Such a Pretty Feather

I have always thought there was something magical in the irredescence of peacock feathers. My first exposure to their magic was when I was a toddler visiting Nowra Animal Park with Mum and Nana May. (Both of whom are my angels now).

As I have been reconsidering dance performances I have also been reconsidering designing and making my own costumes. Today I discovered that the local dollar store in Enmore had some very beautiful peacock feathers for only $1 each! After going home and checking the bank balance and visiting the ATM I returned to select 20 of their finest.

Between the ATM and the dollar store I was way-laid at Amazing Paper. Such a dangerous shop for me! But I plan to make presents and cards out of this lot. (Unfortunately I’m not able to rotate these pics… no idea why… I think I’m going to have to leave it like this for today 😦 … will fix it soon though). The final picture I will leave you with today is the contents of an envelope I received today from one of my Aussie Swap-Bot friends. I really love all the teas, stickers and little butterfly and ladybird brads! It’s all so cute! Thanks @Mappy! I also received another envelope full of lovely papers from the very generous and sweet @ozduchess. I am so blessed to know so many genuine people! Getting such wonderful things in the mail really makes my day that little bit brighter!!

Creatively yours,

♥ Sweetypiedie

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Summer for a Smart Man

It is Summer here in Sydney and the weather yesterday was lovely for a friend’s birthday picnic. Just the right sort of place to lay back in the arms of your Man with a luscious picnic full of goodies from the Italian deli.

I see so many women being sun smart with hats on their heads but so few men. So guys reading please take some inspiration from Etsy and smarten up your wardrobe for summer.

Yours in Sunscreen,

♥ Sweetypiedie

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A Refreshing Perspective

Hello fellow blogophiles, thanks for staying tuned… or tuning in afresh.

As I am closing the last chapter of my life I am looking back at where I have been for sure, but also looking forward. New hopes, new dreams, new lessons, new adventures, new alliances, new plans, new loves, new techniques and mediums of creating, and a new level of self-respect, confidence and happiness. (As well as new blog posts).

I have a stack of photos of my creative projects on my lap-top waiting to be written up, as well as photos of my recent adventures in paint. No photos until after Christmas of my painting adventures though, as many of them will be presents for family members.

Until next time my pretties, be safe, be happy, love your family as much as you can and be creative!!

♥ ♥ ♥ Sweetypiedie

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New home

You may have noticed that I haven’t posted anything new in little while, that’s because I’ve been busy finding and setting up my new home. That in itself is an act of creativity, especially when you have very limited space. I will be back soon with creative projects to share as well as some pics of my new studio.

Yours from the local internet cafe,

♥ Sweetypiedie

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Hand Drawn ATCs

Last week I was busy for a few days in a row drawing and colouring some ATCs.

B is for Betta – This one is a portrait of Fishy Dude. This is an Angel project for swap-bot.

The next two ATCs are Zentangles. The motto of Zentangle is “Anything is possible… one stroke at a time“. The idea behind zentangles is that is is an easy to learn method of creating beautiful images from repetitive patterns.

Normally a Zentangle is created on a 3½ inch square tile. For the purposes of them still being ATCs they are 2½ by 3½ inches in size. Tangle Patterns has a great How-To page for those new to Zentangle as well as many designs (or Tangles) to fill your ‘strings’ with. If you’re really committed to Zentangling you can even sign up to their newsletter.

To create these ATCs and most of the ATCs in this entry I have been using the new Sharpie Pen (Fine). It’s much like a felt-tip pen but with the quality and glide that you would expect from Sharpie.

This ATC is called Bloom – Zentangle Style. It is one of my ‘practice’ zentangles that I decided would look better coloured. I’m sending it off to a friend of mine. The colouring of this ATC, the B is for Betta ATC at the top and the two cats below were all done done using Derwent Inktense water-colour ink pencils. I love these pencils! They were quite an investment, especially on a tight budget, but I really do not regret it. They are so easy to use and give such a depth and vibrancy of colour that you just can’t get with the watercolour pencils (although they have their place too). They mix well of the page too which is important with a limited palette of 24 colours.

