Monday 30 December 2013

She's back - SHE IS BACK - I am so happy

The wonderfully talented  Jo Capper-Sandon is back blogging.  What a joy to see.  Her fabulous Stampotique stamps were the first I bought from that company - and Jo is back with a fabulous designed work of art using them.

Wonderfully bright and sunny colours, and a technique I haven't tried - but will definitely do so over the next few days - I will need to have a rummage in my drawers for the colours though.

Do pop over and see - you will be amazed!

If I am not back on here before the 31st December - have a wonderfully happy and healthy and solvent 2014 everyone.

Wednesday 18 December 2013

A Christmas Bush

 We decided not to have a Christmas tree this year.
Mr Lottie isn't back to full strength, and I have hurt my back.

Totally on impulse I decided to get a little bush instead.

 I need to have another go at trimming the top - but it looks very pretty with the sun shining on it.
 I crammed on lots of little surprises, even cinanamon sticks 
(you can just see one of a bunch poking out at top - the smell is yummy)
Even if your home is tiny like ours you can still have a festive  'tree'
I sprayed bits of holly gold and some twigs, as I mentioned - lovely cinnamon sticks
very Christmassey, strings of beads, pears, artificial poinsettias and ribbon etc - everything from my 
flower arranging stash box - long ago hidden under a pile of other boxes under the table in my studio.
I wrapped the plant pot up in a big carrier bag and plonked it into a big green plastic plant pot, and wrapped it in potato sacking and added a ribbon.

Not quite big enough for a fairy - but it smells heavenly and fits in our little room perfectly.
And after the Christmas holidays it will be planted in a gap along my fence in the front garden
that has been crying out for a shrub for over a year now - but I have not had to time to buy one!
Until now!

Happy Christmas everyone.

Thanks for popping by

Wednesday 11 December 2013

Vintage Christmas Card

My last effort at making a Christmas Card this year.
And you might just see some of the gold rub and buff and the misty silver white
here and there on the card to give it a frosty cold look.
I made this vintage Christmas for my daughter in law's parents in Japan.
I used vintage Christmas Carol music sheet.
A copy of a vintage Christmas card and vintage papers and ephemera.
It was really difficult cutting out that tiny robin, but  he was so cute I had just to.
This is the back of the card - the vintage music score was wrapped around, so too the card print.  I found a little bird which I thought finished it off - no Father Christmasses as they do not celebrate Christmas over there - but I wanted them to get a feel of our celebrations

Popped in the post to Japan in a mail art envelope of snow and stamped winter trees and firs and a winter snow bird on the back

I hope that they like it - I worked on it for two days on and off - and at least it is original

Christmas Card? Who me?

 I am hopeless at making cards, but having joined a Christmas Card swap on a forum
I just had to go through with it.

Vintage Christmas Sheet Music
Vintage Image
Christmas Ephemera

Inside pages.

I all the pages with gold rub and buff after I took the photos.

Sunday 1 December 2013

Exciting News - BUY ONE GET ONE FREE

I have such exciting news that I am fit to burst.........

The amazing Kelly Kilmer - Artist and Instructor - and fantastic journal tutor is having a SALE

I have bought a couple of her art journaling courses and they are absolutely amazing.  I am a total beginner without a scrap of imagination - but Kelly manages to inspire and excite even an old lady such as me - enabling me to create journals that I just adore.

Living in the country and not having any arty crafty shops for miles and miles and miles and then not ones specific to art and craft - means that supplies for anything that I attempt to make have to be bought on line.  Which is a pain and the postage expensive.

That was until I found the famous Kelly.  Her courses are downloadable, and truly you can make the journals with things you have around your home.  Honestly - I have done it!  You don't need lots of fancy paints or glues or moleskin journals or special anything .  If  you visit her blog and read the links to her courses you will see for yourself.

I have bought the Memories and Reflections course a number of years ago - and its something you can revisit and make over and over again.  I made one of the two journals in the course work - but sadly I didn't make any others as I became rather ill.  I forgot all about my journal and course work until I came across it whilst sorting out some drawers - and sat in awe reading all the pages and pages of inspiring instructions, the pictures, the prompts - wow - unbelievable - and the layout designs - awesome!

