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Bloom Collage

Hello everyone!  How was your weekend?  Did you get up to something nice, or did it fly by before you had time to even wind down from the week’s efforts, and before you knew it, it was Monday again?  It sometimes seems like it is always Monday, doesn’t it?

I had a mixed-bag weekend.  It started off with a migraine, then there was a funeral (not related to my migraine!) and an MRI (very much related to my migraine), a lovely craft show, some op-shopping, and ended with a relaxing afternoon at home painting and collaging.  My Mum stayed with me (the funeral of a long-time friend had been upsetting and she didn’t really want to be on her own) and we talked about lots of things, drank far too much tea, and tried to stay warm (it was freezing this weekend!).

I managed to complete a couple of little canvases, that I am fairly pleased with.  This first one has been a while in the making, as I painted the lady some time ago but couldn’t figure out how I wanted to use her.  She was a bit darker than some of my other ladies, and none of the backgrounds I tried worked with her.

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Until I found this charcoal-coloured, wallpaper-like paper.  She seemed right at home there so I stuck her down before I changed my mind, gave her a crown, added some paper flowers and a bit of detailing, and finished it off with some bunting.  A tiny bit of text and she was all done.

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So nice to get something completed.  I haven’t been doing much due to my headaches and general feeling of blah.  Must try harder.  The craft show we attended on the weekend gave us lots of inspiration and ideas and we stocked up on supplies and arty goodies, so I have no excuse for not getting stuck in.  Watch this space!

Hope we all manage to bloom just a little bit this week 🙂

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Good Thoughts

Confession : this collage did not have me thinking good thoughts at all.  It had me swearing a lot and throwing things around.  I must have repainted it a dozen times, recovered it in different papers, repainted it again, added washi tape, and generally worked on it for much longer than was necessary.  I started off bravely, using bright colours and tones I would not normally go for.  It messed with my head and I didn’t like the result at all.  Hence all the repainting.  Consequently, it is all a bit lumpy and out of whack.  But it’s finished, at least.  The lady on it looks like she is wishing it would all be over soon (as I was), her head is a weird shape, and she is still a little bit bright and stark for my liking.  Not my best work at all!

But my aim, these days, is to get over things and move on.  Onwards and upwards!
I was glad to get this piece finished and off my desk.

Hope your mind is filled with good thoughts today 🙂

x

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Quiet and Content

Hello everyone!  I have been a little bit absent lately due to *cough, cough* a lurgy that left me feeling feeble and pathetic.  I also hurt my back with all the coughing and so am walking around like a pale, decrepit, phlegmy old thing.  I had time off work – my boss made me – and moped about the house, sleeping and complaining about life.  My Mum has also been unwell (and also has some worrying back problems) and so I’ve been worrying about her as well.  Lots happening – family dramas, work issues, health concerns – and all of it inevitably provokes the anxiety monster that resides in me.  I want to poke it with a stick and make it go away but it laughs in my face and makes its presence known with various aches, pains and physical ailments.  I even got pimples!  I don’t get pimples!!!  I am forty three years old, for crying out loud – I didn’t even have pimples when I was a teenager.

Anyway,  what I am trying to say is that I haven’t had much time (or energy) to do any crafting.  I’ve attempted a few things but mostly just moved stuff around, squinted a lot and sighed heavily at my lack of artistic ability.  My craft room looks worse than normal – I have had to make a little path from the doorway to the desk so I don’t trip and break my neck, falling over the various boxes of papers and supplies.  I could tidy up, yes, but that would take up precious squinting and sighing time.

In the midst of all this creative slumpery, I did manage to complete one little collage-canvas and it is OK.  I will settle for ok at the moment.  I don’t want to throw it out the window or set it on fire, so that’s a good sign.  The little lady on it did give me some stress – I stupidly painted her with gouache paint, not realising you couldn’t put gel medium over that (without it smearing and making an unholy mess) – but I repainted her with the usual acrylics and, in the end, I quite like her and her simplicity.  I tried not to muck about too much.  I am still not very good at faces, but am trying to just DO them and not get bent out of shape if they are not perfect.  Her lips are well wonky.  Don’t look at them.

So, in essence, I tried to zen out and be “quiet and content” with this piece.  The background actually looks like a single piece of text paper, but I actually collaged lots of torn pieces from different pages and then distressed / painted over it.  That was the easy bit that required no swearing or nervous breakdowns (gouache – I am talking to you!).

Hope you are all well right now and having a happy week.  Where is the year going?

