Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘The Virtual Crafting Challenge’ Category

Welcome Back

The Virtual Crafting Challenge theme for August is a little different to usual. Here, we go;

I give myself permission to…

I give myself permission to...

I give myself permission to…

Each month in The Virtual Crafting Challenge, I’ve been giving you lists of items, and ideas to spark your creativity. This time, you pick :) What would you most like to do? It’s time to be kind to yourself, treat yourself. Do something you’ve always wanted to, or something you never thought you would do.

We all work really hard, be that in a paid job, or at home looking after the house/kids. If you have disabilities, it can be real tough just getting through the day sometimes. So how about giving yourself a reward for all this hard work? You deserve it.

How it works

  • Print the picture out and if you can laminate it.
  • Then pin the picture to the fridge or where you create.
  • Each day take a wipe off pen and write something you would really like to do today.
  • Something that will make you :)

DO NOT write chores on this picture!!! or I’ll be very :(

Perhaps its to have your breakfast or lunch in the garden. To make time in your day for some quality time for yourself. Doesn’t have to cost money, it’s the little things that make a big difference too. Maybe its phoning a friend you miss but haven’t heard from in a while. How about taking your crafting in a new direction? Try art, go digital, try a swap.

The most important thing about this challenge is that you have fun and explore. Don’t feel pressured to have a finished item at the end of the month. Explore different styles and techniques either in person, if you have the supplies, or through research, looking online.

You learn so much more when you take away the rules and just PLAY. Adapt this challenge to a creative style that interests you. Enjoy :) What will you be doing this month? What makes you happy?

If you are stuck at home this year, why not join me for ‘STAR'; Staycation Turned Art Retreat. A great way to discover something new and enjoy things you forgot you have.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

Read Full Post »

Welcome Back

The Virtual Crafting Challenge theme for June 2012 is:

Bling

Great I hear you say, but now what? Well for those of you who would like a few ideas to get you started, here are some  colours, products and techniques to help you choose, where you could go with this month’s theme. Feel free to use your own ideas for the theme Bling.

Colours

  • Gold
  • Silver
  • Bronze
  • Pewter
  • Anything with Mica
  • Anything interference

Products

  • Interference colours
  • Twinkling H2Os
  • Daler Rowney: Shimmering Colours
  • Mica Flakes
  • Gilding Flakes
  • Glass Beads
  • ANYTHING Mica

Surfaces

  • Metal
  • Glass
  • Alter a surface to become reflective with your choice of product

Techniques

  • Altered Projects. Try a surface decoration using an interference or mica product
  • Apply mica products over embossed cardstock
  • Compare using the interference colours over light and dark cardstock

The most important thing about this challenge is that you have fun and explore. Don’t feel pressured to have a finished item at the end of the month. Explore different styles and techniques either in person, if you have the supplies, or through research, looking online.

You learn so much more when you take away the rules and just PLAY. Adapt this challenge to a creative style that interests you. Enjoy :)

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

Read Full Post »

Welcome Back

The Virtual Crafting Challenge theme for May 2012 is:

Nice n Natural

Great I hear you say, but now what? Well for those of you who would like a few ideas to get you started, here are some  colours, products and techniques to help you choose, where you could go with this month’s theme. Feel free to use your own ideas for the theme Nice n Natural.

Colours

  • Neutral earth tones
  • Floral Colours

Surfaces

  • Wood
  • Paper
  • Card

Techniques

  • Painting and drawing natural items from around the garden
  • Photographing nature.
  • Use the colour palette of your environment in your projects
  • Garden/Floral/animal prints, papers, stamps
  • Alter an item you find using natural colour tones that inspire you.

Links

Check out my Online workshop: Adventures in Acrylics. The Virtual Crafting Challenge themes, will co-ordinate with products and ideas used in the workshop. So you can try out your newly found skills with The Virtual Crafting Challenge.

The most important thing about this challenge is that you have fun and explore. Don’t feel pressured to have a finished item at the end of the month. Explore different styles and techniques either in person, if you have the supplies, or through research, looking online.

You learn so much more when you take away the rules and just PLAY. Adapt this challenge to a creative style that interests you. Enjoy :)

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

Read Full Post »

Welcome Back

Earlier this week I set The Virtual Crafting Challenge as ‘Make a Wish come true’. For my contribution to the challenge I’m going to take a leaf of faith, here’s what I’m going to do.

Adventures with Acrylic Paint

A couple of years ago I bought a set of Golden Fluid Acrylic paints and a bunch of mediums and took a class with Julie Pritchard. Both the materials and the class blew my mind, they were so good. Trouble is, after the end of the class, my artistic angst kicked in and although I’ve done a few things with them, I was stuck in the ‘I want to use them but they cost a lot to replace, ‘I’ll SAVE them for a special project’. DOOMED! Once I’d said that, no project was special enough. There my beautiful paint sat, revered in their Really Useful box and doomed to dry out in the bottles. Loved and very much wanted but too precious to use :(

My Golden stash...isn't it lovely!!

