Monday, 8 December 2014

What's been going on

Well although my blog has been quiet, I have been really quite busy. As well as finishing my Christmas gift shopping (don't think I've ever managed to do that by December 8th before), I've made a few Christmas cards......I haven't made any for about six years, so I'm very pleased about that.

I'm proper giddy about the new secret stuff that I've been working on for PaperArtsy. I know that's really mean to even mention it when I can't share it with you yet, but all I will say is that I think you'll be surprised, it's all very different from my usual style.

I did manage to find a bit of time last Saturday for a bit of a play session with my encaustic paint and wax supplies. This is so much fun as I really have no idea what I'm doing so it's a real learning curve. Everything is really quite unpredictable and for me, that's part of the appeal, not really knowing what I'm going to end up with.

The first one is a mix of wax and Pan Pastels with a few rub ons to fill in some gaps.

This one is simply wax, pasted over a collage with some mosaic tiles embedded into the wax.

The final one really surprised me. I painted half green and half blue wax onto my prepared board. I scraped some shavings from a white Art Bar on the surface and tried to fuse it with my heat gun. I'm thinking that the two types of wax are completely incompatible and that the melting point of the Art Bars is far higher than my R & F wax. It just looked like I'd sprinkled sugar on the top, so I decided to paint a layer of white wax over it and start again. When I fused this layer, the magic started to happen, the blue and green wax started to bubble through my white layer where the speckles of Art Bar were.....I'm liking the effect but who knows if I'll ever be able to recreate it again.

In other news, I'm starting to think about what I'll be doing next year. I have a few things pencilled in my diary but one new thing that I'm excited about is that I will be teaching a two day class at 
Art Van Go in Knebworth next may. I'll let you know when I have more details but if you fancy having a dabble with metal embossing, keep the 19th & 20th May 2015 free.

Well, that's pretty much all my news....well, the stuff I can tell you about that is. I'm off to scour tinternet now, I need new storage for my studio, all my shelving is now overflowing......I feel a refit is on the horizon.....poor Mark!!

Saturday, 6 December 2014

A little Christmas Gift

I have a fun tutorial to share with you on the PaperArtsy blog this evening. Click here to hop on over there for all the details.

Sunday, 16 November 2014


Yes, I have been neglecting my blog again of late but this time I have a very good reason. Mark and I celebrated our 30th Wedding anniversary at the beginning of November so we treated ourselves to a holiday in Tobago!!!! It has been quite a year here in Brown towers....I'm not going to bore you with all the details, but let's just say that Mark and I were more than ready for a holiday.

The weather was wonderful, 85 degrees pretty much every day. We only had one morning when it rained which was very lucky really as it is the rainy season. As I haven't got any crafty news that I can share with you at the moment (I am working on some top secret stuff) I thought I would share some of our holiday snaps instead.

Tobago is a very small island and also extremely hilly with REALLY winding roads which makes driving very interesting indeed! This photo was taken from the top of the hill overlooking Batteaux Bay, Speyside where we stayed for two wonderful weeks.

As we stepped out of our hotel room, this is what greeted us every was pretty special!!!

My view from the breakfast table.

The view from the bar!!

We took a few organised tours and trips around the island. One to the rain forest, one to another small island called Little Tobago where David Attenborough filmed an episode of "Trials of Life". Our tour guide was a gentleman called Newton George who is so passionate about the bird life on the island, he was fantastic.

We hired a car for our second week and our first trip was to Argyll Falls, a beautiful little waterfall. Here's Mark with his cap in photography mode....he's probably going to kill me for posting pictures of him here.

I was blown away by the vibrant colours of the flowers.

Then of course there's the size of the leaves......Enormous!!!

We went to a small farm in a little tiny place called Adventure where there were more Humming birds than you could imagine.....we stayed quite a while to watch them, so fascinating and such beautiful colours. Sadly, none of my hummingbird photos are quite up to scratch but can you believe that I saw a PaperArtsy image, stamped on a post right in the middle of all the Humming birds!!!!

Our final excursion was to Fort King George where they have a small but brilliant museum.

 The views from the fort were out of this world.

