Monday, 19 January 2015

BITI: Buy It, Try It!

Hello!  Today I am doing something new.  It was thought up by my friend Wendy over at and it's called Buy It Try It Monday. 

We are both guilty of making crafty purchases and then forgetting about them, so BITI is a way to remind us to actually go into those shopping bags and use the stuff before the ink fades on the receipt.

My BITI for this week is a great one.  I was at The Range looking for a very specific die set that I had seen before Christmas and by the time I got back, it had gone.  I spoke to the head of the department and we ended up gassing for ages about how becoming the department manager had got her to take up so many crafts!  Anyway, I asked her to give me a bell if she got anymore in and she phoned me on Friday and put one by for me.  I collected it minutes before I was due out on the school run and used it when I got in. 

It took me two goes to cut it properly as you can see from the photo.  The first one didn't cut on one corner.  Shim time! 

I also have learned that you have to run complex border designs through twice, the second time at a 90 degree angle to the first.  If the design runs parallel to the rollers and it's complex enough, it won't cut.  So after doing this all twice, I think I've cracked it...

Figuratively of course.  Nothing has actually cracked!!

Oh, one more thing--
Pictured between my two efforts is the Spellbinding tool-in-one which I use to clean out all the little bits of paper from my dies.  Wendy,  it works great for me, so if you want to offload your one,  I know a 7 year old apprentice who would like to have her own.... :)

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Lumpy Space Princess Collage

I am a frequent watcher of a weekly Ustream by Karen Ellis of The Art House Studio.  In one of her streams she used the Brother Scan-N-Cut to make a mask and a stencil for a project involving Dr. Who and the phrase "Fezzes are cool."  I knew straight away I wanted to do something with the technique with Lumpy Space Princess.  I drew her on paper and cut her out for a mask and made a collage of cut out images of her from a magazine and some stickers,  sealed it with gel medium and masked off her shape.  I painted the negative space first with purple and later with dark blue because the purple didn't provide enough contrast.  I over painted the collage as well to dull down some of the more distracting elements.  Lastly, I painted her tagline on the bottom.  Voilà!

If you'd like to see the original tutorial,  look up The Art House Studio on Ustream or Karen Ellis on YouTube.  Karen's blog is at:

Check her out for arty crafty goodness.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Arty day!

I had a friend over for a little crafty arty session.  I was determined to do something that I had been turning over and over in my head for a while. 

This canvas is done using a subtractive technique.  I laid the colours down in patches on the background and painted over it in the negative space.  I don't think I chose the right shape for my first attempt at this technique.  I may try something easier next time.

Some of my thicker paints are getting old and can be used to add texture as well as colour.  I spread some of it through a stencil using a palette knife and the result shows all over the place.  I love what it did!

I will definitely be making more canvases.  I have a slightly caved in one that I will be experimenting on, using fabrics and beads to embellish my mixed media backgrounds and textures.  Hooray!

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Reasons to be grateful

I'm meeting a friend for coffee today at short notice.  I had bought but not wrapped her birthday present.  No problem!  I went up to my messy craft room and reached left, right and behind and managed to wrap it and look like I had planned it. 

This is the first time I have felt truly lucky to finally have a place of my own to craft.  I don't have to put everything away when I'm done (not like that  ever happened before anyway) and I can leave things "in progress" without fear of them being destroyed by kids, cats or food spillage.

Just thought I'd share. 

Also.... The light I was waiting for has been shone favourably. Hopefully no more maudlin photos for a while!

Monday, 5 January 2015

Mixed Media Appearances

I have decided this year to participate in Creative Jumpstart 2015.  It's running throughout the month of January and has 25 videos by mixed media artists and crafters.  Check out for details.  There are giveaways as well by the sponsor, Liquitex. It is by paid subscription, but at $25 USD it is a very good value.  The videos are accessible until the end of November,  so if you fall behind or if life happens as it often does, you can pick up where you left off.

This piece was made to illustrate a few of the main points I found valuable from the first video.... but I can't tell you!  Go join. :)