Converting a Tysslinge Frame

The Tysslinge frame from ikea is a lovely tiny frame which is great as it is but it can also be easily converted into a box frame at a low cost with no real specialist skills or materials needed. I use them for both front floating miniature papercuts and for putting pieces of glass work in or even for putting glass work and papercut together.

You will need


You will need to have whatever is going in the frame ready as this method does seal the frame up. I prefer to cut the foam board as it is needed rather than have pieces floating around but if pre-cutting would suit you better then just get the measurements and start cutting

The Method

The process is quite simple, to begin with, using your craft knife cut 4 pieces of foam board the first at 7.7cmx2.5cm two pieces at 8.2cmx2.5cm and the final piece at 6.7cmx2.5cm . I have found the easiest way to cut the foam board is to use a craft knife with a 11acm blade as it is fairly sturdy, two cuts along each line, one to score into the foam board and one to complete the cut. Use a self healing mat rather than glass as the foamboard can slip easily on glass.

Assemble the frame. (glass left out in this for ease of photography) After placing in the glass and anything else you need at the front of the frame. (mount, acetate, etc.) Starting with the 7.7cm length piece of foam board add it to one of the sides of the frame, don’t just push it down the side as this will jam the pin into the foam board which we don’t want.

Next add the two 8.2cm pieces to both the top and the bottom of the frame.

Finally add the smallest piece of foam board to the other side, again taking care not to jam it on the pin.

Assemble the back of your frame by putting on any backing paper, mounts etc then lay the card frame backing to the frame. Use framers tape to stick down the backing and secure your frame.

I put the tape on like this then use a craft knife to trim the excess from the front side after placing each strip of tape.

Once all 4 sides have been sealed your frame is finished. (not pictured as this frame didn’t include anything.)
Finish off the back of the frame with things like your logo or a designers credit sticker if you are using it for papercuts from purchased templates.

This method can be used with any sized frame that has a deep back, though on larger frames framers tape may not be enough to hold the back of the frame in place. Using push points allows for a more secure backing.

Now you know how to convert the frame have fun deciding what you are going to put in them. There really isn’t a limit to what you can do, they make excellent small memory boxes for little gifts. These frames do sell out fast though, so be aware there may not be many in stock.

If you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments below.





Colouring with Promarkers – Blending 1

Mostly I colour light to dark with promarkers, early in my colouring journey I used the dark to light method because I didn’t “get” to keep the inks wet when I first tried light to dark, this lead to patchier results and I had no idea I was doing anything wrong, now I know better through my own experiments and light to dark colouring is now my preferred method.

Before you start with light to dark blended colouring I recommend that you get to grips with flat colour first.

The biggest trick is working while the ink is wet. As I have mentioned before the easiest way to achieve this is to work in sections, it does take longer but you will get better results.

To get a good blend you will want between 3-5 colours, this will depend on how much depth you need from a certain area of the image and of course the size and amount of detail in the image itself. For this little guide I will only be using 3 colour blends as the flower isn’t overly detailed and there aren’t any large areas to really warrant being able to add lots of layers of colour.

These are the colours I will be using

Remember the trick to getting the blend to work is to add colour on top of the colour underneath while it is still wet, do not pause between colours in each section.

Start by getting tulip yellow, leaf green and grass ready, this is for the blades of grass at the bottom of the picture.

Colour all of the grass with the tulip yellow, then take the leaf green and colour almost to the tip, then take grass and colour up to a point before where the leaf green stops.
Go back to leaf green and go over the point where grass meets leaf green then do the same with the tulip yellow where that meets the leaf green.

Get leaf green, grass and china blue ready. this is my favourite blend for leaves.
Colour the whole leaf and the stem with leaf green, then add a thick line of grass up from the base of the leaf and along the centre line also add some at the top and the base of the stem. Use china blue to go along the centre line of the leaf and at the base of the stem where it meats the grass as these will be the darkest points. Once you have done the blue, use grass to blend the blue into the grass and leaf green to blend the grass into the leaf green.

For the front petals you will need orchid, purple and plum. To make sure the ink stays wet as you are working only do one petal at a time, though dependent on the paper once you get used to blending you may find on small images you can work more than one section for certain details.

Begin by colouring one whole petal with orchid, then with purple add some lines that follow the lines on the flower from the lower edge of the petal, leaving you with a triangle look to the shadow in this example. Use plum to just add a thin line at the very base of the petal. As with the other colours use purple to blend in the plum and orchid to blend in the purple at the points where the colours meet.

Continue with the other front petals in the same way.

