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by Julie Brooks

Polite notice. All designs are copyright protected. I hope you will be inspired by my designs but please do not copy them. Thank you.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Canvas Art

Hello everyone

It's such a long time since I posted on here and I can't believe it's almost the end of 2014 - where did the year go? Another week or two and I will be fully into the frenzy of Christmas shopping - a task which I rarely enjoy simply because I encounter so many bad tempered, rude and impatient people in the shops when I am trying to take my time looking at things and making the best choices with my meagre budget. It's all fine and dandy if you're rolling in it, money is no object and you don't need to go through all the goodies on offer with a fine tooth comb to find something that is actually worth the price tag, but in my case frugality (is there such a word? there is now!) is key. But less of this bah humbug ranting, onto the project I am sharing with you!

For quite some time now I've wanted to do some canvas art but I don't have much time to spend on my crafting and so that particular wish had been on the back burner .... until this week, when an opportunity finally presented itself. I'm afraid I didn't take step-by-step photos because at the time of creating it didn't occur to me that I'd want to write about it, but I am so proud of my little piece of art that I decided to share it with you, so you'll have to put up with a wordy step-by-step description instead!

The piece is all about layers, but without building in lots of dimension, so the layers are layers of pattern and colour, a bit like those lovely wallpapers you see in stately homes sometimes.

So, I bought several canvas boards some time ago, some measuring 7 x 5 inches and some measuring 10 x 8 inches. I decided to do a 10 x 8 piece and made a start.

The boards are already triple coated with gesso, so that saves me a job! I used the Tim Holtz Burlap Stencil all over the canvas with Pumice Stone Distress Ink, so I had a subtle background pattern as my first layer of colour.

Next I inked around and randomly over the canvas with Distress Inks in Squeezed Lemonade and Scattered Straw.

I then took the Tim Holtz Gothic Stencil and went a bit mad! I spritzed randomly with Perfect Pearls Mists in Green Patina and Blue Patina. The piece was saturated by the time I'd done and I used my heat tool to dry it and where there were two particularly wet areas I gently dabbed off the excess with kitchen towelling. Using this technique left a lovely sparkly but very faded pattern on the board and depending which angle you look at the piece from you can see more or less of this layer, which I love.

The next step was to add another bright colour, having already put the yellows onto the canvas, and I chose Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylic paint in Beach Hut, which is a translucent paint and a lovely bluey green colour. I used both the stencils previously mentioned and randomly added pattern here and there until I was happy with it. Once that was dry I went back with the Pumice Stone Distress Ink and again used both stencils to add a little more of each pattern. Then I added a little more of the yellows here and there and a little Pumice Stone.

I used a leaf stamp, the make of which I'm afraid I cannot remember, but I have used it lots, and stamped some foliage onto the piece in three places. I used VersaMagic Jumbo Java and Memento Pear Tart - first applying the Jumbo Java to the stamp, then stamping the excess off on scrap card before added the Pear Tart on top, so I ended up with a really nice effect of a brown outline with the greener centres to the leaves - love it!

Next I fixed my piece of lace in place, having first inked it with Pumice Stone and Scattered Straw to age it. The flowers are from Ribbon Girl and I bought them a few months ago because I loved the colours but at the time had no idea what I'd use them on, and in fact I think they were the inspiration for the colour scheme of my piece. I fixed some pearl string to the back of each large flower and then fixed them in place and added a small white flower just for the heck of it, but I think the piece needed it.

I then added the words "imagine", "dream" and "love" which are from a Kaisercraft stamp set, again using the Jumbo Java and Pear Tart ink combo.

Finally I added some tiny butterflies, using the same two inks but taking even more of the Jumbo Java off first, and randomly stamped them onto the canvas.

Last, but by no means least, I added two little clusters of pearls. Et voila! My masterpiece is complete! I hope you love it as much as I do.


Now I just need to sort the frame out, and isn't it odd that most of the deep box frames in natural wood in the shops are square? Why no rectangular deep box frames in natural wood? I found some which I thought were textured wood but it turned out to be a laminate so as yet this beautiful piece has no frame, but it will do within a few days, because it deserves one. I know exactly what it will look like, which is nice!

(Since taking this photo I have trimmed the lace so it doesn't overlap the sides of the canvas anymore, which is far more practical from a framing point of view!)

Thanks for sticking with me and reading through my steps. Next time I'll take step-by-step photos ... just in case!

Bye for now,
Julie x

Monday, 9 June 2014

Can't believe it's June already!

Hello everyone
I know from looking at your blogs and Facebook posts that you are busy designing and making lots of gorgeous projects. I love looking at what you've all been making. I can't quite believe it's already June - half way through the year - crazy!

Here at Chez Brooks (aka Beebaab Designs) I have recently made the decision to mothball my crafting materials for a while. It won't be forever, but for now I have other priorities.

So as a result I don't really have much to share with you in terms of crafting, but here are a few pics of two lovely birdcages I put together back in December for a friend of mine for her wedding - they graced her top table and I am incredibly flattered that she liked my creations enough to give them such price of place.


These cage sections were from a kit by Craftwork Cards which came with lots of papers in purples and browns, but I needed a white, cream and silver colour scheme so I sourced some papers with a subtle holly leaf design (to acknowledge that it was Christmas) in white with matt silver and then cut out all the fiddly bits and pieces in the cage sides by hand. The sections are cut out of kraft card so rather than use more paper on the insides of the pieces I painted them all using chalk acrylic paint, several coats on each piece. I also painted the bases. Then once they were dry I fixed them all together.


The back panel was different from the Craftwork Cards design in that I wanted a solid back panel, so I cut the domed shape of the back section but didn't cut any of the fiddly bits out! On the back panel I did cover the inside with the paper as well as the outside, and then stamped a bird cages design on each. This was when I discovered that the matt silver holly leaf design actually acted as a kind of resist to the ink, but I loved the look - kind of distressed and really subtle. You can see if better further down in one of the other photos.


The next step was to add glitter glue around all of the edges of the cut out panels to provide some added Christmas wedding sparkle and I used Stickles Star Dust for this. Then began the task of covering the base with a carpet of flowers in cream, white and silver, and building the flowers up the wall (the back panel). I loved figuring out which flowers to use and it was a bit like a jigsaw puzzle in places, finding the right flower to fit the space. Little spaces were decorated with sparkly gems and pearls.


flowers cascading like a waterfall down the back wall

A carpet of flowers on the base


each was tied at the top with silver velvet ribbon and pretty lace

the finished cages - decorated on the outside with double heart charms, more flowers, lace and pearls

Well, I hope you like these beautiful bird cages. They were an absolute pleasure to create and I was very happy with the end result - as was the bride!

Bye for now,
love from me x