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Find Your Tribe

Hello everyone.  Another collage today (this is an 8 x 8″ canvas), with no hat-wearing birds in sight!  Instead we have some playful ruminant-people hybrids doing their thing.  I’m not sure what the fellow in the middle is doing – he seems to have stopped, mid-dance, to inspect an m&m he’s picked up (I’m hoping it’s not a goat dropping…).  Maybe it’s an olive or a nut or something.  I didn’t give it a lot of thought, clearly.  The little antelope girl is carrying a stick but appears to have lost whatever is supposed to be attached to it.  I hope she wasn’t planning on running away with all her worldly possessions bundled together in a hanky or something.  Because, if that’s the case, she has dropped them somewhere.  But she has a stick and that is probably important.  Maybe it’s a magical wand or a conductor’s baton.

The fiddler on the left seems to know what he’s doing, so at least someone is on the ball.  At the end of the day, they’re all a bit weird, and that’s ok.  They belong because they don’t belong.  It’s important to find your tribe, don’t you think?  🙂

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Be Kind (Collage)

Hello everyone and Happy Monday 🙂

Did you all have a nice weekend?  For those of you here in Australia, hope you had a relaxing and enjoyable Australia Day and got to spend time with family and friends.  I managed to do just that AND get some crafting time in.  I got started on some new collage canvases and finished a couple of them.  I am slowly learning to leave things alone and move on to something else, if they are proving problematic.  Sometimes you need to step away from a particular project, in order to “Regroup” and get a fresh perspective.

This little 6 x 6″ canvas was giving me grief, and I couldn’t make it work, so I put it aside and started on a new one.  When I came back to this, I managed to finish it off and be reasonably satisfied with it.  I cut out numerous caterpillars – none of them looked right – until I found this pinky-red one, that seemed to suit ok.  I can waste hours trying to find just the right critter or leaf or flower.

I wasn’t sure what words to incorporate and was focusing too much on the bird looking down.  I thought of “Keep your head up” and “Don’t look down” and other head-related nonsense.  In the end, given that the bird is letting little Mr Caterpillar have a free ride, rather than eating him, I figure “Be Kind” was as good a message as any.  As yes, I did need to put a crown on the bird.  It looked naked without it.

Hope the week ahead is kind to you – thank you for stopping by 🙂

 

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Christmas Cards : Button Edition

I don’t know about all of you, but I have lots of buttons.  LOTS. OF. BUTTONS.  Jars and jars of them.  Despite this, I can never find the one I need for a particular project.  I think every crafter knows this dilemma.  You need a pink one, but it needs to be a rosy pink, not a baby pink.  You need a green one, but all you have is yellow-green when you really need a forest green.  Or you need big buttons when you only have teeny ones.  Or visa versa.  It’s a conundrum and wastes lots of time.

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So why would I decide to make lots of cards featuring this nemesis of quick crafts?  Because I am a crazy person and I enjoy having a floor that is covered in buttons (which mine now is).  Because my hands can be dicky (thanks again, Meningitis), I often drop things, so for every button I successfully pick up and glue down, there’s at least three that have escaped and are rolling about under tables and in between couch cushions.

I have been scouring Pinterest and other internet sites featuring all things craft-tastic, and have been very inspired by the clever designs people have come up with, using buttons as the main element.  And then I basically copied them.  Because I am, as I said before, very short on time and energy right now.  I’m also not selling these cards so I don’t feel so bad about purloining a few ideas.

Buttons are an easy way to add interest, colour and dimension to cards and can be just the right finishing touch.  Most of these ones below were made simply by drawing on lines with a pen, gluing on a button and then doodling some little details like bows and the tops of the baubles.  A stamped sentiment completes the look.  If I was feeling extra energetic I punched out some circles of pretty Christmas paper to stick down before the buttons to make them more colourful and chunky.

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So now, after mammoth card-making sessions, I now have to get stuck into mammoth card-writing sessions.  There’s only so many ways you can say “Wishing you a very merry Christmas and a happy new year…” but I try to mix it up a bit.  By 11pm last night I was getting my words all doolally and not making a lot of sense.  Plus I had a blister on my finger and a cramp in my hand.  AND my pen ran out!  Gah!  But, I am lucky I have so many people in my life to give cards to – so I am not complaining at all.  I know a lot of people don’t give cards any more, but I still like to.  It’s a way of telling people they are cared about and wished good luck and health and happiness.  I know quite a few people who are on their own, not just at Christmas but all the time, so a little card is the least I can do to show them they are not alone, and are being thought of fondly.

