I’ve been prepping samples ready for my next TV shows (Hochanda, Mon 16th Jan, 10am/1pm/5pm), and as normal the studio looks like a creative media bomb has gone off in it. I tend not to put things away as I go when getting projects ready as I usually have two or three different samples at different stages, so everything that is to be featured on the show is out on the table to remind me what to use. It’s all at hand, and relatively organised. Consequently, and despite all the space I have, I still end up working in areas barely bigger than a sheet of A3 paper.
But, with studio guests due for my annual Come & Craft Christmas Party tomorrow, it all had to get tidied up. Just for fun, I thought I’d film it as a time lapse – 40 minutes in 40 seconds. Not too bad, particularly with Esther wanting to come in and out of the door and Charlie supervising the vacuuming at the end…
I started this page layout on Tuesday night as my teaching sample for my ‘Christmas Crackle’ art journal session on 7th November. Building up layers and techniques, I was very happy with the resulting background. I then spent just as many hours searching for the perfect ‘winter’ quote. Eventually I settled on this excerpt from ‘Do not stand at my grave and weep’ attributed to Mary Frye.
Sometimes I go quiet on here… Regular readers will know that I’m always up to something (holidays are infrequent), and often can’t share my makes until after a ‘press embargo’ has been lifted. Happily, Hochanda seem to be less restrictive than a certain other channel I’ve done work for: keep your eyes peeled for sneaky peeks at the end of the month. Oh, and in passing, if you haven’t found the TV menu option above, that’s where you will find the latest information I have as to when I’m next on your screens.
Back to the point – I thought it would be fun to share a photo of my studio workspace as it appears right now. I’m in the middle of learning new products and prepping samples from which my show demonstrations will be developed. Whoever said that men can’t multi-task? I must be an exception as there are three different projects on the go at the moment – as I am waiting for one to dry, I’m working on the others.
Don’t worry about the naff lighting – that’s done in Photoshop so that I can hide the piles of stuff still waiting for their permanent home. So there’s glass paint, acrylic paint, crackle medium, varnishes, acrylic pieces, MDF pieces, a brayer, brushes and sponges, frost effect paint, Posca pens, scissors, a screwdriver and Gorilla glue, various polymer stamps, archival ink and not nearly enough tea. It does however support the adage that men typically do not clear up after themselves… But by tea time tomorrow, all has to be tidied away for another night of crafting with my studio guests.
Over the last ten days or so, I’ve been playing with cast plaster panels. I used all the techniques I learnt at college to mould, soap, build clay dams, pour and pull a plaster of paris piece. Unfortunately, despite all that work, I completely forgot about overhangs. I ruined both the plaster mould and the panel as I attempted to separate the two with a screwdriver.
Undaunted, though slightly miffed, I went back to the drawing board and tried again. This time I pressed items into a clay slab and took a direct cast from that.
I’m continuing my journey into illuminated letters with this layout. The background has languished, completed, in my second ever journal for possibly years, and I’ve been wondering what to do with it. The stencilled motif reminded me of the mediaeval screens, so all I needed to do was find the appropriate phrase to follow my illuminated letter. I can’t quite recall how I got to it, but seem to remember I wanted Latin phrases. This one is associated with, I think, the Catholic tradition and properly means ‘happy fault’. But I’m a crafter, and think it better translates to ‘happy accident’. Which got me thinking, and for the rest of the day I was designing myself a coat of arms. Where do my days go? On flights of fancy!
After a successful screen test today, I have been asked to demonstrate art journaling on Hochanda – the Home of Craft, Hobbies and Art – available on Sky 663, Freeview 39 (6am-9pm) and Freest 817 or online at hochanda.com. I should be on a screen near you by the end of May.
It’s a very exciting opportunity, and I look forward to showing viewers how to make a blank page into a mixed media marvel, and how then to take those techniques back to card making and scrapbooking and forward to home decor and 3D pieces.
Now you know why I’ve been working so hard on my art journaling projects recently! Just a quick preview for those that haven’t yet seen my work…
We are delighted to announce the appointment of Neil Burley as our Social Media Manager.
Neil has been a key part of our Design Team for the last two years and there is no doubting his amazing creative skills. He has made so many fabulous, inspirational projects for us and now he will also be working with us to coordinate the various social media sites we use, including our blog, Pinterest boards and Facebook page.
Neil will be working closely with Julie Hickey, Design Team Co-ordinator, and the Design Team as a whole to bring you lots more beautiful inspiration, sharing their top tips and techniques, step by step mini tutorials on how to create some of their fantastic creations, and much more! There will be links to our collections too, making shopping much easier for you.
We have lots of exciting plans for the new year, but we would love to hear your ideas too! Please email them to Neil at email@example.com.