Sunday, 25 February 2018

What a nice week-end this is proving to be.

I did not go to Bolton for the last of the Genealogy course yesterday.   On Friday I had a couple of bad giddy turns quite shocking Mark with my fall on the second, waking at 4 am driving 100+ miles alone to Bolton did not seem like a good idea.   It's a shame because the course is really good but then it has already provided lots of information of new avenues to explore.

So having a day off as it were playing in the craft room was the order of the day.  Well that and cleaning the toilet!  You will be glad to hear there were no more giddy spells.  With all this lovely sunshine (the solar panels are working hard now) it was a day for the craft room doors to be wide open letting the spring air in.   They also let the neighbourhood Tom in and my pair let him.   Well to be fair Minx did warn him off at first but then she wandered off so he figured it was ok.  Harley just bushed up then hid.

Now you might know I love mixed media, the more mixed and messy the better.   In my box(s) of alterables is a Tando ring binder set that I have decided to make a start on.   This is the front cover.

White Gesso, followed by yellow distress paint.  Some green distress paint, some rubber stamping, sticking on some Tando shapes and a word, more blue distress paint.  And scratching off of dried paint with a sharp object.   The board then coated with a matt gel and some glitter stuff sprinkled on before it dried.

I have always had a love hate relationship with Clean and Simple, finding it hard to take seriously but knowing that when it is done well it is fantastic art.  Guess at heart I am a messy throw everything at it kind of girl.

This then is my latest attempt at this style.  I love this cat stamp and always end up making him a ginger boy.   Die cut tag, black memento ink and felt tip water colour pens.  Somehow it just seems to easy!

Addicted to CAS - These peeps have been setting fortnightly challenge for a while now, currently the theme is Cat.

CAS-ual Fridays - Another fortnightly challenge whose current theme is One Layer Wonder.

Time Out challenges - New to me this is an interesting fortnightly challenge, their theme is Hobbies (Cats for me) with a optional twist of one layer.

Friday, 23 February 2018

It pays to wait.

This hanger has taken a few days to reach the point of my saying it is done but we are there now.

It is a simple wooden hanger, first it was sanded down to take to varnish off a coat of chalk was painted over.    Then little flowers and leaves were stamped on it with Memento inks a little colouring in with ProMarkers.

At that stage it was a nice clothing hanger and could ave been left alone.  Not my style is it to just leave well alone, not if I can chuck more at it.   Die cuts and basic grey patterned paper pages set back to back so with the dies to give me double sided decorations.  First idea was to stick these onto a strand of beading thread but could not quite decide how to do that.  Then remembering that it is nearly spring making my own coil and using that became the answer, thank goodness for silicon.

There is hung for a couple of days and while I knew it was not quite right but could not make up my mind where to go next.   During the wait I made some Aquamarine Jewellery as Aquamarine is March's birthstone.   They are now all available in my Etsy selling space.

Today the hanger told me what to do.  What is a hanger? well it is something to hang things on.  As it was you could hang a skirt or some other strappy dress on it but not anything that needed the full hanging surface.   However with hooks or loops of something along the bottom it will be great storage for necklaces or anything like that.  Ribbon stash raided, stapler tested and hanger completed.

Now I'm sharing the hanger with.

Craftaholics R Us - As I'm still finding my feet back in crafting land this is a new to me weekly challenge who have an anything goes theme and a very fresh feel.

City Crafter - A weekly challenge that I used to enjoy and expect to again.  This time their theme is polkadots.   Some of the paper I used is dotty as is the ribbon making the hanging loops.

Retro Rubber - Dotty for you, that dotty paper and ribbon again.  This challenge site's USP is the requirement that you use a stamp that is more than a year old.  I dug out 3 Stampin' up sets for this no idea how old they are but I have not purchased any new stamps for a couple of years now.

Creative Artiste - A monthly mixed media challenge site that had escaped my notice until now.   Like all good mixed media sites it is an anything goes challenge.

Monday, 19 February 2018

More Mixed Media

So settling back into mixed media crafting again this is the Powertex item started a few days ago.  I did wonder at one point how my vision would come out but now it is finished I'm really happy with the final result.

It started with a plastic bandit mask that I've used in the past as a form for Friendly Plastic projects.  Had the idea of a middle eastern head dress.   Covered the mask form with tissue to give the fabric stiffener something to adhere to.   A simple strip of lace was stuck to the top of the mask as an extra anchor point.  

