Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Internet Problems

Hi Friends and followers, just to update you with the computer saga.

I have lost my connection with my main PC, the one that has all my programs for camera, picture editing, upload, printer, you name it that's on there. So I go to my internet provider to ask for the code, which they generate, to be reconnected and they want to charge me, £25.00. Now they generate a new code each time I log on so I have no ability to keep a record of this code. The internet service failed, which they provide and has caused this but I have to pay. Plus they have changed ownership and changed all the contracts, without telling us customers at all. Just so you know the new owner is Talk Talk, now I have nothing against them, but the service is now dreadful, phones not answered for 2 hours, kept hanging on for 1 hour just being transferred through one department after another, then the member of staff hung up on me because I had to ask him to talk more clearly and slower. I think he took this as a racial slur, when I just could not understand his accent. So I then had to start all over again.

Enough already, I am changing internet providers, well you guessed that!!! So it's going to take a month. I can use the internet on the lap top but am not able to do anything else. I was amazed the lap top worked, its not been used for 6-8 months.

So I will not be blogging for at least a month, but will look at all your blogs and check messages on here too. I will really miss you guys, getting comments and blogging. Hope to have lots of news for you all when I am back on line.

X Mad Bird

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Image Transfers & A trip Out to View Fleece to Fibre

In between art I am doing some practice of techniques I want to use in future projects. This week it's Image Transfer. Something I have always struggled with, much to my disgust.

Here's the practice sheet, with a nice mount over it. Every thing looks better with a mount.

Now here are all my notes.

You will need base paper, I used watercolour paper, Bockingford with a slight roughness. 190lbs
Heavy Structure Gel -  HSG Winsor & Newton Galleria brand - cheap one :-)
Inkjet prints on glossy photograph paper, printed on Glossy Paper setting and if your printer allows use the Photo setting for the amount of ink put on the paper. I used a cheap brand of Glossy Photograph paper by Picture Expert.
Old paint brush
Bone folder or something to press the print into the HSG.
Some other paper to stick onto the base paper. I used vintage sheet music, the waste from cutting out all those paper dolls and a bit of tissue paper from a McCalls Dress pattern.

Transfer 1 - was done when the sheet music had just been stuck on the base paper, so it was still wet. I'm calling this method Wet-in-Wet. Put another thickish layer of HSG, about the size of your image, using the brush onto the wet music paper. Then put the picture, picture side to the wet HSG and press with the bone folder. The HSG will squeeze out the sides, just scrape it up and pop it back in the pot. NOTE. I chose to cut the main figure out from the photo first as I did not want the rest to be in my image. Left to dry 24hours overnight. Now use a wet finger and start to rub the back of the image. Not too much water, careful as you don't want to get the rest of the picture wet. Keep going, I was surprised how quickly and cleanly the backing came away.

 Transfer 3 above - This one was a mistake in the printing, I got the wrong side of the paper on top when I printed :-). So rather than waste this I thought I would try it and see what happened. Music paper has dried overnight, then stuck on a piece of the dress pattern tissue paper. Put on some HSG about the size of your image and place image side onto HSG. Use bone folder to press firmly and leave to dry. same process with the water and rubbing to get backing off. Well it did transfer, it's very transparent, but if you rubbed too hard to get the backing off the picture came off too. So not a great result. Also I suffered with impatience and did not let this one dry so long.

 Transfer 2 above - I let the music paper dry overnight, then use the HSG as Transfer 1 above and allow to dry. Then water again as above. This one was pretty good just lost a bit of the face. I think it again needed longer to dry and either a bit more HSG or press harder with bone folder.

 Inkjet Photo Transfer straight onto the watercolour paper. Spread on the HSG and put your image on picture side down. Use the bone folder to press down firmly. This time I used the complete photo. Dried over night and then removed backing with water and rubbing with fingers. This is the best transfer.

A really close, close up so you can see only a little loss of the image.

OK here's what I got from this. Wet-in-Wet image was the best on the music paper. Image 3 was onto dress pattern tissue paper, so this could have changed the result.

Image 2 was onto dried music sheet. It was 2nd best transfer.

Image on the watercolour paper was the very best, but I can't always use that as the base because I'm going to use this method on collage which will always be on different paper.

Hope the above makes sense if not message me and I will try to help. Have a go at image transfer it's a very handy thing to add a different layer to your work.

