Monday, 30 March 2020

A crafty day with friends.

What is better whilst we are in self isolation and, for us, a complete lock down, than to craft with the added bonus of doing it in the company of two lovely friends. No we didn't meet up in one of our houses or rent a room somewhere, in this amazing digital age we can connect over the internet and enjoy each others company on a Skype Day.  Five hours of nonstop crafting with fun and laughter, chats to catch up and some silent concentration as we focused on our projects in front of us.
I ended up very happy with the outcome.

We didn't make any plans ahead of the session, although that morning I decided to use a large mdf board (40x30 cms) and I looked at my Pinterest colour palette board to choose the paints I would work with.

From there, and our collaborative style of making the session work, we began.

Process Steps
1. Seal the substrate - I used a coat of tinting base.
2. Alison - Use tissue paper and/or tissue tape.
I used some of Tim's typography collage paper.

3. Nikki - Use a stencil for some texture.
DecoArt make a fabulou large baroque pattern that I used with modeling paste.

4. Brenda - Add some text/number stamping in any gaps.
I took a couple of small stamps to use with black archival ink.

5. Alison - Add more than one colour paint in any way you'd like to.
I used heirloom, lace and primitive chalky finish paints by dabbling and spritzing, then I blended chestnut, restore, everlasting and cherish to add more brighter and darker tones.

6. Nikki - use something to create a resist.
I randomly rubbed Andy's resist paste over different areas.
7. Brenda - use a colour medium to reveal your resist areas.
I went back to the everlasting chalk paint mixed with oddments of colours left over and brayered through, dried and rubbed back to reveal some of the darker elements beneath.
8. Alison - add some more stamping but not text and numbers.
Again a random small patterned stamp used with the chalky finish paints.

9. Nikki - Select a focal point and gather elements together.
10. Brenda - Alter/colour up/prepare elements for your focal point/s.

11. Alison - highlight or refresh the original background before adhering the embellishments.
All I really felt I needed to do here was to splatter a little watery white to add just a little more interest.

As always when we have one of these sessions our own inimitable styles shine through and even though we've all taken the same steps, our choices and decisions have made each project unique and incredibly different from the others.
Please take a look at Alison's and Nikki's sneak peek photos and pop over to their blog to see the full project outcomes, you won't be disappointed.


Another last look at my piece.


Friday, 20 March 2020

A Vintage Journey Tutorial Post

The full tutorial for this shadowbox project is over at A Vintage Journey today. To follow along and create your own version pop over to see the process steps and photos to go with them.

DecoArt products
Mediums - Soft Touch Varnish.
Media Fluid Acrylics - Titan Buff, Burnt Sienna, Raw Umber, Titanium White, Paynes Grey, Burnt Umber
Chalky Finish - Everlasting, Heirloom

Thursday, 19 March 2020

DecoArt Mixed Media Team Project for March

I have a post going live over on the DecoArt Mixed Media Blog today which came about because I had my arm in a sling and needed to not move it around much. So the three media boards I chose to use all had the same techniques and layers as did the butterflies but the small deviations with stamps and positioning created enough variety of interest to the eye.

To see the full tutorial please pop over to the DecoArt blog where it is listed with lots of process steps and photos.


Sunday, 15 March 2020

Take strength from the stars - Media Tile

Inspired by Sid Dickens

Process steps

1. Seal with tinting base.
2. Scrape random layer of white gesso with a flat palette knife.
3. Adhere tissue wrap in a couple of places.
4. Add some texture stamping.
5. Add some transfers/rub-ons.

6. Sand the edges and rub in brown distress ink.
7. Die cut the star from black card, paint the panels assemble and adhere to the tile.
8. Add big chat words.

Supplies from DecoArt
Media White Tinting Base
Media White Gesso
Media Fluid Acrylics - Medium Grey, Titanium White, Carbon Black

Thursday, 12 March 2020

Mixed Media Eileen Hull Notebook

A  little Notebook, made from an Eileen Hull die, went off to the Craft Stamper to be used for an article about Eileen's dies to celebrate her visit to England last September. It was published in the October 2019 issue and given to Eileen when I saw her at Country View Crafts. (You can see it in the bottom left hand corner on top of the CS magazine.

I chose my colour palette by googling and flicking through my Pinterest board, keeping the colours fresh but vintage at the same time.

First there were three layers of brayered paints all mixed to create the colour I wanted from the palette. To start using yellow green light, paynes grey, titan buff and titanium white to get  the darker green colour. Next the beige mixing titan buff, titanium white, burnt umber and paynes grey, and lastly a mix of white and titan buff to lighten it again.

