A special Thank You [Tag] Card

My last post told you about how a bad week was turned about by a token of incredible wonderfulness from an amazing fellow blogger, Mrs.Craft.  (If you missed the post you can find it HEREit will open in another window for you).

I wanted to make something to say ‘Thank You’but something a bit different from just a normal thank you card.  I’d been working on an idea of making a post about Tag Art,  and suddenly a little Fairy sparkle of an idea grabbed me and spurred me on to make a Tag Art card for Mrs.Craft.  But I needed a theme.  hmmmm

Something popped into my mind.  Mrs.Craft is the maker of some extraordinary show stopping slippers….  knitted slippers.  BUT STOP…  don’t think of ‘knitted slippers’, instead think Fairy Boots.

Mrs. Craft calls her creations Crocodile stitch slippersWhat kind of name is that for something which belongs in the land of the Fairies??  It says nothing about the absolute fabulousness of those magical slippers.   I mean to say … look at these Boots …

Every time Mrs.Craft posted about her ‘Crocodile stitch Boots’, I told her in a comment that she really should consider calling them something more wonderful.  Fairy Boots.  Unicorn Rider Boots.  Elfin Creepers.  That sort of thing.  Of course … Green creations could be called Crocodile Creepers.  But not these fantastical wonders!

When I was a child I can remember not wanting to wear my slippers which my mom had bought me.  But had they been given a magical name such as ‘Samantha’s Slippers’ or ‘Bewitched bootees’  (both after the TV series Bewitched – which I adored to as a child),  then I doubt very much that you’d have ever got them off my feet!

So with a nod to the Fairy vibe  I decided to theme the Thank You Tag card around Fairy Land, and I share the resulting card with you here…

(. . . and to borrow the words of Willy Wonka himself . . .)

“Come with me and you’ll be in a world of pure imagination . . .”

 

Admit one to Wonderland a

A Card for Mrs. Craft

The large red balloon was made by cutting out the same shape over and over, and then glueing them to each other so that the ‘half round’ shape for the balloon was achieved.

3 Admit one to Wonderland - Balloon

Oooo, yes please …  ‘Admit One to Wonderland’   I’m all for that!

….and … of course, there had to be Fairy Dust, after all …  we were in Wonderland!

2 Admit one to Wonderland - Fairy Dust

What better place to allow your thoughts to take flight than when you’re DREAMING!

4 Admit one to Wonderland - Book Mark

The Scroll on the front, to the right of the balloon reads:  “How does one become a butterfly?”  she asked.  “You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a CATERPILLAR”.

Admit one to Wonderland - Poster

All the butterflies you see on the front are hand-made from card, but with a mix of embossing powders on them, and heated over and over, in order to make them look enamelled.  There are a couple of hidden ‘smiles’ on the front of the card, but I couldn’t photograph those as they were tucked away and pretty impossible to try to get a photo of.

Shall we go inside?

5 Admit one to Wonderland inside

A peep into the middle…

6 Admit one to Wonderland

The centre is a tad less decorated … because wellone has to have a place to write!  But it still has charm …

10 Admit one to Wonderland - Book Mark2

The ‘DREAM’ which you saw peeping over the top of the front of the card is actually a Bookmark which I made specially for Mrs.Craft, for this card.  It simply slides off the top of the card, and can be used as a regular bookmark.

On one side of the inner card there is a ‘scroll’ which reads…

7 Admit one to Wonderland - In order to enter

…  and it continues on the other page of the card, and tells you exactly what you need to enter the Land of the Fae…

8 Admit one to Wonderland - One must come with the right Key

OF COURSE!! … one must come with the right KEY  …  now why didn’t I think of that?!   So …  where do we get the right key from???

9 Admit one to Wonderland - key

…  look closely.  ‘The Right Key’ is there … suspended on a cobweb thread, inside a tiny glass bottle, which has been sealed closed and dusted with Fairy Dust.  The glass bottle is hung inside the card, on a length of woven Unicorn Mane Hair. (or something like that).

