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Christmas Cards : Button Edition

I don’t know about all of you, but I have lots of buttons.  LOTS. OF. BUTTONS.  Jars and jars of them.  Despite this, I can never find the one I need for a particular project.  I think every crafter knows this dilemma.  You need a pink one, but it needs to be a rosy pink, not a baby pink.  You need a green one, but all you have is yellow-green when you really need a forest green.  Or you need big buttons when you only have teeny ones.  Or visa versa.  It’s a conundrum and wastes lots of time.

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So why would I decide to make lots of cards featuring this nemesis of quick crafts?  Because I am a crazy person and I enjoy having a floor that is covered in buttons (which mine now is).  Because my hands can be dicky (thanks again, Meningitis), I often drop things, so for every button I successfully pick up and glue down, there’s at least three that have escaped and are rolling about under tables and in between couch cushions.

I have been scouring Pinterest and other internet sites featuring all things craft-tastic, and have been very inspired by the clever designs people have come up with, using buttons as the main element.  And then I basically copied them.  Because I am, as I said before, very short on time and energy right now.  I’m also not selling these cards so I don’t feel so bad about purloining a few ideas.

Buttons are an easy way to add interest, colour and dimension to cards and can be just the right finishing touch.  Most of these ones below were made simply by drawing on lines with a pen, gluing on a button and then doodling some little details like bows and the tops of the baubles.  A stamped sentiment completes the look.  If I was feeling extra energetic I punched out some circles of pretty Christmas paper to stick down before the buttons to make them more colourful and chunky.

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So now, after mammoth card-making sessions, I now have to get stuck into mammoth card-writing sessions.  There’s only so many ways you can say “Wishing you a very merry Christmas and a happy new year…” but I try to mix it up a bit.  By 11pm last night I was getting my words all doolally and not making a lot of sense.  Plus I had a blister on my finger and a cramp in my hand.  AND my pen ran out!  Gah!  But, I am lucky I have so many people in my life to give cards to – so I am not complaining at all.  I know a lot of people don’t give cards any more, but I still like to.  It’s a way of telling people they are cared about and wished good luck and health and happiness.  I know quite a few people who are on their own, not just at Christmas but all the time, so a little card is the least I can do to show them they are not alone, and are being thought of fondly.

Hope you are having a crafty, creative day today and are surrounded
by people that make you smile x

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Christmas 2017
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Being Yourself

Belated Happy Easter to you all 🙂  Did you indulge in a huge chocolate-fest, or were you restrained and just had a few little treats?  Did you spend time with family and friends, or take part in religious events?  Whatever you got up to, I hope you enjoyed yourselves and had a nice break.

I spent a lot of time with family and friends over the weekend, cleaned my house so it was fit for my Mum to visit and stay in for a couple of nights, and did some crafting.  I am still loving the Kelly Rae Roberts Unscripted series I have subscribed to.  It’s just makes me want to craft and create and DO STUFF.  I am nowhere near her standard of creativity and art, but it is very enjoyable just mucking about with paints and paper and having a go.  I am still rubbish at faces, but I keep trying and hope that some day I will get them just right!  If only people didn’t have eyes!  It would make everything so much simpler for me, at least in terms of drawing and painting (maybe not so much in real life though…) and I wouldn’t end up having tantrums, or just drawing a lot of people with closed eyes (which is my default position these days).

I had this little communion plaque (bought on a recent op-shopping trip for 50c) and I thought it would be perfect to paint over and repurpose.  It’s quite small – a little bigger than an iPhone – so perfect for me to do some crafting on!  Plus it had the little hanger on it so I didn’t need to worry about adding one myself.

I removed the picture that was already on it ( a communion poem and prayer) and sanded the wood back, then slapped on a layer of white Gesso, just to seal and give it a good working surface.  I then added paint in various colours to create a distressed, rubbed back look.  I used a soft green, some burgundy and a little bit of yellow – just dabbing and rubbing it on with my fingers.  When I was happy with the effect, I let it dry whilst figuring out what I was going to put on it.

I decided to draw my little lady on a separate piece of paper, paint her main features and then cut her out, to be glued and finished on the plaque itself.  I didn’t trust my drawing/painting skills to just add her straight to the wooden surface.  I adhered her with gel medium and then added flowers and wings cut from scrapbooking paper and vintage books.  The words were cut from old books or stamped (when I couldn’t find the word I wanted!) and I’m not quite satisfied with them, but they’re stuck on there now!  I might go over them with a bit of colour, just to make them look less “new” and pale.  I outlined here and there with black and white pencils to give some definition.

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I was a bit heavy-handed with the lady’s features – I was using a very fine black marker, but it was still too heavy.  I will do better next time! I’m happy with her top though – it came out very rustic looking and picks up the red colour in the background – and I’m glad I added the “me” heart as it needed an extra little something.

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So, all in all, I was pretty happy with my little lady.  I am trying to be myself and be ok with who that is.  Even if it means I am not the world’s greatest artist 🙂  I am still trying to find my “niche”, artistically speaking, so this is another part of the journey.  I will keep practicing faces and different techniques with paint and drawing and, in the meantime have a lot of messy fun doing it 🙂

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Thanks for stopping by – may you enjoy the freedom of being yourself,
whoever that is, today and always x

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Tiny Town (Torn Paper Collage)

Some time ago, our art therapist at work let me borrow a couple of her art books for the weekend.  They were great little books – filled with simple ideas for getting your art on.  One of them had some lovely collage ideas and I particularly liked a torn-paper cityscape.  I cannot remember the name of the book, but I’m pretty sure it was published by Usborne and the artwork work was possibly Fiona Watt.  Apologies to both artist and publisher if I have remembered this incorrectly (if anyone can enlighten me, do let me know).

Anyway, I kept this idea buried in the recesses of my brain (a dark and cobweb-covered place if ever there was one!), thinking it would be a good little project to try if I was ever in need of some creative inspiration.  Well, right now, I am in desperate need, so I decided to give this one a go.  I liked the simplicity of the technique, as well as the small amount of materials (and, therefore, mess) it required.

Simply tearing different sized strips of paper, in different shades, adding details with pen and markers, and gluing them down into a simple cityscape – what could be easier?  It was very therapeutic and I enjoyed adding the details, including the teeny little and flags.

So, here it is!  My Tiny Town.  I didn’t get the perspective quite right – there’s a couple of “floating” buildings – and I didn’t have a fine enough white pen to get the nice detail I would have liked but, all in all, I am pretty happy with it.  I added the dark sky as I felt it needed some extra colour and interest.  The original idea in the book didn’t have text but, as I am a bit word-obsessed, I added a few lines from a poem, which I think finished it off quite nicely.  I made this as a card, but I’m thinking I might make a few as little framed pieces.  What do you think?

So, happy to have just tried something new (without it being COMPLETELY out of my comfort zone – I mean, it’s still paper after all!) and gotten closer to leaving the creative slump I currently find myself in.  I’m definitely going to make a few more of these, just because they were fun and easy and I didn’t have to think too much 🙂   I try not to copy other people’s work, but sometimes I think you need to just borrow a bit of creativity, in order to get your own up and running again.

Thanks for dropping by – have a lovely day 🙂

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