Wednesday, 18 October 2017

WOYWW #437: Playing with my inkjet printer

Another Wednesday has come around at the speed of light, so here I am for yet another WOYWW post to show you my work desk. However, today I have a different desk to share. This is my computer desk in the small study downstairs, which also doubles up as our classroom where I homeschool my son for the time being, hence the map on the wall. Hubby has his own study upstairs, so this is mostly mine to use!

One thing I've been wanting for ages was an inkjet printer, but we didn't have any space for it in the old house because our fat-ass laser printer took up all the space. There are a lot of things you can do with a cheapo inkjet that you can't do with a laser printer and I was dying to get one. This one cost me the grand total of £29 from Tesco's and I paid for it with vouchers, so it was technically free. It's the Epson XP-245, bottom of the range model, cheapest you can get, but it does the job brilliantly. 

It's small, relatively quick and works pretty well - so far, anyway. It's also wireless, so I don't have a load of cables to contend with. Just perfect for my purposes! Here are a few things I managed to print on with the help of some freezer paper used as a carrier sheet. (note: the tissue paper didn't come off the freezer paper, so I had to tape it to a sheet of ordinary printer paper instead.)  Artwork by Leonardo da Vinci, who continues to amaze me with his genius! Just imagine what he would have achieved in today's technologically advanced world!

I also experimented with printing directly on different surfaces: textured handmade Khadi paper (light grey), book paper and paper tinted with distress oxides. I was even able to print on top of acrylic gelli prints, which would be impossible with a laser jet as the heat would melt the polymers in the paint. 

I'm so happy with my cheapo little printer and will continue to experiment with different surfaces. It's been a long time since I felt the buzz of excitement doing experiments, which got me into blogging in the first place! I know it's a cliche, but the possibilities are truly endless! Next, I will try to print on different types of tape, which again would be impossible with a laser jet. 

I also took a shot of my regular work desk earlier in the week, so I might as well show it to you. It just happens to feature Oreo, who was lounging in my scrap box. I even found him sleeping in there one morning. He's been a lot happier since we let him roam the house at night. 

Just one last shot and I promise I'll let you go! I took this of the sunset last night - I love those pink and purple tones and it wasn't even photoshopped - it came out of the camera like this.

Thanks for making a pit stop on my blog - I'll be visiting later today as right now I have to get back to my homeschooling duties. Happy WOYWW! 

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

WOYWW #436: Inside-out 3D canvas

I seem to have fallen into the habit of only posting for WOYWW lately, since I can only manage one post a week these days. As a result, I'm hopelessly behind with my classes, but thank goodness for the download option! My WOYWW posts usually consist of projects that are the result of random inspiration, just like this one. I was so inspired by a video I saw on YT that I immediately had to try my own simplified version of it.

Here's the obligatory shot of my desk while I was working on this project over the weekend.

I worked on a 5" X 6.5" block canvas, inside out to create a deep frame. I've seen this done many times before but this is the first time I have tried it myself! I pretty much followed the process in the video by applying crackle medium, gesso and then distress oxides to tint the surfaces. I'm loving the results! This is what my bits looked like before assembling the project.

And here's the finished 3D canvas, once I arranged all the elements and added the little bottles and labels. I used a couple of dominoes for the shelves and staggered them.

I've got something else to share today. I came across these clear acrylic gems at Home Bargains for just a couple of quid and bought them not really knowing what I was going to use them for. Then the inspiration struck me as soon as I'd got home! I put them into a clear glass with an LED tea light to create this mood lamp. So simple, yet so effective! 

And of course, there can be no WOYWW post of mine without an Oreo photo. Here he is lounging in the airing cupboard - his favourite place at the moment. He can literally spend all day sleeping in there!

Thanks so much for stopping by today - I'll be over visiting shortly! 
Have a lovely week everyone! 

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

WOYWW #435: Gelli printing with Distress Oxides

Time for another stomp on Julia's Stamping Ground this morning, peeking at crafty desks. I haven't had much time to enjoy my new art room lately, but I did make a last minute dash for it yesterday to try some Distress Oxide inks on the gelli plate. I extended my collection to include Fossilized Amber, so now I have a grand total of THREE oxides (along with Broken China and Vintage Photo), which is plenty if you just want to experiment.

This is what my desk looked like at around 5 pm last night:

And here's the results of my experiments:

I expect you can achieve similar results without the gelli plate, but it was fun trying it anyway. You only need a few drops of ink and some water. Here's a closer look at some of my favourite bits, keeping in mind that the camera exaggerated the contrast a little and made the colours look stronger:

I can use these for collages later. They remind me of my erosion bundles a lot. Perhaps this is a way to get similar results without the waiting and the creepy crawlies - instant gratification - but only the fraction of the excitement! 

In other news: we've solved the problem of Oreo knocking on doors in the middle of the night by letting him roam the house. He is now remarkably quiet (most of the time), although I did wake up the other night to find him sitting next to me, staring at me in the dark! Otherwise, he likes to curl up on top of my chest of drawers on a soft blanket. He's still too nervous to go out, so we're keeping him in the house for the time being and he seems happy with the arrangement. 

I've got this photo of his favourite toy, Sylvester, who needed  a bit of a wash. Oreo sometimes drags him around the house, so we find him in odd places. He even brought him up the stairs the other day, which was quite an achievement, given the fact that they are almost the same size. Perhaps he wanted to show him around! 

