Friday, 31 May 2013

May You Be: Complete

Hi everyone!

Here we are the last day in May can you believe it? Our last May You Be post :( awwww... I have to say it has been really fun and I am pretty proud of myself for only missing 2 in the whole month. That is good going if you ask me. Thanks you all my lovely readers who have checked in daily to see what my posts have been about, I really appreciate it and I hope that you continue to return here. Don't worry just cause May is over now doesn't mean I won't be posting regularly. I might not post everyday from now on but it will be like, every second day? Something like that anyway! I'll keep you all informed.

To start off, I want to show you a canvas that I just got finished. It's called "Change is Possible", which is available to purchase in my Etsy shop.
Those of you who follow me on Facebook may have already seen this photo (you can follow me on FB + other social media sites by clicking on the links on the left hand side of the blog)

I created this piece on a 20 x 25 cm deep edge canvas in a portrait format using scrapbooking paper, music paper, paper doilies, acrylic paint, alcohol ink, modelling paste, rub ons, metal foil, corrugated card, rubber stamps and a fine tip Sharpie.

Looking at this canvas now you would not believe that a day before it was brown, dark and yucky! I had previously covered it in newspaper and painted it in these dark shades of brown and creams. I don't know what idea I was going with but it was horrible, I hated it and had to change it QUICK! So, as you can see that's exactly what I did. And the result is a bright, fun little canvas!

The inspiration I got for this canvas was obviously change and changing. Who would have thought a love heart could grow like a flower and spout butterfly wings? In this garden anything is possible, even change, which for some people, may seem like the least possible thing in the world. But it can happen, just keep on believing. 

So, that is my latest canvas, I will do another post over the weekend probably listing the products I used on this piece because right now I want to tell you 2 pieces of exciting news. The first is the most exciting and it is that tomorrow I will be demonstrating in my local Hobbycraft store!!!

I am so excited and a bit nervous now too. I will be given a table to work on and to display my canvases and the products that I use. I also will leave a bundle of business cards on it for people to take. This is so exciting though! I really hope that it all goes well. I suspect I will be working on some canvases in store and hopefully people will wander over to check out my work and to ask me some questions etc. I'm not really 100% sure how it will go but we will see. Also I hope I will get to take a few photos.

The second bit of exciting news I have is a little more low key but I think that it is worth sharing. Today I ordered an iPhone 4 adaptor for our tripod so when it arrives I will be able to record videos which means....*drum roll* I'll be on YouTube soon!!!!! Woohoo! I think I may be more excited about that than Hobbycraft tomorrow......Ok, that's not true but it's neck and neck.

And here we are, last post of May You Be. We are complete ;)

I hope you enjoyed this post today and all the other posts in the May You Be series. If you missed any or would like to read them again you will find all the posts listed on the left hand side of the blog.
Please feel free to leave me a comment about anything at all! I love to read your comments.

I hope you are having a beautiful + creative day

Take care

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

May You Be: Nourished

Hi everyone!

I'm sick.

The pain in my ear + throat that I had yesterday truly came to the surface at around 3.30am, when I had to stumble around in the dark (so as not to wake up Himself) looking for Paracetamol.
I ended up having to cancel my appointments for the day and stay in bed to try and get better. I drank loads of hot drinks and snuggled up in my duvet while watching Youtube videos and catching up on some blogs I have been meaning to read.
The one thing I was missing though was a nourishing bowl of Chicken Noodle Soup. I had no one to make it for me and it was raining here all day so I didn't want to venture out to the shop and get some. It is something I never think of having in the house yet the last few times I have been feeling flu-y and sick I have craved it.
So, I found this recipe for Crock Pot Chicken Noodle Soup which I am definitely going to make a large bath of and freeze, when I am feeling better.

Crock Pot Chicken Noodle Soup

You can get the full recipe with step by step photos on mealsforreal. It looks so yummy, I can't wait to try it out :)

I hope you will forgive my very short post today but I need to get back in bed......
Hopefully tomorrow I'll be better. Let me know if you try out this recipe or if you have any go-to comfort foods for when you are unwell leave a comment below, I'd love to hear about them

Take care everyone


Tuesday, 28 May 2013

May You Be: Messy

Hi everyone!
How are you all today? I am feeling a little under the weather today if I'm honest. I am having a bit of trouble with my ear, its blocked and a bit sore and the pain has decided to make it's way into my throat now as well so I'm not exactly on top form this evening I must admit. However, the show must go on as they say and so today like most other days I have been working at my desk, experimenting in my art journal and then progressing onto a canvas, hoping to conjure up something pretty that can be sold in my Etsy shop.
Really, I think I've just made a mess!! Lol!

Boy oh boy, look at that desk. Actually, don't, please don't stare at it too long! This is real life Ciara my friends - messy. I'm a really messy worker it has to be said, I don't have time to put things away neatly how they were found, I need to move as quickly as my brain is moving. Well, that's my story anyway....

