Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Striving for peace

 Hi everyone

I hope you're enjoying a week that is free of stress and strife? 

I'm currently working on a piece for the challenge over at Mixed Media & Art which is all about 'a world of tenderness, calm and flight of thought'. What does that mean to you? To me it's serenity, peace and quiet; pale blues, greys and variations of white. Even the weather is anything but calm this week and I'm feeling particularly fraught for no reason at all but lots of silly trivial things so I'm hoping this will restore calm to my soul. I will be back with my progress or the finished result.

An update on Miss Ava... she is slowly getting better after being diagnosed with a nasty case of strep throat. It's been a difficult week; there is nothing worse than illness in little ones you love and can do little to help.

Stay creative and I hope you find a little calmness in your week.

Creative hugs, Julie xx

Monday, 17 July 2017

Hello Monday


Well it has been a long weekend as my beautiful Granddaughter Ava has been back to hospital with another nasty bout of tonsillitis. Poor little mite is due to have them and her pesky adenoids out at the end of the month but they chose to cause trouble prior to her opp. She's had an awfully high temperature, sickness and headache.... she was so ill she couldn't bare to be touched and couldn't stand light - automatic panic stations. Thankfully she seems to be a little better today, day four of antibiotics - fingers crossed she will continue to improve. So, being creative has been the least of my worries this weekend.

Today I've finished a project I started last Monday and put down after completing the background. It is made up of an 8in panel of greyboard. I then wove strips of decorative paper onto the surface and sealed using matte medium. Once dry I applied white acrylic paint using a brayer and added texture paste through the Burlap Stencil by Tim Holtz.

The ideas has been swirling around in my head but I never seemed to be able to firm anything up. It is strange how some days the ideas flow and things just come together and other times you can sit for hours procrastinating and getting nowhere! Are you the same? If so what do you do to get your creative mojo in gear?
Today I've set about with my distress crayons, inks and stamps to finish adding detail to the background. The frames are Spellbinders Majestic Elements Die of which I cut the two largest frames and altered the largest using vintage photo distress ink direct to the card and followed by a good layer of distress embossing powder in the same colour. I love this product... unlike normal embossing powder, this dries with a gritty texture, ideal for  adding colour and dimension. After adding gilding wax in copper and green, I cut a few more layers from an old book and other scrapbook paper. The edges where distressed, the number from a Tim Holtz label added and then all sewn together on my trusty machine.

The squares where all layered together, vintage lace added and some beautiful roses which I've had in my stash for some time with a little netting and Tim Holtz foliage to finish the ensemble. The date is cut from an old book and a key with the word 'Memories' was added along with an old pen nib and the word 'cherished'.

Finally the panel was placed at an angle in a box which came as packaging - never throw anything away, it may have a use one day! I added some Tim Holtz feet and the handle is an odd decorative brad with a little handle on top, all metal embellishments were altered using alcohol ink in rust, espresso and raisin. 

This project was designed to enter into the 'All Squared Up' challenge at A Vintage Journey.

I would also like to enter the following challenge at The Mixed Media Monthly Challenge  # 38 'Altered Embellishments' 

I hope you like the project as much as I have enjoyed making it. If so, please leave a comment.

See you soon with more creative play.

Hugs, Julie x

Friday, 14 July 2017

It's Friday already...


Well it's Friday, where has the time gone this week? If I'm being honest I think I've spent a considerable amount procrastinating! Is it something you're guilty of? I hope I'm not alone.

At the beginning of the week I had two deliveries of goodies to play with and a stamp from a good friend who is in the process of setting up a new stamp and crafty goodies company (Rosie McStone Studios). To be truthful as much as I love the stamp, it's not something I'm used to working with so it threw me a little. As a teenager, I used to sit for hours drawing skulls of various descriptions in Art club but how does that translate into a card, surely skulls are for Halloween? Anyhow, I've persevered and come up with three creations to date, although one is waiting for a new arrival before it's completed. Truth be told I have another very special friend who I know would appreciate the colourful skull design for his birthday so I'll keep it in mind.

As for my delivery of goodies, I'm yet to start on those but I'm hoping to have a play next week. My desk is covered in another project which I began at the start of the week and put aside to play with skulls. I'll be back to show you how that progresses.

Have a great weekend and fingers crossed the sun will shine - it's raining here at the minute!

Creative hugs,

Julie x

Monday, 10 July 2017

More Blog Challenges...

Morning all

I hope you've all had a good weekend and made the most of the sunshine?

Here in the South of Yorkshire we have cloud and drizzle today, perfect weather for getting a little creative. I have a few ideas planned out in my journal so will be spending a few hours working on one of these.

I will be back with my progress but in the meantime I've decided to enter my 'Personal Colour Challenge Journal' into the following Blog Challenges

Stamps and Stencils - Colour/ Texture & Shape

Both of these sites are full of interest and inspiration, certainly worth checking out with a nice cuppa.

