Sunday, 26 April 2015

New Grunge Paste Technique

If you read my post about the trip to Version Scrap in Paris with the PaperArtsy team, you may well remember that I promised a step by step of a new technique that I discovered using Grunge Paste and Mica Powders. Sorry it has taken a while, I've been busy this week working on new secret stuff and a spot or two of Nanna duty.

The sample I showed you was this one, which I gave to my dear friend Sally, so I decided to make another one showing how the technique could be used as an accent instead of the feature.

I started by painting  a grey board heart with Blue Oyster Fresco Finish paint.

Added a few scraps of printed tissue, using Matt Medium.

I used Emma Godfrey's stencil PS018 and some Nougat Fresco to add the stripes.

I used a baby wipe to  tint the stripes with a tad of Hey Pesto Fresco

I also used Hey Pesto to add some leaves through my stencil PS006. I painted a piece of Smoothy cardstock with Nougat before stamping this gorgeous Lynne Perrella image from LBC032. At this point, I decided to trim the image to fit the shape of the heart so that I could decide where to put my Grunge Paste stars.

I selected the star I wanted and masked the surrounding stars as I wanted just a single star.

Now this is the important bit. Once you have applied the Grunge Paste, you have to remove the stencil and masking tape, clean the stencil and replace it over the Grunge Paste while the paste is still wet!!!! Using a small stencil brush, I stippled some mica powder into the Grunge Paste to colour it and at the same time, the stiff brush adds texture.

I added a second colour for added interest. The next step is also very important!!!! Leave the stencil in position and gently blow away any excess mica powder. I used Dreamweaver Metallic FX and as these can be fixed with a spritz of water. I carefully sprayed a fine mist of water over the star with the stencil still in place. If you remove the stencil before spraying, the mica powder runs over the background. Carefully remove the stencil and dry with a heat gun.

I love this effect!!! Sorry for the blurry photo, trying to capture the effect of the mica meant the background ended up with the fuzz!

If you want more than one Grunge Paste/Mica Powder element, I would recommend you do them one at a time. As the Grunge Paste dries so quickly, it would be difficult to get the mica powders to stick once the GP has started to dry.

The finished piece....... it's a fun technique, I hope you will give it a try yourself.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Class Opportuniy

This morning I am here to unashamedly plug my class at Artist Trading Post on Saturday, May 9th 2015. Jamie tells me there are a few places left and it would be lovely if you could join me. The class is all about learning how to create a balanced background and bringing elements together to create a well thought out and cohesive project. We will be using all things PaperArtsy including my stamps, stencils and of course Fresco Finish paint. I'll be sharing lots of my tips and tricks but most importantly, it will be lots of fun. Oh, nearly forgot....we'll be making a little fabric bird too, that you can use as an embellishment. Simply click here for all the details.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Version Scrap

I'm just back from my trip to Version Scrap in Paris with the PaperArtsy team. I have to say that although we were all exhausted beyond belief, we managed to have a great time. It is such a lovely show, in fact I think it has to be my favourite. There are many "Make 'n'Takes" going on, an educational programme with lots of classes on offer and a display of artwork which is always very inspiring.

 This first photo is my favourite one....such a simple idea, but also very clever, I love it!!!

The red, black and white of this piece is really striking, quite a statement piece, but again, I really like it.

In complete contrast to the previous piece, these neutral tones always look so beautiful together.

The next two pieces had splashes of yellow which is a colour that I would find tricky to incorporate into work of this size, but the artist managed to use it so beautifully.

I do apologise for not making a note of the names of the artists but I can say that all the work was magnificent, as was the PaperArtsy stand. Look at the size of it, it was mahoosive!!!!

I do still get a buzz when I see my lines hanging beautifully together on the grid wall, my stuff actually had two grids together for this show, they looked so cool, even if I say so myself!!! 

The show is three full days...... 9am - 7pm on Fri, Sat and Sun plus a three hour session for VIP ticket holders on the Thursday evening. It's a long show but everyone is so enthusiastic, the time just flies by.

I thought you might like to see some of the samples I made at the show, there were quite a few but this was one of my favourite techniques. It's a mica spray type product by Lindy's Stamp Gang sprayed over some Extra Heavy Gloss Gel that had been scraped through a stencil. It was really hard to photograph the effect but it actually looked like Mother of Pearl in real life.

This sample shows the same two sprays over Grunge Paste on Crunchy Paper.....another wicked effect!

