All posts for the month February, 2010

Caution! Brayer Novice At Work!

Published February 27, 2010 by isisimaginings

I’m beginning to sound like a worn-out record, (pre-CDs to those too young to remember!), but where is the time going?? I cannot believe that my last post was eight days ago. It truly was not my intention to leave it this long, but the past week has not been without its stresses & right now I have a very strong desire to change my name & disappear. Anyway, on to nicer things…

Tuesday was the best day of the week for me. It was Craft Day on QVC & the TSV came from the brilliant Tim Holtz. It was his new book ‘Compendium of Curiosities’, together with a distress ink, crackle paint, distress Stickles, Glossy & Sepia Accents & tools. And I got them all as an early birthday present from Jen!! The TSV arrived on Thursday afternoon & I immediately sat down to look through the book. It is terrific! Tim gives clear & concise instructions on how to achieve his grungy/distressed look, along with great photos. There’s a guide to his range of inks, paints, stamps, etc., a page for your own notes & at the very end, pics of some of Tim’s new creations & they are stunning. If you’ve always wanted to attempt Tim’s techniques, then I highly recommend this book. I’ve already got a few ideas brewing & hopefully, tomorrow I will send the day creating.The Craft Day itself was one of the best QVC as had in a long time. There were other guest designers, including:

Claudine Hellmuth

Lindsay Mason
Rachel Greig

& they gave us some fantastics hints & tips.

I was very smart & remembered to write down the various techniques that I liked the look off, especially Lindsay’s. Rachel Greig was a new name to me. She is an Australian photographer, who has created rubber stamps from some of wonderful images. I was SO tempted by them, but I managed to restrain myself. 🙂 While I watched, I made six Easter cards & one birthday card, which I will show you in a later post.

Now to the main topic of this post. I bought a brayer AGES ago & then was afraid to use it. 🙂 Don’t ask me why, I have no clue. Finally, a few weeks ago, I decided it was time I stopped being an idiot. The postcards in this post are my first atte

I used masking tape around the edges of glossy card to create the border. The images were stamped with Versamark, covered in white embossing powder, then heat embossed. I used Kaleidacolor inks in Spectrum & Caribbean Sea on the brayer, used a paintbrush for blending of tiny areas in some areas, then wiped over the whole area with a paper towel to create a shine.

The stamps are from Hero Arts, PaperArtsy, Inkadinkado, plus others I can’t remember – and I’ve lost the packaging. I quite like the colours of the Caribbean ink pad, but I’m not sure about Spectrum. The end result is darker than I wanted; I think I used too much ink & over blended. Still, for my first attempts, I don’t think they are too terrible.

My inspirational artist & blogger today is Tammy Vitale . Tammy paints, sculpts, makes jewellery & writes incredible posts that always seem to resonate with what’s happening in my life. In her latest post, she asks the question, ‘How Do You Know When Joy Arrives?’ I hope you’ll take a few minutes to read what she has to say.

I would like to end today by saying ‘arigato gozaimasu’ to my first visitor from Japan, I appreciate you taking the time to stop by. I hope everyone is having a nice weekend. Until next time,

Love & light.

That Friday Feeling

Published February 19, 2010 by isisimaginings

Happy Friday folks. I tried to post last night, but Blogger didn’t want to play. Hope everyone has had a good week & has a nice weekend planned. I’m thinking of going to London for a lesson on how to play the Djembe drum. I saw a movie called ‘The Visitor’ last year & fell in love with the drumming & via I discovered a group in North London, where you have a lesson first & then join in with more skilled drummers – if you feel confident enough to have a go! I highly recommend the movie by the way, beautiful performances & a moving story.

I’ve been making cards the last few days; none of which can be shown at the moment. Today I made a start on Easter cards, which is at the beginning of April this year. I need to make about fourteen, so it makes sense to get going now. Yesterday, I took out a clear tree stamp, put it on the table beside me & five minutes later it had disappeared. I finally found it a few minutes ago – it was stuck to the underneath of the paper trimmer! And yes, it was the last place I thought of looking. 🙂

These cards are ones I made back in January; the thank you card for a friend & the Spring one for my mom. They’re self-explanatory I think. I did use TH ‘Dusty Concord’ distress ink & then ‘Broken China’ stickles around the border of the thank you card. I think the little flutterby is cute, it makes me smile.

Speaking of the great man, Tim is on QVC’s Craft day next Tuesday, Feb 23. He’s starting at midnight on Monday with a TSV & I will DEFINITELY be staying up to see what it is! There will be other guests, including Suze Weinberg, during Craft Day, so hopefully, there will be lots of new techniques & goodies to swoon over. 🙂 I just hope the demonstrators are given enough time to demo properly, without the QVC presenters talking over them continually. I know they are there to persuade us to buy as much as possible, but sometimes, the constant chatter & interrupting gets very irritating.

