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31 August 2011


I am still on holiday but I made a quick little something before I left to answer a question I was asked by Jackie. Being just a smidge more obsessed by Distress Stains than is healthy I was asked if they work on rosettes. You can use them in so many ways but if you are 
already used to swiping ink pads on card to get a solid colour then you will love the speed of doing this with Distress Stains. All you need to do, when you first open one, is click the top of the stain to 'prime' it, stamp it a couple of times on spare paper to let the 
ink flow (most times it's ready straight away!) and swipe the foam pad on your project (don't worry if it looks stripy - it dries a solid colour) and that really is it! So if you can do that on card you can do it on the die cut shapes including rosettes!!! 
Here I clear embossed a Bingo ticket from Creative Expressions Vintage Games stamp set and covered it in Chipped Sapphire Distress Stain. This whole process took less than five minutes so you can see it's not fiddly! I cut out two of Tim's rosettes with my trusty Vagabond and inked one in Aged Mahogany and the larger in Antique Linen. the centre was Chipped Sapphire again. They are really easy to make! If you want to change the colour of patterned paper, Distress Stains work over the top of that too! Totally versatile! Hope that answers your question Jackie! Please feel free to ask questions - I am happy to answer them!!! Gabrielle x

27 August 2011

Bags packed and I'm off on Holiday!!!

When you read this we could be on our way to our week's holiday on the Norfolk Broads! We have never had a holiday on a boat before and bets are on for who falls in first...! So, holiday very much on my mind I made a suitcase from Tim's Vintage Valise die and my trusty Vagabond for my latest Creative Expressions Design Team make with the Murray and Ethel stamp set. I chose a sentiment which really spoke to me as I am just off on my holiday! 
I wanted the suitcase to have a battered 'old' look so I used a faux leather technique. I used a light brown card to start and then directly stamped Vintage Photo Distress Ink pad into the suitcase. I wanted to see the lines from the edges of the pad - this technique does not warrant neatness - you should still be able to see a little of the original card underneath. The cover this with clear embossing powder and give the suitcase a few good taps to dislodge any really loose powder and then heat it as normal. Then I rubbed Black Soot Distress Ink into the whole suitcase and the areas that the embossing powder that missed - then using a dry baby wipe or whatever's to hand wipe off the extra ink from the embossed surface. 
The tag was two labels with the middle cut out from the second, embossed the same way as the suitcase. The straps and reinforcer ring for the tag were made the same way as before but the base ink was Tea Dye and then I used Vintage Photo over the top. 
The corners were coloured by spraying them with various Cosmic Shimmer mists, clear embossing as before and Black Soot Distress Ink over the top of that. I used 8 brads and a little chain and two jump rings to assemble the suitcase and that was that! 
Hope you have a lovely week and I'll catch up with you all when I get back! Gabrielle x

24 August 2011

Birthday Ribbons

I wanted to make a birthday card and used a sentiment from the Murray and Ethel stamp set that the Creative Expressions DT have been playing with this month. The whole sentiment was appropriate for the recipient so I masked off the bottom section. The tag was cut with my trusty Vagabond, actually I cut two - one 'clean' one to go on the back to hide my fingerprints on the 'working' tag!!! I used a variety of Distress Stains (I really am loving these!) - just 
spread some on your craft mat and swish the tag through them making a mess on the mat but a riot of colours on your tag! I went a little further and put some Picket Fence Distress Stain on the mat and gave my tag a final swish! Then I stamped on my sentiment in 
Jet Black Archival Ink and clear embossed it. I lightly stamped some swirls in Black Soot Distress Ink. Then, after washing my hands (!) I glued the clean tag on the back and punched some holes on the left of the tag - about every 2 cm. This was for the home dyed 
ribbons! So much fun was had doing this! I used the Distress Stains I used on the tag and stained white cotton ribbon, scrunched it up and waited for it to dry. Well, I waited for about three seconds and then used my heat gun but you get the the idea! The all that was left was for me to tie the ribbons on the tag! Hope you have a go at dyeing ribbons - leave me a link if you do - I'd love to see what you make! Gabrielle x

18 August 2011

Time Flies!

