Thursday, 29 November 2012

Meet the Team week eight - Tracy Evans

Welcome to another of our 'Meet the Team' posts, where each week we get to know a different member of our Design Team. This week, last but certainly not least, we talk to self-confessed 'dabbler in many things crafty' Tracy Evans...

1. Introduce yourself briefly...
My name is Tracy Evans: wife, mother, friend, gardeners and dabbler in many things crafty! Impatient, impulsive, with an addictive personality and probably a little obsessive about the little details. 

Design Team member Tracy Evans

2. How did you get into crafting?
I began approximately thirteen years ago when I was a stay at home mum with my son Ryan, then three years old. I needed a creative outlet, something for me and on a whim I attended a stamping workshop; and the rest as they say is history.

Before having my children I had a very busy career and I was itching to get my teeth into something new. Stamping took hold and I became so passionate that my hobby became my business, running a craft shop for nine years. I closed the door around three years ago to spend more time with my children and on my passions. 

3. How would you describe your style?
I am rather an eclectic crafter, leaning more towards the grungy, collage style. I am all about the little details... They complete a creative piece for me and make my creations unique, something I strive to maintain for as long as I craft.

4. Where do you draw inspiration from?
Inspiration is everywhere! My garden often inspires my colour choices; plant combinations and colours inspire me with every passing season. I also find inspiration in home decor and fashion magazines, which highlight current trends in colours, patterns and styles that we can use in creative pieces.

5. What's your favourite technique right now?
 At the moment it's the Tim Holtz Riveted Patchwork technique, from his Compendium of Curiosities II book. This technique really appeals as it co-ordinates with the steampunk/industrial makes I love to create. I also love to work on pieces for men, I find it a challenge and love to think outside the box when it comes to artwork that appeals to men.

Tracy's latest DT project: a stunning festive card made using the Umount Let It Snow stamp set
6. What's your favourite colour?
Oh no just one favourite colour? This is difficult! My favourites change by the day, but if I had to pick one it would be brown as it work so well with my grungy, vintage style.

7. What do you like to snack on whilst crafting?
I am one of those crafters who cannot snack whilst creating, purely because I am a little obsessive about keeping my work area clean and tidy! I would have chocolate finger prints all over my work if I snacked. 

I have learned from experience, on many occasions I've taken a cup of tea to my craft room only to place a paintbrush into it! Not a good idea and doesn't add anything to the flavour!

8. What do you do when you are not crafting?
If I'm not crafting (which doesn't happen often!) you'll find me digging in the garden or on my allotment. I love my garden, there's nothing more satisfying than watching your garden grow. You can also find me at the gym. I love to keep active and exercise always helps my creative thought process!

9. Tell us a random fact about yourself...
I was once a Personal Assistant to the CEO of a FTSE 100 company.

10. What craft tool couldn't you live without?
Only ONE? You have got to be kidding! After much thought I think it would be my Fiskars Paper Trimmer as I could not cut a straight line with a pair of scissors if my life depended on it! I could add another hundred products to this list though!

11. If your house was on fire, what's the first thing you would save from your craft room?
As long as my family and little dog were safe, I would have to save all my rubber stamps...well that is one product there's just lots of them haha!


You can see more gorgeous cards and mixed media makes from Tracy on her blog here, including all her Creative Expressions DT pieces. 

We hope you've enjoyed 'meeting' our Design Team over the last eight weeks! If you have we would love to hear your feedback, just leave a comment below or on our Facebook page


Friday, 23 November 2012

Meet the Team week seven - Shary Nettleship

Each week in our 'Meet the Team' posts we find out a little more about one member of the Creative Expressions Design Team. This week it's the turn of Shary Nettleship, as we 'meet' her in our penultimate post...

1.Introduce yourself briefly...
My name is Sharon, but Shary in the crafting world, I'm happily married and have four kids. I'm a stay at home mum to my two youngest, who are at primary school, and my two eldest are studying at university. 

2.How did you get into crafting?
I've knitted and cross-stitched in the past, but one day ten years ago I saw a really basic card making case (just a few peel offs, wooden stamps etc). I picked it up and put it back down again.

After a day of shopping and almost getting back into the car, I said to hubby that maybe I should have got it. So he told me to quickly run back and get it. I can't tell you how much that little case has grown and how much it has ended up costing him!

Design Team member Shary Nettleship
3. How would you describe your style?
Hmm that's a hard one... I make cutesy cards but I also like to make altered art projects and getting messy with inks, paints and whatever else I can lay my hands on.

