Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Why digital?

I think it goes without saying that I'm a fan of digital magazines! So for those of you sitting on the fence about them, I'd like to try to persuade you by waxing a little lyrical, if I may, about the benefits as I see them.

I should start by saying that not all digital magazines are created equal. Despite the technology being available, most publications are still just replica PDFs of the print version. Mixed Up is a fully interactive magazine, taking advantage of the format as much as we can - as I see it there's no point being a digital-only product if you don't exploit the medium you are working in.

I really do think that digital can offer so much more than print, once you start to explore the possibilities and work with them. Mixed Up has lots of content that most digital magazines don't. If you've been put off by the PDF clones in the past, then I can promise that Mixed Up offers something different and fun that currently you can't (as far as we know) find elsewhere in the craft sector.

Here are my top 10 reasons for choosing digital - in the case of Mixed Up at least!

1) Diversity of content - it's not just a reading experience, it's interactive. There is video, there are slideshows, we can flip an image to show you the back. And of course there are clickable links galore.

2) Detail, detail, detail - you can zoom in to really see the detail on a piece of art and with slideshows we can show you 5/10/15 different views or close ups that would fill 10 pages of a traditional print magazine.

3) Price - lower production costs can be passed on to you, the reader, meaning that even a niche publication can be priced competitively.

4) Convenience - you can read the magazine anywhere as long as you've got your smartphone or tablet with you (and you know you have!). Travelling? You can literally take 50 magazines with you if you want, on one small device. With our distributor pocketmags you buy the mag once and then you can read it on any number of compatible devices.

5) Linking - Mixed Up is full of links to everything we can think of. Like an artist? Visit their blog, Facebook page, Twitter feed, etsy shop. Like a product? Click straight through to the retailer.

6) No waiting - when you subscribe the mag is delivered straight to your device, on day of release; no waiting for Mr Postie. When you buy an issue, access is instant.

7) No petrol or P&P - you don't have to leave the house to get your favourite magazine or pay shipping to get it delivered.

8) No storage - they take up no space in your already packed-to-the-brim craft room!!!

9) International distribution in one click - Mixed Up is available on the same on-sale date in every country. No more do my friends in Oz have to wait weeks for their latest issue!

10) Flexibility - as a print editor, I'm largely stuck with set number of pages per issue. No so with digital. I set myself a minimum of course, in the interests of quality control, but if I want an article to be a couple of pages longer because it warrants it, then I can do that. More flexible for me, better content for you.

Being truly honest, the initial reasons for going completely digital were not wholly about my vision for Mixed Up, although that certainly was firmly in my mind. There were also practical concerns with print about distribution, storage and the like. For a new start-up, digital was certainly logistically somewhat simpler and like it or not, print media is in decline while digital media is a growth industry.

Yet, even if print had been on the table I'd have been hesitant to choose it and once I started to explore what digital magazines could offer, I began to get really excited about the prospect. And so Mixed Up was born! I know it's not going to be for everyone but I do think it's time that magazines were dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century; I'm doing my best to fly that flag.

I've love to know your thoughts on going digital.

Katy x

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Freebie Project Issue 3

Hope you are enjoying Issue 3 and like your free gift of the printable cabinet card image. Here are the steps to make my mini canvas using the freebie, as featured on page 75.

1) Cover a piece of scrap chipboard with DecoArt DecouPage papers (Olde Worlde). Add thin washes of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics in Blue Green Light, Cobalt Teal Hue and Burnt Sienna. Use light washes and keep blotting off the excess to create little pools of colour.

2) Print off the image. I used really cheap photo paper from the £1 shop for this as it's less glossy than expensive paper and also thinner so it's easier to work with. Crumple and distress the photo a little to age it. Ink the edges with Coffee Archival Ink.

3) Add some scratch stamping to the background (Andy Skinner Stampendous) in black Archival. Layer up the photo with some scraps of book page and loops of thread.

4) Paint a chipboard clock (Tando) with DecoArt Media Metallic Gold paint and age by sponging with black Archival Ink. Stamp with the scratches as before and layer over the photo.

5) Create some coordinating embellishments - here a chipboard compass (Tando) is given Andy Skinner's rust effect (I used Texture Sand Paste, then Raw Umber and Quinacridone Gold paints). The metal compass (Tim Holtz) is painted with DecoArt media paints mixed to a patina colour, applied then wiped back when partially dry. I layered these with some postage stamps and a Word Band (Tim Holtz).

6) To finish I added some brass corners, also stamped with the scratches. StazOn is the best ink to use on metal surfaces.