My new favourite tipple....a rum punch....didn't even know that I liked rum, but these are really very yummy and all I can say is that you wouldn't want to drink more than two of these!!

And finally, upon our return, our three children organised a little family get together as we were away for the day of our anniversary and I couldn't resist sharing this picture of baby Callum, enjoying a little cuddle with his auntie Sarah.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Rusty Fabric

Remember that pile of rusty fabric from my last blog post????? Well, I have been using them along with some embossed metal to create collages. This first one is still a work in progress. It was my first attempt and I thought it would be a clever idea to assemble the collage on some self adhesive felt so that when I come to frame the piece, I could simply rip the backing paper away and stick it down. I have since discovered that this was not one of my best ideas as it really is quite tricky to stitch through all those layers of fabric, metal, felt, adhesive and backing paper. I will come back to it in a day or so and finish the stitching, I just need to give my sore fingers a rest for a day or so!!!!

I think this one is my favourite so far, using my Poppy Heads stencil PS004 as the design for the focal point of this piece.

The third and final sample is much larger than the two previous ones and involved a lot more hand stitching which I thoroughly enjoyed. I find it really quite relaxing, my only problem is knowing when to stop...I could quite easily embellished the whole piece with stitching!!!

I have thoroughly enjoyed working on something totally fact, watch this space....I may well be teaching projects like these next year.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Last week, I shared  this photograph with you of some of my vintage lace/fabric purchases from the textile show that I went to in Leicester.

This week, I found some time to use some of it. I wanted to try and keep this project quite neutral which is not always easy for me to do. Anyways, I decided to make a patchwork stylee/hanging thingy. It's not that big and when I held it up against a wall, it looked a tad lost so I put my thinking cap on for a while. My first thought was to mount it on something bigger but then I decided that it might look quite cool hanging inside a box. I had a lid to a Tim Holtz Configurations box left over from a previous project which turned out to be the perfect size. After painting it with Stone Fresco Finish paint, adding some lace and lining it with burlap, I decided that I really quite like it now.

Moving on to my next project....... following a visit to Art Van Go recently and chatting to an old friend who showed me some artwork in their gallery of some rusted fabric, I decided that I should have another go at this as I really love the rusty look. I dabbled with it when I was doing my City and Guilds course last year but haven't really done any since. Here's my pile of rusty fabric, I hope to be back in a day or so to show you what I've done with them.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Fabulous weekend

 As well as the weather being pretty fantastic for the time of year here in the UK, my weekend was pretty fantastic too. On Saturday, I spent the day with my friends Karen and Mary for a day of creative experiments. For some time now, I have been itching to have a dabble with encaustic wax. Many years ago, I had a go at melting wax on an iron and using the iron as a kind of paint brush to apply the wax. I was rubbish at that but I have seen so many beautiful pieces of encaustic art that I really wanted to have a go at brushing molten wax on a project instead. Oh my, this could turn into yet another crafty addiction, I loved it!

This was my first attempt, just three colours with a touch of gold leaf and can you believe it....

I love the way the colours of wax mingle together.

 And a fragment of gold leaf just brings it to life.

Experiment number two, didn't quite go according to plan but hey, it was an experiment and I certainly discovered a few things that I like and don't like. I really like the gold leaf applied with a metal embossing wheel and I now know that I don't like wavy lines drawn through the wax.

But I really like the way that tiny drops of wax melt into the background.

My third and final piece for the day was done with Pan Pastels through a stencil and fused into the wax......this technique has lots of potential very excited, just need to get a hot plate now to melt my wax.

So that was Saturday. Sunday was a day of retail therapy of the textile variety at a show in Leicester. I really love all my purchases from Janet Humphrey, her stand was definitely my favourite, she had all kind of vintage haberdashery and kits.


I love the printed silk as well, so delicate.....really beautiful. There was of course quite a few other purchases but these were my absolute favourites.

So thank you Karen and Mary for a brilliant weekend, I loved every minute.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Tonight I am sharing a little metal project over on the PaperArtsy blog. I wanted to make something using one of my new paint colours and as I still have a passion for working with metal, I wondered if was possible to make a project with aluminium and one of my stencils.........and the answer is yes you can!!!! Hop on over to the PaperArtsy blog for all the details.