Saturday, 30 August 2008
Phew! A week away from blogging, and it's Saturday already! Five more days, and I'll be back again for daily postings. I have to admit that I've missed this daily routine, but it has been great to spend the time with the children. I don't enjoy packing them off to school every day - I'd much rather they were with me, despite all the arguments - but I know I could never, ever homeschool them (no patience!)....and they absolutely love going! Couldn't ask for more, really.
Anyway, down to business. Today, my Shopping List Saturday is one of pure self indulgence! With the clock ticking very loudly towards my birthday...next week...the woodcutter issued instructions to search for something I'd like as a gift. What, anything? Within reason, he said. Right, I thought...anything it is, then! Slightly strange to seek out your own gift, maybe, but he's busy creating the biggest log-drying kiln on earth, and early next week he has one of his wrists operated on (carpel tunnel), hence the carte blanche invitation...So, these are my choices! Those of you who stop by regularly will recognise some of these items I'm sure. I have let my heart rule my selections, so you're getting a little piece of 'me' here!
I cannot get enough of kjoo's crocheted jewellery, either on etsy or her flickr photostream. Fabulous! I want to eat it, I love it so much (that's meant to be flattering!). The same goes for the decadent jewellery by Bohemianwhimsey...the rich embellishing is to die for.
Gypsyandtwink's wooden sculptures are divine - beautiful colours, patterns and simple shapes. I love that you can remove bits, change its contours and alter the feel by arranging the sections differently.
You may recognise staroftheeast's jewellery from my previous Lists. There is such a huge range to choose from - I love the inclusion of driftwoods and sea urchins in many of the pieces - and hopelessly, I cannot decide which is my favourite...maybe by Christmastime!
I've had my eye on that glorious chandelier. Thewhimsicalworld is full of beauties like this, and I wish I could have one in every room! It would be like living in a fairytale, I think.
One of my earliest discoveries on flickr was the marvellously intricate work of jennifermorrisbeads (one of my first blogposts featured her jewellery). How does she do it? How?! The details of every piece are incredible, and her photographs of them are romantic and colourful.
The work of jewelera is new to me - I stumbled upon it in the 'Gifts for Her' category in etsy. The photograph caught my eye - the subtle colouring, and the frondlike plume made me take a second look. The ruffle is created using plastic bags..recycling!..many, many, many of them. I just want to reach out and touch it!
I have a phobia of birds, but oddly I am always drawn to sculptures of them. Strange, but true. I think cottonbirddesigns' birds are amazing. They're delicate, they have real presence, and they seem to possess their own personalities! I can imagine a little collection of these throughout the house... Finally, this (yes, birds again!) delightful pincushion from hensteeth. Viv's work is to be admired - she seeks out items with a history, or a story to tell and in turn, enhances those histories by adding a story of her own. Using collage and embroidery she creates delicious needlecases and pincushions (amongst other things), and you must check out her store so that you can 'aahh' to yourself about them...you won't be disappointed!!
There we are, then...I hope he's taken notice! Take some time out today to wander through some etsy stores - they're packed full of gorgeous, handmade treasures. Please click on the link list (Shopping List Saturday: Check Out Their Lists!) in the sidebar for more inspiring lists from other etsy sellers.
Have a good weekend, and see you in a few days!
Saturday, 23 August 2008
Created using flickr toys Mosaic Maker
Welcome to this week's Shopping List Saturday! A slightly shorter list this week, but carefully chosen nonetheless.
These art books fascinate me, and I think this fascination stems from my college years (too long ago to mention!). I completed a degree in Graphic Design, and specialised in Illustration and for me, this opened many doors of experimentation. I became completely immersed in collage and creating vivid sketchbooks based on my own sketches with snippets of magazine/book illustrations pasted in and painted over for a layered effect.
Similar to the ACEOs of last week, these art books go one step further. I like the fact that artists take an existing book, alter it and create something new from it - whether it is the cover and spine with brand new pages, or the worked-into existing pages with a new cover attached. I also admire those artists who create books completely from scratch!
