Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Art Haul

Hello Lovelies,

I got some goodies!!!

I placed an order with Artified last week, and had a little spare time so I organised to visit their new premises in Wantirna.  What a treasure trove of a shop!!

Here's my haul:

Seriously, the goodness! I got some replacement materials to restock supplies after my art journal classes, but I also got some new stuff as well.  I picked up the last Traci Bautista book - Doodles Unleashed (which I have been meaning to get for ages), Liquitex String Gel - which I think is like Tar Gel but will be testing soon, some Liquitex high gloss sealer, new stencils, stamps, a bit of paint, a couple of the new brushtix (very interesting tools those), another pack of Starburst sprays and some more of the delicious iZink inks.

I will do some posts on the art I (will) create from the haul soon!

'till next time


Sunday, 27 April 2014

Special Class Wrap-up

Hello Lovelies,

I blogged last month about my friend Robert coming to teach a private class for myself and 3 of my art friends.  It happened on Friday (25th) and it was a huge success!

Robert's work is so fantastic - he really is a "memory keeper".  He takes Scrapbooking to a completely new and very artistic level. In fact he recently completed a commission doing exactly what we learned in our class for Matt Preston. (For my overseas readers, Matt Preston is an Australian TV celebrity and Food Critic who lives here in Melbourne).

Robert enables his students to create integrated pieces of art from a plethora of personal memories.  His empathy and genuine interest in people is so special. As a teacher he is confident, generous and engaging. 

I completely rearranged my front room to squeeze us in.  We went from this:

To this, complete with Robert in action:

Here's Robert giving us instructions...
(Apologies for my poor photography there)

Here's a pic of Rosie's work completed (that's Rosie in the red top).  She is so good at working "small"!  Her piece was about her trip to NY last year.  She printed out some of the 500+ photos that she took on the trip with each photo being thumbnail size, and then set about cutting them all up... painstaking!  The panel she used is approx 15cm by 45cm.

And here's mine.  My panel is approx 15cm x 21cm (that's measured from the outside of the frame).  My picture is not trip specific but rather is using family memorabilia - photo's negatives, bits of letters and old correspondence.

The Panels that we worked on were really interesting.  The limestone top was so good to scratch into! I sanded mine as well adding paint and charcoal to get interesting lines.  I have another panel the same size as Rosie's, so I will produce some art on it over the next couple of weeks and blog for you.  I am seriously considering using these panels in a class but I want to find out how well the surface will take transfers.

I am keen to organise another teaching class for Robert (at his studio in Docklands as opposed to in my house), so if you are interested in learning a completely different way of scrapbooking, please email me at lizziea01@bigpond.com or follow this blog and I will keep you updated.

'till next time


Saturday, 26 April 2014

Art Journaling 101 - A rerun

Hello lovelies,

I am very excited to announce that I am doing a rerun of my art journaling workshop series starting next month.
I am heading to the other side of the city and running these classes at Create on Ormond in Geelong.

If you don't know Create on Ormond, its a great little Bricks and Mortar store not far from the centre of Geelong with a brilliant teaching space at the back. 

I'm really looking forward to re-running my classes with a new group of students.  Advertising for the class started today, and it is already half full!  So if you want to come and learn the basics of Art Journaling please contact Marisa at Create on Ormond.

'till next time


Journal Page

Hello lovelies,

My final DT post is up at Crafters Cupboard.  My 6 month tenure on the design team is over... time flies!! 

For my final post I decided to do a Journal page using the Eclectica House plate EDY08, and Eclectica Mini 07.

Here is the finished page. It's very dimensional, textured & shiny - something a bit different!
I hope you give it a try.

Till next time!!


Tuesday, 22 April 2014

awww, so cute!

Hello lovelies!

I hope you all had a fantastic Easter.

I'm here with a Lifebook 2014 update today.   I struggled my way through the week 15 class with Tam on the weekend, and here it is. Quirky Animals: 
As many of you would know, I'm not really a "cute" person.  I struggle to find a "whimsical" style, and struggle even more with drawing animals.  So this page was a challenge on 2 fronts, and boy did it stretch me!  Can you believe that it took me almost 2 days to produce just 1 page?!?

By the end I was starting to get the hang of it though, so perhaps I just need some more practice.

