What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - My First of 2014

Having a little snoop at Julia's post previous to this weeks WOYWW, she had a really interesting discussion point about why we blog. Some of the answers are really illuminating (and flattering! Thank you Helen! Big smiles this morning.) Some of them said something along the lines  that they keep up with WOYWW because it reminds them to keep creative. It's true. Somehow I fell out of the habit of doing my weekly desk shot. I don't know why. Maybe a shmidge of guilt that I found it harder and harder to visit everyone. But I used to enjoy making those connections, snooping at what other people were doing, how they work. So, here I am joining in again. With the promise to visit as many people as I can. 

We're at my desk out in the shedio today. Please excuse the lighting - it's dull and drizzly here in Kent. This is an amalgamation of two messes - a painty paper weaving thing that I've been doing for one of the Soul Food classes and my crow for the Twitter Art Exhibit (previous post, still time to enter, fantastic event that benefits both the charity and the artist.) Most of the chaos you see here is where I've been mopping up my stencils... and forgetting to clean my brayer by the looks of it! Poo Bum! 
Picture is clickable for better snooping
Because my shedio is titchy, this will mean I have to tidy up before I can play again. Tidying does not come naturally but a necessity in a small space.


If you fancy a snoop at literally hundreds (by the end of the day) of creative peoples workspaces then get yourself over to Julia's for a looksee.


Thank you for stopping by today :)

Crow - #TwitterArtExhibit

I've started trying to understand Twitter a bit more recently and in one of my tinkerings I spotted a few tweets flying around about The Twitter Art Exhibit. It looks an amazing fund raising scheme and has raised lots of money in previous years. Participants send in a postcard sized  original piece of art and they are exhibited and sold off for $35 a piece, 100% of the profits going to the chosen charity.

You need to have a Twitter account - well, it is called the Twitter Art Exhibit after all. I just really liked the sound of it - I've had crows flitting about in my mind for a while now (as most of you know) so that's what I did.
Whoopidooings: Carmen Wing - Crow in acrylics for the #TwitterArtExhibit
Winsor Newton & Liquitex acrylic paints
Liquitex Satin Varnish
Gelli Plate & masks (Hand cut crow)
He's winging his way to Orlando as I type. You still have time if you'd like to take part. You can find all the details if you follow this link - or alternatively click the picture below.
Whoopidooings: #TwitterArtExhibit founder, David Sandum
#TwitterArtExhibit founder, David Sandum

Thanks for stopping by today :)

Metal Bookmarks & Green Canaries

I love to share when I find beautiful, unusual presents made by talented people - I struck lucky at Christmas when I found two, new to me, sellers who I will definitely be shopping with again.

Folksy featured this seller, Mauve Magpie, on Facebook just before Christmas which is how I discovered her. I'm glad I went with my instincts because shortly after I hotfooted over to her shop, she had to stop taking Christmas orders because of the influx of adoring fans.

I went for a hand stamped aluminium bookmark which made me laugh... I thought it would make my sister laugh too. It did - and she didn't stop singing a certain song from the moment she opened it!
Whoopidooings: Aluminium hand stamped bookmark by Mauve Magpie on Folksy
My sisters had a purple ribbon, you can choose your ribbon colour and even tailor your text - but I forgot to take a picture so nabbed all images on this post from the Folksy shop.
Whoopidooings: Hand stamped bracelet by Mauve Magpie on Folksy

She also does the most beautiful necklaces and hand stamped bracelets. It's definitely a shop I will be bookmarking. If you like what you see - why not pop over to the Mauve Magpie Facebook page - there is a giveaway of a beautiful necklace filled with dandelion clock 'wishes' going on right now!

Next I discovered Shelley of Live Art, Breathe Art... and she literally does live and breathe art! This woman is so prolific, I wonder when she has time to come up for air! I loved her bird paintings. Craig has been pestering me to do him a painting of a realistic green canary for ages. I don't do realistic animals. Not yet at least. But I loved Shelley's birds. When I messaged her, saying what I was after, she came up with the goods and then some. So beautifully...
Whoopidooings: Green canary by Live Art, Breathe Art on Facebook
My favourite
Whoopidooings: Green canary by Live Art, Breathe Art on Facebook
Craig's favourite

 And here they are all framed up...
Whoopidooings: Green canary by Live Art, Breathe Art on Facebook
Craig told me I had finally (after nearly 12 years) finally got his Christmas present right! (I am known for my slightly obscure gifts when it comes to him.) He even wants to commission another painting off of her himself!  High praise indeed!

