Sunday, September 7, 2014

Rhinestone Clipboard Tutorial

This was a fun project to do....
I used:
A clipboard
Rhinestones, pearls, swarovski crystals, a ceramic rose and pieces of vintage jewellery
Adhesive - I used Araldite
Cocktail sticks
A small piece of lint-free cloth
A stencil brush
A paint brush

I gave the clipboard board one coat of DecoArt Multi Purpose Sealer (use a cork or something small to hold the clip open whilst the sealer and paint dries - and move it around between coats)

then two coats of DecoArt Chalky Finish Paint - the colour I used is called Refreshing
and added a stencil flourish with the same paint in Primitive
I then applied two coats of DecoArt Creme Wax with a soft cloth and, when dried, buffed it with a soft cloth
Next was the fun part.......I applied the pearls, crystals, rhinestones and jewellery piece by piece. I stuck them on in layers until the clip was covered and cut a vintage necklace to fit any awkward parts - I found it helpful to gently push each piece in to place with a cocktail stick

now I have a nice sparkly clipboard to complete my display set when I am teaching.

........and I love it

Monday, August 25, 2014

How to organise your chargers

Aaargh.... know the feeling - it's like Spaghetti Junction on a bank holiday! I have tried everything to keep cables and chargers in some kind of order, but up until now nothing has worked. It must be because I keep pulling them out until I find the right one and the whole thing deteriorates in to a tangled mess. By the time I find the right one I feel like tearing my hair out as well as the chargers. that has all changed, thanks to DecoArt Multi Surface Paint.

All I did was dip the wooden end of a paint brush in to a puddle of paint and plop a dot on to the charger and the device in matching colours (it's a good idea to rub the surface with a little rubbing alcohol to remove any grease and help the paint to adhere).

You could get really creative, but there is not a lot of space to paint on.
If you run out if colours just plop 2 dots on to the surface and pull them together to make a heart

This must be the shortest and easiest project ever posted but, trust me, it works

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Before and After Camera Case/Bag using DecoArt Americana Chalky Finish

give your camera case a new lease of life

from this.....

to this.....

My camera case was, to be honest, looking rather scruffy, but I like it as it's the right size to hold my camera. I decided it would be easier to do a makeover than search for a new one! Isn't that what painters and crafters do?
I used:

  • DecoArt Americana Decor Chalky Finish Paint (the colour I used is "Refreshing")
  • DecoArt Americana Clear Creme Wax
  • Isopropanol (pure rubbing alcohol). 
  • 2 x lint free pieces of cloth
  • a small piece of card
  • a paint brush

The first thing I did was cut off the zipper pull

then rubbed the surface with a piece of lint free cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol

I held a piece of card against the zip when applying the paint - just to keep it nice and neat and to make sure no paint got on the zipper

 I placed the case over a bottle and left it to dry

and applied a coat of Americana Clear Creme Wax with a piece of lint free cloth ( this paint dries really quickly so I din't have too long a wait!)

after a couple of hours I buffed the whole case with a dry cloth

and added a new zip pull I made with a silver toned bow and heart and, finally, added  rhinestones for a bit of bling

I am really pleased with the result and the paint doesn't even come off if I scratch the surface with my nail! It actually looks like leather now

This paint is amazing and, like the colour I used it is "refreshing" - an added bonus is that my camera bag matches my new holiday handbag (sorry it is not a great picture)....none of mine are!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

German Glitter Glass on Paper Shoes

at last I have some German Glitter Glass....and love it

Glitter comes in lots of shades and grades. Inexpensive plastic glitter is fine for kids projects but not great  for time consuming projects that you want to be "just so" (this is not a suitable product for children as it is real glass)

 I will always love DecoArt Glamour Dust for my painted projects and when I want a fine glimmer but sometimes something a bit heavier is required and German Glitter Glass comes in different grades to suit many projects

I sprinkled some on tissue paper I used for a fairy's skirt

German Glitter Glass is produced by Bavarian glass artisans using a seven step process - the glass is coated with pure silver before firing - it is then ground in to different "grits" ranging from "fine to "course" and comes in many colours

The Glitter Glass does tarnish through time although I find this an attractive look, I don't want it to tarnish prior to use, so I will pop one of these small anti-tarnish pads in the Ziplock bag I store the glass in.

The possibilities for this are endless...think Christmas ornaments. shoes, wooden blanks, tea light holders

Let's sparkle!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Artcoaching in Greece with Nadia Bandura

“Life as an art cannot be copied; it must be created.”
― Nadia Bandura

Earlier this year I was teaching on a cruise ship and had the pleasure of meeting Nadia Bandura. Nadia was the classical pianist on the ship and she played a great part in adding to passengers enjoyment. You can listen to some music, from her album "Heavenly and Earthly Piano" HERE

In addition to being a pianist Nadia is also the author of Artcoaching

What is Artcoaching? Nadia describes it as "a technique which gives you skills to create your own life as an art.

