Welcome to my creative online journal

Friday, 31 January 2014

CJS2014: Dina Wakley project

Today's project taught me a few things.

Before I explain the steps, I should tell you that the end product was a disaster didn't really work.  But never mind, the process was the important thing and I learned just by working myself through the lesson.

Basically then, the steps:
 The materials needed were some filler (just £3 from Homebase); Cracks are a good thing for this project  so I didn't get the good stuff (more expensive) that said it resists cracking. Also needed was a piece of hessian and a flexible spatula.
 Spread a moderate amount of  the filler onto the hessian...
 ...and when dry (mine was left overnight) paint with your desired colours, randomly.  See those cracks?  Those are the 'wanted' cracks, they make the end result more interesting, apparently....
 This is the bit where I learned something. I've never melted beeswax before (this was in a cheap slow cooker) and it took a very long time to melt.  When it did it was brushed all over the piece...
 ...but because it dries all cloudy, you use a heat gun to make it all glossy again...
 ...and this is your finished piece!  Well, unless you want to do more to it like Dina did, like cut it into shapes:
 ..and when I did that, it all sort of fell apart on me.
...Resulting in what I have now, a waxed, painted, hessian jigsaw!  

Not really sure what I can do with it because its still quite fragile, but I've been through the motions and recorded it so couldn't not show it to you, could I?  I should mention that Dina's didn't fall apart and hers even got sewn to the front of a journal.  I shall have to get my thinking cap on...
The Creative Jump Start course finished today (although it is available until November if you wish to still join in).  I've enjoyed taking part and learned some interesting new techniques that I can use in future projects (maybe not this particular one?!....) I'm glad that I stretched myself, even out of my comfort zone at times, because that will help with any arty crafty projects that I do from now on.

Thanks for looking, 
Nicky {Creative Flourishes}

PS - Other photos of my Creative Jump Start 2014 projects can now be found on flickr here 

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Creative Jump Start 2014: Junk Picture

I've admired the canvases, journals and scrapbook pages of Anna Dabrowska for years and often wondered how they were made.  Well, luckily for me, Anna showed us the process as part of Creative Jump Start 2014.

This was my finished piece:
And this is the process I went through:
First of all I stuck down some lace ribbon and some old book pages (without looking what was on them, oops! Never mind they were covered up with gesso completely!)   Then I worked out what junk items I would be using and stuck them into position.  A teaspoon was the item suggested on the video and I hapened to have one that I got from a charity shop for 30p so down it went.  I found all sorts of other items like washers, hama beads, even the circular bit left over from my boy's toy cap gun.  I also found a toy snake which my boys tell me they want back!  (Too late boys, it's stuck fast).  Everything got covered in gesso:
..and I had a real problem with mine.  The gesso I used was really old and thick and refused to come off the brush half the time, so that was a bit of a hinderance.  It took ages, getting in all the nooks and cranies.

I found some more items to add in my box of metal items.  Nuts, a mini padlock and key and I loved those swirly paper clips.
To complete I also found some more buttons and beads.

Everything was gessoed ready for painting:
...and I have to say I was a bit concerned that I would spoil it.  I quite liked the white, but I knew that I wanted  the love bit to be red so thats how I started, not really knowing how it would go from there.  I then added some purple.
Not sure I liked it but there was no going back now... and before I knew it I'd added brown and gold and it turned out a lot more colourful than I intended.
I checked back at Anna's video and noticed that she left quite a bit white.  Maybe, when I get myself some decent new gesso I could tone it down, just a bit....

Thanks for looking today, see you again soon for some more CJS2014 projects.
Nicky {Creative Flourishes}

Monday, 27 January 2014

CJS2014: Mini Keyring Scrapbook of Quotes


In my post yesterday I showed you how I made some textured surfaced pages using a cutout squeegee, an old comb and some modelling paste on the top of previously made gelli prints.  Today I used the textured pages to create a little (3" x 2.5") portable keyring scrapbook.

I started off by painting a piece of acrylic paper with some yellow drawing ink and when that was dry I splattered on some black indian ink.
 I separated my page into 12 and used a set of Tim Holtz rubons to randomly place letters and words all over the squares.  More of the quotes were added onto separate yellow paper and some of the others off the sheet went onto the front of my mini scrapbook.
(I have to add that the rubons weren't that easy to use, they stuck to all kinds of things that they shouldn't !)

As someone who loves the distressed look (you'd never have guessed, would you?!), I couldn't resist going around each square with my black Momento ink pad.  I loved the way it emphasized the lines on the acrylic paper.  After that I stuck on my cutout quotes onto the blue textured paper and then the blue paper was stuck onto each of the squares:
The blank keyring scrapbook was bought ready made and even contained mini page protectors to put my pages into.
And there was my finished project, 12 pages of inspirational quotes to inspire my creative life:

Thank you for looking today.  See you again soon for some more CJS2014 projects.
Nicky {Creative Flourishes}

Sunday, 26 January 2014

CJS2014: Creating Texture with Modelling Paste

I love texture! In fact I remember it being my absolute favourite topic given to me when I was an art student a squillion years ago now.

