PEP tangles - my Zentangle Inspired Art blog

Thursday, 26 May 2011


A very quick post from me as a week seems to have vanished in the blink of an eye...............

I gather that many people are having problems with leaving comments .......... & I wondered why I wasn't really aware of it, the odd one has a hiccough but just reloading the page seems to solve it. So I pondered & can only think it is because I use Safari as my web browser. I have used this for the past year & love it. OK, it took a bit of getting used to but I was also switching from PC to MAC so there was a steep learning curve. Anything I can't view - it's only the occasional web site - I use Firefox.

You can find out more about Safari here.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Hostessing a Stampin' Up Workshop

This is the first time I have experienced a Workshop like this & I am utterly impressed at the way it was presented & run. I initially made contact with Hayley (see her blog All Things Pink and Fluffy at the Chepstow Artstamps Exhibition where she had a stand with a "Make & Take." My friends were new to Stampin' Up products & I knew them only by reputation so it was great actually to handle the products there. We were all keen to explore further so I booked a Workshop for us & asked another couple of local crafting friends (also new to Stampin' Up) along too - we were 6 in total last Saturday. 

Neither I nor the others really knew what to expect & so it was with amazement that we discovered that Hayley provided all the products to use in order for us to make two different projects (for these plus photographs from Saturday see here & here).  The fact that we all sat & used the products & made what Hayley showed us meant that we could all make reasoned & informed decisions about any purchases. It was a lovely relaxed atmosphere.

Hayley took some photos of us crafting (see above for link) & below are some photos from my ktichen preparations beforehand.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

MCC Colouring 101 Wk 3 - Seascapes

........above & below water using watercolouring techniques with various pencils.

The first uses pan watercolours to create the sea - a technique which requires a lot of practice & can be a somewhat hit & miss affair; my first attempt was a miss & hit the bin. Below is my second attempt which I am counting as a "hit."

I have stamped all my images in VersaFine Onyx Black ink onto Winsor & Newton Cotman 190 gsm Cold Pressed/NOT Grain Fin Watercolour Paper. This is readily available here in Brecon, has a smooth enough surface for stamping & is not too thick for "Fussy Cutting" of images should I wish to do so. I have seen some smoother Hot Pressed watercolour paper locally & shall try that in due course but it is quite thick at 300 gsm so I doubt it would allow for detailed cutting using scissors.

The next two combine watercolouring using Derwent Aquatone sticks & Daler-Rowney Artists' Watercolouring Pencils with the use of  Derwent Pastel Pencils. The edges have been inked with Distress Inks.

Image: Elusive Images UA5SPO261 Seashell Collage

Image: Elusive Images UA5SP0260 Seashore Scene

The next one was my favourite. It is watercoloured with Derwent Inktense Pencils and definition provided by using Derwent Coloursoft Pencils with a Lyra Rembrandt SPLENDER blending pencil. The edges are inked with a combination of Brushed Corduroy & Tea Dye Distress Inks.

Image: Elusive Images UA5SP0326 Underwater Kingdom

Monday, 16 May 2011

MCC Colouring 101 Wk 3 - Skin, Sky & Sea........

......with all manner of pencils.

I struggled rather with the flowing hair style so decided to concentrate on the facial shading.

Image (Elusive Images UA5SP0340 Belle of the Ball) stamped with 
Memories Black Dye Ink & coloured with Derwent Coloursoft pencils

Top image copyright Glenda Waterworth
Bottom Image as detailed

I have had a set of 36 Derwent Pastel Pencils for a couple of years (they have an older numbering system than the current one) but not known how to use them. Their chalky consistency had floored me & I neither  realised they could be blended with paper stumps nor that combining their use with other types of pencils would allow some really detailed work.

I decided to attempt this lighthouse scene (which I'd unsuccessfully tried to colour previously) using the pastel pencils with the Coloursoft pencils for the more detailed work & blending with a dry paper stump. The edges are inked with Weathered Wood & Black Soot Distress Inks.

Image (Elusive Images UA5SP0260 Seashore Scene) stamped with Memories Black Dye Ink

(click on all images to enlarge)

Friday, 13 May 2011

MCC Colouring 101 Wk 2 - Spherical Shading

I have such difficulties imagining where shade should be & how to depict it plausibly. This has been the very issue that Glenda has been addressing in the second week of the course. She provided us with exercises with which to practise & then a couple of images (these are copyright to Glenda) with which to apply what we've been learning. Several people have expressed a wish to see more of what I am doing with the MCC Course so I include these. The fish is coloured using Derwent Coloursoft pencils & the Morning Glory flower Derwent Inktense pencils.

