Wednesday 28 January 2009

What's that Smellie?

Well I seem to have entered myself for a 'Smellie' swap, which I had completely forgotten about until one of my swap partners contacted me for a theme. A Smellie has got nothing to do with scents, noxious or otherwise, but is the brainchild of the wonderful Helen (Smellihelli) on the DC UK Forum. She has instigated a new shape of trading card based on a protractor shape (or a half circle) and called it after herself - hence a smellie.

The two smellies above are themed 'distressed' (L) and 'Anything goes' (R). At first I thought this was a strange idea but it's always interesting to spread one's wings beyond the traditional ATC format and I find I do quite like working with a slightly larger card. I realised when I'd finished I had orientated them differently but I don't think there are any hard and fast rules (!?!).

The vintage lady has three layers of papers gessoed and distressed but although I thought about transferring the main image she is so pretty I decided she would look best as clear as possible against the background so I just collaged her on top with gel medium. The little roses were a gift from Nayski (thanks hun) who recently sent me a gorgeous vintage card in a swap - I shamelessly copied her distressed ribbon idea and finished the whole thing off with some beads and a button.

The other one I have called 'Summer Dream'. On the background I tried a sort of resist emboss technique I'd seen on Mr Holtz' blog. It is very similar to the other technique I use, but the idea is to get the surface really flat so you can stamp over it again. Finished off with my favourite face motif on stampboard, coloured with inks which were then 'etched' off the eye area - great effect.

The third theme was Fairies and who can resist? Simply done by stamping over pretty papers to make the background and then collaging this little darling on the top, glitter, bling - done!!

Finally, for you texture freaks out there, this is an ATC I made using the last of the UTEE transfer tiles I made a couple of weeks ago. Can't think what to call it, but it has paper effects, leaves, wire, fabric and beads as well as the tile.

Yummy. Even if I do say so myself.

Tuesday 27 January 2009

WARNING: Housework can damage your health

Excuse me for swearing but I knew it would get me in the end. I am writing to you from my sick bed (OK my craft room) as I tripped on the stairs at the weekend (Carrying loads of washing down stairs) and have sprained my right ankle and twisted my left knee. As my right knee is already a bit questionable it's left me a bit immobile for a couple of days but am starting to get about (just as well with all the care and attention you get in this household lol).

Anyhow, look on the bright side, plenty of time to craft this week. So here's a couple of things I've knocked up so far.

First of all the SOYBS challenge was to create some art with a word on it, so I hope this fits the bill as I wasn't feel that inspired this weekend. I have been looking at an interesting book lately called 'Paper Metal & Stitch' and used some of the bits I'd been making after reading to make this small card. I think I might make it in to a little hanger and maybe put some dangly bits on, I'm not sure yet.

Over at ACF we had another image to use this week (these weekly challenges come round so fast, I don't know how people who do loads of them keep up!!). I've used that 4 x 4 format again, this project looks like it's shaping up to be a vintage children collection which is fine, I like all the pages I've done so far it will be a nice project to make them into a little book when I've done 10 or so then I may do something different.

FINALLY the MAMMA challenge was to make a tryptych something I have never done before (well I suppose some of my ATCs have extra bits but I haven't actually set out to make a triptych). A triptych is ' a painting or work of art consisting of three panels' (q. Bernie Berlin - Artist Trading Card Workshop). Like Bernie, they make me think of shrines (?Russian artefacts?), gold etc etc. As you can see I have gone with the opening gothic arch shape which is quite a favourite of mine, opening up to show a little collage. Pleased with this one and found a use for some paper I stamped up a while ago.

So that's me all caught up with the weekly challenges for once but I am determined to get ahead this week and start on some other projects I want to do so don't forget to pop back. I must also finish the last two pages for the RR Journal - have been stumped on the last two but think I've finally got over my mental block - soooo, see you tomorrow, I'm off to elevate my ankle.

Friday 23 January 2009

New Year resolutions.......

Well, I really don't bother with them, but the beginning of a new year is always a good time to reflect and maybe make small changes.

Over at SOYBS the challenge last week was to create a collage representing hopes/achievements/whatever for 2009. Being naturally quite a happy bunny and also having very limited horizons I found it very hard to make a visual representation of what I hope for in 2009. The thing I ould most like to achieve is a bit more balance in my life and also a bit more involvement in the wider world. Obviously I go to work each week, but this last year I have shied away from too many external commitments and become quite reclusive with my family, my art and my p c taking up most of my time. Well, that's a recipe for a lonely old age so I need to make a bit more effort this year. Oh yes, and lose weight.... and exercise.....

Monday 19 January 2009

Do you do the lottery?

No seriously, not the one with the balls, but the UK ART Lottery. Fancy being in the draw for a box of fantastic arty pieces? Then do go and have a look at the ts and cs.

The theme for the January lottery is 'Shiny' in honour of a brand spanking New Year, not that there's much sparkly about it from where I'm sitting!! Still, I have used everything shiny I can think of with metal, embossing powders, FP, glitter and a bit of bling to make this 4 x 4 hanger. The image of the magpie was copied from a photo, rendered into a line drawing and then tinted. The message reads 'I have a magpie mind, I love anything SHINY'. Hope that fits the bill.

