5 Fab Summer Journal Tutorial Videos – Summer Mixed Media Tutorials

It has been very hot here in the last couple of weeks.  Today though is much cooler, very nice, and I have been tidying my craft room and planning some new projects.

Here are some great summery mixed media journal tutorials from my favourite YouTube bloggers.  I hope they help inspire your own summer crafting creations.

Summer Cocktail Art Journal Page by Nika in Wonderland

Hello Summer Art Journal Page by Vicky Papaioannou

Endless Summer Art Journal Page by Rach0113

Magic in the Summer Art Journal Page by Colour Your Life

Love Summer Art Journal Page by Shel C

Create and Craft Disney Range – Angel Policy Now says Personal Use Only

This is an update to my post of 27 June about the confusion over Create and Craft’s usage policy/s for their new range of Disney themed dies, stamps and papers.

Many Create and Craft customers had expressed confusion over the repeated declarations that one could sell cards and other items made using the Disney dies.  This seemed very surprising to many crafters who are familiar with Disney’s usual strict usage restrictions on their trademarked characters.

I received a reply to the email I sent Create and Craft repeating the standard Create and Craft Angel Policy (that one could sell up to 200 items a year etc).  I then had a phone call from a lady in the customer service department.  She assured me that Stephanie Weightman had spent six months negotiating this “amazing deal”.  I did ask why Stephanie had not been singing it from the rooftops from the first tv showing (at which point the C&C website was saying “personal use only”).  The customer service lady said that there had been “a confusion” but they were a big company and knew what they were doing.  She again and again said that one could definitely sell up to 200 items per year using each Disney product. She also reminded me that C&C have lawyers and would never issue usage policies like this unless they were very sure.

Today I popped onto the Create and Craft website to have a look at what the Angel Policy said now (just out of curiosity).  The extra Angel Policy tabs are not gone from the listings and instead there is a link at the bottom of the description leading to Create & Craft’s standard Angel Policy page.   Link to Create & Craft’s Angel Policy

On 11 July they added the following Exception Note (screen shot below):

Date: 11th July 2016 – Disney branded craft products sold by Create and Craft.

“Disney has granted the rights to various third parties to design, develop, manufacture and sell a range of craft products for consumers; licensed craft products are intended for use by consumers for personal and family enjoyment, such as making gifts for family, birthdays or other private celebrations. Licensed products may not be used by consumers to sell or distribute any items they produce using the craft products outside of the private, family sphere.”


Now it says what so many of us had expected it to have said all along: that Disney have confirmed that the dies are for personal use only.  Commercial use (ie selling things made with them) is indeed forbidden.

There is a new announcement on Facebook pointing to the new policy, but not apologizing for the significant confusion.

Many C&C Facebook fans have expressed feelings of anger and sadness that they were encouraged to buy these high-priced products with reassurances that were not in fact accurate.

Link to my original post on this subject – Create and Craft Disney Range – Serious confusion over usage


Create and Craft Disney Range – Serious confusion over usage

Yesterday the tv shopping channel, Create and Craft, proudly released the first parts of their new Disney crafting products.  There are dies, stamps, embossing folders, paper pads and even themed die-cutting machines.  The first two sets available are Vintage Mickey Mouse and the ever popular Frozen.

However viewers did not greet the new range with quite the enthusiasm that Create and Craft may have wished for.

The products are rather pricey, compared to other popular dies etc.  They have been made by Tattered Lace, who are one of the more expensive die brands, but the asking price caused many C&C viewers to post on Facebook that they were shocked.  The bundles on offer went up to a staggering £1000 package for “everything on the show”.  To get all the products for either cartoon theme you would need to spend £221.81 or £199.63 for members of their club.


One of the reasons that viewers were upset at the price was the Angel Policy added to the listings on Create and Craft’s website. As one would expect, Disney do not allow crafters to sell finished items made with these dies because the characters are trademarked.  Disney has a very stiff criteria list if you want permission to use  their characters commercially.  Using them without permission  is illegal, therefore a very serious matter.