Dip, drip and dry with  a mix of pyrrole orange and paynes grey and rubbed it into the surface - the colour was grabbed by the white card substrate, dry and repeat the process with quinacridone gold but let this layer really drip and dribble before drying.

Next stamp using the entomology text stamp and coffee archival ink.

Use a couple of stencils and a bending tool and blending foam to stencil through both titan buff and titanium white.

Make a weak colour glaze using soft touch varnish, paynes grey, translucent white, yellow green light with a little water mixed together and use this to knock back the background and vintage it up a bit more.

Alter one of Tim's lace baseboard frames with quin gold and titanium white watery paints.

I had some notebooks bought last year and just waiting to be used. Tey fitted perfectly so I bound the nto the spine just going over and through the centre of each booklet using thin elastic.

I used some black thread to pull the elastics together and tie on a typed token at the same time.

For the cover I used some wildflower stems that I watercoloured using media fluid acrylic paints and Tim's new crochet die with one of his quotes too.

Unfortunately I didn't get any more photos taken of the finished design, but I do have this one taken by Craft Stamper which was in the magazine.

I'm catching up a bit with some previous projects and hoping to get to grips with more new ones.

Happy Sunday.


Friday, 6 March 2020

CELEBRATE at A Vintage Journey - shabby vintage frame

Over at AVJ we are asking everyone to share what they are celebrating in their art and craft at the moment. I always think there is so much to celebrate and enjoy in the artistic and creative world we live in.
For me the celebration comes at many different times - often when I have created something I feel very proud of;  when I've devised a new technique that gives a great result;  when I see some of my artwork in print;  when I have finished a workshop and the attendees love what they have done or when I've simply had a fabulous session of creating on my own or with a group of friends.

This piece today was inspired by family. My daughter married about 15 months ago and I'd made quite a few of these shabby hearts for the invitations and for decorations at the reception.

As I am working with only one hand fully functioning (I've dislocated my left shoulder so that arm is in a sling) I thought I would use one to celebrate both family and all things shabby vintage.

Process steps - dry between painty layers
1. Seal a piece of greyboard with white gesso, dabble, dip and dribble some burnt umber paint,  add some raw umber around the edges and also add some splatters,
To break it up drag some random thin layers of gesso using the flat of the palette knife.

2. Tear and adhere some tissue collage papers. Sand the edges and blend in some brown distress ink. Add a little colour to the images. I used cadmium red hue, titanium white and titan buff.

3. Take the small media board and seal with a coat of white gesso. Scrape a layer of white crackle paste using a small piece of credit card type plastic, keeping it flat so it is an uneven layer. When dry dribble, spritz and dry a couple of different pink mixes , dry and repeat with titan buff. Sand and blend brown distress inks round the edges.

4. Take a deep shadowbox frame and adhere metal corners onto it., then stipple some gesso over the insides and outsides. When dry add a little watery pink to the corners then sand and distress the edges like before. Seal with a coat of varnish.

5. Assemble. To finish I painted a little TH star painted with the deeper pinkier colours to bring the heart into the feel of the whole piece. I chose a star because that is the symbol my daughter loves and for me has come to represent my children, their spouses and our grandchildren.

I also lifted the panel to give it quite a bit of height within the frame.

So let's see what you're celebrating in your artwork this month.
Pop over to A Vintage Journey and join the fun.


DecArt products
Media white gesso, white crackle paste, 
Media fluid acrylics - raw umber, burnt umber, used cadmium red hue, titanium white, titan buff.

Sunday, 23 February 2020

Andy Skinner workshop ATCs

Yesterday I went to Feltham to attend an Andy Skinner workshop with Nikki (Addicted to Art), Cathryn, Suz (Surrey Crafts), Karen and Fiona (My Artful Muse). It was a fabulous day creating and making an ATC box and five ATCs using lots of fabulous pastes, paints, rice papers and transfers in Andy's inimitable style.

I have blogged the photos of the ATCs and links to the products and YouTube videos over on Andy's blog.

Using Structure Paste and paints.
Using Strata Paste

Using Resist Paste and Rice Papers

Using Lava paste and a palette knife

Using Lava Paste and a brayer


Thursday, 13 February 2020

Altered blocks for DecoArt

My DecoArt Media Team project for February is a collection of three altered wooden blocks that I made for display purposes around my home.

If you'd like to catch the creative steps for making these please pop over to the DecoArt Media blog for all the details.


