Craft Stamper magazine Review…Aug ’13

This is a slightly different post from me today, but a very exciting one.
I was lucky and privileged enough a couple of weeks ago, to be one of 10 crafters chosen to review the August 2013 issue of Craft Stamper magazine.
I used to have a subscription a couple of years ago, and received this magazine monthly through the door, but unfortunately due to a big move over to Ireland, I haven’t had the opportunity on a regular basis to enjoy it. So that is the reason I jumped at the chance to write this review.
When you first lay eyes on the front cover, you can’t fail to notice the huge amount of vibrant colour used in the design samples, and it is that theme, that is continued throughout the whole issue.
With the glorious weather that the UK has had this summer, the whole mood of this August issue is bright and fun and zingy. So for a crafter like myself who struggles to successfully to be bold and confident with big colours, this is a perfect ‘go to’ reference point, that you can go back to time again.
Having had a break  from reading the magazine, for a couple of years, I can see a real difference in the layout and overall approach in the presentation of the articles. I find that now, the emphasis is definitely on the articles and allowing us as readers to really enjoy the projects and explanation of techniques a lot more, and without the distraction. What I mean by that is that each project has a full page photograph so you can really study and look in detail at the project, which for me is fascinating and show cases the skill, expertise and professional finish of the designer (something we all as readers aspire too). A small detail, but to me really important, is that all advertising is grouped onto its own pages, the articles are not interrupted by them, allowing full concentration and enjoyment of the work the designers do for us.
The space given to the written detail of the project is much easier on the eye, and no longer follows the traditional magazine format of many narrow columns on a page. Treating each page as an ‘A4’ page, to me is lot friendlier and far less formal, so when you sit and become engrossed in a designers work (usually with a cup of tea) it really feels as if you are in a friendly chat with them and their enthusiasm for craft comes across the page.
Onto the projects themselves in this issue, and as I mentioned, the over riding theme is colour, bold and vibrant, whether it be using distress or alcohol inks, Staz On or Promarkers – the bolder the better.
The ‘Stamping Contrasts’ article really took my eye, as it shows you the diversity of a specifically themed set of stamps – in this case the Indian Elephant set by Chocolate Baroque. I have looked at sets like these and wonder just how diverse they would be and how many different styles of card I would make with them. Often not seeing passed the actual suggested theme.
The style of cards the designers have created are amazing. All inspired by the Asian technique of Batik fabric dyeing, but the contrast in style where Christina Dark has beautifully and intricately coloured all the details, to the more subtle tonal stamping of Jean Franks Beck.
What I also really revel in with Craft Stamper is the brilliance of the designers to create their own design papers, using stamps and inks. I teaches us as readers how to marry up stamp designs to create an overall bigger picture. As a stamper, first and foremost in my crafting, I always find it fascinating and will spend hours looking at work by the likes of Liesbeth Fidder, who has created a wonderful ‘Steampunk Romance’ card and written an article, breaking down the process, giving me the encouragement that I can also have a go.
I was inspired to create an accompanying card for this post, after reading about Trish Latimer’s 3D Embellishments, Wire Workshop. Now craft wire has been in my stash for years, so to be able to have a fab and fresh use for it was fantastic.
Trish teaches in her tutorial how to create (fully enclosed) shapes with the wire, adhering them onto a tissue paper, that you have stamped or coloured, and then filling in that enclosed shape with ‘glossy accents’ to create a glossy embellishment.
You can see below that I, have printed an ‘egg’ design from the Curio digi Kit designed by Sarah Hurley. I have then shaped the craft wire around the egg, and filled with glossy accents. The excess tissue is cut away when fully dried, resulting in the three translucent egg shapes.
To create the card on which they will embellish, I decided to use my alcohol inks  and a selection of my stamps and distress ink, to create the background. Reverting back to form I opted for more neutral colours.

The photograph below shows the outcome, which I was not particularly happy with. I don’t know about you, but most times, the original idea that I started out creating, morphs somewhere along the line into another idea, and the finished result is nothing how you imagined. Well this is one of those times. Having stamped the bird, I wasn’t happy with the composition, but very much liked the colours of the bird, so I changed tack.
The following set of photos here, show that I re-stamped the bird onto white glossy card with distress pens, and used another technique from the magazine to create another background. Now this was a first for me, and I have to thank Elizabeth Borer for this in her article (page 69) – Painted backgrounds. I used crumpled cling film to transfer the alcohol ink into my project, it created the most wonderful soft distress look, a perfect backdrop for the bird.
The results and final project are here below, inspired by a number of projects from Craft Stamper 2013. I still have to work on the boldness of my colours, but watch this space, I will definitely be giving it a go.

 I’d like to thank you so much for taking an interest in this post, and persevering with me.
Very many thanks also to Paula from Craft Stamper for giving me this opportunity, I have thoroughly enjoyed this as a little project.