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by Julie Brooks

Polite notice. All designs are copyright protected. I hope you will be inspired by my designs but please do not copy them. Thank you.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Bohemian Dreams home decor piece #2

Good evening everyone

I hope you've all had a lovely weekend. I can't believe it's 1st August tomorrow! Crazy how fast this year is going.

I wanted to share another home decor piece I made using papers from the Bohemian Dreams paper pad (Craftwork Cards). The papers are in such gorgeous patterns and colours, and the particular paper I chose just yelled "decoupage" to me! So that's what I did, well, in some areas anyway!

Because there's some reflection in the glass the rest of the photos were taken with the piece out of the frame!

This paper is a kind of collage design, with bits from all the other papers printed on it collage style. It also features roses, buttons, resin flowers, stamps, lace and words.

I found a big paper rose in my stash and stuck it top right and added glossy accents to the fabric leaves. This rose was a deeper red than the red roses printed on the paper, so I then took my Fired Brick distress marker and coloured all the other red roses so they matched.

I cut some roses and stamps from another sheet of the paper, coloured them to match, and layered them up on top of their counterparts. For some of the roses I did two layers and for some only one extra layer. I added glossy accents to all of the leaves and glitter to all the lines and edges of the roses.

I found some Guipure lace from my stash and fixed this in several places, plus a tiny piece of red cotton lace in one section.

I added buttons from my stash, sequins, plus a few metal flowers and one metal smiley face. Some of the buttons printed on the paper received a coat of glossy accents to give them dimension, and I did the same for the printed resin flowers.

I cut out the letters of three of the words and fixed them in place with foam pads.

Next I took three chipboard butterflies and one chipboard heart and gave them a coat of white acrylic paint, then a coat of crackle glaze, and then another coat of paint in a different colour. This crackled beautifully and I was really pleased with it. I drew detail onto the butterflies using my black soot distress ink marker pen and then gave the butterflies a coat of Stickles Star Dust glitter glue so they shimmered.

I inked around the edge of the heart with Chipped Sapphire distress ink and then gave it a coat of glossy accents.

Finally I added some chipped sapphire distress ink to the words.

This piece was fun to do and it's so bright and cheery too. I hope you like it!

Well, that's it from me for tonight. I'll be back again soon.

Bye for now,
Julie x

The following items can be purchased from our well-stocked shop at www.beebaabcraftingsupplies.co.uk:

  • Bohemian Dreams Paper Pad by Craftwork Cards
  • Very Merry Buttons by Dovecraft
  • Foam pads
  • mulberry paper flowers by Wild Orchid Crafts
  • Mini Distress Ink Pads by Tim Holtz for Ranger
  • DecoArt Crafter's Acrylics and Media Fluid Acrylics
  • Ranger Crackle Accents

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Focus on ... texture

Hi Folks

I'm in between projects at the moment with one drying off before I can start the next - it's all done in my head, so that's a good start - at least I know where I'm going with it!

So I thought this time would be well spent if I talk a little about texture, hence the title of this post.

We love texture, don't we? We love touchy-feely stuff and we love dimension. We love the aged, shabby, weathered appearance which can be achieved by using various mediums. Every time we shop for clothes, we're not just looking at cut, colour, whether our size is available, but we touch the garments, feeling the texture of the fabrics. Texture is massively important for conveying information about an item of clothing; if it's rough to the touch then it will probably feel rough against our skin when we wear it, or itchy, or both. If it's soft and fluffy then it will probably feel like angels' whispers against our skin ..... or kittens, or puppies ... you get the picture! And in our crafting and mixed media work now, there's much more emphasis on texture and dimension, because it makes for more interesting pieces, more realistic-looking artworks and, let's face it, they're so much fun to create!

We use all kinds of things to add texture and dimension to our projects: lace, ribbon, beads, twine, mica flakes, glass glitter, chipboard shapes, wooden shapes, wood, metal and paper to name but a few. But as well as all of these things, we have wonderful gels and pastes to dip into.

Texture pastes and gels have become essential parts of our basic craft kit because they can be used in so many types of projects. There is a stack of products on the market now for achieving so many different texture effects and they're improving all the time. I'm just going to touch on five in this post.

So, the first one, and one I LOVE using ..... Texture Sand Paste. It's a fairly stiff off-white/grey paste with a sand-like texture, because it is loaded with something akin to sand! I have to say I do not like the feel of it on my fingers when it's wet in the same way that I've never liked the feel of "real" sand at the beach. All that grit everywhere ... yuk! However, on a piece of artwork - FAB!

