Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Month 2-3 of 50 things to do before 50

Well where has the past 8 weeks gone?? I seem to have been busy doing nothing much.  I have no idea where the time goes, it just flies by!.  Anyhow I just wanted to update my blog with how I have been getting on with my list.  When I first sat down I didn't actually think I had done very much over the past 8 weeks, so was actually very surprised to see I had crossed off another 9 things on my list! whoo.

First up was number 9 on my list the hair cut, both scary and liberating, I went in with a fairly boring shoulder length grown out bob and came home with a sassy flicky cut! takes a bit of practice to get the flicks just so, so I don't have time to style it for work most days but it helps me to scrub up well for a special occasion.

Now with a shorter style came the opportunity to wear earrings again.  I loved to wear earrings but became sensitive to even gold so stopped wearing them.

After a lot of research I found that titanium rarely caused any sensitivities so I bought a pair of earwires to test and was thriled that I could wear them without any ill effects. So armed with 10 sets of ear wires I made myself several new pairs alongside changing the wires on my favourite pairs and have worn earrings virtually every day since, crossing off number 33 on my list.

With the sassy new hairstyle and lots of new earrings, I had to sort out and de-junk my wardrobe.....16 carrier bags of clothes later... that's number 12 crossed off!

This month I also tried Green Tea no. 41, quite like the jasmine it smells delicious.

I started painting a large A2 size picture, no. 2 ticked off. I also tried a new craft no 10. - lino cutting and made some christmas cards.

The thing I am most pleased about this month though was having 6 of my paintings in an exhibition, my first ever and I sold a painting too whooo! no. 48 ticked off.

 SOLD ------->

 Also raised another £35 for Cancer Research total donated to date £115

Finally this month I reached a fabulous 300 sales in my Folksy Shop, number 7 done .... good times

Here's my latest entry in my Art Journal covering the last 8 weeks, still a little to do yet but the glue is still wet!

 Walking has been a bit hit and miss though only another 15 miles clocked up, 39 down 111 to go, and weight loss hmmm - well we won't talk about that......

that's all for now back in a few weeks

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Month 1 - My 50 things to do before 50

Okay so I started my challenge on the week of my Birthday, just 4 short weeks ago, my how time has flown!. So, I know you are all dying to know what I have actually achieved and ticked off my list, wellso  far I have:-

Spent many evenings promoting and working to increase my Facebook likes to 500 and last Saturday I finally got there, my page now stands at 507 likes :), that's number 6 ticked off my list.

Next on my list was Twitter, increasing my followers to 700, that was harder than I thought followers gained and one day and lost the next!  but I managed to get there in the end and yesterday I reached 706 followers :), whoo number 5 ticked off.

I also started a healthy diet and have lost 4lb so far, so that's 4 down, 21 to go!

I have managed to walk 9 miles of my 150 mile challenge, finding time for 1 to 2 walks every week, which leaves 141 miles to go!

Finally this month at number 8, I wanted to try a new art form.  After a lovely evening at a friends the week of my birthday, I was introduced to Art Journalling and thought, what a perfect way to a) try a new art form and b) record my year. So number 8 is ticked off with the journal I designed to record my year. It's pretty large at 12 x 12 inches, so plenty of room for everything on my list.

It's a mixed media with vintage book paper decoupage, stamping, collage work and layering.  The illustration is done with ink marker and alcohol ink pens. This is actually the second cover, I had a bit of a disaster with the first cover. I was almost finished when I dropped a whole pot on deep blue acrylic ink smack in the middle of the page, which dyed everything blue, and I had to start again!!. I actually prefer this cover to the first one so I'll call that serendipity!

I spent and enjoyable day yesterday putting together my first page of art journalling for August and my journey so far...

well that's it from me, back in 4 weeks with the next installment, have a great September and thanks for stopping by to read my witterings

Monday, 28 July 2014

50 Things to do before I reach 50

It's almost my 49th Birthday, wow where has the time gone, I still feel like I'm in my 30's! so I got to thinking, where do I want to be this time next year?.  I always considered myself to be a 'live for the moment' kind of girl, enjoying my life and living with no regrets, if I didn't like something I changed it and if I couldn't change it then I accepted it and moved on. Life is too short and precious for bitterness or resentment.

If I wanted to do something I just got on and did it, but during my 40's my attitude seems to have shifted to 'ah manyana' tomorrow is soon enough for me. Maybe it's because I'm getting older, more tired or a just a bit jaded, but whatever it is, it's been holding me back, making me unsure about things and denting my confidence so I've been dithering rather than just getting on with it.  I feel like I need to kick start myself back into being the confident person I was, getting out there and enjoying life, trying new things and just being me!

Okay so how am I going to kick start myself, chatting away to my daughter on a lovely long walk yesterday I pondered what I needed to do to change things, knowing it had to be something different, and before I could think too much about it, or find an excuse not to do it, I said to her "right I'm going to think of 50 things to do before I get to 50". Her response was "go for it Mam"! - okay now it's too late to take that back! so now I've just got to get on with it.

