Monday, 12 March 2018

Queen Among Cats at Calico Craft Parts

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven. I've been having fun with a little boat kit over at Calico Craft Parts today. Please join me here if you would like to see more.

Enjoy your day and Happy Creating!

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Doll Swap - Take Your Partners!

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven. As I write this the wind is howling outside and blowing the snow here and there! The temperatures have been struggling to get above freezing and it's taking quite an effort to convince myself that spring will come! Nevertheless, our trusty postie made it through the bad weather yesterday with a very exciting package indeed! I've been involved in several craft swaps since I began creating a few years back, but at present I'm part of my first paper doll swap - thanks to Jackie PN of Creatingwithoutcrayons. In the midst of swirling snow and glittering ice this exquisite little being fluttered into my life! I think she is an absolute master-piece of paper doll making and receiving her had me dancing for joy all around my breakfast table! 

She is the creation of my first partner in the swap - the incredibly gifted artist, Theresa Martin. If you click here you can see her beautiful blog.

I love the detail, the hair, the wonderful colours: she is truly magical! And what a great idea to provide her with a magic slipper for a home. It looks as if it might have belonged to one of the twelve dancing princesses from the fairy tale.

Now let me introduce you to her her swap partner - Venetia, all ready to perform a galliard or a pavanne! She danced all the way to the USA in her wise owl carnival costume. She may not have seen Venice, but she was created in my little Edwardian cottage surrounded by my collection of Venetian masks, which were my inspiration.

Although Venetia is not the first Art Doll I have created, she is my first paper doll and I had a lot to learn as I went along. She includes some of my own art work along with scraps from my designer paper scrap box.

Do you recognise the owl chick trim on her gown? The golden panels on her skirt are skeleton leaves and the tiny brads mean that her arms and legs can be posed.

I had great fun creating Venetia and learned so much that I can't wait to start on another doll and try out some new challenges and ideas.

I think, for example, I might introduce a flap around the back of the doll next time, so that it can be lifted if you want a glimpse of the underwear or left in place in the interests of modesty! 

Thank you so much for stopping by Magpieheaven today. I hope you are not in the grip of cruel winter where you are, but if you are, stay safe and warm and maybe dance a little yourself - it's a great way to keep warm.

Monday, 26 February 2018

Floral Owl Chick at Calico Craft Parts Blog

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven. Today I have a little owl chick waiting to make her debut over at Calico Craft Parts Blog here

.If you have time, she would love you to pop across and make her acquaintance. 

Monday, 12 February 2018

Fragile Hearts at Calico Craft Parts

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven. Today I'm over at Calico Craft Parts with a Valentine's themed heart plaque.

Please pop over if you would like to see how I created it. Have a wonderful week.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Carnival of the Animals

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven. I have to confess I've been a hopeless blogger recently! I've said for a long time I'm going to turn over a new leaf so today I'm blogging about a miniature shrine I created especially for June who I first met some time ago via Kim Dellow's Show Your Face on Friday link!

I was really excited when June contacted me at my Etsy shop and asked if I could make her a miniature triptych for her birthday. The brief was to create a piece that was rectangular rather than pointed or domed, featuring girls and cats!

Here are the shapes I measured and cut from MDF. This was a new challenge I set myself. Very often I find that the shapes have a story to tell that suggests itself and then evolves as I work.

I had never worked with side-panels opening onto a scene before, but I had always wanted to.Now was my chance to see where these shapes wanted to lead me! I used this classic painting of a pierrot minstrel, flipping the image horizontally so my 2 little figures would lead the viewer in. Within my magical, miniature world cats and girls play sweet music and it's carnival time!

I love this stage in the process when I can play with the images and scraps, discarding and deciding and then changing my mind!

My favourite paper to play with right now is Japanese Yuzen or Chiyogami paper with its beautiful designs based on kimono fabrics. I was lucky enough to win a little stash of it from Gwen La Fleur in a recent blog hop; my friend Etsuko once sent me some beautiful sheets from Japan and I've also purchased different designs whenever I've seen them - most recently when staying with friends in Brussels.

Here things are moving on a little. There is always something special about the cranes on the Yuzen paper. Are they flying to a world where cats and humans dance together?

.. a land you can find in the masked princess's dreams.

This little couple seem to have reached their destination as the girl in the cat mask leads us through a door to a fantasy kingdom.

Closed, this tiny shrine measures 5 cm x 7 cm so you can hold it in the palm of your hand or stand it on a shelf. I do hope June will be happy with it and that it will have stories to tell her as she holds it. June is herself an artist with animals featuring often in her vivid and imaginative work. Creating this little triptych has so inspired me that I hope to create more. I wonder what stories they are waiting to tell? Thank you so much for stopping by and reading this. Have a wonderful week full of creative fun.

Monday, 29 January 2018

La Chouette - cabaret artiste extraordinaire!

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven! January is drawing to a close and to celebrate the show that spring has in store for us, I have created a little hanging at Calico Craft Parts blog.

Please meet the owl cabaret performer who thrills the twilight world with her low, moody and longing call! She is known as Chouette. Apparently this is French for the kind of owl who has no tufted egrets on its head. It's also used as a term of endearment for a beloved - a wife, girlfriend or daughter - and it is connected with feelings of awe or joy, so it seemed the perfect name for this new owl character!

I have also been working on my pastel sketches of family and friends, so I hope to be blogging about these soon too. Until then have a lovely, creative time and look out for those signs of the great spring cabaret about to begin!

Monday, 15 January 2018

Looking Forward to Summer at Calico Craft Parts.

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven. Today I've used a pastel sketch of my son, Isaac...
a piece of Elizabethan inspired whimsy using Calico Craft Parts.

Please hop over to the blog here if you would like to see more. I am planning to blog some more about my sketching and crafting adventures in 2018 and I would be delighted if you could join me when I do. I hope that January 2018 has begun well for you and that it will prove to be a creative and fulfilling year for all my followers and friends.