Tuesday 31 July 2012

Great British Blog Hop

Welcome to the first day of the Great British Blog Hop organised by Nicola at Sunshine Reflections.  It's a real privilege to start off.

I'm a Design Team member for Praierie Papier Cottage and after having fun with July 4th kit I asked Anita to design a kit based on the British Union Flag. Anita ran with the colours and diagonals and inspired by the Olympic Rings produced this fantastic kit.

Here in the UK, 2012 has been quite a year with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, the journey of the Olympic Torch for 70 days, a British man and team winning the Tour de France and now the excitement of the Olympics.  And there's still the Paralympics to come.

I decided for this blog hop to celebrate Great Britain I would use Anita's kit to make a mini book which can be used as a journal or as an album to record memories of 2012. Of course it could be used for any purpose which is why I haven't put a title on the cover.

To make a book the same as mine you will need three sheets of 12x12 cardstock. You can use all one colour or use one sheet of red, white and blue.  From each sheet cut 4 pieces of 7"x5". You will need a ruler, knife and cutting mat for this unless you're really clever with a cutter. This will give you 12 pages for your book.

Using A4 card print out the images that you prefer from the kit. To do this on a PC I right clicked on the jpg file in the folder where I had saved the images. Then clicked on Print.  This brings up a menu where I chose to print 2 images on one sheet and clicked on fit to border. This produces print copies just over 7x5".  You will need four images for the covers. Cut 2 pieces of board for the covers and adhere the printed images on either side. 

Optional: sand the edges of the covers and ink.

To decorate the inside pages print out a further 2 sheets of images. You may need more depending on how much you decide to decorate. Here are photos of 2 books side by side showing different papers.

Punch holes in the covers and pages. I put one hole in the middle and the others 1.5 inches from the top or bottom edge.  I put book rings through and tied ribbons on.

The joy of mixing a digital kit with scrapbooking materials is that there's no limit to what you can apart from how much ink you've got in your printer!

In fact I made 6 books because I have a stall at a craft fair later in August.

Thank you for visiting my blog.   In honour of the Blog Hop pleaseleave a comment below by Noon (BST) on Friday and I will choose someone to win their own copy of the digi kit I used.

Blog Hop

Now hop over to Fishcake Random for the next part of your journey.  If you get lost, you can always go back to Sunshine Reflections to find the journey order, which i have put here also.

August 1st
Bernice (that's me!)

August 2nd

Monday 30 July 2012

Don't forget

to take part in the Great British Blog Hop on Wednesday 1st August.

Here's a sneak peek at my blog post:

And I shall be doing a giveaway.

So come back on Wednesday to find out more.


Start the Week Right

If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.  

Thomas Alva Edison

Friday 27 July 2012

Celebrating UK Artists 3: Kate Crane

Welcome to the third interview celebrating the talents of British artists in the field of scrapbooking, photography, mixed-media, art journaling, feltmaking and quilting.  Some names you may know and some may not be so familiar but they are all hugely talented.

A warm welcome this week to Kate Crane who has just had a second DVD set released by Craft Stamper

*Brief Bio
I’m Kate Crane, and I live in a rural village in the north of England with my husband, two children and many pets. I’ve been crafting in one way or another all of my life, but in the last few years I have developed a real passion for mixed-media art, especially art journaling. I love bright colours and often use bold, vivid colours in my art. My art has been published in several publications in Europe and USA which has been a tremendous honour. I mix my real-life day job as a school teacher, with teaching as an arts and crafts instructor. I am proud to be on the Design Teams for Dylusions for Ranger and Stampotique originals; I love their products! Earlier this year I spent three fantastic days at Ranger Ink in New Jersey USA, to become a certified Ranger Educator. I’m a fairly frequent blogger and run an annual challenge on my blog to create and update an art calendar for a whole year; the challenge is now in its third year and still going strong. I have recorded several Art Journaling DVDs for Traplet Publications which are available internationally.

*Who or what are your creative influences?  And why?
Amongst my creative influences are Dyan Reavely and Dina Wakley, both artists who love to art journal and also have a passion for colour. They both have a wonderful loose and free approach to art journaling which is something I’d like to be better at! I also love to see what lesser-known artists are doing and regularly scour magazines such as Somerset Art Journaling by Stampington and co. as I’m always amazed and inspired by the fantastic quality of art on display. More recently the internet has been a great source of inspiration on social networking sites such as facebook and pinterest as people so generously share what they have been creating.

*What is your preferred medium of creativity?   What appeals to you about this?
This is a tough one to answer because I really like to use many different things. One of my loves is acrylic paint. I always loved painting as a child, and I loved to paint right throughout my school days. I can still picture the school art rooms vividly – they were my favourite place in school. Acrylic paints allow me to build up layer upon layer in my art, building the intensity of colour, and also allow me to create quite a grungy look. They are so versatile - you can use brushes, sponges, fingers, credit cards, brayers … anything to spread paint. They are also a very forgiving medium to work with because if you create a background you don’t like you can just paint over it again! I also love the unpredictability of ink sprays and the different effects you can create. I especially love splats and dribbles!

