Christmas plaque for BladeRubber Stamps


I've made this plaque especially for BladeRubber Stamps, to wish all their customers a Merry Christmas (although it's still just a leeetle early in my book - my Christmas spirit is still firmly in the bottle, probably around 15% proof, lol).

As always, I'm heavily into Glitter Mode - this one is positively restrained compared to some of my other projects!

I prepped the palette-style MDF pieces with white acrylic, then went back over this with a medium blue and a pale grey, to imitate cold snowy skies. This was topped off with a snowflake stencil, stencilled with metallic pale blue on two edges, and white acrylic in other places. I threw glitter on two of these (glitter will stick to a thick layer of acrylic paint if you apply it while the paint is wet).


I then prepped all my lettering and the snowflakes (die cuts by Woodware in stiff white card.) I've used white acrylic paint all around the sides of the Merry Christmas phrase (which was bright red glitter, from our local supermarket, which I've separated into two pieces so I could space it out).

I drew out my shapes using the fine nozzle of the Glossy Accents bottle - the secret here is to draw around the outline first, then flood in with the glue. If you just want a raised and shiny finish, let it dry as is. If you want glitter etc, spoon it onto the wet glue and leave it to dry completely before shaking off the excess. Make sure you put your letters etc onto a totally flat surface, as this is dimensional adhesive which means it's self-levelling. So if it's on a tilted surface, it'll flow off the edges which is probably exactly what you don't want, lol.


I used glitters by Stampendous: Crushed Glass glitter in silver, Shaved Ice (big irridescent pieces), Crystal Snow, and Silver Halo Glitter Mix.  Also used: Vintage Sparkle glitter in blue (fabulous bottle!) and Stickles Ice Glitter glue dribbled on the tops of the Merry Christmas, to look like snowdrifts.


Once the glitter was dry, I added my letters with Glossy Accents, and the plastic Merry Christmas using a hot glue gun. Finishing touches were artificial fir branches, felt snowflakes, white glitter berries and some fir cones - all applied using a hot glue gun.


The whole piece was hung with a length of copper wire, painted with white acrylic and glittered. I did the same for the snowflakes, wrapping the wire round the end of a paintbrush to get the twirly whirly bits. These were glued at the back of the MDF, at the bottom, with glue gel (and a piece of lace stuck over the top with loads of white acrylic on top to make sure they were stuck really well).

And that's it! Hope you like it - and that you'll all visit and see their Christmas window in person.

Pre-Christmas diet? maybe???

Created in PicMonkey
Completely off topic, I thought I'd give you all a laugh... just stepped on the scales and nearly gave myself a heart attack...

So I just had to share a quick digital collage piece I made to illustrate last year's New Year Resolution (which lasted less than a week). I'm dusting it off in the hopes some willpower will kick in, and I'll actually be able to cut down a bit on the pastries etc so my clothes will actually fit over the Holidays.

I created this image with a vintage photo from my own collection, and played around with it on PicMonkey, which is a free online photo editor (nothing to download) although you do have the option of downloading your pic when you've finished, if you want to save it. Totally brilliant, highly recommended and a whole heap of fun!

Spread from my Zombie journal


As we're shortly coming up to Halloween, I thought you might like to see one of the spreads from the Art Journalling class I'm teaching.


This one is a vampire, from my Zombie journal - in the Faces&Figures section on 26 October. The face is heavily crackled, with lots of encrustation and a strip of flat-back crystals, dripped red inks (blood).


The quotation is by Virginia Woolf:
The beauty of the world which is so soon to perish, has two edges, one of laughter, one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder.

I haven't yet made up my mind whether this needs any further wording. I purposely made the writing loose and slightly illegible. I think it kind of speaks for itself....

PMC earrings I made


Thought you'd like to see a pair of PMC (Precious Metal Clay) silver earrings I made.


PMC isn't quite as easy as they like to make out. The actual modelling of the clay, and the firing, are easy peasy. The hard bit is polishing with a wire brush and then burnishing with a steel - this is the killer bit!


Very hard on the hands - and as I've got RSI and had the op for carpal tunnel on both hands, after making a few PMC pieces, much as I love the stuff, I've had to concede it's not for me.


I've dated and initialled this pair on the backs, the safety ear wires (so you don't lose them) are Sterling Silver, hallmarked ...

Abstract, just a little bit different!


