I'm travelling into a new way of working, a new country, a new language, and a new hobby which I'm passionate about. Come with me for some of the journey...

Friday, 15 October 2021

Inktober Week 2

Hello all!  I'm dropping in for another Inktober update.  The last seven days have had their ups and downs, but I've managed to keep up the daily practice.  It's been a battle some days, and others the pen and paint have definitely been flowing with more ease.  See what you think...

Day 8

Day 9

Day 10

Day 11

Day 12

Day 13

Day 14

And once again, since the point of Inktober is really the drawing, here are a couple of process photos so you can see how they start out...


I continue to learn huge amounts as I go.  I think the drawings themselves are getting better (last year I was very dependent on the watercolours to rescue me from rather inadequate drawing skills), and I'm really starting to understand the value of proper darks.  

I hope you're all doing okay and are getting to enjoy some autumn sunshine.  It's pretty glorious here in the Czech Republic most days, and the leaves are just starting to turn from green to gold to red.

There's the odd grey day in between, but really not many of them.  It's chilly now though, and I'm starting to prepare the garden for what's forecast to be a long hard winter.  Stay safe, stay well, and I'll see you all again soon.

Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn.
Elizabeth Lawrence

I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.
From Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Friday, 8 October 2021

Inktober 2021 Week 1

Hello all.  Yes, I know, I've been shamefully neglecting Words and Pictures - I'm sorry!  Life is busy, and I'm afraid writing blogposts has been the thing which has dropped off the bottom of the to-do list.  But I'm tackling Inktober again this year, so I'm going to use that as a way to make my way back towards the blog.

Just like last year, I'm not following the official prompts.  I'm just using it as a way to get back in the swing of some daily drawing and painting practice... another thing which dropped off the radar - I've barely touched the watercolours since last October.

So I've been feeling a little rusty, but I'm back on the learning curve and enjoying the process.  So here are days one to seven.  I hope you like them...

And here are a few work-in-progress sequences, just so you can see a bit of the process...  Sometimes you get to see the middle stage, sometimes we're just going straight from the sketch to the end, because I wasn't stopping to take pictures half way!  (Remember you can always click to see the images in a larger size.)


I've been using a Sakrua Pigma Micron 05 pen in brown (except for day one when I used the wrong pen - all black and strong and way too much for me!!) and Daniel Smith watercolour paints in a Moleskine watercolour journal, which is cold pressed paper.

Thanks so much for stopping by, and I should be seeing you again soon (or at least not with as long a wait as we've just had here in complete silence!).  Hope you're all doing well and crafting creatively.  Have a great weekend, all.

Art is born of the observation and investigation of nature.
Marcus Tullius Cicero

Tuesday, 31 August 2021

Mica Moth

Hello all!  I know I haven't been around here much lately, but the Glimmer and Sparkle theme at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge was the perfect fit for my Mica Moth.  I succumbed to the new Mica Stains released by Ranger for Tim Holtz, and this was my first spritzing play with them, over a die-cut of the magnificent Perspective Moth... so it's definitely a Mica Moth.

I'm still not sure whether they work best with the moth complete or with the wings separated.

And I'm also undecided about whether they're entirely finished, but I do love them just as they are, so they'll be staying that way unless creative lightning strikes.

I had smooshed a couple of tags in some leftover Salvaged Patina ink and oxide on the craft mat, and the pair of them were sitting there when the Mica Stains arrived.  You can see the underlying turquoise tones of the Salvaged Patina best on the moth's body.

My original thought was to create a shimmering Moth die-cut, but I didn't want to waste the ink I was spritzing, so I laid the die-cut over the two tags to do my spraying.  And then it turned out I liked the background better than the moth itself!  I love that there are places where the moth's wings are really clear, and others where it's much more ghostly.

The Mica Stains in use are Hocus Pocus (the purple one), Bubbling Cauldron (the green one) and Empty Tomb (the dark greyish one), and I also spritzed some Stormy Sky Oxide into the mix.  (There may have been something else, but I don't know what... I was just having fun.)

