Thursday, 27 August 2015

Shutter Card, Gift Tags and Xmas Decorations using the Sparkling Trees Stamp Set from Chocolate Baroque

The Sparkling Trees stamp set is so versatile, with both scene building and decorative elements it can be used for so many different types and styles of project, for making cards, gift tags and for decorations. My favourite stamp has to be the cute prancing reindeer.

I have created a shutter card to display cute scenes with the trees and reindeer stamps. I have used the Christmas tree and snowflakes to create decorative elements, matching gift tags and tree decorations. This is not a quick project but I had so much fun creating this one – I hope that you like it.

AW Shutter Card Open

Wrap your gifts in simple brown paper and add luxury with stamped tags to co-ordinate with your card.

AW Decorations 2

The Christmas decorations would be a fun project to make with the children. If they are too young for heat embossing use dye inks on pale coloured card, or opaque pigment inks, and plenty of glitter.


Additional Materials for the Decorations:

  • Waterlily Mandala set (optional for creating filigree top on baubles)
  • Brown wrapping paper
  • Alcohol ink pen (dark grey) , metallic marker (silver)
  • Embossing powder (metallic silver, glitter in white base)
  • Heat resistant acetate
  • Small die cut snowflakes
  • Xmas bauble dies
  • Bits & pieces: Needle & thread, red florist ribbon, fine white ribbon, red satin ribbon, black satin bow, recycled earring with red bead drop and small scrap wire (approx. 0.6mm thick)

How to make the shutter card:

  • Cut the card base to 12” X 8” (or 30 X 20cm), then cut, score and fold as shown in the template diagram. If using metric measurements substitute 5cm for the 2” score and cut lines. Width measurements must be accurate or the shutter card will not fold flat.


AW Shutter Template

  • This gives a card with three 4” (10cm) square panels across the middle, two 2” X 4” panels (5 X 10cm) and eight 2” (5cm) small square panels across the top & bottom. Cut mats from red card to fit all the panels leaving a small white border (i.e. slightly smaller). Also cut three panels from white card which are slightly smaller again, to fit onto the red mats across the centre.
  • Randomly stamp snowflakes with Versamark onto four of the small square panels and onto the two 2” X 4” panels. Heat emboss with white powder and draw faux stitching around the borders with black pen. Stick all the base mats onto the card as shown in the layout.


AW Shutter Layout

  • Stamp the reindeer and stars onto copy paper, cut out to use as masks. Using Versafine stamp the reindeer twice onto spare white card and cut out, then onto the white card scene panels. In addition stamp the sentiment onto spare white card, colour the lettering with red pen and cut out.
  • With red ink stamp the stars and red snowflake. Masking the reindeer and circle of stars stamp the scene trees across the three panels with Versafine. Now draw and connect up the ‘landscape’ using black pen and create the faux stitching around the edges of each panel and around the stars in the middle panel.

AW Shutter Card Elements

  • Using grey pencil add shading to the reindeer and snowy scenes. Colour the sky areas with light red pencil, then add shading to give the effect of more distant trees with dark red pencil. Mount the scene panels.
  • Using red ink stamp the fir tree branch, cut out, mount onto the card with glue gel. Take care not to overhang the right hand valley fold or the card won’t shut.
  • Stamp the large snowflakes 6 times onto white card with red ink. Cut out as hexagons (just roughly follow the points as a guide). Add faux stitching with black pen and mount onto the card with glue gel.

AW Shutter Card Topper

  • Next stamp the large snowflake on red card with Versamark and emboss with white powder. Lightly draw around the shape to create a hexagon and use as a guide for aligning the tree stamp. Again use Versamark and white embossing powder. Cut around the tree and the hexagonal base. Lightly ink around all the edges and add faux stitching with black pen. Colour the baubles with red glitter pen, white pencil and white gel marker to make them look 3D. Add Glossy Accents to make them shine. Finally dot with silver glitter glue.
  • Glue the tree, sentiment and reindeer onto the card. Take care to glue the tree only to the centre and bottom left panels, and ensure that the reindeers legs do not protrude beyond the bottom edge of the top panel, or the card will not open and shut.
  • Finally add more clear glitter glue onto the snowy scenes, fir branch and snowflakes – got to be BLING for Christmas!

