Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Step Two: The art of keeping going!

My dearest Sylwi,

This week's creation has been quite a learning curve... in many ways! :-) Surprisingly, after last week, I found sitting down and getting started a dawdle. It was getting through the middle and onto finishing that was hard this week! Mostly because I liked the concept, but once I began, I started to dislike the execution! ha ha! By then, it was too late to turn back, so I had to stubbornly carry on. If it wasn't for our blog rendez-vous today, I doubt I'd have bothered finishing it and would have filed it in the bin... so actually, you've made me very happy! If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't have learned as much as I did! 

I've decided against 52 cranes...for the moment. I may change my mind! ;-) Mainly because I have so many other areas I'd like to explore. This week, I was hooked on the theme of Artist Trading Cards (ATCs). Described as mini works of art, they are small cards, measuring 2.5 x 3.5 inches... and well that's pretty much the only hard and fast rule. You can use whatever techniques you like to decorate the card. More info can be found here on the original ATC website or in books, like this one, Artist Trading Card Workshop.

My idea for the ATC (I'm going to use this one for a Valentine's card) was a free swinging bird box with two little love birds against a background which says, "the greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return" (so wonderfully worked into the movie Moulin Rouge - eek! makes me nearly cry everytime! sniff! ha!) 

I'm not very happy with how it turned out... although, I must say it looks a teeny bit better in real life than it does here in these pics! ;-) I was thinking today that I must learn how to take better blog pics during the course of this year! I know there are some really good articles on photography specifically for blogs (on some of the blogs I follow), so I'll track them down and share them soon, if you're interested.

I guess I found it hard this week, because I really struggled with what materials to use and how to use them. I mostly messed around with acrylic paints, watercolour pencils, pva glue, a craft knife, brush marker pens (which are awesome to draw with and to use to ink stamps) and stamps that I found at a treasure trove of a shop on Etsy, called Nothing Elegant. (She's on holiday right now, just for a few days, so her shop doesn't have much stock today... usually, she has thousands of styles of stamps and all sorts of great stuff!)

I also realised that I have little grasp of colour and how to use it, so there's another thing for me to learn! How do you choose your gorgeous colour combinations? Do you have an idea before you start, or do you develop them as you work?? Please share your secrets... I love your work so much - you're the queen of colour! :-)

I have a sweet little book called Colour Index (Jim Krause) which was recommended to me a while ago, so I think I shall have to do some studying! ;-)

Anyway, whilst I was doing this week's... er... I keep wanting to call it a 'challenge' - it's kind of how it feels at the moment! ha! It's definitely not coming naturally, all of this creativity! Hopefully, during the year, it will begin to feel easier and I also hope to see myself improve! 

Anyway, whilst I was doing this week's "Step" ;-) I also realised, that if we hadn't started this blog, I wouldn't be sitting doing anything creative at all this week. So, here's a big thank you cuddle for being there to push me along on this messy journey of discovery! {big squeeze}

Can't wait to see your Step Two! Hurry up and post! :-)

Lots of love


  1. Fi how many hours did you spend to make this valentine??? you are crazy!!! (good crazy of course!) First of all it looks cute, second, I would never come up with the idea of cutting out something from a such tiny card!!! also I would probably pick red and pink ha, ha - and your choice of colours only adds to the originality of this piece...

    about the colours - I was never interested in colour theory (probably bad for me) I just have feelings to the colours he, he, how weird does it sound. I even don't know if "my colours" agree with the stuff they write about in books. I think that for you it will be good to check the book you have, because you like to KNOW and analyze stuff - but probably the best way to learn is to experiment and also to remember what colour combination you like - when you see it. There is a book called "True Colors" I think you would enjoy it. There is lots of examples from different artists, more like a showcase (it was a collaboration, very interesting one) and I think it would work more as an inspiration, then anything else. Check it here:

    who is your Sweet Valentine, you can tell me... pretty please ha, ha

  2. Good grief, that 'True Colours' book looks so inspiring! And I love what you wrote - that you never studied colour theory really. You clearly don't need to. One of the things that's hit me from the start is that your colour combos are so gorgeous. I like the idea of remembering colours and combinations that I like. It would make a great journal project... hmmm [mind whirring]... eep! Another project to try at some stage! :-)


  3. Oh and P.S. No, I won't tell you who the Valentine is for! ha ha! You have to guess ...or wait till Feb and I'll tell you! ;-) xx

  4. do you two know about http://www.colourlovers.com/

    you might be inspired by this site... i am all the time!