VINTAGE PLAYING CARDS: old magazine covers, newspaper headlines and adverts


I'm a bit of a pack rat (as I'm sure you've realised) and often shop at antique shops and fairs, bric-a-brac shops, car boot sales etc. I've also got a bad habit of buying things that catch my eye, without really knowing what I'm going to do with them. Hence this set of cards, which I bought from a little shop on Richmond Hill, Richmond-upon-Thames, around 8 years ago.


The owner told me they're vintage - probably 1920s-30s, but I can't really remember the details - and I can't find anything online either! It's really frustrating...


If anyone recognises these, and what game they are for, do let me know! I think it's a form of Snap or Old Maid, but without a box or instructions, who knows?


You're welcome to download these for Personal Use, if you'd like to use them in scrapbooking and projects. Just click on the pix to bring them up to full size, then right-click to copy them. They're totally unretouched, and scanned at a large size.

Enjoy!

Finally catching up

UPcycled journal with original covers (1930s), page wraps with pockets and an eclectic mix of papers

View of the stitching - over tapes - on the spine
Well folks, it's been the marathon redecorating session from hell - taken me over 6 weeks to redecorate a 1-bed flat! I've been beset with problems: insect bites that became infected (3 visits to Casualty plus antibiotics - then I became allergic to the antihistamine cream and ended up on steroids) etc etc. I won't bore you...




In the meantime, I've managed to finish this book and also put it (and some other artwork) onto eBay, so fingers crossed someone will love it and give it a new home.

There's an eclectic mix of papers: vintage text in English and French, some vintage sheet music, 1940s street maps of London, plus plain papers (Daler Rowney heavyweight acid free cartridge paper)

I adore making books, and have around 7 journals already on the go - so some HAVE to go for sale as there's only so much room in our place.

The signature wraps are quite stiff, a very heavyweight flecked grey - almost a card - with a half circle punched out to give access to a pocket, and tabs at the back, to make the sections easy to find.

I've been massively decluttering, redecorating and restyling, so lots of things are going - including a little crystal chandelier!
I've also turned up the bottoms of some of the longer pages to make more pocket sections. These can be slit if you don't want them, or pasted for strength, have envelopes tipped in - lots of opportunities for personalisation!

Meantime, a little gentle stitching of journals has provided rest and relaxation - and such a nice change from being covered with eggshell paint!

This is a sweet little book, which I've really enjoyed making, and I hope it inspires some great artwork

Hope you like it!

Another Vintage Journal


Hi gang: Big apologies, as I haven't posted for AGES... reason being, I'm trying to redecorate the flat and finally get my own art space (which is squeezed into part of the living room) more workable. So there's a lot going on (STILL not finished) which I'll post shortly.


Meantime, I manages to get this journal finished. It's another upcycled, recycled one with original vintage covers and some of the original pages, ledger pages plus new papers, tapes etc etc. I've also used washing tape on the edges of the cover to add a little zap, without covering the original titling.


It's a Ready Reckoner - in Pounds, Shillings and Pence!So it's pre 1968 (when the first decimal coinage was released in the UK).


I've also put in section wraps in a really zingy screen printed 30s style paper, which could be left as is, or used to sandwich pocket pages, tip-ins etc.

 

This one has been a lot of fun! Hope you like it.

Just watched Despicable Me 2



I loved Despicable Me No 1, and Despicable Me No 2 is just as much fun. Those Minions are so sweet - so here's Pharrell Williams's YouTube video for you to enjoy.

Adorable!


VOICES - Gelli Plate mono print


VOICES - this is a monoprint I've just finished, using the Gelli Plate and IndigoBlu stamps. The silhouette shape is a stencil I made, cutting round a figure from a magazine which I've then laminated. Came out pretty well, I think.


I used a page from an old text book for the print. The base layer was a mix of Antique White and a pale turquoise - both craft acrylics (the cheap ones, ready mixed in a bottle). I placed the stencil on top and left it in place while I brayered deep pink and deep turquoise onto the plate, then removed the stencil. This was the second layer.


Next, I stamped the IndigoBlu Honeycomb Background stamp using Ranger's Archival Black ink, and topped this with IndigoBlu Mechanics background stamp. I held the stamp in my hand (not on a block) to get partial images - again, with Archival Black ink.

Finally, I stamped the phrase in Archival black, the chemical formula in Archival Red and the lightbulb in Archival Sepia - all from IndigoBlu's Beautiful Mind stamp set. The black circle shapes in the corners are giant snap fastensers.

I started off creating this as a journal page - now I'm thinking it could go in a frame? I'm really pleased with this one.



