Little Cottages at the Harbour.

We have a saying, here in Great Britain, which is said to someone you haven’t seen for a time.  It’s:  ‘Well look what the cat dragged in!’,  and it seems pretty apt right now, for I haven’t been able to blog for almost 4 weeks.  FOUR WEEKS!  And …. I haven’t even brought a note from my mother either!  Tsk tsk. (more about why I haven’t been, in a minute).

Well … I’m here, dragged in by the cat (so to speak), and sharing a little thing I actually made during July.  I photographed it … and then couldn’t find where I’d saved the photos, so I’ve ended up photographing it all over again, so that I could come and share it with you.  It’s called:  The Little Cottages at the Harbour.

the Little Cottages at the Harbour

I have a small bundle of driftwood, here in my craft room.  It’s all incredibly lovely to handle – so smooth and has its own story,  a  life as being part of something else – I’d love to know what, but that’s a secret kept only by the sea.  The sea did what the sea does and made this wood something incredible, but now I needed to give a piece of this driftwood a new life to lead.

I sat with a little piece of it on my desk for a few days before finally deciding that it would be a base for some little fishing cottages that would be found by the sea – perhaps not quite as close to the sea as I’ve put them here, but a little artistic licence came into play in the creating process as I very much wanted to include a boat in the scene, so water was (obviously) a must!

Close up of the Little Sail boat
see the sea-foam where it’s splashed up the bottom of the boat, and is slowly ‘dripping and draining’ away again?

The houses and the two seagulls (stood having a chat on the top of one of the houses) I made from clay.  The clothes hanging on the washing line were all cut by hand, from felt;  and the grass,  the slate pathway, the wet looking sea with its sea-foam, and all the other various bits and pieces, were all made from things I have knocking about my craft room, all stored in wee little pots, just waiting for their chance to pop out and play.

the rear of The Little Cottages at the Harbour
a view around the back of the little cottages.

Of course …  the smoke coming out of the chimney is real.  [cough-porky pie-cough]  🙂

The whole thing measures just 5.25″ long (or 13.3cm) and 1.75″ wide (4.4cm) at its widest point.

Well that’s the crafty bit over and done with … now comes why I wasn’t at school for ages.  So … if you only came to have some crafty joy, please stop reading now.  Those of you who are gluttons for punishment, read on….

An Alternative Note than one from my mother:

I shall put it all in as few words as I can:  An ongoing, long-standing medical problem is being a problem, but after six and a half years with my new doctors sending me for test after test;  so many x-rays I swear I glow in the dark;  huge great hollow needles being shoved into my hands (had to mention that one as it horrified me when I saw what they were about to do), which was testing nerve responses;  and so much blood taken from me for tests that I now put every phlebotomist under the one title of:  ‘The Dracula Brigade’ – …  I’ve finally been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia – which,  for those who don’t know what it is,  is a disease of the central nervous system.

For years I’ve been blaming my spinal injury (result of a RTA some years ago) for all these things that had begun to happen, and they were getting worse and worse and driving me crazy, but it was something else which was happening all the time!

Apparently Heaven is determined to get its hands on me and is wearing me down, one injury, one illness, one ‘broken’ bit at a time, until I eventually give in or give out!

Then . . .  the oven [in the kitchen] decided to turn up its toes.

Then . . . the dishwasher apparently couldn’t cope with life without the oven and it died of a broken heart.

Then . . .  Mr.Cobs, in his attempt to get the dishwasher out of the kitchen, manoeuvred it out of its hole which it lived in, (under the work top).  He got the machine out but then had to crawl into the now vacated spot to unplug the dishwasher from the hidden electrical socket …. and upon completing the unplugging task, he was backing out of the space …. thought he’d backed out far enough and . . .  lifted his head . . . only to find that he’d misjudged the distance and WHAM … he hit the top of his head on the underside edge of our wooden, 2″ thick work tops and cut his head open!

OH MY GOODNESS!!!  SOOOooooo much blood!  Clean tea-towel after clean tea-towel came into use and I folded one into a firm pad and gave it to Mr.C with the instructions of putting it on the cut and holding it firmly in place.  I managed to get him to a comfortable place to sit (I was scared silly that he’d pass out on the floor, as this is not a weedy chap we’re talking about here.  He’s a tall, meaty chap and there would be no way I could pick him up or drag him anywhere!

After asking him various questions (who’s the Prime Minister of our country.  What year is it.  What’s his date of birth etc) to establish that he was still in mental working order, I feared to look but knowing that I had to . . .  with torch in hand I carefully examined the site and found that damage was a small cut of less than half an inch!  From the amount of blood I honestly thought that there would be a huge gaping gap of around 4/5 inches.  I’d already planned to call an ambulance as I feared him bleeding to death if I drove him in the car to the hospital.

