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, 25 February 2015

Polka-dot papillon!

This week's challenge over at the Craft Barn is Tando.  Now, when I saw that I thought - help - I don't have any ... silly me!

I found this fab splatter stencil, and there were just two butterflies left in the pack.  So, not a lot to work with, but I've recently bought the new Paper Artsy caribbean set of paints ...

... a perfect opportunity to try them out.  First I coloured the background with Distress Inks, then used the stencil with the new paints - got a bit carried away - even painted the butterflies with that gorgeous blue!

I edged the butterflies with a black Adirondack pen, added some black dots, and gave them tails!

So, I present to you the very rare polka-dot papillon- or - perhaps flying dice!


Monday, 23 February 2015

Another birthday - but still Little Sis!

You may recall the tissue papers I painted (see here), some of which I used to enter the Paper Artsy fragile papers challenge, but at the time I couldn't tell you the main reason for the papers.  Now I can!

Every year, for my sister's birthday, I try and come up with something to use as a card, which is not a card!

I was inspired by a project in the January issue of Craft Stamper - and it was all a case of trial and error for me ...

Making a wire figure was, on the face of it, easy, but the first one I made had separate legs, which I tried to attach, but of course it wouldn't stand up.  So I created the head, body and legs out of one length of wire.

I then attached the paper.  At this point I realised the tissue paper wouldn't be robust enough, so I used the crunchy wax paper, which still retained the translucency I wanted.

The paper was stuck to the wire with glossy accents, then the whole body area was filled with glossy accents with an embedded little wooden heart.

Once dry, I trimmed off the excess paper.

The balloons were done in the same way.

I then added the arms and hair, and attached the balloons.  I fixed the separate pieces of wire together with glossy accents.

I drilled a couple of holes in a piece of cut driftwood, and inserted the legs, again using glossy accents as the glue.

Happy Birthday Little Sis!

Friday, 20 February 2015

If the shoe fits - strut!

The Craft Barn Weekly Challenge  involves one word - shoe.  Now in my youth I was a bit of a shoe-aholic, and had more pairs that I care to remember, but since I've been unable to wear heels without falling over, my enthusiasm has somewhat waned. So I had no inspiration for this particular challenge!

Then a friend gave me a boot shaped card.

I sat looking at it for a bit, then decided - if in doubt collage it!

Which I did, using magazine pages - both text and images, and a little bling.

Once I had finished the collage, the card would not stay upright, as it was now front heavy.

(These first two pics have a blue tinge to them as they were taken early in the morning!)

So, I decided to cut the back of the card off, mount the collage onto an A5 card, add a few words and a bit more bling .....

I know a few people who I could send this card to!

Finally,  I am always chuffed that there are people out there who like what I do enough to follow me, so I would like to say welcome to the new followers of this blog.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Pa!nt - mix it up!

Had a splendidly painterly day with a friend, using different paints, and some metal from another off-cuts box, this time containing ..... just little bits of metal sheet!

Using a small canvas, I poured on a selection of Pebeo glass paints - blue and turquoise, plus a little  pearl - and moved it all around with a palette knife.

I poured on too much, so had to scrap some onto a piece of board. The pearl glass paint created a great effect when combined with the other two colours.

Die-cut some bits of copper, then heated it to get that colour change.

Shaped the flowers so that there was a slight dip in the middle, then added some Pebeo Prisme paint (love that stuff).

Whilst waiting for everything to dry a little, die-cut some more flowers with an aluminium base, then coloured them with alcohol inks.

Again, shaped the flowers and dropped in some Prisme and Moon paints.

This little canvas came with a wooden frame; had some trouble trying to decide what colour to paint it.  After much deliberation I went for Fresco Honeydew, which is a delicious soft colour, and the matt finish contrasts nicely with the shiny glass paints and metal.

I think this is a very apt entry for the current Paper Artsy challenge entitled "Paint" .....

Now - what else can I do with those metal bits ......?

Saturday, 14 February 2015

A little bit of love for Valentine's Day!

The subject of the current weekly challenge over at the Craft Barn (which is in addition to the calendar challenge), is mini albums.

Quite timely, as I have a completed mini album for my sister's birthday next week.  She doesn't like the grungy, distressed look, so this is quite fresh and clean!

It is created from one sheet of 12x12 card, with the central part in a concertina format.

