Thursday, 17 May 2018

Flora and Fauna - Spider Monkey, flowers and some Acryl-Gouache fun

This little guy (mmm maybe he is a bit on the tubby side) is for Jo's Flora and Fauna theme at AJJ.
Painted him using normal gouache.. ( I say normal as further below the paintings were using the acrylic gouache).
Below are painted using the new acrylic-gouache called 'Acryl Gouache'  I got last week and I've been experimenting with for the last few days. The instructions are all in Japanese so no idea what they say but I've been diluting them with water and flow enhance medium. Unlike normal gouache these dry permanent so can't be reworked after.                                                     I love gouache as it has a sort of flat/chalky appearance and often the colours are vibrant.                                          Use them like acrylics or water colours - great!

 I'm going to link this to Moo Mania and More where the theme is flowers

This started off as a messy background followed by negative painting
 for the shape of the vase with flowers and then further flowers etc added. 
This was inspired by a wonderful video by Bob Burridge
I got carried away with this paint so will save some paintings
 for another post but I did have fun just playing..

and I had fun doing an upside down painting as encouraged to do so by the lovely 'Sheila' aka Orange Esmeralda 
Sheila said it was tremendous fun - and she was right!  
ha ha - I think I might have painted this after lunch and after having a drink :)

thanks so much for stopping by
hope you have a great day...
Gill x

Friday, 11 May 2018


Another Friday again - and it's lovely, warm and sunny - hope it lasts for the weekend :) 

I'm again linking to the  Flora and Fauna theme at AJJ   hosted by the wonderful talented  Jo from Let's Art Journal      
I have another water colour, a bit of an abstract, this time painted in the 'Hahnemühle' journal I had for Christmas and only started to use in the last couple of weeks. 

This week there was too much time spent on gardening and weeding and a stressful sorting out of my PC that has too many files (an almost 12 hour scan told me there were nearly 1 and 3/4 million items being scanned)  the joy of taking so many photos and creating digital images from my art :)
So for the next few days I'm looking forward to relaxing and playing with some new paints the postman brought yesterday - a set of 18 Turner acrylic-gouache. I didn't realise until recently there is an acrylic version of gouache so that will be interesting to try. 

As always...thank you so much for
 stopping by and for any comments.
Happy Friday
 - and I hope you have a great weekend.
Gill x

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Flora and Fauna


The lovely Jo from Let's Art Journal is hosting this months   Flora and Fauna theme at AJJ
 which is a great theme that I shall enjoy this month. For my first piece I've a water colour on cartridge paper with digitally added a quote.

Thanks for stopping by today...
I hope your weather is better than ours here
and you have a lovely day.
Gill x

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Recycled/Collage page and a mini notebook


I've another piece using a recycled Cheese crackers box for Alison aka Craftytrog theme this month  Recycle and Collage at AJJ and I must admit I really enjoyed making this particular one, probably as it was on one of the days we had recently that was more like summer than spring and that seemed to fire up my mojo too.

I covered my cracker box with some glossy pages from a wine magazine and gessoed over that.

Then I scribbled over the page with water soluble pastels and then gessoed over that to blend colours.

I found some left over flower diecuts and tore up a scrap of pinky/mauve craft paper and wrote the words - Summer in Spring seemed quite appropriate to describe the weather.

Finished with lots of doodling and shading and addition watercolour splashes.

And at last the Tulips are blooming

And the good weather is bringing the birds back to the garden
 The Goldfinch seems to be a regular visitor at present and hopefully nesting somewhere nearby

And do you remember the grey faux leather I was going to make another Traveller's Notebook with?
Well, for several weeks I had been putting off cutting it up in case I messed it up - and then Dave pointed out to me that if I did happen to mess it up - so what, it's not the end of the world I could get some more fabric and start again :)   duh - silly me! 

And so I (carefully) measured and cut the fabric to make a mini book to fit my handbag
I love the traveller's notebook style as it is easy to add and change pages which are held in by elastic cords.

Next project is to make an A5 size one as there is plenty of material left to use up.

