17 May 2019

PaperArtsy Blog Project - Topic 7 - Turquoise

Hi everyone, hope you're well tonight. A PaperArtsy Blog project peek today, the topic being Turquoise and of course one of my favourite colours so I'm very happy to join in on this one with Kay Carley's beautiful Butterfly stamps and stencil too. More info/photographs of what I used for the Butterfly substrate and colourful background on the PaperArtsy blog.

Back soon,
Chris x

27 April 2019

PaperArtsy Blog Project - Topic 6 - Fish!

Hi everyone, I hope you're all well and I'm here with a peek at a canvas I've made for the PaperArtsy blog and the current topic of Fish. I thought of this Zinski Art stamp set straight away to use for the canvas, the sentiment always makes me laugh. I've created a textured background technique for which there are more steps and photo's on the PaperArtsy Blog together with lots more gorgeous projects from contributors during the run of this topic. 

Have a lovely evening.
Chris x

27 March 2019

PaperArtsy blog - 2019 Topic 4: Tick Tock - Faux Shibori

Hi everyone, hope you're well! I have a post on the PaperArtsy blog tonight where the topic for this fortnight is - Tick Tock. My take on the theme is creating a Faux Shibori background and using the Squiggly Ink cluck clock stamps and a Sizzix clock face die cut to tie in with the topic. More explanation and pictures on the PaperArtsy blog. 

Have a lovely evening.

Chris xx

12 February 2019

PaperArtsy New Products by Kay Carley

February 2019 New Products
Eclectica³ Collection {Kay Carley}

Before we get started, here's a reminder of Kay's new stamps released 2 days ago. These are all available from our retailers now, see Kay's new product announcement yesterday for stockist details.

Hi everyone, it's Chris Dark with you today, and I'd like to share with you a couple of my samples with Kay's fantastic new stamps and stencils. There's a slight twist this time as all the feature stamps are in a much larger format, they're going to be great for art journals, gel prints and shrinking which I'm looking forward to.

I love using kraft as a base with my coloured pencils and Kay's stamps really lend themselves to being coloured with them, it's my favourite and most relaxing way to work with stamps too.

I like to shade a bit around the flowers with charcoal and white pencil, this technique lifts the images and makes them appear more dimensional, you can use a paper stump to blend out the charcoal. 

The gorgeous twirly swirls on the leaves and stems are a great place to add dots of white  gel pen and glitter glue for a bit of sparkle.

Kay always comes up with great sentiments too, I love this one.

Of course I had to play with all of the stamp sets and all of the stencils, it would be rude not too :-)! Isn't this butterfly just gorgeous and this is the smaller of the two in the set! 

Here you can see the background layering with the leaf motif part of the PS127 stencil and white ink. Even though the opaque pencil obliterates most of the that white ink you still see it slightly in this close up which gives a pretty effect underneath and the illusion of transparency.

I've combined stamps from EKC24 and EKC26 on this tag together with stenciling in white ink again with the PS128 stencil.

The wings were stamped twice for this tag, once onto the tag and again onto card the coloured and glued over the wings on the tag but allowing a bit of curl at the ends. 

There's a great bubble stamp in EKC24, it's great for making a border!

What an enjoyable time I had creating with Kay's gorgeous new stamps and stencils, the combinations between all the sets and stencils are endless and the format can be whatever you like due to their size. I love that the stencils mirror the stamps to some extent so you can also use them in combination. I kept to a very limited colour palette against the kraft card and a clean and simple style [well as clean and simple as I can be :)] with very pleasing results and this also has the bonus of speeding up my process even though I did some fussy cutting of those dragonfly wings for some lovely dimension. 

Thanks for joining me today, I hope you have a creative week.

Chris x

10 January 2019


Hi everyone! I'm here to share a sneak peek from Kay's latest creations.

She has 3 stamps and 3 large stencils to show you in February and I'm sure you're going to love them all.

As you can see, we are not giving much away yet, but all will be revealed  very soon!

You can see more from me with these stamps on Feb 12th, 2019

Enjoy all the wonderful sneak peeks,

Chris x

7 December 2018

PaperArtsy Blog Topic 21 - Matchbox Art

 2018 Topic 21: Matchbox Art

Hi everyone, hope you're well! I have a project on the PaperArtsy blog tonight with a great topic of matchbox art where there are more photo's and a little how to. There are lots of ideas for matchboxes within this fortnights posts on the PaperArtsy Blog if you feel like joining us in the challenge. 

Have a lovely weekend,
Chris x

16 September 2018

PaperArtsy Topic 15 - Artist Trading Coins

Hi everyone, I have a blog post over on the PaperArtsy blog tonight where the topic is Artist Trading Coins.

I've seen a few examples of the trading coins around the internet and I liked the idea, it's something small and can be quick to do depending on the techniques chosen. I was lucky to be able to play with a set of the gorgeous new Zinski Art stamps by Elena from her new Christmas release and as always her quirky characters are adorable. Although the coins are intended for trading mine will most certainly become the focal points of Christmas cards later on.

Have a lovely weekend!

Chris x


19 August 2018

PaperArtsy Blog Topic 14 - Baked Texture

Hi everyone, I hope you're all well. I have a post on the PaperArtsy Blog tonight all about using Seth Apter's Baked Texture embossing powders by Emerald Creek, I particularly liked the rust version which you can see in the picture above but the patina powder is also lovely with coppery inclusions, I think the amber and wax effect powders will be a great addition as well at some point :D! I've also used some of Courtney Franich's gorgeous new texture stamps and paint from her line of paints.

