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Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Drawing Eyes, Noses, Faces - ME ??? Mmmmmm

I have a main Blog but this Crafting Blog is about what I do when I am not doing DT work, its where I delve into the Mixed Media World as a student and its about Challenges etc, nothing but "Crafting" of all kinds.

So it has always been my dream to be able to draw! I Can't draw!!! Everyone says that isn't true and that everyone CAN draw but honestly, I CAN'T !!! That's why I do these little people/stories that I call "Stix To"!  here is an example or two:-

Its very frustrating not being able to draw!

Its annoying when  you have lots of ideas in your head but when you put them down on paper even you don't know what they are supposed to be?
I see a slight potential in my "Stix" People, do you??? No???

So my Arty take on the Challenge, don't do a full face just to an eye or half a face so you don't have to worry about getting the perspective right on both sides of the face, start small start in your own style. Abstract is definitely my style, in everything I do. I am quite proud of those lips popping in from the corner there?
Still Practicing Eyes!

Why am I practicing drawing eyes? Because Leandra from PaperArtsy challenged me to! Well not JUST ME? But anyone, everyone! I haven't done any Challenge Blogs in a long time and I miss them a bit really. I love the ones that give you a wide choice of what style, mediums, themes you can do.    It gets your imagination going in directions you might have otherwise missed? This one in particular struck me as a Challenge I have been waiting for my whole life - learn to draw and have the gumption to show what you drew to other people!!! This challenge in itself is completely different and is more of a personal challenge for me. So thanks Leandra and here is my first entry - I hope I will produce more and better entries as the two weeks progress, it's my mission!

I will practice some more! Out of the two Eyes/faces I did tonight I think this is the better one!

I actually did these two on the same page - double spread because I wanted them to be connected whilst being disconnected !!! Mmmmm that makes sense to me does it to you??? 

Anyway it didn't quite work the way I wanted it to so I will have another go. But it wouldn't feel right to Not enter this one as its my first real attempt and it's all about improvement,  I think the whole point is not to try to produce a masterpiece just yet (unless you want to of course?) but to at least try to find out if you can? Am I right Leandra? 

Of course you don't have to be able to draw these days because there are so many ways to get images onto card, paper, wood whatever surface you want to work on, one of the best ways to do this in my opinion is with Stamps, I love them! Even when my drawing is so good I can get them images from my head down on paper, as I see them (Ha Hem ???? we'll see eh?) I will still always use stamps. 

So I think I will put the full two page spread as my Entry (I know it's not great but this is a confidence building excercise for me too because dare I say it? (I can't draw!). 

So there you have it the full two page spread in my small Journal Book. This is my first entry into the PaperArtsy Challenge on Drawing Faces. This is inspired by the first Video on the Blog "Blue" by Nika and I will be working my way through them all - thank you so much for all this information and links to all these inspirational artists & tutorials Leandra.

I made this with my own fair hands, and a mix of Dylusions Inks, PaperArtsy Fresco Paints and a cute little ClarityStamp or two! 

Thank you for dropping in and I hope you will have a go yourself too. Xxx
Bye for now and Carry On Crafting! Xxx

Monday, 2 June 2014

My Gelli Plate Workshops

As you may or may not know I have been having a lot of trouble with my Google Blogger, to the point where I couldn't use it - still can't except off Blogsy in my IPad it doesn't work on anything else and often the photos don't go through. Anyway I was about to write on my Crafters Blg and found a fair few posts that had never actually posted, this is one of them so I thought I would post it now as I kiss my running my Gelli Plate classes but am working out how And when I can get going n teaching again. So hi all my Class Buddies ! 

Hi there, its been a while since I wrote on my Crafters Only Blog but I thought I would take the opportunity to use it as a Gallery for my Gelli Plate/Mixed Media Workshops. 
I always get really nervous just before one of my Gelli Sessions, when you are taking money off people you have to know that you are giving something worthwhile back.  To even charge people at all was very difficult for me in the beginning, I kept saying "are you sure you are happy paying this"??   Lack of Self confidence and all that does rear its ugly head from time to time.  In fact every time I am preparing for one of my classes.  But actually I think that is a good thing, its what keeps me on my toes, in all walks of life there is always room for improvement.  So if it  helps me sleep at night its a positive thing not a negative one.  I put my all into finding something to give back, i.e. new techniques, ideas and different ways of looking at things. (hence the 3 days of stress) .
Hi Rena Oooh  nice hair style. xx

