Sunday, 2 August 2020

Index Card A Day (ICAD) - Week Nine

The Index Card A Day Challenge has finished after nine weeks and 61 prompts (plus two bonus ones).  Above are the bonus cards: One Staple Collage and Draw or Collage a Bird.  I used gel medium to stick the magazine pieces down and it left a few wrinkles, but they are just part of the image!
The final prompts were: Billiards; Tea Set; Arboretum.  Initially, I didn't feel particularly inspired by Billiards or Arboretum, but managed to create something.  Arboretum was a magazine collage, using a different glue this time.
The final two prompts were: Bossa Nova; Adventure.   I really enjoyed painting Bossa Nova, while listening to appropriate music, of course.  I bought a map stamp a few weeks ago, so was able to use that for the Adventure prompt.  The folded paper hides...
...the countries/places I have travelled to and had my own adventures.  Egypt definitely tops the list for adventures!
I have enjoyed the ICAD challenge and have used lots of different techniques and media to create the pieces. I found making one small piece a day was do-able and the prompts helped me to focus on ideas which I probably wouldn't have followed otherwise.  Deciding to use the prompts each day was also a good choice as again, the words weren't always ones I would have used.   I think my most successful pieces were the mixed media ones - Tiramisu, Camomile, Cappucino, Diagram - but I also like the ones where words have been incorporated too, such as Album and Orchard.  
Here's to next year's ICAD challenge!   

Saturday, 1 August 2020

Artist's Trading Card (ATC) - August

The year seems to be going so quickly - it isn't, but it seems that way.  Perhaps this is due to the unusual conditions we have been facing.  Here we are at the beginning of August and my ATC reflects the harvest theme.  I went for a simple image again, with a sort of wheat field, using acrylic paint for the background and stamped images collaged on top.
The gemstones reflect the browns of the wheat - citrine, citrine again, golden rutile quartz, smoky quartz, botswana agate, more botswana agate and tiger's eye.  The gemstone charm is the gemstone for August which is peridot.
The back shows the August poem and a busy bee with some ripe strawberries.  
This card was only just finished in time, due to me being busy with the ICAD challenge.  That has now finished so I can devote myself to other creative activities.

Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Index Card A Day (ICAD) - Week Eight

The penultimate week of ICAD brought some more interesting prompts to think about.  Above there are: Pinwheel; Blue or Blueberry and Orbit.  I do like the way Blue or Blueberry turned out - stencils and stamps with paint and ink created this.  Pinwheel involved me looking up how to make a paper windmill and Orbit was made by drawing round some oval dies on a painty and stamped background.
Above are: Garden Gate (probably my least favourite, but never mind - that one definitely looked better in my head than in reality); Outline; Paisley and Unfold.  In case you are curious about what Unfold looks like when unfolded... it is.  I used some paper from my stash and then added some stamping - 'Note to self: This is your life, Do what you love and do it often' and 'Just Be Happy' both of which appealed to me.  
On to the final week of the challenge.

Thursday, 23 July 2020

My garden is getting a bit out of hand!

With the sunshine and showers we have had during July, the garden has put on a lot of growth.  In fact, it feels a bit like a jungle as we carefully try to make our way past the miscanthus.  The buddleia has matured into a bit of a monster - when I bought this, it was described as a 'dwarf', but there is nothing dwarf-like about its proportions now!  It has a honey scent which is most noticeable in the early evening when I am watering.
The phlox in a pot is also growing well and shares a honey scent.
Clematis Perle D'Azur has never looked as good as this.
Here are the miscanthus grasses which have really grown this year - this one is supposed to be a smaller variety 'Starlight' and behind it is the taller 'Kleine Fontane'.
A view to the sunny border with palms, roses , agapanthus, and hardy geraniums all jostling for space.
This is the view from the patio - bluberries, rhododendrons, hydrangeas, astrantias, a clematis and fuchshias.
Hydrangea Annabelle is making a stab at garden domination this year (but she is lovely!)
This is the north facing border with clematis, another miscanthus, roses at the back, and my hacked back (but doing well, with flower buds) hibiscus.  Again, a bit of a jungle feel here! 
Finally, a couple of photos of a bee enjoying the buddleia.
He kept moving very quickly, enjoying the nectar and pollen.

Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Index Card A Day (ICAD) - Week Seven

Here are my week seven ICADs.  Some of the prompts needed more consideration and the help of the internet.  I am still loving making these little pieces of art.  In the photo above there is Bloom; Unravel; Simplify.  Stencils and acrylic paint featured here, with inks and words.
Above there is Diagram; Pencil; Confetti or Glitter; Orchard.  Diagram was made using free graphic images from The Graphics Fairy, (this is a great resource for lots of vintage images that are useful for journaling or craft projects), inks and stamps. Pencil was Chris's idea and I used watercolour pencils for the background, then stamped B, 2B, 3B etc. on the top.  I couldn't possibly choose between confetti or glitter, so added them both onto that card. Orchard had me scratching my head, but with some help from the internet, I went for the names of trees usually to be found in an orchard.

Thursday, 16 July 2020

Brush holders - using what I have

When I am in the midst of creating, with paints and brushes all over the place, invariably a brush will roll across the work space and over whatever I am working on (and it is usually the brush which is coated in paint!)  I decided that something had to be done and had my eye on some nice wooden soapdishes which had grooves in them, just right for putting brushes on.  I showed them to Chris and explained my problem.  He replied "You've got lots of polymer clay, why don't you make some?"  Hmm, I hadn't thought of that. So I got out my scrap clay and  had a go.  They are a simple construction - clay sausages and  a flat bit.  Underneath, they are supported on three clay sausages. You can see the result above.  Now, they don't look that pretty, but then they were made out of bits of leftover clay.  It is quite difficult to bake polymer clay so that it is totally flat, so they have a little bit of a wobble, but not enough to be a problem.  
The most important thing is that they work and here's the proof.  No more rolling brushes - thank goodness!  I may make some more and try to make them a bit prettier... (of course, if you were really good with polymer clay sculpting, you could have a whole menagerie of little animals/flowers/other interesting things to hold your brushes - there are many examples on the internet.)

Monday, 13 July 2020

Index Card A Day (ICAD) - Week Six

Here are my index cards from week six.  This challenge goes on until the end of July, so I shall have to find something else to challenge myself with after that!  Above is Ocean; Hydrangea and Rust.  Lots of fun was had with stamps, stencils, watercolour crayons and acrylic paint for these.
Here are Mirage; Gradient; Cinnamon or Spice and Knot.  I really like Cinnamon/Spice which was really relaxing to paint. I used a grid stamp and embossed it with white embossing powder, to create the raised lines.  Then I painted in the squares using gouache, in what I hope was a random pattern.  Knot was created using an embossing folder and then dry brushing with different shades of acrylic paint.
Just in case you needed a closer view to see what I had done for Mirage, here it is at a different angle.  I used black card and a unicorn stamp with clear embossing powder.  Now you see it, now you don't!

Thursday, 9 July 2020

Clematis (and a penstemon)

This year, the clematis are looking wonderful.  I have some in the borders and some in pots, but the majority of them have been flowering so well.  They are looking a bit more battered as we have had several rainy days in a row this week. Above is Clematis Venosa Violacea, growing through Rosa Ferdinand Pichard.
Here it is again.
This is Clematis Perle D'Azur growing with Rose New Dawn.  The clematis has grown a lot since I took this photo.
Clematis Prince Charles, growing in a large tub.
Clematis Princess Kate also growing in a tub, but which needs to be potted on into a larger one - next Spring perhaps.  I had planned to do it this year, but lockdown and a lack of compost postponed this,

Clematis Arabella in the border.
Perle D'Azur and Rose New Dawn on the metal arch.
Penstemon Garnet was looking rather lovely too, so here it is.

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Index Card a Day (ICAD) - Week Five

 How quickly the time seems to be going as I continue this challenge.  I am starting to amass a nice little collection of cards now and just need to decide what to do with them once it is finished.  Above, you can see: Citrus; Arcade and Font.  Arcade had me thinking and in the end the image was quite simple - just arches drawn with a biro and then some distress ink smooshed on.
 The next photo shows Earrings; Periwinkle; Board Games and Lantern.  For the earrings, I looked at lots of earring images and decided to use the suffragette colours of white, green and purple.  White was for purity, green for hope and purple for loyalty and dignity. (Dignity and Hope are certainly things we could do with at the moment.  I was in the town centre this morning and it felt like social distancing had gone out of the window - all rather worrying.)
 I rather liked the earrings I had created for this Dina Wakley stamped face and decided to make some real ones, inspired by these.
Here they are  - white pearls, green fluorite hearts and amethyst rounds.  Women's voices are still not being heard around the world so this is my little token of support for them.

