Here’s One I’m Making – Look at the Flowers (Pt 2)

In addition to playing with mini canvases over the bank holiday weekend, I am carrying on with my slightly larger project. This next step was about adding colour and texture to the background. Leonie Pujol talks about the confidence when adding layers being the secret to mixed media and I am beginning to see what she means.

I started by adding a mixture of metallic copper paint and mint green to give the canvas an aged “patina” look, I daubbed the paint on with a sponge and then dried-brushed to partly mix the paint. The real thing is much more metallic than it looks here.

To further add to the patina / aged bronze look, I wanted to add some gilding flakes with mixed media glue through the original stencil. However I then decided to spread it around a bit so it picked up some of the stencil detailed and some of the base.

I have tried a couple of types of gilding glue and I think the Honey Doo Crafts is my favourite one, mainly because I like the nozzle on the bottle. It’s easy to use and easy to keep clean. Once that had dried, I added a drizzle of orange and green Moon Paints from Pebeo and left to dry.

To finish the base, I added black die-cuts from Tim Holtz wildflowers collection. I fixed them in place with matt Modge Podge and once they are dry I will add some gilding wax to tone the black down.

Thanks for Reading


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Here’s One I’m Making – Still Giving Canvases Away

Looking back to the beginning of the year, I talked about my “Crafting Goals” for 2017. Just to recap, these were:

  1. Only buy stash I would use 3 or more times
  2. Create just because I can
  3. Learn something new

I realised today that by making these mini canvases, I am actually achieving these three goals, I am making great use of stash, I am creating them, just because I can do and my confidence in mixed media techniques is just growing!

I have loved making canvases for a number of years and my first attempts at shabby chic and using chipboard were both based on canvases. I am now using them over 10 years later to build up my confidence with different mediums.

At the moment with Pebeo pigments, I am concentrating on the basics, ie filling squares and drawing lines. I have learnt this weekend with the lines I need to (1) keep a steady pace and (2) keep the nozzle clean as both of these limit the amount of “drag”.

I am also playing with colours and I have even started to introduce more than one medium, in this case I have added gilding wax to the background of the canvas before I added the pigments.

I like this effect and I am already using it again. It was also a great opportunity to practice curved lines and not just straight.

Thanks for Reading


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Here’s One I’m Making – Look at the Flowers (Pt 1)

In addition to the Mini Canvases I am making, I decided to play with other mixed media canvases for home. I have recently discovered the texture pastes from Pebeo on Amazon, which are both a dream to use and cheap! I had been looking for my usual Ranger pastes and this worked out at a fraction of the price.

I am using it with one of the Sheena Douglass’s “Create a Flower” stencils, It’s an 8×8 stencil and as it happens I am using an 8×8 Canvas.

This stencil really appealed to me when they were released, I liked the mathematical grid paper coupled with the organic fluid flowers. And As the stencil has broken lines, you don’t have to be too accurate when using it.

(I am always amazed that when I taken pictures of “white paste on white canvas” it looks debossed). I attached the stencil with a little spray and stick and was liberal with the paste. The stencil stayed put and I love the level of definition you get.

The paste takes about an hour to dry completely but if you were using sprays you could probably start to colour within 15 minutes. I am, however, leaving this to dry overnight.

Thanks for Reading


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Here’s One I’m Making – More Canvases to Give Away

I spent some time this weekend playing with my pebeo inks pigments again, I learnt a couple of lessons from my last outing and they were:

  1. I add too much ink with pipettes for the size I want to fill, a cocktail stick is a much better option for adding the pigments one drop at a time.
  2. I can hide mistakes and when I go over the lines with a sharpie pen!

I also played with the glitter medium for the first time, both by mixing it into the colour whilst its wets and as drops on the surface. I also can see that the orange (box in the centre with the spot) is very similar to crimson directly below it.

I also decided to play with different ways of adding gilding flakes, I painted one section  on the second canvas I made and covered it in flakes. It was a bit messy but a lot of fun!

I also used the lightning and glitter mediums on their own right to add a transparent look.

Much happier with these two than my first effort – I now need more mini canvases so that I can keep practising!

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{Powertex} – Having Fun with Prima and Pencil Pots

I realised today, I hadn’t shared a project from a couple of weeks ago. A friend from work came round to play with Powertex and I used the opportunity to answer a question I have long wanted to answer – Could I powertex Prima Flowers easily?

I love these pencil pots, I got them from MDF Man at a Craft Show last year for a couple of pounds each. They are a perfect size for playing and experimenting with.

The main point of this experiment was could I use Prima Flowers with powertex. I have a lot of flowers which I don’t use on Scrapbook pages anymore and its a shame to see them gathering dust. Well the answer is – yes if you are gentle.

I used a single piece of cotton t-shirt material and wrapped it around the whole of the pencil pot. I was about 1 and half times as high and the same length as about 5 sides. The Fairy Door is from Powertex UK and the flowers are from Prima.

