Friday, 13 October 2017

Another new discovery....

While here in Australia I suddenly discovered the work and products of Jane Davenport. Duh, I must have been somewhere under a rock.....
She has a huge product line with American Crafts, available in Michaels stores, and her products are also widely available in the UK and elsewhere
. But.... she is from Australia and has her own online shop here and of course I could not help myself and some of her products just fell into my basket... I love her colourful style and personality. So here are a first couple of pieces, using her work as inspiration :o)

I love the looseness of her portraits, without them becoming as stylised as some of the other artists out there. The background was done with some of her watercolours (pretty similar to the Prima sets I think), I then added detail with some of her water soluable crayons (they will only become available world wide from November, but she has them in her own shop here in Oz), and some coloured pencils and pens I had here anyway.
Embracing bright colours is always hard for me, but I am trying to break out into other ways of doing art. Having said that, my next page (and my own more favoured one) was done in more monochrome colours)
I love experimenting with different styles of faces, so expect to see more..... When I am back home and have my usual supply of stamps and inks, I may add further background detail still.
The penwork was done with a Sakura Micron pen and I was glad I had taken a white gelpen with me for some highlights.
I added the sentiment digitally and am going to add this to the October challenge at AJJ Landscapes of the soul

Thank you for dropping in here like usual and have a happy weekend!
xxxxx

Monday, 9 October 2017

Jumping on the Bulletjournal train

Hello all and thanks for dropping by this very quiet blog... As most of you know I am away from home spending time with my grandchildren and blogging has had to take a bit of a back seat. But, whenever there is a moment I try to create something, and today I have something very different to share with you.
Those who know me well, know that I love planners and journals. I have used a variety of planners, shop bought and home made for years. There are an endless variety of planners out there and a huge planner community.

For a while now I have been watching the phenomenon of bullet journaling. If you don't know what a bullet journal is, you can find out about it HERE.
The more I found out about bullet journalling, the more I liked it, as you can adapt it to whatever works for you. It can be as clean and simple, or as colour, - and artful as you like and there are some amazing artists out there who are into this planning system and can give you great inspiration. Both Pinterest and Instgram are great to find them, there are also hundreds of youtubes. Basically all you need is a pen and a notebook to get started, but after that you can make it as fancy as you want.
Anyway, onto my pages, as I started this in October, the first page shows my October cover page. Cover pages are a bit of an extra really, but it's those creative aspects I really enjoy and that get me into the mood. Below some close ups:
I used coloured pencils, pens and some colourful washi tapes. While in China I found some amazing washi tapes on Etsy, really different ones from the usual brightly coloured tapes, if you are interested, here are some links:
https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/alicemolds
https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/pikwahchan?section_id=11503157
https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/TapesKingdom
One of the things I love about the bullet journal concept is that I can practise both my lettering and my drawing, while at the same time giving some structure to my life, something I know I am going to need during retirement. So here are some further samples:

My monthly overview spread for this month, basically giving a quick view of the month ahead.



I also do weekly spreads and the one for this week is below:

Weekly spreads can contain lots of trackers, habits, sleep, water consumption, whatever you want, and ofcourse each day will have to dos and events listed too - that is the beauty of this system. You are totally free to make it your own and add what you like or find useful.

Finally people also add "collections", pages where you note down things you want to remember or keep track of. Below just a couple I have done so far, - I plan to do several more, but that will keep for another time...
No more forgetting birthdays with this list. Each month I can refer back to this and add the list of people to my monthly spread which also has a section for birthdays.

Well, that's it for now, hope my usual followers are not too disappointed that this is not my usual vintage mixed media stuff, but when I am back home again at some point next month, normal blogging will start again. Until such time, thanks for dropping by today, have a good week and happy creating!
xxxxx

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Mini album tutorial for October

Hello everyone and welcome. Today I want to share another little book I made, really just for fun and to use up some of my stash . But before I do so, I want to apologize.  I have been a terrible blogger lately, but while I am with my family in Australia, life is crazy busy for me right now, and sometimes visiting blogs has to take a back seat, sorry about that. Anyway, on to my project, this was made before I left, ready for the new challenge at the Mini Album Makers Challenge blog. We had a fantastic response to the challenge last month! Thanks so much to all of you who entered!
I love making mini books as most of you will know, and once again I am sharing one of my favourite ways to make these little 4 x 6" books,  made just out of one piece of 12 x 12" card stock. I used Kraft card, but any card can be used, though it's best if it is two sided card stock.


Here is how to do it:
1. Take a piece of 12 x 12 and score horizontally at 6".
2. Turn the card 90 degrees and score at 4" and 8".
3. Turn the card back to its original position and cut along the line between 1 & 4 and 3 & 6 up to the middle score line as shown on the diagram above.
4. Start folding like this: Fold panel 1 up to panel 2, then fold both behind panel 3, then fold them down to 4, then behind panel 5 and finally up to panel 6.
5. Turn it sideways so the spine is on the left, - panel 1 is single and will form part of the cover; 2 and 3 are together and can be glued at the top to make a little pocket, or glued together completely for a thicker page; panel 5 and 4 are together and can be glued at the bottom, to form another pocket, or be glued down complete again, finally panel 6 is single again and will form the back cover. If you want you can do exactly the same again to make a fatter book, but I left mine just with one piece of card and made two pockets for tags as described.

