Thursday, 25 February 2016

Art Journal Page–Dare to be Different Part 2

I have now completed this page.

32 Completed Page

Please see Part 1 for how I started to make the project.

All that remained to be done was to paint the border and add the text.

I began by inserting some scrap paper under the pages to protect the rest of the book, and painted a narrow border with white acrylic paint.

22 Working on the Border

I added squares in black acrylic, and also the black and white spots and dots. I like the contrast of black and white against the rainbow background, and it also serves to tie in the almost monochrome focal-point cats.

23 The Border Complete

A detail of the border.

24 Border Detail

To make the text, I decided the style needed to be fairly bold and a bit edgy, and not flowery or fluid, to co-ordinate with the fairly feisty cats and the attitude I wanted to convey with this page. I drew the letters on some strips of scrap card, using my archival black drawing pens, and one letter in red.

25 Inking the Text Pieces

I cut them out and inked the edges with Black Soot distress ink, using a home-made ink blender.

26 Inked Text Detail

The pieces were then stuck down with regular matt gel medium.

27 Shadows Applied to Page

The final touch was to add some shadow. I outlined each piece using a Uniball white marker – this is water soluble, so I sprayed the whole page (again, protecting the rest of the book with pieces of scrap paper) with some clear spray matt varnish, and then added a drop shadow to the text pieces and the two cats, using a charcoal grey Inktense pencil, and blending it out with a fine wet brush.

28 Detail of Text

Detail of the cats.

29 Detal of Zentangle Cats

Detail of the top left-hand corner, showing the border and the rainbow kitties.

30 Detail of Top Left Corner

Detail of the bottom right-hand corner.

31 Detail of Bottom Right Corner

This project was worked in conjunction with the Valentine card that I made for my hubby. That was done with Dylusions spray inks and Inktense pencils and had a smoother finish, and the whole thing was gentler and less grungy and aggressive. I wanted a different effect for my art journal page, and was pleased with how the Dylusions paints came out – I was anxious not to disturb the kitty masks while painting the background, so used a stippling technique with the brush, and on the slightly textured paper of the book, this gave just the effect I was after. As you can see on the above picture, there are some nice variations in the colour on the kitties, giving a distressed look. This was quite accidental – due to the residue of the glue I used, acting a a resist. Happy accident! (I like that sort.)

Here are the two projects side by side for comparison:

33 Comparison with Valentine Card

and a comparison of the kitty backgrounds in more detail.

34 Comparison of Kitty Backgrounds

This is a project that has been in embryo for a very long time, stamping and cutting out the Kitty Squad stamps and using them as masks, and I am very pleased to have completed it at last.

My First Samosas–Epic Fail!

Today I finally got around to making my first ever batch of samosas. This is something I have been wanting to do for months if not years – we both adore samosas and since they are made from basic ingredients that most people have, I thought it shouldn’t be so hard.

The filling was a doddle to make, with potatoes, peas, onion, garlic, and various spices – I substituted lime juice (and added some zest) for the lemon juice as I thought it went better with curry spices.

I had found several samosa recipes online and none of them quite ticked all the boxes for me, so I came up with my own version and as far as the filling went, this was a success.

In the first photo you can see the samosas being assembled. At the back on the right is the frying pan with the filling in it – cold by this time. To the left is a baking tray with one completed samosa on it – this was the second batch, being made while the first was in the oven.

In front of the baking tray is the next batch of pastry ready to be rolled out. I divided the total amount into four equal parts and rolled them out thinly, and cut it into strips to make each samosa.

To the right you can see a (very messy) bowl of “glue” – this is a flour and water paste to stick the pastry to itself as you assemble the samosa, so it doesn’t fall apart in the oven.

At the front is a samosa being assembled. I’ve done the first two folds, and created the pocket which has been filled with the samosa filling.

