Sunday 12 July 2009

Beeswaxing Lyrical

Today I am ashamed to admit I slept in till 10am! Still can't get over that...can't remember when that last happened...years and years...or maybe when I was sick got up and then did more art all day between being a child taxi driver about 4 times.

The mission today was to complete my Suziblu painting with the layer of beewax, and maybe some more bellies. On the left here is the scan of the whole piece, but the closeups below show a lot more detail that the scan misses.

I still have the other 2 to do and hopefully get on the wall before the end of the week to make a nice display of 3 pictures together. Not sure where I will put them up yet. The colours kind of match the kitchen. But is this kitchen art??

So I'm a bit sad that the delightful Suziblu class is nearly over, and the final stage is to drippy beeswax from a quilting iron pressed against a block of wax onto the painting and then smoosh it around a lot. I am not sure why we do this (information overload) but I think it helps the collaged elements look like they are all part of the same layer. It also gives a slightly blurry dreamy, soft-focus quality to the piece depending on how much wax you use...oh and of course you can create texture deliberately too.

I like the idea of gouging out some wax, and putting more paint on top of that, but I won't give that a go until I have all 3 of my paintings done, and then if they need more grunge they will get that treatment as a family.

So what changes have I made since the last picture a few posts back? I sanded the hair (didn't like it at all) and took out part of an eye and the forehead at the same time! LOL. Also damaged an upper thigh and created a poxy-flaky knee, but it all add to the least that's what I'm trying to believe.

I stamped the hair with the postage stamp fromWords Plate 4.

You can see from this face closeup the texture from the wax.

While I was waxing, I decided I really wanted to add some watch parts. I have used these as embellishments loads over the last 8 years, but suddenly, when you use watchparts these days, you get to call you piece 'steampunked' so, my chicky is an on trend steampunked chick as far as hair and dress goes anyway!

This closeup shows the poxy knee. The upper thigh got a healthy dolloping of wax to hide her flaking skin.

The birdcage got a vintage typewriter key as an embellishment, and as I felt the birdcage was looking too cutesy, I sanded, then sprayed with walnut ink which sank into the sanded bits, and ran a wash of gold- green paint over the top. Now it blends in better with the beeswax over the top.

I tried the natural beeswax first, but that was too brown for some areas, so I switched occasionally to the unbleached for the face and areas that I wanted to lighten up a little.

So now you have seen the whole thing, I shall show the other pics once they are finished later in the week.

An interesting week ahead. School day trips, discos, leavers assemblies and parties every day. The builders are in on Tuesday to start a 3 week job of replacing all the windows in the house and re-build a bay window in the lounge.

We have Bruce and Jean arriving from New Zealand on Saturday to stay for the weekend. They are here for a few months so we will see them again in between their trips to France, Scotland etc during their stay, and we hope to have a week with them in Wales late August. Mark and Bruce used to go out fishing for malin back in the day in the Bay of Plenty (NZ), now Bruce runs chartered fishing trips North of Auckland...I can see mark is going to get homesick this coming weekend!

Have a great week. I am off to clean the house, feed the kids, and think about which urgent washing/ironing needs doing ready for this week...I have totally neglected all these duties over the weekend! Who cares!


Saturday 11 July 2009

I've been a busy bee....

Permission granted by Mark to have a play here's what I did ...a few pieces with the new squiggly Ink minis and some dijon metal.....and I have fun making a bespoke background too.

Let's start with the background. It's made of several layers of all kinds of stuff, but once it was thoroughly dry I sanded it to grunge it up a little and to make it smoother for stamping onto. I used colourwash sprays, paint, ink sprays, stamps, old book and dictionary papers, tissue papers.....that's probably about it! LOL

Next I stamped onto some metal (mocha and dijon), and watercolour paper. I stamped each image once onto the metal, and twice onto the paper. I was thinking that I might colour some images with my coloursoft pencils, or layer stamped metal onto the at this stage I was keeping the options open by working with just a few colours. In the end, my background worked better with the dijon, so I'll keep my stamped mocha for another day.

For Mini 25, the cat, make a tape sandwich of cardstock, humungo tape, and the stamped dijon metal. Next use a pointed teflon tool to outline the stamped design (stamped with stazOn ink).

You can see I don't stick to the lines exactly, it can look good if you work off the lines (look at the tail). You can also use the tool to add extra pattern likeI did on the stripes.

