Sunday, 25 January 2009

The Birds!

This weekend is the Big Garden Birdwatch hosted by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. It is an annual survey of the birds that visit the gardens in Britain and, as usual, I took part. It always amazes me how you can see changes in nature if you just take a little time and watch regularly. So far this year I have had one greenfinch to my garden (usually I have handfulls every day) and two nuthatches that now visit regularly. I will have to wait until next year to see if these changes are permanent as often these things happen for no apparent reason then the pattern changes again. There is also a pheasant who comes every day. He has a tendency to eat all the food on the ground - if he can get there before the crows.

While I don't have any pictures of garden birds or pheasants I do have a needle felted chicken to show. And, no, the sheep do not visit my garden but they are in the field in front of the garden so I was inspired to make a needle felted sheep.

Friday, 23 January 2009

Technological breakdown

I have been without my computer for the last week and a half. Not fun. The computer repair man seemed to think it was thinks to a malware attack. Now, no one is more careful about what they are doing online than me. I update my internet security software every day, have anti-spyware software that is run regularly and I don't visit sites that might carry something untoward on them. Unfortunately the virus, malware and spyware creators are becoming more sneaky about getting their products into computers. Let's face it - many of the security software packages just aren't up to the job of keeping your PC clean. It is a very sad state of affairs and I can't help but think that the world would be a better place if the brains behind viruses, etc were to put their knowledge to more legitimate use.

Anyway, I did manage to be a little creative - painting, card making, beads and needle felting. I'll post some pics over the next few days. To begin, here is a Zoomie painting of a Golden Retriever pup.

Friday, 9 January 2009


The time arrived to try something new with my paintings. I created a series of wildlife works called the Zoomie series. They are 11x15 inches in size and took no more than 20 minutes to do each. They are not highly detailed. They are, as the description says, zoomie - quickly done with a large brush and lots of strong coloured paint. Neither are they pieces to be sold. They were just exciting to do, something I was inspired to try and for no other reason than to have some fun. If you fancy trying to paint or draw it doesn't always have to be about detail and high quality workmanship. Just get out a big brush, a few colours of paint and a large piece of paper and let rip. I can recommend it.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009


Just before Christmas I was the very lucky recipient of a trade package from a wonderful lady in Oregon. It was full of treasures - stickers, cutouts, tags, glitter glue, inchies, chocolate and tea to name but a few. For the whole of the day when the box arrived, I played with everything - the Stickles glitter glue being one of my favourite things. I have not used Stickles before but it is great fun. I was adding it to everything. So inspired was I that I dashed off to Ebay to find more colours. As you might imagine Stickles is playing a big part in my creativity at the moment. It has added some sparkle to my projects without the mess of traditional glue. So I have added a few pictures of the things I made - some ATCs, lots of inchies, a vellum tag (vellum stickers on the tag and laid over some brightly painted yellow card. The yellow shows through the vellum to make it glow with a little colour.) and a couple of mini boxes. The boxes were made from a template I made of a box one of the chocolates came it. I carefully pulled the box apart and it makes a great template for those little gifts you might send - or inchie storage. Needless to say the Winter box is highlighted with white Stickles. It just doesn't show up.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Blog habit

OK! I'll admit it. I spend more time reading blogs these days than creating. There! I have said it. There are so many wonderful blogs out there and so many creative people to catch up with that I spend more time seeing other people being creative than doing any myself. I can't help it. I have seen so many techniques that I want to try but each time I come across one there are also links to other new techniques. It is a never ending spiral. However, I have broken free over the last few days and have made a few things. The picies speak for themselves - three cards, an inchie and an ATC.

I have had my first proper attempt at soldering like Sally Jean Alexander. It's not as easy as she makes it look. At the moment I am wrestling with discoloured and blobbly solder. I have no doubt that with a little patience and a good hot soldering iron I will smooth it out. It just needs patience - probably. Whereas other artists who make such keepsakes use collaged items I have used some tiny drawings I made. The first one is a badger (surprise, surprise) with some rubber stamped words. No photo yet as I have only done one side of it but I will post one soon - barring horrible accidents.