Can’t I just be ‘there’ already? – said the Queen of Impatience

Hello fireflies…..

This page is a do-over.  I started this page twice before I managed to get it to come together.  It’s a page in the Journal I Can’t Tear The Pages Out Of.  So I couldn’t be a “Bin Girl” by tearing it out to start again.

Queen of ImpatienceI tried a vintage red and aqua.  The mask I used around it was awful.  It just looked like red and aqua paint had tipped over on my page.  Hmmm… okay, that experiment didn’t work.  I know there is a good way to put those two colours together but this ain’t it.

Then I did a big blue band down the bottom of the page with white loops that looked like bunting down the bottom.  Okay, that was supposed to look like bunting down the bottom.  I’m not a delicate touch, so it just looked awkward and clunky and….. this is not working.  At all.  So not at all.  The temptation to tear this page out is overwhelming but I can’t because it’s the Journal I Can’t Tear The Pages Out Of.

IMG_2227I painted the whole thing over with aqua as a do over.  Let’s try this again.  I added some stencilling with a very similar aqua so it wasn’t too bold a contrast – remember the first layer of red and aqua??? I wasn’t making that mistake again.

IMG_2222I added some lace with matte medium.  And of course, being the Queen of Impatience, it still wasn’t dry when I started adding the magenta paint.  The lace pulled up a few times and I kept having to press it back down.  Oops.  Lots of water bottle spritzing helped the magenta to run through the lace.  I also did a block in the magenta for journalling.  I learned this trick from Jane Davenport and I looooove it.

IMG_2232Then came the face.  Oh the face.  Each one I do gets better.  And this was before I went to the Jane Daveport retreat where my faces got soooo much better. I like the shape of the lips and her nose and the eyes came out really good too.  I’ve heard a theory that you have to make 100 ugly paintings before you make a good one.  So I’m trying to let go of the thought of having everything be Somerset Studio worthy on the first try.  So many art girls talk about their journals being a place to play and experiment, so I’m trying to run with that.  Which is hard for a perfectionist with crazy high expectations every time I walk into the art room.

I added some blue water colour crayon mostly smudged with my fingers and some more water spritzing with white which turned out quite feint.  Then onto the journalling.

IMG_2228I added the date into the magenta block because I thought that whole side of the page needed words  – and because what I wanted to say wasn’t gonna fit in that little space.  I’m a chatterbox, even in my journal.

IMG_2220I really like the stretched lettering I’ve been playing with.  It makes simple printing look a little more arty.  The curvy writing wasn’t quite how I wanted it but my adventure into fearless journalling where I don’t plan it out means I have to go with the results.

IMG_2218I’m so glad I persevered with this page…I kinda had to because it is in the Journal I Can’t Tear The Pages Out Of.  But I am glad I just kept painting over it until I made something I like.  I need to be willing to experiment and try stuff out, even if it doesn’t work.  Because along the way I’ve come across things that do work and if I push through, I eventually come up with something I like.  Even if it takes 3 tries to get there.

Coral.  xo

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What happens when you get to play at Jane Davenport’s house

the nestI got to play at Jane Davenport’s house again.  I’d only been at her house in October last year, but I jumped at the chance to go again.  As in – I booked an hour after she announced it – jumped.  I know how much of a transformation and awakening I had last time and was craving the chance to feel that again.  Cause it’s kind of addictive.

Blue faceWhen I booked, I sorta figured it would be the same class as last time which I was quite happy to do.  Except it wasn’t.  There were little hints of the last one which were as beautiful as last time – like the genius of the journaling exercise on her studio deck.  I would go all that way just for that part of her classes.

Journaling faceThe journalling part of her class is one of my favourite parts of going to The Nest.  The other is getting to talk with Jane about art during the breaks.  Her opening the door to that world is so generous.  Book deals and product licensing and her philosophy on teaching is mesmerizing.  I could talk to her about that for days. To be fair, I can talk about anything for days, but even more so when it comes to this sort of stuff.