Admit one to Wonderland 4

… And of course … no one would expect that a Tag Art card,  made with the help of a Fairy who was sat on my shoulder, would have a plain ol’ boring back.  Nooooo.  Mrs. Craft deserved the full works …  and the Fairy whispered into my ear and told me I was to tell her this …

11 Admit one to Wonderland Your Wings Exist Fly

“Your Wings exist  . . . FLY!”  …. so, Mrs.Craft,  I know you’re reading this, and I wanted to tell you that the Fairy who was sat on my shoulder told me to tell you that your wings really do exist.  Don’t be afraid to fly.  (But I don’t think she meant jump off a ledge and fly…  not that sort of flying.  I think she meant that you can do anything you put your mind to.  And … I agree with her.  I think you can too.   So then…. ETSY shop here you come!).  😜

Thank you again Mrs.C for the wonderful gifts.  You won’t ever know how much your kindness  meant  means to me.  Bless your beautiful heart.

Edit to add:  Mrs.Craft has (a few hours before I did) made a blog post about this card and the fabulous Chutney which she had made and sent me a jar of.  If you’d like to read her post too, you can do  HERE   <— click to be taken to Mrs.Crafts blog post.

And now you …. no, not Mrs. Craft, but you...  you reading right now …  I want to do a post about Tag Art.  So … we’ll do that in a few days.  You see a little while back …  I introduced some folks to working in ATC size – which I was thrilled to pieces about.  Seriously so.  But … I kind of would love to also introduce those folks to TAG ART too.  It’s another fabulous way to craft, and really very easy.  So … that post will come in a few days. I promise. [holds pinky finger up]

Thank you so much for coming.  I love seeing you here and love even more when I get to chat with you, so please say hello in a comment.  Tell me what’s going on.  How you are.  How your cat/dog/bird/children/boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife/parent(s) are.  Failing that … tell me your current guilty secret.  Have you bought something you shouldn’t?  Or planning to?  Do tell.  I love the juicy bits!  😎

I hope your Thursday is a truly lovely day.  Please …  Do something which makes someone else smile.  Pull a face.  Cross your eyes and pull your tongue out.  Just make someone smile.  It might just make their whole day into something worth being alive for.

A smile is a magical gift.  Use it.  LOTS.   It never runs out. 

Sending oodles of squidges to you ~

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In Fairy Land ~ an ATC painted for World Watercolour Month

Once upon a Time, there was a Princess Fairy who lived in a tall tower in Fairy Land.  From the window she would wave her magic wand over all the people of the Land which would sprinkle them with magical wishes.

Aaaand … back here in the real world….

Maaaaany years ago –  at least 10 but probably around 15 to be honest, Daughter No.2 bought me a Birthday card which was just a total delight to me.  It was like all of a sudden my daughter ‘got’ me.  She saw a card so perfect for my birthday that going against everything that I’ve always taught my girls (buying cards is just such an expense – yes you have to purchase one, but don’t spend half a weeks wages on one!), she spent a little fortune on.

Now,  I keep greetings cards.  All types.  For Birthdays or just for ‘Hello I thought of you and am sending you this‘ types of card.  I’m very much into the whole physical memories of something, and will keep cards and little mementoes for ever!  I have a drawer in my craft room where I’ve kept cards from years gone by and every now and then I get them out just to make me feel wonderful.  Each one holds a special memory, and a ‘trick’ to get that memory from the back of my mind so that I can enjoy the moment all over again.  And there, in that drawer is a humongous card – very very tall but not very wide, – which I have cherished from the moment Daughter No.2 gave it to me.  Here it is . . .

4

It’s about (guessing here) 18″ – 22″ tall.  (I should have measured it and I didn’t think.  I’m not tip toeing over to the craft room now because it’s belting down with rain outside!).  You can now see why I’m showing you this card.  It has a picture of Fairy Land on the front and I just loved it from the moment I opened the envelope.  When I saw it in the drawer I instantly thought I’d have a go at turning it into a tiny ATC of 2.5inches wide by 3.5 inches tall.

