Sunday, 13 April 2014

My Second Ally Pally Adventure!

A big welcome to Magpieheaven! Last September I was lucky enough to go to Alexandra Palace for the first time and to get to know some of the lovely Crafters I had only ever tweeted with or met through the Magpieheaven blog. Yesterday I went up to this great venue for Stamping and Scrap-booking and I was able to catch up with friends old and new as well as add to my stash! Here are some of my purchases arranged on top of my washing machine where I craft and take photos!
 The very talented Helen Lindfield was my travelling companion from Victoria, which was lots of fun and I was able to 'catch up' with Lin Shields, Jo Myhill, Leandra and Mark @ PaperArtsy and Minxy all of whom I met for the first time last September. It was lovely to speak in person with Lesley Ebdon, Brenda of Bumblebees and Butterflies and Gabrielle who is one of my 'teamies' at Dragons Dream Tio. These ladies are all super-talented and it was really a thrill to meet with them and have a chat. This is such a great event because we don't just get to buy lots of 'goodies', it's a wonderful opportunity to meet with like-minded people; see fabulous demos; swap tips and just 'Ooh' and 'Ahh' with other crafters about all the beautiful new products on sale! It was inspirational to see Jo Myhill demo-ing on the PaperArtsy stand when Leandra needed to help out on the till! Both Leandra and Lin Brown created some truly gorgeous tags too, really sending us away inspired and ready to try out new things. All in all it was a truly uplifting day out! Here are some more purchases I can't wait to play with. If only I didn't need to cook or clean!
This heart on the right is from a 'Take and Make' on the MDF stand. I am going to add some more decoration and give it to my daughter. I did this when I was having a little wander with Lin. She is a great person to wander the stands with, as she's a real Ally Pally veteran (no reflection on Lin's age of course - I just mean she's been to AP many times!) and so encouraging - she is full of fun and always makes you want to 'have a go'!
One thing I can't wait to try out is this beautiful doily stencil, which Leandra demo'd on the PaperArtsy stall. I can foresee it doing great service with those Lynne Perrella stamsp! The results looked fantastic and Jo Myhill just added the finishing touches to the tag on which it featured before going on to demo and create some more great tags. The day was finished off perfectly with a relaxing drink in the bar with Jo, Minxy, Leandra and Family, Helen and Lin. Have a lovely evening wherever you and whatever you are doing. Have a creative week!

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Dragon's Dream - Blue and the letter S

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven, Friends and Followers. Thank you so much to my new followers for joining me, it's really lovely to have your company too. It's been a busy week with Guest Designing for the last time at PaperArtsy. Now it's time for another Dragons' Dream Challenge: do click here and see what the talented Design Team have come up with to inspire you.  I love the recipe that May has chosen, she creates such beautiful projects. Her recipe this time is to create a tag that features the colour blue and the letter 'S'. As usual the design should include at least one stamped image. The entries for last time's letter 'Z' and a face were fabulous so I can't wait to see what you come up with.
Blue said 'water' to me and the soft, sibilant sound of the letter 'S' suggested gazing deep into still waters to 'see' who knows what? I  worked with a Jumbo tag this time, tearing some pages from a vintage dictionary and a book of Longfellow's poetry and sticking them to the tag with Matte Medium. The background was painted first with PaperArtsy Fresco in Antarctic, then Mermaid, and birds were stencilled through a Stencil Girl stencil with Beach Hut before I stamped some script from a PaperArtsy mini in Cornflower Archival. For depth I added some Hey Pesto translucent Fresco Finish. I wanted to create the idea of seeing the birds on their branches as if they were reflected in water. Water plays so many tricks on our eyes that we begin to wonder exactly what is reflection and what is reality!
You might just be able to see here how the text shows through. I first saw these glass nuggets used by Alison Bomber on her 'Words and Pictures' blog. I stuck them over some of the Hiawatha poem - a section where the young Hiawatha goes fishing, so the watery theme continues! I love the way that the glass looks like water droplets. The eye is from a Tim Holtz, 'Stampers Anonymous' plate. I stamped it over some card painted with Antarctic and then sprayed with Inky Pool and the corners are curled and accented with Treasure Gold. In Green Amber. The tiny frame was Gessoed then given a touch of Green Amber Treasure Gold too. I also sprinkled lots of Shabby Blue Frantage and Gold UTEE to add to the impression of gazing into the watery depths. The Frantage and tiny gem inside the frame might be minute pebbles or jewels from an ancient treasure chest. And, of course, there had to be pearls!
For my central image I stamped this Lynne Perrella lady onto Smoothy Card painted with a blend of Mermaid and Tinned Peas. I painted the circles so that they resembled bubbles. The feathers are stamped with Watering Can Archival by Wendy Vecchi. With the addition of tiny gems and the golden skeleton leaves my tag reminded me of the treasure from some galleon that has been hidden in the depths of the ocean for hundreds of years. Is it an illusion down there, a trick of the light and shadows or precious treasure?
Seam binding dyed with Distress Inks in Peacock Feathers and Broken China and some blue waxed thread to attach the Lynne Perrella banner complete my watery tag. Thank you so much for stopping by Magpieheaven today. I do hope you'll return soon and that you'll be linking your own tags on the theme of Blue and the letter S over at the Dragons' Dream Tio.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Thank You

