March 2014: Leo Thompson


How long have you been stamping?
I started card making while waiting to have both knees replaced in 1997. The only craft I had heard of was Parchment Craft. I have dyspraxia which means I have trouble with precision. This was quite the wrong craft for me. Next I tried tea bag folding. I still have a huge interest and love of this craft and run my own group. I wasn’t going to take up stamping as it was too expensive and you needed too much stuff!
Now I am addicted.

What is your favorite technique?
This changes from week to week. I like to experiment with techniques with friends. The messier the technique the better.

What are your favorite colors to work with?
Purple and green.

What are your favorite Asian stamp images?
Sorry there are too many to list.

Favorite stamping accessory? (Such as scissors, etc.)
My craft knife

What is the one tool you couldn’t live without?
My Tim Holtz ruler – so easy to use and in inches!

Any helpful tips for the group?
I don’t feel worthy to be SAM let alone give hints to the talented members of the group. If I must – do please experiment and enjoy doing so. Send out lots of cards and study all the wonderful albums in OSA

As a member of OSA, why do you like stamping in the Oriental theme?
I enjoy the challenge and never ending possibilities the Oriental theme offers.

What favorite stamping magazines would you recommend and why do you like them?
There are a lot of good UK magazines for general card making. I don’t know of any that  specialize in oriental art. Generally I subscribe  to a different magazine each year. For 2014   it is Simply Cards and Papercraft. I pick up other  magazines if I want the freebie.  such as a stamp set or printed papers.

Published in any magazines?  If yes, please list.
My biggest success was in Craft Stamper March 2007 when they featured the Oriental Stamp Art swap I hosted. 15 members of OSA had their swap cards shown in glorious Technicolor with large photographs.

I have had several articles published in the Craft Creations Magazine mostly on teabag folding. I am best known for my first teabag fold called leofold. I have had short stories, puzzles and poems published too.

Any other hobbies, talents or craft interests?
I love reading, card making and walking my dogs.

What inspires you to be creative?
It could be a picture in a magazine, a card received or just an idea that popped into my head at 4 am. If that happens I want to make that card so much that I might well get up and start it in the middle of the night!  A deadline helps to make me finish a card and get it mailed out.

Art background?
None what so ever.

Any favorite websites you would recommend for inspiration?
OSA and members’ blogs.  I am having trouble with my eyes so I tend to choose making a card rather than reading online.

Do you have a day job when you’re not stamping?
I am retired teacher/ librarian.

Tell us about your family and where you live.
My husband and I live in a village and overlook a canal. We used to own a canal boat. . Dave is frail so our life has narrowed and card making helps me to cope . We have a son, a grandson and, of course, two dogs.


Willow Pattern Card

Materials Used:
Sheet of card A4
Smaller sheet 6″ by 3 and 3/4″ of good quality stamping card
Border punch
Distress ink – faded jeans
Scoring board
Post it notes

Fold an A4 sheet of card in half.
•Punch a border on the right-hand side of the card.
•Put this card base aside for now.


•Next you need good quality stamping type card 3 and 3/4″ by 6 “.
•Stamp your main large image. I used distress ink faded jeans and Blue Willow by Kodomo.

•With the short side of the card at the top, score at 1 and 1/4 ” and at 2 and 1/2 “.
•With the long side of the card at the top score at 2″ and at 4”.
•You have made faux tiles.
•You are going to sponge around each tile trying to avoid the scored lines which represent grouting.


•Use the same ink as you stamped with – make a piece of sponge into a ball.
•Cover the scored line with a post it note.
•Tap the sponge on to scrap paper to remove excess ink and work from the Post-it Note to the tiles.


•You can sponge right across the card.

•Starting to sponge the middle of the tiles.
•Check you have gone around each tile and  the sides of the card.14.SAM.Leo.7finishedsponging•Sponging is finished . It is easy to stamp some small images into the empty tiles. (Blue Willow detail by Kodomo.)


