Monday, 5 October 2015

Festival of thrift in Darlington

Hi Folks - hows the autumn treating you all?!
The weekend before last I had a run out to Darlington to the Festival of thrift.  This year was its 3rd year and I have to say it was amazing.  I only managed to get over on the Sunday and I had booked 4 1 hour workshops before hand.  Unfortunately as it was my first time there I hadn't realised that there would be so much going on!! So I didn't get to see much by the time that I did my workshops and grabbed a bit of lunch but I have put it in the diary for next year because I really want to do the 2 days next time.   There were so many stalls, activity's, entertainments and loads of workshops it had your head in a spin.  So if you get the chance to go next year guys, I can really recommend it - you will have an amazing time!!!!

Here are the 4 workshops I had a go at.  Check out the links to the wonderful folks facebook pages!!

Adult chocolate workshop with David and Wendy Sanderson of 'Truly Tempting Chocolate'

Needle felted animals with Geraldine of 'Bean Creative'

Collage tree with the artist Suzie Devey

drinks can jewellery with Kathryn guy 

I want to have a go at all of them again so now I just have to find a stall which sells begs of 'spare time' and 'energy' lol!!!

Have a great month everyone!!!!
hugs xxxxx

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Whimsical Animals with Tracy Scott

Hi everyone!
I has a wonderful time on Sunday at a workshop taught by the wonderful Tracy Scott at AFTH,  I have been looking forward to doing this class ever since I saw the first animal that appeared in Tracy's journal!!!  I knew that I wanted some of these cute critters to appear in some of my work!!
So she got us started laying down some painty backgrounds and then we did a page of test animal sketches and then progressed to putting them into our journal.
This was the first one that appeared by the end of the morning session.

In the afternoon this little panda appeared on another page. 

 I didn't quite get it finished but came home and added the final touches.
I love them, and I have at least 2 on my sketch page which I want to add to my journal - so hopefully I will be able to blog them when they are done!!!
Now I just need the time to do them!!!
I hope all of you managed to find time this month to create something cute!!
Have a great month.
xxxxx HUGZ xxxxx

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Preview day at AFTH - June

Hi everyone - I though I would do a quick post about the preview days at AFTH for those of you who have never been.
They are held every three months and they have samples of all the workshops that will be help for the next 3 months.  You get 10% discount for any classes that you book on the day and there are also 1 hour sample sessions so that you can get to meet the tutors and have a go at a small project.  These tasters are great fun and only cost £5 so are great value for money.
On the last preview day was in June and I did a taster session with the lovely Sandra Botham and we made these fab book mark!!!


The next preview day is on the 3rd of October so if you fancy taking a run along and looking at the workshops and trying your hand at a taster I would strongly recommend it!!!
Oh there is also always coffee, tea and cakes to be had!!! Lol
Hope to see some of you there!! 
xxx hugz xxx

Friday, 11 September 2015

Regular Art Journaling with Kate Crane - September

Hi Folks - sorry I have done very little, or in the case of last month no blog posts recently, I have been unwell a lot over the summer and that has meant a lot of things have had to have been put on the back burner!
However I have still managed to get to quite lot of classes which I would like to do blog posts on - so I'm going to try and catch up on them over the next few weeks.
  So I thought I would start with the last one that I did, which was last weekend with the lovely Kate Crane at AFTH.
She decided to get us working on lettering within our journal pages - not the actual journaling but letters used for titles and decoration.
She had us do a few sample pieces - here are my unfinished ones!

Then we did our journal page itself - using amsterdam paints for the background and choosing one of the great Stampotique figures to colour in with pencil as our focal point.
Here's the page I finished.

This was the quote that Kate used on her sample page and I have to say I thought it was very apt!!
As always with Kates class - I had a great day!
Ok that's it for today!!
Hope you all have a creative weekend!

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!! 

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Stampotique Boutique Workshop No1 - Karen Hayselden

Last month the lovely Karen Hayselden started a monthly Stampotique workshop at AFTH.
The idea is to do workshops each month creating all sorts of different mixed media and papercraft projects incorporating the large and lovely range of stamps that Stampotique Originals produce!! 
Karen kept us on our toes in the first workshop and had us using all sorts of products and techniques and these are my versions of the 2 projects which she taught us!!

Loved this first one with the amazing crackle detail on the tile and the wonderful butterfly which sits several inches proud of the tile!! Wonderful design Karen!!!

The second one was this cute little 3 dimensional cube with this very cute cupcake on!!
I had a wonderful day and I'm looking forward to next months class!!!
Happy creating!!!
xxx hugs xxx

Friday, 8 May 2015

April Calendar Journal Page

Hi everyone I know its May and I'm only just posting Aprils calendar journal page but as always time got away from me lol!!
For those of you who follow my Calendar journal page blogs  you will also notice that there hasn't been a post for March - well for the first time in over 3 years I to just accept that I wasn't going to be able to do one for March.  It really bugged me but sometime you just have to accept that's its just not going to happen and move on.  
So I did get April done and only a few days into the month.  I still haven't got Mays done and I probably wont until next week but never mind I have just done a great weekend of workshops so I have a good excuse for not having it done!

