Friday, 15 August 2014

Pencil Box

A couple of weeks ago I showed you a couple of sneaks photos of samples made using my new stamps. Today I can show you some more photos of one of those samples. 

I began by painting the bottom section of the box using Green Olives, Guacamole, Hey Pesto and Hyde Park

On the inside I added a layer of crackle glaze and then a layer of Nougat. 

I did the same with the lid, this time using Space Cadet, Sky, Antarctic and Inky Pool

Again on the inside I added a crackle layer. 

I then cut a piece of tissue paper to fit the lid, and stamped it with my new birds stamp. 

This was glued inside the lid. 

 Next I put an elastic band around the box to hold the two pieces tight together. I then stamped the fence all around the box. 

I painted the fence with Autumn Fire, Mocha Mousse, Cinnamon,Brown Shed and Haystack. I also cut some tissue to fit in the base of the box, this was stamped with script. 

I painted some more tissue with greens, and another section with blues and spots of Very Berry. I also painted some tissue with yellows and oranges. I then stamped flowers and leaves , lots of them, I then fussy cut these out. 

I added the flowers and leaves using matte medium, overlapping them slightly. 

once they were all dry i decided to give the whole thing a couple of coats of gloss glaze, this makes the flowers look lovely. 

I then screwed the hinges back on

It's a nifty little box, perfect for my fountain pen.

One last pic of the front. I am so happy with this project. 

I will be back soon with more samples. 

These stamps are available at your favourite PaperArtsy retailer. 

Darcy x

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Weekly Face

This week I am using markers, they are super quick, and who doesn't love a bit of colouring in. The face outline has been drawn by the very talented Jay. It is a nice simple outline, no fiddly bits, perfect for markers. 

The outline is first done with a fineliner. 

The face is done with Blush and Pastel Pink.

I used a combination of new limited edition pens and original promarkers for the hair. 

Here she is finished and cut out. 

The background is acrylic paints and stamping. 

 With the girl glued on as the focal image. 

Darcy x

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Weekly Face

This week I had intended to do a full portrait using Caran d'Ache Fibralo pens, however time escaped me. I did do these 2 very quick ones which really were just practise attempts, just to see how the colours would work for a skin tone. There is a flesh tone pen in the set that I have 042, which is perfect, the ochre 035 and the dark brown 059 and both great for shading. 

I found out that although these pens are waterbased and move around very easily, they cannot be removed completely. This was quite exciting as it means they can be used to 'stain' the paper. 

So i drew both these faces, coloured them in and then wiped both of them completely with a wet baby wipe. Sounds drastic I know, it reactivated the ink, and it smeared all over. i carried on wiping, and once all the loose ink was gone I was left with these 'ghost' images. 

I really like them.. 

This was not an attempt to create a perfect face, it was all about how the pens worked. I like how they are peering through. 

I will at some point do a proper portrait with them too. 

Darcy x

Tuesday, 5 August 2014


Winner of my July giveaway is..


Please get in touch, your prize will be dispatched directly from Letraset. 

Monday, 4 August 2014

A Bit About Me.

This is a blog hop with a difference. This is going to be a bit of a different blog post from me. I will be describing my creative process and inspirations.  I also have to link up the person who invited me, and invite 3 new people... lots of links to wonderfully creative people for you to visit. I was "tagged" by my friend, Nicole Maki  who blogs at Made by Nicole if you have never seen her work then you must pop over and take a look. I am constantly in awe of Nicole's creativity. I had a bit of a girl-crush on her for a while before we got to know each other. She is just so quirky and bubbly and inventive, and of course super cute too. She amazes me with her strength of character, continuing to create whilst overcoming bouts of ill health and pain. She has homeschooled her 3 gorgeous boys, and done a brilliant job with them. There is so much to see on Nicole's blog, all of it bright and vibrant. There is everything from original painted pieces, mixed media canvasses, to upcycled  items such as cushions and scissors! yes decorated scissors.. and recipes. Nicole's blog hop answers can be seen in THIS POST. 
These are the question's that I am supposed to answer as part of this blog hop. 

