Sunday, 31 October 2010


Having shown more "traditional" Hallowe'en projects for the past month or more on the actual day I thought I would be a little perverse and instead of more of the same go for the older, more PAGAN celebration of SAMHAIN.

When the year is turning to harvest
and the wind invites you to ride
light fires on every hilltop
and greet those beloved who died
 Samhain marked the end of the harvest, the end of the "lighter" half of the year and the beginning of the "darker" half. It shares some elements with the festival of the dead in that it was believed that the border between this world and the otherworld became thin on Samhain thus allowing the dead to reach back through the veil that seperated them from the living.
 Bonfires played a large part in the festivities; people and their livestock would often walk between two bonfies as a cleansing ritual, and the bones of slaughtered livestock were cast into its flames.

 I had great fun making these stitched pumpkins.......I drew them on coloured card and then stitched around them in a very random fashion, next I tore them out, this was again not a very precise thing, I liked the way some of the stitching came adrift giving a ragged appearance. I so enjoyed making these that more may well make another appearance later in the week!

This week sees the publication of the latest ART SPECIALLY magazine..............
 .......I have a project in it, here is a sneak peek!!! Been a while since I was last published so am chuffed to be so again!

Thursday, 28 October 2010

The Scottish Play

 By the pricking of my thumbs
Something evil this way comes
Open, locks
Whoever knocks
 These are my three MACBETH witches! They are a bit confused as they have Russian hats!
They are my inspiration piece for this weeks 
STAMPOTIQUE DESIGNERS CHALLENGE....the theme this time is FRIGHT NIGHT, this time it is STAMPOTIQUE stamps only.

 Apparently in the play the witches don't have names but in later works Shakespeare refers to them as URSULA, GLENDA and MEDEA, now is it just me or does a witch called Glenda not sound in the least scary? Ursula is Ok but not that scary, the only one that is even vaguely a witch name is Medea!
Now.......maybe there is something to this whole curse thing (you know the one where you not supposed to say the word MACBETH inside a theatre as it brings bad luck to the production and the actors in it).......after I finished this piece I closed my journal to discover that I had worked in it upside down........spooky or what!!!

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

The Elegant Skull

La Calavera Catrina ('The Elegant Skull') is a 1913 zinc etching by Mexican printmaker Jose Guadalupe Posada The image has since become a staple of Mexicn imagery and often is incorporated into artistic manifestations of the Day of the Dead in November. The etching was part of his series of calaveras, which were humorous images of contemporary figures depicted as skeletons which often were accompanied by a poem.

This is my version!! Mine has the traditional flowers but a crown instead of a hat!

 The flowers were very roughly hand cut from book pages, glued together and sprayed with watered down Distress inks.

 I used a letter stencil to write the words. I am entering this for this weeks challenge on SIMON SAYS STAMP AND SHOW where we are asked to show something SPOOKY....I think this might just fit into that category!

EDIT: Olive asked how I made the skull.....I didn't, I bought's  papier mache and I got it from The Craft Barn last year, I see they are still on their web site but it does say out of stock :(

 On a different note and continuing to give glances into my life here in Kazakhstan today was what is called vendors day at the Womens Club.....lots of local sellers bring their products for us to buy.
I did some Christmas shopping!!

 So, this is the Uzbek pottery........................

 ...this lady had lots of felt goods.......I really liked the hats (always another time) but decided I liked the dolls more........the one in the middle now lives at my house!........

 ....posing for a picture.......they were selling beautiful with wool/felt patterns added......and finally just a general view of the room.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Queen, Rabbit, Hatter

 Another journal page! This time using some more of the digital images I bought from OCTOPODE FACTORY. When I saw that there were
ALICE IN WONDERLAND images of course, I just had to have them!
 This week the Oh Alice! challenge is to use some aspect of the game of chess. I have some nice chess piece stamps at home but as I'm not there I can't use them so had to think again!
 I decided to go with the black and white checkerboard pattern of the chess board. To make it I cut a square of cut 'n dry foam and dipped it into black paint before pressing it across the journal pages. I really like the way it turned out!
The digital images were printed onto plain printer paper and coloured with Inktense pencils. As the printer ink is not permenant some of it runs into the colour when you spread it with the water brush but.......I actually like that! Especially on the them a sort of grubby feel!

Monday, 25 October 2010

Autumnal sales opportunity!

Also known as PUMPKINS FOR SALE!!

 I have been working on this piece of silliness for a few days now and finally got it finished yesterday. It started life as a box that something or other came in, I cut the side out, re-glued the sides where they fell apart and then used the side as the base for the pumpkin garden.