(yes, that photo was taken in my craft room)

Some of you might remember me telling you that I taught my little girls, when they were knee-high to an ant, that if anyone should ask them how old their mommy was, they were to say ….  “My Mommy is ONLY 27″ …  and I have remained 27 since I was 27.  Each year Daughter No.2 remembers this and sends me a birthday celebrating my 27th Birthday.  Have a look inside this card .. . . .

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…  ah… you’ll need that blown up a little to read it …..

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Her name has been removed (to protect the innocent) ….  she writes:  “To Mom, have a great  (27th)  Birthday!  Have fun,  love and snuggles ______ x“.  I thought that since I was using the picture on the card as my inspiration for a little watercolour for World Watercolour Month, I might as well share the inside of the card so that you can see that I trained my girls sooooooo well!  LOL

Anyhoo … back to this little watercolour.  This one was a real struggle. It’s difficult to go into detail when you’re reducing something to a ridiculous size like this, so I had a real problem with the Princess Fairy.  I perhaps, in hindsight, should have left her out – as I did the shutters on the windows (not enough room to keep them in).

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an ATC for  #WorldWatercolorMonth

I couldn’t make my mind up on the mount … green or blue?  You choose and tell me what you think …

2

an ATC for  #WorldWatercolorMonth

…  Green?  …  OR ….

3

an ATC for  #WorldWatercolorMonth

 

…  Blue?   Each one brings out something different.  The Blue one brings out the shooting star and seems to make the colours just a little more vivid.  Where-as the Green mount makes it look more subtle and … ‘fairyfied’.  OOoo… choices, choices!

And that’s all there was to it!

We have an almighty storm going on here as I type.  The thunder is so loud that it’s making the dog bark and me jump.  It’s pelting down with rain and I’m thinking that all my flowers are going to get a right old bashing!

I’m not entirely surprised that the weather has changed like this.  It’s been far too hot for it to continue without some sort of storm cooling things down. (although I don’t feel any cooling down happening at the moment.  I’m still boiling hot!)   I feel dreadfully sorry for the county next but one to where I live  …  Cornwall.  They’ve had some awful flash floods there today (Tuesday) and they’ve had to go out in helicopters and rescue folks who have been trapped in their houses by rising waters.  I watched it on the TV news at 6pm and it looked awful!

Well… that’s me done and dusted.  I’m now going to schedule this post to happen in the early hours of (UK time) the morning, and I’m then taking myself to bed and taking the wee little  chubby  doggy with me.

Whatever you’re doing today do it with a smile on your face and hope in your heart.   To prove to yourself exactly how blessed you are, imagine that you woke up this morning only with the things that you gave thanks for yesterday.  Puts things into order does that little thought.

Sending you love, and a bucket of squidges which should last you all day long …  sig-coffee-copy

 

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Four tiny works of [he]art, called ATC’s / ACEO’s

Morning all, and a very Happy Monday!  Something a little different from the norm today.

Some folks might already know exactly what an ATC or an ACEO isbut some may notso I’ll give a short explaination to make sure that we’re all reading from the same hymn sheet and no one is at a disadvantage!

ATCs and ACEOs are  2 1/2  x  3 1/2  inch  works of art.  The only real difference between the two is the commercial (for sale) intent of the art piece by the artist.

  • ACEO = Art Cards, Editions, and Originals are virtually the same as ATCs, EXCEPT  they were created with the intent to be sold.
  • ATC = Artist Trading Cards were created with the intent to trade them only. (i.e. given as a swap with someone else, and no money changing hands).

