Wednesday 26 October 2011

ArtsyCrafts Oct 2011 {Weekend 2}

Hello bloggers
As ever, another weekend hanging out with wonderfully talented ladies was huge fun for Lin and I last weekend. Teaching classes really is the most enjoyable part of our work, and when I get to do a whole weekend of it with Lin, after months and months of preparation, it's the rewarding culmination of a meticulously planned event. 

Kudos to DeVere Harben House at Newport Pagnell. Both the accomodation and conference suites have all been thoroughly redecorated, and the restaurant and bar food (now the same menu for the same price) was far superior to anything we have experienced in the past. The staff who work there know us well now, and are very willing to help however they can. A big thankyou and well done to them!

For all ArtsyCrafts events, the biggest challenge for Lin and I is to create projects for each event that are quite different from previous ones, and incorporate new techniques and idea with existing and new to market products. Our techniques tend to have a metal and stamping focus, but we always try to create an item that is completely different to what has gone before.

On this occasion, we designed from scratch a wooden bird house with a cool new tin foil technique, as well as other more traditional metal ideas with Ten Seconds Studio adhesive metal, and Ten Seconds Studio Metal rolls, PaperArtsy Fresco Chalk Acrylic Paints and new Hot Pick Stamps. Lin's husband Mark is fairly handy with design programmes and routers, so he made the plans for our birdhouse with its interlocking segments, told the computer to cut one out of mdf and voila. Perfect birdhouse glued together easily and instantly.
If only life were that simple! When the 50 ordered from a man who cuts birdhouses (and other wooden objects) for a living from wood by computer was sent the plans, his computer somehow cut all the plans slightly to one side of the 'line' and nothing fitted together. This was 3 days before the Warrington event. Lucky for us we knew it could be done as Mark had done it already, and realising their error they told the computer to sort itself out, and eventually we got the items in the nick of time. Yay to the birdhouse man for resolving this for us so promptly!

Anyhow, even though we put many more hours preparation into this event than we ever have previously, we were still kitting up last minute due to these unpredictable hold ups. Thanks Karen, You are an ArtsyCrafts kitting wonder-woman star supremo!!!
But despite a behind the scenes panic, every one enjoyed crackling with the crackle glaze, painting with Fresco finish paints, and embossing and then distressing metal to decorate the main body of this rather large finished item. {Sorry international ladies for making your trips home a challenge - but you didn't look too silly wearing 8 layers of clothing on the way home....honest} ....

(PaperArtsy) Mark put together a video of how the birdhouse was constructed and the different colour combos people came up with when custom mixing the Fresco paints. This is now one of my favourite AC projects {i can hear you saying she always say that....soz, but tis true} And I am extremely keen to make another with Essex Lynne and Jo Firth-Young and decorate it beyond what we had time to do in class. That will be a great day! And yes it will be a shade of London Night I think...or maybe one of the new 27 colours of Fresco's due to arrive here in the next 2 weeks.......that decision won't be easy will it!!
 On Day 2 we made a great industrial styled item based on arranging left over configuration boxes randomly into a new assortment. We then bespoke mixed PaperArtsy Fresco Chalk Finish Acrylic Paints into a watery spray (50:50 consistency) in mini misters, and sprayed the nooks and crannies with lots of drippy bits. This is a great way to paint unusual textures of shapes, and of course our opaque paint gives great instant coverage even when watered down. 
We started with a cream colour to hide the weird colour of the config boxes, and then came over the top with a contrasting colour of choice, and hen more cream splats on top. Very fast, and quite entertaining when you got one of those hose-pipe mini misters that can shoot paint 1 metre towards your neighbour! {yes we saw that a few times didn't we!!}
The afternoon was spent making metal floors and roofs (rooves?) for each section, and decorating with many great ideas along the way. We sourced cool original vintage tape measures (metal, wood and cloth), old fob watches and watch faces, and the most teeny tiny gorgeous glass bottles too, as well as incorporating many of Tim Holtz' ideology goodies along the way.....any spaces were filled with images stamped onto PaperArtsy metal card, which has a special coating to accept stazOn ink beautifully, so stamping images onto this metal is easy peasey.
Here are a few close ups
And even though the World Cup Rugby Final was screening Sunday morning (with the New Zealand All Blacks playing a very close game against France - and JUST winning by the narrowest of margins....) Mark still managed to pull together another video of our Day 2 class from Newport Pagnell to give you a far better taste of the project than pictures ever could.
If you came to any of our ArtsyCrafts days in the last 2 weekends, please leave a comment here on the blog with a link to your blog post or you could leave a comment of how your day went on the paperArtsy YouTube page.

