Sunday 22 February 2015

2015 Topic 4: Miniature Art {Challenge}

Topic 4: Miniature Art

Coming up over the next 2 weeks we are talking tiny, mini, miniature, diddy, tiny or perhaps you call them wee things. There are many words in the English language for 'small'. So what comes to mind for you? This??

Well here's just a few ideas in the video intro...but of course, there are loads more below, and about a zillion more in your crazy heads...let's do this! Mini makes....

Before we go into the next topic in depth .... let's see who the winner of the last challenge was. Plenty of you showed us the huge array of things you can do with paint, it really has to be THE most versatile colouring option out there for crafters! Fantastic ideas from you all, thanks for joining in.... over to the challenge boss....

Hi everyone, Darcy here. 
Wow! The Paint challenge was great. So many awesome ideas yet again. You guys are such an inspiration to watch at work. Thankyou for sharing with us. As you know, the last few weeks at PA HQ have been extremely busy with the new PA product launch, and a bunch of us went to the UK annual trade show last Saturday through Tuesday, affectionately know as 'stitches'. It's the UK's CHA equivalent, and a great chance for the shops to come, see what new releases manufacturers have for 2015, and place their orders. PaperArtsy had a fabulous show, and of course, their chalk paint has been such a big hit as they now move into year 5 of Fresco Chalk shall we see who the paint challenge winner is??? 
And the winning name from Topic 2...goes to Margaret B from Marglovecrafting

 To claim your £50 voucher, please email me, Darcy with your details to and I'll explain how you claim your prize. 

Ok, so it's Leandra back, and as you now know, the next topic is Miniature Art.

Sometimes I find doing things on a small scale is less daunting. But it can also make you assess your composition, layout, and embellishments more closely...there is not much space, and to make an impact, perhaps you have to put a bit more thought into it? Too complicated and you lose the impact, too minimal, and it might still look bare. Resolving these things really appeals to me. Colours contrasting, texture, what will the focal point be...all things that you have to fit in a smaller space than normal. Are you up for this?

Sometimes you can be sneaky, and make a small thing seem bigger on the this accordion style domino book...

But then again, you can stick the pages together and just embrace the tiny pages...

I think my favourite thing on the mini scale is domino art. I was addicted to this about 21 years ago! In fact, my first article in Craft Stamper Magazine was showing how to decorate a domino. We used to go to shows and swap them with other 'altered art' people. In the video, you can see a gorgeous mini domino book that my dear friend in New Zealand, Irene (she taught me everything) gave me. Its a gem, and it sits on a shelf above my desk so I can look at it and remember her, and how I got started in crafting.

Here is an amazing example of domino art. So intricate! Love the bead-feet!

I found this beautiful example below (the accordion pages above are the inside of it), there is a tutorial here on how to do it.  So pretty with the beads as feet too!

This one below is for sale here, there are some other stunning examples that might inspire you to have a go. We always would sand a domino to give it some tooth first, then a coat of fresco and you are on your way. I love the idea of using this as a super-mini canvas! Can you do it?

If you get the really tiny dominoes you could make earrings...

Or keep it simple like this option...

What about Shrink plastic??...very much a marmite love it or hate it! I love these books. Here the link to a tutorial..

When you see the gorgeous bracelet Lin Brown made a few years back, perhaps you'll think again. Lin made this.. 

Lin started with a very light coating of watery snowflake before she stamped the images made life easy, then she added colour. I think if you make a shrink bracelet, you need to fill it up so it looks busy. I love how Lin added layers, pearl beads, and sometimes more than one item on a jump ring. Makes it really interesting! Instructions are here.

Here is another example, and I really like how the 2 layers add interest, one popping off the other. Its not complicated, but the vivid orange pops off the B&W background. Ohh I need one in every colour option! Instructions here.

The problem with jewellery items is always coating/ sealing them with the right product that stays crisp and shiny when you wear it over and over....and even waterproof! Over time, glossy accents seems to dull. That and it's predecessor, Judikins Diamond Glaze were our go-to option back in the day for dominos. 

UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel) also scratches up when worn, but you can zap it with a hit tool back to brilliant and shiny if you are careful. Ohhh we might see some more of those Leandra beads! 

The fondue UTEE technique is so much fun! (keep saying i MUST do a video on that!) Here's what Nicole did to make one into a bookmark!

Of course UTEE can be used in a bout a zillion ways, just run a google for Suze Weinburg, she's the UTEE guru and genius with the mostest! There is lots of info on her how to do these...

