Friday, 29 August 2014

The First Rule Of Blogging Is...

Do you want a successful blog? Do you dream of giving up your day job to blog full time? Or are you someone who enjoys reading lots of blogs? Shall I let you into a secret, perhaps not the best kept secret in the blogosphere, but it is a secret that anyone interested in blogs should know...

The First Rule of Blogging is...Consistency


Yep, it is consistency, it ain't sexy and it can be jolly (that is the polite version) hard work but a regular posting schedule is the cat's pyjamas (why is the cat wearing pyjamas anyway?) as far as successful blogs are concerned. It doesn't have to be a post a day (Yikes!) or even a post a week but it does need to be a good quality post at regular times each week or month.

What you don't need is one of these...

or one of these...

distracting you from your blog. You also definitely don't want to be doing this...

(putting up furniture) instead of blogging, well unless your blog is about putting up furniture that is. 

Mmm perhaps I should change my blog to Cats and Furniture? That might solve my blogging issues at the moment. 

How about 'Cats In Pyjamas Putting Up Shelves'? That would be a catchy blog title if it hasn't gone already...


Friday, 8 August 2014

Paperbabe Stamps Summer Blog Hop

WELCOME to the Paperbabe Stamps Summer Blog Hop featuring new stamps from the Paperbabe herself - Kim Costello.

If you have hopped on over from Joanne's blog then you are on the right track, if not and you want to start the hop from the beginning then pop on over to the PAPERBABE STAMPS blog.

The hoppity hop has some prizes up for grabs so don't forget to comment on the blogs as you hop through to be in with a chance to win.

Kim Costello has got a lovely collection of stamps to share with you all today. There is "Folk Fabrique" (the stamp set I am using), "Doll Face", "Mayleedee Little Red", "Mayleedee Frost Fairy" and "Dillon Frost Sprite". You can find them all at the Paperbabe shops either on Etsy or via the WebShop

So here is a peak at Folk Fabrique:

I've decorated the cover of a notebook for my make.

It is a really versatile stamp set and I've used the different 'feather' stamps in different colours to fill the peacock and then made a banner using the various flower and leaf motifs in the set.

There is a fabric-textured backdrop in the set too to fit all the stamps into and make a fabric-style background if you like.

I'm looking forward to some more experimenting with this lovely set!

So I did mention prizes didn't I? 
To celebrate there will be the ENTIRE AUGUST release and a very special not yet released (get it well before it's release in September) rubber stamp up for grabs to a very lucky winner. The winner will be announced on the Paperbabe Blog on the 15th with the Newest Challenge and you have until the 13th to enter by leaving a comment on the hop blogs. 

Next on the hop is Tricia but here is the whole list in case you need it:

Chris (DT)
Kerrie (DT)
Lady (DT)
Delphine (DT)
Jackie  (DT)
Kim Dellow (You Are here!)

Have fun hopping with Paperbabe Stamps!


Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Art Journal Sharing - Oh Dear!

Oh Dear!

It was bound to happen wasn't it? I've missed my Art Journal Sharing post for the last couple of weeks. Ok, face the truth Kim, it is more like six weeks isn't it? Oh boy! And just when the September issue of Craft Stamper comes out with me saying that I'm putting up a journal page on my blog every week come what may. D'oh! *Massive Fail*

Oh well, the house move turned out far more disruptive than I had naively thought, you just can not do it all can you? I still haven't got a journal page to share today but, tell you what, how do you fancy a couple of images of my new space with some half-baked projects thrown in for good measure?  

You up for that? Great!

I'm lucky enough to be able to fit a couple of desks in my new workspace, which is a huge improvement on the small wooden boards I was working on in the kitchen of our old flat! You can see a couple of pics of the other desk if you visit my Instagram page

I have got a couple of works in progress on the desk at the moment but they are just a bit of playing with no fixed outcome or projects in mind. A bit of experimenting with some old comic books on a old book page and 

on an old canvas with a bit of stamping. The stamp is the SCACD Art of Chemistry stamp, one of my faves at the moment! Don't know if either projects will evolve but if they do I will let you know!

