Tuesday, 29 July 2008


Today, i cried tears of joy, knowing that i have such dear friends out there in the cyberspacial world.

Why you ask,

Well for one my dear friend Belinda in Tasmania, sent me a magnificent parcel of beauuuutiful things.

I was a very lucky winner on her recent draw for an Art Doll, and this arrived just this veryminute,


and with it, some absolutely fantastic blingingly beautiful Buttons. oh sooooo fancy and delumptious. All in a little compartmentalized box. soooo sweet.

Also amongst the beautiful things were some pieces of lace, hand-dyed by Belinda herself. The scan does not do justice to the beautiful colouring that she has achieved with them.
How do you dye them Belinda, i'd love to know.

Many many thanks Belinda, it means soooo much to me. I find it amazing that I've found a friend in Tasmania. I've always looked on that country with amazement. Australia to us in the UK is the other side of the world, but Tasmania seems even further away and more exotic, making our friendship even more special.

So where did the tears of laughter come from.

Well, from my very very dear friend Jan, whom i've known for over a year now, but have still never met.

I was lucky enough to be chosen to swap with her in this weeks MAMMA's weekly challenge.

I really like the effect of this. Jan printed the raindrops on acetate, which i think is a really innovative idea. Beautiful poetry with this as well. Arn't i lucky.
Jan also sent me one of her altered game pieces made into a magnet, and boy did this make me laugh.

Why you ask, did it make me laugh so much.

One of the reasons was, that another great friend, Maureen, (my other partner in this weeks MAMMA's swap, lucky lucky lucky me, cos it's one of Maureen's fabric ATC"s, can't wait to get it), well Maureen sent me an ATC for the New Inspirations yahoo group Chain Swap.
Here it is lol

Do you think these two are trying to tell me something hahahahahahaha,
Yes i do like a drink, and yes this lady depicts me very well, but am getting a bit worried now, not, lol, haha. about what people think of me. ONLY JOKING LADIES. But I'm sure these two are in cahoots together lol.

So once again, thankyou to you all, for brightening up my day so very very much.

PS, I'm still struggling for time, and missing out on everyone's blogs. I will try and catch up later today, after the hospital appointments.

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Watercolour ATC's

For this week's challenge/swap on MAMMA (see link to the right), i chose the theme Water.

Sooooo to go along with this theme, i did a couple of watercolours.

For the first one, i applied artists masking fluid to denote waves, then did a wash of gouache on top. When dry, i removed the masking fluid.

The paint the mermaid, i used chalk pastels. To do this, you apply the chalk pastels, then paint over with water.

I like the effect it gives, plus makes the pastels more stable.

This technique i stumbled upon when inCollage. I was fed up with the chalks making a mess in my sketch book, so tried applying water to it, and, VOILA, it worked.

I still like to apply a hairspray on top though, just in case.

The tail of the mermaid has been painted with a gold lustre paint, then stickles glitter applied on top.
Glitter was also applied to the bikini, and her hair. This is going to my friend Maureen (see artists links)

This second one, is purely watercolour. I havn't used this in yeeeears, as i find it very difficult to use.

I usually use acrylics and gouache, watered down, to get the same effect.

Glitter was added to the bottom, and because the ribbon of beads was bulky, decided to make it into a hanger.

This is going to another good friend Jan (again see right)

The yahoo group New Inspirations that i am a member of, has started its first Lottery. Everyone who is interested adds an ATC made to that month's theme, and you can do as few or as many as you like.

On a certain date, all names are put in the random generator, and the winner wins ALL the ATC's that were put forward in the Lottery.

This month's theme, is Friends, and here is my contribution so far.

Fairly simple i know, but we are in the middle of a heatwave here in the UK, and it is affecting my breathing.
Hope to get time to make another one, one that will challenge me further.

In the meantime, have a glorious Sunday, wherever you are.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Christmas in July

Sorry i havn't been blogging or looking at other people's blogs, been extrememly busy.

NOOOOOO NOT celebrating Christmas in July lol, but with hospital visits with hubby, plus i've been feeling really under the weather myself.

Sooo, even when ill i find it really difficult to sit still, so did some handsewing whilst sat watching tv.

I've been making fabric trees, mainly for the Christmas Season, (hence the title lol), but decided to go against using christmas fabrics,and decided to use some Kaffe Fassett fabrics instead.

I was extremely excited when i did a swap with Mieke
earlier in the year, and she sent me 2 pieces of Kaffe Fassett fabric.
I never thanked her properly for the gifts, as i was in the middle of my move. So hopefully this will make up for it.

