Tetra Pak Printing (And Failing)

tetra pak printing plate
Tetra Pak printing plate (shame I didn’t clean it first eh)

Hi there, how are you?

No pretty pictures this week, we will just be seeing my attempt to print with a Tetra Pak carton, and failing.

Tetra Pak are the brick shaped cartons we buy in the supermarket containing things like fruit juice, milk and soup to name but a few.

I had watched a tutorial on printing with them and as luck would have it I was about to throw one into the recycling so I washed it, cut it open, dried it off and set to work. I do love an experiment.

The carton is long and thin which meant my design had to be too so I chose poppies, drew them out freehand and cut out with a small craft knife (possibly my first mistake) and made the printing plate above.

I’m using blue water based printing ink and yellow water mixable oil paint. I didn’t want anything too stinky and it’s easy to clean up.

The original idea was to push the ink into the gaps I’d cut out but it seemed hard to do so the brayer came out and rolled the ink over the top. Below you can see my three print epic fail, can you tell I don’t know what I’m doing?

The middle one was best but I didn’t work hard enough on the bottom corner with the wooden spoon so the ink didn’t transfer. The last one had too much ink on it.

first ever prints
First ever prints (it can only get better right?)

I had a brainwave what if I used my die cutting machine as a printing press. Surprisingly it worked although it took a while to get the sandwich right.

The two top prints in the image below were pretty rubbish so I wondered if painting over them with watercolour would work. The ink and paint do reactivate slightly but it was worth a try.

I really like the bottom left, that was what I had hoped my little prints would turn out like “sigh”, I also like the red poppies on the far right.

playing with failed prints
Playing with failed prints before and after.

This next one wasn’t supposed to be a print at all. I had placed a piece of scrap paper on the back to push the plate down into the left over ink on the palette, there was still ink on the brayer and it gave this sort of half print, again I used watercolour and a brush pen to finish it off.

an unexpected happy accident
An unexpected happy accident, before and after.

Clean up time; I sprayed the glass palette I was using with a mister and used scrap paper to take up as much ink as I could. This gave me a strange feathery ghost print, I love the texture so I will stick it into my sketch book as it is to remind me how I did it.

ghost print texture
Ghost print texture

As I say no pretty pictures but I did thoroughly enjoy myself making lots of messes and I learned a load of things not to do when printing hehehe.

I will make another plate with the next Tetra Pak carton and using my newly found knowledge try again with hopefully better results.

Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by. Till next time, have fun


Christmas Cards – Using Stuff Up

christmas aperture card star 1
christmas card with embossing and a star aperture

Hello Peeps, how are you?

It’s that time of year, you know the time of year when everything you do is geared towards one day. This week I have been shopping (on-line), shopping in actual shops, because that’s still a thing and making Christmas cards/tags.

Looking around on the internet I’ve seen people painting lovely watercolours and making them into cards, I thought what a lovely idea, I should do that! Who am I kidding; I would have to start making my cards in august if I wanted to finish before Christmas.

Introducing all the stuff I have made this week. The star card is made with nesting star dies and has a little floating star in the aperture. It’s a 6”x6” card so the top layer was embossed with an embossing then the folder was moved along to emboss the other side, happily it worked quite well.

christmas aperture card star 2
In real life the card is very sparkly and has blue glitter borders. It doesn’t show up, we have very poor light this time of year and even at midday in bright-ish sunshine everything looks washed out.


christmas embossed card snowflake
The gold card bases were given to me, they’re an odd size 6”x3”. The second card in the picture was embossed with a die; I like it more as a die-cut. I had some fancy paper which was a cross between tissue paper and mulberry paper; I used it to back the cut-out, it looks really good when light shines through it.

christmas/gift voucher card roudolf
The reindeer card is made entirely with peel-offs. For some unknown reason I seem to have loads of peel-offs, they need using up. It’s just the right size to place a gift voucher into.


christmas card snowflake small
Another card made with card bases I seem to have acquired these are 6”x4” cards. An embossed panel and die – cut snowflakes, I also managed to use up more of my peel – offs and a small piece of thin ribbon.


die - cut gift tags
Through out the year, when ever we get something in pretty packaging I die cut some tags and put them in a little box. Then when I need tags for gifts they’re cut and ready to use, just pick something that goes with the wrapping paper.

