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

Friday, 29 May 2015

Sun, sea, salt, sand = bliss!

Just a quick post today; the Craft Barn's current weekly challenge word is Holiday.

In my stash of Gelli prints I found one which reminded me of a sea shell.  I then dusted off some Crafty Individual stamps which I haven't used for some time, so it was like have something new to play with!  I also found a cute starfish bead.

Making this card has sent me down memory lane, remembering family holidays when I was young, and finding treasures on the beach!

Happiness is toes on wet sand!

Monday, 25 May 2015

In the frame!

Last week the Fearless Four got together to create something using a paper mache square frame, but no restriction on what to do with it.

Which is a good thing because our previous challenge I have yet to finish - my excuse being that I was unable to use my craft room for a couple of weeks, but really, I struggled with the challenge, which was to do something using black, white, grey and one other colour. So I still have to finish it, and I may have to cheat on that one and introduce another colour; I'll do a post about it when it's resolved!

Back to the frame, and I decided to create a background on watercolour paper using stamped and white embossed images with Brushos.

And for the frame, I was inspired by a project in the latest issue of Craft Stamper magazine, using tissue paper, die-cut shapes and embossing powder.  Pleased with how it turned out, and I would use the technique again.

To finish I used some Dylusions sprayed card, stamped and die-cut some daisy shaped flowers, and created some stalks using the same embossing powder.

I'm entering it for the current Craft Stamper challenge - Take a stamp - anything goes.

I was the only one to finish the project, so I'll post everyone else's projects later.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

What's your bag?

Initially I didn't have any inspiration for this week's Craft Barn challenge - all about bags.  But I'm still sorting out some stuff in my new craft room, and came across a bag of bags - sandwich bags to be precise!  I used to decorate them to turn them into little gift bags, so ...

I used Ryn's set of hibiscus stamps (just in time for Ryn's May challenge), and coloured them with Distress pens; added a bit of sparkle, then die-cut a little humming bird

Now I've got a gift bag to use for an upcoming birthday.

I've put the rest of the bags in a prominent place so I don't forget them again!

Friday, 22 May 2015

Are you a logophile?

logophile (noun) - a lover of words

I'm just in time for the latest Paper Artsy challenge, which is all about words.  I've recently come across "bleeding art tissue" - Eileen Godwin has done a video about it here.

I'm using watercolour card, and I cut some hexagons out of the tissue paper, then laid it on the card and brushed some water over the top.  You need to wait a few minutes, then remove the tissue, and the colour remains. Added a few spatters too!

I've also used my all time favourite Paper Artsy quote stamp which is by Artistotle. This stamp is quite old now, but has had a lot of use over the years.

The dragonfly is a recently bought Sizzix Bigz die, which comes with a texture fade embossing folder.  I cut it from a piece of Dylusions sprayed card and used some gilding waxes too.

Happy Bank Holiday weekend!

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

May flowers always line your path ...

My first project in my new craftroom. and the room is not looking too tidy now - so - getting back to normal then!

This month's Craft Barn Calendar Challenge words for May are magenta and flowers.

I recently bought a silhouette stamp by Donna Downey (Unity Stamps), which I wanted to try, so got the Brushos out.  First a pale wash, then sprinkled Brushos directly onto the stamp, spritzed and stamped.  I also used the Brushos on a dragonfly stamp which is not a silhouette one, but it still worked!

This reminds me of a Japanese watercolour, so I found this Haiku by Issa:

Spring has come
In all simplicity:
A light yellow sky.

I love May time, so to celebrate here are some of my garden flowers ...

Tree peony - such a show-off!

Fragrant Choisya

Divine Wisteria

I see my garden from my craft room window, and it always makes me happy.

Friday, 15 May 2015

Ta Da!

It has taken me nearly 3 days to put my craft room back together, but I am so pleased with it I'm going to relish the near perfect orderliness for 24 hours before I get stuff out!  It's clean and bright and airy, in very neutral colours.  I've got carpet tiles so should I have a little spillage (!), replacement will be no problem.

The room has had a couple of pressies from friends, some very fragrant stocks (divine scent), and some paper bunting - love it!

So here are some pics before it turns into a real (messy) craft room!

New desk is smaller so I'm going to have to try and keep it a bit tidy!

The book shelves I already had, but they have now been better organised.

A smaller desk means I can have a second, higher, work surface (to alleviate  my neck problems!), which is also on wheels, so I can push it around.

New unit, which is fab, as now all the other stuff has a place.

Wider view ...

Check out the bunting!

My friend made it from sheet music and dictionary pages, with cut out lettering, strung onto rick-rack ribbon.

And because this week's challenge over at the Craft Barn is all about bunting, I'm going to submit my friend's bunting - and if perchance the random number thingy picks it, then I will pass on the prize!

Happiness just is!

Monday, 11 May 2015

Brusho workout!

