Monday, 19 December 2016

Intermittent but still here!

Hello all, I say all but I don't think I have anyone subscribing to my blog just now! I apologise anyway for the intermittent posts! It is a struggle to keep up a blog and to also hold down a teaching job, be a mummy to a toddler and also create art. I have been creating like a mad woman for the craft fair I was invited to on the 3rd December to sell my wares. I wanted to have some Christmassy things as well as my usual items so I haven't had much time for anything else. Sadly it was a pretty unsuccessful day. There was very limited footfall and in the end I made very little profit. This has definitely knocked my confidence. I wish I had the time to take more commissions but I just don't feel I can when I cant guarantee them to be ready by any certain time. Anyway, here are my new pieces, I thought they were a big improvement on my older work but maybe I was wrong.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Be Youtiful

Two videos up in less than a week!! It is quite amazing what you can accomplish when planning and marking aren't part of the equation....except they are and I MUST get more work done before half term is over!!! Anyway, here is another one, a commission for a dear family member to take to Australia. I started using canvas board to make it lighter for packing and discovered I so much prefer it to actual canvas. Much easier to stamp and stencil onto when it doesn't give! I am converted! Its a piece inspired by an Australia artist (coincidence) called Julie Ryder whose work is a billion times more beautiful and accomplished than mine so please also visit her blog here:

...and here is my process video The list of products used can be found below.

Products used in this piece are as follows:
8x10 canvas board
White acrylic paint
docrafts artiste acrylic paint in the following colours:
  • Blackberry
  • Amethyst
  • Metallic Black
  • Metallic Amethyst
  • Pearl
  • Iris
  • Lavender
  • Silver
  • Pearl Wisteria
  • Rose Pink
Impasto gloss gel (heavy matt medium)
Glitz it glitter glue in Soft Lavender and Violet Shimmer
Meadow stamps
Black Archival Ink
3D Pearl Effects in Black, Lilac and Silver
Hi Tack Glue
Pink Sequins
Alphabet Stamps (free gift from a magazine)
Patterned paper from Trimcraft "The Promise"
Matt Medium
Reeves water soluble wax pastels in purple
Butterfly stamp

Thursday, 20 October 2016

A special canvas for a special person

After we met my cousin for lunch on the way up to Scotland it struck me what a generous and giving person she is. She has gone through some really tough times recently with her health and she is only 25 so I wanted to do something really special for her that would reflect what an amazing person I think she is. So I made her this. I hope it reflects the generous and beautiful spirit she has. I also made a process video for it which can be viewed here:

A list of products used can be found below.

Product List
16x20 inch wrapped canvas
Various scraps of tissue paper
Windsor and Newton Matt Medium
White acrylic paint
docrafts artiste acrylic paint in the following colours:
  • Blackberry
  • Amethyst
  • Metallic Amethyst
  • Lush Pink
  • Pearl Ice Blue
  • Sea Spray
  • Lavender
  • Azure Blue
  • Pearl Wisteria
docrafts Glitz It Glitter Glue in the following colours:
  • Light Blue
  • Violet Shimmer
  • Soft Lavender
  • Fushia
  • Pink Powder
Daler Rowney Impasto Gel
Ranger Texture Tools
Vintage Wonders PaperStack
Faber Castell Big Brush Markers in the following colours:
  • Black
  • Purple Violet
  • Manganese Violet
  • Cobalt Turquoise
  • Pink Madder Lake
A4 sheet of plain white cardstock
Letter stamps by Papermania
Gold embossing powder
Versamark Ink
Butterfly stamps by Papermania
Black archival ink
Foam tape
12x12 pink cardstock
Hi Tack all purpose glue
Pink sequins

Sunday, 11 September 2016

docrafts demonstration!

Yesterday I demonstrated docrafts Christmas collection for them in the Range in Glouscester. Only the biggest paper crafting company in the UK!! It was like having a lovely crafty coffee morning only it lasted all day. I really enjoyed myself so I'm really hoping they take me on a more permeant basis, in which case i will be doing a demo every three months or so. Here are all the things I made with a link to the docrafts website where you will find step by step instructions and a list of products I used.

Friday, 19 August 2016

Altered Kettlebell

So I wanted to make a really individual present for my friends 40th birthday, especially since I couldn't be at her birthday party as I had a wedding to go it. She is completely crossfit mad and trains everyday and after seeing a few altered bottles online I thought it would be really cool to do an altered kettlebell for her! I bought this one in Sports Direct for £10 and it took me over a week to fully finish but that's mostly because my little pocket rocket keeps me busy during the day! Here is a picture of the final piece and a link to the video on how I made it. A list of products used can be  found below. Hope you like it!

