Saturday 30 August 2014

Looking over my shoulder - Black Beauty journal pages

Some of you could be wondering - what REALLY happens in the classroom during my workshops? How does it all start? What are all these people doing... and how? Is it hard to follow?
I can't answer all of your questions - but for sure I can help you understand it a bit and  let you look over my shoulder showing the projects I've done during the same workshop - but in different time and place.

Those of you who took my classes know that I create a new sample every time I teach. I take the students for a small creative journey from the beginning, the background of the project, step-by-step to the top, finishing touches and I try to give as many tips as possible.

Some of you may think it can get boring to teach the same class many times... I can tell you -  it isn't! There are ways to keep the process fresh and inspiring - and creating new samples is one of them. New colors, new elements, photos... there is always something "new" and it helps me going - and give students as much as I can in the time of the class.
And now let me add one more thing: I simply love watching my students create. I've learnt so much answering their questions, looking at their color palettes, composition, ideas... it is an endless source of inspiration!

Coming back to the point: looking over my shoulder.
Here are the examples of the page from the same workshop: "Black Beauty Journal".
You can see I was in totally different color moods when I was creating them, right? But on the other hand - there are a lot of similarities, too!

Both of the pages are based on paper collage backgrounds covered with coats of gesso, built with the layering techniques - including a lot of lace, paper and metal embellishments. There's masking tape, thread and buttons... some stamping and some paint.

Of course - colors and finishing touches such as stamping or splashing are totally different, changing the final look of the pages dramatically. But if you have a closer look - you will be able to see the same steps taken... fun, isn't it?

To help you a bit I've got a selection of products used for both pages listed below - are you able to spot them on the spreads?

I hope to see you in my classroom one day. :) We can get messy together, right?
Sending creative vibes

Saturday 23 August 2014

Gesso Art Recipe

Gesso... My best friend...
As a matter of fact, every mixed media artist's best friend... I can't imagine my creative process without it!

This journal spread was created in an old book - I love the concept of using real old family photographs on real vintage substrates with real vintage embellishments.
However, old paper tends to be very fragile and it's often tricky to work on because it easily absorbs water, paints and any other media. That's why I always need to prime it and make it safe to work on. 
Here comes gesso to my aid...

How does it work exactly?
We call gesso a primer which means it is used to create a smooth, non-soaking surface on top of which you can add any medium your heart desires. You can apply it on any kind of surface - canvas, wood, paper, metal, chipoards, fabric, plastic - literally anything!
It also works fantastic when applied through stencils - you can add some interesting textures and patterns to your art. Gesso is so user's friendly - it dries quickly (good for impatient people like me ;) ), it's non-toxic and archival safe.
If you'd like to know more, you can find some information {here} and also learn about some really fantastic effects you can achieve with white, black and clear gesso. :)

To create an interesting project, just gesso is not enough - you need to add a pinch of color... :)
I hope my Art Recipe I present today, will inspire you to experiment!

This journal spread is a combination of layers of old paper, lace, buttons and Mechanicals.
The color comes from a home made tea stain - simply a couple of tea bags left in hot water and then sprayed on the pages through one of my "Elementals" stencils. It's my favorite way to create an interesting looking golden brown color. The other colors come from Primary Elements Pigments mixed with water in spray bottles.

Have a great creative weekend!

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Art Medium Demos - video form Salt Lake City

H there people! I hope you have great end of the Summer!
I'm popping in to share one of the Art Mediums Demo Videos - done during the Mixed Media Madness Show in Salt Lake City. It was brought to you thanks to courtesy of the Blue Moon Scrapbooking (you can find their YouTube Channel here)

I hope you will enjoy and it will tell you more about the new Art Mediums Collection: Art Basics, Art Ingredients and Art Extravagance. I'm currently working on the description of these products for you -and most of it ready, so be prepared to see some infos, tips and tricks very soon!
Sending hugs

Friday 15 August 2014

Finnabair Creative Team Reveal Time!

I can't keep this secret any longer. First ever Finnabair Creative Team is here!
Seriously - DT Call was a crazy ride through your creativity, talent, enthusiasm... It was almost impossible to choose and the amount of love, kindness and support I've received from you was more than overwhelming. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for all these messages and entries.
More then anytime in the past I know you are  somewhere there... this makes my heart sing and creative  gears and cogs in my head are spinning even faster now!