Just going back and reading all coursework was so inspiring, that I decided to buy a different course for my birthday present to myself - so have now got The Journey of You.

I didn't have to buy a single thing to create it either.  I had all the bits and bobs to hand - resurrecting papers and things I had forgotten about.  If you look at her list of supplies for this - well - you will have them all - and more!

I knocked on a couple of my neighbours doors asking if they had any old magazines - and if so could they keep them for me so that I could cut things out and then recycle them (which is what we do anyway).  They looked at me as though I was mad - and one lady let me rummage around in her Green bin before the dustmen came.  I had magazines from cruise companies, gifts, Womens Institutes, gardening, etc - and at first you might think Hmmmph - but when you see things through Kelly's eyes - you see pages of inspiration, and colours and ephemera - even the Sunday Supplements have taken on a whole new excitement today - instead of binning them I actually looked through them and have cut out lots of things.  I am going knocking on a few more doors next week - there are some ladies that I think actually buy magazines!

Can you tell that I am a tad bit excited.  I am snapping up Kelly's buy one get one free for my Christmas presents.    Art Journal 365 and Little Paper Books.

A friend of mine in France is going to get Art Journal 365 - and now that I have emailed her about the sale, I am sure that she will add a free one to her wish list.  We are going to do the 365 at the same time.  It'll be great to have a journal buddy to bounce ideas off, and to keep my momentum up over the winter months in case I 'flag'

Why don't you buy one for yourself and give the free one to a friend - FREE  Christmas presents - you can't beat that can you!

If  you choose any of the ones I have - I'd be happy to share my journal journeys with you and we can encourage each other.

Go on - spoil yourself - where can you get this much fun for this bargain price!

Sunday 17 November 2013

A little bit of fun......

It has been months since I have been able to go to a monthly NAFAS Flower Club demonstration meeting - and I nearly didn't make it this month either - an injury - so I couldn't drive.  Luckily Mr Lottie is driving again so he dropped me off and picked me up.

It was a very different and perhaps a bit 'wacky' young demonstrator - but I like different and wacky - its really refreshing.  I bought £5 of raffle tickets and the ladies selling them looked at me and said "Five Pounds!"  in shock.  I explained that as I hadn't been for a number of months and we rely on the raffles for funds - it was the least that I could do.

The arrangements that are made are raffled off at the end of the meeting.  And yes - you can guess - I won one.  It was the 'arrangement' that nobody wanted.  Even the demonstrator said that she knew when she made it that it was going to be the 'booby' prize!  It was an 'experiment'!  She grouped together some stems of Amaryllis, cut them different lengths, turned them upside down and tied glass tubes to them - so no vase or anything.  The flower has hollowed stems - so she decided to stick a flower in each upside down stem!   She hadn't tried it  before, and I don't think that she would do it again.   I had to ask her to disassemble it just so that I could take the components home!  It was like a sputnik of sticking out stems and you couldn't carry it or anything.

Thursday, undaunted I decided to see if I could use the flowers in some sort of arrangement as there was no way that it would work as it had been.  Here is what I salvaged and came up with.

 Amaryllis are lovely big lily type flowers - but because of their thick hollow stems are difficult to arrange in a traditional way.  I left the binding on their stems, as I think that they would collapse without it!
The ones I salvaged were a bit bruised from being stood on their heads and used as a 'container' - but I managed to save the above, added some grasses that matched their centres and a few red twigs.
(Firstly though I had to carefully cut off some of the damaged stems, turn them upsidedown, fill them with water, and stuff the end with cotton wool - as they don't take up water like 'normal' plants as they are flowering bulbs and their nutrients come from the bulbs.)  They look quite nice in the vase and much better with the sun shining on them

They now sit in my Garden Room - and one of their benefits is that they have no smell or perfume - as I am allergic to lillies - big time - they give me asthma attacks.

