Saturday, 28 November 2015


Hurray! I had my first sale of a canvas with Pure Crafts! I also managed to sell one to a friend for a Christmas pressie. Im so chuffed to have the validation that someone other than friends and family like my work. In fact the canvas that went was one that I made ages and ages ago, when I first started with mixed media and it was quite personalised. It has a picture of our friends daughter on it so I was beginning to think about covering it over and redoing it but there you go. You never know! Its taken me 22 days in the shop to sell one. Hopefully it wont take another 22.Here are the two that have sold.

I think once my 2 months with Pure Crafts are up I will pull them out of the shop and try my luck at Bath Artisan Market instead. Its much more local and I think the face to face contact with people means that its much more successful.

Friday, 30 October 2015

To the shops!!!

So I saw an add on a Facebook group I am part of where a shop in Finedon, Northamptonshire called Pure Crafts rents out space to crafters looking to sell their wares. I sent them an email thinking that I would get something back in about a months time but instead I got a reply the next day saying they loved my style and would love to put my canvases up on their wall. So ive taken the plunge! I wasn't a lot of money really and they don't take commission so I will take 100% of the profits....ha profits, that's if I actually sell anything! Im now having a mini melt down thinking that there is no way in hell they are good enough to sell in an actual shop but we will see. Im feeling rather exposed all of a sudden. Anyway I made 5 new canvases to send to Pure Crafts of varying styles so hopefully they will appeal. I feel like im improving all the time at the moment, especially now ive started looking at other artists rather than mixed media work exclusively. So here are my most recent ones:

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Inspired by Julie Ryder

I have recently come across work by an Australian artist called Julie Ryder who I just LOVE! Her work is amazing. She uses relatively simple products but produces such beautiful and colourful pieces which sell for up to $300! Amazing. Here is a link to her blog.
I looked at her work and decided I would like to try and replicate her style. I wanted to do a canvas in Autumnal colours for my Dad's wife and I also had a commission due for a Christmas present which I thought would be good candidates for this style. For my dad's wife I have also included a cat. Although im not keen on it being there, she is bonkers about her cat and I think it makes it really personalised. Here is the finished piece, not bad for a first attempt I think.
The commission piece was done for a friend's daughter. The brief was good. She wanted pinks and purples with two butterflies and the phrase 'Love you to the moon and back'. She also wanted 'Mummy and Faye, best friends' somewhere very small on the canvas. She is yet to see the finished piece but I am soooooo pleased with the finished result with this. Up until this point I felt it was the best canvas ive made. Here is the finished piece.
After that I had some time to be arty for my own sake and continued on the same theme. I found a photo on Pinterest that I just loved and since its Autumn and my favourite time of year I liked the idea of trying to recreate it, originally to keep for myself. In the end its probably the most artist piece I've ever done. It feels like I'm actually creating art rather than just crafting. I did all the dots, both large and tiny by hand and wrote by hand two quotes down the trunks of the trees. One says 'My favourite colour is October' and the other says 'Change can be beautiful'. When I finished it I posted it on my Facebook page and within 10 minutes it sold to one of my colleagues at work! Oh well, I would rather have the money than the canvas! I always say I could make another one but I never do! Here is the photograph that inspired me and the finished piece of art! Yes Art!
On all three pieces I've used a lot of metallic paints and sequins which don't show up in the photographs but they are a lot more shimmery and sparkly in real life. This is now the favourite piece I've done!

Monday, 21 September 2015

A Marathon Effort!

