mosaic cuttlefish

Mixed Media Mosaic Cuttlefish

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I set myself a new project getting back to my love of mixed media. I decided to create a mosaic from my collection of beads, metal charms, paper flowers, seed beads and glass mosaics.

Mosaic art supplies

Other supplies included:

  • A3 piece of MDF
  • Mosaic Glue
  • Resin
  • Picture hooks for hanging
  • Pencil
  • Primer
  • Paint

One of my favourite sea creatures is a cuttlefish and I thought the textures created with all the pieces would make an interesting sea themed college, something I could hang in the bathroom.

Using some reference pictures, I sketched out a basic cuttlefish onto the wood and painted round it with Primer. When this had dried, I began picking out different beads and metal pieces I liked to start building up a pattern. Once I was happy with a few placements, the gluing commenced!

Mosaic Cuttlefish

I had a large translucent bead in mind for the eye, as cuttlefish have interesting eye shapes. To emphasise it I added smaller black beads around it.

common-cuttlefish

After adding larger pieces I began filling in the gaps with a variety of seed beads. I wanted the head, body and fins to be well defined so I focused on making the body blue-green, the fins more gold and the head blue and red.

mosaic cuttlefish

After finishing all the mosaic part of the piece, I painted around the cuttlefish with some blue Dylusions paint.

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When I finished painting, I began adding resin to the beads, mixing in a little bit of blue glitter because I can’t get enough bling! The resin helped secure all the small beads but did spread out a lot across the wood.

To finish my project I added some round glass mirrors. Just need to add my hooks to pop him up in the bathroom.

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Cherryblossom Tears is Five

‘ Creativity takes courage’ –  Henri Matisse

Everything begins with an idea. And five years ago I decided to blog about the creative things I was doing, like an online dairy. I was nervous about showing the world my ‘flawed’ works but part of my plan was to become an art therapist and this felt like one small step in that direction.

I started Cherryblossom Tears when I was 28 and now I’m 33. My art has changed as much as I have in that time. I’ve recognised that my blog was never going to be a glossy portfolio of finished pieces. My strengths lay in the so called imperfections and the process of creating. This is what art therapy was about; engaging with the materials and the creating of artwork. I learnt how to run a blog inside out by doing it, making mistakes and learning from them.

I developed better writing skills and found a natural voice when putting up posts. I learnt how to take better pictures of my work and how to plan my projects. The purpose of my blog started to shine through: It was about not giving up, sharing my frustrations with my work, the trying, the experimentations, working through to find and cultivate a personal style, the materials you connect with and feel on an intuitive level.

‘Life is like art. You have to work hard to keep it simple and still have meaning.’ Charles de Lint

I think writing in this way is liberating. I realised where my creative strengths were and also how much I love combining materials to makes something unusual. One my favourite things to do is go to the art shop and find something new to try. What can I make with Polymer clay? What happens if I add beads? What about wire? How can I create a monster in my own style?

By allowing myself this freedom, I stopped caring so much what other people thought of my art and really embraced the enjoyment I got from making things. It doesn’t matter if something I make doesn’t work, I can try again! I’ve found a quiet confidence in presenting myself as who I really am; a little eccentric, messy, prone to over-thinking. But who I wished to be in my 20s wasn’t real or authentic.

Embracing this has also given me confidence to offer advice and encouragement to others. I like doing tutorials on the blog for anyone starting out of a creative journey, wanting to find a new side to their personality or just wanting to find a new hobby.

below are a few of my favourite things I’ve done in the last five years – I always forget how much I’ve made!

Textiles, Sculpting & My Birthday!

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So this is just an April post update on things I’ve been up to plus it was my birthday, hurray! 33 baby! I had a lovely chilled day with my sweet boyfriend; went looking round shops I like, got this cute tattoo of a vintage medical drawing of teeth (I just like teeth, what can I say?!) went to Richmond’s tea room in Manchester where it is themed like Alice in Wonderland and ate cake, then later we went to see Ghost in the Shell.

I bought this lovely glass terrarium and add two of my smaller cactuses; I made this crazy chocolate swirl cake and decorated it with m&ms; I also got my hair cut quite dramatically!

I’ve been working on some new embroidery projects and continuing with the sweet theme, did an ice cream cone. I’m also working on a new banner for this blog which is coming along very slowly!

