The Gold and Black Mask

Hello Handmade By Deborah followers – my first post in approaching a year; no reason that wouldn’t end up being an excuse, so I won’t even try to explain why ….. so to break myself (and you) in gently I am showing you a mask I made a week ago.

I went to a get together at which a ‘crafting heroine’ of mine was going to be crafting along with us. She has built an incredibly successful business in just over a year and can now be seen on one of the craft TV channels demonstrating flower making with Foamiran and her own special baby The Craft Box.

I was totally ‘star struck’, but managed to exchange a few words with the lovely Anna Hersom, gaining some useful hints and tips in the area of craft that watching Anna has made me want to try – Mixed Media (more on that later) – and hopefully not making her feel that she needed to consider getting a restraining order.

Anyway – this is the mask I worked on whilst there.

The starting point was a plain white pressed cardboard mask which I covered with a old favourite Creative Expression’s Gilding Polish in ‘Gold Treasure’; once dry this was given a quick buff to give a superb metallic sheen.

Next was a partial layer of black Gesso on the right side of the mask, covering the gold, and on the left the black Gesso was used through a small shabby ‘Harlequin’ diamond patterned stencil.

Once the Gesso had dried, I used the back of my craft knife to scrape through the same stencil removing the layer of Gesso to reveal little distressed diamonds of gold.

The embellishments above the right eye and at the corners of each eye are metal covered with another Gilding Polish, this time Ocean Teal.

These metal embellishments plus the 5 turquoise gems above the left eye, the three mini royal blue metal flowers and the acrylic shells (tears) are all items taken from Anna’s Craft Boxes.

Now to go back to the reference to Mixed Media I made earlier. In a relatively simple sense a lot of my blogged pieces, including this mask, are Mixed Media pieces.

However, I am sure many of you have (like me) been wowed by the wonderful pieces of art made by people like Anna, Finnabair and Andy Skinner, to name but a few – but felt totally incapable of producing such art yourself.

The really good news is that this is art that anyone can produce with a little knowledge and practice.

So my plan is to do a short series of posts which will hopefully diffuse the fear and demystify the world of Mixed Media – going through the ‘media’ and techniques (many of which are just card-making techniques taken a little further) involved in making these stunning creations.

By telling you this now, I will have to knuckle down and do it instead of just talking about it; it will hopefully be a voyage of discovery for us both – looking forward to sharing it with you.

Posted in Miscellany | 8 Comments

Cosmic Shimmer Gilding Polish

Wow – I love Cosmic Shimmer products.

I created this Desk Set for a colour challenge set by John Bloodworth of ‘Gentleman Crafter’ blog fame.

The three colours John challenged people to use were:


Now, it may be just me – but these colours immediately reminded me of the Cosmic Shimmer Gilding Polishes colours Mediterranean Blue, Ocean Teal and Citrus Green.

I had considered trying to do something clever with blending them into one another, but I decided I wanted to produce something which showed off the beauty of these colours in their pure, unadulterated form.

To achieve this, a strong dark background was needed to provide the perfect foil for the ‘tropical’ strength of these ‘zingy’ colours.

All my black options would have given a matt finish which didn’t fit in with the picture I had in my head; then I came across a bottle of Cosmic Shimmer – Shimmer paint in Graphite …… perfect!

Desk Set

The Large Desk Tidy is from Creative Expressions and the 3-drawer set is from a supplier I found on Facebook.

Posted in Home Decor, Miscellany | 8 Comments

Metal Flowers for my Valentine

This is one of those projects that has evolved …. it has turned out nothing like I thought it would, but I must say I am quite pleased with the result.

The inspiration for my starting point was a combination of the gorgeous Scattered Leaves Background die from Sue Wilson’s latest die release and the beautiful pictures on the SET Craft Facebook page from the Gilded Flowers workshop they held at the end of January 2016.

The largest of the three dies in the Scattered Leaves Background die set was cut into a sheet of black Creative Expressions (CE) Foundations card.

CE Metallic Gilding Wax in Enchanted Gold was used to enhance the gorgeous leaf pattern of this die and a pearlised paper in a soft gold colour, very close to the Enchanted Gold wax, was set behind the frame created by the background die.

Now the flowers – these were cut from the same black Foundations card and soft gold pearlised paper to ensure coordination, using the two Finishing Touches die sets Perfect Peony Complete Petals and Delicate Daisies Complete Petals from previous Sue Wilson die releases.

Some were left with the die’s embossing, and others were embossed with a dot and a zig-zag and dot design using embossing folders in my stash for different textures. Again the Enchanted Gold gilding wax was used on the black card to make this embossed texture ‘pop’.

Embossed Flowers Embossed Flowers

The foliage behind the flowers is provided by Beaded Swirl Flourishes, again from Sue’s latest die release, also cut in the soft gold and black – with the gilding wax pulling out the die-embossed detail on the card.

