Monday 30 March 2009

Paris Bind it All Notebook.

I haven't been able to do much as I have 'man flu' - but between coughing fits I spent a couple of hours in my studio late afternoon.

My chickens were having a snooze on one of the raised beds and wondered what I was doing out.

When they saw that I didn't gave any goodies in my hand for them to eat - they just ignored me.

So this is what I got up to, until they stood outside my door at 4pm heckling me for their supper, and I had to stop.

It looks a deeper colour in daylight and more lime green.

I used coloured lime green card, and glued it onto mountboard. Added a rub on, then, so that it did not look totally flat, I distressed it (or added interest) by swishing over a blue ink pad - the same colour blue as in the image, and inked a border and the sides to colour the cut edges.

With a white pen I made some random 'scratching' lines to give more depth and enhance the textured card, and did the same around the image.

The back cover got the same treatment, and I also stamped a Morning Glory and embossed it.

I used 5/8th inch O wires and some black organza ribbon. I did add some home made beads but it looked a bit OTT so have left it simple.

It is another chunky book - bigger than the others and the paper for the pages is the remainder of that which I cut out last time I was in the studio - so it only took me an hour and a half.

Saturday 28 March 2009

Finger Painting - on Canvas

I spent a happy afternoon getting really messy with paints. Going back to the days when I ran a Playgroup - and we all did finger painting.

Click photos to enlarge.

When I did this it was raining outside and I used the sky colours for inspiration, and day dreamed of a holiday spent in the Lake District - mist rising from the wet ground, and clouds drifting over the hills.

I would be crouched down low in the spiky grass, trying to take a photo through it to catch the mists coming and the clouds over the hills and mountain.

(I have a vivid imagination don't I LOL)

It is my very first attempt at a canvas - and 'huge' for me as I usually do small things. This is a couple of inches longer than A4 size.

Here are a few close ups of areas.

Wet reed grass in the foreground

Cloud and mist textures

I used layers of acrylic paints in Key Lime Pie, Green pearl metallic, Dark Turquoise, Shamrock Green and white.
I used only my hands, mainly fingers and also this..............

To create texture, scratch through the colours etc.

My husband can only see the soggy wet reed grass in the foreground, but likes the colours its 'nice' bless him. But he says 'nice' about whatever I make, even if I end up binning a piece of work LOL because it isn't.

This looks better in daylight hanging up. I am not sure about it myself, as I think it looks a bit bland, and the grass being the focal point isn't quite right. I was going to paint a few birds in the distance to draw the eye to the skies - but couldn't decide whether to or not!

It was more an experiment - and so relaxing getting fingers in lovely gooey paint.

I am going to live with it for a week, then if I can come up with a proper design, I can paint over it, stick things on, and create something else.

Honest constructive critiques please - because I really need them to improve and learn. I love it when people say, things like, 'I like the colour but perhaps if you did 'so and so' it might lift it' or 'next time you make one perhaps you could try ...........'

When you 'work' at home and don't have anyone close by you can 'bounce' ideas off, then my forum friends and visitors to my blog are really important to me. When I look back at some of my old work when I first started at the beginning of this blog - I cringe! At the time it was the best I could do and I was pleased with it!

But from reading your blogs, advice and encouragement, hints and tips, and links to tutorials etc I am learning so much - and conquering canvases it is my next 'thing'.

So if you have any tips or suggestions or links to canvas work that you have created or been inspired by, then please would you leave them in the comments section - or email me, I would be ever so grateful.

Many thanks

Thursday 26 March 2009

Under the Sea Adventure Pages

Here are two 5" x 5" pages for someone's Deco book entitled Under the sea adventure.

Click to enlarge

I painted the pages different shades of blue and green, and used a clear sea green gel to paint over it again - and the fish and shells - to give it a wet look.

It has textured 'bubbles' in the sea green gel too, and the paint is textured.

I was stumped a bit by this title as I didn't really have much in the way of stamps I could use - but I did have my 'mermaid' goddess stamp so used her and gave her more hair etc.

She is wearing pearls - these I made from pearl stickles, and look like pearls stuck on - so too amongst the sea shells - there are pearls here and there.

I guess when you do these things, all you can do is to try your best, and just hope that it is acceptable.

I am looking forward to getting my first pages.

Wednesday 25 March 2009

Altered Cardboard Book Box

Oh dear, these photos are terrible and it does look so much better in real life, but I took them in a rush as I had to get it packed and posted.

