Monday, 2 March 2015

Spring Birds

Hello everyone, I would like to show you some cards made using the Spring Birds multibuy stamp set, currently on offer at Chocolate Baroque. These stamps are perfect for this time of year, as we start to look forward to warmer weather and the changing season.

I started my first card by making a wrinkle free distress background; placing some Spun Sugar and Old Paper Distress Stains onto a craft mat, and spritzing them with water. I also spritzed a piece of watercolour paper with water and then placed it onto the craft mat, ensuring that the paper was covered with colour. I dried the paper with a heat gun, and then patted it randomly onto the droplets of colour left on my craft mat, creating a second layer of colour on the background. I also dried this with the heat gun.

I stamped some dog roses and a bird from the Pretty Birdcage stamp set along with a bird taken from the Spring birds stamp set onto the background. I masked the main dog roses before adding the birds and extra roses. I coloured the images with pencils. I added a sentiment from the Mackintosh Sentiments stamp set to finish.

I decided to create an easel card for my second project, by cutting a piece of dark brown card measuring 12" x 6" and another piece 6" x 6". I scored the large piece at 6" and 9", folding and creasing the folds firmly. I folded the card in half, and then with the fold facing away from me, I stuck the bottom half of the 6" x6" square piece of card to the folded card. I stamped the Leafy Trails Big Bold Background stamp twice onto plain card, and coloured this with waterbased markers. I edged the card with Distress Ink.

I die cut two circles, and whilst the dies were still in place, I added some colour with Distress Ink. Once I had removed the dies, I then stamped the bird image onto the larger circle, and a sentiment from the Amazing Birthday stamp set onto the smaller circle. I hand cut the mounts for the circles, by drawing around the dies onto some card left over from the easel card. I coloured some seam binding ribbon with Distress Stains to match my colour scheme, I used Spiced Marmalade.
 Thanks for stopping by, xx

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

A new challenge on the CB challenge blog starts today

Hello everyone, I'm just popping by to let you know that Challenge 8 starts on the Chocolate Baroque challenge blog today. The colours are inspired by a photograph taken by Glenda, and they are fabulous. I have made a Spring themed card using the colours.

I created a wrinkle free Distress background using Wild Honey and Shaded Lilac Distress Ink, and then stamped a tulip image across the bottom of the page, using both colours. I used the same tulip image to stamp onto a piece of smooth watercolour paper three times, masking the image as I went along. I drew around an oval die cut once I was finished, and cut around the outline, just cutting around the edge of the flowers where they stuck out of the oval. I added some colour to the oval, placing the die over the background, so that I could keep a white edge. I used Mustard Seed and Wild Honey Distress Inks to colour the background. I stamped my all time favourite sentiment onto the oval using black ink.

I coloured the tulips using Distress Markers and a waterbrush.To assemble the card, I created mats using orange and purple card, and added a matching purple ribbon.

The challenge runs for four weeks and ends on March 17th. Hop over to the Challenge Blog for all of the information and some more DT inspiration.

Thanks for stopping by, xx

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

So much to show you!

Hello everyone, apologies for such a long post today, but I am multi-tasking, posting both on behalf of the Chocolate Baroque Design Team and the Chocolate Baroque Challenge Blog. I have several projects to share with you, and I hope that you will enjoy what I have to show you.

I have really been enjoying working with the current stamps of the month, Sketchy Doodle Landscape/Flowers Multibuy, and my samples today are no exception. I wanted to show you the versatility of these stamps, how they can be used in a variety of different ways. I chose to make a set of pastel cards for my first project, and began by masking the top and bottom of the cards, leaving a large strip of the card exposed across the centre. I poured a bit of Acrylic Wax onto a craft mat, and using a piece of cut 'n' dry, I applied the wax onto my stamp. I stamped the image randomly across the card, reapplying the wax to the stamp each time. I cleaned the stamp immediately I had finished stamping the images. Once the wax was dry, I covered the area with Memento ink, choosing soft pastel shades on each card, (New Sprout, Summer Sky and Lulu Lavender). The wax acted as resist, so that the images were visible through the ink. I removed the masks, and stamped a sentiment onto each card from the Amazing Birthday stamp set using Memento Tuxedo Black ink. I stamped some of the butterfly and dragonfly images using Versamark and white embossing powder onto vellum and cut these out, before attaching them to the cards.