This is a small amount of texture sand paste which has dried onto the inside of the lid -
you can see the gritty texture quite well here
It can be used to produce the look of "real" sand, just to generally add gritty texture, or for giving things the appearance of rust. I would imagine it would work really well through stencils, especially something like brickwork for example, but so far I've only used it "freehand" as it were. It's a very versatile product. Apply it to your project with a palette knife or other tool, wait for it to dry, and then paint it or colour it with inks, et voila! Sand or rust, or whatever else you were aiming for.

Here are a few photos of a project I did a while back where I used the texture sand paste to create "real" sand, and once it was dry I painted it with Starlights Paint to give it the colour of golden sand. I loved how it turned out and it looks so realistic. Magic!

"Sand" in front of and on top of shell

Sand on the shells and coconut fibre

Sand in the shell with the pearl, on the driftwood and the coconut fibres

Sand on the base
Then we have basic texture paste. This is a thick (or heavy) paste which can be applied as thinly or thickly as you want to provide lots or a little texture and dimension. Think regal icing and you'll know what I mean! It works fantastically well through stencils or applied randomly just wherever you want more texture and dimension. It's great for snow on your wintery/Christmas projects and you can add glitter to it while it's still wet - just sprinkle it on liberally and press down gently to make sure the glitter adheres to the paste. Once it's dry it can be painted with any kind of paint, or you can mix paint or colour into it before applying to your project. Some texture pastes can be an off-white or grey colour, but Ranger do a lovely white texture paste, and it is proper white, so you wouldn't need to paint it before adding all that glitter if you're going for sparkly snow effect.

In these next two projects, created by my son (inspired by Tim Holtz's guest designers and ably assisted by yours truly!), we used Ranger Texture Paste for snow and most of my supply was used up in one go (as you can see from the photo above)! Still, they both look amazing so I'm not complaining, and it just demonstrates how much coverage you get from one little pot - that board is about 12 inches square! The drying/hardening time will vary depending on how thickly you apply the paste to your project.

A fabulous thick white blanket of snow in this scene
Next, another favourite of mine, Crackle Paste - not to be confused with Crackle Paint, which is thinner and has the consistency of a thicker (or heavier bodied) acrylic paint.

This is Crackle Paste which has collected on the inside of the lid - you can see
it is quite thick
Crackle Paste is again quite a thick (heavy) paste but when you first open the pot it looks like thick white paint. Crackle Paste can be applied sparsely or liberally to your projects, depending on what effect your going for, and you can apply it either randomly or through stencils. Leave it to dry and look at the fantastic crackles (or crazing) which form. The cracks will be larger if you apply the paste more thickly, and finer and smaller if you apply the paste in a thin layer. Then you can apply inks over the top of it which will enhance those fabulous cracks even more. You can also add colour by watering down acrylic paints and spritzing them over the dried paste. This gives a fabulous random effect to the colouring of your project. You can achieve some really wonderful effects with crackle paste, such as making "wood" appear aged and weathered, or even metal. On the project below I used crackle paste on my "beach hut" to give it a weathered look.

OK, number 4, crackle paint. As I said earlier, it is different from crackle paste, because it is much thinner than the paste, so much so that it can be applied with a brush, but it looks just the same as crackle paste, hence no photo of the inside of the pot this time! I will just add that it is still thick enough to apply with a palette knife though, but if you only want a thin layer of the paint, then a brush is the way to go. It can be applied through stencils or freehand and once dry again gives those wonderful cracks which lend an aged or weathered appearance to your projects, but because it's thinner than the paste it needs more care when applying it through stencils. Again, it is a very versatile product and gives fantastic results. In the projects below I used the crackle paint through a couple of stencils, applied with a brush, allowed it to dry, and then watered down one of my favourite semi-translucent acrylic paints and spritzed it over the project. And I used the crackle paint to paint the dolphin above the door on my "beach hut" to give it a real salt-corroded, weathered look (I also used a little texture sand paste on there).


