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WELCOME to my little crafty world! Crafting is a huge part of my life ... love nothing more than messing around with inks and sprays and generally making a mess!

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Ammonite Circle

As soon as my new circular canvas boards arrived I kinda, sorta knew what I wanted to do with one of them

I wanted the open parts to look like cracks in the rock
It didn't really work but I am quite happy with it
and you don't hear me say that very often
(I can hear the thud of those who know me falling off their chairs from here!)

All done with Powertex (Lead & Ivory)  & the fossils were made with that air-dry paperclay stuff - I made up a whole 1kg block of ammonites so have plenty to play with

Colouring done with bisters & highlights with Finnabair's mica powders 
Texture added with mulberry fibres and artstones, texture powder and 3D Flex

Such a messy process ... but sure is fun!

Friday, 30 June 2017

System Breakdown v.2

This may well come back to bite my wonderfully supportive friend on her bum
but when she saw the original System Breakdown piece she exclaimed
"Don't forget it is my birthday in July.  I'd love one of these!"

Well, she was either being polite or did really like it
but either way one has just been delivered ready for her birthday on Sunday

Wouldn't mind having it back if she had just been too polite to say it was awful and what on earth was I thinking ... actually do enjoy making these and need an excuse now to do more

Anyway, left more of the keyboard exposed this time
rest pretty much the same

No skill involved ... just stick a ton of old computer parts down, spritz and spray with diluted mica powders, add Finnabair's magical rust paste here and there and you are done

Hardest part is getting the wording the right size for the stupidly small frame I decided to use - note to self: use larger frame next time!

This was the original one 

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Rust does the blues

Finding I am having to force myself back into being arty since losing daddy
But forcing myself I am!

So, Rust Does The Blues
Get it?
Clever huh?
Does it need explaining as I am sure it only makes sense to my befuddled little grey cells?

The rust is obvious ... the blues a play on words representing my mood and the colour scheme
See, told you it was clever!

Anyway, I didn't want glitter or beads or stones on this one
I wanted the colours of the embellishments to tell the story
so just stuck them on as randomly as I could and let Finnabair's waxes colour them

The paintbrushes were thrown away by a chap who attended Finn's class down in Christchurch in Feburary ... when I heard they had been thrown away I gasped and the lady who had been sitting next to him rummaged through the bin to find them for me!  Thank you Carole Davis!

I didn't get the effect I wanted with the first layer of crackle paste
so thought "what the heck" and went for it with the copper crackle
talk about busy, busy, busy
but I kept Finnabair's quote firmly in my mind
"Minimalistic composition is not my cup of tea"
and figured I hit the brief with this one

 Products used:
 9" x 12" (23cm x 30cm) canvas
Old papers - no idea of brand or design
Graphite Pencil (yeah, honest!)

Art Extravagance Texture Paste:
Clear Crackle 
Copper Crackle

Prima / Finnabair Stencil : Dots & Stripes
Tim Holtz Stencil : Flourish

Lindy's Stamp Gang Spray : Afternoon Denim Delight

Art Alchemy Acrylic Paint : Midnight Sky

Art Alchemy Opal Magic Wax 
Blue Velvet
Vintage Silk

Art Alchemy Brilliance Wax : Mystic Turquoise

Art Alchemy Metallique Wax
Rich Copper
Vintage Gold

Think I might tone down the blue edge with black gesso but yet to decide

Friday, 16 June 2017

Powertex Ammonites

This is one of only two pieces I have managed to do since losing daddy
but oh, my, I sure did enjoy doing it

My new addiction is Powertex and it was just what I needed to get me through a couple of rotten days
I am a messy crafter but I even surprised myself with the mess I got into making this
All good fun though so not complaining

The large canvas was an old one my nephew was throwing out ... found it hard Powertex'ing over his artwork but it saved it from the dustbin!   
The little panel is a piece of fencing

Ammonites were made with paper clay - first time I have used the stuff but was pleased with the results and have since made, er, a few more fossils as I have had a couple of commissions for pieces like this.

