Sunday, 7 December 2014

Art Journaling Sunday

Hello everyone, thanks for dropping by especially since I have been absent for far too long.

Mostly I have been busy with workshop projects and just can't seem to find the time to craft just for my own pleasure. I do plan to be around in blog land much more regularly in future, with lots more step by steps and videos too.

Meantime....on the first Sunday of each month there is an Art Journaling session in Snazzys Studio between 11am and 3pm. There is no need to book your space, just drop in and join us. All you need is to want to have a go, bring your own journal if you have one, but if not we can provide everything you need for just £5 for the session, and that includes your tea/coffee and biscuits.

Being December, and with Christmas fast approaching, this month I wanted to create a rich page with a touch of metallic. I have been admiring the beautiful backgrounds using Brushos being shared in blog land, but with a studio full to bursting I really can't justify investing in them. So, having applied a layer of gesso to the blank page with Cut and Dry foam, I thought I would experiment by adding a few sprinkles of Polished Pigments/Primary Elements from Luminarte, whilst the gesso was still damp. I then immediately lightly spritzed the powders with water until they were wet enough to blend together, tilting my journal to get them to run a bit.

I was really pleased with the effect and the photo certainly doesn't do justice to the richness of the colours or the shimmer!

As often happens, I then got so carried away with some of my favourite Hero Arts stamps, Ranger Embossing Powders in Copper and Gold and Versafine inks in Crimson Red and Olympia Green, I forgot to take photos of all the steps but I think it is pretty self explanatory.

The only downside I found using the Luminarte powders in this way was they acted a little too effectively as an anti static powder and so made it quite tricky to get the inks to stamp cleanly and the embossing powders to stick evenly. I didn't really mind as the Hero Arts stamps were a little too modern for the vintage effect I was looking for, so I think the problems I had actually helped me get the look I wanted. Serendipity in action again lol!

This was the last AJ session for 2014 but the first of the new year will be on Sunday 4 January when I am looking forward to starting a brand new journal using an old book as my base. Many thanks to all of you who have dropped in to journal in 2014, new journal or old, beginner or regular, journal or old book, I do hope to see you in the studio in 2015.

Have a very Happy Christmas and good fortune to you and yours in 2015 xx


Friday, 28 February 2014

A little coffee....

Hello there, long time no post but I thought I'd stop by and share a couple of projects I have been working on.

I started with these.......

the wood block stamps are from Inkadinkado, and the Polymer stamps are all Hero Arts from the latest 2014 release. I added these.....


stamping the images with Coffee Archival ink onto white tissue, chopping some leftover Bazzill Classic papers in Patina into strips. I used peacock Feathers and Frayed Burlap Distress inks for the focal pieces and the canvas board was randomly painted, using Cut & Dry Foam, with Bark, White and Ocean acrylic paints from Eco Green Crafts, then softened with a damp baby wipe.

This was the end result...

which I was very pleased with.
Although this project started as a home decor piece for myself I have been asked to run it as a workshop at Snazzys and you will find details over at the workshops page of Snazzys main website.
I also used one of the new Hero Arts polymer plates, CL758 A Little..., for some cards for my regular cardmaking workshop at Snazzys so checkout that on the workshops page too, but here's a peek at one of them...
... a good Mother's Day card I think.
Thanks for stopping by xx

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Bad, bad blogger!

Hello everyone - no, not Mr Blogger, just me. I am trying not to remember how long it is since I shared anything here, no excuses just life and a lack of mojo I'm afraid.

Finally, I have made a little project that wasn't intended as a workshop, with an idea that started out exactly as it finished up - a remarkable achievement for me lol!

I gathered together a leftover canvas board, texture paste, stencils, gesso, scraps of paper, stamps (of course), inks, embossing powders, washi tape and liquid acrylics.

I started by adding texture with gesso and texture paste - most of which was lost as I got a bit carried away with some papers left over from a 6x6 paper pad which were just randomly cut into strips and layered in place with Eco Green Crafts Matte Medium. I then added some strips of washi tape and got to work with some Kaisercraft background stamps and WOW detail embossing powders in Black and White. I then dripped some liquid acrylic in a very vibrant green plus some random splatters and topped that with some further stamping on some scraps of white vellum plus the title, which is a freebie stamp from the cover of a recent edition of Craft Stamper.

