Don’t let life ruffle your feathers! A Fairy Dress ATC

I got involved with the World Watercolour Challenge in July, but I, being me, took it a step further and challenged myself to paint only in ATC (Artist Trading Cards) size, which is just 2.5 inches by 3.5 inches.  Now although I failed on some of the paintings, I absolutely thoroughly enjoyed myself.  It’s ages since I painted so picking up the brushes again was such a joy to me.

However …  in the comments, I got into various chats about ATC’s and tried to explain that if you fancied making an ATC, you didn’t have to paint in order to make them.  You could glue, stick, adhere, ~  paper, magazine cut-outs, tissue, die cuts,  anything basically. And attach all sorts of things.  You can make a picture, a statement, a quote, or even a whole story on your ATC.

To try to show you what I mean, I made a quick to make ATC  … it could be kept exactly as it is, and stored in a collectors folder.  Or you can give ATC’s away to friends, family etc.  Or you can swap them with other ATC makers.  Or … you could use them on a handmade card or in a scrapbook.

Ruffle Your Feathers Flash

Don’t let life RUFFLE your feathers  ~ photograph taken with the flash on.

First I made the fairy dress, out of bluey green feathers, a sticker and black card, and using a plain white card, pre-cut to ATC size (2.5″x3.5″).

Ruffle Your Feathers Measurements

I firstly coloured the ATC card using two different blues – one was called Freshly Washed Jeans – the other …  I’m going to have to call Teal – it was ink left on a bit of sponge, which I’d saved in a sealed plastic bag (I’m such a thrifter!).  Then using an embossing ink and gold Tonic embossing powder, I embossed all around the edge of the card.

Ruffle Your Feathers Bulb Desk Lamp

photograph taken using a bulb light desk lamp only.

I stamped the ‘message’ ~ “Don’t let life RUFFLE your feathers”, and stamped a feather over it.  Then added the three pearl gems in contrasting colours.

Aw…. nearly forgot …  before I began this ATC …  I back-stamped it using my favourite ATC stamp:

ATC Backstamp

an ATC back-stamp.  Used on the rear of Artist Trading Cards, so that the piece of art work can be traced back to the artist who made the ATC.

I tend to stamp my ATC cards on the back before I begin my art work …  but I’ve been known to forget and if you do it’s easily solved.  You stamp your ATC stamp onto some plain white paper, fill in the details and cut it out to the exact size and simply glue it to the back of your ATC.

Ruffle Your Feathers ceiling lights

And that’s all there was to it!

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Well, it’s Monday again.  A brand new week, fresh out of the box and gifted to us to do with as we will.  Do something good today.  Make your day a memorable one.  See if you can do something which will make another person smile.  It could be a work colleague, a friend, a relative or a complete stranger.  Whoever it is … make them smile.  Do whatever you can, with what you have available to you.  Just make someone smile today and make it a memorable day for you, and for them.

Sending a whole ton of squidges, all sent out in various directions around the globe, in the hope of one of them getting to you and making you smile too.  If you’re smiling right now … then one has already reached you.

Have a groovy day  …  a memorable, groovy day.

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Meadow Flowers ~ ~ an ATC for World Watercolour Month

Where I live, I have a different routes to drive home if I’ve been out gallivanting.  On one of the ways I can come home takes me past a big stretch of  green grass in front of some houses.  On this stretch of grass the council planted some seeds for meadow flowers to grow in order to encourage and help bees with their jobs.

They’ve actually done this all over the Dorset area in various places, which I’m so thrilled about – but this particular area, being probably the biggest ‘patch’, takes my breath away each time I see it and makes me slow my car down just so that I can drink in the wonderfulness of it and nature in general.

So, when I sat down in my craftroom on Friday afternoon for a bit of watercolour painting on an ATC, I wondered if I could capture the mass of colours and beauty as they swayed in the breeze, of all the meadow flowers which always took my breath away.  And this is what I managed to bring about via a few paint brushes and some colours.

Meadow Flowers 4

Meadow Flowers with a white mount ~ An ATC made for #WorldWatercolorMonth

I began by first working on the background which I desperately wanted to fill with the glory of the almost mental array of incredible colour which my eyes and heart registered as I came upon the flowers.  It was difficult to pick out particular flowers as it was all such a wonderful sight.

