Friday, 29 June 2012

Thanks everyone

First, let me thank everyone who left such lovely comments. I'm overwhelmed with the response this week.  It’s wonderful to know there are so many lovely people out there in blogland and I hope to inspire you  with my art work.
It has reasured me that I made a good and right decision starting my blog, it has been worthwhile and very rewarding for me too!
I'm starting to fall in love with art all over again, as my enjoyment for this had been gathering cobwebs for  many years. I've made excuses not to pick up my pencils or paint. Making cards being one of them, but who says I can't do both?
Having this blog will be the proverbial kick I've been waiting for and will keep me motivated.
Thank you all so much. 

I've been spending a bit of time in my garden tidying and weeding again today, easier to do when the ground has had a good soaking. We've had really heavy rain here in the UK.
It has flattened the big poppy plant I was talking about a few posts ago. There are only a couple of flowers survived on it now. I'd hoped to use it to sketch and photograph it to let you see how pretty it is in flower, but as they say, "No point in crying over spilt milk"

After seeing Leslies pretty card here I thought I'd re-do or edit the Daisy sketch so here's the variation (for those who just want pretty flowers without the fly )
As a BIG thank you for all the lovely comments and for everyone now following my blog, here is another digi sketch. This time a Genarium.
Have a great weekend.

I hope the sun shines and you have a happy 4th of July to all those in the US.

Alexandra x

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Snowdrops in Summer!

Sorry I don't post as often as I'd like, work and family life make my week zip by so fast.
Another Monday tomorrow already, yikes!!! I'm gonna be old soon at this rate, lol.

I have been drawing some of my favourite flowers recently. Snow drops being one of them.
I love to see the first signs of life in the garden after weeks of cold, dark days of winter. Frost and snow can be very severe, yet these beautiful, delicate looking flowers push their way through, sometimes through ground frost and snow, to cheer us up and let us know better days are ahead. These flowers are tougher and stronger than they look.

I sketched and coloured these Snowdrops earlier this week, and made this card today.

I coloured the image with Spectrum Noir pens, but I still think I prefer water colouring or pencils, I'm just not used to the spread of alcohol pens and when I corrected it, it sometimes bled back into the "blender wetted" area. I used smooth card stock of unknown origins, so I'm guessing this may be the problem. I used Shabby Shutters distress ink blended around the edge of the die cut lables shape.
I used backing paper from a pad of yellow Papermania paper I got ages ago in a goody bag from my local art and craft shop. Yellow is a colour I rarely use, so I'm happy to find a purpose for having it. I thought it went quite well with this image. For the flowers I used the flowers from Marianne Design Creatables Frame- SKU:LR0111, cut using paper from the same paperpad, I inked the flowers with Shabby Shutters distress ink too, one on the white side of the paper to change it slightly.

I think this would be a nice card to cheer someone up...
maybe a "Get Well" or "Thinking of you" card to let them know things may look bleak, but better days are to come.
I haven't attached a sentiment to my card yet, but a stamped sentiment or computer generated words, can be added later when needed.

Here's a copy of the sketched Snowdrops if you'd like to use them too, just right click on the image and save it to your computer.

I hope you enjoy using this image too.

If you're new here, please check back older posts for other artwork you are free to use for personal use. I promise, it'll not take you long as my blog is still a baby, only just over a month old now, lol.

If you do use any of the images I've posted, please let me know in the comments box. I'd really LOVE to see what you make using them.
I don't mind if you want to share these images too, but please link people back to my blog to get these, thanks.
Click on the right if you'd like to follow my blog , this will let me know I'm posting my art images for people out there. I don't think many people know I'm here yet, lol.

I hope to be back with another image soon as I plan to share regular images here with you, especially if I know people are following my blog.

Thanks for stopping by.

Alexandra x

Monday, 18 June 2012

Our wee ray of sunshine.

This is what I've been working on for the past couple of weeks. I created it using "Derwent Graphic" pencils. I completed this portrait only yesterday.

This is our gorgeous boy, my grandson David.
He's only 10 months old now. He's a good baby and I love him to pieces.

I did this as a gift for my son as this was his first father's day on June 17th.

I was pleased with the finished result.

