Thursday, 20 February 2020

Little positive book

Recently, I have been really enjoying watching crafting videos on Youtube.  I watch art journaling and also junk journaling and one of my favourite junk journaling sites is The Paper Outpost.
I watched one on little books made using book pages and decided I needed to give this a go.  The link to the video is here
I changed mine a little as I made the covers from scraps of Kraft card and they are 5 cm x 5 cm so are small.  I also wanted them to have positive words in them and had great fun raiding my stash for stamps as well as printing words out too.
 Here's the front cover...

 and the back.
 I used book pages for the pages and then had a lot of fun decorating.
 I coloured some of the images with watercolour pencils...
 ...and added black watercolour crayon around the words, using a little water to smudge the colour out.
Although they were a little bit fiddly, I really enjoyed this little project.
I ended with happiness - we'd all like that, wouldn't we?
I also watched CreationsCeeCee who inspired my Pocket Doodle book last December.  She has been using up watercolour pages and I thought I could use up gel print pages, to make these bookmarks.
The link to her video is here  
Both of these are destined to be part of a birthday present for a work colleague who is very artistic herself, so I think she will like them.

Sunday, 16 February 2020

Deja Vu - Storm Dennis

 In between the rain and winds currently outside, thanks to Storm Dennis this time, I noticed more exciting things in the garden.  Above is my bargain camellia (I don't know the name, but it came from 'the range' - one of my favourite shops - a couple of years ago).   I'm sure this is early, but very welcome.
 My first little Tete a Tete daffodil in the border.
 Another hellebore - I think this may be Picotee again.  I do like the delicate green and pink shading on the petals.
Snowdrops in a pot (and needing to be divided again, I think, once they have finished flowering).
 Storm Dennis has given us a lovely rainbow this afternoon though.
Yet again, we have been really lucky, which I am so thankful for.
I feel so sorry for those around the country where Dennis has wreaked havoc on houses and businesses - farmers being hit once again too with flooded land.  I hope that there will be a respite soon.

Sunday, 9 February 2020

February in the garden (before Storm Ciara) and some new plants

 Yesterday was a lovely day with sunshine and even a bit of a blue sky.  I went into town and was tempted by some plants - some iris reticulata and more snowdrops (well, you can never have too many) as well as some geraniums.   Above is iris 'Harmony'...
 ...this is 'Pixie'...
 ...and this one is 'Painted Lady'.  I have never had much success with these plants, so I shall enjoy them in their pots and then plant them in the garden.  If they come back next year, that's a bonus.
The geraniums I bought are here - geranium cantabrigiense 'St Ola'.  I have potted them into pots where they will stay until April or May depending on the weather.  I have some cantabrigiense with pink flowers, so I think these white flowers will look good with them.
 My hellebores in the border are starting to flower - here is Harvington Pink speckled...
...and Harvington Single Red which has taken a couple of years to settle in.
 Cardamine quinquefolia is getting ready to flower and I think this may be a bit early.
 Lovely winter flowering honeysuckle is still flowering away and on a sunny day like yesterday, the scent was beautiful.
 The little flowers pack a real punch of fragrance.
 Here is hellebore 'Hello Ruby' still going well (in a small pot).  I will pot the poor thing on once it has finished flowering.
 Here are the snowdrops I bought yesterday.  I love them!
Finally, here's a plant we picked up at our local Aldi - Peperomia 'Napoli Nights'.  I had been seeing peperomias all over the internet in other blogs and decided this one was coming home with me.  It came in a sweet little stripy pot too. It will need re-potting soon, but I will let it settle in a bit first.  Today has been very windy and we have also had hail and sudden rain too, but so far, we have been a lot luckier than many areas of the UK.  If you are in the UK, I hope you have been safe through this storm.

Saturday, 1 February 2020

February Artists' Trading Card (ATC)

Here is my February ATC (Artists' Trading Card), the second in my monthly projects.   I am really enjoying the whole process of making these - gathering the ideas, deciding on colour schemes, choosing images, making the gemstone pieces and using some of my stash! 
The base of the card is recycled packaging cardboard,  which is gessoed to give a lovely surface to work on.  My art journal is also made using this card for the pages.  The card has a gel press printed base of purple, white, silver and grey paint, with stamped 'rain' on half of it.  Half of the card has stencilled raindrops with clear texture paste and added glitter and the other half has stamped puddles, and raindrops with clear embossing powder.  The hearts stand a little away from the surface and are made from the cardboard, with satin board which has been embossed with an industrial pattern.  The gemstones are clear quartz, fluorite, kunzite, rutile quartz, white moonstone and an amethyst charm at the bottom.
The back has stamped raindrops with glossy accents over them to add a watery shine, a stamped snowdrop and the February verse. 
Now to start thinking about March...