I have been struggling with my MOJO at home - don't seem to have the same problem when I attend my regular workshops but I guess that's because someone is guiding you through the project, where as at home you have to come up with it yourself.
I think this struggle is one of the reasons that I didn't get March done (well I did eventually get a background layed down but that's about it! I am hoping to go back and finish it but I think that might be wishful thinking lol)
So because my head was in a bad place getting April done was a  bit of an up hill slog!!

So when I finally did get started I put some gesso on my page and then splattered and sprayed on some inks and some mica sprays and used a straw to blow the colours around to create the dribbles.
Then I used Dylusions black paint and an ink blending tool and created the black circles for the day spaces.  I finished them off by adding an outline in Stickles.
So my focal point I used Tim Holtz Bird crazy stamps and stamped out 2 of the birds onto card and coloured them in using inktense pencils and a water brush.

I used an Andy Skinner stamp to create a branch for the birds to stand on and then I glued them down.
I had some alphabet letters cut out of chip board to I covered them in sand texture paste and let it dry.  Then I painted them to make them look like rusty metal.
The final touches were added with a quote out of Tim Holtz's 'small talk' quotes stickers and I blended round the edge of the page with rusty hinge and spiced marmalade distress ink pads to warm the colours up a bit.
I think in all the time I have been doing the calendar journal pages this is the second hardest to do!!
I did end up liking the background and the birds but wasn't so keen on how the day spaces turned out.  However by the time I wrote on the black in white pen it looked a bit better.
Still I live and learn and hope that I get my MOJO back really soon! 
May page here I come Lol!
wish me luck!!
Have a great month!

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Regular Art Journaling with Kate Crane - April

Hi everyone!!
Sunday was our regular art journaling workshop with Kate Crane at AFTH.
This month Kate decided to push herself and us outside our comfort zones and made us do some black and white work!! but we still got to play with some more of her new stamps from Stampotique!!!

This was my first page - ended up more grungy than I wanted but I still like it!

Page 2 - a little bit less messy and I have to say I really do like the touches of Red!! I very rarely use red so this was an additional challenge on this page!

Between Michelle's canvas and Kate's journaling I had a very crafty weekend!! lol
Hope you all managed to step outside your comfort zones this month and create something amazing!!
xxx hugz xxxx

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Light house Canvas workshop - Michelle Webb

Hi everyone!
I had a great time at the weekend at AFTH in a workshop with wonderfully creative tutor Michelle Webb!  We made a beautiful light house canvas!!

I really enjoyed the day and didn't even worry too much about doing my own writing!!
There are so many layers on the canvas but you cant see them until you are close up!!
My only problem now is trying to find a space on the wall to hang it up!!
Have a great week!!

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Dyans Regular Journal Workshop - April

Hi everyone - yesterday I was at my home from home AFTH doing the regular journal workshop with Dyan!!  
With it being Easter Friday not only were we being creative but cakes and chocolates had been bought in so as you can imagine we had a really tough day. LOL
Dy had us doing some secret journaling then using her paints and magazine images or her stamps to create a page.
This is the page I did.

I had a mop up page which had turquoise and green spray on it and some stencil cleaning on it too so I wrote all over it with a pencil.  Then to make sure that it was secret journaling I used an old credit card to scrape some of Dys white paint all over the page.  It mixed with the inks a little bit as they are reactive to water but that was fine as all I was trying to do was to disguise the writing.  As Dys paints are semi translucent it misted out what had been already on the page and lightened it all up,
I then used Dylusions black paint (which is opaque and covers wonderfully with very little paint) and a round blending tool to add the black round the edges and blended it in to the middle.
(**using this white paint to cover over a background is good if you have  background that you dont like or is too bright for you to do something with!! As it leaves some of the previous layers showing through but gives you change to work on top of it with out totally losing all previous work!**)
In the envelope in the front of my journal (it was my Dylusions journal) I already had some images, quotes and magazine images  cut out.  So I went through those and came up with this image.  I also put some others together and put them on other backgrounds in my book and I will finish them later.
I used a collage glue stick to glue down the image and quote.  
I used a Molotow black paint pen to add the lettering and the beads to form the bracelet then a white Signo pen to add the white dots.  I have some water pens with Dylusions inks in them and used those to colour some of the letters on the quote.  I outlined the image using a black pen and a Stabilo write all pencil to create some shadows and added a bit of orange colour with wax crayons round the inside of some of the letters.
After I took this picture I added a few drops of stickles to the image to add a bit of bling!!
Hope you like it.
Have a great Easter!!