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Sunday, 17 May 2020

Creative Life in lockdown

The buzz created by the Tim Holtz LIVES is such an inspiration. Tim and Mario are creating a community during this difficult time. I have been mixing up the live demos with the Creative Chemistry classes. I have enjoyed the encouragement to play and experiment without any need to resolve into a "project." Its fun to let things slide a little, bit like working in your PJs, which is turning into the new norm these days. I have been working with tags, cutting them out of a range of papers. I have also been using instagram for quick posting but a blog seems to offer much more time to reflect on what you are up to.


Ive started to jump about a bit using the techniques I wanted to revisit rather than days in order. This is "Nostalgic Batik and then on the right Paint and Ink Monoprints from CC102. I have been playing with my stencils lots recently. I have got into the habit of using stencils to create subtle background layers by blending through them with regular distress ink but they are so versatile and can do so much more. Switching to paint or mono-printing with the negative of the stencil has been losening me up and showing me lots of new possibilities. Playing more is opening up lots of new possibilites.

The other thing I have tried to do is to revisit and try techniques I was not happy with first time around. Tim's Spritz Sparkle and Smudge Demo encouraged me to retry Smudge stamping and I was much happier with the results this time. I made one first following CC102 using regular distress ink but I also made one with distress oxide, (on right) so I could compare them. Not sure which I prefer? I actually stamped the bird in red originally and it did not stamp well so I went over it in archival black ink. It gave it a hint of 3D which I quite like. It was just stamped with a regular grid block not a platform. Some mistakes are discoveries!


I also had another go at Shabby Chic and Stencil Stamping techniques from CC102 and both of them were an improvement on my early attempts. I enjoyed playing with the skeleton from the Tim Holtz/stampersanonymous Cadaverous set. Remember the anatomised man in my last post? This was one of those sets I bought as I loved it but never made anything with. That is another good result from all the demos playing with lots of my neglected stamps. I think I used 3 sets on the yellow tag.


My favorite evening was spent stamping and watercoloring with distress markers. I got out another admired and under used TH/Stampers anonymous set,"Tiny Things." I made rows of ballerinas, fishes and birds. I loved this technique and became totally absorbed and entranced like the best of times at your studio desk.



I loved the wispy unpredictable effects of ink and water on your stamp. I would have happily carried on into the night but try not to work after midnight! Even writing this post I am thinking 'Oh I want to do more of that right now!'



I am sure for creative crafters the lockdown has given us much more time to create and all of the online inspiration has definitely been encouraging me to explore new techniques and play. I do hope you are all being inspired too.

Thank you for visiting, I love being connected and appreciate all your comments.  I have not been posting here as much but I have been posting on Instagram if you want to see more.

Friday, 17 April 2020

Returning to Creative Tim Holtz Chemistry 101

I am very grateful to be in a position to enjoy my free time at home without fear for my family or finances at present. I know I am not alone in valuing all this time we have had recently to enjoy more time for creating. There has been a wealth of inspiration offered online including lots of Tim Holtz live demos. He has been encouraging us to go make not let the moment of inspiration pass but make and share whatever we do. Its great to be encouraged to play and not worry about the finished project. To enjoy the process, the journey. Today I had a lovely day revisiting Tim Holtz's online classes for Creative Chemistry 101. Not the whole course in a day! Just day two and three.

Day 2.                                                                    Day 3.


Many of the techniques are now very familiar to most stampers. I won’t of course share the steps but revisiting the videos confirmed my feeling that these courses are so worth the money. Even years later I found new information and remembered details I had forgotten. They are a great creative prompt.

I got out some of my old stamps. Where I was practiced with the technique I pushed the designs a little beyond a simple sample. I also wanted to try most of the techniques with regular distress ink and then compare with oxide ink. I was curious to see which techniques would work well with the oxide inks.

Day two was Blended Distress/Spritz & Flick, Wrinkle-Free Distress and Brushless Watercolour. The Oxide ink results are on the left. The first two techniques I have used often so no surprises with either ink. When I first did CC101 I did not enjoy the Brushless Watercolour. I played more this time and loved it. 



I think the oxide ink was less like watercolour as the pigment doesn’t move just the dye but it is great to have two samples to make more informed choices when I pick a medium. I still liked the result with oxide.


Day Three: Stamping with Reflections, Alcohol Ink Agates, Archival Resist 

I skipped this day first time round as I had few of the supplies. The Agates turned out quite dark but I ran out of time today try again but I have plenty of time to try again. Its great weather for using your Alcohol inks, warm enough to leave the window wide open! This is on glossy paper I may try again on Yupo too. I liked the results of the reflections stamping but again I have played with the reflection stamps and embossing folders before so it did not surprise me. My favourite one this time was the archival resist. 


I loved the results of this technique with the regular distress ink, (on the right)  I think I may play with this a lot more. 

Hope you are all free to enjoy your playtime. I am interested to hear which techniques you all prefer. Wishing all a safe and creative time at home. 


Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Paper poppies

I usually have a few things on the go at the same time. This week I have been prompted to be more playful after the timholtzdemo prompt I talked about in my last post. I have also some paper flowers on the go. I love working on these but the production is very repetitive so I tend to cut and build flowers over weeks. I get on with other things at the same time.


This poppy is nearly finished but I know it is always interesting to peek at peoples process. I share the desk with my laptop so I can refer to lots of images of real poppies while working. I had to shift the laptop from my other workspace as my fury friend is on that 'work' desk doing very little except absorbing the spring sunlight.



As it is Wednesday and an age since I checked in I am linking up with WOYWW  Even if the day is nearly over now! WOYWW is a longstanding online group who share their work-desks weekly. I think groups like this are very sustaining in times like this. 


Tuesday, 31 March 2020

#timholtzdemo call to action.

How many times do we all watch inspiring stuff online but then never get round to using all those exciting new techniques or ideas? Just as we horde our growing stash of craft materials, we store the ideas away "for later." But 'later' often fails to arrive. I was delighted to hear Tim Holtz say he wanted everyone to go make, create and most important of all play with their materials and techniques. He emphasised it should be fun and not limited to finished or perfect projects.

last summer on my beach walks I picked up eroded bits of tiles as I wandered around, unaware of the luxury of my liberty! Of course the collection of ceramics was stuffed into a drawer and forgotten for months. After watching the inspirational Tim Holtz demo I got the forgotten ceramics and my neglected alcohol inks out to play.


Tim did a previous demo on alcohol ink which I watched and stored but I was inspired to action. Alcohol inks are a liberating medium for play as you can wipe off the results you dont like and start over.


I also used my newest stamp set 'Field Notes' by Tim Holtz and Stampersanonymous. I knew this set would be really useful but once it arrived I was overwhelmed by the possibilities and it sat neglected for a while.



I have started small, one single stamp on these lost fragments. Nothing monumental just tiny treasure.

During these difficult times life has changed for all of us. For those of us on lockdown one of the advantages has to be time to play, explore and create. I hope you are lucky enough to be home, safe, well and free from some of the terrible burdens many of us have to carry these days. If so I hope you play.

I am linking this up with the latest Simon Says Stamp Challenge which is Anything Goes

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Lynne Perrella Card

Its been a long time since I got time in the studio or even longer since I had time to blog. I have had so many other comitments I decided when I actually managed to get some creative time  I should just make and not worry about photos and blogging. I dont want to fall away completly so popping in with a fairly simple card using my new favorite Lynne Perrella stamp set from Paperartsy, LPC046.


I made a few sheets of this paper using distress ink blended and spritzed with water. I added the two stamps I use the most at the moment, some speckles and text from the Tim Holtz set "Tiny Toadstools" They make it so easy to create an undistracting texture. I used mostly Mermaid Lagoon and Seedless Preserved DI. The dome lady is stamped on a sheet created the same way but using lots of Worn Lipstick and seedless preserves DI. Then I used a third sheet to diecut  lots of tim holtz wildflowers. This sheet was created with pinks and purples in distress oxide spray. 


All I did then was use some foam tape to add a little dimention to the dome and a peice of blue Kraft-core paper to matte the card. I love the feminine but qwirky look of this stamp.

It was great to get inky fingers and lovely to be back online. Hope to have more time soon. Thanks for checking in after such a long silence. Hope you are getting time to colour your hands too.

As this is so feminine I am linking with the Wednesday SSS challenge which is 'something feminine'

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Sympathy Card

Just in case people are checking in a worrying I am fine but just too busy to blog for a while. I had to make a sympathy card this week and realised how few cards I see for these occasions that I like. For me a card for these occasions is a delicate balance that has to do so much. Something you know suits the person grieving but in your own style,  using all of your usual techniques but not looking too playful, sensitive to the occassion but not too sad.


I sometimes think it is sensible to make several at a time but then realize it is more meaningful when you take the time to think of those involved as you make it. As its the first card I have made in a long time I thought I would take time to check in and share it.



As its Wednesday I am also going to link up with WOYWD.

Monday, 11 February 2019

Valentines card



Prompted by A Vintage Journey's Challenge "Your Hearts Desire" I got out my romantic colours, Valentines to me says pinks and reds.
I tried a few stencils straight onto a cream card base creating a patterned heart stamped with some text but I wasn't happy with it. I tried it on watercolour with a coloured background and red speckles embossed in red and gold but it just seemed too flat.


The embossing called for more layers and texture and seemed to suit a more vintage design. Heading off in another direction I cut some foliage with a memory box die and used paper from my stash to create a collaged heart to cover the original design.


I embossed a graphic 45 sentiment in gold on a rich red card. I glued the heart over the foliage so it framed it and finished off with the sentiment mounted on some foam tape. A few red speckles on the heart pulled the card together.
I wonder does Valentines day get more people making cards than Christmas? Christmas is so busy  and most of us do not need stacks of Valentine cards. Whether you are making cards or not a Happy Valentines day to all.

Thank you for all your comments I do read and appreciate each of them it is good to know you are not just talking to yourself!

Link for Vintage Journey Challenge