Wednesday, 31 August 2016

WOYWW #378: Altered garment tags

Here we go, the last day of Summer! Usually, I feel melancholic at this time of year, listening to Forever Autumn, but not this year! Perhaps it's the gorgeous weather we've had this past few weeks, or my excitement at future possibilities that keeps me looking ahead with optimism. But I'm not here to philosophize - I'm here to share my desk for WOYWW.

The photo below shows my workdesk (aka patio table) on Monday - I was altering garment tags that had accumulated as a result of our back-to-school shopping trip at the weekend. I first got this idea from Roben-Marie Smith - you can see how she alters garment tags here. It's a great way to make something pretty out of something that you would normally throw away.

I first gessoed the tags, then blended some acrylics with my fingers to colour them, and finished them off with some simple doodles in white ink. This is a good way to catalogue your doodles, so when you need some ideas, you just pull them out. I did some whimsy flowers for this batch, but it could be all sorts of things. Next time I will try some houses, birds, butterflies, etc.

Two coats of gesso

Blend some acrylics with fingers

The colours I used

The colours are stronger in this photo I took indoors.

Complete with white doodles

My catalogue of whimsy flower doodles
Before I go, I'd like to share this rainbow maker with you that we have hanging in our conservatory. It used to belong to my mother-in-law, who sadly passed away last summer. We kept it, so that we can think of her every time we see a rainbow! It's a lovely reminder of a lovely lady and we see lots of rainbows on sunny days! She liked cats too!

Speaking of cats, here's a shot of Oreo high up in the tree yesterday. I tried to get him down, but he was holding on tight. He managed to get down by himself eventually. I have to learn not to interfere!

Thanks for popping in today!
Happy WOYWW!

Saturday, 27 August 2016

LifeBook week #34: Whimsy Flowers with Roben-Marie

I haven't been able to create much in the past two weeks due to holidays and other family commitments, and this fun LB lesson from last week by Roben-Marie Smith was just what I needed to put me back on track. I'm a big fan of Roben-Marie's loose style - scribbles and all! I thoroughly enjoyed the process and had a great time creating this page for my LifeBook.

It includes collage pieces from my gelli prints and book pages, lots of gesso, some fluid acrylics and Stabilo All watercolour pencils for scribbles and outlines. I wrote my journalling on tissue paper and attached it with matte medium. Halfway through the process, it looked rather messy and non-descript, but it all fell together when I toned down the background and added some colour and outlines. I also added a piece of altered ribbon to the top of the vase, which was a leftover piece from another project, matching my colour scheme. Working on this page made me so happy!


Thanks for visiting!
Have a whimsical weekend!

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

WOYWW #377: Holiday Part Two

What a glorious, late summer morning! Quite a treat for us here in the UK at the end of August, even though I'm not a big fan of the heat that much. At least I can hang out all that washing we brought back from our holiday. This is part two of my chronicles, linking up with WOYWW to let you all know what we've been doing.

I haven't had a chance to get back into the swing of things artwise yet. Today I'm sharing a lovely watercolour painting I picked up from one of the galleries we visited. It's only a print on a card but lovely, nevertheless. I couldn't track down the artist, P. Hatchley, otherwise I would gladly link to their site. It's called 'Summer in a Pot'. I adore the colours in it and would love to be able to paint like this.

I also brought back a handful of shells to remind me of the sea and perhaps use them in a project. I looked for some driftwood as well, but couldn't find any - only seaweed! Perhaps next year! Here are some artful shots of the shells I took yesterday, trialling my new macro lens.

Last week I showed you the highlights of the first four days of our holiday. On Day 5, Wednesday, we went cycling, which felt more like boot camp than a holiday! On Thursday, we walked miles along Bournemouth beach (as if we hadn't had enough exercise the previous day!) and on the last day we visited the historical docks in Portsmouth, which was fascinating! There's a new exhibition of the Mary Rose that opened just a month ago. I was captivated by the tragic story of this ship that spent hundreds of years under the water and is now on display in a museum! Here's part two of my visual diary - we took a lot more photos, but I won't bore you with all those! 

Day 5: Cycling in the New Forest
Day 6: Walk along the beach near Bournemouth
I would love to own one of these beach huts!
The wreck of the Mary Rose in Portsmouth
We had a lovely holiday, but we were so looking forward to returning home and seeing Oreo again. We couldn't get him until Sunday morning because the cattery was not open on Saturday afternoon. Every time I felt sorry for him locked up in the cattery, I thought of Cupcake, the cat who spent 8 days in a cardboard box when her owner accidentally posted her with some DVDs. Compared to that, Oreo had a luxury time in the cattery! He didn't seem grumpy at all when we brought him home - if anything, he's more affectionate than he used to be! He starts purring if we just look at him and constantly wants to sit on our laps. Here he is lounging in the shade yesterday afternoon.

