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

Thursday, 23 April 2015

A boat, a bronco, a bird and some beautiful branches!

Woo hoo - I won the latest CB weekly challenge random number thingy - but - so many things I need (well, I don't actually need anything!) - but what to choose - I'll have to ponder on that one.

The Craft Barn weekly challenge is certainly making me think - this week's topic is masculine pastimes, and again, I didn't have much inspiration at all.

Then I found a background I had created on glossy card using Brushos (naturally!), and cling film. Which brought to mind that I had a yacht die, so...

The waves are created by cutting curved pieces from the same background.  A few stamps completed the picture.

Don't think I'd make a very good sailor, I would get seasick on a millpond!

On a completely different topic, this week I went to The National Gallery to see the "Inventing Impressionism" exhibition, which is about Parisian art dealer Paul Durant-Ruel who championed painters whose works had been shunned by the art establishment.  There were some fabulous paintings on show.

Including some stunning Renoirs, but my favourites were 5 Monets from his "Poplars" series.
This one I loved; it's usual home is the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

That is why I love these exhibitions, they are only on for a short while (this one ends on 31 May), but it is fabulous to see works that normally reside in private collections or museums around the world.

And, there is a new resident on the 4th plinth in Trafalgar Square. Called Gift Horse, it is by German artist Hans Haacke.  It's a skeleton of a riderless horse with a London Stock Exchange ticker fixed to its leg.

The horse is quite pleasing - but I did love that blue cockerel!

Happy Thursday!

Saturday, 18 April 2015

What's in a name?

That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. (Shakespeare)

This week's Craft Barn Challenge - Quintessentially English - got me thinking, and initially I didn't have any inspiration, until I started looking through all my stamps.  We all have old, forgotten stamps that are replaced by our new favourites!

I found this rose stamp - right up there as something that is typically English.

I used a Gelli plate background - this one is on glossy card. Used a couple of Adirondack ink pads, then clear embossed, and added more colour with Adirondack pens.

Off now for a nice cup of (English) tea!

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Book of secrets ...

I'm rather behind with writing some posts, including this one!  The Fearless Four got together recently, and we started off with an MDF book which has a drawer hidden in the spine.

I also had some large MDF cogs, so decided to create a steampunkish look.

I gave it several layers of different Fresco blue paints, and for the spine I used card cut into sections, embossed, and painted the same way; you can just see the card top left.

The babywipe I used to apply the paint turned out great too! (also seen on the left here)

Finally, I added some little bits and pieces, dry brushed some copper paint, and added a touch of gilding wax.  The spine drawer is painted copper and I've added the pieces of embossed card.

A good place to hide some treasures - and with that hidden niche I'm including it in the latest Paper Artsy challenge.

And what did the rest of  the Fearless Four create .....

Lin also went for a bit of steampunk - her mechanism is more complex than mine!  Love that strong blue background.

Monica went for a natural look with lots of texture. Great hessian background.

Linda used texture paste and produced a very clean summery look - fabulous.

Our next get together is in a couple of week's time, when one of us has issued a challenge .....

Monday, 13 April 2015

Say it with colour!

This month's Craft Stamper challenge is all about colour, so I decided to dust off my Dylusion sprays, which haven't seen the light of day for a couple of months!

I sprayed some sheets of card with the Dylusions, then decided to add a some of the Prima sprays, the ones with mica in them.  Weirdly the Prima spray instantly dried the Dylusion spray - not sure what is going on there, but the effect was what I was looking for - vibrant colour with a bit of shimmer; though the shimmer doesn't show in the photo.

Anyway, I took my current favourite Paper Artsy flower stamp, stamped it 3 times onto each of the sprayed bits of card to create my very colourful flower.

Another thing I've been meaning to try is creating shapes with a hot glue gun.

I wanted some drips.  My first few attempts were rubbish, but once I got the hang of it I couldn't stop! Difficult to photograph - this is just a small section of my craft sheet!

I then coloured some with silver gilding wax; and carefully put the rest in a little box - hope they don't all stick together!  No doubt you will be seeing these drips on a lot of other projects!

Background is done with Distress Inks, and I made a square stencil to add a bit of interest; I added more colour with pencils.

I've named this flower Kaybeesia colourii - don't think you will be seeing it at Chelsea though!

Friday, 10 April 2015

Pluviophile ...

Definition: (n) a lover of rain; someone who finds joy and peace of mind during rainy days

This month's Craft Barn Calendar Challenge words are blue and umbrella.

I decided to try Brushos on glossy card - with gentle spritzing the colour tends to pool in smaller areas, which I quite like!

Found an umbrella outline on Google images, which I used as a guide, and cut out in black card. Decided not to use it in the normal way!

Plant life stamp by Woodware, and raindrops stamps courtesy of Ryn (nobody does water drops better!).

Happiness is having an umbrella when it rains!

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Who lives in a house like this ...

... probably someone who likes blue!

This week's challenge over at the Craft Barn is just one word - house.

I needed to do a new home card, so perfect opportunity to get on with it!  Started with a little Brusho, followed by some stamping. The house stamp (from an old Paper Artsy set) is stamped on a Brusho offcut.  The flowers are punched from a piece of brayering waste.

I'm getting so obsessed with keeping every little bit of off-cut stuff that I went through that box and threw out the really tiny, not-much-use-why-are-you-keeping-it bits, so now my box is not so stuffed, but I did come across the pieces for the house and the little flowers!

Impatient as ever, I took picture before the orange glitter glue dried!

At last it is feeling warmer - happiness is also not wearing socks!

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Are your lines crossed?

The latest Craft Barn challenge is Retiform.  Now, I've done this technique before, but didn't know what it was called.

I looked up the meaning of retiform : adjective - composed of crossing lines and interstices; net-like

Ah - OK - anyway, that's enough research!

I wanted a clean black and white look, with just a little colour (using Distress Inks), and to make the crossing lines more prominent I cut narrow strips of black card.

The stamps I have used are all by Ryn, (except the bottom meadow one which is by Indigo Blu), so I am also including this card in Ryn's April Challenge.

Happiness is sunshine on my face!