Sunday, 16 December 2012

Heart transplants

Stranger than fiction - reading about people who had received heart transplants then changed to love what the previous heart donater had loved (for example spicy food/cycling) , or even more amazingly, were able to finish lines of poetry the original heart donor had written....
This part of the book I was reading, inspired me to think about what my own heart was "storing up" - the weirdness of my physical heart actually containing my different likes, loves and dislikes and thinking about how that actually defined a lot about me. What changes would I make if my heart was so totally readable to someone else? I'd like to think that they would be loving life more, I'm pretty sure they'd start to love art and books, chocolate and coffee in the sun, and maybe; worship, the word and the prophetic, all mixed in with a tad of counselling....

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Page in Progress

This is the whole page before the stitching.

Heart cut out and stitching

This is the page I worked on tonight - using a cut out heart shape and then pasting in a new background.
I then punched holes with a thick needle around the edges and just inside the heart shape.
After that I did blanket stitch around the edge.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Another type of interchangable necklace

This is what I got up to this weekend -actually two of these were the final result of many trys and a lot of time!
My friend having seen the bottle cap necklace wanted necklaces that matched her wardrobe and I solved this by giving her a number of paint chips to match her clothes to!
Using the cabochon (glass dome if you are new to necklace making like I am) created problems.
Problem number one was every little detail gets magnified therefore you need a perfect pendant before attaching the cabochon.
Problem number two is that in attaching the cabochon  there can be bubbles that form under the dome that are very hard to get rid of.
The better of the two necklaces is with my friend but I'm thinking of redoing this necklace due to the bubbles that formed. 

Having warned you of all the pit falls, this is how you make these:
This photo shows the very basic ingredients:
1. Cut out motifs 2. Background circle (fractionally less than one inch so you have to cut this by hand)
3. The background magnetic circle cut to the same size as the background circle
4.The glass cabochon 5.Glue to attach the motif, magnetic circle and cabochon to the circle(diamond glaze is good)

To decrease bubbling in the glue I suggest placing the finished dome under heavy books and checking periodically for bubbles.
If anyone finds a better way of solving this please let me know and I hope this works for you.
There is an easier way to create a pendant which would just involve not attaching the cabochon and that's the same process explained in the bottle cap necklace post using diamond glaze as the final "glassy"layer..

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Interchangable bottle cap necklace/tag how to's

How to's:
In thanks for all the great inspiration out there that has really blessed me I thought I'd share this for those who might need quick last minute Christmas gifts.

The photo shows you the steps below. (Please don't pinterest post this photo - I'd like to see who gets blessed by this post :-) If you want to pin anything just pin the final result and a link to my blog would be great.)
1. As in the other post get a bottle cap and hammer the edges flat with a hammer
 2. Spray paint the back whatever colour you choose (I chose black)
3. Hammer a nail through the edge to make a hole
4. Get one of those advertising magnets that go on your fridge or a magnetic sheet if you have it in your craft stack.
5. Circle punch or cut out a circle to fit the bottle cap - check your bottle cap but it should be about an inch across. The circle punch does a neater job if you have one.
6. Stick on your circle punched or cut out image. Seal the image with mod podge or clear gel medium or even PVA. Leave to dry ( I put mine under an upturned plastic container so no dust/dirt gets stuck on).
7.Carefully put a layer of diamond glaze onto the surface to the amount you want. Leave to dry according to directions on bottle and again, I recommend putting an upside down container over it to prevent dust  spoiling the surface.
8. Place your magnetic center onto your bottle cap and there you have it - an interchangeable bottle cap necklace or tag!
9. May your Christmas season be blessed and full of joy!


Sunday, 18 November 2012

Off the wall and onto paper

More junk journalling fun - taking photos of my own artworks and then printing them out and developing them - the feather piece has texture paste on top of my original artwork and the second image is not yet developed further.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Bleach out

As the title suggests, this is a bleach out background page. If you use indian ink and then paint bleach on with found utensils (I used a bamboo skewer stick and old brushes). The bleach tends to have a yellowish tinge. If you paint into the wet ink it "bleeds"and blurrs randomly.
The second start page is where I'm experimenting with adding fimo creations with a metal loop baked in to hang other 3D elements off.
What's in a name? Well, I'm finding the idea of a junk journal kind of lets me relax and try new things - maybe it's the use of the word junk - takes the pressure off somehow.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012


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This page originally wan't working until I covered up some of the detail with a bit of "white space" - learning to balance out a page with a "resting point". This shows the  power of negative space and claiming back tonal contrast.
The word create was made by using modelling compound painted through a lettering stencil.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Bottlecap necklace tag

To make a bottle top tag you can google making a bottle top necklace or follow these simple instructions;
1. Find a bottle top that makes a nice shape when hammered around the edges. ( I used a  piece of material to soften the hammer blows on the metal). Some brands of bottle tops work better than others as I found after trialing different kinds. I had some cider bottle tops and they didn't work well - making an uneven edge when hammered. Spray paint the bottle top on the back.
2. Use a circle punch if you have one or else carefully cut a template that will fill the center of the necklace. Use this template to find a pleasing shape or pattern (I used a map).
3. Punch a hole in the edge of the bottle cap with a small nail and hammer. This hole needs to be large enough to get your metal connecting loop through.
4. Glue the the center in place and once this has dried use diamond glaze to cover the picture.
5. Set in a dust free place to cure ( iused an upturned plastic container over the top to stop dirt setting in the wet surface).
6. Using two pliers seperate the joining connector as per jewelery making instructions and add whatever little decoration you are using and slip the metal link through the nail hole and then add string/ ribbon to tie to journal.