 The houses inside are from the PAPERBAG STUDIOS latest
release....DOODLES AND DATERS......they are stamped on one of the 
GRAPHIC 45 steampunk papers then the roofs stamped onto 7GYPSIES PADDINGTON clock paper.

 The STAMPOTIQUE pumpkins are also stamped onto the steampunk papers and then cut out with an extra tag left at the bottom. Cut slits in the base and pushed the tag through the slit so the pumpkins sit up.

 Here is the salesman looking hopeful!!
He is WEASEL with thankyou from STAMPOTIQUE.

Finally, I want to say something more about the digital stamp/image thing. It is strange how you can get so caught up with what something is called! Call them digital STAMPS and those die hard stampers amongst us get bent out of shape over it but call them digital IMAGES and we are fine with it! Lots of us use digital collage sheets without even thinking about it.
So, the reason for this rambling?..........after buying the raven digital image from OCTOPODE FACTORY I discovered that Lily, who is the artist, is only 17 and still at fantastic is that and what a great work ethic for one so young. So I have added a link to her ETSY shop on my side bar to try and support her in some small way.

Saturday, 23 October 2010


Huginn and Muninn, Every day
They fly over Earthground.
I fear for Huginn,
that he may never return.
But even more I fear
for the loss of Muninn.
Huginn and Muninn were a pair of ravens belonging to the Norse god Odin. Huginn was thought and Muninn was memory. They'd leave at dawn and return at dusk and perch on Odins shoulders and whisper their news to him.

Isn't it amazing the things you learn just cos you were looking for a raven quote to use on a journal page?! I like old myths and legends so when I found this old Norse stuff about ravens I knew I had what I needed.

 These raven images are something I never thought I would use.......they are digital images! They are sold as "digital stamps" but that doesn't sit easily with me; for me a stamp is something you put ink on and stamp onto paper, so I prefer to call them digital images! I know some will think I am splitting hairs or being anal but it's the way I feel!

EDIT: it seems that lots of you agree with me on the images v stamps thing but please read the comment left by the artist of the images on this post.......................I can understand her point of view completely :)

There are lots of digital images out there and I had seen these around a few places, they caught my eye cos of their quirky-ness.....I like a bit of I gave in and bought them.....I say "them" cos I bought several others apart from this raven, the others will no doubt appear later in the week.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Autumn ends or not?

 If you remember just a couple of posts ago I was showing you the beautiful Autumn colours in the local park? Well, this is what I got up to this morning!! SNOW yes, SNOW!!
Top is the view from my bedroom window and below the one from my kitchen window!

 So, while WINTER seems to have arrived outside I am still in AUTUMN mode inside! 

 This is my latest journal page in my A5 Moleskine journal.

 Can you see where some of the bats towards the top of the swirl seem to be paler? Well.........

 ......they are! This was one of those serendipity moments.......I stamped the bats and the ink on the stamp removed some of the colour already on the page revealing the book page underneath......I really liked the effect.
I am going to enter this for the ALTER IT! challenge this month where the theme is
"TO SPOOK OR NOT TO SPOOK"......although it's not an altered "thing", I suppose it is an altered page in that it was plain and now it's not!! Anyway I hope it counts, if not, never mind!!

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Knock, knock who's there?

 I like the way that the OH ALICE! challenge site uses an excerpt from Alice in Wonderland to give the theme for the week. This week the challenge is to use a door somewhere in your art piece.
 This is KARIN from STAMPOTIQUE, she is pretending to be ALICE! She is one of my fav Stampotique girls......I just love that forced smile on her face, as if she is being forced to do something she doesn't want to!!

 When I read the Alice excerpt the first thing that came to mind was this stamp (also Stampotique)....he is the fish footman!

 Found this funky font on my computer, looks a little different!

My trees for "Alice" to stand amongst were made using a TATTERED ANGELS screen.

Carrying on the ALICE theme of this post......pop over to
THE ALTERED ALICE.....there is a fab giveaway happening!

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

....on a wire, barbed of course!

 On Sunday I saw that Hels had as her SUNDAY STAMPER theme DEM BONES so I dug out one of my fav stamps, this skeleton bird by LOST COAST DESIGNS and had a play.
 These journal pages in my small square journal (51/2") are the result.

 I like this bird stamp!......the hats are also LOST COAST DESIGNS.

 The HAPPY HAUNTING image along the bottom of the pages is by INKADINKADO and the barbed wire is a Tim Holtz stamp.

And finally I thought I'd share these few pics from the local park this weekend......Autumn is well and truly under way.......
..... and STEAMPUNK in action.......part of the park watering system!