I took this photo on January 1st, near a bird sanctuary a few miles from my mom’s house. It was so cold there weren’t many birds around, but after I took the pic I realised there were two swans in the water, below the trees. The composition of the trees against the sky was the reason I took the pic in the first place.

My inspirational blog of choice today is Lisa Sonora Beam’s. Lisa is currently in Mexico & she has set herself quite a challenge – to paint 1008 paintings by the end of May! Follow her progress & read her terrific advice on goal setting. She has also written a book, called ‘The Creative Entrepreneur’, which is full of great tools & suggestions on how to set a creative business.

I love how the Internet is helping me find all these amazingly powerful & inspirational women all around the world. They are incredibly generous; sharing with grace & kindness what they’ve learned & are still learning. Rock on, ladies!!

There are years that ask questions & years that answer.
Zora Neale Hurston

Have a wonderful weekend, thanks for stopping by. Until next time,

Love & light.

Wednesday Already!

Published February 17, 2010 by isisimaginings

How is that possible?? The days are definitely getting longer, but they are also whizzing by, seemingly faster than ever. What they’re not doing, is getting any warmer; it is still so cold here in Kent. Last year, I got a gift of a pair of fingerless gloves & this winter, I’ve been wearing them in the house; they make painting & cardmaking a LOT easier. I must take a photo of them to show you; they’re very cute.

On Sunday, I met a friend in Camden, London & we went to The Stables, which is full of shops of all sorts & various restaurants & bars. There is also lots of interesting sculptures, but it was so cold we couldn’t walk around for very long. We had a bite to eat in a tiny Moroccan eatery – the mint tea, hummus & bread were delicious – and a great time catching up. I want to go back to The Stables, spend more time walking around & take photographs, but I’ll wait until the weather improves a little.

I have got lots of new things to show you, but they will have to wait a little longer. There’s lots of birthdays coming up in the next six weeks or so, so I’m going to hold onto the new cards until they have been received. I’ve also been trying a few new techniques, but the photos are still in my camera. I’ll download them later & hopefully show you tomorrow.

These cards are very simple, as you can see. I don’t have a lot of baby stuff in my stash; I bought some toppers when I went to Ally Pally last year & Jen included some papers in the huge collection of 12×12’s she gave me, so I put them together with a few other things to make these two.

The wedding card went to friends who got married in January. They had a black & white theme, which explains the card. I had made their wedding invitations, which incorporated a black heart on white card, so I decided to include a heart on their wedding card too. The heart is only attached to the ribbon, so it swings freely.

Do you remember last week I highlighted the work of Kelly Rae Roberts? Well, this week she told us that her decorative girlies are featured on the cover of the March issue of ‘Somerset Studio’ magazine. Needless to say, she is very excited & her fans are thrilled for her. I predict the magazine will sell very quickly! If you haven’t visited her website yet, please do, I’m sure you’ll be inspired.

Thanks for visiting me & a special thanks to those who have visited for the first time. I appreciate you all. Until next time,

Love & light.

Tweets & Hoots

Published February 12, 2010 by isisimaginings

It’s Friday! Hope everyone has had a good week & has a terrific weekend planned. I’ve had a busy few days since my last post. Yesterday, I went with a friend to the Stitch & Creative Crafts exhibition at Excel, London & I have to say it was very disappointing. The admission was £9.50, which, in my opinion, was extortionate for what they had. I arrived about noon & I was surprised to see so many people leaving & even more surprised to see how few people were in the hall. I went with the intention of not spending a lot, but I thought I might see something that I just had to have (!). I spent nothing, which is a good thing, but also disappointing. I’ve already got a ticket for the Stitch & Craft show at Kensington Olympia, London in March & now I’m wondering if I should bother going.

Anyway, here are two cards I made recently. The owl is a Dawn Bibby stamp, after stamping & colouring it I cut it out & put it on to the card with foam pads. I put a few gems onto the stamped cherry blossom image to highlight it. The sentiment reads ‘Distance means little between friends’ & I don’t know why I chose to emboss it with silver. It should have been gold or copper.

For this birthday card I embossed a piece of Core’dinations Whitewash paper & sanded a few areas before stamping the bird on top & colouring it with Whispers pens. Stamped & heat embossed the sentiment, added a few hand drawn music notes with a gold pen, added a ribbon, done.

Following my rant at the universe at the start of this week, I was wandering around Facebook & came across Ken of Mildly Creative, who, in my opinion is a genius. I don’t know he does it, but he gets straight to the point of all the stuff that goes round & round my head. This is the post that arrived in my inbox this morning & if you like what he has to say, subscribe today!

If I create from the heart, nearly everything works: if from the head, almost nothing.”

– Marc Chagall

Until next time, love & light.

