Thursday 31 December 2015

2015 Round Up: Time, Flowers, Gels and Mediums {curated by Wanda Hentges}

Good Evening again, Leandra here to kick off Part 5 of our 2015 review.

Tick-tock, tick-tock, do you have a sense of urgency to get something done? Why is it the older we get the faster time passes? Here we are on the cusp of a New Year and it only seems like yesterday we were celebrating the turn of the century! Tomorrow is the start of the 16th year of this century... Wow!

I'm feeling the need to write lists to keep me on track and utilise my time well. Darcy and I often joke that our lists have lists! There are zillions of apps to help us manage our time more efficiently, but there is nothing like a planner on the wall and LISTS! But no matter what the system, I feel more able to relax and be creative when all the chores are done, when the house is tidy, and when the bleugh things on my to do list are ticked off as done. It's then that I most enjoy my "me-time".

Early on in our marriage we devised 'pink' and 'blue' jobs to divvy up household chores (I know - perhaps it seems outdated and a tad sexist in this day and age - but it works for us) To be fair, they could be any allocated colour- but for us, Mark has the blue jobs and I get the pink ones, and we're not changing our system in order to be politically correct now!

Mark's jobs (his choice) are the garden, putting out the bins, doing the lawns, fixing or building things, checking cars are functioning and general repairs around the house, painting etc. My pink jobs are writing lists/ allocating all household tasks (ie delegating LOL) ....and (yawn) indoor stuff eg. housework, ironing, cooking, cleaning, sewing, and generally being the taxi service for the non-driving teens. Our tasks seem to play to our strengths. I would much rather do housework and potter indoors than mow the lawn or garden.... I'm rubbish at gardening! My favourite pinkie is cooking or baking.

The kids are pretty competent at most Pink and Blue jobs now they are 15, 17, 19 and 21. More of our pink and blue lists gets delegated to the junior people of this house the older they get...we see both pink and blue jobs are important training.... otherwise how will they cope when they leave home?

So, knowing that a new, quieter era is around he corner as our kids grow up and face leaving the nest later in 2016, I have signed up to Wanderlust. It's an online course run by a long-standing PaperArtsy retailer, Artist Trading Post and I'm doing it just because I CAN ! I think I need a cue to share more pink jobs and enjoy more 'me-time'. Now that the kids are skilled up in all tasks, they can be the new pink-blue army! They can cook, clean, garden, sort the rubbish and do their own washing/ ironing, so that should free me/us up to do other things. Perfect!

Enjoy tonight's post curated by the ever so versatile Wanda Hentges and we hope you celebrate this evening, a very Happy New Year!!! 

{My taxi service is booked in for 3 New Year's Eve collections tonight apparently!}


Hello Bloggers, Wanda Hentges here.  It has been a busy year at my place.  Our oldest son got married to a wonderful girl that we love and we "started" a huge house project - putting on an addition, new siding on the whole house, some foundation work, and we intend to gut and remodel the old part of the house.  I don't expect we will be completely done until next fall.  With all of this going on I have mostly made cards and tags this year with a bit of other things (journal pages, canvases, etc.) thrown in. 

Since being creative is something I "need" to be doing, lack of time just means simplifying or keeping to smaller projects like cards and tags.  I still love making my own backgrounds and enjoy trying new ideas or expanding on old ideas.  Another thing I've tried my hand at a few times is leaving white space.  I tend to make a full background and build upon it.  I see so many gorgeous projects out there that leave lots of open space and I've pushed myself at times to give this a try.  Other times... I'm just back in my box :-)

Topic 13: Time
Our first walk down memory lane tonight is Topic 13: Time.  We tend to think more about time at this time of the year but it effects us every day, every hour, every moment of the year.  

I really love Tracy Scott's Flower Clock!!!  It's bright and colorful making it fun to check the time throughout the day. I love, love, love that the butterfly is on the hand and moves around the clock and the words are a perfect reminder to be careful with our time as once it's gone, it's gone.