While art is subjective, the quality of craftsmanship and materials used are important, so there are guidelines:

Examples of ‘Sub-par’ works are:

  • Collage elements falling off / poorly glued / glue showing
  • Cards of the wrong size  (It’s a very strict size of 2.5″ x 3.5″)
  • Computer print outs which haven’t been made by the ATC maker, and poorly drawn over.
  • Cards created with little to no thought (i.e. a sticker or rubber stamped image on a plain piece of cardboard with little to no extra effort)
  • Scribbles on a plain piece of paper

Basically you should make what you would dearly love and want to receive.

Ok .. schools out.

I like to paint my ATC’s & ACEO’s – but have been known to make the odd fun art card which may have beads, images, book pages, musical manuscripts and all manner of other things attached to them.  It’s just as the fancy takes me.  However, these ATC’s / ACEO’s which I share today have all been painted, on water-colour card, pre-cut to the correct size.

This first one was inspired by the Lavender plants in my garden.

Lavender pot

The colour of the mount is actually more like the green in the photo at the head of this post.  The flash has changed the colour here and made it look more like a sage green.

The mount in the photo (the surrounding green board) is from a selection of different coloured mounts I asked a framer to make for me, in the right size, with the ‘hole’ cut to the correct size to take the ATC/ACEO.  The mounts are not a requirement for an Art Card – but personally, I really love having the mounts if I want to frame a card.  The Art Cards themselves are so small, they could easily get lost inside a frame, so I love to use the mounts to draw the eye inwards to the art.

This next Art Card is again inspired by my garden (and again, the green mount has been washed out by the flash):

British Bluebells

Bluebells.  ATC/ACEO – 2.5″ x 3.5″ in size.

I have Bluebells in little groups of flowery hats for fairies,  all over the garden.  When in bloom they look like a fairy milliner has set out a selection of different sized Bluebell Hats, ready for any passing fairy to try on for size.

Of course .. there are some Bluebells which are of the larger size … and I should imagine that the Fairy Dress Designer is kept busy making beautiful skirts and frocks for those fairies who wish to be dressed by the best!

This next Art Card is something from the Fairy Gardens up and down the lands ….  It’s official name is Taraxacum –  or – to you and me: –  a Dandelion Clock.  But you and I know them as they really are:  Fairies, or Fairy Wishes … which are meant to be picked and blown whilst making a wish!

Dandelion Wishes

Make a Wish!  An Art Card ATC/ACEO of 2.5″ x 3.5″ in size.

Although it first appears to be painted simply in black and white, it has three different greens, two different whites,  a very soft grey colour and black.  It also has some cheeky dots of glitter dust.  Well …  it’s a Fairy Wish …. it would have been rude not to include glitter dust!

Information about Dandelion plants from that font of knowledge Wiki:

Taraxacum is a large genus of flowering plants in the family Asteraceae, which consists of species commonly known as dandelion.  They are native to Eurasia and North America, but the two commonplace species worldwide,  T. officinale and T. erythrospermum,  were imports from Europe that now propagate as wildflowers.  Both species are edible in their entirety.  

I’m teaching my Grandson, Little Cobs, this poem (which I loaned my Art Card to, as a background)  and trying to get him to remember to say it before he blows a Dandelion Clock and makes a wish ….

1 Dandelion poem by SA Hall

Dandelion poem written by S.A.Hall.

And finally, in this set of four ATC’s (Artist Trading Cards – aka ACEO’s) is a little bunch of Delphiniums, tied up with a bow of green …

Delphiniums

ATC/ACEO – A Bunch of Delphiniums,  painted in the size of 2.5″x 3.5″

The spring green coloured bow is something which is allowed in an ATC/ACEO.  It’s all part of the art.

If you’re interested in finding out more about ACEO’s/ATC’s,  and perhaps making some yourself then there are lots of forums which are dedicated to this art form.  One here:  ATCs For All .com  and I’ve also found another site which gives information which you might find helpful here: artpromotivate.com  …  but Google will be your bestest friend if you’d like to see more.

There are also a bucket-load of video’s on You Tube which you can watch – ranging from a couple of minutes to …. oh, well, how long is a piece of string?!!!

