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Friday, 30 March 2012

Is thepapersac village a Portas Pilot ?

Hi Everyone
weather great again - sun quite warm already (its 8.30am) - sky is blue.

I have a few photos of yesterdays paintings - just a little addition to each project. Need to change a few things with Mary - I don't like the flower brooch - she needs another style of brooch - have a few ideas.

The papersac village stuff is making slow progress and still not quite right but I am moving it on - I thought the green colours were wrong but I'm not so sure now - much more of a layer thing (not enough layers yet).
 I've added some hills and given a base for the houses and the green is not so bad ? - I need to grade the colours today. I think more little houses too - different design of house would be good.

What we need is shops and a High Street - Mary must have a role here !!!!
 Also added more dimention (in sketch mode) with fields and more houses. Will again add lots of layers and more patterns.
The last thing I added here was the pathway - have some plans to make a garden infront of the house. I need to allocate each of these houses to one of my dolls. I need to move into thepapersac village myself - its always sunny !
I also started to decorate the little wooden houses - not sure if this one will stay with the colours - it will ned to match one of the houses in the pictures.

I have lost the plot with filling up my shop today. My review has decided to concentrate on pictures but will still aim to fill up to the required (my target) target items (in the Folksy Shop) I think we are are up to 16 - best get working.

Bye for now.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Tilda dolls and how long can a birthday last ?

Hi Everyone
weather is looking good... again !!! We have had about a week of very good weather - over the last two days its been fabulous sunshine and very warm. Great.
I've been busy celebrating my birthday for the last few days. Thank you to everyone that sent a message - lovely to get these messages. Had a great day yesterday. The weather was brilliant and Richard and I spent a glorious time in a walled garden having  a very sophisticated lunch ! Lots of other treats and a 'the' very pretty - mustard (colour) lace dress arrived too (look back a few days for pictures) . Had a great time. I also visited a new shop (to me) and found a very helpful and inspiring place for fabric and ribbons etc. Its a shop called 'The Fat Quarter' online shop . I found my way there via an address in a Toni Finnigan book about Tilda Dolls.
my book about Tilda dolls
I'm always thinking about making my painted dolls into fabric dolls. Now, I think I know how I would like them to be. I bought some stuff and will start with making a Tilda doll (will try and follow the instructions - not easy for me !!) - then will try a few of my own dolls. This will be a hobby so will take some time. I'm still focussing my time on painting. Am so relaxed today ,can't get going at all. Will ease myself into the day. I feel in holiday mode.
some 'eye' work done

added an eye (by the bird)

eyes are much wider here

a new Miss Mitchell print
However, house things loom and I am going to paint some more today - will get the twins updated and Mary needs a bit of time too !

Will get a few 'side by side' photos of The Twins in the eye thing. I do feel the faces are more expresive with the new eyes. My whole approach (when designing the dolls) is developing into an emphasis on eyes and a relatively small body. I feel quite happy with this (at the moment). It gives a confidence to my 'style' - I think !
Also , a quck photo of a new Miss Mitchell print - for the shop. Will be doing more of these. I like the chunky wood block - the block will have a ribbon to hang.

I'm going to offer a personal message option too.

Musy get on.
Bye for now.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Altered books and more dresses

Hi Everyone
weather is lovely today - bright sunshine and feels very warm. Been warm all weekend. Love this kind of weather - living outside during the day - especially breakfast on the deck - magic !
Been busy with family things - kids sport mainly. Only one week and its school holiday - for two weeks. We are off on holiday (a few little holidays rolled into one) so will have some relax time and some interesting places to visit.

I'm having yet another big review of work. I will get it right in the end. This year is all about the process of developing thepapersac into what I hope it can be for the future. So, its OK to have this kind of review often (I do consider with each change -  have I made too many changes !). Its a considered tweak rather than a huge change in things. The production of the shop stuff is clouding things. My solution is to concentrate on one item (FOR SALE) but have five of them eg produce a print but have five variations. I passionately need individual things in the shop - each item must be different from the next. For example, with prints - I make changes  during the 'handfinishing phase' - often the handfinishing amounts to a 'alterations' in colour and/or highlighting, sometimes additional items/accessories are added. My plan is to concentrate on my painting and multi media techniques which will produce better quality pieces ie more interesting, creative and develop a variety of skills used to a higher level. Big idea ! Lets see how it goes.

