Saturday, 29 January 2011

Flower Arranging Friday

I had such a fun time at the flower arranging workshop I go to once a month.

Perfect pearls with pink

My tutor had said that it would suit me down to the ground, and it did!

Most of the lesson was 'crafting'

You cut up a bit of old cardboard 10"x10" or any size you like to fit over your vase - a tall one.

Cut a square in the centre - so it looks like an empty picture frame

Then start wrapping material scraps, plasterers netting strips, ribbon, wool, torn paper, skeleton leaves, and just keep adding layers until it looks padded and pretty.  Lay bits and pieces loosely on top, like skeleton leaves, bits of string - anything that takes your fancy. 
Then wind around it with wire to flatten it and keep it all intact.

I decided to thread some old beads from a broken necklace on the wire to add some interest.
Then you just do a hand-tied bouquet of whatever flowers you like-roses in this case from the supermarket.
And I thought I would add some pearls on pins to the centre of the roses.

Over the coming days the roses will open up and fill out and look gorgeous.

Imagine a frame with spring colours - and the bouquet full of tulips or daffodils!
Or hot firey reds and oranges for summer flowers from the garden.
Or those lovely rustic autumn colours - yummy! 
Think I will be making a few more frames - such a cheap way of having a bouquet in your home.
And it would only cost pennies - and the frame will last forever!

I took the above photos last night with the hope of taking better ones today. 
My bungalow is so tiny that I only have one table to put a vase of flowers on, but I can't get a decent photo without 'things' in the background - like the fire place or sofa - so I tried outside.

And this happened!  As soon as either of us go outside the bantams come rushing over to see if they can scrounge some food or scraps!   These are just some of my rare breed banties.

I threw them some chopped up apple and pear cores and managed to just get them out of sight for a quick photo.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Fabric Journal - ongoing project

Firstly may I thank you all for leaving comments yesterday.   I wasn't able to get onto the computer until last night, and by the time  I had answered emails, etc, it left me little time to visit all your blogs.  I did spend over an hour before my eyes 'gave out', and later today I will return the compliment and visit all those blogs which I didn't manage to last night.

Now where did Kate go to next? And what did she send back to Lucinda in England for her scrapbook?

Well she did get to have a good time didn't she!  She mixed with the high society and fashionable set of the era - and they certainly knew how to enjoy themselves!
The Moulin Rouge was a new theatre and totally different to anything seen before. 
It was so exciting, and glamorous and full of high society and artisans, and was always packed with the rich and famous - quite an eye opener for an 'innocent' from a country estate in England.

She became in awe of Toulouse-Lautrec, who used to spend hours and hours in the theatre sketching everything that was going on there.  He was only 1.5m tall, after breaking one, then the other leg later in his childhood which stunted their growth.  
His art was very 'new' and 'modern' and totally different to the 'traditional' painters.
Maybe he saw things differently when he sketched, then painted the posters at home in a drunken 'haze' apparently.

I love the simple lines and caricature way of painting his subjects and the colours he used too captured the vibrancy of the theatres don't you think?
Kate loved visiting there - and Lucinda was transfixed when she read of Kate's 'adventures'.
Her scrapbook, although very old, has weathered the years quite well, despite the pages being 'well thumbed' over  years of re-reading it, and stained with age.

So, two more pages in my vintage fabric journal story......
Thirteen more to go - who knows where she will be visiting next?
I don't - but I'll find out in a week or so no doubt.

Thanks for looking

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

What's on your workdesk Wednesday

Well I am typing this late Tuesday evening and am out early Wednesday - here's a  Mr Linky to WOYWW.

Last week my desk was a disgrace - but in my defence I am moving all my craft stuff from a 16ftx12ft studio in my garden to a tiny room less than half that size, indoors. 
So it is getting rather full in here.

Thank you all so much for your comments on my blog - I do take everything you say 'on board'.

