Feel free to leave comments on blog posts- & thanks for doing so. Comments need to be 'approved' (filtering out the pesky spammers) so don't worry if comments don't appear immediately.

4 February 2016

All aboard... up Periscope!!

Well this was an exciting day lol... I popped into PaperArtsy - and was sucked into the Vortex that is PaperArsty HQ and didn't escape back out until I'd filmed a Periscope!!!  Baptism of fire!

It was a lot of fun!... brace yourselves - there could be a load more of these heading your way...lol but, one step at a time, here is today's 'scope and photos of the finished projects...

A big shout out (which I meant to do when we were filming) to Courtney who gave me a lovely manicure before I started filming .... ah the magic of television.

So here's a photo of the stamps and projects in progress.. I used one of Kay Carley's new stamp sets - EKC02 - GORGEOUS flower on that set, and JOFY32 for the large cherry blossom flower.

Here are all the different elements laid side by side - fabulous colours - during the demo'. :o)
((And in response to a comment on the 'scope I like to think I 'sweep' the colour from side to side...))

Sorry I couldn't comment, or say hello to you all as you popped up on screen but am very grateful you tuned in.
It was a lot of fun to film, I hope you enjoyed it.


3 February 2016

ALBOTAT: Stamps of a different kind..Part 2


Yesterday in my blog post I wrote about stamps and how interesting they can, and can be used in artwork - on cards, in journal - however you want really... Well, last week when I was tidying my workroom - oh yes! The 'big clear up/clear out'!!  - I became distracted (as usual!) by the bits and pieces laying on the desk... so I made this simple less-is-more page in a 6x6in journal.... I really like the white space on the page... 

The gold circles are a PaperArtsy Ellen Vargo image stamped and embossed in WOW 'Metallic Brass Sparkle' - a lovely colour which I use when I need gold... stamping the distressed circles over all the images ties it all together, and then the 'obersvation lessons' banner gives it a sort of subject/theme/focus. 
So there you have it - a clean and simple way of using stamps...


2 February 2016

ALBOTAT / ACP:2 Stamps of a different kind....

... little mini works of art..

I raided the vintage stamp albums that I have gathered/been given and searched for bits and pieces for moodboards...

What I learned from the search is that stamps ...

*  have lots of lovely shades of colour

*  are mini works of art

*  are not many stamps issued in yellow... from any country!

Anyone else think that this stamp album would be better repurposed into journal pages...

I think this was my favourite from the search - love the aqua/teal/turquoise against the dark backround.


1 February 2016

Alphabet Colour Project Mark.2

Waaaaay back in 2012 I had a plan for a project for my blog: 

For each calendar month I would choose a colour, and for each week of the year I would pick a letter & work my way through the alphabet picking a craft related theme for each letter.. ie:

I chose Grey for January, Week 1's letter was A for Aperture; week 2's letter was B for bunting (now there's a surprise!) so you get the drift how this was going to work.... or not..
(did I mention there were also colour mixes in there too for each project/week - grey+green, grey+blue... nightmare of my own making lol))

It lasted 8 weeks (hangs head in shame)... to the end of February and then it ground to a halt - there must've been a reason but I've no recollection of what it was.

but I really like the concept of the project so I'm resurrecting it.. a modified/ simpler version (obviously!)... 
This time around I'll still have one colour per month, but now just 2 letters... all spread out through the month..... the format is:
on the 01st -  a moodboard illustrating colour choice, the letters, and theme options
on the 10th - 1st letter and corresponding project
on the 20th - 2nd letter and corresponding project

I'm not starting right at the beginning again - starting at the logical place for February soooo:
.. RED ..

Red is my colour for the month and the letters C & D.... I've been making a list of any craft/art themes, techniques, equipment starting with all the letters of the alphabet - if anyone has any suggestions each month please pop them in the comments section of this post... suggestions gratefully received.. :o)

If you'd like to see any of the project from the Alphabet Colour Project Mark 1 then click 'ACP' in the labels listing on the left of the blog.

Best foot forward and all that....


31 January 2016

Well its a New Year....

... so that means NEW STAMPS!!  For the next 7 days over on the PaperArtsy blog there will be new releases - how awesome is that!!.. so many fabulous new products it will make your head spin!... and I'm up first.

I'm really excited to share these stamps with you - its my most varied release to date and I think (I hope) there is something for everyone.

Visit the PaperArtsy Blog HERE where you can see lots of lovely samples made with my new stamps by my group of talented wingmen.

