Wednesday, 14 April 2021

WOYWW #619: Clock faces on teabags, leaf prints with alcohol inks and snow in April!

Lots of photos today, so I'll cut to the chase. A bird's eye view of my very messy desk - it's getting to the point where it's no longer serviceable, so a partial tidy-up will be required, leaving enough scraps lying around for inspiration. We all know what happens if I clear my desk completely - it stifles my mojo, but an unmanageable amount of mess has the same effect, so it's kind of a fine balancing act between the two extremes. This photo shows my desk while I was working on my next batch of tea bags for #the100dayproject. 

And here are the finished pieces - I decided to use some clock faces for these. They might look familiar to some of you as they were leftover prints from my 2019 ATC swap and a perfect size for my tea bags. 

I've also done some gelli printing with alcohol inks for the Mixed Media Emporium FB Group challenge. The theme this week is Leaves/Flowers. I first wrote about this process here where I used alcohol inks on a gelli plate with stencils. It's pretty much the same process with skeleton leaves. If you click on the photos, you'll see the definition of the veins in more detail! 

What's with all the snow on Monday? Did you get any? Thankfully it disappeared by mid morning  but I was in a bit of a shock when I woke up and saw this:  

Happy WOYWW! Nice and sunny today! xx

Wednesday, 7 April 2021

WOYWW #618: Dragonflies on teabags and faux eco-dyeing

Brrr, where's Spring gone? We've been cruelly plunged back into winter and it looks like it might stay unseasonably cold for the rest of the week. I even had to wear my wooly hat yesterday - I never needed it in the winter - or perhaps just once. Got the central heating on full blast today.  However, I'm not here to moan about the weather, but to show you my messy desk for WOYWW #618

This photo was taken sometime at the weekend (when it was still nice and warm!). I was working on my teabags for #the100daychallenge on Instagram. This lot features dragonflies. I did a trial piece and then went on to do seven more for days 57-63. Here they are: 

These actually look better individually than all together, which is not always the case:

I had a little play in my journal too - no plan, just random arrangements of scraps (I won't get upset if you think the before looked better than the after). 

The weekly challenge in the Mixed Media Emporium FB group was 'trees' to tie in with April's theme 'nature'.  I tried my hand at faux eco-dyeing. I'm not even sure if that's a thing but I put together ideas I'd seen on YT and came up with a technique involving some cuttings (amongst other things), distress oxides and an iron. I've got some interesting results, but further explorations will be needed, so at this stage it's purely experimental. 

Oreo visited me in my craft room earlier this week and I just had to take this photo, which gives you a different perspective of my desk... he's still sporting just a single eyebrow whisker but doesn't seem too bothered about it. (I have since discovered the missing one in my son's wardrobe where he likes to snooze!) 

...and I caught this sunset a couple of nights ago:

Happy "Spring" - it can't be far off now! xx

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

WOYWW #617: da Vinci inspired tea bags and resist techniques

Oops, I almost forgot to post today. I'm off work for a week and in holiday mode, which upset my regular routine. Last day of school as well before the Easter break - it will be nice to take things easy for a while. Lucky I have my photos prepped, so I can throw this post together very quickly. Here's a shot of my desk at the weekend. I was working on my new batch of teabags again. 

Here's a closer look at the backgrounds as they developed before I added da Vinci themed washi tapes accented with some gold paint (only six of them as I had made the seventh as a trial piece earlier). As a finishing touch I added the numbers and some phrases from book text, which I thought were fitting in with the images. We're up to #56 now so past the halfway mark for the #the100dayproject. 

Also this week: the new challenge in the Mixed Media Emporium Facebook Group was Resist Techniques. I had two contributions: first the faux batik technique, which involves removing the clear embossing with a hot iron. I first posted about this technique here. My new experiments can be seen below with various stamps and variable success:

The second technique involves brayering a layer of gesso over an embossed surface which acts as a resist and then inking the paper with distress oxides. I also posted about this technique in more detail a couple of years ago here.  It was a good reminder to revisit these techniques as I had forgotten all about them! 

