Words I will journal by.

Create. Learn. Try. Believe you can.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

A Rare Bit of Colour!

Hi everyone,
Throughout a dismal, grey, dreich week, I've been playing with some of the gorgeous products inside the new Mixed-Media Goodie box for May, from Artful Days. The theme for this box is: Summer Colours. As soon as I opened the box I knew that I wanted to create a Scrapbook page for the photo I have of my newest little Grandfairy and I knew her smiling eyes would light up the page.
The contents of this month's Goodie box, as always, is so inspiring. I'm already planning the little canvas I want to create next! 
It's always an exciting moment when I open each of the Goodie boxes. Julie Bell finds the most delicious, top quality products. There is always such a lovely variety. And always a surprise item! Last month - that delicious feather stencil and this time, a wonderful mica spray! I had fun creating the background for my scrapbook page with that! 

But first, I started spraying through a Large stencil onto a white 30cm X 30cm square 350gms card, using a Prima Colour Bloom spray. Then, when dry, I lightly sprayed across the card with the pink mica spray in the Goodie box. These photos don't fairly show the gorgeous shimmer from both sprays. 
I added more once I'd assembled the page, but this was a delicious start. 
The papers this month are from: First Edition. Thecolours are bright and summery as the box title indicates. Just my colours. So, I assembled some of the products that I planned to use on the page. I mounted the photo of the baby onto a couple of sheets from the box. 4 of the papers are specially coated, all the rest are double-sided. 
And so, I started playing! I cut some tags from some of the papers and linked them with some of the pink twine in the box. There are several colours of twine included. Once I'd placed the photo where I wanted it, it was just a case of positioning other embellishments around it.
I only needed to add paint, some wooden numbers and a couple of die cuts from my own stash to complete the page. Everything else is from this month's Goodie box. I hope you like it and if you are interested in finding out more about Julie Bell's Goodie boxes, you will find her website here: www.artfuldays.co.uk
Until next time! 

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Dreams - Artful Days April Goodie Box

Hi there everyone,
I'm back tonight with a couple of projects that I have really enjoyed making, using last month's wonderful items from the April Goodie Box. The theme for April is: Dreams. It's certainly well named. The products are very 'dreamy'. I'm absolutely in love with the stencil that Julie Bell included in this selection. It is so versatile! As you will see. Here's the first project: A 7" X 5" canvas.

