More mono printing…

I did get to play a little with my acrylic blocks but have been struggling to get decent photos.  Decided to blog them anyway, despite the fact that the variations in shade and colour are just not showing up – grrr!

No problems with this one because it’s just black and white.

mono bw
I used Versafine for that one, then embossed it.  Dunno why my ‘Smile’ stamp is a bit ‘iffy’.  I have to watch because there are always strands of hair around (from my head) and I’d just washed my hair when I did this, so perhaps I missed one.  The poppies were stamped on the block.

The following three were stamped with two shades of distress inks but instead of spraying with water, I used gold mica (homemade), which doesn’t show up very well.
free as a bird

<KENOX S1050  / Samsung S1050>

umbrella girl

<KENOX S1050  / Samsung S1050>

This one was pigment inks, mainly pinks and reds, with a touch of brown, all embossed after stamping.

(I forgot to mention that I took some colour off in 2 of the corners with a swirl stamp and with a small bottle top before stamping it – doesn’t show up very clearly but it does a bit. Unfortunately, words are one thing you can’t stamp onto your block, unless you don’t mind them being mirror images and illegible!)

<KENOX S1050  / Samsung S1050>

This one’s in similar shades, but uses distress inks and mica again.

a little birdie
I’ve done more but I’ll save them for another time.  I did one on my trusty old large Hero Arts shadow stamp and I quite like that one.  Takes me back to when we had the little Stamp Club in the shop.  We did quite a lot of mono stamping then – probably around 5 or 6 years ago – and it was so much fun.
I thought I’d posted instructions but I obviously didn’t – sorry.  If you want to try this, just scribble over an acrylic block with felt tip pens or inks (water based) and spray with water or mica spray, then use the block to stamp with, giving it time to transfer.  You can take colour off with some bubble wrap or other textured item before you stamp it but if you do, don’t spray it or you’ll lose the pattern.  If you want to use Copics or Promarkers, spray with alcohol.  You can use the whole block or just the edges to create a border – up to you.

If you use pigment inks, you can stamp the images over the inks onto the block before stamping it onto the card.  With these, you can take off colour with an uninked stamp, to add pattern before stamping your main image and you can stamp over it in any colour to create the background.  One of the good things about this is that you get a reverse (shadow) image, so you can use it to create a reflection.  It works much better on a solid stamp, though., instead of a block, if you have one.  Solid images also work better than fine lines, which don’t show up quite so well.

Chalk inks also work really well.  Haven’t done any samples but that’s what we used years ago, when they first appeared on the market.
It’s not my technique – it’s a standard printing technique which has been used for eons but it’s great for experimenting with.  Just wish I had more time to play.  Any more questions, please do ask.

For more information on monoprinting the printer’s and artist’s way, see here.


The ice has almost melted and the sun is shining, so I may just venture out for a bit of fresh air.  No snow here, though.  Hope you’re all staying warm x


F for Faux Batik, Flourish, Flicked water technique and Flowers

F for flowers flourish and faux batik
I used Vivid inks this time, for a change, lol – yes, I have a LOT of different inks and while each is usually suitable for a particular purpose, there are lots of water based dye inks, which are interchangeable, and I usually end up using Ranger inks, so now and again, I like a change.  Besides which, there are some shades made by other companies which I love and which simply aren’t available from Ranger.

Couldn’t resist using lots of things beginning with ‘F’ this time but at least I was a good girl and not used BAD words, lol.  There’s Faux Batik, Flicked water, a Flourish and Flowers.

If you don’t know how to do Faux Batik, here’s how…
  1. Stamp image(s) in Versamark or clear Embossing ink, then emboss in clear powder. 
  2. Apply colour, using your favourite method but be sure not to use permanent or pigment inks, which will cover the embossed images and spoil the effect.  Water based inks, such as Vivid, Distress, Adirondack, Big ‘n’ Juicy, Kaleidacolor, Memento, Marvy, etc etc are ideal.  If there’s ink on your embossing, wipe off with a piece of kitchen towel or a baby wipe..
  3. Cover the embossed card with a piece of kitchen towel (newsprint or brown paper work just as well).  Set an iron to HOT (no steam) and IRON over the material covering the embossed bits, leaving it over them for 15 seconds or so.  You know your own iron, so you’ll know how hot it’s getting.  If you need to, lift up the paper/kitchen towel to see if the embossing powder has lifted up.
  4. When embossing powder is removed, overstamp with more images (or the same – works particularly well with flowers and people, creating a sort of shadow effect).
  5. Clear emboss new stamping if you like, to create dimension.
There was a craze about 6 or 7 years ago for using this technique on manila files – it’s a nice change.  Follow the instructions above but when adding colour, just wash over the embossed image with reinkers (Adirondack reinkers work well), using a wide, flat brush.  Brush over with water if you think it’s a little too heavy.
Iron off the embossing powder, leaving a ‘Faux Bleach’ effect.  Nice technique.

