Sunday, 21 December 2014

The Three Little Bears

These little cuties have arrived at their new home so it is safe to blog about them.  This is a website special order and the customer stated what colours to use and I added the flower details and some eye lashes to make two of the bears look more girlie.
This time I decided to add one of my labels to each bear.
I tried to match the pockets and the flower together.  i just love the red spotty buttons.
This bear was lucky enough to get flower shaped buttons!
I shall be adding these examples to my website to show other colour and design combinations.  There is also a pinafore design but it is the dungarees that are the most popular.
Happy Christmas Guy's and enjoy your new home.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Fauxdori Sketchbook- Art Journal - Stitch

I did miss last Sketchbook Sunday due to work and trying to get Christmas off the ground but yesterday I finally completed it.
I bought an ephemera pack  by Tim Holtz and it is titled Thrift Shop and that gave me the idea of a sewing and stitch themed page.
I started by painting the pages with paint and then added an off cut from a pattern which shows you all of the markings.  I used Decopatch glue to attach it.
I have become a great fan of Tacky glue!!  It is brilliant and I have bought some more.  In fact I had a tube for years, un-opened and I wish I had started using it before.  I found an old tape measure which is no longer accurate due to over use, and glued that down the side of my page with Tacky Glue.  I made a label look much older by following video on You tube, created by France Papillion and stitched on some scrim which I had painted and left over from my A level practical exam piece.  On top of that I added an image of a fashion mannequin.
I have some very old cotton reels and several of the labels had fallen off in my cotton reel box so I added those as well.
I then found some mini safety pins and taking an idea from an old sewing book I have I added them to some calico and a backing of painted scrim.  I also had a vintage card with thread on which is far too big for any of my sewing needles and i thought could have a new lease of life in my art journal.
Overall, I really enjoyed making these pages and I found looking for the items part of the fun. It is a similar colour to my last page so next time I must branch out and try something else.
I think perhaps something festive.
Take Care 

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Le Challenge December - INK

When I first saw this challenge theme I thought that I would not be able to come up with an idea. Then it was obvious!  Since September I have been attending a Printing evening class and I have created lots of prints 
( which is why I can not believe that I did not think of this before) but I have decided to select the following.

This a 3 layered lino cut which has then been printed with yellow, red and blue ink.  The lino is about 8cm x 8cm and i have made a select 6 cards at the moment and I hope to make some more this coming week.  
No two prints look the same and even though the ink is put on in the same order, the amount of ink used and the accurate lining up of each lino block can make all the difference.
These lino blocks can also be used individually with just one ink colour to create a much simpler print and other elements could be added.
Printing on brown parcel paper gives yet another look to the ink and when torn out and added to white card stock I ended up with some pretty cool cards.
Have a good week

Friday, 12 December 2014

Doodle Blot

I was not really sure what to call this post but hopefully the pictures will explain it better and I found it quite fun to do.
Whilst colouring some white cotton last weekend I had some paper underneath to protect the table (not sure why after all the paint and other marks on it but it is the thought that counts right?) and it left some lovely shapes.
A colourful merging of blues and purples which has blended due to the water that had been added at the time.
Then I picked out a black sharpie pen because I wanted something that would be quite blod to contrast with the diluted paints.
I added to some of the lines to make them a little thicker and to then  add some highlights I used a corrector pen.  I did not really want to use this but I did not have my white paint pen with me.  
I think this picture was taken just before I added the corrector pen and I can not find another so perhaps I never took one!  Honestly it has been a bit of a week all round, but I shall save that story for another time.
Next up is a sheet that I very nearly put in the recycling then thought it was worth seeing what I could come up with so this time I tried...............
Using oil pastels, mainly because the box was sat on my desk but also I thought that some of the colours in the box would give a bit of a tropical look which the painted background was suggesting to me.
I mixed greens, orange, yellow, white and finaly a bit of black.
The base was a mixture of light brown and very pale yellow which is not really showing up very well in the photo.  I also added some long trailing stems to the outer areas.
On reflection, I am not sure if perhaps three flowers may have looked more in proportion but it was a little spontaneous doodling between sessions at work yesterday and thinking did not really come in to it.
Might put them in my Fauxdori sketchbook.
Have a lovely weekend.  We are going to actually get started on Christmas this weekend.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Felt Teddy bears - work in progress

I mentioned last month how traffic and orders on my website has increased a little recently and I thought I would feature some of my latest work in progress.  They are not a surprise for anyone who visits this blog so I am not ruining anything.
Ready to be stitched and stuffed.  Love the faces.
A wardrobe in the the making.
Lots of felty fun, love making felt softies!
Take care all

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Print Evening Class 2 - Monotype.