Some people take their Art Cards extremely seriously and will spend hours on them.  Some make them for fun and to pass a bit of time doing something which has no stress.  Other’s make them for no reason, and some folks make them, and swap them with other makers.  Some people make and sell them … and some of these artists have quite a following and can command quite high prices for such a tiny piece of artwork.  And then there’s me …. who makes them and will either keep them, send them to someone as a surprise, or I’ll use them on a handmade card … or even use them in scrap-booking.

A Bunch of Flowers

Have a go!  You don’t need to paint, you can glue, stick, draw, … anything  Just do have a go  … and if you do … please blog your lovely artwork and let everyone see it.  You might just be the person who inspires others to take up this fabulous little pastime,  and you might also find out that you really like playing in this tiny frame!

Before I toddle off …. 

May I take a moment to say HELLO  to some new followers who no doubt will become friends with us all eventually.  I won’t name names, but please feel welcome to comment on blog posts and introduce yourself.  If you have a blog yourself you can bet your sweet bippy that people here will come and visit your blogs and you might even pick up some new followers yourself too!

Anyhoo Happy Monday  and …  have a truly wonderful week!   Thank you so much for coming and joining me in having a coffee round the kitchen table.  I love seeing you here.

Sending squidges and lots of Monday love to all.  Be good to each other and  … may your God go with you.  ~

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Do You Believe in Fairies? Professor says he has photographic proof fairies are real

Fairies DO exist, says Manchester Metropolitan University lecturer John Hyatt.

Fairies DO exist, says Manchester Metropolitan University lecturer John Hyatt.

The photograph above is a real, really real, true photograph.  There is no fakery or Photoshop trickery with this image.   It’s a straight photograph, taken in the Rossendale Valley, Lancashire,  by Professor John Hyatt of Manchester Metropolitan University.  Take a look at it again.  Actually look at it before you carry on reading.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of the world’s favourite ultra-rational detective, Sherlock Holmes, believed that there was no scientific reason why fairies could not exist.   In his 1922 book, The Coming of the Fairies, he said:


We see objects within the limits which make up our colour spectrum, with infinite vibrations, unused by us, on either side of them. If we could conceive a race of beings which were constructed in material which threw out shorter or longer vibrations, they would be invisible unless we could tune ourselves up or tone them down… there is nothing scientifically impossible, so far as I can see, in some people seeing that which is invisible to others.


Doyle was writing about the famous photographs of fairies made by two Cottingley cousins, –  schoolgirls Elsie and Frances,  in 1917,  and like many others at the time,  he hoped they were true photographs.   Sadly, they weren’t. 

Cottingley Fairies 2

Photograph of The Cottingley Fairies featuring Elsie Wright (1901–1988)

 

The girls finally admitted later in life that they had indeed faked the photographs using painted cardboard cut-outs.   However, even though the photographs weren’t real,  the girls (at this point, women)  still  insisted  on the reality of fairies.

Cottingley Fairies 1

Photograph of a Cottingley Fairy featuring Elsie Wright (1901–1988)

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle then went on the speculate,

‘If the objects are indeed there, and if the inventive power of the human brain is turned upon the problem, it is likely that some sort of psychic spectacles, inconceivable to us at the moment, will be invented, and that we shall all be able to adapt ourselves to the new conditions. ‘.

Photograph of a Cottingley Fairy featuring Frances Griffiths (died 1986)

Photograph of a Cottingley Fairy
featuring Frances Griffiths (died 1986)

Now, almost a hundred years later, Professor John Hyatt of Manchester Metropolitan University has taken a series of true photographs of fairies.

When asked now about the existence of fairies, Professor Hyatt  said:

“People can decide for themselves what they are but the message is to approach them with an open mind.

“Let the world decide for itself.  It is my job, as an artist, to open people’s eyes to the wonders through which they walk every day.”

So the question now is,  after everything you’ve just read and seen . . .    

Do  YOU  believe in the existence of Fairies?

Have a fabulous rest of your day, all.  May your day be filled with magical things.

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