Here is my latest commission for a friend of mine. This is by far the hardest and most stressful piece of artwork I have ever had to do. Totally goes against why I do my crafts in the first place but I couldn't say no to my friend. She commissioned it for her husbands birthday and wanted it to be masculine and abstract with a running theme to go with the quote. She also specified a colour theme of blues, greys and white. I think I found this canvas so hard because I had no clear vision for it at all from the beginning to the end. My stash revolves around butterflies, flowers and nature so finding things that were appropriate for this canvas was extremely difficult.
I started by tearing up some patterned paper in a kind of chevron pattern and a cris cross blue pattern and stuck that down. I then found some pictures of people's feet in running shoes from one of my husbands running magazines and stuck them randomly all over the page. I also printed off the series of pictures of a man running in time lapse to go on the background and stuck these down randomly too. I then used liquid acrylics in blue and white and applied them with a pallet knife. Unfortunately due to my lack of skill with this particular tool I pretty much obliterated the papers I had stuck down by adding too much paint! I went back to the patterned papers and added the torn chevron pieces back in the top left and bottom right.
New to me for this canvas was the tape I used to make the white arrows. I got it from a DIY store and it is used for plaster boarding. It provides great texture though and sticks down really easily with tacky glue. I cut the ends into vague arrow shapes and stuck them randomly around the canvas. Next I watered down some metallic blue acrylic paint and put it into a spray bottle intending to create a mist effect in a few areas, however the spray didn't work how I envisaged and instead I got lots of large paint splatters instead which I thought actually looked better so I left them.
I knew I wanted to put some footprints on it and tried making my own stencil but this turned out to be too complicated. Instead I ended up painting my own running trainers with black paint and walking on a piece of white tissue paper. Some of it stuck to my shoe but this added to the abstract effect although if you want to try this I would recommend putting newspaper down first as it was quite messy! Also don't use a pair of shoes you are precious about as cleaning the paint off resulted in the laces and fabric going all grey where they soaked up the painty water! I cut around the outline and stuck them down with gel medium.
To make the letters I used some white card and some watered down purple acrylic paint and sprayed the card at random. I also used he Crafters Workshop 6"x6" Mini Texturized Stencil and some grey acrylic paint to make it look like someone had run across the page. I printed the actual quote off the computer and tore round the words. I used micro glaze to go over the letters so the printer ink wouldn't smudge before sticking them down with gel medium. I wanted the footprints to stand out more but also blend better into the picture so I went round the tread roughly several times with gesso. To try and blend the trainers into the background and to try and make the whole canvas more harmonious I went round the edges with a purple soft pastel. At that point the lettering was still spattered with purple and didn't look right on the canvas at all. Once I put the purple round the edges I decided that didn't look right either and blended it into blue with a soft black outline.
The canvas still looked too busy so I decided to paint the plasterers tape white which made the whole thing look a lot more balanced. I also outlined the arrows with the soft black pastel. I decided I wanted to reintroduce the slow motion time lapse runners so printed them off again and tore round the edges and stuck them down, blending them again with the soft black pastel.
I mixed some modelling paste with a yellow gelato and used the Dylusions Number Jumble stencil to add the yellow numbers all over the canvas as well as the borders around the edges. However all the yellow was too overwhelming as well so I used acrylic paint to paint some of the numbers black, some white and some silver. I then went around the wiggly borders using posca pens in black and white to alternate the shapes but then decided that didn't look right either and eventually painted them blue.
Because I had gone over the words with micro glaze when I eventually decided I wanted them to be yellow I had a very limited choice of mediums I could use to colour them without the purple splatters and the grey texture disappearing. I eventually decided on a watercolour pencil which worked surprisingly well. As a finishing touch I stamped 3 old fashioned clocks onto the canvas using a stamp from my stash and a Faber Castell Big Brush marker in cobalt. Lastly I went round the edge of the canvas with my black archival ink stamp to create a rough border and varnished it.
As you can see ive struggled with bringing this together to be a homogenous and balanced piece and changed my mind about a lot of things a lot of times. I am happy with the end result although I don't really like it, its not for me therefore not my style.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

The one with the dogs

I was recently commissioned to do a canvas for a friend of a friend. She had seen one I had done previously which has the quote 'Be your own kind of beautiful' but preferred the quote 'I am entitled to be me' which comes from another canvas I have done for myself. Anyway, this is the amalgamation of the two. It is extremely personalised with the women done in the image of the person it is being given to and dressed in clothes that she would wear and of course the dogs! Im really not sure about these dogs. They look very cartoony and are not something I would ordinarily include but because its a commission they were requested as she owns two cockapoos (one copper, one black) and a copper spaniel too so that's what she got! I'm yet to find out if she likes it but I hope so. Its an interesting result either way.

My first attempt at a tag

This is my first attempt at a mixed media tag. It was instead of a card for a couple we know who have recently had a baby. I have deliberately blurred out her date of birth for data protection. Im pretty disappointed with the general outcome. Its very mainstream and not particularly innovative or imaginative so I hope I can do better next time around.  Pretty but definitely not perfect!

Spread your winds and fly

This canvas is waaaaaaaaaaay out of my comfort zone! Its not bright or colourful like my usual style. I started it as part of the commission I did for my friends daughter's 13th birthday but it was coming out far too vintage and adult so I put it to one side and finished that first before coming back to this. I wanted to keep a kind of olde, antique feel to it and I had no idea where I was going with it, I just let myself create and this is the finished result. Not anywhere near as colourful and I don't really like it personally but ive had a lot of great verbal feedback so who am I to argue!