Now for something more trivial -
Seen another lovely dress in Modcloth
Unfortunately, its out of stock. Love the colours and simplicity of the design.

I've also been thinking about my idea for a small book to hold the Miss Mitchell Story. There are lots of books out there showing how to make books. I've decided I'd like to 'alter' a book - very Miss Mitchell - so will get an old book to alter and make into a painting - to hang with the story inside. Watch this space.
I was inspired to choose this approach from a Kelly Rae Roberts book (I've had this for a long time) and often think about the image.
Its in this book - will get a photo from my book to share the idea later.

Not sure what today will bring but will aim to tidy my studio and my mind. Must get busy.

Bye for now.

Friday, 23 March 2012

The Twins and Miss Mitchell Necklaces

Hi Everyone
very dull today although mild again - I'm hoping the sun will shine later (its forcast).
Its Friday again ......... ! where has the week gone ? Its also Fill Up Day in the Folksy Shop. I failed to get things updated for last week so am promoting 8 items today. This weeks focus is on The Twins Painting and associated stuff. Here are a few images - I have a few cards ,some gift pockets and some tags. The two photos give a few views of all the items for this week.
The Twins stuff
 Will eventually get them in the shop for sale. You can contact me direct via this blog if you would like them earlier. At some point I will get the prints of the Twins in the shop too.

I've been (almost) buying a camera - eventually. Not exacxtly pressed the button yet but ..... ! The thing is, the photos from my phone (using the tripod) are so much better. I read all the time about people saying a tripod is the most important thing to improve their photos. This is so right. I can't quite believe the difference. I'm not saying I
take great photos but they are so much better than they were before using
The Twins stuff
the tripod.
Last weeks shop offer is here too (just for the record - I did say I would put it up today. last week it was all about frames with Miss Mitchell.
Frames Miss Mitchells
Miss Mitchell necklaces
I find getting the stuff in the shop very difficult because of the time it takes. My idea is that I have a bigger stock to give me some cushion for developing my new paintings. I think I need this to broaden the access to seeing my stuff. I've had another re think this morning and am considering having my printing done elsewhere - so much better and less time consuming  - could be economically sensible in the long run ? am still pondering. Its worth doing some initial research and projecting.

Need to get to work - enough time pondering for now.

Bye for now.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

MOO Cards and painting progress

Hi Everyone
weather is lovely today - bright sunshine and almost 'warm' - Hurrah !!

 Today, I'm trying to paint again - I managed some yesterday and although have made progress with all the paintings - still a way to go on all of them. Miss Haversham (Mary) is going well. I have blended the skirt into the painting and added colourful flowers. Next, the flowers need to be integrated into the painting and I need to get some 'people' on the chairs.

Mary Haversham with a boquet
But, the thepapersac village is not so good - I've 'lost it a little' and need to redo a 'trio' piece of work - I've tried to go with green as a main colour but its not working, Here is a before. I will do an 'after' to share - when the piece is showing improvements.

before @ thepapersac village
 I also started a new painting - just the very first images and colours going onto canvas. There are many more stages to go - will try and get a photo at each major stage to show progress. Here it is so far :
stage 1 of new painting

MOO Cards with Miss Burton

Also, very exciting - have taken order of 50 MOO cards - free offer via Folksy - they are great - what do you think ? I love them - the card is a lovely texture and the print very vibrant (despite my photo !)

Not sure what else will be done today - other than
I would like to get the Miss Mitchell Story published somehow ? I will get it into digital format today and will keep thinking about the best way forward. A little book would be nice - a summary. But, I would also like to get a childrens art book into it somehow - perhaps with some little projects to try with an adult or share with someone ? More thinking needed here. My imagination can run with this - I love applying ideas.

