Monday, 30 August 2010

Attention spammers!

My apologies to my regular readers but this is just a note to all the spammers who leave comments about how great my forum is - please don't waste your time filling out the comment box. I monitor all my comments and any that seem to be dodgy are not published. I do not have a forum. I have a blog and it is here so I can share art and crafty inspiration with other arty crafty people - not to act as an advert for some underhand website. Many thanks for you time and remember I WILL NOT PUBLISH YOUR COMMENT IF YOU ARE TRYING TO ADVERTISE.

UPDATE: It's hilarious. You have to laugh at the idiocy of these spammers. They are sending me comments for this very post. Needless to say they won't be published. What a terrible nuisance.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Spooktacular downloads

Yes, I know. I'm obsessing over Halloween. So many of my recent post have been about it but I guess it's too late to go back now. Soon October will be here. Yippee! But this week I created some new digital downloads for my Etsy store - spooky ones with plenty of creepy action going on. The first set consists of four small envelopes made using my own photos and some digital images I created. The second is a collection of three small envelopes with images by Harry Clarke. Both sets are ideal to print out and give little treats or spooky notes in. The larger set is ideal for ATCs too.

Friday, 13 August 2010

New gadget

I am currently sitting in my sister's house while she is away in Greece sunning herself. Her dogs needed a dog sitter so I obliged - who could say no to those gorgeous, brown doggie eyes. Unfortunately there has been very little work getting done. With all my stuff back at home I never have what I need when I need it. I did get some sneaky craft shopping done though - new distress ink, pearlised watercolours, craft sticks to decorate and collage sheets. Yeah!

Anyway, while surfing the web I came across a new widget for Etsy that can be used on blogs and web sites. It is called Pocket Shop, has been produced by Craft Cult and is endorsed by Etsy so I had to have a play with it. It is so simple to set up. Just type in your Etsy user name, choose a theme and, hey presto, you have a widget for your Etsy store. What makes it different from Etsy's own widget is that it also gives info on who hearts your store, previous sales and the feedback left by customers as well as what is for sale in your store. So with the click of a mouse button you have access to a store's basic information. Mine is on the right hand side of the blog here. It looks quite nice and I love that people can see recent feedback. Feedback is a great guide to the shopping experience with a seller. Now the question is whether it will generate any extra sales.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Challenge Gillian - July

Only three photos of my July art this time. I drew a little rabbit then gave it to someone without scanning it first. Doh! I did the same thing this week with a dotee doll for a swap. I was so busy trying to get the packet packed and sent out on time that I forgot to photograph it. Double doh! If this is what my mind is like at 37 I dread to think what I will be like at 67 or 87.

Anyway, the pictures are of a mouse called 'The Nibbler' (he sold quite quickly so I am pleased someone liked him so much as I wasn't sure about him), the elephant with no name (also sold) and a crested tit among the ivy.

Gothic art

I finally got round to finishing up my final piece from the Mixed Media Gothic Art workshop I mentioned last time. It is painted in acrylic and markers with collaged elements. The bats are a Sizzix die, the skull, crow and girl were all drawn by me and coloured with markers. I had great fun with this short course. This summer has been spent trying out new ideas and techniques for my art but most of it has been done by myself, without any guidance. But I have to admit that it is nice to have a course material to follow and videos to watch. The videos are a great help. You can actually see how lines are formed the artist and that makes a huge difference when you don't have confidence in your own mark making ability.

The mermaids are coming along too. At the moment though they have the shoulders of Olympic swimmers and the hands of boxers. I am going to have to work on giving them a little more grace and finesse. But I will post some pictures once they look a bit more like mermaids.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Skull skill

I signed up for an Art Trader online workshop a couple of weeks ago and have been having such fun. I started with the Gothic Art one and have been learning how to draw little goth girls and associated goth bits and pieces. The course covers how to draw basic features, bodies, how to put together a goth girl, clothing, themes... the list goes on but you can find out more by visiting this link.

Anyway, the goth scene often involves skulls so I thought I would put together a little tutorial on drawing zany skulls. Skulls are often seen as white, cream, grey or even black but my idea is to make skulls that are a little more, well, zany. I love colour and don't see why skulls should always been the same. So this idea just seems to be a little different. If you look at the photos you'll be able to follow along with the text.

In the first photo we have figure 1. - the starting point. Draw a letter 'C' lying on its face, i.e. lying with the open end of the letter facing downward. You can vary this shape to be long and thin or short and fat. In figure 2. half of a slightly rounded rectangle is added to the opening of the 'C', extending downward. That's not a very clear description but I hope you can see from the photo what you have to do. You can make this rectangle as long or as short as you like or even make it slightly more triangular like the two skulls beneath. Figure 3. shows the features that I added to mine. Eye sockets don't have to be round or equal in size. Just do whatever you fancy.

Now, this is just a basic skull (drawn with a rather shaky hand too - sorry) but what makes them zany is that you can either fill them with colour using acrylics, markers, coloured pencil, etc or draw them on patterned paper like scrapbook paper or paper you have painted yourself. I have included a photo of some that I have made using both techniques.

The last three photos are of skulls I made and used in some creations. The first is a collection of inchies, the second two are collages I did for the Gothic Art course.

By the way, I loved the Gothic Art course so much I signed up for the Whimsical Mermaid class this week ;o) Even if you don't want to take a class you might want to check out their FREE online magazine. It's brilliant, full of information on ATCs, journals, altered art and related techniques.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

All Hallows beads

I have listed new beads this week on Etsy along with some old reliables like the recycled map and vintage number beads. The new beads have a Halloween theme (surprise, surprise, I hear you say). Well, it is the 1st August and October is hurtling towards us at a great rate of knots. Time to start the Halloween crafting, me thinks. Lots of bright and pretty colours for these beads along with a set of darker, more mysterious ones. I also have some ideas for new rubber stamps with a Halloween theme so stay tuned for them in the coming weeks.