1. what am I working on?
I am a blog admin ,coordinator and stamp designer for PaperArtsy, this keeps me busy, there is always lots to do. I have just finished a new collection of stamps and they are in the shops this week. My desk is always covered in sketches/ideas for new stamps. 
I also create a project each month for their blog, recently it has been a journal page each month that has formed the basis of a monthly challenge for other people to play along and join in. The most recent one can be found HERE. 
As for other non PA related projects: I do attempt to draw/sketch/paint/collage a face each week. Sometimes I run out of time and I can only manage a quick whimsy type face, but other weeks I am able to spend more time on the face. On these weeks I try and sketch people that I know, trying to improve my drawing skills each week. I am by no means a portrait artist, it isn't even my first love, but I am enjoying the improvements. My favourites are on THIS PAGE. 
Although I am lucky enough to have a craft room, I am always short of storage, so at the moment I have 2 pieces of storage that I am making, one is for rubber stamps. The other is going to be a jewellery box, both in their early stages. I have some small drawing of fairies (drawn by my friend Jay) that I am incorporating into small mixed media pieces, these are a gift for a friend, when they eventually get finished. I am also struggling to draw a rooster... don't ask...
This will be the jewellery box... at some point. 

I contribute to the Letraset Blog each month, so at the back of my mind I am always thinking up projects that I can make that will showcase their pens. Over on THIS PAGE are some of my projects made with promarkers,flexmarkers and aquamarkers.  
My background is in fabrics and embroidery, so I also have half made bags and embroideries on the go. Aswell as a half made pair of knitted socks.... so many UFO's so little time. 
Some of my handmade socks.. 

This babette blanket is also a WIP.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
First up, what genre am I in? I draw, I paint, sometimes lifelike, sometimes whimsy, sometimes just a pencil drawing and sometimes mixed media. i love to build, see the jewellery box above, all built from scratch. I adore texture, and try to incorporate texture and layers into everything (except pencil portraits) I also sew, embroider, and knit... so what does all that make me? ohh let's not forget the cakes, I love to bake. See some of my recipes HERE. 
I guess I would have to call it all mixed media, that covers everything. So how does my style differ? This is not a question I ask myself really, I just get on and do my thing. I am not trying to be like anyone else, nor am I striving to be totally different either. I just do whatever I am inspired to do in that moment. Of course if I am following a work brief from a company then that does sometimes dictate the style a little. 
I am incredibly proud of my range of stamps, made by PaperArtsy. They are not everyone's cup of tea, some are a little odd looking lol but i like them. You can see some of the things i have made with them HERE.  There is also a Facebook page for my stamps, where you are free to add photos of the projects that you have made with my stamps. Find it HERE. 

I would say my style is eclectic, and grungy... definitely not CAS (clean and simple)I really struggle to keep my work clean lol I love colours, and find neutral tones very difficult to work with. As previously stated i adore texture and layers. For me the process of creating is often far more important than the end product. ..even if that means covering up several layers so that they are never seen again, to me that doesn't matter, I have had the enjoyment of making each layer, I am happy to let each layer go and move onto the next one. i guess much of my work is of the moment, transient, fleeting,often covered up by something else/another layer. 
I do like to experiment, and projects can sometimes end up looking quirky because I have used mediums in unusual ways, but just as often I can make stuff that looks fairly mainstream... 

