Monday 13 December 2010

Stamper of the Year - Returns

Just a quick post about the return of entries for the Stamper of the Year competition, as I have received several emails about this subject.

Please rest assured that your work will be returned if you supplied an SAE and this will happen in January 2011. In the meantime the artwork is safe and sound so please do not worry.

Thanks again to everyone who entered.

Friday 3 December 2010

Tutorial and blog candy!

Check this out from the lovely Kim Costello. A tutorial on how to make the stunning cupcakes which accompany her free stamps makes in the latest issue AND she is running a blog candy giveaway too. Well worth a look as the cupcakes are easy to make and are gorgeous.

Kim is a talented artist as well as a stamper, and she designed the free stamp for us this month - didn't she do a wonderful job!? I personally love this one.

Monday 29 November 2010

CONGRATULATIONS Stamper of the Year winners!

Just want to extend my huge congratulations to the talented winners in our Stamper of the Year competition 2010.

The January issue of the magazine is out on sale on Friday this week (some subscribers have the mag already), and all the winner's details are announced in that issue.

The standard was very high once again so well done to all the winners. Your prizes will be on the way this week so stalk that postie!!!

Huge thanks also to our fabulous and generous sponsors: Crafty Individuals, Imagination Crafts, Elusive Images, Crafty Notions, Craft Obsessions, The Altered Element and The Stamp Man.

Thursday 4 November 2010


If you are off to Hobbycrafts at the NEC this weekend do pop along to the Traplet Publications stand - we have a free prize draw and a special show subscription offer for you!

The show runs from today until Sunday.

Tuesday 2 November 2010

Judging has commenced!

Spent today shortlisting for the Stamper of the Year competition and have been amazed at the quality of work.

Thank you to everyone who entered - we've had an amazing response this year and it's been lovely seeing all of your creations.

Good luck!

Monday 18 October 2010

Stamper of the Year sponsors - Imagination Crafts

In the last but certainly not the least of our profiles of this year's competition sponsors, we talk to Harvey from Imagination Crafts. Imagination Crafts have been trading for an impressive 16 years and readers will likely have seen Harvey and partner in craft the uber-talented Sue Jones at shows. You may also have seen Sue demonstrating on QVC. They have provided a fabulous prize stuffed with goodies for our main winner category. I asked Harvey to tell us a bit more about this long-standing business:

What are your product specialisms?
Our new range of own brand products, Silkies, Inkadinks, Pearly Paints, Mica Powders, Ultra Thick Embossing Powders, Gels and Glazes, and our ever increasing range of art stamps.

What are you most proud of in terms of your business?
The constant stream of compliments from our satisfied customers. We are also very proud of the fact that all Imagination products are designed and manufactured in the UK and all our rubber stamps are drawn and produced by UK artists.

What is unique about Imagination Crafts?
Products that work (they do what it says on the tin!) and fast efficient friendly service.

What are your greatest achievements?
Being one of the longest established, if not the longest established craft companies in th UK.
Having a large following of loyal customers throughout Europe.

Do you run classes, demos or open days or attend shows?
We attend all the major shows thoughout the country, where we always have a demo and we are willing to answer any questions and help our customers with any queries they may have.

Do you have a design team?
We are very proud of our Design Team. They bring new fresh ideas, help with product development, trying out the new products, and of course make cards for the blog and display at the shows. You can see their work on our blog at

To find out more:

Web Address
Telephone 01935 813 664 (we are always willing to take orders over the phone for those who prefer not to use the Internet).

Friday 15 October 2010

Only a week to go!!!!

Oly one week now until the closing date for our STAMPER OF THE YEAR COMPETITION 2010 (22nd October to be exact)!!! Don't miss out on your chance to win our bumper selection of prizes - get your entries in now!

We have four categories this year:
-Overall winner
-Altered/mixed media artist of the year
-Cardmaker of the year
-Scrapbooker of the year

To enter you need to create two stamped items and can enter either by post or online - full details can be found here on our website.

We look forward to receiving your entries and GOOD LUCK!

Monday 11 October 2010

SOTY Sponsors - The Altered Element

This week we take a look at The Altered Element, who are sponsoring are Altered Art/Mixed Media category in the Stamper of the Year competition with a bumper box of delights!

I chatted to owner Lynne Burton about her rather unique shop, which caters for everything from jewellery making to textile work - as well of course as having a wealth of products for stampers and mixed media artists. The Altered Element has been established since Nov 2007 and this web-based shop is definitely worth a visit if you are looking for something a little bit unusual to use in your crafting.

What are your product specialisms?
We specialise in supplying a diverse range of essential and hard-to-find items for mixed media, creative textiles, altered art, jewellery making, textile figure making and paper crafts. We wanted to be able to supply a real mixture of items for crafters and artisans who enjoy exploring various media within a single project or as separate art forms.

What are you most proud of in terms of your business?
In their own right, mixed media and creative textiles as art forms are well established, but an interest in combining various materials and techniques in other crafts to produce exciting new effects has been growing. We’re pleased to be able to facilitate unlimited creativity many types of crafting by offering a diverse range of supplies, which is ever-developing in response to our customer’s needs and ideas. In addition, we’re proud of our customer service and real time stock control system, which ensures satisfaction and security in shopping on our website. Our greatest achievement is ongoing with being able to help develop the creativity of our growing number of UK and international customers.

Do you run classes, crops, demos or open days or attend shows?
We currently attend Artisan and hope to add more national shows to our schedule in the future so we can meet and talk to more of our customers face to face. We’re currently working on a workshop itinery which will be advertised on our website and blog in the near future.

Do you have a design team?
We have a very talented design team who each have different crafting sepcialisms, including textiles, jewellery making and altered art. A few of them particularly enjoy working with stamps but apply different techniques with various materials and it is always exciting to see how all of them have applied chosen products from the shop to create very different and amazing pieces. These can be viewed on our blog,

Find out more:

Visit The Altered Element online:

Telephone: 0121 3780765

Friday 1 October 2010

An interview with Glenda Waterworth

Yesterday we talked to Glenda about her business life, but today we get more personal and find out some fascinating insights into the brains behind Elusive Images and Graphicus.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your background
I was born and raised in and around Carlisle and the Lake District. Although my first degree is in Business, IT and German (there's a mixture for you!) I have always been creative and have drawn, painted and crafted in one form or another from an early age. Over the years, I've been a keen knitter and an occasional embroideress, as well as being a silk-painter and even a glass-painter for a while, before falling in love with print-making and rubber stamping. I have also studied traditional bookbinding and hold a Diploma in Art and Design. You would not believe the list of jobs that I've had since leaving school or the number of times that I've moved house!

