Monday 31 October 2016

Happy Halloween

Just a quick share of some of my projects I have made for halloween this year and the display in my dining room - it's the teacher in me I can't help putting little things out to add interest for the season.

These are out on my porch. We rarely get any Trick or Treaters but just in case we do I put some bits out and the grandchildren have liked seeing it all. They'll definitely be out tonight in their costumes.

Have a wonderful day and .....


Hugs Brenda xxx

Monday 24 October 2016

MIxedUp - new online magazine

Yay I have been published again and this time in a new online digital magazine called Mixed Up produced and hosted by the fabulous Katy Leitch.

The very first edition was published on the 1st October, have you got yours yet? It has this project in it, called Richly Rusted and I have a step by step tutorial to show you how I made the chipped paint effect background on the Tando Creative media board.

The magazine is available through and is stuffed full of articles by some lovely artists like Helen Chilton, Tracy Weinzapfel, Jenny Marples and so many more. There's also a creative play section, a submission call, a Halloween gallery and an interview with the amazing Andy Skinner. Lots to grab your attention and fabulous projects for your inspiration.

If you have a copy and seen my autumnal owl project please let me know what you think.

Thanks for taking a look.

hugs Brenda xxxx

Friday 21 October 2016

Spooky Pink - Apothecary Shrine

This started off as a demonstration piece for my last Country View Workshop where we made the first Halloween shrine and for some reason I decided to use the pink paints with the fabric and hardener. I've rather enjoyed adding the bits to make a spooky pink affair to fit the current CVC challenge.

I used the Gothic 31 stamps from Artistic Outpost for the ghostly lady, the mouse and the 31st button.

The background is special, some of you may recognise the technique which I am teaching at Ministry Of Mixology in Coventry next month using DecoArt media fluid acrylic paints. I stamped the image on the boards before adding them individually and adhered them into the back of the shrine. You can see the texture achieved by using DecoArt's fabric hardener and coloured it with the media acrylic paints.

 Some apothecary bottles, candle stick, a rat with Tim's seasonal chit chat stickers for the words finish off the spooky feel.

Another little decoration to add to my display for Halloween.

I hope you can join us over at the CVC challenge and show us your spooky creations.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend.

hugs Brenda xxx

Tuesday 18 October 2016

DecoArt Mixed Media DT project - Shabby vintage shadowbox

Thanks for joining me and I hope you won't mind making another hop across to the DecoArt Mixed Media Design Team blog where my project will be based today. There is a full step by step tutorial and lots of photos showing how I put this one together. I thought I'd share some of the embellishments.

You will also find how I made my own 'false bottom' shadowbox which is my newest invention and one that is very flexible as it can have a shallow base and a deeper one and you can use either side depending on how you want to fill it. I have also added a colour mixing grid for the colours I used.

It would be great if you could pop over and take a look and let me know what you think.

Thanks in advance for all your support and comments.

hugs Brenda xxx

Updated from DecoArt blog

Instructions :

Cut two pieces of greyboard 18 x 4 cms and cut another two 13 1/2 x 4 cms to make up the sides.
Cut two more pieces 17 1/2 x 1 1/2 cms and another two 13 x 1 1/2 cms to provide the inside 'step' on which to place the base.
Use artist tape or another thin tape to hold the four sides of the box together, add one layer of tape on the top inside of the box as well as the whole of the outside, layering it if necessary.
Adhere the four thin strips to the inside of the box on the bottom edge (these will form the ridges underneath for the background to sit on).

When they are dry, place the base onto the strips to form the background of your box.
Cover the outside and inner panels with tissue wrap and here you can see the dimensions of the base top and bottom.
Usually I just have drops of paint on my craft mat and blend colours as I go along but there are times when I want a specific colour palette and I will do myself a colour mixing chart. Pinterest is a great place to find new palettes to use and then I create one of these. The soft weathered blue that just happened on the alabaster technique below was my starting point.
Cut a piece of card to fit the base (the size will differ according to which depth you choose to use).
Cover it with tissue wrap to fit in with the sides of the box and then use modeling paste and stencils to add texture.
Choose your paints, mix the blends of colours one at a time and then spritz, drip and dribble them through the texture drying before you add the next colour.
Lightly brayer some white back over the texture.
Whilst completing this step and having mixed each of the colours I finger painted some on the outside and inner lip of the box frame.
Die-cut the frame from grey board and give it a coat of white gesso painting in all directions to get it as smooth as possible.
Drag some texture sand paste over and dry.

