Monday 31 December 2018

Review of the Year at Calico Craft Parts

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven. Another year has rolled round, and over at Calico Craft Parts blog I have a few memories of past projects I should love to share with you if you have a moment to pop over.

Thank you so much to everyone who has supported me in 2018 with encouragement and comments here; on the Calico Blog and on Social Media. Your kindness has meant so much. A Happy, Healthy and Creative 2019 to Everyone! xx

Monday 17 December 2018

Arch Angel of Peace at Calico Craft Parts Today!

As Christmas draws ever closer I have an angel of peace to share with you over at Calico Craft Parts Blog today.

I hope that in the midst of all the busy preparations you can find a little peace too. Have a lovely week and a very Happy Christmas!

Monday 3 December 2018

Once upon a Table-scape - Centre-piece for Calico Craft Parts

I only discovered recently what a table-scape is. If you would like to discover more, please hop over to Calico Craft Parts Blog here.

Have a lovely,creative week, wherever you are and whatever you're doing.

Friday 30 November 2018

Advent Crafting

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven! I haven't created a blog about what I've been up to for some time. Today, though, I wanted to just share with you a collection of tree decorations I've created - not for a design team project or an article, but for the sheer joy of it! Not that creating for design teams and articles doesn't bring me joy - I love it; but sometimes it is nice to make something with whatever takes your fancy.

I just lost myself in creating each of these little houses to place in individual domes - a tiny, snowy world frozen in time.

Photographing the domes is tricky due to the shine. Can you see the tiny blue bird on the roof in this one? I've been eager to use these for so long, as they were gifted to me by my lovely American friend, Clintine. He sings to the princess locked in a winter world of the freedom of spring, just waiting to unlock the ice-bound land.

Clintine also gave me the paper I used to cover the little house on your right: I love that bird. The wood circles under the domes are also gifts from her!

I had so much fun using my own MDF houses, but you can find kits that will fit inside these domes from companies like Calico Craft Parts. MDF craft parts; Chiyogami paper and flakes along with Distress Glitter and my own little faces blend to tell winter stories. Some feathers from my stash found their way onto the project too.

Never throw away scraps of paper - they come in so useful on these miniature MDF houses.

A scrap of stenciling, a piece of an antique map and a wisp of a tree and a miniature world is ready to hang on the tree. No end of stories could be woven around these little domes and winter is the time for sitting around a roaring fire telling stories. The last dome dome I'm going to show you, though, has a true story behind it.

This little Jack Russel is my friend, Patsy's dog, Poppy. Patsy has been such a good friend who I've known nearly all my life. Recently Poppy became very ill and her infection left her with high blood pressure and completely blind. This amazing little dog has coped brilliantly with her disability and now enjoys her favourite things - a country walk (smells are more fascinating than ever); affection and a tasty meal with almost as much delight and enthusiasm as before.

By merging this sketch of Poppy that I created with the body from a cabinet card, I made a special version of Poppy in Winter - realized in shrink plastic - to give my friend who has nursed and cared for her beloved pet with so much love this year. It was great to be able to put the ideas and skills I'd learned in a shrink plastic class with Stephanie Rubiano to use in creating an individual gift for a special friend.

Thank you so much for popping by today and reading my blog. These 9cm cloches to hang on the tree are such fun and offer so many possibilities to create tree ornaments that you can put your own worlds into. I would recommend having a go at creating some yourself if you have a moment at this busy season! A Happy Festive Season to you!

Monday 19 November 2018

2 Arch Angels at Calico Craft Parts

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven. Today I'm beginning to prepare for the festive season with 2 little Christmas Tree angels created from Calico Craft Parts.

I do hope you'll be able to pop across and see how I created them here Have a wonderful, creative week.

Monday 22 October 2018

The Little Bee-Keeper - Storage Cube for Busy Bees at Calico Craft Parts Blog

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven! Are you a busy crafting bee? If you are, please could you just spare a few of your precious minutes to pop over to Calico Craft Parts Blog ...

where I've created an addition to my storage stack. I hope you will have a wonderful, creative week. x

Thursday 11 October 2018

We Have a Winner for the Paint Your Heart and Soul Giveaway!

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven! I am pleased to announce that my son, Isaac was able to help me out and to pick a winner in the PYHAS Giveaway! You were all so generous, sharing to social media and having a guess at my favourite fairy tales too!

