Monday, 11 May 2015

Make your own Flower Press

It's been a while since I last blogged. It's been a very difficult last 6 months. 
My Mum passed away 2 weeks ago and my priority was to look after her.
I very rarely got my paints out but found that I was sewing more, this still fed my crafty craving but didn't tax my brain too much. I did make 2 really nice quilts though. I've added a few photo's at the end of this post of the sewing I've done.

I've had the blank wood for this flower press for a couple of years now. I was going to teach a class to make the flower press, but it just never happened. I finally got round to playing with my DecoArt Media Fluid acrylic paints, so made and painted up my flower press. This is my finished result.

Here is my walk through :)
I used some bull dog clips to hold my two pieces of wood together, then drilled the holes in for the bolts.

I then cut some cardboard to the same size of the board. But then cut the corners, to accommodate the bolts.

I put it all together to test if the bolts were long enough.
Here is the blank flower press.

I first mixed these paints and painted the first coat of paint on both boards.
I dried this coat before applying the next coat.

I painted a white second coat of paint.
Dried this coat, then sanded it back to reveal the turquoise blue.

I used the "Old French Script" Americana Decor text stencil and some Paynes Grey paint on some cut and dry foam. I did this on both the front and the back panel.
I dry brushed some white paint over the stencilling to knock it back a little bit.

On the front panel I used some texture paste through the "Dandelion" Americana stencil, and dried it with a heat gun. I then sprayed some Turquoise DecoArt Media Shimmer Mist over the dandelions and dry brushed some Titanium white paint over the top to catch the detail of the dandelion stencil. Love the contrast of the two colours. 

This is the finished back of the flower press.
I finished off the edges by stamping a crackle stamp with some gold paint, and darkened the edges of the board with some Prussian Blue Hue paint on a cut n dry foam pad.

This is the finished flower press with the cardboard, flowers, and the bolts in.

It also contains these flowers too :)

I filled 3 layers of flowers, making sure that none of the flowers are touching each other.
And placed cartridge paper on the bottom and the top of the flowers.

I've used Tim Holtz plastic letters and dabbed over white paint with my fingers.

Here is the finished front. I've added a bit of Treasure Gold on the edges and the raised parts of the flowers and stamped a flourish stamp around the outside with white Picket Fence Distress Stain on it.

I will come back to this flower press later in a few months and make something with my pressed flowers. :)


Here are some of my sewing makes I've made lately.
A baby blanket. With some free motion quilting on the top.

A soft flannel raggy baby blanket

A pin cushion

And a Pan trivet for the kitchen.


The Butterwick Hospice looked after my Mum as her cancer progressed and they are amazing people. I can't thank them enough for what they did for my Mum.
I made them this card to say thank you.  

Thanks for popping by
Take care
Michelle xx

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Driftwood Art Class with Kate Crane

Went to a class at Art from the Heart yesterday taught by the brilliant Kate Crane.
It was all about painting on driftwood.

I adore being at the beach, seeing as I only live about 10 minutes away from one. 
I managed to add to Kate's driftwood supplies with a couple of beach combing trips before the class :)

It was nice to catch up with Kate and my crafty friends too, I hadn't seen them for a while :)
Sam you naughty girl, always trying to half inch my makes ;)

This is what I made, I love it, I might have to make more and sell at a craft fair in my local town. 

I found lots of good samples to paint on at the beach to take to the class.

I really liked the big block, so I could paint on all 4 sides!


The nails were perfect for hanging little flags off. :)

I still need to put a hanger on this one.

I think I have the painty bug back again. Thank you Kate for finding my mojo xx

See ya
Michelle xxx

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Decoart Helping Artist & New Blog Heading

I'm really excited to share with you that I have become part of the DecoArt Helping Artist Program.

DecoArt work with artists and tutors, providing them with products and materials that they hope they'd use in their art work and classes.

They sent me this amazing selection of their new Media range paints, mediums and misters!