Sooooo here's a taster of 2 of the trees i'm making, they are stuffed, ready for the base to be put on. I'm in the middle of beading another one as well, and hope to make a whole 'forest' of them to put in my etsy shop.

The one on the right was made from the fabric from Mieke

I'm making things that i like myself, so if they do not sell, i can adorn my own home with them.

I also bought some beautiful fabric fromChesterfield last week, a very pale grey/green embroidered fabric, and will definitely be using this for fabric trees as well.

Oh nearly forgot about my exciting news. Yesterday i bought a computerised sewing machine. This was bought with money that i finally received from a dispute with Tiny Computers.

On my 50th birthday, my daughter and hubby saved up to give me the money to buy a computer. I paid cash for it (never again), and the day after, the company went bust, and i lost my money.

Now 6 years later i managed to get half my money back, and decided to use it to buy the sewing machine. (ooh i gave my age away)

Mind you it's still in the box. Can't believe it myself. Normally i'm like a child at christmas with anything new, but finding it hard to get excited at anything at the mo.

Will definitely be getting it out of the box later today, and will start playing with it hopefully over the coming weekend.

So keep your eye out for embroidered fabric from me, (that's if i can understand the bloomin thing. another technical thingamajig to get my head aroundHAHAHA)

Take care everyone, and i hope to get time to look at all your fabulous blogs

Monday, 21 July 2008

ATC Triptych Template

Thought I'd put a Template for an ATC Triptych here for everyone, as the ones I found on the web were completely the wrong size.
Just click on the picture and it will go to the correct size for you.
(Fingers crossed lol)

Saturday, 19 July 2008


Today was the draw for MAMMA's weekly challenge/swap.

This week's theme was 'THREE', so i chose a triptych, and goldilocks and the 3 bears.

It looks pretty simple, but believe it or not, this ATC took me 2 days to complete!

EVERYTHING went wrong with it. First my printer went kapoop, i'm definitely in need of a new one, but delaying because of the cost of a new one. Also the inks for the latest models are ASTRONOMICAL.
I used a free template for an ATC, which turned out to be completely the wrong size. Realized after i had finished it. So made my own in the end.

Trying to make the photos fit the 3 sides wasn't as easy as it seems, and then the glaze i used ended up with bubbles. So had to completely redo the whole lot.

I really wanted to add more embellishments to it, but time was not on my side. I seem to be spending my entire life at various hospitals just lately, ( my husband is disabled), and this week, it all seemed to get out of hand. I'm still feeling anxious over trying to fit things in. But i would NOT have it any other way.
so here is the latest ATC for MAMMA

The front


This is going to Bowling Belle, a new member of the New Inspirations yahoo group. Can't wait to swap with her.

I'm also swapping with a new found friend Nayski (Renne) of the USA, which is exciting.

Last weeks effort from me was with the theme "Parisienne"

This went to another good friend at New Inspirations, Wendy.

If anyone is interested in joining in with the MAMMA swap, just post a picture of the weeks's theme ATC in MAMMA's yahoo group.

Or maybe you would be interested in joining in the New Inspirations yahoo group. We are a small group, but have several things going on at the moment. We have a chain swap, where you post an ATC to the person above you in the chain, and then post another to the person below you in the chain. I've been at the bottom of the list for a couple of weeks, and waiting for someone to add to the chain.

We also have an ATC LOTTERY going on as well, which is again ATC with "Friends" as the theme. With the Lottery, you can post as many ATC's to the theme, which means you have more chance with the Lottery, and your name is put in the random generator to pick a winner.
The winner wins all that months ATC's from everyone who has entered.

We will also be doing monthly swaps with themes in the very near future.

So anyone wanting to join this group, just get in touch with me, and i , or John our Leader, will send you an invite (It is a private group).

Sunday, 13 July 2008


Back from holidays, and feeling absolutely worn out lol.

here's a few photos (don't wish to bore you) but it was a truly beautiful place,the Cotswolds, here in the UK

The hotel where we stayed. It was truly luxurious.

This is from a postcard of LaCock, which must have been taken when filming, as there are no cars in the street here.
Many films have been made here, including BBC 'Pride and Prejudice', 'Emma', 'Larkrise to Candleford', 'Cramford', 'Harry Potter', and 'The Other Boleyn Girl'

Again LaCock.
This house was used in the Harry Potter Film.
It was where Harry Potter lived with his Aunt and Uncle.

King John's Hunting Lodge LaCock
where we partook of tea and toasted teacakes,
served on willow patterned china.

Bridge in Monmouth
circa 12th Century
The oldest bridge in the UK

Both of Bourton-on-the-Water

Saturday, 5 July 2008


Well i have been truly blessed today, by receiving an award from my lovely friend Sian
of sians bits and pieces. She is another member of our yahoo group New Inspirations, and her work is absolutely fantastic.