Which is why I relished this project, demonstrated to us by Nathalie Kalbach as part of the Creative Jump Start 2014 course I have been taking throughout January.

This project was one I did today when the rain was lashing at the windows.  What better thing to do when the weather is at its worst than to get stuck into a good art or craft project!

For my background, I used one of my many gelli prints that I made for a previous project.  I added some light modelling paste (I was going to use Liquitex but couldn't find any locally so was very pleased to find they had some at Lidl for just £1.99!)  and swept it around on my paper with...

...a squeegee that I cut pieces out of (right of picture) - and as shown to us by Nathalie.  I also found this old comb in a supermarket car park so that got used too!

For the circles on this print, I used some plastic mecanno pieces that I found in a junk shop.
I was reluctant to spray my piece because I'm not very confident with mists and sprays but its good to challenge yourself when you can.

The Interference paint I used on the original gelli print still shone through on the letters giving a pleasing effect.

I am still in the process of making a mini book with quotes and my resulting prints so will show you that tomorrow.

Thanks for looking today, more CJS14 to come soon,
Nicky {Creative Flourishes}

Saturday, 25 January 2014

CJS2014: Is there such a thing as too many pen pots?

My Creative Jump Start 2014 project I have to show you today is from Stephanie Schutze's video on tin decor.

I started off using the technique we were shown on the video which was, after spraying baked beans tins with Liquitex spray paint (my very first time using spray paints!) to stamp on stencilled and misted paper but for some reason my images wouldn't show up.  I used black Stazon and even tried reinking it but still no joy.   So, what I ended up doing was using a bit of the waste paper that I had sprayed the mist on to create my sea on my water brushes pot (right of this picture).
The backs shown here are my favourite side, I'm not all that keen on the fronts! 
I then paper pieced lots of other appropriately themed stamped images and drew around all the details with a Sharpie pen.  I also sponged on the clouds on the water brush pot and added a real tape measure to the Homework pens container.  

Can you have too many pen pots?  Obviously not! I needed another one just for my water brushes so they don't get mixed up with the other pens I have in pots:
Which, together with that other pencil container that my husband and I made a few months back:
...makes quite a collection on my crafting table.  

I enjoyed making these baked bean pen pots and quite fancy the idea of making lots more with different themes.  Think I'd have to give them away though, I may just have enough!

Thank you for looking at my project today, hope you are enjoying your weekend,
Nicky {Creative Flourishes}

Friday, 24 January 2014

Creative Jump Start 2014 - Masking Tape Background

The interesting background you can see on this page was demonstrated to us by Marjie Kemper on the Creative Jump Start 2014 course.  Each of our projects has been so different, which is a good thing because it stretches our creative muscles trying out techniques that we wouldn't normally tackle. 

The background technique you may just be able to work out is created with .....masking tape.  Marjie coloured hers with Ranger inks but I hadn't got any of those so used colouring pencils instead.  I would have tried Distress Inks but someone in the forum mentioned that they slide off the tape.  
Being young at heart, despite my real ancient age, this quote by Einstein really appealed to me.  The crackled effect of the masking tape suggested wrinkles so my theme was made.  Like Marjie, I created a matching tag and added a few ready made embellishments.  The photos came from my enormous stash of magazines.

The addition of a few buttons and the handwritten quote to finish the page off and this was another CJS2014 project 'in the bag.'

Thank you for looking today, hope you enjoy your weekend - whatever the weather!

Nicky {Creative Flourishes}

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Creatve Jump Start 2014 - Altered Box

I was quite pleased when I saw the subject for this next video by Carmen Sanchez on Creative Jump Start - it was an altered musical box:
My finished music box showing box and lid.
The reason I was pleased was because, lurking in my giant box of 'crafts I must get round to doing someday' just happened to be a do-it-yourself musical box kit.  I bought it at a charity shop quite a while ago and had never got round to putting it together.  

After I'd constructed and glued the shape of the box from the flat cardboard it came in, I set about the decoration.  I decided to make the theme of my box as 'memories of my parents' so that I can use it to add some of my personal momentos inside.
This picture shows the underside of the lid
Keeping with this year's CJS2014 theme of using household items that we happen to have around, I decorated the box and its lid with some ripped up pages of old sheet music.  I  also liked the idea of adding ripped up passages from a battered old story book because all the photographs that I added would have their own story to tell too. 
This side shows the key to the musical box.
When staining the paper (with antique linen distress stain) I even deliberately left some parts of the original story book so that it could still be read.  

For the inside, after painting it I had a go at distressing it with some crackle paint like Carmen had done in her video and then to that I added some gold paste in order to highlight the cracks.

It is now on display with my other family photographic artefacts that I have made.  This is the only one that plays Mozart though.  

Thank you for looking today.  See you again tomorrow for some more CJS2014 projects. 

Nicky {Creative Flourishes}

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Creative Jump Start 2014 Ribbon Pole Project

This project was a lot of fun to make but quite unlike anything I've done before!

