Friday, 24 April 2015

There's painting... and then there's painting!

Here I go again, making excuses as to why I didn't post anything last Blog Friday... ermm...well...I blame the builders - I kept getting interrupted with requests for tea and donuts... (that's because Blog Friday has now turned into Donut Friday, lol!).

So, what's new... the studio is coming along... slowly... painfully slowly at times... hey ho, better it's done right than done quickly. Oh, and one day last week I decided to have a go at painting the fence (so that it tones in with the nu studio), after all how hard could it be...

This was the result of a day's painting... albeit with several interruptions for tea, coffee, cold drinks and biccies .. and yes, my builders are still laughing their heads off almost a week later! Needless to say I think I should stick to decorative painting, don't you?!

So here I have a project which shows two different painting techniques...One very simple and easy to do for a novice painter and one a little harder for those wanting to try their hand at something more detailed.

Stencilled Suitcase

Efco Papp Art Suitcase
Efco Cherry Blossom Stencil
Efco Decoupaint - Black, Cream, Orange, Yellow, Blue, Brown, Green, Pink, White
Efco Gold Decoupaint Patina
Pencil & Low Tack Tape
Assorted Brushes - Flat, Stencil, Round
Sea Sponge & Palette
Mod Podge
Napkin (if decoupaging the sides of the suitcase instead of painting them)

Step 1. Either paint or napkin decoupage the sides.

Step 2. Use a sea sponge to paint the bottom of the case with black Decoupaint. You may need to do two coats to get a good coverage.

Step 3. When dry, lay the stencil over the painted surface. (Hold in position with a little low tack tape.) Use a stencil brush to apply Efco's Gold Decoupaint Patina through the stencil. Remove the stencil whilst the paint is still wet. Leave the suitcase to dry whilst you clean the stencil with water.

The finished case bottom.

Step 4. Paint the suitcase lid with cream Decoupaint. Again, you may need to do a couple of coats of cream to get good coverage.

Step 5. Lay the stencil over the top of the dry paint and lightly trace around with a pencil.

Step 6. Water down a little yellow Decoupaint and, using a large flat brush, wash over the top two thirds of the surface with horizontal strokes. Then wash over the bottom third with some watered down blue.

Step 7. Use a small flat brush to paint the sun orange with touches of yellow brushed in circular motions.

Step 8. Paint the mountains blue, adding a little white to the blue towards the top and a little black and green towards the bottom edge.

Step 9. Add touches of pure white to the tops of the mountains for snow.

Step 10. Paint the distant tree - brown with touches of black at the edges for the tree trunk, and green with touches of blue and black for the leaves.

Step 11. You may well find that the design doesn't quite reach the edge of the suitcase. So extend the foreground tree trunk and add another flower or two.

Step 12. Paint the foreground tree trunk with brown, adding touches of black to darken the brown along the bottom edges - this will give it some dimension.

Step 13. Paint the leaves green adding touches of yellow to lighten parts of them to again give them dimension.

Step 14. Paint the flowers pink, adding touches of white to the pink around the outer edges of the petals. 

Step 15. Add spots of dark pink Decoupaint in the centres.

Step 16. When dry (allow approx. 24 hours to thoroughly dry), apply a couple of coats of Mod Podge to seal and protect the paint.

The finished case lid.

I think I will stick to decorative painting as this was a lot more fun than painting the fence (although I must admit I am very happy with the colour ;) lol).

If you want a shorter downloadable version of this project go to the painting page on

Happy Painting!

Friday, 10 April 2015

Well the weather has wreaked havoc the last couple of weeks holding up work on the studio :( But at least, with the wonderful sunshine this week, I finally have a watertight roof and a couple of windows! :) 


I've been playing with leftover Cernit clay from the Stitches show back in February. So this week I have the Blue Urchin Cernit ring for you...

Material List

Cernit Clays: Navy Blue, Fir Tree Green, Blue, Turquoise, Sky Blue, Mint Green
Efco Oval Ring finding - 22 x 32mm (97 710 01)
Cernit Knife Set
Cernit Modelling Tool Set
Cernit Roller (optional)
Swarovski Crystals 5mm & 3mm
Ceramic Tile to work on & Tweezers
Efco Ring Stand
Oven and Oven Thermometer

Step 1. Condition the navy blue Cernit background clay.

Step 2. Lay your conditioned clay over the Efco ring finding. Use the stiff Cernit blade to remove the excess clay and then clean up the edges with your finger.

Step 3. Take more of the conditioned navy blue Cernit clay and roll some into a thin sausage.

Step 4. Cut the sausage into small even pieces. You will need approximately 32 pieces.

Step 5. Roll each piece into a small ball and then into a cone or spiked shape.

Step 6. Use a round pointed Cernit tool to adhere the base of the spikes around the edges of the background. Start by dividing the ring into quarters. Then into eighths. 

Step 7. Then fill in all the gaps in between until you have a ring of spikes around the edge of the ring.

Step 8. Condition some fir tree green Cernit and roll it into a thin sausage. Cut small even pieces, roll them into balls and then spikes. Adhere them to the background clay, positioning them in between each of the navy blue spikes and insetting them slightly from the outer ring.

Step 9. Repeat Step 9 with some blue Cernit. Then repeat Step 9 again, first with some turquoise Cernit and then with some sky blue Cernit. You probably won't need as many spikes for these last two layers (approx. 27 spikes) as you won't have room for them.

Step 10. Finish off with a layer of mint green Cernit. By the time you reach this layer you should find the ends join in the middle of the ring. If necessary, use a pointed Cernit tool to arrange the spikes where you want them.

Step 11. Position a large Swarovski crystal in the centre of the ring with two small Swarovski crystals either side. Make sure you push the crystals into the clay to secure them before baking on an Efco ring stand, following the manufacturer's instructions (30mins at 110-130ÂșC)

Leave to cool before wearing! :)

If you want a downloadable version of this project check out the polymer clay section of

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

How to blow an egg

In view of Easter this coming weekend I thought I'd post early this week and show you a great idea for an Easter project...namely how to blow an egg which you can then decorate any number of ways.

Please note that your tools should be sterilised by heating and washed before you start if you plan to cook the egg and eat it. Also wash your tools once you finish as you may well have egg on them.

How to blow an egg

Step 1. First grab your egg and place it in an egg cup. Then use a fine drill bit to create a small hole in one end.

Step 2. Take your time so that you don't crack the egg and try not to break the inner membrane at this point.

Step 3. Turn the egg over and drill a small hole in the other end.

Step 4. Use a countersink tool to make the hole bigger at one end.

Step 5. Make sure that the hole is approximately 5mm wide as if it is too small you will struggle to remove the contents of the egg.

Step 6. Use a skewer to break through the inner membrane at the small hole end. At the larger hole end you can insert the skewer to break up the yolk.

Step 7. Place your finger and thumb over the holes and shake the egg to further break up the contents.

Step 8. Place your mouth over the small hole and start to blow. If the contents don't start to come out repeat Steps 6-7.

Step 9. When you think all the contents have been removed place the large hole end in a bowl of water. Place your mouth over the small hole and suck a little water up into the egg. 

Step 10. Place your finger and thumb over the holes and shake the egg to clean the inside.

Step 11. Place your mouth over the small hole and blow the water out again. 

Repeat Steps 9-11.

Leave your egg to dry before decorating.