Monday, 29 May 2017

Courage to Continue

Hello everyone,

It's a fabulous sunshiny May Bank Holiday Weekend here in my part of the world. Yesterday we had a family BBQ and the garden was full of squealing grandchildren playing in the paddling pool - and guess who couldn't resist getting in with them?! :o)

Tomorrow, we're off for a few days in Notts and Derbyshire, staying in a couple of places along the way and visiting lots of National Trust sites. I'm all packed and ready, so I have this afternoon to play in my room - planning to finish my latest miniature room box and start on a new AJ page.

Here's my latest page, from a class with the amazing Dyan Reaveley for Week 17 of Wanderlust...

Dyan was inspired by this wonderful quote from Winston Churchill; "Success is not final; failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts."

This is a great motivational quote for life in general, but it can also be related to our arty-farty endeavours. Whilst showing us how to use inks and acrylic paints to create the background for this piece, Dyan encouraged us to keep going and never be afraid to experiment. Success is something to build on, we shouldn't stop because we're afraid of spoiling what we've already done. Failure is something to learn from, then cover up with another layer and move on.

Speaking of which - I've just spotted my mis-quote, so I will need to go back in and rectify that, and although I love the vivid colours, I really thnk the whole thing needs some more black, and maybe some drippage ... hmmm ...

I hope you're having fun wherever you are today and thanks for taking the time to check out my blog - see you again soon :o)

Annie xxx

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Go Explore

Hi everyone,

This month's challenge over at Go Go Getaway was this fab sketch ...

Image may contain: text

I love working with sketches, and this one inspired me to finally get around to scrapping a photo of my youngest son, Tom, which was taken 33 YEARS AGO can you believe it?!

Here's my finished page - bit of a dreary photo as it's gone all overcast here today ...

I used papers, die cuts and embellies from my latest Quirky Kit and mixed with bits from my scrap stash. 

Wasn't he cute?! <3

Thanks for popping in today, see you again soon :o)

Annie xxx

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Colourful Discovery

Hi everyone,

Every two months my gorgeous Quirky Kit arrives in the post, all wrapped in colourful tissue paper, which of course I stash away to use for collage or wrapping. Last month, there was a sprinkle of die cut magenta tissue flowers - very pretty, but I wasn't sure what I would do with them.

After seeing people on YouTube creating beautiful effects with the new Reactive Tissue from the Vicki Boutin mixed media range, I just wondered if it might be worth experimenting, and it totally was - look what happened ...

First I scattered the tissue flowers over a page in my art journal, then spritzed with water, and left for a few minutes before peeling off the paper to find beautiful rich pigment left behind. Then I had a rummage and found the previous month's tissue which was a lovely deep teal colour, tore that into strips and repeated the process ...

This will make the beginnings of a brilliant background for an art journal page - I love how the translucent colours overlap each other ...

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Digging Tunnels!

Hi everyone,

I really DIG these tunnel books :o) Here's my first one all finished now ...

 The papers I've used are leftovers from the Bird Song collection by Graphic 45 - I've been hoarding them for YEARS now, so it's great to finally put them to good use.

The method I used is demonstrated by theZim on You Tube - check out this video to see how he makes one of his amazing tunnel books with postcards. The sides are accordion-folded, then little flaps are cut to securely hold each frame inside the tunnel. Then the sides are covered with strips cut from a coordinating piece of card of paper.

I added a handle at the top because I wanted this one to be reminiscent of a lantern ...

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Light at the End of the Tunnel!

Hi everyone,

This week I've been tinkering with Tunnel Books. There are some beautiful examples to be found on the internet and I was particularly inspired by TheZim on YT - check out this video where Zim explains what a tunnel book is and shows some really cool ones he's made. I love how he chooses to work with found objects like flyers and postcards.

How cool is that?! So, I had a rummage about in my workroom to see what I have that might work for tunnel books - because of course I will get totally obsessed and want to make loads of these! I found some old children's books and some National Trust postcards which I think will work really well. I also dug out some old partially-used but still beautiful G45 papers I've had stashed away for ages. Those papers are just begging to be cut up and they're nice and sturdy.

For my first go, I decided to see what I could do with some pieces from the Bird Song collection, which features fabulous flowers and birds, lovely ladies and lanterns and gorgeous background patterns, all inspired by Japanese artwork. I had a brilliant time cutting and sticking and I'm chuffed to bits with the result so far ...

It was really hard to get a good picture of, and I still need to finish the framework, but you get gist :o) Instead of a sold background for the back panel, I framed a piece of vellum for this one, so that when it is stood on a window ledge the light will shine through. That's the plan anyway, we'll see how it goes - maybe I could even put a couple of LEDs in there .... hmmmm ....

Thanks for stopping by today, see you again soon :o)

Annie xxx

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Letting it Happen

Hello Blogmates,

I'm still picking at titbits from the delectable picnic hamper which is Wanderlust 2017. This week I decided to nibble at Week 10 and have a taste of Intuitive Painting with the talented Alena Hennessy.

Alena showed us how to create a fantastical background with acrylic inks and paints, then we cut shapes from painted and doodled paper and applied these to the background. My shapes were circles, which reminded me of planets ...

I added some doodles, drippage and spatters to accentuate my "planets", then used a white paint pen to write in some words from that old Frank Sinatra song which I love ... it's been in my head ever since ...

Hold Fast to Dreams

Hello Everyone,

I've been a bit slack on the blogging front just lately - I have been doing stuff, just haven't made time to blog about it! I sometimes wonder what motivates me to blog. It's a strange thing, because I'm very shy about showing my stuff to people IRL - so why don't I mind putting it up here for all the world to see?! Weird isn't it?

