Thursday, December 27, 2007

Altered Shoe

On my Yahoo group, I hosted a winter themed altered shoe shrine swap and I completed my shoe this morning. It's a baby shoe that I stiffened with Paverpol, spray painted and added embellishments to and then mounted on a vintage tin that I cut and bent to shape.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Art Journal Spreads

A few more art journal spreads to share, all created, sitting by the open fire with my leg up, from the never ending scrap box by my side!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Altered Book Spreads

I'm gradually working through my outstanding commitments and have finished with two more books in the children's literature altered book round robin I was participating in. There were two groups for this RR and both these books are from the group that I wasn't in. So, firstly, here are my two spreads in Secret Garden:

I thought the first was a little simple and looked like I hadn't applied myself very much so I decided to do another! As I may be the last person to work in it I used the back pages to make a niche for a key. Neither spread turned out how I imagined but, hey ho, isn't that just the way of artful things?! ;oD

And this is my slightly weird spread in Water Babies:

When I read the text about "ten thousand sea anemones covering the rocks" I knew I had to make sea anemones! ;oD The highlighted text just says "ten thousand sea anemones" as I haphazardly painted over part of the sentence! Doh! The anemones are made from plastic carrier bags using a pair of shredding scissors! It was great fun although I was a tad fed up with the static making the plastic stick to me by the time I'd finished! LOL

Friday, December 07, 2007

Journal pages

Just a couple of art journal spreads to show I'm still alive and kicking despite the plaster cast! LOL I've got a box of scraps and am using them up in various art journals while I sit with my leg elevated!!

Thursday, November 22, 2007


As promised, I have monoprints to share from the course I went on last weekend. ;o)

So, we did two very easy sorts of monoprinting. Firstly, we inked up acrylic sheets and then laid a piece of paper on top. Then all you have to do is draw onto the paper and then peel the print off. It's a bit tricky to know how much ink is right and my first pic illustrates too much!! I drew my fruit shape with a pencil and you can just about see the lines if you look hard:

I tried again using pencil and this is my second, much more visible, print:

For my next print I used my finger to draw which gives bolder softer lines:

I also tried laying a collagraph block onto the paper and rolling over it with a brayer:

This really is the edited highlights - I did loads of prints with this technique, I could've kept going for hours! It's really easy, it can be done at home and you never quite know what you'll get! ;o)

The second monoprinting technique used the press. We inked up acrylic sheets again and then laid shapes cut from paper onto them in a random pattern. It then went through the press with dry paper and this is the resulting print:

I then removed the shapes and laid them back down in different positions and ran it through the press a second time with this result:

I really enjoyed this introduction to monoprints and collagraphs and feel I will be investigating further! I loved the thrill of the reveal, never quite knowing what's going to appear! The room was filled with lots of oohs and aahs every time a new print came off the press! :oD If you get the chance, have a go! It's great fun and alot of it can be done at home. ;o)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Collagraph Block Printing

So, now my prints from the monoprinting and collagraph block printing course are dry I can share some of them on here. :o)

We started the day by making collagraph blocks with ordinary card by cutting out shapes and gluing to another piece of card. These are my first three blocks:

I used the third block with ink later on in the day which is why it's coloured. The second block was a serendipitous mistake but I so liked it that I carried it through the day on further blocks and prints. ;o) It said fruit/seed pod to me although some of the other girls saw it as a tulip. We used these blocks for "blind embossing" which was putting it through the press with damp paper but no ink. These are some of the resulting prints:

These are two prints from one of the blocks using ink:

We also used Environmount (shiny white surface on both sides with recycled newspaper inbetween) to make blocks. The white surface could be peeled back in varying layers. These are some of the prints from some of my fruit blocks:

I also used Environmount to make a block with four fruits on. I took a couple of prints from it and had intended re-inking with different colours for more prints but the block was so delicious after the first two prints that I've left it as it is! Here it is:

So, that's a bit about the collagraphs. Tomorrow I shall wax lyrical about monoprinting! ;oD


Now that the recipient of this pendant (my lovely friend, Skippy) has it in her posession I can share a picture of it on here! ;o)

So, the base of the pendant started life as a little petit four tin which I took a hammer to and flattened out! The only thing I added was the letter 's' in the centre and then I used alcohol inks, foil and glaze pen, added a couple of doodads on the bottom and hey presto! ;o)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Stamps, envies and monoprinting!

