Saturday 24 March 2018

The Birth of a Journal

Morning all.
The story really starts back in February.  I bought an "Art Journal Starter" kit from Tando Creative at a weekend workshop retreat with the lovely Di Oliver and the equally talented Andy Skinner. The purchase was, in the back of my mind I suppose, prompted by another fabulous artist by the name of France Papillon. She teaches not only mixed media but also how to explore your inner self through Art Journalling.  I have always used my crafting as a means of pain management and I am going to need it following an accident that has me in more pain than my fibro alone. This also followed the death of my father and there were some emotions that needed to come out and I really found that creating a journal page helped me on this. At the time a loose page was created with a view to adding it to a journal when I had one. I don't know if this one page will ever be added to this particular journal as I'd like it to be a happy place and leave that particular page shut in a drawer for now. Time alone will tell. So............

The Birth of This Journal
A daunting task when journalling has not been an avenue previously explored. Where to start? Well to build the book was the obvious starting point. I won't bore anyone with the hows on this. All the instructions came with the kit, including needle and thread to hand sew the signatures up and into the framework.
The next fun part was decorating.
First the cover.
A coat of white gesso - always a good starting point. Various colours of Decoart paints in the green/blue range with a bit of some browns thrown in. Stamping next. The newts in the "Creepers and Crawlers" plate and a stamp from the Rock 'n Rust plate, both from the Illusionary artists range (the France side of the collaboration) from Chocolate Baroque.
The back cover just has no newts. The green at the bottom - that's the octopus tendrils to form some weed.
The inside front cover. The second layer of a piece of napkin adhered and blended in with the butterfly and moth from the creepers set and highlighted with pan pastels

Inside back cover
The front piece of that napkin on a piece of water colour paper to form a pocket. A bit more stuck in to top corner for balance. The pocket is not stuck down here to show the stamping and paint "drippage". The hearts are made using crackle paste through stencils from Tando and France. Again - all paints and mediums from Decoart. The contrasting purple - because that has always been one of my "go-to" colours and a prompt of back to basics was also influencing this area. That stamp "said something to me" - from France's own shop last year.

Back to basics also features in my first and opening page. How far back? Well France also has the numbers 1957 on the stencil used on the inside back cover. It's that one element that sealed the purchase for me. The year I was born. This was done on the "other piece created when making the back cover pocket. 

Other elements apart from the paint. Some tissue paper and a piece of washi tape that stamps from France were sent wrapped in last year. Some stencilled areas with crackle paint. Some bubble wrap stamping. A piece of paint coloured cambric. Words and hearts from the Perfect Words plate from Illusionary Artists.

That's it for now in my journal.
Thanks for looking

I'd like to enter this journal page into the challenge at
The Artistic Stamper - Stencils and Masks

Friday 23 March 2018

Time of En - Light - Enment

Evening all. Just a quicky post tonight.

It has probably become apparent over the course of my last few posts that I have recently bought a set of stamps from the Chocolate Baroque range, Illusionary Artists. These stamps are the brain child of a couple of fabulous artists - France Papillon and Andy Skinner - and I love them. I am on a private mission to use at least one stamp from each of the plates I have before the end of the month.

This post is dedicated to the "Tech Trauma" plate.

A media board from Tando Creative formed the main substrate. All paints/media are from Decoart. First I sealed the board with gesso then painted with paynes grey. Also the remains of a clock face from a previous project. The media board given a coat of weathered wood then crackle paint. Just love the crackle effect of these two mediums together. Before any bits could flake off, I coated with matt medium. Then came the quin gold paint followed when dry with an edge painting of burnt umber. Then stamped with the image. Sealed with matt varnish.

Whilst all this was going on there was obviously some drying time that the other pieces could be treated. The clock face painted with patina antiquing cream, wiped back slightly when dry and a touch here and there of yellow iron oxide then sealed with matt varnish.

The lantern was painted with metallic gold and then black e-z stroke from my years old stash. More matt varnish.

The light from the lantern was effected with titan buff slightly watered and a dab of hansa yellow light.
All glued together before adding the computer generated words.

I wanted the font to be all the same so elected for this format rather than use any of the words in the other sets I have. (A bit of a pun going on here I know)

Thanks for looking

I will be submitting this piece as well to my application for guest DT for either Andy or France. If anyone is interested you still have a week to apply.

I'd also like to enter this piece into the challenge at
A Inky Mess - Anything Mixed Media Goes

Wednesday 21 March 2018

Another Tando Creative Mini Book - third of three

Good morning from a wet and dreary Scotland. This is going to be one of the worst days this week apparently following two days of relatively warm sunshine. That's the way the weather flows at this time of year.
Anyway, enough of the weather even though the bad days give me more time in my cubbyhole, onto the third and final little mini book in the set from Tando Creative. This one, again, is different. I tried to use different techniques on all three. 

