Monday 16 September 2019

How I cut my own designs on my Cricut maker

Hello everyone this is a very basic idea of what I do on the Cricut to cut my own designs

Start by opening design space and click new project

I just chose a image to demonstrate here and have not actually cut it out but it gives you an idea. Once you choose your image you have to remove the background. I usually start with clicking remove lower the size and then click anywhere on the background area. Any areas left on I then tidy with erase.

Once all the background is removed you can make any other adjustments you need like despeckle the image or smooth your lines. As you clean up your image and remove background you will see it appear in the right hand corner.

Once you are happy with the image press next.  Again mine is for this tuts purpose I would clean it up much more than shown here.

You are now given two options cut only on left or print and cut on the right. If you chose to print and cut it sends it to your printer first and once printed you come back to the Cricut and follow on with cutting your printed image. If just cutting it takes you to the next screen where you save your ready image.

This is your library in design space where all the images you have prepared are stored, you can then chose the image you wish to cut

You can see a few of mine on the next photo.

Click the image you want and it takes you to your canvas  where you can resize and and add more elements. It gives you an idea of how big and what it will look like on this screen. I found that on the canvas sometimes it looks like it fits but when you go to this screen you can see it doesn’t so always check and just go back and adjust if you need to. 

Once you are satisfied press continue and you will be taken to a screen asking you to connect your Cricut and set what blade depth and substrate you are using - just follow the on screen instructions. 

Happy cutting

Debs xx

Wednesday 26 June 2019

Beautiful vase for Chocolate Baroque

Hi there everyone today sees the last of my three posts for Chocolate Baroque and it’s another home decor piece. This vase will look stunning anywhere in your home. All the details are on the blog, so why not pop over and take a look. 

See you all soon with some personal work

Take care 


Wednesday 12 June 2019

Sew lovely

Morning everyone, it’s been a while since I blogged as I’ve taken a break due to my studies. You may remember I started a Masters degree in illustration back in January and it’s been full on. However today and the next two weeks I have my regular spot as a guest  on the Chocolate Baroque blog 
Today’s project is followed by some makes I made with stamps as samples for Lesley on HOCHANDA a while back. 
All the details of today’s project can be found below. 

For this medium sized tag I have used a variety of stamps off some of my favourite sets called, Haberdashery, Floral Mannequins and Sewing Room. 

Here’s how I created it:

I used one of Tim baseboards as my background and distressed it with Distress Ink, firmly adhering it to my tag. I stamped and cut out my mannequin, flowers buttons and cotton all of which I painted with watercolours. I then aged them with Distress Ink and and adhered them to the tag. To finish, The cotton card I filled with some embroidery cotton, and added highlights to the buttons, added some tiny flowers and to add to the retro style I added a beaded hat pin. I typed my sentiment and added it to a small piece of mount board, and lastly a little trinket was added to the same cotton and tied in a bow. 

Here are some Samples 

I hope you are inspired 

Take care and I’ll see you next week with a home decor piece.


Sunday 17 March 2019

4 images

Hugs Debs xx

Friday 1 March 2019

March challenge for a Country View Crafts

Hello everyone spring is here, and it’s felt like it the this week here in Penrith with warm days and spring flowers popping up every where. It’s my favourite seasons as everything is renewed which makes me feel good. How you all feeling?

Well this months challenge at my home on social media Country View Crafts is numbers or letters or both brought to us by the very talented and all round lovely lady Evelyn and here is the first of my inspiration pieces. Don’t forget there’s a £20 voucher to be one, be sure to follow the guidelines or else you won’t be entered.

Bit different for me I think you will agree

So I started off with a crackle glaze followed by Decoart spray media in shimmering white. This gives a fine crackle. Next came a sprinkle
of Infusions Rocky road by Paper Artsy. I loved it just like this but it needed some stamping.

I got so carried away I forgot more pics, but taking three different fonts by Tim Holts for Ranger I randomly stamped on my numbers
In a variety of Archival inks.
I loved the jumble up feel to this background 

Then I added one of the butterflies I designed on my Cricut Maker which I also cut out

This image is below and is free for you to use, (if used on social media please credit me) 

I first applied Distress oxide and then stamped onto it
I adhered it to the tag on a bed of a teabag and edged with lace.
For the body I used the ideas lamp and a clock face for its head, two stars on stick and it was finished. 

The difference for me was I wanted a more contemporary feel and so didn’t Distress the ephemera and left it in its natural state.

Hope you enjoyed seeing how this was constructed 
See you soon


Saturday 23 February 2019


Hello everyone, as I write this we have 50 mile an hour winds outside and its also pouring with rain. So pleased I'm snug as a bug and hope you are too.

Today I  have a card for my second inspiration for this months challenge for Country View Crafts which is use black and white and a colour of your choice. I chose silver. I made this using my Cricut Maker a fabulous machine which can make so many of your crafting projects.

I first designed my flowers on my iPad with Procreate. I have included those designs on this page and you are free to download and use them in your personal projects. if you share them with social media please acknowledge where you got them.

I started designing these back in the Autumn but with Christmas and preparations for my course I put them on the back burner. However for my course I designed a butterfly and cut them out and thought while cutting I might as well cut the flowers as well.

they are all filled in for the maker to recognise and cut them out. I chose the ones wanted for my card and using a glue with a fine nozzle I drew my pattern onto the flowers and leaves and then added my sparkle glitter.

While I waited for the glitter to dry I cut my background paper to size, mixed up some white fluid acrylic in white with a little water and flicked it onto the black card.

