f November 2011 - Art Eye Candy

A babe was born...

It's almost that time of year...

The time of year to dust off the baubles and tinsel,

to make room for the tree,

and search round the house for the extension sockets that you put into their 'safe place' last year.

It's almost time to DECORATE.

I really LOVE dressing the house for Christmas, 
we usually have 3 trees (yes, I know 3).  

One has an 'ice' theme, 
one a 'golden glow'
and the third one (my favorite)
is more traditional with toys and candy canes etc.

Christmas Textures...

My decorating will start tomorrow...

I never start till today is done.

Today is my son's birthday... his 20th birthday in fact.  
It was always our tradition to have a really big birthday celebration and not even mention anything remotely Christmassy until November 30th. So that's how it's going to be.

Christmas starts tomorrow 


20 years ago today,
a beautiful babe was born.

Happy Birthday Joel

Rachelle x


Challenge yourself...

Today was one of those days when I wasn't quite so sure what I would make.
It was the kind of day when you start something and it evolves into something completely different. 

 I kind of like days like this though, 
I've never been one of those people who respond very well to being 'told' what to make or paint etc,
 I always struggled a bit with this back in the days of art college.
Of course I'm more grown up about it now, and I can adapt.

After all, if I'm wanting to start selling my stuff, then I'm going to have to do a little market research and make what people want, or possibly what I'm told to.

Anyway, back to what I was saying...
Todays little 'project' started off as an art doll, possibly on a Christmas theme.
But as I was merrily scrunching my newsprint and getting inky fingers, I remembered about a reader challenge that I'd read about on the Stampington magazine's website
 It was to make a 'shelf sitter', and it could be made of anything and any size.

As one of my 'arty dreams' is to be published in one of Stampington Magazines I thought
'Go for it Rachelle".

I've never had the self-confidence to send any work off before, 
but one of my wishes for 2012 is to get myself published so I'm going to give it a whirl.

Here's my little 'shelf sitter'

I made a little nose too.

I used masking tape this time, no reason why, but I have noticed that it's started to come un-stuck and will need securing with cellotape.

This is the head attached to the body... look at my glamorous backdrop.
How fancy.

Tea light bottom.

I used an empty tea light tin for the base 
(I knew saving these would be a good idea someday)

I made legs and arms the same way as the body.
I crossed the legs and taped them together to hold firm.

Sitting on my new art tubs,
cheeky thing.

The next thing that I'll do tonight is to re-cover the whole little figure with cellotape.
Nightmare yes, but I'm learning all the time, I'll be quite good soon with all these mistakes.

Here's another little look at yesterday's 'Eccentric Lady'
after I twiddled about with her on Instagram.

'she noticed the beautiful'

Follow your Dreams.

Rachelle x

p.s. the 'Follow your Dreams' image can be found on www.friendship-quotes.com


A Gift...

'The Eccentric Lady, she noticed the beautiful'

This is what I made this morning.

I LOVE her.

I made her for a gift for someone.

She's a mixed media beauty made from LOTS of layers.  
I think there are about 4 layers in some places, depending on how I worked on them. 
For those of you who have been following my blog, if you remember the Madame Butterfly picture that I did (you can look for the post if you like), that will show you the process that I followed for this one.

I didn't take lots of pictures today, mainly because I was also keeping a very close eye on my little apprentice who was busy doing her own painting.  
But I did take a close up shot.


I just figured out that the face actually has 6 layers in total.

I really hope that my friend will like her (I know I would).  
I'll ask her to take a picture with her when she gets there. 
(she's going to the USA).

I wanted to show you this too.
I came across it whilst browsing the web the other day (the link was no longer active)
 I LOVE what it says.

This means a lot to me personally.

Watch Me...

Rachelle x


Elf Yourself...

Hey Little Elf...

Finally finished the little Elf (it turned into this as I was going along) tonight.  
I'm really quite pleased with the result.  I do like making these little art dolls, the only downside is the time it takes... I can get quite impatient sometimes.

Here's how he/she came about.
(after the steps on the previous post of course)

Following on from the 'face trauma' that I had with the angel, I decided to draw the face onto tissue paper, then glue it onto the figure.  
This makes it much easier as your not drawing onto a curved surface.

I made a little hat with card and masking tape. 
 I scrunched the card first to make it easier to shape to how I wanted it to look.  It finished up a bit more bendy than this.

