Sunday, 30 November 2014

Time to make a scene.

Hello there!
Sorry I’m so late with this ‘ere blog!
One minute I was at Waitrose at 10am, getting some groceries, 
the next minute it gone 6, the boys are all fed, and it’s dark outside!

Nonetheless, I have spent a pleasant hour or so here 
in my little art heaven, just letting it take me away.

I nearly spoiled my evening firing up a resentment about all the super professional, not very bloggy blogs 
which are piling in nowadays. 
But then I thought, sod it. What do I know?
Not my circus, not my monkeys.
I shall just stay in my lane and do my best. 
In fact I thought to myself I thought, I bet a lot of bloggers felt exactly the same when TV Fanny Gray came swooping in at No. 3 last year. Comical really. 

So let’s have a look.
The first things I did was have a rummage through my scrap backgrounds box.
Honestly! You’d think I pulled these out of the bin, wouldn’t you!!
Not so, my little chickpea. I throw NOTHING away!
Eeny meeny miny moe.....

One of you has got to go.....

So here we have a delightful blotted piece of mess,  where I have evidently mopped up ink from a Gelli Plate after spritzing it. 

Let’s make a scene...
Our Church and Village set  are perfect for this.

Mask off the base of the church with torn paper 
and put your church where you want it.

Take the top half of the torn paper and line it up with the bottom half.  Now remove the bottom half, 

and using a make-up sponge, add some land underneath the church, so it’s not floating. I used Forest Moss
a beautiful new Distress Pad Green.

Soften the dark green with Tumbled Glass. 
Everybody should have a Tumbled Glass Distress pad.
In fact, in my humble opinion, if you wanted to get 3 Distress pads, I’d pick Squeezed Lemonade and the two above.  

Add a couple more hills in the same way.

Lamp Post set back behind a hill.
I am using Black Archival for all the stamping.

Have to add the geese - it’s the law.
They are sooooo delightful!

Ok. So now we have a basic scene, we need to define it 
and bring it to life.
Let’s start by colouring in the church.
I went with the Nature Set of Spectrum Noirs

Liked the tatty edge the Gelli Plate had yielded, 
so decided to just trim right back

and add a beautiful sentiment by Maya Angelou.

Mat and layer on bright yellow and then the blue pearl paper we use in the stencils. Due to popular demand, you can buy it now!

Needs a bit more depth. Out with the black micron pen.
If you have time, keep looking back as we go forward, and you can easily see the picture gaining depth.

Define some hills and fields. 
Let the existing colours and lines be your guide. 

Out with the colouring pencils again. Light and shade.
If you go back to yesterday’s blog, we focussed on light and shade then too. 
And Thursday’s Blog, with the hares!

There we are. 
So from a scrap of card...

we ended up with a neat little scene. The scrap actually helps because it gives you a starting place. 

Time to light a log fire and snuggle up for the evening. 
I have been looking forward to that all day long. 

Tomorrow is the First Day of December. 
Thus, tomorrow begins the Christmas Advent.
And so will this blog. 
Fun and games, gifts and candy.
Do stop by!

Let’s get in the festive spirit, shall we?


love and laughter -

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Saturday. Time to ponder...

Hello there!
Thanks for stopping by.
What a sunny Saturday here in Kent!
I’m sitting at the window, and the sun is just pouring in. 
Very warm and calming.
Yesterday was a busy day in London - and I shall certainly tell you all about it when I get the photos together next week.
But the problem with busy, packed days is that you can’t stop to think or reflect.
And the good thing about busy, packed days is that you can’t stop to think or reflect.
So this morning has been a time to just go inside, be alone, 
do a little soul searching and do some artwork.

Wasn’t sure where I was going with this, but the process was more important that the outcome for me on this occasion. 

One evening last week, I unmounted a lot of my stamps and filed them in a folder to save space. It really makes a lot of sense when you have as many as I do!! Maybe you too??

Anyway, filing, folding, ironing (latter less so) all have a greater purpose in my life than their practical function; usually when things are becoming unmanageable, I find just folding a load of T-shirts or sorting my ink pads into colour ways gives me a sense of more control! Ridiculous to think that a neat stack of shirts or paired socks might be all it takes to straighten out the chaos that is my life, but hey! It works for me!

And this week, I sorted my stamps out!
Felt great.

This morning, the first stamps I came to in my folder
were this set of wonderful Filigraphy Foliage.