For the canvas I was inspired by the beautiful papers included in this month's selection. These are the new Prima Rose Quartz papers and journaling papers. The colours are mainly greys and pinks so those were the colours I wanted to play around with. I also wanted to use the new Ranger Distress Oxides to create a splattered background. After a bit of experimentation I ended up with a mix of Worn Lipstick in the oxides and Pumice Stone and Black Soot in the original Distress inks. They do blend beautifully and I was really pleased with the outcomes. I think I managed to re-create the colours in the papers quite well. What do you think? 
Before making the background on the canvas, I used the same technique on a 7" X 5" piece of Mixed Media card from Inkylicious. These take a lot of wet media without buckling. It was certainly easier to swoosh the card through the inks (that were smeared on the work mat first before a light spraying of water/TH method) than it was to swoosh the canvas that obviously has no 'give'. But somehow, it worked first time and I was really pleased with the result. 
So, first up: the Worn Lipstick Oxide, swooshed two or three times and dried between. I'm getting the hang of these now! 
Now I added the Distress ink: Pumice Stone on top of the Oxide, again drying in between. This drying helps to keep the background clean, and look!!! White space! Me? Wow. 
And just a very gentle touch of Black Soot Distress Ink. I really love this background and this blend of colours. Now to play with that fabulous feather stencil! 
Gosh, I had fun with this. I decided to use PaperArtsy Infusions: 'Are You Cerise' and Black Knight' and mixed them carefully with a dab of Golden's Heavy Matte Gel. I then pushed these blends through the stencil and left them to dry. I made several of these as I loved the results. I'm sure I can make some cards and tags with these. The ones I wanted to use for this canvas, however, were those I stencilled onto the mixed media card background. I did one of each colour as I hadn't yet made up my mind which I would use for the canvas. I secretly wanted to use the pink feather but in the end the dark grey one was the better fit for this project. Never mind, I had another plan for the pink one! 
It's interesting to note (and has already been said by my lovely chum, Lesley Ebdon) that by mixing the Infusions in with the gel, you tend to lose the lovely 'walnut' crystals, but you do get a beautiful, vibrant colour instead. I was happy with that. 
Next, I coloured a couple of the embellishments that I would use when I assembled all the different bits. I adore the Scrapiniec words that Julie nearly always includes in each month's goodie box and the resin feathers are gorgeous. You get four of these! 
I cut down the Mixed Media card to create two tags with each of the stencilled feathers. I added some complementary ribbon and inked the edges. Luckily, I had a stamp set by Visible Image that had some cute feather stamps on, so I stamped around the tag with a second stamping of Pumice Stone. Now it was time to assemble everything, ink all edges and prepare to layer. I used a couple of the gorgeous papers for layering. 
And yes, that little bottle of Ranger a matte medium is included in this month's box. Julie thinks of everything. Definitely useful for gluing these layers down. The feather is one of many included this month, in the deepest burgundy and also in pure white. They are absolutely delicious! The ric-rac is from my stash. 
With the addition of a couple of the gorgeous Mulberry flowers and a couple of the cabochons, plus some Rangers Crystal stickles to add a bit of sparkle, it was finished! And I love it. But what happened to the pink stencilled feather? This...
You can see now just how useful that stencil is. A close up to finish I hope you've enjoyed this post. I really enjoyed creating these projects. If you are tempted by these goodies, you'll find more inspiration and details how you can buy yours, here. Until next time! Happy crafting one and all! 

Friday, 5 May 2017

'Found Objects' art journaling

Evening all,
Tonight I'm blogging my entry for the current PA challenge: Found Ojects. You can see more projects on this topic here: Paperartsy

I love this topic because it is so appropriate for art journaling. Not only am I always on the look out for any bits and pieces I can use for 'Mark making' on my journal pages, but my husband is always turning up odd items from the garage and my granddaughters save all sorts of scraps for me! I have a huge box full of all sorts of odd, throw-away items that can add creative layers to my journal pages. Here are the items I decided to use for this project:
I cannot bring myself to throw away a cat food carton. The cardboard is wonderful to journal on and this is what I used as my substrate for this project. If any of you have bought Kate Crane's excellent online class: Journal Soup - Here -  you will know why I blame her for all of this hoarding! 
As I took lots of photos depicting the process of this project, I should let the photos do the talking. It goes without saying that I used Fresco Chalk paints for the journal background but all stencilling and mark making was as a result of the various 'Found objects' that were in my box of 'Finds'. Some worked better than others. See what you think! 

My first paint choices, although I did add other colours as I went on. Yummy. You can see I have gessoed the cardboard cut from the Cat Food box - 5 1/2" x 7 1/2". 

First layer. Love how you can still see the corrugations through the brayered paint. I'm not very good at leaving white space in my journaling so working on cardboard naturally leaves white areas. A plus point for me. 

Now for some essential stencilling tools! And yes, that is the scoop from the cat litter tray. Thoroughly cleaned of course. The fine red mesh originally held M & S oranges. It worked beautifully as a stencil. 

This worked well too. 

The other plastic mesh embroidery tools were too thick to make much impression with paint but were  very useful for a bit of modelling paste. Unfortunately, my grunge paste has hardened! 

The cat scoop was less successful as a stencil...

The large bougainvillea circles were created with good old bubble wrap. Once the modelling paste had dried I was able to add more paint layers. Then...

