ScrapHappy July: Paper Scraps

I really love this scrap happy thing! I don’t always join in, in fact this is only the second time I’ve made it – but I often finish things as a result of seeing what comes by………..

Two days ago, in search of something else, I emptied a pile of papers from my scrap drawer and searching through the leftover-unfinished-discarded pieces

I unearthed these – all patched up and ready to go

paper patchwork

I remembered finding these left over papers – years old – and thinking them terribly unattractive had been about to consign them to the bin when I decided to challenge myself and make ’em into something useful. I’d cut and layered and patched and doodled and still not really liked them very much. Then I’d had a wee flash from ye olde lightbulb and whipped out some black card and white lacy washi tape and voila! You can tart dress anything up with a bit of lace can’t you? But then they had been consigned back into the drawer again, covered over with succeeding layers of half finished items, discarded left overs and assorted bits and bobs…….

Feeling rather pleased with this find and knowing ScrapHappy was due, I decided to finish off these poor neglected scraps. Barely half an hour later, three notecards and one greeting card completed

Perfect for a patchworker or quilter or seamstress or anybody really. And I was so pleased when I put together that sentiment on the greeting card – it’s a universal metaphor isn’t it?

Join in with Kate and all the other ScrapHappy artisans here or just go look, admire and be inspired.

Thanks for coming by today, I’m so happy that you did!

Vivid Colours

I was asked by a shop owner recently to bring in some of my work as she had heard of it and was interested in offering some for sale.  She gave a glowing description of how she loves to support local artists and has several whose works move swiftly through her shop.

So, a few days ago, I packaged up a range of cards and small art pieces and took them in. I laid a few of the cards in front of her – leaving more cards and all of the artwork in my bag. She swept her hand through the examples and said “No, these aren’t what I sell – too vivid.”

The viewing took maybe five seconds.

I gathered up the rejected work and put them back in my bag.  I didn’t offer her any more to look at and she didn’t ask to see them.

The impeccably attired, ochre clad shop owner then showed me through her little boutique, stuffed to the gunnels with imports from the UK and Asia in varying hues of beige and grey.   Amongst the neutral and impeccably exhibited artifacts sat the odd single hued floral jug. Small, ochre and grey prints in large frames with exorbitant price tags hung from the wall and fine scarves in shades of grey and beige with equally exorbitant price tags were neatly folded and stacked alongside matching, finely spun woollen driving gloves.  Some charmingly autumn hued cushions were stacked on a chair by the front entrance. When I asked where the work of the local artists was I was shown a few small printed ochre and brown greeting cards made by a university student. 

I saw very clearly why my work wasn’t her style, but did rather wonder why she had ever shown any interest.

We are all different and that is a good thing. The world would be a boring place if we were all the same, wouldn’t it? But I left wondering what it must be like to live in a world of dun neutrals and to be unable to even consider a colourful card.

Back home, I rifled through the examples I had packaged up for her and glumly regretted my wasted morning.

It took me a few minutes, but then I remembered that not only does playing with colour make me happy, but I have Marlene (#1 Fan) and all my other friends who applaud loudly from the sidelines and now and again offer valuable feedback.  Plus of course I have an unending supply of cards I can send off for birthdays, holidays and other celebrations. 

I marched myself back into my art room and spent a happy couple of hours making some more highly unsuitable vividly coloured art cards.   Hey ho!!

Oh well, that last one is a bit of a bust! A lot of a bust if I’m being honest. Overcrowded, overworked ….. And really! I don’t know why I decided to go doodle crazy with a white pen – but then, it was my last hurrah at the end of a long and somewhat trying day!

So, okay, let me leave you with this one then, today’s effort features Orlando

So tell me, when choosing cards do you look for more colour or less colour? Do you choose plain or intricate designs, are you attracted to Hallmark or local artisans work? There is no right or wrong answer and I don’t mind hearing if you don’t even like any or all what I’ve shown here – I’m just really interested in your thoughts. And thank you for sharing them!

Painting with Inks

I’m grateful to all my Northern Hemisphere friends posting about their warm days and summer holiday fun and beautiful walks and colourful gardens – it is a sure antidote to dim light, long nights and cold Antarctic winds swirling about my tiny house and trying to knock me off my feet when we venture out for our twice daily walks.

Winter has only been here for a few days but it feels like forever!

The upside to Winter though, is time in my favourite room.
So of course, when I sat down at my desk with my supply of inks and began to play, the series that gradually unfolded mirrored the season.

I began by dotting ink about on my mat and spritzing with water to get colourful backgrounds.  I swooshed (technical term) the card through the wet inks and got what I got.  When dry I splatted (another technical term) some gesso over some and after making  myself a small round mask, dry inked a moon onto one of the ones shown below – can you see it?

The next step was top create some kind of landscape, focal interest, whatever took my fancy. First up I added in hills and trees to join the moons. The splatters of gesso became stars with the aid of teeny drops of glitter

And if I liked what I saw I turned it into a card. If the recipient wishes to frame it is a simple enough job to cut the greeting away and have a self matted petite art work.

Next I played with a wonky village and a cat ….. meh!

Tiring of the random results from wet ink play I turned my sights to dry ink only – but taking with me some ideas I picked up along the way, I made myself some more versions of the feline under the moon. I kept it simple, liked it and turned it into a large A5 greeting card

Next I took some A5 heavy duty cardstock and taped it down and began to work in earnest with the inks and pens and pencils.

This was great – I had the control I wanted with the colour, I had a quirky tree and some doodles and the moon and silhouetted cat and birds were not too shabby. So, I thought, this is winter…….. and the following day set to work on a summer version

They would look lovely in matching frames – but as I took the tape off the summer version it tore a bit along the top margin. Doh!! Might have to chop it down and turn it into yet another card……….