01 Making the Samosas

I had to go onto Youtube to find some instructions on how to fold the samosas, and it took a while to get my head round this – I kept doing a bit and it didn’t look right, so I’d wash my hands and go into the sitting room and watch the video again – at times like this one could do with a kitchen computer that was protected from cooking mess lol! Anyway, my eventual solution was to cut a strip of paper and fold it while watching the video, marking each fold in order and indicating on the paper where the “glue” was to be applied. This was very satisfactory and I soon got the hang of folding them with no problem at all.

Here is a batch of samosas ready for the oven.

02 Ready for the Oven

This is the first batch out of the oven. I was very disappointed! Firstly, they didn’t go nice and golden brown and crispy, and secondly, the pastry was hard, and not crisp and flaky. I went through and told my hubby I wasn’t sure they’d even be edible…

03 Out of the Oven

I served them as I usually serve (bought) samosas if we want them as a main meal – on a bed of spicy fried brown rice and vegetables (I make up a big batch of this and freeze portions for future use) –and added a tablespoon of plain yoghurt. It was easier to eat them in our fingers because I think they might have been a bit difficult to cut!

My hubby was extremely nice about them and said they “looked nice” (which they didn’t) and “tasted delicious” (which they didn’t). Ah well, it’s a good thing he likes them because I hate throwing away food, and we’re going to have to eat them lol!

The owner of the corner shop at the end of our street is Indian and he makes his own samosas, and my hubby often buys them. I thought I really should make our own, and thinking about it, I think he might use ready-made filo pastry for his – given the time it takes to make, and then roll out, the pastry, I wouldn’t have thought he’d have time for all that. So I think next time, I am going to use filo pastry, which should give a much better result.

You can deep fry them instead of baking them, but I don’t like deep frying because for starters it can be dangerous, and also it’s very fattening, and lastly, I wouldn’t know what to do with all that oil afterwards! So I oven bake when possible.

If you look carefully at the last picture, you can see that the baking tray is resting on the pulled-down main oven door. I cooked them in the top oven, and in the bottom (main) oven you can see several boxes of chocolates! People always laugh when we tell them we keep the choccies in the oven! One of our cats adores chocolate and she’s not allowed it because like dogs, cats are unable to digest chocolate and it can make them really ill. She has been known to help herself and is very good at opening things! Our cupboards are all full of other things, so we keep them in the oven! (Most of these choccies are Christmas ones. I am being very abstemious so as not to wreck all the hard work I am putting in to my diet!)

Watch this space for further samosa progress. I am determined to get there in the end. Fortunately this time, none of the ingredients was particularly expensive, and I had most of it in stock so it’s no great loss that they were such a failure. At least I have learnt from my mistake, and I have also devised my own recipe through the process, and I have learnt how to fold them, so I suppose the enterprise was not a complete failure!

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

WOYWW 351

Another week gone by, and not a lot of art done chez Shosh, I’m afraid! Last week was very busy. On Thursday I had my filling at the dentist (or should I say I had my fill of the dentist) – Shoshi Shakes and Shivers in Terror…… and on Friday I had my port flushed and took my chemo cakes in, and the cards I’d made for the unit. See my previous post for details.

Crashed out on Saturday, exhausted. Got to church OK on Sunday, crashed out in the afternoon. Definitely crashed on Monday. I’ve really overdone it recently. M.E. acute fatigue is generally delayed and sometimes you think you’re going to get away with it but that hardly ever happens.

I’m doing this post in the very early hours of Wednesday. Tuesday was a much better day and in the evening I actually managed to get back into the studio and do a little bit of painting.

Here’s my desk, late Tues. evening.

WOYWW 351 24-2-16

You can see I’ve been working on the border of my art journal page “Dare to be Different” which is covered with kitties in rainbow colours. The border is black and white, painted in acrylics. Note the dirty paint water jar. I’m notorious for those.

Here’s a detail of the finished border.

24 Border Detail

I still have the text to do, and then it will be finished.

Sometime this week I’ve got to refill my ATG tape glue gun, and put a new cartridge in my computer printer. Everything seems to be running out at the moment.

