Billie’s Craft Room – FREE online workshops

My friend Billie is hosting a series of online workshops, completely free of charge this summer, called Adventures in Acrylics! Be there or be square!

Billie has been making video tutorials for Youtube for a long time now and she’s cool, calm and collected! She delivers her tutorials in a no-nonsense, fun way and has lots of practical advice to share. So, if you’re having a “staycation” this year and want to have some fun with your acrylics, which will only cost you time and materials… here’s where it’s at:


Trust your Spin Doctor…

For AYITLOAAJ – Musical Musings – 15th June

THE SONG: Right Round Ft. Kesha
Written Lyrics HERE

I like the song but I don’t really like or ‘get’ all the lyrics… However, like many people, all the changes that are happening here in the UK and all the political unrest and the effect it’s having on people close to me, makes my head spin. It’s a very worrying time for everyone I think. This is quite a satirical, sinister page, belied by the bold colours. You can probably feel my unease without me writing reams on here…

Take this any way you like! Thanks for looking!! The image is courtesy of a college prospectus and his hat is a reversed casserole dish, flipped upside down! The circle border is one of my handcarved stamps. 🙂

Musical Musings

For A year in the life of an art journal

THE SONG: FUCK YOU by Cee Lo Green
CLEAN version :”Forget you”.
Written Lyrics HERE

So I was lucky enough to find this wonderful magazine advertising image in my stash and rearranged the letters slightly to form the song title! My journalling is personal too, but deals with all those “doubters” who ‘knocked’ me for leaving school at 16 and not going onto University, etc.

I think even back then, I knew I wasn’t going to live a “conventional” life!! I wonder how many of them are really “happy”???

Roz Stendahl’s Strathmore Workshop

Like a lot of artists and/or bloggers, I have been “taking” Strathmore’s free Online Visual Workshops since the beginning of this year and to be fair, it’s probably one of the most useful things I’ve ever done. I learnt from the marvellous Pam Carriker about re-using my own art in my art journalling, and then about watercolours and other techniques, etc. from Linda Blinn in March and now…

Well, from the delightful Roz Stendahl, I am learning a more technical and very organised approach! Roz has some very strict habits and is awesome at cataloguing her own art journals. She’s the most professorial of all the teachers who’ve led the workshops so far, which appeals to me, as a mature student. I respect that and I have already learnt the “rule of thirds”!

I had no idea that such rules existed, which may explain why my “composition” either works or doesn’t! Maybe that’s why I’m so random and haphazard… or possibly not!

Reading Roz’s blog posts, I know very well that I’d love to take an in person workshop with her. She has so much to impart, but hey, I live too far away for now, so this online one is the next best thing!

The circles, diamonds and teardrops were all made by punching those shapes out of a regular playing card and then spraying ink or painting through them. The blue background page is Ultramarine acrylic paint scraped across and around the page with an old bank card and then black paint brayered around some masking tape.

The book pages were done at the same times, using leftover paint up in a random fashion and then messing around with masking tape and spray ink (which I made using rubbing alcohol and a fuschia pink Sharpie!!).

I also like the unexpected colour combinations that resulted here – another “happy accident”!!

Not Broken… Goo Goo Dolls

This spread is for “A Year in the Life of an Art Journal” (AYITLOAAJ, from now on!) I really missed art journalling and the freedom to just paint this week, so when I played the song on Youtube and it resonated with me, I used it for this spread. It’s also featured on Songs in my Heart, where there’s some amazing art, based on songs and lyrics – go see!

We're not broken, please come home...

Technical stuff – I started with a lemon yellow background (I have a whole tube of that to get rid of, or get over…), a little orange, and then a brayer, some white paint and some reddish round blobs – which became the dolls – and the big yellow bright patch in the centre where my home grew.

The dip pen came out and I even messed up the lyrics! So much for having a good memory… 😉

I used Whispers Brush Markers to colour the hair and eyes and my fave Inktense pencils for shadows and discovered that I could blend them with a waterbrush, even when they’d dried. As I was working through this page on a lap-tray, I had to try and limit what came out of my oversized pencil case, so I chose to work mainly with reds and mauves, the 3 Inktense pencils I currently own, a 9B graphite stick and some Hello Kitty tiny heart stickers for beauty spots! (I blame Barbara for my HK addiction!!)

I have yet to see all the interpretations of this theme, and I’m looking forward to that. My take seems quite literal, but home means different things to different people…

“Ethnic” and very colourful post!

