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Tiny Town (Torn Paper Collage)

Some time ago, our art therapist at work let me borrow a couple of her art books for the weekend.  They were great little books – filled with simple ideas for getting your art on.  One of them had some lovely collage ideas and I particularly liked a torn-paper cityscape.  I cannot remember the name of the book, but I’m pretty sure it was published by Usborne and the artwork work was possibly Fiona Watt.  Apologies to both artist and publisher if I have remembered this incorrectly (if anyone can enlighten me, do let me know).

Anyway, I kept this idea buried in the recesses of my brain (a dark and cobweb-covered place if ever there was one!), thinking it would be a good little project to try if I was ever in need of some creative inspiration.  Well, right now, I am in desperate need, so I decided to give this one a go.  I liked the simplicity of the technique, as well as the small amount of materials (and, therefore, mess) it required.

Simply tearing different sized strips of paper, in different shades, adding details with pen and markers, and gluing them down into a simple cityscape – what could be easier?  It was very therapeutic and I enjoyed adding the details, including the teeny little and flags.

So, here it is!  My Tiny Town.  I didn’t get the perspective quite right – there’s a couple of “floating” buildings – and I didn’t have a fine enough white pen to get the nice detail I would have liked but, all in all, I am pretty happy with it.  I added the dark sky as I felt it needed some extra colour and interest.  The original idea in the book didn’t have text but, as I am a bit word-obsessed, I added a few lines from a poem, which I think finished it off quite nicely.  I made this as a card, but I’m thinking I might make a few as little framed pieces.  What do you think?

So, happy to have just tried something new (without it being COMPLETELY out of my comfort zone – I mean, it’s still paper after all!) and gotten closer to leaving the creative slump I currently find myself in.  I’m definitely going to make a few more of these, just because they were fun and easy and I didn’t have to think too much 🙂   I try not to copy other people’s work, but sometimes I think you need to just borrow a bit of creativity, in order to get your own up and running again.

Thanks for dropping by – have a lovely day 🙂

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Creative Copying

Sometimes I am very inspired and know EXACTLY what I want to do, craft-wise.  Other times, I am clueless and spend ages just mucking about, not knowing what I want to do, and feeling rotten about it.  Completely uninspired (and pathetic), you could say. Just lately, I have been unable to make ANYTHING and just feel like I have no creative ability whatsoever.  At all.  Nada.  Zippo.  Zilch.

So, this weekend, I utilised a bit of creative copying in order to get my mojo back.  Having had a birthday recently, my shelves were full of lovely greeting cards.  Granted, I should have taken them down some weeks ago but, it will surprise no one to know, I am lazy and slack, and they were still sitting there, a month and a half after the event.  However, there were a couple that I really liked the design of – the shapes of some of their images – so I had a go at using them for templates to make my own cards and other items.

First up, I had this cute birdie card.  I liked the simple shapes and was pretty sure I could use them to create a design of my own.  Plus, you know me, I love birds, so it was a no-brainer in terms of subject matter.

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Cute birdy birthday card!

I started by tracing the basic shapes of each bird – bodies, feathers, tails etc.  I then traced those shapes on to cardboard, so I could cut them out and have them as patterns.  Using pretty, coordinated papers, I traced and cut out the shapes to build the various body parts of the bird, and then arranged them together until I was happy with the overall look.

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Placing all the pieces together…

In the end, I decided to put it all together on a notebook for my Mum, to say thank you for her support and always looking after us (even though we’re old enough to look after ourselves.  Apparently).  I painted a plain little notebook and bound the edges with washi tape, before gluing the birdie to the front cover.
I added a crown and some text cut from an old book.

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Finished Birdie Notebook

It’s not the greatest work of art on the planet, and I can’t say I was thrilled with the final product, but I had made SOMETHING and that is better than nothing.  I just needed to get back into things and “play” a little, even if the end result wasn’t spectacular. Otherwise I feel as though I am losing all my creativity and desire to create in the first place.  And that’s not a good thing.

So, one little birdie at a time, I am going to get my mojo back. Send cookies and hugs 🙂

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Ready To Rock (Cat Collage Card)

I don’t know about you, but I am very rarely primed and ready to do anything, let alone rock.  I follow more of a resigned and begrudging style of embracing life, to be honest.  Not so my nieces and nephews.  I have been spending a lot of time with them lately, and one of their favourite things to do is craft.  Whether it be colouring in or drawing, making collages or cards, or a combination of all four, they really love being creative.  Which is a bit of a relief.  What if they were super sporty or into playing computer games? *shudders*

A couple of weekends ago, we had a few happy hours of card-making and magazine-scrap collage-making.  Good fun.  The kids are so good at it because they just CREATE.  They don’t think too much or worry about anything other than putting paper and glue together in a design them pleases them.  Bliss.

Anyway, as all good Aunties must, I had to participate in the activity – just being a casual bystander was not going to be acceptable.  Can’t say I minded – what better way to spend a few hours than with little people I love, doing something I love almost as much.

