Tuesday, 28 June 2016

LifeBook Week 26: Embracing your Selfie

Last week's LifeBook lesson by Pam Carriker was one that I was particularly looking forward to. She's one of those artists whose portraits are instantly recognizable, and I was hoping I could pick up a few tips. I wasn't disappointed! So much so that I immediately ordered her most recent book, Mixed Media Portraits, which is a good extension to this lesson.

Even though I traced one of my photos for this portrait, as per the instructions, it doesn't look anything like me at all! But that wasn't the point anyway. Pam allowed us to use just three colours: black, white and a colour of our choice. I chose cobalt turquoise, similar to what she had in the lesson. The idea was to use different shades and tints of this colour, mixed with black and white respectively and play with the lights and darks. I quite like how this limited colour palette looks. This is what I ended up with:

Now I'd better get on with this week's lesson! 
We are now halfway through the year! 

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

WOYWW #368: Make stickers out of your art work

Hello deskers! I didn't think I was going to take part in this week's WOYWW as I didn't have anything on my work desk (dining table) to show you, but I have just received some printable sticky labels that I had recently ordered, so I thought I'd quickly share with you what I did with them.

I've seen this technique used by several artists, most notably by Roben-Marie Smith. It involves scanning your artwork and printing it on these sticky labels, to be used in various art projects. They can add interest to journal pages, tags, ATCs, mail art etc. I got so carried away that I printed all 10 sheets in no time, so I had to order some more! These printable labels come in different shapes and sizes: circles, squares, rectangles, strips, etc. Mine are 1.5" circles which is a good size to use on most projects.

Here are the printed sheets and some of the stickers temporarily mounted on the waxed side of deli papers to show you what they look like. Next time, I might show you how they can be used in your art projects.

Thanks for popping in today to read this quick post. 
Wishing you a creative week!

Friday, 17 June 2016

LifeBook Week25: Recycled Reflections

I absolutely adored this week's bonus LifeBook lesson by Rae Missigman. She showed us how to create a journal from a recycled photo envelope - you know the ones you get from the printers with your photos in it. I have quite a few of those lying around and it never occurred to me to reuse them this way. Mine is a slightly different format, but it worked just fine for this project.

I added two layers of gesso, and after all the stencilling and layering I ended up with quite a sturdy cover for my journal and it even has a pocket! I used gelli prints for my pages and rounded off the corners. I was happy to get out my sewing machine to reinforce the seams and sew in my signature of gelli prints. It was done in a jiffy! The blank sides of the prints will be great to record my random thoughts and reflections, while the printed side lends itself to visual play. It is a bit wonky and scruffy, but that's part of the beauty of it! I will make some more of these later as they are so quick and easy to make!

Happy arting! :)

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

WOYWW #367: My art book collection and another ATC

Hello fellow WOYWW deskers! I'll be quick today as I haven't had much time to do any art since the weekend. We had our house valued with view to putting it on the market and I was busy trying to make it presentable. Not an easy task and now I'm afraid to make it messy again. We have our third viewing of the house that we're thinking of buying later today, but we haven't decided anything yet. Perhaps now, with Brexit looming, it may not be the best time to make big financial decisions.

So today, instead of my art, I decided to show you my collection of art books that I've accumulated in the past two years since I first discovered mixed-media. I have about three dozen titles now and no where to store them! Some of them are in drawers in my bedside table and the rest are just stacked up next to my bed. A great way to stub your toes I'll tell you. In our new house, I hope to have a dedicated book case for them! See how many of these books you can recognize! And if you have any recommendations of others to put on my wish list, please leave it in the comments below!

I had a lovely surprise on Saturday when Lynne Mizera's ATC arrived along with some wonderful extras that you can see in the photo. Thank you so much Lynne! Love, love, love the ATC and the fact that you made it with me in mind makes it extra special!!!

I have quite a few ATCs now that require some sort of storage. I decided to store them in my Tag Swap Book temporarily. You can see how I made it some time ago here. I'll have to find a permanent solution for them later. 

Thanks for stopping by! My thoughts today are with Jan (LLJ) who's recently lost her dad, but still found the strength to host this week's WOYWW link-up for us in the absence of our regular hostess, Julia, who is still recovering from major surgery. Thinking of you both, courageous ladies! 

