Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Celebrate Diversity

Hi everyone, Something new from me today, a craft that I have never tried before, I have really enjoyed it, so I can see that it might become an addiction. Here is my entry for the AALL  and CREATE Grand Finale, The World. As it's all about Celebrating Diversity, my thought was- why not wear it? Designing a tee shirt is something new to me, let along getting that design onto a wearable item. It's been such an enjoyable journey, taking part, so really wanted to leave my comfort zone.

To colour the base design, along with all the other elements I used the Colourist heat transfer paints. The entry and no entry signs will make more sense later.

I cut out my design (Mirror Image) to avoid an other marks being transferred to my project.

It was then placed face down and pressed with a very hot iron.

It was very exciting to uncover it, to see the result, I was very pleased.

On copier paper, I prepared the elements I wanted to use in the background, I used a selection of stencils and bubble wrap.These were set aside to dry.

The tricky part  was preparing all the words I wanted for the design. Each of them had to be done in reverse. It's a lot harder than you might think. I printed them off and used a light box to write them. The main circular design was to contain 'Celebrate Diversity' which I positioned within the circle. It was my way of symbolising connections.

Next using the same technique, I wrote the other words I needed. The positive words were placed within the arm containing the 'Entry' sign symbolising that these actions are acceptable. On the other hand the unacceptable action were added with the 'No Entry' sign.

Next, I built up my background layer by layer, using a mask from copier paper to keep the 'White Space' I ripped the elements I had created to ensure no hard lines. Layering from my lightest colour yellow, teal violet etc. It's a lot easier in papercraft, but thoroughly enjoyable.

This is my finished design. I didn't add any hole as in the brief as the garment has 4 holes already, neck,bottom and the two sleeves. 

I am quite sad that these challenges have now come to an end, It's been a great experience and it's been wonderful seeing all of the entries and the different takes on each challenge. I hope you like what I have done and the steps I have shared. Good luck to all.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

An African Mystery

Hi. I have another big project for you today, in fact the largest piece I have done to date about 60 x 40cm. It's my piece for the All-and-Create Africa Challenge No4. The first idea was an African landscape, which evolved as a result of research, elements I wanted to create and a story. There are a lot of elements all of which, tell just one version of a mans journey. So what's the story surrounding this mans life? Was he part of the Trans-Saharan gold trade, providing gold to the Mediterranean economies that demanded it. The man was unearthed at the foothills near to the Sahara Desert. Among his possessions were some trade beads, traced back to Ghana, threaded onto copper wire. Whats your version of his story?  

To start with I created his face using a polystyrene head and allginate. This was filled with plaster, I made the mould to one side rather than face on.

The face was secured to my board. Then using polystyrene, I created the high and low points to start the land.

Using Ivory Powertex and Calico I began building the landscape, creating Mountains,hills,valleys and delta's.

The next layer was sand to create the ground, here i used a selection of fine and medium sand. Then added more layers of a texture paste in certain areas which gives another interesting texture, completely different to the sand.

To add pictorial interest to my piece and tie in with the story and theme, I create a landscape within a map of Africa. I made a stencil with copier paper and then used distress inks.

Ten it was back to the main piece, building up various layers of colour from pale creams, yellows through to oranges and reds, leaving each to dry before moving on to the next. 

The final stage of the landscape was to create even more dimension, texture and colour. I decided to use rust, with it's lovely rich but sometimes unpredictable colours, which was scary. I went back to this many times with vinegar, brushing and moving it around to get the effect I wanted. Here is a photo of part of the process. It's looking a little disastrous and close to going in the bin.I was constantly worrying, wondering whether all the work so far had been wasted.

This project was a great learning process for me. I had loved geography and studied (minimally) parts of Africa in secondary school. This time round I read about the trading beads and found photos of some from Ghana. I wanted to make some and include them as an element in the finished piece. First I rolled out some paper clay into thin sausages and left to dry.

