I'm travelling into a new way of working, a new country, a new language, and a new hobby which I'm passionate about. Come with me for some of the journey...

Saturday 29 June 2019

Around the Fireplace at PaperArtsy

Hello all!  I've got a little (and I mean really miniature!) sneak peek to tempt you over to PaperArtsy this evening.  I've been playing with the Tiled Patterns theme going on there this fortnight.  Well, if you mention tiles to me, the chances are my brain will head towards the dollshouse world, and that's exactly what happened.

A simple idea led me on from one thing to the next until, before I knew it, I had some full-on miniatures work going on.  I hope you'll be able to pop over to PaperArtsy to see all the details.  And then get busy doing some tiling yourselves!  Oh and just to let you know, if you are one of those who enjoys the miniatures side of things, there's a new post over at Cestina's Dollshouses to enjoy too.  Have a great weekend all.

I am a product of long corridors, empty sunlit rooms, upstairs indoor silences, attics explored in solitude, distant noises of gurgling cisterns and pipes, and the noise of wind under the tiles. Also, of endless books.
C.S. Lewis

If you don't mind hopping over to PaperArtsy to see the full project...

I'd like to play along at Frilly and Funkie where the theme is Home Sweet Home - the warmth of the fireside, the belongings which matter to you, and having beautiful surroundings, all an important part of what home means to me
At the Bleeding Art Challenge they'd like us to Add Cardboard to a project - well, it's there as the foundation of the tiles, and the recycled packaging which forms the hearth, and also creating the mantlepiece shelf, so I hope that will fit the bill

Wednesday 26 June 2019

Wild and Organic

Hello all and welcome to a rusty post!  It's been a while since I got my rust on, but that old distressing itch took hold with this page.  (I mean the itch to weather and distress things, rather than a nasty rash, if you see what I mean!)

There are some more words from the Neal's Yard catalogue on this textural spread, so it's another chance to join in over at Art Journal Journey for Halle's Words To Live By theme.  

I recommend clicking on the photos for a close-up view of all the textures, but I'm not going to give you much in the way of a step-by-step, sorry.

That's partly because there aren't any process photos (I was too busy with the process itself), and partly because I don't really remember much about it.

I find that when you're in a state of flow you don't necessarily know much about what's going on.  You're just channelling it.

I know there's some tissue wrap buried somewhere under there on this 10 x 10 page...

... and blue Colorex ink deep down in the layers.

There's crackle, both paint and glaze, but both DecoArt, I think...

... and then plenty of paint - mainly DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics, with Quinacridone Gold playing a major role.

I super-heated it in places...

... creating these glorious bubbles of texture.

And I've used some of the Rusty Patina made by Imagination Crafts...

... for the turquoise and aqua touches of extra texture along the cracks and fissures.

Here are those words from the catalogue.  I meant to use the dip pen and ink over the top of them, as I did with the Inspiring Herbs page, but I forgot.  And now I quite like them like this, not taking too much attention.

Any paint or medium left over on the craft mat got mopped up with a watery brush...

... and splattered across the page to create even more deliciousness.

I seem to remember adding a burnishing touch of Florentine Treasure Gold to highlight the textures even further.

And the whole thing has a really pleasing glimmering sheen which catches the light.

That's where I think I'll leave things for now, with a final close up of my favourite bubbles!

After all this wild, organic, rusty decay, the next post will take you somewhere far more tidy and controlled.

I hope you'll be able to drop in again for that at the weekend (especially if you're one of those people who enjoys the miniatures side of things) and, in the meantime, happy crafting all!

All things that have form eventually decay.
Masashi Kishimoto

I'd like to join in with Words To Live By over at Art Journal Journey
And I'll make this my third and final entry over at the Creative Artiste Challenge Blog where they are on their 50th Anything Mixed Media Goes theme

Friday 21 June 2019

Inspiring Herbs

Hello all, and welcome!  I'm on a bit of a roll with my Neal's Yard Remedies found words.  (If you don't know what I'm talking about, you can find out in the previous post, Pace Yourself.)  So here's another journalling page for the Art Journal Journey theme, Words To Live By.  This one heads into my favoured world of wildflowers, but let's imagine there are some herbs too somewhere in the deep layers of the background.

And this really is a very layered background.  I've been doing a series of landscapes in this large 10x10 inch journal from Paperchase.  (I may choose to share them soon - they feel a bit personal, so we'll see.)  In those landscapes I've been playing with a lot of textural paint, heavy body acrylics and palette knife work, and this page layered some more over the top of one which wasn't really working for me.

I don't have any process photos, I'm afraid.  I've been doing my best to stay in the moment, follow the flow of what's happening in my imagination and on the page.  That doesn't really allow for stopping to take a picture!

The dip pen has been in action, working with black India ink.  Black is a rare departure for me, and one that seems to release something of sadness into the work when I use it.

There's some book text transferred into the layers of paint in various places, as well as a bit of script stamping.

Paint and pen work give a lighter touch of greenery to the black shadowy stems of the flowers.

And the flowers themselves are done with some more of the heavy body acrylic, trying to capture the fullness of the heads of the blooms with all that texture.

They have a very different energy from the watercolour versions I've been playing with in recent months (have a scroll through the Watercolour Birthday pictures if you missed those).

Here are the Neal's Yard words, which I went over with my dip pen and ink to give them a less formal appearance.  I really like the effect, so you'll see it again soon.

I am, as regulars here know, hugely inspired by meadow grasses and wildflowers, but if we're in a garden rather than a wild meadow, one of my favourite things a proper Elizabethan herb garden.

Walking down the tiny paths amongst foliage in greens and greys and blues, twisting a leaf between your fingers to release the fragrance of pungent mint or tangy lemon balm - all the senses tickled.

