Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Make Your Own Shimmery Sprays

I had been in love with sprays when the Moonglo's first came out and with the advent of  (among others) glimmer mists and dylusions my addiction really took hold and I was keen to try making my own.

I purchased the Tim Holtz mini misters and loads of re-inkers - but while they were good.. they were too translucent and werent what I was looking for...I wanted a deeper, lusher colour like in the dylusions..... then a friend with a bountiful supply of Luminare Primary Elements Pigments suggested we try them... Nirvana!!

We bought a generous supply of spray bottles from ebay, and armed with jugs of water, Perfect Pearls, Primary Elements - we were in heaven!

So.. if you want to make your own.. this is what you'll need

Spray bottles - we used the 75ml ones from Here (no affiliation but they are good quality bottles and service is excellent)
Primary Artists Pigments by Luminarte
Perfect Pearls by Ranger
Paddle Pop stick

Using your paddle pop stick scoop up some pigments up on the end of the stick  and place in spray bottle - repeat with the perfect pearls (the colours below made a yummy magenta with gold shimmer)
We also found it worked better a.k.a. easier and less mess to put the powder in before the water

Top up almost to the top with water (leave room for the top - water level goes up when you add your spray top)

Now shake vigorously (imagine you are making cocktails vbg)

We found that one scoop of each is plenty...the pigments really are very rich in colour
Our batch was yellows with copper, red with gold, purple with gold, green with gold, orange with bronze etc.,

The white spray is a teaspoon of gesso, added three ball bearings (or solid beads) and top with water.  The ball bearings help keep the gesso from settling on the bottom too much.  All the mica's will settle to the bottom - but just give them a cha cha shake before you use them.

How well do they work (primary elements compared to others?)
This one was made using Dylusions 

and this one with the 'home made' sprays of pigments and pearls
bit hard to see the gold.. but it has lovely gold shimmer through it.. There is def a place for both dylusions and the home made.. sometimes I want shimmer.. sometimes just colour.. but I will def be using both types regularly.

Friday, August 9, 2013


Hello to all our lovely followers! This is Barb, the other half of this blogging pair of friends.

I am here today to apologise for not living up to Bevlea's promise made in the last post on our blog.

As some of you may be aware, my absence from here, and my own personal blog, has, on the large part, been caused by my vehicle accident last February and my slower than expected recovery from it.

Unfortunately, I have had to have several surgical procedures since, which have put me out of action in the "arting/creating" department, not to mention life in general. It seems that as soon as I recover from one visit to the hospital, it's time to get another dose of anaesthetic! My orthopaedic surgeon has tagged me as a "Frequent Flyer"...LOL.

As of December last year, I have a wonderful new "art cave" to play in, but, as it is upstairs and I am now, as of two days ago, sporting a bandaged, stitched up ankle, I am once again out of stair climbing mode!

Anyway, all that must be "ho-hum" to you, so I will get to the point and offer my apologies for not being able to keep Bevlea's promise of my tute being available as of a few days ago, and have tried to make amends by offering you these freebies in the form of some of my own compiled collage sheets to print and use in your artistic creations.

Thanx once again for your patience....I hope you find a use for these images.LEFT click on them to enlarge then RIGHT click to save to your computer.

A mixed bag of vintage folks.

A sheet of lovelies of the female kind
Which came first...the bird or the egg??!!

 Pretty assortment of flappers. Print on transparency for lovely lady's wings.

Fishy tails for pretty mermaids? These are great when printed on transparency sheets also.

This is for the "Steampunk" lovers...made with found internet images 

I would love you to leave a wee comment when you pop in just to let me know that someone is interested in our blog.

New Tutorial IS coming this month... sorry for the delay

Monday, July 1, 2013


yes hello.. tis us.. waving from downunder... I know.. you never expected to hear from us again.. life.. what can I say....

suffice... in a nutshell.. after our own annabilis horrilbus involving near death children, car accidents almost seeing one of us to the other side, house moves and small stuff that threw us for curves on top of the major stuff... we are back.

