Wednesday, 5 September 2018

WOYWW #483: Gelli print tiles

I almost missed WOYWW again, having been caught up in back-to-school frenzy in the past few days, which resulted in not having anything new on my desk to show. However, I do have a few bits and bobs sitting on my shelf that I've never shared before, so today it's What's-On-Your-Work-Shelf-Wednesday from me! This photo was taken bright and early this morning!

It's those gelli print tiles on top of  my shelves I want to talk about today. I made them a while ago but for some reason never featured them before, though you may have seen them sitting in the background. They're just regular gelli prints stuck on 6 X 6 inch MDF tiles. The prints are on thin copy paper and adhered really well to the MDF with gel medium. They look and feel like they were printed directly on the surface. I sanded the edges and painted them gold. I might even varnish them later. Here's a closer look at each of the tiles:

Avocado update: The one I showed you originally, sadly, didn't make it, but I have another one that's in a pot now and growing nicely. 

Flower update: I received a potted rose plant from my SIL earlier in the summer. It was supposed to go outside but I didn't want to risk it in that heat so I kept it in the house and watered it every day. I had to re-pot it as it started growing like crazy and now boasts exactly a dozen beautiful rose heads! I'm keeping it in the house for now - it seems to thrive in the conservatory. 

Oreo update: Oreo loves being outside and hunt for mice. He can sit on the fence for hours waiting for his victims to appear. We have to keep the doors closed now because he started bringing them in the house to play with when they're still alive and seemingly unhurt. A very cruel game! The ones he brought home were actually the lucky ones because I was able to take them away from him and set them free as far away from his hunting ground as possible. Here's a mugshot of the the perpetrator looking a bit shifty and unapologetic: 

I'm off work today and for the first time in weeks I find myself alone in the house with hubby and son back at work and school, respectively. I'm enjoying the peace and quiet for now. I'll be around visiting soon and perhaps I can squeeze in a little crafty time as well. xx 

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

WOYWW #482: Catching up

Has it really been over a month since I last posted? I missed four WOYWWs in a row! I was going to post last week, but I ran out of time. I blame the summer holidays, even though we didn't go anywhere this year, except for some day trips nearby.

I really wanted to post today as it is a special day for us - we moved exactly a year ago! I still remember the excitement, though I wouldn't want to do it again! Overall it's been a good year, with the usual ups and downs. Now I'm just waiting for school to start so I can fall back into a more predictable routine. The good news is that my regular hours of work will not include Wednesdays, so I'll be around to 'desk' to my heart's content. Desking is what WOYWW is all about!

So, without further ado, here's an unusual photo of my desk all nice and tidy. I'm cheating here a little, as it was a while ago I took this photo and it no longer looks so neat, but I just wanted to go on record that I can do neat and tidy as well! And by neat and tidy I don't mean clean.

I really enjoy those random paint marks on my craft sheet, so I never clean it. One day, I will pull those layers of paint and ink with some sticky tape and use them in my projects, but I need to let the layers build up a bit more. Here's a closer look:

I've also recently hung some of my previous paintings on the wall in the opposite corner from my desk. My vision is to cover every wall with art in my craft room to make it my happy place.

I haven't been idle during my unplanned (and unauthorized!) sabbatical - here's a page I've made recently in yet another altered book. I had previously used this book to clean off my brayer when gelli printing so every page is covered in paint and a good base for journal pages. 

For those of you who may have been missing Oreo, here's a photo of the little rascal sitting in a drawer. I'd only just opened it to look for something and there he was sitting in it two seconds later. And let me tell you, it was a tight squeeze! 

I've been enjoying the cooler temperatures in the last couple of weeks. I found it very depressing when everything around me was burned out. This was our lawn at the height of the dry spell - you can see the strip of green where we were watering a newly planted hedge - sadly, many of those plants still didn't make it, so we'll have to replace them.

It was amazing to see though how some weeds thrive under extreme circumstances that kill off other forms of vegetation. What's their secret? And could we use it to our advantage? I'm relieved that the grass is coming back to life now and it's almost back to normal. Looking at these photos, it's unbelievable that they were taken just a short while ago. It's incredible how quickly nature can recover! 

Thanks for visiting today - it's good to be back! xx

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

WOYWW #477: Altered terracotta pot

Has anybody else had enough of summer 2018? I feel like we've had 10 years worth of British summer jammed into the past 8 weeks. But hey, soon we'll be moaning about the darkness and the cold, so we'd better enjoy the heat while we can. Some rain would be nice, though - and preferably not while I'm out and about.

