Sunday, 5 July 2015

July Calendar Journal Page

Hi Folks!!
Well if you have been following my blog over the last few months you will probably be as surprised by this post as I am - I have actually got July's page done and ready for use - pretty much on time!!!!
I cant believe it!!
So I have been trying to do a bit more creating at home to see if I can get my MOJO working and up to speed.  So last month I started the ICAD 2015 challenge - which is to create art on an index card everyday through June and July!! I had great plans .... but life got busy and things didn't progress as I wanted!! so far I have done 7 out of the 34 days... but I keep telling myself that's 7 small bit of art I wouldn't normally have created - so just 'do what you can when you can with what you have'!!!
Well we slid out of June at a shocking rate and here we are in July already so my brain turned to calendar journal pages!!! I read something the other day that made me rethink the way I have been approaching them.  I think I have been putting myself under so much pressure to come up with something new and to use all of the amazing techniques I have learnt at all the workshops that I have done this year that I had been over thinking everything.  So I decided it was time to go back to basics, keep it simple and revisit some of the first techniques I learnt.
This all occurred to me late one night while getting undressed for bed.  So in my underwear I went into the craft room and put on an apron (very strange) and grabbed some paper, Dylusions  and stencil and quickly sprayed down a background!! (I didn't give my MOJO any time to crawl back into whatever dark corner in my head it has been hiding in for months!)
It took me minutes and I loved it!!! Result - ok then it really was time for bed lol!!!
This was it!
So next day (dressed properly this time) I looked at some of the stuff sitting round my desk and I spied some black card I had bought a few days before.  So I gave that a quick spray with perfect pearls mist - dried it - cut it into 1 1/4" squares rounded the corners and stuck them down with cosmic shimmer glue.  I didn't give myself time to mess about trying 19 different ways of placing the squares (like I usually do) - they just got bunged on and I sprayed and dribbled a bit more ink over the squares. 
There was extra squares that I had cut out so I thought they would be good for putting on the month!! So I Die cut the letters out of some already pink sprayed paper from my stash and added on the title. Next a focal piece! Again in the clutter that is currently my crafting desk (Note to self - clear up this mess!!) there were a few Stampotique Original characters which have been stamped for various projects but not used yet so I picked this one of Kate Cranes to use.
With my trusty Inktense pencils and a little bit of distress ink I painted Kate's Angel (moved her wings lol) and added her to the page.  
A little bit of doodling, some Stickles for dimension and bling and some shading with a Stabilo All pencil and it was done!!!

How about trying going back to basics and keep it simple in your creating this month and see what you come up with!!!!
Take care!!

Monday, 1 June 2015

Stampotique Boutique Workshop No2 - Karen Hayselden

Hi everyone!
Well last month the Stampotique Boutique workshop at AFTH was on again run by the lovely and creative Karen Hayselden.  
As always we have to use Stampotique Original stamps  but how they are used and what they are used on is endless!!
So this time Karen had us focused on layering media and on colouring!!  Nothing like a bit of colouring in to chill you out!!!
So our main piece was this gorgeous little canvas decorated with loads of different types of paper, canvas, materiel - you name it and we layered it up!!  This was the perfect back drop for these adorable stamps designed by the lovely Magda Polakow!!

We also started another layout like this but to put onto a card but needless to say I got so carried away with the colouring in that I didn't get the second one finished on the day!! its in my ever growing pile of  'projects to finish'!!!
I hope you all have a play with some of the Stampotique stamps as they are great and can be used to adorn any of your creative projects.
(PS apologies to Magda!  I cut off  'agatha the cooks' hair because I'm not good at fussy cutting then drew it back in again! sorry Magda!!)
Hope you all have a Stampendous week!! 

