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.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Winter Pastels

This is probably the sample I have been asked about most this season, so to Barbara, Alison, Lucy and so many more, here is the how to as promised...

You need a stamp which gives the illusion of being more or less symmetrical. This one is an old favourite from Inkadinkado and I sometimes use the old PSX Christmas Village in the same way.
I used black cardstock, cut to the same width as your stamp and twice as high, as the base but any deep coloured cardstock will do, and the Ranger Perfect Pearl colours I used were Perfect Pearl, Interference Violet, Turquoise and Berry Twist. You can try other Mica Powders for this but the inbuilt resin in Perfect Pearls allows for a wonderfully clear and crisp image.

Use a piece of scrap paper to mask the top half of the card, I always use a torn edge as I like the ragged
look. Cover the botom half completely with Versamark ink or similar and then stamp the image also using Versamark in the top half. Add Perfect Pearls randomly to all the inked areas making sure no base cardstock shows through on the bottom part. Polish away the excess Perfect Pearls with a large soft brush then ink the stamp again and stamp in the solid area to lift the Perfect Pearls off and create a negative image, which your eye believes is a reflection of the top image. Very simple when you know how but very effective. 

The next two cards use the same products and techniques but with very different stamps. The background is white vellum, I used the weight normally used for Parchmentcraft, inked with Ranger Adirondack Brights Alcohol Inks in Sailboat Blue, Purple Twilight, and Pool. Once the inks were dry  I stamped the Darkroom Door Seasons Greetings Wordblock with Versamark and embossed with WOW Bright White Ultra Fine EP. I cut an aperture and the surrounding frames with my Fiskars Trimmer, it is fiddly the first time but with a bit of practice you will soon be cutting all your own apertures.

This card was made in exactly the same way but stamped with Hero Arts Stunning Sowflakes which gives quite a different look but the light through the vellum on both looks very effective.

This is a very poor photograph, I always have trouble photographing Plastic Paper/acetate so any tips/tricks to improve this would be gratefully received!!

Anyway, the window is Bazzill Plastic Paper or heavyweight acetate which I covered with the same Ranger Alcohol Inks as used in the previous two samples. Once dry I stamped the Hero Arts Stunning Snowflakes in Versamark and embossed with our own brand clear embossing powder. Let the embossing cool then using a clean felt pad and Ranger Alcohol Ink Blending Solution wipe away the background inks leaving the pretty multicoloured snowflakes. I used Spellbinders for the aperture and frame on this one but I think I actually prefer the ones cut with my trimmer. The ribbon embellishment is just a button tied with embroidery cotton and a length of Grosgrain Ribbon from Beresfords.

The final card today is made with Ranger Distress inks in Tumbled Glass, Broken China and Stormy Sky applied with a stippling brush or Ink Applicator to a masked area of the card with snowflakes stamped in Versamark and embossed with clear EP to act as a resist. The stamp set I used was Hero Arts CL551 and you will need to stamp and emboss the baubles from this in the same way onto spare white cardstock, cut out and coloured with the distress inks. I spritzed the background and the baubles with water and Pearfect Pearls to add some lustre and then assembled the card as shown above.

Hope you find the techniques useful.

Back soon with more.

Thanks for looking xx

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Joyful Greetings

As promised, this week I will blog a little round up of the workshop projects that have either proved most popular, or I have had most questions about in store, with very brief instructions. These three projects were a Take One stamp workshop using Hero Arts Joyful Greetings (CL541).

This photo is not very good but I have included it as you can get a better idea of the construction.

. You will need a white cardstock strip 4" x 10" scored at 1", 3", 4" & 6" plus a Bazzill Plastic Paper or heavy weight acetate strip measuring 4" x 7" scored at 1" & 3". I stamped and embossed a snowflake background and base for the snowmen using Versamark and WOW's Neutral Sparkle EP, and the snowflakes on the plastic paper were stamped with Opaque White StazOn - I stamped on the inside of the plastic as you are less likely to smudge the ink when you assemble it. The trees, snowmen and greeting were stamped with Versafine Onyx Black and I added some colour with Tombow pens - the snowmen need to be stamped 11/2" from the edge of a piece of card to allow you to cut a tab for them scored 1/2" from the end. You then simply cut slits in your snowy base where you want to position the snowmen and slide the tabs through sticking the bottom 1/2" to the inside of the box base. Assemble and stick with Ultra Tape or other strong adhesive, then add scraps of patterned card to the back and under the greeting to conceal the sticky tape. The finished card will fold flat into a standard C6 envelope and delight any child - even those of the grown up variety!

