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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!

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Triptych Frame

Since putting this on Facebook I've had a few people messaging me asking how it was done so thought the easiest way was to blog it.  

No step by step photo's I'm afraid but it was fairly simple so this should give you some idea.

The triptych frame was supplied by Candy Box Crafts and what Roy Pakeman (the genius behind Candy Box Crafts) did with his frame was nothing short of AMAZING!!!!  

First stage was to decide on colours.
This is where it started to fall apart.
Determined to move away from my favourite and much used colour schemes I opted for black, red and ivory.
Base coat of black acrylic paint was applied and let to dry. 

Next came the crackle ... I LOVE LOVE LOVE crackle!  Use it whenever I can but this was a new product to me ... Cosmic Shimmer Clear Crackle.
You paint it on in the opposite direction to how you will apply your topcoat and then you let it dry completely.

Once dry you paint with your second colour choice using long strokes trying not to stop and start again.  

No chance!

Stopped and started many times but felt in the end it didn't really matter ... the crackle starts to appear almost immediately. The thicker the top coat of paint the larger the crackles ... so you can see I got a right old mixture by my very uneven topcoat.
I found that once you thought it was dry you could make it crackle further by using a heatgun.

This is where my colour scheme fell apart ... I applied RED gilding wax around the edges of my frame and the apertures but, to me, I see only pink.
Everyone assures me it is red but, nope, can only see pink.
I hate pink.
At this point I knew I would not finish my project during Pauline's Inky Workshop (that's Pauline Butcher by the way!!) as I had half an idea how I might tweak it to make it more acceptable.

One of the workshop techniques was to stamp and emboss onto acetate and colour in your design on the reverse using Promarkers and then to make the colour more intense you paint with white - also on the back.

Don't do colouring.
Hate colouring.
But was keen to learn the technique so went with the flow.
Still hate colouring and the only thing I love to do with acetate is to emboss it - but that's for another time!

My umbrella man is a Tim Holtz die and I embossed his umbrella and then squished just the brolly with Versamark and clear embossed it so it looks wet.
At least that was the plan!
Kinda worked.

Backgrounds were just the Tim Holtz brick wall stencil dabbed with Hickory Smoke Distress Ink using just a felt pad ... couldn't be bothered with the wooden handle thingy.
The red LOVE and LIVE and the Dancing in the Rain wording was Barn Door Distress Ink which I clear embossed.
Splodges were Black Soot Distress Ink applied in the same way as the brick wall - two different stencils but I can no longer recall the brand I'm afraid.

Last two photo's are upside down for some reason ... but you will get the idea.

To tweak the should-be-red-but-looks-pink-to-me edges I used one of my favourite techniques ... now THIS does make me tingle!

Painted on 3D Gloss Gel (but you can use any medium - I just happened to have that pot closest to me at the time) using a paintbrush.

You don't need much at all.

Heap your embossing powder (gold in this instance) onto a sheet of paper and, doing one edge at a time, paint with medium and then dip into the powder.

Tap off HARD as much as you can and then heat it ... almost overheat it so the gel starts to bubble and go crazy.

I love doing this ... er, did I say?

If you want a smoother finish then paint on the medium and dab in the powder and then let it dry before embossing.

I much prefer the lumpy, bumpy texture though so embossed it whilst the medium was still wet.

Cosmic shimmer glue was used to hold both the backgrounds in place as well as sticking the fronts and backs of the frame together ... held with pegs for a while just to be sure.

Oh yes, for a more distressed look (the frame, silly, not me!!!) as the topcoat of paint was drying I rubbed some off with my fingertips.  Thought I had overcooked it until Pauline wandered past and said it looked great.

If it is good enough for Pauline then it is good enough for me!!!

Panels are held together with crinkle ribbon that was splodged and splooshed through some Black Soot & Hickory Smoke Distress Ink that was dabbed on my craft mat and then spritzed with water.  
Squeezed out hard in kitchen paper and voila!

Hope this answers the questions you were asking but if not then give me a shout and I will explain further.

Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

WOYWW # 353

So what is on my workdesk this Wednesday ... nothing! Nuffin'! Nowt!

OK ... there is my Big Shot and as many scraps of white card needing using up that I could find as I need to cut out around 3,000 little cogs.

Cutting them out isn't the problem ... can cut 18 at a time as I have two sets of dies but then sitting with the pokey tool extracting them from the dies is a whole new ball game.

Takes bloomin' ages and the edges of the dies, being crinkly, make my fingers sore!

So, I do as many as I can until my fingertips lose all feeling and then take a break. 
Time is on my side with this little project so am not in a panic or rush to get them done ... rather stupidly thought Monday would be cogs day ... yeah, right.  Wednesday, Thursday and Friday look like being cogs days too.

So, you don't want to see a photo' of a Big Shot and a pile of card so, instead, will share a couple of cards I made over the weekend.

Not my normal or preferred style but am planning on having a little fundraising coffee morning later in the year, all in aid of Rethink and in memory of our nephew, and I need to make cards that will appeal to a wide range of all the lovely folk whom I hope will pop along.

These first two were my take on cards done a Clarity East Midlands workshop and which I didn't get round to doing in class.  Thanks to the wonderful Sally-Ann Moore and Kim Shaw for the designs for these.

Then, of course, once the shaving foam was out I got a bit carried away Making Backgrounds so did a few more cards for the coffee morning.