For the main presents this year I thought it would be nice to have die-cut names on the tags to make them a little bit special. I cut each letter three times and glued them on top of each other to give some dimension, then glued the names onto the tags, it’s a bit fiddly but I like the effect. It also used up lots of tidily bits of card I had hanging around.

I haven’t bought any new dies, stamps, card or anything else really this year. I have far too much stuff and really need to use things I already have so that’s what I’ve been doing. To be honest all this making hasn’t really made a dint but I’ll keep going and eventually I’ll get to the bottom of it all.

So, cards done, tags done, vouchers done. Gifts almost wrapped, shopping done, and we still have a couple of weeks left to go, yes! I’m on it this year hehe.

Thanks for stopping by today. Till next time, have fun x

I Am Groot (A Birthday Card)


Hi there. How are you?

This was a card I made for a young family member (Happy Birthday!) I’m never sure what teenage boys are into and find making cards for them quite difficult; this seemed to go down well though.

It is a 3D Decoupaged card made the same way as the yoda and stormtrooper cards I made last year.

Yoda One Valentines Card
Yoda One for Me Valentines card

happy stormtrooper birthday
Happy stormtrooper birthday card

Can’t believe it’s a year since I made them, where does the time go!

Thanks for stopping by today, till next time, have fun x

Batch making Christmas Cards

This year i had a go at batch making Christmas cards and envelope.

Hi there, how are you. Did anyone turn around this week and say “good grief it’s December and I’m not ready!” I have to say it happens to me every year. Most people make their Christmas cards in July or August but me, nope always leave it till last-minute.

Usually I make a few different designs because I get bored doing the same thing over an over. This year I wanted to see if I could design something simple that could be set up and made really quickly. They needed to be easy to post and I wanted to switch the design slightly for hand posted cards for close friends and family. (So clean and simple with possibilities)

I fished about in my stash and found Clarity deer stamps I hadn’t yet used (I buy this stuff and forget to use it, seriously!) Thinking they would look good in a forest setting I had another rummage around but all I could find was some smallish tree trunks from the back of a magazine. These would have to do.

This is the little jig I set up to place my stamps. There’s a crease at the top and bottom to place the card.

After setting everything out I made myself a little stamping jig (fancy name for two bits of scrap paper and some masking tape). Set the deer, tree trunks and sentiment in place on acrylic blocks, and off I go.

They came together so easily. Stamped and embossed in next to no time. I even made some envelopes out of a spare roll of paper and stamped a little deer on those too.

deer christmas card close up
This is a close up of the batch made Christmas cards shining nicely in the sunshine.

To change it up I added a clarity forest mask, it has an inny and outy (mask and stencil?) just what I needed. The trunks were stamped through the outy and I blended the shadow around the inny, ribbon and gems added because it’s Christmas so why not.

With a little more work and the aid of a stencil I get a different look with a similar design.

A few of the Christmas tags made with the mishaps and waste.

There were a few mishaps and practice bits and I turned those into tags, so everything matches.
Nothing much to do now hopefully but buy and wrap the gifts, I may make some gift toppers like the ones I made last year just change the colours to match the paper.

I’m really happy they turned out so well and now I can get on with really enjoying the festive season. Hows every one else doing, are we all getting there?

Thanks for stopping by today, take care and as always have fun x



Skools Out And Some Birthday Cards

A drawing of my kitchen for sketchbook Skool class.

Hi there. How are you?

This was the last week of sketchbook skool klass. The delightful Tommy Kane showed us its all in the details. If you look at his work you can see the amazingly detailed illustrations he draws that sometimes take him hours. Hours of standing/sitting around on location working busily away.

This is a picture I drew of part of my kitchen, not nearly as detailed as his but I liked the way it turned out. The paper isn’t good for watercolour so I used inktense pencils and put just a light wash of water over the top. I like the texture it gives against the tooth of the paper.

A drawing of a pomegranate just before we ate it for dessert.

I was making a dessert and cut open a pomegranate, spurred on by my kitchen drawing I decided to have a go at drawing it in detail, seed by seed. It came out quite well. Not something I would have thought to do till now.

