Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Chalk Marker review

Hi there.
Gosh it has been ages yet again since I've been here. I seem to have been adrift craft wise for quite a few months now. Today though, I am starting out with a product review. Why? Because I was asked to, of course, and also because I was curious.......
So, to be totally up front, yes I was sent the product. However, the thoughts and opinions are all my own and if you are interested, here we go.
 Chalk Markers are designed for non porous surfaces so, I started out by trying them on glass. It takes a few minutes to prime the nib to get the ink to flow but once you've done that it flows smoothly.
 I have to say that I was impressed with the consistency, it looks more like a paint and the colours are beautifully opaque. It didn't dry quickly so I had to be careful of smudging. Though to honest, it's cold and damp today so that doesn't help. The colours in this set are great (Earthy Colours set)
 Next up, was chalkboard. I have a couple of sets of drawers in my studio which have chalkboard centres. Usually I just stick a post it note on it with what's inside because chalk is messy and I change the contents quite often so I don't want something permanent.
 As a crafter/mixed media artist I have a tendency to squirrel stuff away in containers in my studio. Then I forget what's in then once they are all stacked up so labeling is good.
 Then I thought I'd give it a go on card.... it was interesting to see how some colours absorbed in and others stayed quite vibrant which makes them good for adding detail in journal pages.
 Next up, metal.
 Journaling onto an inked page.
Then it was time to see how easily it came off the various surfaces........
 I used a baby wipe and it came off easily with no residue on the chalkboard which made me happy.

 Again, easily off the  plastic......
 And, surprisingly well off the card too. It left a faint mark which I thought would be pretty cool to create a ghosted pattern on a tag or something.

 It came off the glass easily too.
This is the Party Colours set. much more vibrant with neons too.
All in all. I think these are one of the best quality chalk markers I have used. The previous ones I used were much more transparent and did not write as well.
I think that these are definitely suited more for labeling bottles, containers etc when you change the contents fairly regularly. Also great for kids to use. We painted a chalkboard onto the front of our fridge and these are great for that too.
All in all, I am impressed and will enjoy using then around the house and studio.

If you are interested here is the link to the website Chalkola  (if you are in the UK then click the UK flag on the top to get to the UK site)
If you decide to purchase then if you use this code you can get 20% off  - 20OFFSTR



Friday, 18 November 2016

Christmas Bauble

Good morning friends.
I trust that I thought I would grab a moment to share a small Christmas Tree Bauble I made using a clear perspex bauble from Country Love Crafts. This is the finished bauble.

 I tore strips of vintage sheet music and glued them to the back of the bauble using DecoArt Faux Finishing Medium and allowed to dry. Once dry I added a wash of  DecoArt Warm White Americana Acrylic. I raided my stash box and used a glue gun to secure the wooden stag embellishment. I took my Fantasy 2 stamp from The Artistic Stamper and inked it up with Jet Black StazOn and rolled the edges of the front part of the bauble over to create a but of patterned interest.

Once everything was dry I added some seed pearl beads to the mix.....

Of course it isn't Christmas without a little sparkle so I brushed Faux Finishing Medium behind the stamped areas of the front of the bauble and the inside edges of the back. A little on the stag too. A spoonful of Ultra Fine Glitter in place I closed the bauble and gave it a good shake.
 I opened it up and allowed it to dry thoroughly before wiping the excess glitter away from the non glued areas.
 Once dry I popped it back together, added my ribbon and hey presto, a lovely decoration for my tree this year!
Hope you like it....
Take care and have a lovely creative day.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

All tangles and teardops

Good evening friends. I trust that you are all well, time seems to be marching on at a pace at the moment, doesn't it.  I seem to have a thousand and one projects on a slow simmer at the moment but nothing quite finished yet.  Except for this, the second of my watercolour journals.

 For some reason, I totally forgot to take any pictures of the process.  The basis of this journal is my Tangled Patchwork book cover kit. It is so good to have time to make books using my kits again as I have been feeling that I haven't really had time over the last year to enjoy creating with them.

