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Here is a picture of a recent Zentangle I drew.

Getting Tangled with Zentangle

Getting Tangled with Zentangle

I’m learning to Zentangle to help me relax and the principle of doing something repetitively and with no pressure works. The book I’m using is;

One Zentangle a Day book.

One Zentangle a Day book.

Not getting along overly well with it, there are a lot of tangles in it and it has more wording than I’ve seen on previews of other Zentanlge books on Amazon preview, but I’m not sure how and when to turn the card, so kinda winging it. I also get the feeling that the style show in the way it is in the book puts pressure on and leads you to over think things a bit.

I have really enjoyed Tiffany’s tutorials on Zentangle on You Tube as you see the tangle created and are then able to use the design show in a more freestyle way. Have to say I’m on the fence about Zentangle, the relaxation part works but as yet haven’t created something that I ‘love’ at the other end. Maybe because I’m still learning. There seem to be a lot of ‘rules’ about Zentangle which to me flies in the face of it being a calming thing. But hey, I guess The Tea ceremony and calligraphy are also zen like activites and they too have a set way of doing things, so maybe it isn’t so strange.

Do you tangle? Would love to see what you have drawn, there seems to be a wide range of ways people use this art form. If you have found any great tutorial sites do let me know and I’ll try and add them to the Art tab at the top of the blog.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back,

Still have yet to finish the Coptic stitched Anna Griffin book I’m working on as I need help creating the hole in the book board covers. In the meantime I’m sharing a picture of another little notebook that I made.

Hand made notebook embellished with Anna Griffin Stamps

Hand made notebook embellished with Anna Griffin Stamps

This was decorated using Anna Griffin clear stamps from QVC. It’s a quick n simple pamphlet stitched exercise style notebook. Its been ages since I’ve made a book and here we are with three on the go at the same time! Another addictive hobby.

I’ve been using it to make notes of recipe ideas that come on the TV, I used to write them on scraps of paper and either loose them or get cross when they fell out of recipe books that I would randomly stuff them into DOH! So decided it would be handy to have a dedicated book. Once I’ve tried out the recipe and decided it works or any modifications I did, then I’ll write it in clearer handwriting into the hard backed book I’m making. Still waiting on DH for help with the Dremmel ;)

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

Today I’d like to share a picture of a notebook that I made and decorated using Anna Griffin stamps.

Hand made notebook embellished with Anna Griffin Stamps

Hand made notebook embellished with Anna Griffin Stamps

Just wanted something quick n easy, but more decorative than the office style notebooks you get in the shops, so I made my own. This is decorated using Anna Griffin’s recent stamp set to QVC, I think it was called Fastenings?.

Coloured using Derwent Inktense and Studio pencils.

Close up detail of hand made notebook embellished with Anna Griffin Stamps

Close up detail of hand made notebook embellished with Anna Griffin Stamps

Best wishes and thanks for reading see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

After watching the recent Docrafts & Beaders Companion shows where they demo’d Shamballa style bracelets, I was inspired to have a try myself. Wanting to add my own spin to the concept I created a book tie.

Shamballa inspired Book Tie

Shamballa inspired Book Tie

Materials Used

  • Waxed cotton cord 2mm thick
  • Note book is a Daler Rowney sketch book

I find book ties helpful in keeping a page, like a book mark. For keeping a book closed, and for holding pages in place while you are sketching on location.

In place of beads I tied Chinese Button knots on the ends of the cords.

Hope you like it, it was quick to make and perhaps I’ll make some of these for Christmas gifts.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

Today I’d like to share a couple of very different photos with you. On friday I shared a tutorial with you for how to create this first one.

Embossed stone book

Embossed stone book

I liked the effect so much I decided to make a tied cover for my loose sketches. I bound some mat board, embossed some cardstock and made the error of trying to copy what I’d done before. For my mixed media art, it tends to be much more organic, more a case of throw things on the paper and see if I like the results. I’m still very new to acrylic paints, so although I’m used to creating texture and aged effects with ink, it’s all very new with paint. So far I’ve been replicating the techniques I use with inks with paint, following my nose you might say. It’s all very experimental, which is fun but often unpredictable.

