Welcome to my creative online journal

Wednesday 30 May 2012

Secret Painting Ingredient

The weather this afternoon here was absolutely lovely, perfect for going out in the garden and painting some journal page backgrounds.

I started off trying some watercolour with salt experiments.  I had three different types of salt and discovered that the 'Saxa Coarse Sea Salt' gave me the best results (below right, purple).  The other two I tried didn't give me a very satisfactory pattern so I started to paint random colours over them.  Then I thought, what else could I try that might react with the watercolour paint?

Into the laundry cupboard I went and found this:
...which, to my delight, gave a great resist effect, together with a very ponky flowery smell!

Incidently, I love this Pelikan paint palette, the colours go on bright and stay bright, even when they've dried:

You just can't beat crafting outside on a lovely sunshiny day! ☺

Thanks for looking and for any comments,

Saturday 26 May 2012

Shoe Dilemma

Isn't this shoe-cake picture fab?   I can't work out whether these are cakes looking like shoes or shoes looking like cakes?!  I found this picture posted on my Facebook page with no credit (or english language comments) given.  If you know, please let us know in the comments below.

Which brings me on to a page about shoes that I have made in my filofax journal:
And my story about my shoes is...  I haven't got lots of funds and pairs of shoes to go at like some people so when I go to a shoe shop I tend to head for the sale shoes.  I don't know quite how I manage it but often I go and find that its the tail end of the sale and I'm left with the ones that no-one else wants.  I still like them (& their price!) enough to buy them but then I am left wondering, 'What's wrong with them?' 'Why didn't anyone else want them?' (It's possible that they were just considered 'too sensible?' - I am, after all, no longer a spring chicken). 

Which is basically what this page is about.  The shoe pictures I've used weren't real rejects, they were from a book of shoes designed by Beth Levine, a famous american shoe designer.

I have to admit I do prefer looking at the more interesting, colourful and quirky designs (like these I showed you a few months ago from River Island):
..but then reality sets in... (sigh!)

It's time to go out and enjoy the sunshine,

Wednesday 23 May 2012

1,2,3 Smile...and Zap!

On this second day of glorious non-stop sunshine I should have been outside enjoying it, but what was I doing instead?...  Sitting inside exploring Photoshop!  We have a free trial version of Photoshop Elements 10 and I have got to have it when the trial is over, its fab!

In the demo for the trial version they show this clever technique which I simply had to have a go at.  It is removing unwanted people from your photo.

This was the before:
See all those pesky people in the background spoiling our beautiful family shot? (Taken by my mother-in-law a few years ago) 

What I needed to do was Zap 'em:
...And there they are, gone! :)
In my life I have hardly ever used Photoshop but with a combination of instructions (here are some, though these aren't the one I used) found on the internet and the PS Help pages I worked out how to do it.   For this picture I also used the clone tool to recreate the background.  It's not perfect but if I do say so myself, not bad for a first attempt. 

I'm looking forward to zapping lots of other unwanted people from my enormous collection of photos.

Thanks for looking today and for any comments,

Sunday 20 May 2012

Be an Individual

At a new monthly craft group I've started to go to, I made another couple of pages for my filofax art  journal.  Every page is so different from every other, very individual, and that just happens to be the theme for this first page I made and have to show you:

"Remember always that you have not only the right to be an individual you have an obligation to be one." A quote by Eleanor Roosevelt.

I do believe this to be true, it is so easy to follow the crowd, conform and fit in with what everyone else is doing.  It takes a bit more out of yourself to break out of the mould (not that I do break out very often, which is why I need this reminder).   

The page was created with a combination of paints, watercolour crayons and a red permanent marker.

For this second page I decided to do my quote with some freehand lettering:
(The letters are all the same colour, but the daylight photo makes some of them look paler) 

And this is another good quote that I can relate to! 

Both pages made on the same night but so very different!

Thanks for stopping by today and for any comments,

Wednesday 16 May 2012

Jubilee Outfit

(This is a favourite of mine - an artsy photo post)

With the Queen's diamond jubilee celebrations approaching, now may be the time to start thinking about what outfit you are going to wear for the party.

I spotted these in a local shop in town:

loving the transparent reflections..

..and the writing from some buildings opposite

These outfits are a bit over the top though, will anybody be wearing them? 

...and for the ladies:

Sometimes shop window dummies can look that little bit too spooky!

(Iphone pics with photo effects from PicMonkey)

Thanks for looking today,

Monday 14 May 2012

Yay! Sunshine at long last!

Just a quick note to say I have added a family activity on the 'Family' tab (found under the 'Creative Flourishes' blog header) or click here

* * * * * * *

Edited to add:
Something I made but haven't yet shown you is this:
It's simply made from a plastic cereal container and a plastic bag.  Just one of the many ideas that I have spotted on Pinterest.  Link to the original neater one here.

Thanks for looking today,

Friday 11 May 2012

2 Cool 4 School?

I made something for my eldest boy tonight which he hasn't seen yet so I'm not sure whether he's going to like and/or use it.  It is this:
A grungy folder for putting his homework in (click picture to enlarge)

I didn't intend to make it quite this grungy and started to stamp things like his name on but then I thought to myself 'he is twelve years old and at High School, he's not going to want his friends to see something his mother has made with his name on!' (lol)   This way I can get away with pretending the whole thing was shop bought (er, maybe!...)