I will never forget when Tammy Tutterow started into melt art, she was dipping all kinds of stuff, and I love this example here, tissue flowers...just gorgeous...think of the ways you could take this...It's get-your-melt-pots-out time people!!

OK, so there's a cazillion things you can do with moulds, clay, UTEE, resin.... and's a perfect time for Treasure Gold Tickles!

These days hard-setting resins (eg Ice Resin) are incredibly user-friendly. Perhaps resin is the best answer for sealing jewellery bits and bobs? 

I guess you guys will show us how you seal things for jewellery this week....let's face it...all jewellery counts a miniature art! And you can makes some stunning things with paper, resin, clay, beads.... ohhhh getting excited to see that!

Pocket scrapbooking is smaller than 12x12 layouts, so that's mini art, isn't it? This one is lots of layers, with a simple 'bind-it-all' binding...wonder where my machine is hanging out...

This one in a more formal folder, but hey, it's a mini album! It counts!

What about coin envelope books/ pages...that was a huge thing, paper bag books too! Details here.

This looks like fun too. Check out how its done here.

When we go to France every year they talk endlessly about Mini albums....The French do love to make a mini album, or flick book. So that counts! In fact, we are over there April 10/11/12, and Jo Firth-Young is even teaching a mini book class! Check it out if you need an excuse to go to Paris!!! (like anyone needs an excuse to go there!!)

Here's a mini album to hold inspirational quotes! yes really!

And this one is using recycled materials...ohhhhh nice!

I remember when we used to alter childrens' board books...they could be termed mini art too. We used to sand they gloss layer off, then gesso. But now you can attack with the frescos and your are on your way. Kind of like journalling on a hard surface... Check out this gorgeous example by Veronica Funk.

What about tag books...they are a mini kind of book thing. In fact, it's fun to take one of our huge tags, and make that into a book cover, then make a signature of pages to go within....that's a diddy book!

Inchie books!!! Adorable...

How cute is this button book!

Mini houses, I adore houses. This is fabulous, its an altoid tin. See more here...

And what about this village on a rock!!! ...

 And a mini canvas, also very classic, elegant and just beautiful!

Don't forget soldering, microscope slides, old fashioned photographic slides (eg kodak), mini fabric books, how about mini niches or canvases...or turning a chunky canvas over and using the tiny niche on the back?? Oh much to explore!

Ok, enough already I hear you shout, ideas for a year, let alone 2 weeks, but whatever you choose to do, I do hope you make time to enjoy the process. 
Come and play with us!

Don't rush it, we are all here to contemplate, enjoy, explore and learn from each other. It's not a race, it's a process. Your time to escape from the boring part of the week into your much more exciting creative zone. 

Reminder: we are exhibiting at Stamperama on Sunday, March 1st, 10-4. Lin Brown will be demoing with me, and there will be lots of PA twits to chat with, so come and say hi, and touch all our new products. You might see something you might like to buy too! It's happening at the Stevenage Arts and Leisure Centre, Lytton Way, Stevenage. Not far up the A1(M), and the train station is VERY close. Hope to see you there!

Have a great fortnight!

We would love you to join in with challenge #4: Miniature Art. If you are inspired by any of our guests who blog with us over the next 2 weeks, then please join in and link up your creativity to this page.

All links go in the draw to win a voucher to spend on products of your choice from the PaperArtsy online store. This link is open from Sunday Feb 22nd and will close 17:00 (London Time) Sunday, March 8th, 2015. The winner will be announced 2 hours later at 19:00.</>

Challenge Guidelines:

1. The challenge is a chance for you to show how you have been inspired by a particular technique of the fortnight. Your entry should contain:
- a mention of which post inspired you and why, and 
- a link in your blog post to that original post on the PA blog.

The whole concept of this challenge is 'play along with us'. You are encouraged to put your own twist on ideas you see on our blog, don't feel obliged to copy an idea exactly, but if you prefer to replicate, of course that is fine too. We love to see how you are inspired!

2. The link you put on our linky page must lead directly to the specific post on your blog where you have explored the technique/ idea mentioned in point 1 above. Don't link to the home page of your blog, or we will be unable to find the post to leave you comments.

3. Spam links will be deleted.

4. We prefer your challenge post is created exclusive to our challenge. Multiple challenge links in one blog post often creates a conflict of interest between the different challenge hosts.