The ACF challenge this week was to use a lovely picture of a little girl who looked like she was on her way to school. As I said in one of my previous posts I am going to use this challenge to make a 4 x 4 journal, a size I'm getting quite fond of. I used acrylics and stamping for the background plus some stamping and opaque permanent pens for the background. Additional images courtesy Flickr collage group. I felt it needed some words but 'inspire' was the best I could come up with. As I'm keeping this one for myself I may add to it if inspiration strikes (ha ha) before I make up the album. Any suggestions?


The piece of Mail Art featured in my last post is on its way to Babs in Oklahama. Hope it gets there in one piece! Thanks for playing Babs.

Wednesday 14 January 2009

Do you want mail? - MAIL ART at SOYBS

The challenge at SOYBS this week was to create and post a piece of mail art (without an envelope). For the base I used a postcard that I had left over from another challenge last year but it is really flimsy, so I stuck two together, then reinforced it with a bit of card, and finally added another postcard on the base. Lol, don't know why I didn't just use some thick card to start off with but it didn't seem right to use something that didn't have 'postcard' written on it. What possible difference my brain thought that would make to the mailman is beyond me, but there you go.

I really wasn't sure what to do for this but really didn't want to do vintage. It's fairly simple, as personally I can't believe what state it might be in when it arrives but opting for this graphic type style reminds me the type of art work I was looking at a year ago and how I seem to have got stuck in a bit of a vintage rut (apologies to vintage fans out there!!).

Anyhow, the test of any mail art is the journey I guess, so I would like to send this piece as far away as possible - if you would like to get it leave a post to that effect (approx location NOT addy pse!!) before Friday evening 9.00 pm GMT and I will post it to the town/city furthest away from London. In the event of two people from the same town posting it will go to the one who replied first (or I might make two, who knows?). Some chance of that happening but you never know.

Monday 12 January 2009

New Year, New Challenges....

The Daily Art Card challenge continues for me until roughly the end of April, and while up to now I have not had any theme or desire to keep my daily efforts, I thought that for the last leg I should try and create some kind of keepsake for myself. I also want to try and join in with some regular challenges but have to try and keep the whole thing under control - I get easily overwhelmed!! So I'm going to try and combine the weekly challenge at Art Creation Friday with a set of 4 x 4 art pages (a size I have not used before) which I will bind and keep as a momento of the DAC marathon. This is the first one, which I have called innocence. The background was the piece that had to be used,and I have to admit it is quite a lot darker than I would normally choose but I think it goes quite well with this image.

We also have a slight divergence over at the weekly MAMMA swap - this week rather than a theme we have a vintage image to use in an ATC. I decided to to do a gel transfer but I have to say it is not the best one I have ever done. I also stamped and decoupaged some ivy leaves - I quite like the effect I have got from this.

LOL MAMMA - Finally MAMMA has also started a Valentine swap and this is my entry. I didn't feel in the mood for pink and pretty today so I have gone for a coppery/brown tone and used the cuttlebug to do some embossing.

Thursday 8 January 2009

Scrapbooks and SOYBS

My daughter's best friend recently had her 18th birthday. Our families have spent most birthdays, holidays and Christmasses together for the last 20 years (and even a few kid free ones before!!) so I made this little scrap book as a keepsake. There are more inserts inside each page plus pockets and memorabilia plus a few spaces to add her own bits n bobs. Great fun pulling it all together and reliving some of the memories.

You can see the full album here

One of my New Year Resolutions is to join in more challenges. I saw this one via Heather Robinson's website and thought I'd have a go. It's called Step outside your box Saturday (SOYBS). Mind you this week's challenge nearly stumped me completely as it was to use body parts other than faces. Anyhow I had this kind of Mehndi idea - not sure it really worked but it's OK. At least I'm taking part!!

Sunday 4 January 2009

Caught up at last, altered art and UTEE...

Have at last managed to get up to date with my Daily Art Card uploading - what a mammoth task that turned out to be!! For many of the members the project has now finished, and I have less than a 100 days to go.........


I joined in a Secret Sister swap over at the Altered Art Group on flickr to commemorate its first anniversary. This is the card that I made for my partner. The main 'piece' can be remove from te card to make a little hanging decoration if the recipient so wishes.


When playing with my melt pot on New Year's Eve I made a set of embellishments using UTEE and image transfers - the tutorial I followed is here. I did these two using the same image, on one I have left the backing - can you see a difference? The full set can be seen on my flickr gallery and all are available to trade.

..........CapriBlue Genie. No one else wanted to play obviously so you win by default lol - thank you for stopping by!! I will send your ATC in the post this week ..hugz Cindy x

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday # 776

  Morning deskers, welcome to our weekly Wednesday Blog Hop - WOYWW. Here's the link to the one responsible, the lovely   Julia at Stamp...