{Lucky Dip} Book Tin

As you’ll most definitely know by now, I have big love for books. I also have big love for bargains, so whenever I find bargain books I kind of have to snap them up. Unfortunately my buying is much quicker than my reading and I’ve ended up with a pair of bursting bookshelves… but now I’m faced with the ‘oh my God where do I start?’ problem. So I decided to make a lucky dip tin, just something I can pull out whenever I’m stuck in a reading rut (and might help me with my resolution of reading every book I own!)


Here’s what you’ll need:

A lidded tin or jar (I used a Twinings tin).

Gesso and acrylic paint in a colour of your choice

A selection of different papers (I used some scraps I’d doodled on, a page from a Mandarin poetry book, a digital stamp from Robyn’s Fetish and a couple of pages torn from a colouring book)

Some sparkly embellishments (I used a selection of rhinestones, some glitter glue and some sparkly nail varnish)

A pair of scissors, some wet glue (my fave is Collage Pauge) and an old paintbrush

My free printable and a pen or two you love

Step 1

JpegCoat your tin with a thin layer of gesso. Once it’s dry, paint it with acrylic paint – this is going to get covered up, so don’t bother with anything too fancy.

Step 2


Chop up your selection of papers and start pasting onto the tin. I’d recommend putting a thing layer of glue both under and over each piece to make sure it doesn’t start peeling off. Overlap the different designs (or maybe colours in your case) to create some interesting patterns.


Step 3

Now you need to let all that glue dry. While your waiting, make the ‘lucky dip’ pieces.


Print out the free printable (by clicking on the link at the top) and fill each box with the name of a book you’d like to read. If you have as many is me, the cutting out might take a while, but at least your tin will be completely dry when you’re done!

Step 4


Paint around the edges of the lid with glittery nail varnish. Once this has dried, start sticking on your rhinestones.


Step 5 

I felt in need for a bit more sparkle, so I also added a bit of glitter glue. While this is drying you can fold up all of your book titles.


Step 6 

Stick in your hand and pull out a book name… then get reading!

Jpeg Jpeg Jpeg

P.S. I made this book tin as part of my final Quirky Crafts challenge. The theme is ‘favourite things‘ and I used lots of my favourites here: I decorated a tea tin (my favourite drink), with reading in mind (my favourite hobby), using collage (my favourite technique), sparkles (every girl’s favourite thing) and Collage Pauge (my favourite adhesive). Check out the original challenge post for more design examples, and info on how to link up.


A Quirky Picnic

The latest Quirky Crafts challenge is live! This time the theme is ‘A BBQ or Picnic’ (very fitting for this weather, don’t you think?), and was sponsored by Crackerbox Palace; check out their online shop for a great line of rubber stamps.

As design examples for this challenge, I came up with these two art journal pages:


For my first spread I used a ‘spontaneous background’ created when cleaning of my brushes and stamps. The Watermelon from Crackerbox Palace was coloured with normal felt-tips (with a few gel-pen doodles), before being covered with strips of paper from a Mandarin poetry book. I redefined the watermelon and coloured those areas with Prismacolor pencils and then added a gel-pen quote and border (quote reads “Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it” – Russell Baker)


I started this second page with a quick sketch – using two felt-tips I drew a picnic blanket kind of pattern before blending with a waterbrush. I coloured the flower (and dots) with Papermania Watercolour Markers and an orange Sakura Souffle pen. The ants were doodled with a PITT pen, and the quote was added using Tipex (and outlined in black).

For more inspiration, and details on how to link up, visit the original challenge post here.

See ya later!

D x

P.S. If you’re a twitter user, use the #abloggers tag to connect with artists, illustrators and other creative bloggers. We’ve also started weekly #ablogger chats, on Wednesdays at 7.30pm GMT, come join in!

An Octopus’s Garden

Hello all, I had a heat induced blonde moment yesterday and forgot to post about the latest Quirky Crafts challenge! It was my turn to come up with the theme (An Octopus’s Garden), so I can’t wait to see what everyone creates! Basically, I want all entries to incorporate something from a garden and something underwater. Quirky enough? I hope so!

For more Design Team inspiration and info on how to link up, visit the original challenge post. For now, here’s the art journal page I came up with:

I started out this art journal page by copying out the lyrics to Octopus’s Garden with a Sharpie, and then covering it in an acrylic wash. I then added another layer of paint, by sponging it over an octopus shaped mask. I coloured the ‘Butterfly Blossoms’ image from Paper Pretties with felt tips and gel pens, and added a few smudges of craft paint and gesso, to make my garden seem like it was under the water. Originally the butterfly was joined to the flowers, but I snipped him off and moved him, because I thought a butterfly flying around under the sea was appropriately whimsical. My final touches included a doodled border, and a sentiment borrowed from an old copy of Cosmo. All completed while watching the feat of cinematic genius (and appropriately themed) Deep Blue Sea.

Remember, any arts and crafts can be entered into this challenge… scrapbook pages, ATC’s, cards, embroidery, sculptures, doodles, cake decorations, posters, canvases, wall hangings, beadwork… anything that inspires you!

D x

P.S. Listen to this song for more ideas.


Fold it!

I’m a day late posting about this, but the latest Quirky Crafts challenge has gone live! This time the prompt is to use more than one fold in whatever you make… you could make a jack-in-the-box, a pleated skirt, a fancy card, a fan… check out the original post for more ideas and inspiration.

