Friday, 29 December 2017

Lets Celebrate 2017

This is my first post since Christmas, so if you celebrate that I hope you had a wonderful time.
It seems one minute we were waiting for Christmas and in almost a blink of the eye that was over and now we await the New Year. 
My last page for this year for AJJ and Sheilas wonderful theme 'Lets Celebrate' is to raise a toast and celebrate all the good things in 2017... which are too many things to list.
My page is a mix of real art and digital.
You'll see further down what this was like before I added the digital words, digital grungy bits (I created those previously) and also added further colour/marks using various digital brushes.

My page started like this using mainly water soluble crayons

Then I felt a bit more braver and added more

Celebrating the lovely food Dave cooked for us in 2017
Dave is hoping I will learn to cook myself in 2018... at long last! 
(ha ha ..wonder how many years have I been saying that!)

Celebrating handmade cards
        A shelf of special handmade Christmas cards.

Celebrating the little things that make me smile...
The twinkling lights and the 
Steampunk tree always make me happy :)

Celebrating music
Over in my music corner of the lounge I have been playing carols and Christmas songs and all sorts - I'm not good at it but like when sewing, I play better with a little glass of something (that has been hidden out of sight!) ;)
And even my keyboard has a Steampunk sort of screen saver on it

I probably spend more time watching this than playing!

 We had a lovely little hamper from my cousin and his wife in New Orleans and
 the first thing I thought of was, what can I use the basket for.

And.. this is what Santa kindly left - he knows that I love arty books (thank you Santa x) and yes there are 3 different palettes, 2 of them are the 'peel off paint' sort for acrylics with one having a lid to hopefully make the paint last longer. 
Hope Santa left some lovely goodies for you also :)

That's my lots for now...
So I thank you for all your visits and comments this year
which are always much appreciated
and I wish you and your family a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful 2018

Gill xxx


Saturday, 23 December 2017

Lets Celebrate Learning plus a Christmas Greeting


Today, for Sheilas wonderful 'Lets Celebrate' theme at AJJ I have this watercolour with a little added Neocrayon which came about from an exercise in a wonderful book called 'Expressive painting in Mixed Media' by Soraya French.
The wording added is digital.
I'm celebrating 'learning' - as my 'painting' knowledge is pretty limited so the art books I am reading at present are to help inspire and also teach me everything I need to know about paints, mediums and equipment. I really want to learn everything I can!

Not long until the 25th, so if you are celebrating, I will wish you and your family 
a very Merry Christmas and hope you have a wonderful time and Happy Holiday!

Gill x

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Lets Celebrate


It's a bitterly cold Sunday here in the UK I hope its a bit warmer wherever you are.

After months of having a real good old clear out indoors I am now celebrating having more 'space'and so what a great idea to celebrate that and join in with Sheila from Orange Esmeralda fabulous theme over at AJJ this month 'Lets Celebrate'.

OK so my digital page isn't the exact 'space' I have -  I was thinking of doing a big empty cupoard but that would have been less exciting :)
I've always loved to watch the night sky and at this time of year when its cold and the sky is clear, the stars always seem to twinkle more and make me wonder what else is out there..
So I want to celebrate that 'space' too :)

Next I have a page for Moo Mania for the Christmas theme

A quick little painting of a vase of Christmas roses and 
a sprig of holly with some digital additions at the bottom.

At last my Christmas card making is finished, the trees have been up since 22nd November and there's not much else to do for Christmas except getting last minute fruit and veg and putting some more decorations up maybe.

Dave has been busy making cookies using a Jamie Oliver 5 ingredient recipe and the making some other versions... well you have to try all sorts don't you?
 This is an over head shot of a box of cookies - they are all piled on top of each other.
These ones are cherry with chocolates chip and Apricot crumble. I would have shown the lemon, ginger and also the apple crumble ones but they have mysteriously disappeared but you can help yourself to the others if you'd like one.

thanks for stopping by,
hope you have a lovely day

Gill x

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Back soon-ish and an apology x

Hello dear friends

I hope all is well with you :)

Firstly I must apologise for not visiting you for several weeks now. I intended to post an explanation of my absence weeks ago but seem to have lost track of the time - sorry x
You know when you run out of space because you have too many things that you have hoarded over the years (or inherited) but don't use or need anymore and no room for new stuff - well I am busy de-cluttering - not very exciting - but it was long over due.

From an art/craft  point of view my working space was getting smaller too and it seemed a good idea to do something to change that after Dave suggested that maybe I'd like to think about what I do or don't like doing now and then get rid of the things I am no longer interested in.

Having a good sort out - I found lots of items I hadn't seen for ages like some blank canvases that  I am dying to do something with.... so Dave and I took down some old faded prints in our lounge and replaced them with some of them to inspire us to get sorted out soon so we can do something with the canvases.

So until we get time - they will stay like this and I will say this is modern art... or maybe its paintings of some polar bears in a snow storm :)

I probably won't blog for several more weeks but I will try to visit you when possible.

