Thursday, 15 March 2018

Carving out a niche

I have been doing various types of art and craft for over 10 years now, starting with card making and rubber stamping before moving on to mixed media art. However, I'm not sure I'm any closer to finding my niche, the technique or style that is really me and where I have something special to add. Maybe it does't matter as long as I'm enjoying it, and its always good to try new things, right? Still I can help feeling like I'm a little lost sometimes.

My latest techniqe is lino cutting. I last tried this as a school kid doing GCSE graphic design (20 years ago!!), so I've been quite pleased how well my first few attempts have gone.

I found carving a soothing process, at least once the fiddly bits were done.

Here are a couple of mothers day cards I made using the larger hare design. The background was a done with a gel plate print (acrylics and stencils).

I'm still working on how to get nice clear prints, but that will come with practice I'm sure.

Bye for now,

Sarah xx 

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Still life with bottles

Wow! I just completed my first real painting on canvas, something that I think of as PROPER ART. Not that the mixed media bits I've done before haven't been art, but it feels different. I guess it's more traditional that's all. It definitely feels like an achievement for someone who never draws or paints 'things'. Any images in my work are usually stamped, stencilled, cut out from papers, or photos.

This was based on Teresa MacFayden's class on Wanderlust (see my side bar to find out more). I wasn't expecting to enjoy this one that much, but it was actually great fun and forced me more out of my comfort zone, which strangely felt quite comfortable.
I'm even quite pleased with my clear bottle - not bad for a first attempt I think!

Sarah xx

Monday, 25 January 2016

Just Jump In!

This is a journal page I created for a challenge on Wanderlust. It is based on a quote: "Sometimes what you're most afraid of doing, is the very thing that will set you free". 
I wouldn't say I was exactly scared of joining Wanderlust or trying new things, but sometimes I do need to give myself a kick up the bum. Having joined Wanderlust, I intend to really throw myself in, to give everything a go (as much as funds and time allow anyway), and share my work as much as possible. In other words, I'm jumping right in!

Thanks for looking,

Sarah x


Sunday, 24 January 2016

Handmade Journal

Hi folks,

I have finally finished my concertina journal based on Kate Cranes class on Wanderlust.

I chose to journal song lyrics that mean a lot to me  - 'dream catch me' by Newton Faulkner.

"There's a place I go when I'm alone,
Do anything I want,
Be anyone I wanna be,
But it is us I see"

I might be alone in the craft room, doing what I love, but my husband and son are always there near the front of my mind and I feel so lucky to have them.

There is still plenty of space in the journal for me to add some family photos or more detail later.

I loved doing something a bit different to normal, but waiting for the paint to dry on each layer got a wee bit frustrating. I just couldn't wait to put it all together!
I have made a few mistakes with this one, but I'd definitely do another one using this technique.

Thanks for visiting,

Sarah x

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Starting As I Mean To Go On

Hi All and a belated happy New Year! 

Anyone who has read my blog before may well realise that I'm a little sporadic in posting and seem to start every post with "it's been a while". I could blame my son for taking up my time (not that I mind!), but I think my problem really is that I have lots of ideas and when I do sit down to work, I'm stuck like a rabbit in headlights not knowing what to do first or how to do it.  So this year I've signed up to Wanderlust! This is a year long online course organised by Kasia and Jamie from Artist Trading Post. I hope it will give me inspiration, confidence, and the technical knowledge to bring my ideas alive. 

This is my first wanderlust art journal page - "flight". It represents the hope that I can take my learning and fly with it and also the fear that I am using art as an excuse to put off thinking about getting a real job again now my son is growing up and not long off starting school.

The first guest tutor on Wanderlust is Kate Crane. Although quite different to my usual style, I love her bright, vibrant work. I am still working on the project from her class, but I have used some of the ideas to make this birthday card for my friend. 

Obviously it would be unfair to go into detail about techniques etc. from these classes, so I will leave it as just pictures. If you want to join Wanderlust you still can. There is a link in my side bar. So far I would highly recommend it!

I hope to be back very soon (but no promises - I know myself too well ;-) )

Sarah xx

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Believe In Magic

Although Halloween is now over for another year the autumn mists are here in force, making everything look a bit spooky and magical.
Here is a card I made for a friends birthday. The fab quote is from Roald Dahl!

