Wednesday 30 April 2014

Craft Stamper's Crop of the Month - April

By Claudia Neubacher

Servus and a warm welcome to my (Claudia's) monthly review of some of this month's creations that caught my attention!

Lovely Trish Latimer, who also hosts the monthly Take It Make It challenge at Craft Stamper, did a most gorgeous and whimsical project for the players' inspiration on this month's "Bottles" theme:

Georgina showed us again how to keep in tone. This time with this adorable papier mache project:

Find out more about details and see how she created those fab flowers in the full tutorial over here.

I fell in love with the crackle goodness (and the colour scheme) of Jaine Drake's breathtaking canvas:

By creating this wonderful project for the Craft Stamper blog she also told us about her favourite stamping product (Golden Crackle Paste) and how to get the best results out of it. Find more details here.

And as all who know me know that I love everything highly textural and grungy, it may come as no surprise that I want to show you this brilliant close up of Kim Dellow's "Spoon Angel" make that can be read about in detail in Craft Stamper's March 2014 issue.

If you want to learn a bit more about the process behind the project I recommend you read this article.

There's also a lovely to read Q&A with DT member Anneke de Clerck, so you get to know her and her favourite projects and style a bit better!

I hope you will find my selection inspiring and maybe also take a closer look at some of the mentioned articles/artists!

Hugs and happy crafting,
Claudia x

Monday 28 April 2014

June issue on sale this Friday!

Don't miss the latest issue of Craft Stamper, on sale Friday 2nd May!

Your free cover gift is a stunning blue tit stamp by Crafty Individuals

PLUS Loads to explore in this issue: 
-Plenty of inspiration for Father's Day
-Super retro potato stamping
-Bright and cheery home decor makes
-Step-by-step tutorials for eroded metal effect, blistered paint, Sparkle Paste, Angelina Fibres...
-WIN fantastic Zutter Stamp & Die Storage

Friday 25 April 2014

Take It Make It April Challenge- The Winner!

Hello everyone!
Thank you so much to all those who played along with our April challenge - Bottles. We loved all the many and varied interpretations of the bottles theme, you all have such great imaginations!
The DT were blown away by the standard of the entries, but there can only be one winner! That honour goes to.........
Entry Number 17: Ana K
 Congratulations Ana!
We loved the wonderful muted colour scheme, the winged bottle is gorgeous!
The winning entry will be published in Craft Stamper Magazine (I hope you kept it somewhere safe Ana!), and the winner will also receive four fabulous Luminarte Acrylic Silks Paints from our sponsor:
 As well as our worthy winner, we also have the remaining two spots in our Top Three to reveal! In no particular order, they are..... drum roll......
Congratulations ladies!
If the Winner could Email me (just click the 'posted by' name at the bottom of the post), then I can pass on all the details about the prize, publication and of course the Guest DT slot! Top Three, please Email me for your winners buttons to display on your blogs!  For anyone else who would like to, please feel free to grab the button below....
A huge THANK YOU to all those of you that took part in our Bottles challenge!
Don't forget, Take It, Make It challenges are now monthly! The first Friday of every month will see the start of the next challenge.... so check back here next Friday, 2nd May to see which technique is next!

Thursday 24 April 2014

Ready Set Stamp Submission Call

We are looking for submissions for our Ready, Set, Stamp feature on the following themes for forthcoming issues of Craft Stamper. If you've always wanted to see YOUR card in print, now is your chance!!!


Ghosts and Ghouls!: Cards featuring frightful Halloween creatures!
Colours = orange, purple and green - typical Halloween!

Deadline for submissions = 31st May 2014

Let It Snow: Wintry cards featuring anything snow-related (snowflakes, snowmen, snowy landscapes)
Colours = ice blue, blue green, silver
Deadline = 31st May 2014

  • Please email your submissions to
  • We are looking for new and unpublished work ONLY please
  • Please put 'Ready Set Stamp' followed by the theme in the subject line
  • Please note that due to the number of submissions it's not possible to contact every entrant individually - if you have not heard from us within one week of the closing date please try again next time

  • Please make cards only for this gallery
  • Cards which are selected need to be posted to the Craft Stamper offices in the UK
  • This call IS open internationally
  • Note that we do choose artwork as it arrives, so please don't wait until the last minute to submit if your cards are ready
  • Cards will be returned at our expense, along with a complimentary copy of the magazine in which your card features. Note this can take approx. three months
  • All cards should be suitable for an intermediate crafter to complete in around 20 minutes including drying time. Please keep your cards simple and remember that you may be a quicker than average worker
  • Please follow both the theme AND the colour scheme when creating your cards. The colour scheme is a guide only – you don’t have to be exact but try to be as close as possible. You can use the colours in any proportions to suit your design as long as all three are used. You can add black, white and metallics to any of the schemes
  • Text for this article is required (don't worry - it is short!) and should be entered into the document provided – this will be sent to you if you are selected


Tuesday 22 April 2014

Meet the Team - Anneke de Clerck

Welcome to the latest in our regular series introducing some of the designers who contribute regularly  to Craft Stamper. Today, Anneke de Clerck shares a bit of her stamping story with us...

