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...
...here 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.