Altered Butterflies

I have a mini tutorial share with you today using some chipboard butterflies from Crafty Cutting. These shapes are always great to alter as gifts or home decor. I decided to alter mine as a set to be displayed as a rabble on a wall/press etc. Top Tip: A group of butterflies is refereed to as a swarm or a rabble. Rabble is obviously a more fun word to use than swarm though!

There are a lot of butterflies included in the packet so great for a big project like this.

pic 1 Step 1

I ‘painted’ my butterflies using Antiqued Bronze distress stain.pic 2 pic 3 Step 2

I wanted my lead butterfly – the one ahead of all the others – to stand out a little bit more. So on this one I covered it with some torn book page pieces. Cover and glue down over the entire butterfly.pic 4

pic 5

Step 3


Use a craft knife and trim around the edges to remove all the excess paper.

pic 6 Step 4

Then use a file and file off any uneven edges etc.pic 7 Step 5

Ink the butterfly to match the others now.pic 8 Step 6

To finish off all the butterflies I stamped over them in embossing ink with a script stamp. I then used a verdigris embossing powder and heat embossed them. This powder gives a multi colour tone on the embossing.pic 9 Here you can see the rabble of butterflies. The variation in colours is from using a metallic paint as a base and the multi colored embossing paper. As the light hits them and reflects in different ways they will shimmer and almost look like they are moving!pic 10

Categories: crafts | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Another Altered Jar!

I couldn’t help myself…when it came to altering jars I had two techniques I wanted to try. The first one I posted here last week. This is my second technique. I am not sure which of the two was messier….this one maybe wins by a fraction though! I have lots of these mini glass jars – they are actually yoghurt pots and are just too cute to throw out when the yoghurt is finished.

What you will need:

  • Jar
  • Modeling paste/ texture paste – this needs to be a fairly thick paste so that it doesn’t slide off the glass
  • Gesso & paint
  • Charms, clay trinkets, embellishments – anything you fancy!

Step 1

Clean the jar thoroughly, removing any labels, oils etc.

pic 1

Step 2

My paste comes in a tube so I squeezed some out onto an artists pallet. I used a spatula to spread it on the jar. You may notice I ignored step 1 – remove all labels. I was curios to see if it was worth the effort of scraping them all off so left it on for this one!pic 2 Step 3

Slather the paste on all over the jar. You can spend time smoothing it out if you like but I liked the really textured look so went for the messy option.pic 3 Step 5

Have all your embellishments ready….I used a mix of clay and resin ones that I made using a silicone mould.pic 4 Step 6

Stick the embellishments into the wet paste – you have to do this before it dries!! When wet the paste will hold the embellishments and ‘glue’ them in place. They will also look more seamless in the piece too as the paste will move up and around the edge of the items.
pic 5 Step 7

When the paste is fully dry (mine took a few hours but I left it overnight to be sure) paint on a layer of gesso. This helps with the next step by giving a good base over the embellishments. The texture paste is easy to paint over by itself. pic 6 Step 8

Before you paint the jar you can use some sandpaper or a file to smoothen out some of the harsher or pointy ridges your texture may have – if you like! Then you can brush off the sanding dust and paint. I started with a base of teal blue.

pic 7

At this stage the gremlins in my camera ate the rest of the painting photos! So lets pretend you can see me do the following:


  • Paint the jar all teal blue
  • When dry paint on a wash of black paint – put some black paint on a craft sheet/pallet and mix a lot of water in it. Brush this all over the jar
  • Let the wash dry slightly then rub off the excess – the more you rub the more blue you expose underneath
  • Then when you have finished you wash(s) – you may want to do more than one – use some copper paint to highlight the embellishments and some of the texture. I used my finger to apply the copper highlights. I felt like I had more control that way.

You can see the finished jar here below….final 1 This is definitely one of those craft projects that looks like a mess all the way through – until you do the last coat of paint!final 2 final 3


Thanks for checking this post out, let me know if you liked this technique for altering a jar or my other one more!

Categories: crafts | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Curiosity Canvas

This months Mixed Media Place challenge emotion theme is Curiosity. I had great fun working on a small canvas and working with this theme. I love this quote ‘replace fear of the unknown with curiosity’. I decided to use it on my canvas. I was also curious to see if a new iridescent medium I bought worked liked I hoped it would and also curious to see if after not drawing for years how rusty at it I was! (Spoiler – the answer was VERY rusty!!).