"Hi everyone,
I’Anneke. I live in a small village in Belgium together with my husband. We have a 25 year old daughter. I became part of the Craft Stamper design team in 2013 and really enjoy creating for the magazine!

I've been fond of crafting for as long as I can remember. My mother was always busy sewing, knitting…. In fact I was brought up with it. I really don’t know why I always want to make things, it is so normal to me,  just like breathing is.

I love card making, bookbinding, working in my Art Journal, making canvases

can’t remember when I bought my first stamp, it’s too long ago :-) I took a card making workshop once, that was the start of my stamp addiction :-)

I’ve been part of the Art Journey design team since 2012."

Favourite project #1: I have a ‘Cards & Tins’ item on my blog. Every now and then I make a card inspired by a tin out of my huge tin collection. For more Cards and Tins take a look HERE.

{this project is blogged here}

Q: Do you have a signature style or favourite technique?

A: On most of my projects I use stamps and my work is usually very colourful. And I love perfection. :-) I'm fond of embellishments but my own style is rather clean and simple.

Over the years I have become more interested in all kinds of techniques and in mixed media art. I often translate art journaling/mixed media techniques into cards. I love experimenting with different kinds of paints/inks, a great way to express my creativity! My favourite paints of the moment are the Golden Fluid Acrylics. Love the fact that they provide bright colours but stay transparent.

Favourite project #2: I’m fond of colours and a clean style, obvious isn’t it :-)

{this project is blogged here}

Q: Where do you look for inspiration before you start on a project?

A: Inspiration is everywhere. Recently I looked at the towels in my bathroom and I was immediately inspired by their colours. I used the combination on one of my cards. I often look for inspiration outdoors: on the street,  in a shop or in the garden…

I took online courses from Christy Tomlinson, Donna Downey, Junelle Jacobsen….These  ladies are very inspiring to me.

I have a sketchbook in which I note ideas, colour combinations, stamp combinations….This is a great tool when it comes to creating new projects.  But I often change my mind during the process, let my hands do the thinking.

Favourite project #3: I made this shadowbox for a stamping friend. I  tried to portray her love for stamps, books, beads, buttons, inchiesstitches….

{this project is blogged here}

Favourite project #4: I love bookbinding. I have taken several bookbinding courses over the years. There hasn't been much time to make books lately and I've missed it.  A day should have more hours :-) This is a simple one  I made last year. It’s a harmonica folded book made from beer mats. I love to recycle ‘everyday items’ into my art.

{this project is blogged here}

I hope you enjoyed this brief introduction. If you want to see more of my work you can visit my blog. It would be an honour to meet you there.

We hope you've enjoyed meeting another of the Craft Stamper team - thanks to Anneke for inviting us to peek into her creative life!

Thursday 17 April 2014

Creative Processes For A Spoon Angel By Kim Dellow

Hey Craft Stamper Magazine Blog readers, Kim Dellow here to pick your creative brains... do you ever think about your creative process? How do you go about creating your art and craft projects? Perhaps you are a thinker, you like to think each stage through before starting out? Or maybe you are a do-er and just get stuck in? Or maybe different projects require different strategies? 

As you can probably gather I think about my creative process a lot, perhaps too much, and I thought that it would be fun to share with you some of my creative process involved in putting together the recent Around The House article I made for the March 2014 issue of Craft Stamper Magazine.

I tend to do a lot of my creating to a deadline and creating to a deadline has its own challenges as I'm sure you know. For me I find that spending a bit of time generating ideas for a project, noting them down and sketching them out, usually helps. So my starting place is my A4 work diary/ideas book and some rough sketches and idea generation jottings. Coming up with colour combo ideas for the finished piece at this point also helps me to visualise the piece in my head.

Once I have some ideas sketched out I will start the experimental stage of the process. Just because I have an idea or two it doesn't mean that they are going to be the finished project, so now is the time to do a few trials. Sometimes I will have the experiments fleshed out already and will be working from something that I've tried before and I'm just adapting it to work with the new idea. In the case of the Spoon Angel article, I wanted to work through some of the stages before committing to the canvas.

