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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, 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.

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Tatteredrocks meets flutterby

Had this one in my head ever since I did my tatty, raggedy winged angel

Loved, loved, loved doing it but sure did mess up with the colouring
Tried to be true to the brand and only use Powertex products but the colours were not working for me

After throwing it across the room a few times (test flight for the butterfly) the penny FINALLY dropped that I could use any product I wanted to get the effect I wanted ... so in came Lindy's & Finnabair
Still managed to stuff it up so walked away, had a nap, had a jam doughnut and came at it again

Not perfect but my favourite colours with a bit of a twist and it sure does shimmer when the light hits it - just like a real butterfly's wings 

Size is about 10" across the widest point ... pretty square shape so probably 10" deep too!

Have hung it above my craft table as it does kinda, sorta represent my work right now ... and who can go wrong with a butterfly on her wall?

How she started out ... the long tail was intended to be strengthened so I could stand it in the garden but then I used products other than Powertex so probably would no longer be weatherproof ... so she is a house butterfly now

Products used:
Ivory / Bluish Grey
Easy Varnish
 Blue / Green / Red
Lindy's Stamp Gang  
Moon Shadow Mist - Tawny Turquoise
Starburst - Afternoon Denim Delight / Jazzy Jivin' Purple
Flat Pabio - Rizzo's Rowdy Red (had to put on my glasses to read that one as I was sure it said "randy" not "rowdy" !!!!)
Lindy's Magicals
Tea Pot Purple / Tweedle Dee Denim  
Clear Gold / Terragreen
Finnabair (Prima Marketing) Art Ingredients
Mica Powder - Lilac Opal Magic

Monday, 21 August 2017

We have a problem ...

The problem being I am everso slightly addicted to Powertex fossils!

Not a bad addiction to have I guess but as I type I have an idea for something quite random forming in my tiny wee brain so might see where that takes me and STEP AWAY from the fossils for a while

Can't think of a title for this one but might yet be inspired

Now, what was that I said?
Put the fossils down and WALK AWAY!!!!!

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Never Say Never

Said I'd NEVER make any form of figurine and most definitely never an angel
but, hey-ho, having discovered Powertex and seen what can be done I quite suddenly had an image in my head
and knew I wanted to make an angel
but one with the most tattered, raggedy wings EVER

So booked myself and my Lil' Sis' onto one of Annette Smyth's workshops and came away with my tattered, raggedy winged angel

She evolved hugely over the workshop - she was going to be everso much more heavily clothed but whilst draping parts of Annette's gorgeous lace tablecloth - cut especially for me ... we looked at each other and thought she was fine just as she was

So simplicity rules and that left me free to go to town on her wings
which was always my aim

Can't thank Annette enough for her help with this one ... was not at my best on the day and had no idea AT ALL just how much work goes into these sculptures

But, I am so pleased with her
and as for saying "never" ...
what's next, I wonder?

Rocks of the Jurassic Kind

Rocks of the Jurassic kind ...
well, not really of course, but say anything with conviction and someone will believe you

Still rocking (see what I did there?!) my ammonite phase 
my first piece of this kind .. ie: not a canvas - so plenty of room for improvement
but it sure was fun and a desire to improve merely means you get another chance to play

Which I will just as soon as the old mojo kicks back in ... it's a bit intermittent as the journey along the path of grief takes its toll

Anyway, Powertex products ... fossils made using that air-dry paper clay stuff and one heck of a mess ... can't wait to do another!

Pausing The Past

Ok ... this one has my soul invested in it
Clearing the loft at daddy's we found the old tape recorder
not that I had ever forgotten it
I have had the smell of it in my head forever
and can clearly hear a little bit of our voices recorded on it
smells and sounds that have never left me

There is still a faint whiff of the smell there
but I did not want to hear the voices again
I know my voice is there but didn't want to risk hearing the voices of  
mommy & daddy
so I have used the tapes as they are - without playing them 
Pausing the Past .... get it ?

Huge dilemma about what to do with the machine
put it in our loft for the boys to deal with eventually?
send it to the charity shop where it would become just another item selling for a few pounds?
I couldn't bear to do that so took a deep breath and decided to make it into art and so preserve it
for my lifetime anyway

So here it is - a very fond memory from my childhood

I used just the top deck part and as many bits from inside as I could -but had to add some extra cogs as it was looking a bit bare

Then, of course, you paint it all black

I used only Finnabair's waxes for the colour and then dry-brushed the highlights with her acrylic paint

One slight change of mind along the way
painted the tape from it's original brown colour to black
didn't like it
so peeled some off the reels to paint it red
didn't like that either
so repainted it gold ... so now it looks like the original brown again
but with a bit of sparkle!

And then I finally felt it was finished ... know when to stop!

Very much The Past ... Paused

Stuff used:
Heavy Body Gel
Art Basics Heavy Black Gesso
Art Alchemy Opal Magic Wax : Green Brocade / Vintage Silk / Blue Velvet / Turquoise Satin
Art Alchemy Antique Brilliance Wax : Red Amber / Mystic Turquoise
Art Alchemy Acrylic Paint : Metallique Steampunk Copper / Ancient Coin