Guest Artist - Catherine Duffy

Darkroom Door - Saturday, November 01, 2008

Cath-photoName:  Catherine Anne Duffy (nee Parr – after Henry VIII's sixth wife!)

Zodiac Sign: Capricorn

Lives: In a house inhabited by wildlife. But you probably meant where, so Earth! (The more sensible answer is Cooranbong, Australia.)

Known for: Owner of Paper & Stuff.

Blog, website or gallery:
Loves to:
Read, watch movies, do tai chi, sew, draw, paint, make glass beads, eat, garden, run two businesses, talk to customers, clean the house (occasionally), talk to my cats, dream…

Loves to create:
  Anything and everything, I'd like to have tried a bit of everything by the time I check out.

Favourite Darkroom Door product: At the moment the robots collection, love the tin bras on the girlie one. (can I say that?)  (yep!)

Have you ever been in a darkroom? Yes, when I was a junior in an advertising agency they used to give me all the bromides to shoot for the studio. Probably to get me out of their hair because I used to ask too many questions! Unfortunately for them I was quick at making bromides!

Let’s say you’re invited to come into our darkroom for a day. What would you bring with you?  Ummm, my cat Slinky she's a black cat, in a black-room. Could be fun for a while. Then if we got scared, we'd have each other! Maybe a torch and a book, and a beanbag…

Are you afraid of the dark?  Isn't everyone? I may be nearly 42, so close to knowing the meaning of life, but I cannot get into bed with the light off. The thing that lives under the bed might get me. Did I mention I live in a wildlife friendly house?

Cath has been busy with our new Robot Collection... here is her first creation, with more to follow over the next few days...

'Scan The Roses' Robot Canvas



• 6x6 inch Renoir Deep Edge Canvas
• Darkroom Door Robot Photochips
• Darkroom Door Robot Wordstrips
• Darkroom Door Robot Filmstrips
• Darkroom Door Pink Roses A4 Paper
• Lumiere Paints, Citrine Green, Pearl Emerald Green and Magenta.
• Assorted Versacolour Ink Cubes
• Black Braid
• Blue Feather
• Bright Green Bazzill Bling
• Coloured Daisies
• Multicoloured Bugle Beads
• Judikins Diamond Glaze
• Kaiser Rhinestones
• Sense of Humour

(Please Note – Some of the photos are a little blurry – this is due to taking the photos one handed at 4.30am one Saturday morning, and being extremely excited about the wonderful robot stuff to play with!!) Don't worry Cath - they're just fine!!! :)

1. Take one 6x6 inch canvas, splodge citrine lumiere all over as a rough base coat. Use bubble wrap to give a uneven effect. Do the edges of the canvas as well.


2. Put some pearl emerald green lumiere onto bubblewrap and apply 'texture' wherever you feel it needs it. Wait for it to dry. (While waiting you could start the necklace, the card or sing the national anthem.)


3. Apply magenta lumiere the same way. Squint as you do it. (that's always fun, and maybe that's what I was doing when taking this pic as it's blurry!!) You may think that I am being smart with the squint hint, but really I find its a good way to get things to balance.


4. While waiting for the magenta to dry, cut individual letters out of the robot wordstrips. I have chosen to write… "Remember to stop and scan the roses" combining the pearlescent rose paper with the robot collection.


5. I was really getting into the robot theme by now and decided to use the three lumiere colours and multi layer dots into a crater like effect. This takes quite a while to dry, especially if you do really big ones!


6. After that was dry I applied three different colours of versacolour inks to flatten the colours back a bit, turquoise, pinecone and a touch of gold.


7. Then I cut out the photochip pic I wanted to use, and matted it onto the green bazzill bling cutting a freestyle scallop pattern at the top, then adding a film edge from a robot filmstrip to the bottom of the matted pic. I cut a random scallop from the pearlescent roses, following the shape of the roses to add under the matted pic. I roughly sanded all edged, and inked a little and set all these bits aside ready to apply. Stick a bit of black braid at the bottom of the canvas with double sided tape just to tack it in place.


