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

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

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Halloween giveaway winner

THANK YOU to everyone who entered my Halloween giveaway, I really enjoyed popping over to your blogs and seeing all those spooky, eerie and atmospheric creations, I even found some new blogs to follow too - bonus.

So I have used random org to select the winner and the winning number is .....
.... and this lucky number belongs to Monika at Mistletoe Home Decoration.

Congratulations Monika please email me your address and I'll then get your goodies in the post as soon as possible. My email address is on my sidebar. Thank you for joining in and having fun with me.

I have spare Christmas goodies too and I can see me getting another giveaway going soon, so keep your eyes peeled over the next couple of weeks. I just need a window of time to get it organised.

But thank you all for your visits, the lovely comments and time you spend on your visits, I really appreciate each and every one.

Have a great end to the week and a fabulous weekend. I'm off to see some bands at Swanage Blues Festival.

hugs Brenda xxx

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Mosaic frame DecoArt DT project #2

Collector of Memories

This was my second piece for the DecoArt Mixed Media Design Team and this time I felt like going all pink and girly but with contrasting rusty elements. You may have seen it over the DecoArt Media blog but I like to keep a record of all my makes on here so I am sharing the full version.

I love collecting little embellishments whether they are made from glass, acrylic, metal, wood or card they enhance any project and add atmosphere and help tell the story behind it. I also like printers trays, collecting small items of vintage ephemera, curios and old collectibles that represent a moment in time in someone’s life. So I thought I would combine my love of these things and make a mosaic frame using small pieces gathered from all sorts of places, some of which are modern in that they are easy to buy on-line from those auction type sites etc, but given the rusting treatment they can all combine to look aged and timeworn found trinkets.

I also need to tell you that I am an intuitive artist and throughout this project (and most of the others I make) I instinctively changed course and added in more layers than I had perhaps intended. I have highlighted these to you and if you follow these process steps I am sure you will do the same. Enjoy and have fun.


Step 1.  Begin by cutting two of the mosaic frames and a back board the same size from mount board.

Step. 2 Cut another mosaic frame the same size from card and run through an embossing folder. I used the flourish as I could run it through twice once top and again on the bottom to create the embossed design.

Step 3. Use texture sand paste and a palette knife randomly around the edge of the frame and a little around the boxed areas. Heat dry or leave to dry naturally. Add some transparent crackle glaze randomly around the frame and also leave to dry naturally.

Step 4 Make up a mister of titan buff acrylic paint (I used 15 drops of paint in the Ranger mini mister) and another of quinacridone magenta (10 drops of paint) and use them with dabs of yellow iron oxide on a brush and a water spritzer to create mottled pastel colours over the frame and dry. At this point I could see my crackle glaze layers had been too thin in most places so I brushed on some more and again left it to dry. Repeat this colouring up in this step again as required.

Step 5.  Mix small amounts of the quinacridone magenta and yellow iron oxide separately on your mat with water and use a brush and a water spritzer to let the deeper colours mix and dribble through the crevices of the embossed design.

Step 6. Create a more vintage look by dipping small areas into a watery walnut stain distress ink wash on your craft mat, let it move around and dab away areas that need removing before drying with a heat gun. Use the inky wash on a small brush and add bits by hand if you need more control over it.

Step 7. Whilst you are waiting during drying times gather your metal embellishments and give them a thin coat of white gesso

Step 8. Next paint your metal pieces with raw umber and medium grey V6, blending in places. When dry give a few areas a coat of paynes grey and when that’s dry paint it all with quinacridone gold. I always end up ‘playing’ with the layers and here I added a little finger rubbed translucent white and then a wash of quinacridone gold over that.

Step 9. Add a pin prick mixes of quinacridone gold and raw umber together to just add some colour to the other embellishments and alter them. Rub in a little quinacridone gold and dribble some in the holes of this number plaque.

Step 10. Finish this monocle with some remnant rubs.

Step 11. Colour up the little bottle with a thicker wash of quinacridone gold and rub walnut stain distress ink into the cork stopper.

Step 12. Also colour the sides of the glass dome and sides of the base with a little quinacridone wash to vintage it up and adhere a photo to the base. I love adding vintage photos as they are often the focus of the story behind the project.

Step 13. Rub a little translucent white acrylic paint over the typed token to make the word stand out.

Step 14. Add a sticker and epoxy overlay to the cash key.

Step15. Finish the frame but adding some dabs of watery qiunacridonr gold in the boxes, spritzing with water and heat drying and also adding some remnant rubs.

Step16. Cut a small easel die cut in mount board and adhere to the back of the frame to allow it to stand.
The full product list can be found on the DecoArt Mixed Media blog and those Country View Crafts sell are listed below.

Thanks for stopping by.

hugs Brenda xxx