Thursday, 23 March 2017

Damp Under the Kitchen Floor

As I wrote in my WOYWW post yesterday:

When we had our new kitchen fitted when we moved, I asked the builders to retain the old cupboard in the corner as it was an original feature that I was reluctant to lose. However, since we’ve been here, it has proved to be an absolute pain to use as it’s too deep and I struggle to find what I want in there. The bottom part has always been a bit damp too.

A few days ago we were invited for coffee by some friends, and they showed us around, and when she showed me her little walk-in larder, something went “ping” in my head and I knew this was what I wanted instead of my awful cupboard! Later we contacted our neighbour who is a builder, and has done quite a bit of work for us, and he came up to look at it, and he said it was possible, and although he could do it, he knew a professional kitchen fitter who would do an even better job, and he’d match it all in with my existing units.

He then looked at the damp, and this is where the bad news begins. He pulled up the piece of lino covering the floor inside the cupboard, to find that the floorboards had completely rotted away and the joists underneath – he could poke a thin wooden stick right through! On a traffic lights scale, he said this was RED and needed immediate attention.

Later he phoned the damp specialist that he knows and trusts, and told him about the problem, and this man phoned me to say he would come and look at it in the morning.

He arrived at 9 a.m. and agreed with our neighbour that the problem is serious and must be dealt with asap. He said that it is dry rot, and the timbers will need to be cut back 1 metre beyond the affected part. This means that not only will the whole cupboard have to come out (which we expected anyway) but the fitted double oven will also have to be moved, and quite a bit of the laminate floor taken up. Depending on how far the rot has extended, he may also need to take up the floor on that side of the sitting room next door. He was pleased that the oven was electric and not gas, and said that moving it wasn’t a problem. He is always dealing with things like this and will take it in his stride. I just hope he doesn’t ruin the tiling on the other side of the oven…

We are hoping that it is confined just within the cupboard on the left-hand side in the angle of the chimney breast, which will mean that the work will only have to take place in the kitchen, but until he takes up some floor, we won’t know.

He said that it is most unlikely that this would be covered by the insurance, as most companies never cover for rot, unless the problem is caused by a leaking pipe. I phoned the insurance company this afternoon, and they confirmed this, and pointed me to the clause in our policy (which I couldn’t find on first looking) which said that rot was excluded. It is sick-making that we pay out all this money every year for insurance and then something turns up that isn’t covered.

The damp expert said he would give us an estimate in the next day or two, but obviously until he starts he won’t know the full extent of the damage. I said I realised this, but was he able to give us a range from best case scenario to worst, off the top of his head, and he said somewhere between £1,200 and £5,000. This is obviously a lot of cash to find but it’s got to be done or eventually the house will fall down!! Fortunately we do have a contingency fund but it will clean it out.

He said he could probably start the work in about a fortnight’s time. Hopefully it won’t take too long once he gets started. It is going to cause a lot of disruption and mess. Before he starts, I have got to clear the whole cupboard (which goes from floor to ceiling) and clear the space in that corner of the kitchen. We are fortunate in that the granny flat is empty at the moment, and we can decamp into there and use the kitchen, and if necessary, the sitting room. I will have to think about what I need to transfer into the kitchen to tide us over.

Once he has finished the work, we will be able to approach the kitchen fitter our neighbour is recommending, to rebuild the cupboard in the form of a walk-in larder. Fortunately our kitchen is only 3 1/2 years old and Howden’s will still have the units and laminate flooring in their catalogue, so hopefully it can all be done to match what is there.

Once the work is all done, it should be really lovely. It’s just the process of getting there that fills me with dread, especially not knowing exactly what we are dealing with at this stage, and how much the whole job is going to set us back.

This is a humungous bore all round, but thank goodness I am now over my recent surgery and in a much better state for dealing with the upheaval. Hopefully it will all be completed before my next operation.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

WOYWW 407 Infusions

Better late than never, I suppose… Been a bit busy today and haven’t had a chance to settle down to WOYWW!

