Commission: Baku 2016

img_7362For the last two days, I’ve been working with my mum to complete her commission for a piece of artwork featuring the skyline of Baku, Azerbaijan. Mum knew what buildings she would like to include, and provided the primed canvas (roughly 90cm wide) and a sketch of the layout. The first step was to tweak the sketch a little to improve the flow around the picture.

That done, we settled on trying a bas relief technique since she had no preconceptions of a finished piece. Thus started a mammoth 5 hour session cutting, pasting and carving paper clay, finishing at 10:30pm at night in an effort to allow drying time overnight. Unfortunately, humidity prevented that and we had a morning’s hiatus as it dried in the sun. Uneven drying left some pieces lifting, so these were promptly glued back down with gesso.


Next was the decision as to whether to leave it white-on-white, or to add colour. Well, we went with the colour option, and much spraying with DecoArt Media Shimmer Misters in white and turquoise, with a tiniest spritz of DecoArt Media Mister in Primary Cyan. Add water to blend and water spot, dab off with kitchen towel and repeat. Drying brushing with gesso restored the contrast between the buildings and the background. Embellishment with Cosmic Shimmer Gilding Flakes, Stardust Stickles and DecoArt Media Gloss Varnish completed the picture. Then I decided a little more shimmer was needed on the sea, so added a wash of Perfect Pearls Perfect Pearl.

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Make your own custom wax seal

Last weekend I went to a craft show, and amongst the ridiculous amounts of dies I noticed a dip pen and wax seal stand. Wax seals have a sense of class, of authenticity, of originality, even in the electronic age. And I’ve wanted my own for ages (my faux ones still didn’t quite hit the mark), along with some of the gorgeous pens. But where would be the originality be in a mass produced metal wax seal stamp? It was at that point I thought – I could make my own, couldn’t I? Thus started another steep learning curve (in between doing all the glass etching).


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Carabelle Studios artStamp XXL ‘Negatif et Papillons’

I’ve been invited to demonstrate Carabelle Studio’s Stamps at Daisy’s Jewels & Crafts and have been given a bumper pack of their fabulous range to play with prior to the day (11th April, 10am onwards). One of them is an XXL size – the acrylic block is A4 size! I’ve used the Papillions half of the stamp set to make this canvas, using each of the items from the Phill Martin/Cosmic Shimmer Chic Viola colour pack, along with some Blue Violet Archival Ink. The canvas is 20cm x 50cm.

Negatif & Papillons

Keep your eye out on the blog and The Studio Facebook Page for more samples as I make them, and I hope to see you on the day.


My youngest students ever…

Someone thought it would be a wonderful idea to hold the regular meeting of their now-almost-two-years-postnatal antenatal mums group in my studio, with the toddlers undertaking an artistic endeavour. Somehow I found myself agreeing! And so it was that four barely toddling toddlers arrived on Monday afternoon for an hour of creative excess (as well as watching the dogs through the window).

I decided to get hold of some Silk Clay, which seems to be a lemony scented marshmallow like substance, that gets more pliable with the addition of small amounts of water, and then air dries and takes spritzed mica sprays very well. Charlie discovered the clay would also stretch marvellously, and suddenly there were strands of the clay pinging around everywhere! Building up the clay onto canvas boards, they pulled, squished, prodded and poked; even Thomas the Tank Engine stuck his wheels in.

After an overnight dry, I spritzed the clay with their colour choices using Cosmic Shimmer Mica Mists, and here are the wonderful creations of my four youngest ever students:

[Please note: I really don’t anticipate this being a departure from my grown-up groups. And I’m certainly not going to entertain thoughts of touring Parent/Toddler groups before you ask 😉 ]

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Exploding Bauble Box (for Creative Expressions)

This is my last project as a member of the Creative Expressions Design Team – and I thought I’d go out with a bang! For some reason the inspiration came at 3am in the morning, and then again at 5am, so 12 hours later, here it is! It also happens to be my first ever exploding box.

The exterior is decorated with heat embossed baubles, coloured with Cosmic Shimmer Mists used as paints as well as the Cosmic Shimmer Acrylic Inks and Sparkle PVA, embellished with Cosmic Shimmer White PVA and topped off with a grosgrain ribbon bow.

An all white interior shows the die cut filigree baubles beautifully, whilst the centre bauble seems magically suspended (if only acetate wasn’t quite so reflective!). Here’s a short slow-mo video of the ‘explosion’:


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Sparkling Baubles Card (for Creative Expressions)

IMG_5174_wFor my penultimate DT project for Creative Expressions, I’ve gone all sparkly! Featuring heat embossing, two types of glitter, two types of coloured PVA and two types of card, this relatively clean and simple card is packed full of winter sparkle.

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Potted Poinsettia (for Creative Expressions)

NB-140910When I first saw the poinsettia stamps and dies from Sue Wilson’s Festive Collection for Creative Expressions, I knew I had to go 3D. There’s nothing quite so Christmas as a classic potted poinsettia. A simple, though repetitive, make, this will brighten any room.

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