September Theme Reveal – Foliage

It's time again for the Art Elements reveal and this months theme, chosen by the amazing Caroline was foliage. I started off this month with out any idea of what I was going to make and then I got inspiration form the life book summit, there was a wonderful lesson by Dar James that shows how to create a beautiful water colour and gesso painting. I did not like the idea of freehand drawing lots of leaves so the neat freak in me made me cut our some templates....

 Then with the help of Dar James I created these.....

Now none of these are finished yet, so lots of works in progress! The green one was my first attempt but I did not like the bold neat lines so I made a couple more attempts, I am thinking I will use the light one and the green to practice on and the bold red one will be for best. Think more detail and the words Hello Autumn in some kind of beautiful lettering!!!!

The little leaf templates ended being used in this piece that I started ages ago from the lesson by Laura Horn, again still not completed but I'm getting there!

I'm defiantly in autumn mode at the moment as I have been photocopying, laminating and cutting out lots of these watercolour leaves to use in our seasonal tree at work, to help our residents with dementia.

Another project I have been working on but have not finished is this little A7 water colour book with goddess focal by the amazing Leslie and matching draw string bag.

The little draw string bag is made from recycled leather from a tobacco pouch and is made to fit this tiny jam jar and mini water colour pallet.

AE Team




The June theme reveal: Selkies – of land and sea

It's that time again, another month has ended (I'm sure the older you get the quicker time seems to go)!
This months Art Elements theme was chosen by the wonderfully talented Jenny Davies-Reazor and was some thing I had never heard of, Selkies! 
I have to say I watched the film - Song of the Sea as Jenny recomended and I fell in love!!! Such a beautiful story with amazing graphics and a beautiful sound track, I was humming the songs for days!!!! 
My first idea was to make a Selkie but I also now have a sketch book full of ideas from the film too!

Unusually I started early this month and I am very thankful for that for I had not realised how much time goes into make an art doll!

It took a lot of trial and error to come up with a pattern for my doll that I was happy with and then I found that you could buy blanc doll forms ready made off Etsy (if I ever make one again, I'm buying pre-made)! 

The doll was painted with acrylic paint and I sewed on some eye lashes and eye brows. Her hair is made from wefts of grey mohair that I put some sparkle strands in. Her top and skirt were made from silk, ribbons and Angelica fibres.

Her Seal coat (made from some very old velvet that I saved from an upholstered bench) has a little seal face on the hood, flippers by her hands and a little tail at the back, with a little goldwork wire stitched in. It's not sewn very well or very neatly but it will do!

I do rather love the cute little seal face!

Thank you so much Jenny for introducing me to the wonderful world of Selkies, I can't wait to see what everyone else has created....


AE team: 


Art Elements, May Theme Challenge Reveal – Forest

Thanks so much Sue for a wonderful challenge, I really enjoyed it. I took the children out exploring some of the local woods for inspiration, we had a picnic lunch and really made a day of it!

and I had sooooooo many plans....

I got out all of my art beads, I even drew up several plans - see the Laura Mears wolf eyes? they were going to be set in metal clay twigs in a prong style setting with the surrounding beads. The owl face bead was going to be wire wrapped into a hair fork and the beautiful orange fox cab by Lesley Watt was going to be mounted on metal to make a pin for my coat. But alas I ran out of month before I even got properly started! But I do have a couple of works in progress.....

This charming hedgehog cab by Caroline shall be set on a metal plate and held in place by little oak leaves and the lovely brass oak leaf by Lesley shall be stiched in place with thread to match the binding (my first attempt at a long stitch binding).

I planned the same sort of thing for this lovely fox cab by Jenny but this book is filled with water colour paper.... still a work in progress!

The only thing I did manage to get finished were these feather and twig paintbrushes, these work really well for super thin lines and are really easy to make!

Please do join me on the hop to see what everyone else has created


AE Team


April Theme Challenge Reveal - Repurposing

As always the month has gone so quickly! I have throughly enjoyed this months Art Elements Challenge set by our wonderful Lesley and I fell into the rabbit hole that is Pinterest looking for ideas! Unfortunately there were more ideas then month but I managed to finish up a few....

First off I took one of those cheap little sayings books that you always find in the charity shop and I turned it into an art journal, this was done by removing half the pages and sticking every other page together for added strength. once the glue was dry I gave each page a layer of gesso (this part took for ever as I had to wait for the gesso to dry before moving on to the next page)! I then added scraps of paper and stamps to the cover with another layer of gesso and this one is ready for adding lots of colour! 

My next idea was to create a junk journal, but I wanted one with a hard cover and an enclosed spine I had not made one of these yet so this was very much an experiment.... 

