About Me

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WELCOME to my little arty world! Trying to make art is a huge part of my life ... love nothing more than messing around with inks and sprays and generally making a mess!

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Lord Of The Rings On A Swing

For the third time in 14 months great-nephew Henry was ring bearer at his three uncle's weddings ... did brilliantly each time but have to say that this time he absolutely nailed it! 

Was named Lord of the Rings in father-of-the-bride's speech and he certainly did them proud

This photo' was taken at the wedding and has become a firm favourite of mine so when I saw Finnabair's latest video project I was, yet again, inspired by her to have a go and this photo' seemed to be the one to use
This is the link to  Finn's video 

Made on clear acrylic or perspex - have posted two photo's to prove it!

I picked the colours from the wedding but realise now they are far too girly for the whirlwind that is H ... have tweaked and tweaked this trying to make it right but finally called it a day and had to consider it done

Just gives me an excuse to do another one more befitting a little three year old livewire


Ok hands up ... I am cheating
but at least I am here!

The observant amongst you will recognise the piece of work on my desk and know I have already blogged it as, yes, this is last week's desk

Had the photo all ready to join in with the weekly blog-hop that takes place over at The Stamping Ground and courtesy of the simply wonderful and vrey much loved Julia but it was already Thursday by the time I realised Wednesday had come and gone so I missed the boat
considered posting very late on the Thursday but figured if I was late I might as well be very late ...so here I am ... on time but also late!

To remain true to the blog-hop I have also added a photo of my desk right now so you can see not much has changed ... a new photo' of great-nephew Henry as they finally managed to get his hair cut just in time for the wedding and his beautiful, handsome face emerged from under the mop of hair

The spanners are not a project ... well, the smaller one might be but the large one is acting as a counter-weight to stop my board from tipping forward as I have to pull it a good four inches off the edge of my desk in order to work more comfortably.  
They were daddy's spanners so the weepies often come calling as I have not yet quite gotten my head around him not being here and spanners and such were, well, they were just daddy

Will stop there or this post will take me on a trip down a road I don't wish to travel today

Will blog this next photo' separately too but is a small project I managed to do on Monday - the least said about yesterday the better as it was a rotten old day ... and I fully aim on today being a whole lot better!

Inspired by Finnabair who did a project on clear perspex/acrylic - but all will be explained in a separate post as I really should only show you my desk today 

Happy WOYWW'ing fellow bloggers

Sunday, 15 July 2018

And then there were three

Did my first "System Breakdown" piece back in January 2017 & when my BFF saw it she reminded me it was her birthday in July & made several "hint-hint" comments so made another one for her ... just finished a third one as hubby dearest wanted one to give as a gift

My original actually hangs on wall (but behind a door that is kept almost permanently open against that wall)
really enjoy making these once I get goin

System Breakdown #1
The Original

System Breakdown #2
The Birthday Gift

System Breakdown #3
The Yet To Be Decided if Liked by Recipient
(I may yet end up with two behind my door!)

Note to self : must learn to take better photographs!!!!!

Finnabair's Angelica

Taken me a while but I FINALLY plucked up the courage to tackle my Angelica kit from the workshop I knew I would not be able to attend ... I went ahead and paid for my place anyway just so I could get my kit for Finnabair's project

You can't imagine for one moment the utter surprise and shock that followed the workshop when the organiser - the simply wonderful Sue Tucker messaged me to say Finnbair wanted me to have the piece she did in the workshop as a gift ...

ME!  Little old Debbie with an Anna Dabrowska original
I was, literally, reduced to tears and shaking

Anna has not only been a total inspiration for me since I came across her work
but a good friend too - never failing in her support and encouragement
and I hear her in my head all the time - not just when making art but in my daily life too as she has shared the odd snippet of her own life during the many workshops I have now done with her 

So with lots of 
"Why not'"
"You stopped too soon!"
"Just keep going"
"Don't judge it until it is finished"

And a lot of hints and tips from my friends Lisa & Vicky that were there on the day - and my fabulous gift from Anna by my side I managed to do my own Angelica (with thanks, too, to Chris Cresswell for the face)

Thank you Anna for your gift - forever to be treasured and thank you for allowing me to have your kit even though I (broken heartedly) could not attend the workshop.  Thank you for everything you do and, most importantly, thank you just for being you.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

When it all goes horribly wrong

Started out quite enthusiastically with this one
but that soon fizzled

Had Finabair's Patina Effect Paste set for a long time now
but never got around to using them
was booked to do her "Poetry of Patina" workshop but that was one of the projects that went by the book when the workshops were cancelled

So I thought I would just wing it
stupid Debbie
so am using this as a lesson in Learning To Live with A Disaster
(did actually bin it, but got told off by husband dearest)

Have even hung it on the wall and it doesn't look too bad
from a distance
without my glasses

Started off with a bit of old fence panel
gesso'd it white and did the sticking of random bits & bobs thing
all was looking ok at this point
although that butterfly bothered me from the start

Gesso'd it all white again
and then lost the plot

The patina set just not my cup of tea
which was a huge disappointment
but I guess it's ok not to like every product available
I am a HUGE fan of Finnabair's original rust paste set and use pots and pots of it - would rust up everything if I could

In the end I covered up more of the blue than intended
and added some darker blue using wax

Quite like the bit on the far left!!!