The challenge on Objet d'Art is to decorate a box - why not have a go.

This is a book box, made of card, which took me days and days to do because of all the layers and sides, and time to dry. This photo is more the true colour of box

It really was a challenge but one I enjoyed. I painted it all with Gesso first to seal inside and out. Then textured paste - for the texture. Then painted it with cream acrylic - but decided that was too pale, so gave it a couple of coats of black acrylic. I used gold rub and buff to highlight the texture. The image was mounted on card then glued to the box

It opens up to allow for use for hidden treasures or storage etc.

I did alter a spoon - well two actually - but they were not good enough do I binned them.

Monday 23 March 2009

Blame Paula for this!

I was chatting to Paula, a forum friend this morning - telling her that I hadn't a clue what to make today.

She gave me some advice which works when she 'gets stuck'.

It was to put some things on your desk, and see where it takes you.

So I put some peculiar things on my desk - and it took me to 'twee' land!

Plastic slide mounts - courtesy of Freecycle last year.
Some cute images

(Click photos to enlarge)

I painted the plastic slide mounts a pale shade of pink acrylic paint, then when dry stamped them with Stazon ink.

I sandwiched the images between acetate and then snapped them into the slide mounts.

I added embroidered cream flowers, and put black gems in the centres; rummaged around and found some vintage cream lace and some pretty pink organza ribbon.

I cut out a strip of black mount board, layered a strip of the thick cream lace, then the ribbon, added more cream embroidered flowers and black gem centres.

Punched a couple of holes in the top, and added another length of the organza ribbon!

So although I don't usually do 'twee' - I did today - and I have since hung it up in my studio and looks quite nice against a cream background

So if ever you get stuck - toss some things on your desk - and see where it takes you!

Sunday 22 March 2009

Recycled Beer Mats

I spent a couple of hours in my studio late afternoon, and made three chunky notebooks with the covers I made in previous posts - and I am actually pleased with how they turned out.

Then as I didn't have much time, I decided to play with some more recycled beer mats.

I had some 'ends' of A4 paper which I had used for one of the books I made so cut that up for - yes - another chunky little book.

The back and front covers (obviously - you don't need telling, but I had to type something to separate the photos!)

The butterfly was printed on acetate. I like the size of these little beer mat books, just right for in a handbag, and great for shopping lists.

Inside the front and back covers, I covered with white paper (although I had gesso'd them you could still see the print through it faintly.).

I coloured it with TH inks using the sponged on method, and stamped the butterfly on.

It was great, having organized most of the unmounted stamps - I could find this stamp so easily!

That's all for today folks.

Hope you had some time to play.

Saturday 21 March 2009

Another BIA book cover

Close up of copper 'shimmer'

I have been so enjoying Jo's technique, that I added more water to the little drop left in the bottom of the mister after yesterday, and used it to make another book cover.

This time I used double the amount of raffia. Sprayed the mountboard twice - letting it dry between sprays. Took off the raffia and gave it a couple of short squirts (technical term LOL) here and there.

Stamped the image in the middle, masked that off, then stamped the wording in sepia on top.

I didn't set out to make lots of note books - but having been inspired to try out new things, and having a free supply of mount board - I thought I might as well combine both and make some books - for fund raising or gifts.

This is the biggest book so far approximately 5" x 7" and is going to be really chunky as I have cut up a thick wodge of A4 paper for it.

So, now that I have used up all the liquid in the mini mister - I shall have to find something else to do next week.

But first I have three notebooks to make with this and the other two covers.

Click to enlarge the photos - you can actually see the effect of the copper Cosmos powder in the 'mix'.

Friday 20 March 2009

Inspired by Jo Capper-Sandon

Click on images to enlarge.

I just didn't know what to do this afternoon, craft wise, so turned once again to this month's Craft Stamper magazine and had another go at Jo's masking technique.

I wrapped raffia around a piece of mount board and using a mister with ink, water, and copper Cosmic powder in it, I sprayed the board.

Let it dry and then I sprayed again.

I just can't capture the gorgeous copper shimmer. The first photo I took outdoors and the one above I took indoors with a flash light.

This is another one I did - same stamp - but a slightly darker ink - you can see the copper splashes better on this one I think.

I might turn these into a notebook.

