Sunday, 21 September 2014

Who Knew?...that Pan Pastels are great for THIS!

Hey everyone!

It's time for a new challenge over on the Pan Pastels blog today so if you haven't already checked it out you can see the new theme and amazing inspiration HERE.

I don't often get chance to join in with Pan Pastels although I'm on the team so it's a treat when I can join in the fun!

This week I saw a blog somewhere and she totally inspired me to try something I hadn't really done before. Well I had, but in a 5 minutes quickie have a go at it and see if it works way...not a proper try and push it to the max way.

So last night I got out my Pan Pastels and the AMAZING new pearlescent ones (they also have mediums which I'll explain!)...and this is what happened...
Pretty Cool huh?....nooo I'm merely messing with you, THIS BELOW is what actually happened!
The WHOLE of this card
 - ALL of it - 
is coloured with Pan Pastels.
Yes.     It's true!
Isn't that fantastic??!!!!!
And you know what is even better? It was pretty easy to do too!
I predict a whole new colouring craze for me I can tell you!

So basically once I got over the overthinking it part I just coloured it with more or less the same skill set as with any markers or watercolours really - and had my Distress Ink head on too.

You need 2 brushes - a nice fine one and then one which is a bit fatter, maybe a No 2 or something...
Now, as I was experimenting I tried a few things all on the same image and I think together it worked pretty well. I'm so gonna do a tutorial for this when I get a minute!
So the face is just applied with a soft dry brush using Burnt Sienna with Permanent Red for the cheeks and a little Dark Grey around the outer dark shadows.

Hair - Violet. Now this is where I changed a bit as I went on. I applied most of it with a dry fine brush, but then I dampened the brush a bit and mixed the pigment to a paint to do the darker areas where I wanted a lot more definition. So that was kind of layering 2 techniques up really and I spent a lot of time deciding which I liked best - in the end it was the combination which won for me. I really wish I had a black Pan Pastel because I think that was what I was missing in my mind.
Clothes: this was pretty easy! Nice big sweeps give the best blends and you barely need to touch the pigment. I used my Ultimate Graphic paper, it just worked like a dream. Less is more and you can move the colour so much you get really soft blends. 

As I was playing around a lot I did get my background around the image a bit smudgey but you can use a rubber to clean it off anyway, although I just used it as a base to build my background which was really just cleaning off any excess grains I had in my palette!  and bing, that was it!

To make my card for the challenge I just took an embossing folder and then coloured with co-ordinating colours of Pan Pastels and made up the card. THe flowers are actually Martha Stewart clay and I dipped them in water then brushed on Pan Pastels to colourise and did the same with the lace which was originally white. To finish I just sprayed lightly with cheap hairspray to seal it all in.  

The image is my new witch download which is available from the Polkadoodles store.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Shedding some light...

Hey everyone, Happy Friday!

Today we have a great challenge over on the Graph'It blog so make sure you check it out HERE.

Here's a little sneaky peek of what I have going on over there today....

It's all about giving you some hints and tips on light sources so check it out!

Back soon my loves!

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Design Team Call

Hey all you awesome crafters!

I am currently looking for a couple of awesome colourers to join me on a new Digi Colouring team!  This team will showcase our digi range (this is not a challenge) every 2 weeks.

At Polkadoodles we have a variety of products from digistamps and clear and rubber stamps, digital CD collections to die cut sheets,  not to mention lots of other things we do and make.
We are always on the lookout for exceptional creative talent that can help us make our products look great and help to promote the Polkadoodles brand.

Our digital products are constantly growing and we have just become sponsors over at Kit and Clowder. We love digis and we need people who love our images!

We do have some stringent requirements for our teamies but if you can manage the following we'd love to hear from you:

1. You must be able to commit long term to a team - many people underestimate how important this is, we're not interested in people who flit from team to team to gain new stash or having no staying power, we commit to you and so we need that commitment back.
2. You must be able to complete projects on time to deadline - deadline failure is a big no no!
3. You must be able to post FORTNIGHTLY every 2 weeks and an additional project here and there as and when required.
4. We look for variety within the team so it's not always about having the best of everything in one person - we want to show how versatile our products are.
5. Skill level - you need to be of a suitable skill level and be capable of good composition in your projects. Projects need to be finished to a high standard.
6. Colouring skills - for this team we need an awesome colourer! If you are applying for the Digi team you need to be good at colouring and this must be your forte.
7. Photos - you MUST be able to take good photos of your work. Your photos represent our products and they need to be a good standard to showcase them properly.
8. Blogs and Social Media - you must have a blog which is updated regularly and be present on Social Media - or if you're not you must be willing to be involved in Social Media. This includes Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest and any others that come along too!