I hope your day is full of rays of sunshine too.

I love hearing from you, please let me know what you think.

Alexandra x

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Father's day card using my sketch.

You may know already I follow Leslie's blog, well, I sketched one of Leslie's furry visitors from her garden a few weeks ago from her photos.

This wasn't the cute four legged ones you'd expect in her garden either. But this appealed to me.

I had this image coloured up for over a week now, but I never got around to making it into a card until today.

Although it has flowers on it, I think it's more "garden" and not so much "girly", so I decided it would make a good card for father's day, after all I've always thought.....
"My Dad's the bee's knees" since I was a wee girl, (and that wasn't yesterday) lol.

I coloured the image with watercolour, but felt I struggled colouring the wings, something didn't click, I had used a pale blue wash on them to reflect the sky, it just didn't look right though.
Then I remembered, wings are semi transparent, so I added a touch of the body colour through the vein pattern, and suddenly they came alive.
Though I don't think it shows up in the photo, I also burnished the wings with a colourless blender pencil this polished and added a sheen to them too, and made them more like the real thing.
I was going to "bee" clever and think of a saying for the front, but in the end, I decided " too cheesy" and just stamped "No 1 Dad" instead.

I've been busy with another project now for a couple of weeks.....

Sorry if I'm teasing, but my lips are sealed just for a wee while more, but I promise to let you see it soon.

If you liked this card and would like the bumble bee sketch to use for your own cards, feel free to use the sketch below.
Let me know what you think.

Enjoy the remainder of the weekend, and thanks for visiting.


Sunday, 10 June 2012

Thank You card, and a sketch for you

I've just returned to sketching and drawing recently, only really since I've been off work. I've been unwell since May.
While I was off the lovely residents and staff of the sheltered housing complex where I'm manager surprised me with this gorgeous arrangement of flowers.

They certainly cheered me up. The bamboo which the butterfly is attached to started to root in the water so I'm going to plant it to see if it'll grow.
I've never had a bamboo plant before, so if it survives, I will.

I made this card for them to say thanks.

The flower image is from a sketch I did, inspired by an older photo of some pretty Chrysanthimum daisies from Leslie's blog  Goldens and Garden . Leslie is so good with her camera and the photos from her garden are lovely.
This is one of the sketches I sent to Leslie. I checked with her first that it okay for me to share the resulting sketches from her photos, she agreed, and is happy for me to do this.
When she posted this photo on her blog, I don't think she liked the cheeky fly much but I thought it looked natural and added a bit of extra interest to the composition.

Feel free to use this image here too, if you want to.

I return to work on Monday so I won't have as much time then for this then, but I hope to keep on being creative and sharing here when I can.

I'd love to hear from you, let me know what you think.

Have a great day and thanks for popping by.

Alexandra x

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Baby Bonny

I've been out working in the garden for a wee while today, weeding and tidying up again.
The weeds seem to grow so fast at this time of year. Milder weather and plenty watering from Mother nature seams to help them along.

I thought today I'd share this portrait I did of my, then 15 year old son, playing with a bit of string with his gran's new wee kitten "Bonny".

Kittens and cats are very entertaining with this natural hunting instinct when the prey is made of wool or cotton. Not so much when they get older and they bring home "presents" of the live variety.

Thanks for visiting.

Have a lovely Saturday. 

Alexandra x

Friday, 8 June 2012

Poppy Meadow

Poppies are one of my favourite flowers, I love seeing them growing wild at the side of the road when I driving home from my work, so I couldn't resist  this stamp set called "Poppy Meadow" from a relatively new company "Indigo Blu" from UK. I also got some Flitterglu (Indigo Blu's own new stamping glue) and some pretty guilding flakes.

This was the first time I've used Flitter glue. It comes in a wee tub, you load a tiny scoop of this onto a small bit of stamping foam, work it into the foam, then "ink up your stamp" with it. The glue dries but remains tacky indefinitely when you stamp with it, (with the stamped image, stored away carefully, you could still add your guilding flakes to it next month or even later they said, though it may stick to unwanted stuff if you're not careful).
The detail is amazing when you use foil leaf guiling flakes on the stamped image. I was really impressed.
You can also use other things on it like mica powder pigments, pan pastels, chalks or flock though I've not tried these myself.

