Saturday 20 November 2010

Zero calories, fat free birthday cake.

My daughter in law Haruko, is 40 years old today.  I didn't have 40 candles so improvised with the cake.
I glued two blocks of floral foam together, then cut out a circle.
There are lots of layers.  Dozens of laurel leaves 
Each picked to be of a uniform size.  Secured underneath and then each one pinned to overlap the previous one.

It takes a long time, and a lot of patience - but it stops you eating!

You only need tips of shrubs from the garden and moss to fill the gaps.

And in true Alice in Wonderland fashion with the flowers

Off with their heads!  The flowers last so much longer this way

I think  it looks good enough to eat - and smells divine!
The chunky candle should last at least a week of night time lighting.

I think I will make a few Christmas cakes like this!

(Oh - before I forget - I have baked a really BIG calorific wicked chocolate cake too!)

Friday 19 November 2010

It's in the post - work in progress, and Mary Mary

The wall hanging is finished and in the post.

The next experiment

I spent some time over the last few nights just experimenting with layers.
Trust me this looks better in real life, the colours aren't so harsh, and it has a feel of the Tudor rich velvet costumes and wall hangings - muted, but rich
I thought you might like to see how the layers are built up.

It started off as a piece of cream material, which I painted with suede acrylic.
Cream was stencilled on next.
Then pearlescent white.
Metallic green.
Brayered white all over.
Stencilled gold.
I now have one more layer of acrylic white to brayer on then I'll build up the layers of material.

This is Mary - she somehow managed to get on the wrong blog.
She's a very very rare little Lemon Millefleur Sablepoot.

She decided to sit right outside the conservatory window on a wall - to dry off her dirty 'boots'.
I think that she is as pretty as a picture - so I'll let her stay here!

I spent a lovely couple of hours at a flower arranging workshop this afternoon. 
It was too dark to take a decent photo of the finished work - so I'll post that on here tomorrow.

Tuesday 16 November 2010

'Make an item of your choice using stencils'

I thought I would have a go at this swap - it's taken me quite a long time to do this - but its been fun.
I had bought a yard of this from a charity shop - it's quite thick material

I had to do this in stages.  Firstly I painted the metallic copper layer over a stencil and left it to dry overnight.

Then I painted the pearlescent on top through another stencil - left that to dry overnight and repeated the two processes the next couple of days.  (Having been doing Tam's free course, I have learned a lot about layering - it really makes a huge difference.)

I cut out a heart from the same material, then painted the pearlescent over stencils - yes you guessed it, left it overnight to dry.  I painted around the edge of the frayed heart, transferred an image directly onto the heart, stamped 'Best Friend' with Stazon, and then sewed all the layers together.

Hemmed the top, sewed on the vintage lace borders.  I haven't decided whether to just sew on the cord or to thread through a stick and tie the cord on. I'll experiment before I send it off.

This photo is just to show you the difference it makes taking a picture at night with just the room light!
The other photos were taken under a 'daylight' bulb lamp.

Sunday 14 November 2010

Art, Heart, and Healing Course - Week 3 Part 2 - The making of an Empathy Monster

You'll have to click the link to Tam's free course to see what all this is about - yet another new technique and learning curve.

This proved rather difficult for me - a monster!!!!

So this is a prototype using the drawing Tam gave us.   There are elements missing - like a zip for the mouth, but as they don't say anything - my little 'Emy' Empathy doesn't have a mouth.
She is made from scraps - second hand used blue velvet - feels oh so soft on my cheek.  Ribbon someone saved for me a year ago - from a box if chocolates.  Fringing from a charity shop, buttons from Freecycle, and the star is shell which I coloured blue.  The heart from a piece of silk from a charity shop tatty scarf.

Now that I have made Emy, I want to make some friends for her - just need to get some 'bits' to make them 'properly'

Oh - and she is filled with perfumed stuffing!

Obvously NOT  a child's toy!

Thank you for all your lovely comments.  I can't wait to make some more - this is my first ever 'doll' - I'm a bit old to finally have one, better late than never!

Tuesday 9 November 2010

Week 3 Art,Part 1 Heart and Healing Course

I know that I haven't finished the Week 2 projects, but I can catch up with those later - and I don't want to fall behind

So here we are at week three - and this is so much fun, truly.

It's decorating the cover page - and what a different and scary way to do it!

You take a photo - do unimaginable things to it with sandpaper, water, scratchy things, and paint!

I ruined the first photo at the last 'knockings' when I got some black ink on my nose and couldn't get it off!

A dull day, and low light levels are playing havoc with my photography and colours.  The green dots are made with metallic paint and look lovely in daylight.

Me and my little grandson - I love him so very much it literally opened my soul when he was born.
To think that he is part of me - without my genes he wouldn't be alive - the beginning of my own little line of family tree - who knows how many generations will follow me - sends a tingle down my spine!