There were so many names to pick from, but there could only be one winner! You can see that he very generously loaned his cap and joined me in my studio for the grand draw!

A tense moment, as he closes his eyes and dips in! Then 'Drum Roll' and ...

The winner is JEANNE ELLIOT! Many Congratulations to Jeanne. Please could you email Olga? I will Pm you with her email address and instructions what to do so that you can receive your wonderful prize of a year long Paint your Heart and Soul Course. This is going to be a very special year with some amazing artists contributing.

Thank you again to all those who participated in this Giveaway. I wish I could have awarded a prize to you all. 

Please remember that the early bird price of $99.00 applies until December 5th 2018. If you click on the link here when registering I am paid a percentage of the course fee. Have a lovely Friday and a wonderful Weekend! x

Monday 8 October 2018

Further Adventures in Oz - Miniature Artist Trading Block Cube Kit at Calico Craft Parts

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven. Today I'm over at Calico Craft Parts with some more Oz adventures.

This time the happy band of characters are featuring on an Artist Trading Block Cube. Please do pop over if you would like to see more. 

Monday 24 September 2018

Dreaming of Somewhere Over the Rainbow at Calico Craft Parts

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven. As the Autumn starts to touch the trees with red and gold, I find myself dreaming of a land over the rainbow. If you have a moment, please fly over to Calico Craft Parts blog with the bluebirds and me to find out more!

Have a wonderful week and may all your dreams come true.

Monday 10 September 2018

And so the Adventure Begins! Reversed Canvas at Calico Craft Parts Blog.

Hello Everyone and Welcome to Magpieheaven! I'm over at Calico Craft Parts Blog today. It would be lovely if you could make the acquaintance of my little owl as she sets out in her tiny nutshell craft.

Have a wonderful week, wherever you are and whatever you are doing.

Wednesday 5 September 2018

Exciting News! Paint your Heart and Soul 2019 is open for Registration and there's a Giveaway!

Welcome to Magpieheaven! Today I have some very exciting news to share with you! Do you recognize any of the photos above? If you look closely you will no doubt see some artists whose work you know and admire and you will see my picture among the artists - I can hardly believe it myself - I am proud to be among the 2019 team offering workshops with the 'Paint your Heart and Soul' year long art course.

Although the project above is not what I will be teaching on the course, it expresses how I feel about this opportunity to create with you. Through my Art journey that began with blogging here and learning from the creative people I have met in Blogland and on Social Media, I have discovered that amazing things happen when you believe in your dreams. I have created 2 Mixed Media projects for this course that I hope will help you escape the everyday world, express yourself and follow your dreams! 
  1. In the first project we'll be drawing and painting with water-colour over crackled and weathered surfaces.
  2.  Exploring 3D effects with stencils.
  3. Combining collage, stamping and colour blending
  4. .And using all these to Create an expressive mixed media art doll unique to YOU.

 Project 2 is a reversed box canvas
  1. We'll create 3D effects to turn the canvas into a shadow box story of your own, a quest to find your own personal heart and soul muse in the midst of life's stormy seas.
  2. Collage, painting and plaster will be combined to create a dimensional and imaginative world in miniature.
The theme this year is 'Loosening up' and creating EXPRESSIVE ART so I am beyond excited to be a part of this year long course. I love the idea of release that this kind of art can give. Furthermore an amazing team of participating teachers will be sharing techniques and expertise on topics like Colour Theory, Value Scale or Shading, Proportions  and other academic theories while still making the learning process a fun adventure.

The course, which commences on January 2nd 2019, is hosted by Olga Furman and a collaboration of international artists eager to share their creative process with YOU. There are over 50 downloadable video lessons and PDF documents, which will be provided weekly, starting January 2019. Artist Instructors will share their unique creative process with students from start to finish, including a list of art supplies used.

We will also have a closed Facebook group where students are encouraged to share their progress, receive support and meet like-minded friends. Being part of a friendly and inviting art community has a terrific positive effect, making the learning/creative process even more exciting!

This is a particularly appealing course because it's designed for ALL SKILL LEVELS - ranging from a TOTAL BEGINNER with no previous experience in drawing/painting to an experienced artist!

CLICK HERE  to find out more details about PAINT YOUR HEART AND SOUL 2019
This course is now OPEN FOR REGISTRATION so please click, as if you register by December 5th you can purchase the course at a DISCOUNTED PRICE of $99 - a saving of $30 from the regular price of $129.

