Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Poorly Dog distracts from crafting!

Total absence of anything constructive for last few days. Alfie was poorly - Alfie is the handsome boy you see above. This picture was taken in December, he can no longer get on there...  A few weeks back when arriving on my usual early morning walk I opened the boot of the car as I have done every day for many a year, and the dogs all tumbled out in a heap (I have no idea why they did this), Alfie landed very badly on his left hip.
We adopted Alfie a nearly 3 and a bit years back at 18 month old, we were 'told' due to a relationship break up, we later found Alfie had rather a lot of health issues, the worst one being hip dysplacia, quite bad for a young dog.  He will be 5 years old in March.
The last few weeks he started to struggle, and I spent a week resting him to no avail, so off the the vets we went and were given some pain killers and to continue the shorter walks I was doing, few car trips just lead walks (after I had walked the others).  Then he got worse and worse, till at weekend he was crying and screaming in pain, very distressing to watch a Labrador like this, so we booked him into the vets for xrays.  The night before we had no sleep as he spent the whole night crying in pain.

Xrays revealed worse hip damage, very severe arthritis, chip to the bone and a shadow on the bone, that might be more damage or might be something worse (need to have more xrays in a few weeks).  So, we have some more stronger pain killers for ten days and see how he goes.

As I only lost my other Labrador back in December, this whole experience effected me quite badly, alongside the total lack of sleep - I could focus on nothing else but Alfie, and I didn't even do that very well.  Only another who has experienced such stress and sleep depravation can understand the effect this can have, and some people have been darn right unpleasant about it.  But, there has been some very kind and lovely supportive friends to whom I am very grateful for their kindness.

Hopefully, normal creativity will return in a few days as I have missed it.  Thank you to the people who have been kind enough to care it has meant a lot to me.

Friday, 22 February 2013

First New Card now on Sale

Just a very quick blog post this evening, I managed to mount this design onto a recycled kraft card today, and give it a nice sturdy insert.  This was popular on my flickr group so thought I would see how it went on sale in my etsy shop , it does look quite effective in there.

Only a quick blog post as its my team on Etsy BNR tonight, and also the themed treasury to promote - this one was on knitting, so nothing from me in there, afraid knitting was always rather beyond me, more is the pity, anyway - here it is

I managed not to spend 'too much' money in the craft shop today, got the card blanks (as above) and some paper flowers, brads and some decoupage scissors but that was it, I did very well I thought.

have a good weekend, next blog will probably be after that - if you are in the UK keep warm, going to be a bit chillier than we are used to I believe.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

About this card making..

Here is yesterdays work, I think they call it 3D Decoupage - Not too bad for a first attempt I thought, though I do need a better pair of scissors for the job.
My Mum is the best card maker EVER, and doesn't read my blog so she had no idea this is what I was doing, when I called there yesterday she presented me with a goody bag of card making things she thought I might use in my art journal.  Of course when I told her I was having another bash at card making she gave me a piece of the decoupage she had claiming I had 'no chance' of doing anything with it but could have a go.

Here is a card I made with some of the papers she gave me.

The template frame I ink sprayed and varnished, adding some sequins.  Next I need to find out which glue to use for those flowers as I have little faith they are actually going to stay put.

Getting so involved with the above and enjoying the process found me spending over 4 hours stood up yesterday, not a good thing for the old back.  So, today I have been organising and clearing some space so I can do the cards sat down in future, I have done a good job but again been on my feet all day doing it, no pain no gain eh?  I now have a place to sit to draw and paint too, that will help as I usually do it standing or sketch in a chair with poor lighting.

With all that, and a few other chores today I have only managed one thing, its another decoupage effort.  I looked at the calender and next month have two anniversaries my parents and Steve's so I have started my first anniversary card.

Having ordered some card blanks I was all ready to go, when I got an email today to say they have 'just' been dispatched, and that is second class!  As I have very little patience to wait tomorrow will find me dashing off to find some card blanks in town, we only have one over priced craft shop but I am forced to visit, must remember to just take enough money for the cards and leave bank card home!  I have a tendency to get carried away in a craft shop, sure I am not alone!

