Wednesday, 22 March 2017

WOYWW #407: Painted mini buckets

This is my first blog post in two weeks! I've been slacking partly due to the fact that I have to keep our house clean and tidy for viewings and partly due to laziness - there, I admit it! We've also had problems with our internet connection - this is something that happens periodically and there's nothing we can do about it. It seems to be back up again and I've tried to visit everyone who left comments two weeks ago. If I had accidentally missed any of you, just give me a holler!

I skipped week #406 for WOYWW, but here I am for #407! No desk shot though, as the dining room table is now empty. I moved to the kitchen to paint these mini buckets I want to show you today. I gessoed them first, followed by a coat of Paper Artsy Fresco paints over a layer of crackle glaze. When that was dry, I added a layer of Prussian Blue acrylics, which I then partially removed to create a distressed look. This is what the process looked like:

These are the paints I used. I only have these three Fresco paints. I chose them carefully to complement each other.

Here are some close-ups of each bucket. I left the insides painted plain with the Fresco colours.  I'm not sure what I will use them for. They're very small, only 1.5" tall. I will probably keep beads or paper clips in them. Or perhaps plant a tiny cactus in each!

I have fallen hopelessly behind with my classes, but not to worry. I can always do them later. I hope to be able to visit lots of desks today - fingers crossed my signal stays strong! Happy WOYWW! :)

Oh, no, I almost forgot! I took this video of Oreo sitting on the window sill, happily swinging his tail!


Wednesday, 8 March 2017

WOYWW #405: Faux leather and stamp storage system

I wasn't sure if I was going to take part in this week's WOYWW as there's absolutely nothing on my desk at the moment.  With the house on the market, we have to keep it tidy and clean for viewings so I haven't been able to do much lately. Plus I hid my stuff from view all over the place and I can't remember where I put things!  I fell behind with my classes as well. (sad face)

Then I remembered that I had made a piece of faux leather last week right after visiting Annie Claxton's blog. You know that feeling when you have to try something immediately, just to see how it works? It's almost like a burning desire - I just had to try this! Luckily, I had all the ingredients available: TPR (toilet paper roll), moisturizing cream (in lieu of liquid glycerine) and a range of distress ink pads. See the exact instructions on Annie's post here. This is what mine looks like, front and back without any embossing:

It got torn in the process, but it doesn't bother me, What a great technique and it looks remarkably like real leather! 

Instead of my desk today, I'll show you my state-of-the-art, patented stamp storage system (S.S.S.) -tada!

Yep, it's a plastic box where I dump all my stamps. Some of them are still in their original packaging, others just hang loose. And I never clean them (unless I use them with acrylic paints, of course). Most of them are background/texture stamps so they don't need to be pristine and I usually just grab one at random. So that's my dirty little secret out in the open.

Just to make this ad-hoc post complete, here's a video I shot of Oreo drinking out of the kitchen tap. We left it dripping on purpose, but when it's not dripping, we saw him suck it - seriously! Now I have to disinfect the tap every day. And for the record, he has TWO bowls of fresh drinking water available at all times! 

Thanks for visiting today. 
Happy #405!

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

WOYWW 404: Ecoline and Pancake Day!

Hello deskers all over the world! Another Wednesday has come around, so it's time to show you what's on my work desk, a.k.a. WOYWW. I snapped this photo yesterday afternoon while playing with my new Ecoline watercolours. I made a random grid with some masking tape and used those four colours shown on my desk to make all these other colours. It didn't take long for Oreo to come and sit right on it LOL! You can also see that I gessoed those three mini buckets, but that's as far as I got, I'm afraid.

Colour play with Ecoline

Oreo arrived on the scene

Colour swatches

It was Pancake Day yesterday! Did you make any? I made three batches, one for each of us made to order. I put oats, apples and cinnamon in mine, drenched it with golden syrup and lemon juice. They were lovely! Here's a pic and yes, I ate them all and didn't even worry about the calories.

Pancake Day!
Well, this must be my shortest WOYWW post ever! Now, I'll have to spend most of the day tidying as an agent's coming tomorrow to value our house, but I promise to visit everyone who leaves a message, if not today than later this week. Au Revoir! 

Friday, 24 February 2017

Wanderlust Week05: Love Letter

I'm running a bit behind with this month's lessons. This one was in week five for Wanderlust with Amanda Grace. This page took me a lot longer to put together than I anticipated. I normally finish each lesson in the same sitting, but in this case I got stuck after the first few layers on my background and I couldn't proceed until I had broken through my barriers, which took me over a week! When I decided that it didn't matter what it looked like, the page just fell together.

The lesson included an image transfer with cellotape, which - although it was successful - didn't really work with my background, so in the end I just used some black and white printouts that were lying around. These were actually some failed prints - our printer is a bit temperamental and doesn't always print properly, but for some reason I felt these imperfect prints worked with the page.