Remember my nameless little Panda from last week? My hubby gave him to me for Valentine’s day. Thank you everyone for your suggestions for a name for him but I’m afraid nothing seemed to gel with me. Suddenly the other night my hubby said, “Why don’t you call him Yum Sing?” (I had considered giving him a Chinese name.) Yum Sing is the name of our favourite Chinese restaurant. I thought I’d better look it up and find out what it meant (in case it was rude, but I didn’t think a restaurant would choose a rude name!) – it means “Cheers!” – a toast! Since he is such a cheery little Panda and makes me feel better just to look at him, this seemed appropriate, so Yum Sing he is!

Here he is with my favourite little stuffie, Humphrey, now looking a bit threadbare around his beak, after 20 years of loving!

05 With Humphrey

And a portrait on his own.

06 Solo on the Bed

This week looks to be a lot quieter than last, and I am hoping to spend a bit more time being creative. While resting on the recliner I have been working on my Hebrew aleph-bet (alphabet) cross-stitch sampler. Photos will follow eventually, I promise, but it’s hard to photograph at the moment because being quite large, I have rolled up the part I’m not working on and secured it with a tacking thread, to make it easier to handle, and there’s not much to show at present. I am working on the borders.

I also want to do some cooking – for some time I’ve been determined to try my hand at samosas, and have downloaded some recipes, and I’m going to devise my own version from all of these. My friend Jane who lives in the southern USA, has also sent me her chilli recipe which I am keen to try.

Happy WOYWW, everyone, and have a great week, full of inspiration and creativity.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Chemo Cakes, Teeth, Kitty Sleeping Bag and Panda Liposuction

There’s a blog post title to get your attention!

I shall deal with each topic in turn.

Chemo Cakes

I am going in to the Ricky Grant Unit again tomorrow to have my port flushed (it is due to be removed on 8th March), so I decided to take some more cakes in for the people having chemo at the time, and this time if there are any left, I am going to give them to the nurses who could really do with a treat too! When I no longer have appointments to attend this chemo unit, I shall continue to visit on an occasional basis, to take in more cakes to share, and also more cards to sell. (See this post for the cards I’ve got ready to take in on Friday.)

Chemo Cakes and Mince Pies 18-2-16

I spent most of yesterday baking, and made two batches of buns, lemon (at the front in the photo) and coffee. I had intended leaving the icing until today but since I had everything out, I thought I might as well crack on with it. This time, instead of making ordinary water icing (icing sugar with some hot water stirred in to mix), I decided to follow the recipe in my book for American Frosting, which involves whisking some egg white until really stiff, and making a sugar syrup by boiling some sugar in water on the stove, and then pouring it into the egg white, continuing to whisk until thick and smooth. This hardens once it is cold and allowed to stand. The lemon icing ended up a bit too runny because I added some lemon juice – next time, I will include the lemon juice in the quantity of liquid required to make the sugar syrup, which should improve the consistency. It did set in the end, but it took quite a while.

At the back in the photo are some more mince pies that I also made yesterday. Again, having all the baking stuff out and the oven hot, I thought it was worth doing.

By the time I’d finished, I was exhausted!

Teeth

This afternoon my hubby and I had to go to the dentist. I had been absolutely dreading it because I had to have a filling in one of my wisdom teeth and I’m terrified of having dental work! As a friend on the Inspire forum said, “I’d rather have a course of chemo than have dental work!” I so agree with her… Anyway, it was a pretty awful experience – I know it’s irrational because with the local anaesthetic (and he numbed the place first with some gel so the injection didn’t hurt quite so much…) there was no actual pain during the procedure, but the sound of the drill sets my teeth on edge, and the feeling of being vulnerable and out of control is horrible. He questioned me beforehand about what aspects scared me particularly, so I told him, and when I mentioned this last aspect, he said everything would be in my control and all I had to do was raise my hand and he’d stop so I could have a breather. I said if I was in control, I wouldn’t be there in the first place!!! Anyway, it probably didn’t take too long but it seemed like absolutely ages and I was soooo relieved when it was all over.

