Sunday, 31 January 2010


This is my go-to beach image which I like to paint. A lot. It's Manley Beach in Sydney, Australia from when I was there in the summer of 2008.

I paint it on finger nails...

...on sunglasses (this piece is from my Make 20 Paintings project)...

...on milk bottle tops...

...and on toy cars. I think I've gone too far with the car. It looks okay in the photo, but it's usually viewed from above so it looks a bit strange having a ring of sea around the sky, and I didn't know which direction to paint the clouds. I think an image which is a birds eye view might look better.

Except for the fingernails, I painted all the scenes with acrylic paint so that it would stick to the surface and dry. Which is a bit annoying because I prefer to work in oils but they would never work with the plastic surfaces.

Hmm, what should I try painting on next...

Friday, 29 January 2010

Plastic bag clutch

I learnt how to fuse plastic bags here. It's a really good way of using up some of those plastic bags that we all have lying around (although there should be slightly less if y'all are using bags for life). To make this clutch bag I started with a large sheet of plastic which I created by fusing about 7 layers of plastic bag. I wanted to use a particular plastic bag with this pink flower print as the outside of my bag so that went on top with another clear plastic bag on top of that to make sure the print didn't come over. When I ironed over it it went crinkly, which I wasn't expecting, but it provides an additional texture to the bag.
The bag is a simple design. The sides were folded in and hand sewn together, and I put a kitchen roll tube with a slit cut out in the bottom so the bag would maintain it's round shape.
To close the bag I attached to large poppers to prevent it from flying open.
I decorated the outside by sewing a few sequins and beads around the flowers on the print.

I also added a length of ribbon under the fold of the bag so it can have a strap if I want it to, but it is removable so it can still be a clutch bag.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Tights, pantyhose, stockings

Whatever you call them, people are using tights for bigger and better things than just a trouser alternative.

I adore these appliqué tights made by cocorosa, but I don't think I have the mad skillz to sew that delicately and make them myself.

The Clothes Horse has gone for a doodle on her tights, which looks like a fun project.

This yellow statement necklace by Lady Smaggle is made out of shredded tights and I've also shown you my attempt. It's really easy to make and there's lots of scope for putting your own creative spin on it, working with whatever materials you have to hand.

I produced this piece, entitled Muscle, last year for the final major project of my foundation course. It's two 1x1m frames screwed together with bits of tights stretched in between which I then painted with acrylic. It's definitely one of my more abstract pieces but I'm very proud of it, considering all the work I put in; sawing long planks of wood and carrying the frames up and down two flights of stairs from the workshop to the studio. In the end of year exhibition it was displayed hung from the ceiling so that people could walk around and see it from both sides.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Button and beads on rings, oh my!

This past week has been quite relaxed here in uni-world so I've had some spare time to get my craft on (and an abundance of Without a Trace episodes to get through at the same time). So I decided to make a heap of colourful rings using buttons and beads and sequins and anything else I have with me here. I used ring bases with 8 loops and attached the various objects with small, half inch long pins, making a loop on the end with my pliers. Most of the buttons and beads had holes that were bigger than the pinhead so I added seed beads and sequins and stop them falling off.

With all of my materials laid out according to colour I was reminded of the work of Tony Cragg, an English specialising in sculpture. For his colour works he collects discarded plastic objects and arranges them according to colour giving them a new form and transforming bits of rubbish into works of art.

This piece is:

One day I'll get round to making these. They're plastic bottle tops filled with plastic bits and bobs which can be made into badges or magnets. The idea is from make it! by Jane Bull which is a great book full of crafty ways to recycle for kids, but since I'm The Craft-Arty Kid, that includes me too!

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Internet Inspiration

During the summer I came across this photo:

Unfortunately I didn't think to make a note of where I got it from, so if any of y'all recognise it, let me know.

But anyway, a skirt made of Uno cards! That's amazing. So I showed it to my Mum and proposed that we make a version. I got an old pack of playing cards and punched holes all the way around all 52 of them. Then my Mum crocheted black wool around the edges. She did show me how to do it but I managed about two cards and let her do the rest. The cards were then all sewed together (by my Mum) and a thick elastic waistband was attached. My Mum even made a matching bag with the cards that weren't used for the skirt.


Now I just need an excuse to wear it. I'm hoping for a games-themed dress up night at the SU bar.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Kanye has a lot to answer for

Now I'm a Taylor Swift fan so he's not exactly my favourite person, but he did introduce these strange accessories into our lives. Though I'm not sure if that's a good thing considering I saw an old woman wearing a yellow pair teamed with a hoodie, short skirt and fishnet tights the other day. Perhaps they should have an age one over 30 to wear them?

In response to the new rave/UV party/neon feeling of the summer I produced this drawing based on photos of a night out with my friends. I traced the photos in pencil, outlining the figures and adding a few lines of detail. I just used cheap sketchbook paper so it was thin enough to see through. Then I coloured in elements of the images with highlighter pens; anything that was pink, orange, yellow, blue or green. I also coloured in some angular lines in the background to represent beams of light. It was here that I realised I need some new highlighters as a lot of them were running out, but they were ok just for this experiment. I then went over the pencil lines in black felt tip. It's important to do this after using the highlighters otherwise they mix with the black and you end up with dirty colours instead of bright neons.

This painting is from my Make 20 Paintings project and uses the same imagery as the drawing. I painted the background stripes, which follow the direction of the lines on the glasses, with acrylic paint so they could be bright and vibrant and then the figure is painted with oil paint so that I could produce a realistic image, which I can never do with acrylics.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Toppling tower of toilet roll tubes

This is what our toilet looks like in my student house.

For some reason we don't throw out toilet roll tubes so we just have the ever growing toppling tower of toilet roll tubes, though it's less tower than it used to be, and more just toppling.

So in the spirit of recycling I've had a look at different things I could do with this useful material.

This amazing piece is by artist Yuken Teruya who makes art out of everyday objects.

This simple cardboard star from Muffin Tin Mom is made more special, like most things, with the addition of glitter.

These cute toilet paper roll angels made by Alisa Burke really give a cardboard tube some personality.

If you have any other ideas for reusing toilet roll tubes then feel free to share them with me.

Saturday, 23 January 2010


In the past couple of years fingernails have started to influence my art and my crafts. And I like it. Hand painted scenes of Sydney, Australia. Nail varnish on acrylic nailsNail necklace

Another view of Sydney. Painted using only nail varnish
This is from my Make 20 Paintings project

Nail earrings


My intentions for this blog are that it will be a place to display my art work, my latest craft creations and also share a little bit of my life.

So lets start with a painting;