Image: Copyright Glenda Waterworth

Image: Copyright Glenda Waterworth

Monday, 9 May 2011

An Award

I came across Sandra (who has given me the above award) through Chocolate Baroque, the stamp company run by Glenda Waterworth

As usual there are some criteria to be met - passing it on to 7 recently discovered blogs & telling 7 random things about myself. I'm going to suggest that you take the award if you are one of my followers & would like it plus wish to comply with the above conditions. As to 7 random things about me, here goes:

1. My favourite food is Marmite (a savoury yeast extract that can be spread on bread).
2. I "read" coloured pencil catalogues & product information.
3. I helped my husband restore an 1842 4-storey town house in Exeter.
4. I was given a MacBook Pro last autumn & much prefer the Mac Operating System to Microsoft.
5. I shall switch my blog to the Apple/Mac blogging platform once I have done sufficient preparatory work to be confident in doing so. 
6. I did not get on with the Cricut Machine & ended up selling it.
7. I don't work through manuals very easily - I have a knack of tangling the information up & having to be extricated from the ensuing mix-up/mess (usually by my husband).

Saturday, 7 May 2011

MCC Colouring 101 Wk 1 - Water Based Markers & Watercolours

My final experiments for the first week. It is not always that I use the same images as Glenda - but if I have the stamp I do, or I use something very similar from Glenda's range of stamps (formerly Elusive Images & now Chocolate Baroque).  In days gone by artists served their apprenticeships mixing paints for & copying their "Master" & we often see paintings designated "In the school of.............". Why should learning to colour stamps be different? Understanding what I am doing & being able to copy an example is what I have hankered after for some time & Glenda's course via My Creative Classroom is certainly filling a huge gap for me.

The above is a first for me as I have never used the proper artists pans of watercolours prior to this - not even as a child can I remember doing so.

(click on photos to enlarge)

Thursday, 5 May 2011

MCC Colouring 101 Wk 1 - Inkpad Palettes & Pencils

Rather than posting lots of individual photos & typing out the information about stamps etc...... I've come to the conclusion that it would be much more time efficient if I photograph sections from my "Stamping Notebook" (the keeping of which was suggested by Glenda & whose presentation & teaching is the catalyst). All my photos are clickable for enlarging so it shouldn't be difficult to read my notes, just email me if you can't read something. I'm often told that I'm too thorough & I think too much: establishing the minimum required to get something done isn't a concept that comes easily to me.

When I wrote my last post the significance of the relationship between ink, paper & water was only just dawning but as I worked on the above I had one of those "light bulb" moments leaving me absolutely thrilled & utterly excited (see my pencilled NB).

Sunday, 1 May 2011

My Creative Classroom - Colouring 101 Wk 1

NB - This post will not interest everyone but I have included it as a way of consolidating my own thinking & keeping track of my own experiences.
Edited - Link to GlendaLink to MCC

I gained much from the two stamping courses tutored by Glenda Waterworth via My Creative Classroom (MCC) & was thrilled when I saw that there was going to be a colouring course. This is the start of the homework - entirely optional with everyone doing as little or as much as they wish according to the time & materials each person has available.

I was fascinated by coloured pencils as a child & when I first discovered realistic colouring of stamps around a year ago I started off using watercolour pencils & then Distress Inks. However, I found it very difficult since I had neither sufficient knowledge of inks & paper nor of shading/blending. I ventured along the ProMarkers/Copics route for a short period but it wasn't until I tried wax/oil based pencils blended with Sansodor that I was able to reduce the time I spent colouring from days to hours. The problem of knowing how to create depth & realistic shading remains & I've longed to know how to use the various neglected pencils & colouring mediums I have bought at various times along my crafting journey.

The above is all by way of explaining why I decided to do such an extensive testing of inkpads & papers/cardstock for the first of the MCC homework exercises.

The types of inks & paper/cardstock etc.... used are all detailed on the individual photos which are clickable for enlarging.

The best cardstock for all round use seemed to be the Southfield Bright White 160 gsm card (available from Chocolate Baroque). This buckles slightly when water is applied but flattens itself when adhered to another piece of cardstock, alternatively it can be ironed when dry. It has the advantage of being extremely smooth & consistently gives a crisply stamped image with most inkpads (the exception seems to be the chalk variety). For anyone who likes to "fussy cut" their image the 160 gsm weight is ideal; anything much heavier is hard going on the scissors & hands.  For wetter techniques the best of what I used was the Winsor & Newton Cotman Cold Pressed Gummed Water Colour Pad 90 lbs/190 gsm.

In terms of the inks my favourite all rounder is Memento Tuxedo Black Dye which can also be used with alcohol markers, however it can bleed a little when used with water. For projects not involving alcohol markers the Memories Black Dye Ink just has the edge over the VersaFine Onyx Black Pigment ink for definition.