Originally, I started blogging as a way of linking up to enter scrapping challenges, but I hardly ever do that now. I do love the idea of sharing ideas and inspiration with bloggy friends - the internet is truly a wonderful thing isn't it? Also, my blog is a record of my arty-farty journey just for myself, so I think I would want to keep it going even if nobody else ever looked at it :o)

Anyway, enough waffle. In the spirit of recording my progress through Arty-Farty Land, here's one of my latest efforts ...

I'm continuing to dip in and out of Wanderlust 2017. For week 14, the wonderful Jessica Sporn showed us how to make meaningful art with shapes and symbols. She encouraged us to think about something important to us and then we gradually built up layers of collaged papers and paint, incorporating symbols which represented our subject. I love how Jessica describes each layer as "having a conversation with" the previous layer.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

WOYWW 413 - Miniature Madness

Hello Fellow Deskers and Bloggy Peeps,

I've missed a couple of What's On Your Workdesk Wednesdays due to too much other stuff going on, so looking forward to catching up this week - if you would like to join in with the fun or find out what it's all about, just pop over to Julia's Stamping Ground and check it out.

Here's my workdesk today - I've been making miniatures again, at the dining room table instead of in my craft room ...

I can't get enough of these cute little kits from China - this is the tiniest one I've made so far. Here's a closer look, with the lights on ...

The detail is just amazing and I find the whole process of assembling the little bits and bobs totally absorbing. Bit of a problem sometimes with understanding the instructions and I do struggle with my eyesight, but a good light helps and now I've found the perfect glue which makes things a lot easier.

I'll be looking forward to catching up with fellow Deskers over the next couple of days - see you at Julia's!! :o)

Annie xxx

I'll schedule this to post tomorrow and link up when I get home from work ...

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Random Landscape

HI everyone,

I've been having a lovely arty-farty catch-up this Bank Holiday weekend. Here's my page inspired by a lesson with the wonderful Clair Bremner for Week 7 of Wanderlust 2017 ...

Clair uses acrylic paints to create the most beautiful, tranquil, fantastical landscapes. I was fascinated to watch her work - her skill with paintbrushes was so impressive. She made it look so easy to paint different shapes of leaves with round brushes; she used huge household brushes to apply paint, adding lots of water and allowing it to run down the page over the previous layers; then she used really small brushes to add tiny repeating patterns over the top.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Big Eden Adventure

Hello Bloggy Friends,

There's a new challenge every month on the GoGoGetaway Facebook page - with a chance to win the monthly prize and an entry in the big draw for a place at one of next year's events. This month we had a colour challenge, set by the lovely Nancy Sinclair from the GoGo design team ...

 Gorgeous colour combo, here's my take on it, with some green thrown in to the mix as well, The photo shows my niece Alice and great-niece Leila at the Eden Project in Cornwall last summer ...

My design was inspired by lovely Elsie who I've been watching on YouTube recently. Elsie has such a unique style - lots of white space; light, fresh colours; hand-drawn, hand-cut, paper-pieced elements and ALWAYS some hand-stitching - the stitched clouds are one of her trademarks. They took me ages to do, but I love the look of them.

The bunting, arrow, signpost and sunshine were also hand-drawn and cut from patterned papers, then I did a lot of doodling with my Micron 02 black pen. most of the papers and some of the embellies came from my latest Quirky Kits, but I also mixed in some older stuff - part of my stash-busting policy! :o)

Thanks for having a look at my bog today, see you again soon. Hope you're having a happy and creative day wherever you are.

Annie xxx

Boxing Clever

Hey everyone,

There will be a little flurry of posts today as I've been catching up over this lovely long Bank Holiday weekend. I'm actually glad the weather isn't great, because it's actually perfect for arty-farting! :o)

I've been finishing off my projects from the recent Ministry of Mixology weekend. Here's the very clever little box-disguised-as-a-book which we made in the wonderful France Papillon's class ...

It was brilliant fun playing with all the beautiful Decoart paints and media to create this aged crackled effect. France showed us how to use paints and glazing medium to age some diary paper and cambric, we hand-cut stencils from watercolour paper, then we built up layers with crackle and modelling pastes. The heart was painted with fluid acrylic and finished with a tiny word sticker. 

But the really clever part was in the design of the box, which was designed to hold three ink pads. When you untie it and pull on the top string, the contents pop out automatically, so cool!! I found it is a perfect fit for my ATC swaps ...

The chipboard pieces for this project all came in a kit from Tando Creative - it was only £2.50, so I bought another one to have a play with :o) 

Thanks for popping in to see me today, see you again very soon!

Annie xxx

Catching My Tail

Hi everyone,

Long time no blog! It's a lovely long Bank Holiday weekend here in the UK, so guess what I've been doing!? Yup - arty-farting for three days straight :o)

I've finally finished some of my projects from the recent MInistry of Mixology event in Coventry. Here's the ARt Box I made in the class with the brilliant Kate Crane ...

This will be a fun way to store some of my mixed media experiments. Here's a closer look at the tags I made in Kate's class ...

We had so much fun using brayers, stencils and stamps to build up colourful layers for the background, then adding our painted chipboard pieces and doodling with paint pens to add detail.
The pieces for the box, tags and decorative shapes all came in one kit from Tando Creative

In the evening, there were lots of "make-and-takes" - one of these also featured tags ...

The beautiful spiral design here is the Fossil stencil by Andy Skinner. Modelling paste was applied through the stencil, then layers of colour and pattern were added with more stencils. Finally, we were supposed to swipe over with black paint to reveal the fossil pattern ... well, I was a little heavy-handed and more-or-less obliterated my gorgeous background layers. The teacher felt sorry for me and gave me hers to bring home. Embarrassing! So, this week I painted over my mistake and had another go, and I'm really happy with them now :o)

Thanks for checking out my doings today, see you again very soon! :o)

Annie xxx