Thank you for dropping by 🙂

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Quiet and Content by Violet Annie
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Incredibly Precious (and Frustrating)

Sometimes you work on a creative project that comes together like a dream.  It all just WORKS.  You are filled with inspiration and artistic amazingness.  You are in awe of your own raw talent.  Every brush stroke is a masterpiece, each element a triumph.*

Then other days you just screw everything up and make a million mistakes and can barely draw a stick figure, let alone create an artistic rendering of the human form.

Take this little lady, for instance.  I have never sworn so much in all my life.**

Everything went wrong with this piece.  First of all I did the design on the wrong side.  That hole at the top?  Shouldn’t be there.  It should be on the side, so that when you thread ribbon or string or whatever it will hang from, the picture will be on the side facing out, instead of turned on its side.  Duh.

Then, I stuffed up the face several times and had to keep painting over it.  This meant that the paint underneath got lumpier and lumpier and, me being me, didn’t let it dry sufficiently before trying to repaint it so it ended up lifting off and making the lady look like she had some sort of pox.

Then I smudged her features (eyes etc) and had to repaint AGAIN.  Then I tried doing blushed cheeks but made such a mess of it I had to stick a butterfly on her face to disguise what looked to be very bad acne.  Whilst sticking the butterfly on, I tore it slightly in a couple of places, but had to still stick it down because it was the only little butterfly I had and part of it had already adhered.

THEN, I attempted to glue the text on.  Positioned it perfectly.  Then realised I’d put the words on in the wrong order.  The original wording was “incredibly dear”, and I had glued “dear incredibly”.   So, after having to scrape off what I could of the words, I had to find replacements, which took FOREVER.  Eventually, I got the new phrase stuck on, in the right order and without too much fuss.

So, this little lady was a right madam and I was very glad to finish her.  But I kinda liked her, in the end.  So she was high-maintenance – who isn’t, sometimes?  I’m really annoyed about the hole at the top being in the wrong place but can’t do much about it now!  Each project is a learning process and that includes all the mistakes.  I’m also learning (the hard way) to be more patient and not be in such a rush to get things finished, because that’s when I do silly things that end up costing me lots of time.

Hope you experience success in all your endeavours today – thanks for dropping by 🙂

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* Granted, this doesn’t happen very often.  Not to me, anyway.

** Probably not true.  I am a bit of a potty mouth.

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Just Be You (That’s Enough)

Howdy, folks!  Here’s another little canvas I’ve been working on.  It’s only small – about 6″ x 6″ – but I packed a lot in to it 🙂  The background is a little bit too busy but I tried to use colours I would normally not be drawn to and add a bit more texture.  My faces still leave a lot to be desired, but I figure the more I practice, the better they will become (hopefully).

The butterfly at the top right hand corner is actually brighter than it appears in the photo, so it does stand out a bit more.  It’s more like the colour of the wings on the girl.

The text – sigh – gave me problems, because half way through I realised I didn’t have all the letters I needed (I was using rub-ons).  So I had to make a couple up by cutting into different letters to form new ones.  It worked well enough, I think.  The smaller font is done with little rubber alphabet stamps.

I used a scrap piece of bubble wrap, as a stamp, to make the splotchy white detail in the background, and a piece of vintage dictionary for her crown.  Otherwise, just paint, paint and more paint.  I probably painted over the whole thing about four times.  I’m kinda enjoying that process though – keeping going until it’s right.  There’s less room for error when you’re making cards, so these painted canvases are a nice change.  I’m going to be brave and do some larger ones soon.  I have a tendency to always go small.  My eyes, if nothing else, are starting to complain about that particular trait of mine, even if I have been good and do remember to wear my specs (some of the time).

This canvas is dedicated to the little voice in all of us that says “I’m not good enough.  I need to be like everyone else…”  Don’t listen to that voice – it’s a bully.  You’re ok the way you are and your uniqueness is important.  Don’t try to be like anyone but yourself.  You are more than enough (and anyone who says otherwise is just a big meany head!).

Thank you for dropping by.  Take care of yourselves x

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Being Yourself

Belated Happy Easter to you all 🙂  Did you indulge in a huge chocolate-fest, or were you restrained and just had a few little treats?  Did you spend time with family and friends, or take part in religious events?  Whatever you got up to, I hope you enjoyed yourselves and had a nice break.

