Monday, 30 June 2008

Inching forwards

The Penny Black stamped images I bought have been coming in very handy recently. I have been looking at a few cute card blogs and wanted to try using them in a similar style. The one pictured here is inspired by Andrea at Andrea's World. I love the bunny in the flower pot and those happy little bees. It reminded me of bright, summer days so I used some canary yellow card and some Die Cuts With a View card from the Pocket Full of Posies collection. The addition of the Prima flowers just sets it off nicely. Very summery.

I am also taking part in a one to one swap of inchies - both hand drawn and some interactive ones. In the first of the inchie pictures is a bouncing bunny. The teeny bunny image is attached to the inchie using a thin strip of acetate. He bounces a little when I tap the inchie base. I think I needed to make the acetate thinner to make him more bouncy though. The folded inchie was inspired by the Diagonal Double Pocket Fold card on the Split Coast Stampers site. Instead of a rectangular piece of paper I used a 2" square piece and followed the instructions accordingly. The Adventure mini folder is rather cute - it has a miniature treasure map inside. Can anyone tell that I was watching King Solomon's Mines on DVD recently? Next, the froggy origami one in the envelope. It used the same technique as my folded envelope from my previous post and drove me to distraction. The mini star book is slightly smaller than a star book should be. It does not form a star when turned round on itself, just half a star. Adding enough pages to form the star made the inchie very thick so I quit with just four pages. It is still effective but I think I will try it again with the full compliment of pages. The purple folded inchie emerged from the Triangle Trifold card (Split Coast Stampers). It is a very simple idea and is just that little bit different. Finally, a little zig-zag book. This has little pockets either side formed by turning the long edge of the inchie back up to form the front. Each of the pockets can then be used to put little images in. In my case I added some hand painted paper.

Time and again I have come across ideas for making unusual cards and with a little though most of them can be transformed into inchie art.

Friday, 27 June 2008

Rain again

It has rained for days here - grey and miserable. However it did not stop me from having a bit of fun. I love to walk in the rain. To me it is really living - feeling the rain trickling down my back, hair soaked and grinning like a Cheshire cat. I think it is my non-conformist side. Most people dislike the rain and to them walking in it resembles insanity. For me it feels like I am kicking out a little, mainly because the neighbours think I am nuts. Which is fine by me. A little nuttiness is a good thing as far as I see it.

Anyway, during my walk I was on the lookout for toads. On wet summer nights toads are often found sitting in the road here. On many occasions I have rescued toads from an untimely death under the wheels of some local yahoo in his or her car. But last night there was no sign of any. Today was as wet as yesterday and tonight I opened the door to find a teeny little froglet stuck to my front door. It was about 3/4 inch in size and ever so cute (for a frog). Unfortunately one of its back legs seemed to be causing it problems. I took it off the door and place it on the doorstep and it hopped off to the darkness. What makes this incident unusual is the fact that I have never seen any frogs around here. That is not to say there have never been any - just that I have not seen any. I can't help but wonder if this little guy had been caught by a predator and dropped near my door. The jury is out on whether or not he has had a lucky escape.
The picture was taken from my front garden last night after heavy rainfall. The rainbow was really luminous. However, despite the end of it being just down the road I couldn't find the pot of gold.

Friday, 20 June 2008

Tales from a forgotten time

Things have been rather quiet on the creative front this week. My Grandmother took ill so I have been helping her out and my Dad has been having tests at hospital. Hectic and busy are the most suitable terms for life right now. I have made a few cards though - three father's day cards, a folded envelope and a miscellaneous monstrosity. The African style card and envelope were inspired by the old colonial type tales made famous by H.Rider Haggard and Edgar Rice Burroughs. The envelope and background paper is 8x8 inch vintage map scrapbook paper. For the two cute cards I used copier paper to make dry embossed paper using Fiskars Texture Plates. Noisy but fun and effective.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Penny Black Saturday

For those who use Penny Black rubber stamps - there is a new challenge blog available. Penny Black Saturday does just what it says. There is a card making challenge every Saturday with prizes and everything. I am new to Penny Black stamps myself. I do not use cute images often myself but recently I have been asked to make cards for children. The stamps are ideal for this, as well as for anniversaries and get well cards. You might want to take a look

This week's artiness

So, on to the arty crafty stuff - I have been carving stamps (some birds, bees and a nice foxy one [if I do say so myself]), painted background papers (take a look at Seth's tutorial for this technique) and started a mixed media nature journal (again, inspired by Seth at The Altered Page). The journal is still work in progress. The pages are not finished but I was pleased with the backgrounds. It is not something I want to rush - this being my first journal.

Another little piece of creative news - my assignment from my art course was returned to me at the weekend. My tutor was very pleased with my work and is looking forward to seeing my next submission. However, she asked me if I would allow her to put my pencil drawing of apples on the art school web site. She feels that it would inspire those wanting to take up the course. A big thank you to everyone for the helpful and supportive comments about my assignment work. They gave me the confidence to keep going and produce something worthy of being put on and art school web site.

A wild experience

I am still here - I have not been whisked away by aliens nor eaten by over sized rats. I have been spending time creating, reading about creating, been chasing the local wildlife and photographing local wild flowers.

I made a very interesting discovery this week. I discovered that we have a couple of rare butterflies in a nearby field. The butterflies, the Wall Brown, have not been recorded in the Scottish Borders - ever. I did a little investigation and found out that one has been seen several miles from here and another approximately 10 miles away. As seems to be the case so often recently, I figure climate change is the reason for this. Our summers are hotter and wetter now and I presume that this suits our little winged friends. I am sending a report to the local biological records centre and may even get a mention in the newsletter. Yippee!!!

This is also the time for the bat colony counts for the The Bat Conservation Trust. I have to stand outside in the semi dark and count how many bats come out of the roost in my roof. This is much easier than it sounds as the roost has not been used for a couple of seasons. Another signal of climate change? Possibly. The bats that use it (common Pipistrelles - Britain's smallest bat) are kind of fickle over their roosting sites. They will change sites for no apparent reason. Maybe they will turn up later in the season.

Two nights ago the fox turned up in the field in front of the house. He was chasing rabbits but having no success. So I grabbed my binoculars and took off after him. I can only assume that he is a youngster. He was totally oblivious to my presence and I got to follow him for quite a distance, loosing him only because he turned a corner and I could not get over the fence to follow him. Earlier in the week I also bumped into a weasel. This is yet another rarity in the Borders. We have lots of stoats (weasel's bigger cousin) but weasels are not spotted quite as often.

To top off my week, I was out last night late on (bat hunting!) and shone my torch down the road. Two beady little eyes peered back at me. A cat, I presumed. As I swung the torch beam across the road another set of eyes peered back. Two cats? Nope, as I wandered on down the road a black and white body emerged from the undergrowth and started to walk towards me. It was a baby badger!!! Two baby badgers in fact. I can't tell you how happy that made me. I got so close to them that I could have touched them. They did not seem to mind the torch beam at all and it was not until I spoke softly (I told them to get off the road or they would be run over) that they realised something was up and ran off. An amazing experience. So I have had quite an eventful wildlife week.

There are some arty crafty pics to post but I shall do that later.