We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
"Little Gidding"
T S Eliot

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Scratch and ..... shine!

Last night was the Ashtead Craft Club monthly workshop, and the theme was faux metal effects.

Decided to try the scratch foil board, which I have not used before.

You may recognise the packaging.  It has been around for some time with pre-printed designs, but is now available as blank boards. So it is more versatile, and fabulous with embossing folders.

Comes in both silver and gold foil effect, with a black waxy like coating.

Just cut into appropriately sized pieces, and use with embossing folders.  Once embossed, sand off the raised black areas.

Then die-cut if desired.

I think the finished effect is fabulous, and so easy to achieve.  Great for masculine cards too.

Another technique to file away for future use!

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Sometimes you just gotta have a bit of blue .....

Another day getting creative with arty friends was long overdue!

I thought I would challenge myself to do without blue again, but also to use a colour I'm not that into - pink! The second part of my challenge was to use stuff that I'd had a long time.

Come the afternoon, I realised it was just not working for me, and not being at home meant I couldn't go and have another rummage!  So I didn't finish it at our get together, but decided to sleep on it.

I loved the background I had created, and also some of the stuff I was going to put onto it, but I was just not loving the very large laser-cut wooden butterflies I had found.

Here is the background, which consists of crumpled tissue paper, a little paste through a stencil, and some embossed pieces of card.  Plus 3 chipboard squares, and some grungeboard flourishes I found.

I used Fresco paints, in shades of pink and brown.

My aim was to use stuff that has been lying around for ages, unwanted and unloved.  But I knew I had to bin the butterflies (well, not actually bin them, as with a bit of altering, I'll use them in another project).  I had also found some tatty paper flowers and a few odd beads and charms, plus some strange paperclips.  I used all these, but also included a birdcage and bird cut from grungeboard.  I was still sticking to my theme, as the grungeboard has been lying around for a long time too!

Ho hum - I really wanted a smidge of blue (more turquoise really) ..... so I gave in to my craving .....

Now I'm happy!

The others had a good day, and here are their creations.

Monica has not done a canvas before.

I love what she has done, using a collage of textures for the background,
blending shades of purple paint, and using a script stamp to highlight.

Linda went for a very summery scene, using crumpled tissue paper for background texture, and some die-cuts.

And her bluebird made me think,
that my effort had just too much pink!

(Like the rhyme?)

Lin had Halloween on her mind, and used some tissue paper for part of the background, with some paint effects and die-cuts.

Definitely feels a bit creepy!

Lin also had time to do another small canvas with a musical theme.

A fab day being creative and having a bit of a laugh - nothing better!

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Pandora unzipped .....

I had fun doing this one, as I brought together lots of stuff I've been experimenting with or trying out.  Still need to get that steampunk thing out of my system so .....

Started with an 8x8 deep edge box canvas.  I do prefer the all wood ones, but I must use up those canvas blanks I've got stashed away.  But - and it's only taken me a few years to figure this out - I finally worked out how to get those little bits of wood into the back of the canvas - I hammered them in (nothing like brute force!). They do work in stretching the canvas a bit tighter.

I started covering the canvas with printed tissue paper, but then decided it would be too fussy, so this eventually all got covered.  I chopped a zip up, and fixed it with some modelling paste mixed with paint, as well as roughly spreading more paste around at the same time.

Then did that thing of mixing modelling paste with PVA glue, to get the stringy effect.

Also added in tiny die-cut butterflies and the odd watch part here and there.

Bit of a mess really!

Anyway, started layering up lots of paint.

Yes, I know, blue again - but there is a bit of purple in there, it has just not photographed too well.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!

In the meantime, die-cut some larger butterflies, got out my tin of watch bits, and had fun creating these - shown in their raw state, before any paint.

The "bodies" are a pen nib and a couple of pointers, courtesy of Tim Holtz.

After a few days of further copious layers of paint, some Kroma Crackle, and gilding wax .....

Here are some close ups.

The crackle has quite a few layers of paint and gilding wax.

I embedded some watch parts in the liquid Kroma Crackle too, and like the effect.

The butterflies have some sponged on paint in a couple of colours, and some gilding wax.