Barb and I have decided enough time was lost (hospitals, surgeries etc) that we need to reclaim our lives, and start enjoying our art more.

Thus.. as of August  there will be a new technique/tutorial each month, and a giveaway each month of either the sample item or a kit to make it.

We look forward to your renewed support and comments.. watch this space!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tiled Shrine Box by Bevlea Ross

I know...its been AGES since we put something up... but I was making this over the weekend as a gift, and thought it would make a good project, so here it is. (there is a couple more things I plan to add to it including a scrolly thing at the top etc., but am waiting on them arriving via post so have put it up without them)

For the box you will need:

  • Three A4  pieces of strong chipboard or offcuts of matt board (from the framing shop) 
  • 3" square of any sort of paper or offcut of chipbord (its just a template piece)
  • Focal image for center of your shadowbox shrine (about 3 1/2" square)
  • 7 3/4" square piece of scrapbook paper or cardstock
  • Beaded fringe
  • Inkpad to age the edges of the tiles (I used Ranger Aged Paper but it depends on what colour theme you are using)
  • Blending sponge
  • Metal Ruler
  • craft knife/Stanley knife
  • assorted scrapbook papers, journal papers, embossed cardstock (I used cuttlebug folders on the sizzix) If you have old embossed wallpapers they are great use too
  • Acrylic paint -(I used Jo Sonja Warm White)
  • Gluestick
  • strong glue  ( I used Elmers)
Our steps are (1) partially complete box (2) make tiles (3) complete box (4) add tiles to box front

Constructing the box frame
  • Cut two pieces down to be a 7 3/4" square
  • With your third piece cut it into 1 1/4" strips and put aside.
  • Now take one of your 7 3/4" square pieces and rules a line from corner to corner to form a cross.  Do the same with the smaller 3" square.  Now place your 3" square on the larger piece and match up the lines. 
  • Once the lines are matched on the two pieces, your 3" square is perfectly in the middle.  Draw a line, around the edges of the 3" square.  Remove the 3" square and cut out the centre square with a craft knife or Stanley knife 
  • Take your 1 1/4" strips and cut to fit the sides of the inner square 
  • Do the same with the outer edges of your box with the remaining strips. 
  • Next up, take your smaller strips and glue them right up against the edge of the inner square.  If you get beads of glue just run your finger along to smooth it out.
  •  Now repeat this step going around the other edge to form the box.  You can't clamp here, just hold with your fingers till the glue grabs... make sure they are right up against the edges, it will alter the size and  look of your box if they aren't butted smoothly

  • Give it a few minutes to dry firmly and then give the inner and outer edges of the box with two coats of your acrylic paint. No need to paint the front as it will be totally covered with the tiles.
  •  Now you can put aside and we will start working on the tiles.

Making the Tiles

For the tiles backing board I used scraps of 300gsm watercolour paper, but you could use any strong board or paper.
The simplest way to cut tiles to fit your board is to create at template in paper and then cut it down into separate tiles..  This works better than giving tile sizes to cut as if your first measurements weren't totally exact the whole size could be a fraction off.

To do this, lay your  box on a piece of paper and trace around the outside edge, then the inner edge,  cut this out, including the centre square, and you now have an exact replica of your box.

Now cut these into separate pieces, starting with a big square on each corner, then cut the middle sides into two pieces, cut the top and bottom into two and if you want square tiles like I have done, cut in half again.  
when cutting the middle side bits, don't cut them straight down the middle, make one wider than the other.  

Same for the middle top and bottom.. if you want squares or very close to it, cut it lengthwise to give you one 1 1/2" strip, then cut this in half to give you two squares.. they will either be 1 1/2" square or very close to it...the remaining long strip is the third tile.
If you number these, then glue the whole thing (numbered size uppermost)  to your backing board before you cut it out, you have a 'plan' of how it goes back together.... 

Covering The Tiles

Remember, before attaching the tiles, you need to add the beaded fringe.... so dont glue your tiles as your work unless you have already added the fringe.  I made all the tiles, and them added them last to the fully complete box.