Shelley seems to be able to paint anything she turns her mind to, animals, plants, fantasy scenes... in watercolours, acrylics, spray paints... so, if you have something in mind - why not pop over and check her out, maybe drop her a message. Do it now - before she gets to well known... little secret - she is seriously affordable, surprisingly so.  Nab a Live Art, Breathe Art original while you can!

Thanks for stopping by today  :)

7 Day Creativity Challenge: Days 1-3

I've been doing the prompts of the 7 day Creativity Challenge this week. The idea is to kickstart you and get your creative juices flowing.  It's free and it's been interesting. You can still sign up if you fancy it.

You are encouraged to tweet your progress. I thought I would group together what I've been doing in a blog post or two - more for myself than anything else.

We were encouraged to think about one word that would describe our intention for the coming year. I know quite a lot of us do this anyway - in place of resolutions or to compliment them. I had already settled on my word for this year and that is Organisation. It's something I'm not very good at. I have a bad memory and a not very good grasp on time management. The internet is a huge distraction. I figure if I can organise my time, housework, work, internet time etc then that must surely equal more art time. That's the theory anyway. I have my own self appointed internet policeman in the form of Craig - it's working having someone question if I am on the internet productively or just wasting time. I don't want to waste time.

We were encouraged to compile a list of goals. No matter how big or small for the coming year, not think about how silly or not they were and just write them down. Display it somewhere prominent so that it will gee us on throughout the year. I've done mine on a white board so I can add to it as I think of things - along with my word. It's pinned slap bang in the middle of the wall above my desk, out in the shedio.

Whoopidooings: #creativitychallenge14 Days 1-3
Talking of the shedio - it was time to "recharge my creative space!" Not before time either. It had been so cold out there that we had been using it as a second fridge over Christmas. Then afterwards everything just got dumped out there - my arty presents and it seemed like a few other things that people just couldn't be bothered to put away.
Whoopidooings: #creativitychallenge14 Days 1-3
Before
Three days after I took the above pictures and I was done. I also figured I might as well do my January purge while I was at it. I started this a couple of years ago when we moved house and had less space. Every January I now go through all my stash and, nine times out of ten, if it hasn't been used in the previous year, it's ousted. This year I also went through my scraps boxes and colour co-ordinated all my scraps. I love collage but never do it because I could never face going through all the boxes. Now I just have to figure out a good way to store them rather than all in one box. Any ideas?

And now I have reclaimed my shedio. Happy bunny face.
Whoopidooings: #creativitychallenge14 Days 1-3
After
I might not have finished the challenge within the week but I will carry on with it as, combined with the class I'm doing, I've already done more art in these first few weeks of January than I did in the last couple of months of 2013! Craziness!

Thanks for stopping by today :)

Rocking My World Friday - Moments that Mattered in 2013

I know, I know. I'm late again. Not a lot to report this week - I have been immersed in the Soul Food class and also following the prompts of the 7 Day Creativity Challenge which sees my Shedio in upheaval as I try and get organised. Post about that to follow when I finish.

So I thought instead of doing a look back on my week, I'd do a look back on 2013 like I did last year. It's easy to miss the moments that make up the bigger picture. That's why I love Rocking Friday so much, it's there on record for me to look back and think "oh yeah!" and, of course, smile.

Lots happened last year. Lots. We had 3 big birthdays... Devon turned 16... Blimey - where has that time gone?  
Whoopidooings: Rocking Your World Friday Moments That Mattered in 2013
Whoopidooings: Rocking Your World Friday Moments That Mattered in 2013
She left school, had prom - my heart still aches when I look at the pictures! My baby! Craig's hair is falling out at a rate of knots now! I think he is definitely experiencing anxiety over having a (gorgeous, talented, kind, intelligent, wonderful) teenager in the house. A kind stranger on Facebook helped her find the bag to go with her dress. She wanted a fur one and after a call out on FB a friend of a friend sent it as a gift. How wonderful?
Whoopidooings: Rocking Your World Friday Moments That Mattered in 2013
She had worked so hard towards her exams, stayed behind after school to revise and was rewarded with the grades she needed to secure her 6th form place. She volunteered to be a teaching assistant at the school during the Summer with a Summer School they ran. I was so proud of her. Their theme at the Summer School was Harry Potter and at the end of it they took all the kids and volunteers to Harry Potter Studios. When she left she was presented with the first Harry Potter novel and a card from all the kids.  It was something really out of her comfort zone but like she said it was a great experience and really gave her confidence.
Whoopidooings: Rocking Your World Friday - Snape
Since being in 6th form she's worked so hard. They advised the kids to only take 3 subjects but she took 4 and it has been such a heavy workload. She's knuckled down and worked and worked. I'm so proud of that girl - I might have mentioned before ;) 
***
Phoebe turned 13 - a proper teenager! 
Whoopidooings: Rocking Your World Friday Moments That Mattered in 2013
She's also been working hard at school - this year has seen her getting a bit more independent. We see glimpses of the young lady she's becoming. Obsessed with Superman, cooking, science... working hard on her drawing every night. Less of a tomboy this year. It's strange watching them grow... change and yet in some ways stay the same.
Whoopidooings: Rocking Your World Friday Moments That Mattered in 2013
 ***
Logey is one year old!