This is Rena's print, this print doesn't do it justice, it looks nice here but its even richer when you see it in the flesh.
Look at the depth of shadow that Rena got in this after just one lesson with Charcoal, she was away with it.  I could tell she was impressed with her work and so she should be I love this.  
I do tend to talk about products a fair bit - I do love to try out new products, I love to see what they do or don't do, so I do know what I am talking about most of the time. But for people who just want to craft around that table for my one monthly session then it helps a lot for them to be able to go straight to the product that will "do the job properly", they don't want to spend a lot of time and money on things they won't use, they just want to go straight to the products they will use.
And here is the Birthday Girl, Happy Birthday Dorothy xx
This is the Lady Barbara was talking about on C&C on Sunday
This is where we were learning to Frame things, or fill in gaps on the prints you didn't think you could do anything with "Until Now" x All the techniques were just  a practice for when altering cards and applying to Journal Pages.

And I know I bang on about it but to me, Colour is everything.

I like to do a kind of Gelli Plate Warm Up.  Get some dregs on there and get your crafting juices flowing. We were making a card initially but everyone liked their prints with the shadowing so much that they didn't want to put them onto cards, so we just finished off the blending and shading and kept them as a full print. 
Then we did a Journal Project using our left over prints.  This is why I gave out Journals early on in my Classes so that we could have a little play with techniques every month. So we have ongoing projects in there and we can come back to them at the end of each session and add a few more techniques.
Here is Andy, I think that might be my gorgeous print you are holding up there Andy???
Oh actually no, I think its yours. Knickers!!!  xxx
To see how quickly and how well Rena picked up the Charcoal effects /ideas and what it achieved was so lovely to see, and to show how many ways you can use one good print, and how you can
 re-vamp one not so good print is really what its all about for me.  I have said it before, I might not always produce the best card myself, but I do feel I can teach people enough to produce their best card or at least put the idea into their head that they can do a lot more in crafting than they realised.
Now Andy this would make a great Journal backing page.
 I know this is Dorothy's because she was using the small Gelli Plate
See how those edges top and bottom just become part of the print, it would be
sacrilege to cut them off. So I told her to frame it and sell it, keep it I mean keep it!!!xxx
I enjoy sharing what I have learnt, found out for myself, and remember from my Mam Teaching me all those years ago.  Oh Boy I wish I had discovered this Craft World a bit earlier because my Mam would have loved it.
 So then we did a little bit of Gelli meets Journal and we used houses Hand Drawn by my Sister Margaret! thanks Margaret. So we cut them out and placed them on the Gelli Plate, you could Gelli them up first then cut out either way works, its what you do with them after that really counts.
Mine is an on-going project too. 
I have been drawing some "Stix To" people lately, as I can't draw this is my way of communicating!!
I have a little booklet waiting to be done from our Clarity Design Team trip to France, this reminds me of a village
we visited in France.  On this occasion its just a little Sam Stix To teaching Gelli Plate meets Mixed Media.
So this is for the Journals we started and bring along to the class each week as a Techniques Book so when our projects are finished, if we have a little time left we use some of our prints in our Journals and I teach what techniques I use, and then we can practice them.  This bit of the session is lovely because we just chill and chat.
This No.2 is made using the Clarity Wheelie Grunge Letters

We worked on the basics of colour and backgrounds.
Then on adding patter, and using the Tissue Paper Technique
I have discovered a new product to use with this method so I will
be trying it out a bit more.
But the main focus of it all is still the Gelli Plate and we will be definitely adding more stamping to it and a bit of that lovely Grunge Paste!!!
When you are open minded and don't think too much about what you are making who know's what you can achieve. OK so Photo Frame on the IPhone helped with this one but still????
 Unfortunately Jayne Davies  has broken her thumb and couldn't come and something unexpected came up for Margaret Iddon, which is a shame because she had been looking forward to coming and had already packed her kit.  I also have a Mother and Daughter who attend but couldn't make it on this occasion and a few other people who are hoping to get to one in the future.  So for now, I am very happy with my little group we get on well, we enjoy what we are doing and we are getting sillier and sillier the more we get to know each other - YES I DID NOTICE!!!!XXX

I would like to thank Rena and Jayne for starting this little childish but funny tradition of hiding behind the Artwork, I said I at least needed their hair in the picture so that I know its not my own work that I can sell!!!! Ha Ha would I????

