Saturday, 10 October 2020

Gears Turning in My Head


Hello lovelies, this is Natassa Blazaki and today I am sharing one of my projects for the Spooktober Challenge run by Creative Expressions UK. If there is one team that’s always inspired by Skulls, Apothecary elements, Spells, Witchcraft and all sort of Dead Man Themes, that’s definitely Andy Skinner’s Creative Team. All the members will be sharing amazing spooky projects here in the blog but also over at Creative Expressions Facebook page. So, stay tuned for the whole month October and head over to Creative Expressions’ page to play along at the Spooktober Challenge.

For the “Skull Week”, I chose to alter a plastic skull, that I had bought from a toy store.

I wanted to give a grunge, industrial look to the skull, so I chose to embellish it with gears from Andy Skinner’s Industrial Elements greyboard kit by Tando Creative.

I started by applying a first coat of black gesso. I glued the cutouts on the skull with Quick Grab Glue. The tricky part was to fit the gears onto the skull’s rounded surface, because the greyboard is thick and does not bend. So, I spritzed the pieces with water and let them relax for a few minutes. Then, I split them in half and glued them on the skull while still damp and flexible. I added some crackle paste to create more texture.
Next, I mixed Andy’s Chalk Paints with Artist Pigments, creating a dark reddish-brown color and applied a coat. I did not mix the paints completely, to achieve a variation in tones and left some of the black to peek through. I let dry and then I continued only with Quinacridone Gold in random areas, but mostly around the gears. I let that layer dry well and then with a piece of natural sponge I dabbed a very thinned layer of white acrylic paint. I let it dry naturally and then I with an old brush I applied a wash of Cobalt Teal and Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide.

I did some dry brushing with white acrylic paint and continued with one more layer of Cobalt Teal and Quinacridone Gold, this time concentrating on the gears. I also used some  Cosmic Shimmer Mixed Media Embossing Powder Crystal Glaze to add to the gears’ texture. 

As finishing touches, I added one of my favorite rub on designs, the one with the pile of skulls from Andy’s Mixed Media Transfers “Curiosities” and did some partial stamping with one of the new stamps, the “Circuitree”.

I really hope you enjoy this project and get some inspiration for your Halloween projects. Enter your projects to the Spooktober Challenge and use the #CEspooktober tag. You may be a lucky winner!

I will soon be back with another spooky project.

Hope you have fun!



Andy Skinner Creative Expressions

Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide, Cobalt Teal Hue, Quinacridone Gold, Raw Umber

London Brick, Mustard Seed, Chestnut

Rubber Stamps - "Circuitree"

Mixed Media Transfers - "Curiosities"

Thursday, 8 October 2020


 Hello Everyone!

Welcome back and thanks for stopping by! Today I am sharing a 5" x 7" canvas created especially for a Spooktober Challenge from Andy Skinner and Traci McLean of Creative Expressions. Week one; October 4th - 10th is themed "Skulls".

If you are a poker player, you've heard of a "Dead Man's Hand" that consists of aces and eights. Andy's Skull of Spades and Stonewash stamps with a transfer black spider from Horror Mixed Media Transfers from Creative Expressions provide the PERFECT combination for this idea.

This was a fun and easy Halloween project to create especially with all of the wonderful products from Andy and Creative Expressions!

I began with a piece of speciality stamping paper (has a bit of a slick finish and is almost like a cardstock feel). Using permanent black ink, I stamped the skull ace image.  Then I cut out around it to make it look like a 4 3/4" x 3 1/4" playing card.  I rounded the edges with a corner punch. Next I used the permanent black ink and ramdonly stamped partial images from the Stonewash stamp to give a weathered, rough feeling to the card. Heat set. Aren't these great stamps?

I used a bit of Andy's Cosmic Shimmer Yellow Artist Pigment Paint mixed with a bit of water to create a wash effect and brushed it onto the card. I wiped away excess color. Heat set. Next was a light wash using Quinacridone Gold Artist Pigment Paint and wiped the excess. Heat set. Finally a touch of Payne's Grey Artist Pigment Paint wash around the edges of the card. Using a ruler, I drew a straight line 1/4" from the edges around the card and rounded the line ad the rounded edges of the card using a permanent black ink pen to frame the card. Heat set. I then rubbed the scary black spider from Andy's Horror Mixed Media Image Transfers onto the left side of the card.

This ghoulish ghost is perfect for coming out around the back corner of the card. This is a transfer from Andy's Horror Mixed Media Transfer images.  I also added a top hat from his buddy who is also on the Horror Mixed Media Transfer Sheet.  I transferred these two images onto a piece of white computer paper and fussy cut them out. I cut the hat our and added it to the ghost's head to make him look more like a gambler ghost.

