Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Tag Tuesday

Another week has sped by and it's Tuesday, and time for our tags again. This week the theme is 'Mermaids and Water Babies'. This made me think of one of my fave poems from the time before I went to school, 'The Forsaken Merman' by Matthew Arnold. I was often at my Aunt's, and she was always willing to read this epic poem to me, over which I always cried copiously, and then begged her to read it again....Time seems to change tastes! It tells the sad tale of a merman who marries a human, and then she deserts him, and goes back to her world, with the little church on the shore, and leaves her children and husband sad and lonely...

Come, dear children, let us away;
Down and away below!
Now my brothers call from the bay,
Now the great winds shoreward blow,
Now the salt tides seaward flow;
Now the wild white horses play,
Champ and chafe and toss in the spray.
Children dear, let us away!
This way, this way! ....
Children dear, was it yesterday
(Call yet once) that she went away?
Once she sate with you and me,
On a red gold throne in the heart of the sea,
And the youngest sate on her knee.
She comb'd its bright hair, and she tended it well,
When down swung the sound of a far-off bell.
She sigh'd, she look'd up through the clear green sea;
She said: "I must go, to my kinsfolk pray
In the little grey church on the shore to-day.
'T will be Easter-time in the world—ah me!
And I lose my poor soul, Merman! here with thee."
I said: "Go up, dear heart, through the waves;
Say thy prayer, and come back to the kind sea-caves!"
She smiled, she went up through the surf in the bay.
Children dear, was it yesterday?....

Okay, I won't bore you with the whole story, just say, it doesn't have a happy end - sob, sob! If you want to read more you can do so here.
For my tag I chose a painting from an Art Nouveau painter Howard Pyle.  (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons) I have mounted the image onto some turquoise cardstock, and added some simple embellishments, which I think fit well to the picture. The picture shows a mermaid rescuing a shipwrecked man from drowning.  The theme shows opposing forces in nature; strong versus weak, land versus sea,  human versus mermaid etc. The painter died before he could complete the painting, but I still like it!

Have a lovely day, take care, and thanks for visiting!

Monday, 30 July 2012

Mail Art ready to send

Another week has begun, and I hope to get a bit of shopping and perhaps a tiny bit of h****work done today. Yesterday I spent a lot of time doing nothing, but I did manage to  get a large mail art envelope done for my neighbours, who are in the north of Germany just now. The background has been painted with water-colours, and then I stamped the houses, the sun and the trees, and used some  prismalo pencils and cut outs to add details. The address has been written on a cloud, I just pixelled it here. It was fun to do something different and summery.

So that's all for today! Have a good day, take care, and thanks for dropping in!

Sunday, 29 July 2012


Hi you all! Hope you are enjoying your weekend! I spent my time yesterday doing some odds and ends for challenges. The first piece is for the Challenge at Out of  a Hat Creations, where the theme this week is sewing. This is something rather difficult for me, as I can't see to thread the needle, but fortunately my sewing machine was loaded. The image has been printed onto canvas, and sewn on with the machine, which was not behaving well, and kept sticking. I then put some lace at top and bottom, sewed a button on - by hand! - and added a tassel made of string and beads. This is the second little bag I have made, and I still have one more to decorate, just not today!

The second piece is a tag made for the 'Renaissance Men' Challenge at Frilly and Funkie Blogspot. I have chosen an Image from Leonardo da Vinci. The stamp is from Lost coast designs. The background tags - one over the other - have been distressed and stamped. I added some lace, some sequin flowers and a string and ribbon tie. I am also entering it into the 'hey girl' challenge at Simon Says.

That's all for today. Have a good Sunday, take care, and thanks for visiting!

Friday, 27 July 2012

Whitechapel to India and back in one day

Hi everybody, welcome to another edition of Paint Party Friday, hosted by Eva and Kristin, and Darcy's Postcard Challenge, where our participants are off to India.

