Saturday, 31 January 2015

''Forever & Ever" Canvas - Prima Build-A-Page
Plus my January Tally!

Yes 2 posts in a day...crazy right?!  No choice because I have to link up my PPP
 & my Prima BAP before midnight EST!  Got them done on Thursday & Friday 
evenings & just got photographed them earlier today.  Working down to the wire 
because I had a lot of "have to's "this month that I needed to put first.  So glad
 though that I managed to squeeze BOTH these in this month after all!!


This time I made an 8 x 8 inch canvas for my mother-in-law, who is turning 76 shortly.  
I hand-make all family gifts now as I have a stack of canvases (2 drawers full!)
 & it saves wracking my brain coming up with original gift ideas!  

For my background treatment I went a lot lighter than my PPP entry
 (see previous post).  I wanted a  more ethereal, water-colour
 effect & am really happy with how it came out. 
 Less is always more I have discovered!

My mediums & mist are from Prima, as well as the blooms, wooden
 frames & tag, the crochet icon, as well as the clock packaging icon. 
 Not sure about the metal ornate corner - can't remember!
The photo matt is also Prima Paper from 'Forever Green'.'
Oh & the metal studs of course!! And the bling!!!

I used all the shades of pinks & purples from the Color Bloom Sprays,
 first splattered on then sprayed through the 6 inch Damask Stencil.  
Doing things so lightly means drying time is REALLY QUICK
with the help of a heat gun!

Next I stamped with a Prima lattice stamp then embossed over it with black to create
 a very fine, but slightly more raised layer, then lastly I spread Prima Modeling paste
 through the older Prima Gate Stencil (classic & beautiful!) & sprinkled white
 pigment powder on it whilst still wet for a real fairy-tale shine.  

I added a couple of heart paperclips I bought here at Mr. Price 
Home.  Adding cheap extras really stretches the stash!

LOVED the sketch by Jennifer Snyder!  I never follow sketches to the letter as that's not
 the idea behind them, but it does make things easier when the general composition
 is set out for you!  Saves on thinking time!!  So I am REALLY HAPPY that despite
 a really busy month I got both Prima pieces done!  I have created LOADS
 this month but some of what I've made is for February & March 
so I can't include it in my January monthly tally.  

JANUARY TALLY - 10 blog posts

4 layouts
1 tag album
2 canvases
{I decided this year that I need to expand my repertoire with more albums,
canvases, art-journal pages, cards & OTP's so I am keeping tabs on myself!}

"Talent" Canvas - Prima Product Pick January 2015
Plus How to get those pesky Microbeads to stick
& How to make your own Subduing Mist!

2015 Janury PPP

For at least a year if not two now, I've been taking part in the monthly Prima Product Pick
 & Prima Build-a-Page Competitions, so here I am again, very late in but not TOO late!!

I have really been enjoying Finnabair's art recipes & tried out her latest one for this piece.
  It was quite out of my comfort zone so ended up taking me a lot longer than usual
 as it's not the way I usually work {painting everything over with gesso & adding 
the colour afterwards} but I persevered & I am happy with the outcome.

I used plenty of Prima on this piece.  All the flowers as well as the mists & some
 of the microbeads & all the mediums, as well as the stencil.  The little birdie
 resins are actually fridge magnets I decided to use as I have WAY too many
 on our fridge & I wanted something with birds on it to tie in with the sentiment!

I mixed the some of the microbeads directly into the modeling paste for some gritty 
texture for my stenciling & used the Finnabair "Lace Flower" 9 x 7 inch stencil.  

I absolutely love this sentiment & found this wooden block when we were on holiday
 in Cape Town over Christmas.  There is far more arty stuff available there compared 
to Durban.  I bought quite a few different sentiment blocks to use on my canvases.

 I have always loved the idea of being confident with your creating & not being 
intimidated by the vast sea of talent in the world.  I am giving my office a
 "grown up" makeover this year & created this piece for myself, to go onto
 my studio wall as a positivity reminder. 

My advice for getting Microbeads, seadbeads, etc to stay put, is to buy an aerosol
 adhesive to spray over the top.  It is quite expensive here in South Africa but
 the can is 500mls & mine still feels full & I have used it quite a lot -
 so worth the investment I say.