I designed 2 little ladies - the one on JOFY41 has her eyes closed and I imagine has her face to the sun, while her friend on JOFY42 in her boots looks ready for anything!
See that little happy little character on the JOFY42? that's a Critter. Some of you may recognise the name from a page on my blog - funny/cute little fabric creations I made that were 'not quite right' - well I'd wanted to create a stamp of one...  PaperArtsy have a Critter - you may have seen him on the PA stand at shows - he's called PAMM (PaperArtsyMiniMascot), recently I made him a girlfriend... and a stamp was a natural progression!
Now everyone can have a critter.

Its a jolly little critter.. I could resist replacing its button eyes with googly eyes:

Here is a great video that PaperArtsy made detailing all the stamps:

On the blog is a card featuring one of my robots - LOVE these little 'bots!! Details of how I created the card can be found there...

The large nuts on the card are die cuts.. but I don't have a die for nuts and so I improvised:

I die cut a hexagon out of silver card, then cut a smaller circle inside the hexagon - a nut!  Bazinga!

So, a new year and new stamps I was inspired to create a book. I've been thinking about positive phrases to focus my thinking, aims and approach to life (the universe and everything! lol).. so I put some of these phrases into this 'little book of Mantras' using Fresco Finish paints and a little (9x9cm) upcycled book that I rediscovered (unearthed) while clearing out my workroom (I had a serious  (ruthless - with myself and 'stuff') clearout - it felt soooo good!)
I wanted this to be a simple book.. playing with new stamps (JOFY41 &JOFY42), creating an inspirational set of pages - really a 'just for me' sort of project.
I'll leave you to 'play spot the new stamps' :o)

I bought several books in a charity shop..
Dinky little board books... removed the printed layer of each spread - peel them off (very theraputic! lol)... and paint!

I covered each spread in a different type of printeed book pages, and allowed them to dry.

Here are the covers.  I painted them in Teresa Green and Dusty Teal Fresco Finish paint.., a book page circle, strip of washi tape and the year die cut from kraft card... and a 'go to' stamp image.

The first spread features is my word for the year... 

... using letters that I found during the 'great clear up'!..

I'm always a little nervous about writing on pages - its the little voices in my head saying 'what if its not perfect'.. 'what if its not straight' ... then I have a stern word with myself (does it matter if its not perfect?!!), take a deep breath & draw lines in pencil, write the words in pencil and then write over them in pen... I made a feature of the lines to link the words across to the photo (taken from an old nature encyclopedia I bought in a charity shop).. stamped a loopy border a few times and 'shaded' using a charcoal pencil (gotta love those!)

I like this phrase.. when I'm having a testing day I often say this to myself.. Slate and Chalk created the background, prints of small bubble wrap and stamps of flowers.. words were stamped onto book text that had been painted with diluted Dusty Teal.

This alphabet, from JOFY21, is great to use - nice and blocky, easy to read - and more importantly - easy to cut out!

This phrase resonates with me too - for those days when MS Fatigue makes a visit... Created with washes of Dusty Teal and Slate and stamped images with book text.

So thats my little book - featuring several new stamps and favourite paint colours... I hope its inspired you to take a second look at board books, and to use my new stamps.. available now from your local PaperArtsy stockist.

Keep an eye on the PaperArtsy blog all this week where there will be more exciting things happening..

29 January 2016

New Year...

New Year... New top banner!

and then................. nothing... no new blog posts... no new class listings... no projects... I don't know why I'm telling you this - its really stating the obvious isn't! You all know there hasn't been anything... well, those of you who have popped by every now-&-then 'just in case' something has changed... so apologies to those who did that... (and thank you, of course, for stopping by)

but, I can assure you that while I haven't been here I haven't just been sitting on my behind somewhere else watching daytime TV twiddling my thumbs... oh no no no..

soon all the 'nothing' is going to change... soon there will be something....

.... quite a lot of somethings.. if all goes to plan..

23 December 2015

Final class of the year.... Part 2

.... a fun class creating this:

A 6x4 box canvas - people could make this with an initial of their choice - would make a cute gift..

and here are a few of the lovely colour variations created by the ladies in the class:

I'd demo'd painting the box in green and was really pleased when Denise (Denise, I think this is your  - apologies if its not) made hers using the same colour and pink flowers - one of my favourite colour combinations - so pretty!

I LOVE this yellow version - so bright and fresh and sunny! I think I may have mentioned on here how I am not a fan of yellow - but this project of Sue's may have converted me! Gorgeous. (Sue was wearing a cobalt blue top on the day so it looked even more striking against that!).

This blue and yellow version (Sue's) - again its swaying me towards yellow - love it - so fresh!

They all created beautiful projects.... I might have to rethink yellow!


Final class of the year.... Part 1...

... took place at Birds in the Barn, near Colchester in Essex... a 1/2 day demo and a class in the afternoon.