In fact, I think my fingers might be starting to tingle right now and my mojo may be creeping back
Might just be time to get messy and see what happens!

Applied Creativity in 3 Acts

Well, to start with who would EVER have imagined I'd even consider attending an event like the
Applied Creativity in 3 Acts
retreat in Coventry over the weekend of 3-4th June?!?!?!?!?!

But, consider it I did and booked my place way back in November
Then, with everything that happened it seemed to come around very fast

Being fairly local I did not "retreat" as such but Phil dropped me off and then came back for me
VERY long days - had to be there for 8am and first day did not finish until 8.45pm
But my first day was shorter as I had a total meltdown after the second workshop when, for some reason, everything just quite suddenly became overwhelming and the grief hit hard
I was texting Phil in a panic but made the decision to get him to fetch me early as I did not want to disrupt the next workshop and make an even bigger idiot of myself

People were so, so kind
One friend I had met only once before but whom is a FB friend spotted me trying to hide my tears
Came over with a hug - she was my salvation that day
thank you Kassa Hayselden

I was gutted to be missing Marta Laprowska's workshop
An artist I have always wanted to meet

But meet her I did as she was coming into our room as I was scurrying out
I offered my profuse apologies and she just dropped everything she was doing to give me her time
A tiny wee very beautiful lady who just grabbed my bags - my very heavy bags - and walked me out and sat and chatted to me

She was amazing and every bit the person I always imagined her to be
She went above and beyond for me at that moment

The wait for Phil seemed forever - but was only about 40-45 minutes really
Another FB friend, but now very much a real life one too came and sat with me the whole time - Samantha Kingdon you are another amazing friend

The moment I got home I knew it was the right decision
Needed to gather myself together to go back for the second day
and go back I did!
This time planning on being more sensible - had only two small glasses of water the day before and only a very small lunch as I do struggle in that sort of situation.  I had no cakes or biscuits when they came around so was pretty much running on empty.  
The Sunday was different and when everyone else had cake, I had cake!

And I was determined to make it to the end as the last workshop was with Finnabair - the gorgeous Anna Dabrowska - someone who has become a friend
There was no way I was missing her class

We did three workshops each day and first up on Saturday was France Papillon - an artist new to me but whom I loved from the start

We had to lay an egg.
Well, pour plaster into a balloon and blow it up and keep turning it 
Alas, most of us ended up with saucers or pancakes but, oh the giggles we had!

France's second workshop was the circles project ... a technique based class that taught us so much.  


The dreaded P word came into use here
P = Pencil
P = Debbie having a meltdown
But I was there to learn so pick up that pencil I did
Yeah, right - now you see why I hate pencils!
(actually LOVE pencils to look at and stroke and sniff but not to use!)

Finnabair's workshops were a wooden panel using her signature style of a photograph and a ton of embellishments
Oh, and her new Impasto Paints
Get myself into a tizz when I hear the word paint ... am much more an ink girl myself
But, of course, her products are so, so amazing
And her encouragement and demo's and teaching is second to none
So I managed to work with paints

Second project was a journal cover - exactly what I love doing

Pushed myself hard with the colours in both of these using colours I would not normally choose
So that's pencils, paint and different colours ... any wonder I was so stressed!

Final two workshops were with Marta Laprowska ... the Discover piece was the class I missed so did it at home and  it is nowhere near what it should be - but done it is and on my wall

The Remember panel was a joy to do in a very, very different and a style new to me - very soft and pretty!  

On reflection it was a simply fabulous weekend and I am so pleased I took part - not bad for someone who barely left the house from 2008-2013 ... check out the photo' below and there I am sitting right in the middle (total fluke as the other groups came into our room for the group photo') surrounded by fellow artists some of whom had flown in from the USA, Sweden, Belgium, Holland as well as from all over the UK ... and I was there too!

