Thursday, 28 February 2013

My three mirrors in close-up.







Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Coming Through the Ugly Stage.... adding colour.

And it's good-bye to the white!  I used some ancient spray inks for this one:  Moon Glow sprays in Wild Iris and Endless Sky with added distress ink in Faded Jeans.

Now to pop the letters and frames out a bit, I made up just enough paint out of my Primary Elements powders and Simple Solutions (Luminarte)  paint what I needed in toning shades.  I sprinkled some of the pigment powder in Kiwi around the other green elements to add more interest and sprayed with water.

I wasn't satisfied with that though.  I thought it needed one last touch, so I added Sunset Gold Pearl-Ex to bring up some of the texture.

After applying some additional gel medium to the glass microbeads with a pallet knife and adding a bit of spray varnish, I have finally finished the mirror!  Whew.... :)

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Ugly Stage!

Have I mentioned how I detest taking pictures of square things?

Now before you cringe too much, it's not done.  furthermore, it is in what Karen Ellis would call an "Ugly Stage."  But I'm showing you because I'm just that honest.

If you haven't checked out The Art House Studio on Ustream, you're missing a giggle and lots of inspiration. It's actually broadcast live from Karen Ellis's shop/studio in Canada at 6:30pm her time, which makes it 11:30pm local time here in England.  (Until they start changing the clocks, then it gets weird for a week or two)  This past Friday she was working on a canvas with some dimensional elements and it was really inspiring.  I decided that I'd have a go with the techniques myself.

This mirror (yet another bargain from ikea) was covered in texture paste and some gel medium.  I stuck on some Tim Holtz Grungeboard letters and some chipboard frames.  I sprinkled on some glass microbeads and added some  oddly-shaped sequins and some flat-back gems.  This is where I left it to allow the texture paste to dry.

I'm thinking of making  more "motivational mirrors."  I need some more good quotes to put on them though.  Any ideas would be most welcome!

Next stop.... colour!

Monday, 25 February 2013

Craft-a-Palooza: Catching up with the Purple Mirror

Please forgive the odd angle on this one.  It is now hanging on a wall and I detest pictures of mirrors with cameras in them.  Strange pet peeve, I know... but... that's me.  :P)

Scroll down to see another picture of this mirror from the "before-time."   Before what?  Before Micaceous Iron Oxide.  That's the black stuff you can see in two corners of the mirror.  I decided after much thought that this mirror needed some overlay on the corners that didn't have the texture paste on it.  There's enough space in the design that you can still see all the lovely crackling effects, plus the black stuff has a lovely sparkle to it that you can't see in this photograph.

Close ups and more mirrors to come. :)  This was a Friday Night Craft-a-Palooza job I got done.  I dearly wish I had more to show for four whole days at home without the kids.  So far, I have blogged this, the waistcoat (now finished but probably awaiting customisation, knowing me...) and my art journal page.

There hasn't been  nearly enough crafting, but there has been a bit more, which you will see tomorrow.

Sunday, 24 February 2013


Brighton Model World  is going on this weekend.  I know it's a bit too late by the time you read this to go down there, but I'm pleased to say that my kids are there, and have been since Thursday!  I specifically ring-fenced this time for Craft-a-Palooza, my own personal time to craft and do whatever I want to.  I have been trying to divide my time responsibly (there is still the dreaded housework to be done, after all!) and I think  I've cracked it.

For some reason, the lights aren't working in the kitchen.  They stopped working Friday night sometime.  All I know is I came downstairs from a cat-nap (preparation to stay up late watching The Art House Studio on Ustream) and I had no lights in the kitchen.  Not likely to be a bulb problem as there are three bulbs.  The couldn't all have gone out, could they?  It didn't pop the circuit breaker either, so it wasn't that.  Mystery!

What this has forced me to do is take into account daylight.  I must crochet with daylight coming in through the window over my shoulder.  If I attempt to crochet with the room light on in front of me I will  get eye strain and later on a focal migraine.  I found that natural light from behind me allows me to crochet for a longer time with no eye strain.  Natural daylight is also required for me to use (and clean) the kitchen, so I had to do that before I settled down to craft.   After sunset, I can focus on crafts that I can do with interior lights on, which is pretty much everything else.

In the photo above is a waistcoat I have been making bit by bit since August.  All  I have left to do is sew up the shoulder seams and crochet borders around the armholes and neckline.  It can be done!!  I live in hope.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Art Journal Mantra

Our family is in home limbo at the moment.  Sometimes my thoughts can become plagued by "when will this all be over?"  or, "Will the house we like still be on the market when our old house sells?"  It's stressful to think of these things, and it's been causing the horrible "hurry up and wait" situation.

In an effort to stay calm about it all, I decided that when I start thinking too much about it, I need to reassure myself that the right house will come along at the right time,  in the right place and at the right price.  I shortened this to, "Right House, Right Place, Right Time, Right Price."  Then I can let go of the stressful thoughts, replace them with some vague positivity and leave it at that.

Art journals can be good for focusing thoughts.  I knew I wanted to make some kind of arty/crafty expression of this mantra so that I can picture it in my head as well.  So here it is.

The inspiration for this page came from Joanne Sharpe's Art House which she made for The Art House Studio while she was there teaching some classes.

My Art Journal is a Kraft paper one, which generally means I either need to stick things into it, or prepare the paper first.   My chosen medium for colour was PanPastels.  This determined that I needed to prep the surface.  I experimented on a previous art journal page with gesso and white/cream acrylic paint and decided  on the latter.  In my experience, gesso doesn't make a good surface for PanPastel, probably because it is made with chalk to begin with.  It  also picks up all  the oil from fingerprints or anything else and areas coloured with PanPastel will highlight the oil.  it was an interesting effect, and probably one to keep in mind if I ever want that to happen on purpose.  but for the most part, the PanPastel seemed to prefer the acrylic, so that's what I used.

I made a background full of my mantra, in my own handwriting, using a variety of pens.  I need to play some more and find greater  variety in my writing styles, something that I'm sure a class with Joanne Sharpe will enable me to do.

The colour was added over the top of the writing with the PanPastels. I bought the starter kit Mixed Media 2.  it has some beautiful colours in it and I have used pretty much all of them in this page.  The colours are so vibrant in real life.  The photo really doesn't do it justice.  I sealed it with Pastel Fixative poured into a mini-mister bottle.  I can't get hold of the spray verion at the moment, but this will do and furthermore, it will be cheaper every time I need to refill.  The liquid fixative in a bottle costs less than the spray cans.  Result!

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Another Day, Another Mirror.

I'm not sure whether this one is done or not.  There's a lot of fine detail in the non-textured sections that you might not be able to see, such as fine crackling.  I didn't want to cover it all with the texture paste though, so I might have to be finished with it.

On this and yesterday's mirrors, the first coat of paint was a bright colour that I didn't want to see much of in the final product.  Yesterdays was red at first.  Todays was yellow.  This time, I ended up scrubbing some of the paint back to reveal more of the yellow.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Mirror mirror on the... Table?

Between other activities today, I have been laying some layers of paint down onto this unfinished wood mirror.  Some of those layers were crackle, so its appearance is still changing as I write this.

I'm so impatient.  I can't stand waiting for paint to dry!  I think it has resulted in some interesting, er, features.