Use a wet sea sponge with Titan Buff and medium grey V6 and sponge on random areas of both colours.
Mix three parts resin plaster with one part water and a little titan buff to colour it, pour on frame and drag over 90% of it pressing in with a palette knife and quickly add the smallest spot of prussian blue hue, a drop of the medium grey and a few drops of titanium white, mix together and also drag that across to create an alabaster background.
When dry, rub off any loose surface material and seal with ultra-matte varnish, which gets soaked up by the plaster very quickly. Repeat with a second coat when the first has dried out.
On a piece of card paint prussian blue and titan buff, dry it and then layer on a watery wash of prussian blue and dry.
Die cut an ornate border, ink the edges with ground espresso and adhere to the sides with decou-page.
This is a free image from the internet, printed on photo paper and adhered to an mdf circle. I like to sand the edges and blend brown inks around it.
This is a resin cast from a mould, painted with the prussian blue and titan buff mixed together and when dry I spritzed it with water and dripped some titanium white over it. Again when dry I highlighted the raised parts by rubbing on some iced espresso Metallic Lustre.
These metal corners and handle were just spritzed with water with some titanium white dripped and dried. Again I highlighted with iced espresso Metallic Lustre.
The metallic book plate and nib were given dabs of titanium white, paynes grey and quinacridone gold in separate layers, drying between each and highlighted with champagne ice Metallic Lustre.
This is a number cut from card that had been embossed. I spritzed it with water, dribbled Paynes Grey and Prussian Blue over it. Once dry I blended titanium white over the raised areas using the back of a piece of cut and dry foam, dried it, then gave it a watery wash of quinacridone gold.
First glue the number onto the metal plate, then adhere it to the bottom of the cameo frame.
Glue to photo onto the frame and make sure both are dry before the next step. (otherwise they might move a fraction while you are gluing other pieces on - said with experience!).
Attach the mould to the top of the cameo frame.
When these three are all completely dry use foam pads behind the frame and the part of the mould that is sticking over the edge and fix to the back of the box. The foam pads add great dimension.
Use modeling paste behind the nib to attach it to the background.
Glue the corners on and again leave it all to dry.
Lastly, you can put the frame upright and glue the handle to the top.

Friday 7 October 2016

Shabby Halloween box for AVJ

'Tis the season for all things eerie, mysterious, curious and weird. As it's the beginning of October then what better than some challenges to get you in the Halloween mood and A Vintage Journey is one of them to help you on your way. Anne is the spectral host this month and she says - 
As we approach All Hallows' Eve we want you to create a vintage, shabby, industrial, steampunk or mixed media project to celebrate the spookiness of Halloween, don't limit yourself to black, orange and purple - just 'Make it Spooky'!

Me? I just decided to alter one of those hard paper maché type boxes to hold some of my spooky supplies and to make it seem even more weird I have gone shabby creepy.

Quick process steps

  • Paint a coat of rustic chalky finish paint over the outside of the box and dry. 
  • Apply random areas of weathered wood and leave to dry. 
  • Paint a coat of white crackle paint. Leave to dry.

  • Sand back some of the edges and ink with ground espresso distress ink.
  • Rub over with a damp babywipe and a dry cloth to expose some of the burnt umber areas as well as the darker crackles from the ground espresso.

  • Main focus for the lid - stamp the skull on a piece of tissue paper - dry.
  • Take a wooden frame, ink the edges with ground espresso, stamp with a texture image and black archival ink and paint on a coat of transparent crackle glaze - leave to dry naturally.
  • When dry paint over with white antiquing cream leave to dry again dry and then rub over with a babywipe to remove the antiquing cream except in the crackles.

  • Adhere the stamped, crumpled tissue paper image to the box lid with Decoupage glue which is a sealer as well as an adhesive. Apply the Decoupage to the top of the paper and the whole top of the lid to seal it, heat dry.
  • Paint a watery wash of titan buff over the skull but leave the teeth white.

  • Give the rest of the box a coat of the Decoupage glue/sealer.
  • Adhere the frame over the stamped tissue paper.

  • Line the box and lid with tissue wrap and when glue is dry give a watery wash of titanium white acrylic paint. This helps it look more ethereal and gives the insides a finished look.

  • Seal the base of the box with the Decoupage, I didn't worry about the inside as it had been sealed before it had been given the ethereal look when I glued over the top of the tissue wrap.
  • I had intended to add borders, labels and embellishments to the lid and base of the box, but when it came down to it I just preferred the look of the remnant rubs on their own.

Over to you now to enter your projects at the new spooky challenge on AVJ but before you do I recommend you pop over to the challenge post to see all the incredible inspiration from some of the team, I promise you it's well worth a look.

Have a fabulous spooky month.

hugs Brenda xxx

On Hallowe'en the thing you must do
Is pretend that nothing can frighten you
And if somethin' scares you and you want to run
Just let on like it's Hallowe'en fun.
~Author unknown