My Illustration Process with Derwent

In all the craziness and excitement of the last week or two I completely forgot to mention that I had a post up on the Derwent blog, this one is sharing my illustration process as I prepared some pieces for the Bologna Book Fair.

You can pop over and see the whole thing here.

Thanks for popping by!
Sarah x

Catching Up

Today I'm going to catch you up on lots of things, its been a busy time for the last few weeks which has left me hardly any time to blog - naughty!

Firstly, a quick and easy card made with my new Britannia CD...
All of the elements and the Gramophone paper are from the 'Heritage' collection on the CD - I used the pre coloured images of Henry 8th and Queen Elizabeth 1st (although there are black and white versions for you to colour on there also!) The only things I added were the scrap of kraft paper and a piece of brown and white twine, everything else is printed from the CD - pretty good right? ;o) If you haven't got your copy yet, you can get hold of it here.

Secondly, after the great response I got to the new 'Craft Basics' range launched a few days ago, I decided to create 'Scrap Basics' for those of you who love to digi scrap

They will also tie in with another little announcement I have to share with you in a few weeks, watch this space! ;o) You can get hold of these kits here in my shop.

Finally, I shared some pretty amazingly exciting news over on my Facebook page today, I will be sharing it here on my blog next week but if you just can't wait, head on over there to see what I'll be starting work on next week - squeeeee!

Now I'm off for a very quick dinner with B (you won't believe this but I've resumed my learning to cook and its actually going pretty well, I'll be sharing some of my receipes and pics of my first non-disaster cooking EVER here soon!) Then later I will be back hard at work on some new designs which I can't wait to share with you.

Apologies this was a bit long and rambly, lol, things are a bit of a whirlwind at the moment, exciting times ahead! :o)

Thanks for stopping by today
Sarah x

Introducing... Craft Basics!

If you're anything like me, you'll be constantly looking for those basic pattern papers, I use up all my polka dots, stripes, chevrons etc... super quick and then have nothing to co-ordinate with my other patterned papers! So I've designed the perfect solution - Craft Basics! A downloadable / printable paper pack which contains basic patterns in two different sizes in all different colourways.

Currently available in the range are Polkadots, Stripes, Ginghams, Chevrons and Honeycombs in Brights, Pastels, Earthtones and Vivid colours. There is also a kraft paper pack containing one of each pattern in a kraft paper effect (this may be my favourite!) These are fantastic as you can print them off as much as you like, any time of the day or night, it's like having your own craft shop on your computer! I've printed the vivid chevrons (above) off twice so far already and I can't wait to print the others.

To check out the full range and get hold of your favourites click here. All of the colours co-ordinate with my CD's etc... so if you're using my products everything will match perfectly (though there is enough colour variation to match them with anything!)

Thanks so much for looking and I look forward to hearing what you think and seeing what you make with them!

Sarah x

My Tips & Tricks - Using Craft CD's

Today I wanted to talk a little bit about Craft CD's - what to expect if you've never used one and some additional tips for those of you that have. Craft CD's seem to be like Marmite, some love them, some hate them but they are incredibly useful and great value for all levels of crafters. They are also a fantastic way to boost your crafting supply very quickly without taking up lots of space!

First, to clear up some common misconceptions that I've seen and heard regarding craft CD's

You have to be incredibly tech savvy to use a craft CD - not true at all! while some craft CD's do have a user interface or software programme built in, this is usually very easy to navigate. Some CD's (including my own) have no in built software, you simply click and print - it couldn't be easier!

You can't use a craft CD if you have a Mac computer - you should check the specific information for the CD that you are interested in but most (if not all) CD's can be used on a Mac, while some of the software may not work, you can usually access the image folder (which is the good bit!)

Craft CD's are for beginners and you can't be very creative with them - One of the biggest misconceptions and not true at ALL! While its true that there are elements of most CD's that are great for beginners (as there are paper products and kits) - pre made toppers etc... at the end of the day you are printing off papers and embellishments, the same as you would buy in a craft shop and what you do with them and how advanced you get with your crafting is totally down to you. I've seen fantastic projects made from beginners and advanced crafters alike with my CD's including cards, scrapbook layouts, 3D projects, altered art and art journaling- for instance, check out this birdhouse made by Claireliz made from my latest CD - fabulous!
Tthe only difference to buying the physical papers and embellishments from the shop is that you get an awful lot more for your money!