...a few Mark-making tools. I had great fun with some of these! Not all made much impression though.
Kate Crane got me addicted to using odd bits of Lego. I do feel a bit guilty when I see the grandfairies despairing over a lost piece of vital Lego from building a princess palace. Whoops! They now know to go hunting in the 'Finds box'. I have no idea what that black spatula type of thing is. Possibly a salad server? But it makes great dotted lines! 
Now these strange tools made some fabulous 'marks'. The long, black plastic tube thing once held some tiny plug plants. I couldn't throw that away. And look at the wonderful marks it made with Little Black Dress, Fresco chalk paint! The cardboard mini tubes were dropped on my craft table by my OH, saying "Can you make use of these?". Oh yes! The coffee stirrer made fabulous little marks too. Who hasn't got a coffee stirrer in their stash? Love how it's coming together and not a bought stencil anywhere near it! Frugal crafting or what? 

Now to create the focal point. I'm an avid collector of tags. A lot are garment tags or from the shoes I buy. I decided to use one of the little monsters from elenazinski Art ZA02 and collage a dress from a bit of one of the tags as a contrast to the background colours. I then cut out some bunting from some cardboard left overs in the cat box again and paint it with a similar colour to the cut out dress.

And there we are. A final touch of 'Treasure Gold' on the bunting and raised, modelling paste areas, and it was finished! I do hope you like it and perhaps might be tempted to find your own 'Found Objects' to create an art journal page. Thankyou so much for dropping by. I would value your opinion! Until next time...

Do you recognise the quote? It's from: "It's a Wonderful Life". 

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Going Around 2

Hi everyone!
I do hope you are all enjoying the start of this bank holiday weekend! Looks like a wet one for us in Staffordshire so I hope you will enjoy some sunshine where you are, even if we don't. This post is a very belated one mainly due to me doing a lot of playing with the wonderful contents of the March Artful Days Goodie box, rather than developing the 'playing' into 'making'. Following the art journal page I blogged in a previous post, I decided to use the contents again to make some greetings cards.  My stash is sorely depleted so I really needed to use the contents to make a variety of cards. I love the theme for this Goodie box and this was my theme for my cards.
Each month Julie Bell wraps each Goodie box in tissue paper related to the theme. All the boxes are wrapped beautifully with silk ribbons in complementary or analogous colours. A birthday gift every month if you subscribe! And just look at what you receive!! At least 18 wonderful little gift packs of the most delicious, top quality products.
As soon as I saw the Scrapiniec large circle frame, I knew how I wanted to use it! It was just calling out to be used as a stencil as well as an embellishment. Spray inks and paints would probably cause the circle frame to disintegrate too quickly. It's quite light and delicate. So, I decided to try using Brushos, Bistres (these from previous Goodie boxes) and PaperArtsy Infusions. In the end, I used the Infusions to create the final cards as they made the most interesting backgrounds.
I lightly sprinkled the Infusions (Are You Cerise with Golden Sands / A Bit Jaded with Emerald Isle) onto PaperArtsy Smoothy card (240gms) and lightly sprayed water across the whole space. It's serendipity how it turns out but of course, that's the fun of them. It wasn't until I saw the resulting patterns created by the Infusions inside the 'ghosted' (stencilled) circles that I could decide what focal images I would use. While I was 'playing' around with these backgrounds, Lavinia Stamps were hosting a monthly challenge on their blog. I quickly realised that the patterns inside these circles were  very like woodland/sunset landscapes. Perfect for Lavinia's silhouette fairies and Mystical stamps - of which I have loads! I had great fun building up little scenes for dancing fairies and mushroom glades. I adore her stamps.  Now all they needed was some stamping around the circles, some of the lovely gems and pearl cabochons from the Goodie box and a few stamped Lavinia flowers before layering up and mounting onto DL size cards. I was also able to enter one of these into the challenge on Lavinia's blog! I used Lavinia's text stamps and a circle background stamp by Indigo Blu around the stencilled circles. A closer look.
And even closer...
This is the one I entered into the challenge! 
Having used the Scrapiniec Large Circle Frame so manytimes as a stencil, it was now beautifully 'patina'd' to use on a card as well. It's colour determined the colours I needed to use with the Infusions.
 I used: A Little Bit Jaded, Golden Sands and Emerald Isle Infusions for this background. The stamped image is from quite an old Hot Picks PaperArtsy stamp set: HPXT02. I stamped the dotted circles background stamp (from Indigo Blu) around the circle frame with Archival ink.  
I only needed to add a few metal charms and some of the yellow gems to complete the image. Now it just needed to be layered up. Now for a complete switch to some different products from the Goodie Box to make the next cards! 
How cute are these mini Amsterdam paints in two gorgeous complementary colours, and a Ranger Blending tool! I have no idea how Julie packs in so many delicious products for this price: £21.99! 
It's pretty easy to see what I did here. I added die cut poppies and an ornate panel (from Memory Box) on top of the circles I had dabbed onto a card panel, then added some of the metal embellishments and sparkling gems.
Very simple, clean cards. 
So there we are! A host of cards and still heaps of product left in the March Goodie Box. Subscriptions and more information can be found Here. Hmm I wonder what I will make next? Thankyou for stopping by. I'd love to know your thoughts. Until next time. 