My next project was created using a piece of MDF as a base, which I painted with gesso. I added a honeycomb diecut and some lace, which I also painted with gesso.

I embossed several of the sketchy flowers using Versamark and white embossing powder onto a textured card, and cut them out. I added some dark brown die cut pieces, the flowers, and some gessoed metal flowers and butterflies to the board. I layered several of the sketchy flowers up, and added jewellery findings to them, which had been gessoed as well. I sprayed the whole piece with a mixture of blue and lime Dylusion sprays, which I had decanted into mini misters. I wanted a finer spray, without the big droplets that you sometimes get from the normal spray bottles. Finally, I added a bit of gilding wax here and there for a bit of metallic sheen.

I had lots of spray left on my craft mat after this project, so I decided to create a 'mop up' project using some of the left over flowers that I had. So, I dipped a tag through the inks, and also some of the white flowers. I stamped a sentiment from the Rose stem script stamp set over the background using Memento ink. I die cut some leaves from the scrap white card, and added some sari material to the top of the tag. The white embossing powder really pops against the vibrant ink:
 I hope that I have given you lots of ideas with these stamps, and that you will have as much fun as I have had.

This week on the Challenge Blog there is a free digital download from Lesley. It is so useful and I'm sure that you will find a use for it time and time again. I have so many ideas for cards using this download! If you pop over to the blog, you can collect the download following the instructions on the blog post, it's really easy.
I have made two cards this week using the download, as I had two special men celebrating Birthdays that needed a card. The first card incorporates a lovely tree stamp from the Essence of Nature stamp set, which I embossed using Memento Espresso Truffle ink and clear embossing powder onto a Brusho background. I used a spare piece of the background to stamp a sentiment taken from the Birthday Words stamp set.
My second card uses a mixture of stamps including a lovely swirly leaf from the Essence of Nature set to create a branch, which I embossed with Memento Espresso Truffle and clear embossing powder as before. I stamped and embossed an owl image from the Wise Owl stamp set, using copper embossing powder onto a Brusho background. I used another piece of this background to stamp a leafy image from  the SketchyDoodle Flowers stamp set, and a sentiment from the Amazing Birthday stamp set. I cut the leaves out and arranged them around and behind the owl. Both cards were finished using dark brown card as a matting layer.
Some of the other girls on the Design Team have made some beautiful designs with the download, so be sure to take a look on the challenge blog. If you make anything yourself using the download, please upload it to the Facebook page, as we would love to see it.

Thanks for stopping by, Judith xx

Monday, 2 February 2015

Sketchy Doodle Flowers

Hello everyone, there are new stamps over at Chocolate Baroque. Two sets of great flowers suitable for all kinds of projects. I have lots of ideas that I am hoping to show you this month. I have two very different cards to show you today.

For my first card, I wanted to create the feeling of a stained glass window by Gaudi. I coloured my background with Tumbled Glass Distress Ink. I stamped the flower and leaf images onto the background, and then masked these before placing a stencil on the left hand side. I sponged Salty Ocean, Shaded Lilac and Peacock Feathers Distress Inks through the stencil, covering these with a coat of Transparent Soft Form Relief Paste.

Once the Soft Form Relief Paste was dry, I added a bit more colour to the background, with Faded Jeans Distress Ink. I stamped an image from the Texture Fragments stamp set and one of the flower images from the Sketchy Doodle Flowers set over the background. I removed the masks from the flowers.

I created the large flower by spreading some Gold Soft Form Relief Paste over the stamp, and allowing it to dry overnight. I peeled the thin film off my stamp very carefully. I coloured the film with metal paints and added some gilding wax. I stuck a large flat-backed gem in the centre.