Hope you are having a crafty, creative day today and are surrounded
by people that make you smile x

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Christmas 2017
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Oh Deer!

Aghhh!  It’s December already!  Which means it’s time to panic about getting Christmas cards made in time!  Every year I do this to myself.  I swear I am going to start making some in June so I have lots ready by the end of the year, but do I ever do that?  No, I do not.  I guess I am just not in the mood in the middle of the year and want to do other things.  And Christmas seems a long way off then too.

But, here we are in December and so the card making frenzy must begin.  I’m not feeling particularly inspired at the moment, and I don’t have a lot of free time, so I wanted to create something that would look cute and effective, but also be fairly quick and simple.  I like reindeers – they make me smile and their overall shape and design is fairly easy to replicate.  You can’t mistake what they’re supposed to be once you have those antlers on!

So, I present to you Christmas card design (for 2017) number one!  These came together really quite quickly, although they are a bit fiddly (gluing on those antlers – aggh! There’s no surface area to put glue without it squishing out the sides so I had to use teeny tiny dabs) and I nearly went insane looking for the right buttons to use for their snozzes.  Turns out I don’t have many red buttons in my collection…

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Using the mottled/patterned papers gave the reindeers an almost printed quality, which I kind liked.   It made them more “organic” than if I had just used a plain coloured paper or card.  I just cut the head and ears out from the paper, free hand.  The antlers are actually made with a branch-design paper punch (which is rapidly becoming blunt now – this makes me very sad).  I drew in the little eyes and stamped one of two sentiments underneath.  I actually bought a stamp set on the weekend that had “Oh Deer” on it (as part of a Christmas theme) and I thought that was cute, but I didn’t like the font and size.  So I used another set of stamps (a really nice alphabet set I also bought that day) to make up the words myself.  I like how it turned out 🙂

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So, ten cards down and about fifty to go…  I will be making up another design now – I soon get bored of doing the same one over and over.  I should probably try and do something more Australian –  a Christmas koala perhaps?  A platypus pudding?  Hmm, I will have to work on that I think!

Thanks for dropping by – hope your festive season is shaping up to be a happy one 🙂

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Close your Eyes, Clear your Heart

Oh, how I fiddled and faffed around with this one!  I couldn’t make any wording fit and I was having a bit of a hissy fit.  I put it aside and left it alone for a while.  I stencilled the “bricks” on to the patterned paper as an afterthought, and I quite like the effect.  The wings are a bit wonky, but that’s ok.

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But the words!  Ugh!  I could not make anything work.  All I knew was that I didn’t want to stamp them directly to the background because I was sure to mess them up, and it would be really noticeable due to the straighter edges of the brick pattern.  So the words had to be stuck on, either stamped onto paper and then cut out, or using existing text.

So, in the end I found a quote on a sheet of scrapbooking paper that seemed to fit well with this image (actually, the original quote said “Let Go” at the end, but I changed it to “Dream” – it just seemed more appropriate) and quickly glued it on before I changed my mind.  I think it works ok…..

I need to add some detailing, paint the edges of the canvas and varnish it, etc, but it can wait until I am doing a few others at the same time.  I get to the end of a project and I just want to move on to the next.  By the time I’ve been fiddle-faffing around for hours on one thing, I get a bit sick at the sight of it and want to start something new.  Are you the same?  Do you like the entire process of creating something?  Or do you get fed up half way through and just want it done?

I probably need to close my eyes and clear my heart and just let the art happen.  But I’m not that trusting yet.  So things can take longer than they should.  But then I suppose there really isn’t a “should” when it comes to art and creativity.  It’s supposed to be intuitive and free, not structured and following some sort of plan or timeline.  I should try to please myself more, not keep trying to make something that will appeal to others.  But I need to learn to do that with myself too, and not try and be what I think other people want me to be.  Which is tricky, right?

