Life is short. Break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that makes you smile. We're not quantified; there's no chart of desire. When the roaring flames of your heart have burned down to embers, may you find that you have married your best friend. [Steven Tyler]

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Artwork Show and Tell

In my last post I had intended to upload some of the art work that I had on display at the last Graphicus Open Days but Blogger was being bloody minded and turned all my photos on their sides... arghhh. Several people asked about future workshops with these items and I do intend to include similar techniques and projects in next years timetable.

I'm going to have another go and see if the problem has been resolved as I have quite a back log of art work building up.

Several hours later......
Well, the problem still exists but I've discovered that by going back to Blogger's old editor I can avoid the frustration of the turning images but it means I have to work in HTML and put up with the photos loading in an odd order all at the top of the post and broken links when I move the images around but at least I have images!

This is a deep edged canvas which has been collaged, painted, stencilled, painted some more then I've worked Golden's Light Molding Paste through stencils to give it lots of texture and depth.

The molding paste is one of my favorite mediums, it gives wonderful results when painted over with Tim Holtz Distress Crackle Paints which just adds to the interest.

Then comes some additional embelishments in the form of a brass escutcheon, a handpainted flower with a metal centre, some feathers and a feather butterfly.

This is an image transfer onto Claudine Hellmuth's Sticky Backed Canvas. It is a brilliant technique and is totally foolproof, unlike many of the other image transfer techniques.

I finished the canvas by adding just a touch of Gold Metal Leaf to the edges, a decorative border of cut dictionary paper around all four sides, some decorative upholstery nails and a hanging wire roughly shaped like a handle to which I tied ribbons.

If you'd like to try working on canvas with some of these techniques, I have a work shop programmed for Thursday 18th November 2010 called 'On the Outside Looking In' and there are still some places available (well, there were when I looked last Friday before I started my week off). This is a fab workshop and we'll be using two canvas's hinged together and featuring a window to create amazing dimension and an interesting focal point.

The other pieces I have to show you today are the waxed collage boards. I watched Suze Weinberg demonstrate this technique at a trade show earlier this year and instantly fell in love with the idea of creating art from next to nothing.

It uses the Melt Pot and wax pellets, together with printed images and rubber stamps to build up and create texture in the wax.

Bedazzles and Stickles are used for accents and the wax is polished with Perfect Pearls which give the most stunning depth of colour and luminosity.

I really love working with hot wax, it is so relaxing and makes a great 'chill-out' therapy when you need some down time. I keep saying that crafting should be available on the National Health system, are you listening Mr Prime Minister? It could save a fortune in medical costs and therapy and you meet such lovely, like minded people who are all too ready to share in your obsession.

Well, the old Blogger Editor has worked, despite taking an inordinate amount of time I've finally got some of the photos up. There's a lot more waiting in the wings and I'll be back soon with the next update.

Until then, take care all and enjoy your crafting!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Workshops at Graphicus

Yes, I've been more than a little quiet on my blog of late. Life is hectic and there never seems to be enough hours in the day to fit everything in (not that I'm complaining, it makes life interesting). One of the things that's been occupying my down time has been planning my Autumn/Winter workshops at Graphicus.

There's a fantastic line up this time but some sessions are already sold out. You can link to my workshops through the 'What's On' category in the side bar on the right. There are also lots of other exciting workshops to choose from which are being taught by fabulous tutors such as Glenda, Judith, Lesley and Annette. Have a look here for the full programme.

We have a great time on workshop days with a fantastic camaraderie amongst our students. Many of them now know each other well from previous sessions and events at Graphicus but that said, they make new students ever so welcome and right at home from the onset. So if you're reading this and would like to come along, take the plunge  now. Not only will you learn a lot in a fun environment but you stand to make some wonderful new friends with like minded interests.

We had our Autumn Open Days at Graphicus last weekend and as usual, we had a thoroughly enjoyable time meeting new customers, catching up with our wonderful regulars, playing with fab products and sharing lots of product information and 'how to' tips (and they call this work)? I will get some photos up of some of the things I made whilst demo'ing but it will have to wait until tomorrow. I just tried photographing the samples and the lighting is dreadful tonight. Hopefully, we'll see the sun tomorrow and I'll be able to capture some reasonable images to show you.

Some of the artwork I had on display around my demo area was from previous workshops taught in the Summer (why does that word 'Summer' seem so dim and distant?) and drew lots of questions and interest. I promised I would put up pictures of the items and teach them again next year, so here they are........ or here they are NOT!!! Blogger is playing silly beggars and loading them all the wrong way round. I noticed when I signed in tonight that they have an outage scheduled for later this evening  to work on the photo upload facility, so with a bit of luck (my fingers, toes and legs are all crossed) they'll get it sorted and I'll try again tomorrow.

On a final note, Diesel has been  for his annual EPI (Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency) health check earlier this week which he passed with flying colours. German Shepherds are prone to it and Diesel was diagnosed with it about four years ago. Derick, our vet, was absolutely delighted with his progress and seemed amazed that we are managing his conditions so well. Apparently, it is more difficult to keep it stable as they get older and talking of age, he was eight on Sunday..... Happy Birthday Diesel! He did get lots of cuddles on the day and a new ball to drive us insane with.

I'll try to upload those photos tomorrow, so until then..... play nicely and

Happy Crafting!