Whoopidooings: Rocking Your World Friday Moments That Mattered in 2013
He's changed so much this year. He learnt to crawl, to walk, run, to climb... he talks a little. We certainly know we have him. He's such a character! I can't imagine him not being here now!
Whoopidooings: Rocking Your World Friday Moments That Mattered in 2013

I actually picked up the form to register him with nursery the other day - how can it be that time already? 
Ruby would like to inject at this point, that turning 6 is pretty special too and so it is. 
Whoopidooings: Rocking Your World Friday Moments That Mattered in 2013
She's had a busy year too. She learned to ride her bike without stabilisers... not only that but one handed too! She's learning trick jumps on her scooter and her shyness is a thing of the past! She can now attend friends parties without us having to stay. She earned 'Friday name' just before Christmas for overcoming her phobia of people dressed up and going to the pantomime with the school - albeit glued to the teachers side. Her reading and writing is coming on in leaps and bounds and her baby brother idolises her.
Whoopidooings: Rocking Your World Friday Moments That Mattered in 2013
Whoopidooings: Rocking Your World Friday Moments That Mattered in 2013
* * *
2013 was a Scotland year! Woohoo! Anyone who visits this blog will know that although I was born in England, I have a tartan heart through and through. I lived there for 10 years growing up and I miss it so much. So every alternate year we holiday there... and save up in the between years. This year was bittersweet as I had agreed that in 2015, the year that would have been the next time we go - we'll go somewhere else! *Gasp!* We haven't decided yet between Wales, down South maybe Devon or Cornwall or what. Somewhere we have never been before.  But what it does mean is I wont get to go 'home' until 2017! 2017!! Devvie will be 20! So this year, I soaked up as much as I could while we were there. Man, I love that place! If I could move my Dad and Craig's Mum up there - Craig would have a tough argument for staying here.
Whoopidooings: Rocking Your World Friday Moments That Mattered in 2013
Next up has to be my shedio. Bless that man - he knows the way to this woman's heart. I used to have a little set-up in the workshop but Craig needed it back for work and boring stuff like that. He spent ages getting his old shed ready and presented it to me, even lugged a solid piece of beautiful sideboard up the road, in the rain. My Shedio. I love it out there.
Whoopidooings: Rocking Your World Friday Moments That Mattered in 2013
Whoopidooings: Rocking Your World Friday Moments That Mattered in 2013
Not quite that tidy at the mo - am in the middle of my January purge. If you are easily horrified - look away now... 
Meeting up with this bunch in April really put a smile on my face. We have been online friends for a long time now and it was so lovely to properly meet up.
L-R Sarah, Jo, Susie, Me
We're hoping to meet up again this year and with the rest of our motley bunch that couldn't make it, if circumstances and time allow. What fun that would be.

Another moment that sticks in my mind for this year was when I wrote a book review for one of my favourite reads of last year and both the authors commented on it, one blogged about it and the other friended me on Facebook! Authors and artists are to me like TV celebrities are to other people. To say I was starstruck and over the moon is an understatement . I still smile about it now.

Silver Crow was spotted around our house quite regularly. He's getting big now and not entirely silver as he gets older. I keep hoping maybe to spot some speckled silver babies seeing as we first noticed him as a baby. We've already seen him near our back garden this year. It does make me happy - my little good luck omen.

There is so much more I could mention. The days out we've had, picnics or the museums up in London. The community of people online, visitors to my blog - lurkers and chatters, a lot of who I count as real life friends - it all goes to show you don't have to have money to count yourself rich. 

Thank you everyone. I hope you have a wonderful 2014.
Thank you for stopping by today.

I'm linking up with Virginia for Rocking My World Friday - a weekly reflection on the positive things that made us smile. 

Also with Oh So Amelia, Miss Lucy Loves and Lloyds Bank who are holding a lovely "Moments That Mattered" giveaway.