4. Where do you draw inspiration from?
Crafty blogs and magazines.

5. What's your favourite technique right now?
At the moment it's stamping, heat embossing and then going over with Distress Ink to really make the image pop! 

6. What's your favourite colour?
Lilac, especially combined with browns and pinks. All together if I can get away with it!

Shary's latest DT make - 3 beautiful festive ATCs made using the Heartfelt Creations Ornamental Medallion stamp set
7. What do you like to snack on whilst crafting?
I drink loads of tea, but I don't really eat anything whilst crafting. I can't trust myself not to get it everywhere!

8. What do you do when you're not crafting?
Walking our Labrador retriever Milly, spending time with my family and reading on my Kindle.

9. Tell us a random fact about yourself...
I have just moved back to the UK after living in Germany for 11 years.

10. What craft tool couldn't you live without?
Ooh there are lots. But... I think it would be my new Cameo Silhouette!

11. If your house was on fire, what's the first thing you would save from your craft room?
Gotta be my dog and my guinea pigs!!! Milly lays by my feet when I'm crafting and my piggies live in my craft room. 


You can see all of Shary's excellent makes, including her DT pieces, on her blog here. Be sure to check back here next week for our last Meet the Team post, where we'll be getting to know Tracy Evans!

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Christmas Bauble Challenge winner...

We received some fantastic festive entries for our Christmas Bauble Challenge this month!

We asked you for crafty Yuletide projects featuring Bauble motifs and you sent us absolutely stunning Bauble cards, tags, decorations and more! Just some of our judges favourite creations this month are below...


Wonderful layered Poinsettia decoration by Miria Amano


Lovely Memory Glass Christmas decoration made using the Umount Pine Cone Christmas stamp set by Jassy Veale

But unfortunately our judges could only pick one winner to receive the Studio 490 prize bundle, so...
CONGRATULATIONS to our Christmas Bauble Challenge winner... JEAN PHILLIPS! 


Challenge winner - Embossed Bauble card by Jean Phillips
Our judges loved the attention to detail on Jean's beautiful embossed Christmas card, created using the JustRite Deck the Halls stamp set and Spellbinders Holiday Magic M-Bossabilities embossing folder.

Well done Jean! Your Studio 490 prize bundle worth over £50 is on it's way to you!

Thank you to everyone that entered our Christmas Bauble Challenge, check back here soon to see our next Challenge theme and the fabulous prize up for grabs.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

The Creative Expressions Project Book is here!


We’re excited to announce that the brand new Creative Expressions Project Book is coming to a craft shop near you soon!

The A4 Book is 44 pages long (with no adverts!) and contains a myriad of stunning projects to inspire you.
The 21 beautiful makes featured in the Book were created by your favourite craft celebrities, including Sue Wilson, Sam Poole, Julia Watts and Hels Sheridan, as well as members of our fabulous Design Team.

The Creative Expressions Project Book has 21 unique projects inside

The Project Book is incredibly varied and includes cards, tags, mixed media pieces and ATCs. Style-wise, there’s also something for everyone; from bright clean and simple designs, to vintage altered art and steampunk pieces. 
You can see some of the creations featured in the magazine below...

This Artists Set Plaque by Gabrielle Price is just one of the fab makes in the Book!

Another is this elegant Ooh La La French Frills card by Sue Wilson

This Within Your Heart dimensional wall hanging by Hels Sheridan is sure to be a favourite!

What’s more, the projects vary in complexity, so whether you’re an advanced crafter or a newbie you’ll find plenty of ideas and easy to follow techniques to spark your creativity!

The Creative Expressions Project Book is available now through Creative Expressions stockists, to find a stockist near you click here.

We'd love to hear what you think of the Project Book, so please let us know either by leaving a comment below or on our Facebook page


Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Meet the Team week six - Michelle Webb

It's time again for another Meet the Team post, where each week we get to know a member of the Creative Expressions DT a little better. 
This week we 'meet' singer, chef, computer genius and (most importantly) passionate crafter: Michelle Webb. Read on below to find out more...

1. Introduce yourself briefly...
Hi my name is Michelle Webb and I'm 41. I work as a full time computer slave, but when I get home of an evening my pent up creativity is let loose and I love getting messy in my craft room!
I have three cheeky cats (two young ones and one kitten), who usually run away with various crafty items from my work desk, and one grown up son who occasionally joins in my messy antics!
I'm into stamping, drawing my own images, mixed media and art journalling. 