Adrian was born and bred in County Durham in the north-east of England. He has a degree and a PhD in Computing Science (what a swot!) but his creative talents actually lie in the musical direction, rather than the visual arts, and he plays piano and guitar as well as singing. We met while working for the same computer company in the mid 1990's, but that's a whole other story. Although Adrian has been involved in Graphicus and Elusive Images from day one, he finally gave up his normal "day job" four or five years ago and joined the Graphicus office full-time. He can now usually be found sorting out technical problems on computers or other machinery, poring over the accounts or filling in endless reams of official paperwork. Strangely, he often seems to like it.

When did you first realise you had an interest in arts and crafts?
My interest in arts and crafts really did start at my mother's (and grandmother's) knee. In fact, most of my extended family are artistic in one way or another, so the interest in all things arty and crafty is probably genetic and could never be avoided. Whether it was embroidery, weaving, fine art, illustration, silk-painting, knitting or just colouring things in, I have always been surrounded by something creative and have been inspired to draw, paint and craft in some shape or form from childhood onwards.

Describe the path which led you to become a craft retailer/manufacturer.
I also knew from a relatively early age that I wanted to run my own business one day, but that I wasn't ready at the time. However, when the right time came along, becoming a craft retailer and manufacturer was the most natural thing in the world – inspirational, enjoyable, nice customers, constantly surrounded by pretty artwork and creativity, what's not to like? It really was option number one on a short list of one as far as I was concerned and I have never looked back.

What do you like best about running your own business? What do you like least?
The best part of running your own business is the element of freedom – particularly creative freedom in the case of an art or craft business. You have to be prepared to have broad shoulders or a thick skin at times – the buck really does stop at your desk and you stand or fall by your own efforts – but it's worth it for that freedom.

The worst part of running your own business is the paperwork – particularly any long-winded official paperwork that eats into your valuable art and crafting time. You'd also better not be scared of hard work – it's an old saying that you'll end up working far harder for yourself that you ever had to for anyone else and I've yet to meet any business owner who hasn't found that to be completely true.

What areas of craft interest you? Do you enjoy creating and if so what are your favourite techniques to use?
I love stamping and print-making in all its forms. Seeing a lovely, crisp image appear from under a stamp or printing block is always satisfying. I also enjoy bookbinding – both traditional and more modern, art-book forms. There's a real sense of creative fulfilment in taking some sheets of paper and turning them into your own book, made by your own hand. It gets even better when you are going to use the book as your own journal and you go on to embellish and colour it with stamps, inks and paint.

Alongside stamping, my favourite art and crafting techniques are all associated with colour. I love colouring in an image with inks, paints, coloured pencils or markers – especially my Copics, I adore using them. I also love doing all kinds of coloured backgrounds and background designs using direct to paper techniques.

Which product(s) are your personal favourites and why?
Well, I love Elusive Images stamps and Artylicious papers, but that's not surprising since they're bound to reflect my own taste and inspiration. In terms of other products, I like working with Stampbord – it's such a great surface for stamping and it takes colour so well – and I've already said that I love my Copic markers – they're great for colouring almost anything.

What aspects of teaching do you enjoy? What kind of things do you like to teach?
When teaching, I love to see people developing their own creativity – sort of coming out of their artistic shell. It's such a great feeling helping someone to realise their creative potential – particularly if they are unsure of themselves or not confident in the beginning. I also like teaching more complex and advanced techniques and helping people push their creative boundaries a little. It can be good to take someone a little outside their comfort zone, for example doing mixed media pieces where you're crossing that vague line between what people think of as craft and what they think of as art.

I've always said that pretty much everyone has some creative ability just waiting to be released. Over the last ten years, I've seen proof of that time and time again and I love it!

What are your achievements both personally and professionally?

That's a hard question – I feel like there are so many things I could say! Of course, there's the degree and the diploma and all the academic sort of stuff, but I guess that some of the achievements I'm most proud of at the moment are the ones associated with Graphicus itself. We've managed to put together a fantastic team in the office and they're a great bunch of people to work with. Our regular customers are also lovely people and it's really satisfying seeing them and chatting to them at workshops and open days. Building and running a company with that kind of friendship and loyalty – both from the staff and from our customers – is an achievement to be proud of.

Thank you to Glenda for sharing that with us. Do visit her beautiful blog at: - it's packed with inspiration and beautiful stamped creations.

Thursday 30 September 2010

SOTY sponsor - Elusive Images

This week we learn more about the the wonderful Elusive Images stamp company who are kindly sponsoring our competition this year with an awesome selection of their gorgeous products.

Elusive Images is a very popular UK-based manufacturer and distributor of quality rubber stamps with a distinctive, elegant style as well as the Artylicious line of CDs and papers. The company is run by Glenda and Adrian Waterworth and has been trading for 10 years. Glenda also runs Graphicus which supplies Elusive Images stamps and a huge range of other stamping products directly to the public. I asked Glenda to tell us a little bit more about her companies and their products.

What are your product specialisms?

Elusive Images rubber stamps, most stamping accessories (ink pads, embossing powders, etc.) Artylicious CDs, Copic Markers, Stampbord, and lots more besides.

What are you most proud of in terms of your business?

We're very proud of our customer service. We have a lot of very happy customers who keep on coming back to us as their first port of call for their stamping and paper-crafting needs, so we work hard to make sure that we continue to get things right and provide all of our customers, both old and new, with first-rate service.

We're also proud of our in-house design and craft expertise – most of our staff members are accomplished artists and crafters in their own right.

Our unique selling points include the specific ranges of products that we carry – particularly with regard to our own designs (Elusive Images stamps, Artylicious CDs) – and the Graphicus Guild, which does offer special deals and discounts to members, but which is really focussed on education, artistic enjoyment and creative inspiration.

What is your greatest achievement?
It's hard to choose a greatest achievement – on the business side we've been asked to give presentations to other small business owners and to university business schools, while on the artistic side we have had several pieces published in magazines over the years and I have also contributed artwork to books. However, we would probably say that our greatest achievements have actually been through some of our customers whose creativity we have helped to develop and who have not only become talented crafters themselves, but they have also become friends to all of us here through regular attendance at our open days and other events.