I hope you like my mini project, and if you make something with the printable please share it with us either here or on our Facebook page.

You can get your copy of Mixed Up here!

Katy x

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Issue 3 Sneak Peeks!

Issue 3 goes on sale 1st December!

Get yours from or via the Mixed Up app for tablets and smartphones.

Our cover stars are Cristin Stevenson, with a wonderful art journal tutorial, Marion Emberson with a fantastic embossing powder technique with WOW! you don't want to miss, and Amanda Southern who has created a wonderfully tactile piece with Oak House Studio Pure inks.


Assemblage art by Leslie Lineberry

Paper towel canvas by Lynne Mizera

Festive junk journal by Tracy Easson

Easy image transfer with Helen Chilton

Fun with ArtFoamies by Marlene Meijer-van Niekerk

Wintry inspiration from Riikka Kovasin


Interview with Nathalie Kalbach
Upcycling gallery
Marvellous metallics with DaliART
FREE printable cabinet card image

Hope you enjoy the issue,
Katy x

Monday, 31 October 2016

Bonus Blog Project with this month's FREEBIE!

Monique Van Dijk has made this fantastic canvas using the FREEBIE that comes with Issue 2  - a stunning digi image drawn for us by the wonderful artist Rick St.dennis. Isn't it fantastic that Rick has supplied this fantastic freebie for us? You can see more of his images on his Etsy and Zibbet stores.

Here's how Monique created her canvas:

Products used:
  • DecoArt Americana Acrylics: Snow White, Lamp Black, Desert Turquoise, Saffron Yellow, Jack O’Lantern Orange, Vivid Violet, Multi Surface Neon Pink
  • Stencils by DecoArt: Pixelated, Honeywire, Andy Skinner Whirlpool, Urban Ink Seadog
  • DecoArt Media Gesso - White
  • DecoArt Americana  Decou-Page - Napkin
  • Digi “Where’s the Party” by Rick St.dennis
  • Inkadinkado Stamp: Modern Flower 
  • Kaisercraft Stamp: Bubble Wrap
  • Canvas board 29.5cm x 24cm

For this canvas board I printed the digi 25cm high. I coloured it and cut it out (you can cut off the whiskers and the wire the spider is hanging on and draw them on your canvas after gluing the image down, that makes life much easier!).

For the background:
1) Gesso both sides of the canvas (this prevents it from warping).
2) Paint the canvas Saffron Yellow (make sure every layer of paint is dry before adding the next).
3) Use the Honeywire stencil and the Jack O Lantern Orange, then the Whirlpool stencil and the Vivid Violet paint.
4) The next layer is the stencil Pixelated with white paint (I think white gives depth).
5) For the sentiment I used an Urban Ink stencil called Seadog and black paint. First decide where your image will be and then decide where you want to put the words. If the image covers some letters it doesn’t really matter, your mind fills in the blanks - I wanted to use the name of the digi. I made the image 'stand' on the word 'party' so it is not floating on the canvas.
6) Next I used the Bubble Wrap stamp withNeon Pink paint and the flower stamp with Desert Turquoise paint.
7) Use Decou-page or gel medium to glue the image to the canvas (I used the speciality Napkin Decou-page because it works well with thin paper). Add the Decou-page under and over the image, work from the inside out so you can push any air bubbles and and wrinkles out.
8) Finally, I added some Vivid Violet around the edges of the canvas to finish it.

Huge thanks to both Rick and Monique for their contributions to this issue - what an enormous pleasure to work with them both.

I'd love to see what you make with your digi, so please post a link or share your make on our Facebook page.

Warm wishes,
Katy x

Issue 2 on sale 1st November!


Issue 2 is out tomorrow - 1st November!

92 - yes 92 pages of awesome crafting inspiration!

Our cover stars are the amazing Birgit Koopsen (main pic), Mark Gould and Julie Ann Lee.

Your FREEBIE is this deliciously quirky digi image from the wonderful Rick St.dennis!


Four fantastic ways with DecoArt Liquid Glass (project by Candy Colwell)

Upcycling with Asia King

Get started in stamp carving with Jane Royston

Amazing art journaling with Mimi Bondi

Christmas crafting with Kim Costello

Yupo Part 2 with Helen Chilton


We chat to Cristin Stevenson about her incredible art

Wonderful wintry makes in our Gallery

Learn to paint pretty Remembrance poppies

Terrific Tando Shrines

Fake it with faux mirror glass


For information on how to purchase visit the Mixed Up website.

Hope you enjoy this issue!

Katy x

Friday, 7 October 2016

Did you see our freebie?

