Saturday, 19 December 2015

View from Fiona ' home in South Africa

Some of the views from Durban

These are just a few of the views from Fiona's house in Durban 

Thursday, 17 December 2015

In the shade of the Christmas Tree

I can't believe it but the ladies put the tree up last week and it was 35 degrees outside. I must admit it's a bit alien to me as I am more used to 5 degrees . But the made an excellent job has you can see .

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

South Africa visit day 2 The Shongololo

The Shongololo

This is a Shongololo I've named him red he is the first native creepy crawlie I've found 
I think we would call him a millipede he's about three inches long .

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

South Africa visit day 4

Don't know if somebody is trying to tell me something but look at the name of the road we are staying on !

Went to Pavillion yesterday this is the local mall, This used to be the biggest mall in the Southern Hemisphere ,  very much like Meadowhall back home although I don't think it's as big a lot of the shops are very similar but obviously have different names when we came out it was pouring down .

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Breakfast with the Stevenson's South Africa visit day 2

Breakfast at the Moses Madhiba stadium, Durban , South Africa.

Breakfast at Nino's beneath the Moses Madhiba stadium, Durban built for the 2010 World Cup .

South Africa visit day 1

We have arrived after travelling for what seemed like forever . I' m struggling a bit with the heat , but I would,  I' m from Yorkshire .
We had a really friendly reception straight out of the car straight to a braai ( that's South African for a BBQ ) and a few beers .
The temperature has been 35 degrees today and we have been out perusing the local antiques shops looking for goodies . Unusually for us we didn't buy anything .

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Last Sunday....

Last Sunday before departure

Morning all , well this is my last weekend before departing on my winter adventure to sunnier climes. I have actually got a design commission to work on while I am away , as well as another private venture to plan. I'll keep you all updated with lots of photos as and when I have access to a computer .
until the next post , look after yourselves
j x

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Countdown to the Cradle of Civilization

Winter Vacation

Well not long now , this time next week we will be  winging our way to sunnier climes . That's right we are off to spend Christmas and New Year in Durban , South Africa. I am hoping to do a travelblog so if you are interested check it out , if your not I'll catch you on the flipside.

Monday, 30 November 2015

Metal Box

Finished and dressed metal embossed boxes 

Top picture shows the three stages of colouring whilst the picture bellows shows a finished box dressed for display

Metal Box Faux Leather

Box Internals  
The internals of the boxes are decorated with faux leather which turned out great and once again the pictures don't do them justice

Metal box Rose Detail

Top view of metal embossed boxes
Two pictures showing the two degrees of colouring  the roses are hand tooled onto Quilting metal ( Pewter ) the one on the left is lightly painted and then buffed the one on the right is more heavily painted and then sealed

Metal Box Workshop at MB Crafts, Cleethorpes, 21 Nov 2015

A combination of metal embossed boxes from my last workshop in Cleethorpes

A great day was had by all. A great bunch of ladies and a great day , no doubt i'll be there again sometime next year.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Maniq Monday Deirdre's Tanks Painted........


Revelation of Detail

It's amazing how the base coat of black reveals the detail . The middle picture is probably the best representation of the finished tanks but these will look even better by the time I have put more texture and paint effects on to them . Keep watching .

Maniq Monday Deirdre's Air Tanks Take Shape......

Detailing of Deirdre's Tanks

Shaping ,contouring and detailing is now complete. I love how these have turned out although they look more like mortar shells than oxygen tanks , they have been textured, they just need painting up.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Vintage Camera Finds... 15 November 2015 Sheffield


Retro Camera Oddments 


Last weekend we found some really cool vintage/retro photography  accessories
there is a really cool lens, a couple of vintage light meters and some other bits, don't know what they are but that doesn't matter to me , what matters to me is that they are cool and that they will be re-purposed.  We also found a couple of retro brooches.
Cool lens and light meters
No idea what these are but I love them
The whole ensemble

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Dream Metal Embossing & Colouring Workshop

Metal Colouring workshop at Graces Craft Shop in Middlesbrough

What a great workshop and what a great day. all different ways to colour or alter metal . I did this as a techniques sampler .The base substrate is an Ikea mirror frame . The texture is built up by using different techniques and then coloured in different ways.