Sunday, 31 May 2015

May Calendar Journal Page

Hi again everyone - I promise this is my last post for May!! but I had to get this one in before the clock turned midnight and it was June already!!! Lol!
As I told you with last months calendar journal page I have been struggling with my creativity at home and I forced myself to do the calendar journal page and then wasn't so happy with the results.  This month I decided to try not to force it so much and just see what happened!!
So for once I started with the day spaces - I had bought a box of A4 sticky labels a while ago and came across them at the beginning of the month and suddenly wondered if they would take ink well. So one day when I had a few minutes space I started blending some distress ink onto one of the sheets with a blending tool. My thinking was - sticky backed so will be easy to put on the page.
It took the ink beautifully and even let me ghost by dropping water on it and blotting off!!!
So I cut it up to the required number rounded the corners and edged them with vintage photo distress ink!!
Step one completed - no sweat!!  I was very happy as I usually do this step at the end and struggle with it!! 
These are the colours that I used!

Next came the background!!! I decided that I wanted the page to be very bright as lately all my work seems to end up getting very dark and grungy!!  Seems easy!!! Well not so much so!!

Attempt - one!!
 Nice bright similar colours (mica sprays for some bling) - but really didn't work with the space squares!!!

Attempt - 2!
So tried something darker so it would be a contract to the spaces. (used masking fluid dribbled on to created the lines and splats then Black white and grey Dylusions ink sprays and a gold mica spray! threw on some rock salt while it was drying)
 Loved it but again didn't really work with the squares!!!

The background I eventually used was a mop up page (done a few months back) which I added some yellow spray to and added some water splatters which I blotted off!! Dylusions inks of course!!
this one worked!!
So this is what it turned out like.

After randomly adding the squares (taking the backing off wasn't as easy as I thought it would be - note to self - bend a corner backwards and the backing slides off a little bit so you can get an edge lol) I found there was a couple of strips of the paper left so they got stuck on to!!
For the month I had been playing around with chip board letters which you got the letter and the surround and I had used the surround as a template to add crackle paste to the black/grey background to create May!  while I was playing with the crackle paste I had added it to the letters!!
So while trying to sort out my craft desk so that I could finish this page I came across the letters and they worked perfectly.
In the same sorting out session this butterfly fell out of one of my journals ( I had coloured it in on one of Kate Cranes classes and hadn't used it yet) onto this page and It looked so good I just glued it down!! Love it when that happens!
So the final touches were to colour May with some distress ink using a blending tool and then rubbed on a bit of Stickles to make the letters shine.  I also added some to the butterfly wings (they aren't stuck down so flap when you move the page) and put some clear crackle on its body to add dimension - none of these show in the picture!!
I did play around with the idea of adding the year and a quote but I decided I liked it as it is!
So it was finally done - last day of May! but I'm happy with it and I feel like my MOJO is slowly coming back.
I hope you all have a MOJO filled Month!!

France Papillon Workshop weekend at Middlesburgh in May


At the beginning of this month the lovely Mrs Sue Tucker of Art Workshops arranged for the wonderful France Papillon to return and do another weekend of workshops for us, after her doing her first teaching session in the UK with us at the end of last year!!!!  Fortunately we didn't scare her off and she returned to give us another truly inspirational weekend of classes!!
We did 2 half day workshops on the Saturday and a full day on the Sunday!! and when I say a full day I mean it!! France really packs the time full of techniques, information and most of all creative fun!!!
Once again I encourage you to attend one of her workshops if you have the chance or if that's not possible have a look at her blog and website as she has done many videos that are wonderful!! Its great to be able to see how she produces her own art!!!  I could watch and listen to her for hours!!
On the Saturday morning we did 'wishful chronicles - an art journaling tag book'  This is mine!!  not finished but I love it!!  Fast creative fun!

In the afternoon we did 'tell a tale' - and made a stamp storage book!!  I loved doing all the details and layers on this book cover!!!  Need to make some more so I have a set for all of my clear stamps!!! (wishful thinking maybe???)

Then on to the Sunday we did 'altered possibilities' - and we made a Coptic bound journal from scratch and did some journal pages in the afternoon to christen it!!!

