As of November 2015, please visit my new website 'Lou Collins Design' for an up to date Gallery, Resume and Blog!

Thanks :-)


A little change...

So in these 'Social Media Times' it's seems that 90% of my audience is on Facebook and Instagram, and my poor blog is becoming neglected. There are many reasons for this, possibly with the biggest one being that it takes so long to upload photos on here that I've lost all desire to post regularly.

However, my Facebook Page is building up nicely, and has regular posts, photos and interactions. As a 'Liker' you'll be kept up to date with all the latest projects, TV shows and demonstrating I do, and sometimes even the occasional template or step-by-step guide too ;-)

So please pop over to Lou Collins Designs and hit 'Like'

From March 18th for 4 weeks I will be giving away a small RAK to one person every Sunday from my list of Likers.

Thank you and see you on the other side ;-)


The 'Big Thanks Becky' Blog Hop!!

Thank you all for popping over to my blog in Celebration of Becky James,
and all that she's done for us.
You should have been directed over here from the wonderful Jill Priors blog.
If not, take a peek below for a full list of the blogs to hop through :-)
Now Becky will always hold a special place in my heart.
She is a true friend, one whom I can turn to for advice of any subject, whether it be personal or professional, and she will always be there to listen.
I have many times received surprise 'snail mail' post from Becky with the most thoughtful notes, gifts or cards, and emails during tough times, just to check how I am.
Friends who are thoughtful like this are priceless.
Professionally, Becky is extremely talented, and her decision to continue her work as a freelance designer I know was not taken lightly, but was something the crafting world was screaming out for.
She has amazing determination, talent and ambition, so there is absolutely no doubt she will be a huge success.
So this collection of four canvases was made for Becky, and I hope the sentiment will help to remind her that she can succeed, but in order to do that, sometimes you have to take a giant leap. 
Becky, all your dreams are within your reach, and it won't be long before you have achieved everything and are having to make a new list of dreams :-)

Becky, these four canvases will be going in the post to you very soon, so you can put them somewhere as a constant reminder of how much we all believe in you, and how much you deserve to succeed. 

You can now pop along to the very talented Sarah Douglas' blog to continue our Thanks to Becky....

Louise http://loucollinsdesigns.blogspot.com ---YOU ARE HERE---


New Title Canvas...

Following on from my preview yesterday, here is a quick canvas I made recently in order to update my Facebook Page Header.
I chose to use my favourite colours, techniques and elements...black ink, teals and pinks, layering and metal pieces.

Thanks for popping by to take a peek :-)


Blog giveaway winner!!

Drumroll please... :-) 

My littlest has chosen a name from everyone who has liked, shared and commented on this giveaway, and from those who follow me. 

So congratulations to..............

Linda Simpson!!! 

Thank you to everyone who entered. Please continue to spread the word, and help me get back all my old followers (and some new ones) from my original blog! 

Linda, please email me at louizabelle@hotmail.co.uk with your postal address :-) 

To everyone else, keep an eye out later today for the reveal of this piece I started working on recently....


More goodies for my giveaway!

I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend! 
Here's a quick peek at some more of the goodies going into my follower giveaway prize box! 

We have some more pretty blooms, a WHOLE Basic Grey collection kit, some Tim Holtz Tissue Tape and some perfect sized alphabet stickers...
Thank you all for sharing the love, and please continue to do so :-) 


Blog giveaway sneak...

As promised, here's the first batch of yummy products to go into the blog giveaway winners parcel....
Please continue to share on your blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest...wherever possible :-) and don't forget to comment or tag me or comment so I know you've been sharing!!

There's little over one week to get those entries noticed...more items to follow over the weekend :-) 


Blog giveaway!!!

Who's up for winning a pizza box full of craft goodies?

Well it's easy to be in with a chance. Just share my blog link on Facebook and become a follower, if you are not already...simples!! 

I will get one of my children to randomly choose a winner from my followers list (and after I've checked that that person has also shared the link on fb) a box full of goodies will be posted off! 

I will keep the offer open until Sunday the 16th November. I may post clues as to what may be in the box, so keep your eyes peeled for that!!


My dream job has landed...

Now I know you all recognise this logo....

But have you seen their latest news??? 

Yep, that's right!! I am joining the fabulous team at Webster's Pages. 
Still pinching myself!!
I'm not going to be on their design team...that was a dream I used to have. Somehow, magically, I've managed to skip straight past a DT position and landed myself a role as their new Presenter and Personality!! Sounds pretty good eh? 
So I will be doing Create & Craft shows with their yummy products from December, and who knows where else I will be demonstrating, teaching and generally playing with paper and spreading the word :-) 
So here is a quick intro video Websters have put out this morning. It basically says it all! 

Thanks for all your social media messages so far. I really appreciate every single one 💖


Webster's Pages Projects...

