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Friday 30 November 2012

December's Stamp of the Month - Steampunk Butterfly

I know Christmas is just weeks away now, but we are looking beyond that with our wonderful new stamp set, Steampunk Butterfly.

The rose on this set is cleverly drawn to look like it is made of riveted metal and Sue, our wonderful stamp artist, almost didn't include it. I'm so glad she did as it has been extremely popular with all of our design team and you will see it coming up over the next month in many different guises.  Pop over to my blog ( to read how I created this mixed media wood block.

The big butterfly on this set is a delightful collection of gears, cogs and bolts - just crying out to be embellished with watch parts, Ideology bits and pieces or decorated chipboard shapes.  The design team have really blown me away this month with their samples and I know you're going to love them too.

Steampunk Butterfly is our December Stamp of the Month and will be on special offer right through this month (there's a special price for our wholesale customers too).

But wait ... there's more!

Each Friday we are going to pick a favourite stamp set to put on offer for one week and this week, it is the turn of Family Christmas, a lovely A4 set with a nostalgic feel.

And finally, I had a few requests for specific Christmas sentiments, so I came up with a little handful which we have produced as clear stamps (so much easier to position) and they are available separately or as a multi-buy.  Visit the Clear Stamp department to see them all - they start at just £1.99.

I am finding these Christmas sentiments SO useful for quick cards, especially flat, no-embellishment cards (keeps the postage costs down too).

So, if you've read this far, you deserve a reward.  How about a giveaway?  It's been a while since we did one*, so please leave us a comment and we'll put your name into the draw.  I will pick two winners next Friday - one will win Steampunk Butterfly and one will win the full set of Christmas sentiments.

Tomorrow I will be back with news of a different kind - we have a new designer on the team!!

PS - last time we did a giveaway (Gothic Fragments), I never got round to announcing the winner.  We did contact the lucky lady (Lynn Hardy) and sent out her prize, but I do apologise to anyone waiting to hear - my bad!

Thursday 29 November 2012

A Christmas Bauble (by Clare)

Merry Christmas, everyone!  It's that time of year to celebrate again, and the Chocolate Baroque set Pears and Baubles is an awesome one to start your cards with!  The detail on these stamps is so exquisite and fine!  It was a lot of fun, and very relaxing to sit and color all the little spaces!  This is one set I will be using over and over again!  The word "Joy" is from the Chocolate Baroque set, Ivy Trails.  I stamped the bauble in black ink and colored it in with water-based markers, then cut it out close to the outline.  Some little shiny round stickers were placed in the center, on the word 'Joy", around the periphery of the ball, and on the bottom left corner.  I used the smaller ornaments for the inside of the card. 

Wednesday 28 November 2012

Two Roads (posted by Claire)

Good morning, my sample this morning features the new clear stamps Terrific Treescapes, this time I've created a misty Autumn scene by combining them with stamps from Woodland Dreams 

I've had this card in my head for a long while and these new stamps were just perfect to create it. The sentiment from Woodland dreams was the inspiration for the card, unfortunately its a little blurred in the photo but it reads 'Two roads diverges in a wood, and I, I took the one less travelled by'. 
It can get a bit tricky making quite complicated scenes using a brayer but its so easy with PanPastels. I  used a torn paper mask for the hills at the back of the scene and also a mask for the sun but apart from that I just used the Sofft tools to create the scene with shades of green and brown PanPastel. I stamped the trees with Memento inks. The little bird is also from  Woodland Dreams, coloured with distress markers. I've used brown card for matting and layering and one of the Guild papers in the background.

Thanks for visiting today, 
Claire xx

Monday 26 November 2012

Spring is in the air (posted by Claire)

Good morning, Claire here with another sample using the gorgeous new clear stamps 'Terrific Treescapes'. These stamps work beautifully with so many of the other sets, for this wedding card I've combined them with the little church from Sunburst Scene's

I began by stamping the church image in the foreground and then adding the trees to create the scene. I stamped the images in black archival ink. I've used distress markers to colour the scene and then used Tumbled glass distress ink for the sky.

I die cut the image using a circular die and layered it up over a little doily. I used a backing paper from one of the Guild paper packs and layered a larger doily over that. The flowers are from my stash and the leaves have been cut with crealies dies. I've added some green ribbon and  a little pearl buckle to finish off.