                                     Hope to be back blogging soon

Monday, 14 August 2017

'Falling' for AJJ and (sorry) a quirky Christmas card :)


First a page for AJJ Poetry in motion  hosted this month by the lovely Jo from Lets Art Journal using a quote that seemed relevant for me ..

I used my watercolour painting and added some digital leaves and a quote. I often re-use my art - so these leaves were from an old journal page which I digitally cut out and also used to make a digi-kit.

After 3 weeks spent saving information from the digi-scrapping place I had been a member of since 2011, it finally closed on Friday with a number of us watching and joining in one last forum thread for the last 30 minutes until everything just froze and was replaced by a 'thank you and goodbye' message ... 

To relax over the weekend I had another play with

Its amazing what was lurking inside this set of stamps
 - do you see what I see?
It's a cloud Christmas tree!

 The background was made using TH Distress oxides and a little wall stencil from That's Crafty. Coloured the tree with Prima water soluble oil pastels. Added a little extra to the tree trunk with a black pigment pen.
Finished with some gold straight line peel offs for a fairly quick, clean and simple card.
bye for now
thanks for stopping by
Gill x 

Friday, 4 August 2017

A city at night for AJJ, Donna's stamps & carved nibs


I am excited that the lovely Jo from 'Lets Art Journal'  is hosting this months challenge over at AJJ where the theme is 'Poetry in motion'   We have been invited to use a favourite poem, quote or saying on our artwork. I collect quotes so this is right up my street - isn't that a funny saying?

I used a Rupert Brooke quote on this page which seemed quite apt.
I started with a watercolour painting I did the other day..
I was just playing with a couple of colours at first but then it started taking shape looking like a skyline and then grew - as most skylines do!
Then of course I needed to find a cat - luckily I had already painted one before and have this is in my 'digi-stash' along with the rest of the items I added.
I blended a digital paper over the top to give it a more dramatic and night feel.
My original painting

And next..........
my first play with great some stamps I won from (and designed by)

I can see these stamps are going to be really useful for Art Journaling, Mixed media and for my greeting cards projects..and as I needed some more cards - I made one... probably not what you would expect from these stamps - and not obvious at first.
I did a little rough sketch first, trying to work out how to fit the stamps and make it work.. I used 4 of the stamps and sketched the rest in by pencil a first, then when everything was painted/coloured went over my lines with a permanent marker.

And finally....
do you remember those Himalayan Honeysuckle canes I was drying..

they came from this plant

The idea was to see if possible to make wind chimes and pen nibs from the canes.
So Dave cut them up for me in to various lengths.

And then he used my mini hobby drill to put the holes
in for the thread to be able to hang up the wind chimes.

 I had not realised that the canes were solid in places and not completely hollow, so it wasn't always possible you get the varied lengths I required. So I need to cut some more canes and bare that in mind when choosing which ones to use.
For now my wind chimes project is on hold and the bits I threaded up can dry some more in the meantime.
I've also found a circular metal hanging thing (not shown here) - I don't know what to call it - but it should be useful to dangle the canes from.
 Most of the canes weren't thin enough to make into nibs (and possibly needed drying more before cutting) but there were two thinner ones, Dave (once again) cut and then
 shaped the end for me and I tried one with some ink.

       Well - not brilliant but it sort of worked

 That's all for today but if you are interested in what else is in my garden
 there is a post from yesterday on
thanks for stopping by,
hope you have a great weekend.
Gill x

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Summer Love and more :)

Hello :)

A page for Elizabeth's Summertime Love at AJJ    before I run out of time this month...
I started this more than a week ago when I had a bit of a painting session.
The sunflower is a mix of watercolours and crayons as a resist.
I scanned my artwork and then added the words digitally, plus my bird (you've seen before) which is now digitised too and finally a photo of some of my sunflowers. 

 A few weeks ago I found some fun paper napkins in a shop with a bank note theme ..

 I had little wooden blank folder that needed decorating and I also needed some practise using serviettes, so I thought I'd see what happened. 
 I filed away any rough edges and think I'm fairly pleased with the result so far :)

I added some more colour using Neocolor 11s.
I want this book to use as my go to 'reminders' book for things needing doing
 i.e challenges, blogs to visit and messages that need replying to.

The book is not finished, as out of the blue I was informed that a digital scrapbooking website that I have  been a member of  since 2011 was closing down. So at present I am busy sorting out my digital work I have on there and all sorts before that closes soon.

The best thing last week, was the postman delivering a wonderful surprise. I was very lucky to win some of the fabulous Rubber Dance stamps designed by the lovely Donna Gray over at Inky and Quirky  accompanied by a most beautiful card Donna had made. Thanks again Donna x 

Unfortunately I've not had a chance to play with these yet :( 
or finish some other projects I had going... like the canes from the Himaylan Honeysuckle which I will blog another time as I have started on the windchimes and had one experiment making the 'nibs' to draw with.