I also put together a little tutorial on this one just to show how easy it can be to work on canvas boards.

What you will need:

  • Canvas board
  • Paints
  • Stamps & inks
  • Image of an eye or else pencils to draw one
  • Book paper
  • Embellishments
  • Vellum (for the sentiment)
  • Stencils & sponge/dabber
  • Anything else knocking about on your desk that you want to use up :)

Step 1

Give the canvas a base coat of paint. I used a mushroom brown colour.

pic 1

Step 2

When the paint is fully dry spritz with some ink sprays. I added a lot of spray and allowed it to marble around to blend. Let this dry fully – or use your heat gun if you are short of time like I usually am.pic 2

Step 3

I stamped on the canvas using black ink. I used archival ink and before it was fully dry used my (well stained) craft towel wiped the ink off. I made sure to wipe in one direction. Wiping harder in some places than in others gives a more faced effect in some parts than others.

pic 3

pic 4

pic 5

Step 4

Ink the edges of the canvas with the black ink.

Step 5

I used a Tim Holtz  ‘shattered’ stencil to stencil over my canvas. To stencil on the canvas I used my iridescent medium. This gives the look of silks paints – which I covet but can’t afford! The medium is slightly silvery in colour but it reacts with the water based sprays and takes on their colours. You can also mix it with any paint to give a shimmer effect.

pic 6

Step 6

Draw and eye or else cut one from a magazine, or print from the internet.

pic 7

Step 7

Take a page from a book and draw a rough circle of the size of your eye picture on it. I then used a craft knife to cut into the centre of this circle and then ‘tore’ the paper open to give a peeled back effect.

pic 8

pic 9

Step 8

I used foam pads to peel the edges back and stick them down but keep the dimension. I also rolled the top and bottom of the paper to give a scroll effect.pic 10

pic 11


Step 9

I stamped my sentiment on vellum and let it dry. I then cut the words out, inked the edges and used a xyron to add adhesive to the back of the pieces.  I liked how the vellum showed the background through it still but let the letters stand out enough.

pic 12

Step 10

I used some distress stain on some chipboard cogs and inked over them in black also.

pic 13

Step 11

I added my vellum words and some of the chipboard cogs and some metal cogs also.

pic 14 Step 12

I outlined the velum words using a sepia toned pen to make them stand out a little bit more.pic 16
Step 13

I mounted my eye panel with foam pads and called it done!pic 15



I am also entering this into the Artistic Stamper Embossing and Texture challenge. I used the iridescent medium like a texture paste to emboss through the stencil and have texture everywhere I can on the canvas!

Categories: crafts | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Steampunk Tag

Hi all, I am stopping by with another share from the Sarah Hurley blog again today. I recently made a masculine Steampunk card for this blog last. I had some scraps from that left on my desk so I decided to create a tag to match it that I could add to a gift for with the card. I used some of Sarah Hurley papers, and the steampunk digital kit for this. The word strips, and tickets were from the digital kit. I cut them out and glued them to my tag. I stapled some of the tickets together to give an effect of a ticket book. 

I die cut the cog from the Sarah Hurley papers and used inks to help make it look rusted up. The papers have fantastic texture so this really helped with the look. I stapled the Enjoy the Journey word strip to a small journaling banner. I then stapled this whole thing onto the tag and let it curve out from the tag for some more dimension. Some splatters of white spray and some twine finished it off nicely!

steampunk mini tag

Thanks for stopping by today and I hope you got inspired!

Categories: crafts | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Break Free!

I have a tutorial up today over at the Crafting Ireland blog. But I thought I would share it here also. It is another mixed media tag. The background of my tag was made using the techniques on my tag from last year here. In fact I will let you in on a secret…this tag base was created at the same time as that last tag…and has sat on my desk ever since waiting to be finished!

So what I want to show you is how easy it can be to finish off those projects that end up by the wayside.

What you will need:

  • Unfinished project (optional – you can start a new one also if you like!)
  • Adhesive
  • Ink
  • Embossing powder
  • Chipboard shapes – all mine are from and I used the CogsButterflies and Stars.