23 All the Samples so Far

My desk today looks staged – that’s because it is! Not for WOYWW, though, but arranged a couple of days ago so that I could photograph all the Infusions samples I’ve done so far, and since then I haven’t done anything in the studio, so that’s literally What’s On My Workdesk this Wednesday!

If you read back over my previous few posts you’ll see more detail about my experiments with Infusions, which I’ve been working on since getting the new set of 12 colours that has just come out. I really, really love these paints! I am intending to make a toilet roll mini album from the samples, as a reference of how I achieved the different techniques. There are so many things you can do with these versatile paints.

Here are some detail shots.

These are the first samples I did, of each colour in the two sets. I blotted off one half of each card to show the effect of allowing, or not allowing, the paint to dry naturally. You can also halt the reaction by heat-drying. If left to dry naturally, the fragments of walnut will continue to react with the water and produce the brown flecks that are so characteristic of Infusions.

WOYWW 407a 22-3-17 Original Samples

A detail of the samples in set 1. Underneath them is a piece of scrap paper with a recipe for home-made watercolour ground which I found online, which I was hoping to make up to help my hubby cover up a boo-boo on one of his paintings – but in the end he started it again!

WOYWW 407b 22-3-17 Orig Samples Set 1 Detail

Here are the samples I finished this week, using Infusions through stencils.

WOYWW 407c 22-3-17 Stencil Samples

For some of them, I applied Polyfilla through the stencil with a palette knife (a lot cheaper than moulding paste), and for others it’s just the Infusions through the stencil, with another piece of card being used to blot off the paint from the stencil – you can get 2 or 3 print-offs from this, giving a lovely subtle smudgy result (better with a fairly plain stencil without too much detail). The one at bottom left was made with transparent 3-D gel medium through the stencil and the Infusions applied onto that – great result! – and the blot-off sheets to the right. Several of these samples have distress inks added afterwards as well, and one or two have a bit of gilding wax.

A detail shot.

WOYWW 407d 22-3-17 Stencil Samples Detail

I love the muted colours of Infusions – preferable to Brushos in my opinion, although I shall go on using my Brushos for certain things, I am sure.

Health Update

I am feeling so much better now! Today is 7 weeks on from my operation. I am now getting my own breakfast and today I had my first online Tesco order delivered, and tomorrow I’m starting cooking again. I’m doing the laundry and coping pretty well with things, but I do still get tired a lot more quickly than usual. This morning I cleaned out the fridge and need my sunglasses on when I open it!


Our younger cat, Phoebe, was sick, and then off her food for two or three days – I thought it was probably just a tummy upset, but we were getting worried yesterday because she had lost quite a bit of weight, so my hubby took her to the vet’s. She said that on examining her, she found a mass in her abdomen which she is pretty sure is cancer in her bowel causing an obstruction. As you can imagine, I have been pretty upset over this news. First thing this morning my hubby said he would take her in because the last thing we wanted was to see her gradually getting thinner and weaker. However, she ate all her breakfast in one go (something that neither of them does these days, now they are older – they prefer little and often!) and then he followed her outside and she did a poo! She came in and ate a bit more! He has called the vet and told them what has happened, and we are going to keep an eye on her over the next two or three days.

What we suspect may have happened is that she did have some sort of an obstruction, and despite what the vet said about it not being mobile when palpated, which made her think it was a tumour, all the prodding of her tummy may have dislodged it. We are really hoping that this is the case. For the first time this morning she was really hungry again!

Good and bad news about the house

When we had our new kitchen fitted when we moved, I asked the builders to retain the old cupboard in the corner as it was an original feature that I was reluctant to lose. However, since we’ve been here, it has proved to be an absolute pain to use as it’s too deep and I struggle to find what I want in there. The bottom part has always been a bit damp too.

A couple of days ago we were invited for coffee by some friends, and they showed us around, and when she showed me her little walk-in larder, something went “ping” in my head and I knew this was what I wanted instead of my awful cupboard! Later we contacted our neighbour who is a builder, and has done quite a bit of work for us, and he came up to look at it, and he said it was possible, and although he could do it, he knew a professional kitchen fitter who would do an even better job, and he’d match it all in with my existing units.

