Friday 31 July 2015

Show Your Face - Five Minute Frida!

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven! I didn't know if I was going to make it to Kim Dellow's Friday 'get-together' this week! If you would like to know what I'm talking about just click here to find out more about Kim's inspirational blog where people who like to draw faces any time, anywhere, anyway show what they've been creating! This time I had literally five minutes to create a face, as we were getting ready to leave for a little village near Dover to collect my Mum. She had been staying with a friend for a few days. I grabbed a box of Inktense pencils; a piece of card from a master-board I'd created some months ago and the first image I found lying around and challenged myself to sketch a face while my husband finished his shower! Here is what I came up with!

Minutes afterwards, we had a call from Mum's friend! 'The traffic is terrible, It's taking three hours to make a one hour journey and the police have blocked all the roads from the villages into Dover. You might want to postpone collecting Mum. She's fine here for now.' Now there was time to add a little water to the Inktense! Do you think it's made any difference?

 Do you recognize her? I would quite understand if you didn't, as I'm not totally happy with the likeness. I just launched in with a black Pilot pen - no time for pencil lines and erasing! I'm not sure what I'll do with her, but I do think I'll try drawing faces on Master-board again, as I like that effect.

 I've also been having so much fun with an on line course I've been participating in at The Artful Gathering, with the incredible Mary Jane Chadbourne. It's called Tinytopia, the Magic of Little Things. It was Mary Jane's Imaginarium course last Summer that first re-kindled my interest in drawing faces. Then along came Kim's Blog and I was hooked even more. I can't share with you the techniques and processes involved in creating the little houses, as I'm sure you will appreciate, but I thought I would just share a finished face-house with you today! If you ever have the opportunity to join one of Mary Jane's classes, I would strongly recommend them. I have no idea when the roads will be clear enough for us to make our journey so I'm heading off to create some more! I wish you a happy and creative weekend!

Friday 24 July 2015

Fairies in her Hair! Show your Face Friday!

Hello and welcome to Magpieheaven! It's time again for the fabulous weekly 'get-together' known as 'Show Your Face', run by the wonderful, Kim Dellow! Please click here to find out what I'm prattling on about. Kim explains everything clearly about this face creating community, which is proving to be so much fun! Please do link up with Kim's blog if you enjoy sketching, painting, printing or doodling faces and you have something to share! I'm afraid I'm late to the party this week. I just started an on line course and Friday has been my day for really getting down to work. I have got some faces to show you, which I doodled the other evening and they are not unrelated to the course. I think it must be very much on my mind, or maybe I should say 'in my hair'!

I decided to do some more doodling this week. It's still part of my 'Black and White' collection. Can you see the fairies hidden in this lady's leafy coiffure? I think they might be the residents from the little houses I've been creating at The Artful Gathering class. This year our wonderful teacher, Mary Jane Chadbourne has been inspiring us to create Tinytopia, a little village just about the right size to house a fairy community! For obvious reasons, we can't blog Work in Progress pics; but when my village is built I'll post it on my blog so that you can see where these tiny folk usually reside!

And here is a full face doodle of another flowery and leafy haired lady. To me she looks like Flora, goddess of Spring-time and flowers. Thank you so much for stopping by Magpieheaven. I've kept this post short, as I still wanted to play along with Show Your Face and to visit as many of the other artists as possible, although life seems very busy. Have a wonderful, creative weekend everyone. I can't wait to see the faces this week!

Wednesday 22 July 2015

Dragons Dream TIO - Number 8

Hello and welcome to Magpieheaven, where it's once again time to dream with the Dragons! As you probably know, we are featuring numbers on our tags at the moment and this fortnight's has been chosen by the very talented, Elizabeth. She would like us to use the number 8 and at least one real stamp on our tags. Please do take a look at the inspiration from the Team over at The Dragons Dream here. I am not offering step-by-steps on this tag, as it was inspired by a course I am taking currently with the wonderful Mary Jane Chadbourne. My tag is about experimenting, mainly with creating backgrounds, before I undertake a complete project inspired by this excellent 'Artful Gathering' course. We will be creating miniature houses, so this fortnight's tag features a fairy house with its very own number.