I liked the theme at TMTA this week – Ethnic… and I have used some great Tribal-style stamps for this ATC. The background is brayered paint and I stitched the tribal figure to the ATC and added a few strands of suitably ethnic fibres to frame the ATC. By twisting the fibres slightly, I was able to “couch” them more easily (Scatter, are you listening? For when you dust off your sewing machine!!!)

suitably ethnic and full of fibre 'o)

The stamps are from Home Impressions. Love ’em! And also from The Netherlands today, the most delightful, nay, colourful, envelope and collaged card… from my good (blogging) friend Marit!

The front

The back

The wondrous collage...

I am such a lucky teddy!! All I did was send her a pair of “wristies” because she’s such a chilly-bird! 🙂

By the way, Marit’s also got a 2-month online workshop called Summer Camp coming soon (registration’s already open) and as soon as I have my 15 Euros put to one side, I am signing on! It’s even multi-lingual – a Dutch speakers room and an English speakers room, but a joint gallery, so we can all share the art-love! I think it’ll be a great summer camp – and there won’t even be any insects to worry about! 😉

Land of Odd…

That reminded me of the Land of Make-Believe, (Buck’s Fizz), which led me to that old Lovin’ Spoonful song – “What a Day for a Daydream“… as I worked on this page in my old girls’ annual. The baby’s face is an image transfer, altered of course and he’s a special delivery…

Special Delivery 1 x Babyee

I had been playing with layers and brayered paint and almost forgot the image transfer, but, this ODD-Bod Babyee wanted to be seen, so… 😉

What fun to be sure, the Three Muses prompted us to create for the Land of ODD; Daisy Yellow spoke of layers; Rosie Rowe was frivolous! Here’s a link to the Lovin’ Spoonful:

Structure and Beauty.

I realised today that I am becoming very “authentic”… Alisa Burke said (in a CPS video clip I saw a few days ago),  that if you can make all your own elements, tools, backgrounds, surfaces, etc. that makes your art more authentic. Hmmmm… well all I can say is that I really enjoy the “uniqueness” of carving and using my own stamps – however basic they are! I am enjoying an ongoing love affair with watercolour paper and drawing imaginary friends’ faces. I still love the feel of torn papers and combinations of such, to which you add paints, glazes, pencil, inks, etc. to create small artworks like ATCs.

I think I treat blog challenges/themes very much the same as journal prompts. They push me to work within a frame and also, when I work on a small scale, I find I become more creative in my quest to use what’s in front of me, or at least within arm’s reach. It’s possible, of course, that my ATCs may all look very similar. To that end, I am considering setting myself “an ATC a day for 30 days” challenge… Meanwhile, here are a pair of blue, architecturally-themed ATCs for Take a Word and TMTA this week:

Small pictures – Crafty Individuals Miniatures – people and places;

Fair maidens…

That’s Terri’s chosen theme for Sunday Postcard Art this week. These two are far from your average fair maidens, I think, but to me, they are lovely! The background is brayered paints in black and white, with a Cherry Pie Artstamps pen”  for interest and some co-ordinating brushmarks around the edges. These are for the Wednesday Stamper pens, pencils and brushes challenge…

Fair Maidens, both!

It’s such fun using my own girls for these challenges! And, this postcard is for my friends – Claire and Julz who are big fans – I am humbled by their love and friendship… 🙂

Another shade of green.

I didn’t blog much last week: Too busy with destashing and sorting. I didn’t even get messy till today, and I missed it so much… This is a watercolour background that I didn’t like and had no idea what to do with. So I got out my fluid acrylic green paint, sprinkled some drops and squishes over it and went at it with my favourite MMT (mixed media tool): The Brayer.

Now I had a mucky, pretty green background to create with. I started clearing up my workspace and moving containers around and I started to spot green stuff – ribbons, fibres, a little scrap of fabric, some viney ribbon from Patty; some great drawings from a book of Churches that I bought because the drawings are so cool and the paper feels good (if you know what I mean?).

So I used gel medium to stick my collage elements down this time. I don’t always because it can make writing or colouring on them tricky sometimes, but I wanted to retain the detail in these drawings, so a little gel medium over the top was in order. I had the urge to stitch the textile elements to the page instead of sticking them down, so I got the sewing machine out. Here’s the page in its raw form…

Although I liked it, I wanted to add depth and shading, but I didn’t want to spoil this page or work directly onto it, so I compromised by copying it. Even though this is a colour copy, I was surprised initially by how ‘flat’ it looked. Here’s what a little pencil and pen added to it looks like…

Enhancing the copy!

So this is for Take a Word (Green) and I find it awesome that the curved arch means I can also submit it to Tammy’s NoFrills #16 – Curve. I shall go back and play some more with curves I expect, although this started with thinking about the distance between two points. It made sense at the time – what can I say?! 😉