From boy to man…

I’ve been trying to get things sorted and done, put away, etc. at home but I’m not really feeling it at the moment. Life is complicated, uncertain, mixed up and downright messy, isn’t it? So today, I have distracted myself with a bit of digital play (for Theme Thursday’s “men/masculine” challenge) using some original vintage photos/photo postcards from my collection.

Coffin and Beardsley are the gentlemen in the foreground – turn of the century, Edwardian Music Hall actors. The boy is a very soft and blurry vintage photo, and the crack is one of those new brushes – cool, huh?!!

I told my BBF Barbara that I am knitting a bag – in an effort to sit still and keep the bad foot elevated! – and that it’s cable (I like patterns and a challenge!)…

I don’t have anything remotely resembling the top, fluffy bit, so I guess I shall be improvising!! At the moment I am over halfway up the first side and I’ll post pics when it’s finished. I sent my friend Debs, who recently acquired a gift shop in Redruth, near Truro, a big box of handmade pendants, pins, cards etc. and she’s sold several domino pendants, an art pin and a couple of cards, so I had to pack another box up for her today! Nice!

And here’s a quick pic of a reworked watercolour sketch I did the other day in the garden, thanks to Jane Davenport!

Although she’s unfinished, I feel a lot happier with her now than I did before!

TAW – Wedding!

When I was working with Lisa Vollrath on her DT for Ten Two Studios, we always had some beautiful vintage images to use.

I recently combined 3 small altered frames to make a vintage-style wall-hanging.

I used lots of broken/recycled costume jewellery, scraps of ribbon and lace and the whole thing has a D-ring brass hanger!

Personally I am no fan of weddings – especially when they are outrageously expensive these days – but there’s something so innocent about this vintage couple’s photos, that I enjoy seeing this hanging every day. It’s one of those creations that you really don’t mind hanging onto!! 😉

See more interpretations of WEDDINGS over at Take a Word this week!

I got the blues…

But in a good way! I have been working on what I refer to as “project denim” for a week or so, now. My DD has given me several pairs of her old jeans  – I love denim – and I decided that I would try to use ALL of one pair to see how many things I can create from them. So far I have a bag from the bum (see photo 1), a clutch bag from one of the lower legs, 2 headbands (newly embellished), 2 wrist-cuffs – blinged up! and a coiled fabric bowl. I am taking all these wondrous things to the Community Market at Halwill Junction tomorrow to see what the other crafty peoples make of them!!

Cute, innit? I made the strap too – using a piece of the other leg and some recycled fabric a friend gave me. Here’s one of the cuffs:

And I wrote a haiku for them – because it’s (Haiku my heart) Friday, isn’t it? 😉

Moody denim blue

Sparks my imagination

Love my baby’s jeans!

Travel

For Take a Word this week – I found this quote and it struck me as most appropriate. It’s almost like… “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence…” or “Be careful what you wish for…” I like to think of myself as a ‘glass half full’ type of person – so after uttering a few bitchy remarks recently, and being pulled on it by the other half, I started to question that.

Am I really happy with what I have or am I lusting after what others have??? Well, I have done some soul-searching and decided that I am basically happy! That’s not to say of course, that I wouldn’t love to win the lottery, because I would! I really would love to take a Grand Tour and meet up with fellow art bloggers, go do some workshops, take a class or two and chillax… In the meantime, I am grateful for what I have here and create the wistful characters who are looking for more!!

I was lucky enough to sit outside in the garden for an hour or so to create this journal page today, and long may this fine spell continue! 🙂

Jewels on paper…

See, I know I haven’t posted since the Goo Goo Dolls, but I am being really good and working really hard as much as I can, to create my own digital collage sheets using both my collection of small vintage photos and also my own artwork.

I have fallen in love with colour again. I think that the winter was too long, life was overwhelmingly grey (for many horrible reasons, which will not be given space on my art blog…), for far too long and I learned to love orange, and lemon, and lime and all the hues in between. Don’t get me wrong – the grunge-monster is still alive and kicking, but I have had an almost desperate desire to “colour” my life and make it more vibrant!

