Thursday, 21 September 2017

Pick N Mix Week 5

We have a weekly challenge on the Mixed Up Mixer Facebook Group called Pick N Mix, the aim of which is to create a deck of inspiration cards. Each week I pick a prompt at random and create an ATC-sized card using that prompt. When I'm done, I will have a pack of 52 creative prompt cards for when my mojo takes a hike.

This week I pulled out the prompt 'Print with bubble wrap'.I love bubble wrap for mark making and it's something I often use on my journal pages. 

(In the photo you can see my card backs, and a printable version of these can be purchased from my Etsy store for your convenience.)

Here's a brief step out:

I had a play with the new Americana Premium for this project - and rather nice they are too! I added blobs of Hansa Yellow Light, Diarylide Yellow and Quinacridone Red onto my ATC (I was a bit heavy handed - you don't need nearly this much!). A teeny blob of each is plenty.

Use your fingers to spread and blend the paint. Continue working the paint until you have a nice blend. This paint has a reasonable open time so you can work it for a bit without a gesso undercoat.

Stamp in black all over (stamp by Prima). Use permanent ink.

Spread some Translucent White paint thinly onto a craft mat. Press bubble wrap into the paint then 'stamp' the texture onto your ATC (use a light touch so you don't get messy blobs).

Add a really thin wash of the yellow paint to blend the white back into the rest of the background colours.

Stamp the flower (PaperArtsy) and ink the edges to finish. I stamped the flower heads on a scrap of patterned paper and went over the stems with Posca pen to make them stand out a little.

Please come and join us - we'd love to see what you make!

Katy x

Friday, 6 January 2017

GIVEAWAY! Win some gorgeous stamps by Deborah Wainwright

I'm hosting this week's Freebie Friday on the blog, as I want to share some makes with you as well as the wonderful prize we are giving away today!

Those of you who read regularly will have seen Deborah Wainwright's lovely work in the magazine before - and now this multi-talented lady has designed a set of stamps in collaboration with Crafter's Companion!

We have TWO SETS to giveaway - one on my blog and one on her blog. Leave comments on both blogs for your chance to win a set.

Click here to visit Deborah's blog.

Here are a few bits and bobs I've created with the set - Debs is sharing some pieces on her blog too!

Entries close: 31st January 2017, midnight GMT
Good luck!

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Issue 4 Out Now!

Issue 4 is on sale NOW and available from Pocketmags or via your app store - you can find full details here.

I really like this issue, if I do say so myself - and I hope you do too. Our cover stars are Helen Chilton who's created that beautiful wall hanging from altered cutlery, Claudia Neubacher with a stunning mini album project using Artful Days' latest Goodie Box, and Veerle Moreels who shares a really atmospheric watercolour technique.

This month's freebie printable is a gorgeous image drawn for you by Deborah Wainwright - if you love it check out more of her designs in her etsy store.

Also in this issue:

Craft with real leaves with Corinne Rollet

Wearable art with Erica Evans

Striking stamped stationery by Nathalie Kalbach

Super fun image transfer technique with Nicoletta Zanella from Pink Your Life

Stunning drop album from Riikka Kovasin

We interview Australian mixed media artist Mimi Bondi
Our gallery showcases lots of art featuring faces of all kinds
Four designers take on Pentarts Patina Kit with stunning results

See you next month!
Katy x

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Why digital?

I think it goes without saying that I'm a fan of digital magazines! So for those of you sitting on the fence about them, I'd like to try to persuade you by waxing a little lyrical, if I may, about the benefits as I see them.

I should start by saying that not all digital magazines are created equal. Despite the technology being available, most publications are still just replica PDFs of the print version. Mixed Up is a fully interactive magazine, taking advantage of the format as much as we can - as I see it there's no point being a digital-only product if you don't exploit the medium you are working in.

I really do think that digital can offer so much more than print, once you start to explore the possibilities and work with them. Mixed Up has lots of content that most digital magazines don't. If you've been put off by the PDF clones in the past, then I can promise that Mixed Up offers something different and fun that currently you can't (as far as we know) find elsewhere in the craft sector.

Here are my top 10 reasons for choosing digital - in the case of Mixed Up at least!

1) Diversity of content - it's not just a reading experience, it's interactive. There is video, there are slideshows, we can flip an image to show you the back. And of course there are clickable links galore.

2) Detail, detail, detail - you can zoom in to really see the detail on a piece of art and with slideshows we can show you 5/10/15 different views or close ups that would fill 10 pages of a traditional print magazine.

3) Price - lower production costs can be passed on to you, the reader, meaning that even a niche publication can be priced competitively.

4) Convenience - you can read the magazine anywhere as long as you've got your smartphone or tablet with you (and you know you have!). Travelling? You can literally take 50 magazines with you if you want, on one small device. With our distributor pocketmags you buy the mag once and then you can read it on any number of compatible devices.

5) Linking - Mixed Up is full of links to everything we can think of. Like an artist? Visit their blog, Facebook page, Twitter feed, etsy shop. Like a product? Click straight through to the retailer.

6) No waiting - when you subscribe the mag is delivered straight to your device, on day of release; no waiting for Mr Postie. When you buy an issue, access is instant.

7) No petrol or P&P - you don't have to leave the house to get your favourite magazine or pay shipping to get it delivered.

8) No storage - they take up no space in your already packed-to-the-brim craft room!!!

9) International distribution in one click - Mixed Up is available on the same on-sale date in every country. No more do my friends in Oz have to wait weeks for their latest issue!

10) Flexibility - as a print editor, I'm largely stuck with set number of pages per issue. No so with digital. I set myself a minimum of course, in the interests of quality control, but if I want an article to be a couple of pages longer because it warrants it, then I can do that. More flexible for me, better content for you.