I battled a bit to get the pale colours & in the end made up my own mist 
consisting of thin gesso (I have some by Mont Marte that I don't rate at all
 but it was great for this!) mixed with water (about 4 parts water to one part
 gesso & 1 part white pigment powder (LSG magicals) for shine. 

 Mix in a clear glass bowl then add to your spray bottle using a funnel
 because if you try to mix directly into the bottle you'll clog the uptake straw
 (learn from my mistakes!)  I sprayed the entire canvas with my homemade 
mist & left it to dry overnight.  Thankfully it was a lot paler in the morning!!

- above you can really see the milky look it gives.  

If you want a matt mist as opposed to a shiny one simply do not add the pigment
 powder!  There are various white mists you can buy but I find my gesso recipe
 gives a better, more solid, coverage, which is what you need if you are trying
 to actually lighten colours quite considerably!  

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Thoughts Keeper' Giant Tag Album for 7 Dots Studio!

Sharing my post that has just gone live at 7 Dots Studio today!

Hi everyone!  Helen here today to share with you a fun little album I made recently, 
using the new Thoughts Keeper Collection!  I just love this collection in real life.  
Seeing it in person was honestly a heart-stopping moment for me. It is  It is also so versatile & just perfect for unisex & family pages.  

4 FRONT PAGES {front of tags}

Recently I discovered a local (to me - in South Africa) online printer that prints your photos straight from your Instagram account, either as a 9 x 10 Polaroid style print or as a sheet of mini-prints like you see here.  I was so excited about it that I got ALL my Instagram photos printed in different configurations & I JUST LOVE THEM!  They work perfectly for a tag album but of course 
you could print your own at home using the Picasa Collage function or something similar.  
4 BACK PAGES {back of tags}

Rather than make a post full of photos I have collaged the front pages {fronts of the 4 tags I used} & collaged the back pages {back of the 4 tags I used} & below are some close-up shots collaged together.  My tags measure 31/2 by 8 inches & I used large Tim Holtz tags & covered them but you could just as easily make your own tag template.  Covering a cardstock tag base would be better than simply gluing 2 patterned papers together as the album is now really firm & strong.  

Supplies List for 'Thoughts Keeper' Tag Album

4 x XL shipping tags - Tim Holtz
Soulmates Papers - Thoughts Keeper no. 4 {background for all tags}
Thoughts Keeper no. 5 {border for all tags - under background paper}
Ink - Versa Color - 94 {Bronze}
Black - Archival Ink - Ranger
Doilies - Thoughts Keeper no. 1 & 2 {cut with Cheery Lynn Doily Die}
Small & Large Tags - Thoughts Keeper Tags Sheet
Paper cut-outs/die-cuts - Thoughts Keeper - Elements 
Stickers - Thoughts Keeper - Elements Stickers
Clear Stamps - Thoughts Keeper
Glitter & Metal Leaves - Finnabair {Prima}
Wood embellishments, bark  & frames - Prima
Metal Tags - Tim Holtz
Light Bulb - Ingvild Bolme {Prima}

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Questions & Answers about Creating {the 411!!}

All images in this post are not my own but can be found here

I don't know about you but I am crazy nosy when it comes to finding out how 
others do things & how I compare.  It's a bad trait I know, we are each on our
 own creative journey, but it's also good to have a yardstick to measure up
 against sometimes too, so when I saw these questions posed recently to the
 team at Mixed Media Place I thought it would be fun to ask them to myself too!! 

 I would LOVE to hear from you all about how you do things too, 
so please do leave me a comment telling me all about it!

I need to keep this in mind for my English papers! hehehehhe
1) How many hours a week do you spend in your studio/creating?

Not as many as I would like!!  Life has a way of giving me other jobs to do...

I'm in my studio almost every day. It's a tiny space so sometimes, 
if I have just computer work to do, I move to our dining room table
 or into the lounge with my laptop.

I enjoy working in my studio most of the time though as it's just off our
 lounge & dining-room so I never feel cut-off from the rest of the family.