This time I have dry embossed the cover first then applied crackle paint (Decoart), scraping back over the raised sections so that the size of crackle would vary. When dry a layer of phthalo blue paint applied, slightly diluted, to both sides. Quinacridone violet added to the edges with water towards the centre.  The larger crackled areas had  raw umber antiquing cream applied and wiped back when dry. All then sealed with ultra matt varnish. The embellishments on the front are from the Tando Thins range - Scribbles. These were triple heat embossed with stampendous aged ochre embossing enamel, also available from Tando. The words from Illusionary Artists (France Papillon) Perfect words.

outside cover

inside before pages added

close up of title and crackle

Once the pages had been made and attached, some beads from stash added as decoration

pages showing inserted tags

Thanks for looking

Monday 19 March 2018

A Mini Book - second of three

Good morning all. The snow here has almost melted - I hope that's the case where you are and that you are safe and warm.
I have the second of the Tando Creative mini books to share today. Still keeping the theme of using Illusionary Artists stamps from Chocolate Baroque. This time the plates Auntie Margot and co and Rock'n Rust from France Papillon.

Front and back cover - outside

The book base was first sealed with white gesso then various Decoart paints used to colour with similar colours to that on the stamp bord then stamped with the crackle stamp from the Rock 'n Rust plate.
The covers were then wrapped with black netting. The edges were hidden under those stamp bord elements. These stamp bord pieces coloured with distress oxides before stamping with Auntie Margot and her wayward relatives.

Inside cover - similar colours to that on the outside

The pages were made from the same prima pad as the first book in the same way except keeping an opening at the top for some tags.
Showing tags in cover
The netting providing a handy space for tags or what ever takes your fancy.

Inside with tags

A few beads from stash

Tags showing stamping from the Rock 'n Rust
This looks like noughts and crosses to me.  Noughts to note the positive thoughts and crosses to note down the negative thoughts that might invade the mind.

One more mini to do to complete the set.

Thanks for looking

This is another entry into the guest DT for Illusionary Artists challenge

I'd also like to enter my little book into the challenge at 
We Love To Create - Anything mixed media

Sunday 18 March 2018

A Mini Book - first of three

Morning all. Nearly at the spring equinox and snow falling. No - it's flying horizontally with the wind not falling vertically. Not at all nice out there. Any excuse to spend time in my craft room.
I have the first of three little bendy spine mini books from Tando Creative today. Initially it was a slow process because of drying time for the front.

Modeling paste was applied to the primed grey board book cover and when just dry enough, two of the stamps from the Gothic Grunge plate from Illusionary Artists (Andy Skinner), produced by Chocolate Baroque were pressed into the paste. Then the waiting game before painting

Front cover
I wanted to give the impression of a couple of old terracotta tiles. Various colours from the Decoart media range were used

Inside cover
 Needed to be flat because of the pages. Another couple of stamps from the Gothic Grunge set and a couple from the same range but this time the Spook plate.
Inside with pages
 The drying time for the front was used productively though - making the signatures for the inside. 7.5cm strips cut from 12in Prima paper. folded in half and then sides to middle. taped on these short sides in the middle.
spine front
various embellishments and crystals from stash

spine back

spine centre

One down, two more to go. What style will emerge from my desk next? We''ll have to wait and see.

 I'd like to enter this little mini book into the challenge at
Dream in Darkness - March challenge - anything goes but no cute
Creative Artiste Mixed Media - Anything Goes
Also, the application for guest DT for Illusionary Artists

Wednesday 14 March 2018

Creepers and Crawlers

Morning all
I'd like to share my second project using the Illusionary Artists  range of rubber stamps from Chocolate Baroque. This time the Creepers and Crawlers by France Papillon.
 I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I had a few boxes I wanted to change up - this is the second of the bunch. Decoart paints and mediums used throughout.
As always, 3D items mean a few photos as getting all the detail in one is impossible.
I wanted to show the water creatures at the different levels they would inhabit in the wild.

and the top

The stencil used is also one of France's "crackled" randomly applied using modelling paste over the box previously painted white. Then painted.  For those that want to know the paint colours used - Cobolt Teal Hue, Cobolt Turquiose Hue, Phthalo Green-Yellow and Green Gold. 
The octopi and newts were stamped in archival inks onto kitchen roll and fussy cut out and applied to the painted box with matt medium. Some crackle glaze applied over random areas of the top and  down the sides. When dry, white antiquing cream applied and wiped back later with a damp cloth.
All coated twice with ultra matt varnish to seal. 
The dragonflies were stamped 2 times each onto acetate with stazon and painted on the reverse with interference paints. Cut out and paired and wound beaded wire around the body. (Inspiration from Veerle Moreels where she wound wire all round the dragonfly) before attaching to the top of the box.