The perfect place to do some of these experiments is one of my many art journals. I had already decided which stamps I wanted to use but I wasn't fixed on which masks I wanted to use to build up my coloured layers. I also had a basic colour scheme, I knew that I wanted to work in the warm colours and have a cool colour counterpoint but I wasn't sure which colours I wanted to use for which layers or what inks to stamp with. 

The experimental journal page doesn't look pretty and isn't well designed but it does give me a good idea of how I want to go forward with the project, what I want to use, what I don't want to use, and I'm ready to go ahead and commit to the piece. But as with all creative works the piece still evolves and changes as I work through the layers. For example when I started the piece I had not envisioned that I would use black ink on all the edges to bring unity and harmony to the project, but as I got to that stage it just felt right to use the black.

That is all the fun of the creative process, watching how a project changes and develops from that first concept in your head to the finished piece, and I love it!

So what are your creative processes? How do you put your projects together and do you find you have different processes and strategies for when you are working to a deadline compared to when you are just free to play? 

I would love it if you could spend a little time to share some of your creative processes in the comments below or leave a comment on my blog.

Thanks for popping by.

Tuesday 15 April 2014

Insider Secrets: Texture Paste

Design Team member Jaine Drake reviews her favourite stamping product and tells us what she loves about Golden Crackle Paste.

Sometimes I think I've become a bit like a broken record talking non-stop about texture paste. I absolutely love the stuff and I've tried many different types and ways to use it, but recently I gave Golden Crackle Paste a try which I am just so in love with.

I've had crackle paste before which was very thick and heavy, drying to a brittle finish which needed a thick layer before it would crack. However, with Golden Crackle Paste I was pleasantly surprised to find that firstly, it’s so light I can use it on a journal page without it being heavy or distorting the page. Secondly, I discovered it doesn't flake if the page is bent as it’s fairly flexible. 

The cracks really come out when it’s painted or inked over. My favourite method of colouring at the moment is to use Inka Gold rubbed all over it. The cracks stand out under the antique looking shine. Stamping over it also brings out the texture but a light touch is needed for this.

On this journal cover which I made recently for a DT project for 'A Sprinkle of Imagination', I covered the card base with the paste. Once that was dry I added some more paste on top through a stencil. I left this to dry overnight naturally as it’s really not a good idea to use a heat gun to try and speed things up.

In the beginning the cracks weren't obvious but once I’d added ink on top they really popped out. I stamped using a text stamp in a couple of places over the texture. It’s possible to stamp lightly enough so that only the surface of the texture catches the stamping. This looks fantastic with background stamps but when adding the big ethnic stamp I didn't want to risk distorting the image. For this one I stamped onto kitchen tissue, cut around it and glued it down with gel medium. The tissue melts onto the page and only the image can be seen. The tissue does become a little delicate so I had to work with care but the result is so cool. The texture paste can clearly be seen underneath and adds a whole new dimension to the image.

I deliberately chose to use this ethnic stamp as the whole feel of the finished artwork was a bit earthy and made me think of dry and parched earth somewhere hot. 

In my second project, while the stencil was still over the paste, I tried adding seed beads into the paste to see if they held. I love this idea just to add even more dimension and texture to it. Once it was dry I coloured the paste with Distress Stain which really brought out the cracks.

To see more of Jaine's work visit:

Golden Crackle Paste is manufactured by Golden Artist Colors 

Monday 14 April 2014

Keep in Tone with Georgina - Part 2

Hi! It's Georgina Ford with my first post on the Craft Stamper blog. The project I have to share with you today is a follow oup from my 'Keep in Tone' article in the current (May 2014) edition of Craft Stamper.

For my blog project I have decorated a 20cm x 10cm papier mache icon. I have used a bright yellow and orange toning colour scheme. I also used the same Floral Greeting stamp set by Hobby Art which I used for my magazine projects.

To decorate the icon I started by painting a layer of gesso onto the icon. Once this was dry I added Grunge Paste through a stencil. The stencil I used was Mini Grandma's Doily from The Crafter's Workshop. When the Paste was dry I painted on a layer of Yellow Submarine Fresco Finish paint from PaperArtsy.

When the paint had dried I sanded back the top layer slightly to expose the Paste underneath the paint. Around the edge of the icon  I then added Wild Honey and Dried Marigold Distress Ink with a Blending Tool as shown below.

I stamped the script stamp from Hobby Art's Decorative Backgrounds stamp set with Wild Honey and Dried Marigold Distress Ink onto the icon. Once dried the script is slightly blurred but it still looked good for a background as I added the script to break-up the large plain areas of yellow paint. 

