Category Archives: stamps

Whimsical Collage: 2

Back in November I went to a fabulous 4 day Mixed Media Collage Workshop led by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer and Nathalie Kalbach. See my first blog post about it here.

It was such fun getting messy and creating colourful papers in readiness for our first 6 collages. We used pages from old books we had been supplied with – books that would otherwise have gone to landfill. The print adds a layer of texture and interest.mixed media collage workshop

And the books themselves make perfect little sketchbooks to carry around for those odd doodling momentscreating collage papers

Julie and Nathalie have a great way of introducing the theory of colour and composition in fun bite-sized exercises. Julie BalzerIn this one we were mixing tones of one colour using black and whitemixing tones, acrylic paints

no paint was wasted, we cleaned our brushes on more paperusing old maps for collage

collage paperand then experimented with stamps, building up layers of marks, pattern and colour – my memory is a of a frenzy of fun and activity as we all dashed off all these wonderfully inspiring pieces without really thinking

stamping, acrylic

In this way we gradually built up supplies and confidence, moving towards creating pieces we were pleased with.six 6 x 6 collages, mixed media

The background of this one is the newspaper I was using to protect the cloth beneath. I think at this stage it reminds me of textiles …. still more to do in those blue squares, but I’m not sure what yet……

newspaper as art paper

I wondered about adding a little knot of silk remnant

mixed media, sari silk

and maybe some stitching …… hmmm …. not there yet.

Julie’s first Blog post about the workshop  explains the format of Day One and Two.

There is a picture of me (the 8th one in) in pink Tshirt, working away, ( and a couple more later on) plus loads of pictures of fellow students and their work. This blog post alone is inspiring enough to keep me busy for weeks as I remember all I learnt and discovered.

And then we were ready to work towards some finished pieces.

Next up –  working in a series: six collages on 6″ x 6″ card

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Julie’s second Blog Post: Whimisical Collage in the UK Part Two shows lots of these from the group. You might be able to spot mine in amongst them.

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The best part – building the layers with stamps and oil pastel lines and scribbles

The next part is wondering if they are finished or not

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The 4 on the left have a story attached to them, but that is for another day ……

Joining in with Kate and her Scrap Happy January band of happy scrappers.

 

 

 

Whimsical Collage Workshop: 1

At the beginning of November, on my way up to Yorkshire, I was lucky enough to attend a fabulous 3 day workshop: ‘Mixed Media, Whimsical Collage Circus’ organised by Art Workshops and led by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer and Nathalie Kalbach.

It was a residential workshop held in the Holiday Inn in Coventry and there were about 36 attendees.

We were 6 to a table. Look at the contents of the goody bag that greeted usworkshop goody bag

The organisation was superb, and Nathalie and Julie are excellent tutors.

They would first do a demodemo in art workshop

 

Then we would go back to our tables with a simple set of instructions and create.

One of the first exercises was mark-making

mark making, art workshop

No paint was to be wasted – to clean our brushes we used up any excess paint on newspaper and old book pages.

See the wonderful creative flurry on our tableart workshop, mark making

The best thing was that we were only given about 5 – 10 minutes to do each exercise – no time to think, just paint – it freed me up so much.

At this stage we were creating papers we would later be using in collage.

creating papers to use in collage

Gosh it was fun!

Julie and Nathalie both create a range of foam stamps that were there for us to excperiment withfoam stamps

We could also buy packs of them, foam stampsbut by the time I had decided which ones I would like, they had been snapped up!

There was an amazing array of art supplies in the ‘shop’ and lots of shopping going on!shop

It is hard to know which ones to buy before using them – this one of Nathalie’s turned out to be one of my favourites. She had made a book with each of her Foamies stamped as a simple repeating pattern

Nathalie Kalbach stamp

The fun comes when you use the stamps over other layers of paint. Here’s what happened when I started to play with it

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The trouble is I like it too much to tear it up for collage. You know that feeling I’m sure.

We did some fun exercises and had lots of laughs – at the end of the three days we all had 12, 6″x6″ collages to take home.

I will tell more in a future post, but in the meantime, Julie created a Vlog about her whirlwind trip to Ireland and Coventry which includes our workshop (starts at about 18.40 minutes in) – she has such energy!

 

Happy crafting!

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Wordless Wednesday

painting, collage, stamps, yellow

Help!

Decisions decisions!

Remember this painting which i had just placed together but not yet fixed, when I wrote this Beach Clean Art post ?DSC_0006-1

Today I set about fixing it all together. I really like the piece of wood on the right too much to let it go yet, so I replaced that element with some of the rust I found on Ringstead beach.

This is how it looks so far with the small canvas screwed on and the rust attached with a bit of netting and red fishing line

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Now I’m driving myself crazy trying to work out where to go next – does it look right as it is – less is more – or is this better …..

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but is the balance right? does this look better?

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or this

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Aaargh! My head is aching!

Can you lovely people help me!?! Which one.