Image above is a photo ready to use as a transfer. Why not grab this and use it in your art. It's out of copyright so you can use it as much as you like. I think the head would make a great fairy face.

Thursday I went out with my friends Jennifer and Peter. Jennifer had a cushion in the exhibition Fleece to Fibre, put on by Mid-Essex Spinning and Weaving Guild. This was at the very splendid Layer Marney Tower.

Jennifer's cushion is woven from fleece she has spun and dyed green herself. She even bred the sheep the fleece came from, a real cottage industry. It is in picture 1 below.

Super exhibition, very high standard of work and great food too.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Featured on Friday

Hi followers and new lookers in. I am going to be doing a feature on another blog or a new article , picture or something of interest that I have found during the week. I do hope you all enjoy this Featured on Friday.

This week it's the turn of Inspiration Avenue Blog pop on over and have a look. This month they are going to have a Fairy blog party. Now I've never been to a blog party before so I'm dusting of my best fairy party wings and will be there. Hope you will too.

I was very excited to be asked to join this site via my Etsy shop. The whole idea of the blog is to inspire artists, you can be any type of artist, and at any stage in your art journey. The best thing is there is an ever changing programme of challenges, tutorials and other fun items.

If you are on Etsy Inspiration Avenue have a Team there too.

Click on the pink links and you will be whisked away to a new page.

Have fun this weekend and I be will posting some new works soon. I'm also in Boot Camp to learn how to make better use of blogger, from Joan the beginner to Joan the nearly expert this week :-)

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Sold, Sold, Sold !!!

Just been to the Pop-Up Shop in Chelmsford today. Good news I have sold 4 x Pictures 1 x Box and a big deposit left on one mannequin.

All the above sold at the Pop-Up Shop

This one sold to my friend Gilli, who has sent it to her cousin in America. Apparently Dragon Flies are very popular over there. This is the 2nd Dragon Fly to go to the USA.

My Etsy shop is now looking very empty! I have taken all my new work to the Pop-Up Shop. So I now have to work really hard to get some more Etsy stock done :-)

Yesterday was a busy day and my diet was dreadful. Fish and chips for lunch with my friends from The Women's Branch of the Royal British Legion, you can see what they do here  Then I met up with my Granddaughter Leah and she wanted Kentucky fried Chicken, well I could not let her eat alone could I? Now where did I put the elastic waist enlargers????

Welcome to another new follower, Devata you are very welcome here.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

More Art for the Pop Up Shop

Hopefully going to drop some more work off at the Pop up Shop in Chelmsford.

Three collage and Mixed Media works on canvas on the 1930 fashion theme.

ABC of 1930's Fashion 8 x 8 narrow edge canvas

 !930's Fur & Fabric 8x8 deep edge canvas

Fashionable Small Ads. 11 1/2 x 11 1/2 deep edge canvas

And this one is a bit off the wall, on a very textured deep edge 8 x 8 canvas.

15 Adaptors - enlarge it for a better view :-)

Every item came from a different source, S Z Sakall was a Hungarian character actor 1940's - 1950's.I've used Clear Tar Gel to make a mock glass in the watch face. Why I collect this junk I don't know and where my head lives sometimes, well I really don't know either. But it's art and I had fun!!!

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Pen & Watercolour, New buys at the Boot Fair

Wanted to do some watercolour work so last few days I have been sketching some of the 1930's fashion pictures from my magazine collection. They are just quick on Daler Rowney Langton Hot Press paper. It's very smooth and dries real quick. So you can do several in a short time.

The next one is a sketch of a photograph I took of Flip playing with the vintage Snakes & Ladders. Teddy needs a bit more definition, again this is a quick sketch. I had great fun with these and plan to do some more. All fit 8x6 openings and the mounts go in 12x10 frames. Faber Castell Pitt Artists Pens and Winsor & Newton Artists Watercolours.

We had a new boot fair about a mile away from mine. I did not have a stall but went along for a look round. Best bargain was a plastic box full of blocks,wooden, plaster and composite of some sort in many shapes and sizes.

There was even a vintage lead elephant. I know he's lead because you can draw with him on paper, I tried him out.

Unopened set of craft knives, always handy.

This is a metal ornament but I am going to use it a s a stencil, pretty huh?