OK that's all for now.
Thank you so very much 
for stopping here today
 and for any comments left.
Gill x

Friday, 13 April 2018

Recycle and collage and a masculine moo too

It's Friday the 13th and a good excuse to stay home and make some art :)
I was going out to pick up a book I'd ordered but there's another one on the way so I may as well wait for that and pick up two at once.
Friday the 13th?? nothing to worry about - it's just another normal mad day isn't it?

Ok.. here's another piece for AJJ Recycle and collage theme hosted this month by Alison and again I used the cardboard from a cracker box as my page.
I used some remnants of homemade washi-tape and leftover die-cuts. I have a box of small envelopes full of die cuts collected over time so I used several heart shaped ones and inked and stamped on them.
Other materials used were:Neocolours, acrylic ink, TH distress stains, a small script stamp and a polka dot stencil with white paint.

And for Moo Mania and More  where the theme is 'Masculine' I have a little Moo size piece

I covered my little moo size card with a leftover scrap of paper that had ticket/map sort of theme on it, stamped the little stamps and coloured with gouache and added words using rub-off letters.

And even more recycling..over at  TIOT the theme is 'Recycle something' so I recycled an ice-cream container to use it as a container to hold my art journaling pens.

I also raided my scrap paper box and mini drawer of stamped tissue paper where I found one of a hand holding a pen and coloured it with gouache. I also used some postage stamps too.

Have a safe and Happy Friday the 13th.
And as always, thank you so much for stopping by.
Gill x

Friday, 6 April 2018

Bring on the sunshine!

This month Alison from Craftytrogs Arty Adventures  is the host for  AJJ theme Recycle and Collage

Last week I made a wonky junk journal cover out of cheesy crackerbread boxes and used scraps of paper to cover them. I had no idea what I was going to put in it, but now, with the recycling & collage challenge, it seems perfect to continue recycling the cracker boxes and use them as pages to go in this book.

This is my first page..
I also used scraps of book and dictionary pages, words and bee from seed catalogue and paper offcuts.

To get the size I wanted I used 2 pieces of the box and taped them together so that they can be folded up and eventually sewn together when I have more.
Other items used, Paperartsy chalk paints, Neocolor water soluble crayons, acrylic ink and inktense pencils. 

A few photos below of the process.

The sun has been shining more this month and already making me feel more creative(looking back at March with all the snow and grey and rainy days, I think I lost my mojo quite a bit)
Its a lovely sunny day and I'm going to spend the day (hopefully) doing lots of creative things...
Bring on the sunshine!

Thanks for stopping by today.
Hope you have a great day.
Gill x

Friday, 30 March 2018

Spring and other things

My last piece for AJJ 'Spring' theme   this month  hosted by Rosie
Once again I used a mix of various types of crayons (wax crayons, oil pastels, Neocolours) and a white Posca pen.

The bulbs - especially the Daffodils and Crocuses are flowering more and  it is starting to feel more Springlike - even though snow may be possible in some some parts of UK over Easter apparently.

And it was nice seeing a large Bee enjoying the flowers too

I've been busy making a few Easter cards and other Greeting cards is a few of them.

As usual I have several things on the go at once - and I've not forgotten about the fauxleather for the traveller's notebook which hopefully I will show soon when its finished...

I recycled some cheese cracker boxes and started to make into Junk journal type of thing to try out some different glues - including Berol Marvin medium which I've never used as it had got tucked over the back of a cupboard and forgotten.

Then trying out glues to make 'book cloth' for a cover of a mini book

 And I found some MDF blanks and some ornate foam(?) embellishments that I've had for several years which need to be used - so I painted the heart shaped box first with gesso then painted that and the heart shaped daisy wreath with Paperartsy chalk paints.

 and this is the next batch of the MDF/chipboard pieces to work on

All for now.
Thanks for stopping by
Happy Friday, Have a great weekend
and  a Happy Easter to all that celebrate.
Gill x

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Winter, Spring and Winter once again!

huh! much for Spring - Friday was wonderful- it was sunny all day and lovely and warm. We had the internal doors to our conservatories open and even had lunch in the one that overlooks the garden. The birds were happy and livelier than usual. I noticed some bulbs starting to bloom and took a few photos. Then what a contrast - on Saturday we awoke to snow and freezing temperatures again and although not much, it didn't stop snowing all day long. 

