Mixed-media paper crafter; stamper, freelance craft tutor, designer of PaperArtsy JOFY stamps

31 July 2007

OOOOH I do like to be beside the Seaside....!

oooh I do like to live beside the seeeeeaaaaaaaa

We went for a quick walk after dinner last night and also took some photos - the paint on these boats would make great backgrounds for altered works wouldn't they... I'm reaching for my distress inks . . ...... !

Stroke the Flock! Part 2

We're going to stay in the flat for a while longer and so we're giving it a bit of a spruce up and we're tackling the lounge first - because its a quick job (allegedly!). Not much is needed - decorated a couple of years ago - but I'd like a bit more colour in there - Mainly in the recesses either side of the fireplace.

So, as I've been craving flock wallpaper for a while now (am determined to have it in the flat somewhere!) we went to the wallpaper shop - I LOVE LOOKING AT WALLPAPER BOOKS!!!!! I could have stayed there ALL afternoon! I was quite good and only took 3 books home! And narrowed it down to these.

These pictures are of the wallpaper I have fallen in love with - its a slightly pearly/frosted background and the flowers are FLOCK!! How GORGEOUS are they!! The teal/turquoise is my favourite closely followed by the brown.

But, at £90.00 a roll (ouch!) it'll have to wait until we have our new house.
(I don't mind paying that, but I can't justify paying that and then moving 3-4 months later! Its a long term wallpaper. And if we decide to sell the flat rather than keep-and-rent the decor has to be relively neutral. Not everyone will like my flock wallpaper!)

Here is a photo of another version of the paper - I LOVED this colour way but am not sure that I could live with for long. A subtle-limey green on a brown background mmmmmmmm.
Its one those papers that you either love or hate) (but how could you not love it?!).

This one is must have! Chocolate brown flock on a chocolate brown backgound! L.O.V.E I.T!!!
It would have to hang on a wall where I couldn't reach it or I would be stroking it all the time... it'd end up with little bald patches!
(there was another similar one - brown gloss pattern on a matt background but the brown was quite reddish, so not quite what we (ahem, I!) was after. Lush all the same - especially in black!)

Anyway - we have chosen a paper, less of a statement than the ones above (but still slightly decadent!) and I'll post photo's when its up.... which will be soon my DH assures me......

25 July 2007


A scrapbook of C, measures around 12x3inches, lots of pink, but toned down with chocolate brown but glitz up again with diamantes and flowers. Stored in a calico bag (with pink drawstring and trim). Pages kept quite simple and plain so not to distract from J's great pictures of C.
(This scrapbook was in the cabinet at the studio during ArtTrail).
(NB: thanks J&K!)

20 July 2007

Front cover of a work in progress..... Using the 'cats' plate from PaperArtsy's Cat's Meow range. Its going to be a mini board book starring Fredd & Phoebe! (I'm going to include photos, when the PostOffice get their act together and deliver my post!!!!!!!!!!!!!! )(I must resist ranting about the post office! I must stop ranting about the post office. I must stop ranting about the post office. I must stop ranting about the post office. I must stop ranting about the post office. I must stop ranting about the post office. I must stop ranting about the post office. Well, actually - I must stop ranting. I must stop ranting. I must stop ranting. I must stop ranting. Happy thoughts. Happy thoughts. Happy thoughts. Happy thoughts. Happy thoughts.

19 July 2007

Its been said that you can heat emboss using a toaster... and the other day I had to put that to the test.
I was creating away -I'd got everything ready -stamped the image, put on the embossing powder, and then I turned round to get the heat gun.. . . . . and realised it was at home! DOH! (yes I realise I should have checked it was at the studio before I started but anyway)
??? heat source, heat source... aha - the studio has a toaster! so I took the piece over to the toaster, held it over it and YES! its true you can indeed heat emboss using a toaster! (but careful - fingers get a bit hot - maybe I should have used my stick with the little clothes peg on to hold it - if only I could find it.......)
(and to clarify - should anyone need/want to try this - don't put the piece IN the toaster - hold it OVER the toaster!!)(..while its turned on...)(...you realised that though didn't you...)

So here it is - my toaster embossed tag!!

17 July 2007

Sooooo much creativity!!

Had a fantastic day on Sunday with PaperArtsy - a day full of creativity - worked with new techniques and old ones rediscovered... and as a result I am coverted to Ranger Distress inks!!

Here (left) are the samples I've just created of the colour range I now have -I had thought they were dull and well, erm distressed.. turns out thats just because those were the colours I had!! - Old Paper, Antique Linen etc but oooooh look at the lovely vivid colours!! Just what I've wanted! and look how great they are when they're water splashed!!!!

So that's what I did at the Studio today, and these are the lovely (even though I say so myself!) technique tags I made on Sunday at PA:

This post is going to be a bit all over the place - because its been a while since I posted proper 'stuff' and so its just going to spew out! :o) you have been warned!.....