The nice thing about a metal-tape-card sandwich is that the combination is soft, so you can easily make embossing marks in the metal, but the metal is also supported , so it doesn't stretch, and this makes it easy to cut out too. You will need non-stick pointy scissors. I use the Red Handled Tim Holtz ones.

For the finished sample, I cut out the cat, even though it looks like metal from the front, as the back is cardstock, you can easily secure it to the project with your preferred tape or glue.

I stamped the words 'you know you love me' directly onto the background. Added a few mini tags, and layered to book page that had been painted lightly.

The little footprint makes a nice border edge, and I chose to grunge up the blue backing paper to match the style of the card.

The Lighthouse, Squiggly Mini 23, was stamped onto watercolour paper, and coloured with coloursoft and prismacolour pencils. Trim it out, and I layered it onto torn pieces of the background.

The tag behind was a nice idea that turned out better than I expected. I sprayed 2 mini misters of distress ink (broken china in one, and peeled paint mixed with vintage photo in the other) with mica powders through a tattered angels stencil. Dried this off, then rubber DTP over the top with scattered straw. Next I painted over the complet tag a layer of gesso which was thinned a bit with water, and dried it off. I then sanded the edges of the tag quite a lot, and rubbed Walnut distress ink into the sanded parts direct to paper. Last, I spraye the whole tag with water to soften the walnut stain ink, dabbed off the excess liquid with a paper towel, and dried with a heat tool. I really like this effect. The trim at the bottom was a left over bit of sketch book paper rubbed with walnut stain and sprayed with a distress ink spray. I like to stick everything together with Claudine Hellmuth matte gel medium. It is strong, and when it dries there are no marks left from where it night have smooched out.

Squiggly Mini 24 is the windmill.

I used the colouring pencils trying to pick out colours from the background paper. One way to blend the pencils is to use a dark colour, then colour over the top of it with white or a light shade. You get a lovely blended result, and you can do this over and over as you work to get the shade you like best.

The sails of the windmill were stamped onto dijon metal, and then made into a tape sandwich. I used the teflon tool to add texture. I also like to add bling to the spots, or you can punch out some. I couldn't find my tiny hole punch so I just cut it out and stuck it down. The sails behind are coloured green, so if I had found the punch, that would have been a nice surpise to see that peeking through.

I layered the windmill to a piece of painted book page, background, and a piece of card painted with cream and lavender, and stamped with SM08 in gold paint.

Here we have Squiggly Mini 26, the cute birdbox with some quirky little inhabitants!

First I stamped the stamp 3 times onto the background in Jet black archival ink. This is where you see how smooth your sanding was!

Next cut out all the pieces from a dijon tape sandwich, and do the same for a watercolour background.

Try different pieces in different positions until you are happy with the layout, and stick all the pieces down with matte gel medium. I layered this to book page and black card (not shown).

And finally a tag with the birds. This time, I stamped straight onto the background again, and used coloured pencils to change the tone of the birds. The trick to making this stand out on the background was that I mixed some plum colourise paint (Stewart Gill) with glazing liquid (Golden) and painted it with a fine paintbrush around the birdhouse. This transcluscent paint won't obliterate the background, but leaves a dark stain. I left this for a few seconds, then dabbed off the excess with a paper towel to soften the edges. You may need to repeat this a few times to get the shadow even all around the stamped image. Making the background darker this way helps the birdhouse pop out.

These samples turned out in a different colour palette than I normally use, but I think it's interesting and challenging to work with different colours to your 'safe' ones! I was generally thinking blue, purple, ochre...which is kind of odd I guess, but there is the odd dash of green (because blue and yellow mixed make green), just like a hint of pinnk emerges occasionally too.

Have a great weekend!


Friday 10 July 2009

Ohhhh Lookie what's new!

I am loving these new minis just pressed today and sitting here waiting to post out to you on Monday.

I am not sure if this is a letterbox or a birdhouse, but I just love it loads!!! And all the little birdies are pretty eccentric, but that fits the PaperArtsy family perfectly! This is going to be my favourite stamp this month!! Code SM26

Also we have a cheeky pussy cat, the cat's got the cream here!! SM25

The footprint and the words can be trimmed away from the main design so that you get 3 stamps from one little mini. Great value for money, and of course these are ready for you on EZ mount, and you get a laminated index sheet to store them on.

Next up is a squiggly windmill. I think the 'paddles' that what they are called??? or is that only when they go through the water..... blades??? sails???...(the bits wot go round and round!!) will look fabulous in metal with a few of the holes punches out!!! This windmill is called SM24

And to complete the set is the wonderful lighthouse. SM23. Those stripes are just demanding to be coloured in.

