Two Roads

I am trying to get back into blogging and from next week, I’m re-running last year’s Monday Mojo email series, but attempting to create a new piece of artwork each week. If you are not already on the list, check out the side bar for a sign up box.  Monday Mojo is a weekly email tutorial delivered to your inbox early on a Monday morning with the idea of starting your week on a note of inspiration and creativity.


Last night I knew I only had about half an hour in my craft room, so I just wanted to create something quickly, without too much equipment or fuss.  So this little tag came about using a kraft tag, Versafine inks (Onyx Black, Satin Red and behind the text is Spanish Moss) and coloursoft pencils.  I stamped the leaf around the edge with Satin red, then stamped the bird on a branch with black and coloured it with pencils.  I stamped the leaf again on a separate tag with Spanish Moss and stamped the words in black, then cut them out and edged each piece with the red before gluing onto the tag.  The stamps are all from Woodland Dreams.

I made it with no purpose in mind, other than to just create something.  Now I’m looking at it and thinking about the house we are hoping to buy at the moment and I can see the text making a good writing prompt for a journal page about the move.

I sprayed some journal pages last week with a mix of old and new Dylusions colours, so I think this tag will sit quite well on one of these.




Thanks for visiting – I hope to be back on a more regular basis.




Fairy Coaster Wallhanging

Firstly, just for PEP – the list of colours used in the tags in the last post.


Now I thought I’d written on the back of them all, but I didn’t so I’m going on memory here, but I think I’ve remembered them correctly (click on the image for a larger view).  For more on the tags, see the previous post here.

fairy-wallhangingOn to today’s blog – I made this little coaster wallhanging last year with Lesley – she was teaching it as a workshop and I was inspired to make one too as she prepped her class sample.  (Lesley’s has since been published, you can see it in the March 2014 issue of Craft Stamper).

I painted each coaster with a mix of earthy tones with just a tiny hint of aqua here and there.  Over the paint I have some subtle stenciling using Cell Theory and Art Is Crafter’s Workshop stencils.  I then added a layer of stamping using water based dye inks like Memento and Adirondack.  They sink into the paint and dry back fainter than they first appear.  The final layer of stamping is done with Versafine which sits well on top of paint and retains its crispness.  I used stamps from Winter Fairies, Nature Fragments and Royal Fleur de Lys

I added some metal embellishments which I’d painted with Vintaj Patinas then punched holes and connected the pieces with some brown book rings that I’ve had in my stash for ages.  I used some Tim Holtz trinket pins at the top and added a couple of charms and pearls to finish it off.

The coasters I used are made from mountboard, normally used for picture framing.  They’re great because they don’t need any prepping, they’re topped with a lovely smooth, matte card which can be inked and painted and of course it’s ideal for stamping.  Last time I looked, we’d sold out of them all in the shop, but we will get them back in.

I’m off out to enjoy the unexpected sunshine, but I am making an effort to get back into some kind of regular blogging schedule, so will be back soon with some ‘experiments’ to share.



Addicted to Gelli

I am finding Gelli Plate printing to be quite addictive.  I love to print onto thin papers like newsprint, tissue, dictionary paper, parchment and the brown kraft paper that Amazon often stuff their parcels with. I love experimenting with mark making – not all of it turns out great, but when it’s ripped up and used in conjunction with paints and pens, it takes on a different life.

gelli print03 Having a stack of this thin stuff is just great for collage which I like to include in my journals.

gelli print02 This journal page is a mix of gelli printed papers and paint.


The thinner papers are great for paper piecing.

gelli print01 The paper above ended up becoming the tag below.


This tag features the print shown above and some dictionary paper for the skin.  The stamp is from the Julie Nutting range (Ruffle Dress) and I drew the face in using a Sakura Pigma Micron pen. I even used the plainer border of the print for the top and ruffle to give contrast and to show off the print part of the dress better.  (I added an extra ruffle along the way too in case  you were wondering.)  The tag itself is also a gelli print which has been overstamped with Fancy Flourishes and Abstract Fragments.  I added a touch of shading under her feet with a pencil.

So do you have a Gelli Plate yet?  If you have one, but haven’t got round to trying it out yet, take a look at Monday Mojo Magic issue 19 for a basic introduction.   Last week Debbie showed me how she uses the gelli plate with inks rather than paints and that’s opened up a whole new avenue of possibilities.

If you have been bitten by the Gelli bug, I’d love to know if you’re as addicted as I am!


Moments of playtime

This is my studio table this morning:


Today’s to do list  includes doing some merchandising of the new stencils that have just arrived from The Crafter’s Workshop.  I love the word merchandising – it sounds very businesslike and grown up, but for me, it is a chance to play.

I started with a wonderful mask from Julie Fei Fan Balzer called Graceful Flower and I used a couple of the new Archival inkpads from Wendy Vecchi’s new signature range of colours, Red Geranium and Orange Blossom.  I swirled the colour on with a large stencil brush and I’ll use this as a background, probably with some simple stamping over the top.


I then tried out the Navaho stencil over a piece of card sprayed with Dylusions.  I patted a versamark pad through the stencil then embossed with gold powder.


The next one, Three Quarter Face,  was a challenge, but fun.  I stencilled the face very lightly with grey ink then used the lines as guidelines for painting in the face.  This is a great way of practising colouring and shading faces.  You can play with having your light source come from different directions, change the skin tone and hair colour and even ignore the ponytail and create your own hair.  I think I’ll be using this one in my journal just to practise colouring and shading.  I found the ear a real challenge because whenever I do my own drawings, I always have hair covering the ears!


All these photos are taken at the table so you can see my working ‘scratch pad’ underneath.  I have a craft mat on the table then a piece of A3 size card which I use to test colours and stamps, check my words are straight when stamping and today I’ve used it to test paint colours or to brush off the excess if I had too much on the brush.

One sheet of card can be my scratch pad for weeks, or I may go through a few in one day depending what I’m doing and how important it is for the back of my work to stay clean.  Sometimes the scratch pad itself gets cut up and re-used as they can end up pretty colourful.

Finally I used the other half of the red sprayed paper and sprayed Calypso Teal and Lime over the Climbing Vine stencil.  I lifted the stencil carefully off and placed watercolour paper over it to get a print.


Not bad for squeezing an hour of play, er I mean merchandising time into the start of my day.



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