Lastly a bag of lace, sure to come in useful somewhere.

I spent only £7.50 but worst I dithered on a pasta machine, went back and it had gone, silly me.

My prize arrived from Simply Homemade, more about that in the next blog.

Friday, 10 August 2012

New Collages & Finished The Commission

This week I have been working on more 1950's Fashion Collages on Mixed Media backgrounds. This is two of them framed and ready to go, as always bit of reflection from the glass. I've done about 6, some on canvas. Really enjoying these.

And some close-ups, these are better colour wise.

Then I have finished my commission so this is it framed, customer is really pleased, but has to wait for delivery as he's on holiday. Two close-ups to show how the figures are raised from the main picture. This simple little trick really give the piece some depth.

And here is Molly in her favourite sun trap. I noticed the mat has worn right through in several places, its where she sits, so she's worn out the mat just by sitting there. Also we were having a really lovely walk until Miss Queen of the Stinkies rolled in yet more FOX POO!!!

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Hot off the Press - Simply Homemade

Great excitement here!!  I got a letter and picture of one of my makes in Issue 20 of Simply Homemade.

They have even put my blog address in so I hope to get lots of new visitors.

This week I have three new members Shelinwa, Magpie, Diane a big welcome to you. I'm going to have a peek at their blogs now. Why not click on some of my followers and have a look at their blogs, its a great way to find other people who might have similar interests to you.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

I found the Studio Floor!!!

Yes its true I have a floor in my studio, its been covered with junk, paper and general art mess for ages. I have cleaned up.

 :-D I'm a messy painter, this is lino so no matter I just have to leave the studio shoes in the studio or I walk wet prints everywhere.

More pictures of the studio as you can see its a hotch potch of old bedroom chests of drawers, mixed shelving and various boxes. I have a good tool kit, Dremel, Hitachi battery drill, Bosch Hammer drill, two glue guns, Paint stripper heat gun, craft heat tool and hair dryer. I think I was a boy in a former life, but I was brought up mostly by my Dad so guess that explains my boys toys fetish.

My work bench with the roll of lining paper Julie found in the thrift shop.

Pictures drying hang on metal meat hooks from the curtain pole. And I have a lot of brushes as I mangle them frequently.

Flip, Flap and Flop have done some house decorating. Julie made them an Alice in Wonderland Theatre. Today they hung curtains and tie backs and celebrated with a Mad Teddies Tea Party.

Look they are waving, they would love to see you over for tea some day.

Lastly I have to own up to a large heap of boxes of paper and various frames and boxes for art. These have been lurking under my king size bed. I cleaned the bedroom too!!! The boxes are destined for the shed but the paper and books have to stay indoors. They get ruined by the damp.

Welcome to my newest member Lou Ann a contact from Etsy nice to have you on board. Hopefully more exciting news coming from her soon.

Busy Saturday

Saturday marked the last day of the Olympic Creative Challenges at Slack Space. On the way I went via the Junk Jamboree, a Vintage and Craft Fiar run by Liz. I've left my details for the next one.

This is Hattie, daughter of one of my Ebay clients, small world, I sold her Mum a 1950's kitchen cupboard last year, too big to post so she had to come collect it. Never ever thought I would make new friends via Ebay!!  Hattie is now selling a good selection of stuff on her stall. Don't you just love her pink hair?

This young lady looked really stylish in her 1950's gear. apparently she works as a model, so thin too.

I took a walk through the grounds of St Botolphs Priory and took a few pictures.

It is a popular short cut from the car park into the main shopping centre of Colchester.

Then after a quick sandwich off to Slack Space. It was a crowded venue as lots of people had turned up, adults, children, boys, girls in fact nearly every sort of human!!! 

Lots to do as well, jewelry, inches, face masks, laurel wreathes, fabric collage, mosaic, photography, willow baskets and book binding which I had a go at.

Several ladies that came to the Paper Stitching course were there. It was really lovely to see Nan, Mum and daughter, three generations from one family. Just to be clear Nan's in the top picture with the white hat :-)
 All having a great time doing crafts.

Paula, the staff at Slack Space and all the facilitators who led the courses have worked so hard. I am proud to have been a part of this.

Thank you all for your good wishes whilst I have been off colour. I'm now feeling much better, thank goodness.