Soul Food - Lesson 3 - Piece of Cake!

Lesson 3 of Soul Food saw Cathy Bluteau getting us to make cake... of the paper variety. Going to be honest, I was tempted to skip this lesson. I'm not really much of a cake person... unless I'm scoffing them. 

Come the weekend and Little Miss Monster woke up with a right cob on, none of us could do right for doing wrong - I decided she should come do the class with me. 

Am I glad we did it. We both had such fun layering up our cakes and she was so proud of hers, I varnished it for her and it's now on her wall. And afterwards - we had a totally different Little Miss Monster - chilled out in her own way - happily hula hooping and singing (badly) for the rest of the afternoon in the middle of the living room!

Ruby's cake...
Whoopidooings - Ruby's Mixed Media Cake
Scrapbook papers
Paper Napkins
Brad
Acrylic Paint & Spray
Mine - I did mine in my journal...
Whoopidooings: Carmen Wing - Mixed Media Cake
Scrapbook papers,
Corrugated Cardboard, Braille paper
Collaged book pages,
Acrylic paint & Posca Pen
Pencil
I'm glad I did the lesson now and love how our cakes turned out so differently. Mine still ended up grungy and I really like it.

Thanks for stopping by :)

Portrait No.7 of 40 - Zombie Bart Simpson

Morning all! (Or afternoon, evening...)

I did a picture of Bart as a semi-zombie type face yesterday and my friend Jo reminded me that he would still count as one of my 40 portraits. So here he is. I wished I'd gone more zombie-like after I'd done him and might have another bash. For now I'm saying he is freshly turned.
Whoopidooings: Carmen Wing - Zombie Bart Simpson in my sketchbook
Copics & Pentel Marker
Acrylic paint
I did him to take part in the Moleskine Simpsons challenge. If you think he is good enough and have a spare 5 minutes, I'd love if you would pop along and maybe give me a vote. Mine is the one by Whoopidoo.  (Direct link - you just click on the stars and rate the picture.) I don't normally enter these vote for competitions but I'd reallllly love to win a Simpsons Moleskine ;)


Thanks for stopping by today :)

Soul Food - Lesson Two - Sketching with Gwenn Seemel

Hi everyone - thank you for all the emails and messages about my my blog problems. I think I will probably look for an alternative as I seem to be having problems every few months. I don't want to but like a few of you have also said, I do worry that one day they will just pull the plug or one of the glitches will wipe out my blog. Hmm.

Special thanks to my tech adviser Sarah who, although couldn't fix my problem, told me a way around it that I hadn't thought of. Yay.

So, on to lesson two of Soul Food. This had Gwenn Seemel sharing the way she sketches and giving some fabulous advice both in class and on Facebook. I really love her style and so was fascinated to get a peep behind the scenes. She talks about how we should all try and sketch every day and it will help other aspects of our art. I agree and it's a habit I got out of years ago. I'm trying to do a bit every day now. I love the technique she taught with pens. I used to solely draw in biro when I was a child but am so rusty now. I wish I hadn't stopped or even still had the sketchbooks from then.

I decided to do a selfie first using this picture as a guide.

Oh blimey my first attempt was awful but I did enjoy doing it and it got my head in the right space to try the style again...

Whoopidooings: Carmen Wing - Self portrait in my sketchbook
Copics and Gel pens
My second attempt I am chuffed to bits with - it's still not right but I like how it turned out. 
Whoopidooings: Carmen Wing - Self portrait in my sketchbook - Copics & Gel pens
Copics and Gel pens
I will be coming back to this lesson and playing some more. I really enjoyed it! I'm also counting these as two more of my 40 Portraits. That brings me up to six!

This is also going to be my first time of playing along with A Year in the Life of an Art Journal. The first prompt was to play around with getting our 'kit' together. As in an e-fit kit. I think this counts - I hope so. Another prompt is to talk about how we think other people see us. Well - that's a toughie. I know how I would like to be seen. I also know how I think I come across. Two different things. I think in real life I come across as quiet, shy, boring - maybe aloof (I've been told I come across as cold and unfeeling) I'm definitely scruffy. Creative maybe? Maybe not on first meeting.

Truth is I'm learning that I am probably introverted and definitely find initial meetings with people extremely hard - I do hide my feelings which may come across as cold. I am scruffy because I buy clothes only maybe once or twice a year - hate clothes shopping, would rather buy paint. I then wear those clothes till they literally fall to pieces. If I like an item I'll buy them in twos or three's so it most likely looks like I'm wearing the same clothes every day (I'm not a minky mare I just rotate but it all looks the same!) Boring - ummm, I'm happy being quiet, comfortable with silence. Doesn't mean I wont ever have something to say but is probably boring for a lot of people. So there we go - those of you have met me. Am I right?