Of course I'm still mostly in boxes...

and scratching my head about what to do about storage. But I do have a little windowsill which has been starting to gather some items!

Time to get on with some work again so I shall catch you all later and hope you have a fun rest of your Wednesday.

Thanks for popping in.


Thursday, 24 July 2014

SCACD This & That Rubber Stamp Blog Hop

Welcome one and all to the new stamp release from super lovely Susana's Custom Art and Card Design, SCACD.

I have the honour of being part of the 'This and That Collection' debut today along with the SCACD design team and some special guests. So if you have come here from Kathi's blog Kat's Tales of Scrapping and Stamping you are on the right blog hoppity journey. If not, and you want to hop along with the rest of us, then pop over to the start of the hop at Alex's blog Paper and String.

So let me introduce you to the new SCACD Steampunk Cupcake.

How cool is this stamp? I've paper pieced the stamp on patterned paper and added a bit of extra colour with some pencils. Then mounted it on a doily - of course - and a lightly painted canvas board.

*LOVE* It looks so tasty!

All of the new 'This and That Collection' stamps have been inspired by things in Susana's life and then beautifully given life by Artist Carmen Medlin. 

There are four 'Zen Beauties' stamps and five 'eclectic fun' stamps in the collection and Susana has said that if you buy all the Zen Beauties together in one go you will get an accompanying accessory maple seed stamp as a bonus stamp. Oooo!

You can find the new rubber stamps of the 'This and That Collection' at SCACD or at Quixotic Paperie

There are also some digital stamps of Hope, Steampunk Cupcake (the stamp I've used above) and Mrs. Bones available at SCACD.

So next on the hop is Miss Alaineous' Mosaics. But if you get lost along the way then make your way back to the SCACD store blog.

Happy hopping.


Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Totally Adorable Monsters Are Us

So I'm still catching up after my house move. It takes longer than you would think doesn't it? Well, it is taking me longer then I was thinking. I might have been a little naive about this whole moving malarkey, I had forgotten what moving home was like. 

I was so concentrated on the move itself that the unpacking at the other end sort of slipped out of my mind. I had labelled all the boxes with the rooms they were meant to be in, colour coded and everything. I had even congratulated myself on making sure that the boxes I needed immediately for work at the other end were well marked and never left my sight.

But I never added any more labelling to the boxes. Oops! Unpacking each box is now like unwrapping a surprise present of our own stuff, with the added joy of not having any furniture to put the stuff in. Off to a recycled/reclaimed furniture shop at the weekend me thinks!

I've already recycled our makeshift wardrobes into a makeshift set of shelves in my studio and feeling very pleased with myself too. Yeah, it ain't ever going to make the cover of Where Women Create so don't got too excited!

So I am still here but I'm spending most of my time article making and writing with quite a lot of time spent trying to find the things I need for the articles. 

That is how I found these little Monsters. I made them during my Fiskars demos in May but never got around to blogging them. They are made with the Fiskars Tag die and the Fiskars fuse, I thought they were kind of cute, if a bit cheeky.

Right, now where did I pack that...

See you later!


Friday, 18 July 2014

Dr Who's K9 In Card Form

What kind of pet do you need for a TARDIS? Well K9 of course! Another Dr Who-inspired make today following on from the TARDIS card I showed on Tuesday.

The grey card has a slightly metallic sheen to it to add to the K9 effect.

There you go, a bit of a Dr Who fix in card form as I set up my new workspace and meet some deadlines. 

By the way if you happen to be on Instagram do pop on over and we can link-up, I'm under my name KimDellow so search me out if you want. Have you got any Instagram recommendations? People that you like to follow? I would love to hear.

Have a fun Friday.


Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Everyone Needs A TARDIS In Their Life!

If you spotted my blog post from a couple of weeks ago you will know that my silence has been due to a house move. Lots of boxes later we are in! But I'm still not quite up and running, as you can imagine. Not helped by our phoneline being cut off 8 days earlier than we asked so I had no proper internet and all my plans to schedule posts for the blog whilst we moved flew out the window *sigh*. 

Best-laid schemes o' mice an' bloggers hey?

But I do have something to share today, it is a little different from recent makes as it is a commission card for a Dr Who-crazy kid, I mean who isn't a Dr Who-crazy kid? I know I am!