For a clock on the go, Clare Lloyd's Rag Time Charm project is perfect.  You could make several of these fabric bracelets in different colors and patterns to match outfits and use different timepieces and charms or just move the same one from bracelet to bracelet.    

Hazel Agnew's Elephant in the Room project is so much fun and sure to grab anyone's attention when they walk into the room.  It's important to remember the good times!!!  The black and white with a pop of color is wonderful!!!  If elephants aren't your thing, the techniques used to make this can be used on your favorite paper mache item.  

Time waits for no one, but just maybe this wonderful, full of texture triptych, Wait For Me by Liesbeth Fidder, could get it to change it's mind.  The texture, cascading images and metallic highlights combine for a fabulous project.  

Lastly, I love these journal pages by Leandra.  There are clocks in my garden! is a fabulous spread!!!  The girl really looks like she's in a garden of clock flowers.  The colors, layout, and shading are fantastic!!!


Topic 14: Flowers
There are a few things that often make their way into what I create but none more than flowers.  I love flowers!!!  My home would probably be surrounded with them if I didn't hate weeding so much :-)  LOL  Besides I'd rather be stamping, painting, or getting inky instead of working outside.  So I create with flowers and fill the inside of our home with them!!

Lynne Moncrieff's Golden hours among the Flowers is a wonderful canvas!! Stamping into the clay is a fabulous idea that worked so well.  It's fabulous how she layered the pieces onto her canvas. 

Jenny Atkinson's scrapbook page is beautiful!!  I love how the colors in the photo are extended onto the page along with all that texture and beautiful white flowers that match the picture so well.

The Garden Slate Panel by Lauren Hatwell would be great to hang by any patio or deck.  I especially like how she used the acetate and glitter glue to give the piece some bling and can imagine how it catches the light out in the sun!!!

I love the beautiful, bright colors Anneke De Clerk has used on her Canvas.  I can't help but smile and feel the joy when I look at it!!

This Notebook Holder by Clare Charvill is wonderful!!!  All the fussy cutting and detail work really make it stand out!!

Topic 15: Gels and Mediums

I REALLY enjoyed the Gels and Mediums topic.  I LOVE the wonderful textures and effects you can get by using all the different mediums out there.  If learning more about this is something you want to do then you should definitely go back and read through every single post shared for this topic!!  They were all great!!! 
I love Liz Borer's Inspired by Fibre Paste project with all it's texture and beautiful, soft colors!!!  Her technique of putting the paste onto palette paper so you can take the pieces off and incorporate them into your project is fabulous!!!

I've always loved resist and Ellen Vargo's gel resist card is fabulous!!!  I really like the colors and use of maps.  The words are a great reminder of how today impacts tomorrow.  

Lets not forget the talented Debs Wainwright and her Syringed GP Tree.  I never would have thought to put GB in a syringe.. oh, the ideas... genius!!!

Sue Carrington's Drippage Canvas is beautiful!!!!!!!  The clear tar gel drips are fantastic and so is the way she "shadowed" flowers in the background topped with all the beautiful colored flowers.

My favorite technique shared for this topic was Lin Brown's Paua Shell Effect.  Totally Amazing!!!!  You have to go watch the video!!!

Also you should not miss Leandra's Masterclass chocked full of fabulous information about gels and mediums!!!!!!

And Finally from me....

How about an item that links all 3 of these topics - time, flowers, and mediums? I chose to make.... a card :-) I've stamped into a layer of grungepaste for my background. Over that I've painted, stenciled, and stamped including the word today and then used a wonderful JOFY flower and added a clock for my flower center. Sometimes life gets so busy that a little reminder to do more of what makes us happy is a good thing.

You can catch a bit more the texture in the background from this angle.  

I hope you are enjoying this week of roundups from the year as much as I am!!!!  There really is a wealth of information and learning to be had on the PaperArtsy Blog and on their You Tube channel.  