I am a little late with this today due to having to do some work for the day job.  Not been able to complete an Art Journal page this week either,  but nearly done it.
So I am posting about some of the prints that I did as part of  my
 evening class.  I will be honest that I do not like all of them and some of them were definitely more unsuccessful than others, but once it goes in that press there is no going back!
 We started this session with Mono type and inked up small plates with ink into which we then drew designs.  Then I put a piece of paper over the top then rubbed over the back with a wooden spoon.  Yes you did read that right, it is called burnishing.
Again, I added marks and shapes in to a plate that had two inks applied to it.  With this print some areas turned out better than others.  The really think lines did not show up but in the flesh this print does look more eye catching but I did try and remember to make sure lines were thick enough to be seen after printing.
Then moved on to using an image.  The plate is inked up and a plain piece of paper is put on the ink and an image is placed gently on top of than. Carefully with a pencil, trace over the image so that an imprint is left on the plain paper below.  I used burnt sienna ink with the image above.
The print above is created with black ink.
It took all evening to print these designs.  It is the preparation of each print that takes the time plus waiting your turn at the press!
I am very pleased with all of these but I feel that the Burnt Sienna flower is my personal favourite print at this stage.
At this stage, my print collection was starting to grow so I decided to start putting them all in a sketchbook.
Eye-cathcing, isn't it?

Friday, 5 December 2014

Fauxdori Leather Charm

When I was first researching into buying a midori planner I saw how people personalised them with little charms on the front.
I was not too keen on the beads and metal versions and I did think that they would get in the way.
In the end I asked Ray Blake over at My Life all in One Place  who made a Fauxdori for me in a gorgeous purple leather if he had any small scraps he could send me. 
The sketchbook turned up in August and the inside colour is even better than on the outside.
Whilst ordering I asked Ray that if there was any left over purple leather form cutting out my fauxdori would he mind sending me a little to make something to go the front.  Well term started and I had to put it all to one side.....until last weekend.
Sorry this picture will not go the right way.
Anyway, I cut out the flower leather using a die cutter.  The larger flower is actually a lovely camel colour leather but looks very yellowy here.  I decided to turn the leather over so that the reverse side can be seen so that it constrasted with the front cover.
A second smaller flower is cut out in the purple leather which matches the cover.  Using the hole that the die creates, I untied the elastic which holds the cover shut and slotted it through that hole to then tie another knot.  I was hoping that I would not need to use stitch or glue.
Here it is in position and I have been using it today and it does not get in the way and sits quite happily with out the need of stitching or glue.  So I could change it if I wanted to.
There are also two long cords attached to the cover and they are used as book marks.  I thought it would be nice to be able to see them more clearly if I added one of the small flowers to each of the two book marks.  At the moment they are just tied on and will hopefully stay in place, again so I can change them if I want to.
Overall I am pleased with my slight changes and wondering why it took so long!  I am grateful to Ray for sending me some scraps to enable me to personalise my Fauxdori but keep it true to the material is is made out of.
Hoping to start a new journal page over the weekend as well as some saffron buns.
Take care all.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Print Class 1- Dry Point Printing

I thought last weekend that I would log some of the work that I have been doing at my print class since September.  Signing up was a result of doing some printing on my A level course over the past two years.
So our first meeting gave us an introduction and an idea of what we would be covering over the coming weeks.
Our first session looked at the technique of  Dry point printing.
Each week we have tried a new technique we have also been given a lovely full colour quality handout  which has made the course more interesting and gives you something to read when you get home.
Dry point is when you use a scribe to add a design to create grooves on the surface.  We used aluminium sheet with bevelled edges for printing with.  This is also called Intaglio which comes from the Italian word intaglio.
So I sat there and carefully came up with a design on the aluminium sheet.
I hope you can see it, it was really hard trying to get a picture without some kind of reflection.  I decided to go for a hedgerow theme with grasses and cowslips etc with different textures being added at the base with different types of scribes and metal implements.
We all used black ink which is added to the surface and then rubbed onto the plate with a large piece of scrim.  iI looks like you are taking most of it off again but you are in fact rubbing it into the grooves that you have created.  You then go over the top again with some tissue paper to remove more and then you are ready to print.
We used special Italian paper called Fabriano which needs soaking and lightly drying first.
The plate is then put on the roller press with the paper on top then roll through..... and keep your fingers crossed!
The paper is not cut with scissors, but ripped to give a lovely edge to it.
Once it has been put through the press it leaves a lovely dent in the paper which sort of gives it a frame.  I was really pleased with the effect it gave.
The next sample was to add some tissue paper which is lightly pritt sticked to the plate and them put through the press again.
I really was rather concerned as to whether my tissue paper would end up in the right place, but I need not have worried and I was pleased at how it turned out.
Whilst I was waiting to make more prints I decided to move on to another surface with my scribe.
There were numerous unused CD's and I sat down to create a circular version of my aluminium plate.
Due to time I did not get a chance to print it.
However this coming Monday is my last session and as part of our end of term "Printing Party" I am going to have a go then instead.  I have numerous CD's upstairs as memory sticks took over which can now be put to use and this is a technique that I could use at school.
I really like the re0usabloe quality of the metal plate and I would like to get some more of this.
Hope you like lesson 1 and I shall try to speed up with more techniques and picture examples of what I ended up with.
I have enjoyed this so much that my friend and I have signed up for next term as well!
Bye for now.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Sketchbook Sunday 2