I really liked the "totem" style we did - stacking the animals one on top of the other.  I think that is really fun. 

The catch-ups have slowed down a little (I also produced a fairly major DT project for Crafters Cupboard on the weekend) but I hope to be able to give you another Lifebook update in the coming week.

'till next time


Friday, 18 April 2014

Raiders of the lost blog post

Hello Lovelies!

So it appears that the great unpublished blog post has been rediscovered! It has been published on the Crafters Cupboard blog in time for you to get messy with your kids these school holidays.   Enjoy!

I'm having a crafty day today with some of the girls, so I hope to have some art to feed the blog over the coming days.

I hope that you all have a very happy Easter and enjoy your time off work.

'till next time


Thursday, 17 April 2014

TAP, tap, tapping

Hello lovelies,

Well the Lifebook catch-up is continuing, so I thought that I would share my art from week 13 of Lifebook.  

This was a "bonus" week, but I really wanted to give this technique a try, so I am skipping the Main lesson from week 12 and substituting this one instead.  I have done a lot of things similar to our week 12 lesson on my own already, I even blogged about it here and here, so I can come back to this one later on - question is will I get to it sometime before I bind my journal together at the beginning of 2015?

So, this technique uses Transfer Artist Paper or TAP.  You can get TAP all over the place, even Spotlight have it (sometimes, if you're lucky).  Here's a packet:

This is SO EASY to use! I am officially in love with this stuff, and I can see that it will feature more prominently in my toolkit from here on in.

Basically, print out an image onto the smooth side of the TAP sheet with your inkjet printer.  I created an A4 collage sheet of my own in Photoshop so as not to waste any of the transfer paper - you could do the same with any photo program, or even a free program like Picasa. Cut out the image that you want to use, trimming closely to the sides. Place face down where desired on your page.

Using a dry iron (no steam) on a med-high setting iron the back of the transfer paper in a circular motion. (Please note that this is Australian specific. I understand that if you are reading this and are based in the US you need to use the highest possible setting on your iron).  Gently peel up the corner of the paper while hot to see if it is transferred. If not just keep ironing until and testing until you have the transfer working.  Gently peel away and viola, you have a perfectly transferred image!

Paint your background and decorate with paint pens. You can use the TAP paper that you transferred the image from as a mask if you like. 

Here's my TAP, tap tappity journal page:

Why don't you give this transfer technique a go?  It's a really easy, really quick and super fun to do.

'Till next time


Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Keeping it simple

Hello lovelies!

This is another lifebook catch-up post.  This is from week 11 - "Tree of Life"

I must say that This page turned out nothing like the brief. "The Tree of Life" alludes to the interconnection of all life on our planet. The March Life Book theme was "Celebration of our Connections in Life" so we were supposed to us the Tree of Life as symbolic of that. 

Hmmm.  I don't think that I should have been working on the Tree of Life in the week that the latest IPCC report came out.  This page reflects the sadness I feel at the wilful ignorance of politicians and leaders regarding the dire consequences of inaction in relation to carbon emissions.

Saying that however I like the page itself.  My exploration of "less is more" is really tough for me - I am a person who really believes that "more is more".  I digitally altered a royalty free (and free) image using photoshop and transferred it with TAP (I'll talk about that in my next post).  I scraped paints with a credit card, washed with glazes and then decorated and wrote with paint pen.

Have you ever found yourself starting with a clear direction in your project and then ending somewhere completely different?

'Till next time


Saturday, 12 April 2014

Art Journal Class Update

Hello lovelies!

Well, I can't believe that class 5 of my journal class series is done... This class series been both fast and slow - I can't believe that it will be over next month, but it feels like the first class was only yesterday!

Class 5 was all about texture.  I know that I could do an entire series of classes about texture in your journal.  There are a myriad of ways that you can add interest through texture in your journal, and half the fun is in experimentation with different mediums... my experimentation with tar gel and self-levelling gel could fill a book! 

Texture is created in so many different ways in art journals that I think it’s important to remember that texture can be visual or it can be tactile.  Visual texture is created by using multiple layers of stamps, journaling, paint, or other media.  Tactile texture can be touched and creates another dimension in your art journal.  Tactile texture invites the reader of your journal (be it just you or someone you are showing a page to) to touch the page.  Tactile texture can be in the foreground or in the background of your page. The opportunities to add texture to a page are as limitless as the things that you can find.  

