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, 27 August 2014

GRACE: smoothness and elegance of movement .....

..... is just one of the many definitions.

The new Craft Barn Q&L challenge words are PEACEFUL and GRACE.

I've used a poem by John Gillispie Magee Jr called High Flight, which I have come across in the past.  I love the images and emotion it evokes.

John Gillispie Magee Jr was an American pilot with the Royal Canadian Air Force in the Second World War.  He came to Britain, flew in a Spitfire squadron, and was killed at the age of 19 on 11 December 1941 during a training flight from the airfield in Lincolnshire. Such a tragic end.

If you want to know more, see here.

Here is the complete poem -

High Flight
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth 
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; 
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth 
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things 
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung 
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there, 
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung 
My eager craft through footless halls of air. 
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue 
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace 
Where never lark, or even eagle flew - 
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod 
The high untrespassed sanctity of space, 
Put out my hand and touched the face of God. 

I've used just one line on my page.  Decided to abandon my paints (for once!) and got out my Distress Inks.

I also went a bit abstract and cubist, though I'm not too sure I'm very happy with the result, but that is the beauty of  this challenge, trying stuff out, even if it doesn't work too well!

The background is created by sponging Distress Inks through randomly cut apertures.  I got the idea from Barbara Grey's blog (see here).  I wanted geometric shapes, so cut them rather than tearing.  At the last minute I also stamped some dandelion seed heads, to give some relief from all the hard edges, but maybe I shouldn't have .....

I cut an angular bird shaped aircraft from black and silver card, and wrote the words in white Sharpie pen. Looking at it, I think I've been watching too much Battlestar Galactica!!

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Who lives in a house like this?

The Fearless Four got together last week, and our project this time was an MDF house-shaped moneybox - a good challenge!

My house turned into a crazy house .....

The roof was stencilled and crackled glazed, and then I then used some of the new Decoart Antiquing Cream in the cracks.

The sides were papered with book pages, and texture paste put through a stencil.

The picket fence is cut from Grunge Board.

The windows and door were also cut from Grunge Board, with a bead cap as a doorknob.

Finished with a few little birdies, so you could say this is a birdhouse!  Though ..... it did remind me of a childhood nursery rhyme -

There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile,
He found a crooked sixpence against a crooked stile;
He bought a crooked cat which caught a crooked mouse,
And the all lived together in a little crooked house.

And what did the others get up to .....

Monica did a proper birdhouse, using paper napkins to decorate.

I think a very refined bird would live here - maybe a Goldfinch!

Lin's house was a fabulous orange, with a texture paste roof and some stencilling.

Perfect for an Oompa Loompa!

Linda's house was unfinished when I took the photo.  This is going to be a birdhouse too, very country garden, with texture paste through stencils.

I think a Nuthatch would be happy here!

A perfect day!

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Tall and skinny .....

No, not me (I wish!) - just a new size of canvas!

My current preoccupation is with collage.  Up to now I've used pieces of painted card, but thought I would try painting tissue paper as an alternative.

Most tissue paper is not suitable, as it just disintegrates when wet, but I did have some Paper Artsy tissue, which is more robust -  shame it is no longer available. I also found some of their Crunchy Kraft paper.

I randomly painted some sheets, using a brayer, sequin waste, bottle tops, etc. with a few splatters!

The  new size of box canvas for me is 6" x 16" - prompted by a couple of friends who had done a workshop using this size.

Ingredients used:  texture paste, stencils, die-cut honeycomb shapes, and book pages.  I enjoyed using the painted tissue, though it is a little fiddly to hand cut the petals!

You will notice the attempted dribbles of gold.  I tried using Liquid Gold, but it is too thick to run any distance and I couldn't find my thinner.  Whilst trying to get it to run - disaster struck!  I knocked over the bottle.  What a mess, all I could do was mop it up with lots of pieces of card - so watch out for a proliferation of gold items in future projects!

I did love this size of canvas, so now I've got 2 more to do!

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

It's a bouncy THING!

Time for the next Craft Barn Q&L challenge, and the words are FAMILY and THING.

I'm never quite sure how my mind works, as Tigger's song popped into my head!  I've used a quote from Winnie the Pooh before, but I'm sure you won't mind me going there again!

Bouncy trouncy flouncy pouncy fun fun fun fun fun.
The most wonderful thing about tiggers is I'm the only one!
AA Milne

Covered a 10x8 sheet with Dylusions sprays, as I wanted some bright fun colours.  I'm quite enjoying playing with lettering now (that is something this challenge has taught me!), so created some bouncy letters.

Finished with a few stamped images (Designs by Ryn), which I think look quite bouncy too!

That's put a spring in my step!
Have a really bouncy day.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Ink, Paint and a lot of Puff!

The next bi-monthly art journalling challenge from the Ashtead Club is an ink blot one.  We could use any type of ink to create a blot picture.  So with a choice of splatter, spritz, drop, squash or blow - which to chose!

I discarded splatter, as my Jackson Pollock moment had yet to manifest itself - see my post on the latest Craft Barn Q&L challenge here (in case you are confused, I don't necessarily post my work in chronological order!).

I decided to use acrylic ink on Yupo paper.  I'm still experimenting with Yupo. This synthetic paper is completely non-absorbent, so I thought it would be a good base to use for this particular challenge.

This is A4 size, and a couple of drops of black acrylic ink went an awfully long way - I huffed and puffed through a straw, and it just kept going!  I think I ran out of puff (and paper) before the ink ran out of movement!

Because the Yupo paper is quite thin I backed it with some thicker stuff, which made it more stable.

The birds are cut from a randomly painted piece of card from my scraps box (the contents of which never seem to diminish).

Think I'll get in training first before I do another one of these!

Monday, 4 August 2014

Gelatos and Angels .....

Together with a couple of friends, I spent yesterday at The Craft Barn, doing a workshop with Giovanna Zara.  The base was a 12 x 12 box frame and we used Gelatos, stencils, Grunge Paste, and also created some accessories.  We had to bring a photo to use, so I took along several photos to choose from, though they were mostly all pictures of stone angels!

We started by covering the back board with book pages, and scraped Grunge Paste through stencils on the frame, both the top and the sides.

Then we coloured the frame with Gelatos. I'm not sure I would use them again on such a large piece, but I think they are useful for small areas.

Gelatos are good for stencilling. Just rub the colour onto the stencil, then using your finger, rub it off the stencil and onto the substrate.

We also put some translucent paste through the stencil.

We die-cut some flowers, and coloured those with Gelatos, and mica sprays.  We made a little book, and used some wooden reels with lace and book pages, also aged a glass bottle (and I added another bottle I had at home).

I finished it this morning.  Used gilding wax on the translucent stencilling, and on other stuff too - very addictive that wax!  I also resized my photo as the original was too small, and mounted it on board to stabilise it.  I just love the weathered patina on this image.

An excellent way to spend a Sunday - getting mucky fingers in good company!