Craftwork Cards Blog

A bit of stamping – I’ll never look at a swirl in the same way again!

Hello and welcome to my last Craftwork Cards blog post of 2016. It’s been a brilliant year, and for my last contribution before Christmas, I thought I would share with you a little trick I’ve learned while playing with the latest set of Craftwork Cards Doodling stamps from earlier this month. All this stamping I’ve done as part of the design team, it really has made me go back and look at all my stamp sets differently, especially the little ‘extra’ stamps or insignificant swirls or doodles, that now can be the very foundation of a fun stamping experience!

Take ANY of the floral or decorative Craftwork Cards stamp sets – and the Stamp It 1 and 2 collections are particularly brilliant for this…and do a bit of planning. Any leaf, any swirl, can be turned into the beginning of something completely different just by planning and practising on paper, or better still, a little note pad where you can keep your ideas together.

One leaf can become a flower, a swirl can become a leaf, and in no time you have the preparation for a card front.

These petals were created from leaves. To make them even I centred a small flower or shape and then stamped around them. Next time I need a large flower head, I’ll remember where to look!

I love frames, but not all of us are lucky enough to own giant stamps to do this, and sometimes large stamps are scary and have the capacity to mis-stamp, spoiling lots of card, so – make a pattern out of little ones:

For this card I practised in my notebook, drawing round a Spellbinders Oval shape and then carefully stamping round. Once the test run was successful I was then able to develop this and I included shading, more colour and Stickles in my final design.

Another pattern… mandala making…

With this little stamp, less than an inch wide, I stamped within a circle. I loved the effect this had, and it encouraged me to try other circles with different combinations of stamps, this crafty mandala card being the end result. Also, having played with the words, I was able to make a border round the card, having got a feel for how the stamp could be spaced by having a play in the notebook.

Talking of words, I had a mad idea and sketched it out…

Notice the leaves being used as leaves here! But by mixing and matching colours I built myself a tree for our cute little owl friend.

For another idea I grabbed the nearest thing to hand – a distress ink pad lid:

In the notepad, you might still see the pencil lines, but they were easy to rub out once I’d copied my planning model onto good cardstock and built up my frame.

Last but not least, inspired by the very cover of the notepad, I set about creating a bright and semi-random pattern with an assortment of stamps. From there I designed and made my card in one go with no mistakes as I had given myself a good idea of space and colour, all that was needed was a sentiment!


I can’t wait to go through all of my Craftwork Cards stamp sets – and there are many – and see what I can create with them. The key is in the playing and the planning – and keeping hold of your notes as one day, if you’re having a block, a quick flick through could be just what you need to get back on track? Although with Craftwork Cards, the inspiration flows like wine, so I don’t think we’ll ever run dry!

I can’t wait for 2017’s new collections, both the paper variety and the stamping kind, as I’m sure next year we are going to see a huge trend in stamping and composition again, I can feel it! So if you get a quiet moment over the festive period, get your doodle pads out and have a stamp. Keep it safe and then you never know, this year’s doodles could be next year’s special cards!

Wishing you all a very happy Christmas and a crafty, healthy and happy new year.

Look forward to seeing you all in 2017!




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  1. Jane Lee

    20th December 2016 - 12:01 pm

    Brilliant blog post Nicky, will definitely try out your ideas. Thank you for your inspiration and happy Christmas! Jane x

  2. Debbie Moran

    20th December 2016 - 2:43 pm

    i love the way that you use your note book using the stamps to work your designs out.

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