Friday, 28 June 2013

Life Lately

Hi everyone!

This has been a good week in my little art world + so I want to share a little bit of what I have been up.

Firstly, I added some new canvases to my Etsy shop, which you may have already read about in my last post {you can click here to read it}

A great thing that happened this week was that I got featured on Jennibellie Studio Blog on her Tell All Tuesday spot. Every Tuesday, Jennibellie interviews an artist about how they work, what problems they face, how they solve these problems, how do they keep inspired and a bunch of other questions that make for interesting reading and this week my interview was posted! I have gained some new fans and followers because of this interview and so I would like to take this time to thank Jennibellie for the opportunity. I had a lot of fun doing it! :)

I think the most exciting development on Ciara McGuire Designs this week is that I now offer advertisement spots. That's right people, I am now open for sponsorship! I am currently offering two types of ad spots, a large which costs $30 and a medium which costs $15. To find out more you can click here or on the 'advertise' tab and it will bring you to a page that explains it all in more detail. As you will see, the prices are displayed in dollars, this is because the website I am using to enable the ad feature on my page only shows the price in dollars unfortunately but be assured that this is not a problem for anyone who wants to purchase an ad because the currency converts straight away. I can vouch for this because I have actually bought one of these ads on another blog this week. So don't worry, it's all good!

I finished a commission canvas I was working on this week and it went really well, the buyer was over the moon with it. She said it was perfect and exactly what she wanted. I was thrilled because she wasn't very specific about what she wanted {which is great in some ways because I had a lot of freedom} and so I had to just hope she was happy with what I came up with. And she was! Woohoo! 
Silly me though, because of all the excitement of her coming around to collect it, I completely forgot to take photos of it. I had to steal this one from her Facebook page! I'm sure she won't mind.... 

I am always open for commissions, even if it is just something as simple as "I just want a canvas with this quote on it" or "I just want a canvas with a flower on it". You don't have to come up with all the ins and outs of it if that feels like too daunting a task, that's my job ;) 
I'll be starting to take some orders for Christmas soon {omg Christmas?!} and so it might be an idea for you to think about what you want + put in any orders you have because I'll only be able to take a limited amount.
I don't want to disappoint anyone.

This weekend will probably be fairly chilled, I'm getting over a cold/chest infection {another one, can you believe it?} and I have a bit of work to catch up on too. I ordered some goodies, some art supplies, and hopefully they will arrive over the weekend but I suspect it will be Monday but when they do I will have some fun playing with those and I might do a blog post on those.
Other than that the weekend will, I suspect, be spent watching movies and eating yummy food with Himself, cause we don't get to spend much time together during the week. 

I hope you enjoyed this post, thanks for letting me share what's been going on with me lately. As always, feel free to leave a comment or any questions you may have below.

Take care


Tuesday, 25 June 2013

New Items In My Shop

Hi everyone!
I want to show you the 2 new, original canvases that are available in my Etsy shop now.

Create Art

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you may recognize this canvas as one that I had started in the Exploring Backgrounds post where I had dedicated some valuable time to creating canvas backgrounds that I was really happy with. I said that I would keep you updated on how I developed the canvases further + so, here you go....

I added rolled up sheets of book, music + ledger paper which I inked + stamped and then adhered them to the canvas to form a platform in which I could sit my homemade paper + embossed tile. I also added corrugated cardboard, paper flowers (which I touched with Crackle Accents, but it didn't crackle for some reason, I think I may have applied it too thick) + some metal trinkets. 

I also added this new canvas to my shop

Everything Will Be Okay

With this canvas, I started out with a new technique.  I took some paper doilies and started stamping on them with Staz-On ink + painting over them with watercolour paints (a medium I hardly ever use). I liked the look it created and so I then added it to my background.  I had to stipple a healthy layer of sealant over it though, to ensure the watercolour wouldn't run. Once I did this, I had no problems at all.

You may notice that I used some of the vintage buttons that I managed to thrift at the car boot sale I went to a few weekends ago. You can see more about that in this post. 
I was really pleased to see that shortly after I listed this canvas, the Etsy Promotion Team added it into one of their treasuries Team Treasury #37

You can visit my shop by clicking the 'my Etsy shop' tab on the header of this blog

Or you can simply click on this link :

Have a great day!

Take care

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Inspiration Tags available on Etsy!

Hi everyone!

I have some exciting news to share with you all, my Inspiration Tags that I was telling you all about in this post are now available to purchase in my Etsy shop Ciara McGuire Designs. Yay!!! Colour + creative prettiness for everyone!!!!

When you purchase these tags you will receive a package of 5 different + unique Inspiration Tags that are doubled sided. You will not necessarily receive any of the tags that are shown in the listed photo but this is because every tag is totally original + no one will get the same tag as anyone else. Woohoo! 