Hope you are happy being YOU today – keep dreaming 🙂

x

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Serenity Now

Some more weekend crafting…

I must admit, I played around with the background on this for ages, splodging paint on and swiping it, dotting it, mixing different colours etc.  Then I got fed up with my efforts and covered the whole thing in dress pattern paper.  When in doubt, stick some paper over it.  The fine tissue paper of the patterns covers nicely and gives that crinkly, textured look.  I rubbed a bit of white paint over the top to tone it all down to make the text and lines a bit “gentler”.  Then I discovered that I had put the paper on THE WRONG WAY UP, so the hanger at the back of the canvas was on the bottom, instead of at the top.  D’oh!  I haven’t done that sort of silly stuff up for ages.  Oh, well, I will sort it out later 🙂

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Next, I sketched in a head shape.  I was actually really pleased with this one.  I wanted to stop right there, before I spoilt it…

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Then, I added the basic colours to the head, hair and body.  My Mum gave me a pile of paints on the weekend, so I had some extra colours to play with…

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After, drawing and re-drawing the face about a million times, I settled on this one.  It is by no means perfect, and I am still frustrated that I have such trouble with facial features, but it will do.  I have to keep practicing and hopefully improving with each piece!  The only way is up, right?

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I added stamped words and some wings and a crown.  At least I am getting better at putting wings on straight now 🙂

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I wasn’t totally happy with the bigger letters, so I added some swirly details to them to balance it all a bit more and not make the lettering seem so harsh.  I did some outlining, and added a stamped border (kinda wish I hadn’t used black as it is also a bit harsh, but I’m not changing it now – will use a different colour next time that is softer and more in keeping with the rest of the piece).

The “Serenity Now” makes me laugh a bit because of its Seinfeld references, but I still think it is appropriate.  She looks fairly serene, and with the week I’ve had, I could do with some serenity, to be honest.

Overall, I was quite happy with her.  I just really need to work on those faces!

Hope you are having a calm, peaceful day, and if not, hope you can find some space to have a little bit of serenity now x

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Love the Moment

Hello everyone 🙂  I have been on leave for a couple of weeks and placed myself under a strict no crafting ban.  I knew if I got stuck into making things (and, therefore, making a mess) I would never get tidy and organised.  So I had two weeks of sorting and culling and making my home fit for human habitation.  My craft room was going to be last on the list as it is an area I close off anyway and doesn’t get seen unless I want it to!  Needless to say, it is still in a mess.  I just didn’t time to complete the tidy up in its entirety.  But the rest of the house looks good now.  I even had some visitors during my leave and I wasn’t embarrassed to have them in my space.

On my final two days, I let myself do some crafting.  I figured it was my reward for doing adult stuff like dusting and ironing (ugh!).  I started with this canvas – a freehand painting with acrylic paints.  I drew a design straight on to the canvas, which is something I don’t normally do and did not incorporate any paper or mixed media elements.  I decided to just go with the flow and not think about any of it too much.  The worst thing to do is start comparing your work to someone else, so I tried really hard to just enjoy the process, regardless of whether the finished piece was good or not.

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I was pleased with the final outcome.  I don’t mind that she’s got a big head and ridiculously long neck, or that her hair resembles a teddy bear hat.  I am just glad to have had a go and not fussed over it all too much.  I’m not normally brave enough to put a design straight on to the canvas, so this was new for me.  Normally I draw it out first and often draw and paint the person on a piece of paper, before cutting them out and gluing them to the canvas, after I’ve worked out the background.

I had some issues with the wording – it took me forever to decide on the words and I just couldn’t make anything work.  I had this “Loving the Moment” stamp that I had picked up in an op-shop, and it seemed to fit the space perfectly.  The design itself didn’t stamp out very well, due to the non-flat nature of the canvas, so I had to fill it in afterwards, but it looks ok.  I’m not sure exactly what “moment” she is loving (best not to ask a lady these things!) but I’m going to say it’s representational of me just enjoying some peaceful, creative crafting time, all to myself.

So, I am pleased with this one.  It isn’t perfect, but that’s ok.  I’m going to keep practicing and trying to find my own style.  It’s the only way to get better.  And, in the meantime, I am enjoying the process and the moment 🙂

Thanks for stopping by x

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