This technique also works with texture paste and crackle paste. This is an impression of a stencil I got when I cleaned it on a piece of scrap paper and later inked it.

Oreo was a bit upset last week when I posted that photo of a deer instead of him. He's still feeling a bit grumpy about it as you can see - not talking to me (note one of his eyebrow whiskers fell out again - they come and go at regular intervals):

That's all for today! Have a Happy Easter everyone! xx

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

WOYWW #616: Whimsy houses and crackle texture

For once, Wednesday seems to have  come around quite slowly this week - not sure why. Perhaps because there were so many things happening last week: Shaz's farewell on Friday (I didn't lose it until the very end of the ceremony when it was time to say goodbye), frantic revising for my son's mocks this week (even though they're not doing proper GCSEs, they still need to take exams and he needs all the help we can give him), getting my Covid jab on Saturday (I got my invite just after I posted on Wednesday, I didn't expect it to be so soon). So it was a busy week, and to use Julia's words, let's seize the day and make the most of it! 

Here's my desk shot from yesterday afternoon. I didn't have as much time creating as I would have liked, but I still managed to keep up with the 100-day challenge and the prompt in the Mixed Media Emporium FB group, which was crackle. This one went a bit wrong, as you'll see, but I still had fun playing (note to self: do not put crackle paste over a still wet layer of texture paste on a canvas - it will just peel off)! I did meet the challenge though - if this does not "crackle" I don't know what does!

I've also finished my weekly batch on teabags for the 100-day challenge (featuring the whimsy houses I planned to do for last week before changing my mind). They're ok I guess, but I don't like them as much as I did the previous ones. I still have to decide what to do for next week. We're at the half-way point and this is where people usually give up - and I can see why. I'll just need to get through the hump and carry on! 

Here's a closer look at one of them. I used gelli prints for the paper piecing and dug out my Caran D'ache watersoluables for the shading

Spring has definitely sprung and clocks are going forward this Sunday! It won't be long before I start complaining about the heat - for now it's still quite chilly and we even had frost the other day. Don't you just love the blossom on the trees at this time of year! 

We had a special visitor the other day - some of you will have seen this photo on my Facebook. He just wandered into our garden, stayed a while and then left. I wonder where he is now? I hope he's safe and will have a happy life. He could have stayed with us if he wanted! I took this photo through the glass - I didn't want to scare him away. He came very close to the house.

Hope everyone's safe and well! Happy WOYWW! xx

Wednesday, 17 March 2021

WOYWW #615: Change of plans - TH paper dolls and mixed media textures

Wednesday again - I fell into a comfortable routine when I do most of my creative endeavors on the weekend ready to post to my blog on Wednesdays. I even managed to tidy up my desk - but only enough so as not to scare the mojo away. It's since been messed up again, but I wanted to show you a "tidy" version. I know many of you wouldn't call this tidy exactly, but it is for me: 

There has been a change of plans - I was going to make little houses for my 100-day teabag project, but I ended up with a background that didn't quite work with them, so I took them in a different direction. Tim Holtz paper dolls to the rescue! 

I did include my prototype house-themed teabag on a journal page, though. Here it is, just thrown together on a messy background made with my mop-up sheets. I thought the newly-weds went with the house theme - I hope they'll have a happy life there inside my journal! The leaf is off my indoor parlour palm - I had used it for gelli printing so it already had some colour that matched the page. I guess it represents their garden. It also ties in with the facing page that I shared last week.

There was also an exciting challenge in the Mixed Media Emporium Facebook Group. This week we had to create "texture" so I came up with this random background on recycled packaging following some of the ideas presented to us:

Then I added some elements to finish it off.  The composition would have been better if I had planned it in advance, but I just let it evolve during the process, which is part of the fun and full of discoveries along the way.

That's it my friends. Thanks for the visit - I'll be popping over soon to say hello! xx