Monday, 24 April 2017

Calico Cat at Calico Craft Parts Blog

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven. I'm having fun with creating a rather elegant cat character over at Calico Craft Parts today.


Please pop across here if you would like to see more. Calico also have some amazingly detailed new craft parts available including beautiful doors and windows, which you can check out here. Have a creative week! 

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

The Owl and The Pussycat

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven. Once again I've neglected my blog rather, so today I decided to create a post about a little diptych I recently finished.



I had some little MDF house shapes going spare and I had been playing with sketching a cat - something I'd not properly attempted before! Here is my original drawing...


 I played around with the size and shape. I knew I wanted to enhance my kitty, give him or her more character and a body and a costume! When I first draw a character I like to keep the gender fluid, giving them a costume and a identity with each new project. An Etsy customer had asked me if I ever included owls in my work and this also had inspired me to play with owl characters a while back. 


Wonderful memories of seeing owls, their wings touched by moonlight, came back to me as I researched these magnificent creatures. Owls, Pussycats - well, I just had to create an Owl and the Pussycat diptych!



For the last 3 summers, I've participated in wonderful classes on line, run by the gifted teacher and artist Mary Jane Chadbourne. The techniques I've learned from her and the inspiration she provides have influenced my work so much. She always assures her students that the project itself will tell us exactly what it wants to look like As I worked, the Owl became a Duke - Owlsino and the Pussycat Meowlia.


Was it in the back of my mind that my son gifted me a ticket for Twelfth Night on Mother's Day and that we'll be going to see it next week? I really don't know because it was just as if the Owl and the Pussycat told me their own story and I had very little say in the matter!



Owlsino told me how desperately in love he had been with the Lady Owlivia, from an ancient avian family. He thought he would die for love! He took on a young page who he intended to send to his 'Lady's' house with messages of love. Little did he know that the young cat he sent to plead with the indifferent Owlivia was Meowlia - a Pussycat incognito, searching for her brother who had been lost at sea. She fell hopelessly in love with him - an owl who would normally keep her well at wing's length, while his beloved Owlivia fell in love with Meowlia instead of him! The Lady Owlivia kept in her household a clown by the name of Feste, but in reality, both Owlsino  and Meowlia - and even the Lady Owlivia and her rather pompous steward, Miauwlio - were to become fools for Love - not understanding their true feelings, not seeing themselves or others for who they really were!



Happily, for most of the characters in Shakespeare's version of this comedy, all is resolved. And I suspect that my Owl and Pussycat too were able to work at that rather unconventional partnership, discovering eventually that Cupid's arrows don't always fall where we expect them to. Sadly, the same was not true for Edward Lear, the creator of the original Owl and Pussycat. He had an unhappy love life, falling into intense and unrequited passions. As a child I loved his nonsense verse, his tales of fantasy characters like 'Pobbles' with no toes and 'Jumblies' who sailed away in a sieve. He too travelled to distant lands, sketching flora and fauna with incredible skill. Musically gifted, amusing and imaginative, he was ashamed of his epilepsy and, although he had many social acquaintances, the romantic union enjoyed by The Owl and the Pussycat always seemed to evade him.

I hope you have enjoyed viewing my little diptych today. There is a link to my Etsy shop at the top of this blog in the right hand margin. I will be adding diptychs and pins on the theme of owls, pussycats and fantasy lands over the coming weeks, so do check out the shop if you can. Meanwhile, may all your dreams come true and may your days be filled with love and creativity.

Namaste - Calico Craft Parts Shrine

Hello Everyone from Magpieheaven! I'm so sorry that I forgot to blog my project at Calico Craft Parts this week! Here is a little peek. If you haven't already checked it out at Calico and you have time, please pop across. My memory has been like a sieve lately!


In an effort to be a better blogger I'm probably going to be blogging again later today with a new project for my Etsy shop. Thank you so much to my Followers and Friends for the support you give. Have a lovely spring day, full of peace.

Monday, 27 March 2017

Spring Forward at Calico Craft Parts!

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven. I have a studio - at last! Much as I miss her, I'm very happy for our daughter, Matilda as she starts life in a new home with a lovely partner. Luckily for me, she is living only 10 minutes' from our home and her room has become my creative space!


I created this little shrine for Calico Craft Parts blog as my first project in my new space. If you would like to find out more about how I created it and my inspiration, the project is here.


Wherever you create, I hope your creativity is blossoming with the Springtime!

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Doors, Windows and Architecture for PaperArtsy

Hello and Welcome again to Magpieheaven. Tonight I'm lucky enough to be over on the PaperArtsy blog sharing a post about Doors and Windows into the Past. Please join me there if you would like to see this project in a little more detail.


 I do hope you'll also be inspired to join in the Challenge and that you will create something on the theme. If you do, why not link up your own project for a chance to win a prize of £50.00 of PaperArtsy products? Wishing you Good Fortune, creativity and joy!

Monday, 13 March 2017

Wearable Art for Calico Craft Parts Blog

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven. Do you ever feel as if you could do with a friend perched in your hat or on your scarf, whispering words of wisdom to you? You might like to meet my friend Felicia, the wearable Barn Owl! She is making an appearance over on the Calico Craft Parts blog today! Please pop across and meet her if you have the chance.


Have a lovely, creative day wherever you are.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

A Very Modern Mid-Century Tea Time with Relics and Artifacts!

Hello Everyone and Welcome to Magpieheaven! Over at the Relics and Artifacts Tribe there's a fun challenge taking place - Mid Century Modern! It was certainly a challenge for me because I tend to associate Relics and Artifacts with either mysteriously beautiful antiques with a story to tell, or the vibrant folk art of Mexico. I wanted to keep up that New Year Resolution to blog more and to participate in some challenges, though, so I put on my Mid Century thinking cap with its geometric patterns and journeyed back to the 1950s!


Once I had researched - lots of fun on Pinterest - I gathered colours with what I thought had a 'Mid Century' mood. I grabbed some Harlequin napkins; a stencil and some musical manuscript paper, along with a few scraps of tea-bags - I was ready to paint and collage!


I used acrylics diluted with glazing fluid to paint over my collage so that the torn scraps would be visible. To create the blocks of colour, I used masking tape to help me keep to really straight lines.


Building up layers with collage, paint and stencils, reminded me of tattered posters after a carnival.


Now it was time to add the Relics and Artifacts to the composition. I wanted to carry through that Harlequin/Pierrot Mid Century style mood, so I grabbed the masking tape again for an asymmetrical look to the ex-voto flaming heart.


The Mid Century I recall from my childhood was a time of such hope and excitement as we embraced the 'Modern' and looked to Science and Technology to re-build our world torn apart by 2 World Wars. Yet there was fear too, at what the Modern World might do to itself with the Nuclear threat. Influenced by the exquisite Picasso drawings that I love, I added the pure white wing of Peace to my canvas. 


I leave the interpretation of the face to the viewer. Is it the Moon glimmering over Venice at Carnival time? Is it a Pierrot behind an enigmatic mask, the wing a fluttering white lace ruff; or is it the Spirit of Uncertainty, half facing the 'Brave New World' and half completely blank as to what the future might hold.


On a less serious note the colours of my canvas reminded me of my china collection, which I seldom use, so I thought it was time for a Very Mid Century Modern Tea Party!



Now all we need are some little Harlequin cakes with pastel icing and some Batten berg with its pink and blue squares of sponge cake and bright yellow icing! Have a lovely creative weekend and a great week!