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27 April 2017

Altered Playing Cards

I am taking part in #52CafeCards
which is a year long creative challenge,
altering a set of playing cards,
following prompts provided by Marta Lapkowska.

The next two prompts are P for Peace
& Q for Quote.

The background paper is by K & Company,
the ladies are from a 1970's dress pattern
& the tissue tape is by Tim Holtz.

25 April 2017


Week 16 of the Wanderlust 2017 online class with Everything Art is Activity Week.

I chose to do monoprinting with rose leaves for my journal page,

I used three colours of acrylic paint
Orchid, Tidepool & Rose.

I cut five rectangles, all the same size, from the prints.

Using the remaining print to create the background.

Layered the rectangles
& used a Stabilo All Black pencil to edge them.

Added lettering cut from a newspaper.

Added a few winged creatures
& my Activity Tab.

The leaves had been accidentally broken off the rose bush in the garden,
so I was pleased to have put them to good use in this project.

22 April 2017

The One Day Project: Wren

Do you have a project that you keep walking past,
muttering to yourself, "One day I'll .... "

Well I do, actually if truth be told, I have a few.

Those ideas that won't rest until you actually do them.

Well here is the story behind one of those projects.

It began a few years ago, around Christmas.

Various charities in the UK sent out letters asking for donations,
& included in the envelope were promotional bookmarks
& drinks coasters.

The coasters were too solid to throw away ...
yes I am holding my hands up
& admitting that the thought certainly crossed my mind.

So I just starting "collecting" them
& my Mother kept hers for me too.

Once I had 14, I decided they would make a nice chunky journal.

I altered two to make the covers & punched holes in the rest.

3½ inch square drinks coasters

Then it went back into the drawer ...

Back in 2011/12 I did an online gluebook course with Mary Green
of Green Paper 
& took part in her monthly challenges.
I kept all the little scraps of paper,
all those little pieces
which I didn't have the heart to throw away.

This week, whilst looking for something else,
I picked up the small tub containing these treasured pieces
& finally made the decision to tie the two projects together 
to make a chunky gluebook.

No paints, no inks, no fabrics.

Just paper & a gluestick.

Scissors & a sanding block.

So I turned my When into a Wren.

What projects have you been putting off?
Is it time to just start?

20 April 2017

A cut above

The current class on Wanderlust is by Mindy Lacefield.

It was interesting to watch her creative process,
applying her paints & seeing her art piece develop.

I decided to join in this week, creating along with Mindy as she worked.

However, 7 minutes into the video & I had already got distracted by another idea,
so off I went again.

Guess the course is sparking my imagination,
so I am thrilled to have this weekly input,
but please don't think that my art
is any reflection of the Wanderlust course content.

So here is the story of what happen ...

I was working on another piece of corrugated card,
with a black background,
& a layer of red acrylic paint ...

When Michelle Ward popped into my head.

I really developed as a mixed media artist
through her Green Pepper Press Street Team Crusades
which she hosted a few years ago.

Seth had recently posted a link on Twitter
to an old article on Somerset Place,
a tutorial from Michelle, using corrugated cardboard,
so it was this that called to me.

Michelle creates the most awesome pieces from corrugated card,
deconstructing them, exposing the layers beneath,
piercing through, cutting out, building up.
Michelle herself inspired by the art of Louise Nevelson.

So having painted my piece of corrugated card black,
with a layer of Dina Wakley Media Ruby Acrylic Paint,

I began to cut & pierce,

carving out a groove to add jute thread,

adding more piercing & building layers,

then sanding the edges.

The final touch was a painted brad head.

Mindy had started me on my journey,
Seth had supplied the map,
Michelle gave me directions along the way,
I took a break at Somerset Place,
had a conversation with Louise
& eventually reached my destination.

Who has guided you
on your art journey recently?

19 April 2017

Do what you love

I am taking part in #52CafeCards
which is a year long creative challenge,
creating art on playing cards
following the prompts provided by Marta Lapkowska.

The next prompt is O for Obsession.

I had a long think about my art obsessions,
which lead me to use the images & items that I love to use in my art.

Book text (here from Pride & Prejudice) or dictionary definitions.

Butterflies (particularly this image).


This image of a phrenology head from the
Brockhaus & Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary
published in Imperial Russia in 1890-1907

Patterned Washi tape (here by Tim Holtz)

Positive affirmations.

I coated the images in hot wax in my Ranger Melting Pot
& added a photocopy of a heart
(from my deck of playing cards)
& printed text.

Which images always spark your creativity?

11 April 2017

Hope ... friend to be

The tutor for week 14 of the Wanderlust course was
My page is influenced by her lesson,
but is my own interpretation.

When you have nothing else, you can still have hope.

The images of the girl & the handwriting are from Mary Green.

The base is white watercolour paper, covered in a variety of papers & book text.

As well as forming part of the background,
peeping through in the photograph above,
I had to include some found words from my old novel,
on the top layer.

I just love the texture of torn paper.

I  also used 
ecoGreen Crafts Acrylic Paint (Waterfall & White)
Dina Wakley Media Acrylic Paint (Lapis)
Dina Wakley Media Stencil - Cellular
Distress Inks (broken china, walnut stain, picket fence )
Distress Marker (black soot & antique linen)
Distress Stain (picket fence) used in a Mini Mister
Stabilo All Pencil - Black
Clear tape, Mod Podge & letter stickers
Bubble wrap, bottle cap & gift card, all for mark marking
Tim Holtz Paper Distresser by Tonic

05 April 2017

Turning over an old leaf or two

The class this week on Wanderlust was about monoprinting,
using nature as our inspiration.

I used three colours of acrylic paint.
(Waterfall, Pistachio & Tidepool)

I created enough prints to make my first page for April
using both sides of my cardboard substrate.

The first side uses prints made from rose leaves,
from a bouquet of flowers I received from my parents.

I added Distress Crayons & some shadow from a Stabilo All black pencil.

The reverse side uses the Ivy prints.

These were layered over each other

I again used Distress Crayons & Stabilo All pencil.

Here are both sides.

I edged the substrate with Distress Ink (black soot).

The rose leaves created a stunning silhouette
& the ivy such exquisite detail.

Have you tried monoprinting with items found in your garden?
Which gave you the most interesting result?

Be free

I am taking part in #52CafeCards
which is a year long creative challenge,
creating art on playing cards
following the prompts provided by Marta Lapkowska.

The next prompt is N for Numbers.

I am not a number. I am a free man.

The playing card was given a light wash of white gesso.

I photographed a page from a copy of Collins' Commercial Reckoner Trade Tables.
& printed it onto tissue paper.

I added printed text & some old grosgrain ribbon.

04 April 2017

A place to hang my heart

Finally got around to finishing off a mixed media page for my Wanderlust journal today.

Base is a piece of kraft resist card by Tim Holtz.
You might to able to see an arrow or two in the background.

Next layer is off cuts of white card from printing text for my artwork.

Then came layers of acrylic paint.

Alpha stamps with Archival Ink (Jet Black)
& pen marks in silver & black.

Sploshes of silver acrylic paint.

The focal point begins with copper wire coiled around a rusty screw
which is wound through the green abaca ribbon.

The scrap of fabric coloured with Distress Inks
(broken china, spiced marmalade & walnut stain)
is sewn onto the abaca ribbon with coloured cotton thread.

A piece of natural jute trimming (Groves
lays beneath a corrugated card heart 
(a leftover from another project)
which is wound with both copper wire & coloured cotton thread.