Well, I promised to tell you how things went on my Crafty weekend away with Dare2Create. I was lucky enough to win 2 free tickets courtesy of Hochanda. As my regular visitors will know, mixed media is not an area I’ve ventured into until now, and neither has my crafty sister Sue who came with me. We had the most wonderful time. We painted, stamped, gesso’d, crackled and varnished from morning till night (11.20pm on the saturday night) for the whole weekend. The hotel (The Holiday Inn Coventry), food, snacks and drinks were fabulous and in plentiful supply. As for the crafting, it was absolutely amazing. Apart from the fab celebrity artists Tracy Weinzapfel Stratton and Andy Skinner, there was an amazing team of wonderful talented people who ensured we were, supplied, amazed and inspired throughout the weekend, selflessly offering guidance, advice and encouragement. I could not believe how quickly the time passed. I came home with 2 large projects and 3 smaller ones. I’ll admit, I did add one or two finishing touches after I got home as I found myself taking longer than my fellow crafters, many of whom were seasoned multimedia buffs. And here they are:
Day 1 – Full day workshop, we were in two groups, my workshop was with Tracy Weinzapfel Stratton. We made a 2 layer MDF picture using various paints, Gesso, crackle medium and matt varnish. The flowers were stamped onto old book pages, cut out, glued in place and then painted. The crackle effect was amazing to watch, I was fascinated how we all got different results. We finished off by painting fine black outlines and swirls. Tracy was really supportive through all of the various stages and especially patient with my constant questions.
Day 1 – Evening class. After our evening meal, many of us signed up for extra work shops. There were lots of different demonstrations to watch while we waited for our class to start. I chose Clare Charvill’s class where we made a gorgeous note book. The outer cover is MDF, bound with special black tape and covered with card which we coloured with distress oxides. We folded our pages and stitched them to the spine of the book and then cut out stamped poppy images to embellish the front. I added the glossy accents and tiny beads when I got home as it was getting late.
Day 2 – Morning. Half day workshop with Andy Skinner. We made 2 grey board tags. Each one using different media and techniques, ably guided and supported by Andy and the team throughout until we created our own versions of 2 very different tags having used an array of different paints, stamps, antiquing cream, crackle glazes and varnish, not to mention, fab chipboard embellishments and even a piece of rusty wire.
Day 2 – Afternoon The dividing wall between the two groups was pulled aside after lunch and we had 1 big workshop with both Andy and Tracy guiding us through the steps to make our own mixed media ‘Houses’ canvas. We spread Gesso through stencils to create texture in the background which we painted when dry. We used old book pages to make primitive house shapes which we then painted, stencilled and glued into place. Masking tape was painted and stamped to add more interest and then finally the houses were outlined with black.
The weekend started with a meet and greet session on the Friday evening and ended around 5.30pm on the Sunday evening. I can honestly say I had the best weekend ever. I met so many wonderful people and got to try out lots of new and different techniques and used a whole array of new art materials. Needless to say, I did lots of shopping in the on site shop, and though would not commit to full time mixed media, have enough supplies to put some of the skills I’ve learned into practise. I cannot thank everyone who was involved in organising and running the weekend enough, they were all amazing but the last and biggest ‘thank you’ must go to Hochanda, this has to be the best prize I’ve ever won, absolutely fabulous.