I tried a new technique (new for me) today. I mixed some copper acrylic paint with my Crackle Accents to see what effect it would give, I was thinking it would look pretty cool. However, I was disappointed to find that, when it had dried, it hadn't cracked very much at all.

As you can see there are a few cracks but not near as much as I had hoped for. I guess that technique either doesn't work very well, or I wasn't doing it properly. I know there is some crackle mediums that you can buy specifically for acrylic paints so I will probably pick up one the next time I visit the art shop. But hey, that's what life is all about, learning new lessons everyday. 

I spent my evening designing and ordering a batch of business cards. Jeez Louise, who new it would be such a pain! Well, it took at while let's say and I'm not a whiz at computer design stuff by any stretch of the imagination so tasks like that can test my patience a little. But I got there in the end and I am delighted with the end result. Hopefully they will look as pretty in real life as they do on screen.

And because I love you, my fantastic, supportive readers, you can all have a sneak peak of my new business card design. You are the first to see it!

Yeeeeeeah! So excited! What do you think? Do let me know by leaving a comment, I would love some opinions.
That is all the news I have for you guys today I think, other than to tell you that I am loving being back in the swing of things after my break at home, getting back to my desk, my blog & my shop and of course planning and organizing new ventures, earache or no earache. 

Only 3 more days of May You Be posts! Where does the time go?

I hope you are having a beautiful + creative day


Monday, 27 May 2013

May You Be: Refreshed

Hi everyone!

It is 10.06 am here in Sheffield as I am writing this, it is a beautiful, sunny, May morning and I am sipping on a coffee from my favourite mug while writing this post. I'm waiting on my grocery shopping to be delivered, Himself is still snoozing in the bed - he was out with friends last night, so I have some quiet time to myself now and I thought its a perfect time to write today's post. I have some great photos to share with you all from my trip home but first I must apologize... I forgot to post yesterday's May You Be post *smacks forehead* silly old me. But today's is a good one so hopefully it will make up for it ;)

So, as you all know I have just got back from Ireland. I spent a week in Wexford with my family (where I grew up) and it was a very special time as always. Everything about this trip was special to tell the truth because it was the first time I every travelled in an aeroplane all by my lonesome. Now, of course U.K. to Ireland is only 40-50 mins but it was a big deal to me when it was my first time alone so I was pretty proud of myself to have gotten through it in one piece I have to say. For someone who is notorious for being a bit of a stress-head at times, I can believe how calm I was about the whole thing. 

My Dad collected me at Dublin airport. He was waiting for me in Arrivals, it was so lovely to see him standing there with a big smile on his face. We caught up on the drive home, then had a quick cuppa and into bed. 
In the morning, Dad brought me out for a lovely walk in Kilmore Quay with his partner and her son.  

Kilmore Quay, for those of you who don't know, is a little fishing village in Co. Wexford. It is quite small but has a working fishing harbour full of hustle and bustle. On any given day in Kilmore you will see ships galore in every colour imaginable, fishermen working away, seagulls soaring the sky above waiting for whatever leftovers they can zone in on, seals swimming around in the harbour and my personal favourite, rusty bits of chains and ropes left behind on the pier. The salty smell of the sea is in the air, the sound of gulls cries are all around. Paradise!

I was in heaven there with all the rusty and grungy elements I found, it brought me a lot of inspiration and my mind was just spinning with ideas for new canvases and projects while I was there.

Look at the texture the barnacles have created on this old anchor. Stunning! How could I get a texture like this in my artwork? Mother Nature truly is the first and best artist the world will ever know.

I was mesmerized by these lobster pots. I love how the fishermen piled them up so neatly, for convenience more so is my guess. Little did they know that someone like me would come along and see so much beauty in them! Their shape, their grunginess, and don't get me started on the colours! Pale blues and Seafoam greens - intoxicating. 

If you follow me on Instagram (which you can by clicking on the "view on instagram" button on the left hand side of this blog) you will have already seen that photo. I just couldn't wait to share, I had to give you all a sneak peek ;)

I had such a lovely time down at Kilmore Quay that I had to take a souvenir back with me

I have an idea for what I might do with this shell, but that is for another post.
While I was at home my Mam + I went to see the Lion King Show in Dublin's Bord Gáis Theatre on the Wednesday night. It was truly the most amazing production I have ever seen in my whole life! No exaggeration. 

The could only take photos of the stage before the show started, then I had to turn off my phone and no photography or recording devices were allowed. I can understand why of course but it is a bit of a pity that I'm not able to share it with you, it was fantastic, I even shed a tear at the opening scene. If the show comes to a theatre near you I urge you to go and see it, you will not be disappointed.

