New website in final stages!

Check out AliChappellBatesArt.com for awesome art and personalised gifts!

This is freshly launched so please feed back anything constructive to me please 🙂

Thank you

Ali

x

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AliSunflowersUK Shop – Prize Draw

Sunflower fans! I am launching a new shop and I need your help. I am running a very generous competition on Facebook, so head on over there for details.

You can enter by posting below, or by mail if you do not want to enter through Facebook. Everyone who takes part will be entitled to £10 credit to spend in my new shop!

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/Alichappelluk

New shop: www.etsy.com/shop/AliSunflowersUK

Competition: Look at the photograph – What type of Sunflower products would you be most likely to buy? Please provide a list in order, with your favourite thing first. Any additional comments on style, colour, etc. are very welcome. sunflower-merch

Terms and conditions: (have been removed, competition is now closed)

Golden lanterns – Indian themed wedding table décor.

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There were two very different and equally beautiful lanterns on our wedding tables on our special day.

Firstly, we went to Camden Market and selected some gorgeous Moroccan style lanterns with warm coloured glass, which we filled with coloured tea lights from Ikea.

The biggest and best lantern was of course on the head table.

Photo credit - Distant Cloud

Photo credit – Distant Cloud

We loved the fact that we could take these home with us after the wedding (if we had hired the décor, for the same price we would have had nothing).

Secondly, my addiction to combining nature and art came into play. Over the year we had been growing Chinese lanterns (Physalis) in our garden. In the summer white flowers appear, and by late summer, vibrant orange lanterns are glowing.

If you pick them while they are orange, you can dry them out and they remain a beautifully formed red-orange lantern shape.

If you leave them till the orange passes, the vegetation dies back and you are left with the most intricate cages which are very quick to dry.

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So I saved lots of each stage, and when totally dry, put them in a cardboard box and gently sprayed with gold decorative spray to help strengthen them as well as make them pretty!

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These made a lovely additional to our tables – and so personal to us.

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So every year in our garden, when our lanterns are glowing we know it’s our wedding anniversary.

Indian themed wedding table décor.

Here is the third in a series of posts about how we made our unique Indian themed wedding last year.

Alison and Gavin-Colour-07 September 2013-010

photo credit – Distant Cloud

I kept things seasonal by using cyclamen which are vigorously flowering in September – selecting vibrant red to keep in theme with the reds and golds.

I chose terracotta pots for their warm colour and texture and came up with a design based on the Indian roofline shape used in my wedding invitations.

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After setting up the template, my mum Sue, kindly and expertly handpainted each pot with the design using gold and black enamel paints.

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I also liked the idea of having something that will continue to grow after the day, not fade away like cut flowers.

Here they are a year later in our rockery – they will always flower on our anniversary.

DSC_0037They are also growing in many of our family’s gardens and homes.

Follow me to find out more table decor ideas that we used on our Indian themed wedding day…

Indian themed wedding cufflinks

Gavin, my husband and I got married in September 2013. Our theme for the day was Indian.

We wanted everything to be personal and unique and to pull the theme through right from the start with the wedding invitations. So you’ve already seen the wedding invitations here, and from there I decided to make some cufflinks as gifts for the Grooms.

I purchased the blank cufflinks in copper and brass colours from a couple of different Etsy sellers. The cufflinks included clear glass cabochons so all I needed was an image to fit behind the glass.

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I had tested lots of papers and designs for the wedding invitations and had kept the scraps.

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So I simply cut out circles with a scalpel of the prettiest parts of the design to place behind the glass.

Added a bit of superglue to seal the deal.

…and placed the glass cabochons on top

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Simple, fast, affordable… and very effective!

I’ll be adding further posts about all the other wedding themed details we created for our wedding so ‘Follow’ me to be kept updated. Click on the button in the right hand column.

First year favourites

Well, it’s been over a year, and over 1000 designs created since I started selling my Word Art as AliChappellUK.

 

I thought it would be nice to share with you some of the most interesting designs that I have been commissioned over my first year. Below I have collated my Top Ten word art designs.

I can design in many different shapes and with many different colours and details and some of these requests illustrate just how that can be done.

Just arm me with 60-ish words and I will do the rest! I love the puzzle of making everything fit.
The designs are all created using professional software, but don’t be fooled, the software does not place the words in position for me, it just ensures a quality print file at the end.
Each word is manually positioned by eye to fit the empty spaces until I have made the design into your chosen shape.

 

1.    The fabulous french butterfly

french-butterfly-wordart

Well, words essentially work the same (in the Latin alphabet), no matter the language. I was approached to design a butterfly in French for a little girl. These words translate into cute words and phrases such as ‘Sing a Rainbow’ and ‘Sugar & Spice’. The design would look fab as a big canvas in a girlie playroom.

2.    Man’s best friend

dog-wordart

When I was first asked about designing a word art for a person who absolutely pampers and spoils their dogs I actually imagined a young girl… I later discovered it was for the customer’s father – a real dog lover. For this design I included four dog’s names. The design was printed on heavy textured paper and put in a dark frame.

“You’ll no doubt be pleased to know that people still admire the piece and stand in front of it, turning their head this way and that until they’ve read every word.” – customer quote

 

3.    Britpop revival

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This time the customer was my own husband-to-be! He wanted something really special and unique for his best man and groomsmen – all very close friends that had been with him since school. The year that always had the best memories for them was 1995. I fitted in songs, places, jokes, nicknames –  everything that encapsulated the most memorable time of their life! It was printed on canvas and stretched on a deep frame. Of course Gavin kept a copy for himself which has pride of place between his guitars.

4.    Sports team star

senior-team-wordart

You know who’s the best – us not you! This sporty patriotic star contained the whole sports team, including the coaches and a few favourite phrases. This would look awesome as a banner in the sports hall facing the opposing team’s goal!

