Wednesday, 26 February 2014


How about this for a whacky page?   It is based on something I did at yesterday's workshop.  The tutors supplied the materials, paper, glue, glitter etc,  plus lots of magazine cut outs and words.  I spotted the picture of the woman and I just wanted to use her,  she's meant to represent me only I haven't got blonde hair.  I was going to just add to the one I started but then I found 'her' again in a magazine, so thought I'd start afresh and use my own stuff.

I found a few suitable 'words' but I do intend to add more.  Think I'll have to find someone with a lot of magazines, I never bother buying any, well except for craft mags.

I've selected another two photos from yesterday's exhibition.  I was very taken with this piece of pottery,  I can also tell you what it says: Reiki!    I know that there are a lot of students who have studied, or had reiki. 

Still wondering what they are, will have to ask the tutors as the curiosity is killing me. 

I will also have to redo my swap piece, rats.  The mail have lost it or won't deliver it. It was flat,  fitted their new requirements so only needed a first class stamp.  Why couldn't they have just left things as they were?  Can't say the mail has improved,  once upon a time we got two deliveries, now we get one and you never know when.  Feel sorry for the posties as well,  now their rounds are much bigger. 

I also spotted this glass painting, such a gentle piece.   Sorry couldn't bend down to take photos as I would never have got back up.

Today was a quiet day, just what I needed,  the last two have been stressful.  Still need to do some catching up with Journal 52,  I've noticed that quite a lot to 'image' transfer, so I looked it up and think I'll have to try it as it sounds like fun.

On Friday I'm going to see some studio space with a friend, not for me, for the friend.  She only has a small flat and hasn't anywhere to do her art.  While I have a spare room that is just a spare room,  keep thinking about turning it into a studio, but it also has to be a spare room.   It seems logical and would give me more space to work.  Maybe if it didn't have a bed in it then they couldn't charge me rent for it? 

All for now...  I see that there is another storm heading our way...   oh well, stay safe and dry.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

A brilliant day

Wow, what a day,  I'm exhausted.   Our exhibition opened today  - Creative Alternatives, or art therapy.  Had to be there by 11 a.m., and for once I got there with some time to spare, good thing as my friend needed some sustenance and I needed a cuppa.  A lot of people turned up,  so it was hard to view all the work (will have to go back).   But I did manage to take a few picsof the fabulous work, kite painting, ceramics, pottery and of course glass painting.  Also have to thank Rachel who put the display together so beautifully.  Some amazing work.

These are just some of the fantastic kites,  just so colourful.  They were done on silk with fabric paint,  and such rich, vibrant colours.  I was really jealous of the group that got to do these, just hoping our group gets to have a go!

And this is how you make a plain, white plate into something beautiful.   I think our tutors have the best job in the world, they get to help people make these gorgeous creations - not a bad way to spend you day.

I loved these pagodas,  and I want to make one!   Some very finely detailed cut work and delicate colours used in the painting.   There was an awful lot of work that went into making these.

And finally my piece.  I have to thank Rachel for lighting this so well as it really brought it to life.

We were also invited to a workshop,  wasn't sure what to expect but I had a lot of fun!   We did some writing therapy, and made a collage - haven't made one since I was at school but I really enjoyed myself.   Journal 52 uses a lot of collage,  so I think I am going to have to use it a lot more.    In the afternoon, yes that was just the morning, we had a prescriptive poetry workshop held by a charming chap called William Sieghart who is  a publisher.
I've not had such a tiring day for a very long time, well not one were I also enjoyed myself so much. I was amazed by my own enthusiasm for the workshop,  I don't much like being creative in public as I feel very self conscious,  but today it just didn't matter as I was so absorbed in what I was doing. There was a double reward,  not only did we produce some nice pieces of work, but just seeing the smiles on the faces of our tutors.  And we also had a chance to thank the backroom staff who work very hard.

I think I will sleep tonight! 

Sunday, 23 February 2014

A lazy Sunday afternoon...

Yes it has been a lazy day that started with a lie in.  I know that sounds nice, but when you have arthritis it is the worst thing you can do as you feel so stiff and sore.  It took a while to get the bits and pieces moving easily.   Then I got caught up in the bobsleigh - watching the GB teams, who did very well considering the awful conditions.  After that it was the bacon butty, essential on a Sunday,  a walk to the shop for milk and back home for - crafting, what else? 

