Sunday, 9 September 2012

Great Expectations

No I'm not with child!

Hello lovely readers.

As you will know from my last post, I'm just getting back into my crafting.  I've just started an art journal which, although I'm no 'artist' in the general sense, I can use to sketch, doodle, fling paint at and stick things to.  I'm enjoying the freedom that the journal is letting me have.  It really doesn't matter that I'm not good at art - it's the 'doing' that I'm finding quite therapeutic. When I'm feeling tired,  I can sit quiet and doodle in my armchair with just a pen or pencil and have a good old colouring in session without the need for lots of materials around.  Conversely I can allow myself to be surrounded by every craft item known to man and sit up at the kitchen table where I can get messy with glue and glitter and oils and pastels and all that malarkey!! As I've just been diagnosed with spondylosis in my lumbar spine, I'm feeling a bit sorry for myself so this journal will be just the place to let off a bit of a creative steam.

My friends over at The House of Bears blog SEE HERE  set a literary challenge a few days ago using "Great Expectations" by Charles Dickens as a prompt and using the words

  • gentleman
  • Neglect/decay
  • Nature/nurture 
for inspiration.

I'm ashamed to say that I've never read Great Expectations so the challenge was more, erm, challenging.  Thanks to the mighty Google however, quick character synopses and quotations were provided to me - and with this help I think I just managed to pull it off. 

Borrowed from the t'interweb
The character of Miss Havisham drew me in immediately and I knew it was her that I wanted to feature.  I printed off a picture of Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham (apparently a new film is in the offing)  in grey scale and then used pencil to de-prettify her! (Ms B-C is FAR too pretty to play Miss Havisham, I feel - although from an eccentricity point of view she has it in spades!).  

As I just wanted the picture as a base, I went to work on altering her a little, giving her black button eyes and a stitched mouth a la Sally in A Nightmare Before Christmas.  Her hair was created using Angelina's Fusible Fibres which I cut to shape before sticking down.  Some  thread and lace dyed with good old fashioned tea was added and Miss Havisham was .. erm... born! 

I used watercolours to create a gloomy dark background and, as the text advises that the room was 'yellow light in the darkened room' I added a touch of yellow to the mix to reflect this and the suggestion of neglect/decay. 

The nature/nurture element was relatively easy really.  I colour washed the top of the page with the palest hint of blue, then found a feature garden picture in one of my old Country Living magazines.  I painted the window frame around the picture and then added two painted strips of card to denote the window itself.

The quotation "So!" she said, without being startled or surprised; "the days have worn away, have they ?" 

was added to complete my challenge entry.

Thanks bears - I had great fun!!  

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Friday Crafty Corner

Hello lovelies!

I haven't crafted for a while, mainly due to lack of time and space, however just lately the yearning to play with bits of paper and glue has returned with a vengeance! 

I first developed a passion for paper crafting (mainly scrapbooking) some time ago now when an American friend introduced me to it.  A little later, after visiting a couple of scrapbooking fairs, I enrolled on U K Scrappers, a crafting forum, and through that forum met a group of ladies who I am blessed to class as some of my very closest friends.  We've been friends now for a number of years and have our own closed community forum where we chat every day.  A little later this year, some of us are getting together at a weekend retreat to indulge in lots of eating, chatting, laughing (lots) and maybe a little crafting too!

One of our number issued a small round robin challenge recently.  Basically anyone who wanted to take part would put together a small kit together with instructions for a project to be created by the recipient.

Yesterday I received my package of goodies (and I've just remembered that I didn't photograph the flippin' kit before I attacked it with the scissors and glue!).

The project was to use the papers and embellishments provided to create a decorated 'minibook'.  My friend had kindly created the 'book' for me out of 8 x 12 cardstock, but I'm a clumsy, sausage fingered crafter and needed something a tiny bit bigger to work on, so re-created the minibook from 12 x 12 card stock.  

Having inked the edges of each page with a nut brown ink pad, I matted up the front cover with two types of gorgeous patterned paper, I cut spirals from some dark brown card stock and attached two butterfly embellishments.  When the book is moved, it looks like the butterflies are fluttering!  


These butterflies are so pretty - they have an iridescent sheen on them which reflects the light.  Gorgeous!

As it's well known that I'm head over heels in lurve, the sentiments, papers and embellishments provided were of a very romantic nature and complemented each other perfectly.  The flourish and picket fence were provided to me in white card stock, so these were inked up to give a little definition.

Aww - L is for Lurve! 

Again the die cut butterflies were beautifully cut from white card which allowed me to employ my snazzy copper gilding pen to do a little 'colouring in'.  I was really pleased with this effect.

This is how the book looks in all its glory!

I sealed the bottom of two of the pages to make pockets, then decorated two of the tags with more of the embellies provided.

The tags slot perfectly into the 'pockets' and give a bit of added interest.

Ta-dahhh!  The first crafting I've done in ages!  Thank you Sherri - I've had a lovely chilled out afternoon, cutting and sticking to my heart's content!  

Looking forward to the next challenge now!

Working from home

I've taken a precious day of annual leave today.  I've really struggled this week with feeling so yuk and I needed the restorative ...