Sunday, 28 December 2014

A year of calendar pages 2014

Hi folks I hope you have all had a great Christmas.  Like last year I decided to do a quick recap of the12 months Calendar Journal pages I have done this year, as this is the 3rd year I have managed to keep doing it. As always its a bit surprising when you look back and see what you have created.
I Hope you have enjoyed seeing my efforts and that you have a go yourselves in 2015 if you haven't already started.

I am so glad I have this picture of July because when I did august I made rather a mess on July so its always good to take pictures of your work before you move on!!


If you would like to join in the Calendar journal challenge you can find details on Kate Cranes blog here and you can see the facebook group here.

I hope 2015 is a wonderful, creative Happy Year for you all!!!

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

December Calendar Journal Page

Hi everyone, as you can see I'm very late this month, sorry about that!  I nearly gave up and decided I didn't have time to do it but it seemed such a shame to stop at 1 month short of 3 years doing this project!!!!
So here it is the last one of the year and the my 3 years are complete!!

I bought several plastic fine liner detail bottles a few months ago and I have been using one of them with Golden's black paint to write and add detail to projects but I have been wanting to try them with other thing.  So I filled one of them with masking fluid and used it to draw the words and the grid!  I really liked the way it pooled in places - because the liquid is a little too runny to use in these bottle.
I left that to dry over night.  You don't have to leave it that long but I went off and did other things.
When I came back to it I sprayed it with 3 different colours of Dylusions ink sprays and a little bit of water.  I let it soak in a bit then blotted the rest off.
Next I added some sprays and splatters of perfect pearl mist to give it a bit of razzmatazz!
Then I stamped in each of the squares using aqua archival ink and a snow flake stamp - I didn't use a block with it as I only wanted random parts of the snowflake to print.
Then came the fun bit!! rubbing and pulling of the resist!! its like picking dry glue off your hands - I love it!!! Oh am I the only one who likes doing that??? ...... no I didn't think so LOL!
Next I sprinkled a little bit of Brusho powder over the corners and sprayed that with some water to make it wick out, then dried it with a heat gun.
I stamped and painted the little stampotique figure (I used H2O's to paint with) and cut it out.
Lastly I did a little back ground stamping with a couple of different tree branch stamps and with some words.  I stamped along the top with an icicle stamp and added the old fashioned street lamp.  A touch of H2O paint in the lamps to make them look as though they are lit and the addition of a bit of white for snow and it was almost done.
I didn't think I could do a Christmas calendar page with out adding just a little bit more bling lol!!!
So the old Stickles came out to add some dots to the tree branches as the top and some highlights on the letters and numbers!!!
Finally it was all done!!!
I hope all of your Christmas preparations are going well and that you are not too stressed by all the hustle and bustle.  
I hope you have time for a little Christmas creativity!!!
Have an Awesome month!

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Be aware of happy accidents!

Hi everyone just another quick post re happy accidents.  While at one of Dina Wakleys workshops we were making quick backgrounds which we were going to draw faces on later.  This was on of mine.  It is done in an old accounts journal which has beautiful paper.  I put a thin layer of gesso on the page first then using my hands a rubber on some of Dina's heavy body paint in purple and green. Then using one of Dina's bird stencils I rubbed a bit of the paint off through the stencil. I then dribbled on Dylusions inks in purple and white and made them run.  I also splattered on some purple.  I set it aside to dry and use later for the faces.

When I went back to it I really like  the result and even though I returned to use it several times couldn't convince myself to draw any faces on as I felt like it was a finished piece in its one right.
So finally I accepted that I wouldn't use it for its intended purpose and added a bit of journaling in white paint using a fine line applicator across the paint and called it done!!
So try to always be aware - just because you start doing something for a particular purpose, if it decides some where along the ling that it wants to become something else, go with it, you will be surprised with some of the beautiful results you will get!!
Have fun! 

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Dina Wakleys Animals Work shop March 2014

Hi folks!
As I said in my previous post I also did a workshop with Dina, back in March on adding animals into my work and here are some of the results of my day.

We got to play with some of the stencils which she had just released and had a great time creating backgrounds.  This one I liked so much that I just left it as it was.  I will probably put a quote on it at some stage in the future and some doodling but I think that will be all.

Great page using her stencils and bird stamps.

We then went on to learn how to incorporate a magazine image into a journal page!