It’s less than 2 weeks to the wedding now, and tempers are definitely getting rather frayed, to say the least. The ‘oldies’ are happy that Shannon and Jason are going out for the day. Jason has told them that they are ‘off to India’ for a day. ’Don’t be stupid’ they shout in chorus.'It's much too far!' ‘Yes, we are’ laugh Jason and Shannon. ‘Well, actually we’re going to Brent. A friend of Shannon’s is tourist guide at the Neasden Temple, and we’re getting a guided tour, and then we’re going to a posh Indian restaurant!’ And with that, they wave goodbye and go.
They take the tube from Aldgate East Station - next to the wonderful Whitechapel Art Gallery -
and after changing to the Bakerloo Line at Paddington, take a tube to  Stonebridge Park Station, and then walk along Conduit Way, hand in hand, to the Temple, which is called the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir.

(Temple photos courtesy of Wikipedia Commons)

 Their friend Abha –her lovely name means ‘lustrous beauty’- is waiting for them, dressed in a gorgeous Sari. Shannon sees Jason looking at her a few seconds longer than necessary, and gives him a discreet kick on his ankle, which causes his eyes to water, when Abha turns to point something out to them….At the visitor’s centre they see lots of photos and a film about the building of the Temple, built entirely using traditional methods and materials. Neasden’s Swaminarayan Mandir is Britain’s first authentic Hindu temple. It was also Europe’s first traditional Hindu stone temple, as distinct from converted secular buildings. It is a part of the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha(BAPS) organization and was inaugurated on August 20, 1995 by Pramukh Swami Maharaj. The mandir was built and funded entirely by the Hindu community. The entire project spanned five years although the Mandir construction itself was completed in two and a half years. Building work began in August 1992. On 24 November 1992, the temple recorded the biggest-ever concrete-pour in the UK, when 4,500 tons was put down in 24 hours to create a foundation mat 6 ft (1.8m) thick. The first stone was laid in June 1993; two years later, the building was complete. Angkor Wat in Cambodia is larger but is no longer used as a Hindu temple. It has even been entered into the Guiness World Records as the largest Hindu Temple built outside India.

After touring the different buildings, and admiring the beauty of the temple, they go with Abha to the Shayona restaurant opposite the Temple. The ambience is a trifle more swishy than their usual chippie, and they enjoy enormous amounts of delicious Indian foods from the well stocked Gujarati buffet. After they have eaten and drunk their fill – probably enough to feed and water a herd of hungry elephants – they take leave of Abha. Shannon snarls into Jason’s ear, ‘Don’t dare to kiss her goodbye!’, and so Jason just shakes hands, and they walk off to the tube. The time spent in the tube is great for catching up on some snogging, much to the delight of some kids sitting opposite, and they arrive home in time for a light meal consisting of mounds of smoked sandwiches, Greek salad with feta cheese, strawberries and ice cream and a variety of cream cakes. Here is the card they send home, showing Abha in front of the Temple:

For Paint Party Friday I want to share some journal pages I made using collage, paint, spray etc. Everytime I got something done, I painted over it and started again, but have decided to leave them as they are now, as I am sure they would not be able to take another layer!

These pages were from the week before, and were also not what I wanted, but sometimes you win, sometimes you lose!

Have a great day you all, thanks for visiting and take care!

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Altered Notebook

Hi you all! It was warm and sunny again yesterday, three days in a row must be a record in this summer!
This is a little notebook I altered last week. I cut some of this beautiful, crinkly bronze metallic paper to fit the front, and went round the edges with some embossing paste in bronze metallic. The embroidery on the front was originally on an old t-shirt which went to the big washing line in the sky many moons ago, but I couldn't bear to throw the ornament away. So now it has a new lease of life as a notebook cover! The notebook was a cheap hard-cover one from the euro € shop.

 I'll be back tomorrow with the latest adventures of Auntie Cissie, Jason & Co. Have a great day, take care, and thanks a lot for visiting!

