Thursday, 4 April 2013

Adventures are the Best

A little while ago friend asked me to make a 'congratulations on your wedding day'-type card for an old friend of hers, after seeing some of my mixed media canvases.

I let it all out. I love giving 'enjoy your adventure'-type messages to newlyweds, much more than the regular (might I say boring?) 'congrats'.

So, on a theme - in that the creation was also an adventure - I made this:

I gotta say, I liked it so much I didn't really want to give it away. But you gotta, you know. If you don't make something you don't wanna give away it's not worth giving.

I lost count of the layers on this. I used mists, inks, paints, chalks, stamps, stencils, stickers, paper, heat embossing... it really was an adventure through my art supplies.

I liked the theme so much I continued it for a wedding we went to not long after:

I hope all the newlyweds appreciate the message.

Speaking of adventuring, we're off to Paris today to meet up with my parents and show them around this new favourite city of mine. Adventures are the best!

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Happy Easter!

There are first times for everything. This one was the hot cross bun first time. What do you think? 

Happy Easter!

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Coming Round the Mountain

I was recently asked by a colleague to make a birthday card for her fun-loving, mountain-loving, bike-loving sister. I thought about origami; I thought about watercolours; I thought about acrylics and paper piecing and stencils...but each time, it didn't feel right.

Then I thought about my Big Shot and those tiny little white sticky squares that add dimension... and came up with this:

I would definitely say that this card is fun. Did you clock the teeny bike going waaay up the mountain in the middle? :-) 

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Wedding Scrapbooking pt. 2

Told you there'd be more :-)

And it's almost finished. Such a joy to make, I will miss it when it's completed. But that's the joy of scrapbooking - it's there to be looked at any time.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Wedding Scrapbooking pt. 1

I made a push lately to finish our wedding album - the scrapbook version. It's almost done - a year and a half later! But I realised I'd not shared a great deal of it on here.

It's really coming together.

There's more to come... soon!

Friday, 22 February 2013

Foxes and Cakes

If you follow me on Pinterest, you'll have seen I've been on a bit of a fox kick recently.

I've experimenting with what I can only call magazine art, and it all started with a fox. That's the secret thing I was talking about here... and I'm still not ready to share it yet. Instead, in order to satisfy a foxy need, I picked up some thick felt in the craft shop and got to work with my needle to make a fantastic fox cushion:

Thanks is due to the article in my mum's Mollie Makes magazine - featured here online. I couldn't bring the mag home with me, and I didn't have time to photocopy the pages, so I snapped one pic of the finished cushion and worked the rest out for myself. Cute, isn't he? He makes me almost nostalgic for autumn. I also am aware that foxes are not the most popular animals at the moment... but for me, they will always be.

OK, moving on. Lots happening here. You may notice I have another new tab on my blog... MMM! HandmadeToo! has launched, due to such high local demand, and I am now pleased to be supplying sweet and sometimes healthy treats!

So, wish me luck. I'll be back soon, with some scrapbooking, some more foxiness, and maybe some cakes. Have a great weekend!

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Meanwhile, somewhere in the Netherlands...

(this one is a project long in the making. a true labour of love.)

Last year, we planned a surprise 30th birthday trip for two friends to come see us, and then go see a favourite band in the Netherlands. It was such an intricate plan, with us only telling them at the last minute that they'd need to pack their passports, and such an exciting secret to be keeping.

The band, The Slackers, were playing their end-of-tour gig at a bar in Sittard, where they'd previously recorded two live albums, and we were going to be part of it.

Their flyer started me off on my colour scheme - black, white and yellow.

Their own 'tagline', from one of their songs, gave me the title. I used an acetate cover to add more interest and dimension to the front page.

Their singer, with his odd, funny in-jokes, gave me the style: he kept talking about events in comic-book terms ('meanwhile, somewhere in the Netherlands'). I went heavy on the layers for the front page, too - loads of paint, ink, gesso, newspaper and glue.

And the genre of music gave the pattern: ska. Behold the ska car! First I painted this wooden car shape with white acrylic paint, then stamped the checkers on. After I covered it with a layer of crackle glaze and waited for it to dry.

 I love this photo of the three best friends.

We got a bonus band, too. The New Town Kings.

I used the Fun Days kraft patterned paper and chipboard pieces from MME. They were a perfect background for the stamping, painting and inking.

The filler for this frame was an awesome find from my mum - wrapping paper from Tesco!

An amazing double gig ended with us partying with the two bands in the cool May evening air. What a day. What a brilliant surprise.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Lucky 13

So, a little belated, but happy new year.

I've been looking forward to 2013. Never been one to shy away from that number, and for various 'first-world problem' reasons 2012 was a bit of a washout (although I can say I'm still happily married, and making good savings from the boring office job I took on).

So, looking forward to it, not in hope, but in determination - because things are going to be different this year. We know what we want and what we have to do. We've made plans. We have goals. There is an unshakeable optimism emanating from me this January - something which January has rarely, if ever, brought out of me - and nothing is going to stop me, or us.

I just finished reading Art Saves by Jenny Doh. That was a good way to start the year, creatively speaking. From feeling a bit lost last year, I now have direction. That book, even if it took only a couple of hours to read, has little gems in it that spoke to me, made me sit up and listen, and most importantly, made me act.

I spent the last few months of 2012 doing a lot of thinking, a lot of reflecting, on me and my identity as an artist (in truth, I didn't know what my identity was any more). And I was pretty much blocked in terms of letting it flow out. That book helped me let it flow out - I got unblocked.

I made this little canvas:

...with important messages to me on it:

And I made this, using a ton of Gauche Alchemy stuff, also with a message to me:

These are messages to live by. They've already brought good - I played around with ink and watercolour afterwards, and loved the result. It was one of those rare times when I had a vision in my head, the night before, and the end result looked exactly how I'd envisioned it. That's something I'm keeping close to my chest though for now.