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Gelli plate fun!

Hi everyone! Hope you are managing to create some art in between work and family commitments. The joy of being retired is that I can create art every day. And today was no exception! My lovely craft buddy, Linda Regan, and I had a lovely long session playing around with some of Birgit Koopsen's techniques with the large Gelli plate. Our 'Play day' was inspired by Birgit's very short video showing how to use spray inks on the Gelli plate together with different mediums. Therefore, my photos and explanations here are far better promoted Here by Birgit herself. I really urge you to go and see the wonderful backgrounds she achieves with these techniques.

We used Dyan Reaveley's Dylusions spray inks, adding some Tattered Angels to add a bit of sparkle to some of the backgrounds. Our first attempt, like Birgit's, was just spraying a couple of the inks onto the gelliplate, placing a stencil on top of the ink then taking a print. We experimented a little deciding which paper/card was best to use, but both felt that Clarity Gelli card gave us the best results today. Having said that, we didn't use a wide selection so the jury is still out on that one! This first technique gave us mixed results. Linda's worked better than mine but although my first print was rather puddly I was really pleased with the rest that I pulled off. Using inks offers more prints than acrylic paint which dries very quickly unless you use 'open' paints or an extender. The photo above shows how many I was able to pull off before removing the stencil and after! That leaf stencil is from 'StencilGirl'.
From left to right is the order in which I pulled the prints. The first and second from the left is before removing the stencil. The third and fourth from the left were pulled after removing the stencil. Not bad for inks! However, the colours did blur together and the stencil design was not as clearly defined as it would be with paints. This is where Birgit now adds different mediums. Rifling through my stash, I decided to try smearing a thin layer of Golden's 3D gloss gel across the Gelli plate before laying the stencil on top. Birgit uses gel medium but I wanted to see the effect of a 'gloss' gel on the inks. 
Even with the gloss gel primary layer, my first pull still puddled a little. The final pull, after removing the stencil was the only print to offer an interesting texture along the stencil lines. I think my gel layer was too thin because when Linda tried it, she smeared quite a thick layer of gloss gel on the gelli plate and each of her pulls were fantastic.  Each print contained the most wonderful textured patterns. Delicious. Again, from left to right is the order I pulled the prints.
This was my second attemp, smearing a thicker layer of the 3D Gloss Gel across the gelliplate before laying down a different StencilGirl stencil. This was definitely more successful and created some beautiful textured patterns across the colours, particularly where the inks blended. The gloss gel also helped add vibrancy to the colours. 

