Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Merry Christmas

I made this simple wreath for my front door from a vine wreath purchased from a UK national hobby emporium. I dry brushed some Nougat Fresco on it, sprayed some Dazzling Diamonds Glimmer Mist.

The fir cones were hot glued to string and the tips pained in Nougat.  These were tied to the wreath, a knot of brown raffia added and finally some gorgeous green checked ribbon in a bow.

Simple but oh so me!

Merry Christmas blogger friends.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Have faith

Sometimes you have to trust yourself.

I very nearly painted over this last night to start again.  I felt it had got too "muddy" and that Id over worked it.

I couldn't really see it properly as there was no natural light.  So instead of painting over it,I put it aside and looked at it this morning.

It was ok, it wasn't too muddy, the contrast was there, the depth and texture were there. So I finished it off by adding the fabric panel, clock face and photograph elements all made yesterday.

I started off with an old canvas that had already had stuff on it. gessoed over and then added some ripped Tim Holtz tissue paper in places

On top of this, some scraped on sand texture paste and then some Grunge Paste through the Mini Harlequin stencil.  where I wasn't happy with some of the stencilling I just smooth it over. 

Texture down I started to add colour.  Well I say colour, I only used four paint colours on this: French Roast, Slate, Chocolate Pudding and Snowflake and some of you might say they aren't colours! As my mother said on the phone this morning - Joanna you tend to favour a certain "shade of browns" (you know what I'm saying- slops, slurry, cowpats).

There is some stamping, there is more stencilling with the beautiful mini Rosetta stencil, glimmer mist spraying, dry brushing and Distress Inks and paint splatters. 

The focal point is made up of scraps of fabric, organza and lace stitched together using the gorgeous delicious silks from Patricia Wood at Mulberry Silks. The colour combination Patricia puts together for the mini topics, well they are hard to resist I have to say. The photograph is one of mind I have added filters too, distressed the edges and stapled to a scrap of embossed and inked card. 

For me the creative process is just that, a process, not necessarily the end result, the finished item.  Its the journey through the stages, the complete and utter absorbtion and submersion into thinking about the colour, the texture, the design, the composition.

But I really must try some "colour"


Sunday, 9 November 2014

Ms Muse took a holiday.

Sometimes the creative muse can be a fleeting evasive creature, she flits away, leaves you bereft unable to work out what needs doing, what goes with what, how to make it work.

Well my creative muse certainly went on a sabbatical (she is back I hasten to add, the sabbatical must have done her good because she is raring to go) with this one.

I made the canvas ages ago with the chipboard flowers and Grunge Paste stencilling.  

And I made the scrunched up flowers ages ago using Chatsworth paper (such heavy weight paper takes the water spraying and doesn't fall apart) and PaperArtsy flower dies.

And I knew the two elements were meant to go together, but how?

Loads of paint, layers (the usual suspects: Snowflake, French Roast, Chocolate Pudding, Chutney), water to get drips, dry brushing and TG to accentuate the texture. then putting the scrunchy flowers on in different places. Looking at it, walking away looking at it again shaking my head and repeating the process over and over and over again.

The breakthrough came after I'd made my latest PaperArtsy guest piece of the heart banner.

I had a lot of hearts left and suddenly it started to work.  Just adding those hearts in over the chipboard but under the scrunchy flowers anchored the flowers, gave then a more solid structure to sit on. The wooden fretwork hearts gave another texture and echoed the paper hearts and the Sara Naumann text stamped tissue paper added the final element. 

And why "selected bibliography" as the focal point?  Well a slight nod to my profession (not that I do much of the basics of librarianship anymore, don't ask me to cat and class, actually I could never cat and class - don't ask what it is you don't need to know.) and the fact that we don't always list or reveal our life bibliography, everything that influences us, that impacts on us, we are selective in what we say and what we reveal about who we are and how we feel.

Well there you go, perseverance and patience and just letting the process flow can get results, lets face it I'm a tortoise slow and steady, but I win in the end.


Saturday, 25 October 2014

Soft and raw

So Autumn is setting in here, the days are shorter the early mornings darker, leaves are dropping, unpicked fruit on the plum tree is shrivelling. There is evidence of dying and decay appearing all around us as we begin the move towards winter, a sense of hunkering down, hibernating, seeing out the dark days of winter, waiting for the first signs of spring and the return of light and growth.