Being truly honest, the initial reasons for going completely digital were not wholly about my vision for Mixed Up, although that certainly was firmly in my mind. There were also practical concerns with print about distribution, storage and the like. For a new start-up, digital was certainly logistically somewhat simpler and like it or not, print media is in decline while digital media is a growth industry.

Yet, even if print had been on the table I'd have been hesitant to choose it and once I started to explore what digital magazines could offer, I began to get really excited about the prospect. And so Mixed Up was born! I know it's not going to be for everyone but I do think it's time that magazines were dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century; I'm doing my best to fly that flag.

I've love to know your thoughts on going digital.

Katy x

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Freebie Project Issue 3

Hope you are enjoying Issue 3 and like your free gift of the printable cabinet card image. Here are the steps to make my mini canvas using the freebie, as featured on page 75.

1) Cover a piece of scrap chipboard with DecoArt DecouPage papers (Olde Worlde). Add thin washes of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics in Blue Green Light, Cobalt Teal Hue and Burnt Sienna. Use light washes and keep blotting off the excess to create little pools of colour.

2) Print off the image. I used really cheap photo paper from the £1 shop for this as it's less glossy than expensive paper and also thinner so it's easier to work with. Crumple and distress the photo a little to age it. Ink the edges with Coffee Archival Ink.

3) Add some scratch stamping to the background (Andy Skinner Stampendous) in black Archival. Layer up the photo with some scraps of book page and loops of thread.

4) Paint a chipboard clock (Tando) with DecoArt Media Metallic Gold paint and age by sponging with black Archival Ink. Stamp with the scratches as before and layer over the photo.

5) Create some coordinating embellishments - here a chipboard compass (Tando) is given Andy Skinner's rust effect (I used Texture Sand Paste, then Raw Umber and Quinacridone Gold paints). The metal compass (Tim Holtz) is painted with DecoArt media paints mixed to a patina colour, applied then wiped back when partially dry. I layered these with some postage stamps and a Word Band (Tim Holtz).

6) To finish I added some brass corners, also stamped with the scratches. StazOn is the best ink to use on metal surfaces.

I hope you like my mini project, and if you make something with the printable please share it with us either here or on our Facebook page.

You can get your copy of Mixed Up here!

Katy x

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Issue 3 Sneak Peeks!

Issue 3 goes on sale 1st December!

Get yours from or via the Mixed Up app for tablets and smartphones.

Our cover stars are Cristin Stevenson, with a wonderful art journal tutorial, Marion Emberson with a fantastic embossing powder technique with WOW! you don't want to miss, and Amanda Southern who has created a wonderfully tactile piece with Oak House Studio Pure inks.


Assemblage art by Leslie Lineberry

Paper towel canvas by Lynne Mizera

Festive junk journal by Tracy Easson

Easy image transfer with Helen Chilton

Fun with ArtFoamies by Marlene Meijer-van Niekerk

Wintry inspiration from Riikka Kovasin


Interview with Nathalie Kalbach
Upcycling gallery
Marvellous metallics with DaliART
FREE printable cabinet card image

Hope you enjoy the issue,
Katy x

Monday, 31 October 2016

Bonus Blog Project with this month's FREEBIE!

Monique Van Dijk has made this fantastic canvas using the FREEBIE that comes with Issue 2  - a stunning digi image drawn for us by the wonderful artist Rick St.dennis. Isn't it fantastic that Rick has supplied this fantastic freebie for us? You can see more of his images on his Etsy and Zibbet stores.

Here's how Monique created her canvas:

Products used:
  • DecoArt Americana Acrylics: Snow White, Lamp Black, Desert Turquoise, Saffron Yellow, Jack O’Lantern Orange, Vivid Violet, Multi Surface Neon Pink
  • Stencils by DecoArt: Pixelated, Honeywire, Andy Skinner Whirlpool, Urban Ink Seadog
  • DecoArt Media Gesso - White
  • DecoArt Americana  Decou-Page - Napkin
  • Digi “Where’s the Party” by Rick St.dennis
  • Inkadinkado Stamp: Modern Flower 
  • Kaisercraft Stamp: Bubble Wrap
  • Canvas board 29.5cm x 24cm

For this canvas board I printed the digi 25cm high. I coloured it and cut it out (you can cut off the whiskers and the wire the spider is hanging on and draw them on your canvas after gluing the image down, that makes life much easier!).

For the background:
1) Gesso both sides of the canvas (this prevents it from warping).
2) Paint the canvas Saffron Yellow (make sure every layer of paint is dry before adding the next).
3) Use the Honeywire stencil and the Jack O Lantern Orange, then the Whirlpool stencil and the Vivid Violet paint.
4) The next layer is the stencil Pixelated with white paint (I think white gives depth).
5) For the sentiment I used an Urban Ink stencil called Seadog and black paint. First decide where your image will be and then decide where you want to put the words. If the image covers some letters it doesn’t really matter, your mind fills in the blanks - I wanted to use the name of the digi. I made the image 'stand' on the word 'party' so it is not floating on the canvas.
6) Next I used the Bubble Wrap stamp withNeon Pink paint and the flower stamp with Desert Turquoise paint.
7) Use Decou-page or gel medium to glue the image to the canvas (I used the speciality Napkin Decou-page because it works well with thin paper). Add the Decou-page under and over the image, work from the inside out so you can push any air bubbles and and wrinkles out.
8) Finally, I added some Vivid Violet around the edges of the canvas to finish it.

Huge thanks to both Rick and Monique for their contributions to this issue - what an enormous pleasure to work with them both.

I'd love to see what you make with your digi, so please post a link or share your make on our Facebook page.

Warm wishes,
Katy x