Hopefully this card will be a little reminder of the spring sunshine after the dreadful weather we've been having. Thanks for visiting today
Claire cc

Sunday 25 November 2012

A few little Party Birds by Debbie

I was delighted when I saw these clear stamps as they fill a gap in my stamp collection. The Party Words and Birds stamps are a little querky and ideal for quick cards. Here are a few I've made.
For the birds on this card I did the paper piecing technique using scraps of left over paper.
Simply stamped and coloured with alcohol pens.
Another quick card, I love the way they can be stood on the sentiment. A couple of washi tape strips for extra detail.
I took inspiration from DT buddy Lesley for this card. I love her polka dot papers available for download from the website. For the red hearts on the flowers I stamped onto the card. I stamped another three, coloured them red and covered with glossy accents. I cut the hearts out and decoupaged. Thank you for visiting Debbie

Friday 23 November 2012

Autumn garland (posted by Elaine)

Like the other girls in the team, I have really enjoyed working with the Terrific Treescapes clear stamps. It is hard not to be inspired by the amazing aumtumn colours around us at the moment and this is my attempt to capture the mood of this lovely season.

I started off with a white die cut oval and added several different die inks, using a masked sun and hills to build up my landscape. I stamped in my trees with coffee archival ink.  I fixed the oval onto a kraft panel matted onto a brown 8 x 8 card. I then cut lots of different leaves and twigs in autmny colours using the Tim Holtz Autumn Gatherings die and used them to frame the inked landscape. I added a sentiment from the Artisitc Affirmations set.


Wednesday 21 November 2012

Through the window (posted by Claire)

Hi there, Claire here with an altered art project combining the beautiful new clear stamps 'Terrific Treescapes' with some of my favourite stamps from Christmas Creatures and Home Sweet Home.

I recently had a Graze Box delivered and as soon as I opened it I thought it would be perfect for making a window scene so these stamps were just perfect to put my idea in to practice.

I began by painting the box with white acrylic paint. I've used lots of masking and coloured the images with promarkers, adding the deep blue sky with chipped sapphire and broken china distress inks. I've added a die cut icicle border along the top of the window:

Here's a photo of the front of the box, again combining Terrific Treescapes with Christmas Creatures.

I hope you like my little window scene
thanks for popping by today
Claire xx

Monday 19 November 2012

A Winter Scene (posted by Claire)

Good morning, the new clear stamp set Terrific Treescapes are just my cup of tea, I love creating scening cards and these beautifully designed trees are perfect for this kind of project. 

I've used PanPastels to create my scene, I've used shades of grey, ultramarine blue tine and a little red tint and diarylide yellow tint for the clouds. I didn't use masking for the hills but just sketched in the hills with a sofft knife tool and then stamped the trees using Memento Tuxedo black ink, adding a litle grey for shadows.

I've simply matted the scene in red, white and then black card. 
I hope you're enjoying all the wonderful projects from my talented teamies
Thanks for visiting today
Claire xx

Sunday 18 November 2012

Tangled Garden meets Felt by Debbie

Well, my project today doesn't use card but it does involve stamps and ink. I love the versatility of stamps and immediately new that the large flower would be great stamped onto felt. It gives a great impression as there are no fiddly bits to cut out.
I used Black Stazon and stamped twice then cut them out. The centers are lots of french knots stiched with three strands of embroidery thread. A brooch back is stitched to the back so that it can be moved from the hat to my jacket. This photo gives a better view of the french knots.
We all have crafty things that we hang onto and feel they are to precious to use. I bought this fabric over two years ago and it fell into the strokable catergory. My first thought was to make a cushion but I decided the fabric was a good size for a bag.
I hope this post has inspired you to think about different ways of using your stamps. Debbie

Saturday 17 November 2012

Snowy Christmas Trees (posted by Judith)

Hi folks, for those of you that like to make batch cards at Christmas, I have a set of samples that I'd like to show you today.

I made a set of masterboards, using a couple of snowflakes from the Damask Reindeer stamp set, which I embossed with white embossing powder over two thirds of each piece of white card. I then stamped the chosen colours of Distress Ink directly onto my craft mat and spritzed them with water, ensuring that I had at least covered an A4 area with colour. I laid my card face down onto the mat to pick the colour up, and patted it around a few times, until I had covered the card with colour, then set it aside to dry.

Once the card was dry, I took a piece of Cut 'N ' Dry foam, and one of the colours of Distress ink, and just blended over each snowflake. This really makes the snowflakes pop. I cut two ovals from the end of card that was free from embossing, and stamped one of the tree images in dark brown ink onto each oval. I left this to dry completely. I then stamped the tree again with Versamark, offsetting it slightly, and embossed it with white embossing powder. It then looks like the tree is covered with snow. The clear stamps are so useful for this, as you can line them up exactly, then just shift them a fraction, to get the snow effect.

