Friday, 31 January 2014

Poetry for the soul.

Friday, and a Private Peek. 

This week’s blogs have brought back a lot of memories for me.
 About the old farmhouse in Cowden, to start with.
And then I got to thinking about when we used to live in California, back in the early 90’s.
The kids’ Dad was a lawyer in the US Army, so we lived on base at Fort Ord, Monterey for a little while. Our lad Mark was born there actually, on base in 1992.

It was really cool, and I made a couple of good friends there.
Fort Ord was literally right on the ocean. You could walk to the beach. And we did, most days!

It was like a fully self-contained town, with schools, a hospital, swimming pool, everything from pizzeria to picture framer. Oh and not forgetting the US Commissary!
But then they decided to close down the base, 
over the period of a year.
The schools closed, houses started getting boarded up, families got relocated. What had been a thriving community ended up like the quintessential ghost town. 

Isn’t is amazing how mankind builds things up, 
just to shut them down again...

And because Rob was with the Judge Advocate General, we had to stay until the bitter end. 
When stress levels rise, bad things happen; lawyers are needed.

So I wrote a poem about change, about having to move. 
This is just the last verse. 

Future Memories

If you never move on,
If you never roam,
How will you discover what was never your home?
Or greet the friend that you’ll never meet?
Or savour the food that you’ll never eat?
So look to the future my friend,
and be glad,
Of having that which you haven’t yet had.

You see, if we hadn’t had to leave Fort Ord, 
who knows where we would be now!

Life certainly is a rich and colourful tapestry, don’t you think?
In fact, on the subject of poetry and tapestries, here is one of the most profound poems I have ever read...

Ain’t that the truth! So, have a great day! 

much love,

Thursday, 30 January 2014

A little Star gazer.

Thursday’s Blog is always Blue.
So here is a charming little rabbit, 
basking in the moonlight, gazing at the stars in the deep blue sky.
Actually, the M25 is over the hill, and he’s counting white vans!

This is a real step by step, so here goes...

You will need:

Stamp the bunny in black and cover with a mask.

Add the moon mask.

Load your Speedball Brayer with Lettuce. 
Stage the ink on the Blending Mat

Tear a hill out of copy paper, using a ruler.

Start brayering the hills into place, starting at the bottom.

Move the copy paper up the picture, so that the hills get lighter.

Let’s turn it to have a look. Because I’m left-handed, I brayer from that side (naturally!), so the artwork is on its side.

Load the brayer with Denim.

Load the sky. Notice I am coming in at an angle. 
Helps prevent lines.
Add a little black over the top. Much better night sky.

Another quick look to see where we are headed....

Now cover up the grassy area with the mask.

Load the grass stamp with the green ink from the Blending mat,

and stamp a couple into place.

Go back and forth between the Lettuce and the Denim 
with the grass stamp;

Add a couple of darker grasses,

 At the front of the piece, too.

Tear another piece of paper, to add some hillocks and shadow.

The grass is really useful for little hedgerows.

Go easy with the black and a make-up sponge.

 Use the blending mat to pick up colour and mix it up.

Carefully add a little black shade underneath the bunny.
Make-up sponge and dab dab dab. Not smear smear smear!

Remove the Rabbit’s mask now. That sounds funny!

Colour in with Promarkers. Beige and grey.

Replace the moon mask whilst you VERY lightly 
water spritz some stars into place. 
Easy does it!! We don’t want a snow storm!
Blot with Copy paper.

Add some little flowers in the grass with your white Pilot pen. Ideal for the job.

Layer up on a piece of copy paper and trim right back, so that you just leave a sliver of white. 

Finally mount it on some lovely matching background paper. 

It’s such a long way from the top of the blog, I feel I should add the finished artwork again!

Where did we get the paper? Jim designed it. 
It’s a Clarity Paper. Maybe we should get them out again. 
We have some gorgeous papers!

I shall be getting the little Rabbit set out this Sunday on TV, too. Create & Craft 9am - 11am.

I hope you watch. You will be intrigued I’m sure, to see just how different the same little rabbit gazing at the M25 looks, when you pick other colours on Theuva Card....

And if you entered the Foxgloves Competition, and were wondering who won, leave it with me. You cannot imagine how many entries we had! It will take me a day to read them all carefully! So that’s a job for next Monday, after the telly. Winner to be announced next Tuesday then!

with love from 

Let’s have a Comment Candy Giveaway! If you leave an uplifting comment (or 4! One each day!) on this blog between now and Sunday evening, I will randomly pick a winner on Monday, 
and send that lucky winner
a £20 gift voucher, 
a brand-new-not-yet-seen Claritystencil! 

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

1410 The Great Platescape...

Hello, and thanks for popping in!

In yesterday’s blog, I showed you a picture postcard of the wonderful farm we used to rent, 
right up until the kids left home actually. 
And whilst reading all the lovely, uplifting, encouraging comments, I was reminded by my friend Linda Page, that I did actually draw a cottage-stamp which was inspired by our home. You can see the similarities, although the stamp was obviously subject to artist’s license!

I moved the front door from the side, 
added a few beams on the exterior,
which we could see on the inside,
and removed the ugly chimney on the right.

If only it were that easy with a listed building!
Well apparently, for some, it is.

The old Farm actually dates back to 1410.
But now I must tell you the truth.
I sometimes think we paint these idyllic pictures, 
but the reality is quite different.

Why did we move? You may well ask.
The greedy Landlord was speculating.
So we had to leave. And quite quickly, too.
Some of you may recall the Lorry with the bricks, which veered into the kitchen before it ploughed into the pond. 
It just was no good, with dogs and cats. Way too dangerous. 
 They ripped the heart and soul out of it, 
and then ran out of money.
That was over three years ago.
The old farmhouse still stands cold and empty,
to this day.
They have even removed the tiles on the roof.

Compare with postcard...

This makes me cry.
Sad sad sad.

But there you have it: 
we cannot control people, places or things.
I had no more control over what happened to our home than I have over the weather. We just had to pack and go, and let them get on with destroying it.
Heaves a sigh, and carries on.

BUT. We have a Cottage Stamp!
So, how about making a card with it?

We will need:
Theuva Card A5

Oh. And A Plate!

Let’s tear the hill first.
Use a dinner plate to tear a perfect hill.

Stamp the cottage at the top of the hill in Espresso,
using the plate mask.

Use the Clarity mask, or cut yourself a cloud mask, 
and add some Cloudy Blue Adirondack clouds.

Cut a cottage mask from a Post-It, so that you don’t have clouds running through the house!

Add some Stonewashed Adirondack clouds to the sky, too.
Add a couple of sheep, 
a couple of trees,
and then the Meadow Adirondack meadow.
But make sure you cover up the sheep with little masks first, too.

I used a brayer to add the meadow. Simply switch to the other part of the plate mask, to cover up the sky.

Add a few more trees, a fence and a waymarker.
Can’t have sheep roaming around without a fence!
Ask my Dave; he was a sheepfarmer most of his life. 
Still is at heart. 

Colour in the cottage with Promarkers. 
I used Skintone and neutral colours.
Add the lovely Verse in the sky.

And before you know it, the sheep are penned in, the kettle’s on the Aga, whistling away, and it’s time for tea xx

This picture cheers me up. 
I have to look on the bright side.
After all, what could we possibly have done?
We could have saved it if we had had a million pounds. 
Woulda coulda shoulda....

much love