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Wanderlust: May book pages (image transfers with sticky tape)

I'm running slightly late with my Wanderlust book pages. The May prompts were (a) What I'm grateful for and (b) What I have to let go of. I must admit, originally, I didn't start these pages with these prompts in mind, but I kind of developed them along the way to fit the challenges. I also experimented with image transfers, specifically, using sticky tape (aka scotch tape, cello tape). I'll demonstrate this technique at the end of this post.

Here's my page for the first prompt. The large dragonfly is a gel transfer, the smaller one was done using sticky tape. The title of my page is "Adaptability" which is one of the things I'm grateful for. It's an important skill which allows you to adapt to your situation whatever life throws at you. The symbol for adaptability (amongst other things) is the dragonfly.

I started my second page by writing down all the negative things I want to let go of on a collaged/gessoed background, written in water soluble pencils, which I then dissolved, so they disappeared in front of my eyes. This is a great exercise to get rid of negative thoughts and influences. Then I printed the opposites of all those negative words to feature on my page. I used sticky tape transfers for these words and my main motif of the butterfly. Here are a few photos:


If you're not familiar with the sticky tape image transfer technique, it really is very simple. All you need is a laser printed image or an image from a magazine. Place the sticky tape over the top of your image (right side up) and burnish it, making sure there are no air bubbles. Cut it to the desired size and place it into a bowl of warm water. After a minute or two, rub off the paper from the tape. As if by magic, the ink will have transferred to the tape, leaving you with a transparent background. 

The tape usually retains its stickiness, just enough so you can stick it on your page as is, or you can use a thin layer of gloss gel to adhere it. Sticky tapes come in different sizes. The widest I could find is a 3" Scotch tape by 3M. This is great for transferring larger images, while you can use the smaller sizes for words, borders, etc. The challenge is, how to get rid of the glossy shine of the tape? Enter Ultra Matte Medium by Liquitex! A couple of coats of this stuff will eliminate the gloss and mattify the surface. It does tone down the colours slightly, but it's not a problem. The edge of the tape will pretty much blend into the background. This is by far the quickest and easiest image transfer technique I know! Here it is in pictures:

3" Scotch tape by 3M

Image transfer after removing the paper

The ultra matte medium will tone down the glossy reflection of the tape
Have fun playing and thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

WOYWW #366: More gelli prints and ATCs

If you can't link to WOYWW this week, try using a different browser or clear the cache and cookies in your regular browser. For Google Chrome and other browsers, you can find the instructions here
If all else fails, ask LLJ to link you!

Welcome to another WOYWW! This past week flew by very quickly. Half term is over and my son is back at school, thank goodness. Didn't we have lovely weather in the UK this past week? I got into the habit of sitting outside and it's been fantastic. Here's a picture of my "work desk" outside yesterday, which is  a bit of a set-up because I forgot to take photos during the actual proceedings. As you can see I did some more gelli printing. I've found that Deep Violet worked really well with Portrait Pink with a bit of King's Blue added.

I received some more ATCs during the week! This swap was so much fun! These are the new ones I got in addition to the ones from Annie and Angela that I showed you last Wednesday. I also took a photo of the extra cards, diecuts, and bits and pieces. I really like the stamps from overseas as well and I saved them for later. Thank you so much, girlies! I was delighted every time an envelope popped through my letter box! I will defo take part next year as well! Thanks Annie for pulling me in!

Oreo had yet another photo shoot while we were sitting in the sun this past weekend. He must be one of the most photographed (non-professional) cats in the world! He looks really silly in the last one! 


Thanks for stopping by! 
I always visit everyone who leaves a message, just don't forget to let me know your number! 
Wishing you a happy, creative week!

Friday, 3 June 2016

LifeBook Week23: My Inner Wizard

This week on LifeBook we had an absolutely fantastic lesson by Jenny Grant, titled 'Your Inner Wizard'. I adore Jenny's distinctive grungy style and I hope I managed to steal some of her techniques. I loved working on my layers and I found the whole process highly enjoyable. This was one of those pages that just fell together and I'm very happy with how it turned out.

The page started out with a collaged background, most of which got covered up during the process, but parts of it are still visible if you look closely. There were so many steps that I would have to watch the videos again if I wanted to recreate this look. But that's the good thing about LifeBook - we get to keep all the videos for future reference! For now, I'll just show you what I created:


 Thanks for visiting! Hope to see you again soon!