I'll show you how my background developed through four stages:

I became a little too attached to stage three of the background and I couldn't proceed until I messed it up! After that I found it very quick and easy to arrange my photos, collage pieces and journalling. Almost like I was in a completely different mind set! It literally took me just 15 minutes compared to the week long struggle beforehand! This is how my page ended up:

I used the scribble type journalling, which is illegible. It does contain my deepest thoughts though but it is the only kind of journalling I feel comfortable with at the moment. It was meant to express my innermost feelings towards my husband and son. I would have felt constricted if I had had to use my normal handwriting. Illegible journalling is better than no journalling at all. Maybe one day I will feel more comfortable using my regular handwriting, but I'm not pushing myself towards that goal on purpose. I just let things evolve of their own accord and in their own time.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

WOYWW #403: Mini buckets, tapes and snowdrops

It's Wednesday again, so time for a quick round of WOYWW. There's not much on my desk at the moment artwise, but don't worry, there's still plenty of clutter I can show you. I've been slacking this past week because of the school holidays and I'm finding it hard to get back into the swing of things. Here's my desk this morning - it's not very interesting, I'm afraid.

That's the altered book I'm using for Wanderlust. I've just gessoed the back of my new page to make it lie flat for the photos. I find this helps a lot. On the right is a butterfly book that Tam recommended for collage purposes. I picked this up for just 1p on Amazon, plus postage, obviously. Other than that, there are a few cheap purchases from The Works. I first saw those spotty tapes on Christine's blog, I think, and went looking for them. £2 for 10 tapes is pretty good value! Those mini buckets came from The Works too, waiting to be altered. Here's a closer look at them:

I finished the page I showed you last week, but I haven't blogged it yet. All I can show you at the moment is the additional layers on the background. Remember the one I didn't want to ruin? Well, I did just that! Not "ruin" it exactly, but managed to obliterate most of it. This is what it looked like at stage two. After this I found it much easier to progress and will post the finished spread later this week.

I've got no pictures of Oreo this week, but I do have a photo to show you that I took while we were on a day trip to Burford, Oxfordshire. Not much to see there, other than a pretty church and some quaint buildings. Next time we'll try to make it to Oxford, which should be more exciting! I took this photo in the church yard. I don't think I'd ever seen this many snowdrops in one place before!

Before I go, I just want to give UK folks a heads-up about a great offer I came across yesterday. It's £15 off £29 spend at GreatArt with the code AMAZING. This includes free delivery and a free gift as well! I ordered some EcoLine liquid watercolours, which I'd coveted for a while now. I carefully stayed around the £30 range, so it's practically half price! Enjoy and please don't blame me for any unexpected expenditure! This offer runs until the end of March. One order per customer only. (I'm not affiliated with this company, by the way - I'm just spreading the good news!)

Happy WOYWW! 

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

WOYWW #402: Digitally altered gelli prints

Another Wednesday, another WOYWW. I remembered it was #402 without having to check! Take a photo of your desk, stick it on your blog and head over to the Stamping Ground to share it with the whole wide world! My photo was taken a few days ago while I was working on a LifeBook page. I have since finished it and posted it here. Oreo was taking charge of the proceedings, as you can see. Look at his smug little face lying right on top of my scissors! Captions anyone?

I've also been working on a Wanderlust lesson in my altered book, but I've only got as far as the background. I guess I can show you a quick peek. I kinda like it so now I'm afraid to mess it up. Yes, it still happens!

Finally, I've got some gelli prints to show you. I made these a while ago but never shared them. Now is the best opportunity before I forget! I road tested the stencil that Lynette sent me from New Zealand. I experimented with different colours and then digitally altered the images to enhance them. Here are some of the results.

And here's a GIF I created with a single print by changing the colours digitally:


Thanks so much for visiting! I hope I didn't hold you up too long! 
There's a fine balance between keeping it short and sweet, but still interesting.
I usually have to sacrifice the short and sweet part! 

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

LifeBook week06: The song of me

I'm running slightly behind with my LifeBook lessons. This one was from last week - one of Tam's offerings again, as usual for the first lesson each month. It was well within my comfort zone as I'm quite familiar with Tam's process by now.

This page was meant to be a dream board similar to what we did last year but I concentrated on just one aspect of my life that I find crucial to my happiness: tranquillity. As I get older, I'm getting increasingly less tolerant of stressful situations and try to avoid them as much as possible. Some things that were exciting for me when I was younger, I just find plain stressful these days. I want to attract more tranquillity into my life, as that's when I feel truly happy. I used a quote from Cicero to express my sentiment.

Tam titled this lesson 'The Song of Me' because we started out with our own photo. As usual, I managed to make mine look completely different - though I tried to leave the middle of my eyes untouched so it's still me peeking through somewhere in there. You'll find a giphy at the bottom of this post to show you how the layers built up.

Here's the whole process. There a big jump between the last frame and the previous one. It's because I couldn't take any photos in the dark, but I think it's still interesting to see how my face changed beyond recognition. This paint over collage is so much fun! I doubt I'll ever get tired of this - it's so interesting to see what comes out of it in the end!