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:

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La Tomatina – TT – Gratitude

When we lived in Spain – and we were there over 10 years! – we were always involved in the local fiestas. We were so lucky to have experienced everything from helping to build floats for carnivals, to making costumes for kids, to actually performing (Nick used to be a fire-eater, and I used to work with him!!), that I have super memories of those times. I choose to be grateful that we had those experience which made the memories…

So when I came across a photo of “La Tomatina” in a National Geographic magazine, I had to use it in the Khadi journal. This is a transfer onto watercolour painted backgound, which I have used as the basis for today’s Texture Tuesday entry – “Gratitude”.

Here’s a link to La Tomatina, if you’re curious about this crazy fiesta!

I used Ugg love (sepia), soft light and removed some texture from the central image;

Ladder texture with colour burn, increasing the lightness

The font is aaaiiight! fat with drop shadows, which I coloured to make it look a bit like tomato splats!! The text on the right was altered with colour burn.

So, I am grateful that although we didn’t go to the tomato fight, we got to live a lot of fiestas and enjoy them!

Petr and his dreams…

Do you think polar bears dream? What do they dream about, I wonder… Could it be big, juicy salmon or the thrill of a chase? Or maybe they dream of finding a mate? Dreams are doorways into our subconscious, are they not?

The image is a transfer from a National Geographic magazine, into the dreaded Khadi-paper journal! I used 2 shades of Inktense pencils to colour the background, scrubbed with water and brush (or blended, if you prefer, though it was a lot quicker and less technical than that!!); I had to dry the page with my heat gun as I intended to write on it…

However, having taken a liking to hybrid art and being very protective of my transfers and backgrounds, I decided to scan it into Photoshop and play with Kim Klassen’s textures and layers, which I have just learnt to do!

I used Ugg love – changed the colour to blue to suit my palette – and the painted music texture from the Textures in Ten Class. Thank you so much Kim – you have opened my eyes and taught me to play again! ♥

For The Three Muses – Doorways – this week. And for Petr, and all the other polar bears out there, looking for love…

And in the beginning there was Baby!

For fun, another image transfer – I fell in love with the cute baby face and transferred it to my Khadi journal, over the top of some watercolour splash-work, which might have otherwise ended up as flowers. Slightly enhanced with watercolour paint around the image and a little fun with the azalea brush on Photoshop, the journalling reads:

“And in the beginning there was Baby! Innocent. Beauty spot or Birthmark? Cherub’s smile… xo ♥”

I realise Baby looks a bit tatty and grubby, but I really like the flowery headband and the imperfect transfer effect!! Liberating is imperfection!! 😉

For the Three Muses – Words – this week!

From junk to poetry…

I had a really enjoyable experience again yesterday. The foot was painful, so I treated myself to some down-time and a little sewing by hand. I had another couple of “pomanders” that I wanted to finish off, but these developed characters of their own. These two became rebellious little stuffies – “The Pomander Boyz”! Meet Cyclops and Chewy!

It’s amazing the attitude an inanimate object can assume with a bit of help from some buttons, beads and embroidery floss, isn’t it?!!

The same evening, I got out the giant pencil case, a couple of pens, the khadi papers journal I dislike and the tin of  Neocolours. I spent a while creating washes for backgrounds and cutting up a Council Tax leaflet (I’m not mad – it’s a process!!), for Lesson 2 of Quinn’s Raw Art Journalling. I found phrases and words that held appeal, or the potential of a union and this poem was born, from the wordage I found in the junk mail:

I haven’t analysed any of this – but I feel what the verse means to me, personally. I wonder what it means to you? 😉

Weavings…

I’m taking Quinn MacDonald’s Raw Art Journalling Class and discovering strange things about me, myself and I! Hopefully I am not turning into a stalker, but I have been visiting Quinn’s blog (and a couple of others) very regularly lately. For instance, yesterday I linked to the paper-weaving tutorial Quinn had posted.

