My little crafting world....

Hi all
I'm a complete craft addict! I have a small business called Surrey Crafts teaching craft workshops from my studio in Esher, Surrey and at venues around the country. I teach mixed media, decorative painting, card making and papercrafts, jewellery making and creative embroidery classes. If you'd like to find out more just leave a comment, or take a look at my other social media pages:
Crafty hugs & stuff


Saturday 26 March 2016

Easy Upcycled tray using DecoArt Chalky Finish and Dazzling metalic paints!

Finished article in the light!

Original Tray bought from a charity shop for £2 - even after a good clean up, it still looked sad!

Two coats of Chalky Finish - even just like this it looked so much better. Start with the underside and sides first so you can smooth out any blobs on the inside for the best finish!
But I wanted to add a bit of bling - so out comes a stencil, used a ruler to find the middle of the tray - the stencil already has marks to show where the middle is, so couldn't be easier to use, and I used a sponge dagger to add the Rich Espresso Dazzling Metallic paint LOVE IT!

See how it reflects the light!!!

And here it is without the light, I'm so pleased with it! And it was so quick to do. 

Wednesday 9 March 2016

Punky Skull

Hi all
So here's the finished skull - complete with Jewellery!!!

Here is a quick post about a page I made using Decoart Media Fluid Acrylics and my new Americana NEONS - vibrant!!! 

Close up of the nose ring,
chain and brooch made
with Andy Skinner Stamps!

Close up of the earring and Andy's 'Shedded'
stencil which gives a brill snakeskin effect!

Here's how it all started - with a simple sketch.
Drawn with a Pitt artist pen and gessoed over
 with slighly watered down gesso so I could still make
 out the drawing.

Here are the paints and stamps I used.
For details of Andy's products, and a
chance to win some of them click here.

I used various media acrylics in greens, quin magenta and some black texture paste which I scratched into, also the spiral stencil (just left over on the stencil from another project) while I decided what to do with my skull. I knew these random bits would add texture.

In the stage before this I also used some black texture paste through Andy's 'shredded' stencil  and once done I went over the whole thing with a light brayering of translucent white. Love how it picked up the textures like dry brushing.

Then just started playing! Coloured eyelids with metallic paint, doodled and started working on the hair with neon pink, adding white to start with to make it more opaque then building more layers with the concentrated pink.

Carried on working on the hair and hearts with the pink. In between layers I used a carbon pencil to outline and smudge to give depth. Paynes grey for the pupils and more detail with a pen.

Still needed more colour so I used a 'you can folk it' dotting tool and the neon orange around eyes and shoulders and green on the jacket - getting there!

More pink, pink dots, Andy stamp where
I thought I wanted to position it.
This shows the finished page in slightly better light, complete with REAL jewellery and multi toned hair and hearts!
Hope you like it. I'll enter this into Andy Skinners Blog Challenge which is 'bold and bright' and finished today!
Thanks for looking, any questions just drop me a comment.
Ta Suz xxx

Friday 4 March 2016

Simple and super fast technique to create bold flower heads using DecoArt paints

Hi again all!
Another quick post to share a super easy technique for painting flowers. This came about from a journal page I made for a lovely journal group on Facebook called Embrace Your Art by Tiare Smith Woods (love her work, click on her name to see her blog) and her prompt was about using a straw to blow paints.  Well I had a play and it kind of evolved into a completely new technique for me. I created a journal page (second pic) and posted it on Facebook. Then I was asked to do a blog post to show the process, so this is the original journal page, but as I hadn't taken pictures  of the process (again!!) I created another little artpiece (single rose above) just to show how easy it is and how it's done.

 All you need is a surface (arty peeps call it a substrate) and for that I broke into my new mini ring binder and used one of the grey board pages inside. This is by Tando Creative click HERE for details.
Cover surface with white gesso

Add just a TINY number of paint drops - I used about 3 drops of the Quiacridone MagentaDecoArt Fluid Acrylic paint and got a generous sized flower.
Spritz over the top lightly with water.
Blow paint around with a straw into a pool of paint similar to the on below - don't try and be precise, just work with it using the shape to dictate which direction your flower will face.
Then simpley smoosh the paint with one finger in a swirl. 
Repeat this motion from left to right, then right to left working your way down, and back up to if you want to, to create a very simple flower effect.

Top tip 1- you get a much better effect if you do this while the gesso is still wet, and the harder you press with your finger, the more gesso will come through - and it's that which creates the contrast and white highlights. Done!!!
Top Tip 2 - if you feel the flower has become a little too big or 'out of control' you can go back around it with white gesso to shape it as you like. this is what I did on the journal page as the blobs of paint had spread too far with the straw. Worked a treat!
So now I'll enter this into Andy Skinners challenge 'bold and bright" on his blog

I then mixed a little green with the black and added leaves and a stem. And finally I tried ANOTHER new technique to try and write with the paints. I used added a few drops of the green and black paint to fine writer applicator pictured above. Spritzed in a few squirts of water. Gave it a shake, tried it out on scrap paper and then wrote directly onto the board - love it! With a little practice I hope to write more smoothly as the gesso was a little more textured than the practice paper.
Thanks for looking and enjoy! 
Suz xxx

DecoArt Skull media tag using Metallic Lustres and Crackle Paint - with steps of the process

I made a really quick project this week using my new Tando Creative Media board. They're just the right size for a play. To find out more click HERE. Once I posted the pic of the finished project I had some lovely feedback so felt a blog post with a step by step of the process would be a nice idea. Slight snag: I hadn't taken pics of the stages while I was making it (typical!!!) but I knew it would be easy to recreate the steps, and fun to use a different embellishment too.
A quick coat of the lush DecoArt Media Black Gesso onto the Media Board - lovely creamy paint this!
Once completely dry (very quick as used a heat tool), I grabbed a few DecoArt Metallic Lustres. These again are a lovely consistency and thick enough to give a complete coverage on most surfaces.
However I wanted almost a 'dry brush' effect on the lovely gesso texture, so I dabbed the tiniest amount onto my finger and brushed lightly across the painted base, thinly enough for some of the black to still show through as you can see from the close-up. 

I repeated this with a total of 4 colours, just to see how the worked together. 

                               So having created a nice messy background I now wanted a crisp and sharp contrast to lay on top, adding more texture and some brightness. I used the DecoArt White Crackle Paint. I LOVE this product. It is the easiest crackle product I've ever used, dries quickly, starts to crack within minutes (so you don't have that dilemma about whether or not its working!) and is a vibrant white once dry.
This was straight after applying the crackle paint - before the cracks appeared.
Here is the second board next to the original - already cracking and I only just put it there, this shows you how it will eventually crackle!

That was soooo easy. Now the hard part - what to lay on top! For the original I used a skull embellishment I found while out on a walk with hubby about a year ago, it's been waiting for a background like this! It had two rivets at the back. I used them to hang some chain on before gluing down. I grabbed a few bits of broken costume jewellery and some bendy jewellery wire. With the wire I made a handle (another two holes punched) by winding it through the two holes then round itself and around to the side of the board. I added some beads and a decorative bead which I thought looked like either a snake or a sword. Once threaded onto the wire, I added a dab of glue on the wire to stop them falling off and bent the wire to the direction I wanted.

For the second board I using a fancy button and a few copper tacks and for a lighter look I used a more copper coloured jewellery wire for the handle and to wrap around the line of nails. I'll give this a spray of Americana Sealer/ Finisher Matte spray to give a bit of protection too.

And voila - almost identical and finished in super quick time - though the glue will need a little longer to set completely. 

Thanks for looking, have fun playing and feel free to ask any questions!