In the morning I worked with Emma Godfrey's new stamps for PaperArtsy - love these stamps!

They can be used in lots of ways... here are a few of my samples for, & from the day.. (please excuse the light quality!)... here are samples using EEG15:

Start of a journaling panel on chipboard/greyboard:  painted, printed with bubble wrap, stamped with images from EEG15 in 2 colours, the stars are from JOFY20 (on the top of the tree).

This is a more 'clean and simple version of the chipbard panel - this time as an 'any occasion' card.

This card started off as an experiment - one of the ladies at the demo (waving at you, Sue) thought that the swirls (running across the centre of the card above) could be flowers.. so we put together this card - the swirls had stems added, then I stamped on stems from JOFY12 (love these stems!)...

JOFY Collection 12
I added a touches of white to lift the images.  After the demo I attached the panel to a white panel and because I didn't have glue handy I attached it with staples.

This panel is a mix of demo'ing simple paint application techniques using Fresco Finish paints - the base is a colour blended background, stamped with bubble wrap, & using paint to stamp the images - the words across is just a reassuring phrase to not worry when you're painting backgrounds: its just paint on paper!

Here are samples using EEG13.. I wanted to show that this set is not just for love or valentines but when I look back at the samples they are a little bit loved-up! lol
This card is another clean-&-simple use of the stamps, this time from EEG13. (created by making a mask & stencil with the heart stamp and layering the images.)

 A page of book text rough whitewashed and rough painted again (when dry) with watercolour paints. The hearts are cut out of book text, glued in place and the edges darkened with paint and pencil.. the lines are hand drawn.

 This is a page created in my small sketchbook - pages are 6x4 - the dinky size is nice to work in - comfortable - and great for putting down quick thoughts.. The background was created by me cleaning off the roller and bubble wrap (there's the bubble wrap again! - I have bubble wrap and I'm not afraid to use it.. and use it... and use it...).  The three main hearts are stamped onto coloured paper, cut out, glued on and shaded around to make them lift of the page.

I {heart} the simplicity of this card - just two stamped images.  The heart is stamped on to a book page mounted onto card (to strengthen), cut out and suspended on a strip of acetate on the front of the card.

Then I started to mix it up a little...

Stamped the heart onto patterned paper, attached to the card and drew a stem.  Stamped small seedheads around the stem. I stamped and cut out leaves from green paper and attached these to the stem - now the heart is starts to look like a flower.

These stamps are lovely to work with - in stock at Birds in the Barn.


22 December 2015

Where did the time go!

I am off schedule with my christmas posts (lots of things going on here)  - I meant to blog this before now - better late than never I suppose!

Designed for a class at Forget Me Not Kraft Kabin in Rochford, its a 20cm board canvas - a sampler/patchwork of lots of this years christmas stamps and my go to christmas mini JM07.

A fun project - these look great framed (Ikea frames are a perfect and inexpensive option) so can be brought out each year.

ho ho ho

20 December 2015

Festive Upcycling...

... of a piece of Ikea furniture that kept on giving...

We bought a chair, and the chair is very nice.. but I think I was just as happy with the BIG cardboard box it came in as with the chair itself.. & we put the cardboard to good use...

* ... I made festive little trees form the very small off-cuts - little squares increasing in size cut from the cardboard, edged in glitter and glued together with matte medium (is there anything that can't be stuck together with Matte Medium?!):

Here they are in a little scene I made with bits and pieces.  The 'Noel' blocks were originally a hanging ornament but I prefer them horizontal.. a bit more versatile
Here is a close up and you can see the 'trees' on either side of the group - I think I want to add a star or 'something' to each of them....

*...  I created the solution to the 'we don't have anywhere to put christmas cards now that we don't have a mantelpiece or window ledges in the lounge anymore' problem (windows were replaced by doors, so no more ledges - I miss those useful ledges!).  I made a tree!!
I cut the cardboard into 10cm deep lengths, laid them out and cut them progressively longer to create a tree shape, and added a pot.

I attached them all together using a length of hessian 'ribbon', I used this rather than a strip of cardboard so the tree is flexible - I need to allow movement so that I could get behind each panel to staple the cards onto the tree....

Ta daaaaa:

A really simple tree - all we needed - to staple/paperclip cards to! Easy, lightweight & hung onto the door with a length of hessian rope, I decorated it with die cut stars, snowflakes and circles to pretty it up before the cards were attached.. (and hanging it on the door also stops people using the door - which is good as there a christmas tree on the other side! lol)

*... and finally - we cut the box up and made the prototypes for a shelving unit we're planning for the reconfigured lounge (next to the chair that started it all off):

That's our contribution to recycling/upcycling for the holiday season..  I hope its made you look at cardboard boxes in a new light :o)