So, this funny little cat card was one of my completed pieces.  Made from scraps of scrapbooking paper, corrugated card and pieces cut from magazines, it came together pretty quickly.  The hardest part was finding the “rock” text (which, of course, I could have just cut out from individual letters).

I like the cat’s saggy little belly and his general attitude.  Who doesn’t love a tabby in a party hat?  All he is missing is some cheese on a stick and he’s good to go 🙂

Hope you are primed and ready, to do whatever you need to do today –
thank you for reading x

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Christmas Wishes (Robin Card)

A quick post to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year.
Let’s make a pledge to fill our world with kindness, love, understanding, and empathy this year. We’ve had enough hate, violence and suffering to last us into the next millennium.

I made this quick little Christmas card for my Mum (she loves robins).  I always seem to end up cutting out teeny-weeny bird toes, don’t I?

Best wishes to you all.  Be safe this festive season, and stay close to your loved ones.  Thank you for all your support and comments throughout the year 🙂

Happy Christmas x

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Market Doldrums

So, my stall at the Handmade Market was a bit of a downer.  I had worked so hard getting everything ready and staying up late every night making stuff and then it was a big fat fail on the day.  I barely covered the cost of my table hire and parking.  Barely.  And then I spent my awesome $5 profit on a gift for my niece (from one of the other stalls)!

I’ve been really lucky in the past and generally have very successful market days.  Maybe this is because I have them at home and invite people I know.  But I thought if I went to a “proper” market and there were 10 times the amount of people coming in to look, that I would do even better.  So, I’m feeling a bit dejected today – it makes you feel like your stuff is rubbish and not worth anyone’s time.

I am trying to be positive about it.  I met some really nice people – the other stall-holders were lovely and so kind and friendly.  They didn’t do super well either so it wasn’t just me.  It just felt like it was only me, ha ha.  Because I’m a pouty baby 🙂

I was just looking forward to making some money for the Christmas period because I am really short this year.  But it was not to be!  I was genuinely pleased to meet the other artists – they were awesome and I think I could maybe contact some of them for creative advice and brain-picking.  And I had plenty of time to just sit and think about what I could do better, what new things I would like to tackle etc.  Maybe my “art” is too handmade and people prefer things to be more polished, more mass-produced?  Should I look at getting my designs printed up, rather than making individual cards by hand?  Do I need to think about better packaging?  Should I give up altogether and become an accountant?

Some of the other stalls included :

Little Mo & Friends
(This is the lovely lady I bought a little doll from)

Bubba Lentil

Samantha Hughes

So, all in all I am grateful for the experience, even if it didn’t turn out as I had hoped.  I enjoyed making all the cards and other items – it makes me happy to be creative so, if nothing else, I spent many (many!) hours engaged in an activity that relaxes me and helps with anxiety and stress.   Shame that didn’t translate to sales on the day – but it WAS just a day, after all – not the end of the world.  It’s just disappointing.  But I have to chalk it up to “just one of those days” and move on.  And find somewhere to put all these boxes of stuff I had to bring home again with me! 🙂

Have a happy, successful day, everyone x

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Christmas Peeps

Still doodling and drawing and colouring this week.  I’ve come up with some new designs (typical of me – at the eleventh hour) and I will include them in a future post.  I am using every spare minute to get ready for my market stall on Sunday.  It’s a bit nerve-wracking, trying to get everything ready and not really knowing how many people to expect.  I might be making a whole bunch of stuff for nothing, or not making anywhere near enough.  You just never know.  I only have one allotted table space on the day so I am also trying to figure out how to display everything so it’s easy to access and makes the most of the limited space I have.  I’m sure it will be ok on the day – I just always get nervous beforehand.  It’s very anxiety-provoking, having your own creations on display, to people other than your family and friends who will tell you everything is wonderful (even if it isn’t) and there is nothing worse than having people pick through your stuff, turn their noses up and walk away having purchased nothing.

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I’ve started pricing everything, which is always a tricky process.  How do you make something affordable but still cover costs and time taken to make the darn thing?  Some of my cards take me HOURS to make.  If I charged at some hourly rate I would be selling cards for about $83.00 each!  You have to be sensible.  The doodled cards take less materials but are all hand-coloured and drawn, so do you take into account the fact each one is an original and took some time to colour or do you just say well, it’s a more simple-looking item and charge accordingly?  It’s hard, but at the end of the day, I need the money and can’t afford to make things so expensive that no one will buy them.  I am also guilty of making things I’m not very happy with cheaper, and then pricing some items up because I really like them and don’t want them to sell, ha ha.

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Anyway, I’d be interested to hear how other crafty people market and price their wares.  Particularly if you’re just a “small concern” like me ie not super professional or running an actual business.  To be honest, I just enjoy the creative process and the money isn’t the most important thing – ordinarily anyway.  But, right now, I am struggling a bit and need the extra moolah to see me through Christmas!

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Hope you are having a successful, stress-free week.  Thank you for reading 🙂