Sunday, 1 March 2015

Artistic Restraint...

Artistic Restraint? As soon as you tell me I can't do something, I want to do the complete opposite! So completing the prompt for Journal 52 this week did not come easily.

One colour, one shape...

Colour, that's the easy bit - shades of blue. Shape - circles. But I wanted a third element. For me, artistically things work better as odds, not evens. The placement of three items is more aesthetically pleasing to the eye, your brain sees it differently to evenly numbered items. With evens you want to group or pair them together, they have to be symmetrical and evenly spaced. Odds means more freedom as you automatically can't pair them up! So I had a to add a few lines in too, to balance the page. What do you think?

I started by die cutting a range of circles, used them as a template and dribbled distress ink around them and up the page in lots of rivers of colour. This took an age to dry! Then I used the holes from the circles I cut as stencils and added others using different shades of blue. Then I die cut circles from patterned paper, distressed and layered on top. Then out came the pens - scribbling around the circles and adding the lines on top. The straight lines weren't quite enough to balance the page, so I added a few 'zig-zag' lines around three circles (see, the odd number again!) and added a title around the larger circle. A few gems stuck on, sprays of blue ink and white paint and I'm done. I think. I keep coming back to it as I'm not quite convinced...

Head on over to have a look at some other great examples and inspiration. Have a great week!

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Pieces of Pictures

Playing a little later this week, as it has been rather a manic one! In some ways it has seemed like a very long week, and in others it has flown by! But I found some time to create my postcard for SPA tonight.

I liked this weeks theme of Pieces of Pictures - a chance to play with my jigsaw puzzle die! I have been waiting for a chance to use it, and this seemed just right. I stamped an image of two faces first onto white card, then coloured this in with watercolours. I then die cut the image. The background postcard I painted blue, then distress inked the edges of all the pieces in brown, I arranged the puzzle pieces and stuck them down. I created a bit of dimension by layering on some extra die cut shapes using foam pads to raise them up.

Considering this was done quite quickly with what I had to hand, I am quite pleased with the end effect. I hope you enjoy it too.

Head on over to SPA to see other great examples for inspiration and have a go too!

Wednesday, 25 February 2015


Journal 52 this week set the theme of Aromatherapy. The use of aromatic plant extracts and essential oils for healing. In other words, things that smell good and have a basis in natural remedies, making one feel better! This made me think of Apothecaries - where the creation of herbal medicines really began, the idea of someone collecting and making different vials full of sweet smelling potions.

Trust me to take it down a 'grungy' route! Of course I would. So I painted my background in acrylic paints, added texture paste through a stone wall stencil and stained on top with distress inks. I die cut the bottles, feathers, ink pots and base of the domed jar in card, colouring with distress inks. I then found these great vintage looking herb labels on Pinterest, printed and added to the background. A few sprays of tattered angels and the arranging began. The top of the domed jar just didn't work in card, so I die cut it in acetate and then stamped the plant forms on the back, adding a metallic paint marker around the edges, so it showed up on the background. Sealing the deal!

I had fun creating this journal page. So why not head on over to Journal 52 for some other inspirational ideas and have a go too.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Hearts & Flowers

Over at SPA this week their theme is hearts and flowers. Not being one for lots of hearts, I decided to go for flowers in the shape of hearts - bleeding hearts, a beautiful Chinese spring flower from the poppy family.

I drew out my flower stem and then added colour using watercolours, adding some white detail on top and a spray of tattered angels in blue and copper. I distressed the edge with gathered twigs distress ink to finish the look.

I can't wait for winter to be over and all the spring flowers to make their appearance. There is nothing like a bit of colour in the garden to bring some cheer.


Week 7 already in 2015! How did that happen? For this week Journal 52 have set the theme of Valentines. This is one I struggle with as I don't go for all that pink, romantic mushy stuff - more grungy, worn, vintage is me.

So I decided to look up the origins of St.Valentine. There are two who are honoured on February 14th - Valentine of Rome and Valentine of Terni. Valentine of Rome was martyred in 496AD and his relics kept in the church of San Valentino in Rome until the middle ages when they were transferred to the church of Santa Prassede. The flower crowned skull of St.Valentine is exhibited in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Rome. It was this that gave me my inspiration for my journal this week.

I created a background of watercolour, coffee and washi tape. Then die cut the hearts and stamped wings onto greaseproof paper, cut out and added them behind the hearts. I then drew the skull with his crown of roses, and added a stamped skull as extra adornment. Once all was dry I combined the elements together and added St.Valentine using Tiny Type stickers. Overall better than I thought this one would come out!

I hope you all had a great valentines! Enjoy your week.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015


Windows often provide a world of wonder - sat daydreaming, wondering what is going on, on the other side of the glass; be it looking out on the world, or looking in as you pass by. They come in many forms, sizes, shapes, and colours. I loved this theme for Journal 52 this week. A world of possibilities.