The back petals are using the same colour combination and process but the shadow comes further as the petals are partially masked by the front ones. As you can see in the example the purple comes up both sides of the petal quite a way, the plum is still a thin line at the base and up the sides, blend in as before by using the lighter colours to work the darker one to it.

After completing the first petal, work on the others individually until you have completed all four.

I did forget to photograph colouring the centre of the flower, though that is done with tulip yellow, sunflower and pumpkin. Tulip yellow is the base, colour the whole circle with that, using sunflower add a crescent moon shape on one side of the flower and with pumpkin just add a small deep shadow line on the edge of the circle within that crescent moon shape.

If you do have difficulty keeping the ink wet as you are working you can use the blender pen to dampen the area before you start colouring it, this will keep the ink wetter for slightly longer but it will lighten the colours slightly and dependent on the paper it will cause the ink to spread a little more than normal.

Choosing a colour blend can be part of the fun of colouring too, use a spare piece of paper to test out blends by colouring a square with the lightest colour, then going over 2/3 of it with the mid tone and then the bottom 1/3 with the darker tone. Having a colour chart of your pens will also help you identify colours that will work well together in a blend, or keep an eye on my library where I publish blends that I have tried, tested and used.

Once you have the hang of 3 colour blends you can look at adding further colours to build up greater levels of shadow or highlight.

While I work with promarkers the process isn’t any different between brands of alcohol markers, Spectrum Noir and Copics (the other two brands that are commonly used) work in the same way.

Let me know in the comments if you found this useful, or if you have any questions.

Happy Colouring



Personalising Enchanted Forest

wpid-wp-1433275975628.jpegThe other day I bought a copy of Enchanted Forest. After the title page there is a this book belongs to… page

So, write your name in, it can’t be that hard. Oh but it is, I wanted it to look pretty, I started pouring through my calligraphy and typography books looking for the perfect way to add my name onto this page.

My husband did suggest that I did an illuminated starting letter. In my sketch book I started playing with a few ideas but nothing looked right.

Then it all made sense, if I wanted it to look right I needed to write my name so it was in keeping with the book. Luckily for me practically every letter in my name appeared in the books title so it was quite easy to mimic exactly the right look.

wpid-wp-1433277972510.jpegWhile I had the pleasure of being able to reference each of my letters from the cover of the book, not everyone will have that luxury, after a few people asked about it I have written this as a mini how to draw your own enchanted forest style name.

Firstly you will need:

  • A Pencil (I use a mechanical purely out of preference)
  • An Eraser
  • A Ruler
  • Drawing Pens (I used 0.05 and 0.1)

I’m working on a blank sheet of paper as I have already done my book, you can practice on paper first or go straight into the book. Either way you will need three guide lines. (The bottom line is the dotted line in the book) The top line is where the highest point of your letters will go and the middle line is about 2/3 up from the bottom and will be the height for lower case letters. If you have a name where letters extend below the writing line, add a fourth line that is the same distance from the bottom as the middle line is from the top.

Next write in the basic shapes of the letters, the font in the book is quite rounded so I have used a rounded style of writing.

Now have some fun, the letters are all decorated with different styles of leaves and leaves are very simple. Nearly all of them follow a teardrop shape just with different parts inside. You can “shake” a little as you draw some to give the the edge of the leaves texture for others start with the tear drop and then take parts away to give more of an oak leaf style. Make the teardrops all look different by adding different styles of line inside.

As you add leaves make most of them follow the line of the letters, some can go off at angles or curve more than the line of the letter. Leave some spaces where it is just the letter though.

Where you have multiples of one letter, they don’t have to be the same. it can be hard to directly copy one you have already drawn and if they are different it will just make it more interesting to colour.

Once you have added leaves to all your letters it’s time to ink it, using the fine liner pens I did some of the smaller internal details with the 0.05 nib, all the other lines are with the 0.1 nib. Wait a moment for the ink to totally dry then erase all the pencil lines and sit back to admire your handy work.

Show me what your name page looks like, over on facebook, @ScarletLeonard on twitter or in the comments below.

Colouring with Promarkers – Flat Colour

wpid-wp-1430228815296.jpegBefore we look at blending it’s best to look at flat colour.

Promarkers are a great pen for flat colour because you can layer the colour to give slightly darker tones. This allows you to go back to areas you do want darker if you feel extra depth is needed without the complication of blending. Of course flat colour is easily achievable with any pen.

Onto Colouring

When you colour with promarkers you have to remember that if you do go over the same area twice you will have lines of darker colour. This doesn’t happen though while the ink is still wet so because of this we break down the image to minimise getting unwanted lines. Look at the different sections in this tutorial image we have two blades of grass, the stem, the leaf, the centre of the flower four petals at the front and four petals at the back. Each of these will be coloured separately.