Finally, gel medium. In the pot it looks like any other gel, semi opaque and a thick, gloopy consistency. It dries clear so won't affect your paint colours if you use it as an extender or a top coat. This product can be used for various things including adhering elements to your projects, for collage work, as a sealer and as a glazing agent. It can also be used with acrylic paints to make them more workable on your project by extending the length of time the paint is wet and giving it more body, so that you can work your paints either with a brush or palette knife, or with your fingers even to create texture and interest in your piece. When used in this way, it dries to a hard gloss or matte finish (depending whether you used a gloss or matte gel!), and the gloss version reminds me of the appearance of oil paints. In the piece below I used multi medium gloss mixed with my acrylic paints to create an impasto style sky. You don't need to mix much in - it goes a long way! This technique would also work really well for seascapes.

Well, I hope you enjoyed my look at texture mediums and my tips on how they can be used. There are plenty more ways to use these wonderful products and I've just touched on a few. I would love to hear from you so please leave a comment.

I'll be back soon with another project for you.

Take care.

Bye for now,
Julie x

If you feel like getting creative with texture and dimension, the following list is just a selection of items which can be purchased from our shop - just click on the button at the top of the page or use this link: www.beebaabcraftingsupplies.co.uk:

  • DecoArt Media Crackle Paste
  • DecoArt Media Crackle Paint
  • DecoArt Media Texture Sand Paste
  • Ranger Texture Paste
  • Ranger gel mediums
  • Ranger Crackle Accents
  • Imagination Crafts Starlights Paints
  • DecoArt Crafter's Acrylic Paints
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics
  • DecoArt Glamour Dust
  • DecoArt Glamour Dust Paints
  • A selection of Tim Holtz Idea-ology products
  • Gold Taklon Brush Sets
  • Ranger 4-Piece Palette Knife Sets
  • A selection of beautiful flowers by The Hobby House
  • Stretched canvas and canvas boards
  • Dina Wakley Gesso - black or white
  • Stencils by Andy Skinner, Sheena Douglass and Imagination Crafts

And remember to add your coupon code BDB1 to receive 15% discount on your purchase. Plus free postage on all orders of £30 or more (UK only - overseas customers please contact us for postage details before checking out your purchases.)

Saturday, 23 July 2016


Hi folks

Well, the warmer weather continues, some days are sunnier than others, but needless to say we've had the air con going for a few days now to try to keep it feeling more comfortable.

Today I'd like to share with you a little project I completed yesterday and as usual there will be a list at the end of the post of the items you can find in our shop.

I purchased a mirror really cheaply a little while ago. It's quite a chunky frame and has lots of surface area to decorate! It was a plain white surround when I bought it and I decided to add a bit of colour to it - I love colour - who doesn't?!

I forgot to take step-by-step photos because I was just so engrossed in what I was doing so apologies for that and I will try to talk you through it without getting too wordy!

Here is a picture of the completed project - not studio worthy photos at all on this occasion but I think sometimes it's nice that they're not so "staged".

So, for this project I chose to use papers from the Craftwork Cards Bohemian Dreams paper pad. These are wonderful colourful papers and some might find it a struggle to find uses for them because of the bold colours and all the detail. But this one, with all the stamps on it, and all flowers and butterflies, really ticked the boxes for me and I decided it was perfect for this project.

Step 1: cover the front with your chosen papers. I used a strong acrylic glue to stick the paper down. This mirror frame measures roughly 10.25 inches square and the measurement from outer to inner edge is about 3.25 inches. The papers in the pad measure about 8 inches square, so you are going to have overlaps all the way round to completely cover the frame.

Step 2: create a square of buttons in each corner to cover up the paper edges. I used Dovecraft Very Merry buttons because the colours tie in so well.

Step 3: cut some butterflies from another sheet of the paper and affix them on top of their corresponding butterflies around the frame. Affix them only by their bodies, so that their wings stand away from the frame, creating dimension and a feeling of movement.

Step 4: Add in flowers and other embellishments of your choosing in the corners and around the sides, until you have something you're happy with. I also added some acetate butterflies which I had made a while ago and whose colours matched perfectly with this project. I added beads to their bodies for extra dimension and sparkle.

Step 5: Die-cut the words "hello" and "beautiful" and fix them in place above and below the mirror. The word "hello" is in a speech bubble and is one from the set of dies called Modern Sentiments by First Edition. I simply cut away the little "tail" of the speech bubble and fixed the word so that the butterfly's wing filled the gap! The word "beautiful" was die-cut using a Tim Holtz die out of my stash. I die-cut the words twice, and glued the two layers together to create something slightly more dimensional.

