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Sunday, 14 June 2020

Frankenstein portrait

Well the lockdown is stretching out far longer than I imagined. I am finding creating and gardening are making it bearable. The weather here in Ireland is still surprisingly sunny. I dont do hot weather so I neglected the garden today and went to the attic where the breeze it cool and I can still hear those lovely summer sounds. Ive been playing with lots of textures using paste, stencils and distress crayons - more Tim Holtz Live prompts.

He uses Idea-ology frames in lots of his demos. I love the look of them but I am always more tempted by inks and stamps when I shop. The packs of frames seem expensive in the UK and I think I would be too tempted to hoard rather than use them. I do have an old disintegrated photo album which has old frame windows. I took the plunge this week and covered it in paste and crayon. I had no idea what I might do with it when I started out. When it was finished I decided I wanted to frame the anatomised head. I cut  the page into two and got out one of my favorite stamp sets, "Cadaverous," yes they are all my favorites. I love the anatomised head and he does remind me of Frankenstein. I also used a prompt from an ephemera pack and made an advertisement for an old imaginary bookshop window, propped up infront of stacks of leather bound dusty books. Everyone creates in a different way often what I make is based on a story in my head.

The backgrounds for the stamped images were made with mixed media paper. I sprayed a little  distress ink stain in frayed burlap and antique paper and then spritzed it with water and blotted the centre to create space for the foot and head.

The images were stamped with embossing ink and embossed with walnut stain glaze and then watercolored with reinker. It makes it easy to wash colour over an image. the gloss repels the ink and it settles into the white spaces.

As well as using the album pages for the first time I used some tiny 'mini metal fasteners' screw heads to attach the booksellers sign. I didn't do much to the images as the frame was so textural and colourful. I left the images simple and understated.

I loved the way the crackle paste worked along with the distress crayons it was fun to do and so forgiving if you dont like a colour it just wipes off and it blends beautifully. There are lots of oil/wax colouring sticks Gelatos, Scribble Sticks and others but these are a joy to blend with and the colour stays perfectly vibrant. I love using them.

My garden will get attended to tomorrow but today I enjoyed the studio. Hope you are all enjoying your creative space and your gardens! Thanks for visiting and stay safe and creative xox

I think this qualifies as a "A Man Thing," as that is the theme over at Simon Says Stamp this week I am linking up with their Monday Challenge.

I am also linking up with Creative Artiste's Challenge which is Anything Goes.

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Seth Apter Mini Book

This week I have been working on a tiny book. I joined in with an online workshop with Seth Apter.  With the current situation so many classes are now online. living somewhere without local craft shops and venues offering bookbinding and other paper craft workshops this is one positive effect of the virus. Opened up possibilities for me. Nothing is all bad. It is strange learning online but it is good to make something new.

I have made books before but the binding system was new to me and Seth is amazing at loosening up your inhibitions and encouraging experimentation. His class was very reasonable and he is such a gentle and clear teacher. I thoroughly enjoyed it and the two hours sped by. I have enjoyed collaging lots of tiny pieces onto the pages. I have used lots of tags, cards and backgrounds that 'failed' now these torn into tiny pieces are proving treasures and can shine in their new life.

I made an effort to use papers that I tend to hoard. The endpapers are old Graphic 45 Nature Sketchbook paper. There are some tiny snippets of Stamperia paper too. I bought it ages ago and have not used any.  I also used paper from 7 Gypsies Mariner paper. This book is only 2.5 inches square so it is easy to find places for lots of small scraps.

I also cut into my rub ons (Tim Holtz Idea-ology 'Remnant') I also tore up a beautiful illustration from an old dictionary or encyclopedia. it had illustrations of birds eggs in lovely subdued colours complete with fig numbers. I am not sure what is so satisfying about fig. nos. but I know I am not alone in being drawn to them I think I must have at least 5 stamp sets with them in.

 I used Izink Ice by Seth Apter, that golden colour is it. It is translucent gel like paint. Very satisfying to use. Its in a bag like cake frosting and you can put it on with a spatula. it drys really quickly and goes on easily over everything so its great to use on collages to pull elements together. I tried to play with some mark making and stamped  pieces of text or patterns to add details over the layers. It is very mediative making abstract work without a set outcome in mind.

I even managed to use some postage stamps. I have hundreds of them but I hardly ever think of using them. There is some gold embossing powder scattered throughout. I have been drawn away from my favorites
by Tim Holt's new glazes and all the techniques from his weekly demos but I had a lovely time drizzling and dipping into gold,  Rangers Antiquities - verdigris and Seth Apter's Baked Textures (Beeswax and Aegean sea).

That amazing bright green is more Izink Ice it really does look jewel like. Ive a tiny piece of one of my favorite tapes here too from Tim Holtz Design Tape - Remnants.

On some pages I ran some paper through the big shot to emboss it to add even more texture. I love the look of the gold embossed torn edge
on this page.

The final page and endpaper. I took my time and enjoyed each page. I am probably going to go straight on to making another one now this is finished. If you are interested in the workshop I will put a link to Seth Apter's page. I think it will be available soon or maybe even now.

Here is the spine, heavenly embossed in all the colours above.

The back cover (left) and front (right) The front was actually my first page but I decided the beeswax embossing made it to stiff so I used it as a cover and made another page for inside.

It is an age since I made a book so I am linking up with Mini album makers for their June Challenge.

As I have used up all my old background papers I am linking up with Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge. Somewhere else I have not been for a while. They are challenging us to make your own background.

Thank you for visiting hope you are staying safe and well and enjoying your creative time.

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'