A little Elfie close up
I used watercolours to paint the face (plus a little gesso in the eyes) and unlike the angel, I think this is really sweet.

The next step was to add the colour to the figure, I did this with coloured papers and made a little waistcoat from some vintage christmas stamps.

Oh and a little glitter and a dangly star...

and a little bell to the hat... 
it doesn't ring though.

Ta Da...

What do you think?

I'm quite pleased how this little cutie turned out, 
perhaps it was because of my chuckie egg and soldiers that I had this morning...

the stuff of childhood.

Rachelle x


Thanksgiving and Ruby Slippers...

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends...

Although I don't actually celebrate this holiday, I do have a lot to be thankful for, especially at the moment with all the ups and downs that have been going on.

Today, my little princess stayed at home (she had a terrible cough through the night but seemed to make a miraculous recovery this morning) so we decided to get some fresh air and have a little walk around where we live.

After a little exploring of the local playground, she suggested that we 'go look for faries in the trees', so that's just what we did.  
We are so lucky to have a little woodland area right where we live, and although it's right next to a motorway (freeway), it actually feels a million miles away from everywhere.

The trees were a little bit bare, and the path was quite muddy, but it was just great to get outside.

love the fallen leaves...
natures own fabulous carpet.

(for those of you who are a little into nature, you might like to know that the leaves are mainly English Oak and a variety of Maple)

Follow me to the fairy houses...

We didn't actually see any fairys, but my little Miss did point out lots of possible hiding places.  
Oh the joys of being 3 years old.

If you are wondering where the Ruby Slippers fit into all this, well they are the little shoes that I made for the angel.
Take a look...

the glue is still wet here but you get the idea.

for the rest of the day I'm going to get working on the second little figure
 (thanks Kirsten for your suggestions)
lets see tomorrow how it turns out.

Gobble, gobble (turkey talk)

Rachelle x


Stars and Angels (part two)...

So after working on the little angel for another 4 hours (9 hours in total so far, plus drying time) I thought I'd be brave and show her off. 
 I didn't realise that these Art Dolls were so time intensive-it's no wonder they are so expensive when you see them for sale.  
I loved making her though, I definatly want to make some more when the time allows.

Here's how she came to life...

After doing all the steps that I went through on my previous post, I went on to collage her dress.  I decided to use the Christmas stamps, I thought the 'patchwork' look would be cute for the dress.

This is the back view.

TOP TIP - if you are going to try this with stamps, crumple them up several times first to soften them, this allows them to stick around curves etc. 
( I only realised this after I'd struggled with a few)

This was my first face attempt...
I wasn't happy so I gessoed over and tried again.

attempt 2,
if you look in the left corner of the photo you can see that I went on to stamp the face instead.
It was ok but my conscience told me that I should trust my own abilities and try again.

So my third attempt involved me drawing the face onto tissue paper first, then sticking this onto the dolls face - that is after I used the gesso AGAIN.

3rd attempt

Looking at it now, I'm not even sure that this is the best one but it's done now.

here she is with the colour added, I used watercolour paint and a little pen for detail.

I made the hair by scrunching up scraps of the silk paper (the one I keep mentioning a lot) and loosely glued onto the head before adding a little glitter.

She does have legs, but still no feet, I'm going to get round to that later today.

This gives you an idea of her size - cute size.

this is the little 'quote' that I stuck to her dress.  
I cut up the words from one of my old vogue magazines.

So apart from her feet...
Oh, and a little stand, she's done.

Now I am officially addicted to making Art Dolls.

See look, I started another...

Elf or Santa?

What's it to be?
(ideas welcome)

Rachelle x


Stars and Angels (part one)...

Happy Sunday.

The art started early today, around 10am, and with the help of my little apprentice.
This little mixed media star (watercolour and glitter) is her masterpiece for the day, and it is now proudly hanging from the 'twigs' on the dining room table.
Remember the star blank that I mentioned yesterday? Well this is how it ended up.
Very cute, my apprentice is learning well.

As for me, I wasn't sure what to do again... I must have sat at the table for a good 10 minutes, staring at the supplies, mind blank.  then it came to me that I'd have a go at making a Paper Art Doll.  I've never made one before, but it's something I've often admired when I see them.

I thought I'd start with a girl, a bit like the ones I tend to draw, and see where it took me.  As I said, I've never done this before.

Because it's going to take a while to do, I decided to cover it over two postings - it's drying as we speak.