I recently got a commission to do a small penguin sculpture; he was to be wearing a little jumper and bow tie! Well I do like a challenge and this is how he came out. I really liked this project and am planning to do some more bird sculptures.

I still feel like I’m working on making my craft area the best possible place to work in. I’m going to be making a little shelf unit for all my knickknacks that I put on the window; I also want to re-pot more cactus friends!

Embroidery Monsters & Cupcakes

Since finishing my bird embroidery I have had more ideas for hoops and decided to go with experimenting. I made this cute sea monster dude and my boyfriend suggested he have a top hat! So why not? I like how he came out and I spray painted the hoop blue.

My next hoop was this sweet oval I found among my fabric stash, and thought this pink fabric would go well with a frosted cupcake. Especially as I’ve been baking so many recently! I don’t really do plans for my embroidery, I just sketch an idea onto the fabric and then look at reference pictures as I go. Not sure if that is what you are meant to do!

I added some seed beads to the syrup as sprinkles and I am so pleased with it, I love the cherry!

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Mixed Media On Wood

A Mixed Media Daydream

Happy Springtime!

It’s my birthday tomorrow (32 years young!) and what better excuse to get some art supplies and new books! I got this gorgeous book The Book of Beetles: A Life-Size Guide to Six Hundred of Nature’s Gems and 100 Flowers from the RHS: 100 Postcards in a Box as amazing references for my artwork.

I also bought 50 Art Ideas you need to know as I love learning about the history of art and 101 Mixed Media Techniques which has loads of great ideas and things I am already trying out in my art journal pages. I think I need a new bookcase!

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a pile of art journals

Art Journaling Delights

Recently I’ve been focusing on working in my art journal and trying new things to push myself as an artist. I felt some kind of creative block with my sculpting so I picked my journal and made marks on the page. I allowed myself not to really think, just enjoy the materials and the shapes.

Since then I have done quite a few journal pages and love what art journaling gives me. I work in front of a computer during the week, so it is normally the last thing I want to do when I come home. Sitting at my desk with my supplies, some music or podcast and my imagination allows me to come back to myself, to relax, explore and think in a different way than I do in everyday life.

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Fizzling Evolution Plus Competition!

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Fizzlings

Win one of these dudes!

I’ve been thinking for a while about writing a post just about my fun monster sculptures, which I called Fizzlings, and how they evolved and I also wanted to do a little give away competition as I have made so many and they need proper homes! So keep reading to find out how to win one of the three you see here!

Making my little creatures began last when when I had been playing with Polymer Clay Fimo for a while, just bored after making loads of mini charms. I, as always, wanted more of a creative challenge and to make something bigger, so I started with these oddly shaped characters. I added little metal bits lying around, giving them personality.

Stumps

In the Beginning…

Each creature I made was an improvement on the last, but I wanted to make something more substantial. I watched sculpting videos on YouTube (a great resource) bought a variety of books on Polymer Clay and sculpting, and began using an armature of wire and foil inside my sculptures. This is when my creatures started to get bigger and take on a proper form. I had been sketching rough ideas now and planning my work more, thinking of themes, embellishments and colour.

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New Art Journal Pages

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It’s been a while since I put a new post up on the blog, partly because I got flu and wasn’t able to do anything but sleep for a week. I felt a little uninspired with my sculpting and wasn’t sure what art I wanted to make, so I just got out my art journal and started making marks on the page with paints, pens, Dylusions sprays, soft pastels and pencils.  As I did this I found myself getting back into my art journaling and did a few more pages over the last week.

My last page, the girl with orange hair I filmed as I made it and put it together as a video on my YouTube channel. I want to do more video projects, although the lighting in my room isn’t the best. I think it helps to try other mediums when you feel uninspired, it doesn’t have to be any big project just messing around with paints on the page is enough to get you back into a creative mind set. I’ve ordered some more Dylusions paints because they are really good and so vivid, I’m looking forward to doing more pages in my journal and even adding in college.

Polymer Clay box

Some Recent Polymer Clay Things

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This is a short post as an update on what I have been doing recently.

My main project has been an altered wooden box. I removed the lid and covered it with polymer clay (Fimo), creating a hummingbird on a branch as the central image. Using my pasta machine to roll the clay into sheets, I cut out the shapes and built the image up with leaves and flowers around the edges of the box. I used some tools to texture the bird, branches and leaves and added my favourite Perfect Pearls for shimmer and depth. I added some Tim Holtz hinges to the back and a clasp at the front I had.

