Sunday, 28 June 2015


Well Mojo and Inspiration have settled back in comfortably making a right mess on my desk and gently nudging me in the right direction.

I printed out a load of my photos last weekend, manipulated with filters and quite small.  I want to start making greetings card sized original sized art to either sell in that original state of photo's taken of the art and printed on cards.

Well, this didn't end up greeting card size, more 10x8" than 6x4", hey ho!

The canvas had Grunge Paste smeared over it, wetted in places to make it move, dried, scratched, dried and scratched to get the texture I wanted. Some of the lines of dots you can see were made with a dressmakers wheel. Quite like it, need to try it again in slightly wetter Grunge Paste.

Wanted to keep the background fairly neutral so washes of Chalk and Concrete. 

Glued and ripped some text paper an started adding some stamping (Ellen Vargo PaperArtsy) in Watering Can Archival and some stencilling in Sage and South Pacific.  Another wash of Concrete to soften and merge the stencilling.

I'm still loving scribbling in water colour pencils to add highlights and shade. Dampening the scribbles to spread the colour and soften it.  I used grey, turquoise brown and green over the text, at the edges of it and in the scratches. 

The photograph was stuck to some card to strengthen it, edges distressed and Vintage Photo Distress Ink added.  You can't really tell but it is a sandcastle, trust me it is, I found it on Southwold beach on my solo holiday at Easter just before the tide came in to wash it away.I dot mind that its hard to make out, its the colour and shape that appeals to me - abstract!

I stuck it slightly off centre so I could still see the text paper and then melted some beeswax pearls.  By accident (a happy one as it turned out) it seeped into the text paper to add further distress. Some more pencil lines to frame the picture and white, sage and grey oil pastel added to lift the photo from the background and tone down the very citrus green of the photo.

I have to say I had a lovely morning putting this together and its nice to be paint and paper creative again. 


Sunday, 21 June 2015

They came back!

So those errant elves (Mojo and Inspiration) have returned, they didn't apologise, just smirked at me and wandered off into the craft room giggling.

As a result of their return I've finally made "something" Its taken me a few weeks with all the various elements and other demands like work and garden, but yep, here is some art.

I'd been tidying up and found  a 12x12" sheet of white card that I'd already splodged some brown paint on in thin washes. I then scrunched it up and keep scrunching it up.  The more you scrunch the more the fibres break, the more malleable it becomes. I then direct to paper added Walnut Stain and Vintage Photo Distress Ink and sprayed liberally with water to make the ink run and settle in the cracks in the paper. 

Dried it, more scrunching, more ink, more drying, some Chalk paint in a thin wash and finally some stamping in blue and grey Archival.

I then tore this 12x12" into 2x3" rectangles and distressed the edges. 

The background is a 5x7" rectangle of Kraft card that had Vintage Lace smeared on it.  A dot stamp in grey Archival, followed by the number stamp in grey archival.This was sanded and then a final thin layer of Vintage lace.  At the bottom I glued a scrap of text paper and added some Vintage Photo Distress Ink. Distressed the edges and added some Broken China Distress Ink.

Stapled the original 2x3" into an irregular layered shape and added a thin layer Of Grunge Paste on the central one. When it was partially dry I added some dots with a fine tipped embossing tool to give a pitted look.  Dried off the Grunge Paste and painted  a tiny amount of watered down Toffee paint to give a wash over the white  and some black in the pitted holes and finally stamped one of my favourite mini PaperArtsy stamps in grey Archival. 

A little bit of extra highlights were added with water colour pencils and finally some scribbles with with an standard HB pencil.

It feels good to be back.


Thursday, 14 May 2015

Mr Mojo and Ms Inspiration have gone AWOL

Its no good I've searched everywhere for them, under the bed, in the cupboards,  in the attic, under the stairs, bottom of the garden, they've just gone.

The little devils left no forwarding address, nor have they sent a postcard, email, Tweet or Instagram to say where they are.

Without them I'm a bit stuck on the old creativity front.  So until they return from their jaunt, this blog will be having a "rest"


Thursday, 30 April 2015

Photo on Friday #7

Iconic objects, I reckon this is one that apart from London you don't see very often these days. Not only do you not see red telephone boxes, you rarely see telephone boxes as we all have mobile phones.

But how many of us have memories of loitering as kids in our gang around telephone boxes on street corners? Making sure we'd got 10p's to phone home from town, or phone new boyfriends? Giving directions by telephone boxes (my husband got so confused when they took away the red phonebox on the main road in the village where I grew up as it was where he had to turn right to get to my street). And of course in major cities there would be postcards offering the services of "ladies" I have a feeling if you look closely at this picture there are some of those postcards!.

Nostalgia and memories, sometimes its good to look back.

Friday, 24 April 2015

Photo on Friday #6

Artists, we come from all walks of life and some of us have many artistic outlets.  Dennis Hopper is one such man.. Last year John and I went to see his retrospective exhibition of his photos take in the 60's.  He was certainly part of the "scene" and his gritty urban documentary shots of film sets, his friends, hippy camps, hells angels, the sidewalk and the peace protest movement had me enthralled.

So here is a picture of us and the great man Mr Hopper. 

Don't confine yourself to one artistic medium, try them all, dabble and don't be afraid.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Victorian Curios (Niches PaperArtsy)

Collecting (well apart from stash we never use) has rather gone out of fashion and the Victorians were certainly experts at collecting and displaying all sorts of things. Snowshill Manor in the Cotswold's  is an amazing example of this type of curio collecting.

So inspired by these Victorian collectors (plus I had a box and some polystyrene eggs) I decided to make a egg display case.

Using my favourite PaperArtsy Fresco chalky finish paints, I  painted the box in Irish Coffee and then used a candle to make some resists marks This was followed by French Roast, more candle and finally a mix of French Roast and Chalk to give a lovely soft grey / blue top coat and a great distress finish.

 For the inside niches I painted in Irish Cream and Chalk.  Using a 12x12" sheet of brown tissue paper I created a master board (needed two in the end) stamping lots of Ink and the Dog Victorian college stamps in Coffee Archival. Measured the niches and cut the tissue into appropriate sized bits and started gluing them in, back, top, bottom and sides!

The front edge of the box was painted in Chalk and dry brushed with French Roast, as were the edges to get the distressed look I wanted.

The eggs were painted in layers of Chalk, Irish Cream, Guacamole, Mermaid to get the soft pastel look of eggs.  Finally a I added some French Roast with a splatter stamp to complete the mottled look.

I'm quite pleased, although the polystyrene eggs went a bit dinosaur scaly egg looking when I used the heat gun to dry the paint, but hey I had fun making!



Friday, 17 April 2015

Photo on Friday #5

Victorian railway architecture fascinates me, these lofty architectural palaces dedicated to travel, to  journeys, happiness and sadness, hello's,and goodbyes. So many stories and so much that could have been lost without visionaries such as John Betjeman (a big hero  of mine) to save these cathedrals of brick and iron.

I spend a lot of time when I'm in London on the Euston Road, either coming in at Euston from Northampton (home), going to the British Library or in this case heading towards St Pancras if I've come in from Luton (work).  Euston Road itself is very important in railway history as it marked the edge of the City of London and no main line railway stations were allowed in the City of London in Victorian times.

You wouldn't think it was a railway station would you, it looks like it belongs in St Petersburg or Moscow not London.  All those Gothic spires and arches reaching into the sky.

Who said functional can't be beautiful?