 I took a course with Mary Jane last year and found her to be a truly inspirational teacher and this course - all about creating the world of Tinytopia is proving to be so much fun! My only complaint is that life has been very busy outside of Tinytopia and I'm terribly frustrated that I can't work more on the little houses! The house on this tag is from a beautiful stamp set by Lin Brown for PaperArtsy's Eclectica range. I drew my eight onto the roof in white pen, outlined with black and the grass in the foreground is created using Grunge Paste coloured with Guacamole Fresco finish paint.

I highlighted the windows with Glossy Accents. The bull-rushes are a brad from 'Eyelet Outlet'. I wonder who the little occupant of Number 8 might be? In his or her world the clouds resemble lace and there are stories written across the sky! I would love to turn the handle of that tiny door and step into that 'dream' house, where it looks as if the lamp has been lit as twilight approaches.

Thank you so much for stopping by Magpieheaven today. I do hope you will be able to link up your tags to our Number 8 Challenge. We can't wait to see what you come up with!

Friday 17 July 2015

Show Your Face in Black and White!

Hello and welcome to Magpieheaven! It's Friday once more and I'm linking up to the wonderful 'Show Your Face' blog, where each week Kim Dellow gathers us together to share faces we've been sketching. It's lovely to see new faces and anyone can join in from week to week. Just pop over to Kim's blog here to find out more. Kim has an exciting plan for us in August. Next month we will be invited to take a look around each other's blogs and take inspiration from what our fellow contributors have been working at. This sounds great fun, as there are some wonderful artists linking up and Kim is always an inspiration. I do hope you will feel inspired to join in either now in July, or next month and link up some portrait art here. This week has been rather busy, but I did spend some time doodling a profile, which I scanned into my computer. Here it is -

I used a black Pilot pen on white sketch-book paper and no colour this time, as I was inspired by some beautiful colouring books for adults that I saw in an art shop recently when I was browsing with my friend Lucy. I wonder what difference colour would make to her? She might be the first in a collection of leafy-haired ladies. Thank you so much for dropping by today. I hope your weekend is full of creative fun! 

Saturday 11 July 2015

To Die For - Unruly Paper Arts Sneak Peek!

Today I have an article over at Unruly Paper Arts featuring die-cuts from fabric and Shrink Plastic. Please do pop over if you have the time!

Have a great weekend full of sunshine and creativity!

Friday 10 July 2015

Show Your Face Masquerade!

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven! Today I should like to link up with Kim Dellow's fabulous 'Show your Face' blog spot here, which has become a regular Friday adventure for me! Each Friday Kim invites us to share any portrait art that we've been playing with over the week. She inspires us with a face she is working on herself and we make faces of our own, if you know what I mean, whether it be in a journal; a sketch or a doodle; an experiment with new materials or fun with old techniques. As long as the face itself is our own creation, we can add anything we like in the way of stamping, stencils, embossing or embellishment. This Friday I decided to develop a sketch I did a week or two back, printing it onto a different surface and adding a little costume. Here is my original sketch, which I drew using Portfolio Pastels onto a page in a vintage book of old sayings before scanning it into my computer.

I have used her once for a tag on the theme of circles and the colour purple...

You might remember that she was trying to decide between settling for the simple life or trying something she had never done before? Well, on this project, it looks as if she paid a visit to the Costume boutique and chose a fancy dress for a very special summer costume ball! Could that have been something she was contemplating that she never tried before?

I wonder if the costume with its red pig-tail wig and carnival theme helped her to find a new identity for the evening and to fly a little with those butterfly wings?

The portrait was printed onto fabric and a little extra colour, mixed with PaperArtsy Satin Glaze was added. Her ruff is a Rebekkah Meier stencil on fabric with a lace trim, fixed with heavy gel medium and touched with Treasure Gold. I used some embroidery stitching and hemming along with the heavy gel medium to collage everything onto my journal cover, which was just £3.00 from the Scandinavian chain, Tiger.