I had an idea last night for a glass painting, called Harlequin, and as you can see I've made a start on it.   I need some fine tips for the relief paste,  tried drawing the stars and the paste was just too thick.   No worries, it is all in hand.  It was just nice to have the idea!    Once I'd finished the leading I turned my attention to my Humming Bird,  the one for me.

I used the same template, but I got some different glass paints from Peobeo.   They allowed much more scope for blending.  At first I thought they were past their sell by date as they were all very watery.  So I gave each bottle a good shake and the colour appeared!   It is nice stuff to work with, and comes in bigger pots.  This does look nice with the light behind it. 

It has been a bit of a stop/start day.  I played with my Kindle,  starting to get  used to it now, even managed to add a few apps!  It is also now fully charged, and has some antivirus software on it.  It also has predictive text, which is handy,  it saves on all those typos!   I'm spoilt for choice as regards books, I'd like to revisit some of the classics and a few I've never read, like Catcher In The Rye.  Funny what passes you by.   Had a few panic attacks today and I couldn't fathom why.    I'm sleeping better, but that is because I have started to use Kalms,  just two at night and they just help me to relax.   It would be nice to get back into a regular sleeping pattern, though I was awake at 5 a.m.,  yes I still had the lie in because I was so tired. 

So tomorrow I have to take some stuff to the one stop shop, that means a trip to the local shopping centre, not my favourite place when it is  half term!    Tuesday will be nice,  the exhibition is opening, and there is a workshop with a poet in the afternoon to look forward to.  Oh and some lunch. 

Well my bed is calling, yes in spite of the lie in I still feel tired.  Have a good week.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

A little treat for me.

It's been a funny old week, it got off to a bad start, began to improve on Wedneday, was a bit dodgy on Thursday and on Friday, well I began to wonder if I was meant to buy a tablet! 

I went to PC world as they had the best offer on the Kindle Fire I wanted. First I couldn't find a sales assistant,  they all appeared to have vanished, I had to go off in search of one. The lady then looked to see if they had any in stock and they didn't.   So I looked at Tesco, didn't want to have to order it from the Internet,  so was going to go for the click and collect - and they didn't have the model I wanted on offer :-(   So I decided to just wait and see if PC World got any more in stock.   Today my Argos card arrived,  hmmmm,  so looked again at Argos, and they had some new offers on the Kindle machines.   They had the 16G, Kindle Fire, with the mayday button, wifi and camera for £169, could I resist - no.  Along with my Argost card they'd also given me some vouchers, so that was another ten quid off the Kindle!  Mind made up,  I reserved it and went to get it.

Nope I don't NEED a tablet, but last year before mum died she said to enjoy the little money she woud be able to leave us.  Not that any of us cared, in fact we kept on telling her to spend it all.  I didn't have the chance to do as she wished,  I had to be careful with my money because of the long drawn out PIP claim,  but I had kept a little aside just in case.   I'm not interested in fancy phones,  or the next generation Ipod,  for me it is computers which tempt me.   So I spent the afternoon setting up my various accounts, so now I can access my email, FB page, blog etc all from my tablet.   It will take a little bit of getting used to.   I also picked up a few glass paints,  and some shambala beads, got some lovely amethysts, and purple cord that will set them off nicely.

So no crafting today,  but lots to look forward tomorrow, in fact I'll be spoilt for choice between glass painting or stamping, or mabye both. 

All for now.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Gone stamping

I had a nice day yesterday,  I met up with the art therapy group and we had a tour of the Bluecoat Chambers,  which included two very interesting exhibits and an installation.  The installation was by an ex art therapy student, who also had a studio space at the Chambers.  I really enjoyed the tour and looking at the art exhibits,  and it was nicely rounded off with a nice lunch, shared with my friend Vicky.   I had a look for a  nice jacket but couldn't find anything I liked.  I also picked up a copy of Get Stamping, my local Smiths hasn't had any copies for a while!  I may take a subscription,  I hate it when you find a magazine you like then you can't get get hold of it.   I love the stamp set that came with it which is on an oriental theme, as you can see by the picture.

I had a play with them this afternoon,  I was in need of a quiet day and it wasn't fit to go out anyway.  I do like the crane stamp,  I watercoloured the sun and the bit of water,  and just inked round the edges.   The set includes some cherry blossom, a vase, two lanterns, reeds, small blossoms, chinese characters, a sentiment, panda, fish and a bridge scene. 