The pressure is on a bit as for the first time ever I am entering three paintings into the Dorset County Show and this might be one of them.

Joining in with Paint Party Friday where you can see masses of wonderful artworks.

 

Heat

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cheering in the ninth

from hot and muggy Iowa

created by K

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Just as I was putting together a post about iHanna’s Post Card Swap and simultaneously wondering what on earth I was going to photograph for our Photo Challenge prompt of HEAT – what should come skidding through my door puffing and panting but this postcard all the way from Iowa! Serendipity!

The ninth to arrive out of a possible 10 – and a very welcome addition to the collection with perfect timing. Here are the other 8:

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This card was sent to me by Kirsten in California- I love a good quote. It was one of the first post cards I received in the swap which I wrote about back in May.

This one came from Emma in Rapid City, South Dakota. I have never been to South Dakota but my son went to a rodeo there when he was on his gap year back in 1998

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It feels so good to be connecting with other creatives from all over the world and getting these gems through the post.

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We are all given 10 addresses and so should receive 10 cards in return, if all goes well, but sometimes I guess life and other commitments get in the way and this year eight 9 little works of art have arrived.

Going clockwise from top left, these cards came from Valerie in California; Kirsten in California; Gertrude, Lake Ontario; ‘Fanciful Flutterbys” by Judith Pennsylvania; Emma in South Dakota; Julie in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Pam from Fargo, North Dakota and the hearts from Tina in Florida.

This one by Gertrude seems to be made in a similar way to my post cards. Such a perky little bird drawn on layers of collage, painting and stamping. I like its interesting background and the simple cheerful design. I also like the way Gertrude has gone all round the card’s cut edge with black pen, I’ll try to remember to do that on my cards for a good finish.

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This one from Tina uses layers of stamped and printed designs for the background, creating a similar effect

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and comes from sunny Florida where in May, Tina wrote, it was already ‘too hot‘, but she was enjoying seeing the ‘neat birds and gatars in the back lake’. A wonderful glimpse into her world.

Joining in with Ronovan’s Weekly Haiku Challenge, where he is celebrating his birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY RON!

prompt words: CHEER and BIRTH

cheering in the ninth from hot and muggy Iowa

from hot and muggy Iowa created by K

I have used ‘created’ as a word connected with ‘BIRTH’.

and

our 52 Week Photo Challenge, created by Cathy, Jane, Melissa and me

Join in any time, next week’s prompt is

PLAY

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Outline

 

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when planning to paint

lift ideas from Pinterest,

paint with abandon! 

~

In the absence of a light box, I stuck a slice of a blood orange to my window, showing the outline of all the little segments.

And here a lemon slice, photo taken with the iPadDSC_0830

This was inspired by seeing Claudia Horsey’s watercolour on Pinterest.

I started copying Claudia’s design, using felt tip pens and crayons, thinking I would use the drawing to make a greetings card.image.jpeg I liked the effect so much, I went out and bought some citrus fruits to do a design of my own

imageDon’t you just love the colours…

imageThe blood oranges left a print on the paper

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which gave me an idea…..I had fun playing around ….image.jpeg

adding pen outlines and then shading with colouring pencils ….image.jpegimage.jpeg

which turned out to be a very relaxing way to doodle.

Joining in with Ronovan’s Weekly Haiku Challenge, prompt words: LIFT and PLAN

The two sentences work like this:

when planning to paint, lift ideas from Pinterest

lift ideas from Pinterest, paint with abandon

With the opposing ideas of planning and not planning.

Also entering our Weekly Photo Challenge, see PAGE for details

Next week the Photo Prompt is:

SPRING

May Post Cards

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I always look forward to iHanna’s Post Card Swap, I think this is the fourth I have been part of.

You make 10 postcards, Hanna gives you 10 addresses from around the world and then, when she fires the starting pistol, you send them off and await for 10 wonderful works of art to glide through your letter box. It’s magic!

I have used one of the collages done at the beach hut for mine this Spring Swap. You can see the start of it by clicking here. Gosh, that is about a year ago!

A large piece of card, approx  A1 size, gathered from the Dorset Scrapstore, gets covered with a fairly random assortment of pictures in a chosen colour theme – this time, yellow for Spring!1cv

Then I paint over it, and machine stitch (inspired by Tammy at Daisy Yellow – see link on the blogroll on the right).

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I love the way the stitching looks on the reverse side

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Greta, a recipient of one of the cards called this ‘sewed on gold’ – LOVE that!! Thank you Greta.

Then cut them into post card sizes

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And add an edging

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in this case a leaf design on sellotape

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Ta dah!

10And off they go!

You can see links to other participants posts here – what a beautiful bountiful bunch of inspiration!

Clay play

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After the slow business and concentration of learning the new skill of stone carving, Miss E thoroughly enjoyed working with clay and made this delightful leaping dolphin

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Exploring a familiar medium in  a different way

The dolphin was left to dryD and the conversation turned to how the clay was used and stored etc, so Sarah showed Miss E how to recycle clay by smashing it with a hammer,

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mixing it with water…………. and swidging it about

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and then ..

