Thursday, 31 March 2011

Do try this at home

This post title courtesy of Joanna K - Thank you :)

This is a 4x4 canvas for another of the Altered Gypsies. These ones are now winging there way to the US, and tomorrow this one will be in the post to France. There are two left to complete, one of which will be heading to Italy, and the other will be heading all the way across town.

I'm also using this as my entry for this week's Play Date Cafe challenge.

Stamp is Moongirl by Stampotique.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Do you see a weed?

or do you see a flower?

To me, Yellow is the true colour of spring. Brilliant splashes as Forsythia bushes explode into bloom, Daffodils bursting through the earth to toss their golden heads in the sun, and now these little beauties :)

As I drive home from work I have to negotiate a fairly large roundabout, and it's usually a start-stop affair, which gives me time to stop and admire the daffs, or watch the birds foraging in the grass. Today, in amongst the daffs I spotted my first dandelions of the year, and when I got home it was a case of grabbing a pencil and watercolours and sketching this. It must have taken all of ten minutes.

Spontaneous art, whatever next?

Saturday, 26 March 2011

It ain't what you do...

it's the way that you do it, and that's what gets results

OK now that you've got another cheesy 80's pop song stuck in your head, I'll move on :)

This is going to be a how to post (yes, I do them occasionally)

Some of you may remember that last year I joined in with a circle journal/round robin with a raven theme. Although some of the journals are still on the go, I'm one of the fortunate ones who's journal is already complete and returned. As a thank you I decided to create an altered canvas for each of the ladies who contributed to my journal (and not a raven in sight). The five canvases featured here are for those in the states, there's a couple more to be made, but they don't have as far to travel.

You will need:
Mounted canvas or canvas board (these are 7x5)
Tissue paper, clear and coloured
PVA glue
Acrylic paint
Distress inks
Waterproof ink pad
Large (feature) stamp

Take 2 acrylic paints (chosen randomly) and apply to canvas. Allow to dry
Add book pages, or background stamp (if required). Stamp feature image onto coloured tissue paper. Apply tissue paper to canvas using diluted PVA glue. Work in well with brush to pick up canvas texture.
When dry, age the canvas using Distress inks. Apply with enough pressure to rub through the tissue and expose the canvas and background images.
Stamp feature image onto white tissue, and when dry place over previously stamped image. Using diluted PVA work into the canvas. Again, distress the tissue to allow the lower layers to show through.
Using Distress inks age the canvases again. When dry, stamp main image onto thin tissue (single ply works best) and carefully fix on top of previous images. Warning - single ply is very delicate and will easily disintegrate.
When dry (again) age with distress inks and alcohol inks. Distress with emery board/sandpaper.
Add embellishments

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Living next door to Alice

This is my first entry for the Altered Alice blog. I wasn't expecting to have time to join in, but due to a change of plans I've had a little bit of unexpected crafty time so I've managed to quickly create something. If you've not visited Altered Alice you need to; there is some seriously amazing creativity on display - don't worry, I'm about to go and lower the tone :)

This was inspired by a song with the same title by Smokie (from the seventies) that was on the radio earlier in the week.

The images are digistamps from the Octopode Factory.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Nearing the end...

...of the birthday bubble.

In the last 4 weeks I've made a dozen cards for various people's birthdays. These two were made on Saturday at the Cubby Hole, before I headed out into sunny (ha!) Wales for a couple of nights in the van. If you want the full story of the weekend, and some rambling thoughts, take a look here.

Last but not least, thanks to Diane at Collagitation for some tips on dealing with blood spatter. I've used chalks and copper spray, and the butterfly card should now be safe from CSI ;)

Recycled card:
Numbers and recycled art stamps - Paperartsy
Birthday stamp - Crafty Individuals
Diamond stalks - Magenta

Inchies card
Live, love, laugh, learn - Image Tree
Discover, hope, dream - Inkadinkadoo

Friday, 18 March 2011

There's always one!

.....and it's usually me ( before somebody else says it).

This is another entry for the Play Date Cafe, inspired this time by the digistamps of Lily Chilvers aka the Octopode Factory. This isn't the original plan, but I may do that later.

