A little light on decoupage …………

 

Well folks, I am a little bit in love with this technique.. I decided to hobble about the house and see exactly how often I use my ‘Go –To’  way of applying colour, pattern and interest to just about anywhere.. and it has to be said.. it is probably more than normal!

We are all a little bit scared of paint, even those people who have been applying colour to canvas or sculpture for an age. can get brain freeze when faced with a blank canvas, or a white ghessoed figure.

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To cover a surface quickly or to give a beautifully chalky surface to paint your acrylics on, simply cover your canvas or paper you can use a base layer of coloured tissue. This gives you a much broader starting point where your next layers can tease and build in depth on top .

You might wish to keep areas of the original tissue as the ‘true’ layer’ and add a glaze or ink to brighten. You can trap things between layers,, like string, flattened objects like tickets and dried flowers and use the mix of plain colours to jar against each other or blend in interesting textured layers .

So I love tissue generally, because it is cheap, easy to pick up, use, apply, mix, and work over. Kids love it and working with groups who find art challenging ( the elderly, recovering from illness or health issues) or in my own case struggling with bad arthritic days and because it is immediate and can be cut or torn into an infinite variety of shapes.

And that is only the beginning…

So.. the next thing is the massive choice you have in skinny patterned layers of lovliness you can use on surfaces which are just made of paper.. There are so so many and once you start seeing how they can be incorporated into a collage you will see potential in the most everyday materials. !

Napkins, patterned tissue paper, crepe paper, wrapping paper, and the fancy stuff.. decoupage paper ( more sturdy and less likely to break up in application).. although you’ll pay for the privalige.

And all you do is this…

Prepare the surface you’ll be working on. In each case it will be different, but you need a kind of tooth ( a grip) so the glue won’t just slide off.

On a paper mache surface or a canvas, you’ll need a chalky clean but waterproof surface. Prime with ghesso or white acrylic first.

On a wood surface , sand down any gloss paint and get the surface to be a little rough before you start.

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Mix up a magic mixture of 50% pva and water 50%. Warm water is better as it makes the glue a bit meltier .. and the paint it onto your preferred surface. Apply glue  mixture with a generous brush, apply papers, and then  importantly Apply another of glue mixture painted on top. This will flatten, secure and seal the layers. Repeat until you are done! Add detail with acrylic paint and when dry ( next day) add a layer or two of strong yacht varnish. Preferably matt ( but some kinds of art can tolerate the glossy kind and it has it’s uses in some kinds of painting, and certain projects, ) Your project should now be pretty cool and hardwearing 🙂

Here is a tour of my house and its decoupage projects.. I hope it inspires you to try it for yourself…… xxxxxxx

These projects have included a couple of trunks in the living room, a set of coffee tables, the kitchen wall !!! a vintage style magical cookbook and Leah’s homework desk . The papers we use are from old recipe books ( thanks to a friend for a gift of a particularly perfect ice cream and cake pics, torn from an old dairy cook book, manuscript books, napkins from holidays, online buys.. you name it.. you just need to know what you like and put it out there to all your crew that you need inspiration!!! Good luck and show me your finished projects, I can’t wait to see what you’re up to too!!  Love and Hugs Liz xxxx

 

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Imbolc Seeds

 

gardening-springHello my friends.

I have been quiet for a few weeks, gently , quietly, patiently anticipating this Ta Dah !!! moment to burst into 2018 with fireworks, stars  and unicorns jumping alongside… Like all seeds, you plant and feed and nurture and invest in, your hopes are for a colourful and cheery end result.. the one you had imagined or the one the packet said your seeds would look like.

Turns out.. I should know the universe is more complicated than that, and is more of a trickster. Just when you think you’ve planted snowdrops, a flipping great bluebell sits squarely in the middle.

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Just when we were at the medical junction where we were getting answers around here, we are steered in a totally new and frustrating direction, which may not result in being off crutches anytime soon, if ever. And certain other tests are looming too. So, instead of a voila moment, this is going to become a celebration instead. Of the small and the detail.. the moments of perfection found in planting, considering and focusing, and still creating (in pain sometimes for some of us) , but not letting go of the spark of life and seeds of plans..

november iphone 292We are not greater than the sum of our parts. Our greatness is in all the tiny detail which make us up. The incredible resilience we find on the journey and the way we keep going.

It is a strange thing being and looking positive. Your outside package and determination not to become a burden on other people, to be doing what most would consider masochistic can actually  be what prevents you getting medical treatments or can gives the impression that you must be making it up, or at the very least exagerrating.. How can you be in pain when your crutches are stripey? How can you be ill when you take a kids class at the weekend? Or enable other people to be creative?

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Simple.. what choice is there? Grey crutches were never going to last long around here.. and what better placed person to help others in pain is someone with experience? If you look closely, I have capable people putting all their own stuff away as I can’t lift things easily .. we manage as a team. It helps enormously to rebuild your strength and sense of self if the things you are good at, the things you know about, are shared and given to help others. Everyone can do that and be there for someone else. Just because you become dis-enabled. doesn’t mean you are worthless. I have to be careful to plan my time and don’t do very much a week… It looks like we do a lot.. I just take a LOT of photos!!!

