Monday, 2 November 2015

My Christmas Wishlist

Hi everyone

I'm doing a bit of a different post this month as it's been really busy outside the studio.  I've been having a lovely time helping my youngest daughter plan her wedding and helping my eldest daughter as she has just given birth to her second baby.  It's all been really exciting and I have not really been in the studio at all.

There are so many new art and crafting items coming on to the market all the time and there's always something on my wishlist.  I thought I would share my Christmas wishlist with you.  Hopefully I am on Father Christmas' 'nice list' and not the 'naughty list'!

I absolutely love Tim Holtz Distress Inks from Ranger and have decided to downsize my ink pads and start purchasing the mini pads, I already have a few.

I have found that there is no advantage to having the large ones and I love the idea of being able to free up some space in my drawer.  So first on my wishlist is the Mini Distress Ink Storage Tin from Ranger

As I mentioned, I have a few of the mini ink pads, but I'd now like to add to my collection. They used to be sold in sets of four, but can now be purchased at singly, look at all the beautiful colours that are available

Next on my list is a stencil.  I have been using stencils a lot in my art journal to add texture and there are several that I have my eye on, but the one that I think I'd like the most is the Prima Bubbles stencil. It seems that it is difficult to find in the UK, so I hope that it has not been discontinued!

One that has been on my list for sometime is the Koi Watercolours Field Box,, I know that lots of crafting people use this one and they always give the colours good reviews.  I also really like the look of the layout of the box and how compact it seems 

There seems to be a bit of a theme going on here because next on my list is also colourful and they are the Dylusions Paints.  The colours are very vibrant and I'd love to try these out in my art journalling. I have seen them used in many layouts and they look so easy to work with 

I have become interested in trying some hand lettering and have been looking through one of my go to places for inspiration - Pinterest!  There are loads of different tutorials and websites to have a look at and I have watched several YouTube video tutorials too.  One of the tools that seems to be widely used are the Tombow Dual Brush Pens, so I think that I may put a couple of these on my wishlist, perhaps a black and a blue or the set of 6 primary colours would be lovely to own.  

So here are a few on my current wishlist, I'd love to see what's on yours?

Thank you for checking in and I hope you'll want to look in again next month to see what's been going on! 

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Loving my black art journal page

Hi everyone

It has been pretty quiet in the studio this month, but I have one or two things that I'd like to share with you.  Autumn seems to have arrived in my part of the world, the trees have started to change colour and daylight is a little shorter in supply. Autumn really is my favourite season, it's still possible to have some lovely warm days and when the leaves turn colour, I can often be found wandering round taking photos.

It has been 18 months since we moved into our home and the studio has undergone a couple of shake ups which I have shared with you in earlier posts.  During this month, I have been thinking about where I am, creatively, and I think that over the years and particularly over the last few months I have realised that there are things that I really love to do and those that I have enjoyed in the past but feel that I have moved on from.  With this in mind, I have had a massive sort out of 'stuff' and have donated items that no longer get used, my storage has been reorganised so that I can see my tools more easily and my desk has been cleared to make my work space bigger.  One thing about clearing some space is that there is room for new items!

I discovered a new Aladdin's cave type craft store in my area and picked up just a few bits.  Look how pretty those blooms from Petaloo are!

During the month I had a go at making some polymer clay tiles to add to journal pages.  I really wanted square tiles, but didn't have a cutter.  I really like how well the decorated tiles have turned out and have bought some square cutters.  I also purchased some black polymer clay; I can feel black tiles with metallic golds and bronze colours coming on!

I think that the idea of the black tiles has come about because I have been gathering courage to work in my black journal which I bought some time ago.  On occasions I have brought it out and opened it up to the first page.  Somehow, to me, a black blank page felt worse that a white blank page and it really intimidated me.  Well I finally took the plunge and, using some of those pretty Petaloo blooms recently bought, I did the first page in the black journal.  I am absolutely delighted with the result.


My knitting phase is still in full swing and I have finished all the squares needed for a blanket for my new grandchild and I have also started a sleeveless jumper for my grandson.  I always find is easier to knit in cooler weather, my hands don't get hot and sticky.  

