Friday, 31 December 2010

Art Journal Every Day

Quote of the day today is 'Fortune favours the bold' from Virgil - which is rather apt in my case as I am about to embark on 365 days of art journalling - joining in the challenge of 'Art journal every day' you can join in too - there's a link in my side bar!

Now you don't have to do a journal page every single day - oh no - I would fall by the wayside on the first day if you did! The idea is that you add a little something every day - why not hop over and read up about it - it sounds great fun.

I am number 150 on the list of those joining in from all over the world - and the list is growing fast!

On Julie's blog today, she has uploaded examples of work from different blogs and it's brilliant to kick start you into action. 

So after an hour and a half's walk in fog around the village, on a cold miserable day, it was just what I needed to get going.

When I took a look today I was inspired to have a go at using bright colours after seeing Reine's fabulous journal page.
So here is my 10 minute 'start' today.
Using Pentel Aquash water colour crayons on the left hand side page, I just scribbled some random colours.  Then decided to repeat the colours on the right hand side page using Necolours.

Look what happens when you wash over them with a water brush - magic!
I had just started to flick water onto the right hand side when my time was up!
Watch this space!

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Finished the cheese now altered the box!

Here are a few photos of a cheese box I altered.  

Firstly I painted the box with children's copper coloured acrylic paint 
Then using a stencil, I dabbed all over with blue metallic paint

Then I repeated the process for the lid

Job done!

Tucked inside is a surprise - best not mention what it is as it's a birthday present.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

It's a cracker

I hardly have time to sit down at the moment - like most mums and grannies - lots of baking and wrapping of presents, etc.

I did make some time a week ago to create this
It smells wonderful when you walk into the little room.  The combination of eucalyptus, pine, and rosemary is so refreshing.  It looks much redder and Christmassey in daylight.

I also bought a real Christmas tree as always from a farm - and braved driving down a narrow country lane, covered in snow, with only one track of tyre marks - that was last week.

I spent a couple of afternoons decorating it.  It takes so long, as every bauble and bit of tinsel brings  back memories of Christmas past.

Are you the same when you decorate your tree or home?

Have a good Christmas one and all, and may 2011 bring good health and happiness.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Fabric postcard - with vintage c1920's material

Recently I made a fabric postcard for a swap, my very first, and now that it has arrived at it's destination I can post it on here.
I made it from a sample of vintage French material circa 1920's
which found it's way years ago to a shop in Norway, and was bought by Ati
I couldn't bear to part with the original label - rusty staples and all - so this is a photo copy which I made on old paper - it's hard to tell that it is not the original

It looks like silk brocade with gold embroidery, and I have made it 'shabby chic' style, sewing it on to the back of a scrap of vintage hessian, which I had stamped with vintage script

Then I built up the layers.
Another piece of the vintage blue and gold material

More torn hessian stamped to match the base layer

Then I did an image transfer of this gorgeous girl which really suited the period of the material.
I dyed the scrap of lace to tone in with the colours in the image, and added the tiny circle of from a piece of vintage crocheted doilly.

(I have kept enough of the sample to make myself a similar postcard or wall hanging, or maybe I will make a journal of little works of art using the samples in 2011, the material is just so beautiful)

I received my first ever fabric postcard swap back - from Jean - the start of a lovely collection I hope.

I can see how addictive these little works of fabric art can be!

Monday, 13 December 2010

Upcycling 'rubbish'

Have you got any of these lying around?   Well don't throw them out will you.

Take out the pattern

Add some stitching.
Slap on some gesso - as much or as little as you like.
Then you can cut it and sew it up as it is or.....

I decided to cover mine

Added some scraps of webbing

Added some handles

Hey presto - a bag.
It's surprisingly strong!
This one holds an A5 journal set with coloured pencils,
and sets of brushes.

If you would like to have a go at making some lovely bags out of paper - visit Roben-Marie's blog here - for lots of inspiration and a free mini workshop with all the instructions here

Mine is rubbish in comparison with her samples - but after visiting her blog late at night on Saturday, I just had to go into my craft room right away and have a go at one!

So in essence this was just a practice piece to see if I could make one - my head is now buzzing with lots of ideas on adapting the process to make all sorts of packages.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Another week - another 'cake'

I made a square arrangement for a friend.

Another cake design

I hadn't seen this friend for over 20 years

She thinks it is about 23 years

What a joyous weekend we had - and we won't lose touch again
I was able to use lots of foliage from my garden, and moss just a couple of days before the snow wrecked most things

I chose flowers that should last a long time

I love Christmas - it's such a great time to flower arrange

I am working on a Christmas cracker

I'll finish it over the weekend - it's very Christmassy

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Zero calories, fat free birthday cake.

My daughter in law Haruko, is 40 years old today.  I didn't have 40 candles so improvised with the cake.
I glued two blocks of floral foam together, then cut out a circle.
There are lots of layers.  Dozens of laurel leaves 
Each picked to be of a uniform size.  Secured underneath and then each one pinned to overlap the previous one.

It takes a long time, and a lot of patience - but it stops you eating!

You only need tips of shrubs from the garden and moss to fill the gaps.

