Monday, 19 June 2017

Newsletter


I can't remember if I mentioned it before, but I have a newsletter sign up at the top of my blog now. I am a little nervous about it. Not being one for asking for anything, I don't find it easy to ask people to sign up for things. I always figured people should be able to choose for themselves with me pointing things out. That makes running an online business a bit of a challenge though. With my new web site and shop I am having to expand the way I expose my work to folk - and it's scary!

So, here is my request:

If you would like to see product updates for art, beads and pretty much everything else I sell, photos for inspiration and even special offers that are reserved for newsletter subscribers then please click on the 'Newsletter sign up' link at the top of my blog. You will find it on the green strip below the big header picture. I won't bombard your email account with lots of emails, I promise. I expect to send updates out once a month at most and I won't sell or hand over your personal details to anyone else. It would be lovely to have a few more readers.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Another painted wooden pebble

A quick pic today - a hand painted wooden pebble with a British robin. It might be a bit early for Christmas themes but I have been making samples for Gina-B Silkworks' show next weekend and it is Christmas related. I think it inspired me to think of the robin.

Hand painted pebble with a robin

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Wooden pebble painting

The spring and early summer flowers are in full bloom in the garden at the moment - even if the sun has forgotten to show itself again. That is only to be expected in the Scottish spring/summer though - one day hot and sunny, the next cold and grey. The flowers inspired me to make a little 'thing' by hand painting some wooden pebbles that I found on Ebay. This type of folk flower reminds me of honeysuckle so I had to paint it in the colours of one of the honeysuckle plants that flowers in the garden during the summer.

hand painted wooden pebble

However, I started thinking about what else I could paint on a wooden pebble and figured some of my wildlife paintings might work well. The pebbles are about one and a quarter inches wide by one and a half inches tall so it's a small surface area to work on - though not as small as the wooden beads I painted previously (see here and here). But they work really well.

This is a little blue tit that I painted on one. I don't use acrylics very often but they actually work really well on wood.

blue tit on hand painted wooden pebble

Of course I could not leave out a badger from my painting experiments. Unsurprisingly this might be my favourite.

Hand painted badger pebble

Friday, 26 May 2017

Afternoon trip

We have been having some fabulous weather here this week. It may turn out to be the best weather of the whole summer - that tends to happen in Scotland. My sister and I took a trip to the local ford yesterday so Indy could enjoy a little splashing time in the river. The scenery was amazing. I live with it every day but it takes those times when I can leave work behind, get out of the house and into the wilds to see it's beauty up close.



Scottish Borders scenery






Morebattle, Scottish Borders





Scottish Borders scenery

Saturday, 20 May 2017

More hand painted wooden beads

I managed to get a few more wooden beads painted this week. More wildlife and more flowers. I have to say, it's a lovely change from the paper beads. It combines my love of beads with my love of animals and painting. What's not to love? Some of the flower beads are sold already but some of the wildlife beads are already listed in my new web store here.

Hand painted wooden beads with wildlife images

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Wooden wildlife beads

Something a little different from paper beads this week - hand painted wooden beads featuring some wildlife and nature. These are just prototypes but if all goes well - and my hands don't pay the price for all that tiny detail - I will try selling some. The small oval beads are just under 1.5 inches long and just over three quarters of an inch wide. They are officially the smallest canvas I have ever painted on. Tomorrow will be varnishing day. I just don't want to take a chance varnishing today if there is any doubt that anything is still wet.


Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Sample paper beads

I have been making some sample paper beads this week for a customer. She wanted beads with sea, sea-life and coastal themes and pointed me in the direction of some images that she liked. These are the beads I came up with. Definitely candidates for new bead designs so watch this space.

paper beads, sea life

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Journey journal

I took part in Linda Matthews' Creative Stitch Alchemy course recently. The idea was to make a mixed media mini journal using the theme of 'Journey' as a springboard for ideas. It uses fabric, lace, hand stitching, machine stitching, beads, sequins, rhinestones, whatever you fancy. I have always been inspired by India, the colours, the wildlife, the architecture. So I used it as my inspiration. I hand printed and hand dyed some of the fabrics and used leftover tatted pieces that I made some time ago. So it really is original to me. The finished journal is a bit bigger than the size suggested in the instructions but it allowed me to use pictures printed on fabric in mine. It was a really nice little course that allowed me to do something a bit different and I am really rather pleased with the finished journal.

Front cover: 


Inside pages: 




Back cover:


Friday, 7 April 2017

At long last - new old paper beads

Vintage word paper beads

Yes, I finally got them made. The Vintage Word paper beads that I used to make are now available in the new style. Being able to print them out instead of individually painting each one means the beads will all look similar and I won't have to worry about variation between sets. Hooray!

There is also another new set of Oriental themed paper beads - Oriental Flowers for the spring.

Oriental flower paper beads

Thursday, 23 March 2017

The perils of silk

Yes, working with silk has its drawbacks. On occasion it gets snagged on something and you lose 15 meters of thread in one fell swoop. This morning it was a pair of scissors that got tangled as I was releasing the lengths of thread to make a silk cord. It is definitely time for a break.



Friday, 17 March 2017

Spring flowers

I have been making samples for Gina-B Silkworks over the last few weeks. Spring is in the air and the bulbs in the garden are in bloom so I was definitely inspired by them. Ganutell (wire and thread work) seems to be very popular at the moment. Take a look at the images on search engines these days and it seem to have inspired lots of people. It is lovely to see that what was a dying art has become more mainstream.

Ganutell

Ganutell

Monday, 27 February 2017

Birds of a feather and a badger

At the start of the new year I wanted to promise myself that I would draw more this year. I did very little drawing or painting last year. None, in fact. This year (all two months of it) I have 'attempted' to do more. Not as much as I had hoped but something. It seems a shame to have a skill and not use it. So here are the first drawings of the year. I hope there will be more to come. I have a couple of small paintings on the drawing board at the moment too. The trick is finding time to get them finished.







Thursday, 16 February 2017

Just a little show and tell

Not much to report on the creative side this week. There has been lots of bead making, of course. Other than that, just a couple of new samples using buttons. A notepad made using grey board as the backing which I covered in K&Co papers and a glass nightlight holder made using ribbons and a bit of bling.







Thursday, 9 February 2017

Return of the faithful

The title refers to some paper beads I used to sell that were very popular. Each paper bead was hand painted and I had been having problems with the ink going on the paper. Every time I had to change brands of paper the ink behaved differently. So, in the name of reliability, I stopped selling them. For years I played with digital images in an effort to get the same effect. Sadly I never found the look I was searching for. However, by sheer fluke, I was playing around with a vintage style digital image, grabbed the colour controls in my photo processing programme and wiggled a few of them about. Within 30 seconds the perfect image appeared. I printed it out - just to make sure. Perfect indeed. Cue the re-emergence of the old beads. The first lot are the Oriental calligraphy beads - now called Vintage Chinese Calligraphy. The next lot will be the Vintage Word paper beads (I will post about them when they are finally available). I am so pleased. For years people have requested both sets of beads. Now I can offer them for sale again.

Vintage Chinese Calligraphy paper beads

Oriental Calligraphy paper beads