I hope you have enjoyed my thoughts and the work from the studio this month, thank you for stopping by.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Art Journal Play and Hauls

Hi and welcome

If this is the first time that you have come across my blog, welcome and if you are a regular reader, I'm delighted that you have taken the time to read all about what I have been up to this month.

Looking through my posts, I seem to work on one kind of project for a while and then switch to a different type of venture and this month has been a perfect example of that.  There has been a large amount of knitting and crochet going on, but this month I have really been enjoying working in my art journal with varying degrees of success.  How do I measure success in my journal? I'd say that would depend on how many times I revisit a page to look and remember how I have constructed it or even just to look because I am happy with the end result.  

I started this page with a layer of white gesso followed by layering torn pieces from a paper bag that I had saved from a recent shopping trip.  The bag gave me the colour combination that I ended up using in this piece and the page came together over a number of days as I wasn't sure where I wanted to go with it once I had glued down the bag.  

I've been trying to use my stencils more and I really enjoyed using them on this page.  I liked the effect that the Tim Holtz stencil in Gothic gave using texture paste. Once the paste was dry, I used some Dylusions Ink Spray in Melted Chocolate on the right hand side of the page and you can really see how it makes the pattern stand out, the ink has run over and in between the paste and it has taken on the colour of the ink.  When I had finished this page, I decided to spray the whole page with some water with Perfect Pearls added, this lightened the whole page a little too much for my liking, but I didn't want to risk doing any more to the page and spoil what I already done.

I love this page and I'm delighted with how it turned out.  Usually there is something on a page that I wish that I had done differently or perhaps not done at all.  That is not the case with this page and I feel that this is my best piece yet.   

* * * * * * * * 
I have purchased a couple of items recently that I have been wanting to try out and a couple that I just could not resist.  

This Pretty Peonies stamp set from Wplus9 has been on my wish list for some time, but it has always been out of stock.  I was so happy to see it available and I'm going to re-watch Dawn from Wplus9 on YouTube before I start playing with it.  Her creation using these stamps is beautiful.

I have read so many blogs and seen so many videos on YouTube with people using the Color Burst powders from Ken Oliver Crafts.  I tried to resist buying them, but they look so much fun to use that I couldn't stop myself buying a couple of colours to have a go with.  

Many art journal tutorials I have watched recently have used the black and white gelatos.  They give lovely shade and light to areas on pages and I wanted to give them a go myself.

Oh look, more Gelatos!  I love using them on journal pages or as a watercolour medium.  This set with yellows and oranges really appealed to me, lovely bright colours that remind me of both autumn and spring colours.  

I bought the box to house all my stencils as I have been using them from their original packs and returning them when washed and dried.  It always seems such a fiddle to get them out and replace them so I thought a box to put them in would make using them so much easier.  

Hopefully by next month I'll be able to share one or two more art journal pages using some of the items from my recent hauls.  

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog this month, I hope you'll want to visit again next month. 

Sunday, 2 August 2015

More wooliness going on along with some colouring and a haul

Hi everyone

Since my last post I have been knitting away and my needles have been clicking so fast that there were sparks flying from them - well nearly.  I did try wooden needles, but I really couldn't get on with them, I couldn't get any speed with them.  Does anyone have any tips for using them as I always find that my steel ones get hot and sticky and I need to wash them regularly?  

Last time I showed you the little jacket that I had made for my new grandchild due in October and the front and back of a jumper in self patterning wool for my grandson.  Well the jumper is finished and sewn up (my least favourite part) and I'm really pleased with it.  I loved the self patterning wool so much that I thought the new baby would also need a self patterning jumper too.  

This was such a dream of a pattern to knit that I did a second one in the wool that was left over from the jacket.  

I have also been knitting squares.  I had made a blanket for my grandson when he was born and what I did for one, I feel I have to do for the other.  Squares are easy to knit up when sitting in the evening watching tv.  Again it will be the sewing all the squares together that will be the difficulty.

Some of the colouring that took place for the colouring challenge included the following 

I love these cute bees and used my watercolour pencils and a water brush for this one.  My watercolour pencils are not expensive, but I find them very easy to work with and they blend really well.  I added some glossy accents to the eyes to finish them off.  I made this into a card for my husband's birthday.

