Sunday, 30 May 2010

Vintage & Modern Art

I've been missing from blogland this past week or so but I've posted some bits and bobs I prepped and saved in advance. Last week I went to Yorkshire for the jewellery course which I was lucky to have won and it was a fantastic few days. Since then I've had my DD2 and lovely grandee visiting from Germany..... precious time, so blogging has taken a rest for a while. Will be back in a couple of days with all that happened in the interim but here's another I prepared earlier, "Blue Peter" style blog post...........

I've just finished these two Deco pages for one of my group swaps (KCUK) and the theme is "Vintage".
I hope Linda likes them and that they aptly fit into her book. I'm puzzled that one of the cameos cracked more than the other, despite being the same card and despite my using the same amount of Crackle Glaze.

When I went into the city centre the other day I was surprised to see this piece of public art had been removed then I remembered that it was only on loan to the city. Luckily I had photographed it and I will really miss having another look at the detail each time I walk from the car or bus into town. 
The Pillar of Friendship
 A collaboration of Master Blacksmiths, from all over the world, brought together by the British Artist Blacksmiths Association. Each unit designed and made by a different artist blacksmith and represents their interpretation of friendship. I photographed the information but unfortunately missed a couple of artist's names and sadly cannot find them on the net to give them credit. 
1) Adrain Wood UK           2) Helen Roberts UK             
3) Heiner Zimmermann     4) Kheir Aker Palestine
5) Sergiy Pulubotko Ukraine 6) Martin Briedenbach Germany 

7) Rick Smith USA        8) ???
9) Jim Horrobin UK        10) Abed Abdi Palestine

11) Bethan Griffiths UK     12) ???
13) Uri Hofi Israel    14) Igor Andruchin Russia

I just love so many elements in the pieces and keep seeing more gems of detail each time I look.
I especially love these figures below, reminiscent of Giacometti's art, and today I noticed that the right hand figure is pregnant and they are all holding gingko leaves.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Tag card, ATC & more Irish oddities

I've been playing around making this card but I'm trying to do it from memory. A few years ago my friend Linda sent me a similar one and I have been trying to remember how it was made. Linda's was much better than mine so I think I'll have to keep playing to improve it, but you can get the idea from the photograph. I do like the shaded coloured swirls which were stamped with a Kaleidacolor ink pad, Caribbean Sea.
I'm also ahead of myself, for a change, as I have made my ATC for the June workshop of Vicky Stampers, and the theme is... "Childhood". I'm looking forward to it as we will have Liz Welch as tutor giving us her expert knowledge on Friendly Plastic.

When I was looking for the "Elephant in Ireland" photo a few days ago I also found these following pictures (and lots more) which reminded me of other Irish Oddities during that holiday. 
We drove from Dingle round the Sneem Peninsular and stopped off for a cuppa when we spotted a giant teapot sign on the roadside. There were ducks and chickens in the garden and when we went into the "cafe" we thought we had wandered into someone's living room by mistake. We HAD wandered into someone's living room but it wasn't a mistake... it WAS the cafe! We were about to tippy toe out when we received a lovely welcome from the friendly owner of the place who told us to sit down and make ourselves comfortable. There was a Robin flying round our heads, occasionally settling on the computer or the TV. That's it, not an ornament, looking so perky on the TV in the pic. We wondered if, oddly, it was a tamed pet one but, when I mentioned it, the lady saw it and panicked so I had to do a rescue job by throwing my silk scarf over the Robin  to catch it to get it out safely, in time to stop her swatting it!
There was no water to be seen or found anywhere near this road sign!!!

Phone box and The Pub in Clonakilty, or I should say one of the MANY pubs!

Cead Mile Failte
A hundred thousand welcomes, which is just what everyone gets in Ireland!