Do you run classes, crops, demos or open days?
We have a regular programme of classes and workshops, taught by our own staff and by external tutors. We also run a regular crop and our open days are always well attended – they take place every two or three months and run over two full days (Friday and Saturday), usually with at least four or five different demo stations manned throughout both days and often with special guest demonstrators in attendance.

Do you have a design team?
Elusive Images has a dedicated and talented design team which has only recently been re-organised and refreshed with some new members. Membership is juried, based on samples of artwork, and all of the Design Team members bring their own creative and artistic flair to using our stamps and other products – that's why they're chosen! As far as the business is concerned, what they really bring is their creativity and that just gives everyone even more ways to see what can be achieved with all of the different products that we stock. You can see some of the design team's work at

What drives you in business?
Although any business has to make money to survive and grow, the principal driver behind Graphicus and Elusive Images has always been creative freedom. That's not only our own creative freedom, in terms of our own designs and artwork, but also the creative freedom of our customers. We don't just want to provide the products that people need, but also the inspiration to help them release their inner artist and develop their creative abilities. That's why we like it so much when we regularly see that happening at our workshops and open days.

To find out more:

Visit: (retail website for all things Graphicus and Elusive Images)

and (trade website for Elusive Images rubber stamps, etc.)

Email: or

See more of Glenda's beautiful stamped artwork at:

Telephone: 01833 695958

Come back tomorrow for a fascinating interview with Glenda Waterworth.

Monday 13 September 2010

Want to learn how to make these?

This year I've been asked to demonstrate on the Craft Stamper stand at the Artisan show and I've roped in mag regular Helen Chilton to help me out too!

I'll be demonstrating how to make these fabulous grungy 3D flowers using our SHOW EXCLUSIVE subs gift from PaperArtsy. These impactful flowers are very easy and very cheap to make! There will be demos throughout Fri and Sat from myself and Helen, and also from the Beads & Beyond team.

If you are not familar with the Artisan show, it's a relatively new show (in its second year) and it is a specialist stamping and beading show in Leamington Spa. The show takes place on Fri and Sat the 1st and 2nd October. More info, including an exhibtor list, can be found on their website.

If you visit the show do pop along and say 'hi' - i'll either be demonstating or milling around the show trying very hard not to buy stuff!!!

Wednesday 8 September 2010

Stamper of the Year Sponsors - Crafty Notions

One of four sponsors for our main winner category this year is Crafty Notions, who have provided a fantastic prize stuffed with amazing goodies.

Craftynotions is owned by Sarah Lawrence (pictured) - you might well recognise Sarah as she is often to be found demoing at craft shows around the UK. was first registered in 1999 making this company one of the more established online traders in the UK. Crafty They also have premises in Newark, Nottinghamshire and although they don't run a shop as such visitors are always welcome by appointment.

We asked Crafty Notions to tell us more about their unique treasure-trove of a store:

What products do you specialise in?
"We have a wide range covering textile arts (feltmaking, embroidery) through altered arts to the paper arts and cardmaking. We try to provide products that are that little bit different or special. Absolutely everyhing that we sell has to be approved by Sarah who is a passionate advocate of crafting and has an uncanny ability to see the potential in a way that most of us miss."

What are you most proud of in terms of your business?
"We are especially proud of the products that we have developed - our Creative Colour Sprays and the new Colourful Thoughts ranges of paints, micas and embossing enamels - and of course, our gilding flakes."

Do you run classes or open days? Do you attend shows regularly?
"We run classes from our site in Newark Nottinghamshire. We always have rolling demos at the shows we attend and an open weekend at the beginning of July. We are planning a one-day event in November aimed more at the textile side of things."

Find out more:

Telephone: 01636 700862

Sarah also has a blog which she manages to squeeze into her hectic schedule! Her blog can be seen here.

Wednesday 25 August 2010

Stamper of the Year Sponsors - Craft Obsessions

This week we are shining the spotlight on Craft Obsessions, who are kindly sponsoring our brand new Scrapbooker of the Year category for 2010.

Craft Obsessions is run by Brenda & David Rose and has been trading since December 2005. They specialise in scrapbooking products but also carry lots of stamps and stamping-related lines too. They are proud of their reputation for providing excellent standards in customer service, offering a friendly, helpful and efficient shopping experience. (Oh, and if you pop over to their website they currently have a sale on, but don't blame me if it ends up costing you!).

I asked David to tell us a bit more about the business:

What are your specialisms?
"We tend to be at the forefront of the latest releases and current trends in the scrapbooking sector and we generally carry complete ranges that help our customers to make coordinating projects easier. We’re mindful of the fact that colour matching online can be difficult, so we’re careful to do everything we can to make sure that our customers receive exactly what they need. We also carry a comprehensive range of quality stamping products in order to provide a good blend of general paper craft supplies in an attempt to cater for all tastes and hobbies."

What are you most proud of in terms of your business?
"Customer Service, Customer Service and Customer Service – it’s perhaps obvious and something that most companies promise, but based on the large amount of feedback we receive – we’re consistently delivering this at a high level and that’s incredibly satisfying. When we started the business, we had a couple of ‘founding principles’ which are still at the forefront of what we do today – we only sell product that we actually have in stock, we take great care about packing it securely and we deliver it fast – nobody likes waiting for stash to arrive."

Do you run classes, crops, demos or open days?
"We have a lot of fun in running our own established monthly crop near Ringwood in Hampshire and we attend other local crafting events. We have plans to expand our business in this direction in the future."

For more information:

Telephone: 01202 814061

Saturday 21 August 2010

NEW free classifieds service on our website

Just a note to let you know about a new feature on the CS website - so new in fact we have no listings as yet! It's a free classified service, where readers can offer unwanted stamps or stamping-related goodies for private sale.

If you are into sewing, patchwork or beading you can look at/post to listings for those magazines also.

You can access the free classifieds here.

Thursday 19 August 2010

Crafty Individuals interview

Artwork by Jean Hardy

Following on from our article yesterday, I had a chat with the lovely Jean from Crafty Individuals to find out more about the brains behind this successful stamp company.

1) Tell us a bit about yourself and your background.
"Malcolm has had over 25 years experience as a professional commercial photographer, and my background is mainly in fine art and crafting."