This is a new stamp to me by Woodware called Boxed Daises Trio and I coloured it with Distress Markers.  I really love working with the markers and enjoy the watercolour finish to any project I use them on.  I have been trying to use my small collection of Copics to improve my colouring with them, but I think that this effect is my preferred finish.

This one was coloured with Distress inks.  I blended the colours through a Simon Says Stamp stencil which gave this lovely background.  My nephew celebrated his 50th birthday and I felt that this colour would be perfect for a male card.  I don't know about anyone else, but I always struggle with cards for males.  I die cut the numbers and embossed them with WOW's Primary Lagoon regular embossing powder - the effect was gorgeous even though I say so myself!

Here's a set from My Favorite Things called Sea Life.  I've had this set for some time, but for whatever reason, I haven't used it.  I did a watercolour background on Ranger watercolour paper with Distress inks and then used several different makes of ink to stamp the elements.  I love that some of these pieces sit inside the circle and some overlap.  It's such a cute stamp set and I will be using this more often with different sentiments.

I've been working in my art journal more recently and have found three ladies on YouTube that I have been following with great interest.  If you get a chance check out Maremi SmallArt, Nika in Wonderland and Mimi Bondi, I love watching them all work and I have been inspired to do some more pieces in my journal.  All these ladies use stencils lots in their work and if they do, so should I - right?  Hence the recent haul.  

Yes, I did sneak a couple of Copics in and also two of the newer Distress colours that I didn't have in my collection.  I'm really enjoying using texture paste with the Crafters Workshop Mini Chickenwire stencil and also the Tim Holtz Dot Fade layering stencil.  I haven't used the Splatters or the Creative Expressions Swoosh stencils and I'm really looking forward to using the two Indigo Blue stamps.  

My most recent purchase has been a calendar - I know, what a random item to buy at this time of year!  Since I left work, I have not had a calendar and I'm finding that I am totally losing track of dates, days and even weeks so I have bought a mid-year calendar that I have put up in my kitchen, I make sure that I look at it every day and I take note of the date.  Hopefully this will help me to be more organised about when I post my blog instead of getting to the end of the month and thinking 'Oh, it's blog time'!

Thank you for taking the time to peek into what's been going on in the studio and I hope you will check in again next month.

Sunday, 31 May 2015

It's been a woolly month!

Hi everyone

How has your month been?  For me it's been a bit woolly and by that I mean that my knitting needles have been clicking away and my crochet hook has been weaving its way deftly between the wool - well, I'd like to think it has, but my crochet style leaves a lot to be desired at the present time.  I'm sure that a more fluid style will come in time.

Firstly I'll let you have a peek at the knitting that I've been working on.  This first item is for a new grandchild due at the beginning of October.  It is a randomly coloured wool and has knitted up into block like areas.  My daughter wanted a very simple pattern and I love the colours for a newborn.  

This second item will be a jumper for my grandson next autumn.

I have just discovered self patterning wool and I have to admit that I couldn't knit fast enough to see how the pattern was progress.  It was fascinating to see it grow and develop.  I think it's going to look great when it is all finished. 

I found a little wool shop in my area where I could go and have crochet and knitting lessons.  I knew that I didn't want to go for lots of tuition but just to get the basic idea of how to make a granny square.  I felt that if I could pick that up, I'd possibly be able to move on to other stitches and pattern reading when I had mastered granny squares.  The following pictures show the square that I did at my lesson followed by one that I did at home to check that I had picked up the basics.  The third picture shows a slightly larger square of just one colour.  

I'm going to carry on with this style to gain more confidence doing these stitches and refine my style before moving on to something else.  

* * * * * * *

I have recently returned from a trip to Venice where I celebrated my 35th wedding anniversary with my husband.  It is a beautiful place and I felt as if I was living in a Canaletto painting.  None of the buildings look the same as the one it stands next to either in style or colour and none of the buildings have straight lines.  In fact, some of the towers on churches lean quite significantly.

