Monday, 13 September 2021

Latest cards

My card making has continued and I like to take photos of the cards so that I can remember what I did and what worked.
I do like Clean and Simple cards and these are sometimes the most difficult to make successfully.  Inky fingers can be a big problem!
I have been using my dye inks/Distress inks a lot, both for backgrounds... 
more backgrounds...
..and for focal points.
There have been mainly birthday cards but the occasional anniversary one too.
Florals have been a go-to choice.
Whether die cuts are used...
...or just stamping.
Just some of my most recent cards - I am definitely improving and becoming more confident. I need to start on festive cards next, so that I am not rushing around at the last minute!

Sunday, 5 September 2021

Wanderlust 2021 - weeks thirty-three to thirty-six - Rainbows

The theme for these weeks was 'Rainbows'.  For week thirty-three, we chose a landscape photo that meant something to us and then looked at David Hockney's landscapes, noting his mark making and use of colour.  We then created our photo in that style, using contrasting and complementary colours.  My photo was one I took in the Lincolnshire Wolds.
Week thirty-four was more rainbow colour-inspired and was about colour and texture.  I used watercolour sparkle inks and had fun letting the inks drip down the page.  
Week thirty-five was an abstract flower painting, using a 'mother colour'.  This was a new concept to me, where you choose one colour to be the mother colour and then add a tiny bit of that colour to all the other colours you use, to create a harmonious colour palette.  My mother colour was that lovely teal blue/green.  
Week thirty-six involved going for a walk or into the garden and seeing what flowers there were.  I picked these two little posies from the garden for my page.
Lots of pink and purple, but a punch of orange and yellow too.  We then made a colour swatch of the colours we could see and made some ink and pencil sketches of parts of the flowers.
I really enjoyed this and spent a very happy couple of hours yesterday.

The next theme is 'Haven'.  I have already signed up for Wanderlust 2022 as I have really enjoyed this year's course and can honestly say it is one of the best things I have bought.  The course has a different structure next year, with the themes being over seven weeks and focusing on specific materials.  I am really looking forward to it but am pleased to say there are still more lessons to enjoy in this year's course. 

Saturday, 28 August 2021

More late summer blooms

There is a feeling of autumn just round the corner and the garden is responding.  Above is Japanese Anemone Bressingham Glow, which has proved to be really reliable over the years.
Clematis Heracleifolia New Love is also flowering nicely - it has a pleasant fragrance a bit like soap.
Hydrangea Paniculata Sundae Fraise is colouring up well - it reminds me of coconut ice.
This is a tri-coloured hibiscus - so far, just the pink is flowering.
Phlox is bringing a splash of colour to the bottom of the garden.  This one is planted in some not brilliant soil, but somehow manages to flower every year.
Another phlox, in a pot this time.
My favourite hibiscus, Oiseau Bleu, which features on here every year.  Such an exotic-looking flower. 
Finally for now, a Buddleia 'Wisteria Lane' which has long hanging flowers.  This is a couple of years old and has been planted in a big pot this year.  It has responded with some beautiful flowers.  The crocosmia Emily McKenzie is just starting to flower, so that will bring a punch of orange to the rather pastel proceedings.

Thursday, 19 August 2021

Late Summer in the garden

You can tell it is late summer now. The roses had a break and some are now flowering again.  the agapanthus is flowering - above is 'Flower of Love'. This one didn't flower at all last year, so I repotted it this spring and it has rewarded me with ten flowering stems. 
Silver Baby is also flowering - four flower stems after I repotted it.  I really like the delicate pale blue colouring of this one
I remember an agapanthus grower on TV saying the plants do like to be potted on each year, which goes against the 'they like to be crammed in a pot' wisdom.  Personally, I am not sure that any plants likes to be crammed in a pot.  
This pelargonium 'Candy Flower' was bought earlier in the year and once potted on, sat and sulked for a few weeks.  However, it has come into its own now with these beautiful pinks.
This compact oregano was also bought earlier in the year and has been attracting bees through the summer.  I potted it on once, but I think it may need potting on again next year.
Finally, late summer into (whisper it) Autumn, here is the first apple from my little patio apple tree.  It is the variety 'James Grieve' which can be used as a cooking apple or eating one.  It is a little tart but quite delicious. It will need a bigger pot next year too, I think.  I took quite a few of the smaller apples off  earlier in the year as I didn't prune the tree at all last year (oops), so it has rather long shoots.  There are seven large apples altogether and I picked another one today.  I will prune it in Winter this year. 

Lots to enjoy as summer slowly begins to move to autumn.