This is a back view of a bottle cap pendant:

free template

how big is your problem on the scale of one to God?

I'm wanting to make some art out of this free printable - life has had it's share of ups and downs this last week (hence the long gap and then multiple postings). I've just read a book that talks of having a "job jar" - putting ideas on slips of paper to pull out when needing inspiration or a start point. I think the word "job" is off putting psychologically so I think I'll call mine something like "lucky dip" which brings back associations of all those lovely, homely fairs I attended as a kid surrounded by the scents of popcorn and candyfloss! The next thing is to find or make a little box. Another idea would be to have a decorative envelope to put ideas into and then stick that into the back of my art journal. This idea prompted by the free printable will definitely go onto an inspiration slip.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Interactive art wheel

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I'm giving junk journalling a go this weekend and this is a starting point. I'm having fun putting in some interactive elements such as the turning wheel. Lessons learnt on this piece - to use heavier card stock for the interactive elements.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Warp and weft

The top photo is where I got stuck on this journalling page. I left the piece for a while until I found a site that gave me an idea for moving the piece a bit further along:

Sunday, 28 October 2012


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Journalling idea - think of an emotion and create an artwork based on it.
Think of things like high key versus low key (i.e. mainly light colours versus mainly dark colours) for communicating emotions, colour versus monochromatic, energetic lines versus controlled line.
If you want to check key values put a copy of your photo into black and white.

Ornamental letters

Thanks to these guys for the amazing letters freely available at

Unpolished creativity

image: O Stempelnce upon a time............

Once upon a time there were two lowly potters chosen by a Person of Royalty for a task. This esteemed personage was of course, used to prompt and complete obedience with drastic results when royal expectations were not exceeded (the castle moats were not filled with crocodiles for petting). One potter was commanded to create the perfect pot whereas the other was commissioned to make as many pots as possible in the time allotted.

 Time passed.

When fanfare's announced the eminent arrival of the Person of Magnificence at a later date in the crammed royal calendar, the first potter dived into hiding within one of his largest pots. Quivering to his knees, he held his breath hoping that his hiding place would not be uncovered, his perfect pot left unfinished  on his work bench. Meanwhile, the other potter cheerfully presented his hundreds of pots - the last pot being an amazing  work of beauty, being the product of all the hundreds before.

Why on earth am I writing this? It's a  little parable written as a reminder to myself (and my kids) to make and keep on making and that in the process you will grow as an artist. I am trying to internally ban the "p" word. The royal personage is like that inner script inside saying "make it perfect first time", and it is something that kills creativity.

This blog is like that second potter's work - I'm hoping that by the end of a year of blogging/creating I will have grown into something that is far more polished but until then, I need to be content with my unpolished creativity.
image: Wood 4

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Cheap crackle glaze for backgrounds

Well, here is today's result from my latest experiment. I read an American book that talked about Elmer's glue and substituted what we call PVA or BIC's white glue or wood glue here down under!
I painted the glue thickly over the page and then while the glue was still wet painted the acrylic over the top. It's taking a while to dry so I'm guessing if you were in a hurry you'd need to use a hair dryer to speed things up. You'd have to be careful to keep about 20cm away from the surface as it might possibly melt the plastic glue? I think I'll make a few of these in advance ( particularly as we have old bottles of PVA that need to be used up around here).
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Sunday, 21 October 2012

Raid your local wallpaper store

Today's inspiration - wallpaper! Visiting our local decorating store to buy paint, I found a free box of wallpaper samples. As the papers were highly textured, I was immediately thinking of using them for printing.
Below is a background made from a wallpaper sample. It was created by using masking fluid painted over the wallpaper and then pressed onto paper. I then did a water colour type wash (if you use acrylics be careful as they can seal the masking fluid to the paper if not diluted enough). The photo shows the masking fluid not yet removed. I was really pleased with the final lacy effect.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Stuck? Take a photo and risk failure!

What to do when stuck? With the journalling piece "Reptilian", I took a photo and then decided to do something new.
 I was not particularly happy with the piece but was scared to move on. Consequently, I took a risk and made a mistake - I forgot that I had used non- waterproof ink that then blurred when I added another layer on top. Lesson learnt (and blamed on a three a.m. wake up). Solution for future works - spray with a fixative layer first!
So - what to do now? Possibilities - 1.start again 2. use this piece as a base for a fresh collage/journal work.
3. Print out a digital copy in black and white or colour and use this as a base to start over from.
All is not lost - I was able to think through and review a key understanding of the brain not working well under stress/anxiety/emotionality.

DIY travel journal continued

Inside back cover .
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Vintage Thermometers link


Links to vintage thermometer print outs posted seperately

Thoughts inspired by Peter Steinke's book "How Your Church Family Works"

DIY Travel Journal

Made this as a gift. After searching the stores and not being impressed with what was out there, I bought an A5 art journal, took the covers off and used some scrapbook paper to recover it. I superglued ribbon to the outside on the front only so that as the journal expands the ribon will be able to handle the extension. With more time it would have been good to spray with a sealant or even book seal but at 11pm the deadline was looming and time was short and the thought of taking a still sticky book and wrapping it was not good.
There are printables on the web for journalling, which I will post if anyone is interested.
It did take a lot longer than I anticipated trawling the net but now I would love to make one for myself!
Internally, on the inside cover, I added some little see through bags for bits and pieces of paper additions, tags, stickers etc.
I was so grateful for the help of our local Papertree art department lady - she was very helpful in suggesting the ribbon and anything travel wise in store.
The good thing about this kind of binding - it will be easy to add more pages from another A5 journal at the end.
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