5. You are most welcome to use stamps/ products/ substrates you have to hand from a variety of companies, we do not expect you to exclusively use PA products - but of course it's lovely when you do!

6. You can enter as many times as you like in the fortnight. We don't want to restrict your creativity or participation! Link closes at 17:00 Sunday March 8th.

7. The winner of the random draw will receive a £50 credit to be redeemed on the PaperArtsy Website, the credit includes VAT and postage. We request that one of your purchases is an A5 rubber stamp. You can add any other items to your basket, but the final total should not exceed £50

8. Each Sunday fortnight the winner will be announced at 19:00, also, in the same post, the link for the next fortnight will be posted. It's your responsibility to claim your prize coupon from Darcy: email her

Good Luck! If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!


Helen said...

Well done Margaret!!
This new challenge will be exactly that, a real challenge... some fabulous examples though! I can promise you one thing, it won't be shrink from me, lol!

Hazel Agnew said...

Congrats to Margaret, enjoy your prize. Lots of fabulous inspiration once more. Looking forward to joining the Lillputian world! 😀

Unknown said...

Congratulations Margaret, Looking forward to this next challenge and can't wait too see what everyone comes up with:).

Karen Petitt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kirsten said...

Well, I would have never have miniature art as a challenge theme! :) But wow, SO much beauty & inspiration in this blog post, thank you!!
And congrats to Margaret!

Jane said...

Congrats Margaret. What a great theme, despite being tiny things there is a huge amount of inspiration here. Thanks for all the ideas for the next few weeks, I will put my tiny hat on ;0 x

Karen Petitt said...

Congratulations Margaret!!!

My OH recently moved my work room from our conservatory into what was our dining room. I recently re-found surfaces that I purchased to decorate with stamps, paints, inks etc., but I never felt confident enough to try.
Right now I have dominoes, microscope glass, frosted glass, and others sitting on my desk waiting for inspiration.
Now I know why I bought them and I hope to share what you've inspired Karen x

Julie Lee said...

Congratulations, Margaret! Enjoy your prize! I love making tiny things: working in miniature is so much fun. I'm really inspired by all these great ideas. I can't wait for the coming week! xxx

Lin said...

congratulations Margaret enjoy your prize x. I absolutely love this challenge, fantastic blog post and beautiful inspiration!!

pearshapedcrafting said...

Congratulations to Margaret! Brilliant theme this time and with inspiration like this I'm dying to get started! Chris

Etsuko said...

Congrats to Margaret, enjoy your prize. Very Interesting theme this time and wonderful ideas!! I have to have a go! xx

craftimamma said...

Congratulations Margaret! You are in for fun choosing your prize first of all then playing ;-).

Well, I have to admit miniature is not my favourite thing to do simply because I find it so hard but I do love the tiny but oh so beautiful art others create. I do have lots of the items shown in tonights post languishing in my craftroom so will have to really push myself to have a go, lol! Now where the heck are those dominos I bought eons ago .......

Lesley Xx

johanna said...

how fun, and so many wonderful samples, i´m in awe!
by Chance i just played this sunday making inchies and Chris (pearshapedcrafting) reminded me i could bring them into this challenge. so i did. hope they qualify. xox

Nicole Maki said...

Congrats to Margaret!

Thanks so much to the lovely ladies at Paper Artsy for including my bookmark in their examples. So sweet of you!

Handmade by Elaine said...

congratulations Margaret :)

oh my this will be a challenge for my but thanks for showing so many fabulous and gorgeous examples...i shall ave to get my thinking cap on!

Notations of a Crafter said...

Congratulations Margaret. I have some dominoes I bought ages ago and you have just inspired me to finally do something with them. Now where did I put them!!

Sherry said...

Congrats to Margaret!

Another wonderful challenge, just linked my entry, but think I'll be having another go - so many great ideas and lovely examples.

Cocofolies said...

Wooooooow!!!!!!!! So many fabulous mini projects, thnak you Leandra for all the ideas, and your great video. I would love finding a bit of time to join in your challenge, but life is so busy for me in this moment that I will probably miss this one again boohoo.. Coco xx

Karen Petitt said...

I finished my first miniature in a long time and I really enjoyed it! Thanks for inspiring me Karen x

Angelnorth said...

Great variety of examples and a fab video - thanks for the nudge to think small! said...

I wish I had spotted the mini challenge earlier, I love miniture - some gorgeous work from the the DT and the entries. X Sam Crowe

Anonymous said...

I really liked that mini journal in a binder.
Can you please share where you found that little binder?