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Garden Bunting & Camper Van

I had this idea to make bunting, especially for the garden, to use as decorations for BBQs and other social gatherings. It has to be waterproof, to cope with the unreliable English weather, so I made it from clear plastic table covering fabric, which is quite cheap to buy, and stamped it with Ranger Dabbers. I used stamps without too much detail as the acrylic paint in Dabbers really clogs the grooves, so always have a bowl of water ready to wash them frequently. Once it dries it's ON and is so difficult to remove. It looks very effective especially on bushes or trees that aren't in flower. I suppose you could spell out greetings or names too for special occasions.
Oops, I missed the birthday of my DD1's partner so made him a special card and, as he loves camper vans, this fitted the bill perfectly. I love the quotes on it, which are on a travel plate by Club Stamp.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Knots, Jewels, Toulouse Lautrec and Picasso

I went mad and got knotting all my short ends of Mizuhiki cords and in an evening whilst watching the talking wallpaper (TV) I made over 40 friendship knots. It's an ideal time filler on car trips and I've even made them on flights with ready cut cords. So easy when you know how!! I'm getting prepared in advance for a Japanese exhibition later in the year as I will need hundreds!
I also decided to make some fairly quick, simple Asian cards (still using those backgrounds from last Saturday!!) but by adding a Mizuhiki knot it makes them that bit special and individual.

Yeh!!! and woo hoo! Some great news to share... I have won a day course making Silver Clay jewellery. I entered the competition at the Aintree Show as I've always wanted to try this craft and I'm so lucky to have won. 
It is with Tracey Spurgin at her Craftworx studios and, in a day, we will make 3 pieces of jewellery. ( Not the ones shown, I might add)
This is some of the gorgeous stuff on her website. I did silversmithing for some time but working with the clay seems easier and less hazardous. 
Take a peek at some of the gorgeous pieces on Tracey's Craftworx website

I found out today that there are so many exciting, "must see", exhibitions in the city this Summer. Amongst others a Toulouse Lautrec exhibition, "High Kicks & Low Life" starts this Friday at the Walker Art Gallery which includes his iconic print of "La Goulue" at the Moulin Rouge. Next month at the Tate of the North is a "can't miss" major Picasso exhibition, "Peace & Freedom". Both worth a day trip if you are near enough to Liverpool.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

KCUK 9 Today & an Irish Oddity

Happy Birthday to all my friends at KCUK and thanks to Cath our list Mom, and the moderators who give so much time to help make it the best group ever. Everyone is so caring and sharing and it is such a talented group.
Here's a couple of cards in celebration. Well I'm Gemini and I do things in twos! Still using my stash of backgrounds.... hope I'm not getting too boring with them. It shows how handy it is to have some ready as it then means that the messy part is all done and dusted and it is thus easier to make a card quite quickly.

Something reminded DH and I yesterday about one of our best holidays, which was in Ireland's West and South coasts, a couple of years ago. I don't think we laughed so much on any holiday before that one as so many odd things happened. DH said, "Remember the elephant?" so I just had to find this photograph as this was a perfect example of an Irish oddity. We were driving back, along the coast near Dingle, after having a meal out, and YES! we had also had a drink or two. As we passed a field I said to DH there's an elephant loose in that field... "OH yes, of course!! he said, "this is Dingle, they are native to here you know!" I made him drive back a way to see it for himself and the elephant WAS just loose lumbering around and there were also camels!!! You can just see Jumbo on the left disappearing behind the bushes, couldn't get a better pic, but note how low the hedge is to the front and it was there looking over when I first spotted it!. It really could have just walked off and there was nobody around to guard them. We presumed that there was a circus somewhere... .but then again it WAS Ireland!

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Folds and Flowers

Still using up some of my demoing stash of backgrounds and made this card for KCUKs May sketch challenge. Nice to take part even if it's not a style I usually make and although I had to work to a set layout the challenge to me was to make the card a bit different and to use up some of my stash of decorated card!!
I made this card for Beryl from Wales, a lovely lady I met at the Port Sunny show on Saturday. 
I love this versatile fold which is so useful as a card insert.

The cover using card stencils sponged with Distress Ink

A couple of old ideas of how I've previously used the fold .......
It can be made in small scale to create hanging decorations by sticking a few folds together.

Or large to make unusual album pages
Here is a photo of how to construct them......quite simple !!

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Peace & Love

I've started, today, making some cards from the stash of backgrounds I produced whilst demoing on Saturday. You'll recognise some from my previous post. They seem to have a colour theme running through but are all very different in style.
I made some other cards yesterday but forgot to photograph them before I posted them off. Doh!