On the last blog entry comments, Rosie mentioned about us having 'our fingers in too many pies'
What  wise lady - it summed up my dilemma perfectly. 
So with that in mind, I have made a commitment to myself to complete all my unfinished projects.'
This is a journal I made on my first online course - it has lots of signatures so I ran out of steam.
So picking up where I left off in the story, my 'heroine' is living it up in Paris, and has been visiting some of the famous dressmakers with a view to having the latest fashions.

In hindsight I am quite pleased that I did not have the time to do more to this, because in the meantime I have dabbled in another couple of courses and have aquired the ability to add more colour to the pages.  (We were shown how to colour huge sheets of water colour paper, by painting with tea, or coffee etc and they did look rather drab

I have now added more colours to the pages as I go, and it looks 10 times better.   I have made cardboard cut outs and decorated them with gorgeous scraps of materials and beads, some, like the red one at the top, have a genuine vintage sample of material of the era - with a real french label attached for it.

Here is a scrap of the letter that went with one of the 'mannequins' to go into the scrapbook, which is now over 100 years old and has aged somewhat.

I was lucky enough to visit Monet's Jardin in Givernay a number of years ago and it was like stepping back in time - the print is from a fern leaf.

And this is the 'spread'

I had to take photos this evening - so under artificial light.

15 more pages to go to complete the book.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

What's on your workdesk Wednesday - A MESS!

My desk is a shameful mess this morning - and why? 
Because last night after my visitors had gone I decided to have a go at the first exercise of 'Your Vintage Gluebook' course. 

I know what you are going to say - namely that I have signed up for a few courses and haven't followed them through - and you are quite right!  
There are many reasons for this - hence my trying this collage course.  I am hoping it will help with my other areas of art work.

This is my first attempt.
It is a bit darker tham it appears on here - the colours being vintage, using mainly vintage ephemera.

Mary of Greenpaper said that 'you will not like your first attempt'.  Well last night I did - I thought it was rather good for a first attempt - but this morning I didn't and picked 'holes' in it for all sorts of reasons.

The size of the book is 3.5 inches by 5.5 inches - so it's a bit small and having big arthritic hands and fingers I do tend to avoid small things as they are a struggle.

(Notice all the excuses!)

I have laid the page on a frame which helps to focus on the 'dislikes'.

The title of the backing book page, which is a vintage pale coffee colour - is off centre (wish I had used a frame last night!).

I tend to tear everything as I have trouble cutting out images, which is OK in straight lines but not so clever with the child and dog - old newspaper images, which were a bit thin.

I like the overlaid vintage rose drawing over the green vintage paper strip.  I also like the torn at an angle, vertical vintage strip on the left hand side.

The vintage perfume bottle label, I thought looked nice last night as the colours matched - but now I realise that it is 'top heavy' and should have been smaller.

But I guess for a first effort - it's not bad!

I have spent the rest of this morning clearing up all the mess!

Lunch is 'calling' so just off to cook it, and I'll be paying a visit to other WOYWW participants

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

First 12 days of my diary journal.

Well, so far I am actually finding time to fill in my daily art journal.  It does help that the squares are only 1 inch!   Not had much time to do any other art work sadly - too much going on.
As you can see it has changed quite a lot from my last post.
I real life the colourful page actually looks like it is cut out and glued on - you have to touch it to see that it is not,

I drew freehand with a thick feltip pen the wiggley border.
Then I coloured the outside with burnt orange feltip, and spent ages drawing on individual tiny circles all over it, then shaded it with oil pastels.

The colours are far more vibrant in real life - I wanted bright and cheerful colours for January as the weather is now so wet and dull and gloomy.

This close up is three times the size of the actual square.

I just love these Stampotique chicken stamps from Happy Daze which were a present from a friend I hold very dear. 
 This chicken looks just like one of mine - Dopey Dolly who is very happily laying eggs in the mid winter - when she shouldn't!

Friday, 7 January 2011

The start of a journal...

Here are some more pages that I experimented with

All metallic colours

And this is what I am using them for

I am going to make a day by day journal.

Made up of quarterly signatures which will be bound into one big journal
I'll use it to made notes or quotes each day, and add stamping and drawings when I feel inspired.
These are the paints I am using to create the pearlescent highlights.
Little hard 'cakes' of colours.