  • Cover your tiles with your collected scrapbook papers, embossed paper or cardstock etc., Mix up how you cover them.. i.e don't do two pieces of the same size the same, make one embossed the other paper, then when you put it together you will have the various papers dispersed across the entire frame, and wont get caught with all paper one side and embossed on the other.
  • Next, go around the edges with your inkpad and a sponge to soften them a little.  
  • Once you have made the tiles you can further embellish by adding bits of chipboard, flowers, buttons etc.,
  • If your shadowbox is dry, glue your beaded fringe along the bottom (the tiles will cover the ribbon edge)
  • Now lay out your tiles following the the numbered plan to fit them together.  Trim any down that need it and glue to your shadow box.. if you find you have miscalculated and there is a small gap anywhere... fill it with a line of glue and pop some seed beads into the gap.
Completing the Box

  • Take the remaining 7 3/4" piece, using the box as a template again, mark where the focal image needs to and glue down with gluestick.  Last step is to turn the shadow box to the back and run a line of glue around the inner and outer edges and gently, but firmly press your back down.
  • To make your "hanger" so it can go on the wall, take a scrap of acetate or cardstock about 1" x 2", punch a hole in the top for a hanger, and using a brad or strong glue, attach it the back top in the centre.
  • To finish off the box, run a line of glue around the top edge of all your strips and place the remaining 7 3/4" square on top, (make sure your image is right side up! and  press down firmly (but carefully vbg) for a minute or so till it grips.  You can add a couple of large rubber bands to keep it all tight and in place while it dries
now that the box is dry... take your tiles and glue them down on at a time... then its ready to hang! :-)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Name Badge Winner

Sorry for the delay here guys.. am about two weeks late... was surprised with a trip away from the kids and everything got put aside for a time...

We had comments from (so you went into the draw) from Susie, Robin, Jan, Danielle, Jane, Ellie, Jenxo, Sofie, Ester, Heavens2Betsy (?) and Sue.... all the names went into Random.org.... and the winner was.........

DANIELLE PITTS!! please contact us with your address Danielle and we will post the name badge to you....


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Blog Giveaway

Sorry to all.. have been away for a few days.... we will draw the name badge winner tomorrow!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

April Project and Giveaway

This month is a name badge... for all those times when you attend a workshop, craft show, club meet and the like and need a name badge.  You will see unlike this one to the right,  the sample I was working on hasn't had the name added... I decided to do a giveaway of the badge, and will add the winners name and post it to them .... just leave a comment between now and April 30 and we will draw the winner and post a couple of days later.


  • assortment of scrap papers.. this is a good project to use up all those bits and pieces of paper left over from other projects
  • slide mount.. you can use a cardstock or plastic one. If using a plastic one you need acrylic paint to paint it. if using cardstock we will cover it with paper.
  • an image to fit your slidemount
  • dark brown ink and sponge (I used Ranger Distress Ink Tea Dye)
  • strong glue
  • glue stick
  • double sided tape
  • embellishments of your choice
  • pin back
  • jigsaw puzzle bits, painted and stamped
  • letter tiles, or letter beads or your name printed out.
  • ATC sized peice of strong box board (also known as chipboard) or mat board

Step One
cover the front of your box board with your preferred paper.  If using a cardstock slide mount also cover the slide mount.  If using a plastic slidemount, paint it with a coat of gesso, then a couple of coats of  acrylic paint.  Dont brush it on, dab it on.. being plastic the paint will move with brush strokes, just pounce and dab it on and set aside to dry.  If you havent covered a slidemount with paper before you can find the instructions HERE

Step Two
with your brown ink, sponge around the edge of the board back,  plus the outer and inner edge of your slidemount.

Step Three
place your image in the slidemount and secure with double sided tape.  You can also cut the image out and have it coming out of the slide mount. (see pic)
With this one I glued her in on the back at the bottom, and secured her at the top with mounting foam to give it more depth like she was really leaning out of the mount.