As part of that hibernating my crafting tends to change towards fabric and yarn rather than paper.  I currently have a patchwork and quilting lap quilt to finish and two crochet projects on the go, one at home and and one at work (I call this one my art therapy at lunchtime, the rhythmic task of twisting and looping yarn and seeing something grow, achieving something instead of constantly battling questions, deadlines and emails). the plan is to use the stash of yarn in the cupboard, but I could resist purchasing some massive 200g balls of chunky yarn in rich jewel autumn colours to make another blanket!

But I did make this largish canvas last month.

Whilst on holiday in the Isle of Man in late August, John and I escaped and went for a wander round the ruined Peel Castle.  It was a really blustery windy afternoon, grey, cloudy and rainy. Very Gothic.

In one of the guard rooms I found this pigeon wing, which animal had ripped it apart, fox of bird of prey was unknown, but it was beautiful, the softness of the feathers against the rawness of the snapped bones and flesh.

I've manipulated the photo in Pixlr adding filters to change the colour slightly and scratches. Mounted on stiff card, the edges distressed further and sanding on the actual photo to exaggerate the decay.

I wanted the picture to sit in the middle of the canvas with a lot of texture behind it to suggest crumbling decay and fluidity of dripping to suggest "ooze" Lots of texture paste, embossing powders, mica flakes, paint drips and metallic sprays, layer upon layer to build depth and structure.

Really pleased with it and I can see me exploring this theme more with darker backgrounds.


Sunday, 21 September 2014

Fish supper

So I have my art journal out on the table whenever I'm painting, so I can use the excess paint and clean my brush a bit.

Today I've been working on a new piece (A4 size) to go in one of the frames on my stair wall and this page in the journal is the mop up of that piece.

It feels good to use the journal and use up some of the "extras" like the water colour paper and the second ATC.I cut and made just in case I didnt like the first one!

The background is is various PaperArtsy chalk finish blues with some stencilling and stamping with blue shades of Archival Inks.  Walnut Stain Distress Ink added and spritzed with water to give the water marks.

The ATC was made from a scrap of blue card, some book paper with Inky Pool as a first layer and then Blue Ice and Inky Pool as a top layer.  A crackle stamp from Blu Indigo in Watering Can Archival and then the PaperArtsy fish stamp embossed in black.  Distressed the edges and then two layers of clear embossing to get the glass effect.  When it was cold, I created the cracks by bending the card.  

This was stapled to the watercolour paper and before I stuck it down I used a water soluble and ordinary brown pencil to scribble the square.

I think I'm going to enjoy using this journal in this way, quite quick using up scraps as I create bigger pieces. Still not sure whether I'm ready to write personal stuff in it yet though!


Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Linen and Tweed

This has been on my "to do " list for some time.  I love making these fabric wreaths from old wire coat hangers and ripped strips of cloth. It's a bit time consuming but really simple.

I cut the hook of the coat hanger (well John did if I'm honest) formed it into a circle and joined the ends with sellotape.  I then wound tissue tape all over the circle. 

 I cut a load of 5 inches by half an inch strips and just started knotting them on the coat hanger.  This was an old piece of course linen I had,  but I often use old duvet or table cloths from the charity shop. Its usually faded, soft and cheap!

The heart was made from some of the most gorgeous Donegal Tweed fabric from Fabric Affair that I got from the Festival of Quilts. The company is run by a lovely mother and daughter.  I spied then very early on when I arrived at the show but was determined not to spend any money (that didn't last long I can tell you).  I was admiring the gorgeous colours and the texture of the tweed (and linen) and I joked about what a good daughter I was taking my mother out for the day!  Anyway at the end of the day I'd still got some pennies left so I thought blow it and went back minus my mother who was having a sit down.  The lovely owner remembered me and asked what I'd done with my mother. she laughed when I said she gone to have a sit down as I'd exhausted her!

So I bought a bundle of lovely earthy toned tweeds. They are so thick and soft and absolutely gorgeous. They are going to be at the Ally Pally Knitting and Stitching Show and I might have to save my pennies again. 

I stitched the heart with embroidery thread, not too neatly (it's ages since I've done embroidery, I need to practise).  Added a bow of some fine threads of hessian and a button.  The heart is attached with a length of suede ribbon.

