Saturday, 1 August 2015

Clarity Challenge 1st August 2015 - Bingo!

Clarity Challenge 1st August 2015


(Full House - Stamps, Stencil, Grunge Paste, Gilding Flakes, Glitter, Die Cuts, Shrink Plastic, Flowers, Perfect Pearls.)


Hi there and welcome again to Shelagh-land! 

August is upon us and we should be still be enjoying summer but this is Great Britain, I'm in the north east of Scotland so-o-o-o-o balmy days are not quite the norm! July passed in a flash as there was a lot for me to keep up with and in o-o-o-o-nly four days time I'll be down in Crowborough attending two fabulous days of Barbara and Clarity's workshops. Can't wait!!!!

We-e-e-l-l-l this challenge has gone in an opposite direction as intended - I had prepared a three piece wall plaque to decorate but whilst gathering all the paraphernalia together, masks kept getting in the way - I've only got two - and I hope you like the (literally) off-the-wall result.
This was great fun although the alchemy corner (Mike's term for my 'wet area') in the kitchen took a bit of a pasting. N.B. Must dissuade him from a new kitchen for the time being!!!!

However, when first introduced to the 'Bingo' theme, the old bonce was scratched more than a number of times - Two Little Ducks, Legs Eleven (my dear departed Dad's nick-name for me), Kelly's Eye No One, (can't believe it myself but I actually had composed something along these lines) - b-u-u -t -  how far off base was I!!!! Then all was revealed - choose a designated option from the grid - four corners, any vertical line, either diagonal or a full house and create a piece of art to include the designated products. At that point, the brain whirred into action!

Meantime enough of the preambles and down to business.

Let me introduce you to Medusa!


·         Canvas :- One 8 ins x 8 ins canvas, one 12 ins x 12 ins canvas
·         Card :- 7 ins x 7 ins Gelli card, heavy duty watercolour card
·         Gesso – White, Black
·         Color Burst – Lemon Yellow, Phthalo Green, Ultramarine Blue
·         Stencil – Clarity :- Tree of Life (NDC), Leafy Swirl
·         Grunge Paste
·         Paint – Silver
·         Papier Mache mask
·         Acrylics – Fresco Finish Snowflake, Nougat
·         Stamps – Clarity :-  Remountable Spring Day set, Butterfly Montage
·         Inkpads :- Encore Silver, Archival Black
·         Embossing Powder :- Holographic Silver
·         Gilding Flakes :- Clarity Silvery Moon
·         Glitter :- Holographic Silver
·         Shrink Plastic - Clear
·         Perfect Pearls :- Forever Blue, Forever Green, Blue Smoke, Perfect Pearl
·         Dies :- Tattered Lace Flourishing Hearts
·         Glue: - Glossy Accents. Low-melt glue gun, Clarity Double sided sticky

Instructions :-
Cover work surface well – I taped a bin bag over the work top.
1.       Spritz the 8 x 8 canvas lightly with a fine water mist then puff on Color Burst Lemon Yellow, Phthalo Green then Ultramarine Blue – SPARINGLY. Spray again across the canvas allowing the water mist to settle. Allow to dry then turn the canvas to resemble a diamond shape, deciding which corner you wish to be at the top.

2.       Select the ‘Tree of Life’ stencil and mask off all but the bare branches. Place stencil over coloured canvas and ‘pull’ grunge paste through. Allow to dry. Rotate canvas by one corner and repeat.  Do this once more.(At this point I added a little water and silver paint to Grunge before using. The dry results were still too ‘grainy’ for what I wanted so I re-applied the stencil and painted over with a thick concoction of white glue mixed with silver paint.)

3.       Paint the brown papier mache mask with gesso – I used three coats. Paint over with Snowflake when dry.  Too stark, so I painted it with Nougat.
4.       Sketch the eyes and mouth on in soft pencil and colour in with desired colour. Apply Glossy Accents to these areas.
5.       Apply silver paint to mask, painting carefully around eyes and mouth.