All of these make nice additions to a corner of your holiday journal pages, postcards home, or use them on a summer BBQ invite!!

We pressed all these stamps today, so tomorrow I shall have to make a few samples I think.

We also have new metal Dijon (mustard colour - in real life it is much more yellow-ochre, in the picture it looks too tan), and Mocha (coffee colour, light beige) , so if you haven;t played with those yet get some now! All of these minis will look great stamped onto metal and embossed with a teflon tool. Make a tape sandwich of metal, humungo and card stock, trim out and put onto a card, tag or project. Fabulous fun!

So let us know what you think with a comment, we love hearing from you so don't be shy. If you talk to me it lets me know people are out there and interested in what we do!

Are you on twitter yet? Come a be a twit with me. You can follow me @PaperArtsy ...and see what we do at PA world HQ....occasionally I post pictures (twitpics!) the whole twitty lingo cracks me up, and it is fun to follow other people and see what their daily lives are like. It helps me gt through tedious jobs, and it is fun to see what people are up to in thier crafty lives too. Twitter can seem a bit weirdo to start with but it's just like texting in bulk. Mark thought it was silly initially, but now he's watching twitter about 3 times a day....have you tweeted yet? Its way easier than blogging.

This weekend I have 2 more painting to "integrate", I need to try beeswax on the next layer and make the new mini samples...I hear we are expecting rain....perfect creativity weather!


Wednesday 8 July 2009

Paintings...yes I said paintings!!!

I've been having a blast doing a Suziblu class. Highly reccommended!

As I showed you a couple of post back, we were learning how to do the faces. Like draw them from scratch. Suzi gives a formula that WORKS! And it is fun fun fun....afer learning the technique of drawing, we kept practising until we got the "petite doll" that we wanted to work with. Here's my Flower Fairy sketch that I decided was going to be my one to work with. Itraced her onto watercolour paper from this sketch in my sketchbook.

So then we moved onto bakgrounds. Layers of card, tissue, stamps etc and drippy drippy with the colourwash and water and paint. I figured I needed some pink in there for the fairy, but I ended up making 3 backgrounds, all based on blue and ochre, but each had a different 3rd colour, green, orange and pink

...I'm thinking tryptych on the wall here...about time I did some stuff to decorate a wall somewhere.....just for me....

Once happy ith the BKGD, we stuck down the people we made onto the backgrounds. Faces are coloured with pencils (coloursoft or prismas) the clothing and hair were painted to strengthen the paper before cutting out.
Stuck that down...I used Claudine's Matte Gel Medium which I LOVE fave product in the world (I must show you my 1 minute transfer technique in a video of that).....and her gesso is yummo too....and it smells nice....

Oh and as you can see I decided to give my flower fairy a flower and a birdcage as embellishments...these are drawn onto AB gessoed paper...I wanted to add paint to that later....and yes, the flower is missing the stalk, and the birdcage is missing its legs.....they will get added someday soon....

Her dress is scrumbo scrapping paper that fitted the colour scheme nicely..we all have to cheat a little sometimes!

So here's the crunch, I know this background malarkey pretty well being a self taught "splodger" for at least a decade, but I have alwasy made my things on top of the background pop or contrast with the BKGD. But Suzi has been getting us to melt the BKGD and the feature together so you don't always see where one finishes and the other starts. WHOA does this go against the grain of what I have done in the today I forced myself to stamp over the doll and the BG at the same time (nearly died) and I added texture with molding paste through stencils, and tried to bring colour from the back to the front. I also blinged her up with glitter, byzantia bits from Stewart Gill, and applied lots of glazes to all kinds of places, as well as interference paints...I think the list is endless...anyway, so much for slap bang do it fast ...oh no....this is the real deal artist stuff where you slow it down, take your time, and relax into it and...well I really enjoyed myself.....blissful creativity.....

So here we are at week 4 of the class and this is where I am up to. We still have to add beeswax to the top of this, so the meltpot and quilting iron will be out next week. I'm not sure if I'm done yet before beeswaxing. I still need to add text, birdcage legs...and I'm very tempted to add some watchparts too, alsthough I may wait to embed those in the beeswax...I want some more 3 dimensional stuff in there....eventually......

Can you believe I have 2 more of these to do too...I have got them done to the stuck down stage, just need to do the "integration' part on them both....

