Wednesday, 26 July 2017

WOYWW #425: Mini chest of drawers and Ikea cart

Hello on this cool and gloomy Wednesday - just the way I like it! I have a weekend feeling as yesterday was my son's last day at school. Possibly his last day forever at that school if we move in August, but it's still not certain. This uncertainty is killing me! He didn't even say goodbye to his friends - having learned from the experience two years ago when we took him out of school - he got the cards and the teary goodbyes - only to be back in September to everyone's surprise, so we're playing it differently this time around.

Now onto WOYWW! My desk shot was taken on Saturday. I altered one of those cheap chipboard mini chest of drawers from the Works. It think it was something like £2.00. Initially, I wanted to cover it with a patterned napkin, not realizing that the colour of the chipboard underneath would show through, so I had to cover it with some book paper afterwards. The napkin also crumpled terribly, so I wouldn't recommend covering large surfaces with it. Lesson learned!

I dry-brushed some teal paint over the book paper and distressed it with some gesso. Then I added some butterfly motifs cut from a napkin and shaded the edges with a permanent ink pad. The drawers were a bit stiff at first, because of the multiple layers of paper, but I managed to break them in - literally as one of the drawers broke (twice!), but I glued it back together. A bit of silicone barrier cream (artguard) helped make the drawers slide easier. I store my metal charms in these drawers now. 

On Sunday, we went to Ikea in Bristol on a whim. We wanted to look at furniture for our new house (just in case we end up moving). While we were there, I decided to buy one of those iconic carts that I'd been coveting for ages, but could never buy for lack of space. Now we'll REALLY have to move as I don't have anywhere to put it! It's parked in the dining room for now. They had one last cream coloured unit remaining - they don't sell the teal any more. That's fine, I can live with that! I can always paint it later if I want. I immediately assembled it when we got home. It was very easy - took me less than 20-25 minutes, I reckon. Oreo was not impressed at first, but curiosity got the better of him! And, of course, he got the box too! This cart will be incredibly useful for storing my paints and mediums. 

Thanks for visiting today!
Happy WOYWW! 

Friday, 21 July 2017

Wanderlust Week 25: Air-drying clay plaque

This Wanderlust lesson was published a few weeks ago, but it took me this long to get my hands on some air-drying clay. The waiting was quite excruciating, especially waiting for the clay to dry - it took three whole days before the plaque was ready to paint. I so loved Kasia's lesson that I closely followed her tutorial with  a similar composition, elements and colours. This project is tied to the art journal page we made back in January, using the same sentiments.

Here's a photo of me getting ready to paint my plaque earlier today. I used my Ecoline watercolours: lemon yellow, turquoise and prussian blue. I had previously made impressions with those metal charms and polymer clay tile, so they would be easier to stick down once the plaque was painted. The word 'GROW' was stamped into the wet clay along with some background textures. It's supposed to be a bit irregular and not a perfect rectangle!

This is what it looked like after I'd painted it. I just loved how the watercolours soaked into the porous surface of the clay. I applied several coats for stronger colours:

I used Diamond Glaze to attach the charms and beads. It worked surprisingly well - those babies are not going anywhere! I filled in the grooves of the letters with Pebeo Moon Fantasy paint (metal blue) to make the letters pop and give them some shimmer. I carefully added a few tiny drops with a toothpick and guided the liquid along the grooves. This is the finished plaque:

And here's my hand holding it to give you a size reference:

This was a really fun lesson - a bit different from some of the stuff I've been making lately. I missed out a step where I was supposed to distress it with some gesso, but I think I like it this way for now. I can always add that later. Happy Friday! Hope you have a good weekend! 

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

WOYWW #424: Found poetry

Can it be true that it's Wednesday again already? I had to check my calendar just to make sure. It is indeed Wednesday so it's time for another round of WOYWW. My desk shot was taken at the weekend, though I didn't finish my page until later.

Again, I was working with my eroded papers, so it looks a lot like my previous pages in tone and character. I collaged inked paper towels, doilies, book papers, a teabag and a tag. This is what it looked like at this stage:

I thought the tag would make a great background for some text, but I didn't know what to write, then I remembered the concept of found poetry. I used a page from Kate Morton's Distant Hours. I got the book from the charity shop a while ago, just so I can use the cover in another project, so I didn't feel bad about cutting it up. Plus I have it on my Kindle so I can read it again any time I like. I cut out some phrases from a single page and rearranged them to make something similar to a poem. I also added some motifs from a napkin and, voila, here's my finished spread, with some closeups to follow:

And since it's WOYWW, here's the obligatory cat photo. Oreo likes to hang out on top of the kitchen cabinets and observe us from there. 

