Friday 28 February 2014

Keeping calm

"Keep calm, smile and create beautiful things!"

It's been a very busy week so this tag is very much a message to myself!  I find smooching paint and ink around, colouring in and 'cutting and sticking' very relaxing but sometimes I really have to fight to find the time to do it.

But it's definitely worth it!  I feel better through the actual 'making', and can keep on enjoying my 'beautiful things' indefinitely :)

Stampotique Stamps used:

Sunday 23 February 2014

Angie Lewin at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Angie Lewin is one of my favourite artists.  She is a printmaker, painter and designer and produces beautiful work based on nature.

My daughter and I went to see her latest exhibition at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park this week. The park has been on my list of 'places to visit' for a long while now (last time I tried to visit we were prevented by snow!) so it was great to finally get there.  It was our last opportunity to see this exhibition as it finishes today.

The pathway into the visitors' centre made us smile.  I'm assuming it's individuals and companies who've contributed finances to the park but it included my name (ish!!)

I particularly loved the driftwood pieces!

... and the opportunity to see some original sketchbook pages and the tools Angie uses.

Outside in the park even the trees look sculptural.....

... although I found some of the sculptures a bit odd (I prefer the landscape as landscape) there were some fun ones!

The 'Wired for Wellbeing' exhibit had lots of people there on the day we visited, some making speeches.  It reminded me of the wire sculptures we made at the Arts and Faith weekend a couple of weeks or so ago.

Friday 21 February 2014

teabags and wax

I mentioned last week that my sewing machine had been calling me, but I have to say that wax and teabags were shouting pretty loudly too!  So I gave in ;)

Here in the UK it can be quite tricky finding teabags that have the tags attached (I wasn't in the mood for regular square ones!).  I've bought some in the past thinking they'd be this shape only to discover that they were just regular teabags full of fancy tea.

These were doubled over so I ended up opening them out after experimenting first by just trimming the bottom off.  I then stamped on one side only of the teabag before trapping a dried hydrangea flower and the word 'blossom' between the two pieces and coating them with wax, melted in my meltpot.

I then stamped a Stampotique sentiment on plain paper and mounted it onto scrap paper from my desk to create a long tag. 

There were a few rejects along the way, although they look better on the photo below!!

It's my turn to post on the Stampotique Designers' Blog, as it is every Friday.  I've included a different tag over there but whilst you're visiting, take a moment to admire the beautiful blog makeover it's received from the very talented Valerie and Maria with the wonderful (and also talented) Kim.

Stampotique Stamps Used:
Journey Collage by Amy Wilson Wellenstein
Daisy, daisy by Jo Capper-Sandon
Tall Word Collage by Amy Wilson Wellenstein

ps the Stampotique Originals website's had a makeover too, worth a look!

Friday 14 February 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

 Happy Valentine's Day!  I hope you have a lovely one.


I'm in a sewing mood at the minute ...

... so I gathered a collection of fabrics, stamped on a couple of them then settled down at my sewing machine.

Stamps Used:
Daniel's Hearts by Daniel Torrente
Metal Love by Amy Wilson Wellenstein

Sunday 9 February 2014

an ogre, a seashell and the Cleveleys coastline

Stick with me, this fabulous ogre is 'explained' further on in the post

Last weekend saw our first residential Arts and Faith Network event and it was FaBuLouS!  On Saturday morning I got to be my friend Dee Rollinson's glamourous assistant.  This was a real treat as I got to spend time listening to how she ran a workshop.  Dee has a counselling background so it was interesting to hear her include some deep reflections alongside her art project.

Here she is posing for me when she realised I was taking a photograph of her taking photographs of the masks people had made.  Over lunch we transformed the room, partly so those people taking both Dee's and my workshops knew these were different events!!

I know I've said this before, but I love how differently people use colours and images.  I used this little star bird by Stampotique as my Christmas card but he looks fabulous on a journal page..

And how gorgeous are those little hand printed daisies?!

One of the real treats of the weekend was to have Jan Dean as a wandering poet, reflecting on the whole weekend's events and noting them in her 'little green book' (a thing of beauty in itself, hand bound with coptic stitch).  Here is part of her description of my workshop....

... which really touched me as, for me, that's what I want people to get out of my workshop, a real sense of playing.  I don't think we play enough (me included!), and it's so beneficial for our emotional and mental health.

Meals at Foxhill are lovely; even the biscuits are beautifully arranged at each coffee break!  After dinner, another treat; a talk by the extremely talented Stephen Broadbent.  He shared the stories behind some of his community sculptures but the one which touched us all, and is sending us up the coastline as soon as we can get there, was the Mythic Coast  project up at Cleveleys.

Sunday morning saw us spending more time with Stephen but this time we were busy 'doing'.  He generously made us all a wire sculpture each of a person which we all then personalised....

... before spending time in the chapel looking at how different each sculpture was and hearing the stories behind their creation.

The weekend was concluded with a service in the Chapel, where we also celebrated all the differing pieces of art work that had been produced - sculpture, silk painting, masks, art journaling and poetry....


Foxhill is a very peaceful place and if you live near Frodsham you can take a walk in its gardens anytime.

It truly is a place ...

Friday 7 February 2014

my Stampotique February calendar pages

I am so pleased with myself...I've got beyond January with this year's calendar pages!  This is a first :)

I've missed a couple of days, but keeping my 'journal' by my bed means I usually remember to write something.

I'm particularly happy with the little pages I added which gave me space to list the books I read in January.  I still need to add a couple but it's pretty much up to date.

The stamped lines are from a homemade stamp - I carved it from a big eraser purchased in Asda/Walmart.

And look!

I've completed almost a week in February too :)

To be honest, having a weekly commitment to the Stampotique Designers' Blog helped motivate me to get my February pages made.

I added some sprayed paper to my journal.  This was torn at one end so I stamped Journey Collage with Archival Monarch Orange over the white space.

I decided to colour Peggy's face and hands, rather than paper-piece them.  Whilst colouring I discovered that she had a heart on her jumper ... I'd never noticed that before!

I was a bit worried that the white hearts stood out too much, but once they have writing on they 'tone down' a touch ...

... and I think I like it :)

Stamps used:
Peggy by Jill Penney and Daniel Torrente
Daniel's Hearts by Daniel Torrente
Row of Numbers by Amy Wilson Wellenstein
Journey Collage by Amy Wilson Wellenstein
Alphabitties by Jill Penney and Daniel Torrente

And if you'd like to join in with the calendar challenge, or just drool over some gorgeous pages, head over to Kate's blog here


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