Wednesday 25 February 2015

Sloe Gin and Tea Bags!

Welcome to Magpieheaven where the kettle has boiled and the tea is brewing!  Or there is something a little stronger if you would prefer it! A few days ago I was really impressed by a beautiful face my talented friend, Lyn Tivenan had painted on a tiny tea bag! Back in the Summer Dominique, my friend Sue's daughter started a wonderful collection of tea bags for me and I had been using them for rubber stamping projects.

 Lyn's work, however, inspired me to try my own art on some of the Cranberry Black Tea ones. I am not such a talented artists as Lyn, but I do love creating faces. Here is the bag attached to a tiny tag with some PaperArtsy Satin Glaze. It's a light glaze so perfect for using with very delicate paper like tea bag paper or tissue. The tag is just a very inexpensive one from the shop Tiger. I distressed the tag first with some Tim Holtz inks in Vintage Photo and Walnut Stain.

Back in the Autumn we picked sloes and made our own sloe gin, so I decided to create this Sloe Fairy for a label. Her skin tones are reminiscent of the lichen and the moss in the woods where we go walking and there is also something of the 'nut brown maid' about her. I painted an area of light Opaque Fresco Finish paint in Vanilla and built up layers of translucent colours: Zesty Zing, Banana and Cherry Red. I also shaded some areas with Inktense colours in various greens, blues, browns and reds. Her little hat is a Red Lead stamp on another fragment of tea-bag paper. Her curls and furls of foliage I created with Pitt Pen doodling.

And to transform the bottle, I stamped this Lynne Perrella sun onto another tea-bag painted with a wash of Cherry Fresco

A teabag was used for the reverse side too with the same Red Lead stamp that I used for the hat. I also used stained fabric and lace painted with Heavy Gel Medium. I added Treasure Gold to this when it was dry.

Just a little alteration of the label with fragments of stamped tea bags completed the bottle's transformation.

I added some pearl pen accents and attached the label with a piece of hemp to create a rustic mood and remind me of those warm and sunny Autumn afternoons when we gathered the berries. Thank You for stopping by today and meeting the sloe berry fairy!

Tuesday 24 February 2015

Fragrant Blossoms and Morning Dew

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven. I'd like to say Thank You to all my followers today, to those who have been dropping by for some time and those who have recently joined my blog. It is lovely to have your support. I've been having so much fun lately creating these jumbo pegs. I had been buying them online and then, to my delight, yesterday I went into my local branch of Tiger and saw that they were stocking them again for just £1.00 each! This blog post is not linking up to anything, it's just about the fun I've had making these pegs really!

This little bird you might be familiar with! I created her with Lin Brown's Wicked Chickens. I've added a sentiment from Red Lead and some pearl accents to the wing and the crown. There's something of a Metamophosis theme going on here, as when we turn over the peg...

There's one of my Bird Ladies that I've been having such fun making! The possibilities are endless with these birds! This time I contrasted Lin Brown's Limited Edition Caribbean Sea wings with Banana card and varied the length of the wing! I made my monocle lady a pierrot hat too by cutting some stencilled card into a triangle. Some Sara Nauman script in Cobalt blue Wendy Vecchi Archival completes the peg. I've often thought this lady looks as if she is wearing a monocle so I accentuated this further with an Inktense pencils lens and a pearl pen chain! This peg was a gift to my friend Lucy.

For this peg-doll I returned to my Lynne Perrella Asian stamps. I bought these when they first appeared, but I never feel that I use them enough I used my own art work for the face and hands.

 Wendy Vecchi gold embossing paste pressed through a Prima stencil provided an embroidered bodice, and Origami paper makes a nice sash. I drew the hands, scanned them into my computer and then printed them out on presentation paper. I have created a sheet of ready-printed hands and one of faces, ready to use for projects.

She holds a wooden frame with Prima gold crackle, containing a shrink plastic Lynne Perrella image from one of her PaperArtsy Asian plates.

On the reverse side, I used a detail from one of the Asian plates to create the impression of a fold of material. The paint colours are Lin Brown's lovely Caribbean Sea and Blue Oyster Fresco Finish Paint with a fragment of Mulberry Paper attached with some Satin Glaze to give the texture of muslin. The Fresco paints really do give a lovely coverage on the wood.

