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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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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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When your Heart Speaks

My heart generally asks for pretty simple things – cookies and a bit of peace and quiet.  Less stress.  Cheese.  Sleep-ins.  Happiness for my loved ones.  Good friends.
Good health.  Tea.  More Tea.

 Sometimes it is hard to know exactly what your heart wants, when the noise of living gets in the way.  You think you want something, but then wonder if it’s just what you’re supposed to want.  If it’s what everyone else wants for you (or for themselves, but vicariously through you).  I still haven’t figured out what I want in life.  I am better at figuring out what I don’t want.  Which is a start I suppose.

Anyway, a simple little card here.  I could have added some more embellishment but I am trying to go for more simplicity in my cards, so they don’t take as long.  And so I don’t spend hours looking for that perfect piece of lace, or a button, or a word or ribbon.  I need to be more cost-effective and efficient with my time, and less like a crazy person who goes to bed dreaming about string and different shades of cream card.

Hope you are getting everything your heart desires today – or, at least, are on the way to discovering what those desires are.  Thank you for dropping by x

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Perfectly You

You are so perfectly YOU!  You are!  As Dr Seuss once wrote “Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you!”  

It’s hard to remember that sometimes – that you are YOU and you’re not supposed to be anyone else, or even try to be.  Because you were put on the Earth to be the best YOU you can be, not to try and be almost as good as someone else.  This is what I try to tell myself.  I fail, regularly, to believe it, but every day is a chance to start again (just like diets – they always begin tomorrow – it’s a known fact!) and just be YOU.

I made this little card with that sentiment in mind.  This little lady doesn’t care tthat she’s a bit rounded in some places, or that she has knobbly knees.  She doesn’t even mind that she doesn’t have arms!  She still thinks she’s a princess and a pretty damn awesome one at that.  She’s got the crown to prove – they don’t give them out to just anyone, you know.

Hope you are feeling good about yourself today – you’re exactly as you’re supposed to be and, if not, you’re heading in the right direction, bit by bit.  I know it.  Trust me, I’m a doctor.  Ok, I’m not really but I’ve watched ER lots of times so I know stuff 🙂

Thank you for dropping by and reading my silliness x

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Authentique (A Lesson in Hoarding)

I am a bit of a hoarder.  I may have mentioned this once or twice before.  I’m not like the stacks-of-newspapers-and-empty-cat-food-tins style of hoarder, not yet anyway (just wait until I get a cat!), but I do tend to hang on to bits and pieces that most people would just get rid of.  Especially things that can be used in crafting.  And, usually, those things will never actually get used.  I won’t ever need them.  Well, not until two seconds after I’ve thrown them away.  Such is the thinking of a hoarder.

Occasionally, when the stars are properly aligned and the crafting Gods are smiling down upon me, I do come across a scrap of something-or-other that has been saved, that just happens to be EXACTLY WHAT I NEED RIGHT NOW TO FINISH THIS CARD.

Take this card, for instance.  I struggled with it for some time.  It was late in the day and I was getting a bit squinty and sweary and was in a total mess.  I had made the little bird lady and was happy enough with her.  I quite liked the bird cage behind her.  But the whole thing needed a word or phrase to finish it off.  Do you think I could find something appropriate?  No, I could not.  I wanted “Unique” or “Quirky” or something similar, but nothing I found was the right size or colour or style.  I started eyeing off my bookshelves – maybe I had a book I could cut some words from?

Then, when I had just about given up, I found this little scrap of packaging, with the word “Authentique” on it.  Right size and style of font.  That would do nicely, thank you.  Edged it with some ink, glued it on and sighed with relief (feeling a little smug because hoarding had come to the rescue at last, just as I knew it would).

So, sometimes, just sometimes, hoarding pays off.  More often than not it just makes a mess and clutters up your house but, just very occasionally, it saves the day and stops you tearing your hair out or cutting up your library.

Hope you are living clutter-free and authentically today.  But if “authentically” for you means keeping bits and pieces you might need one day, your secret is safe with me 🙂

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Cherish (and Quote for the Day)

Another very simple card which took no time at all to complete (which is nice, for a change – I really must try and not be so slow!).  Some vintage text, an old postcard image and a lovely lass – nothing too difficult or complicated.  I added some dimension to the lady’s head band with Diamond Glaze, just to make it stand out a bit more and add some interest.  All edges were inked with “Vintage Photo” Distress Ink to add continuity and overall sense of harmony (in terms of the colours all looking as though they “go” together). It’s a good technique for when you maybe have some papers that don’t strictly work together – try inking them up a bit to help tie them together tonally.

To finish, a little quote to go with today’s post, from one of my favourite books (and authors) :

“If you cherish something enough”, she told me, “it doesn’t matter how old or worn or useless it’s become; your caring for it immediately raises its value in somebody else’s eyes. It’s just like rehab- a body’s got to believe in their own worth before anybody can start fixing them, but most people need someone to believe in them before they can start believing in themselves.”

— Charles de Lint : Waifs and Strays

🙂

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Weird Sister

To all my “Sisters from other Misters”……..

I quickly made this card on the weekend from some leftover scraps of lace, paper and an old vintage image of an elegant lady.  She’s a little less elegant now…looks like she’s been op-shopping or playing dress-ups.

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She has bling on her hat and a label in case she gets lost or forgets who she is 🙂

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A little bit of vintage lace is always classy…

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I decided she need some earrings too, so she got some dainty pearls at the last minute (not shown in top picture) with a dot of Liquid Pearls.  She’s ready to roll now.  Off to a tea party or crazy hat convention.  I foresee cupcakes and crochet in her future for some reason.  Maybe a little white magic and fairy dust too (I stopped short of giving her wings).

Thanks for stopping in – Hope your day is wonderful 🙂