Friday, September 11, 2015

Pause and Breathe - It's Autumn

Good morning everyone.

Julia here to introduce you to our amazing Guest Designer. This lady is one of those all round creatives who can work in so many different styles and mediums and in addition, she thinks outside the box and comes up with art that I am in awe of. Who am I talking about? The wonderful lady from 'down under':

Julie was with me on my first ever design team and I remember well seeing her gorgeous creations using fabric, yarn, paint, ink. . . . . . . you name it, she can do it!. . . . . . and wishing I'd come up with the idea myself! If you've never visited Julie and seen her work, please click on one of the links and prepare for a treat. I'm so pleased you agreed to be my guest designer Julie! 

Hello I'm Julie Short and I'm delighted to be here.
As the northern hemisphere heads towards Autumn, here in Australia we head into Spring.

I live in a subtropical area so there are no coloured Autumn leaves and trees here.
Instead there are a wonderful few months when the light is golden and the Earth takes time to flourish and to breathe.

That's what I want to share with you.

After the wild storms of summer we have a lot of leaf litter which takes on a golden glow.

To get that feeling I used this process.

I use A3 Manilla Folder sheets as desk protectors and when they are messy and full of colour and drips and drops of product they become the base for my art. Onto the base above I slathered modelling paste and roughly used a knife to make leaf  shapes. I also squirted clear gesso, experimentally, around the leaves.

As this was drying I took a stick and scraped out veins and edges. I knew this was going to have a lot of product added to it so I needed a stable surface. The covers off a wallpaper sample book were the perfect size and weight.

After firmly gluing the backing and the folder together I mixed colour into gel medium and slathered this around the leaf shapes. I was thinking forest floors with thick crunchy layers of leaves.

I left this to dry overnight. Then I got out sprays and acrylic paint to start colouring the leaves.

As I needed to, I wiped back into the leaves with a damp sponge to move the colours and to blend where I needed to.

You can see the texture and the many shades that I wanted on my leaf piece.

To finish off I used a lot of Treasure Gold shades and Pearl Pens to emphasise the leaf veins.
I let this dry and polished with a soft cloth.

In Autumn here, we actually have a riot of flowers, shrubs and trees that bloom and delight. They seem to sulk during the rather trying Summers, we can have. We stay inside, venturing out early in the morning and late in the afternoons. The plants slow their growth right down.

Inspired by Julia's theme I created a second piece.

There's even more texture on this piece as I initially added a lot of seed beads into the modelling paste.

Additional texture and warmer colours were added with paint, wallpaper pieces, fabric scraps and glazes.

Layering Pearl Pens and Gel Medium over and around the flowers worked as both a glue and a sealer.
I was after shine and a little sparkle too!

Finally I framed both pieces in a shadow box style, shallow frame.

Even though there is not an Autumn leaf to be found here, Autumn is a wonderfully golden time of the year. It's the perfect time to holiday and to visit all areas of Australia.

You'll find me busy dipping and diving into all sorts of artistic explorations here all the time.

I teach classes and workshops, run a studio store and have an online store too as Time To Create.

Making time to create, soothes my soul and nourishes my spirit.


Wow Julie!! These are both beautiful pieces and it's wonderful to see your interpretation of the Shades Of Autumn theme from such a different climate to mine here in UK. As I predicted, you have truly inspired and I dare anyone to say that they don't feel like rushing off to create after seeing your stunning art work. The colours, layers and textures are right up my street and despite living in your climate, many of the colours used are reflected elsewhere in the world where Autumn/Fall does happen. If I had to choose a favourite from both of these pieces it would be the flowers but only because I'm flower mad!! Thank you so much for joining us here today and sharing your amazing creativity. Once again, I am enthralled and in awe, not just of your finished pieces but of your process too. Thank you too, for agreeing to be my choice of Guest Designer.

So, if you haven't joined my challenge yet this month, what better time is there to start creating after seeing this feast for the eyes! You can find all the details here.


  1. What gorgeous textures and colours. The sun is shining today....some gorgeous autumnal weather at last x

  2. What amazingly beautiful work, Julie! Your exquisite designs always inspire me!

  3. Beautiful shining pieces! I love your creating process, Julie. Thanks for sharing with us.

    1. Thank you for your lovely compliment and yes I'm happy to hang them in our home!

  4. Beautiful work Julie, you are an inspiration! Julia xxx

    1. It's a mutual admiration society we belong to Julia...because you know I love what you do too!

  5. WOW, Julie!! Not just one beautiful mixed-media piece, but 2-WOW!! It's so nice to meet you and have you here as our Guest Designer :) These two pieces are AMAZING in their own Spectacular ways and make me feel different emotions looking at both! I feel calm looking at the leaves, like they're gently falling around me, and the bright burst of color of the blooms, makes me feel lively and spunky!! Thank You for that and Thank You for being here with us!! XOXO-Shari

    1. Shari I enjoyed the creating as guest designer very much. Thank you for the opportunity! I agree with you that the softly piled leaves rustling underfoot make me feel calm too but then the fireworks of the flowers are invigorating. That was my aim for the two pieces.


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