Next I managed to salvage the four large Chrysanthemums.
That was really good - they were losing some petals but hey ho.
The downside is that in flower arranging we like 'odd numbers' it is more pleasing on the eye and they are easier to arrange - otherwise they can look like a pair of eyes or ears.
To make this challenge a tad bit more difficult - is that they were two colours.
Not to be put off and buoyed up with the joy of winning them - I had a rummage around the garden for some foliage.
 The flower heads were the biggest I have every seen!
The bronze one at the back is the size of a plate!
 So I made a simple design - not technically correct due to the even number and colours of the flower heads
But it goes perfectly on my one and only coffee table, and the colours work very well with our cream walls and similar coloured orange/coppery carpet.
These huge chrysanthemums remind me of those featured in paintings from bygone years - by the 'Masters' that you see in art galleries.  The foliage is Fatsia Japonica and conifer.
 Lastly the 'rubbish' bits  - which were a bit broken or crushed.
The broken off heads of lilies - well those that could be rescued.
Three David Austin white roses - with a perfume - and.....

Three waxy plants with very very long knobbly stems - as in 3ft - they look like 'jungle' plants.
The flower heads are very small - but I couldn't bare to throw them away - so I cut them short.
They don't really sit well with conifer and laurel leaves - but they looked sad and weedy on their own.
I even salvaged some tatty and broken bear grass - cut it and made hoops - 'waste not want not' me!

So.....for the grand sum of £5 worth of raffle tickets and winning the 'booby' prize nobody wanted, I have my little home filled with sunshine - and had such fun playing too.
(And just the white roses cost £2 from the florists shop - and I have three of those.  You might faint if you knew the prices of the other flowers.)

Five pounds well spent.

Friday 8 November 2013

Transported back in time on a dark, dull, wet day

It's  just no good bemoaning the fact that winter has hit us here in East Anglia with a vengence.
So on went the wellies, up went the umbrella - and a mad dash to the studio.
 To continue with my scrap book of all things French!

Sorry for the picture quality - it is really hard to get good photos on a dark day
So the above is the out cover (front) - now stitched and attached
 Ditto the back of the book - vintage material onto which I have stitched tea dyed trim.
 The photo I took of the front inside cover of a vintage poster in a frame wasn't successful so I will add it when I finally finish the book - next week.
 This is a better photo of the inside back cover page of sacking. I just need to get some inspiration on how to finish it - I might just add 'FIN'

In real life, this book front looks and is the colour of vintage leather which I machine stitched onto the vintage upholstery material.  I will have to take a close up of the little flowers which I sewed on above the material 'ties'.  They are so cute.  The are fine netting, hand made, with gorgeous little sewn on beaded centres.   I found a length in a charity shop many years ago - it was bright white, and lemon, so I soaked it in coffee grounds and it has really aged them.

Thank you for looking.

I have a busy weekend ahead with family staying - so will have a go at finishing this project next week.

Wednesday 6 November 2013

Mail Art - Envelopes this time.

 I decided to sort out my stamp drawers today and see what exactly I had.
we have been having a Mail Art envelope swap with members from around the globe
It's a brilliant site as well as a really active forum and it has really got me back into 
crafting again.   I made five envelopes so sent them all off yesterday.  You only needed to make
one but I got carried away!
Sorry - I digress.  Whilst sorting out my stamps I came across some I hadn't used  before.
The little girls were second hand in a job lot I bought so long ago - I had to ink it up to see
what it was - then having done so decided to make an envelope with some tea dyed paper 
I had sitting in a roll on the corner of my desk waiting to inspire me.
The middle of the above is left blank for the address.

On the reverse I used another second hand set of stamps - cling ones this time.
I water coloured the tea stained paper with blue and used water colour crayons for the girls.
This one I am going to hold on to for a little while and enjoy it on my notice board in my studio

Thursday 31 October 2013

Getting messy and having fun with my little book

A really cold day and on and off showers - so there was just one thing to do - play!
 I just love these French posters
 They are so cute
I have added 'swipes' of gold to the crumpled pages since taking the photo which highlights the creases.

 I am not 100% happy with this page - it does look more vintage in real life -and not so pale as it does in the photo
I aged this faded angel sketch and found a small pot of green paint in my cupboard which I hadn't opened.  It turned out to be crackle paint - but had gone almost solid - but it has given the page so much texture - even though it didn't crackle.  I might bend the page a bit and see if it does - then rub in some ink if it works

I have aged this 'certificate' by my favourite method with a heat gun - it really does the trick and makes things look ancient.

