Sunday, 4 December 2016

November Favourites

My favourite cards from November, which seems to have gone by in a bit of a blur - and yet I have found a good number of favourite cards!

I also got my own winter sampler piece made for my 12 x12" frame, as well as a Spring one for a gift.

Not many photos taken last December. I had to look back through the December 2014 archives for the photo of a wood duck on the canal. Unusually I had time to visit Phoenix Park last week (photos will follow), and was disappointed to see neither the wood duck nor even one single mandarin.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Lotus Blossom

A summer memory as winter hastens on apace - we've had several mornings with heavy frosts and an orange fog alert last weekend.

This card uses the Set of 9 Flowered ATC stamps from Art Neko. It's been coloured and sitting on my desk for a while, and I made a mess of the first background that I tried it out on. So today I simply used a stencil from TCW (it's meant to be a Navaho design, but I think it works for ripples) and misted with blue and gold sprays. The image itself is stamped on watercolour paper, heat embossed and coloured with Winsor & Newton watercolours. I finished it off with some large sequins to mimic the leaf shape (cut from a scrap of polished stone background mostly used for frogs) and some clear sequins and bling.

We had pancakes for dinner the other night - and one of them came out of the frying pan with a perfect little heart on it. We usually have them with freshly squeezed lemon juice and sugar, or warm maple syrup.

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Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Summer and Winter (and autumn...)

A couple of cards using Art Neko stamps - I just love this snowman with his pail full of stars. I'm still trying to create a card that matches the idea in my mind inspired by one of the Mary Poppins stories - this one was for a technique challenge on Splitcoast to fill in the background with black dots, but it comes close to it.  I also feel a re-read of the Mary Poppins books coming on if I can find time.  I think the second one might be my favourite in the series but it's time to refresh my memory. I know I already shared this card in my October favourites, but I thought I'd tuck him in again into this post.

And I went for a summery feel with this sweet little mouse sleeping on a bed of strawberry leaves. It was the little teddy-bear tucked under the quilt beside the mouse that really got me here - and the nightcap!

I did a photo-tutorial for the pillow top background a couple of years ago - here it is:

And a couple of autumn photos. The tree with berries was growing in the community garden in Midleton, I was struck by the deep contrast between the glowing berries in the sun and the shaded part of the tree It almost looked like two different trees. The leaves were hard to capture as they were swirling in the wind; I spotted them on Sunday morning as I walked back from collecting a delivery of wool which was waiting for me in ParcelMotel.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

A miscellany

I spotted this utility box art a couple of weeks ago, and have been waiting ever since for a day when there was enough time between an earlier bus on a different route and my own bus for me to get off and take a photo, then get onto my own bus. Yesterday was the day. This one is called Deer Dance.

The next two photos were both taken around work. I'm assuming the black and white one is done using some sort of stencil or mask - to great effect.

And the other few photos were taken the last time I went to visit my dad, walking down the Liffey from Docklands station to get the coach. The Jeannie Johnston is now temporarily closed for refurbishment, but I'd certainly like to visit it when it opens again...the lion and the unicorn are on the Customs House. I did take a couple more photos of the Jeannie Johnston but they're not sharp enough to be worth uploading. There'll be more opportunities.

I'm not sure what those fittings are called that the boats used to tie up to. Seeing them and the bollards brought back memories of when we used to visit and walk along the quays as children when there was still a fair amount of shipping moored along there, including the Guinness boats.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

October Favourites...

I had to go back to November 2014 to find a header photo for this month. Not much happened last November in terms of photos, apart from a visit to St. Catherine's we have a mandarin drake in Phoenix Park.

And a few favourite Printy the Snowman. And I love the bottom snowman. He is from Art Neko, but he's not one of my design team stamps, I loved him so much that I bought him myself, so that I could use him as much as I liked with stamps from other companies. With his pail full of stars, he reminded me straight away of the chapter in Mary Poppins when Mary and Mrs Corry take the gold paper stars that the children saves from their gingerbread and pasted them into the sky.

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.