Maybe I have been a bit cynical, but I never realised how cool the simple acts can be… I cut up 2 backgrounds I had made – one from the last time I was carving erasers, so on thin foolscap paper; the other was a Fabriano watercolour card that had printed out wrong and thus been used in an experiment with 3D paint -writing (don’t ask!). So, different texture and weights of papers became this:

I didn’t think it’d work at first as the colours are a bit similar, but I swapped them around a bit and taped down the heavier watercolour strips first. They aren’t even, although I did cut them out with scissors, I just didn’t do it too precisely! I then took strips of the lighter-weight paper and wove them through the downward strips.

Of course, having discovered that I have a control-freak gremlin – came as a bit of a shock, actually – I couldn’t just be happy with the weaving, no! I got the black and white pens out and started to doodle… But, I think the weaving is now much better and more appropriate for inclusion in (one of) my art journal(s)!

In my jobs and in my home, I know that I am a bit of a perfectionist. I may not be “Mrs. Tidy”, but I am clean, and fairly well organised; I do tend to be a bit impatient – hate waiting for ‘other people’ to do stuff, when I know that secretly I could do it faster/better myself… so I guess I do have gremlins after all. 😉

Broken – kiss it better!

Remember when we were little? I do. When I hurt myself, my Mum would kiss it better… all those scrapes and grazes. So, this doll is broken…

For AYITLOAAJ: Musical Musings – July 15th (I really didn’t like the song at all.)

THE PROMPT: Broken
THE SONG: Mama’s Arms by Joshua Kadison
Written Lyrics HERE
PRODUCT/TECHNIQUE: Kisses

Enter the dragon!

I suppose this is a product of my restless spirit (at the moment!) and my warped sense of humour! I created the background over the previous weekend, whilst home alone (and we all know what can happen, don’t we?!!!) and I carved some “house stamps”, using cheapo erasers that I’d bought on my previous shopping trip (40p for 2 at Morrisons!!)

For this week’s Three Muses – Oriental – challenge: Dragon courtesy of Dover publications. All the rest is me! The text reads:

“And the people fled as the great Dragon, Hun-Gri Mun Chin

descended on the village to do his weekly shop…

just in case “Ribs” were on his list!”

That painted and stamped page is still bare in my art journal, looking a tad “Vincent” with the circles, so I might develop it more later, but it sure made for a fun background here!! What a joy digital/hybrid art is – especially when I have trouble getting up and downstairs for now! Never mind… I’m on the mend and grateful for all the get-well wishes – thank you all! 😀

Things my mother should have told me…

The title is taken from a brilliant book I bought last year at a Flea Market – “Things my mother should have told me – The Best of Good Housekeeping 1922-1940”. As today’s SPA theme is “vintage glitz and glam”, I thought I’d take a look at it for inspiration, especially as I made a mistake when stamping and embossing a 1920s image!! So that melted into the background (quite literally), and I cut this advertisement from the right side of one of the pages…

Isn’t that a fab ad for Helena Rubinstein? And the text is so 1920s… my Mum used to buy HR cosmetics when she could afford them!

The biggest problem with that book is that it’s absolutely fascinating – a charmingly retrospective look at women and how their lives changed during those formative decades. There are “Housekeeper’s Diary” notes, recipes and problem pages, fashion plates… I could spend a lot of time lost in its pages! 🙂

Wednesday Stamper closes its doors…

I think this is so sad as I’ve been a participant on and off for the last 3 years or so. But, everything comes to an end and new challenge blogs emerge and life goes on as people get busier, etc. In honour of their closure, I wrote haikus and created this page:

“We flocked to their blog

and we created with joy:

every week was new.

Their challenge awoke

sparks of creativity

In all who took part… “

So farewell to WS and I wish you all joy and peace and creativity…

I am adding this to Theme Thursday’s “Wings” theme, which inspired the page originally! The stamps are a combination of handcarved and commercial. 🙂