He suffered a bit of a headache (as you’d expect) but a couple of pain killers and sitting quietly for a while made him feel a little better.  And … the blood flow stopped … which I’m guessing is down to the amount of prayers I shot out of my heart and head from the moment I saw the blood dripping down his face.

Rest assured though dear reader, he is perfectly fine and totally groovy now.

Of course, while all the above was going on, normal life was also taking place – as it does – but somethings got left, pushed to one side, or put on the back burner, and sadly blogging was one of those things.  Sorry about that.

I don’t know what’s going on this summer.  Is it the heat?  Is it the fact that we in Great Britain aren’t used to this amount of ‘Summer’ happening all at once?  I have no idea.  I only know that this Summer has [personally] brought trouble with it and I’ll be really rather glad to see the back of it.  I’m looking forward to Sunday, 23rd September – for that’s the official date that Autumn begins here in the UK, and from that date I’ve decided that there will be no more trouble.

Autumn is one of my most favourite times and I’m in talks with God about how life hasn’t been very fair recently.  God, though, has an answer for everything – and says if not me, then who?  And I and my heart truthfully can’t answer that one.

Anyhoo . . .  I hope that you haven’t met with any problems or even disasters, which were too much for you to cope with.  Remember – into each life a little rain must fall, so don’t feel that you’re alone when something happens out of the blue which you would rather hadn’t happened.  I can guarantee that at least one other person reading these words as you read them right now, will have gone through pretty much the same thing and can relate to how you feel.

So  . . .  If you’re going through ‘it’ … we’re all standing right beside you, cheering you on and shouting words of encouragement.  You’re not alone.  We’re right here.

Thanks for coming and taking a peep at the Little Cottages at the Harbour, and having a read of this ‘diary entry’ for what happened in August!  It’s truly great to see you.  I’ve missed you all so very much.

Have a fabulous Monday and a truly blessed week.  Much love ~ 

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Tag Art.

Back in 2014 I began the Tag Art category here on the blog and although I did post Tag Art from time to time,  I didn’t post in that category all that often except to add a bit of something or other, every now and again.

A couple of weeks ago I had a bit of a change around in my craft room and came across the box labelled ‘Tag Art’, and I realised that I hadn’t done any Tag Art in …  well I couldn’t even remember when!

I thought I could perhaps wake it up and see if I can interest anyone in trying a little tag art too.

If you haven’t met Tag Art before then can I suggest that you read the opening post in the Tag Art category on this blog, which tells you everything you might need to know about Tag Art.  (There aren’t any rules).  You’ll hopefully find suggestions to get your mind working and your arty fingers itching.

You can find that opening post here:  We’ll start with a Basic (little) Tag … With a (little) basic art.  

The photo at the head of this post is of a Tag that I made ages ago for one of the first posts on Tag Art here on the blog, but felt that it would be nice to begin with an oldy but goody.

I’ve also taken some photo’s of Tags I still have in the box to share with you.  Some are there because I kind of liked them.  Some were ideas for a tag which I never got around to doing anything about.  And some are there because I didn’t throw them away. . .  … and there are a few photos.  So in an effort to take away the mystery and show you that anything YOU make on a tag is great!

1 Christmas Tag
Ho Ho Ho.
3 Material Tag
A card tag, grunged up a little, with a panel of fabric sewn to it.  Halloween!
2. Bamboo Tag
Made using a blue card tag and two colours of a Kuretaki calligraphy pen to make the bamboo tree trunks
4 Kuretaki Coloured Pens Tag
Practise tags.  I was trying to work out the best way to draw a sunflower using my Kuretake Calligraphy pens.  I got there in the end, but sadly forgot to take a photo.  (Margaret is my neighbour)
5 Felt Pen Fairy Tag Art
Of course .. you just KNEW there HAD to be a fairy here  somewhere or other.  lol  She was an idea I had for what a particular type of fairy might look like for another project I had in mind.
6 Painted Ginger Face Tag7
A bit of ginger joy on a tag.  I painted LOTS of these tags a while ago, and put them all on the front of some plain white cards, and sent them out for Christmas.  I loved the fabulous little ginger faces SO much that I decorated some circles and stars shapes made from wood, with these wonderful happy faces and hung them on my christmas tree.  I still have them today, and still hang them on the tree every year.  Love them.
9 Tag Stamped image
If you make Tag Art, you must make sure that you sign the back (and date it) so that your tag can be seen to be made/painted by you.
8 Tag Stamp
I bought the ‘Tag Art’ stamp as an unmounted red rubber stamp, and the moment it arrived I went routing around the scraps of wood in Mr.Cobs shed, found this piece, inked up the stamp and pressed it onto the back and then glued the stamp to the other side.  I’ve had this stamp for about twelve years now.