You will be generously rewarded with products to use during your time on the team in return for your hard work and commitment.  

Most of all - we need people who ADORE craft and live and breathe for it. We want people who are always looking to improve their skills and who are team players in it for the long haul.

So if this is you, email me with why you wanna be in the team and examples of some work, I'd love to see them!

email me at:

love Nikky Hall

Tuesday, 12 August 2014


I know I know! I'm in the naughty corner for being such a bad blogger! 

The truth is I have been totes stacked out the last couple of months and struggling to find some me time. HOWEVER....that is all going to change big time. I've been really struggling with my making mojo lately and I've made the decision that it's imperative for my own creativity to make more time for crafting for ME.

I know that sounds weird - I mean, c'mon Nixster, you make stuff all the time, right?...
Well, yeah I kinda do I suppose but I never get time to craft just for the love of crafting any more - there's always samples to be made for this and that, samples to make for shows, classes, demo's and of course Create and Craft, and what we make for those kinda samples is sometimes different to making for me.  I've had my DT for over 5 years now and despite people telling me to insist on members not being on competitor teams I always stuck to my firm belief that this is a bad thing...creative people need room to flit about, seeing ideas and soaking up all the inspiration and being able to stretch their creative wings in different genres...and that goes for me, deffo!

So, things around here are gonna change! LOL!! I faithfully promise to make more and blog more!

And the first change here is that I have SO enjoyed making this beauty and doing some me colouring with an image I adore which is from one of my favourite digi stores, 

yes, I know, it's weird right, I'm promoting a competitor? 
Well, I don't care, I LOVE Tiddly Inks images so they were the go to's for me to have my me time....
This is actually a couple of digis combined, the fabulous character and the lovely mailbox (I have a thing for mailboxes) is HERE and the background and papers are HERE.  

I took the images and merged them together in my Cameo Silhouette cutting machine software (you could also do this in any graphics program or Serif, MCS, Word, whatever you like to use). 
I added Wryn to the fab background and then added the mailbox too but increased that in size and added the little birdies which also come in the bundle too. LOVE it! I then printed them all and then cut them out with my Cameo to save me loads of time - I wanted the mailbox to be 3D because this is what I really love, I HAVE to have dimension on my projects, my fave thing is loads and loads of layers! I originally was going to make it flat, hence adding them all digitally into the software but then I changed my mind and decided to 3D everything lol! (just thought I'd explain the blonde moment lol!) 
I then coloured the whole thing with my Graph'It markers...and I have to say that I think this is one of my nicest colouring atttempts of late, I just love everything about it. I used 3230 here in the hair - it looks kinda diarrhoea colour in the chart but now I used it properly with the other 32's  (3210, 3230, 3245, 3250, 3280)....I really like it haha!! It really lifts the other tones well. 
I also went really dark and moody with the skintones here because I wanted it to look like I'd coloured her with Distress Inks and I really like the effect I got - that's it now...can you get addicted to colours? 
For the clothes I used 4125 and 3210 and that was it.
I coloured the background landscape with another new love - Pan Pastel Pearls! Yes I said Pearls!! Watch this space for more on those beauties!!! The flowers are made from Artisan Clay, I've had them hanging about for ages waiting for the perfect place to be used and this was it. And the twirly bits of silver you can actually find over in the Polkadoodles store, it's awesome! 

So thanks so much for looking - promise to be back REAL soon with some more loveliness xx

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Tattered Lace Challenge - Elegance


Today is the launch of the brand new Tattered Lace Challenge and this month's theme is

I have to say I adore Tattered Lace dies, I was so chuffed when I started to work with Stephanie on our little Tatty Twinkles concept.  I love how Steph designs for what we need as crafters and that the TL designs are there to combine with all our other dies instead of just ripping off and copying other designs that are out there already.

I am a magpie for anything of the floral and flourish variety on dies so I really must replenish my stocks and get some more frames and things as I don't have anywhere near enough detailed ones (no, seriously, i don't!)....

Anyway for this make I used the lovely new Rose Budd collection and as this is so elegant it was perfect to use with my Tattered Lace dies...

I used this lovely die as the Flourish ....        and this adorable floral set for the lovely flower

I mixed the dies together with hand cut Pansy flowers which are from the CD and look gorgeous, mixed together with the die cuts in a true hybrid fashion.  The images are coloured with Graph'It...

