Wednesday 30 May 2012


It's been 9 days since I last blogged, I'm a bad crafter! Basically I have 2 garden parties this weekend and I have been tidying the house from top to bottom, and trying to make the garden look like I haven't spent the last 12 months in the craft room! I am off work next week, so after my epic entertaining session I'll be right back where I belong getting inky & messy. I'm craving being creative.

I'm interested in the ATC swap with my fellow WOYWW'er. From my desk this week you can see that I have been making ATC's as well. I'm ready to send mine off to my swapee.

If you're wondering what is WOYWW then please see Julia Dunnit's blog here for an explanation and to join in if you want.

Done an ATC swap with Evil Edna this week, I will try and put up my 4 ATC's on the blog Friday perhaps.
Michelle x

Sunday 20 May 2012

Dream Big Canvas

It seems like ages ago since I last posted, but it was only Wednesday. Since then I made an ATC for a swap with Kate Crane.  I drew a cowgirl Kate with Dylusions spray's in each hand, and a caption saying 'Put em up!', I'm really pleased she liked it. Kate posted it on her blog Here. I love my ATC from Kate (mine is the green one), it's taking pride of place on my wall. :-)

I've been getting all preoccupied with painting up a 60 x 60cm canvas which has taken me all week to do since I work full time. I felt that layering up a canvas was one step up from layering up a journal page really, so I jumped in with both feet and got cracking. I was inspired to do the canvas by two books I had bought from Art from the Heart, they were 'Layered Impressions' by Katie Kendrick and 'Taking Flight by Kelly Rae Roberts'.

One thing I do love about painting up a canvas, is that you can use lashings and lashings of acrylic paints and really get your hands all dirty and get my Ranger apron dirty too! Here's the finished article below. Dream Big, Live Well and Be Happy. I've hung it on the wall above my bed. Maybe I'll go to sleep now instead of thinking too much about designs and layouts!

I started off with the blank canvas which I primed with gesso and allowed to dry. This didn't take to long to dry, about an hour maybe. Then I tore up some papers and stuck them on with multi-purpose PVE glue. 

I painted over the top with more gesso and stuck some bubble wrap into it while it was still wet for a textured pattern.

I stuck down some florist straw on a roll down one side, and used a 'Mini Cubist' Crafters Workshop stencil with some brown acrylic paint here and there.

I filled in some areas of the florist straw with glue and Beadazzles (love this product, I'm always looking for an excuse to use it!) just for some more texture and interest. I also used Dylusions 'Jumbled Letters' stencil randomly around the canvas too.

I used Indigo Blu's Flitter Glue and gilding flakes with a Tim Holtz stamp to get these beautiful gilded circles 4 or 5 times around the canvas.

Then I drew a women's face on watercolour card and coloured her with acrylic paints. I cut her out and stuck her on the canvas too. this was the halfway mark. I used the bubble wrap again dipped in Burnt Umber acrylic paint and randomly stamped it too. I also stuck down two skeleton leaves in the bottom right hand corner.

I used heavy structure gel through the Cubist stencil and a Dylusions 'Dotted Flowers' stencil to generate some raised areas on the canvas.

I got my brayer out and loaded it up with a few different shades of blue and rolled it over the edges of the canvas.

I stamped my current favourite Crafty Notions heart stamp up the side of the florist straw using blue Aqua Adirondack dabber acrylic paint, and shaded the area around the heart with pastels.  I used a fab Inkylicious text stamp with black paint randomly too.

I used Tim Holtz Grungeboard letters and sprayed them with Postbox Red Dylusions Inks and Red firefly Cosmic Shimmers on my craft sheet, then when they were dry, I sprayed them again, then again. Then I stuck them on the canvas.  I did a bit more shading here and there, and added some darker areas of brown acrylic paints around the edge using a paint sponge until I was happy with the colour.

Then I hung it on my bedroom wall! 
Roll on the next one!

Wednesday 16 May 2012


Julia Dunnit's What's on your workdesk Wednesday
It's my messy desk from last night. I have a few jobs on at the mo. I have some super dooper ATC's to do, and finish off my mixed media canvas. I've blurred out my ATC as I don't want to spoil the surprise for someone. I will put it up on the blog later though.

Here is a sneaky peak or close up of the mixed media canvas. Here I'm using Indigo Blu's Flitter glue and gilding flakes with a Tim Holtz stamp. Can't wait to finish it.
Happy What's on your Workdesk Wednesday. Michelle x

Sunday 13 May 2012

4 Dylusion's & Tim Holtz ATC's

I've been in a world of my own over the last couple of days, being totally preoccupied with painting up a big canvas.  I'm in danger of being addicted to mixed media on canvas now.  I will be posting it on the blog in the next couple of days probably.  However, this afternoon I got an attack of the Dylusion inks, they were sat there laughing at me so I had to play with them just to shut them up. Here is the series of 4 ATC's I've made for a swap with someone I met on the C&C cruise.

If anyone wants to trade ATC's too, then just drop me a line, I'd love to swap. Michelle x

I used Dyan Reaveley's Dylusion inks, TH distress inks & Adirondack dabbers (black & blue).
Stamps: Tim Holtz, Hamptopn Art (numbers & bottles), Crafty Notions (heart), Clarity Stamps (spiky circle).