Step Four
using your strong glue, secure the slide mount to your paper covered board... let it extend a little off the edge to add a little more interest

Step Five
Take your painted and stamped jigsaw bits and glue them in the open area to the left of your slidemount.  
If you havent altered jigsaw bits before the tutorial is HERE
Angle them down like the are 'falling' across the cardboard. I have also added some black bling dots on the mount.. .eyelets or brads also look good here.

Step Six
Glue the name letters, tiles etc., to the top of the jigsaw bits. The font I used to make my own scrabble tiles in Tilez, and is available free from DaFont Here
Just print out your name, glue to cardstock and cut them out.. then attach with mounting tape to give them the thickness of a tile.  

Tuck (with a little more glue) some beads around the name tiles and jigsaw pieces. (This one has a painted slide mount with the edges done with a silver Krylon pen and a little silver embossing on the side).. now just add a pin back and wear with pride!

Thats it!  leave a comment on this post and we will draw the winner on April 30th.  Then just contact us with how you would like your name spelt and I will post it to you.  Would love to see what you all make too.. if you make one of these and upload it to your blog, please leave the link when you comment so we can enjoy it too.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

April Project

Hi Guys,

Its my turn (Bevlea) to put up a tute/project this month but its been hectic beyond belief so I am running a bit late.

We just hosted our Creative Soul Retreat for 2010 with tutors Susan Lenart Kazmer, Laurie Mika and Jan Harris out here in Australia for four days with around 70 students.. the work leading up to it was full on .. while the retreat was huge success we were all a little burnt out energy wise in the aftermath so I am running late here.

I will upload the new tute over the weekend....but in the meantime, check out our funtastic retreat at http://creativesoulretreat.blogspot.com/ we have some great slideshows there!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Hard as it is to believe that it is March already, I have to say that I am glad to see the tail end of summer...the bane of my life...or life-style really. I find it hard to get creatively motivated...probably because my water-logged body is boiling and my brain is frying, so all my creative ideas and intentions just frizzle up and look like the inside of the saucepan I burnt the potatoes in last week!!

However, it is with great pleasure that I can announce that I AM BACK!... and after a few hiccups (and much scraping of the pan...vbg), have finally created something! Mind you, I had to toss out a lot of dust bunnies that had taken up residence in my studio (for want of a better name...vbg) and clear a space on my desk so I could begin to make another mess...but a creative mess at least!

And I thought I would totally shame
myself by showing you that mess!

Bevlea...don't look...you have
been ill enough lately!!! LOL

But, I digress..let's get back to
the reason for the mess....

   A Paper Art Doll ATC!

I do hope you will like this
Paper Art Doll  ATC
and have a go at making one...
you may enjoy it !....I did!!

Firstly, decide on a theme....this one is
an ART DECO theme, and I decided
on using images of that period's jewelery,
which I found on the web or in magazines.

Edit and prepare the images in a graphics
application, making sure that the torso
piece is exactly an ATC size.
The legs and arms also need to be no
longer than the actual ATC length
(3.5 inches), and the head must be an
appropriate size suitable for the size of the torso.

When finished, all of these
will be folded up behind the
torso to ensure the "ATC"
fits into the ATC pocket of a
9 pocket sleeve.

Adhere all pieces to a fairly
strong cardboard,
using a stronger one
for the torso.

When dry, cut out and
begin to embellish them.

Because I used jewelery images,
I decided to go with the BLING look,
using Kindy Glitz and diamantes,
making sure there were none in the
way of where the head, arms and
legs were to be attached to the torso.
When the Kindy Glitz was dry, I
assembled the doll using co-ordinating
coloured brads, then added hands and
feet using charms atached with jump-rings.

And a girl can't go anywhere
dressed in bling without her
make-up, so I made her face
 "shine" too!
Amazing what a little bit of
powder and paint can do!

(Actually, it is aqua and red Dimensional Gel Pens,
Kindy Glitz and a Beryl Prisma
Watercolour pencil...but don't tell her...vbg)

Mind you...she has plenty of attitude!
Before she would allow me to take her
photo, she insisted she had to have
MORE bling in the form of a head-dress
of silk flower petals.
She sure does look pretty now, doncha think?

