Friday, 26 July 2013

Thursday Treasury {On Friday}

Hello my sweet friends

How are you all today? Can I tell you how I am? Tired. 
Oh what a night/morning I had on Wednesday/Thursday. I'll tell you what the story is. Some of you may already know that I am home in Ireland as we speak for a holiday, spending time with family + friends and having a much needed retreat from the daily routine. I might even be holding a bit of an impromptu art class at my Mam's house for some friends for fun, but that is another blog post. Anyway, Wednesday night (or should I say Thursday morning. 3am to be exact) myself and himself sailed on the ferry across from the U.K. to Rosslare after driving all night to get to it in the first place. Boy oh boy, let's just say it was an experience. I have only ever been on the fast ferry before which only takes 2.5 hours but this one is slower, it took 4 hours to cross. Well, guess what, I am a prone to sea sickness. Nice to know isn't it? Just a pity I had to find out the hard way. And on top of that, it seemed like everyone on the ship was fast asleep except for me. I couldn't get comfortable on the hard floor, I was chilly from the draft coming in and with my tummy feeling like a washing machine it just wasn't going to happen. So, basically long story short, after that traumatic experience lol, I didn't have a whole lot of energy to even keep my eyes open long never mind sit down to write a blog post so apologise for it being today instead of yesterday. Hope you weren't too disappointed but no need cause I have the treasury here for you today.

This week's theme is words + letters. I have hand-picked some items that display interesting typography, charming quotes and well designed monograms. Sometimes inspiration just needs to be spelled out!
You can find out more about this treasury, including the seller's + items here

I found this colourful, embellished monogram on Pinterest and it inspired me to create this treasury from it.
DIY: Button Monogram    This is what I used to make the "N" in my room :)

I think it's a really clever and cute project and it would look great it a child's bedroom or on the front of a greeting card. Of course you could always spell out a name or a word using this technique, a separate canvas for each letter. Actually I think that would be really unique. Oooh I'm feeling inspired right now!! I know I'm supposed to be on holidays but I might just have to crack out the glue gun and some buttons (yes I did bring more art supplies than clothes on holiday with me and yes I realise I'm a little crazy) 

Anyway this is just a quick blog post on this week's treasury and also a little about my recent travel ordeal lol! I hope you enjoyed it. Let me know if you get creating on foot of this treasury and why not share your projects with me, I'd love to see what you come up with! I am gonna go and chill out now, do a bit of relaxing, after all I am on HOLIDAYS, YAAAAAAAAAAAY!!! :)

Take care


Tuesday, 23 July 2013

25 Art Journal Prompts

Hi everyone! 

If you follow my blog regularly you will know that I am spending a lot of time creating and utilizing my art journals lately. People use art journals for a whole lot of different reasons such as rough sketches, journalling thoughts and memories like a traditional diary, getting ideas out on paper or trying new techniques. I use my journal for all of these things and more! I think everyone should have an art journal because it can be fantastic help when you are stuck in a rut or if you just want the freedom to create without rules or boundaries. So, I have put together a list of art journal prompts for you to use to make the most of your journal and to explore your creativity in ways you may not have immediately thought of.

25 Art Journal Prompts

  1. Journal a page about the things that you love
  2. Fill an entire page full with doodles
  3. Close your eyes and think about how you are feeling. Create a page based on it.
  4. Pick a quote and design a double page spread around it
  5. Use your junk mail to create a collage background in your journal page. 
  6. Write a letter to your younger self. Create a page around it.
  7. Draw or paint a large heart in the middle of a page and fill it with things that are close to your own heart.
  8. Journal a page about things that make you laugh and smile
  9. Write down five of your core belief. Pick one and base a page around it.
  10. Take a book from your book shelf, open it at any random page and zone in on a sentence. Illustrate it.
  11. Pick one colour and fill a page with only that colour.
  12. Create a page with just fabric. This can include ribbons, lace + trim too.
  13. Construct a page that has to incorporate glitter in it somewhere.
  14. Take a piece of your favourite broken or outdated jewellery and adhere it into your next art journal page.
  15. Set a goal and create a page about how it would feel to reach that goal. What colours will you use?
  16. Texture, texture, texture! Create a page that is packed full of all different kinds of texture. 
  17. Find a poem and take inspiration from it to create your next page.
  18. Fill a page with positive words. You could hand write them, cut them from magazines or print them from your PC. 
  19. Pick a photo of yourself that you really like and stick it into the middle of one of your art journal pages. Surround the photo with words and phrases that represent you. Alternatively, you could write about the attributes that you really admire in yourself or the things that make you who you are. 
  20. Create an image outline with string or wool. Hot glue works well for this.
  21. Use wax crayons and watercolours to create a resist technique. 
  22. Paint a page in different shades of the same colour.
  23. Use something metal in your next page.
  24. Bring the current season into your art journal page, an orange leaf from Autumn, fake snow for Winter, sand for Summer, a picture of birds for Spring? Whatever represents that season for you, use that.
  25. Incorporate a number or series of numbers that have some significance to you into a page and then journal around it.
These are really only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to art journalling. I know I use this phrase probably I little too often when it comes to creating but, it's so true - the possibilities are endless.
I am going to follow this list myself and post up the pages regularly. It is gonna be so much fun, I can't wait to get started :)