Step 6: colour the two words "hello" and "beautiful" with chipped sapphire distress marker or another colour of your choosing. You can see from the photo above that originally the words were a very pale blue, but I decided they didn't stand out enough, hence colouring them with the much darker shade. Of course, if I'd just cut the words from darker card in the first place that would have cut a step out but hey, that's the creative process for you - not always logical!!!

Step 8: apply Star Dust Stickles Glitter Glue to the wings of the dimensional butterflies and the two words. This gives the butterfly wings a beautiful shimmering effect and makes the words pop - this glitter glue works really well on top of the dark colour of the chipped sapphire distress marker.

Step 7: ink around the edges of the frame with chipped sapphire distress ink, or any colour of your choosing. A darker colour helps pull the whole thing together. I used the same colour that I used on my words, and it also tied in very well with the blue of my acetate butterfly wings. I also added a little ink to the two large flowers in the top left and bottom right corners.

Step 9: finish off with a few sequins or any other bits you want to add.

So, I hope these step-by-steps give you a good idea of how the project came together and I hope you like it. There are countless ways to use the papers in your stash, and this is just one of them! Equally, there are countless ways I could have created this piece, varying the papers I used, the embellishments, making the corners a different colour from the rest of the frame, and so on. As a very well-known and well-loved designer once said "the possibilities are only limited by your own imagination". And on that note I will be back soon with a very different version of this project for you to feast your eyes on!

Thanks for visiting, please leave a comment - I love to read them, and I'll be back soon with some more inspiration for you.

Take care,
Julie xx

The following products used in this project can be found at our shop by clicking the button at the top of the page or by clicking on this link: www.beebaabcraftingsupplies.co.uk:

  • Bohemian Dreams 8x8 Paper Pad by Craftwork Cards
  • Very Merry Buttons by Dovecraft
  • Modern Sentiments die set by First Edition
  • Mini Distress Ink Pads
  • a good selection of beautiful flowers by The Hobby House
  • Santoro Willow Stick Pins
  • self-adhesive gems and pearls

Come and shop with us and we'll give you 15% off your purchase - use code BDB1 at the check-out, plus free postage on all orders over £30 (UK only - if you're overseas, please contact us for postage details before placing your order.) See you there! xx

Sunday, 17 July 2016

More TV news!

Hi Folks

Are you all having a lovely weekend and enjoying some fabulous summer weather? I hope so. It's been glorious here today, 27 degrees - crazy!

So, did you manage to tune in and watch all the fabby DecoArt demos? I hope you did - all that wonderful mixed media inspiration using beautiful products.

And, if that wasn't enough to get your creative juices flowing, Imagination Crafts will be on Hochanda on Tuesday 19th July at 10am, 1pm and 5pm, doing some wonderful demos using their lovely range of mixed media products! Just look at this gorgeous card - see how they made it on Tuesday!

Do try to tune in, or hit that record button so you can watch later.

Just a reminder of the channels: Sky 663, Freeview 39 and Freesat 817.

And then hop over to our shop at www.beebaabcraftingsupplies.co.uk to stock up on all your favourite goodies!

Back soon!
Julie x

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Kate Crane demonstrating DecoArt Mixed Media on Hochanda this weekend

Hi all

just a quick post to let you know that Kate Crane is demonstrating mixed media art using DecoArt products today and tomorrow on the Hochanda Channel.

If you missed today's show at 8pm, don't worry, there's still tomorrow, when she will be on at 9am, 12 noon, 4pm and 7pm demonstrating the versatility of some fab DecoArt products.

If you can't watch it live, set your recorder and then you can watch it later at your leisure.

Hochanda can be found on Freeview Channel 39, Sky Channel 663 and Freesat 817.

Then hop over to our shop at www.beebaabcraftingsupplies.co.uk and stock up on all your favourite mixed media goodies!

Bye for now,
Julie x

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Disclaimer - so.famousio.com

Hi everyone

This is just a quick post.

It has come to my attention that there is a page on so.famousio.com which purports to be written by Beebaab Designs (me). On the page there are supposed links to my blog posts but they do not take you to my blog and instead take you to a holding page where you are asked to log in, and if you click on any of the blog post links you are asked to log in to Facebook. As you will know, my blog is not linked to Facebook in this way and runs independently via blogger.com. There are also links to videos and documents which are nothing to do with me whatsoever. The site is based in Somalia (apparently - so it says at top right of their page).