I chose to stamp the flower and leaf images onto a seperate piece of card, and coloured these with Inktense pencils. I cut them out and decoupaged them over the original images. Finally I added the focal flower.

The transparent relief paste has given a lovely sheen to the stencilled area, and the colours are so vibrant underneath.

My second card uses the lovely floral frame image on the Sketchy Doodle Flower stamp set. I stamped the image onto a die cut piece of smooth watercolour paper. I masked the outer area of the image, leaving the oval uncovered. I added some colour using Distress Inks, blending them together where they met. I removed the mask, and coloured the leaves with a watercolour pencil.

I created the background by stamping a leaf taken from the Thistle Butterfly stamp set, using the same colours that I had used on the main image, randomly over some smooth watercolour paper. I die cut some leaves from the same paper and coloured them with Distress Ink. Finally, I assembled the card adding dark brown card and ribbon. I have left the card without a sentiment for now, as it is such a versatile image that it will be useful for many occasions.

Thanks for stopping by, xx

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Bee Happy, Don't Worry

Hello everyone, I'm posting my inspirational project for this month's challenge over on the Chocolate Baroque Challenge Blog today. Each week, we like to provide something different throughout the month to help inspire any visitors to the blog. It's winner's week over on the blog, and we are announcing who has won last month's challenge, so it's worth taking a look if you entered to see if you have won the prize. The Design Team also choose their Top Three favourite entries each month just for fun.

So, onto my project, I have based my card on the challenge colour swatch, which I will show you at the end of my post. I stamped the artichoke thistle onto a piece of smooth watercolour paper, and masked the image. I then stamped the foxglove image several times, and masked these images as well. Finally, I stamped the silhouette foxgloves, and I was ready to complete the background.

I coloured the background with Scattered Straw, Mustard Seed and Wild Honey Distress Ink, blending the colours where they met. I then stamped the honeycomb image across two opposite corners, using Siena Archival Ink, but I used second generation stamping, for a faded look. I also added a script stamp using Forest Moss Distress Ink over and around the honeycomb image.

I removed the masks, and coloured the images using pencils. I stamped three bees diresctly onto the page, and then stamped them again onto a scrap piece of card. I coloured the bees, and cut out only the bodies from the scrap card, sticking them onto the main background.

To create the sentiment, I cut an oval of shrink plastic, and stamped the bottom line of the wording using Timber Brown Stazon. I then stamped 'e happy', masking off the letter 'b' before I inked up the stamp. I then inked up 'be', masking off the word 'happy' before I inked up the stamp and completed the sentiment. I shrunk the oval, using a heat gun, and flattened it with an acrylic block when it had shrunk to size. Once it had cooled down, I added some alcohol inks to the reverse in toning colours and left it to dry.

Here is the colour swatch for this month's challenge:
We would love to see your entries, so please do pop over and read all about it. Thanks for stopping by, xx

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Valentine Rose

Hello everyone, I have a project to show you today using the Punky Hearts stamp sheet, currently on offer on the Chocolate Baroque website. It's coming up to the time of year when Valentine's cards are needed by ourselves, or requested if we make cards for other people. Here is an idea for the lovely punky rose.

I began my project by stamping and masking the punky rose on a piece of smooth watercolour paper. I then covered the background with a stencil, and using Memento Desert Sand ink, I coloured through the stencil. With the stencil still in place, I stamped the crackle stamp from the Echoes of Italy stamp set all over the background, using Memento Rich Cocoa ink. I stamped the image onto scrap paper each time first, so that I got a lighter image. This is called 'second generation stamping', as I did not want the ink to be too dark. Once the ink was dry, and with the stencil still in place, I brushed a layer of acrylic wax over the top, and allowed this to dry.

I removed the stencil, and covered the rest of the background with Memento Lulu Lavender ink, and then added a darker colour around the edges . The wax acts as a resist, protecting the area that was covered earlier. I buffed the wax areas, to remove any of the lilac ink, and the contrast between the two areas became much sharper.

I removed the mask from the rose, and coloured the image using more Memento inks stamped directly onto an acrylic block, which I picked up with a waterbrush. I picked out the 'metal' areas of the rose using a gold pen. I added a die cut sentiment, and matted the project onto green card.

