Sunday 30 January 2022

Creating collage papers and more stamps

Recently, I was looking at some printed rice papers for collage and was tempted to make a purchase, when I had a revelation. I had tissue paper, acrylic paint, stamps and ink, so why on earth didn't I create my own papers?  I had a happy hour or so creating these, using just black and white acrylic paint, which I dry brushed onto the tissue paper.  I found I had a lot of stamps (no surprise there!) which would work really well to give that grungy look I liked.  These included circle shapes, patterns, text, splodges and splats. 
So, I now have four papers to rip up and use in collage projects and they didn't cost me anything (except for the original supplies, which I already had).  I foresee more variations on a theme to come...
I have also been carving my own stamps again, from pencil erasers.  The black images are the most recent ones I have made and I used this 'mop up' sheet to practise applying different watercolour pens and pencils to the stamp to get a multicoloured image too.  I found that the distress inks or Zig watercolour pens gave me the best results.  I think I may well be making more stamps like this over this year.

Friday 21 January 2022

Hello new plant!

 Some of my lovely readers were interested to find out the identity  of the new plant that I needed to buy.  I can now reveal that it is a Camellia x vernalis Yuletide, which I saw on a blog I follow.  It has such a lovely pop of colour that is much needed at this time of year.

I bought it from Carbeth plants via Amazon and it arrived very quickly and was a lovely strong plant, with lots of buds and several flowers. I was really pleased with my purchase.  I have five camellias, (Yoimachi, St Ewe,  Cupido and two unnamed varieties, all in pots) but I thought I could just about squeeze another one in...
It has bright red flowers with golden stamens so has a very regal look.
Potentially it can grow to 2.5 metres, but as it will be in a pot, it won't get that big.  It's a shame because a full sized camellia is such a wonderful sight to see.  There are some stunning examples in Cornwall.

The only other large plant purchase I have in mind this year is a rose, Emily Bronte, but I was just thinking the other day that it would be nice to have a few more hellebores...

Monday 17 January 2022

Hello hellebores!

I have been cheered by some happy things in the garden, so though I would share them.  My snowdrops are only just starting to bud up, so more on them when there is more to see. In the meantime, here are two hellebores. Hello Ruby above, growing in a pot near to the back door.
This is Hello White Pearl, also in a pot.  I am really pleased to see them again and perhaps I would like a couple more...  They seem to be coping admirably with the frosts at night, so I am looking forward to seeing those flowers.  In other news, I received a new plant today, which I needed to buy to cheer myself up, after a pretty rubbish week at work last week (that's my excuse, anyway!)

Sunday 9 January 2022

Stamp carving

I have always enjoyed lino print carving and have seen books and videos where people are carving their own stamps using pencil erasers.  I had a few old ones lying about, so decided to put them to good use.  The one I am showing here is double sided as it is quite thick.  Above is the stamp I carved from it together with a page in my Care December mini journal where I used it.  It wasn't designed as a repeating pattern necessarily, but I am really happy with how it turned out.
The other side of the stamp has a simple leaf pattern on it. I was inspired by a rubber stamp set I saw from Rubber Dance Stamps, who are based in Germany.  I have ordered some stamps from them before and they are good quality rubber stamps which stamp well. I carved my own leaf and then printed it with acrylic paint onto a book page, which I shall use for collage (just as Susanne (Susanne Rose Art) has done on her Youtube video here - she is the owner of Rubber Dance Stamps).

I would like to make more of these - they are really enjoyable to make and they are my creations, even if they are inspired by others.  I also have some lino and also some softer cutting material, so I could cut that up and make some more... 

Saturday 1 January 2022

Happy New Year 2022

Jasminium Nudiflorum flowering in a photo I took this morning

Happy New Year!  Let us all hope that 2022 is a kinder year than the last two. As I usually do, I have aims during the year which I look back on at New Year. 

Read interesting books:  This has certainly continued and I have read lots of old favourites as well as some new ones.  Some which I particularly enjoyed were: Wintering by Katherine May, One Moment by Linda Green, The Beauty of Broken Things by Victoria Connelly, and The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by H G Parry.  I also revisited my favourite Miss Marple stories and Jane Austen novels (of course!)

One of the pages from my Care December journal
Be Creative (using what I have):  this is also a big tick - my  mixed media art journalling course (Wanderlust 2021), the ICAD in June and July, making cards for all occasions, a swatch book, junk journal, Care December journal.  I have used lots of what I have but I have also purchased more things, so this is something I need to keep control of more effectively this year.  (However, if energy prices soar as they are predicted to do, I won't have much money to spend on my hobbies anyway!) I have sewing projects which I would like to complete too, so they are also on the 'to do' list.  My new Wanderlust 2022 course starts next week, so I am looking forward to that.

Get rid of (or donate) things I no longer want or need: I have talked about this for a long time without really addressing it.  Having watched several TV programmes about sorting your life out, I have finally realised that this won't happen magically and that I need to get stuck in and make those decisions myself.  I made a start before Christmas by donating some of my books but this needs to continue.  Once the books are done, there are many, many more possessions which need to be assessed.  However, I feel encouraged that I have finally made a  proper start.

Another Care December journal page

Take more notice of nature: Being at home more has made me appreciate my little garden so much. I am grateful for this space outside and I need to rearrange some pots of hydrangeas which have outgrown their space.  I may have one more rose in mind ('Emily Bronte') but no more large things.  I am planning to grow verbena bonariensis in pots and some cerinthe.  I need to do some re-potting and dividing, so have lots to keep me busy. Oh, and the compost bin wants turning too.  However, amongst all this, I plan to look more, to sit and appreciate more.

I need to remember to be present in the moment and crafting and gardening do help with that.   Also, I need to be grateful for what I have.  Good things to remember in the coming year.