Well they’ve gone home. The house, which I expected to be silent, is full of their echoes. We’ve tidied up the toys- didn’t want to, then we could pretend they’ll be back in just a few minutes. We’ve emptied the inflatable paddling pool and the garage is now stacked with all the outdoor toys. The beds are stripped and remade and the bedding washed. The carpets have been vacuumed to within an inch of their lives. And now I’ve retreated to my craft room to cheer myself up with some patterns.
Actually, I think I ought to tidy it up a little first, there’s hardly room to put paper down and, although I think the desk once had a wooden surface, there’s no evidence to support that theory, since all I can see are partially completed projects, unfiled Zentangle tiles and miscellaneous “stuff”.
I go to a craft class on Wednesday evenings where, for the most part, we make cards and learn or practise new techniques. We’ve done some great classes in the past, including a superb session on blending colours with alcohol pens. Of course, the class is attached to a shop and we often buy the accessories that we’ve used in the class and it’s like an Aladdin’s Cave, full of arcane treasures and mysterious tools. Just recently, following the fashion currently on the shopping T.V. channels, the technique we have been working on has been using pencil crayons with a blending oil (applied with a paper stump) to either shade projects or intensify the colours on work started with alcohol pens. (Pro markers, Spectrum Noir, Copics, that sort of thing.)
The shop, of course, is full of Spectrum Noir pencils and they come in sets of coordinating colours and, of course, you really NEED all these sets if you’re to do a good job of it. Having just bought a set of water colour pencils elsewhere, I was reluctant to invest further so went exploring online to see if the Spectrum Noir pencils + blending oil are as good as they claim. (Because they are very expensive – of course.) Mixed opinions out there but there was someone saying you can use any pencil crayon + an oil called Gamsol. (Or even baby oil) So, come on world, what’s the deal? Can you use blending oil with any pencil crayons? And what sort of oil?
Speaking of colouring, I’ve finished the flower picture I was working on and the patterning worked really well. However – yup, here comes another however – I then tried to beef up the colour and I don’t think it’s an improvement. Dammit. Well I can’t undo it so it will have to stay as it is. Here are the Before and After pictures.