Here at Anything But Cute we love to see all the seasoned and expert mixed media artists, but we also want to encourage those who are just getting their feet wet. Our design team will always be on the lookout for these exceptional artists, and you just never know when we might be giving out something special to a talented mixed media newcomer.
Make sure to put 'newbie' after your name in the linky so we know who you are.
(new refers to 'new to mixed media' NOT 'new to our challenge')

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Spotlight Artist - Niki - Stamp Storage

Hello all you wonderful crafty people! Niki here, I would like to show you a practical way to store some of your unmounted stamps. I know there are many websites, videos, and DIY's out there about stamp storage but wanted to share my inexpensive way of storing stamps. We want to make room for any Christmas art supplies you receive from Santa right? I hope you enjoy and may be share how you store your stamps as well. Lets begin!

Supplies Needed: Unmounted Stamps (of course!)
                           3 Ring Binder
                           Card Stock (any light colors will work)
                           Hole punch
                           Clear Trading Card Binder Pages (like how Baseball cards are stored)
                           Clear Sheet Protectors
                           Black Archival Ink

I started with a white 3 ring binder because I have numerous ones from college. The trading card binder pages were purchased at Staples on sale (I think it was $3.99).

I also had the sheet protectors on hand because of my college classes as well. These are not expensive to buy though if you don't have any on hand.

We all have Cardstock in our stash, so that should be an easy item. I used pale green for this binder. You can use black but then the stamps won't really show up unless you use white ink to stamp with.

Now to put it all together. I started with the Clear Trading Card pages for the single stamps I have. Just slip the stamps into the slot and you are done! Easy peasy! I leave the clear plastic covers on the stamps because a lot of them have the design of the stamp on one side. You also have the choice of using a piece of your cardstock to stamp the image onto and slip that into the sleeve as well so you have an easy visual of your stamps in their slots.

Now for the Clear Page Protectors. First, pick out what stamps you want for this "page" of your stamp storage book. I used BoBunny's butterfly stamps and Gates. Using your black Archival ink, stamp all of the images onto your cardstock piece. Make sure you stamp the images in the place that you want to keep them, so that your stamps line up with the stamped image when the page is turned (this is the green page that you see in the picture below).  

Hole punch your cardstock so that it fits into your binder. Now we use the page protector-I cut 2 sides of the page protector, leaving the side that has the holes intact. This allows you easy access to your stamps without having to dig to the bottom of the page protector and have to pull the stamp out. Attach the clear plastic backing from your stamps to the inside back page protector (I used a clear tape gun, you can see the white strips in the picture below.

Than attach the pre-stamped clear plastic backing to the inside front of the page protector.

When you close this page, you should have 3 parts-the front of the page protector, your stamps, and the back of the page protector. Then your cardstock page with the stamped images.

Now you have your first page done and your stamps are easy to get to, as well as being organized! Pat yourself on the back! You can categorize your stamps if you would like. I don't have a huge amount (yet), so I just kept the stamps together by the company.

Keep adding pages and watch your stamp collection get organized in a relatively short amount of time! I did this binder while watching TV. The part that took the longest was stamping the image onto the green cardstock.

This is the stamped image on the green cardstock. I did cut out the make/name of the stamp set and glued it to my cardstock. I did this because it will be easy for me to remember where the stamp came from in case I need a new one.

Now your binder is full and ready to go! This also makes it easy to take your stamps to crops, or a crafty get-together with your friends. Win, win right?

I hope you enjoyed this post and maybe learned something new. We all have our ways of storing art supplies so feel free to share how you store your stamps! Hugs and Carpe Diem! ~Niki

Remember to check out our current challenge, It's Ornamental, hosted by the lovely Cec! Now that your stamps are organized and easy to get to, you know what Holiday stamps you have. Happy Holidays!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Feature Artist for It's Ornamental - Welcome Cathryn!

Hello Everyone!

Niki here and I am so excited to finally get the chance to introduce you to our Feature Artist for November. She was the winner of my "Mixed Media Makeover" challenge in September. Welcome Cathryn Wood of Strangely Creative!!

Cathryn is an amazing crafter. She is such an amazeballs and versatile crafter. She has also been known to teach some interesting techniques. Every time I visit her blog, I learn something new. She shares some of these techniques with this gorgeous design!

I think you will all agree that Cathryn is a creative force to be reckoned with and I am so proud of the project she put together for our current challenge "It's Ornamental"! Feast your eyes on this!! Not only did she design a gorgeous, vintage display box but she made 2! What! Shut the front door! Both are stupendous and make perfect displays for any house during the holidays! I can go on and on about these but you should know more about this lovely, and Strangely Creative lady!


I am thrilled to be chosen as Feature Artist for such a lovely challenge blog as Anything But Cute - I am Cathryn Wood, although I am known as Strangely Creative.

I have always loved art and crafts, and have had huge fun within the industry and along the way have made some lovely friends as well.   I have taught art all over the UK and Holland, designed various products, done TV work, and just had a great time! I am always laughing, and hope to keep it that way!