Friday, 24 July 2015

Rubber Dance Stamp Competition

Its taken me a long time to do this one compared to my usual canvases. I was trying to incorporate the colours from the Rubber Dance Stamp Competition which are vintage white, forget-me-not blue and cinnamon brown into it and I found it quite difficult. The tree was inspired by the twisted willow in our garden which has that interesting kink in the trunk.The background didn't turn out how I wanted either and I redid it quite a few times adding progressively more and more bits. I'm trying to develop a more sophisticated style to my canvases as left to my own creative devices they always seem to come out very garish and childish! This one seems to be no exception to that rule. Oh well, if at first you don't succeed, try, try again! Anyway here it is.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Mixed Media Monthly Challange July

So after my win last month I am very excited to enter the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge again although I know the chances of winning twice are pretty slim. Maybe this month I will win on artistic merit rather than just random selection! Either way its good motivation and inspiration and a way to get my work seen so what's not to like.

As you can see this months challenge inspiration is Summer Days. Which can be found here
My inspiration for this canvas came from the Bill Withers song 'Lovely Day' which I heard on the radio while driving but also from being out in my garden and all the lovely weather we have been having recently. So here is the finished canvas, it kinda makes me think of garden parties :)


As my previous post shows I entered the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge last month with my butterfly canvas and I have been picked at random as one of two lucky winners to receive some craft goodies!! Im so excited I can barely breath! I never ever win anything!!!!! I know it was random and not based on artistic merit but how exciting to be able to get crafty bits for free!!!

Here is a link to the blog where I am named! I have to include it as I might never win anything ever again!

Did I mention....I WON SOMETHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Monday, 22 June 2015

Mixed Media Monthly Challange

I have taken another commission from a friend for her daughters 13th birthday but I also wanted to enter this piece into the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge blog.

It wasn't difficult to cater my canvas to one of the options since there are so many this challenge but I have chosen 'Stamps' as my theme.
Here is the finished canvas and below a description of how I made it.
To begin with a painted random sections of the canvas in heavy white acrylic paint. The brief from my friend was to use blues and greens and nothing too girly so I then used liquid acrylics, some of which are metallic to blend with the white paint all over the canvas. Once I had let that dry I used an old credit card to apply gesso over the areas of white acrylic paint to give some dimension.
I don't have a stamp or stencil with random letters already in place so I used some of the individual letters from my stash and placed them in a random way on my stamp block. I used black archival ink to stamp the letters onto the background. Then I swapped the letters for numbers (in ascending order this time) and repeated the process. I used a bird stamp set by PaperCraft to stamp the round black stamp onto one of the gesso'd areas at the bottom, again using archival ink and a Faber Castell Big Brush Marker in Cobalt Turquoise to stamp a keyhole design onto various areas of the background.
Because I wanted a really clear image from my butterfly stamps I didn't stamp them directly onto the canvas as you cant guarantee you will always get the full design coming out. Instead I stamped them onto white tissue paper and then cut around them before gluing them on with matt gel medium. I also used black and white acrylic paint to stamp the circles on with the end of a toilet roll tube! I have recently bought three stencils which I was keen to use so I used a harlequin stencil and moulding paste to apply more texture around the corners and sides of the canvas. When it was dry I painted it with metallic green paint.
I used white card stock and black archival ink to stamp the quote (which was provided by my friend) with tiny Dove Craft letters before cutting them out and sticking down with gel medium. I then went around the outside with a black gel pen and then repeated to get a slightly thicker line so the quote would stand out more.
For the finishing touches I used some pearlescent paint to highlight some of the harlequin design; used a white posca paint marker to do some doodling around the edges and also highlight some of the edges of the harlequin diamonds; I used a small script stamp, Versamark ink and hologram embossing powder to stamp areas of my canvas so they glittered a bit more and finally used Dove Craft 3D Pearl Effects in black to add different sized dots to add a bit more dimension and draw attention of some areas of the canvas.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

More is always more with Mixed Media

So I was given a canvas that someone didn't want anymore. It was one of those instant art ones you can get in any homewares or DIY store. I wanted to do a canvas for my daughter Eva who is going to be 4 months old on Saturday to put in her room. It's quite big and I had to use several sheets of 12x12 scrapbook paper to get it covered and they went all bubbly where I put the PVA glue on and looked hideous so then I just kept adding and adding to try and cover it up and it progressively looked worse and worse and I almost decided to cover it over and start all over again at one point but it just goes to show that if you persevere with mixed media and keep adding then things grandually improve. I think that as the title suggests more is more when it comes to mixed media. I don't think you can ever overwork a canvas. Anyway here it is. Im pretty pleased with it now :) I must add that the owl in particular; the shape of her and her ears and eyes were inspired by this piece I found on Pinterest

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Commissioned again!