Thanks for looking

I'd like to submit this box into the guest DT call for Andy Skinner and France Papillon

Monday 12 March 2018


Evening all. I'd like to share another little project today.
A little background info - skip if you want. A while ago, France Papillon and Andy Skinner formed a collaboration under the name "Illusionary Artists" and the stamps they designed are now being made by Chocolate Baroque.
I was fortunate to be able to buy them at the last Tando Creative retreat at the end of February and although I have used the odd couple of words in another project, the collection has largely gone un-inked. That is about to change.
The first set to be cut out and used is "Spook" by Andy Skinner.
I have made a little triptych using greyboard cut with a sizzix arch die.

Skulls cut apart and mounted

Each arched piece was first gesso'd then a layer of pattered paper stuck on.
A template made from the die for applying the crackle paste. Then the boring part of letting that dry. I wanted large cracks so had to be applied thickly. This was then coated liberally with matt medium so that the cracked pieces did not fall off.
Then washes of plain quin gold then a mixture of paynes grey and quin gold.
The moon was created by dipping the top of a paint bottle in titan buff and "stamping" it on the centre piece. 
Whilst this was drying off, the images were stamped onto velum and coloured on the reverse with pencils before fussy cutting out. The pieces were joined using jump rings and scraps of card attached to the back of each arch so they would stand up.
The goblin has only been attached at the base and skellie king at the feet and one elbow to give more of a 3D impression.

Thanks for looking

I'd like to enter this triptych into the challenge at 
Dream In Darkness - Anything not cute 

Saturday 10 March 2018

Prettying up my oxide box

Still playing catchup on this blog of my makes this week. This time it's a box I decorated as I decided a plain wooden box from the works that I use to store my distress oxides and pan pastels needed a make over.
This is just one of the things I really enjoy doing. No stamping on this one, for a change. Just embossed card stock and some die cuts. A bit of metal on the corners and a wooden key. Some paint and other mediums of course - all Decoart.
Hard to get the darker colour it really is the light is not the best this time of year in Scotland and even daylight bulbs aren't working :(



one side

other side

I guess the pictures of the sides might give a better idea

Not much else to tell. I have a few more to do - I have decided to do different themes on them all - just to add some variety

Thanks for looking

I'd like to enter my box into the challenge at 
Dream In Darkness - Anything goes but Cute
Creative Artiste Mixed Media - Anything mixed media goes

Another Card for Another Friend

Ooooo I have been busy 2 cards in as many days ......
Another dear friend of mine ...........

Again, Chocolate Baroque came to the rescue with just the right image - The French Heart.
 The image was stamped onto "Sheena's Stamping card" and the flower painted with drawing gum before colourising the card with distress inks. The drawing gum then rubbed of and the image coloured with pencils.

Matted onto 2 different colour brown mats before the prima paper and more brown card base mats and then the card base. The ribbon was threaded through a gate die cut. The sentiment added on a tag and attached to the bow.

A simple card but one mad with love.

Thanks for looking

I'd like to enter this card into the challenge at
Craft-Dee Bowz - Anything with a handmade bow

Card for a Friend

Morning all
Yes I am still making bits and pieces, cards, tags, altering a few things etc. I just forget sometimes I must use more than Facebook to show that I'm still around. I'd just rather be crafting than typing sometimes but it has occurred to me that these early mornings, waking up at stupid o'clock, is the ideal time to update this blog. So here goes...........

  I recently had the good fortune to "meet" a lovely lady via facebook and it turns out that her birthday had passed a few days prior. She hadn't had much acknowledgement of it from others so I made her a belated card as a way of thanking her to pass the time very pleasantly while away a few hours chatting away like old friends. Turns out we had quite a lot in common.
The card I made used Chocolate Baroque stamps from the Steampunk Butterfly Plate and a few die cuts.
One of those fold flat pop up cards that were all the rage a while ago but I still like

Back veiw

Close up of the centre

And side views

Fussy cutting the butterflies and adding wire for the antenna.
 As a little extra I also included a little 4x4in canvas that I decorated for her

Using decoart crackle paste, embedded various bits in my stash, decoart paints to colourise it and a couple of words stamped onto vellum from the Chocolate Baroque, Illusionary artist range (France Papillon and Andy Skinner collaboration) "Perfect Words"

I'm happy to say my new friend loved her little parcel so now I can show people what came out of this little cubbyhole of a craftroom
Thanks for looking

I'd like to enter the canvas into the challenge at
Aud Sentiments - Anything Goes - with a sentiment
A Inky Mess - Anything Mixed media goes
Altered Eclectics - Mixed Media anything goes