Ok. The truth is that when I go off to my tiny corner of the study to get inky I always disappear with the words "I'll only be about half an hour" - then, about three hours later David appears letting me know that my half an hour was yet again lost in the midst of time! So I knew that I needed a clock and seeing the wonderful Wendy Vecchi's gi-normous Pocket Watch I knew that was my starting point! My first attempt was fab fun as I sprayed it in many different
My first attempt!
Creative Expressions Cosmic Shimmer misters  - layering up the colours until it looked grungy and very cool! The Grungeboard clock face was cut using Tim's Weathered Clock die and my trusty Vagabond. It was covered in black Paint Dabber and, when dry, sanded down and Vintage Photo Distress Ink and gold Paint Dabber added . I used some of Tim's Sprockets and a real clock mechanism. The hands were a little too bright so I used Ginger and Red Pepper Alcohol Inks to de-bling them! I was really pleased with my 
clock but the rest of the family said they couldn't read the time (and they might have been right...) So, in keeping with Hel's Sunday Stamper challenge to use white I used the same technique as I did here with Picket Fence Crackle Paint and clear UTEE  but rubbed a bit of Vintage Photo into the cracks in between the two sessions of embossing. I made sure that the Crackle Paint wasn't too perfect as I wanted it to be a little more uneven and grungy than when I last 
used the technique. In Jet Black Archival Ink I stamped swirls onto the 'winder', then I reassembled the clock as it was did before! I want to see how it looks for a while - but I might add wings to it (then time really might fly!) but it needs to settle into it's new home first! 
Hopefully everyone can read the time clearly now and I hope time flies when you are being creative - because surely that's a sign that you're enjoying it?!!! Gabrielle x 
ps - the photos make the clock look creamy - this might have a lot to do with the lack of natural light today due to the relentless rain experienced in Milton Keynes! It might be good for gardens but it plays havoc with photos!

16 August 2011

Being thankful for wrinkles!

I had lofty ambitions for my first Creative Expressions DT piece! I took my inspiration from those old french porcelain plaques that I see in small antique shops that are always just out of my price range! These plaques are very 'clean' so that the sentiment really stands out. I 
had seen a blog post from Shelly Hickox and I knew that I could make my own plaque that was definitely in budget! I cut a plaque from grungeboard with my trusty Vagabond and covered it in Picket Fence Crackle Paint although any colour would work brilliantly! 
It is really important that you try and get an even coat so that your cracks are of an even appearance - I'm not brilliant at this, but then I'm hopeless at icing a cake! Then, when it was all crazed, which took no time at all, I used Jet Black Archival Ink for the sentiment which was 
from the 'Wrinkles Don't Hurt' stamp set and Black Soot Distress Ink on the edges. I then covered it clear embossing ink and a coat of clear UTEE (repeat for a super shiny finish!) I then added some embellishments, eyelets and a chain just like some of the plaques I had seen! I hope when visitors come and see this piece they'll have a chuckle that something so 'old' has such a funny message! I hope you have a go at this technique - it was such a lot of fun! Gabrielle x

11 August 2011

Tickled (Victorian Velvet) pink!

After telling everyone I knew, and a few strangers on Twitter, just how much I needed Victorian Velvet Distress Stain the lovely Lin saved me one when it came into stock (*ahem* - and a few others too!) and even though I have used it on quite a few projects I thought it was high time it was the star! Linda's Grungy Monday challenge this week is this 2010 Tim Holtz technique. There's an excellent tutorial there so I won't go into too much detail! The tag was swiped 
with Snow Cap Paint Dabber and then I used Tattered Rose, Victorian Velvet and Worn Lipstick Distress Ink. I then stamped a swirl in Victorian Velvet Distress Ink but as it also picked up a little of the ink I'd used here it made a really nice effect! I used my Sewing Room die and cut out a bobbin and two manikins using my trusty Vagabond! One manikin had the top and bottom snipped off and they were all painted with Snow Cap Paint Dabber, edges sanded 
and then edged in Vintage Photo Distress Ink. I stamped a swirl on the manikin body and then used Vintage Photo Distress Embossing Powder. The ribbons are all dyed with Victorian Velvet Distress Stain and the charms came from LB Crafts. Tim reused packaging on top of his image but mine was too thick and didn't sit nicely so I mounted mine beneath the images. It was embossed with a Fancy and Floral Texture Fade. I finished the tag with a washer and brad. 
I enjoyed my afternoon of making a girlie pretty thing and I am so chuffed that Victorian Velvet didn't disappoint! If you want to learn more about Distress Stains, Tim's latest blog post has this fabulous video explaining everything and more! Gabrielle x

10 August 2011

Scarlett Letters!

