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Saturday, July 15, 2017

I’m building fairies again !!!

It’s that time again for Christmas ornaments. I know I know, it’s hard to hear that in the throws of summer, but for those who create it’s a busy time of year. We get our relief at Christmas while everyone else is tearing around getting their shopping done and planning the family functions. ;o)

So here’s what’s on my worktable now. It’s a good thing the Tour de France is on, I got all the fiddly bits out of the way. Here is what it involves to make 50 of my Shabby Rose Fairies, all their bits and pieces. Looks ominous, but the hard part is done and now the fun begins and all their cuteness comes together.

We start with body parts, all 250 of them, she says so calmly…..

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Every body needs a head, and there are 50 of those. ;o) So cute when they stack up like this….. This year I gave them all heart smiles, who can resist.

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Every head needs hair, not sure hairless fairies exist, do they??? Five different colours, wonder who will get which one….

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This year too, I made these little very faux perfume bottles for them to hold. So many sparkly bits….

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Once they are put together and have their little bottles in hand, they also need more bling and trims, as fairies are want to do….

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I can’t forget the main player in the Shabby Rose theme, the shabby roses… and there are a rainbow of colours for them as well, many more than what you see here. What will they choose with so many choices….oh my!!

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And the last little change this year, is that they will hang on the trees instead of hanging from cords. These are the pretty gold scrolling hangers, more shine to add to all the bling and colour. I’ll post pictures when they are all together and ready for their viewing. ;o))  Back soon…

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Saturday, July 1, 2017

Art on the Rocks- Book 4 Review

My favourite of the four, why?? Because it’s photographed so beautifully, is so well laid out and so full of, 35 in total, sweet projects to paint. Years ago when I was into decorative painting, thee were a couple of books about rock painting that were wildly popular. I’m glad to see it’s not an art that has died.

I really did go a bit crazy with pictures, but it does show how much I like this books. Pictures can often display far better what the message is, than when I try to find words.

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The pages of instructions are nicely laid out, and again the photography is perfect. Why I think that’s important is because there are a number of different things these artists used in creating this rock art and properly photographed tools makes life so much easier to know what to shop for. Two of the artists are in the US, the other is currently living in Italy.

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I really liked this page that shows the different rocks you can use and how to prep them for working on.

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By beautiful photography, this is what I mean. Look at this picture, I think this the prettiest page of the whole book. Aren’t these owls amazing, I can picture painting a bunch of them and the flower rocks below and displaying them in trees and other places around the yard. It just makes my brain fill with inspiration.

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And not only owls and flowers, but how about some fish and our feathered friends. A favourite anywhere are hummingbirds.

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And not to be left out, animals. You’re limited only in your imagination.

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Do you need paperweights.?? Wouldn’t these be great if you’re outside and working on something to do with paper and can display these as your paperweights. Your options know no limits.

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I love this project as well, I can visualize a bunch of these tucked into little spaces around the garden and a few of them in a bowl for decoration. On a table outside, you can use them for holding down a table cloth or napkins.

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So clearly this book has struck a nerve with me and has my muse working to contain my overflow of inspiration.

Going from front to back, there are pages of tools and materials, selecting and prepping rocks, techniques methods and tips. It explains in easy to understand terms from start to finish, how to create your rock art.

After the instructional pages, the book moves into the different categories of projects you can do. Step X Step details are well laid out and each step easy to understand. I don’t think there is much more I can tell you. Your own version of rock art will be whatever you want it to be, from easy and simple to lots of wonderful details.

This books guides you through those degrees of detail and you’ll probably get hooked. The artists who did the artwork for this book are:

F. Sehnaz Bac     Her Etsy store here.

Marisa Redondo  Her site here.

Margaret Vance  Her Etsy store here.

I hope you enjoy looking at these books and that something inspired you. Have a great weekend. ;o)

Friday, June 30, 2017

The Origami Garden- book review 3

This is my second favourite book of the four I received. This is what I look for in a good art book. The cover has to be artful and makes me want to explore further. Isn’t this a great cover. I’ve included a number of pictures, it was hard to choose because the photo’s are so good.

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There are so many wonderful projects in this book, 30 in all. The  origami pieces you’ll learn to make are in these categories, Seeds and Plants, Flowers, Fruit and Vegetables and Garden Life.

The directions and diagrams are well laid out and accompanied by very good photo’s. Also, a bonus… you also get a package of over 30 origami papers to work along with the instructions.

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Waterlillies

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The book starts with a little introduction, where Origami began, then moves to a Getting Started Section explaining the folds, origami symbols and diagrams. After that it goes right into how to create the different pieces. At the end there is a page of resources and acknowledgements.

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Pears. Not sure if it’s the colours and layout of this page, but it’s probably my favourite one. ;o)

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An example of how the instructions are laid out. Some projects are one page of instructions, others are two or more pages depending on the many parts. 

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I made a couple of samples from the book just to see if I could follow along and come away with success. I think the only time I ever did any Origami was in school and maybe one small thing since then, so no expert here. But this is how my projects worked out. I’ll be reviewing the last book in the next few days.  Enjoy ;o)

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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Cut & Create Paper Mosaics

This next book is about creating mosaic art with paper. I always try to be positive about books because a lot of work goes into research, writing and creating them. I was looking forward to this one because the cover is colourful and made me interested to see what more it offers.

As someone who reviews books occasionally, I have to be honest and give you my view of the book, and it is only my view. This is the first time I wasn’t that excited about a book once I received it and opened it up, but I will always try to find good and bad in each one to be objective.