And what's more - I'm going to give one of you a FREE spot in the course, please see details below!


To enter the Giveaway raffle please do each of the following:

  1. Share this link  on your Social Media (FB, Instagram, Pinterest)
  2. Comment on where you shared the link and I will add you to the raffle. Each share on a different social media counts as one entry - multiple entries are encouraged!
  3. What is my favourite fairy tale? If you answer this correctly - I will add your name to the raffle again!
Lots of luck! I will announce the Lucky Winner on October 11th. If you have already paid for the course and win the spot, you will get a full refund.

I do hope you will be able to join me and the other artists in sharing a wonderful year of creativity and self discovery!

Monday 27 August 2018

Make Art Every Day - Calico Craft Parts Blog Post.

Wishing all those of you on holiday today a Happy Holiday Monday! I'm looking forward to the rich and glorious colours of Autumn over on the Calico Blog  today. Please pop over if you would like to see more about my new addition to my storage stack!

Thank you so much for remaining loyal to my blog, even though I don't post as often as I used to. Please look out for some exciting news coming to the blog early in September! Meanwhile wishing you a wonderful, creative week! xx

Monday 13 August 2018

On a Driftwood Island at Calico Craft Parts

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven. It's been a while since I blogged and what a heat-wave we've had! Now rain and cooler temperatures seem to have made a 'comeback', but over at Calico I have a little cat pierrot who has found the perfect shelter from rain or sun.

If you would like to see more, please pop across to Calico Craft Parts Blog here. Enjoy your day, whatever the weather!

Monday 16 July 2018

Calico Craft Parts Storage Stack

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven. Mondays are my favourite day since I became part of the Calico Team! Today I have step by steps on the first 2 tiers of a stack of storage cubes over at Calico Craft Parts here.

In 2 weeks' time I will be sharing the rest of the stack. I hope you're having a wonderful, creative summer!

Monday 18 June 2018

Where's the Garden Twine - Spool for Calico Craft Parts.

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven. I'm over at Calico Craft Parts blog today. Please click here for step by step tutorial on how I made this little spool with a hovering bumble bee!

Have a lovely, creative week and a great summer.

Monday 4 June 2018

The Fairy Dust Theatre at Calico Craft Parts

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven. I'm over at Calico Craft Parts Blog today with a little toy theatre.

Please hop across here - the show is about to begin!

Monday 21 May 2018

Today! Canvas for Calico Craft Parts.

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven. I hope that today you will be able to join me at Calico Craft Parts, where I'm thinking of all the possibilities that Today offers with a mini mixed media canvas!

A  Happy and Creative Week to Everyone!

Monday 7 May 2018

The Magpie's Nest - Tag for Calico Craft Parts

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven! Today I'm over at Calico Craft Parts Blog with an MDF tag with a difference.

I do hope that you'll be able to join me there. Have a lovely creative week.

Monday 23 April 2018

Take Flight - Canvas at Calico Craft Parts.

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven. I hope you will be able to join me over at Calico Craft Parts here.

I have a little canvas I would love to tell you about. I hope you're enjoying the birds'songs and the springtime. Have a creative week.

Monday 9 April 2018

Magic House Hanging at Calico Craft Parts Blog

Welcome to Magpiehaven. Do you know anyone who has recently moved house? If so you might like to cut across to Calico Craft Parts Blog where I have a little house-themed hanging today.

Thank you for stopping by today. See you again very soon.

Monday 26 March 2018

Persephone's White Rabbit at Calico Craft Parts

Welcome to springtime at Magpieheaven! Today I have an MDF tag over at Calico Craft Parts blog.

 If you would like to see how I made Persephone, please hop across to Calico Craft Parts Blog. Have a lovely week wherever you are and whatever you're doing.

Monday 12 March 2018

Queen Among Cats at Calico Craft Parts

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven. I've been having fun with a little boat kit over at Calico Craft Parts today. Please join me here if you would like to see more.

Enjoy your day and Happy Creating!

Wednesday 28 February 2018

Doll Swap - Take Your Partners!