So, here we are!
High time to introduce you all to the wonderful group that will enter Creative Team officially this September. 
I'm sure our joined forces will provide you tons of creative ideas, inspiration and encouragement to enter the colorful world of Mixed-media Arts and Crafts ...

What you can expect from us? 
Sharing our experience in tutorials, tips, product reviews, step-by-step projects - and some challenges and giveaways of course to add some icing on the top! 
I hope you won't be shy and joint the fun!

Now, to know each other a bit better you can read our super short and fun interviews.  

Linda M. Cain - visit her website here!

1. From: Rock Island, Illinois in the center of Illinois in the center of the USA
2. Always on my work table: paints, inks and brushes
3. Favorite color palette: red, black, brown & ivory
4. Favorite creations: probably tags and mixed media collages, but I love to do journal pages, too!
5. I'm inspired by: Finn of course, but Michael Jack Putman & Jen Crossley are two of my favorite creative Artists.
6. When I see a blank page/canvas: I want to add COLOR!
7. Cats or dogs? Neither - I'm allergic to both!
8. Tea or coffee? Coffee in the AM, decaf tea in the evening
9. Simple or messy? I've always admired anyone that can do "simple" well. I just feel every speck of space "needs" something. But I wouldn't call it messy, I'd call it generously arranged composition.
10. I'm dreaming about: how wonderful it would be to have my studio all organized and perfect...and twice as big. A girl can dream...

Marta Łapkowska (Maremi) - visit her website here!

1. From: originally from Poland but Ireland has been my home for over 9 years
2. Always on my work table: always mess... inks, sprays, gesso, modeling paste, brushes, foam tape... coffee, mobile phone, camera, Polish pretzels
3. Favorite color palette: hard question... I think... vintage (brownish), then combo of turquoise, white and black
4. Favorite creations: I love all types from art journals, scrapbooking pages, cards to altered art and canvases
5. I'm inspired by: I'd lie if I didn't mention Finnabair. I remember seeing her art for the first time... Her art was a push to think differently, to discover myself
6. When I see a blank page/canvas: I do have a vision straightaway
7. Cats or dogs? I'd love to have a dog for my little girl, Emily
8. Tea or coffee? Definitely coffee.
9. Simple or messy? Both, but more often messy
10. I'm dreaming about: if I tell you my dreams, they might not come true ;)

Riikka Kovasinvisit her website here!

1. From: Helsinki, Finland
2. Always on my work table: craft mat, but gesso & stamp ain't far either!
3. Favorite color palette: blues, greens turquoises
4. Favorite creations: scrapbooking layouts, ATCs
5. I'm inspired by: many things! Supplies, music, nature, my family, photos
6. When I see a blank page/canvas: I want to start creating!
7. Cats or dogs? Both. :)
8. Tea or coffee? Tea, please. With milk.
9. Simple or messy? Definitely messy! The more color on my fingers, the better!
10. I'm dreaming about: finding more hours to the day!

Carole AndCo - visit her website here!

1. From: south of France, near the Mediterranean Sea
2. Always on my work table: black China ink; black pencil... and gesso... and a paint brush
3. Favorite color palette: gold, coral, mint or black & white and a little bit of neon
4. Favorite creations: first art journals, then scrapbooking and painting
5. I'm inspired by: my routine, nature, art, my family
6. When I see a blank page/canvas: I want to put some emotion onto it, an explosion of color, a little moment of my life
7. Cats or dogs? Cats and dogs!
8. Tea or coffee? Tea addict!
9. Simple or messy? Beautiful "orderly" mess ;)
10. I'm dreaming about: creating all day!

Monika (Kolorowy Ptak) - visit her website here!

1. From: Poland but now living in UK
2. Always on my work table: coffee, paper, gesso, Ecoline, Glimmer Mists, tissue tapes, metal embellishments & Vintage Photo Distress Ink
3. Favorite color palette: pink-brown, blue-brown, green-brown, black-white
4. Favorite creations: notebook covers, layouts, art journals & canvases
5. I'm inspired by: people, places, old books, music, nature, dreams... Searching for inspiration everywhere and every day
6. When I see a blank page/canvas: I go with the flow :)
7. Cats or dogs? Cats & dogs
8. Tea or coffee? Coffee!
9. Simple or messy? My creations are always messy but sometimes... I like things clear & simple
10. I'm dreaming about: finding my place in this world...

