Sometimes I get my best ideas when sat contemplating in the bathroom. Years ago, I inherited a little black gloss Chinese cabinet with little drawers and shelves; I keep bits of jewellery in there. Anyway, I thought I could have a go at making one of my own out of grey board and paper. Well it was a challenge but loved how it turned out. I wanted to create little windows in my curio cabinet that would show what was inside. I made a drawer in the bottom for keepsakes and a mini album for photos and journalling to go into the top of the cabinet behind the doors.
I mostly used black card for the base design but then went completely outside mu comfort zone and used the 8 x 8 pack of Stamperia Hortensia papers. I managed to get the whole cabinet and album decorated with just the single pack of papers and a few flowers for the front. I love how its turned out.
I have added the cutting guide and instructions if you want to make your own to the website shop if you wan to download the printable guide HERE.
A couple of years ago when I was poorly with my mental health as a result of burn out at work for the NHS, I could not even look at a computer or mobile phone. The thought of switching it on and attempting to use it had me in so much anxiety I would be physically sick. Thankfully after support from my GP and some medication to regulate my brain chemicals, I got better and could stop the medication. We are all aware of how the lock down restrictions and pandemic have affected out mental well being and there is no shame in talking to others about what is going on and what you are feeling. People are much more supportive than you imagine they will be.
At our studio, we are a safe space. A place to chat, to voice your concerns and even get a bit of supportive counselling with your cuppa. Our workshops are designed to let you have a little bit of meditative time in your art work, whether it is gently rubbing in Powertex into the fabrics on a mixed media class or in getting your thoughts and feelings written down and then splashing paint all over to hide it from prying eyes in our art journalling classes. Of course there is still plenty of fun and chat going on.
Now my own mental health has improved I am enjoying being back on a computer and designing digitally again. I have been updating the website and although there are a still a few tweaks to make, I am feeling quite chuffed with the outcome. I have also returned to designing my own paper range again. Digital papers can be downloaded onto a computer and printed out before use as many times as you like. The downside is that they usually take up a lot of digital space. My next junk journal printable paper pack will feature vintage elements and ephemera. I hope you like the style as much as I do and watch for it being published as a download.
Most people think of monochrome as black, white and shades of grey, but it can be any colour within the same palette. A challenge was to create an item using only a single coloured inkpad, for this I chose the #TimHoltz #distressink Dusty Concord which is a gorgeous purple shade. The distress inks are translucent and water activated.
To achieve this tag effect, I rubbed the distress ink pad directly onto my glass craft mat and gently sprayed with a water mister. By dipping the tag substrate into the ink on the glass craft mat several times, it built up a few layers. I used a heat gun to dry off the excess moisture and repeated the process with the ink pad again. this gave some areas a darker mottled effect and a deeper purple shade.
As Distress inks are water reactive, I sprayed a little puddle of water from the mister onto my hand and then dropped it like a splash onto the tag and let the water rest there for a minute. I then dabbed off the excess water with a paper towel. This has a faux bleaching effect like rain drop splashes. Once the tag was dried again, I used a little text background stamp with the ink pad to create a little bit of interest in one corner.
I was using an set of Indigo Blue stamps for the main images. I attached the gorgeous deeply etched red rubber stamp of the lady image into my stamping platform and inked the stamp up directly from the same dusty concord distress ink pad. Using a plain piece of white card, I stamped the image of the lady and also the wording which was also in the stamp set.
Distress inks can also be used to paint with. So I dabbed the ink pad onto my glass mat and sprayed with a water mist again. then using a fine paintbrush, used the ink to colour in the outfit of the lady. Once dry, the lady image was fussy cut around the image and glued onto the tag background. The words were cut out in strips and the same ink pad wiped around all edges to add a bit of colour. These were then glued onto the tag.
Why not have a go with a monochrome project using a single ink pad colour to create a background and stamp. We would love to see what you create.
So here we are again….. back in lockdown and staying at home to stay safe.
Kim and I hope you all managed to enjoy the Christmas festivities as best you could and now that we are into a new year with new vaccines available you are able to feel some positivity despite entering another lockdown!
I was lucky enough to receive plenty of crafting goodies and even some storage for my new craft room so I have been keeping myself busy creating lots of different projects. I also made some mini albums which I included with Christmas gifts but completely forgot to take any photos! I know, I’m rubbish….. I even made myself a mini and completed it with photos and it suddenly dawned on me that I tend to give away the majority of the albums I make! Do you find that many of your creative projects are destined for other people?