I needed a Plan B! I love my Ranger Acrylic Dabbers but they are a swine for clogging up on me, but the Golden’s are expensive so I needed to try something else. I tried Daler Rowney System 3 as it was more fluid, but PHEW did it smell of fumes {splutter, cough}! So although the consistancy was great, I didn’t like using it.

Last year for my birthday, thanks to my wonderful MIL and Ebay bargains, I was able to get trial sets of Daler Rowney Cryla and also Winsor and Newton’s new acrylics Galeria. I loved the Cryla but for what I want to do with them, the heavy body consistency was too thick.

Daler Rowney Paint set

Daler Rowney Paint set

The Winsor and Newton Galeria on the other hand are great, they flow beautifully and are affordable.

W&N Galeria Acrylic Paint

W&N Galeria Acrylic Paint

So my leap of faith was to increase my palette of Galeria colours, to include the colours I used most with my Ranger inks. This way I can try out my inking techniques with the paints and have a water-resistant finish, which is more suitable for decorating book covers. I also added the Daler Rowney Shimmering colours to the stash box. Shimmering colours are Daler Rowney interference colours, I’d have bought these AGES ago, if I’d realised they were more fluid than the Cryla.

Daler Rowney: Shimmering Colours set

Daler Rowney: Shimmering Colours set

To stop myself getting so precious about the paints, I have ‘gathered’ the paint together in one box, this way I’ll be more tempted to try different kinds of paint on lots of surfaces to discover the results. I’m going to group the mediums together in another box too, so instead of just using my favorites I try them all.

In the end I had to put the Cryla in a separate box, firstly their consistency is quite different to the Galleria and secondly, I’m feeble and couldn’t lift the box with them ALL in together! Putting too many tubes on top of each other also risked the whole lot crushing itself too.

Winsor & Newton: Galleria Acrylic Paint

Winsor & Newton: Galleria Acrylic Paint

One of the ‘joys’ of dyslexia is that I’m always loosing things, or can’t remember where I put things, my plan is that by putting stash together in related boxes like this, I will be less likely to lose things. It’s much harder to lose a big box of something than it is to forget where you put a tube of paint :)

LOVE Really Useful boxes, they are just the right sizes and they stack too! The 3 litre one, made for DVDs, is the perfect height for 75 ml Cryla tubes :) The 9 litre Really Useful box was just the right height for the mediums too :) They are really sturdy and stack too.

'Really Useful box' full of acrylic mediums

'Really Useful box' full of acrylic mediums

Remember how much fun it was in primary school, when there was a box of ‘stuff’ on the table and you could create with anything in the box?

That is what I’m going for, all the options in one place together, mix ‘em up and see what happens.

So this month I’ll be turning mad professor and having a jolly good play with the paints and mediums and when I discover anything exciting along the way, you’ll be the first to know. I may be some time ;) :) :) :)

Links

If I’ve tempted you with these pictures and you want to know more about how I got on with the paints. Here are links to my reviews about the paint, that I published when I first got them.

How about you, will you be joining in with The Virtual Crafting Challenge this month? I’d love to hear about your adventures and what you’ll be doing with this month’s theme.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

Read Full Post »

Welcome Back

The Virtual Crafting Challenge theme for April 2012 is:

Make a Wish Come True

Great I hear you say, but now what? Well for those of you who would like a few ideas to get you started, here are some  ideas for where you could go with this month’s theme. Feel free to use your own ideas for this month’s theme.

Create a project

You could create a project full of all the things you would love to do, the dreams you have made happen and those you are still working on.

OR you could take a leap of faith

  • What have you always wanted to try creatively?
  • Want your own craft room
  • Want to take a class
  • Want to try new mediums or techniques

So whats stopping you? Lets take a leap of faith together and see where we end up.

Often money is the biggest stumbling block to our dreams. It doesn’t have to be, if you want to make your dream happen, you just gotta be a bit creative.

You want a craft room?

  • Is there a spare room that has space where you could put a desk or table in, if you moved things around a little? Perhaps you could put a box of your favorite materials in there and call it your own.
  • Perhaps you have a cupboard or drawer in your dining room that could be dedicated to your most used materials.
  • How about getting one of those storage bags on wheels, or stackable boxes, so all your most used stash can be easily transported to where you craft. This could still make a big difference to you.

You want the best quality materials.

Everyone keeps telling you how great artist quality materials are, but how can you afford all your favorite colours in them and how do you even choose a pallet if you want to get better materials?

  • Starter sets of colours are a great way to try a pallet out if you have no idea what colours to buy. They are often available in smaller sizes making them more affordable.
  • Treat yourself to your favorite colour in an artists quality variation of your chosen material. Art stores sell colours individually so if the sets are out of budget, try getting just one.
  • Ebay is a good place to find bargains and sets that people got as gifts but weren’t into. You can pick up some real bargains on the auction sites.
  • Sales and special offers. If you are in no big rush, make a note of the things you would like to try, then watch the stores for specials and sales. Half terms/ holidays/back to schools are all great times to pick up a creative bargain.