For my journal page I knew I wanted one side dedicated to my window and the other half showing a glimpse of what was on the outside waiting to be discovered. To create this I painted an acrylic background over the top of a base primed with greaseproof paper to strengthen the page. On the left I used a brick stencil and texture paste to create slightly raised brickwork around the edges. Once dry this was coloured with distress ink. I wanted the window to be the focus, so achieved this by creating it separately out of card and layering onto the top. The glass window panes are made from acetate coloured with alcohol inks and then a pattern created in this. To create the pattern, just stamp with an archival ink the pattern you desire and then rub it away almost straight away. This takes off the archival ink, in my case I used black, and leaves a void in the colour where the ink was. I layered this on a pale background so the pattern shows through the colour. The frame and detail was made using corrugated card.

The flowers, butterflies, bees and bird come from a selection of the many stamps I own. Crafting is lethal for finding great treasures to use, the pile keeps building! Some of the butterflies I stamped on patterned paper, cut and layered on top. The final details coming from adding Doodle Dewdrops as accents on the window and Tim Holtz type stickers to add the wording.

I hope you enjoy this page as much as /I enjoyed creating it! Head on over to Journal 52 and have a go too!

Monday, 9 February 2015

Thoughts of Love...

This weeks theme for Sunday Postcard Art is Thoughts of Love. Apt as it is Valentines this coming weekend. I'm not one for all the pink, cutesy images and token offerings! So my version related to this is slightly grunged down. Using a mixture of distress inks, Basic Grey paper, ribbon and of course who could have a valentines theme without a bit of Tim Holtz imagery, so the cherubs made an appearance too! A touch of bling with vintage glass glitter to finish the look along with a work tag. I felt Journey was appropriate, as valentines is all about the journey two people make together. I hope you like the end result.

Head on over to SPA to have a look at some other great postcards. Then have a go too!

Wednesday, 4 February 2015


A prompt this week by Journal 52 on Television - what to do? The first thing that came to mind was a TV programme with a character as a TV set came instantly to mind. A great kids programme I used to watch as a child - Willo The Wisp. Who could resist?

I had great fun re-watching some of the original episodes to familiarise myself with the scenery and characters, I absolutely love Evil Edna. A witch trapped in the form of a TV, so totally unique. I created this journal page by drawing out my scene and then painting in the detail of the woods and three of the characters with acrylic paints. Then journaling around the edge with details of the characters and adding a few sprays of paint to add to that misty feel the TV series had. I hope you like the effect.

Head on over to Journal 52 to see some great examples of this theme. Can't wait for the next one. I might just manage a full journal this year! Fingers crossed. xx

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Candlemas, Imbolc, Groundhog Day

Having sometime to get back into crafting is great - making the time is something that I need to keep doing, get that balance between work and creating for me! So I had great fun today creating a piece of art for Sunday Postcard Art. This weeks theme is Candlemas, Imbolc, Groundhog Day. To be honest, I had to look them up, apart from Groundhog Day! But all are festivals, or day of celebration about the arrival of spring, and celebrating various elements associated with that on February 2nd.

After a bit of visual research, a key theme within these seems to be the Goddess form, snowdrops and candles. I went with the idea of the snowdrops and candles, creating a watercolour study of snowdrops for my background, using masking fluid to block out the petals to paint the background, then painting the leaves and stems, only to cover these in masking fluid to get the background a darker shade without ruining the leaves. I rubbed all this off when dry and added flecks of white acrylic paint to give a feel of snow. I then decided to use the Tim Holtz candle die, cut and coloured the edges with distress inks and layered on the top of the painting. I hope you like the end result.

Head on over to SPA to see other fantastic examples of this theme. Looking forward to next Sunday!

Monday, 26 January 2015


So far, so good. Week four and I'm still on task with my Art Journal for the year. Can't believe it's almost the end of January 2015 already! For Journal 52 this week, the prompt was Silhouettes. I had in mind what I wanted to do from the beginning, but I got so far and then hit a block - it needed something else and I hadn't got a clue as to what. So I put it all to one side and tonight I decided to get the washi tapes out and play. A few strips of that with a few extra silhouettes in the corner and problem solved. This weekend is the first weekend in about 2 months that I have started to feel more normal and feel like I am finally getting rid of this winter virus, even the coughing is subsiding (after discovering this great throat spray to numb the tickle).

To create this page I decided that I wanted to have some deer / stags in their somewhere and create a landscape scene. I started by painting the background with acrylic paints in shades of blue, purple and white. On top I found a woodland photograph I took at the beginning of January when it was all foggy and image transferred this onto the background paint. I then drew and painted on top of this image to bring key parts to the front. Using a selection of dies I cut the deer out and used them as stencils to create their silhouettes, then painted over the top. I added a layer of tattered angels sprays on top and white fine line pen to emphasise branches.

The bottom right hand area was lacking, it was too dark with not enough interest. This is where the washi tapes came into play and I layered the deer I had cut out earlier to use as stencils, added colour to them and glued in place on top. A final spritz of tattered angels, a rub over with a baby wipe to blend sections and reveal buried parts and voila, the end result.

I hope you enjoy the end result. Hop on over to the website or follow on Facebook to see lots more inspiration and have a go.