All in all a complete texture overload, all in my favourite earthy neutrals!



Friday, 5 September 2014

Dont pulp it, paint it!

So I got back from hols and even though I took some crafting stuff with me, I was really itching to get back in my craft room (it's really the spare room, but it has a few status issues and likes to call itself "the studio") and "make something".

I have quite a few old books in my stash, one of the perks of working in a library, we occasionally withdraw stuff and my colleagues know to give me the nod if any hardbacks are going.  This one is a thin poetry book.

I took the paper book jacket off to  reveal the pale blue linen of the cover.

I started off with Honeydew all over, not solidly as I wanted to build up light layers of colour to give depth. Then mixed Toad Hall and Beach Hut and layered that on.

I used a candle to rub over the covers to act as a revisit and added another layer of the Toad Hall/ Beach Hut with a touch of Mermaid added to move it more to a blue green rather than green blue colour. I used the heat gun to dry this and melt the wax which I then rubbed off to reveal the lower layer. I also sanded it lightly as well in places.

Using the large numbers backgrounds stamp from PaperArtsy I stamped in Cobalt Archival and embossed in a Blueberry Wow embossing powder. I then added a layer of gold leaf in the middle of the book. YOu cant see a lot of it, but it just pops through here and there for another layer of texture.

I dry brushed Honeydew, Claret and French Roast around the edges as well to add to that grungy, shabby decayed look.

Over this I did add a stamped image of the winged lady from the PaperArtsy Letters L3 plate and then added a layer of Crackle Accent and left that to dry.

Umm, that didn't work to well as it completely covered the stamping, but gave some good raised crackle texture.  So I played around with this, sanding it, picking at it, spraying with inks, metallic glaze and finally French Roast Fresco and Treasure Gold. It looked OK but still needed something in the middle.

Hunted around in the stash and found some leather and felt. I sewed one layer of felt to the other, stuck the leather on top of this and painted a chipboard heart and added some Frantage embossing powder in wine (if you click on the photo you can enlarge it and see the detail)

The back was done in a similar way in terms of the paint layers and stamping, but nothing else added.

So what shall I do with it? Well I think it will eventually become an art journal, but what I'll do is keep it on the work desk and when I'm painting and I have excess paint I'll just paint a page, just like I've done here!


Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Ellen Vargo New PaperArtsy stamps

Well hello everyone from a very sunny Isle of Man where we are watching the road racing and thanks to technology I can send this post stood in the middle of the street!

Boy oh boy, I was really pleased to be asked to try out the new Ellen Vargo stamps released this week. I decided I'd use a really neutral palette as I know how much Ellen loves her "brights" and I thought it would be a good contrast to showcase the versatility of these stamps.


Chocolate Line Flowers
I started out with the flowers. As soon as I saw the stamps (EV09) I knew they'd make the most gorgeous 3D flowers.  Starting with a sheet of green based Chatsworth paper I brayered Cheesecake and then Vanilla Fresco paint to create a background.  

I then stamped the petals (I put the six patterned petals on one block, it made it so much easier to stamp) in Tree Branch Archival ink all over the paper.  I cut these out and edged them in Walnut Stain Distress Ink. I gently rolled the petals to give them a curve, some down and some up!

On a spare piece of card I stamped the circles and cut those out.  Using a hot glue gun I stuck six petals per circle and then layered up four circles.  Whilst these set I covered some thick wire in ribbon securing each end with the hot glue gun.  At one end I created a flat spiral so that I could attach it to the underside of the flower.  In the centre of the flower I added a green felt ball.

Because the Chatsworth paper is such a heavy weight it curls really nicely and holds its shape, I was able to curl the petals again to get a really 3D shape t them.  I think they look like echinacea (cone flowers) flowers, so you might see some purple ones soon!

 Concertina Book

Next up I thought I'd use the small stamps (EV08) to create a mood board that I could use to make a concertina book.  Again using Chatsworth paper and Cheesecake and Vanilla Fresco paints I created a soft creamy background.  I then misted some snowflake and Metallic glaze with water in a spray bottle and sprayed this over the paper.  The mixture was quite thin and sat on the paper, so I lifted it up and let it drip vertically and horizontally.  It's quite subtle (you cant see it very well) but I think it looks like snail trails!