I just wanted to make it clear, in case any of you have already come across this page, that it is absolutely nothing to do with me, Beebaab Designs, or Beebaab Crafting Supplies and is completely bogus. So, please do not try to visit us via so.famousio.com because it is absolutely nothing to do with me or my crafting or our shop!

I will also be posting this disclaimer on my Facebook pages - just in case!

Thank you everyone and I will be back soon with some more makes for you.

Bye for now,
Julie xx

Monday, 11 July 2016

Still scrumptious!

Good evening everyone, I hope you are all well and that you had a lovely crafty weekend.

I'd like to share the rest of my makes from playing with the Scrumptious papers, Candi and Stamps and First Edition Flowers die set, and various other products. I hope you like them and that they inspire you to get creative! I've added a list at the end of this article of all the products you can buy at our shop at www.beebaabcraftingsupplies.co.uk. We have a fabulous range of products for you to choose from. If you would like to come and take a look and spend some of your hard-earned pennies with us, open an account with us and then you can use code BDB1 in the coupon section to be given 15% off your order! This offer is valid until 31st August 2016. PLUS, we offer free postage on all orders over £30 (UK only)!

So, I made a couple of simple cards. On the first one I created a kind of ombre effect with three shades of Distress Ink, blending and adding more ink to build the shades until I was happy with it.

I then added a strip of paper from the paper pad, from which I had previously die-cut some flowers so I had the "negative" flower shapes left, added a further narrow strip from another sheet.

I finished my "negative" flowers with Candi and then stamped some wording on the right. I added a few sequins to finish the card.

The second card was very simple. I cut paper from another sheet in the paper pad and affixed it to my card base, then added some lace down the left hand side. I had a piece of corrugated card which I felt was perfect for adding texture and dimension so I gave that a rough coat of white acrylic paint and then swiped it several times with one of the distress inks to add a hint of pink. I die cut some flowers and layered them up, with a Candi centre, stamped a sentiment and cut this out and inked around the edges,

I affixed the flower and sentiment to the piece of corrugated card and affixed that to the base card using strong double-sided tape. I added a very narrow strip of paper towards the bottom of the corrugated section. And there you have another pretty card, which was very easy to make.

I then moved on to a simple home decor project. I'd had a "LOVE" photo holder in my cupboard for ages - picked it up very cheaply from Aldi or Lidl - and I decided to give it a simple makeover by covering the letters with papers from the paper pad.

The letters were already painted white so the only other thing I did was trace around them, cut my papers to fit, glue them down, and then ink around all the edges and sides using Pumice Stone Distress Ink to give it a slightly aged appearance.

That was it, no embellishments, nothing added at all, because I think it's lovely just as it is. You could really go to town on this if you wished, with lace, flowers, butterflies, and all kinds of other embellishments.

Lastly, another little project which is both pretty and useful! I had some circles of plywood which I'd scrounged from my local MDF supplier some time ago and I'd never got round to doing anything with them. So I decided to turn them into something useful.

First off, I gave them a coat of white acrylic paint on one side and all around the "edges". You can still see the rough texture of the wood but that's ok as you'll see in a little while.

Next I glued the unpainted sides onto the reverse of some of the sheets from the paper pad and cut around the shapes. These were sheets which I'd already taken pieces out of for the other projects - waste not want not!

Then I began the task of sticking them together to form ..... a pot! I used strong acrylic glue for this and it dries pretty quickly and is, as its name suggests, STRONG!

Now I just needed to decorate it so I die-cut lots of flowers, shaped and layered them up and fixed them in place, coloured some chipboard butterflies using my coloured pencils, and affixed Candi in the centres of the flowers and around all of the "edges" and around the top of the base.

And here it is with some of my pens and bits in .... and I think it looks lovely - don't you?

So there you go, some lovely projects made using just a few products. I do hope you like all my makes!

Thanks for stopping by and I'll be back soon with some more "how to use" ideas.

Julie x

The following products can all be purchased from our shop at www.beebaabcraftingsupplies.co.uk:

  • DecoArt White Acrylic Paint
  • First Edition Flowers die set
  • Craftwork Cards Scrumptious Paper Pad, Candi and Clear Stamp set
  • strong double sided tape
  • foam squares
DON'T FORGET - if you open an account with us and place an order before 31st August, you can use code BDB1 and get 15% off your order, plus all orders over £30 qualify for free postage (UK only - if you are from outside the UK and would like to place an order with us, please contact us first for postage details).

See you soon!