And this lady is my favourite page
I traced her from a black and white image, then coloured her, with a heat gun.
Again - since taking the photo, I have gilded some of the creased pages to highlight them.

Just got to make an outer cover for the book. That will have to wait until next week as I am off out flower arranging tomorrow

Wednesday 30 October 2013

Another page or two for my little French book

 I added another couple of pages to my little book yesterday
 Initially I was quite pleased with the aging experiment and how they turned out
Until, that is, I noticed a white little splodge of paint on the lady's cheek - so she has been ripped out and discarded!
I replaced her with this - a Moulin Rouge type poster.

Oh - and I am working on this
For the back page.

But I keep being  distracted by the scenes from my window
 Dolly the Silkie with the same colour hair as me, noticed that the wind had lifted a bit of netting
 So she set about head butting it so that she could get at the fresh greens I have been growing for them for over winter - and of course the other girls had to get in on the act
When I shouted, 'Oi - Dolly - what are you doing?'
She gave me the most innocent and stunned look - like children are wont to do 
- as much as to say, 'Are you talking to me?' The others
just pretended that it was nothing to do with them of course!
They truly bring a smile to my face, however I may be feeling.

More tomorrow

Monday 28 October 2013

Wilder, windier and wetter - so another day in the studio

So now that I have lots of pages prepared I am ready to have a play - this is the fun part - getting messy.

I printed some free black and white images from the internet then coloured them in and distressed them.
This is just the the start!
Click on photos to enlarge!
I found this postcard image and decided to paint it before painting the page with all the colours I had used on the print - plus silver rub and buff - and added some little roses which I had painted to match.

(The white smudges are in fact silver so do not look harsh in natural light)
When painting with water colours, you have to gradually build up the layers
So a lot of patience is called for!
But it is worth the effort I think.
The above image - a little larger than an ATC took me a couple of hours+
to paint and finish - shading and layering the paints and gold.
She is mounted on a torn vintage sheet of written notes, and
a piece of brown torn, stamped paper.
The Marie image on the material and card came with some bags which I purchased a number of years ago from Lilla.  I kept her safe - in a drawer - but decided to add her to the book with just a few background layers and a kiss of gold here and there.  I love her to bits.

More to follow

Wild, windy and wet - time to play

What to do when the weather is a washout - go in the studio and play of course!

I tore a pile of pages from an old  book  and screwed them up!
 Treated them to a cup of tea and some gesso
Then flattened them out
Dried them off 
And started sewing the pages together

To make little books!

Then off I went to download some black and white free images from the internet.

Tuesday 22 October 2013

What's on my work desk today?

A mess that's for sure!

 I have signed up for a mail art swap (envelope) on Cardmaking Paradise Forum
of which I am a member.

After having a conversation with emails whizzing backwards and forwards 
with this lovely lady, 
I was inspired by her work and ideas.  I haven't seen her finished envelopes but I do know that she made her envelopes

  I have been trying different (safe) methods - then went for the
reckless one!  Making my own envelope from scratch, as Susanne had.
I took an old used envelope and carefully pulled it apart then made a cardboard template - before playing with this huge sheet of thick paper!
 I haven't had as much fun since I ran a playgroup when my sons were little!
I dolloped some random colours including gold over the surface.

Then mixed them all up!  I have already cut a piece and made one envelope 
and have these left.
(click to enlarge)
 To be absolutely truthful - I just love them
And under the light - which is hard to see - the gold looks amazing
 And I want to cut up the rest into sheets
Or pages - and just keep them in a book - or make them into 
book covers or journal covers.

Who would have thought that those few random blobs of paint
swirled around in time to the music playing on my cd player
would creat these.  They look different depending on which way I turn them
and I can get lots of sheets/pages out of the big piece - which a chunk of wallpaper lining!

Mad woman - you don't have to tell me - I know - but at my age I can be!


Twst_bar.gif (1692 bytes)
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other peoples' gardens
And learn to spit.
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickles for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.
But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.