Posts

Showing posts with the label beginners
Image
I have been experimenting with the use of fabric hardener and have found it somewhat addictive. First I tried making a bowl.  Basically, you use an upturned plastic bowl as a former.   Cover the bowl with clingfilm to ensure nothing sticks to the bowl itself.   Use a plastic tray and pour a small amount of fabric hardener into it. Take your fabric and immerse in the fabric hardener. Gently rub the hardener into the fabric ensuring it is completely covered without being dripping wet. Place over the upturned bowl.  Make sure the bottom of the bowl is as smooth as possible to give stability and so that it won’t wobble when it’s done. The sides at this stage need to be as smooth as possible just so that the inside of the bowl will be fairly smooth.  Don’t worry over it too much. Take another square of fabric and coat it thoroughly in fabric hardener as before. Cover the first piece but this time allow the fabric to fall into natural folds (but remember to keep the base smooth). You can add

Advent Calendar

Image
Hello everyone,  Exciting times!  Christmas is but a few weeks away and things are getting really special.  😊 My little elves (in the form of my grandchildren) arrived as usual to decorate my tree and what a wonderful job they did!  I’m very pleased. This year I decided to make my own advent calendar.  Well, I say make, but I mean decorate and fill a pre-made one and I found this tree shaped wooden advent calendar which really appealed to me. These are sold at various places and in a multitude of different designs and shapes.  I chose this one that is sold at both The Range and Hobbycraft here in the UK. If you didn’t want to paint or decorate your own and just want to fill it yourself, you can also purchase ready decorated calendars and just fill them yourself. Here is an example: There are lots of others available too. I decided to spray paint the outer part with gold paint and then paint each drawer in green acrylic paint.  I then attached red felt sticky numbers. Then I added fest

Challenged!

Image
 Hello everyone! When I’m stuck or in need of motivation I always look for a challenge.  It gets me off my butt and making.  It’s great fun too. So with this in mind I signed up to take part in the Find Your Joy challenge this year. So far I’ve only done assignment 1, but my goodness, it’s such fun! Take a large piece of paper.  Using masking tape divide it up into either 4 or 6 sections.  Then using just 3 colours plus black and white, play, make marks, mix colours, have fun.  Paint over the tape disregarding it.  The only limit is to keep within 30 minutes. When finished, peel off the masking tape and magic happens! I enjoyed it so much it became almost addictive and I now have lots of little paintings to use in my journal or as collage or book covers, whatever. I decided to use yellow ochre, ultramarine blue and magenta as my 3 colours plus mars black and titanium white. First try:- Old masking tape gripped paper so hard and ripped it when removed! Second try:-  I used same colours

Twilight Wolf

Image
  “Twilight Wolf” 16” x 12” acrylic on canvas board This was painted about 3 weeks ago as I have had a lot going on in my life recently and have not been able to paint, but I want to share something with you.   The fears we fail to face become our limits.  I am wolf, quietly I will endure, silently I will suffer, patiently I will wait, for I am a warrior and I will survive. Back to painting what I love, animals.  Enjoyed painting this wolf, although he looks more like a friendly dog.  That’s ok, I loved doing it and for me it’s the process that is of most value.  How painting makes me feel. When I’m painting I get so absorbed everything else is forgotten, all my troubles melt away and it’s just me and the paint.  It boosts my mood and helps me get things in perspective.  It’s why I would love to teach others the remarkable benefits of painting.  It’s more than the end result.  It’s a calming process that gives a feeling of serenity, which is so good for your mental health I hope you en

Straw bales

Image
 Acrylic painting on canvas board, Straw bales. This reminds me so much of home, our old house, where we were surrounded by fields and after the harvest the straw bales in the fields.  It was such a lovely peaceful place and we had a clear view over the fields to watch the beautiful sunsets. Anyway, back to the painting.  With this one again, I did the simplistic drawing, then blocked in, followed by the refining and detail. “Hay Bales“ acrylic on canvas board 16” x 12” Not quite finished yet as I need to lighten the background bales a tad and strengthen the foreground shrubbery on the right. Feeling quite happy with this one. Hope I have inspired you to have a go at painting.  Remember, three colours, three brushes and three steps.  It’s so easy.  The colours I used are Ultramarine blue, Alizarin crimson and Yellow ochre, plus Titanium white.  You can mix all the colours you need from these and create a very harmonic painting.  Look out for my painting classes coming soon, where I wil