He then looked at the damp, and this is where the bad news begins. He pulled up the piece of lino covering the floor inside the cupboard, to find that the floorboards had completely rotted away and the joists underneath – he could poke a thin wooden stick right through! On a traffic lights scale, he said this was RED and needed immediate attention. Again, he knows a damp specialist and this man is coming to see it tomorrow morning. We are hoping the insurance will cover what is going to turn into an expensive job. We are also hoping the damp hasn’t travelled too far under the kitchen floor. Our neighbour suspects the damp came from before we had the new roof when we moved – it was probably leaking down through the chimney breast. It’s a pity this wasn’t spotted when the new kitchen was fitted, as it would have been a simpler job at that time.

The cupboard will obviously have to come out in order to fix this (which I wanted anyway) and I certainly don’t want another the same put back in, so hopefully the new larder will all come under the same job, and if the insurance company does pay for the repair, we will get it fixed, and a new larder, for £75 (our excess)!

Fortunately our kitchen is only 3 1/2 years old and Howden’s will still have the units and laminate flooring in their catalogue, so hopefully it will all be done to match what is there.

Watch this space for progress on this. It’s a combination of really worrying and quite exciting…

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Infusions Mini-Album–Stencils and Gel Medium

More work on my Infusions experiments today. I wanted to try using Infusions through a stencil – I have seen variable results online and hoped it would work OK!

Great results! I’m really pleased. For this first attempt at this technique, I used Sleight Blue and In the Navy Infusions from set 2, and the stencil I chose was PaperArtsy PS024. I deliberately chose a fairly simple stencil with fairly large areas and not too much fine detail.

19 Infusions through Stencil

To start with, I held the stencil in place over the card and sprinkled on the Infusions. Then I spritzed them well with water, and continued to hold the stencil in place while the crystals reacted with the water, and long enough for the walnut fragments to appear. I then carefully removed the stencil, and immediately placed it face down on another piece of card to get the reverse stencil effect, and not to waste the paint. I did this again to get one more print.

20 Infusions through Stencil with Blot-Off Sheets

The samples were looking a bit blotchy and I didn’t really like all the white that remained, so I used Iced Spruce and Stormy Sky distress inks to blend the colours better; for the inside part, I used Inkylicious Ink Dusters, and to distress the edges with Black Soot, I used a home-made blending pad. I am pleased with this result – these samples are definitely useable. It worked a lot better than I expected – I thought the wet Infusions would creep under the stencil and make a mess.

Moving on to the second set of samples, I did something similar, but this time, before using the Infusions, I spread some Finnabair 3-D matte gel through the stencil with a palette knife, scraping as much as possible off the surface of the stencil. I then sprinkled on some Sunset Beach Infusions from set 1 and left  it a few minutes to start reacting with the water content of the gel. I found I needed to spritz it with some water to get a good reaction. Once I was satisfied, I removed the stencil, and I found that it left a beautifully clear impression. As before, I turned the stencil over and blotted it off onto three further pieces of card. Each time the image became less distinct and there was more white remaining. For this set, I used PaperArtsy’s stencil PS025.

21 Infusions and Gel Medium through Stencil

As before, I added distress inks to soften this white. In the photos below, you can see how I treated each one. Top left is the original with the Infusions and the gel. This was a stark image on a white background, so I added some Abandoned Coral distress ink with an Inkylicious Ink Duster, deliberately creating visible brush strokes in random directions to add a bit of texture, which I think complements the texture of the Infusions on the stencilled motif. I filled the gaps with Spiced Marmalade, blending this more smoothly. I distressed the edges with Vintage Photo, using a hand-made blending tool.

Bottom left is the first blot-off sheet. I added the same Distress Inks, blending them well together and keeping the Abandoned Coral towards the edges, and as before, distressed the edges with Vintage Photo.

Top right is the second blot-off sheet, and you can see how much less of the Infusions there are on the piece. I inked this as before, but kept it lighter.

Bottom right is the third and final blot-off sheet. For this one, I used an Inkylicious Ink Duster to brush Spiced Marmalade all over the reverse stencilled image, and used more of the Abandoned Coral elsewhere. It was edged as before.