Just sold another commission. This one was from the same person as the previous one. She was going to her sister in laws wedding and had to do a reading. She sent me the piece of scripture she was going to read and asked that I do it in a vintage style with some elements of mint green as that was the colour theme of the wedding. This is by far the most beautiful canvas I have made. I really struggle with a vintage theme as im definitely not used to such muted colours and delicate embellishments but im stunned with how well this has come out. I will definitely try to imitate this style more often!

Friday, 5 June 2015


I have been to two craft fairs since making my canvases. They were only at the local church and very small affairs but I was shocked to find that people would actually pay money for my work. The first time I sold 3 and this year I sold 4. However from that fair I have been commissioned via my facebook page to do two more of the canvases from the poem 'Footprints in the Sand'. Here is the first canvas I did:

The original
And here are the pair I was commissioned for. Not a bad job I think.

My art so far

This is the first canvas I ever made. Given to a friend when she had moved into her new house. Still one of my favourites
A butterfly counts not months but moments and still has time enough. This one is now sold!
Im so disappointed that I didn't photography the final piece before I sold it. It eventually said 'Bloom where you are planted" It was inspired by this picture from Pinterest
Inspired by the textures from this piece of work Here is my trio

Made for my best friends daughter - "Happiness is swimming with dolphins"

An excerpt from the famous Christian Poem "Footprints in the Sand" This canvas is now sold

My favourite psalm; Psalm 91. Sold last year

This is the only one that I have made for myself. I have to remind myself that im ok.

Made for a friend going through a difficult time. The quote is of my own making.

My first commission from my cousin to make a canvas for her friend. My cousin is the girl on the left and her friend on the right.

One of my more recent and favourite ones, sold at a craft fair.

I wanted to try and get lots of movement into this picture but I have been perpetually unhappy with how its turned out. It doesn't seem to flow or gel like I want it to.

These ones are hung in my kitchen, I transferred 3 photos of my favourite place onto the canvas before decorating around them.

One of my very earliest. The little girl with the blonde hair is my friends daughter with her arm around her best friend. She is French and one of the most beautiful children I have ever seen.

Inspired by the swirls of colour from this picture I feel like I don't want to overwhelm this canvas with too much detail but somehow I feel it is missing something.

Another early canvas of mine. I loved the sentiment and made it for myself but then sold it and vowed I would make another but I never have.

My first canvas using tubes of book paper to create texture.
Another that I am just not happy with. I had a vision for how it would turn out and its just not what I wanted. It looks messy and scrappy. The quote is from Isiah and reads "You will be like a well watered garden, like a spring that never fails."

I just love the quote "Bloom where you are planted" and I used it again here. Again I used one of my own photos and transferred it onto the canvas before decorating around it.

A bit about me

This blog is going to be a place where I can post my mixed media art however I didn't want to start my blog without acknowledging the major life changing event that happened a little over 3 months ago; the birth of my daughter. For about 9 weeks I did not have the time to do any crafts at all but once I had got the hang of motherhood I began to make my canvases once more. The fact that I can only really make canvases either when she is napping or particularly when she has gone to bed has slowed me down somewhat but apparently I think I have time to write a blog too so I must be doing something right! Not really significant in the grand scheme of things but its my blog so I get to write what suits me!

I started doing mixed media a little over a year ago. Before this my life was completely engulfed by my all consuming job as a teacher. I worked all my evenings and both days of the weekends and eventually got signed off because I could not sustain that workload. I was in two minds about admitting that I suffered from depression but actually the only reason this horrible illness is stigmatised is because people don't talk about it and treat it as taboo. So there it is. I was signed off with stress and depression and began watching Christy Tomlinson on YouTube. I don't recall how I found her video channel but it was completely inspiring and I thought 'I can do that!' I already had quite a bit of scrapbooking supplies from previously making a scrapbook for my mum so I bought I few more bits and starting crafting. It has been the outlet that I need. Now I am a lot better and I have a beautiful bouncing baby and am selling canvases and taking commissions.