Thursday, 28 July 2016

Tims tag for July

Well, I know I have been a bad blogger, but I hope that after I deliver the 13 tables for the restaurant tomorrow and the last few things that need doing that I will get my life back... Who am I kidding?

For thise of you who don't know, I have been working on steampunking up a restaurant by building airships and doing pipework on the walls, putting cogs on the ceiling as well as painting designs on the tables.  Only it is winter here right now, so nothing is drying and everything is taking an inordinate amount of time to finish.

I did however make the time to create Tims tag as a birthday card for my mom who turned 77 today!

Sunday, 29 May 2016

The birth of a mini airship

Here is my latest testing phase...
Created from...
I love the fact that the nose cone is an ice-cream cone... that tickles my sense of humour...
The base is two cupcake stands joined at their bases
Then  added some conduit and fabric...

Now I need to finalize the design and add finishing touches and make the gondola

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Little box with Prima moulds by IOD

I saw these moulds when Prima launched them and just had to have them cos I have been using icing moulds to make embellies for a while with smooth cast polyurethane.

Here is my little decoupage blank that I made over using the moulded items from both my icing moulds as well as the IOD moulds and Finn's rust paste set.
They start off white and you can make them any colour you like.  The Prima moulds by Iron Orchid Designs have a wonderful finnish to them and paint adheres so beautifully.

After I painted everything black, I then added the metallic paints, but that was not enough for me, so I rusted parts of it...
Below you can see the finished item with half of it rusted.
This link is a video of how I pour my moulds.

A video posted by Belinda Basson (@acorncrafts) on

Friday, 18 March 2016

Tim's tags 2016 March

Ok so I have had to play catch up!  Where has this year gone?  The first 1/4 is almost history!

This is my March tag.

As usual, I don't have all the tools and products that Tim used, but I have made do with distress paint instead of distress crayons and the Umbrella man instead of the butterflies as well as a book page instead of the tissue paper...  It is about the creative process... not making a carbon copy of Tim's! 

These are all my bits before I layered them all up.

Here are all 3 tags of mine and these are the links back to Tim's.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Steampunk hat

It is with great excitement that I can now share with you my latest hat.

I entered it into a competition over at a local scrapbook store called Scrapbook Treasury.

The results of the competition were released this morning and I am thrilled to say that I won!  The prize is a week-end getaway for 2 and I will be taking it up in August!

My base was a shop bought blank satin black hat.
While shopping in a local store called the Crazy Store, I came across this candle holder and it sparked an idea for the hat.
I had to give it a spray with primer so that the copper paint would stick...
Then I sprayed the whole thing copper, cut a slit in the hat and glued the candelabra in place.  I had to snip a little of the spike off so it did not dig into my head...
Then I set about stenciling on the patterns by using Tim Holtz stencils and a compass mask of his with distress paint in black soot over the top.  The other stencils I used were by Prima and Crafters Workshop.
Here you have the basic hat before the embellishments.

Some stamping on Tim's tags
Tim's mask on the back of the hat with a clock key
The goggles

The products I used are: plain black top hat, copper spray paint, alcohol ink in pitch black and copper mixative. Black soot distress paint,  glossy accents to glue the cogs,  clear rock candy distress crackle paint, copper perfect pearls on the goggles,  Tim Holtz tickets and metal ideology stuff, stampendous steampunk shoes stamps, jet black archival ink, metal flowers and cogs and a pair of welders goggles to which I added the lid from a mini cookie jar to extend the one lens.

It took me a total of 8 hours to complete this hat, not including drying time for things like the clear rock candy crackle paint on the goggles which I left to dry overnight.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Steampunk Time Travel Art Installation at Truth Coffee

May I suggest you get comfortable and have a mug of coffee on hand before you delve into this photo heavy post...  you could be here a while...

Above is the final art installation piece (3.6m x 1.8m) with airship and below is the beginning of its story which started in June of 2014 when I created this canvas below about Tim Holtz and Truth Coffee...
I posted this little canvas on Twitter and the owners of Truth Coffee went mad for it... I took it in to them and they asked if I did commissions... the answer was YES and so over the next 19 months I have been purchasing stuff and creating even more things for this enormous task.