This may all sound very complicated, but really when you do it its very easy

Anyway, on to the cover first of all.
I cut a piece of card to 5 3/4 by 3 3/4, just the right size to cover the front panel of my little book, I covered it with clear gesso and added some textural elements: A piece of lace, some cheese cloth, a large flower and a strip of corrugated card.

After gluing everything down the whole piece was coated with mat gel medium and then I added some Decoart Crackle Glaze in certain corners:
Here you might be able to see just a hint of the crackle after it had dried.

Next I selected a number of sprays in some of my favourite colours, you could use any sprays you have. Beginning with the lightest colour I started to add them, using the spray bottles and my paint brush
Here is the effect of the first layer of colour just using the spray. I also added some background stamping over the crackled areas. Then with the help of my paintbrush the colours were deepened, around the flower and over the cracks to show them up more. Any excess was quickly wiped away with a baby wipe. This is possible because I had covered the paper with the clear gesso first..

A couple of word stickers and some foiled rub ons finished it all off.
Now to the inside:
I am still on a mission to use up some of my stash, ink up some rarely used stamps and for this project even used some paints from my watercolour palette that were left over from other projects.
Each little page was pretty much done in the same way. I used some leftover bits of scrapbook paper, cut them to the correct size (3 3/4 by 5 3/4"), and then gave them a coat of clear gesso. As you saw from the cover, his stops the paints from soaking straight into the paper, I then added further colour with the help of some watercolours and Distress Inks here and there, added stamped detail, some crackle glaze and Antiquing Creams and finally some Prima adhesive rub on bits by Christine Adolph, and foiled them with gold.






Below some close ups from the individual pages:











Below finally is the back cover.
There are pockets between the pages, and I will make tags to go inside. The size of the pockets is perfect for a standard size 8 tag.

I hope that my little book  inspires you to join in the fun at Mini Album Makers this month! Do check out the amazing books my teamies have made too, if you have not already done so!
Our very generous Sponsor this month is Gypsy Soul who will be offering a fabulous Laser Cut Prize Pack to one lucky randomly chosen winner! Thank you Gypsy Soul!

Well, that's it for now, thank you for dropping by like always and have a good month!
xxxxx



Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Autumnal tag



Hello friends and thanks for dropping in. Today I am sharing an autumnal tag.

Below I will take you through a quick step by step:

I started with a Ranger size 10 Manilla tag and scraped on a thick layer of rather old gesso, I mention this because it is a bit dried out and very thick, just right for what I wanted it for on this occasion:


I scraped it on with a palette knife and while it was still wet pressed down some old book pages, which I then peeled off again, just leaving some tiny scraps behind, I also pressed a Tim Holtz layering stencil (the crackle one) right into the gesso, using it like a kind of impression plate, this gave me some additional texture. Below is a close up:


I was after a sort of stucco wall effect. Looks kind of all right, but now watch what happened after I brought out some of my sprays, that's when the magic starts to happen....


All I did was give it some quick sprays of a dark brown Ground Espresso Distress spray, I love how it almost looks like birch bark. Here's a close up:


Next I wanted to deepen the colour a bit in the center, so I gave it some further spritzes, dabbing off some of the excess with a bit of paper towel.


On to the embellishing, - I die cut a couple of leaves from thick white card and started to play with some autumnal coloured paints.


I then edged the leaves with a bit of dark brown Distress Ink (Ground Espresso)
Now all I had to do was add a few bits and bobs from my stash to create a kind of autumnal cluster, a sentiment, and I was done.



The wreath thing was a Dusty Attic chippy that I gave a few spritzes of dark brown spray


I added some wired raffia twine, curled around a thin paintbrush to give it all a bit of a rustic look.


The sentiment is just a sticker from the 7 Dots Studio Dreamer collection by Finnabair, I chose it because the colours just matched my project to perfection.


A few bits of ribbon and twine at the top, to carry on the rustic theme, and that was pretty much it....



Even though it is Spring here in Australia, the weather has been pretty cold and wet, and often feels more Autumnal than Springlike so far, fingers crossed the sun will come through before too long.
Many thanks for your visit like always
xxxxx

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Birthday Card

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Just got a whole lot of new stamps from a brilliant place called the Stamp Smith. This is the image that I first saw on Docraft and really liked. I asked the friend who has used it in an ATC, where she got it. Well she borrowed it from a friend who got it from ebay as a one off. But.... it had a title. I googled the title, and hey presto found the site. They have great stamps and offer a really friendly fast service. I highly recommend them!

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Gothic Arch Trifold inside

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Gothic Arch Within the Heart

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