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.