Tuesday 29 May 2007

Inches x 13 The theme: Flowers

I didn't know what I was taking on when I took up the challenge of creating little works of art 1" x 1" - I thought ATCs were hard enough at 3.5" x 2.5".

All except the dried flowers have been embossed so they look like little shiny tiles - but it does not show up in the scan very well.

And these are magnified far bigger than the size they actually are!

One of my favourite flowers - Pink Echinacea

Oriental Style




Red Dahlia - where the light patches are,is where there is no embossing - looks fine though - but funny in this scan

Marigold centre - again shiny and embossed

Yellow echinacea - embossed and shiny - the bee does not look so prominent in real life - these are only 1" x 1" so very much enlarged on here.

Daisy - embossed and shiny

Morning Glory - Embossed and shiny

Layers of cut up poppy leaves on painted paper.

Stained glass - stamped and coloured, the bits drawn on it, the embossed all over

This is a tiny stem of Alchemilla Mollis which I have coloured red with chalks, mounted it on 'angels hair' paper then painted over it in gold

Monday 28 May 2007

Just for Fun

For the backing I made my own design using alcohol inks and metallics

The chicken I copied from part of a Victorian painting, and then painted it with watercolours, then cut it out and stuck it on.

I think I have made him look rather evil - inadvertantly - with that eye of his.

Lady in Red ATC

Lady in Red - once again - not photographed very straight is it?

The stamped backing paper I coloured with chalks. I then enhanced a Victorian print, using water colours for her and chalks for her background, and I stamped an outline in red of a heart and painted that.

A simple design but it took me two hours to make - just for fun

Saturday 26 May 2007

A Greek Style Artifact

This took me a very very long time to do - but I loved experimenting with it.

Oops I photographed this a bit wonky! It is the right size and shape really.

Firstly I aged some backing paper with chalks and kept coloring it until I got the shade I liked.

I stamped the face onto another sheet of paper, and using inks, coloured it in different shades of green.

Next I did the edging - using Tim Holtz distress embossing powders in different colours, and finally I did several layers of embossing on the face leaving some spaces to highlight. On the backing sheet and on the face I did a light gold rub to give the overall effect of a slab of an aged gold artifact. I finished it off with a gold eyelet and embroidery cotton in different soft shades.

I love textures and this one feels really nice to the touch - and looks better in daylight.

Latest Experiments - Stamping

I haven't had much time to do any craft work this week, but did manage a few hours today when it was raining.

I am still experimenting with stamping.

One of my first efforts went in the bin - here is another one - on pale green paper with lettering. I wasn't too happy with this one so tried again.

The same paper as before - the whole thing is much darker in reality - it is the flashlight that makes it look pale.

Tuesday 22 May 2007

Stamped ATCs

White card with 'splodged' green, onto which I have stamped a poem. The lady has been stamped on card then cut out and mounted on top - I think this is my favourite.

In real life this is a paler looking lavender coloured card, with silver latin prose stamped onto it, then overstamped with the lady in grey ink.

It looks textured when you look at it with the naked eye.

Latin verse printed on card, then a photo printed stamped echinacea cut out and collaged on - all of which was then enamelled with a tad bit of golden glitter in it. Again with the naked eye it looks much better - and is one of my textured touchy feely ATCs that I love making.

The back of this ATC is thick woven material - a piece of a sample kindly sent to me by Momiji - it is identical to the card front in colour and feels lovely.

Stamped lady on cream tissue paper. The card is pale green onto which I have stamped hyroglyphics at the side, then glued the lady onto it. Sadly the scan almost xrays the tissue

With the naked eye you can't see any background stamping through the tissue. You can't see any wrinkles in the tissue, and the background is paler green and the paper looks thicker.

Monday 14 May 2007

Aussie Swap

I so wish you could see this lizard in real life - he looks so much better and his colouring is far softer and more muted and paler actually. I saw lots of lizards on my trips to Oz - all sorts and all sizes and not all outdoors either. They fascinate me and I think they look like little dinosaurs and such fun when they walk or run away swinging their body this way and that as they go. This is a pen and ink and pencil drawing - then I got a flash of inspiration and added a foreground of dried alchemilla mollis which look the same colour as the water colour background. He really looks like he is hidden behind it.

The inspiration for this tiny fish painting came from some Aboriginal pieces of art I saw - again it is larger than life here.

This is a fluffy little fledgling Kookaburra - another freehand drawing with watercolour pencils - and when wondering what background to do - I just decided to do it in the style of the Aboriginal painters. It took me a couple of hours at least, as I had to keep going over and over and over it to get the right colour on the backing paper.

I used burnt orange card as I wanted to convey the colour of the soil and the heat of Australia.

These pictures are bigger than the ATCs so magnify every detail - some you can't see with the naked eye.

This one did not scan well at all. In reality it is a luminous funky fish - which I drew with souffle pens which give it an embossed effect.

The fish itself is yellow and purple - both bright and shiny. The sea weed is raised too and shiny green, and the blue water colour pencil background is pale not as dark as in the scan.

Because of the luminosity of the paint - it effects the scanner so yellow looks invisible and the green and purple look pale - but I thought I would post it on here anyway to remind me of what I did.

This is for a 'Touchy Feely Textures' Swap

This is another ATC for the Touchy Feely Textures Swap

Yet again the scan does not do it justice one little bit.

The backing card is painted black and has tiny weeny bits of black a silver glitter, almost like dust, so too on the sheep's fleece - but in the picture sadly it looks like a black blob - it looks subtle, pretty and dainty in the daylight!

There is a machine embroidered daisy from Anne which I cut out and used, and some wide hessian type sacking from Momiji which I used too.