Last thing before we finished we created this lovely collage bird.  I need to put a quote on and some doodling but  I think he is loads of fun!!!
I enjoyed all of the techniques from this day and when I got home I created this page using a found image of the leopard.

Keep creating folks!

Saturday, 1 November 2014

November Calendar Journal Page

Hi again folks - I told you that you might be inundated with posts LOL!!!
I actually got this months done on time.
I decided to combine a few things that I have learnt recently.  So I used a layered journal type layout which was inspired by my workshops with Finnabair but added a picture which I drew on one of Kate Cranes Journal workshops!!!  I think it all came together quite well.

First of all I chose 2 sheets of 12 x 12 from my paper stash, 1 to be cut up to make 3cm day squares and kept the other for the background (I distressed round the edge of this sheet with a distressing tool and tore it in some places).  The main paper that I use for my calendar pages is a little bigger than 12 x 12 so I put some distress ink round the edge of the backing page and glues the patterned paper on top.
I  decided to use the whimsical face I did in Kate's class and layer it up with some co-ordinating torn paper, book pages, cut and embossed leaves, tags and some brown string.  This became the feature piece of the page.
I then found a large tag and added the Month and the year and stapled that in place over some torn strips of paper.
Having attached all of these in place I added the cobweb stamping and splattered with some gold mica spray and white Dylusions.
I like the autumnal feel of the page even though it feels way too hot to be autumn at the moment!! long may it continue!!
Enjoy the lovely weather guys!!
Take care xxxx

Friday, 31 October 2014

Dinas Wakleys Faces Workshop March 2014

I have been very lucky this year in the workshops I have been able to attend.  I have been doubly fortunate in that I have been able to attend 2 lots of workshops this year with the amazing artist Dina Wakley.  One in March and the second just last weekend - as always they were held at AFTH in Harrogate.  In march I did workshops on faces and another on using animals in my work ( I will do a separate post for that day)
I haven't really done much in the way of  drawing faces but I love the faces that Dina puts in her work.
So here are a few of the first attempts - warm up exercises to get in some practise, using unusual tools to draw or paint with or using our non dominate hand.

This one was using one of Dina's face stamps and creating the figure round it!

The more that we practised - the better we got!!
I could really see the improvement from where I started to these last 3 pieces which I was very pleased with.

If you ever get the chance to attend any of her classes I would encourage you to go - you wont regret it!!!
She is a wonderful lady, a great teacher and a very talented artist!
Have a go at faces, its fun once you get started!!
xxxx hugs xxxx

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Mini Journaling with Kate Crane

Hi me again - I know I'm probably going to bombard you with loads of posts now after not having put anything on for ages.  So apologies for this but I have to do them when I have the time and energy!! lol
I was at AFTH on Tuesday to do Kate Cranes mini journaling workshop.  Had a fab time as always with Kate and managed 3 small pages and a handful of backgrounds all ready to add things to them. 
So with no further ado - here's some pictures!!

This one was done in my mini moleskin its 10.5 cm x 6.5 cm - so very small!

Scary clown page done in a vintage notebook I managed to get hold of.  Its 15 cm x 10 cm and is in need of some TLC as its falling together.  Didn't manage to get the purple page done but its all ready to add a figure!

Can you see the Halloween theme run through the pages?!?! LOL!!  The skulls on this page was a stampotique stamp.  All the other images are digital downloads and I think Kate said they all come from the deviantscrap page - which now appear to have renamed themselves mischief circus!!
. This one was done in an artists sketch book 15 cm x 11 cm.

Lastly another couple of pages ready to add some images or stamps.
Had a great - thanks Kate!
xxxx hugs xxxx

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

October Calendar Journal Page

Hi everyone - well talk about being very late posting my calendar journal page!?!?! I was away at the beginning of the month and thought I would do the post then!!! Strangely enough that never happened but as I had thought about it so much I thought I had done it!!! So you can imagine my surprise then I came on here tonight and there was no posting for this month!!!!
OK going to make this short and sweet.
Did the background with Dylusions inks, water and some mica spray to add a bit of glitz!!!
Loved the background!!

I used a down loaded body (from deviant scrap from a seller caller itKuPiLLi) and remove the head.  I added another head and a wig and wings and stamped spiders on the dress.  
I added a load of background stamping - which I totally fell in love with!!
So no surprise - I didn't want to cover it up!!! So I decided I wasn't going to put day squares on instead I was just going to write in lines following the trails on the diagonal!!
So with the month and year stamped on old book pages and the same for the skull, I added a little bit of tape for detail for the figure to stand on and behind the skull and it was done.