Rebecca Morris - visit her website here!

1. From: Perth, Western Australia
2. Always on my work table: gesso, scissors & double sided tape
3. Favorite color palette: blue, green, black
4. Favorite creations: I especially love taking an old object and upcycling it into something new & fabulous
5. I'm  inspired by: nature, vintage objects, art
6. When I see a blank page/canvas: I want to add texture & color, give the canvas a new and vibrant life
7. Cats or dogs? Dogs for sure. I love my beagle, Cooper
8. Tea or coffee? Coffee, 2 cups a day, every day, no exceptions (I may have a slight addiction)
9. Simple or messy? Messy, so messy... My crafting space is an organised mess, my hands are usually inky and my clothes occasionally streaked with gesso & glue. A messy desk encourages a creative mind
10. I'm dreaming about: a tropical island holiday in a remote location

Lena Morgun - visit her website here!

1. From: Ukraine
2. Always on my work table: a heat tool, a brush, gesso, paints & a bottle of water
3. Favorite color palette: blue-brown
4. Favorite creations: big scrapbooking albums!
5. I'm inspired by: supplies, papers & paints
6. When I see a blank page/canvas: I turn on the music, take out my favorite paints, some gesso and get going!
7. Cats or dogs? Dogs, of course! :)
8. Tea or coffee? Tea
9. Simple or messy? Messy
10. I'm dreaming about: having my own house

Elena Smoktunova - visit her website here!

1. From: Russia, Moscow region
2. Always on my desk: laptop & printer
3. Favorite color palette: blue, brown, black
4. Favorite creations: I love to do layouts, collages
5. I'm inspired by: the happy moments in my life, beloved masters, beautiful papers
6. When I see a blank page/canvas: I want to make it come alive, three-dimensional and beautiful. I love creating beauty!
7. Cats or dogs? Cats!
8. Tea or coffee? Coffee
9. Simple or messy? Messy
10. I'm dreaming about: becoming really great at what I create

Aren't they amazing? Please send some love and good energy to these ladies! I can't wait to see their first projects!

Sending huge hugs

Thursday 14 August 2014

"Breathe"... - bonus journal lesson for Life Book 2014

Hi again everybody!
I'm back - and I've got a nice treat for you... as you remember this year I'm one of the teachers invited to amazing project - Life Book 2014 (you can read more about this online class here) and I'm providing 2 lessons for those who decided to join the fun! First class - mixed-media collage was mentioned here - and I have to tell you i was really overwhelmed with great response of the sweet, talented people who decided to follow my creative path! The project were more than amazing and I really feel honored I could provide inspiration for this wonderful group... now it is the time again!
I've decided to focus my bonus lesson on the important to me matter: slowing down, breathing, remembering about small pleasures in life, small rituals that keep us all sane... And that brought me back to one of the
important elements of my everyday life: tea.

As I wrote in the Life Book Class intro: somehow in my crazy, hectic life tea started to have very important role. It is my everyday drink...but also paint and inspiration.
I'm hopeless tea drinker, I can have liters of it per day and I never say no to another cup. This the taste of my childhood, my teenage years and my adult life too.
Black tea, hot water. Perfect combination.

Because of my love and addiction tea is my “perfect break” no matter how stressful the situation is, it always makes me feel comforted, stronger, more relaxed.  It is a solution for bad moods and healing potion when I'm sad and exhausted. For me - it is pure calmness packed into beautifully smelling bags.
Ritual of boiling water, pouring it into the cup, smelling it, then trying the hot, strong, bitter taste – it all keeps me sane no matter how disorganized and stressful my life is.
It helps me “breathe.”

 Let's say this page is my tribute to tea and it calming, healing properties. My a bit unusual collection of teabag tags is a great starting point to create the background for the journaling page reminding me to stay calm and take care of myself, no matter what happens...

Do you want to see more? There is still time to join the class!
 To register simply follow the link below (Just one little note: this is an affiliate ink and this is how the teachers get paid. When you register through this link I get a small percentage. Thank you!)

And in the meantime... I'm working on something I was waiting for so long to happen! Step-by-step, the reveal time is getting closer - I can't wait to share who is joining my first ever Creative Team - and to see them creating for you, of course!
Keep your eyes opened!

Sending warm hugs!
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