I used the crane stamp again on this piece of chipboard.  This is just painted black,  and stamped with versamark, then some white detail embossing powder.

I've also just realised that I can put a few finishing touches to the oriental box I made last month! 

I'm in a better mood today, partly helped by having a chat with my friend yesterday.   The upsetting episode with the locum had been preying on my mind.  I was trying not to let it, but a few people told me it would be a few days before I felt better. 

It was odd being in town yesterday,  I've tended to stay away from it unless someone is with me.   There were a lot of people there yesterday, it felt more like a Saturday and I was starting to feel overwhelmed.  I had a lovely bus driver on my inward journey,  he waited until I was safely seated before driving off.  Little things like that make such a difference. 

Think I'll be getting a bit more creative with the new stamps tomorrow,  getting my haircut, should feel better after that as it looks a real mess right now.  

All for now, thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Plain as can be

This is my Journal 52,  well this is how it started out.  This was my bargain of the week, one folder for 70p and best of all it was plain, exactly what I wanted. 

So here are the materials:  Gesso,  modelling past,  masks,  dylusions (green and blue), bubble wrap,and Craft Artist.

First task was to paint the whole folder with gesso, so as to give me a 'key',  in order to then apply inks or paints.  I gave it two coats,  then while it was drying I moved over to Craft Artist to make my 'title', in a minute I will invite you to 'spot the mistake'.   Then it was back to the folder.  I used the clock face mask and applied the modelling paste,  I used Galeria modelling past, comes in a good sized tub and is nice and thick, it also dries pretty quickly.

Now spot the mistake - yep, I got one of the numbers wrong, it should of course be 52 and not 92!  No worries, it is easily corrected, just have to do a second print.

But I'm really liking my background,  I covered some bubble wrap with the dylusions and dabbed it all over the front.    I also gave two of the cogs a coat of gesso, and added more modelling paste but using the honeycomb stencil in opposite corners.  So lots still to do, including of course playing catch up.

The weather was the total opposite of yesterday,  blue sky, sunshine?  I could hardly believe my eyes,  the thermometer in the living room read 24C,  nope I didn't have any heating on, didn't need to.    Outside it was rather chilly in spite of the sun.   I checked all my pots to see how the plants were doing, all seem okay,  the crocuses are now popping up.  I've got some in the flat,  mum liked crocuses,  and I hope they'll be all in bloom in time for the first anniversary,  then I'll replant them outside for next year. 

Well all for now... stay safe

Saturday, 15 February 2014

New stash

Woke up this morning feeling rotten, my mood matched the weather - yes it was windy, raining and cold.   I didn't feel like doing anything,  but I had to go out to get my prescription, and some cow juice (milk)... so to sweeten the pill I decided to pop up to the craft shop.   And I am so glad I did,  they had a Spectrum noir workshop on, and as well as lovely offers on the pens,  it was two for one deals on the Sheena stuff!   So I got three sets of Sheena's stamps, plus some cogs and rulers.

I fell in love with this set of stamps.  I almost missed the display as it was blocked by the workshop,  fortunately I managed to catch sight of it.  I just love this set, so useful for accents, backgrounds, plus two sentiments, what more could I ask for.  I was seriously tempted by the embossing folders, but having already resisted buying a Kindle Fire tablet, I could hardly justify spending too much on craft stuff, well I could... but, car insurance is due next month, need I say more?  

I spotted the cogs and rulers, and they sort of fell into my basket,  as did some very cheerfully coloured buttons which are flower shaped.   They are for my upcoming project, which is going to be Journal 52,  in which you keep an art journal of 2014.  I had been thinking of it since January,  but had no inclination, then I saw a plain brown folder in Tesco, going cheap,  it will be great to decorate.

And these are the two smaller sets of stamps, so I 'bought' these, and got the big set 'free'.   Again they will be great for accents, picture making and backgrounds.  You can always tell when stamps have been designed by a crafter, cos they are always so versatile.  I've also got ten pound to spend now in the craft shop!   I think I am making up for lost time,  had to really watch the pennies last year,  now things are much easier financially.  I'm not going too mad,  I do have my priorities in order,  all bills are paid first before any treats.