GELLI PLATE card

I've used stamps by Stampendous. Plus Kraft card, an edger punch, buttons, a piece of lace and some seam binding ribbon.

Anyone who's ever used a Gelli plate just raves about it - it's the easiest and most fun way to create your own unique monoprints EVER!

I've created a lace edge on the card with a Martha Stewart punch.

I thought you'd like to see a card I've made, using the Gelli Plate to make my own background papers - and this background is using some kitchen roll to create the texture! I've also made my own paper flowers from die-cut card.

Tons of dimension: I stamped the bird directly onto the Gelli print background, and cut the paper down to size. I also stamped the phrase twice. I then stamped the bird again onto the leftover Gelli background, this time using pigment ink, and embossed it. Finally, I cut it out, mounted it over the first stamped image using silicon glue, and added a little bit of Stickles glue for extra bling.

I'm absolutely loving working with the Gelli Plate - so much you can do with it, using stencils, found objects, bits of old lace, draw directly onto the plate...so much fun, it's really addictive.

Block stamped wall hanging


This is a simple wall hanging, using 3 clip frames, which you can get pretty much anywhere for next to nothing - plus a length of ribbon for hanging, and a piece of twig. I've used Colouricious wood block stamps for the whole project.


Side view showing the dimension - kraft die cut flowers, painted and block stamped with assorted patterns.


And a closeup, so you can see more detail re the lettering. Again, block stamped - onto pieces of patterned paper (more stamping) layered onto yet more patterned paper (also block stamped). I've used acrylic paints throughout.

Hope you like it!

BonBon dishes - block printing


I'm slowly putting up all the pix of the samples I've made for Colouricious, using their wood block stamps (exclusively hand carved for them by artisans in India).


This set of bonbon dishes are kraft cardboard, which I've painted with acrylics, coated with a crackle medium and then over-painted with more acrylic to get the cracked effect.

Bonbon dish by Decopatch

I've cut out pre-painted and block stamped paper (acrylic paints throughout) and glued this inside the bases, and then used small pieces around the edges and for the corners. Finally, I added a coat of decoupage varnish.

I think they've turned out rather Oriental!


ELEPHANT Perpetual Calendar



I've been really busy, so not much time for posting! Here's what I've been up to: I am now on the Design Team for Colouricious, and also writing tutorials for them - which will shortly be available as instant downloads from their site - on how to block print on paper etc.


I've done a load of samples - this Elephant Perpetual Calendar was done for the Knitting & Stitching Show at Olympia in earlier this month (13 March, as you can see from the calendar).


Closeup view- I've used self-adhesive foam numbers from a scrapbooking kit, then painted them with copper Lumiere acrylics.


I created one large sheet of artwork (heavyweight Bockingford watercolour paper) and smooshed acrylic inks for a base coat of colour, using red, yellow, and a touch of blue. These blended into a rainbow of colour which I then overstamped with a tree block, using black acrylic. I then cut this down to size to fit the sides, back and blocks.

...and the back view...

To me, it's just as important the back is as nicely finished as the front. Here, I've used a corner rounder punch to echo the shape of the wood edges.

I've stamped the elephant twice, then cut out portions which I've decoupaged onto the first image using Pinflair Glue Gel for dimension. And of course I've had to add glitter glue to her toenails etc!

And here she is, in glorious closeup!

Hope you like the calendar, and that it gives you a few ideas.

BOOKBINDING - how to do your corners properly


Copyright Tricia Morris

As you know, I teach a lot of bookbinding classes at BladeRubber Stamps, and if there's one thing I hate, it's badly done corners. This is a great video by Tricia Morris, showing you EXACTLY how to do it properly - just how I was taught at Richmond College of Art.

The only difference to her method is the application of glue: Tricia's using Club Scrap glue, and UK formulations of PVA are much wetter (and greyboard soaks it up like a sponge) so I advise you apply it to the PAPER using an old credit card, a brush or a sponge, for the thinnest coat of glue possible.

COMPUTER WOES - AGAIN

Pic copyright Argos

See this baby? Just bought it off Argos at an amazing price - under £350!  It's an online offer only (didn't even know there was such a thing) and it just shows what desperation will do re online searches etc.

I didn't even know you could get anything with 12GB ram - and 2TB hard drive... I tell you, I cannot wait to get it (meantime, I'm backing up everything on to my external hard drive, ready to transfer back). I'm so excited!

Of course there's a small catch - it's Windows 7. However, for me that's a bonus. Here's why... (read on after the break if you're really interested - it's a looong story)...