AW Shutter Card Closed

AW Shutter Card Front


AW Shutter Card Side

How to make the decorations:

  • You can make a matching gift tag using the tree stamp and colouring to match the card. Make a small hole in the tip, thread with ribbon and add a die cut snowflake.

AW Shutter Gift Tag

  • The tree gift tags are quite symmetrical in shape so it is also easy to glue 2 back to back and make a more robust double sided decoration for your Christmas tree.
  • Make simple gift tags by randomly stamping snowflakes onto small red tags with Versamark and embossing with white, metallic or glitter powder. Enhance by drawing faux stitches around the edge with a fine tipped black marker, adding die cut snowflakes and glitter. If you don’t have snowflake dies then stamp and emboss snowflakes onto heat resistant acetate, cut them out and layer onto your tags. The reindeer also looks lovely when stamped, coloured, cut out and layered onto tags and gift parcels.

AW Decorations 1

  • The baubles are created by stamping and embossing snowflakes onto bauble die cuts – 6 needed for each complete 3D bauble. Circles would also work well but they need to be accurately cut, so die cuts will work best. On the small round bauble I coloured the top with a silver marker to give a metallic effect. On the larger bauble I stamped and embossed the top with metallic silver and the small mandala stamp (Waterlily Mandala set) to give a filigree effect. To create the 3D bauble score and accurately fold each in half, then glue together. Before gluing the last section add a ribbon loop and a wire or thread loop at the bottom if you want to add dangles. Once dry add more sparkle with glitter glue.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Had time to play and design a wire work bangle with sparkly crystals

Beads Direct have a sale at the moment. I got a couple of the Wire Writing Home Decor Kits from Linda Jones. Had some time for a play last night and designed this bangle. I thought that the aluminium craft wire might be too soft for a bangle but using the whammer hammer and a mandrel worked really well to work harden the frame. The weaving then further stabilised it .. et voila .. a nice sturdy bangle.

Wire bangle

Trying out wire and Kumihimo

I had a play using pink wire and metallic cord and a basic braid on the Kumihimo disc.

The results were unexpected - the metallic braid spiralled around the outside of the wire core. Mmmmm I think I will do some more wire Kumihimo – it was much easier than I thought.

Wire Kumihimo 1

Wire Kumihimo 2

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Traditional styled Christmas card using the Christmas Candlelight stamp set from Chocolate Baroque

Hope that you like this traditional styled card. I really love the Christmas Candlelight stamp set. Fabulous detail and hours of relaxing colouring possibilities.  






  • Christmas Candlelight and Texture Fragments stamp sets
  • White A5 portrait card blank, smooth White card for stamping, cream pearlescent card and a waste scrap of matte cream card
  • Inkpads – Distress Ink (Scattered Straw), Memento dye based (Tuxedo Black) and red pigment ink.
  • Dark red alcohol ink pen
  • Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils – olive green, light and dark ‘xmas’ green, yellow, light and dark red, orange, blue, light and dark grey, and black
  • Foam pads, strong double sided tape and adhesive
  • Embellishments - small die cut poinsettias in red card plus a couple of die cut swirls in white, red ribbon, white PVA pearls and clear glitter glue.

