Monday, 17 July 2017

Awash With Aqua - PaperArtsy Blog

Hello friends! Today I'm going to share a star book with you. It's a seven-point star and each 'point' is made up of three parts. There's a lot of paper used here, but don't let that worry you. Once the components are prepared, it's really easy to put together - I promise!

I started, as I often do, with a masterboard (or two) using all of the aqua range of PaperArtsy Fresco Acrylics...

...although, in the end, I mainly stuck to Mermaid, Caribbean Sea and Beach Hut. I had a 6"x6" book in my  mind and decided that Heavyweight Smoothy Card would be perfect. That all changed in the end. 

As I mentioned, each 'point' of the star book is made up of three main parts. In my book, each part consisted of papers measuring 15", 13" and 11". All of these (already coloured) pieces are folded in half and joined at each end with double sided tape.

Then each outer section is completely adhered to the next to form the star shape. I brayered Fresco paints onto the large pieces, used Distress Oxides (Salty Ocean, Cracked Pistachio) on the middle pieces and sprayed Lindy's Stamp Gang (Starburst - Shabby Turbine Teal, Flat Fabio - Caribbean Blue) onto the small pieces. The overall size of the book finished up as 7.5"x5.5", which was determined by the larger section of each point.

I didn't have any aqua coloured ribbon for the closure so I stained some neutral seam binding with a combination of Peacock Feathers and Cracked Pistachio Distress Stains. Perfect!

I adhered the ribbon around the outside of the book with double-sided tape before I began the covers. I used Fresco brayered Smoothy Card, adding more interest and accents with masks and stencils from Emma Godfrey (PM006) and Kim Dellow (PS040), and smaller stamps from Elena (ZA15) with Ranger Archival Ink (Aquamarine). 

I adhered the painted papers around two pieces of mountboard to form the front and back covers.

And so, at last, the real fun begins. Using ElenaZinskiArt stamps from her new release (ZA13 & ZA15), I used Jane Davenport's bright watercolours in the same aqua shades. My reasoning was that I could use the same umbrella theme of aqua but they would look a bit different to the background if I used a different medium. Giving focal images the 'pop' they deserve is challenging when using a single colour scheme. Well, these  gorgeous new Zinski stamps deserve the biggest pop ever.

Finally, some doodling - my favourite thing to do. I used Prismacolor pencils to add definition to the focal images, Sakura Glaze pens on the flowers and dangles and highlights all over with a white Signo Uniball pen. All that was left to do was to adhere the covers securely with double sided tape and glue (those covers are staying put!)...

...and mat the pages and my very first star book was finished. 

I hope I've inspired you to try making a star book of your own. It really is much easier than it looks. Of course, the size, colour and embellishments are all down to you.

All this talk of Star Books is making me want a coffee...

Love and peace,

Wendy x

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Sunday, 9 July 2017

Mixed Up Mag Issue 7 Jun/Jul 2017

Hello, my crafty friends. I'm so happy to tell you that I have a tutorial in the latest issue of Mixed Up Mag.


In case you've never heard of it (in which case, where have you BEEN?), Mixed Up Mag is a wonderful online publication that is guaranteed to spark your creative juices, inspire you to try something new and excite the senses so much that you ditch the laundry and pick up your paints.

Issue 7 is a book-making special with several different ways to make your own books. And who doesn't love books? My tutorial (P54, if you're interested) is on making a coptic-stitched book. I made a sketchbook and liked it so much that I kept it for myself. Because I can.

Front cover

Mixed Up Mag is interactive and has articles that enable you to swipe photos for more views and even has embedded video tutorials to accompany the step-by-step written articles. My sketchbook tutorial comes with such a video. It's 40 minutes long, so Editor, Katy Leitch, advises you to get yourself a cuppa and relax while you watch it. I took it slowly (no sense in rushing, right?) so it's a bit easier to follow than some others.

Back cover

I hope you get a chance to take a look and I'd love to see anything that I may have inspired you to make. It's easier than it looks, I promise. 

See how to download this fab online mag here.