Side faceI really wanted to ask her a question about finding your own style and not being drawn into copying from your teachers.  She gave the most beautiful and generous insights as she answered that question.  And I will be forever grateful for her answers.  Cue fairy lights and fireworks and the hallelujah chorus….  I felt like she let me into her personal world in that moment to share that just with me.  How can you possibly say thank you for that?  She would reference that question back to me on and off during the whole weekend which was magical.  Because it meant it was washing around in her mind long after our original discussion and her continuing to add little snippets to her answer were more proof of her generosity and openness to sharing  her world of art.

WingThe second day of the workshop started with a yoga session.  Now, I’ve got a few extra curves on my highway, so I was a little nervous.  The breeze was blowing ever so gently, washing over our skin as we lay on our mats, breathing in… breathing out…  It made the trees sway and their leaves talked in whispers.  Birds were singing in different corners of her garden… breath in…. breath out.  So blissfully relaxing.  A couple of birds had a little tiff in the tree right above me and I remember thinking “please don’t ruin this by pooping on me” but they soon flew off and my serenity returned.

Our gorgeous teacher spoke in such a gentle way, it was like a meditation all on it’s own.  She would shoot me the occasional glance with a little smile that was overflowing with encouragement.  Despite my curvy highway, I never once felt self conscious.  It was okay if I lost my balance or couldn’t keep holding a pose.  No-one was looking or judging.  And Jane made sure when Angus took a photo of us, it wasn’t while our butts were in the air. Yep… that girls a thinker!

Jane & Me March 2014I’m so happy with what I learned and made over the weekend.  But I’m grateful for so much more than that.  Learning with a whole bunch of like minded and kind hearted girls.  My first ever yoga class.  The gift of art discussions with Jane.  Listening to Jane as a working artist sharing her life.  And having Jane write a cheeky message on the back of one of her prints for me.

I just wanna reach through the computer and hug you and tell you if you have never done a workshop with your favourite artist in real life… do it.  Do it as soon as you can.  Find a way.  Because yes, you will get grow as an artist.  But you will grow so, so much more as a person.  And you will have rocking chair memories that you will hold close for the rest of your life.  Because life isn’t about day jobs and getting the vacuuming done.  It’s about weekends like this.

Biggest of big hugs – Coral. xo

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Calms the storm

Music calms the stormI am in love with the Journal I Can’t Tear The Pages Out Of.  Before I got it, I would go all pouty sooky face saying ‘this sucks’, rip the page out and start something new, still stewing over not being able to make something beautiful.

Because I can’t tear the pages out of this journal, I’m pushing through (with the occasional gesso’d over page).  I can’t believe what a difference having this journal has made.  I know this is a major milestone for me.  A huge leap forward into something special.

As you work, you are aware you can’t tear the pages out.  Sometimes that puts a bit of pressure on to do something “Somerset Studio worthy” but it also makes you persevere and push through.  The light and dark of this type of journal.

Music calms the storm 2This page was a bold experiment.  I used big patches of black which is kinda scary and full on.  I was inspired by people like Mindy Lacefield to give it a try.  I was really tired and was gonna go to bed on a Friday night after a big week at That Day Job.  But I pushed through and got into that late night bliss you get on a Friday night.  Hubby went to bed and as the house fell into the quiet, I wandered into the art room with the ipad.  I had fallen in love with Beyonce’s new song XO so had that playing over and over on youtube as I worked.   I was so blissed out.  You know those moments when the world just falls away?  It all began to flow without too much thinking which is very unlike how I usually work.

Music calms the storm 3The lyrics became some of the journalling over the black.  When I first did the black patches, it was a bit ‘woah baby’.  But once I journalled over it in white, it pulled it back a lot.  When I first started art journalling one of the rules I made (cause I’m a rules girl) was that I would only put positive things in my journal.  I’ve had some awful stuff happen in my life (haven’t we all??) and I am a bit of a delicate little petal so I wanted only positive things in my journals.  Beautiful words to go with beautiful art.  But I did mention that the day had been a struggle – because there are days when living a life that doesn’t feel like it fits can be like that.  That’s where the large journalling Music Calms The Storm came from.