22 Infusions and Gel Medium through Stencil with Blot-Off Sheets

I think these are all useable too.

I have been thinking a bit about the sample mini-album I am going to make with all these pieces that I have been producing, and have decided that I have made too many for them all to be included, so I shall keep the best, and use the rest for other projects. I can always add more layers to each one if I want more depth. The Infusions are so versatile and work so well with other materials too.

Note: You will see in the last-but-one photo that I have transferred some of the gel medium into a smaller pot (an old face-cream pot). These mediums are very expensive and if you keep opening the pot and exposing them to the air, they begin to dry out. I have wasted quite a bit in this way in the past, and thought that if I transferred a smaller amount into a different pot, it might all last longer. To stop the surface drying out in the pot, I have covered it with some moistened folded cling-film which I hope will peel off easily, and in the meantime, seal the surface even from the air inside the pot.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Infusions Mini-Album–Stencil Sample Pages with Infusions

I’ve now added Infusions to the stencil sample pages I made the other day.

16 All the Stencil Sheets

I used a maximum of three colours on each one, keeping to a similar palette.

For the first set of three samples, I began with Emerald Isle and Black Knight from Set 1, and Slime from Set 2. I’m afraid this photo is rather out of focus for some reason.

07 Stencil Sheets with Green Infusions

The first one I did was the one at bottom right in the photo below. This was done with the PaperArtsy Stencil PS024 and I made the card very wet before applying the three colours, adding more water afterwards. The effect is soft and muted.

The second one was the one at bottom left. I used my own Small Leaf stencil that I cut myself. To begin with I used it to mop up the colour from the craft sheet. After this I added more of each colour with plenty of water, with quite a bit of the Black Knight along the top edge, and I allowed this to drip downwards. The effect is of a leafy branch across a forest background. To emphasise the leaves a bit more, I added a small amount of gilding wax. (I think if I do this dripping technique in future, I shall heat-set it first, so that the drips are narrower and don’t bleed outwards so much.)

The third one is at the top in the photo. This was using another stencil from the PaperArtsy set PS024 as before. I used only the Emerald Isle and Slime for this one and didn’t make the card as wet. I used a wet brush to drag the colour between the leaves to define them.

08 Green Stencil Sheets

The second set I did had a reddish colour scheme and for these I used my own Brick stencil. The colours I used were Golden Sands from Set 1, and Terracotta and Rusty Car from set 2.

09 Stencil Sheets with Red Infusions

Here are the three sheets. The first one I did is at top left. I spritzed the card until it was very wet and then applied the Infusions, spritzing with more water. The second one is at bottom left. I used this to mop up the colour from the craft sheet and added more of the Rusty Car only. This one was also pretty wet. The final one, on the right, was less wet, and for this one I used Rusty Car alone.

10 Red Stencil Sheets

The next set has a purple colour scheme, and for this I used Violet Storms from set 1, and Violetta and Simply Scarlet from set 2.

11 Stencil Sheets with Purple Infusions

The first one I did, at top left in the photo below, was done with my own Decreasing Circles stencil that I cut myself, and again it was very wet, and I spritzed it further after adding the colour. The other two were both done with my own Small Circles stencil. The one at bottom left was used to mop up the colour from the craft sheet, and I didn’t add too much more water after applying the Infusions. I added some more water at top left and let it run down diagonally through the circles. To emphasise the circles a bit more, I added some gilding wax at top right and bottom left. For the final one I used much less water, and used Violetta only. There was a little more colour added by mopping up a bit at the top edge of the card.

12 Purple Stencil Sheets

Here is a detail shot of the one with the gilding wax to show the effect.

13 Detail of Purple Stencil Sheet with Gilding Wax

The penultimate set had a dark greenish-blue colour scheme, and I used Black Knight from set 1, and Sleight Blue and In the Navy from set 2.

14 Stencil Sheets with Blue Infusions

The first two both used my own Hexagons stencil. The first one, top left, was medium-wet. The second one, bottom left, was used to mop up the colour from the craft sheet, and after adding the colour, I added more water and more Black Knight. The final one in this set, on the right, was done with the Tim Holtz Splatters stencil, THS009. It was medium wet, and I used Sleight Blue only. I think this is my favourite of all the samples.

