Friday 31 October 2008

12 Days of Christmas Ornaments

On Zuzu's forum we were invited to join in a 12 Days of Christmas ornament swap to a set template size.

I was given 8 Maids a Milking

I made a set of we red and gold ornaments - but they ended up in the bin after I had worked on them on and off for a week. I had spent hours over several days looking for a suitable image to no avail. The template size I found rather challenging for my 8 milkmaids because of it's shape and size.

After a number of yet more failures I had finally finished.

The photos don't show up the glittering metallic paints - several painted layers on each side of the template. The embossing, the rub and buff gold, the glittering eight sequins on each one and the little gold detailing on the milk maids necklaces, skirt edging, sleeves edging and some have gold 'buttons' on their boots.

The reverse is painted and embossed too with a gold crackle finish.

They all look the same - but every one is hand painted and each one is different - there are no two the same.

I wish I had an easier day of Christmas to do - I had lots of ideas for a partridge in a pear tree, or two turtle doves - as I am into birds - LOL.

Still I have tried my very best and some of them will be winging their way to Australia on Monday.

Thursday 30 October 2008

Tag Book - Swap received

I entered my first ever tag book swap and it was on Katy's Corner Group - and I am so thrilled with it - just look!

It was hosted by a lady called Dot and she made the cover and put the books together - isn't it fantastic. What a clever idea. It's just arrived and I can't stop looking at it.

Look at all these amazing colours depicting Autumn - and every single one using a different technique.

My most sincere thanks to:

Dot H
Wendy K
Sandra W
Lynne M

I will treasure it - and thank you for showing me all these techniques I can't wait to try them out.

Monday 27 October 2008

Under the Sea Swap

Another Mermaid for the Under the Sea swap - these have been painted with Ecoline ink - splashed with water, a deeper ink used for eyes, lips, and other areas. A little wipe of silver rub and buff, and bright silver embossing - which looks dull sadly on here. Liquid pearls for her necklace - and a great deal of patience letting it all dry.

New swap - Under the Sea

I love this image - so when I saw a swap entitled Under the Sea - I thought I would join in.

This mermaid is embossed with bright shiny silver so looks lovely and shimmery - but its not showing up as such here.

Friday 24 October 2008

Bind it All - Luke's Book

You can see close up photos of the embossing and painting here where the pictures are brighter

I have spent the afternoon assembling the book I have been making for Luke's Japanese grandparents.

It is a 'year' book and contains photos of what he has been up to each month.

The pages are nothing like the cover - they are bright and colourful and fun.

As the year is not up - I have left blank pages for more photos to come.

It has definitely been a learning curve and very frustrating at times punching the holes in the right places etc - but now its finished its been fun.

I also learned quite a lot of what 'not to do' - so hopefully as I make more I should get better at it.

This Thursday
its all about curves - I think the curves on these book covers qualify.

Tuesday 21 October 2008

Autumn Leaves Tag

This is the last of a set of Autumn Leaves tags - which will be in the post tomorrow - so thought I would put a picture up here so that I can remember it.

What the photo does not show up is the fact that I painted the face too - it is not white as it looks here.

Inspirational Crafts Blogspot

There is a fabulous chance to win some fantastic blog candy on here which is linked to other fantastic blogs.

Why not pay them all a visit.

Sunday 19 October 2008

Work in progress.............

I decided to have another go at a Bind it All book - even though I have not finished the last - its an ongoing project.

I got my hands on some of MADJAK Divine Gold embossing powder and decided to give it a go.

You can see it here on the stamped agapanthus flower heads.

And an even closer close up on a flower stem - totally different to anything I have used before.

You can also see the layers of inking I did too - inspired by Paula on Card Craft Creations.

One of these days I might just learn how to take a decent photo - perhaps when I have finished it!

Watch this space!

Thursday 16 October 2008

ATC - Shades of Blue and Gold Swap

I actually managed to make this ATC within a hour - an all time first for me as I take ages.

I painted the ATC white card blank with watered down blue ink - then dripped splashes of different strengths to make it look like an underwater scene.

I painted the frame gold and her necklace too.

I finished her off giving her blue eyeshadow and blue lipstick.

ATC - Shades of Blue and Gold - Swap

A MADJAK design stamp from their En-trance plate - see details in side bar.

The blank ATC was inked and stamped.

