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.