Thanks for stopping by, Judith xx

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

A Bird for all Seasons and Ophelia the Mermaid?

Hello everyone, I have a project using one of the new individual cling mounted stamps from Chocolate Baroque, called Song Thrush to show you today.

I wanted to show the diversity of this lovely stamp, and how it could be used to create cards all year round, so I have made a Christmas card for my sample. I started by embossing the image a three times, using white embossing powder on some green scrapbook paper, and colouring the image with pencils. I decoupaged the flowers and bird. I layered the image onto kraft card, using some dark red card as a mat for contrast. I also added some holly die cuts, and some more stamping, using a berry stamp from the Woodland Dreams stamp set which I also coloured with pencils. I tucked some flowers from a spare image under the main frame, along with the holly die cuts. I added some shading around the edge of the kraft background, using Festive Berries Distress Ink. Finally, I added a sentiment taken from the Warm Christmas Greetings clear stamp set.

I always start out with good intentions to make Christmas cards throughout the year, in order to be ready when December comes around. Hopefully my card will have given you some inspiration.

For my second sample, I stamped Ophelia onto a piece of heavy weight cartridge paper, and then masked the image. I coloured the background, by blending Shabby Shutters, Peacock Feathers and Salty Ocean Distress Inks randomly all over the page. I stamped an image from the Texture Fragments stamp set onto opposite corners, using Salty Ocean Distress Ink. I then flicked water onto the other areas of the page, and dried it with a heat gun, to emphasise the watermarks.

I stamped and embossed a seaweed image along the bottom of the page, from the Underwater stamp set,  using a blue/green metallic powder. I then added some flowers which I had cut out and coloured with pencils from the Song Thrush Silhouette image. It just goes to show that you can add flowers to just about anything! I coloured Ophelia using pencils, and matted the project using toning coloured card.

For a bit of underwater shine, I added Glossy Accents to the centre of my flowers. Thanks for stopping by, xx

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Everyone should have a Heart

Hello everyone, I hope that you all had a good Christmas and a very Happy New Year.  I am working with the Punky Hearts and Fluttering Hearts stamp sets this month, and want to show you how versatile these sets can really be.

My first card is a very quick card for those occasions when you do not have much time to make something. I stamped a large flourish from the Butterfly Dreams stamp set onto a small square card using Versafine Vintage Sepia Ink. On a piece of scrap paper from my stash, I stamped the apple and half of the butterfly from the Fluttering Hearts stamp sheet. I used Distress Markers to ink the stamps, enabling me to get the multi-toned effect. I also stamped a half butterfly directly onto the card. I cut the images out and attached them to the card, and finally added the sentiment in the bottom corner.
 My next card is again very CAS in style, as I wanted to create a masculine card suitable for an Anniversary or Valentine's card. I masked off a large area of the background, leaving only a horizontal strip showing, and then stamped the area with the floral heart using black ink, covering it with clear embossing powder. I then added some colour using three different tones of Distress Inks, before removing the paper masks. I stamped and embossed the heart once more onto a piece of kraft card, before cutting it out, and adding it to my design with 3D foam pads. Finally, I added a sentiment from the Words of Love stamp set and matted my background onto black card.
 My last project is a mixed media tag, using a real mixture of stamps, which I love to do when creating my projects. I already had the tag in my stash, coloured using the wrinkle free Distress method in a mixture of blues and greens. I had used the tag to mop up some spare ink on my craft mat left over from another project, rather than just waste the ink.

I took some Pearl Soft Form Relief Paste and added some Brusho powder to it on my craft mat, using a palette knife. Once the colour was mixed thoroughly, I spread some of the paste over my chosen stamp, the large steampunk heart, and left it to dry overnight. I used some of the left over paste through a stencil onto the tag. (I actually had enough to do another tag as well, waste not, want not!) There is a brilliant review of this product written by Lesley on the Chocolate Baroque website that you can read if you want to know more about it: Testing the new Soft Form Relief Pastes.