Anyway, I'm not here to moan about the weather, but to share my crafty desk for WOYWW. Here it is:

Yep, it's yet another air-drying clay project. This time an altered terracotta pot. I've tried not to use my usual blue/green colours, so it ended up a deep, earthy red this time with some copper highlights. These were the paints that I used along with two IOD moulds, one of which you can see lying on my desk.

Here's the finished product, shown from different angles.

As an afterthought, I stuck a little cabochon in one of the clay shapes, which was a perfect fit. It's only in there temporarily until I find something more suitable. 

In other news, I found out on Friday that my tea bag collage was in the Top 3 of the That's Crafty June challenge. I emailed Laura and she was kind enough to send me my prize even though I was two weeks late claiming it. I received it yesterday - I chose two 8" mandala stencils from the available selection. Aren't they pretty? 

I've got another freebie to show you. You know how you can get free wallpaper samples from most DIY stores? Well, I've raided my local B&Q and came away with these. Now I'm super motivated to accompany hubby on his trips to the DIY store - no more hanging around feeling bored while he's browsing - I've got more "samples" to collect!

I'm working today and tomorrow again, so I'm unlikely to be able to visit until later in the week, but I'll make sure to get back to everyone who leaves a comment. If I missed anyone from last week, give me a holler! Happy #477! 

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

WOYWW #476: Altered picture frame with air-drying clay

I was planning to take part in last week's WOYWW, but somehow managed to run out of time. It was totally my fault for leaving it too late. I'm trying to do better this week, so I'm writing this on Tuesday night. Here's a photo of my desk on Saturday while I was altering a cheap picture frame:

The scrap cardboard underneath the frame turned out very exciting! You can clearly see the grit that's in the rust effect paint I applied as the first layer. Here's a closer look to show the texture:

The clay pattern comes from an IOD mould made by Prima Marketing. These moulds are not cheap, but they're very good quality. I have a few more on order.

When the clay was completely dry, I painted it with the rust effect paint followed by some blue and green turquoise acrylics. I know nearly everything I make turns out blue or green, but I just love those colours! I finished with some bronze gilding wax to bring out some highlights. Tada!

And look who's earned the privilege to have his mugshot in a fancy frame - not that he appreciates the gesture!

Thanks for all the visits and comments! I will be visiting later in the week as I'm at work today and tomorrow. How is that for short 'n sweet for a change? Happy #476! 

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

WOYWW #474: Playing with air-drying clay (again)

WOYWW is upon us once again, so it's time to share our crafty desks. I walked into my art room yesterday morning to be greeted with this scene: Oreo had taken a shine to my scrap box and took up residence in it.

As you can see the evidence on my desk, I've been playing with air-drying clay and made some tiles and embellishments by pressing stamps and metal filigrees into wet clay. These are a bit wonky - air-drying clay will always have a more organic and rustic feel to it than polymer clay and that's part of its appeal to me (plus the fact that it's much cheaper!).

I've also experimented with moulding air-drying clay. Here's a medallion I made using one of my home-made moulds.

I made the mould using silicone putty and a large metal charm years ago. You can find the original post here. It was meant to be used as a stamp, but it works just as well as a mould. I always think some of these charms are too good to use in a single project and never again and this way you can reproduce the design as many times as you want.

Another advantage of air-drying clay is that you can mould it to curved surfaces and just let them dry, which you can't do with polymer clay. Using a bit of gel medium, it will permanently bond to the surface as well. Here's an altered jar I made earlier in the week using air-drying clay in commercially available moulds. (It's an empty marmite jar, in case you're wondering!) 

Here's another picture of Oreo, lazing around trying to stay cool in this heat. There was a nice breeze coming through the window and he made sure that every inch of his tummy was exposed to it.

I forgot to tell you last week that I'm starting a new job on Monday working in a small office 15 hrs per week. This means I can still keep up with my blog, so I'm very happy! I was hoping the weather would turn cooler by then, but it's predicted to heat up even more over the weekend - oh, well, the heatwave won't last forever and we'll think back on it with fondness come January. 

Happy Independence Day to my US visitors! My blogiversary was just two days ago - that's how I always remember! 

And happy #474 to everyone visiting through the Stamping Ground. xx