So if you nip on here, thanks thank you for visiting please call again.
Sam xxx

Friday, 28 February 2014

Clarity Gossip & German TV

I would grab a cuppa if I were you, I do try to do short Blogs???  But its ages since I have blogged so I have to make up for lost time. xxx

Hi there Crafty people. Its a long time since I gave my Crafters Only Blog an airing.  My Main blog will be busy for the next few days, what with the new Clarity Challenge coming up tomorrow and then Barbara Gray on TV on Sunday morning 9am till 11am with some absolutely fabulous Clarity products and I do mean fabulous!!!. What a pleasure it is to be on the Clarity DT.  Not only for the products but for the people.  How lovely and considerate and kind everyone is. I love to see the work that my fellow designers produce, everyone has their own style and we all share the same love of the products, and of Barbara she's a great Boss Lady!!!
Bit of blending make lovely by the Clarity Stencils and Stamps
Maria Simms of course has a major role in the team, she does great demonstrations at the shows and I have learnt so much from her, some of which I couldn't repeat on here, ha ha kidding. Seriously I admire her style so much and she is a great teacher.  So what am I heading to hear??? Well I am really excited because on 5th April Maria will be starting a Clarity Workshop exactly 42 minutes drive from my house, if I don't do the Scotch Corner Roundabout twice!! It is in a lovely brand new building.  The building has everything you need, a car park a lift, a kitchen for drinks, a Tesco over the road - dream location or what.  Oh AND it will have ME!!!  I am really looking forward to these Workshops getting under way. Maria is taking bookings now if you fancy coming along.
Can you guess what this says?  Look I have all that white area (for a change) and not a finger print in sight nor a Bird, Oh well actually there are three birds but this time they are not for covering up finger prints!!! Oh there are Five?? saying no more. xx
Also on the same day my mate Jo Rice will be starting her own Clarity Workshop too, I was going to attend until she reminded me that it might be difficult splitting myself in two, so maybe when Maria and Jo haven't got a class on the same day I will get along to one of Jo's? Jo is also taking bookings.  You can never attend too many official clarity classes in my book. I am also booked in for the Clarity Retreat again this year too with Barbara Gray.  Its going to be a very crafty year for me.
I love the Clarity Numbers stamped this way don't you? I just think they look really, well, attractive?  I love them as a backing paper like this? They come in a strip so I did this before cutting them up, but you could also lay them back onto a large stamp pad to do it at a later date. I have been wanting these little dears for a while too, I got them in the sale, love them.
I am even dabbling in my own Classes!!!  I did a few way before I knew anyone in the craft world, before I was on FB or had a Blog or had been to any demonstration.  At the time I was crafting once a week in the home my Mam was in for people with Senile Dementire, I just thought everyone looked bored so I used to turn up with all my crafty kit and sit at a table making cards with some of the residents, I have told you all this before, but this is where I started off. I really didn't know what I was doing and it didn't matter it was just something for them to do.  Except I started to see what each of my "regulars" needed, I mean regulars too, as soon as I came through the door with my craft bags they all used to start making their way to the table, in the end I had to pull up two and sometimes three tables? Even the Staff joined in?? so I knew they were enjoying it.  My mam would give me a little scolding look sometimes if I didn't sit next to her, she would slowly take apart the heavily matted and layered card I made especially for her before I went in, another lady would colour beautifully on the printed pictures I took in for her, in the end I bought her a watercolour book she had obviously done arty colouring in the past.  There was even the lovely man who used to walk around with a spoon pinching everyone's dinner, well he just loved to turn the handle on the Cutlebug.  Somehow at the end of each session we would end up with some cards that were sellable at the door, all the money went back into the home.
This is the full version of the Arch above, I was really pleased with this card, I love doing this kind of work, adding all the pattern and colour mix whilst still making the stamp the centre of attention.  Mind you I think this stamp looks lovely whatever you do with it.
At that time I did learnt a lot about teaching, of sorts, you need the skills, you need to be organised and ahead of yourself, you need to be able to put across what you mean, how to do something but also how to get people to add their own little personality to a project.  I also learnt that some of these skills can be learnt, and some come from inside yourself. I love to see people being surprised at their own ability when they are really pleased with something they have just made. Probably because I get so excited about it myself??

So I am waffling, this is not what my blog was going to be about at all, but then when I am writing a blog I just go with my head and see what happens. My point, I am dabbling in a little bit of teaching myself, at Hobby Craft with the Gelli Plate and in Kings Coffee Café when I have enough interest in my Altered Art pieces/Books. I love books, I love to decorate them, alter them, give them, receive them, just a shame I never seem to read any?? My favourite are Journals and Diaries and Note Books I love them and I never want to spoil them by writing in them with my scruffy writing, that's why we need stamps!

