Thursday 30 September 2010

PDCC49 further illumination

It's my turn to choose the colour inspiration photograph at The Play Date Cafe and I just fell in LoVe with this image...

I love the hot pink and turquoise, and it looks so beautifully against the rusty orange and brown background.  I could look at this photograph for ages!  Sometimes I love the colours in the photograph and then find it hard to translate them into a piece of artwork, but this time it all came together beautifully.

I've had this designer paper in my stash for a good while now so with the pink and turquoise sorted, I just needed to add in the browns.  The plan was to use my rusty hinge distress ink but my boxes of distress have vanished, temporarily I hope, so I used a promarker on the bird cage, and found a colour print I'd put aside for my steampunk journal with the correct shades of brown.

This week The Play Date Cafe is sponsored by Technique Junkies, and Pat Huntoon is our Guest Designer.  Pat adores techniques and provides step by step instructions in her newsletters.  As Cafe designers we were provided with the Clipped Corner tutorial from this month's newsletter.  This involves 'nestling' the focal image in one of the corners, then cutting along the image line within the corner, or leaving a slight border then following the image shape.

I left a slight border around the bird cage, revealing the steampunk background just in the corner.  For more inspiration using this technique, and this week's Play Date Cafe's colours, head over to the cafe and find out more about Pat and see what the other designers have been up to!

Tuesday 28 September 2010

Winged Globus Illuminatus

I've been playing with my Artistic Stamper stamps :)  I LoVe that light bulb! This is a snippet from my journal page, my last piece as Guest Designer over on The Artistic Stamper Creative Team blog, head over there for a better look.

I need me more playtime, I reckon the light bulb'll make great funky steampunk jars too... oh, and how fab would it be shrunk

Sunday 26 September 2010

art journaling on a sunny weekend in Wales

We were very kindly invited to join some friends on a weekend break in North Wales this weekend.  It was fabulous, the highlight being seeing dolphins close to the shore as we paddled this morning.  Jon attempted to join them in the water but they preferred swimming alone lol!

We were staying near Aberdaron on the Lleyn Peninsula, an area in which my family spent many happy camping holidays when my sister and I were small; and I've never seen dolphins in these waters before :)

The cottage was beautifully decorated, and had STuNNiNG views...

It was unseasonably warm, but signs of autumn were definitely about ...

We had a wonderfully relaxed weekend, with time to read, play games, walk, and I had time to journal :)

As we were leaving on Friday I grabbed an old book I'd bought for the covers.  I was going to use them to make a journal but decided to use the whole book instead.  It's approximately A4 size; I didn't have any gesso with me so used layers of emulsion paint instead.

One of the owners of the book had used a felt tip pen which came through the paint.  The blue and pink rectangle is a result of this, and encouraged me to add these shades throughout the page.  

I do love the effect of my Stabilo Woody pencils (the waxy watercolour ones) on the emulsion :)

Friday 24 September 2010

Happy Birthday Julie!

It's a VeRY special birthday for my wonderful friend Julie Ranae today, so a few of us from the Play Date Cafe have secretly been spreading the word in blogland!

Happy Birthday Julie!

Julie and I met via blogland, and I still remember the 40th birthday card I sent her full of stars!  Julie LoVeS her papers, so I used some Graphic 45 to make her card.  It combines her love of papers, and my love of Steampunk :)

There are lots of birthday wishes out there for Julie, and on one or two blogs there's a chance to win a prize so please visit and admire Julie's cards and birthday wishes from

and it would be FaBuLouS if you headed over to Julie's blog to wish her a very HaPPY BiRTHDaY!  But don't let on I told you ;)

Thursday 23 September 2010

a Crafty Individual Play Date Cafe

This week Crafty Individuals, a favourite stamp company of many of us here in the UK, is sponsoring the Play Date Cafe.  They very kindly supplied the design team with a stamp of their choice, and a wonderful prize package for this week's challenge winner.

Julie's chosen this week's photo inspiration.  I love this image.  I had a lilac and deep blue kitchen once, and love this combo with lime green, but there's too much metal to clean in this one lol!  

I chose to work with a deep blue and used Chipped Sapphire distress ink, with Peeled Paint providing the green.  My silver comes in via the diamant├ęs.   I was tempted to use a grey inkpad somewhere,  I just couldn't decide how!

Head on over to the Play Date Cafe to check out this week's prize, and to see the other designers' stunning pieces using this week's colours.