So what plans have we for 2012 ?

Well if you read Lin's blog post this week you will be aware she is retiring at Christmas. She has been at the helm of LB Crafts for 18 years, and is probably the longest established stamp-specific craft shop in the UK. Having done a way-more-than-fantastic job of this over the years, I have seen first hand how dedicated she is to her lovely staff, enthusiastic customers and regular suppliers, but of course, behind the scenes she also has a fabulous family with quite a number of gorgeous grandchildren, and naturally she would like to be available to do the things that normal nanas and grans do. Good for her! That's the right decision! She will still be as creative as ever, and she will still blog and tweet, and of course, she will still teach ArtsyCrafts with me for you (YAY!)

Here at PaperArtsy World HQ {imagine the HQ glass towers...LOL}, we also have been trying to juggle huge growth in our business over the last 2 years, so I am rather relieved that Lin's retirement gives us the opportunity to cut back ArtsyCrafts to just 1 event per year. We liked the way the Warrington 3 day event worked this year, so we will again repeat the booking system of allowing you to book 1,2, or 3 days as per your preference. The dates for 2012 will been June 8,9,10 at the DeVere Daresbury Park. Booking will open in the first quarter of 2012. But for now, you can put those dates in your diary! And book cheap your train or airfares well in advance!

So that's the latest Update from us. Have a great week, and talk again soon. I need to go clean up the shed before Jo turns up this arvo and sees all those boxes lying about!!!



Trish said...

Hi! I just did the Sunday class in Warrington, and it was as brilliant as always! I always learn so much, and of course have so much fun. Thank you Leandra and Lin for another wonderful ArtsyCraft weekend!
Here is my creation :

Netrix said...

My sis gill and I took part in artsycrafts at warrington and I had an absolute blast. As always, Lin and leandra taught us lots of new techniques whilst we had a ton of fun too.
We met lots of new crafty peeps, recognising some faces from twitter land/ blogs. I thoroughly enjoyed making my birdhouse, the lovely arty creation that I made in Lynne Perrella's class too.
Both Marks worked hard too- between tills, powertools and camerawork!
All in all, it was a fab trip, great inspiration, great "craic" and great company!!
Thanks ladies, gents and all the peeps behind the scenes! I'm checking flights as we speak!
Netrix_ (on twitter)

Helen said...

I would have loved to have been there - you know I always say that - but next year is going on my WILL DO list no more prevarication... great videos, great projects and even though I wasn't there, well done for all the hard work!

Crafty Loops said...

Looks like you had a fantastic time and I love the projects. Lee xx

Siobhan Brignull said...

love the videos Leandra but is the music made to torment us, aarrgghhh . . so wish I could have been there especially as the mad irish girls were there, cross fingers for next year . . xx

Bethan said...

one word...awesome!! 2 days at Warrington and a day at N.P , waht more can a girl wnat!

Gillian .... said...

Lots of ooooooo's and ahhhhh's to this post ... the projects were outstanding this year, just sorry I wasn't able to make it, have already marked the dates on the calendar for next year though:)
NOW ... 27 NEW FRESCO PAINTS .... wooo hoooo can't wait, mmmm wonder what colours are coming next?
You and Lin are both real troopers, so much work goes into these events to which we are ever so grateful,also the two Marks & Karen who do wonders behind the scenes. x

steph martin said...

I was at the Newport Pagnell weekend and loved the projects we did. It amazes me that we all do the same projects but everyone's work is so different from each other with the endless colour options.
A huge thanks to Lin and Leandra - both amazing teachers . Also thanks to Karen and the 2 Marks for all the BTS and the kitting up .
Looking forward to getting hold of the new colours of paint.

Ann B said...

I did the Sunday class in Warrington, my first ever Arstycraft workshop and it was brilliant. Never done steampunk before so I was a little apprehensive but I LOVE my boxes - they are on the shelf in the kitchen so I can look at it every day. So pleased that you and Lin have decided to carry on with the 'perm any one day from three' event next year and the dates are already in my diary.
You can see my finished project here -

Rose said...

My first Artsycrafts and it exceeded all expectations. Learnt new techiques and came away with 2 fabulous projects. Lin, Leandra and supporting cast, many thanks for an inspirational weekend.

JoFY said...

boxes?!? laying about!?! not emptied & everything put on shelves!!!!! shock horror! lol (tho now i think about it that could be a description of my workroom! lol)