Thursday, 12 August 2021

Wanderlust 2021 - weeks twenty-nine to thirty-two - Texture

This month's theme was Texture.  The page above has lace, embossed card, a die cut, texture paste, acrylic paint and  water soluble crayon.
I created this simple page to showcase different textures which included collage, texture paste, sgraffito into acrylic paint, tissue paper, tea bag paper, a gel print and Liquid Pearls and Stickles to add interest to the background.
For week thirty-one, we started by making a 'mark making library' using pastes, paint, stamping and lots of different brush marks.
Then we created the layered page which had to be left to dry in between. This wasn't easy for me as I was impatient to keep going!  Small collage pieces were added as focal points.
Week thirty-two was more about how were feeling - what had gone well, what we were thankful for etc.  It was good to focus on positives.  We made a little origami envelope to hold a piece of paper on which we write our hopes and dreams - I haven't added these yet. My handmade felt became the focal point and dictated the colour scheme too. I haven't included any of my felt in my journal yet, so it was lovely to add it here.

On to the next theme - Rainbows.

Sunday, 8 August 2021

Index-Card-A-Day (ICAD) challenge 2021 - weeks eight and nine

As promised, here are the final week of the ICAD challenge for this year.  Above is Typography (a definition, stamping and inks); Blur (another photo from a Christmas market of the Dodgems); and Ice Cream Sundae (inked background and magazine collage, which I really enjoyed making).
Then there was: Botanical (stamps and inks); Translucent (watercolours), Tendrils (inked background and die cut leaves) and Encyclopaedia (vintage encyclopaedia pages inked around the edges and a definition).
For the final week, there was Sea Anemone (inked background and gel print collage) and Improvise (printed definition on a gel print patchwork background).
Pocket (inked background and pocket with a die cut tag inside); Mix Tape (some of the songs on my Amazon playlist over an inked and stencilled background) and Forward (inks and stencils with a definition).
I really enjoyed the challenge again this year and found lots to think about from the prompts.  I also re-discovered my inks and have been using them a lot since then too.

Wednesday, 4 August 2021

Heavenly Hydrangeas

I am a person who (whisper) didn't used to like hydrangeas that much.  Luckily, that has changed and I can now appreciate their many qualities. They provide months of interest as the flowers fade and at flowering time, they bridge the gap between the end of the summer flowers such as the first flush of roses and the start of the late summer perennials.  I had a  wander around the garden, just to see which ones I had and was quite surprised as I didn't think I had acquired so many!  I took my camera along, so wondered if you would like to join me? Above is a newish one bought earlier this year - Hydrangea macrophylla Little White.  I have just discovered macrophylla means 'big leaf' - that make sense!
Here is my newest purchase, Hydrangea paniculata 'Pinky Winky'.  The name makes me smile!
Hydrangea macrophylla 'Fireworks'.
Going down the path, we have Hydrangea macrophylla 'Merveille Sanguine'.
Going past Hydrangea paniculata 'Sundae Fraise', not showing her lovely pink tones quite yet.
On to the patio, there is Hydrangea macrophlla 'Dark angel'.  I particularly like the small purple flowers inside the showy red bracts.
Probably my favourite, who has appeared on here many times, (and the only one planted in a border) Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle'.
Also on the patio is Hydrangea paniculata 'Little Spooky' with lime green flowers which should turn creamy.
Down towards the bottom of the garden is Hydrangea macrophylla Magical Revolution 'Blue', which is gradually turning purply pink, although I don't mind.  I decided I wasn't going to add colorant to keep it blue.
Next to the blue one is this one, Hydrangea macrophylla Magical Revolution 'Pink'.
At the bottom of the garden is Hydrangea macrophylla Endless Summer 'The Bride'.  I particularly like white hydrangeas in the garden as the colour shows up at dusk.  They are also a bit more amenable as they will stay white in non-ericaceous soil or compost.
Out at the front, brightening up the front door, I have hydrangea macrophylla Magical Revolution 'Pink'  - this plant is a great doer - it doesn't need that much looking after and seems to bloom for a long time.
Finally, (well done if you've stayed to the end!) is Hydrangea macrophylla Endless Summer 'Pink'.  This started to flower back in May and has been a lovely splash of colour in a rather drab-looking street.  So there we are - more hydrangeas than I thought (thirteen!) and all in pots and tubs except for Annabelle.  I have just potted on five of them as they were trying to grow out of the bottom of their pots, but they had been in them for quite some time.  It was a bit of a struggle, but I got there in the end!