You probably can't see the details from the scan, but there are crushed up byzantia bits on the flower petals and on the skirt, interference paints in all kind of places, glittery eyelids and toes.....very girlie, but still in my rich colours that I adore....

So if you want to learn this, go take a Suziblu class! You won't regret it!!

NEWSFLASH: We have rubber goodies for you rubba lovers next week....Mark pressed the moulds for 4 new squiggly minis today, so they will go online tomorrow I expect. And there are 10 new Ink and the Dog minis coming too....can hardly contain babies to play with......

APOLOGY: If you are waiting for orders it because we can't count. lol We stuffed up on the amount of rubber we (read MARK) thought WE had in stock.....but when we (HE) went to get the next box from the storage pile...we were all out. And of course it's all my fault apparently. ALthough rubber ordeing and counting is definately a BLUE job, not a PINK job (many of you know about how our job descriptions are blue or pink in this household....and in my book rubber ordering is deffo BLUE......Anyway we were expecting it here on Tuesday...but nothing arrived. Rang the rubber supplier and of course, they have a new system and so delivery is taking longer than they originally told us (HIM...Mark aka rubber-boy....just to be clear...he has a special superman suit that he wears while pressing it too....yes really.....), so we have been advised we SHOULD have rubber tomorrow (Thursday). Don't panic...I'm not!! I'm having LOADS of fun doing my paintings.... so all orders will be sent out first class before the weekend.......we never ran out of rubber before...I think it's quite funny....and this is why I am having so much fun making art because I have some time!!! So maybe we should run out of rubber more often....KIDDING!!! So that was an official apology...on behalf of Mark....blogging is a pink job....


Friday 3 July 2009

Doolally Days

Every year I think that I need to be more prepared for the madness that is end of the final school term, but every year I forget. On top of that there are other mundane issues that I also forgot...because why would you want to remember to do stuff like....

  • taking both cars to the garage for MOT - one needs follow up care in order to pass the test
  • defrosting the mini fridge...and then I plugged it back in and it blew up (another appliance bites the dust - remember it was the washing machine lat month!), new fridge on order....(ripples of excitement over this!)
  • Millie heads to the big school, this means more school uniform, sorted that last night.... (don't understand why crap msynthetic blazars are so expensive....),
  • Car tax - yay can do that online,
Then we had slightly more fun things like:
  • foot ball tournament in 30 degree weather....5 games to watch, was glad they just missied out on the final by the end of 8 hrs in the baking sun
  • Sports Day at the Primary school...why do all the dads look about 18 these days?
  • Induction Days x 2 for Millie at the big school...
  • Haircuts for kids who were supposed to have them last holidays but their mother keeps forgetting
  • Courtney at work experience for these 2 weeks....trip to Lakeside for a wardrobe that can be summer beach and smark work...very tricky brief- but a couple of floaty dresses and a pair of knickerbockers (remember those from the 80's!!!) did the trick....and a handbag...
  • Parent Teacher meetings...Millie passed all the yr 6 SAT's with Level 5's...not only is she sporty but brainy...and a nice did we do that???
Coming up we have 3 more school trips, youth group trips, and Mark and I are still discussing who gets to go to Chessington for the day with the Year 6 munchkins.....i went last year, so i guess it must be his turn.

Our house will be invaded soon with builders putting in new windows....the landlord finally agreed the towels on every window sill (muchos leaks), and curtains blowing in the wind was justification for a whole house job....just need to convince him about the kicthen and bathroom now! LOL

Vistors from NZ are coming en mass this year starting in 2 weeks when the builders are in, and finishing at Xmas! Friends x 2 sets, family x 2 sets, sister x 1, neice x 1, mother x 1 Among this we are hopefult to fit a week in Brussels with Taz and Baz (kiwi buddies from WAAAAAAAY back), and a week in Wales with other kiwis over here for Aug/September. Plus over the summer we have 3 kids birthdays and mine.

Have just realised my summer doesn't seem that relaxing does it! LOL hoping the weather holds though. I love these hot 30 degree days, they are fab! Not so good for pressing rubber, but for everything else (except football!!) they are perfect! We are reluctant to put up the pool, every year when we do that the weather turns rubbish....

So we are now in design mode to get new stamps ready for September through to February...It's all planned, just have to DO IT!!! We have a few surprises up our sleeves (again too...but my lips are sealed for now)

I have got all the pictures of the wooden earrings done with ferro, precious metal colour and copper findings done, so will blog those after I get through today's list! Here's a sneaky peek.

Oh and the kittens are growing like mad...they are much easier to look after than I imagined.