Friday, 29 May 2015

Last days in May

Another month is nearly at an end. May is always gorgeous month, the flowers are blooming and the days start to really warm up and the sunshine spreads joy until late in the evenings. We have enjoyed our first meals in the garden and I have sat on my backdoor step sipping a cup of tea on many sunny mornings.

I have been very busy this month both in the garden and in my studio. I have also spent some precious family time too.

I thought I would sum up May with a few more photos from my garden

 and from a day out at the farm with my darling granddaughter Daisy, I will share a post on this soon as we had such fun.

I also was sent the new Nicecrane release from Ignacio,there are some gorgeous new digital images. I decided to work with his In the sweet summer set as they are just perfect. There are 6 images in this set. (Yes I know that this preview shows 5)

Now typically I chose the one which does not appear in the preview photo there but it is in the set.

I wanted to join in with some challenges...Finnabair over on Facebook is challenging us to use a technique shown by one of her talented DT. I chose that of Linda's showing Tim Holtz's blending inks together and adding flicks of water. I also used stencils and flicks of ink to add to the texture of my background.

I opened my art journal and these were my colours I blended.
 I added splashes of water and then more inks through 2 different stencils and I also used one stencil as a mask.
Below is my background with my flicks of ink too

I decided to tear my image and as I looked at it I was reminded of the illustrations of Kate Greenaway. She often added floral "doodles" to her work. I wanted a piece of verse to add so I found a poem of hers on the Internet called Little Girls and Little Lambs,

IN the May-time flowers grow;
Little girls in meadows go;
Little lambs frisk with delight,
And in the green grass sleep at night.
Little birds sing all the day,
Oh, in such a happy way!
All the day the sun is bright,
Little stars shine all the night.
The Cowslip says to the Primrose,
'How soft the little Spring wind blows!'
The Daisy and the Buttercup
Sing every time that they look up.
For beneath the sweet blue sky
They see a pretty Butterfly;
The Butterfly, when he looks down,
Says, 'What a pretty Flower Town!' 

 I loved that it had the mention of Daisy in it so it seemed perfect to use. I also decided that I would try my hand at not only doodling but some lettering too.
(By the way thank you all so much for your supportive comments of my recent additions of doodling to my work...I am still learning but having such a lot of fun). 

I spent all last night finishing off and here are my journal pages.

 and a few close ups

These pages were great fun but I did spend hours adding all the doodles!

As well as the fab Finnabair first spread your wings challenge on Facebook I would also like to enter my pages into the following challenges;

Anything but cute  vintage garden This is a newbie on the block, do check it out!
A sprinkle of imagination anything goes The products are a black Sakura Micron pen and Tim Holtz honeycomb stencil.
The Artistic Stamper Journaling your heart out
Mixed media monthly May flowers
A vintage journey spring colours
Country view scenic
Noor! UK May flowers
Art with heart mixed media mahem
Frilly and Funkie Happy, Happy , Happy
Simon Says stamp Wednesdays anything goes

Thanks for visiting me today and for the sweet comments you take the time to leave. Enjoy the last few days of May. We are off to see Daisy and Co tomorrow so we may well find ourselves outside skipping in the meadow...or finding a slide which is Daisy's passion at the moment.

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

The darling buds of May

The weather over the bank holiday was much better here than forecast and I got lots done in the garden. We decided to get up early on Sunday, as Bear was staying, and I sat on the back door step with a cup of tea in the early morning sunshine. As I sat there I heard the humming of a big woolly bumble bee and watched him carefully going in and out of every single foxglove flower.

Such a great sight. Summer really is just around the corner.

Once Bear went home I decided it was finally studio time and I knew exactly what I wanted to make...some new pages in Jane's Journal. There were some fun challenges I wanted to enter and I wanted to reproduce all the gorgeous pink/purple tones of the foxgloves I had seen and even the buzzing bee. The scrap around the World challenge has a mood board to use and Crafty Individual's wanted some "music to our ears"I also needed a suitable quote to use. I started jotting down some design ideas, also using the challenges requirements and as it was a May holiday I immediately thought of the Darling buds of May....both Shakespeare's sonnet and the old TV programme. Yes my brain does work in the strangest ways. I had thought of using " The buzzing of the bees" as my music but I looked up the Darling buds of May on You Tube and came across the theme music...I had forgotten how sweet it is.... have a listen here It also made me realise how many years ago that series was on. It was actually 1992-93 and Catherine Zeta Jones looks about 15 in it! In it's time it was such a gentle pleasant show and it reminds me of long hot lazy summers.

With that tune in my head I also decided to look up Shakespeare's famous sonnet.

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimmed;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,
Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to Time thou grow’st.
     So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
     So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

 And of course the May that he is writing about is the May blossom of the Hawthorn but I wanted to also use the pun of the month of May. In Shakespeare' s time May was actually one of the summer months.
I opened my journal fueled with all my inspiration and selected some acrylics similar to those of the flowers. I wanted some texture and thought it would be fun to continue the theme of May so I tore some printed months of May out of my planner diary.I also added some old dictionary pages too in deference to Shakespeare's unique and wonderful use of the English language.
I also took my TH blossom stencil and added some texture paste through it.