Meadow Flowers 2

Meadow Flowers with the green mount ~ An ATC made for #WorldWatercolorMonth

Once the background colour was done (and I’d waited for it to dry  ….  helped after fifteen minutes of waiting – which is the limit of my excitability, patience wise) I then was able to pick out some of the colours and turn them into flowers.

Meadow Flowers 3

Meadow Flowers with a blue mount ~ An ATC made for #WorldWatercolorMonth

I began with the blues and turned them into cornflowers.  Followed by the red poppies, and lastly the tiny buttercups appeared low down.  After this I just added some colour – mostly a watery green, to add to the depth and try to give that feeling of what it looked like as I slowly drove past this wonderful display and gift from nature.  It truthfully takes my breath away each time I see it, as if I was seeing it for the first time.  Just incredible.

Meadow Flowers 1

Meadow Flowers, painted using Kuretake Gansai Tambi Watercolours.  ~  An ATC made for #WorldWatercolorMonth

All of the flowers were painted using the box of paints you see in the photo above (yes, that’s my desk….  and my mess).  This was taken just after I’d finished painting the ATC and before I’d cleaned up my three water containers.  One a large pot thing which has a brush scrubber at the bottom, a second pot which is what I rinse my brushes off in, and a third pot for cleaner water which I can dip my brush in if I require just a little more ‘wet’ to my paint(s) if the colour is drying out.

Meadow Flowers 5

An ATC made for #WorldWatercolorMonth

And that’s all there was to it!   🙂

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Well now ….  time for some coffee chat  …. Happy Saturday!  It’s so lovely to meet up with you for a coffee today.  I have some biscuits (‘cookies’ for our USA folks) in the cupboard … shall I get them out for you?,  or perhaps you might like some buttered toast?   We can all eat, enjoy and chat around the table together.

Thank you so much for coming for a visit.  It’s a total delight to see you here and I’m so glad that you dropped in and shared a coffee with me.  I hope you have a truly lovely day, and that when bedtime comes, you feel that today was a great day to be alive.

Sending squidges to you in your corner,  from me in mine ~

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Happy UnBirthday Balloons ~ an ATC for World Watercolour Month

Who said you could only have a balloon on your Birthday?  Actually .. why have balloons become a special occasion item at all?  When I go back to my childhood (not too great a stretch of my imagination, admittedly) I can remember the joy of being given a balloon!

I’d actually seen an image very like this painted onto a birthday cake for a little girls birthday.  It had obviously lodged itself in my brain, and because I’d been thinking about birthdays (my own only being a few days away.  not hinting or anything), and who can have a birthday without cake?  (NOW I’m hinting.  Cobs Snr. take note: CAKE – if I can’t have *this one*,  then I’d be very happy with *this one*  … or even *this one*)

Back to the ATC Cobs!  …. …  …  …  with the white mount:

Happy UnBirthday 2

Happy UnBirthday!  An ATC made for  #WorldWatercolorMonth

This little ATC took me a bit longer as I’d over wet the watercolour paper before I began so once I’d sploshed some colour on for the background, I had to wait a while for that to dry.  Patience not being one of my strongest points (I try.  I really do try) …  I eventually plugged my heat gun in and ‘helped’ it to dry.  (read:  forced the little bu&ger to do as it was told).

Happy UnBirthday 3

Happy UnBirthday!  An ATC made for  #WorldWatercolorMonth

Once it was finally finished I rather liked it.  It had a gentleness,  which I loved,  and innocence – which made me think of me.  (yeah,  I’m laughing at that one).

After trying the mounts ….  I think I actually like it naked.

Happy UnBirthday 1

Happy UnBirthday!  An ATC made for  #WorldWatercolorMonth

I think I’ll cut off the border (which I leave on so that I can handle the ATC while I’m painting it),  and I might even mount this one onto a card.  Perhaps a Birthday Card or a ‘hello I was thinking of you‘ card.  That sort of thing.

Thank you so much for coming and for sharing a few minutes with me.  I so appreciate your company.

I’d just like to say a warm welcome to some new followers which have joined our happy team here in the last few weeks.  I won’t mention you by name, but you know who you are.  It’s lovely to have you here.  Don’t be afraid to comment and let yourself be known.  I’ve found that I’ve SO enjoyed some comments on other people’s blogs that I’ve clicked to see what that person is ‘about’, and ended up following them.  So please do make yourself known.  Who knows … you may end up with a few new followers!

