Thursday, 16 February 2017

Guest Designer - Rupa

Please say hello and give a warm welcome to our Guest Designer for this month, Rupa of Tofa (Together for Arts).

I am Rupa (45yrs) from Bangalore, India, married and blessed with 2 kids (a son and a daughter).

My interest in arts started when I got married and had to set up my own house. I had a flair for interior decoration but no formal training, which is when I started learning various forms of art and painting just to decorate “my home”! After the birth of my first son (a child with special needs) I was forced to be a stay at home mom and that’s when my passion and hobby became work too. I started taking art classes from home and have been doing so last 15 yrs and still do. My son now is 17 yrs and I have a 7yr old daughter too and my entire family is very supportive of my passion.

My entry into crafting was 4 years back. I discovered my style was Vintage with lots of textures and most importantly, altered art. My unique selling point is up cycling and have hoarded a lot of trash at home and they all get their time to get pampered and have a new lease of life. I see a canvas in any neglected item or house hold trash and love giving them a makeover. These not only serve as home decor items but also have a utilitarian value! Now that’s living your second life to the fullest! A deserving re birth, what say???

If you wish to see my works, do visit my blog at and my FB page link is

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Good morning!

I am glad to share with you my Guest design post with Stamps and Stencils. This is indeed a great honor for me and I enjoyed making this to suit their current challenge theme, PAINT, TEXTURE and CRACKLE. I love all the three things in the challenge and I had to of course use a recycled item to satisfy my creative soul and so used this empty detergent box .

I scraped the box a bit with sand paper and gave it 2 coats of Deco art chalky finish paint (Vintage). It’s a lovely color very rustic and vintage, not too bright just perfect for what I had in mind.

I did some dry brushing with black gesso just to highlight the texture and give it a weathered look.

Then came the crackle paint from Deco Art, to which I added some raw umber acrylic paint and then spread it on the sides of the box. I left is to dry naturally and then appeared the fine cracks.

I used the wood grain stamp and some brown ink to add more texture and character to the box.

I had a piece of coffee stained paper in my stash and using the individual alphabets stamp set, I stamped the words “SPICE GARDEN “ on it. I hope you get a hint on what I am making now, lol!

I also had this vintage post card image to which I attached the stamped paper. This is the front label on the box.

I fixed it to the box with a few brads and then applied some rust powder with vinegar on it to give it a rusty old look.

I have used paper artsy stencil and white paint to stencil this floral pattern on the sides of the box. The edges of the box have inked and distressed with archival brown ink and I have sealed it with Ultra matt varnish from Deco Art.

On the lid, I have this floral embellishment, a handmade flower using TH tattered florals die.

I also have used the alterations heart die cut which I have painted in black and dry brushed with white paint. The paper tassel too is handmade using old book page and some beads from the stash. The box is now complete.

This is what you see when the lid is opened….

A bunch of recipe cards tied together with a red synthetic bow! The idea was to create a vintage recipe box where I can store all my favorite recipes.

This project is a valentine gift to myself!

Until my next creative journey,

Happy crafting and recycling.



Thursday, 9 February 2017

Melted Textures

It is Cec here and I am bringing you some information on a different way of getting texture onto your project.   I am calling this Melted Textures and am showing you a variety of things that change and become really cool looking when you take a heat gun to them.  This is just a technique post and because I was running out of time, I don't have a project to go with it but promise I will use something from this in a future project.

Before I start, I need to remind you that you must have a heat resistant kraft sheet on your work surface to protect it and do not touch your media until it has cooled down.

When I started this project I really had only thought about doing something with TYVEK but then I got playing and tried melting lots of other things.

So this is TYVEK and it is available in sheets and envelopes.  I first painted one side with some metallic paints.  Then I turned it over on my kraft sheet and waved my heat gun over it.  As it melts, it forms craters on the side that you are heating, which become bubbles on the opposite side.  It is important to note how it melts in case you want to paint it.  TYVEK also accepts rubber stamps with Archival Ink so you must do that before you start melting.  In this case I decided I wanted bubbles, craters and holes on the painted side so I just kept turning it over and heating until I got the effect I wanted.

Next I decided to see what would happen to fabric.  I think the resulting fabrics would be great on a stitched collage or even a canvas collage.

I have used lining fabric to make flowers in the past but have just waved the petal edges above a flame and watched the edges curl.  This time I tried lining fabric with my heat gun.  This is polyester and comes in a ton of colours and is cheap.  As you can see melts beautifully to give lots of bubbles.  I waved the heat gun back and forth over the top of the fabric and at least an inch above.

Next I tried some lightweight woven interfacing (not the kind that is iron-on) and it made bigger bubbles.  Again, I waved the heat gun over it.  I don't really like it but it did work - sort of.

This is organza and I waved the heat gun over it.  It was successful and would be nice on something stitched.  I have layered this organza with some of the lining fabric to make flowers.

This is also organza from a package of two round tablecloths that I got for 25 cents at a wholesale warehouse on a visit to Fancy Gap, Virginia.  This time I not only waved the heat gun over it, I also moved the heat gun vertically up and down over it - DO NOT TOUCH IT WITH YOUR GUN OR HANDS.  I love the effect because it not only has bubbles, it has really great holes.

This is taffeta and look at the bubbles (and a few holes) I got with this one.  It reminds me of the Michelin Man.  Taffeta is stiff so it would work really well on a collage.  I didn't try stamping or stenciling on it but since it is such a tight weave, I bet it would work.

This is cheap craft felt, the kind that comes in small rectangles from the craft store or fabric store.  It does not give you lots of bubbles but when it melts, it shrivels up to become harder and wavy.  It also give lots of holes depending on how much you heat it.

Next I wondered what would happen if I painted it first.  These are my failures but keep reading because I had a really great result when I did it a bit differently.

I discovered that I liked it better when I painted it with colours that are close to the colour of the felt but you can paint it any colour(s) you want.  In the first photo I used some Espresso Metallic Paint on some brown felt.  Make sure when you paint that you have sections connected because the felt should melt away in the areas not covered with paint and if you have gaps, it will fall apart.

Next I decided to sprinkle on some gold and copper embossing powder and then I went at it with the heat gun.

DISCLAIMER:  I didn't have any brown craft felt and have no idea what the content of the felt I grabbed from my sewing cupboard was so it did not react quite the same way but it is cool and would have only had a few more holes with actual craft felt.  Where you see a brassy colour is where they would have been because that was the unpainted felt.  I suppose if I had kept heating it eventually would have made a hole but I was afraid of setting it on fire.

This result is quite stiff and I want to make a larger one because I have some ideas on how I would use it.

I hope I have inspired you to play with different fabrics and use the result in your creations.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Winners - Swirls, Whirls & Flourishes

It is time to announce the winners from our Swirls, Whirls & Flourishes challenge.

The Design Team chose this gorgeous key holder from Ioulia as their favourite.  It is full of wonderful texture and makes a beautiful, and practical, home decor item.

Ioulia - JulD Handmade

Congratulations Ioulia and Cec will be in touch with you shortly to discuss your Guest Designer spot.

And now on to the Top Three as chosen by Ruth, who was the hostess for the challenge:

Congratulation ladies.  Please email Cec at to claim your Top Three badges.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Texture, crackle and paint!

Hello all! Rachel here hosting the new challenge at stamps and stencils. The theme for this month is texture, crackle and paint - my play on the words snap crackle and pop!!!  I really hope you will enjoy joining in with us. Please remember as well as following the theme we are a mixed media challenge and you should try to include stamps, stencils or both of them within your project.

So here's some inspiration for you from my wonderful and talented colleagues.