Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Summer at last!!

We've had the most gorgeous week, weatherwise! Since last wednesday it's been warm and sunny. One downside is that the birds now wake up very early and are very noisy!! We have several lots of birds nesting around our house, so the dawn chorus is very close at hand!! Talking of birds nesting, there is a family of hooded crows nesting in my next door neighbours chimney - which is just outside my back sitting-room. When the baby birds are hungry, we know all about it, and being inside the chimney, their shouting is amplified. It's wonderful watching the parent birds coming and going with various titbits to try and keep the chicks satisfied - a relentless task, from what I can see...

I don't know whether it's the sunshine, or because things are a lot calmer on the home front, but I've actually mangaged to make some art over the last few days. Unfortunately, I forgot to photograph a lot of it before I sent it off! Duh!
Anyway, the pictures at the top of this page are on the theme 'Beaches' and are for a swap for the Uk only ATC group I belong to.

The first one is a digital one, I've taken loads of pictures of our local beach just recently, and thought this swap would be the ideal opportunity to use some of them. I used a landscape of the beach and estuary, then overlaid a picture of a piece of rope edging from the jetty which I also took locally, I set the transparency level on this quite low so that the end result is more of a suggestion of the rope than an actual picture of it - you can still see the base photo through this one. Next, I added a photo of some dried seaweed, and one of my daughters footprints in the sand. Finally, I added a title - 'Leave only footprints'. I'm pretty new to digital art, but I'm finding it very rewarding. I love being able to manipulate photos which I've taken myself.

The second card is 'Beach huts', self-explanatory, really! I made the background using acrylics and kitchen paper - it's in gorgeous blues and greens with a hint of gold and copper. I then created the beach huts by using very simple shapes - a rectangle and a triangle for each one, to suggest the colour/stripes which I associate with beach huts, I used different coloured ribbons. Finally, I added a yellow balloon shaped eyelet and threaded some gold thread with a tiny fish and a piece of shell.

The last card, 'Beach paraphenalia', again uses the acrylic and kitchen paper background, the other images are made using peel-off stickers on funky foam - just some of the things that I associate with beaches! Notice the crab - right by the flip-flops. Much as I love the beach, one of my terrors is being nipped by a crab - irrational, no doubt, but no less the real for all that.

I finished a jewellery commission over the weekend, again I forgot to take any pictures, the commission was for a necklace and a matching bracelet. My customer wanted an in-line necklace, rather than one with a pendant, she also wanted the necklace to be made using thong, this posed a bit of a problem - the beads that I wanted to use - some beautiful pale pink, handmade glass beads, did not have a large enough hole to be able to thread the thong through. A bit of creative thinking, and I came up with the idea of using some craft wire, in a similar colour to the thong (a gorgeous dusky pink). I threaded the beads onto the craft wire, then attached a length of thong to each end of this central section - I was really pleased with the end result, as was my customer - within a short time of receiving the pieces, she ordered another set in a different colour. It's so nice to know that other people like the things I make enough to want to pay for them!

As I mentioned earlier, things are much calmer on the home front now, so much so that I even took it in my stride when my tumble dryer broke down! Anyone who knows me, will know what a huge thing it is for me to put washing outside to dry - actually, I don't mind hanging it out, but I hate bringing it in - I'm absolutely petrified of bugs and, for some reason, clean washing seems to attract a huge number of them!! My husband and I have come to an agreement - I'll hang the washing out, but he will bring it in and make sure it's completely bug-free!

At the moment, I'm on a quest to find pink seat covers for my car, I have pink dice and a pink fluffy steering wheel cover, but now I need the seat covers to go with them! I'm even thinking of having the car sprayed pink and having huge daisies painted on the side panels - well, if I have to have a car, (which I do!) then I might as well have a pretty one.

My cyber foster-daughter posted some pictures of her first attempts at ATC's on the UKS forym today - they are fantastic. One of them is a picture of her cat, Princess - it's a totally fabulous picture - it really sums up what cats are all about, and why we love them so much. She also made some really pretty christmas ATC's as well - I think it's fair to say that she's really got the ATC thing well sorted! I think I like being an adopted cyber-mum! Very rewarding!!

Another thing I've found time for recently, is reading - I can't remember the last time I actually read a book - I've dipped into lots of magazines etc, but I'm reading fiction at the moment - I'd forgotten quite how much I love reading...

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