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

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Baroque shiny-ness

The latest Paper Artsy challenge is to create something using shiny stuff, which reminded me of some small faux baguette-cut gems I had been given.

I think these were used in making costume jewellery.

I also had a blank MDF box sitting forlornly on a shelf pleading for attention!

So, I decided to create the most exotic baroque bird .....

The box itself was painted with a light coloured acrylic paint, and edged with gold.  I wanted to do a controlled spatter, so used the gold paint through a stencil.

The birdy is die-cut from thick mount board, and his tail are pieces from die-cut swirls.  First painted black, I then added some gold foiling with a glue-stick.  The main body of the bird was then covered in crackle medium which added some texture, but is also shiny!

In my box of found and collected items I found a button for the eye, and a clear acrylic shape for the wing, to which I added pearls.  The baguette-cut gems were added to the tail, embedded in glossy accents.  Two pen nibs were perfect for the legs!

So, here he is -

Be outrageous - and strut your stuff!

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Winter's Song

Over at the Craft Barn the new challenge for 2015 has started.  This time to create a calendar from monthly prompts.  January's two words are aqua and snowflakes.

I had to decide what size, and went for 10 x 8, which I think should be a good size for a calendar - time will tell!

I've used heavyweight watercolour paper, and created the background with acrylic paint. I added die-cut snowflakes from sheet music and white sparkly paper.  The bird is die-cut from a previous project's leftovers.

I'm still into writing Haiku - the Japanese poetry form which usually consists of three lines of 5 - 7 - 5 syllables.  So, this is my tribute to the snowflake!

Ice white, delicate
Brief beautiful existence
Snowflake melts my heart.

With all the heavy frosts this week, I took this photo of my brave camellia which is in flower and each year suffers turning brown with the frosts, but it looks so pretty covered in ice-crystals I wanted to preserve it.

All part of winter's song!

Friday, 16 January 2015

Watercolours - me and Mr Turner!

Still getting to know my Brusho paints, and the best way (for me) is to make a few cards, as they are small and compact.

Firstly, I stamped and heat embossed in white with some floral stamps. Then sprinkled black Brusho  and spritzed.

Entering this card into the Craft Stamper January challenge - Take a Stamp.

On this card I used the Brusho first, a couple of the blues, then stamped and black embossed. I think that is the teazle stamp by Woodware.

Another white embossed stamp (by Designs by Ryn) then sprinkled the Brushos - blue and black this time.
I'll be entering this card into Ryn's monthly challenge .

Finally, using Brushos directly onto a stamp.

Sprinkle very little power onto the stamp then use a fine mister to add a some water - and stamp!

I do love the versatility of these watercolour paints, and the surprises of colour you get.

Now to a real artist!  Saw the Late Turner exhibition at Tate Britain earlier this week. This exhibition encompasses works from the last sixteen years of Turner's life, from 1835 when he turned sixty.

It was a really windy day, and I think we needed an anchor line walking over Vauxhall Bridge, but at least we managed to dodge the rain!

I was really surprised at how many works were on show, and fell in love with quite a few of them, but there was one in particular that I would love hanging on my wall.

This is The Blue Rigi, Sunrise (1842).  The distinctive profile of the Rigi mountain rising above Lake Lucerne in Switzerland became a favourite subject.

Not sure why this one over the many other watercolours, but ..... could be that it is blue!

Bought a couple of items, including a postcard of that painting .....

..... and a book - well, nothing wrong with ambition!

The exhibition closes on the 25th January; if you love Turner, I can recommend this as a good day out.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Feeling fragile .....

I so enjoyed doing my first challenge last year (with the Craft Barn), that I thought it would be good to do another one.  I've long been a fan of Paper Artsy stuff, and their first challenge of this year got me thinking, as I was about to start preparing materials for a special birthday project for next month.

I have always loved using different papers - book and magazine pages, sheet music, and creating my own collage papers - so .....

The first Paper Artsy challenge is to use fragile papers in a project - see here.

I started with a few pieces of paper, including some of the original Paper Artsy crackly tissue, PA Crunchy Waxed paper, and some of the rice paper I recently bought in Chinatown.

Brayered on some PA paint - Mermaid, Guacamole, Butternut and Dolly Mix, and stamped with Claret and Snowflake.  Used a couple of PA Minis for this, a JOFY one and the splatter one.

I knew I wouldn't need all of this paper for my special project - which I won't be able to share with you until after the birthday event!

So - what to do for the PA challenge ..... well - I added to the challenge and decided to make an ATC.  I've never made one before, as I seem to prefer larger projects.  I had to look up what size it should be (two and a half inches by three and a half inches), and cut some board to size.

Covered it with a piece of sheet music, used gesso to knock it back a little, then added a touch of gilding wax.

Die-cut some of the painted tissue and unpainted wax paper, found a little wooden heart and word stamp, and ..... here is my first ATC!

Working with such a small area really focuses the mind - and could probably become addictive!

PS:  Paper Artsy actually spurred me on to start writing this blog, see my first post here, and it is my blog's 2nd birthday this month!

Monday, 5 January 2015

Magazine girls!

Continuing with collage, I've done a couple of cards, they are both very similar, but this was an experiment, and I wanted a back-up!

Started with strips cut from magazines, some incorporating headline words, and stuck them to a couple of 5" x 5" pieces of card.

Covered both with a thin coat of gesso to take the edge off the colours.

In my box of pastes, I found a pot of Ferro paste, which is a rusty brown colour with a bit of subtle sparkle, and I used this through a stencil.

I then added some colour with Brusho paints, and mounted onto card blanks.

Here is a poem from my book of Haiku -

Walking in the night -
Snow is falling,
A farewell to the year.

by Shara