I used some Origami paper in bright colours for her sash and a Pitt black pen for detail in the thread. This Red Lead label stamp seemed just the sentiment for my little peg doll who seemed to be carrying a message of coming spring.

And here are my peg girls together with a sister created with Sara Nauman stamps who appeared recently on the PA blog.

And the reverse sides...

Thank you so much for stopping by Magpieheaven today. I hope you have enjoyed meeting my little peg family. You can attach magnets to these pegs and use them for memos on your fridge, or stand them on a desk with a postcard clipped inside or a 'To Do' list.

Monday 23 February 2015

Stars and Moonlight Peg Doll

Hello and a warm welcome to Magpieheaven. I'm feeling very excited to be over at PaperArtsy tonight with a project that involves two of my favourite things at the moment: wooden jumbo pegs turned into little characters and Shrink Plastic! You might remember that I made some of these dolls for an Unruly Paper Arts article a little while back. 

In my Unruly project, which was initially inspired by a wonderful Art doll course I took with Mary Jane Chadbourne, last summer, I used Fresco paints on one side of the dolls with Sara Nauman's lovely text. I used scrap-book paper on the other side. To add a 3D effect the dolls held charms. I use my own art work reduced digitally to fit the peg faces. I like how I can change the dimensions of the faces I've created digitally and how they change when they are re-sized and placed on a project. Each little peg seems to be telling me a new story!

And for this project, I created some little hands and gave them shrink plastic embellishments to hold. I used just paint and text from Sara's latest PaperArtsy stamp plate ESN13. I wasn't too worried about losing bits of the sentiment. I liked that the key words remained like an enigma to puzzle over, a story for the viewer to unravel.

I explain all about how I created the Shrink Plastic embellishments over at PaperArtsy here. I think this character is a princess of the stars and moonlight and she holds a silvery songbird, while a musical moth flutters about her skirts.

First I like to give the pegs a light sanding with a sanding block before applying a layer of white Gesso. On these pegs, I then applied Blue Oyster, China and Wisteria in blocks of colour blending into each other.

 I stamped Sara Nauman's sentiment in Wendy Vecchi Cobalt Blue Archival. Sara's musical notes figure both on the head and the embellishments. As she is the Moonlight Princess perhaps she is humming Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata as a lullaby to bring sweet dreams.

And if we turn her over, we see that she has fallen asleep, lulled by her own lullaby. 
I applied a couple of coats of PaperArtsy Matte Glaze to seal and finish the pegs.

Sapphire Treasure gold on the metal hinges is the finishing touch. I have been having so much fun practising drawing faces and hands and it's been really satisfying to be able to then use them in miniature on a project. Thank You so much for stopping by today. It is always such a joy to have your company and your feedback. Please do have a play with Shrink Plastic, or create something else miniature for the PaperArtsy theme this time. If you link up your project there is a chance you could win a great prize!

Wednesday 18 February 2015

Dragons Dream tio - Pink and Hearts!

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven. I didn't use pink that much - until now, that is - and I have never considered myself a 'pink' sort of person!

However, this fortnight over at The Dragons Dream our lovely and talented new 'teamie', Catherine  has chosen the recipe, and it's Pink and Hearts. We'd love you to join in with your take on this. as we really enjoy seeing what you come up in response to the Dragons' recipes. Remember that your 'make' must be some kind of tag and it must feature at least one real stamp.

 I wanted to explore hearts in a surreal way. I created an enchanted rain-forest where pink hearts flutter through the trees, the home of Blue Skies, the Colour Muse - she makes ART! The other day while I was having a play with the new PaperArtsy colours and stamps, I created two little Bird-woman tags. Do you ever imagine yourself with a Muse, a kind of magical being who inspires you to create? I think mine would be a Bird-woman. She would remind me of sunny days and bright blue skies and dragon-flies with iridescent wings.

I began by covering a jumbo tag with Caribbean Sea, one of Lin's fabulous new colours, which are brightening my life at the moment! I added some dry brushing in Beach Hut and just the slightest touch of Inky Pool around the edges. Then I stenciled Lin's leaves in Hey Pesto around the edge. I just bought this great sentiment stamp from Red Lead and I stamped this three times onto my tag in Wendy Vecchi Cobalt Blue Archival. It reminds me of myself as a child. I loved to make little books which I illustrated. They were so poorly spelled I'm sure they were like a foreign language and only I could read them, but they brought me so much pleasure to create.