3. Why do I write/create what I do?
I can't not create. it is part of who I am, it's what I do, like breathing. I have been creating for over 35 years. I will never stop. It does of course come and go in phases. For a long time I only created with fabric and yarn, then it was mostly papercrafts, and now it is mixed media. I think this is my most favourite period as I get to incorporate all the things I have ever loved into one project. Some projects are made out of necessity, if they are required for a design team, some things such as storage, again are made because I need them. Then there are the items made as gifts.... all these things are conceived because of outside influences. Sadly it is rare that I get to make something just for me, yes of course I have a say in the direction all projects go, but not often do I get to make all the choices. Probably only when I am knitting a pair of socks for myself lol I am very much led by colours and shapes.  
I do like to create journal pages, or more specifically journal books, as I seem to have about 12 on the go at once. i like to keep each one separate for different types of pages. I recently started 'yet another' small journal in which i am doing a series of 'Dreary dead Girls' 

This giraffe was inspired by a set of stamps, don't ask me how but I just envisaged them being spots on his body and it grew from there. Actually it grew bigger than I anticipated, and ended up being 4ft tall. 

I don't see working to other people's requirements as a major problem, having a starting point such as a colour scheme that needs to be adhered to, or a certain stamp that needs to be used, can be beneficial. We all lose our mojo from time to time, having a jumping off point can be helpful On the rare occasion I have time for myself, I do find myself struggling to decide what to make. Then I turn to the internet for inspiration, get sucked into youtube videos and before I know it, 3 hours have gone by...
But when I am 'in the zone' totally engrossed in what I am making, then the world at large disappears, or at least seems to stop. There is nothing quite like it, I adore being lost in the moment.  I lose all track of time, I forget to eat and this happens  A LOT, I suddenly look up and it is light outside! i then realise I have crafted right through the night, the birds are singing, and the 'daywalkers' are just getting up for work. oops! 
How does my writing/creating process work?
I am tempted to say more by luck than management lol I very often don't know exactly what the end product will be, so I am never sure if what I am doing is working.... until it works.. or doesn't!
I do not have a set routine to work from. if I am working to a brief, of course that is my starting point. I may sit and stare at paint bottles or stamps for a while allowing random images to float around in my head. I do love the internet  for inspiration. From blogs to fine art sites, to good old google images. I take a notebook and scribble ideas, these then spark other ideas and so on. I Like to work in advance, this way I can mull over initial ideas in my head, in my dreams... yes i do dream about creating... if the project is to have many layers I may make a list of ones to include, but it is a flexible list and changes as i work through it. 
i love to experiment, and even 'mistakes' can turn out to be exciting. I am not a follower of rules when it comes to art, i like to play and just see what happens. I do usually have a vague idea before I sit down to begin, i really don't like being made to create on the spot with no preparation at all. I have tried most techniques, which is great, it gives me a wealth of experience to bring to most projects. As one experiment or layer or technique leads to another, I can react to each outcome and change direction if I need to. 

This does not mean there is nothing left to learn, I am hungry for inspiration and knowledge, I love to learn about how stuff is made. Equally I am always thrilled to see someone who is just starting out, seeing them discover something for the first time and excitedly blog about it. Often it is a technique that I have already done, years ago, but have forgotten along the way. So it suddenly becomes like a new one to me too. Having a dreadful memory contributes to this aswell, I am always discovering 'new' stuff that isn't really new to me at all, i've just forgotten it lol  If you are a newbie, never think that you have nothing to offer, because you are the ones that reignite the passion in other people. 
All techniques, colour theory and practical skills can be taught, anyone can learn them. The two things I believe people struggle with are composition and knowing when to stop. these two things come only with experience, and even now i sometimes keep 'fiddling' with a project long after I should have just stopped. 
inspiration is key, and it is everywhere. I am thankful for having a smart phone and a decent camera. I am always taking photos, you can never have enough. As I have already said i love texture, if I see old wood, or peeling paint, or rusty metal, or cobble stones then I am immediately drawn to them, wondering how i can recreate that texture with paint or fabric. i am fascinated by trees, I probably have more photos of trees than anything else. 
After wandering my local cemetery and taking over 200 photos of trees I came home and made this journal page. The tree is hand drawn and coloured with prisma pencils, inspired by the photos that I had taken. 

So that is the 4 questions answered. 
Here are some of my most recently finished pieces. 