The outside of the third card is also very simple, the clever bit is inside and provides a pocket into which you can add a gift card, money or photographs.

All you do is score two extra lines on the card either side of the original fold, fold the original score the opposite way to normal and then fold the new score lines back on this. Cut a piece of plastic (or solid card if you prefer) of the correct width to accomodate your card etc and twice the height of the card, scored and folded in half. Punch holes through the inner spine you created and the clear plastic, tie the pocket in place with co-ordinating narrow ribbon and add a decorative shape folded in half to secure the open side - a couple of ladies in the workshop stamped the Christmas Tree from this set and used that for this which looked lovely.

Again I kept the decoration of this card to a minimum as I wanted the mechanics to be clearly seen. This is a basic slider card which if you think of it as two pieces of card with a tag sliding between it keeps it really simple.

Another not very good photo (must try harder!) but hopefully it lets you see the construction.

To fit a standard C6 envelope you need two pieces of card 11cm by 15cm and a third piece 10cm by 15cm for the sliding tag. On one of the larger pieces create a flap by cutting three sides of a rectangle 1.5cm in from the two long sides and one short side of the piece of card. Complete the rectangle by scoring 1.5cm in from the other short side, and then scoring 1.5cm in from the loose end of the flap you have created and also half way between these two score lines. You will be pleased to hear that you do absolutely nothing to the other large piece as this is the base.

Attach the front top of the sliding tag centrally to the underside of the short end of the flap - the tag should be slightly wider than the flap. Punch a half circle from the opposite short end of the top piece and add 3mm Ultra Tape to the underside of the other three sides of this piece then line this up with the base with the tag between and stick down firmly. You can then decorate as you wish with your greeting revealed as you slide the tag along.

If you have any problems following my rather garbled instructions do feel free to get in touch or drop by the store and I will try to help.

More coming later this week, thanks for looking! xx

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Advent Calendar 2011

This was one of last weekend's workshops which I thought you might like to see. Traditionally, I have designed a different Advent Calendar workshop each Autumn but this year I simply ran out of time. This project is therefore based on a kit from Kaisercraft which includes the MDF carcass and the chipboard numbers and drawers. We retail this kit for £24.95 and it would be equally suited simply as a decorative piece. At her suggestion, I plan to make a version with a clock movement in the centre for our younger daughter.

I combined this with the Merry Christmas Kit Collection from Echo Park, Ranger Paint Dabber in Espresso, Brilliance Inkpads in Pearlescent Poppy, Thyme, Beige and Chocolate and Snazzy's
Clear Embossing Powder.

Firstly I inked the inside of the drawers and the numbers. To give the numbers some depth and shine I added three layers of embossing powder.

Next, I made myself a little template for the front of the drawers and cut a selection of papers to cover the drawers using the drawers as a template whilst they were still flat. I then used Cosmic Shimmer Acrylic Glue to assemble the drawers, cover them with the patterned paper and to add the numbers to the front- the fine nozzle on this is perfect for glueing the edges of the drawers and it dries really quickly too!

I am not a fan of stickers but I was determined to do something with the sticker sheets included in the paper kit so I used them to decorate the front of some of the drawers and the centre with my only addition being one 12x12 sheet of Bazzill Smoothie in Walnut Cream,- the offcuts even made the banner flags so my thrifty Scottish heart was singing lol!
In the workshop we inked all the papers and the banner flags and I have to say it was a massive improvement on my original, but as it was very time consuming making the 'for instance' this one will just be staying as is. 

I will show you what I did with the leftovers from this project later this week.

Thanks for looking xx

Monday, 14 November 2011

Snazzys Steampunk Supplies

We are always on the look out for unusual bits and pieces for the store and this little collection of charms & embellishments pressed all the buttons.