Finally, I attached a hanger to her back so she could alternatively hang on the wall in all her glory..... as apposed to being shut up in the dark in a three
ring binder for the rest of her days!...vbg
The hanger I used is one that can be found on a lot of the packets of "stash"  that we buy heaps of...(and even on hubby's socks and undies packs too..vbg). It is clear acrylic, approximately 2 inches wide, has a "hanging hole" already there to utilise, and has a sticky back which is sooo sticky that even when peeled off the stash packet and stuck onto something to save it, remains sticky enough to allow her to hang safely. If you look carefully, you can see it in this photo.
BTW, the small pearls at the bottom edge are not actually on the doll...they are there to hold it in place for the photo-shoot.

So, there she is...easy as pie....and I would love to see YOURS when finished!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

We Have A Winner!

Congrats to Juliet from http://ballpointbliss.blogspot.com/ who is the winner of our blog giveaway

thanks to all who entered and the comments you left!

Juliet... contact me privately with your address and I will post it...

Blog Giveaway

Sorry for the delay in drawing this.... will put the winner up in a couple of hours!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Blog Giveaway

We have started the year a bit way behind schedule... seem to have dropped the ball in a big hole so to speak LOL.

We will be back on the 1st of  March with a new tute/project by Barb... but to get us started again now we are kicking off with a giveway.  Just leave a comment and we will draw a winner at random.

On offer is a collage pack of papers containing technical drawings, dictionary pages, pages in french, italian, russian etc., plus postage stamps, game cards, jigsaw bits and ATC blanks, PLUS a paint pack of watercolour paints and brushes.4" x 4" accordian book, Tin 12 coloured art pencils and a 5" x 7" canvas.  I will prob throw lots of other goodies into it before we draw it too :-)
go to it!

p.s look what I found..a pic of Barb taken around 1998!! (yep I am prob gonna get b**** slapped LOL)

Monday, November 30, 2009

December Technique

A brief introduction (subtitled It's Not All My Fault)

Its not just me.  Most of us have arrived at the 'art' we are doing now via a long experimental road through a myriad of crafts. In our excitement over the new craft we went out and bought all the whiz bang supplies to go with it - then eventually tired of it in time and moved onto the next big thing.  Problem was we still had copious supplies of our previous addiction that sat and gathered dust as we went out and purchased new supplies for our new addiction.

Over the years I have given away all my porcelain doll supplies, fabric and lace from sewing, quiliting and cloth dolls - but still have boxes and boxes of threads from counted cross stitch and dyes from the cloth dolls.  In one of my many studio re-organisations and clean ups I came across the dyes and a light bulb went on only and 8watt one mind, but a glimmer of an idea nonetheless.

Nothing was done about it for a few weeks till a friend came to stay and I mentioned it to her... we spent a very enjoyable (and very messy) day playing and ended up with some gorgeous papers which I then glued to ATC blanks for future use.  This tutorial is borne of that day.

  • Assorted blank paper (copy paper, watercolour paper, cartridge paper even white adhesive labels work)
  • mica pigments (pearlex, luminarte, perfect pearls. Moon Glows)
  • fabric and/or silk dyes
  • fine mist spray bottles
  • water
  • gloves (not a good idea to do this with bare hands!)
  • newspaper for your table top (again not a good idea to skip the newspaper  LOL)
  • baby wipes or paper towels for cleanup
Note:  you can also use mica sprays if you have then on hand.. I had some Starburst Stains, Glitz Spritz and Moonglow mist that I used as well

Mixing The Colours
Into an empty spray bottle add some mica pigments - how much you add will depend on the size of the bottle.  For a 2oz (60ml) bottle I added a goodly slightly heaped teaspoon.
Next I poured in some liquid fabric dye - enough to about 1/4 to 1/3 fill the bottle.  Then top it up with warm water, cap it and shake it like mad to mix it all together. It needs to be warm water to get the pigments mixed together  so they don't clog your spray bottle

If you are using Ranger mini mister spray bottles go for the same quantities Tim suggests (one scoop on the end of paddle pop stick, and eyedropper of dye (instead of the ink) and then top with water).
How concentrated you want your colour is all in how much you add... if you want a softer  colour - add more water less dye.  If you want a really rich colour add more dye less water - the 'recipe' above will give you a rich concentrated colour.