This sample shows a technique that I discovered using Grunge Paste and mica powders, I'll try and remember to post a step by step thingy about this, sometime soon.

 The remaining samples are all about Fresco Finish paints, stamps and stencils.


This, I think is my favourite background of the weekend, using Yellow Submarine and Tango.

It has just dawned on me that most of my samples are blue/turquoise. That's really quite interesting as I usually ask people what their favourite colours are, so blues are obviously very popular!!!

I'll leave you with a photo of the team, minus Jo as she had already gone home (sorry Jo).
Back row: L - R Audrey (till operator extraordinaire, Sally (one of our amazing translators), Leandra (Mrs PaperArtsy), Me, Dounia (queen of Make'n'Take and translator)
Front Row: Florence (another amazing translator) Mark (Mr PaperArtsy)

Saturday, 28 March 2015

This weeks project

I have thoroughly enjoyed working on this project this week. Again, the influence came from Beryl Taylor, I just love how she combines fabric of different weights and textures together to create interesting areas on her work. With this in mind and a mission to use up a lot of small scraps of fabric, I set about making a collage on a backing piece of calico which of course got the paint treatment. I actually dug out some of my old Glimmer Mist sprays to tint the fabric, giving it a more aged look, then added a touch of Mermaid Fresco Finish paint, mixed with a tad of Chalk to add highlights of pale turquoise. 

I made the centre panel out of pelmet interfacing, it's strong enough to withstand a lot of wet stuff but still flexible, making it easy to stitch through. The arch and the doors were also made out of the pelmet stuff, I die cut those with the arch die by Tim Holtz. I added some wadding, covered it with fabric and painted it with nearly every brown/orange Fresco paint before stitching it. After stitching, I added the turquoise colours....again, many colours were used plus some Treasure Gold to achieve an aged look.

For me, the fun of a project like this is searching for all the tiny elements that finish a project. The detail elements are key for me. Over the years I have accumulated rather a large stash of stuff so generally, I have the elements but you can bet they are not the right colour!! That really isn't a problem though. Since I have been using Fresco Finish paint, I discovered that I can paint pretty much anything, so I just give everything a coat of paint. Sometimes it needs to be watered down or mixed with one of the glazes but how amazing is that to know that you will always be able to colour match to your project!!!

I'm not entirely sure if this piece is completely finished yet. Quite often, I will walk away and leave it for a few days. Looking at it again with fresh eyes sometime tells me if I need to add anything else to achieve the completely finished look that I want.

I do hope that the weather in your neck of the woods is better than it is here's not exactly what you'd hope for on a weekend but it is a good excuse to stay home and create something beautiful.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Nearly finished!

I'm stuck at home today waiting for the window engineer to arrive. Two of our double glazed windows have blown and luckily they are under guarantee so will hopefully be replaced. While I'm waiting, I thought I'd share a project with you that I've been working on for some time. It's been a project that I have thoroughly enjoyed, mainly because it wasn't hurried and I've worked on it in between other projects and commitments. It just needs mounting on to the green and white polka dot fabric and then it's job done!

This project is hugely inspired by the very lovely and super talented Beryl Taylor. I have been extremely lucky and was able to take part in one of Beryl's classes last year. She taught us some of her fabulous techniques which were combined together in a fabric book. I enjoyed the process so much that I thought I would make something similar but on a larger scale. During the process of making the first three pages, I liked them so much, I decided that I wasn't going to hide them away in a book, but actually make them into a wall hanging.

The panels are made up of a mixture of printed shop bought fabrics and fabric that I have either dyed or stencilled myself using quite a variety of paints and texture mediums.

It was also a great way to use up little scraps of lace and bindings that were not large enough for major projects in their own right.

Beryl introduced me to the art of incorporating sheer fabrics into my work and this has become one of my favourite things to do.

This piece is not entirely made out of fabric. If you squint at the screen or enlarge the photo, you'll notice that there is a dictionary page lurking underneath that texture paste, which has been highlighted with Treasure Gold.

I love how this panel turned out (apart from the wrinkly book page). There's some hand dyed lace and silk in there along with some handmade paper.

Here's a close up of some vintage lace that I was just perfect for this project.

Close up of some of the handmade (not by me though) paper with some texture paste.

So there we have it. It's taken about three months to make and I'm just waiting for Mark to cut some wood for me to mount it on then I'll be able to hang it.