Friday, 21 November 2014

Team Spirit Love

Hi there folks.
I'm just chilling enjoying a day off today. Sometimes we all need moments to just sit, think and contemplate our blessings before we get caught up in the busyness of our everyday lives so I'm making the most of it.
I also thought I'd tell you about something "new" I discovered the other day that I think is just great for art journaling....
DecoArt Team Spirit Writers. Now, confession time; I ordered these by mistake, thinking that they were something else so when they arrived I was actually disappointed. Best mistake I have made in a while let me tell you! What they are are a waterbased Glass/Posterboard paint with a spong applicater tip. They dry to a lovely matte chalky finish which after about 3 hours is waterproof. The original use is for writing signs etc.
Not any more LOL as I discovered how cool they are in my journal to create great backgrounds quickly.
I started by covering my page with assorted colours (Ok, ALL of them bar white!) layering colours on top of each other in places.
 I then took one of my masks (Winged Pattern) and a moist wipe and began to rub away some of the paint.
 Doesn't it look cool?

 I added some white through the same mask and because the pens have a sponge tip I could add some cool circles too.
 All in all, this background took no more than 5 minutes to do (And that includes drying time.)
 This is the page now after I have added white pen details and a border.
 The words read : "Busy in the midst of chaos I struggle some days to focus in and hear the still small voice"
 I've also begun to add some pen doodles to which I will add more colour with inks to create further depth.
I have to say that I am really impressed with them. I often take a journal out with me and wish I had paints with me (Which is not practical as it is messy and they don't dry in time, you need water and brushes etc) Now I can pack these in my bag, no need for water and brushes but I can paint backgrounds on the go quickly and easily.
They dry quickly so are more suited to modern funky designs rather than subtle blended tones but the colours are lovely and vivid. There are purple, red, blue, green, yellow, orange, black and white so all you need. I can just see circle designs, stripes and geometric designs etc which I can't wait to try out  too so watch this space........
I'd also like to say that this is an unsolicited "review" No one has asked me to try them or promote them.
 I'm not even sure if there are any shops that currently sell them here in the UK as I've not seen them anywhere. However I am sure that if your local craft store sells DecoArt Products they would be able to order them if you are interested.
Take care and I hope you all have a great and crafty weekend ahead.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

It's time to begin Christmas.....

Good evening friends.
I have to say; I love the Christmas season. I always have and I am sure I always will. Some years I leave everything to the last minute but this year is going to to be an early start. I'm in the mood to begin LOL.
Today I thought I'd share some of my new tree decorations.
They may not be the best of photos because of the light but I'm sure you'll get the idea. And, I even remembered to do the step by step pics too.
I picked up these bauble shapes from a show recently so they are the starting point. These are plywood but any chipboard shapes will work just as well.
 For my images I used elements from the latest Making Cards magazine as I loved the traditional look to them. (They also had two of each so I could have the same design on both sides.) Just a note here; remember that every step detailed here is done on BOTH sides of the shape!
 I chose my images and drew around them using the bauble as the template and glued down with DecoArt Faux finishing Medium.
 Once they were dry I used a sanding grip to trim and neaten the edges.
 For the next step I used black Archival ink and foam to add colour and shadow to them. I used this rather than Distress Ink because I needed it to dry waterproof.
 You can see the difference it makes in this next picture.
 By the end I had 6 baubles prepared
 Now of course, it isn't Christmas without a bit of glitter is it? So out came the Stickles and I added some sparkle ....
 Then it was time to add some shine with DecoArt Triple Thick Brushable Glaze.
 One side of each bauble was covered with a liberal coating and left to dry overnight. I love this stuff, it is self leveling so it gives a gorgeous even layer of glaze.
 It is important that the glitter and glaze is done on one side only and left to dry thoroughly before doing the other side. Even though it may feel touch dry in a few hours I recommend allowing at least 24 hours in a warm place.
 Once they had been glazed on both sides I finished them off with a hanging twine and an organza ribbon bow.

Aren't they pretty? Older daughter has already laid claim to the kitty and younger daughter will choose one for herself. The rest will adorn one of our Christmas trees.
I still have four baubles left which I want to decorate differently so I will be back with more.
Hope you all have a lovely evening....

Sunday, 16 November 2014


Good evening folks
Well I'm not sure if I'm coming or going at the moment; this full time work lark is taking some getting used to LOL and by the new year I should have a more settled routine which I am looking forward to.
I have, however, managed to get busy on a couple of things this week which is good. I get irritable if I go too long without studio time.
Tonight I thought I'd share just a coupe of the journal pages I've been working on during lunchtimes and breaks at work. Some are still in progress, but thought you may like to see them anyway. They are all from one of my 6 x 6 journals made with one of my cover kits. The pages are 12 x 12 patterned card and I have added tapes and inks to a lot of the pages to give a starting point.