The flowers were ‘built’ by pinching and shaping each separate flower die-cut, then layering them to (hopefully) give attractive individual blooms. The layers were glued together, then shaped further with a ball-tool pushed into their centre on a foam mat.

Flower Closeup

Cosmic Shimmer PVA in Pearlescent Golden Pearl and Glossy Cosmic Black were used for the centres.

Flower Closeup

Originally the plan was to arrange the flowers and foliage within the Scattered Leaves frame – however, I decided that too much of the frame became obscured by the flower spray, so opted to put these adjacent to the frame.

It is amazing how long it takes to get a ‘natural’-looking arrangement of 5 flowers and 3 sprigs of foliage – this was ‘by far’ the slowest piece of the project; hopefully you will feel I have achieved that.

Flower Closeup

A Visible Image stamp provides the lovely (and appropriate for today) saying within the Scattered Leaves frame – this was stamped in a gold die-based inkpad I have in my stash and then brushed with Cosmic Shimmer Iridescent Mica Pigment in Gold Sparkle.


The work is housed in a box frame I bought some years ago when I had plans to produce a piece of embroidery – this keeps the dust off the flowers; the ‘box’ part of the frame was raw wood, so to complete the colour coordination Pinflair Buff-it in Antique Silver (which is like a golden, tarnished silver) was used.

Before framing

Apologies for the reflections on the glass of the frame.

Frames piece

Items used:

Craft Dies by Sue Wilson:

Background Dies – Scattered Leaves (CED7103)

Finishing Touches – Beaded Swirl Florish (CED1457)

Finishing Touches – Perfect Peony Complete Petal (CED1432)

Finishing Touches – Delicate Daisies Complete Petal (CED1417)

Cosmic Shimmer – Iridescent Mica Pigment Gold Sparkle

Cosmic Shimmer Glossy Black PVA

Cosmic Shimmer Pearlescent PVA – Golden Pearl

Creative Expressions Metallic Gilding Wax – Enchanted Gold

Pinflair Buff-it – Antique Silver

Foundations card – black

Visible Image stamp – Love You Longer


Posted in Home Decor, Miscellany | 14 Comments

Sue Wilson at Christmas – Fanciful Trim

Another brief post, the purpose of which is two-fold.

Firstly, a word of encouragement to all who read my blog to make 2016 the year of ‘experimentation’ – when you are deciding on New Year’s Eve what your resolutions will be include one in which you promise to use each die you buy in at least one unusual way.

Sue Wilson’s Fanciful Trim die from her Configurations collection suggested a beautiful crystal tiara when I first saw it – I am still working on this idea as the die is somewhat smaller than I expected, but whilst playing with my ‘crystal’ die cuts another seasonal idea came to mind:

Tree Top Snowflake

I cut 12 of the Fanciful Trim, then positioned them in pairs opposite each other – the ‘tails’ of each of the pairs were removed to give an approximately 8″ snowflake.

The snowflake was then mounted onto a circle mirror card.

As getting the correct spacing for the ‘arms’ of a snowflake is quite tricky, I cheated and stuck a small snowflake cut with a snowflake die from my stash into the centre of the mirror card, then followed that small snowflake to place my large snowflake – another small snowflake was then mounted in the centre for a neat appearance .

This could be used as a window hanging, although I would like to try this with either coloured acetate or vellum to make the most of the translucence of these materials.

In this case, I regressed to my days of watching Blue Peter and glued a toilet roll tube to the back – this allows the Snowflake to sit beautifully on top of a Christmas Tree without wobbling as the tube slips over the top branch(es).

So, go on have a go – use your die-cuts in different ways, have fun and experiment.

The second purpose of this post is to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and New Year – I’m sure we crafters will have much to experiment with and to look forward to as the craft companies vie for our attention and ‘pennies’ in 2016; I know I for one am going to make the most of it and I also know that SET Craft is where my pennies will go furthest – see you all next year.

Posted in Christmas, Miscellany | 1 Comment

Heraldic Square Starflakes

A very brief post today – a follow-up to my last post in which I used Sue Wilson’s lovely Heraldic Square die to make what has become known as a ‘Starflake’.

I just wanted to show you some more Starflakes made from mirror card in both traditional and contemporary Christmas colours.

Traditional coloured Starflakes

I apologise if the photos have not captured the way the mirror card catches the light particularly well (or sometimes too well!), or the colours – especially those of the more contemporary colours (teal, pink and purple); and would you believe these photos both have the same Christmas tree background.

Contemporary coloured Starflakes

Have a go yourself using a variety of glitter, mirror and any other cardstocks and/or papers you have in your stash to coordinate with your Christmas décor – it really is simple and fun.

Posted in Christmas | 3 Comments