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Thursday, 27 December 2012

Post Christmas News

Hi Everyone
It's Wed - cant believe Christmas Day has been and gone ! The weather to day is pretty grim. It's raining and quite cold - the sky is very dark and full of much more rain.
We have had a lovely few days - almost relaxing !
I usually don't blog over holidays but I have a few minutes spare this morning so am sharing a few things.
Here is a photo of the much talked about crochet card

It turned out OK and will take palace in a picture display - it doesn't look as good here but I'm hoping it will be presented in all its glory when hanging within a group.
Our cake made another Christmas busy scene. I usually do the snow scene and the boys decorate it

I'm sure it's almost the same as last years cake - I'm going to get some new things for the top next year.
I also finished my wreath (eventually). I was quite pleased to get it up before the day and it looks OK - I'm always rather sceptical that all the bits will stay on with 'bad weather moments'. I don't seem to have a photo - will get one later (when the rain has stopped).
Great news -
I received lots of crochet books for Christmas and will be listing projects to try. I also got a range of stuff to make some stamps - very exciting stuff. I will get some pictures of the stuff together to share.
I was also inspired by this ideas

It's a new year hat. It's more the idea of 'hats' that has grabbed me. I do like hats in general and am thinking of ways in which I can include them in some work. This particular project is from
Here - I found it on my usual round of blogs via crescendo.
Well, must go will call in later in the week. Hope everyone has had a good Christmas.
Bye for now.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Christmas is ALMOST ready !

Hi Everyone
a rather wet and very dark day, it feels like the middle of the night ! Last day of school term too. Tonight, we will relax ! I hope.
I saw this photo yesterday and thought of what the recent boys scout project could have been. See the actual outcome - it has possibilities (perhaps another go ?)

I also saw a great photo in 'Living Etc.' magazine. The detail is not brilliant in my photo but I love the wood effect - the material used on the stairs is in fact 'tiles'. It has given me an idea of producing a hand made stamp to give a similar effect. I'm hoping for a range of material in my Christmas stocking to do such a thing ! I love the colours in the wood effect.

Here is a photo of my angel doll - she is a good place to go and stand when I'm in need of a smile. Just thought I would share that. The shadow/reflection effect (in the photo) is amazing - you can see my thumb and nail in the bottom right !

This painting was done a few years ago and she comes out each year. It was an early Suzi Blu inspired piece. Take a look at her site for inspiration of your own Here
On a rather 'pressing' subject, my crochet Christmas card project is slowly moving on.

I've done two rounds of single crochet and now it's ready for the sketch and another few embellishments plus my message. Need to finish it today or it will miss Christmas altogether. This will not stop me sending it (whenever its completed. The item is hiding at the moment ( supposed to be a surprise !), hence the photo.
My last bit of news is progress with the 'daily paint' - my name for the latest painting project. I've added a bit of sky and some colour around the hills for definition. Here is a comparison with where I started and now. I think it's day 3 today and I will add something else - not exactly sure at this moment. It's a deliberate thing - no planning, just go ahead as I feel, at the time.

That's it for today.
It's Friday again, almost Christmas too !
Have a good weekend.
Bye for now.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Paintings,rings and crochet hearts

Hi Everyone
Yet another dull and damp day outside. Lovely, warm and Christmassy inside. I'm having another cup of coffee before my mini marathon of a day starts. My 'to do' list is long so it's going to be a challenge ! I'm quite relaxed ! (at the moment).

I have kept my promise to add something to my new painting. Just a little every day is my plan. I do have a bit of an idea of what to do but it's 'fluid'.

This is it so far. I've added some wax pencils lines and a little watercolour. The wood is 'gessoed'. I think my next move will involve some form of crackly effect on the sky part. Yesterday, I saw a little tutorial from Paperartsy using their chalk acrylic range and although the example didn't really do it for this painting, I like the technique. You can find their tutorials on YouTube. I do have some similar products but the acrylic colours used in the tutorial are amazing. I will be adding them to my Christmas Wish List - is there time to get Richard to order them or should I just order now ? No real decision there.

I've also seen this photo - makes my heart melt. I have a very strange love of a certain sort of crochet.