We all love a freebie right?! FREE with Issue 1 is this printable sheet of words, great for adding to tags, ATCs or journal pages (if you are searching for it, you'll find the link on the Editor's Hello page).

Reader SuzeJo O'Connell has already made great use of hers on this journal page! I love the flippy tag with a washi hinge, don't you?

More freebies to come in later issues (they are 'real' freebies too, there will be no increase in cover price when a free gift is included). 

Is there something you'd really like to see? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Katy x

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Issue 1 On Sale NOW!

Issue 1 is on sale NOW

Get yours via, or search 'Mixed Up' in the Apple, Google Play and Amazon Fire app stores (you can find full details on the Mixed Up website).

In this issue:
12 step-by-step/video tutorials including...

Helen Chilton gets creative with Yupo paper

Create impactful mixed media jewellery with Nikki Killinger

Brenda Brown shares a stunning aged metal effect

Gorgeous acrylic paint techniques with Tracy Weinzapfel

DIY storage as beautiful as it is useful with Tando Creative

Make a delightful stamped printer tray with Jean Hardy

Choose a different surface with acrylic Stacks from That's Crafty!

Make your project shimmer and shine with IndigoBlu Luscious powders

We interview mixed media guru Andy Skinner
Visit our frighteningly good gallery of Halloween inspiration
And much more!

Hope you enjoy it!

Katy xxx

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Steampunk Bird Step Out

Each month in Mixed Up we have a feature called Creative Play. In this feature four designers work with the same products or substrates to create pieces of art in their own unique style. 

I decided to play along for the first one and we worked with gorgeous acrylic and MDF Stacks from That's Crafty! - above is s sneak peek of my make. I promised you some more detail on how I put my piece together, and so here it is.

MDF panel: After undercoating with gesso I painted the MDF panel with DecoArt Media Metallic Silver paint (one coat - this stuff is amazing!). I then stencilled cogs with silver embossing paste (stencil and paste both Dreamweaver).

2mm acrylic panel: On the next layer I repeatedly stamped the Andy Skinner blueprint stamp from the Industrial set (Stampendous) with Teal StazOn. I added a little more stamping than shown here in the end because it didn't show up well enough. However it's best not to overwork the layers as you want them to be a cohesive unit and not compete with each other. StazOn is really the only ink to use with acrylic as it dries pretty fast on the shiny surface.

2mm acrylic panel: So before I did this panel I actually stamped the bird onto acetate so I could work out where it would be on the top layer. I used this as a guide to position the clock (Andy Skinner) and key (Stampendous) where they would line up behind the bird image to add detail to it. I worked over the back with silver Sakura Calligrapher pen - these work amazingly on the acrylic (Krylon would work too). I stamped in StazOn once again.

4mm acrylic layer: My top and final layer. I stamped the bird with black StazOn then flipped it over and added more Sakura pen, this time in gold and silver. I used PaperArtsy Fresco Finish Bora Bora and a green paint I mixed up from several colours to shade the bird.

Here's what it looked like when I flipped it over before adding the other layers behind.

To finish I added lots of cool metal cogs and parts from old watches to give yet another layer.

On the finished piece you can see the clock and key enhancing the bird collage, the subtle but important pop of the blueprint stamping and a hint of the silver cogs behind (these are more visible when the stack is seen at an angle because they are 3D being made with embossing paste) - but you'll have to buy the mag for that - sorry!

I hope this gave you a bit more insight into how I created my piece and how the Stacks layer up. If you'd like to get your hands on your own then hop on over to That's Crafty! for a little bit of retail therapy.

Katy x

Launch Day!!!

I don't mind telling you I am stupidly excited today - I feel like it's been months and months coming and, after a lot of work (and some tears and tantrums!) launch day is finally here! I feel a celebratory beverage may be called for, don't you?

So here are the details you've been waiting for - and all this info has also been added to the website today on the 'buy' page.

Single issue: £2.99
Month-on-month subscription: £2.29 per issue
Annual subscription: £20.99 (41% off!)

Where to buy:
Full info on the website:
We are distributing through

ONE purchase enables you to view the magazine on ANY platform using the Pocketmags app. You can view the magazine on your PC or Mac desktop, on Apple, Android and Microsoft branded phones and tablets, and on Kindle Fire tablets.

I really hope you love the first issue. Please do check the note on the Editor's Welcome page as we want your feedback and there's a prize up for grabs for sending us your thoughts.

Katy x

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Coming soon!

A brand new digital mixed media crafts magazine coming soon! 
Issue 1 out October 2016.

Find us on Facebook for lots of chat and giveaways. Exclusive blog content to follow once we launch!