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31 July 2008

Combination Moo

The current challenge theme on Make a Moo or Two
is to choose our favourite from the past list of themes.

I was so pleased, because this has given me the opportunity
to catch up on a few that I had missed.

So here is my Moo for this week.
A combination, catch-up Moo based on the
Black & White
theme from week 22,
from week 23 &
from week 24.

The mountboard base was covered with paper by Shabby Princess
& a Mona image from a leaflet about the Da Vinci code.

I used Inkssentials Crackle Accents over the top
& when dry, added my birds (images from my own source).

Mona’s crown is from the lovely Tim Holtz grungeboard range.

Now I’m ready for tomorrow’s challenge & the next theme.

30 July 2008

Lasting Memory

The challenge this week on This Thursday it's all about ... is to attempt to create something you truly believe is either beautiful or useful.

There was a project I have been wanting to do now for over a year. Where does the time go? This was the perfect challenge for my project.

I collected some glass tiles whilst on holiday last June - the idea was to make them into a coaster as a lasting memory of a wonderful holiday. On returning home, I sourced some coaster bases & some smaller matching tiles, both by Mosaica.

Today I have both started & completed my project (after spending a considerable amount of time trying to find the aforementioned bases & tiles - they were in a very safe place).

I decided on the pattern & then secured each tile in place using PVA glue. It was left to set for a few hours.

Then I had to find the tile grout in the garage ..... some time later, I mixed up the grout & coloured it with a blob of Acrylic Paint (Stream). Before the grout set, I pressed in some clear Accent Beads. The hope here is that they will catch the light & dance like water in a swimming pool.

Here is the finished project.

This project also fits the challenge theme this week on Arty Girlz, which is Blue.

The Golden Rule

The challenge set last Thursday on It's all about was based on a quote by William Morris, who said “If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”

The actual challenge was "to attempt to create something you truly believe is either beautiful or useful. If like the design team you find that something didn't quite hit the mark, we still want to see it. It’s about the journey not the destination.”

There was a project that I have been wanting to do for ages, in fact over a year. I had collected a few glass tiles whilst on holiday, with an idea to make them into a coaster as a lasting memory of the trip.

I managed to source some coaster bases & found some smaller glass tiles to match by a company called Mosaica. On the back of the tile packet it explains about the tiles.

"Glass mosaic tiles (known as tesserae) have been used throughout history to create works of art & decorate buildings, walls & floors. Mosaica glass tiles are made from a marriage of traditional & modern techniques, the most stunning of which is the use of a semiprecious stone called Avventurina that can be seen sparkling within some colours. The reverse of the each tile is ridged to aid adhesion & the colours are lightfast & frost resistant."

Their website can be found at Hunter Hollis

Making the project

First I found the centre of the square coaster, marking it with a pencil. I then dabbed PVA glue on the ridged side of a tile & placed it in the middle. I then used that tile as the guide to place all the other tiles, making sure that each tile was straight before leaving it to set for a few hours.

Then I made up some tile grout adding water & a blob of coloured paint to tint the grout. The grouting was easier than I had expected. I then pressed in some Accent Beads to make the piece more decorative.

I was very pleased with the result & am going to make up another one.

I think the colours are beautiful & it is certainly a useful item to have in my home, thus meeting the challenge.

You can see the completed project here.

Just a Note

The challenge theme this week on My Time to Craft is Red, Black & White. The examples made were so striking that I was inspired to have ago myself.

I made a Notecard using Crafty Individuals Miniatures 'Flowers & Butterflies' paper pad, red paper, a print of sheet music from a copyright free source & organza ribbon.

29 July 2008

My Guardian Angel

My guardian angel has certainly been watching over me & my home this week, so as the challenge theme this week on Dans ma maison is Angels, I just had to take part.

I have used lovely images from a copyright-free graphics cd from Crafty Computer Paper, a swirly stamp by Anna Griffin, Distress Crackle Paint (antique linen), Distress Inks (antique linen & walnut stain), a word Doo-dad, mulberry paper, green fibres & it was edged with my Krylon 18ct gold leafing pen.

Made with thanks to my angel.

This also qualifies for the new challenge theme on This Thursday it's all about, which is Winged Things.

28 July 2008

Hats Off

The new inchie challenge theme on Inchy by Inch is Hats.

I have used one of my Tim Holtz rubber stamps with papers from Hot Off The Press, Distress Ink (walnut stain), an eyelet & a little distressing.

23 July 2008

Altered Book into an Art Journal

I have been taking part in a challenge set by Jean (Bluebird).
This month, Jean challenged us to alter a book to make an art journal.