Many viewers posted on Create and Craft’s Facebook page to say how disappointed they were at the high prices, especially as they could only use the products for personal use.

Tattered Lace’s Facebook page had the following message:

At no point during the day’s many tv shows promoting these products did presenters Stephanie Weightman and Mel Heaton mention the Angel Policy.  I personally would have assumed that there would have been a statement about it on the screen at all times, as it is so very important.  But nothing was said…  at all.

And then in the late afternoon things got interesting…

The following announcement was posted on the company’s Facebook page:

Quickly followed by a confirmation post from Stephanie herself.

The same post was added to the Tattered Lace Facebook page as well.

Immediately confused viewers began to express their surprise at this turnabout.

If Create and Craft really had the rights to allow their customers to sell Disney products, would they not be shouting this from the highest mountains?

Usually, obtaining the right to sell products with Disney characters on requires the seller to comply with a pretty stringent set of criteria – Details of Disney licensing requirements here

How could it possibly be the case that ” individuals are free to do what ever they want with then finished hand made craft products, this includes selling them”?

So if I want to launch a range of Mickey Mouse themed bondage gear?  Disney are definitely not going to be ok with that.  Any usage rights they did grant would be subject to usage restrictions, they do not want people using their characters in ways that are inappropriate to the family-friendly image they work so hard to maintain.

Potential Create and Craft customers urgently need to know exactly what the situation is here.  Can they sell the items they make with these dies?  And if so, what limitation are there on this?

A couple of people have today posted on Facebook that they emailed Create and Craft to ask about this and their replies included the following:

Please be advised that the Disney Craft products are for personal use only. Share the magic of Disney by Crafting with and for, family and friends.

I have emailed  Create and Craft myself to ask them to confirm the Angel Policy, and am awaiting a reply.

In the mean time there are no further Disney shows scheduled today, the next one is at 10am tomorrow morning.

If you are considering buying these dies, I would strongly suggest assuming for now that they are for personal use only, just in case.

UPDATE – 11 July 2016 – Create and Craft have now changed their Angel Policy for these products to personal use only. Link to my follow on post with this story –Create and Craft Disney Range – Angel Policy Now says Personal Use Only

Currency Change in Tin Teddy Graphics Shop @ Etsy

This morning 52% of the UK voted to leave the European Union.  This has caused the pound sterling to fall rapidly.

I previously had my Tin Teddy Etsy shop set to US dollars.  I have now changed it to Pounds Sterling.

This will benefit both myself and my customers.  British buyers will see no difference.  Buyers from outside the UK will be able to benefit from the weak pound and get more for their money than they previously did.

All Etsy shoppers see items for sale in their own currency.


Follow Me as I Write My New Fantasy Novel for July’s Camp NaNoWriMo

Mindfulness Colouring and Adult Colouring Books

It is very striking to see how many “adult colouring books” are available for sale right now.  My local newsagents have many titles (of varying qualities), and online shopping sites such as Amazon have many thousands of options available.

My mum enjoys colouring geometric patterns.

Colouring is considered to have many benefits, especially in today’s busy world.  The act of colouring is calming and relaxing.  I try to do a little colouring every day and find it really does help me.  I colour when on the phone waiting for people to answer (those dreadful automated systems that companies insist on having now).  I also like to colour whilst listening to audiobooks or radio plays.

These are my two favourite colouring books. There are Amazon links at the bottom of this blog post.

My father died last year and for a while I found it very hard to sleep.  I would colour and it helped me get through that very difficult time.  My mother did the same and has often said that her colouring books really helped her cope.

Colouring a printed “digi stamp” with alcohol markers. Stamp is from the Tin Teddy Victorian Fashion Stamps & Collage Sheets.

There are many economical colouring books available now, in every shape, size and subject.  I recommend checking that the paper quality is going to be good enough for the type of colouring tools you wish to use.  Coloured pencils will be fine of lower quality, rougher papers.  Felt pens need sturdier paper or the colours will bleed.  Some pens, such as alcohol markers, require heavier paper or the ink will just seep through to the other side.

The “Mindfulness Companion” colouring book has relaxing exercises as well as beautiful images.