8. Make your self a cup of tea at this stage if everything's getting too exciting!

9. Using the judikins diamond glaze (dimensional magic works well too) paint the whole front of the canvas, then layer up the roses, matted photochip and feather. Apply diamond glaze over the top of everything.


10. Stick your individual letters onto the sticky diamond glazed canvas using a bamboo skewer, and float into position. Then cover with more diamond glaze.


11. It's time to embellish and add all the little pieces – another filmstrip top right, bright daisies, bugle beads, mini seed beads, rhinestones – and covered everything with… yes, more diamond glaze.


…and here is the finished canvas… (click on images for a larger view)


Great work Cath!!! We love it!!

Drop by tomorrow for more of Cath's artwork and quirky humour! :)

ATC's by Jeannie Reese

Darkroom Door - Wednesday, October 22, 2008

While I was in New Zealand, I was to meet the talented and wonderful Jeannie Reese. (no blog) Jeannie was going to be doing some make & takes at the SENZ show using some Darkroom Door goodies, however she had come down with the flu, so had to fly home before the show started. She was devastated!


She had created a series of Artist Trading Cards, and she wanted me to share them with you all! I'm sure you'll enjoy them. Aren't they fabulous!!! Jeannie is now home, and well on the way to recovery. Thanks Jeannie for sharing your artwork with us, and we hope you get well soon!! :)










Distress Ink Sampler

Darkroom Door - Wednesday, October 08, 2008

A few days ago I went to create a set of ATC's using Distress Inks for the background. I was going to just choose two or three colours of ink, and then create the same coloured background for 9 ATC's, and send them out to 9 different people.


 However, it's school holidays and when the kids saw the Distress Inks on the table, they knew it was time to pounce! They're like bees to honey when anything inky comes out and they KNOW these inks are a lot of fun. So instead of me choosing the inks, I asked them to choose the ink colours. For each ATC background Ethan chose one ink, Zoë chose the other. So the combinations were pretty random and often not ones I had tried before. I'm really impressed with the results!




Top Row (left to right):
1. Dusty Concord (need re-inking) & Peeled Paint (also needs re-inking!) I use this combo quite often, but never seen it this light. However the kids were also doing the water spritzing and they like to spritz a LOT! The whole kitchen gets a spritz. Even inside their mouth! funny kids.
2. Aged Mahogony & Vintage Photo
3. Brushed Corduroy & Worn Lipstick

Middle Row (left to right):
1. Faded Jeans & Mustard Seed
2. Dusty Concord & Spiced Marmalade
3. Mustard Seed & Pine Needles. I have to say, I have rarely used these two inks, and never together, and I really loved how it turned out.

Bottom Row (left to right):
1. Peeled Paint & Vintage Photo
2. Broken China & Dusty Concord
3. Peeled Paint & Spiced Marmalade


All edges on the ATC's were sponged lightly with Vintage Photo too.


Stamps used: Full Bloom Vol 1 (flower), and Wildflower (word)


Hope this may inspire you to get out the Distress Inks and try a few new combinations!

World Card Making Day - Photochip Cards

Darkroom Door - Saturday, October 04, 2008

Happy World Card Making Day!


Today I went over to the Erina Scrapbook Store to teach a couple of make & takes with our Robot Collection. The store was certainly a busy place today - as they had all sorts of fun activities and card making challenges and demo's and other make & takes going on! One my table we created two cards using the Filmstrips, Wordstrips, and the Photochips from the Robot Collection. Here's the cards we created with the Photochips and Wordstrips. Quick, easy, and fun!














As you can see, they are all the same basic design, but using colours and ribbons that co-ordinate with the colours in the Photochips. Also, the different words from the Wordstrips created a whole lot of fun too. I always say that it doesn't matter if you used the same card design for the whole pack of Photochips - as it's rare you'd be giving two cards to the one person anyway! Of course there are many other ways to use the Photochips too, just check out the Darkroom Door Gallery


Hope you are all having a creative world card making day!

