Thursday, 30 July 2009

Bit of a funny moment ...

I've been extremely tired lately - it's part of my illness - but after a few rough days I felt like making ATCs again. Just look what I came up with, it's a wee bit strange I know!! I've got quite into doodly zettiology sort of stuff and that's sort of what happened with this. The word "pods" and the head are both from Teesha Moore, whose style I really love, and I like the way you can read the words of the background paper.

Then - I don't know what happened - I just started to doodle on it, and I have to say I rather like the result! It could just be that my brain is responding oddly to being tired, or (and I hope this is the case) I may be exploring something new. Who cares? I'm just gonna enjoy myself!

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

LOOK!! ... I made some ATCs

Two Central ATCs now traded - left and right still available.

I know it probably doesn't seem terribly exciting to you, but I am so pleased that I actually made some ATCs yesterday! The thing is although I usually love doing them, and made far more than I ever managed to trade, I'd sort of stopped dead. Don't know why, it just happened ... and I missed it! So I was delighted when I found myself able to sit down and just make some ...

I seem to have been having a funny five minutes with the green one, and not quite sure if the lower pink one works - I had 3 goes at that one!! Anyway if you like any of them, how would you like to do a trade??

Friday, 17 July 2009

This is the piece I've been working on for some time, but I couldn't show you before because it's part of the new Awfully Big Art Adventure challenge to do a bird related piece. Years ago I bought this birdcage in a hardware store, and have been waiting for inspiration to strike ever since. It's original colour was a rather nasty attempt at verdigris, so I spray painted it cream.

I antiqued it a little using brown chalk inks, and added a few gold highlights. I also made a template for the base which I covered in cream and gold paper. The nest with the eggs in the base was an Etsy purchase, which I absolutely love, and is completely made of felt. I wanted ivy to trail artistically down the cage, and it took me a long time to figure out how to do this.

I found an ivy leaf image on the internet and pasted it into a Word document, making different sizes of leaf. Then I backed each sheet with dark green card, cutting out each individual leaf, rubbing dark green chalk ink along the edge to get rid of the white paper edge. I wanted to seal the leaves so each side got a coat of Mod Podge. You're beginning to see why this project took so long aren't you?

It was a real labour of love to stick each leaf on individually, and to try and layer different sizes to get the trailing effect I was after. There were some metal "branches" on the mesh of the cage (which opens from the top) so I painted these a soft green and added a few flowers.

I added a perch for the bird - who is NOT hand-made but another internet purchase. I would be ashamed to show you my dreadful attempts at bird-making, which is clearly not my forte!!

I'm planning to hang this piece from the ceiling by a chain, but I'm not completely sure that it's finished. I have it in mind to make some dangly pieces to hang from the perch, but I haven't designed them in my head yet!

A scrolled banner behind the bird says "I know why the caged bird sings" which is a poem by Maya Angelou, and also the title of her autobiography.

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
A free bird leaps on the back of the wind
and floats downstream till the current ends
and dips his wing in the orange suns rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks down his narrow cage
can seldom see through his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings with a fearful trill
of things unknown but longed for still
and his tune is heard on the distant hill
for the caged bird sings of freedom.

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings with a fearful trill
of things unknown but longed for still
and his tune is heard on the distant hill
for the caged bird sings of freedom.

Thursday, 16 July 2009


I made this paper bunting to welcome my daughter home ... and I think she liked it! We're settling down together and went to Ikea to get some stuff for her room today. After all my foolish worrying, I think it will probably be OK.

Monday, 13 July 2009


This is my youngest daughter's room, empty because it's awaiting her return home tomorrow. She's moving back in and I feel very mixed about it - scared mostly. We have a fabulous relationship that is a delight to me, and I'm afraid that living together again might spoil it? I should explain that she's 25 and has lived away from home for many years, with a brief return 3 years ago between university and the big city.

She said to me "Mum I can't seem to get ahead - all the money I earn goes on rent and travel, and I never get to clear my overdraft, and I'm so tired of it". So she's coming home to live with us, looking for a job and a chance to clear her debts and start over. I'm proud of her for making this brave decision.

Since my mother in law lives with us it's not as if she'll be invading our privacy, it may even turn out to be a wonderful new stage in our lives. So why do I feel so scared?

Monday, 6 July 2009


While on holiday I bought a book about doodling, and this is the first layout in which I've tried to use the techniques. I love to scrapbook and always make an album of our trips. On this occasion what I wanted to record was the tropical storm which hit in the first few days. If you look closely you'll see I really wasn't exaggerating!!

I really like this style, which works for a sort of fun and funky look, and have used it on a couple of other layouts since. It also has the advantage of being very cheap! In case you're wondering, the arrows are an Autumn Leaves stamp set, and I cut the titles on my Cricut machine.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

SUCCESS (sort of)

I am surprised and delighted to have got the quilt this far - its only about poster size, intended as a wall hanging. It certainly wasn't the small easy beginners project I'd envisaged!

I've been attempting to do free quilting in the green border but it isn't going very well at all - it is quite hard to do, but the problem I've been experiencing is that I keep getting a long "jumped" stitch and I don't know why.

Anyway, I AM working on an altered art project too, but it's for the ABAA Challenge so you can't see it yet ....