Practice, Practice and Practice Some More

Following on from my post yesterday (WOYWW) I have had another play with the acrylic inks.  I think I'm getting the hang of them.  I've found that if I let the inks dry before adding more it works better.  The other thing I've found is that the colour looks different once it's dried and that I can layer the inks much better than trying to do it while wet.  

I toned down yesterdays painted face with white acrylic paint (tube not ink) so it doesn't look yellow.  I think it looks much better.  I'm still practicing the facial features and trying to get the shading correct.  I'm pretty pleased with the rough pencil sketch and shading I've done in the top right hand corner.  

Well I'm off to do some more practicing- catch you later.


What's On Your Workdesk - WOYWW 277

Time for this weeks WOYWW - What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday.  Want to know more then pop on over to the Stamping Ground.  

On my desk this windy Wednesday is a painting of a face.  I recently bought some acrylic inks from Oak House Studio.  I love painting with acrylic paint but have never tried the inks.  I did find them challenging as they do dry very quickly so you can't blend the colours together.  After a few goes just using them on dry paper I decided to wet the paper I was using and use the inks as you would use water colour paints.  I think this technique worked better but you do have to be careful and let the paint dry first if you don't want it to bleed - like the lips - they were still slightly damp and when I added the water around the face the red from the lops bled onto the upper lip and under the nose.  A lot more practice is needed me thinks.

Want to see what other artists have on their desks this Wednesday?  Then pop on over to the Stamping Ground and follow the links you never know who you're going to bump into.

Have a wonderful Wednesday


Inky Backgrounds

Happy Tuesday everyone.  Today is all about creating backgrounds with spray and acrylic inks.  For these backgrounds I've used glossy photo paper.  I have a whole stash of them which came with my printer. Normally I would use alcohol inks on them but thought I would have a play with the inks from Oak House Studio.  
You don't have to have photographic paper in fact it's probably better if you can use the glossy paper for encaustic wax.  Why?  well the photographic paper is designed for the ink to dry quickly and ebbed itself into the paper when you print on it and the encaustic from what I can remember isn't as porous and so has a slow drying time.  Having said that I'm pretty pleased with how these backgrounds have turned out.

I haven't done a tutorial for these as there really is no right or wrong way of making these.  I started off by spraying plain water to the paper, then added the spray inks and then sprinkled/splodged/flicked the acrylic ink with an old paint brush.  Carry on adding plain water or the spray inks until you are happy with how the paints have merged and then either leave them to dry or use a heat gun.

Pop back again to see how I use these in one of my projects. 

Well I'll be back tomorrow - until then happy crafting


TAg YoU'rE IT Tutorial- Handmade Monday

Hello everyone hope you've had a wonderful weekend. The weather has been kind to us here in the UK and it stayed dry for the Walk of Hope stroll around Tatton Park yesterday for The Christie Hospital -you can see a pic here

Today I've been playing with some floral stamps from Oak House Studio.  The stamp is part of the Big Christmas collection and is proving to be one of my favourites - there is a positive and negative so great for creating different textures.  All the products I've used in this tutorial are available from Oak House Studio (ribbon and gems are from my stash).

I've made a step by step tutorial if you fancy having a go at making these tags. 

So here goes - 

1.  Gather all your ingredients.  

2. Apply spray inks in your colour choice - I've used citrus orange, totally turquoise and regal claret. Randomly stamp the text with black ink and add ink around the edge of the tag with the sea blue ink pad - just run the ink pad directly onto the edge using a gentle stroke.  Put to one side.

3. Cut a piece of card which is smaller than the tag.  Stamp the solid flower using the dusky pink ink pad and then the outline stamp with the sea blue.  You'll notice that there are a few lighter solid flowers - I stamped these after the initial flowers had been stamped and there is usually a little bit of ink still on the stamp (no point wasting the ink right?).  Add a border again using the sea blue ink pad as in the previous step.

4.  Next we need to add the leaves.  Here I've used the Oak House Studios acrylic inks and a nail art brush (which you can get from Poundland yep you read that right :) )  Dipping the brush lightly and making sure you don't have too much ink on the brush all you need to do is gently stroke the brush in the areas where you want grass/stems and leaves.  You don't have to be too neat to do this.