I told him I was taking cakes in for the chemo-ites and he started dropping heavy hints about cake… At the end I joked with him that I was glad it was all over and grudgingly thanked him (for a horrible experience!) but didn’t think it quite justified cake! I asked the nurse what she thought and she heartily agreed with me that he didn’t NEED cake haha!!

For my hubby I thought it would probably be worse and I really shouldn’t make such a fuss, because for the past few days he’s had severe toothache, and what should have been merely a check-up today was going to turn into something else. However, as we suspected, he has an abscess and the dentist won’t touch it until he’s had some antibiotics, so he was sent home after making another appointment. He’s been on pain killers and says the pain is a lot better and he thinks the abscess might have burst, which the dentist agreed with, but he’s still having the antibiotics.

NOT the way I’d choose to spend an afternoon but necessary.

Kitty Sleeping Bag

My hubby has been concerned about Beatrice, our older cat (aged 15) getting too cold this winter – when I started my chemo she started losing fur from her bottom and legs, and the vet said it was caused by stress leading to over-grooming. Having Feliway plug-ins (a synthetic pheromone that mimics a calming pheromone produced by cats) has helped a little, but she seems to have got into a habit and her fur hasn’t grown back properly despite my finishing my chemo some months ago. He found what he described as a “cosy cat blanket” on Ebay and ordered it for her. He said it would be zipped up to form a tube and it would keep her warm. It arrived yesterday and he put it in her radiator hammock and thought she might need a bit of time to get used to it – but not a bit of it – she was in like a shot, and I had never heard such purring – she was ecstatic! When she is extremely happy she “vocalises” her purring so that it sounds as if she is singing, and I’ve never heard her do it so musically! It is the most deliciously beautiful sound!!

This is the first photo I took of her – for anyone familiar with the Beatrix Potter stories (I grew up on these), my favourite was always The Tale of Samuel Whiskers, in which a naughty kitten called Tom tries to climb up the chimney to get onto the roof to chase the birds, but gets lost in a flue and is captured by a rat called Samuel Whiskers, whose wife makes Tom into a roly poly pudding, wrapping him in pastry, but leaving his head and tail sticking out – this little illustration was always my favourite! (Let me reassure you that Tom is rescued in the nick of time before he becomes Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Whiskers’ dinner.) Here is Beatrice doing her impression of a roly poly pudding in what I now call her sleeping bag!

Beatrice in Sleeping Bag - Roly Poly Pudding 17-2-16

You can see her tail hanging out.

I took the next photo this morning – she looks so adorable and comfortable!

Beatrice in Sleeping Bag 18-2-16

I said to my hubby that we will probably never see Beatrice again except at meal times.

Panda Liposuction

For Valentine’s Day my hubby gave me a panda (following a delightful TV programme we watched, about a place in China where they rear baby pandas, which have to be the cutest little babies you’ve ever seen! – after this, he decided to get me one and found one on Ebay. Unfortunately when he arrived, be didn’t have nearly enough stuffing in him, so I opened up his bottom and put a whole lot more in, and he ended up very firm and fat! Here he is with the card my hubby gave me.

02 Panda and Valentine Card 2 16-2-16

My hubby said I’d put too much stuffing in and he was now too hard and firm and not cuddly enough! One or two other people have said the same thing, having seen this photo, so this evening he had another operation – this time liposuction! I removed quite a bit of stuffing and he is now much softer and more cuddly. This is what he looks like now.

03 Panda After Liposuction 18-2-16

You might not be able to tell much difference but he is much nicer now! I am still undecided as to his name. Thank you everyone who has made suggestions but nothing grabs me just yet! Perhaps he’s got to grow into a name.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

WOYWW 350

I took this photo late afternoon on Tuesday because I had a lot to do and have a busy few days ahead. I have since finished these cards.

