Monday, 25 September 2017

Ambassadors in Innisfail :)

Hi again, my creative friends...
Sometimes life is writing the most unusual scenarios. When over 2 years ago  Andrew and I were looking for our new home we found a place named Innisfail - a lovely georgian house which had stolen our hearts right away. We could picture our future life in this place, we were inspired by history, the amazing interior of the house and the unusual name of it... it took us a while to find the meaning of it, though!

"INNISFAIL, a poetical name for Ireland. It is derived from Faul or Lia-fail, the celebrated stone, identified in Irish legend with the stone on which the patriarch Jacob slept,
when he dreamed of the heavenly stairway. (Genesis 28:10-22)

The Lia-fail was supposed to have been brought to Ireland by the Dedannans, and set up at Tara as the "inauguration stone" of the Irish kings. Innisfail was thus the island of the Fail, the island whose monarchs were crowned at Tara on the sacred inauguration stone."

Doesn't that sound just perfect for us? For years I was dreaming about living in an old building, real historical place - this was one of the reasons we decided to move to Ireland of course! Now we are surrounded by old walls, which keep us safe, we have our own red stove which keeps us warm and we are literally breathing history every day! We are in LOVE with the place we are blessed to be in - we are transforming it step-by-step, adding our personal touches to it. If you'd like to see a bit ouf our journey - glimpses of everyday life, but also our travels around Ireland (but not only!) you can check our Instagram account - Innisfail_house. We will be happy to see you there!

My super talented Brand Ambassadors got together this month feeling inspired by the legend of Innisfail - aren't they just amazing?! ;)
The Artists today decided to highlight my Stone Effect Pastes. These pastes come in three varieties: Pumice, Limestone and Concrete and are just perfect to turn ordinary simple objects into structured magical pieces of art...

I love how the old churches and buildings from the past have such great texture and color.
The years treat their wonderful nooks and crannies by adding moss and patinas to the worn edges and shadowed doorways. The sunlight in the evening makes them a contrast of lights and darks that draw you in and intrigue your senses.

When Anna first moved into her home at Innisfail, she went on a trip around the neighborhood. I loved the pictures of the ancient buildings with all the amazing aged and patina-looking walls.

In making this little bit of Art, I used a simple wooden birdhouse, and made it into an ancient-looking chapel. This piece is my attempt to duplicate the wonderful look of vintage buildings from her beautiful Irish countryside.

This little house sits on our cafe table in the sunroom. At different times of the day, the sun will enhance the colors and metal paints in various ways.

You turn it one way and you see the bright blue shine, turn it another way and the brass paint is gorgeous.
It's a reminder of a simpler time in history. Sometimes that sounds like a wonderful dream...
Choosing from Stone Effect Pastes, the Concrete Paste is first applied using a palette knife and a stencil. More Concrete Paste is added around the base.
The Limestone is randomly slathered onto the roof for more texture.

I used Patina and Rust Pastes along with Metallique paints to add color to the entire house.
Mechanicals embellishments are painted and sprayed with Mica Powder sprays until I get the colors I want.

I was absolutely delighted when I read the story/legend meaning for Anna's house and how perfect that it was about a stone!
With that in mind, it was even more wonderful that we could then use this as creative inspiration using Anna's most wonderful Stone Effect Pastes.
This month I would like to share with you a clay plant pot I created that has been finished using Finnabair's fabulous Stone Effect Pastes and Emerald Green Art Alchemy paint.

I love the glazed pot look you can get using the wonderful Art Alchemy paints, but thought it would be cool to add a touch of grunge with the Concrete texture paste.

After the clay pot had dried I sealed it with Heavy White Gesso.
I applied a coat of Art Alchemy paint before applying a coat of the Concrete paste. When the paste was dry, I applied another coat of the same paint.

On the inside of the pot I applied a final coat of 3D Matte gel medium to seal it and prevent any moisture from watering the plant and water soaking into the pot and destroying it.
When the pot was completely dry, I planted it up with a miniature variegated Jade plant, added some black pebbles around the base, and a little Japanese ornament.

Are you familiar with the Pixar's "Ratatouille"? :) The key phrase in that is "Anyone can cook". When crafts are concerned, I'd like to twist it to "Anything can inspire". Like the cook in the film, I'm a firm believer of that phrase. You really can find inspiration anywhere.

When Louise suggested this topic, I was so excited! There was so much to be inspired by in that word - Innisfail. You could use the story, the material (stone), the connection to Ireland...
I decided to go with the first image that I had in my head after reading the Wikipedia article and about the legend. The first image was an angel guarding a stone. I guess that was the connection to the patron saint that led me to the angel and well, stone is quite obvious.
As the whole thing was connected to Ireland, I just needed to use the greens in somewhere and added some Art Stones for texture and colored the background with several colors of green.
I also used the green shade of the Antique Brilliance Wax ('Lucky Emerald') to age my page a bit, although the old book pages I used were tinted from the beginning.
The book papers seemed appropriate as the background, like the central composition is raising from the legend and stories.

