Friday, 20 December 2013

Interview with artist {Melissa Burch}

Tell us a bit about yourself and what kind of art you do

 Rooted in West Chester, Ohio USA.  My art is strange.  I use everything in my environment.

How long have you been creating art?

I have created since I was created.

Where do you create?

My "studio space" otherwise known as my breakfast room is amazing because of the bay window and skylights that allow the sun to do it's part in aiding me with my work. I am solar powered so when weather permits, I am outside.

What are the most important lessons you have learned through creating art?

To constantly teach myself something new... and my strong personal conviction that there are no mistakes in art.

Do you ever get creative block? If so, how do you overcome it?

As far as getting creative block that would be impossible. My mind is a cross between an amusement park and constant vivid drippy colours that even smell as real as they seem. I paint everyday - no matter what.

What kind of creative routines or rituals do you have, if any?

I listen to music and work on 3 to 5 pieces at ones so it's kind of like a 3 ring circus!

What do you think art's role in society is today?

Reducing a technology driven society back to an organic place. Where politics and passion and believing in something are once again pivotal. Where words are void and colour is in motion. Stories can be told.

Where do you get your inspiration from/What inspires you?

Inspiration is pulled from every day surroundings, industrial metals, flecks of nostalgia found in shows like Mad Men, high end fashion, retro cars, what others view as "ugly" I find a true ringing beauty. My inspiration is pulled from the scent of a papaya candle, from the grit biting into my feet at the ocean's edge, life = inspiration.

Do you have a relationship with your artwork?

My relationship with my art is the same as your left arm with your right art, or fire and ice. It just is.

Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself and your art?

My art is available for sale all over the world.

Facebook Melissa Burch Artwork


Wow! Isn't Melissa's work incredible. The use of colour and texture is just to die for, a truly talented artist. I completely understand what she means about the relationship between your left and right arm being the same as the relationship she has with her art, I feel exactly the same. It's just an extension of your mind. 

Thanks to Melissa for sharing with us! Check out her Facebook page.

If you are interested in being interviewed for my blog email me anytime!

Take care

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Thursday Treasury // Let It Snow

Today is the second last Thursday Treasury ever and see as there doesn't seem to be any sign of snow this year I thought I would bring some to the blog. 
Truth be told, I'm actually extremely glad there hasn't been any snow this year because it can make travelling home to Ireland a real pain. So, maybe I shouldn't have called this treasury "Let it Snow" after all.......

You can find all the information about this treasury here.

I have created a few different snowy projects this year

Did you give any of these a go? There is still time!


Wednesday, 18 December 2013

My Christmas Wishlist

1// I always receive a book or two at Christmas, usually from my Mam. This goes down a treat of course because I am a major book worm. This year I have a few on my list, Handmade Marketplace which is more of a "work" book than a "for pleasure" read but it is supposed to be the Bible for small, creative businesses, Coming Up Roses the story of Cath Kidson's success and Adulting - How to Become Grown Up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps looks like a fun book.
2// I discovered Lola by Marc Jacobs a couple of years ago when it first came out and fell head over heels in love. I have found the perfume that I will be wearing for life. It's a little pricey though so when I get it I tend to ration it!
3// I have wanted a Gelli Printing Plate for the longest time. I really hope Santa leaves one under the tree for me this year.
4// What can I say, I drink a lot of tea. I think a tea bag organizer is in order for 2014.
5// Vintage cat ornaments are a serious weakness of mine. The more kitschy and tacky the better.
6// Do I need to say anything about these shoes, really? They are just adorable in every way. Everything in that shop in gorgeous and I can see myself shopping there alot in 2014.

Well, I've been as good as I can be now all I can do is wait and see if Santa will honour my Christmas list!

What are you hoping Santa will bring for you this year?


Monday, 16 December 2013

The 2013 Christmas TAG!

Do you prefer a real Christmas tree or synthetic?
Synthetic. I know I sound like a Grinch when I say this but it is so much cheaper to have a fake tree that you can use year after year. Plus, you get have to clean up piles of little needles afterwards.

