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Archive for the ‘Art Journal’ Category

Welcome Back

At the beginning of the month as part of the stash dive I wanted to have another go at art journalling. Here is the first page of my new art journal.

Art Journal page; I give myself permission.

Art Journal page; I give myself permission.

Isn’t it a great quote? I read this on Suzi Blu’s blog several years ago and it has made a huge psycological difference to sketchbooks since. Now I have permission to stuff up it takes the pressure off and you can just create. I’m making individual pages so I can stamp off the page and also work on more than one page as an earlier one dries.

If you want to try art journalling, do give it a try its a lot of fun if you just do what you enjoy and don’t put too many rules round it.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

This month’s Challenge theme is:

Good Thing’s Happen.

Inspired by a journal prompt in a newsletter from Somerset Studios, this month’s challenge is to record the good things that happen in your life. We all get fed up during the LONG dark winter but then you see a little flower battling through and opening to the briefest watery sunshine.

Capture the moments that make you smile; in a photo, a piece of art, a scrap-book page, a digital project perhaps. Be inspired to create because of the colour you just saw, but notice it and make a note of it. The when the winter blues hit, you will have a box of happy events to look back through and inspire you. It’s the little things in life that make us smile, sometimes they are so brief we all too quickly forget them, lets celebrate the little things in life that we enjoy.

BIT of a different challenge, but lets give it a go.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

This is a technique that I discovered by accident when playing experimenting with my new Interference acrylic colours. This paint works best over dark colours so I created a dark background and was layering the interference colour and really liked the effect. With a little practice you can make it look like brushed metal.

Brushed Metal Paint effect, perfect for art journalling and surface decoration

Brushed Metal Paint effect, perfect for art journaling and surface decoration

You Will Need

  • Winsor & Newton Galeria Acrylic Paint: Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna
  • Daler Rowney Interference acrylic colour; Shimmering Gold
  • White Mount board
  • Plate to mix colours on
  • Two scraps of rag
  • Palette knife
  • Jar of water

Method

  • Use the palette knife to apply a layer of Burnt Umber over the whole mount board panel, allow this layer to dry.
  • With a rag apply interference gold in ‘grain direction’ as seen in the video and previously in the weathered wood tutorial. Allow this layer to dry.
  • With a rag, apply some Burnt Sienna in ‘grain direction’ like you did with the gold. Burnt sienna is semi transparent and will let earlier layers show through but this will warm the colours up and tone down any areas that are looking too bright. Allow this layer to dry.
  • Continue to build your layer till you have an effect that you like, if you like a darker tone go back in with some Burnt Umber with the rag to deepen some areas or perhaps create a frame to the piece.

Like with the other techniques, to get the best results it’s all about the blending. Build up the layers gradually for the best results and allow each layer to dry before you apply the next.

Options/Added Extras

Winsor & Newton Galeria is a flow formula acrylic paint, so the finished result will be flat. This makes it ideal for art journals, ATC and pieces you wish to write or stamp over. If you want a more dimensional effect use a heavy bodied acrylic paint such as Daler Rowney Cryla which will add more dimension to the piece.

Experiment with different base colours and mixes for other effects.

Links

Hope you have enjoyed the video and will give the technique a try, do let me know how you get on. I’d love to see what you create using this technique.

Best wishes and thanks for reading see you soon

Billie :)

Adventures in Acrylics: Online workshop

Adventures in Acrylics: Online workshop

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Welcome Back

Earlier in the week, I mentioned how I like natural textures, and taking photographs of anything weathered and worn. This tutorial was inspired by a weathered picket fence. The technique is quick and simple and because you can creat this with a flat finish, its ideal for cards, art journals, ATC as well as book covers and altered art surface decoration. Join me in this latest instalment of Adventures in Acrylics to create a weathered wood, paint effect.

Weathered Wood Paint Effect

Weathered Wood Paint Effect

You Will Need

  • Mount Board in white
  • Winsor and Newton: Galeria; Acrylic Paint: Buff Titanium and Raw Umber
  • Scrap of car sponge
  • Palette

Method

  • I am working on  white mount board, that hasn’t been gesso’d. You can also use other board but for this effect you will need to apply a layer of white gesso to it, to give you the white base. That does affect how the paint will move on the board though.
  • Put some buff Titanium onto your palette. Choose a direction for your wood grain.
  • Dab your car sponge into the paint to pick up some colour, then dab off the excess paint on to the palette, this also blends the paint into the sponge.
  • Swipe your paint across the board, in the direction you chose for your wood grain. You just want to catch a few areas here and there, this is to create some texture, rather than covering the card. Let this layer dry completely before you move on.
  • Put some Raw Umber out onto your palette, dab into this paint using a clean area of your sponge. Dab off onto the palette before moving to the board. Apply this colour by swiping the sponge across the board in the same direction you did for the lighter colour. Allow this layer to dry before you move on.
  • To get the best results you want to break up any large areas of colour, layer over particularly dark areas with the titanium buff, and over light areas with the Raw Umber. Let layers dry between coats or the paint will merge together rather than tone down the earlier layers. Continue these last few steps until you have an effect that you like.