 I have to make something else to finish the first of week 3's projects to add to the front page - but hopefully it will be a bit of art all of it's own.

Tam is the most amazing tutor - there is just something about her that I just can't explain.

I spent the morning looking through lots of old photo albums - from the years when my boys were youngsters - and the joy and smiles in those photos lit up my day.   I hadn't fogotten about the exquisite joy and happiness of having and nurturing them.  The parties, the games, the pets, the houses, the gardens, the simple life and simple pleasures - it was great.

Then I looked at other albums - photos in black and white - and seeing the images, I relived those times with detached affection - and was surprised at the memories it brought back of that young girl out into the big wide world on her own and working too at the age of 16.
And look at me now!

And before I knew it - the whole morning had gone and I hadn't found a single photo that I could use.

But as you can see - I did find a digital one, and managed to fix the printer too!


Monday 8 November 2010

Week 2 Art, Heart and Healing Course

Oh dear dear dear - week 3 is upon us and I am just trying to catch up on week 2!

It's been a week of doctors, dentist, and hospital appointments and we have been away overnight - but here is where I am at right now.
As this is a work in progress at least you will get to see how the layers and shading progress.
Above you see a base layer of Gesso, then shades of green and blue water colour crayons, some stamping and colouring - then a coat of brayered white.
I have added the tree trunk - which had layers of white and browns, and have just scribbled on a third layer of water colour yellow for a sunshine glow, (yet to be brushed with water to blend it in), another layer of stamped flowers, the heart and bird.

I drew the chains and swing seat and added on my whimsy self.
I had great trouble with my whimsy as the book isn't very big, so the whimsy is very small and it was a real struggle drawing her.  I still have to draw and add her friends.

Apparently I was a very pretty child, with ginger hair - not a 'carrot top' but strawberry blonde or titian it was described as.   Doing this exercise has brought back some nice memories - one of which is when I had a pretty little blue seersucker cotton dress, with a white colour and white spots on it.  I only got to wear it once to have my photo taken on an 'Open Day' in the Village.  I got to wear my Sunday shoes too, and I was told how pretty I looked - isn't it funny the things that pop out of your brain!
It was a lovely happy day!

The countryside, swing on the tree, little bird - and any other creations are, and will be, figments of my imagination to create a perfect storybook childhood.

If you haven't joined in the free course and would like too - just click on the link in the side bar.
You don't have to join in any of the 'healing' side of the workshop if it is not 'your thing' - just have fun and learn some great techniques.  
 It really is such fun, and not only I, but 1155 people (latest number as at 2 minutes ago) have joined in too.   Take a look at all the artwork, the flickr pages, the other courses - and prepare to be amazed.

Saturday 6 November 2010

Happy Daze Weekend Special

Happy Daze are having a weekend 'special' with 20% off  Websters Pages - they've even got the latest Christmas designs in too.

Quick - grab yourself a bargain - it's too good to miss

Thursday 4 November 2010

Trash to Treasure blog giveaway

Lynn of Trash to Treasure has and amazing blog giveaway to celebrate two years of blogging.

You can join in by visiting her fabulous blog HERE

Lots of Christmas goodies including a gorgeous vintage doll!

Tuesday 2 November 2010

The Heart of Art - Week 2

Well it's been so hard trying to fit in the time to make a start on my Week 2 project - but here goes.
We started off with a children's board book - any sort - this was 30p from a charity shop.
We painted the pages with Gesso in preparation for doing an image transfer

We were shown two methods of doing an image transfer - by using an image printed on an acrylic sheet - which I didn't have - so I used the other technique

Whereby you print your image onto paper, cut it out, paint glue onto the page nice and thickly, then add the image, and leave to dry - and this is what it looks like at the leaving to dry stage.

I left mine overnight - don't know how I had the patience - but I did, and it was worth it!

Once dry, using your fingers, you rub, and rub, and rub to remove all the paper off the print and are left with the image in the now dried glue!

It's quite eerie how it emerges - and it really is hard to imagine beforehand that it will emerge.
But it does and leaves a lovely soft, almost ghostly effect - which is quite appropriate for this exercise as it represents our childhood years - up to around 3yrs old.  

I didn't have any photos of my childhood  years so 'borrowed' some images.  You can see some of the bits of rubbed paper still around.  
The next part of the process is to type up words or phrases to represent your wishes for the childhood images.  

My printer decided to pack up, grrr, so I had to improvise.

I am rather disappointed about that, so if/when I get it fixed I think I will paint over my writing and print out the phrases as you get a much better result.

One of the things that Tam has taught us is that there is no such thing as a 'mistake' - you just paint over it as many times as you like to change it.