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Artist's Trading Card (ATC) - July

 I decided that for this card, I really wanted to create something simple.  A lot of the other cards have been much more complex and while I have enjoyed that, this month I needed a change.  The background is acrylic paint and the butterfly and flower have been stamped in black and embossed  and then painted with gouache.  The flower centre has a bit of added glitter.
I had to check what 'gillyflowers' were as the rhyme mentions them and found they are members of the dianthus family.  While it is probably stocks that the author was thinking of, my dianthus in  the garden will do just as well, so I took some photos, cut them out and glued them on.
The gemstones are aquamarine, sky blue apatite, neon blue apatite, kyanite, tanzanite, sodalite and lapis lazuli.  The gemstone charm is ruby, as it is the birthstone for July.  Simple but pretty, I think.

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Index Card a Day (ICAD) - Week Four

Here we are at week four.  We are not quite half way through the ICAD challenge, but things are still going well and I have used all the word prompts so far.
The words were: Anchor; Terrarium; Emerald.
I was originally going down the ship anchor route, but then decided roots are anchors too, so went in a completely different direction.
Here are Cappuccino; Bougainvillea; Souvenir and Wind Chimes.  Again, a couple of these were going to be one thing and then I was hit by a different inspiration.  Originally, 'wind chimes' was going to be strips of different papers in a wind chime sort of pattern, but then, having looked at the definition of chime, I was reminded about clocks.  'Souvenir' started as a collection of different ephemera, but soon became all about Paris.  I have visited Paris twice and loved the museums and galleries, so this seemed very appropriate.  Paints, papers, stamps, stencils and texture paste have all featured in making these images this week.

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Index Card a Day 2020 (ICAD) Week Three

The ICAD challenge is still going strong and I am managing to complete one a day.  Above are Dandelion; Robot and Mustard Yellow.  Stamps, stencils, paint and embossing folders have been used for these.
Here are Six Word Story (The sky brightened and she smiled); Pause (I cut the stamp from an eraser and it is based on the pause symbol in music - thanks to Chris for that idea); Birdhouse and Geode.  These are mainly paint and stamps, with a bit of glitter on the geode. 
I have had to buy some more index cards this morning as the second set I used had a blue line at the top and it was affected by water/paint (as you can see in the geode card).
On to week four...

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Index Card a Day 2020 (ICAD) - Week Two

Here are the cards from the second week of ICAD.
The prompts were: Suzani patterns (I had to look this up - traditional embroidery from Uzbeckistan and Tajikistan); Bookshelf; David Bowie.
Tiramisu (featuring a photo of my Granny and her sisters when they were girls);  Brocade; Kite or Rhombus; Chamomile.  Just in case the Chamomile one doesn't make any sense, I used camomile tea leaves, which I added to texture paste and applied through a stencil and the tea bags were glued in strips.  I then added drips of acrylic paint and watercolour pencils for the colours, finishing with gold speckles and a bit of glitter. (I had this brainwave having watched a Youtube video where teabags were made into a mini journal.)
On to week three...

Sunday, 14 June 2020

Roses, roses, roses

 The roses have enjoyed the recent rain we had (and so have the rest of the plants too).  Here's a snapshot of some of the different plants I have.
Top row, left to right: Charles de Mills, Rosa Mundi, Blush Noisette
Middle row, left to right: Cottage Rose, The Pilgrim, Olivia Rose Austin
Bottom row, left to right: Winchester Cathedral, Eyes for You, Ferdinand Pichard
Here are a few more, top left going clockwise: For Your Eyes Only, Gertrude Jekyll,  Mary Rose, Geoff Hamilton.
Since I took these photos, we have had some rain which has battered the blooms a bit.  I went out and deadheaded yesterday and am looking forward to seeing the next flush of flowers.

Tuesday, 9 June 2020

Index Card a Day (ICAD) 2020

I have enjoyed the doodle book and the 14 day journal projects, so when I saw the Index Card A Day challenge over at Daisy Yellow, I decided to join in. 
I like the idea of daily art prompts, which may push me to do something different.  However, there is no pressure - you can use the prompts or not, or use the themes or not, it is up to you.  Creating a piece of art a day on a small scale - 6 x 4 ins, sounded doable and enjoyable, so off I went.
Here are the results of the first week:
Just in case you'd like to know what the prompts were:  Hopscotch, Marigold, Album, Sequins, 1980s, Dreamcatcher, Highway.
I have really enjoyed it and found I could manage a piece per day as they are small and relatively quick to produce. I can also use all my different art and craft materials, which is a good thing.  So far, I have used paints, crayons, magazine collage, die cuts, stencils, stamps, sequins and inks. The most time consuming bit is the thinking!
There is a facebook group to join, should you wish to share your work and see what others are doing.  I'm not a facebooker, so haven't done that.  I am happy with my progress so far and have started the second week's prompts.
I will do a round-up each week in the hope that you find it interesting to see what I come up with...