I found my book, Sixteen Self Sketches by Bernard Shaw, in a charity shop.
It was just the right size for my first altered book
& has turned out to be a wonderful source of inspiration.

This is a picture of the book before work began.

This is the front cover now.

Here are a few of the pages that I have been working on.

By it's very essence, an art journal is a continuing project,
so there is no "completed" project to show.
Even pages I think are finished, I find myself going back to add a little bit more.

21 July 2008


I thought I would document the research for the current Bluebird challenge.

Definition of altered book:

An altered book is a form of mixed media artwork that changes a book from its original form into a different form, altering its meaning.

An altered book artist takes a book (old, new, recycled or multiple) and cuts, tears, glues, burns, folds, paints, adds to, collages, rebinds, gold-leafs, creates pop-ups, rubber-stamps, drills, bolts, and/or be-ribbons it.

The artist may add pockets and niches to hold tags, rocks, ephemera, or other three-dimensional objects. Some change the shape of the book, or use multiple books in the creation of the finished piece of art.

Definitions of an art journal:

A diary that chronicles the ideas, memories, and thoughts of an artist. Pages within an art journal include words, pictures and even embellishments.
A collection of words and images kept by an artist as a scrapbook.

How to Create an Art Journal

Artist's journals are illustrated diaries and journals on any theme.

An art journal can be a record of your daily thoughts, a travel journal, an exercise or diet diary, a dream journal, a place where you jot down your goals or to-do lists, or... well, almost any record that you'd like to keep in a book or notebook.

They become "art journals" when you add any kind of illustration or embellishment to the pages.

Other reading:
Great ideas & examples of altered books.

19 July 2008

Art Journal Progress

A quick update on my altered book/art journal project.

I have done a fair bit of work on the inside & need to make a start on the outside.

On the inside, the pages were segmented, the title page placed in the middle, I then worked either side of the middle on some key pages, leaving blanks to be added to later.

Some key pages are About Time (a double page spread on all aspects of time & a generalised comment on getting started on a large & challenging project), House of Cards (I craft at home, so it is an important part of my creative work), Laughter (things that make me smile & laugh), The Arts (a double page spread looking at all aspects of the arts), Inspiration (a place to keep all those things that help my creativity), Positivity (strong, powerful & positive words) & Mother Nature (nothing is as beautiful, creative or inspiring than Mother Nature herself).

I have included copies of some of my recent work on Artist Trading Cards, Houses, Inchies, Moos, Skinnys, an altered canvas & photography. It makes it a reflective journal as well as an ongoing journal.

15 July 2008

Dizzy Heights

The theme on Dans ma Maison is the Eiffel Tower.

I used paper designed by Tim Holtz, scans of my old ticket, butterflies from a graphics cd from Crafty Computer Paper, Glossy Accents, metallic eyelets & fibres.

Art Journal Progress

I have my book, found in a local charity shop that just sells old books. There were so many great books to choose from.

So why did I choose this book.

It was a hardback book with a sturdy spine & a fabric cover.

The paper felt coated & smooth to the touch, so I thought it would stand up to being treated with gesso & paints.

The content of the book offered up opportunities to use the original text. I wanted the book itself to inspire me.

It had less than 150 pages, so was more manageable for my first altered book.

The challenge Jean (Bluebird) set us this month is really two challenges. To alter a book to make an art journal.

To alter a book
Something I have yet to attempt. The examples I have seen are so varied. Each one so detailed. Each one has a different theme, different style & demonstrates different techniques.

to make an art journal
I do not consider myself to be an artist, in the formally trained, studying under an expert/professional way, so to make an art journal seems rather presumptuous. But what is an artist if not someone who creates, ergo I must be an artist of sorts. I do write notes & ideas down for the projects I make, so that, in a sense, is a journal.

Making a start

Why start at the beginning? I didn't. I glanced through the text to get ideas & on finding a gem of a double page spread, I started on page 62/63. Why? Because this is where I found my inspiration, my blog motto, imagine believe create

So this is where I started - a title page, using images & words, doodles, gesso, masking gum, fabric butterflies & a dragonfly (to help creativity & ideas take flight), the Tim Holtz "be yourself" girl image (which has become my avatar), a daisy image (of course), some cut work to show hidden depths & the talent that lays beneath the surface, green acrylic paint (to resemble growth).

It is yet to be completed ...

01 July 2008

My Heart is full of Thanks

The inchie challenge on Inchy by Inch this week is Thank you.

I typed up & printed off the background text. I punched out a heart shape & then framed the aperture & punched out the square inchie.

I coloured a piece of card using Distress Ink (aged mahogany) & layered the aperture over the top. The heart was then mounted in the middle using silicone glue.

A small clear heart shaped gem was added as the finishing touch.