I have written the instructions as well as the video, so that if you don’t speak English, there is always the trusty Translator :) I’ve put a link to one, in the side bar.

Options/Added Extras

Here’s a paper mache box that I decorated using the weathered wood paint effect.

Weathered wood Box

Weathered wooden fence

The Winsor & Newton Galeria, is a flow formula acrylic paint, if you want a more textured effect try using Daler Rowney Cryla as that is a heavy bodied acrylic paint. The consistency of Cryla is more like that of toothpaste, so will leave a more textured result.

Try altering the colours for different base wood effects.

Since making the film, I’ve noticed the Cryla equivalent; called Titan Buff and is not as yellow as the Galeria Titanium buff paint. This is not a problem if you apply the Galeria one lightly, but it will need more careful blending if you get larger areas of it on this project.

If you want to seal in your colours, apply a layer of matt medium over the whole piece, this takes a while to fully dry but does not affect the colours. I’ll be going into more detail about mediums, later in the course.

Links

  • For suppliers: Check out the Art tab at the top of the blog, for manufacturers and retailers. They will be in the supplies section.
  • For more information about the Online Workshop series Adventures in Acrylics, check out the dedicated Workshop page.

Hope you enjoyed today’s tutorial and will give this technique a try, I’d love to see your results. Do leave a comment and a link to your projects if you post them on your blog.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

In today’s post I will be reviewing;

Set of 8 Zig Writer Pens

Set of 8 Zig Writer Pens

Product Details

  • Manufacturer/Brand; Kuretake: Zig Memory System, Writer
  • RRP at time of writing: £10-£15

Reason For Buying

I bought my first Zig Writer for Art Journalling, a black one.

Pros/Cons

Pros

  • Photo Safe
  • Acid Free
  • Archival Quality
  • Lightfast
  • Non Bleeding
  • Odorless
  • Smear-Proof (Once dry)
  • Two ended pen; 0.5 mm and 1.2 mm
  • 48 Colours in the range. (At time of Writing)
  • Colours co-ordinate with other pens in the Zig Memory System ranges.
Zig Writer pen, close up of nibs

Zig Writer pen, close up of nibs

Cons

I don’t have any, one tip you need to store the pens flat as they share a central ink source. If you store them on end the opposite end will go dry.

Build Quality

Superb, well-fitting lids that are still easy to remove. Comfortable in the hand. Nibs last well and are robust. The ink tone is also superb. Strong stable colours in each pen.

Value for Money

These pens are fairly priced for their quality. They may not be the cheapest on the market but their quality and long life make them worth the investment. Also the fact that the colours co-ordinate across other pens is a big plus.

Would I buy it Again?

Totally. So far I’ve only bought a pack of 8, but that’s because I’m lacking budget for more. These pens are available singly or in packs of eight or ten.

Summing up

Superb pens, like the others in the Zig Memory System they are a joy to use. I particularly like the fact that the colour pallet co-ordinates across other pen designs in the range. This is wonderful and a great selling point.

Links

For a list of stockists check the Kuretake website, it will also list the full colour range within the online catalogue.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

In today’s post I will be reviewing;

Craft Artist Platinum Edition by Serif

Craft Artist Platinum Edition by Serif

Product Details

  • Manufacturer/Brand; Serif Craft Artist, Platinum Edition
  • RRP at time of writing: Around £40

Reason For Buying

My lovely husband had already given me Digital Scrapbook Artist v2 a couple of years ago, having taken a year and an online class to get my head around Adobe Photoshop Elements, I was wary of facing another momentous learning curve to learn this new software. I’m not a scrapbooker BUT have dabbled a little with digital scrapbooking and did enjoy it. Firstly as it is much more cost-effective you buy a digi kit of elements (like a pile of virtual stash) and the great thing is they never run out. Well, this Craft Artist is the next generation, it has all the elements of Digital Scrapbook Artist but lots of cool new features too. I want to use this for Art Journalling, making background papers to use in my own projects, to make card designs with. To make dimensional projects. They call this hybrid crafting, taking digital images or elements and combining what you create there with your more traditional skills of stamping, inking etc.