Most of the pictures are from when we were a little younger!

I didn't think many words were needed!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

New stuff always wins out!

The Craft Stamper challenge for February is to use stencils - but - I was also rather impatient to try my new Paper Artsy stamps, so decided to combine the two!

Started with a large sheet of canvas and lightly brayered it using some of the pastel-toned Fresco paints, then I took about 5 different stencils and used them a bit randomly over the whole piece using some Fresco mid-tones.

Using this particular canvas as a background means colours can be slightly muted but with great texture.

I then cut it up to make a couple of card backgrounds, and got stamping!

Just love this flower - it is stamped onto a piece of Brusho painted card, and the stem is on a piece from a Gelli print.

I just had to use the same stamp again - but I did add a little extra with my Sharpie white pen!

So for the second card the flower head was stamped onto a piece of Yupo paper covered with alcohol inks,and the stem stamped onto a piece of sheet music that had been coloured with ..... I know not what!

Still got quite a bit of the canvas left, so that is in the random art bits box - you never know when it will resurface!

Thursday, 5 February 2015

February - enjoy all its days!

The Craft Barn Challenge prompts for February's calendar page are, predictably, Red and Hearts!

Using watercolour paper again, I stamped some hearts and heat embossed them in white.  I then threw on some grains of Brusho in red and black, and spritzed.  The stencilled girl is in Distress Inks. Next I cut some hearts out of a piece of canvas I had used to mop up a spillage of Liquid Gold (I remember that mishap all too well), and then cut the hearts again in black to create shadows.

This time of year I'm usually yearning for Spring to arrive, as I hate these dark, drab and miserably cold days - too little sunshine!  So, to remind me not to wish my life away - Carpe Diem!

I did a little research on this phrase. The original source for it is the lyric poet Quintus Horatius Flaccus (65 BC - 8 BC), more widely known as Horace.  I also found this information regarding its translation:

'Carpe diem' is usually translated from the Latin as 'seize the day'. However, the more pedantic of Latin scholars may very well seize you by the throat if you suggest that translation. 'Carpe' translates literally as 'pluck', with particular reference to the picking of fruit, so a more accurate rendition is 'enjoy the day, pluck the day when it is ripe'. The extended version of the phrase 'carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero' translates as 'pluck the day, trusting as little as possible in the future'.

So - enjoy your day!

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Imagine a world without blue .....

Before I get to the main reason for this post, I just had to share with you that I made the Top Three Designs (out of 181 entries) on the Craft Stamper January Challenge - and I've got the button to prove it (look right)!!! Really chuffed about it.

Anyway, to business - the Fearless Four got together again recently, and one of us (step forward Lin) threw down a challenge for each of us - my challenge was to create a canvas without using blue!

I found this tougher than expected, and started with a 10 x 10 canvas board, on which I used paste through a stencil, then gesso-ed the whole thing in black.  I quite like starting with a black canvas instead of a white one.

The stencil I used is a new one by Designs by Ryn - maidenhair fern - beautiful.  I'll be entering this canvas into Ryn's February Customer Creation Challenge.

So starting from all black, I used the Fresco shades of grey (just 3 not 50!) to create the background, and also used the stencil again, but this time just with the paint.

I also started painting a couple of butterflies (cut from grunge paper) with the Fresco oranges/limes/yellow.

Next, I relaid the stencil over the paste ferns and applied some pearl paint (Ranger Dabber), and a little Pebeo Irridescent yellow/green.

I finished the canvas off at home, and after some thought decided to use just one butterfly, and gave it a little dimension and enhancement by using the Pebeo Relief Gilding Paste and mirror gold foil.

Finally, I'm happy - but it was an effort not to use blue, and gave me a bit of brain-ache!

The other FF creations .....

Linda's challenge was also not to use blue!  Love this cute owl, and that is not blue in the background but a combination of greens; my camera has not taken the true colours.

Monica's challenge was not to use any seashells (she has quite a collection!) and no napkin layers.

Great canvas -with a little paint sharing (with Linda) going on in the background!

Lin challenged herself not to use any wooden shapes, or trees, and did two small canvases.  A couple of trees did creep in - but at least they are not wooden!

Love those vibrant colours.

Our next get together is in March, and I've a feeling I will have all my blue pots of paint on the table!

Happy February - Spring is nearly here!