Friday, 30 April 2010

It's that time of the month again!

It's been a busy week - so I haven't been able to do any crafting this week - apart from the bag that is.

It's the last Friday in the month - which means it's a flower arranging afternoon.  It's a bit of a trek - and I often don't feel like going - but since I have it has done me a (flower) power of good, and I am always really glad that I made the effort afterwards

I used to do a lot of flower arranging - most weeks in fact, and I loved collecting flowers and foliage from my garden - but it fell by the wayside when I had to stay out of the sun.  But it's great to be back doing it.

It ensures that at least once a month, I have a nice display in my home.

I thought this was lacking something so I added the candle and wrapped a bit of the pink wire around it to colour co-ordinate it.  Not sure that I will light it though - I like them lit in the winter!

I have taken lousy photos - it was all a bit of a rush as I had to start cooking for visitors the weekend

It does smell lovely and looks more colourful in daylight

Monday, 26 April 2010

All dressed up and nowhere to go!

I was all dressed up ready to go out and explore - and - the car wouldn't start.


Phoned the AA and a knight in shining yellow armour came to my rescue within 35 minutes.

Despite his big black charger - even the knight could not breathe life into my silver horse powered carriage and rescue me! - My battery was as dead as the proverbial Dodo.

So what does one do?

Well I walked into the village through the church grounds (where once my stepgrandaughter aged 5 at the time - was skipping at my side as we went past the ancient tombstones - where we stopped to read some names. She asked me all about the different ones, the engravings on them, then we went along another row, where the moles had been busy and there were mole hills. "Nana" she said, "see those piles of dirt - is that where the people are trying to get out?")    She is 15 now!

Anyway, I digress, a walk through our lovely historic village, through the church yard looking at all the wild flowers, and a bright and breezy, "Hello" from the chap mowing all the lawns - soon dispelled any lingering disappointment at my aborted shopping trip.

I crossed the green, past the bowls club, and headed for the little village garage.   Explained my damsel in distress plight and they got on the phone, ordered the new car battery I needed, and old Malcom and his equally elderly friend who hangs out at the garage, came this afternoon and fitted it for me.   How's that for service!

So never being one to sit still for long and having time to fill before Patrick came back from bowling, I decided I ought to have some playtime.

After the daydreaming through the church yard to times gone, by I decided to 'do' another vintage bag.

The picture  I used, I found on the Art Creations Friday blog, and it was digitally altered by
Terri Daugherty - but there was no link to her blog only her name on the photo.
I Googled her with the aim of asking her  if I could use her image - but failed in finding her

So if you see this Terri or know Terri - I hope she will not mind my playing with it. 
It is not for gain or for sale - just something to keep me busy.

So I painted it, and stamped it

And painted some more
And painted and stamped even more. 
The background, her scarf, her lips, her eyes, the flowers - and more, more, more, more.

And gradually built up the layers until it looked like a painted canvas
The colours are now different too!

For some reason it looks darker in the photo below  - taken from a different angle I guess.
But the true colours are those of the close up - shades of brown, sepia, creams etc

I do hope that Terri takes it as a compliment that I used her image
It's kept an old lady very happy for a day.

So what shall I do tomorrow?
Why get all dressed up to the nines again - and go and explore and shop!

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Zuzu's Alter it monthly Challenge - Matchbox

I first came across Zuzu in February 2007 when I stumbled across ATCs and a forum called CM&P.
Before then, I hadn't ventured into the world of 'art'. 

You can see my first efforts here shock horror!  At the time I was rather proud of them - but not now - but we all have to start somewhere.

Zuzu very kindly offered to trade an ATC with me  - an Oriental one - and since then, thanks to her guidance, help, and inspiration, and then later those of her friends, I stumbled into the magical world of rubber stamping, altered art, grunge, embossing and so much more.  I would never have had the imagination or confidence to do these things myself.

I was absolutely thrilled to see that she is back blogging and started a Monthly Altered Art Challenge.

For some reason my brain 'freezes' when the word 'Challenge' is mentioned, and I struggle to achieve something in a week or two - but with a MONTH to make one in - then I should be able to manage it.

My first effort which I made last week is below - just blogged it today - but it's not as good as I would have liked, so I tried again this morning and I am a lot happier with this effort.

Using a white matchbox, I painted it with distress inks.
Then stamped all over it

And did the same with the tray.
One of the first things which I learned from Zuzu's art, was to 'outline' edges

So every single thing I make I edge - albeit with ink pads, pens, gold leaf, or embossed

I started with a strip of paper and inked and stamped and shaded each page to match the images I had chosen to use - and edged them with ink pads!