For me, the key to great texture is layering.  My journal pages can have up to 10 layers on them (depending on how strong the paper is of course), and it is those layers that create both visual and tactile texture.  Understanding when to seal layer, and what to seal them with is an important part of your art journal experimentation. 

So the page we based our Class 5 work on is this one:

The texture on this page is very tactile.  I rummaged through my (quite extensive) stash of chipboard to find some left-over bits to use up. One of the great things about art journaling is that you have your own "permission" to use up all your old stuff rather than stashing it or "saving" it.

There are easily 6 layers of stuff on this page, from the flatter tissue and tape texture at the bottom, to gesso, feathers, chipboard and paint glazes toward the top. Each layer allows the viewer to see layers below in part, and that helps to add to the depth of the page.

Here is this month's homework.  The page uses corrugated cardboard as the focal point, but the background has been built up with all sorts of stuff like old photos, tissue paper, embossing paste and bits of tape.  It was coloured with a mixture of watersoluble crayons and distress stains.  I then had loads of fun dribbling ink everywhere.

'till next time!


Friday, 11 April 2014

Epic catch-ups commence

Hello lovelies.

I'm blogging today about the first of my art catch ups.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am feeling a little stressed about how far behind I have fallen in Lifebook 2014.  Luckily I have found a couple of days so far this month to start my catch up.  Easter catch-ups are looking fairly extensive!

I am jumping around, as I have not done any of the class exercises since week 3, so I have started at the beginning of March.  This is my week 10 art work.

This is a class by Tamara LaPorte - the founder of Lifebook and the amazing willowing.ning - I can't recommend her enough as an online teacher. Fortunately for those of you who are not part of Lifebook 2014, this technique was published by Somerset Studios in their Somerset Apprentice Spring 2012 volume so you can play along as well!

So this technique is what Tam calls "painting over collage", which is fairly descriptive. It's simple and fun to do.

Lay down your collage.  I have used images from magazines. Cover the whole with clear gesso:


Shade the face with acrylic paints and pencils.  Go mad with your neocolorII watercolour crayons (awesome things that they are) and aquamarkers.  Add stamping, brayer with white gesso, then add more colour until you are happy with the image.  Add meaningful words - in this case about positive connections in my life.  Viola! You have a yummy piece of art.


I suggest that you give it a go!

'Till next time.


Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Popping Panels

Hello Lovelies!

As promised, this is part 2 of the shopping trip post.  The reason this is a separate post is because I have loads of linkies and pics in this post.

So after Ikea we headed over to Brunswick Street Fitzroy, you know because we just blend right in with all the hipsters (not) to a place called Panelpop...

Whaa? Why? I hear you ask...  Well there's a bit of a backstory here.

Remember we went on an art walk?  I blogged about it here. Well on that walk we went into a gallery and lo and behold, a friend of mine who I hadn't seen for some time was the artist in residence for the month.  His name is Robert Lee Davis, and this is where he was at the time.

The girls were really impressed with his art work, as anyone would be - it's awesome. So I contacted him to ask if he would teach us a private class... and he said yes!!! So Robert is coming to my house to teach us his methods on Anzac day (sorry to the Vets / Diggers, but I won't be attending the parade this year).

Robert's substrate of choice is a product called Panelpop, hence our visit to their store - we needed to buy a panel for our class.  Each panelpop is made from recycled wood (mostly fence palings) and reconstituted limestone with a (recycled) polystyrene backing. 

The limestone is sanded back to be smooth but still has enough tooth and absorbency to retain watercolour, oil or acrylic paints. You can even erase your art by using a small amount of water and a kitchen scourer or sandpaper. 

The store was awesome... Just look at the vibrancy of colour they get on the panels, and they have the best business cards - little blocks of polystyrene with the shop name branded on!

Mmmm, this wall of art was great.  I really liked the way that they had stuck together a bundle of the teeny panels to create a curved blank canvas (bottom left of the photo).

 The girls having a shop...

So the blank panels cost $30 for a smallish one, and $40 for the larger ones... a pretty reasonable price considering the work that goes into creating them in the first place.  Each panel has its own character because of the use of recycled timber as a frame, so its already a "one-off" before you start.