Off to play again.

My little bungalow is as dark as a cave today - so I feel some 'lights and brights' colour sploshing coming on!

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Being a child - and sloshing around wth paint

My art work is a disaster at the moment.  My attempts at journalling, sketching, even making a card - to join in the various challenges, are so bad that they are just bin fodder. 

I am not going for the sympathy vote - it's just a fact.   My brain won't switch off with life's problematic intrusions - it happens to us all doesn't it.

So late afternoon, when all the chores, and cooking etc had been done, I just went into my little craft room and just experimented.

I bought a roll of wallpaper lining today, as I couldn't get any watercolour paper or sketch pads from the nearest town.  As it is so cheap for a big roll of paper, I didn't have the 'worry' of messing anything up and I just 'let go' and played.

The first thing I did was to tear some strips, to make pages, then I sloshed on some water colours, dried it then sloshed on some very watery pearlised water colours.

And although this photo does not do the colours justice - you can just see the metallic effect of the splatters.

All of the blue shades are pearlised and catch the light - it's great!
I don't have a clue what I will do with these pages I am creating, but it is just wonderful not to 'try' to make something for a challenge or theme, but to just be a child again and play!

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

What's on your workdesk Wednesday

My little grandson, who is painting a canvas I bought him for Christmas.

'Nana, the elephant is grey, and you don't have grey in your paint box', he said.

He is marvelling at the grey paint, having mixed a splodge of white and black!

I wish I had taken a photo of him at the wonderment on his face when he made this amazing discovery that you can mix colours together to get whatever colour you want!
 But  he is still looking as though he can't quite believe what happened.

After that, I showed him the magic of mixing dark blue with white to get a light blue for the sky.  Blue and yellow to get different shades of green.  He just loved the mixing on a plastic lid part.  In fact he seemed to have as much fun experimenting with mixing different colours as he did painting with them.
(I have to confess that I was rather proud that as he had just had his 5th birthday 2 days before Christmas, at how careful, and painstakingly he painted his very first printed picture.  Not a bit like his dad and uncle - who at the same age were sploshing on paint with great gusto!)

In the photo above we have dried the paint with an air dryer, and he is just putting the finishing touches to the tree - he wanted red cherries on it, so is drawing them freehand with a felt tip pen!

Definitely a mixed media artist in the making

I thought I would join in on the fun blog hop which is What's on your workdesk Wednesday.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Art Journal Every Day 3

Well I messed up big time with this!

So I painted over the page and tried again

And again

And again

So spent more than 10 minutes on it.

But decided to show you anyway!

So instead of being on top of a rainbow - which I ruined (but only one page thank goodness)

This is totally different.  
I used oil pastel sticks as they are good for covering up 'stuff' as they are rich.  The only thing is, because they are oil based they are hard to write or even paint on. 
This is not finished yet.

For some reason I thought of the three brass monkeys.
'See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.'

It's good to post things that go wrong I think.

Talking of which .........there is another one coming up

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Art Journal Every Day. 2

Today my time was spent brayering over the page on the left hand side

Splattering the page on the right hand side with water to which I added a drip of bleach.
I like the effect!

Haven't a clue where I go from here!
Will let you see when I have done some more!

Altered Plywood Tissue Box

I had the blue metallic paint out to decorate the cheese box in the previous post - and yes, you know what's it's like - you want to paint everything in sight don't you!

So after a rummage in my stash, I retrieved a wooden tissue box which I had been saving for the day that I had some inspiration!

I painted it blue all over and it looked lovely, but plain.

Then I got out my stencils again and stencilled every flat surface!
Both ends
Both sides

And both sides of the top!

With a lovely pearlescent (childrens) tube of acrylic paint, which I brushed over the blue to give it a gorgeous sheen  when the light caught it!
Sadly it doesn't photograph well but you will have to take my word for it.

I didn't want to part with it really as it looked lovely in real life!
It has gone to a very good home though - to Haruko, my daughter in law, as one of her Christmas presents.