5.  Glue the smaller stamped card onto the tag (on this one I've glued it off center and to the right.  I've added a few lines of acrylic ink along the left side of the tag using peridot and amber inks with the nail art brush.

6.  I finished off the tags with some ribbon and gems which I added to the middle of the flowers.

Here are a couple of cards I made using the same flower stamp.

I hope you've enjoyed the tutorial - You can find the stamps here
and the ink pads, sprays and acrylic inks here  

I'm linking up with the Handmade Harbour for Handmade Monday and Creatives Mondays 

Happy Crafting

Silent Sunday 21 September 2014


What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 276

I'm trying to get back into regular blogging again and have re-found the blogs I used to participate in one of which is run by Julia called the Stamping Ground.  Every Wednesday Julia runs a blog post called What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday or WOYWW for short.  The idea is that you show a photograph of what is on your work desk - cause we're a nosy lot of artists and love snooping around other artists work area.  I do hope Julia will let me play again.

On my desk today are 2 hands.  These are for a swap on an ATC site that I am a member of.  The theme for the hands is Things That Go Bump In The Night.  I'm afraid my little pumpkin monsters aren't very good at making anything go "bump" in the night but are very good at collecting for Trick or Treat.  I have another 2 more the make so I guess I'd better get off here and go get them made.

Fancy a snoop around what other artists have on their desks pop on over to the Stamping Ground.

Have a wonderful Wednesday


Things That Go Bump In The Night - WIP

I've been playing with a couple of ideas for a trade I signed up for on iATC.  The theme as you can tell by the post title is scary creepy things.  For me it's a challenging theme as it's not something I am asked to make for my clients.  

Here is one that I've started and am quite happy with.  I want to add some spiders and spiders web to add some texture and dimension.  You'd think with Halloween not so far off there would be some bits and bobs in the shops already but I haven't been able to find any.  

I think he turned out pretty well.



Travelling Journal

Phew what a busy week it's been.  I've had a day out just for me then a day out with some ladies for a networking lunch, Saturday I went to the Stitch and Craft Fair in Manchester and today I added my page to a travelling journal.  

What is a travelling journal?  We are a group of ladies from all corners of the world (UK, USA, Germany) who are collaborating in each others journal.  The idea is to make a piece of art in each others journals by posting them to each other over a course of a couple of weeks - in an ideal world this would work perfectly but as we are reliant on our postal system to get the journals safely to their next destination it we have had a few hiccups along the way but this has added to the experience.

Our journals measure 5 x 7 inches everyone has sent a page to be worked on by each member of the group.  Some have made specific requests, some have given an idea of what they would like to have for example their favourite colours.  But the main focus is to put our own mark on the journal.

Here are some of the pages I've worked on.


I'm linking up with Handmade Monday and Creative Mondays  I hope you'll pop over to these lovely blogs and see what other crafters are getting up to.

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday


Manchester Market

I've had a totally chilled out day today.  First on the list was an hour and half of complete indulgence at the Clarins Spa set inside Selfridges I had one of their Rebalancing massages which I'd booked well before my holiday.  You really don't want to have to leave the spa it's like being in your own little cocoon but all things have to come to an end.  

After my massage I set out into St Anne's Square in Manchester where they are holding the Manchester Markets.  There weren't as many craft stalls on today but there was food and drinks which is always welcome.  After walking around and sampling some of the food on offer I finally decided to have my lunch at Elsie Mays which is a pop up tea room serving afternoon teas and cake - you can follow them on twitter.  I'd already bought a small bruschetta with tomato and goats cheese but indulged in a glass of Pimms at Elsie Mays - well it would have been rude not to especially on a lovely day as today.  I was looking at some of the food which was being served at Elsie May's and I think when I'm in Manchester again next week I might try one of their food selection instead as they looked really nice.  

One of my finds today was a stall selling handmade marshmallows I love marshmallow and this was just scrumptious.  Well who can resist Champagne and Blackcurrant, cookies and cream and cherry bakewell.  You can see more of these goodies on their facebook page Sugar 245 

So do you want to see photos?  Here you go - 

I'm off to have a marshmallow or two