As it happens I found I couldn't make myself write on those lovely diagonal lines so instead I have written less than normal and have followed the scrolled lines and wrote round the edge.  You cant see most of the writing so its almost invisible journaling. (the above picture was taken before I wrote on it).
I love it!!!

Monday, 29 September 2014

12" x 12" with Finnabair

Hi folks hope your all enjoying this unseasonal Autumn weather - I am, its wonderful, but it is stopping me doing much creating!!
Having said that I was fortunate enough just recently to go to a weekend of workshops with the wonderful Finnabair!!!  These were help in Middlesburgh so just a short drive for me - love the fact that Sue is setting up these wonderful classes so near to home.
If you want to look at more of Finnabair's work click HERE!! 
If you want to hear first about any new classes that are being help in Middlesburgh click HERE!!

I loved doing this piece of work as I don't ever work with photographs and I very rarely use dimensional elements, so I was rather out of my comfort zone!  (But playing with some of Finnabair's newly released products was fab!!!) However with Ania's superb tutoring it flowed really easily and I was so pleased with the result!
Since I brought this piece home I keep looking at her so I think I may have to mount her on some board and hang her up on the wall!!  
I have nicknamed her the frost fairy because the whole piece of work sparkles, but unfortunately I couldn't capture that with the camera!!
I did 3 workshops during that weekend and this one was the first.  I will try and grab time to post the other 2 with pictures.
Seriously if you ever get the chance to do a workshop with this amazing lady - grab it with both hands, you wont regret it!!!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Regular Art Journaling with Dyan Reaveley

Hi Folks I hope your all happily crafting away and enjoying the start of Autumn!
Last month Dyan Reaveley managed to fit in a journal workshop at AFTH, in between all her foreign travels and I managed to get to it.  
We had a great day and she let us play with some of her new releases.
So below is what I came up with, I used her new 'shapes' & 'suits' stencils in the background and 2 of her new stamp sets for the figure - 'shrooms' & 'strength'.  If you haven't had a look at them yet you can find them HERE

I hope you all manage to get a chance to play with some new items this month - have fun!!
xxx hugs xxx

Monday, 1 September 2014

September Calendar Journal Page

Hi everyone - well time continues to fly and the summer is , technically, nearly over and we are sliding into Autumn!!! OK I've just scared myself silly with that statement!!
My Calendar journal page as always  to start off the new month!!
As I explained in my last post I made September by accident then had to go back and do August, the good thing about that was I didn't have to panic to get September's done.
So here it is!
I had a hunt through my stash to give me some inspiration and found these day squares already stamped on a Dylusions ink background so I decided to use them as a base and build the page up around them.
So the background was done with more Dylusions ink - I tried to use more mute colours so that the squares would stand out better. I used distress ink blended through a stencil then I sprayed it with some mica spray and stamped with some of Tim Holtz old background stamps.  

Then I used a stencil and distress ink pad to do the bottom border.
With some of the spare paper from the day squares I drew a face (I've been trying to make myself do more drawing in the hopes that I will improve) which I was quite pleased with and added some shadows and highlights.

I had this board frame in one of my clutter draws and I thought it would frame the face quite nicely.  So I coloured it by applying 2 different colours of distress ink pads randomly directly to it and sprayed it with water.  Once it had dried I added a layer of crackle paint and while it was drying I added some gold mica powder into the wet paint in a few places to give it a bit of bling!!
One all of that was dry I glued the face into the back of the frame and covered the insert with glossy accents and left it to dry!! I was in 2 minds about adding the glossy accents as the face was draw on Dylusions inks and I had used a stabilo All pencil for some of the details and both of the elements are reactive with water, so  I wasn't sure how much blurring I may get.  Still I thought I would give it a go and see what happened.
As it turned out it wasn't a problem as I didn't move the glossy accents around when I applied it so all it did was mute the image a little.
So the squares, frame, face and quote got glued on then I did further stamping over the squares and did some gold mica spray splatters to add extra detail.
The final touches were some doodling round the edge - to imitate the borders round the square, some bronze liquid pearl dots added to the bottom boarder and I finally used some of my stash of wash tape to ground the frame!!
All in all I was very pleased with the result - hence the reason I was so gutted when I realised I had done the wrong month!! LOL!
I even surprise myself with some of the daft things I get up to!!!!
So hope you all have a bright, happy creative month - I plan to!!!!