Music calms the storm5The background was pink paint and blue Dyna Flow ink with patterns added with stencils and drawing directly out of the bottle.  I really like the Dyna Flow inks. They don’t reactivate once they are dry, where the spray inks do.  I also added some dots and dashes in the black to play with some ideas I learned from Alisa Burke in a mini workshop I did with her.

Music calms the storm 3Pink isn’t normally my go to colour but every now and then I get a thing for pink.  I’ve always been a blue girl.  I really like how the colours came together on this one.  I think the pastel-ness (is that a word?) of the pink and blue balanced the darkness of the black.

Music calms the storm6The journalling was based on an idea I had seen on Pinterest.  I’ve become quite brave on my pages with the journalling.  I’m just writing on the page without thinking too much about what the words will be and how they will fit on the page.  (I’m also a plan it out girl).  Funny how this ‘can’t rip it out’ journal has also made me let go of my plan it out, follow the rules side of my personality too.

Music calms the storm 7When I instagram & tweet my journal photos, I use the hashtag #eachonegetsbetter.  Because with each page, the faces get better.  I learn something for next time.  They aren’t where I want them to be yet, but at least they are moving in the right direction.

Now, whenever I hear XO by Beyonce on the radio, I float back to the night of this page.

And the world falls away…

Coral.  xo

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Mail Art – She wanted to soar

After the first exchange with a new friend overseas, we decided to do it again.  This time we set a theme, with my friend choosing ‘Wings’.

I was surprised by how quickly I came up with an idea after a brief moment of “what am I going to do?”  I came up with combination of using some printed napkins that had just arrived in the mail and an idea I’d seen on Pinterest.

Wings1I started with the famous ugly 80′s envelopes.  I’ve still got plenty in the stash.  It’s like a never ending supply – every time you take one, more show up!  A layer of gesso got the party started.  I added some brown Neocolor II crayons in patches and around the edges for some base colour.  Then I used Liquitex matte medium to apply a bird egg printed napkin  – sooo obsessed with printed napkins at the moment.  Then the hard part started.

Wings3I made a template for the the feathers.  As the Queen of Impatience – I don’t know what I was thinking.  Why did I think cutting out a gagillion little feathers would be fun?  And why did I make the template so small?  I had to cut a lot more feathers than I had expected.  I used a combination of a chevron print and vintage mail print scrapbook papers for the feathers and a vintage graph paper for the top of the wing.

The layering started and part way through, I realized I was gonna need more feathers.  Damn it!  Whose idea was this?! Oh, yeah….

I was going to layer from the top of the wing down, but decided to go from the bottom up which was the logical way to get the right layering of the feathers.  I stuck them down with more matte medium with another layer over the top to seal them down.  Looking at the finished wing, it just didn’t look right.  There was too much contrast, so I added a wash of gesso over the top to lighten and soften the feathers and to bring it together.

Wings2Hmm…. now what?  It still needed a bit of somethin’ somethin’.   So I pulled out some letter stamps.  Again, this was a lot bigger task than I expected.  It took forever!  And the small letters are tiny peg stamp with sharp edges, so my fingers were killing me by the end of it.  I was feeling kinda fearless, so I didn’t plan out the wording or placement too much – which is very not me.  I’m a very ‘plan’ kinda girl but was trying to work outside my comfort zone.  I’d probably have done the placement a little different if I’d planned it or had a do-over.

Wings4I’m really happy with how it turned out, especially because it was only partly planned and I just went with the flow for the rest (who am I and what have I done with the real me?).

My friend really liked it when it arrived which is always a question in the back of your mind as you send the envelope on it’s adventure to the other side of the world.  Doing something ‘good enough’.  I’m wary of just replicating something from Pinterest – I like it to still look like me.  Like my art, not a copy.  And it’s often hard not to be swayed by the other person’s art.  But in the end, it seemed very me and I learned so much as I did it.