So I will carry on this conversation on a later date, I will give you plenty of notice of  my wafflings!!!
Today I had a card on German TV the presenter held it up loud and proud and I had a little flutter of excitement, it still amazes me that I can produce something that people like to look at, believe me it wasn't that long ago that people wondered what I was ON?? Especially my family I think when I was going through my different "arty" stages.  Anyway I felt it was the nicest card out of the batch I did, design wise, all of the edges are done straight from the new Clarity Blending Mat. I will show you a few of the others too but they will all be shown on the Clarity Web Site along with the lovely work that my fellow DT did for the German TV today too.

And this is IT  - the card that was on German TV !!!  And the presenter talked about it for a little while, I have no idea what she said so I will make it up for myself, Ohhhh a little bit of indulgent self praise or should I go the critical route?  She was probably actually just telling people to join the HSE Crafting Club??? Clarity Blending Mat
So I don't think this Blog was too long considering I have hardly blogged lately, I  hope you will all join in with our Clarity Team this year at the Official Clarity Workshops, its a great way to keep up with all the latest techniques. 
So I will be off for now, see you tomorrow on my Main blog for the launch of the Clarity Stamp Challenge Blog. 
All comments are always welcome - nice one's only thought Jo  you listening!!!!!
Bye for now - go get crafty! xxx

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

My Craft "Taster" Session!

Hi Crafty Mates - through a serious of incidents and requests I have booked a table at Hobby Craft at Teesside Park, Stockton-On-Tees - Teesside for 14th November 2013  6-8pm.  

So what I would really like to know is, would anyone be interested in coming to a "Taster Workshop" with me.  By "Taster Session" I mean I would do a mix of techniques and a make and take.  Obviously there would have to be a bit of a play with a Gelli Plate involved.  I have posted on here rather than FB so that I can keep an easy record of who is interested. 

The background to this was made on a Gelli Plate
Prices and details of what to bring will be posted once I know I have more than say, 5 people.  If I don't get 5 or more people who would like to come then I will just sit and have a coffee with the lovely staff from Hobby Craft, whilst we are on the subject of Coffee, hot drinks will be provided free of charge. So if you would like to come along please put your name and a comment below, then I will PM you  with details once I have all my seats filled.  Please bear in mind that this will be advertised within the Shop too and seats will be limited.
A little Inking on my Splodge Mat

 This was  the inner part of a faux Music Box
 I made for my DT sample on the F&F Blog
The dresses were made on Gelli Prints and
Splodge Mat Prints
 So a little Eye Candy because I never Blog without it.
I look forward to seeing if there is any interest.
Ta Ta for now

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Them that do and Them that don't!!!

 I think there is a big divide in this Country between Them That Do Craft and Them That Don't!!!  I don't understand people who don't have hobbies (how on earth do they keep themselves occupied) and they don't understand people who do (how on earth do they get their housework done?). There you have it - the big divide.
So when I say I NEED to get in my Craft Room please don't say "you can't spend every spare minute in there"!! 
 When I say I am struggling to focus my ideas and separate them onto different cards instead of piling too many on one card ! DON'T throw a load of YOUR  ideas at me TOO, it doesn't help!!!!

When I have some new DT work to do - PLEEEAAASSSEEE DON'T everybody suddenly decide they miss me and want to take me to lunch, the pictures, a day on the beach!!! I NEED to be in my Craft room, and last week when I was twiddling my thumbs thinking I NEED some people around me you didn't want to go to the pictures, for a meal or to the beach then did you!?
And when I show you a card and say "do you think this is good enough for TV"?  Its like that
"Does my bum look big in this"? question!!! I am not really looking for the answer from the bottom of your heart, I am looking for the RIGHT answer,
a simple "Yes its lovely" will do nicely thank you. 

And FINALLY please DON'T tell me to give myself a break from crafting, crafting IS my break - from life!!!!  
 I am sure my Crafty friends will understand and my non-crafty friends won't but hey,
 it needed to be said!!!
So I never blog without Eye Candy - but I don't have any because I am either doing private DT work or
by the time I do get in it I am falling to sleep.
on Face Book - Ssshh
So for this Blog's Eye Candy
  I will see if I can drag something up from the past???

This wasn't used, quite frankly the whole card looked a little weird.
However, I was really proud of it, I started with white card and
after about three hours of blending inks over and over from the Splodge Mat - to get a little depth and warmth
I produced this thing!!!! Well not just this, there is a lot more on the card!?.

This is one I made earlier on the Gelli Plate  but couldn't use because
it's not good to Hang! the Characters on your cards!

 Its OK not to leave a comment this is just my Crafters Blog - and I am not really letting off steam
 I am just pointing a few things out.