Guest Artist - Ros Rayner Part 2

Darkroom Door - Thursday, October 02, 2008

Please enjoy more wonderful projects by Ros Rayner...

An Orchestral Rehearsal:


Darkroom Door: Harmony Rubber Stamps, Music Wordstrips, Legato Patterned Paper
Distress ink: Walnut Stain, Tattered Rose
Brilliance ink: Coffee Bean
Other: Vellum, eyelets, shrink plastic, copper wire, beads.
Vintage Image: Nancy Dooren

1) Distress the edges of patterned paper square and a vintage photo with Distress Ink Walnut Stain.This great image from Nancy Dooren has a pinkish background, which compliments the colours in the paper. Attach the image to the paper. Mat the paper to white paper sponged with the Walnut Stain.

2) Edge 'Counting the Beat' from Music Wordstrips with Distress Ink Tattered Rose. Attach to the image.

3) Stamp music definition with Brilliance Coffee Bean on a torn piece of vellum. When dry, attach to one corner using copper eyelets.


4) Stamp violin and trumpet with Coffee Bean onto sanded opaque shrink plastic. Cut around the shape, and punch a hole at the top. Heat to shrink. I used a hot air gun. (the image above shows the original size of the violin at the bottom, and after it has been shrunk at the top)

7) Set a large eyelet in the top left hand corner of the card. Assemble the instruments using copper wire and beads.

Music Quotes Box:


Darkroom Door: Melody & Chorus Rubber Stamps
Ranger: Distress Inks (Milled Lavender, Dusty Concord), Adirondack (Wild Plum, Pink Sherbert), Archival Jet Black; Adirondack Dabbers (Snow Cap, Cloudy Blue, Purple Twilight)
Other: Wooden Box


1) Undercoat a wooden box with Snow Cap.When dry, mix together on a palette Snow Cap, a couple of drops of Purple Twilight, and a couple of drops of Cloudy Blue. Paint this on as a 2nd coat. Paint the inside of the box with Purple Twilight. Allow to dry.


2) Brayer Milled Lavender onto thick white paper. Stamp 4 sayings with Archival ink. Cut each one to the same size.


3) Sponge the edges with Pink Sherbert ink.


4) Then sponge the edges with Dusty Concord.


5) Then sponge the edges with Wild Plum. Stamp music with Pink Sherbert on top.

6) Sponge the edges of each side of the box with the Dusty Concord and Wild Plum in the same way. Not really visible on my photo! Stamp flourish in diagonal corners with Wild Plum. Allow time to dry.


7) Glue on the sayings. Varnish with mat or gloss depending on your desired finish.

Thanks Ros for sharing your artwork with us! Love the piano pens too :) You've created the perfect wooden holder for them.

Please leave a comment for Ros to help me say thanks for sharing her artwork with us! Thanks for the inspiration Ros :)

Unlock the artist within!

Guest Artist - Ros Rayner

Darkroom Door - Wednesday, October 01, 2008

RosName:  Ros Rayner

Lives: West Midlands, UK

Known for: being calm (but I don't know why!), laughing lots, being Mum to 3 wonderful kids, and being a violin teacher and freelance violinist.

Blog, website or gallery:
Loves to:
play violin, join in with stamping challenges and swaps

Loves to create:
  with stamping, and making my own backgrounds. Just love to create full stop. I'm not happy if I haven't got a project on the go.

Favourite Darkroom Door product: This has to be the whole Music

Have you ever been in a darkroom? no

Let’s say you’re invited to come into our darkroom for a day. What would you bring with you?  I would bring my camera, and ask to be taught how to use it properly - my photography leaves a lot to be desired. I can't even hold it straight!

Are you afraid of the dark?  No. It's in the dark that I think and ponder. I think of witty retorts that I could have made earlier in the day, or play through music in my head, or plan my next card.