It started with inchies and the fabric charms; I now have pins awaiting backs and bamboo pendants that will be strung tomorrow! Today I created a new sheet of ATCs and a mighty sheet of 35 domino blocks…

 And then this evening, I printed this sheet out using my Inkjet printer, on “normal” setting, onto glossy photo paper – and they shone at me like little rectangular jewels! Gorgeous!

3 different designs and 35 little blocks of wonderful colour! I am so excited! Honestly, I can’t help it – they print out beautifully! I have kind-hearted arty friends who have been my “test dummies” and I know that if they weren’t good enough, they’d tell me the truth. So I’m confident that these are gorgeous and it’s not just me that thinks so!

Available NOW in my Etsy shop!  Happy days! 😉

Take advantage of me, why don’t you?!

I have just put these up for sale in my Etsy shop:

Aren’t they a gorgeous colour? (Click on the pic for full size and bright sunshine!) Now it’s my birthday on Sunday, (March 6th), and I can’t make up my mind what I want… Sound familiar? I bet! It’s been a tricky couple of months – bills, accounts, etc. – and so I have to be frugal. However, I can also be giving too, so take advantage of the fact that I am offering 20% discount across the board in my Etsy shop until Monday March 7th at 1800 hrs (GMT) and the shipping is really affordable, wherever you live! Type in MYBIRTHDAY2011 in the coupon code section when you purchase and Etsy applies the discount! Yay! Simples…

I am also giving away the Double Take fabric postcard and Annie Oakleaf. Just leave a comment and tell your friends too and I’ll draw the winners on Monday evening after the Sale ends.

"Double Take"

 And the wooden plaque: Annie Oakleaf, Drama Queen!

This is an International Giveaway and I so don’t mind where I post to… so come on, help me celebrate my birthday!! 🙂

I plan on increasing the number of items in my shop and will also be running promotions and giveaways throughout the year, so keep your eyes open and come back often!! 😉

Feelin’ hot, hot, hot!!

When I was going to dance classes some years ago, we used to dance freestyle Salsa to this great number… and once you start, you can’t stop!! So the Three Muses challenge this week is to use HOT as your theme. I found myself thinking random, disconnected thoughts and then paralleling them in my head with colour and words as I created the background with yellow and orange paint.

In the spirit of using up scraps from my desk and unfinished projects too, I connected the Take a Word (Romance) with these joined up puzzle pieces and they also, being a little racy (hot?), fit the 3M theme… Prompted by Tammy’s (Daisy Yellow in my head) “measure” prompt, I used the quirky eraser stamp I carved on Sunday night along the bottom of the page…

How cool is that? How hot is this? Measure it!

Funny how your mind works, isn’t it?  The bitty specks of black on the page are embossing powder, with which I have been really childish today! I have been reinventing a large canvas*** I wasn’t happy with and I ended up really playing this morning – splattering paint on it and then throwing embossing powder into the paint. Honestly! So I had to see what happened to the fabric flower when I heated it too, didn’t I?  Fine until you overheat it – see page for details… *giggles*

***I am renaming it “Reckless abandon”… Watch this space for photos later this week!!!

Oh and here’s a fun video of that catchy tune…

“Home” for the holidays!

I could seriously be related to The Grinch… albeit distantly, maybe only metaphorically really. I am very “Bah Humbug”, don’t like the commercialisation of Christmas and resist buying Christmassy stuff like the devil! However, I do ‘glow’ a little when putting up the tree and I like hearing carols on the radio, so I have a sneaking suspicion that my lack of enthusiasm is due to the fact that DD’s too old for ‘proper’ xmas and Nick and I really have most of the things we ‘need’ now.

