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...

Monday, 1 June 2020

June Artists' Trading Card (ATC)

 Here's the latest of my ATCs - for June.  I knew the focus had to be roses, not just due to the verse for June, but also because my garden is full of roses in June.  I used a sort of leaf stencil and green paint for the background and stencilled the roses using texture paste.  I needed to infill the roses with paint as the green showing through was just too distracting.  I coloured the texture paste, but ended up painting the roses as well.
 They needed a little something extra, so glitter was added as highlights.
The gemstones I used this month were all pinks and purples and I tried to get an ombre look.  I used rose quartz, lavender amethyst, kunzite, peach moonstone, pink opal and pink shell. The gemstone for June is pearl, so I added a pearl charm.
The back of the card features the verse and some die cut roses.  The new rose dies arrived the morning I was working on this ATC which was serendipitous, so I made good use of them.  I am pleased with the end result - June is all about the roses!

Saturday, 30 May 2020

Playing with new supplies

 During lockdown, I have been adding to my stash of papercrafting supplies, with some lovely new stamps and dies.  These are both from Sizzix (they are my newest favourites) and are 'Romantic Layers' above, which I used to make a birthday card for a colleague.  They do layer up beautifully and give a lovely effect.
 Even the inside of the card looked really pretty.
 I also made these little bird cards using stamping in the background and die cuts on top. I used 'Media Marks', 'Feathered Friends' and 'Funky Wreaths' die sets. I made the painted papers I used to cut the dies from and that gives an individual look to each bird.
 You can see the stamping in the background better here.
The birds are attached with foam pads, so they are slightly lifted up.  They just need to be put onto a base card and they are ready to go. 
I have bought a few more supplies since I made these (no surprise there) and will be playing with them soon.

Saturday, 23 May 2020

More star plants (for Chelsea week)

It would have been RHS Chelsea this week and as the show was cancelled, the BBC have been looking at the last ten years of the show with the presenters in their own gardens.  There have also been films on Youtube.  In my own garden, there are lots of star plants.  Above and below is Rhododendron Tinkerbird which has pretty flowers and the most gorgeous jasmine scent which wafts round the garden when the sun is shining.
The flowers are a lovely combination of pink and white.
Some of my lewisias are flowering too...
This one has pink, apricot and coral coloured flowers.
The blue aquilegia is flowering well this year.
 Iris sibirica is in a hot and dry part of the border, so shouldn't be looking quite as good as this as it prefers slightly damper conditions, but it is lovely to see it.
 The stainless steel spheres echo the alliums really well and it is a happy coincidence that there are three alliums here.
 Another allium.
 Gladiolus Byzantinus is flowering too, although I don't have as many of these as I would like.
 Of course, those divas of the plant world, the peonies, are delighting me...
...this is a patio peony (Athens, I think) and is grown in a pot.  The peonies I planted in the border are not as happy as this one. 
This double red astrantia is hidden behind a rose and easy to miss.  I am not sure of the name but it could be 'Star of Love' and came from RHS Chatsworth two years ago.  
The garden is doing me proud this May.

Thursday, 7 May 2020

Star plants in early May

 Here's a round up of star plants at the moment.  Above is Magnolia Fairy Blush, which has a gentle lemony scent and gets a bit neglected by me, if I'm honest.  For most of the year, it has green leaves and is just a backdrop to other things, but then comes into its own for a couple of weeks in May.
 Even in the bit of rain we had, the buds and flowers still looked beautiful.
 They are have a delicate pink shade and are well named.
So pretty...
...and photogenic!
Tulip Danceline from last year and now in the border, doing a very good impression of a peony.   
 A pretty combination of tulip Ballerina and my new little apple tree.
 The pink fringed tulip which has two flowers this year.  This is a mystery tulip but seems to keep coming back and very welcome it is too, with the splash of cerise.
 Finally for now, Clematis Rosy Pagoda which flowered earlier but still delights with its fabulous seedheads.
A good value plant.  More star plants to come...

Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Art Journal page - grateful

I decided that I needed to reflect what is going on in the world in a mixed media art journal page.  Everyone's world has changed, but rather than focus on the negatives, I wanted to think about positives.
I used recycled cardboard packaging for the page which I gessoed.  I used acrylic paint through stencils for the swirly background and for the orange and yellow centre.  I cut out gel press prints for the strips coming from the centre.  The focal point house is a Lisa Horton stamp which I coloured with alcohol pens.
The windows and door have glossy accents to give them a bit of shine, although that isn't particularly evident in the photo.  I added some glitter dots to each of the gel press strips, just because!
I stamped the words using a mixture of Hunkydory and Visible Image alphabet stamps and they are all things I am feeling grateful for.  This page turned out quite similar to the image in my head (which isn't always the case!) and is a reminder of good things during a challenging time.
With this page, I am joining in with the Creative Stamper May 2020 'Take it, Make it challenge' 

Friday, 1 May 2020

May Artists' Trading Card (ATC)

Here is May's ATC, continuing the challenge I set myself for this year - to create an ATC for each month of 2020.  I am enjoying this project very much, using lots of different techniques and media.  I used one of my favourite stamps (by Jane Davenport) which appeared in my art journal and which I knew I would be revisiting.
Here is the art journal page.
Chris suggested using small die cut flowers rather than painted ones, particularly as the card is on a smaller scale.  Luckily, I had just invested in some small flower dies - how fortuitous!)  I painted the flowers in gouache, using bright happy colours.  Leaves were added and then gold dots in the background.  The centres of the flowers have glitter in them and the lady also has glittery hair and ribbons on her dress. The gemstones are citrine, pink dyed shell, amazonite, carnelian, larimar, emerald and aquamarine.  The gemstone for May is emerald, so that is the charm at the bottom.
The back of the card has a lamb image and more flowers, together with the May verse, which mentions lambs.  
I think it is a happy, bright and cheerful card, which makes me smile.

Thursday, 23 April 2020

14 Day Art Journal

 A couple of weeks ago, I saw some information about a free two week art journal course run by Julie Fei Fan Balzer, a designer and maker in America.  I signed up for it.  A new video is available every day with a different journaling technique.  I had all the resources and equipment I needed already, but that would be a consideration if you didn't have everything to hand.  The media needed were watercolours, acrylics, oil pastels, an old hotel card (for the diy comb), distress crayons (or similar), black and white pens, magazine image, matte medium, stencils, stamps, brushes, watercolour paper/card.  A gel plate was useful and a carving tool for making the eraser stamps. 
The first day was making the journal.  Julie showed how she decorated her journal but I decided to try a new to me gel plate technique (from Youtube, I think) - soft pastels applied through stencils and then acrylic paint on top to pull the print.  I used one of Julie's stencil designs - the flower in the top left and bottom right of the photo below - and several other flower/foliage/shape stencils.  I really enjoyed this technique and managed to achieve some quite delicate blends.
 Some of the darker pastels stained the gel plate a bit, but did come off using baby oil.
Day 2 was oil pastel resist.
 Days 3 and 4 were Sgraffito and rainbow arches.
 Doodle collage was Day 5.
 Hand made stamps for Day 6. This was one of my favourites and I used erasers to carve the stamps.
 Rainbow roll for Day 7 and Layered stencilling on Day 8.
 An extra layered stencil page.  Day 9 was a DIY gelli comb.
 Day 10 brought a layered gel print, again using the diy combs.  Day 11 was an abstract.
 Day 12 was black and white doodles using a black marker, white gel pen and black biro, which I really enjoyed and am going to use again in my art journal proper.  Day 13 was mixing media.
Finally, day 14 was monoprint and sketch.  The colours I used made me think of rhubarb!
This was such an enjoyable project and I have lots of techniques which I can use in my art journaling.  I also have a  lovely little journal full of colour and pattern to enjoy.
Edited to add:  Julie posted photos of other people's journals and it was so interesting to see all the interpretations.  The link to that post is here.