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Note Boxes

Well, the sun shone yesterday all day long, probably trying to make up for lost time!  It looks like it will be the same today!
I made these note boxes last week. Here in Germany, it is custom to take a *Mitbringsel* - a little present if you visit someone, and I thought these little boxes with stamped notes would do the job. I have tried to use cardstock and notes in coordinating colours. I have put about 100 notes in each box, and have stamped the top 20 or so. The tutorial for the box can be found here. I have taken 2 pics of each box, one from the front, and one from above. (Hmm, just in case you didn't fathom it out for yourself!)

Hope you all have a good day, and hope the sun is shining for you, too! Take care, and thanks for dropping in!

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Tag Tuesday and more Happy Mail

Hi you all! Now, you won't believe this, but we had nice weather all day yesterday, with real sunshine, no rain, and a summery feeling. It should be really warm the rest of the week, too, although it will probably be getting humid and stormy again. Oh well, we just have to enjoy it while it lasts!

At Tag Tuesday our theme this week is rock-pools and beach finds. I found the photo, which I have used for the background of this tag, on Wikipedia. I mounted onto a piece of turquoise card, and then went to town decorating it. I added the sea weed on the right, and the shell cut outs at the bottom and left. The clam shell has been rolled round a pencil to make it curve, and been given a pearl heart. In on of the shells a tiny mermaid has taken refuge. Then I added some glass glitter for sand, a shell, a crab and a skull which has some fibres floating out of it. Perhaps I should have stopped there, but I added the fibre bow, the plant diecuts, a little glass bird - looking for fish? and some beads from an old earring. The line on the side says, 'Full fathoms five thy father lies', the first line from Ariel's Speech in the Tempest:

Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes;
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell:
Hark! Now I hear them
Ding-dong, bell.

Sorry, this photo is a bit out of focus....

I had fun making the tag, even if I did get a bit carried away....

A couple of weeks ago I won a give away at Peggy's blog and she sent me this lovely metal cross, and the two magnetic tiles. I love the beautiful colours. Thanks a lot, Peggy!

I think that's enough for today, I am going out to enjoy the sunshine! Take care, and thanks for visiting!

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Sunday Miscellany

Hi you all! Hope you are all enjoying your well deserved weekend! Here we are still waiting for summer. The sun did try to show itself a few times yesterday, but evidently had problems fighting with clouds, rain and wind. Perhaps today, the early morning looks promising....
I have been busy making some tags. The first one is for the 'Time' challenge at Out of a Hat Creations. I have made a metal tag, which has been embossed with the TH  clocks folder, and mounted onto a piece of scrap card to give it more stability. I inked the clocks with Archival black to make them stand out. The lady is a chipboard cut-out which has been in my stash for more than 10 years! At last she is enjoying her coming out! I re-used a plastic clock, which had stopped working, but with a new battery and a bit of dusting it seems to be ticking okay. I bored a hole through the lady's middle (sounds brutal, doesn't it), and fixed the clock to the back with ds tape. I added a metal clip to hold the sentiment, and by which I can hang the clock/tag on the wall. I am also entering this tag into the 'Make my metal altered' challenge at Frilly and Funkie and Simon Says Stamp and Show, 'No Rules' Challenge

The second tag is for the  Travel tag challenge at  Artful Times. My travel goal in Europe would be London, my home town. I made 2 tags. The first one is a tag which can be opened up, with a collage and map inside. The stamps used are from Artemio.

The second tag has been mounted onto an airmail envelope. I want to put some little vouchers inside it. Some friends are visiting London in August, and these two tags  will be attached to  a present I have made for them.

Here's wishing you all a happy Sunday. Take care, and thanks for coming by!

Friday, 20 July 2012

Cissie and the Leprechaun

Welcome to another Paint Party Friday, week 19, year 2,  hosted by Eva and Kristin, and Darcy's Postcard Challenge, week 29,  where our participants are off to Ireland this week.