Feel free to save this list and print it out. Stick it in the front of your journal or on a pinboard where you can see it and work off it whenever you need a prompt.
I hope you enjoyed this post and are feeling sufficiently inspired and ready to create in your art journal! 
Leave a comment and let me know if you have used any of these prompts. Do you have any prompts to suggest? I would love to hear them!!

Take care

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Thursday Treasury

Hi all

It's time for Thursday Treasury again and this week I am inspired by the gorgeous sunny weather we are having lately and seen I've been dreaming about spending my days on a sandy beach (like some of the beaches in my home place of Wexford) I couldn't resist but to create a treasury full of beautiful beach style.

Think sand, sun, waves, seashells, gulls + all things nautical and you have got it in one! 

You can find out more about the items and seller included in this treasury here.

 I didn't have an inspiration piece like a photograph or fabric or patterned paper to work off of this week but I didn't need one, I just used my imagination. I am swooning over so many items in this treasury especially the photo frame ( I have a thing for photo frames, I have too many) and I also love the shell mirror. It reminds me so much of the cottage that my Grandparents brought me to see once that was completely covered in seashells. Every inch of it! I always love things that remind me of being a child and spending time with the people I love. 

So I hope you enjoy this treasury and are inspired by it as always. Why not send me photos of any projects that you created off this moodboard? 

Take care + enjoy the sunshine


Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Summer Days + Art Journal Pages

Hi everyone!

I wanted to share with you what I have been up to this last while. I don't feel like I have been pushing myself as hard as I had been lately and I think it is because of the weather. We are having extreme weather at the moment! ( Extreme for UK). The temps are up in the late 20s/early 30s most days now and while it is absolutely gorgeous and such a relief to finally get a Summer for once, it doesn't make the best weather to work in. I mean, I love to create, it's what I do and I do it everyday and I always will but when the sun is splitting the stones and the sky is blue, blue, BLUE all I want to do is go out in it, sit on the grass and sip cold coffees and read a book. And then when I come in from baking in the sun........ I nap. This carry on does not a successful business make.

However, I have managed to create a little. I have been working in some NEW art journals that I picked up in town at the weekend.

I picked these up in an old book shop that sells vintage + antique books. It only cost £7 for the two of them and they felt nice and sturdy, with wide spines and good quality paper. I am yet to decide what way I would like to alter the covers. I kind of like the colours of this one and the image of the man on it so I might try to incorporate that into it when I alter it.

I have only managed to complete a few pages so far but what I have done I quite like. For this two page spread I made a little tile using my Ranger Melt Art Pot, Inkssentials Memory Glass and a printed image of some of my artwork. I will be doing a blog post on the Melt Art Pot soon, it's a really fun piece of equipment.

I used Gesso on most pages but left a few raw which leaves this really cool text underneath my work.
As you can see, I have a bit of a thing for corrugated cardboard lately. It's so versatile, you can stamp it, stencil it, use it as a dimensional piece, cut it into any shape. And it's so cheap, in some cases it's free! Like all the best art supplies ;) 

I created this mini canvas trio last week and I love how it turned out! I think the colour scheme works really well, it has a summery, happy, bright feel. I'm also a little amazed that I managed to incorporate so many different elements into this project despite how small the canvases are (they measure 5'x7" approx) I included paper, fibres, buttons, ribbon, clay and wire into these canvases. 

I haven't included this piece of art into my shop + I'm not sure if I will. I did ask a few people on Facebook if they would be interested in seeing similar projects to this available in my shop and the response was good so imagine canvases these size will be included in my shop in the near future. But as for these ones.....I think I might keep them for myself ;)

So that is what I have been up to lately. I am also working on a huge commission piece daily and some other bits and bobs.