"It's Ornamental" is such an inspiring challenge - straight away I knew that I wanted to do something using a box canvas, and that would stand alone.  Also I wanted to use my faux microscope slide technique.

First of all I created the faux microscope slide by choosing an image (I collage a whole sheet of images at once). Laminated it, and for the back of the slide used some hardboard but you could cut an old book cover, grey board etc to size.

Next, I stuck some kitchen foil to some double sided tape, and attached this around the edges to look like soldering,  It is really effective!  There is a tutorial on my blog for this which I hope you will view.

So here is my "stuff" - my start point!   A canvas, a cotton spool for the base, 2 faux slides (I couldn't decide which one to use at this point), a frame cut from scrapbook paper, a crown I cut from foam-board and 2 bells.

First of all I die cut some snowflakes and glittered them up and then stuck them to the back of the canvas,

The next stage was to paint the back and sides of the canvas with a colour darker than the scrapbook paper (I used a deep Rookwood Red).   Then glued the scrapbook paper frame into place and drilled a small hole into the top of the frame.

I cut and shaped a length of card to look like hanging snow, and glued this to the top of the frame then used texture paste over the card, on the inside of the frame and around the edges and also glittered it whilst it was wet.

The foam board crown was covered with scrapbook paper and then the edges neatened using the faux soldering idea (as used on the faux slides).  Then I inked the edges of both frame and crown, the 25 comes from the Tim Holtz Salvage Stickers Lost and Found collection.   The key is from the TH Alterations movers and shapers die, and its actually 10 layers of card stuck together.

I gathered together various bits of lace, the large bundle in the front I dyed with tea for a really vintage feel.

I then decided I wanted the frame to stand proud from the cotton reel, so drilled another hole and glued some doweling into it.  The lace was glued onto the back of the canvas in layers so its really full, then I added some Stickles in Diamond for further interest. I sunk the key into the foam-board and then glued it into place.

The next step was to tie the bells onto some thread and stick the thread along the back of the slide, and up through the hole in the canvas where I glued it firmly down.   The slide moves slightly and looks really good.

Finally the crown was glued into place and I added some more Stickles along with a red bow and popped it into the cotton reel!

I enjoyed it so much I made a second one - exactly the same way but slightly larger and using cardboard numbers instead of the crown.

I hope you have enjoyed this project and feel inspired!


WOW, is about all I can muster! My vocabulary escapes me! From faux soldering, to faux microscope slides, these are brilliant and so very festive and not to mention stunning! Did you see that snow effect!?! Are you inspired because I know I sure am. Thank you Cathryn!

I hope that seeing Cathryn's wonderful creations will inspire you to join me for our current challenge "It's Ornamental"!

You have until the 4th of December to play - and you'll find all the challenge details as well as lots of inspiration from the brilliant Anything But Cute design team by clicking on the challenge link.

Happy Crafting and Carpe Diem

Thursday, November 12, 2015

WINNERS - Challenge #6 - 31 Days of Halloween

Sara Emily here, and I'm having to write the most difficult post I've ever had to write. Most of you know how much passion I have for Halloween, and I was totally blown away by the number of you that share that passion. Your enthusiasm came through loud and clear with all of your amazing haunting entries. I was so impressed with the creative ways you found to include the # 31 on your projects. Choosing a winner wasn't hard, because they were ALL winners in my book, but narrowing it down to only one was next to impossible.

After tossing and turning for a couple of nights, flipping coins, revisiting all your blogs, and working the problem out on paper, I came to the conclusion that the winner is:

WINNER: # 24 Lynn Price
Lynn used so many techniques to create this eerie scene. Her rotten skull is amazing, and the candle and the roses just sealed the deal for me. It looks as if her elements are surfacing out of a thick fog. If you haven't had a chance to see this exceptional mystifying journal page up close, please be sure to visit her blog. You will be amazed how this was created!

Congratulations Lynn! Pamellia will be contacting you via email to send you your personalized winner's badge and details about being our Guest Designer for our next challenge!

And for my Runner(s)-Up!

# 4 Nicole Wright

One word. WOW! Just look at the way these houses glow! Lots of great Halloween details on these that must be seen up close to truly appreciate! I love how Nicole incorporated her # 31 using those letterpress blocks! Her passion for Halloween transferred to this pair of Haunted dwellings, and I could almost hear her chuckling to herself as she crafted these!


# 15 Jackie P Neal

I'm pretty sure Jackie took a photo of me and stuck it on this gorgeous, colorful, textural Halloween tag, because I looked just like this witch pretty much the month of October, as I fought back the flu. What a fabulous background with clever use of products! I have to give her a big round of applause for every single spooky detail, but the scaly snake just stole my creepy heart!

Now on to our DT Favourites

Branka's Favourite#14 Kerstin F.
This fantastic altered book has stolen my heart! I am amazed by so many awesome details wonderfully arranged, creating such an unique and spooky piece of art! 

Cec's Favourite - #14 Kerstin F.
I also chose this fantastic altered book.  I think it is so clever of Kerstin to carve out the pages to provide niches for her spooky scenes.  The colour palette is perfect for the theme as are all the great Halloween-themed elements that she added.

