As a designer, I am always looking for textures that I can apply to backgrounds to make them more interesting. It occurred to me that it might not only be designers who like textured paper, but the scrap booking community might also like to have this option.

I began by creating 12 different water colour pages, that were essentially single coloured, but had brush strokes and different depths of colour on them. When they were dry, I scanned each page, then started to play with different textures to see what they did to the backgrounds. I created the pages in both letter sizes and 12″ x 12″ for both digital scrap booking, and for those who like to download papers to print for their own use.

After having far too much fun playing with creating glitter paper, paper with bubbles, woven texture, flowers and text, I created sets of papers that I hope will soon be available in our supplies shop:

Glitter papers cover sheet 2016        Woven papers cover sheet 2016       Bubble papers cover sheet 2016

Having created the papers, I couldn’t wait to start using them for my own projects. The green glitter paper was used for the four leafed clover on the St. Patrick’s day card:

St Patricks Day card

and the pale blue water colour paper was for the lettering at the top of each page of this site:

Creative Gillian Header copy


I am sure other variants will appear in other products I make in the not too distant future!


Drawing again

Drawing again

Every so often I have to prove something to myself, and this week it was that I can (sort of) draw. With the need for more cards for Easter and Mother’s Day, I decided to draw a card to colour that was of my own design. I then traced over my design to make it easier for those coloring it in to see the lines, then scanned it to use. This Mother’s Day card – ready for the UK Mother’s Day on March 6 – is the one that has made it to the Etsy shop so far.

Mothers day card 2

Drawing again

Doodle Art

In talking with my daughter, she felt we needed to create something that built on the success of the coloring books and the popularity of the downloadable greeting cards. Since I am convinced that I can’t draw beyond the level of the average 5 year old, such requests tend to fill me with despair. For a while I have been dabbling with creating doodles and Zentangle designs, which reminded me a great deal of the Italic handwriting and letter based page borders I had used to create in junior school.

The square format of Zentangles is great for cultivating mindfulness, but I found it to be less interesting to me as a design option. Pinterest fortunately helped me find (many) other options. I also realized that there was a vast field of people creating doodle designs, for use as tattoos, freehand quilting, fabric design, and pretty much any other application you can consider!

Then came the problem of where to use my designs since I didn’t want to create only squares. I started a public domain search for line drawings, and since most forms haven’t changed a lot in 100 years, was able to find a quantity of line drawings I could download, adapt, and use. After many happy hours of cleaning up images to remove extraneous lines, dots, and scanned detritus I was left with a number of images I could print and start to doodle in. The subject matter of the forms was very random, but I hope to refine the final designs and have clear categories to use for a book or download.

For now I am scanning the designs I am happiest with, and realizing that if the designs are too intense there is very little white space left for the end user to color. As I am still in the experimental phase I am still refining the doodles I like to create, which designs make for good large area fillers and which work best for smaller, tighter spaces. It is easy to fall into a rut and suddenly two pages are full of just four doodles, hence the Pinterest board to remind me to vary what I do.

Here are some of the first designs I created, and which are ready to scan for use. As you can see the outline forms are very diverse, and some designs are rather more more intricate than others.


The heart design is currently available (as of February 2016) in our Etsy shop as we test the waters to see if this idea is popular with buyers. Check back to see how this project grows and expands!

Drawing again

Books, books, books!

I love having notebooks on hand, and also love making books. For some time now I have been toying with learning how to do Coptic binding, but the written instructions always seemed very complicated. I finally found a simple video demonstration that made the concept feel more like a a sewing design than a mathematical set of steps. Now I just have to work out what kind of book I want to make, but as a test version, have created 5 signatures using heavy water colour paper, light water colour paper and mixed media paper so I have a portable book for when inspiration strikes! Since this is my first attempt at sewing Coptic binding a book, and all the reviews say my stitching is likely to be too loose, I have created covers from doubled sheets of scrapbook paper. If the stitching has to be reworked, then I can create new covers and try the process again.


As I have been researching methods for binding books, I also came across instructions for creating long stitch binding along the spine. I have made books in the past with the stitching on the spine, but then created a pattern as I sewed the signatures into the book. This long stitch binding technique creates a straight stitch pattern that can then be tied in the center if desired, so am thinking about the kind of books that would be suited to this technique. Again, I think perhaps a larger, portable sketch book might be the direction I choose. I have some beautiful handmade paper I would like to incorporate into a book project soon, but it is too fragile to use as a book cover, and too textured to make end papers, so will have to wait for this idea to solidify!