20 November 2015

Joyful Holly

Hi everyone and welcome. Today I'm sharing a little mixed media project which had its beginnings at the Stamp Magic show back in October. Before all that I am delighted to share that I was given an Honourable Mention by The Mixed Media Monthly Challenge for my Halloween mini book! Thank you so much to Donna and the team for this honour! They've got a fabulous 'Texture' theme this month and IndigoBlu are sponsoring it (with a HUGE prize package!) so make sure you get entering.

So on to the Joyful Holly project (plenty of texture in this one!) In order to demonstrate the ease of stamping and painting on fabric with English Cottage Artist's Acrylic Paints I created a holly background on a square of plain calico. It takes a good 24+ hours for the paint to 'cure' on the fabric and make it washable (after ironing on the reverse) so it was only upon returning home that I was able to finish the project.

(click on each image for a closer look)

I find that blending paints is much easier on fabric as you can allow the mix of wet paints and water to bleed together as they sit and dry. Don't be afraid to mix your own colour palette either - I love combining Emerald City with Hot Cocoa to create shimmering deep shades of olive green.

A few hints and tips I've discovered along the way;

  • Always add water to English Cottage Artist's Acrylic paints before using them on fabric to help them glide onto the surface more easily and allow for blending.
  • Painting around the edges and along the veins of leaves provides a 'barrier' to help prevent colour bleeding out from the stamped images.
  • If you are adding another colour leave the area you want to paint it onto blank as I find the first layer of colour will come through a second contrasting layer.
  • Whilst adding water and extra paint will make your images more vibrant take care not to overdo it as this will eventually lead to some bleeding outside the images.
  • Stamp the initial images with undiluted paint or gesso to get a clear and defined outline, allowing that to dry completely before you add further colour.

You'll probably spot that a couple of the fabric holly leaves layered over the base panel have been shaped - those lovely ladies who came along to my workshop last Saturday will now know how to do that!!!

And on that point I want to thank all those who attended my Poppy Canvas workshop in Retford last weekend - it was an absolute joy to spend a wonderful day with such an enthusiastic group. They all took to the creation of mixed media canvases like ducks to water, making the most gorgeous pieces during the day. A couple of them have now shared their completed work publicly and here they are;

This beautiful canvas was created by Rachel Fisher;

And this fabulous canvas was created by Sue Gregson;

Hopefully the other ladies will share their finished canvases too so I can give them a well deserved shout out.

I'll be back tomorrow to share a couple of projects made for Kay Halliwell-sutton's upcoming tv shows on Hochanda (Saturday 21st November at 11am, 2pm and 6pm). In the meantime take care of yourselves and have a great weekend.
Jenny xxx

Joyful Holly project;
A6 Big Holly (clear stamps) by Lauren White
White Gee-Sso Good! gesso
Ribbon, buttons, muslin and thread from stash.


  1. Gorgeous Christmas card Jenny! Love that green paint, wow it just jumps off the page! Holly and berries are so festive and the added fussy cut ones make it all that more special!

    Wonderful work by your students. Looks like they had a good teacher if you ask me! hugs :)

  2. Gorgeous piece Jenny , love how,the paints blend on the fabric and love the movement you gave the added leaves. Love the canvases from the ladies who attended your workshop too. Tracy x

  3. First of all, congratulations on your Honourable Mention. Secondly, your holly creation is just stunning, I love how you added the shading, it makes the leaves look so realistic. Finally, I love both projects that your ladies made at the class, I saw Rachel's on her blog - it really is a beautiful and is a testament to your teaching! Anne xx

  4. I want to leap through the screen and touch them all! Gorgeous work by you and the other ladies. Always a pleasure to feast my eyeballs on your work!!!
    Big hugs,
    Lisa x
    How tedious was it to tie the knots in all those tiny buttons? LOL They are so cute!!

  5. Your card and the two canvases are gorgeous Jenny.
    Hugs, Veerle x

  6. A traditional design for Christmas but a wonderful fabric interpretation!

  7. Congratulations on the Honourable mention Jenny!! Well deserved! Your fabric holly creation is just gorgeous!! Love how you shaded the leaves, it makes them look so realistic. Both canvases created by the other ladies are stunning!! How I would have loved to have been in that class!! You are obviously a brilliant teacher as well as being a brilliant artist!! Thank you for sharing your tips too. xx

  8. Hello Jenny! congratulations and well deserved I have seen that holly one in the flesh and its GORGEOUS!!!! Cxxxxx

  9. Love the vivid green of your holly leaves and what great tips for painting on fabric - thanks for sharing those (hope to make use of them one of these days...!). The canvases are stunning - had already seen Rachel's beauty - must have been an amazing class - bravo! Bravo also on your honourable mention... so well-deserved.
    Alison xx

  10. hi jenny! wonderful work and thanks for all the tips too. will get my fabric out and try again! thanks for showcasing my work here too... you are lovely and its definitely testament to your wonderful teaching xx

  11. Beautiful Jenny ,your painted holly is gorgeous and I was so surprised to read that the surface was fabric, amazing! Congratulations on your Honourable Mention, very well deserved! Deb xo

  12. Amazing! LOVE that it's fabric and love the coloring job!

  13. Fabulous tips and delightful canvas! The student work is just as beautiful, what a teacher you must be!

  14. Your painted fabris panel Jenny is truly joyful . I love the rich green and red against the stark white background - reminds me of some cards Imade a few years ago!
    wonderful canvases too by the ladies that attended your workshop
    hugs x


Thank you for stopping by and leaving your comments - they are really appreciated and will be published when moderated. Jenny xxx

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