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Blog Tour 2012

Welcome Back

Many people know me from You Tube tutorials that I regularly post and I hope this video will encourage some of them to visit me here. For my regular readers you may have noticed that last year I re-designed the blog a far bit and I hope this little tutorial will help you get the most from Billie’s Craft Room. It’s no ordinary blog, I hope it will be useful resource tool for your own creative projects.

I’m also very proud to share the news that Seth Apter’s book; The Pulse of Mixed Media is now available from Amazon and there is a little something in there from me.

I am honoured to be involved with the project and the finished book is amazing. Congratulations Seth and many thanks for including my work too.

Check out Seth Apters Blog for more information about the book.

Best wishes and thanks for reading see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome BAck

Today I’d like to share the complete bundle of goodies I made for my MIL for Mother’s Day.

Mother's Day Gift Bundle

Mother's Day Gift Bundle

I started by designing the card using Serif Craft Artist software, using digikits from Daisy Trail. Once I had a design I copied it and reduced the size to make a gift tag and the topper I used for the mini book. Before you laugh at the fact the gift tag is as big as the book, we have bought her other things too, so it won’t looks oversized in the end ;)

I have to say I’ve really been bitten by the digicrafting bug. I am a start from a blank piece of paper kind of crafter, ink/paint stamp from scratch. Thing is you can’t always find the same image in multiple sizes for using on the main card and then on a gift tag sized project. Thanks to digi kits I can resize any element to whats needed, reduce the opacity for a velum look inside my cards and make mini versions for the back of cards/gift tags and make papers to create gift bags too.

With digikits I can still craft from scratch, using elements and have so much versatility that I love it. Its also handy that you don’t make ‘quite such a mess of the dining table ;) Quick clear up for meal times ;)

If you haven’t tried Craft Artist yet, please do, its amazing. Lots of print n play projects for total newbies but so much more scope for getting creative and adding your own personality to projects than you get with a lot of other ‘craft cds’. Check out the links below to find out more about the programe. Get yours now, and you can still using it to make this years Mother’s Day really special.

Links.

Daisy Trail. This is the online community for Craft Artist software, from here you can buy the software and digikits.

We all love freebies, if you want to try before you buy there is a cut down version of the software available for free and lots of free digikits to play with too. Going forward the digikits start from as little as £1.99 and there are often freebies too.

Treasure your Mother, you only get one. If you still have yours, let her know how much she means to you. I miss my late Mother so much, and at this time of year especially.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

Today I’d like to share another watercolour painting I recently made.

Watercolour Rose 3

Watercolour Rose 3

At Christmas I received a book and DVD set by Billy Showell about painting flowers. I’ve been studying and practicing and this was my result. I have a long way to go, but I’m pleased with my progress so far. I added ink over the top of the sketch, on this one.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

Today I’d like to share my first attempt with brayering glossy card stock. I’ll be turning this into a Christmas card, for very special people.

Brayered Christmas card with Anna Griffin stamps

Brayered Christmas card with Anna Griffin stamps

Definitely need a bigger brayer, mine was a short Ranger one and the card is A6! This card was stamped with various Anna Griffin Clear stamp images. If you have a brayer in the back of your cupboard, break out the dye based ink and glossy card and give this a go. It really is down to practice and the right card/ink combination.

The techniques I used were shown on Create and Craft by Barbara Gray from Clarity stamps. There is a regular tutorial show on the first weekednd of every month. Watch the Classroom shows online on; In the Classroom

Have fun

Best wishes

Billie :)

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My First Bracelet

Welcome Back

In today’s post I’d like to share a picture of the first bracelet I made. It was a while ago now, before I hurt my hand.

My First Bracelet

My First Bracelet

Love these beads, they were from a box of beads from Edinburg wool mill shop. They tend to stock these bead sets around Christmas time, so keep an eye out for them.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

In today’s post I would like to introduce our Featured Artist, for May 2011

Liz Welch

I discovered her work thanks to seeing her demonstrate on Create and Craft, but for those of you who haven’t yet found Liz, here is a little more about her and her work.

As seen on Create & Craft

As seen on Create & Craft

Who you are: 

Liz; I am a textile artist and jewellery designer, tutor, author, guest presenter on Create and Craft and small business owner. I have two sons who are at university, a very supportive husband and a dippy-but-delightful dog called Poppy.

Where you are (which country you are based in)?

Liz; My home is in Nottinghamshire in the UK, although I increasingly feel that my network of family and friends extends all over the world because the internet and skype makes this possible.

What you do:

Liz; I am a Friendly Plastic Evangelist! My mission is to get as many people as possible as enthusiastic about this fabulous modelling medium as I am! To that end I write about it, teach it, exhibit work I make using it, make DVDs about it, present shows about it on Create and Craft, demonstrate it, and of course sell it (and all sorts of things directly related to Friendly Plastic) via my on line business Rare Bird Ltd. Because my background is in stitched textiles, I also try to weave Friendly Plastic into the textile art side of my life. This has led me to develop specific techniques such as Lacework and Oooze, and spurred me on to come up with new ways to change the appearance of Friendly Plastic but not its properties. Having worked with the material for more than 20 years, I am still discovering new ways to work with it, new ways to colour and change the appearance of Friendly Plastic and new ways to recycle it too. When I began this journey I did not begin to realise just how involved I would get, and how much it would take over my life.