Monday, 27 January 2020

Making collage papers and Daffodils

I have been busy with my second art journal over last year and into this and will share some of my favourite pages shortly.  I was looking at collage papers with a view to buying some and suddenly had a brainwave - I could make them myself!  I have tissue paper and a myriad of suitable stamps so what was stopping me?  I had a very happy time trying my stamps and  deciding what to use... 
 ...and here are some papers ready to go.  The good thing about these is that they add pattern to a page but you can still see the background colours peeping through.  I think they will work well.
 I couldn't resist buying some daffodils on Saturday as I was wanting some brightness in the house.  They started to open on Sunday...
 Here they are later on Sunday (excuse the flash - my camera does not like low light levels at all).
Here they are today - all open and very scented.  Even if they don't last long, they have given that shot of colour I needed and are very cheering.

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

The January Garden

 January always seems to be such a long month.  It is often grey and dreary, but then you get frosty nights and beautiful blue skies with sunshine which make up for it.  Over the years, I have been trying to include plants for this time of year so I had a look round the garden the other day to see how things were going.  Above is a hellebore, 'Hello Ruby' , which I bought from a shop called 'the range' (which does indeed have a wide range of things and is one of my favourites).  This plant is still in the pot it came in and I will pot it on shortly.  I was so pleased to see it in flower.
 One of my favourites is Winter flowering honeysuckle, a shrubby plant which looks a bit tousled and even a bit scruffy in its form.  However, in the winter, on a sunny day, the small white flowers release the most beautiful fragrance which smells like lily of the valley to me.
 They may be small, but they pack a punch!
 The ever reliable snowdrops are starting to make an appearance.
 So are these patio peonies - I have planted two in the borders, but this one is still in a pot.
 Camellia Yoimachi is looking lovely and is flowering away, giving a highlight to the bottom of the garden.
 Lovely white flowers edged with pink.
 A beautiful plant.
 I think these may be alliums with crocuses or daffodils or grape hyacinths but it will be easier to tell in a week or two.
To finish, here's 'Hello Ruby' again.  The hellebores in the borders are in bud but I don't think they are quite flowering yet.  I probably should go and check...

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

January Artist Trading Card (ATC)

 Here is the first in my ATC project over the next eleven months.  The first is for January and was ready for the first of the month, but I have kept adding little bits and pieces.  I made the card and then had a brainwave to use some of my gemstones and to also include the month's birthstone as well.  For this card, there is a haematite round, clear quartz, sky blue apatite, white moonstone, turquoise and rutilated quartz, with a garnet charm at the bottom.
 The card itself has acrylic paint watered down and dripped over a texture paste pattern, then silver embossed shapes and grey stamping.  The colours are silver, grey, white and turquoise.
 On the back, I added a verse from the seasons rhyme I knew from when I was little - 'January brings the snow...' and some silver glitter die cut snowflakes.
 Here's a close up of the verse.
The ATC goes really well with the Scandi inspired felt birds and balls on the seasonal tree, alongside some rather glamorous glass bead snowflake decorations which I bought in a sale last week.
February's ATC will involve grey, white and purple, raindrops, a heart and amethyst...
edited to add...
I am going to enter this ATC in the Craft Stamper Take It Make It challenge over at Craft Stamper.  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Happy New Year 2020

Happy New Year!  Here's hoping 2020 will be a good one for us all.  All the photos in this post were taken off the TV during the London Fireworks at midnight.

Today, as has become a bit of a tradition, I review various aims from last year and think about this coming year.  

Make more felt
Well, felting has been put on the back burner for now and papercrafting/art journaling has moved into first place.  I will probably do more felting at some point in the future, but not at the moment and possibly, not this year. 
Read interesting books
I have continued to achieve this aim and have read 91 books this year, down on the previous year, but still a pretty good total.  I have revisited old favourites and been introduced to new writers and books (some more successfully than others, which is always the way). Some of my favourites have been the young adult series 'The Bartimaeus Trilogy' and 'Lockwood and Co' series, both by Jonathan Stroud,  the Miss Marple series by Agatha Christie, the Nursery Crime series and 'Early Riser' by Jasper Fforde (which I do need to re-read as there were some complex ideas in all of them), Jane Austen, some Dickens, 'The Easternmost House' by Juliet Blaxland and the Nell Sweeney series by P B Ryan. 
This is an aim which will definitely continue through 2020 especially as there is already a pile of books waiting to be read...
Be Creative (using what I have)
I have achieved this as well, with papercrafting, journaling, making my first patchwork quilt...I haven't made the other pinafores I wanted to, nor have I attempted making a tunic dress using stretch  material, so those are aims for this coming year too.  I have my ATC monthly project to work on.   I would also like to be able to draw faces and figures in my art journal and have bought two books to help me with that.  I would also like to aim to concentrate on using what I have, rather than always buying something else.
Get rid of or donate things I do not want or need
This is also on-going as I haven't made as much progress as I would have liked.  I have too much stuff and I do need to make a real effort to go through it.  It is very easy to just ignore it, but it won't go away.   If I buy something new, an equivalent something should go.  (It is easier said than done, particularly if you are a hoarder/collector, which I am.)   I think this needs to be a main focus this year.

There we are then - I wonder how well I will get on with these aims in 2020. 
Happy New Year to all my lovely readers.