Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Star Book

On Saturday, I taught a class for the lovely Ali and Iain of Ali-Crafts at their retreat in Daventry.  The project was a star book and I had twenty five fabulous people attended my class. Every single project was totally different from my sample, the colours were amazing. It was fast paced, fun, messy, hilarious and there was lots of chocolate (thank you Danielle).

We made master boards using Colorbloom sprays, my PaperArtsy stencils, lots of PaperArtsy background stamps by Ellen Vargo and Sara Naumann and of course, my all time favourite paint, Fresco Finish. These were chopped up to create the pages and covers for the books.

We used the new floral stamps by Darcy and pretty much all of  Jo Firth-Young's floral images to create some focal images for the books.

We used some of the phrases and quotes from ELB05 & ELB06 throughout the book and for the front cover.

I think you'll agree that some of the colour combinations were just beautiful.

This is the front cover of my sample book. I tried to keep to turquoise/blues and orange.

And last but not least, this is how the books looks when it's opened out into a star. It's been many years since I made one of these and I must admit, it was so nice to make another one.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

New PaperArtsy Lines

Today it is my turn on the PaperArtsy blog to reveal my new lines. This release includes a new set of Limited Edition paints which I absolutely adore and three new plates of stamps for Christmas. Click here to hop on over there for all the details, there are a few projects too which hopefully, will inspire you.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Bad blogger

I have been such a bad blogger again lately. In all honesty, I really haven't felt at all creative these past few weeks but this bank holiday weekend may just have put me back on track. A group of lovely, crafty friends gathered at my house for two days of creativity. My kitchen became an art studio and a lot of fun was had by all, including my little doggie Meg. Everyone seemed to take a shine to her and she kind of stole the show a bit. Emma and Sam took it in turns to take her out in the garden for a mad five minutes on numerous occasions and now she is seriously missing their company and attention.

I was so busy that I didn't take any photos all weekend, so I have stolen a few from Sam and Helen's blogs (I hope they don't mind!!!) where you can read the full round up of events .

So the last two days left me itching to get back into my studio and after months of renovations and decorating, I thought it might be quite nice to make a few things for my new bedroom.

I found a small display unit that has been sitting in my "waiting to be altered " stash and gave it two coats of Fresco paint. The first colour was a custom mix of Snowflake, Vanilla and Vintage Lace to create a nice neutral cream colour, then I dry brushed some Space Cadet around the edges. I found the piece of fabric in my ever growing stash that is just the right colour and used a piece in each section to make a change from using paper.

I had an idea in my head to hang things in each of the niches and to try and keep it simple for a change. After searching through my stash of found/collected/scavenged objects, I decided that I might need to alter the few pieces that I had selected. This cameo was the perfect shape and size but completely the wrong colour but that isn't a problem at all as Fresco paint seems to work on pretty much any surface, so I set about changing the colour.

Although this gold crown is not exactly the wrong colour, it was way too shiny for my shabby looking project so I decided to alter this too.

I'm really pleased with the way they look now. A touch of Brass Treasure Gold over the Space Cadet paint worked perfectly with my colour scheme.

I added a few more bits and pieces which I think are mainly from Prima and decided that the project didn't really need anything else. This only took a couple of hours which is amazing for me, normally I would have spent all day just searching for the right components!!

 Here's a little close up of one of the niches.

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.