That’s something that is happening alot as I make art at the moment.  I’m not just making something pretty.  I”m learning how mediums work.  What happens if you do this instead of that.  What I would do differently or better.  It’s the first time I’ve understood that side of things when playing in the art room.  And I think my art is growing so much because of it.


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A girl and her dress

So after the first journal page that I was super duper happy with – I wondered if I would do another page ‘as good’.  I know it’s weird but I feel like that whenever I am super chuffed with something I’ve done.

gratitude4Over Christmas, I shouted myself a Dina Wakley video from Cloth Paper Scissors online.  After watching it, I went straight to my art journal.  I think you make better art if you get inky and painty straight after watching a video or reading an art book.

Gratitude3I chose a page where I had already used a circle stencil and some dark green acrylic paint to do a positive and negative image across the 2 pages.  I painted over some of it with more of the same colour and some pale mint paint.  I added a few drips with the dark paint too.  Then I used some magenta Dynaflow ink to mono print the same stencil, to draw swirly lines and to do a little wash.

gratitue 02I drew a lady who turned out pretty nice, I love how the pattern turned out on her dress.  It was all pure fluke, of course.  I just did the pretty background then figured out what I was going to do from there.  I wasn’t sure whether to draw a face or not.  But I drew on a face in pencil that turned out okay, so I went over it in pen.

Gratitude2The journalling was another fluke – I tried some lettering I had seen on Pinterest that actually turned out a lot better than I was expecting.  I think being the Queen of Impatience means my journalling often doesn’t turn out so flash.  Good journalling takes time.  I did the actual journalling underneath on just the block of colour (a trick I learned from Jane Davenport).

Speaking of Jane, I’m off to do another workshop with her in a few weeks.  Loved the workshop I did with her last year so much.  That’s actually what this page is about.  How grateful I was to be able to do the class and the changes that have happened since.  Art changes, life changes.  Who knew art could be so transformative?  Probably everyone except me.  And of course, Jenny Doh – her Art Saves movement kinda says it all .

Gratitude 01This page is now my favourite in this journal (what about the last one??? I hear you cry) and I am again wondering if I will make another page as awesome as this.  I’ve even got it as the wallpaper on my phone.  I would love to use it for other things too.  Some material from Spoonflower, an iphone case, my next set of cards from Moo.

The feeling of loving a page is so good – I want to feel like this a lot more often.

I want to know my style, for my art to have a feel that is very me and for me to know what to do every time I walk into the art room.  Weeeelll, at least a lot  more often than I do now.  I’m getting closer to it each time I work in the this ‘ journal that I can’t tear the pages out of ‘.

Coral.  xo

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What happens when you buy a journal you can’t tear the pages out of

40 03I’ve never shied away from admitting I’m a ‘bin girl’.  All the journals I’ve worked in up to this point have been visual diaries with the spiral binding.  Which means I’ve freely torn pages out and binned them when it felt like they weren’t working.

40 02But after doing Jane Davenport’s weekend workshop, where she delighted in the fact I couldn’t tear the pages out of our handbound journal, I’ve taken the leap and bought a Strathmore Mixed Media Journal.  It’s a hardcover, bound journal.  In other words – a journal you can’t tear the pages out of.  In fact, that’s what I’ve called it.  “The journal I can’t tear pages out of”.

40 05A lot of people talk about your art going through an ‘awkward teenager’ stage.  Where you feel like it’s not working.  It’s not coming together.   This is where I would normally tear out the page with a few ‘special’ words and throw it in the bin.  And I would walk away from my art room for a few days, frustrated I couldn’t make something nice.  Which means, I don’t get very many pages finished.  But with this journal, I’m pushing through.  I’m coming back another day.  And it’s actually working out.

40 07I’ve done lots of art over the holidays.  Lots of back grounds.  Lots of layers.  Some journalling (which is kinda the point of an art journal).  And practicing my faces.  I’m learning each one gets better with practice.  With tweaks and changes each time.  This one is the first one that made me really happy.  Like it’s kinda getting there.