Well … it’s Thursday already.  Someone has stolen two days out of my week this week.  Tuesday and Wednesday have gone missing altogether.  If I catch that little rascal who’s snaffling days out of my weeks I’ll grab him by the collar and shake the little divil until all the days fall out of his hiding places!  pffft.

Have a wonderful day.  Remember … do it to them before they do it to you …  be nice to people that is.  Smile at them.  PLEASE!!!  This sort of thing  WILL  make the world a better place.  C’mon!  Let’s heal the world…  it has to begin before we can win.  Let it begin with us!

Sending great big Thursday Squidges ~

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Wild Thing ~ an ATC for World Watercolour Month

I never, ever, ever, EVER paint cats.  Big ones  or small ones … never.  They have such lush fur and they wear it so well, that I find it really difficult to capture – even with just a pencil drawing cannot do them justice.  Therefore it’s easier to just not paint or draw them at all.

So what went wrong here then?  I don’t know.  I have no idea what form of madness came over me which made me think I could paint a leopard.

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‘Wild Thing’ ~ an ATC sized painting for ~ #WorldWatercolorMonth

A pamphlet came courtesy of the postman today (Monday – as I’m typing this).  It was a crafting/painting/sewing/you name it, it covered or mentioned it.  Inside was a terrific picture of a Leopard and I sat admiring him.  Then this little stray thought came wheedling its way into my brain, and . . . the dreadful, dirty, deed was done.

I went to my craft room to paint an ATC for the World Watercolour Month Challenge and I decided I would have a bash at painting the Leopard.  What.  An.  Idiot!

I can’t paint cats of any sort.  They’re too wonderful for me to try to paint.  But I gave it a go and although the finished result isn’t a total disaster, no self-respecting Leopard would want to own up to being the Leopard which Cobs put together like some really bad painting by numbers jovial delight.

I told Mr.Cobs that I couldn’t put it on the blog as it wasn’t good enough.  He disagreed and told me to post it.  So … I’m posting it … but it’s his idea it’s here,  so we’ll blame him.

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‘Wild Thing’ ~ an ATC sized painting for ~ #WorldWatercolorMonth

And that’s all there is to today’s show and tell!

Happy Tuesday!

You got past Monday then?  Good-o!  Well that means there’s only 4 days left, now that sounds MUCH better than the original 5.  Not only that, but the original 5 had that most awful of days in it … Monday.  The four days you have here doesn’t have any day beginning with the three letters:  Mon.  No ‘Mon’ at all.  None of the remaining days even have even just one of those letters in their own first three!

Check it out:   Tue.  Wed.  Thu.  Fri.  See?  No MNo Oand finally …. No N.  Isn’t this now the greatest week on earth, ever??!!

Wishing you a terrific Tuesday, filled with a little laughter, some lovely smiles and … a smattering of love.

Have a thoroughly groovy one, my friends ~

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And Pigs Might Fly! ~ an ATC painted for World Watercolour Month

I’m going to type this blog post and get it all finished and completed within 15 minutes.  Yeah … and pigs might fly!

I got out my paints this afternoon (Sunday) with the intention of painting an Angel …  but then a stray little ticklish memory came to mind and I found myself pencilling a flying pig, and so I went with it.

AND PIGS MIGHT FLY 1

P ‘And Pigs Might Fly’  ~ an ATC sized painting for ~ #WorldWatercolorMonth

It was quite a quick painting project, the longest time was waiting for colours to dry so I could move onto another colour  …  but my heat gun helped with that just a tad.

Again, painted to the ATC size of 2.5inches by 3.5inches.  You can see the exact size in the photo above – the pencil marks around the sides – but I always leave an ‘over-hang’ so that I can touch/hold the painting and move it around without getting mucky finger prints on it and spoiling it.

AND PIGS MIGHT FLY 3

‘And Pigs Might Fly’  ~ an ATC sized painting for ~ #WorldWatercolorMonth

I tried a white mount around it and quite liked that.  But then tried the blue mount and …

AND PIGS MIGHT FLY 2

‘And Pigs Might Fly’  ~ an ATC sized painting for ~ #WorldWatercolorMonth

…  I quite liked that too.  One moment I love it with the white mount … and the next … well … what can I say.  I like them both.

