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Showing posts with the label creative
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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

Embracing the Wonky - Sketching houses

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Sketching houses Marker pens in sketchbook Some of my previous sketches of houses:- Pen and wash Watercolour and ink Watercolour and ink I think keeping a sketchbook is about learning … new styles, techniques, subjects… it’s a place to play and it’s what I really love to do. Recently, I have discovered I particularly enjoy sketching houses.  But not just any houses.  These have to be quirky, colourful and fun!  I am embracing my need for wonkiness in my life.  I hate straight lines that give a lifeless feel to a sketch. I love quirkiness and wonkiness as it gives character and life to a sketch.  Don’t you agree? Best wishes Shari πŸ’•

Advent Calendar

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Hello everyone,  Exciting times!  Christmas is but a few weeks away and things are getting really special.  πŸ˜Š 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

Doll restoration

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 So I was given this poor little lady to restore as she had fallen apart, literally!  She is a Denys Fisher Jennie doll, a tiny little lady at 7 1/2 inches. After cleaning off the sticky stuff (seems she was glued at some point), I then set about restringing her. Removing the old elastic which had perished proved to be easier than I expected.  There was a tiny holed plastic pieces inside a tiny cup which the elastic was threaded through.  Could have used a finer gauge elastic cord to replace the original, but I went with what I had at hand and it seemed to work pretty well. Very pleased with the outcome!  Dressed in her original brownies uniform, Jennie is looking a lot more put together!  I’m busy now sewing some new clothes for this dear little doll. Feel free to comment or contact me if you need advice on restringing dolls.  I really enjoyed this little challenge. Until next time! Love Shari πŸ’•

Challenged!

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 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

Back to Landscapes

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 I’m revisiting painting landscapes in acrylics and here is the start of my process. 1. Rough sketch 2. Block-in  3. Refine 4. Detail. 5. One thing!  (What’s the one thing I can do to improve this painting?) My set up with acrylic paints - limited palette Rough sketch Sorry forgot to photograph the block in stage! Refine the painting Still got the detail to do, but I’m pleased with how it’s going. Have a great day! Best wishes Shari πŸ’•

Smashing the Block

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Artistically, I am blocked, my mojo has deserted me and I can’t seem to bring myself to do any of my hobbies.  Recent events have contributed to this, but I really want to get out of this funk. I decided to try small steps, no major works… just playing. After the doll obsession (which seems to be ongoing!), I feel the need to get back to my art.  Drawing, watercolour, pen & wash.  These are where I started and where I want to go now… to soothe my soul. Quirky house in moleskine sketchbook  These are just for fun, nothing serious, nothing finished, just quick sketches.  It feels so soothing.  I’m getting some practice without letting myself get caught up in detail or stressing over how it should look.   Contour drawing  I took part in some online workshops in Sketchbook Revival and it helped enormously.  Now it’s finished it’s hard to get the same enthusiasm back.  But I’m determined to try. If you have any tips on how to smash through the wall of artist’s block, let me know.  I can

New Addition

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 My latest addition to the doll collection is this little beauty.  Happily no breakages on her journey, but she was in dire need of a wash and hairdo.  I also washed all her clothes.   This is her before her pampering session This is the end result.  I think I will call her Laura. I  feel I need to step back from the doll obsession now, just for a little while.  I have enjoyed this new interest a great deal and will return to it shortly. I hope you’ve enjoyed sharing my adventures. Best wishes Shari 😊

Upcycling / Recycling

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 Never quite sure if this is upcycling or recycling, but I have taken a child’s styling head toy and repurposed it as a Nature Goddess. First I took one old styling head that had seen better days - her hair was matted and frizzed.   After hair and makeup removal, I set about painting her green using acrylic paints.  I then decorated her with artificial flowers that I had left over from another project. Now I will paint the hessian fabric and her eyes (which will be closed as in meditation).  I’m toying with the idea of adding a little butterfly to her shoulder to finish her.  What do you think? Another item saved from landfill 😊 Best wishes Shari x

Most definitely not “fine”

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 Hi everyone It’s hard to stay focussed when you feel so alone. This month has been extremely difficult for me as my husband has been in hospital for an operation and then recently there were complications so he was taken back in.  Obviously, the worry of it all has been extremely stressful and as a result, my mental health has plummeted.  My husband is my rock and without him being his usual strong self, my world is very bleak. In order to keep my sanity I turn to painting or creative work of some description.  It doesn’t really matter as long as I am creating something.  It’s very soothing for the soul. This has been difficult due to all the trips to hospital and the more mundane matters of keeping house.  My family are a constant source of support and give me strength, but I also need my creativity to keep sane.  I have always been that way.   I’m normally a very private person and don’t often share my problems, always putting on a brave face.  It’s what we do, isn’t it? Us that suf

Twilight Wolf

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  “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

Making a bottle fairy house

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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

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 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 πŸ‘

Mastering Mosaic

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 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 πŸ’•

Hillside Cottage in oils

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 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

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 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