I have to say I am pretty excited about these Inspriation Tags because the possibilities with them are endless. You can use them in your own artwork (as long as you follow my Angel Policy which will be sent to you in your package), you can use them in your art journal, you could use them to decorate gifts or as bookmarks! Or you can just display them as mini works of art because it is important for me to stress that these tags are completely original, these are not prints or copies. 

I originally created these tags as inspiration for myself, testing out some products using new techniques on a smaller scale, so they of course can be a prompt for your own artwork too! 

To purchase a bundle of Inspiration Tags, head over to my shop Ciara McGuire Designs now! 

I hope you are having a creative, inspired day!


Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Exploring Backgrounds

Yesterday I spend some time creating different canvas backgrounds using lots of products + techniques. I wanted to mix things up a bit + dedicate some real time to developing backgrounds that I am truly happy + proud of and that I would feel were almost good enough to be considered finished pieces of art, without having to add any focal points, so to speak. And, I want to get defensive with myself + say "hey, I do this every time I create art" but truth be told it sometimes feels like the process gets a bit stale for me. Anyway, it's never a bad things to try out some new things and we are learning everyday, we are never finished learning, ever. 

So, lucky for me, I decided to pop in to a charity shop while I was busy in town yesterday + that was a pretty smart move I must say cause I picked up some gems that I was able to include in my backgrounds.

Among which is an old bird watchers logbook from the 80's, dress patterns! (which I have been looking around for for freakin' ages!) + old music paper.

Dress patterns make an amazing way to cover a canvas because it is almost the same thing (if not the same thing entirely) as tissue paper + anyone who uses tissue paper in their art will know that it gives instant texture. Just look at all those wrinkles! And the best thing about them is that they have all these funky + interesting markings and wording on them which looks really cool on a canvas. And, and, AND they are usually a brownish colour, which looks vintage + old. Who doesn't love that? So, I am hearting dress patterns at the mo.

I used the usually suspects while creating these backgrounds such as acrylic paint, alcohol inks, rubber stamps etc but I basically gave more attention + time to the act of creating. In effect I fell back in love with this art process + art materials that I use day in day out. I also used Dear Lizzy American Crafts Die Cut Cards as stencils + I used them with modelling paste.

I treated pages from the logbook + music sheets the same way as I treat any paper that I am using for backgrounds which is to adhere them to the canvas making sure to glue below + above the paper to seal it. I use a homemade version of Mod Podge which is basically just white PVA glue mixed with water in different proportions depending on the strength of glue I need.

Getting my hands dirty through creative play, I felt at peace within while these backgrounds transformed + developed before my eyes. It was a definite learning curve that I have stored away now + will be able to pull out to use in the future. I am grateful that these bursts of pure inspiration come to me, especially in times when I have felt hopeless + a little lost. I knew this week would bring me something amazing!

Have you learned to re-love some creative processes of your own? What happens when you spend quality time with your art in a way that you hadn't considered before - just make the art, worry about it's meaning later....? I think some times we can get too wrapped up in creating a masterpiece or that our art has to have a message or meaning or a purpose. But just by creating it, well, that is it's purpose. I believe this is true anyway. Let me know what you think, leave a comment or send me an email

I will keep you updated on what happens next, if anything, with these backgrounds. I may develop them further or I may leave them just as they are. You will have to say tuned to find out ;)

Whatever you are doing, where ever you are, I hope you are having a beautiful + creative day


Tuesday, 18 June 2013

New Goodies + {Inspiration} Tags

Hi everyone!

I got some new goodies at the weekend (if you read this post you will see why I needed to treat myself) and I have been playing with them, experimenting + generally getting down and messy with at my art desk, trying to conjure up some inspiration and you know what, it worked ;)

I tested out my new products using some luggage tags that I had in my stash + I wasn't really thinking too much about what I was doing, I was just concentrating on trying out the paints, stencils etc and seeing what I could create on a small scale. Who new that scaling down could help so much? Something about only having a limited amount of space + using only a limited amount of products (because, as I said, I was just testing out my new stuff) forced me to think outside the box but in such an easy + natural way.
And now, I am really excited about these tags, so much so that I think I will be taking some time to explore this creative process more + you never know, you may even see them in my Etsy shop in the near future.

Inspiration Tags - who knew?!

The lesson I learned from this simple, creative play has to be that when you seemingly limit yourself, you can in effect open up a whole new world!! There is nothing better than that feeling of pure excitement + inspiration that you get in your tummy, kind of like butterflies, when you know you are on the cusp of something, your not quite sure what, but you know that if you manage to unlock it, it will be truly amazing. It could even be life changing. Why not?

If you are interested to know about any of the products or the techniques I used while making these tags please feel free to get in contact by leaving a comment or by email 
You can also follow me on various social networks which you will find the links to on the left hand side on the blog.