40 06I journaled about what 40 means.  This birthday feels really significant.  And like something great is coming but I don’t quite know what.

40 01The page includs Clauding Hellmuth Studio Paint, Atelier acrylic paint, Daler Rowney acrylic ink, Posca paint pen, Pilot permaball pen and Prismacolor pencils.  I used lots of water for washes and drips, bubble wrap for monoprinting and of course, my stencil obsession continues.

40 09I was in love with this page for a few days.  I kept coming back to the art room to look at it.  To rub my hands over the pages.  And then… You know how sometimes you do something so good you wonder if you’ll ever do something as good again?  So I’m trying to figure out why I think this page works – the art theory behind it all, so I can make more pages I love.   Because it’s not just about making pretty stuff.  It’s also learning and experimenting and growing and improving.

So happy with how this whole journal is turning out.  I feel like I’m finding my style a lot more, becoming more comfortable with how my art looks.  Feeling comfortable with my process.  Finding my style and process is something I’ve chased for a long time.  Knowing how to start, how to go through steps that create something consistent, how to do it my way rather than replicating what other artists have taught me.  This journal is helping me find all those things.

I might not be a ‘bin girl’ for much longer…..

Coral.  xo

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Goodbye 39

Look what I got for my 40th birthday - all Kelly Rae Roberts - one of my art SHeroes

Look what I got for my 40th birthday – all Kelly Rae Roberts – one of my art SHeroes

Goodbye 39

You are the year I felt most like myself.

You are the year I got to connect with art in the deepest way.

Art has called to me for the longest time and this year… the year of 39…. I truly saw what you could be.  And I understood why my heart has been calling to you for so long.

This is the year I got to know myself so much more.  And I fell in love with who I am.

All the things that make me uncool are the things I love the most.  They make me who I am.  And I no longer hide those quirky little bits.

I feel like something great is coming as I turn 40.

And I feel like 39 was the beautiful bridge I got to cross to get there.

So many moments of clarity.  Gentle lessons learned.  The divine bliss of art classes.

For a long time, I was nervous about what 40 was going to bring.  I started having my ‘mid life major re-assessment’ 2 years ago, knowing 40 was looming and the expectations I’d had for my 30′s.

But as the day arrives, I’m surprisingly peace with it.  I feel like I’m coming into my time.

Goodbye 39.

Hello 40.

Coral.  xo


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One Little Word – OLW 2014

40One Little Word – 2014

Me + Fun

Lots of people are working on their One Little Word for this year.  Choosing words like Permission, Explore, Thrive and Trust.  Words that will help them work towards their goals.  Words that mean they say yes.  Yes to that online workshop they’ve wanted to do forever.  Yes to starting their blog to share their heart with the world.  Or opening their Etsy shop to share their creative soul.

But my word means I’m being selfish this year.  In the nicest possible way, of course.

I’m turning the big 4-0 in a couple of days.

And if I don’t have a year for me this year, then when do I get one?  I’ve put myself last for a long time.  I think it’s a girl thing.  We look after everyone else first and leave nothing for ourselves.

I gave everything to That Day Job for a long time and my personal life would get what was left.  But in the last 2 years, I’ve discovered that means nothing to the people you have given your everything to.  You don’t even get a thank you after 10 years of service.  Seriously, not even a thank you.

Looking after a sick husband, being the lean on girl for friends. running the house, running two blogs, working with designers and manufacturers for my stamps and trying to learn so many new things all at the same time – it’s no surprise there was less than nothing left for myself.

And my solution was to comfort eat.

Needless to say, it’s left me feeling empty on the inside and overflowing on the outside.

If I tried to do something that wasn’t easy the first time, I would give up.  Put it in the “go back to it another day” box.  Because it wasn’t fun.  And because I had nothing left in the tank to experiment and play and go with the flow.  I needed it to be perfect first time so I could just get on with it.

But in September and October last year, I did 2 “in person, real life, get your hands painty” art workshops.

And my world changed.