I made a variation if this project in my Journal which I am thinking of using as a blog background if I can work out how to size the image to get it to load - techie son required.
I really enjoyed making this one, lots of ink, paint and stamps with my favoutite black & white papers, right up my street and if it's your kind of thing too Snazzys have asked me to run a workshop on Saturday 11 January - full details over at
That's all from me today I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year xx

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Tweet, tweet!

Well this post has certainly been a long time coming, mainly down to no time to create anything that isn't for a workshop, a make & take or a display board. Finally, last week as I was chopping up cardboard boxes for the compactor I had a smidge of an idea for a project using JOFY15 stamps.

I peeled some of the layers of the cardboard flap to reveal all the ridgy bits and covered the whole surface in gesso - this gave me a bit of a key and kept the colours true when I swiped a random assortment of Distress Paints onto the surface working it into the ridges witha baby wipe - what did we ever do without those!
I stamped out the birdhouses and birdies onto some scraps of white card, coloured them with a water brush and Distress Markers and cut them out. I then stamped Hero Arts S5601 Newspaper Backround onto more scrap card and over stamped it with the leaves from the JOFY plate. I coloured these in as before, cut them out and shaped them a bit too.
Then it was simply stamping the branches from the same plate onto my base, again coloured with Distress Markers and arranging all the bits I had cut out. I had a couple of empy spaces so I stamped and inked the 'tweet,tweet from the stamp set and filled the gaps. Some googly eyes, garden twine and a bit of spare black mountboard late and I was done.
I was surprised how much I enjoyed myself and how quickly this little project came together from scraps. Very satisfying to my mean Scottish blood!
Will try not to leave it so long next time xx 

Monday, 1 July 2013

Colourful Pages

Yes, really!

I promised myself this year I would experiment with more colour in my journals, especially colours I don't like, and here are the first two pages made during Snazzys AJ Sundays at the end of May & June.

Back in the dark ages, when I was a girl, I was very pale skinned with very blonde hair and my Mother used to dress me in red to 'cheer' me up.  Problem was add a bit of heat, or a bit of sun, or a bit of cold, or a bit of exercise never mind embarrassment and my skin could exhibit every shade of red going lol! 
Consequently, I loathe red, never wear it, rarely work with it, don't own anything red. What better colour to start with - once I had been shopping.
Postbox Red Dylusion's Ink Spray, Ranger's Distress Inks in Barn Door, Fired Brick & Festive Berries plus Tsukineko's Versafine in Crimson Red & Satin Red all found their way to my studio and onto this page - I did buy some Cherry Pie Ink Spray too as it looked pretty red on the label but on an empty white journal page it looked pink ;o( 
I was in need of sunglasses to cope with all the colour so added some Gessso stamping with Kaisercraft Background stamps, texture paste through a couple of Prima Stencils, Chequerboard & Crackle, (which turned red as I hadn't dried the Ink Spray, interesting effect tho') and Tissue Tape inked with some Vintage Photo Distress Ink to try and tone it down a bit - that went well then lol!
I think I quite like the page but I still loathe red!
The following month it took me all of two seconds to come up with a colour I dislike almost as much as red. That would be orange then, very closely followed by yellow - haven't worked out what it's for other than when a circle of it appears in the sky from time to time.
Set me thinking...
Dylusions Ink Sprays in Lemon Zest, Pure Sunshine and a touch of Sqeezed Orange with Scattered Straw & Mustard Seed Distress Inks, topped with Wild Honey Distress Paint scraped on thinly and it was certainly orange, extremely orange. I added some of last month's red Distress Inks to try and warm it up (I am becoming my Mother!) then consoled myself the beautiful Donna Downey stamps from Unity, I had finally treated myself to would hide most of the sins.
I then covered everything with a couple of thin coats of Gesso to create a sort of sunray effect and to try and calm things down, then stamped Hero Arts new Stamp your Story stamps in Archival Ink in Saffron, Distress Ink in Ripe Persimmon and Picket Fence Distress Paint. I then added the flowers and words with stamps from PSX (there's a blast from the past!) and MM in my favourite Versafine Onyx Black ink.
I like this page marginally better than the red one but am so grateful I told myself I need only use each colour once in my journal, what a relief!
Thanks for persevering with my inky exploits.
Back soon xx

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Experiments with Distress Paints Part 2

Hello, back again as promised with a different technique with the scrummy new Distress Paints from Ranger.