Step 1

Create a base using my previous tutorial here or else use an existing one. I did add some sparkle to my tag by smearing on some glossy accents and then sprinkling some distress glitter over this.

pic 1pic 2

Step 2

Ink up the chipboard, I used a nice juicy ink so that I could sprinkle embossing powder on it. I used copper ink and copper embossing powder. I coated the inked up chipboard in the embossing powder and then tapped a lot of it off. This gave me a patchy embossed look where the ink underneath could shine though. It is a lovely effect.

pic 3pic 4pic 5

Step 3

I used some Tarnished brass distress ink mixed on a craft mat with some water to stain some cheesecloth.

pic 6Step 4

I made some mini banners and glued them to the two small butterflies I am using on my tag.pic 7pic 8Step 5

I inked up the cogs with the Tarnished brass stain and when dry aged them up a bit using black soot distress ink. I then glued these onto the tag.pic 9Step 6

Glue the butterflies down onto the tag and staple the cheese cloth over them. I wanted it to look like two were trapped in a net and the third was flying free from the net.

pic 10Step 7

I used some mini stickers to give my tag a title.pic 11And it was done! It was such a fast process to finish this tag I don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner!pic 12This picture is a better indication of the true colour of the tag…. You can also see the lovely texture on the butterflies from the embossing method I did.pic 13Another close up showing more of the bottom of the tag….pic 14


I hope you enjoyed seeing this process. We all get creative blocks at times, but never throw out those unfinished projects!

Categories: crafts | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Stitching Challenge

Our challenge this month over at Sarah Hurley is to use stitching. It can be real or faux. I went with real stitching for a change….half way through my hand stitching I remembered why I usually do faux stitching!!

I used the digital Documented 365 Neapolitan kit to create my card. I printed out the sequin journaling card larger than its set size and used it as a strip of paper on my card base. I cut one of the other journaling cards down into a banner and I hand stitched this onto the sequin paper. I left my stitching threads exposed for some more texture on the card. I stamped a few doily stamps on my card base and put it all together. The gold looks fantastic with the soft pink and brown in real life, its a fabulous colour combo!!

stitching card


Make sure you head over and check out the challenge and join in the fun, the prizes are fantastic!!

Categories: crafts | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

TARDIS Wedding Card

I recently got commissioned to make a Dr. Who themed wedding card. I had a blast with this one with lots of cutting and layering to get dimension. The completed card has a ribbon around it – I thought it would be fun to look like the Tardis was a gift!

tardis 1

The doors on the tardis open. The detailing on the top of the tardis was done by layering strips of paper together – laminating them almost. This gave parts of the tardis dimension without having to use ugly looking foam squares.tardis 2 The card has a stand at the back to make sure it stays upright….tardis 3 And the doors open up to reveal a cute wedding couple – coloured to look like the Doctor and Rose Tyler – that will test your Dr.Who geekiness! The client requested a specific quote. I printed this on vellum so that you could still see the inside of the tardis through it.tardis 4


Thanks for stopping by today, hope you enjoyed this card as much as I enjoyed making it!

Categories: crafts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Altered Jar

Hi all,

I have had a few days off lately so planned to get lots of crafting and blogging done. But life got in the way instead! I am sharing an altered jar I made today for a swap with a friend.  The swap was to swap a 0.5l ‘Korken’ jar from Ikea. We set the size of the jar and that was it – totally free and easy theme!

My wonderful creative friend (Hi Sandie!) sent me a gorgeous jar altered to be the perfect sewing jar. Very creative use of materials on it and something I really actually needed too! I know she had recently redecorated her craft room so started off trying to alter a jar to suit the room which has a teal accent wall. Then things got a bit out of control, there was lots of paint used, the black paint came out and things got grungy….very grungy. So apologies Sandie, but I hope you do still like it, there is still a bit of teal on it to match your room!

What you will need:

  • Jar
  • Tissue paper (I used white but I guess you could use coloured too)
  • Gel medium
  • Paint brushes
  • Paint colours of your choice and some sponge pieces to use the paints with
  • Embellishments of your choice

Step 1

Rip up some tissue paper into small pieces. Crumple the pieces up and then flatten out. This gives it more texture from all these creases when on the jar.

