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Archive for the ‘Swaps and Challenges’ Category

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 :)

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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 :)

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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 :)

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Welcome Back

The Virtual Crafting Challenge theme for January 2012 is:

Things I’d like to try in 2012

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.

Products

  • Speed ball Brayer. I have a brayer, ink and paper, its time to give them a go.
  • Acrylic Paint. I have a selection of types. Time to get creative with them and see what they can do
  • Serif Craft Artist. I love this program and really want to stretch my abilities with it, and make some new projects using it.
  • Watercolour paint. I have a selection of paint and really want to learn how to get the best from it and improve my skills with it.

Surfaces

  • Glossy Card stock
  • Boxes
  • Wood
  • Canvas

Techniques

  • One Stroke Painting – Sheena Douglass style
  • Watercolouring flowers/leaves
  • Jewellery making

 

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. So how about you? What would you most like to try creatively in 2012? Ma list on your blog and link back here with your comments, I’d love to hear you are wanting to try in 2012.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

Since this month’s Virtual Crafting Challenge is paper, I thought you might like some tips on how to store your ever grown paper and card stash.

Moisture and light are the enemies of card and paper. Avoid them if you can, either by storing your card in solid colour boxes so the light cannot get through. Alternatively put your clear boxes in a dark cupboard ;) I would strongly avoid using card board boxes to store you card and paper stash in for long-term storage. You may have bought scrapbook safe papers but if you store them in acid rich corrugated card boxes, they will become discoloured by the storage boxes acid and lignin!

My favorite option for paper and card storage are the Really Useful Boxes.

Really Useful Boxes for storing Paper & Card

Really Useful Boxes for storing Paper & Card

The Really Useful Boxes are really sturdy, strong and have clip down lids. You want to store these in a cupboard though as the clear plastic means if they were stored in direct light, the papers inside will still fade over time. The boxes are available in a wide range of sizes, from stores such as WHSmiths, Staples and Hobby Craft. Try office supply stores too.

Less bulky are these kind of boxes.   (Haven’t seen a brand name on these, sorry).

Plastic Box for storing Paper & Card

Plastic Box for storing Paper & Card

These are great and still stack but because the lids just drop on, unless you pick them up just right, you can easily drop the contents out by mistake! Also available from Hobby Craft.

Links

Really Useful Boxes This is the UK site but they have world-wide distribution and links from this site.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

The Virtual Crafting Challenge theme for June 2011 is:

Paper & Card

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 too.

Surfaces

  • Pearl Card
  • Grunge board
  • Grunge Paper
  • Embossed Paper
  • Metallic card stock
  • Holographic card
  • Mat board
  • Grey board

Techniques

  • Die cutting
  • Embossing
  • Painting
  • Sanding
  • Drawing
  • Colouring
  • Marbling
  • Folding
  • Dimensional Projects
  • Bookbinding

 

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 :)

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Welcome Back

In today’s post I’d like to share the latest page created for my advent calendar project.

Advent Calendar 2010; Day 13

Advent Calendar 2010; Day 13

Advent Calendar; Day 13

  • Stamps Used; Rubber stamp Tapestry; Winter Pine Border SBR04004. Anna Griffin Christmas clear stamp
  • Inks Used; Adirondack;  Bottle, Espresso. Versafine; Crimson
  • Paint Used; Adirondack Acrylic Dabber; Gold
  • Cuttlebug Alphabet; Olivia

I’d love to see your results if you are making daily pages for a similar advent calendar. If you missed the tutorial at the start, here’s Part 1, which contained a download for how to create your calendar. Hope you like this project and will join me tomorrow for the next page.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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