Words I will journal by.

Create. Learn. Try. Believe you can.

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