I also picked up some wonderweb,  my hands were so sore after yesterday's sewing marathon that I knew I wouldn't have been able to sew on the hook and latch fastening.  In fact I did give it a go and couldn't even push the needle through.  That got me down, it was something that I would have been able to do a few years ago, now it is impossible.   My back is also in a dodgy state,  yesterday I thought it was going to go into spasm.

I also suffered a bit of road rage today,  just couldn't help it.  The idiot in front of me was crawling along, I was doing 20 mph which meant he/she was doing around 15 mph, and there was no need for such a snails pace.  Then it got worse when he turned on to the main road which had speed humps, now if you line up your car you can avoid the bumps,  but this clown slowed right down as he/she approached them!   That was it, I lost my rag,  not sure if he/she saw me yelling in my car, but they pulled over and let the, now, huge line of traffic pass them.   No I am not sympathetic, if you have no confidence behind the wheel then don't drive.   That was the decision my aunt made, she was no longer happy with driving and so stopped. A very sensible decision.   At the other end of the scale I also witnessed an idiot overtaking dangerously just to gain a few extra yards.   I still think that the driver training I had in the army was the best,   we learned to pass the test, then we learned how to drive on all manner of roads,  including the motorway.  We also had to know how to check the oil, water etc, change a tyre and maintain a vehicle.  To me all that is essential if you want to drive a car.  Moan over.   Well another moan at Sky's over the top coverage of the floods,  plus the idiots who were out very late at night to watch the storm surge, not a very bright thing to do.  I live less than half a mile from the Irish sea, would you catch me on the sea wall in the middle of a storm, no you bloody well wouldn't. 

So the plan for tomorrow is to decorate my folder for Journal 52 (click on the link to find out more). I have printed out the instructions for the weeks I've missed, and I have some catching up to do!   I've already tested all my Sheena stamps, which is what you should do with new stamps, it sort of breaks them in.  These weren't mounted so you need to also invest in U mount, I know Sheena uses the rockablocks so U mount isn't necessary. I did try them but coudn't get on with them, in fact I was relieved when I saw Dawn Bibby make a mess of using them,  she never makes mistakes with the ordinary blocks!   I hope to incorporate the new stash on the cover of my folder, and some of those lovely papers I was given.  So it will be a nice crafty day.

Stay safe, dry and warm...

Friday, 14 February 2014

Sewing bee

Today something happened that is a very, very, very rare event - me with a sewing needle and cotton...  I usually stick with wonderweb - geddit?   Oh please yourselves. 

Actually it was a case of needs must, since I had no chance of using the sewing machine yesterday then I had to do the sewing myself.   I didn't make a bad job of it either, the stitching is quite neat.  I did hit a snag however, and I'm not sure if anyone else has reasiled but the covers are too small for the pillows!    We had no part in the measuring,  in fact I'm wondering if the bigger pieces were used by mistake for the pillows?  Are tutors are also working artists,  so they are under pressure to set up the workshops.  I simply tipped out some of the rice and adjusted the pillow, so now it fits.   Just need to attach the velcro, not sure my hands are up to tackling such a tough material so I may get some of the sticky stuff, or put on a few poppers.

Heard some sad news that Ralph Waite,  John Walton of The Waltons died today.  Watching The Waltons is my current guilty pleasure,  I make a cup of coffee and that is me for an hour.   Currently I have no 'must watch' show,  there are a few I try to catch but it is no big deal if I miss them.  I miss stuff like ER, and CSI (original and NY) and going back further there was Hill St Blues, Cagnye & Lacey,  plus St Elsewhere, so far I've found nothing to match them, hope something comes along.

Well all for now...  not sure what will rise up from the craft table tomorrow!   Stay safe

Thursday, 13 February 2014

It was all a bit scary!

It all got a bit too much yesterday with the hurricane force winds.  I'm not normally bothered but I will admit to being scared last night.  At one point I heard and almighty crash, and this morning I saw that the tree on our bit of a field had lost one of its biggest branches, luckily no-one was hurt. The other damage was minimal, well in our little road, a lot more damage elsewhere.  Chaos too in Liverpool, rail station shut, no trains, think the airport may have shut at one point.
Yesterday afternoon I did some encaustic work,  amazing how relaxing it is.   It helped take my mind off the awful weather for a while.  Just did a few pictures.  Then I had to check my stuff for art therapy,  had to make sure I had everything, last week I forgot my aromatherapy pillow!  Making it has given me an idea for Xmas presents this year.   I then spent the rest of the evening on skype, figured the earphones would muffle the sound of the wind. 