Mask embellishments :-
Hair and Wings
6.       On watercolour paper, draw around ‘Tree of Life’ three times and cut out. (I tried other papers but this proved to be the best to ‘manipulate’ into curls around a paintbrush handle.) Paint both sides of each with black gesso. When dry, roughly paint one side of each with silver paint. When dry, repeat on reverse. When dry, apply Mod Podge to first side and leave until tacky. Apply gilding flakes. Repeat on reverse. Glue to side of mask to suit.

7.       Stamp butterfly (I have mislaid mine in my nice and tidy craft room – NOT - so had to use the collage stamp!!!) a few times onto a scrap of card (I used lightweight black pearlescent) using Encore Silver, add silver embossing powder and heat to set. Cut out butterfly images. I have made six but decided to use only two.)
8.       Mix Perfect Pearls Forever Blue, Forever Green, Blue Smoke and Perfect Pearl to suit and paint butterflies. Cut wings from body (ouch!!) twice and further cut one pair of wings, following the lines,  to make a smaller set.
9.       Die-cut Tattered Lace ‘Flourishing Hearts’ a few times, cut to suit and paint with same Perfect Pearls mix. Attach a frond to the foot of each of the larger wings.
10.   Glue the wings top and bottom to one of the mask eyes using Glossy Accents. Attach each smaller wing over.

Flowers :-
11.   Attach ‘Leafy Swirl’ stencil to a piece of Gelli card. Spritz with water. Apply Color Burst as in (1) and pull a number of prints from this. (How about the impromptu drying line - cooking string tied between two door handles - wet prints placed above hob as the drips were easy to clean there, wouldn't do that in a new kitchen!!)
12.   When dry and using Encore Silver, stamp the Tulip circle from the Spring Day Remountable set six times onto a print. Apply silver embossing powder and heat emboss. Colour each tulip and vertical leaf to suit. (I used Spectrum Noir) Cut out. Colour reverse of each circle with chosen colour. Apply Quickie Glue Pen to each leaf around circumference and apply glitter of choice.
13.   Cut along edge of each vertical tulip leaf on each circle, shape. Off-set and attach a circle to the centre of another to form three flowers.
14.   Stamp the same as at 12) three times onto clear Shrink Plastic using Archival ink. Colour to suit on reverse of stamped side using permanent pens and cut out around perimeter. Shrink using either a heat gun or oven as per directions. Glue to centre of flowers.
15.   Place and glue in place onto mask to suit.
16.   Attach mask to canvas using low melt glue gun.

Background canvas:-
17.   Mask 12 x 12 canvas as in photo and apply a mixture of silver and gold gilding wax to create a frame.
18.   Using Clarity double sided sticky sheet, apply (as a diamond)to centre of background canvas. Place main canvas over.
Et voila! Medusa is in our midst!
This is my favourite project since joining the Challenge DT in January; my brain took me on the most enjoyable journey and I did want to add so much more, however exercised a modicum of restraint although it is probably not too apparent! Medusa certainly enticed me into her lair!
Many thanks for looking in and as always, any questions etc I will attempt to answer.

Once again looking forward to seeing all of your fascinating projects in this month's Clarity 'Bingo' Challenge; just have a look at the rules, decide which line, diagonal, four corners or full house you wish to use, have a play and submit your art work via your own blog or by email.

Best wishes,

Shelagh  ;~}


  1. Shealgh was a magnificent piece. Love your design. The gelli prints drying had me laughing. Medusa is magnificent. xxx

    1. Thanks, Naomi. As for the drying process, needs must I'm afraid! Thought the photo might raise a giggle! ;~}

  2. A truly stunning piece of art work it is so lovely to look at and admire. I would love to know how to do paper mache please. Xx

    1. Thanks, Carol. The mask was a relic resting in one of my craft room cupboards and a left-over from my teaching days. I will blog papier mache sometime soon. ;~}