Once the paste was dry, I carefully peeled the stamp away from the heart shape, and started to change the colour, as it was too bright for my project. I added some black acrylic paint, just a small amount, almost dry brushing it onto the heart shape, and the harlequin area of my tag. I then added some gilding wax to help create a patina effect. I gave the areas a good buff with some kitchen towel.

To complete the background of my tag, I stamped a script stamp from the Eccentric Edwardian stamp set, using jet black Archival Ink, and the thistle artichoke from the Mellow Fruitfulness stamp set. I added some chain and jump rings for some added texture.  

 I hope that I have given you some inspiration with my projects. Thanks for stopping by, Judith xx

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Stampbord Pencil Box

Hello everyone, it is time for another week on the Chocolate Baroque Challenge Blog, and this week, it is time for me to share a tutorial with you. I first made one of these little pencil boxes with Glenda many years ago, and love how easy they are to put together.


4 pieces of Stampbord 2.5" x 3.5"
1 piece of mountboard 2.5" x 2.5"
A piece of patterned paper 3.5" x 10.5"
Butterfly Dreams stamp set
Archival Jet Black Ink
Seed beads on a string.

  1. Stamp the four pieces of Stampbord each with a different part of the large stamp from the stamp set, using Archival jet black ink and emboss with clear embossing powder. (I found it easier to place the stampbord on the stamp, not the other way around).
  2. Colour the images using Brushos, mixing the powders in a palette using a water brush.
  3. Stick the patterned paper across the back of the Stampbord, overlapping the join slightly.
  4. Run a line of glue around the edge of the mountboard and slide it into the bottom of the pencil pot. Allow the glue to set.
  5. Run a line of glue along each outside corner and lay the seed beads on the glue, pulling the thread out slowly, to keep the seed beads nice and straight.
(Optional) Apply a thin layer of matte medium over the Stampbord to protect the surface, being careful not to over work the medium, or it will cause the colours to run.

I hope that you will give this project a try as it is such fun to make. There is more inspiration from some of my Team mates on the challenge blog, so please take a look. Thanks for stopping by, Judith xx

Saturday, 27 December 2014

#3UP project for Paper Artsy

Hello everyone, I hope that you are enjoying the festive season. I have a project with a difference for you today, as I volunteered to be part of the latest round of #3UP bloggers on the PaperArtsy blog. I am one of a group of three individuals blogging tonight and we had to say what our favourite technique might be. I opted for working with fabric, stamping, colouring, creating embellishments, you name it, I really love to use fabric as you would paper. I have been on a few classes with the lovely Lin Brown and she has taught me lots of amazing tips and tricks using fabric, and you will see a lot of these reflected in my project.

I have chosen to make an expandable journal, as I intend to try and journal a lot more next year. This journal will be a blank canvas to start me on my way, and because it is so tactile, I will be more inclined to work in it hopefully! The other good thing is that the pages are removable, so while I am getting them inky and painty, the cover will not get so messed up in the process. Here are the basic instructions and a list of materials that I used:


Smooth white cotton fabric
White felt
Patterned fabric
Strong wet glue
Iron on Adhesive
Ric rac, ribbon, metal embellishments, etc
Stamps: ELB07, ELB01
Stencils: PS002, PS005
Archival Ink: Jet Black and Plum
Paper Artsy Chalk Paints


Cut a piece of white material 13" x 19", and a piece of patterned material 11" x 17" and 2" x 10". Spritz the pieces of material with water as you paint them with your chosen colours, and ensure that the fabric is nice and moist while you are painting. Use a watered down strength of paint, blending the colours as you go along. Dry the fabric thoroughly and set to one side. Paint the ric rac to match your colour scheme and allow to dry.

Cut two pieces of chipboard 7" x 10", and four pieces of felt the same size, plus a piece of felt 2" x 10".

Prepare smaller sections of white fabric in the same way, using pale green, lemon and ivory , drying the fabric, before stamping the leaves, flowers and butterflies in archival ink. Attach iron on adhesive to the back of these pieces of fabric, and then back the sections with oddments of patterned fabric. Cut out the images, and then add more colour using transluscent paint for shading.