Making a bottle fairy house

Image
This was such fun to make and I changed things as I went along.  Using a glass bottle (this one is a gin bottle as I rather liked the blue glass) and some air drying clay, I left gaps for windows as I wanted to add lights inside.  An egg box was used to create one wall as it was my intention to make it look like stonework (kind of like crazy paving). Originally I intended to make the roof with strips of card stuck to the bottle stopper, but then I realised this would not be practical as I couldn’t easily open the bottle to add the lights or replace them if necessary (when the battery fails).  So I scrapped that idea and chose to make the roof slightly lower down. I used little strips of wood for the panelled door. Will get some updated pics of the progress shortly. Happy creating!  See you soon. Best wishes Shari 😊  

Dramatic Downham

Image
 Hello All! Back to painting again.  Acrylics on canvas board - a view of the town clock against a very dramatic sky.  Started with a simple drawing followed by block in of main shapes.  Then in to refine and add detail. Not quite finished, but I’m getting there. Have a great week, see you soon! Best wishes Shari 👍

Mastering Mosaic

Image
 Hello everyone! Thought I would have a play with mosaics once again.  I’m self taught and have only made a few projects with mosaic, but it’s a very satisfying craft and quite easy to do. I have an old wooden cabinet in my bathroom that I wanted to brighten up and to mosaic seemed a really good option.  I cleaned up the top and proceeded to design the mosaic.  I wanted to keep with my nautical theme in the bathroom and designed a fish for the centre of my mosaic.   Before grouting Grouting done!   You can’t tell from this photo but I added a little pale blue acrylic paint to the grouting which really seems to harmonise the whole piece.  Just got to clean up and give it a rub up.  I’m very happy with the finished piece and it’s so much brighter and cleaner than just plain wood. I hope I’ve inspired you to have a go with mosaic. I’d love to see what you make, if you’d like to share.   It’s really satisfying and quite addictive! See you soon.  Happy making! Best wishes Shari 💕

Fantasy paintings

Image
 Sorry for my recent absence from the blog, I have been incredibly busy with my painting and other creative works that I will post on the blog shortly.  But first, I just wanted to talk about painting fantasy paintings.  This is really outside my comfort zone but always eager to get to grips with a challenge, I decided to have a go with some moon paintings. Firstly, “Harvest Moon” painted in acrylics on canvas. “Harvest Moon” acrylics on canvas I began by a simple drawing of the pathway, tree area and moon on black canvas. Using a limited palette, I set about blocking in the main shapes - And then I began to refine: Adding in more detail: I hope you enjoy the pictures of my process.  The second fantasy painting was “Lovers’ Moon” again painted in acrylics.  I’m really starting to enjoy using acrylics, even though I normally  use oils.  Not sure this one was as successful as Harvest Moon, but I enjoyed painting it.  The only thing with this one was getting the darkness right. The third

Hillside Cottage in oils

Image
 Really getting back into my painting now.  Love this little painting and using a limited palette has really improved my colour mixing skills.  Hillside Cottage I intend to start getting together some step-by-step projects soon online, maybe on YouTube or something similar.  The idea is that you can follow along and actually create your own painting.  They will be aimed at beginner painters, so if you’ve always wanted to paint but not sure where to start these videos will show you.  Please let me know if you would be interested in these videos. Best wishes Shaz

Bits and Pieces

Image
 Hi All This week has been busy on the craft front.  Mostly little experiments and ideas at the moment, oh yes, I’m full to bursting of ideas!  Just not enough hours in the day. This post will be about the bits and pieces I’ve been working on this week. Firstly, an update on my sewing themed linocut.  I’ve refined the design, made the needle look better and had a general tidy up. Still in need of a little more work but it’s getting there. Sewing Linocut Next I worked on the little flower rubber stamp.  It needed more definition, so I outlined the centre and marked out the petal separations.  What do you think, better? Flower stamp The sewing box is still a work in progress, but here’s the original box with a new lid cut out as the old one was rotten and beyond repair.  I have the hinges, etc to reattach.   Sewing Box Project Will bring you updates on this as they happen. Finally, some pieces from my art course:- Ink & Wash   Ink line drawing Watersoluble pencil The brief was to des

Sewing Design Linocut

Image
 Hello everyone, sorry I’m a little late with this post. Well this week has definitely been a printing week.  I have once again succumbed to the lure of linocut printing! I wanted a design centred around another of my hobbies, sewing.  I am upcycling a sewing box (which I will publish here later) and am considering using a linocut print to decorate. Having arranged some sewing elements - scissors, thimble, button and needle - I drew the design directly on to the Lino. Then I used my Lino gouger to cut away the area that was not part of the print - the part I cut away is the negative space around the design elements. As I am completely self taught in the art of linocutting I am not sure if my technique is correct, but it works for me.  At this stage I am reasonably happy with the result.  I had finished cutting and was happy with the linocut, so I tried a trial print to identify areas that needed more work. At this stage I felt either too much ink was used or I need to work more on the