I hope you are all making time to be creative while still enjoying this amazing weather we are getting. Don't forget to check back tomorrow for Treasury Thursday for a little inspiration.

Please help me support a great cause, the Wexford Able Disabled Club, by taking part in the SILENT AUCTION I am holding on Facebook now. Follow this link to find out how to enter.

Take care


Monday, 15 July 2013

Charity Silent Auction On Facebook!

Hi everyone!

A lot of great things have been happening to me lately in my art and in my life in general and so because I am so thankful for those things it is important (always) to take a little time to give back.

I entered this canvas into a competition a few weeks ago that the Wexford Able Disabled Club were holding and I won! And so that is why I feel it is only right that I SILENT AUCTION this canvas off in the hopes of raising a little money for this non-profit organization that treat my dear little Aunt so well and which gives her a safe + fun place to chat, play and socialize with friends every week. You can learn more about Wexford Able Disabled Club here.

This canvas is 24cm x 30cm which reads "Being the best is great, you are No.1, Being Unique is better, you're the Only one" and depicts 5 paper flowers with button centres. The sides of the canvas are covered in book paper so there is no need for a frame. I can sealed the entire canvas in Gloss Medium for protection.

If you would like to be in with a chance of winning this mixed media canvas and raising money for charity then all you have to do is private message me on Facebook with the amount you would like to bid and then like and share the status. It is extremely important that you only PRIVATE message me with the figure as the whole idea is that no one else knows how much you are bidding.

I am setting the reserve at £10/€11.50 so please only enter bids that exceed this amount. This auction will close at midnight on Monday 22nd July 2013 so get bidding people!!

*NB* You must be over 18 to enter this competition. You must be able to pay by Paypal. P+P is free for UK + Ireland.

Friday, 12 July 2013

New Items In My Shop

Hello lovelies! How are you today?
I'm feeling good, the weather here is amazing at the moment. I has been sunny and HOT, like nearly 30 degrees Celsius (which is hot for UK) most days so we are all sweating like pigs here haha! I've had to put sumcream which I honestly haven't had to wear in a good few years now. They just can't seem to make a non-sticky version can they? Anyway, I'm not complaining, long may it last.

Despite the warm weather and my longing to just send my days outside sunbathing and drinking Frappucinos, I did manage to get some work done amazingly and Ciara McGuire Designs has some new items :) Yay!

I have finally, after waiting to do this for what seems like FOREVER, added some prints of my original work to my shop. I'm so happy about this development because look, I'm not going to lie, I know that not everyone is in the market for an original piece of art. I know some people like to look at art but don't want to fork out for it or can't afford. I know and understand that original art is not for everyone and so these prints are a more affordable way to still enjoy my art as my prints are selling for only £15.00!! There are 5 different prints available and I added 10 of each.

You can find out more or purchase any of these prints here. Obviously the watermark will not appear on your print.

I also added this mini original canvas to my Etsy shop on Wednesday and it was sold in minutes, literally which I was very flattered by. I added this canvas at a special offer price of £10 (canvases this size will normally sell for £12.50)

So, watch out for these mini canvases in my shop in the near future. I think they make adorable gifts because of their size, they are almost like ornaments as much as they are canvases. I always love these size canvases in a trio, either vertically on a pillar or horizontally perhaps above a mantel piece.

The centre piece of the flower is a product of my new favourite art tool, my Ranger Melt Art Pot. I will be doing a tutorial on how to make one of these embellishments but in brief, I took a section of a printed image of one of my original canvases and then added UTEE.

Watch out for a tutorial on that, it's super easy to do.

Have a great day, take care


Thursday, 11 July 2013

Thursday Treasury

Hi everyone! It is really Thursday already? Where did that week go? Anyway it's a good thing cause that means it's time for Thursday Treasury! And I have a really good one for your this week :)

This week's treasury is inspired by Mandalas. I always feel spiritual and grounded when I look at this beautiful, intricate art pieces.  I have been really inspired by mandalas and zentangle lately and I have started to incorporate it into my own work where possible.

You can find out more about this treasury here which includes the shops and sellers of these items.

I was inspired to create this treasury from a notebook I spotted while shopping in town earlier this week. I thought this notebook was gorgeous, the white on colour really popped out to me. I should have bought it too, look at how much it was reduced! :)

The shop I found this in is brilliant for finding colour and design inspiration in because it has a bit of everything in it such as art/crafts, books, stationary etc. They have a PILE of notebooks in every colour and pattern imaginable, but I really don't need anymore notebooks......(or do I?)
If you are find yourself struggling to get off your creative feet so to speak, going for a walk in town or in a shopping centre/mall can help a lot to inspire you because shops are filled with patterns, designs and of course colour. Colour is everywhere! Thank God, it's free!