Hi All, Welcome back to my blog after such a long break! I'm popping in today to show you all a few projects I have created recently using new lines from Webster's Pages. 
First up, is a layout...
I used Strawberry Fields papers for this, teamed with a few metal embellishments, some stencilled paste and some black crystal chevrons. I cant get enough of that vellum. There are 12x12" vellum sheets available, and each design is to die for!!!

Also from the Strawberry Fields collection, a card...I just adore that field of sunshine paper in the background!!  

...and lastly, you may have seen this layout as I did it for the Papermaze Blog last week. It is using my favourite collection, Nest :-)
I have recently been working in Orlando, and this was my favourite place to sit. Under the shelter I laid back and watched a thunderstorm go by, and another day a baby croc came underneath to visit :-)

That's it for today. I'm talking through some exciting plans for next year, so please keep following to hear all about them soon!


Blog Giveaway Winner!

I bet you all forgot, didn't you?!?
Nope, I really didn't forget. I had to go do some work at a show in Glasgow at the beginning of the month, and straight after returning I got some bad news which has pretty much taken up the rest of the month so far.
I wont be the bearer of doom and gloom on here, but I didn't want you all thinking I had neglected all those of you who were kind enough to follow this blog and share for me :-)

Sooooooooo, finally, the winner chosen totally randomly from all the entries was........


Congrats Samantha, please email me at louizabelle@hotmail.co.uk with your postal address and I will get this parcel sent out to you :-)


Finally...THE template!!

Again this weekend I was doing a docrafts demonstration at a store in this region, and again I was asked for a template for this card...

So here it is. Despite checking it and reloading it many times, the bottom 3" line refuses to show up!?! No idea why, but so long as you bear in mind it should be scored and folded exactly the same places on each side, you should get it :-)

These measurements are for a 12" x 12" piece of patterned paper. I either use double sided paper or stick two sheets together. Mark and fold the 12 lines, then punch the edges if desired.
When your lines are all scored, pull the centre of each edge into the centre of your square and press the folds down. You will see the shape take place :-)
So here it is for those of you who have asked. I am off to Glasgow this week to demo at the Stitches show, but before I go I will be choosing and announcing the winner of my new blog giveaway so keep an eye out if you've entered.


How Sweet It Is...

Firstly, apologies for the photos, the weather here in the UK has been typically dark, wet and windy, making photographing projects very difficult! However, I do hope all my crafty friends over here are staying safe with all the flooding and high winds we've had!
So yesterday was Valentines Day, (I got my engagement ring back resized!) and over on the Papermaze blog myself and other DT members created some loved up projects for you all.
This was my contribution...a card made using Echo Park Head Over Heels Papers. It is so refreshing to see Valentines papers with a splash of an alternative colour...in this case, Turquoise!  
Here's the card as it is folded up....
And when the top tab is pulled out, it opens to look like this...

See the pink base I took the photo of the card sitting on?? Pink?? That was white!! Urgh! Darn you artificial lighting!!
So this week is the kids half term week, and we have a cinema trip planned, a visit to a distant friends and a couple of days at work...where exactly will I fit in my magazine articles and trade show demos??? Hope you all have a good week :-)


New Kaisercraft at Papermaze

My New Blog Giveaway can be found further down this page, or HERE

Today I have been lucky enough to have been playing with some new Kaisercraft papers that are now in store and online at www.papermaze.co.uk

Here's just a sneak peek....

You can see my blog post and full details of my layout here on the Papermaze Blog.


New Blog Giveaway!!!

To celebrate my new blog name and design, I am giving away this package to one of my followers at the end of this month.
To be in the hat to win all this, all you need to do is follow this blog. If you have a Facebook account, a blog, a Pinterest Account or are part of another social network/forum, sharing this pic with a link will earn you extra chances to win...just leave me a comment to tell me how you've been spreading the word so I can pop your name in again...and again....and again!
Here's a closer look at those goodies...
I had a wonderful 12 month term on the Dusty Attic Design Team, but they were so generous with their product that I still have tonnes left! Here's a handful of pieces I have chosen to part with...these would retail here in the UK at over £20! That's without the Dusty Attic Flower packs I'm adding too!
...and a close up of some of those other embellishments. I've thrown in some Ingvild Bolme pieces, Prima metal and Pearls, My Minds Eye Stickers, American Craft Frames, Jenni Bowlin Bingo Cards, Kaisercraft Die-cut Collectables and a couple of Paper Pads. I'll be adding some more pieces like lace, ribbons and washi tape I'm sure ;-)
I know I had a large amount of lovely followers on the old blog, so here's hoping by spreading the word about this giveaway, all those lovely people will find my new blogging home here :-)
Good Luck!
Here's the less exciting details...
Entries to the draw will close at midnight GMT on the 28th Feb 2014.
Following this blog = one entry.
Sharing the photo of the prize package with a link = one entry for each share.
Open to international entries. Prize contents are subject to change.


The obligatory top ten...