So my page I made for Rosies Spring theme at AJJ isn't quite true  - not Spring at last. 
It's suppose to be the bulbs popping up through the snow.
Page is a mix of watercolour paints, watersoluble crayons, white posca pen and a small little textured stamp. I used mini alphabet stamps for the words for a change as I wasn't worried about doing them in a straight line :)

 A few crocus by my rusting Japanese lantern...
years ago I would have disliked rusty things but now it's quite the opposite and I love them

 The Kerria starting to bud up

 Some Wood pigeons were having a little canoodle
until one spotted me watching them.

Hope you're having a lovely weekend,
Thanks for stopping by
Gill x

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Book making

And now for something different today...
One of the things on my New Years resolution list was to learn a new craft but I had no idea that it would turn out to be book making/binding after nearly 20 years of wanting to do this.
from left to right: 
Coptic stitched book, White textured cover, Green casebound book
 and a cover made to repair an address book.

I have 3 books on this subject and over the years I have made a few mini album type of things and always wanted to learn about book binding but never followed it up in a serious way. 
More recently I had seen a few of Beate's wonderful books and intended once again to have a go but never did. And then out of the blue dear Beate kindly sent me a 'text block' to inspire me further to actually do it - and of course I had to didn't I? 
And so with Beates help, advice and tips and watching some good videos from Jennifer aka Sea Lemon  and Sage Reynolds this is what happened next...

In case you didn't know a 'text block' (or Book block - I hope that's correct as I'm still trying to understand all the terminology) is where the folded papers are grouped into 'signatures' and cleverly sewn together to make the inside of your book.  
All* I needed to do was finish that off with some 'end papers' and make a cover and glue it altogether. *It will get easier - I know!

 You can just about see the verticle lines of the stitching that Beate did to sew it together. 
 The 'text block' needed to be clamped and glued along the spine.
Beate showed me a photo of how she did hers and I was able to do exactly the same using some pieces from a Silk Painting frame.

While that was drying I made a cover and at that point could only find a plain piece of A3 white paper that was large enough to cover it all.
The corners I folded over like making a bed but that was slightly bulky so next time I would cut a triangle off the corner instead for a neater fit.

But the cover was fractionally too small when I tried the pages inside so I have saved that for another project

 And then I panicked assuming I would mess it up further, so I decided to practise on some other things first.

 I cut up some paper to make some new pages, cut some board for covers and made a different style cover and totally different style of book instead.
This is a Coptic style book with open spine - and when open it lays really nice and flat.

Then I found an old address book where the cover had fallen off and been lost so made a new one for it. I believe its also known as 'case bound' book. This was good practise for sticking on all the additional reinforcing bits and papers on the book to stick to the cover.

And next, finally I made the cover to finish Beates book.
This one was covered in 2 pieces of patterned paper
 with a thick textured paper for the spine.

Then a further piece of patterned paper glued along the inside spine 
to reinforce it.

Next I chose bright green papers for the end papers, folded them and stuck them in at each end and added the white paper along spine to reinforce that too (all as suggested in books and videos)

The hard part at present for me is sticking the finished textblock to the covers so that the papers don't wrinkle and are in the right position but hopefully that will get better as I make more and learn more.

This is the finished book .. a simple, traditional looking book ..
Thank you Beate for kickstarting me into doing this :)
And now I know a bit more, next time I won't feel so apprehensive
 and can experiment and decorate the covers.

And still talking of books (sorry) you may remember I had a go at making a Traveller's notebook recently too which at present is just being used as diary/planner. The cover was made from felt and probably not ideal so I found some lovely Grey faux leather material to make another one and couldn't resist some pretty floral cotton offcuts for book covers maybe.
So this is now on my list of things to do next :)

I love the pattern/texture of this faux leather

I was pleased when the snow went the other other week and the postman could then safely deliver my order of beeswax, thread, bookcloth and yet another (better) book on bookbinding - I'm addicted!

Thanks for stopping by today
and listening to my ramblings.
Hope you're having a great day.
Gill x