Monday 5 December 2016

Calico Craft Parts - Snow Globes Baubles

Time passes and Christmas is suddenly just around the corner! Why does this happen to me every year? I have a project over at Calico Craft Parts today, featuring their beautiful animal craft shapes and some very inexpensive DIY baubles, which don't take very long to create.

Here is a sneak peek of one of them. If you have time, I'd love to see you over at Calico Craft Parts Blog. As the days grow busier, it can become difficult finding the time to be peaceful and creative. Maybe invite a friend or 2, put some beautiful Christmas music on and create a few decorations together in an oasis of calm, or just close that craft room door and get into the Christmas creative zone in sweet solitude. Have a lovely week whatever you're doing. xx

Monday 21 November 2016

Calico Craft Parts - Baubles!

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven. The days are growing colder and shorter and Christmas won't be long now! We're not that far from December! Around this time of year I always have the best of intentions about being prepared for the Festive Season and then it comes along all in a rush and usually finds me hopelessly unprepared! Never mind, for now I'm feeling everything is under control because I've created some hand-made baubles, including a little paper-clay moon face over on the Calico Craft Parts Blog. If you have a moment, please do hop across and see this and the two others I created.

Have a lovely creative week and here's hoping you're well and truly on schedule with the Christmas planning!

Monday 7 November 2016

An Invitation to Narnia

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven. Those who know me will be aware how much I love stories! Winter is a time for tales by the fireside, so, if you have time, please grab a cup of something hot and pop over to Calico Craft Parts for an invitation to Narnia.

And have a lovely, cosy week!

Monday 24 October 2016

Twine Goddess

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven. I do hope that you're all well now as autumn drifts towards winter. I've been feeling a little under the weather with a sore throat and a temperature, but today I'm so much better and I'm sharing another little spool shrine over at Calico Craft Parts. I hope you'll be able to pop across and see how I made this kindly autumn twine goddess, especially for a friend.

If you would like to see how I made her, please stop by the Calico Crafts Blog here.

Monday 10 October 2016

Catrina and her Beau - Calico Craft Parts.

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven. Autumn is here and this time at the fabulous, Calico Craft Parts Blog, I have a little Day of the Dead ornament to share with you.

It would be lovely to see you there if you have time to pop across and see it. I hope you're enjoying a happy and creative Autumn.

Monday 26 September 2016

Spool City at Calico Craft Parts

Hello and welcome to Magpieheaven. Today i'm lucky enough to be over at the wonderful Calico Craft Parts, where I've created a little city built on spools! Please do pop across and see if you have a moment!

Here's wishing you a lovely autumn day today, wherever you are.

Monday 12 September 2016

Flying Frida

Welcome to Magpieheaven. I'm so happy to be over at Calico Craft Parts Blog today with an art doll based on Frida Kahlo. Please pop across if you have a moment. I'd love to see you there!

Thursday 8 September 2016

Magic in the Bathroom!

Hello and welcome to Magpieheaven! I'm ashamed to say that I haven't been a very frequent blogger of late! I've been busily making all kinds of things, but life has been a bit chaotic! I expect many of you recall that 3 years ago we decided to have our kitchen refitted! Our friend Kevin agreed to do it but he somehow couldn't break it to us that his circumstances had changed and he really had no time for our project. Three years down the line it still wasn't completed - and - guess what - the bathroom was now looking very sorry for itself! Enter the magical Simon! Now, not only has the bathroom been transformed - almost; but Simon is going to finish off our kitchen! I thought it was time to celebrate the transformation scenes taking place in both these rooms with a tiny assemblage of Sandra Evertson's Relics and Artifacts!

The shells are all real! The one in the foreground I painted with PaperArtsy Blue Oyster Fresco mixed with Pearl Glaze. I added some Liquitex Bead Gel and a tiny, sleeping paper-clay sand fairy with moss hair. Our new bathroom is a really relaxing place to be, but with our very own sand fairy to inspire us we should be able to unwind here however stressful our day might have been!

The sea-scapes reflected in the eyes were all painted with a tiny detail brush, using PaperArtsy Frescos in Teresa Green, Inky Pool, Snowflake and Smurf with a touch of Tango for the sun - all diluted with PaperArtsy Satin Glaze!

I was so pleased with the effect of the PaperArtsy Pearl Glaze on the Artifacts! I shall probably add to and change this assemblage every so often to create interest in our new bathroom. And, when the kitchen is finished, I might be creating something similar to celebrate that too! Thank You so much for stopping by today. I do hope that you'll join me soon for my kitchen and bathroom warming - it's been a long time coming, but I think it's going to be fun!

Monday 15 August 2016

Calico Card!

Today I'm having fun over at Calico Craft Parts with a simple summer card inspired by my daughter's love of 'Sunny Days'. Hope you can join me and wherever you are I hope the sun is shining on you today!

Happy Monday!

