Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Bees Are Truly Busy...

While out walking Casey this morning, we noticed that the bees are really busy gathering pollen from the many flowering plants that line the cottage road.

I especially love this shot of a bee inside one of the hollyhock blossoms in our friend's cottage garden.

We also saw this Monarch butterfly, but it wouldn't cooperate and let me get a shot with wings spread.

I hope you are enjoying the many beautiful sights of summer where you are too!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Loons On Our Lake...

We are so lucky to be able to enjoy these beautiful birds!

Did you notice the baby on momma's back?
And a ruby throated humming bird.  

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Snail Came Through!

Dee and I were starting to worry because her June ATC from our Joanne Sharpe Facebook alumni swap group, The Queen's Sharpies, had not arrived (via snail mail) and it was nearing the end of July.  Well, I was thrilled when I found this treasure in my mailbox yesterday!

I guess that poor little snail was struggling under the added weight of that wonderful crown charm.   I so glad the little guy persevered!  The photo just doesn't do it justice...the wonderful texture and all of the meaningful layers.  Awesome job Dee!

Friday, July 26, 2013

StencilGirl Blog Hop and Giveaway

I'm so glad you've stopped by today for our StencilGirl Blog Hop and Giveaway!

Today I'm going to create my August art journal calendar page using a couple of my StencilGirl stencils, including this feature stencil called Crossed Rounds & Squares by Andrew Borloz .  I love this stencil because it's really six stencils in one!

I'm also using Rafters by Mary Beth Shaw.

I started out by using a pencil and ruler to create a grid on the page spread and then used random shapes from the Rafter's stencil to trace shapes with a permanent black pen which will be used as my journalling spaces.

You're probably noticing something very wrong right about now...sadly I didn't clue in until much later in the process.

I threw some colour on the spread using  turquoise and yellow acrylic paint.  When I do this I tend to just paint random patches of colour, overlapping and mixing the colours where they meet.
Using Andrew's stencil and a make-up sponge, I added some solid red circles here and there, followed by some of the crossed circles in a softer pink. I painted circles in varying sizes to bring out more of the turquoise and yellow. And then I added a few darker blue solid circles.

While the paint on the journal page was drying I grabbed a page of the newspaper and used a different part of Andrew's stencil to get some colour and texture over top of the newspaper text.

See what I mean...I've already used five of the six patterns available on this one stencil!

I liked the crossed square pattern on the newsprint so I added some of that to the journal page too.

Using a small paint brush I added yellow or red dots inside the crossed circles to create the centre of a flower.

I love re-purposing things, and this little spray bottle (originally a body spray) makes a great paint sprayer.  I diluted some liquid acrylic (in the darker blue I used earlier) to a milking consistency so that I could spray it through the nozzle (start with approx. equal parts paint/water and add water as needed until it sprays easily).  This was then generously sprayed onto the stenciled newspaper and left to dry.

While the newspaper dried, I picked up my black waterproof pen and started doodling on the page, creating flowers out of those crossed circles. Other lines and swirls were added to represent vines from which the flowers grew.

I added some Golden Acrylic Glazing Liquid to white paint to make it even more  transparent and started to paint in the shapes I had traced from the Rafters stencil.

Yes, this is when I finally clued in to the fact that I had way too many days in August.  Honestly, I don't know what I was thinking when I created the initial grid, but obviously I was far to focussed on playing with paint and stencils to pay attention!

Fortunately I was able to wipe off the extra white from that one shape that I shouldn't have painted!

Up until this month, I have always put the name of the month in that space in the top left of the page.  However, I decided I was going to have to make the letters bigger and put them in that huge extra space at the bottom (created by my silly mistake).

I first drew and cut out the letters from a plain piece of the newspaper to ensure they'd fit.  I then used those as my tracers when making the letters on the coloured newsprint text.

I painted matted gel medium onto the journal page, and the back of the newspaper letters to glue them to the page.

And here's the finished spread:

Have fun visiting all the other creative team members to see what they've done and for more chances to win in the giveaway!  Good Luck!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

July ATC Swap

My Friend Kathie came up with a wonderful idea for an ATC swap group on Facebook for the many of us who have become friends over the last couple of years while participating in Joanne Sharpe's many fun online classes.  We've just gotten started, and yesterday I received a wonderful package in the mail.

I've been going through a couple of really rough, stressful weeks, and Heidi's timing, stunning art and fabulous message couldn't have been timed better!  Thank you Heidi, I love them all.

If you look closely, even the address label matches the wonderful ATCs!

This is the back of all of the ATCs...a work of art in itself!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Puppy Dog Eyes...

Okay, she's actually 13 years old, but to me Casey will always be my puppy!  Inspired by Kim Klassen's prompt, like I need an excuse, I've been shooting Casey in various poses.  Notice the ears in the breeze...she sure loves her boat rides...

as evidenced by that wonderful smile as she relaxes on the back seat of the boat.

I just might be biased, but I think she's just the sweetest dog there is!

A Travelling Journal...

Thanks to Joanna Grant who started the project, I'm participating in the Great Canadian Travelling Art Journal project.  This art journal is making it's way to various artists all across Canada, each who is contributing a page to the completed journal.  Joanna created the journal using recycled greeting cards on which she started some of the backgrounds.  Each artist, in turn was then to choose a page and finish it as they saw fit.

Last week I met up with Norina, one of the other participants, who passed the journal on to me.

The timing is interesting as I feel I'm at a serious crossroad in my life and I'm considering a very important decision.  Even my fortune is telling me to trust my choice!

Kim, it's coming your way!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Heart Swirl Love...a journal cover tutorial

I'm so excited to have been invited to join the StencilGirl Creative Team!  Today I'm sharing a tutorial over on the StencilGirl Talk Blog on how I make a fun journal cover that slips over a standard sized composition book.  

I'll be featuring Margaret Applin's Heart Swirl stencil on the front of the cover, as well as using Trees by Mary Beth Shaw in the background. Don't you just love those wonderful swirls and spirals in that heart!

Here's a bit of a peek...I hope you'll drop by the StencilGirl blog to see more!