15 Blue Stencil Sheets

The final set consists of two sheets only, and uses a yellow colour scheme. I used Golden Sands and Orange County, both from set 1.

14 Stencil Sheets with Yellow Infusions

The first one, at the bottom in the next photo, was also done using my own Small Leaf stencil, and was very wet, and I swirled the colour around. Afterwards I blotted off the leaves with kitchen paper. The second one, at the top in the photo, was done with Andy Skinner’s Sunburst stencil, and was not so wet, and I heat-set it before adding more colour and water. I blotted this off with kitchen paper.

15 Yellow Stencil Sheets

Finally, here is the full set of samples.

16 All the Stencil Sheets

There are plenty more techniques to try, using these very versatile colours, so watch this space!

Friday, 17 March 2017

More Digital Art

A bit of an experiment. I’ve called it “Mixed Media” because it’s the sort of multi-layered project you can do with physical materials, working in multiple layers.

Mixed Media 1

In the selection of brushes in the Procreate art app on the iPad Pro is a section of “textures” but I hardly ever use these because I couldn’t really find any use for them. The one called “Victorian” is  based on a swirl pattern, and I adjusted the brush parameters to greatly increase the maximum width of the brush, and did a single circular sweep of the brush across the page.

I built up multiple layers using the round brush (the brush I use nearly all the time), using several colours at reduced opacity, and blending them with the blending tool. I dragged the layers up and down below the swirl motif until I was pleased with how it appears to emerge from behind the colour, and finally added a very soft white layer over the top to soften the whole thing.

At various stages I added small white dots to give a paint spattered effect.

I think I can print this out and use it for projects – I may even experiment with adding some texture, using it as a base for further experimentation.

I wish there was a way to add texture in the Procreate app.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Infusions, Stencilling, iPad Zentangle and WOYWW 406

My desk this week.

WOYWW 406 15-3 17

At the back you can see my teabag stain sheet propped up, resting on the Florabunda card toppers I made recently (haven’t made them up into cards yet). On the table in front you can see my Infusions experiments. Between the two piles you can see a white oval thing. In case you are wondering what it is, it’s this upside down:

Broken Romanian Egg

I’ve got a set of painted Romanian eggs and this week one of them fell down and got broken. I couldn’t bear to throw it away so I filled the back with Polyfilla, and once it’s set hard, I shall sand away the back to make it flat and use it as some sort of embellishment on a project – maybe to decorate the lid of a box?

I have been doing quite a bit of creative stuff during the week. I had a wonderful play with my Infusions (both the old set and the new) and am planning on making a mini-album out of the samples, with a description of what I did on each one. The first samples were just to showcase the colours.

01 Both Sets and Sample Sheets

You can read about this here.

I have also prepared some other pages for this mini-album, using Polyfilla One-Fill through a selection of stencils.

03 Polyfilla Stencil Sheets

Infusions work very well with stencils and moulding paste. I shall probably add some other effects to these pages, too. See this post for details.

Next, I’ve been working on some small Zentangle tiles on the iPad Pro, using the Apple Pencil.




Paradise Garden B&W

Paradise Garden Colour


I have added colour to a couple of them. Working on the iPad I can keep the colour on a separate layer which means that I can recolour the original drawing differently if I want. See the posts here and here for details.

Finally, I’ve completed one more piece for my embroidery project, and this is the result.

13 Red Stripes with Gold French Knots

14 Red Stripes with Gold French Knots Close Up

Unfortunately the light wasn’t terribly good for these last photos, and all those gold French knots look rather dull! I do wish photos would pick up sparkly stuff better…

Health Update

Today it is exactly six weeks since my emergency surgery for a bowel obstruction and to perform a temporary repair on my parastomal hernia which was the cause of the problem. This week I really feel I have turned the corner and I’m feeling very much better now, and have started doing a few more things. The fact that I actually want to do things, and am thinking more about what I want to do as time goes on, is a good indication of how much better I am feeling. At this stage I am ready to be reintroducing some fibre into my diet – I’ve been on the low residue diet all this time, to allow things to rest and heal up properly. I’ve eaten a couple of pieces of fruit over the past couple of days with no ill effect, and I am looking forward to sampling some more adventurous vegetables – baby steps to start with as I don’t want to overload my system!