I am entering this into the Lots to do challenge the theme of which is 'masking'

Vintage BIA Book

I haven't been up to crafting for a few days - so forced myself to go out into the studio just to relax and play.

And this is the result.

I cut up some mount board - but it was slightly not quite right, so I cut up some more, rather larger pieces.

Then cut up lots of A4 sheets of paper to size - its a nice big very chunky book.

I distressed and inked the edges to tone in with the image.

The image has a nice and tranquil look about it I thought - and quite Spring like - the sun has been out this morning.

It took more than an hour - so technically its not elegible for the One Powerful Hour challenge - but one of the hours was pretty 'powerful' whilst making it! The rest of the time was rather boring doing all the cutting out and clearing up!

Tuesday 17 March 2009

ATC 'Life'

I took this photo last night - maybe I should have waited for daylight.

Another ATC inspired by our walk by the sea yesterday.

On mountboard again, sponged blended colour background. Starting with pale blue, then yellow, then graduating down with dark and darker blues, yellow and then brown over that for the sand - and yes the sand was that colour yesterday - wet from the waves.

If the click the photo it will enlarge it to see more detail. The boy is a Paper Artsy mini stamp, and I coloured him in several layers of watercolours, and used flesh colour oil pastels for his face, arms, legs and feet - although it doesn't see to show up in the photo.

I use blogging to keep a visual record of what I have made - disasters and success - just to allowing me to see what worked, what didn't, and if I am improving or not.

Monday 16 March 2009

ATC Sunshine

Whilst sorting out my stamps for storage, I discovered a Paper Artsy plate that I bought second hand last year.

As we had just got back from a walk in the sunshine on the coast, I thought I would have a go using it.

I cut an ATC out of mountboard and applied and blended shades of yellow red and orange inks, to create 'heat'.

I stamped on the Sun image plate, then painted the 'petals' with Ecoline gold ink.

Once dry I used a Krylon 18kt gold pen on top give extra emphasis on the 'leaves' around the eye. To not only suggest the gold of the sunshine, but also of 'eyelashes'.

I finished it off by outlining the ATC with Krylon gold pen. It looks rather vibrant in the sunlight and really gleams and glitters with the golds.

Click on photo to enlarge.

Fly me to the moon ATC

After sorting out some of my stamps, I tried out one of my 'new to me' second hand stamps and made this ATC. I haven't made any for ages. I am existing on just three hours sleep today, so didn't want to take on too big a task.

As usual, click photos to enlarge

As usual the photography leaves a lot to be desired, this is much brighter in daylight and the image has been embossed with clear embossing powder to make it 'leap' off the page.

I have used mountboard again - a great surface to work on, and have been practicing stippling and blending.

More inspiration from Craft Stamper Magazine.

In this month's issue, as well as lots of good ideas, and techniques, they had a very useful tip for storing stamps.

As I have bought some second hand ones very recently I thought I might have a go at their storage ideas.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that I actually some of the things so didn't have to improvise.

I did these on Sunday morning before we went away for the night.

These are ATC sized stamps I bought from MADJAK.

The remainder of the MADJAK plates, and a dragon fly.

The above are some of the ones I just bought second hand.

It took ages to do, as I had to stamp them, if I didn't have an image of them, and then laminate the images, cut them up and put them into the pockets.

These are ones that came from Elusive images - in their sale a while back.

More second hand ones from various places

And yet more

I still have some I need to do, but think I will just tackle a page at a time.

But it is a great idea, and they take up much less room than having them in a box or video boxes, and by cutting up the plates and displaying them this way - you get to see all your stamps.

And guess what - I used a couple.

Saturday 14 March 2009

Another piece of work inspired by Jo.

As I had a bit of ink still in my misters, I decided to use it up on a couple of pieces of mount board.

I think these turned out better than yesterday's attempt. I gave them two coats of spray. One with the raffia on and one without - so they have more depth.

I think they look nice just as they are - and I wish I had left them that way, because I messed one up. The best one too! But that is all part of learning a technique and what works and what doesn't. And these are on free bits of mount board so cost nothing to make.

The colours on this side do look better in real life - as you can tell by the above close ups. I stamped this one first with a Morning Glory stamp as the colours reminded me of them.

I decided that this would be the back cover, as I thought the stamping needed to be darker - so using a different stamp, I inked it up and stamped in black - as per yesterday's little coaster book.

What a mistake that was! It was way too much of a contrast with the soft colours of lime and blue. I was so cross with myself.