The idea that a book can be paper or card; wood or feathers; beads or fabric; drawn, printed or embroidered is wonderful! This takes the humble (and always beautiful) book to a new level. I like that the book becomes a work of art, a tactile thing that provides pleasure from touch as well as the usual visual stimulus. There are endless ways these books can lead you as an artist, and I find that incredibly stimulating and inspiring. Think of all of those emotions and ideas that bimble about in your head, and how they can be translated in these mini journeys of thoughts, experiences and feelings. Are you feeling this too??
Tuesday, 19 August 2008
Sunday, 17 August 2008
We found it on ebay, and the plan is to sand it down (don't panic - it isn't in brilliant condition) quickly, and paint it white, quickly, and distress it, quickly. All in the hope that it'll look vaguely Swedish, beautifully Scandinavian. Yum. That's the plan...then it should blend in nicely with the rest of the room.
I can't wait! Too many times, we've sat down to eat, and I've almost resorted to placing my plate atop the closed laptop, using it as a glorified table mat! I haven't actually done that, mind you...the look alone from the woodcutter would have knocked me stone dead!
Friday, 15 August 2008
Something a little different for you, today. Usually, my Shopping Lists have been based around a theme - the forest, the seaside, for example - and the same goes for today. The unusual thing is that all of the above items are exactly the same size, and serve exactly the same purpose.
Lately, I've become more and more interested in ACEO's. I'm sure that most of you reading this post need no introduction to these little cards, but for those of you who're like me, and quite new to this phenomenon, I'll explain.
An ACEO is an Art Card Edition Or Original, and always measures 2.5''x 3.5'' - and there the similarities end, because an ACEO can be made out of absolutely anything...anything at all. As you can see above, it can be an original sketch or watercolour, a photograph, print...anything. The card can be watercolour paper, thick card stock, felt, fabric, canvas...anything. It can be collaged, hand drawn, sewn, appliqued, embroidered...anything. Anything! The opportunities are endless...
These ACEO's mean that art becomes affordable, and because they are trading card sized they are also collectible - you can trade them (but you'll want to keep them)! To me, that makes art fun and accessible - and the fun starts by foraging through the diverse range available on etsy, and selecting your favourites!
Etsy is a huge, worldwide source of talented artists and designers; take a good look today, and buy handmade!
*For more Shopping List Saturday lists, click on the links on the right hand side (Shopping List Saturday: Check Out Their Lists!) of the page. If you'd like to join us next week, let me know! Enjoy!
How amazing is that? I am so flattered - I visited this lady's blog recently, whilst enjoying a spot of blog-hopping. I loved what I saw there - lots of collage, altered art and mixed media images to really satisfy your senses; you may already have checked her out, because I immediately added her to my blogroll. I absolutely recommend that you pop over and take a look, and also check out her etsy shop - her brooches and rings are adorable!
Thank you, Kris, for the fabulous feature...xx
Now that I've got that out of my system (can you sense that I'm rather pleased?), the picture above is my new business/calling card...I've even handed some out over the past few days. Quite the business person!
Thursday, 14 August 2008
See what I mean about the hair?? (yes, you'll understand when you read the post below - honest!)
Oh, look...once I had slim legs!!
onmydeskwednesday late thurs, originally uploaded by fancypicnic.
Excuse me...can anyone tell me what happened? I mean, where did yesterday disappear to, exactly? How can you just 'lose' a day, just like that? Wham, gone - right off the face of the earth?
I was obviously having too much fun. Yesterday morning, I received an early birthday present. I know - lucky old me!! What was it, then, that caused my day to vanish in a blur? A new slide scanner/copier, that's what.
Now, that may not sound like the ultimate in birthday luxuries to some, but to me it's perfect! I'm so excited! At last, I can delve into my childhood again, and revisit long since forgotten days. I've been having a whale of a time, dipping in and out of the 1960's and 70's; having a giggle at my parents' outfits and shoes; having a moan at the hairdo's my mum insisted I sported and re-living old school holidays spent lying in the garden reading books on psychedelic sun loungers! It's fantastic!
That's my entry for this week's On My Desk Wednesday - a handful of old slides and that neat and dinky black box snuggling up to my computer. What you can't see are the bags and bags of more slides waiting to be revealed, stuffed under the table!! No-one'll get fed for weeks!
*If you'd like to see more 'On My Desk Wednesday' posts, pop over to kootoyoo's blog and take a look - or add your name to the list and join in!