Here are the 3 girls that I would like to introduce you to, they will all be making a blog post with their answers, one week from today, on Monday Aug 11th. 

Clare Horner.: Clare blogs from Gotpaintinmyhair I cannot for the life of me remember how I got to know Clare, other than it was online. Then we and a couple of other girls met up one day and had such a great time, we continued to meet up. Clare is one of the funniest girls I know, she has an awesome sense of humour, and is the only girl I know that has run into a burning building! She is a demonstrator for IndigoBlu and can be seen up and down the country sharing her skills. 
Tee Thompson: Tee blogs from Tee thompson Studio  and also more recently from Irish Oaks Farm Tee is a wonderful artist, very creative, and a beautiful soul. At the moment her art is taking a back seat while she and her family set up a new life on a farm. Though her creative abilities are still being used everyday, just in different ways. Instead of learning how to layer colours she is learning how to build chicken houses and bunny retreats, aswell as discovering just how green her fingers are by growing a huge range of veggies and herbs.
Dana Christiansen.:Dana blogs from Dana's Inspirations I only know Dana through Twitter and Ustream. I have seen her art change and grow in the time I have known her. I have also watched her passion for art grow too. She is a genuine,lovely girl with a talent not to be missed. She has most recently been a guest teacher on the Soul Food online course. I was lucky enough to have a place on that course and have all the lessons saved for when I have some 'me' time. 


Saturday, 2 August 2014

Shhh...Sneaky Peek

I have some new stamps being released very soon. Here are a couple of projects made with my brand new stamps. 

Pop on over to the PaperArtsy blog to see more photos. 

Darcy x

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Weekly Face

10 minute face.. 
Page is painted with a very light layer of white acrylic. Sketch in pencil.

The half face is coloured with Letraset Aquamarkers. 

Then prisma pencils over the top for extra shading. 

Caran d'Ache Fibralo pens added, then water added and the drips allowed to flow. 

Darcy x

Monday, 28 July 2014

Emergency Wrap

What happens when a last minute birthday party is sprung upon you? if you are super organized, or if you had small children and you go to lots of parties, then maybe you have spare gifts tucked away.. just in case.. I have done this in the past, found cool gifts in the sale and bought them to keep in the cupboard for emergencies... but do I ever remember to buy wrapping paper too? nope!

All I had was this plain black wrapping paper, not terribly jolly! 

I turned it over to find a plain white reverse, better than black, but a bit boring. 

So let's decorate it, we only have an hour before the party, so it's got to be quick, fun and with a splash of colour. 

Of course any paper would work, though printer paper is usually too small, and lining paper while bigger, is usually too thick. The paper I am using is actual wrapping paper. 

Take a small stamp, something cute and not too detailed. Stamp this all over your paper at regular intervals. 

Add a smaller stamp between. 

Now take a selection of bright promarkers, and colour in SOME of the images. This will give the paper a printed/graphic feel. If you colour all of the images it will look homemade/coloured in. 

Voila! simple as that, it took 10 mins to stamp and about 15 to colour in. 

Once the gift is wrapped, there is some paper left over. I cut a square, and with the black side upmost I glued that to a card blank. Then I printed a sentiment out onto Safmat. 

Next I lay the Safmat down over another square of the wrapping paper, this time with the images upmost. The Safmat sticks to the paper, and the sentiment is in place. 

I trimmed the Safmat to the same size as the square of images, then stuck that layer to the black square, and there we have it a simple, matching card. 

Finally, with the final scrap I glued it to a tag shape and trimmed it, now I have a matching tag.

The final step was to add some bakers twine, though this is homemade bakers twine. It is actually crochet cotton that has been coloured with promarkers. 

I wrapped up the gift and added a little washi tape, under an hour, job done.

I have a set of vibrant promarkers to give away. 

Please do TWO THINGS.

1. Leave a comment for me on the Letraset blog HERE
2. Add your name to the linky here. 

Only names that appear in both places will be entered.