Sunday, 20 June 2021

Index-Card-A-Day Challenge (ICAD) 2021 week 2

Here are the ICAD cards for week 2.  Above, top left, Umbrella, Ampersand, bottom right, Library and Ribbon.

 From the top, Fairytale, Dice and Word cloud. As always, some of these are more of a challenge than others.  Some need a lot of thinking about.  What is really good about this challenge is that my huge stash of stamps, stencils, dies, inks, watercolour crayons, paints and other crafting stuff comes into its own.  I am often to be heard saying 'I knew that would come in useful!'

Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Roses (and others) everywhere

This post is very picture heavy - I love roses and this is their time, so I'm celebrating it.  Above is 'Mary Rose'.
Gladiolus Byzantinus, echoing the pink of the roses.
Rose 'Geoff Hamilton'.
Rose 'For Your Eyes only'.
Rose 'Eyes for You'.
One of the patio peonies 'Athens'.  Again, there is a bit of a pink theme!

Rose 'Cottage Rose'.
Rose 'Constance Spry'.
Rose 'Charles de Mills'.
A white peony 'Madrid' - just coming into flower.  This one is a patio peony but I have planted it in the border.  It has taken a while to get going.
Another patio peony 'Rome'.
Rose 'Bright as a button'...
Rose Ferdinand Pichard.
Lewisia Plum.
Lewisia Plum close up , showing the lovely striped flowers.
Rose New Dawn and Blush Noisette aren't quite in flower yet, but have lots of buds. More to look forward to.
Rose Winchester Cathedral started to develop rust as well as black spot, so I made the decision and it has gone.  However, a replacement white rose, Susan Williams-Ellis has just arrived, so I am looking forward to seeing what she will be like.
The roses are certainly centre stage at the moment and some have grown very tall this year.  I am really surrounded by them and I love it!

Sunday, 13 June 2021

Wanderlust 2021- weeks twenty-one to twenty-four - Poems and Quotes

Wanderlust has been challenging me again over this four weeks, but I have really enjoyed the poems and quotes theme.  We had to go for a walk or sit in the garden and be aware of sounds, sights etc.  The object was to write a poem and make an envelope for it on the page. The poem is featured above.
This is the front of the poem card.  I made the envelope from a masterboard of scraps, which I scanned into the computer and printed out.
Week 22 was one I really enjoyed. I learned a new technique of brayering gesso over the background which gave a 'old wallpaper' vintage look and which toned down the colours.  The poem I chose was 'Aedh wishes for the cloths of heaven' by W. B. Yeats.
Week 23 was about creating a poem from found text.  I used a Hammond Innes novel (The Trojan Horse), which has (surprisingly) been incredibly useful throughout this course, along with some magazine cut outs. I wanted to have a page with both cool and warm colours, so made two poems.  The background for these was so enjoyable to make.
Week 24 was illustrating a quote.  I wanted to create a pretty pastel page for this.  However, initially, I used Distress Oxide sprays, which created a muddy background (my fault for the choice of colours).  Not what I wanted.  I used acrylic paints in the hope of retrieving the colour.  That looked even worse!  Then I remembered the gesso technique from week 22, so did that and success, the page was saved!  After that, it came together pretty quickly and I am pleased with the end result.
Boundaries is the next theme. 

Friday, 11 June 2021

Index-Card-a-Day (ICAD) Challenge 2021- week 1

I am joining in with Daisy Yellow's Index Card a Day challenge during June and July. I did this last year and really enjoyed it. The idea is to create a piece of art on an index card (or a 6x4 inch card), every day while the challenge runs.  There are prompts and ideas and you can follow them, or go your own way. There is a Facebook group, but I'm not a Facebook user, so don't get involved with that.  I like the small format and  am enjoying the creative challenges.  I will post a weekly round up.
Top left, Contraption, top right, Snapdragon, bottom right, Snowglobe and bottom left, lyrics (Mad about the Boy, Mona Lisa and What a difference a day makes, just in case you're curious).
Verdigris is on the left, Canoe or Kayak is top right (these lyrics were part of a song my Dad used to sing and play on his guitar) and Twist is bottom right.  Some of these words prompt ideas quite quickly, but others take more thinking about.   I have a very mixed media approach to these cards and I do like to be able to use what I have. So far, I have used inks, acrylic paint, watercolour, collage, stencils, stamps, an embossing folder and ribbon.

On to the second week...

Sunday, 6 June 2021

The start of the roses (and a couple of other plants...)