(…. facebook lizatcreate/lizatthebeachhut  )

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About the way it is…

I don’t do very much the right way round. Computery things are a BIG challenge as it requires doing things from a to b!! Instead of the more unusual abstract and tourist route which I find myself taking…. It is far more appealing to multi task on several things and see progress all at once! It is still possible to be a perfectionist whilst not always completing tasks in a set out order. When I googled multi tasking however, the general impression I got was that normal people don’t have several unfinished projects on the go. WHO wants to be normal. ?!
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I am to be part of a joint exhibition in March at the Ebba Centre in St Abbs, along with several other Artists and a Writer. It is a new challenge to cram the creative process into the corners of our well oiled days here at Skye Blue House.. where I am strangely never busier than since I became retired with all this.

                Details of felted panel and collage pieces .

This is by far the toughest time of year for a lot of folk .. We have thrown our Autumnal energies in to the Christmas prep, which  happens far too quickly and then….  it is suddenly and harshly very wintery and very very cold.. and we aren’t quite prepared. I have days where I feel invincible, (mentally you understand) and days where I feel like I am 90. Every day is painful. However. Learning to think of the pain as separate from me and keeping creative in any way I can is as important as any pain killer, and you must not listen to anyone telling you to give up. Not ever.

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This cold spell has been particularly cruel, biting into bones and joints and stretching the pain into cavernous hot knife pits and only easing indoors with the heating and a fire on, immersed in hot water or plugged into a tens machine. On those days, I pray that I have the understanding of the people in our life to understand why our pause button is on. Many residents of the village disappear over the winter months and you can’t underestimate how different the world can suddenly feel, without human contact over the hedge.

Our community classes are particularly pertinent for this reason. You might be lonely, struggling with anxiety or your own health issues. We want our social class to be a place for everyone to come along and be creative, get out of the house and put the world to rights instead of listening to the wind howling round the bins..

If you are local to us around here, please contact the Ebba Centre here in St Abbs and they can let you know details.

Some little notes about how we work..

If I go quiet… it’s probably for one of the following  reasons…

  • ..We have the grumpiest broadband connection on the planet. It literally decides moment to moment what it wants to do. Nuff said.
  • . I’m plotting. Planning and organising something spectacular. Usually involves glitter…bff54ba7fde7773e84f38e65f31c9e91--iphone-wallpaper-glitter-day-quotes
  • ..I can’t move because a part or several parts of me hurt too much…If this is you too, you’ll know exactly how  tricky it can be conveying regularly to people why your pain isn’t the same all the time, and you might just not want to talk about it. You don’t have to. Just store up your ability to be ok with your differences on the down days. This then is my disclaimer for my pain days.. I’ll be able to get on with jollier topics instead!d4ef5a98664ec8d740088e79fbd0f779--hygge-lounge-hygge-interiors
  • Just the general ..life on crutches with a bonkers nine year old, two cats, a dog, a blog, community groups and a bungalow to look after who are all highly decorative and loved..

I hate phones. I am a bit scared of phones because they demand attention and that can make you feel hassled or even bullied by certain sources. They interrupt the flow and they can pressure you to have to reply. I try to remind myself when calls or texts come through unasked for or that wish to antogonise.. that you have choice. Choice to pick up, or reply or turn off altogether. If its urgent, someone will call back. …long live a real conversation, a chat by the hearth… or on a rug if weather permits.. I think I was born in the wrong era. If it were up to me I would send you these blogs by hand written and illustrated letters carried by pigeons…

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I love proper letters. My wonderful friend Gilda and I have made it an Art form and on  good day when my hands aren’t frozen and sore it is a lovely thing to write and receive a handwritten letter or card.. so if you ever feel  the urge.. address is on our contacts page.

acrylic-003.jpgI can’t stop creating so there is no point in telling me to slow down ( sorry- that’s for wimps..) I have a disability access service which I use for home repairs. They are amazing and so so kind. My handy man actually made me blush, catching me on a stool I shouldn’t have been on, trying to put up Christmas lights… forever the optimist… and gallantly put them up for me…’I’d rather die than have no sparkle…’ sorry doc!!!!!!!!!!! Lord Knows how I thought I was getting down from the stool …. (He lifted me in the end.. I know.. there’s no telling some people!)

And the baby bio in the seed growing? The magic ingredient to making winter projects easier with your body playing hard ball? Your friends.. Old and New.. big, little, a brief encounter or a comforting bestie.. ……

I love my friends unconditionally and with abandon and if you are in my life I am so loyal it ridiculous. I spend most of winter panicking that my friends think I have been abducted by aliens due to the cold, the internet and the phone allergies..  I hope they can all still read because if you’re here.. at the end of this.. I love you and we are growing seeds of fabulous things together. Soon we will see lots of colours in our Artwork and our gardens. Until then.. send me your favourite carrier pigeon.. xxxx…..

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Hello My Friends !!!