Secret Santa & Stocking Swap

I know, I know. I said I wouldn't be back till January but how could I not update the Secret Santa? 

Each year I take part in two Secret Santa's. The one I run here on my blog and a Christmas Stocking Swap on UKScrappers. Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas without these now. I enjoy the stalking of my victim as much as I do unwrapping my own goodies and seeing how well the person 'got' me.

I'll show you my UKScrappers swap first because then I can put the links to the bloggy swap at the bottom of the post, easier to find.

My Swap Fairy on UKS was Gill aka Wisher. I received a gorgeous stocking overflowing with goodies and come Christmas day it really seemed tardis-like. I never thought I would reach the bottom. Talk about spoilt. And yes - she really, really got me spot on.  I had wanted a silicone spatula to use as a palette knife - I did a little "yay!" when I opened that. So many goodies from skull earphones, skully fairy lights (going in my shedio) a little skeleton to alter. Mini gel pens, metallic gel pens, a funky beaded writing pen, stamps, glues, fabrics, a beautiful scarf, vintage book pages, a mini journal, gorgeous ink splat stencil, mini canvas and easel, Mmmmaltesers...
Cosmic Shimmer! Beautiful moulded faces! And, AND a Senellier oil pastel to try out. There may have been a bit of boogying! OK, a lot of boogying!
Thank you again Gill, although thank you doesn't seem to cover it.

And then we came to the Whoopidoo...ings Secret Santa. 
My Santa was Laura. Oh my, when I opened the parcel there was a little, beautifully wrapped gift, for everyone else in the house - Laura is new to the swap and my blog so talk about good stalking skills! These little gifts contained sweeties for everyone. 

Then on Christmas day, I unwrapped all this. A beautiful canvas, so textured, so clever, of a crows feather. Some paintbrush cleaner and the most delicate and fine pointed paintbrush I ever saw (I was positive it was an incense stick when I was having a feely!) I've had to hide that as Craig has been eying it up - I lose all my thin brushes to the cause of feeding his baby birds that the hens reject. There was also a pad of postcard sized watercolour paper, some Hotel Chocolat goodies - oh, how I love Hotel Chocolat - we used to get the monthly tasting club box but had to stop a while back. And then - a beautiful bookmark and, can't get over this, a crow book I have been looking at on Amazon but hadn't mentioned to anyone! The woman is psychic!
Whoopidooings: Secret Santa
Close up of that gorgeous texture on the canvas.
Mixed Media crow feather by Laura Rumble
Thank you Laura - and again, thank you doesn't seem enough. I love it all so much!

So would you like to see who had who and what they got? I'll update this link as and when people let me know they've blogged :)

I posted to Virginia. Blogged here.
Susie - Posted to Suzy
Virginia - Posted to Kirsty. Blogged here.
Ally - Posted to Laura. Blogged here.
Suzy - Posted to Ally
Cam - Posted to Jaime and Debi
Laura - Posted to me. (Blogged above.)
Mariane - Posted to Cam
Suzanne - Posted to Mariane
Debi - Posted to Suzanne Blogged here.
Kirsty -  Posted to Susie.
Jaime - Posted to Cam

As it stands we have one parcel M.I.A but one way or another that will be remedied. We are waiting till the New Year is out of the way to see if Christmas post is holding things up. Otherwise, I hope everyone had a fab time with the swap. I  know I always enjoy hosting it - so what do you say? Same time next year?

As for me, well I'm looking forward to a quiet New Year at home with my family. Then the arting begins again. I've won a place on the Soul Food class and I've seen the timetable, it all looks such fun. Hectic - but such fun, the teachers look amazing. I'm going to try and keep up with Year in the Life of an Art Journal too. I've meant to join in for the past few years but never have -well they sound like they might be focussing on portraits this year and I like the sound of that. 

My word for 2014? Organisation. Of time, space, everything. Hopefully that will equal more time creatively. Gotta be worth a shot.

As for you - I really do hope 2014 brings you health & happiness. Everything after that is a bonus right? 

Happy New Year!

Ho! Ho! Ho!

I was going to do a big old rambly post about what a bad blogger I've been. How behind I've got with both my writing and my reading. How ill we've been (all better now... nasty tummy bugs. Most icky!) how no art has been done for ages... but then I thought "Ah, stuff it!"

Instead I want to wish you all a fabulous Christmas and a hope that 2014 brings you all that you wish for. 
I'll be back in January with more regular blogging, a food hangover and an armful of sketchbooks and paint. 

Have a good 'un!




Stay at Home CJ - Steampunk

Hello people,

It's the third month of the CollaborArt "Stay At Home CJ" where  all the participants make just one background and come up with a theme for that background. We then sent our background  to our host, Sarah. She photocopied them and then we all got a full set of backgrounds (and our originals) back to work on. We all work on the same background each month - to the theme set by the backgrounds creator. 

This month we worked on Pat's gorgeous background and her theme was Steampunk.
Whoopidooings: Stay at Home CJ - Pat's background
Pat's background
I don't know how Steampunk-y this actually is as although I admire the style I don't know all the rules. I just didn't want to go with my usual "stick a cog on it" fall back. I decided to try and do a machine-like face without actually being a machine if that makes sense.

Please ignore the dodgy handwriting - I need to find a nice pen that will write over paint, this was just a Sharpie...
Whoopidooings: Carmen Wing - Stay at Home CJ - Steampunk (Pastels)
Oil Pastels
Neocolour II's
Graphite pencil
"Without self knowledge, without understanding the working and functions of his machine, man cannot be free, he cannot govern himself and he will always remain a slave.” – G.I. Gurdjieff 

Craig actually wants to laminate this one - he thinks the quote is very "Person of Interest". High praise indeed from him.

If you'd like to see what everyone else did with the background you can click here. Once again we all went very different routes - it's such an interesting and fun project to take part in.

This is also number 3 of my 40 portraits... just realised she is very similar to face 1 apart from having a clock for an eye! Maybe she's being "upgraded."  Hmm - wonder who she is from my sub-conscious...

Thank you, as always, for stopping by today :)

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