Pros/Cons

Pros

In the links section I will add a link to the Serif Daisy Trail site, where they list the difference between Craft Artist and Digital Scrapbook Artist.

  • A whole craft shop of goodies at your finger tips. You can re-use the elements in digi kits as often as you like. No more running out of letters half way through a project, or finding the shop has discontinued you favorite papers etc.
  • Mobility! I admit my laptop is quite a fast one, but if you put this software on your laptop you can create where ever you like! Great if you like to create with others, or want to take your creativity on holiday.
  • An excellent way to craft if you have limited space or limited dexterity. I recommend using a graphics tablet if you have limited hand dexterity, as its more comfortable than a mouse for long-term use. All the digi kits are available either to download or as collections on discs.
  • All the choices of card bases to design onto. Rather than just a square starting page as was the case with DSA2, although it had the option of creating your own custom sizes, it meant you had to work the sizes out for yourself. Now you have all kinds of card designs to play with.
  • Templates, as well as the card templates, this also has boxes, bags, bunting all kind of fun things to design onto.
  • You can design your own digi kits
  • Daisy Trail Community. Not in the box or anything, but this is a free to join online community with lots of friendly people. This is a great place to meet friends, ask questions and share your finished work.
  • Very handy for last-minute cards

Cons

  • As this is such a new program, there are a few reported kinks still in the program. Serif has excellent customer service and through Daisy Trail reported issues are being ironed out and resolved with updates to the program.

Build Quality

This program has been great, I haven’t had any major problems with it, a few printing issues but they are known and there are simple work arounds to any niggles that are still to be resolved.

Value for Money

Fantastic! Seriously this is superb value for money. You can do so much with this program. I highly recommend you get some of the Digi kit CD ROMS to expand your creative possibilities with the program, but you can create so many different projects and elements to use with your crafting. I love it.

Would I buy it Again?

Totally. The new features like card templates and gift bag templates are excellent and mean you don’t have to work them all out for yourself, just create onto what is there. I highly recommend this to anyone with youngsters as well. Kids can quickly work out how to use this to create their own pictures, books, cards and other projects.

Summing up

A superb program, the only limit is your imagination. Use the digi kits when you start out and as your confidence grows you can create your own digi kits from your own photographs. Personalise any project. I was anti digi crafting at first but I’m totally hooked.

It’s so much fun to play with, and you can create endless projects with this software. This will make the most wonderful gifts for friends and family. If you have celebrations coming up this will help you create your own stationary for those occasions, and with extra digi kits available either individually or as collections on DVDs you have a huge choice of themes.

If you are on the fence, download the trial version of the program and a few of the free digi kits to see if you like it. I really do love this program, it has changed the way I craft. You will save a fortune on background papers and there are lots of alphabets and embellishments on there too. Its like having your own craft shop on your computer. The best thing is, you don’t run out of things. If you want that paper again, you just print another one ;) You can get as involved as you want to. Either create the whole project to print, and give as it is, or print multiple sheets with elements to layer on after printing, create your own decoupage.

Links

  • Daisy Trail Online community for Craft Artist and Scrapbook Artist.
  • Free Digi Kits A selection of free digi kits you can download to use with the software. Be sure to choose the one that matches the program you are using ;)
  • Daisy Trail shop You can buy the program from here, as well as other digi kits.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

Do you wish your die cuts had more appeal, were more interesting? Read on for hints and tips to create much more interest with your favorite die cuts.

You Will Need

  • Die Cut
  • Inks
  • Stamps
  • Cut n Dry Foam
  • Craft Sheet

Method

  • Cut out your favorite die cut using whichever machine you choose.
  • This bird was cur on a Slice Elite machine from the SD card Vintage Findings
  • Use good quality card, I’ve used Rymans; Bright White 160 gsm card
  • Spray ink over your die cut in a co-ordinating colour
  • Stamp text or pattern onto your die cut
  • Ink edges to add dimension
  • Curve image for more depth using a bone folder

    Spice Up Your Die Cuts with Colour

    Spice Up Your Die Cuts with Colour

 

Ink; Tim Holtz Distress in; Weathered Wood, Dusty Concord, Stormy Sky

Stamps; Elusive Images UDLGW0009

You now have a dimensional element perfect for embellishing your chosen project. Great for cards, altered art, art journals, cards etc.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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