WOYWW 350 17-2-16

It shows work in progress on my continuing Card Factory. I recently painted some more of my Florabunda print-outs and I have now matted and layered them and made them up into cards, and made envelopes for them with my Envelope Punch Board. I made up a total of 10 cards, six of which I am taking in to the Ricky Grant Unit at the hospital, where I had my chemo, for them to sell to raise funds, as I did last time I was there. The other four are going in my stash.

You can see pictures of the finished cards in my previous post.

I am going in to Ricky Grant on Friday to have my port flushed for the last time. Last week I received a letter from the hospital calling me in to have the port removed on 8th March. It’s all part of the process of ending my cancer treatment, which will continue only in the form of follow-up appointments with the oncologist and possibly the surgeon, and further scans and blood tests over the next five years. I am still adjusting to not having to go in to the hospital at least once a week!

On Friday I am intending to take in some more cakes to share around, and I’ve got my work cut out to get them made over the next couple of days. I also have a dental appointment on Thursday afternoon. This is why I had a bit of a rush job getting the cards done by the end of Tuesday.

In the photo above, you can see the completed cards on the left, and work in progress on the remaining cards on the right, with some hand-made paper which I am using for matting and laytering. My ATG glue ran out and rather than faff around refilling it, I finished the job with regular double-sided tape, which took much longer, and I’d probably have saved time if I’d taken the trouble to refill the gun! Anyway, they are all done now.

On the left of the photo you can see my small leather art journal with a page I am working on, covered with kitties. You can read more about this here.

At our fortnightly church craft group last Thursday, I took along my oldest UFO (UnFinished Object) – my Hebrew alphabet cross stitch sampler. It’s so long since I did any that I struggled to get started but I managed to do a bit. In the intervening years my eyesight has got a lot worse and there’s no way I could do this without a magnifier these days! Poor old Shoshi. Get your violins out, everybody. There’s still a lot of work to do on it before it’s completed. I’ll post some photos eventually.

I hope you all had a happy Valentine’s day. I managed to complete my hubby’s card in the nick of time and you can read about that here. My hubby found an absolutely gorgeous hand-made card for me, made by a local card-maker – it’s made of needle felt with embellishments on a sea theme:

03 Card

It is very thick and textured. He also got me a baby Panda!

02 Panda and Card 2

We watched a programme recently on baby pandas in China, and they were so cute and adorable, and he managed to find me a stuffie on Ebay – it was originally from Ikea, who had been extremely frugal with their stuffing and the poor little chap was very floppy and sad, so I opened up his rear end and put in a whole lot more polyester wadding and he’s now really fat and firm! My hubby says he’s too fat now and I should un-stuff him a bit to make him a bit more soft and cuddly, but I think the filling may compress and go down a bit in time. The only thing that remains is to choose a name for him and my mind has drawn a complete blank!! Any suggestions? (No guarantee I shall use any of them but I might get some ideas!)

Finally, after consulting together about where to plant them, my hubby has now planted all the rock plants we bought at the garden centre recently. They don’t look anything much just yet but we are hoping for lots of growth in the spring. He’s put in 3 aubretias which will cascade over the wall at the front with lots of purple flowers, and we’ve got some miniature trees, bromeliads and Alpines.The water feature is now up and running and the whole thing is looking really good. I wish the waterfall showed up better in still photos! I shall have to do a video once things are growing nicely, because it sounds fabulous too!

10 Rockery Plants Planted

It’s been a busy week, with another to follow. I’m hoping for a nice quiet period when I can get stuck in and do some serious playing in the studio, working on art journal pages and other things just for me, and give the cards a miss for a while!They are fun to do but I don’t want to be making cards all the time.

