Tuesday, November 17, 2015


As of November 2015, please visit my new website 'Lou Collins Design' for an up to date Gallery, Resume and Blog!

Thanks :-)

Sunday, February 2, 2014

New Blog Giveaway!!

Want some free stash? Head over to my new blog at www.loucollinsdesigns.com for details!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

My New Blog...

This poor blog has become stale. I have had the same name, design and content since 2009!! So I have created a new site for all my craft work and news. you can find it at www.loucollinsdesigns.com

Please head on over there and hit follow to keep my posts showing in your newsfeed. There are also links to my galleries, which often get updated before the blog does! This blog will remain active for a while, until I am happy that you have all trekked over and found me at my new blogging home :-)

Thank you for all your kind comments and support the past few years...you've all been amazing and spurred me on through the tougher times when I am swamped with work or doubting my creativity!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The obligatory top ten...

Yes, my poor blog has been neglected once again in order for me to make more time for all the work I have been doing lately. 2013 has been just the best work-wise for me, and 2014 is already shaping up to be packed full of crafty events and new experiences too. So far I am already booked to demo at three Stitches shows -Birmingham in Feburary, Glasgow in March and London in April. I will be teaching at the Scrapstars retreat in Leeds in April and I am lucky enough to be doing all the Docrafts demonstrations in my local Range store for the whole year, as well as others around the nearby counties. I intend to continue with the Create and Craft shows as they come up, and will be working towards an exciting venture of my own in the background, which may or may not be revealed in 2014...so just watch this space! :-)

So here are my favourite projects from the past 12 months. Some are faves because I was pleased with the end result, and some because of the enjoyment I got out of making them....

My first Art Journal cover

...and my second ever art journal page.

This card was made using one of the Papermaze monthly kits.

Another journal cover for Dusty Attic but this is for all my crafty notes.
A card I made for MIL.

This layout was for my Dusty Attic gallery.

...you will soon be able to see how I created this paper Piano through Docrafts TV.
This paper satchel was created for Docrafts Creativity club earlier in the year.

...and this was my Christmas card to my boss at Papermaze this year.

Finally, a paper lighthouse I created just today using one of their newest collections. What a way to end the year? The tea light holder in the top is a glass jar that holds the light. Look out for tis at my next few demos :-)
So I hope you all enjoy your celebrations tonight, stay safe and I wish you all the very best and everything you wish for in 2014!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Starting Art Journaling....

As you may have gathered from one of my more recent posts, I have just begun dabbling in Art Journaling. I think the freedom to experiment with messy media and not feel guilty about it not working out really appealed to me. Just being able to flip a page and start all over is a freedom I've never experienced in this hobby, and also I get the chance to tryout some of the hundreds of techniques I have in my mind! 

One thing I could not wait to do though, was alter the cover of my knew journal. I spent a fair bit of money on a good one, and new I'd only get one go at this. I also wanted to make sure that all of my current favourite techniques, colours, textures and products were used on this cover, to really reflect my style. 



I'm pleased with it, and I just hope that some of my pages inside are just as satisfying :-)


Friday, October 18, 2013

Card for Grandma....

It's my MIL's bday today so last night I prepared a card for the kids to write in. I know she's not into her pinks, so I stuck with blues and greens instead, with black for contrast.

Hopefully she will like it! Thanks for looking :-)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Altered Book Cover with Dusty Attic...

Today I would like to share with you a Dusty Attic Note Book that I have altered the front cover of. Now, I am one of those people who HAVE to keep lists. Then I need lists to remind me of the lists I have. So I needed a place to put all of these lists, note and to-dos down in one place, hence, the new notebook :-) ...and since this will mostly be a work/crafting book, it signifies fun but also time management!
After Gessoing, spritzing, texturizing the cover, I cut up and glued down some of the Dusty Attic Clock skeletons. These are not a New DA product, but definitely one I will constantly keep in my stash!
I painted and spritzed these to a similar effect as the cover, and added some more spritz after they had been stuck down to allow drips to run around the chipboard shapes.

I then had fun stamping, gluing on metal embellishments and an assortment of Dusty Attic Blooms. These were already spritzed to match the colours used so far, but once in situ, I added some gesso and more spritz until I was happy with the end result.

The final finishing touch was the DA 'Fun Times' chipboard words. I kept these simple with solid black acrylic, and then a brush of gesso to highlight.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Taking a little break....

