Words I will journal by.

Create. Learn. Try. Believe you can.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

February's Artful Days' Goodie Box

Hi everyone! Hope you are all managing to stay warm and dry at the moment. Roll on Spring! I've had enough of this cold weather. But, at least it gives us plenty of excuses to stay in and craft! Luckily, February's Goodie Box: The Write Stuff, arrived a few days ago which really got my mojo in full swing! It never fails: containing a wealth of sublime goodies to craft with. Julie Bell, the owner of www.artfuldays.co.uk selects only the very best quality products for each month's contents! Tonight, I'm revealing my first project with this month's stash!
At risk of repeating myself with every blog post, it really feels like Christmas each time a Goodie Box arrives. If you haven't subscribed yet, I really urge you to do so! It's great value for money. You get so much stash in each box - much more than similar products available at the moment. Information about subscriptions is available here.
And this is what you're greeted with each month. Lots of beautiful packets of products that are so versatile: great for scrapbookers, card makers, and all Mixed Media artists! I do all three! There's plenty in each box to make several complete projects but it goes even further if, like I have above, you add a little of your own stash to it! This is what you will receive (I'm not sure if there are many of February's kits still available so you might have to be quick) when you unpack your box...

There's so much stash I couldn't fit it all in the first photo! Aren't those flowers gorgeous? Even the ribbon that is wrapped around each box, in complementary colours to each theme, is high quality ribbon. The 6" X 6" papers are by 7 Dots Studio. They are absolutely delicious! Zoom in and take a good look! Actually, Catherine Johnson has produced a YouTube video unwrapping the contents of this month's box. Have a look  here
As you can see from the photo and video,  there is the cutest mini clipboard included this month. Julie always provides an item that suggests a project. As soon as I saw this, I knew I wanted to create a mixed media, collage project. By adding a photo (from a Prima set of vintage photos) and a couple of other ephemera items, I was able to create a project which I feel does justice to the theme: 
The Write Stuff. 
I started by selecting, cutting and inking the edges of a few of the papers from this month's selection. I wanted to place one of the cute resin frames over the face of the woman in the vintage photo. However, these are pale pink, so I needed to apply some DecoArt paints to create a more antique 
look. I used black gesso on the frame first to allow the paints to adhere more easily. Warning: do not 
use your heat gun to speed up the process. There's a reaction between the paint and the resin plastic which just creates a very 'wet' consistency. How do I know that? Lol
Now it was just a matter of assembling the layers of papers and ephemera. I think the photos speak for themselves. 

So, just a little stamping (Tim Holtz Stampers Anonymous Papillon CMS 106 / Carabelle Studio SA60150) on the Kraft tag (added) and at the bottom of the clipboard, and it was complete. I love the burgundy ribbon on the clip! 
I really enjoyed making this so easy with the contents of this month's box, all based on the theme is 'writing' and 'script'. I do hope you like it too. I'm already planning another project and will post more photos here on my blog but also on: Here 
So, until next time, happy crafting everyone and Thankyou so much for dropping by. 
Hugs,  Chris xxx

Monday, 6 February 2017

January Artful Days Goodie Box Project

Hi everyone! Hope you are managing to keep warm and dry during this particularly wet, cold spell we are having in the UK at the moment! Good 'arting' weather though! Tonight I'm very happy to show you my art journal spread that I made using some of the items from Artful Days, the January Goodie Box! Aptly named: Steamy Heart. As usual, it is jam-packed full of the most delicious goodies for all kinds of mixed media. If you aren't aware of Julie Bell's new monthly Goodie boxes, details can found Here. I've already used several items from this box to create a miniature gift box which was featured in January's 'MixedUp Magazine', a still fairly new online magazine - Here) It's wonderful. I urge you to subscribe if you haven't already done so. The February edition is out now and to swoon over!
So, here it is. Don't you just adore those greyboard hearts! Apart from the DecoArt paint and stamping, everything else is from the contents of the January box. And after two big projects, I still have lots more to play with! So, where did I begin? 
Actually, where I always tend to begin: with some collage using the scraps of the gorgeous paper left over from my previous project that's included each month in these boxes. Julie chooses some wonderful papers each month. You get at least 10 sheets of 6" x 6". Delicious every time! This was stuck down with matte medium (DecoArt again) then gessoed over. 
At the same time, I prepared the grey board hearts, first gessoing before adding DecoArt sand paste and Powertex 3D medium balls. 
Now, to start painting. I used various DecoArt fluid acrylics in my favourite colours, including: Primary Yellow, Diarylide Yellow, Nickel Azo Yellow, Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide, Pyrrole 
Orange, NaphtholRed Light, Quinacridone Red, Quinacridone Magenta, Quinacridone Burnt Orange.  I probably used several others but can't really remember. I do tend to use a lot of colours, blending and dry brushing until I'm happy with the result. This involves a lot of layering! But I love it! 
This was just the first layer! In between layers I tend to calm things down with some Translucent white before adding more colours. This is also an attempt to leave some 'open' areas for stamping, text or an image. I'm not always successful at doing this as I don't plan my outcomes. I just go with the flow and make decisions as I go along! 
You can see the difference here between the two pages, one has translucent white dry brushed across it. I was also keen to try to allow some of the patterns and marks in the collaged papers to peer through the layers, especially all of those little hearts!  Now it's just  a case of adding more colour to balance the two pages. I already know where I want to place the hearts! 

