A glimpse into the studio

I don’t have much in the way of finished projects to share at the moment.  This is the state of my studio this morning:

Yesterday we had a delivery which included a whole load of new Crafter’s Workshop stencils.  Well, much as I love stamping, I’ve been feeling the call of doing some mixed media type stuff, so I had to have a play.

I’m working on a couple of canvases and having a blast trying out the stencils.  They are standing up to a fair bit of rubbing and scrubbing as I’ve been using them with fibre paste and gel as well as paints and inks.

This canvas has doilies and lace attached with gel medium and I’ve used the Circle Grid stencil in the corner.  I applied fibre paste over the stencil with a palette knife.  Here’s a close up.

Not sure where this canvas will go, I might try an image transfer of some trees on it.  Adrian took some photos of trees recently which I think might work quite well.

I’ve also been playing around with the stencils on some tags, just to try them out.

There’s embossing and Perfect Pearls going on here – I don’t have shimmery, coppery-reddish-goldish embossing powder, but by the time it’s been dusted with the pearls, it look like I do.

I love the pointy circles stencil on this canvas and can see me using this one loads.

It’s in the background of the tag too, but after doing the background, I decided to paint a face and covered most of it up!  I drew the face and hair shape and blocked it out with Titan Buff acrylic paint (by Golden).

It’s a fairy heavy body paint so gives pretty good coverage when you need to hide the colour beneath.  I don’t know why I gave her teal hair – seemed right at the time.

So there you go, a brief journey around my current work in progress. Hopefully I can get some of these finished off over the weekend, but I’m much more likely to end up with another batch of half started items – I am definitely not a completer-finisher!

Glass Bead Canvas

Here’s a little canvas that came together last weekend.  It’s a photo transfer done with glass bead gel which is a Golden product that actually contains teeny tiny glass beads.  The gel dries transparent so you get this amazing texture.  The gel was put onto an inkjet photo with a palette knife (a brush could smear the ink) and left to dry for approximately two years.  Yes, I found it in a box from the mixed media class I ran in 2009 and figured it should be dry by now!  Joking aside, it does take a few days to dry out thoroughly and once dry, you soak the paper on the back and gently rub it off with your fingers.

The canvas is painted with Golden Fluid Acrylics and the corners stamped with irridescent gold paint.  The transfer was then stuck down with Soft Gel Matte and I added some more glass bead gel and some gold mica flakes around the edge using another Golden product – Gold Mica Flake (Small) which is a gel with, you guessed it, gold mica flakes in it.

So all in all, a bit of a homage to my favourite art materials company, Golden.  It’s difficult to capture the texture and glow with the camera, but if you click on the image, I’ve left the original quite large so you can have a good close look.

Getting Sidetracked

Derrick seems to be a lot better than he was on Saturday.  Adrian came back on Saturday from visiting in a state as close to despair as I think I’ve ever seen him.  Derrick had been fed through his nose tube, but had reacted and been sick which had thrown the tube out.  Worse than that, he had severe pain in his abdomen, to the point where he could hardly speak and Adrian spent much of the simply time holding his hand. We both went on Sunday and he was a different man.  Still not right, but feeling much better, and (keeping everything crossable crossed here) continuing to improve.  The hospital have told us that if they can get him stable and get the C-Diff under control,  they will move him to our local hospital which will be a lot easier for visiting.

Basil still doesn’t like going to the toilet in the snow – here he is dashing back in again.  Even though it’s blurry, I really love this photo as it’s caught his movement and it captures a certain something about him.

He’s still eating, albeit tiny portions compared to what he used to eat.

I never did get the melt pot switched on the other night.  Isn’t it strange how you set off with one intention in mind and something completely different happens.  I have been wanting to play with the German scrap birds we got in before Christmas and for a while I have thought they would look good painted with Golden’s fluid acrylics.  The paint is very transparent, so a little paint would let the gold shine through.

I painted the bird with Phthalo Green (Blue Shade) and Phthalo Blue (Green Shade).  Yeah, I know, the colour names are just mad.  I don’t know why they didn’t just call them bluey-green and greeny-blue, but I guess that wouldn’t have been as clever as coming up with a chemical name that starts with four consonants.  Anyway, regardless of the names, these are two very intense, er, well bluey-green and greeny-blue colours and together they give you  gorgeous deep toned turquoises, but at the same time, they are quite transparent.

Anyway, over the gold German Scrap they went and did indeed give me the rich glowing colour I was after.  I hunted around for something to put my bird on and came across a pair of chipboard jotter covers that I’d painted with the same colours and covered with a sheet of paper from the Graphicus Guild paper pack.

We had generated some strips of scrap paper at work from a printing project and Adrian came up with the idea of making a shopping list style book with these skinny left over pieces.  The colour of my covers was perfect – too close a match for the bird to show up, so I needed a contrast.  I found it in the form of a tag which had previously been coloured with some combination of Glimmer Mists (I’m guessing from the moulin rouge set).  I stamped some flowers from the Grungy Brocade stamp set using Ranger Clover pigment ink and embossed with holographic embossing powder.  I looked at the bird and decided he needed a little rub down to let some of the gold show through.  Then I wanted him sparkly, so he got a coating of the holographic embossing powder as well and I love how it turned out.

This is the sheet that the bird came from

I can see some interesting possibilities for those butterflies with this technique.

Now, maybe I’ll get that melt pot switched on …

Play Day

This weekend was “me” time.  As I did the shop last weekend, it feels like this is the first weekend I’ve been free for ages.  I played around with lots of stuff, but with my thoughts on a four week course that I’m teaching in April – Mixed Media Explorations.  I’ve set up a new page to explain what we’ll be doing on the course, see the tab at the top called Classes.


The photo’s a little fuzzy but this is one of the finished pieces from today.  I have others which are still in progress and one which I may have just ruined completely – I won’t know til it’s dried.

I have paint under my fingernails and an enormous sense of satisfaction.  It has been an absolute joy to play around with paints, gels, transfers, etc.  I must say thank you to Patti Brady from Golden – I did a class with her at CHA, actually I did two, and she gave me the inspiration to get out my boxes of collage stuff and get back into this kind of thing.

Lynn is home and doing well and we’ll be going to see her next week sometime when she’s had time to recover a little.  Right now I’m off to find the nail brush!


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