June is the month for roses and mine are just starting to bloom.  (I have no doubt further rose-based posts will follow once they really get going).  Above is Olivia Rose Austin - grown in a pot, really healthy and beautiful.
This is Winchester Cathedral which is really pretty but has got blackspot, so I am debating whether to keep it or not. It is also in a pot and that may be the problem, or it may just not be that healthy.
My favourite (don't tell the others) Gertrude Jekyll, growing in the border, with a gorgeous scent.
Kew Gardens looking pretty too.  
Other plants are joining in  with the roses.  Here is one of the alliums in the border.
This is geranium St Ola which I bought bare root from Wilkos.  It has lovely delicate white flowers and bright pink stamen stems, which I hadn't expected!
Finally, here is my little patio apple tree (James Grieve) which had lovely blossom earlier in the year and now has apples forming.  What a treat to be able to pick and eat my own apples!

Friday, 28 May 2021

Rainbows and plants

Last week, during one of the many rain showers we had, there was this beautiful double rainbow.
It was there for about half an hour and these were the best photos I could get.  I think it's always magical to see a rainbow.
The plants have loved the recent rain, except when it gets too heavy and batters them too much.  This little geranium sanguineum striatum is shyly starting to flower.
The astrantia above was bought at one of the only three RHS Chatsworth shows there were.  Sadly, the RHS have decided not to hold the show there any more, but to focus on the bigger and more well attended shows.  RHS Chatsworth had only just got going really, but there we are.
I think this one may be 'Star of Love'. 
Galium odoratum (woodruff) seems to be making itself at home at the back of the border and is giving a froth of little white flowers.
Geranium Phaeum is always reliable and is loved by the bees.  The alliums and roses will be next to flower.

Friday, 21 May 2021

Wanderlust 2021 - weeks seventeen to twenty - Recycling

Week seventeen was using a magazine image and keeping the pages around it, cutting them away to reveal the image, adding gesso, other images and colour.  I wasn't sure about this one and I'm still not. The original image is the jewellery piece.
Week eighteen had us looking in our stash for napkins, magazines, tissue paper, old books.  I was quite pleased with how this one ended up - judicious amounts of gesso in the background and shadowing the main images with black watercolour pencil to make them pop more. 
Week nineteen encouraged us to raid the recycling box for junk mail.  I used pizza leaflets, a politicial card, and the inside of security envelopes.  This is how it started...
...and this is where it ended up.  I used new stencils, outlining in black and white and some stamping too.  If you look closely, you can just see the security envelope patterns in some places.
Week twenty was about recycling material.  I used material left from sewing projects, including making facemasks.  The focal point was a photocopy transfer onto material.  However, to do that successfully, you needed a laser print, which I didn't have, so had to think about alternatives. I came up with a gel plate transfer print.  I had done these before onto paper but not onto fabric.  I looked at a Youtube video and then had a go.  It took a few goes - too much paint, the fabric too wet, but eventually it worked - the material was just damp and I used a thin layer of paint on the gel plate.  The stamped words were from a Visible image stamp and I masked off the rest of the quote.

So, a few challenges for this topic.    We move on to 'Poems and Quotes' which sounds intriguing.

Sunday, 16 May 2021

The garden in May

The garden has exploded in colour and growth after the recent rain.  It is a joy!  There are quite a few photos in this post - I just can't help myself when there is so much to look at.  Above is rhododendron Tinkerbird and her flowers have opened seemingly overnight.  
What you can't get from the photos is the delicious jasmine scent from these flowers and the scent wafts around our little enclosed garden when it is sunny.
The flowers are so pretty with their delicate flush of pink.
This is a real Spring view - apple tree, bright green foliage and tulips.
The lewisias are coming into flower too.
My favourite Ballerina tulips after last night's rain.
The pink fringed tulips which I didn't plant, but which have flowered on and off for the last twenty years.
This narcissus (Pheasant's eye, or Narcissus poeticus recurvus) was one of my Granny's favourite flowers.  She would be so pleased that I am such a keen gardener.
Granny used to walk to collect us from the bus stop and walk the mile or so home.  She was a fount of knowledge about wild flowers, shrubs and trees.  That is a wonderful memory which I treasure.
Aquilegia or Granny's Bonnets. I think this is a self seeder from another plant further up the border. 
Self-seeded bluebells, but such a lovely blue, I am very happy for them to be there.
Tulip Ronaldo, still in flower, looking lovely with the raindrops.  
These have lasted really well this year.
Raindrops on roses, well, raindrops on rose leaves.  This is Olivia Rose Austin.
Another lewisia.
Finally, (well done if you have made it this far) here is Magnolia Fairy Blush.  So pretty, so reliable and really needing a bigger pot now.
White flowers with a tinge of pink, just like the rhododendron at the start of the post.  I love this time of year!