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

The mind of a Craft Person

The mind of a crafter... I have decided is like a butterfly, it tends to flit happily from one thing to another at speed - or is that just me? When I got up today the only thing on my mind was getting a vet appointment for one of my dogs, got that done.  Next I thought about what I would paint, I have lots of idea's of what I want to try just never enough time to do it all, that and I foolishly varnished my last painting so its taking an age to dry off and taking up easel space.  

So, I decided to do the next part in my Carolyn Dube course, which was doing something with the large painting we did, we had permission to simply cut it up and make something else with it, this concept was a bit alien to me.. I wasn't quite sure what to do, so out came the stash of embellishments and next thing I know I am ordering card blanks on-line ready to create a range of cards for my Etsy shop?? were on earth did that come from?  Above is the first one I did.

Next came this one.  Not quite thought through (as per) it was very tough to stitch through the fabrics and thick card, I had to make all the holes first hence the reason its not so straight, I think it gives it a folk art look, well.. that's my 'get out'.
Lastly I did this one, mostly fabric except some backing from a printed tag I made on the greeting.  I have some idea's of how to then mount these onto card, maybe with further layers and embellishment, make up some card inserts and away we go!

Before I go HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my bestest pal Julie - she does read my blog (when she remembers) she has had a great day so far with new art supplies and some cash to go off and buy some more after her family lunch.  Julie is a great artist, she has had a bit of a break but is back at it now so I will have some of her work to show off in the future.

Monday, 18 February 2013

New Bag Design and Painting fun

So, here I am holding my latest bag design, with the handles requested by my retailer.  Alas the design is still not right, looks like I may well be some time here, certainly keeps me on my toes.  This one will no doubt arrive in my Etsy shop at some point, one of the knitting bags will also be there this week at some point, I have edited the photo's just not got around to a listing yet .. still bags a plenty in the shop though

As usual I am more interested in painting and working in the art journal.  Inspired by what I had learnt with Carolyn Dube and using my new stencil I won from the wonderful artist Jessica Sporn, who you can find here I had fun with this mixed media painting, after I had added the papers I thought it looked a bit bird like, so that was the look I went for.

What I have found on Carolyn's course is not only is she a great and fun teacher, her and her students all encourage each other which is a really great feeling.  I have taken a lot of on-line classes and often due to my being one of the quieter ones (and maybe not quite as good as the others) I am usually on my own, if I do post my work or comment its often overlooked which can be quite disheartening.

Today (instead of working like I should have been) I have been enjoying some art journal pages, plenty of paint, ink and glue - Art just makes me Happy!!  I will try devote tomorrow morning to the work thing.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Happy Valentine and other waffle

Happy Valentines to all.  Its also my 9th wedding anniversary today so a very special day.  My BIG news is of course my lovely little new (to me) car that arrived on Monday evening.  Isnt she lovely? just short of some designer prints on the sides and a few little problems to sort out... Well, in truth she is in need of major surgery now - just as I was starting to fall in love, disaster struck today and she wont start!!! So, poor Steve is having to come home from work and see what he can do... though if he is late I might persuade him to wait till weekend its only another day and will be easier for him to sort out in the daylight, and warmer daytime.  I do think its only something small, as there is 12 months MOT on her, wondering if its an imobliser problem??

I am still enjoying my course work with Carolyn Dube (link in last post) the course is great fun and I joined the flickr group too which is full of lovely people all commenting on each others work, such an encouraging and nice group to be a part of.  Here is my second page after watching another class video on the play on words, I had great fun with the lettering.