Using the small arch line stamp I stamped all over the card with Honeydew Fresco paint , again very subtle but its a another layer of texture.  Finally I stamped the rounded cross in Pebble Adirondack ink in places across the card and the small oblong in Oregano Adirondack ink. All very subtle and toned.

I cut the paper in half to create three oblongs 12x4" and folded each of these at the 4" mark to make three concertina's.  I glued these together to make one long strip and and glued the front and back pages together to make them a bit heavier. I used a couple of Lin Brown flower text stamps for the front and back covers.

Finally I added some of my black and white flower photos and black and white flower image transfers. The soft creamy, greeny paints and greyish stamping really act as a great background for the images.  


Copper Wall Tile

Finally I decided to make a stamped flower tile using Grunge Paste and the oval and circle stamps from the small stamp set (EV08).  

I painted a 6x6" chipboard square with a couple of layers Slate from JoFY's new limited edition paints.  A layer of crackle glaze on top of this and then   a mixture of Elephant and Snowflake fresco paint to get some subtle crackles.  

The remainder of the Elephant / Snowflake paint was mixed with Grunge Paste and spread over the centre of the tile.  Starting with the small circle I spritzed it with water and gentle stamped in the the Grunge paste.  Then using the oval I did the same thing to make the petals.  I left this to dry.

Once dry I lightly dry brushed Slate fresco paint over the petals followed by Spanish Topaz Treasure Gold to highlight the indentations of the stamping. I also went round the edge of the tile in Spanish Topaz to frame the tile.  I love how the Treasure Gold bleeds into some the cracks.

I've really enjoyed playing with Ellen's new stamps, the possibilities are endless for creating textured backgrounds.  If you get a chance do give them a go. You'll find the stamps in the PaperArtsy shop or at your favourite PaperArtsy retailer. And of course check out the PaperArtsy blog to see how Ellen used her stamps with some really bright colours!


Sunday, 17 August 2014

Using up those scraps

So, I had a big tidy up last weekend in the craft room,  there was stuff EVERYWHERE and frankly I hate having stuff everywhere on every surface whether its on my desk at work, the kitchen, the dining room or my craft room.  I find I can think clearly and feel overwhelmed if there is stuff everywhere (stuff everywhere get me down - can you tell!)

So I chucked out some stuff, re-arranged some stuff in the wardrobes in my craft room and put a lot of stuff away in this wardrobes (I just need to remember where I've put everything now).

But I still hoard "bits of paper" you know what I mean , those small (tiny slivers I can chuck) bits that just might be useful.  I have a whole box of plastic food bags (thank you IKEA)  that contain coloured themed cut into sheets of 12x12 papers all ready for a "project".

Except I get new 12x12's out and use those instead on the next project.

So I had an idea, not an original idea but a good idea on how to use those scraps.  ATC's. Lots and lots of ATCs using up all those bits and quick enough (ummm that bit might not be true in reality, but I try) to get a a crafty fix in my full throttle life.

But then what would I do with all the ATCS, just have them lying around making more stuff lying about everywhere????

What to put them in?  A BOOK of course, I could make a book with some of the scraps and use even more stuff.

So that's what a I did.

I had a load of long thin envelopes bought in a sale that I'd never used because I don't really make cards anymore.  But folded in half they were just the right size to have an ATC stuck on them.

I'd bought some JoFy stamps ages ago and hadn't really used them (I struggle with painting in the lines if I'm honest, more of a slap it on grungy shabby kinda girl). So took some Chatwsworth card (I just love the weight of this card, so strong) and painted in a dark grey as a base layer. Crackle Glaze and then Chalk over that.  I wanted a shabby seaside look on the cover so used the Vaseline technique to act as a resist for some blue and red streaks. 

Stamped in Black Archival and carefully coloured in with water colour pencils. 

I lined the inside with a piece of that scrap.

I looked up the tutorial on 5 hole pamphlet binding and bound the folded envelopes tot he cover with some strong thin twine.

Two big brads to act as closures and it was done.

So far Ive made two ATC's as you can see.  I painted the "page" and added a background stamp and then stuck the ATC in.

There are still loads of scraps and envelopes to be used.  But I reckon Ive found a solution.


Saturday, 2 August 2014

Peeled Paint Delight

A technique to that gives me a shabby, distressed grungy look?  YES PLEASE!