Have a great week, everybody, full of creativity and fun, and happy WOYWW.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Card Factory 2016–More Florabunda Cards

Using the latest Florabunda printouts which I painted:

01 Six Paintings - Perfect Pearls and Watercolour

4 Florabunda Mandalas 1-1-16

I have made up a selection of cards. I have selected six, some florals and some mandalas, to take in to the Ricky Grant Unit on Friday when I go in to have my port flushed. I have had a letter from the hospital calling me in on 8th March to have the port removed, so this will be my final appointment at Ricky Grant, but I intend to return on an occasional basis bearing gifts – cards for them to sell, and more cakes! Anyway, here are the cards I’m taking in this Friday.

02 6 Florabunda Cards for RGDU 16-2-16

I have matted and layered them using some small sheets of paper I have had in my stash for ages, and mounted them onto plain card. Each card measures 5 1/2 inches square.

The remaining four, all florals, are going into my stash. These were matted and layered with a thin border of gold wrapping paper from a roll I bought some time ago, and then onto hand-made paper with leaves in it, to co-ordinate with the colour scheme of the design.

01 Perfect Pearls and Watercolours for Stash

I wanted to get these done today because on Wednesday and Thursday I intend baking some more cakes to take in to Ricky Grant on Friday. Time is short, because I’ve got a dental appointment on Thursday afternoon. I have been so busy lately and I don’t want to get overtired again.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Card Factory 2016–Zentangle Cards, and Backgrounds

Having printed out a poem for a friend, I mounted it on a piece of card which I inked with Aged Mahogany distress ink. Not wanting to waste what remained on my craft sheet, I spritzed it with water and smooshed a piece of scrap card in it to create a background. I dried it with my heat gun and then spattered it with water, left it for a minute or two, and then blotted it off, which removed the ink where the spatters had been. After drying it again, I sprayed it with pink Glimmer Mist.

Aged Mahogany with Glimmer Mist 14-2-16

Here’s a detail shot.

Aged Mahogany with Glimmer Mist Detail 14-2-16

You can see how shimmery it is. It also has that lovely silky feeling which you always get with mica powders.

I needed to make a card urgently this evening, so I matted and layered my remaining ten Zentangle print-outs onto A6-sized cards, and apart from the one that needed to be sent straight away, I left the rest without sentiments, so that I can add them as and when required.

10 A6 Zentangle Cards Without Sentiments

I started making a birthday card ready to send in March, using one of my painted Florabunda drawings, and inked an A5-sized card with Scattered Staw distress ink, using an Inkylicious Ink Duster, and then, using a hand-made blending tool, went around the edges with Dusty Concord distress ink. However, I really disliked the result and was about to discard it, when I thought I might apply the same treatment as with the background at the top of this post. I added a bit more ink onto my craft sheet by rubbing the ink pads directly onto it, and spritzed the patches of ink with water. I then dragged the card base through the wet ink, taking care not to blend the colours too much or it would have gone muddy.

After drying it with the heat gun, I spattered it with water and blotted it off as before.

There was a bit of ink left on the craft sheet, so I added a bit more, and made a second background with the same colours, but this time I decided to make it a bit more bold. I began by pulling the card through the wet ink, again being careful not to mix the colours too much, and then I spritzed the card with more water and allowed the ink to move around on the card, blotting off any excess which was making a hard line. This gives a marbled effect. When I was happy with the result, I dried it with the heat gun.

There was still some ink on the craft sheet, which had balled up on the non-stick surface, so I laid the card down flat onto it without moving it, and pressed it down. I lifted it carefully and repeated the process until there was no more ink remaining on the craft sheet. I again dried it with the heat gun, and finally spattered it with water and blotted it off. When it was dry, I went round the edge with the Dusty Concord distress ink, using a home-made ink blender.

Here are the two backgrounds. The one on the right was the first one I did, and the yellow unfortunately doesn’t show up at all well. It is quite subtle. I have left all the backgrounds under a heavy book to flatten them overnight.

