Thursday 26 November 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

To all those 'over the pond'

Wednesday 25 November 2009

"Errr what's up Doc?"

I am not up to doing any crafting at the moment, so thought I'd put a few photos up of what's been happening in my garden today-just so that you know that I am still here!

 When I looked out of my window to see what my chooks were up to I saw this!  Large as life, sunbathing, without a care in the world!  It's hard to spot isn't it!

A pesky wabbit!
We never used to get any rabbits in our garden - until we had a new neighbour behind us.  I am not suggesting for one minute that it has anything to do with her or her dog - it's just a coincidence.   It's been a good year for rabbits - and I think that they seek refuge in our garden to escape her terrier!  They are tunnelling under our defences.

Scrabble and Daisy choose this corner to sunbathe, and they are not at all bothered - just puzzled and bemused at all the fuss I am making chasing off the rabbit.

He wasn't really scared of me either - so just made a leisurely hop around the other side of the pond to show willing!  Then went further along the path at the back to sunbathe there!

The 'girls' did the same, and decided to have a snack and ate some grass seeds.

I took a walk around the back of the garden to see if the rabbit had gone.

It is always hard to spot as it camouflages itself so well with the gravel, and leaves, and soil, sneaky thing.

It usually dashes over to this corner behind my gazebo and out and under to the field beyond, but I couldn't spot it

No sign of it over there either

Nor around here - pesky thing - looks like rabbit stew is off the menu again this week.  At least the fence around my raised winter veggie bed has kept the little blighter from eating those!

At least there was a consolation prize - I picked the last of my tomatoes from the lean-to on the back of the garage.
Had my best crop ever this year.

Saturday 21 November 2009

Sunday Stamper - week 78

Sunday Stamper week 78 just managed to join in with Hel's Sunday Stamper challenge.  I have one and one only Christmas tree stamp so am a bit limited, but I so wanted to have a go.

This is it.

It looks a bit off centre - but it isn't - trust me - it just the card is not laying flat so right hand side of it sticking up - I was in a mad rush - can you tell!!!!

I have caught some sort of bug - really sore throat, bad headache, high temperature and haven't slept much all night.  So apart from making lunch for Patrick before he went off bowling, I have been a limp lettuce!

I so wanted to join in Hels challenge and make a Christmas card.
This is a bit of a close up - the ink is just about dried!
If you click on the photo to enlarge it, it looks a bit brighter
The card was run through an embossing folder of snowflakes, and I coloured it with chalk!

On thick white card I masked a circle and coloured it in shades of 'moon'.  It isn't quite this dark in real life - it's just that it has got dark here so I couldn't get a decent photo

I layered on with sponges blues, blacks, and hazelnut distress inks to create a dark night with mountains in the background and a wintry wild winter night

Then in 'Christmas Tree Green' (Stazon green, and the trunks are Espresso) I stamped trees at different heights, overlapping branches, to create a forest.   In daylight you can see the white snow on the boughs of the trees - and on Father Christmas's sledge and reins and hat etc.

I am now off back out into my dark garden, to tidy my things away in my craft shed, and lock up my chickens - I may be some time LOL

Monday 16 November 2009

By jove I did it - I actually made a card!

 I was inspired by the scraplings posts on various blogs so thought I would have a go - and here is the result

Now you need a bit of imagination for this.

It is 1934 and you are in Paris!

This is what you would be wearing - honestly!

I used a piece of folded card 4"x8" and distressed around the edges with Espresso ink.
Stamped a background of hessian.
Layered on some paper scraps and coloured again with Espresso.
Stamped the image and coloured it, and used gold highlights on the rose brooch
(Which you can see if you click to enlarge.)

I rather like her cape, I think it looks like velvet now that it has been inked
Stamped the wording and mounted it.
Finished it off with a bow, having first distressed the borders with red then gold.

I thought this fitted the theme of 'Remembrance' it was remembering anything, fashion included for Tuesday Created by Hand

Sunday 15 November 2009

The bag woman.......

I am really enjoying doing image transfers onto the 'bags for life' and am beavering away behind the scenes making presents of them.   I just wish that my own art was good enough for me to transfer it to my own bag!
But it is not - yet - but here is one I created today.

I just love this image

I fell in love with it as soon as I saw the postcard of the oil painting.

Here she is hanging on my shed in the shade

She just 'lights up' in the sunshine though!

If you would like a bag with  your own artwork transferred to it - or a favourite photo - just get in touch via my profile page for more details.

Friday 13 November 2009

Under the influence!

Yesterday we went on a family visit - and it just so happened that Hels lives in the same county as they do - so we made a detour, and I got to meet her in person as well as deliver the bags.

The crafting 'fraternity' are wonderful - everyone that I have corresponded with or met! And Hels was no different.

It was just a flying visit, but she welcomed me as if I had known her for years - and guess what - I got to see some of her art work.

Well lots of it - and its stunning in real life. It looks wonderful on her blog!   Seeing it in 'real life' and holding it and examining it is a whole different thing.  We keep saying this when we take photos of our work - and it really is true - you just don't get to see the textures, the depth and true colours, the layers of inks, shimmers, crackle paints - the camera just does not pick it up!

It was just a flying visit - en-route - but boy did we cram in a lot - well me asking lots of questions!   It was a real treat and a great perk - and it really lifted me up to come out here today,  to my shed, in the pouring rain, to play.

Among other things Hels showed me some amazing tags - which I can't have a go at yet until I get the stamps and other 'stash' I need to have a go at some of the elements.

But her lovely 'pep' talk inspired me to use some bright colours for a change - I tend to favour 'safe' colours.