She has chosen Samos - a beautiful Greek island as the location for her upcoming Artcoaching tour in August 2014. You can register on her website 

Unfortunately, because of teaching commitments,  I can't accept Nadia's kind invitation to join her as part of this venture this year, so I can only dream of golden sandy beaches, tours and tastings, daily workshops,  sunshine, white buildings, friendly people, good food and the opportunity to see the Greece you will not find in a guide book.

If you are lucky enough to go - enjoy!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sizzix Moveable Garden Fairies

Hello.....are you finding time to craft or are you enjoying the beautifull weather outdoors?
I spent some time this week playing with "Garden Fairy" dies from Sizzix. They are fun and easy to use and lend themselves to lots of possibilities using bits and pieces already in your craft stash.
The faces are stamped then cut out using "Framelits" dies. This is the first time I have used Framelits and they are fabulous. I used watercolour pencils to colour in the faces, then blended the colours with a very small brush dipped in water. I added a little shading under the chins and on the arms to give depth.
The skirt on this little one was made using petals cut from green tissue paper with the Sizzix "Tattered Flowers" die.

For this skirt I cut tissue paper using a Sizzix doily die. I used 4 doilies...each one was folded into 4, then the doilies were glued together. I applied some glue round the bottom of the skirt and sprinkled on some German Glitter Glass. To add depth to the skirt I puffed up the folds. I printed the wings image on to copy paper, traced the pattern on vellum with a Sharpie, sprayed a little hair spray and, finally, sprinkled on some DecoArt Glamour Dust

For a different look on this one I used artificial leaves for the skirt and white acrylic paint, applied with a stylus, around her top.
If you like playing you will love these dies.......

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Chalky Finish for Glass from DecoArt

and after.....

I am grateful to DecoArt for giving me some Chalky Finish Glass Paint to try.
For this project I used the lovely grey called "Yesteryear" on a glass bud was past it's best and it turned out that the lovely green glass vases I bought last year in Copenhagen were actually clear glass with a plastic coating!

I used:
DecoArt Chalky Finish Paint for Glass - Yesteryear
DecoArt Americana Spray Sealer/finisher Matte
German Glitter Glass
A Rhinestone stick on embellishment
Double sided tape

To upcycle something similar:

1. Wipe the glass with rubbing alcohol using a lint-free cloth
2. Paint the glass - I applied two coats and used a filbert brush (helps prevent streaks) and leave to dry
3. Spray with varnish and leave to dry
4. Place double sided tape on the vase, where you want the glitter - I just wanted a band round the
    bottom of the vase
5. Roll the vase in the glitter glass
6. Gently brush off the excess & save for other projects
7. Apply stick-on rhinestones

This is a really easy way to transform a glass bottle or dish in to something special and would add real wow factor to any occasion....birthday party, wedding tables or even just sitting on your dressing table
Now.....what can I do with the other two?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


Today I have been using DecoArt So Soft Fabric Paint to paint roses on a T shirt

I will eventually get around to posting a practice sheet for my roses but, meantime, here are a few tips for painting on fabric
  1. Pre-wash the garment prior and let it dry
  2. Do not use fabric conditioner
  3. Place a piece of plastic or card inside the garment to prevent the paint seeping through to the other side
  4. Leave to dry for 48 hours
  5. Wash on a gentle cycle
  6. Hang dry
  7. Clean brushes with soap and water
Decoart also make Fabric Painting Medium, and this converts acrylics to fabric paint. Simply Mix 2 parts paint to 1 part water

Happy Painting

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Vintage Craft Show Display using Chalk Paint

I will be teaching crafts and painting on cruise ships this summer and I do like to have a nice display to showcase my projects.

I decided to give a vintage look to some of the items I will be using -  a business card holder, necklace stand and a box I  made with ordinary 250gsm craft card

This is what I used for the makeover:

DecoArt Americana Decor Chalky Paint - colour Rafraichissant
Kitchen towel
Glue or sticky dots

The necklace stand was plasticised card (sorry I didn't take a picture of the business card holder, but it was an mdf piece I had previously painted)

and these are the embellishments I used

this is how to paint something similar:
  • 1. paint the base pieces with the chalky paint (please see below for how to paint the embellishments)
  • 2. float the Graphite paint around the edges and, after a few minutes, rub some colour off with kitchen towel until you get the desired effect
  • 3. mix  some inky paint with 50/50  Graphite paint and water, and use a toothbrush to add speckles - to do this dip an old toothbrush in to the inky paint and run your thumb across the bristles. It is a good idea to practice on paper first 
  • 4. apply the wax using a lint-free cloth and buff when it is dry

To paint the embellishments:
1. paint with Graphite paint and allow to dry

2. Pick up some green paint on a flat brush, take off some paint on card or paper, and dry brush on to the embellishment allowing the grey paint to show through. Don't use too much paint and repeat if necessary

3. Seal with spray vanish and glue the embellishments on to  the base pieces

I absolutely love DecoArt Chalky finish paint - the colours are fabulous and it can be used on so many surfaces including furniture, glass, metal and walls. Try combining different colours for a unique result

 I also prefer the wax to any I have used before as it is so easy to apply and gave just the vintage finish I wanted on this set

 Watch this space for more Chalky Paint projects