2) How did you come to set up Crafty Individuals?
"I have always been involved in crafting, drawing and painting, since being very small. I have tried out other paid occupations along the way, but art and craft is my main love, and nowadays the job I find I am at my happiest and most relaxed doing. Malcolm and I had a bricks and mortar art and craft materials shop some year ago, and it was during this time we started designing and then selling our own rubber stamps and other products."

3) What do you like best about running your own business and what do you like least?
"I like the freedom and personal fulfilment of having my own business doing something I love so much. I think the extremes of having too much to do, or occasionally too little to do, are the most stressful parts of running a business. And then of course there is the book-keeping side of it all – enough said!"

4) What do you enjoy creating and what are your favourite techniques to use?
"Rubber stamping is definitely my favourite type of crafting these days, and I love the buzz I get from designing and producing my own creations, and sharing skills learnt with others."

5) Which product(s) are your personal favourites and why?
"Our own products are my favourites of course, but I currently love to use die cuts and wooden blanks in my crafting, plus lovely paints and inks, interesting mediums and white tissue paper."
6) What aspects of teaching do you most enjoy?
"I enjoy the pleasure of sharing my skills with others and the immense pleasure they get from creating their own personal little work of art, using our stamps alongside other products."

7) What are your achievements both personally and professionally?
"I think that next to having my children, we would both feel that running Crafty Individuals is our most creative and enjoyable achievement to date."

To find out more:
Telephone: 01642 789955
HEADS UP! Watch out for an article by Jean coming up in our Christmas (December) issue - it's a beauty!

Wednesday 18 August 2010

Stamper of the Year sponsors - Crafty Individuals

Crafty Individuals are kindly sponsoring our main overall winner category this year. The prize they have supplied is amazing - the winner won't believe the sheer quantity of gorgeous product!

Continuing our series of profiles, here's a little more info about Crafty Individuals.

Crafty Individuals is UK-based and run by business partners Malcolm Noble and Jean Hardy. They have been trading as an online retail website since 2006.

I asked Jean to tell us a little more about their successful stamp business:

"We primarily specialise in producing and manufacturing our own designs of art rubber stamps, for the craft market. Plus we have a complementary range of printed paper products: mini image books, background paper books, and image sheets. We are proud of our large range of home grown designs, and their growing popularity both at home and in far flung places such as Japan, China, Australia and North America.

I run local classes, and weekend workshops from time to time. We attend a few shows ourselves -­ Port Sunlight and Artisan this year. But as we also supply our products to other shops and websites, they can usually be found at other shows throughout the year.

We don’t have a specific design team as such, but we do have ‘designer friends’ who work with us to promote our products, such as Helen Chilton, Isabelle Norris and Jo Capper-Sandon, amongst others. Many of their designs can be seen on our huge website gallery."

To find out more:
Telephone: 01642 789955

Sunday 15 August 2010

New challenge blog

Jennie from The Artistic Stamper is hosting a new blog - Artistic Stamper Creative Team. As well as lots of lovely samples from Jennie, CS regular Hels, and the rest of the creative team, there is also a monthly challenge which anyone can join. For this month's challenge there is a prize worth £15 up for grabs for one participant - even more reason to join in!

If you love all things inky, arty and grungy then you are sure to find inspiration! Pop on over and have a play.

Best wishes,

Wednesday 11 August 2010

SOTY sponsors - The Stamp Man

This year the Cardmaker of the Year category in our Stamper of the Year competition is sponsored by The Stamp Man, a veritable treasure trove of stamps run by the lovely Jill Tuck who you will not doubt have seen on TV and who was responsible for the absolutely stunning UTEE clock in this month's issue. As part of our competition launch we'd like to tell a bit more about some of our sponsors, starting with The Stamp Man.

The Stamp Man is owned and run by Jill Tuck and Ian Hart, and their team. They have been trading for an amazing 20 years, so they certainly know a thing or two about stamping!
The Stamp Man specialises in rubber stamps (including their own Aspects of Design range with designs by Kay Carley and Tracey Coates) and cardmaking accessories. They hold classes, demos and open days and attend shows in the north of the country throughout the year, and have also been appearing on Ideal World and Create and Craft TV shopping channels for around 7 years.

I asked Jill about their achievements since starting out all those years ago:

"We started our business when rubber stamping/cardmaking first came along, in fact before it was even considered a hobby in the UK, we saw its potential and were like many, both hooked by it immediately! By demonstrating the various techniques 7 days a week in our shop and at shows around the country we have seen it grow into a well established hobby, and have seen many of our customers shine in the hobby. We have always endeavoured to offer best quality products as well as excellent customer service and feel this has worked well over the years along with our aim of providing a friendly and personal shopping experience for our customers.

We have recently added to our design team who continue to come up with inspiring ideas. As well as being knowledgeable about techniques, they each have different styles that can be seen on their individual blogs. We also have a popular main blog where we have regular blog candy giveaways as well as offering news and inspiration. We have recently started 2 new blogs, one for fortnightly challenges and the other for monthly ATC swaps where the design team contribute their work on the themes."

Contact information:

Web shop:
Call: 01756 797048

Tuesday 10 August 2010

Stamper of the Year - yay!!!

Well as you will have no doubt noticed the September issue of CS is now on sale. We always launch our Stamper of the Year competition in this issue and this month you can expect lots of blog posts about the competition and all our lovely sponsors.

Full details of the competition are in the magazine and there are also some details here on the website. This year you only have to submit two examples of work (was previously three) to make it easier for you to enter.

We have four categories this year:

Stamper of the Year Overall Winner
Sponsored by four wonderful companies: Crafty Individuals, Crafty Notions, Elusive Images and Imagination Crafts

NEW CATEGORY for 2010! Scrapbooker of the Year
Sponsored by Craft Obsessions

Altered/Mixed Media Artist of the Year
Sponsored by The Altered Element

Cardmaker of the Year
Sponsored by The Stamp Man

I can't wait to see your entries! I lurve this competition :).

Happy stamping and very GOOD LUCK!

Katy x

Tuesday 27 July 2010

Sneak Peeks!

With the next issue due on sale soon (6th August) I thought I'd tease you a bit with a couple of sneaky peeks at the content! These pictures are from two of my personal favourite projects from the magazine - both stunning, though completely different in style.