Thought I'd update you on what's going on in Studio Ha Ha! :o)

I've been meaning to share this photo of my hand carved cork stamps for a while but kept forgetting! Carving an alphabet set from wine bottle corks has been on my to do list for ages, years in fact! LOL So, over the summer I finally got down to working on a set. I have to admit they were surprisingly easy to carve, I wrote the letter in Sharpie on the cork and then just used my ordinary craft knife to carve them. My only problem was not always remembering to write the letters backwards! Actually I rather fancy a set of backwards alphabet so may do that when I have enough corks for another set! ;oD

I'm currently working on a inspiration themed one page zine for a swap on The Zine Pool Yahoo group. These little dinner money envies will be stuck to one of the pages of the zine and will be filled with something, not sure what yet! :oD I had great fun making these yesterday. I used crayon over a plastic rubbing plate, added watercolour paint and zapped with the heat gun. I've eyeletted the flaps and they will all have fibre like the one on the left of the pic when I get around to adding it tomorrow.

Today I've spent the day at White House Arts in Cambridge, with my friends Becky and Skippy, on a Monoprinting and Collagraph Printmaking course. It was an excellent day and I learnt lots about techniques that I'd never tried. We made collagraph blocks from cardboard by cutting shapes and gluing to another piece and also from Environmount (shiny white surface on both sides and recycled newspaper) by "drawing" with a craft knife and then peeling the surface off to varying degrees. We made prints from our collagraph prints with and without ink and also tried out simple monoprinting with ink on perspex sheets, laying paper down and using pencil, fingers or whatever to draw on it and then peel off to see the print. All my prints and blocks are drying out but once they're dry I'll be able to share some pics on here. ;o)

Friday, November 09, 2007

AB Spread

Haven't posted anything for a while so I thought I'd share this altered book spread in the latest Literatura Infantil round robin book that I've worked in. This one is The Little Princess by Frances H Burnett. I wanted to do a spread about servant life and this is what I came up with:

I used acrylic paint and ink over scraps of old fashioned writing then added the Victorian servant image, the spoon (printed on acetate) and the buttons. The text is dry letter transfers which I then scratched a bit for a more worn look. Quite pleased with this one, I seem to be getting over my more is more attitude!!

Sunday, October 28, 2007


It feels like an age since I last posted although it's only a couple of weeks! I've been immersed in co-directing and performing in an amateur musical production but we finished out run last night and so I'm catching up on some swap commitments that have languished for a wee while. I'm hosting an ATC swap on Mixed Media ATC UK group the theme of which is just to use all natural materials. I decided I wanted to use wood for my ATCs and so I borrowed a pyrography tool from a friend and had a play this afternoon. I didn't find it very easy to do what I'd wanted to do pattern wise so this is what I came up with instead:

After I'd done the backgrounds I was rummaging about looking for some little twigs to attach to them but came across some sea worn shells and decided to use those instead, their simple shapes and colours just seemed to complement the backgrounds.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Altered Text ATCs

I'm participating in an altered text ATC swap on my Yahoo group and, despite actually trying to work on something else, I finished mine this afternoon and these are they. ;o)

Thursday, October 11, 2007


In the absence of any other artwork I thought I would share some of the stuff I've been doing with my daughter. She has started her GCSEs this year and is doing art. We were discussing it one day and before I knew it I was agreeing to work alongside her doing the same homework and as much of the classwork that I can given that I don't have the classroom resources! First up, in class, she was presented with a copy of the painting, Woodcutter by Kasimir Malevich, see below.