Seeing as how I primarily do journaling, I loved this project!! I wanted to run home and make more of my own journals but I'm struggling to get decent watercolour paper without having to spend and arm and a leg lol!!!
As you can see I wasn't kidding when I said France workshops are well packed!!
Yet another inspirational, exciting weekend!!
Thanks as always to Sue for having the vision to start doing these workshops in the North East and for getting us such amazing tutors, and to the A team who make the days run smoothly with their efficient setting up!!
Not least a huge thank you to France for coming all the way over here again to share some of her time, knowledge and love of creating with us!!!
Ok when is she back again?!?!?!  LOL
Have a great week everyone!!

PS if anyone has suggestions of where I can get reasonable priced hot press smooth watercolour paper I would appreciate hearing about it!!!   Thanks in advance!! 

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Face-ing your fears - Whimsy Faces workshop with Tracy Scotts

Hi Everyone - well in my last post I was raving about the wonderful Tutors we get at AFTH and Tracy Scott is one of them.  However she lives quite a long way for AFTH so she has started to come up and do 2 day workshops over a weekend!! Makes sense for her because of all the travelling and is awesome for us because we get a double dose of her teaching - which makes me very happy!!
So we did the Index cards on the Saturday and moved on to Whimsy faces on the Sunday.
She talked us through the basics of drawing a face and had us do a couple of practise runs and then went on to the main piece done in out journal!!
These are what I created!!

This final piece still needs a bit more added to it but I'm very pleased with how she turned out!!
Thanks Tracy for an all round wonderful creative weekend!!

Friday, 29 May 2015

Index Card Art Worshop with Tracy Scott

Hi Folks I hope your all doing well!
As usual I am behind on my blog posts so I am going to try and catch up on them over the weekend so I apologise now if you get a few together.
Last month I was back at my home from home AFTH doing another workshop with Tracy Scott.  I have done several classes with her now and love not only her creativity but also the way she teaches!!
 She is a great lady and she makes the classes so much fun but you also learn a lot!!!
Tracy has done the 'Index card a day challenge' run by Daisy Yellow where you create art on an index card every day for 2 months  and she wanted to pass on some of her ideas for creating quick art at this small size.  
This is what I produced in the day - most of them are not finished but quite a lot of them don't need much more done to them.  I was amazed how quickly I can create small pieces of art just using a small range of supplies - also how different they turned out!

I'm going to join Daisy Yellow on the 1st of June (gulp that's in 2 days time) to challenge myself to create something every day for 2 months!! After doing these cards with Tracy I know that doing this challenge will give my flagging MOJO the boost that it needs!
Why don't you give it a try - you might be surprised by what you can make!! Click this Daisy Yellow link to take you to the challenge.
Have fun guys!!

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Regular Art Journaling with Kate Crane - May

Hi everyone!!
We had a wonderful time today at our regular art journaling workshop with Kate Crane at AFTH.
This month Kate wanted to show us how to use repeating images and how to make them work on our journal pages!!
This was my first page - love this butterfly which is off Tim Holtz - 'Perspective' stamp set (think I might have to add this set to my ever growing wish list!!).
We made a lovely painty background with Dylusions and Amsterdam paints and then coloured in our chosen images with whatever we chose - in my case I used Dylusions inks and Prismacolour pencils with a little bit of Stickles to add some bling!!
Its not quite finished as I want to add a bit more doodling and shadows but I love how bold it looks with these large butterfly's!!!  I wasn't sure that I could get it to would work with such a big focal image but with Kate's great tuition I managed to pull it all together!!
As one of my friends pointed out - its not Grungy!!!! lol - miracle! as most of my work recently seems to end up looking rather grungy!!!

I did several more backgrounds in the afternoon (finger painting was fun!!) and started colouring some more images to do a different format of the repeating images but I ran out of time - how rude they made us go home at home time!! lol!!
I hope you all get a chance to try something new this month - how about having a go at your own repeating images!!
Happy creating everyone!!