Sunday, 29 April 2012

Altered box for die cut collage sheets

I was going to do an ATC with a Victorian image from my die cut collage sheets, when I realised I have a messy pile of sheets, they needed a home. I had bought some white shoe boxes from TK Max ages ago with a view to altering them at some point. This was the perfect opportunity to make a collaged box for my collage sheets!  Here is the result of an afternoon with old die cuts and PVA glue. It's a great way of recycling your old decoupage sheets if you don't use them any more. Just run Walnut Stain Distress stain over the sheets to vintage them up, cut them out and hey presto.  I saw a collaged box on the Ranger website which was the inspiration for this design. 

This is my pile of die cut sheets I use for collage projects. I think lots of people have some of these old things.

I painted the shoe box in Burnt Umber acrylic paint first, which actually looked like a nice wood effect box when it was painted. 

I tore up some Crowded Attic Tim Holtz scrapbook paper, and distressed the edges with Barn Door, Fired Brick, Peeled Paint, Walnut Stain, and Rusty Hinge distress inks.

I wiped Walnut Stain Distress Stain over my die cuts to make them old and vintage looking.

And glued them onto the painted box.

I used strips of Crowded Attic paper along the bottom of each side and finished off the box with Tim Holtz Idea-ology metal box corners and legs.

I now have the perfect home for my collage sheets.

Now I must find a nice home for it.

Friday, 27 April 2012

If I were a mermaid

I'm booked in for a 'Drawing in your Journal' class at Art from the Heart in Harrogate with Kate Crane. so I thought I would dust off the cobwebs in my frontal lobe and practice doing a bit of drawing. It used to come so easy to me as a cocky 17 year old at college, but now I have too many distractions with daily life and everything. So I surprised myself when I sat down in front of the tele the other night to draw a mermaid, I thought I'd be there for hours, rubbing it out and starting again, but she was there in about 30 minutes! Ironically the lobsters took me longer to do. 

I'm still relatively new to this art journaling game, and I still have so much to learn, its exciting times for me, I'm enjoying the journey, being inspired by so many blogs out there, I love it!

I like anything to do with the sea. Every time I go to the beach I always come back with my pockets full of little bits of rocks and shells. I wonder what happens beneath those waves. What would you do if you were a mermaid? This is what I would do.

So here goes, the materials I've used were the glorious London Blue & Vibrant Turquoise Dylusions Inks for the background.  I have this old wooden rubber stamp that has a snow pattern on it.  I dabbed it in water and stamped it on the page to blot out little white dots on the fab blue background.  It worked so well as a bubble effect all over.  The hanging plants, the fish, the sea horses, the jelly fish and the coral are all the fantastic Lavinia Stamps, they're such good quality with loads of detail, Tracey is so talented.  I used many different shades of blue to give the illusion of distance with all the stamps.

I drew some foreground plants straight on the page with a black gel pen, and used a lighter shade pencil to draw plants in the distance. I love my little happy lobsters. I had heaps of fun making this page.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012


What's on your workdesk? Wednesday 151 - Join in to Julia Dunnit's messy workdesks

My desk is considerably more messy than my previous WOYWW. But still not as messy as it gets on a weekend when I'm in full swing.  So what do I have on my workdesk today? I wanted to make a deep blue sea background for my journal pages, and then I drew a mermaid and coloured her in using Promarkers.  It's still a working progress but it's beginning to take shape.

I'm coming over to have a neb at everyone else's desks....Michelle x

I'm number 82 in this weeks WOYWW

Saturday, 21 April 2012

What does he see?

Well all this rain is doing my garden the world of good, and it makes me feel not quite so guilty about spending all my time (when I'm not working) in the craft room. Do we crafter's actually need an excuse to get into the craft room? Mine is I'm awake, therefore I craft.

You saw these journal pages below earlier this week on the WOYWW (What's on your workdesk Wednesday) post. I had not started to add all my journaling bits and pieces. But it's finished now I think, I might still add some writing to it later.

I really enjoyed making this background, there is a lot going on here so I'll try and list everything I did. firstly using cream and white Adirondack dabbers and water spray I coloured a background using long strokes, I distressed the edges with TH Walnut Stain and used a number of stencils here and there. The small round circles are Crafters Workshop, I used dark brown, tan and pearl white dabbers through the stencil. The big round circles, I drew. Then I used a few stamps, a TH flourish (used brown Archival ink), and circles (used green acrylic dabber), the flower stamp was free in this month's Craft Stamper, the crackle stamp is a Clarity stamp. The wispy swirls along the bottom is a My Minds Eye stamp. I used other stencils that you can't see in the picture below, but you can in the picture above. These are an old brass sunburst stencil, which still comes in useful sometimes, then I used a piece of old netting with some metallic bronze acrylic paint dabbed through it. Old window netting is brilliant for stencilling. I dragged white and green soft pastels down the page to distress a few areas.