For colouring in books you don’t need expensive tools to get a good result.  I colour in my adult colouring books with cheap felt pens, glittery gel pens, assorted coloured pencils and even children’s crayons.  I keep my “good pens” for colouring images that I will probably use later on other projects.

Millie Marotta’s images are very detailed. I use my Stabilo Point 88 pens in this book.

I particularly like my Stabilo Point 88 felt pens for colouring as they are economical to buy but give great results.  They are also very fine tipped and I like colouring tiny, intricate designs the most.

Assorted stamped images, coloured with alcohol markers and ready for future use.

I enjoy stamping images on to high density white card (Neenah card from Crafter’s Companion) then colouring then with alcohol markers.  I store them in a folder for future use on greetings cards and Artist Trading Cards.

Colouring a larger stamped image of a rose.

Preparing for July’s Camp NaNoWriMo – Planning my next novel

During April this year I took part in Camp NaNoWriMo.  This is a month-long challenge to encourage budding authors to get started on their literary masterpieces.  My target for the month was 50,000 words, which is considered by many to the the minimum length for a modern novel.  To hit the target one has to write an average of 1.667 words a day.  If you hit the target then you are considered a “winner” and get a badge for your blog (mine is down on the bottom right), plus special offers on various sponsor’s products.  Technically one could easily cheat… but as the idea is to encourage you to get on with your writing, that would be a bit defeating the object.


For April’s Camp NaNoWriMo I wrote the first 55,000 words of a historical novel that I have been thinking about for a very long time.  I will be finishing if off and publishing it, but am shelving it for now for various reasons.

There will be another Camp NaNoWriMo for the month of July, so I am now planning what I will write for this one.

I am going to be writing the first book in a series of fantasy/crime novels.  I have been thinking about this for many years and have many elements of my fantasy world planned already.

I will be writing using the excellent software, Scrivener, which I used for both my historical novel and my soon-to-be published non-fiction book, Make It, Blog It, Profit!.

Scrivener is a writing environment, created by an author for authors. As well as a conventional world processor, it also can handle research, plotting and formatting tasks.  I was able to buy it for 50% of its usual (very reasonable!) price, as one of the prizes from April’s NaNoWriMo.  There is a free month’s trial version available.   I will write a more in-depth review at a later date.

Throughout June I will be planning the plot of the new novel, and building the world in which it will be set.  This will be a lot of work, but something I will also enjoy.

I intend to work through this Magical World Builder- 30 Days of World Buildingby Stephanie Cottrell Bryant.

I have just started creating some maps for the world, using Campaign Cartographer 3+ software from Profantasy.  As I am very new to this software, I have a lot to learn and so am experimenting and learning as I go along.  I will use it to map out the main world, towns and villages and to create floor plans of buildings.  Some of these maps will end up in the books (I will redraw them nicely!)… others will be purely for my own reference.

Here is a snippet of one of my first mapping attempts.FirstMap



Just Doodle – creating doodle art for fun and relaxation – Zentangle and beyond

I do enjoy a good doodle.  Always have.  No doubt always will.

I doodled a lot as a child (often on things that I wasn’t really supposed to be doodling on), and still enjoy it as a way to relax.

Here are some of my more recent doodles, I hope they inspire you to do some of your own.

I started by writing the word “flower” then just doodled around it. The biggest problem was knowing when to stop! The thicker outlines were drawn with a black Sharpy pen and the thinner ones with a Micron Uniball.

Over the last few years there has been a lot of interest in doodling, in particular with the introduction of the version trademarked as Zentangle.

Official Zentangle Books – lots of ideas for “tangles”

I have quite a few Zentangle books, and have been very inspired by the beautiful patterns.  I like to use my favourites and combine them with my own to create “make it up as you go along” designs.

One of my favourite Zentangle books. Click the image to read my review of this book.

I love creating ATCs – Artist Trading Cards, which are small pieces of artwork. Click this link for more information about Artist Trading Cards – Introduction to Artist Trading Cards.