I hope you are having a beautiful + creative day!


Monday, 17 June 2013

My Weekend In {Words}

Chinese food
Nice weather
New art supplies
Black t-shirt
Luggage tag
Girlie movie night
Tortilla + dip
Cream soda (new fav!)
Father's Day
Tidying my desk
Sunday roast
Messy hands
New colours
Making lists
Denzel Washington <3
Lemon Meringue 
First page
Open window

And now I am ready for a busy week of art, ideas, inspiration + achievement ahead. I have a feeling that this week will be much more productive than last week :)

I hope you are having a great Monday morning. Ci x

Saturday, 15 June 2013

For block sake

Hi everyone!

Oh, what can I tell you today? This week did not go as I hoped it might, it has been really tough, even with all my new, fabulous finds that I collected at the car-boot last week. This week my motivation was at an all time low, my inspiration fizzled away into thin air and basically I got NOTHING of any substance done. Now, I know that this is perfectly normal, it happens to everyone and all that jazz but it is still one of the most frustrating bubble-burster of all time for an artist. The worst thing is that my usual sources of inspiration were turning up empty, the tricks + games I play on myself when this block occurs were failing me. C**p, is this serious?! What if a person only gets a limited amount of talent, have I used all mine up already? Surely, that is a ridiculous thing to think of, but, then again, is it?

Where does this awful, bloody thing come from anyway? Is it that my work has genuinely taken a creative nose dive due to something crazy that is happening in that brain of mine? Or, is my work still as good as it ever was but I am just seeing it though foggy eyes because of, oh I dunno, that brain of mine?! Uh! Do I really need a brain?!!! Can't I just take it out?! I feel like I only need a heart to make art, that is where it truly comes for (everybody say 'awwww' and now ignore the fact that I just considered having a lobotomy)

OK, enough of this whining. There has to be something I can do, other than sitting around, watching movies and eating bags of cheesy Doritos (I don't half do 'feeling sorry for myself', well do I ?) Although that is an enjoyable way to spend an evening (or several) it won't bring back the creative flow no matter how much I fool myself into thinking that watching foreign films on Netflix will 'culture me' + spur on an amazing work of art. There must to be something else I can do. 

Well, I don't really have a plan of action if I am honest with you all but the first thing I am gonna do is get out of this apartment! I have been stuck in here for the last few days due to a mixture of the weather being dodgy and feeling a bit unwell. Today, myself + himself are gonna go into town + have coffee, have a look around + get some fresh air. I guess that is step 1. After that, well, I don't know, if any of you, my lovely readers would be so kind as to share your knowledge on the subject, I'd be ever so grateful.

I know I'll get over this, it might take a few days, maybe more, maybe less. I suppose the main thing for me to remember is that just because I am having a hard time of it right now, it doesn't mean that all my talent has been used up or whatever other crazy thoughts I am prone to having. I suppose, as long as I relax and use it as a moment to gather my thoughts + ideas then things will happen at there own pace. You can't + shouldn't rush art.

I hope you leave a comment and let me know your thoughts + feelings on this topic. Do you suffer from artist's block often or at all? What do you do to shake it off? 

I hope you are having a beautiful + creative day 

Take care


Monday, 10 June 2013

Life Lately

I have been working in my art journal at lot lately, getting my ideas out on paper where I can see them. I thought it might be nice to share some of them with you all.

Yesterday, Himself + Myself had a day out. It's been too long since we actually went + did something fun for a day together and it felt really good. We got up early and went to a car boot sale first. These are some of my finds

1. Old books
2. Vintage buttons + postage stamps
3. Rusted metal findings
4. An old carpenters ruler
5. A rusty tin box.....but what's inside?


A strange thing to get excited about maybe but for a mixed media artist like myself, this little tin box might as well but a pot of gold. The possible uses for these, seemingly useless fuses, are endless. I already have some ideas for what I could do with them! You just never know what you might find in these places. I don't think Himself was as impressed with the car-boot as I was though. It might take a bit of persuading to get him back there in the future.

Anyway, afterwards we travelled to Manchester to visit an art gallery there, stopping for a picnic on the way which was lovely. The weather was absolutely scorching in Manchester and we had a nice time looking around the gallery. And even though we forgot where the car was parked and spent an hour walking around the city in the heat, I didn't mind too much cause we were sipping on these babies

Oooh yeah! Triple Caramel + Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappucinos. De-lish! Defo what we needed on a day like yesterday. 
When we eventually got home we had a nice evening meal + watched a film, Layer Cake, I wasn't too bothered with it if I'm honest but it was a nice way to round off the day, just chilling on the couch in our p.j.s.

What have you all been up to lately? Have you been making the most of the sun? Leave a comment + let me know.

Take care


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