This project was a very different way to use the lovely new PaperArtsy Hot Picks stamps I played with for the first time recently. Here I've used the wings and part of the sentiment on fabric painted with Frescos - Antarctic and Smurf, embossing the edges with gold UTEE. The wing is also from HP1506, stamped onto tissue, which I attached to fabric coloured with Frescos and Fabric Medium and edged with gold UTEE again.

The sketch book was made from a kind of black canvas, which I brayered with Frescos in Smurf, Antarctic and Southern Skies and then stencilled over in Hey Pesto with a Stencil Girl stencil of birds in a wood. I then stamped this beautiful Sara Nauman script over the top, using Fresco Antarctic.

Now my journal cover is complete and the little masquerader is all ready for her party, or is she returning home through an enchanted wood just before day-break? What faces have you been creating this week? I am really looking forward to seeing what Kim and the other contributors have created and I hope that if you haven't done so before, you'll link up a face to Kim's blog too.

Wednesday 8 July 2015

Dragons' Dream TIO - Number 1

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven! Today it's time to dream with the Dragons again and this fortnight we start a new theme! We would like you to create a tag, using at least one real stamp as usual, but to include a number chosen by one of the Design Team! This week it's the number 1. Please do take a look at the blog here to see the fabulous inspiration from the rest of the team.

I began by brayering a tag with Honeydew PaperArtsy Fresco Finish and Guacamole. I then stamped a leaf from Darcy's Electica in Hyde Park and covered the tag with Sage Fresco. I wanted to make my tag in shades of green because I had an old folk song playing over and over in my mind: 'I'll give you one ho, green grow the rushes oh/ What is your one ho?/ One is one and all alone and ever more shall be so...'

I gave the tag a good rub with a Baby Wipe so the leaves re-appeared, but the blend of different greens remained.

I stamped this Sara Nauman text, 'The problem of the solitary artist' in different shades of green Fresco: Green Olives, Hyde Park and Chartreuse. It seemed to me that the solitary artist described the number 1 perfectly! One of my favourite techniques, learned a long time ago from Darcy Wilkinson, is to dip a circular lid into a little puddle of paint and use it to print circles. I then painted between the circles in Hey Pesto and again rubbed layers away in places.

The next step was to colour some card with Sage Fresco, which I spattered with Hint of Mint. This I used to stamp a Tim Holtz 'Admit One' ticket onto...

and two little number ones, stamped using the Tim Holtz Tattered Alphabet. I have a confession to make now! Ever since my primary school days, I've loved words and stories; but I've always been a little intimidated by numbers! I recall as a school child having to give the numbers in my 'arithmetic' book characters before I could really feel comfortable with adding or subtracting them! For this reason I've turned the ones on my tag into little pierrots, creating them hats with black pom-poms and lacy trim.

 These 'ones', with their borders of green and gold frantage, could represent the loneliness of the performer who stands in the spotlight and gives his or her all night after night. In the song 'Green Grow the rushes oh!', it has been suggested that 'One is One and all alone and ever more shall be so' refers to God, who Moses encounters in the Burning Bush and who tells him, 'I am that I am', although the song's meaning is really lost in time and it is a strange mix of Christian and Pagan references.
  The word 'problem' takes me back to the days when my heart would sink as the teacher announced that we would be doing 'problems' today. How exactly were we to ensure that Mary, John and Susan would share their sweets equally with only arithmetic to help us? I'm sure that now 'problem solving' has become a far more exciting activity and that Maths can be taught as a useful skill rather than an incomprehensible mystery!
Thank you so much for stopping by Magpieheaven today. I do hope you will have a take of your own on the number 1 and that you will be able to link up a tag to our challenge this fortnight.

Sunday 5 July 2015

Poppies and Butterflies with PaperArtsy Hot Picks!

