Monday, 18 July 2016

Delightful Discoveries - Calico Craft Parts.

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven. It's just a quick peek today, as I'm over at Calico Craft Parts with this little house.

Calico have all kinds of new products, including little tiny doors and windows and block houses like these as well as ones with wonky roofs. If you have time, please hop across to see how I made this and maybe make some Delightful Discoveries in the Calico Shopl Have a lovely day wherever you are and whatever you're doing.

Monday, 4 July 2016

Bread and Roses at Calico Craft Parts

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven! I'm over at Calico Craft Parts today with a little kitchen shrine I call 'Bread and Roses'. I do hope you'll pop across to see how I created it and to discover the story behind it.

Have a wonderful, creative week everyone!

Friday, 1 July 2016

Show Your Face on Friday - Wearable Portraits!

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven! We're still undergoing our bathroom transformations so I've been ensconcing myself in my little crafting corner and making faces - not at the plummer; but as a kind of art therapy to take my mind off all the muddle around me! I'd like to link up with Kim Dellow's 'Show Your Face' blog this week and share some of my experiments with wearable portraits! Kim has a prompt this month, courtesy of Gibby Frogett and it's 'Quick Draw Faces'. I hope to have a go at some lightning sketches in the next few weeks, but for now I just wanted to share the jewellery I've been working on.

The idea of making jewellery began with a wonderful online course I took last Summer with Mary Jane Chadbourne. This course was called Tinytopia and Mary Jane shared some of her techniques and ideas for creating miniature houses from wood and MDF. She suggested we might like to turn the tiniest houses into brooches and I was inspired by the detail and the beauty of her miniature art to create little wearable house people! I cut the shapes from MDF and collaged my own art onto them adding an embellishment or two! The lady above is inspired by a friend's daughter who loves elephants. I had so much fun researching elephants in Indian art and story and creating my own elephant art especially for her. I wonder what secrets this Lilliputian elephant and his guardian with her magical, all-seeing eye might hide behind their little jade and copper door?

With the same friend in mind, I created another Elephant Princess, this time with charms and a face on a crackled heart. I think the silver charms take on a new character when they are painted with bright colours. For these faces, I paint the hearts black and then add a thin layer of PaperArtsy Crackle Glaze. When that's quite dry, I paint over with thick, single strokes of Fresco Finish Nougat before adding features in pen and water-colour. I finish everything with wood finishing spray.

The fun part is definitely adding those features. Strange as it sounds, the little faces seem to form themselves under the Micron pens. A Pierrot sighs over her broken heart...

Natasha opens her arms to us in a warm embrace...

another clown dreams of hundreds of smiling sunny faces forgetting their cares as they watch her act. I've also experimented with creating earrings to match the little house brooches...

and several people have suggested I create pendants, so here is my first pendant, which I'm planning to give as a gift to a friend.

Thank You so much for dropping by Magpiehaven today and taking a peep at my little gallery of wearable portraits. I hope that your week will be a happy and a creative one.

Monday, 20 June 2016

My Muse at Calico Craft Parts

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven! Just a sneak peek today of my project over at Calico Craft Parts here. I'm down in the forest in search of my muse!

I do hope you'll be able to hop across and see what I've been up to. Every good wish for a really creative week!

Friday, 17 June 2016

Showing Some Faces!

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven! It's been a long time, but I have made the effort and I'm linking to Kim Dellow's great 'Show Your Face on Friday' blog here. I've been really neglecting my blog of late and missing out on commenting on my friends' and followers beautiful work too! This is partly due to a new Work in Progress:

This was once the Magpie bathroom! If you've been a follower for the last 3 years, you might recall that just after I started blogging, our friend Kevin embarked on a kitchen re-fit for us. In case you're wondering why I've never posted pics of that, it's still not finished! We didn't relish the idea of starting the bathroom before the kitchen was done, but in the end it had to be! We've been spending lots of our time organising where we can take showers - thank goodness for kind friends and family! Our bathroom is in the hands of a different plumber so hopefully we won't be without a shower for 3 years - much as we love Kevin that has been quite a long time to wait for a kitchen! We've been dashing out into the garden for a bit of peace and quiet between the showers (the rainy variety, that is) and I've been keeping the faces very miniature indeed -having the tiniest of spaces now to craft in!

I've been quite productive, making earrings and brooches - which I'm planning to put in my Etsy shop - as well as other mini projects, that I'll be showing here soon, I hope. Maybe it's because even if I enjoyed doing it, housework would be a bit pointless amid all the plaster dust and piles of bathroom clutter! You might notice the tea-cup has some Relics and Artifacts wings - another project I'm working on in my imagination. Watch out for flying tea-cups coming this way!

I've been having so much fun collaging my own art work onto earrings, using my new Dremel like tool to drill tiny holes. I've also created this 'art doll' type brooch, painting a face onto Crackle Glaze for a vintage effect and painting a little pair of charms to add as hands.

Although everything is quite higgledy-piggledy, we have so much to be grateful for! Simon, our bathroom fitter is kind and enthusiastic and we know that some day we'll have a beautiful new bathroom we can relax in - although I can imagine our daughter is going to lock herself in and spend days in there, once we do eventually get the dream bathroom we've all been planning together!

As we step over boxes; desperately search for tooth-brushes, soap, towels and medicines and plan for our next shower, I take a few moments to feel grateful. We have a home that we know will be a haven again very soon - and there's still space to create - just about. There are so many people in this world who have lost everything, even precious loved ones to war or senseless acts of violence. In the light of that, what's a little domestic upheaval? Have a lovely, peaceful week with time to create and to be with those who you love.

Monday, 6 June 2016

My Reality - My First Blog as Designer at Calico Craft Parts

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven. I'm so excited! Today sees my first blog as part of the Design Team over at Calico Craft Parts. If you would like to see in more detail what I created from these lovely art parts by Calico, please take a look here.

Best Wishes for a lovely Creative Week from Julie Ann x.

Friday, 27 May 2016

Doodling at PaperArtsy

Hello and welcome to Magpieheaven! This evening I'm lucky enough to be over at PaperArtsy where the theme is 'Doodling'! I don't often make greetings cards these days, but for tonight's post I created three.

My starting point was a sketch, which I had scanned and then printed out, featuring Florence, who longs for Peace in this troubled world of ours.

I added some touches with Inktense water-colour pencil so that she stood out a little more from her Craft Card background, stuck her to the card with some Matte Medium and stamped with some text and circles from Sara Nauman's PaperArtsy stamp ESN10.

Florence appears to be glancing up at the circles, so I doodled freely inside them, creating little characters suggested to me by the shapes. Where one circle intersected another at the top of the card, I was reminded of the droopy moustaches sported by the trendiest young men in the early 'seventies!

White dots applied by cocktail sticks dipped into Snowflake Fresco provided highlights and I stamped part of the sentiment from ESN10 onto master-boards to reassure Florence that we should never give up hoping for the best, however bad things may seem!

For a more colourful variation, I used masking tape to ensure a straight edge...

and then brayered and spattered with Snowflake, Smurf and Inky Pool.

I used this technique on a card for a crafting friend, featuring another little painting based on a pre-school photo of my daughter.

Back with Florence, I enjoyed experimenting with gold embossed circles...

and the white embossed circles created a fairy tale, wintry impression, I felt.

Doodling is such a great way to unwind. I hope you'll pop over to PaperArtsy's blog and take a look at what the other contributors have been creating on this theme too - there have been some really original projects! Then, why not play along yourself and link up your take on doodling - you could win some PaperArtsy goodies! Have a lovely, creative week!