 As I can't really splash paints and ink around at work I  am restricted to pens etc so my doodling is being practised. I like these birds, some of which may end up in rubber(?) one day.
 This I love. The page is not finished but the birds are. Once I'd finished drawing them I used a white pen to add highlights before colouring them with Dylusions inks (in fillable brushes)
 I had to sketch the branch for him to sit on too. Not 100% sure of it, but I kind of like the leaves though.
 I'm still waiting for the right words to write, but that will come.....
 Just white pen doodles on this page with a reminder to me of where I need to go for wisdom when I am feeling confused.
Lastly, just a simple page, I particularly liked this quote.
There you have it then, some of my work place scribbles; hope you like them. Now I guess I'd better get myself sorted for the new week........
Take care folks and I'll catch you soon with some new projects that I'm working on.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Getting in touch with my "feminine" side. A book for the ladies.

Good afternoon friends
I've been working on another book recently using my Wonky House Cover kit. As the first time I used this kit I created something rather grungy and darker, duller colours I thought I would try to show the versatility of the design by creating a softer feel.....
You will be the judge of whether I succeeded or not LOL. I'll show you the finished book first; then, if that's all you are interested in you can stop looking, though I will follow with some of the steps taken to get there.
So here goes......the finished book.
 Close up of the cover. I added a small Tando Creative Flourish to the front which I felt complimented the book.
 Back and spine detail. The pages have been made using patterned cardstock.
 So that is the finished book. What follows is some of the stages to get there.......
 Begin by assembling the cover and spine using fabric and DecoArt Faux Finishing Medium.
 Paint the covers with white paint and use double sided tape to adhere lace to the cover, overlapping the edges as seen.
 Colour the whole thing with DecoArt Media Fluid acrylics and water. Add DecoArt Faux Finishing Medium and brush over the whole piece. You will see that it further blends and softens the colours as well as adding further adhesion to the lace and cover. Set aside and leave to dry thoroughly.
 When dry, work over the cover with white paint and a very light touch to highlight the texture of the lace.
Once this is dry it's a good time to add the inner pages and leave pressed under a weight to dry.
 Paint the house white and leave to dry.
 Add colour using the same two colours of fluid acrylic used on the cover. When touch dry stamp the Alphabet Soup background stamp onto the house with Orange Blossom Archival ink.
 Leave to dry for a few moments and, taking a moist wipe, begin to rub away to distress areas. As it is not totally dry you will rub away some of the top colour to reveal the white underneath. Continue until you are happy.
 Once it is dry, flip over and use masking tape or similar to cover the apertures of the doors and windows.
 Flip it back ad add a sprinkle of fine glitter. Bush of the excess and you will be left with a lovely shimmer where the glitter has stuck to the tape.
 Flip over; cut a strip of co-ordinating lace ribbon long enough to wrap around the whole cover. Position and tape in place before adding glue
 Position in place onto the front cover and press in place and leave to dry thoroughly, either under a heavy weight or
Or, if you have one, a large flower press works a treat. Now we are back to the beginning. Once everything is dry, you can embellish to your heart's content.
I added painted the flourish with blues and stamped the words in black archival ink. I added the larger flower to the book and then the flourish was added to the cover with 3d foam tape. A little matching flower was added to the flourish. I added some blue tones to the book with the same paint to tie the two pieces in. I used a glue gun to add the metal leaves (broken jewellery) wrapping it around the spine and securing only on the front and back to allow for movement when opening the book. A metal butterfly adds the final finish to the top.
Job done! Hope you like it.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Just time for a tag today

Good morning friends
This morning I have had a little time at home as I am working late night. So the first thing I did was nip down to the studio for a little potter and tinker.......
One of my more recent acquisitions from The Craft Barn was this Bloom Impressions tool. Now, me being me, I didn't buy any of the dies designed for use with it (yet....) as I wanted to see how I could use it with what I already had so on the packaging you can see the results of my first trial using a standard 6 petal punched flower. Not too bad, though I need to experiment a lot more to see how I can get the results I have in my mind.
 What I do like is the depth of the flower.
 So, I thought I'd make use of them straight away and took an embossed tag that had been coloured with left over paint. I swiped some archival ink over the tag to highlight the texture more.
 Wrapped some yarn around and stapled in place to hold.
 Then it was time to play; I challenged myself to only use stuff that was lying on my table already (which was pretty easy as I hadn't cleared anything away for a while LOL) and this is the finished tag.
 I added a couple of tattered floral flowers from book pages and used them as the base for my flowers. I tucked a reindeer into place.
 The stars are mdf shapes; with two layers of clear UTEE into which I stamped my Fantasy Stamp to add detail and gilded with Treasure Gold when cool. (these were two spare ones from a current Christmas project which I'll share later this year) I think they are pretty cool.
 Some detail added with some letter tokens and ribbon and wool to finish the top.
 Here you can see the lovely depth of the flowers. I know that these are not the best of flowers, I am sure I can do more but at least I felt they were usable which I think is not bad. Half the time my first trials get tossed into the bin!
This tag is going to form part of a larger piece that I want to do, hopefully it will all come, let me see if I can get a little more creative time in before I need to head out. Catch you all later.