You use lots of ink printing things out so it isn't good value - Firstly, craft CD's give you excellent value (for instance, my latest CD has hundreds of pounds worth of papers and stamps on if you were to buy the actual products in the shop - 120 designer papers at approx 99p per sheet + 90 digi stamps at approx £3.00 each is over £380 and thats before adding in all of the embellishments and sentiments!!) it will of course depend on your printer how much you can get from one set of cartridges, I have an HP Deskjet printer and use compatible inks which cost me about £8 each, I can print off a whole CD on one set of cartridges and still have enough ink left for doubles of bits and pieces - so even if you only use the CD once you will be getting hundreds of pounds worth of papers and stamps for just over £30 - thats less than 10% - bargain!!!

And now on to how to get started with craft CD's

Firstly, have a look around and find one that suits your style, if you aren't sure most designers have separate mini kits or digi stamps that you can buy initially to try out and see the quality of the work etc... When you get your CD have a good look round it - you'll usually find inspiration starts flowing as soon as you see all the lovely bits and pieces!

Print your papers and  embellishments onto good quality card or paper - if you print them onto copier paper they will look and feel cheap and you will be put off using them. I use my Rymans coated paper for everything as its great for scoring and folding and I can print my digi stamps onto it for bleedproof colouring with my markers. Using copier paper also uses up more ink as it soaks more up - using a good quality smooth or coated paper will make your papers and embellishments look better and save you lots on ink costs.

Make sure to print your digi stamps onto the appropriate paper for the media you will use to colour them with, I usually print a set onto bleedproof paper and one onto watercolour paper (which I also use for colouring pencils as I like the texture!)

If you plan on selling your work, be sure to check out the angel policy of the designer of the CD, most let you sell handmade cards and projects with the papers and images but please remember how much work a designer puts into making one CD (personally I spend between 40 and 150 hours on each one depending on the size of CD!) and respect their copyright by not reselling or sharing your CD (including anything printed from it) or digistamps, it's very rare that this happens but when it does its very upsetting to have your work stolen and devalued in this way. 

My Tips for using Craft CD's

Like most crafters, I'm obsessed with paper and can spend hours just looking through my crafty stash getting inspired, so I like to print off lots of my CD at once, I keep my craft supplies organised in boxes by brand and I have a 'Sarah Hurley' box for the things printed off my CDs, then it becomes part of your "real" craft stash as opposed to a CD on the shelf.

As I use things up I keep a list of what I need to print out and replace so I never run out, I usually keep extras of neutral patterns such as polka dots which are always running out.

If I'm printing lots of embellishments that need cutting out I make a big pile, get myself a nice cup of Earl Grey and a good film and curl up on the sofa to cut it all out at once, then when you come to use it, it's all ready for you!

Don't be afraid to use things digitally, the files on the CD can be used in digital scrapbooking projects etc... also, it may add a new dimension to your crafting!

Mix and match, use your papers with brands of paper and stamps that you buy, add ribbons, buttons and gems, distress and ink your edges, spray it, emboss it, die cut it, use it as part of your crafty stash and don't keep it separate, you'll get much more out of it this way!

Most of all experiment -  the best thing is, that unlike things you buy in a craft shop, if you mess it up, you can just print out another one!

If you have any other questions about using craft CD's please feel free to leave them here for me in the comments and I will answer them in a future post. You can check out my range of craft CD's, kits and Digi Stamps here in my shop.

Thanks for dropping by today :o)
Sarah x

Britannia Release & Blog Hop Winners!

So today is the day, Britannia is officially released and available to buy here - yay!
Here are some sneaky peeks of the 5 collections on the CD...

             English Country Garden                     Heritage
                    I Love London                            Jubilee
                                            Sporting Pride
The CD is available as an actual CD and an instant download (cheaper and no waiting! lol) and contains over 1500 elements - tons of papers, embellishments, all perfectly co-ordinated and digi stamps in both colour and black and white, get yours here!

This weekend myself and my lovely DT had a blog hop to celebrate the launch - so a big thank you to everyone that played along, my lovely DT for all their hard work and fantastic inspiring projects and to our sponsors Derwent and Letraset for donating prizes. The winners are... *drumroll*

1. Deborah B

Please contact me here with your details and I will get your prizes out to you.

