April Theme Challenge Reveal - Repurposing

As always the month has gone so quickly! I have throughly enjoyed this months Art Elements Challenge set by our wonderful Lesley and I fell into the rabbit hole that is Pinterest looking for ideas! Unfortunately there were more ideas then month but I managed to finish up a few....

First off I took one of those cheap little sayings books that you always find in the charity shop and I turned it into an art journal, this was done by removing half the pages and sticking every other page together for added strength. once the glue was dry I gave each page a layer of gesso (this part took for ever as I had to wait for the gesso to dry before moving on to the next page)! I then added scraps of paper and stamps to the cover with another layer of gesso and this one is ready for adding lots of colour! 

My next idea was to create a junk journal, but I wanted one with a hard cover and an enclosed spine I had not made one of these yet so this was very much an experiment.... 

Every part of this book has been repurposed/recycled. The cover of the book used to be the lining fabric of a upholstered bench (I kept this and a beautiful grey velvet from the bench) that I added water colour paint to, the hard board for the cover is recycled from the back of a water colour pad, the spine (which you can't see) is old sari silk and the pages are and assortment of old ephemera.
This one is a little over 3 inches and rather messy being a first attempt, So I though I would have another go to see if I could get a neater finished item....

This one I like much more! It's bigger at 4 1/2 inches and made of the same things but has a recycled symbol embossed? on the front cover (hand cut from the back of the water colour pad and then glued in place before covering) and this time I did not gesso the pages as they took soooo very long to dry, but there is a lovely mix of old envelopes, music paper and drawings from interesting books! After this one turned out so well I got a little cocky and thought I would try something a little fancier with this beautiful hare focal by our multi talented Caroline....

I love the text in the background and thats what made me want to use it on a book....

But I'm not too sure about this one as it did not turn out as I envisioned it!
I used Carolines focals as the inspiration and mimicked the oval and the swirly edge but I did mine as Celtic and they should have been more art nouveau, still you live you learn!
The focal is set into the cover not just glued on top, but the water colour on the cover looked a little pale so I kept adding more colour, now I'm thinking it would have looked better on a dark leather background!?!

AE Team


March Theme Challenge Reveal – Luna Moths

This months challenge was brought to us by our ultra talented Jen Cameron and was the adorable Luna Moth!
Normally I'm not a fan of moths or butterflies! Yes, they can be very beautiful but then they do that fluttering thing, and it is hard to predict where they are going to fly which makes me uncomfortable and then they start to dive bomb me at which point I run around the butterfly house trying to escape the dive bombing while my other half is laughing his socks off and the unhelpful assistant is telling me that they are attracted to the minerals in my sweat, as I am running around looking like a crazy person with crazy mad hair at this point because wow the humidity, trying not to to squash them in my blind panic!!!!
So yeah, moths - are not really my thing, but then I googled Luna moths and well they are cute and fluffy looking, not insect like at all and almost magical looking, which got me making!

I wrote a book review on Goldwork, Techniques, Projects and Pure Inspiration by Hazel Everett over on the Art Elements blog....

and this was where my inspiration started, I wanted to sew a goldwork luna moth so having only read this book and no previous experience in goldwork I started to draw out my design (something I never normally do, I'm more of a play and lets see where this goes kinda girl) The more I drew the more complicated my design got and the more ideas I had!

This is still a work in progress, I don't like the moths head, I wanted it the same as the body but I ran out of chippings, so I may well unpick it's head and redo that and add a little silk shading and spangles to the wings then I think a round boarder and this will properly be made into a little cushion or if I can find a nice round frame maybe ill frame it. Either way not too bad for a first attempt!

Goldwork the same as sewing takes quiet a lot of time and I wanted to try something a little quicker for my next project so out came the water colour paints....

Another work in progress imagine a water colour moon, some paint splat stars and maybe a hedge or some flowers in the corner.

My last work in progress (I had a few more but they did not make the cut) is a mixed media piece I wanted to try and make a cute/fluffy luna moth something not at all scary, and then I got lost in my imagination in amongst a teddy bears ball in the middle of an enchanted forest where all the teddy bears were dressed as beautiful moths and butterflies sitting at a long dinning table having a mad hatter style meal with silver and crystal candelabras and table decorations gathered from the forest of beautiful wild flowers and pine cones and then this emerged....

None of it is attached yet but the wings are double sided, the back has a very subtle outline of the wings and the front is ironed angelina fibres cut into shape with goldwork and embroidery holding it in place and on top of this will go my little teddy....

He has a lot more needle felting to go and I need to add in some shading and find something for him to stand on but he is alright for a prototype, I would like to make a bigger one with a mohair teddy I think! Once again too many ideas!!!!
I have had so much fun this month thank you so much Jen and I hope you will all join me on visiting the other blogs....