Our final technique, although Birgit uses a couple more on her video, was to smear white gesso across the gelli plate before laying a stencil across. This time, I was much more generous with the amount I used. The results differed from the gloss gel in that it produced a more 'pastel' result that was almost blurry. Again, the order of pulls is shown from left to right. The third and fourth from the left were pulled after removing the stencil (Crafters Workshop this time) and left a creamy, milk-White background behind the circles. Gorgeous. 
So there we are folks! If my samples haven't encouraged or inspired you to have a go with different mediums on your Gelli plate, then watch Birgit's video as I'm sure she will inspire you. Not sure what I'm going to do with these yet, but I do have another couple of techniques to try before I'm done. I wonder how 'crackle paint' will cope with the inks? Off to try that out now! Have a good week folks and make time for some arty fun. Until next time! 
I would love to know your thoughts! 

Monday, 3 April 2017

Going Around!

Hi everyone! Hope you are over the Monday blues and looking forward to the rest of your week. I'm blogging again tonight, very aware that I'm almost a regular blogger at the moment! I'm pleased to say that I have found my mojo again, at last, especially for art journaling. This time, I've produced a project which is using some of the gorgeous products in the March Goodie box by Artful Days, but coinciding with the current PaperArtsy challenge who are running a 'Blue/Ochre' colour challenge. Wonderful combination. I realised I could combine the two when I saw the fabulous papers in March's Goodie Box selection. The papers are always fabulous but this time they incorporated some blue and some ochre colours in the selection by My Minds Eye.
The theme of the March selection is: Circles - with an apt title: 'Going Around'. I adore this product and I know many of you reading this, do too. Each Goodie box is jam-packed with real quality products, carefully chosen by Julie Bell. There is so much each month to make several Mixed Media projects.  Equally, if you subscribe, you will be able to build up a really great stash that combines each month to make yet more projects. I'm always dipping in and out of each box. 
Who doesn't love 'Circles'? They feature in so many art journal spreads and on greetings cards. And, as I am no exception, I was really excited to receive so much inspiration for my own art journal page. I've used various elements from the Goodie Box to create my page, supported by many PaperArtsy products. The two are a good marriage! 
I started by taking the Scrapiniec large circles frame together with three of the MDF circles and laying them down the centre of the page.  I then used two or three of my PaperArtsy Fresco chalk paints in made up sprays -  in various blues - and sprayed these down the page over the laid down circles.
Once the circles are removed, a ghost-like effect is created. This means I can use the sprayed circles for another project. I've used: Caribbean Sea, China and Midnight to create this first layer. I'm working in my Strathmore Mixed Media art journal. 
I then over-stamped some of the ghosted circles with black Archival ink, using the gorgeous polymer stamps included in the kit. These are fabulous as they give the appearance of sewn circles. I love these. 
The next layer involved stamping, using various PaperArtsy and Seth Apter stamp sets, maintaining the blue monotone before introducing various Archival inks closer to the ochre colour to introduce some contrast.
Here are the stamps I used to create the background and for the focal images.
Lovely to see how the different coloured stamping builds up the layers. Now to prepare the main
 image. This would be stamped on one of the cut out pieces from the Scrapiniec large circles frame. But first I had to colour it. Can you see where I got the idea from? (Hint:PA packaging). 
I used a toothbrush to stipple the different paint colours on, trying to produce an 'ochre' colour from them. This photo also shows the stamp set I used to select the main image. 
My penultimate layer involved selecting papers to die-cut circles from and embellishments from the Goodie box to create and continue the 'Circles' theme. I was also given some mini circle die-cuts from my lovely crafty friend, Lesley Ebdon. 
Finally, I typed out some words and phrases on vintage paper that I felt were apt for the title of the Goodie Box and this page. I added some washi tape and dated the page. So there you are. I do hope you like it? I certainly enjoyed the time I spent on it and hope it inspires you to pop over to Artful Days and purchase a box or two! 
Until next time xxx