The Folksy Shop offer has suffered a little this week - will aim to do a double week update tomorrow ie 8 items to go into the shop. I need to get some little packaging going - decided against a box for the necklaces and am keeping with Gift Pockets/tissue. Here are the two necklaces again with their ribbons and beads.

Will get on and create.

Bye for now.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Miss Mitchell thoughts while painting.

Hi Everyone
weather report is a bit depressing today - very dull and no sunshine (yet ! - I'm ever hopeful).

Today, is definitely a painting day. I've been distracted by lots of things recently but am frustrated every time I see my unfinished paintings stacked up ready to go. Its been ages since I spent the whole day painiting - I will have to do some basic house things but the majority of my time will be painiting.

Have added a few beads to one of the Miss Mitchell necklaces and now they are ready. The only thing I need to do is the little boxes. They will have to wait until tomorrow.

Miss Mitchell on fabric
A fellow Miss Mitchell fan from the States has recently bought some Miss Mitchell fabric and was wondering about the story behind this character. (you too can buy her from spoonflower).
I do have some notes, produced some time ago, about Miss Mitchell and have been thinking how to develop her story - for others to share. The very first notion of Miss Mitchell came when a friend asked me to make a special personalised, 'leaving card'  for a teacher (called Miss Mitchell). I will have a photo somewhere ? must find it. I produced the card and at the same time was making a new painting which was to become Miss Mitchell. Some of the papers used in the original card found their way onto the canvas and Miss Mitchell had a name (some of the paper had her name on it). As time has passed, Miss Mitchell has become a key member of our family - albeit a fictional one.
I'm thinking of making a little handmade book to tell her story. Will ponder this during my day today. There are so many possibilities. All will become clear -at some point. Maybe it is today ?
possible presentation style ?
Must go and paint.
Bye for now.
possible contruction style ?

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Miss Mitchel and Mary !

Hi Everyone
weather is Ok today- sunny and blue sky at times - bit 'breezy' too.
Have not been too well for a few days so work is running late. However, hope to get the stuff in the shops and have added to the Miss Mitchell necklaces project :

There are two necklaces, one using a beads/chiffon  and one with a silver chain. The pictures of Miss Mitchell are in two finishes - bronze and burnished silver. Both pictures are hand finished and sealed. I like them. They are quite large but hang long and are very light to wear.

I used this book (see photos) as inspiration - I have made a similar necklace before (for a friends birthday) and am going to add some chiffon ties to the beaded necklace, as in the book. The chiffon makes the look complete. I will make some cute little boxes (for the necklaces) - not sure exactly how to complete the boxes but something will inspire me. I loved making these necklaces - the Miss Mitchell character is so special to me, being able to wear her will be great.

More work on Mary is needed - by co incidence Mary Portas is on the radio now (talking about her Kinky Knickers TV show with Richard Bacon) - I must send a picture of 'Mary' to Mary - I need her help ! I have now decided to have more people in the Mary picture - sitting on the chairs in the audience. Will share later in the week.

Last weekend, we went to Glasgow and visited the Kelvingrove Museum - fabulous paintings (real Masters) - so inspiring ! Made me believe in myself more. Also lots of Remy Mackintosh stuff - loved the whole thing.
We also visited Linlithglow Palace - fab place - again so inspiring - I found these lovely little creatures that I'm going to paint.
Must get on and do some creating.
Bye for now

Friday, 16 March 2012

Skirt Talk

Hi Everyoneits a bit cloudy and overcast today - sun is trying to peep through but ......................... ?

Another busy day with too many home things to do - so working at odd hours to get things done. I've given Mary Haversham a bit of a new face (makeup) this morning and she looks more awake - her eyes gave the appearance of having been in a fight (a week after) - with rather greenish bruising ! She still has this look in these pictures. She is also on the catwalk - eventually. Much more to go. She does have a skirt and its ready to wear but she does not have it on (in these photos).

