Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Village Craft Fair

Last Saturday there was a craft fair in our village church to celebrate the creativity of the local people and as a local fund-raiser. I was offered a table and readily agreed, and offered to do demonstrations throughout the day.

Some of the work on display was of a very high standard; for instance, the lady who had the table next to mine had only been painting for about a year, and was producing work such as this:

There was also someone who was exhibiting a wide range of items including miniature embroidered rugs for dolls’ houses, taken from original rug designs:

seen here with some of her exquisite silver spoons. She also worked with enamel on copper, and made silver and bead jewellery. I was particularly taken with her marine life jewellery.

Further acrylic paintings:

This artist also created fairies from hand-made felt, which you can see on the display on the left of her table.

A great display of beautiful quilts.

There are more photos of the show in my Photobucket album.

Here I am at my table, ready to start.

This is my display board. I am so grateful to my hubby for finding some pegboard panels for me – this turned out to be ideal for hanging my mirrors and prints, and it took the rest really well with Blue Tack.

As you can see, I tried to display as much variety as I could – my mixed media mirrors (for further details, click on “Mirrors” in the RH sidebar of my blog – there are several posts), ATCs (likewise), pages from my ongoing mixed media Fine Art Album project, some experimental pieces, small paintings, and prints of my zentangle art – I printed these on semi-gloss photographic paper and am very pleased with the quality, and the intensity of the colour.

As I worked on my demo pieces, lots of people came up to watch and to chat, and ask me about my work. On the far left of my table, beside the zentangle print, are the cards and coasters. As well as offering these black and white zentangle cards for sale, I also managed to make up nearly 2 dozen coloured ones. I shall be doing a separate post about these in due course.

Of all that I had on offer, I only managed to sell nine cards, unfortunately, but at least my work got some exposure, and I had great fun being creative all day, so it was worth it!

Now for some photos of the work I did during the day. Most of these were small in size so that I could demonstrate several different techniques, and as usual I worked on ATC-sized card much of the time, as any successful samples can then be used for actual ATCs, and anything not successful won’t break the bank because hardly anything has been used!

I started with a plain white ATC which I stamped with versamark, and heat-embossed with clear embossing powder. I then inked this with Walnut Stain Distress Ink, using my Inkylicious Ink Dusters, and finished it off with a bit more distressing round the edges with Vintage Photo DI. The stamp was Calligraphic Mat #4 from The Artistic Stamper. The embossing acts as a resist, showing the white card beneath the ink. On the second sample, I inked it first using Weathered Wood DI, then embossed with clear embossing powder, and inked again, this time with Bundled Sage, and finally a touch of Vintage Photo around the edges to distress it. This resulted in the resist showing the initial inking colour, in this case blue. This stamp is the Music background stamp, again from The Artistic Stamper.

You can see how through many layers of stamping and inking, many different and interesting effects can be created.

The next thing I demonstrated was rubbing the ink pad on my non-stick craft sheet, spritzing it with water and smooshing the card in this ink. For the first sample, I used a mixture of Wild Honey, Spiced Marmalade, Walnut Stain and Vintage Photo DIs. The quality of the card wasn’t that good for this technique, but I didn’t mind in the end that the initial smooshing came out quite blotchy; with the added stamping and extra ink, it just added to the general grunginess of the effect. To get a smoother effect, watercolour paper would be better as it stands up well to a soaking.

I stamped with gold embossing powder onto the background of the first piece, and in the second, used the stamp as a resist, as before. The stamp in the first sample is a flower head stamp from The Stamp Barn, and that in the second is from the Tim Holtz Ultimate Grunge Collection by Stampers Anonymous. This sample was first inked all over with Spiced Marmalade DI, stamped with clear embossing powder and then smooshed into Walnut Stain and Vintage Photo. To finish each of these samples, I spritzed them with a DIY glimmer mist made from Wild Honey Distress Re-inker, water and Perfect Pearls (Perfect Pearl colour), which has given an iridescent finish, and some nice blotches of a more intense effect.

The next sample was somewhat similar, but smooshed, stamped and inked repeatedly, building up the layers until I got the effect I wanted. In this case I used the Personal Impressions Pebbles background stamp with Versamark and clear embossing powder, and the Crafty Individuals large swirl stamp, also with Versamark and clear embossing powder, and finally with gold. This one was then sprinkled with water and blotted with some kitchen paper.

I did a quickie demo showing the effect of sanding Core’dinations paper – I had prepared a piece of Whitewash Core’dinations at home, embossing it with the Tim Holtz Texture Fades embossing folder “Cracked.” After sanding, I inked it with Dusty Concord DI, showing how the ink is intensified by the roughness of the sanded surface. To finish this one off, I rubbed on a little Treasure Gold in the central part, but it doesn’t show up too well on the photo.