I did manage to produce one of these hearts some time ago but they look great in the Christmas colours. They will look great on my special crochet card ( still not complete - here is a photo to remind you)

Also note the plan ! Maybe today - just one more thing on the list.

Getting. Back to the crochet heart story. This time the crochet heart tutorial is great too. Take a look Here

One last thing - these lovely rings are inspiring

I must be able to make such a thing. If you want to buy one look Here

That's it for today.

Bye for now.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Christmas Coffee Parties.

Hi Everyone
Another damp day but quite mild (I think ?)- yet to go out !!

Today, I hosted a lovely little Christmas Coffee Party for a few friends. Lots of chat, coffee and mini mince pies AND a bit of a swap of our stressful lives. I now feel less stressed because I've shared and heard our collective stories. My life is not so bad !! Not sure why we don't do this more often ? We have made promises for next year !!! So, maybe ?

Here is a little look at our event. The antlers made it !

Thank you to everyone that came today. I'm calling it the official start to 'my Christmas'. Thank you also for all the little gifts people brought.

Next job must be family Christmas wrapping. The job after that will be a bit of painting. I've been meaning to move this painting on for months. If you look closely, there are pencil lines. That's as far as it got. I want to add a bit of something (however small) each day. You will need to look in every day to find out what happens. I don't know either (at this point). I'm hopeful it will go well. We will see.

Looking around for general Christmas inspiration, I've come across these tags. Take a look at the tutorial Here.. Lovely.

I also saw this image in my own photo (just now) collection and thought about a conversation I had with one of my friends about little houses.

I love this little house and was thinking about what to do with a christmas present 'to be' I'm decided - its going to be a home made stamp with a similar image ie to the house. This will be made with the 'hoped for' gift (fingers crossed) I'm going to carve it from special carving stuff and Richard will make a special little wooden handle/mount - he does know he's making it but he doesn't have the design. Not sure wether to let him design it ? OR do I need to do the design ? I best get onto it. I will leave the plan in a pretty little note ! (just in case he thinks I don't trust his design !)

Well, that's about it for today.

Bye for now.

Monday, 17 December 2012

I Love My 'Card Tree'

Hi Everyone
a very damp and cloudy day today.
I'm not sure where the weekend went ? We tried to 'dress' our home for Christmas. The boys lost interest after a short time, so it took much longer than planned. I still need to change things ! I'm not overly impressed with the whole look. Too many mixed styles and little things going on ! I've got to get rid of lots of old things and have a more planned approach next year. Probably will stay exactly the same ! For now, I'm quite relaxed about it, I can blame it on the kids ! I will take some photos when I tweaked things.

I'm having a little Christmas thing tomorrow (for some friends) so have been making a few christmas things ie little mince pies. They smell lovely. I could eat the lot - NOW ! Almond pastry and home made sweet mincemeat !

I'm also making a few little gifts, more packaging than gift but will take a few pictures to share (after the event).

I've also got lots of little Christmas gift stuff to finalise for family and close friends. Not sure when ?

One thing we have done this year is introduce a 'card tree'.

I've seen one of these used in a very trendy loft conversion in a magazine - cant quite put my finger of the magazine. If I find it, I will share the two images. I like my tree, Richard made it yesterday and painted it - in true shabby style. Our christmas cards are usually floating around the room and getting kicked under the sofa's - this approach suits me just fine.

That's about it for today. Must get on with my list of jobs.

Bye for now.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Chocolate Talk and other things !

Hi Everyone
Lovely winter day....... ! Well almost. It's very frosty but a bit dull. Looks like it could snow any minute. I've talked myself into thinking its not so good but I'm optimistic for later.
Very little art to report, I've been so busy doing other things. Not sure what ? Certainly nothing to remember.
I did see this typewriter/ calculator and thought it could feature in one of my paintings. I will practice making my version.

I've also been looking for inspiration re Christmas - mini treats and came across these

They seem simple to create, just need to find some wooden spoons. On a chocolate front, my little boy attended a 'Technology' workshop at his school last night and made a chocolate mould. I am so impressed - here it is.

