Saturday, 29 May 2010

out of action - almost

I am currently suffering from a knee which won't do as it is told. I recently twisted it in a fall whilst gardening and it has set off my arthritis. A problem because my craft space/studio is in my roof space and requires an athletic ladder climb. In other word I can't reach my bits and pieces. Oh nasty missus!

But today I managed to get along to a spring fayre at the residential home where MIL is now living. All profits go to the residents to provide the littlte extras, so one has to spend, spend and spend again on these ocassions. Now I have recently bought " Secrets of Rusty Things" by Michael de Meng. Secrets of Rusty Things: Transforming Found Objects into Art I was knocked out by his approach and the art works he creates; I would recommend this as a good read even if you never intend to do more than papercrafting - it is so inspiring. I have decided to try out some assemblage art and aquired a few frames and an old barometer at this fayre. I also bought another old book, a book of poetry from 1920. Just the ticket for adding textual background material. Here are a few photos of my aquisitions:-


The largest frame is about 6 inches high

The diameter of the barometer is about 4 inches

An awful colour but some nice vintage poetry

I will of course be posting details of my experiments with this "NEW" art media. My first real attempt at real 3-D art was the mermaids garden - I feel I have learned a lot since then, so am expecting great things a la MdM - watch this space.

Monday, 24 May 2010

return of the atc's

Not getting too many atcs done of late but here are a couple that you may like to see:-


I called this, "A shadow of his former self". It was an entry to a challenge/swap on PDA. the theme was to use a map, which I decided to put in the background. I then used a female sillouettee and the image of the male to form the main compositional elements. This image actually show up the pencil marks where I attempted to cover a little white around the edge of the sillouette - thanks to the flash, shucks. I then used a die cut hole ( in the shape of a butterfly) in a thick card as a stencil. But I shold have used paper... it was difficult to get the acrylic paint fully up to the edges which has left very poor images. I will know next time!


This was an entry for the Artful Ideas group on Flickr, the theme was to use stamp(s) and painting to create the atc.I spread purple and yellow acrylic paint using a plastic knife for the background and then used a home made stamp to create the swirls. I layered an old scrap of "serendipity" background paper to form a base for the head and added the initials O.K.


The last card utilised this image which I was sent along with a traded card. I have had it for some time and couldn't quite find the right time to use it, but a theme of "Funny" on PDA gave me the right opportunity. I don't know if you have the same problem but I index ( what a grand way of stating it) bits and piece in my stash according to subject/colour/theme / etc and lose track of where things come from. Does anybody have any advice as to how this may be achieved efficiently? If this was you then may I thank you very much it does seem to have gone down well, see my Flickr site for more comments

thanks for looking

Sunday, 16 May 2010

An altered matchbox - WIP

So, my first craft post in a while, it has been busy and of course I have been visiting the Eden Project with my wife. A long enough drive to warrant a few days away.

The original item was a sort of "treasure box", which I had started and put aside many moons ago; I had to alter a matchbox by prising it open and reconstructing it inside out. I finished the construction and decided that rather than one maiden which was the theme for a challenge on PDA, my box would have one on each page and a surprise in the box.

sorry about the focus but as a work in progress, I was in a hurry to post the image and .....

The box was painted and stamped ( an african theme but who cares), and an accordion-fold book added which was tied with thread ( wool was all I had in those far off days of yore). I have now added an image of a maiden to each page and have my thinking cap on as to how to finish it. My first thought was to add a little title; i.e. coquetish maiden, grateful maiden, cheeky maiden, shy maiden, pensive ....etc. But for some reason I have fallen out with that idea. I do however think it needs something and will hopefully come up with something after I have slept on it. Here are the other pages:-



Hope to be able to post this set again when I have completed the piec. I do hope it doesn't sit on one side for as long again before I decide what to do with it, LOL. Thanks for dropping in.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Yet another new blog for my photography back from a three day trip to Cornwall to visit the Eden project. I took rather a lot of photos and of course some were more than just holiday snaps. In the spirit of my recent discussions about blogs I have started a blog for what I hope will be considered some of the more interesting shots. Maybe you would care to pay a visit and bookmark the blog for future reference.

I shall not be repeating posts or notifying of posts to the other blogs once I have them up and running. These past couple of posts have only been to make the division of my art work and other interests plain to all my readers. The newer blogs will be linked to on the side panel but otherwise I will not be cross referencing. The intention is to write separate posts for each blog. They may not be daily updates but hopefully will be regular. I need to work at building a disciplined approach.

hope to see you at the other place, LOL

Sunday, 9 May 2010

new blog - painting with john

Couldn't think of a catchy title but this one will fill the bill, for now; Painting With John

This is the first of my new blogs which I mentioned a couple of posts ago. This one will cover my painting, mostly with watercolour and pastels ( although I do use virtually any medium that is on sale and some that aren't, LOL) new ones and from time to time I will drag up an old one to remind myself that I can draw as well as paint. However now that it is separate from this blog I will feel OK about posting new of my art group and possibly some of my collagues work as well if it illustrates a point that I would like to make.