Last night I sat down, pondered, dithered, and blunted my pencil creating a list of 50 things I wanted to do in the next 12 months so I when I reach the big 50 I've got there, living for the moment, with no what if''s, no but's and definitely no regrets.

My list is a mixture of long and short term goals, some need planning and some are just get on and do it! some are just everyday things, some are exciting and some just plain scary, but this time next year I will be doing both number 1 and number 50 on my list at the same time, celebrating my 50th Birthday in Cornwall having completed all the other's in between. 

You'll notice that number 4 on my list is to keep a blog of how I'm doing over the next year, soI'll be posting updates on how I get on regularly.

My list:-

1. Visit Cornwall
2. Paint something big at least A3
3. Lose 25lbs
4. Keep up my blog with progress on my list
5. Reach 700 followers on Twitter
6. Reach 500 likers on Facebook
7. Reach 300 sales on Folksy
8. Try a new art style
9. Have my hair cut short
10. Learn a new craft
11. Learn to use my camera properly
12. De-junk my wardrobe
13. Make our New York scrapbook
14. Make our Wedding Album
15. Make our Egypt scrapbook
16. Learn to ride a bike
17. Eat lobster
18. Go to an opera
19. Go to a ballet
20. Go to an art workshop
21. Get a manicure
22. Write a short story
23. Enter a competition
24. Sort out our photos
25. Walk up the Garth
26. Walk out to the barrage in Cardiff bay
27. Walk up Pen y Fan
28. Raise £200 for cancer research
29. Do something scary
30. Design our garden
31. Go to an outdoor event
32. Go for a nostalgia walk around my childhood village
33. Wear earrings every day for a week
34. Get new glasses
35. Walk 150 miles in a year - at least 3 miles a week excluding daily commute
36. Do something just for fun
37. Sing along in the car at the top of my voice whilst sat in a traffic jam
38. Take one positive out of every day for a week
39. Spend a day in my pj's watching Shirley Valentine, The King and I, Mama Mia & Singing in the Rain
40. Eat a new food
41. Try green tea
42. Paint Plein Air
43. Do all my Christmas shopping over 1 week in November
44. Write my Christmas cards and post them a week before the last posting date
45. File my tax return by end of September
46. Catch a train to somewhere random
47. Visit the Roman baths in Bath
48. Visit an art exhibition
49. Go to a firework display
50. Celebrate being 50 and completing this list :)

Saturday, 15 February 2014

ACEO with Vintage Elements

I spent the best part of this morning digging around in my paper scraps box for an idea I had to make some ACEO's using scraps from my book and card making stash.

Being a crafty hoarder I just cannot let anything go even the tiniest scrap of pretty backing paper gets kept in a box, coz you just never know! This year I am determined to use up all those scraps on projects. I started with some collage books earlier this year and those have been a real hit so I thought about what else I could do with them and came up with ACEO's.

To start with I cut some scraps from my old battered falling to bits, copy of Sense and Sensibility that I rescued from being thrown away. I then thought about what I wanted to achieve, and decided that sketching my ideas would work best so here are the initial sketches. I sketched a range of things including bugs and flowers.
Then I sat down with my favourite Tim Holtz ink pads and some sponges to add colour to the sketches, I tore around the image and then 'distressed' the edges for a real vintage feel.

 The next happy hour was spent cutting card to ACEO size (2.5 x 3.5 inches) finding backing papers to coordinate with the sketches and designing the ACEO's. I used ribbon, guilding flakes, brads and liquid pearls from my stash and voila here's the finished ACEO's!

Just got to wait for them to dry now I used lots of glue! and then I'll be listing them in my Folksy Shop next week.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Trying out artists gouache

A few weeks ago I treated myself to some artists gouache which are like really thick watercolours, I also bought some canvas paper and some palette knives, all completely new to me. I had an idea the works would look a little like oils but without the wait for curing. Here's the base colour which was just watered down gouache 

After I applied the base coat I used the palette knife to add some interesting marks and texture to the background

Then I used the palette knife to outline the sunflowers

Added more texture and layers

Then finished off with some more interesting marks using the very edge of the palette knife, mounted in a triple frame and finished http://folksy.com/items/5319911-Painting-Sunflowers-mounted-ready-to-fit-onto-an-8-x-10-frame

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Pendant Love

Happy New Year! off to a great start I've been busy creating.  Last weekend I got the resin out and got messy!

I started with some assorted blank bezels and rooted around my bead and card stash for an assortment of odds and ends of backing paper, metal charms, and gems and even some old coins. I also found two tiny glass bottles so I filled them with Glitter and resin to turn into pendants. Here is the initial pendant designs

Next I found my battered old vintage copy of Sense and Sensibility that I rescued from being thrown away - it has a dual purpose as you can see I use the cover as a stable base to put my pendants on whilst they set and I also use the pages for projects, in this one I found and tore out words that fit well with my designs. Here they are filled with resin and drying.

Once dried I started to use them to make some necklaces, here's the the first few finished and listed for sale

This one sold straight away

and I'll be listing these for sale over then nextday or two

more to come over the next week as I make up the rest of the pendants into finished necklaces and I'll be listing them in my folksy shop.