I forgot to photograph the first step...oops but I'll tell you about it anyway.  
Kristen left a comment after my last post that she wold like some tutorials, I'll work on that for sure.  After all I have quite a bit of time on my hands - for a while at least.



Scrunch up some newspaper/newsprint - do this lots of times so that it's really soft.  
Don't worry if it tears.


Shape the paper into the shape/figure that you want.  I know I'm new to this, but I'd do the body first followed by the head and arms etc. I'm sure some of you reading this may be able to give me some tips.


Use Cellotape to cover the 'doll' but try and keep the definition of the arms etc.  Don't lose the shape.  You can attach the head and arms with the tape too.


Paint a layer of white gesso all over and allow to dry - or if you're impatient like me use a heat gun to dry off.


(Now this is my own added step)
Cover the doll in some silk handmade paper - remember how I've used this before as a smoother painting surface?  Well I added a layer of this today because my doll's surface was quite rough and not smooth as I was hoping for.


Decorate and admire your fabulous doll.

So that's the theory I think, here's my attempt from today... 
be kind.

Ooh I forgot to say that I added these feather wings - she's morphing into an angel or fairy... 
still not sure yet.

I put some twigs from the garden into her body for legs.  I also put two little jingle bells inside the body too (hoping for a little bell tinkle) but Mr.P said it sounded like a rattle.
  (he's always there to offer his 'straight talking' critique).
Oh well, I'll have to come up with a better way of doing that next time.

This is where I'm up to now, she has the silk layer on top and I gessoed her legs too.  
(she doesn't have feet yet)

I'm feeling quite pleased with my little attempt, let's hope I don't mess it up when I add the decoration.

Part Two should hopefully be tomorrow.

Look at these lovelies I found.
They are old Christmas stamps, I might even use these to decoupage/collage her dress.

mmm ideas, ideas.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Rachelle x


Sticky Fingers...

Ooh it really does feel good to get back to making something.

I wasn't sure what to make today, think my arty brain had gone into snooze mode a bit, so I decided to have a rummage through my boxes of arty stuff.  It's ages since I went through them properly and had a good look at what I've got.  Yes, I have everything in boxes... I don't yet have a studio, or art room, but it's on my wishlist, it's number one actually.
Anyway, I found three wooden blanks, I think I bought them about 10 years ago - yes I know, it's a long time to keep something and not use it but I'm a bit of a magpie.   There was a bird, star and a little house, and I've decided to decorate them with collage and other little embellishments.  they all have little holes to attach hanging wire/string but I don't have any yet - another trip to the art supplies shop required. (any excuse). 
I intend on adding some beads and maybe some charms to the finished lovelies, that is after I get the wire.  I can't drive for another 3 weeks yet so that will just have to wait.

Here I go rambling on again...

Time I showed something.

Little wooden blanks.

Starting to add the collage - LOVE collage.

One of the finished sides, I even added a little glitter paint.  Well, it is almost Christmas right?
Maybe I'll hang them on the tree, or should I give them as gifts or even sell?
I've no idea, maybe I should wait till I've done the rest first.  This one took me about 4 hours to do so that gives me plenty of thinking time.

this is the other side, the colours didn't show so well here, it's alot brighter than it looks.

I've had a lovely time today making art and getting sticky fingers

Here's looking forward to tomorrow.

Rachelle x


From the heart...

yes, I know, it's been a while again...

I've just completed  what feels like a 'marathon' stay in the hospital.  
I'm hoping that will be my last one for a long while.  there's only so many needles, drips and hospital dinners that I can take without going completely crazy. 
I'm so glad to be home (again), I only lasted 3 nights (at the time of my last post) before I was re-admitted.  This time I'm hoping it's MUCH MUCH longer.

Oh and if you were wondering why all this hospital stuff, well they've found out that I have an infection inside my heart (possibly from a previous pacemaker op).  It's quite serious, but the doctors seem to think they caught it in time. Phew.
On the bright side (there always is one) it means that I need quite a long recovery period and so will have lots of time on my hands to make lots of lovely 'healing' art eye candy and that should cheer me up no end.

The only thing that I'm not so happy about is that I missed Halloween (and using my new resources) and I missed Bonfire Night and all the Fireworks.  Two of my favourite times of the year.  Oh well, I guess I saved money on dressing up at least.

So now I'm going to start making some Christmassy treats - it's not to early is it?

Rachelle x

Mr.P and his little princess cheering me up in hospital.