Georgie's Favourite - 26 Suzz's Stamping Spot

I just adore this tag, the colours are perfectly Halloween. Gorgeous layers with the bingo card and string, and of course the beautiful owl. The way the ribbon has been used to complement the colours is fab and great use of asymmetry! A little project but big on wow!!

Niki's Favourite -#3 Wendy K
This book caught my attention right quick! There are so many wonderful pages, full of Halloween goodness. Poe is my favorite page, although all of the pages are awesome sauce. The details and different elements are what made this my favorite.

Pamellia's Favourites
10. Julia Aston
I just fell in love with Julia's spooky Halloween window box! It's fun and wonky and her techniques creating textures are just amazing! If you would like to see how she put this together, click on her name, she has lots of in process shots so you can watch her create!

12. valerie-Jael
Valerie's tag just jumped off the page to me! The contrast of the black and orange in fantastic and so perfect for Halloween! I love all the little details she included, like that creepy little spider on the broom stick! Well done!

Samra's Favourite#28 Evelyn Walter
Gorgeous transformation of a serving tray with such great idea of eerie yet beautiful and dark make.

Honourable Mentions

7. Deb Riddell             8. chrissie             11. Paradise Lost              22. Lisa H

A huge congratulation everyone! Thank you so much to everyone who played along with us last month and don't forget to grab your badges! You earned them!!

There is still plenty of time to enter Cec's current challenge "IT'S ORNAMENTAL"! We can't wait to see what you come up with this time!

Hugs to all, from the 'Anything But Cute' Design Team

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Challenge #7 - It's Ornamental

Hello Everyone!

Welcome to a new challenge here at Anything But Cute. It is Cec here and I am your hostess for this month.  Before I tell you all about the challenge, I just want to thank everyone who joined us last month with all their wonderful and very spooky Halloween projects.  Don't forget to check back with us next Thursday when Sara Emily and the team announce the winners of the 31 Days of Halloween challenge. Now on to this month's theme.

Once Halloween is over everything kicks into gear for Christmas and I always like to get an early start on my preparations so I am not doing it all at the last minute and this year is no exception.  About 4 years ago I decided it was time to hand the tree with all the kid-friendly and kid-created ornaments over to my Grandchildren and get a new tree that I could decorate in a more adult fashion - besides I was tired of stringing all the lights on it and wanted a pre-lit tree.  I love to decorate the tree with lots of ornaments and the house with lots of holiday decor items, which led me to the theme for this month.


Since the holiday will be coming up pretty quickly, we want you to create a mixed media ornament for your Christmas tree or a Christmas decor item for your house or table.

And now for some inspiration from the talented Anything But Cute design team!

Anne - Redanne

I love Christmas and I love making 3D decorations for our home. I have used lots of texture paste, shrink plastic and a lot of glitter to create this festive church scene - it lights up too!

Branka - Vintage Handmade

I like to decorate my home for Christmas time in a vintage style so I created this piece to decorate my craft room. I used the back side of a small canvas, white crackle paste, some alcohol inks and some embellishments mostly from my stash. 

Cec - CW Card Creations

I made this ornament for my tree from a wooden shape that my husband cut for me on his laser cutter - I am loving his new toy.  To turn it into an ornament I used more wooden shapes, lots of texture paste, metallic paints, lace, gems and beads.

Niki - Pawsitively Creative Crafts

I love the Christmas season and was super excited to design this altered mailbox. I went for a soft and elegant feel. It all started with a paper mache mailbox and Shimmer Sheetz. And of course, there is a surprise on the inside! This season is all about surprises for me and I enjoy giving people any type of surprise! Happy Holidays!

Samra - Paper Talk with Samra

I made this ornament using a paper mache star ornament from a craft supply store. I decorated it with Inca Gold paint, glass glitter, micro beads, metal filigrees and a metal flower.

Sara Emily - sarascloset

Not yet quite in the Christmas spirit yet, I pulled some mismatched salt shakers from my bottle collection and made a snow family.  I used paper clay, alcohol inks, Crackle paint, Gesso and Distress paints to craft my Snowshakers. Oh, and there's a bit of glitter in there, too! Maybe these will bring some real snow to the south this season!


I know you will agree that my team mates have created some fabulous projects for this theme and they are going to have some beautifully decorated homes this holiday season. Please hop over to each of their blogs to see more photos and get some details on how these projects were made and while you're there be sure to tell them how much you love their work.

I hope that we have inspired you to head to your craft room and create something to add to your tree or to show proudly as part of your holiday decorating.

The winner will receive the honour of being our Guest Designer for an upcoming challenge!

Here at Anything But Cute we just love to see all the seasoned and expert mixed media artists, but we also want to encourage those who are just getting their feet wet. Our design team will always be on the lookout for these exceptional projects and artists. You just never know when we might be giving out something special to a lucky mixed media newcomer. We all have to start somewhere, right?

This challenge runs until December 4th - we can't wait to see what you come up with! Happy Crafting from the entire team, and thanks for visiting Anything But Cute!