The district nurse made her final visit last Thursday and removed the remaining two small dressings from my wound, which is now nice and dry. It still looks quite angry, which takes a bit of getting used to, as I’d got so used to it as it was before they opened it up again, and it seems to have shrunk a bit, causing mounds of flesh either side, so you could say I now have a second cleavage!! I am sure things will settle down in time – one’s body always changes shape after surgery like this and what it looks like at any given time is no indication of what will be its final shape.

I’ve gained a couple of pounds since leaving hospital and I’m not over-keen on gaining too much more! Now I’m so much better and starting to eat normally again, I am considering re-starting my 5:2 diet fairly soon.

The granny frame is now in the loft, and I am back to using my crutches and trolley again. This is great – the trolley is a lot easier to steer, and I can carry stuff around on it! I suddenly feel a lot more normal. My hubby is still doing the meals and still bringing me breakfast in bed, but I have started doing the odd bit of washing up, and am now doing the laundry again, which is also helping me feel much more normal, and giving me the feeling that I’m getting my life back again!

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Infusions Mini-Album–Stencil Sample Pages

My second blog post for today.

I’ve started working on a new set of pages for my Infusion, mini-album, spreading  Polyfilla One-Fill (joint compound in the USA is the equivalent, I think) – this works brilliantly as a really cheap alternative to moulding paste! I find it sometimes doesn’t adhere terribly well when you start to spread it through the stencil, but I’ve discovered if you spritz the paper lightly with water beforehand, it works like a charm.

03 Polyfilla Stencil Sheets

I used a variety of stencils, some bought ones, and some which I had made myself.

A selection of various textures.

04 Polyfilla Stencil Sheets - Mixed Textures

Hexagons and circles.

05 Polyfilla Stencil Sheets - Hexagons and Circles

Leaves and flowers.

06 Polyfilla Stencil Sheets - Leaves and Flowers

I am looking forward to adding Infusions to these. I may add some other materials to these pieces too – it’s all pretty experimental, and I’ve got more than enough to play with!

More iPad Zentangles and Some Thoughts on Art

I’ve drawn a couple more Zentangles on the iPad over the past few days.

I have been thinking quite a lot about how to fill a Zentangle string with pattern. So often you see people just choosing tangle patterns at random and slapping them into the sections created by the string, and the results can be a bit flat and chaotic, but most of the Zentangles I’ve seen online that I liked the best also included some white space, and the patterns were obviously carefully chosen to produce a cohesive and beautiful design. Contrast is important too, and variation in the size and density of the patterns. I hope these features are beginning to emerge in my non-ZIA Zentangles. Probably one thinks about these things more when creating ZIA (Zentangle-Inspired Art) but to me, a single small Zentangle tile should be something beautiful, too. OK, the originators of Zentangle say it should be purely abstract and random; that there should be no “up” or “down” and it’s the process that matters, not the end result. There’s certainly a place for that, especially in a stress-relieving session where one just loses oneself in the doing of it and isn’t worried about the result.

Perhaps I am not a true tangler, voicing these rebellious views!!! What I have discovered recently is that whatever anybody else says, I have to be true to myself and express my art in my own way. It’s all too easy to feel pressured into comparing yourself with others and measuring yourself up against what you think are their higher standards, and trying to conform, and it’s absolutely liberating to follow your own heart and just do what feels right for you.

Anyway, here are my latest efforts. First of all, “Paradise Garden,” in black and white and in colour. For the latter I chose very delicate pastel shades.

Paradise Garden B&W

Paradise Garden Colour

This one is called “Boxes.” The three main areas contain tangles based on grids and squares. The pointed section (“Meander”) could be seen as a random collection of tiny boxes. The border pattern bottom right is called “Inapod” which I suppose is a sort of box to contain seeds! It was fun trying to incorporate a word theme throughout the design. Something to explore further, perhaps.