With Chrissy Foreman Cranitch – I felt bliss the whole day.  I can’t remember ever feeling like that before that day.  Such serenity and clarity.  No sense of time.  An inner calmness instead of my usual frantic, everything has to be perfect way.  I realized that working artists get to feel like this a lot.   And it made me want this life more than ever before.  Imagine getting to feel like this on a weekday?

With Jane Davenport – I got to see my dream life in person.  I got to see the life of a working artist up close.  The stockroom for her online store.   Her studio filled with art supplies and camera equipment for filming.  I made art that was effortless and was so very me.  I got to play.  The whole weekend washed over me and through me like an afternoon spring breeze, blowing away the cobwebs built up over 40 years.

How did I not see life could be like this before now?

You can imagine it until the cows come home.  But when you experience your dream life, you get it.  You truly get what you heart has been calling you to do.

So in 2014, I want more of that.

More bliss.

More play.

More fun.

Coral.  xo

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Mail Art – Mixed Media Fronds

Another new friend and more mail art -are you seeing a pattern here?

I dove into this one on an early Saturday morning and it all just came together in the space of an hour or two.  No pressure, no expectations, no plan.

frond1I’m still working through the mega stash of ugly 80′s yellow envelopes, so I always start with gesso so the envelope doesn’t disintegrate with the ink and paint.  Then I pulled out my Gelli Plate.  Love my Gelli plate.  Everyone gets such different looks from it.  I used an alphabet stencil with a combo of orange and red paint.  That got the envelope started so I was no longer looking at plain white with a hint of awful yellow. I added some torn decorative napkins and a snippet of scrapbook paper left over from a previous project with matt medium.  Then I filled in the gaps with some pink Dyna Flow ink in an Aquash pen (one of my favourite discoveries at the Jane Davenport Weekend).  That really brought it together.  I added some rubber stamping in black ink to fill in some gaps and the base layer was done.

I cut out a petal shape and traced it down the page on both sides then added a stalk through the middle using white Prismacolor pencil.  I went over it with a white Posca paint pen then rubbed out the pencil.  I went around the outside of the petals with black Liquitex ink in an Aquash pen and used another Aquash pen filled with water to spread it around.

Frond3Then I added the name and address.  This was the scary bit.  As I’ve said before, I’m not a ‘just go for it girl’.  I’m just impatient.  Big difference.  So I started writing my friends name on the envelope without planning it out or practicing.  The moment I did the first letter, I regretted that.  I didn’t even know what I was doing!  But I discovered a new way of writing the name and address that I fell in love with.  Yay for happy accidents!

I loved this envelope so much and was so proud to send it off to a new friend.  I made three more just to play but they were in a completely different colour scheme.  Something about the brightness of this one meant it was my favourite.

frond2There was a bit of a challenge though – the posting.  It took a week and a half to get there.  And it only had to go a few hours away from my house.  Meanwhile, the one I sent to the other side of the world only took 2 weeks.  I think I was being a bit too clever and chose stamps that were the same colour as the envelope.  And I didn’t put them in the official top right hand corner (because I got so excited making it, I forgot to leave a space for the stamps.  I do that.  A lot.)  So I’m guessing it had to get hand sorted and hand cancelled.  But it made it in the end.  Just gotta remember to leave a space for the stamps next time.

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Dream Big altered canvas

Dream9So I’ve been home feeling crap-tacular for almost 2 weeks.  Basically living on the couch watching YouTube videos on the ipad and sleeping in the air con.  I have been too sick to go out to buy supplies but did manage a mean bit of online shopping – I blame the fever.  (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it).

Dream1I did a ruthless grab in the art room and took an already completed canvas off the art shelf.  Now, when I say finished, what I mean was I did a simple background and got too impatient to do more to it before I leapt into Teesha Moore style journal writing.  And then because the writing was so busy, I couldn’t do much over the top.  To be fair, I didn’t really know what else to do to finish it off anyway.  So it wasn’t my best-est ever work, which is why I had the courage to paint over it.  That and the fever meant the care factor was a lot lower than normal.