And I have to say I really love this card, it has a really elegant and demure feel to it, love how the characters just evoke that whole shyness and unspoken, unrequited love...

Make sure you pop over to the blog and join in the challenge - you can win some fab stash and I know there are sooo many of you with Tattered Lace dies out there!

See you next time! 

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Pearls and Pins with Doobadoo


Time for the new challenge at We Do Doobadoo this week - LOVE these products they are so easy to have to hand for quick makes but great for any genre of crafting which I love even more.

 This was a demo card I made on Create and Craft for the launch of my new Rose Budd can see more about how I made it HERE and what I used over on the Doobadoo blog....
I just realised my pin and pearls have fallen off the photo somewhere haha!! ; )
oh dear Calamity Nik strikes again haha!

In my defence I have been working uber hard this week on a new collection so keep your eyes peeled!

See ya soon my lovelies!

Friday, 27 June 2014

Anything Goes Colouring!

Happy Friday!

It's time for a new challenge over at Graph'It today so I've been doing a ton of colour work this last few weeks ; )

Today is Anything Goes and you can win some lush Graph'It goodies so make sure you head over HERE and I'll show you how I coloured this card which is using my new Rose Budd collection....

See you soon! xx

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

My Blog Candy Winner

Hi everyone!

Sorry I'm late doing this but we have been so busy at Polkadoodles lately time just got away with me as ever!!

Thankyou all so much for your support with our blog hop in May and I'm so pleased you all got your freebies!

So without further ado I'm really chuffed to announce that my personal candy winner is


And Max, you have won all 4 copies of my Work and Play collections!

Whoop whoop!!


Can you email me here my lovely so we can send your stash out! 

I hope you've all been and checked if you won any of the other candy on the girls' blogs, if you didn't check make sure you do!!

The main £100 Polkadoodles candy is announced on the Polkadoodles blog : ) 


Sunday, 15 June 2014

Little bit of Flora and Fauna with Pan Pastels

I haven't been able to join inthe Pan Pastel challenge for ages but I really wanted to do this one because I wanted to make something for someone who's going through a really hard time at the mo and I think this will cheer her up.

I made this in about an hour and it was just made up with loads of bits and pieces I had hanging around...

a 6" MDF heart and lots of Tattered flowers from Tim Holtz after I finally got this die about a month ago at a bargain price of £2!

I coloured the centres of the flowers which were cut from an old book and used Permanent Red and Turquoise Pan Pastel, together with a bit of Burnt Sienna here and there.

These 3 are my most used Pan Pastels, I think I probably use them every single time I craft - for me the Burnt Sienna has replaced ALL my distress inkpads and it goes everywhere with me for distressing edges because I find it so much easier than inks. As I'm getting older I'm finding that my hands are becoming more and more chy shaky these days and my fingers are just not as nimble as they used to be - don't get me wrong it's not noticable to anyone else, but it's noticable to me because I know I used to love making really intricate things and I struggle with it now. The reason I love Pan Pastels is because if I DO go wrong with them i can just take a rubber and rub it out again, no matter what surface!

All the other embellies were hanging around on my desk - mainly all Dutch Doobadoo which you can see here.  I used: Doobadoo Hearts, Gears, Angel Wings

If you've not seen or heard of Dutch Doobadoo before - they make awesome paper cuts which are laser cut and are so so fine - we're talking titchy embellies which are way smaller than your dies can cut, so they're perfect for little embellies. They're in different materials which I love and also make the most amazing masks and templates.

The little white flowers are actually Maimeri Light Modelling paste which was squeezed into a Katy Sue mould and allowed to dry overnight - I have loads of these, I just make them up in batches and mix them with all my air dry clay flowers - that big pink rose is made with Das air dry clay (this is a paper clay and gives more texture than some of the more foam based clay).

Right, that's it from me, I'll be back later this week with the winner of my 5th Birthday candy!


Friday, 13 June 2014

Blondie but no Denis, Denis!

OMG it's been SO long but as usual I have lots of great excuses I won't bore you with lol!

I'm here today to share my Graph'It make for the Graph'It challenge here this week - our theme is Blondie
and it's one I set because SO so many of you ask me how to colour blonde hair all the time. In the past I used to struggle with this too, but Graph'It make it easy - truly!

And before I forget - if you love colouring we have a Design Team call at Graph'It and are looking for some new talent - so get over here and get applying now!