With work and commissions being so busy at the moment, I've been worried that this wonderful hobby of mine may turn into a chore if I didn't start to take time occasionally to do the more fun, relaxing parts of the crafts. So I decided to refresh my passion for it all, to take part in a challenge. For no other reason than to spend an evening for myself creating whatever I liked :-)

One challenge I had spotted online was one over at the 13arts blog. The designers over there are highly inspirational, and the products in their shop are right down my street :-)
So the challenge that caught my eye was one whereby I needed to use this picture as inspiration....

That butterfly looks beautiful. Although as I started creating, I was taking inspiration from more and more of the different images. The colours were first on my list...I just love blues and browns together. Then there was the spots on the peacock image, the lines from the zebra...
I really enjoyed putting it all together. I knew I wanted to use the word 'symmetry' twice, one reflected of another, but it took quite a while to work out the positioning of such a long word, with rather large chipboard letters, and of course, I needed to paint and distress the reverse of some of these to make them exact reflections.

The base pages were texturized with book page pieces and lace. I coloured them first with spray mists, then texture pasted some bubbles and added more sprays. There's Gesso, Acrylic paint, stamping and washi tapes thrown in there too :-)
The writing reads 'Forget Symmetry and Relax' which is something I need to bear in mind much more often!
 So that's my first Art Journal page and I thoroughly enjoyed it! Even my little boy was intrigued as to what I was going to do next! I have already decorated my journal cover, and I cant wait to show you that in another post :-)

Friday, October 11, 2013

Create & Craft Screen Test

Last month I ventured to Ideal House in Peterborough, home of Ideal World Shopping Channel Studios, to take part in a screen test. For those of you who aren't sure (as I wasn't at first!) before you can take part in any Live TV for Ideal World, you need to take a test, as such. This involves doing a demonstration in front of a camera, with one of their presenters, to see if you would withstand the stress, nerves and on-the-spot questions. It is also a check that you can dress and talk 'as expected' and that you have enough knowledge of the products and that you are confident (haha!)
So I sat at home on the morning of my test, watching the shows live as a last bit of 'cramming' in preparation, and then left for the 2 hour drive to the studios. When I got there, I was shown to a green room to wait to be called. So I walked into this room, which reminded me of a small flat with a kitchenette, bathroom, sofas, tv etc, and there, sitting in front of me chatting away were only the presenters and demonstrators I had been watching on the shows that very morning...how surreal???
Anyway, after some general chit chat and hobnobbing with these lovely people, I was finally called to 'do my thing'. It is a pass or fail situation, and I was so relieved to have been told after my test, and a tour of the studios, that I had passed! However....
This still has to be confirmed by a producer after they have watched your tape back. Ideal World will email the company who have sent you with your confirmation 'soon'.
So I went home, happy to have been told I had passed, but still had that niggle in the back of my mind that the producer may look back and find a problem.
I waited....
and waited....
and tried chasing.....
and docrafts tried chasing....
and waited......
until finally.....
'we have received a reply...Well Done on Passing! Looks like they really liked you!'
So maybe, one day in the future, you just may flick over to Create and Craft and see little ol' me on there :-)
But until then, I just wanted to show you the few samples I made up in prep for the screen test. I chose to demonstrate  the range of Gorjuss stamps that docrafts stock....and they really are gorgeous!

I only had time to recreate one of the stamped girls, the one on the first card, but I had plenty of back up with me in case I needed it! 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Autumnal Layout Workshop

Next week, on Wednesday 16th 10am-12pm, I shall be holding a scrapbooking workshop the Papermaze shop in Otley. Here's quite a big peek at the layout we shall be recreating....

As you can see, we shall be using natural elements on our page...this will not be one for an album!!

Plus...I shall be revealing how I make these very realistic looking leaves from white cardstock!

There are still some places left, so please contact us either via email, facebook page or telephone to enquire.
01473 892195

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

PaperArts Retreat 2013

A few weeks ago I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to teach a wonderful group of ladies at a lovely hotel in Swindon for their PaperArts Retreat. 
I taught three classes, two layouts and a clock canvas, two of which I would like to show you here today. 
The first layout was just my style! It really bought the delegates out of their comfort zone, especially tearing into their photos and working with inks! 
Here's the class layout...