Daddy, Oh My Daddy

Am doing ok but some days are a struggle
Time marches on and it is twelve weeks already
Twelve weeks that have seen a rollercoaster ride of emotions
from sheer heartbreak to total, total joy when Eddie and Lucy got married
and moments of hilarity watching little Henry's antics

Life does, indeed, go on
But it sure ain't easy

Just wanted to blog daddy's finished memorial cards so I can delete them from my 'phone
Too painful to keep coming across them whilst searching for something else
Still can't believe it
Yet it feels all too real

The memorial cards seemed to go down well
People were very kind and said they liked them for being a bit different
But it was a tough day and I don't think anyone would have said otherwise
They were right for me and my sister 
and daddy would have sat watching me make them as he enjoyed his morning coffee and three Malted Milk biscuits and laugh at me turning the handle of the Big Shot ...
"You only have yourself to blame"
he would say as I complained of Big Shot Neckache

Turned the handle a lot for these
Every turn was for you daddy 

They were navy blue card 
and the little girl & balloon were embossed with clear powder
The rest I kept simple so not to put too much pressure on myself

Not quite back to crafting yet 
But do have wonderfully tidy craft cupboards!

Wednesday, 29 March 2017


Short one this week so head desker Julia over at The Stamping Ground 
will love me forever.

Didn't expect to have all this on my workdesk I have to say.

Making  memorial cards for the funeral of my dearest, darling daddy who died very suddenly and unexpectedly last Thursday (23rd).

Need to keep busy as the post mortem is most likely taking place today - or maybe tomorrow - they don't tell you much.

But can't let myself think about all that stuff.
Barely able to function
so even keeping the cards simple it is a struggle
Want to do some heat embossing on them 
but can't remember what inkpad to use
crazy really

So, my daddy, oh my daddy, this workdesk Wednesday is for you

No comments are necessary as it is most unlikely I will be able to return your visit - can barely string two thoughts together

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Powertex Tryptich

Funny how things happen
Contacted Wendy at Daisy's to see if she had a certain item I was desperately trying to get and she put me in touch with a "lovely lady in Cardiff" ... Joanne Roe who, as we were chatting, mentioned she was a Powertex demonstrator
I have been keen to attend a Powertex workshop for some time but had not really looked into it and said to bear me in mind as I would happily travel to Cardiff to attend one of hers
As it turns out she then put me in touch with the wonderful Annette Smyth who is almost on my doorstep!

So yesterday was the day for my first ever Powertex workshop
(I say "first ever" because there will be more for sure)

I was lucky enough to get a one-to-one session with Annette and spent a really lovely & relaxed few hours in her company as she VERY patiently introduced me to the product and then helped me produce my first piece

Wanted to do the tryptich since I first saw it
and, absolutely determined NOT to use my usual colour palette,
I asked her to remove all the browns & greens & blues from the table
but looking at sample pieces she showed me
I quickly and easily decided I wanted to use red and yellows
which, of course, mix and merge to make oranges and browns too

VERY different colours for me
but am certainly going to use them again

This is pretty much the first time EVER I have finished something and am pleased with it
I am always "so-so" about it
or hate it 
sometimes it grows on me sometimes it ends up in the Box of Failures

but not this time
this time I sat back and loved it

But fear not ... I have peaked and no-confidence Debbie is very much back in the building

Finnabair Road Trip - 25th/26th Feb

Well, as Finnabair couldn't get to the Midlands this year I just had to travel south to get to her!
No hardship, of course
Three nights in a gorgeous guest house
(which turned out to be absolutely perfect for us)
and meeting an FB friend for the first time and becoming instant friends on the spot
(thanks for your company and the laughter Debbie Hawke-Wareham)
then spending two full days doing four projects with Finnabair - the truly inspiring and just plain delightful Anna Dabrowska

First project Saturday morning was 
Layers and layers of papers and lace, gauze and fabric with the odd metal accent 

Just wish I had not used pink
I do struggle with pink 
but was determined NOT to fall back on my over-used colours of browns, greens & blues