Thanks so much to PaperArtsy and to YOU, the readers!!!!!!!!  You are appreciated!!!!  Happy New Year!!!



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Wednesday 30 December 2015

2015 Round Up: Bottles, Hidden Objects, Stencils {curated by Lauren Hatwell}

Good Evening again, Leandra here to introduce you to Part 4 of this summary series... we are half way!

I'm really looking forward to the year ahead, I think. LOL Ever since we left New Zealand in 2001, life has not really panned out quite the way we expected it to. Life's like that isn't it!

This May will be our 15th year in England. We only planned on being here for 5 years max! I remember meeting a kiwi lady who had lived here for 11 years not long after we arrived. At the time I thought... "crikey, why would you stay here so long...that won't be us, we'll be long gone back to New Zealand"... but no, here we still are!

But I really enjoy living here in old blighty! Looking back, I can see we have learned so much about business, manufacturing, bringing products to market, selling, merchandising, branding and more! I guess we have been in the school of retail and manufacturing! Nothing like our New Zealand life at all!

It is funny how your life can end up with you going in a different direction to what you anticipated when you were younger!

So before we look forward to 2016 and all the plans we have up our PaperArtsy sleeves, let's look back at Bottles, Hidden Objects and Stencils.

Your curator tonight is Lauren Hatwell. Enjoy!


Hello Bloggers, Lauren Hatwell here

Here's one of my own favourite makes this year because it was out of my comfort zone and not what anybody expected me to make.


I hope you all had a lovely Christmas. These days between Christmas and New Year are always a time of reflection for me, and what an incredible time I have had in your company this year. I feel I’ve learned so much and come so far, yet it’s still only the beginning of an incredible creative journey; and there’s so much more discover. What an exciting place to be at this stage of my life. I’m a crafter, not an artist, but I am gradually learning how to make my own art, guided and encouraged along the way by the amazingly talented and generous community at PaperArtsy.

Leandra asked me to talk to you about my personal development here. “Something you never did before, something you got better at and a new thing you enjoy” were the prompts. Amazingly for me, I can answer that with one magical word. The word is…. PAINT! When I opened up those first few bottles of Fresco Paint back in January it quite literally opened up a door to a whole new world for me. The world of Mixed Media.

My journey into that world is, I think, summed up perfectly in the tag below. I was so pleased with the fern leaves which I made by pouring neat Fresco Paint into a silicone mould.

Now, enough about me, let’s take a look at just a handful of the really amazing projects that really inspired me on the blog this year. I can't tell you how difficult it was to narrow it down to just a few.

Topic 10: Bottles

I was very excited about the bottles topic as there was such scope for creative thinking. I was pretty sure we’d see a lot of really great altered bottles, and we did, but as is always the way with the PaperArtsy topics, so much more besides.

Here’s a reminder of Pavla’s gorgeous journal page. Skilfully and beautifully pulled together; it’s clean and simple, yet it’s bursting with texture and interest. Fabulous!

Later in the week Bracken Sparkes showed us how to think INSIDE the box when she created this amazing box frame using one of Lin Brown’s lovely flower stamps and a great sentiment by Ellen Vargo. A beautifully executed piece of work; I think the little hanging bottle filled with sunflower seeds is genius.

Let's not forget the talented Anneke de Clerck who delighted us with her striking display of painted bottles and delicate tissue flowers. Anneke has such an eye for colour and I really admire the way she is able to layer a few simple elements to such great effect.

The challenge entries were fantastic, I hope you saw this post by Claire. I loved all her gorgeous layering on this piece and her clever use of colour to create that wonderful sky. The little scrap of French book paper inside her little bottle charm is such a lovely touch. Simple but effective, as the best things often are.

I loved this post by Moira Sutton on her blog, The Altered Ego  She has gone to town with her Alice in Wonderland theme, creating some really fabulous charms with PaperArtsy stamps and shrink plastic. She used Treasure Gold on her bottle and it looks just  like Mercury Glass.

