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Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Self Portrait

This was a tough assignment.

We are asked to produce a self portrait for our photography course.  Of course this would involve all the usual technical issues associated with getting the photograph right (help!), but more problematic, was deciding what we wanted to say about ourselves and how to capture that.

I spent the whole week trying to think what to do and then trying to think how to capture that idea on the camera.  But in the end, as the rain continued to pour down putting an end to on any outside shots, I decided that simple was best.

I didn't want to be a big feature in my self portrait as it was more about character and interests than my physical self.  So I set up this canvas in my living room and using a remote timer I took some shots.

I'm happy with the result but may re-visit the self portrait idea to see what else I can come up with.


Tuesday, 15 May 2012

You Fly, You Soar

I didn't get this layout completed over the weekend as I struggled with getting it to come together.  It's funny -  I knew I was going to do a layout about kites so when I saw this paper in the shop, it seemed really perfect.  But in reality, I find papers with elements already included quite hard to cope with as I don't want to cover those parts of the sheet so it restricts my layout choices.  I definitely prefer a blank canvas and creating my own background so I can be free to place things wherever I want.  (Note to Self:  do not buy this kind of paper again!!)

I used acylic paint and a harlequin stencil to add interest and also an alphabet stencil using glimmer mist.

The kites were from a sheet which matched the paper so I added candy stripe string tails and cut little bows.


The photos of my son flying his kit were cut into different sized strips and mounted using 3D silicone glue to vary the depth. 

The new technique I used on this page was making the bright texture strips.  These were made using molding paste (Golden) which I coloured with acrylic paint and applied using various tools onto strips of masking tape.  When they dried, a rubbed them with several shades of Inka Gold.  

These strips are great as you can tear them to what ever length you want and add them to your page.  Mine are very bold but you can make them using plain molding paste which you can paint to match your scheme as you use them.  I stuck mine to a plastic box lid as it makes them very easy to remove when you want to use them.

I found the poem on a poetry website and journalled it between some wavy lines to finish the page off.


Everyone loves dandelions clocks as they are just irrestible - sitting in meadows with their large fluffy heads arranged in a perfect ball just waiting to be picked and blown into the wind!

I took this photo last year and love the way I managed to capture the individual seeds blowing in the breeze.

This page was created using tissue, lace, old music, old napkins and stamps all fused together with bondaweb.  I made a large panel and as it had several layers, I did need to use some gel medium to fix some of the elements together.  I stamped butterflies and alium heads randomly onto my panel and added a little tissue tape here and there.

Once it was all dry, I stitched is using metallic thread in the sewing machine onto my background paper.  Metallic thread is gorgeous but can be a bit of a challenge to sew with due to the metal elements in the thread so be warned - you need patience!!

I used a zig-zag thread pattern and I held the paper still in the machine at some points to create more interest in the stitching.

I layered my photo onto a page from an old children's book and popped a small doily behind before added a large prima diamond and pearl embellishment.  I extended the embellishment by cutting sections from another diamond swirl so it covered most of the page height.

I grouped my old clock face and fairy girl in one corner with my sentiment, and the layout was finished. 


The Lost Gardens of Heligan

On the way down to St Ives, I met with my good friend Sue in St Agnes to drop into the one and only scrapbook shop that exists in Cornwall (sorry Linda - we did pop in!!)

Anyway, I bought this paper which is actually black and white and which reminded me of the blooms in this photo.  I had intended to use the paper 'bare' as it were, with just black and white additions but as you can see, this didn't really end up happening and I actually prefer it now!

I started by creating a black and white panel consisting of torn music tissue, lace, old music sheets and book pages and old sewing pattern tissue which I stamped with a large alium stamp.  I bonded all of this together using bondaweb and a hot iron on greaseproof paper.

I painted the edge of a couple of small doilies with Byzantia paint in Cerisanctum pink and then stuck them and the black and white panel across the centre of my page. 

Using leftoever strips of bondaweb, I adhered the rainbow voile to my page and using silver and violet stickles, I highlighted some of the areas on the top of the layout.

The textured panel was created using  a texture stamp (lisa pavelka) and light molding paste (Golden).  As these take 3 days to fully dry, Linda (Just Scrapbooking) had very kindly made some panels for us to use.  I painted my panel with Byzantia paint and then sewed some seed beads onto the edge.  The gorgeous metal embellishment is by Prima from their Vintage Trinkets range.

I used lace and braid down the centre of my page and created my journalling on my lovely old pink Royal typewriter.  The gardener's note is a fact I chanced upon when I was checking whether my bloom was a chive or an alium!  I haven't ever used the flowers although I have got this plant in my garden so next time I make a potato salad, I'm going to put these flowers on top as they will look amazing!

