Thursday, 24 July 2014

Weekly Face

.. or at least the start of one. I was too busy yesterday to sit down and draw, today I have had the time but it has been so warm... too warm. Drawing is hard for me, it takes a great deal of concentration, and i was really struggling to concentrate in the heat. 
so here is the start of a face and I will show more as it progresses. 

I hope you are managing to keep cool. 

Darcy x

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Weekly Face

Well since returning from down south it has been a busy time. As such I just have not had the time to sketch out a portrait this week. 

While I was away I picked up some metal working tools. Now I do know I have completely missed the boat on this craze, which was super popular several years ago. Back then it didn't really grab me, but of late i have been wanting to have a little play. I know next to nothing about it and didn't even know which tools I needed.

I came home with a handful of tools, all weird and wonderful looking, and some sheets of metal. 

There are many,many videos online showing you just how to use these tools. PaperArtsy have a great one HERE.

I then found a really useful one from Elitia Hart with basic tips HERE. 

Then of course there are many videos on the Ten Second Studio Channel, HERE. 

I am sure there are many more, but these are the ones I found on my first search. I did not have time to create some epic masterpiece, but I did want to just play with the tools and see how they worked. 

Believe me, the videos make it look easy, in reality it is a little trickier. I ended up with scratches and marks in places I didn't want them. i even managed to work the metal so hard I made holes lol

but was it fun, yes, will I do more, yes! This is something I think i would like to do a lot more of, and that means taking it slow and learning lots. 

For now I will leave you with my less than impressive first attempt lol

This is less of a weekly face and more of a 'how to not do faces' lol

I worked on both front and back, and added some acrylic paint. 

Less dreary girl and more gruesome girl lol

lol I am really at a loss, there is nothing to say. I can't see this ever taking pride of place anywhere. But, it did teach me lots. Working out just how much pressure to use is important, working out which lines to make prominent, which areas to puff up. The tools all have specific jobs, and work best in certain areas. i learned that adding paint makes a huge difference, and also sanding back can bring the piece to life.

such an interesting process, and lots to learn.

As soon as I have time I will play more, and I shall try to show you my progress. If you have any fave metal working videos or books, then do please leave links in the comments for me. 

Darcy x

Saturday, 12 July 2014

A day at Birds in the Barn

I have had a very busy few days. On weds I travelled down South, on 4 trains. I was met by the lovely Leandra from PaperArtsy and off we went to PA headquarters. It takes around 5 hours from my house to hers. A quick catchup and a cuppa and then straight to work prepping some exciting new products. Keep your eyes peeled for sneaks coming soon.

On Thursday we were all up bright and early, Leandra gave me a lift over to the Marks Tey hotel, where the Summerfest was taking place. This is a great 4 day event hosted by Janet and her staff from Birds in the Barn. 

This is the quirky mini book that we were to make on the day, entitled 'Dreamy Bird and the Doughnut Tree'

My ladies started to arrive, and though I was super nervous they were all so lovely and made me feel at ease .  We began work straight away, and wow did these girls work hard. As you can see the room was a comfortable size with plenty of room for people to move around. 

Jayne obliged with an action shot.

We worked on lots of techniques involving grunge paste and stencils and stamps and paints. 

Here is Deborah, working on her book covers. 

Sally really got into the bumping method of stencilling. 

Ginny was a star, being my helper for the day. her book cover turned out brilliant. Here she is painting grass. 

Here is Denise, blending and shading flowers through a stencil. 

Here is Margaret adding stencilled stems to her front cover.

Karen, concentrating hard on her front cover layout.

back to Jayne and another great action shot lol I totally loved the colours that Jayne used, she created some beautiful blending. 

We were treated to tea and coffee throughout the day, a 2 course lunch and then in the afternoon the hugest doughnuts arrived. We worked right up to the last minute. I had hoped we could have made tags to go inside the book, but everyone went home with blank tags and instructions, so I hope they are having fun playing with those. 

Here is a final pic of us all with our books. 