*How did you find your creative style?
I’m not sure, somehow things just evolved! I actually started by making quite neat greetings cards, but then I discovered ATCs and gradually I got more and more adventurous and began to experiment with different mediums and techniques. I discovered a few on-line trading sites and I embraced the idea of sharing and trading art with others from all over the world. It is exciting to receive real and genuine art in the post from another artist and I was able to examine it closely to see how other people do things! I have always felt a strong pull towards bright colour and I rarely create anything neutral. I have taken a few art classes on-line and at Art from the Heart, picked up ideas and techniques from others, and then have given it my own twist. Other than that I am completely self-taught, but I’m not afraid to try something new,  experiment and let things develop in their own way.
*What activity do you use to jumpstart your creativity?
If I ponder too long about what I’m going to make or do then I’ll just never get started, planning in my head just doesn’t work for me at all as I prefer to let things grow organically. I usually start with a background – once I get some colour on the page I’m off!

*Describe your style in using 5 different words.  Share your thoughts about these words.
Colour speaks to me. I don’t do vintage neutral, or shabby chic!

Sometimes my ideas and/or choice of images can be a little off-the-wall or unusual. I just follow my intuitive thought process … but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea!

(See above!) I have a passion for slightly weird or unsettling images such as freaky dolls. I like things to have a bit of an edge.

I really like a slightly untidy, arty, grungy look. I think it’s a backlash against the neat cards and neat scrapbooking I used to do.

I often forget about the importance of white space on a page, and instead build layer upon layer, using a combination of different mediums.

*Favourite quote(s)?
‘Spread your wings and fly’. I love the idea of this – that we all have potential – you just have to reach out and go for it. In reality of course, it’s quite hard to do.

‘Do I look like a freakin’ people person?’ (from a Stampotique stamp). This one really makes me laugh!

‘The meaning of life is to give life a meaning’. Of course!

*Favourite book?
I loved the Twilight series and I’m not afraid to admit it! I’m also enjoying reading The Hunger games trilogy. Some of my favourite authors are Barbara Trapido, Ian Banks, Annie Proulx, Ian McEwan, Joanne Harris … but I’m also not averse to a bit of light reading in the shape of Jilly Cooper! I think my two favourite all-time books are Brother of the more famous Jake by Barbara Trapido, and The Shipping News by Annie Proulx.
I also love art publications and have way too many but I can’t part with any of them. And books about photography of course!

*Where you can find Kate
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/thekathrynwheel

Go to Kate's blog for the opportunity to win her brand new DVDs - one set in European format and one set in US/Canada format.   
This opportunity ends on Saturday 28th July 2012 5pm GMT

If you were able to ask Kate anything what would you ask?  Please add your question to the comments below.

See you next Friday for an interview with Sian Kibblewhite.

Thursday 26 July 2012

Getting excited now

It's nearly time for the Olympics to begin.

Well, technically I suppose they started yesterday with the Women's GB Football Team winning against New Zealand.  However the opening ceremony is tomorrow night and then there's hours and hours of sport to watch on the television.  Great!  (I'm excited about it, and I understand that some are not!)

Anyway, as far as I'm concerned it's a great time to celebrate all things British and next week (1st August) I'm taking part in this:

And I get to be the opening blog!  Woohoo!

And here's a sneak peek:

And there'll be a giveaway.

So come back on Wednesday 1st August to celebrate the Great British Blog Hop.

And talking about all things British.  There's my regular Friday Feature.

And tomorrow we will be celebrating Kate Crane.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday 25 July 2012

Monday 23 July 2012

Start the Week

Do all the good you can. 
By all the means you can. 
In all the ways you can. 
In all the places you can. 
At all the times you can. 
To all the people you can. 
As long as ever you can.

John Wesley

Sunday 22 July 2012

And in other news ...

I'm a winner!

On Facebook, Anneliese Bates of Creative Journey Workshops, asked us to suggest workshops that we would like to see available and if one of our ideas was chosen we would get a free place.   Anneliese chose my suggestion about doing something with maps and she has designed My Life in Maps and I get to go to it for free!

Blog series

As I said in my News Round Up I am enjoying my Friday Feature and have decided that I will start some other series.

Starting with:

Start the Week  ~  Every Monday an encouraging quote or scripture to get the week going in a positive frame of mind.

Wordless Wednesday  ~ Just one of my favourite photos.  No words!  I have to admit this is not an orignal idea and you can join in with other Wordless Wednesdays.

