Monday, 18 August 2014

Time Flies at "A Vintage Journey"..... guest designer spot.

Hi there folks. I was very happy to have been asked along to "A Vintage Journey" as a guest designer  this month. The theme is "Time Flies". I have combined my love of "DecoArt mixed media" and "Tim Holtz prodcts" by altering this old clock case i managed to find in an antique shop for less than a fiver!.

I painted it with a charcoal coloured chalky finish paint (relic) , gave it a coat of the crackle medium for chalky paints then gave it a coat of white chalky finish paint (Everlasting) and sealed it with a couple of coats of creme wax .
I used some tissue tape to decorate the bottom of the clock case and around the the top. Next i cut out lots of butterflies using my Tim Holts Framlets dies and some paper from the "laboratories" papers and attached them randomly around the case. i used acetate to attach some so it looked like they were flying free of the clock case.

I cut out a circle of "wallflower" paper to stick to the back wall of the display area then all I had to do was stuff it full of moss, eggs and a handful of wonderful Tim Holtz ideology and ephemera.

Please do go over and take a look at "A Vintage journey". its a Tim Holtz inspired blog challenge full of amazing and varied inspiration.
thanks for visiting
Z x

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Work in progress reaches completion (maybe): with DecoArt

So a few days ago I showed you a pretty large canvas i had started while sitting in my friends back yard chatting and getting my back burned to a cinder in the sun....
neither of us had a clue what we were going to make, we just picked up some brushes and paints and sort of just "started"... I was using DecoArt media fluid acrylics. They have a wonderful high percentage of pure pigment so far less likely to get that muddy look mixed paints can get. i started by painting a line of cobalt blue to the top and adding water so it would run down the canvas. then i turned my canvas upside down and did the same withe green. i then built up colours in the same way, with a lot of water.
I think the sun put me in a rather dreamy frame of mind and I went uncharacteristically floral and pastel.  but at one point, I went a step tp far and it went from quite attractive to a bit of a mess. I dont have photos of the mess as i persevered for a little bit and rescued it. though it is far from its original soft dusky colour palette.
I had my Stampendous mixed media stamps and stencils with me so i used some DecoArt texture sand paste through the "sequin waste" stencil and formed my tall flowers (they represent a cross between lupins and delphiniums lol) but then time caught up and it was time to pack up.

anywho, I brought it home (here it is with my cat scrutinising it)...

...and tried to keep going with it as i am bad for just "giving up" and tossing projects to one side if they dont go well in the first hour lol.
here it is with a little additional detail.
It was at this point I blogged it and facebooked it and asked what folks thought i could put as the main focus.
Various opinions were put forward. some thinking it should be left as is as it didnt need a focal point.
My friend, Astrid, came over to my place on Monday and instantly put her hand in the area that i felt needed the focal point and she too said that there needed to be one and it needed to be in that area. so, as that had been my gut feeling too, i set about adding some focus with a "foreground presence", to stand out fro the soft hazy background.
I added a large dragonfly. then decided to add two more (as it somehow felt like the right thing to do).

I used Decoart "interference" acrylics on the dragonfly wings. its so hard to show you this in a photo, but tilting it to the light can show the wonderful lustre of the interference, and tilting it back shows just the original painting. the interference had a beautiful blue colour and a green colour that both seemed to be very "insect" appropriate. I have tried to get a photo but its not doing the lustre effect any justice at all. it is more like a Lalique piece of glass in real life. very effective for a dragonfly.

So I think its finished now. maybe. no doubt i will pick it up a few more times and dabble.
Z x

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Stampendous/DecoArt Blog hop post 1

I'm in a mixed media frenzy: Stampendous and DecoArt have come together to do a fantastic blog hop full of mixed media loveliness.
We have been using an amazing range of paints and mediums from DecoArt along with the wonderful  "Studio Multi Media" cling rubber stamp packs, Fran-tage embossing powders and Elements and the Creative Palette from Stampendous.
When the supplies arrived with me, I immediately watched the cool youtube video Stampendos have provided on how to use the "Creative Palette".

Next step was to try it out and make some backgrounds of my own.... 
I set some aside for future projects and then set about using one to make my first ever journal page.
I had been watching the video of Prof Wangari Maathai (she won the nobel peace prize in 2004)  telling the story of the little hummingbird. And I was inspired by it. My page was made to remind me of that inspiration and to remind me that I can only try my best and that must be may be insignificant but it is important to try. Imagine if we all put our minds to the same problem and did our best!!!!
 I selected one of my backgrounds and decorated it further with more of the stamps and stencils, using more acrylic paints. I hand painted on some grass and plant life then printed off a hummingbird image. I used more paints and some pastels to highlight the hummingbird then printed off my quote and glued it on too. I coated the whole page with DecoArt multi-purpose sealer.  