Creative Expressions DT Member Michelle Webb
2. How did you get into crafting?
Have I ever been out of it?! I was one of those whiny kids that was always saying 'I'm bored'. So my mum filled a sideboard with egg boxes, washing up bottles and anything else crafty that she could get her hands on, and I was never bored again! I always made a mess when I had a Tony Hart project on the go!

I've never stopped ever since, moving from one crafty obsession to another! I'm saving glass-blowing for when I retire in 25 years...

3. How would you describe your style?
My style usually consists of lots of layers, lots of colour and lots of mediums. It can change often too because I always like to try new products and techniques.

A beautiful festive tag created by Michelle: made using the Umount Let It Snow stamp set


4. Where do you draw inspiration from?
In a nutshell; blogs, art classes, YouTube videos, Pinterest... Blogs in particular are a HUGE inspiration for me. I get time 'suckage' though; I spend my time going from one blog to another and before I know it I've got no time left to create myself!

Also since my first visit to a class at a local craft shop earlier this year I've been on a whirlwind of discovery. I happened to go there on a preview day where art samples were everywhere for you to look at and touch. I can't tell you how life-changing that day was for me. 

Mostly this crafting lark is a solitary hobby until you find a group of like-minded people who get together to make things; then you want to do it again and again! You all inspire each other!

5. What's your favourite technique right now?
Gesso over everything! It makes everything look like it belongs there; no matter how random it looks before you put the Gesso on.

6. What's your favourite colour?
Blue and Teal.

7. What do you like to snack on whilst crafting?
Anything that will leave dirty, greasy, chocolatey marks on all my creations!

8. What do you do when you're not crafting?
I cook a lot. I used to be a chef many moons ago, so I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. And any spare time I have left is dedicated to house work...booo, hiss!

9. Tell us a random fact about yourself...
I'm in a Pop Choir! (I hear you say 'Do I have any time?! Haha, no!)

10. What craft tool couldn't you live without?
Hmm...this is tough. You know there would be tonnes of things I couldn't live without, but most of all it would be my craft mat, is that a tool? I'm not very good at this, if not then my heat gun!

11. If your house was on fire, what's the first thing you would save from your craft room?
My Distress Inks! I'd do a trolley dash to grab whatever else I could get before the house collapsed. If a fireman came to the window to rescue me, I'd hand him all my Tim Holtz stamps before me!...I have my priorities wrong don't I?


You can find all of Michelle's fabulous DT makes and more on her blog here. Next week we'll be 'meeting' another member of the team, so please check back here!


Thursday, 1 November 2012

Meet the Team week five - Trace Metcalfe

Unbelievably it's been another week since our last Meet the Team post! So it's time once again to get to know one of our Design Team members a little better. This week it's the turn of Trace Metcalfe...


1. Introduce yourself briefly...
My name is Trace, a 39 year old Mum of three children (James, 9, Oliver, 7, and Lucy, 2) and wife to Steve. I love all things Distress and have found much inspiration in distressed, vintage and steampunk styles. I've been blogging now for just over a year and am loving the crafty friends I am making and inspirational friends I'm finding along the way.

Design Team member Trace Metcalfe
2. How did you get into crafting?
I have always been an arty girl but discovered ink when I left primary school teaching to bring up my children. From small beginnings I continue to enjoy my inky adventures!

3. How would you describe your style?
A mix of Distress and steampunk, with a dash of vintage and colour thrown in. My style seems to evolve and I'm loving the journey!

4. Where do you draw inspiration from? 
Tim Holtz!

5. What's your favourite technique right now?
Riveted patchwork.

6. What's your favourite colour?
Blue, but my favourite colour combination is blue and brown! (Vintage Photo and Broken China)

7. What do you like to snack on whilst crafting?
I snack on Soft Mints, whilst drinking coffee with two sugars.

A fabulous steampunk card by Trace: made using Sam Poole's Steampunk Christmas stamp set

8. What do you do when you're not crafting?
Browse crafty blogs, shop for more crafting stash, post on my blog...and look after my three children and husband of course!

9. Tell us a random fact about yourself...
I got married over an anvil in a chapel in Scotland.

10. What craft tool couldn't you live without?
My ink blending tools, hotly followed by my Tiny Attacher!

11. If your house was on fire, what's the first thing you would save from your craft room?
My Distress Inks, but if my arms were big enough I would take my blending tools too.


More fabulous makes from Trace, including her Creative Expressions Design Team projects, can be found on her blog here
We'll be 'meeting' another member of the Creative Expressions DT right here next week, so be sure to check back!