Wednesday, 13 November 2019

WOYWW #545: Totally in love with acrylic pouring!

You know I'm like a kid in a candy store when it comes to trying new techniques, which usually require the purchase of new supplies as well. I can go from one idea to the other in quick succession and lose interest even before my supplies arrive for me to have a go at it. Happened plenty of times! For example, my sticker maker in the left hand corner - haven't even looked at it since my last post! Well, looks like paint pouring is not just a one-night stand but a full blown love affair probably ending in marriage! I can't stop pouring! I'm running out of places to dry stuff! Here's my desk for WOYWW to prove it:

I can't even remember when this was taken - it could have been any day of the week. I've lost count of the canvases I made. Not all of them are great and I started scrapping the ones that I didn't totally love. By scrapping I mean reusing them. I can just scrape off the paint while they're still wet and start again. Most of them are still drying. Here are some photos of the better ones:

These last two are now dry - they were one of my earlier efforts. I set up a drying station in my display cabinet, which meant I had to move everything else out of it. The advantages of this set up is that my paintings are safe from dust, accidents and Oreo's inquisitive nature - we wouldn't want colourful paw prints on the cream carpet! 

I can also save the excess paint and use the acrylic skins in pendants. This is a good example of how an earlier obsession that never took off (jewellery making) can come in handy when you need supplies asap! I have dozens of these pendant trays lying around. I die-cut the circles from the dry skins and they look magnificent as the cabochons magnify the patterns and make the pearlescent paints sparkle. 

Photo heavy, but hopefully short and sweet! Now I'll go and see what y'all been up to! 
Happy WOYWW! 

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

WOYWW #544: Foiling, sticker making and acrylic pouring

What do the three things in the title have in common? They are the three obsessions I went through in quick succession (and in that order) just in the past two weeks and here's my desk for WOYWW to prove it! If you're fainthearted, please look away - it can not be unseen!

So what was on my desk on Saturday night? A new, cheap laminator, which works brilliantly. If you remember I had to send back another, more expensive model as it kept jamming. Proof that it wasn't my fault! A sticker-maker - did I really one? - no, but it's so much fun and it actually works! That little book in front of it is full of my foiled stickers (more about that next week). The canvas was my first acrylic pour - a total failure so I had to turn it into something else. Since it had a lot of paint on it, I tried ironing some scrap foil over the surface thinking that the heat would melt the acrylics and transfer bits of the foil - it worked!

I'll show you some close-ups. Different parts of the foil illuminate as the light hits it from different angles. 

And to be true to WOYWW - here's an additional desk shot that I took this morning:

This was my third attempt at acrylic pouring - the second one you can see in the background on the left - not a total failure like the first, but nothing compared to the third one, which I really like. It was done on Monday and it's still drying. Apparently it can take up to 3 days for it to dry completely. Here's a closer look. Those cells are supposed to be the holy grail of this technique. Lots of videos on YouTube if you want to see how they can be achieved. I'll be doing some more of these for sure!

That's it in a rather big nutshell. Thanks for visiting! I'll be around soon! 

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

WOYWW #542: A quick check-in

I thought I'd better check in at WOYWW today as I haven't been heard from in three weeks. I've been pretty busy at work and my creative flurry of activities a few weeks ago have been followed by a hiatus. I haven't fallen off the wagon completely - actually I've been quite busy in my craft room as well - but I haven't got much to show for it other than a very messy desk. I think I'm in the running for the messiest desk title this week, don't you?

I've worked on a few journal spreads, but didn't manage to finish any of them. Here's a glimpse of one of them - it's just a collage at this point.

I've also watched numerous YT videos and tried a few techniques with more or less success. One of them was the wax paper embossing technique. These are my trial runs:

Then I got hooked on hot foiling with laser prints but I didn't have a laminator, so I had to order one. Unfortunately, it broke within 30 minutes of use, so I'm sending it back. (This was before I realised that I could just use an iron, duh!) I may or may not get another laminator - I'm not sure I need one as I would only ever do this technique on small projects to add a little bling and I don't need them to be perfect as I prefer a distressed look. This is what I ended up with when I tried foiling laser printed images. The foil sticks to the dark areas as the toner melts while the lighter areas remain unfoiled - it's pretty cool! I can see this used on ATCs and little journalling inserts, etc. It looks much more impressive in real life. Here's a video if you want to see how it's done - very simple, really.  More experiments on the way! 

While I was packing up the laminator to send it back, I left it unattended for just two minutes to print off the returns slip and when I came back, this was the scene that greeted me. This is exactly how poor Cupcake ended up spending 8 days packed in a box while travelling around the country courtesy of Royal Mail! (just to clarify: it wasn't our cat that got posted - it happened to another cat I heard about in the news some time ago - the link has the full story!)