I had to try Liesbeth Fidder's peeled paint technique showcased on the PaperArtsy blog this week and I knew exactly the photo I'd use as well (well to be honest I have a whole series of rusty metal hinges, locks and peeled paint ones taken at Southwold, it was just a matter of choosing which one would work).

I started with a 12x12" sheet of Tim Holtz paper cut down to 11x11" to fit in my scrapbook and then proceeded to cover it in a mix of Very Berry and Blood Orange (it originally a pink piece of paper).  Next I used a whole range of Ellen Vargo Eclectica stamps in Maroon and Sienna Archival inks to go all over the paint.  Very subtle and hardly seen in the finished article, but they just pop through in places..

Next a few layers of  watered down Irish Cream to add depth and a very light layer of colour, it also knocks back the pinkness of the base colour and stamping. I then stamped some of my favourite PaperArtsy Words and Ephemera stamps in Black Archival.  I was going for the faded wall advertising you see on the sides of buildings (I tend to photograph that when I see it as well!

Finally the Vaseline!
I smeared in places over the black stamping and added a layer of Nougat.  When that had done its magic (see Liebeths post for the full technique) I added a bit more Vaseline over the Nougat and added Mocha Mousse.  For both the top layers I varied the amount of paint I dded so that in some places you could still see the brush strokes.

Chicken wire stencil in Elephant and crackle stamp in Watering Can Archival in places to add more layers.  Distressed and sanded the the edges and added Walnut Stain and Vintage Photo Distress Ink with water spritzing 

The photo was distressed and scratched and Vintage Photo Distress Ink added. I then stamped and cut out a lot of label stamps from the PaperArtsy range.  These I scrunched up and added Distress Ink to the edges and the folds to add further shabbiness. Layered all this up with two tags and before adding the photo I flicked watered down Snowflake and Chocolate Pudding.

Really happy with this.

Right today will be would you believe stripping and peeling wallpaper off the walls at my mums new house.  She's downsized and the bungalow is stuck in a 70s time warp of yellow, oranges and browns.  Very retro as I keep telling her but hard on the eyes!


Saturday, 26 July 2014

Bird man!

So I was working on this straight after finishing bird shed as the two are linked.  As I said not only was the shed to store the bird feed but it's also a bird hide so that husband can get closer to the birds and record his weekly count for the British Ornithology Society Garden BirdWatch.  He does this every Sunday morning usually with the help of one of the cats who likes to come into the shed with him!

Husband isn't usually this Grizzly Adams like, but he was acting in Victorian thriller and needed to have mutton chop whiskers.  I hate it when he grows a beard, so was really happy when if came off and I got my less hairy but a bit of 5oclock shadow is quite sexy husband back!

Same size (11x11") and pretty much the same colour scheme and elements (they were all out the desk, so my not use them up!) I've added in some red with the fabric and Distress Ink to pick up the red of husbands bobble hat.  Really rather like the white splatters which echo the grungy stencilled circles which echo the Grunge Paste stencilling!

Right it might be time to move away from the green colour scheme. 


Thursday, 24 July 2014

Bird Shed

So my husband is a bit of a bird man, not the human kind I hasten to add, no the feathered variety. We have some many bird feeders in our garden that we have to have a huge (and I mean huge) delivery of bird food stuff virtually every month.  In fact it's so much that it was decided it needed its own shed that could also double as a bird hide for my very own Bill Oddie!

Homework was done and a suitable shed identified, purchased and delivered. and one weekend husband and brother put it up.  I kept well out of the way as I knew there would be a clash of egos (no, you should do it like this, no it should go like that - you know what I mean) and I figured my input would only antagonise not soothe the situation,

So now we are the proud owners of a bird shed and as you can see its fairly well hid under the plum tree so makes an excellent bird hide.

It makes him very happy and that makes me happy!

The background 12x12" card had plenty of texture added with a thin layer of PaperArtsy Grunge Paste mixed with Guacamole Fresco paint, whilst it was still wet I gently pushed a piece of hessian into it to give more texture (you can see that hessian under the photo).  More green PaperArtsy Fresco paints were added along with Glimmer Mists.