I am hosting a series of Halloween ATC swaps in the Mailbox Nourishment group on Swap-Bot. The first one is for a ‘Creepy Cat’. You can see my disturbing feline creations of a Creepy Vampire Cat and Creepy Beelzebub Cat below. I’m actually really impressed that I am now at a stage where I am comfortable drawing in pen. There was once a time where I really felt the need to pencil everything in first. The devil cat turned out more evil than I expected. I was going for ‘creepy’ not ‘soul-suckingly evil’.

I realise after looking up the name of my hellish cat that I may have mis-named him. Beelzebub was Lord of the Flies, one of the princes of hell. However my naming is concurrent with the reference in the Testament of Solomon. Beelzebub seems to get around when it comes to possessions; however it is contested as to whether pride or gluttony was his forte. (I would think gluttony with the whole fly thing).  Regardless of his true name, his nature as a deviant, self-serving trickster who resides in hellfire is obvious.

¤¤¤ Sweetypiedie ¤¤¤

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New Gallery & Guest Book Pages

I’m building this blog as I go along. I found that I really liked the guestbook feature on somebody else’s blog so I tried to create my own whizz-bang flash-powered gadgetry but to no avail. Now there is a simpler guest book which I hope to adapt over time.

On a more positive note there are some photos in the gallery now. These are not post-processed in any way. I pointed, I zoomed a bit and I clicked. Sometimes I may have turned the flash on or off, or selected the camera’s ‘close up mode’ where appropriate, but that’s about it. These are the results. I hope to add more of my point and click adventures in future.

For now I hope you enjoy the few gems that are there.

Instamatically yours,

♥ Sweetypiedie

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Colourful Altered Journal

This is another altered journal with lots of colour and a little bling. Working with the fold-over magnetic clasp was a bit tricky but I got there in the end.

If you wish to see any picture larger please just click on it.

The hardest part of this project was getting it all to look neat and to look like it was easy. The only original part of the cover showing is the background behind the word Journal. I must be careful next time when using wrapping paper on projects to check where that pesky barcode is so I don’t have to do a patch job over it. At least it’s not too obvious.

Colourfully Yours,

♥ Sweetypiedie

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Altered Journals & Journal Jars

Recently I have been in some swaps around journaling. Journaling is good for me because it helps me to order my thoughts. In order write things down I need to organise the abstract concepts and emotions within me into words, sentences, paragraphs and complete pieces of writing with a beginning, middle and end. This is also one of the reasons that I blog. I want  to document my journey and share it with others. I want to see how ideas and creative concepts evolve. I want to see my progress in a visual way, as well as in words. By having a blog it encourages me to document what I do, much as my flikr account did in a more purely visual way.

Mission statements aside, I want to share one of my projects, the Journal Jar swap. This swap called for a journal jar, 100 journaling prompts and an altered journal. A Journal Jar is, funnily enough, a jar used for journaling. The basic purpose of the jar is to hold journaling prompts written onto pieces of paper that can be selected randomly to stimulate a journal entry. Other than meeting the basic requirements I wanted these items to reflect the personality and tastes of the recipient as well as inspire them to want to use them. On swap-bot each person has a profile. You can see mine as an example here. From their profile you can see what colours they love, what crafts they’re into, what sort of animals they love and sometimes you can even ‘meet’ members of their family. Firstly I looked at colours – blue and green. Then creative passions- one of them was knitting. Here are the results:

The Journal Jar was designed to go with the journal but I wanted it to be able to stand alone as a functional and beautiful object. I had never tried glass painting before. I was thinking about doing it for this swap but the thought of investing in new, potentially expensive materials put me off. While looking through the craft section of the local Tek’s (dollar store) I saw that they had some Mont Marte glass paint at a reasonable price. With a tight budget even reasonably priced supplies have to be considered. I justified it based on the fact that I had a specific use for it. I am really glad that I decided to invest in them. They really made it special. Here is the finished journal jar:

As you can see in the last picture, I have printed the 100 journal prompts on paper which complements the journal. If the recipient pastes them in when writing they will have some nice splashes of colour throughout the book.

I am happy to say that all of the effort I put into this swap was greatly appreciated. The hardest part of the swap was coming up with 100 prompts that weren’t either cliched, over-used or irrelevant. I am glad I was able to make something so individual in content and design.

