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, 26 January 2016

Don't quote me!

The next letter in the Craft Barn Alpha Dictionary Challenge is Q.

My first thought was Quotation! I have a book of quotations which I have compiled over the years, and I found one which I thought was quite appropriate.

The background is brayered acrylic ink, with a little paint through an alphabet stencil. I finished off with a border stamp, using Archival ink - thank you Craftyfield: I remembered which ink to use on paint!

I also ... erroneously ... thought my Designs by Ryn stamp (from the Fiddlehead stamp set) looked like a quotation mark, but of course - one is upside down!

So - a quotation about quotation.

And here is another one from A A Milne:

"A quotation is a handy thing to have about, saving one the trouble of thinking for oneself, always a laborious business."

And while I am on quotations - here is another erroneous one! (by G M Jackson)

"Every time we prove a positive, we simultaneously prove an infinite number of negatives. Therefore, it is erroneous to declare that we can't prove a negative."

I think that is enough!

Sunday, 24 January 2016

When friends get together ... expect some master pieces!

It was the Fearless Four's first get together of the year, and we decided to something not requiring too much brain power! Masterboards are always useful things to do, as you get a load of backgrounds, or die-cutting material, without too much effort - but a lot of play!

So - masterboards it was, some A3 in size and some 12 x 12. Here is the state of the room when we broke for lunch! Masterboards spread all over! I must admit our production rate fell rapidly after lunch!

I managed to do three 12 x 12 pieces.

The first one consists of brayered acrylic paint and I used some things from my mark making box - sequin waste, credit card, bottle caps, cotton bud and a bit of splatter from a toothbrush!

The second is another brayered paint background, which I then knocked back with a dilute white wash.

Followed by some stamping in Archival ink and white paint.

My final piece - another brayered background with a white wash,  and more stamping.

So, 3 pieces ready to make some cards!

And the others?

Lin did three A3 pieces using brayer, sponges and stamps.

Linda finished two A3 pieces and started a third one. Using brayer, mark making, and stamps.

Monica was the most prolific of all - finishing four pieces. Again using a brayer with some mark making and stamps.

Good friends, good lunch, good time!

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Is there still life after art?

I finished my extra piece of watercolour homework - doing another still life using just a pair of complementary colours. This time I chose blue and orange.

Found this one just as difficult - my saucers are rubbish! I'm not particularly a still life fan, but I can appreciate it is a good subject for watercolour exercises. I have to admit I got a little bored, so experimented with using clingfilm on parts of the background. I'd like to explore that further!

I found this great quote from Jarod Kintz:

"I watched a bowl of fruit on the table remain motionless.
Just another example of life imitating art."

We are now half way through our first landscape, one more session is meant to finish it - though I have a feeling it will need finishing at home!

Happiness is seeing the days get longer!

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

And is there still honey for tea?

The post title is the last line from the poem "The Old Vicarage, Grantchester" by Rupert Brooke.

This year's Craft Barn Challenge is an Alpha/Dictionary one, with a new letter every two weeks. I didn't take part the last time they did this in 2013, so this is a new one for me! The first letter is B. Any format is OK but you must include the word and dictionary definition.

I have an old dictionary I use for collage etc., and I will be sticking to my favourite format of a 10 x 8 sheet (I like having the option of using different card/paper as the base), which will end up in a journal book.

B - had to be bee, as I am a bit obsessive about bees (I got a bee brooch for my birthday, and some bee earrings for Christmas!).

Using a piece of acrylic paper, I covered it in acrylic paint. After all the watercolouring I've been doing of late it was good to get the acrylic paint out again!

Then a few quick strokes to create some flowers, followed by my favourite bee stamps (by Stampotique). I've had trouble in the past stamping onto acrylic paint, and I sure I've been told numerous times how to get round this - but I forget! Anyway, the ink sank a bit into the paint so I used a liner pen to accentuate.

PS: I don't know if this affects any of my followers, but here is an announcement made on Blogger Buzz, which I have copied from another blog:

In 2011, we announced the retirement of Google Friend Connect for all non-Blogger sites. We made an exception for Blogger to give readers an easy way to follow blogs using a variety of accounts. Yet over time, we’ve seen that most people sign into Friend Connect with a Google Account. So, in an effort to streamline, in the next few weeks we’ll be making some changes that will eventually require readers to have a Google Account to sign into Friend Connect and follow blogs.

As part of this plan, starting the week of January 11, we’ll remove the ability for people with Twitter, Yahoo, Orkut or other OpenId providers to sign in to Google Friend Connect and follow blogs. At the same time, we’ll remove non-Google Account profiles so you may see a decrease in your blog follower count.

We encourage you to tell affected readers (perhaps via a blog post), that if they use a non-Google Account to follow your blog, they need to sign up for a Google Account, and re-follow your blog. With a Google Account, they’ll get blogs added to their Reading List, making it easier for them to see the latest posts and activity of the blogs they follow.

We know how important followers are to all bloggers, but we believe this change will improve the experience for both you and your readers.

Posted by Michael Goddard, Software Engineer

Friday, 8 January 2016


When I completed last year's Craft Barn calendar challenge I was a little stumped as to how to bind my calendar so I could have it on show in my craft room. Here is a reminder of my pages - if you want to know more about how each page was done, just pick Craft Barn 2015 Calendar Challenge from the categories list.

Then I had a light bulb moment! I have this hard -cover ring bound book that I used for the 2014 Craft Barn quotes challenge.  It was only half full!

By the way - I used some sprays and flicked a lot of paint to create my universe look!

So I also stuck in my calendar pages - and now I can just stand it up - tent like - each month ...sorted!

You can see it is raining (again) when I took this picture, but I think we may be getting a little colder and brighter next week - more in keeping with my calendar!

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Tea? - just add water!

Before the holidays I had completed 3 classes of my current watercolour course, when we concentrated on complementary colours, i.e. opposites on the colour wheel - blue and orange, purple and yellow, and red and green, and the way each pair of colours show each other off to best advantage - more intense and brighter.

To explore these colour pairings, we had to draw a still life of white objects (from photographs provided), and paint them using just one pair of complementary colours. I have now finished my piece; and I decided on purple and yellow. We were also encouraged to include other media - I chose coloured pencils this time, though I haven't used much pencil.

I'm now in the middle of another one, using blue and orange this time - to try and learn from my mistakes with this one!

Many artists use complementary colour pairings, and it can become a bit addictive to spot them!

Time for tea I think ...