Blog Archives

Crafting Cheaply – More Bargains

Stay tuned for the post on craft websites. I’m still working on that.

After my first post I was thinking about what other things I’ve got that were a good price.

I’ve recently bought some craft sheets. I didn’t go for the branded ones, but picked up some a pack of 4 PFTE sheets for £8.99 from Amazon. Some of them have minor blemishes on them, but so far I have glued and painted on them and it’s easy to wipe off (I did it fairly soon after painting so I don’t know what it would be like after days). I’ll let you know how I get on if I use it with my heat tool or any other materials.

Blulu 4 Pieces PTFE Sheet Non Stick Craft Mat Heat Press Transfer Sheet, 16 by 20 Inch

I tend to use white emulsion (a small pot for painting the house) rather than gesso as I find it’s less gritty in texture. You can get that from any DIY store. I like Wilkos for that and for the little tester pots, great for upcycling one small item such as here.

I used baby talc mixed with mod podge rather than buying texture paste to go through stencils for the background here. I don’t know what quantities I used, maybe try 50/50 of a small amount and see what it’s like.

I have more cheap crafting ideas too so keep your eyes pealed for future posts!

 

Crafting Cheaply – Bag A Bargain

I thought I might do a few more ‘useful’ posts that other crafters might be interested in.

I’ve found a few craft things recently that have been surprisingly cheap. So…I thought….are they any good?

Cheap cutting dies:

Now, I’m not an expert in dies. But they are EXPENSIVE! I can’t afford to be spending £15 on a set of dies I might only use occasionally. So I did a bit of hunting around. I found a couple of places where you can get them MUCH cheaper. I don’t want to spend more than £6 on a die set.

These are the ones I found.

The Works‘ (a shop in the UK) have brought in a load of new die sets. I bought NEARLY ALL of them. You can sign up to the email newsletter and get 10-20% off online. Individually the sets are all £6 or less. The bundle set (link below) is out of stock at the moment, hopefully they will all come back in. I am very glad I bought them when I did. To find the M & C ones you have to search for ‘metal dies’. If not, a lot of them seem to also be on ebay.

M and C Boutique Metal Craft Dies Set

I’ve also bought dies from Amazon (UK). I wondered if they would be naff as they were so cheap, but so far they have worked fine. They seem to have the same die under all sorts of different Company names. I’ve checked the US Amazon and they do seem to have a lot of the same ones available.

tag dies

Metal tag dies

Cheap stamps:

stamps for wordpress 1

So I also bought some stamps while I was doing my Amazon order.

A variety of stamp options

At some point I’ll show you some of the things I have done with these stamps and dies. I’ll add a link. I have to pace myself…I haven’t got the attention span to do such a beefy post all in one go!

In the next Crafting Cheaply post I’m going to share some research I’ve done about different websites to buy branded craft products from to get a good price without paying a fortune for delivery.

You can also view my post on a cheaper alternative to Chameleon pens (if you already have alcohol markers in your stash) here.

I attempted to make my own DIY gelli plate, which I blogged about, but I gave up and bought a real one! Sometimes you have to spend the money on a tool which will last you a long time.

 

 

Help I need titles for four more pieces!

How does everyone come up with titles for their artwork? I need to name them all by Monday and I’m struggling!!

Preparing for the exhibition

Ahhh so I have 2 weeks and 2 days until our group printmaking exhibition goes up.

Firstly….I need to actually finish the pieces. Secondly….I need to get mounts cut. Thirdly…..I need to screw all the d rings onto the frames. I sense I’m going to have a busy weekend!

I’m excited though. I’ll add photos when everything is ready!

🙂

 

 

 

 

Patchings Art Festival 2016 (England)

Well I really enjoyed my day at Patchings yesterday, despite the rain!

I’d never been before, but a friend suggested it and said I’d love it. It was quite a drive from me, but I’m glad I went.

There were a number of marques. A large one housed art materials from a variety of companies. I was quite good and didn’t buy anything from there, but it was great to chat to people about new products and to try some out. I also took part in a Derwent Workshop where I had a go with Charcoal and Graphite blocks (who knew they were water soluable!?) and it was interesting seeing the textures you can create with them.

My favourite tent (another large one) was the one with the craftspeople in. I was able to have a really good chat with a variety of makers, including a calligrapher, a felt-maker, a watercolourist and glass carver, a jewellery maker  and a textile artist.

I think it was a really inspiring day. I’ve got lots of different things I want to try and courses I want to do. I don’t know how many other artists try as many different art forms as I have, but it meant that inspiration was literally around every corner!