Venice is renowned for its paper-making and book binding as well as its glass from Murano and I could not resist bringing home some of this gorgeous printed paper and a glass dip pen.  I'm not sure what I will use the paper for as it was an expensive purchase, but I know whatever item I choose to use it on, it will look beautiful.  

A couple of months ago I took part in a 30 day colouring challenge where participants were encouraged to colour each day, even if only for five minutes and to share their work.  I enjoyed taking part even though I didn't manage all thirty days.  The second 30 day challenge starts tomorrow and I am really looking forward to taking part again. Perhaps you can check out some of my submissions during the month on Instagram, you can find me there at jacquielinestudio.  If you'd like to find out more about the colouring challenge, hop on over to Kathy's blog for everything you need to know

Thank you for taking the time to see what I've been up to this month and I hope you'll choose to look in again at the end of June to see what's been happening in the studio.  

Friday, 1 May 2015

Wow - where'd April go?


I think I must have blinked and missed April - where did it go?  It went so quickly that the studio was pretty empty, I didn't spend any time in there at all - that's sad.  So what have I got to share with you this month?  Honestly, not very much, so this will be a short post.  

I have recently visited some craft shows and have some hauls to share

 You can see from these pictures that I have been adding to my ink collection.  I like working with the VersaColor pigment inks, there are loads of pretty colours and they are really inexpensive, so if you need a specific colour for a project, they are a good option.  The same applies to the Memento dye inks.  If I'm going to spend more on inks, it has to be the Distress Inks for me.  I love working with them and use them for backgrounds and to watercolour stamped images.  I have recently started to buy the Distress Markers.  It's so easy to scribble the marker onto my craft mat or onto a stamp block and pick up the colour from there with my watercolour brush. 

Here are two examples where I have used both Distress Inks and Markers.  The top photo uses a stamp that is larger than I would usually use and I really enjoyed colouring it.  The leaves need some work, but that's ok, I'm learning all the time.  The second photo shows a cute little tub of plants and I tried this after watching the very talented Dawn from wplus9.  I love watching her work.

So May is here and I fully intend to spend more time being creative.  I have several projects on the go.  I have knitting and sewing started, I am trying to use my camera more often to become a better photographer and I also want to make sure that I make more use of all my lovely crafting materials in the studio.  I'll be making a good start in May as I have a crochet lesson booked for the coming week.  I'll let you know how it goes.  

Thank you for dropping by and I hope you check back at the end of the month to see how the crochet went.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Playing with sprays and acrylics


It was only the end of the month five minutes ago or so it seems to me, the clocks have gone forward and here we are at Easter time already.

February is always a busy birthday card month but March is much quieter which means that if I'm feeling brave, I can try something new.  This is exactly what I did this month and if I say so myself, I am really pleased with the result.  Early on in March, I dragged out my art journal and went to town with some sprays.  This was the result

As you can see, playing with sprays equals messy fingers, but I really enjoyed creating this. Although the photograph is not brilliant, I feel that you can get a good idea of how it looks.  The more that I looked at it, the more I liked it and felt that I would like to take it a step further - how was I going to do that?  

A friend who paints with acrylics had invited me to spend an afternoon with her painting. I had no idea what I would paint as I can't draw, it would need to be an abstract of some sort - why not try to recreate my journal page on a canvas?  I took my journal along with me and we discussed how I would go about reproducing my page on a canvas.  We decided that as I had not used acrylics in my journal, I would need to practise first - of course I knew that it would not be an exact copy and this is how my trial run turned out.

The effect from acrylics and brushes was not the same as using sprays but if I worked at it I felt that I could get a pleasing result.  It would need lots more practise.  During a break, we were browsing through pictures on Pinterest - I was looking at pictures of poppies, I love poppy pictures of all kinds. I then came across the picture below

I loved this colour combination and wondered if I could do an abstract style poppy on a background similar to this - I ended up with this 

I was really pleased and decided to be brave and try to get this onto a canvas.  I'm delighted with the result and am thinking of putting this one up on the wall in my studio

* * * * * * *
The 'I Love Colour' series continues and I found this month much more challenging as I did not have inks that matched the colour scheme I was using.  In the end I used watercolour pencils and produced a pretty birthday card.  