What about you?  Which one do you prefer?

This really was an enjoyable make.  Watercolour paper.  Watercolour paints.  Some brushes and some water … and VOILA!  One teeny pig with really tiny teeny wings. Somehow I don’t think those wings would carry the pig … but hey…  who am I to judge?  I have no training in these things!  😇

Happy Monday!

I know, I know, you’re not overly impressed with Mondays.  Lots of people aren’t.  So let’s break the system.  Let’s paste a smile on our faces and wear it at every opportunity today.  Why?  Because it makes everyone wonder what the HECK you’ve been up to.   You’ll look like you’ve been up to something or know something.  Keep ’em guessing.  When they ask you just say   “Aw,  nothing,  really” … but say it in *that* way which makes them think that  …  you might not be telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.   And that alone will keep ’em smiling.  lol

Have a truly blessed day my friends,  and wherever you go today,  may your God go with you.

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I Grew a Flower Baby in a Pot! ~ an ATC painted for World Watercolour Month

When it said on the packet:  “Baby Seeds” – I thought it was referring to the size of the flowers which would grow.  I didn’t think I was supposed to take it literally!

Ah I’m joshing with you really.  I didn’t really grow a Baby in a Flower Pot!  I painted a baby growing in a flower-pot …  in ATC size, especially for World Watercolour Month.

Flower Pot Baby 2

an ATC sized painting for ~ #WorldWatercolorMonth

I got about half way through this and wasn’t entirely sure that it was coming out as well as I wanted it to.  I nearly gave up and started again.  Not sure what pushed me on, but I’m so glad that I did because I fell in love with this little scrap by the time I’d finished.

If you look carefully at the photo above, you can just see the pencil marking of the actual size for an ATC/ACEO ~ and that size is:  2.5″x 3.5″.  I tend to cut a piece of watercolour paper just a little bigger than that size so that I can hold onto the card and move it around, as I’m painting ~ without spoiling the painted image with a finger or thumb marks.

Flower Pot Baby 3

an Artists Trading Card sized watercolour painting, painted for  #WorldWatercolorMonth

I tried three different mounts on this little hand painted card and all three seemed to bring out different aspects of the card . . .

Flower Pot Baby 1

A Flower Baby Growing in a Pot ~  an ATC/ACEO painted in watercolours, especially for  #WorldWatercolorMonth

The green mount seems to pick out the two little green leaves growing from each side of the Baby.  Is she/he perhaps ….  a Fairy or Angel Baby?  Are the leaves in fact ….  wings?

But … I think my favourite mount colour, for me, has to be the creamy white mount:

Flower Pot Baby 4

A Flower Baby growing in a Flower Pot!   And ATC/ACEO hand painted  especially for #WorldWatercolorMonth

So … which mount do you prefer?  Blue?  Green?  White?  Or perhaps you prefer no mount at all.

Anyhoo ….  HAPPY SATURDAY!

I hope your day is sweet from morning till night, and that the Bluebird of Happiness flies over your house and leaves a little magic happy dust, sprinkled from its wings, over your home.

Whatever you’re doing today, do it with all of your heart, for that’s where your happiness lives.

Have a truly blessed Saturday my friends.

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Lunar C ~ an ATC/ACEO – painted for World Watercolour Month

Can you hear dogs howling?  Are there rappings at your window?  Do you see strange shapes, female like, travelling past the moon with only a broom as transport?  Do you have bats in your belfry?

Throughout history,  the occurrence of the full moon has been linked to all sorts of strange behaviors. It’s said that some police officers believe that a full moon leads to more crimes being committed.

Me personally?  I think it’s all rubbish.  The only thing that happens during a full moon is that I can see better in the dark, and I don’t reckon that’s because I ate all my carrots either!

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Lunar C.  … an ATC for  #WorldWatercolorMonth  –  lit with the dullest of table lamps – so that it lights the photograph but doesn’t over light it.  It leaves it a little dark and moody.

I was sort of vacant of thought, gazing at the moon through the window and this gave me an idea to paint a [bit of fun] night sky with silhouettes on the ground in ATC size.  So I did.