We were working on blending the photo into the background...making it look as if it had melted onto the page, by bring colours from the photo out onto the plain backing sheet.

We also created our own washi tape which you can see with the word 'whispers' on it above.

Next class I want to show you is the clock canvas. I don't have a photo of it with all the flowers on, but this was a photo taken when it was almost completed.....

We built up many layers, then striped some back in parts to add loads of texture, sprayed, painted and layered some more! Here's a few close ups....

The third layout had to be designed last minute due to material sourcing probs and so it is yet to be  photographed...that will come in a future post instead :-)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Craft space update....

I have finally reached a stage with my craft space that I am happy with, and happy to show you all too. There is still many boxes and shelves to sort through, but the important bits are now done, so pop over to the page at the top that says 'craft space' and take a nosey :-)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

An Altered Alarm Clock

Today I would like to show you an Altered clock I created using Dusty Attic paint and chipboard pieces....
I started by taking the casing of the clock apart, and laying it all out. I used DA paint in Crushed Olive and covered all the metal parts.
Before reconstructing the clock again, I continued to distress the casing some more with a small brickwork stamp and some sandpaper. 

For the brickwork base, I drew around the casing onto a sheet of cardstock and cut it. I used DA chipboard bricks to create a wall effect and adhered them with hot glue.

Before gluing the wall effect backing in, I used a range of DA paints and a small stiff brush to stipple colour onto the bricks.

For the chipboard fence and vines, I used DA paints again but this time I used a small sponge to dab colour on and blend it in where needed.

Lastly I simply added some blooms and metal pieces to build up the secret garden look.

Creaing Texture Workshops at Papermaze

This Saturday, 28th September I will be holding a class at the shop in Otley. This workshop is all about creating texture on your craft projects, and the techniques learnt can be applied to Art Journals, Cards, Scrapbooking and Altered Art pieces. In fact it is suitable for crafters of all abilities.

You will leave with six chipboard tags, each decorated using a different technique, and a pretty, sturdy box to store them in. We will be playing with some of the newest products available in the shop, and all that is required for you to bring is your lunch and general crafting tools you like to use. We are a small friendly group and love to welcome new crafters.
Workshop attendees will also receive 10% discount in the shop on this day.

You may like to bring your own small photos to personalise each of your tags, or your favourite phrase stamps.

Simply contact us via email, Facebook or phone (01473 892195) to enquire or reserve your place.

See our website here for details of all of our workshops on offer.

Monday, September 16, 2013

A little birthday treat...

This weekend just gone was my birthday and I decided that I would like to treat myself to a class or workshop on the day. Luckily, Hels Sherriden was holding one not far from me, so myself and my mum went along. It was a miserable day, so we were glad to be indoors crafting and this is the canvas I created...

There is loads of texture, blending of paints and flowers...just how like like it! :-)

I loved how we used Treasured Gold over black paint to created an old metal effect. 
So this week I am unbelievably busy. I have a crafty, work related 'thing' to do tomorrow which I am super nervous about (to the point of having bad dreams about it!) but if it all works out ok I will be shouting about it after. Sorry to tease but I don't want to jinx it in any way! I am also going away to teach at the PaperArts retreat in Swindon on Friday and Saturday, which leaves little time for much else this week! Maybe I'll get a little crafty play one day next week...(insert sarcastic laugh to self!) 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Dusty Attic Card...

Occasionally we all have events in life that we need to mark, even if they are not the happiest. Unfortunately I needed to create a card for a friend who has lost a loved one recently, and it would have been his birthday soon.
It is always difficult to know where to start, but when I saw these Mini Ornate Gates from Dusty Attic, I knew they would be perfect.
To get the worn, peeled gold paint effect, I used black paint first as a base. I applied mine with a paint dabber, as thickly as possible.

Before the paint dried, I sprinkled on some gold gilding flakes. These are very thin, and will get everywhere so you need to try to contain them! I worked in the bottom of a pizza box.
Press the loose flakes into the wet paint and wait a few minutes for it to dry. This does not take long at all which is why I needed to work quickly.

Once dry, use a stiff brush to brush away any loose pieces, and get into all the small details and gaps.
You will be left with a partly gilded chippy which can then be sealed with a matt sealer such as Mod Podge.

I decorated mine with leave, flowers and a metal charm to finish.