Monday, 30 December 2013

a tag and an apron

Being ill just after Christmas is rubbish (I've had some kind of sickness bug) but after a couple of days reading, sleeping, perusing Pinterest and watching i-player (I don't know what I'd do without my i-pad!!!) I was well enough to sit up and play with my inks and stamps.

I used some Tim Holtz stamps from the 'mini muse' and 'purely random' sets, enjoying adding tiny bits of detail to the background of my manilla tag.

I just couldn't resist finishing it off with a scattering of hydrangeas.

Now all the presents are opened I can share some sewing I did just before Christmas for a friend of mine.  She loves 'dottie angel' so I decided to make a dottie-angel inspired apron.  It includes a little up-cycling - I found a denim shirt in my fabric collection and used the button edge to make the ties and the pocket as an extra pocket on the front.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

finally started making my Christmas cards!!

I bought this little Starbird from Art from the Heart in plenty of time to make my Christmas cards but I always end up making them 'on demand' or after I've finished work for the holidays.

It's partly because I need that adrenalin rush to get my act together, and partly because I'm so busy at work at this time of year that I just don't have the energy.

I love CAS cards at Christmas, and also love to add a little bit of stitching.  The washi tape is from hobbycraft and I coloured the bird with derwent inktense pencils.  I also made myself a little tag :)

Happy Christmas everyone!!!

Saturday, 14 December 2013

numbers in my art journal

Started a new journal this morning.  This one's A5 in size.

I stamped some numerals and text, sprayed through a stencil then added patches of ink with my baby wipe, and by directly spraying onto the page.

I had a scrap of paper with 'row of numbers' stamped on it so I added this to the page before piling on a variety of rub-ons and some scraps of numbers from packaging.

Sunday, 8 December 2013


I love these little clouds by Stampotique.  I love words and numerals so had a quick play with a tag and the theme 'two'.

The balloons are from the image 'Upward Bound' and, along with the numeral '2' on the 'row of numbers' were highlighted with Diamond Glaze.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Friday girl at Stampotique

Back in September I responded to Stampotique's Design Team Call and how I've kept the secret for so long I do not know!!!!  I am thrilled to be one of seven designers who will post weekly on the Stampotique Designer's Blog - I'm the Friday girl :)  Check the post here to meet my fellow designers.

There are two teams over at Stampotique, and the other one leads the challenges.  You can meet those guys over on the Stampotique Designers Challenge blog.  So come 2014 there will be tonnes of Stampotique inspiration out there!!

I had a little play with my new stamps in celebration of the news, challenging myself to ONLY use Stampotique images :)  This is a large tag from PaperArtsy as I wanted the little rabbit to have a large area of sky in which to float!  I slightly misquoted Mark Twain to make the quote applicable:

"the air up there here in the clouds
is very pure and fine, bracing and delicious"
Mark Twain

Stamps used:
Stampotique Upward Bound
Stampotique Row of Numbers
Stampotique Abstract Foliage
Stampotique 2 Nuages (Fr)
Stampotique Journey Collage

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Arts and Faith Weekend, February 2014

For those of you who are regular readers of my blog, you'll have noticed that I have been combining my Christian faith and my art journaling a lot more recently.

I have been a part of the Arts & Faith Network of the Chester Diocese for a while now, since their 'Breathing Space' event a couple of years ago, and I'll be teaching at their next event in February next year [see details below]

"Building on the success of its previous workshop days, the Arts & Faith Network is extending its ‘Breathing Space’ format to a weekend for Candlemas, entitled ‘Light Work’ on 1st/2nd February 2014, at Foxhill Conference Centre, Frodsham.

The weekend offers an opportunity to work with local Christian artists and teachers [I'm one of them!!!], including Guest Speaker, sculptor Stephen Broadbent, as well as worship and prayer with an accent on creativity, and time to relax and chill out, maybe with a wintry walk in the grounds. Workshop activities offer a choice of creative writing, and singing, alongside a range of hands-on art activities [including art journaling!]"

And the best news?

There is no charge for this event.

Residential places are limited, so prompt booking is advised. Some day places are available.
For further details and booking information please contact Jane Hood: email, or telephone 01928 718834 ext 257.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Teaching journal play, and a Christmas song

At the end of October I taught a journaling class to a group of fabulous people, some of whom I'd met at New Wine this summer.  It was an amazing day.

There was a huge range of experience amongst the group of fifteen - some people didn't consider themselves 'crafty' at all, others brought yummy stencils and inks along with them as they were already confident 'crafters'.  Art journaling was new to almost everyone.

Unfortunately I only took a couple of photos.  I get so caught up in teaching I forget to take them!!

I'm sure I've said this before, but one of the things I love about teaching is seeing people move from being fearful of the paint, the white page etc, to having a great time just playing, and discovering how free-ing and relaxing this is.