Cissie and all the family are feeling a bit nerved. What with starting to move, swapping flats, getting the shops ready to open by September at the latest and planning who’s going to sit where and with whom at the reception, they are all worn out. Especially the seating plans prove to be difficult, as they are afraid that when certain people get seated next to one another, it could lead to a minor major outbreak of hostilities. At last, the plans are more or less done, and they decide to reward themselves with a night out. Cissie and Thelma want to go to the Chippie. ‘Noooooooooo, we’re there every day!’ the ‘children’ shout. Queenie then says, ‘Why don’t we go to the folk song night at the Irish pub?’ Shannon and Jason like the idea, as Jason loves Guinness, and so Cissie and Thelma grudgingly agree, although this is not their idea of a night out. They get changed to go, and Cissie emerges from her bedroom wearing a rather tight, green costume, and a green hat with a green feather and a shamrock in it. They all stare open mouthed, and Cissie is gratified. Jason whispers to Shannon, ‘Bloody ‘ell! She looks like that Henry VIII statue at Madame Tussaud’s!’ Shannon answers, ‘More like an overstuffed Robin Hood from Sherwood Old People’s Club!’ and they can’t stop giggling. Queenie thinks ‘Well, how lucky that nobody knows me there!’ Thelma is, as usual, a little bit jealous that Cissie is getting all the attention, and asks, over-sweetly, ‘Is the feather from your budgie?’ ‘No, dear,’ answers Cissie, it’s from Uncle Jo’s parrot!’.

They set off for the pub. The barman manages to find them a table, and can’t take his eyes of Cissie and her green curves….She is not so fond of Guinness, but has one to be a sport, and then changes to Irish Coffee, and the more  she drinks, the happier she gets. They join in with the songs - the foggy dew, the rose of Tralee, The wearing of the green and many, many more. They eat lots of pub snacks – crisps, Scotch eggs, sausage rolls and nuts etc. and really enjoy their evening. Jason and Shannon  move to another table, where some of their mates are, and spend the evening happily singing, snogging and drinking, although Shannon only drinks coke….

They take a taxi home, as they are all rather tired, and the taxi driver is not really happy that they sing 'Whiskey in the Jar'  and ‘The Mountains of Mourne’ all the way home.   ' They must have emptied all the 
jars at the pub, as full as they are!' he mumbles.

The Mountains of Mourne

The Uragh Stone Circle

The Giants Causeway

(Photos courtesy of Wikipedia)

 Cissie is so tired, that she just falls onto her bed, fully dressed, and starts snoring straightaway….She is in Ireland, wandering down a country lane in the gloaming. Then she hears a lilting voice calling her name, and turns off into a little copse, where there is a strange tree, very ancient and gnarled, with a little door set into the trunk. ‘I wonder who lives there?’ she asks. ‘I do!’ says the same little voice. Cissie can’t see anything and goes nearer. The voice seems to be coming out of the branches, and Cissie looks and looks, but can only see a little flash of red and green,  not more. ‘Are you one of the little people?’ she asks. ‘I surely am! He answers, ‘I’m Padraic the Leprechaun, at your service, ma’am!’ ‘Well, could you come down and take a photo of me standing here?’ she asks, ‘Nobody will believe me otherwise’. ‘In Ireland everyone will believe you’, he says, ‘But I’ll take a photo for your folks back home; Londoners only believe what they see!’  
Then Cissie hears more voices, and someone is shaking her. She opens her eyes, and sees Thelma and Shannon, who are standing next to her bed. Cissie needs a few minutes to come to herself, and then tells them she dreamed she was in Ireland, and met a Leprechaun. Thelma and Shannon have a good laugh, and say that it was no wonder, considering how much she drunk the night before. ‘You probably swum over in a glass of Irish Coffee’ they jeer.
Two days later Cissie gets a postcard:

If you are wondering why Cissie looks so much thinner here, just remember - it's a dream! And in case YOU don't believe in Leprechauns, I found this illustration in a very serious book from 1885 called 'The Universe' from Mr Pouchet, and published in London by Blackie and sons....

For Paint Party Friday I am sharing a picture I painted last week, once again a Klee-imitation, painted with acrylics. It still needs a bit of work on it, as the colours are rather patchy.

And here again, with a digital restyling.

That's all for today. Have a great day, take care, and thanks a lot for visiting.