Stamp the leaves randomly down a piece of A5 Theuva Card
with a Black Archival Ink Pad

Fill the border using whatever fits where.

Out with the Word Chains Collection 1

Less is more. 

We need some masks, so stamp the leaves onto the sticky end of the PostIts and cut out. 

Found it quite relaxing today. 
I cut through 3 layers of Post-Its because I knew I was going to need more than 1 of each leaf.

The Great Cover -Up!

Load a Clarity Brush with Tumbled Glass and another with Latte Adirondack and dust colour into the background, always sweeping into the white area.

Remove the masks and store them on copy paper in a file 
for next time!

Edge with a ruler and a Black Sharpie Pen.
We sell an excellent inch ruler with a steel inlay. 

Add a couple of Filigraphy Butterflies from the superb 
Butterfly Tree Set, which I used in a blog a couple of Mondays ago. 


Colour them in with pencils or Distress markers.

Just one more thing: shadow.
I used Spectrum Noir Pencils 
to start adding depth and shadow to the leaves.

Yes. That’s better. The leaves look like they’re floating now.

Hope you like this one. It did me the power of good.

Art is a powerful thing isn’t it. 
I mean, it’s invisible in a way. 
Then it takes on the shapes we give it. 

Food for thought.
I don’t know where that thought came from!

Time to go see Mum and Dad.

Much love,

Friday, 28 November 2014

God bless Jane

Hello there.
Thanks for stopping by.

You may already have heard that dear Jane passed away 
yesterday morning in her sleep. 
I am sure you will join me in sending her husband and children sincere condolences.
Words are completely inadequate here.

But Jane and I made some great plans together, 
and more will be revealed in due course.
She was a brilliant woman, very clever,
And she leaves a marvellous legacy.
Rest in peace, Jane. 

Much love,

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Hares in a Tangle...

Hello there!
Thanks for stopping and and supporting the daily blog.

Thursday blog is always blue, right?
So I decided to have a play with my hares. 
(That sounds awful!)

First we need a dramatic background.
Here’s one I did earlier, using an 8" x 10" Gelli Plate,
Process Magenta acrylic paint (pink)
Process Cyan acrylic paint (blue)
and one of our stencils:
I cut round a cup to make this huge moon mask!
You can see that the background is rather random, not very perfect, but too good to throw away.
Just like the 5 pairs of size 10 Jeans I am delusionally hanging on to, just in case I go off chocolate and drop half my body weight!

How did I do this? Can’t remember. 
Cyan and Magenta sit nicely together though, don’t they?

So let’s tackle something that’s been on my mind. 
If I stamp onto a full acrylic wall like this with a line art stamp,
can I make it stand out?
Let’s have a go...

Here are my hares and a toadstool.
Hares are fine, but the toadstool is barely visible.
Let’s get to work then!
Now where’s that white pencil and the right pink and blue Spectrum Noir pencils?

A white pencil will highlight the moonlight on the top of the toadstool for starters. 
There’s one in the Tin of Charcoal pencils we sell, I’m sure.

The right blue pencil I found in the 
The perfect pink for the job I found in the FLORAL Tin.

So add the blue to the areas where you would see a natural shadow.

When you go over the blue with the pink, it goes a much darker blue. This is excellent for even greater depth. Check out the back toadstool...

Let’s shade in the moon
I just picked two brushes from my stash - a blue and a pink, and swirled round the outer edge of the orb with the ink that was still on the brushes.

Try to leave a white area, like so:

Now it’s just a question of using the 3 pencils, the white, pink and blue, to create contrast as you like it. 

Take a closer look at the base of the toadstools. See how I have added white to the top and blue to the base?
This is what creates a 3 dimensional quality. Really easy!

I know I keep going on about the Spectrum Noir Pencils. But they are brilliant to use.
I have even got a natty Christmas Pencil Hamper which might be worth looking at. You get all 5 tins in the collection and all the trimmings, like paper stumps, blending solution - the lot, for £85.
When you consider the 5 tins retail at £100, that’s got to be worth considering.

Anyway, where were we?
Ah yes, define the outline of the moon carefully with the two colours, too. This is probably the trickiest part, so go easy.

Trim the card to a good size, 

Doesn’t the toadstool jump out now! 

It’s all in the shadows....

Outline the edges with a ruler and Sharpie Pen.

Mount on white card. Done.

Wonderful set from the TV Classroom days. 

Let’s have a little treat.
Buy the Hare and the Toadstool 
and we will send you the 
Tangle Stencil as a gift.

much love,