I used a mixture of brown, green and warn gold pigments, I love the details on the fairy doors and I do use a lot of them in projects.

The flowers add just the right effect I was looking for with this project and the large Prima flowers were just the right size.

I played with the flowers and put some of them the right way up and some of them the wrong way up, I prefer the right way up so will do that again!

The one at the top is not a Frankenstein Flower, it is actually two back to back, with the second one on the rim. I added hot-fix crystals once the project had dried. I think they are a little small so will try again next time with bigger crystals.

Thanks for Reading


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Here’s One I’m Making – Mini Canvases to Give Away

Last year, a friend from work and a fellow mixed media fan, introduced me to the concept of Art Abandonment. The concept is quite simple. You make it and then you give it away, which I think is a very Bristolian. I had intended to spend May and June making some mini (3 inch) canvases to give away at this year’s Upfest Festival in July. However as a Cabinet Office Civil Servant, I am now going to spend May and a chunk of June preparing for and recovering from the General Election.

As I had a day off today, I decided to get out some Pebeo paints I treated myself to earlier in the year and make a start on some canvases.

I have a number of friends who love these paints and I have been moving the box every time I have tidied the craft room since January, so it was time to get them out and play. I started by drawing an edge with the relief paint and letting it dry.

I decided to go with a design where I could colour each segment separately. I know these paints can be mixed but I am learning. I have a mixture of the fantasy moon  and prisme as well as the glass-like Vitrail.

As you can see I over filled some of the sections, this is where I used a pipette and not a cocktail stick to drip the paint in. I decided to also add some gilding flakes because I have liked the effect when I been watching demonstrations.

I love the effect of the moon craters beginning to emerge in the paint. I think I need to invest in more colours and become a little braver in mixing the colours.

So lessons learnt, don’t over fill and be brave! But this the first of my “Art abandonments” complete and I have a couple more which I need to start. One of the rules of Art Abandonment, is that your work is always good enough! And I need to embrace my mistakes.

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Stash, Stocks and Supplies – Tonic and Tim Holtz Stamping Platform

The one thing I was really looking forward to about Tonic Studio launch event on Hochanda was the premier of the Tim Holtz Stamping Platform. A while ago, I realised that I was beginning to find it a challenge to stamp larger complex images, I knew my knees had a touch of arthritis so it wasn’t much of a shock that the same was happening in my wrists. But it has limited my stamping adventures, especially as I am a fan of clear stamps which take more effort that clear or wood mount stamps.

There have been a number of platforms which have come onto the market over the last couple of years and when Tim Holtz announced his platform in January, I thought I would wait to see this one before I made up my mind. Tim works with British company Tonic Studios (almost based in the West Country, they are Welsh) and I love their products as you can see they are designed by crafters with crafters in mind. The launch deal on Hochanda was just too good a deal to pass up.

The stamping platform has a 8.5 x 8.5 inch work space, it is light and can cope with a BMB cat sitting on it! I bought an option with a sleeve to keep it clean and this means I can keep it on my desk with no problems.

The stamp top surface is double-sided, each with a different sized lip. One side is for clear stamps and the other is for cushion-mounted rubber stamp. if you are just using unmounted rubber stamps (such as Sheena Douglas), you can use the clear stamp side. To change side, make sure the cover is held at right angles to base, and it just slips out of the hinges.

To select the right side, make sure the red words “clear” or “rubber” at the top of the platform is the right way up to read. So in the case the platform is set up for Clear Stamps.

You can also see that the sides are marked with a ruler with both inches and centimetres and there is a grid on the cover. This makes repeat stamping so easy as you just keep aligning your pieces of card up in the same place.

This is how I find the platform works best. I lined the cardstock up first and then held it in place with the magnets which come with the platform (be warned, they are very strong and you don’t want to get flesh caught between them!)

Having positioned the stamp on the page, I brought the cover down to capture the stamp and then inked the stamp in position on the cover of the platform. I  repeated this a couple of time on different pieces of cardstock. You get a perfect image each time with just one press. Much easier on the wrists.

One on of the images I covered it with a post-it and then stamped to create a perfect positioned mask. (Well it was once I cut it out!) On this first image, I positioned the background stamps, In this case 5 in one go! I then added a couple of more hearts to go up to 7 stamps. I was falling in love with this platform.

Because of how the platform works, you can just press the cover down and it holds all the stamps in place. The ability to use more than one stamp at a time is an unexpected bonus which I was not expecting.

It doesn’t matter if you get a bit of ink on the platform as it wipes straight off and even if you don’t it doesn’t contaminate the paper as the lip round the edge prevents you pressing too hard, a problem that I have in the past with acrylic blocks.

In 1o minutes, I used 8 stamps  in two layers  five times, 2 in Coffee on Watercolour card and 3 in black on Neenah White cardstock with no pain. And that does not include making the mask! Each of the final set of stamps were perfectly formed and layered.

I am in Love

Thanks for Reading


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