The difference in textures feel lovely when you close your eyes and run your fingers over it, - and that was what this swap was all about.

The back has a pretty patterned smooth material on it - which adds another element.

I just have to label them all up, and send them off to the USA.

Friday 11 May 2007

Jigsaw Puzzle Piece

I haven't had time to make any ATCs these past few days - too much going on at home and up the allotment - but today I almost finished my piece of jigsaw puzzle.

It is approximately 6 inches by 6 inches - huge for me when I am used to working on little works of art!

So those of you not familiar with Altered Art will probably be puzzled as to why on earth I would would to make a piece of jigsaw puzzle.

The idea is to create a unique puzzle and work of art, but engaging fellow artists whose work you greatly admire, to each alter a piece of puzzle, (Oriental was the theme for this) each using their interpretations - and colour schemes.

This was my first ever altered art and I found it really difficult - I am on a learning curve!

The photos or scanning do not show up how it really looks - which is a shame.

The whole thing is covered in layers of enamel which give it a lovely textured look - and there is a sprinkling of tiny gold glitter - which is really subtle in reality and just catches the light when you move it.

Here are close ups of sections.

A tiny part of a print, which I have painted over to suit my colour scheme - and added a background and foreground to represent the Cherry Blossom celebrations at this time of year. She is sitting on a carpet of red cherry blossom petals.

Textured gold paper, collaged together with a piece of parchment sumo wrestling poster aged, and I have drawn in ink some bamboo stalks - again all enamelled.

A small piece of 'Crane' paper that came from one of my son and daughter in law's wedding envelopes. Again I have painted it to suit my colour scheme.

A collaged wistful Geisha - the shadows on her face are made by the enamel which is shiny and does not look like shadows in real life.

I recently traded ATCs with Momiji (you can see these on my Allotment Lady link under ATCs swapped). Included in the envelope she sent me some little origami hearts she had made, which was so sweet of her - I just had to include one in my jigsaw puzzle. I added the calligraphy. You can just make out that it is raised and shiny where it is covered in the enamel.

Here some tiny pen and ink work I did - again now covered under the enamel.

I want to add some ribbons, but am leaving that until I get all the pieces back - so that I can colour co-ordinate them.

I think, when I do my next piece, I will have a bit more confidence and a bit more of an idea how to do things.

I will let you all see the finished puzzle pieces when they all arrive.

Monday 7 May 2007

Touchy-Feely - Textues

This is the start of an experiment and it is not finished yet - you can see that the glue isn't dry!

I only got an hour late afternoon in my studio - had a busy day - so this is as far as I got.

I need to tidy up the thick glue and the gold paint, and maybe add a framework - if I can. I might try blanket stitch all around if I have some suitable thread - and if I can get it to go through the card and the thick material!

Sunday 6 May 2007

Face the Music

Time to get back to my 'homework' and try to make another 'Faces' card.

A sad face inspired me to do a Face the Music ATC

I had read that stamping on tissue gives a good effect.

So my first attempt was to glue a miniature music sheet onto an ATC - (I had aged it so it wasn't gleaming black and white. Next I covered it with tissue and stamped the face on it.

It did look nice and I was both proud and relieved that at last I had made one I was happy with.

So much so that I even celebrated with a few liquorice sticks my husband brought to my garden shed/studio for me!

I sat there gloating - then looked carefully. Oh No! After covering the music sheet with tissue, I hadn't noticed that I must have turned it before stamping on the face and the music behind was upsidedown.

You can guess where that one ended up.

Now here is the one I did finally make. The scan does not show that the face is embossed, so is shiny copper in real life.

I looked through a little old book of music scores with words and found a suitable sad one. Cut out the ageing page (sacrilege)and stuck it on. Added a couple of bits of 'antique' scrap paper.

Retrieved a bit of the music score from the bin, added some tissue paper and stamped on the face and then the embossing powder.

Was it worth it? Not sure.


I had a bit of paper left over that just happened to be the right size to fit an ATC sized piece of card.

So I spent the next hour or so, adding more and more layers of watercolour pencil work - and the above is the result - I quite like this - it is nice and cheery and full of texture.

Dragonfly on Meconopsis

Do you ever spend hours doing something and nothing works out how you wanted it too?

Well I have had a whole afternoon like that - so here are my mistakes and what I have learnt from them!

This one was going to be for a 'Faces' themed swap.

I saw a picture of a meconopsis I liked, and thought it lent itself to a child's face in the centre. I found a vintage face that was perfect. Cut it out and it wasn't quite round. (I wanted it to actally tuck into the poppy centre.) I cut a bit more off - and yes, you know how it is. It never was perfect enough for me so it went into the bin.

A flash of inspiration - I would stamp a face onto some acetate and tuck that in. Well I tried all sorts of colours and all sorts of faces. Finally got The colour combination right - went to stick it in - when I learnt another very important lesson.

Ink pad ink doesn't seem to ever dry on acetate. So that idea was abandoned. I carried on 'playing' and added more colour and details and finished it.

Later I thought it lacked focus so decided to try stamping a dragonfly onto it. Thought that would look good.

Mistake number 2 - You can't stamp an image directly onto something that has any raised surfaces.

You can tell that I am a total novice with stamping - but I so want to learn how to do it

Saturday 5 May 2007

For a theme called 'Faces'

Vintage photo with 'aged' marks, scrapbook paper which I have given 'depth' to by enhancing the green background with shading and shadows and patterns - ditto the flowers.

Flowers Series

Badgers - For friends

My green series of Oriental swaps

Pleasure Lady - watercolour stamped background - gilding which looks a mustard colour in the photo - which is a shame


'After the bath' at a Geisha House - once again the grey areas are silver.