 There are more photographs and a bit of explanation of my journal spread on the PaperArtsy blog and also you can enter the competition that's running as well.

Hope you've had a lovely weekend!

Chris x

27 July 2018

Paperbabe Stamps - New Stamps Release

Hi everyone, there's a new stamp release on the Paperbabe Stamps blog today and we're introducing the gorgeous stamps below.

Isometric Fun

Like clockwork (coordinates with the hatter frame.)

I've created a journal layout which is always a great way to try out new stamps when you want to make something large scale but don't want to create a canvas or framed piece.

I used the stamp sets Isometric Fun to stamp inside the hair outline, Female Face to create her face and Rose Layers to stamp the roses.

The face is coloured with Inktense pencils with a bit of pencil and pen, the roses are stamped with Distress Oxide inks and highlighted with pencils.

I spent quite some time creating the pattern inside the hair over a base of Fresco Finish paint making use of all the small stamps in the Isometric Fun set, I used Distress Oxide inks for this. I've added lots of dots in the background too and created outlines for the large triangle and hexagon shapes. Around the outer background which is coloured which Fresco Paint I doodled song lyrics in white pen. The logical Song by Supertramp came to mind when I was creating so that's what I used.

The stamps are available to buy in the shop today and there is some gorgeous inspiration from Kim and the teamies on the Paperbabe Stamps blog.

Chris xx

25 July 2018

Blah blah blah sheep tag

Hi everyone, I have a tag to share which was made for a lovely friend and has now been delivered so I can add it here.


My friend loves sheep so I've used the gorgeous whimsical sheep ZA21 by Elena Zinski Art and stamped them one bouncing over the other over a brayered Fresco Finish Acrylic Paint background. I added some pastel pencil to the sheep and highlighted with white pen, glossy accents and Stickles glitter glue.



I've kept the tag completely flat so that it can be used as a bookmark.

Chris xx


30 June 2018

ICAD2018 with PaperArtsy Stamps

Hi everyone, hope you've had a good start to the weekend. I've done a couple of things for ICAD2018 (index card a day) which finishes soon, I haven't managed to produce something every day but this is the third, I'm counting that a success :-D! The substrate should be an index card and there's a theme for each day as well although it's really about being creative every day, there's more info here.

I've been trying to use stamps that I love but haven't used much, may be I'll continue after the project is finished, I like the small format of it.

On the card above made for a lovely friend I stamped a gorgeous image by Lynne Perella from the PaperArtsy set LPC023 and coloured with markers and a bit of pencil. I added an extra piece to create a cape effect to extend the figure stamped with another stamp from the set. The background is made using a Tim Holtz 3D embossing folder, PaperArtsy Infusions and Gilding Wax. I finished off with Tim Holtz Chit Chat Stickers.
This little ZinskiArt Zini06 is stamped over a brayed Fresco Finish Chalk acrylic background with a bit of pencil colouring and is framed with a pretty Kay Carley stamp EKC05 highlighted with white pen. Doodles, a bit more stamping, washi tape and Tim Holtz stickers finish off.

More PaperArtsy stamps on this one by Lynne Perrella with a gel plate printed background of Fresco Finish Acrylic finished with a collages butterfly and doodling.
Have a lovely weekend!
Chris x


24 June 2018

Paperartsy Blog project - Topic 11 - Enshrined

Hi everyone, hope your weekend has been a good one. I have a post on the Paperartsy blog tonight for their enshrined topic and using Kay Charley's gorgeous new stamps and stencil. When I saw the topic I immediately thought of a built up die cut aperture with the little dragonfly from the stamp set hidden inside.

Eclectica³ Kay Carley 018 (PS018)

PaperArtsy Stencil {EKC} 096 (PS096)

My starting point was master board using a pretty colour combination of Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylics in Prawn, Butternut Squash, Sherbet, Caribbean Sea, Snowflake, Granny Smith and Infusions in Are you Cerise, Blackcurrant, Golden Sands, A bit Jaded,with Kay's beautiful new stamp set EKC18 and her new stencil PS096.(both new products available from stockists now - list here
I enjoy seeing what I get when playing with these products together in multiple layers, it's very satisfying.
The infusions are the base layer.
Stencilling over the infusions.
A it more infusions to incorporate the stencilling.
I stamped with dye inks over the masterboard.

There is brayered white paint before the focal stamping which helped to bring everything together and make the white stamping stand out. I often do this if I feel things are becoming lost in the background colour but I go very lightly and not everywhere so that I don't obliterate everything.

The focal images are stamped in white adding details to some of the stamping with dots of paint and fill in colour in some of the flower heads. I was pleased that I managed to line up the stamping over and under the doorway I created to hide the treasure within.

The die cut heart is cut from a piece of the masterboard plus two layers of thick corrugated card, the cut out from the masterboard decorates the inside of the door.

A lovely design detail of this stamp set is the sentiment which is widely spaced so that you can easily cut it apart, thanks for that Kay, it's a great idea!

In finishing off the I roughed the edges with a craft knife and added gilding wax but in hindsight I think a plain base layer might have been a nice addition but overall I love how the grasses and other focal stamping are lined up above and below, inside and outside the doorway making the doorway merge in.

If you haven't joined in with the enshrined challenge I hope you'll give it a go, there are so many ways it can be interpreted and so many styles of PaperArtsy stamps that will suit it.

Chris x