I then assembled the card. These designs can be used in the Cricut explore or Maker or if you have another cutting machine thats allows you to input images.

There are lots of dies of flower shapes in the shop which you could use in the same way to create this simple but effective card. I finished it with some large chit chat stickers but you could also use your favourite quote or stamp on yours.

thats all from me 

hugs xxx


Saturday 2 February 2019

Week 1 first brief and I loved it

Hello everyone, some of you may be aware I’ve started studying an MA in Illustration with Falmouth University which is totally taught online. Well my first week is completed and I love it. Having the whole teaching online really suits my style, we seem to have a wonderful cohort who already work in illustration in some way or have a degree so I have some very talented people to learn from.

Our first practice brief was to create an I (for illustration) which shows something of yourself as way of introducing yourself to the group and as I have now uploaded to my course I can share it with you here.

For anyone who really knows me it is self explanatory as I haven’t gone for anything cryptic

But those who done here goes.

The top is filled with mountains which I love, a nest with 3 birds represents my grandchildren and my daughter flying in to feed them.

The tree itself is a huge love of mine and the vine is for all the country side around me. The light,  my guiding light,  is my husband who is my biggest fan as well as my biggest critic lol. 

Then the tree is filled with some of the important things to me, my cat, books, pens, sheep, my iPad (lol) my home with its picket fence and my baby girl who lives in heaven. Then we have the deep roots which I feel I have already put down in my not so new home. (Almost a year when we moved)

And here is how I created it

Onto an A3 piece of mixed media paper I sketched my final draft. I had sketched it out several times in small scale to finalise my ideas. I then used making fluid on the leaves and small items on the tree. Once dry I added a water glaze to all the background and the dropped in purple and blue watercolour paint. (Danial Smiths) once that was dry I sprinkled brusho on top and activated it with water.

I finished painting my mountains and once dry rubbed off the masking fluid. This actually gave me a huge blister on my thumb. 

Then using watercolour I painted in the rest I added more details with pencils (polychromous by Fabre Castell) the mother bird I drew on a separate piece of card, cut it out and stuck it in place.

Let’s take another look

Hope you like as I had so much fun creating it

Hugs xxx


Friday 1 February 2019

It’s black ... it’s white ... as the song goes but this portrait is both- new challenge for Country View Crafts

Hello everyone welcome to the February challenge for Country View Crafts which theme chosen for us by the super talented Sue is Black and white and a choice of 1 other colour. I decided to sketch a portrait as I just love drawing! Don’t forget to enter your creations to be in with a chance to enter the draw.

I started by mapping in the basic shapes ( I’ve recently started to use reference photos, as they are helping me with shading and proportions. I always refused to use them as I thought being able to draw out of my head was better. However I’ve realised that to improve and develop I need to have something to help me as I was really getting anywhere) I didn’t copy exactly just enough to help me with shadows and lights.

Building it up 

And more - I used a Derwent mechanical Pencil which is quite light in value.

And the final piece
I decided to switch to soft pastels at the end just to get some more contrasts in shadows and lights. 

I quite like how she came out and hope you do to.

Come back soon to see my piece I completed for the course I’m studying (MA in Illustration) with is to illustrate the the letter I
Take care xxx


Sunday 27 January 2019

Polly the mouse with lavender

Hello everyone, today I have a little painting of Polly the Mouse to share with you all. 

She’s created on Bockingford watercolour paper which is 300 gsm. I love this paper as there is very little warping due to how heavy the paper is, it has some texture but not too much and the pigment is absorbed a little but doesn’t sink into the paper making it dull. You can add many layers of pigment and it stands up well to other mediums such as pencils, pastels etc.  I haven’t used it for acrylics but imagine it would handle the medium very well.

Next onto the paint I used, in this this case it was Sennelier watercolour tubes, which is one of my favourites along side Daniel Smiths. I bought a set of colours recommended by Billy Showell, a watercolour artist specialising in Botanical art. I also use brushes designed by her, my set consists of  a 2, 4, 6 in both sable and synthetic and I love them all. I use a ceramic pallet as I love how the colour mixes and is easily removed from it. 

So to start!

I first taped. My paper to my mat and sketched my composition.

I added a water glaze to the whole area of the background and started dropping in colour, blues, purples at the top and blues and greens at the bottom.
I mix my own greens (mixing video coming up soon)
Once the colour was added I then splashed on water to get the colour flowing. I dried and then repeated the process. The 3rd layer was also a repeat but more concentrated colour was used in blues and greens and then with a straw I blew the little puddles to form the branches of the trees. I love the unpredictability of this as you have to give up the control. Lastly I added the leaves with a no.4 synthetic brush.

Started to add more branches and leaves, as well as stems for the flowers. I was almost scared to touch Polly as I really liked the background and didn’t want to spoil it.

The lavender is painted loosely to fit in with the whole composition as I wanted Polly to be the focal point. 

Okay so now onto Polly, I had to be brave! I mixed up the colours using a small piece of paper to test I had the colours I wanted. And started building up the layers. I find that working on small objects is difficult due to my eyes, even with glasses the detail isn’t as sharp (so I have invested in a light/magnifying glass)

My painting skills are not as good as I would like so decided to move onto pencil for the detail. I used lightfast by Derwent. Starting on Polly I started to build up the texture of her fur, and the catkins.

Let’s look a bit closer

And here she is finished in close up

And the finished piece

If you have any questions please leave in the comments