Total Pageviews

Sunday, 30 October 2011

A Week off, Castles and an Angel in the clouds

I have taken this last week as a holiday week. I was feeling quite tired after all the work I'd been doing lately. So I spent time in the garden, tidying and planting some bulbs etc, things to look forward to in the spring and to enjoy now.

Then we decided to take of up t'north to Newcastle and Northumberland for a couple of nights away. We stayed in Newcastle and travelled up to Bamburgh Castle,(see above) a place I have wanted to visit for some time. Well, it was wonderful! The Castle is on the edge of the sea, with dunes going down to a wide , white, sandy beach. We got a lovely mild sunny day, so it was really nice to walk along the beach. I loved the dunes, it's a long time since I've seen any, so it was a lovely surprise to see them here.
We drove further down the east coast, called in at Alnwick, to see the castle where they filmed some of one of the Harry Potter movies.
Throughout the day we had some lovely food at all the various stops, finishing off with a meal at a pub early evening, extremely nice!

Our journey home took us past the 'Angel of the North' Anthony gormelys fine sculpture, looking splendiferous against the rather atmospheric clouds! We rounded off the trip by calling in at Massam, in the Yorkshire Dales for Lunch, there was an arts festival on, with Morris dancers and other events in the market square. Had a lovely lunch, visited a fab gallery with lots of nice prints, etchings etc, which nicely tied in with what I had been reading about during this break, (Artist and Illustrator, my magazine treat). All in all a very enjoyable few days.
Back to the grind next week! :)

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Getting Crafty

I was waiting for a verdict on the Red postbox scene on Friday. See above. idea has been brewing in my head for some time now...... I have long been inspired by the wonderful 'Geninnes art blog' and the stamping that she does.  I have been busy accumulating the various bits and pieces required to do some stamp creation. I can tell you it's taken some doing!! I've had to send for bits and pieces from all over the country!! We used to have a wonderful art shop in the town where I live, I know for a fact they would have had all these things, but in these times of recession, it closed. It was awful when it did, I knew I would struggle to find things, and they always had some new projects going off in the shop, with little workshops etc, sadly no more :(
I now have to find things on the Internet, and carefully plan any project, trying to suss out the right colours from charts etc, not so easy!  So now I've had my little rant, (I know the Internet is wonderful) I will show you my little assembly of exciting stamping bits and bobs.

I have had an idea, to make some Christmas cards, I was inspired by this book cover,(up on the right) a year ago! I love the colours here, and the snowflakes against the dark blue. So my idea was to use these colours and my red feature would be a robin, (replacing the lady). I wanted to create the distressed feel of the snowflakes, so I sent for some chalk effect ink pads, I'm looking forward to how that may look. So, I started by drawing my robin, I wanted a stylised little bird. I have some envelopes, so I knew what size to work to, then to get an idea of the size of the snowflakes, I stamped some at the side. When I was happy with my sketch, I drew it on some tracing paper...Hmmmm.....think, think, which way round do I draw this, so that when it stamps down on the paper, it's the right way round, nearly got that wrong! Then before I set about with my lino cutting tools on the lovely 'Pink Stuff' (ooh trepidation). I went to look at Geninnes little tutorial on how to do stamps, she creates a beautiful feather stamp.
Filled full of confidence, (I can do that), I set to work. I cut a piece of the pink soft stuff, just big enough, didn't want to waste any! rubbed my image down and carefully, with the No1 cutter, started cutting away. It was easy to cut through, I just wasn't sure how deep to go, I had given myself some tricky thin lines to do! Just typical of me. But I persevered, and it looked OK.
I worked away, until it all seemed OK to go ahead and STAMP, wheeey.....this was the best bit! Only trouble was, I wanted the bird to be red, and I only had a little red ink pad, so I had to dab it on all over, wondering what the outcome would be.... well, here's my first attempt.
I made a little tiny stamp for the pattern too, that was quite successful, though a little fiddly! I'm pleased with my little bird on the whole. I managed to get a bigger red ink pad yesterday, for only 98p, so I think it will print somewhat stronger now. Just need to stamp these onto my watercolour paper cards, do the lovely blue background,( like the book cover), and then stamp my snowflakes, in all their chalky loveliness, all over the dark blue etc. I think they will turn out OK? I also managed to get a stamp of some Snowy wording (you might just see it on the first photo) I'm going to use that on the blue background too!
It's been quite a lovely experiment, I am sure I will be doing some more ideas, once I've finished this one. I will come back and show you my progress along the way. Hope you like my first foray into stamping, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Sorry if I've rambled on a bit. :)

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Last of the eskimos

Just a quick little update folks, I finished the last 2 of the scandi eskimo characters this last week. They have all been so nice to work on, I'm looking forward to seeing them as cards. I'm on with doing some trad Christmas now. A red postbox and pencil village scene.
This weekend was also the 33rd Annual world sketchcrawl event. I went to the one near me, it was at the newly opened Hepworth Gallery. I forgot to take my camera with me, I was rushing to get there, because I had other things on this Saturday. I only made the last hour. Managed 2 sketches. We now have a facebook page for this group of sketchcrawlers, Sketchcrawl north I think is the name of the group. The gallery was so lovely inside, I'm not a fan of the outside I'm afraid to say, I will try and post some photos of it. Everyone on the sketchcrawl was so nice, we meet up at the end and pass sketchbooks round, it's all good fun. Hope you like my sketches. Speak to you all again soon!

Sunday, 9 October 2011

On a roll....Eskimo roll

Hello blog friends. I was supposed to be updating on the progress of the honeysuckle, but, I've been so very busy with some new additions/ commissions. I've been creating lots of these little characters, which are sort of like Eskimos, but actually were based on the Sami people. I started out doing just one sketch, and this led to another and another, until there are now half a dozen! Like a little family.
I am thrilled that the people I've done these for love them so much and kept on asking for more, it has been a pleasure to do the work and I'm quite pleased with how they've turned out. Done in pastel again, I'm loving the pastels :D
So it's been a busy couple of weeks, I'm still finishing the last 2. The honeysuckle is on hold for now.

My walks with the pooch this past week have seen me swooshing through the autumn leaves, they look so beautiful all the wonderful colours there are, so I had to pick some up and have taken a snippet of some of them to show you. It's amazing the detail you see when you stop and take a good look. They have lost a bit of their vibrancy because I had to keep them pressed under books until I had time to write this blog. Hope you like them though.
Well, time to get the ironing done now, before a nice walk in my favourite woods again. Bye for now folks.