I love poppies (I think I said that already!) and I can't wait for the giant poppies in my garden to flower. The plant has around 8 or 9 big flower buds on it just now, so it shouldn't be long.

Anyway back to my Poppy card.

I used Lancashire Rose guilding flakes, which are mainly a mix of golds, reds and copper tones with a tiny bit of warm green and silver flakes too, so very pretty. The background was coloured with alcohol inks, I used more red around the poppy head.

The word stamp is from the same set but it's harder to see in the photo.
Using the multi-coloured flakes wasn't the best idea with the wording, so I highlighted it with a fine black pen. In hindsight I should have used a plain coloured guiding flake so the words would read clearer, or just used black ink instead.
I totally believe in this sentiment though "We do not own the earth. Walk gently upon it, so that future generations may do the same."

Have a great day.


Thursday, 7 June 2012

A card I made with my sketch of "Wally"

Today I've a card to share with you. This is a card I made using a drawing I created for a lovely lady from the states, Leslie, who's blog I've been following for a while. She has the most adorable Golden retrievers Wally and LuLu.

My card was helpfully held up by my glamorous assistant, my wooden art mannequin.
Though he's a bit shy and didn't want his photo taken, lol. (I really should give him a name, any suggestions?)

Anyway this is Leslie's beautiful boy Wally.

I coloured the image using Spectrum Noirs alcohol pens, then added a bit more detail with coloured pencils. (I can't get the detail I want from my pens).
I was quite pleased with my wee pine cones, I made these with the smaller rose Marianne D creatables rose die (the one with the wiggly edge, spiral shape you coil), cut from Kraft coloured paper,recycled from a brown paper bag from a clothes shop, I coloured the edges with Brushed Corduroy Distress ink then rolled them quite tight, I used the pine from the Festive greenery Sizzix Sizzlits Tim Holtz  die to add a splash of greenery.

The link to Leslie's blog is on the right "Goldens and Garden".
Leslie also made a beautiful card using this image of Wally.
You'll find it here:

Also today she posted another beautiful card she made using another drawing I did for her of LuLu her gorgeous girl puppy.

Let me know what you think and any suggestions for my mannequin guys name would be welcome.

Thanks for visiting and have a lovely day.


Wednesday, 6 June 2012

First kiss

I thought I'd introduce my daughter, or a least an old pencil portrait I did of her with her much loved pony. I created it from a photograph, using artist coloured pencils many moons ago. She wasn't quite 2 years old at the time of this photo.

She was a very cute wee girl. On this particular day her daddy was taking a few photos of her tottering around playing, when out of the blue she planted a kiss on her pony's nose.
We couldn't have planned a sweeter memory.

Every time I see this image I'm transported to a simpler time in her life, and I smile.

I 'd love to hear from you, please let me know what you think.

Alexandra x

Monday, 4 June 2012

Hello and welcome to my new blog

Let me introduce myself, my name is Alexandra, I'm Scottish & I've been married to Alan for 27 years. We have 2 grown up "kids" and 1 wee darling grandson. We also have two wonderful furry "kids", our lovely labradors.
Though familiar with visiting many lovely blogs, I've been a bit of a scaredy cat about starting my own. Have patience with me, as I'm sure I'll stumble about getting it wrong until I know what I'm doing (any tips will be gratefully received.)
I love creating when time allows me, I'm hoping to share my love of art and crafting through this blog, and in particular some of my cards and in time some of my art work.
For now, I just thought I'd introduce you to my beautiful girls, Amy and Piper.

Also, I created the card below a wee while ago, but it'll be new to you here, and I was pleased with how it turned out, so I thought I'd share it with you too.

The stamped image is from the Stem script Rose stamp from UK designer, Chocolate Baroque.
I stamped it onto a deep red card then used painting with bleach technique to highlight it, then added detail to the image with coloured pencils and a bit of distress ink around the edge.
The saying is by Albert Einstein and comes from the same stamp set.
I finished the card off by adding a few florishes and a pretty Wendy Vecchi stamped Grungepaper rose, coloured again with distress inks.

Please post a comment to let me know what you think.