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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.

Monday, 21 November 2016

New Beginnings

Hi everyone

Today I would like to share with you a piece of home décor and a card which I made a few weeks back for my sister and brother-in-law, who have moved into a lovely old cottage which needs some cosmetic work doing to it to bring it back to its former glory.

The home décor piece is a box framed picture, the focal point of which is a beautiful LOTV art pad image of a front door of a cottage with wisteria hanging above and lovely plants in pots in the foreground. Sorry, the photo isn't quite 100% sharp for some reason. I based my colour palette on the colours in that image.

So, you can see the lovely image in the centre. I painted the back board with white acrylic and then gave it a coat of white crackle paint around the edges, varying the thickness of the paint to vary the size of the crackles. I bordered the central image on three sides with wide cream lace.

On the left side I added lots of beautiful mulberry paper flowers and some pretty wooden buttons. Tucked in there you might just spy a couple of leaf chipboards (Tando Creative), which I painted first in white and then in a citrus green acrylic paint before the white was completely dry, so I got a toned down version of the green colour.

In the bottom right corner I added a few more flowers, another wooden button and another piece of chipboard foliage from Tando.

Top right I added a chipboard heart which I firstly coated with white paint, then PaperArtsy Crackle Glaze and then, once that was completely dry, a coat of red acrylic paint. Once that was dry I used Pumice Stone Distress Ink to make the cracks more obvious and darken the edges of the heart. I added a top coat of Glossy Accents. I also added a couple more flowers.

All of the flowers and buttons were given a very light dry brushing with white gesso.

Finally, at the bottom, I tied a Tim Holtz Idea-ology Word Band with some twine. The wording seemed very appropriate: Possibility begins with Imagination.

I hope you like this pretty piece of home décor; my sister and brother-in-law absolutely loved it and hung it up straight away.

Finally, here is the new home card I made for them. I used another LOTV art pad image - I have a lot of these in my stash so they may pop up quite frequently as I work my way through them all LOL!

I love how bright and cheery this image is - bird houses and spring flowers - it evokes a feeling of optimism and new beginnings.

I rounded the corners on my card and the papers I used - they were from a free set which came with a magazine - and on the LOTV art pad image.

I again added lace, this time all the way round as a frame for the image. I added one large flower in a citrus green and then stamped two tiny butterflies, one straight onto the image and another onto a separate piece of card which I then cut out and fixed in place. I also stamped one little heart. I can't remember which stamp set the butterfly is from but the heart is one from a free stamp which came with a magazine.

Lastly I stamped the message "home is where the heart is. x" and another heart on the left side of the card - the sentiment stamp comes from a set by Little Clare which I bought at a craft show a few years ago.

The final thing I added was some sequins, and that was the card done.

Many of the items I used in these projects, or similar, can be found in our shop, so do pop over to take a look and take advantage of the offers which are running at the moment!

Well, that's all from me for now, I'll be back soon.

Take care all,
Julie x

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Drifting Away

Hi everyone

I hope you're all managing to keep warm - we've got a nice fire going in our wood burner which makes it feel quite cosy on these cold winter evenings.

I am in a situation at the moment where I don't have much time to get into my crafty space, which I'm not happy about and trying to figure out how to change. There are very many demands on my time every day and it's a difficult juggling act. So, as a result, I have less to share with you than I'd like. However, I did another little canvas recently, using an LOTV art pad image, and even though it's very simple I hope you like it.

It's no secret that I love the beach and my dream is to one day live within walking distance of a nice beach so I can go for daily walks along it. It's the ultimate therapy for me. Actually, my dream is to live by the beach, but whether that will be achievable remains to be seen since beach property sells at a huge premium - understandably so. So, anyway, because the beach is my therapy, and I always long to be there, I have done a couple of pieces in the last year or so with a beach theme and this one falls into that category.

This canvas uses a couple of techniques but nothing complicated or time consuming. I would love to be able to paint but as I don't currently possess the necessary skill level in that particular discipline, I decided to use a pretty LOTV art pad image instead and built everything else around it. I only have to look at that image and I feel a sense of calm within. I chose to focus on the lovely turquoise colour of the sea for my main colour to add to my canvas - it is one of my favourite colours - and diluted one of my acrylic paints so that I could spritz my canvas with it. I also did some bigger splats using a brush to get some more concentrated colour drips in there.

I used some embossing enamel which I applied to the canvas whilst it was still moist from the paint spritzing and activated it with my heat tool. I love the bubbly enamel effect - gold and very dark blue/black which reminded me of those beaches which are more shingle than sand.

I fixed my art pad image in place and built up all the bits and pieces around it - shells, a bit of white plastic mesh to represent fishing nets, "driftwood", a star fish (not real I hasten to add!), some jute rope and some mossy material which is generally used in flower arranging but I used it to represent weed or scrub on the sand dune.

I added the word "DRIFT" from one of my Andy Skinner stencils using DecoArt Texture Sand Paste, and dragged my palette knife through it to give it a kind of drifting look, like sand blowing in the breeze. To give the letters more definition I used a black fine liner. Once the paste was dry I gave it several coats of a wash of my diluted acrylic paint.

Finally I added more detail on the canvas using a free stamp from a magazine in the form of groups of little circles, which on the stamp are actually bubbles, but it worked in the context of my canvas just to add the extra detail needed. I used VersaMagic Chalk Ink and Archival Ink for this.

So, there you go, a very simple home decor project, but it was therapy for me, especially since its's the closest I'm going to get to a beach for at least six months!

Thanks for sticking with me and fingers crossed I'll be back with some more makes soon.

Bye for now,
Julie x