Every part of this book has been repurposed/recycled. The cover of the book used to be the lining fabric of a upholstered bench (I kept this and a beautiful grey velvet from the bench) that I added water colour paint to, the hard board for the cover is recycled from the back of a water colour pad, the spine (which you can't see) is old sari silk and the pages are and assortment of old ephemera.
This one is a little over 3 inches and rather messy being a first attempt, So I though I would have another go to see if I could get a neater finished item....

This one I like much more! It's bigger at 4 1/2 inches and made of the same things but has a recycled symbol embossed? on the front cover (hand cut from the back of the water colour pad and then glued in place before covering) and this time I did not gesso the pages as they took soooo very long to dry, but there is a lovely mix of old envelopes, music paper and drawings from interesting books! After this one turned out so well I got a little cocky and thought I would try something a little fancier with this beautiful hare focal by our multi talented Caroline....

I love the text in the background and thats what made me want to use it on a book....

But I'm not too sure about this one as it did not turn out as I envisioned it!
I used Carolines focals as the inspiration and mimicked the oval and the swirly edge but I did mine as Celtic and they should have been more art nouveau, still you live you learn!
The focal is set into the cover not just glued on top, but the water colour on the cover looked a little pale so I kept adding more colour, now I'm thinking it would have looked better on a dark leather background!?!

AE Team


March Theme Challenge Reveal – Luna Moths

This months challenge was brought to us by our ultra talented Jen Cameron and was the adorable Luna Moth!
Normally I'm not a fan of moths or butterflies! Yes, they can be very beautiful but then they do that fluttering thing, and it is hard to predict where they are going to fly which makes me uncomfortable and then they start to dive bomb me at which point I run around the butterfly house trying to escape the dive bombing while my other half is laughing his socks off and the unhelpful assistant is telling me that they are attracted to the minerals in my sweat, as I am running around looking like a crazy person with crazy mad hair at this point because wow the humidity, trying not to to squash them in my blind panic!!!!
So yeah, moths - are not really my thing, but then I googled Luna moths and well they are cute and fluffy looking, not insect like at all and almost magical looking, which got me making!

I wrote a book review on Goldwork, Techniques, Projects and Pure Inspiration by Hazel Everett over on the Art Elements blog....

and this was where my inspiration started, I wanted to sew a goldwork luna moth so having only read this book and no previous experience in goldwork I started to draw out my design (something I never normally do, I'm more of a play and lets see where this goes kinda girl) The more I drew the more complicated my design got and the more ideas I had!

This is still a work in progress, I don't like the moths head, I wanted it the same as the body but I ran out of chippings, so I may well unpick it's head and redo that and add a little silk shading and spangles to the wings then I think a round boarder and this will properly be made into a little cushion or if I can find a nice round frame maybe ill frame it. Either way not too bad for a first attempt!

Goldwork the same as sewing takes quiet a lot of time and I wanted to try something a little quicker for my next project so out came the water colour paints....

Another work in progress imagine a water colour moon, some paint splat stars and maybe a hedge or some flowers in the corner.

My last work in progress (I had a few more but they did not make the cut) is a mixed media piece I wanted to try and make a cute/fluffy luna moth something not at all scary, and then I got lost in my imagination in amongst a teddy bears ball in the middle of an enchanted forest where all the teddy bears were dressed as beautiful moths and butterflies sitting at a long dinning table having a mad hatter style meal with silver and crystal candelabras and table decorations gathered from the forest of beautiful wild flowers and pine cones and then this emerged....

None of it is attached yet but the wings are double sided, the back has a very subtle outline of the wings and the front is ironed angelina fibres cut into shape with goldwork and embroidery holding it in place and on top of this will go my little teddy....

He has a lot more needle felting to go and I need to add in some shading and find something for him to stand on but he is alright for a prototype, I would like to make a bigger one with a mohair teddy I think! Once again too many ideas!!!!
I have had so much fun this month thank you so much Jen and I hope you will all join me on visiting the other blogs....

Art Elements Team:


February Themed Challenge

Our theme for the February challenge over at the Art Elements Blog was chosen by our amazingly talented Cathy Spivey Mendola and was Birds of Prey. 
My initial thought was wow there are so many things I want to do..... I once had a very vivid and strangely calming dream of an eagle flying over a mountain and I wanted to do something to do with that, I also used this theme as an excuse to buy an owl bead from Kerri Fuhr which I was going to wire wrap onto a hair pin but never did get round to either.
I do how ever have a work in progress....

Imagine if you would a couple of copper sawn ivy leaves with twisting copper branches winding up the wooden post and a little copper plate stamped with something owl themed. I wanted the owl to be really grungy looking with lots of texture but I don't think I managed to achieve the look I wanted and now I want to see what he would look like made from bronze clay or copper clay with a beautiful green patina !!!! 

I also fell in love with a tutorial from
Ursula Jewellery for a beautiful wire wrapped owl pendent, that did not come out exactly as it should have but I still love it....

Thank you Cathy for a wonderfully enjoyable theme and I am really looking forward to seeing what everyone else has created!

Team Members: 

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