Tag Art is anything you want it to be.  It can be painted, drawn, stamped, coloured with pencils, felt tip pens, specialist colouring pens, or left with no colour at all.  You can glue things, attach things – lace, ribbon, adornments, bits of wood, leaves, acorns, feathers, anything.  Anything which you want to fix to your tag you can.  (Obviously you can’t attach something which is too heavy – no sticking a car engine to a tag, because it’s just not going to work! lol).  You can add paste – maybe through a stencil to give a texture.  Glitter, small dolls, toy soldiers, plastic animals,  flowers, (pretend and pressed) … anything.  Do anything you like to get the result you have in your head.  Make it complicated or make it simple – like the tag at the head of this post – the one with the blue flower on it.  Just make some art, because it gives you a ‘high’ which you won’t get anywhere else.

Here’s a tag I made especially so that I could include it here.  It’s a simple tag … and to prove that it’s simple I’ve taken photographs of each step along the way which I did to make the tag.  Here’s the finished tag . . . .

6 You are my Special Angel

The finished tag measures 9.5inches or 24.5cm x 5.4″inches or 13.5cm.

I measured out the length of card I would need to put the image of the Angel onto the card, cut the card to size and then gave that card the pointy top you see in the photo.

I stamped the image and began to paint her colours . . .

1 You are my Special Angel

2 You are my Special Angel
I decided to keep her colours to greys and blues in order to give this a cold winter breeze feeling.
3 You are my Special Angel
I coloured up the background with a watery wash of pale grey.  Then turned my attention to the edges and echoed the denim blue of her jacket and wings.  I then added the snow at her feet which she was stood in,  and added dots of snow as it fell from the heavens.
4 You are my Special Angel
image taken from a different angle so that you can see the ‘snow’
5 You are my Special Angel
Mounted the image onto black card to echo the black of the stamped image.
6 You are my Special Angel
Added lengths of lace at the bottom, and towards the top of the tag.  I added charms to hang from that lace – these are made from Tibetan Silver, and the angel coin in the centre at the bottom has a more vintage look about it.  It has an angel cut from the centre, and around that it says ‘You are My Special Angel’.  I embossed all around the edges of the Tag in Silver Embossing Powder.  There are little ‘feathers’ at each end of the lace, along the top of the tag.  These are made of velum.  The card then was mounted onto some royal purple coloured card.  I punched a hole towards the top where the point is, using my Crop-a-dile, and added an eyelet, for the ribbon to hang by.
9 You are my Special Angel
The Tibetan Silver Feathers and the Angel coin hanging at the bottom of the Tag.

And of course .…  don’t forget to sign your Tag Art on the back …  and perhaps date it, even give it a name and any other details you feel you want to add to your art.

8 You are my Special Angel
The end of a really simple bit of Tag Art.

What do people do with their tags once made?  Well you can do pretty much anything you have a mind to do.  I have a tendency to mount them on or in cards, or use them in scrapbooks.  However, I also keep some of them because I fall so deeply in love with them that I simply can’t part with them.  So I store them.  I have a box, and some big clippy pegs which I use to hold bits of art.  People also keep tags in Library Drawers. They make a particular sized tag so that they can be stored in that special draw which they have.  I’ve also seen tags hung on a wire coat hanger, and they look spectacular like that.  I can imagine them hung on a wall in the house, and one tag could be chosen to ‘speak’ for a few days, and then move it along the hanger and choose another tag to display.

Addit tag Alice in Wonderland

I'd Swim Oceans for You Addit

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addition tag

10

Make a Wish or Two!
A dandelion wish, and a wish-bone wish!
easel-card-cobweborium-1
A Tag, which has some surprise Tags!

Make your tag(s) about anything you want.  Anything you have an interest in.  Anything which would make you smile.

Just a crocheted flower on a plain tag … draw a plant pot and a stalk and you’re done!  Maybe a picture of a bike in the newspaper?  Or an advertisement for perfume, hair spray, cosmetics, fishing equipment?  Anything.  Anything at all.  Then build your tag up a little – eg. if you chose the fishing equipment, you could perhaps add a bit of netting somewhere on the tag, or a plastic fish you’ve ‘tidied up’ from your children’s games, maybe a photo of a fish which you fix to card (for stability) and then fix in place using foam tape to give the tag a little depth.  Add ribbon and anything else you’d like and VOILA!  One Art Tag!