Step 2

Apply a generous amount of gel medium on the jar and place a piece of tissue paper onto it. Brush over the top of this tissue paper with more gel medium. Continue to glue on the tissue paper, building up as many layers as you like. I covered the lid and the jar. My camera ate the photos of step 1 and 2 here but you can see the tissue paper on the jar in the image below even though I have started painting it.pic 1

Step 3

When it is all dry you can paint the jar. I started off using teal paint and dabbed the paint on with a sponge. I didn’t do full coverage, I left some gaps unpainted. I used a sponge for 2 reasons – it gives a great texture when you stipple the paint on. Also using a paintbrush looks too streaky on it.

When the teal was dry I then used a copper paint to fill in the gaps. I worked on blending out the copper into the teal.

pic 2

Step 4

When the copper and teal was dry I used some black paint to highlight the creases on the tissue paper to show up the texture more. I found using my fingers for this stage was the best way, and gave the most control.

pic 3 You can see the jar with no black paint on it on the left below and the lid with the black paint treatment on the right.pic 4

Step 5

I embellished the lid using some G45 flower metal staples, some chipboard cogs, gems and some other bits and pieces. I used a letter brad in the center of the flower. I used a butterfly that was die cut from metal and embossed and inked up using alcohol inks. Edit: Forgot to mention I stamped on the butterfly and the lid with a text stamp in a faint ink. It is a subtle look, much easier to see in real life!

pic 5

Step 6

I had taken the jar apart to work on it. I used alcohol inks to ink up the metal catch to tie in with the rest of the jar then I put the jar all back together.pic 6


Here is the completed jar….I actually forgot to take pictures of the finished product so Sandie kindly took some and sent them to me.

Altered Jar Nicole 002

Altered Jar Nicole 004

Close up of the top….Altered Jar Nicole 005

Altered Jar Nicole 006 Close up of the colour and texture of the jar….Altered Jar Nicole 014

I am entering this in the Artistic Stamper April challenge – embossing and texture.

Categories: crafts | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sun Rays

I am really enjoying creating in my journal lately, whenever I can get some free time. I am also enjoying getting to use up some of those papers we tend to hoard because they are too nice to use. On this page I used a fun wood grain and white zig zag pattern I had. I glued this paper down to make my background and gave it a thin wash of gesso. Once this was dry I used a cog and gear stencil to ink over the top of this. I then stenciled on some stars in random patches. I also added some stamping with a crackle stamp.

pic 4For the focal point of the page I used a Retro Cafe Art sunrays stencil. I coloured my texture paste with copper paint and applied through the stencil. I had to stencil twice to get the full sun.pic 5

I did another of my favourite things to embellish the page further – used scraps from a pile on my desk from other projects! Some crumpled book paper was inked up with some hints of copper paint on it also. A ticket sticker, a banner sticker and a drawer cut from another scrap of paper were all adhered down here.pic 2 I made some book paper ‘flags’ and used another sticker and some map paper from another scrap.pic 3I added journaling all around the edge of my page. It is a quote I like from Oliver Twist and it reads:

“The sun,–the bright sun, that brings back, not light alone, but new life, and hope, and freshness to man–burst upon the crowded city in clear and radiant glory. Through costly-coloured glass and paper-mended window, through cathedral dome and rotten crevice, it shed its equal ray.” 
pic 1

This was a very fun page to work on and quite fast too – once my texture paste dried!

Categories: crafts | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Late to the party!

I made this card for the March WMS Pyjama Party as a second entry but never got a chance to blog it! I wanted to make a pretty C&S card for this with some fun colour. I used the  fine feathers dies to die cut the feathers from the wood grain card stock. However I forgot about the little registration circles so I ended up with a tiny hole die cut on either end of the feather too….that’s where the sequins came in! I used a dab of glue to put a sequin over each hole and added one or two more on the card to make it flow a bit better.

march pj 2

If you are familiar with thethe stamp set you may notice that the smaller feathers on this card are actually solid stamps…they don’t have the same detail as the larger stamp on my card. For my small feather stamps I inked up the stamps with two ink colours, Peacock Feathers and Dusty Concord distress inks. I then created a mask using the die and stamped the detail from the larger feather onto the smaller ones. This then gave them the same look as the larger feather. The larger feather I watercoloured my two colours after stamping it.

Does that all make sense? I hope so! I used the sample sheet from the WMS website to hopefully explain better….



So now that I have totally confused you I shall say goodbye for today and hope you are all keeping well!

Categories: crafts | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Blog at The Adventure Journal Theme.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 380 other followers