Stencilling with Hyde Park Fresco paint and stamping with Ink & the Dog Mini 59 in Green Fern Archival Ink. Lots of distressing and sanding and Walnut Ink and Peeled Paint Distress Inks to highlight the distressing and sanding on the edges.

The embellishments are as you can see are lots of fabric, tags, book text paper, chipboard, staples and the lovely little mini bird from Hot Picks 1103. I used the the small songbird die to cut the shape before stamping. 

The photo is of husband and bro adding the roof and if you look carefully you can see some finger pointing from my bro!   

The photo had filters and layers added in Pixlr and I really sanded it around the around the edges. I added some Walnut Stain Distress Ink and spritzed with water, but because its a home printed photo the inks ran when I wiped the edges with a baby wipe!  I thought "oh %$$^&*!, but actually I think it looks OK with the smudging.  

Bit like an old 1970's Polaroid picture that's faded and got crumpled in the back of the drawer and squint at it because you can't quite make out what it is but you can vaguely remember it being taken and going "oh yes that was the weekend we put the bird shed up, do you remember ?"


Saturday, 19 July 2014

Peeling Wallpaper

Well i was supposed to be tidying the craft room and perhaps finishing some started projects. I didn't though because I made this from scratch instead (and possibly made some more mess).

Whilst moving the piles of paper and card and canvases and photos that are in a pile on the floor I found a square piece of cartridge paper that had a little bit I think of Blush PaperArtsy fresco paint on it.

I love distressed old decaying stuff whether that be rusty metal, peeling paint, weathered wood or peeling wallpaper, faded flowers. Even possibly bones, but I draw the line at decaying food though. 

So, lets see if we could replicate some peeling wallpaper.

I added some Sherbet and then some Nougat through a stencil (small squares) and finally some Sage through another stencil (flowers). Base layer done.

Next I smeared some Matt Medium over the paper and stuck down a couple of pages from my old trusty Thesaurus (best £5 I ever spent), let it dry for a bit and then started ripping it away. a finger nail really helps to get a little bit and then rip - just like peeling wallpaper! 

Now some sanding.  I'm quite brutal with my sanding as I want to take layers off to reveal the paint layers and the base layer of cartridge paper.  I also had a real go at the edges as well.  A thin layer of Snowflake was added with a babywipe over the text and then Vintage Photo and Walnut Stain Distress Ink.  Spraying it with water helps it to really sink into the base layer of paper and add that depth of decay.

By now I'd thought about what I was going to do with this creation.  It needed a photo and it needed some backing Kraft card as it was going in one of picture frames that I have going up the stairs.  I have a number of picture frames with large A4 prints of my flower photos and I'd been thinking for a while I needed to change the photos.  

The Kraft card has some Snowflake paint wiped on with a babywipe.  Some heavy sanding again to rough up the texture of the card. Vintage Photo and Walnut Stain Distress Inks added and some text from PaperArtsy Sara Naumann plate 5  added in the Distress Inks again.

The Photo is one of mine. I distressed the edges and the corners with the Prima Distressing tool (I love this tool). Added Walnut Stain Distress Ink to the edges and used the babywipe that still had some of the Snowflake paint on it to soften the image and make it a bit opaque, but I wiped away over the pinkest flower head to give a focal point and draw the eye in.

Some file tabs, dyed lace, more Sara Naumann stamps and of course stitching to finish it off. 

Ok, off to check the cricket score and possibly move the pile of stuff in the craft room into another slightly different pile of stuff! That's tidying isn't it?


Sunday, 6 July 2014

Variation on a theme

Sometimes you feel on a roll, you've got so many ideas on how you want to incorporate different techniques and designs with the same elements and colours.  You can t put it all on one piece so you create another one (and possibly another one) the same but slightly different.  You like one element of the first piece so much, you want to use it again and gain but with slight difference.

This is an example of that excitement "I want to make another one, but this time ...."

Its the same photo as A study in white, but this time I used sand texture paste again, but also book text, mulberry bark and silk as the textures.  Oh and its in a frame.

This is destined for the hoped for Etsy shop, I figure I'll make a small number of pieces and then set up the shop- gosh what a new adventure!

Right off to Hollowell Steam and Heavy Horses Rally today with my bro.  Opportunities for more photos of mechanical things and horses and possibly donkeys.  There will probably be a tool stand as well that might have some rusty old tat (fingers crossed) as my Dad would say.