Coloured with Black Acrylic and Terracotta Alcohol Ink

Coloured with Black Acrylic and Pool Alcohol Ink

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Rusty Owl Workshop


 Rusty Owl Workshop

Had a great day teaching this rusty owl workshop  
Basically this is a technique sampler where we attempted to simulate marble, wrought iron, cast iron , Faux welding and faux rusting techniques
we also did faux rivets , faux pop rivets, faux nails and faux screws

Monday, 9 November 2015

Manniq Monday :- Deirdre's Oxygen Tanks

 Deirdre's Oxygen Tanks

Hi Guys
             Finally got back to working on Deirdre and had some great fun doing it. I decided she needed some oxygen tanks. This was done by cutting a plastic coke bottle in half ( I didn't want them to be too bulky ) The two halves were then filled and wrapped with newspaper and then tissue paper before sealing with golden gel medium. They will then be paper blocked before adding detail and faux welding . Come back soon and see what the finished tanks look like .


The intermediate tissue paper layer
Blocking and padding out with newspaper

Paper blocked and then sealed with Gel medium

Monday, 26 October 2015

Maniq Monday Heads Up !!

Heads Up Deirdre 
She is really starting to take shape now , the burnt/zombie flesh looks really cool , I've done this before and know it will look really cool when it is painted up . What I really need to decide now is what I am going to do about the face whether she is having  humanoid features or not . Any suggestions feel free to post them
rear view of head
side view of head

view of front of head

side view close up

Tuesday, 20 October 2015


How's it going

I know I've been absent for a while, but thanks to all those of you who have been checking out the Dreams of Vintopia Blog over the last few weeks, due to surgery and returning to work, I haven't had much free time to work on Deirdre and the Maniq Monday posts.

Hopefully I'll be able to get to do some work on her this weekend and put some new photos on ( big work project concluding this weekend) Might even get some work done on Priscilla as well.  I've always said I'd do some instructional technique videos and maybe I can get around to them ( if anybody is interested in them )

 If so please come back and check for updates.

Cheers for now

Monday, 31 August 2015

Just Another Mannequin Monday?


Maniq Monday again

Hi Guys its Maniq Monday again not got much done this week. I've returned to work this week and been quite busy but what I have taken pictures of what I have done. Below is a picture of the ribbed crest that runs from the brow line to the nape. This will add texture and will look like cast iron by the time I've painted and textured it .

The Ridge running front to back

The decorative chest plate is courtesy of an ornate hinge which I've changed Slightly and I've impregnated a pressure gauge into the chest region
I am hoping to get some more of the head decorated this week so pop back next week for an update.
but I do have a metal workshop to prepare for and teach this coming weekend so i'll get do what I can.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Weekend away with my girls

A weekend away with my ladies 
 This weekend we spent in Blackpool , its the first time I have been there and not been on the rides ( still in recovery from my surgery) but I enjoyed it non the less with great company, my partner Heather and her son Jarred and my lovely daughter Beth.

Quite a few people on the beach Sunday doing the usual beachy type stuff.

Me and Heather taken on the South Pier ( I think ) with Blackpool tower in the background.

I had to take this one it reminds me of a sales meeting at work lol.

It's not manic Monday?


Maniq Monday... ish  

Well things have moved on a little bit this week . I have screwed on the laminated shoulder pads.
I have fitted and padded out the cyclopean visor ( this came from an old marine boat siren I picked up somewhere )
The lights above the visor I think but I could be wrong came from an old carnival ride .I got quite a few in all different colours.
 The shoulder pads are decorated with two heavy duty vintage resistors from the 50's or 60's

Shoulder pads and visor detail the resistors look really cool and give it that retro industrial vibe


Visor screwed on and then secured with Golden gel medium all open spaces were then patched in ready for filler

Visor secured now to decorate

Lights fitted above visor.


Shoulder pads screwed into body

 I think the next stage will be to tidy up the rough areas using some fast drying filler. I am starting to think about how to decorate the head next , I have an idea but not sure if it will work . Watch this space to see what I do this week .

Monday, 17 August 2015

It's Mannequin Monday again!!

We actually have a post for "Mannequin Monday......

I know I know ... calm down not much to report but its Monday and that means a mannequin update, so here it is. The final paper cover has gone on and its been painted with black gesso.

Deirdre with her first coat of paint.


Shoulder pad details.

Shoulder pad details.

 First stages of the making of the shoulder pads.
The shoulder pads start off as a hand drawn template, this is cut out and duplicated. The two templates are the re-enforced on the part that will overhang the shoulder ( it will make sense once they are attached). they are then stitched together with light gauge wire for added details.
Look at the photos of "Sewer Rat " and "Felicity2 for finished samples.

I found a whole new bunch of bits I would like to incorporate in some way or another.