Friday, 2 December 2016

Winter Magic

Our lovely Deb has chosen this very apt theme for our December challenge over at AVJ.
For us in the northern hemisphere December brings the start of winter and for many that means freezing cold weather and Christmas. But winter is so much more than that and so we ask, how would you interpret the magic of winter? Snow, icicles, colours of blue, silver and white, the festivities of Christmas, misty winter landscapes; show us what your magical focus is for the season and in a vintage; shabby; mixed-media; art journaling; industrial, timeworn or steampunk style.


I have used one of the frame boards I designed for Tando Creative and used for my Ministry of Mixology project a couple of weeks ago. I had already made the cute house back in the summer when we were making beach huts for a Country View Crafts workshop and the initial idea was to utilise it as a shepherds hut out in the wilderness on a cold and frosty night which reminded me of Christmas carols and songs (Good King Wenceslas, past three o'clock and a cold and frosty morning, here we go round the mulberry bush and more), but as the project progressed you can see it changed and became Santa's Store shed.

I collected together chipboards and painted the trees and deer all white with gesso. The star I painted gold and the gate raw umber to start with.


For the background I used a technique I have used before which you can find here ....  and scraped titan buff, light grey, sap green and transparent yellow iron oxide, then brayered quinacridone magenta and titanium white and cadmium red with titanium white, splattered prussian blue, sap green, raw umber before brayering white gesso randomly which created a white misty/snowy landscape feel to it.


I stamped some trees using sap green and paynes grey to improve the effect of the landscape and provide more depth and perspective.


The fence was painted with raw umber and then white gesso and snowtex added to it.


The trees were give watery washes of different greens using sap green, paynes grey, yellow iron oxide and viridian with snowtex added to the edges and patted over with a palette knife.


I found a photo on Google of a deer and painted him using raw umber, transparent yellow iron oxide, burnt umber and titan buff and added some snowtex to him too.


The cones were given some snowtex texture .....


.... and I found a 'beach hut' from the summer workshop left over and decided to use it as a hut in the forest.



I used grey board to create the roof with layers of santex, media acrylic paints and gesso and I used a mini saw to cut off the stand at the bottom.


Now time to assemble and I had shared this tip the workshop groups at Ministry of Mixology as how to get an even spread with the four frame panels. Clip them on dry and when you are happy with the placement take each piece off individually, use decou-page to glue it and repeat with all four sides. Leave the clips on until the glue has adhered and dried.


So here are a few photos of the finished frame.
The deer waiting at the fence .......


.... star shining in the sky (this shape made me think about the shepherds out on the hilltops) .....


.... and Santa's Store hidden in the forest amongst all the trees.


I love winter when it's dry, cold and frosty  and coupled with Christmas, it's my favourite time of the year.


Have a great weekend and if you missed my mosaic Christmas easel card yesterday scroll down or you can find it here.

Thanks for stopping by and thank you to everyone who has been leaving me comments for the past couple of weeks. I haven't got to blogland much lately, Ministry of Mixology and Centre Parcs last weekend with the family have kept me busy but I promise to be better this coming week.

Have a great weekend.

hugs Brenda xxx

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Christmas Magic vintage style

It's the new challenge for December at Country View Challenges and we end the year with the season that many of us love best - "Christmas". Well I do anyway. The Brown household celebrates in style with family gatherings Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing day, we just love the family atmosphere of being together at this special time of year. 


To get us started on the challenge I have made a mosaic easel card with a special person in mind to receive it, but I'm not gonna spoil the surprise by saying who it is.


I made one of these for Tim's June remix tag - which you can fine here and did this design as a project for a workshop recently. I didn't get mine finished and used a few different embellishments by the time I came to complete it but I love how it turned out.


Using Tim's mosaic die and his techniques this came together quite quickly.


All the little pieces are from my Christmas craft tub except for the pen nib which was just the perfect size for the recess I added it to.


I used this card for a workshop last week, the ladies had great fun making it up and using their embellishments to decorate it. I always love it at the end when you see the similarities and differences in their designs. Choosing different colours and stamps can create very different designs.





I hope you will be joining us at Country View Challenges for the last challenge of the year and with the title Christmas I'm sure you're all good to go.



The first Sunday of advent was last weekend, we were celebrating the start of our Christmas celebrations at Center Parcs Winter Wonderland, it was a very happy, magical time.


 It is now the time for the preparations to begin and I have already been buying presents, decorations and cards but it is also a time for reflection remembering the year past and not forgetting the real meaning of Christmas. A time for for love, a time to help others and a time to share what we have and feel blessed.

“At this Christmas when Christ comes, will He find a warm heart? Mark the season of Advent by loving and serving the others with God's own love and concern.” 

take care

hugs Brenda xxx

Friday, 25 November 2016

Ministry of Mixology round up 1 The projects

Well I promised I would be back with photos and info from the Ministry of Mixology retreat weekend in Coventry.

All I can say is it was a blast, I had the most amazing time amongst 80+ incredible people who were all excited and happy to be there, who were extremely kind, helpful and positive about the projects and experience and we had FUN.

I have quite a few photos so I thought I would share them in batches and today I start with my frame that I called -
Inspire Me Vintage

This is my one


I loved designing the frame and deciding on the techniques and feel so blessed with all the amazing comments I received from the delegates at the retreat.

These are just a few of some of the delegates ones I managed to capture at the end of the Sunday session although there have been quite a few more shared on face Book.












As you can see quite a few people brought photos of their own to use which made their frames so much more personal to themselves.
If you scroll back again and look for the photo of the single male gentleman, does he look familiar???


I had great fun using a new app on my ipad and merging the faces of one of my cabinet cards with the face of a rather well known person at Mixology - yes none other than Andy himself. I gave him this version to keep.

Thanks for stopping by, I will share some more of the fun ones and the media boards made at my Make and Take session soon.

Have a wonderful weekend whatever you have planned.

hugs Brenda xxx



Monday, 21 November 2016

Artsy Christmas card

I really wanted to create a textured background over patterned paper and although this didn't finish quite how I imagined it would I still like the finished result.


I began with some Christmas patterned craft paper (bought from Hobby Craft) .....


.... and began altering it by dipping and drying it using watery gesso.


Next I added white texture paste through Tim's Holiday Script stencil and let dry.


Next I scraped white gesso over the stencilling and watched the letters and words appear, still leaving some interest in the background.

(When the background was fully dry I was intending to lay down some watery washes, let them drip and merge a little and then splatter with titanium white media acrylic paint. But I loved it just like this so decided to leave it alone - that's unusual for me!!!!)

I had found some bought and ready made Christmas ornaments which are ultra glittery, in fact too glittery for what I wanted so I finger washed over a very thin layer of watery gesso which now gives them a chalky bloom, much more in keeping with what was in my head. You can see the difference between them on the two sets below.


I die cut some holiday greens in white card and inked them with ground espresso, stamped and cut out the sentiment using both coffee and black archival ink and gathered some winter berries  to add to the mix.


A mount, a star and bows finished off the layering nicely.








Again I made two of my design, I need to get a lot more finished and in the box before I need to send them out..


Well it's Monday, this is a scheduled post and Mixology will be over. I'll be back soon to let you know how it went.

Have a great week.

hugs Brenda xxx