Monday, 23 May 2016


This is my latest contribution for Colour Me Positive. Our prompt this week was: Abundance, and the art challenge to use sheet music on your piece.

It all started off innocently enough when I found a quotation I really liked: "The key to abundance is meeting limited circumstances with unlimited thoughts" by Marianne Williamson. I printed that out onto vintage paper to add to the spread later. As the word key was part of the quotation I decided to see if I had any key stencils and I did (from a Mega Stencil Set by Pinflair), as well as stamps featuring keys.

The background was made using the large stencil from the February 2015 Stencilgirl Club with some dark and moody looking colours. I added spraying through one of the key stencils I found with Dylusions spray ink and also removed some paint again using another key stencil from the same set.

I started looking for an image to use and found the Madonna. She comes from the painting of the Annunciation by Simone Martini and I had used part of the painting in an earlier post .I glued her on using matte medium and it wasn't till after she had been firmly adhered that I realised that this provided quite a double entendre combined with the quotation. By that time it was too late and I have to admit to having a quiet chuckle. I added the door handle to balance her on the opposite page as it went well with the key theme. I also stamped on some key elements (from the Doors set by Darkroom Door)

I added the word REVEALED (from the large stencil from the November 2015 Stencilgirl Club). It ended up where I had previously sprayed with the Dylusions ink and as this is water-soluble it came up through the white paint which in this case I really liked.

I realized by this stage that I had overlooked the sheet music so stencilled the large key on some of that and added it to the pages. The entire spread looked way too dark at this stage and some contrast was required.

I rummaged through my stash of gelli-plate printed materials and found some fabric and a matching coloured daisy (from Doodle It Daisy stencil by Stencilgirl) and they were adhered as shown. Then the quotation was added to the page. The LIVE word was stencilled on (also from the same set of Pinflair stencils I had found as the key ones) and the page was done. It's much darker than my usual pages but in a way that suits the quote with its "limited circumstances"). 

Finally I added another quotation, this time in writing which says: "Not what we have but what we enjoy constitutes our abundance". It's by Epicurus and he certainly knew how to have a good time himself.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

2000 Blips

Today I will be posting my 2000th blip on the Blipfoto site. I have blipped every day without interruption since November 2010 and although I keep thinking I should give it a rest I seem to be addicted. I never have trouble finding a picture to suit the day. Very often it's something to do with my art as, truth be told, that's what I do most days but there is also the garden, the beautiful Borders landscape, Edinburgh, musea and much, much more.
 I do have trouble with the commenting as it takes up much valuable time which I would rather use to make more art but the stars and hearts on the site allow me to show my appreciation for the photographs of fellow blippers. I'm just going to continue as I have done,  specially as I've become a share holder in the company.
You can't go wrong with tulips and that's why a tulip steals the 2000th blip show. 

Friday, 20 May 2016


The prompts for the Wanderlust 2016 book only come twice a month which is just as well as otherwise I doubt I would have been able to keep up with them. It also helps that I'm working in a small (5.5 x7") art journal. I'm using the Vintage Vanity one designed by Finnabair for Prima. Our first prompt for May was: What are you most grateful for?

The background was made using acrylic paints and the large stencil from the September 2015 Stencilgirl Club (for the little squares). The circles were stamped on in black and red using part of the Grunge stamp set designed by Nathalie Kalbach for Stampendous. I collaged on pieces from the Postage tissue wrap by Tim Holtz. One of those were used to provide the space to write on what I am most grateful for which is that I'm alive. Without that where would we be?!

I stamped on part of a stamp featuring a face from the EEA01 stamp set designed by Everything-Art (the organizers of Wanderlust 2016) for PaperArtsy.

A vintage quotation about gratitude was glued on as shown. It reads: "When our perils are past, shall our gratitude sleep? No, - here's to the pilot that weathered the storm". I made this spread some time ago but today those words have an extra resonance to them.

The postage stamps were the final touch, as they often are.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

A Golden Moment

Yesterday was a bit of a golden day as I was told late afternoon that my La Linea d'oro (or Golden Line) wall hanging had won the 1st Prize in the Small Wallhangings section of the Quilt UK 2016 show held in Malvern. The show will open today and is on till Sunday. That would have been great news in itself but it was also rewarded with the Award for Surface Texture and Embellishment as well as a Judges Choice. 

You can read more about this quilt here on a previous blog post so I'll just mention that this is a compilation of the 12 journal quilts I made in 2014 and each individual square is sized 8 x 8". 
Above is a detail of one of those squares. The fabrics for the wall hanging were all painted on the gelli plate. Thus far my gelli plate printed pieces have been very successful for me (one even winning a trip to New York!) so perhaps it's time to return to the gelli plate and do some more, specially as I enjoy making the fabrics very much.
First though it's time to work on the quilt you can just barely see in the background of the picture above. I'm machine quilting it at the moment and yesterday at the last meeting of the Tweeddale Textile Group in Peebles I came across just the right hand dyed machine quilting threads to do so (from Oliver Twist). It felt like the universe was on my side and that feeling continued today when a deer crossed my path during the dog walk. It was very calm, hopped over the fence and sauntered into the forest. Before it disappeared our eyes met for a brief and very special moment.

I sometimes wish I could bottle such beautiful times so that I could take a sniff of it when things aren't going quite as well!

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

A Different Perspective

The May theme on The Documented Life Project 2016 remains A Look through My Eyes - gaining new perspectives, while the art challenge required us to use under paper.

I found a quotation I liked by Leila Summers that reads: "Sometimes the only reason for us to be somewhere else is to see things from a different perspective". My "somewhere else" proved to be Venice even though I didn't know that when I started making this spread.

I started by using colours that went with the sunny weather on the day I made these pages and randomly grabbed a Stencilgirl stencil. It proved to be a very versatile one (S107 Zen Landscape).I glued on some under paper as required. For those who are wondering what under paper is, it's the paper you put underneath your art work to catch any spillages, rub your brayer clean on and to dumb the extra paint left on your stencils and stamps. You can still get a glimpse of it on the bottom right hand corner but most of it is now hidden by the subsequent layers.

Once I looked at my background, it immediately brought the magical light of Venice to mind so I continued adding more Venetian elements such as the image of the gondolas (from the travel supplement in one of the newspapers). I also stamped on the background with the "Embrace the detours"  and compass image, both from EEA02 stamp set designed by Everything-Art for PaperArtsy.

I then grabbed some delicious tissue wrap (called Postale) by Tim Holtz and overstamped it with the Six Arches stamp (from Stampington).

The quotation was printed out onto vintage paper, glued on, and outlined with a Stabilo All pencil. Of course there had to be a stamp and butterflies see things from many different perspectives during their lifetime so seemed appropriate for the spread. It also matched very well colour wise.


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