Here's what I used on each sample ......

.....Distress Paints in Bundled Sage, Victorian Velvet, Antique Linen, Weathered Wood & Broken China, Treasure Gold in White Fire and a credit card style hotel room key.
I have just started (another) journal, this time a smaller A5 size so I can take it on holiday - no immediate plans but a girl can dream can't she! It has thinner paper than either of my current A4 journals so I was a bit worried about paint seeping through from one page to the next so I thought I'd try scraping the paint onto the page really thinly (with the hotel room card of course) to avoid this and two things happened.....
Firstly, the paint dried almost instantly and one of the features of DP is that once it's dry it is permanent, and secondly, the paint was so transluscent you could clearly see all the colours I used in the layers underneath. Oh my I liked that and found it was true on the texture paste bits through a Prima stencil too..
...and here's the finished journal pages
...with stamps from JOFY's Spring Collection from PaperArtsy stamped in Tsukineko's Versafine in Onyx Black and some detail picked out with an Inkessential's White Pen.
It set me thinking about what would happen if I added the paint slightly more thickly...
.....still transluscent but slightly less so.
I finished with texture paste again through a stencil from Prima, stamped with a fabulous image from Chocolate Baroque's new Punky Flowers plate and WOW's Platinum Detail Embossing Powder with a touch of Treasure Gold. Nice effect.
Finally my 'what if's' led me to applying the paint more thickly still but then it didn't dry so quickly and....
...I loved this effect.
Still some transparent bits showing off the layers below, but solidly opaque in other areas with the wetter layers scraped back off in parts so texture colour and layers. Heaven. I finished off with the same stamp, stencil etc as the earlier experiment and turned it into a really clean & simple card.
So, I learned Distress Paints .......
don't have to be grungy - you can keep all the layers pastel,
don't have to be opaque - you can scrape it on thinly and have transluscent layers,
don't have to be used with water - not a drop used here,
don't have to be applied with a brush - just add the paint directly to an old plastic card,
don't have to be dried between layers - semi dry doesn't mix to create mud and does give texture! 
That's all for now, be back Saturday with Part 3 of my Distress Paint Experiments - so many products to play with research, so little time.
Thanks for looking, hope you enjoyed xx 

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Experiments with Distress Paints Part 1

Firstly, apologies for being MIA for way too long but sometimes life just gets in the way - I'm sure it's the same for everyone at some point.

A few weeks back I was having a little play carrying out important research for Snazzys with some new products which had found their way to my desk and I thought I'd share the results here ....

This is simply a 7" x 5" canvas board which I covered with Ranger's Antique Linen Distress Paint and whilst that was still wet, added DP in Walnut Stain, Broken China and more Antique Linen, one at a time at the top of the board, spritzed with water and allowed to run, drying between layers.
I then added some texture paste through a Prima Crackle Stencil, dried it, and with the stencil replaced, inked with Broken China Distress Ink at the top and Walnut Stain at the bottom. background complete in less than 10 minutes - result! 
The stamps are from Dylusions Monster Mash and I made a cover for the bell jar from Studio 490 Clearly for Art, heated and curved around a coffee cup to add dimension. The eyeballs were triple layer embossed in the centre using a Versamark Pen as was the monster's tongue, again to add a bit of dimension and contrast. The quote is also from Dylusions, this time the Christmas Words plate - you just never know when your Christmas stamps will come in handy lol!
Now, I had intended to stamp the tree from Dylusions other new release, Mischevious Malcolm to hang the bell jar of escaping eyeballs from but, having stuck the monster down with good old Cosmic Shimmer Acrylic Glue (therefore never to be unstuck), I hadn't left enough space. Change of plan and a few copper jump rings and matching chain had to do.
I so wanted not to like these paints but they are fantastic and allow you to create background effects, very simply, in a way which would not be possible with other acrylic paints I have used. Addicted then lol!
I will be back on Thursday with Part 2 of my Experiments with Distress Paint and Part 3 will follow on Saturday.
Thanks for looking xx