I then wrote out my journaling on pieces of paper, distressed them with scattered straw and mustard seed distress inks, and cut them out. I drew a women based on a picture of me with pencil & soft pastels, and stuck these onto the pages. I forgot to mention about the pile of silver embossing powders in the bottom middle of the right page. I'll say more about that further down. I drew some stems and leaves for the flowers too.

This is a pile of silver, gold, black, white and copper embossing powders with some mica flakes stuck in it.

I have a roll of wide florist straw ribbon. I cut a heart shape and stuck it on the page too. I based the pastel drawn women on the black and white picture of me in the Crafty Individuals frame. I coloured the frame using Lettuce Adirondack ink, and then stamped it with a text stamp, a flourish and the TH circles.

I finished off the pages using blue and white oil pastels around elements on the page, and orange and yellow oil pastels on the flowers.

I've probably forgot to mention a few things I did because there is so much going on here. I do love it though. Michelle x

Wednesday, 18 April 2012


What's on your Workdesk Wednesday
I came home from work tonight with a bunch of flowers on my workdesk Wednesday from my son, how nice :-).  He was not in the dog house or was just a nice surprise.

I'm working on a couple of journal pages at the moment, I've only done the background so far, hoping to get it finished by Friday. My desk looks tidy right now, but it won't be at about 9pm tonight. Just thought I would take the pic now before the chaos commences.  Just looking at the pic then makes me realise just how many pairs of scissors does one crafter need! lol

A closer look.

I usually have a line of string on the wall in front of me, I use pegs to hold up things I am using at the time, be it stamps, card, cuttings for inspiration whatever, but at the moment I have a line of nails to hold up the packets of stamps I'm thinking about using. I think I might have a Visual Artistry addiction! It's just easier to see what you have this way and you can whip it out quickly!

WOYWW  I'm number 147.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Tag Heaven!

Unfortunately I'm back at work this week in my full time job, having been off for a week in arty heaven....Booo Hissss....  I'm glad I put another week's holiday in for the beginning of May, so only another 2 and a bit weeks at work before I'm off again whoopy ding dong!

I've completed the Creative Chemistry 101 with Tim Holtz and I got the bug for making backgrounds for tags which helped me think differently about making backgrounds for journal pages too.

Here is my favourite tag I made on Monday (1), the background I made with Adirondack alcohol inks. The  sentiment, the silvery circles & the red tiny squares are a Tim Holtz stamp, the heart stamp is from Crafty Corner (stamped using a light blue Adirondack dabber),  the face stamp is Inkylicious, spiral stamp is  Dimension Fourth and My Minds Eye wild asparagus wispy stamp is around the face. I dabbed the edges with a black Adirondack dabber.

Tag 1. 

Here are some of my my Creative Chemistry 101 tags below (2), I'll make something from my backgrounds, probably at the weekend.

Tag 2. 

Then I did a couple of journal page backgrounds below (3), all using Adirondack dabbers and Cosmic Shimmer Mists. A great little tip is to use the Brilliance raindrop ink pads direct on the page because you can get an instant raindrop shape and it has a nice shimmer too, I love this effect.


More alcohol ink tags (4).

Tags 4.

This one below (5) is using only the Salmon Adirondack alcohol ink with the copper mixative and dropping blending solution onto the tag.

Tag 5. 

Tag No. 6 below is made using only Adirondack dabbers, Salmon, Aqua and Pool. Then I used a Radiant Rain pink mister (just like Cosmic Shimmers). The stars are a That Special Touch mask, the number jumble is Dylusions, and the cross hatch is from a piece of netting I have.

Tags 6. 

I also did these two little makes with the Dina Wakely stamp, which I'll probably use on something at the weekend, but I don't know what yet. The first one I stamped the Dina Stamp, then the hand, and masked the two stamps and stamped the writing. I coloured the Dina stamp using Dylusions inks and a water pen. I used a red and a purple soft pastel to highlight/shadow around the images.
 The second one I used Tim Holtz kraft resist paper (I love the old smell of the paper when you use the heat gun on it).