Wholly Creative

I will be taking my handcrafted Journals to to two craft fairs this year.  The first one is on Saturday 18th August at the Oliver Bird Hall in Solihull.   And the second one is Craft-Fest at Renewal Christian Centre on Saturday 13th October.

You're a winner!

As I said before I am quite overwhelmed by how many followers I have and I would like to thank you all for taking the time to visit me.

And the 100th follower and therefore prize winner is Sheena.  Please email your address.

A warm welcome to Sheena and to all of you.

Thanks for stopping by


News Round Up

Friday Feature

I'm excited about my new series every Friday Celebrating UK Artists with interviews celebrating the talents of British artists in the field of scrapbooking, photography, mixed-media, art journaling, feltmaking and quilting.  Some names you may know and some may not be so familiar but they are all hugely talented.

Kate Crane

Coming this week an interview with Kate Crane who has been published in Stampington magazines and has recently released a second set of DVDs on art journaling.   For an opportunity to win a set, either a European version or a US version go to Kate's blog.

Design Team news

My post 'To digi or not to digi?' was my Design Team application for Praierie Papier Cottage 

And I'm pleased to announce that I was successful.  You can find out more about Anita on her blog where you will find links to other members of the team.  You can also find me on Anita's Ning group Just Be Yourself where I am the coordinator of the Art Journaling Group.

My first Design Team post will coincide with the

on August 1st.  There is still time to sign up for this if you want to be a blogger in the blog hop.  Nip over to Nicola's blog at Sunshine Reflections and sign up.

I am also taking part in a blog hop on Saturday 3rd August with a group of ladies I've become friends with through an online course we're taking together.  More info on that later this week.

And finally ....

Will you be my 100th follower through Blogger and Google?  If so, there's a small prize coming your way.   Just click on 'Join this site' on the lefthandside.

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog.


Friday 20 July 2012

Celebrating UK Artists 2: Julie Kirk

Welcome to the second weekly interview celebrating the talents of British artists in the field of scrapbooking, photography, mixed-media, art journaling, feltmaking and quilting.  Some names you may know and some may not be so familiar but they are all hugely talented.

This week we welcome Julie Kirk.

*Brief Bio
I’m a blogger, freelance magazine contributor and the one-woman kit creator, product-photographer, branding-designer and marketing manager behind an Etsy shop selling vintage paper packs and creative supplies. 

Then part time, during term time, I support students with disabilities so they can fully access their University course. This generally means I get paid to take notes and learn new things. Tell me there’s anything better than that? [Actually, can you remind me I said that next time I’m clock-watching in a numbingly boring two hour lecture?]

I share a house and a life in the North East of England with a small mound of ephemera, shelves full of vintage ‘treasures’, a wardrobe full of patterned clothes and a man who doesn’t mind any of it.  

*Who or what are your creative influences?  And why?
I love the work of writer and artist Graham Rawle. He’s so inventive and creative and uses collage to great effect particularly in his book Woman’s World which is a full length novel pieced together solely from snippets of women’s magazines from the 60s. 

In fact, I admire many artists who use ‘found’ materials in their work as I find my biggest inspirations from non-traditional crafting supplies too. In this group I’d include the assemblage artist Joseph Cornell along with current artists such as Susanna Scott and Katie Licht.  

I enjoy the work of Austin Kleon whose ‘Blackout Poetry’ is created by blacking out unnecessary words on a page to reveal the hidden poetry within. And comic strip artists and illustrators like Berger & Wyse and Marc Johns always make me smile too.  I feel humour is an important element in art … which perhaps get overlooked in favour of more serious aspirations.

Oh and I’m a complete colour-addict with a huge fondness for the abstract colour work of Paul Klee and Mark Rothko.  

Finally, I also believe my late Grandma has had an influence on me somewhere down the line because while she was not at all artistic she cherished the weird and wonderful, the shiny, the unusual, the colourful and she is almost certainly responsible for my ability to see the treasure in other people’s trash!

Now I’ve written this out I see there’s definitely a few threads drawing all of these figures together: boldness of colour, use of found items, discovery of found phrases and the importance of the quirky and humorous …  and suddenly I see their influences looming very large!

*What is your preferred medium of creativity?   What appeals to you about this?

Whether it’s scrapbooking, collage, art journaling or cardmaking, it all starts and ends with paper for me.

I think it’s because it holds so many possibilities in one easy to acquire, easy to store , lightweight sheet!

Plus, it’s neat, tidy, you can’t really spill it and ruin your clothes and, if you get tired of it, you can throw it into the recycling and still feel virtuous! 

*What other areas of creativity do you dabble in?
I’m a jack of all crafts really, there’s not much I won’t or indeed haven’t tried out [except crochet, which I hid from when a friend tried to teach me!].

But more recently, when not paper crafting, my creativity has been funnelled into blogging which I find a hugely creative activity. Not only am I creating [hopefully] interesting online content but I’m also creating myself, my own virtual presence, with every post.