Now I looked through my stamps and saw that this lady's image featured a heart: I decided she would make the perfect Birdwoman and this little character hopped into being! The Red Lead label stamp was the inspiration for her name. Her body is one of Lin Brown's fantastic new Wicked Chickens in Blush Fresco, edged with Inktense and some Bourgainvillea stencilling.

Next I took an MDF heart and mixed up some transparent Prima crackle with a tiny sprinkling of Primary Element in what turned out to be a very bright pink. I've really been enjoying playing with Primary Elements, as just a little creates such intense colour and you can have experimental fun adding them to different gels! Here I had to be patient because the crackle takes some time to dry. You can see that the centre was not yet dry, but I was still keen to try out these wings!

I also created some of my own Washi tape using these lovely Darcy birds; a Lin Brown stencil and some Sara Nauman script stamped with Chalk Fresco.

Inktense pencils are great for adding detail to faces. I trimmed the tag with some die-cut lace scrap book paper. The little wooden dragon-fly was painted and stamped and then sponged with Versamark, dipped in clear UTEE and heated until he looked like china.

Thank You so much for looking at my Pink Hearts tag. I do hope you will be inspired to create your own tags, whether they have a traditional vintage valentine look or they put a new slant on the Pink Heart theme. Happy Creating!

Saturday 14 February 2015

Heartfelt - A Valentine's Day Box.

Hello and welcome to Magpieheaven. Over at Unruly Paper Arts the Readers' Art Quest this month is on the theme of 'Heartfelt'. If you pop over to the blog here you will see the colour palette and some fantastic mid-month inspiration from the team.

I decided to create this little Valentine Day gift box from a circular box in a pack of two, costing just £1.00 from The Works! I painted the box with Concrete Fresco Finish on the outside and Little Black Dress on the inside. I then used masking tape to cover the top half of the box and painted with Tango Fresco Finish. When the tape was removed there was a nice straight line between the two colours, but I did not throw the tape away!

I created Washi tape from it, stenciling with Cherry Red Fresco, then stamping with a Lynne Perrella border stamp in Black Archival.

Little Black Dress provided a strong contrast on the inside. The lid of the box was really fun to create, using little MDF hearts painted with a blend of Frescos and then stamped with Lynne Perrella images.

I detached the circular centre and painted it with Cherry Red Fresco. The roses were a gift from my crafting friend, Lucy. I painted them and added touches of Treasure Gold. I was also really happy with the touch of TG around the rim of the box, as this gave it a vintage look. Some doodling of trailing branches in white and gold Signo pens and the addition of little punched out leaves added the finishing touch.

 Who is the beautiful Lynne Perrella lady on the lid of the box? Perhaps she is Primavera, a springtime goddess, there to remind us that everything we create should come from the heart, and that once we are absorbed in the creative process, love and imagination will flourish. The sunshine represents the warm glow that creating always gives and the tiny shell symbolises how important attention to detail is. Thank You so much for stopping by today. I do hope the warm colours on this box will remind you of spring days not so very far away. Have a wonderful Valentine's Day with those you love. 

Wednesday 11 February 2015

Spread Your Wings with Colour!

Hello and welcome to Magpieheaven! Over at PaperArtsy the current theme is paint - and what a fantastic theme it is! We've had some amazing inspiration from Leandra's video, Lynne Moncrieff and the Sue Carrington and the new PA colours are so unbelievably beautiful: I just had to play. And when I started playing, well, I just couldn't stop - the hours flew by! And talking about flying...well, more of that in a moment! I played with some stencil bumping with really bright colours and Lin Brown's gorgeous leaf stencil. I used Banana, Tangerine Twist, Bourgainvillea and Chalk on a piece of Smoothy card. I then painted two tags, one with Blue Oyster and the other with Caribbean Sea from Lin's Limited Collection, which I really love at the moment.

The colours were so bright and playful, they put me in the mood to let my imagination take flight. What would be the effect of taking Lin's Wicked Chickens and combining them with some Lynne Perrella faces? I stamped different funky birds onto my stenciled card and Lynne Perrella images onto more card painted with Nougat and Blush Frescos, adding detail colour with Inktense pencils. For extra dimension on my birds I used Pearl pen. My first tag has a dusky mood. I used Wisteria, Beach Hut and Inky Pool plus a Stencil Girl bird stencil. The topper was stamped onto Caribbean Sea with black Archival ink and then clear embossed to make it really glossy. A little Sara Nauman text finished it off, so a complete Designer Collage!

