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:


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!

Word Art…

More from Lessons in the Raw Art Journalling Class/Workshop from Quinn MacDonald. I chose to draw/illustrate “empty” and “shallow” this morning. It was such a strong urge, I had the images of both words in my mind, so I got them drawn straight into the Fabriano journal, where most of my faces are born. I roughed them out and went ahead and posted them to the RAJ gallery.

I’ve had a little time since breakfast to work them a bit more:

Nick and Team ROW are coming back to the UK today, hopefully crossing from France before the high winds really hit hard and prevent the ferry sailings. They’ll stay in Dover overnight to rest and then head home tomorow. Yay! I shall once again be whole… 😉

I do realise that given the date today and the significance to those who suffered losses on this day in 2001, my hope and happiness may seem shallow in comparison, but I have just read a really moving post by Quinn which is so profound. I’m sharing it all over and you can read it HERE.

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? 😉

Call me old-fashioned…

Well call me old-fashioned, but I have found a very practical use for the fat stuffed fabric fobs I’ve felt compelled to sew – pomanders! For those of you too young to remember wardrobes which bore coathangers with sewn covers (to protect your delicate clothes), and small scented sachets hanging on them to ward off moths… This is the definition from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary.

1: a mixture of aromatic substances enclosed in a perforated bag or box and used to scent clothes and linens or formerly carried as a guard against infection; also : a clove-studded orange or apple used for the same purposes
2: a box or hollow fruit-shaped ball for holding pomander
I used small samples from upholstery swatches to make them, embellished with my own fabric inchies and on the back I stitched  a quilted inchy. The paper roses are from a pen box I was tired of looking at!
There’s a red one too, a little blurry, but then I am using my phone for the pics…
The reverse has 3 recycled fabric leaves and a paper rose stitched to the back. These are my entry to Take a Word – “old fashioned” – this week. I do have more stuff waiting to be blogged, but my foot’s protesting too much so I’m off to elevate it for a while. 😉

A love affair or an obsession?

Over the past couple of days I have made 14 fabric/textile ATCs, a lined zipper pouch, a fabric key fob and an origami word box… That’s what happens when I am happy! So, I am still tidying my stash and throwing scruffy stuff away, putting precious (to me), stash in drawers, etc. but because I had the sewing machine out, I am sewing. Again. Any excuse to use up some fabric.

This is an old shirt sleeve, painted and stamped to make it original…

I used homemade spray, acrylic paint, silk paint, metallic paint, stazon and an old ink pad – in various colours and heat-set the lot (in theory!)…

I used stencils, foam stamps, rubber stamps and sequin waste (both sides) and a brayer to apply the stuff!

I used this very bright, in-your-face, seahorse fabric for the lining and the keyfob… and the zipper pouch tutorial as my guide:

No hitches or mistakes this time. I was fully functional and focus wasn’t an issue as the girls had gone out by then!! 😉

Isn’t the fat stuffed seahorse fob fun? I have a brilliant “stampotique” one that Barbara sent me a couple of years ago and I’ve always thought how much fun it’d be to make some. Would it be obsessive to make a few  more d’you think?!!

Now to focus on Quinn’s Raw Art Journalling Class… (paper weaving tute today), as I actually created a collage of the First Lesson to remind me to do it! Lol! 🙂

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! 🙂

The Caretaker Bird

The caretaker bird is a colourful character with a very responsible job. It is his job to sing the notes that help grow the steps to the Family Nest, right at the heart of the Tree of Life. He has to be in good voice and gargles daily with honey and mead, brought to him by the faithful Gatherbees.

This is a big illustration, as you can imagine, for the Tree of Life is tall, and the journey long and winding. (22″ x 16″) (58 x 42cm)

Inspired by the Three Muses this week… I think it will adapt well to customized posters/Family Trees. We shall see!

Graphite pencil, black (and white) pens (various), Derwent Inktense pencils and Caran d’Ache Neocolours were used.

Eggs for breakfast?

Admittedly, Gordon the Gnome was a little surprised at the size of the egg he’d collected for his breakfast that morning, but he was really shocked at the size of the birds flying overhead… He wondered what their eggs looked like? Hmmmm….

For Sunday Postcard Art today!

I created the background artwork last night with watercolours and Gordon was discovered today, courtesy of Google images!

Have a great weekend! 🙂

Vintage Men

My vintage man is a gentleman dressed and equipped for salmon (game) fishing… and I’ve put him on one of the bubble background postcards I made yesterday. The fish are from a brass stencil and the frame is inspired by Marit!

Game Fishing

For this week’s Sunday Postcard Art challenge! 🙂