Next the messy bit.  All sorts of fabrics had been sorted through I settled on a muslin piece to go over the top down one side and back over.   Some more lace to go over that and some strands of fibre to simulate stray hair.   Opened my now old bottle of ivory Powertex and poured some into a plastic bowl stirring it and hoping it would still do it's job.   Some of the stiffener painted over the tissue covered mask and the muslin dipped into it, squeezed out and the next bit dipped.  It is necessary with Powertex to make sure that every piece of fabric is covered in stiffener.   The muslin was a little fiddly going over the top without it going flat and then twisted going down that side and back across.   The fibre strands and next layer of lace were added.   Everything then set aside overnight to start to stiffen.

The muslin was still wet the next morning so I cut a piece of copper wire to use as a support for the draped muslin.  Bit difficult to get it in place this late in the process but the fabric was still soft enough.   There was still some Powertex in the bowl which I applied to help keep the wire in place.  Leaving everything for another day to settle it was time for the Glimmer Mist.  Copper, Juniper Wine and Red Apple.  This is when I started to wonder if it would work or not, and what to do about the eyes.   Rummaging through my scrap jewellery box I came across this pretty strand of wire wrapped stones the colours go so well with the sprays already added they were perfect, attached with silicon glue.

The flowers are die-cut with designer paper and a couple of die-cut feathers just seemed the right accompaniment.   Everything else in place time to risk the eyes.   Deciding to keep tissue over the eye sockets so some gilding wax circled over another finger under the paper.   thick kinda paint mouse painted around the socket edge and over the area the would be the lid.

24 hours later I decided it was done and has worked out OK and now it is hanging in the hall with all the other masks.   Mark looked at them today and it dawned on him that I have made then all and other stuff he has seen around the house.   It is a compliment that he did not realise they are all my work.

International Art and Soul, a fortnightly JFF challenge who just want to see how we express ourselves.   I like that idea.   Their theme this week is Use Stuff you Already Own.  Nothing "new" was employed here!

Love 2 Create, my second February entry to this monthly challenge.  They are always looking for Creative Mixed Media Projects.

Eclectic Ellapu, one of the original monthly mixed media challenges that I have always enjoyed.   Still enjoy and pleased to be able to enter again.

Now we just need the weather to get better, spring is coming.

Saturday, 17 February 2018

That week went by in a flash.

It has been a busy week.  Last Saturday was my second visit to Bolton for a family history course, there was a lovely golden sunrise in my rear view mirror as I left Grimsby.   Further up the road the rain started and was chucking it down over the hills.   These courses are so interesting the knowledge will certainly help me in my research.

On Monday it was a long drive down to London to pick my son up.  He is resting between opportunities (his phasing).  Mark is a chef but not as lucky as those you might see on the TV.  Having him staying means I am eating 5 star food every day, mine is now his kitchen and mostly he is to be found in there throughly enjoying himself.

We have also gone out and about to help him get orientated here as it is his first visit and like all of us having a real break from work and the pressure thereof is being expressed by all those aches and pains that have been suppressed coming out.   Mark's next kitchen comes up in about a month so staying with me is going to give him a deserved breather, when he is working he works very hard.

How Minx and especially Harley have taken to all this is a whole other post on it's own, that maybe one day I'll write.

Then today it was back to Bolton for this week's course still a wet drive but so worth it!

In between all this toing and froing there has been a little time in the craft room.   One Powertex/mixed media project is underway, for now here is another 6 inch square fat book page I played with.

The base this time is a piece of Tando chipboard.   Gotta love this stuff it takes so much punishment.  Using my always at hand ink dusters the base was coloured with Adirondack and Distress Inks.   The roses and butterfly have been stamped onto white paper with Memento ink and coloured with Chameleon Pens prior to being fussy cut out.    To help work out where the paper pieces should be adhered the board was stamped as well.

Once the roses had been positioned I felt something less prominent was needed to the left.   The advantage of having a house full size stash is having just the right stencil.   The image was dusted on with more Adirondack inks and knowing that the dusting would go over the edge of the stencil another ragged edge laid down and dusted over as well.  The stencil image has been gone over with water based felt pens.   To complete this page gilding flakes have been applied.