I try to create something 5 or 6 days a week & I spend around 3 - 4 hours 
in one creative session although Saturdays often turn into a marathon :)
That includes cleaning up time as I get really messy!!  I love creating fast
& freely but I ALWAYS tidy up & clean afterwards as I hate a messy house!

193725221440586165_l0ruaSSV_c[1].jpg 500×697 pixels

2)  Where do you find your inspiration & how do you begin?

I save anything that inspires me (that I see online) to a desktop file each month
 & always flick through my inspiration file before I begin a new project.

Most of the time I'm creating for design teams so I start by getting out the products
 I'm required to work with & selecting from them specifically the products I want
 to use for my particular project.

I decide beforehand whether I'll be making a layout, canvas, card set, off-the-page
 project, mini-album or art-journal page & this will guide my product choice.

Once I've decided what I'll make and with what, I choose a photo that matches
 (if I'm using one) or look for a suitable quote (I love using quotes!) then
 I'll study my raw materials carefully to decide how best to use them
 (what can be fussy-cut, etc) & what mediums I want to play with.

It takes me 20 - 30 minutes to start "feeling" my project 
but after that I'm on my way & excited to get it finished!!

I would love this for a craft area!   10 Best Organized Spaces | Camille Styles

3)  What artists do you admire?

Wow, that is not easy to answer and honestly it changes all the time.  
I don't like to name names for fear of upsetting someone by leaving
 them off the list!

I am inspired by so many scrapbookers and for so many different
 reasons! I love watching artists develop. To me this is more exciting than
 those celebrity artists that are already there, so I often follow up & coming
 creatives & love watching them find their wings.

I find Eastern Europeans the most inspiring scrapbookers in the world 
(generally speaking of course). So many of them are very young when 
they start and it just seems to come naturally to them, which makes for
 a really effortless, uncontrived look that I adore. 

This year one of my aims is to be less influenced by other artists & 
really latch on to the type of artist I want to be.  There is a GREAT
article about that HERE.  It's a revolutionary read.  

At least one wall FLOOR to CIELING shelves and nooks [artist studio]

So TAG!  You're it!!  Spill your answers to me too & let me know
 if you enjoyed this post.  It was so easy to write - I could talk about
 this stuff for hours!  So will make it a regular thing if you like it ♥

Thursday, 22 January 2015

4 Projects Comin' Up for 7 Dots Studio! Sneak Peek Time!!

Well hello HELLO - yes I am still here!  And I haven't given up creating!! 
 In FACT I have been creating more than ever BECAUSE - as part of my
 STREAMLINING {streamline being my OLW - One Little Word - for 2015} 
I am creating my Design Team projects 3 months in advance!!

This is necessary for me this year because I have decided to spend half of the year
 "locally", creating teachable pages, teaching classes from home, & seeing what the 
possibilities are for me locally.  My style is not typically South African by any means
so there may not be a great demand for it right here where I live, but you never
know if you never try, so I have given myself this year to investigate!

To achieve this I have had to be very self-disciplined & sacrifice all my online time
 that is not essential to running SATW or responsibly representing the companies
 I design for.  I wish I could squash everything into a day but it's just not feasible
 or sustainable so it is what it is.  I don't want to give up my design teams,
SATW OR my little local experiment so I gotta do what I gotta do for now.

So there you have it.  Proof that things are in fact still rolling along!
I have plenty more sneaks but 4 is enough for now.  I hate having
an inactive blog for too long but my reveal date for 7 Dots this month
is right at the end of the month & my Studio 75 product {my new DT}
is yet to arrive, so C'est La Vie...this is it for now :)
Wishing you all a wonderful & creative weekend

Thursday, 15 January 2015

'Sisters are attached at the Heart' Layout -
2 Crafty Chipboard

Hello everyone!  Today I am sharing with you another layout created this month for 2Crafty Chipboard.  I used their beautiful Sammi's Swirls to make my ornate heart (just placed 2 of them face to face together) They come in packs of 2 ~ handy!  The lovely title is also from 2Crafty. You can click in to see my post HERE.

I used the new Soulmates Collection from 7 Dots Studio, for this layout. 
 LOVE the new text stamp that is also part of the new collection.  