Love and peace,

Wendy x

Friday, 21 April 2017

The 100 Day Project Days 1-16

Hello lovely crafty folk! I've not been here for a while due to some rough times (I won't bore you with the details) but it's nice to be back with a lovely project to be a part of.

Back in February (I think) I signed up for The 100 Day Project. The only rules are that you pledge to create something every day for 100 days starting 4th April up to and including 12th July 2017 and post your project to Instagram with your personal hashtag, mine is #100DaysOfWendywitwoo, and #The100DayProject. Before the start date, I had to say what my personal project was called and what I was going to create.

As resting has been a large part of my day at the moment, I decided on Art Cards. They're only 4"x4" and so are very easy to complete.

Days 1 - 8 

For the first 8 cards, I used Gansai Tambi watercolours from Kuretake. They are super vibrant and include some pearl/metallic colours. I drew around the outside (when absolutely bone dry!) with a 0.05 Graphik pen from Derwent. I doodled with Stickles on all 8 cards, Liquid Pearls on some. I drew rock shapes on a few of the cards and used a water brush to lift some of the colour out. Then I just doodled with pens. 

Doodling is my happy place.

Days 9-16

The next 8 cards were screaming out for another style. I used a selection of Dina Wakley media paint and just applied them with my fingers (no brushes to clean!) I limited myself to two or three colours per card and blended directly on the cards with my fingers. When these were totally dry, I doodled like a doodly thing with black and white Posca pens.

And here ends days 1-16. The next 8 will be in another style again, but I can't guarantee no doodling.  I must confess, I've been doing them in batches, but who cares? Nobody. This is a no stress zone. 

Love and peace,

Wendy x

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Friday, 24 February 2017

ZinskiArt Release Part 2

Good evening friends. Are you ready for more fun? I had loads of fun with ElenaZinskiArt's new stamp sets from Paperartsy. I hope you do too.  

I played a lot with backgrounds this time. For my first one, I brayered Rose, Bora Bora, Tinned Peas and Haystack Fresco Acrylics onto Smoothy Card and then I used every small, round stamp from all of the stamp sets to stamp Snowflake on top to knock back the brightness.

ZA09, ZA10, ZA11, ZA12

It made a great cover for a small notebook. I just stamped some flowers and a strategically placed bird on the top and painted with the same four colours that I'd started with.

Just some shading with coloured pencils to add some dimension and it was done.

I used the same background behind these wee monsters having a house party.

ZN01, ZN06, ZN07, ZA09, ZA12 

I die-cut three windows and then fussy-cut the stamped and painted monsters so that I could have them hanging out of the windows. I then popped them onto some foam squares to add a little dimension. Elena's new flowers are so beautiful and are a joy to paint. I added some to the outside of the house party to represent a pretty garden and finished them off with some coloured pencil shading.

I think this stamp release lends itself so well to cards and there is just something very anthropomorphic about them. Be careful though, once you see it, it's really hard to un-see it!


What spectacular hats they have. Very 'Dr. Seuss'. They just needed some cute little faces. The large flower already even had a nose and one eye! I just added the stubble and he is now a kindly father figure. The flower on the right is laughing at something the middle has said or done that he really ought to be sorry for. Again, I painted with Rose, Bora Bora, Tinned Peas and Haystack and added South Pacific, Claret and Pumpkin Soup for dimension.

Another flower, another person...


Those springy leaves reminded me of hands or, more specifically, Jazz Hands! There was plenty of space to add a pretty little face and the flower top became another hat.

One of the flower 'hats' reminded me of something else. I used a Post-it note to mask everything else off so that I could just ink the part that I wanted. Then I used more to mask the ice cream cone so that I could stamp the scoops.

I mixed up the aforementioned Fresco Acrylics to produce the background on this ATC and also for the little monster and the scoops of chocolate, pistachio and raspberry ripple ice cream. 

ZA03, ZA10 

More backgrounds now and time for Gelli plate fun. Using the same four colours, I brayered onto a 6" x 6" Gelli plate and pulled a print. I placed a stencil over the top and pulled another print, then flipped that stencil and pressed onto the other print, so on one print the stencil was used as a mask and on the other, it was used as a stamp.