Still just getting my hand back in but Mark assures me that the fussy skills are enough to make graffiti artists stencils.  I wonder if Banksy will give me a job, mentioned this blog post to Mark who said "Never mind Banksy, you can be Mumsy".

As always there are a couple of challenges I'd like to share this with.  Not looking for prizes just like to think that someone see this after going to the effort of writing it!

The Artistic Stamper - Roses are Red.  Now I'm fairly sure that Valentines prompted this theme but my Mackintosh style roses do fit the theme.

More Mixed Media - A monthly challenge for all of us who enjoy mixing it up.   They have an optional theme this month "Red".

The Butterfly Challenge - This fortnightly challenge is an ever popular challenge a lot of thought goes into each one.   There has to be a butterfly and this fortnight something beginning with P like Pink and Paper piercing.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

2 days on the trott, guess I'm back.

Challenges are part of the inspiration, usually I've got a technique in mine maybe with the format it will sit on.   The challenges come in with a theme, colour pallet or style.  

One idea in mind is a 6 inch square fat book, I'll just stick to making cards when I need them.   There are thankfully always mixed media/altered art challenges around, it is pretty much where my "skills" lie.

This page is an homage to the time of year, love, hearts and red themes abound.  Started with a piece of textured card or linen card cut to a six inch square.  Pennyblack rose inked with waterbed felt pens stamped in the corners.   Grunge board heart coloured with Glimmer Mist "apple red" and "copper".   Not all my sprays are blocked and I've always loved these.   The word Love is Tando chipboard, another favourite material, sprayed with the same inks.   The white roses on netting I decided to leave untouched.

While the heart and word were drying the base card coated with a matt gel.   Heart stuck onto it and more matt gel applied.  Roses and word added and more gel spread over the word.  When everything had set a quick blast of white spray paint finished everything off.

This is probably it for the week, there is an emerald necklace that I need to re-thread and on Saturday it is week 2 of a genealogy course in Bolton.   Anyone in that area fancy a coffee one Saturday afternoon in February let me know be nice to meet up while I'm over there.

So the challenges in my mind with this piece.

Emerald Creek Dares.  #ECFEB2018 This is a new to me monthly challenge whose current theme is Lucky or Love.

Mix it up.  A monthly anything goes challenge, there is an optional twist of Clean and Simple.

Penny Black and More.  This challenge runs from the first Sunday in the month.   I used to know this challenge well and remind fond of.  This month their prompt are Love, Hearts and Flowers.

OK where is my fine fireline the holes in those emeralds are very small.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Well this is half an old project finished!

So as my inks and things continue to beckon, everything is still there but now seen with fresh eyes.   Not sure if my "style" has changed much, I like pretty but not cute, something different so that it does not look the same as everyone else.   Colours still tend to the cool part of the pallet, and texture you have to want to touch it!

2 or 3 years ago I set out 4, 4 3/4 inch by 7 inch canvas.   Put a plate on top and drew round it several times.   The circles overlapped onto different canvas.   Then using Deco Art paints (paints still to be rediscovered they must be in a safe place) filled the circles with yellow outlined in red, oh prime colours will use blue for the rest then.   Liked what I had but had no idea how to progress the work.  So they sat on one side and I got involved in other projects.

A couple of days ago out they popped at me, dusted them off and started to play.   These 2 have now been completed.   Both had texture/embossing paste stencilled on with different mediums.   The Viva Terra paste dried with a cracked finish and words to live by.   Don't want to do anything else to this as it speaks clearly.

The second started to remind me of henna tattoos on the backs of hands.  So I drew round my hand, both felt pens and alcohol ink pens were used to go over the outline, add knuckles and fill in the nails.  Next the butterflies were stamped onto card in memento ink, those butterfly stamps are years old.  Remember Dawn Bibby on QVC before she became a regular feature?   Well these are rubber mounted on a soft/squiggy block but the detail is super and unlike some of the clear polymer stamps the rubber has not perished.    The images have been coloured with Chameleon pens, my original set and the solvent that dilutes the colour has dried out in some of the pens, or perhaps I have used it all up!

Pleased with these, not sure if the other two will be completed or if they are if they will be included in the formation.   Perhaps we will find out in another 2 or 3 years.

Sharing these with people who might appreciate my idea of cool!

Stamplorations, a monthly mixed media challenge from a place packed full of ideas and inspiration.  This month their prompt is Paint it Red.

