Wednesday, 28 September 2016

WOYWW #382

Hello fellow deskers and lovely peeples,

It's Tuesday evening and I'm scheduling this to post itself tomorrow morning as I will be at work by then - and hopefully the lovely Zsuzsa over at Inky Dinky Doodle will check in and link up for me, then I will catch up with everyone over the next few days. Thanks Zsuzsa :o)

If you would like to show us What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday, just post a pic of said workdesk and link up over at Julia's Stamping Ground - or just pop in for a good old snout around some of the many crafty spaces around the world, it's fascinating and quite addictive!

My workdesk however is not at all fascinating this week, very little going on ...

You may recognise this as a GIANT box of Thorntons chocolates - but in fact it is empty, it was just salvaged for me by a friend who knew I would make good use of it, which indeed I will.

I did make this tag over the weekend, inspired by the Tim Holtz Tags of 2016 July edition, which is slightly more interesting ...

This year, Tim has been "remixing" two techniques from previous tags to create something new. This time, he used a resist technique with Micro Glaze (which I didn't have so I used matte medium) and created the title with the negative and positive parts of diecut words, which was a fun idea. I'm nearly caught up now, just May and August to finish before the next one is posted on Saturday. It really does get you using that stash of supplies and making the most of what you have squirrelled away!

Well I'm off to get a sensible early night now, thanks so much for popping in today and I will catch up with you over the next couple of days to see what you've been up to - see you at Julia's! :o)

Annie xxx

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Beautiful Boundaries

Hello Bloggy Peeps out there!

We just got home from our little holiday and as always, it's lovely to go away, but it's great to be home :o)

Buckinghamshire is beautiful, and full of National Trust places to visit, so we made very good use of our NT membership this week. We went to Stowe, Claydon, Waddesdon, Wimpole, Hughendon and the old courthouse at Long Crendon. Each one fascinating its own unique way - I love how these places are like windows through which we can peek at the people who lived in the past. When I was a kid, I spent many happy days visiting places like Ham House and Hampton Court Palace with my beloved Gran, it really brought history to life for me.

As a huge bonus, many NT places now have second-hand bookshops, and look what I got for only three quid ...

We also visited Bletchley Park on the way - the home of the "Code Breakers" during WWII - absolutely fascinating, well worth a visit if you get the chance. Click here for a short film about it on the BBC History site.

We stayed at The Bell in Aston Clinton, a lovely quirky old inn, clean and comfortable, with efficient service and a FABulous restaurant, in which we overindulged every single night of our stay. Thoroughly recommended!


In between day trips and dinners, I found time for a little creative scribbling in the sketchbook I took with me. All the wonderful architecture and art we had seen was very inspiring and my head is bursting with ideas to try out in my art journal. I made a page for week 38 of Life Book 2016 - this was a bonus lesson with the amazing Melody Ross, in which she encouraged us to think about our boundaries and look after our "soul house" ...

The house is me, and the areas in the picture represent the boundaries I have set to keep myself safe - so for example, the people who are most important to me and make me happy are within my garden, protected by the picket fence, whereas those who only bring negativity into my life are banished to outerspace - they're still there, I'm aware of them, but they can't touch me - brilliant!! :o) Melody printed her journalling on strips of paper, which she glued over the picture, but in my limited hotel room situation, I decided to write directly onto the page with a Micron pen and I quite like the interesting texture it gives.

I also started working on some fancy lettering which I've been meaning to try for a while ...

... the decoration of each letter was inspired by a word or words beginning with that letter, such as A for Abacus and J for Jester. It was very enjoyable, and hopefully with practice I will get a bit braver with lettering on my artwork.

Well, time to stop waffling on and get back to the real world! I have a couple of chores to catch up on, then maybe I will have time to play later ...

Thanks for popping in today, have a happy and creative day :o)

Annie xxx

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Smile And The World Smiles With You

Hello lovely Bloggy Friends,

For week 37 of Life Book 2016, we had a lesson with the talented Angela Kennedy and I loved it. Firstly, Angela showed us how to create subtle texture for the background, then we sketched out a face and figure, filled in blocks of colour with matt acrylic paint and then added detail and shading with coloured pencils.

Here's how mine turned out - a smiley one for a change!

Angela started the background with white gesso, then brushed in a touch of black and whilst it was still wet she used a fan brush to make circles - I love how they look almost like bubbles in the air! In fact, I liked the effect so much that I decided not to add any more detail to my background ...

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

WOYWW #380 - A Deskful of Promise

Hello Fellow Deskers and Bloggy Friends,

I'm not about on Wednesdays any more, since my day off changed a few weeks ago, but the lovely Zsuzsa from Inky Dinky Doodle has kindly offered to link up for me. so that I don't have to miss my weekly WOYWW fix - although it may take me a few days to catch up with visiting (ie snooping) fellow deskers.

If you would like to join in, just post a pic of What's On YOUR Workdesk this Wednesday and link up over at the lovely Julia's Stamping Ground, or just pop in for a little nosey around some creative spaces all over the world  - but be warned, it is addictive!