We also have a new feature starting up in the Sept issue called 'Designer's Palette' which will focus on colour schemes, with a little nod to colour theory too. Three of our regular team are taking turns on this article, and I think it will be a nice addition to magazine. I know some of our readers struggle to find new colour combinations, so hopefully it will be useful too.

Last but of course not least, you'll find full details of our Stamper of the Year competition in the magazine. This year we've made it easier to enter and also introduced a new category so NO EXCUSES - I want your entry here pronto!!!

Katy x

Thursday 22 July 2010

Inspired by Craft Stamper

Do you enjoy seeing other people's interpretations of projects from Craft Stamper? I know I do and if you are the same way inclined, do pop over and have a look at a blog called Craft Stamping Quartet.

Via this blog, four friends craft together, choosing a project from Craft Stamper as their inspiration each month. The artwork produced is lovely and it's interesting to see the different approach each artists takes to the challenges.



Monday 12 July 2010

Can you guess what I've been doing today?

I've been prepping all the info for the STAMPER OF THE YEAR 2010 competition! Woo hoo!

I love this competition as we always get a great response and opening all the packages full of yummyness is one of the highlights of my year.

This year we've got four categories in the competition:
-Stamper of the Year (overall winner);
-Cardmaker of the Year;
-Altered/Mixed Media Artist of the Year;
-Scrapbooker of the Year (this is a new category for 2010).

Prizes are worth over £1700 and there are lots and lots of gorgeous goodies up for grabs that would keep any stamper happy for many an hour.

Full details will be in the Sept issue - sorry, you've got to wait until 6th August for that!

Wednesday 7 July 2010

The Digi Debate

Digital stamping is becoming more popular lately, with lots of companies moving into the digital field or offering digi versions of their 'real' stamps.

I've been holding back on including digi stamps in the magazine as I am not sure about how our readership would feel about them. What do you think?

For me, in the same way as I could never get into digi scrapbooking, I like the feel of real supplies in my hands; somehow I can't get excited about a digital file in the same way as a real piece of rubber (does that sound dubious!). The last thing I want to do after a day sitting in front of a screen at work is to use the computer in my crafting when I get home. Also digi stamps/images just can't ever be as versatile as real stamps. You can't achieve that handmade look as readily and for things like backgrounds it's hard to get the same level of depth and complexity as you can achieve layering real stamps.

However, on the other side of the debate there are clear advantages. They can be resized to an appropriate scale for your project, so no more hunting for a stamp that fits your Nestie perfectly. They are inexpensive so you can afford to get more images, and buy images that perhaps you'd only use once or twice and therefore wouldn't necessarily want to buy in rubber - I could see me getting a digi stamp for that one and only graduation card I'll ever make. There is no storage to worry about (OK there is digital storage but the files are not exactly huge and you could store squillions of images on a standard spec PC). And finally, of course there is no waiting for the postie to come as your download is instantaneous in most cases. Great for the impatient crafter!

So should we be exploring digi stamps in Craft Stamper magazine? What do you think?

Katy x

Sunday 4 July 2010


...Morag Cutts!

Morag is another new member we are welcoming to the design team this month. I know Morag from her absolutely stunning scrapbook pages (she guested on our Stamping for Scrapbookers feature in the June issue) but she also does some beautiful stamping work too. Morag will be an occasional contributor to the magazine, and her next feature, for the Sept issue, is a stunner. That's all I am saying, you'll have to get the magazine to find out more! Aren't I mean?

I asked Morag to say a few words about herself and here's what she said:

"I discovered scrapbooking by chance around 5 years ago which has now expanded into passion for all sorts of paper crafting.

It took me a while to get the knack with stamps, but I was soon hooked. I love the versatility of stamping - the way that you can do so many things and achieve so many looks. I now have a large collection of all sorts of lovely stamps. One of the best aspects of crafting is that I have made wonderful new friends and enjoy getting together to share ideas."

Check out Morag's blog for more info and to see more of her lovely creations.

Welcome to the CS team Morag!

Katy x

Friday 2 July 2010

New issue out today

Oh dear, I seem to have not managed to blog for a whole month. Must try harder...

Today is official on-sale date for a brand new issue of Craft Stamper. August issue is now on sale and full of bright, summery projects to bring a smile to your face. There are lots of things to enjoy but my favourite this month is Gail Milburn's adorable ribbon reel cakes. Guess who has something else to squirrel away in the 'it might come in useful' box?! I can see my other half rolling his eyes...
The free stamp this month is gorgeous and designed by a lovely lady called Betsy from US stamp company Innovative Stamp Creations. It's a really versatile image and one I am sure to reach for again and again (I am a sucker for flower stamps though!).

Hope you are enjoying the sunshine.
Katy x

Friday 4 June 2010

Latest issue now on sale

Hello peeps,
Just a quick note to let you know that the July issue is on sale now (official on-sale date is today).

The cover project is by Trish Latimer and it's a brilliant tutorial on making your own stamps by carving rubber blocks. I am really keen to try this out myself!

Our free stamp is designed by the lovely Jean Hardy from Crafty Individuals and it is rather nice I think - I have a real 'thing' for seaside imagery so I was very happy to work with this stamp. I hope you enjoy the samples Jean and I created to give you some ideas.

There are lots of other ideas and techniques to try so I am sure you will find something to inspire you to get crafting.

Have a lovely weekend,
Katy x

Tuesday 25 May 2010

Thinking about subscribing?

Here's a peek at our lovely subs gift for this month, which is an exclusive stamp set from Lavinia Stamps.

I know many of you are big fans of Lavinia Stamps so we were delighted when Tracey agreed to put this pretty collection together for us.

You can now subscribe online too - details are here.

Best wishes,

Friday 21 May 2010

Celebrate our birthday with us!

As you probably know, Craft Stamper celebrated ten years in print with our June 2010 issue. Pictured is a beautiful memento that Helen Chilton made for me to commemorate the event. It's all made up of images from the magazine and I shall treasure it always - thank you Helen :).

Now it's your turn to help us commemorate this milestone in CS history! As part of our celebrations we ran a great competition in June with ten fabulous prizes up for grabs. We've had some stunning entrires so far, and if you'd like to join in there is still time to enter right up until until 30th June.

All you have to do is create something with a birthday theme and either post it to us at the usual address or email an image to It doesn't have to be a card, you can make whatever you like that fits the theme. And if you need inspiration don't forget their is a DT gallery of birthday cards over on our website here.

I can't wait to see your creations - good luck!

