Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Class information

Thank you to all those lovely, lovely people who have been emailing me asking when details of my classes will be released. Family life has been my main focus for the last few weeks but I have been trying to figure out alternative class options, as the very lovely Steph no longer has enough space to accommodate my classes at The Bead Scene.
With that in mind, and along side all the family commitments, I have come to the conclusion that for the remainder of this year, I will only be teaching a few classes at other stores, so if you would like to join me for a class, this is where I will be.

6th September 2014 - Ali Craft retreat in Daventry.

20th September 2014 - DEMO at Alexandra Palace with PaperArtsy

4th October 2014 - Crafting Time, Shepreth

19th October 2014 - The Stamp Attic, Wantage

If you are unable to join me for one of these classes, there is one demo slotted in my schedule for Ally Pally, which is always an amazing show. I get to catch up with all those loyal followers who have supported me throughout my creative career. The show, in my opinion is the best show on the stamping/scrapbooking calender and is an opportunity for the general public to see all the latest releases alongside fabulous demonstrations from some of the UK's leading suppliers.


Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Weekend of crafting

On Saturday 6th September 2014, I will be teaching a class at the Ali-Craft retreat in Daventry. I taught there last year and it was a fabulous event, so I feel very honoured to have been invited back again this year. The lovely Ali tells me that she has one remaining place available, so I thought I would post a sneaky peek of my star book project to see if I could tempt one of you lovely crafty folks to join us for a weekend of paint, ink, sprays, stamps and stencils. We will be using some of the brand new (yet to be released) products from PaperArtsy as well as some Luminarte products.

If you think a whole weekend of getting messy and having a giggle with a bunch of like minded people sounds like heaven to you, click here for more details of how you could grab that last remaining place.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Summer Vase

Today I thought I would share a home decor project with you that has a lovely summery feel about it. Of course it would have been lovely to have some freshly cut flowers to put in it but sadly my garden didn't have anything suitable to offer today. I think I may actually purchase some dried flowers for it, that way, I can always have it on display. I'm in the process of decorating a bedroom and it is the perfect colour for my new blue room.

My vase started life as a cheap glass vase, probably a charity shop purchase. It has been sitting on the shelf of my studio for a while now, just waiting for a make over.

The first and most important thing you need to do to prepare your vase is to wash it. You really need to remove any grime, grease and finger prints from the glass before painting, so make sure you use some hot soapy water and give it a good scrub.

It is best to try and use one of the opaque paints for the first layers of paint, I chose Concrete and applied an even layer with a piece of cut'n'dry foam. When completely dry, add a second layer to achieve a good base coat.

I added some texture to the vase by adding a layer of mesh. This is the stuff that plasterers use, it's self adhesive and goes on like a dream.

Next, I used Lake Wanaka Fresco to print one of Ellen Vargo's stamps. This one is from EEV03.


I very gently sponged some of the Lake Wanaka paint over the mesh.

I printed the small scratchy stamp from EEV02, using Lake Wanaka again.

A change of colour for the next stamp. This time I used Elephant and the stamp is another one from EEV03.

Some stencilling fun next. I chose the flowers from Jo's Bloom stencil, PS008 and used both Lake Wanaka and Space Cadet to shade the flowers.

If you can, try to continue the stencil pattern around the corners of the vase for continuity. It's not too difficult to do.

Using Space Cadet Fresco, I stencilled an image using one of my stencils, PS002. I masked off the flowers at the bottom so that it looks like the stem of my leafy image goes behind the flowers. I did have to extend the stem though.

Repeat for all four sides, adding extra sprigs of leaves to fill in any gaps.

For the finishing touches, I dipped the end of my paintbrush in some Space Cadet to add some dotty accents to some of the stamped images.

When everything is completely dry and I would suggest leaving this to dry naturally as it is glass after all. Apply two layers of Satin Glaze to protect the paint. You will need to allow the first layer to dry completely before applying the second layer. You could of course opt for one of the other glazes, the  pearl or metallic would add some more interest to the vase.

This was a fun project to make, I hope it inspires you to make one for your home.

Friday, 18 July 2014

On catch up again!

I cannot believe how fast this year is flying by. Since my last blog post, life has been a tad on the hectic side to say the least. First of all, it was school sports day, my grandson Ronnie is the cute skinny guy in the middle.

The ongoing saga of the bathroom continues but at least I have a working shower now which is just as well because it's more than a bit warm and toasty here in the UK at the moment!!

On July 10th, I taught a class at Birds In The Barn Summer event at the Marks Tey hotel. The lovely Janet had asked me if I could teach a class using some of my PaperArtsy lines, some metal work and of course Fresco Finish paint. It was such a fun event, with six tutors teaching over four days. Darcy and I were teaching on the same day which was lovely as we managed to get together with the rest of the PaperArtsy team for a lovely meal in the evening. This is the project I designed for all the fab people that took part in my class.

This is my class working hard on their metal flowers.

And Darcy's class in full swing.

I was only home for a day before hitting the road again to travel up to Skipton. I had been invited by the guys at Woodware (a large distributor of craft supplies here in the UK) to teach some metal working techniques to 72 of their wonderful customers at a retailer training event. The very lovely and extremely funny Michelle Johnson was my chauffeur for the trip as I knew my shoulder wouldn't cope with four hours of driving there and back. Although Michelle and I knew of each other, we had never really had a good natter before. Well, we soon put that right, I don't think we stopped talking for the four days we spent together and we had such a fabulous time even if it was completely exhausting. 