Hello and welcome to Magpieheaven. It's so lovely to have you stop by. Thank You, Followers and Friends  old and new for all the support you give. Hello to any new followers, thank you for joining me, I do appreciate it. I will try hard to return the visits you have paid me and flutter by your blogs as often as I can.
 Well, all things must come to an end. I've had a great Semester of fun at Paper Artsy and now the curtain must come down on the final act. I've only just begun to work in the journal, though, so watch this space for more pages to be added as the weeks go by. Here is a sneak peek for the final post. How will it end?!
I do hope you'll pop over to PaperArtsy to see the finale of my project here. Thank You for all the lovely comments you have left over the last three nights. I have appreciated and valued every single one. I can't wait to see the projects you create this week! Julie Ann x.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Curtain Up!

Hello Followers and Friends and anyone just dropping by Magpieheaven! It's my second night of my last month at PaperArtsy and I'm opening the curtain on the first page of my Lynne Perrella journal. We have to keep the sense of mystery as the first act begins, so here is a sneak peek!
If you would like to see more, please pop over to PaperArtsy!

A New Beginning!

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven. I was thrilled and excited to be chosen as one of the Top 3 in last month's Country View Crafts Challenge, 'Painty Pleasures'. This means I have the privilege of being Guest Designer here at Country View Crafts and the opportunity to explore the theme of 'New Beginnings'. The other Guest Designers have some fabulous inspiration lined up for you, so please do hop over and see. Then why not create your own interpretation of 'New Beginnings' and link it up to the Challenge, the perfect start to the Spring?
 I started with this wooden heart mobile from PaperArtsy. I painted it with a couple of coats of PaperArtsy Fresco Finish in Little Black Dress.
Next step was to apply a thin coat of Crackle Glaze, using a palette knife. While this was drying I punched out a collection of little leaves from card painted with Frescos in Tinned Peas, Guacamole, Inky Pool and Limelight. I then coated them in Versamark, sprinkled with clear UTEE and holding them in tweezers, heated them with my heat gun from underneath, This gave them the appearance of porcelain and strengthened them too.
I had a little resin figure, which reminded me of a winged cupid, and a resin flower. I painted these with Frescos, using Tikka, Nougat, Beach-hut and Yellow Submarine. I took some Shrink Plastic sheets and painted them with Guacamole, thinned with some Fabric Medium and water and some Yellow Submarine.
Using a Tim Holtz 'Tattered Leaves' die and a Sizzix Butterfly die, I cut butterflies and leaves from the Shrink Plastic, stamping them with the face from the new PaperArtsy Lynne Perrella stamp LPC028. I then shrank them with my heat-gun. I covered the Crackle Glaze with a thick coating of Guacamole in single strokes, being careful not to 'over' paint what I had already done so that the Crackle could really do its work. I used Mermaid Fresco along the edges.
This was to be the back of my mobile, so that when it turned in the breeze this design from LPC012, stamped in Wendy Vecchi Fern Green Archival would be visible.
Here is the front of my mobile. I used PaperArtsy Grunge Paste through a ClearSnaps stencil of birch trees to create the impression of the figure of cupid emerging from a wood. I applied Treasure Gold in Aquamarine to make the tree bark really gleam in the sunlight. Can you see the little leaf in Cupid's hand. He is just reaching to coax a butterfly onto it, but those butterflies always elude him as the mobile turns in the breeze.
What Cupid has not noticed is that his Mother Venus has transformed herself into the shape of  myriad butterflies to keep watch over the little god of love as he flutters out tentatively to make his 'new beginning' in the world. Perhaps not long after this he will discover and steal some delicious honey, learning the hard lesson that sweet as the honeycomb is, the sting of the bee is painful! Artists like Cranach and Durer painted this fable of Cupid stealing the honey and Venus teaching him the moral lesson that there is seldom pleasure in life without pain! Poor little chap! At this moment he is blissfully unaware of all that in his idyllic garden at the dawn of time.