In-suspense3 by Liz Welch

In-suspense3 by Liz Welch

What got you started in your creative journey?

Liz; Creativity was always encouraged in my family, so I grew up experimenting with things, but particularly fabrics and sewing. It was not until I began a family and I was almost 30 before I discovered Friendly Plastic. We were in New Orleans and I saw a pair of earrings that I liked but could not work out what they were made from. Eventually I found out and, as we were living in America for a year (Friendly Plastic is made in America) , I bought some and began to play. People I knew liked what I made and wanted to buy it – it went on from there, and escalated when we moved back to the UK. I began to work with the UK distributor demonstrating the product and this gave me the spur to come up with new ideas. Eventually when I dreamed up Lacework, I finally managed to bring my love of textiles together with my passion for Friendly Plastic.

What inspires you: 

Liz; People – the things they make, relationships, the constructive and destructive force of mankind, their energy, skill, determination and passions. When I look back particularly on my exhibited textile work I realise that much of it is based on all of these things; I love nature, beatiful scenery, sunsets etc, but somehow the sheer ingenuity of mankind makes me want to create art that celebrates something that is less visually obvious than a pretty flower.

My work rarely stays in two dimensions, frequently straying into 3D, and the challenge of varying the scale of things whilst working with new materials is in turns exciting and daunting. A recent project was a 6.5m “necklace” with “beads” varying in size from 5mm to 300mm, some of which were made of Friendly Plastic, and some made of other things. These other things required me to learn new skills and stretch my own boundaries, leaving my comfort zone way behind!

By Liz Welch

By Liz Welch

If money,time and obligations were no object, what you would most like to do?

Liz; Travel all over the globe to see the art and ingenuity of other peoples both past and present. By immersing myself in other peoples art, my own creativity and artistic thinking processes flourish and develop. I would need a dirty great sketch book, loads of pencils for sketching and note taking, plus a dictaphone and my camera with endless quantities of memory cards to record all the things that inspired me. I wouldn’t mind a sympathetic porter to accompany me so i didn’t have to carry it all myself. Although I wouldn’t want anyone else intruding on my thoughts as I worked, I would still want my lovely husband with me to share travel experience and help me enjoy a glass of wine at the end of the day.

On the Beach by Liz Welch

On the Beach by Liz Welch

What do you enjoy most about your creative work/life?

Liz; Meeting other people. The more time I spend with other people whether they are creative or not, the more I appreciate that everyone has a story to tell, everyone has something to offer this world, and 99% of the time, their stories remain untold outside their immediate family. Women especially, get to feel that they have no creative talents, and do not have much to offer other than their standard roles of wife, parent, child, colleague. Given half a chance, many blossom when they get the opportunity to explore their creativity and are given the right encouragement. This newfound creativity can be a useful way of expressing a fraction of the experience and complexity of the person behind the hands. I get the greatest pleasure from seeing or even better, being the catalyst for this process.

Links

To find out more about Liz Welch and her work, please visit her blog and website, details below. 

Thanks to Liz Welch for being our Featured Artist of the Month for May 2011.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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What a Week!

Welcome Back

It’s been a week of firsts for me! My first published piece, then after starting to read Kelly Rae’s ‘Fling Lessons’ I decided I needed a button for the blog. With some help from tutorials and DH there is now a button over there on the right that you can grab and put on your own blog or website.

Last night I discovered that the wonderful people at WordPress have a handy little add in that allows you to add a favicon (the little picture you see in front of website names) to your blog. Well I couldn’t resist, back out with the Photoshop to make a tiny version of the bird from my logo and after following the instructions from WordPress, the magic has happened and my logo is now in front of my blog address. Thanks WordPress, that’s very nifty. Do have a go if you have a WordPress blog, make the image the same as your blogs header or part of it, if you can, so it will be recognised by others as being from the same place. Don’t forget to add an image to your profile too, then when you leave comments on blogs your image will follow you there too ;)

Have had a bit of a paranoia on the blog button, in case its a bit big :( Regulars will recognize the image from the header, and originally I was going to go with just a 3D version of the header, but once the button is on other people’s websites I thought a bit more introduction was useful.

What do you think? It would be bad to change the button now as it would break links for those who have already downloaded it. See told you paranoia! DOH

Thanks to everyone who has emailed and left me such nice comments about the Stampbord piece, its wonderful to hear from you and I’m so glad you like the project too.

Off to make some ATCs today and write a book review or two. For those following my adventures on Twitter, the racing pigeon is still with us, bless! He’s on the roof of the house and comes down to eat and drink, couldn’t catch him though as he flies off if I go near him or move. If I call him he peeks over the roof at me, if spooked he flys a circuit of a few gardens then comes back to our roof. If you missed the start of this story, I posted about it on the Stamping Mad Forum if you want to catch up.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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