BUT ...
at least I have managed to create another project this week
after the wilderness months since Christmas when artwork of any description was impossible

Products used:
All Finnabair (Prima Marketing)

Art Basics Heavy White Gesso
 Art Basics 3D Gloss gel
Art Basics Soft Gloss Gel
Art Extravagance Rust Past Effect (Brown/Red/Gold)
Art Extravagance Patina Effect Paste (Blue/Mint Green/Brass)
Art Alchemy Antique Brilliance Wax - Red Amber/Mystic Turquoise
Art Alchemy Metallique Wax - Rich Copper/Vintage Gold
Art Extravagance Glitter Set - Luminous (just used the brown)

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Finnabair's Moonlight

As soon as I saw Finnabair's Moonlight workshop I knew I just HAD to do it
booked in for February when she was bringing the classes to Bournemouth
but the workshops were cancelled ... oh, the disappointment!!!!

Figured I had attended enough of her classes now to at least have a go using her design as TOTAL inspiration
knew I'd be ok with all the techniques
but not the colouring - have had to wing it there

also knew I did not want to make a direct copy of her design which was done on a tall rectangular canvas ... if in a workshop I'd have done EXACTLY what she did ... if Finn sticks something in a certain position then I do the same
a way of learning that I have found works for me - I take her workshops to produce pretty much what she does but then bring home all I have learnt to adapt for myself

This piece is very much an adaptation of her wonderful piece  - which you can see here Finnabair's Moonlight on her blog if you are interested

I did struggle (so what's new!) getting this one even remotely to anything resembling what I had in my head
and is one of the pieces mentioned in my "Shells" post below this one that i threw across the room a few time 
but I kept at it and by removing a storey from one of the houses it kinda, sorta came together

So I finally got to do Moonlight ... just not with Finn

Monday, 2 July 2018

SHELL we do a little crafting?

Sat here like a lemon (some will say nothing new there then!) failing miserably at getting any ideas in my head to even start to work out
three projects attempted - well, bits from cupboard & placed here and there
tipped off to be replaced here and somewhere else
but nothing working out and frustration levels rising and fragile emotions taking over

Then I remembered my large scallop shell
only problem being is shells are not really my thing
but it was either a case of skulk back upstairs utterly defeated or just go with it

So I just went with it
despatched hubby down the garden to rescue some teeny-weeny shells I knew were in the drawer of the caravan 

Not really my cup of tea although others are seeming to like it but at least I managed to make something & it has kick started my confidence to tackle those previously elusive and abandoned projects

Products used:
Finnabair Art Basics : Heavy Body Gel / 3D Gloss Gel / Soft Gloss Gel
13Arts Ayeeda Mist : Chalk Turquoise/ Pastel Cinnamon / Pastel Caramel
Pastel Antique Cream / Chalk White 
Lindy's Starburst Spray : Frozen Jack Frost
Finnabair Art Extravagance Glitter : Carribean Seas
Finnabair Art Extravagence : Art Stones / Mini Art Stones
Finnabair Art Ingredients Mica Flakes : Gold Leaf
Finnabair Art Ingredients Art Sugar : Light Pink / White
Finnabair Art Alchemy Wax : Opal Magic Vintage Silk
Twiggy bits - no idea what they are called

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

WOYWW #462

Two WOYWW’s in a row!!!

Our darling Head Desker, Julia, will fall off her chair ... again. To see what us bloggers get up to on a Wednesday pop along to The Stamping Ground & travel to desks all over the country - nay, the world!

There is a little activity on my desk this week - but not much.

Struggling to spend any length of time getting down & inky so very much
 a case of Do-A-Bit-Leave-A-Bit. 

Nothing working out as planned but having not made, nor sent, a single card yet this year I need to just accept these for what they are & send them out with an apology. 

Oh, hang on! I did manage to make H’s third birthday card!

Happy WOYWW’ing!

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Capturing the moment

As soon as I saw this photo’ of nephew Charlie & his son Henry’s hands I knew
I wanted to do something with it - not that using photos is my preferred choice but
this one did call to me.

Colour scheme was easy as Charlie favours black & grey so that was sorted
from the get-go.