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven! Tonight I'm really excited because I have some cards using the brand new PaperArtsy Hot Picks 1506 and 1505 to show you! If you pop over to the PaperArtsy blog here, Leandra has some gorgeous images of projects using all the new Hot Picks and a video to share. There will be more new releases to come during the coming week, so lots to see! Do please visit to see what the PaperArtsy designers have been inspired to create. I'm so excited because HP1505 and 1506 gave me the opportunity to re-visit vintage colours, lace, fabric and embellishments - I even played some more with Rust - most definitely one of my favourite things!

Leandra suggested a colour scheme for our samples, and I started by studying HP1505 and HP1505 and then doing some hunting and gathering within my stash!

I experimented with stamping on fabric and rummaged in my sewing box too! I don't know about you, but I don't think my muse is always the same personality? This time I felt I was definitely channelling my inner Edwardian Lady!

 I've used Taupe, Nougat, Chocolate Pudding, a touch of Rose and Squid Ink. I wanted to create the impression of aged ephemera, but I've experimented with some mark making using everyday objects too - like washing liquid lids.

 I used a brayer and the odd stencil on Kraft card blanks, along with my stamping and embellishments: Treasure Gold accented the curled edges on torn book text.

Tea-bags seemed like the perfect accompaniment to vintage themed cards and I incorporated this one, with a little sepia stamping, into the background.

I merged it with some tea-stained lace.

The poppies were particularly suited to the Vintage theme, I thought.

 This summer I've been taken with the different shades of poppy I've seen in country gardens - like pale pink and mauve, so I turned to my Rose Fresco. 

My frames are tiny wooden ones from The Works. But these stamps don't only look good with 'neutrals'. I just had to have a play with the butterflies using blues too! I took some of my master-boards and added the new Hot Picks images

to create a birthday card for my mum who was 86 on Friday!

And one last card.

There really is so much you can do with these images. They are great for journals as well as cards, but I can foresee some lovely projects using them with canvases, home-decor pieces and fabric too.

Thank you so much for stopping by to see me take flight with these new Hot Picks1505 and 1506  available from PaperArtsy and PaperArtsy stockists now.

Friday 3 July 2015

Show Your Face, Kitty!

Welcome to Magpieheaven and it's Friday, which means time to Show Your Face! Kim has been hosting this great challenge over at her blog for quite a few weeks now. The idea is to share any faces we have been creating over the week; any work in progress, or even from a face from long ago. If you take a look here, you will see Kim's inspiration for this week. You can find out a little more detail about the challenge; link up any faces you have created too and see some of the fantastic art shared by Kim's contributors. Having played around with male and female faces for a few weeks, I decided to turn my attention to animal features! I've not gone for realism here! This is really self-indulgent fantasy for a hot afternoon! I just wanted to create a little bit of decorative doodling.

I wanted to create a stylised face that could be adapted for use on a variety of projects - especially those which could be made into a gift for my daughter! Almost as soon as she could talk our daughter, Matilda was besotted with cats! All her favourite picture books featured them and she would often say that when she grew up she hoped to become a cat! The most important and well-loved things in her life featured either cats or flowers, so it's no surprise, I'm sure, that our beloved moggie - now fourteen years old - is named Daisy! This doodled portrait is inspired by her. I used a Micron pen and Inktense pencils.

I scanned the original drawing into the computer and then reduced it and copied it to create this 'wallpaper' effect. I might try using the Freezer paper technique I played with last week to transfer this design onto fabric and make a little cloth bag for cotton wool balls as a gift for Matilda, so 'watch this space' as they say! Yesterday was so very hot here in the UK that I didn't feel like creating very much at all, but I sat for a while in the early evening sketching on my patio, where I have a ceramic pot of geraniums.

I was seeing feline faces everywhere! I should rather like to print this design onto fabric too. In my imagination, I see it as curtains for a dolls' house!

I hope to be a bit more productive next week, when temperatures cool down a little. If you have a moment, please do stop by to see what I've up to and I will pay you a visit too, I hope. Meanwhile, stay cool and creative!