I used Ingvild Bolme inks {Prima} to recolour the chipboard, before sponging with gesso.  

For my background I used gesso slathered on with an old credit card, before spraying
 with inks, drying off then stamping, then splattering.  Easy light mixed media!

For some extra background texture I used a really old piece of die-cut paper with a cut-out rose design on it - I think it may be Dear Lizzy for American Crafts - a good few years back.  That time when die-cut papers were all the rage but the Silhouette Cameo was not yet released.    

Supplies List for 'Sisters Are Attached at the Heart' Layout

Papers - 7 Dots Studio - Soulmates - Power of Love, Not about Labels & Daydreamers
Inks - Ingvild Bolme {Prima} Gesso - Studio by Claudine Helmuth
Mists - Color Bloom Sprays - Prima - Precious Stone, Cotton Candy & Iris
Chipboard - Sammi's Swirls, Sisters Title - 2 Crafty Chipboard
Sayings & die-cuts - Elementals 6 x 12 - Soulmates
Rose Die-cut paper (texture) American Crafts
Stamp - 7 Dots Studio - Soulmates
Pearls - Flourish with a Bling
Black Archival ink - Ranger
Dry-wall tape - Hardware
Tiny Blooms - Prima

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

'My Sunshine' Layout - 2 Crafty Chipboard

Hello there!  Back today with a new layout for 2 Crafty Chipboard, up on their blog right now HERE.  I used the beautiful "All I Ever" Collection from 7 Dots Studio as well as the 'My Sunshine' Title, chicken wire, French Lace Border & Hearts Cluster from 2 Crafty.  

I cut the hearts cluster into 2 sections this time, which was rather fun!  Just inked it in black
 & splattered my page with white watered down gesso at the end. 

I also cut off a 2 inch piece of the French Lace Border to use here 
{These borders come in 12 inch strips so can be very economical}.  

The chicken wire comes in 6 inch square panels & they are great fun to cut up too!
  I used a fine brush dipped into my Izinks to recolour my chicken wire chipboard. 

I used the same treatment for my 2 Crafty Title.  They have the most awesome selection 
of titles to use on your pages.  If you can't find any 2 Crafty stockists near you just email so you can be put in touch with your nearest retailer. 

Anyone in South Africa can contact me as I am the 2 Crafty Exclusive Distributor
 & can order anything you would like.  Check out the website HERE

Supplies List for 'My Sunshine' Layout

Papers - All I Ever - 7 Dots Studio -
 Box of Emotions, Peaceful Place & Velveteen Dreams
Sticker Negative Sheets - All I Ever - 7 Dots Studio
Stamps - Illumination & Cold Country - 7 Dots Studio
My Sunshine Title, Chicken wire chipboard, Squiggly Hearts Chipboard 
& French Lace Chipboard - all 2 Crafty Chipboard (Australia)
Mist - Precious Stone & Vintage Coal - Prima Color Bloom Spray
White Gesso - Studio by Claudine Helmuth
Ink - Black - Ranger Archival
Aladine Inks, Prima Flowers Metallic String
Ink - Bronze 94 - Versa Color

Monday, 12 January 2015

Hazel Layout - 7 Dots Studio Guest Designing for Scrap Around The World {Soulmates Collection}
Plus a New Challenge up at Studio 75!

Hello everyone!  It's been a really busy time for me in the last week - getting back from vacation & sorting out everything new {Design Team, Sponsors & Guests} at Scrap Around The World, plus working on some projects due in this month.  Today the 7 Dots Studio team are our Guests at SATW & as a member of the 7 Dots Studio Team I contributed another layout for the current challenge.  It was fun to work on the mood board again as I did my Design Team layout ages ago!

Here's a reminder of our current mood board.  You can find our challenge HERE. I used the wonderful new "Soulmates" Collection for my layout.  You can view it HERE.  My layout is about the kitten we got for my daughter, to cheer her up after a very messy break-up, only for the kitten to get very sick & eventually die :(  It was a terrible time...

I was inspired by the colours of the board as well as the roses 
{I used a really old Rose die-cut paper as part of my background}. 
 I also added a clock, part of a frame & also thought the saying was appropriate. 