I'll have to do some cleaning and tidying today as our potential buyer's surveyor is coming to look at the house tomorrow. What he's going to do here for four and a half hours, I have no idea! I'll still find time to visit as many of you as I can, I promise! Hope you all have a good week! 

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

WOYWW #423: Two journal pages

One advantage of taking part in the weekly WOYWW blog hop is that it really highlights the passage of time. Don't tell me another week has gone past! And what have I got to show for it? Two journal pages and not much more, I'm afraid. And I don't mean just artwise, but otherwise as well. In other words, not much has happened or been accomplished. But that's just how it is, these days. I'm not complaining - I quite like it. Nice and quiet - no drama, no stress. For the time being. This could be the quiet before the storm if we decide to go ahead with the house move, but it's too early to say more. I'll let you know in due course if it happens.

Now onto my desk. This photo was taken on Saturday. I suddenly felt inspired to use some of those weathered elements I showed you in my erosion bundles a couple of weeks ago. A doily, a tag, teabags, and some book pages. The rest of the stuff is still in that puzzle box.

Here's the completed page. It's titled 'Hybrid' which is a word I borrowed from the dictionary paper used on the spread. It's supposed to depict my emerging style, which is a hybrid of all the styles influencing my art at the moment; a grungy, messy style. 

The other page is visually less impressive, but full of meaning. I started out by journalling on the background all my fears, hopes and excitement about the future in general and our house move in particular. Most of this got covered up by paint and collage. I used a printout of a sailing ship as my focal point, which I came across in my stash. I used the same image in this project. I titled the page 'Sail Away'. 

Before I let you go, I spotted Oreo snoozing with his tongue hanging out and thought it looked funny. Hope it makes you smile too! 

Happy Wednesday Everyone and 
thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

WOYWW #422: Altered picture frame

So it was #421 last week after all, which makes it #422 this week! Of course, I'm talking about the sequence of WOYWW posts! Come and join this marathon blog hop hosted by Julia Dunnit, currently in its 8th year running! All you need to do is snap a photo of your arty desk and show us what you've been working on this past week. Here's what I've been busy with:

That horrible brown picture frame had a nasty waxy residue on it, as you can see in the photos. After two layers of gesso, I painted it turquoise blue and then added indigo blue on top of it, removing some of the top layer to allow the lighter tone of blue to show through. Here's a close-up of the texture I achieved this way:

And this is what it looks like after I popped our wedding photo back in the frame, where it originally came from, just in time for our 15th wedding anniversary later this month. We will probably conveniently forget it, just like we do every year LOL! 

There was another anniversary earlier this month - my blog turned 3 years old! I celebrated with this post and also changed my profile photo for something more recent. The old one was more than 7 years old and I realised I didn't look like that any more! 

In other news, here's Oreo lounging on three layers of cushions. These are normally on our garden chairs outside, brought in at the end of the day, in case it rains. How do cats manage to look so comfortable all the time? Makes me want to curl up and snooze!

Thanks for visiting today! Happy WOYWW! 

Sunday, 2 July 2017

My blog is three years old!

I started this blog three years ago today! In many ways, it seems a lot longer! I started blogging on a whim, not really knowing what I was doing and where it would take me. Three years on, I'm so grateful for the wonderful experiences along the way: the learning, the joy of creating, the wonderful friends and soulmates to share with.

I've decided to do a compilation of my favourite projects this past 12 months. I did a similar compilation last year of my previous favourites, which you can find here.

Here are the full sized images, in no particular order: 
Envelope made from a brown bag (inspired by Roben-Marie Smith)

Journal page in my altered book journal

12th birthday card made from cardboard 

Painted canvas pouch

Altered bottle

Altered box

Recycled greeting cards inspired by Joanna Grant

Collage inspired by Roxanne Evans Stout

My first ATB

Erosion bundle inspired by Evelyn Flint

Altered clothing labels

Mini photo album from tarot cards

LifeBook ATC swap 2016

Journal page in my altered organizer

Rag journal cover inspired by Susie LaFond

Grungy gelli printed ATC backgrounds
It's lovely to look back on all these projects - each and every one of  them bring back happy memories of creating them. Hope you enjoyed the tour. Happy Sunday!