Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Embracing My Selfie!!

Hey everyone,

Week 26 of Life Book 2016 and we had a lesson with the amazing Pam Carricker who showed us how to map a face and create a painterly portrait - of ourselves EEEEKK!!!! We learned how to mix hues, tints and tones of just one coour with black and white.

This was a HUGE struggle for me - firstly because I really don't enjoy looking at pictures of myself, secondly because although Pam made it look easy and fun, the technique did not come naturally to me, and thirdly because I rather unwisely chose to use a smiling picture as my reference.

After about three hours of trying really really hard, I had a tiny tantrum and wiped off all the paint with baby wipes!!! Then I noticed that some of the paint had stayed put on the gessoed background, leaving a kind of shadowy version of my portrait - it said to me "don't give up - you can save me!" so the following evening I had another go at it, adding details back in with water soluble pencils .... and in the end I was really happy with it and glad I didn't chuck it in the bin ...



It's not exactly the most flattering portrait ever painted, but hey! Strangely enough, somehow I can see my Mum in there too .... :o)

Thanks for visiting me today, see you again soon.

Annie xxx

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

WOYWW #368

Hello Fellow Deskers and Bloggy Friends,

It'sWhat's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - time to share what's happening on mine and check out other Deskers' crafty doings. You're very welcome to join us - just pop over to LLJ's to link up.

Lady June is trying to put her sunshine hat on today, I think it must have got lost in the bottom of her wardrobe or something - very strange summer weather we're having so far this year, just the odd tantalising glimpse and then it's gone again, most peculiar.

We've been away in beautiful Cornwall, catching up with friends and family, and of course I had to take a few artyfartysupplies with me and get a little crafty time in whenever/wherever there was an opportunity! Here's What WAS On my Workdesk LAST Wednesday (but I couldn't blog it) ...


This was a project I was working on for Life Book 2016 - check out the finished result here if you're interested. Note the brolly there - essential piece of kit!

Another temporary workdesk somewhere between Cornwall and Paddington ...

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Hello ATCs

Hi there Blogmates,

Just recently I made some ATCs for the WOYWW 7th Anniversary Swap. I had great fun making them, using layered stamps and diecuts. As I needed to make three extras, I decided to photograph the process and do a little tutorial to show you how they were made. Here's the finished design ...


It doesn't show in this photo, but the Hello was highlighted with my fave new toy - the clear Wink of Stella pen, which adds a very pretty shimmery effect, so addictive, I just want to add it to everything at the moment! Anyway, if you would like a peek at the process, click on "read more" ...

My Inner Wizard/Housewife!

Hello Bloggy Peeps,

Yesterday I managed to squeeze in some playtime to catch up with week 23 of Life Book 2016. In this lesson, the talented Jenny Grant showed us how to create a really interesting distressed, grungy look and encouraged us to listen to our inner voices and paint what we feel. The face in Jenny's beautiful painting was calm and strong; mine came out looking thoughtful and a bit disappointed ...


She looks more like my inner housewife waiting for a bus in the rain than my inner wizard I think - don't know why, that's just what came out! I'm very happy with the background though and learned a lot through this process.

Monday, 20 June 2016

A Story of Metamorphosis - in which we learn that a Manky Rag can be a Thing of Beauty ...

Hi Bloggy Friends,

Some of you may remember that in a recent WOYWW post I mentioned that essential piece of arty farty equipment, the Manky Rag - I talked about how it has taken months to achieve the perfect degree of Mankiness. Here's a close-up reminder of said Rag, which started its life as a piece of cheap white jelly muslin about six months ago ...


Sadly, this state of perfection did not last forever, and eventually the time came when it started to get really grotty and even slightly stiff, But this was not the end for Manky Rag - Oh! no - it was the beginning of a new phase in its life - time for transformation into something new and beautiful.

Firstly, Manky Rag was thoroughly rinsed in clean water - as you can see, the metamorphosis had already begun ...


... then it was hung up to dry in the sunshine ...

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Piece by Piece

Hello bloggy mates,

We've been away on holiday, catching up with family and friends in beautiful Cornwall, so I'm a little behind on my Life Book 2016 lessons, but I did take some limited supplies with me and was able to finish one picture, inspired by the bonus lesson for week 22 with Kristin Dudish ...

"Life is a tragedy when viewed in close-up, but a comedy in long shot"
Charlie Chaplin

Kristin introduced us to a fun game for facing your fears one piece at a time. You start with an image you want to use as inspiration for your picture - I used this one of a forlorn-looking Charlie Chaplin and friend ...

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Her Light Shines Brightly

Hello my bloggy friends,

For week 21 of Life Book 2016, we had a lesson with the lovely Renata Loree, who showed us how to draw an upturned face and gave us lots of tips about painting hands - these are both things which I find very challenging so tend to avoid usually. But hey, that's why I am on this Life Book journey - to push myself out of that comfort zone.

It was fascinating to watch Renata work. Firstly, she created a beautiful painty background, then she drew and painted a mandala directly onto this. The figure was drawn over the mandala, so that it became part of the body.

I found the whole process very meditative, though it took me a week to finish as I had to keep letting it dry and coming back to it later. Here's my finished result (well, probably finished) ...


A strange thing happens when you put a picture of a project on a blog like this - it's as if you see it for the first time through new eyes if you know what I mean?? I can see lots of things wrong with this through my new eyes, but I'm pleased that I had a go - I mean, those are GIANT hands, but at least they do look like hands!! :o)

I've made twenty pictures for Life Book so far this year, there are about six I want to catch up on and we're only half way through! I'm using larger paper now as well - I started with A4 but mostly use A3 now so I have room to spread. My Life Book is going to be HUGE and very colourful :o)

Thanks for popping by today, see you again soon.

Annie xxx

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

WOYWW #365 - happy messes, manky rags and gorgeous ATCs!

Good morning Deskers and Bloggers!

Well it's not exactly "flaming June" out there today - it's bucketing down and blowing a gale here, most unseasonal. Yesterday I arrived at work soaked through to my knickers and didn't manage to warm up all day YUK! But today is going to be FABulous :o) My lovely friend Trina is picking me up later and we're off to a nearby garden centre for afternoon tea (I will also get to meet her brand new granddaughter weeheeeee) and then we are going to spend the rest of the day scrapping together and generally making a happy mess - my kind of day in other words :o)

First things first though, time to show you What's On My Workdesk this Wednesday, then pop over to LLJ's to link up with other Deskers near and far and see what they've been up to this week.

So here's mine ...


As you can see, I've just continued to build on the mess I had started to create last week and the week before really! Several projects have been started but not finished - the colourful piece of paper in the middle of it all there is my latest effort for Life Book 2016, which is probably about halfway done. And yes, just to the right of that is my G&T glass, which is now empty (not that I've been drinking this morning I hasten to add, it's still there from last night - well, it wasn't a school night hehehe).