Today at Art Therapy I had a surprise, a nice one.  I'd not seen my mandala picture with the light coming through it so I was utterly gobsmacked when I saw how beautiful it looked.  I couldn't believe I'd made it.  I had to say goodbye to it as it was needed for the exhibition, so no pic of the finished piece :-(    I also had a lesson in patience today.  We were at the point of making the covers for the pillows,  the tutor persuaded me to have a go at using the sewing machine (my last experience was not good, almost stuck the needle in my finger).  I watched another student use it, she was also a bit nervous,  but I watched for a few minutes then went an sat down to wait my turn, and I waited and waited...  next thing it was home time, and my pillow was still in pieces.  Not sure how it took the other student over an hour to make her pillow, it was a case of sewing three sides!   I felt a bit annoyed, then I reminded myself that everyone in the room suffers from anxiety and low self esteem, so I told myself off for being impatient.   I can hand sew mine,  just need to brush up on some blanket stitch.   So two lessons in two weeks, the first was not trying to be such a perfectionist, and now one in patience.   I watched my friend happily painting her glass picture,  and she decided to make a feature of the bubbles!  A brilliant idea, and she chose some pretty 'out there' colours as well,  it was a picture that just made you smile.   It was also time for three students to say goodbye,  but what is nice is that the art therapy people present everyone with a lovely card and get everyone to sign it.  That just shows how caring they are.   Our other tutor also showed how romantic he is by telling us what he was making for his wife for Valentines day, all I can say is that she is very lucky lady!

Well another storm is heading our way,  when will this awful weather stop?   It is heartbreaking seeing all the homes under water, but also heartwarming to see communities coming together to help one another.

Stay safe

Sunday, 9 February 2014

An orderly day

I didn't think this card would be finished, in fact it came very close to being ripped up and placed in the bin!    It just didn't go right yesterday,  I liked certain elements but hated others.  Then stuff went wrong...   I stopped and decided to come back to it today.    What did I like, well the gilding flakes, liked the shape of the topper, didn't like the original embossing, or the other embellishments. 

The radiant rains were still on the desk, so I decided to use them and cut a new topper, painted it turquoise.   I used my new trifold embossing folder that has the music score on it.   I stamped it using my random stamp,  with versamark, then some white embossing powder,  ended up with a lovely distressed effect - must do that again!    Then had to choose the decoration,  a butterfly won the day, used some glittery numbers, and some letters,  a spot of rub and buff completed the look. Phew.

I am out of practice at making cards,  these days I tend to make pictures, or tags, boxes in fact anything but cards.    But when you belong to an online craft group then you have to make birthday cards for the other members, though at Christmas I did send them 'bought' cards!   Shock, horror - well I couldn't face making any Xmas cards. 

The rest of the afternoon was spent sorting out bills, well more of what to keep and what to shred.  The letter rack was at bursting point, I'd kept putting it off and couldn't any longer.  Besides had to fill in a form, and that meant going through the file to find out info.   So the letter rack is now empty,  which is a relief, bills are sorted, all have been paid (another relief) and form filled and put in envelope to post.  The file is now all in order, bank statments are in folder.   Just have to have a session with the shredder.   

I tried the new glass paints,  they are lovely, gorgeous and give the look of stained glass, so I guess I'll be going back for more.   Sadly the orange I got won't match the orange on the mandala!  Rats, so will have to use the rubbish to keep a uniform look.   I was thinking that our tutors should do a bit more research on the projects they give us,   they got some really nice glass paints to begin with, but soon ran out,  and they weren't sure how to apply them.  Similar situation with the silk painting.   I found loads out on Youtube, so surely they could do the same, better prep is needed methinks.  They are so nice, very helpful and easy to talk to, they take a real interest in all of us.  Yet we are there to create things and everyone should be able to acheive a certain standard.   I know I can be picky about my stuff,  but I want my work to be the best it can be.   I know that the tutors are often out of their own comfort zone,  not using their specialist skills,  but just a bit of research would help them and us. Some things are beyond their control, like folk turning up for the class,  most of us are religious about it,  others are more casual, which sort of annoys me.  I see it as being given an opportunity and so I don't want to waste it.   I missed one class, but that was because I was at the end of my tether regarding the PIP claim.  A few people have been given second chances,  I know all about anxiety and how you need to be 'ready' to take on new things, perhaps there is a flaw in the system, maybe some counselling is also needed to accompany the course?   I know they are always tweaking the programme.   Having said all that it does what it says on the tin, and they've had a lot of success, I know because I have met old students on the outings.