That delicious red around the edges is the Quinacridone red with added touches of the Quinacridone Magenta. I love the collaged papers peeping through. Now I'm ready to begin stamping and stencilling. I used the same paint colours for the stencilling then over stamped using Archival ink pads. 
There's quite a shine on these pages now, due in part to to the paper used in these Dylusions art journals, but also because I tend to be pretty heavy handed when it comes to dry brushing. However, I quite like the shine! 
I love this part where I go mad making marks with bottle tops and bits of cardboard and start flicking paint across the pages. Very Jackson Pollock.  Great fun. Now it was time to start assembling the hearts and various ephemera from Julie's boxes. 
The hearts were sprayed with two or three colours of DecoArt Media Misters. I then  varnished them with DecoArt soft varnish, mainly to keep the little 3D balls stuck down! 

The sentiment above is from a Crafters Workshop stencil. I've added washi tape around the text to frame it and a little more around the pages to balance it. Now, it only needed a little bit of doodling with black and white gel pens and black paint around the edges to complete the whole look. I'm really pleased with this. I love the hearts - they inspired the whole spread. The wonderful thing about Julie's Goodie boxes is that there is plenty in each box to create at least three large projects using the sole contents of the boxes. However, what I've tried to show here is that by adding other media you can stretch the contents to many many more projects. 
I hope you've enjoyed reading through this post and might be inspired to do 
some art journaling yourself! I'd love to know you popped By! 
Until next time

Friday, 3 February 2017

No Place Like Home/ PaperArtsy Pink/Orange challenge

Hi everyone, Thankyou to all those who have popped over from the PaperArtsy blog to see a little more of the projects I created for this challenge. Details of how I made the canvas are already explained over on the PA blog here,  but, I did promise to give more details about the PA Fresco chalk paints I used on the canvas. There were lots! I love layers so I tend to use a lot of colours.
The great thing about PaperArtsy is they produce a lot of colours! Pink and orange are my 'go-to' colours when I'm art journaling. These colours make me happy and as my art work does tend to be bright rather than subdued these colours are perfect and PaperArtsy produce a good range of yellows, oranges, reds and pinks. Yum! 
As you see here, I often start with ripping up different weight papers and card and rolling up tissue from my stash to create a foundation collaged layer. There's even a PaperArtsy colour chart in there! These are adhered with DecoArt matte medium. I then gesso over this if using acrylic paints and I just keep going - layer upon layer, blending and dry brushing, until I'm pleased with the result and ready to stencil! Now here is the list of paint colours I used: Snowflake, Little Black Dress, Autumn Fire, Blood Orange, Tango, Tangerine Twist, Butternut, Yellow Submarine, Zesty Zing, Candy Floss, Bubblegum, Coral, Cherry Red and Very Berry. And of course, my all time favourite: Bougainvillea - just a touch.
Now, at the same time I was preparing my canvas, I also prepared this gorgeous MDF heart. I've had this heart for about 5 years I think. I bought it following a fabulous workshop led by the very talented, unsung artist, Sarah Martin when she and her friend, the equally talented, fabulous artist, Tracy Evans, had their own wonderful art/craft shop in Alsager, Cheshire. I miss that shop so much and Sarah's fabulous workshops. Sarah led a workshop using this heart and I loved it so much, I bought two more! This project is inspired by Sarah's original idea to create a notepad on this heart. 
So, in the same way that I completed the canvas, I began by layering up paint. Exactly the same colours as I wasn't sure which project I was going to send off to Leandra! Now, the other wonderful part of this challenge was to use Ellen Vargo's stamp sets. I have them all.  I love Ellen's art work and 
all of her stamps are well used in my art journaling! Can't wait for her next release! However, as I 
tend to add lots of layers in my art journaling, I often cover up the stamping that I do early on. I don't 
mind this, as I know they're there and I love it when they just peep through the more transparent colours! A little surprise each time. 
A few more layers and lots of blending with my fingers to bring all of these luscious colours together. 
Some stencilling and stamping using the same colours as the layers beneath and some wild antics with watered down Snowflake, completed the next layer.
Further stamping in black helped make the colours behind pop. I love the boldness of some of Ellen's stamps and they are great for later doodling in. What isn't easy to see here and a reason for not choosing this project for the PA blog, is the fact I added crackle paint all the way round the edges of the heart. I used Ranger's TH Distress crayons in pink and orange to rub over the paint before adding a final layer of Treasure Gold in Ruby and Copper. As you can see, I also made a template for the notes that I needed to create next. Great fun with Ellen's stamps and a couple of Ranger Archival ink pads: Vibrant Fuschia and Orange Blossom. 
All the pages are fairly similar, just leaving enough room for little reminders and shopping lists. The papers are attached with two little bolts. I only need to attach some pretty beads to some wire and wrap around the bolts so this can be hung up. Of course, no project is complete without some added 
doodling. My final photo. 
Thanks for popping by and if you haven't already, pop over to the PaperArtsy blog, here see details of the canvas I made and information about how you can also get involved in this challenge! Until next time!