Mmm, if only it was real! Where would you go first?

I've got another Dr Who-inspired make to share later in the week (I hope!). It is good to be back properly online, I missed you guys. Was getting internet-withdrawal jitters.

I better go get my workspace more sorted out so that I can actually do some work.

Catch you later.


Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Not Art Journal Share - All Change

Cue lift (elevator) muzak - da, dum, da, da, jingle jingle.

Do not adjust your set, normal services will resume presently, but I'm currently in...(Warning: Flashing Image and screammming follows)

Quick here is a calming picture of a kitty resting in a kitty-shaped kitty basket, double kitty for your money...

Cue lift (elevator) muzak again - da, dum, da, da, jingle jingle 

Oh that is better. 

'But Kim,' I hear you cry, (go with me on this) 'that looks like your normal working conditions. What is so different?'  Well, we have finally exchanged - YAY! Cue fireworks! What? Run out of fireworks? D'oh! - and we are moving house next week. 

Yikes! After all the waiting and the 'this week we will exchange' for the last month or so, you would think we would be ready wouldn't you? Obviously not. 

Quick, another calming picture of a kitty is needed...

Man, I needed that kitty hit, not panicking, everything is under control. Do I look as if I'm panicking? What do you mean? I always look like that.

Stay tuned, normal blogging services will be resumed shortly and perhaps even some projects here and there in the meantime too.

We like to move it, move it, we like to MOVE IT!

Catch you later movinators.


Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Art Journal Sharing - Paint Textures Techniques

What is your favourite technique with acrylic paint?

I don't know that I have one yet, I don't think I've tried enough techniques to have a favourite. I need more techniques in my arty toolbox so I keep experimenting. Here are some of my painty texture experiments from this week. So who fancies a share? I would love to know what techniques you have been playing with.

This messy page uses three techniques, the first one is collage, so not really painty. I've covered the page with some left over butterfly die-cuts then layered over the top with paint. The two techniques I've used for the paint layers are dry brushing and using petroleum jelly (Vaseline) resist. There is probably around six layers on this one, including the collage.

It is a very grungy look isn't it?

Then I made a page just using the petroleum jelly (Vaseline) resist and two layers.

You might also know the petroleum jelly resist technique as the peeled paint technique. I love the way that you can see the wording on the page just peeking though the red paint wash under-layer.

I first came across the petroleum jelly resist technique a few years back in Claudine Hellmuth's book Collage Discovery Workshop. But if you can't get a hold of this book you can also find it in Nancy Reyner's Acrylic Revolution* book which is stuffed full of great acrylic paint techniques, so well worth adding to your bookshelf.

I love making painty textures and I'm always on the lookout for new textures. I have a Pinterest board devoted to them for a bit of Pinspiration.

The colours of the layers and the look of the texture is a great help for paint combining and trying to mimic weathered looks. You can tell that I'm a bit of a texture freak can't you? If you are too then do come and follow my board.

For some more of my acryilc paint experiments check out this post about acrylic skins

Let me know what painty techniques you have been playing with recently in the comments below or if you are a texture-head too I would love to hear about it - an obsession shared and all that! 


[The * denotes an affiliated link]

Friday, 20 June 2014

DIY Notebooks Tutorial With The Cricut Explore

Are you ready for another DIY tutorial using the Cricut Explore? Great 'coz I'm ready too and this week I've been making DIY notebooks and journals using the Cricut Explore. But before I show you how, you might want to catch up with my other How-Tos with the Cricut Explore this month so check out my Journaling cards and the Stamps tutorials for more DIY fun.

Let's get started shall we?

You Will Need:
Cricut Design Space
Cricut Explore mat and basic tools
Cricut Explore Scoring tool
Paper and thin cardstock
Needle / coloured thread
Paper piercer

1. Open up the Cricut Design Space software and start a new project. Insert a square with rounded corners, I've used #M46C02 and ungrouped the layers then made the bottom layer visible and deleted it. Resize the square to make your notebook cover, I want a 5 inch x 7 inch notebook so I made the square 10 inch x 7 inch. Use the numbers in the box when you pull the corner to help you size the shape or use the 'Size' option in the 'Edit' window.