Not sure what is on the agenda tomorrow, tend not to make plans these days as that causes anxiety.  I need to get more orange glass paint from local craft shop, which is an easy task or would be except that they are working on the road leading to it!   Why oh why do they keep closing roads?    Why can't these blessed utility companies coordinate the repairs!   I've lost count of the road repairs going on round here, and all at the worst time of year. 

Anyway my paperwork is in order, I'm up to date on all bills,  kitchen cupboards are gleaming...   craft desk is also in order, well as much as it ever is.   Was watching Hels today on CnC,  she is so creative,  then again she gets all the goodies to play with,  while us lot have to pick and choose what we can afford.  The Tattered Lace wasn't inspiring me,  it is getting a bit too frilly for me, they are fantastic dies,  nothing sticks in them, they cut first time, just not inspired by all the frilly stuff they have on offer. 

Well best stop waffling...  thanks for stopping by

Friday, 7 February 2014

Gelli plate fun

One of my favourite blogs is from Barbara Gray, of Clarity Stamp fame.   And it was on her blog that I saw this project using the gelli plate and the magpie stencils.  I wasn't convinced that it would work,  everyone tells you not to let the paint dry on the gelli plate and this is what you had to do for this project, but as you can see it did work.  If you click on Barbara's name (above) it will take you to the project and all the instructions. 

Thrilled with my success I decided to do another print.

This time I started with a yellow,  and took the first print.  Next I added brown and placed some punchenella and a clock stencil, this I left to dry. Then I put a thin layer of yellow on top and pulled the final print!   Next I added one of the magpies using the stencil,  first I used the innie and dabbed some versamark through, then used white embossing powder.  After that I used the outie and the black soot, then gave the whole thing a wipe when it was dry to reveal the white.

And it looks like this.  I grunged the edges a bit, the I matted and layered it onto some white, then orange card.  The sentiment is a new stamp but I do love the verse. 

Yesterday I was at art therapy and managed to start the silk painting.  No photo sadly as it is still a work in progress,  and I am not totally happy with it.  I tried the salt technique, but it didn't bleach the material as I hoped it would.  There I go again, being a perfectionist!  I just want to feel happy with it, and right now I don't. I plan to go to a craft shop tomorrow which I think has silk paints, and also material, so I can try it again.

The art therapy session yesterday was nice, the mood was much lighter,  I think everyone is now more relaxed and at ease with each other.   I had a long natter to Vicky, she was finishing off her glass painting.  Sadly her cat has gone missing, she was telling me about a rescue centre she'd been to, so I may go there myself and get a furry friend.  I had a look at their web site and there was a cat very like my old moggy,  made me feel a bit sad, and at the same time how much I miss the patter of four feet.  I'd also have someone to talk to, what do you mean cats don't talk, of course they do!   LOL

Last pic is my finished magpie piece,  I used (as suggested by Ms Gray) to use the backing sheet that comes with the stencils.  I also read her blog today and Clarity are going to sell folders to hold the stamps, and stuff for the stencils.  I think my final treat will be joining the Clarity club.  Though I really do need a pair of shoes... 

Stay safe this weekend, there is another huge storm on its way. 

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

And its raining - again!

My Clarity masks arrived today, I got the magpie set, 6 lovely masks.  And what do you have to do with new stash?   Yes, that's right, play with it.  I also got out some old favourites, radiant rain and dylusions, and some rock salt. 

I made the first background using the radiant rain, (see pic).  Then poured on the rock salt and left it to dry.  I did the same with the second piece of card only this time I used dylusions, first I wet the card then sprayed a blue and purple on and mixed it all up.

I left this piece longer and got a deeper effect with the rock salt.  I was also experimenting for tomorrow's art therapy silk painting session. 

Once the first piece was dry I used the background mask and some black soot, plus make up sponge.  A lot of dabbing later and I had two magpies.  Now I have to let them dry thoroughly before moving on to the next stage. 

It was nice getting messy.  My fingers were multicoloured by the time I  had finished.  I had been thinking about using the gelli plate, and still am.  I'd love to use it for the silk painting but the paints aren't suitable for the plate. 