The base and middle layers have been painted with DecoArt Fluid Acrylic. The top layer has a bit more detailing and texture. I stamped and heat embossed my Fantasy Stamps (available from The Artistic Stamper) then used DecoArt Metallic Lustres and paint to colour and bring out the detail.
 I kept the front element simple as I was really pleased with the textures and detail of the cover so added a trio of metal embellishments along with a couple of "teardrop" beads and a wing. (hence the title of tonight's post.....)

As this book is part of the trio I am making, the same fabric was used for the spine and the pages inside are watercolour cardstock.

I've finished another couple of things which I should be able to share soon. I'm also busy working on my staircase. I have had enough of sanding and this afternoon I was able to start on the fun and creative bits. It's taking forever but I hope it is worth it in the end.
Take care and thanks for popping by, I appreciate it.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Flights of Fantasy

Good evening friends,   Last week I finally carved out time to begin to finish a couple of books I had put to one side  before my holiday.  One is still sitting in the press but one is finished so I thought I'd show you it tonight.
If you are a pretty regular reader of my blog, you may recall seeing these a little while ago.....

 I used Tando Creative Media Boards and my Tangled Yarn and Winged Pattern Masks with DecoArt Texture Sand Paste to create the dimension and left to dry.
 A random assortment of DecoArt Media Misters to add colour......fun, exciting and messy!
 Followed by a wash of Media Fluid Acrylics .
 A rub with Copper Kettle Metallic Lustre, then stamping and heat embossing with my Butterfly stamp from The Artistic Stamper to finish the boards.
 While I was spritzing the boards I used a white piece of card to "mop" up the excess. I stamped, heat embossed and cut out 3 butterflies from this card.
 These were covered with DecoArt Liquid Glass and left to dry for ages! I love this stuff as, it gives this lovely glassy finish similar to Glossy accents, UTEE etc but it remains fully flexible when dry which makes it ideal for semi loose embellishments.
 Then, cutting and folding watercolour card for the pages.
 Hole piercing and sewing the book inner, time in the press to settle.
 I opted for a soft fabric spine for this journal. This beautiful braid originally came from a sari. I picked it up at a boot fair from a lady who bought it on a trip to India but never used it.
 The finished journal. The base covers are random textures and stamped imagery, one of the boards added in place and one of the glazed butterflies to complete the picture. a row of self adhesive gems to finish.

I thoroughly enjoyed making this book. It had been a while since I last made a book and I was missing it. Now I have another two almost ready, happy days.....
Take care and I'll be back soon

Monday, 19 September 2016

DecoArt meets Warhammer - Let there be light....

Hi there folks.
It's been a while but I have been busy. Today I finally had the chance to get my latest project finished so here it is....
 My steampunk inspired lamp. I love these vintage light bulbs and wanted to create something that suited the "olde worlde" style of them.
 It took forever to find a suitable base but then I discovered this at Homesense and it was perfect.
 Then I had fun creating the finish I wanted.........
I'm so pleased with the finished light, everything came together (for a change!) so, in the following pics I'll take you through the process for those who are interested.

 I super glued some Warhammer Promethian pipes to the pipe of the lamp (They were a perfect fit which was one of the prblems finding the right base!)
 I added a selection of die cut gears to the base to add interest, gluing them in place with DecoArt Faux Finish Medium.
 I added some decorative metal trim to the top securing with copper tape and wire.
 When everything was in place it was time to add a layer of gesso, a fiddly, time consuming but necessary process.

 Then time to add colour. My "go to" colours for creating aged metal are DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylic Prussian Blue Hue and Burnt Sienna. Using both separately but blending as you work, the combination gives amazing blue, green and rust tones. It can take a while to get the balance of colours right but it's worth experimenting.

 Once you are happy with it, leave to dry. Then, it,s time to begin to bring back all the details that get lost.  So drybrushing here we come...... Fans of Andy Skinner will know ALL about this LOL
 I used DecoArt Fluid Acrylic Medium  Grey Value 6.  This steps takes a while , so  I had to exercise patience..........
 The final stage in paint and colour is the addition of metallic highlights to bring even more detail out in areas. I used DecoArt Metallic Lustre in Copper Kettle.
Then it was time to raid the embellishment drawer for some finishing touches. Then, everything sealed with DecoArt Acrylic Sealer, Matte.
Job done. Hope you like it and, more importantly, I hope I have inspired you!
Take care and see you soon.