•I scored again to deepen the grouting lines and ran a white pencil over the lines to emphasize them.
•Now assemble and embellish the card as you wish.

The sentiment is from Treasure the Moment by Hero Arts.

Here is another Willow Pattern card made with the same technique:


There are many versions of the  Willow Pattern story.

In order to promote sales of Minton’s Willow pattern, various stories were invented based on the elements of the design.  Here is the story as quoted from my Komodo Inc., Blue Willow rubber stamps.

“Long ago in Ancient China, a powerful nobleman lived with his beautiful daughter in a palace surrounded by gardens with fruit trees and a willow tree. The girl had been promised in marriage to another but she fell in love with her father’s clerk – a commoner. The clerk was fired and they were forbidden to see each other. A zigzag fence was built around the estate so he could not enter.  However, one night they escaped across a bridge with the father in pursuit.

They travelled to a distant land. The father sent his men to kill them both.  When the gods saw what was happening, they transformed the couple into a pair of lovebirds.  Often the two fish are seen as symbolic of their unity.”

16 Responses to March 2014: Leo Thompson

  1. Trixiegirl5192 says:

    A huge Congratulations, Leo! I love your beautiful project and the step-by-step tutorial…you always make such beautiful cards! Enjoyed reading your profile and learning more about you…enjoy your month in the limelight as OSA Artist of the Month!

    Warmest Regards,

    Sandra Grimes

  2. Barb I says:

    Congratulations, Leo. You definitely deserve this honor.

  3. Alexis Smith says:

    Congratulations Leo! Your project is fabulous…a great technique!

    Alexis Smith x

  4. Carla vdMS says:

    Congratulations from me tooooo…Leo and enjoy your month of SAM-fame…I for sure did ;o)

  5. Leo says:

    What a boost – thank you for the honour and thank you for the kind comments hugs Leo

  6. Kay Carlson says:

    Congrats to you, Leo – you certainly deserve to be an SAM! Beautiful card – haven’t done this tech before, but your directions are very explanatory and easy to follow!

  7. Barbara R. says:

    Wonderful article Leo. Congratulations to you. It is a great card and your explanation is easy to follow. I truly enjoyed reading about you.

  8. cbsumm says:

    Leo, how wonderful you agreed to be OSA’s March SAM. Congratulations and thanks for showing us this terrific technique and story of the willow pattern. Blue is my favorite color thus the blue willow pattern is also a favorite and your project displays it so well.

  9. Jean Darling says:

    Congratulations to a wonderful lady. What an honor! What an inspiration you’ve been to us. Hugs, Gigi

  10. Lovely card. Congratulations on being SAM.
    Hugs and Smiles.

  11. Dorthy says:

    Lovely card and very clear instructions. Thanks for sharing Leo.

  12. This is so delicate and beautiful. I love this technique! Congratulations on being chosen as SAM, a well deserved honour! Great to read your bio too and get to know you a bit more! Enjoy your month in the limelight!

  13. stamparita says:

    Congratulations Leo:
    Your Blue Willow tile card brings back memories of my Mum’s china.
    Thanks for the great tutorial and enjoy your month as SAM…..
    A credit to you.

  14. Huge Congratulations to a wonderful stamper and friend. Leo, your work always amazes and inspires me.. Great honor to have been chosen as OSA’a March SAM!

  15. Anna says:

    Love the card! And I love Blue Willow!! Where did u find the stamp? I am having trouble finding the stamp on the Internet.

  16. Leo Thompson says:

    Anna I don’t know if it is possible to find these stamps now unless they are second -hand eg of ebay.
    The main image is a wooden stamp by Kodomo Inc called Blue Willow and in the set are two more stamps a plate and birds.3398-011
    Frantic Stamper has some Komodo oriental stamps but not this one. . The sides of the images were see through stamps a set of 10 stamps also by Komodo CS008 Willow Detail
    Good luck hunting. Now I have found them again I shall use them hugs Leo

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