Tuesday, 12 August 2008
The weekend arrived, and with it saw a good friend of ours pop in for a couple of days' sojourn here - a bit of cycling through the forest in the rain (what's happened to the summer lately?) with eldest, and he would have been a helpful hand peeling some more tipi poles with ye olde woodcutter, had rain not stopped their play! *woodcutter objects to the word 'play'.....why??!
Yesterday was the strangest, and loveliest day of all - I met up with an old friend that I haven't seen for...well, we reckon it's probably about 15 years now. Fifteen years?! Crumbs. It was terrific to see him again, a great way to spend the day, and wonderful to be in touch again after all this time.
I think that explains why I'm rather lacking in any work to show you - but I did notice today that I've been featured in another treasury on etsy...thank you, snappingtwig, for including me in 'crisp' - your zingy, summery selection! Where am I? That's me...second row down from the top, on the right - my Faint Hearted Pendant, looking a bit like a bowlful of strawberries in this collection!
Monday, 11 August 2008
Of course, curious creature that I am, I had to take a look. Just a bit of fun, but it's quite therapeutic! You simply enter some text, or a blog URL, and it creates random images for you, based on the text you input and picking out various random words. I have to say that I did it a few times, but it's simple to just re-randomize the image, and you can remove words if you wish. There's also a gallery to store the image, and rifle through other people's results. A good (albeit pointless?) way to pass five or ten minutes!
image created at http://wordle.net
Sunday, 10 August 2008
I think I've been on a little voyage...a voyage of discovery!
About 15 years ago, I had a bit of a penchant for machine embroidered earrings - I particularly remember a pair that were shaped like bishop's mitres. At the time, I thought, 'why am I spending money on this? I can do it myself!' So, I did.
A lot has gone on since then. Art college, a job, getting married, having children - the usual. I'm making jewellery...but with no machine embroidery! Why? Because my trusty machine gave up the ghost after 17 years of service, and I was blowed if I could get my new machine to co-operate! (Notice how it was the machine's fault? Couldn't possibly be mine!!)
Enough was enough. I had to conquer this! I pestered the lady in my local haberdasher's. She couldn't help. I wrestled with endless pieces of decent material, and my rubbish bin filled up at an alarming rate. I dawdled about having a shufty around flickr - so many wonderful artists store their work there for public viewing. It's really a visual treat, a gallery in your computer!
I had the fortune to stumble upon dogdaisy92, and Jackie, who creates divine works of embroidery art. The lady is a godsend! With her as inspiration, I had one more attempt - success!
The pictures above are the result. Look closely and you'll see elements of machine embroidery, and also a bit of couching! Haven't done that for years! Notice how everything I make has to be plastered with beads and embellishments? I just can't help myself - but I guess it wouldn't be 'me' without them!
Jackie, thank you so much for your time and inspiration. xx
Saturday, 9 August 2008
PS: I have no idea why my list says it published itself on Friday...weird!
Friday, 8 August 2008
I’m still dreaming about the seaside, can you tell?
Memories of bygone holidays ...mesmerised by the deep blue sea...telling stories of mermaids and long lost sailors...beachcombing with the children...turning that precious seaglass over and over in the palm of your hand ... writing in the sand with a stick...meandering along the pier... searching for that lucky pebble with a hole in the middle...trailing your fingertips through the cool waters...discovering the most perfect shells...bringing home a thimbleful of the ocean...a pebble for each of my loved ones...
These beautiful items capture the essence of my holidays, and I love them! They are all available from wonderful people selling on etsy – do click on the links and have a little browse through their stores...and buy handmade!
Would you like to see some more? Click on the Shopping List Saturday: Check Out Their Lists! bloglink on the right of the page - and if you fancy joining in with this meme, let me know!
Thursday, 7 August 2008
I just wanted to show you this.
I can remember, when I was a child, often complaining during the long summer holidays that I was 'bored'...sounds familiar? When you were a child, whenever you were 'bored' at home, just moping about the house, were you or were you not told about what life used to be like...'back in the old days'?? How they (parents) used to have to make their own entertainment? Well, my two did just that!
They happened to learn how to draw an otter (I do believe you may be thinking to yourselves 'what fine cats those little girls have drawn!' Yes. I made that same mistake myself...you have been warned!) recently, and so they sat all morning drawing and colouring lots of matching pairs of otters, and stuck them onto card to make their own set of snap cards!
