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.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

It's my turn again!

Today, it's my turn to pull on my guest designer hat over on the PaperArtsy blog. The theme for this challenge is deconstruction. If you would like to see my take on this theme, click here to hop over there for all the details.

I hope that this project inspires you to join in with the challenge, there's a great prize on offer.

Monday, 9 March 2015

The weekend in review

Phew.....that was one busy weekend!!! On Saturday I spent a fun day demoing at Colemans Craft Warehouse in Rushden. It was so lovely to see lots of familiar faces, many of whom used to come to my shop in Olney, so it was really nice to see them again. Today,  I thought I would share a few of the samples I made.

I was challenged again by one of Coleman's customers to use purple.....and you guys know that I am not in love with purple at all!!! Anyways, here's the result and I have to admit, I really quite like it. I used the new Wisteria Fresco Finish paint in conjunction with Caribbean Sea from my Limited Edition's really quite a pretty combination.

I'm feeling that this next one is looking a tad unfinished, it needs a few embellishments or a bit of a garden across the bottom but heyho!!! I did leave these samples with the girls at Coleman's though so if that is your local store, you can see them there.

On Sunday, I taught a class at Crafting Time in Shepreth. I only managed to get photos of four of the projects but I think you'll agree the girls did a fantastic job. This is Margaret's sample. She wanted to keep her colour scheme to browns/yellows/oranges and she managed that beautifully. 

I love how this sample uses the big fan flower across the bottom corner and there was some clever masking going on in this sample. A flower stem was used to create a hill for the little house and the same stem was used to join two flowers together. I must apologise for not know the name of the lady who made this, she sat next to Jacky and Anne though.

This sample belongs to Tanya and she managed to get the beads sewn on to her fabric bird....gorgeous!

And my last photo shows Jacky's project. This is such a clever idea......she used the flower stem to make a branch for the owl to sit on. Not only that, she also used one of the little houses as a bird house.....I really wish I had thought of that!!!

Well, that's me for today, I'm off to try and add the finishing touches to a textile project that I've had on the go for a while.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Stevenage and this coming weekend

Let's start with, that was busy but also a lot of fun. It was wonderful to see so many familiar faces and lots of new people too. We were demoing right up to ten minutes before the end of the show......that's a sign of a good show!!!!! Anyways, I thought I would share a few of the samples that I made on the day.

The background on this one uses Tangerine Twist and Bougainvillea Fresco Finish paint from my new Limited Edition set, blended over some Honey Dew which had been stencilled through some of my stencils and Emma Godfrey's (PS002, PS016 & PS020). More stencilling through PS014 before over stamping with the dandelion from ELB15. The owl and funky bird are from ELB17 & 18 and are coloured with Caribbean Sea, also from my latest Limited Edition set. Now see that trio of leaves at the bottom, that is from one of Jo Firth-Young's new set of stamps (JOFY33).....I'm loving looks fantastic stamped over half a dandelion creates a cute little shrub.

This next one was a challenge for me. I asked the crowd what colour I should use and they said worst nightmare....I really don't do purple. I'm OK with blending it into background colours but as for the focal image.....yeah, not so good!!! Anyhooo, I accepted the challenge and this is the result. With hindsight, I should have blended two shades of purple together so that it wasn't solid purple or as Leandra suggested afterwards, shading a little of a lighter colour on his cheeks. I'll remember that for next time....of course if there is a next time!!!

Similar background colours on this one to the sample above but with the addition of some Banana splodges. These were not intended to be there at all. I kind of dipped my hand in a puddle of paint and spread it on the tag on the right hand side. As it had dried, it wasn't coming off, so I added some more over other areas of the tag to balance it out. Another of those happy accidents, I would not have chosen to do it but actually quite liked the result!!!

This was another sample that involved purple.....well Wisteria actually. I used it with Guacamole for the background and although I was reasonably OK with the colours it wasn't really bright enough so I added some Tango with a baby wipe followed by some accents of Tango at full strength.

So that's just a few of the samples I made on the day. Demo samples are never really my favourites as they are always hurried and when I look at them at home, I always think they look rough and ready but hey, that's part of the fun of demoing....making it up as you go along. If you came to the show, it was lovely to see you, if you purchased items from PaperArtsy, thank you very much but we love you all equally.

Now, what will I be up to this weekend. On Saturday, I will be at Colemans Craft Warehouse in Rushden for their March demo day. It is completely free to come along, the doors open at 8.30am and demos commence at 10am. I'll be sharing ideas with all my new PaperArtsy lines and there's free tea, coffee and cake as well as discounts on your purchases. It would be lovely to see you, pop along and say hi.

On Sunday, I am teaching my "Put a bird on it" class at Crafting Time in Shepreth, Hertforshire. A little bird tells me there are still some spaces, so if you fancy a fun, painty day out, click here to book your place. It's always a great day, lots of laughs as well as spending the day with a bunch of great people who share the same interests.

Well that's all my news for today. I'm off to take Missie Meg the dog for a walk while the sun is shining, unlike yesterday when we experienced a freak five minute snow storm!!!!

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Lynne Perrella

Today I managed to find some time to have a little play with some of the new Lynne Perrella stamps. I just love all of Lynne's latest release, every time I look at them, I change my mind about which one is my favourite!!! Today I used images from LPC031 & 034 along with an assortment of my new stamps and a few from SN014 & 015.

I used Caribbean Sea, Wisteria and Guacamole Fresco Finish paint for the background with Snowflake highlights. So not only am I embracing the bright new colours from my latest set of Limited Edition paints, I'm using Wisteria too!!!! Those of you who know me well, know that I never use purple tones but this is really pretty.

I'll be taking this sample along to the Stamperama show at Stevenage this Sunday, if you would like to see it close up, stop by and say hi, it will be on my demo desk on the PaperArtsy stand.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Even more new stuff

I have just returned from two fabulous days helping the PaperArtsy team at the annual trade show in Birmingham. It's a brilliant show, lots of wholesalers, suppliers and manufacturers come together under one roof at the NEC to showcase all their new products to the craft industry. Retailers can shop till they drop, placing orders for the new goodies to fill their stores with wonderful new lines to inspire their customers to get creative. It also offers classes to educate retailers in order for them to pass on their new found product knowledge to their customers. I do love this show and of course it's an opportunity to catch up with friends in the industry that I have known for many years.

Unless you have been hiding under your duvet in recent weeks, you will know that the guys at PaperArtsy worked their socks off to bring together a week of blog posts and videos to launch all their new lines this year. Well, what they didn't tell you was that actually, they kept a few items back as a surprise, just to have something completely unseen on their stand at the show. I did hint in my launch blog post that there was more to come as one of my stencils has images on it that didn't have stamps to match at that time. In reality, the stamps were already in the bag and I'm thrilled to now be able to share them with you.

ELB19 is the third plate of houses in the series........

.......and ELB20  is the third botanical set, this set has a couple of matching images one my new stencil PS014.

Here are a few samples I made at the show featuring some of the new stamps, stencils and of course paint. The backgrounds were created using a selection of  Hot Picks and Sara Naumann stamps.

The background on this sample also features one of Emma Godfreys new stencils.

Now if that wasn't enough new stuff, Jo Firth-Young also has some some secret stamps too. Click here to visits Jo's blog to hear all about them. All the extra new stamps will be available at a retailer near you soon. They will start shipping as soon as Mark and Leandra get back from the show.

I'm off to make another cup of tea, I lost my voice at the show.......too much talking I guess so I'm trying hard to get it working again as I'm on Nanna duty tomorrow, I have two little princesses coming for a sleepover.