Someone asked me what the Flicked water technique is and it’s just what it says.  Spray (or pour) a bit of water into the palm of your hand, slightly cupped, then randomly flick drops of water onto your inked background.  Heat with a heat tool and you have another great little effect.

Lavender and Lime

I made these backgrounds last week, when playing with Brilliance reinkers, so these were very quick cards, but fun to make.  I think I like these words, he, he.

This one’s on matte card.
lilac and lime 2
This one’s on glossy paper.
lilac and lime

I used exactly the same colours on both – Pearlescent Lime and Pearlescent Purple.  Just goes to show what a difference the card base makes!

For those of you who asked how to create these backgrounds, here are the instructions.

It really is very simple but gives you some fab, quick and easy backgrounds.  Just squirt bits of Brilliance reinker onto a non stick Craft Mat, then spritz with water.  Brilliance is a little more viscous than standard water based inks, so stay thick and tend not to blend in the same way and the colours remain vivid.  Just mop up the inks with cardstock (matte or glossy – totally different results, as you can see – glossy tends to be a little more muted because the colours move more on its surface) and let them dry.  If you pick up a lot on one piece of card, ie if the ink is a bit thick, just spritz again with water, lay another piece over the top and pull off to get some fab effects on both pieces.  You can twist it as you take it off if you want to get swirly patterns.  It’s cool because Brilliance is so shimmery to begin with that you get all the effects of shimmer sprays.  Don’t worry if you get some white bits, either – they add to the effect.  Oh – and this works on black glossy cardstock and acetate and lots of other surfaces, too!

Birds for a Special Person

Today is the birthday of my very special friend, Lynne – Happy Birthday, Lynne!
Here’s what I spent the morning making – yep, I know – last minute Katy, as ever.  Enjoyed making it but it’s a while since I’ve done anything like this in such a short time and if you could only see the aftermath – stuff all over my stamping room and all over the kitchen table and the worktops…. lots of tidying up to do now that it’s been delivered.
I taught this at a workshop just before I closed the business but I haven’t ever done it since, so thought I’d give it a rehash.
This is how it started – making the pages from white card, with Colorbox pigment inks – and a bit of Adirondack Twilight Pigment – and stamps.  Oops, the white is Adirondack Snow Cap Dabber, stamped, but it’s not meant to be clear, so that isn’t a mistake.  I like the fact that it gives the illusion of words, a bit of texture and a total contrast – this is an element I use often over inky backgrounds.
As ever, click to enlarge if you want a closer look 🙂

page 1
page 2
page 3
This is the next stage – adding the ‘card’ layer.  It’s hard to explain so I’ve tried to show in a couple of photos.  The card is centred inside the back of the scored page, but opening in the opposite direction.  The smaller, scored flap then goes INSIDE the open ‘small card’.
in progress 2
in progress 3
Then I inked and stamped the fronts of the smaller ‘cards’ and attached them.  A Picture hinge is attached with a brad to the top (or side) of the upper part of the smaller ‘card’ and ribbon attached, just as you would through a tag hole.  Then ribbon is attached to the back of the page, so that it meets up with the ribbon on the picture hinge and can be tied.  The whole thing is then attached to a larger background page (I used two and added images to the front and back of the first one) scored at the side, ready to become the spine.  I strengthened that with mountboard between the pieces, then attached them all with Tim’s book ‘bolts’ – that’s what I call them, anyway 🙂  The charms are gorgeous little charms gifted by the lovely Jo a while ago – only one left now, so Lynne’s highly honoured.  They were dabbed with a bit of black dabber, to make them look a little more aged.
book front
<KENOX S1050  / Samsung S1050>
inner pages
<KENOX S1050  / Samsung S1050>
<KENOX S1050  / Samsung S1050>
<KENOX S1050  / Samsung S1050> 
All the main images and words are embossed, so this is my Lots to Do challenge and ‘Something Completely Different’ which is the letter B – Birds.

Sharpie Backgrounds…

Ooh, just had a fab half hour playing with Sharpies and alcohol – err, hiccup, hiccup, hiccup 🙂 Only kidding – not the kind to drink – not yet anyway, lol.

I saw this technique somewhere – sorry I can’t remember where cos I hate it when people don’t credit the source! I’ll edit if I find it again. Anyway, I just fancied a go for a break from Maths (yuk!).