As you can see I've had a lot of fun
Michelle x

Saturday, 7 April 2012

What's inside my head?

I didn't start off making this a self portrait but it ended up that way. I was laid in bed last night still awake after everyone else had gone to sleep. Even the cats were laid on their backs in their beds with their legs in the air. With a busy head I just couldn't get to sleep, and I wished I had a stop button, so I could just shut my head down for the night, so I came up with this journal page. I'm sure we're all familiar with having a head full of....well stuff really.. when we go to bed. Don't you just wish you could hit the stop button?

All stamps used are Tim Holtz, and I used a That Special Touch cogs mask.
I used Lemon Zest and Cut Grass Dylusions inks by Dyan Reaveley.
I used pearl white, and aqua Adirondack dabbers around the edge, and used the wild plumb on the cogs.

If only I could hit the stop button!

Friday, 6 April 2012

Give me a break!

Are you like me, where you know you have a whole list of things to do, and you'd rather be creating something? What do you do, do you give in to the urge to be creative or do you feel the guilt and start crossing off your 'to do' list?

I'm terrible for giving in to the urge to create, and then my family just give me the look! That look which makes me take a reality check, not knowing that I've completely lost the last couple of days in a world of my own.

This was the inspiration for these pages. I just wanna be creative, is that too much to ask? These are the pages in the music book I bought in York on Monday.

The pages started out being gesso'd, then spritzed with bubblegum pink and London blue Dylusions inks

Then I used an old Helix alphabet stencil and wiped a baby wipe over it to blot the ink here and there. I was in a shop the other day where I saw some wallpaper samples, I whipped a couple of samples off the testers and I've stuck a piece of anaglypta (love saying this word, it's so funny!) on the top right of this page. I used some of the structure gel to put raised circles and textured paint on the wallpaper piece and random areas of the page.

I used my brown and black pastels to rub over the page to pick up on the texture of the gesso under the ink, and also to lowlight the edges of the wallpaper and some of the raised spots. I went to my local craft shop and they gave me the large circle mask for free, as it was a bit of wood waste, nice one Tom, Thanks. I used this mask with red firefly Cosmic Shimmer Mist.

I used a flourish mask that I bought from Tom (not actually in production), and used my structure gel mixed with blue acrylic paint in the corner. You can really see the piece of wallpaper here. I've painted white, metallic purple, and illuminous pink paint over and around it. I just love the texture. I stamped some flowers around the edge with green and white Adirondack paint dabbers.  Then I started to journal everywhere with Posca pens.

I drew a frustrated me (wishful thinking that I'm that slim!), printed out my sentiment, coloured it with Moss Green Distress ink and added some shading in places. 

I used a Papermania stamp for the little notice boards. I coloured the edges with Posca pens, then painted white acrylic on the inside. I used my brown pastel to distress it a little.

I used Crafty Individuals Postmark stamps in some of the circles.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

You will succeed

Well I've certainly been enjoying myself since coming back from York. I've painted 5 journal pages ready for some stamping, I've painted 4 canvases, just background colours for now, and I'm in the middle of doing my two pages in the music book journal, however I'm waiting for some heavy structure gel to dry off, before I can do the next bit I want to do. So in the meantime, I made this little number. As per usual, I ended up doing something completely different to what I started off doing.

I used a dylusions 5x8 diamond border stencil and a palette knife with some paste to make a 3D stencilled image. 
The paste is mixed heavy structure gel with white acrylic paint, and a little splodge of pink and blue paint. I left this to dry for a few hours.

I then sprayed the two pages with melted chocolate and lemon zest dylusions inks, with a bit of black around the edges. I love the way that the white 3D diamonds and border, really stands out here.

I added lots of stamps from Artistic Outpost (bats), Craft stamper freebee from Crafty Notions (heart, stamped with blue acrylic paint), and Tim Holtz (butterflies) mostly with Coffee Archival Ink. I used another dylusions stencil, number jumble here and there with fired brick distress ink. I then got my soft pastels out and did some shading on the hearts, butterflies, and around the edges of the border, and some of the diamonds.

I made the quotation on the computer. It's a quote from Samuel Beckett, but I changed the ending to be more positive!

I love this Crafty Individuals stamp of Whitby Abbey, it always gives the illusion of distance. I like having perspective in a picture.

Can't wait to finish my music book journal page. I drew an image for it last night, Maybe get it on the blog tonight or tomorrow. 
Michelle x
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