I thought this vintage style would be more 'Zuzu'
I inked the images, and yes 'edged' each one

And instead of it being a challenge to do

It turned into a 'fun' thing to do!

So this is a product of all the guidance and help I have received.
And I hope that each month I will be able to master the challenge!

Thank you for visiting.
Thank you for the challenge Zuzu

I hope to visit as many of your challenge blog entries as I can, but I am limited to just an hour on the web due to eye problems.

Altered Art Monthly Challenge - No.1. Matchbox Challenge

This is my first attempt at Zuzu's monthly Challenge.
An altered matchbox
I found this a rather difficult challenge to do.
I inked, distressed, stamped, embossed. and rub and buffed.
I used texture paste, metallic paints, and perfect pearls.
And this was the end result.

It took me hours to do - and I tried my best, but it is not good enough.
So I left it a number of days and tried again this morning.
As you will see in the post above.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Lovely post from 'Very Mary' - Textured Vintage Cards

Life is not an exact science, it is an art.
Samuel Butler

I like today's quote of the day don't you?  The art that came in the post from the USA was a wonderful surprise - and showed me a totally different art form - and I can't wait to try to make one myself.

How's this for a textured card - it's brilliant in real life, and cleverly sewn

The cards are so 'touchy feely' with lovely textures and all vintage.

I just went to my followers list to add a link to Mary Ann - and all of my links have disappeared!
Edited to say that they are all back now - blogger must have had a glitch!
Have a peek at Very Mary's Etsy sites - she has the most amazing things!

Thank you so very much Mary Ann - you made my day!

Monday, 12 April 2010

A cloud of butterflies

I have spent a lovely day just messing about in my studio, under strict instructions from my husband - and I am definitely steering clear of the places they lurk, and staying in the safe pools of water!

This parcel holds something I made today which I can't reveal until it reaches its destination

I really enjoyed the few hours spent making it and forgot all about the crocodiles!

I have mentioned my dear friend Maxine who lived in Australia before on here, and the fact that she said she'd come back and visit me as a butterfly.

Well she is back again this year - and it fills me with joy.

Since she passed away quite a number of years ago now, each spring in our garage, a Peacock butterfly has been seen fluttering on the window of the door that opens next to my studio.  Patrick saw it yesterday, and it wouldn't go out until I opened the door for it today and it fluttered around and about me a bit before it flew off into the garden.  

Of course logically there must be a butterfly that manages to get into the garage to lay eggs which turn into pupae and hatch this time each year.  But I am always baffled as I never see any caterpillars, nor are there any opening windows in there, and the doors are kept closed so that the chooks can't get in. 

It's a wonderful mystery that it arrives at the same time that the Forget me nots start to flower in my garden, which they are just starting to do.  The plants I leave to self sow each year, as the original seeds came from her Forget me nots in Australia.

So what's all this waffling about then - it's supposed to be an 'arty' blog.   Well I was just setting the scene and my mindset this afternoon, sitting in the studio, the sun shining, birds singing, chooks chasing around after insects etc - and I felt so happy that I made my own cloud of butterflies

I played about with different inks, techniques, and colours.

There are no two alike.  I stamped butterflies on printed historical paper,  and I inked, and stamped and painted and embossed to my hearts content.

And now I am floating off indoors on a happy cloud to make tea.

So if you get one of my butterflies in the coming months, popped in with a swap or a little gift, you'll know that it was made on a lovely sunny Spring day, whilst I was looking out of the window  and not forgetting the Forget me nots!

Friday, 9 April 2010

Normal service will be resumed soon

Well in case you missed me - I have been off line since my last post. 

1. My broadband has been down - now rectified yippee
2. I can't be on here long due to eye problems - which I hope will settle down in the next couple of weeks.

So I have been spending my time baking lots of tasty cakes and cup cakes - and freezing them (my gorgeous bantams are laying like the clappers at the moment)
And as I have been doing a bit of gardening I have been finding eggs under bushes,

 in a flower pot,

on a pile of empty potting compost bags under the lean too - and some actually in the nesting box  where they should be!

The fresh stalks of rhubarb are up in the garden

so I have been making tasty pies topped with puff pastry

I have been doing a bit of pottering about in the garden, weeding

Spreading and digging in my compost
All sorts of things to keep me happy until my vision improves
Taking time to look at the spring flowers
And marvelling at the different shades and patterns on the hellibores
And trying to see where these sneaky game birds are going to lay their eggs.

Sorry there are no arty crafty things to look at - fingers crossed the eyes will improve soon so that I can get back to playing in the studio.

Until then - you'll find me singing away in the garden, or sowing seeds, or just sitting in the shade, watching my chooks, and listening to the birds.

Have a great weekend and hope to be back to normal service and visiting all your blogs soon.