Very often, I find the second, or ghost print to have more interesting patterns and textures than the first. I can always find a use for monoprints and this time, I chose one of my favourite projects - a matchbox with a miniature book inside.

I squeezed a small blob each of Claret and Bora Bora onto a rip-off palette and sprayed some water over the top until it resembled ink. Then I smooshed both parts of a large matchbox into the colour (on all four sides of each) and set it aside to dry.

When the matchbox was completely dry, I added strips of washi tape to the outer sleeve and some of the ghost monoprint, on a mat, to the top. A carefully chosen monster was stamped and painted on the print. Then some doodling with black and white gel pens finished him off... 

...except for the miniature book. I used another piece of print as the cover and folded some copy paper to form the pages, then I secured them together with staples on the spine. I masked off the monster so that I could just print his legs and I extended them further with a black pen. Then I added a tag as a drawer pull and heat-embossed the perfect sentiment on top.

I stamped all of the flowers on the pages of the book and coloured with co-ordinating pencils. 

ZA09, ZA10, ZA11 

This has to be my favourite project of my time as ElenaZinskiArt's wingman. I try to find something to giggle at every day and this long-legged lovely made it easy. I have, of course, loved every other minute working with Elena, Leandra and Lauren. It's been nice to see alternative shapes and characters in the stamps.

I'm sure you'll find even more fun things to do with these stamps.

Love and peace,

Wendy x

For the latest stamps and Fresco acrylics, please visit:

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Pink and Orange Pocket Letter

Hello Folks! Welcome back to Wendy's House. This evening, it's all about pink and orange. 

Restricting yourself to two colours is always challenging, especially when you are creating nine separate items. I ended up making a pocket letter for a Paperartsy Blog Topic this time. The topic is pink and orange and it would have been more sensible to make one greetings card, but where's the fun in that? Also, a bit more planning might have been a wise decision, but again, it sort of takes some of the fun out of it. So I started, as I often do, with a masterboard.

I used the two orange shades of Tracy Scott's new limited edition Paperartsy Fresco paints. I made an irregular checkerboard-type pattern over a sheet of heavyweight Smoothy Card with the square and rectangular mini Gelli plates. I wasn't bothered about being too careful and some shapes overlapped or didn't quite meet others. 

Next, I used Prawn on the square mini plate with a Darcy stencil (031) and then sponged directly through a Dylusions stencil (Fresh Dots) in the centre of the masterboard. Darcy's dangly dots were great for the edges and extra dots in the middle just satisfied my circle 'thing'.

It all seemed incredibly bright so I lightly brayered over the top with Sherbet and doodled into the patterns with a selection of Sakura pens...

...and dimensional gluey bling, namely Nuvo Drops from Tonic and Liquid Pearls from Ranger.

While that was drying, I settled on the idea for a pocket letter, although this was influenced by my declaration of "I'm in!" in a Facebook group I'm in called Mini Marvels. They have a challenge to create a pocket letter this month with the intention of sending it to another group member. That makes two ticks on my 'To Do' list in one fell swoop. Whoop! 

As I began to trim the chunky, lumpy masterboard into 2.5 x 3.5" pieces, I realised a big mistake. I should have either trimmed it before I added the dimensional bits (but I hadn't decided what I was going to make at that point), or I should have used a ruler and craft knife. As I used a paper trimmer, the blade struggled to get through the chunks and, consequently, my straight lines are ... let's say they're arty and contemporary.

ZA01, ZA05, ZA06, ZA07

The first four. Don't these ElenaZinskiArt stamps look right at home? Oh, I did add some googly eyes from my stash. I tried to use different media to colour the monsters and flowers so that they would stand a chance against the orange and pink background. This included Zig Clean Colour Markers, Copic Markers, Prismacolor Pencils, Chameleon Pens, Derwent Inktense Pencils all in various shades of Pink and Orange, of course, and Glossy Accents because you can't have too much shine. 

ZA01, ZA06 

Chopping up some of the larger characters and flowers so that they would fit in the diddy space available. I left these leaves overhanging at the top for a bit more variety.

