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.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Dusting off my art journal

Hi there folks.
I trust you are well.
Thought I'd pop on to share a couple of recent journal pages. I've neglected making time to journal which is a pity really as I always enjoy creating when I do take time.
Growing up, one of my favourite artists at high school was Georgia O Keefe and this page was inspired by one of her quotes. Working in pen, Distress Markers, a water filled brush and some Distress crayon I tried to create the feel of her style; with a touch of my own style tossed in too.




This next page is more of a mish mash of bits and pieces of things I had done while playing around so I put them all together on a page and tied everything together with my stamps, masks and distress inks. The photo is a vintage one from a bunch I picked up from a vintage shop




Hope you all have a wonderful day, till next time have a creative time.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Crawling out from the swamp......

Goodly morning friends.
Having done very little crafting over the last few months I decided enough was enough and I needed to claw my way out of the "wilderness" so to speak. And what better way to do this than choosing something that had been hiding in my studio for almost two years......

 I saw this little chap (A kids bubble bath) while shopping and mentioned that it would be fun to alter. Well, three guesses what I unwrapped that Christmas lol.
 First thing was a good coat of DecoArt Media Gesso.

 Then out came my suitcase of DecoArt Americana, yes I do realise I have quite a lot of paint.
 This is always the fun bit. I chose to go with the green and brown colours as I had already started to call him Swampie, Not very original but it worked for me.

 Once he was dry I pulled a selection of DecoArt Metallic Lustre and added highlights to bring some of the textures to life.


 Then, the DecoArt Media Quinacridone Gold Fluid Acrylic came out to play. I made a wash and proceeded to "drown" him. This stuff really ties everything together and adds the perfect aged tone.



Then I had to exercise patience and allow it to dry thoroughly so I left him in a corner for a couple of days before giving him a couple of coats of DecoArt Matte spray varnish.

This was a fun project to do and I am pleased to say that he has kickstarted my creative mojo again.
Hope you like .
Take care and I hope to be back with more projects sooner rather than later.......