Yes, my poor blog has been neglected once again in order for me to make more time for all the work I have been doing lately. 2013 has been just the best work-wise for me, and 2014 is already shaping up to be packed full of crafty events and new experiences too. So far I am already booked to demo at three Stitches shows -Birmingham in Feburary, Glasgow in March and London in April. I will be teaching at the Scrapstars retreat in Leeds in April and I am lucky enough to be doing all the Docrafts demonstrations in my local Range store for the whole year, as well as others around the nearby counties. I intend to continue with the Create and Craft shows as they come up, and will be working towards an exciting venture of my own in the background, which may or may not be revealed in 2014...so just watch this space! :-)

So here are my favourite projects from the past 12 months. Some are faves because I was pleased with the end result, and some because of the enjoyment I got out of making them....

My first Art Journal cover

...and my second ever art journal page.

This card was made using one of the Papermaze monthly kits.

Another journal cover for Dusty Attic but this is for all my crafty notes.
A card I made for MIL.

This layout was for my Dusty Attic gallery.

...you will soon be able to see how I created this paper Piano through Docrafts TV.
This paper satchel was created for Docrafts Creativity club earlier in the year.

...and this was my Christmas card to my boss at Papermaze this year.

Finally, a paper lighthouse I created just today using one of their newest collections. What a way to end the year? The tea light holder in the top is a glass jar that holds the light. Look out for tis at my next few demos :-)
So I hope you all enjoy your celebrations tonight, stay safe and I wish you all the very best and everything you wish for in 2014!


Starting Art Journaling....

As you may have gathered from one of my more recent posts, I have just begun dabbling in Art Journaling. I think the freedom to experiment with messy media and not feel guilty about it not working out really appealed to me. Just being able to flip a page and start all over is a freedom I've never experienced in this hobby, and also I get the chance to tryout some of the hundreds of techniques I have in my mind! 

One thing I could not wait to do though, was alter the cover of my knew journal. I spent a fair bit of money on a good one, and new I'd only get one go at this. I also wanted to make sure that all of my current favourite techniques, colours, textures and products were used on this cover, to really reflect my style. 



I'm pleased with it, and I just hope that some of my pages inside are just as satisfying :-)



Card for Grandma....

It's my MIL's bday today so last night I prepared a card for the kids to write in. I know she's not into her pinks, so I stuck with blues and greens instead, with black for contrast.

Hopefully she will like it! Thanks for looking :-)


Altered Book Cover with Dusty Attic...

Today I would like to share with you a Dusty Attic Note Book that I have altered the front cover of. Now, I am one of those people who HAVE to keep lists. Then I need lists to remind me of the lists I have. So I needed a place to put all of these lists, note and to-dos down in one place, hence, the new notebook :-) ...and since this will mostly be a work/crafting book, it signifies fun but also time management!
After Gessoing, spritzing, texturizing the cover, I cut up and glued down some of the Dusty Attic Clock skeletons. These are not a New DA product, but definitely one I will constantly keep in my stash!
I painted and spritzed these to a similar effect as the cover, and added some more spritz after they had been stuck down to allow drips to run around the chipboard shapes.

I then had fun stamping, gluing on metal embellishments and an assortment of Dusty Attic Blooms. These were already spritzed to match the colours used so far, but once in situ, I added some gesso and more spritz until I was happy with the end result.

The final finishing touch was the DA 'Fun Times' chipboard words. I kept these simple with solid black acrylic, and then a brush of gesso to highlight.


Taking a little break....

With work and commissions being so busy at the moment, I've been worried that this wonderful hobby of mine may turn into a chore if I didn't start to take time occasionally to do the more fun, relaxing parts of the crafts. So I decided to refresh my passion for it all, to take part in a challenge. For no other reason than to spend an evening for myself creating whatever I liked :-)

One challenge I had spotted online was one over at the 13arts blog. The designers over there are highly inspirational, and the products in their shop are right down my street :-)
So the challenge that caught my eye was one whereby I needed to use this picture as inspiration....

That butterfly looks beautiful. Although as I started creating, I was taking inspiration from more and more of the different images. The colours were first on my list...I just love blues and browns together. Then there was the spots on the peacock image, the lines from the zebra...
I really enjoyed putting it all together. I knew I wanted to use the word 'symmetry' twice, one reflected of another, but it took quite a while to work out the positioning of such a long word, with rather large chipboard letters, and of course, I needed to paint and distress the reverse of some of these to make them exact reflections.

The base pages were texturized with book page pieces and lace. I coloured them first with spray mists, then texture pasted some bubbles and added more sprays. There's Gesso, Acrylic paint, stamping and washi tapes thrown in there too :-)
The writing reads 'Forget Symmetry and Relax' which is something I need to bear in mind much more often!
 So that's my first Art Journal page and I thoroughly enjoyed it! Even my little boy was intrigued as to what I was going to do next! I have already decorated my journal cover, and I cant wait to show you that in another post :-)