Removing the bits that you can look through...


...doodle, doodle, doodle, fun, fun, fun... 

ZA01, ZA05, ZA06, ZA07, ZA08 

...squeeeeeeeze them all into the pocket letter pocket sheet... 

...pop some crafty goodies into the back (pink and orange, of course), et voila! 

I just have to write and hide the letter, but some things should be kept secret.

Enjoy making, sending and receiving pocket letters yourself. There are many groups on Facebook and on the internet. Just please be careful where and with whom you share information. Why not also restrict yourself to using two colours. It's great tonal practice. Keep it sweet. 

Love and peace,

Wendy x

The Paperartsy blog challenge is open to everyone and the topic changes fortnightly. 

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Houses And Flowers And Birds, Oh My!

  Hello and Happy New Year!               

I am very excited to announce that Paperartsy have just released new stamps from Elena Zinski Art. I'm even more excited to announce that I, along with Lauren Hatwell, am one of Elena's wingmen!

Here is Leandra Franich with some of our samples...

Elena's new stamps are definitely born to mix and match. Hold onto your hats...

And to accompany these gorgeous stamps are some fun sentiment and quote stamps...

I love the birds, so I grabbed all of the birds from all of the sets, put them all together. There's always one, isn't there? ...

I covered a #8 Manila tag in Bora Bora, then stamped all of the birds onto Smoothy Card. Doing this made it easier to place the characters and the very cool quote. I had already fussy cut the branch, which I extended by masking with Post-It. Then I cut out the birds, but not the legs (life is way too short for those sort of shenanigans!)

Next, I stamped the birds into place and heat embossed the sentiment with Versafine Black Onyx ink and clear embossing powder, then paper-pieced the birds on top of their legs. A little bit of shading with Prismacolor pencils and the tag was done.

ZA05, 06, 07, 08 

Phew! There's a lot to get through this time.

More birds next and Elena's flower houses deserved a look-in. I stamped one that looked like it could hang as a bird house. Then I wrote the 'new home' sentiment with a black Pigma Micron pen...

...added flowers and leaves and a branch for the house to hang from and then painted the card using Bora Bora, South Pacific, Tinned Peas, Haystack and Pumpkin Soup. I then added more dimension with Prismacolor pencils.

ZA05, 06, 07 

Next, I cut out 5 pieces of Smoothy card at 2.5" x 3.5" for ATCs (artists' trading cards - my favourite!) Leaving one white, I painted the others with Rose, Bora Bora, Tinned Peas and Haystack.

I then stamped directly onto the cards and painted up the flowers and birds...

ZA06, 08 

Oh, well, I had to. This bird just looked like he was striking a pose, so he became John Travolta and the mirror ball was a flower 'tummy' that I heat embossed in silver and coloured in with a Spectrum Noir clear sparkle pen.  It's funny what you can see when you sit and contemplate the stamps.


These flowers looked very much in love to me, so I surrounded them with hearts and painted them up.

I love the fact that you can look through some of the flowers. But, of course, it works both ways. You never know what might be looking back at you. I think a wee monster escaped from an earlier stamp set...

ZA02, 07 

More pretty flowers now and those fab sentiments...

ZA06, 08 

"More!" I hear you cry. Well I seem to have a thing about patterns and birds. Oh, I just love the birds in these sets. They're so full of character, they seem to have their own stories to tell...

The leafy corners joined together nicely to create little boxes for the birds...

ZA05, 07, 08 

Very convenient for a 6x6" Smoothy card base.

I've had a great time creating different samples from this Paperartsy Zinski Art release.  I hope you have as much fun too. I'd love to see what you make and I hope I've given you some inspiration.

Don't forget to check out the Paperartsy blog now for even more inspiration and a list of worldwide stockists. Enjoy!

Love and peace,

Wendy x

Paperartsy Fresco Acrylic paints used: Tinned Peas, Snowflake, Haystack, Pumpkin Soup, Rose, Claret, Bora Bora & South Pacific
Paperartsy Smoothy Card: