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 November 2015

Winter butterflies ...

This week's Craft Barn challenge is about snowflakes - even the word makes me shiver, though they are beautiful up close!

At the craft group I run we recently made some quick Christmas cards, including this one.

Construction process - emboss a piece of vellum with a snowflake pattern; I've had this folder for many years, and it usually makes an appearance on something each Christmas!

Then, take 2 white circles of card, some ribbon, an elongated triangle of orange card and some card candy.

The smile is drawn using the edge of a metal washer, which was the perfect size! Make sure the mouth is placed in the top half of the circle as he is looking up.

I really must get down to concentrating on my own Christmas cards, but at the moment I'm preparing for my next set of art classes (on watercolour), which start on Monday - arrgghh - I need more time .... and I haven't even thought about pressie shopping!

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Sweet dreams ...

Collage number four on my art course was freestyle, so I decided to combine abstract with natural objects I've not used before.

My thought process was thus -

I just love the sunset moths that are found in Madagascar ...
Moth is one of the fairies in A Midsummer Night's Dream...

- I know, a bit random!

I also did some planning on this one - having learned that  with collage some sort of plan is no bad thing! So this piece is made of many layers.

First layer is a little Brusho -

Then a few skeleton leaves (which have a pale green tinge).

A couple of shapes handcut from pages (yes - from the play - I have a copy of Shakespeare's works which I cut up).

Plus a pressed gypsophila.

More Brusho -

A couple more skeleton leaves, gypsophila, some honesty seed heads, and some fine straw-like strands (which originally came from some packaging).

Finally, my version of a colourful moth, done in watercolour, with added texture from bubblewrap. I also added some splatters of gold watercolour (which is a fabulous paint by Schminck), and to balance the blue wings, a little blue Brusho too. I also die-cut the word moth from the book pages.

Still struggling with watercolour, so I've signed up for another set of classes (!) which will concentrate on watercolour techniques.

"Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire,
I do wander everywhere,
Swifter than the moon's sphere;
And I serve the fairy queen,
To dew her orbs upon the green.
The cowslips tall her pensioners be:
In their gold coats spots you see;
Those be rubies, fairy favours,
In those freckles live their savours:
I must go seek some dewdrops here
And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear.
Farewell, thou lob of spirits; I'll be gone:
Our queen and all our elves come here anon."

A Midsummer Night's Dream
Act II, Scene 1
Fairy to Robin Goodfellow

The current Paper Artsy challenge is all about abstracts so ... I'm adding this one!

My thoughts are with the people of Paris - and to borrow a phrase from Robert Burns, I have never, and will never, understand man's inhumanity to man. Vive la France!

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Don't let the colours fade to grey ...

We are nearing the end of the Craft Barn's Calendar Challenge - and November's prompts are grey and owl.

I associate the word grey with colourless drab days - just what I'm seeing out of the window right now!  I don't have any owl stamps but I do have the Sizzix Bigz die - perfect.

I started with some Brushos - grey and gamboge - on watercolour paper. The body is cut from a book page, and I let the gamboge Brusho drip down. The rest of Mr Owl's bits are cut from various pieces of painted off-cuts - I wanted to show him filling with colour - it kinda works!

"He respects owl, because you can't help respecting anybody who can spell TUESDAY,  even if he doesn't spell it right."

From The House at Pooh Corner
A A Milne

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Mirror, mirror ...

I took a break from collage and watercolour, which has been my main focus recently whilst doing the art course, and decided to do something totally different.

The mirror was white to begin with, and I added a dragonfly die-cut, and modelling paste through one of my favourite Designs by Ryn stencils - the Hibiscus one.

I then covered it all at random using 3 colours of Pinflair Liquid Buff-it, followed by some grey Decoart Antiquing Cream. A touch of gilding wax gave some highlights, and lastly a couple of coats of varnish.

Now I've got to finish my latest collage, which is proving a bit of a challenge!

Happy Guy Fawkes Night - though I think it could be a little damp!