So, anyway, here’s my Christmas House/Home (Take a Word), for the holiday season, made from a 5″ x 4″ chunk of wood, covered with a xmas napkin and embellished, front, back and sides:

It’s real “brass monkey” weather here at the moment, although our part of Cornwall hasn’t really had any snow (yet!)… but the ice is thicker than I’ve ever seen it before! Apparently this is the earliest it has snowed in the UK for some 17 years. Looks like we’ll have a pretty awful, extended winter and to be honest, that’s not much to look forward to, is it? Any  monies will have to be carefully saved in order to pay the bills, never mind anything else…

Ah well, at least we have a roof over our heads, unlike the homeless… and there’s a lady (DaliGoddess), who’s part of the LMM group on ning (Gary Reef aka Capricorn Artist’ group), who knits brilliant hats. She also donates hats to homeless people in the winter, so you could always follow suit if you knit quick enough, or help someone else and buy them a winter hat, or a scarf. It’s going to be really cold I think and we need to look out for one another this winter.

All my neighbours are older than us, so I shall be on the lookout in case anyone needs a hand. And everyone gets a big, big smile from now on, whatever their demeanour!! (I could end up with lockjaw… we’ll see!) 🙂

Exciting news!!

Well I finally finished the basic website last night… I am so excited!! Welcome to my professional home on the ‘net – “Altered Art & Stuff by Rosie Rowe”, built by me with the help of my DH, who does it for a living! 😉

"Altered Art & Stuff by Rosie Rowe"

I love my artblog, where I show projects I’m working on, take part in challenges, etc., but I wouldn’t sell my art on here. I’ve used Artfire.com before but found it too huge and too filled with craftspeople who make jewellery, not a bad thing, but it’s difficult to be seen when you are so very outnumbered. And, more importantly, if you are not selling, it becomes expensive.

So, I have wanted my own personal website presence where I can show my art more permanently and keep things simple when I wish to sell.  Original artwork is expensive and I think it’s very hard to price your work realistically in a huge global market, so I decided that I wanted my own place to sell artwork that I have created, in an affordable format.

Some time ago, I received a beautiful postcard from Michelle Ward – who will always be one of my Art Heroes – and I remember thinking, ‘I’d love to have my artwork on a postcard and send it off to friends, etc.’ Well, now I can! I am lucky enough to have met a super guy who can print high quality digital prints, posters, postcards for me (and anyone else who’d like them, come to that!)

I managed to get a couple of sample T-shirts made with “be beautiful” on them too – LOVE wearing my own artwork!!!! I shall be sporting one tomorrow when I do my duty at the Holsworthy Family Workshop’s annual Craft & Food Fair – 10am – 3pm at Holsworthy Memorial Hall, Holsworthy, Devon…

Do go and have a browse round my new site – and if you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear them. I intend to post up some hints & tips, tutorials, etc. so that if you’ve ever struggled with a particular technique and you think I make it look easy, then I will share how I do it… or at the very least, point you in the right direction to where I found out myself!

At the moment, I haven’t a “proper shop” online, but if you want to buy anything I am selling, just email me from the site and I’ll send you details. 🙂

Am I Whimsical???

I would have said, “No, Rosie, you aren’t whimsical.” But that was before I came under the Tam-fluence! That was before I learned how to draw a face, any face, a basic face. The more I do this, the more I enjoy it. I spent all day today with 4 characters (one of whom represents me as a girl), patiently shading and colouring and messing up and trying again!

Here come the girls...

Cue that annoying Boots advert music. I say annoying because it’s been running through my mind most of this afternoon!

Alison and me...

I’m the blonde with the bunches!

Nandini and Chris

Alison, on the far left became an auto mechanic, but in our day, finding work in that field was just too difficult so she retrained as a WP operator/secretary and earned much more! My friend Nandini was very brainy, of Indian parents and wanted to become a doctor. No idea what happened to her, sadly, but I might have a look for her on Facebook. Chris on the right was the real “blonde”, wanted to be a police officer and I simply lost touch after we left school…

None of us “fitted in” with the cool girls – we were either too geeky, or too goody-goody! That was what united us for a few years – we were each other’s coping mechanism for a while back then.

Class resumes again tomorrow and I can’t wait to see what we do this week. There are 1145 members at the time of writing this post!

Willow away, Tam!! xoxoxo  🙂