For the flowers I used Hobby Art's Floral Greeting stamp set. I stamped the flowers in Wild Honey, Dried Marigold and Mustard Seed Distress Inks. I also stamped the flowers using a VersaMark ink pad. I then heat embossed these flowers with WOW! Bright White embossing powder. I coloured the flowers using the Distress Ink pads. To do this I stamped the ink pad onto an acrylic block and then added a little water so I could paint with it.

I cut out the flowers and placed them onto the icon before sticking them down. I also stamped a sentiment in Wild Honey. The stamp I used is from Hobby Art's Scene-it Sentiments stamp set. I lightly distressed the edge of the sentiment with Wild Honey, Dried Marigold and Mustard Seed Distress Inks. I added two of the large flowers and the sentiment with foam pads for extra dimension.

Once all the flowers were in place I stamped and cut out three small butterflies. The butterfly stamp is from Hobby Art's Scene-It Sentiments stamp set. To finish I added Glossy Accents to the centre of a couple of the flowers.

Friday 11 April 2014

Take It Make It April- Inspiration!

Are we feeling crafty today?
 It's nearly the weekend so hopefully a little more time to lose ourselves in some kind of arty project!
I've just the thing to inspire you.... the Take It Make It DT have created some more eye candy projects to get you in the mood to join in with our current Bottles challenge!
All the details are HERE....check out the fab prize this month:  four Silks glaze paints in whichever colours you fancy! There is also the chance to be published, and a guest DT slot up for grabs, so why not have a go!
If you click on each artists name, you will be taken to their blog, where there may well be lots more pictures or 'how tos' featuring these lovely creations!
Our Guest DT member- winner of Challenge 7:

Lots of ideas there to play with!
Don't forget, all the info you need to read before entering is on the main challenge post HERE.
Can't wait to see what you all come up with!
Have a great weekend xxx

Tuesday 8 April 2014

Spring has Sprung

A round up of what can be found for Easter around the internet by Jaine Drake

We’ve had a taste of warmer weather and the coats have been off for a couple of days and for most of us we can safely say the winter is over. All those pretty spring flowers are filling the gardens, little lambs are leaping about in the fields and thoughts are on Easter and …..chocolate!  No, I mean crafting, Easter crafting AND chocolate! Perfect combination.

You might be making cards, decorating your table or simply trying to keep the kids happy in the holidays and if you're looking for something to finish off your project, maybe this will help.

Chocolate Baroque always have absolutely gorgeous stamp sets and new for Spring they have some absolutely gorgeous Spring Fairy stamps out. The plates feature spring flowers, butterflies and fairies of course and to go with them are some beautiful border designs too. Each stamp plate is crammed full of pretties which will be a delight to colour and glitter. Simply gorgeous.

If it’s cute chicks and bunnys or country scenes you’re looking for Hobby Art have them all.  There’s a cute set of hens called "Cockadoodledoo" which feature cocks, hens and little fluffy chicks and to add to the spring theme they also have some gorgeous Spring Daffodil stamps.You can find Hobby Art here at the Craft Barn.

For Spring inspired projects you can't go wrong with spring flowers and Imagination Crafts Decoupage stamp sets include Crocus and Snowdrops alongside all the other beautiful botanical, collage style stamps they have in the range. Beautiful for spring cards.

Personally I'm partial to a birdie at springtime and if birdies are your thing too you're going to love the new stamps from Dina Wakley which include a plate of four Scribbly Birds. I found these at The Artist Trading Post along with the other stamp sets in her range. They're going on my wish list.

Maybe it's spring/Easter themed dies you're looking for? Well at the moment Sizzix are having one of their mega sales and among the dies on promotion are a Framelits Die and stamp set (658698) which features a cute chick, eggs and sentiment, a movers and shapers MiniBunny and Bow Set (657486) and a Framelits Die set of 10 Egg dies (658691). The offers are well worth checking out with some at 60% off.

I think my favourite Easter/spring themed stamps have to be the Viva D├ęcor Springtime and Easter Bunnies set sold by Cuddlybuddly.  I love them especially the rabbit shapes filled with flowers. There are other Spring/Easter sets too but I just love this one.

Finally if the kids start giving you trouble, just look for a Hobbycrafts near by and get yourselves down there. The website will tell you where your nearest store is. They have everything from card making to sewing to keep the little ones happy this holiday but if you can't get to one, there is now a Hobbycrafts blog where they have projects and inspiration.

Have a good Easter break and hopefully there'll be some good weather to enjoy too.

Jaine Drake

Friday 4 April 2014

Take It Make It Challenge- April!