I shall attempt to get back to any visitors ... I have been having trouble with any comments I leave on many blogs "bouncing back" to me in an email as "undeliverable" and I have absolutely no idea how to sort that out so please do not think I am ignoring you ... I really will attempt to reciprocate your visit.

For those of you whom do not know about WOYWW then head over to our wonderful host, Julia at The Stamping Ground where all will become clear.

Happy WOYWW'ing!

Sunday, 6 March 2016

All things Finnabair!

Had an amazing weekend taking all four of Finnabair's classes when she came to Coventry last weekend ... did two of her classes last year up in Harrogate and was desperate to do more so when I found out she was coming more local to me I had to bat the big brown eyes and persuade hubby to let me go!  So, Saturday 27th was my Christmas present and Sunday 28th was my birthday present and the shopping bill afterwards was my divorce settlement!!!

First project on the Saturday morning was "Frozen in Time" ... a gorgeous journal cover and I enjoyed doing it so much I have done two more this past week.  

I had a mini-meltdown when colouring this one ... chose my colours and thought I picked up the blue bottle, did my first squirt and OH NO!!!! I grabbed the pink bottle by mistake.

I do not do pink.
I hate pink.
But pink it had to be as there was no turning back!
Deep breath and continue.

Can kinda, sorta live with the end product ... it is growing on me.
But I still hate pink!

Some ladies left after the first workshop and new ones came for the afternoon session but I was well and truly settled for the weekend so I actually had it all together for once!

Next workshop was "Beauty and the Beads" ... I did this in Harrogate last June and was very pleased to get a second chance at it.  

Went into meltdown the moment I started and regretted my choice of stencil from the moment I put the paste on the canvas.  Sat with my palette knife in hand about a gnat's whisker from scraping it all off ... it had already started to dry so am sure I would have ended up with one heck of a mess so decided to just go with it.

The piece Finn worked on for her demo had two corner designs and as most of my work seems to follow that design I wanted to do something different.  My piece last year was a diagonal so I didn't want to do that so thinking cap on!  I had messed up the one edge of the canvas where I didn't take the stencil far enough so that became the bottom and I envisaged a sort of "WHOOSH" up the centre of the canvas.

This did not go AT ALL to plan and I faffed round for ages moving bits here and there and getting more and more disheartened.  Shouted HELP! to Finn who came to my rescue, made a suggestion which I very readily took on board and ended up with this.

Was not really pleased with it at all until I shared it on Facebook and words like "magic potions" and "spells" began to appear ... hadn't thought of that at all and I think it is now my favourite of all four pieces.

Back the next day to start all over again ... loving every minute and wanting it to never end!
First project Sunday morning was "Time Capsule" ... again a repeat of the one I did in Harrogate ... loved making it but my least favourite of all I think.  I am undecided whether to gesso over the roses and make them less intense ... am not being impulsive though and will decide at some point!

The three workshops so far had all been amazing ... I had really, really lovely ladies at my table and the group as a whole worked brilliantly with everyone patiently waiting their turn at the spritzing/inky tables that had been set up.  

Sunday afternoon it all changed and we were back to the grabbers and impatient ladies who simply have to go first.  I had my three carefully chosen colours lined up and was merrily spritzing away when one of the bottles disappeared and was now in the hands of a group of three.  Some colours look so similar in their bottles so I had no chance of finding those I was using again and messed this one up big time.  

Felt myself getting quite cross but just laughed inside and let them carry on ... and now blame them for the horrible colour choice on this one!

The numbers refer to my wedding anniversary and the word "journey" sure does sum up the past 37 years!

  The final piece was "Overemotional" (all Finn's workshops have names) and it is one I have wanted to do ever since discovering Finnabair ... this piece sums up her work for me and sure did call out to me.  

Hardest part of this (and one which stressed me out since I booked my place on the workshops last June) was using a photo' of myself.

Decided at the very last moment to go ahead and stick myself on there but was delighted I then got the opportunity to hide most of myself away ... see, I am not daft as I look!

This piece would have been individual to everyone there and mean different things to everyone ... I feel this one truly represents ME at this moment in time.

Stupid little smirk.
A waterfall of tears
A little broken heart.
Torn and tatty to the extreme.
Engulfed by sadness.
Holding on and getting by and sometimes the stupid little smirk becomes a real smile of joy and happiness.

Totally LOVED making my tatty dress (got the Miss Haversham vibe going big time!) and made it as ragged as I could.

My heart and soul is in this canvas.

Was enjoying doing this piece so much and then Finn had to go and spoil it by saying the "P" word ..

I don't do pencils.
I LOVE pencils to stroke and admire but not to use.
I HATE colouring-in.
I don't do pencils (did I say that already?)
I REALLY don't do pencils!

Sat there for ages with it in my hand.  Went to make the first mark and pulled back ... time and time and time again.
Put the pencil down figuring it did not need it.
Knew that if Finn said we needed a to use a pencil then we REALLY needed to use a pencil.

SO ... I just took a deep breath and went for it.

Finn was standing two feet away and heard that deep breath.

"Well done. I am proud of you"

Can't wait to do more classes ... will have to negotiate the Christmas/Birthday present deal again but can't think of better presents to get.  
Finn is the most amazing teacher ... funny and generous and so willing to share her talent and her encouragement makes you believe you can do anything.

Her motto is SPREAD YOUR WINGS ... and mine were spread open wide immersed in the wonderful world of Finnabair.

(just realised I have them in the wrong order!  Not to worry ... you will get the drift!)