  I then had fun dripping down watered down paints until I was happy with the background.

I also sponged some Archival ink through another floral stencil. I also added some splashes of ink
 Next was some stamping using my Claire's designs flower and Crafty Individuals bee and flower stamp; they are 2 of the great freebies that CI enclosed with my last stamp order from them.

 I also added some colour to the stamping using my Inktense pencils and some water.

To add the words "The darling buds of May" I decided to try my hand at writing it myself as I certainly don't have a stamp with those words on and I wanted something more natural than printing if off on the computer. I tried my hand at doodling for the first time last week and thought it was time to up my game!  Once I had written the words I added some other doodling with a black and a white pen. Thank goodness it worked out OK, it's always a moment of trepidation when you take up a pen and start drawing the letters freehand.

So here are my finished pages.

and some close ups

 You can see my lettering and doodles here...these bees are as busy as the ones on my foxgloves.
 I like the way the calendar pages are still visible through the layers.

I would like to enter my journal pages into the following great challenges;

Scrap around the world May mood board for their epic 2nd birthday event

 I was inspired to use the gorgeous pink and purple tones and colours, the flower buds in different shades (just like my flowers in my garden) and also the lettering .....I wanted lettering on my pages too...and the happy quote about life being celebrated.
I also loved the texture of the shoes  and the ice cream and cone so I added lots of texture to my pages.
My Journal is a Dylusions journal;each page is 5"x8" as required by the rules.

Little Claire's outdoors
Anything but cute  vintage garden This is a newbie on the block, do check it out!
The Craft barn holiday (May bank holiday)
Craft stamper take it make it; a stamp
A sprinkle of imagination anything goes The products I have used are Inktense pencils and Black Archival ink.
Crafty Individuals It's music to my ears. My CI stamps are the freebie bee and daisy.My music referenece is the theme tune to the darling buds of May which I then used as my quote.
That craft place shabby chic
The Artistic Stamper Journaling your heart out
Stamping sensations Flower power
Simon says stamp Wednesday stencil it
That's Crafty numbers up my numbers are all the May 2015 dates I used as my texture.
Mixed media monthly May flowers
A vintage journey spring colours
Country view scenic
Noor! UK May flowers
Art with heart mixed media mahem
Sweet Stampin birds and/or bees
Inspiration Journal  pasted
Crafty Calander Things with wings
We Love 2 create anything goes/mixed media

I would also like to link up to my friend Brenda of Bumblebees and dragon flies. This is not a challenge but a way of sharing our visual journals and she would love to see you here #21

Thanks for visiting me and I hope you all had a great holiday weekend too? I have today off as I don't work Tuesdays and my jewellery class in on half what better way to spend it...yes I am seeing Daisy and my DD.....:0)

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Gardener's helper

We've had someone to stay over....the lovely Bear, my son's dog, as my son is at wedding. I needed to get some gardening done yesterday and so I had a furry helper
I sorted through my existing pots of established plants to weed and feed them and also check what might be coming back after the winter. I was about to empty one of my hanging baskets when I noticed it's not all weed if you look carefully......
next to the weed on the left is a fuchsia which has overwintered!
I emptied out some of the old compost, refilled it and added a new friend, a geranium.

They seem very happy and I will share their flowers when they bloom.
I bought a gorgeous pink which will enjoy a sunny spot
and my pot of violas my Mum bought me in the spring are still smiling away. I just keep dead heading them and they just bloom and bloom...simples!

I also have lovely digitalis (foxgloves) coming into flower. These are in my raised bed and just self gardening at its most beautiful.
and as I cleared some pots Bear bought me his eel and squid
and then his duck
He had a great time

So today he is just here for breakfast, the sun is shining and I hope to get some crafting time in my garden studio later this afternoon.
This is Bear enjoying the garden at 8am with his beloved bone
My card today is inspired by the colours of my sweet pots of violas. It is a card I made for my Niece's May birthday
If you remember a while back I had a play with my Inktense pencils to make my daughter's birthday card here
I had a spare Uptown girls image so I got out my purples and pinks and coloured up the image above. You can see it in the photo below on the far right

I fussy cut it out and layered it up on my Spellbinders floral oval die cut.
I added some Cheery Lynn leaves and some polka dot pink ribbon. She was going away for the weekend so I added a "weekend" button. I am sure she enjoyed a glass or 2 of wine on her holiday.
I would like to enter my card into the following great challenges;

A sprinkle of imagination anything goes The products I have used are Inktense pencils and Black Archival ink.
Allsorts Happy Birthday they are celebrating no less than 6 years...a real achievement for a challenge and they were the first challenges I entered.
The craft barn holiday these 2 girls are away on their weekend holiday as shown on the button!
Craft Hazel's patterned papers anything goes
Live and Love Crafts Ice cream photo inspiration I was inspired by the colours of the photo board especially the pink and white striped ones!
Craft stamper take a stamp
Penny Black and more die cuts and punches
Bunny Zoe buttons and bows
Cheery Lynn anything goes

I'm off to finish off some pot cleaning in the garden and then hopefully get some playtime in my studio. Enjoy this holiday weekend and thanks for visiting.

And here is the sunshine now.....bliss and Bear is making the most of it until home time ;0)

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x