Thursday, 28 June 2012


Hey All

Just something quick today as I have a lot of things planned for today.

Another of my great passions is taking something that might have been thrown away, something that had a good overall shape but was lacking in appeal, something that didn't make the grade in its' original form or something that was just crying out for attention.

Here you can see a miniature armoire which started life looking fairly good in simple pine but lacked a little something.  Luckily I found that missing something and it now looks a whole lot more elegant.  It originally had glass in the door.  I replaced this with some wire mesh which I painted gold to match.  

I first primed the wood - a good rub down with fine sandpaper was all it needed.  Then using an old purple dye based ink pad I rubbed the piece all over paying attention to the edges and the places which I would not be covering with the patterned paper.  I then coloured the edges with a gold marker pen.  I didn't need to cover the entire piece as I knew I was going to cover each panel with paper.  I find this works well as it means that any small errors with the size of the paper are not so noticeable especially if the pieces of paper are also edged in the same way.  Once good and dry I sanded the edges gently to show some of the purple underneath. 

I then printed out some paper using one of the Glenda Waterworth graphic CDs. I used a purple paper which gave the design depth.  Not content with her lovely design, I further embellished some of the paper with a paisley stamp which I embossed with gold.  I only used this enhanced paper on the top and sides.  I used the basic pattern everywhere else.  This saved time, product and also gave interest to the piece.  Too much and it would have been over done.  Pieces were cut to fit.  Using the same gold marker I had used on the box I then edged the paper pieces.  When all pieces were fully dry I glued them in place with a good quality glue.  I lined the back of the cupboard with gold card to reflect some light back out. 

The area directly above the door was then glaring at me - I hadn't been able to cover it with paper as I couldn't seem to get it to look right. It was a small area but looked so BIG without anything on it.  It needed jazzing up and so I hit on the idea of using some flat beads and brads which I coloured with the now customary gold marker pen.  I also found some flat bead spacers which I used under the paper fasteners around the door.  A little key and faux padlock were duly changed to gold and I found a piece of old jewellery chain which I used to attach them both to the front.

It looked good but there was still something not quite right.  It was only when I was sitting in my lounge looking at my furniture that I noticed what it was.  It needed feet. Some bun feet.  And so some flat wooden beads were stuck onto the base and the transformation was complete.

My one regret?  I didn't take a picture of it before it had all the work done on it.

Hope you are enjoying the blogs?  Your comments would be appreciated.

Kim x

Wednesday, 27 June 2012


Well hello again

Today I want to delve into the art of Zentangle.  Or at least my interpretation of said art.  It can be described as controlled doodling but equally it often described as a relaxed art form.  Take your pick.  Make of it what you will.

This is actually a revesed/negative scan of the original
So I started Zentangling many years ago but to be fair I did not know that it was an art form back then, I just enjoyed doing it.  I would often start a piece of work during a period of insomnia.  Rather than 'wasting' the night awake I would scribble away until the morning.  This not only stopped me from worrying about not being able to sleep but it also meant that my night spent awake had something to show for it.

Original is black on white but I photocopied
it onto a piece of orange card
I would often start with the shape of a spade - as in playing card spade.  I used a ball point pen and a soft paper like craft paper or sometimes thick card.  Sometimes the patterns would be totally random and other times a little more structured.  Either way the actually 'doing' was very relaxing.  Due to the nature of the art form mistakes are not really possible and the end result is always a surprise even to the artist.

Trying to keep the pattern the same - an Egyptian feel?

One of my more recent projects involved converting a giant floor puzzle into a sort of Zentangle sampler.  I took a standard board jig-saw puzzle and stripped off the original picture.  (Sorry Fireman Sam.)  I then primed it with gesso.  Once it was fully dry I set about it with a permanent marker pen.  
 I kept the puzzle 'made-up' so that I could be sure not to have similar patterns together.  I then mounted it on a board.  It was really only an experiment but it has led me to start a similar one with slightly smaller pieces.  And no, I have no intention of doing one on the standard sized jig-saw pieces........I don't think........well maybe one day.

Jig-saw Zentangle

Ok, that is all for today.  Busy mum has work to do.

Kim x

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Do It Yourself

Good Morning (well it is as I start)

I have been flicking through some of my older photos and I have come across one of a background paper that I made.  You know the times when you can't find a piece of backing paper that works perfectly with your project?  Well, I used to have that problem all the time but now I simply make my own. 

The one I am featuring today is a subtle feather design in soft shades of brown, grey, green and taupe (such a love-it or hate-it word taupe, I personally like the word.)

I started with a piece of crisp white card.  I used a good quality card as I knew I would be rubbing, printing and heating it so it needed to stand up to the manipulation.  Using a clear embossing ink and clear embossing powder I stamped random feather images over the white base card.  Once fully set I then took my chalks and rubbed various shades of the required colours over the card.  I made sure that the chalk didn't become too intense and that there was plenty of paler areas left.  Of course where the clear embossed feathers were, the chalk did not settle on the card leaving pure white images of feathers.  I then used a multi-coloured, a stone colour and a green ink pad to stamp more feathers in the gaps.