A Semi-Successful Experiment

Published February 9, 2010 by isisimaginings

Hope everyone’s Tuesday is going well so far. Thanks to Katy, Julie, Sarpreet, Karen & Jen for their very kind comments on my last post. There’s a lot of kindness in the Blogoverse. A lot of weirdness too, but that’s for another day. 🙂

This is a card I made about two weeks ago & while I like the distressing etc., I messed up with the image. It’s a rubber stamp of a sun through trees & I decided it went very well with the sentiment – from Inkadinkado, a gift from Jen. I stamped it onto handmade paper, heat embossed with gold embossing powder, then covered it with Crackle Accents. I made the card & it looked great. Until the next morning, when I realised the image had blurred. I thought about what had gone wrong for ages, then realised I probably should have used TH distress inks & embossing powders. I tried again, this time painting a thin layer of Crackle pain onto the paper first & stamping & embossing when the paint was dry. It worked; no blurred image. When I make up the card I’ll show it to you.

Isn’t the sentiment nice? I hadn’t seen it before. The printed paper is from an old Russian dictionary; when I tore it out I noticed one of the words was ‘happy’ – a nice coincidence. The paint on the corners is Terra by Viva; it can be sanded, torn & layered with a brush or a palette knife. The pin is Tim Holtz & I picked up the silver charms when I was in the US last summer.

I finished the paintings I mentioned on Monday & oh my goodness, they are TERRIBLE! I said I was trying to play with paint like a child & they definitely remind me of the daubings of a three-year-old! While I’m trying not to judge myself, I really haven’t the courage to put them on my blog; trust me, if you saw them, you’d tell me not to show them to anyone. 🙂 I think I will just continue my efforts quietly & unpublicised & who knows? Maybe one day…….. 🙂

Another book I got for Christmas is ‘Journal Bliss’ by Violette. Like Kelly Rae Roberts, Violette is a truly inspirational woman. She also has a blog & this is her latest post, I’m guessing it will ring quite a few bells for a lot of people.

Until next time, Love & light.

Children, like animals, use all their senses to discover the world.
Then artists come along & discover it the same way, all over again.
-Eudora Welty

Oy Universe, Stop It!!

Published February 7, 2010 by isisimaginings

Let me start with a question…..Why is it that just when you think you’ve got a handle on things, you can finally see a light at the end of the tunnel, the universe turns around & slaps you upside the head?? Five weeks ago, I got the news that I’d been waiting eight months for; weirdly, it threw me for a loop slightly, but once I got my head around it, I was ok. Then the whole thing collapsed around me & now I’m back where I started. I’ve been angry, upset, frustrated, but now I am trying to find the lessons in this whole experience. I have made decisions that will make some of the people in my life unhappy, but at the age of almost 46, I have finally decided that I cannot live my life for other people. I have spent my life doing what was expected of me, agreeing with & to, things that made me very unhappy. I have been incapable of making virtually any decision, in case other people didn’t like it. I now firmly believe that the way I lived my life is one of the reasons I got breast cancer. I’ve been a second chance & I’m hoping that, Goddess willing, the people who love me will respect my decisions & respect ME as I am expected to respect them.

During the last four weeks of turmoil, I have been creating; not much, but a few bits & pieces. The first objects I made still make me smile, even though they no longer exist. One night during the snow I was waiting for a train, (long story; I got the wrong train originally & ended up in the middle of nowhere – almost!), feeling like I was slowly freezing to death, when it suddenly occurred to me that I could not remember the last time I made a snowman/snowperson. There was plenty of snow on the low wall beside the train track & these are what I made……
An angel & a………….. Fertility figure. They certainly wouldn”t win any sculpture prizes, but I like the basic nature of them & I enjoyed the few minutes I spent forming the snow – they are MY little pieces of art & as I said, they are no more, except in these pictures & my memory.

This week, for the first time in about thirty years, I picked up a paintbrush, dipped it in acrylic paint & put the paint onto pieces of cardboard – I’ve been saving cereal boxes for a while. 🙂 It’s a strange feeling, I’m battling with my inner critic, who takes pleasure in repeating what my art teacher told me all those years ago; “I don’t know why you’re in this class, you’re completely hopeless at art”. So, while thanking the IC for sharing, I tell myself that I am simply playing with the paint; putting colour on card, making shapes & not being concerned with whether or not the end result is any good; in effect, being a child again. So far, so fun!

I’m getting a lot of help from a number of creativity books that I received as Christmas gifts. At the top of my list at the moment is “Taking Flight”, by Kelly Rae Roberts. In many respects, Kelly’s journey mirrors mine, although she is further along the road. She is inspirational & hugely creative. Her book combines her story with that of other artists, as well as easy to follow techniques, which add great depth & layers to her work & I’m excited about trying them for myself. Please visit her site & if you like what you see, you can purchase her pieces & her book is available on Amazon, & no, I am NOT on commission!! 🙂

That’s it for tonight, I’ve waffled on enough. Until next time,

Love & light.