I hope that you will be able to find a little time to pop across from time to time and see how I am getting on.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

altered jigsaw pieces for PDA

Two current challenges on PDA  (paper digital images by Kim) require the altering of jigsaw puzzle pieces. I seem to be doing quite a few of these recently! The themes are "Bubbles" and for the second challenge, "Let's go Fly a Kite". I took a little while to think about these and decided to try to do something a little different for me. I seem to be getting into a rut of using simple collage techniques too often, so here is one answer to this.

flying his kite

Here I have used one of my own watercolour paintings as the base image and have embellished it with a felt Kite and a wool fibre for it's tail. The line is replaced by a wire threaded from a hole by the raised hand to another under the bottom apex of the kite. The cloth/paper flowers were added as an afterthought to add a little balance to the piece.

And another similar answer was...


Here I have again used the gold foil sweet wrapper to provide a background. The image is from the painting by Millais, "Bubbles". The embelishments and fibres, etc were added to provide interest. The smaller beads were supposed to represent the bubbles being blown by the little lad.

I am not at all sure that the addition of the embellishments works in either of the pieces, and it certainly goes against my usual style where I tend to keep everything as simple as possible. MAybe I am adding too many, too quickly. Will have to be carerful, until I understand why I am adding them. Do they aadd anything artistically. I like to see busy art by other artists but it never seems to work for me personally. Needs some thought!

Sunday, 2 May 2010

new developments with the blog

I have been thinking about what to do with this blog for some time. I would like to be able to show my collage work, my paintings, photography and other aspects of my creative side - and not forgetting my song writing. I am in two minds how to proceed. I could of course have a blog for each subject, or subject group; but this is likely to prove too difficult to maintain posts with any sort of regularity. I have seen people with several blogs and invariably one or two become dormant after a while. A real danger therefore! I could also mix and match all sorts of posts but this means that readers may not be interested in many of the posts - will they keep coming back? So I feel that there must be a happy medium.

I have explored many internet sites/applications with a view to earning a little cash to fund my hobby ( at least to pay some of the broadband fees - I have no illusions of riches coming my way) and have succeeded in making small, very small, amounts from several different sources.

A new experiment is by becoming an Amazon Associate and providing links and search boxes which potentially earn a small subscription if a sale for Amazon results. Is this selling out? Will this turn readers off? I feel it is worth experimenting.

I shall not be inserting lots of them, but the advert on the left is an example of what it is all about, anad you may have noticed the Amazon search box on the right hand margin.

I have to admit the largest slice of cash earned over the web has come from Ebay. I have not been selling for a couple of years, rather getting involved with trading ATC cards, I always used to buy as many aceo's as I sold. Not a great way to earn money and Ebay of course did very nicely thank you. There are of course many competitors to Ebay now, and a lot of these are specifically for selling art/craft/hand-made goods. Lots of scope for experimentation.

I have several articles on Squidoo, and have received money based on the number of readers - this could be a central plank of my plans for the future. Other sites do exist which provide opportunity for selling articles.

Selling images rather than the art itself is also a possibility, I have just made my first sale ( on a greeting card) via Zazzle ( Cafe Press is another option) and many sites exist to sell the rights to use your photographs.

Last but not least for now is the Google Adsense route, do you ever click on adverts when you are reading a web page? Siome people do and it earns money for the page author. Slowly but surely, however a large footfall is required to make any reasonable amount here.

I am sure that I have not mentioed all the different ways of picking up a few pence via the internet, the book here will no doubt offer many more opportunities. Just a last little plug, LOL.

I would be interested in your comments about this subject, hope I haven't bored you and thanks for reading.

Addendum: I wrote this post last night and saved it as a draft, unsure of wether to actually use it. Sleeping on it I have decided that I will definitely start a couple more blogs; the first to accomodate posts specifically about my painting and to involve my art group. This will have a different audience I feel. I will still post images of some of my paintings here butthe blog will be more true to the original aims of this blog - a history of the trials and tribulations of a leisure artist.

The second new blog will feature more photography, and I will consider two others. One about my music, basically my songwriting and the other about my experiments in generating a little cash from the internet. These last blogs will be something I shall post to from time to time. I know that the concept of a blog is that it should be regular to attract readers but I am more concerned with publishing material that I feel will be available from my main blog as a "see it if you want" basis. The main blogs will then be uninterupted for my art/craft readers.

I will also be making much fewer and smaller comments on the posts to my Flickr photosteam, a link to my blog will exist for those who want to read about my artworks