A 12x12 canvas (30x30 cm) was primed with gesso - I had only been able to get a linen covered one in a rush (the only rush being self-inflicted as I wanted to do it & I wanted to do it now) & it was a horrible green coloured one - took 3 coats!

Next came modelling paste through a stencil & then a little colour applied - always deep breath time, especially spraying black on white but, hey-ho, nothing a water spritzer & a baby wipe can’t put right!

Various strips of paper, lace & gauze & other bits & bobs were adhered using 3D gel & I distressed the edges of the papers around the photo as I didn’t want them crisp & perfect. With Charlie in mind I had to work hard keeping the lace to a minimum. Same with the embellishments - needed it to be as masculine as possible!

Did add just a touch of glass glitter as it was looking a little flat to me & a few smudges of silver wax. Oh & some shading around the stencilled diamonds - those of you who know me will understand just what a big deal this was as I have a mental block when it comes to any type of pencil!

Decided to frame this one as I figured dusting Auntie’s artwork takes time a young family doesn’t have.

3-year old Henry's response was "I like the flowers!"

Materials used
Art Basics Heavy White Gesso
Art Basics Modelling Paste
Art Basics Soft Gloss Gel
Art Basics 3D Matte Gel
Art Extravagance Art Stones
Art Ingredients Glass Glitter : Pitch Black
Art Alchemy Metallique Wax : Brushed Iron
Primal Marketing Finnabair Stencil : Harlequin
Lindy’s Stamp Gang Starburst : Gag Me With A Spoon Grey (just love the names they give their colours!)
Lindy’s Stamp Gang Starburst : Frozen Jack Frost
13@rts Chalk Spray : Grey
The dreaded graphite pencil

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

WOYWW #461

Ok! Ok! Now pick yourself off the floor!
‘Tis me!!!!

So - what is on my workdesk?

Nothing ... nowt ... nada ... zilch ... not a sausage!

Have managed two small projects since Christmas (which I will blog separately) but not a single card. 
This time last year I had ALL (around 200) cards for the year made & had crocheted four bobble blankets. 
This year nuffin’!

Exceptional change of circumstances but I am working hard on figuring out a way of being able to work more comfortably but when your (inoperable) hernia is now the size of a baby elephant it’s tricky.

But, hey, mood & spirits are back where they should be so can’t complain. 

Am absolutely positive that everyone else’s desk are more worthy of a visit than my pathetic effort so head over to the simply wonderful Julia’s at 
The Stamping Ground & have a nosey around. 

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Silent Night

Just handed this over so can now share it here
Intended as a Christmas decoration that I hope will become an heirloom
Will keep the story behind it brief ...

Last year Richard started to learn to play the violin
I joked that I would like him to play me Silent Night at Christmas
He did

Then after daddy died I asked each of the boys for their memories of Grandad
Richard's memory was Grandad's party piece each Christmas 
 - singing Silent Night very fast indeed
Always used to make us laugh

Then, totally and utterly inspired by the violin altered by the wonderful Annette Smyth I knew what I wanted to do

Managed to get a split and broken violin from ebay
VERY stressful as I had to bid on it - but I won!!!!
Managed to find a teeny-weeny little music box (just the bit that makes the noise, not a whole complete music box) that played Silent Night
And hubby fitted this inside for me - just leaving the little key on the outside

Then I set about altering it
Had many meltdowns
Put it away in the cupboard more times than I can count

Trouble was I did not want it too flowery and more *S*N*O*W*flakey
But could not find the sort of S*N*OW*flakes I really wanted 
So had to admit defeat and add in flowers

Kept the colours cool and icy

It is nothing like I wanted it to be and I am disappointed in it
But my intention was always for the sentiment behind it to be greater than anything so all is well


Three coats of gesso

Adding gesso to the embellishments

Then layers and layers and layers of colours
Lindy's Stamp Gang spray inks / Finnabair's Art Alchemy acrylic paints and Finn's waxes

Until I decided it was never going to be as I hoped and called it a day

Art Basics 
 Heavy White Gesso
Modelling Paste
Soft Matte Gel
Heavy Body Gel
 *S*N*O*W*flake Stencil
Ranger Distress Spray Stain 
 Chipped Sapphire
Lindy's Stamp Gang Starburst Spray 
Frozen Jack Frost/Time Travel Teal/Afternoon Delight Denim/
Frosted Lilac Violet/Frosted Forget-me-not
Perfect Pearls Mists
 Mint/Blue Patina
Art Alchemy Acrylic Paint
Opal Magic Pink-blue
Opal Magic Violet-green
Metallique - Deep Waters/White Pearl
Sparks - Magical Pond/Iris Potion
Art Alchemy 
Opal Magic Wax Turquoise Satin/Blue Velvet
Metallique Wax - Old Silver
Art Ingredients
Glass Glitter - Midnight Blue