I’m enjoying exploring different ways of putting patterns together and trying to think about how the end result will look but there is still plenty of room for each tile to grow and emerge as if with a mind of its own – I add different patterns and embellishments as I go until I think it looks right, so there is an element of randomness.

Art reflects life? Life is full of tensions between randomness, predictability, order and the unexpected. That’s what makes it so exciting.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Zentangles on the iPad

I’ve been playing with my iPad Pro over the past couple of days and have done some more Zentangles. I don’t really set out with any particular end in view – they more or less draw themselves once I’ve drawn the string (which sometimes gets adapted along the way as well). As a result they don’t get a title until they are complete, and it depends what they end up looking like.

Here’s the first one, that I have called “Eggs.”


This one is called “Egypt.” First of all, the black and white version.


I decided to add a limited palette of colour to this one.


The colour was done as a separate layer so I can choose to use it or not.

It was the “pillar” on the left that determined the title of this one, so then I added the sail and the water. I resisted the temptation to do the obvious and add pyramids!

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Infusions Mini-Album–First Sample Pages

Studio time! At last! Today I felt better enough to actually get in my studio and start playing! I can’t tell you how good that made me feel, even if I did stay up there too long, and ended up getting overtired and having an aching back at the end of it!

I got my new set of Infusions recently and was anxious to start playing with them.

01 Both Sets and Sample Sheets

The above photo shows both sets of 12 colours – set 1 on the left, and set 2 on the right.

Having seen so many different ways of using Infusions recently, I thought it would be fun to make a mini-album detailing the various techniques, as a little reference guide, and also an opportunity for making another book (I love making books!) and making something that will hopefully be attractive and fun.

I decided to make it in the form of a toilet roll mini-album, using the hidden hinge method of binding. Inside the pockets created by the flattened toilet rolls, I intend making tags with explanations of how the various effects were achieved. Each tag may have a decorative fibre embellishment on it, to enable it to be pulled out.

Before beginning the project, I removed the small piece of padding from inside the lid of each pot of Infusions, and pierced a hole in the top, through which the crystals can be sprinkled, and put a noticeboard push pin into each hole to prevent spillage. I have raided these from my office noticeboard which has left me a bit short, so I have ordered some clear pushpins from Ebay, and when they come, I shall be creating small circular labels to stick on each lid, with the name of the colour and a sample of what it looks like, so still a bit more work to do on that. This will save having to take each one out of the box in order to see what colour it is. I’ve done this with my Brushos too, although I have yet to pierce holes in the lids.

When I got the Brushos, and then the first set of Infusions, I decided not to do the recommended thing and pierce the lid of the pot, but to use a soft brush to pick up the crystals, which I felt would give me more control, but I found this to be a bit of a pain, and have decided to go with the majority after all, and go with the pierced lid method. So far it seems to be working extremely well. The experts are usually right!

To start with, I cut plenty of small sheets of white card from some offcuts that I had hanging around – they were almost exactly the width of a flattened toilet roll. You can see the unused ones, and one toilet roll, in the back centre of the photo, between the two sets of Infusions.

At the front are the 12 sheets for each set. I sprinkled on the Infusions and then spritzed them with water, and immediately blotted off half, to show the difference between the Infusions when they have bee quickly dried, and when they have been left to dry naturally, so that the walnut fragments have time to develop that gorgeous brown grungey look that makes these paints so desirable.

I shall also create pages showing how Infusions can be used with other products, such as texture paste, paint, stencils etc.

I took a couple of sheets of scrap paper (not very good quality) to mop up the excess from the craft sheet, and used kitchen paper to blot off the samples. Here are these sheets drying, and I shall save these and use them in other projects. I didn’t take great care in separating the different colours so in some places they are a bit muddy but I quite like the random colour blends on these sheets.

02 Mop-Up Sheets

The new range of colours of Infusions are simply gorgeous. So are the original ones, come to that! I love these paints, and I’m very glad I decided to invest in the new set once they became available.