I feel like I’ve been neglecting my blog a little, but I have just been so busy with other things and a little side tracked! So here are a few mini projects I have been doing in-between my embroidery, celebrating my boyfriend’s birthday, working and general life things!
Art Room Projects
I bought a wooden mini shelf from Amazon to add all my tiny little knickknacks on. First I primed the whole thing ready for painting and used this lovely blue Dylusions paint. I added this floral patterned paper using Modge-Podge and coated the whole thing to give it a varnish effect. I then added some tiny circle mirrors, gems and mosaic tiles for embellishment. This is now in the corner of my window sill looking sweet.
Sweet Mini Shelf
The next thing I made was a pinboard to fit under my new shelf. I found this frame in Primark and loved that it was a hexagon. I bought it for £6 and basically took it apart!
First I spray painted the frame a neon pink, added my own paper to the backing card (the same as the mini shelf above) and threaded purple ribbon between the back and the wood. I used glue and a staple gun to secure the back and added some embellishments to the front, including some day of the dead skull beads! I am really pleased with how my art room is starting to come together.
I love the longer nights and Spring weather – even the rain in Manchester is refreshing and reminds me of Summer. In my spare time I’ve been working on my embroidery projects, adding to my sweet cactus collection and teaching myself how to draw on a Wacom tablet. I picked up the bowls my boyfriend and I made at a free clay event last month and am really surprised how well they turned out from just an hour lesson.
Sadly one of our degus died last week, Moose. He was 8 and a half and we were mostly expecting it, but he was a sweet character and will be missed. We still have two left who are a bit younger and seem to be OK at the moment.
Rest In Peace little Moose x
While it feels like I’ve been really busy over the last few weeks, I have been able to do some new arty projects in the evenings and wanted to try new ideas.
I went to see Little Shop of Horrors at the theatre a few weeks ago, I love the film and the show was brilliant! Inspired by my love of monsters and plants, I started making a few of my own polymer clay plant creatures. Sometimes I just want to make something and not have any ideas of preliminary sketches beforehand. This is how I started with my flower and cactus creatures below.
He looks sad
I had these tiny pots lying around for ages, I got them from a little craft shop near where I live. I also made some kind of steam-punk fish earrings with translucent clays and was thinking about what I could put in the Tim Holtz glass domes I’ve had for a while. That is when I decided to make a tooth – which glows in the dark!
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!
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.
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.
I’ve been learning hand embroidery for about six months now and thought I’d share some tips – and frustrations! – that might give anyone considering trying it (or even beginners) some insights.
The fabric is your background that pulls your design together. When I first started I used some terrible fabric. It was heavily patterned and pretty but overwhelmed the embroidery instead of complimenting it. I’d recommend planning. Being impulsive I went straight in and was left disheartened with the end result.
Another thing that may seem obvious is ironing your fabric piece! Even if it seems relatively flat it may have some small creases and it’s best to start from a completely smooth piece.
I’m back! And feeling much better after picking up a particularly nasty virus that has been going round recently. Loads of hot drinks, sleeping and soups helped. Since moving to my new place I have been trying to sort my room to make it super cosy, which is hard when you have so much art stuff like me and not much storage space!
What a month I’m having! I’m in the process of moving house, busy at work and now I am coming down with the lurgie I thought I was able to avoid because I had a super human immune system! Wrong! Plus Janaury is always the long month after Christmas when you have to make your money stretch…. and I always see things I want to buy, like a desk for my new place!
I’ve been having a love affair with magazines for years! And this is a problem when you live in one room and can’t be parted with them. When I was little I would even make my own magazines, although I spent so long on one I don’t think I really let anyone else have it.
I’ve wanted to try this for ages! And I admit I was frustrated at first because my creations weren’t as good as I wanted. Duh! The two owls were my first try at animals, then the bunny which I think is OK but a bit square!
Some photos from my walk this morning…
I decided I would need a concrete sketch to work from with my new interest in embroidery, and the best place to start was from my art journal – a doodle piece.
I keep pricking myself but I think that is because I’ve still not mastered the best way to hold the hoop or thread – and I’m left handed so many things seem more awkward! I started with black thread and worked my design from there, adding as I went along. I used stem stitch, back stitch, lazy daisy stitch and a feeble attempt at french knot – think I need to practice these so more.
A new art journal page I did recently in my smaller journal. I wanted to play with some colour schemes and will be experimenting some more with this kind of style. I think this swirling style of mine lends itself really well to nature and the ideas of things flourishing, not just flowers and plants but also creativity and human potential.
Sprays and Pant Pens
I recently got black and white Dylusions sprays and a large stars stencil which I was dying to play around with, and this is the end result. I wanted to add layers to this page and the floating flowers give an interesting touch. As I created the face on the right I kept thinking how it reminded me of someone asleep, there thoughts drifting onto the other side of the page. As I like to incorporate text into my pages I wrote across the dreamers face. But you can’t really tell if it is a dream or a nightmare. It wasn’t until I had almost finished this that I realised it is quite autumnal, which I like.
So here is my latest journal page and I wanted to try something a little different with the image. I am really into collage and paint at the moment and also got my gel medium while I was making this page and I just love it! It is matte finish so really easy to draw and paint over while holding down the papers. You might not be able to tell from the picture but my art journal has got really fat so drawing on the left side was a little difficult. I like the idea of two different faces and want to do something similar again.
Two sides of the same face