This is the beginning of the picture.  I'm not sure what I am aiming for will work, but it is worth trying.   The radiant paints have given a sky effect.   I keep meaning to order more. 

The weather today was terrible, the wind and rain woke me up last night.  I would have stayed indoors but had to post a letter.  I also managed to sort out some paperwork, bills etc, very boring but necessary.   Then I sorted out the kitchen cupboards, so I must have been bored!   It is something I've been meaning to do for ages, everything was in the wrong place, and I knew that there was some out of date stuff.   So my cupboards are clean and only contain food that is edible! 

I must be in declutter mode as the tidying up continued at the craft desk.   Well it had got beyond a joke, too much stuff had piled up everywhere and I couldn't find anything.   I used the opportunity to rearrange things as well.   It always feels nice when you have a tidy workspace, not that it lasts for long.  I keep promising myself to tidy up after each session - fat chance of that happening.   The silk painting has me intrigued,  was watching some videos on Youtube and found it fascinating the effects you could get.   Oh I made more progress on the mandala,  most of which will have to be undone, not sure what has happened to the paints.  None of the bottles were sealed, and some seemed to be missing paint.  I'm not that happy with the cheaper paints either.  So I will have to go visit the art shop in town and get some decent supplies.

Well all for now.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

A spot of crafting

Sunday and a chance, finally, for a quiet day.  This week has been very busy for me so it was nice just to chill out. There was only one thing to do - craft.  I managed to finish off the box, and then began the finishing work on the mandala.

Best start with the mandala.  I wasn't happy with all the 'space' round the actual mandala, so I chose to fill it in.  Using the self adhesive lead I randomly stuck it down, in the hope it would give a stained glass effect.  I've finished the lower half, so started painting to see what it would look like.  I'm rather pleased with it.   Now I just need to do the top and then it can go into the exhibition.  This is for the art therapy and twice a year they exhibit the work by the students,  I was asked if I'd like to submit the mandala.  So this will be the work for the week.

Now to the box.  I completed painting and distressing the panels on the lower half of the box.  For those unfamiliar with the technique here's how:   Paint your base coat and leave to dry;  once dry add a good coat of PVA glue, with it still wet add your top coat;  finally give it a blast with a heat gun to get it going.  Ideally it is best to then leave it for 24 hours to dry completely.   Yes you can use the crackle paints, but this is so much cheaper.

For the top I selected some natural paper, this lovely piece came from the oriental pack.  Then I trimmed the edges of the box with the self adhesive lead.  I used some rub and buff to give the antique gold effect on the lead.  I've had to give it a few coats, leaving it to dry for a few hours between coats, but it has been worth the effort.  The beauty of this lead is that it is so malleable and will go round curves etc.

And here it is.  I still have a few finishing touches to do but it is pretty much done.  I also used the rub and buff on the lock which was looking a bit tatty.   I had no antique gold card, so cut the shapes from white card and, yes, you've guessed used the rub and buff.  I also managed to find some glossy black card.

I was out and about yesterday.  The weather in the morning was lovely, blue skies, sunshine... it all fell apart by lunchtime and the rain came down - again!    I popped up to Dunhelm Mill to get some clip frames, to my delight they had some priced at 99p.  I also had to replace the condiment set my mum bought many moons ago, it is Denby pottery, but all the seals have gone :-(   So it was replaced by a boring stainless steel thing.   Today was also about form filling,  had to sort out paperwork for blue badge, and tackle the ESA booklet.  Most of it is done, the blue badge stuff has to go in post tomorrow.  I'll be relieved to get it,  my mobility these days is not very good.

And I've got a bit whacky!   I was in desperate need of a new fleece and I'd looked everywhere for something I liked and was also lined, but could  I find anything, could I heck.  So I tried again on line, and came across this,  and well I couldn't resist, so it will be on its way to me tomorrow.   I guess had I seen one with owls I would have got that, but I do like pictures of wolves.  The jacket had very good reviews,  everyone said it was warm and waterproof.   There was once upon a time I wouldn't have even consider buying this,  I would have felt self conscious in it, but I am much more relaxed about my appearance these days.  I'm just anxious about everything else! 

I'm looking forward to a quieter week and there is lots to catch up on.  I am rather missing having someone make me a cup of tea!   Let's hope that the rain eases off this week, especially for those so badly affected by the floods. 

Stay safe, dry and warm.  And thanks for stopping by.