Two more ATCs. Here I have used bird stamps by Woodware and doodled inside the designs

Doodle art can be incorporated into all sorts of different crafts.

I made this sampler in 1997. It is a form of embroidery called blackwork and dates back to Elizabethan times. Sort of doodling with threads.

Sometimes the doodling is the background and the main feature of the piece is actually a blank space.  This works very well for Zentangle-inspired art pieces.

For this ATC I first drew the outline of the cat, then zentangled all around it with a fine black pen. This was part of a series of 4 cards, each with a different cat silhouette in the middle.

You can start the doodle off with an image.  Printed, stamped, die cut or collage pieces – there are many options for this.

# For this ATC I used one of the Tin Teddy 1″ Photo Faces as a starting point, then added the tangled “arms” around.

There are many styles of doodling.  I rather enjoy the “kawaii” style that is based on Japanese and Korean characters.  These are very simple to draw but look cute.

Another ATC. This time I wrote the word “Fun” in pencil then used a black Sharpy pen to draw random little characters all around it. Some overlap the word to make it look more like part of the image.

You can include doodling in journals, card making, scrapbooks and more.  It is such a versatile art form.

This is a page from one of my art journals. I drew the tree freehand, divided it up then filled it with Zentangle designs from my books. The background is stencil in acrylics and the birds are from rubber stamps.

Combine Zentangle type designs with your own artwork to create original pieces that have extra impact.

Another ATC. I sketched the mother and child in pencil then inked over it. I coloured the people with pencils and filled the background with assorted Zentangle type patterns.

Start your creativity with a simple stamped or sketched design and just start doodling.  Don’t worry too much about what goes where..just let the dots, lines and squiggles flow from your pen how they will.

For this ATC on yellow card I started with a rubber stamp of a skull. I then doodled around it for a “Day of the Dead” themed result.

Make it, Blog it, Profit! – New book for craft sellers, Now Available

Out Now!

You have read that having a blog will help you sell the handmade items in your online store.

You created a blog, or are about to, but have hit a stumbling block.

What on earth should you actually write about?

Make it, Blog It, Profit! – Blog Post Ideas for Craft Sellers is the exciting new book from Deborah Richardson of Tin Teddy.  Thousands of ideas for blog posts especially for the sellers of handmade crafts and art.

Never be stuck for a blog post again:

  • Chapters concentrating on popular hand made niches such as Jewelry, Home Decor, Wedding Products and many others.
  • Be continually inspired with seasonal, topical and daily post ideas
  • Ideas for how to make the most of each blog post
  • How to take an idea and adapt it to create dozens of different posts
  • Ensuring your blog posts are found by your target market
  • Spend less time wondering what to write and more time actually writing
  • Create ambassador posts that people will search forMIBIPCoverBig

Make It, Blog It, Profit! – Blog Post Ideas for Craft Sellers is currently available in both printed and ePub formats from Lulu.

Printed Version of Make It, Blog It, Profit!Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.138 Pages, £6.99

ePub digital version (Nook etc) version of Make It, Blog It, Profit!Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.
119.83 KB, £3.99

It will be available from Amazon and select online retailers in print, Kindle, PDF and other formats very soon.

Etsy Rank – a Useful Site for Etsy Sellers

Starting out on Etsy can seem very much an uphill struggle, and every day there is more competition to contend with.

Etsy Rank is a very useful free-to-use website that can help even the most experienced sellers polish their shop.

The two features I have personally found the most useful are the ability to find tags that have misspellings and items that do not have all 13 tags.  I was rather shocked to find I had quite a few of both!

Here Etsy Rank has spotted that I have misspelt “digital” in one of my listings.

Etsy Rank also has a very handy “Listing Audit” option for looking at the tags, title and Google SEO of your listings in a way that makes it much easier to see where improvements can be made.

There are a other tools included too, with new ones being added. Everything is clearly laid out and intuitive – just register and have a poke about!

The Etsy Rank Profile checks to see if you have the main components of your Etsy shop in place.
The Etsy Rank Profile checks to see if you have the main components of your Etsy shop in place.

I strongly suspect that every single Etsy seller could benefit from this using this website.