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.



Sunday, 8 June 2014

The day we beat TIgers

Passions, emotions, they run deep in many things and in our house and that includes rugby.

This is a long post, so if you are only interested in the how I made, then scroll down to where it says the arty bit.  Otherwise get a coffee of beverage of choice and have a read.
We are season ticket holders for Northampton Saints, so most Saturday afternoons (and Friday nights and Sunday afternoon depending on what TV wants to show) we can be found in our green gold and black high up in the South Stand groaning and cheering depending on whats going on down on the pitch.

And this night was cheering, lots of cheering, so much cheering and shouting that I ended up with no voice and tears streaming down my face at full time.

You see for a number of years Northampton Saints have consistently been in the top four, but have been the almost's, not quite getting to the top and winning the European Cup, LV Cup or the Premiership.  But this year right from the off it felt different, it felt right, it felt positive and strong and we would do it rather than could do it.

We had some blips of previous behaviour of not believing (we don't talk about Leinster at home only Leinster away) and then it came down to who would we play in the playoffs. Prayed for Quins, groaned when it was Leicester Tigers again. 

Tigers our bogey team, Tigers who've been in the last nine Premiership finals, Tigers who are clinical to the end and know how to get a win. Rivalry and foes they may be but I respect their focus, that commitment to see it through to the end, never give up, always believe, pick and drive, pick and drive.

16th May, a Friday night and the fortress (we have a lot of fans and the atmosphere is always loud and an be quite intimidating to away teams) that is Franklin's Gardens was buzzing, It might as well have been the final, so much riding on getting a win. We'd won the previous week with a massive score against Wasps, coming from behind and seeing it through to the end.  Could we do it again against the Tigers, the mighty, mighty winning Tigers?

We did, and we did it again coming from behind and winning in the final moments. I have never seen so many hulking great men, jumping up and down, screaming, shouting, hugging and crying. 12,000 jubilant fans make a lot of noise I can tell you.
So there you go the day we beat Tigers, the game that meant we were in the final at Twickenham (and that game is a whole other story), the game that gave us belief we could win the Amblin (we did), the game that meant that 30,000 people cheered in Northampton on Sunday 1st June to see a rugby team with a long history, parade with not one but two pieces of silverware.

The arty bit.

So for my arty followers who've ploughed through the description (well done) this is how I made this scrapbooking page.

Green card stock as a base, with varous green PaperArtsy fresci paints scraped on top.  I used a numbers stencil in a a pale green on the right hand side, not too in your face, ncie and subtle to add texture.

Using a palette knife I put Gunge Paste through  a chicken wire stencil and when it ws dry dabbed Zesty Zing added through the stencil to hightlight the trexture and a contrast colour.

The lovely PaperArtsy metal arch was stamped and embossed to resemble the fortress that is Franklins Gardens. I also used this PaperArtsy rugby players stamp on card as an accent under the photo's and above the banner which I cut from yellow card and edged in Distress Ink so it popped off the page. 

I added lots of fabric, paper strips and stitching to add to the layers and texture. Distress Ink added and water spritzed on top of it to give that water stain look. A tag with the title added top right to balance the compostion.

The photos were distressed with sandpaper to remove some of the ink and matted onto paper, the edges were distressed and edged in Distress Ink to frame them and lift them off the layering underneath.

And why these pictures? 

Well beause it was the last home game of the season, everyone was able to get on the pitch and practive kicking at goal, generally messing around, intimadating the TV crew by singing really loudly (oh when the Saints ...), waiting for the players to come out and and congratulate them (they looked knackered I have to say) and get your photo taken with your favourites soaking up the atmoshpere, not wanting to leave and break the magic of being there the day we beat the Tigers.