And for your interest, here is the youtube link to the story...

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Simple altered chest box: for a commission.

Well it is not super clever or different or informative; but as I have not blogged much in the last few weeks (lots to come next week though) then I thought I would share this anyway.
It was made using
DecoArt Chalky Finish paints,
DecoArt napkin Decou-page glue,
DecoArt One-step crackle
Decoart americana acrylics.
Some treasure gold
And a single napkin.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Colour on my mind. canvas.

I am still thinking of male appropriate projects at the moment.  Last time I made a very functional little "faux leather" notebook for my father in law. But this time I am going for a bit of colour and a purely decorative item.

My canvas was firstly painted with acrylic paints. I then stamped on to tissue paper (the kind you wrap crockery and gifts in, not the kind you blow your nose on). I cut out the stamped images and words (both are from Tim Holtz stamp sets), and glued them in to place using decoupage glue.

I added remnant rubs, some craft tape, a bit of film strip ephemera and a Tim Holtz alterations die cut. I also spelled out the word "HIM" using die cut letters and attached them to the film strip ephemera.

I then coated it in a crackle varnish. let it dry (and crackle) then rubbed in (and wiped off) some more acrylic paint.

That's it really. a bit of colourful fun with a male theme.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Faux leather notbook.

With fathers day imminent I find myself focusing on 'stuff for men', or with a male theme, at the moment.

I am lucky in that most of the men in my life are in touch with their arty sensitive side so i can make them almost anything (well maybe not something festooned with flowers). But I do have a difficult to make for, father in law. for him, it needs to have a purpose, be useful, functional. So I have made this little note book. It still satisfies my need to make new things look old but it is under stated and most importantly, it has a purpose.
 I made the cover using so Tim Holtz kraft-core paper. I wanted a "faux leather" look so I chose a nice leathery tan brown sheet. I also used a gorgeous new spellbinders embossing folder 3D M-Bossabilities Folder, Mediterranean Medallion (I love this folder SO much.)

I cut the kraft core sheet to size then crumpled it up to make folds and wrinkles. I straitened it all back out and gave it a light sand with sandpaper. Then I ironed it back out flat and put it through the embossing machine (I used a sizzix big shot so had to work out what combo of plates and mats would work.) once i had embossed the front and back cover of my book (with a little gap for a spine), i sanded it again so the embossing stood out more. To make it look like old polished leather, it needed some colour variations and  a slight shine so I added a few blotches of  "Vintage photo distress stains" and then i gave my cover a coat of  DecoArt satin finished multi surface sealer. (any varnish, sealer or decoupage sealer type finish will do).

 To bring the pattern out more I used treasure gold. I want to take this chance to say, I have been buying treasure gold from art shops for over 10 years. they are gilding wax polishes that most art shops have been stocking for many many years. They are available in lots of highstreet and online art and craft shops too and they are NOT made by PaperArtsy. PaperArtsy started stocking them more recently but they do not own them or make them. I dont know why they are sometimes advertised as "paperartsy treasure golds" it is a little misleading.
Anyway I digress... I used my finger to gently rub over the raised bits of the embossing.
I cut out an image from Tim Holtz paper stash "laboratorie" and put an ornamental plate over it to attach to the centre of the book. I added a Remnant rub from the life quotes pack.
For the inside, I simply stitched some folded papers together. before i glued it in to the cover, I glued a bit of ribbon on to the inside of the spin, to be used as a page marker. i then glued my note book signature in by using the outside pages. I did not glue it to the spine. the book opens and closes better if its not attached to the cover's spine.

I used some pages from an old book to cover the glued pages up just to give it a nice finished off look and add a bit of interest. I added a few little page tabs too, decorated with chit chat stickers.

And that's my little notebook.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Altering beer mats/coasters for a swap....

We are doing a "beer mat/coaster" swap over on my facebook "page". At first, i found the small size a little intimidating as i couldn't pile on loads of texture and embellishments. especially as the mats will become a mini book and needs to at least look close to being able to close. i found them to be a bit like peanuts... once you have one, you need to have another and another. I have become a little addicted.
For the swap. we are all doing 5 mats. I will collect them all and then divide them up again so everyone gets 5 different ones back, turned into a little mini book with a couple of book rings.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Time to craft for me, with focus on two challenge blogs!