Most of these stamps are from the Tim Holtz stamp set that I got back in February.  I stamped them with Stazon onto a clear popper folder and multi-layered them for that extra grunge factor. 
 Because the stamping was on clear plastic, if I put something on I didn't want (such as his name!), I was able to use the Stazon cleaner to wipe it off.

I made it for him because he keeps putting his homework straight into his backpack and it gets creased.  This folder will have a piece of cardboard in the back to strengthen it.  Hopefully, it will mean no more crumpled homework! 

That is if he likes it, if he doesn't I will be more than happy to make use of it.

Thanks for looking today,

Update: He liked it but wasn't confident enough to use it - 'all his friends have got clear ones'.  Our other son has got it instead!

Sunday 6 May 2012

Fun has no age limit!

I loved finding this fun picture of distant relatives amongst the collection of photos I have inherited! Admitedly I didn't find it quite like this (although the wide smiles were all genuine!) I photocopied the original then added the colour, hats and the banner.

It was perfect for another page of my filofax journal:
The handwriting in the middle was on the back of the photo, written by my (late) Mother. (Can't believe I really had an Auntie Fanny! ;) )

It's a really fun picture to find though, not sure if they were celebrating a birthday or whether they were just celebrating the visit from Canada of Aunty Florrie.  This Aunt Florrie (sitting at the front in pink) looks like the only serious one amongst them, maybe she hadn't had as much sherry as the rest!  There is even a laughing 'Toby Jug' on the right hand side joining in with them.  The picture dates from the 1950's or maybe early 1960s.

I made the page because I sometimes get these grumpy/happy mood swings and I wonder as I get older, is this all I've got to look forward to? 

The hats and banner were made from some new washi tape that a brand new shop in town has started to stock (yay, a local supplier of washi tape!)

These will do for starters!....

The 'Masking Sticker Set' is like washi tape in playing card size.  Its already cut into circles and strips, as in stickers.  These were the fun designs, some of which I used on the photo:

Enjoy your Bank Holiday Weekend, those of you in the UK,
we will be off  round the country visiting relatives.

Thanks for looking,

Thursday 3 May 2012

It's Rubbish!

How much fun can you have with a piece of rubbish...

...and a fun photo program like PicMonkey, one of the substitute websites for Picnik?

Can you recognise what's under all those effects?  
It is, of course, a squashed can of Cherry Coca-Cola.

Apologies for the fact that it's not completely in focus but that is because it is a scanned can and the scanner only picks up the very flatest parts of the can.

But it still works as a great graphic image:

of both the front of the can and the back:
...with not a messy paint brush in sight!

Picnik? What's that?...

Thanks for looking today and for any comments,

Take Note Journal Page

Tonight I've done a craft with an important message - for myself and others.  It's another page in my filofax journal which I've called 'Relief':
About six weeks ago I started to get some health symptoms of a 'delicate nature' and I don't know about you, but I was (silly, I know!) embarassed to go and see a doctor about them.  I kept putting it off and putting it off and kind of hoping that they would go away by themselves (which would save me the 'embarassment').  Well they didn't and the other night I lay in bed not being able to sleep because I was  worrying myself so much that what I had was something serious.  I vowed to ring the doctors and book an appointment for the very next day which at least meant I could finally get to sleep.  I did ring but they put me off until the next day.  This could, if I had let it, have given me another excuse not to have to 'face my fear' of finding out exactly what was wrong.  
Well, as you can see by the journal page, I went (today) to see the doctor and what I have is not serious, it is something that will cure itself, yay!  The doctor even admitted that she had had the same problem herself a while back.  I was so relieved about mine, I virtually skipped out of the surgery! 

But what it did make me realise is that I mustn't just shove important things like this to the back of my mind, I should face them head on...And that goes for all those so called 'nasty/embarassing' medical tests that we would rather not go through.   Next to go on this list for me will be the dentist, I haven't seen him for quite a while....!

* * * * *

On a totally different note, I thought the stationery addicts amongst you (& me!) might like to get yourself some of these:

Eraseable Sticky notes.  They are quite expensive at £5.99 for 50 but they are on offer in Ryman's (this week only) on Buy One Get One Free.  (This isn't a sponsored promotion, I just thought some of you might like them, I got some today to celebrate my good health!) ☺

Thanks for looking and for any comments,

Tuesday 1 May 2012

Explore, Dream, Discover

Quick post tonight, with just the one image:

My eldest son is obsessed with all things dolphin and to a lesser degree, whales, at the moment . Every school project has to mention one or has a drawing of one and even the project he chose to do in his needlework lesson was a crafty stuffed dolphin.  (I do seem to remember I had a similar obsession with horses around his age!)   Incidently, this one he made was quite interesting because it had a cool 'Love' tattoo stitched on its side.

So this little project was a mini poster that I created for him using a white paint marker and colouring pens.  It was a bit tricky to draw the dolphin as I was using white ink on white paper but it was fun having it re-appear when the blue colours were added.   The wonky words were created using a 'John Bull' style stamping set which is why they are not as straight as they could have been!  Last minute 'finishing touches' were added using PicMonkey.

Thanks for stopping by today,
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