Tuesday 11 May 2010

Please welcome...

...another new addition to the Craft Stamper DT, Joanne Wardle.

Joanne has appeared as a guest in CS several times, and I thought it was about time I asked her to join the DT proper as she has always produced exceptional quality work and is very punctual too (more important than you might think with deadline after deadline in this business!).

Joanne amazes me with her ability to make her projects look effortless when in fact she employs a great deal of skill. She excels equally at cute, vintage, and elegant styles. I am delighted to welcome her to the team.
I asked Joanne to say a few words about herself and here is what she said:

"I am married with two sons and I live in Leeds. I started cardmaking in about 2003, just after my youngest son was born as an attempt to get into scrapbooking. The scrapbooking never really took off, but I became addicted to papercrafts. The stamping came about a year later and I soon became obsessed with that too.

I have previously done a few pieces of work for craft stamper, but I am delighted to now be an official contributor, and look forward to sharing my ideas. I have a fairly simple style, as I like to make thinks quickly, although my taste in stamps is quite diverse. I love arty, whimsical, quirky and cute! I love all sorts of other crafts, knitting, crocheting, sewing....anything as long as my hands are busy. I work as a a radiographer, a job that I love, but thankfully still gives me time to craft."
To see more of Joanne's work, pop on over to her lovely blog.
Welcome to the team!

Katy x

Monday 10 May 2010

Calling all scrapbookers!

You may or may not know that Isabelle Norris, one of the Craft Stamper DT, is a very talented scrapbooker. She has recently started up her very own scrapbooking challenge blog - Scrap, Theme & Sketch - the idea behind which is to get you scrapbooking more with a whole host of prompts to get your creative juices flowing.

The challenge are varied including Book of Me, clean and simple, sketches and more. AND if you join in during May there is a fab goody bag up for grabs.

Do pop over an take a look.

Bye for now,
Katy x

Tuesday 4 May 2010

Birthday Promotions at Happy Stampers North West


Are you lucky enough to be going along to the HSNW show at Port Sunlight this Saturday (8th May)? If you are then be sure to pop along to the Craft Stamper stand as we are celebrating our 10th birthday this year and have some special promotions for you!

-The first fifteen visitors to the stand spending £10 or more (including subscriptions) will receive a FREE GOODY BAG packed with stamps and other goodies worth OVER £15! It’s all good stuff too; you don’t want to miss out on this!

-We also have a FREE PRIZE DRAW to win a hamper of stamps worth over £120! Just pop to the stand to put your name in the hat.

-And finally we have a SHOW EXCLUSIVE subscription offer. I am not allowed to spill the beans but it is rather fab!

(Please note entry to this show is by advance ticket only; there are no tickets on the door. Visit for more info)

Friday 30 April 2010

New Look Website!

As part of our Birthday celebrations we've had a bit of a facelift over on the Craft Stamper website.

As well as a pretty new colour scheme and an easier to use layout, we've added a couple new features too.

First of all there is a brand new Gallery where you can upload your fabulous stamped creations to share with other Craft Stamper readers. We'd love to see what you made that's been inspired by CS or which uses our free stamps, as well as general stamping work.

Secondly there is a new 'Ask the Editor' feature where you can pose your questions about stamping and the team will try to help with your dilemma!

Links to both these new features are on the home page of the new site.

Have a fabulous and fun bank holiday weekend.

Katy x

Friday 23 April 2010

CS celebrates 10 years!

Our June 2010 issue marks ten years of Craft Stamper magazine, and to celebrate we have a BUMPER ISSUE with eight extra pages of loveliness for you to enjoy. As well as extra pages we’ve also got a special birthday competition with ten fabulous prizes up for grabs, and a little retrospective of ten years of favourite articles from readers and contributors.

But that’s not all! Our website is having a makeover too with a new look and new features for you to enjoy - more on that soon.

The bumper issue is on sale 7th May 2010 – make sure you don’t miss it!

Sunday 18 April 2010


I was chatting with CS regular Helen Chilton the other day and funnily enough we got onto the topic of stamping (can't imagine how that happened LOL). We got onto inkpads and starting to chat about our most used and loved inks, and Helen suggested this topic could make a fun blog post.

If you set aside situations where you have to use a specific ink for a specific technique or surface, I think inkpad choice is really a very personal one. Ask ten stampers which is their favourite inkpad and you'll quite possibly get ten different answers!

My favourite cannot-live-without inkpad is my Archival Coffee one (if anyone knows where I can get a re-inker for this by the way I'll be eternally grateful - I keep having to buy new pads!). I use brown a lot in my stamping; I find it softer than black and this inkpad has a lovely warm, rich colour and great coverage with solid stamps (a favourite of mine). Also - and this could be an overactive imagination - I think it smells a little like coffee.... weird but also quite cool. (I should probably say here in the interests of self-preservation that I am in no way recommending sniffing inkpads!!!).

Helen on the other hand loves her black StazOn and uses it for just about everything. I can see why; this ink will stamp onto practically any surface, even really slick ones like glass and plastic. And as you know Helen does rather like to stamp on unusual things! This inkpad a good all rounder that's for sure.

So, what's your favourite inkpad and why? We'd love to know (not for any reason, we're just nosey)!

Friday 16 April 2010

Annette again

You may remember Annette Goatley's Reader Submission in the March issue? It was a fabulous pair of ATCs?

Well, Annette has been in touch with me again this week as she has made the most gorgeous project inspired by Helen Chilton's masterclass from the latest issue. Isn't it lush?

I've just shown you the front here - pop over to Annette's brand new blog for more images of the inside and back.

Thank you for sharing Annette :).

Monday 12 April 2010

Talented readers!

I hope you enjoyed Liesbeth Fidder's tutorial in our latest issue? Well reader Janet certainly did! She's created a lovely card using the techniques in the magazine which you can see on her blog here.

Thank you for getting in touch to share your project Janet!

Katy x

Thursday 1 April 2010

New issue out Friday 2nd April

Yep, it's that time again! The next issue of Craft Stamper - May issue - is out on sale this week.

Lots of lovely projects this month to inspire you. We have a gorgeous background tutorial from our new face Liesbeth who I introduced to you yesterday; we have some clever easel cards made from Nestabilities dies; Stamping for Scrapbookers shows you how to make a texture paste frame... and lots more of course.

We have exciting things in store for our June issue as it's our tenth birthday issue! More news over the coming month.

