Friday 22 August 2008

ATC Oriental Collages with a difference

'Are you there?'

This lady have painted and inked, ditto the screen. Background textured, stamped calligraphy in the same pink used to ink the lantern, shade the frame, then I 'washed' over the pink on top of the dried stamping to soften and blur it.

It might clearer and not so dark 'in real life' such a dark day here today that I could not get a decent photo of them

Oriental black and white image which I have painted and coloured.

The background has been textured and stamped, the 'frame' is with distressed embossing powder - then rubbed here and there.

Wednesday 20 August 2008

'Do what you enjoy doing most'

That is what a very dear friend advised when I told her I was 'struggling' arty crafty wise.

So that is exactly what I did.

Amongst my collection of old images I chose this photographer - and mounted him on some backing paper. I then proceeded to use my pastels to highlight and shade not only him but also the backing paper - so it looks totally different to the original paper. I just looked at it and saw 'different' things in it - so I shaded and highlighted again - so there are now honeycomb areas, I sketched in the stylised tree which started off as a single swirl - and ditto other areas. It is now just an abstract in the background - but maybe you can see other things. I can.
What I do see is the ugly bold border so tomorrow I am going to soften that with white pastel - so that it fades into the background - it is far too dominant
If you had seen the fuzzy photo - and all the background and roads etc you would never recognise this little portion I cut out and used.

Same backing paper as before.

The poster behind the boy I have really highlighted with white pastels and contrasted with black. Ditto the lad himself who now has defined knickerbockers, legs, and socks - until I looked at him very very closely I thought 'he' was a little girl. By chalking his face and hair too he now is very much a lad.

I like to think that behind him it is akin to 'typing' graffiti - and a skyline - but there you go - that's me and my pastels and imagination for you!

Tuesday 19 August 2008

Oriental Textures ATC

This Oriental ATC was a bit of an experiment playing with different textures. She was hard to photograph to get a good picture of her - and is one of those that look much better in the hand and natural light - not so garish as this photo

I covered white card with some Japanese newspaper and aged it with distressed ink.
The stamped image was collaged on, then highlighted with an embossing pen, and embossed with dull gold - and her face was dusted with flesh chalk.

Japanese calligraphy on the newspaper was embossed with a dull copper, and the framework around it was made using texture paste, which was coloured with black, dull gold and dull copper, and bubbled up with a heat gun to give it a lovely texture - which is hard to see in the photo. It looks like burnished metallic and feels like soft beaten leather.

This is the first of the three I am entering into a swap. I might make some more then send in the best ones - it made a nice change to do something this small again - quite different to what I have been working on lately.

Oriental ATC - Playing with metals

I am a bit out of practice making ATCs and had quite forgotten how small they are.

This lady has been stamped on cream card, which I then painted with a green metallic paint. It looked a bit bare so I went a bit OTT with gold leaf - but it does look nicer in real life!

Here she is on a different coloured background - did you spot the difference?

Oriental ATC

It has been a while since I made some Oriental ATC's so when I saw this swap on a forum I thought I would enter some.

This is stamped, then inked and brushed, then had gold leaf added as a frame, and a butterfly coloured then gold leaf added. The embossed Japanese calligraphy stamp says 'Dream'

Taking the photo on a Japanese newspaper gives a different 'look' to the same ATC.

Sunday 17 August 2008

Colour is my Obsession - for This Thursday Challenge

This challenge has taken me way out of my comfort zone. I've gone bright, I've gone bold - and maybe a bit bonkers!

I drew on my experience of running a pre-school playgroup over 34 years ago - and loved messing around with paint with the little ones - so I guess I regressed to that of a three year old when I got out the brightest colours and played.

So think flower fairies, gingerbread houses, fairy cakes, and sunny days.

Mix them all together with some sparkles, fairy dust, lots of texture and tutus - and here you have it..................

My obsession with colour.

My thanks go to Paula who not only gave me the little piece of jigsaw puzzle you can see in a previous post below. But also a template for a house and a bird. (I drew around the template and added the chimney - take a look at her blog for the most fantastic cards - and Paula really does have a 'eye' for colours.

Friday 15 August 2008

You're an Angel

I have a very dear 'forum' friend and was delighted to have her as a this month's Mystery Friend on Zuzu's forum

I have had a couple of angels for ages, and just waiting for the right opportunity to alter one.

And it finally arrived.

It is really hard to photograph shiny things.

Basically she was painted all over in Gesso, then in metallic colours. She was left to dry naturally between coats of paint - over night usually.

I added layers of fusible film, embossing, gold leaf, bronze leaf, - you name I used it. Red pearl paint for her heart - all of which where bubbled up many times with a heat gun to get really thick texture - including the heart.

The hair was given several shades of pale gold paint, and the face had a number of coats of paint until I got the right shade of angelic flesh that I wanted - and then painted on her face and heart shape mouth.

She is made of metal - even her wings - I added a loop of gold thread so that she could be hung up somewhere or it could just be removed to be as she is.

I decided not to add a halo!

Wednesday 13 August 2008

Alter this? You must be joking!