Topic 11: Hidden Objects

I loved this topic. It was a really fun and exciting theme and fascinating to see what it meant to each of the contributors; what they would hide and where they would hide it (whatever IT was). I love out of the box thinking so this was like a masterclass for me. I really enjoyed it. It was so inspiring.

Do you remember this fabulous post by Lucy Edmondson? Wow! What an amazing idea these Matryoshka dolls were! Lucy skilfully conjured these little beauties by combining her amazing painting skills with some of Lynne Perrella’s fabulous faces, and flower stamps by JOFY and Lin Brown.

Etsuko delighted us with her fabulous book, filled to the brim with beautiful backgrounds and Darcy’s mystical creatures and flowers. Etsuko has such a way with colour and placement. She seems to have an innate ability to create fabulous backgrounds which melt away allowing her focal image to take centre stage. I loved her beautiful book binding too. It provided the perfect finishing touch to her project.

I do seem to have a soft spot for the quirky things in life so it will come as no surprise that this piece by Trish Latimer really hit the spot for me. I liked the clever way she created a sort of niche in a book for her lovebirds to sit inside and her extra long stripey poles for her bird houses to sit on are a really fun addition.

When we have a broad topic like this we get such diverse challenge entries. I remember  Ruth’s cleverly constructed pages contained both hidden text and little people peeking out from their hiding places behind lots of clever raised tiles that were created using a variety of interesting mediums and textures.

And personally I loved this post by Sue. She created the most beautiful canvas featuring a lady whose face was hidden from us. It was a really powerful piece of work which spoke volumes. A really interesting and individual take on the theme.

Topic 12: Stencils

I confess I had never properly appreciated just how versatile the humble stencil is. This topic really opened my eyes to a whole host of exciting possibilities using a huge array of different mediums. It was absolutely fascinating and so inspiring to see each post. I am still marvelling at the variety of effects that were achieved with these fairly flimsy pieces of plastic…

This journal page by Alison Hall vibrates with colour and I love the way she’s ramped up the textures with the addition of those fabulous stamped flowers with their bead centres. 

So, from “bursting with colour” to “bursting with textures”.  How could I forget DianaTaylor’s gorgeous creation in shades of white where she used stencils so effectively to build a spectacular underwater scene. Diana used a book cover as her base and created the effect of coral using puff paint through a stencil. The finished piece speaks for itself. It’s breathtaking!

We’ve seen, then, how stencils can be used to build some amazingly detailed work. Clare Lloyd took a different approach with her fairly clean and simple tag. She built up lots of layers using her stencils and then seemed to be covering each layer up before using a wipe out technique to reveal beautifully layered stars beneath a night sky.  Magical! So now when I plan a project I think not only about what I can add but also about what I might take away.

The challenge entries were fabulous too. Did you notice this amazing journaling by Suman Pandit. Her Seascape has real energy and movement. She’s used a plethora of techniques to create this sumptuous page but it seems to me that the whole thing rests on and is underpinned by the amazing effects created using texture paste through just one stencil and a variety of inks to bring out all the detail.

In direct contrast is this very understated but brilliantly effective piece by Carol. She has simply used the negative image of a stencil as a backdrop to her beautiful hand drawn figure and it works so well. I love it.

And Finally from me....
How about an item that links all 3 of these topics? 

I decided to make something a bit seasonal so here is my slightly steampunk snowman made from two bottles and a lightbulb. I painted the two bottles with snowflake fresco paint and stencilled on some swirls in Antarctic.

You can see I've used a piece of old stencil for the snowy swirls and I've used some puff embossing powder for the snow

"But what about the hidden object?" I hear you cry! Well this snowman is hiding a secret. Beneath his snowman body he is hiding a pair of legs. Yes, it's really Aunt Maud's nephew, Algernon. He's off to a fancy dress party dressed as a snowman. 

Wishing you all a wonderful 2016.



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