Monday, 31 August 2009

Well, I've been playing around with some new backgrounds for my blog this afternoon - my sister, Lindsay Mason, just added a lovely one to hers, so I didn't want to be outdone!  I finally settled on this one, in one of my favourite (turquoise) colours.  I think it looks ok and it's in a style that I like - I love anything vintagey, distressed, faded or collaged.

I haven't had much time to do anything "arty/crafty" today, apart from print off a couple of sheets with a list of those artists taking part in the Dream journal and a description of the dreamcatcher legend.  I was hoping to get a lot more done today, but hey, some days are like that - you feel like you're running on the spot and not getting very far.  It's also our wedding anniversary today (I won't say how many years it's been!!!!), we generally don't make a big "thing" of it, but it's going to be a couple of good steaks and a bottle of wine for us tonight to celebrate.  Sooo ..... time to get going and pepper those steaks, we have them with a delicious creamy mushroom/onion sauce - I know, I know - not very healthy!!! - but it's a special treat, so never mind, eh?!

Sunday, 30 August 2009

I feel like I've had quite a productive day, artwise anyway.  One of my current passions is for creating journals, chunky books and tag books - with the bigger space to work on, there's more room to play around and add more stuff (I'm a big fan of lots of embellishments and fibres!).  Anyway, I'm participating in a Journal of Dreams round robin - there are 16 of us, scattered around the globe ..... USA, Canada, Australia .... and just me here in the UK.  We have to have them ready to go postal on 11th September, most of the artists have already posted pics of what they've done in their journals (we each have to make front and back covers, an intro and then our own "dream" page) and there're some beautiful pages.  I've been panicking for a few weeks really, I just couldn't decide what I wanted to do for my journal and could see the time slipping by too fast!

Well, I finally got inspired after discovering a pair of earrings I've had tucked away at the bottom of my jewellery box - they're miniature dreamcatchers and I've never worn them because they were just too long for my "short" neck (!).  So today I've been busy making a start on my front cover - I've had great fun with decorative papers, stamps, images and Twinkling H2O's.  I've cut a hole in the journal where the dreamcatcher will sit and I've been embossing letters with UTEE as well.  Still got a fair bit of work to do and I've not started my own "dream" page yet, but I promise I'll post some pics when the cover is finished.

In the meantime, as I've had requests to see some of my atcs, I thought I'd post some pictures of atc tags I made recently for a swap entitled Amour et Romance.  We had to decorate both sides of each tag and use a French romantic phrase on each one.  I was quite pleased with the way they turned out and can't wait to see the finished tag book when it's "swapped out".
The pics show the front and back of each tag that I made - there were five tags in total - and we also had to send a mixture of fibres/ribbons and charms, which Ali (the hostess) will add to the completed books.  I think they're going to look lovely and very romantic when they're all
made up.
It's been a pretty gloomy, overcast day today - you know the sort, it never really gets light.  I was in the kitchen making dinner and the heavens had opened - the rain was just coming straight down, very heavy, but above the rain I could hear the sound of birds so I looked out the back door.  There's a big tree in one of our neighbour's gardens and it's a popular roosting spot - sure enough, all the starlings were gathering to roost.  More and more birds were gathering on the tree, the noise was deafening, then - all of a sudden - at some secret signal, the whole roost took flight and silence descended.  It always fascinates me.  I managed to take a photo of all the starlings as they flew away and was left with the feeling that summer is really drawing to a close.

Friday, 28 August 2009

What a Night !

Well, there was I, it's gone past midnight and I'm thinking what am I going to post on my blog, nothing very exciting happening here, when - BANG!!! followed by the sound of screeching tyres - and I look out the upstairs window to see a large black car careering round the side of our house and screaming its way at top speed up the road!  Son (Max) and I dash out of the house and sure enough, it had hit our car ..... there was a young fellow and two young teenage girls in the street too, they'd witnessed the car coming down the street (it apparently took out a wheelie bin somewhere along the way too - the lid is propped up against the side of the road) .... the guy even took off in his car to see if he could give chase, but without success.

So ..... it was a '999' call and a visit from the police to see what had happened.  The car left a bit of itself behind (a bit of bumper) so the police know it's an XJ6 Jaguar, have had patrols out hunting for it but I don't hold out much hope that anyone will get caught .... who knows if it was joyriders, a stolen car or a drunk at the wheel?  Only know the damage is enough to make the old car a "write off" so looks like we'll be out buying a new car sooner than we expected now .... can't do anything though till the insurance assessor has been on Wednesday.  You can see from the pic what the damage was .... it completely shunted the back wheel into the bodywork ..... the policeman said no wonder, Jags are built like tanks!
Anyway, no use worrying any more about it .... didn't get much sleep last night over it, but there you go .... enough! Onto pleasanter things ..... 
I promised some pics of my work so here is one of a beaded wall hanging that I created a while back to celebrate the life of one of our cats, Spike, who we had sadly lost.  I graphed out the design for his face using a photo for reference and Delica beads in peyote stitch to create a smooth texture with lots of detail.  The background was created in netting and embellished with an assortment of beaded flowers, leaves and tendrils - I didn't have any plan with this, I just kept on adding elements until I was happy with the finished piece.  It's a very special piece for me and now hangs in its own glass case in my house.

Thank you so much to everyone who has left such lovely comments already after my first posting, they are all much appreciated.  As you can see, I'm still playing around with the look of the blog and adding bits and pieces to it. 

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

My First Blog Entry

Well, it's took me a long while but after being encouraged by everyone (mainly my sister!) I've finally created some kind of blog - I don't know that I've really got the hang of this yet, but here goes - bear with me, I'll probably need to do a lot of tweaking to the page before I'm happy with it, but at least it's HERE!

I've been creating jewellery and other beaded pieces for about ten years now and over the years have had some of my designs featured in magazines.  Now I'm about to be published with my own book, a Bead MasterCraft book, which features all sorts of projects (not just jewellery) using beads - the book is one of a series (my sister, Lindsay Mason, has authored the one on Stamping) and you can view details of them by visiting - the books will be available in craft shops or from Magmaker direct very soon.

I've been spending a lot of my free time lately creating artist trading cards and other "altered art/mixed media" pieces, mostly for swaps both in the UK and internationally.  I've received some wonderful artwork in return from fellow artists around the world.  I'm taking part in quite a few journal/chunky book round robin swaps at the moment too and I especially love these because it's so exciting to see what your own book looks like when it comes home to you again and to see what everyone else has done with it.  Well, I'm not sure yet if I've figured out how to add pics to my posts ...... if not now, I'll be sure to add some photos of my work soon as I can.