Handmade faux leather book

I’ve previously made a ‘book’, to hold various ephemera, as a leaving present for the minister of my previous church. So when it came to putting together another bespoke binder for prayer flags, a photo book and collected digital photos, I built on my previous project and created a faux leather effect ‘book’.

The ‘book’ is just about the size of a sheet of A4 and about 1½” deep. Constructed from 2mm greyboard and 5mm foamcore board, the canvas cover is painted with a mix of rose madder and burnt sienna acrylic paints to resemble worn leather. The spine text is pressed in with an embossing tool to give an impression of embossed foiling, whilst the frontplate uses careful shading to achieve the same effect.
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Bas Relief Deco Rose

For February’s Studio workshop, we’re going to be playing with adding dimension by using paperclay to create bas relief centrepieces for your cards/scrapbook pages and mixed media projects. Here’s an example I’ve just finished:

Not sure if I have got the balance right between the vase and the roses, and may be an ivory card for the sentiment might have worked better too. But that, after all, is what playing is all about…

If you’d like to come to the workshop on 4th February, there are spaces available. For more details, see my workshops page, or email me to book your space.

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One Collage Challenge [Wanderlust 2016]

My Wanderlust journey has wandered off track recently… it has been a long time since I have checked in at each of the stops, and as the year draws to a close I thought I’d better check when I lost access to the class! Sigh of relief – I have a little longer to browse and save what I want to keep.

But in the meantime, I caught up with the One Collage Challenge. Every fortnight or so we were given a step, to take no more than 5 minutes, to build up a final collage. Prompts ranged from ‘add dots’, to ‘cover your page with a stamped image’, and the penultimate one – cover your whole page with gesso or acrylic paint.

Now collage isn’t really my thing – so the step by step was a good process. I didn’t really like what was developing, but that final unifying coat of gesso blended it all together into what turned out to be quite a pleasing piece of art.

Here’s a quick video showing each of the steps, and the impact they had on the building piece:

 

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Altered Art: Tealight Holders Part II

I previously posted an advert for October’s workshop in The Studio featuring an altered MDF tealight holders Now, it’s that time of year when the church Christmas Fayre is just ten days away. I still have a box full of holders left over. So, over the last couple of days I’ve been sponging acrylics, metallics and glass paints over MDF and acetate and waiting for spray gloss varnish to stop being tacky. I’m now making bespoke packaging for each of these individual gifts:

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Show Time! – for That’s Crafty! on Hochanda

I am live on Hochanda – the home of crafts, hobbies and art – available on Sky 663, Freeview 85 or Freesat 817, and on www.hochanda.com right now. With top tips for working with That’s Crafty! Surfaces, clock stacks and dreamcatchers, I’ll also be showcasing Pentart glass paints and Express Transfer medium.

I’ll be posting mini-tutorials for each of the projects over the next week. Don’t forget to check out the fabulous That’s Crafty! blog and the design team blogs (on the That’s Crafty! blog side bar)  for more inspiration and projects.

Oh, I’m on at 11am as well, or you can catch up or watch again for the next 10 days over at Hochanda’s online TV Schedule – just set the date in the drop down list for 7th October and look for my shows at 8am and 11am.

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BTS [Behind the Scenes]: Product Prep

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.

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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.

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Mixed Media Plaster Panel

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.

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