I have a long weekend so there may be a quite a bit of art being blogged, unless I decide to go and sit in a field and enjoy some peace & quiet. Time will tell.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Too gory?

This started as a birthday card.

I had a piece of sprayed scrap paper from a workshop and it looked good, so I decided I'd repeat the process.
I created the butterfly (image by Tattered Angels), and then sprayed the card to give a nice pink & purple firework effect. Unfortunately once the inks had dried it looked more like blood spatter than fireworks, so I'll be making a replacement.

I still like it though :)

The small pics are a sneak preview of something I'm working on. The canvases are 8"x5", and the detail is from the first completed one.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Whatever's written in your heart

At the beginning of the year I was saddened to hear of the passing of Gerry Rafferty, a man who was vastly under-rated in the music world. Most people will remember him for the hugely popular 'Baker Street' - even if you don't know the name you'll recognise the song as soon as the sax kicks in. Baker street was played everywhere as a tribute, but the song that hit home to me was "Whatever's written in your heart".

Today was a workshop with Sarah at the Cubby Hole - Journal lettering. At one point Sarah suggested adding words inside something; a flower, a leaf, a heart, and it was another of those moments where everything suddenly slots into place - words, song & heart. This is the result.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Wrigglies everywhere!

This is my entry for this week's Play Date challenge.

It's inspired by a comment I made on this post by Sue Roddis, and an email I received from her about liking worms lol.

Perceived wisdom is that "opening a can of worms" comes from anglers. Once they had opened a can of bait (worms) it wasn't easy to get it closed again :)

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Community work

No, I haven't done anything naughty.

If you take a look HERE, you'll find 2 pages I created for a community journal being organised by the talented Phoenix.

Go on, take a look; you know you want to, and there's still time to join in if you're quick :)

Saturday, 5 March 2011


Two (yes two) entries for the latest Play date challenge. Both are birthday cards, part of the bumper crop of cards that I have to make each year around this time.

Hopefully tomorrow I'll have time to sit and create something just for the sake of creating :)

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

The Art of Blogging

or should that be the blogging of art?

This was inspired by a couple of things. A conversation with Carol, Sue B and Suzanne at the Cubby Hole, and an email exchange with Sue Allan about why people create and why they blog.

I sometimes have to check that it is me making things. I was useless at art at school (or maybe just the wrong encouragement) and most of my life has been fairly structured; maths & science, engineering, everything fairly black & white. Now I find I look at things differently, it’s in colour and there’s ideas everywhere (too many at times). I think I’ve gone outside the box lol. I can still do the other stuff like drawing two straight lines by eye, that form a perfect right angle, but now I’m liable to add a cobweb, or shade in the corner :D I guess I’ve grown up and gone back to being young at heart at the same time.

I’m lucky to have the Cubby Hole and the regulars that attend. It’s becoming quite a little arty community, which is good because Crewe isn’t known for its culture. Between Sarah’s workshops (and Sue’s before her) and the playdays and exhibitions, it’s a gold mine of inspiration and support. We’ve grown together and gradually moved on from fairly straight-forward card making, to experimenting with all sorts of mixed media. It never ceases to amaze me how much variety there is in our work, and yet we can still pick out each other’s pieces, maybe because we can see the personality in it.

Somewhere along the way I finished up with a blog, and I'm still not sure how that happened. I also finished up with a list of other people's blogs down one side of it. Over time it grows and every so often I go through and cull it; weeding out the one's that seem to have fallen by the wayside, or which no longer grab my eye. The ones which survive are the ones which speak to me.

I looked at a blog a few days ago, and the profile basically said "I'll tell you what I've done and how, but not why, and I'll tell you nothing of myself because I don't know who you are". Yet, if you go to the effort of creating art and blogging it, why wouldn't you want to tell us what inspired you, or to give a little of yourself? Surely that's the main thing? What moved you to put ink to paper, or needle to fabric? I'm not asking for your bank details, or where you leave the house keys; I want interesting things like the fact that your cat's name is Kropek, or you worry about spoiling a page by writing on it, or you can't remember the words to Singing in the Rain. In other words, the things that make you, you.

I think I'll stop now as I'm starting to ramble. I guess the Dried Frog Pills must be wearing off ;)