This collection has 2 sheets of stickers, a tag sheet & a pop-out/die-cut 
sheet full of really versatile quotes & sayings to do with love.

For my mixed media background I used gesso, Prima Color Bloom Sprays as well as glitter.  The Script stamp is part of the awesome stamp set that goes with the Soulmates Collection.

Supplies List for 'Hazel' Layout

Base Paper - Power of Love - Soulmates - 7 Dots Studio
Patterned Paper - Daydreamers - Soulmates - 7 Dots Studio
Sticker Negative Sheet - Soulmates - 7 Dots Studio
Rose Die-cut paper - stash
Gesso - Studio - Claudine Helmuth
Stamp - Soulmates - 7 Dots Studio
Embossing Powder - Midnight Bronze - Lindy's Stamp Gang
Mist - Precious Stone - Prima Color Bloom Spray
Stamp Ink - Black Archival Ink - Ranger
Ink - 94 Bronze - Versacolor
Pink Ink - Pastel Pink - Ingvild Bolme - Prima
 Bronze Glitter - Art Extravagance - Finnabair
Spray Varnish - Heritage
Tags - Soulmates - Tag Sheet - 7 Dots Studio
Bronze Frame - Making Memories
Flowers, leaf  & resin clock - Prima
Journaling Pen - Tsukineko 0.4
Sayings - Soulmates 6 - 12 Elements - 7 Dots Studio

There is also a new challenge up at Studio 75 HERE.
I could not participate as I have only just joined the team so my supplies haven't reached me yet.  Here is the inspiration board for the challenge & you can find the rules in the post.  The prize is a  voucher worth 30 Zloty {US8.26} to be spent in the Studio 75 online store.  YOU DO NOT HAVE TO USE STUDIO 75 PRODUCTS FOR THIS CHALLENGE - JUST TO MATCH THE COLOURS/BE INSPIRED BY THE IMAGES!!

There are still 20 days to play along at Studio 75 so you have plenty of time!
Have a great week!!

Saturday, 3 January 2015

My OLW {One Little Word}, a new Design Team
& a couple of Features!

So what is your One Little Word this year? 
 I am not 100% convinced on the concept as I have so many different "compartments"
in my life but for the last few years have been playing along anyway as I find it DOES help.

  Last year my word was FOCUS & I did quite well with it. 
 This year my word is STREAMLINE which is rather similar - 
it means "to make simpler or more efficient".  

SIMPLER is NOT in my nature & while I am EFFICIENT it takes me a LONG TIME.  
Time is not going to be on my side as I embark on several new projects this year,
 all of which I will talk about here as they happen. I want to fit in MORE without
compromising my adrenal glands any more than they already have been!!

 I have 3 definite changes  coming up that will require more input from me,
 so STREAMLINING is not a choice.  It will be difficult as I love being hands-on 
with everything but tend to micro-manage, which means getting less done.  

So I'm letting go of my perfectionism in return for something more realistic, 
achievable & sustainable!  It helps that "light mixed media" is now more
 fashionable than technique-laden pages!!  My head is spinning with
 changes I want to make to how I work & what I get done but I don't have
 everything totally thought out yet so I won't bore you with details!

I have some EXCITING NEWS! 
 I am part of the Studio 75 Team for the next 6 months! 
 Studio 75 are a Polish Manufacturer.  You can find their blog HERE

They have been around for a couple of years now & when I saw their
 recent call I checked out their site & was very impressed with the
 level of sophistication of their papers.  Very classy!!
I really love "wall paper" papers. 
 To me these are the type that are the most versatile & easiest to work with. 

 Themed papers are the opposite for me.  I like to work with papers when
 I like & for what I like so anything seasonal with specific images is far too 
restrictive  Pale colours are great too because they can always be changed 
with mediums or feature brighter embellishments that I know will really pop!  

I am also delighted to say that I was featured late last year on Marjie Kemper's
blog in her "Tuesday Textures" feature HERE as well as in Prima's recent
2014 Thank You line up!  YAY!!  You can see that post HERE.
That post went up on the 2nd so 2015 went off with a bang!!