5.    Wedding of the year

cushion-custom-wedding-anniversary

Well, apart from my own wedding that is 🙂 So many special people are involved in a wedding. Friends and family all chip in and all deserve big thank you’s and unique gifts. But on your big day don’t forget to make your own special memories that last too. This cushion is filled with fun memories of the happy couple.

6.    Extended family

holiday-wordart

This was a special gift from a family in the U.K. to their family in the U.S. Included in the words were family members, pets, special moments and memories from their holiday visit. Family gifts can be treasured by so many different generations and they can come together in one place in this design. The customer liked the result so much that she bought a second one for herself!

7.    Tennis anyone?

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This was a design for a BIG Tennis fan as I’m sure you can see. I was asked to include some tennis related icons so I opted for racket and ball. This is the darkest background I have ever produced a word art in and I must admit – it’s very striking! The customer printed this out as a large poster.

“Omg I totally LOVE this… so much of a tennis statement!” – customer quote

8.    Someone special

Sam-word-art-heart

Words have so much meaning and can encapsulate a lifetime of memories, fun, jokes and adventures. This design was commisioned for someone who wanted to give a really special and unique present to his wife. Included in it are friends, family, places they have travelled, the pets and funny sayings they share. This just couldn’t be found in the shops.

9.    Love starts at home

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In contrast, sometimes you don’t need many words to say something full of meaning. ‘Our love never fails’ was the only phrase apart from the couple’s names. This was printed on textured paper and framed by myself before shipping to the customer.

10.    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

ginvera-antiaging-show

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I was approached by ‘Ginvera’ to design some artwork for their stand at the UK Anti-Ageing show this spring. The words were fitted into the shape of a green tea leaf and their corporate colours were used to create this extra large poster. You can visit the lovely Ginvera website here: http://www.janiro.co.uk/ I can’t resist the BB cream.

 

11.    A spot of self-indulgence

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I have cheated here. This is number 11 but I wanted to include it. I just had to have my own ‘sample’ of one of these gorgeous cushions… they are so soft and the ink is so bright… ahh, I’m in love….

 

Hop over to my Etsy shop to check out my latest designs here:
www.etsy.com/shop/AliChappellUK

 

TOP 10 Framing tips for amateurs

I have put together my list of top ten tips for framing using a readymade frame, I hope you find this useful.

This is a practical solution for an everyday gift, using a shop-bought frame. Framing does more than just enhance the look of your picture, it can also help protect it.

 

1 – Choose the perfect frame

If it’s for a gift, pick a neutral colour that will match most decors. You can get some really beautiful and ornate frames, but if you have bought a nice print you should be showing it off – buy something complimentary that will protect the print and not compete with it.

You can pick a frame with a mount (called a mat in U.S.) to enhance and lift your image – different colours will give different effects.

Marie-housewarming2-webMarie-housewarming-web

(Thanks to ‘Marie’ for supplying the above pictures of her framing results).

2 – Set up your workspace

Before even getting your print ready, make sure you have a clean dust-free, flat space to work in. Have enough space to take apart the frame and remove the glass safely. I suggest putting a cloth down to rest the front of the frame on to avoid any scratching.

3 – Clean the glass and frame

Make sure everything is grease and dust-free by using a glass cleaner and a clean cloth.

Work in a brightly lit space so you can spot any stray bits of dust and fibres on the glass and use a paintbrush to remove – do not blow with your mouth or brush dust off with your fingers as you will end up transferring more dirt back onto the glass.

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Handle the glass with a cloth or fabric gloves and be careful of sharp edges.

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Make sure that the glass cleaner does not come into contact with your print.

3 – Use acid-free materials

Choose acid-free matting, paper, tape and any other materials wherever possible.

There is acid present in cardboard and other papers. Acid can cause your artwork turn yellow over time.

4 – Trim your print

Put down a clean flat wooden board (that you don’t mind marking with a knife) or a cutting mat on a flat clear surface.

If you are using a mounting (matting), place the mount over your print and get your print into position, then mark your print lightly with a pencil at each corner as your cutting guide.

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Trim the print using a sharp craft knife or scalpel and a metal ruler. Only use a knife if you are a confident and responsible adult! Or alternatively a guillotine.

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5 – Secure your print

Use acid-free hinging tape to attach your print to either the top of the backing board or mount (mat). Your print will be less likely to slip out of position, and being attached only at the top will prevent it bowing or crinkling if it expands in varying atmospheric conditions.

Do not use glue or stick tape – the glue will soak through your print and cause damage.

6 – Never have the print touching the glass

Always use a mount (mat). If the glass touches your print it will in time, damage the ink and your print as a result.

Tip – if you want the image to be full-size in the frame, then cut the existing mounting (matting) to leave just enough edge to hide behind the frame, which will keep your image from touching the glass

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7 – Seal the back

The last thing you want is a bunch of thunder bugs crawling about and getting stuck inside the frame and against your print. You can buy sealing tape online or from any good art or craft store.

After sealing, trim the edges of the tape flush with your frame.

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9 – Protect it from the elements

Try not to hang it in direct sunlight, steamy damp rooms such as bathrooms, or smoky greasy rooms such as a kitchen. Give it the best chance of standing the test of time.

10 – If in doubt – ask the professionals!

The above framing method is NOT recommended if you have an original piece of art, or a limited edition Giclée print – it is a practical solution for an everyday gift around the home.  If you want something to be protected for several lifetimes then a store bought frame may not help to protect your art – you should really consider getting your piece framed professionally.

Thanks for stopping by! Visit my shop here for gorgeous personalised Word Art designs: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/AliChappellUK

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