Sunday, 17 August 2014

August Calendar Journal Page

Hi Folks - sorry its been so long since I blogged and I'm very very late putting up my calendar journal page!!
But there is a story about this one.....OK I know when isn't there but this one was me at my ditsy best!!!
I was running late getting the page done and it was already 7 days into the month, so I grabbed a bit of time over a couple of days and got cracking with the page.  Got it finished by about the 9th or 10th... took some pictures and happily started to put it on facebook.  
Had the post all ready to put up when I realised that I had done September instead of August!!! 
I couldn't believe it!! 
So I thought no problem I will take off the September note and put august in its place - then I realised for the first time in a while I had put the data squares in order and of course I would be one short!!! 
So back to the drawing board... and trying to grab a few minutes here and there again and this is what I came up with!
Very different from what I normally do!! 

So in a state of panic I started looking through my background paper stash box hoping that something would jump out so I could do another calendar journal page this month - but quickly!! 
whilst scrabbling frantically I came across a scrap of paper which I had obviously used to protect other pages when I was blending with a distress ink tool and it was covered in random colours and lines going in all directions - it looked quite cool (I imagine that's why I kept it) so I thought I would give it a go doing it intentionally!!
So a stack of different coloured distress ink pad and blending took in hand I got started.  (I have to say the sheet I used to blend against turned out looking great on its own as well!!)
After I was happy with my blending I tried to find out what would work for the squares.  I tried different thinks but found I didn't want to cover up the background, so out came the stamps.  
Piles of them later I found this square one and thought it would be perfect.  Only realising after I started stamping that there was a gouge dug out of the top left corner!! Well I had started so I had to finish!! as it turns out I really like the little flaw on the stamp!!!
So happy with how it was looking I tried different things for the title and all of it looked way to heavy on top of this background.  After a long frustrating time, I decided to leave it be and go back to it the next day.
I usually don't like to use my own writing and drawing on my pages because I invariable find my self unhappy with the end result, but I do keep trying hoping that eventually with enough practise I will be able to start pulling it off.  So feeling rather brave I started to draw the title on in pencil! It looked right so I went over in in pen......oh it now didn't look right - the line wasn't heavy enough but anything I tried on a spare piece of paper didn't look like it would work either!
  So finally I settled on the second line and was pleased with how that looked.  To try and emphasise the letters I went back to the blending tool and added one colour on one side of the lines and another on the others!!
It looked strange but it was happy with this weirdly angular page (I normally prefer curves not angles!!)
So for the first time in nearly 3 years I have forced myself to do 2 pages in one month due to my cotton wool brain!!!
I hope you all have a great month and don't find yourself being as ditsy as me!! lol
xxxx hugs xxxx

Sunday, 6 July 2014

July Calendar Journal Page - better late than never!!

 Hi Folks!
Sorry I was missing in action last month.  My husband was home for a while after working away a lot lately and we had work commitments so I didn't get any time to craft.
Well rather late with this months calendar journal page, due to lack of time energy and Mojo!! I finally managed to get all three at the same time yesterday so went ahead and did my page.
No plan as usual, I just started messing around and sorting stuff out!! putting off is another word for it! hoping inspiration would hit! lol.  So I gave myself a pep talk 'just do something and see where it leads'!! well this is where it lead!
I sprayed turquoise, lime and yellow dyslusions onto one of my calendar journal 12 x 12 sheets and sprayed it with lots of water.  Not being organised, as I didnt know what I was going to do, I grabbed the first sheet of 12 x 12 I found and blotted some of the ink off the original sheet.  
Original sheet with ink and water sprayed on.  Not sure where the swirls appeared from.  The sheet was blank when I picket it up!!!  must have had some type of imprint from a page I did a couple of months ago!! I love the unexpected!
Second sheet I blotted with - it turns out a grabbed a sheet which I had gessoed so the ink reacts differently on it!  Loved it once it was dried!
Then I blotted more off the first sheet with a scrap blot off book I use so I don't waste any ink!

