Sunday, 30 March 2014

Memories, red bugs and blue flowers

Hi everybody!

Another lovely spring day is coming to an end, and I am really thankful for these warm 
and sunny days, which enable me to spend a lot of time out of doors. Hope those of you in the UK enjoyed your Mothering Sunday!

I have made another piece for my memory wall, using my fave corrugated cardboard and a photo of my Mum taken back in 1918. The photo has been printed onto canvas, and the edges fringed.  The cardboard was partly peeled, painted with emulsion paint and then distressed with vintage photo ink, which I embossed with Frantage vintage gold EP. I used some lace and a scrap of paper stamped with a script stamp (LaBlanche) as matting, and edged it with Vintage photo again.  The flower and leaves are from Prima, and I tied it all together with some lovely fibres. 'Dream' has been stamped and embossed. I am linking to Ink on my Fingers, Challenge 301, browns.

I saw these bugs having a party or something on a garden fence when I went down the road this morning. I looked it up and it's called a firebug (Pyrrhocoris apterus), and apparantly feeds on mallows and limes. Glad they weren't on our fence! ( we haven't got a fence!)

The flowers at Schloss Kalkum are prettier than the bugs!

Have a great day you all, take care, and thanks a lot for coming by!

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Heavy Metal and Wild Life

Hi everybody!
It was anther wonderful spring day here, with blue skies and mild temperatures, so I spent a lot of time outside. Once again, the H*******K lost to the weather - I am sure rainy days will come!

The challenge at Artful Times is Heavy Metal.  Here I have repurposed a 6x6" canvas which I didn't like anymore. First I painted it with gold metallic, but didn't like it, so decided to make it rusty heavy metal. The canvas had been textured with tissue paper and structure paste. The head is made in a mould, the totem on the left is a ball pen I got some years back, and the heart has been made from metal foil embossed with an embossing plate from LaBlanche, and then fussy cut. After fixing the objects with the hot glue gun I painted them with Vivacolor 3-D rust paint, and sprinkled them with distress EP from TH. After heating, I went over it again with some more colour, and then added som vintage gold frantage on some parts as I thought it was getting too dark. By the way, if you are embossing metal with your heat gun, don't touch it till it cools off - ouch! I wanted this to look like some rusty old metal objects with lots of patina. I like experimenting!

After walking along the Rhine I went to visit the ducks and geese at Schloss Kalkum. They were happy to see me , well, at least happy to see the bread and salad leaves I took with me.

The goslings are growing, and I saw there are 8, not 7 as I first thought. Their parents keep them well under control, and visitors too!

Hope you are having a good weekend whatever you are up to.

Take care, and thanks a lot for coming by.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Words are magic

Hi everybody!

Hope the snow is slowly disappearing for those of you who have been in the 'ice-age'; here we are having wonderful spring weather, which I am enjoying.

This journal page has been made for the Vintage Journey challenge number 2, where the theme is words.
I straightaway thought of this quote, spoken in 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows' by Professor Dumbledore, “Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, 
and remedying it.” 

Words are really something very special. I wrote a lot of words about things that are worrying me just now, and then painted over them with acrylics, added some fairy dust to help the magic, and then collaged the rest. There is also a lot of background stamping, which is hard to see here, but that's part of the magic - making things invisible!
I collaged some torn paper, pieces of old letters from the 1930s, and some images. The alphas are from Tim Holtz, as is the Tissue Tape. The rest of the quote was computer generated. Of course, Mr Umbrella Man sneaked onto the page when nobody was looking. I painted his shadow using the die-cut negative, and gave him plenty of words. I had fun making this one, and it turned out as I wanted it to, which often doesn't happen, so the magic seems to have worked!
I am also linking to AJJ 'Fantasy Scene' and to Paint Party Friday and to
Paper Saturdays

There is lots of text in the background, too.

The owl seems to be another connection to Hogwarts.

A close up of the background to show the fairy dust.

Today this wonderful tree surprised me on my walk, the blossoms were not open yesterday. Spring has its own magic!