In Stratford upon Avon, on Shakespeare's birthday each year, people parade through the streets wearing sprigs of rosemary in his memory (There's rosemary, that's for remembrance; pray, love, remember, says Ophelia), and the whole town smells amazing.

There's a slight shimmer to the teardrops of High Flow acrylic dripping down the page.

And the scribbles and scratches and paint textures all add to the interest which comes from mixing your media in so many layers.

I hope you've enjoyed dipping in to these painty layers with me.  There are some more Words To Live By on the way shortly, and maybe those landscapes will put in an appearance too.  In the meantime have a great weekend (we're nearly there), and I'll see you soon.

Next to the larder, a door led out to our courtyard, which Mamma had kept filled with herbs. An ancient rosemary bush took up most of one side, and the air in summer was always full of bees. Sage, thyme, various kinds of mint, oregano, rocket, hyssop, lovage and basil grew in Mamma's collection of old terra-cotta pots. A fig tree was slowly pulling down the wall, and a tenacious, knotted olive tree had been struggling for years in the sunniest corner.
From Appetite by Philip Kazan

I'd like to share this at Art Journal Journey where they are looking for Words To Live By
I couldn't even count the number of different mediums used here, so I'd also like to play along at the Creative Artiste Blog where they are up to their 50th Anything Mixed Media Goes challenge

Monday 17 June 2019

Pace yourself

Hello all, and thank you for stopping by.  The sun is out for the first time in days so there's a slight lift in the mood here.

I've got a quick journal page for you, created with the current Art Journal Journey theme in mind.  It's called Words To Live By, and Halle the host is specifically looking for us to use "found" words or handwritten ones.  

I don't generally have magazines around, and I haven't had much time lately for trawling through books to find phrases that excite me, but then a Neal's Yard Remedies catalogue popped through the letterbox, packed with lovely words and phrases, and that's what I've used here.

I was playing in my Dina Wakley Media Journal, so the page is about 10 x 7.5 inches in size, and it's the canvas page, so it's got lovely texture going on before you even start.

Paper scraps were my first port of call... leftover pieces lying around the craft table which needed using before I lost patience and started yet another scraps-to-use box!

Over that I used a palette knife to add a rough coat of gesso, keeping plenty of texture and movement in it.

Then some strips of washi and design tape (yes, it's another variation on Live the Dream Jennie's fab technique)... 

... followed by some DecoArt Media Crackle Paint, again scraped on quite roughly.

Once that had done its thing, I spritzed on some Stormy Sky and Faded Jeans Distress Sprays.

I love how this looks when it's still drying, but am always a bit sad at how much it fades as it dries.  I could have gone in with another spritzing, but I was ready to move on.

These two Paper Dolls were crying out to be allowed on to the page!

They've got the customary shadowy tissue tape to give them something to stand on...

... and some simple layered lace and cheesecloth running behind them to give the page some horizontal structure.

I've no idea where the little wire heart came from, but it's been tucked in my bits and bobs box just in front of me on the table for months.  This seemed to be the right moment to put it to use.

And here are some of those words from the Neal's Yard catalogue.

Not only lovely thoughts, but in just the right colour tones too!

I love all the background texture... a gentle page, but it makes me happy.  I hope it does the same for you.

Thanks so much for stopping by today, and I'll see you again soon, either here or elsewhere in Craftyblogland.

Slow down and enjoy life. It's not only the scenery you miss by going to fast - you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.
Eddie Cantor

I'd like to play along with Words To Live By over at Art Journal Journey
I'd also like to join in at Frilly and Funkie where they are looking for Embellishments, Trinkets and Trims - well, having finally got round to using that little heart, and with the lace and cheesecloth trims, this should qualify
At the Creative Artiste Blog they are celebrating their 50th Anything Mixed Media Goes challenge - it would be rude not to join in, don't you think?!

Friday 14 June 2019

Doodling with watercolour

Hello all, and thank you so much for your lovely comments on my Holding On, Letting Go journal.

After that mammoth post, I'm here with something much shorter today.

I'm just sharing a couple of watercolour/doodling pages inspired by CeeCee Creations on youtube - particularly this video about being creatively stuck.

It's not so much that I'm stuck at the moment as that I'm slightly flooded with possibilities, and so don't really know where to start with things I'd like to try.

And then just as I get really fired up and ready to play, I realise I have some sort of deadline (not always crafting) that needs meeting and it all slips away again.

But with these pages I just played with CeeCee's combination of watercolour brushwork and pen doodling.

Actually it's mostly brushwork doodling on these pages, with a very fine brush, and the odd bit of white pen highlighting later.

I was also keen to try out some new handmade watercolours ordered from Jazper Stardust on Etsy.

They're really beautiful...

... lovely shades with some really nice granulation in some pigments, and great for mixing.

I stuck with my favoured organic and nature motifs for the most part.

I'm not as pattern-oriented as CeeCee is.  To be honest, I was mostly just enjoying the colours.

And then I did a larger page flower doodle, also borrowing inspiration from some of her doodled flower videos.

These are all in a 6 x 8 inch watercolour sketchbook, by the way.

I think it's pretty, and I did enjoy doodling with the pens, but I'm not sure the end result is quite my thing.

But that might just be because I strayed into the pink and purple zone, so it just doesn't feel like home!

But it's always good to try stuff out and see where it takes you...

... and there's always something to be learned along the way.

I hope you've enjoyed my light-hearted doodling- it's nice to create without an end product in mind.

I hope you find some time for light-hearted creativity this weekend, and I'll see you again soon.

To practise any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow.  So do it.
Kurt Vonnegut

I'd like to play along with the June Watercolour Challenge over at Happy Little Stampers