Ros has been busy with our new Music Collection... here are some of her creations:

Artist Trading Cards:


Darkroom Door: Chorus, Melody Rubber Stamps
Ranger: Distress Ink (Scattered Straw, Tea Dye), Perfect Pearls (Gold), Archival Ink (Jet Black), Adirondack Ink (Lettuce, Willow)
Other: Water spritzer, foam tape.

1) Swipe Scattered Straw and Tea Dye Distress Inks on a craft mat. Spritz with water and press paper on. Allow to dry a little, and press again. Repeat until you like the effect. Leave to dry completely.
2) Spritz lightly with gold glimmer spray or homemade spray made up of Perfect Pearls Gold and water.

3) Stamp music from Music Collection Melody with Tea Dye

4) On another piece of paper stamp each of the sheet music covers from Music Collection Chorus with Black Archival ink twice. On one of the images sponge with Lettuce, and the other Willow.

5) Cut out the centre portions of the Lettuce coloured covers, and also required parts of the willow covers. Assemble as shown.

6) Attach sticky foam pads to the back and press onto the music background.


Aren't these great!! Ros has more great projects to share with us tomorrow, so please drop by for more Music inspiration!

Lunchbox Surprise

Darkroom Door - Thursday, September 25, 2008


A few days ago I put little surprise in my 7 yr old son's lunchbox. I made a little card using a Robot Filmstrip and one of the words from the Robot Montage. I wrote a couple of extra words so it said 'You are amazing', and also wrote a little message for him on the inside. I placed it on top of his food so when he opened his lunchbox at school he'd get a nice little surprise.

His reaction? He LOVED it! He said 'It was cool, Mum.'

These little cards also make great gift tags or cards for birthdays. They're so quick and simple to make too. There's both boy and girl robots on the Filmstrips and Montage, plus some 'friends' robots, so there's something for everyone.

Go make someone's day!

Guest Artist - Tim Holtz

Darkroom Door - Monday, September 15, 2008

Tim_2 Name:  tim holtz

Zodiac Sign: capricorn

Lives: prescott, az. USA

Known for: all things distressed

Blog, website or gallery:
Loves to:
ink, paint, sand, grunge, stamp, and eat those crazy bananas and tim tams!

Loves to create:
  dimensional collage – anything to incorporate found elements.

Favourite Darkroom Door product: photobooth

Have you ever been in a darkroom? yes, I took 3 years of photography in high school and was a photographer for the school newspaper and yearbook.

Let’s say you’re invited to come into our darkroom for a day. What would you bring with you?  ink, idea-ology trinkets, grungeboard, and marmalade ☺

Are you afraid of the dark?  definitely not – the dark provides a quite time to explore your creative mind and process your deepest dreams

Samples4Now onto the projects! Tim has created a complete step-by-step project for us using a combination of Darkroom Door products and elements from his own product lines. (and they look fabulous together!) For anyone who knows Tim, he likes to be thorough and this time there's no exception! Loads of pictures and instructions for you to be able to re-create these little beauties! I'll hand it over to Tim... so sit back and be inspired...

"The nostalgia of photographs from the days gone by tell a story that words simply couldn’t describe.  My fascination with these elements of the past inspired me to create these timeless trinkets.  The eclectic images and vintage palette of Darkroom Door captures the look and feel of a well designed product line – thanks for unlocking this artist within…"


Darkroom Door: Photobooth/Ladies & Gentlemen, Venetian Collection Papers, Little Dreams Stamp Set

Ranger: Distress Ink/Vintage Photo & Black Soot, Ink Blending Tool, Memory Frames
Tonic Studios: Scissors, Scratcher
Tim Holtz idea-ology: Sanding Grip, Embellishments
Other: adhesive; mica

