Monday, 1 June 2015

First Time as a Guest Designer - Eeeekkkkk!!

Hi All :)

Sorry I haven't been around much lately, I have a LOT on at the moment and art time has unfortunately been put on the back burner.

I was over the moon back in March when my entry was drawn at random to win a voucher for Country View Crafts.  I then was invited by the lovely Chris to be a guest designer for June and almost had a heart attack thinking about the kind of exposure that would give me and my little blog!!  After putting my heart back in my chest I decided to bite the bullet and say yes.  Below is my offering for Country View Crafts June challenge 'Shabby Chic':

I have to admit that the theme 'shabby chic' put the fear of god into me! I'm naturally drawn to bright colours or dark grunge so I wasn't exactly sure how this was going to work out.  After spending what feels like an eternity staring at my craft stash I decided I would attempt some altered art and set about trying to reinvent an empty pickle jar.  For some time I've wanted something to stand my long handled paint brushes in so I thought the height of this jar would do the trick.

I started with a couple of coats of thick white gesso and then went over the surface with texture paste through the Tim Holtz harlequin stencil.  As much as I appreciate 'shabby chic' is about white and all things pale I just couldn't work on a project without some colour, it just isn't me so I sponged over the texture paste with Tim Holtz distress paints in Bundled Sage and Broken Glass.  I then carefully cut out a vintage rose image from some paper in my stash and applied it, decoupage style, to the jar. From here on I knew I wanted to bring more 3D elements to the piece and I have already hand picked a gorgeous frame and butterfly from my Dusty Attic collection so I primed these with gesso.  I tried a few different paint techniques and colours on the frame before resorting to good old Tim Holtz distress paint in Picket FenceI found the gorgeous graphic of the peacock in a book on painting that I bought dirt cheap from a local store for the sole reason to rip out its beautiful images to use in projects (destroying books is not a regular thing for me but its all in the name of art so I am hopefully forgiven)!  I finished the frame off with a string of pearls to make it even more girly.

I then added paper and resin flowers which I knocked back with gesso.  I also added tiny embroidery beads within the folds of the petals to add a bit of further interest and to give the piece light reflective qualities.  Next I wanted to add a dash of colour to the butterfly so added the tiniest of flecks of Lindy's Magicals in Poinsettia Red Gold before adding more gesso over the top.

I finished the neck of the jar by adding vintage lace, pears and ribbon.  I also added a ribbon bow to the front which really tied it all together (excuse the pun!).  I finally just went over any areas which I felt stood out too much with a little more gesso.  

The final piece turned out better than I thought it was going to (at one stage it almost went in the bin!) but I think I have come to realise that shabby chic just isn't my thing and from here on in I am sticking with brights and grunge :D

I would like to enter this project into the following challenges:

Thanks for stopping by, see you soon.




  1. Just gorgeous Becky!! Glad to see you have come back to the land of crafting and what an entrance you have made with this beauty!! Love all the gorgeous flowers and butterflies, such a pretty garden! Congratulations on your guest designer spot, you totally deserve it! hugs :)

    1. Thanks Pamellia :) I feel bad to have neglected art and you guys for what feels like ages! I must go and see what everyone else has been up to as I'm so out of touch right now!

  2. Congrats on your guest DT spot hun!! I know you don't feel too comfortable with shabby chic but you did amazing, but I can't wait to see your next brights project!! xx

    1. Thanks Lovely :) and thank you for being the voice of reason when I was going to give up! Lol. Now back to the brights!!! Xx

  3. Wow this is super. What a lot of work has gone into it. Thank you for entering it for our challenge at ASOI this time.

  4. Beautiful Becky, that is the most beautiful paint brush jar I've ever seen! Congratulations on your DT spot at Country View.