How to make it:

  1. Stamp the candlelight image onto white card and colour with pencils. Fussy cut around the holly sprigs and use a shaped die to cut the top of the image. Ink around the top and side edges with Distress Ink.
  2. Trim the cream pearlescent card to layer onto the card base. Draw ‘distressed’ stripes on the bottom section with the alcohol marker. Stamp texture onto the top section with pigment ink. Whilst the pigment ink is still wet, add distress ink over the surface of the card, blending into the edges of the texture stamped area to soften. Dry with a heat gun and add a fine line border with red alcohol pen.
  3. Apply the ribbon with double sided tape. Cut scrap cream card into soft curves and apply to top and bottom edges. Layer onto the card base, mount the topper with foam tape, add die cuts and PVA pearls. Finally add glitter glue to flowers, along curved border edges and radiating from the candle light.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Winter Jewellery using the Sparkling Trees stamp set from Chocolate Baroque

I love jewellery making so had to make something with the lovely snowflakes from the Sparkling Trees stamps. I wanted to make a versatile set wearable throughout the winter season, not just Christmas.

AW Winter Jewellery 2

Novice jewellery makers will be able to create this set. If you can make beaded earrings and know how to create wire loops – this project is easy.


  • Sparkling Trees stamp set
  • Lightweight balsawood blank hearts – 1 X approx. 4cm, 3 X 3cm and 3 X 2.5cm
  • Gesso, gilding wax (silver) and acrylic paint (blue )
  • Glossy Accents (Ranger)
  • WOW embossing powder (superfine white)
  • Versamark inkpad, talc or antistatic powder bag
  • Fine permanent markers (black and white)
  • Fast grab PVA glue and small fabric scrap
  • Jewellery findings – short necklace cord with clasp (or wire choker), 2 earring hooks, 7 eyepins (or 0.6mm wire to make), 3 crystal drops with bail, size 8 blue seed beads and flat backed gems to decorate.
  • Wire cutters, round and flat nosed jewellery pliers

How to make it:

  • I used balsawood shapes which are lightweight, but you could use layers of die cut card shapes (bonding with PVA).

AW Balsawood Hearts

  • Paint the shapes with gesso (primer) then blue acrylic paint. Leave until completely dry.
  • Dust shapes with talc, stamp snowflakes with Versamark, heat emboss with fine white powder.
  • Add shading by dotting with fine black pen, then draw faux stitching with white pen.
  • Coat with Glossy Accents and place sparkly gems. Leave overnight to set.

AW decorated hearts

  • Cut fabric slightly smaller than the shapes. Glue onto the backs to attach the eyepins. Align the loops at the bottom of the hearts and leave the top of the wires straight (to create loops later). When dry paint with blue acrylic and edge the shapes with gilding wax. Add a thin layer of Glossy Accents to the backs to seal and give shine. The backs will occasionally show so you will want these to look neat too.

AW earring back

  • Finally create wire loops joining the hearts and add crystal drops. Attach to earring findings and necklace cord.

I have created a beaded Kumihimo cord for my pendant. If you would like me to share how I did this I would be more than happy. A simple ribbon or ready made cord would also look great.

Vintage Tree Card using the Sparkling Trees stamp set from Chocolate Baroque

Hope that you like this vintage styled card. I wasn’t too sure about it at first but it has grown on me – no pun intended – tee hee. This is a fairly simple card which would be suitable for batch making – perhaps in different colourways.

AW Vintage Tree Card


How to make it:

  1. Make a side folded card base to give approx. 4.5” X 6.5” (11 X 16cm) finished size (portrait). Add faux stitching around the edge with white gel pen.
  2. Cut a mat from white card approx. 4” X 5.5” (10 X 14.5cm). Stamp the trees with brown ink and draw the hills with the brown marker. Roughen the edges and enhance with Distress Ink. Mount onto the card base and add a little glitter sparkle.
  3. Stamp the tree onto Kraft Card with Versamark and heat emboss in white. Colour the baubles with glitter pen, pencil and white gel pen to make them look 3D. Cut out the tree and enhance the edges with Distress Ink. Add some dots of glitter, then add Glossy Accents to the baubles. Mount onto card front. I mounted the tree flat onto the card, but using 3D gel or foam would give better definition and added interest.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Loving the New Sparkling Trees Christmas Stamps from Chocolate Baroque

I just love the Sparkling Trees stamp set, especially the reindeer. I have given instructions on how to create a mirror image stamp of the reindeer – so that you can have 2 facing each other on your design.