Wednesday 22 September 2010


I'm exhibiting some work in an exhibition in Manchester in two weeks so have been working on some pieces for that.  They're at various stages, some need more layers of paint, some just need some detail stamping and main imagery.

Sorry, the light's not great on this photo.   This one is my favourite canvas at the minute, mainly because it's using colours that have been calling to me for a while!  This is going to get some text paper flowers, stitching and beads I think.

If you're wondering why I'm telling you all this, it's because today is What's on your Workdesk Wednesday, a worldwide phenomenen where bloggers feel compelled to share what they are working on, their tidy/messy desks, and often their cats too!  I don't have a cat, and my desk is too messy to share, but the dining room table was my workdesk last night so...

Head on over to The Stamping Ground for a good nosy and what everyone's up to - it's great fun :)

Tuesday 21 September 2010

a new addition to the family

This is Teddy, our new 12ish week old guinea pig.  Guinea pigs are very social creatures and need a mate.  When Winston died, Scout spent a couple of days looking for him and squeaking loudly, obviously missing his buddie.  Pets at Home had a few baby guinea pigs but Teddy was the prettiest.  And he's so, so soft to touch.  And tiny...

Although the guinea pigs appear happy in each other's company, it is advisable to introduce them to each other slowly.  So Scout is camping out in the kitchen, literally

They look like Little and Large together, it's rather funny ;)  Teddy attended Day Two of Elements, just briefly, where we got some help naming him.  Apparently Bear Grylls is heading up the Scout movement now; we didn't like Baden, and Sophe wasn't keen on Bear (although I loved the irony) so Teddy he is :)

Monday 20 September 2010

Elements Day Two

Bless her, Neet mentioned in a comment to me about my cheerful disposition but it wasn't until I saw this photo by Becca that I realised how smiley I was this weekend lol!  I do love teaching though, and all attendees were fab to work with, so I had a lot of fun :)

Becca took this fabulous picture of Rita and Neet too.  There were some great pieces of claywork created in Neet's classes.  Just take a look at these

Chris echoed the shape of the Cow Parsley in the clay and it just looks fab!

Lou worked her clay as one piece and added these beautifully coloured clay keyholes.

Now Lynn says this is the only time you'll ever find her ironing! ie when it's involved in creating a craft project.  The fabric element of the weekend, taught by Becca, was very popular, and many people went home last night and added more little extras to their flowers, dragonflies and other shapes.  It was such a relaxing element to do that despite being tired from a busy day, it was easy to pick up in the evening.  I added my dragonfly to the side of my box, decorating the textured book that Kay taught.

Our name badges for the weekend were just as creative as the box itself, very inventive!

Everyone worked hard, and went home with a stunning finished product.  Thanks so much everyone for making it such a wonderful weekend, and to Paddy for inviting me to be a part of it :)

I really did have fun :)

Saturday 18 September 2010

Elements cont.

Well the secret's out, and the full glory of what is being worked on on our Elements weekend is revealed!

Each tutor worked on a different theme and colourway for their sample piece, and the results were gorgeous . I focused on flowers and text, and Helen took a teenage girl theme for her daughter (both above).  Becca, Paddy's niece who runs a quilt shop in Dorset, worked with the house images from Tanda stamps. 

Neet created a gorgeous time themed piece using images by Paper Artsy, and Kay's box features Paper Artsy's Hot Picks.

Classes started on the dot of 9am with Paddy instructing everyone on how to colour their wooden boxes.  It was so lovely to see some very different colour combinations coming through.

We then broke up into smaller groups and during this time, I taught my perspex element...

[This is Lou's piece.  It's just drying here which is why the text is in reverse!  I love her shading from green to yellow, which is echoed on her box]

... Neet her clay pieces...

[These are so fab to make, and appeal to my love of collage and 'shinies' :)]

... and Becca the fabric element.  I love the fabric pieces on my box :)

More classes meant people created a tree from wire with Paddy, and created a box of hidden treasure (creating a box within a box) with Helen.  Tomorrow brings the metal element with Paddy, and Kay's wooden element.


Wow!  The day is finally here and Paddy is hosting her 'Elements' weekend.  I'm teaching today so will post you some pics later on :)  My element is 'perspex' and i'm really pleased with how it came out.

Friday 17 September 2010

that's another one off my list!

Do you have crafting projects on your list that have been there years and you still haven't done them?  This piece for the Artistic Stamper Creative Team Blog is one of mine. Let me know what's on your list [just 'cos I'm nosy lol!], before you head on over to the Artistic Stamper blog where I'm guest designer this month :)


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