Huge thanks to each of these ladies, they are the ones who made it a wonderful day. Thanks also to Janet and her staff for inviting me. 

While I was teaching in this room, the wonderful Lin Brown was across the hall teaching in another room. Once our clearup was done, Lin and I set off and following instructions in an epic text from Leandra we found our way to a really nice pub. Inside we found Leandra and Mark and Jo Firth Young. We had also been joined by a lovely gentleman. Mister. Treasure Gold. He is the most fascinating man and we all had a great evening. In fact we  had a meal then stayed and chatted till midnight. 

This one deserves a caption... 

Such a great night, it is always a pleasure to catch up with Lin and Jo...Mark,leandra and Hans were perfect hosts. Thanks to everyone. 

Friday we were up early again and straight to work, it is always busy,busy at headquarters, always so much to do....I became an temporary helper elf, and sat painting paint labels. At one point Leandra and I popped out to a local award winning butchers, where I bought some of their amazing sausages. 

I bought 32!!! I don't normally buy so many sausages at once, but these are not available online, and they are just so scrummy. So I stocked up and brought them home. 

All too soon it was time to leave, and I set off on my mammoth journey home, another 4 trains. There were a few delays on the tracks, and I finally got in the house just after midnight.... wow, we crammed so much into 3 days lol

Darcy x

Thursday, 10 July 2014

For no particular reason

...I just wanted to spray and paint and play. I had no theme in mind, no plan. I just started adding colour, painting, stamping and stencilling.

Then I added stronger colours in drips and more stencilling, and around the edge. 

Then I really didn't know where to go, so I flicked through my stencils for inspiration, and found this one. I used black ink to stencil her first, then moved the stencil over and repeated her using grunge paste. Once this dried I was able to paint her. 

on the left I doodled an outline and some wavy lines , along with a few circles. I used gesso to knock back the areas that i wanted to write on and left the original painty background showing through the circles. 

the poem I copied out is 'I Love You in Secret by pablo Neruda'

I then added some white dots with a posca pen on the dress and around the circles. 

I thought it was finished, but then decided to add this title just to one side. 

Finished page.. 

Darcy x

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Call for artists!

A while ago my good friend Jay started an online magazine, full of interviews and photos. Made by creative people for creative people, whether you are a working artist or not. Best of all it was free to download. 

You can see the first issues here. 





The magazine needed to take a break for a while, but now it is back, and Jay needs artists to fill it up with creative goodness. if you think you have something interesting to say and have some good clear photos then get in touch with him.

Jay is looking for all kinds of artists, all ages, from all countries. So grab those first few issues, have a read and then get in touch. 

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Weekly Face

A fun, painty quick face this week, that you can all have a go at.

First take some bright but darker shades of paint, and using a scraper, cover your page.

Now do a little background stamping, just use a geometric shape of some sort.

Add some lighter shades of paint, using a brayer and bottle caps. 

Rough out your face, ad paint in the outlines using white and a fine brush, or you could use a white sharpie pen. Then white out all the background. if you are not confident at drawing a face then cut one from a magazine and draw around it. Cut each section of face out and draw in the main outlines.

Go around your white shapes with a black pen.

You could leave it as in the photo above, but I added some crosshatching and a border. 

Have fun.

Darcy x

Monday, 7 July 2014


Winner of last weeks giveaway from THIS POST ..

Winner is COCO, please get in touch with your details. Your prize will be dispatched directly from Letraset.

Darcy x

Friday, 4 July 2014


Hi everyone,I am delighted to be teaching at a fantastic craft event taking place very soon. SummerFest is a four day event and is hosted by the lovely Janet from Birds In The Barn

Here is an introduction from Janet, to tell you all about this exciting event. 

