Tuesday, 3 May 2016

There are always tulips

The weather is very  unspringlike but even so there are signs of life in the garden. The daffodils have recovered from the loads of snow that came down over their heads last week,  and these little perennial tulips are putting up a fine show, although I can't help wondering why we put them in the middle of a large flowerbed so that getting to them for photography purposes was like entering the jungle.

Monday, 2 May 2016

Your Heart and Soul

It's a Bank Holiday here in the UK today and of course that means it's wet and windy although with an occasional glimpse of the sun, Just as well I have loads to do in the studio. This is my contribution for week 18 of Colour Me Positive. Our prompt for this week was: Healing, and the art challenge to use a heart or hearts on your pages. 

This spread was done in my A4 Dylusions art journal and I started with a gessoed background to which I added acrylic paints and then removed some of it again using a babywipe and a stencil featuring different sizes of hearts. I was aiming for soft, dreamlike colours.

I then grabbed a doily and sprayed through it with a pink Dylusions ink spray. After that I had to be a bit more careful as these sprays are water soluble and in fact using any wet medium on top of them will make them move. I added the XOXO stencil (from the April 2016 Stencilgirl Club)  in the background.

I had just this week cut out the woman in the lovely rose dress from one of the Sunday paper supplements and she was just what I wanted for the page.  I gave her a large blue heart.

The heart shape came from a heart I bought for £1 at the Knitting & Stitching Show on Saturday just for this very purpose. It's thin wood and I used it to mark out the heart shape on a vintage book page. I cut it out and collaged it to the page.

I found a quotation that resonated with the theme of Healing. it reads: "One of the most courageous decisions you'll ever make, is to finally let go of what is hurting your heart and soul". by Brigitte Nicole. I printed it out onto vintage paper and glued that on as shown, antiquing it more with a black Stabilo All pencil and gold embossing paste.

The final touch was the postage stamp featuring a horse running free.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

May Journal Quilt

 A new month means a new Journal Quilt. I'm making these monthly for the challenge on the Contemporary Quilt Group who have set the size at 8 x 10" and also require us to add a piece at least 1/2" large in a specified colour. For the next 4 months that colour is green (and you can see it bottom left.
I have added a further challenge to myself  i.e. to use tartans and tweeds in my journal quilts this year. The background is hand quilted and the pieces of tweed have been appliquéd on, simply by hand stitching. I'm trying to merge them into the background that way.  As you can see there are 3 layers of appliqué, one on top of each other. Although the fabrics I'm using might be traditional the methods are not and there are lots of raw edges adding to the texture of the journal quilts. I'm also trying to make them look folksy which is proving more difficult that I had anticipated.
 Some of the fabrics I'm using come from LochCarron Woollen Mills
Lots of embellishment form the final layer of the piece in the form of size 11 seed beads and vintage buttons.

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Fancy a pizza?

This one is definitely non edible but lots of fun. I saw it at the Knitting and Stitching show in Edinburgh today

Friday, 29 April 2016


No, this isn't Christmas but rather the start of the May Day bank holiday, when it is supposed to be spring. Instead we woke up to about 3 to 4 inches of snow. And it was still snowing. I consulted the other party involved in the dog walk but he was set on going so go we did.
 It struck me that I should follow his example and simply enjoy it.

I jokingly said on Facebook yesterday that I would be coming to the Knitting & Stitching Show that is on this weekend at Ingliston near Edinburgh, provided we weren't snowed in! Famous last words and all that. However better weather is promised for tomorrow and the snow is very soft and loose so driving shouldn't be too much of a problem specially as we have forgotten to remove our snow tires. Or was that good planning? Whatever, it comes in handy at the moment.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

My Future

We get two prompts per month from the Wanderlust 2016 classes. They are unrelated to the classes themselves but simply spur you on to work in an art journal and do your own thing. The second prompt for April was: My Future. The other element that influenced this spread was the video that accompanied the new set of stencils for the Stencilgirl Club this month. As part of your membership of the Club you don't just get 3 stencils but you also get the password for the exclusive to members videos that demonstrate how to use those stencils. This month the stencils were designed by MaryBeth Shaw, the owner of Stencilgirl Products, and I loved the video. At the time I made this spread the stencils for April hadn't arrived here in Scotland yet but I have plenty of other Stencilgirl stencils so I used some of those.

MaryBeth started her pages by collaging and I did the same which you can just about still see in the background. I worked on the textured pages that form part of the Vintage Vanity Art Journal in which I do all my prompts for Wanderlust. As the background was completely covered with collage it didn't matter that the paper itself was patterned. The collaged papers were then covered up themselves with paint.

For the stencilling I used the small stencil from the February 2015 Stencilgirl Club as well as the very versatile Tropical Floral stencil (designed by Traci Bautista). This last one is so full of patterns that I never get tired of using it and you will have seen it before on my pages and will no doubt see it again. It also features flowers and words as you can see.

I stamped on the words My Future (from Stencil Alphabet stencil), and then found a suitable quotation that reads: "You cannot fight against the future. Time is on our side" and added to it the French postage stamp showing what to me has always looks like someone who is sowing. And for this spread she is sowing the seeds of the future.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

A Giant Adventure

I'm so happy to be back this month as Guest Designer for Stencilgirl Products. I made this 9 x 12" page before I left on my trip to New York but of course I had spend a lot of time already peering at maps and images of the city before hand and that was what inspired this spread. Looking at it now I'm amazed how much that grid in the background resonates with the many pictures I took of the skyscrapers when I was there. The quilter in me just loved it all. You can find a full tutorial with step by step instruction on how to make this page here.
The map in the diagonal lines has some personal significance for me and contains places I have been to and I like the intermingling of that very higgledy piggely landscape with the geometric grid lines in the background.
The quotation is by Angelina Jolie and reads: "Any time I feel lost, I pull out a map and stare. I stare until I have reminded myself that life is a giant adventure, so much to do, to see". 
I used the new metallic paints by Finnabair for this page and they have a lovely shine to them. Hopefully you can see a bit of this on the pictures.
And finally guess what we woke up to this morning?! It looks lovely but I'm more than ready for this to be over with now, and so are the daffodils who are looking sadly bedraggled. 


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