Thank you so much for stopping look at my story of the god of love in his heart-shaped mobile garden. May your week be full of love and springtime pleasures and may pain be as far away as it is from little Cupid's thoughts as he chases his butterfly!

Sunday, 6 April 2014

A Sneak Peek of a Happy Ending!

Hello and welcome to Magpieheaven! It's just a really short post this evening - a sneak peek of my last project for PaperArtsy tonight. If you would like to see more... 
you can see how I created it here on the PaperArtsy blog. It would be lovely if you could pop over and take a look. I've had such fun creating it. Thank you Followers and Friends for all the support over the last four months - it's been a great adventure! Thank you also to all those I've come to know over my first year of blogging! Your comments and encouragement have meant so much!

Friday, 4 April 2014

A Magpie Blogaversary!

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven! Today is a little bit special for me!  A year ago I wrote my very first blog!  I felt so nervous as I made my first steps into the world of Crafty blogging,and at first I wondered if anyone was out there! Now twelve months on I have made some amazing friends who have taught me so much about creativity! They have opened my eyes to stunning beauty and generosity of spirit! I have been honoured to guest design with the PaperArtsy Family; had tea with Crafty Luce; gone on crafty journeys with Kerry; discovered a Magpie Cousin who lives far away in Canada; got unruly with Paper Arts; made friends with some PATwits; been inspired and uplifted by words and pictures with Alison Bomber; had the honour of sharing Our Creative Corner with some extraordinary artists; done some Fashionable Stamping; dreamed with Dragons and met some Country View Challenges! I know my Magpie Cousin will smile when I recall that one of my first 'makes' was a box all about taking flight! That is exactly what I have done since April 2013!
It was a present for a very dear friend who loves butterflies and birds and I made it as a nest for some earrings I bought her for her! I used the first PaperArtsy Ink and the Dog stamp I ever bought on it, Graphic 45 paper and some Cafe Retro Art Gallery paper cut butterflies!
Here it is all ready to open. I think in those days I probably had just two or three shades of PaperArtsy Fresco paint! I look at these early makes and blush! I would do things differently now! The little swallows on the lid are from a Crafty Individuals plate, another of the first stamp sets I ever bought! I really must play some more with CI stamps!
Here are the earrings on their special card! I loved these exploding boxes from Retro Cafe Art Gallery. I made several of them! One I gave to a friend who had one too many drinks on his birthday and left it in a cab!
I wonder where that incredible cab journey led the little lost box - not to the dustbin, I hope?!
One exploding box went to a friend's son's girlfriend, Amy and also appeared on the Retro Cafe Art Gallery FB page, which was a huge thrill!
Amy was something of a Retro fan so the inside opened up to reveal...a Tim Holtz dress form and lots of images from vintage knitting patterns!
Her favourite colours were pink and grey, I remember.

One of the first artists whose work I loved - even before Lynne Perrella - was Sandra Everstson and the second box I made featured her Petite Whimsy stamps!
I was so exciting when these came all the way from America!
I couldn't wait to ink those lovely images!

 Thank you to my friends and followers. I could not have known quite how much joy blogging and crafting with such lovely people could bring! This last year has had its ups and downs in the real world; but in the magical land that you all help to create. it has been the richest, the most beautiful, the most joyful and the most exciting year of my life!