All in all, my trip home was very enjoyable, as always. It refreshed me in more ways than one, we all need a change of scenery from time to time.
Family is the most important thing in my life. I cherish every moment I spend with them and I look forward to returning home for another visit as soon as I can.

Again, apologises for not posting yesterday, but I hope I made up for it today. I am off to my desk now because I have been home since Saturday afternoon and I haven't had a chance for some arty time yet. 11 days is WAY too long to not be creating!! 

I hope you are all enjoying this Bank Holiday (U.K.) whatever you are up to. 
Have a beautiful + creative day!


Saturday, 25 May 2013

Tutorial: Customized Bookmark

Hi everyone!

I'm here again with this week's Waste Paper Bin Challenge, a tutorial where I challenge you all to use your imagination to create something beautiful from waste.

This week I have put together a tutorial for you all to follow on how to make a customized bookmark. Let's get started.

Choose a cardboard base for your bookmark. I am using a clothing tag from a pair of jeans that Himself bought last weekend and I kept it (of course) cause I knew I would use it for something creative. It's the perfect size for my bookmark but if you don't have any tags or cardboard that is already the right size then you can cut one out from cardboard. You don't need to have fancy card, cardboard from old postage packaging or from a cereal box will work perfectly. This is why I suggest you think twice before throwing things away, you never know what you could make!

If you do use cardboard that has some designs or wording on it, like I have, then that is where the Gesso or the white acrylic paint will come in. I apply a generous coat of Gesso to both sides of my tag to cover up the colour and the words. If you are using white acrylic paint you might need to apply a few coats as acrylic paint isn't as thick as Gesso and doesn't give as much coverage. If you are using plain cardboard from your stash you don't have to do this step but I would recommend you do anyway as it creates a blank canvas to work on and also gives the acrylic paint and glue that we will be using something to grip on too.

As you can see, covering the tag in Gesso gives me a nice, clean surface to work on. If you look hard you can still see a little bit of the original design showing through, if I apply another coat of Gesso it would completely covered this up but it doesn't matter because I know when the bookmark is finished, this will not be noticeable at all, it will be completely covered.

Now the interesting part! Take your scraps and just start to glue them randomly to your bookmark. Glue them here and there, in whatever fashion you feel like. You could tear the paper like I do or you could cut the paper neatly with a scissors, you could glue it straight down or you could scrunch the paper into tiny paper balls. The possibilities, as always with art, are endless. 

When you are happy with how it looks, either wait for it to dry or use your heat tool, and then flip it over and do the same on the other side.

As you can see from the left picture, I didn't just limit myself to paper. I found a piece of scrap plastic that was originally the backing of a sticker - that went on too. Why not, just throw it on and see what happens.

Now you can choose a colour(s) to add to your bookmark. I am using 'Pistachio Mint' by Americana and 'Wild Watermelon' by DecoArt. 

I like to apply a little water to my paint when applying it so that it makes the paint translucent and shows off the patterned underneath. I don't apply the two colours randomly on to the bookmark, letting my creative self lead me, not thinking too much about it just enjoying the process. 
So it looks pretty good so far. At this point the options are endless really. You can leave it just as it is not or you can root through your craft stash, art caddy or even just around the house and find interesting elements to your book mark.
I am treating my bookmark as I do one of my canvas' so I will add texture through the use of stamps, stencils and doodling. 

Here is my finished bookmark. As you can see I added a lot of different elements to it, I added a quote, I added some modelling paste. I also added some strings of embroidery floss and wool through the hole of the tag, which you can do too by punching a hole at the top of the bookmark, and I added some beads and a charm to one of the strings.
I added some Glossy Accents to the quote so it really pops! 

Finally, I added a little brad through the hole in the top to complete the look of the bookmark.

So, I hope you enjoyed this week's WBPC, check back next week for the next instalment 
Please feel free to leave a comment and let me know if you give this one a try.

I hope you have a beautiful + creative day


May You Be: Cheerful

Hi everyone!

Today I am going back to U.K. + needless to say I am feeling pretty sad. Pretty tearful. I don't like goodbyes. So today I am doing a very short blog post and what I am gonna do is show a bunch of cute, adorable, animals to cheer me up a little. And hey, who doesn't love looking at cute, fuzzy animals am I right?


Ragdoll Kitten | Cattery Elroni's Dream | The Netherlands

This is why elephants are awesome.

#PinUpLive >>> 10 Best Reasons to Take the Kids to the Galapagos


oh goodness!

The Best Thing About a Dog... ♥

537155_517478061645720_480498288_n.jpg (400×300)


Small, Medium, Large


Teacup Pomeranian

Because eating is hard work.  :)

opinionatedcheese: les bébés <3

My Mommy

Aww! I feel a lot better now. I hope you enjoyed this post. Why not send me some photos of your cute pets?
As always, feel free to leave me a comment about anything at all.

I hope you are having a beautiful + creative day


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