Add some stencilling to the main background, using Snowflake, and then dry this with a heat gun. Using one of your transluscent colour options, add a wash of colour over the top of the stencilling.

Add the spine to the centre of the outside, using iron on adhesive as before. Attach all of the leaves, flowers and butterflies, and then attach the ricrac.

Glue the felt to the chipboard pieces, and lay them down on the inside of the cover, with the felt side down, and the chipboard facing up towards you. Lay the smaller piece of felt in between them. Fold the edges of the fabric over and stick it down.Fold a small allowance of the patterned fabric over all around the edges and then stick the patterned fabric onto the inside of the cover, by adding glue onto the folded allowance.

Punch three holes in the spine 2", 5" and 8" from the top.

Create pages for the journal using any suitable paper and ephemera that you like. I used medium weight cartridge paper, as this takes a reasonable amount of water and is nice and thick. I have added tags, music paper, envelopes and bits of stash in between my pages to add interest in my journal. There is also room for another signature (set of pages) to be added at a later date. Using ribbon or string, thread through the holes, first from the outside holes, and back up through the middle, to then tie a bow on the outside.

I have added some metal keys to the centre of my fabric butterflies, and may add a bit of surface stamping to the background of the cover at a later date. I intend to add fabric detail to my inside pages as I go along, to tie in with the fabric cover.

I love using fabric in my projects, the feel of a completed book like this in my hands afterwards gives me such pleasure. Working on fabric is just as easy as paper, and the possibilites are so varied. You can shred the edges, go shabby and grungy, add some sewing, and lace, the choice is yours. I hope that you have enjoyed my project, Judith xx

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Set Sail

Hello everyone, this is my final marine themed post for the Design Team this month. I have really enjoyed working with these stamps, and have lots more ideas for them. Hopefully once I get Christmas over, I will have a bit more time to play with them.

My project this time around uses the large ship image, which I wanted to portray sailing through a forest at the bottom of the ocean. I stamped the images and then embossed some cogs from the Punky Flowers stamp sheet. I coloured the background using Distress Inks, mixing lots of blues and greens, and then stamped a cog fragment from the Steampunk Butterfly stamp set over the top.

I coloured the images with Inktense pencils and added some fronds at the bottom of the page using the legs from the octopus taken from the stamp of the month set. Finally, I added a sentiment taken from the Steampunkery stamp set.

 Thanks for stopping by, Judith xx

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Along the Edge of the Sea Bed

Hello everyone, I have another watery sample to show you today, using the Steampunk Funk Fish and Steampunk Sea World stamp sets, currently on offer as Stamp of the Month sets at Chocolate Baroque.

I started my sample by stamping the seashell edge from the Seaside Dreams stamp set near the bottom of my background, but splitting it in half, and stamping a piece on either side of the page. I also created a mask of the image, and covered the original stamped image with the mask. I then stamped the octopus from the Steampunk Funk Fish stamp plate in between the two images, and masked that image as well. I stamped the seaweed edge slightly higher up the page in the middle, and then a piece on each side, to create a continuous run behind the first set of images, and masked these as well.

I used some Splash Inks, which I diluted and blended to get the colours that I wanted, and then coloured the background, using a turquoise for the sea area, and an ochre colour for the sand. I added extra interest to the sea area by sponging Peacock Feathers Distress Ink through a Crafter's Workshop stencil to create a bubble effect. I stamped several fish onto adhesive labels and coloured these with water colour pencils, and also stamped a few more directly onto the background. I chose to stamp these background fish with blue ink, so that they appeared to fade into the background slightly, toning the colours down on these fish as well. I removed the masks from the images on the sea bed, and coloured these with watercolour pencils, blending the colours with a waterbrush. I added a stamp from the Nature Fragments stamp set along the edges for a bit of extra funky seaweed.

 I am having great fun combining these new stamps with some of the older sets already available on the website as you can see. I hope that I have given you a bit of inspiration,

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