I made some new Poppy seed head lino cuts at my Printing evening class last Monday and decided that perhaps they would make a good start for another Art Journal page.
Painted the page with Gesso to seal it and to allow me to use paint without it going through to the other side.  I think that I will have to start sticking the pages together as they are rather thin for this type of work.
I then added burnt sienna watercolour from a tube and painted both pages.
I also added some ripped sections from an old book to break up the painted [age but also to add interest.
I printed with the lino print and it possibly was not as clear as it could have been due to the uneven surface created by the contents of the previous page.
So in the end I re-printed it on to grey art paper and then stuck that on to my page to cover the not so good print!
I then added some white paint using a white paint pen and then white acrylic paint with a brush.
The other page was more successful.
With this side I added white and black pen with some mark making and more water colour paint.
I decided that this time I would add some writing.
"Happiness held is the seed, happiness shared is the flower"
I had bought some stamps when we went to Creative stitches in Exeter in September, so I decided to have a play with those too with some matching ink that I had.
This has perhaps turned out a little darker than I intended but I liked to two variations on the lino cut that i printed.  This is a slightly different direction for me as my sketchbooks are normally for recording rather than painting into directly but I shall keep going until I find a style and theme that I like and get along with.
I thought that over the coming weeks you might like to also see some of my evening class printing so I shall be adding pictures of those too.
If Art journaling interests you then do pop over to You tube as there are many good videos with links to blogs and websites.
Have a good week.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Sketchbook Sunday - on a Monday Art Journal Page 1

I do not know what happened ................first the post was there and vanished - along with my curtain pole rings that I can not find at the moment, but that is another story!
You may remember I bought this Fauxdori field note book and leather cover in the summer as I wanted a more portable sketchbook and I also wanted to venture into the area of Art Journaling.
I have found lots of inspiration on Youtube and spend most of my bed time reading time looking at the videos to get ideas. My first try shown above was ok and led on from an ATC swap that I had recently finished.  However, I wanted to do something a bit more abstract.
So going back to Youtube I stumbled on various art journalers and came upon France Papilion and decided to not copy as such but use one of her video's as a starting point.
I have only just ventured into the world of Gesso which is meant to make non-porous surfaces porous enough to take paint and I was a bit surprised at how grainy and rough it is when it dries.  I used ripped water colour paper and watercolour paints plus ink splats and inked paper edges to get the above effect.  I used Tacky Glue to stick it done and that is very good glue if you buy craft glue a lot.  You do not need much as it certainly sticks.
I felt it looked a little bare and I can not bring myself to actually write on any of my pages yet, so I went upstairs to see what else I could find in this colour scheme.
I took out some fabric that crinkled and would add texture plus some wool roving before it is made into felt.
I also found some pre-painted Tyvek left over from my A level and laid these on the page until I liked their position.
I put the wool roving behind the Melted Tyvek and glued down with the marvellous Tacky Glue.
The Tyvek has been painted with blue, silver and gold acrylic before heat is applied and crinkles the surface.
This picture shows more Tyvek but also the pre-crinkled fabric.  I have had it for years and used it for so many projects I sadly have no idea where I first bought it.  Very effective on these pages.
Shows up well in this photograph and that was the effect that I was after.  I like the abstract look of these pages along with one of my favourite colour combinations.  I want to give these pages a title or name.  Any ideas?
I was quite pleased with my first pages here and I have already started my next in which I intend on trying out my own idea straight from scratch now that I have had the guidance form France.  I want to create smaller sketchbook pages which I feel I can complete when I do not have much time, use up lots of scraps which my A level course generated and generally have fun cutting, sticking, painting and creating!
Hope you like this and I shall make sure that I press the publish key more carefully next Sunday.
Take care.

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