There are lots of different Steampunk watch faces, beetles and dragonflies plus some useful plain butterflies, crowns, birds and fairies.

We also have a selection of findings, bracelets, necklaces and lengths of chain to cut to size yourself.

Most of the items are available in both Antique Silver and Antique Brass finishes but easily alterable. Prices range from 65p to £3.00 with some items sold singly, some in multiples and the watch parts by weight, so very reasonable really.

Can't wait to add some of these to my work, one of the Steampunk Dragonflies has my name on it! xx 

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Clean & Simple Christmas

There comes a time when even I have to give in and make some Christmas cards. These are from yesterday's workshop and they are about as close as I get to traditional. All of the cards used the same three colours of Bazzill Smoothie cardstock, Onyx Black Versafine, Snazzy's Clear Embossing Powder, Kaisercraft Gems and ribbons from Beresfords. This card was stamped with the wreath and bow from Hero Arts CL474 and the greeting is from Hero Arts CL551.

These two cards used Hero Arts CL459 with the greeting from Hero Arts CL464. The white embossing on black was done with Versamark ink and WOW's Bright White Ultra Fine embossing powder which gives a lovely finish on even the most detailed images.

Rudolph here was created with Darkroom Door's Christmas Reindeer (DDRS020) unmounted stamp set.

This play on black on white and white on black used Autumn Leaves Tis the Season (AL2773) set for a more modern take on a Christmas Tree.

Unfortunately the final card we made yesterday was attached to a display board before I had a chance to take a photo, but I will show you a non Christmas version after this weekend's London & Paris workshops. Sneaky peek of one of the 'London' cards below.

PS Darkroom Door Wordblock stamps are now all back in stock, and this sample was made on Ivory and Black Bazzill cardstock with WOW's Ultra Fine embossing powders in Ebony and Vanilla White.

This was my favourite make this week. I am addicted to black and white, but with the new Vanilla White embossing powder I have the option of using the softer look of Ivory and black too!  
Hope you enjoyed the browse through one of my workshops,
will blog some of this weekend's projects on Monday.
Thanks for looking xx.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Purely Papercraft

Last weekend we travelled to the North East to exhibit at this new event at Gateshead International Stadium. Many thanks to Alison for her lovely welcome, slick organisation and scrummy sandwiches. It was a bit of a journey but after an evening building up the stand.....

... and a 7am start on Saturday, we were finally ready to go.

It didn't take long for the customers to make their way in, and we were really touched by the warm welcome and lovely complements both on the stand and on our artwork.

 Mind you this display was probably an arachnaphobe's worst nightmare!!


Sunday was much quieter but it was great to have the time and space to chat to people.

We even managed to pop out to the stadium cafe to sample their delicious home made lunches (at very reasonable prices), whilst the apprentice's apprentice tried her hand at the demo desk.


From the moment we arrived in Gateshead, at the stadium, at the hotel, at the event and when we went shopping or out to eat, we were surrounded by such lovely friendly people who couldn't have been more helpful. Truly a pleasure to exhibit here, and we are already looking forward to next year.

p.s. Kait did get a lovely lunch too!!

Monday, 10 October 2011

HSNW Port Sunlight

Last weekend we tootled up to the Wirral to exhibit  with Happy Stampers North West at the Hulme Hall in Port Sunlight Village. This is an amazing village built for the Sunlight factory workers with lots of green spaces and this hall was originally built as the Ladies Dining Room so their sensibilities weren't offended by the male workers at the factory. It's other claim to fame is as the first venue the Beatles performed at with Ringo as their drummer - some of you may need to ask your parents what that is all about lol!
Anyway, we intended to take a photograph of the outside of this beautiful building but we wimped out due to the exceedingly heavy rain - they've never had a wet day for this event and I swear they saved it all up over the years just for us! So, this shot of our stand gives a little hint of the magnificent vaulted ceilings in both the main hall and the slightly smaller one. Our stand was only dinky and we didn't take any lights with us so it was a tad gloomy but we will know for the next time, all being well Saturday 12 May 2012. If you have never been to this show it is a stamper's paradise and we were made to feel so welcome by Karen and Liz and all the visitors too. See you next time!