I layered on bright inks, stamped with hessian background stamp in the same colour

I over stamped with a vintage script, and part of a border.
The Crafty Indivduals image matched the colour perfectly, and as it is on glossy paper, and I wanted a dreamy look I dulled it down with Gesso.  I also drew some swirls in white to marry the picture to the tag to soften the edges so that it didn't look so 'stuck on'

I finished it off with more overstamping of the script,
more swirls, a border at the bottom and a ribbon to match.

Thank you Hels for giving my 'papercraft' mojo a kick start - it was lovely to meet you, and maybe in the future we can meet up again - and perhaps even do some crafting!

My first commission

I have sold both of my sunflower bags!

I never did get to take a photo in daylight of these!
Ink on my fingers (Hels) left a comment on  my 'Sorry Vincent' post to say that if I did decide to do a sunflower bag - then she would like to buy it!

I made two - so that there was a choice, and Hels wanted them both!
(The crease is just where the handles are tucked inside)

Not only that - but my tutor wants me to make some for fundraising!
I am not sure about that becasue (a) I can't get many more bags and
(b) the requirements are not arty crafty - but a logo to design!

I might just make one for my tutor for Christmas if I get time though.

Monday 9 November 2009

Playing with sunflowers

I have spent a happy afternoon playing with Vincent's sunflowers.

The light has gone now - so  only artificial light so I will have to take photos in daylight - for now here are some close ups of parts of the images transferred onto bags.

One has a yellow background and the other a pale blue.

I actually grew this sort of sunflowers up my allotment this year - they were stunning and I now prefer them to the 'ordinary' ones!
Which do you prefer?

If you click on the photos you can see a close up of the textures.

Off indoors now - its dark..................................

Saturday 7 November 2009

I should have told you Vincent - Sorry

Well I took your advice ladies and just played without a care in the
world at how the finished art work turned out ! I think it fits the Created by Handchallenge this week.

A hessian/canvas shopping bag - and this is how it started
I painted a square-ish border
I then transferred one of Vincent Van Gogh's paintings onto it.

And then I erm, painted over lots of it with mixed acryllics

It was just to make it look more like an oil painting
(Click on photo to enlarge)

But then, in natural light the border looked really 'naff'
So I painted over the border again.
And it ended up like this....

The dark marks are where some drips plopped down off a tree above
But they have dried out now.
I think I need to tone down the Vincent Van Gough nameplate now.

That looks better and the wet 'drip' is now dry

I feel a sunflower coming on Vincent - don't turn in your grave
after all, it's only a shopping bag!

Oops - he surely will be - I spelled his name wrong! The good thing about painting is I can just paint over it and do it again!


Oh dear - I have inadvertently rejected a number of your kind comments on my canvas bag post below.  Somehow a couple of spam messages had got through - those not nice ones - and when rejecting them 'it' rejected the rest of the comments.

Huge apologies - and thank you to those who left comments overnight.

Friday 6 November 2009


I have been busy making 'thank you' presents - and trying new (to me) experiments.

Now that this has flown to it's destination I can show you.

Image transferring!

I wanted to make something different, and original, and it took me quite some time to decide what.

You see this lady is far more talented than I - with years of experience.

I came up with the only solution I could think of.

Take some of my favourite examples of her art from her blog, and turn them into a canvas 'bag for life'.

At least I know that she will never get another like it!

And it will come in useful when she runs her workshops as it is very big and strong.

I wish I had..........

A card fairy godmother.  To sit and go through my 'stocks' of arty crafty stuff - pick out various bits and pieces, and give me a step by step lesson on how to make a card with what I have.

Mention the word 'card' or if I even think of the word 'card', I somehow get a mental blog.   I spend hours attempting to make them, and they end up in the bin.  I just can't produce anything in the 'card' department that I am the least bit thrilled with - despite browsing in awe at a long list of blogs for inspiration. 
Very strange.

This is today's disaster scanned into the computer on a sheet of red card.  I was so disappointed that I couldn't even be bothered to go indoors for my camera.

I have spent a long time making it - and it is now heading into the bin.  It just looks just silly rubbish to me.

At least I have achieved something today - I have managed to clear out and sort out the last corner of my studio which still had a stack of unlabled boxes of mixed contents.  (I have things for flower arranging, sugarcraft (which I no longer do, and must get rid of all that equipment), a sausage making machine, a food dryer, a flower press, books for crafting - I am sure that you can picture it)

It's a great feeling to get things organised - totally.  I will know where to put my hands on anything and everything in here- which is just how I like it.  But it still won't help me to make cards LOL!

I think I will do some work with materials for a little while - and wait for the paper crafting side of things to 'fall into place'

Sunday 1 November 2009

Grandma's Attic - Vintage tin

In the days of 'make do and mend' grandmas could re-create anything into something totally diffent - it was a case of necessity for the working class.
And so it was with rusty old tins.
You could turn them into anything you liked!

Uncle Jack was often at sea, and brought back things from his travels, so a ticket found outside a theatre.

A scrap torn from an addressed envelope

Little paint brushes in a pot sketched onto a scrap of paper one night to ease the boredom at sea

And a prized possession - an artist's postcard from Paris from Uncle Jack

All put together to make this..........for this granny's pencils

Or paint brushes, (now that it has had a coat of matt acryllic to protect it.)

Who would have thought that a tomato tin.

Wrapped in re-cycled brown paper and dabbed with Expresso ink. An artist's painting from a magazine, a scrap of cotton lace, stamped images onto dressmaking pattern paper (used for packaging from a purchase from Very Mary), all of which were distressed, and a very vivid imagination of  'pretend' relatives - could turn out like that!