We all started with an A3 piece of paper which we folded into a little book then journaled on each page.  I worked on a few pages as samples for the day, adding in extra pages and tags [by the way, that coloured 'ribbon' was white, I just sprayed it with Dylusions to get the colour I wanted - much easier than taking lots of different coloured ribbons to a workshop!!]

I still have some pages left to work on... 

...but I've been mad busy at work and I think I'm using all my creative juices up in the classroom!  I've just finished a sheep costume and a spider costume for the song we're singing as part of the nativity play.  Yes, a spider, I'm sure there must have been spiders in the stable.  I wrote new words to Blondie/One Direction's song 'One way or another'

[WARNING: linking these lyrics to the tune may cause that tune to stay in your head for a looooooooooooooooooooooong time!!]

Down in, in the stable
Who will we see there
with baby Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus?

Down in, in the stable
Who will we see there
with baby Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus? (rpt numerous times!!)

Donkey, spider and cat
Dog, mouse, sheep and a rat
Let's see who's around!

Down in, in the stable
Who will we see there
with baby Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus?  etc

Last year I put new words to Mamma Mia, which has taken some matching, but I'm pleased with the result, especially since we can sign a lot of this song easily!!

Saturday, 2 November 2013

a little book

 I wanted to make a little journal as a gift for someone and a large tag in my tag box caught my eye!

I smooshed paint, stenciled and stamped both sides of the tag, which I'd pre-folded ..

... and after adding some 'shrooms', discovered that I'd put them on upside down.  Hmm, make a backwards book or ...???

I trimmed the end of the tag, added some sari ribbon and stitched it onto the other end of the tag!

Now the book has additional texture :)

I used pamphlet stitch to add the pages inside, and a ribbon long enough to tie around the book to keep it closed.

All in all a very happy couple of hours, and a gift in the post to a friend.  Hope you've had a lovely evening and have time for some creative craftiness this weekend.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Stampotique Challenge 122: fabric or lace

I couldn't not enter this challenge!  I love adding snippets of fabric or lace to tags in particular.   They add that extra bit of texture.  The tag was one I'd mopped up some black soot distress ink on so I darkened it a bit with some black dylusions spray, and added some texture by flicking water (and mopping it off) and stamping my favourite, favourite, favourite text stamp (Stampotique Journey Collage).

I then stamped Stampotique Moon Garden on the tag, paper pieced the moon and added stitching along the stamped lines of the image.  The girl looks a bit odd but I love how the moon flowers look!

I ended up with gold stars on the tag, when I would have preferred silver.  Couldn't find the silver, until a day after making the tag!!  Actually though, I quite like the warmth the gold brings!

Saturday, 12 October 2013

step by step art journal page

I thought it might be fun to take step by step photos of the journal page and share them here.

I've been thinking about doing a page with leaves on for a while now and was recently given a set of leaf stamps.

I decided it might be fun to use these, although they don't lend themselves to an autumn theme, which might have been fun.  I love the colours at this time of year.

First step was to tidy my desk, then I stamped up the leaves to see how they stamped and what they looked like inked up...

I've always loved both ferns and ivy, and have plenty of both in my garden, but decided that today I'd go with the ivy leaves as a theme for my page.

I sprayed a selection of green inks...

...then pressed a stencil down onto the wet ink.  This gave some subtle texture to the page and I thought it might be nice to stamp some text over the stencil in some areas.

I could only find one green dye ink pad, so made a mental note to add a dark green to my shopping basket next time I'm buying craft supplies.  I stamped the text on scrap paper to see the ink was the right shade and decided to go with it.

I like using unmounted rubber stamps to apply patches of pattern to a page - you can curve them slightly to add randomly shaped areas of texture.

After lifting off the stencil there was quite a bit of ink left on it so I turned it over and used a baby wipe to wipe the ink back onto the page, dabbing small areas too.

Et voila!  I liked that, but now what?

Time to pause, dunk my biscuit in my tea and think about how I'd add the leaves to my page.

I'd wiped some ink from my stencil onto the scrap paper I'd stamped on earlier so decided to cut out the ivy leaf....

... and I was able to make some more green paper up quickly by wiping over the oversprayed ink with a wet baby wipe.

The leaves looked good but needed something more so ...

... I stamped some directly onto the page.  Then came a bit of an 'eeek' moment, when I didn't like how the leaves were sitting together.

A few deep breathes later and I decided they looked ok and they just needed some depth.

A quick look amongst my newly tidied pens etc and I easily put my hands on a charcoal pencil and added some shading under the leaves.

What I couldn't lay my hands on was my blending tool, but a cotton bud did the trick just as well, smudging the charcoal to create shadows.

I fancied adding some curly tendrils but didn't want to spoil the page so decided to blot away some ink through a stencil to see if I liked the design.  I was tempted to draw through the stencil with a green pen.

I did like it, but changed my mind about the pen.  I rarely clean my stencils which means I often add unintentional colours to my pages... and today was no different.  I loved the browny orange hints and continued deliberately adding them around the page.

Happy journaling everyone!!


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