Saturday, 24 January 2015

A New Beginning!

Hello and welcome to Magpieheaven. I can hardly believe that we're nearing the end of January! It's certainly been a cold one and sometimes in January it can feel as if the winter will never end. However, January is a time for new beginnings and over at The Artistic Stamper here New Beginnings is the theme for this month. I would like to join in with a card I made for a friend who has her birthday in January.

 As all of my friends and followers no doubt know, back in the summer, I took an online course with the wonderful artist and teacher Mary Jane Chadbourne. She generously shared her detailed knowledge with us and inspired the group to create beautiful art dolls and ATBs. This class reminded me of how much I loved drawing faces when I was younger and I tentatively created different paintings, which I scanned into my computer to keep for adapting, not just for future doll projects, but for art projects of other kinds too. I enjoyed reducing the size of my artwork and adding it in miniature to projects, so - for the first time - I decided to adapt one of my faces to a design for a card.

I started off with some stamping! this was going to be the background for my card. I chose a piece of PaperArtsy Chatsworth paper, which is a lovely silvery grey with a watermark on it. I tore this along the bottom. The building, which reminds me of the Doge's Palace in Venice is a Lynne Perrella stamp. I stamped this onto my Chatsworth in Versamark and then embossed it with white Wow embossing powder. The arches are what was left after I had cut out two arched windows from a Crafty Individuals stamp on card painted with PaperArtsy Frescos in Hey Pesto and Beach Hut. I shall be using the shuttered windows on another project. You can see some other stamped layers there - a Darcy Wilkinson leaf, some PaperArtsy Mini script and the hint of a Tim Holtz diamond pattern.

Now it was time to create a little character using my artwork. I painted some book text with translucent paint - Yellow Submarine Fresco - and then stamped the hat from a PaperArtsy Ink and the Dog plate featuring pierrots. For the body I just stamped with the Tim Holtz diamond stamp in Red Geranium by Wendy Vecchi. The lacy collar is a scrap from a Tim Holtz lacy die. I made sure this face was pale when I created it using Inktense pencils, as I wanted to be able to adapt it with different colours for different projects. Because my little character was beginning to take on the look of a white-faced clown, I decided not to add any extra colour to the face at all.

I wanted contrast with the pallor of my little pierette and the Italian palace behind her so I created some Washi Tape from masking tape. I painted it with Tango Fresco and stencilled with Cherry Red and then added some more stamped hats. The ivy leaf is cut from a paper napkin fixed with PaperArtsy Satin Glaze.

And here are all the elements brought together with a sentiment from a Sara Nauman PaperArtsy plate stamped onto painted card. Is the pierette giving one glance over her shoulder before she enters that gleaming white palace? Maybe tonight the owners are throwing a masquerade party where she hopes to meet a new lover and start a new beginning? I was not consciously thinking of Venice Carnival when I started to fashion this card, but January/February is traditionally the time when Venetians dress in colourful costumes and elaborate masks and fill the dark and misty night with magic and mystery

I do hope my crafting friend will like her card and that it will bring some colour and warmth to the cold days of January for her. I should like to link it to the Artistic Stamper, New Beginnings Challenge. I do hope that January has been a happy month for all my friends and followers and that you have made some new, creative discoveries and experienced some New Beginnings too.


  1. What a very pretty card ! I'd love to go to Venice - at any time - but particularly at carnival time!

  2. Your crafting friend loves her card Julie Ann!! and I feel honoured that you used your own artwork for the first time on my birthday card..thank you xxx

  3. What a most wonderful card for your friend Julie Ann! I am sure she will love it- I would!! I think it is so great that you have pick up your love of drawing faces again and are using them in creative ways- I love the face on this one here- her eyes,it's like there is something she wants me to know- anyhow, love her and the card! Great make my friend! xoxo

  4. A beautiful card which I'm sure was adored by the recipient. I love your faces and I love the hat too might have to try something similar lol xx

  5. Gorgeous card - love the whimsy and colour!

  6. So many wonderful details, I love the face! xxx

  7. Another wonderful appearance for your painted face, Julie Ann, and those fabulous, vivid colours will undoubtedly cheer up a January birthday. Love the Doge's palace in white too... a great card.
    Alison xx
    (I knew you'd like the Russian piece!!)

  8. This is just superb, julie ann, i love everything about it! Sadly it's not my birthday though so it can't be for me!

    Lucy x

  9. love the work you are doing with these, thanks for your kind comments on my recent post

  10. Awesome card! Julie Ann. Fab idea that peek castle from the arch, beautiful layers. I love the you drawing original doll face, great painting. xxx

  11. Amazing card! Love the bright colours and of course your pierette! The way you use stamps is an inspiration - the background and the 'Doges palace' is fabulous!! As you can tell I'm on catchup - having been away and having almost no connection this time! Hugs, Chrisx

  12. We would all wish for such a card to bring warmth and colour to our January days.
    There is something so very special about being able to incorporate your own characters into your art, I find that to be so inspirational. In fact the class you mention is one I would be keen to participate in because despite studying Art & Design at school, I always was apprehensive about drawing faces.
    You always bring the storytelling aspect to the fore no matter what you create, oh how I love that about your art.
    I am sorry I have been so quiet, not as I would wish it to be and hope I can visit on a more regular basis from now on.
    Wishes to you

  13. Gorgeous! Thank you for joining in The Artistic Stamper Creative challenge this month :)

  14. Hope we see more of your fantastic faces Julie Ann, this one is very pretty! Am sure Lin really enjoyed her special card, you always put so much heart into your projects. Love this one :-) xxx


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