Really want to learn more about a particular style/technique or artist, to take a class

  • If budgets are biting you, try your local library. I was surprised to find that many of the new books from my Amazon wish list were actually available from my library. Look up your local government site on the computer to locate your nearest library, they can often get books from other library’s too.
  • Try video sites. You Tube is a great place to learn. There are often lots of tutorials available for free from people’s blogs and on video sites like You Tube. Just use the search box on the sites to type in your material/technique of choice. Another way to do this is to visit artists blogs whose work you like. Sometimes they have free tutorials or online classes, so geography doesn’t have to be an issue.

The most important thing about this challenge is that you have fun and explore. Don’t feel pressured to have a finished item at the end of the month. Explore different styles and techniques either in person, if you have the supplies, or through research, looking online. I’d love to hear what dreams you are going to head towards this month.

You learn so much more when you take away the rules and just PLAY. Adapt this challenge to a creative style that interests you. Enjoy :)

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

Read Full Post »

Welcome Back

The Virtual Crafting Challenge theme for March 2012 is:

Yarns, Fibers & Textiles

Great I hear you say, but now what? Well for those of you who would like a few ideas to get you started, here are some  colours, products and techniques to help you choose, where you could go with this month’s theme. Feel free to use your own ideas for this theme too.

Colours

  • Create something in your favorite colour
  • Create something in a colour you have never used before
  • This month’s birthstone is Aquamarine, try using this colour in your project

Products

  • Try out a different yarn to the type or weight you normally favor. There are some exciting fashion yarns around for something completely different. They knit up very quickly and often have patterns on the ball bands.
  • Fabrics; Had your eye on some wonderful fabric? Go get it and lets see what you create with it.

This doesn’t have to be an expensive project; lots of the manufacturers have free patterns you can download. Check out the Yarns tab at the top of the page, for links to yarn manufacturers.

Surfaces

  • Create something you can wear
  • Add fibers or yarn to alter an item of clothing
  • Use Textiles/fibers or yarn to decorate a card project

Techniques

  • Knitting, there are some superb tutorials around the web, if you have wanted to learn how, try it now :)
  • Crochet. Check out You Tube for tutorials on how to crochet
  • Sewing. You Tube is again the place to go for inspiration and tutorials for textile projects
  • How about making a bag?
  • Perhaps find out more about quilting.

The most important thing about this challenge is that you have fun and explore. Don’t feel pressured to have a finished item at the end of the month. Explore different styles and techniques either in person, if you have the supplies, or through research, looking online.

You learn so much more when you take away the rules and just PLAY. Adapt this challenge to a creative style that interests you. Enjoy :)

Links

For inspiration around the web, have a look at my Textiles and also Yarns tab at the top from here you will find some interesting sites you may not have found before.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

Read Full Post »

Welcome Back

The Virtual Crafting Challenge theme for January 2012 was:

Things I’d like to try in 2012

Is it just me, or did January fly by before you had chance to do little more than tidy up and get straight after Christmas? For this reason (I’m guessing it wasn’t just me then), I’m extending the January theme till the end of February.

For anyone who was more organized and managed to get their ar.. lists together, first of all well done you. I’m proud of you. Secondly choose something achievable from your list to have a go at this month.

For the rest of us, here is an excerpt from The Virtual Crafting Challenge; January 2012

[Quote]

Regular readers will know that I don’t do New Years Resolutions. Theres enough pressure in the world, why punish yourself by inflicting more. Instead, how about making a list of things you would like to try this year? This might be entirely new things you’ve always promised yourself, or things stashed in the cupboard you forgot you had or never got round to using. This doesn’t have to be about buying things, it’s about making things happen, that you always dreamed of. Reasearch stuff online, find books in the library on topics you want to know more about. If you have a big plan, break it up into manageable chunks and you will be surprised how much difference that makes.

Great I hear you say, but now what? Well for those of you who would like a few ideas to get you started, here are some  colours, products and techniques to help you choose, where you could go with this month’s theme. These are things I’d like to try or do more with in 2012. Feel free to use your own ideas for this theme.

[End quote]

Continue reading this post on January 2012’s original page.

Let’s make 2012 a year of fun and achievement.

NO pressure! Do creative things because you want to, because you enjoy them. Feeling obliged or pressured to do something will flatten your creative spirit and that’s not what this is all about.

We’ve all got chores we have to do, but how about giving yourself creative rewards when you do something dull. I did that pile of ironing= X amount of time in the craft room. We all need rewards, treat yourself to creative time as a reward for chores and the boring stuff won’t be so dull, all you’ll be thinking about is how much YOU time it’s buying you for later on. You’ll whip through the chores to give yourself more fun time.

Being overworked, even at home? Time to delegate! If every member of the household chipped in, no one would have to do it all. We all resent being the only one doing chores, while others lounge. If that sounds like your house, sort them out :)

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 264 other followers