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I am not a paper artist by any stretch, having only done a few small projects, but I’m always open to learning new things. When I open a book it has to grab me from the start or I just can’t go forward with it because I know I will struggle to get through it.

This book is more of a kit than a book. When you open it, there are two sides.

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One side contains the table of contents, one page of very short instructions, a page of tools and tips and then nine projects ranging from beginner to advanced, each project is over two pages. 

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This picture shows the number of pieces to cut from the papers, the pictures are on the left.

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The other side is a pocket that holds the templates, and papers to create the nine projects. The paper is good quality, the templates are clear, but I’m still confused. Look at that template. It would take me an entire weekend just to cut out the pieces and then hope I got it right. But now what.

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I really want to like this book but for me it’s a kit and for people who understand paper work, in this case mosaics. Even though there are three projects for beginners, it’s lacking in instructions that a beginner can easily follow along with. Anyone with more advanced skills in this type of art would probably have no problem creating these art pieces.

I think it would have been better if the author had taken one small project and shown step x step how to construct it. After that, the nine projects contained in here, would be much easier to do.

So my pro’s and con’s.

The pro’s - I like the way the kit is put together, the projects are nice, the paper is good quality and the templates are clear and printed well.

The con’s – there isn’t enough instruction for me personally to venture into trying to make these projects. Sadly it will be put on a shelf and wait until I find someone that works with paper and knows what to do with this.

Monday, June 19, 2017

drawing calm–a book review

Every now and then I receive books to review. Earlier this month I was sent four of them. This is the first one.

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The idea behind this book is to give you some exercises to do exactly as the cover states.  If you’re a creative person, you know there are times when you have a bit of a lag in your art OR on the flip side, you are so overwhelmed and have too many things you want to do. It happens to all of us and both situations can be very frustrating.

This book gives you exercises to do to help redirect your energy and bring you back to a calm place to recharge your creative batteries.

The first part of the book is called Warm-Up Exercises. Right from the start she made me think “hmm”, because she recommends “drawing your grocery list”. You’re going to draw with your pencils or whatever you use, pictures of things on your shopping list. Who would have thought.

The next chapter deals with “delight”. Delight in your work, draw, paint things that are delightful to your eye and that make you feel good. Throughout the chapters she guides you with suggestions on how to achieve the goals she lays out for you.

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Chapter 3 is about Quiet. I like peace and quiet when I work, so this chapter would be good for me. Quiet means different things to everyone who creates and this chapter and here the author encourages the reader to find that Quiet place that works for you, be it the medium you use, and create art that evokes stillness and quiet. I love this piece, and of course a blue theme again which is my go to colour. This piece is called Birch Tree by William Turner (1789 – 1862).

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There are nine chapters in this book. You will see a consistent theme throughout. Warmth is easy, it’s that warm and comfortable feeling that comes with certain art pieces through the palette. This chapter takes you through some exercise with the palette of warm colours.

Chapter 5 is about Harmony. Harmony being art that is complete. It’s art that has come together and has all the components that compliment each other. Ms. Evenson again takes the reader through an explanation of the chapter by showing how Harmony takes shape in whatever you use for your art, be it paper, paints, pencils or water colours.

The art below is called “A Small Cloud” by Arkhip Ivancvich Kuindzhi, a Russian painter from 1842-1910) The author refers to this painting as “simplicity of composition, with a palette that feels relaxing and quiet.”

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Chapter 6 is Calm, very simple to understand. The palettes that such as blue (again with my blue) is very calming. Have you ever looked at a painting that maybe makes you feel tense or just does nothing for you and then you see a painting in soft tones and simplistic images, how does that make you feel. That’s what this chapter goes through, she explains how art can come together to express that sense of calm through colour, order and content.

Chapter 7 discusses Light. There is beauty in light and dark. The author discusses how light, whether it be bright or dark or somewhere in between, can evoke a certain mood. This watercolour over pencil is “Woodland Scene, Paul Cezanne (1839-1906). It reminds me of a field wildflowers and that makes me happy.

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Chapter 8 is about Rhythm. I look at big tall birch trees in my neighbourhood on a windy day and I always think that they are laughing. They have delicate leaves that flutter in the wind as though enjoying something very funny amongst themselves. Art should be like that. It should have a rhythm to it and a lightness or a depth of light that is pleasing to your eye.

I listen to Spa channel music much of the time, it calms me and keeps me focused on what I’m doing and I have a diffuser and essential oils that envelope the room with whatever scents I want to enjoy, it’s amazing how much that can influence your art.

That’s what this chapter speaks to. How to bring your art together in a rhythmic way to create that calmness in your space. When your space becomes disorganized, does that confuse your mind. It does that to me. I generally will clean up after projects, put away what I’m not going to use again, then vacuum the room and wipe down my work table, then start again.

The last chapter of this book is about Maintaining the Calm. In this chapter there are references to how to stay focused and calm and a few more exercises to achieve that. For anyone who struggles to find that peace and quiet in their head in order to create, this is a great little book to accomplish that. Someone once told me they went to a secluded cabin with no amenities and it was there that she realized how much noise was in her head. She said having that experience helped her so much. If you create and struggle to find ways to get out of a slump, this would be a nice book for that.

There are exercises using a variety of mediums and she takes you step by step throughout to help you find that calm place you need to be in to find and be that artist you are, that maybe you didn’t realize you were. ;o) Enjoy. I will have more reviews coming up shortly.

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