I have decided to try and take part in Linda's challenge site for the Compendium of curiosities. My  signed book arrived on Thursday (thank you Mario), so I was able to get started. I am not sure i got a very great effect on my first effort, but by the time i added a stencil over it and all the other paraphernalia, you cant tell if its great or terrible lol. it is, at the very least, colourful.

I also wanted to do the "Country View Crafts" Challenge and the theme their is "Natures glories". I have been doing a lot of bird, nest, egg projects since the spring equinox so it was no hardship to do just one more :D

I used the paper in layers to get a bit of a 3D depth to it and the coloured moss helped with that.

Monday, 5 May 2014

A Vintage Journey: Fond Memories of my mum.

The Journey this time at "A Vintage Journey" is "fond memories". I have chosen to do something about my mum and I have used a photo that, although I was not around for the memory it's self, I remember my mother and grandmother showing me the photo and telling me the story of my mums "unfortunate" hair cut.
 When she was a little girl, she had decided to give herself a hair cut one day. it was truly dire and she knew she might get in to trouble. she decided to get rid of the evidence (? lol) as in her childs head, there was some logic to that. so she hid the scissors and threw away the bits of hair. I think she maybe forgot her mother had eyes and the real evidence was the state of my mums hair. it was "saved" by giving her the old fashioned "bowl cut" lol. 
And here she is the next day in the photo. its a bit blurry as its printed on to calico, so here is the original.
My Tim Holtz influences:

1st: well I have been admiring a lot of his collage style canvases and such he has been doing recently. I wanted to do one of my own but with lighter colours and utilising fabric more than paper.  So this is sort of my version of those collages.
2nd: It uses a fair few Tim products like distress stains (antique linen and vintage photo) the belt buckle brad, stamps ( damask, apothecary text, and classic #11 (I think) )i used some of his ephemera as my mum really did get a perfect attendance award from school, the ephemera butterflies,  some paper (the ruler) and some of his rose fabric trim stuff (which i forget the name of).

I made one of these with a photo of my dad a while back. so now i have a matching pair :)

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Shabby chic jumbo tag: a spring craft frenzie.

I have had a lovely peaceful couple of days and its made me want to craft "a LOT" lol...

I am still being inspired by the theme over at "A Vintage Journey" of  Spring Blooms, but as i have entered two projects over there since Friday, (this being the third) I am in danger of boring them to death. I best make this my last lol.

I would also like to share it over at "it's all about the vintage" as their theme is Shabby Chic. And I think this fits the bill. its made out of paper as are the flowers and that is a requirement there. :)

I have used some of my favourite "Calico Craft parts". These gorgeous corners didn't need any paint or ink. I love them.

Another Vintage journey with blooms and new beginnings.

 I am combining two challenges again today. I had time to play in my craft room and I wanted to do another item for "A vintage journey - Spring blooms". and as i was over on their page i remembered they were Sponsored by Country View crafts (I am a shopaholic there), who also have a challenge blog. I checked it out and the theme there is "New beginnings!. Well spring and new beginnings just go hand in hand do they not? I altered a canvas using the reverse side.

My colour choices were inspired by two things...
1. Some tim holtz distress inks i had in a pile (peeled paint, shabby shutters, scattered straw and wild honey)
2. that special green you only see either in spring or during a thunder storm. you know the way the light changes during thunder and all the green pops? and in spring all the new growth is bright and vibrant. my chosen distress inks remind me of those greens and yellows.

Although the new growth is vibrant and bright, I am incapable of making anything that doesnt look vintage and scruffy ancient (I totally blame Tim Holtz for this obsession lol). so i had to get a cross between new, fresh and vibrant - with - old, distressed and shabby!!
I ended up using paint as i dont have distress stains. i didnt want to use up my pads to cover such a large area on the canvas as it is quite absorbent. I started with DecoArt crackle texture; its a bit like texture paste mixed with plaster... it just dries with crackles. you can even heat dry it with your heat gun. (I like things that are happy to be hurried along with a heat gun)...

"Tim inspirations" include:
1. well obviously my colour pallet chosen from my distress inks as mentioned before
2. the fact I am no longer capable of making anything that looks "modern" lol.
3. i had never heard of altered art until I was given Tims first DVD as a gift. and now altered art is my favourite format. he converted me.
4I have used some tattered flower die cuts for my blossom and one of tims Ephemera pieces (the clock at the back) as well as two of the beautiful ornate feet.

Z x