Here you can see the giant 1.3m clock and the various items I have Steampunked using loads of Tim Holtz's products. 
This was the beginning of the banner saying "beware of Airship Pirates in this vicinity"
After a while I had quite an eclectic pile of things growing on my dining room table...  The pvc gutter piping was sprayed copper and had rivets glued on.
I cut giant cogs out of foam core bord and sprayed everything silver.
Three weeks ago I had 3 large Masonite boards cut to 1.2m x 1.8m and base coated them with a beige PVA and set out all the items I had made so far.  I then decided the cogs needed to be copper...
Having decided where it was all going and having marked it out, I set about gluing the half orbs down.
When the glue was dry, I started painting the boards with artists acrylics.
At this stage, they were all on my tables in my studio, but this was hard to see the overall effect when I added all the cogs and other 3D items, so I dropped it down onto the floor.
 Here you can see me giving the whole thing a glaze of burnt umber to warm it up a bit.
This is the layout I finally decided on, but everything was still too shiny and new, so I set about aging it all.
 from this... to this...
To be able to visualize everything properly, I had to take the boards to my house... this involved getting a friend with a VW caravel to transport it for me for which I was most grateful.
This is the artwork together with the airship (how I made that is here) in my garage.
 I then deliberated between the hands on the clock or swapping them with the swards on the scroll... see above and below...
Eventually this option won!
 Seeing as Tim Holtz is known for technique tags and he was part the reason I got this commission in the first place... I used a shipping tag for my name!
The airship about to take her maiden voyage of 22km to Truth's HQ at 36 Buitenkant Street.
Where she took up temporary residence under the coffee beans...
 The van did not have space for the giant clock as well as the artwork and airship, so I had tied it to the roof of my car!
 Then the 4 hour job of installing it all began... I give you... The blank wall...
To install this project I had help from Nathan and Patrick from Truth and here you can see my hubby helping Nathan who is drilling the holes in the boards while still on the floor.
 I was an assistant too, passing up the necessary bolts etc... 
 Here are the boards before we stared adding the 3D stuff.
 Then we added all the items piece by piece
 Until it was just the decor items that had to go on suitcases which are floating shelves.
 and finally put up the airship
My ecstatic face in front of my artwork 
 I have truly left my mark!
In this shot you can see the dress form on the far right which was placed here in July 2014 in anticipation of her backdrop arriving!

Above is the before shot and below is the after shot!
I would like to thank David, Richard and Andrew from Truth Coffee for giving me this opportunity to create something for their building and allowing me to realise a dream.

If you have made it this far and would like to read the manifesto I wrote about this piece, read on:

A genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery rather than advanced technology.

This installation art piece by Belinda Basson is a play on time and travel.  The non-functional clock’s hands have been intentionally removed by the airship pirates and their swords put in their place thus creating an interesting juxtaposition and reminding the viewer of the thief of time.

Images supporting both the idea of time and travel re-occur with the use of a miniature alarm clock which looks like it has been brought up from the depths of the ocean after many years of languishing there, its hands stuck at 3 o’clock.  Then there is the genuine hour glass where the sands of time will slide by over a measured hour.  This stands on a vintage suitcase which has been worked over in embossed metal foil with images that depict engaged cogs as from the internal workings of a clock and compass to emphasise the relation to the mannequin standing meters away who wears a foil corset and has matching “skin”.  Her framed male counterpart above her harks back in time to the Victorian era when paper cut out portrait silhouettes were the height of fashion.

The leather suitcase stands open to display the items the time travelling voyager might have used to plan their travels, such as the globe to plot the route, typewriter to communicate anecdotes of the things witnessed back to their loved ones and the camera to capture all the memories for posterity.

Part of the installation, but hanging some distance away, is the rivet studded airship with a gondola depicting a somewhat altered version of the Truth Coffee building, in which it is suspended.  The airship’s stabilisers take their design from the Truth Coffee shop’s logo while the nose-cone and propeller seem to have been retrieved from the same mysterious ocean depths as the miniature alarm clock.

All of this is set against a sea of cogs and pipes aged and rusted due to lack of use, reminiscent of a time when steam was the height of power.