Bye for now
Thanks so much for visiting..
I hope you have a wonderful day.
Gill x

Monday, 10 July 2017

Summertime Love 2


The lovely Elizabeth  is hosting this months AJJ Summertime Love theme and this is my second page for that, it's digital but I re-used some of my old art and made new things too.
In the Summer I  love that people always seem to dress in brighter colours and everything else for the summer seems brighter happier colours too.

The background paper started, would you believe, from some messy scrap paper that I get left with after I put a sheet of paper under my pages when working to protect the pages below.
You get left with lots of messy blobs, lines and squares - like the picture below - this one obviously hadn't been used much and had great potential to be used for something else.

I scanned the paper and then in my graphics/photo editing software of choice, duplicated the paper after taking out the white background leaving just the colour.
I layered and rotated my images and then added some digitalised faux writing I had made a while ago. ( I must admit when I look close up there does like an occasional real word but that was not intentional)

For my page I also used some paint drips and inky circles created in the same way.

I love playing with my software and getting as much use from something I have created that can be used over and over again in different ways.
 The flower and scent bottle were from two of my May AJJ  'Elegance and Grunge pages'. I digitally cut them out and then altered the label on bottle and some bits on the flower petals. 
If you can make use of the paper I made (JPG file)  and paint drip (PNG file)  I've added it to the bottom of  my free use images section.
thanks for stopping by,
hope you have a great week.
Gill x

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Summer Love Tag for TioT as Guest Designer

Hello :)
After being picked as one of the top 5 for the May Transport challenge, I was very honoured to have been asked to be a guest designer by Avril for TIOT tags challenge for the next two weeks ...thank you :)
I don't usually make that many tags but I really enjoyed doing this and can see me making more of them from now on.
List of items I used are at the bottom of my post.

I die cut the tag, swirl and 'Love' word on corrugated cardboard ( the cartons that my husbands wine is delivered in is very useful and the wine very nice of course! ) the honeycomb die was cut out of pale green craft foam.
Then on the tag I used a stencil with structure gel and when dry gessoed over it all and then randomly painted with the chalk paints and stuck down the painted swirl. (this had started off blue but then I decided to go over the top of the swirl with a grey Promarker for a mottled effect).


I stuck gems on the butterfly, painted over them and the butterfly and then added a little silver wax on the body and antennae. The honeycomb die cut was randomly painted too.
The crown and flowers were made in moulds with air drying clay and later painted.

The large word die actually originally said 'With Love' and was very easy to cut up and separate the words. That was painted with the blue 'Mermaid' paint.
After everything was glued down I watered down some of the Gold paint and added a few spots, splats and dribbles.

Items used: 

Corrugated cardboard and pale green craft foam.

4 Dies: (1) Sizzix Bigz Tim Holtz ‘Tag and bookplate’
(2) Swirl X-cut (not sure what set is called)
(3) word set by X-cut (had things like 'With Love' 'Best Wishes' etc)
(4) Sizzix thinlet Tim Holtz Mixed media (set of 4 dies)

Prima stencil called ‘Salvage district’  

Galleria structure gel

Paints - Paperartsy Fresco chalk paints : Sherbet, Mermaid, Snowflake, Limelight,

Nougat and South Pacific.
Rowney Cryla (in tube) ‘Rich Gold. 

white gesso.
Grey Promarker.
Metallic silver wax.
Wooden butterfly from stash added gem stones by ‘Anita’ and painted over top. 
Silk flower from stash.
Small flowers and crown made in moulds with air dry clay. ‘Plaid Modge Podge’ molds..
set:24893 ‘Royal Icons’ and 24889 ‘Flowers’.

Cosmic shimmer glue.

Grey and blue organza ribbon.

Thanks so much for stopping by here today.
I hope you will stop by TIOT and join in,
I look forward to visiting you
and seeing your creations.
Gill x


Monday, 3 July 2017

Summertime Love


My page today is for Elizabeths great new theme 'Summertime Love' over at AJJ.
Summer to me means being out in the garden more and enjoying nature, looking forward to our annual airshow and the hustle and bustle of happy holiday makers down on the beach or pier where I live.

My page is digital as I seem to have done something to my index finger and having trouble gripping pen/brush etc at present so I'm a bit slower (than normal ha ha) doing things.

The background was created using a photo of one of my journal backgrounds with some digital alterations. The photos are of the Helter Skelter on our pier. The Seagull from a MCS kit. Splodges and splats extracted from some photos from my pages and also messy left overs and some pieces made digitally.
I did a couple of doodles on the keyboard I started to decorate in previous post before the finger incident ...

Todays pickings from the garden.. the French Beans are my favourite

The chard is ready chopped up for lunch today 
Another useful thing in the garden - not for eating though.
This is our Himalayan Honeysuckle.
This is nothing like my idea of a honeysuckle,
 its stems are more like Bamboo..

Could the stems be useful for other things maybe ..
 I've got some bits of it drying - and wondering if they might work as wind chimes as they are nice and hollow. They also may be great to use to make a bug hotel... lots of ideas... but will they work... we will see.
that's my lot for today
Have a great week
and Happy Monday
Gill x