AW Reindeer Card


  • :Sparkling Trees and Christmas Candlelight stamp sets
  • Smooth cream and mid brown card
  • Adhesive, 3D gel glue, foam pads
  • Inkpads: Versamark, Versafine (Black Onyx), and brown dye based ink
  • Distress Ink (Gathered Twigs and Peeled Paint)
  • White gel pen, fine tipped brown and green markers, green glitter gel pen
  • Polychromos pencil  (dark brown and green)
  • Embossing powder – Glitter in white base, and WOW Pepper (Earthtones)
  • Clear glitter glue, Glossy Accents (Ranger), and greenish gold PVA pearls
  • Pricking tool or needle
  • Gold coloured faux gems, green velvet ribbon and brown organza bow

How to make it:

  1. Make a top folded card base with cream card to give approx. A5 (14.5 X 21cm) finished size (landscape). Prick a border around the front edge and add faux stitching with brown pen. Stamp the fir tree branch with brown ink and enhance the edges with green Distress Ink.
  2. Cut a large circle from cream card approx. 8” (20cm) diameter and ink the edges with brown Distress Ink. Glue to the card front. Glue on the ribbon strip and gems.
  3. Cut a slightly smaller circle from brown card approx. 7” (18cm) across. Stamp the trees, stars and snowflakes with Versamark and heat emboss with glitter powder. Tip: Heating the powder from underneath will prevent all the glitter flying off before it embeds into the molten powder. Draw the ‘landscape’ and faux stitched border with white gel pen. Colour the central star with green pen. Add glitter glue to give extra sparkle. Mount onto card front with foam pads.
  4. Stamp the Christmas tree onto cream card with Versamark and heat emboss with brown powder. Colour the baubles with green glitter marker and green pencil. Add highlights with white gel pen to make them look 3D. Add Glossy Accents to make them shine. When dry cut out the tree and mount onto the card with 3D gel. Add the organza bow.
  5. Stamp the sentiment onto cream card with Versafine. Colour with pencils and coat with Glossy Accents. Tip: Some inks and pens will bleed when covered with Glossy Accents – Versafine and pencil are ok. When dry cut out and mount onto card.
  6. To stamp the reindeer I used brown dye based ink. To make the reverse mirror image stamp I made a ‘stamp transfer surface’ by sticking a piece of cling mounting foam to acetate. The cling side then sticks to your acrylic block giving an acetate surface to stamp from. Ink up the stamp and stamp onto the acetate surface, then transfer the image onto the paper from the acetate. Hope that this makes sense. The image will not be as sharp or strong as the direct stamping. Use the fine tipped brown marker to go over and touch up the image.
  7. Colour the mirror imaged reindeer with brown pencils, cut out and mount with 3D gel. Finish the card with PVA pearls.

Friday, 14 August 2015

I have been playing alongside the Chocolate Baroque Monthly Challenge

Have you seen the Monthly Challenge from Chocolate Baroque? Each month they post an inspirational picture and colour scheme.  Why not join in the fun and you could win a voucher to spend on their lovely stamps.

AW Aug Challenge Flat

I had so much fun mixing and matching stamps from my stash and really enjoyed working with colours that I normally would not have chosen.


Stamps from Autumn Hedgerow, Nature Table, Underwater Kingdom, Nature Fragments, Texture Fragments and Abstract Fragments sets.

White and dark green card

WOW embossing powder – Earthtone Grape

Pens: Watercolour, alcohol ink, gel pens in gold and white, fine tipped markers in brown and dark green.

Inkpads: Dark brown Dye based, Distress inks – Scattered Straw, Gathered Twigs, Peeled Paint, Dusty Concord.

How to Make:

Stamp and heat emboss the foreground rocks. Mask and stamp the foreground and brick textures with Distress Ink. Tip: Create masks by stamping on thin copy paper and cutting out.