You just scribble on a non stick mat with various colours of Sharpie (or any alcohol based marker – try ‘P’ off pens or Permanent white board markers if you have them) then spray with alcohol (Isopropyl) and quickly lay something glossy in it, before it dries. You can get two if you hurry. I used glossy paper, so the colours are probably a little more muted than if it was hi gloss card but I’m in a muted mood after all that bright colour 🙂 Here are my results.

sharpie bg 2

sharpie bg 1

sharpie bg 4

sharpie bg 3

These last two are my favourites. I used the same three colours I used on the bright coloured sheets a few weeks ago – magenta, turquoise and yellow. I know I said they’re muted but you can see the colours a little more than in these pics and while there is some white still showing, there’s very little of it, despite how the scans look

Colour ATC Technique – as requested :)

I feel more than a little embarrassed about posting this as a technique because it really is so EASY, but here you go…

I used just three shades of Ecoline inks – Cerise, Cyan and Yellow – then, taking a sheet of card (thickish) or watercolour paper (I used hot press smooth) I just painted them on randomly (with thick brushes) and left them to dry. What a cheat? The colours blend beautifully and create all those shades you can see on the ATCs. On some, I wet the card or paper first, then added the inks, on others I spritzed after painting, then mopped up excess colour with another sheet of card/paper, so I ended up with lots of variations – some muddier looking than others, some paler.

Word of warning – it looks YUKKY before you stamp it and the white highlighting really does make all the difference 🙂

I did try this with Adirondack reinkers but they are too highly pigmented, so the colours are too dark. Great for inkpads but not for techniques like this. I am intending trying the same thing with Vivid Reinkers because I have quite a lot of those – I’ll upload my results when I do.

Here are a couple of the backgrounds BS (Before Stamping).

colour bg 1

colour bg 2

I think the first two were spritzed VERY lightly. Don’t they look YUKKY?

colour bg 4

colour bg 3

The second two pieces were wet before I started and then were spritzed a little more before being allowed to dry. These look much nicer unstamped.


We’re restarting the monthly challenges on Katy’s Corner UK and to ease us in gently, the first challenge is ‘Serendipity’. To make things easier for those who’ve never done this before, I’m posting the sheet I used to have on my website, for easy access.

This is one of those great techniques for using up all your bits and pieces of scrap paper and card – only problem being you won’t want to throw the bits away, so you end up with bags or boxes of bits! The word means ‘accidental discovery’ and was dreamed up (literally – she dreamed the idea) by an American lady, whose name I don’t know.

sercard1 sertree

OLD Stamp Club samples

lynnepostoidserendipity sersample1 sercard2debbies

Lynne Wilkinson, sample panel and the tall card was made by Debbie Shelton, using tag shapes


Star card by Freyja Lee.

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Sheet of card to be used as base – A4 or A5, but A4 will give you more scope and will make more cards.

Scraps of paper, punchies, foils, wrapping paper, mulberry paper, handmade papers, magazine or newspaper pages, fabric scraps, netting or anything to use as collage. I have a Serendipity Basket and in that I throw bits of interesting paper, especially metallics (great at Christmas time or birthdays) just for this technique

Scissors (and or cutter)

Ruler (or other object to measure squares) – OR punch out shapes

Glue and/or Xyron machine

Stamps – can be any kind but usually works well in a theme, ie Asian, Christmas, Birthday, etc, etc – I also try to include at least one text stamp of some kind to achieve a nice arty feel to the finished item

Embossing ink of any kind – stick with Versamark if you’re not sure

Embossing powder – any colour, but preferably to match the chosen ‘theme’ and colour scheme and metallics DO look nice


  • Take the plain piece of card and, using glue, cover it randomly with torn bits of paper, card, or whatever you choose to use (can even be bits of fabric). You don’t have to cover every centimetre of space, but don’t be too sparing, either. If you like you can also add some Marvy Metallics (or other brand) squiggles or some Acrylic paint squiggles – be inventive here!
  • Once the glue has dried, using embossing ink, stamp – again randomly – all over the card and the papers you’ve glued to it. If you’re using more than one colour of embossing powder, do one colour at a time, tipping off excess before adding another colour. When stamped images are covered with ep, heat with heat tool until the powder melts. This will give you the basis for your Serendipity tiles. See samples below.
  • I sometimes complete this stage with Gold Webbing spray – gives a very nice effect!
  • sheet1 sheet2 sheet3
  • Your sheet should now look a mess!! A nice mess, but nothing perfect or aligned or organised. Turn it over and, using the ruler or other instrument, measure the back of the card in a grid of squares. I usually take a narrow ruler, draw down the side, then draw the next line a ruler’s width away, to avoid any measuring discrepancies. OR I use a cutter!! Cut the card into the squares (or shape of your choice) you measured, cutting from the back so that it is totally haphazard.
  • TIP: If you have a Xyron, this is where it comes into its own. Run the completed sheet through the Xyron, using either permanent or non permanent adhesive, THEN measure on the front – saves all that messy gluing afterwards
  • Take whatever card you are using as the first mat and arrange the shapes on it, gluing them down in whichever design or shape you prefer. They don’t have to match – in fact they look better if they don’t – and you can use as many or as few as you like to create your chosen design.
  • When your design is complete, make up your card. You can use it as it is, or embellish it in any way you like. Add a Greeting or a Ribbon or a charm – anything. Experiment and see what you can come up with.

This is an ideal ‘man’s’ card and the beauty of Serendipity is that no one can do anything wrong as it is just haphazard and every piece created is unique and individual – that is its beauty and attraction!!

Happy stamping!!!