I was'nt too sure about the 'skirt' but am warming to it. This idea I had ie the use of yellow lace for the skirt was inspired by a dress, the lace idea came very early in my planning for this paiting and I felt I wanted to make it work. We will see ..... ? As you can see the dress (from Marks and Spencer - initial inspiration) is now in a sale. Typical !!!

inspiration for Marys skirt
Working with skirt ideas, I was wondering what style I could use - if I made my Miss Mitchell original fabric print into a skirt. I've long been thinking about using the pattern from a flowery little number in my wardrobe - very simple gathered style with several elastic waist lines. The skirt sits low down on the hip - its very flattering. While pondering this,I came across another range of ideas in a web shop called Roobys- this russian doll print is so pretty. My Miss Mitchell fabric would need a flat panel in the centre front - to make sense of the picture of Miss Mitchell - another design challenge !

Here she is again (with my foot for scale !). I do have more fabric with lots of little Miss Mitchells - so the skirt idea is OK - I think ? But I would like the big picture taking centre stage. Will keep thinking on that one.
Its FILL UP FRIDAY again - this week I'm stocking the shop (see my Folksy Shop button on the left) with prints and some new frames. I have these ready to go but we will not be around to take any orders until Mon or Tues , so am delaying the update. Will get a collage of images later to share here.

Must go - we are off to Glasgow for the weekend. Am hoping I get lots of inspiration from out visit. Will share when  I get back.

Bye for now.

Am just adding a collage update - the little pics of Miss Mitchell are sample pictures for inserting in mini memory frames - am waiting until they dry - have sealed them before adding ribbon and making a necklace.
items for the shop - for sale next Tues

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Doll Stories ?

Hi Everyone
weather is yet again lovely - a little cold but a wonderful blue sky and bright sunshine.

backround added to the wood base

Mary 'before' - will do an 'after'
Have managed to get some pictures of Mary Haversham - she has moved on a little and I'm hoping to do much more today - I am working on her eyes a little more (her makeup is not as good as it needs to be) and her image needs to be more integrated into the background. The background is a little like a fashion show scene - with some notion of a catwalk. I will add some more staging elements such as chairs and a chandalier (I think) - will see how it goes.

I also am working on an unfinished picture I did some time ago. Its called The Twins and is a little unsettling - there are messages of something 'not quite as it should be'. It could be a range of things ? - there will be a story !

The Twins

Bye for now

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Make some flowers for thepapersac village

Hi Everyone
weather is lovely today - warmish and blue sky all day.

Just look at this how-to-make-simple-white-paper-flowers these flowers look fantastic and here is a colourful versionin the photo. I'm having a search on flower making techniques. I hope to link some flowers (that I make) with thepapersac village development.

Been busy with volunteer work all week and am way behind on my 'real job' - hoping to catch up tomorrow. I have some new photos of Miss Haversham but can't get them off the camera just now. I have made progress with the background and its working so far.
Have also spent some time this evening making thepapersac village a more cohesive idea ie all the houses and owners are identifed - I hope the village will grow but at the moment we have about 10 properties each linked with a character in one of my paintings. The plan (at the moment) is to draw a pen/ink drawings and a full colour paiting with all the houses scaled to each other. Ambitious but 'do able' - I think !

Must go and so tired.

Bye for now.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

A dress for painting !

Hi Everyone
weather very dull today - could rain ! Bit disappointing after yesterday.
Today is more Mary Haversham's day - I hope she will get onto her wood base. I have identified some lovely papers which will form the basis of the background. I am begining to like this doll - she will deserve a house in the papersac village and am already designing (in my head) a very modern sort of place. Mary does not strike me as a traditional character - not sure what I can come up with but watch this space !
felted butterflies

Did a little more on the felted butterfly and am thinking of a large flower for the butterfly to sit on/in ? - I will do this in my spare time (what's that ?) so will take a while. Will show the progress of both the  felting and the flower making from scratch - hoping to make it into a tutorial which will find its way into one of the books. I saw this example of butterflies and quite liked the beading on them - so may go there with development.