Wednesday 31 March 2010

Please welcome...

...Liesbeth Fidder

Please give a warm welcome to our new Design Team member, Liesbeth Fidder. Liesbeth is from the Netherlands and I first came across her work as DT member for Art Journey. Her work is quite unique in style. She is a genius when it comes to inking techniques and has a great eye for composition. I think her designs are simply beautiful – I really hope you’ll enjoy the projects she is putting together for the magazine.

I asked Liesbeth to say a few words about herself; here’s what she said:
“I live in the north-east of The Netherlands, married, and we have two great children: Lotte (20) and Lars (18). I studied fashion and I have lots of hobbies, especially music, pop/rock-concerts and I love all things creative. For 4 years now I’ve been addicted to stamping and mixed media art ! I love to try lots of different techniques, but most of all I love to create backgrounds using just stamps, ink and paint. The possibilities are endless !! I spend a lot of time at Art Journey, a wonderful stamp store, assisting in the shop and teaching workshops and I am on the Art Journey design team.

I was really surprised and excited when Katy asked me to join the design team at Craft Stamper, I feel honoured to be a part of the team !!”

You can see more of Liesbeth’s lovely work on her blog.

Thursday 11 March 2010

Designer Call Out

We are presently looking to add to our team of designers - we unfortunately do not have any permanent positions available but we are seeking occasional contributors. Current areas of particular interest are:

-Brayering techniques;
-Vintage/shabby chic projects;
-3D/kinetic card ideas.

If you think you have something to offer in one of these categories, please do get in touch by emailing me at We are looking for quality stamping projects with a high level of attention to detail and finish, good writing skills and enthusiasm! You need to send a brief description of any project ideas plus a portfolio of images (please compress images for emailing - do not send huge files!).

Thanks for reading,

PS - We would still love to hear your opinions on the ATC swap (post below). Thanks everyone!

Tuesday 9 March 2010

ATC swap - is it time for a change?

Regular readers will know that we have been running the ATC swap in Craft Stamper for a number of years now. It continues to be a popular but we are wondering if it is time for a change to this long-running feature.

I'd be interested to gauge your opinions on the ATC swap and whether it should remain a permanent feature in the magazine:

-Do you like the ATC swap?
-Is it something in which you participate?
-Is it a reason to buy the magazine for you? Would not having it put you off buying?
-Would you like to see the feature retained or replaced?
-If we did replace the ATC swap, what do you think we should introduce instead?
-If we retain the ATC swap, what could we do to improve it to attract new entrants?

Thanks, as always, for your input.

Katy x

Monday 8 March 2010

Wondering what to do with our vintage downloads?

Here's some inspiration for you from Vicky, one of our readers. She's made the most beautiful vintage card with our latest downloadable image.

You can download our vintage freebies here.

Thursday 4 March 2010

New issue out tomorrow

The April 2010 issue is officially on sale tomorrow :).

We have two new regular features starting this month:

-Three Ways With... will look at a product or material each month and show you three different ways to use it. We start with Diamond Glaze and Helen has come up with some amazing applications.

-Stamping for Scrapbookers - this is all about incorporating stamping and inking techniques into your scrapbook pages and the first one is all about Glimmer Mist.

Lots and lots of techniques this issue too. I love the cover project technique - sorry not sharing; you'll have to buy the mag!

Wednesday 24 February 2010

Back from Stitches

Well we had a fun day yesterday at the Stitches trade show at the NEC although we were totally exhausted by the end of it!

We talked to lots of lovely people – I so love chatting to craft retailers; they are so excited and enthusiastic about what they do and it’s so infectious! I met some new people I’d not chatted to before too. There was a real buzz and business seemed to be brisk so perhaps we are now coming out of that nasty old recession after all.

So, what were the highlights? Well, I saw more things I might need to buy than last year so I am going to be quite broke when all the yummy lines finally hit the UK! Some lines are over here already, and it seems most others should be here by the end of April.

Encouragingly, there were lots and lots of paints, mediums, and technique-based demonstrations, suggesting arty stamping techniques might be becoming more mainstream. It also looks like stamping is still growing in popularity as there were plenty of stamps on show. I also noted there were more unmounted, cling mounted and clear stamps than traditional wood block. I hope more manufacturers move this way as although I love my wood block stamps they do take up so much space!

Things that interested me included:
-Imagination Crafts have a lovely range colouring/stamping mediums which work together beautifully. My favourite was the Silkies which can be applied directly onto a stamp and produce a result like screen printing. They also have a glitter glaze which dries completely flat.

-Crafty Notions have some really gorgeous looking masks which are not ready yet but do watch out for them. They have also added to their Kabuka stamps range and the quirky fat sparrows stamp is just fab! Lots more Crafter's Workshop templates on demo here too with some great new designs available.

-Hobby Art had a new clear set of Scene It stamps on show which are just gorgeous – I have persuaded the lovely Jenny to show them to you in an article in a future issue (no getting out of it now Jenny!). I am told there are yet more releases to come in the Scene It range. They have increased their clear range in general, including a beautiful floral set.

-I got to play with the brand new watercolour pens from Sakura. These are amazing pens – they blend beautifully and even someone who is artistically challenged like me can get good results (I know, they let me have a play – lucky me!). These are on my shopping list.

-I love the look of the Tattered Angels Chalk Spray – not sure how to describe these. They are like a thicker version of Glimmer Mist with a more opaque, chalk like finish with that trademark Glimmer Mist sparkle. Rather nice colours among the samples I saw.

- Tattered Angels also have large stamp packs – I personally am in love with the Tattered Angels stamps and screens combos and the new designs are simply delicious!

-I cannot get enough backgrounds so the new big unmounted background stamps from Darkroom Door caught my eye.

-Sizzix were showcasing some great looking new dies. Of course you have probably seen the Tim Holtz ones already but there were also some great label shapes I really liked the look of. Of Tim’s dies, I loved the extended ones which include a row of tickets and a film strip.

-The new Tim Holtz line of papers are worth a look. I’d only seen small pictures online and these were nicer than I expected. They are nice quality, matt finish, thick and sturdy, double-sided papers.

-New Distress Ink colours – again previously only seen online. I can now confirm I do in fact need them all! They are well thought out to fill gaps in the existing range and I particularly like that the range includes a really true, bright red colour (Barn Red).