Thanks for stopping by today! I'll be over shortly! 
Happy WOYWW! 

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

WOYWW #434: Two grungy tags

I'm slowly getting back into a predictable routine, so I remembered that it was Wednesday today - time to do our weekly WOYWW desk hop on the Stamping Ground! Now that I have a dedicated art room, I find myself with very little time to use it. I didn't even have a chance to go in there yesterday, but luckily I had done some work earlier, which I can show you.

I had to jump on the Distress Oxide bandwagon to try them, so I ordered two colours just to see for myself what they are like. I opted for the refills rather than the ink pads as seem better value and I would only ever use them for backgrounds anyway. I love the chalky finish they produce - they're definitely different from the regular Distress inks. I tried them on a couple of tags:

Then I went completely overboard and used some fluid acrylics and bits of my erosion bundles to cover most of it up! I ended up with a pair of uber grungy tags - they were not planned - they just happened this way. Everything, including the sentiments, was totally random. I tend to use things that I randomly pull out of my stash, or what is already on my desk, instead of looking for something specific. It's a kind of serendipity, I guess.

Oh, I almost forgot to share this photo - I took it on a sunny morning. Oreo is getting more and more settled each day, but he's still not ready to go outside. He quite likes sitting in the window, though:

Thank you for visiting today. Hope you all have a lovely week! 

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Two wooden plaques

It was my son's thirteenth birthday on Thursday, so I made him a non-traditional birthday card in the form of a wooden plaque. I used a piece of MDF base that I picked up on Ebay and a set of wooden letters from The Works. I stuck them down with tacky glue, added a couple of strips of drywall tape (imported from the US), gessoed the whole thing and then painted it with acrylic inks. This is what it looked like at this stage:

I finished it off with some gold Lumiere paint, that I dry brushed on top of the letters and I also added a couple of cabochons that harmonized with my colours. My son loved it and said it was the coolest thing I'd ever made for him. Awww! This is what it looks like in its completed state (it has some photos and sentiments on the back):

But that's not all! I was on a roll, so I decided to alter my husband's wooden Man Cave sign that we had bought him for Fathers' Day back in the summer. I always thought it needed altering - the original colour was an unsightly red and white - not at all manly!

I simply black gessoed the whole thing and added several shades of lumiere paints on top it. Oh, yes, before that I also added a strip of the same dry wall tape I used for my son's plaque. The results made the sign look metallic and practically unrecognizable from its original form.

 Happy weekend! I'm planning to take my son shopping today to spend his birthday money. If you want to see previous birthday projects, just click on the birthday label below this post.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

WOYWW #433: My new art room!

It's been four weeks since I last posted but it feels like four months! We were without internet for more than two weeks and I narrowly missed last week's WOYWW. I thought it was unacceptable of BT to make us wait this long, when all it took was a flick of a switch to get us connected, but they redeemed themselves by providing reasonable speeds - we're up and running now, so I'm happy!

We've settled into our new house nicely, though it was a bit of a shock at first and very tiring. Most boxes are now unpacked and the cardboard taken away. Even I (being a hoarder of reusable materials) couldn't have reused all that cardboard in a lifetime!

It took me a couple of weeks to set up my art room - I thought I'd give you a little tour today. These are the three main storage areas of the room, using bits and pieces of eclectic furniture salvaged from our old house:

At first I thought of putting my desk (our old dining table) against the back wall, where it would have fitted quite neatly, but then I decided to place it so I can still look out the window sideways. I will cover that grey feature wall inherited from the previous owners with gelli prints. I've already started on it:

Oreo has been unsettled by the move. He's definitely more needy and doesn't like to be left alone, which is becoming a problem at night. We used to lock him in the conservatory in our old house and he was always fine with that. He now makes a racket trying to get out and has even managed to open the door somehow! Then he goes gallivanting around the house at night disturbing our sleep. We'll have to find a solution soon! Installing a cat flap might be the answer, but we haven't let him out yet. Here he is discovering that there are bunnies in the garden! Hopefully, he'll leave them alone.

That's it in a nutshell. I could go on and on but I don't want to keep you up when you have all those other desks to visit. I will go around visiting as soon as I can, though it won't be until later in the day. We couldn't get our son into the local middle school for Y8, so we're homeschooling for now, while waiting for a place to become available. It's hard work and takes up most of my time, but hopefully it's just for a few months. See you soon! 

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

WOYWW #429: We are packing!!!

Many of you were horrified last week that we hadn’t started packing up the house yet. Well, we are well and truly packing now as you can see from the photo. My work desk for WOYWW is buried somewhere underneath the boxes and clutter. Our move date had to be postponed again until Tuesday 29th due to some outstanding legal matters. At least it will give us the bank holiday weekend to tie up loose ends, but it had better not fall through now as we have half our stuff packed into boxes already.

There are two things I have learned while packing: a) I have more acrylic paint than I will ever need and b) my hubby is just as much a hoarder as I am (only most of his stuff is stashed in the garage and the attic)! Here’s a photo I took of all my acrylics packed in a box – and it’s a very deep one - it weighs around 12 kg (almost 2 stones)! All of them fitted in this one box perfectly – how neat!

Of course, Oreo is on cloud 9 with all these boxes around and likes to get into the one that you’re in the process of packing. I just left for a quick tea break to return to this:

There you have it - possibly my shortest WOYWW post ever, but I wanted to let you know what's happening. I expect I’ll be off grid next week, but I will be around for the rest of this week to visit your desks.