Altered Art: Decorated Tree Decoration

treeThis is another of my specially designed tree decorations for today’s workshop in The Studio (candy cane one here if you missed it). The workshop has just finished, so you’ve missed out! Cut out from card and pushed onto a split-pin clothes peg, I’ve decorated with DecoArt Media fluid acrylics, Ranger Stickles and Liquid Pearls.

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Altered Art: After Magritte

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On a recent trip to Norfolk, I was lucky enough to get to a very reputable cigar and pipe shop and bought my first Meerschaum pipe. For those not in the know, these are carved from a white mineral, and naturally colour as they bake with successive smokes. They’re not cheap, and to keep them safe, they come in bespoke cases. They’re particularly handy for smoking outdoors as they don’t burn through like wooden ones can when wind keeps the embers constantly alight. Imagine then my horror when on first smoke there was a sudden crack noise, and the bowl left the stem.

It seems that every now and then, there are flaws in the mineral that aren’t obvious, and being quite thin walled, the pipe just gave out. The dealer replaced it with absolutely no fuss and I’m pleased to say the replacement pipe is giving me a great deal of pleasure as I have my downtime.

Long story cut short – I now had a pipe case with no pipe. It was too nice to throw away, but not easy to find another use for. I remember seeing Magritte’s ‘Treachery of Images’ and loving the surrealist observation decided to make my homage. Thanks to a friend who is considerably more knowledgeable about French than I am, I was able to add my own tagline: ‘This is not a pipe either’. I plan to send the canvas to the great guys who dealt with me so helpfully, and hope they (and their customers) enjoy the joke.

[Acrylic on canvas, Liquid Pearls Onyx, found object. 20cm x 20cm]

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Mass Production Line: The Burley Christmas Cards

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It’s that time of year again. That time when you’ve designed this year’s Christmas card, and it’s time to make all 75 cards that are apparently required. So, a mass production line swings into action. Here are some tips:

  • When heat embossing large numbers of images, consider getting a teppanyaki hot plate (top right). Cover with a heat resistant non-stick sheet, turn up to a temperature where the embossing powder just melts, and then as you stamp and add the powder to each piece, the previous piece is melting. Slide the piece off with the end of a paintbrush as the embossing powder finishes melting. Occasionally you may need to push the card to the hot surface (again with the end of a paintbrush) if it has curled up.
  • Liquid Pearl dots love to cling and merge to the next one if wet. In my mass production line, I dotted in the same place on each holly sprig before leaving the set to dry. After a minimum of an hour, I did the next dot on each sprig, and left them again. Finally the third dot was added in the same fashion.

    TOP TIP:
    If your Liquid Pearls is misbehaving, warm it up on a radiator or in your pocket. It become less viscous, flowing better and forming nice domes.

  • Assemble in batches – and take a break between batches to stretch, change your attention, and generally improve productivity. And prevent boredom!

As to the finished result – you’ll have to wait and see. Especially if you’re one of the lucky 75 that receives the real thing 😉

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Half A Pound of Tuppenny Rice… and a few socks

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I’m still in making mode for the church Christmas Fayre… and inspired by yet another Facebook shared video, I have three snowmen families gracing my studio table, one of which has chosen this as their official Christmas card. Nobody mentioned that sports socks are now rarely just white, seemingly requiring colour splashes to be able to match them up when mixed in the gym bag. Good old George at Asda came up trumps though 🙂

And prices have gone up since rice was tuppenny… with each family weighing in at 1333g of Basics rice, that’s more like 3lbs of rice for £1. Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.

And the pompoms, despite a wonderful gizmo to help, still took an hour to make and sew on. I think it was worth it though for the finishing sparkling touch.

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From the archive: ‘Autumn’ mixed media canvas

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I’ve been clearing out the detritus that was my study, and found a 16MB flash card – that shows how long the pile has been sitting there as my smallest now is 16GB! On it were a few photos of this project. This is one of my first mixed media pieces – I made it at least 8 years ago. Combining acrylics, UTEE, Liquid Pearls, Stickles, gliding foil (back when it was in sheets not tubs), die cut or punched Bazzil card stock, translucent plastic, and distress inks. I added words later, such as ‘autumn’, ‘fall’ and ‘leaves’. Perfect piece to share at this time of year. As Albert Camus said ‘autumn is the second spring, when every leaf is a flower’.

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Raining Cats & Dogs Cards (for Jones Crafts)

As well as the extraordinarily large layout I did earlier in the month, I’ve used the Graphic45 Raining Cats & Dogs Collection to make four cards from what was left over from my kit sent by Jones Crafts. As you might expect, all the papers complement one another and are ideal for matting up. Embellishments are a cinch with the die cut chipboard tags and there’s also a couple of sheets of die cut card stock with folders/envelopes with matching inserts. Quick edging with Walnut Stain Distress Ink hides those annoying white edges and I’ve added faux brads using Onyx Liquid Pearls. Hey presto, four cards for the pet lovers amongst your friends and family. The Cat’s Meow card is 8×8″, the other three are 6×6″.

 

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Couture Creations Dreamboat Collection at Creative Expressions (Part 2)

It’s been a real struggle not to share these projects over the weeks that I have had the Couture Creations 3-in-1 Dreamboat sets – co-ordinating dies, embossing folder and clear stamps in one package. The sets were destined for TV appearance and there’s been a blog embargo until this week’s blog hop – but here are another five projects showcasing these fabulous sets! For full making details, continue reading.

AS SEEN ON CREATE & CRAFT TV over weekend 16th-18th November 2013.

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