I think you will agree the end result is quite pleasing.  Of course it didn't end there.  I went on to make copies of it on my photocopier which I scaled down thus giving me a version in exactly the same colours but with a smaller print.   My original piece of art work is kept safe so if I need more copies I just run it through the scanner.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Good to see you back again!

So today I thought I would show you one of my creations and give some insight into what inspired me to make it and how I made it.

It all started when I stumbled across a stash of envelopes under my desk.  I have no idea where they came from originally but  I felt I needed to use them before they were lost once more in the blackhole that is under my desk.

The envelopes are small, about 12cm x 8cm, are off-white and made from a good thick paper almost like childrens craft paper, I know it as sugar paper.  Anyway, there are some tiny inclusions in the paper making it look a little rustic.  I also had a large amount of watercolour card off-cuts from a previous commission which I couldn't bear to throw away that happened to be big enough to make cards to fit in these little envelopes.  I love it when things come together like this.

I have a HUGE collection of rubber stamps and set about looking for a single image that would fit well on the size of card.  I quickly came across this one of a hare in full flight.  The hare is a creature mentioned in a song by my favourite musician, which is why I bought it in the first place. The image of the hare was not going to do enough on its own so I needed something to fill out the space.  I love the natural look of seed heads and have a lot of this type of stamp too and again I found a lovely image just right for the job.

So, onto the method.

I used a black archival ink to stamp the hare onto a piece of white card which has tiny flakes of mica in it. (White? Yes it was originally.)  I then added some grass using some tiny stamps to give the hare some 'ground' to be running across.  With a Pro-marker pen I coloured all around the hare so as to leave the hare white amongst the background.  The image was trimmed and then mounted onto a black piece of card giving the image deffinition.

I then stamped the seed head image over the main body of the card making sure that the image on the far left, at the spine of the card, showed the stalk and the seed head going off the page. This makes such a difference to the overall look of any card stamping off the page.  With the other images I made sure NOT to show the stalks so that the space under the image of the hare remained clear.  Again this makes all the difference to the final look.

After positioning the image of the hare towards the bottom right of the card I felt it needed a little something else.  I once made a board-book which I dotted with torn phrases from a poetry book.  Obviously it would take me a long time to find the right phrase from a book and I really wanted to make these little cards quickly so I used a tried and trusted method of printing phrases onto vellum.

Using a great font that looks like and old typewriter I printed  'the wonderful things seen'  out and tore the strip to give it a rustic edge.  When printing phrases out like this I centre the phrase on the page of vellum so that I have plenty of paper either side.  This means you have a ribbon of vellum which can be cut to the right length.  I attached this to the card using mini brads in silver. 

Overall the finished card is quite simple in colour and style but I think you will agree it is a great use of some very small envelopes.

Till the next time

Kim x

Friday, 22 June 2012

A Good Place to Start.

Looking through my folder of photographs I couldn't decide which one to load first.  Some shots have been published already on my web site, some on my Facebook account and a few others on Folksy.  I didn't want to put on pictures that have already been seen before, but making choices about what to upload onto here was proving to be quite a challenge.  Until I came across this one.......the madness that is my craft room.

It is a classic example of organised chaos.  I know where everything is and can lay my hand on almost anything without getting out of my seat.  Of course what you can't see are the equally full shelves behind my seat, the cupboard overflowing with 'useful bits' and the stash under the desk.

It is a room quite literally full to bursting and I have every intention of adding to the contents.  There is always the latest rubber stamp, the prettiest paper, an essential piece of equipment just waiting to be bought.  And I haven't hung anything from the ceiling yet.

So, keep coming back to see what happens next.

Kim x


Baby Steps

Well Hello

Not sure how to start this but I suppose the first steps are the hardest; learning to run comes later.

I have always made stuff.  My passions are paper and fabric, but I have dabbled in probably all crafts known to womankind. I do not sit still for long, multi-tasking is my middle name.  I knit, sew, paint, stamp, stitch, and cook.  I love to potter around my garden and am currently growing some pretty healthy veg. I am easily inspired to try new things.  I remember in my youth being very drawn to car engines and spent a happy few weeks restoring an old car.  Ah the smell of Swarfega........  But that was another world. 

I try to keep my hands a little cleaner now.  I look forward to sharing with you my latest project and showing some of my existing work.  I will probably end up sharing more than just my craft-life so the ride might get a bit random but then variety is the spice of life.  I hope that it all works out.

So, I have opened the blog with a few words hastily thrown down on the page. 

Look out for the next entry.

Kim x

P.S.  I will surely be fancy-ing up the page layout - bit bland at the moment.