From the remaining card section, I cut a large tag shape, and a strip of card 6 cms wide. I matted each oval onto a frilly oval shape that toned with the ink colours, and then placed them onto the cards and tags. I stamped a sentiment from the Warm Christmas Greeting set onto each card, using one of the Distress Ink colours that I had used on the background.

The ribbons that I have used are also available from the Chocolate Baroque website.
Keep checking back for more inspiration from my Design Team mates coming soon, thanks for stopping by, Judith xx

Friday 16 November 2012

Tangled garden by Miranda.....

Hi there,
Today here some creations I've made with the new and gorgeous stamp sheet 'Tangled Garden'! I enjoyed it very much to play with these stamps, there are beautiful butterflies on it, one of my favorites!
Here is number one.... made with the Pan Pastels on linen structured paper as you can see here very well. The butterfly has been decoupaged and coloured with Derwent Soft Colour pencils. Added some gemstones on the body. The text is from the Artistic Affirmations sheet. On the background you can see fragments of the Lace Fragments sheet.

The 2nd one has become a Christmas one with the large open flower from the sheet. I've filled the flower with the texture fragments sheet and also coloured with Pan Pastels.( Phtalo green and Permanent Red shade )On the background you can see another pattern of the Texture Fragments. Also a lovely Ivy vine is used from the Christmas Foliage sheet. The Christmas sentiment is from the clear sheet 'Warm Christmas greetings'

And here are some creations made with those fantastic Pan Pastels and the new clear sheet 'Terrific Treescapes, they are great especially for this kind of work!

Till next time, have fun and enjoy creating

Thursday 15 November 2012

Bottlecap Flowers (posted by Claire)

Good morning Claire here with a project made using the new Tangled Garden stamps. I'd had these little vases for a long time but never found any silk flowers that would look right in them. As soon as I saw the new stamps I new that I'd be able to make the perfect flowers for my little vases.

They were very quick and easy to make. I used watercolour paper as it holds its shape very well when making flowers. I coloured each sheet of paper with ink and glimmer mists until I got the colours I needed and then once they had dried I stamped the large open flower from Tangled Garden twice and the detailed flower twice on each sheet with versamark and embossed with gold embossing powder. I cut the flowers out and layered them up.

The flower centres were made with bottle caps crushed in my cuttlebug, I used the centre of the detailed flower and glossy accents in side the bottlecaps:

I found that drinking straws were the perfect height to be used as the stems for my flowers so I painted some with gesso and acrylic paint. I attached the straws while I was assembling the flowers. I layered up the 3 layers of petals with strong wet glue, once this was dry I punched 2 small holes in the centre of each and threaded some ribbon through before attaching the straw at the back of the flower with a hot glue gun. The ribbon then ties around the straw in a pretty bow so the back looks pretty too.

Thanks for visiting today
Claire xx

Wednesday 14 November 2012

Blue Butterfly (posted by Judith)

I'd like to show you another sample using the new Tangled Garden stamp set. Although the weather is really cold and our thoughts are turning to Winter now, hopefully this card will make you feel more like Spring!

I have painted the background with a thin coat of Ecoline paint, before stamping a frame of leaves around the edge, using masking tape to allow me to overlap some of them as I went along. I drew small tangle designs in the gaps to complete the frame. These are not regular at all, and I wanted to show that you do not have to be a great artist to enjoy the spirit of Zentangle.

I have then stamped the butterfly onto a spare piece of card, and coloured it with pencils, adding some wire and a couple of pearls for antennae. I coloured the leaves with pencils, and added a lovely sentiment taken from the Patchwork Butterfly stamp set.

Thanks for stopping by, Judith xx

Tuesday 13 November 2012

Tangled Christmas Rose (posted by Claire)

Good morning, Claire here with a Christmas card made using the new Tangled Garden stamps. 

The background was made using one of the new M-bossabilities 'Holiday Magic' and brushed pewter Distress Stain, I really love the new metallic distress stains, they give a wonderful finish.

I decided to create a Christmas rose with the detailed flower from  'The Tangled Garden' and stamped it 3 times on to vellum with versamark ink and then embossed with clear sparkle embossing powder. I also created some leaves using the same embossing powder, this stamp sheet really has a great selection of leaves too. The centre of the flower is a crushed bottle cap with a mixure of rock candy glitter, silver microbeads and silver glitter in the centre. 