For the bottom part of the box I primed it with Gesso then painted a few coats of Cosmic Shimmer paint in green and blue. When baking the lid I made some separate leave pieces with added gold leaf and once they were hard I glued them to the box for interest. I then varnished it and am quite pleased with how it turned out, especially the background.

Feeling a little despondent recently, I bought this book Pop Surrealism to inspire me. It’s glossy and beautiful with interesting essays at the being about this movement. I’ve always been drawn to this kind of ‘underground’ art and didn’t really know about Pop Surrealism until a few years ago.

I made a little frog from clay when I didn’t have any particular project in mind, which was fun because I just made something from scratch.

 

I made this octopus in the round sweets tin a few weeks ago but had run out of resin. I was finally able to complete his watery home the other day and think he is super cute. I experimented with the colour and made him gradient from orange to yellow. He is my favourite octopus I’ve made so far.

I’m updating some of my pages on the blog and starting some new clay projects as well. Next week I am off to London and the South for a few days so looking forward to going to some museums, getting some inspiration and having a mini break.

Steampunk Polymer Clay Tin – Tutorial

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I’m planning to put more tutorials up on the blog this year and thought this would be a fun one to start with. I’m going to show how I cover a small tin in polymer clay, and here I used a Altoids tin (I found some in the supermarket and now I can’t find them anywhere!) but you can use any small tin you have. Some other things you will need:

  • Polymer Clay (I used Fimo)
  • Small Tin
  • Blade
  • dotting and clay tools
  • stamps
  • Rolling pin
  • Shape cutters
  • Some embellishments – I like metal
  • Black Spray paint
  • Perfect Pearls
  • Liquid Sculpey (optional)
  • Varnish

DSCN2186Step One 

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Farewell 2015!

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It’s been a while since my last blog post and what better time to reflect on this year than New Year’s Eve?

Looking over all my projects and posts, it surprised me just how much I’ve made this year. The biggest thing was my new found love of polymer clay. I moved house in January to a nicer house and bigger room. I was still focusing on embroidery around the beginning of the year and set myself the project of my large Toucan on a hoop. A daunting task as it was so big!

text from side

After spending a lot of hours on embroidery I wanted to try something new and tried shrink plastic. This was a lot of fun but felt the possibilities of it were a bit limited.

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Autumn Magic

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It’s officially cold, dark and rainy here in Manchester and not my favourite time of year at all! I love the colours of Autumn but they are disappearing too quickly for my liking. As usual I’ve had many different art projects in my mind but not enough time to do any. As the sculpting is my favourite thing to do at the moment I’ve been spending more time on that and improving my skills. Over the last few weeks I’ve been playing with colours and gradient and this lead to my new Fizzling creatures with seasonal themes. I love how the detail came out on my Autumn themed one, even though he is kind of wonky! And sculpting feet has been making me crazy. This is why I sort of gave up on my second winter inspired Fizzling in favour of the decor across his sides. This one is so shimmery I just love the colours.

This has to be my first Winter themed art piece and I really enjoyed finding new things to incorporate into the creature.

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Inspirations & Sweet Things

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I’ve been quite unwell recently with a sinus infection. Mostly been sleeping, feeling sorry for myself and watching a lot of nature programmes! I’ve also been doing a lot of art journaling and over the last few months I’ve found a lot of inspiration online through other artists work. I am obsessed with Pinterest!

This made me think of doing a series of blog posts on inspiration once a month. I am definitely a person who goes through phases of struggling with a creative block. It is almost like I have either too many ideas or none at all. So I am going to put up some themes and tips about this in the next few months.

Here are a few things I purchased and have felt inspired by over July and August:Art Books

My interest in Gothic art has been growing and bought Weirdo Noir which is a beautiful and informative book on contemporary pop Gothic art. It features lots of contemporary artists doing work in comics, illustration and is a refreshing change to all the shit candy pop stuff you see in mainstream day to day life. As I am also exploring sculpture, I am fascinated with art dolls and bought The Doll Scene which is full of gorgeous handmade dolls by interesting mixed media artists across the world. I love art books in general but thought I needed something a bit different to inspire me to go in a new direction.

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