Friday, 16 November 2012

Christmas Cards with Poinsettias and Holly

I found these packs of poinsettia and holly embellishments when I was buying Christmas stock for the website, hoping they would be as good as they looked in the picture that the suppliers published.
When they arrived they turned out to be even nicer than I had expected and I have found it difficult not to use them on every card I make!
Here are a selection of cards that I have used them on so far.

The holly leaves vary in size from quite large sprigs with trailing branches and pine cones to small two leaf sprigs.The poinsettias vary in size and colour from pink to red. the pack contains 34 pieces, most of them have a light dusting of green glitter. Definitely my kind of embellishment.
For information about the other materials used in these and other cards visit our Gallery at

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Die Cutting with Marianne Design Creatables

I have just seen that the date of my last post was in May, where did the summer go? Here I am planning to start making my christmas cards at the weekend!
Anyway I haven't been idle in that time, during the summer months I ordered stock from three new suppliers and have already put quite a lot of it on the website.
One of my favourites is the range of Marianne Design die cutters, I had seen these in magazines and at shows etc but not really seen their full potential until I came across this blog and saw the gorgeous cards that Helen has made. I was really inspired by the beautiful flowers that I saw and couldn't wait to get started on my own.
Here are my first efforts:
I used a square frame, flower and leaf cutters on this one.

and the same leaf with the envelope die for this one.
The cutting dies and all the other item used are available from my website .

Friday, 11 May 2012

Diamond Jubilee and Olympics Celebrations

With the Diamond Jubilee celebrations less than a month away, it's time to get busy with invitations to your street party or Jubilee themed birthday cards, we've been trying out some of our Jubilee themed stock to make the cards and invitations and bunting pictured below.

In an exciting development we are forming a partnership with E M Commodities in the UK to supply their fabulous range of baking and cake decorating items through our website, as an introduction to their ranges what could be better than these fab patriotic cupcake cases and Union Jack flag decorations. We couldn't resisit a few cupcake samples to show them off. Please note all UK orders for cupcakes will be delivered in 2-3 working days from our UK distribution point. Watch out for more baking stock coming online in the near future!

Friday, 4 May 2012

Diamond Jubilee and Olympic Craft

There's so much happening in Britain this summer with the Queen's diamond jubilee celebrations and the eyes of the world on London for the summer olympics, it's hard to resist a Great Britain theme for cards and invitations to your jubilee celebrations.

We have created some themed papers for you to download to you start you off, then get creative with this fab Artemio London Icons clear stamp and Berisfords ribbon. Complete the look with our red, white and blue ink pads and candy stickers.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Card Challenge

I launched our first ever card challenge about 10 days ago and have been disappointed at the response, so maany of our customers make beautiful cards, I had hoped to see many more entries. As this was the first time I had ever run a competition through the website I wanted to make it as easy as possible for people to enter and made the subject of the challenge 'Flowers' accepting any technique or material. Maybe this was too broad, so next time I will try to make the challenge more specific.
So with only two entries so far and only a week until the challenge closes here is a reminder of the prize etc.

If you would like to enter all you have to do is take a photo of your finished card and upload it to our Gallery . Terms, conditions and instructions for uploading photos can all be found here. Good Luck! The winner will be announced in our next newsletter.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Cherry Blossom Box with Quilled Flowers

Hello, my box is designed with cherry blossoms. The sides were decorated with the previously shown technique but using a cherry blossom napkin. The top or lid was decorated by quilling a cherry blossom branch.

 I did this by wrapping two pieces of brown ⅛ inch/3mm quilling paper around the needle tool to create a long spiral for the main branch. For the smaller branches I did the same thing but with only one strip of paper. For the flowers I used three shades of pink, for each flower I rolled six size 5 loose circles and then shaped them into teardrops.  For the centre of the flower I cut into the sides of a strip of peach paper, without cutting right through the strip, to give it a fringed look. I used the slotted quilling tool to curl these into circles.