It was whilst I was doodling in my journal and colouring (that’s the photo….) that I suddenly thought about doing a post as I know we’ve been rather quiet. Kim’s been showing me up by demonstrating her baking talents (which I totally miss being able to taste test) alongside her creative genius and I thoroughly enjoyed her daily drawings throughout December so I thought I would share some of what I’ve been up to during January as we plod through Lockdown Part 3 – sounds like the title of a thriller…..
Although we have no date as yet for when we can start to run workshops again we still intend to offer a click and collect service so if you’re running short of supplies check out our shop and just let us know what you’re after and we’ll see how we can help.
The only positive thing to emerge from the 2020 lockdown was the time to reflect and create. Did you try out a new hobby, a craft skill? Was there something you wanted to learn but struggled in isolation?
Jane and I missed the social aspects of our workshops and struggled in 2020. Not for the finance side, as we only ever wanted to cover our studio rent, materials and expenses, we never planned on working a profit and being highflying business executives!
This coming year we are going back to our workshops roots, setting up our creative learning space with a range or regular group sessions around a particular creative theme. We will be running group learning sessions in creating Powertex sculptures and art. There will be papercraft sessions ranging from scrapbooking, mini-book and card making. There will be textile sessions teaching sewing, crochet, needle felting. All equipment is provided in the sessions so you can get to try our ideas and tools before you commit to buy your own. As always there is expert advice and training on hand, including guest tutors.
So if there is something you wished you could have a go and learn in 2021, make a resolution to come and visit us in February and book onto one of our creative learning sessions. Stay safe and we look forward to seeing our previous and new customers in 2021.
This is gonna be a long one so grab a cuppa and a mince pie….
I know I’ve been rather quiet for a number of weeks, probably since just before Lockdown Mark II, but I have been busy. Admittedly very little crafting has been achieved….. but….. I have decorated two of my bedrooms!
I always promised myself that when my daughter left home I would move my craft room from the smallest of the bedrooms into what was her room (she picked the biggest bedroom when we original moved in). So, after remembering how much I hate painting ceilings and walls but love wallpapering, I now have two newly decorated rooms, complete with new carpets! Meanwhile, I had to accept that I’m definitely not as young as I try to kid myself….. I was knackered when I finished! I still need to finish faffing about putting stash and art work into their final places but I am happy with the result!
So, what’s been happening with Do Creative I hear you say???? Well, Kim was planning another adventure in their motorhome to enjoy some winter sunshine in Spain but literally a couple of days before they were due to depart we went into lockdown so their plans have been put on hold.
Kim has been creating some fabulous pieces of artwork in between cooking and sorting kitchen cupboards out (Martha Stewart eat your heart out!) and then she has been busy on the technology side putting our Powertex supplies in our online shop. She is doing a sterling job!
Our wonderful customers are still supporting us and placing orders and we’ve started to have enquiries about family workshops next year which is so encouraging! Past experience has taught us that attendance at planned workshops during December is very low due to Christmas preparations and also in January, when money always seems to be a bit on the short side for all of us after our festive spending, so we’ll be planning to put together some sort of schedule from February’ish. Of course this is dependent on the government restrictions at the time…….
We love it when customers get in touch and share what they’re up to! As crafters we all appreciate how being creative has a positive impact on our mental health and often seeing others’ creations sparks our inspiration.
On that note, I would like to share a WIP (that’s Work In Progress…) that one of our customers shared with us and is happy for us to share here. It seems very fitting as I’m hearing that lots of people have been putting up their decorations slightly early this year….. Becky also promised to share a photo of her fabulous Christmas tree when it’s all finished. Cannot wait to see the finished result – it will have fabulous colour and texture I’m sure!
If anyone else would like to share their projects please feel free to post photos on our FB page.
So many of our lovely regular customers have not managed to get to our studio or workshops with the virus outbreak . Messages back and forth about wanting stock orders has been time consuming. As I have lots of available time at the moment, I am in the process of loading up the art supplies onto the website. You can then browse at your leisure at home (hopefully with a glass of something chilled). I have finally figured out how to make the web store show local collection if you want to Click and Collect your order, otherwise posting is still available.