On Sunday I taught everyone how to make a card, using aluminium, Mercart tools and this gorgeous daisy stencil by Dreamweaver. Each class only lasted an hour and was repeated six times throughout the day.

On Monday, we painted a little papermache box and decorated it with copper coloured metal, again using a Dreamweaver stencil for the design.

Haha, I have just noticed my foot in this photograph, I really should go and crop it shouldn't I?

Jane Gill, Francoise Reed, Michelle Johnson and Fran Seiford from Stampendous were the other tutors at the event and we all stayed together in a beautiful farm house in Grassington. It was so nice not staying in a hotel, we all loved the relaxed atmosphere in the farm house. Grassington is such a beautiful place, I really need to go back and spend a few days there to explore the local area.

I'm home again now, my bags are all unpacked but I've got quite a few secret things that I'm working on at the moment. All will be revealed soon but in the meantime, working with metal on those two recent events has reminded me just how much I love it, so last night, I spent an hour playing with a very cute owl stencil by Dreamweaver and some aluminium and this is what I made.

I coloured him with Little Black Dress, Tango and Cinnamon Fresco Finish paint with a touch of Classic Teasure Gold.

He's ATC size so was very quick to make.

Phew, well I think that's all my news for the time being, am off to get yet another cold drink of water.


Wednesday, 9 July 2014

A Handy Little Journal

I know I've been a bad blogger of late but today I am sharing a little project over on the PaperArtsy blog. Click here to hop on over for all the details of how to make one of these for yourself.

Monday, 30 June 2014

A page in my journal

This is one of those pages that has developed over a number of days. Working in my very lovely 12 x 12 kraft journal, I sprayed a splash of colour with some Color Bloom sprays. A few days later, I came back and brushed over it with some Snowflake Fresco Finish.

Then I used some Mermaid and Guacamole to print some of Ellen Vargo's carved images.

A few more days passed and I added some stencilled images.

Some more of Ellen's stamps.

Then I forgot about this page for a few days as my time was taken up with some house projects....grouting the tiles that Mark had put up in our bathroom. Let me tell you, it's not difficult to do but it really is quite hard work on a hot day!!! Anyways, the tiles are looking splendid.

Next task, which hadn't been scheduled on my "to do" list at all was to clear the loft!!! In order to fit the new shower, Mark is going to install a pump as we have rubbish water pressure and this will cure that little issue for us. Only snag was, that it needs to go in our loft and it is, or should I say was, full to the rafters with nearly twenty years worth of accounts for the shop, every piece of school work that all three of my children ever came home with, toys, magazines that Mark can't bring himself to part with and a gazillion suitcases!!! It took two days and four trips to the local dump plus a trip to the charity shop. We now have a truly well organised and much emptier loft and the bonus to emptying the loft was that I found my daughter Kelly's guitar, which apparently was superb timing as her son Ronnie wants to learn to play and she was just about to place a bid on a guitar on that well known auction funny!!

So today, I managed to get back to my journal page, I added some script from a Sara Naumann set of stamps and some of Ellen's finer/scratchy carved stamps with Orange Blossom Archival ink. I also added some dots and outlining with my Sharpie pens and it was all starting to come together.

A bit more stencilling was needed to fill the gaps and then I stencilled Summer Time on page one and stamped the rest on the quote on page two with JOFY's alphabet set.

My final touches were a couple of Darcy's stamps to fill the remaining gaps. So this is a real mash up of different stamps but I have to say it was quite nice knowing that I had a project on the go in the studio so that if I had a spare ten minutes, I could just go and add a few bits and bobs without starting a project from scratch. I would definitely do this again.

Monday, 16 June 2014

My Beryl Taylor Book

A few weeks ago, I took part in a three day class with the very lovely and very talented Beryl Taylor. Beryl now lives in the US, so the chances of taking a class with her are a bit like gold dust so I snapped up the opportunity. Beryl packed her suitcase full to the brim with samples of her amazing work which I found incredibly inspiring. I didn't get anywhere near finishing my fabric book in class but I have been working on it since. It's not quite finished yet, I have more beads that I intend to sew on. The book is not bound together yet either as I have a couple of pages that just need something else and at the moment, I'm still considering those options but I just wanted to share with you, how it's looking so far.

This is my front cover. All the cotton background pages were printed on a Gelli Plate.

Beryl taught us how in incorporate sheer fabrics in our books which I really love, so there are lots of bits of sheer fabrics throughout my book.

This is my favourite page but I just need to find that perfect something for the top of the page.

A close up shot so you can see all the layers.

I'll probably add some more beads to these pages.

Not sure if these are finished yet either!!

Close up shot so you can see the texture.

The back of the book is finished....I think. This will be one of those projects that you can just keep adding to and I love that, every time I discover something new, I'll be trying to adapt it to fit in this book.

Finally, I just wanted to share this fun picture with you, taken on Father's Day when the whole family came over to see Mark. Both Seb and Isla are three years old now. Seb is just two months older and loves to dress up, Buzz Lightyear was the outfit for the day and little Isla persuaded him that he need to have his hair was really quite hilarious.

OK, that's me for today, am off to sew on a few more beads!!