To finish off  I've added some silver ribbon from my stash and some of the beautiful Scallop Rose Lace

Thanks for visiting today 
Claire xx

Monday 12 November 2012

Wintery Treescape by Debbie

My card today is from the newly released Terrific Treescapes clear stamps which I love. They can be set out in so many combinations, giving so many different looks.
This is an easel card and it didn't take long to make. I stamped the taller trees first and the smaller filled in the spaces to give prospective for distance. I used a Sakura Pigma Micron pen to create the look of the hills that the trees are sitting on. The sky is coloured with Stormy Sky Distress Ink and dots of white to give the look of snow falling were added. I used stickles to give a frosty look. For the stopper I stamped the sentiment from Joyful Christmas and then stamped a line of trees across the bottom. The beauty of these stamps is that you can line them up easily. I hope this has inspired. Debbie

Sunday 11 November 2012

Tangled Flutterbys

I hope you are enjoying seeing all of the newly released stamps by Chocolate Baroque, and the inspiration provided by some very talented and creative design team members!
Tangled Garden Unmounted Rubber stamp sheet - A4

This new set, called Tangled Garden, is now one of my favorites!  Although I do love fall and winter the best, I love flowers and butterflies as well!  Click on the name above, and you will be instantly transported through cyberspace to this set on the CB website!  The detail in these clear rubber stamps is exquisite, and so fine and tiny, but very, very detailed!  To color my large butterfly on the front of my card below, I actually had to use a magnifying glass!  I can't say I have a favorite, because they are all so lovely, but I think my top two would be the detailed flower and the floral butterfly.

My first thought was to make a mirrored-image of the butterfly, but I had trouble getting it lined up.  I don't know whether it's my eyesight, shaky hands, or what!  hehe  Anyway, I used white cardstock, and was given a gift of a new and improved Stampin' Up Melon Mambo classic inkpad, along with some plain and patterned cardstock in the same shade.  I think this color and black and white are striking together!  The sentiment stamp is from the Chocolate Baroque set called, Artistic Expressions, and I love the way it describes the "big" butterfly!
The little butterflies are punched with a little punch from my stash.  The border punch is one called Fancy Flight from EKSuccess.  I tried the masking technique for the inside, but I'm not really happy with the white spaces left.  I had trouble getting the stamps to print the image completely, especially when stamping over one of the masks.  I'd love to know if you have a better way of masking that you wouldn't mind sharing with me! 

The antenna on the front butterfly was just a piece of wire, coated with white paper that I found somewhere.  I cut it shorter, then wound it around a small paintbrush handle, pulled it out a little lengthwise, then glued in place.
Thank you for visiting!  

Clear Stamp update - Trees, Poppies, Butterflies, oh my!

I'm very behind here with new stamp updates, so there's a few at once here.  If you are on the Chocolate Baroque email list, you will no doubt have spotted our new clear stamp set, Terrific Treescapes which we launched last Friday.

This was almost named Very Versatile Trees because that's exactly what it is.  They will go with so many of our other stamps and the trees can also be used on their own to create beautiful scenes using brayered backgrounds, masking, PanPastels, etc. 

Click on the image below to find it on the website.

We also have some other new clear stamps - two single stamps and two coordinating mini sets.  These don't come in a wallet, but they do come on a folded polyester sheet so you can still store them neatly.

Today is Remembrance Sunday so what better day to tell you about Remembrance Poppy and Remembrance Words.


Then we have a little Tangled Butterfly - a simpler and smaller version of one of the designs on Tangled Garden.  I took this stamp with me on my recent teaching trip to Amsterdam and I included a couple of little greetings in Dutch, so for all our Dutch speaking customers, these are now available to buy.

Again, click on any of the images above to find the stamps on the website.

This card is made with paper masks which I stamped the trees on first so I could cut a hill that matched the line at the base of the trees.  I used distress inks for the sky and splattered it with water before removing the mask.  The tree is stamped in black Versafine and embossed with clear powder which allowed me to stamp the image first and position the masks in the right place.

The backing paper is ordinary photocopy paper, scrumpled and soaked with water, then painted with watered down precious metal paints.  When wet it is very fragile, but once dry, smooth it out and put under a weight to flatten, then you have lovely crinkly shimmery paper.

The die cut snowflake is made with Crealies dies laid onto a spellbinders tag die.

The DT girls have some stunning artwork to show with these trees so do check back soon.