We will spend some time tomorrow making some little chocolate bars and will decorate them for Christmas presents. Will share our results.
I'm aiming to get Christmas sorted this weekend and should have lots to share next week.Painting does feature on my lists too, way down at the bottom.
One last thing - something amazing happened earlier this week. Several weeks ago, I bought a very cheap ring - I liked it and it had been reduced several times, even better ! I'm not sure how much it cost originally (in the shop) but by the time I bought it , the price was down to £1.50. I put the ring on and within an hour the ring was broken - huge disappointment.
Then, I had a thought ... It would look great as a broach for Mary Haversham ( one of my 'masterpieces in waiting' ! She deserves some attention and has been waiting for something to get her going ! I'm thrilled with the outcome and its making me think about what to do next. Take a quick look.

She will be 'on her way' very soon.The flowers need to go. I've never been that convinced about the flowers. They are definitely going.
Have a great weekend. Bye for this week.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Pretty designs for Christmas

Hi Everyone
Weather report today is ? - I'm struggling to describe the scene ! It's white-ish with frost, some low 'vague' sunshine (coming from somewhere but not clear where ?)the leaves are crisp and outlined with frost (which looks very pretty) - all in all it's 'pretty with a veneer'.

So far today, I've done a few batches of extra gift tags for my boys - more to do ! Thought I would share the design. It's my usual print tag approach but I do love the paper image. It's tissue ! , I will use it in a painting, definitely. I LOVE IT.

The design is by Paperchase - they have some lovely stuff most of the time. I often go there for inspiration. I end up spending loads of money every time.

I also came across this project to make little houses, another one of my favourite images.

These little houses are made from felting techniques. The project can be found in this pretty book.

There are a few more ideas I would like to try - if I only had more time ! One day !

I'm going to send this card to my Dad, so will spend some time personalising the message.its one of my design for 2012. I made quite a few of these designs and am trying to decide who will get one. The card looks good alongside my current favourite tissue. I'm just thinking I will use this tissue for wrapping his presents. I will need to go and buy more - dangerous for me to go back to the shop. Must also get to more wrapping or to be more specific - must start wrapping.

Bye for today.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Fantastic Crochet Baskets

Hi Everyone
I'm so late today with my blog - I've been doing volunteer work at school and have been there all day. My general routine is OUT completely. Weather has been OK and quite mild today, bit damp but OK for December.

I've not done anything 'arty' as such, I did decorate a little watch package but forgot to take a photo. It's in a raffle so may have chance tomorrow. Will share it then. Some days everything goes wrong, today was that day. A very simple job ie the watch package took ages and all was so difficult !! It worked out in the end and looked fine. However, our event looks to have made lots of money so 'all is well'.

My boys are doing something creative at scouts this evening. We have been asked to provide a tin (with frozen water in it) and a hammer ? Will takes some photos of the end product. Sounds fraught with problems. Boys with frozen tins and a hammer !!!! I need to develop my tin project - I've found a better tin , so am glad I didn't tackle it earlier. Some things 'work out for the best' !!

I've one little thing to share. I love the look of this project and it seems my kind of thing - yet again it to do with crochet, I'm still not over 'crochet'.

This image comes from Gathered, a weekly online publication. I love it. This article gives the place to buy all the materials as well as instructions. This pattern is created by Cara Medus - I've often seen her work and like it very much. I'm ordering the stuff tomorrow and will aim to use my finished baskets to contain crochet yarn too.

Well that it for today. Hope to be more creative tomorrow.

Bye for now.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Will it be ready for Christmas ?

Hi Everyone
A lovely bright day today - cold and lots of ice but great Winter weather.

Busy, busy again ! I'm way behind, as usual. The scary thing about my Christmas preparation is that I don't even know what I've not done !! Best not to worry about such things.

Craft wise, I've made some home tags for family presents and found some paper which will look OK.

I need to do lots of wrapping and sorting.

On another subject - tomorrow, is our school Christmas Fair. Lots of little things need to be organised. I'll be checking them of a list today and probably this evening.

I'm also going to pick up a wreath kit from our other school (my boys go to different schools this year) - there is a workshop but I can't make the session. I'm still keen to do a wreath so will just get on and do
it. I will show a picture when it's done.

I also came across this lovely image

It's on an old napkin from last year but I love the tree. I'm going to draw some similar trees and display them over Christmas as little paintings. I will do one and then take prints. Again, I will share when I'm done.