Finally, we are very lucky in my home town - our local newspaper is showcasing an artist each week, I had no idea there was so many local artists, wonder were they all hide out?  This week it was the turn of Lesley Nugent who's wonderful works really inspired me, you can find out more about here and see her work on her blog here I have never tried to draw houses before so thought I would have a go, until looking at this picture I thought I had done quite well... now I do think it needs an awful lot more work, and I am starting to regret inviting Lesley here to take a look... still, like most things I enjoyed the process and we do all have to start somewhere ( I keep telling myself).

I did make 'some' progress on my new design of bag yesterday, although the biggest discovery was that I need a new sewing machine.. which wasnt the best news I could have.  My poor little machine is no longer capable of getting through all I need it too.  Though I am not looking for a new shiny machine but more of an old sturdy one, like they used to be made.  I near took my eye out yesterday with broken needles, and had sore fingers from all the pushing of fabrics.. not a good thing.  I think I will stick to furniture painting next, less harmful.. its slow going as I really need more ventilation to do the painting and its too cold still to do it outside (this was pointed out to me by a wise man whom I ignored, as I usually do).

That's all for now, off to put my lamb joint in the oven (yes, its certainly lamb I do know the source well), and its roasted organic potato and veg to accompany. 

Monday, 11 February 2013

Goodbye to the old car and update

Aside from taking Steve to the train station an hour ago, this is the last time I had to drive the thing.. to the dog walk this morning.. you may note the suspension now sat on the back wheels! My new (to me) vehicle will shortly be on its way, the above old very poorly heap is no longer on the road and in 2 mins time the new (to me) one will be insured and will soon be with me, hurray!!! I will try remember to take photo's for tomorrow.  Above car will be on Ebay next weekend, that should be entertaining.

Today I was of course filled with enthusiasm and ready to finally catch up on some long awaited sewing.  Now after all this time I really do know better than to try this on no sleep.. but no, due to being so far behind I set to it, and disaster struck not just once but twice, so a good few hours of wasted time which caused a heap of frustration, and me back to the painting.. also the damn cold weather has swelled up the finger joints making them a bit tender so that didnt help much with the sewing either.  Painting however, I can do.  So, I have done another drawer and a bit more of the letter rack.

This new journal page, which is from a new 'free' course I am taking with Carolyn Dube found here a fun lady and fun course.  This is just my take on playing with words, her's was of course much more impressive but I had fun doing it.

Also finished this page in my scrappy journal, which had started off in one direction and then I watched a you tube video with Andrea Gomell, sketching along with her and the angel she drew.. again its not identical to her's but very similar.  Due to not just my, but a few of my friends dogs having left for Rainbow Bridge lately I made my angel the carer of the dogs at the bridge, she is called Michele after my late friend who lived for her pets.

So... not a totally wasted day I did manage to recover it well I thought.  Now waiting for my new (to me) car to get here, dinner is in the oven (Its Delia's Beef Curry), so better eat that first then I get to sort out seating in the car for dog space, transfer Alfie's toys to it, music system (priorities!!) and go for a test drive.  Hopefully I will have a better night tonight, and make a bit more progress in the sewing dept, the problem is new designs.. very silly to try when over tired.

Hello and welcome to my new followers Jen and Dawn, thank you so much for joining me.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Happiness is Colour

At last some painting progress on the Chest of Drawers, loving these first two colours - although I am just so sloppy at this I am currently matching the drawers quite nicely now with a mixture of lime green and blue paint all over me.  Yes, I know the handles are nasty, I will be replacing them.. gives me a way of moving the drawers about so they stay for now.

This is proving quite difficult however..

Not so sure this was one of my better ideas, as it is very difficult to do, but I will keep going and see if I can fix it all at the end.  (Its a spinning letter rack with drawer, blogged about it earlier).

The other half has given me a quote he wants putting on a plaque, so thought whilst I was wood painting I would prime some plaques ready to decorate etc.. I just couldn't stick to white though, prefered them brighter...