For the flower buds I used the slotted quilling tool to wrap a tight brown and pink circle for each. The tight coils were shaped using the mini mould size A to form miniature cups, a longer strip of brown paper was used so that the mouth of the cup was slightly wider than the pink, allowing the pink cup to be inserted in to the mouth of the brown cup. I then used a small blob of glue to hold them together.
All quilling tools and paper available from our website
Garcia Wild

Monday, 27 February 2012

Vintage Style Birthday Cards

Having added our lovely stash of vintage goodies to the website I have had some fun trying it out.

I love the faux gems in antique brass settings, no-one can, or should, resist a bit of bling and I am pleased with the general colour scheme. I used the same cream lace on the cameo card but combined it with a darker ribbon and pearls, which are another item never to be resisted. These flatback, self adhesive pearls are quick and easy to use and provide the perfect finishing touch.

Both cards would work equally well with different greetings such as 'Best Wishes' 'Thank you' or even 'Mothers Day'. It's not obvious from the photos but the cards are significantly different sizes. The left hand card is a 12cm square whilst the other is A5.
All the materials used are available from our website


Monday, 6 February 2012

Altered Art Boxes part 3

I finished four of the boxes yesterday and am quite pleased withe the way they look. I gave the varnish 24 hours to dry completely and then finished off the boxes with ribbon and one with a gold tassel, which I love. My daughter is currently working on a box with a cherry blossom tissue design and quilled cherry blossom on the lid, I will post a picture when it is complete.

The steps to complete the boxes are:
  • Gently sand the surface of the box if it has a glossy finish
  • Paint the box with matt emulsion
  • Cut the paper napkin to size/shape and peel off the two back layers of tissue
  • Paint the surface that's going to be decorated with PVA glue
  • Carefully apply the tissue and brush more glue over the top gently smoothing out air bubbles
  • When the glue is dry cover the whole box with clear varnish
  • Add any decorative items

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Altered Art Boxes part 2

I've spent most of the day working on these boxes and have one finished item and others at various stages of drying.
After I'd painted the boxes white, I cut decorations from paper table napkins, and removed two of the napkin layers leaving only the very thin top layer with the design on. I painted PVA glue onto the area of the box that I wanted to decorate and carefully laid the fine tissue layer onto it.
The glue soaks into the tissue and makes it quite fragile so you have to work carefully and brush more glue onto the top of the tissue smoothing from the centre of the piece of tissue outwards to remove any air bubbles and wrinkles. It's quite tricky but I got better at it as I went along. Make sure that you use a glue that dries transparent. Then leave it until the glue is dry.

Here's a box just after the tissue layer has been applied to the lid  alongside the table napkins that were used to decorate it.
I found the glue dried quite quickly so I varnished one of the boxes,unfortunately I had bought the wrong type of varnish as it had an amber colour. A quick shopping trip to the art supplies shop and I had clear varnish so pressed on and varnished two of the boxes.

These boxes have both been varnished, the orange daisy box is finished, but I want to add some ribbon etc to the gold box.
Hopefully I will be able to show you some more finished boxes tomorrow.

Altered Art Boxes

I have been wanting to try out a new technique for a long time now, I read about it in a magazine about 18 months ago but never managed to find the time.
After working on a couple of vintage style cards recently it renewed my interest in this technique for decorating boxes.
I have no idea how they will turn out but decided to blog as I go and let you see the results good or bad...
I always keep gift boxes and packaging in the hope that I can somehow recycle it so the first step was to collect up all the boxes from the backs of drawers and wardrobes.

They are all cardboard of one type or another and a lot of them have a glossy finish so I started by gently sanding them with a very fine grade sandpaper to give them a better surface for painting.
The next step is to paint the outside of the box with white, matt, emulsion paint, they all needed two coats of paint to give a good cover.

Luckily being in Dubai I could sit outside and do this which helped the paint to dry quickly too, even so this project will be spread over several days to allow drying time for each of the stages.
Well that was all yesterday, and today I am looking forward to a more interesting job as I start to decorate the boxes.
I'll be back later to show you how it went.