Second project on Saturday afternoon was
have done this workshop twice before but always keen to learn more
wasn't overly happy with this one and the crooked piece of lace at the top is annoying me greatly
but (and here's progress folks! ...)
and I can live with it

The friend I met for the first time gave me a bunch of old keys
so as a reminder of our wonderful weekend and the forging of a new friendship
I used one on this piece
(it is sticking out towards the lower left hand side)
Back to my favourite colours ... was never going to use pink on this one

Sunday morning saw me doing another workshop I have done before
but, being totally addicted to Finnabair's rust paste
I had no hesitation doing it again
All of Finn's projects have a back-story to them
this one is that you come across an old abandoned book in the loft or the cellar 
and it has been attacked by the damp and nibbled by bugs and looks very much the worse for wear
 Needless to say, that really appeals to me
being a bit weather-worn and battered myself

Final project on Sunday afternoon (and into the evening!) was
We were supposed to take along a photograph
but we were not told this and being 133 miles from home there was little I could do to get one
but am really quite pleased
as it meant I got to use one of Finn herself
far happier having her beautiful face on my wall than my ugly mug
Asked for advice from her as to the composition - as it was very different to her sample and demo piece
I loved the new-to-me techniques of this one and will definitely use them on future projects

So, another fabulous four workshops, a super road-trip to Christchurch stopping off in Ludgershall on the way home for cuddles & coffee with my dear friend Julia

Just wish I could do it all over again ...
and again ...
and again!

Monday, 20 February 2017

Speed Dial

"Are these any use to you, Auntie?"  
Was asked that question and handed a couple of gears and chain from my nephew's friend's motorbike that he had stripped down.
Needless to say my answer was an absolute 

Can barely lift the largest of the gears but where there is a will etc.,
And as soon as I saw it I knew I wanted it to be a clock

Put off doing it for ages and ages for fear of "ruining" the parts
But then decided that had they not given them to me then they would have languished away in the corner of nephew's garage and be lost ... 

So, yesterday was The Day and I so enjoyed doing it

Called it Speed Dial
Speed - motorbike
Dial - clock

Clever, huh!?!?!?!?!

I KNOW it is not hanging centrally!!!!
I did not want it to
VERY much ... "left a bit ... bit more ... bit more" adjustment went on
So, off-set it is!

It is all very much more 3D than shows in the photographs
I am hopeless at photographs

Had to work hard on  NOT using my safe, preferred colours and actually had out the browns, teals, greens &  blues and the little pots of rust paste and think I would actually like it more had I stuck to those colours but decided to really push myself and use colours I rarely, if ever, use

Needed help with this from hubby as it is so heavy!
Got him to wire the chain to the largest gear
Raided my box of broken watch parts - the sort of box you keep to rummage through but never use
Parts that are beautiful just the way they are
VERY hard to add them - but needs must!

Ingredients :
Wonderful nephews & their mates whom give you fabulous parts to play with

Prima Marketing (Finnabair) 
Art Basics :
Heavy Black Gesso
3D Matte Gel : Heavy Body Gel : Soft Gloss Gel
Art Extravagance :
Graphite Texture Paste
Art Alchemy Acrylic Paint :
Metallique Black Velvet : Opal Magic Violet Green
Art Ingredients :
Glass Glitter - Pitch Black
Micro Beads - Berry

Sweet Poppy Shimmering Silver Acrylic Mist

*** EDITED 28 June ***

Was never happy with the colours of this
Had it on the wall for 4 months now but could put up with it no longer
What on earth was I thinking using purple & silver?!?!?!

Went against ALL the advice to leave well alone
and tweaked it 
Wanted it to look like it was still oily - as if from the garage floor (which it was, of course)
Much happier now!

Colours added over the dreadful purple & silver were:
Art Alchemy Acrylic Paints : 
Metallique Black Berry : Metallique Steampunk Copper
Metallique Midnight Sky : Metallique Dark Velvet
Metallique Emerald Green

Oh, I don't mean the purple & silver were dreadful colours - just my choice of them for this project !!!!!