You can buy your tags … or you can simply use card and cut tags to the size you want them.  Round Tags, square, triangular, kite shaped, banner shaped.  Anything you like.  Oh … and I almost forgot to say … once you’ve made it, you can also use it on a gift just like a normal gift tag, so when you hand your gift over, what you’ll be giving is actually two gifts.

Go on.  Make some Art.  You KNOW you want to.  Do it.  Go do it now!  Have some fun!

crafting-2

coffee cup

If you’d like to have a go at Tag Art, do it today.  Don’t put it off till a week next Tuesday, do it now while you have the inspiration bubbling inside you.

You can buy tags almost anywhere and for a small amount too.  Add some PVA glue, an empty cereal box so that you can back some images and give them support (for things like pictures cut from magazines and newspapers), and you’re good to go.

We’re only given so many tomorrows and at some point those tomorrows run out.  So do it now.  Enjoy yourself now.  Have a little fun.  You never know, you might like it so much that you decide to buy some proper card to back your pictures/cut-outs and from there … the sky’s the limit!

Have a truly blessed rest of your day.  May you end the day by looking in the mirror and smiling at yourself.  And . . . . Let’s make a brand new rule for life;   as from tonight, always be a little kinder than is necessary.  That’s all the world needs to begin repairing itself.  Us to be a little kinder than is necessary.

Sending my love ~

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Let’s Light up the Christmas Village

I’ve been finally making Christmas cards (did I hear someone say “about time too!” at the back there?!).  At the moment I seem to be having a love affair with white and most of the cards I’m making are, in the main, white.  Maybe with a touch of colour from a ribbon, or some such, but on the whole I’m loving the white, so I’m going with it because it’s the path of happiness – and, I’ll admit, ease, because ease is what I’m aiming for right now.

I’m here sharing the card which, inside my head, as I planned it out, I could see how easy it would be to do what I wanted to do.  The planning was easier than the making, for once I got to the making, cutting, piecing together, sitting back and thinking it out a bit more and trying again …  well, I’m willing to share with you that I left this all in a pile on my desk twice and walked off to do something else because I fell out with it – due mainly to my lack of patience I think. (And a die which took six passes through the machineI have no idea why because the second time I cut it out, it cut it out properly on the very first pass! doh!)

christmas-silhouette-1

I know that looking at this first photograph, you’re perhaps wondering why I was having such a struggle with this card.  After all …  it’s just a fairly simple card, with a black silhouette of a village scene, and a couple of die cut ‘wreaths’ in white.  Ahh …  but it’s not…

christmas-silhouette-3

Getting any clues from this silhouette now?  (sorry about the fuzzy photo …  the camera didn’t want to focus on the village, it wanted to gaze longingly at the flame on the t.light, like some love struck nincompoop!)  Shall I give you a clue?  ….  ok …. look at the colour of the card, compared with the colour behind the (black) silhouette.

“Ahhhhh!”   . . .  I hear you say

OK … well this one will give it away ….

christmas-silhouette-4

The t-light is actually a battery operated t-light,  so safe to use with (or in this case inside) a card.

Made using a 7″x 7″ folded white card;  parchment (for behind the silhouette) and die cut wreaths which I overlayed, in different positions, and used one for the inside of the card also, in order to finish off the inside, around the parchment, in a decorative fashion.

If you look really carefully at the house on the top  ‘snow’ drift slope (over to your right as you’re looking at the photo above) you can see some ‘smoke’ coming out of the chimney pot!  Sadly, what you can’t see in any of the photo’s, even though I tried my very hardest, is the snow which I drew on the back of the parchment, which you can actually see even if the t-light isn’t lit.  It just wouldn’t make itself known to you in the photos.

christmas-silhouette-2
Taken with the t-light inside lit, and a desk lamp on, so that you could see it as you’d see it if it were on your shelf at home.

To be fair – I could have made this easier for myself to make, had I not wanted to die cut a wreath into the card itself, so making it able to see the light from the flickering t-light through a die cut wreath shape as well as a silhouette through the ‘picture’ window, and also wanting to use acetate to suspend the village scene in the window.   Yes … I really could have made this SO much easier on myself.  And believe you  me …. I’m going to on the next one, I’m telling you!

Well that’s me done and dusted for today.  All that’s left for me to say is:   Happy Monday.  May today bring you a cup filled with happiness,  with a few spoonfuls of joy, and as many dashes of love as you can fit into your hours.

Say something nice to someone today and make them smile.  I bet it will make you yourself smile more than you would believe.

Sending warm squidges to you in your corner from me in mine.

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