Friday, 25 October 2013

Autumn Smiles!

Well it is Friday and time for Annie's smiles and Rocking your world Friday. My smiles come from the gorgeous weather we had last weekend and the fun Alex and I had enjoying the autumn sun.  We went for a lovely bike ride (well, he rode and I had to run to keep up, puffing and panting like a steam engine - I really must get a bike rack for the car now he can ride well) through the woods
to the café where he ordered a hot chocolate with all the trimmings and sat there happily in the sun saying 'Ah, this is the life!'
The other thing that autumn results in, is me having to check and empty Alex's pockets of conkers most days before I put his trousers in the machine.  That is all from me for now.  Have a nice weekend everyone.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Finished! (WOYWW)

Well there is one advantage to having a very simple Christmas card design that takes less than 5 minutes per card...I have actually finished my Christmas card making for this year. It has to be a record for me as I am usually frantically making them well into December.  As a result I have had more time to play with my art journal as my desk (my entry to WOYWW) shows.  You can see the current page I am working on (The Lord is my Shepherd - journaling and verse still to be added).  Also on my desk is my trusty mug of tea, black acrylic paint and paintbrush, black pens, ruler, pencil, rubber, tree stamp and ink and the cheats method of drawing!  I cannot draw for toffee so I found some silhouettes on the internet, printed them, cut them out and then drew round them before hand painting them onto my scene.  Definitely cheating, but I preferred the effect on this to just cutting them out and sticking them on.
I haven't had my desk to myself this week mind is Alex busy brayering a cog that he cut out on the cuttlebug!
As I made a promise to myself that I would try and work in my art journal each week I thought I would share my latest pages with you.  This one was made using acrylic paint and pens and finished with gold peel offs in the corners.  It is supposed to be a sort of spiritual mandala with Jesus at the centre.
The next one was one of those pages that didn't quite turn out as planned - I am sure you recognise the scenario.  Some of the paint from the previous page had leaked through onto this one so I gave it a coat of gesso. No problems there you might think, except that dylusions ink spray struggles to dry on gesso and I am impatient hence the somewhat thicker blobs on the left hand page than I doesn't look too bad, just not quite what I pictured.  The verse is from Psalm 139.  That is all from me for now.  Have a great week everyone.
P.S. I know I am posting this on Tuesday evening, but tomorrow is an insanely busy day at work so I don't know when I would get a chance to write, post or link this up.  I may not link until the evening, but at least it will be posted!

Friday, 18 October 2013

Beaver smiles

There has been plenty to smile about this week so I am definitely entering into Annie's smiles and Rocking your world Friday. At the weekend we went to Coventry to see one of my best friends and while we were there we went to Ryton Gardens for their annual Apple day.  The children were very excited to try different apple types and the freshly squeezed apple juice proved a great hit,
As did the den building – this one had already been built
They just ‘improved’ it a little!
Alex was also really excited this week because he had his enrolment at Beavers.  I must say that he said his Promise beautifully, clearer and loudly without hesitation and you could tell that he meant every word.
Doesn’t he look proud!  That is all from me for now.  Have a great weekend everyone.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

I've finally started (WOYWW)...

...making Christmas cards that is!  Why am I telling you this, or indeed showing you the desk that is covered with them?  Because Julia hosts a weekly desk hop and nosey with the acronym WOYWW.  As you can see my trimmer is currently being used to trim the cards and the empty mini roll box (white box at the back) is being used to store them neatly.  On my desk you can also see my washi tapes which I have been using to make the cards, my art journal, my headphones (waiting to go back in my bag), some paint that needs replacing in the wooden box, and for some unknown reason Alex's small torch!
Here is a close up of my main card design this year (although the stamping on this one is wonky!).  I used a cuttlebug embossing folder to make the embossed frame, then washi tapes and a gold star sticker for the tree and finished it off with the stamped message.
This week I have also played in my art journal which is definitely turning out to be a faith journal.  The next page was made by painting over the whole page with gesso, then painting the globe in the centre, then the black background paint, then stamping stars over it with a Lavinia stamp in silver ink, and dotting around them with silver pen before finishing off by colouring in the white areas with a sakura star dust pen to make it sparkle.  The writing was in silver.
The next page is entitled Singing praises to God.  The diagonal words are Bible verses and the horizontal lines are my own thoughts and the words of a song.  The background was made using distress inks over a layer of gesso using masking and stencilling techniques.  The face was painted using acrylic paint for the background, the eyes, mouth and cheeks were coloured with promakers and the hair was done using crayons.    That is all from me for now.  Have a great week everyone.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Birthday smiles