And some stencils too!

Well I just couldn't wait to get started on something, so I wanted to give the blog a bit of a revamp so went for making a new header. I used these paints to start off with.

I got some plain natural calico cotton to draw some houses on.


I mixed some Media paint with DecoArt's Fabric Medium, and painted my houses on the calico.
I left it to dry overnight, but you can dry it with a heat gun in minutes too. 

When it was dry I washed the cloth to make sure the paint was fixed. It sure was.

I dried my cloth and cut out my houses.

I then painted a background on some more calico.

 Wrote out "The Hobby Room" on a piece of paper and pinned it to the calico background.

I used the sewing machine with a free motion foot on and sewed along the letters

This is what it looked like when I had finished.
Pull off all the paper and you have your sewn name. 

I appliqued the houses to the Hobby Room cloth.
And added a cheeky washing line and some birds too with the sewing machine.

Well I have to say I love these paints, and the fabric medium is brilliant too.
It's given me an idea for more fabric painting and sewing!
So watch this space. 
Hope you like the revamp.
Michelle xx

Friday, 16 January 2015

A year went past in a blur! Where did 2014 go?

Last year was a bit of a blur, everything went so fast. I'd gone back to working in geology, working very long hours, so I didn't get much time in the craft room. :( But I did get very muddy though!

My Mum started 2014 off in January in hospital in critical care for 3 weeks followed by a whole year of endless hospital stays and appointments, which is still ongoing.  I still had lots of classes to prep for in 2014 though, so when I wasn't working, sleeping or at the hospital, I was frantically beavering away in the craft room.

Well it all got too much by September as I was working away in Cambridge too and I had to stop teaching for a while. I miss it very much.

Here's some pictures that never made it on the blog from last years classes I taught. 

 February 2014 Mixed-media canvas AFTH -  Believe in your dreams, follow your heart and create.


March 2014 Preview class AFTH - I'd rather be crafting desk sign.
I love neon paint on Kraft card.


March 2014 Wynyard Canvas Class - Birdhouse and Bunting


April 2014 AFTH - Give your heart the wings to fly


July 2014 Wynyard Canvas Class - The Beach Huts Day 1

Hinged Canvases Day 2 at Wynyard

August 2014 AFTH - Altered Book Class


August 2014 AFTH - Colour Theory Class.  
This was my last class at AFTH. :(   But not forever though!

 This is Karen, she's super talented and she's now teaching at Art from the Heart too. Go on girl!

                    Steven Macari was over from Paris to see family and managed to fit a class in too. :)

Those colour charts will come in handy. 

These were the amazing flowers that Ben gave me for my last class. They were absolutely stunning and they lasted for weeks! :) Thank you x


This was my last class of 2014 in Cambridge at It's Crafting Time shop in Shepreth.


I did a large acrylic painting in September for a local Mexican restaurant called Mahujo's.
It's a Mexican tree of life. I'd like to do a Los Muertos skull for the next one.


Mum went to the Butterwick Hospice in the summer and I went with her a few times. They had a watercolour painting class on so I had a bit of a dabble too. 
This was my first one, I liked it, but didn't like the clouds. :)

Then I tried this one from a watercolour book. 
I like this too, but I wrinkled the paper a bit.

So then I had a go at painting a photo I had taken of some bales of hay at the foot of Roseberry Topping. I enjoyed my little flurry with watercolours. I could easily retire with all my hobbies, but it won't pay the mortgage, so I had to put my paint brush down for a while.


Me and Helen went for a couple of days to Llandudno in July, a well earned break and a walk up the Orme. Worthy of a quick scrapbook page I thought!


Well that's kind of it for 2014. Sorry the blog posts were a bit thin on the ground.
I've dragged my sewing machine out of the cupboard lately, so I'll do another update this week. 
I think its high time the blog got a revamp anyway, don'tcha think? :)

Have fun in your crafty room, whatever you're doing
Michelle xxx

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