I added Andy's Cosmic Shimmer Lava Paste to a metallic number "8" and heat set it. The heat activates the Lava Paste and turns it into some amazing bubbly texture as you see in the inset. When cool, I painted the eight with Black Acrylic paint followed by Quinacridone Red Acrylic Paint around the bottom as if the eight is bleeding out.

Now for the canvas base!  First I added Andy's beautiful Rice Paper image from his Tiles collection. This was done using Matte Medium generously brushed onto the canvas. I laid the Rice Paper in the center of the canvas over the Matte Medium and then burnished it to remove all wrinkles and air bubbles. Then a coat of Matte Medium brushed over the Rice Paper to seal it.  Heat set. Next, using my finger, I added Andy's Cosmic Shimmer Strata Paste on either side of the canvas (to hide where the Rice Paper did not cover).  Heat set. This Strata Paste gives such a tactile edging!  I LOVE IT! 

I painted the edging using Andy's Payne's Grey Cosmic Simmer Artist Pigment Paint. Look how beautifully it adds to the tile Rice Paper.

Still using the Cosmic Shimmer :Payne's Grey Artist Pigment Paint, I stenciled all of the letters I would need to create the "DEAD MANS HAND" tiles for the canvas.  This was done on a piece of creme card stock and using Andy's Redemption Stencil. I cut out around the letters, added a light touch using a cotton ball with a hint of Cosmic Shimmer Yellow and water wash then edges with my finger and a touch of Payne's Grey Artist Pigment Paint. Now it's time to assemble everything and glue it into place!

The letter are glued in place using a small adhesive pad under each one. I also added adhesive pads underneath the "8" and the gambler ghost to give the canvas more dimension. Also a little scrap of black netting was glued underneath the Ace for added interest.  

Add a little "blood" using Quinacridone Red Acrylic Paint to the "8" and let it run down onto the letter tiles. Wha-lah! You have a fun Halloween decor piece!  Be sure to check out all of Andy's products at Creative Expressions website.  Links are listed below! #spooktober

Here is a list of all of the items you will need to create this fun project:


  • 5" X 7" Canvas

  • Permanent Ink Pad Black
  • Permanent Ink Pen Black 
  • Metallic "8" (Tim Holtz)
  • Black Acrylic Paint
  • Quinacridone Red Acrylic Paint
  • Paint Brushes
  • Matte Medium
  • Adhesive Pads
  • Glue

About the Artist:



Wednesday, 7 October 2020

"FEAR" Altered 3 D-Shrine By Heather Thompson


Welcome to the Spooktacular Event with Creative Expressions UK. The Team over at Andy Skinner has joined in the fun and mayhem with some crazy creepy projects.

This is an actually bird skull that the kids and I found in the yard, And if any of you know my daughter she is totally into all likes of crazy and creepy things.

Here is the schedule of events for Creative Expressions. So each week make something that relates to the below themes. At the end of each week, CE will pick a winner. Don't forget to hash tag you entry! #CEspooktober

 Here is a short video of the creative process.

I decided to make a shrine to showcase the actually skull and go along with the theme this week. Using the strata paste to add a texture and feel of an old rugged building, I lathered a fair amount on the roof.

I had some smaller pedistoles and glass shrines in my stash. I added some texture paste and colour to resemble stone.

Using the shine to showcase I altered it with the restist paste and painted, topping off the effects with the background stamp.

Watch out for more spooktacular inspiration to come all month long, and join in the mayhem and get creative.

Visit the Creative Expressions Mixed Media Facebook Page and #CEspooktober your entires.


Mixed Media Pastes


Illusionary Artist


Word Up



Tando Creative: 

3-D Shrine 

Industrial Elements 



Andy Skinners Skuldoggery



Tuesday, 6 October 2020

Trio of tags with Transfers

Hi everyone Dee here with 3 tags using Andy's transfers Alchemy Plus set these are fabulous sets and can be used over different backgrounds. For these three I used small atc boards which I backed onto tags which I had used creative expressions colour clouds along with Andy creative expressions paints. Andy's Pebble Beach stamp was also used on all the tag backgrounds.

Tag 1

Tag 2

Tag 3

I hope you all like the tags 
Cheers Dee x





Thursday, 1 October 2020


Hi everyone, here is a project I did using Andy's pray stamp and his Redemption stencil. I cut out a large arch out of grey board and put texture paste through the redemption. I used a broken compass that i had made form a mould.

Tando grey board was used to do the frames and the centre piece was a Tando creative clock hand that I had coated with grit paste. I made the background papers using a gel plate and creative expressions pigment paints

The wings were made using a mould along with the bones at the bottom of the piece. I painting the wings with raw umber and gold paint.


Rangers crackle accents were used at the base of the windows. I used gems to decorate the clock hand and acrylic washes on the clock hand .

The top of the arch was again painted with acrylic paint and gilding paste was used to highlight the words.
I hope you all enjoyed my post and thank you for taking the time to pop by.
Cheers Dee x