It's got tons of lovely texture made with Frantage embossing powder, gel medium through a stencil, some Pebeo Cerne Relief outliner (the black star) and the quote itself embossed using a label maker. There's also some transfer foil as well and the whole thing looks very sparkly. 

I'd like to enter this is in the Mixed Media Monthly challenge, which has the theme on texture this month.

I hope my friend likes it! 

Sarah xx

Friday, 30 October 2015

Strange Beauty

With Halloween almost upon us my mind can't help turn to the strange and spooky.

Here are a couple of very quick spooky ATC's 
This one uses a stamp from Inkadinkado. I've had the set for ages as I just couldn't resist the quirky images, but this was the first time I've used it. The quote round the edge is "there is no beauty without some strangeness" which is a variation on an Edgar Allen Poe quote and very fitting for this fab octopus. It is coloured mostly with watercolour pencils.

For the second one I used a Sheena Douglas stencil and a gorgeous tree stamp from a Crafty Individuals set. It was coloured with a mixture of watercolour pencils and black and white Neocolor crayons.

I'd like to enter these into the Craft Barn weekly challenge.

Happy Halloween to all!

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

My little boy recently turned 3 (where on earth did the time go!). He's a very sweet little lad (most of the time) and loves singing. One of his favourites is twinkle twinkle little star, and he sings it so sweetly that I well up every time. He's my little star. 

So today, I want to share a piece of home decor I made with this in mind. I have wanted to do something with teabags for a long time, and it finally got pushed to the top of my mental ideas list by an article by Jaine Drake in this months Craft Stamper magazine. My piece is a very different style but the patchwork effect was definitely inspired by that project.

I have to admit, it's a bit, hmm, should I say 'rustic' and I'll apologise in advance for the poor picture quality.

It's made of teabags stitched together and then stitched onto some brown packing paper. The packing paper had white and gold paint applied randomly using my Gelli plate (using up a failed experiment). Some of the teabags were stamped or stencilled. The stars were stenciled in Prima copper crackle texture paste through a Prima stencil and outlined with watercolour pencils. I stamped the words and stitched those on too. 

I'd like to enter this in the Craft Barn weekly challenge on the theme of light, and also into Craft Stampers 'take a technique' challenge

Finally here's a quick pic of my lovely little muse.

Thanks for looking! X

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Oriental Adventure

Hi All,

I have a canvas to show you today. Its a small (~A5) one that I've had hanging around for ages and has already undergone several incarnations. 
This time I've finally got something I like: A grungy, aged, oriental inspired design.

First I gessoed over the previous project, then gave it a bit of colour with tea dye and walnut stain distress ink. 
Next I took some packaging paper, crumpled it and smooshed it through the same distress inks watered down on the craft mat. I love doing this, it creates really lovely worn looking paper. I also splattered on some watered down DecoArt quinacridone gold acrylic paint. I glued torn strips to my canvas with gel medium.
I added an oriental bird image and some stamping with some Paperartsy stamps from a Hot Picks backgrounds set.
A thick layer of DecoArt one step crackle, and some DecoArt antiquing creams in black and red oxide, and it was finished.

I'd like to enter this into the Craft Stamper Take it Make it 'take a stamp' challenge. The stamping may not be the most obvious here, but It was very definitely necessary for the oriental feel and texture in this piece.

Thanks for reading,

Sarah x

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Gelli and Stencils

Hi there, 

My lovely husband got me a Gelli Plate for my birthday a couple of months ago. Its so much fun to play with that I have made loads of prints, but haven't actually used many of them. The piece I want to show you started off as a print using acrylic paints (Sennelier Abstract Blue and DecoArts Media Quinacridone Violet) with an Andy Skinner stencil.

Looking for something to do with the print, I spotted a new sketch book and thought the print would make a lovely cover image.

I edged it using black neopastel, which mirrored the lovely rough texture of the print then added more layers of stencilling with neopastel and archival ink through some Crafters Workshop stencils (I love the Rebekah Meier ones!). Simple, but quite effective I think.

I'm going to enter this in the Thats Crafty 'stencils and masks' challenge and also a stencils challenge on the Mixed Media World blog which I have only just discovered.
Thanks for visiting, I hope to have more to show you soon.

Sarah xx