Using the bondaweb to make background panels was a new technique, as was the use of fine gauzy material place over all or some of a layout.  Both are great things to try and are attributed to Linda for teaching them to me - thank you!!



I am really pleased with this layout as it just came together quite unexpectedly.  

I covered a plain page with gesso and then created a pattern in it using a pointed skewer and stamped my regal goldfish into it.  When this was dry and painted in my goldfish with acrylic paint and painted the background using colourwash sprays and byzantia paints.  The textured areas were done using fresco flakes over the wet paint.

As the goldfish were still rather vague, I added a little more acrylic paint with a fine brush to bring out the details and a charcoal pencil for shading.  Their crowns are outlined with a gold stickle.

The background for the photograph used Viva Ferro in Graphite and Gold Green which I applied to the cardstock with a spatula through sequin waste.  When this was dry, I highlighted the texture with silver Inka Gold.


The tiles were originally patterned but I painted them with Gesso before stamping the chinese letters in staz-on ink.


The title letters were painted with black acrylic, hightlighted with glossy accents to which I added Beadazzle beads.

A rub on in the corner (which I would not recommend again over metallic acrylic paints - it nearly broke my wrist getting it to transfer!!) and some journalling and the page was complete.

Fruit Market

This was another layout I completed over the weekend.

I started by tearing up some chinese newspaper which I was given some time ago and which was ideal for my Thailand photographs.  I stuck the various pieces on the page and then added strips of masking tape to some areas for more texture in the background.

I combined gesso with acylic paints and Byzantia paint (Stewart Gill) to match the colours in the photograph of the fruit stall.  I added various stamps inked with staz-on to complete the background.

It's hard to see in the photo but I created a basket effect in pearl white paint by painting in opposite directions for the photograph to be matted on to.  I used miniature bobble braid and three small pearls to finish the frame.

I tucked a small doily behind the photograph onto which I added my flower stem (Prima) and a gorgeous large pearl button.

I tied a small luggage tag onto my flower which I just used to add the date of the photograph.

The final touches were the addition of the title for my page, a butterfly lozenge and a little Tim Holtz tissue tape.


Having just returned from a fantastic family holiday in Thailand, I've just been lucky enough to hop off down to St Ives in Cornwall for a scrapbooking retreat.  It's just so good to get 2 days of uninterrupted time to really get creative.  

I created this page by colouring some glass bead gel to create my sea into which I drew some wavy lines before adding some glitter, sequins, shells and fish. 

Once this was dry I added the fabric section using bond-a-web sheets.  The scrunchy flowers were made from the same material which I hot glued into a loose shape before heating carefully with the glue gun to melt them slightly.  

My title was stamped with Staz-on ink onto Canvas and then spritzed with adirondack colour wash in butterscotch and stream.

I added a couple more small embellishments, a little background interest with white acrylic paint and finished the layout by inking the corner with distress ink.

Complete! x

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Beach Hut Birds

It's taken 8 years on the waiting list but finally we were allocated our own beach hut this year!!  It's right near our home in a great spot so we were really lucky to get one there.  

When we opened it up, it was looking rather sad so we got it re-decorated and kitted out with new units and some half timbering so make it feel fresh and beachy.

It needed something else ... so enter onto the stage my two Gulls. 

I had a couple of cards by an artist called Barbara Khan which I bought to keep and so I used her very simple style to paint my friends onto the wall.  I was a bit nervous doing this on the walls as there wasn't much room for error if I wasn't going to have to repaint the walls but I really enjoyed this project with my radio on the huge expanse of beach in front of me.

If anyone else wants a beach hut project done ...


Friday, 4 May 2012

Burst the Balloon

Well, I've finally returned to my computer after about a month of being away on holiday and then playing catch up with everything at home.  Life's like that isn't it?  Sometimes there are periods when you are just so frantically busy with 'stuff' - nothing really big - just regular 'stuff' in huge quantities that creative time just vanishes.  

OK, I've had my moan and I'm off the soap box!!

I wanted to share this photo with you all that I took last night on the second stage of my photography course.  

We filled balloons with water and suspended them on a pole over a bin to try and contain at least some of the mess!  Our tutor then burst threw a dart at the balloon after a count of 3 and we had to try and capture the action in a single shot.  This was my third attempt - I was a fraction too late on the first two attempts and the results of these are show below.

A great evening and another technique learned; I'm loving what you can do with a camera!