Saturday, 30 September 2017

Wallace & Gromit Fold & Mail

I noticed this fold and mail stationery pad on Amazon weeks ago. The cheapest one was marked as used: very good and located in the USA. I am not a 'true' collector in that I use my fold and mails rather than stockpiling them, and don't need to get the pads new as long as they are in good enough condition. The cost for these packs can be stupid! Hundreds of pounds. Much as I would love to get my mitts on the Yellow Submarine, Bewitched, Catwoman, Star Trek and Nancy Drew sets, anything over £10 is a steep amount to pay for what are essentially glorified envelopes.
It took quite a while to arrive. I'd act all casual and pretend I'd almost forgotten about it when it turned up but that would be a total lie. Very, very excited to have this in my collection. 10 sheets missing but still plenty to be going on with.
It's another set where pictures are hard to find on the interwebs so I hereby share with the world these lovely fold and mail designs.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Elliott Erwitt Fold & Mail

My fold and mail obsession journey continues. The Elliott Erwitt fold and mail set popped up on Amazon the other day and when I had enough pennies for a treat I purchased one.
Until I saw this stationery I had never heard of Elliott Erwitt but from what (very) little I could find out about the envelopes on the interwebs I thought they would be a fun addition to my f&m collection. Wonderwoman, Cath Kidston and the Pink Panther are all very colourful so having a black and white option makes a pleasant change.
Like these pics and want to see a bit more of Erwitt's work? Check out this link. I've ordered a copy of Personal Best from my local library so I can get to know more of this photographer's work.
Unlike my other fold & mail sets, there are 15 different pictures in this set rather than 6, so I've picked my favourites for this post rather than pictures of them all.
 I'd like to say I noticed the great big dog legs on this the first moment I saw it, but actually it took a little while as I was so captivated by the tiny little be-hatted chap on the right.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Ritva Voutila

I know the dangers of going to the library when there's plenty of time before it closes. I know I will be drawn to pick up at least as many items as I've returned, probably more. Far safer to nip in at 4:55pm, pick up my holds, drop off my returns, and scoot as the staff get ready to lock the door. 

But if I hadn't gone in today with time to spare, I wouldn't have discovered the work of Ritva Voutila. The corner of a book in the picture book section of my small local library caught my eye. I don't consider any books in a library out of bounds, fiction or non-fiction, adult or child, and so I picked it up and was immediately attracted to the illustrations. This is book dowsing in action, when a book decides it needs to be read by you and snares you at a glance.
The book in question was Outside. The story is simple enough and I didn't find there was much memorable in the words. What drew me in and will remain with me is the artwork. This artist has a very individual style, and the drawings in this book go above and beyond the standard fare I've seen in picture books. 

I imagine there's something of the Marmite reaction to this kind of art. You are either drawn to it and find it fascinating to look closely and pick out all the details; or you find it too busy and strange and don't like it. I'll be honest, I do found the little boy a bit creepy and haven't taken a pic to share - I could easily picture him with clown make-up, shudder. 

The cat could creep people out too, and I can't work out if I'm one of those people. The little girl is lovely, face calm and serene. The detail in the clothing, the patterns in the rays of the sun, the odd random touch of one of the sheep in the background having pierced ears and seemingly wearing rouge, the way the sun treks across the sky in the book, moving further to sunset with each page - beautiful.
The only other book illustrated by her available from my library is The Stone Lion, and I've now got it on order.
Self-portrait, Ritva Voutila
Thank you, book-dowsing, for this discovery. Fancy checking out more of her work? Take a look at Pinterest.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

ATCs (a new discovery)

From DecoArt
I am sure that the acronym ATC has multiple meanings but the one I'm specifically thinking of here is Artist Trading Card. It's a concept I'd not heard of until recently - and is another reason why I love connecting with new people because you learn so many random things that way! What is an Artist Trading Card, you might be thinking? Well, as far as I can discern from my research, it's 2.5" x 3.5" in size, can be created in a variety of mediums, the back of the piece is signed by the maker and given a title, and these Cards are traded not sold. In terms of what you make and how you make it, anything goes.