And in true Alice in Wonderland fashion with the flowers

Off with their heads!  The flowers last so much longer this way

I think  it looks good enough to eat - and smells divine!
The chunky candle should last at least a week of night time lighting.

I think I will make a few Christmas cakes like this!

(Oh - before I forget - I have baked a really BIG calorific wicked chocolate cake too!)

Friday, 19 November 2010

It's in the post - work in progress, and Mary Mary

The wall hanging is finished and in the post.

The next experiment

I spent some time over the last few nights just experimenting with layers.
Trust me this looks better in real life, the colours aren't so harsh, and it has a feel of the Tudor rich velvet costumes and wall hangings - muted, but rich
I thought you might like to see how the layers are built up.

It started off as a piece of cream material, which I painted with suede acrylic.
Cream was stencilled on next.
Then pearlescent white.
Metallic green.
Brayered white all over.
Stencilled gold.
I now have one more layer of acrylic white to brayer on then I'll build up the layers of material.

This is Mary - she somehow managed to get on the wrong blog.
She's a very very rare little Lemon Millefleur Sablepoot.

She decided to sit right outside the conservatory window on a wall - to dry off her dirty 'boots'.
I think that she is as pretty as a picture - so I'll let her stay here!

I spent a lovely couple of hours at a flower arranging workshop this afternoon. 
It was too dark to take a decent photo of the finished work - so I'll post that on here tomorrow.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

'Make an item of your choice using stencils'

I thought I would have a go at this swap - it's taken me quite a long time to do this - but its been fun.
I had bought a yard of this from a charity shop - it's quite thick material

I had to do this in stages.  Firstly I painted the metallic copper layer over a stencil and left it to dry overnight.

Then I painted the pearlescent on top through another stencil - left that to dry overnight and repeated the two processes the next couple of days.  (Having been doing Tam's free course, I have learned a lot about layering - it really makes a huge difference.)

I cut out a heart from the same material, then painted the pearlescent over stencils - yes you guessed it, left it overnight to dry.  I painted around the edge of the frayed heart, transferred an image directly onto the heart, stamped 'Best Friend' with Stazon, and then sewed all the layers together.

Hemmed the top, sewed on the vintage lace borders.  I haven't decided whether to just sew on the cord or to thread through a stick and tie the cord on. I'll experiment before I send it off.

This photo is just to show you the difference it makes taking a picture at night with just the room light!
The other photos were taken under a 'daylight' bulb lamp.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Art, Heart, and Healing Course - Week 3 Part 2 - The making of an Empathy Monster

You'll have to click the link to Tam's free course to see what all this is about - yet another new technique and learning curve.

This proved rather difficult for me - a monster!!!!

So this is a prototype using the drawing Tam gave us.   There are elements missing - like a zip for the mouth, but as they don't say anything - my little 'Emy' Empathy doesn't have a mouth.
She is made from scraps - second hand used blue velvet - feels oh so soft on my cheek.  Ribbon someone saved for me a year ago - from a box if chocolates.  Fringing from a charity shop, buttons from Freecycle, and the star is shell which I coloured blue.  The heart from a piece of silk from a charity shop tatty scarf.

Now that I have made Emy, I want to make some friends for her - just need to get some 'bits' to make them 'properly'

Oh - and she is filled with perfumed stuffing!

Obvously NOT  a child's toy!

Thank you for all your lovely comments.  I can't wait to make some more - this is my first ever 'doll' - I'm a bit old to finally have one, better late than never!

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Week 3 Art,Part 1 Heart and Healing Course

I know that I haven't finished the Week 2 projects, but I can catch up with those later - and I don't want to fall behind

So here we are at week three - and this is so much fun, truly.

It's decorating the cover page - and what a different and scary way to do it!

You take a photo - do unimaginable things to it with sandpaper, water, scratchy things, and paint!

I ruined the first photo at the last 'knockings' when I got some black ink on my nose and couldn't get it off!

A dull day, and low light levels are playing havoc with my photography and colours.  The green dots are made with metallic paint and look lovely in daylight.

Me and my little grandson - I love him so very much it literally opened my soul when he was born.
To think that he is part of me - without my genes he wouldn't be alive - the beginning of my own little line of family tree - who knows how many generations will follow me - sends a tingle down my spine!

 I have to make something else to finish the first of week 3's projects to add to the front page - but hopefully it will be a bit of art all of it's own.

Tam is the most amazing tutor - there is just something about her that I just can't explain.

I spent the morning looking through lots of old photo albums - from the years when my boys were youngsters - and the joy and smiles in those photos lit up my day.   I hadn't fogotten about the exquisite joy and happiness of having and nurturing them.  The parties, the games, the pets, the houses, the gardens, the simple life and simple pleasures - it was great.

Then I looked at other albums - photos in black and white - and seeing the images, I relived those times with detached affection - and was surprised at the memories it brought back of that young girl out into the big wide world on her own and working too at the age of 16.
And look at me now!

And before I knew it - the whole morning had gone and I hadn't found a single photo that I could use.

But as you can see - I did find a digital one, and managed to fix the printer too!