Friday 20 February 2009

Exploding Box - India

This box was commissioned by Mark, for his wife Kate. He was quite clear that her passion was travel and especially India.


The arched 'doorways' were cut using the Sizzix small tag die.

The background stamps I made myself. They were based on ceremonial henna (mehndi) hand paintings

more very soon...

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday 14 February 2009

Exploding Box - Firefly

I know they're dragonflies but I wanted the impression of fireflies in a ferny woodland.


This is a very small box. The closed measurements are: 1.75" square by just under 3" tall.

I actually managed to resist using glitter (it was very hard for me). I used amber gemstone accents and gold holographic mounts to give the 'fiery' illusion.

The stamping technique is one of my favourites:

  • I started with a light green background and stamped my first fern using VersaMark clear ink then embossed with clear powder.

  • I then inked over the whole thing with VersaColor Fresh Green and gently cleaned the ink off the clear embossing.

  • I stamped the fern again in VersaColor Green Tea (no embossing this time).

  • After the ink had dried I stamped the fern one more time, using VersaColor Evergreen (again no embossing).

  • When dry I finished by inking over the whole thing with VersaColor Bamboo and a small amount of Evergreen.
It's my favourite technique because the result is very three dimensional.

The stamps I used:
  • Stampabilities - Dragonfly & Stampendous - Summer Leaves (Fern).

I have a tutorial for this size box on my Gallery site. Here's the link:

The tutorial is in metric but for those of you who work in feet and inches there is a link, to a printable ruler with both centimetres and inches, at the top of the tutorial page.

Thank you for visiting.

Friday 13 February 2009

Exploding Box - Butterflies

Here I've tried to show the process of the exploding box opening.

This next series of photographs show the box from closed to open.

I'll be back with more soon!

Monday 9 February 2009

Australian Bushfires

Can I just say that, on behalf of myself and my family, our thoughts and love are with you all.

Saturday 7 February 2009

Exploding Box - Buttercups & Daisies

This box was a little bit of playtime for me. It's the only one that I managed to take photographs of during the 'design/making process' - I'll be doing more of this in future.


Box Design and construction details
  • Panels
    Sky - pale blue card chalked with blue.
    Grass - lime green card, chalked, torn and cut.

  • Bee Hive - stamped using a stamp I designed.
  • I stamped the single image three times.
    Roughly pencilled in where I wanted the tags.
    Cut out.
    Glued the tags together to dimension the hive.

  • BeesFrom the same stamp set I stamped the bees onto acetate using Stazon Black ink.
    Crystal glittered the wings.
    Cut each bee out.
    I stamped again onto lightweight card.
    Using markers I then coloured the bodies.
    Glittered the black with black holographic glitter.
    Cut out the bodies.
    Glued the bodies to the acetate bees.

  • FlowersMade using a small daisy punch and a five petal flower punch.
    The daisy is constructed from two punch-outs, layered together.
    The small flower is dimensioned using the same technique as my earlier box 'Violets'
I never glue anything down until I've played with the positioning of all the elements I'm going to use. Once I'm happy it's glue time!

Thanks for visiting -

Wednesday 4 February 2009

Exploding Box - Poppy Cottage

This box was another commission. A friend asked me to make it for her friend Tina's big 'O' birthday. Tina and her partner Dave have the most beautiful garden, in Truro, Cornwall, UK, which they open to the public each year. It's called 'Poppy Cottage Garden' so it was clear what the theme should be.
Here's the link to their garden website - it's well worth a look:


Unfortunately for Tina, my friend Teresa didn't warn her that it was an exploding box and Teresa told me "poor Tina almost fainted when she lifted the lid off her box".

This image gives you some idea of the height of the explosion.

I like to keep the outside simple so that the inside is a surprise. Maybe not quite as much as it was for Tina though!

Box Details:

  • Panels
    Lime green card again. Tinted with VersaColor Lagoon Blue & Marigold.
    Stamped using Perfectly Clear 'Leafy Silhouettes' in VersaColor Evergreen.
    Spot glittered with ultra-fine green glitter.

  • Poppies
    I made a template for these poppies and cut them out from heavy weight red paper.
    Each poppy is made from two layers which I scored and creased before gluing together.
    I finished by dotting black ultra-fine glitter in the centres.

  • Leaves
    These are made using a small daisy leaf die and tinted with VersaColor Evergreen ink

  • Bees
    These were made using 'EJ Honey Bee' stamp set (one I designed myself).
    I stamped onto acetate using black Stazon, cut each bee out and crystal glittered the wings.
    I then stamped onto lightweight card, coloured the bodies using marker pens, cut the bodies out and glued them onto the acetate bees.
    I highlighted the black with ultra-fine, black holographic glitter.

  • Ladybirds
    Small wooden Ladybird embellishments painted with 'Glossy Accents' to give that classic Ladybird glisten.

Thanks for looking.

Monday 2 February 2009

From Russia With Love

We have snow in London! No buses running at all. My son's school is closed. We've ground to a halt!!! They say the weather is coming from Russia.

This is one of my two 'Babies'. He doesn't understand what's happened but he doesn't like it, whatever it is.

Sunday 1 February 2009

Exploding Box - Violets (In Memory of)

Diana commissioned this box for her daughter. The theme was violets because they were "Gran's favourite flowers".
I love commissions because I learn something about that person and their family or friend. If I'm asked to make a box it is always for someone special and usually for a special reason. I feel privileged when they share a part of their family history with me and it's heartwarming to know how close some family relationships are.

Materials and Techniques:

Image Panels:

  • As with the origami box below, the panels are lime green card, tinted with VersaColor Evergreen and Marigold. The fern stamp is Stampendous 'Summer Leaves' stamped in Evergreen and then dotted with green ultra-fine glitter.
    These panels were mounted onto heavy weight black card - (cut 5mm larger and edged with holographic black glitter).

3D Leaves:

  • See-Dees self cling stamp 'Leaves #50052' stamped in VersaColor Evergreen, onto mid green lightweight card. I ran over the image lightly with VersaColor Evergreen and cut each leaf out when the ink was dry.
    The leaves were mounted onto fine strips of acetate and fixed to the box (side and centre panels).


  • Eight flowers were punched out, from lilac lightweight card, using a large five petal flower punch and painted with Twinkling H2Os Purple.
    To dimension the flower - I embossed a line down the centre of each petal then cut between two petals (to the centre of the flower) and glued these petals together.
    I finished with a small, square, amber gemstone in the centre of each flower.
    The violets were attached to thin strips of acetate.
    Four (of the eight) were fixed to the four box side panels (before gluing the panels to the box).
    Four were attached to the box centre panel. This is demonstrated in my tutorial 'Small Butterfly Box' on my gallery site.

Flower Buds (paper beads):

  • Were made from long, triangular pieces of lilac lightweight card. Painted with Twinkling H2Os Purple.
    When the paint was dry the card strips were rolled tightly round a cocktail stick and glued.
    A thin strip of acetate was fed through each bud and glued in position.
    Finally, they were attached to the four side panels as described above.

Thanks for visiting.

I have more boxes on my gallery site:

I will be adding more to my blog over the next few days. Hope you can bear with me.