I will be using four colours;

wpid-wp-1430228824544.jpegWhen colouring follow the line of the drawing, this way your strokes follow the natural line of the section you are colouring, you will get the most coverage in a single stroke and the paper won’t get as wet which will minimise any bleeding. To fill in larger areas circular colouring motions will minimise colour overlay with promarkers. Also by following the shape of the section if you do experience any colour overlay it will be in the right direction and not look out of place. (something you can use to your advantage in certain colourings.)

To begin with I will start with using the leaf green a couple of downward strokes starting from the tip of the blades of grass is enough to fill this small area.

With grass a single stroke going down the stem, then work around the edges and the line down the centre of the leaf, this then leaves a couple of small gaps which because of the size of this image are able to be filled with quick strokes. If they had been larger I would have used a circular motion.

Using sunflower colouring in a circle is the best way to fill the centre of the flower. As it is round this goes around the edge and fills the centre, if there are any gaps just dot the pen into them.

With the purple do each petal individually, working in the same way as you did the leaf. (The outer edges, up the centre, fill the gaps.) I start with the front most petals before working on the petals at the back.

wpid-wp-1430228859626.jpegOnce you have filled all the petals you could leave it there, though for extra depth once the ink has dried you can go back to areas that would be in shadow and re-colour them.

The right blade of grass has had a second layer of leaf green and also the four petals towards the back have had a second layer of purple.

Alcohol markers, no matter what the brand do bleed they will pretty much always show up on the opposite side of the paper. Don’t use them in two sided print colouring books unless you are willing to sacrifice the image on the other side and always insert a blank sheet to prevent any ink going on to the page below.

Be careful with your choice of paper too. Some papers are very absorbent and will dry the ink up really quickly, it is difficult to achieve even colour on papers like that. Others keep the ink wet for a very long time and this can cause the colour to spread so you end up with colour outside the lines. When you print a colouring page or draw your own images you can use a specific marker pad or a decent paper. (I used a 140gsm medium texture cartridge paper for this tutorial, though as you can see I did get a little ink spread from not being careful enough on one of the flowers.)


Learning Tri-Quad Stitch

examples of tri-quad stitchLearning new skills and developing them is one of the most enjoyable parts of the creative process, closely related to the elation of a successfully completed project.
One of the things I wanted to do this year was develop my head weaving skills beyond peyote and herringbone stitch, while there is an awful lot you can do with those stitches after a while you do want to try something a little different.

While I was learning how to use Google+ (another learning curve for the year.) I happened to find a few beadweavers and I stumbled upon a lovely piece. I was also pleased to find that the artist behind the piece kept a blog and had a tutorial for the very stitch used in the design.

Tri-quad stitch by Eyekandy Creations

I like to make small samples of stitches and keep them for future reference with the instructions. The photo shows me making the first test. I had decided to use up some size 11 seed beads from my last project and picked out a few 4mm glass pearls for the dangles. My beading thread is fireline and a size 12 beading needle.
The instructions were very clear and the very handy hint of three up two down meant I didn’t have to look back at the instructions every time I started a new round. As you can see from the photos the first section turned out pretty well and then I had to add the larger beads in.
On the first one I had to un-thread the beads and go back because I had one to many beads over the top of the larger bead which made it a little slack. The tutorial mentioned you may have to decrease or increase the number of beads at that point dependant on the size of beads you were using.
I got to the end of the test piece with no problems. It did look to me that the tension was a little slack so I threaded back through the whole piece rather than just enough to secure the thread to tighten it up a bit. (I did make a little mistake when I was threading back through and bunched up the beads on the very end.)

tri-quad beadweaving finished sampleI did still think it still didn’t look right, either because of my tension or it was because I had used fireline which is a more rigid thread than nymo or ko so I made another test piece using nymo thread (which personally I’m not keen on but I wanted to see what difference it would make.
The result, I think the stitch certainly looks better. It’s more fluid, I can’t curve the one on fireline like this one as you can see in the picture and I am a lot happier with it, though if I was making a full piece I would favour the similar ko thread over nymo because the fibres don’t part as easily.
Working the stitch for the second time as well made me realise how well the instructions had sunk in. I was always checking with the first test piece. But once I had got to the first pearl second time around I didn’t need to check the instructions at all. I was also a lot more careful retracing the thread path to secure the stitch.

So there we have a new stitch. What do you think of it? and if you would like to have a go don’t forget to check out EyeKandy’s Blog.