♥ Sweetypiedie ♥

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Blue and Purple Dotee Doll

This is a Dotee Doll I made last Sunday for a private swap. She turned out a little smaller than I had planned. Only about 3 inches from head to beginning of tail. Generally a good size for a Dotee is 4-6 inches not including the hanger and tail.

I was using my new Fiskars pinking shears for the first time and forgot to leave extra seam allowance when I was cutting. I always end up cutting things close in an attempt to save fabric. Sometimes this has ended in trouble with me having to patch holes as the material frayed while turning the Dotee right-side-out after sewing. All my Dotees are hand-sewn at this stage. Maybe one day if I had room to have a sewing machine set up permanently I’d be happy to jump on and quickly stitch one up. For now hand-sewing is still fun and the more I sew the quicker and more even I become.

For those not familiar to these little dolls, they are the creation of Dorothy Christian. Dotee is pronounced DOT-ee as Dot is a common shortening of the name Dorothy, especially here in Australia. If anyone ever wants to learn how to make these dolls I always direct them to the youtube tutorial made by Dorothy Christian.

Key features of a Dotee Doll:

  • 4 to 6 inches long (Should sit nicely in the palm of your hand)
  • Must have a looped hanger, which can be made of ribbon or beads.
  • Must have a tail, usually beaded
  • Embellishments like beads, buttons, sequins, bows, charms, etc.
  • Face of felt (or skin-tone fabric if you can’t find felt).
  • Details of eyes and a mouth on face. Usually embroidered but I have seen them drawn, with molded faces and even a face cut out of printed fabric.Traditionally eyes are closed but can be adapted to your own creative whims.
  • Hair (Usually of yarn but you can use your imagination here too – use other materials or add a hat.)
  • Stuffed with clean new material like polyfill. (Or a combination of clean re-claimed fabric scraps and polyfill).

I have always traded my Dotee Dolls for other Dotees or other swap items. I would be hesitant to sell something that is not my own original idea, particularly when I know that the person who ‘owns’ the intellectual property has done so in the past. If I ever decided to sell something even vaguely similar I would definitely be talking to Dot first. After taking another look at her blog I am once again entranced and inspired by the intricacy and beauty of her work.

I was just looking at Dot’s Etsy shop, I’ve added a few things to my favourites. With my birthday next month it is always good to keep your favourite’s up to date! It is encouraging that someone who I admire owns (and is now selling) a book which a very precious friend of mine just gave to me in an inspiration package. My wish is that one day I can have the joy of creating such rich art as in the mixed-media art/jewelery book, or something as vibrant and intricate as what Dot creates. It’s not that I want to copy any one else – far from it. I want to continue to develop my own style and bring inspiration to others in the process.

It really can’t hurt to wish and dream, I have dreamed before and now those dreams are my reality.

♥ Sweetypiedie ♥

Posted in Blogsperation, Dotee Dolls, Things I've Made | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

ATCs Made on Saturday

I sprained my ankle last Thursday so I’ve not been as active or as motivated to create things. Saturday afternoon I sat on my bed and made some ATCs. Three are going towards an ‘angeling’ project and one is for a private swap I sent off yesterday. Angeling refers to the act of providing, as an act of kindness, what somebody else did not deliver on a swap. On Swap-Bot someone who does not fulfill what they have promised is called a flaker. Somebody who makes up for a flaker is called an Angel. Flaking is about the worst thing you can do on swap-bot and it is taken very seriously. It is sad that there are people who will go to extraodinary lengths to be excused from fulfilling their swap-responsibilities. It is not unheard of for someone to fake their own death, and then claim that their account was hacked. Almost everyone has been flaked on at some stage, which is why their are communities which support each other by angeling swaps that people have been flaked on. It’s the nice people and the supportive community that makes swapping worth it. I like to acknowledge my angels on my swap-bot profile. Which reminds me, I need to update that.

Yours (with wings),

♥ ♥ ♥ Sweetypiedie ♥ ♥ ♥

Posted in ATCs and Skinny Cards, Things I've Made | 5 Comments