2 Card Backgrounds Smooshed and Spattered 14-2-16

More progress on the card factory over the next few days, I hope, because in addition to finishing the birthday card, I am going in to the chemo unit on Friday, and I’d like to have a few more cards to take in for them to sell. I also want to get back to my art journal page. I’ve got a busy week ahead because I want to do some more baking to take in to the chemo unit, and I’ve got a dental appointment on Thursday as well.

I am happy to report that my hubby loved his Valentine card!

Art Journal Page–Dare to be Different Part 1

This project is being worked in conjunction with the Valentine card I made for my hubby, using similar materials and techniques. Please see the previous post for details.

Another page for my small leather art journal. Working with the Stampotique Originals Kitty Squad stamp set for my hubby’s Valentine card, I decided it was too good an opportunity to miss, so I decided to do an art journal page while I was at it. This is a technique I intended to try last year, and I’ve given a lot of thought to it, and could imagine how all the coloured kitties would look on a rainbow background.

This is how it looks so far, and below is a description of how I reached this point.

21 Zentangle Kitties on Page

I began, as before, by arranging the stamped kitty masks on the page and drawing round them lightly in pencil.

01 Drawing Around Masks

I then stamped the kitties over the outlines, using my stamp positioner to stamp in the right place. You will see that there are four on the fold of the book, which was rather difficult to do, and there were gaps in the stamping which I filled in with a permanent black drawing pen.

02 Stamped Kitties

Then I arranged the kitty masks in order, and began to glue the backs, using my Zig two-way glue, which makes a permanent bond if you use it straight away, but if you leave the glue to dry before sticking the piece down, it is removable, like Post-it note glue.

03 Glueing the Masks

Here are the masks all stuck down onto the page. You can see that the centre ones aren’t sticking too well, because of the fold of the book.

04 The Masks on the Page

Rather than using Dylusions spray inks as I did for the Valentine card, this time I decided to use Dylusions paints, which are acrylics. The colours are wonderfully intense, and their appication was easier to control; in addition, this did not make the page so wet. The next photo shows the beginning of the painting, using Postbox Red. I found it best to stipple the paint on so that it would not go under the masks, or move them out of place.

05 Beginning to Paint the Page

The painting complete.

16 Painting Completed

I was then able to remove the masks, and because the page wasn’t so wet, they came off without disintegrating.

17 Masks Removed

The page with the masks removed, in more detail.

18 Detail of Masks Removed

Now the fun began! Time to replace the masks in a different order. I tried to arrange them so that no two colours were next to each other but this wasn’t always possible. I wanted to make as much contrast as possible between each mask and the background. Once I was satisfied with the arrangement, I stuck them back down onto the page with soft matt gel medium.

19 Masks Stuck to Page

Here’s a detail shot. I quite like how the detail of the stamp is somewhat obscured byu the paint; I had thought of going over them, but in the end, I thought they were more subtle as they were, especially as this was the background of the page.

20 Detail of Masks on Page

I drew a feisty Zentangle cat, who looks more than ready to dare to be different, and added a touch of colour using Inktense pencils.

Zentangle Cat - Dare to be Different

In order to draw the Zentangle patterns, I had to make the cat large enough, and it was too big for the page, so I scanned it and printed out several different sizes and cut them out.  To give them a bit more definition against the background of the page, I stuck them onto a piece of white card and cut them out again, leaving a narrow white border. As I was trying them on the page and arranging them experimentally here and there, I decided to use two – one smaller and one larger, layered. I stuck them down with regular matt gel medium, and had a bit of a job getting them to stick properly, as they were quite thick. If they start to lift, I’ll stick them back with Pinflair gel glue which more or less fixes anything!

This is how the page looks so far. There will be some text on the right hand page saying “Dare to be Different,” probably in black and white, and I will paint a black and white border to tie the whole design together.

21 Zentangle Kitties on Page

Over the next few days I hope to do some more work on this page, but I have one or two other projects demanding my immediate attention, during the course of which I shall be reviving my Card Factory.

I love the Kitty Squad stamps – they are quirky and fun.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everybody!