Thanks for this have to go to Annette - I was blown away by her violin when I saw it and was totally inspired
Enough so to want to do another one

But for now, this was for Richard in memory of his Grandad

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Marta's Tiny Freedom

I was quite unable to resist this little birdie

Designed by the amazing Marta Laprowska (Maremi), called "Tiny Freedom" and available from Etsy in kit form with video instructions so you get Marta sitting right next to you in your own craftroom ... ordered it whilst on holiday and it was here waiting for me when I got home and I have loved every moment of doing it

Apart from the colouring
I still struggle with colouring!
(I resisted the temptation to use colours other than those supplied in the kit - and am glad I did because I love the combination of the lilac, yellow, amber, grey & brown Marta picked for us)

The spray paints supplied are wonderful but the overall effect was just a little bit too "dull" for me
I am not keen on anything sparkly or glittery so used just a little touch of Finnabair's waxes 
Sorry the photo' is blurred but you can just about make out the shimmer

Got a feeling I will be making more of these

When Debbie met Tim

Is that REALLY my post title ...
When Debbie met Tim
you better believe it ... because I can't!

Never imagined for one moment I would ever get to meet the first person to influence my crafting in such a massive way ... was struggling making cards ... trying to find the "something" that I felt was missing and then i happened across Tim Holtz

Can't even remember how or where now 
but there he was using words like "distress" and "grunge" and doing the swishy-swooshy thing with his inkpads

Now, anyone that knows me knows that the swishy-swooshy thing is what I love to do most of all

and Tim Holtz is ENTIRELY responsible for all those tag cards you get sent
yeah, yeah, even though they are not "proper" cards and a few of you 
feel hard done by!
Tags are good enough for Tim so they are good enough for me !!!

So ... to Harrogate and the wonderful Art From the Heart workshop to attend Tim's Creative Chemistry Live UK workshop.

If I ever did get to attend a Tim workshop I always imagined I'd be at the back of some huge conference room, one of hundreds, with him a tiny speck in the distance and me watching him on a screen
Well, I was at the back (out of choice) of the room, and there was a screen but there he was just a few feet away from me and with just 24 students ... 
and Mario! 
Must not forget Mario!  

What with losing daddy and everything else that was going on we were not going to go to Scotland this year ... but then we figured Harrogate is on the way up north so changed our minds and just four days after getting home from ten days in Cornwall for Alfie & Nicola's wedding we packed up the caravan and it was a case of "Tim Holtz here I come!"  

Met up with my dear friend, Shaz (ShazSilverwolf) and before long we were sitting in the workshop hardly daring to believe it was really happening
Got to admit I kept nudging her and nodding my head towards the front of the class and mouthing "it's Tim!" to her

The workshops were just so brilliantly organised and Tim & Mario are just the most lovely guys ... having seen SOOoooooo many of Tim's video's I thought I  knew what to expect but I was wrong!  He is so funny and so, so talented and his style of teaching just blew me away ... from the get-go the atmosphere was relaxed and there was so much laughter and - well, it was all just simply perfect.

On our desks were our kits and an apron and all the tools & equipment we would need ... 

The kits were full of the ten tags we would be using - all prepared and ready to go by Mario and a gift of two bespoke stencils ... stencils that won't ever be for sale and were just for these workshops.  Lucky, huh!  

This is getting a bit word-heavy so will just cut to the photo's ... pretty much explains everything anyway ...

No, I did not use my apron ... no way was I getting it dirty!

  My ten tags 

 Then we were given a folder in which to keep them all 

Oh, I got an "awesome" from Tim for that tag!!!
But I cheated and used what I knew to be his favourite colours
I had pushed myself hard using colours I would not normally choose for the first three tags but then thought I'd do one in colours that are more to my taste ... dark side and grungy, you see!

 All too soon the workshop was over but the gifts just kept on coming

First was a zipped pouch in which to keep stuff we try out

Then came one of Tim's District Market notebooks in which to jot down all our ideas or notes on how we did something

And, of course, a notebook means an opportunity not to be missed!

Having heard of the trouble we all had to get our places at the workshop we were given a necklace with three lucky charms 
Believe me, we all knew just how lucky we were to be there

And finally a bag in which to take everything home

 So, when I consider I so very nearly backed out and didn't go I had the most amazingly wonderful time and would have regretted it for ever ... what an idiot I would have been!

I wasn't going to get a photo' with Tim but Shaz's husband Doug was having none of it and practically dragged me over to him announcing "she's a bit shy" ... so in this photo' Tim does actually have his arm around me !!!!!  An awful photo' as I look every bit at poorly as I was feeling (but that pales into insignificance alongside how very, very poorly my dear Shaz was feeling) and, hey, it's me with Tim!

And Doug was right, of course, that photo' was an opportunity not to be missed and I would have regretted not getting it 

 See, dreams can come true.