Friday, 15 August 2014

Visit the Past

Hi everyone!

 I am here to share my creation for Sandee and amelie's SteamPunk Challenge. This month it is all about -

My idea was to create a chemist lab. This is inspired by an old Victorian Pharmacy I saw while visiting Flambards in Cornwall many years ago. The last pharmacist to own the shop, William White, died in 1909 and his son closed down the shop because he was not qualified to dispense medicines. The shop was boarded up and forgotten about until the last family member died and the whole shop came up for sale in 1987. When the door was unlocked an amazing time capsule was discovered. The dispensary, complete with its old balances and scales, medicine jars, bottles and ancient cures, gave a unique glimpse into the life of a Victorian pharmacy. The whole shop was carefully transferred to Flambards as it was - and it was so fascinating to see!

    So it was this that came to my mind when I found out that the challenge at Sandee and amelies Steampunk Challenge was to be 'In the Laboratory'...I began to think of a chemist lab that had been locked up for years. I wanted to capture the look of layers and layers of peeling paint and rust......

     Perhaps this pharmacist had been a very nasty one, seeing as there were many poisons there....and that was why they were no longer there! But of course poisons were often used in the making of medicines in the past.....Whatever the story is behind this creation, this is my version of that chemist shop from the past......

The first thing to do was to make a box from balsa wood - as regular readers of my blog will know I LOVE doing this! I work with simple shapes, so it is never too difficult. Just cutting balsa wood with a craft knife and using strong glue and before too long you have a box! I painted it with gesso (balsa wood tends to warp slightly when paint is applied and brushing on a base coat of gesso allows the decorative paint to apply better)

     I then coated it with Chocolate Pudding Fresco paint. Then a heavy layer of Nougat Fresco paint and then smothered it all in Decoart Crackle Glaze. I wanted the crackle to be more the effect of thick layers of paint crumbling, rather than the weathered wood effect that other crackle glazes give. This had to be a dramatic crackle.

I find this can be achieved by applying thicker paint and thick glaze. The crackle glaze was applied thinner in some areas.

When this was dry and the box was fully crackled I sanded down some edges to reveal the dark paint underneath. I then began to add some delicate shading of colours....To try and capture the look of verdigris rust I used Bora Bora Fresco Paint, Hey Pesto Fresco paint and Decoart Traditions Acrylic paint in Quinacridone Gold.

I began to apply the colours lightly, dry brushing them over the box. I applied the colours gradually, building up, rather than apply thickly.

When this was finished I began to decorate the box.....

   The shop sign was tissue tape

   Brass brads were used in the corners

   A glass vial filled with Verdigris embossing powder with some glued to the side of the bottle

  A glass vial filled with UTEE drops saved when I emptied the melt pot (I tip the last of the melted UTEE out onto the craft mat and collect up the tiny drops to use in other creations)

  A glass vial was filled with Mica flakes

   A glass vial was filled with a mix of ink, paint and water and the cork was very carefully (and securely) glued into place.

   A brass pendant had a steam punk stamp glued in and coated with Glossy accents glue 

   A copper wire was curled and threaded though a brass cog. 

Various watch cogs were attached to a large brass cog.....

     The last thing was to apply a very light spray of Melted Chocolate Dylusion spray over everything to make it look even more aged and tarnished....

So there it is - my rusted, crackled, decayed window to the past - with a hint of Steampunk!

I do hope you will hop over to Sandee and amelie's Steampunk Challenges to see what my other teamies have made! I also hope you will join us in a trip to the laboratory!

Happy Crafting!

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Thursday, 7 August 2014

Beside the Seaside

Hi everyone!

 Over at Our Creative Corner today we are featuring the first of this months Sponsor Spotlights!

This month Crafty Individuals are sponsoring us and are providing a lovely prize of Summer themed goodies for one lucky randomly picked winner to have!

Here is a little sneak peek of what I made for you today!

     Why not hop over and see the whole creation - and get into seasonal mood with us and make something summery! You could be our winner, top 3 or even win that prize from Crafty Individuals!

Happy Crafting!

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Friday, 1 August 2014


Hi everyone!

       This month it is my turn to host the challenge at Our Creative Corner and I would like you to focus on....


Summer is in full swing - whatever the weather! Whether it is pouring with rain or intensely sunny wherever you are, Our Creative Corner want to see some 'Summer' inspired creations.  

What sparks your imagination when you think of the word 'Summertime'? Travel to far away exotic destinations, buckets and spades, sand dunes and sparkling sea? Does summer bring to mind delicate flowers in a hazy garden or bright vivid tones of a warm sunset? Perhaps just the use of vivid colours evokes a summery mood....or do pastel shades have more of a summer look for you? 

Whatever your interpretation of 'Summertime' is we would love to see your creations here at Our Creative Corner

 I love lots of things in Summer - I decided on this challenge months ago and when the time came to make something for it I was tempted by so many ideas...My work usually focuses on something that means something to me - that I have a strong visualisation of and that usually, for me, tells a story. In the end the main image that kept coming back to me again and again in my search for an idea, was sitting in my garden in early evening, how peaceful it is. It is just so nice to sit and watch the sunset surrounded by flowers.....

So I tried to capture those elements in a framed picture...the golden glow as the sun sets, the flowers and the weathered wood from the garden

I started by making the frame. I don't do anything fancy like mitered corners...I just cut two 2cm x 8in strips of balsa wood and two strips of 2cm x 6ins and stuck them into a square using strong wood glue.

Then I painted them with Chocolate Pudding Fresco paint followed by a coat of crackle glaze. This was followed by a coat of Decoart Americana Chalk paint in Lace. When crackled I sanded it down before very lightly dabbing it with some Vintage Photo DI to add a rusted tarnished look.

 The background was some TH resist papers. I chose a flourish pattern and covered it with Antique Linen DI and then dabbed around the edge with Frayed Burlap DI

For the flowers I used three ready made ivory roses that were dabbed with a tiny bit of Vintage Photo DI.

The pink flowers were made with Tattered Florals die cuts. Dabbed with Aged Mahogany DI and spritzed with water, I crumpled the flowers up and then opened them and left them to dry. The center of the flowers were the tiniest diecuts, inked with Scattered Straw DI and scrunched up.

The ivory flowers were made using the same die cuts this time using Antique Linen DI
and Gathered Twigs DI

I made the buds by scrunching up one flower after it had been coloured with ink. When dry I dabbed the daisy shaped flowers with Peeled Paint DI and stuck the bud into it so it looked like there were leaves surrounding it.

The sprigs of flowers were Memory Box die cuts. I inked and painted them using Peeled Paint DI, Hey Pesto Fresco Paint, Picket Fence DP, Aged Mahogany DI and Vanilla Fresco Paint.

The leaves were dabbed with Peeled Paint DI and then edged with Aged Mahogany DI

Finally all of the flowers were then arranged onto the framed background.....

Why not come over to Our Creative Corner and share with us some 'Summertime' themed creations - You can enter up to three times and the winner will be invited to be our Top Talent and share with us something they have created and have a mini interview so we can be nosey find out more about them!

There will be our Top 3 and there will also be a selected Prize Winner who will win a lovely selection of summer themed goodies from our generous Sponsor this month - Crafty Individuals!

Remember, you've got to be in it to win it...can't wait to see your 'Summertime' themed creations!

Happy Crafting!

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