Here's what's on mine this week ...

I can't take a pic of the actual desk to show you, because I stupidly left my iPad at my son's place, but it's boringly between-projects tidy anyway, so you're not missing much! These books are piled up at one end of it, waiting to be transformed into something amazing, like I've seen other people do on You Tube. I found them in a local charity shop - probably should have just bought one or two, but I couldn't choose, because I love all these stories and the illustrations are beautiful. I enjoyed these as a child, and later I enjoyed reading them to my own children, they make me feel happy just to look at them, so maybe I will just keep them in a pile for a while ...

Ok, so I'm going to schedule this post for tomorrow morning, and hopefully my mate Zsuzsa will do the honours and link me up to WOYWW, then I'll catch up with everyone over the next couple of days. Have a happy and creative week :o)

Annie xxx

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Catching up with Tim Holtz Tags

Hello Everyone,

I'm still playing catch-up with the Tim HoltzTags of 2016 - I did January, February, March and April, then skipped a few, did September's and promised myself I'd go back to the rest. Instead of tags, I'm making little pages to go in a gorgeous leather journal I was given for Christmas.

This morning I found myself with 40 minutes to spare before I had to set off for an appointment; just enough time for some speedy crafting I thought! Here's the result; my tag for June, only three months late ...

This year, Tim has been picking two techniques at random from previous years, and combining them to create something different. It really inspires me to dig out those supplies, rummage through my drawers and try something new. Usually I don't have all the stuff Tim uses, so I have to get a bit inventive with what I do have, but then that's half the fun isn't it?! Here's what I did ...

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Trying to Unfold

Hello my friends,

This week I've been working on the lesson for week 36 of Life Book 2016, in which the fabulous Annie Hamman created a beautiful intuitive portrait with acrylic paints. It was fascinating to watch the process, as Annie showed us how to make a wet palette and mix our colours, then build the face in stages, starting with the darkest values and working towards the lighter values.

Annie made it look so easy, and I loved watching her painting unfold so much that I watched the lesson videos three times!! Putting the techniques into practice wasn't quite so easy, and my picture went through some VERY ugly stages, but I persevered until it got to a point where I could call it done and move on ...

When I saw this little person looking back at me the next morning, I found myself wondering who she is and what she is thinking - she looks a bit kind of wary and watchful I think. I would really like my next picture to come out happy, but I don't seem to have much control over how it turns out yet!!

Thanks for popping over today, see you again soon :o)

Annie xxx

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Catching up with Tim Holtz Tags

Hellooooooooo my lovely bloggy mates,

This year I was TOTALLY going to keep up with the Tim Holtz Tags of 2016, but somehow yet agian I've fallen behind - which is a shame, because they are really quite quick to do, they get me using up all that stuff I have stashed in my craft room, and they always give me a kick up the mojo!

For 2016, Tim is doing a "technique remix" each month, where he takes two techniques from previous tags and combines them to create something new and exciting.

Yesterday, I made this one for September ...

,,, as you can see, this year I am not actually making tags - I decided to create little pages instead and file them in the gorgeous leather journal which my good friend Trina gave me for Christmas.

This month, the talented Tim showed us how to use Yupo paper for a marvellous resist technique. As always, I didn't have all the supplies Tim used, so had to improvise - but that's half the fun isn't it?! I did have some yupo paper though - it's a bit expensive, but great fun to use and unlike any other paper. I struggled to get the resist to work, but will definitely try again. You can watch Tim Holtz making it look REALLY EASY on this YT vid :o)

Ok, no time to chat, I have June, July and August to catch up on now!! Thanks for popping in, I'll see you again soon.

Annie xxx

Friday, 2 September 2016

Happy Scrapping

Hello Bloggy Peeps!!

Thsi week I've been scrapping for the first time in AGES. Most of my arty-farty time this year has been spent happily up to my elbows in mixed media for Life Book 2016, so scrapping has kind of fallen by the wayside. I still get my gorgeous Quirky kits every other month though, and they are full of irresistible papery loveliness. This month, I particularly loved the patterned paper and painted wood embellishments from the Pink Paislee "Take Me Away" collection and used some of them on this page ...

... which shows a very happy John during a boat trip in Amsterdam a couple of years ago. The houses cut from the patterned paper are a perfect match for those houses in the photo aren't they? The Jillibean Soup die cuts and Fancy Pants puffy alphas were from previous Quirky Kits but coordinated nicely. We also got a bottle of Nuvo dots in a dark blue - I used them to make the little dots in the bottom left hand corner there. I had been wondering whether to invest in some of these, and now I probably will get a couple more colours as it was fun to use and you can make the dots whatever size you like. They do take a long time to dry though.

Now I want to make a pocket page to go opposite this in my album - my plan is to make a lot of pocket pages with a few feature pages like this one, to get my giant stash of photos scrapped quickly before I forget all the stories!!

Thanks for visiting me and my blog today, see you again soon :o)

Annie xxx