about bare trees, they always present such interesting shapes and shadows, so today's post features one of my all time favourite tree stamps. It is by Inkadinkado, I have had mine for 8 or 9 years yet it's still in the current catalogue - and on my shelves - the mark of a really great stamp I think.

The other product which features in this project is also an old favourite, Ranger's Perfect Pearls. These are very shimmery mica powders with an inbuilt resin so you can seal them with a just a fine mist of water, mix them with water to create custom shimmery sprays, with less water to make shimmery glazes to apply with a wet brush, add lustre to your plain embossing powders in a ratio of 1:2, and of course use them with the clear embossing ink of your choice applied to the image with a dry brush. All round a hugely versatile, sadly often forgotten and very under-rated product which is available in open stock of over 40 colours at just £2.95 each.

Today I am going to share a quick step by step to using the unique properties of Perfect Pearls to create a faux reflection. You will need some dark coloured card, navy blue and chocolate brown work very well but I am going to be boring and use black. Cut your cardstock to twice the height of your stamp plus a little, and just narrower than the width of your stamp and you will also need that stalwart of all stampers, a scrap piece of copy paper with a torn edge.


Place your piece short end to the top on a piece of copier paper to protect your surface and hold your torn edge on your smaller piece of copier paper at right angles to your cardstock at roughly the halfway point whilst you cover the exposed piece of card entirely with your clear ink of choice, I used Versamark. Turn your piece of card top to bottom and inking your stamp with Versamark, stamp the image slightly overlapping your block of ink.


Take a small soft brush and apply a couple of colours of Perfect Pearl - I'm using blues, lilacs, greens, and Perfect Pearl itself which is silvery to create a frosty version of my autumnal reflection in the first photo - to the block of ink, and the stamped image, until all the ink has a good solid covering of powder, polishing the excess away with another soft brush.


Turn your piece of card so the block of ink is to the top and again inking with clear ink, stamp the image into the block of ink just above your earlier image (which is currently upside down)


turn it around again and hey presto you have a faux reflection.


You can use the properties of Perfect Pearls which allow you to use both the positive and negative of an image to build layers of one image, creating an illusion of depth


or by masking off areas with 'post-it notes' and using a mix of the two, which looks much more impressive, and difficult to achieve than it actually is.


That's it for today, thank you for joining me, I hope you enjoyed my frugal project and are sifting through your stamps of trees/landscapes/leaves/flowers etc to give this a go.

Back tomorrow with a very frugal and useful gift to make from just one 12x12 sheet of cardstock. Hope to see you then xx




Friday, 23 January 2015

A Frugal Journey Through January Day 23

Hello again, do you remember the inside front cover of my altered book.

Here's how I made my first journal page in it.

I had already added some torn bits of book page to cover the rather heavy title type and a coat of gesso to knock it back a bit. I then added some texture paste into which I scored some vertical lines with a piece of card.

When this had dried I chose three colours of Luminarte Silks Acrylic Glaze, Ginger Peach, Carmen and Pomegranate. I used a coffee stick to draw a line of paint horizontally across both pages, then drew the stick through the line vertically to encourage the Silks to move as I added a few spritz of water and tilted the book.

Each colour was added separately and dried in between each layer.

I mopped around a bit with a baby wipe to get some weak colour on the empty bits of the page,

and stamped some patches of background stamps on top.

Whilst this dried I printed out a quote I stumbled across recently - "Art is your personal diary, where you may colour your thoughts and emotions on a page" - I have no idea where it is from but it fits perfectly with why I journal.

I chopped up the words, mounted them on black cardstock and positioned them on the page. I also added a stamped title, again layered on black cardstock and a few black and white inky splatters finished the page off... or not, I'm not sure!

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you gained some inspiration from my page, more to follow another day, when I hope you will join me again xx


Thursday, 22 January 2015

A Frugal Journey Through January Day 22

Thank you for stopping by today I have a really easy make for you which can, like yesterday's cards be a one layer project, or layered up if you prefer that look.

I start by deciding which elements I want to add colour to and make a paper stencil for each layer. I wanted to colour the background on this one, leaving a frame surrounding it so I cut a stencil for this, plus one each for the whole apple, the cut apples and the leaves. I use copier paper and then store the stencils with my stamps so I can reuse them. I used different shades of Distress Inks applied with a stencil brush, but the Tim Holtz Blending Tools work just as well.

It only takes a couple of minutes, gives a really good finish, and you can make a similar piece in the future quickly and easily. All the stamps I have used in the samples today are from Chapel Road Artstamps but this idea will work for any collage stamp, so dig out your favourite and give it a go!

That's all for today, do join me again tomorrow for another frugal idea x


Wednesday, 21 January 2015

A Frugal Journey Through January Day 21


Welcome to Day 21, yes 21, of my frugal journey, thank you so much to so many of you for sticking with me.

Today I have some one layer magic for which you can create with some torn scrap paper, Distress Inkpads in one or more colours, a co-ordinating Versafine or Archival ink pad and some favourite stamps. Best of all you end up with a postcard sized piece which you can simply use as well... a postcard (if you are doing this I would add a layer of Glue & Seal before entrusting it to Royal Mail!), work directly on a card blank and it will be ready to pop in an envelope to go, mat and layer the finished piece onto a card blank for some real dimension, or use as I did above, the front cover to a mini book.

