Thursday, 27 October 2016

Birds and a Squirrel

When I visit my dad, if the weather is fine we take a walk up to the community garden, he loves visiting the hens and ducks there. The first hen always makes me smile - I must look up the breed. I think it looks as if it's wearing trousers, and it hardly ever stands up enough for me to get a photo.
There are two ducks, three chickens (growing fast), and maybe about eight or so hens.

I was less pleased to see this squirrel on our garden wall the other day, but I think he was foiled by the squirrel-proof feeders and didn't make another appearance.

And a couple of birds on cards using stamps from Art Neko - I love the little Japonisme Owl. It was fun to turn it into a Christmas card!

I got the crane stamp because it reminded me of an embroidery I did which hangs on the wall downstairs - mine is an eagle, but still with that piney foliage.

Art  Neko stamps, Japonisme owl

Art Neko stamps, Crane Circle

I made another card a few weeks back with the little owl: there are a couple more photos and full details on the Art Neko blog HERE.

Art Neko Stamps, Art Neko, Japonisme Owl

Saturday, 15 October 2016

It's that time of year again...

and mushrooms and toadstools are springing up all over the place. C and I spotted these when we were walking to our respective bus and train the other morning.

And it has most certainly been this sort of weather this week! Unfortunately I wasn't always as well prepared for it as this; there was one morning I thought I was going to have stay on the bus for a few extra stops past where I normally get off - but thankfully by the time it got to me regular stop, the rain had eased enough that I thought I'd manage with no umbrella and very much the wrong shoes.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Pandas and Bamboos

I only have one single lonely panda stamp in my collection, and I was delighted to be able to get the Pandas and Moongates plate from Art Neko Stamps so that I now have a little troupe of pandas. I looked up the collective noun (inspired by Lorraine's educating me on the rout of snails) and found that a group of pandas is an embarrassment. How could a bunch of pandas be an embarrassment?? A bamboo of pandas sounds more promising, and inspired by that I am also picking out a couple of photos from our visit to a bamboo garden while in France this summer.

But first - here's my Panda card. I had already had to look up what Moon Gates were - a traditional feature in Chinese gardens. I'm more familiar with the Tori gate in Japanese gardens - there was one in the bamboo garden that we visited...

I stamped my panda on white card, and coloured the background and bamboo with Inktense pencils, then masked the panda and sponged in the background. I suppose I should have done a night sky and added a moon - perhaps next time.
I used old Cuttlebug Vintage Corner dies behind the image panel, and then a layer with a Spellbinders Fleur de Lis square embossed into it. The panda and decorative black panels are raised slightly from the base.

And here are some bamboos to provide a homely setting for him...When I finally get round to editing some more holiday photos, I'll provide a link to the site for the garden. We visited it on our way back north from Provence, as a way of doing something during the day and not simply driving for a full day. It was so peaceful and relaxing and we would go again and spend more time.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

September Favourites...

October 2015 was obviously not a good month for photographs - all I had to choose from for my header was a red Virginia creeper and swans on the Liffey - so here's a swan.

Neither was September this year a good month on the creative front, I have only a few favourites to post here.

Monday, 26 September 2016

So Many Books

and not enough time, so very true!

I received the Bookmarks and Sentiments set of stamps from Art Neko, and this is one of them.

I started out with a dictionary page - but by the time I had sprayed it with this and that it was almost totally invisible, so I used another piece of the page on the finished card.

Anyway, for starters I stuck the dictionary page to some card and gessoed it, then added some die-cut cogs. After that I used a mixture of homemade misters and some Brusho acrylic shimmer mists, with metallic rub-ons for the cogs-  Inka and some from Craft-T. I then used some chunky metallic embossing powder, and finally some dots of white acrylic paint. The panel is edged with black paint and Stickles, and I added two strands of Mizuhiki cord with knots.
The bookmark image was stamped on white card and coloured with pencils. I don't think the flowers are meant to be poppies, but they remind me of the multicoloured Iceland poppies so I chose those colours. I layered it onto another piece of the dictionary page, added some clock hands, and then decided it needed a couple of little butterflies in the bright flower colours.

Books - Poirot and Me by David Suchet is sitting on the shelf and I need to read it soon before I have to return it to the library!

Here's another utility box - I took the photo a couple of weeks ago and didn't get round to uploading it from my phone. The colours go well with the card. This mermaid hangs out along the River Liffey, down near the Samuel Beckett bridge.

Monday, 19 September 2016

France - part 11

Lavender land...

Our next outing was mostly just driving round the countryside enjoying the scenery. We took a long straight road east, along the southern edge of the Parc Naturel rĂ©gional de Luberon, and then drove up through the park taking a detour through Buoux (amazing natural rock climbing faces),  I think that the last few photos were taken in Bonnieux, but I can't remember for sure. Looking at the signpost in the third photo, it could also have Lourmarin.
 This is lavender land...It was the most hazy and overcast day we had in Provence (apart from the day we left), but it didn't really matter too much. We still really enjoyed the scenery and our occasional stops.

On our way back we took in a stop at a vineyard - the Domaine de La Citadelle. They had a most interesting corkscrew museum - whoever would have thought it possible for so many different patents to have been applied for and granted for various types. We also got to look round the winery and have a tasting - but since the car is already pretty full just with camping gear, we restricted our purchases to one single bottle of the wine we liked best, as a gift for somebody.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

France - part 10

Roussillon, the old ochre quarries. It was hard to get true colour in the photos - but it was certainly beautiful.

We hope that there will be a "next time" in Provence where we can visit a similar but less developed area called the Colorado of Provence. We got talking to a French couple at the end of our walk through the Roussillon quarries. Like us, they thought the time estimated for the longer walk was very much an over-estimate, and recommended Rustrel to us as a less developed and longer outing.

Roussillon  is where I bought my beautiful coloured pigments as shown in THIS post.