"We listened to you, all our customers who wanted some day workshops with some of your special tutors and Summer Fest was borne. This will run on 10th,11th ,12th, 13th July 2014.
We have some of your favourite tutors, some who you may have seen onT.V. and at many of the craft shows around the country. All the workshops will run from 9.30am to 4.30pm with a lovely hot and cold buffet lunch, tea and coffee morning and afternoon included for the price of £85 for the day. So treat yourself to a great day and phone the shop on 01206 211099 to book .We will have a retail shop on site so you can top up your stash, with general supplies, favourites and new things too.
We are very honoured to have Darcy UK taking a workshop as she does not get down to the south very often and is mostly found demonstrating for PaperArtsy so check her out on her blog. Likewise with Lin Brown so it will be great to have them with us for our Summer Fest. Jo Firth-Young, a familiar face to our customers will also be teaching too, along with Julie HickeyClare Charvill and Hels Sheridan." 

So, as you can see, there are 3 PaperArtsy designers teaching at this event in Essex, a great opportunity for you! More info from Birds in the Barn follows below:

The Schedule:
  • Thursday 10th July: Lin Brown who is a designer for PaperArtsy will be using a 8" x 8" canvas, PaperArtsy paints, metal, her own design die cuts, stamps and much more to create a stunning masterpiece for your wall (picture below) .
  • Thursday 10th July: Darcy who is also a designer with PaperArtsy will be creating a small album called 'Dreamy Bird in a Doughnut Tree' with her range of stamps and Paper Artsy products and I know Darcy has some exciting ideas to make your book funky. (pictures below)
  • Friday 11th July: Julie Hickey from Craftwork Cards will split her day into two projects,In the morning she will be sharing some of her ideas as you make cards and in the afternoon you will try out a 3D project using the new papers from Craftwork Cards.
  • Friday 11th  July: Jo Firth-Young our third designer from Paper Artsy will be making a working MDF clock from Candy Box with her lovely floral stamps, paints and much more I am sure. (Picture below)
  • Saturday 12th July: Clare Charvill will be showing you how to make a super little album with lots of pockets, tags, and hiding places (we have posted a sneak peek on Birds in the Barn blog) using the By The Sea 8'' x 8'' papers from Graphic 45.
  • Sunday 13th July: Clare Charvill making a lovely handbag from Candy Box with a book inside she will be using the fantastic new papers Come Away with Me from Graphic 45.
  • Sunday 13th July: Hels Sheridan will be using canvas to make a cover for your journal using stamps, paints, Distress inks, Grunge paste and much more . I am sure there will be a flower or two too.
We are thrilled to be hosting this event at 

The Marks Tey Hotelnear Colchester, Essex

There are still some spaces left, so please call the shop on 01206 211099 to book aplace. We are so excited to be organizing what promises to be a great event and we would love to have you join us. 

Janet.  Birds in The Barn

I am so excited, here are some sneaks of the project that I will be teaching. 

I hope to see some of you there. 

Darcy x


Thursday, 3 July 2014

Revisitation! Jennibellie Challenge

Over on the Jennibellie Ning site there is a monthly journal challenge. This month the theme is revisitation, where we are meant to go back to an old journal page that we don't like and rework it. 

So here is my contribution. 

This was the original page, I was stuck as to how to do it in the first place, and ended up rushing it. I was ok with the right side but really disliked the left side. 

I ripped off the silhouette of the fairy, and was left with this. 

I knocked back the leaves with some brown and green paint, just applied lightly with a fingertip. I then whited out this shape of a head using gesso. 

I used neocolor II crayons and Aquamarkers to fill in the face and wings. Finishing it off with white dots using a Posca pen. 

I also added white highlights to the other side. 

So here is the new finished page. it was difficult to take a good photo just because her face is created over collage and so the page is a bit bumpy. 

Darcy x

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Weekly Face

This is Jax. I recently put out a call for people to send me photos of themselves so that I could practise more. Jax very kindly got her hubby to take some photos of her which she emailed. I loved one of her in a hat, so decided to go with that one. 

As always the initial outlines. 

I wasn't confident with producing the texture/fabric of the hat, so I began with that.

and then I moved onto the darkest darks, which were mostly in the hair. 

 I then started on my favourite part, the eyes.

then some of the shading.

here I shaded the ear and added more hair.

more work on the eyes. 

working across the face, left to right to avoid smudging. 

and all done.. 

Darcy x