Inkspirational, a fortnightly challenge the current one is on it's second week.   The prompt is Attachment.   Hopefully those fussy cut and stuck on butterflies qualify.

Eclectic Ellapu, an old favourite of mine a monthly challenge that runs from the 1st of the month and is always anything goes.

As you can see I'm enjoying the rediscovery of inkiness.

Monday, 5 February 2018

I love my Family, Friends and Felines

Taking a year out from paper crafting has been a busy year.   My son came back into my life nearly 3 years ago, he has had many ups and downs in the 20 years we were out of contact and quite a few since.  In the time we have been re-united the core relationship has not changed a jot, I would do anything to help and support him.   We have honest and open conversations that are treasures as well as discoveries fundamentally we are family and care as only family can.

In the 20 year gap Mark married and had a child, the marriage broke down but he has remained in his daughters life.   Isabella was 17 when we reconnected, Izzy and I slowly made contact discovering that we have a lot of similarities and like/love each other.   Getting to know her has been a delight she calls me with every little thing and I get her past it by laughing at her.  Everyone is surprised by our relationship not least of all us but we have become very good and close friends.

Father and Daughter at a get together in London last year.   Mark is a chef and was working at this pub at that time.   Izzy is a pink sparkling princess!

During the past year I opened a shop on Etsy for my jewellery makes.  This has been another fascinating experience, Izzy's mother was instrumental in getting this started.  Her support along with Mark's has meant a great deal to me, although being London based Mark is convinced that I sell my makes for much less than I should.

My interest in Genealogy continues to take up a lot of my time, as well as money!   Last Saturday saw me driving to Bolton (130 miles or so away) for a course on searching for family history.   It is a 4 week course at the end of which I hope to have a better understudying of visiting and searching archives as I've gleaned pretty much all I can from the internet at the moment.   I need to go and visit the archives but what questions should be asked?  What information is needed to make a start?   This is a hobby that Izzy is taking an interest in as well which as she lives 300 miles away is something we can do together over the phone.   All 3 of us have had our DNA report much to Mark's disappointment we are European through and through.

Now my stamps and inks are starting to call to me again.   This time of year Valentines is very much in our thoughts, essentially the loves of my life are My Family, Friends and of course Felines.

MDF shape with stencilled embossing paste, mica powders, stamped and embossed wording.   Triple embossed added elements.   Distress inks used to colour bare board, embossed owl and letter F picked out with fine line coloured pen.  Highlighting wax touched to the outer edge of the Heart tag.  Photographs flatten the colour and shine of the various mediums (& I'm out of practice) so you are not seeing this at its very best.

I'm inviting people from the following challenges to take a look at this latest make.

613 Avenue, a monthly anything goes challenge with the "twist" this month of the word LOVE.

Love to Create, a monthly challenge always looking for anything mixed media.

Crazy 4 Challenges, this is a weekly challenge this week their prompt is Add a Heart.

OK peeps well if you read this whole post you'll realise that retirement is good and I have stacks of things to keep me out of mischief.  Right now it is a visit to the local coop.


Thursday, 1 February 2018

Inky again.

Recently most of my creative needs have been catered for by jewellery make most specifically chain maille.  Even so my collection of rubber stamps, inks and paints remains intact, and the urge to get inky has been growing.

Masks have always been a fascination of mine.   The disguise they offer and how inscrutable they make the wearer.   In fact I have a large collection over 200 masks and faces not made by me but from all over the world, these used apparently used to freak my son out, they hung along the hall wall.  Now they are carefully packaged and stored away, those that do hang indoors these days were all decorated by me.

This paper mâché mask had card cutout shapes attached to the back and then everything sprayed with various paints, those were the nozzle had not become blocked.   Torn music score attached with decoupage glue, which was used to cover the entire piece moving some of the water based paint around.   Next coloured metallic waxes were applied.  Rubber stamps and gold ep added to the decoration and finally everything topped off with feathers.

Now hanging in my hall thought I'd share this with:
A bit more Time to Craft Extra Challenge, a monthly Anything Goes Challenge that does not appear to be too cutsie.
Altered Eclectics, another monthly challenge this one says no cards.  It's great to see they are still going.
Country View Challenges, their theme is Anything but Cute and their DT have shared some amazing face images.

Now that is quite enough for me dipping why toe back in the water but think you'll see more here soon.