  3. What a fantastic project with such flair!! Very inspiring. I have seen these masks before, but never one as lovely as this. Brilliant Shelagh. Hugs xxx

  4. Amazing Shelagh! I've never seen Medusa looking so good :-). Thanks for sharing how you created her. I know you'll have a great time in Crowborough with the projects Barbara has in store for you. x

    1. Thank you, Angela for your kind words re Medusa and the Crowborough Retreat. All ready to go! ;~}

  5. Wow , this could hang in an art museum . You must have been an art teacher . Loved the directions although it exhausted me , not the reading , just thinking about the time to do and write about. One day I will have to visit your part of the world so I know where all these places are . Joy now on the journey . Jan

  6. Thank you, Jan- your comments are hugely appreciated. This project was so enjoyable, it hit every spot. Sorry to disappoint but not an Art teacher - thirty five years of primary, in eight different countries; bit of a nomad at heart! Kindest regards, Shelagh.

  7. Stunning mask love they way you have done this and brought it all together xx

  8. Thank you, Julie. Don't know which part of my brain engaged in this but once the initial idea was formed, the path was quite straightforward. Having a bit of a play today as all is about to go quiet for the next wee while. Enjoy your w/end. ;~}

  9. This is so stunning Shelagh - love the colours, and the step by step is really informative. I have a similar string system in my craft room for hanging my stamp mounts, but it may now have a new purpose!! Susan x

  10. Brilliant Shelagh. Love your blog, it shows it must have taken an age to create her, but so worth the wait.
    I too love your drying-line.....don't get a new kitchen just yet as those Color Bursts are a nightmare to remove if they drip anywhere they shouldn't.....mmmmmm, wonder how I know this???? Good idea with the bin liner!
    Have a lovely evening and enjoy a relaxing Sunday x

    1. Thanks, Carole. It did take time but how it flies when you are enjoying yourself as the old saying goes!
      Great spray product - - - - - - Bang for the kitchen which removes it from the floor tiles; removes ingrained alcohol inks too, I know that from last month's offering! However doesn't quite disperse with stamped images on ironing board cover!
      Weather dependent, could be the garden tomorrow;
      have some plants to sort out. Enjoy your w/end too. ;~}

  11. Thank you, Susan. I keep saying how enjoyable this was but it's the absolute truth and I had no idea at the beginning where it was all going to finish up. As for the string- the drippy bits were so easily mopped up from the hob as opposed to bleaching it out from the work tops. (Done that too.) Note to Mike - next hob has to be range size! Warm, crafty wishes. ;~}

  12. Wow Sheila, I am in awe of your project. I have been waiting all month in anticipation of reading your blog and have not been disappointed. Love the humour as well as the clear instructions. I understand now the comment about painting your kitchen. Enjoy the garden if the weather if fine. I have an allotment that needs attention. x

  13. Wow Sheila, I am in awe of your project. I have been waiting all month in anticipation of reading your blog and have not been disappointed. Love the humour as well as the clear instructions. I understand now the comment about painting your kitchen. Enjoy the garden if the weather if fine. I have an allotment that needs attention. x

  14. So kind of you, Lesley; pleased the blog did not disappoint, either. Beautiful morning here so off to garden centre to purchase some perennials for the front borders then there's the rockery to sort out. Enjoy the allotment and the rest of your w\end. ;~}

  15. Oh my word Shelagh this is amazing - I too have been waiting to see how you created it. Must have taken you ages - soooo much going on its truly fab xx

    1. Thank you, Linda. Although Medusa did take some time to complete, it didn't seem like it as it was so much fun to do and most of the excess time was taken up by waiting for the different components to dry. ;~}

  16. I can't really add anything that hasn't already been said: just an utterly amazing, stunning and brilliant piece of art. Oh, and if Medusa needs a home...... lol. Xxx

    1. Thank you, Barbara. She's actually providing the backdrop to some bits and pieces from our China days and although historically different, they marry along quite well, probably because the colour palettes are in harmony. ;~}