Monday, 11 July 2011

Play Day

On Saturday I had a fabulous time at Art From the Heart. I spent the whole day playing with paints and inks getting very messy. My fingernails will never be the same again! They are already weak and feeble but now seem to have absorbed significant amounts of Dyan's Dylusions inks and are stained round the edges in conspicuous shades of blue and green.

We made books starting with cream card and some lined file paper as the basic materials but using different techniques to decorate them first.

We used Dyan's paints in two ways: first rubbed, spread and stamped on like this...

 With a splatter of mica spray bling at the end.

And then we painted great big blobs of watery paint and let them run about on the page.

Plenty of white space left for jurnalling soV scary and not my favourite!

Then we sprayed inks. There is just something about this - once you get started it is impossible to stop. Every available surface gets coloured (and my slippers and sleeves although not on this particular occassion).

And finally Dyan's ghosting technique also with ink sprays.

See her video of how to do this here.

Finally we glued all the folded papers back to back to create a book to journal in. Hmmm, I don't think so. Although I may get round to doing some doodling in it I am slow enough at getting a page a month sorted out in my 365 day journal.

 This is what the "completed" book looks like.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Where does time go?

It's true what they say then, that time passes more quickly the older you get. I have no idea how half the year has gone by already - I blinked and missed it.

Still running behind with my 365 journalling - June isn't finished but at least here is the page at the start of the month all summery ready for the nice weather that has eventually arrived.

And because splodging and squirting is so much easier than writing July is miraculously ready to go before June is done! I am feeling suitably delinquent for procrastinating on the diffucult and playing with ink instead. We have lots of fledglings of various sorts feeding in the garden at the moment so this birdie theme was a must.

And here is another inky diversion. I made this little canvas for my son to take to Taiwan to exchange as a gift with is counterpart in the University Orchestra. Because red and gold are percieved as bringing good fortune I based the colour scheme around those colours and added the word music in English and Chinese symbols with gilding foil.

Unfortunately the planned joint concert arrangements fell through at the eleventh hour so he has decided he will keep it instead.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Busy but somehow not getting on with things

I am once again in that funny frame of mind where instead of getting on with things I have set myself to be completed I am procastinating by signing up to join in all sorts of additional crafty swaps. A lot of it has to do with my mind being busy with "real life" things. Today for example one of my team at work who has been with me for seven and a half years has taken voluntary exit under the public sector reductions. I have mixed feelings - we will miss her greatly but she has taken the oportunity to set up her own business to fit in with her lifestyle as a single mum of an adopted little girl and I can't help but admire her for having a game plan and acting on it. Way to go Julie!

And on Thursday we head South to take my son to Heathrow. He is going to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau on a concert tour with the National Youth Wind Ensemble so we are all very proud and despite the break from teenageness (he is 14 and more than a bit like the Harry Enfield character Kevin at times) it is far different from his recent school exchange to France where I could if necessary hop the channel and rescue him - from what I don't know - to going to the other side of the world.

So I've been cutting myself slack and opting to do some quickand easy stuff like these black and white ATCs.

These "Games" themed ATCs proved more difficult than I had thought. I didn't start them until the last minute, somehow I just couldn't get to grips with what I thought was an easy theme. However the football season isweeks away but in our house there is constant checking on Ceefax for the latest transfer news. Far more annoying than actually watching the ads in programmes but equally inspiring for a different take on the games theme. Dug out old stamps that got lots of use several years back for little boy's brithday cards.

And finally for now, a background paper made for another swap with lots of messy ink sprays, old book pages and gesso.

I will have to make strenuous efforts now to get my 365 journal upto date - likely to be into next week though before I catch up!

Sunday, 29 May 2011

You'd better sit down...

I'd hate the shock of finding a new post to cause any accidents, and this is likely to be quite a long one given how long it is since I last posted!

One way or another I've been if not always too busy, then too preoccupied with other matters to get creative for a while. I've had serious ill health in my family (which continues but I am coming to terms with), redundancies and changes to job profiles and terms and conditions at work and my son doing his first GCSE papers all going on at once so my mind has been a bit all over the place.

I'm glad to say though that I'm starting to do a bit of crafting again and have kept going with my 365 day journal, although a bit sparse with entries. So here by way of a catch up...

My March page in spring colours and we did have some daffodils but not many other flowers by then.

April is music themed for no other reason than I liked the bright colours and have quite a few music related crafty bits because my son is a keen musician.

May in the early stages. I have to confess I had a blitz at the beginning of May to catch up a bit and then have fallen behind on the actual journalling. I will add some more over the long weekend though and get ready for June.

Also since I last posted I have made ATCs and a row of houses for swaps, and been tinkering with a few other projects that are work in progress too. Much to the annoyance of my partner and son the entire kitchen is permanently completely covered in craft stuff whilst I potter for short periods each day trying bits out, rearranging pieces etc.

The ATC swap had a music/dance theme. My partner sent me very elegant ballet themed ATCs in soft colours and decorated with lace. (Note to self I must get round to taking pictures so I can share with you). I hope my jazzy bright musical offerings weren't too much!