The task was to reproduce all or part of the painting on an A3 spread using oil pastels. This is my finished piece:

It's not something I've done before and despite feeling quite unskilled at using oil pastels once I got going I really enjoyed it! ;o)

We're working on coursework entitled "Figure and Space" this next piece is a 15 minute observational drawing of my husband, not that you'd know it was him! LOL

After this I had to do a 3 minute drawing of him without removing the pencil from the page and also not looking at the what I was doing! Good fun! And that was followed by a 3 minute drawing holding the pencil right at the very top, like a paintbrush. Now I have homework to complete that involves using some previously sourced pictures of figures in movement to draw or paint a piece based on one of them which shows movement. Eek! Still thinking about that one! ;oD

It's all great fun and hopefully is encouraging for both of us. :o) I think I'm going to be tackling all sorts of things that I wouldn't necessarily have tried which is all grist to the prospective artist's mill.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Symbols Piece

On my Yahoo group we recently had a symbols swap. Each player supplied a list of symbols they use regularly in their artwork and then another player made a piece of artwork in their own style but using someone else's symbols. Does that make sense?? I was working on my piece when FIL died and have been somewhat blocked ever since. I had several attempts at different pieces before finally getting to what would become my actual swap piece! I think I just had a mental block on it because after FIL died I wasn't doing much, if any, art for a good while and when I came back to the piece I just felt completely stymied whenever I looked at it. Fortunately the fog finally lifted yesterday and here it is:

I managed to use seven of the twelve symbols on my partner's list;

greens, golds, going on yellow or brown (brown vintage tablemat, yellow sardine tin lid, hanging trim)
poetry quotes (lines from a Longfellow poem)
rectangles (sardine tin)
chequerboard effect (metal mesh)
triangles (Blakies)
stars (gold stencilled stars on base, metal star on sardine tin)
dots (copper nails)

Art Doll

I've been participating in an art doll swap on my Yahoo group and this is mine. She started life as a fork and I gave her a restyle by bending the tines. ;oD Her "dress" is copper and blue wires just wound around, very therapeutic activity! After some tinkering about I managed to attach her clock face! Her arms are copper wire with plastic beads that have seen better days but I felt they suited my doll much better than shiny new ones. Her legs are one of my soldered vintage fuses and part of an earring. Once she was finished I decided to mount her onto something and so she reposes on a big piece of tringular metal that I liberated from the shed! I couldn't get a decent shot of the entire piece as the flash kept bouncing off the metal so this is just the actual doll portion, not a brilliant pic but hopefully you get the idea!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Women in Art Video

Check out this cool video on YouTube. I loved it! ;o)

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


Just a couple of pages from my sketchbook on holiday. Last year I drew (well, tried to! Who remembers the sheep with a wooden leg?? LOL) alot of sheep, this year the theme has been boats!


I thought I would share a few pics from my holiday. There's some more normal holiday pictures here too!

A couple of sand pattern pics. I took several on Red Wharf Bay beach and could have taken loads more! The patterns were all great and the late afternoon sunshine fell just right on the sand.

These are close ups of a weathered anchor at Amlwch harbour. I do, as you know, have a passion for rusty metal! ;oD

On one of our walks we passed the church of St Eilian in Llaneilian and I spent some time taking photos in the churchyard. I have a lovely collection of pics of headstones with Welsh writing now. ;o) This was the bolt on one of the gates of the churchyard which I really liked.

These are the bricks on the inside of an old brick kiln oven at Breakwater Country Park at Holyhead. The quarry made all the bricks for the breakwater in Holyhead harbour and you can walk round the ruins of the buildings.

These are close ups of one of the sculptures at The Dingle in Llangefni. I took lots of photos here, the sculptures were lovely and The Dingle itself is very peaceful.

A disused railway line runs through The Dingle, which is in a wooded valley, and I took lots of pics of the overgrown bridges and railway tracks. I love this one!

This lovely old tree is in the walled garden at Penrhyn Castle.

This rusty, decaying window ironwork was set in a wall along a pathway up to the cliff tops in Bull Bay.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Stencil Graffiti

While we were away on holiday last week I spotted some stencil graffiti as we were driving through a forest park:

Hardly cutting edge but quite sweet and gentle I thought. ;o) I got some very odd looks from folk driving by as I took photos! DH didn't understand what it meant until I explained that the fairies use the speed bump as their tunnel to cross the road safely! ;oD


I also made a necklace this morning. It's for a good friend of mine who is currently in Australia and feeling very home sick. ;o( She's having a tough time and I hope this will cheer her a little. My digital camera won't do close ups very well and I just can't get it to sit nicely on the scanner, disobedient little thing! So, not a brilliant pic! Roll on the advent of my new digital camera!