I appreciate you dropping by to see what I have been up to - what do you think of my first canvas?  

Wishing you all a Happy Easter and please look in again next month for more from the studio.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

I Love Colour - 3


It's time for another colour combination challenge and this month it did prove to be a challenge.  Here is the colour combination I was working from 

I knew that I didn't have very many orangey coloured inks, but I thought that I'd be able to find two that would match fairly closely.  This did not prove to be the case and I was beginning to think that I would need to choose a different colour scheme. 

Originally, I had thought that I would be using inks for all the posts in this series, but coming up against a problem so soon made me realise that I needed to 'open up' the supplies that I use to include all my colouring materials.  

Watercolour pencils proved to be the solution.  I like working with these pencils and use them either as a colouring pencil that I blend out with water, or I sometimes get the pigment straight from the pencil tip.  In this case, I didn't use water at all but instead I used a blending pen. 

Here's the finished item and I think that the colours are a really good match for my guide colours.

Thank you for checking in to see the continuing colour series and I hope you'll look in again next month to see what colours I'll be using.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Happy Mail and More Colour

Hi there

This month seems to have flown by faster than the last, I know that February is a short month anyway, but those two or three days make a huge difference I think. The days are getting longer though and it feels as if spring is just around the corner. There are splashes of colour here and there in the garden.  My camellia bush is blooming with its huge blooms and beautiful pink colour and there are tete-a-tete daffodil heads just waiting to burst open; their vibrant yellow colour always means spring is here.  I have also got a hanging basket with violas in, to me they are happy flowers with their happy little faces on.  

Things have also been blooming in the studio too.  I have been making the effort to spend some quality time there and have tried to challenge myself a little more too.  

The end of January and beginning of February are busy with birthdays for me and I have continued to enjoy using lots of colour on my cards.  I have been creating watercolour backgrounds and like the look of the loose style that they give.  I love using distress inks as watercolour paints and I still enjoy creating backgrounds with them to stamp on.   

Here's one that was for a Valentine's Day anniversary that I was really pleased with.  I have used only one colour with more water added to create each 'shade'.  I really like how it looks like I have used several colours and how they have blended together.

And now for a complete disaster that made my husband and I laugh a lot.  I have fancied playing with a Gelli plate for some time, but both sizes are expensive to buy. I turned to YouTube to see if there were any DIY Gelli plate tutorials and had a go with a 'recipe' from one of the several that I watched.  Some of them seemed more complicated than others and the one I chose was really simple.  So I trotted off and bought a silicone cake mould and some gelatin and followed the directions in the tutorial . . . . . 

Stage one was looking really good and when I took it out of the fridge the next evening, I had visions of gelli prints hanging out to dry all over the place . . . . . 

well that wasn't a good start, and then . . . . .

I didn't really know what to do other than laugh - complete disaster.  I will try it again, but I'm not sure if I should try the same 'recipe' or to go for a different method - any ideas?  

In mid February I posted the second in the 'I Love Colour' series.  In case you missed it, here are the colours that were my inspiration

and below is the card that I created using inks that, as closely as possible, matched those colours

I used pigment inks from Versa Color in Raspberry, Amethyst and Grape, a Memento dye in in Paris Dusk and a Distress Ink in Shaded Lilac.  I also used a Versa Magic Chalk in in Cloud White to create a subtle bokeh effect.  Three different stamp sets made up the image, Wplus9's Spring Blooms, Hero Arts Many Dots and Find Joy also from Hero Arts which I used for the sentiment.

For the colour series in March I shall be using a colour combination which has more than one colour, the previous two combos have been shades of one colour.  

Finally for this month, I've received happy mail. 

My MISTI tool arrived from the US.  It's great to use and fun too.  Have you seen one of these in action or are you using one?  I have a special job to do with mine - my daughter's invitations for her wedding so I'm not able to show you what I have done so far.  I'll show you some work using it in my next post.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog today.  I hope you will look in again in the middle of March to check out the third 'I Love Colour' post and again at the end of March to see what I have been working on with my MISTI.

I wish you all a great day