Happy WOYWW! I look forward to seeing what everybody's been up to while I was gone! xx

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

WOYWW #539: Still on a roll!

I've been very productive this past week, I'm happy to report. It is no doubt due to the inspiration of the Life Book Summit which has now been extended by one week until 7th October. I have lots to share today with fellow deskers on WOYWW, so let's get down to it!

First off, my desk. This photo was taken just a few minutes ago. Having tidied up my craft room over the weekend, my creative space now looks much more inviting! That's one of my altered books that I use as an art journal laid out on my desk. I worked on the page on the left last night and I'm not sure if it's finished yet. I might add something to it later on, but for now I'll leave it as it is.

I also added two oracle cards to my collection...

....and completed two projects inspired by Jenny Grant and Tiffany Goff Smith during the LifeBook Summit. They don't actually look much like the lessons, which is not a problem at all. I got a few ideas from the videos and I integrated them with  my own style. 

I have a fun photo to share as well. This was taken up in Scotland on a pig farm, showing hubs with a now well-established beard in a rare state of laughter. Apparently, one of the piglets kept pushing him with their nose, which he thought was funny. They're doing a research project about the facial expressions of pigs and Netflix was there to film it (the guy on the right is a reporter from the US and the lady is one of the collaborators on the project). It will come out next year as part of a science series. I just thought I should shamelessly brag about it. He was so nervous about the filming, but from the sounds of it, it went quite well, so fingers crossed. 

 Hope you're having a creative week too! Happy Whizz Day! 

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

WOYWW #538: I'm on a roll!

For once, Wednesday couldn't come fast enough to share all my makes so I made a rare post outside WOYWW, where I shared my son's birthday card on Sunday. It features Oreo's whiskers - the real ones!

I've been rather productive this past week - partly inspired the LifeBook Summit,which is accessible for free until 30th September. This was the state of my desk earlier this week - and it still looks pretty much the same, i.e. very messy. I won't be able to put off tidying much longer.

Here are the results of my activities. Firstly, two journal pages completed ad hoc with whatever materials I could get my hands on without getting up - which is one of the advantages of having a permanently messy desk. 

Another project was attempted following the ideas of Cathy Nichols at the Summit. She showed us how to make oracle cards incorporating magazine images. The challenge was to select your supplies and collage materials at random without looking - even the magazine image came from a randomly selected page. I cheated with the second one a little when I added a die-cut shape and a tea bag, but otherwise all the colours and collage papers were chosen blindly. This encouraged me to use some of my supplies that may not have been my first choice otherwise. The good thing about this project is that it is expendable indefinitely - and I envisage dozens of these cards to make a complete deck. 

Hope it hasn't been too rainy for those of you in the UK. I got a little wet yesterday going to work, but it was sunny by the time I got back. I'll take a little rain over the relentless heat in the summer any day! Happy #538!

Sunday, 22 September 2019

A cat-themed birthday card for my son

I don't normally make greeting cards because I find the constraints of trying to make something that other people like a bit stressful and restrictive to my creativity.  One exception is my son's birthday. The tradition started back in 2014 in my first year of discovering mixed media - so, this is the sixth project in the series. You can find all the previous ones under the birthday label.

Mike wanted a "cat-shaped" card - well, it didn't turn out to be cat-shaped but it's very much cat themed! It's made out of a large recycled cardboard envelope, which was covered in book paper to make it more sturdy. Several layers of gesso, paint and collage later, the substrate became strong enough to hold its own weight standing up, despite its large size, which is just under 14" X 10".

I didn't really have a plan before I started this project - it sort of evolved as I went along over the course of several days. The blood moon was printed off the internet, the cat shape cut on my Cameo and the rest are die-cut pieces.

The inside of the card features photos, cat cartoons printed from the internet, letter stickers, washi tape and a pocket holding a little note card (which you might recognise from an earlier project) with a birthday message on the back and a gelli pinted mini envelope from years ago that holds Oreo's whiskers. We've been collecting his lost whiskers ever since he was a kitten - it kind of became a good luck tradition!

The back of the card has some squares cut from a cute cat fabric that I'd had for many years, even before I became interested in crafting. They just happen to feature the same cat/moon/stars theme as my design on the front of the card so they were a perfect match! 

My son said this is the best card yet I've ever made him so I have my job cut out for next year! There was also the obligatory cake, with god knows how much butter and sugar in it - I'd rather not think about it (and it still looks like it's missing a layer LOL) - and the "official" birthday portrait with Oreo (looking a bit unimpressed!) who celebrated his fourth birthday at the same time.

Happy Sunday! xx