2. There is a rather handy free score line if you search for #M48E16, I found it using the keyword 'line' in the search box. Insert the score line and resize it to fit the height of your notebook. Now here is the tricky bit. There are no centering or alignment tools in Cricut Design Space (or at least I've not found them) so you need to do a bit of jiggery pokery (official crafting term) to get the fold line in the centre of the notebook cover.

The easiest way I found was to move the notebook cover shape so that it is up against the ruler on the left-hand side then select the score line and move it left or right, as needed, with your mouse. As you move it a box will tell you where the line is on the workspace so use this to place the line exactly halfway on your notebook cover, so for my case when the X coordinate hits 5 inch. Alternatively use the 'Position' option in the 'Edit' window and change the X coordinate directly.

If there is an easier method please do let me know!

3. My next step is a lazy step and you can skip this one if you like and go straight to step 4. For my lazy step I decided I wanted the machine to 'tell' me where to place my holes to bind my book, so I inserted another score line, turned it 90 degrees and decreased its size until it was just a long dot. I then copied and pasted it and placed both notches along my centre score line in the positions that I wanted to stab my holes. You might need to use the zoom to help you do all this.

These little notches become very hard to see so once you have them in place group them together to make them easier to move around.

4. Now that you have your cover, how about some inside papers for your notebook? For your basic inner pages copy and paste the cover page then resize the copy to be slightly smaller than the cover, I went for 9.81 inch x 6.81 inch. You are going to need to re-size and re-centre your score line, just do what you did for the cover, but take into account the change in size.

Tip - if you used the notches trick from Step 3 to help you with the placing of your holes when you come to bind the book then make sure the cover notches are grouped together then copy and paste them. Place them so that the top one is the same distance from the top of the page as the bottom one is from the bottom of the page, but make sure you don't resize them. This means that the holes in the inside pages will be in the same position as they are on the cover even though the cover is bigger than the internal pages. I hope that makes sense.

You can now add some cut-out shapes to your internal pages to make them even more funky! Insert an image or two and use the 'Contour' button in the 'Layers' Window to remove any lines you don't want to cut by clicking on them to 'turn them off', then click 'Contour' again and select the image and the page layer and 'Weld' them together by clicking the 'Weld' option in the 'Layers' window or use 'Weld' in the right mouse button drop down list.

Troubleshooting - if you press the 'Go' button but the 'Mat Preview' window doesn't load properly and just hangs. You might also spot an orange message appearing underneath it saying 'Global Flex Error' (nicely hidden, so you might have to move the window down to see it). Try going back to your project workspace and making any hidden layers that you don't want visible, ungroup them and delete them.

5. To cut out and score your notebook pages and covers don't forget to select your cover or page shape, the centre score line and any notches you have made and attach them together before pressing 'Go' then follow the instructions to cut and score. Remember also to put your score tool into clamp 'A' on the machine!

6. Once you have cut your cover and pages fold them and place them inside one another, then line up the internal pages with the cover page and punch a hole where the notches indicated, or if you didn't use the notches trick use a ruler to help place the holes.

Tip - If you are using a thicker paper or card you might need to punch the holes individually on a couple of pages at a time and then put them together and align the holes.

7. Use a needle and thread to thread through the holes and then tie a slip knot. Tighten the slip knot as much as you can and then tie the two ends together with a permanent knot. Trim the threads as needed, I kept mine quite long. I also tied my knots on the outside of the books as I like the look, but you can always tie them on the inside of your book to hide them.

Now all you need to do is decorate the cover and start using them!

Do you recognise these cut-outs? They are die-cut files I made from my doodles and I show you how in my DIY Stamp making tutorial.

Regular readers of my blog will know that I am a bit of a notebook and journal fanatic, so these are a great addition to my ever growing collection! Now I just need to decide what to put in them! What about you? What use would you like to make a notebook for?

To order your Cricut Explore checkout the Cricut Store today.


[Just so that you know the product links are affiliated, so if you click through and decide to buy Cricut products I get a percentage of the sale for referring you. Thanks for your support!]

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