I spent a lot of time with family and friends over the weekend, cleaned my house so it was fit for my Mum to visit and stay in for a couple of nights, and did some crafting.  I am still loving the Kelly Rae Roberts Unscripted series I have subscribed to.  It’s just makes me want to craft and create and DO STUFF.  I am nowhere near her standard of creativity and art, but it is very enjoyable just mucking about with paints and paper and having a go.  I am still rubbish at faces, but I keep trying and hope that some day I will get them just right!  If only people didn’t have eyes!  It would make everything so much simpler for me, at least in terms of drawing and painting (maybe not so much in real life though…) and I wouldn’t end up having tantrums, or just drawing a lot of people with closed eyes (which is my default position these days).

I had this little communion plaque (bought on a recent op-shopping trip for 50c) and I thought it would be perfect to paint over and repurpose.  It’s quite small – a little bigger than an iPhone – so perfect for me to do some crafting on!  Plus it had the little hanger on it so I didn’t need to worry about adding one myself.

I removed the picture that was already on it ( a communion poem and prayer) and sanded the wood back, then slapped on a layer of white Gesso, just to seal and give it a good working surface.  I then added paint in various colours to create a distressed, rubbed back look.  I used a soft green, some burgundy and a little bit of yellow – just dabbing and rubbing it on with my fingers.  When I was happy with the effect, I let it dry whilst figuring out what I was going to put on it.

I decided to draw my little lady on a separate piece of paper, paint her main features and then cut her out, to be glued and finished on the plaque itself.  I didn’t trust my drawing/painting skills to just add her straight to the wooden surface.  I adhered her with gel medium and then added flowers and wings cut from scrapbooking paper and vintage books.  The words were cut from old books or stamped (when I couldn’t find the word I wanted!) and I’m not quite satisfied with them, but they’re stuck on there now!  I might go over them with a bit of colour, just to make them look less “new” and pale.  I outlined here and there with black and white pencils to give some definition.

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I was a bit heavy-handed with the lady’s features – I was using a very fine black marker, but it was still too heavy.  I will do better next time! I’m happy with her top though – it came out very rustic looking and picks up the red colour in the background – and I’m glad I added the “me” heart as it needed an extra little something.

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So, all in all, I was pretty happy with my little lady.  I am trying to be myself and be ok with who that is.  Even if it means I am not the world’s greatest artist 🙂  I am still trying to find my “niche”, artistically speaking, so this is another part of the journey.  I will keep practicing faces and different techniques with paint and drawing and, in the meantime have a lot of messy fun doing it 🙂

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Thanks for stopping by – may you enjoy the freedom of being yourself,
whoever that is, today and always x

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Tarting Up Your Drawers

Hello everyone and greetings from a wet and cold Perth.  It’s Summer and should be hot, fine, blue skies-a-plenty.  But no.  We are having a cold, wet spell which is totally bizarre for January in Western Australia.  And you know how I hate the cold.  So I am feeling a bit miserable.  Although, I have to say, my gardens (both at home and at work) will be loving it, as will the poor fire fighters who normally are battling big blazes this time of year.

Over the weekend I was determined not to waste time and faff about, so I did lots of gardening and cleaned the house (a bit – let’s not get crazy) and tarted up my drawers.  No, not THOSE drawers (no one sees them but me anyway, ha ha) but my wooden, storage drawers.  I have had these for approximately twenty years.  I was supposed to paint and decorate them immediately when I bought them.  Did that happen?  Apparently not, hence my makeover of them this weekend.  Hey, you can’t rush these things, right?

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So, to start with I painted them with off-white house paint (I had a sample pot lying around, as you do).  I only did the sides and top, and the little edges that show at the front.  I could lie and tell you I sanded and prepped the wood beforehand, but I’d be fibbing.

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While the paint was drying, I selected some pretty scrapbooking papers (that was the longest part of the process – choosing papers) and then drew around the individual drawers to get the shape of them, onto the back of the papers.  The bottom drawers was longer so I had to join two strips of paper for this.

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Then, I simply glued the paper to the drawers and trimmed off any misaligned bits (ie where I had done some dodgy tracing).  Someone who is less slack than me would then have sanded back the white pint and possibly the edges of the paper to make everything nice and smooth and neat.  But, as this project was just for me, and I just wanted to get it finished, I skipped the extra steps.

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The whole thing took me about an hour.  And twenty years, but hey, who’s counting?!  I’m really pleased with it and it definitely brightens up my craft room.  My rubber stamps have a nice, colourful and pretty home now.

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I’m going to try and not procrastinate so much this year and just get little projects like this done and dusted.  This would actually make a nice gift for someone, and you can easily pick up these type of drawers at IKEA or even in an op-shop (thrift store) for just a few dollars.

Hope you are having a colourful, creative day – thank you for stopping by x