A lovely colleague is soon to leave to go on maternity leave with her first child. She knows it's a girl and they have named her Scarlett - how cool is that name?! So in honour of her impending arrival I have made her a little gift for Scarlett's room. It is made fom Wendy Vecchi's Art Parts (not hers you understand, they are mine, but she designed them!) - I used the Flower Set and and the Bookplates I won in a Simon Says Stamp Twitter competition (thank you for the millionth time again!) I wanted it to be pretty simple in design - the flower was covered with some of Tim's Lost and Found paper and then inked with Victorian Velvet Distress Stain (I LOVE this colour!). The bookplate is covered with some spare Stampin' Up paper (the reverse of the paper I used on my drawers here) and then inked with Wild Honey Distress Stain. 
The flower was edged with Barn Door Distress Ink and the bookplate with Wild Honey. The letters are from Tim's Alpha Parts - Newsprint. The heart is a little wooden one inked with Fired Brick Distress Stain. There is a stalk to the flower which was inked with Peeled Paint Distress Stain. There's a little hook on the back so it can be hung up! I hope that Scarlett likes it - though it might be sometime before she can tell me! Gabrielle x

9 August 2011

Technique on a Tuesday!

Just a quick post today! Simon Says Stamp and Show have challenged us to show a technique from the fabulous Tim Holtz. This was a no-brainer for me - I had a Ranger masterclass at LB Crafts from the one-and-only Linda Elbourne on Saturday - any tweets showing me doing nothing but drinking tea are photoshopped (just ask Bev or Sara who were 
there too!) Anyhow I really enjoyed the "Alcohol Ink on Fragment technique and then stamping with Jet Black Archival Ink and then wiping it off" - there must be a snappier title than that! So I inked a small frame with Picket Fence Distress Stain as a sort of primer, then Peeled Paint Distress Stain and edged it with Vintage Photo Distress Ink
The Fragments were covered in Ginger, Stream and Espresso Alcohol Inks and glued on with Glossy Accents.The stamps are all Tim's and you can't see it in the photo but top right is a bird. Ok, think I might need a bit of therapy about birds! Have you seen the small birdcage I bought off eBay? This is it next to 'she who eats art'! Not quite as small as I'd assumed! Oops!
My next post is a new baby gift - aahhh! Gabrielle x

7 August 2011

Wishful inking!

It's not often that someone knocks on your door and says something like this: "I've read your blog and wondered if you could tell me what these are" and then thrusts a long list in your hand! Well a neighbour did that today and I don't really need an excuse to get inky! I decided that making a project was the best way to show her what her list did and we made this project that I will put forward to Hels' weekly Sunday Stamper challenge - 'Wish' - it's not what I was going to do but it does fit the bill! I also know that this means I'll be doing the Sunday Stamper challenge on the day it's set! That's a refreshing change!
I used two ATC Art Parts and we put Crushed Olive Distress Stain on them. Wanting to show what Picket Fence does we put that on the top and then put Peeled Paint on top of that! It went blueish in places which looks really nice and an unexpected colour reaction! We then stamped Wendy's Mail Art tree in Vintage Photo Distress Ink, one upside down. 
We covered a blank Bookplates Art Part with Antique Linen Distress Stain but when it dried it was invisible (!) so we clear stamped and embossed the word 'wish' from Wendy's Just Word Art set and then covered the plate in Vintage Photo Distress Stain which resisted the word. We then sprayed the plate with Heirloom Gold Perfect Pearls Mist and when it was dry edged it, and the ATC, with Black Soot Distress Ink. 
The bird was cut from Grungeboard using  Tim's fabulous Caged Bird die and my trusty Vagabond. We covered the bird in Dusty Concord Distress Stain, edged in Vintage Photo Distress Ink and covered in a thin layer of Glossy Accents
The crown was cut from Grungeboard using the Heart Wings die and inked with Weathered Wood Distress Stain and Heirloom Gold Perfect Pearls Mist. We then painted the edges with a little Gold  Paint Dabber (which, dear reader, did not explode this time!!!) All that was left was to add a couple of brads to the Bookplate; cut two holes in the top of the ATC; attach two jump rings and a chain! I think we covered the important things on the list and made a cute little ATC in the process! Think this is a cue to hear the Neighbours theme tune ;) Gabrielle x

Thank you star!