Next, I painted them with matt black gesso.

I then painted the 3 thin lines with yellow ochre.

To add the design, I used a white 4Artist marker from Pebeo.

Colouring the face came next, I had already built up the colour as I did the landscape, but now needed to tie it in with the background, I used layers of burnt umber, black and reds, distressing these as I went to get the finished result.

The first layer of rust was finally finished, I was extremely happy with the effect and wonderful colours it had given.

I layered up my pictorial element onto black card, drew in a double black line to create a frame and stamped using a mixed font from Clarity.

Meanwhile I added more rust and texture around the face to ensure it appeared as part of the landscape rather than just stuck in.I wanted it too look like it was coming 'OUT OF AFRICA'

Thank you for stopping by today and taking a look at this project. I hope you like all of the photos, the close ups really show the detail off, much of which is impossible to see without seeing it in real life. Take care and Happy Crafting.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Ties That Bind

Hi everyone. Long time no see, I'm back with a post for you today, it's a big one with lots of pictures, had to be after such a long time. This project has been created for the AALL-and-CREATE Europe Challenge 1. I have used a real mix of products and techniques and had to include letters from Leonie's Typography range, which I tend to use endlessly.I am extremely proud of it and thoroughly enjoyed creating it, while I have been secluded.

To begin, I transferred my map of Europe onto calico, using tracedown. I darkened the lines using a black Copic fineliner.

Next I used a selection of stitches to achieve a variety of interesting texture throughout the map, depicting the countries with shades of blue thread. The coast of Africa was stitched in red. I also stitched onto the map design the phrase 'Ties that bind' demonstrating the tight threads that have historically joined us to Europe. The french knots that I have used for many of the countries have added a lovely texture to the piece, but took forever. Thank you to Katrina from Rowandean for the inspiration.

One part of the challenge brief was to include something modern, after all that has happened with my laptop, it had to feature in my project, so I will never forget. I also wanted to include an element that stretched back through our rich history. What better than an ancient king and a historical ship, so I stitched these onto calico to illustrate the long history of Europe.

Next I moved onto the frame, which is slightly larger than A3, I used a thick backing board covered with Centura Pearl cardstock, the wrong side up.

Then came the exciting part, creating the texture and decoration and lots of rearranging. I started by covering the whole frame with Spiders web ribbon, securing with Collall  tacky glue.

I was so inspired by this project, to include the European printmaking influence, I decided to use the word 'Inspire' I would have loved to include all of the translations of the word but had to settle on 4 for this. I have used English, Welsh,Danish and Czech. The Danish 'Inspirere' is enclosed in a mini printers tray. The letters I have used are from Leonie's 'Typography' die collection.

Next I took a selection of bits and bobs to create my frame and add as much texture and interest as possible without detracting from the main map. I made ribbon roses, antique and modern lace, scrap fabric, old baby wipes along with a lot of other items. After a lot of rearranging, I came up with a plan. I did have a selection of old and new coins from all over Europe but decided to leave them out of the final design.

I had planned on using Ivory Powertex for my frame.......

But decided I wanted to continue the old and new theme, so changed to bronze Powertex. I added sand and different sized balls for even more texture.

For the letters, I added a little depth, using black sand texture gel from Pebeo.

I painted some parts of my old Laptop black and assembled onto the base sing garden twine and Powertex. I have included some close ups here.

The letters for my printers tray were finished with black gesso before lifting the texture with a selection of gilding was from Pebeo.

I then enhanced the textures created on the frame by drybrushing, firstly with black gesso. Then I used Colortricx Brons Gold mixed with Easy Varnish from Powertex.

I secured acetate in the aperture, then the stitched map behind. To finish, I added my stitched embellishments.

Thank you so much for coming to see this project. As I said before I have really enjoyed making it. I am so pleased to be back in the land of craft and hope to see you all very soon. I have to build up a selection of blogs, but I a working on it. Take care and Happy