Sunday, 1 November 2015

Topsy Turvy. . .

Good morning all. It's time for a new challenge at Our Creative Corner and our host is the lovely Lys this time. Here's what she has to say:

'We often try to do things the right way, use the suitable thing, organize our creations following definite lines or intentions… and sometimes it doesn't go the way we wanted to. Sometimes it goes to the bin, sometimes we discover something new… and we love it!

On the right side or topsy turvy… Is there a right side in art?

So let’s play! Whatever it is: upside down, inverted, reversed or escaping from the right order…. Please show me one “topsy turvy” creation, and how it came to life in your hands!'

Crumbs! I'm not going to pretend I found this easy and I had to think long and hard right down to the wire almost. . . . . . 

In the end, I decided to go with using things I have in a different or perhaps unusual way and I hope you like what I came up with!

I decided to use a discarded wooden stamp block and create a little piece of art just for me!

I've gradually removed my old stamps from their wooden blocks because I prefer using them on cling material. This is one block which didn't find the way into the recycling bin and it becomes my first 'topsy turvy' thing. 

The plastic image label is carefully removed from the wooden block which is then prepared for use. A light sanding followed by two coats of gesso with further sanding in between coats. 

After the gesso coats, strips of fabric bandage (topsy turvy use!) and vintage book pieces are added. The horizontal embellishments are made from paper clay using a cake decorating mould - my second 'topsy turvy' thing. For my third 'topsy turvy' thing, I used stamps and paper clay to make the little buttons on the die cuts (I know we do this a lot but I worked on the idea that stamps weren't created initially for use on clay. . . . . ). 

I made a rustic heart from paper clay and used a stamp to embellish the clay before it dried. The heart is finished with DecoArt Media acrylics and antiquing cream. 

The heart sits on two 'bars' of paper clay created in an icing mould. Fluid acrylics are used again to colour the clay when dry. This is followed by dry brushing with gesso and gold metallic fluid acrylic. 

Die cuts are used across the wooden block - they are supposed to be dandelion clocks but I rather like them used in this topsy turvy way! Again, they are finished with dry brushing and some stamping with a bottle lid. The little 'button' is again made from clay and textured with a rubber stamp. Dry brushing as before finishes the button. 

The gold spots are made by stamping with bubble wrap followed by embossing with gold powder in quite a rough fashion. The frayed bandage can be seen clearly under the gold embossing. The white spots are stamped using a scrap of red rubber and some gesso. The larger white circles are done using a bottle top and gesso. 

The 'feet' started out life as wooden beads before their makeover using fluid acrylics, gesso and embossing powder. 

I love the effect of the dry brushed gesso on the beads along with the roughly embossed powder. The button image clearly shows the level of texture achieved with the stamp. This button was made from Fimo clay rather than the paper clay - I prefer the Fimo but having to bake it in the oven means the results take a little more effort. 

The back of the stamp block has been finished with some home made embossed card using the same colours. 

The embossed card was simply dipped into the leftover acrylic paints which were spritzed with water to make them very fluid. The card is dried between each dip thus building up the layers. The final touch is to dry brush the raised areas of the embossing with fluid metallic gold acrylic. 

The sides of the block don't escape the treatment either. 

The top of the block. 

Some twists of rusty wire add to the finished look. 

The vintage paper layer is just visible in this image under the bandage. 

I do hope you have enjoyed reading about my little attempt at 'topsy turvy'! I really enjoyed making this small piece of art and I just wonder what took me so long to get going! Don't forget to go over to Our Creative Corner and see what my hugely creative teamies have come up with and just how topsy turvy they have gone!

Our generous sponsor for this month is:

Colours may differ from those shown

Now that's a rather wonderful prize isn't it? You have until the 28th November to join in with our new challenge and be in with a chance of winning this lovely collection of goodies. I do hope we'll see you and your creation very soon!


  1. Beautiful piece - love all the texture and how the dry brushing has really brought it to life Xx

  2. A stunning piece of art Julia! xx

  3. I love what you finally made on my theme challenge, Julia! All these efforts (questions?) were worth, and I'm sure you opened new paths finding those new ways to use stamps, mouldsd and other "topsy turvy things"! I love how you also ornate the back of the block, and the golden spots that finish the whole... Beautiful!

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  5. As always an amazing piece Julia. Superb interpretation of the challenge and such gorgeous textures, colours and details. Looking forward to seeing you next weekend! Jennie x

  6. Stunning Topsy Turvy Thingy♥ It's just a cool little piece of art and eyecatching on top of that. xoxo

  7. Of course we like your Topsy Turvy creation…it’s a little masterpiece! I am always amazed by your creative mind…I love the little heart and the way you used wooden block…fantastic combination of textures and colours!
    Hugs from Slovenia

  8. Beautiful Julia!!
    Isn't it a hoot to think of how we spent the extra money to have the stamps mounted on blocks, only to prefer them as cling? heehee
    a funny lot we artists are! ")
    I love your art!
    have a beautiful day my friend! xx

  9. Julia this is gorgeous! I love how you have created all the texture and interest, beautiful. I am looking round my stash for the long hidden paperclay. Hugs Jan x

  10. Hi Julia,
    Happy to come on your blog and read you a bit.. :)
    This wooden block alteration is really fantastic!!! I love the effect of your 'dandelions' die-cuts (hidden under many paints!), just a fabulous 'Topsy Turvy' creation!
    Hugs from my little corner in Brittany, Coco xx

  11. Really seriously quaint and adorable.... wow Julia - what a wonderful artistic creation. The colors are gorgeous and all that texture is just soooo great. The back is stunning - love how it turned out too. So rich and intriguing. j.

  12. I love your arty block - with the twists and turns given to familiar elements and techniques - a really lovely post about the creative process too.
    Alison xx

  13. Amazing to see in detail, very creative and fun...LOVE it! Ruth x


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. Juliax