Personally, I'm blown away with the creativity of my Ambassadors - love their interpretation of the story, love the projects they've made... Same inspiration, so many different interpretations!
I hope you feel inspired too...
Sending you all warm hugs

Friday, 22 September 2017

Beating Of My HeArt

Hello lovely readers!
If you've ever tried making art, you know perfectly well how it can help you to forget about the gloomy rainy day outside and escape all the worries of the world, right?
Karolina's new creation is such a beautiful example of this moodbusting role of art, we hope it will make you smile and inspire you to grab some paints right away! :)

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Hello dear friends.
Somehow autumn days arrived really fast this year. I love golden autumn, the smell of leaves and the sense of silence after summer's color explosion. But where I live, the weather recently have been really cold and rainy. I've been feeling lethargic and completely lacking in energy so I decided to recover by making art filled with life and colors.
With Agnes Obel's music on, holding a brush with Mica Powders in my hand, I expressed the beating of my heART...
Every time I create with Mica Powders, I'm pleasantly surprised by how easy it is. It's just enough to sprinkle some of your favorite shade of Mica Powder on your work and spray it with water - that's it!
The colors perfectly blend with each other and you can make your own customized shimmering color sprays - isn't that a great idea?

You can also mix Mica Powders with Gloss gel medium or Heavy Body Gel and then you will get a sort of an invisible paint with a beautiful gloss. It will look great on any kind of backround, both light and dark. So much happiness in one product! ;)
Contrasting colors always bring a lot energy into the work, projects become lively and I prefer to control this effect keeping the contrasts in balance - to do that, I rely on the oddness principle.
I simply add color in several places and when I feel there's too much of it, I add Heavy White Gesso and soften the result. It's a simple trick that makes your piece look more coherent.
Choosing the color palette for this piece, I went for optimistic tones of different Mica Powders that you will find listed below. It made me feel invigorated and instantly cheered up. :)

As for embellishments, my heart was created using both beautiful ready made elements like Finnabair's Mechanicals and recycled ones.
I really like to use all kinds of found objects, I think that they bring my creativity to life. That's why I collect old things always having in mind that one day they might find their place in my art.
Another product that I always have on my desk is Modeling Paste. When used with stencils, it allows you to get very clear patterns and it's also a great adhesive to glue small embellishments like for example Art Stones that are just perfect to fill in empty spaces in your project and add some really beautiful and original textured effects.

Heavier decorations can be glued with 3D Matte Gel - this medium will secure them in place and you won't have to worry anything will ever fall off.

And now, please enjoy my video! :)


I hope you will feel inspired with my HeART today, especially when you feel sad, worried and overwhelmed -

- all you have to do is to grab a paintbrush and some beautiful colors of paint and find comfort in artmaking...

Happy creating, everyone!

Products used:

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Beautifully Rust Painted

Hi there, creative people!
I'm back home for a short moment after teaching 4 classes during a fabulous event organised by The Mad Scrapper in Edinburgh... yes, September is a very busy month for me for sure! After the Summer break I'm back on the track with my classes - and the whole Autumn us now open for bookings as well as the beginning of the next maybe it's a good idea to check what I am up to? Here you can find the updated schedule for the coming months - I hope you will be able to find something for yourself!

Today I have a project which is quite special for me - this weekend it was the first time I was able to teach my brand new "Rust Painted" collage class... I love the process and I have to say I love the results too - all the projects of my students looked just FABULOUS - so I can take a deep breath now and wait for the next time!
Here you can see the sample I've done this weekend in the classroom - it is full of textures, layers and elements - just as I love. I made sure I picked the colour palette which was different from the original project I'd made at home getting ready for this class - I adore the blue and purple tones with the accents of rust - it is just perfect combination, I think!
Looking closer at the details you can see how all the embellishments I've used - mostly my Prima Mechanicals and Art Pebbles come beautifully together under the coats of Art Basics Heavy Gesso, Art Alchemy Paints (Metallique and Opal Magic Range) and finally - splatters and drips of Art Extravagance Rust Effect Pastes
It is elegant and feminine yet harsh and grungy - eclectic and inspiring mix, great to try techniques which will be easy to transfer to many, very different in mood projects!
On the bottom of the long canvas, you can see the details of the background techniques - some strips of paper, lace pieces and finally intriguing, dimensional drips. All of that combined with a bunch of embellishments of all sorts and sizes gave the project my "signature" baroque look. It was a great experiment to break this design with a bit of unkempt, edgy look of the rust - the feeling of the collage changed dramatically. A refreshing, inspiring and cool concept, I think - surely I have to come back to this idea!

If you feeling inspired after "looking over my shoulder" and - maybe - you'd like to create this project with me you can check where my travels in the next months are going to take me... or if you prefer to learn in the comfort of your own home - you can try one of my 2 online classes - "Imagine" collage or "Book of Possibilities" - altered book. They are almost like sitting in your own private classroom!
I hope to see you soon - in person or virtually - don't be shy and try!