I am very excited to announce.... *cue drum roll*..

The brand new April Challenge!

We loved all your monoprinting entries last month, we can't wait to see all the projects featuring this months theme!
What Can You Win?
For the April challenge, we are delighted to be sponsored by Artist Trading Post!

Artist Trading Post are UK suppliers of a huge variety of products, all the stash you could ever want for altered art, art journalling, mixed media, scrapbooking and cardmaking!
The prize for the April challenge is four pots of Luminarte Silks Acrylic Glaze!
Silks are gorgeous iridescent and semi transparent acrylic glaze paints in a variety of shimmering colours. They can be used on paper, wood, fabric, papier mache, acrylic and other plastics, canvas, clay and much more. These paints are used by some of the most prominent mixed media artists in the business!
The best thing is, the prize IS NOT ( necessarily) the colours pictured above! The winner gets to choose which four colours they get...and with 72 to choose from, that could be a difficult decision!

PLUS:The Design Team will have a look at all your gorgeous work, and choose their Top Three..... and the overall Winner will get published in Craft Stamper magazine! Yes, the winning entry will appear in the UK's number one stamping magazine!
AND: The Challenge winner will be offered a Guest Designer spot for an upcoming challenge!

So, to recap....A 'choose your own colours' set of 4 Luminarte Silks Glazes, publication AND a Guest DT spot? Sounds good to me!

Now for the Challenge details!  
We want to see how you lovely lot tackle a technique showcased in Craft Stamper magazine.
France Papillon has a wonderful project in the May issue, using recycled glass bottles. The free cover stamp this month also features bottles, and this gorgeous design by R Maria Sabina has been used to great effect on pages 41-3. So, we would love to see your creations using  

We would love to see:
  •  Creations featuring bottles or vials as a main feature
  •  Altered bottles
  •  Projects featuring stamped images of bottles
  • Wine bottle covers, labels or tags
Your project can be of any theme or colour.
 Don't forget, we also MUST have real stamping on each entry, this is a Craft Stamper challenge after all!

Along with some of the regular Craft Stamper DT, the Take It , Make It DT have created some fabulous eye candy using bottles. If you click on the artists name, it will take you to their blogs, where there may well be loads more pics of these gorgeous creations! 

From the May 2014 issue: France Papillon
From the May 2014 issue: R Maria Sabina
                                                                  Elizabeth Robinson

     WOW... now THAT'S what I call Design Team inspiration! 

 Have we inspired YOU to have a play and enter? Yay!!!
All you need to do now is have a read through the boring (but essential!) rules and guidelines, then upload your entry using the Linky tool at the end of the post! Can't wait to see what you create!

Do you love our challenges as much as we do? Feel free to grab the button and display it with pride!
 Guidelines for Craft Stamper Take It, Make It Challenge
  • Entry dates: Friday April 4th 2014 -  midnight Wednesday April 23rd 2014
  • Winner to be announced in a blog post here: 9am Friday April 25th 2014
  • All entries must feature bottles, in one of the ways detailed above.
  • All entries must contain stamping.
  •  No digi stamps please, unless combined with actual stamping.
  • The winning entry MUST be posted to the magazine for photography before it can be published. Please keep hold of your entry, we cannot publish in the magazine images sent via computer.
  • Entry is via the linking tool at the end of the post. We are very sorry that we can't accept email entries to this challenge. Please provide deep links to your actual project post, not just a link to your blog (to do this, click on the title of the relevant blog entry and copy/paste the URL in the relevant box when uploading your entry). The DT will not go searching your entire blog for the project we want to see!
  • No backlinking.
  • New work only please, not work previously published anywhere else.
  • Entry is welcome from anywhere in the world.
  • Multiple entry is fine, as long as each piece is original and fulfills all the entry requirements.
  • Entries can be combined with other blog challenges
  • An obvious link back to the Craft Stamper Blog must be included in your blog post.
  • The May 2014 challenge will be announced here on Friday May 2nd 2014, at 9am.
PLEASE consider turning off word verification on your blog. It is very difficult for the DT to comment on as many blogs as we would like to when word verification slows us down!

Competition rules: Competitions/giveaways are open to all (including overseas readers) except employees of Traplet Publications Ltd and their families; regular contributors to any of Traplet Publications’ magazines; employees of our printers; or anyone connected with the prizes offered. By entering the competition you accept that your project may be printed in the magazine. All entries must be received by midnight on the specified closing date. There are no cash alternatives and prizes are non-transferable. We reserve the right to use the winners’ name/work in any Traplet-produced literature including, but not exclusive to, our website and marketing materials. Judges decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.