With the fabric or silk dyes you can also mix the colours just like in the primaries.. a bit of red and blue dye will give you purple, yellow and blue = green and red and yellow will give you orange.   Orange dye with copper pigments was super yummy, and purple dye with green pigments looked great too.  I also loved the green dye with copper pigments.. YUMMY!

Spraying The Paper - Step One
When you spray the paper, don't do a light coat all over and then add more other colours on top - it will all meld into a turgid solid sort of goopy colour (very technical term).

Choose two or three or four colours that you like and spray the first one (doesnt matter which) into patches on your paper... then on 1/3 of the remaining white paper spray your second colour and on the last third spray the third colour. If you have chosen four colours work in 1/4's

Dont worry if it 'beads' on the paper, it will settle and soak in.. I find its best too be quite liberal too - more is def better than a light mist.. you need it WET.  Let the spray pool on the paperand put aside to soak in and dry.  If you are in a hurry you can use a heat gun - it will give you interesting effects as your push the pooled spray around the paper with the force of the heat gun.

For the paper to the right I sprayed first with green, then with orange and lastly with yellow (all with the gold or copper mica pigments in them.
When it was at the stage in the fourth pic, I picked it up and let the edges of the pools run into each other around the page, floating one colour over the other, then I put it aside to dry.

From here you have several options:  You can consider it finished and do more on it when use it as a background or:

Once the dye is no longer in pools on the paper, take a mask, punchinella or the like and lay it on your paper, press down firmly or roll with brayer (you dont want the spray under it) then spray some  more with your darkest colour you used, over the mask and lift off.  Dont introduce a new colour - just use the darkest of your three colour already used.

Note:  Your paper MUST be totally dry before you do this, if its still damp you will get blurred, blotter paper type edges on the mask. Best to make the paper one day and mask it the next.

In these pics I used Tim Holtz Mask and oversprayed with green, When you lift it off the mask retains the colour it was masking and the area around it is just a darker green.

Another option is to stamp on it randomly with a stamp in either gold or silver inkpad, depending on your chosen colours in the paper.

The papers themselves are much more shimmery than they appear here too - unfortuneatly the mica pigments dont photograph very well.. the pics to the right are actually of paper that is very shimmery emerald green and purple.. the dotty look you see is the mica on paper.

Once your paper is totally dry you can adhere it to cardstock to use as ATC or card backgrounds. I'm not a card person.. so I played some more and made up a batch of ATCs... I will upload pics of them in  a day or two

P.S You REALLY should wear gloves :-)

Monday, November 2, 2009


My apologies folks...I am a little late in getting my tech tute up this month...life has turned hectic here since I returned from over-seas and I have had to dig deep to find my muse...then put a tight rein on her to keep her with me...vbg.
However, I hope you find this month's tute worth having a go...you could save heaps on buying those special papers with this technique!

This technique can be found in Bernie Berlin's Book "Artist Trading Card Workshop". However, I have done it a little differently on a couple of them.
The ATC on the left has the basic Brite Shine rubbed back-ground. The right one has been stamped and rubbed over with an Oil Pastel and on the lower one, I used a glue stick to select shapes AFTER I used the Brite Shine, where Bernie suggested to do it before-hand.

I was also going to do the Citra Clean technique as well as the Brite Shine one, but I have misplaced my bottle of same and our Woolworth's no longer stock it. Again, my apologies to those who were looking forward to seeing it done.


For this technique you will need the following items.

1.Tin of Brite Shine (available from Big W or other car parts suppliers)
2.Images from a magazine with shiny pages. (I used a Woman's Weekly.)
3.Oil Pastels
4.Stamp and Ink of your choice.
5.Glue Pen of your choice.
6.Cardboard ATC Frame Template
7.Images for the finished ATC.
8.Transdermal Applicator.