Saturday, 5 July 2014

A study in white, but not pure white!

So the challenge from Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge team was white. Well that appealed to me as I love working in monotone.

I started with a sheet of 12x12" white textured card, which I painted in SnowFlake Fresco and then sprayed with Slate and Sage Glimmer Mists.  This made it grey, so I added brayered layers of white gesso over that to bring it back to a dirty white!

I then added sand texture paste on the bottom half, really roughly making sure there were lines running through it to add more texture.  Once this was dry I painted in Elephant and Concrete Fresco paint.  Some think heavy lines of gesso, a crackle stamp in Watering Can Archival and Elephant through a flower stencil.

It sat like this for a couple of days, whilst I thought about how I wanted to finish it off.

I'd chosen a photo, a colour one and rummaged in the stash and found chipboard flowers, Prima flowers lace, ribbon, trims, buttons and embossed white card. I kept moving things around deciding whether I liked the layout.

Last night I added some new lens and film to my Hipstamatic app that gives a tinotype effect and this morning in the rain I took some shots of the garden and there it was the proper photo I should be using of the white buddleia.

I furthered sanded the photo to distress it and then started sticking and stitching.    

I'm pleased and the husband likes it as well.


Sunday, 29 June 2014

My photography, my art

This morning I was doing my usual wandering around the garden early morning taking pictures on my phone. We have a large rose bush that every year gets smothered in roses, a soft apricot that fades to cream and sometimes has a pink tinge to it.  I love it from its tight buds to full blown petals falling decay.

So this was one of the shots I took this morning, I then put it through Pixlr to add filters, overlays and other effects.  I printed out various sizes on photographic paper on the home printer. I'd been working on an 11x11" background in pale pinks, neutrals and browns that I wanted to use a rose print on, but this smaller size just kept calling as the large 11x11" page was drying.

I started with the frame which was a cheap plastic metal effect one I bought on impulse and has been languishing in the "stuff to alter" box.  I carefully took the glass out (well I had to smash it to get it out to be honest) and gave it light sand and then sponged on Fresco paints in Mud Splat, then Taupe and finally Vintage Lace mixed with the Taupe left on the craft mat.

 On a page of old book text and added some light washes of Taupe and Vintage Lace and a light spray of Pearl Glimmer Mist. This got glued to a 6x4" piece of toning Tim Holtz paper.  I just put glue on the paper (not all over) and stick the text on, leave it to dry for about 5 minutes and then rip away the excess unglued text to give that raggedy look.  Sanded and scuffed this to further add to the decay look.  I lightly tickled the edges of the text and the Tim Holtz paper with Vintage Photo Distress Ink. 

Stamped one of all my all time favourite PaperArtsy text stamps with Sepia Archival Ink.  Finally added some gold flake over the text and under where the photo would go.

I attached the photo to some spare card, distressed the edge and inked with Black Soot Distress Ink.  I then added Fresco Finish Gloss Glaze on top, this streaked the ink from the printed photo, it can be a slight panic when this happens if you aren't expecting it, the key is to only brush once over the image so you don't get all the ink splodging together.  I really like the effect, it adds another layer of shabby grungy. The photo was glued to a peice of cork table mat, I use this a lot to raise up elements of my art work as it gives a solid but light base that makes the element look as though its floating.

Finally Renaissance Treasure Gold was added to edge of the frame and the Tim Holtz paper. 

As I said really pleased with this and as I have a couple of other frames I think I might make some more and finally might take the plunge and create my Etsy shop to sell my art.


Saturday, 21 June 2014

Shabby poppy

Ive enjoyed looking at Jenny Nuttall's fabric inspired pieces oer on the PaperArtsy blog this week especially the Fabric Hanging.  You know me, any opportunity to play with fabric in my art I'm happy!.

Well this is my version.  

I kept pretty much to Penny's description in terms of fabric, stencilling and stitching, but veered off track quite quickly by adding Grunge Paste (GP) and text paper to my linen top layer.

I also used a very neutral palette of colours compared t Penny's brights (comfort zone).

First, Nougat over the GP and text as a base for the stencilling and to knock back the text.  Mocha Mousse was the first layer over the JOFY poppyheads stencil. Over this I added a mixture of Nougat and Chutney to soften the the Mocha.  When it was dry I rubbed back a bit of the lighter layer to reveal the Mocha at the base. 

