We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
"Little Gidding"
T S Eliot

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

What's my AGE? Impossible!

It's the Craft Barn's Q&L Challenge time again, with the words MARRIAGE and AGE.  There was no contest with these words, as one of my favourite quotes contains the word age.

In fact, I have already used this quote to inspire a canvas - some years ago when I was first exploring mixed media stuff. Go here to see the post.

I just love the Lewis Carroll Alice books, and this quote is from Through the Looking-Glass, when Alice first meets the White Queen.  To put the quote in context:

‘I’m just one hundred and one, five months and a day.
‘I can’t believe that!’ said Alice.
‘Can’t you?’ the Queen said in a pitying tone.  ‘Try again: draw a long breath and shut your eyes.’
Alice laughed.  ‘There’s no use trying,’ she said: ‘one can’t believe impossible things.’

‘I daresay you haven’t had much practice,’ said the Queen. ‘When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day.  Why, sometimes I’ve believed in as many as six impossible things before breakfast.  There goes the shawl again!’

The brooch had come undone as she spoke, and a sudden gust of wind blew the Queen’s shawl across a little brook.  The Queen spread out her arms again, and went flying after it, and this time she succeeded in catching it for herself.

On watercolour paper I've used Acrylic Inks for the background, dripping them randomly onto already wet paper, in the hope that when dry it would suggest where I went next with it!  Which was some strange giant flowers or tiny people - you decide!

It's good to believe in impossible things!

Saturday, 22 February 2014

A tiny world in a floating cloud!

Another fun day creating with friends - one of whom had a brilliant idea and got some MDF garland shapes for us to decorate.

Fabulous solid base to work with.

This shape is from the MDF Man, who can be found at most Hobbycrafts shows, and he also has a website.

I went with an eclectic mix of stuff.

A little crumpled tissue, and some texture paste.

Still using those clay faces up!

Plus, some some wood shapes, beads, charms, die-cut chipboard, acrylic roses, and a plastic beetle.

Then several layers of paint - I had to go with all the blues - and some copper gilding wax.

This feels very peaceful and reminds me of a lazy summer's day, a tiny world in a floating cloud!

Here are the other tiny worlds - though they were not quite finished when photos taken.

Monica's pink haze of loveliness

Linda's lilac wonderland
After all those summery colours, can't wait for the real thing to arrive!

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Happy Birday Little Sis!

Yes, another year has gone - where? - still looking for it!

I  like to come up with something different for Little Sis's birthday card - sometimes it is not a card at all!

Anyway, the paint and inks stayed in their boxes - felt bereft and a bit challenged there!  Back in the mists of time I collected a lot of patterned papers and they have been rather neglected so .....

This is an 8x8 card, and I hand drew a large bird template to cover the front; the two tag-alongs are from a Sizzix Bigz die, cut twice for each birdy, the bottom edge is folded outwards, then the 2 pieces stuck together. The tail flourishes are also a Sizzix Bigz die.

They all have googly eyes, and big bird has some rather fabulous eyelashes!!

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Hit or MISS?

Now that heading should date me!  Anyone remember Juke Box Jury???

The next Craft Barn Q&L challenge words are STRONG and MISS.

A vague memory stirred of a poem by Walter de la Mare - Miss Loo.  I've included just the first verse on my page, which this time is on canvas, as I love the texture.

I wanted the texture to show, so I lightly brayered some ink, then stamped some bird cages. Punched out a whole flock of birds from tiny bits of left over Gelli prints; and I couldn't resist die-cutting the scaredy-cat!

Here is the whole poem -
When thin-strewn memory I look through,
I see most clearly poor Miss Loo,
Her tabby cat, her cage of birds,
Her nose, her hair -- her muffled words,
And how she'd open her green eyes,
As if in some immense surprise,
Whenever as we sat at tea,
She made some small remark to me.
It's always drowsy summer when
From out the past she comes again;
The westering sunshine in a pool
Floats in her parlour still and cool;
While the slim bird its lean wires shakes,
As into piercing song it breaks
Till Peter's pale-green eyes ajar
Dream, wake; wake, dream, in one brief bar;
And I am sitting , dull and shy
And she with gaze of vacancy,
And large hands folded on the tray,
Musing the afternoon away;
Her satin bosom heaving slow
With sighs that softly ebb and flow,
And her plain face in such dismay,
It seems unkind to look her way:
Until all cheerful back will come
Her cheerful gleaming spirit home:
And one would think that poor Miss Loo
Asked nothing else, if she had you.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Gelli Happy Birthdays!

With all the Gelli prints lying around, together with the Pebeo Prisme things with wings, and also a few birthdays in February, - oh, and some new metal dies too (Tattered Lace) - cards were the order of the day!

Not a lot of words - just pictures!

Using those left-over strips!

A dear friend cut this silhouette for me on her Cameo machine
Happy February birthdays!

Monday, 3 February 2014

W!LD flowers

Recently bought some more Pebeo Prisme paints (in the Craft Barn sale), so I thought I'd try these paints on a canvas.

Using an 8x8 wood box canvas (for stability), I covered it quite generously in a layer of modelling paste, making it fairly smooth, and then drew a picture, making deep cuts into the paste, and where the flower heads would be I scooped out the paste, making a well.  I did a pencil sketch first so that I knew what I was doing - I didn't want to keep smoothing out the paste if it went wrong!

Left it overnight to dry.

Next, used the Paper Artsy Fresco Finish paints and gave the canvas its first coat of paint, using a combination of blues and greens.

Continued using the Fresco paints until I was happy, and then finally applied the Pebeo Prisme paints.  Quite a lot of paint is needed to get the effects, and the wells in the paste ensured it didn't run everywhere.

Takes about 24 hours to dry.

Further little tweaks with the Fresco paints, and finally a touch of my favourite gilding wax, Treasure Gold.

Whilst I had the Prisme paints out, I decided to paint things with wings to use as future embellishments.

Rather a lot of turquoise ones?  I knocked over the pot of turquoise Prisme paint, and I was not going to waste it - hence rather a lot the same colour!!!

I also got covered in the paint too!

Never get tired of watching this paint develop!

Happy February - hoping for a little more sunshine and a little less rain!