My promised video camera/light has yet to arrive so lots of photos today.

Start with half an A4 sheet of copy paper, folded into quarters, either the front of your card blank or a postcard sized piece of card. Place what is the centre of your folded copy paper to the centre of your card and either mark or just eyeball the size of piece you need to tear out of the centre of it to create a frame that fits the size of your finished card.

Don't discard the piece you tore out, you need that too!

Centre the frame over the card and tape it securely to your mat/desk. I am going to just use black ink for all of this as I think that best illustrates the depth you can create - and I happen to be a big fan of black and white!

I applied a fine layer of Black Soot Distress Ink to the inside of the frame and then used the inside piece to apply a little more ink to give a fake quartered effect. When you find yourself looking at this and thinking how uneven it looks remind yourself it's just a background!


Still using Black Soot I stamped the second I impression of two different Kaisercraft texture stamps onto my background, keeping to the quartered look. Still looking scrappy but just hang on in there!


Using one of the leafy stamps from this retired Hero Arts set, again with one impression stamped off on my scrap piece, I randomly stamped it over my card. Not impressed, bear with me!

I always add my sentiment at this stage, otherwise I tend to get carried away and not leave enough space for it. Versafine is always my first choice for this as the pigments are so strong so gives great definition to this final layer, but sometimes I use Archival as it offers a far more extensive pallette of colours.


I picked some bold rose leaves from the same set and again using Versafine Onyx Black stamped them to frame the greeting, repeat stamping each time until I had used all the ink on the stamp to add to the illusion of depth. Now I know this is still looking a bit, or a lot, scrappy but bear with me and remove the frame, carefully, because you will want to use it again!


Distress Ink but clean and crisp, and a normal stamp to post it too! Great as a postcard but you can layer it up as well, and use different colours, or multiple colours, different stamps, different greetings.... go on, give it a go.




That's it for today but I will be back tomorrow, same time, same place with another one layer idea, but this time for collage stamps. I hope you will join me then xx



Tuesday, 20 January 2015

A Frugal Journey Through January Day 20

Hello again, yesterday I shared my prepping of the altered book which is going to become my art journal, and today I am sharing some cards I made with the pages I tore out of the book as part of my preparation. Waste not, want not and all that!

This card was made by stamping out the images which are by JOFY for PaperArtsy onto the book pages then colouring the individual elements with Distress Inks. Really effective!

I used a Hero Arts stamp here, stamped onto a page from the book with the text on the page at right angles to the text on the stamp, then embossed with black embossing powder. The buildings on the stamp were evenly spaced out but I wanted mine to overlap a bit so I cut them out. I added the little triple layer embossed heart for a pop of colour.

This little birdie is also from Hero Arts I just added some ink around him, splattered with a water and blotted, then layered him on a die cut doily, also from a book page. My little embossed heart makes an appearance here too!

I don't use my dies enough so I thought I'd make a couple of really quick and simple cards with these Spellbinder's die cutting a heart shaped window on the front of the cards to allow a peek through to more hearts inside.


More hearts here, again really simple just layered inside each other, I did think afterwards I should have inked them but ho, hum!

To finish today, a more masculine card, when I can't find a 'manly' enough paper and don't have time to create my own, book pages are my go to.

Another day, another blog post! Thank you for joining me, hope to see you again tomorrow when I will be sharing a project that is one layer but appears dimensional, all created with plain paper and ink xx


Monday, 19 January 2015

A Frugal Journey Through January Day 19

Well, after a weekend of cards and hangings, I am returning to my altered book today with the next step in creating an art journal inspired by France Papillion. If you missed the post where I altered the cover of my book then just pop back to Day 4, listed below for a peek.

I started by tearing out around a third to one half of the pages in my book - by the time I have decorated my pages this will leave enough space for the book to still close properly. I also glued the remaining pages together in pairs to make each spread a little more robust.

The inside covers of the book needed attention so I glued the first two and last two pages of the book to the inside front and back covers respectively. I used a white glue applied with a scraper to get a nice thin and even coat of glue, then pressed the paged down using a brayer to ensure a good fix.

These pages had the title and some other blurb on which was in quite heavy type and I wouldn't want this to show in my final pages, so I tore some of the pages I had already removed into strips and glued them in place to hide the heavier text.

I don't always put gesso on my art journal pages but for these I wanted to knock back the print so I applied a thin coat of gesso on top.

One of the resons I decided to use an old book as a journal, is because I do love a bit of text so I am planning to leave at least a little of it on every page, but I don't necessarily want it to dominate everything.

On some of the sections I tore strips of the pages away which I could glue at the ends to create pockets, tuck characters along the edges as if peeking out, or simply glue down so the torn edges create a bit of texture. It will be more obvious on the example below as I add colour to it.

These pages were torn vertically but othes I tore horizontally, potentially for all the same uses.

I also cut/folded some pages diagonally to create pockets, which once I have completed those pages I may edge with tissue/washi tape to strengthen the edges.

This one will definitely become a pocket.

At this point I have no real plan for how I will decorate the pages so I have spaced the different torn and folded pages throughout the book. I will be back next week with some ideas for completing the pages but that is all for now with this frugal project.

Tomorrow I will be back with some cards using the pages I have torn from this book so I hope you will join me then xx