Keep Calm and Carry on Crafting - when you get a few un-interrupted hours that is!!!
Bye for now

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Crafty Talk

Hi there I haven't got a lot to say tonight (I always say that don't I?) but I just wanted to update this blog as I have neglected it lately.  I have been back to a Journal class with Dyan Reaveley so I think I might put a few backgrounds on here, although in general I don't like to show my Journal work off because that's not what its for.  Its just for me to play and find my inner weiredness!!! ?? I mean weiredness in a good way, I have never been a lover of normal, in clothes, décor, life or Art.

Thinking about Journaling tonight got me thinking about Lowry, he always put so much interest into his paintings.
I remember there used to be a print of his  in our school hall, and while everyone was listening/falling to sleep  to assembly I used to sit and stare at the Lowry picture, every time you looked at it you saw something different.  I think this is what I like in Altered Art and Journaling the really good stuff has hidden little extras all over the place.
Being on a DT and researching on the Web is re-opening my love of lots of kinds of Art. But now the difference is I am beginning to feel I can start to produce a little bit of it myself, I mean really produce.  I am not there yet by any means but I am enjoying the process of getting there. I am surrounded by  really talented people and can't believe how much really great work doesn't even get a viewing by other people. 

 This is why I like Pinterest so much, we can all unashamedly put our own work on there to show it off but we can also search for other peoples work, I have found a fabulous photographer on there who now follows me, just being polite I think, but some of the work he directs me to is unbelievable. I see a lot of work that has been re-pinned from people I know too from SplodgeAway and Clarity and ranger etc. So when I put my "journal" work on here I am definitely not being negative when I say I have a long way to go, just look up Journal on Pinterest !!
But I am enjoying playing with it.  I enjoyed this class where we were playing more with backgrounds, the other stuff I have just added since I got home, but think I will come back to it at another time because I was beginning to spoil it - I do that a lot! But I learnt one very important thing, I get a bit hung up on the fact that the more I try to be A-symmetrical the more I become Symmetrical? But that actually that doesn't matter because I am actually looking for a "balance" in the project which is needed, it isn't about weather you are symmetrical at all, its about the three's and fives groups, it always works well on the eye, but some artists work in 4's and can make it work?  I personally think if you have a 4 you probably put a 3 opposite and that would be easy on the eye.  So it depends how you work your brush strokes or figures out? 
Found this tonight, I have been stood right in front of this building it is awesome.
Well like I say I just wanted to update my blog and show that I have advanced a tiny bit in my Journaling.  So Carry On Crafting and I will see you on Pinterest! If you have a positive comment please leave it, if you have a negative comment please leave!!  Ha Ha Good night Sam x
Sneak Peak at some Altered Art I am doing.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

For Crafters about Crafters!

Well good morning just thought I would update my Crafters Only Blog as I don't get around to this one much these days.  Talk about not getting around to things, when you wish for "a bit of a life" be careful what you wish for!!!  I am suddenly so busy my head is spinning.  But its all for really good reasons.  I am in the process of making cards for SplodgeAway as Tom is on TV's Create and Craft on 24th May, I also have some Blog work to do.  I have a day with Dyan Reaveley  on Saturday for a Journal Workshop .  On Sunday I will be on the Stall with Tom at the Ross Papercraft Show at the Nissan site in Sunderland.  I have also finished my DT project for the Fussy and Fancy Challenge Blog, the new challenge starts tomorrow so you will be able to see it there with more close up pictures of the project on my GBlog.
 Then on Monday I am packing for me and the kids - the kids and Dog are off to my sisters house while I am off to a two day workshop with Barbara Gray! What a good year this is turning out to be.  I also have workshops with Hels Sheridan later in the year and Annette Lee and Maria Simms coming up.   But next week will be special, I met a bunch of lovely ladies at the NEC last year and we have all kept in touch via FB so next week a lot of us will be staying together in a Hotel for three nights, whilst during the day we will be having a great time with Barbara.  I am sooo looking forward to this break.  So I am off to lock myself in my craft room and I won't let myself out until I have produced something good/different!!! or until I have to get my kids from school, whichever comes first!!!
 So I have been practicing my backgrounds for my journal pages, I like them as they are and struggle to bring myself to put something over the top of them. So have a nice day everyone or anyone who has tuned in and
Carry On Crafting.
Sam xx
While I am here can I say Congratulations to Eileen Godwin on your lovely work in the Craft Stamper Magazine!
Paula Whittaker has a lovely project in there too! In fact I think this months issue is the best Craft Stamper Mag I have ever seen, it is so good I wanted to buy it again!!!

Bye eck I wish I hadn't started doing all those links it took ages!!!