Supply list for altered kettlebell;
  • One kettlebell, the one I used was 4kg
  • Baby wipes (dried and used preferably)
  • Crocheted and coarse lace
  • Windsor and Newton modelling paste
  • Windsor and Newton Lamp Black acrylic paint
  • docrafts artiste spritzing ink in Aubergine
  • doCrafts acrylics in the following colours;
    • Amethyst
    • Blackberry
    • Metallic black
    • Metallic Amethyst
    • Metallic Silver
  • Crafters Choice acrylic paint in Ultramarine
  • Metal ephemera - I used pieces from old necklaces and jewellery
  • Cogs (bought very inexpensively on ebay)
  • Paper and foam flowers
  • Decoart Gesso
  • Daler Rowney Impasto Gel (also called heavy gel medium)
  • Sequins
  • Papermania gems
  • doCrafts Glitz It glitter glue in the following colours;
    • Soft Lavender
    • Violet Shimmer

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Layout love at first sight!

So I was in town yesterday in Bath and we have a shop called Anthropologie. They always have really elaborate and beautiful window displays but the one I saw today I thought would look awesome as part of a scrapbook layout. Then I saw some tissue paper in Paperchase that I completely loved and the rest is history!!! Layout love at first sight! Here is the process video for it and a picture of the finished article as well as a list of of the products used below.
  • 12x12 paper called "Life" from My Minds Eye Jubliee Wild Berries Collection
  • BBQ skewers
  • Tissue paper from  Paperchase called "Fruits"
  • White A4 card stock
  • Alphas - Thickers called "Sunny"
  • Chipboard fruits from ebay random ephemera pack
  • Green phrases from my stash
  • Foam hearts from The Works
  • "Captured" die cut label from Carpe Diem collection from Simple Stories
  • Green gems by Papermania

Friday, 22 July 2016

Getting into the rhythm of it!

So I'm on a bit of a roll and videoing everything I do now. Not so easy when you are working in a corner of the kitchen but I think I'm getting into the rhythm of it now. It took me a lot less time to produce this than the others. I've learned that less waffling is the way forward! I made this little wedding card to give to a friend tomorrow and managed to get it made and the video editing in one evening! Much speediness!! Now that ive got a few subscribers on YouTube I don't want to let them down by not continuing to pressure! Anyway here is the finished card and a link to the process video.

A list of supplies used can be found below.

Card blank from Paperchase
Rectangle of watercolour paper
Faber Castell Big Brush Markers in the following colours:
  • Light cobalt turquoise
  • Pink madder lake
  • Colbalt turquoise
  • Manganese violet
Script stamp
doCrafts Artiste stamping ink in Chocolate
Corrogated card shapes from The Range
Ivory Organza Bow by Club Green
Windsor and Newton Matt Medium
Lawn Fawn stamp - Big Scripty Words
Ranger Archival Ink in Black
Sakura Micron Pen 03
Fun foam
Double sided sticky tape

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Daliahs and another video

So I reeeeeally struggled with this canvas. I wanted it to have a delicate floral look but on reflection I think the texture paste I initially started with was too heavy. I don't think I will ever be fully satisfied with this but hopefully someone will like it and buy it off me. I also did my second process video for this canvas but I reworked it so many times it has become rather long.

I continued with it and kept in all the reworkings mainly because I think this is a process that everyone goes through and I wanted to 'keep it real' so to speak and let everyone see that I'm not perfect and that things require repeated effort in order to come out with a good result.

Here is the finished canvas and below a list of products I used.

30x30cm canvas
Tissue paper by Papermania
Windsor and Newton Modelling Paste
Toilet roll (!)
Daler Rowney Graduate Acrylic in Titanium White
doCrafts Artiste Arcylic Paints in the following colours:
  • Pearl
  • Wisteria
  • Antique Gold
  • Rose Pink
  • Vanilla Bean
  • Iris
  • Blackberry
  • Lavender
  • Amethyst
  • Banana Yellow
  • Christmas Green
  • Burnt Umber
  • Emerald Green
doCrafts Glitz it Glitter Glue in the following colours:
  • Rose Gold
  • Pink Powder
  • Soft Lavender
  • Clear Frosting
Large White Flowers - HobbyCraft
Pink Paper Cherry Blossoms - HobbyCraft
White Paper Cherry Blossoms - HobbyCraft

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Process video is up!!!

Its official! I have managed to get a process video up on YouTube!!Its not particularly good but I'm learning absolutely loads by doing it and I know that I will improve as I do more of them. I'm sure I will go back to it in a few years and be horrified by its quality. I started off really small by doing a mini canvas so I didn't get overwhelmed but even editing the video took me hours! I really need to speed up what I'm doing too. Its only a tiny canvas but the video was 11 minutes long. If I do a bigger canvas it could go on for hours. Here is the link to the YouTube video and a picture of the final product.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Still going for texture

Still inspired by Abyssimo and her wonderful textured pieces but also really loving nature right now. When England is in the full bloom of summer I believe there is nowhere else in the world that looks so lush and verdant. With this in mind I decided to create a four seasons tree. I saw another artist called Tim Gagnon creating similar pieces and decided to combine both influences. When I searched on Pinterest I came across this picture which also seemed to go perfectly with what I had in mind. Here is the photo with my piece of art next to it. This is the second time I have been really pleased with the outcome of my work. I am starting to really create pieces that I want to create rather than just going with commissions and increasingly I like what I am making. Maybe I have finally found a style that suites me.