The rules for receiving this award are:
1. The winner can put the logo on her blog.
2. Link the person you received your award from.
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4. Put links of those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs of the people you've nominated.

So i have nominated first of all Viola
She is a truly inspirational artist who never ceases to amaze me with her work. beautiful.

2. Ange
An absolutely AMAZING artist, she stuns me with her beautiful work.

I will nominate the others when i return from my hols. so keep a look out. lol

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Gouache and Ink resist - Self critique

As promised yeserday, i'm showing you my attempts at the Gouache and ink resist technique.

This week, we had a discussion in our yahoo group New Inspirations, about how in our group we are able to show each other our mistakes, whereas on a blog we feel pressurised to show only our best pieces of work.

So with this self critique, i've decided to show you 'warts and all'.

When i came to do this technique, i found that i had every colour under the sun in gouache, except white. typical, as this is the best colour to use.

So instead i experimented with Poster Paint. The type that children use, because it's washable.

So here is my very first attempt. All are ATC size

I started first with a simple image. I chose the moon gazing hare, as it's something i've been meaning to have a play with for some time.

Some of the ink appeared very washed out in places, so went over with some more ink when it had all dried.

With the first attempt, you can see exactly where you should have put the gouache (poster paint), so is worthwhile doing a mock up one first.

The black marks on the right hand side of the hare, have been caused by the paint cracking when using the heat gun to dry it. This i feel gives it a more 'printmaking' kinda feel to it.

In Ange's tutorial, she advises watercolour paint, but i prefer using acrylics, and use them in a watercolour kinda way.

Not bad, but not what i was looking for. I want to see just how much detail i can get into one of these pictures.

Next i did an Egyptian Lady, to see if i could put a bit more detail in.

As you can see, once again the ink is a bit wishy washy, but decided to do an experiment with it.

I gave it coating of red artists drawing ink, over the entire black ink, and it picked up the highlights quite well.

This is after i used acrylic paint and brusho ink to colour in the lady. Notice the boxers broken nose. This shows how careful you have to be when applying the gouache (poster paint).
But i like the effect it has given. To me it reminds me of the sphinx, made out of sandstone, and eroded away over time.

So next i decided to try something with even more detail. This time i tried my hand at painting a horse. The very first time, methinks that i have attempted to do a horse, but as Ange was the technique adviser and has a love of horses, this persuaded me to have a go.

Not bad for a first attempt, but feel this is definitely not a subject to choose for this kind of technique. It is slightly impossible to get the feel of the muscular power of the horse. Well it was for me.

So for the last experiment, i decided to back to the Moon gazing hare, as this is what i wanted to attempt in the first place, but this time, much more detail.

Through the other experiments, i found that applying the gouache paint with small brushstrokes, and not attempting to make it smooth, this also made more printerly marks.

So using this idea, and the heatgun to crack it, it should make more detail appear. I feel that i have achieved what i wanted with this picture. I have also left it in black and white, as felt that colour was not needed.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Gifts, Giveaways and dirty hands

I received a beautiful package from my dear friend Cindy

Cindy had a giveaway recently, and lovingly gave away 5 of her beautiful handmade brooches. I received Betty Boop, as she says i remind her of her LOL. oh how i wish i had her looks, body and vitality. lol

She also very very kindly sent me some ric rac, which i will definitely be using after the hols.

Sweet sweet Cindy.

Now another dear friend of mine in Tasmania isBelinda .
She is giving away an absolute humdinger of a giveaway. Not one, not two but...... FIVE ART DOLLS. can you believe it. Woweeee.

Oooh i hope i win one. Here is one of the beautiful art dolls

Today i am learning a new technique known as gouache and ink resist. Hence the dirty hands.

This is from a tutorial from my dearest friend Ange (Agnes the Red). She is an absolute brilliant artist, and jewellery maker and cake maker and........ the list goes on, and she is fantastic at each and every one of her arts.

We both belong to a yahoo group known as New Inspirations, and bi-monthly she gives us GREAT tutorials for new techniques for us to learn.

Here's a link to the resist technique
They are clear and concise with photos of each stage, plus tips as well.

Tomorrow, i will show you the results from my attempts lol.

I had such fun, it reminded me of the days in the print room, at both college and uni. Oh boy did i enjoy printmaking. It really gives you a buzz, mono-printing, collograph, dry etching.

This technique was similar in some ways to acid etching, ie with the building up and washing away. Similar but different. lol

So get on over and have a try at one of her tutorials.