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven. As I write this the wind is howling outside and blowing the snow here and there! The temperatures have been struggling to get above freezing and it's taking quite an effort to convince myself that spring will come! Nevertheless, our trusty postie made it through the bad weather yesterday with a very exciting package indeed! I've been involved in several craft swaps since I began creating a few years back, but at present I'm part of my first paper doll swap - thanks to Jackie PN of Creatingwithoutcrayons. In the midst of swirling snow and glittering ice this exquisite little being fluttered into my life! I think she is an absolute master-piece of paper doll making and receiving her had me dancing for joy all around my breakfast table! 

She is the creation of my first partner in the swap - the incredibly gifted artist, Theresa Martin. If you click here you can see her beautiful blog.

I love the detail, the hair, the wonderful colours: she is truly magical! And what a great idea to provide her with a magic slipper for a home. It looks as if it might have belonged to one of the twelve dancing princesses from the fairy tale.

Now let me introduce you to her her swap partner - Venetia, all ready to perform a galliard or a pavanne! She danced all the way to the USA in her wise owl carnival costume. She may not have seen Venice, but she was created in my little Edwardian cottage surrounded by my collection of Venetian masks, which were my inspiration.

Although Venetia is not the first Art Doll I have created, she is my first paper doll and I had a lot to learn as I went along. She includes some of my own art work along with scraps from my designer paper scrap box.

Do you recognise the owl chick trim on her gown? The golden panels on her skirt are skeleton leaves and the tiny brads mean that her arms and legs can be posed.

I had great fun creating Venetia and learned so much that I can't wait to start on another doll and try out some new challenges and ideas.

I think, for example, I might introduce a flap around the back of the doll next time, so that it can be lifted if you want a glimpse of the underwear or left in place in the interests of modesty! 

Thank you so much for stopping by Magpieheaven today. I hope you are not in the grip of cruel winter where you are, but if you are, stay safe and warm and maybe dance a little yourself - it's a great way to keep warm.

Monday 26 February 2018

Floral Owl Chick at Calico Craft Parts Blog

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven. Today I have a little owl chick waiting to make her debut over at Calico Craft Parts Blog here

.If you have time, she would love you to pop across and make her acquaintance. 

Monday 12 February 2018

Fragile Hearts at Calico Craft Parts

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven. Today I'm over at Calico Craft Parts with a Valentine's themed heart plaque.

Please pop over if you would like to see how I created it. Have a wonderful week.

Tuesday 6 February 2018

Carnival of the Animals

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven. I have to confess I've been a hopeless blogger recently! I've said for a long time I'm going to turn over a new leaf so today I'm blogging about a miniature shrine I created especially for June who I first met some time ago via Kim Dellow's Show Your Face on Friday link!

I was really excited when June contacted me at my Etsy shop and asked if I could make her a miniature triptych for her birthday. The brief was to create a piece that was rectangular rather than pointed or domed, featuring girls and cats!

Here are the shapes I measured and cut from MDF. This was a new challenge I set myself. Very often I find that the shapes have a story to tell that suggests itself and then evolves as I work.

I had never worked with side-panels opening onto a scene before, but I had always wanted to.Now was my chance to see where these shapes wanted to lead me! I used this classic painting of a pierrot minstrel, flipping the image horizontally so my 2 little figures would lead the viewer in. Within my magical, miniature world cats and girls play sweet music and it's carnival time!

I love this stage in the process when I can play with the images and scraps, discarding and deciding and then changing my mind!

My favourite paper to play with right now is Japanese Yuzen or Chiyogami paper with its beautiful designs based on kimono fabrics. I was lucky enough to win a little stash of it from Gwen La Fleur in a recent blog hop; my friend Etsuko once sent me some beautiful sheets from Japan and I've also purchased different designs whenever I've seen them - most recently when staying with friends in Brussels.

Here things are moving on a little. There is always something special about the cranes on the Yuzen paper. Are they flying to a world where cats and humans dance together?

.. a land you can find in the masked princess's dreams.

This little couple seem to have reached their destination as the girl in the cat mask leads us through a door to a fantasy kingdom.

Closed, this tiny shrine measures 5 cm x 7 cm so you can hold it in the palm of your hand or stand it on a shelf. I do hope June will be happy with it and that it will have stories to tell her as she holds it. June is herself an artist with animals featuring often in her vivid and imaginative work. Creating this little triptych has so inspired me that I hope to create more. I wonder what stories they are waiting to tell? Thank you so much for stopping by and reading this. Have a wonderful week full of creative fun.