The chronological look of seasons passing. Great to do with a familiar tree like one outside the home or at a favorite park.:

I'm going to enter this piece in the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge as well.

Not only does it fulfil the criteria of texture (every single leaf added with a palette knife!!!) but it also is photo inspired.

New direction

Ok so having had a little go at techniques used by Julie Ryder I am now trying something a bit different. This time I have been inspired by Abyssimo who uses a lot of texture in her art. Her paintings are very abstract which is definitely not my style but she uses texture paste, crackle paste and lots of metallic as well as a patina rust affect which I just love. Her colours are vibrant and beautiful and I decided I wanted to give it a go myself. I mixed modelling paste with tissue paper to get a really chunky paste and spread it on in the shape of a butterful. Then I painted it using a mixture of matt and metallic acrylics. Once I was happy with it I gave the whole thing a coat of copper paint and then wiped most of it off to get a patina rust effect. I just love the result and I'm really happy with it and I really don't say that often!! Here is the below finished piece.
I'm also going to enter this piece in the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge Blog which can be found here.
I haven't had the chance to look at since I had my daughter last year. Their theme this month is any theme from the last years worth of challenges. I think this more than fulfils the category of texture! Hope they like it!

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Learning curve

Here we are again and i've found time to make a few more things when I really should have been marking! The first piece I made is just an A4 canvas. Ive started putting a block background colour down as the first thing I do on my pieces as ive been watching a few artisits work on YouTube and this seems to be the done thing. Easier to work on a colour than white apparently but I'm not sure it makes much difference to me. Any who in my quest to be a better artist and less of a crafter I have followed suit. I then added a few different colours with my finger just to blend things in. I was working outside on a REALLY hot day and I couldn't believe how fast the colours dried. I didn't even have time to blend them! Ive also started trying to add a bit more black to my layouts. My art teacher always told me in school to never ever use black but it adds such a grungy look and it was 15 years ago so I'm finally going to be a rebel and do it my own way! I just free hand drew the circles with my finger and tried to blend the paint so it had a light edge and a dark edge. I was kind of following the techniques shown in this video as this was what inspired me: Once all the paint was dry I used some butterfly stamps to stamp on some interest as the whole thing was looking like a pshcadelic glass of champagne at one point. I think I got over excited about the circles and added too many!! Then things started to go wrong. I could just skip this bit entirely but its always nice if you can learn from other peoples mistakes as well as your own!

So first time around I scrapped gesso in three thick lines across the canvas and then hand drew quirky letters and coloured them in using faber castell big brush pens. This turned out to be an error. It was ok but it looked like a 7yr old had done it! Then I realised that the canvas was upside down as well and all the butterflies that I had previously stamped were flying towards the bottom of the page! Again not the worst but its not really what you want and since I always hope to sell what I make I thought I better change it! Sooooooo then I tore some old book paper and stuck it over the top of the gesso and words and added more gesso to knock it back a bit. I used gelatos to blend it around the edges and stamped the words using docraft stamps and archival ink. I doodled on them using a sakura micron pen. I made the butterflies out of patterned paper following the tutorial here and added some embellishments from scrapbook ephemera. Here is the finished result.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Busy as the busiest bee on the busiest bee day of the year!

So I ended up doing a 3 month stint with Pure Crafts in Northampton. It was so helpful to know that my work will sell in a shop. I ended up selling four canvases in the end which is not bed but I feel that doing local face to face craft fairs will probably be nicer and a lot more gratifying, even if I don't sell anything.

Going back to work plus looking after my mischievous toddler and trying to find some time to do art is sooooooooooooooo hard! Since returning to my job as a teacher in January I have barely had time to breath let alone make new canvases. Yet somehow I seem to keep going. Every so often I just ditch the marking and prioritise myself and my art, which is no bad thing, although I struggle not to feel guilty. How I wish I could make a proper business out of this. There are no scrapbooking and mixed media stores in Bath at all and very few craft clubs too. I can see that there is a niche but giving up my full time, secure teaching job in order to start a craft business seems like career suicide. It probably is! What would be really helpful is if hubby could become a millionaire and then I wouldn't need to worry!

I recently did my third craft fair at Elim Pentecostal Ladies Pamper Evening which was really successful. The picture below is my stall. I sold 5 pieces which is one more than the last two years and more than the 3 months with Pure Crafts. I've had a couple of requests for commissions too and even an invite to do a workshop in a school but I've no idea whether they will come to anything.

I have also taken the plunge and applied to be a stall seller at Bath Artisan Market. When I visited at Christmas I loved the atmosphere and although there were a lot of people selling prints I didn't see anyone with canvas art like my own so hopefully they will accept me and can have a go at selling there. At the very least I will be able to be part of the arty community of Bath. Keep your fingers crossed for me :)