Monday, 24 April 2017

Feeling the Feels

Circle patterns stamps by Dina Wakley
Marks stamps by Natalie Kalbach
Corncob stencil Kasia Avery for Crafters Workshop

I call this page 'feeling the feels'. It started out quite calm, and quite pretty, and then as I worked on it I really 'felt' it. These are my favourite kind of journal pages - the ones where I lose myself in the process, stop worrying about the outcome, and just feel it.

I used some lovely new stamps by Dina Wakley, I am loving the Circle Patterns. What is not to love about circles? When stamped in red these ones have a touch of Mini Mouse about them ;-) I also used her new Scribble Sticks, and as you can see I did a lot of (therapeutic) scribbling.

Here are a few of the steps along the way so you can see how it became more and more ... what's the word? Chaotic?!

So, I taught this page at Art from the Heart yesterday as part of my regular art journaling classes there. I feel very lucky indeed to live near to a fabulous bricks and mortar shop, with a teaching studio. You can check it out, including a link to lots of lovely workshops *here* My 'regular' art journaling class has been running for about 3 years now. I think, although I do lose track of time! And it is an amazing group of very creative people (and messy too!)

Here's the second page we made in the afternoon, with a completely different technique. We used a brayer for this one:

Sketched Layered Fronds by Dina Wakley

It started out like this:

And lots of layers later it looked like this!

And here are my pages side-by-side in my square, black, Dylusions journal:

So, how did the regular art journalers do? Fabulously! They made some really gorgeous art journal pages ... look!

Byee for now. I'm off to get ready and prep for my next art journal class!

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

The amazing Ministry of Mixology

Box kit, tags, and elements all designed by me! Available from Tando Creative
Edit: Tando kits are now available *here*

I have just returned home from a whirlwind weekend of fabulousness that is The Ministry of Mixology retreat, Coventry, UK. This was the fourth one of its kind, and the second time I have taught there, and is the brainchild of the amazing Andy Skinner of DecoArt, and the wonderful Di Oliver of Tando Creative. This retreat is seriously going from strength to strength, and is a most friendly, well organised, creative and inspiring occasion. You can check out future events *here*

I designed a Tando kit for this event which included a box, several tags to go inside, and whimsical elements to decorate the tags with. I sent Di a scribbled drawing of what I wanted it to look like and Di added the magic to make it happen :-)

The whole thing is decorated with paints and mediums by DecoArt: 
Mediums: Gesso, Tinting Base, Sand Texture Paste, Matte Medium, Weathered Wood.
Fluid Acrylic Paints: Cobalt Teal Hue, Green Gold, Cobalt Turquoise Hue, Vermilion, Quinacridone Red, Quinacridone Magenta, Carbon black, Metallic Gold.

Here are some pictures of the decorated inner tags:

And I was lucky enough to work alongside the hugely talented France Papillon all weekend!

Andy Skinner, France Papillon, and me!

The retreat runs over two days with 35 students in each class. We are lucky enough to be supported by helpers and runners in each class, who are all talented artists in their own right, and seem to instinctively know what is needed. They are fabulous! And it all takes place in a hotel so everyone gets to stay together and socialise, and eat and drink lots and have huge amounts of fun along the way. Saturday evening consists of some great make and takes, demos, and all sorts of other shenanigans (I'll leave that up to your imagination!)

So, just to prove it all happened, here are a few photos of art in action:

(Er .... just who is this photo bomber?!!)

And just look at this! I was absolutely blown away by just how much everyone achieved in the time they had. I tried to design a project that didn't have to be finished on the day, but an awful lot of art did get finished! Pictures like this make me feel incredibly proud :-) Just get a load of all this colour!

So now I am back home, and taking it easy for a few days, and chilling. Thanks to all the mixologists who came along to play and made it such a truly amazing weekend. At the end of the day, it's all about the people who turn up to play at these events, and what can I say? You rock!

Monday, 27 March 2017

An angel in my art journal

Oh, I love a bit of colour! This page really just started out as a bit of pattern-building/mark-making, which is one of my favourite ways to create an art journal page.  I love the possibilities of just starting with a blank page, and then just playing with colour and see where it takes you.

I worked in my black square Dylusions journal and began by adding a scruffy coat of white gesso and then literally scribbling with my Distress crayons. Most of this gets covered up, but that's not the point. Scribbling is liberating, therapeutic, and most importantly the page is no longer a scary blank white.

After that I kept adding patches of colour, doodles, and also made marks with my *new* Dina Wakley tools. Love them!

Finally, after much playing I decided to add an angel. Angels have been a fairly regular visitor in my art journals ... especially faceless angels. They speak to me more. A face has expression so as soon as you look at it it is telling you something, whereas a faceless angel is open to interpretation.

Finally I added a collaged crown and heart and then typed the quote 'i love me' over and over to add to the face. Practising a little self love. I don't want you all to think that I really DO love me. Sometime I think I'm alright and sometimes I think I'm not (errrrr ... don't we all?!) helped along my my erratic middle aged hormones no doubt. 

I do know that I could do with giving myself a break once in a while, being a little less self-critical. So, here is a little reminder to myself.

Byeee for now!

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Layers, layers, and more layers!

Whimsical House, and Mini Stitches stencil by Tando Creative
Background stamps by Andy Skinner
Paints and mediums by DecoArt

I have had so much fun playing with these lovely shapes from Tando. Here I used one of the larger houses from Whimsical House Set 1, and made it into a cute little hanger. The greyboard is a lovely weight, and makes for a great sturdy little hanger.

I used DecoArt fluid acrylics with a brayer to create my background, as well as LOTS of layers of stamping and stencilling, and a bit of added doodling for good measure. The door has a layer of DecoArt Media Crackle Glaze - you can just see the glossy cracks in this photo.

I created this long tag in a similar way, with lots of layers using a brayer and Fluid Acrylics. The heart shape is one of the new Tando 'thins' - same great shapes but in a thinner weight which is great for layering up in art journals etc/

Long tag, Heart, Mini Stitches stencil by Tando Creative
Background stamps by Andy Skinner
Paints and mediums by DecoArt

And here's a closer look at some of the layers .... so many layers!

Byeee for now!