I was given a couple of old Somerset Studio Magazines by my friend Cath (Ta ever so!) and I spotted a card after the style of Andy Warhol, so thought I'd make one with the same influence. I really enjoyed playing around balancing so many different colours and will have another go at this idea. The gold mount doesn't show well on the photo and it does set it off well. I used the new Distress Inks colours for all the faces and stamped the images with Black Stazon Ink.
Next an easel card, which I love to make as they are so quick and easy yet they are structured. I used my new Nestabilities in the Cuttlebug which I recently bought from a friend. The card is a bit pretty for me but some of my friends love this style and it's nice to send a card they will enjoy rather than my quirky grungy stuff!
I'm looking for an old sailor to send this one to... looks like he's travelled far!

Still a few cards more but I'll save those, until they reach their destination, incase the intended recipients peek here!

Happy 9th anniversary to my DD2 and her husband in Germany for 12th May
It was a wonderful day that only seems like a year or so ago. I wish them continuing happiness now that they have their precious baby and send lots of love. 
There was Wisteria exquisitely swathed round the door where they married and it only opened into bloom, perfectly on time, just a day or two before the wedding. It reminds me of that special day whenever I see it here.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Distressed at Port Sunlight

I really enjoyed my day at Port Sunlight Stamping Festival yesterday and met so many lovely people during my day demonstrating Distress Ink techniques for stampattack. It's a great show with around 40 stands, especially for stampers, but sadly some of the American stands did not exhibit, but plan be there in October. We missed seeing Mary Kaye of Stamp Camp and Linda of Lost Coast Designs. Hope Linda is well  again soon. 
Thanks to all who stopped by! Of all the ways I showed to use Distress Inks the most popular was the wood and weathered paint effects which I was asked to do over and over again. I've a great stash now with which I can make some cards!

Time flew and it was almost 2pm before I realised that I had missed the meet up with my friends from KCUK yahoo group. Most of them managed to pop by the stand and I received some fab ATCs. Thanks to Lynne, Margaret Rose, Cath and Dot. Really missed Neet and Jayne and Alison CB, amongst others.

I was so busy that I only managed to buy these teen weeny birdhouses from Jenny at  the Stamp Connection. Can't wait to alter them. 
Caz and Me on Stampattack Stand

Demonstrations by members of Happy Stampers North West Group who organise the show.
Here's Linda watching Karen
Lots of Paperartsy Stamps
The Stamp Connection where I bought those tiny bird houses

Port Sunlight Village, where the show is held, is so pretty and well worth a visit. It was purpose built starting in 1899, by Lord Leverhulme the soap manufacturer, who wanted his factory workers to have a good standard of living. It is a garden village with all the houses set around greens and now they are all grade II listed.

Note the writing on the garage door of the local village pub "The Bridge Inn"
Will England Conquer Africa? (In the World Cup, of course!)

Friday, 7 May 2010

Port Sunlight Show

Just a quickie!
We are off to the Port Sunlight Stamping Show tomorrow. We were there today setting up the Stampattack stand and we're all set for a busy day tomorrow. It's great fun and a lovely atmosphere..... my favourite show. We know so many people who attend and have a meet up at 1pm with the members KCUK group who are there.
If anyone is going to be there who reads this blog then please come and say "Hello" to Caz and me on the stampattack stand in the far room and get some sweeties and an ATC! Lots of stamp plates and goodies and we'll both be demonstrating some fun ink techniques.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Tags and Gifts

Rain, rain, today so I stayed home and played but couldn't get anything right except these two tags. I made them for the KCUK group May challenge and, being my usual Gemini indecisive self, I couldn't choose which to enter so I put both in for it. The Asian tag is stamped with my new wood mounted Geisha stamp which was a gift from my friend Jayne. Thanks so much Jayne. I love it and may do it better justice another time! Both tags have Distress Ink backgrounds.

I was lucky enough on Saturday to receive another gift, which my friend Caz brought home from her trip to the recent show in Zeist, Holland. Our friend Christine sent it with Caz and I am so thrilled to receive it. Christine is a lovely "Lancashire Lass" who now lives in Germany and we see her in Haagen at Stempelmekka and she also comes back to England occasionally. Because I couldn't get to the Zeist show she made me this lovely book in a box. So well made, with fab embellishments, and  I especially love the index tabs on the pages. A useful treasure I might one day use instead of just having it on show! HUGE THANKS Christine, I really appreciate it and look forward to seeing you again soon.