Anyway enough of my rambling! I hope you enjoyed this week's treasury and are encourage to create some beautiful art based off this inspiration piece. If you do, please send me a photo of your creation as I would love to see what you get up to! If you do email me or share a link with me of a photo of your work I will feature it here on my blog for all to see :)

Again, I hope you have a creative day, the weather is amazing here lately (which is rare enough for UK)  so where ever you are I hope you are getting to enjoy the sun :)

Take care


Monday, 8 July 2013

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Thursday Treasury

Hi pretties! 
Those of you who are familiar with Etsy you will know that they have a treasury section where members can create lists of up to 16 items that are usually based around a theme e.g. "Tropical", "Blue", "Love"

I have decided to start creating treasury lists as a way to bring inspiration into my own + to others art or creative projects.

This week's treasury is inspired by lime, yellows, greens, zingy + zesty colours. When I see these colours I immediately think of lemonade,  Key Lime pie, Mojitos. It is bright + bold with a Spring feel. I can almost taste the tartness of the lime! 

You can find out more info about this treasury here, which includes all the relevant shops and sellers where you can purchase the items.

I created this treasury off of this colour inspiration journal page

I centred the page around this picture of a lime/yellow flowery make up bag that I found in a fashion magazine. I loved the fresh colours but also the retro feel of it's pattern and I tried to incorporate that into the treasury through some of the items that I chose.

I pulled some paint colours + patterned paper I had in my stash that I felt matched the bag in the photograph and before you know it, the colour scheme was born!

I might go on to create a canvas or journal page to co-ordinate with this colour scheme/treasury so stay posted for that. I don't ever use these colours together so that would be interesting for sure, and challenging. But, I like to challenge myself, especially in my artwork because that is how I keep things fresh + interesting. 

I hope you are inspired by this week's treasury. Let me know what you think of it, leave comments below.
Why don't you send in some photos of projects you make using this colour scheme and I will show them off here.

Have a great day!


Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Playing with New Products

Hi everyone! How has your Wednesday been?
Today one of my most favourite things happened - Art supplies that I ordered online arrived :) Happy mail!

I ordered a small package from Art from the Heart of 2 ink sprays and 1 dabber paint from Ranger + 2 stencils by The Crafter's Workshop.

I chose 'Sailboat Blue' and ' Red Pepper' ink sprays and 'Sunshine Yellow' in the paint dabber to add to my collection. I try to purchase 1 or 2 of each a week so that I eventually have the entire collection. Also, I have been looking for a doily stencil for a while but couldn't find one anywhere. I finally found this one on Art from the Heart and although it's not exactly the type I was looking for, it is still cool. I bought the Chicken Wire as I didn't have it and have been wanting to get it for a while now.

Whenever I get new products, I have to test them out on a scrap piece of paper before I use them for real on a project or whatever. Does anyone else do this? I dunno, I think it would be weird to just go straight into  using it in my work without testing it out first.

What do you think? Have you ever seen a more vibrant red in your life?! I love it! Isn't it funny how out of all the different shades + hues they carry on that website I still managed to go for the three primary colours? I didn't do that purposefully, I actually only noticed it now as I have them all laid out together. Funny.

I had to test out the stencils aswell of course. They look great, I'm really happy I bought them. The thing I love about these type of stencils is that, if you get them wet enough, you can actually use them as a kind of stamp aswell, so you then get the reverse image. It's like two for the price of one!

This isn't really a great example of that because I wasn't trying too hard to get that effect, I was just cleaning off my stencil + since there is no sense in wasting perfectly good paint, I used it to stamp the reverse image. However, if I had wanted to + had paid it a little more attention, I would have probably achieved a much clearer image. Either way, I think it looks great :)

*Note on cleaning stencils* I use baby wipes to clean my stencils but today I noticed while wiping the doily stencil that you really need to be very gentle how you wipe them because the cloth can get caught in the cut-out part and pull them out of shape (does that make sense?) Just a little warning I thought I'd pass on to my fellow artists ;)

So, that's a little of what I got up to today. I hope you enjoyed reading! Let me know what new art supplies you purchased/received lately, I'd love to hear all about it.

I hope you all had a creative day!

Take care


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