Once I have done my class with Robert, I'll blog about how easy/hard it is to use a panelpop.  You never know, I may even create a class using these for my students...

I found a little video on the PanelPop shop here as well. 

My next blog post will be a more arty update.  I have found a little bit of time to get some playing in for myself. Woohoo!

'Till next time.


Sunday, 6 April 2014

Shopping trip

Hello lovelies!

So I thought I would share with you the details of a "kind-of, mostly" arty shopping trip I took with the girls.

We toddled off early to Ikea in Richmond, with the express purpose of buying a rolling trolley for our art rooms.  We got there too early (my fault) and had to kill some time waiting for the shop to open.  But look what we found opposite the car park... cool grafitti!!

Once it opened, we navigated the Ikea rabbit warren picking up all sorts of bits and pieces, mainly art storage bins to be honest, on our way to get the trolley. Here it is in my art space.  It's SUCH a pretty colour, and only took me 20 minutes to put together! 

It holds a lot of stuff - it has in fact cleared my desk (somewhat) and I now have a reasonably clear space on my desk for making art.

(Believe me, this is an improvement! The card table is only up temporarily btw).

I also purchased a lazy susan to take some of my more commonly used art supplies...

I'll give you a rundown on our next shopping stop soon.  There's too much for just 1 post!

'Till next time


Thursday, 3 April 2014

Paperartsy Sardine Can Nicho

Hi lovelies,

Just a quick post to let you know that I have another project and tutorial up at the Crafters Cupboard blog.  Its a nicho made from a sardine tin!

In the interests of full disclosure I should point out that this piece was heavily influenced by the work of Michael DeMeng whose workshop I was lucky enough to attend in 2008.

Front view:
Side view:

I hope you give this project a try.  It's great fun to play and create a 3D mixed media piece of art!

'Till next time!


Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Lifebook 2014

Hello lovelies,

I mentioned in an earlier blog post that I was behind in Lifebook 2014, then realised that I have not even told you about that class. D'Oh!  So I thought that I should rectify that glaring omission.

So, what is LifeBook?  Well, it is a year long series of journal classes organised by Tamara Laporte featuring a ton of fab guest teachers.


Tam aka willowing is a mixed media artist, illustrator and art teacher who loves making a mess and has an unhealthy obsession with brayering paint. Her work can be described as “mixed media folk art”. It ranges from whimsical children’s illustrations to a more stylised fantasy art. 

I had done some online classes with Tam previously, and have found her to be a fantastic and generous teacher.  The classes are well structured, concise and clear.  Once you buy access to her classes you can download all the class materials and videos so that you can keep them forever - which is brilliant and in my experience, not the "norm".  So I took the plunge last year and signed up for Lifebook 2014.

All the information about Lifebook 2014 is here. There are "main" lessons about once a fortnight or so, and "bonus" lessons in the off weeks. (Bonus lessons are for those people who are total girly swots - aka not me).

So I started well, and got the first 2 main lessons done in good time - probably because I was in Perth and on holidays. Then in Feb, everything started to go downhill. My main priority was to get all the prep done for the remainder of the art journal classes I was teaching, and to complete that journal so that my students could get a feel for what their finished product could look like. That took every spare hour that I had throughout Feb. Then the class write-ups & notes took most of my spare time in the beginning of March.

So here I am at the end of March (well the beginning of April by the time this blog post goes up) and I am really behind. 

But to get you all up to date, here are the art journal pages that I completed in January.  The journal is done on individual pages and then bound together at the end of the year. 

This is a depiction of my "spirit guardian" for this year, as well as my word for the year - prosperity.  It seems to be working well for me so far (touch wood).

These were from a class with Carla Sonheim. I must say that I was a little worried about doing this class as it was very much freehand drawing and generally "letting go" - neither of which I am particularly good at! But I have to say that I loved it, and I have added extra little cards into the pocket that we made in the class.  

We did exercises like drawing whilst not lifting the pen from the paper, drawing from memory with eyes closed, drawing an object while not looking at the page, and making blobanimals - my favourite of which is above. This is so not "me" it's almost zen like in its emptiness... I love it.

I'll be posting more about Lifebook as I play catch-up.  I'm in the process of working backwards from now, and trying to get the main lessons completed. I'mma going to be busy!

'Till next time