Monday 30 January 2017

What's on!

Hello everyone, thank you for popping in. Today starts a serial of posts over the next few months whereby I bring you news about the art and craft world, Challenges  Competitions, Art Calls, Exhibitions and more. 

Inspired by the current run of Trade Industry shows, worldwide, and how they are shared through video and Social Media, and how It's taken me a long time to navigate myself around; being totally self taught it's easy to miss much of what's out there,  not just for professional artists but for amateur ones as well. If you are beginner, a seasoned crafter, or a budding artist, or anyone interested, I hope these posts will bring a collection of useful information and articles of interest. 

You can read it here on the blog as well as subscribe to my newsletter which you are able to download and keep, included will be a copy of each month's events. It will build into a catalogue which can be used for ongoing information. Many of the curators that organise events and art calls do so annually, so you always know when to expect them. So, come follow me around this creative industry as I share what has been useful, as well as what interests me.

Okay so onto my first post in the series which I will name
Full on Drama!

January sees the start of the Craft Product industry's round of shows, with CHA or AFCI as it is to be known from January 2017, kicking off with Creativation in Phoenix Arizona, just last week! 

                                                                                                 Screenshot of webpage

I have created a calendar of the dates this year which you can download of get from my newsletter. (Coming soon!)

This is a floor plan  from their app. You can download the app from the App Store for Apple , I didn't check whether android had the app. 


AFCI is committed to insuring that the craft industry is a healthy industry which enhances the quality of people's lives. As a therapist I know the benefits of participating in regular creative activities, as it produces hormones in the brain such as Serotonin, which increases pleasure and health.  It also reduces harmful stress hormones such as Cortisol, therefore, creating actually improves happiness. But we all know that don't we?

So what is it all about? 
In a similar way to retail craft shows, the industry shows, showcase the new products the manufacturers have developed for this year. It's focus is on educating the retailers about their products and enticing them to stock their shops with all the new trends. The show is full of all the big names out there in the crafting world, and I'm sure you have come across lots demos all over Social Media tempting you  all, the consumers, to start writing your 'cannot live without' lists lol. Yes I'm guilty of it too!  Here is a link to the AFCI blog where you can read about them and what they do. Below is what they say about themselves. 

'As an organisation, AFCI strives to deliver innovative high value services as we support our Members who provide products and services 
to educate, entertain, and inspire creative consumers. Our Members include the manufacturers, retailers, distributors, designers, educators, digital content providers, professional makers and DIYers, and other creative professionals that comprise the $40 billion+ creative arts industries around the globe.'*

The different manufacturers at the show also offer mini workshops to the retailers and educators, teaching them about their products and demonstrating ways to use them. This filters down and forms the basis of many of the workshops offered by retailing shops to you  the consumer. 

For those of you who are Paper Artsy followers, of which I am one,  you can see where their booth was situated below. It's marked in Red and has a tag you are here! I wasn't! Again this is a screenshot of the app.


Getting back to the Show, it calls itself it's the ultimate crafting Industries event, and by the size of it I guess it must be true!

Another focus of the show is networking. Connecting all areas such as suppliers, designers, makers, and bloggers. It is a Social must for anyone wanting to start their own small business!

Well!  you might say, that's fine if you can afford to travel to Arizona but what if you are in Europe? What's out there for you? Good question! There are smaller shows in Europe, Germany being the next one, which started on  Saturday the 28th January and runs until the 31st. The next in the Diary is The Stitching, Sewing and Hobbycrafts show - Manchester U.K. which starts on the 2nd of February. 

A little later in the month there is CHSI- Stitches which runs  19-21 February 2017 at the NEC Birmingham. This is the biggest show in Europe. 

So you can see why I call full on Drama, it is such a busy time for the manufacturers creating enough stock to fill orders as well getting ready for the shows. Of course they also so have the retails shows to attend which I will also provide on the diary. I hope to have the diary up and running in a couple of days and will keep it as a featured post. I will update it as we go on.

Your feedback is so helpful so please let me know, is this of interest? Do you want more of this sort thing etc! Is it too dry? Not enough photos etc. I'd also like to know what other areas you would like to read about. 

Signing off for tonight, but I will see you soon,
Take care
Hugs xx



Friday 27 January 2017


Hello everyone, today I'm over at Country View Crafts where I showed a Masterboard and what I made from it, all which can be seen below.


Do you ever create Masterboards? They are so handy to have a ready background to use for your crafty makes as I show here on this post. I think I first came across Masterboards on the Paper Artsy blog when Jo Firth Young showed how to make with her lovely stamps.

I didnt use feature stamps on my mine but you could quite easily, instead I used a few background stamps Here's how I created mine!

I keep my Fresco Acrylic Paints by Paper Artsy in the middle draw of a plastic set of 3, and for this project I challenge myself by just reaching in and pulling out 4 colours at Random and this is what I got!

Quite a nice mix I thought!

I applied the colours in no particular order using a small brayer. I wanted a grungy look and was pleased how this came out.

I added some script and texture stamps again randomly over the page which was a 12x12 heavyweight card stock. Although I liked this, I wanted to warm it up a bit and so chose Tikka Fresco Acrylic and a bottle top stamped randomly adding the colour.


I do apologise for the blurry photo but wanted to show some of what I cut from the 1 sheet. I actually managed to get 2
card backgrounds a Tag, a book mark and 4 ATCs not bad! The strips that I cut off will also come in handy to use in collage pieces.