It was a project demonstrated to us by Suze Weinberg (formerly of Ranger, now retired), who has a fascinating blog that I have followed for many years.  She continues to make fabulous quirky jewellery and her house is jam packed with fascinating objects from her many travels around the world.  I love it when she goes away because she takes great photographs and we as her blog followers get to tag along as armchair travellers.  I really enjoyed her Summer trip, last year I think it was, to Egypt.

Anyway, back to the project and this was mine:
(Hanging up in an interior attic room window)
I should point out that Suze's ribbon pole was not like mine as in she had lots of really thick ribbons that made it a lot more chunky.  I just raided my stash for anything that was in the right colour.

I have to say, I ended up tipping up my box of ribbons & threads in my quest to find what I needed so for those of you that are of a nervous disposition about mess [yes, I do mean you sister! ;) ]  look away now!
Shock horror!

I didn't really plan the colour scheme but once I'd started wrapping my ribbons it made sense to limit the colour range.  It ended up looking quite patriotic but that was just by 'happy accident!'.....

This is what it looks like close up:
...And, as you can tell, embellishing with jewellery making isn't really my forte.  I just threaded some beads on to some wire and wrapped it around my decorated gift wrapping tube.  I did enjoy the process though and added some sparkly bits for interest.  My boys verdict on the whole thing was that it was 'very hippyish!'

Thank you for stopping by today, and I'll be showing you yet more CJS2014 projects (I'm on a roll!) tomorrow.

Nicky {Creative Flourishes]

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

My Little Word for 2014

As you probably know, lots of creative types all over the net have once again chosen a word for the year that will mean something to them that they can use for inspiration & motivation.  My word this year is:

(and yes, I did make all those individual letters out of Hama beads!)

I actually started with a list of about 20 words to consider, including declutter and organise, but decided that as I am forever starting things and not completing them, FINISH would be the best one for me.  When I made my FINISH hama bead sign, I decided to lay the letters out in this arrangement as they look like they are on a FINISHing line in a car race.   

At the moment I have several projects on the go that need FINISHing and one such project that is very active for me at the moment is the Nathalie Kalbach Creative Jump Start 2014 course. This is an online course that runs through January that has lots of inspiring ideas and techniques from brilliant teacher/bloggers like Julie Fei-Fan Balzer and Dina Wakley.  We get to try out the technique and then run with it in whichever direction we like.  That is where the creative side of it comes in, choosing how we will make the project our own....

Which brings me on to what I did with the rest of the gelli prints that I had left over from making my gelli print flower decoration that I showed you yesterday.  I mentioned that I didn't have any delli paper (this is a thin paper, a bit like tracing paper) used to wrap food stuff in. Well, after searching unsuccessfully all over the net for a supplier in the UK I eventually found some that looks remarkably like it.....

..in my local 99p store!   Yay!

I used my homemade gelli plate with paint to make a few pages of textures on my 'delli paper' and then used them to create these....

....luminaires (jam jars with battery operated candles inside).

I tore up the paper and stuck it randomly on to the glass with mod podge.   This was how they looked in the daytime:
(picture has added crackle grunge)

And this is how they looked at night with the lights off:
I never could resist a grungy project! 

Thanks for looking today and I will have another one for you here tomorrow.
Nicky {Creative Flourishes}

Monday, 20 January 2014

Creative Jump Start 2014 - Gelli Printing

Oops, once you get out of the habit of blogging it makes it difficult to slip back into it, so this is me 'slipping back into it' with quite a lot to show you over the next few days, weeks....

I have been doing creative activities but not showing you them, what a meanie! So here I am with the first of what will be many posts showing you what I have been doing on this year's Creative Jump Start 2014.  My long term followers may remember I took part in this online course last year when it was free.  I enjoyed it so much that I thought it was worth paying for, which is what I have done this year.  It didn't cost much and really gives my post-Christmas artistic mojo a good workout.

The first project I have to show you is this:

I just happened to have made myself a homemade gelli plate (using some instructions found on youtube) in December so was rather pleased that I was able to utilise it again to do the very first project of CJS14.  
The acrylic paints that I used were a bit old and heavy bodied so gave very thick textured prints which is a look I happen to love!
When making the gelli prints we were encouraged to use ordinary household objects to get textures so as well as using (amongst other things) plastic forks, bottle tops and pieces of string, I also raided my children's toy box and grabbed some of their lego. The paint washed off easily enough so 'no lego was harmed in the making of this art!'

 Here it is taken in yesterday's rare sunshine.  It was suggested that we use Deli paper but I hadn't got any of that so these petal prints you see here were made on computer printer paper and old book pages.

The frame work for my prints was a magnetic flower frame that I've had for years (look at the muck on that!) and never known what to do with:
Size wise it is about 10" across with each petal being about 4"
I simply cut out my petal shapes from different gelli prints and stuck them onto the metal flower frame with an all purpose glue.

You can see the texture better if I do a comparison shot between black and white and colour:

I did wreck my homemade gelli plate in the making of this creation...
(as in, after four sessions it cracked badly) so either I have to make myself another one...
or, which might not be such a bad idea, get my hands out of my pockets and purchase a 'real' one!

Thank you for stopping by today and looking at my latest creativity.
Stop by again tomorrow where I will be showing you my next CJS14 project.


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