I've also been looking for examples of flowers to compliment the butterfly and rather like the shape of the smaller image here. I  like the other flowers especially the faded colours and the shapes. I do love flowers generally. Will have a go at making some - for my own house.

The pink flowers are described as velvet and cost around £30 each - they are lovely.You can buy bthem from macculloch-wallis (from their online shop).

On the dress front - I've seen a lovely little dress called a

Painting Course Dress

from Modcloth -its my favourite of the day ! It instantly appealed to me. Need the weather to wear it outside for painting.I can but dream !!!

Must go,
Bye for now

Monday, 12 March 2012

Painting and 'Mary' win the day

Hi Everyone
weather is fantastic today - looks very bright from my window. Also lovely weekend weather - very warm yesterday even on the rugby pitch and later in the greenhouse planting herbs.
Have eventually put week 2 stuff in my Folksy shop (I have a button here on my blog - go take a look) - other than the felted butterfly - its not ready and not good enough to go in ! so will work on it ! You can see the week 2 collection on the Friday posting under this.
Had a major rethink about work on Friday and have 'mulled it over' this weekend. I'm satisfied its not a quick response to last week (I had so many mini problems with production). Anyway, am sure about my decision to focus my efforts on drawing and painting. I do have book committments so this area of work is included (the books are about the paintings) but I will make other things as 'a hobby' when/if I have time. Some items may find their way into the shops but generally I need to stick with what I do - and that is painting mixed media. I feel quite relieved now and much more in control of my work - not sure why I did'nt know this before ?
Miss Maversham (senior)
Will continue to look around and blog any interesting finds etc. will also keep some tags and small print cards stocked which come from the artwork. My first task is to review again - this time getting my paintings moved on. The Miss Haversham Senior will come first. She has been in the waiting for over a week now. Here she is before I move her on. I'm going to call her Mary Haversham (a tribute to Mary Portas).
 Well, with that major decision out there - I must get to Mary.

Bye for now

Friday, 9 March 2012

Lavender hearts and felted beginings !

Hi Everyone
bit dull today - could rain any minute. Light reasonable for photos - big positive !!
Its Fill Up Friday ( ie stock into my shops) again ....  time just speeds up every week. I'm a bit behind, so I have my collage but not all my items are completely ready for launching in the shops.

The collage photo was taken with my new 'thing' aka a tripod. I think its an improvement. I need to play more with different shots. I also need to play more with the camera phone - I discovered loads of extra things on it yesterday. The 'thing' is good and very versatile - I like it.

The Linen Heart is filled with lavender and I can smell is now - its lovely (like being in a garden) - the Felt Heart is definitely a pincushion (have made a needle case to match- its a bit basic so will design a better one) and works great. This was inspired by a little needle case project which came with MollieMakes some time ago. I have some pictures of the felt pincushion hanging it in different places while doing projects and the best place is round my neck (like a necklace) - just brilliant !

The Miss Mitchell Butterfly is my first go at a 'felted item' - its not finished - I am doing more wings and some beading on the middle body bit. The inspiration for this came from a Kirsty Allsopp project in her latest book
- look back I talked about here on this blog about Christmas time. Kirsty does a Robin in the book - I'd quite like to do a bird as well.

The other item is a Message Button - its quite large and could be 'just a button' but I have ideas of using it as a brooch and also the middle of a flower. I saw some fab fabric flowers yesterday with button 'middle's' - I love this idea. It reminded me of an article I read several years ago about making silk flowers.I remember being amazed at the 'Heath Robinson' approach the writer/crafter took when moulding fabric (into petals/flowers shapes) with anything she had to hand eg kitchen bowls/pingpong balls etc. Thought I should have a go - will share my project and results.
button centre's
Here are the flowers which inspired this idea - the original flower which took my attention was the snowdrop - its just lovely.

Well thats it for now - must get to the shop job. Its going to take me a few days to complete - more photos needed . I have loads of other home jobs to do.

Bye for now.