Thank you all who visited last week! I hope I managed to get back to all of you in the end. I will be a lot better organized this week and I hope to get back into arting as well - just as soon as I get the laundry out of the way! Happy WOYWW!

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

WOYWW #376: Holiday Part One

For once, it doesn't seem like Wednesday came around too quickly. We are halfway through of our summer holiday and it feels like we've been here for a month, even though it's only been a few days! Since we've got pretty good broadband here, I thought I'd link up to WOYWW, although in my case it is WOTWOYHA (What's On The Walls of Your Holiday Accommodation) this week. As I was not able to create anything of my own, I'm sharing some of the art I found hanging on the walls around here. They are quite similar to my taste and style!

Even the coasters look rather stylish!
We packed a lot into the first 3.5 days of our holiday in the New Forest in Hampshire. We walked along the pier in Hythe, that has the oldest pier train in the world dating back to 1922; we took an open top bus tour around the New Forest visiting a number of towns and villages; we visited the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, where we went on the monorail and travelled in a 1920's bus, watched a falconry show, and visited the abbey and the stately home; we visited Exbury Gardens, where we took a steam train ride and later that evening we walked miles along the beach to reach Hurst Castle, originally built by Henry the VIII. We even had time to visit two art galleries along the way! Here are some highlights of our adventures so far:

Dressing up at the Motor Museum
Riding in a 1920's London bus
Falconry show
A walk along the beach to Hurst Castle
Of course, we miss Oreo terribly. I've been in touch with the cattery on Facebook. Apparently, he's settled and eating well. We can't wait to see him again and hope he will not be too mad at us for leaving him behind! Here's a photo I took just before we set off. He got in the carrier voluntarily, thinking it was a new toy (having forgotten about the trauma of his castration earlier this year, LOL!).

We're off cycling today, so I may not have time to visit many blogs but I will do so later in the week, promise! Happy WOYWW!

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

WOYWW #375: Colour samples

Is it Wednesday again? Time for another round of  WOYWW on the Stamping Ground. My desk is somewhat - ok, I admit, entirely - staged and neatly laid out. I've got a few new purchases and journal pages to share today.

The photo shows two new books, two new journal pages, my new Daler Rowney metallic paints (which was an impulse buy), an altered envelope sealed and ready to be posted, and a box of paint sample cards.  

First, let me show you my new metallic paints. I wandered into an independent art shop the other day and found these on offer. I normally do a price comparison before buying anything but these seemed good value at 11 pounds something. They are student grade acrylic paints and have good coverage. Here's a little test I did.

I have been neglecting my Inspiration Wednesday and Wanderlust journals for a while and skipped quite a few lessons, but I always watch the videos for ideas and inspiration. Finally, I managed to complete a new page in each journal, just to keep them going.
Wanderlust journal page
Inspiration Wednesday journal page
What I really want to talk about today are the paint colour charts I ordered from a company called DesignerPaint online. They are not printed colour charts but colour chips with real paint on them. Now, admittedly, these are household paints for painting your walls but the colour range is astounding! Did you know that Picasso used house paints to create some of his work? This is definitely something I need to look into! 

Colour chips
I'm not sure what I'm going to use these colour chips for, but I have some ideas! I could try and mix something similar with my acrylic paints.  I could even cut them up and make up different colour palettes for inspiration. I can also look them up online and using ColorZilla identify the digital values for them and recreate something similar in PhotoShop for digital use (which ties in with my interest in textile design). I'm also thinking of ordering some test pots to see if I can use them in my paintings. In any case, just looking at all these colours makes me happy! 

Thanks for visiting folks! We're away next week, so I may not be able to link up. Luckily, we were able to book Oreo into a cattery at short notice. I was beginning to get panicky when I called half a dozen catteries who had no vacancies. We only got one because there was a cancellation. We were seriously considering taking Oreo with us - now that would have been interesting! Poor little mite will be incarcerated next week and he's got no idea! I think we'll give him this cardboard box so he can feel at home in his prison cell.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

LifeBook Week 32: Grow Free

This week on LifeBook Tam gave us the task to paint some flowers with a lot of freedom and abandonment, leaving our limiting beliefs behind. I did the bonus lesson first, which was originally part of LB2014. I actually did two versions of this assignment. They're very similar to each other as I used the same colours and finger paint technique. One of them will go in my LifeBook and the other possibly on the wall if I can find a frame for it. It was fun working on these and they took less then 10 minutes each to create. See if you can spot any difference between the two versions. I think the first one looks "tighter", a bit more controlled than the second. I'm not sure which one I like more.

I had a bit more trouble with the main page and almost scrapped it at one point. I didn't have the acrylic spray paints that Tam used, so I substituted them with fluid acrylics. I couldn't quite get the background right, so in the end - after several layers - I just settled for a uniform quin gold. I swirled various colours of heavy body acrylic paint into titanium white to make my flowers and then let it dry overnight. I can't say I love the end result, but I'll share it anyway.

Thanks for popping in today! 
Have a happy Sunday!