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Being Yourself

Belated Happy Easter to you all ūüôā¬† 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 Рjust 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 ūüôā¬† 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 ūüôā

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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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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 Рwhat 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 ūüôā ¬† 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 ūüôā

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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 Рthe shapes of some of their images Рso 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 Рbodies, 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 ūüôā

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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 Рchoosing 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

 

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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 ūüôā

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Best Buddies

Two more Little Peep cards.¬† I like the first one and her crazy hair and happy face.¬† Well, I try and give them all happy faces…but she looks extra chipper.¬† I kept the rest of the card simple with only a faded stripe paper as a backing.¬† Her red checkered dress is bright enough to be the focal point.

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This purple-patterned miss is also kinda cute.¬† If I’m allowed to say that about something I drew myself ha ha.¬† I kept to the purple and white palette with this one.¬† I’m still trying desperately to use up ALL my papers but I find it hard to move away from the colours I like best (blue, browns and faded tones).¬† These Little Peeps help because they only require small scraps of card and paper and don’t overload me with colours I don’t like so much.

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This next little lady goes for green tones.¬† I was going to sneak a flower or two in there as well (to go with her leafy dress) but I couldn’t make it work.¬† Also, I was being lazy.

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Still lots of faces to make into card toppers.¬† The one on the right hand side here (with the brown bob) is inspired by my niece.¬† Her Mum asked me to try and do the whole family in Little Peep form so I’m starting from the youngest and working my way up.¬† I’ll let you know when I finish them (if I do…I’m a bit of a hopeless case when it comes to completing projects).¬† I am going to try and get myself some glasses this week (I’m biting the bullet and doing what I should have done ages ago) so hopefully they will help me to get things done.¬† With less squinting and headaches.

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Hope you are having a good day ūüôā