Art Elements Team:


February Themed Challenge

Our theme for the February challenge over at the Art Elements Blog was chosen by our amazingly talented Cathy Spivey Mendola and was Birds of Prey. 
My initial thought was wow there are so many things I want to do..... I once had a very vivid and strangely calming dream of an eagle flying over a mountain and I wanted to do something to do with that, I also used this theme as an excuse to buy an owl bead from Kerri Fuhr which I was going to wire wrap onto a hair pin but never did get round to either.
I do how ever have a work in progress....

Imagine if you would a couple of copper sawn ivy leaves with twisting copper branches winding up the wooden post and a little copper plate stamped with something owl themed. I wanted the owl to be really grungy looking with lots of texture but I don't think I managed to achieve the look I wanted and now I want to see what he would look like made from bronze clay or copper clay with a beautiful green patina !!!! 

I also fell in love with a tutorial from
Ursula Jewellery for a beautiful wire wrapped owl pendent, that did not come out exactly as it should have but I still love it....

Thank you Cathy for a wonderfully enjoyable theme and I am really looking forward to seeing what everyone else has created!

Team Members: 


January Theme Challenge - Moon

This months Art Element theme was chosen by the wonderful and crazy talented Lindsay. This post will be short and sweet, I had so many ideas but so little time!

I decided that I wanted to make some earrings so I gathered some supplies and started playing. Never one for the easy route I decided that I wanted prong set herkimer diamonds on my earwigs for a bit of sparkle....

With silver moons, I had planed to use silver sheet with a hammered effect but did not have enough in the right size so I cut up a pair of silver three pence coins instead and then finished them off with a pair of mismatched moonstone nuggets.

 I wish I could catch the sparkle in the diamonds and the blue in the moonstone as they look really ethereal in the sunlight!

This was my attempt at a selfie while wearing them. I have not mastered selfies and have a small child that likes to get in every photo possible!
Thank you Lindsay for such an inspiring theme, I'm still hoping that I manage to make some of my other ideas!
Please join me in seeing what everyone else has created

Art Elements Crew:


November Theme challenge - Star

As always I can't believe how quickly the month goes! Novembers Art Elements Blog hop was hosted by the amazing Laney Mead and should have been an easy one, there is so much you can do with the theme stars but this month I struggled!
and as always I left everything to the last minute (hence the bad photos, there is NO day light at the moment, none! So these are indoor in poor lighting photos....)

To get myself started I went through my trust bead stash and found this lovely polymer star by Staci Louise Smith, I then riveted a lamp work head pin by our own amazing Jen Cameron through the hole and onto a star shaped backplate cut from copper and made a prong setting for a old shop token, I finished the hanging section with a stunning blue glittery lamp work headpin. I am still working on the necklace part of this one!

This next piece was supposed to be a charm for a bracelet, made from my silver (and even a little gold here) scrap box but I decided that I liked it as a small charm necklace, but it needs a silver chain.  

and lastly I made a pair of earrings, the stars here are actually fossil star crinoid that I pressed into polymer, baked and then moulded from silver metal clay, I then soldered little hoops on the back and made a pair of gold bead caps from scraps of gold and put it all together on a pair of by Earthshine Glass headpins.

 I really rather like these but oh my they are very hard to photo....

Thank you Laney for a great challenge and I do hope you will join me seeing what everyone else has created!


September Theme Challenge Reveal – Fairy

I love fairies! For me they are the epitome of magic, but I really struggled with creating something this month. It was not through lack of ideas, I had a wonderful old lantern that I was going to make into a fairy lantern....

This was a really grubby old find from a charity shop, I washed it up, cut out fairy silhouettes from black paper and stuck them inside the glass but it was not looking right so I had a meltdown and scrubbed it off!
I then had the idea that I would make a fairy themed book, like something from the tv series Grimm, but I could not even decide on a design! 
Or a fairy garden, with a house made the same way as I made those mini bird houses, but No!

See the issue I am struggling with is lack of desire to create, I get like this when ever I am sad, and my oldest has just moved out to go to Uni, which is great for her and an amazing opportunity but I am missing her like crazy and she's not able to come home until christmas which seems like a long time away and it is showing in my lack of creating!

But I decided last minute the best way to get out of this is to just to do it, just make something!
so I headed to the local art shop to see what was inspiring....

And ended up buying some more water colour paints, but these sparkle! I love sparkles, So with these in hand and not a clue what to do I turned to the book Creative Girl by Danielle Donaldson (I also have her The Art of Creative Watercolor but I found this one less intimidating as it is mixed media and I still don't have much of an idea how to work watercolours). 

Inspired by her tutu girl project I came up with this....

While it is not perfect I did learn ALOT from this piece like Daniel Smith Cascade Green is the best colour ever (well that and Schmincke Helio Turquoise), I throughly enjoy mixing up colours and you can not pencil over the shimmer paints as they have a PVC type consistency when dry, but they do look great!

Heres a bad lighting shot so you can see the sparkle in her wings! 
Thank you Caroline for pushing me out of a creative rut, and hopefully I will be able to create some of the other ideas I have had!
Please do join me exploring what the other participants have created....

Guest Artists


Art Elements Team 



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