Those of you who read my previous post will realise that I celebrated my birthday this week so I am entering my happy times into  Annie's smiles and Rocking your world Friday .
There has been lots of loveliness this week including a Harvest dance and meal at church (the photos of the line dancing were taken by Alex so are not being shown – you really don’t want to see the backside of lots of people, myself included!), a birthday tea with cake
And a trip to the National space centre where we saw a show in the planetarium, rode in a space flight simulator, and saw a rocket that was about to take off (as shown above).
Alex and I also got to give a futuristic weather forecast.  We had a great time, but didn’t manage to see even half of it.  We will definitely head back again some day.
Tim and I also managed to go out for a nice meal at our favourite Chinese restaurant and I am going to see my best friend tomorrow (more of that next week). All in all it has been a very good week!
Have a nice weekend everyone.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Birthday toys (WOYWW)

Well as the title suggests I was given a lot of lovely crafting toys for my birthday this week, as displayed on my desk (and included in my WOYWW entry).  Included are some washi tapes (I only had a few before this), stencils, a book about art journaling, paint brushes and a new art journal. I haven't really got into art journaling before this, but really wanted to give it a go.  Now there are no excuses!
Of course, the first person to play with some of my new toys was Alex who was testing out one of the stencils.
Here is my desk as it was late this evening (I confess I am typing this on Tuesday...I never have time on Wednesday) when I was making a couple of emergency birthday cards for children.  As you can see they were both washi tape cards, hence the collection of tapes and coloured felt tips.  You can also see my first Christmas cards at the back of the desk and a gorgeous Religious card a friend sent me from Toronto.  It is truly stunning and an inspiration hence it sitting there. You can also see my new art journal which has been used already...I have taken the plunge and generated two pages (it is amazing what a day off work, while a small boy is at school, allows you to do!). The only thing missing is my mug of tea as Tim is kindly refilling it for me as I type.
Here are my first two journal pages.  This one had scraps of paper on the background and then layered with gesso and acrylic paints, stencilling and stamping.  For the centre of the page I drew round my hand and masked the relevant area before painting it flesh coloured and adding the lines.  The image in the centre is of me aged about 3.  The writing round the hand is a quote from the Bible 'Behold I have engraved you on the palms of my hands' Isaiah 49:16
The second page is one that is very close to my heart as I love to dance in worship. (I can't draw for toffee so this is definitely interpretative!)  This again was a layer of gesso covered with layers of acrylic paint, finished off with gold stamped swirls, and gold writing on the dress of the figure, and some personal words at the top of the page.  This art journal looks like it is going to be a faith journal!
Finally here are the two quick and simple birthday cards I made.  This one for a little girl who will be 6.
And this more masculine one.  That is all from me for now. Have a great week.
With love

Friday, 4 October 2013

Weaselling smiles!

My smiles for this weeks Annie's smiles and Rocking your world Friday come from the beautiful weather last weekend and a trip to Higger Tor with Alex and his best friend from school.  Alex had enjoyed weaselling so much at Beavers that he asked if I could take him.
For the uninitiated weaselling is worming your way through small gaps in rocks and is often combined with scrambling and climbing. 
Despite the vast amounts of wind we all had a great time, climbing
crawling, scrambling and playing daft games.  We are so lucky to have this stunning countryside on our doorstep.
The bit that made the boys laugh the most was the fact that I had to squeeze through the gaps with them...I didn't get stuck but it was a close run thing at times (this is not a flattering photo)!  Have a wonderful weekend everyone.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Smashing times! (WOYWW)

As my entry to WOYWW this week here is my desk in the midst of a major Smash booking session (hence the pun in the title).  I said last week that I was making an effort to catch up, well I have nearly finished July - just one more page to go.  On my desk you can see the final two pages of the smash book open and waiting to be smashed, my mug of tea (sadly depleted), some stencils, distress ink pads and sponge pads for applying it, along with glue, DST and a pen.
This is the page that I was working on last the end I managed to choose some photos from over 200 of the wedding and did a black and white photo montage.
This page is of Alex's first ever sleep over (while I was at the wedding) with the background coloured with distress inks using stencils.
This page is of his Little John outfit again using distress inks and Lavinia stamps.
Finally this is a page to record my twice weekly phone calls to my Gran (she will be 89 in a months time) as they are really special to me.  That is all from me for now.  Have a great week everyone.