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which when held up to the light

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gained magical halos where the paper had absorbed the water.

It was wonderful to watch this process unfold as E was supported by Sarah to explore things as they emerged, E always taking a next creative step with what she was doing.

Even the board on which the model had stood provided a shape that to Miss E looked like a lion’s headtiger

can you see it?

print

and so a print was made.

For want of a printing press Granny’s great weight was used and because even that was not quite enough to make a decent print, I picked Elfie up and we jumped up and down on the board and … ta dah!

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She now had a picture of a .. oh , it turned into a tiger prowling towards the viewer. E was down on her hands and knees demonstrating just how the tiger was moving …

tiger22it’s no wonder Miss E recently won a prize at school for story writing – very proud Granny!!!

The three of us were entirely absorbed for those two and a half hours of wonderful exploration – a very special time  – and so lovely to be able to share it with you all.

Sarah runs workshops for all ages and family groups – tis a fabulous experience and makes a great present. Take a look at this website to find out more.

Happy Winter Solstice!

A time of shifts and changes – the longest night, the shortest day

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– from now on the days get longer, the light returns. I am feeling such a sense of celebration and wonder –  of the seasons turning in continuous motion – beautifully and symbolically represented in the ‘Never Ending Card’.

A Magical new discovery courtesy of my You Tube feed – find a tutorial and demo here .

I was looking for a break from yarn based activities and along comes a little bit of simple magic just in time to make a birthday card for a very dear friend

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1cdyou just keep turning and folding the card and more patterns and appear – like magic!

This one is 6″ square.

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just had to make some more

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This one is 4″ square

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2 card 4

2card4aand now I have found a use for some of my pages and pages of black and white doodles

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which are cut into 6″x 3″ and 4″x 2″ and will appear as Never Ending Cards soooon!

Arty Crafty Workshops

We’ve been having fun at our Arty Crafty Workshops in the Village Hall.

In the first session we talked about altered books and making our own stamps and stencils:

0c 0c1 0c2For some it was hard to tear out the pages of a book but everyone seemed to enjoy messing about with paint.

Introducing the magically relaxing game of doodling was generally thought to be one of the favourites.

One of the most satisfying comments, for me, on the feedback forms was “Very enjoyable, brought out my inner child” – Hurray! – that’s what I am aiming for – makes me feel all warm a fuzzy inside!! And one feedback form even had some doodles on it – fabulous!

This week, ‘Granny’s Crafty Tricks’ was designed as a workshop for grandparents to have a few craft ideas up their sleeves for when the grandchildren come to stay – especially as the days get shorter and we are looking for things to do inside.

I chose crafts that I have done with my 6 and 4 year old grandchildren, that have a touch of magic about them, and that can also be done in a more sophisticated way with all ages and for oneself if you don’t have any kids to play with.

First tattoo a banana!

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here’s one I did earlier, using the picture of a butterfly laid over the banana and going round the outlines with a pin.

0c5 Everyone went very quiet as they worked on their designs – and as the Hall has Wifi, I could show all the amazing designs and even some videos on the internet.

And LOOK!!!

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a bit of magic for teatime!

Onto pop-up cards – a bit more of a brain tease, but worth it in the end …….. I hope!

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A really wonderful group – up for having a go!

We then played around with names, letters, sigils and mirror writing with some doodling thrown in. As ever, time ran out really quickly and there was just a few minutes at the end to demonstrate decorations that can be made with an empty loo roll. And again I was able show the fabulous examples one can find on the web.

Next week: Messy Play and Sticky Fingers!

Can’t wait!

Preparation

I have been preparing for an Arty Crafty workshop I am running on Thursday. We’ll be doing some Art Journal style album making and I’m getting some examples ready by Gesso-ing lots of altered books

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making up little packs of stamping and stencilling supplies

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and at the same time …… gardening

I seem to have to grasshopper about – it drives other people mad but it IS part of my creative process and I’ve had to learn to live with it!!

One of my most long-standing and greatest friends gave me a wonderful garden based cornucopia of gardening bits and bobs for my birthday and in it were these cute seed packets

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from a Somerset company, Pennard Plants.

I didn’t get to sow them this summer but have just sown the half- hardy annuals in one of the veg trugs.

01eI mixed them with sand and sprinkled them in clear shapes as advised by Monty Don (swoon) of BBC2’s Gardener’s World, so that I can see what the young plants look like when they come up. Then they will be all ready to plant out in my new beds in the Spring.

Back to the altered books001A page from a gardening book I am altering, leaving some of the flower pictures shining through.

It got me thinking – I love the Art Journal style but I don’t really want to keep an Art Journal which is why I do photo albums for my grandchildren – BUT a Garden journal – hmm – now01c that might be something I would like to do – a place to keep all the seed packets and a record of what I sow. Now that feels exciting!!

and a way to keep all these lovely seed packets

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oh more hours in the day please ……..