Sending warmest possible hugs and wishing you all a great, creative week.

P.S. Do you remember about my Crative Team Call? 

Monday, 18 September 2017

Secret Garden

Hi there Friends!
First of all, have you heard about my open Creative Team call? :)
For more details, please check this post!
I'd like to send a super warm thank you to all of you whose applications are already in our mailbox -
- I'm really touched by such a lively response and I will take a close look at every single email. :)

Feel brave and don't think twice! Write your email - maybe YOU are the hidden gem I'm looking for this term?! :)

And now - get ready for a super special art treat from my Creative Team!
Uber talented Kassa created a fairytale project that will absolutely tempt you to grab some brushes this week! Enjoy...

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Hi there lovelies, I'm so happy to be back over here again and share a little bit of my imagination with you all - a little eerie secret garden...
I've been wanting to create a mini garden for little people for sometime now. When I was young I longed for the Borrowers to live in my house and be my secret friends and then there was the book/tv adaptation of the Secret Garden that I loved too and now I have merged the two together.
I finally found what I had been waiting to find for this creation to get started - 3 lovely corroded rusty objects found in our back garden. And here's how they ended up after adding some mixed media magic:
This is how it all happened:

Step 1
I gathered a few rusty found objects that I have horded away: the curly ring binder, bent old nails, and along with the Finnabair Mechanicals Lotus Flowers & Grungy Butterflies I gave them a coat of Clear Gesso.
The Clear Gesso seals the rusty particles that are dropping from the found objects and provides the perfect flat matte base ready for the Waxes in the following steps.

Step 2
Once the gesso was clear and dry, I started to adhere the Lotus Flowers to the nails.
I used a tiny amount of hot glue along with the 3D Matte Gel. The hot glue dries fast and secures the flower to the nail whilst the 3D Gel will have the secure lasting glue effect. If I only used the hot glue, the flower would fall away from the nail pertty quick, 3D Gel is like super glue!
Step 3
Next I assembled all the found objects in place with the hot glue, carefully holding them in place until the glue dried solid.
I placed flowers in between and around the curly wire which looks kinda cool. The butterflies I sit grouped together like a little cosy family and perched lonesome for a more stark effect too.

Step 4
To make sure everything stays in place I added the 3D Matte Gel in and around where I have paced the hot glue. I didn't worry that I applied a touch too much gel because the next couple of steps took care of that, quickly I moved on to the next steps before the Gel dried.
Step 5
I placed Mega Art Stones in the 3D Gel that has spilled over and I also placed 2 or 3 stones into the flower cups.
I took a few steps back to see where more Stones were required to add balance & harmony to my growing garden.

Step 6
Again moving quickly before the gel set, I sprinkled Mini Art Stones over the Mega Art Stones and as the 3D Gel wasn't dry yet, the mini stones adhered perfectly in and around the larger stones making for a perfect combo!

I added more Mini Art Stones by placing a blob of the Soft Matte Gel onto my work surface and a heap of Mini Stones next to the gel. I kept dabbing my brush into both and basically painted and dabbed the Stones onto the surfaces. This way the stones adhere quickly, make less mess and catch in tiny crevices.
Step 7
I waited over night for everything to dry. I couldn't use my heat gun because of the heat, metal and hot glue combo would mean everything would collapse in a heap, I needed the 3D Matte Gel to work it's magic.
Once dry, I applied the Aged Brass Wax with an old paint brush to everything, blending the Fire Ruby Wax for shots of strong color, White Gold for highlights and Mystic Turquoise to create depth and shadow. I don't rub the wax in too much as I want it tacky for the next step...

Step 8
Quickly before the wax set, I dusted in the Mica Powders here and there with a paint brush which added a magical sparkle to the high shine of the waxes, a stunning combination and a vibrant color effect! Such a quick and easy technique giving results that look like they took longer to achieve. ;)
Step 9
So I can't resist a little paint and the perfect pot was the one with a magical twinkle of Dragon's Eye Art Alchemy Sparks. Just a dribble here and there but for sure a drop inside the Lotus Flower cups. 
The Blue Patina Paste and the Gold Rust Effect Rust Paste added the Va Va Voom whilst still maintaining the grungy appeal - I used sparingly as makes for a greater pop!

Step 10
Whilst everything dried, I chose my little people from the Ephemera pack, cut them out, scribbled them with a little color using the Oil Pastels and Gelatos before adhereing in place.
The pastels and Gelatos are ideal to scribble extra highlights, depth and color.
Finally, using a paintbrush I splattered with watered down Black and White Impasto Paints.
Welcome to my magical garden! :)

I do hope I've managed to pique your childlike imagination.

Going back and exploring childhood memories has made for a very happy Kassa, it's took me back a fair few years and brought big smiles to my face.

I've layered so much of my favourite media and that always brings joy to my heart when the results sing and dance with color.
Have a beautiful, color filled journey my friends! I'd love to see your creations up over in the Finnabair & Friends FB group sometime soon...
xoxo Kassa

Products used:
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