I'll be quite honest with you here - when I first saw the colour chart for Graph'It way back when they first asked me to get involved, I was like, WOAHHH!! BRIGHT!! So not me! 
But you know what?
Very quickly I realised there is bright as in CLASH

and then there is bright as in vibrant.
And there are brights that are right - and brights that are not right - 
and in Graph'It they are all right!
One day I was sitting at my desk colouring with Pro/Flexmarkers (about 2 years ago) and I looked around me and realised that there was actually only about a third of the colours that I ever used because the others just were not right for me. Not that there's anything wrong with them but for me they just looked awful when I used them. I reckon that 60% of those markers had only ever been used once or twice.
Honestly, with my Graph'Its I use ALL the colours - even the REALLY bright ones, all of the time. And to me that is testament to how great the colour selection is, it's really usable. And this is why I switched. Obviously we need more colours - we still only have 165 in the range, but clearly they are working on new ones all the time and again I kinda like that it takes a while to get them out in the me that confirms that they take their time to make sure it's right, rather than just chucking colours out to make a fast buck, that would be soooo easy. And of course, I'm very honoured to be involved with the brand and that li'l ol' me has such a massive input in development, it's all very exciting indeed! 

Anyway enough waffle! Oops before I forget, I will choose my candy winner later this week!

It's been so long since I've been able to join in with a challenge but I love colouring Blonde hair so I had to try my best to join in this week! This image is from the new Polkadoodles Rose Budd collection and I wanted to use really soft tones to fit the theme so blonde works really well here...
Now for some reason the photo is making the skintones look really orange here but they're really not like this at all! I obviously need to fiddle with the exposure on my camera lol! she is definitely NOT sunburned!
I don't really use yellows for blonde - I use light shades of browns and then maybe throw in one yellow to brighten it a little depending on the mood I'm in.
Graph'Its I used:
skin: 4110, 4120, 4155, 3110, 4145, 4135 (this photo makes the skin look very orange but in fact it's not really) 12010, 1230, 3110, 3125, 3250, 3290...clothes: 6110, 6130, 9100, 6150, 6160

In addition to the blonde theme this image was also a great test for Graph'It - their colour range is so vibrant I was wondering how I would fare with a more subtle range of softer tones with this card (more pastel and soft tones will be coming soon as the range expands)...but I didn't need to worry. I wanted a nice soft cornflower blue for her outfit and I used 6110 and 6120 here but underneath I used Cool Grey 1 which helped to just mute the tones a little. This is a really really good tip for you if you need more muted tones - always add a base of the lightest grey tone under your colour and that will mute it - so if you are going for blues or greens use 9100 etc, look at the family and choose accordingly. It's also a really good opportunity to use the Mix'It Palette to mix your own colours up too.

On this project everything is from the new 
which is just superb even if I do say so myself!! Rose is printed onto 160gsm Ultimate Graphic paper and then she was cut out using one of my favourite Dutch Doobadoo templates. Now I have to tell you why I use these - I adore my dies like the rest of you crafters - I have a ton, most of which I don't use of course LOL!

However, one thing that peeves me right off and I bet it does you too....when you have a stamp or have printed an image off and then you can't make it the right size to fit any of your dies!!

It's like the end of the world for me - massive TRAUMA!
Those bloody dies never ever fit - they're either too huge (and this is the whole reason I bought the Grand Calibur so I could use my Grande dies, but theyre a bit TOO big....
My spellbinders are always TOO small or just not the right shape to fit the bloody image!

You with me, yes?
Ok, I know, so a lot of you have the Cameo and are probs smart enough to use that - but what a faff! 

Well, Dutch Doobadoo templates are awesome!
There are loads in the range and they're very similar to your basic die shapes but as they are sized to A5 it means you have the larger shapes which you need for images! 
I just print the digi or stamp it out, then lay the template over and lightly trace the right size then cut it by hand - once I've distressed the edges a bit you don't even notice any rough cutting if I'm honest, and in the time I trawl through the dies, pickup my Big Shot and put it on the desk and cut it I've already got the image glued down when I use the Doobadoo templates! Seriously! I thought craft had really moved on from templates, but you know what, sometimes easy and simple is best and we do not need a machine for everything!

So make sure you head over to the Graph'It challenge once you've read this - the team really make some stunning creations and YOU can WIN GRaph'Its yourself! YES, You CAN!!

I have lots more makes of Rose Budd to share with you so I'll be back very soon and will actually be back tomorrow!