Wednesday, 29 November 2017

WOYWW #443: Altered tin and other things

I have just about enough time to squeeze in a WOYWW post this morning. I've been making headway with my various projects since last week. I've completed quite a few pages in my paper bag journal, added some paint to my crackled clothes tags and finished the little tin that was sitting on my desk waiting to be altered. The photo shows what my desk looked like during the proceedings. I'd just stuck on a die-cut pattern from textured cardstock, which I subsequently covered with black gesso and various metallic paints to achieve a metallic look.

This is what the finished tin looks like. It's perfect for holding those gelli printed feathers I made earlier this year:

I had some left over metallic paints on my palette and not wanting to waste them, on impulse, I spread them on my altered clothes tags lying around. I had no idea whether this would ruin them but I just went ahead and did it. The gamble has paid off; they look fantastic and the metallic look really enhanced the muted colours of the distress oxides and made the crackles look almost like glass. Here are some photos of the textures I achieved (I'll do a separate post of the whole process once the tags are fully completed):

Let me also show you a sneak peek at one of the pages in progress in my paper bag journal. I'll do a separate post as well when the journal is completed. There are only a couple of more pages to go, which I hope to finish over the weekend.

So, that was me for today! I'll be doing my rounds later as soon as my household chores are done. Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

WOYWW #442: WIPs, wooden houses and RoboFish

Having missed last week's WOYWW, I was adamant that I was going to take part this week, despite not having much to show for it. I've been flittering between projects, not really committing to any of them. This is what my desk looked like earlier today:

I've been working on the-flip side of my paper bag journal, making slow progress. There are also three altered clothes tags in the top left corner with an experimental crackle texture. In the top right corner is a wooden box that had I painted and varnished and found that the varnish wasn't compatible with the paint and started to peel off. Not to worry - I'll cover the whole thing with book paper and start afresh. There also some TPRs (toilet paper rolls) waiting to be turned into a journal of sorts, and an empty paint can and a glass jar to be altered, amongst other things. So, I've been quite busy making plans without much actual action taking place. Have you ever felt though that sometimes just looking forward to doing things fills you with joy and excitement in anticipation - perhaps even more than actually doing them? That's exactly how I feel about my little projects in the pipeline.

Here are a few closer shots of things on my desk, keeping in mind that they are only work in progress and subject to change:

And just so I can put something aesthetically pleasing as the feature image of my blog post, let me show you these two little wooden constructions I bought at The Works over the weekend. I'm not sure if I will alter them in any way - they're painted white and look lovely just as they are. Perhaps it would have been better if they had come as a kit instead of ready painted and assembled, but I couldn't just leave them behind! 

Another thing I bought is this RoboFish for Oreo to play with. As you can see in the video below, he's more interested in lapping up the water than playing with his new toy! We had our two-year anniversary with Oreo yesterday - it was a big commitment for us to decide to adopt a cat back in 2015, but I can honestly say we never regretted it. He brings us so much fun and joy - along with the inevitable aggro, worry and expense - but considering everything it's all worth it in the end! I'm sure all you pet owners will agree!

Thanks for stopping by today - I'll be over visiting later! 
Happy WOYWW and Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends for tomorrow!

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

WOYWW #440: Journal from a paper bag

Good morning lovely crafty people around the world! Another Wednesday, another chance to snoop around each other's messy desks courtesy of WOYWW.

My first desk shot was taken on Friday night and the second on Sunday morning. I was very busy in-between working on a journal I made from a brown paper bag. This project was originally inspired by Renata Loree on Facebook. I have several of these paper bags saved, but never knew what to do with them - even though the idea is blindingly obvious: you just remove the handles and open up the seams to lay it flat, then gesso, paint and stencil both sides for a colourful background. There are different ways to fold this sheet into a journal. I chose to cut it along the length and made a simple accordion journal by sticking the two pieces together with masking tape.

Even though the paper bag was all scrunched up and wrinkly to start with, all those layers of paint made it lie flat and smooth in the end. Here's a photo of the painted background with the colours I used: yellow ochre, titanium buff, and quinacridone nickel azo gold. 

After folding my journal, I added different collage pieces: imagery from napkins and printouts, palette paper, stained doilies, drywall tape, printed tissue paper, raffle tickets, etc - whatever I could find in my scrap box and tied it all together with more paint. Each page is completed with some found poetry that I randomly cut out of a novel. It was just pure play - you can see that my pages became more colourful and varied towards the end as I left my inhibitions behind and decided that a journal doesn't necessarily need to be themed or follow a strict colour scheme.

Here are photos of all the pages and I also made a short video flip-through. Of course, there's also a flip-side to this journal, but that will be the subject of another post.

Update: you can find the flip side of my paperbag journal here.

In other news: Oreo now goes out of the house for short periods, but he never stays out for longer than 10-15 minutes. We definitely don't have to worry about him running away now - he knows this is his new home and he's just exploring his new territories outside. He was out long enough this morning to catch a mouse! I made sure he didn't bring it in the house. I think a cat flap is out of the question - otherwise we would be inundated with unwanted presents!  Here he is showing that he's well and truly settled in his new surroundings. 

I hope I managed to get back to everyone who left comments last week. I didn't have a chance to visit until later in the week. Hopefully, I will be able to do my rounds on time today. 
Happy WOYWW! 

I'm also linking this post to the Mini Album Makers Challenge blog, which is a monthly event hosted by the one and only Autumn Clark. Check out the link above if you want to see some amazing handmade journals!  There's still time to take part in the November challenge

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

WOYWW #439: Mixed-Media House

Morning Deskers! It's not as chilly as it was on Monday - brrr, that really got me! It was the first touch of Winter without the heating on! It's nice and toasty inside the house now, but we don't know how much it will cost to keep the house warm - we've never had oil heating before. We'll have to keep an eye on the consumption and find a sweet spot where it's still comfortable and affordable. The 14C on Monday was NOT comfortable! I felt like a Michelin man wrapped in layers and layers of clothing - I could hardly move, LOL!

I'm sharing a shot of my desk for WOYWW again today. It was taken at the weekend as that's the only time I have for crafting these days. Do you recognise this packaging? It's a new product that my son loves as a snack. I was about to chuck the empty box in the recycling bin when I had this sudden realisation: it looks just like a house! So I abandoned my plans to make washi tapes and I made a mixed media house instead!

I started out by sealing the box with some masking tape and then applied a layer of gesso. I then stuck on some wooden window shapes. At this point, it looked something like this, already very much resembling a house:

In the following steps, I added a layer of burnt umber paint, followed by crackle glaze and another layer of gesso and waited for the crackles to appear. When it was dry, I coloured the walls and the roof with distress inks. I used Broken China for the walls and Rusty Hinge for the roof. Later, I repainted the roof with Quinacridone Gold fluid acrylics, as the distress ink went a bit pale over the gesso, which was fine for the walls but I wanted something more vivid for the roof.

As a final touch, I added a few bits of ribbon and some wooden numbers to jazz it all up a bit and voila - it was ready! Here's the final look:

It was Halloween last night and we carved this pumpkin - I was planning to make pumpkin soup from the flesh, but I don't think this pumpkin was meant to be eaten. The flesh looked very pale and unappetizing - perhaps another time. However, I did save the seeds and roasted them, so it didn't all go to waste.

Happy WOYWW! I'll be doing my rounds later today!