I'll be back soon with some more to show you - plus I've been doing the 7 Day Creativity Challenge, which is just some little prompts to make it easier to stay creative. If you fancy it you can still sign up here. It's free!

Thanks for stopping by today :)

Not Much Blogging...

... Because Blogger is playing me up again. My nav bar is missing from my view so am having to access my dashboard via editing already existing posts.  

Much as I love the ease of Blogger, this gets me thinking about moving virtual home again. The glitches seem to happen quite often and are so annoying. 

I'm still around, still reading your blogs, still loving arting (in particular the Soul Food class at the moment) Just getting wound up with Blogger. Grr!

If you have any recommendations about new Blog Homes or even how to resolve this issue - it would be much appreciated :)

Bear with! Bear with!

Thanks for stopping by :)

Soul Food - Lesson One - Gelli Plate Fun with Mystele Kirkeeng

Week one of the Soul Food class kicked off with Mystele Kirkeeng showing us a great new technique with the Gelli Plate - well, new to me! She also taught us how to create layers, not be scared to cover up layers, not be precious - just play! Then we created a person and 'found' images in our background. No surprises that all I could spot was a crow!
Whoopidooings: Carmen Wing - Mixed Media Girl & Crow
Dylusions Mixed Media Journal
Acrylic Paint
Posca Pens, Biro, Graphite Pencil
Various stencils, masks, punchinella etc
This lesson put me well out of my comfort zone,  I really enjoyed it though. I started off really hating what was happening on the page but ended up loving the final piece. I've also loved watching what the other people in the class have done. Even though we all followed the same lesson, you can still see everyone's individual personalities and tastes shining through. Mine still ended up grungy! For me, that's a good thing. I reckon she counts as number 4 in my 40 portraits too.


Thanks for stopping by today and taking a peep :)

Rocking My World Friday...

Well, hello there. Not done one of these in a while have I? Not because I haven't had positives to list - I still did, in my head. I would just keep forgetting to sit bum down and blog them. So if I forget this year - give me a nudge? It really does help having these to look back on when you think things maybe aren't so great. Usually - there is always something to smile about :)
"Rocking Your World Friday is the moment to step back and take stock of your week, to work out the positives, the things that have made life more bearable and to celebrate these facts."
So how was your New Year? Ours was quiet... and honestly if Little Miss hadn't wanted to see the fireworks on TV I would've been in bed by 10pm. Bless her, she made it to 11.30pm and didn't even remember being carried to bed when we told her the next morning.

What positives have there been in this first week of 2014?

Well, towards the end of last  year I won a spot in the Soul Food class. I've literally just completed the first lesson today. I watched the second lesson yesterday, while sat in a car in the middle of a muddy field, waiting for Craig. He wasn't doing anything dodgy in the middle of the field I hasten to add - no, he'd gone to spend his Christmas pennies on a new bird but I knew when he said "I wont be long..." well, these bird men - they can't half gossip! So tablet and downloaded class was the first thing to get put in the car! Anyway - I'm loving it so much. Already I'm out of my comfort zone and learning new things. I'll do a blog post about the first lesson tonight or tomorrow and will get cracking on the second lesson... probably tonight. Craig pointed out that if I spent less time on the PC I might actually keep on top of this class. Don't you hate it when they're right?
So, I'm loving the class and am loving being creative every day! Oh and also my personal internet policeman who has been allocating me time slots on here. It's working, has to be said!

Next up is Logey Bear. He's loving his music at the moment and any little jingle or ditty that starts playing on the TV he has to drop everything and boogy. I tried him with Ruby's headphones the other night and he absolutely loved listening to a bit of Mumford & Sons and Olly Murs. Of course now, whenever anyone else is listening to music, he wants to as well!

Craig's Mum saying I looked like I had lost weight. Always nice to hear that - especially when I have been scarfing down Pringles and mince pies just a little to much over this Christmas period ;) 


What else, what else...
  • Having a warm house and roof over our head. 
  • Salad - have eaten so much junk lately that I've actually been craving salad.
  • Kids that still want cuddles even when Mum is grumpy.
  • Devvie for being an amazing baby sitter and having magic cuddles with The Bear. Honestly, 5 minutes cuddling with her and he's soundo.
  • Craig, always.
If you'd like to join in with Rocking Fridays just click the logo at the top of the post. It's so worth it. Thank you for stopping by today - how was your week?

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