I’m presenting to the world the ‘me’ I want other people to know, and in doing so, through mining my experiences to create informative classes and posts, through questioning myself, discovering my opinions so I can then write about them and through telling stories about my life on a regular basis not only have I constructed an outer me … I’ve learned so much about the inner me at the same time. Blogging has been a truly fascinating, rewarding and indeed – creative - experience for me.

*What is one of your earliest creative memories?
I remember being drawn to specific coloured crayons in school. Colours that we didn’t have at home … in fact I still remember they were a peachy shade and a cornflower blue.

This must have been before my sister and I got a Crayola Carousel, because after that we didn’t covet another colour crayon again!

*Pablo Picasso said: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”   How did you find this transition worked in your life?
From the outside, I guess my transition might have appeared rather precarious.

When I left school I was accepted into art college but then experienced a period of depression which meant I couldn’t attend.  But, fortunately, during my recovery, my creativity didn’t leave me and I spent my time cross-stitching, patch-working, drawing and writing.

When I did return to education I changed routes and followed my love of words taking an English degree instead.

Fortunately I’m at a point in my life where I get to combine my mutual loves of creativity in art and in writing … which is more than I could ever have hoped for.

*How did you find your creative style?
I made a lot of things … which isn’t meant to sound flippant at all.

It’s just that when you first begin making something, you’re inevitably influenced by an artist whose work you’ve seen already, perhaps which led you do take up the activity in the first place. But then, the more you make, the more diluted those other influences become and lo and behold … the one and only ‘you’ comes out the other side. More concentrated.

Like orange juice.

Or diamonds.

Yes, let’s go with diamonds instead!

Whatever else I’ve taken on board and digested, I’ve now arrived at this [diamond-like?] core of word snippety, colour splashing, print combining, phrase finding creativity which is seemingly ‘me’.

For now at least!

*What activity do you use to jumpstart your creativity?
OK, these things are actually mutually exclusive but …

I either just surround myself with some supplies, sift through them casually, cut things out and move things around until something fits. No pressure. Just find something I like and stick it down.

OR …

I back away entirely. I don’t force it. I go and do something else entirely. For as long as it takes.

That said … if it’s not a personal project I’m working on, if I’m working to a deadline … then that’s a jumpstart enough and I just get on with it!

*Favourite art gallery or museum?
I adore the Yorkshire Sculpture park, both its outdoor displays and galleries are always so inspiring, and I try to visit once a year and usually take photos at every single step!

But I also love my local gallery, the MIMA in Middlesbrough for its architecture and its peace and quiet in the centre of town.

*Favourite book?
I’m going to have to give you more than one I’m afraid so let’s go with Ingenious Pain by Andrew Miller, Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris and can I sneak Shakespeare’s Hamlet in there too please? 

*Where to find Julie
Blog: http://notesonpaper.blogspot.co.uk/
Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/juliekirk
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/withjuliekirk
Twitter: https://twitter.com/notesonpaper

If you were able to ask Julie anything what would you ask?  Please add your question to the comments below.

See you next Friday for an interview with Kate Crane.

Monday 16 July 2012

Celebrating Britain

So following on from Celebrating UK Artists on my blog every Friday I thought I would join in with my friend Nicola's blog hop on August 1st.

And you can join in as well. 

Just go over to Nicola's Blog: Sunshine Reflections and add your name and contact details in the comment box.

The more the merrier!

Hope to see you there.


Sunday 15 July 2012

Summer of Color: the end

I can't believe that we have come to the end of Summer of Color 2012.  Six weeks of art inspired by ice creams!

And this week's ice cream was Watermelon Ice.

During last week I was invited to join a Facebook group: The Dyan Reaveley Art Journaling Fan Club!

So to celebrate I used only Dyan's inks and stamps for this page.  Sadly she hasn't brought out a white journaling pen (yet!?) and none of my white pens wanted to play except my Staples Correction Pen and even that was temperamental.  However I managed in the end.

Thanks for stopping by.


Friday 13 July 2012

And the winner is ....

Thanks to everyone who joined in with the giveaway and a warm welcome to my new followers.

As you know I don't quite get Mr Random Generator so Mr Random Generator Husband came into play today.  (He is amused, or maybe bemused, by his contribution to this!)

So ....

The UK winner is                      The International winner is

Congratulations to Andrea and Chelsea
Please email me using the contact button on the left to send me your name and address.

I am quite overwhelmed by how many followers I have and I would like to thank you all for taking the time to visit me.

If this is your first visit, then why not become a follower.  I will give a small gift to the person who becomes the 100th follower of NewlyCreative.


Oh, and don't forget that on Fridays for the next few weeks you can read interviews with UK artists, starting today with Rachelle Panagarry.