Hope you enjoyed seeing all that – do let me know what you think – and thanks so much for coming by, I’m glad that you did!

It’s Never Too Late #2

Hello friends! It took a while to get back to you on this subject. I spent a fair bit of time wondering about which particular tag to apply to each of the rotund ladies, interspersed with quite a lot of socialising and reading – though not at the same time. Plus of course the particularly thrilling evening when the aged electric fire blew up, taking out all my technology with it – luckily only temporarily …… but that caused a few heart stopping moments I can tell you. Still, there’s a lovely new little fire in situ now thanks to the Queen’s Birthday Weekend sales and silver linings. Don’t we love those silver linings!

Anyhoo, you may remember this was the only finished beauty

But eventually I settled somewhere and went with the ones that follow.

No-one actually came up with this one exactly, the closest was Norah

This one was offered by Jenny, the Ginja Ninja

And this is mine, though of course, before it was mine it was Fleetwood Mac’s and I had temporarily forgotten that. I do hope they won’t mind

I was so pleased with myself, when this phrase popped into my head. I had completed two cards before I realised the song playing in my head was Stevie Nicks singing the words…….. I do sometimes wonder if I’m losing the plot!

So Norah and Jenny, please contact me (form is in the ‘Contact Me’ page found under the header picture) and a pack of four prints will find their way to your letterbox before too long.

Thank you to all who played, it was really hard to choose and some of the suggestions are so good they may find themselves attached to future cards made especially for them.

Let’s finish with a pic of Siddy who apparently wanted a ribbon in his hair too after his groom today and his pal at MudPuppy can never say ‘no’ to him. Posing sleepily and serendipitously in front of the new fire.

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!

It’s Never Too Late ……

Ha! Did that catch your attention? I hope so, as I’m stuck and I thought, I wondered, I hoped, just maybe you might have a bright idea – or two!

I’ve been making some cards. I found some stamps and thought I could have some fun with them. They feature, ahem, well endowed ladies and will follow a certain theme …………

Here is the first completed one – done in water colours

Isn’t she gorgeous?

Here are the others, all made with inks of various types

Or, maybe this way up?

The last three/four don’t yet have WHAT it is not too late to be.

I have thoughts, but I think they might be a bit, you know – blah! And I don’t want to put you off your creativity by blurting them out here……

So, if you can come up with a tagline that fits any of them and I use it, you’ll receive a set of all four of the printed cards.

Over to you my creative friends. I’ll close this off in just four days ………… and thanks so much for coming by today, I love that you did!

School Days, Reminiscences of Pauline King

Hi all! I thought I’d share with you a conversation I had with my friend Norah on her blog last week. If you don’t know her yet and are a writer or have an interest in education – or both – this is your chance to meet a wonderful friend and blogger, a knowledgeable and talented early educator and an avid supporter of writing prompts. Plus of course a chance to catch up with me sounding off about my old career and an ongoing passion of mine……. Do drop by and say hello to Norah and me and join in the conversation.

Norah Colvin

Welcome to the School Days, Reminiscences series in which my champion bloggers and authors share reminiscences of their school days. It’s my small way of thanking them for their support and of letting you know about their services and publications.

This week, I am pleased to introduce Pauline King, The Contented Crafter. Pauline and I have been online friends for a long time. I can’t quite remember where we met, but I think it may have been through Geoff Le Pard.

Pauline and I clicked straight away as we have a lot in common and share many similar views about education. At one time, each of us even contemplated starting our own school.

I wish I’d known Pauline and had the opportunity of working alongside and learning from her while I was still working in the classroom. Although Pauline says that she has left that part (teaching) of…

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(More Than) 10 Minute Sketches

At different times throughout March I’d pick up my sketch book and pencil and try my hand at a ten minute sketch. Most of them, the faces certainly, stretched longer than the allotted time, but I think all were completed in under half an hour

This was my attempt at something a bit different based on the work of Karen Campbell who has a YouTube channel I found recently. I thought this was a lot of fun!

Early in the month I drew some dragons. I forget why I wanted to try my hand at them, I probably thought it would be a good challenge. I found some pics and studied them and sketched several, This is the one I like best, it’s based on one in the beautiful garden of Jackie and Derrick Knight. I was still way out of my comfort zone after so long away from the pencils early in March, but I quite like his toothy, friendly grin. However, by the time I got him almost done I’d decided that was enough of dragons and so he remains not quite balanced and far from finished.

I wanted some quick’n’easy quirky cats for colouring in and came up with these – the one on the left came first – both were both completed in about ten minutes each and were the only successful ’10 minute sketch’ challenges I managed all month

Based on something I saw on You Tube, I had a go at producing a template for doodling. Here’s the template

It hasn’t been copied yet to start experimenting with doodles and such – I got waylaid with life and then my back went out a week ago and has only just decided to come back home. The month of May may see some doodling…….

And that pretty much completes the roundup of sketch practise that I undertook in March – it’s taken me all of April to corral all the bits and bobs with a few interruptions along the way. And I completed a cardigan too – but still have to sew twelve buttons on. That might take another month……. I feel happy with my progress and worked through the ‘I can’t do it any more’ block that was fettering me and am ready to go pick that paint brush up again and see what happens there.

I’m also reading ‘The War of Art’ by Stephen Pressfield which is a most delightful get over yourself and out of your own way treatise on why and how we prevaricate and shoot ourselves in the foot constantly. In the spirit of full disclosure I should also add that book has sat on a bookshelf for some five years waiting to be read …….. You are not alone 🙂

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!