STEP 1: Cut paper to 2x2 square & also cut a piece of chipboard 2x2

STEP 2: Glue paper to chipboard with glue stick

STEP 3: Choose image from Photobooth sheet and cut out

STEP 4: Sand edges of image with Sanding Grip to reveal raw white paper

STEP 5: Sand edges of paper tile as well

STEP 6: Extend Scratch Tool and drag it across photo to create scratches

STEP 7: Tap Ink Blending Tool on to Vintage Photo Distress Ink Pad and ink Photobooth piece (this will work ink into the sanded areas and scratches)

STEP 8: Continue inking until entire piece is covered

STEP 9: Mist a cloth with water from Mini Mister and wipe away ink from face to create a highlight

STEP 10: Ink edges of cardstock as well with Ink Blending Tool and Vintage Photo

STEP 11: Ink text stamp with Black Soot Distress Ink and stamp over various parts of the image

STEP 12: Ink flourish stamp with Black Soot and stamp as an accent

STEP 13: Dry stamped images with heat tool

STEP 14: Glue Photobooth image on to inked background

STEP 15: Apply glue to edge of collage

STEP 16: Press a piece of mica and hold in place to dry

STEP 17: Trim off excess mica with scissors

STEP 18: Using scraps, continue gluing various pieces of mica until collage is covered

STEP 19: Trim off all excess mica pieces so background is 2x2

STEP 20: Attach vintage film strip or ribbon to background

STEP 21: Adhere word from label maker or vintage book

STEP 22: Open Memory Frame by carefully bending tab on the side our from edge of frame - *Do not straighten out this tab – leave it at an angle

STEP 23: Bend Memory Frame apart and insert collage - *Be Sure Jump Ring is on the BOTTOM of your collage

STEP 24: Insert tab back into slot in Memory Frame and bend back down to close

STEP 25: Attach a Jump Ring through a Hinge Clip

STEP 26: Clip on to top edge of Memory Frame and insert chain through Jump Ring and Attach a Key or Charm through bottom Ring attached to frame




Hey everyone, how great are these projects!! I've known Tim now for a few years, and I'm always inspired by his creativity, products and friendship. Thanks so much Tim for sharing your artwork and creativity with us, and for taking the time to play with our stuff :) You're work is always amazing!!

Unlock the artist within!

Darkroom Door Swap Gallery

Darkroom Door - Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lorri_LennoxI have just finished hosting the first ever Darkroom Door Swap! Participants could take part in the Card swap and/or the Artist Trading Card swap, and needed to use Darkroom Door Rubber Stamps as a part of their creations. All up there were 30 artists who took part. I have loved receiving the swap parcels in the mail, eagerly opening each one to see what goodness and creativity was inside! I especially loved seeing how the stamps were used. The artists really used their imagination in this swap. There were lots of  inking techniques, layering, collage, interesting backgrounds, unique stamp combinations, papers, Photobooth, and lots of texture. For a few of the artists - this was their first swap ever! I'm so pleased you all took part and shared your creativity with us.

Here are the galleries to check out all the art:

2008 Swap Card Gallery

2008 Swap ATC Gallery

Thank you to all of you who participated! I feel like I can never express how much I love seeing our stamps used in such different ways. When I design the stamps, I have a fair idea of how I'd be using them myself, but I always look forward to seeing what other artists create with them. It's the most wonderful feeling knowing that you are enjoying using them too!

I'll be hosting a Photobooth swap soon... I'll post the details up on the blog next week.

Thanks again to all the participants for this swap - your artwork is truly inspirational!

Unlock the artist within!

Ornate Elements & Christmas Reindeer

Darkroom Door - Sunday, August 31, 2008

Here's our last day of teasers! Only one more sleep and everything will be up on the website. I can't wait!! In the meantime, here's the last two ATC's...

From DDRS019 Ornate Elements:


The lady image is from the Ladies Photobooth. Everything else is stamps from this set. (The scan of the ATC is a little wonky... but as they say in Babe... It'll do pig, it'll do.)

And last but not least... from DDRS020 Christmas Reindeer:


Woo hoo! That's the end of the teasers! I'll be back again tomorrow with the full reveal.

Hope you had a great weekend!