Tuesday, 9 February 2016

NEW Andy Skinner Challenge - Prizes to be Won!

A little something different - and hopefully exciting - for you today! I've decided to host the occasional blog challenge so that I can get more interaction with you and see what you're making with my products. So welcome to my very first challenge!

The theme for this challenge is: BOLD & BRIGHT
I've been embracing strong and vibrant colours in my recent work and I challenge you to do the same!

Closing date: Midnight GMT, 9th March 2016

One lucky person will win this awesome prize!

Once the challenge closes, I will choose a winner who will receive the above prize AND my top three entries who will receive a badge for their blog.

For my piece above, I've tinted DecoArt Modeling Paste with fluid acrylics. If you want to have a go at this technique for your challenge entry, here's a short video showing you how:

I know some of you might be wary of bright colours, but don't be! Have a play and see what happens - the worst case scenario is a wasted piece of paper. Here are a few tips to help you embrace your colourful side:
  • When you are layering bold colours, especially contrasting colours, it's important to dry your layers between coats. If you over mix the paints you risk creating muddy colours and losing that vibrancy.
  • Check whether your paint choice is translucent or opaque - layering with translucent paints will change the tone of the underlying paint.
  • Use what I like to call a 'crash test dummy', a spare piece of scrap substrate that you can test on before moving onto your main artwork.
  • Experiment by applying paint with tools other than a brush. Try using a credit card, palette knife or texture tools. Add paint by splattering it or using a stamp.
  • Most importantly, allow yourself to create freely. Don't be frightened of making mistakes; sometimes a mistake leads to an amazing piece of art!


There are a few simple challenge rules to follow, so please take a quick read before entering:

-Please use at least one Andy Skinner product in your creation. This includes the whole of the DecoArt Media Line plus my designs for DecoArt stencils, Stampendous stamps, and Tando Creative Stencils and Chipboard. Remember to mention in your post which item(s) you have used.

-Please DO NOT use rival brands of either paint or mediums - DecoArt only; there is no problem with using other products of any brand.

-You can use any substrate you wish.

-Please link to the actual blog post which relates to the challenge, not simply to your blog and make sure you include a link back to this challenge in your post.

-Entry is via the Linky below and I regret that due to time constraints I can't accept entries any other way.

-The challenge is open internationally and all entrants following the rules will be eligible to win.

-You can combine my challenge with as many others as you like but I want to see clear evidence that the theme has been the inspiration for your piece.

Entries that don't meet the above requirements will not be eligible to win.

Can't wait to see what you create and GOOD LUCK!


Tuesday, 26 January 2016

DecoArt at Stitches

DecoArt have got the best of UK talent out in force at this year's CHSI (Stitches) trade show. The show is at the NEC, Birmingham, on 21st-23rd February 2016 and is open to anyone associated with the craft trade.

  • I will be teaching workshops on Sunday 21st at 4:45pm and Tuesday 23rd at 9:30am
  • Kate Crane will be teaching on Monday 22nd at 1:15pm
You can book the workshops at the Stitches website.

Each day there will be a variety of DecoArt demos taking place:
  • Di Oliver - AM
  • Myself and Kate Crane - between workshop times
  • Folk It! - AM and PM
Lots of reasons to visit DecoArt if you are coming to the show - find us at stand H34

See you there!

Friday, 22 January 2016

New DecoArt Stencil Release

Created using the Fossil and Distressed Digits stencils

Better a little late than never, here are my brand new stencil designs for DecoArt. The new line was released last week at CHA and I am pleased to say I got a great response.

Three new 12"x 3" stencils - Time Warp, Bubbles and Distressed Digits.

Four new 8"x 8" stencils - Halftone, Creativity, Fossil and Typeface.

If you tuned into the live CHA Blab you'll already have had a sneak peek at these stencils on the canvas that Tracy and I created collaboratively. You can see the Distressed Digits stencil around the edges, the Bubbles stencil subtly in the background using modeling paste, and the Creativity stencil has been used for the title (I really like that shattered text effect).

Hopefully the new releases will hit the UK soon. Let me know which is your favourite.


Thursday, 21 January 2016

CHA Round Up

I'm finally back in the UK (via Madrid but that's for another post) from CHA in Anaheim. The show was full on from start to finish and but it was lots of fun and I got chance to catch up with lots of colleagues, friends, and my Partner in Crime Tracy Weinzapfel.

I arrived after a marathon eighteen-hour journey and headed straight to The Cheesecake Factory to meet the DecoArt team for dinner; it felt great to meet up with them all again and we had a few laughs and a few drinks before the hard work began.

DecoArt Booth Tour

From then on it was all hands on deck for the final day of set-up at the DecoArt booth - we had a large booth this year so lots of work to do. 

On Friday I helped out with Tracy Weinzapfel's workshop at which 'bobble head Andy' made his debut appearance (the first of many as it happened - he kept cropping up everywhere!). I am already plotting my revenge and it will be sweet..... hope she has eyes in the back of her head at the next show.

One of the highlights of the show for me was my workshop on Saturday evening - we were sold out to a crowd of 50 enthusiastic participants. The project was an altered book entitled 'The Mindful Eye' and of course plenty of paint was spilled in the process. Everyone who came along got goodies to take away and a link to the workshop video so they can refresh themselves on what they learned once they get home.

Copper Patina Technique

Vintage Picture Frame

Above are a couple of videos of my demos. I was demoing pretty much all day every day from when we opened on Saturday morning, for either DecoArt or Stampendous. I've already shared my new stamps here and will be sharing my stencils soon. There are also several new Media launches - Clear Modeling Paste, Heavy Gel Medium Gloss, Texure Paste and Black Crackle Paint.

On Monday Tracy and I broadcast our fourth Dare to Create live from the show - we had a few teething problems but it was the first time we'd attempted anything like this from a show venue and all things considered it went pretty well. We created a collaborative piece of art between us - you can clearly see a bit of both of our styles in the finished piece.

All in all a great show - except for the panic stations early on when I realised one of my suitcases had gone missing - and with it ALL my samples and demo stuff. Quite a bit of scrounging later I had some bits and pieces to demo with thanks to some very kind souls! It still hasn't turned up....

And after a whirlwind three days which went past in the blink of an eye it was time to pack the booth down again and head back via Madrid for a brief few days of much-needed rest.

Next stop - PaperWorld in Germany!


Saturday, 9 January 2016

CHA New Release - Stampendous

Greetings from Anaheim, where it's the first official opening day of CHA. I've got three new Stampendous stamp sets being released at the show this year - I've had them in hand for ages so it feels great to finally be able to share them. 

Drumroll please.............
Curiosity Set
A very eclectic mix of images with an overall vintage feel.

Artwork using Curiosity Set
Toxic Set
Two must-have texture stamps combined with some dangerously cool label stamps.
Tag using the Toxic set
Shabby Set
Detailed images styled around old French labels with a shabby chic feel.
Artwork using Shabby set
Worn Vintage Box using Shabby set
I'd love to know what you think and which is your favourite.

More news from CHA soon!