Saturday, December 30, 2017

Perfectly Happy Cast of Characters

A flock of galahs are the feature of my journal page for Janie's beautiful book of Simply Whimsical. Janie loves animals as much as I do, so I know she'll like these guys :) This journal is visiting from Cairns, Queensland as part of a swap with the Australian Art Swap Group. A fantastic group of artists, all with one thing in common... an enthusiastic passion for all things colourful, creative, arty and fun! Its awesome - click here to visit the Facebook group.

Galahs made using Tim Holtz Bird Crazy Stamps

I used Dyan Reaveley's Dylusions acrylic paints in Mushy Peas (green), Vanilla Custard (yellow), Slate Grey and White Linen along with stencils by Tim Holtz and Dina Wakley, Tim's stamps, Sizzix die templates (using the Sidekick), Dina Wakley's Art Sticks, Jane Davenport's Mermaid Markers, Tim's Idea-Ology Botanical Layers and We R Memory Keepers' Stitch Happy Silver Thread.

picture of stencils used to create the artwork with galahs

My initial idea was to have a couple of magpies made using the Crazy Birds with a nest featuring a newly hatched nutty adorable bird with paint brushes and pencils (see the scribble in the pic above)... but it soon turned into something completely different!

Whimsey is all about being funny, adorable and simple - so I tried to stick to limited colours and design for the background. You can see below that I was on my way to creating that page with the nest.

List of treasures used to make the artwork...

- Dylusions Acrylic Paint (Mushy Peas, Vanilla Custard, Slate Grey, White Linen)
- Ink Blending Tool
- Stencils by Tim Holtz and Dina Wakley (link to all stencils)
- Tim Holtz Crazy Things Stamps
- Tim Holtz Bird Crazy Stamps
- Tim Holtz Bird Crazy Thinlits (die cutters)
- Tim Holtz Sidekick
- Archival Ink Pad (grey and red)
- Dina Wakley Art Sticks
- Jane Davenport Mermaid Markers
- Waterbrush
- Tim Holtz Clippings Stickers
- Tim Holtz Metallic Holiday Talk (stickers)
- WRMK Stitch Happy Silver Thread
- Tim Holtz Botanical Layers (die cut pieces)
- Tim Snips (micro serrated scissors)
- Tim Holtz Splatter Paint Brush
- Ranger Glue Stick
- Glossy Accents
... everything can be found here -
... this is a link to all the treasures in one collection

picture of the background before the birds were added

How I created the background...

Using a wet wipe, I smooshed Vanilla Custard Dylusions Paint over a large part of the background. I then used the same wet wipe to paint Mushy Peas Dylusions Paint in the spaces left behind and overlapped a few areas. It was looking more yellow than green but that's ok :)

Using an ink blending tool (with the round foams), I stencilled through Dina's Jungle stencil across the top of the page with the Mushy Peas. I then introduced Slate Grey with Tim's Scribbles stencil by along the bottom and top left corner.

I mixed the grey and green together on my craft mat and stencilled through Dina's Leaves stencil and then Tim's Leafy (which is similar to Dina's but smaller leaf design). Each time I picked up more paint, I alternated between the green and grey-green mix.

painting backgrounds using Dylusions paint and stencils

Next was the branch created using Tim's Birch stencil, first with the green-grey mix then twice more just the grey. Eventually it started looking like an actual tree branch.
The little branches were stencilled with Tim's Autumn stencil, flipped and flopped to get the different branch directions.

The same stencil was used with Mushy Peas to add big maple leaves here and there on the page... galahs don't live in maple trees but they don't seem to mind!

Lastly, I splattered pale green paint (white with a touch of green) and then white paint over the page using a Tim Holtz Splatter Brush.

stamping Galahs made using Tim Holtz Bird Crazy Stamps

How I created the galahs...