Hope you manage some creative play-time today. Whatever you are doing, stay happy and thanks for stopping by.

Hugs for now, J xx

Friday, 7 July 2017

Tando Goodies


The postie has just delivered my package of Tando Goodies... so excited.

Off to meet my lovely friend Hazel for coffee and hopefully a nice slice of cake. After that I hope to find some time to have a play.

I'll be back soon with what I create. Have a good weekend.

Hugs for now, Julie xx

Good morning sunshine

Good morning friends

What a beautiful morning.

I've enjoyed my morning coffee in the garden with my new friend. I can't think what to name him.
Do you have any suggestions?  He was made in Africa from upcycled washing machines. He wanted to come home with me after I visited the RHS Chatsworth House Flower Show last month. He has lived in my dinning room until last weekend!

My beautiful white hydrangea is loving the sunshine too. The blooms are humongous! How can you not smile, surrounded by such beauty?

Whatever you're doing have a great day.

Hugs, J xx

Thursday, 6 July 2017

First ever Design Challenge

Hello All

I hope you're having a happy day?

Addisons is such a fickle disease. I've had a good couple of days, seeing friends, nothing strenuous! Today I'm completely exhausted and can't move. Being determined that I will win, I've opted for a quiet day flicking through the Internet at all the fantastic projects out there. The alternative is sleeping the day away then feeling guilty that I gave in.

So.... flicking through the tinterweb and it seems design challenges are the in thing. It's something I've never done, firstly I was too busy with work and family, secondly too ill. So now, I have no excuses so thought I'd give it a go!

Please accept my apologies in advance if this doesn't work!

So here goes.... I'm entering my Colour Challenge Journal into the MMW#26: Anything Mixed Media Goes Monthly Challenge. The colour looks brighter than it really is but hey ho.

Enjoy your day, whatever you may be doing.

Hugs for now, J x

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

My heart melts

Hello friends

Just a quick post today, busy enjoying coffee, cake and cuddles (with baby Rowan) and friends.

My beautiful granddaughter Ava is enjoying her transition week at 'big' school this week and looks so grown up her dress. My hearts melts when ever I look at these two angelic faces, Mum doesn't agree with the angelic part when they're up to mischief!

Enjoy your day

Hugs, J xx

Monday, 3 July 2017

Experimental Monday...

Good morning crafty friends

I hope you've had a good weekend and managed to enjoy the lovely sunshine?

This is going to be a busy week catching up with friends. My long-term friend has recently had a new beautiful baby boy so I've booked some snuggle time for tomorrow morning and then I'm having coffee and inspirational chat time with my very creative grunge friend John Glossop (click here to visit his blog). Wednesday is a very much needed haircut and catch up with another old friend and Friday I will be meeting the lovely Hazel for coffee and possibly some retail therapy.

So, seeming I'm just back in my craft room after a long absence I thought I would try out some technique backgrounds for my new journal.

Many moons ago I taught a class in which we created a faux leather grunge paper journal cover. I can't find the said item and don't appear to have pictures but I will try and dig them out. If not, I'll cover the tutorial another week. It uses Glazing Medium. Basically, it extends your acrylic paint working time and prevents colour shift from wet to dry. It is quick drying so can be layered easily and is relatively self-levelling. It dries to a completely clear flexible film with a high gloss finish. Note: this is water resistant once dry.

As I was experimenting, I cut a piece of grey board the same size as one of my journal pages and the techniques is as follows:

  1. Prime your surface with gesso so it won't be too absorbing.
  2. Take two throw away cups and add two colours of acrylics mixed with a little water (It should resemble single cream in consistency). Add
  3. some of the glazing medium to each of the paint colours and mix well to combine (the consistency needs to be runny).
  4. Start by adding a swirl of the paint mixtures to your surface and begin to twist to combine the colours - if your consistency is too stiff, spritz the surface with water then add more medium to the remaining paint mixes.
  5. Continue to twist and turn, adding small amounts of paint mix at a time until satisfied with the finish.
  6. At this stage, the surface will still be wet so you can add other mediums, for example, micro beads, gilding flakes, mica powders etc.
  7. You can also press into the surface to add texture. Experiment, use lids sequin waste and stamps. Basically, experiment and have fun!

Once your piece is dry you can add a multitude of mediums but you need to remember that the finish will be relatively resistant. Use permanent inks and texture pastes, oil pastels, distress crayons and inks will leave a little colour behind but it will not be very intense. The medium will be flexible once dry; having used grey board my finished panel feels like grungepaper.

This picture shows a close up. Can you see the mica powder? In places it has left the surface pitted, giving an interesting textured finish.

I will be back to show you how I've finished my panel soon.

Please leave a comment if you've enjoyed this post or given it a try.

Have a good afternoon

Hugs, Julie x