Ok. Not to bore you on my childcare arrangements for the summer holidays (so bear with me!) but my wonderful friend Kitty (and family) looked after Freya and Tom last week while I worked. I'd like to let you know what they did whilst at chez Chater but to be honest the list of what they didn't do is shorter! Anyhow yesterday Tom (8) wanted to do some crafting and I suggested making thank you cards as F&T are now staying with my parents so I can work this week 
- their lives are a social whirl! So we cut tags from white card with my trusty vagabond and then stamped the fabulous stars from the Celestial Art set by Wendy Vecchi in clear ink and then clear embossed them. Being a child who like quick wins I gave Tom the choice of Distress 
Stains to cover his tag. He chose Black Soot and I chose Weathered Wood. I love Distress Stains as they are so easy to use and cover brilliantly. Then we stamped a ticket from Tim's Steampunk set in Archival Ink on the back of an Adage Ticket (who uses 'soar'?!) and 
covered them in more Distress Stains (Tom chose Mustard Seed and I chose Crushed Olive). Now it was about at this stage that Tom got bored and wandered off leaving me to finish my tag!  I added a hand, stamped from the same Steampunk set, embossed and 
Tom's thank you tag
inked as before. The rosettes were cut from white cardstock and the smaller inked with Weathered Wood Distress Stain. As always the tag and rosette were edged with Vintage Photo Distress Ink - I think I'd take this as part of my Desert Island Discs luxury if ever I was asked! I added a sentiment from a sheet I bought at LB Crafts (can't remember the manufacturer) and a Maya Road pin. The swirls are stamped in Weathered Wood Distress Ink. Then I added some sari ribbon to both our tags and they were done! Tom is very proud of his and went off with it in his bag ready to give to to Grandma and Grandpa! Hope you have had a lovely weekend and an enjoyable week! Note to self - put the tag next to my bag so I remember to post it!!! Gabrielle x

5 August 2011


Now, I have a lot to thank my lovely friend Sara for! Not only is she a pretty fabulous friend, has two ready made (and willing!) babysitters and has a wicked sense of humour but she gave me a lot of encouragement to apply for a design team spot. I have wanted to join a design team for ages but don't seem to have the courage to ask but Sara gave me that little push. Today it was announced who was going to be in newly formed Creative Expressions DT and my name was one of those chosen! I did have to ask Freya if there were likely to have been two Gabrielle Prices who applied but the confirmation email was in my inbox (phew!). So, I am awaiting the details of what's involved but for now I am just giddy with excitement! So many of you have been unbelievably kind and supportive on Twitter and Facebook - thank you - means a lot especially from peers I really respect. The little Floral art part in the first picture was part of an experiment with Distress Stains - when I've got it right I'll tell all! 
The other picture is my new Distress Ink storage solution! I covered an Ikea box (sadly no longer made - boo!) with Stampin Up paper and used Distress Stains to show what colour is in each drawer - how lush is Spiced Marmalade?! Anyway - am off to get all giddy again - thank you Sara and the Creative Expressions team! Gabrielle x

2 August 2011

A quick 'I love you'!

So, today is my wedding anniversary - 14 years! We have been together for 23 years (We met at Sixth Form - so I'll leave you to do the maths!) and in honour of this momentous occasion I made a super speedy tag card as I only had 20 minutes! 
Doesn't sound like I care much does it?! I cut a white card tag with my trusty Vagabond and then clear stamped (and then embossed) the background stamp from Tim's Papillon set. I then swiped Black Soot Distress Ink over the top - black is David's favourite colour
- see I do care! For the heart I cut out the largest heart die from Grungeboard. I covered the Grungeboard with Fired Brick Distress Stain and then thickly painted PaperArtsy Crackle Glaze and dried it with my heat gun. Now, my heat gun is running very hot and it creates 
bubbles in the paint. I then added a layer of Old Gold all over the tag and heated it again so it really bubbled. I then added 'blobs' of Fired Brick Distress Stain randomly and wiped off the excess and added my usual Vintage Photo Distress Ink to the edges. I added a small eyelet to the heart and hung it from a Swivel Clasp (put through the hole in the tag) and put a Cherish Philosophy Tag with it. 
The little sentiment is from a set I bought from LB Crafts but have no clue who made it! As Simon Says Stamp and Show are asking for Tags this week I'll pop this on their site - but I'm off now to get ready - apparently we're going out for dinner to celebrate! How exciting! Gabrielle x