I think I may even have used some of the new Blueberry there too! She seems to me to hop out of the dusk, the liminal time between day and night when magic is possible!

Creating this Bird Lady reminded me of the fun I used to have dressing paper dolls as a little girl. My Grandmother would help to cut out figures and stick them to card, and we would make our own cut-out designs with tabs for them. I was quite convinced then that I wanted to be a fashion designer; but I became an English teacher, ah well!

Double the wing power, for this Tudor birdie. I wonder if she's a creature from a coat of arms come magically to life in an enchanted wood? For the background on this tag, I used the same stencil with Caribbean Sea, Blue Oyster and Beach Hut. I stamped the bird twice onto my stencilled card and fixed on two pairs of wings with a little pink brad.

 I added a  crackle heart made by mixing some turquoise Primary element with some Prima crackle paste and covering a PaperArtsy heart die cut from heavy Smoothy. I edged my tag with the gothic text from a PaperArtsy mini and some Sapphire Treasure Gold

Here is a close up of the little pink brad, which reminds me even more of those paper dolls from my childhood and how much I enjoyed weaving stories around them. When my own daughter was pre-school we would spend many an afternoon drawing, cutting and pasting princesses, unicorns and cats - and, of course even the cats and the unicorns had to have extensive wardrobes of silks, lace and velvet - well, sweet wrappers, sequins and fabric scraps to be precise. It was no surprise when she decided on a career in fashion! 

I've really let my imagination take flight today, playing with paints and images. Thank You so much for stopping by and looking at these fantasy creations. I do hope you'll break open some bright paints too and let your imagination carry you away to blue skies and enchanted lands.

Saturday 7 February 2015

Rubber Dance - A love of Music!

Hello and welcome to Magpieheaven. Over at Unruly Paper Arts, I have recently been introduced to a stamp company by the name of Rubber Dance.

I was delighted to discover their blog and to find that they run a challenge! I just had to have a go so I am linking this project to Rubber Dance Stamps blog here. This project is a card for my Great Uncle's birthday on Saturday February 7th. My Great Uncle Derek is 90 years old today, and music has been a real joy to him all his life - especially the songs of his favourite 'crooner' Bing Crosby! One of his earliest memories is of his beautiful Mum, Matilda (also the name of my daughter), singing. She had a sweet soprano voice and sang at concerts.  Rubber Dance had set a colour scheme and a theme for their challenge - Red, Blue and Brown and - as this is February - Love. This, however, could be the love of anything you like. For Derek, I chose the love of music.

I began by stamping the music script onto a craft card, using Wendy Vecchi's Red Geranium Archival Ink, blending some of the ink over the edges of my card. Above you can also see the elements I gathered together for this card: a masterboard painted with PaperArtsy Fresco blues and reds, stamped and stenciled and then with some Wendy Vecchi gold embossing paste pressed through a Prima stencil of flourishes and a strip of red paper cut with the Tim Holtz lace die.

White highlights on the figure playing the violin brought the image to life, I thought. I could imagine her playing in flickering candle-light, so I touched the image with yellow Inktense and a little water too. I also stenciled the paper that I used for this beautiful, Rubber Dance image with some Wendy Vecchi Potting Soil Archival ink. The heart is die-cut from waxed paper, coloured with Florentine Treasure Gold by PaperArtsy and stamped with the music script from Rubber Dance in Stazon black ink. The little bird embellishment has been painted with Space Cadet Fresco Finish by PaperArtsy.

I recently bought a punch board for making envelopes, so I created one especially for this card using Chatsworth scrap-booking paper by PaperArtsy, edged with Wendy Vecchi Red Carnation and that music script again. Washi tape, brown clocks finished off the vintage effect...

Here are the card and envelope together. I love the sentiment too, 'Where words fail, music speaks.'

Here is the front of the envelope. I was rather pleased with the position of the flower...

So here is the card all sealed and ready to give to my dear Great Uncle Derek with a little bottle of our own home-made Sloe Gin. We are throwing a lunch party for him so I hope he will like this card made and sent with love. Happy Birthday to Great Uncle Derek!

Thank You for stopping by Magpieheaven today and for looking at all these pictures! I hope that you too have a wonderful weekend full of the love of whatever makes you happy!