Little bits of texture stamping using Tree Branch and Fern Archival in the corners and some Glimmer Mist in Marshmallow all over and Cinnamon on the corners.  

I further defined the poppyheads using a soft brown water colour pencil and stamped the Sara Naumann quote in Potting Shed. 

Various eyelets, jump rings and pins to make the hanging bit and some wire wrapped around a bit of driftwood stained with Alcohol inks.

So thanks Penny for the inspiration.



Sunday, 15 June 2014

My Dad

Today is Father's Day here in the UK (and I understand in other places around the world as well).  My Dad died a few years back and yes I miss the old devil everyday.

The "memory bit"

My Dad loved me very much, even if he did say to the midwife when she showed him me in my cot in the hospital, can I have that one instead. I was his first born and his only daughter and I was a tomboy, never a girly girl and he expected me to stand on my own two feet and not expect anyone else to do things for me (which means I find it really hard to accept help and people being kind today).

My Dad used to write me long letters when I was at Uni that he wrote over a number of days in the most beautiful copperplate handwriting learnt at the same primary school I went too. He'd tell me what was going on at home, what my brothers were doing, which cats were sat with him, what they'd all had for tea and what did I think to the Archers storyline this week.  

My Dad would come and pick me up from Uni early on a Saturday morning whenever I wanted to come home (I only got badly drunk on a Friday once, trying to pack suitcases on a Saturday morning with a hangover wasn't good).  We'd have to stop at the tool shop just outside Wolverhampton (where I went to Uni or Polytechnic as it was then) so he could buy another drill or socket set, he didn't need them, but tools were goodies, shiny new things to play with (umm sounds familiar, just swap tools for stamps)

My Dad used to laugh hysterically at the London Marathon every year when they used to show the poor souls who'd hit the wall and we're falling over and staggering along, he knew it was bad but he just couldn't help it.

My Dad a shy man who made a speech at my wedding in front of everyone and became every ones best friend and a disco king at the evening reception.   It took my Mum 30 minutes to walk him home from the Village Hall reception (its a 5 minutes walk max) because he walked into the hedge three times and fell off the kerb twice. He was desperate to phone me when he got in, Mum wouldn't let him and he never remembered what he wanted to say. 

My Dad was the first person I heard swear, the man that introduced me to photography, the man who'd be tutting at the state of my wheels on my car (get that brake dust washed off), the man who helped us make our vegetable garden, the man that introduced me to sitting in the living room with the curtains shut watching the cricket, the man who would wait patiently for the Grand Prix on a Sunday and then fall asleep withing the first 10 minutes, the man who would tell us to be quiet so he could watch the weather (a habit I've now developed), the man who played wrestling with me and my brothers every Saturday afternoon in the living room and nearly cracked his head open on the hearth when we'd all pinned him down to submit in Big Daddy style.

There are so many memories that I shared with my Dad, but this photo is his memory, his time doing National Service in the late 50's first in Honiton on basic training and then in Germany in REME, before he got married, before he thought about kids. A young man in the big wide world, who apparently went AWOL after missing the ferry in Harwich, refused his Sargent's strips, laughed on parade and wrote the best ever accident report his commanding officer had ever seen (even if he did drive a metal spike into a German road in order to tow a truck out of a turnip field in front of a busload of German housewives).

My Dad xx

The "art bit"

I stuck a load of scrap Kraft card that I'd embossed in folders on another piece of patterned Kraft card. A layer of Taupe Fresco paint, then Crackle Glaze and then a top layer of a pale grey Eco paint. 

Distress Inks on top of this in various Browns to catch the embossing and Glimmer mists in brown lightly misted on.  I also added a few drops of a Slate Glimmer mist to add contrast and pick up the black and white of the photo.

Stamped the clocks in Potting Shed Archival 

The photo is a photocopy that I glued on a page of text and then added layers of Fresco Matte Glaze to seal it. A thin wash of the pale gray to obscure the text top left and bottom.

This was stitched onto a piece of linen.  

Added pencil lines around  the photo and the Dad or Daddy definition.  Finally a layer of beeswax added all over and then Pebble alcohol ink in the corners. 

A spare piece of embossed card under the linen and a tag with various PaperArtsy word stamps.