Thanks for popping by!
Sarah x

Welcome to the Sarah Hurley DT Blog Hop!

This weekend (Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th April) we are holding a Design Team Blog Hop to celebrate the release of my newest CD!

Each of the DT members has projects and sneak peeks on their blogs along with a letter of the alphabet, if you hop through the blogs in order (we'd love you to follow us all and leave us a comment on our projects and peeks!) and collect the letters they spell out the name of the new CD (the CD is available to buy now here!) - then all you need to do is pop back here and leave a comment on this post with the name.

You will need to start with Jaine's blog and hop through from there.

Along the way you’ll be able to capture a sneak peek at the new CD as well as gather some fabulous inspiration from the team.  There will be new posts on each day so pop back both days to make sure you don't miss anything!

Next week I will be picking three winners from the correct answers at random to win some fabulous prizes from our sponsors...
The Prizes are as follows:

1st Place - a download of the new CD, and your choice of either a set of 24 Derwent Watercolour pencils or a set of 12 Pastel Promarkers and a 15% discount voucher for my shop (

2nd Place - a download of the new CD, a set of 5 'Summer' Promarkers and a 10% discount voucher from my shop

3rd Place - a download of the new CD and a 10% discount voucher from my shop

(There is also a little competition among all of the DT so they would appreciate your comments to help them win a prize ;o) )

The competition will close at midnight GMT on Sunday 15th April and any entries after that will be discounted. Winners will be picked at random.

Here is what I made with the new CD, using my favourite Digi stamp (he's just so cute!) and papers from the 'I Love London' collection (the 'Hello Handsome' stamp is from Hero Arts)
I look forward to seeing all your comments and I wish you all the best of luck!

Sarah x

A Date for your Diary - Blog Hop!

We hope you will join us this weekend for our Design Team Blog Hop to celebrate the release of my new CD!

We are going to have lots of fun projects for you, sneaky peeks and some fab prizes from me and some lovely sponsors - don't miss it!!

I hope you all had lovely Easter breaks, I sadly didn't get my day off that I'd hoped for, the deadlines were just stacked up and I had to keep going, - roll on the next Bank Holiday, I definitely need a day off! I'm not complaining though, its an exciting time and I'm really really grateful for the fab opportunities coming my way, I'd just like some sleep to come my way too, lol.

Now I really must dash, time for a quick dinner with B (I'm starting to forget what he looks like!) and then on with some more illustration work.

Bye for now...
Sarah x

Family History Project Update with

Today a little update on my family history project! As I mentioned in my last post, my aunt sent me a bunch of stuff including names, dates of birth, copy marriage certificates, photos and little snippets of stories that she could remember. I put as many facts as I could into my tree at and I suddenly had a ton of hints to go through - I still havent finished investigating them all!

One of the things she sent me was the details of a great great aunt living in America (this is my Grandads mums sister) from what I know so far, she married a GI during the war, moved to America and had a family, I didn't even know she existed and I have no idea if she knows I exist! Today I have sent off a letter to her - now I have my fingers crossed that she replies!

I now need another long phone call with my aunt to fill in some more gaps and I plan on visiting another aunt and uncle (my Grandads brother and his wife) very soon - wish me luck!

It's so exciting piecing together this history, once I have it all a bit more in order I'm going to start scrapbooking it, I'll be sharing those projects and some peeks of my Smashbook style of journaling it so far very soon.

Thank you for dropping by today!
Sarah x

Watercolour Rose Card with Derwent Inktense

Todays card is not my normal style, but B wanted a Birthday card for his Aunt so I made one that I knew she would like, and I really enjoyed making something I maybe wouldn't have normally...
The stamp is an old one by PSX, I've had it for around 10 years but I still love it :o) I stamped it with Staz on Ink onto watercolour paper and coloured the image with Derwent Inktense pencils before distressing the edges and inking the background with Tim Holtz Distress inks in Tea Dye and Walnut stain. I then masked off the image with another one I had stamped on scrap paper and lightly flicked with water before blotting to create the aged effect. Here is a close up...
Today I have been working on some design revisions and some new illustration work in between phone calls and emails! This evening I have some more illustration to do and some writing. I'm really hoping to get back into my studio in the next day or so, its far too long since I crafted and I have the urge to scrapbook!

Thanks for dropping by today!
Sarah x