Thursday, 7 December 2017


Hi there everyone.
I trust this finds you well, thank you for popping on by.
Thought I'd just share some of my recent decorating photos. I still have some detail work to do but to be honest I usually rope Susan in to do it as she has a much steadier hand than I do.
I started the stairs ages ago but I recently took a week off to paint and decorate the rest, the entrance, walls and top landing.
Of course, me being me, I complicated things by deciding to create a textured effect on the lower section of the walls. Then I decided to lift the carpets so I had to sand and varnish the wooden floor and paint and stencil the bottom concrete floor. I don't make life easy for myself. I am, however, over the moon happy with the end result which makes it all worth it.
Hope you enjoy the end result too.

 To create the texture I used tissue paper, something us crafters use quite often, this was on a much larger scale though lol.

 I do love the stairs, they have stencil work on the edges and I added some word stickers.

 We've an eclectic selection of vintage sieves, a clamp and deer horn shelf  going up the stairs.
 They form shelves to display some of our smaller sculptures and other vintage ephemera.
 Just catching the light you can see "veins" of variegated metals, created with gilding flakes.

 The concrete floor has been simply painted with some stencil work running along the edges.
A detail showing some of the textured finish. All in all there are around six layers to this as I had to just keep going until I reached the effect I was after.
I am glad it's almost finished though, I was losing the will to live closer to the end.
Take care and have a lovely day.

Monday, 11 September 2017

"Emergency" sketchbooks...

Good morning friends.
Last week on my day off I decided to have a bit of fun making journals. I call them my emergency sketchbooks as they are small enough to pop into a bag, or even a pocket so all you need is a pen when the urge to sketch strikes.

I started by folding 10 strips of 280gsm card stock in half to form a single signature.

I popped them into the press for a while to help flatten the fold. (Much easier than trying to get a decent fold with my own power)

When I took them out I added the thread holes and using a no.4 string from the Ropery in Hawes bound each signature and trimmed the edges.

 Then it was time to raid the leather box and cut the covers.
A pile of books waiting to be glued. This is my least favourite part to be honest. Still. Each cover was glued, weighted under slate and then when I had done six they went into the press for final pressure.

I used a beaded tie closure to finish them off and by the end of the day I had finished 19. Yes, there are only 17 here for those who have counted lol. The other two were gifted to a friend.
The finished books are 6 x 14 cm.
Why am I making so many? Well, I have decided to take the plunge and open an Etsy store soon and thought it would be nice to have a reasonable selection of different books to begin with along with my larger journals. I will also be putting together some book making kits containing everything needed to make your own...
So watch this space, I will let you know when I have taken the plunge. I have to say, I am very nervous about this. I don't know if I am the only "artist" who feels this way about putting their babies out there for the world to judge.....but hey I will get over it I am sure.
Take care.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Catching up.....

Hi there folks.
we have just returned from a glorious couple of weeks away, spending some time with our daughter and her partner, a city break in Edinburgh and time in our favourite cumbrian, lakes and dales.....
As always it is back to work and reality with a bang. The lawn was a meter high, the cats looked at us with disdain and the laundry, well you get the picture I am sure.
I also have a mountain of photos to look through and sort out.
This evening I thought I would take the opportunity to pop on and say hello and share a tin I altered a while back. I was looking through my pics and realised that though I have not done as much creating as I used to I do have a number of projects that I have done and not shared.
I picked up this metal tin from a charity shop and began by adding a card to the lid to act as a base for the rest. I used some texture paste through my Tangled Yarn mask and began to layer up a collection of random bits.The advantage of collecting things and making embellishments is that I have tonnes to choose from. The plaster angel was one of a pair I found a few years ago.

Once everything was dry I sprinkled and spritzed a wide selection of Infusions and water. I love this stuff. I repeated the process a few times, allowing drying time in between.

Finally I highlighted areas with gilding waxes and paint to bring out more details. The edge of the lid has this super cool feathered and beaded trim. I have to force myself to use these beautiful things sometimes because I find them at antique and vintage fairs and you never know when or if you will ever find similar again. But I keep reminding myself that I bought them so their beauty can be used and seen in my art.

I wrapped the base in decorative metal and copper tape to add interest.

Hope you like.
Take care and have yourselves a creative time.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

journal making.....

Good evening folks.
Tonight I am sharing the latest journal I have made, it never takes too long before I miss the joy of creating a book.
I'll be honest and say that though I thoroughly enjoyed making this, it didn't turn out as I had hoped so I may end up going back to it and revisiting the colour palette......
 After folding and gluing a stack of beautiful handmade paper together to create the text block
 They were popped into the press for a few days to dry and keep flat.
 I used fabric for the covers. Glued in place with DecoArt Faux Finishing Medium.
 Colour was added with DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylic washes.
 I used one of my masks that never got produced along with some DecoArt texture paste to add texture. along with raiding the odds and sods box that every mixed media artist has to build up interest.
 I added a frame and cherub and left everything to dry.
Everything had a few layers of paint added. When it was dry. DecoArt Metallic Lustre was used to add some shimmer and patina.
The finished journal....
Hope you have a good week.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Altered Cake Stand

Good morning folks.
Today I thought I would share the project I did on my last day off. We found this fold away stand down in Whitstable. The legs were damaged and it was looking rather forlorn. Still I couldn't resist.

 The first thing I did was patch up the leg and then I used a stencil and some DecoArt Media black Texture Paste to add a decorative "panel" to each section.
 Once dry I gave everything a couple of coats of a pale green chalk paint.
 Next it was a couple of coats of a pale grey/cream chalk paint.
 Then out came the sandpaper. I used both a coarse grit and a finer grit to rub back and create the distressed effect.

 When I was happy with it I wiped it down and gave everything a good coat of aging using a bitumen and white spirit mix. I used one coat and wiped it all away using moist wipes before going back over the centre panels and adding more so they would stand out.

 I'm really happy with the end result. Hope you like it too. I really enjoy painting furniture and smaller pieces are good because you can finish them in a day.

Enjoy your day and thanks for popping by.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Pink just won't cut it......

Hi folks. Just a quick little project here. One of the things that happens when you are married to a teacher is the "honey, I need a rusty tin bath for school, like yesterday please."
Now, while I appreciate the faith shown in my skills, what happens when you can only find said tin bath in the right size but the colour, oh the colour...........
 Well, first step is to add some texture by spraying with some spray texture.
 Following that with a few coats of grey chalk paint to get rid of the pink. Once that was finished some random touches of brown were added and blended with a moist wipe.

 To finish I used DecoArt spitzers in red and black along with a liberal spray of water to move and flow the colour to end up with this.....
Now this is more suited to sit atop an artificial fire in Stig of the Dump's ramshackle hut at school.
A fun project. Hope you like.