The row of houses swap required the use of a button somewhere in the design. These swaps are great fun because you get 5 houses back, one from each of 5 swappers so they are all very different. You can tell I still had the same stuff out in the kitchen when I made these because some sheet music crops up again. These were entirely constructed with materials that were selected at random from what I already had out in the kitchen. The dots on the roof are stamped with bubble wrap and coated in Matte Accents. I don't know why but I do not get on with that product. Often the result is shiny not matte and if I am heavy handed in application it sometimes dries wrinkly. I didn't mind here as I had no definite plan and just wanted texture. I added more texure too with stalks made from painted string.

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Pinch, punch, white rabbits etc

Friday saw the start of a new month and hopefully Spring proper. At last we have frog spawn in the pond, more daylight and sunshine and there are lambs in the fields. More excitingly though, Friday saw the launch of the Craft Stamper magazine e-zine. Containing 12 favourite step by step projects from 2010 as voted by readers, this e-publication is available free to download. Click on the image below to go to the magazine web site and take a closer look.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

February finshed

Almost there with my catch up now!

Here is my February page completed. I forgot to say before, the typed quotes on each page are lines from Flanders and Swann's take on Sara Coleridge's poem The Months. March ready to start will be along soon - I just need to summon the energy to learn how to retrieve things from the new external hard drive to post the piccie.

Also in February I did a 3 for 3 ATC swap with the theme "abstract" which is fabulous for using all those experimental bits and pieces and off cuts from other projects. The first three below are the ones I sent to my swap partner on time but which somehow became separated from their envelope en route so she only got the envelope and a note from the PO! The bead bit on the first one makes me think of a headless giraffe - very wierd I know and unintentional when I put the glue on.

This set are the replacements I made which are waiting to be addressed and posted - with lots of extra glue and sellotape to make sure thet stay in the envelope this time.

Thursday, 3 March 2011


A big hello to anyone reading this who has come back to visit despite such a very long time with no posts.

Since Christmas I haven't had a whole lot of time for crafty things and just when I was getting my 365 journal page for January ready the PC had a breakdown (and quite frankly at times I felt like joining it!).

Happily, after a stay in pc hospital, a return to factory settings and the very slow process of getting things installed again we're back in business so to speak.

First here is a picture of January completed.
And another of February ready to start.
I'll post again later with the end result.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

A New Year and a New Arrival

2011 has begun and I have prepped pages in my enormous A3 note book ready to start a new year in the 365 journal challenge. (Do go to The Kathryn Wheel to find out more.)
But this year I am determined to break rules. Obviously - I hope! - not the legal and ethical ones which make for a civilised society but the many which I have in my own head. For example this year I won't use squares in straight lines for my 365 journal. I've decided to go a bit freestyle and write randomly on the page. I might well go further and not even write something for every single day. I'm sure I will in fact simply work to another set of rules on this and other projects but a change is as good as a rest, or so they say.
Anyway, here is my January page ready for writing.

And here is the new arrival refered to in the title - Huckleberry. We got him on bank holiday Monday so he is still very timid and more than a little manic in his new home, but very cute and amusing and a diversion from getting on with things, hence the late start with my journal.

It occurs to me that I never posted last December's page when finished: so just to prove that I did in fact finish what I started (unlike all the bags of half knitted jumpers and other partially completed projects behind the sofa) here is a wonky snapshot as evidence.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

12 days - part two

Here is installment two of the wonderful gifts I received in the 12 days of Christmas swap...

A machine embroidered needle case from Wendy in shimmery subtle colours. Pretty and useful - I will stitch more in 2011.

Fiona also did some clever fabric work, making this glorious brightly patterned purse.

From Annie, a fabulous embroidered felty covered note book - looks and feels almost like tree bark and moss.

Lyn sent me this bejewelled decorated candle - too nice to light.

This ray of summery sunshine is from Jessie to take my mind off the horrid snowy weather. Scrummy texture on the frames and diddy shells to embellish although flash glare is hiding them in this shot.

This mega paper clip from Liz, with a wonderful large and glittery snowflake tag to hang on the tree as a bonus.

And these little faces peeping are the crazy cats I made, waiting to be wrapped and posted.

I want it to be Christmas again now so we can swap some more!

Saturday, 1 January 2011

12 Days of Christmas - part one

Whilst 12th Night might not strictly be upon us yet, in our 12 days of Christmas swap we started opening gifts to finish on Christmas day(ish). So, now everyone has seen all their pressies, it won't be spoiling the surprise to show you what we all got....

A polymer clay brooch from Mawgan - very festive but sadly delicate and fragile so it didn't survive the postal journey in tact.

A mixed media brooch from Claudia.

and a metal on card brooch from Hilda who parcelled it in a box cleverly folded from sheets of paper.

Next a pendant made from a domino from Jean.

and a friendly plastic necklace from Pauline. I won't be caught wearing the same thing twice this season!

And finally for this installment, an altered photo frame from Adrienne, with lovely texture and in her trade mark copper and turqouise colours.