Friday, 27 March 2009

ABAA New Challenge

Our challenge on this week is to alter a piece of cutlery. We have a guest designer/challenger - Patty Szymkowicz - who has made some fabulous pieces for us.
Here are my attempts; I was lucky enough to find some vintage cutlery pieces at The Beetroot Tree Gallery but I also aim to visit some car boot sales and hopefully collect more for future projects.
This is a tiny mustard spoon with wire, gems, a charm and a bird in a nest. I coloured some of the spoon with alcohol inks.
I bent back the prongs of the fork with pliers and added a butterfly, some gems, a charm - and Mona!
Over the past few weeks I've been involved in lots of ATC and bookmark swaps and I want to thank everyone who joined in with me - they are all beautiful.
I did get one rather unusual swap though ........ a little shoe in exchange for a bookmark!!! I love it, thank you Andrea!
and here
you'll see some more....

I won't be posting for a just over a week as hopefully I shall be lying in the sun!
I'll be thinking of you all - I promise!
Have a great weekend.....
Linda x

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Giveaway at the Retro Cafe Art Gallery

Kristen at Retro Cafe Art Gallery is having a give away which will be drawn on April 5th. There are some wonderful new 'paper cuts' and collage sheets to be had (I especially love those crowns!)
Click on the banner and it will take you there, good luck!

(Don't know why I put that........ I want to win!)

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Mum, Scarf and Paper Whimsy

I finally got to do my second Paper Whimsy forum challenge today (I've been awaiting the arrival of some girly collage sheets). Again, its a Hilda Conkling poem and the idea is to use some free images from Gale (at the Paper Whimsy forum) and then put your own interpretation on it. I used gesso and paints as well as PW images.
The poem is lovely..... I remember examining moss as a child and thinking it looked like little trees.
I probably told you when I posted the last one that I'm putting these into a book.

Today I also made my item for the new ABAA challenge....but you'll have to wait till Friday to see that. We're doing something a bit different this week.....hope that's got you wondering!!!!!

I've been busy with mum over the last few days - at the weekend she celebrated her 80th birthday and we had a party for her at our house. Here she is with some of her presents...I bought her the watch and my sister bought her an iPod!! (She's probably listening to the Ting Tings). She's wearing her 80 badge of course. Yesterday - her actual birthday - I took her to see dad at the nursing home. It was sad because we couldn't tell him it was her birthday (he wouldn't have coped with that) but mum did very well and we did our best to be cheery.

One of the best treats you can give my mum is to take her to a wool shop and last week we went to a fantastic one in Beeston, near where she lives. She bought fresh supplies and I got this gorgeous Kaffe Fassett variegated wool to knit a scarf. I love the way its changing colour as I knit. Yes, I know its spring but I'm sure I'll get lots of use out of it in the autumn! Anyway, as mum says, its not just about the wearing - its about the pleasure of knitting........

Friday, 20 March 2009


My challenge this week on our blog Rosie and Linda's Big Art Adventure is to make a birdhouse. It can be flat or 3D...we like lots of variety! I made one from a plain little box 3" tall (thank you Chriss!) I cut into the sides of the lid, in the middle, and bent it to make the roof...easy!! I found the little 1" nest in a craft shop for 30p and I made the eggs myself. From my craft room window I can see the blue tits and coal tits visiting our nesting box on the garage wall. I hope we get permanent residents by Easter - I'll be able to keep watch on their progress.

My second example is VERY lime I'm afraid - but it is my current favourite colour! My DH cut the shape out of wood for me - I'm thinking of asking for some smaller ones now. (Wonder what his answer will be?) Most of the images I have used for these projects are from Vintage Moth - Abbie kindly gives away her pictures for free (and they are lovely).
I love the song 'Make a little birdhouse in your soul' and whilst searching for it on YouTube I found this very funny version with illustrations. The sound quality isn't good but its still worth watching.
Have fun!

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Great Blogs!

I recommend you visit the brilliant 'Bluebirds Living in the Meadow' and enter the blogaversary draw. Its one of my favourite blogs and there are some great prizes to be won.

Whilst I'm here I want to thank Anja at for giving me a blog award. Her blog is definitely worth a visit as'll pick up some great tips!

Another truly amazing artist is DJ Pettitt. Have you seen her blog? Her artwork is so inspiring....
Make sure you also visit her website I am in awe!!!!

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Newsprint Challenge - ATCs

On our challenge blog this week Rosie suggested we use newsprint. I started by covering a sheet of it with acrylic paint and stamps......then I cut it up into ATC-sized pieces and free-machined onto them.

If anyone would like to trade .... let me know! I still have more to complete..........

New Sewing Machine

I've been having fun playing with my new sewing machine over the past week. I love using the darning foot and just drawing freely with it. Here are my first efforts - although I must start taking it seriously from now on and do something sensible!

(I have used the technique on my ATCs though...see post above.)

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Paper Whimsy Forum Challenge

I was inspired by two of my amazing friends, Patty and Sandee, to have a go at the Paper Whimsy Forum Challenge (you need to go to the website and click on forum at the top). Gale provides a limited edition collage sheet to form the basis of this, then you can add other bits and pieces of your own. I loved playing around with her images.....I cut up the fish to make plant pots, milagros flames on the hearts and architectural details!! The collage has to be based on a wonderful poem by Hilda Conkling (click on picture below and you will see it). I'm going to make a little book (5"x5") with my my efforts. I now need to contact Gale for sheet number two....can't wait!

My door opens....... reveal a Paper Whimsy girl.
(Sorry about the colour changes in the photos - the real colour is more like the last one.)

Friday, 6 March 2009

Gel Transfers and a Canvas

I've been playing with gel transfers this week; trying them on different surfaces. I put 3 onto this little chunky canvas (5"x5") and then finished it off with some thick gesso, Lumiere paint (halo blue-gold), Stuart Gill Alchemy paint (amethyst) plus some lace and a butterfly. I'm making a number of things at the moment to put on one side for a possible Etsy shop - this will be one of them I think. Maybe.
(I covered the canvas in gesso before doing the gel transfer and it worked fairly well.)

Below is a gel transfer of an old family photo which I applied directly to a woodblock. It worked really well but I wish I'd gessoed it first because I'm not keen on the wood grain showing through. I will keep practising!

I'd like to thank the 'Outsider Artists' for the lovely free image of the little angel. (Great website - go and take a look!)

Goats Cheese Tarts

Couldn't resist giving you the recipe for these goats cheese and cherry tomato tarts. I made 16 of them for the cafe at the Beetroot Tree Gallery last week, then came home and made these for me and DH. I used mild goats cheese so they aren't terribly 'goaty'. You need:
210g puff pastry (froz)
125g goats cheese (its shaped like a little log)
60g (approx) soft cream cheese
1 crushed clove garlic
cherry tomatoes
Just roll out the pastry and line 4 flan cases (3-4") then mash the two cheeses together with the garlic and s&p. Press this into the pastry (it will be about 1/2" thick), slice cherry toms and place on top, sprinkle with thyme, a little black pepper and drizzle a little olive oil on if you like.
Bake at 180 degs for about 15 mins till golden. I'm off to make some more for tea tonight!

Bookmark Challenge

Over at our Awfully Big Art Adventure we have challenged you to make bookmarks this week. I said I would swap with the first three people who asked.....just leave a comment on this blog or email me. (It doesn't matter where in the world you live.) There is just one pastel colours please (I think I'm allergic to them, lol !!)

Come back to me later today as I have some more things to show you. (Haven't got time to post now as I'm off to visit Dad in his new nursing home.)