Both text stamps are from Tim's Dapper stamp set.  The large Merchant Tailor advert is done in Archival Night Sky - lovely colour.

And the smaller text is stamped in Old Paper Oxide and then embossed with Speckled Egg Embossing Glaze.  Oh, and there are some torn scraps of script washi tape in the layers too.

I expect they'll get some twine through the top, and maybe a Quote Chip across the lower halves some day, but for now I'm really happy with my Mica Moth as he is...

... if I could only decide which way round to place the pair!

I hope you like them as much as I do.  The shimmer of the Mica Stains really can't be shared in still photographs so I'm hoping this ten second video will work to show you the fabulous glimmer and sparkle they give you.

You can see why they were perfect for the Glimmer and Sparkle theme at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge!

I hope you're all doing okay, and maybe enjoying some late summer sunshine (we can live in hope, right?).  Stay safe and I'll see you again soon.  There's lots of stuff to share here - I just have to find time to sit down and write some blogposts!  Happy crafting all.

Between our birth and death we may touch understanding, As a moth brushes a window with its wing.
Christopher Fry

... he was trying to create the spell that is ethereal and delicate as the dust on a moth's wing ...
from Jacob's Ladder by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I'd like to share these at the the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge for the Glimmer and Sparkle theme

Wednesday, 18 August 2021

Three times three times three

Hello all!  I'm delighted to be here today to share a project created for a Guest Designer spot at the Funkie Junkie Boutique Blog.  I was honoured that my journalling page for the wonderful Time challenge was chosen as their winner, and I'm honoured to be guest designing for them today.  The current theme is one that made my heart sing when I heard about it... Triple the Heat - not for the heat, but for the tripling!  I love working in threes and trios and triptyches, so here's what I came up with...

The host, Suzz, is using the number three as the inspiration (you can read all about it over at the Funkie Junkie Boutique Blog), and I've got lots and lots of threes going on here, not just the three ATCs themselves.

There are three different insects, courtesy of the Tim Holtz Collage Paper glued on to the ATC backgrounds (and lightly gessoed over to soften the look).

There are three different mediums involved in making these... texture crackle paste, paint and ink.  Soft washes of PaperArtsy Fresco Finish chalk paints in soft purple (Wisteria, Forget-me-not and Lavender) and vibrant green (Lawn) bring colour.

There are splatters of the paint colours as well as washes.  The Ranger Opaque Crackle Texture Paste obviously brings the texture.

And DecoArt Quinacridone Gold mixed with Payne's Grey to create one of Andy Skinner's "dirty washes" soak down into the crackles, followed by a quick burnishing with Sepia Archival ink for an extra rusty look.

The most obvious of the "three of a kind" elements are the lavender stems, one to each ATC.  I picked them from the garden, but since they were already going over, I used the same Fresco paints to give them a fresher look.

And each lavender stem is accompanied by two inky/painty green stems, cut with one of Tim Holtz's Wildflower Thinlits dies, so that makes a total of three stems per ATC.

There are also three additional decorative elements on each ATC... a strip of Design Tape, a strip of lace, and a postmark label, stamped in Leaf Green Archival (from the TH Field Notes stamp set) and cut out.

Finally, and for me just as important as all the rest, we have the words.

The phrases are each three words long (but of course!), chosen from the Tiny Text stamp set.

They're stamped again in Leaf Green Archival to coordinate with everything else going on.

So, that's about that.  Many, many threesomes all built in to a trio of ATCs.  I like each of them individually, but best of all for me is how they work as a set, with the composition shifting slightly as the eye moves from tiny artwork to tiny artwork.

I hope that gives you some additional inspiration for the Triple the Heat challenge theme.  The design team have, of course, offered up glorious projects for you too, and you can see them all, read the challenge details and join in over at the Funkie Junkie Boutique Challenge Blog.

Thanks so much to the team for inviting me to guest design with them this time around, and thanks to all of you for stopping by today.  I hope you're having a relaxing and enjoyable August.  Stay safe, and happy crafting all!

Three things cannot long be hidden - the sun, the moon, and the truth.