Here are some of the projects I made which you can see in the main photo at the top!






See how versatile they can be!
Hope you liked seeing how to make this if you have any questions please leave in the comments.


                                               Paper Artsy - Fresco Acrylic Paint, stamps used  ELB 29, 30.                                                                                

Take care everyone and stay Creative 

Thursday 26 January 2017

It pink and Orange

Hello everyone just a quick one today! Over on the Paper Artsy blog the challenge is the colours Orange and Pink. Now neither of these colours are my go to colours so this was a personal challenge as well. My good friend Hazel Agnew inspired me to get started as she was on a roll with her creations. I thought for a while what I wanted to do and decided to make a Masterboard which I will then cut up and use in my art. 



Here's how I created it!

I used the colours Tikka and Rose Frescos Acrylic Paints, which are fabulous chalk finish and work so well in Mixed Media.

Once dry I added some infusions in Cerise and Lemon, spritzed some water and moved the colour around. I also added a little Pixie Dust to 
Add some shimmer.

I used a stencil designed by JOFY  and French Roast Fresco Acrylic and dried it with a heat gun. The second layer is Chalk Fresco Acrylic applied to create some shadows (bump technique) learnt from Leandra herself from Paper Artsy. On their blog there is a series of videos which show how to use all their products, which is fabulous as when I started my crafting journey I didn't have a clue lol. 

Now I wouldn't call myself an expert at this technique but I'm happy with the effect I got, and I knew I was going to paint over it.

I used Dolly Mixture, Autum Fire and Candy Floss Fresco and a small filbert brush(my fave shape) to fill in the colours randomly over the sheet. Once dry I used Distress Crayons in similar colours to add shading and and light.
Here are a few close ups. 



Where I went into the dark with my shaky hands, I added a dark brown pencil (inktense by Dewent) to bring back the shadow.

Once dry I cut it up into 6 pieces 


You can see I've added some stamping too. I started to play with each individually here are my fav three.




                           Fresco Acrylic, Infusions,  Stencil 042 - Paper Artsy. Pixie Dust - Cosmic Shimmer. Inktense Pencils -  Dewent.                                                                                                                              

I hope you have a go of getting out your comfort zone and try colours/ techniques you don't usually use! 

I will post what I do with them next week,
Take care, hugs xxx

Wednesday 25 January 2017

Hand made Jewelry

Morning friends and followers and welcome to the ArtZone! As you can see the blog has been having a bit of a makeover, hopefully you can still find everything. I'm still tweeking bits I don't like, but it time consuming, especially as I don't know what I'm doing lol. I would love to know what you think, especially if you have any difficulties navigating around.

I've been sharing some art work on Facebook this week and came across some photos of Jewelry I had made which I took with a blog post in mind. Well here they are.


This enamel piece was made at Curly Girl Crafts who is a very talented artist and teacher who lives in Colchester 
She teaches classes on many crafts such as enamelling, glassworks wet and dry felting, and many many more!
Toni is very friendly and puts you straight at ease, at the same time as being very professional! 
If you live local her classes are a must! 

The beads I made from polymer clay and then painted.

Silver beads and crystal 

3 styles of necklaces 
The middle one is completely hand made, I made each link and wrapped the beads.


Close up 

You can see how old these are by the tarnish!

I hope you like what I made, once I'm moved and settled in my new craft room I intend to make some.

Take care
Hugs xxx

Thursday 19 January 2017

Hot colours

Hello crafty friends,  I've been playing in my journal and thought I'd share this very colourful page. I made the background quite a while back, when I was in a wild carefree mood.  The colours and patterns flowed with ease, as I wasn't thinking about creating something, I was playing. I had nothing in mind when I started and wasn't over keen on what I created but at that time it didn't matter, as I had really enjoyed the process. I really wasn't keen on it so left it alone. Until today that is! I fancied having a play with one of my images and after printed it off and cutting it out I flipped through my journal and found the background page. I knew it was perfect!





Using Andy 
Skinner Stencils I started building the

The paints were Dina Wakley Media Line
As I wanted a heavy bodied Acrylic. 


I kept the colours similar using those next to 
Each other on the colour wheel.


Using my fingers I quickly painted in       
Flowers and leaves. I then outlined them
a tip applicator.

I added some doodles with a white Gel Pen.  


The image can be purchased from my Etsy Store, don't forget you you can get a free download this month in a Mixed Up Mag.
I so enjoyed finding a way to use the page, don't just love it when these things come together!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you soon
Hugs xx

Tuesday 17 January 2017

Face tutorial

Hello everyone, welcome! Thank you for stopping by as I have one of my faces to share with lots of photos showing the different stages it went through before I finished. I put the detail and materials I used at the bottom of the post, so sit back and scroll through the stages, and I'll see you at the bottom!










I hope the photos helped to show how she developed 

I started by sketching out the face using a graphite pencil and once happy, I  switched to Prima Water Soluble Pencils to block in some colour.
Next I used white acrylic paint to lighten the face and added Prima Water soluble Oil Pastels to add more shadows. 

I moved between the Oil Pastels and Pencils until I felt I had the skin tone to where I was happy. I added Inktense Pencils to add the brighter colours.
The background was created using Ecoline watercolours in purple and I added a little blue to the hair. I used a black Stabilo pencil to darken the eyes and to give details.

The background stamping was created using butterflies and text from Rubber Dance


I hope you enjoyed this post and would love to hear your thoughts.

Take care
Hugs xx