Monday, 10 February 2020

Gelli Plate Printing - DecoArt Media Team

In July last year I was over on the DecoArt Media Blog with the process steps and outcomes of  trying out some mixed media style gelli printing. I am not a complete newbie to the gelli plate and have played on numerous occasions to get some background prints to use in my journals - on this occasion I thought about the steps I normally take to create mixed media layers for my art work and how I could use the gelli plate to create the distressed and peeled paint looks I so love.

Gather supplies and choose your paint palette. Gelli Art kindly sponsored the plate and brayer for the DecoArt Media Team members and it was great to experiment for my July project. I chose to use parchment paper to pull my prints from the plates.

Please note in working through my process steps - I made sure each layer was dry before adding the next. I also had a second gelli plate I used as a palette and brayered on all the leftover paints as I used them. I stenciled on this plate as well and left it to dry at the same time. It provided a second lot of prints.

Step 1. Roughly brayer some phthalo blue and titan buff paints over the surface and leave to dry, as it does randomly dab off some of the paint with dry kitchen paper.
Used a harlequin stencil and burnt umber to add a random design.

Step 2. Brayer a thin coat of white over the layers and pull a print. Here you can see the print on the right and what was left on the gelli plate on the left. So far so good.

Step 3. Use another stencil and colour, I sponged on a mix of burnt umber and titan buff.. The plate on the left is the one I'm working on to pull the focused steps prints - the plate on the right is the one I am using to roller off the excess paint between layers and colours. It looked good enough to use as well but I will wait to the end before I pull a print from it.

Step 4. Using some very old 'Reflections' text stamps with black archival ink I did some random stamping.

Step 5. Now to see what happens when I brayer over a thin coat of cream and white paint and pull the prints from both of the plates - oooh will it work? Now it's becoming a bit of a competition to see how they both respond!
Yay I'm really happy with these.

Step 6 - Both plates had painty bits left on them so I repeated the thin layer over with just titan buff and still got two more prints that are serviceable. You can even see an area on the plate 2 print where some paint I had left on from another project came off too.

What did I learn or what would I do differently next time?
In Step 1 when I dabbed off some of the thicker paint layer it would be better to dab more off so there are larger random distressed spaces. This is so that more of the following layers will show though.
In Step 4 the stamping needed to be seen through the gaps, therefore it worked much better on plate 1 than plate 2 where there were no distressed spaces.
The results in Step 5 showed me that by not rubbing off some paint in some of the layers on plate 2 there was much less depth and interest in the prints. This seems to be a key feature of achieving the peeled paint and distressed look.
In Step 6 if I had stamped or maybe used a stencil I would probably have achieved more depth and interest again.
I really love the feel of the prints on the parchment paper and when it came to stamping and cutting images it was a boon for small parts like antennae as it doesn't tear easily.

So I certainly learned a lot and have a much better understanding as to how I could recreate similar prints. My next step is to experiment with drippage and splattering in the layers but for now I can still use them as after techniques to add to some of the lovely prints I achieved.


For the project I chose the print that looked very much like a timeworn shabby wallpaper to me, mounted it onto brown paper and ....

.... then I selected all the elements I thought would build a beautiful shabby vintage design.

I took one of the plainer gelli prints and I stamped the Gypsie Queen moth as the key focal element using the stamping platform and a blend of coffee, watering can and cobalt archival inks. I cut one to use and one that I will keep in my bits box. The words are mine created on the PC and printed out.

I found a stamped clock face to add as well.

The transfers provide great background interest for the fame.

Step 8: For the project I chose the print that looked very much like a timeworn shabby wallpaper to me, mounted it onto brown paper and ....
Photo Step 8

Step 9: .. then I selected all the elements I thought would build a beautiful shabby vintage design.
Photo Step 9

Step 10: I took one of the plainer gelli prints I had pulled and I stamped the Gypsie Queen moth as the key focal element using the stamping platform and a blend of coffee, watering can and cobalt archival inks. I cut one to use and one that I will keep in my bits box.
Photo Step 10

Step 11: I found a stamped clock face to add as well. 
Photo Step 11

Step 12: Some new mixed media transfers from Andy Skinner provide great background interest for the fame.
Photo Step 12

Once compete I added it to a journal.


Gelli Arts 5 x 7 gelli plates and a brayer
DecoArt Premium Acrylic Paints - phthalo turquoise, titan buff, burnt umber, titanium white

Parchment paper
Reverse text stamps (an old set from Tim Holtz called Reflections)
Black archival ink

Embellishments to make up the project -
Andy Skinner Mixed Media Transfers French Fancy, Gypsie Queen stamp, 
Tim Holtz shabby frame, wildflowers stems.
Cheesecloth, stamped clock face, natural foliage, american style seam binding, pin,