Apply a thin wash of water to soften the wall texture at the edges around the central area, and on the bottom ground texture. Add dots of watercolour and Distress Ink to suggest foliage and flowers. Paint green mossy bits on the brickwork and foreground. Fully dry before the next stage (as in the picture below).

AW Aug Challenge Stage 1

Multicolour stamp the flowers using watercolour pens on specific areas of the stamp. Stamp the twigs with dye ink. Dot with watercolour to give extra foliage.

Use fine tipped markers to draw additional details and make the rocks 3D. Colour the rocks with alcohol pens, watercolour and Distress Inks. Finally add a few highlights with the gold and white gel pens.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Thread Wrapped Buttons


I followed instructions from Gina Barrett’s (Gina-B Silkworks) Button Making DVDs. So much fun making these and her instructions are brilliant.

I recycled a bit of faded lace to create the pincushion and coloured it with my Spectrum Noir alcohol markers to coordinate with my vibrant thread colours, and made a pretty scissor keeper to match.


These were my first attempts. Perfect for adding to embroidery projects or to bags. Think that I will be making a few more of these.

Art Clay Silver Leaves

Silver leaves finished

My first attempts at using Art Clay Silver. So pleased with the results and really very easy to do and no special firing kiln needed.

How it was done

Silver leaves coating

Simply coat real leaves with Art Clay Silver paste and leave to dry. Coating the backs gives the best texture of the veins.

Silver leaves firing

Fire the leaves on the cooker ring.

Silver leaves after firing

After firing scrub with a wire brush to remove deposits.

Silver leaves scrubbed

They look lovely at this stage.

Silver leaves treated

Treat with liver of sulphur to patina.

Silver leaves finished

Scrub with wire brush and burnish with a steel burnishing tool to bring out the shine. The sulphur treatment has enhanced the leaf veins.

Now I will have to create a jewellery design to incorporate my lovely leaves.

Nordic Style Christmas Card–Designed for Chocolate Baroque


AW Nordic Card 1

So excited to share my first design created for Chocolate Baroque.

Hope that you like this Nordic styled card. I just love the reindeer – a bit fiddly to cut out but well worth the effort.


  • Sparkling Trees and Christmas Candlelight stamp sets
  • Smooth pale blue card, small piece white card, Kraft Card
  • Adhesive, 3D gel glue, foam pads
  • Inkpads: Versamark, Versafine (Black Onyx), Distress Ink (Gathered Twigs)
  • White gel pen, Polychromos pencil (dark brown), Soft pencil and eraser
  • WOW embossing powder - Superfine Metallic Gold Rich
  • Clear glitter glue, gold glitter glue, Glossy Accents (Ranger), and white PVA pearls
  • Sharp pricking tool or needle

How to make it

  1. Make a side folded card base with Kraft Card to give approx. 6” X 7.5” (15 X 19cm) finished size (portrait). Prick a border around the edge and add faux stitching with white gel pen.
  2. Cut a large circle approx. 5.5” (14cm), and smaller circle approx. 2.75” (7cm) diameter from blue card. Stamp the smaller circle with the stars stamp, and the larger with snowflakes, using Versamark and heat emboss with gold powder. Enhance the circle edges with Distress Ink and add dots of clear and gold glitter glue for sparkle. [Stamping onto the larger circle: draw guidelines to divide into 8 equal sections and stamp the larger snowflake around the edge, fill in with the smaller stamp off the edge – erase guidelines after stamping]. Glue the larger circle and mount the smaller circle with foam, onto the card front. Draw more faux stitching lines around the circle.
  3. Stamp the fir tree branch with Versamark, 3 times onto blue card. Cut out and add dots of clear glitter glue. Mount onto card front with 3D gel glue. Draw ‘landscape’ lines with white gel pen and add a bit more glitter sparkle.
  4. Stamp the sentiment onto Kraft Card, and the reindeer onto white card, with Versafine. Colour with brown pencil and the lettering with white gel pen. Add Glossy Accents to both, cut out when dry and glue to card with 3D gel. Finish the card with PVA pearls around the large circle.