Recently we have had a few kit orders which the buyer wanted to post elsewhere as a gift for a loved one. Just remember to let us know its a gift and we will add gift wrapping and a card with your personlised message free of charge. Its an ideal Christmas gift.
In addition, we have not been able to attend any craft fairs this year, so we have quite a stock of small stocking filler items and art works available for sale. Please pop back and have a look once they have been loaded into out Handmade Art category. Each piece is unique and will not be replicated. Support a small independent business this Christmas and shop local.
Over the last couple of weeks I’ve really struggled with technology. My network at home just wouldn’t play nicely! I got soooo frustrated not being able to print Kim’s fabulous designs to finish our album as the network just wouldn’t stay connected to the printer. Next my personal emails just wouldn’t synch with Outlook on my laptop. Then, my NOW TV box refused to play, and just to add another layer of frustration I’ve spent far too much times on support calls with my software provider for my family history application as it refused to integrate with Ancestry (which has been working fine for a number of years…..)
I then started to feel somewhat under the weather (non-COVID related, I hasten to add) and with a couple of close friends experiencing really challenging times I just felt like hibernating until 2020 was over….
So, I decided to start my week looking at those issues over which I had at least some control. Here I am, some 6 hours later and I think my network is performing better (though it will never be perfect); my NOW TV box is happily streaming; Outlook is sorted (or so it appears) and I’ve completed a back-up of my family history, ran an update, applied a patch and that too is now integrating with Ancestry! Okay, so I still have some housework to do but I definitely feel I’ve had an achieving day.
Kim is still away so I have some time to spend on our collaborative album, though not feeling creative at the moment….. that too shall pass! Especially as I have a private booking at the studio tomorrow and then it’s Ladies Night on Thursday so feeling optimistic for the rest of the week.
I know we’ve been quiet lately; but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been busy!
Kim and I have been somewhat surprised by the interest shown in the (numerous) albums we have had on display at the studio. We’ve been making various types, sizes in all different types of themed patterned papers for a number of years (quite a large number of years, if truth be told!). During this time Kim has also been designing digital papers and elements which she has then incorporated into physical projects as well as digital ones.
So, a plan was hatched; lots of calculations undertaken (by me; Kim ‘doesn’t do numbers’ – her words, not mine), prototypes developed; technological hiccups overcome; notes written up and lots and lots of designing…. And we’re almost ready to reveal the final product!
Kim is beavering away doing lots of digital designing and I’m busy cutting and sticking as you can see from the photo of my desk! I’m sure you will all have guessed what we’re up to…… but we’re not revealing all – just yet!
Just as an aside, we’ve both recently invested in a large bone folder by We R Memory Keepers (included in the photo) and it takes a lot of stress of our hands and fingers! We love them!
Well, what a week! We delivered four workshops in three days and it feels like how things were before COVID…..
We’re aware that we haven’t been able to offer children’s workshops where we had different events on the mornings and then on the afternoons as we provided last summer. The need to completely strip the studio and disinfect throughout meant that it just wasn’t achievable; especially as we would’ve needed to drastically reduce numbers we could accommodate. We will be offering some children’s workshops during the October break so if you’re interested please book early to avoid disappointment.
So this week we have guided individuals to create unique mixed media canvasses, provided some desirable residences in the form of repurposed teapots for fairy’s and also decorated journals! As the last workshop finished rather late last night I popped into the studio this morning to do a thorough tidy up and clean, as it was so warm, had the window open; and, would you believe it, there was a huge gust of wind (and I mean HUGE) that was strong enough to blow an empty wine bottle and 5 glasses off the window sill and blow over two albums sat on a unit some distance from the window! It was really bizarre! The strange thing was the only items to break were the glasses that were underneath the wine bottle… The Powertex remained intact but the glass shattered; the wine bottle was also intact! So, more sweeping and then hoovering to ensure all shards of glass were removed.
Anyway, we now have a lovely clean, disinfected studio all ready for next week! Just my apron and various towels now to be put through the washing machine…
I then visited a friend to drop off a present and card for her birthday and left my windows open as the car was rather warm…… needless to say the heavens opened and I the car seats got soaked. I originally thought there were only light splodges on the drivers’ side but by the time I reached home two minutes later my nether regions were somewhat damp….
I wonder if there will be a third mishap today, I really shouldn’t tempt fate!