When my friend Paula paid me a visit a couple of weeks ago - apart from giving me a demo on how to colour cardstock with ink pads, she also gave me this 'to have a go at altering'.

Thanks Paula its lovely - erm how am I going to live up to her challenge?

Well I have done a few puzzle pieces - but never one like this! Ecky thump, I thought, I feel a headache coming on.

It sat and looked at me - and yesterday I decided to just relax and play and have fun and see what happens.

I sit in my studio/shed and daydream looking out of the window a lot - at my chickens, the garden, the weather - and for some unknown reason I started thinking about the jungle and a pioneering explorer in the Victorian era, collecting all sorts of artifacts.

And pictured the discovery outside a ruined stone building of an old rucksack - covered in mould and near a skeleton.

A rummage inside revealed a note book of his adventure and bits of pieces of his collection. This is what I came up with.

It was very challenging technically to do actually.

The stamp is a faux 'field' postcard so fits in with the Tag You're It Challenge

So it fitted in nicely with my daydream. The testing bit was to cover the shiny patterned surface of the original card -

and to stamp and paint and distress the tag to match up with the outside cover exactly (beginners luck methinks), and without making it too thick to slide in and out! It's a little piece of art in its own right.

At last I am finally realising that 'art' should be fun, not hard work - and not to be taken too seriously by the likes of me who is just discovering this wonderful hobby.

So I played with Guesso, paints,texture paste, inks, chalks, pastels,embossing powders, metallic pens, ink pads, and two stamps

It was fun, fun, fun!

Thank you Paula - for a great challenge - and the chance to daydream and play without any pressure.

Sunday 10 August 2008


I popped over to Ribbon Oasis and was blown away by their stock of hundreds of ribbons and accessories - so many things which I had never seen before.

You should see the work on their gallery too - just what I needed to kick start me on my Christmas present projects!

From there I went to This Thursday where the challenge for this week is Bowdacious - Ribbons and Bows.

This got me daydreaming of days gone by when the women knew how to be feminine and used lots of ribbons and bows

Amongst my collection of vintage photo images I came across this lady - she was rather faded and pale so I printed her onto paper and then painted her with water colours - and now she looks fabulous.

I mounted her onto thick card and using texture paste - and did just that - added a bit of texture - with embossing powders, paint, inks, and blue/silver/grey leafed metals.

Close up of a small part of the textured border.

A 'gal' can never have too many ribbons or bows, so I added the ribbon roses mounted onto a little pink bow and photographed her on strips turquoise ribbon.

Does she fit the title do you think?


That is the title of This Thursday's challenge and I have had some fun with this today.

I have re-discovered my vintage collection of images and photos.

This image I have coloured with water colour pencils with the aim to make it look like a dress designer's sketch.

I added some different samples of satin ribbon at the bottom - so you can choose a colour variation if you want it made up! (Joke).

Thursday 7 August 2008

Karine Ardault's Amazing Blog

I have just stumbled on the most amazing blog by Karine.

She takes stunning photos - they just blow me away!

This month she is having a blog giveaway.

Why not go and check out Karine Ardault's blog.

Once you have visited you will want to return time and time again - I'm hooked!

Monday 4 August 2008

Jigsaw Puzzle Piece Swap - By the Sea

I received a little wooden jigsaw piece in the post for a swap. Sadly it was snapped in half right across the middle.

But I repaired it and decorated it with metallic acrylic paints, texture paste, embossing powders and tiny little shells I got from dismantling a charity shop necklace.

Here is a close up - with a tiny vintage image of a bathing beauty!

It looks all shimmery in wet with the naked eye but I can't quite capture that in the photos.

The back and sides have been painted metallic blue too - and the back has had waves painted on it.

Sunday 3 August 2008

Wings - for This Thursday Challenge

I found this quite a challenge this week. 'Wings' if only it had been that theme last week I could have entered my butterfly - so what could I do that was totally different?

After spending a few hours on an angel - I finally admitted defeat and started a totally different piece of art.

Firstly I chose a few images and then focussed on this one.

A lovely picture of a Japanese young lady.

I decided to age her by painting her with acrylics - to give a vintage oil painting feel to her. I cut out butterfly wings and colour washed them the same colour as I had painted her shawl.

Next I cut a small gothic arch and painted the background with acrylics - then collaged on top of it the wings and the lady. I painted her hair to fall down her back and wings to ensure that they looked part of her rather than added. I put that to one side and cut out a larger arch and covered it with a sheet of a Japanese newspaper.

I coloured this with TH distressed inks to match the colour scheme of the small arch. Then stamped a few small butterflies on top.

I mounted the small arch onto the top one and added gold leaf (which unfortunately is showing up quite bright in the flash light). In natural light the gold leaf gives it an aged effect - like peeled gold on wood.

I have photographed this at an angle to try and show the small arch edged to give an illusion that the girl is in a room looking out through an arched window.

More pieces of aged gold leaf, and textured with clear embossing highlighting some areas to add to the aged look and give it more depth as on the fan etc - it feels wonderful and looks so much better in real life.