Thursday, 28 September 2017

Inspirational Post ~ Permission to play !

'Play- engage in an activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than serious or practical purpose.'

Hi everybody! It's Toni here and I'm here to encourage you to play. Every now and again it's fun to grab some supplies and spend a little time just playing. You don't have  to have a purpose in mind or any clue about a 'finished' piece. I want to encourage you to spend a little time and just enjoy using your chosen materials by making marks and exploring colour. Today I'm sharing what I did on a recent play time session. I used a small Dylusions journal, some children's gel crayons and some of my hand carved stamps. I wrote a blog post about carving your own stamps from erasers, which you can refer to by clicking on this link . My collection has grown a little since that post.....
 The gel crayons I used for my session, were a lucky find in our local Lidl supermarket. I also used some children's 'Play Color' crayons in flouro and metallic, which I bought from an online store. I can't say whether any of these crayons are better or as good as Gelatos, as I don't have any to compare them with, however the gel crayons I have, were much cheaper and this kind of makes me feel that I can be more generous when using them....
Now a playtime session needs to be just as it sounds, a time set aside to play!  Here are a few tips to get yourself ready...
  • Clear a space, by that I don't mean tidy up, as this will eat into your play time. Just push everything to one side.
  • Grab some tea, coffee or depending on the time of day your favourite tipple!
  • Select your chosen materials and have everything close to hand. You don't want to spend time looking for things.
  •  Keep it simple both in process and in choice of materials.  Restrict yourself to just a few items. Preferably use materials that don't require any lengthy drying time, so that your flow is not interrupted. 
  • Use a journal or gather together a selection of papers by diving into your off cuts pile. 
  • When you're ready to start, put on your favourite album. This is a good way of setting yourself an amount of play time, when your time is limited.
  • If music is not your thing, then how about a talking book or radio play, just in the background. Sometimes I like to turn everything off and just listen to the sound of birdsong. Definitely turn off the telly though. Those craft channels are way too distracting for precious play times! 
Once you have everything in place, just go for it. Resist the temptation to think too much. The only purpose is to enjoy what you're doing. These are the journal pages I created during my play time......
I started by choosing one gel crayon, and scribbled  it in three areas across the pages. I then chose another colour and scribbled a patch next each patch of the first colour. I continued with my patches of three, until he pages were covered. I used my finger to smudge the colours and smooth out any thick blobs of crayon. I gave the pages a quick blast with my heat tool in order to set the colours. I then used the largest stamp I had, and stamped it several times using black Staz On ink. I repeated the stamping with each stamp getting progressively smaller filling in the gaps. I later added the sentiment 'Make Art Everyday' with some Dymo tape. All of the pages were similarly constructed. Here is one using more muted colours.....
I think this looks quite tribal. I also blended black ink around the edges of the pages.
I found myself getting back to the bright colours with these next pages.
With these pages , I found myself creating more order, by stamping in rows across the pages
I used the metallic gel crayons for he background of these final pages. With all of the pages, I tried not to think too much about what I was doing. I was aware that I wanted to create balance both with colour and stamping but this seemed to be more as a result of  what I was doing, rather than a planned action. Like all good things, my playtime session had to come to an end but it was great fun while it lasted. I have also used the journal as a reference for other pieces of art. Here is a recent canvas I completed for the AALL-and-Create Challenge. If I hadn't thumbed through the journal, I'm sure I'd have forgotten about one of the stamps I'd made.......
Well, I hope you'll set aside some time for a little bit of  play and just really enjoy yourself,ithout pressure or purpose. Believe me it really is fun ! x 


  1. Beautiful and fun pages from your 'playing' Toni - love the mix of colors and wonderful stampings!

  2. Wow Toni, you really did have fun playing! Your pages are so beautiful and I am so very impressed by your collection of hand carved stamps - they are amazing! I love your entry for AALL, it is stunning! Hugs, Anne xx

  3. Love this Toni, taking time out to just play and explore is something I rarely do and it's great to be reminded that this is what it's all about ! Your hand carved stamps are stunning and your pages are all such fabulous sources of reference. The canvas is gorgeous, I love the image you've used (a relative if I remember correctly? ). Sue C x

  4. Agreeing with the previous comments... it's so important to play, it's the fun of discovery! Gosh your stamp collection has grown..a reminder that I still haven't played with my stamp carving set....and so glad you shared your AALL entry as well, I loved it and such a beautiful face, perfectly set. Thanks for a fantastic tutorial! Ruth xxx

  5. Toni, I just LOVE your playtime!
    These stamps of yours are amazing and your backgrounds are absolutely gorgeous!! Well done!
    BTW, your last piece with the beautiful woman is just stunning!
    hugs,Jackie xx

  6. Wow - your handcarved stamps are gorgeous in themselves, and even more fabulous in action! Amazing stamping, and the final canvas is stunning.
    Alison x

  7. Beautiful background work Toni. What a fun play session this must have been! I love your amazing stamps. Hugs, Autumn