As I'm on an enforced no crafting regime while the craft room is having a make-over, it is an ideal opportunity to catch up on some posts that have been patiently waiting in the wings!

Recently got together with another Brusho enthusiast and we experimented on quite a few different surfaces. Here are the results!

We mainly took two pieces of each surface and used one with a wash of two Brusho colours, the second one used a wet surface and a sprinkling of Brushos.

This is some packaging material, a bit like Tyvek as it reacts with heat.

The wash went straight through and just left a few dirty marks, the wet and sprinkle did retain the colour, but not very inspiring.

So, not really successful!

More success using Vylene interfacing, this is quite a stiff one.

The wash is quite subtle, half the piece was covered with acrylic wax, which intensified the colours.

Wet and sprinkle is more intense.

Would use this surface again, particularly in mixed media projects.

Handmade paper this time.  Loved the soft colours of the wash.

Another one I would use in projects.

Mulberry paper; again I loved the wash, and 2 coats of acrylic wax intensified the colour and made the paper more robust.

We did try using Brushos on Bondaweb with very subtle, almost invisible results.  Half of the second piece of mulberry paper has the addition of Bondaweb.

Brushos were fabulous on both pieces of white felt.

The results on Yupo paper were quite similar.

Yupo is a synthetic paper which is completely impervious to liquid.

This Rice Paper is not white but more a natural colour.  A little too thin to take all the water, but again, like the wash.

Using blotting paper is quite a revelation!  The first piece, with a wash, has a couple of coats of acylic wax to seal it, then alcohol ink applied to half of it.

The second piece is the reverse side, which gives a quite interesting effect.

Blotting paper is reasonably cheap, can be stitched into, and would be a useful addition to consider for mixed media projects.

The Brusho thickener is mixed with Brusho granules.  It provides more body, and stays exactly where you put it.  It remains transparent, takes overnight to dry and doesn't have any real dimension.

You can just see here where I dropped some dry granules into it after an hour or so.

Would be a useful way to control where the colour goes, and could be put through a stencil. More experimenting needed!

I call this a Brusho sandwich!

Started with a clean piece of white blotting paper and coated it with acrylic wax.
Whilst the wax was still wet added crumpled tissue paper, topped with another coat of acrylic wax and left to dry.

Add Brushos to the back of the blotting paper, and to the front of the tissue paper. The acrylic wax between the blotting paper and tissue acts as a barrier, so you get 2 sets of colour that don't intermingle.
Finished with some gilding wax.

Loved the results!

Great fun, and we learned quite a bit.

I also like Brushos on glossy card. Here the granules were shaken on dry and then spritzed with water.

Craft room now finished, bar putting the window blind up, so I can start the marathon job of moving stuff back in! Will try and remember to take photos before it gets messy!

Happiness is looking forward to getting to my bed tonight, without negotiating a maze of boxes!

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Words never fail me!

Update on the craft room overhaul - room is now clear, but all the stuff is spread around the house (which is not big) so I'm negotiating a maze of boxes to get to the bed, and watching TV over another heap of stuff in the living room - I made sure there was a line of sight for the remote!  I've also constructed towers of boxes in the kitchen - no room to do any ironing then (woo hoo!). Work starts tomorrow on the decorating - so I hope this time next week I'll be putting everything back!

This week's Craft Barn Challenge is all about words.  I recently made a card as part of this year's Ashtead Craft Club challenge, and thought it very appropriate, as it uses a quote from my vast collection!

Simple black and white, with a little bit of sparkle.

Happiness is a (relatively) tidy house - so I can't wait to get back to normal!

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Spray time!

My craft room is going to be out of action for a couple of weeks, as I'm having it decorated, but first I have to empty it!  Slowly going through everything; being a little bit ruthless and chucking stuff out - which really goes against my nature and "that could come in handy for a future project" thought process!

Anyway, before I packed up particular items, I needed to make a card for a friend's birthday, and to save a bit of time I was going to used some pieces of card I had already sprayed with Dylusions.

Co-incidently the current Paper Artsy challenge is all about sprays ..... so here is the card.

I prepared a background by sponging white acrylic paint through a stencil to act as a resist, then used some Prima sprays to give a mica sparkle (which doesn't show on the photo!).

I then stamped and die-cut some flowers with the Dylusions sprayed card, using some newly acquired Heartfelt Creations stamps and matching dies (this is the daisy one).  I don't usually like using stamps with matching dies, as I seem to have problems lining them up, but a friend persuaded me these are different.  And they are!  No problem lining the dies up with the stamped images, so I'm a convert now!

Back to my sorting and packing now, and to avoid withdrawal symptoms I have put a few bits on my kitchen table (including my Brushos!), so that if I feel the urge to make something I can.

Happiness is shortly going to be a new craft room (I hope!).
Happy Maytime.