Another amazing thing I saw today Here you may recognise this idea from my crochet necklace project.

This version is detailed on the link. Here is another look at my necklace 'to be'

It's still 'under development'.I would like to wear it over Christmas - I wonder ?

That's about it for today.

Bye for now.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Tumblr, Art Journalling and Christmas ?

Hi Everyone
Weather today is 'tricky' to call - looks wet but a little warmer (relatively) and who knows what will happen ?
I've got loads of varied things to do today - mainly stuff I didn't get done over the weekend. Christmas, of course, is creating lots of pressure for me.
I need to be more 'in control' of my many parcels. I have ordered Christmas - I think ? I will get to it soon ! I've also got to shop and do some volunteer things for school. I will be much happier when these few things are done. Then I can relax and do some painting.
I've 'prepped' a piece of wood (upcycled 'to be'), I've got some pencil lines to give a vague idea of a landscape but I want to add some little characters - they were going to be Christmas Barney and Tucker ( some regular characters) but I'm not going to make them Christmas specific - I'm not sure how they will turn out yet. Today, will be the background and I will spend more time than usual trying out some new ideas for a background.
I have come across this interesting piece for inspiration (new to me, although I have heard of it ie Tumblr).
Art Journaling on Tumbler
Tumbler is a growing home for inspiration, and Barb has been curating an amazing cross-section of art journal inspiration. It isn't about who's popular or not, it's about what is visually yummy, giving exposure to the less-known, and whatever resonates deeper.

I found this on Crescendo Look here and think it looks great - many of my paintings have a message - sometimes 'frivolous' and sometimes 'brief' but I always have an idea behind what I'm saying in the painting. So, this site is worth checking out. I will be looking each day this week and will share anything I feel relevant to my stuff. The reason I was drawn to look at the site was this particular picture

I really like the expression of the subject and the background is very clever.
Barb is the curator of the collection and Sabrina-Ward-Harrison is the artist of this piece. The whole idea is slightly confusing to me at the moment but I will try and get to grips with how Tumblr works ( mainly need to know how to spell it - I'm thinking Tumblr but the crescendoh site calls it Tumbler ?) and what it may offer.
The only other thing Ive been doing 'art wise' is reworking this Christmas Angel painting. I want make some smaller works which will help to decorate our house for Christmas. I'm not there yet but will get some photos here when I'm done.

That's it for today.
Bye for now.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Christmas Links

Hi Everyone
Cold again with lots of 'sheet ice' visible.
The kind of day to stay in and paint . However, lots to do. I'm doing volunteer work at school (most of the morning) and need to be a taxi for my kids after school. So much for painting !! I may have an hour or so mid afternoon for some house decoration or painting !

I worked hard yesterday with my very last Christmas order. Here are a few photos of some of the batch.

They are packaged and about to go. I do have a few left for my own use - unless someone else persuades me to part with them.

On another different subject - a new announcement. I thought (on Fridays) I would share my current reading book. I love to read every night and although I'm usually tired, I manage a few pages. I read lots of different books. Some books are very 'lightweight' novels but I do read all sorts of stuff. My current book is 'Death at Wentwater Court'. It's set in a 1920s country-house and calls itself a 'mystery'. I'm really enjoying the plot and the very unlikely Daisy (main character). I'm almost at the end and I've no idea 'who did it' ! Anyway, I thought a quick book review on Fridays would be a good little chatting focus for the blog. I'm often inspired by things I pick up while reading.

I always use a very old bookmark. I made this bookmark years ago (when my first child was born - he's 13 going on 47) and it's amazingly stood up to much abuse. It's made from some scrap leftovers and very light card. I thought I would treat myself to a new one and am going to use one of my Christmas Angels from this years collection.

I will enjoy making the new bookmark - I may start making a few more - inspired by the books I read. My current book is set in a 'snow' plot so Christmas is a kind of connection although its not been specifically mentioned. The cover looks a bit Christmassy - don't you think ?

Moving on, I've collected myself an old tin from last nights meal. Here it is.

I'm on my way to transforming it into one of these. I've just cleaned it and removed the label but - its a start. !!!!

I love the crochet bit on the top. I will, of course, make a new face of my own.

Well another week gone !! Have a great weekend.

Bye for now.