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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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Doodling and Squinting

I really need glasses.  It is no longer a case of “I might need glasses…” and I can’t ignore it any longer.  My squint has become almost permanent and I am no longer able to get through the day without a headache or feeling like my eyes are have run a marathon.  I have those crappy specs from the chemist and I use them sometimes but they’re not ideal and I really need a professional to outfit my eyeballs properly.

I have been putting it off because of the expense (tightwad, tightwad…) but it is false economy and I need to just bite the bullet and get some real glasses.  It’s not a vanity thing –  I think I actually look ok with specs on, and think glasses are pretty cool on most people.  Maybe I can even fool people into thinking I am intelligent! 🙂  My nephew has them and he’s gorgeous.  Plus, being a librarian, glasses kinda go with the cliched territory, right?

I have been trying to draw and colour this week, with mixed results.  I find I am not able to focus very well and I am colouring outside the lines with annoying regularity.  Ugh.  SO annoying.  And a waste of time because it renders whatever I am doing a bit worthless and un-usable (especially if I chuck a wobbly and throw it in the bin in disgust).

Anyway, some little peeps to make into cards.  I had already had them drawn (see THIS post) – they just needed colouring.  I am still experimenting with different card stock and marker pens to get the right result.  I like the first little lady the best – she’d kinda cute – but I will keep going and draw/colour some more.  Still wishing I could do eyes…maybe when my own are fixed I will be able to manage them 🙂

Have a bright and colourful day everyone x

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Stash

I have been trying to cull my craft stash.  This has not been going well for two reasons – a.) I am crap at getting rid of ANYTHING, and b.) I am very good at procrastinating.  But then, this week, I also have another, much more pleasant, reason.

My Mum’s friend Barbara asked Mum and I over to see if we wanted any of her “no longer needed” craft items.  Well, I don’t move quickly very often but, on that occasion, I moved like the wind ha ha!  You can probably imagine my face on hearing there was free craft stuff up for the taking…

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Barbara had laid out what appeared to be an entire wardrobe of stuff.  Papers, ribbons, various adhesives and varnishes, paints, stickers, rub-ons and embellishments.  Sigh.  I could have been restrained and not taken anything or even just taken a few samples but no, I pretty much gorged on crafty goodness and took a LOAD of stuff home with me.  I tried to just take what I thought I would actually use – papers in the colours I like and use often (browns and blues and neutrals) and embellishments that would suit what I do and not sit in a “what can I do with this?” pile.

There were a lot of text papers – I use them all the time for my cards as backing papers – so I grabbed them.  Barbara had loads of rub-ons, which I use less frequently but mostly because I just never seem to have any, so I snaffled them too.  Brads and braid, sentiments and quotes and awesome vintage advertising.  There was even a couple of lovely craft books (but I had all but one of them, so only took that one).
It was all so good, like a giant buffet 🙂

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I felt kinda bad afterwards for taking so much, but I guess if she didn’t want it any  more, then I was doing Barbara a favour.  In fact, thinking about it that way, with the amount I took, I was being downright altruistic and ha ha.

So now I am back to where I started – lots of craft stuff to find homes for.  I am still going to keep culling my own collection of supplies – I certainly don’t need half of what I have and I am sure someone else could use it.  I’m having a car-boot sale soon with my cousin, at a local market, so I could probably sell off some of it there.  I don’t want to throw anything away, and I want to make sure it goes to a good home where someone will be happy to have it and make good use of it.

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 I was going to post a proper picture of said stash but, every night after work, the lighting is so bad in my house it’s just not worth trying to photograph anything.  So, lazily, I will leave it up to your imagination and try and make something with the supplies on the weekend, and photograph THAT.

Hope you are having a good week.  May it be uncluttered (unless it’s cluttered with free stuff and things you love) 🙂

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Songbird

Happy ANZAC Day everyone 🙂

Forgot to include this card with my last post.  It was one I made very quickly at the end of my group crafting day.  My friend had bought an old Japanese book from an op-shop, with the thought of using the text on cards and other projects.  She shared the pages with us, and I created this card with some other Japenese-y papers I had luckily brought with me.  Actually, they were from years ago when I was on the Design Team for a scrapbooking store.  I hadn’t used these papers since then, but they went well with the text as a backing paper.  I liked the addition of the vintage bird too (when do I NOT like adding a bird?).  As I didn’t have all my supplies with me, it’s not finished as well as I would like, but it’s ok and a quick and simple little design that ended my day on a satisfied note.

Hope you are having a productive day 🙂

PS I am dedicating this to the late, great Prince, who we tragically lost this week.  RIP x

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Fiddle Faffing

fid·dle-faf·fle

(fĭd′l-făf′l)
n. Nonsense.
To fritter away one’s time; dally.

Nothing sums up what I did on the weekend better than the term “fiddle-faffing”. Whilst it is true that I was quite busy over Easter, catching up with friends and family every day, it does not excuse the amount of time-wasting I also did.  And I hate wasting time.  My whole life at the moment is focused on NOT WASTING TIME, due to the fact I feel I am rapidly running out of it.  My new therapist said to me last week “Oh I hear that a lot!  Everyone is so obsessed with time running out, these days.  We make our own time!”  I didn’t tell her I thought she was a crazy person (it’s best not to insult your therapist the first time they meet you – leave that for a few months in).  Time is always running away from us, from the minute we are born, dammit!  Time seems to be escaping from my needy clutches at a rate of knots and I am panicking slightly (ie a lot).
Needless to say, when I am worrying about wasting time, it does not facilitate creativity to any great degree.  In fact, without question, it hinders it.  Like a big, fat, hindery thing.  It sits in your brain, all squat and lumpy, and squishes all the creativity and artistic inspiration out of you.  It is evil.
This weekend gone I tried to create and get my craft on, but I was thwarted at every turn.  What I mean by that is I just made a lot of crap.  Everything I drew or collaged or attempted to paint/colour/glue turned out to be a horrible pile of blah.  This is partly my own fault – I am in such a mess, and instead of tidying up and giving myself a clean slate to work from, I attempted to just work around the mess and add to it.  Not a good idea. I also ate too much bad food.  I’m not supposed to eat chocolate but, being Easter, I was bombarded with the stuff, and decided to just eat it with abandon.  Which is idiotic and not very good for me.  I was basically in a food coma for four days, unable to form complex sentences or think very clearly at all.  Eating badly DOES affect me physically and mentally, slows me right down and makes me feel icky.  Too many carbs has me feeling like I am moving in slow motion.
So, in the end, I just gave up.  I stopped trying to create anything new, and just worked on some little doodles I had lying around that had never been finished.  I used my watercolour paints (ugh – my technique is terrible) to finish off a birdy and some flowers and some dainty I-guess-they’re-dandelion-thingies.  They’re better than nothing, and will have to do for now.  If nothing else, I can add them to plain card blanks and use them for standby cards for myself.  And I least I didn’t completely waste the whole weekend.  It just feels that way 😦   Next weekend I am attending a print-making class so perhaps I will find new inspiration and learn some new skills that will help me get my creative mojo back.
Hope you had a happy Easter and used your time wisely! 🙂
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And one more…or maybe two

So, I thought I was done with these birdy cards…but then I found two more prints so had to alter them too.  I really like these two – I did them quite late last night.  I like the additions of the speckled eggs.  Maybe birds and eggs and hats together have magical properties and encourage artistic mojo?  I should just use them all the time.  Although, the red bird doesn’t have a hat.  He made do with a bling-embellished egg.  A hat would have been pompous, and he already looked a bit haughty 🙂

Hope you’re having a good day.  With or without a hat.

x

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