An ATCs can be embroidered like this wonderfully detailed sushi piece.
They can be minimalist and simple like this cat one from fancybutch.
There are some beautiful collage ones out there, like this one on Craftster.
You can make an individual one or do a bunch around the same theme like this naurical nine from Creawitch.
Do I sense a potential new crafting interest on the horizon? Probably not as I really do have enough creative hobbies to be getting on with. Might be something I return to at some mythical point in the future when I 'have more time'. Ha ha ha.

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Pink Panther Fold & Mail Stationery

Another fold & mail bargain from Ebay. Mmmmm... Stationery. Sweet, sweet stationery.
I was a bit worried as the listing for this did not have a picture of the actual item, instead using a generic photo. The description was 'good' but that doesn't necessarily mean much as I've ordered books on Ebay that have been listed as 'good' that I would have been hard-pressed to describe as 'okay'. In the end, aside from a few pages being missing, this pad is fine.

As with the Wonder Woman fold & mail, there are  five designs. Here's what they look like. Typically, after saying I couldn't find any pictures of the WW envelopes on the internet, I found them within five minutes of publishing that blog post on Pinterest

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Wonder Woman Fold & Mail stationery

Behold, a bargain purchase from Ebay!

These are now out of print and tend to go for Silly Money so was very chuffed I got this set for £5.

There are 40 envelope sheets and five designs. As I have found it impossible to get a clear picture of all the designs elsewhere on the interwebs I have taken a picture of them to share here for the benefit of any future searchers.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Snailmail: A ship a-sailing

Stamps - postage and other
This Canadian rooster one is so simple, and so effective. The four below are from a UK penpal - and one who also puts in orders to Philatelink! The second stamp in is my favourite - reminding me of Christmas at my Gran's where she would festoon the ceiling with streamers and decorations.
A piece of envelope embellishment from someone who loves a nautical (well, mostly mermaid) theme.

Writing paper
More La Papierre writing paper . . . lustful sigh . . . :)

Washi tape
Don't know if the photo shows it but the world globes are on gold pedestals.

Love that fat racoon sticker.
The HG Wells postcard would have been a pleasure in it's own right, but the Jane Austen one is so cute.

Friday, 11 August 2017

Arty August (Days 3-9)

This is my favourite piece from the last four days:
But now in a chronological order:
Day 3
Flowers etc - guess who put a bit too much magenta paint in their tray . . .
The flowers on the left were modelled on this pin. This is the tutorial I used for the round flowers in the middle. The watermelon was an experiment without a picture to go by. It was the one piece on the page I sketched out in light pencil first so I'd have the guidance of lines.
Day 4
Penguin form this pin and I think if I tried it again I would try for a light pencil sketch first as I didn't get the shape quite right. Believe it or not, the succulent was based on one of the examples here. I was worried I would run in to the other lines so used too much spacing between the individual 'leaves' so don't think this one is very effective, though I did get a bit more experience blending colours.

Day 5
Jellyfish - my first Instagram inspiration piece! I did the blue for the sea in the morning and then did the jellyfish in the evening. This one was a lot of fun to do and I really like the finished piece, even if it isn't as detailed and delicate as the original one that inspired me. I've realised that even my finest brush does not create a fine line so if I get the opportunity I will be investing in a much finer paintbrush.
Day 6
Cactus - another Instagram inspired one. The aim was to do a simple watercolour piece, then add detail with pen afterwards. I changed the colour of the flowers to orange for my piece as last year at the Suffolk show I saw a cactus with the most amazing orange flowers, and it has left an impression on me.

Day 7
Shit, shit and shit! So shit I have torn out the page, removed the cactus from yesterday and stuck it on a new page, binning the rest. To add insult to injury, as I was gathering up my materials to wash them I managed to get dark indigo paint all over my cream canvas trousers. KHAAAAAN!
Day 8
The previous day showed me that perhaps I need to be picking up skills from actual people rather than making guestimates on how this or that effect was done. So - my first YouTube tutorial from the Frugal Crafter showing me how to do lupins. You will note, if you watch the tutorial yourself, that she did a lot more in terms of background with her lupins but I was still wary after my Artwork of Shite from Day 7 so I thought it best to leave it as it was.

Day 9
First day this month where I have done zero watercolour practice - because someone had a huge back and a bin full of fabric scraps that I was welcome to plunder. Plunder it I did and spent an hour when I got home ironing the pieces, and turning the smaller scraps into pieces that are the right size for 1 inch hexie English Paper Piecing. I will aim to be extra productive this weekend to make up for the lapse.