 

 

Documented Life Projects Weeks 5-7

DLP weeks 5-7

Okay so I cheated a bit. This is DLP weeks 5-7. That covers the February theme: Layers You Will Love! and the weekly prompts:

week 5:  Art Challenge:  Under Paper (paper on your work table that gets all inky while you work)  Journal Prompt:  What Lies Beneath?

week 6: Art Challenge:  When Not To Stop  Journal Prompt:  “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough!” (Ooh)

week 7: Art Challenge:  Cover Up Good Stuff  Journal Prompt:  Going Undercover

So I might need to explain a bit! I used some gelli plate prints which were lovely (the good stuff, week 7) but were also only useful as a background really (under paper, week 5, I know stretching it a bit, but I ripped up the 2 prints into strips, so it really was from scraps). I layered and layered including the following materials: 2 gelli prints, Inktense blocks, gesso (multiple layers), patterned tissue paper, brayered on layers of acrylic, Possibly some distress stain (can’t remember), layers of embossing powder and obviously alphabet stamps. There were a few occasions when I wasn’t happy with it. So I just added more gesso and then more layers (week 6, when not to stop).

What I might do with the next one is to take photos/scans and show in stages how I did it. Let me know if you’d like to see that 🙂

 

Twit Twoo – Canvases for my friend’s new baby!

So, one of the projects I worked on a couple of months ago was for my friend’s baby’s nursery. She wanted something feminine, but not just the classic baby colours. Or maybe that was my influence, as I wanted to do something brighter! She chose grey for the walls so she could bring in colour with the accessories and she didn’t know the sex of the baby at that point.

As soon as I knew she had had a baby girl I could get going!

I decided I wanted to do owls, so I started sketching and looking at other owl designs for inspiration. I already had my owl stamp as a starting point, but I wanted two owls for this set of canvases to go side by side with a name canvas in between.

canvases step 1

The first step was to use a stencil I had my Mum cut for me on her Silhouette machine and some coloured texture paste I made with Modge Podge and baby powder. Oddly it dried dark pink, which was a little disappointing as I’d wanted the same colour when it dried as it is in this picture.

So then I had to replace the stencil, mix in some white paint and redo it. I left a bit of bright pink showing through.

canvases step 2

The next step was to add some contrasting blue. Sorry the photos aren’t the best quality, I took them on my phone!

Then I began cutting the canvas shapes I needed for each owl. Here is how I started positioning them:

canvases step 3

Then I coloured the pieces and stitched around each eye and tummy piece with blanket stitch, before finally gluing them all on!

This is the final result:

canvas 1anonymised canvas 2owl final 3


A very good morning!

So I finally have Wi-Fi again! Wooohoooo! You never realise how much you rely on these things until you have to go without them.

I’ve decided that I need to go back to my hobbies in order to reduce my work stresses and I made a good start this morning.

I went to a local small town and I bought some Inktense blocks and some paints from the local craft shop (and the people were very lovely there!!) Then I popped into the local independent cafe and ended up having a chat with the owner about exhibiting a canvas there! I am brimming with ideas of what I’d like to do now!

So I’ve also been adding varnish to my latest upcycled table/Ikea hack. I will take some proper photos when it’s finished and put them up here.

I have done quite a few other little bits since I last properly posted (I’m always working on something I guess!) to I’ll have to have some proper photography taking at some point soon to bring my blog back to life!

I am also considering doing a printmaking and etching course. I am just a bit worried I wont have the strength to operate the machinery. I#d like to join a crafting group but I don’t really know where to find them!? Any one have any ideas on how to start?

My Sister and Her Husband’s Wedding Gift from Me!

My Sister and Her Husband's Wedding Gift from Me!

So I forgot to take photos once it was finished (I finished it the night before I was leaving to travel to the wedding location and had to leave it to dry) so the only one I have is before I stuck it to the paper background and stuck that to the lid of the box! Hopefully she will take some photos for me at some point.

I designed created the design and imported it into the Silhouette Cameo to cut it and the background paper is monoprinted using a brayer and acrylic paint.

Gel Plate Prints 3

I’ve been playing around even more with my plate formula and I think I have finally tackled the stickiness issue!

squares print 1

squares print detailThis print was done using a piece of cardboard I had used modelling paste onto with squares stamped into it. The second image is just a close up to show the texture.

gelli print

This one is just a straight-forward print. Not sure whether I like the roller marks or not!

 

gelli print background

This one is a paper stencil I’d used in various other prints used over a straight-forward printed background. I think it would make a good art journal background.

 

gelli print stenciled

 

This one is a ghost print of a stenciled print.

I have had a lot of fun playing around. I have so many prints now, I should work out what to do with them really!

 

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