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

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Escape the machine!

Time for another creative get-together!

Here is the occasionally featured Craftroom Work in Progress Snapshot (CWIPS)  - quite tidy really - and the first mince pies of the season!

A couple of weeks ago I used up an opened pack of paper clay and made quite a few faces, so decided to use some of those.  I also had a need to be a little bit steampunk!

Started with a few die-cut cogs and paste through stencils.  There is also a couple of pieces from a paper doily - quite subtle so doesn't really show here.

I forgot to take a photo before applying any paint, so the canvas has had the first coat of paint here.

A few faces, beads, and metal charms.

After more layers of paint and some gilding wax ..... a close-up.

You can see the edge of the doily.

Escape the Machine!
Steampunk urge satisfied!

Monday, 25 November 2013

Ho ho ho - looks like another origami Christmas.....

Spent a fabulous day on Saturday showing a friend how to create an Christmas origami flower wreath, (and catching up on gossip!).

This is using one of my favourite origami flowers, which are a little time consuming to make, but worth it, and because it is quite a robust design, the flowers can be made from good quality Christmas wrapping paper, which helps with the pennies!  There are several websites giving instructions on how to make these flowers, here is one.

Add die-cut leaves that have been embossed and dipped in Christmas sparkle, and a big bow - perfect!

Here is Sharon showing off her creation, and a close-up..... love the rich reds and greens!

Talking about origami, a couple of months ago I used a flat origami flower design to create a card see here.

It uses circles of paper, and I wanted to know how it would look using scalloped circles - quite a pretty effect.

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Mountains and (Heath)cliff

Recently I was asked to create a 21st birthday card with the following brief - loves Wuthering Heights and climbing mountains. With a colour palette of champagne and teal.

This was a challenge!  We found an copy of the book in a charity shop, and I did a couple of experimental designs first.

I wanted to use some torn pages for mountains, with the text easily read and identifiable.  A little gold mirri card and a touch of glitter just lifted it too, though the gold doesn't really show in the photo.

'May she wake in torment!' he cried, with frightful vehemence, stamping his foot, and groaning in a sudden paroxysm of ungovernable passion. 'Why, she's a liar to the end! Where is she? Not there—not in heaven—not perished—where? Oh! you said you cared nothing for my sufferings! And I pray one prayer—I repeat it till my tongue stiffens—Catherine Earnshaw, may you not rest as long as I am living; you said I killed you—haunt me, then! The murdered do haunt their murderers, I believe. I know that ghosts have wandered on earth. Be with me always—take any form—drive me mad! only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh, God! it is unutterable! I cannot live without my life! Icannot live without my soul!'

Thursday, 14 November 2013

In my shopping basket this week is .....

..... a Gelli Plate!

Yes, I've finally succumbed, and can't wait to have a go -though I am feeling a little bit scared of it at the moment!

I also got one of these as it looked interesting - I've had a little go and it does work. Just put any marker type pen into the holder, puff air over the nib, and it creates an airbrushed look.

Saw these tiny plastic favour dishes and thought - ah ha! - could be useful - and they were only pennies, so I bought some!

I've already had a go at using alcohol inks on some (with gold paint on the back).

I like the flower shape.  Could be used on a canvas, or as part of an assemblage.

Found in a charity shop, this heavy metal contraption open up, so has a box thing going on, but not quite sure what it is. " Made in Spain" is etched on the bottom.

It already looks a bit steampunkish, and will be perfect for an altered project in the new year.

So - forget the boring supermarket shop .....

Happy serendipity!

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Circles squared .....

is the subject of my demo for the Ashtead Club on Wednesday.  These Christmas cards are very easy to make, but look really effective.  Change the paper to something non-festive to create a birthday card.

Take nine 2 inch circles cut from one-sided Christmas patterned paper, fold in half - but don't crease all the way across, just pinch the edges.  Do the same again, folding the opposite way.  You should now have 4 small creases on each quarter of the circle (easily seen from the white side).  Make 4 straight folds between each small crease - folding towards the patterned side - thus creating a square.

Different sized cards can be accommodated by changing the number of circles used, such as 4 circles for a small square, or 6 circles for an A6 card.

When mounted onto a card, the white edges form a pleasing pattern.  Add glitter, card candy, or anything else that rings your Christmas bell!


Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Not quite according to plan .....

Recently got together with a couple of arty friends for a day of painterly fun.  We wanted to try paint techniques on cards.  We did have a list of about 5 things to try, but only got to try one of those as it took so long ..... which was using die-cuts with blended layers of paint.

We  found that using card as the base for doing several layers of paint did not work, as it was difficult to blend.  We had more success using Ranger's Sticky Backed Canvas, mounted onto card, as this gave a better finish, but irritatingly it wouldn't stay flat, curling up at every opportunity!

We didn't finish anything on the day, but I've spent further time on what I did, and ended up with these cards.

The base of this one is card, where I found it difficult to blend the paint.

I've recently discovered a fabulous white opaque pen - the Sharpie white paint one.  I used it to highlight the die-cuts edges, and then applied some gilding wax.

This card uses Sticky Backed Canvas mounted onto card.

To finish this one I applied some Distress Ink to create a setting sun - quite a challenge to do this as an afterthought, as I had to create a positive mask for the goose and a negative one for the sun, and then hold them both in place whilst applying the ink - a juggling act I don't recommend!!

Gilding wax beckoned for this one too.

We concluded that doing cards this way was too time consuming and restricting, so we are going back to proper canvases!  Having said that, this would be a good way to make a card for a special person, which could be framed.

Here are what the others got up to - unfinished on the day, but I sure are now looking good as cards!
By Monica

By Linda