I used some of my brand new Titan Buff Golden Fluid Acrylic Paint from my online shopping spree and painted over most of the writing.  I left a lot of the existing blue still showing because I was going to run with that colour.  The Golden paint is quite see through, so you could still see the words but I figured they would get covered up from every thing else.

Dream7I stuck on some She Art coffee filter paper from Christy Tomlinson and scrapbook paper I had left over from here with matte medium.  I’m a bit obsessed with red stripe paper at the moment.  Not sure why.  I’m turning into a red girl.

Dream4Then I used a Rhonda Palazzari stencil (baubles and circles) and Claudine Hellmuth blue Studio Paint.  I love doing the reverse print after you’ve used the stencil the ‘proper way’.  I often prefer the print you get that way too.  I use my stencils to monoprint A LOT.

Dream11Then I used another Rhonda Palazzari stencil (arty marks) with some modeling paste and Ranger Jenni Bowlin red paint.  It’s a beautiful maroon/aged red.  I also added some Tim Holtz rub ons.  Bit obsessed with numbers at the moment too.  I put a layer of matte medium over these just to make sure they stayed stuck down and didn’t get scuffed as I handled them.  I am very careful about how I use my rub ons.  Always thinking “I don’t want to waste these on the project I’m working on now.  What if I make something even nicer and I’ve used ‘em all up”.   I know, I’m an idiot.  But I bet I’m not the only idiot.  I’ve become a bit more ruthless about using stuff in my stash.  And once it’s gone, it’s gone baby.   Again, the fever may have helped a little with my ruthless abandon.

DreamNo3I kinda got to there and had to stop.  Yes, because I felt like crap but also because I didn’t know what to do next.  I did what I always do – I fell in love with the back ground and didn’t want to ‘ruin it’ but putting something over the top.  I’m a shocker for that.  I got up the next day and had one simple idea – rub some of the paint around the edges to give it a bit of a border.  Next thing I know, I was on a roll.  I added some credit card paint swipes over the areas that still looked like they needed a little somethin’ somethin’.  Put a picture in the middle? Draw a face like my Jane workshop?  I settled on a word and went rumbling through my small but sufficient lettering stash.  Aha – after playing with some chipboard, I went with some army green fabric letters. I’ve loved those letters for a long time and I was finally gonna use them.

Dream10“I reckon I could paint over those with matte medium then sprinkle glitter on them”.  I was lucky all the letters I needed were there and stuck them down with matte medium.  While it was drying, I went looking for the pack of glitter I know I had around here somewhere….   Alas, the desk looked like a bomb had hit it (so in it’s usual state) – let’s just say I will never be featured in Where Women Create. And of course, I couldn’t find the glitter.  I rubbed some red Neocolor II crayon around the letters which were almost kinda dry-ish – I am the Queen of Impatience after all, so you know they really weren’t even close to being dry.  I blended the crayon with an Aquash brush.

DreamNo2Then I went through the drawers again in case I’d missed seeing the glitter and found some glitter glue from a long ago ‘planned but never started’ project.  That’ll do. That’s not my usual catch cry but… fever.   So I ran the glitter glue in a line over the letters and then gently smeared the glue, trying not to go over the edges of the letters.

Dream12As I was letting that dry, I drew around the letters with black pen, occasionally getting bogged in the still not dry matte medium I stuck the letters down with.  I added some black water colour pencil and more Aquash water brush.

Dream8A couple of other ‘finishing off pieces’ like torn tickets, white Neocolor II crayon and it was all done.  Not my usual style – this one was Christy Tomlinson inspired.  But I learned lots playing with it.  Making contrasting colours work together, layering, improvising with materials, using up your stash, how I work vs who I learn from – something that is really important to me.  I don’t want to copy anyone and I think this still has the signature elements of my own style.  Simple and not too busy.  Vintage hues of colour.  A strong, bold look.  Super happy with it as a finished project.  Go to whoa in two days.  Yay for me!

That doesn’t happen very often.  But, oh baby, it feels good when it happens.

Coral.  xo

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