In my last Quirky Crafts post I mentioned one of the ways I try to put my own mark on the digital stamps we’re given to work with and today I’m going to show you another way I do this…

Use them out of context.

What I mean is, use pictures of things in a way they weren’t intended for. For example, you could use a couple of whimsical bikes from The Cutting Cafe to create patterned elements for a mandala:


Do you see what I mean? Although you can tell what they are, I haven’t used them in a way that says ‘bike’.

I also folded some pieces of textured paper, and added some dimensional paint to make the mandala (quite literally) pop off the page, but now I’m too worried about my petals to close the book!

I’m constantly making these quirky little mandalas, but I don’t think I’ve shared any with you before… comments? I usually avoid using the primary colours together, but I actually quite like how this one looks…

So have you been creating anything fabulous over the weekend? Leave me a link below and I’ll come and check it out!

D x

Happy Birthday, Baby

Baby being me! Today is the day I turn 22!

Recently I’ve been seeing a lot of ’25 before 25′ and ’30 before 30′ posts and it strikes me I could do something similar, there are a lot of things I keep thinking about doing, but I just seem to push them to the back of my mind… Some of these things are teeny, and some are absolute whoppers, but I’m giving myself three years from today to get it all done… fingers crossed that’ll be enough time!

I also feel like there should be some sort of incentive… like for everything I don’t manage to do I have to forfeit something? I’m not sure what though… any ideas?

Anyway, here’s that list of mine:

Buy a house

Design a colouring book

Run an online workshop

Make perfect macarons

Travel somewhere outside of Europe

Adopt a dog (or maybe a cat)

Try 10 different kinds of tea

Dye my hair a radical colour

Read 5 Dickens novels

Learn how to use a sewing machine

Host a dinner party

Make a patchwork quilt

Write a book

Customise/upcycle 15 pieces of unloved clothing

See some Shakespeare onstage

Complete an embroidery

Go to a festival

Have a handmade Christmas

Try fondue

Design a deck of tarot cards

Take a life drawing class

Learn the mambo

Do a charity run

Go to a blogger meet-up

Read every book I own

Try 10 new cocktails

Pimp my horrible bedroom furniture

Test out all the workout DVD’s I’ve been hoarding

Spend a day at the spa


Visit 5 new British cities

Set up an Etsy store

Go camping

Learn to drive

Cook (and blog about) two recipes from every cook book I own

Celebrate St Patrick’s Day

Get promoted

Eat at 10 new restaurants (not including takeaways)

Do some sort of collaborative blogging project

Work on feeling (and looking) healthier (if this leads to dropping a dress size I won’t complain)

Watch 52 documentaries

Complete a month-long ‘sketch a day’ challenge

So those are the fifty-two things I’ll be trying to do over the next thirty-six months… what do you think? Achievable? If you have any tips or suggestions on how the hell I can get all this done, don’t be shy, leave me a comment!

D x

P.S. I’ll create a new page to help keep track of my progress, so come back to see how I’m doing! If you fancy joining me along the way, then do! I’d love the company!

Dark, Light and Don’t be a Square

Well it’s time for another Quirky Crafts Challenge. This time the rules are to use one dark colour and one light colour (that isn’t white) as your main colour scheme, and avoid anything square or rectangle. You can have other colours in the focal image, but other than that, stick to your simple colour scheme! To see the fab Guest Designer/Design Team Creations, click here.

This is what I came up with for this challenge:


I started off by fingerpainting the back ground (I used two shades of blue and an irridescent purple to make this smudgy indigo colour). Then I glued on the image (Starry Eyed from Stitchy Bear) which was coloured using Prismacolor pencils. I added some doodly bits and text with a silver gel pen (you can’t read it too well on this photo but it’s some Madonna lyrics: ‘Never forget who you are, little star. Never forget how to dream’).

If you fancy linking up to this latest challenge, hop on over to this site.

D x

Quirky things with Wings and Clouds

Last night the latest Quirky Crafts challenge went life – this time the brief was to use some sort of winged creature, and to incorporate clouds somewhere. For the original challenge post, click here.

So this week, instead of a card or a journal page, I created this fun little doodle:


I used the ‘Ava Fairy’ digital stamp from Bugaboo as the starting point, and added patterns and doodles using four different black pens (a felt tip, a gel pen, a 0.1 drawing pen and a 0.3 drawing pen) for a bit of whimsical line variety. The colour came from my fantabulous Prismacolor pencils (I still maintain that they are the BEST Christmas present ever!) and the quote around the edges reads “Something opens our wings. Something makes boredom and hurt disappear. Someone fills the cup in front of us.” (-Rumi).

Looking at this drawing now, I can really see the influences of the ‘Whimsy and Wonder’ art workshop I’ve been taking part in (I’ll share details with you later in the week). I just love the simplicity, and child-like dreaminess of the whole scene…At one point I thought I might stick this on the front of a card, but I might want to keep her and paste her into my journal… what do you reckon?

If you make anything with a wing and a cloud on it, swing by and link it up to our challenge for a chance to win one of the prizes donated by our sponsors. It could be anything… a card, a scrapbook page, a tapestry, a sketch, a sculpture, a bookmark, a soft toy, a mural… Seriously, anything.

Have fun!

D x