It doesn’t always go to plan though, when I have a plan, an agenda I have a tendency to ‘try’ rather than just letting things happen. On this new piece, I put too much texture paste on, and lost some of the embossing detail, then over did some of the colours and didn’t have the skills to hide or alter it. Refusing to give up and having recently learnt the power of a unifying wash (see my dark wood book & video) I decided to put a wash of colour over the whole piece and ‘save it’. It was going fine, until I tried adding some gold to try to lift the colour a bit, then didn’t like it and ‘tried’ to scrub it off BUT the blue wash wasn’t totally dry and I lost the last of the white background and it looks dark again :(

The card was saying ‘Just let me be, stop ‘helping’! so I did and this is what I have

Grunged version of embossed stone

Grunged version of embossed stone

I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it either. Sometimes when you are working on the edge of your comfort zone and things go a bit off plan, you have to just put them away for a few days, and look at them again. Or just leave them on your desk and see how they look in different lights. I couldn’t decide if I had made mud or a master piece. OK a master piece is a bit optimistic, but it was a new level of layers and grunge and it was kinda good but new!

I let the piece dry, then had it sitting on the desk next to me. In the morning sun the blues really shine, later in the lower light of the afternoon the colour changes and the browns come out. I think I like it, I like things that you find new things each time you look at it. I have toyed with adding more metallic or white areas to lift the piece, but I think its time to let it be :) I can make another, another day and change the colours and patterns and I’ll get a totally new piece. I like art that takes you on a bit of a journey, when a piece shows you more the more time you spend with it, rather than a bright brash piece that is in your face. Personal taste and all that.

Mud or Masterpiece?

How about you, what do you do when you get a Mud or Masterpiece moment? Do you battle on and keep ‘bothering’ it till it looks the way you hoped? Or accept whats there and start a new piece with what the first one taught you.

Each book I bind teaches me something, that I need to cut more thread next time, how to join extra thread so I can finish a project, how to measure how much thread a book took to make so I’ll know next time. Instead of seeing things that go ‘off route’ as failures I try to see them as the projects teaching me things, that will help me for next time. Its only failed if you give up and never create again.

Would love to hear what you do when faced with a mud or master piece moment, do leave me a comment and let me know. I still prefer the clean design at the top as the texture is easier to see, but I love the depth and tone with the second one. What do you think?

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

Today I’d like to share a picture of a folder I created to store my sketches in. The cover features an embossed stone texture panel, which I’ll be sharing a video tutorial for, very soon.

Embossed stone book

Embossed stone book

The cover is made from mount board and has a book-cloth covered spine. This project has been quite a journey, which you will hear more about in the coming posts. I’m really pleased with how this piece turned out though.

Hope you like it too.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

Earlier this month I introduced you to Daler Rowney’s Interference colour acrylic paint. I’m still in love with this and wanted to share a few more pictures of projects I’ve created using the paint.

A selection of handmade books with Shimmering colours on the covers

A selection of handmade books with Shimmering colours on the covers

The interference colours are most impressive when used over dark colours, so these books feature black card that I embossed and then used a selection of the shimmering colours over the top. They are tricky to photograph and really pop when you see them in real life, the colours reflect the light so are even more dramatic than metallic colours. Do try some if you can, they are amazing.

Here is a close up on the textile book;

Embossed book with multi colours of interference acrylic paint

Embossed book with multi colours of interference acrylic paint

So glad I learnt some bookbinding skills, I couldn’t bear to cover up these backgrounds so used them for covers for my hand-made note books. Will be making some more of these as little Christmas gifts for friends later in the year.

Hope you like them and get to try some interference colours soon.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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