This may, or may not, be the end of my steampunk phase, I think there is still more to explore!

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Another dash of bitumen .....

Recently introduced another friend to the bitumen thing, and we did mirrors.  My friend is a great fan (get it!) of anything oriental, so a paper and bamboo fan was deconstructed, and some of the piece used, together with a few coins.

Here it is before any paint was applied.  The fan sides look a little like chopsticks, and the mirror area is framed by 4 of the pieces that held the paper fan together.  I like this idea of framing the mirror area.

After a few coats of paint, using black, with some red/brown and gold, to imitate an antiqued oriental finish ....

.....Koko ni aru
(I hope that means here it is, in Japanese!)

For my mirror, I decided to continue with my love of all things steampunk, but this time I did an all over blue wash, and then highlighted in copper with a hint of pale gold.

I also used more metal bits and pieces, plus a tiny face (can you find it!).

I'm probably all bitumened out now!

Friday, 9 August 2013

Minty fish .....

I've got a few projects on the go at the moment, but nothing finished yet, so I thought I would show a couple of past projects which started with a mint tin.

Sometimes I'm given stuff with a "what can you do with that" - which happened with the mint tin.  So I came up with a project for the Ashtead Craft Club Saturday workshop using a frame or canvas.

The first project uses a shaped wooden frame.

The tin is wrapped with tissue tape and fixed to the side of the frame. The leaping fish are stamped and cut out of card that I painted beforehand.  There is a stamped image behind the glass, and painted seaweed on top of the glass, together with beads of Glossy Accents for bubbles.  The seahorse is made from a push mold and paper clay.

The second projects uses the tin fixed to a box canvas.

This time the tin is painted to co-ordinate with everything else.  The butterflies are cut from painted card, stamped with music, and then covered in Glossy Accents.  Each butterfly is wired, and fixed into blue-tac put at the bottom of the tin.  The words are stamped onto tissue and then applied to the canvas.

I like the way these tins give added dimension to a project.  So just take time to ponder before throwing anything away!

Saturday, 3 August 2013

A little bit of this ..... a little bit of that!

Sometimes techniques and other stuff that I want to try just back up because I'm too immersed in particular projects, so recently I've been trying out all those little things that I've filed away in the back of my mind.

Firstly (and I'm not sure where I read this), I mixed modelling/texture paste with PVA glue.  Something happens when this is done, and you get this stringy stuff, which I think would be great to try on canvas, as a fab texture.

I just mixed it on my craft sheet - stretched and pulled it about, and this is how it turned out.

When dry it was easy to peel off the craft sheet without breaking it, so can been used wet or dry!

What possibilities!!!

Not sure if this works with all pastes and glues, so would be a case of trial and error - but fun in the process, who knows what will be created!

Another idea, sparked by an article in last month's Craft Stamper Magazine, is using a wire frame with Glossy Accents.  The base I used is printed tissue paper, but anything could be used - stamped tissue paper, book pages, patterned paper.

Here the circular ones are printed tissue coloured with Distress Inks, one heart is the same, but also using pearl dimension paint (e.g. Viva Pearl Pen) around the edge too, and the other heart is using aluminium tape and glitter glue.

Create a wire shape, adhere to the base with Glossy Accents (or similar), and when firmly attached, infill with Glossy Accents.  Takes several hours to dry.

These could be used on cards as well as canvas, or an assemblage.

At the Ashtead Craft Club this week, we were playing with acrylic paints on card.

This method uses a credit card (other plastic cards are available!), to scrape the paint over the card base. Thus, only a thin layer of paint is put on the card, so no buckle or warp - great for backgrounds or die-cutting.

Put small blobs of different coloured paint at one edge of the card base and drag across. If doing more than one layer, make sure the first layer is dry first - something I didn't do (no patience!).

Finally, another origami flower.  This is another simple fold, but the flower is quite flat, so ideal for wreaths, but also flat enough for cards.

Here I made a flower large enough to fit a 6x6 card. Double sided paper is essential.

How to make this flower can be found on You Tube, but I can't seem to paste a link, so do a search for Origami Maniacs 100: Dahlia Flower.

Happy play time!