I did a few examples with one of the stamps from the Stamp Attack JoZart Design fans collection, using Versamark onto black card and then adding dry Perfect Pearls in various colours with a soft brush. Once I had brushed off the excess I spritzed them lightly with water to activate the binding agent in the mica powder. These will be cut out and used as small tags, with the addition of some ribbon and a bit of bling.

My final sample was done with acrylics and stencils. I had intended to do several of these, but time was marching on, and I had other things to do as well.

For this, I laid my Increasing Circles stencil onto some heavy watercolour paper and painted on some gesso with a foam brush. After drying this with my heat gun, I proceeded to paint the surface roughly with alizarin crimson acrylic paint, placed the stencil back and rubbed with a baby wipe. This removed quite a bit of the paint from the gesso which acted as a resist, giving some interesting overlapping partial circles. I repeated the process with some ultramarine blue, and then stamped with scraps of extra large and extra small bubble wrap, using gesso. The effect was altogether too bright at this stage, so I made my favourite dulling-down acrylic glaze from a touch of Payne’s grey acrylic paint mixed with acrylic polymer, and after drying this, stamped with archival black ink using the ink-spatter stamp from the Tim Holtz Ultimate Grunge collection from Stampers Anonymous, and finally stamped with copper metallic acrylic paint using the circles stamp from the Bitty Grunge collection also from Stampers Anonymous. As always, using gesso and acrylics, I had to try and remember to clean the stencil, brushes and stamps immediately or it dries on very quickly and becomes impossible to remove. This is a bit of a bore, especially when one is on a creative roll and is desperate to get on to the next stage! (How nice it would be to have a flunky to do it for me, like the artists of old, who had apprentices to grind their paint for them!!)

This is a technique that you can just go on adding to, layer by layer, colour by colour, shape by shape, whatever you want, until you like it! The possibilities are endless. Here’s a detail shot.

I really like how the texture of the watercolour paper works with this background.

My second demonstration was making some paper flowers with Penny Duncan’s rose design cut file, somewhat adapted to give a more frilly edge to the petals. I deliberately made these quite large so that people could see what was going on. Here are the materials I used.

The pieces were drawn in Inkscape and cut out using Sheba, my Black Cat Cougar cutting machine. Distress Stains are the best method of colouring the petals and leaves, in my opinion. They are easy to apply, and you can build up the layers of colour to the intensity you desire. Once coloured and dried with the heat gun, each petal and leaf is hand-embossed onto a piece of fun foam, and then assembled using the hot glue gun. I ran a nib across the surface of a distress ink pad and drew the veins on the leaves. Here is the final result.

My final demo was intended to be zentangle drawing, and although I did do a bit, it was not enough to photograph – I will upload the finished drawing when I have done it. By the time I got started on that, the numbers of visitors to the show had thinned out considerably, and then people started clearing up, so I had to call it a day, as it took a very long time taking down my display and packing it all up ready to take home.


  1. Stop! It' too much to take in! Seriously though, it looked a very high class day! Love all the work you did and hope you weren't too worn out at the end! x

  2. it's discouraging when you go to so much work and sell so little. but for me each sale has been a learning experience. i started selling my mixed media collages only no prints, no cards just my art. sold very little. when i started adding prints and doodles and cards i made sales. i've never not at least made my booth fee back. well except the first sale. i sold one unframed collage. it's also learning which sales are a right fit. it's all a learning experience. thanks for sharing your processes. i must try some of the embossing powder. i love the way it looks.

  3. Looks like you had a lot of wonderful artisans around you and had a great time! You look wonderful and enjoyed reading about all the different techniques you demo'ed! waving hi from the hills of North Carolina :)

  4. Your stall looks amazing! So many lovely things! and you demonstration pieces are brilliant - I'm not surprised you had lots of people watching. I'm really glad you enjoyed the day even if you didn't get many sales at the time. Hopefully it will lead to bigger and better things x

  5. Your stall looks great, and so do you with a big happy smile on your face! Sorry that you didn't sell much, but I think that handmade art/crafts is a hard market (although people will happily pay for a mass produced pretend handmade item - go figure). Love all your ATC samples etc, you must have had fun doing them. And the roses are gorgeous! Best wishes, Cindy x

  6. Looks like a great time and awesome goodies, gonna try your backgrounds now tee hee
    Bridget #27

  7. Wow - it looks like you had a great day and loads of fab stuff. Such a shame sales were low - I had the same problem a few weeks ago when I did a Rotary club sale - I didn't sell any collages, I only sold a handful of cards. Still as you say it gets your name out there and it's all good experience. I love the techniques you demonstrated - you have made some wonderful textures and backgrounds - I now want to get my emboss powders and ink pads out to have a play!

  8. Your pictures are fabulous!! in fact Please!! can I save one and put it in a post coz I can see your lovely zentangle drawing of my mask in one of them!!! And you're looking super cool mrs crafting selling lady too!!

  9. Thanks for sharing your photos, Shoshi, and telling us all about it. Looks like a fun day! I hope you get all rested up soon.


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