Wednesday, 25 February 2009

All hands at the helm!


Building the first Kay Dees was hard work, but I only had about 200 products then. With over 900 lines now this new site is hard work. I have no FTP access so everything is having to be added individually.

Dean has got the ironing board out...not to do the huge pile of ironing we have, but to package our papers and wrap ribbons for our customer orders. My son Robert is busy doing household chores, which at almost 21 you would think was no severe hardship.

The dogs are now used to getting their walk after we have dropped the mail off at the sorting office.
I however feel like the PC has become a part of me! Dean is convinced that if it wasn't for the dogs I would actually morph into the computer - bless him!

My dad emailed today (Hi dad x) and I am waiting with baited breath for his opinion on the new site. He, being the father of just one daughter, thinks it is all wonderful which is always good to hear :-)

Everyday I realise how lucky I am to have such a wonderful family. Without their help and support I would never have got this far...nor go any further.

I am currently listing our Funky Brads, not many of those thankfully. But then I have to get down to listing our craft buttons. With over 150 different designs of all shapes, colours and sizes that bit will take some time.

Thanks also to all our regular buyers for putting up with our change over - your support and encouragement keeps us all going here at Kay Dees Crafts!

So think of me whilst you are enjoying your martini's and Happy Crafting!


Sunday, 22 February 2009

We are moving

The time has come to say goodbye to our first website.

Kaydees was great for a first webstore but was unfortunately hosted by a somewhat unreliable server. As business started picking up server errors became more and more regular and my limited scripting knowledge was holding us back.

So this weekend I took the plunge and have created a new store with a new fresh look. I had forgotten how time consuming listing everything was but I am getting there slowly but surely.

The change has come at a peak time for Kay Dees too. We have expanded our product range even further and now have over 300 lines.

New this month was the Smirk range from Dovecraft.

The Smirk Love and Friendship collection - for the one your love or a favourite friend. Cute characters say ‘I love you’ or simply ‘thanks for being a friend’ in an adorable way. Soft colours and meaningful words mix delightfully in this range of paper craft products.

The Smirk Naughty but Nice collection is full of mischievous characters and innocent angels which are perfect for a party princess or a little devil. Colourful characters and funny, good humoured, sentiments make up this cheeky range.

With brads, papers, decoupage, stamps and ribbon stickers there is no end to how and where to use them.

So I should be busy adding products to our new site Do pop over and see us in our new home.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Using Chalks

How To Use Chalks
Using chalks is a fantastic and fun way of adding extra colour, shades, depth and shadow to your cards and scrapbook pages.

Applying chalks to your projects can be done many ways. Got any old eye make up applicators? Use them with your chalks! A great way to do the fiddly bits and detailed areas. Fingertips, cotton buds and cotton wool do the job too. Using chalks the results are always unique, I have never achieved the same look twice no matter how hard I tried!

Before you begin to add chalk to any card making idea you have always have a scrap piece of paper too so that you can experiment, work out which colours go well together and see how you want to blend or ‘smooth‘ them. Depending on how dramatic you want the effect to be will be determined by how vigorously you apply the chalk.

If you have begun to add the chalks to one of your card making ideas and have made a mistake, all is not lost! Use an artists white eraser to safely and effectively remove the chalk errors from your paper. (This type of eraser is also handy for removing any stray chalk dust.)

Once you have finished applying the chalk and are happy with the overall design you will need to use a fixative to stop the chalk from smearing. As tempting as it may be never use hairspray to set the chalk. It is particularly important if you are using the chalks for scrap booking because hairspray is not photo friendly and can react badly causing your photos to deteriorate and yellow.

Storing your chalks is important. It is recommended that you store chalks as flat as possible as banging and/or knocking the box will cause the chalks to break up…. but worse of all it will mix the colours together rendering them virtually useless. The Dovecraft Blending chalks at Kay Dees Crafts come in their own metal case which is perfect to avoid this happening.

Here are a few ideas to trigger your own creative imagination:
* Fill in - or simply outline - a stencilling template with chalk.
* Chalk will even tint ribbons and fibres for a perfect colour match.
* Create a rubbing of an embossed diecut by applying the chalk directly to paper that is placed over the diecut.
* Apply chalk to the torn edge of cardstock paper, vellum, or diecuts for a shabby chic look.
* Apply chalk to crumpled paper. The chalk will be most prominent along the ridges.

BACKGROUND TECHNIQUES - from the scrapbook specialists at Hot off the Press

Chalks make a wonderful background for stamped projects too.

For a streaked background, such as a sunset or sunrise, start near the centre of the card and streak the colours outward. Combine several colours. Pull your finger or a sponge from the centre out to the edge. Apply one colour at a time, spacing the streaks as desired and then blend colours. Stamp the scenery elements on afterwards. (You may find matte finish paper to be the best choice for blending chalk colours.) An alternative for this technique is to cut a mask, covering the centre area of the card. The streaks will appear to radiate from a centre white area.

Chalk and water can be combined for a pastel background effect. Apply chalk in one or more colours randomly to the paper. Using a wet rag or sponge, pull and blend the chalked areas as desired. This technique is an excellent way to add colour to freezer paper that will be used for gift wrap or gift bags. Once the background is dry, it can be stamped over, and it does not require spray fixative to remain in place.

Marbled background: Put about an inch of water into a pan slightly bigger than your card, With a knife, scrape chalk dust of several colours onto the surface of the water. Lower the paper flat onto the surface of the water to pick up the colour, immediately lifting the card back out of the water. Allow to dry flat. If your paper develops puckers, it can be ironed to flatten it back out.

Create stunning cards using dark paper. Stamp and emboss a stamp using white or metallic embossing powder onto dark coloured cardstock. colour the inside areas with a heavy application of chalk, achieving a suede-like texture.

Happy Crafting!