I showed a photo of these stairs near the old mill by the Rhine some time back, and wondered that they seemed to lead to nowhere. Now they have been freed from the grass and plants growing over them, and I learned from the local paper that there used to be some bathing huts in the Rhine back in the 19th century. The nurses from the Florence Nightingale Hospital here   (F.N. did her training here) used to escort the sick people to their baths, and at the top of the stairs was a waiting room, where they could get ready for their dip. They were brought from there to the huts to bathe in Victorian propriety. The stairs are very ancient, and were made with door-steps and window ledges from the castle ruins! I hope the powers-that-be manage to conserve them.

And last but not least, a tree that I noticed by the Rhine today, with fungi growing out of the stem.

If you are still awake after all that, I thank you for your patience and wish you a great day!
Take care, and thanks for coming by.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Fantastic dreams, a hedgehog and blue skies

Hi everybody!

In between doing a lot of walking this week as the weather was good, and visiting the eye-clinic and the doctor, I did manage to get quite a lot of crafting done. As there is never time to do everything, I just left the H*******K away, that really is a time saver. I am sure we will have some bad weather sooner or later which will be fine for staying home and doing things I don't like!

I made a journal spread for the AJJ challenge, fantasy scene. I am trying to show the fantastic world we enter when we sleep, 'perchance to dream' (Shakespeare), where everything is possible. We can fly, hover above and watch ourselves, don't think it strange to see strange animals and plants, or to have a clock-face and a butterfly on your nose. Flowers bloom in winter, the stars shine golden, and fragments of speech come to us and slip through our grasp before we can store them. 

The pages were painted with blues and purples and some metallic colours and gold ink, and then I used background stamps in the still wet paint to give some texture. When it was dry I set to work stamping the flowers and grasses (Artemio) with embossing ink and white EP. The figures have been stenciled, as has the owl, and I gave the floating figures a thin coat of white paint, to let the colour underneath shine through, and added some glitter liner after drying. The script fragments represent the words and dreams we forget, and I used a fractured script for my sentiment to underline it. The bird, the butterflies, and the flower in the middle were collaged. The script fragments are on very thin paper, and also transparent, not covering up, just seeming to  float. 

I am also linking to Hels Sheridan's 'Ink on your fingers' - dream and to

 At Artful times  the challenge is to use game  pieces. I used a whole puzzle, which I painted with sparkling H2Os, and stamped with the lovely hedgehog image from LaBlanche. The quote is from Lewis Carroll, and one that I like very much.

And of course, I am linking to Paint Party Friday, hosted, as always, by Eva and Kristin.

 The past days have started out with frost and mist, but got better and better as the days proceded, and today was no exception. I walked to the sculpture park to enjoy the spring flowers and blue skies:

I watched the planes coming in to land - we are near the Airport here .

The water in the lakes was blue:

And the clouds looked good against the blue skies at the Rhine:

Have a great day you all, take care, and thanks a lot for coming by!

Tuesday, 25 March 2014


Hi everybody!

It was a busy day here, I had to go to the eye-clinic for the next examinations and treatment, so I am pleased that it is over - till the next time, anyway. Not all the results are good, but I am trying not to think of it just now. It was cold and frosty when I set out this morning, with mist hovering over the fields, but soon the sun came along and waved his golden wand and the frost and mist just evaporated.

 The challenge at Simon's Monday Blog this week is 'transparent', a theme I like, and which I have tried to show here by using various layers of stamping one over the other, but so that everything remains visible.  The background has been stamped with Archival sepia, the next layer - flourishes and numerals - with Archival olive, and the top layer in Archival black, which was also embossed with clear EP on the butterflies. They were then given some colour with gel pens and glittered with Eucalyptus Stickles, Some of the flowers in the background were treated to some dired marigolds distress Stickles. I mounted the tag onto two other tags in rust and brown and fixed them together with an eyelet. The bottom layer has a strip of butterfly tissue tape, and I added some transparent flowers. The transparent butterfly has been printed onto a transparency, fussy cut, and distressed with Stickles from the reverse.

I just managed a short walk this afternoon after my hospital appointment, but saw this beautiful piece of decaying wood, It was fascinating to see all the little channels and tunnels where the worms have done their work - wormwood. I thought this would make a good background paper, too. If you like it, you can download it and use it.

These two beauties were holding their afternoon nap:

And this tree is just beautiful against the blue sky background.

That's all for today!
Have a good one, take care, and thanks a lot for coming by!