However not only did I use regular water colours,  I also used a tiny bit of a different type of water-colours, called Gansai Tambi Starry water-colour –  in White Gold.  I used this for the moon and a little on some of the stars,  as I wanted the moon to GLOW.

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Lunar C.  … an ATC for  #WorldWatercolorMonth  –  This photograph is taken with a bright desk lamp – so it shows the moon being a little brighter than the last photo.

The Gansai Tambi Pearl and Starry colours have mica mixed in with the water colours and can give you a truly lovely glow to parts of your paintings which you want to draw attention to.

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Lunar C.  … an ATC for  #WorldWatercolorMonth. This photo taken with the same brighter lamp – but I’ve put a mount around the ATC to frame it better.

I’ve been using these types of ‘twinkly’ water colours for a while now….   I found my very first set years and years ago, packaged up as ‘children’s paints’ and I bought them for just £1.49 from a shop here in the UK, called The Works.  You can see a little ATC here  (click and the link will open up in a new tab) on which I first used those mica paints to paint with.

But the paints I used for brightening the moon in this painting was part of a boxed set of 6, made by Kuretake.

I LOVE Kuretake products.  The company was sited not too far from where I used to live, and every year they would have a monster sale and invite crafters to come and buy.  I must have kept that company going for years!  I spent so much money with them, and learnt so many amazing techniques from their fabulous staff, to do with paints and pens.  They are very much a company who I highly recommend.  BUT … although I know you can buy from that well-known TV Craft Channel (Create and Craft), I urge you to shop around before investing your money there, as I’ve bought some Kuretake products for half the price that they’re selling them on C&C, AND –  I’ve got FREE postage on top too!  So do please shop around if you decide to buy any of the Kuretake items.  The company truly is brilliant, and the products are perfection.  —> Link to Kuretake website HERE.<—  (You can buy direct from them on that website too – check-out the sales items!)

This last photo was taken with the flash on as it’s the brightest light I had on a dark evening a couple of nights ago.   I so wanted to show you how the light plays with the Gansai Tambi Starry water-colours and makes something so simple become something quite stunning….

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Lunar C.  … an ATC for  #WorldWatercolorMonth.

…  and …  what you see in the photograph isn’t the true story.  That moon looks like MAGIC!  So magical that it makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck!

The only thing I would change about this tiny ATC (2.5″x3.5″) is …  that I wish I’d have gently dotted stars into the scene, instead of dragging my fingernail over the bristles of the damp brush to get the ‘splots’.  I totally forgot that I was working small-sized and because of that I should have dotted the stars in individually using a tiny brush or dotter.  tsk tsk.  By the time I’d got to that part, I couldn’t change the dots as it would have spoilt the sky … so I left it as is.  But to be honest .. in real life, the dots aren’t as ‘in your face’ as they appear on the photo’s.  It’s my own fault for being away with the fairies as I was painting.  lol

The next full moon, here in the UK, isn’t until the 7th August 2017 – so make a note and …  don’t forget to howl at the moon!  (Google will be your friend if you want to know when the next full moon is where you live).

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Thank you SO much for coming and sharing a coffee with me. It’s so fabulous to spend time with you.  If you fancy a wee chat, then please leave a comment in the comments box below and I promise I’ll reply the very next visit I make to the blog here. (and I come here regularly – so you won’t have to wait long! 😉 )

Before we part …  I need you to know that I receive no incentive, payment or encouragement from Kuretake, or any other company,  when I recommend products to you.  I speak to you as a fellow crafter, with many years experience.  I research and buy all my own supplies – and if money would allow I’d buy even more supplies just so that I could share them with you and share the results I get from using them.

Of course,  if Kuretake,  or any other craft product company, happen to be reading my blog and would like to share some of their products with me so that I can share [honestly]  the results I get from using them, with you – then I’d be more than happy to do that.  (but the chances are very slim that any craft company will be reading my blog so I won’t hold my breath!)  🙂

Have a truly brilliant Saturday.  I hope the weather is just right for you – not too warm that you’re uncomfortable, and not too cold so that you require a hot water bottle for your feet!  May your day end with you looking back over the hours, and smiling a satisfied, contented smile.

Be kind to yourself, . . .  and each other.

Much love ~

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