I think I love the Crafty Notion's heart stamp, it's becoming a regular of mine.

Thursday 10 May 2012

1st Kate Crane Art Journal class at AFTH

I have been excited about my first class at Art From The Heart since I booked it over a month ago, and the day finally arrived yesterday. Kate had only just come back from Ranger U the day before, and what a trooper she was to take on a class with mahoosive jetlag. You would never had known it though, she was bright eyed and bushy tailed raring to go.

We started off drawing an image from a magazine without looking at what we were drawing, but just looking at the image in the mag. Then we drew the first thing that came to mind without taking our pencil/pen off the page, try drawing a face without taking the pen or pencil off the page, it gets tricky drawing a nose and eyes, and mouth! 

Then we drew faces using our non-dominant hand (left for me) with a paint brush on a Yellow Pages, page. This was really fun and I think was my favourite exercise too. Then we filled in the face with gesso & paint using our dominant hands. I love the way this turned out. My Son said this was a freaky painting and I like that.

We carried on our limbering up exercise by drawing as many different shaped houses as we could think of.

Then we drew whatever came to mind and this freaky deaky dude was the result.

Then Kate suggested drawing a head a bit differently on tissue paper, she showed us an example of a head similar to this in her journal so I did one too. We coloured it using distress inks, water spray and a brush. We then looked for a background page in our journals, stuck the tissue down and made a page from it. I drew a body direct on the page and wrote "Am I in or out of my depth?" with a dip pen and Indian ink.

I think the story behind the page was I was sat in Dyan Reaveley's studio with Kate Crane errrmmm! Need I say anymore??

I went out this afternoon and bought this lovely lot as I enjoyed writing with the dip pen and the Indian Ink so much. Thanks a gazillion Kate, I had the best time ever!

This was my little haul from Art From the Heart yesterday. Two wondrously inspiring books by Katie Kendrick and Kelly Rae Roberts, 4 stencils (I'm addicted to them!), a small black suede journal, a Delish biscuit book and an awesome Ranger apron, hell yeh, love em all.

I have just pinched this pic from Kate's Facebook page of our class yesterday. I'm behind the white wire with the blue top on. Boy what fun I had.

Crafty Crusing & Argy Bargy Women

It's been a whirlwind of a week. This time last Friday we were driving to Hull to embark on the Ocean Countess ship for a 4 day Crafting Cruise holiday to Amsterdam-Hamburg back to Hull. With excited anticipation we had gone through passport control really quickly and then we were shown to our cabins. The cabins were teeny tiny, but perfectly formed. From my previous post you can see I set up a crafty workdesk pretty quickly in the cabin. It was great seeing Nigel May, Leoni Pujol, Sheena Douglas, Debbi Moore, Shiela Halliwell, Dawn Wheeler, Sarah Millsop, Shaun Ryan, Sue Wilson, Christine Bell and all C&C crew. A really friendly lot, very chatty and full of fun. I enjoyed it very much. The classes were brilliant, and we got lots of crafty stash. Ta peeps. x

There was only one thing that riled me, and that was what inspired me to make this journal page below. Argy bargy women who want everything for themselves. I thought we were all one big happy crafting family with manners and respect for each other. But there's some women out there who just want what they want out of life with no compromise. Pushing their way in, demanding all the attention from the demonstrators with zero regard for anyone else. They should have two Grand Calibre's strapped to their legs and made to walk the bloody plank Arrrrrrr! 4 women in particular pushed me out of the way to get to the front.

With that off my chest here is the page and some photies from the cruise.

The business end of the ship. Waiting to leave Hull, we were piloted through a really narrow gap to get out of the harbour. It was like a 25 point turn with the pilot wiggling us out, as we kept listing to the left.

Great view from the side of the ship in the middle of the North Sea.

Sunset as we were sailing back to England.

Crafty ladies making a Spellbinders card with Sue Wilson. A great bunch of girls.

All the presenters were really helpful & friendly, walking around and talking to you. 

Me, fog horn leg horn

The life jacket drill. Not the most flattering attire I've ever worn! I look a bit bemused too.

Me making ATC's in the cabin.

Wednesday 9 May 2012


This is a WOYWW that was on the Create & Craft Cruise, I just couldn't live without my inky messy crafty stash, I took loads with me, and maybe only used half of it. I chucked the tray of bottles of water and ship bumf off this desk and replaced it with my crafty stash, I'm sure the cabin lad thought I was crazy.

More about what happened on the craft cruise later, and my arty class with Kate Crane today at Art From The Heart. I'm out this evening, so don't have time to post more. Laters. Michelle x

Wednesday 2 May 2012

Failed Crackle Accents

This is my 3rd attempt at making something with Crackle Accents on, each time it has ruined the piece. It just does not work in the way I want it to. I wanted something with small cracks and not a sepia tint. Any answers where I'm going wrong? Maybe I'm putting it on too thick? I'm gutted too as I had spent ages on making this ATC. Has anyone got any other suggestions of another product I could use? Probably Ranger's Distress clear Rock Candy.

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