Tuesday, 29 November 2016


Hi all,

Time is something I haven't had a lot of lately, but time is also an amazing entity in itself.  All the things that 'time' has created, especially in nature.

I have a huge love of fossils, being bought up in a fossiling family on the Dorset Heritage Coast.  My lovely mum found a 'Hybodus' Sharks skull, and I have proud pictures of her that I will share one day.  She was always down the beach at stupid times of the morning, and often I would go too.  My dad found many quarry fossils, and also was a keen beach fossiler, and my (not related.. lol) Uncle has an Ichthyosaur in the British Museum.  I have fond memories of that part of my childhood.  I also know how and where to find fossils, although you need permission now to remove fossils from the beaches.

So when Andy Skinner's fossil stencil came out, I knew I had to have it.  Here is a little project I created, using just part of the stencil.  It reminds me of a real ammonite, as you do get rainbow colours within the shells, set into the stones you find them in.

I stencilled the centre of the fossil onto a Tando Media Board, with DecoArt Modelling paste.  Let that dry, then smooshed more modelling paste around the edges, and at the bottom of the tag.  Into that I stamped an 'Ink & The Dog' stamp, of a fossilised fish, into the modelling paste.  Let dry, then started on layers of paint, which I don't know how many times I did, but I used DecoArtMedia Cobalt Teal Hue, Primary Magenta, Interference Magenta, Interference Turquoise, Interference Violet, Paynes Grey, Quinacridone Gold, and possibly another blue... I was having fun and lost count...

The outcome almost looked like real slate in places, and although that's not strictly where you will find fossils, the colour was good.  I then went over the fossil relief, with the three colours of intereference, in a rainbow effect, so a few sections in one, and so on.  This had some more Quin gold over, so it did dull it slightly, but I loved the effect.  I also painted inside the fish scales. 

I finished off with Andy's clock from the Steampunk set, and some sticker sentiments from Tim Holtz. 

I wanted to portray Time, and the amazing things that come from it.  I think this applies to all of us, not just nature or history, we call all learn, and grow, take a few minutes to look around you, take it in, to listen, to slow down, and take time. xx

Crafty hugs,


Products used:

DecoArt Media paints & Modelling paste.
UK/elsewhere Tando Creative Ltd
Media Boards - Tando Creative
Andy Skinner Fossil Stencil - Tando Creative

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Ministry of Mixology DecoArt/Tando Project

Hi all,

Just recovered from a fantastic weekend at the Ministry of Mixology in Coventry, and a fab day at Hochanda for DecoArt & Tando Creative.  I promised a tutorial on the acrylic pieces from Tando that we did make and takes on at the Ministry, and I showed as a demo on tuesday.

These acrylic pieces are a great size, and are easy to work with, and perfect for necklaces, key rings, christmas decorations, hangings, anything really.  I set them into artwork as well.  You can paint on one side and keep the other shiny.

Firstly I peeled one side of the cover off of the acrylic shape, and stamped in DecoArt Media Carbon black paint, with Andy's 'All Seeing Eye' stamp from the Curiosity set.  Bear in mind that if you use a stamp with writing on, it will come out backwards on your piece as we work on the same side right through.  I just waited for the stamping to dry, then rubbed off the letters.

Once that layer is dry, I painted the inside of the eye, (still on the same side), roughly with either titanium white or Titan buff, your choice here.  You don't need to be neat, just try and keep inside the lines of the eye.

Next I painted the two triangle lines with gold, and then over and around that I used interference turquoise, using my paintbrush slightly tilted to flat side, so you just dab and leave gaps in the paint.  This allows further layers to show through.

Then I used primary magenta for the next layer.

The following layer was cobalt teal hue.

Then another coat of gold, but nearly all over.

Final layer is black, cover the whole of the back of the piece.  This stops any gaps showing, and also makes all the other colours pop.

When dry, turn your necklace over and peel the final piece of plastic cover off of the acrylic, your colours will be revealed!

Here are a few pics of necklaces I made from my pieces, just adding a leaf bail with pinflair glue gel.  I then added Liquid Glass on the back, to protect the paint layers, and secure the bail further.

When you move the necklaces around, they shimmer at the front from the interference paint.

I also made this Media Board tag, with the same principles on the acrylic.  I pushed clear acrylic pieces (covers still on), into modelling paste on a board.  I 'pinged' them back out, leaving a recess.  Left to dry, I then stencilled Andy's 'Codebreaker' stencil in the gap.  Layers of cobalt teal hue, quinacridone magenta, interference magenta, interference turquoise, and I think a bit of paynes grey and quinacridone gold, gave me a grungy, rainbow oily type of effect.

 I painted my acrylic pieces as the above tutorial, and put aside.  A final layer over the numbers of interference turquoise, made them stand out.  Finally the acrylic pieces were glued back into their places.

I hope this gives you some inspiration.

Best Wishes,


Materials Used:

Andy Skinner - Codebreaker Stencil
Andy Skinner - Curiosity Stamp set
Andy Skinner - Toxic Stamp Set

DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Titan Buff, Primary Magenta, Cobalt Teal Hue, Interference Turquoise, Carbon Black, Paynes Grey, Quinacridone Gold, Metallic Gold.

DecoArt Liquid Glass

Tando Creative - Media Boards, Acrylic Shapes (shapes are new, may not be on website yet).
Tando Creative Mini Stencil - Leaves 1.

Friday, 4 November 2016

Craft Stamper Magazine TIMI Challenge - November - Take a Stamp

Morning everyone,

Today is Craft Stamper Magazine's November challenge launch, and this month it's just 'Take a Stamp'.  This means any stamped creation (with a physical stamp), we'd love to see your entries, so hop over to the blog and take a look at the Design Team's inspiration, and get entering, there are fab prizes to be won as well.

Our sponsor this month is: The Artistic Stamper, and the prize is this lovely Mushroom stamp set.  Our random winner will receive this.

And our winner as picked by the DT will get a Guest spot in the magazine and blog, showcasing their work.

My inspiration this month is an old book cover, that I found at a car boot, and asked the bemused lady 'how much'.  As it was only a cover, I think she thought I was mad, and told me to take it away..

So 'The Calculating Cobbler'  became a base for a layered piece of artwork inspired by the lovely Tracy Weinzapfel Stratton.  (I kept the cover as the reverse, hence you can see gesso peeking over from the other side).

I first punched out some circles of text and glued them to my base, to give texture.  Then painted in shade's of teal and orange.  I layered this, and when I thought I was happy with my base, was going to use a different stamp altogether.  When it came to stamping it I dropped the stamp on the background, and double stamped the image, thus 'ruining' my work.  But as we know in art there are no accidents, so I set about layering more teal and orange paint, to cover where I had stamped, but some still shows through and I loved my new base.
When dry I added Totally Tracy texture stamp, in teal, then black to area's of the canvas.

 I used Andy Skinner's Codebreaker stencil as well.  The flower stamps are all Tracy's.  They were stamped onto rice paper, cut out and adhered to the base, then painted with DecoArt Media paints. A liner brush was used to draw the stems and round the petals again, and white dots added with my trusty acrylic sharpie.

The sentiment was added and my little panel is finished.

Hope you like it.

Don't forget to check out the Craft Stamper Challenge, and join in with us this month.  It's so much fun and the prizes are well worth it!

Best Wishes,