I have also been working on a journal page with flowers (not photographed that though).  Not bad for a Wednesday when I am quite short on time - for once I used what I had more wisely, thats it though as soon time to prepare evening meal and its dog club with the big menace tonight.  Tomorrow will be a day without much in the line of painting either, have a few jobs to do and a hospital appointment with Mum.  Really should get some sewing done too, the mood just hasn't struck me again yet.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Finished the Canvas

yes, I know I will never be Rembrant, but I did enjoy the process.  It started off way too pink for my liking  then sat doing very little, so I had a few more days of changes and this is how it ended up.  Steve says it should say 'Chaos and Mayhem' but I thought it very chaotic and it gave me joy to do so thats how it stays.  The varnish is still drying so will be a day or so before I can move it and start on a new one - hurray!  Must admit I am a bit fed up of looking at it now.

So.. what have I done today? very little.  Today's procrastination excuse is its so cold in here, the winds always make the house so cold and we have gales in the West at the moment.  I did finish off another journal page, I am a member of Art Geeks - which is an on-line community with artists who give up their time for free to teach us all kinds of mixed media, the other day I was watching how to draw fun creatures, really is a relaxing and fun thing to do, the next stage is to teach us how to colour them properly but I didnt wait that long, just had to do a full page of colour as I was having far too much fun.  If you are interested in Art Geeks you can find the group here

Here is the fun page I did (yes, instead of the two peg bags I should have been doing, or the furniture painting or the new bag making)

Tonight, I really MUST edit some photo's for the Etsy shop... but Art Geeks has quite a bit going on, and I just joined another free mixed media class too, that one doesnt start till the 11.2.13 though, there are plenty of classes out there if you look, I found this from one of the art blogs I follow.  But then like me, you will have lots of fun painting and sticking, but not get much of anything else done!

Monday, 4 February 2013

The humble Peg Bag

I think I finally 'got it'!!  See here when I began this quest of trying to make the humble peg bag  I feel sure it really is not that difficult to most, I think I missed off attempt number 3 (or was it 4?).   So today the bull was taken by the horns and I got on with it and made 2.  The fun frog one above, which is lined with bright stripes.

...and the vintage corduroy one, with a beige fabric lining and red vintage button.  That's better, they do actually work with the pegs now, I do need some smaller coat hangers though for this design, going to order some of those as I am really not so keen on the larger bulkier design, I prefer this one.

Hope to try get some decent photo's at weekend - I need a washing line and a nice garden, so have to visit my Aunt for that one - and they just 'might' make it to the Etsy shop they might not, as will take them to the farm shop first to see what they think - tomorrow I will do some carrier bag holders to match each one, and probably make another one, then I will really have to knuckle down to the new bag design I keep promising to start on.

As I have done so well today it must be time to get the paints out now? surely?  

The car hunting is going badly, I did find my ideal car that I loved to bits.. but its in Ilford which is about 200 miles away from me, such a shame as it was Purple too.. never had a car in a colour I choose before, always have to make do' really.  Never mind, sure I will find something in time...

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Art Journal Page

I often wonder why there are not enough hours in the day, to do what I am 'meant' to be doing.  (Such as Sewing, painting furniture, editing photo's for etsy shop).  The reason for this is generally because I would far rather be playing in my journal, or practicing sketching faces, or watching you tube video's to teach me more.
So, as usual I have done very little the last couple of days except 'almost' finished my undercoating, bought the paint for the drawers, the handles for new bags.. yesterday was taken up collecting new car to replace hubbies 'more broken than mine' heap.
But I did enjoy completing this page, you might notice on the right my attempt at Caricature drawing, this was done from a tutorial by Nick at who is a great artist and recently featured on Shoo Rayner's drawing school channel here  That was a lot of fun to do, and Nick (like Shoo) is a great tutor.  I have also finished the collage canvas I started some time ago, that has had one coat of varnish and just needs another before I can replace it with a new canvas and see what I can create next - I do find I am at my happiest painting, and creating - just need to realise I really MUST do the other stuff too!

Like now.. now I am blogging and I really SHOULD be doing the dinner..