The background dried pretty fast but I put it aside for a while anyway, while I stamped and coloured the birds. Galahs are grey and pink with hints of white so I've stamped them all using Watering Can (grey) Archival Ink. The Red Carnation Archival Ink was used to stamp out sunnies, brushes, hats and ties.

colouring galahs with Dina Wakley watercolour art sticks

Colouring these fun Aussie birds wasn't difficult but it took a couple to get them pink rather than bright pink or rosy red... I ended up using Dina's Paint Sticks in Fuchsia, White and Black for the feathers and Jane's Mermaid Markers in Sand Bar and Beach for the beaks.

trimming and cutting Galahs made using Tim Holtz Bird Crazy Stamps

I started cutting them all out using scissors (Tim's fab micro serrated snips are great for tiny details like wings and feet), then decided to use the Sidekick. That was much faster! And it cut around all the little tufts of head feathers, tails and feet easily too :)

placement for the Galahs made using Tim Holtz Bird Crazy Stamps

Before I glued everything down, I played around with different Botanical Layer die-cut pieces and placement of the Stitch Happy silver thread. Each wire across the page is a twist of 3 threads, glued down with Glossy Accents.

Galahs are such fun Australian birds ... they love to swing, jump and laugh together on electric wires, tree branches and telephone cables.

Galahs made using Tim Holtz Bird Crazy Stamps

After all the birds were attached, I decided to use the bowler hat, bow tie and sunnies after all. I had put them aside for a while, unsure of where my page was going.
All the eyes were redrawn using black Dylusions paint pen with the highlight dotted with white Dylusions paint pen.

Galahs made using Tim Holtz Bird Crazy Stamps

Tim's salvaged thoughts and sayings are perfect for journal pages. I've used 2 sets - the Clippings Stickers and Metallic Christmas Stickers to say "listen to the laughter, contented spirit, perfectly happy cast of characters, let the merrymaking begin".

Thanks so much for visiting my craft blog. Sing out if you have questions or need a hand :) I'm here to help anytime.

Happy Creative Day!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Must Love Crazy Dogs

Must Love Dogs ... not only one of my favourite movies but a fun choice to use for this journal page (theme was "movie quote"), especially when put together with Tim's Crazy Dogs. I took it from when Jake was having a chat with the father of his would-be girlfriend (Kate) and says "She was a unique constellation. She was my Halley's Comet."

Dylusions paint in blue, purple, grey and black

Painted straight onto plain paper in a small spiral bound book. I usually place scrap paper (or in this case, old stencil packaging) behind the page I'm working on to protect the other pages in someone else's book.

The background consists of 4 colours of Dylusions Acrylic Paint - After Midnight, Laidback Lilac, Slate Grey and Black Marble. Dyan Reaveley's paint is also for Dylusions Journalsand other mixed media projects.

I used a 1 inch wide flat paintbrush to apply the colours. I painted over most of the surface with the dark blue (After Midnight), then added the purple (Laidback Lilac). The grey was used to blend everything together, then black was roughly brushed across the top and bottom of the page. The beginnings of the comet was painted using grey.

The night sky painted in blue, purple, grey and black

In different lighting, the night sky background was very intense, yet in other lighting the purple was dominant. Its amazing how different colours appear at different times of the day! The pic above is while the paint was still wet. It seems to lighten a bit as it dried. Could have been the extra purple I added before saying "nup, leave it alone". lol :)

I left the background to dry completely and went about stamping and colouring the Tim Holtz Crazy Dogs. The obvious choice was for the lovesick puppy to be Jake and I chose the tall dog because labradors are awesome - and he / she was facing the "correct" way for what I wanted.

Colouring Tim Holtz Crazy Dogs with Jane Davenport Mixed Media Mermaid Markers

Deciding on colours can be hard sometimes. Its art and just a bit of fun so didn't really want them to be brown, white or black like real dogs - plus I wanted to use the Jane Davenport Mermaid Markers (as I do alot these days... can't help it, the colours are so vibrant and gorgeous!).

The girl dog, Kate, (above) was coloured using Lagoon (pale blue) and Stormy Seas (grey).

Colouring Tim Holtz Crazy Dogs with Jane Davenport Mixed Media Mermaid Markers

Jake the boy dog was coloured using Bali Blue (blue green) and Reef (dark reddish brown). Pirate's Gold (yellow) and Octopus (red) was also used for both dogs' collars, mouths and tongues.