This class seems to have come and gone in a heartbeat, I’ve learned a lot, now I have to put all this new-found knowledge into practice. I’ll probably go back and look at some of the videos again to keep it all fresh in my mind.

The information was geared mainly to people who keep (or want to keep) journals but it is all good information and can be used for all forms of drawing, and who knows maybe I’ll do that one day.

A watercolour card painted mainly in two colours (Payne’s grey and burnt umber)

I’ve bee making birthday cards. This one was a picture of a racoon (picture from a google search**) painted in watercolour, I even used watercolour paper! I wanted it to be kind of washy with not too many colours, I used Payne’s gray and burnt umber with a tiny bit of orange or the eyes. It’s not perfect but he’s kind of cute.

(** Disclaimer:  I’d link to the photographer of the racoon but couldn’t find a name. I’m not linking to the site because I don’t think it belongs to them. If I find out who took the picture I’ll update with a link.)

Autumn leaves birthday card.

This one is made with a stamp and dies from crafters companion magazine set. I like that the dies match the stamps, the leaves are small enough for a background and big enough to use in their own right.

The patterned paper was made with a piece of white card blended and stamped with distress ink. The extra leaves are gold card; craft card and the black background are stamped with embossing ink and heat embossed with clear powder.

Thanks for stopping by. Till next time take care and as always, have fun x



Watercolour Fathers Day Card

Hi there. Happy Fathers Day. Hope all the dads are having a very relaxing day.


This week at watercolour class we were being experimental. It was a sploshy technique involving cling film and scrim. Scrim is a very loose weave fabric found in the building trade, though any loose weave fabric would do.

I pulled out threads and distressed the scrim. Cling film was also used on this page just to see what would happen.

I made a wash of watercolour and dabbed it all over the scrim and the rest of the page, then laid cling film over the rest of the page and scrunched it up slightly to make the texture. It was put aside to dry for a couple of days.

Once I had my lovely new texture, what to do with it? We were supposed to see some kind of image or pattern in them but I’m rubbish at that and after staring at it for what seemed forever decided it would be used as patterned paper.

I learned something new and even though I’m not sure I’ll use it too much in the future, should I need this type of effect, I know how to create it.

This is the card I used it on. “Happy Fathers Day dear”.

Watercolour Fathers Day Card

The watercolour paper was used as a background for my dragon stamp. He was stamped onto a separate piece of orange watercolour paper (one of the experiments that didn’t work) with black versafine ink and heat embossed with copper coloured powder. I cut him out and glued him down. Since he was snoozing I used die-cut letters to spell RELAX… (inside it says put your feet up and have a good day).

The other half said it looked pretty cool so job done I think.

Thanks for taking the tie to stop by today. Till next time, have fun x



Happy Stormtrooper Birthday


Hi there, how are you.

A few months ago I made a Yoda one valentines card. I seem to still be in a Starwars groove at the moment so I made a little stormtrooper birthday card. It’s in the same style as Yoda but it needed a bit if simplification. I took the image from a small toy I’d seen on the interwebs. I traced around his edges and the major parts of his suit in the computer to simplify him as much as possible, then printed two on one page of thin white card.

I don’t really have any stormtrooper shaped dies or punches so this would all be done with print-outs and good old-fashioned scissors. Back to basics as it were.

I drew around the edge of one of the stormtroopers onto black card and cut it out to use as the base of his uniform. All of the white parts were cut out of the first image and foam pads were used to give it some depth and dimension. The gun and hands were cut from the second image.

The background is embossed with an embossing folder, rolled over with embossing ink and a brayer, sprinkled over with silver embossing powder and heated with a heat gun. It gives a grungy metallic effect.

The happy birthday strip at the bottom is cut from the top of a large birthday background die. It’s a lovely big die that has lots of styles of happy birthday on it, both the letters and waste (or vice versa) are both very useable. I’ll use the letters for another card later.

I’m not sure he’s quite as cute as Yoda but he is looking quite cheerful for a stormtrooper.

Thanks for stopping by. Till next time, have fun x

Embossing Folder Used:
Tim Holtz – Retro Circles
Dies Used:
Poppy Stamps Die – Happy Birthday Background
Embossing Ink