Monday 8 August 2016

PaperArtsy Patterns!

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven! Tonight I'm over at PaperArtsy here, where the theme is 'Patterns'. Please hop over to their beautiful blog if you would like to explore the world of patterns and find out how I made these goblets!

I hope you're having a wonderful, creative Summer.

Monday 1 August 2016

Bee Forever True - Printer's tray for Calico Craft Parts

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven! Today I'm sharing a project over at Calico Craft Parts here. Please do pop over and join me if you have a little time to dream on a summer afternoon.

Have a wonderful creative week everyone!

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!

Friday 20 May 2016

Show Your Face on Friday - Head Positions and Earrings!

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven. This week has been busy, but I was determined to link up with Kim Dellow's 'Show Your Face on Friday' blogspot here, where the theme for May, chosen by June Walker is 'Head Positions'. I love June's work, always so vibrant and imaginative and I think this is a great idea for a theme. Kim has done some great head studies, which are really impressive. I would like to try some different sketched heads myself soon, but I've been busy making earrings featuring faces and it has been fun deciding on positions for the collaged heads!

 As my followers and friends probably know, my first jewellery project was to create little house-shaped brooches, inspired by a workshop I took with Mary Jane Chadbourne last summer.

The earrings have been a challenge, but after working out how to make them hang successfully, I've really enjoyed creating them.

Here are some of the designs at various stages: most of them need drilling at this point.

Positioning the lute-playing tigers' heads just right was important, as I wanted them to appear to be playing the music with feeling and to be engaging with the onlooker.

 I always like my pieces to tell a story. These twin Queens of Hearts are almost, but not quite, identical. I wonder what their story might be and what lies behind the little blue doors they point towards?

These two have had a busy day practising circus skills and they can't wait to head back to their caravan for a quiet cuppa!

Another circus themed pair invite us to view the show...

and these two sisters have travelled the world. It was fun trying out the earrings to see how they would look as wearable art.

Thank You so much for stopping by my blog today. I really appreciate your visits and I'm sorry that I don't blog as much as I used to. I hope you have a wonderful and creative weekend and that you have some time to create some kind of face art and maybe even link up to Kim's blog. Meanwhile if you want to view my work on Etsy, there is a link at the top of the blog on the right hand side.

Sunday 1 May 2016

Show Your Face on Friday - #30Faces30Days

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven. It's a little while since I blogged - I don't know where the time goes. I've missed linking up with Kim Dellow's Show Your Face on Friday blog here so I'm back again, sharing a collection of faces I created for a really challenging but incredibly enjoyable discovery I made during April - Annie Hamman and Galia Elena's #30Faces30Days Challenge. I had been watching in awe as the really talented artists involved in this challenge posted on Facebook then Annie very kindly said that I could join in and pick up where everyone had got to. I hope that Kim Dellow and all my fellow face artists at Show Your Face on Friday won't mind me sharing some of the faces I created in response to the prompts. I only started on #18 - Performer, so I haven't been able to respond to all 30 prompts!
 I still feel that meeting the challenge of creating a face a day has been an enriching experience, leading my imagination along paths it might never have followed otherwise! How - for example - does one meet the challenge of creating a portrait with the prompt 'Faceless'? Nameless, with her face partially covered by a papier-mache mask, this mysterious lady makes her way over the bridges of Venice.
What would  a 'Surreal' face look like? I created a bird lady in a land of floating trees.
For 'Floral' I created Ophelia, dreaming in her vintage flowery dress and reciting Shakespeare!
For 'The Blues' I discovered Ophelia's younger sibling, Arabella...
These portraits gave me the idea for a possible story or series of stories involving three sisters: Arabella; Ophelia and the youngest member of the family, Angelina who takes her ginger kitten everywhere with her.
I made the acquaintance of an Earth Goddess...
a goddess of reflections 
and a living tree...
Tribal was not the easiest prompt for me to work with, until my muse led me to Florence whose style is distinctly 'Retro' and who longs for us to 'Give Peace a Chance'. 

I was able to include some of my little face houses too! This one was for the prompt Door...
And this one for Collage...
The final prompt was Bird and I took a few process pictures for this one. I began by collaging tissue and napkins onto a canvas panel with Matt Medium. Beforehand I roughed out in water-colour pencil a sketch of where I would be placing my face.
I then worked by adding layers of PaperArtsy Frescos, made more translucent with Satin Acrylic Glazing Liquid.
Finally a slightly older version of Angelina appeared. She is doing baby-sitting duties for this little bird, guarding her eggs in their cosy nest. She has to walk very carefully and hold her head straight for this task: she has found it's done wonders for her deportment!
Thank you so much for stopping by today and looking at these faces I created for Annie and Galia's #30Faces30Days. I'm so grateful to them for giving me this opportunity to grow and also to Kim Dellow whose Show Your Face blog continues to be an inspiration!