Colouring hearts with Jane Davenport Mixed Media Mermaid Markers

I drew hearts using black pen, then had to draw more because I used the soluble one, not the permanent one and they went blurry when I added the ink from the Octopus Mermaid Marker... a gorgeously rich ruby red. Lucky I love to draw and colour :) This pic also shows my practice pieces for the constellations.

painting of Halley's Comet as it flies past our lovebirds

I placed the dogs on the page to gauge where the Halley's Comet was going to fly. Thankfully, the Dylusions Paint dries quite fast so when I painted the comet in Vanilla Custard (yellow), I didn't really have to wait for layers to dry to get that rich, solid round sphere. I added a bit of grey around and along all edges to break up the yellow, to make it appear round.

Stars and constellations were added as the page progressed, a few at a time. I used both the Dylusions white paint pen and white Sharpie (extra fine).

Crazy Dogs in Love highlighted with Jane Davenport Magic Wand Pencils

Each dog was fussy cut with fine scissors but you can get Sizzix's Tim Holtz Crazy Dogs Framelits to trim around your stamped images using a Sidekick or other die-cutting machine. They're a great option if you have trouble with scissors (due to things like arthritis and other nasties) or want to cut them out faster.

I also added highlights using the Jane Davenport Magic Wands - coloured pencils. I used Kiss Kiss (pink) for Kate while the Eyeshadow (pale aqua) was used for Jake.

They're such beautiful pencils to use - creamy, smooth and blend so beautifully. They tend to get a waxy haze (bloom) after a few layers but that can be rubbed away with a finger before adding more. They draw over the top of watercolours and inks really well.

Adding unique constellations and a quote to the journal page

The girl dog received a beautiful set of long eyelashes drawn in black pen, and both dogs had their eyes blackened with pen and the white highlight spotted with the Dylusions white paint pen.

The quote was practiced half a dozen times on scrap paper before attempting the journal page. So glad the Dylusions paints dry permanent because I washed off the white Sharpie twice before this version of the wording... didn't hurt the background at all (phew).

The words, Halley's Comet, didn't quite line up, so instead of starting again I added the horizontal lines and made the letters thicker. Now it looks like its meant to be different :) Nobody knows things are wrong in art unless you tell them!

Finished mixed media journal page by Jenny James

So this is it... Kate and Jake, the crazy dogs in love, stargazing at a passing comet while contemplating the meaning in the stars.

I'm very happy with how this turned out... Tim's dogs are just adorable and they're a joy to use in crafts. You can't help but smile when stamping, colouring and cutting!

Thanks for visiting :) I hope this inspires you to get crazy with art too!

Happy Creative Day!

Tim Holtz Cling Stamps - Crazy Dogs
Tim Holtz Cling Stamps - Crazy Dogs
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Tim Holtz Framelits - Crazy Dogs
Tim Holtz Framelits - Crazy Dogs
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Tim Holtz and Sizzix Sidekick Starter Kit
Tim Holtz and Sizzix Sidekick Starter Kit
Buy Now
Jane Davenport Mermaid Markers - 12 Gorgeous Colours
Jane Davenport Mermaid Markers - 12 Gorgeous Colours
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Dylusions by Dyan Reaveley - Paint Pens - Set of 2
Dylusions by Dyan Reaveley - Paint Pens - Set of 2
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Dylusions Fluid Acrylic Paint - 3 Colours - Choose Your Own
Dylusions Fluid Acrylic Paint - 3 Colours - Choose Your Own
Buy Now

Creative Supplies for Mixed Media, Journaling and Visual Arts

Creative Supplies for Mixed Media, Journaling and Visual Arts
Australian stockist for arty treasures from Tim Holtz, Dyan Reaveley, Dylusions and Darkroom Door plus essentials by Sizzix, Ranger, Pink Ink Designs UK, Strathmore Paper, Prima Marketing Finnabair, Kelly Creates, Posca and more. Buy online at 'Art by Jenny' for your acrylic and watercolour paints, pencils, crayons, inks, sprays, cling stamps, stencils, paper and card, journals and planners, Distress range, Idea-Ology, embellishments, stickers, embossing powders, die cutting templates and embossing folders, craft tools, storage essentials and accessories.