Using acrylic gold paint, I thickly painted a layer around the arch to create a grand entrance - then bubbled it up with a heat gun - to create texture.

I used watered down gold ink to highlight around areas - to show up the figurines, and to create a bit of depth.

ATC Swap - Blue and Gold

For this ATC I have used a MADJAK design stamp from the En-Trance plate.

Stamped in black on a white board, I first painted it all blue and then embossed with clear embossing in some areas. I sloshed over more blue ink - making it darker is some areas which enhanced the embossing.

I then rubbed over it with gold - so that it looked like the internal ornate doors of an old, almost derelict mansion.

As a little surprise, on a bit of scrap paper, I painted a blue outdoor scene in shades of blue, and embossed areas with white sea foam - to create a cold and textured feel to it. The darker bits were my attempt at an animal's footprints in the snow.

I assembled the ATC but first cutting along the stamped door and across to enable it to be opened.

Attached the outdoor scene to the back, and glued that to a black piece of card.

Tuesday 14 October 2008

ATC - Shades of Blue and Gold

Not sure about this ATC - the collaged image - so might not send this one out for the swap.

It was nice to mess about with inks and paints though!

ATC - Shades of Blue and Gold

Oh dear - not a good photo in artificial light.

This is for a forum swap - in shades of blue and gold.

The ATC background was first painted in shades of blue metallic paints, stamped to marble it a bit, then wiped over with a swish of gold in - just to show up when it catches the light - so you can still see the background painting.

Wednesday 8 October 2008

Smile - A song

The subject for the smiles were 'Songs'. This took me hours to do - and I got really messy but it was fun - and much better in natural light.

Basically layer and layers of ink. Then the gold moon painted a few times and bubbled up to look like the moon surface - and to give it texture and depth.

Vintage couple - inked a number of times to get a depth of colour - but softer than paints.

Night sky - inked -painted with thinned mettalic dark blue to give it a sheen in cloud like formations. Rub and Buff antique gold rubbed over it.

Then horizontal cloud lines highlighted with an embossing pen and clear embossed.

The line of the paper is hardly noticeable in daylight - the photo flash has made it look prominent

Tuesday 7 October 2008

My blue lady

Another vintage lady I have painted over with inks.

I think she looks a bit Medieval now. I am happy with the way the skirt is shaded and thrilled with the gold edging and silk underskirt. The gold is painted with gold Ecoline ink - you would never think that a watercolour ink would be shiny gold would you - I thought the only way to get that would be to use gold paint - but in ink has a lovely gold leaf softness about it.

The background I painted with Autumnal colours with a bit brighter for the glimpse of the lawn and the pond.

A close up of the brush strokes is below of foreground etc - which you can't get a feel of or see the details from the photos.

Nearly forgot to mention - the border is done with Gesso paint, swirled and textured and then when dry I painted it with layers of mettalic pewter - to give the 'sense' of the era.

I was going to paint it shades of grey to make it look as though it was being viewed through a true stone gothic arch - but changed my mind in case (a) it was too heavy and distracted the eye from the lady (b) I might not have been able to get the stone effect and would then have ruined hours of work!

Saturday 4 October 2008

Work in progress.............

Another experiment - if it turns out OK then I will post it up on Monday - if not its in the bin!

Gothic Arch - Painting photo copies

This little girl I painted over with inks - but the picture looked too bright and new so I experimented with making it look aged and more like a oil painting so I embossed over it to give it a cracked look. But it still looked too new so....

I rubbed in some brown ink - but she still looked too pale in places.

I started rubbing in some more brown ink.

That's better but I still think she needs a bit more work done on her.

This is the result after 'ageing' the work. It is brighter in real life but by the time I had finished the light had dulled and it had started to rain outside. By brighter - I don't mean lighter - just clearer.

She looks more like a painting now than a photo.

I might well do a bit more when I look at her again.

A word of warning about painting with inks - if you don't have a steady hand the ink can 'leak' onto another place.

In this work I very carefully painted the blue fabric, going over it layer by layer until I got it dark and shaded in some places to give a bit of depth.


I had inadvertently painted some blue ink onto her hand - well it has spread over it - the paper must have been too wet. One thing you can't do with inks - which you can do with paints - is to ink over a lighter colour to cover up your mistakes.


I did come up with an ingenious way to rescue the blue stained hand and arm - without turning it into a tattoo.

