A little something inspired by Created by Hand this week. I receive the Quietfire Design newsletter – I love the calligraphy stamps and some of the lovely products too! The red+blue struck a chord with me because I use the colour purple quite a lot.

This is the first art journal (book), I ever made thanks to Julie Prichard!! The only thing wrong with it is the Khadi papers. Great texture, too absorbent for me though, but the edges are cool! I use red and blue a lot in this little journal!

The image is a transfer from a Boots the chemist free magazine. The woman was on one of the “agony aunt” pages, with the lead title of “We talked it out…”, etc. She’s a clean image so I decided to use her for a quickie transfer. I’m taking Quinn’s Workshop – Raw Art Journalling – and I have given myself permission to make RAW art – imperfect art, because I can get very hung up on perfection… No, really, really control-freakishly annoying to myself!!

You see how there are a few spots where I rubbed too much of the image away? Not perfect… I can live with that, because it sort of goes with how “smug” I find articles like that! The speech bubble says: “We talked it all out… we felt a lot better although nothing changed.”

I also enjoy writing around an image, just for fun, to see how the words flow, or not! I drew the little flowers with red and blue Inktense pencils and blended them with a waterbrush.  I also bought a very cheap pack of pens recently -2 black and 1 red – simple gel pens, for 99p, and surprisingly, they’ll write/sketch/doodle on almost any surface! They probably won’t last long because they are so handy!!!

Just one little tip for people who struggle to get rid of the white “fuzzies” of paper left over when you have rubbed to the image on your transfer: Using your finger, apply a very small amount of mineral, vegetable or baby oil to the image transfer and watch the image shine out. It’s “magic” and I must give credit to Bev Wauer and Lesley Riley of the Inkjet Transfers Yahoo Group. I’ve been a member for about 4 years and they are so helpful and friendly! 🙂

How cool is this?

Created by Hand’s theme this week is “Waiting for Spring…” and I found this Shape photo collager online, which you can also download. The info came through in my Photojojo Newsletter – very cool! It started me thinking about Spring, etc.

I chose the heart shape using my own artwork, because soon it’ll be Valentine’s Day – the romantic time of spring and love and all that stuff!


Then I went and searched online for images of spring… and made this one! All images are courtesy of Bienenwabe – superb nature photos.

Circle of Spring

Aren’t they lovely? Bienenwabe kindly gave me permission to use these lovely photos, for which I am really grateful. So many beautiful flowers and bees, so perfectly photographed – do go visit the Photostream! It’s a sight for sore eyes…

It’s a Freebie!

Created by Hand’s challenge this week. I didn’t think I’d manage to do this one as I wanted to get my angel painted for tomorrow, but I decided to try my hand, on a scrap of mountboard (2.5″ x 2″), at a miniature scene, using watercolour paints. Here it is…

What I am finding so fascinating about the watercolours is that you can keep adding paint or water, or brushstrokes and you get layer upon layer, with as much depth as you do with acrylics. Of course, you don’t get the same thickness or richness, but using the tubes of pigment, it’s quite thrilling to discover how vibrant the colours are. It’s not necessarily quicker – for me – because I am learning about this, but it is a lot of fun!

We’ve had an amazing amount of snow across the UK and it’s making life very difficult for so many people. DD’s school was closed today due to the heavy snowfall to the North of Bude, where a lot of the pupils live, and the presence of black ice on the roads. For the first time since I can remember, there were no buses running either. My boss (at market) turned back and went home this morning because the vehicles ahead of him got stuck in the snow and ice, so it came as no surprise that we aren’t going to work tomorrow! Shame… but then again, it’s good for arting!

Now I’m going to see if our elderly neighbours are okay, ‘cos you never know, do you? Although we haven’t as much snow or ice here at the moment, they may not be confident about going out, so I think I’ll just pop round and check on them.

Valkyries came…

… into my head this evening as I was experimenting with watercolour paints. This is how they look:

I can’t hide it – I am really excited about this painting. I love how it has turned out. I think I am going to do more of this sort of thing in the year ahead – “Out with the old”????Created by Hand’s prompt today, seems appropriate, no?

I have always had a fondness for Isaac Asimov and I, Robot is one of my favourite books/films. I loved the epic “Dune” too and I have a penchant for Harry Potter, X-Men, well that sort of thing. I expect catching the latter half of Jurassic Park III last night may have brought the Valkyries out! I don’t know, but I do like this piece – a lot. I have to keep working on improving my technique now….

“I’m blue”

For the Created by Hand challenge this week, here are 3 little ACEOs that I made using shades of blue paint on kitchen towels, with shimmers, vellum, stamping and some Japanese images.

The group:

One by one:

I have a feeling the vellum came from Annie in Finland…

The art stamp is from Robin at MaVinci.

Just have to go list a textured canvas on my ArtFire studio, slap some more layers of paint on a huge canvas, design my own original Christmas card and then I can sort out the dogs and the hoovering! Never a dull moment, is there?!!


3 Challenges, 5 ATCs!

It’s been a really hectic, but thoroughly enjoyable day today… took my Halloween artwork to the gallery this morning and had a long chat with Martyn, who had immense trouble trying to price and ‘categorise’ what I do. We both agreed that there’s no “box” I fit into… imagine that?!

Came home and started making some ATCs with recycled card from the beloved Scrapstore. These are fab because they’re 5.5″ x 3.5″, so I can get 2 ATCs from each card and only cut twice! What a time-saver. Had almost finished them when our dear friends arrived for brunch – traditional bacon sarnies and mugs of tea. It was so warm and sunny we spent the best part of 4 hours in the garden, chatting and laughing… and I even got all my washing dry.

So, here are the 5 ATCs… a set of 4 crows (Theme ThursdayBirds) and Created by Hand (Stencils). I had a clear plastic folder which I’d cut from one of those accordion files that broke, so I cut a bird stencil from that, amongst other things… which is what I’ve used on the set of 4 ATCs.





So far, so good, I thought. Then I got out my favourite stamp from Third Coast RS – The eyes have it… I thought I’d use that for the Double Trouble challenge at this week’s Wednesday Stamper. So, I stamped the first image onto a scrap or recycled french book text for the upper half of the ATC. I then stamped and embossed the same image below, directly onto the background. Yuck! If the embossing goes wrong or doesn’t show the image, I have in the past, overstamped the entire image with black stazon (or similar) to make it clearer. Did that and it still didn’t look right, so I cut a bit of a cello bag up, stamped onto that with brown stazon and attached that to the whole ATC with staples. At last! I could see the image clearly… and then when I scanned it, look at the shine/glare from the cello cover! Hah!


Fairy Magic Pendant

Created by Hand this week is all about “Faeries”… so I happily got to play with the Toadstools stamps from Home Impressions to create this altered puzzle piece pendant for Ria!


I started with a little collaged music and text and then brayered over them with a rainbow ink pad, which has seen better days! I then used the toadstools and fairy stamps and lastly the Fairy Magic words. I outlined the images and then coated the whole piece with clear polymer medium gloss, after making the holes for the jump rings.

Once dry, I added the j-rings, a fairy charm and a ‘necklace’ thing! (I am technically challenged when it comes to jewellery findings!!) Maybe the rings should be closer together?

Tall, small buildings…

Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? But, you see Created by Hand has challenged us to use inchies this week… and Fi at Inchy by Inch, has challenged us to use buildings for our inchies. See? So I have used Home Impressions Row Houses sheet and chosen the tall-ish skinny house, which fits onto 3 inchies!

The ATC background is alcohol inks in Butterscotch and Slate.


Right now, I’m off to try and finish one of my paintings-in-progress. Fingers crossed! 😉