-If you love your cute stamps, Nikki and Friends stamps and the new Milton & Co collection from Wild Rose Studio are really worth seeing. The Nikki and Friends range has a more grown up, sassy feel, while Milton and friends are out and out adorable little critters. Oh and of course not forgetting the gorgeous Beatrix Potter collection from Crafter's Companion.

-Green lines were in evidence too – there is a range of environmentally friendly dye inks and paints in the pipeline from Creative Expressions and Fiskars had some recycled scissors on display.

-I really liked the look of the EK Success fold away punches I saw at Personal Impressions – they are really, really compact for the size of the punched shapes you get. Some nice designs too. Great for the crafter with limited storage space.

-Finally, I love my cling stamps so I was delighted to see more ranges from Stampendous and Penny Black in this format.

I'm sure there are lots more things I have forgotten and will come back to me later. It was quite a day of information overload!! A lovely day was topped off with a tasty lunch sponsored by the folks at Fiskars. That was a nice touch and a welcome break from pounding the aisles!

Phew! Sorry for the monster post but I hope some of that was interesting. Apologies if I've gone and tempted you to part with your pennies!!!

Friday 5 February 2010

New issue out today

It's the first Friday of the month again, and you know what that means? Yep, it's Craft Stamper day! The March issue is officially on sale today, packed with lovely projects for you to try. I hope you will enjoy it and be inspired to get out those stamps.

Don't forget that we have a web extra section on the website for those projects we just couldn't fit into the magazine pages.

Tuesday 2 February 2010

Please welcome...

...Anneliese Bates to the Craft Stamper Design Team! You might remember a rather spectacular Grungepaper bag a few issues back? Well that was the work of the lovely Anneliese,. I have now invited her to be a member of our Design Team so you'll be seeing more of her in the coming months!

Anneliese's work is a little Tim Holtz-ish but with a decidedly feminine side and a touch of vintage charm. She has a beautiful eye for colour combinations (see her Treasure Box article this issue for a striking and unusual example), and is a whizz with Distress Inks - do stop and watch her work her magic should you come across her demoing at a show. You may not know that Anneliese is also a very talented scrapbooker - watch out for evidence in an issue coming soon! As well as all this, she is a very sweet and warm person and lovely to work with.
Here's what Anneliese said about joining our little team: "I was really excited when Katy asked me to join the team at Craft Stamper, as it gives me even more opportunities to get inky fingers and experiment with all that luscious stash out there, I love trying new products and seeing what I can do with them, what a wonderful way to spend my days, I am so lucky!"

Pop along to Anneliese's blog for more of her work. Anneliese also teaches classes at Artist Trading Post.

Monday 1 February 2010

Please welcome...

I'm delighted to be introducing you to a new member of the Craft Stamper DT today - the lovely Linda Elbourne. Linda is not only a fabulously talented artist, she is funny, hard working and such a positive upbeat person: in short a pleasure to work alongside. Her artwork has quite a unique style and she is an upcycling guru so look out for lots of projects where she uses old junk to make lovely things. Her bean tin creations adorn our front cover this month.

Here's what Linda has to say about herself: "I have been crafting since forever in one form or another. My passion for stamping took over about 5 years ago. I am a Ranger girl at heart and love nothing more than trying new things and getting inky and messy ... My style is eclectic ... if that is a style :0) and I will give anything a go at least once! I am a massive fan of Craft Stamper magazine, in fact I can honestly say I gained most of my stamping knowledge from the wonderful articles and I continue to learn and be inspired every month. I am extremely proud to have been asked to join the design team."

If you'd like to see more, check out Linda's blog. Linda also teaches at LB Crafts.

Monday 25 January 2010

Your Top Ten?

You may not know this, but Craft Stamper is 10 years old this June! With this in mind I think it would be nice to look back over the last ten years, so I am blogging today to ask for your help.

I'd love to know what is your absolute favourite CS project from the last 10 years? Is there something that sticks out in your mind? Is it a project that inspired you to try something new? Is it the reason you bought your very first Craft Stamper?

Whether you have been buying CS from day one or if you are new to us, we'd love to know what your personal highlights are and why.

Please leave a comment on this post letting me know:
What is your favourite project? (if possible give me an idea of the month/year)
A few words about why have you chosen this project.
Your name and location (e.g. Katy Fox, Worcestershire) so we can credit you in the article.

This is such a good excuse to have some fun looking at your back issues. I am intrigued to see what we be picked out. I have some favourites in mind but choosing just one is hard!

Katy x

Monday 18 January 2010

Lovely reader artwork

Today I'd like to share with you a delightful ATC project sent to me by one of our very talented readers - Annette Goatley.
Annette's make was inspired by Kate Crane's ' Artist Trading Card Trio ' project and she has made use of her February free stamp already as you can see!

Thank your for sharing Annette; gorgeous work.

Monday 11 January 2010

Better late than never - Sharpie draw winners!

(Drumroll please)...................

And the lucky winners of our fabulous Sharpie giveaway are.......

Kate said...
I'd like to win those please!! ** Kate **

Lilacanglia said...
Have put a link in my candy bar,So glad to have found you,Thanks for the chance,Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all,HugsLilacanglia

Gez said...
Thank you for the chance to win. I have linked your offer to my blog Here. Happy Christmas everyone at Craft Stamper.

Jessica said...
Very cool giveaway!sundaygirl at gmail dot com

Wendy said...
oooohhh, i love sharpie - posted a link on my blog too ;o)

laury55 said...
wow would love to win those fab sharpiesthanks for the giveaway

Ginger said...
Would love to win these I have not got any sharpie's.

Lesley said...
Oooo I don't have any of these so thank you for the chance to win someLesley x

Anne E said...
I only have black so would love to win some sharpies. Anne E

Debsg said... Link on my blog. Blog candy is the best kind of candy and the least fattening ;)

Apologies for the delay in drawing this - I've unfortunately been off sick since the New Year so I hope you'll forgive me.

Congrats to all the winners! Please email with your details (including your sign in name so I can match winners to emails) to claim your fab Sharpie prize. Please note Sharpie are sending the prizes out to me this week, so allow a couple of weeks for them to get to you.

Happy New Year!


Thursday 7 January 2010


Hello from a very white and very beautiful Malvern. I just thought I would pop on quickly to let all those of you who took part in the Romance atc swap know that your swaps were posted yesterday!

Keep warm folks!