Duck and ducklings at Creasey's Farm

(You have to drive past the pond where they 'live' to get to PA which made me want to abandon the car where it was and walk the rest of the way instead of driving past and possibly squashing one!! I took this photo from the car window so you can see how close they were to the road - well you can see the road! So you get the idea!)

The ducklings were tiny -little bundles of squeeking fluff!

Leandra, Mark and their family (4 lovely children - who provided refreshments and great cake!) were great hosts, and where they live is so lovely - surrounded by fields and silence - none of the sirens and traffic we have here.
Soooo, great day- loads of ideas and a need for new materials - we each left with a bag of PA loviness to play with - here's a photo of some of it:

will post the creative results of these stamps etc as I produce them....

And now that I have moved all my home studio to Studio 12 its a lot easier to have a dedicated creative time...
Here is my 'new' space...:

Its a bit hard to photograph!
2.5x2.5 metres, a mastery of space planning!! (can never have too many shelves!!)
and its perfect - I love it!!! Its all enclosed and I can just switch off and get on with 'stuff'!
I still have some tweaking to do - got to get some blackout fabric to hang over a couple of the shelves to protect the paper from sunlight.
When I first moved in to this space I spent 10 minutes taking out all the screws and nails from the wall (from ArtTrail) and now I'm finding I'm having to put them all back to hang bits and pieces from!

Phew that seemed like a looooooong post! That's all folks!!


12 July 2007

Long time, no post!

I've just googled myself -
- 'cos I had nothing better to do!
- 'cos every so often I like to check that if someone wanted to find me they could
- 'cos I'm recovering from hoovering the stairs which even though we have this snazzy new vacuum cleaner (which is quite agressive - so much so I feel quite sorry for the carpet) its still a pain in the whatnot of a job!

aaaaanyway I came up on an information/directory site which said 'Jo Firth-Young, a professional artist in Southend, creates very special works in paper and card.'
So I thought I had better put something more professional and creative on my blog (as currently the first big picture on the blog is that of Panda - lovely though he is, it's not quite the creative impression I want to put out there!)

So although I don't have much creative stuff to blog at the moment I have been laying the groundwork for future creativity....

I've spent most of the week moving all my art and craft equipment from my home workspace to the studio in Leigh (so we can have dining room again!) - my studio work area looks great (will have photos later)- its a mastery of space planning (or rather shelf planning!!)(can never have too many shelves can you?!)

I'm contemplating buying an electric die-cutting machine - trying to decide which one is best (the Silhouette is winning at the moment) and trying justify the cost. Anyone got any opinions please leave a comment!

I'm going to the PaperArtsy Design Team 'play day' on Sunday which am really looking forward.

Ali Edwards' site put me onto Catslife Press where they have quirky stamps and sayings and I think I may 'have' to order the crowns stamps - I think a page with Fredd (cat, just in case you are wondering) wearing a crown is called for! (oooh no- him wearing a gold German Scrap crown from PaperArtsy would be much more appropriate!)

And speaking of Fredd he's just been treated to a squirt of Catnip spray on his rug (for his pleasure but also for my entertainment!) - he has gone NUTS - sniffing every inch of it, dragging himself all over it, and then bunching it up and 'bunny'ing it (laying on his side and kicking it with his back legs) for all he's worth.... and now he has worn himself out and is fast asleep on his catnip heaven of a rug!

I'm off to the studio to get some creativity and get back in to the swing of creating 'stuff'! (Kristina Contes' kit came a couple of days ago and I'm itching to create with it....)

1 July 2007

Attic/loft Clearing!

All day yesterday (and I mean ALL day - 10am to 10pm!) was spent clearing out our loft. We're thinking about moving so thought that clearing the loft was something to do sooner rather than later. Matt was threatening to get a skip to just put EVERYTHING in which was freaking me out slightly but in the end there really wasn't enough 'rubbish' for a skip - we're quite good about what we put in the loft ... not maybe good enough(!) but now we have a nice tidy loft... and we've suddenly realised how HUGE it is. We sorted out the storage- you know the sort of thing - putting small suitcases inside large suitcases, all christmas decs over there, decorating tools over here etc etc etc!

We're sorting stuff out for charity/ebay/bootsale... and I knew I had a couple of bags of cuddly toys that I'd bought with me from my parents house (12 years ago!) and I've gained a few more along the way and its seems a waste for them to be sitting up in the loft in bags when a small child somewhere might like them - give them some more love etc.... but I didn't want to just give them away - I still want a record of them.. so call me sad but I've just photographed them all (!) and I'm going to scrapbook them! Saying what their names are (yes most have names!), who gave them to me and if there are special memories attached to them... (and once this is done then I'll happily give them away for someone else to enjoy/love... (I will keep a few, obviously! the ones with special memories .. - .. well I can't part with Panda can I!)

This is Panda - he saw me through many a migraine as a child and never complained when I threw up on him and resulting in him being sent to the washing machine! Now I think of that I feel quite guilty that he's been in a recycling bag in the loft for the past 12 years! (but don't think I'm that mean - there were other toys in there to keep him company!) I'll get the toys I'm keeping a nice box to live in.
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