Gothic Arch - Inky Saturday

I am still experimenting with my new pots of ink - and trying out lots of experiments.

This was a copy of a black and white Victorian photo which I printed off on plain paper then coloured it by painting with inks.

It took ages - well more than two hours - and you need to be patient - which is tough for me.

Close up of layers and 'grass'

Part of the foreground I painted with ink and the gold ink rubbed over it.

I am not very good at painting - so I just painted green ink over the plain background- but it looked too plain - so I smudged some gold ink over it - and it looks a bit like it has been painted on wood - more solid looking.

In 'natural' indoor light in my studio - its hard to imagine that she started off as a black and white copy of an old Victorian photo.

Photo taken under a light so that you can see the rubbed on gold and inked gold - it looks better in real life as the light catches the gold in.

Finally - here she is photographed on a different backing - doesn't it bring the colours out?

Friday 3 October 2008

Gothic Arch 1

I made this arch a few weeks ago - but felt it was lacking in something so did not use this one for a swap I was in.

I was going to 'bin' it as I usually do with things I am not happy with, but someone persuaded me to hang on to it.

So there it sat - on my display board on the wall - until today.

The backing paper was a piece of a Japanese shop's paper bag - which my daughter in law saved for me after a trip back to Japan.

It had a few bits of calligraphy stamped on it which I left.

After yesterday's playing with inks, I decided to see if I could 'save' this arch so had a go painting with inks again.

This photo was taken under a light - so not very good.

The above was taken by a window - its been raining all day so there was no way I could take a photo outside in natural light.

In 'real life' the colours are brighter and it looks quite dainty and pretty. The Japanese calligraphy I re-inked with the same colour as the flowers - but in a weaker shade.

Gothic Arch

I made this Gothic arch this afternoon - photographed it under a light.

I am considering entering it for a swap - but need to do a few more yet before I decide.

The backing paper is one that I made myself - then scanned it - as it was too thick - and I am pleased with the result of the whole sheet.

I made it layering paper on top of paper and painting it with thick paint - more layers and Japanese news paper and rough strips. I forgot all about it - it was in a book 'flattening'.

The image is a vintage Japanese black and white print - but I am 'into' colours at the moment - so I painted it with inks. It is quite intricate - so took a long while - but I am happy with it now that it is finished - I think.

This was taken in late afternoon daylight indoors.

I managed to achieve depth and shading painting on layers of ink - pretty tricky doing the garland of flowers - especially the stem - and painting the face white with the cupid lips!

You can't see on here - but in natural light you can see the shading, the strands of hair, and all the little details of the flowers.

Thursday 2 October 2008

Messing about with inks - Autumn Leaves Tag

I bought some inks so thought I would play around with them. I haven't tried painting with them before - from pots with a brush! Just used ink pads, alcohol inks, and distressed inks - so this is a new venture for me.

These little Goddesses are smaller than the picture. These were scanned into the computer so look better in real life. And of course the embossing is a lovely shade of Divine Gold from MADJAK designs - a link is in one of the posts further down.

The faces are flesh coloured - some inked and some dusted with pastels - its not so obvious from these scans - with the light from the printer its tends to wash out the colours somewhat.

Its quite a different 'art' painting with inks - and mistakes can't be covered up either - so it takes time and patience - hence doing them over two days - I like to wait for them to dry rather than dry them with a heat gun. These are Ecoline inks.

I think I need to experiment more to get the best out of them - but I am enjoying playing around.

Messing about - with inks

Although these have taken so long to do - over two afternoons - trying out something totally new is great fun - and painting with inks is rather challenging. Watering it down, layering it.

Same stamps - different looks. Embossing with MADJAK Divine gold - see below post for link.

Another messing about with inks

This has taken ages and ages to do - and layers and layers of inks. Fun though trying new things.

More messing about with inks

They look better in 'real life' than they do scanned.

The earrings are gold 24ct Kyrlon pen - so look lovely and the embossing is from here MADJAK Divine Gold. Its a lovely rich blend of gold in real life - almost antique looking - and very subtle. All the embossing on these is with the same embossing powder.

Messing about with inks - again

A funky version - maybe for Halloween?

Last one - messing about with inks

This is just a little one - again smaller than the image on here. About ATC size or smaller. Its not mounted on white paper - the white is backing on the scanner