The rest of the day was spent playing endless rounds of the memory game and snap, over and over again. All afternoon..on and on...and on. We joined in a few times, but frankly they seemed happier on their own...why can't all days be like this?
Have you spotted 'me' yet? Yes - there I am, bottom left...the Midsummer Collar. This treasury really brings out the little bit of blue on it.
If you haven't done so already, do spend a few minutes dipping into the treasury lists. There's so much to see - and there are so many more than those that make it to the front page. Buy handmade!!
Wednesday, 6 August 2008
So, what's on my desk? Well, sit comfortably, and I'll begin....
The headless bod across the table is displaying some work in progress. I think I work in a slightly odd fashion..I tend to dive in, all or nothing. In this instance, I made a paper pattern for the collar section, and several circle patterns for the dangling 'jewel' underneath. Trial and error as to which size is the most suitable. This is only the top layer - you can see that the fabric isn't yet edged, neither does it have a backing; in fact, look closely and you can see that the whole thing is simply pinned into place. I'm wondering...make it reversible? I love that classic design fabric that you can see in the bottom right corner - maybe back it with that. My tendency is to lean towards something that would really contrast with the copper and blue striped fabric...but I don't think that's appropriate here. Hmmn, the possibilities!
For a long time now, I've been rather partial to all things Egyptian. I'd been to Egypt several times before we married, we honeymooned there, we spent our first anniversary there - you can tell where this is heading! - but we've not returned for, ooh, must be ten years now. I'm feeling a bit deprived! A good friend of ours gave us that wonderful book you can see in the photo, The Cairo Museum Masterpieces of Egyptian Art by Francesco Tiradritti/Thames & Hudson; the imagery is amazing, and very inspiring...the picture you can see open on the table (shabti figure of the delegate hat 1353-1335 BC) was the starting point for this collar (although I have to say that the collar seems to be evolving into some sort of plate armour - watch this space!
For more photos from other players of the 'On My Desk Wednesday' meme, pop over to kootoyoo's blog: while you're there, why not add your name to the list, and join in?
Tuesday, 5 August 2008
Monday, 4 August 2008
Actually, they did make the delivery - but they were in the heart of the Brecon Beacons, so who can blame them for taking a break from the car journey home, and enjoying a spot of mountain climbing? Fancy photography going on there, husband!
Sunday, 3 August 2008
Once we could drag ourselves away from our favourite activity, we wandered around, soaking up the atmosphere, indulging in a craft fair (see pic above)*, and improving our general well-being with an art gallery or two. We gazed longingly through the doors of the delightful Pump Rooms, at the afternoon teas being served (the queue for a table was a mile long...the children couldn't wait), and listened to the violinist serenading the fortunate few savouring their dainty crustless sandwiches and earl grey.
It wasn't until we returned to the car ready for the journey home that we realised we hadn't even visited the exquisite Roman Baths! How did we manage that?!
Save that experience for next time...
*We found gorgeous candles, wax melts and bath products (see pic above) available from Becky, at Purple Sparkle Crafts (http://www.purplesparkle.co.uk/ or http://www.folksy.com/users/purplesparkle). Take a look at her website - it's packed full of all things sweet and pretty, and they all smell absolutely divine!! It's almost a shame that you can't actually eat them!
Saturday, 2 August 2008
Friday, 1 August 2008
Oh, I wish I was here again. Friends of ours are popping in for a flying visit to see us today, on their way back to Cambridgeshire (where we used to live) after their holiday. This, of course, set me thinking. Thinking beautiful, tranquil thoughts of wonderful family holidays.
Our favourite holidays for us as a family have been those spent camping in the Lizard, Cornwall. This photo was taken a couple of years ago - we'd hired this little boat for the afternoon, and we'd poddled about, taking in a creek or two (yes, think Daphne du Maurier) and ending up in a secluded cove - very private, not a soul to be seen - on the Helford River. A bottle of local freshly squeezed apple juice and a cake (or two, ah-hem!) later, we were back in the boat for our trip back.
None of us wanted to leave. It was absolute heaven. Our favourite spot, I think. It's only fair, though, to mention Kynance Cove here, too. Dramatic and picturesque, it rests at equal first place in our hearts.
Wish I was there, right now...