But I reminded myself that I am using these notebooks to try out these techniques so it didn't matter. These chunky books are made using photocopy paper that was given to me by one of my sons, and is not really suitable for stamping on.

I did 'rescue' the other piece by covering it with a piece of coloured card, spraying what was left of the blue and green - you can see a shimmer of it in daylight close up but not in the photo.

I played safe and stamped tone on tone with blue.

In hindsight, I think that the first cover looks too fussy with the lettering background - which should have been a paler colour, and the morning glory stamped image should have been in a darker shade of blue - had I had one.

I think the reason that the black stamped image worked fine yesterday, was because it was on a smaller area - but on an area twice as long, with the stamp being twice as long too - it was just looked too harsh against the soft colours.

The chunky notebook has turned out well overall, and the recipient can choose which side they like the best as the pages are plain inside.

The pages are 8cm x 17cm which just happens to be the size the A4 paper cuts up nicely in the Dreamkutz machine. The mount board is 1cm larger all round.

Friday 13 March 2009

Having a go at Jo Capper-Sandon's Technique - for Created by Hand challenge.

I spent all morning gardening, and was shattered, but thought I would have another look in the Craft Stamper Magazine to see if something would spark off my mojo and get me enthusiastic again.

There on the front page in the right hand corner something caught my eye. It is on page 54 and 55.

As per usual I have had to improvise - but it cheered me up doing so. The only thing I had on the list were beet mats - real ones - that my friend Kath has sent me to alter. I had already painted them with Gesso to hide the advertising, so I was up and running.

I won't go through all Jo's techniques etc - you can read those for yourselves - but here is my effort.

I didn't have those gorgeous stamps so used a couple which I did have.
I didn't have glimmer mists, so using Ecoline inks I made up a lime green and pretty blue in misters.

I did have raffia - from flower arranging - so used that to wrap around the beer mat.
I didn't have the printed acetate circles that Jo used - so made one myself which was perfect until I glued it onto the mat.

I placed a coffee mug on acetate and drew around it with a pen, then did the squiggly bit free hand. BUT when I glued it down using Tim Holtz clear glue (forgotten the name momentarily), it reacted to the ink and went all messy. In hindsight it would have been better to have the inked side of the circle uppermost!

As Jo was going for the 'grungey' look with hers, I figured the circle could be grungey too. Besides, it had taken so long to do the mat - which I was pleased with, I wasn't in the mood to start again.

I had another go at the next beer mat, and was pleased with how it turned out.
Outside the sky had turned black and the natural light was going, so instead of making four mats, I used these two to make a little shopping list book.
This book does look better in daylight - and the colours are richer than my rushed photos portray

I cut up some scrap photocopy paper I had, a bit more than I had intended, so the book is really chunky now. But I will be tearing pages out as I go.
So what's my verdict on Jo's article.


It is a great technique, fun to do, and one I will definitely be doing again. If I had taken the time to prepare, think of a design, etc my attempt would have been a lot better. And if you have the 'proper' supplies listed - then it will be a doddle!

But - my motive today was just to do something as a distraction - and I am pleased with how it turned out - but I can do very much better if I tried.

Thanks for the inspiration Jo

Thursday 12 March 2009

New stamp - another notebook

A new stamp I ordered arrived today - I didn't know what to 'do' with it, so made covers for yet another note book.

I will be adding ribons, fibres and paper beads - just need to make the beads first.

Bind it All notebook

Here's another little book I made, again the covers are from mount board. I will add fibres, ribbons, and a silver charm - when they arrive in the post.

Click to enlarge photo. I liked the little bird, printed him out, and drew a branch for him to perch on.

I am going to make a number of notebooks, for fund raising later in the year.

They are nice to do when you feel a bit 'stuck' mojo wise.

The written word.

I am not in 'arty' mode lately - just messing about doing things for the distraction.

I saw that on Mixed Media Mondaythe challenge was 'The written word' so thought I would have a go.

Click image to enlarge for more detail.

I had a play making a card. I don't 'do' cards - seem to have a 'blockage' in that department.

It filled an hour or so though. It would have looked better on a cream card or even if I had inked the white card pale green or purple. It is very dark today - which is making the card look darker than it is.

Stamped on green card and added white for 'grunge' effect - coloured with inks.
Mounted on the purple card to match the stamped image, and painted the butterflies to tone in with the flower