Wednesday 29 July 2009


I really, really, really fell in love with Jo Capper Sandon's Summertime work of art. I even bought the book that her image came from, stamps and other things whilst I was visiting Crafty Individuals site.

I tried to make a beach hut without success so decided to try something else.

I have had this old picture frame which I bought from a charity shop for £1 for ages. I nearly threw it out when I had my clear out a few weeks ago. It was rough wood.

So I painted it with Gesso, a couple of coats. Then when dry I painted it with PVA glue (cos I don't have any crackle paints and I wanted it to look really weathered and battered.) Then I painted on top of the glue with blue acrylic paint whilst it was still wet and left it overnight to dry.

Then roughed it up a bit with sandpaper.

Today I did the 'inside'. Ran some paper through the embossing machine, then coloured it with chalk ink.

Inked sheet of paper and used my mermaid stamp. Now comes the difficult bit (apart from the fact that I will have to take the frame apart again as the picture looks slightly more to the left in the photo - but it might be just the angle I took it at. It probably is cos it looked fine at the time)

Now this is where I need your help or suggestions. What do I do next? What is it that you clever people do to turn an OK but of work to something better.

Because I just don't have the imagination to add something to give it a bit of pazzazz!

Anything I put on the frame tends to take the eye away from the stamped image. So I have just been putting things on and taking them off - not stuck anything on yet.

I do have some 'leaf' which is pewter with watery colours - like those you see in a puddle after a rain storm - might try odd bits here and there along the grain.

(I will give this as a present, so the recipient can put in a photo taken by the seaside by the way)


Claireabelle said...

Lottie, this is stunning!! I think this might be a case of 'less is more', its gorgeous as it is and I love that mermaid!

Anonymous said...

This is fabulous Lottie! How about some coordinating zoomz or a few small shells in the opposite corner to the seahorse? xx

Anonymous said...

maybe a crackle effect on the frame...the colour you have as the base with a white top coat...apart from that it looks better as it is - it could be one of thos epieces you have to leave to one side and one day youll have found that perfect finishing piece.
Lovely work though.

lottie said...

Thanks Paula - that's good advice. I think it will stay on my display shelf in the studio until I get inspired!

Momiji said...

how about some small shells stained blue to match with maybe some tiny pearls in?

Momiji said...

how about some small shells stained blue to match with maybe some tiny pearls in?

Jo Capper-Sandon said...

If you are going to attach items to the frame, I'd have them as close to the central panel as possible, overlapping in some cases. I'd only use the shells and the star fish, so maybe over the inner corners. Perhaps try adding sand...either mixed with pva or sprinkled ontop of a pva coating or something that would break up the block colour- or gold paint spray or white glitter intermingled with each other...
or you could use small smooth pebbles in areas of the frame (Brighton beach is covered in pebbles)....or pieces of glass in a mosaic typeway...Or you could introduce a bit of netting sweeping over the lower right side corner (netting from fruit at Tescos or similar)...
but thats my head working over time rofl and what I'd do if it were mine...

I'm sure what ever you decide to do will be perfect- its a very beautiful piece already and sitting with it to one side as Paula suggested will bring lots of thoughts flooding into your head no doubt, without you even realising.You may decide it hardly needs anything at all...perhaps just some textured gold ep stamping..or the leaf pewter you mentioned
I'm glad my piece inspired you to start something...I really look forward to seeing how you take it further. xx

Unknown said...

Great advice - thanks Jo. It's a bit of a trip to Brighton - with a stayover too as its so far!

I love your netting idea and other ideas - so will do as you and Paula suggested. I will wait until I can gather some bits and pieces together then, then tackle the frame.

Maybe even a trip to the Norfolk coast this summer - with a view to looking for things washed up on the beach.

Good ideas.

Angelnorth said...

I love the watery colours of this Lottie, it looks great!

I'd stick with shells or other beach objects for embellies and don't feel restrained by the straight lines of the edges, let your "stuff" overlap for a more naturalistic feel that goes with the water/beach subject matter. The cockle shells you have here are the perfect shape as they pick up the shell on the mermaid's forehead so I'd definitely have a play with those. I love Jo's netting suggestion and the other thing you might consider for the potential for fluid lines is rope or cord - soft twisted cotton or the rough jute string you get for gardens would both have potential, I reckon. If you want to include a word, you could try tucking it in at an angle amongst the shells so that one end sticks up free of them, IYSWIM. You could also try rouging up your word tag for a sea-worn feel or coating with Glossy Accents so it looks wet.

Hope something in there gives you a spark for a starting point to play!

June said...

I think its gorgeous, love it all the colour and the image and the frame. If you want to add without taking the focus away but adding interest ? it might be worth painting a thin layer of the same paint colour over the items you want to add. this tends to bring them in line with the whole scene but still gives it that little extra. Thats just a thought anyway.
I was tickled pink reading about Gozzie watching you crafting lol. such a beautiful bantam :)
Hugs June x