Well in my usual contrary fashion I liked the second sheet over the first so decided to use it this month.  The other one has been dried and put aside and will no doubt will put in an appearance in a later month!!
Next I found some squares of printed paper which I had cut out previously and there was just enough for the 31 spaces.  So I edged them with some distress in and stamped randomly on them with a marble background stamp  using mustard and aqua archival ink.  Then did a bit more stamping with a crackle background stamp using gold ink. I played around with placing but this worked the best.
When I was messing around before I started I came across a kids toy set I had bought ages ago planning on using it for a project.  It hadn't worked for what I wanted so it had just sat under the desk totally ignored.  I went through it and threw most of the contents out but it had 2 stencils in - one with an alphabet and one with a whale, octopus and jelly fish on.  The lovely stylised octopus caught my eye and I thought I would try and do something with it.
So I blended through it using 2 different colours of distress ink and then stamped over with a water droplet stamp.
The background looked rather bland behind him so I stencilled through a wood grain stencil to create a watery look.  I could have put more on the background but I wanted to keep as much of it showing as possible as I really liked it.
Octopus still didn't look right so I drew round him and added some shading.
Letter tiles were added for the title and I found  a saying which I liked, printed it off and stuck it on.
Some more distress ink blended round the edge of the page finished it off nicely.
So my rather watery July page! 

Have a great month!

Monday, 9 June 2014

June Calendar Journal Page

Hi folks - happy June to you all!!
Well I manage to get my calendar journal page done just under the wire this month.  It has been rather a hit and miss project!!
Some people when journaling and doing craft projects have a very firm idea at the outset as to what they are going to do - I'm not one of them!! If I'm lucky I have a basic idea of what I'm going to use or what I'm aiming for and then I just see what happens!  Normally what happens is it goes off at a tangent all of its own and I follow on and am invariably surprised where it ends up.  This months page was even more organic than usual.  The only thing I had in mind was that I wanted to christen my new Dina Wakley heavy body acrylic paints! after that I had no idea!!!
I haven't done any creating at home for a while - apart from my calendar journal pages though I have been fortunate enough to go to quite a few work shops over the last few months.  During that time I have, needless to say, purchased some necessary supplies!! Supplies which I refuse to put away until I have tested them out.  Well the upshot of this policy is my crafting desk is covered in new stamps, paints, stencils etc and I have very little space to work in. 
So I pushed as much of it to one side and put some on the floor so that I could get this page done.
I coated my page in gesso then had to leave it to go and do other stuff.
When I came back to it I rubbed on some of the lush purple and lime green paint from Dina's line (they are so creamy to use - I Love them!) and again I had to leave it.
This was how it progressed over a period of 10 days - I would go into the craft room and try adding some more stuff that was lying on the desk then leave it till the next day!  Between visits I would come up with ideas of what I would do next but by the time I got back to it I ended up doing something entirely different!! So this is a page created in random 10 minute slots - I think its not bad for a totally mash up!

Here is a list of some of the things that I used, Dina's paints, acrylic ink, luminous green, black and purple paint dabbers, mica mist sprays, rock salt, perfect pearls spray, dylusions spray and distress ink pads in mustard seed (for the sun), shabby shutter, and seedless preserve through stencils. Write all pencils in black and green to give the  day spaces more definition.  Stamps for the foliage edge, and some background stamping for texture and the birds and for the June 2014!
I probably used way more than that but I lost track after a while lol!! 
The mountains were created using the edge of a sheet of torn paper and a blending tool and black soot ink pad!!
So for those of you who are way better at planning that I am, you might what to try doing a project this way.  It can be frustrating but liberating and you can amaze yourself with the art that you produce.
Have a great week!! 

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Collage journal page with Kate Crane

Hi again folks another quick post - I forgot I hadn't put on these lovely pages that I did in another one of Kate Cranes workshops - back in March I think?!?!? the year is going by so quickly I cant keep track.
It was a creative collage workshop. 
 I managed to get 2 journal pages done in the day!! 
So paint and stencil backgrounds and cut out shapes to make the focal points and doodling to finish off!!
Haven't really been able to get to grips very well with collage, I've always been a bit dissatisfied with the end results but could never figure out why.  These 2 however I was very happy with.  Loved the eyes I added to the left hand house for a bit of fun lol!!!
Used the every useful stabilo write all pencil to add shadows and some extra detail.
Some washi tape was added to this one for a bit of extra detail!!!
They are quite different from a lot of what I do but I love trying 'different' and one of these years all these attempts at 'different' are hopefully going to merge in to what will end up being my style!  Well I live in hope.... I just need to practise more!!
Take care