You're in a coffee shop, it's December, what do you pick? 
I'm a sucker for festive coffees and hot chocolate so probably something like a Gingerbread Latte. I also love Chai Tea Lattes but that is a favourite of mine all year round :)

What's your favourite colour scheme for decorating the tree?
It used to be traditional reds, golds, browns and greens but this year I have been more swayed towards non-traditional Christmas colours. For example, this year I made a felt star garland in yellow, blue, cream and grey.
You can see it here.

Giving or receiving?
Both. It would be silly of me to say that I don't enjoy receiving presents, who doesn't? But I only enjoy receiving if I have one to give back.

To mince pie or not to?
Hells yeah! So many mince pies. So many.

What's your traditional Christmas lunch?
Turkey, Ham, Sprouts, Potatoes and all the rest of the trimmings. And cranberry sauce. There has to be cranberry sauce :)

Christmas day fashion?
I am big into my Christmas day fashion. When we were kids our Mam always used to buy us new clothes for Christmas and it is a tradition I have carried on for myself, picking myself out a nice new outfit for Christmas day, especially now that I do a lot of visiting when I am back home in Ireland. Usually I wear some kind of pretty dress, warm tights, low heels or boots, something that I will be comfortable wearing all day long. And that will leave room for the food of course ;)

What's your favourite Christmas song?
Wham - Last Christmas. I am a sucker for 80's as you well know.

What's your favourite Christmas film?
Home Alone 1. "Keep the change ya filthy animal!" It never gets old.

Open present before or after lunch?
Before! Before breakfast even! No offence but I can't understand how you could do it any other way.

I am responding to this tag on Kitsch Vixen. If you are reading this consider yourself tagged! If you do this tag please link to your response in the comments below. You can respond on a blog, on Facebook, on Twitter etc etc etc :)

Hope you enjoyed this tag, I thought it was a bit of fun.


Thursday, 12 December 2013

The Twelve Makes of Christmas Day 12 - Filled Cellophane Bow

I cannot believe that today is the day 12 and the last day of The Twelve Makes of Christmas!! I have to tell you, I have had a blast making all these different Christmas crafts and bringing them to you each day. And my studio and home are now both looking very festive I must admit.

To add to our collection I do have one more tutorial for you, and it is a super fun one too. Filled Cellophane Bows!


Washi tape or Paper tape (I make my own with masking tape, stamps and paint)
A cellophane bag in any size you like
Sequins and glitter

You can use Washi tape (sometimes called Paper tape) for this project but I like to make my own so that it is completely unique. It's really easy to make all you have to do is lay out some masking tape onto a non - stick surface such as plastic, stamp it with solvent ink and finally add colour. I used my watercolours.

Next, add a strip of tape to the closed side of the cellophane bag. Fold it over the edge so it is the same on both sides. Now you can start to fill the bag with sequins and glitter. 

Now add tape to the open side of the cellophane bag, ensure that it is completely sealed to prevent any of its contents spilling out. Shake the bag a little to distribute the sequins and glitter.

Pinch the cellophane bag in the middle and apply another strip of paper tape around the middle. Done!
I love how jazzy and unique these are. You can pop a foam sticker on the back and add it to a present or if you are feeling brave you could wear it as a brooch or hair clip! And you can fill it with whatever you like really, it doesn't have to be sequins and glitter. You could fill it with paper love heart, words or even mini chocolates or sweets. 

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and the whole The Twelve Makes of Christmas experience. If you have given (or will be giving) any of these tutorials a go please let me know, send me a photo, leave a comment, whatever you prefer. I'd LOVE to hear from you.

Thanks so much for reading everyday
You can see the rest of The Twelve Makes of Christmas here:

Take care

Thursday Treasury//Candy Cane Craze

Yesterday for day 11 of The Twelve Makes of Christmas, I made a Peppermint Hot Chocolate. It was so sweet and comforting and naturally that is where I got my inspiration for today's Thursday Treasury. 
I also have some news about Thursday Treasury. We are on week 18 now and so I have decided to bring the Thursday Treasury feature to a close at week 20 so that means we only have 2 weeks left! :(
Well, it couldn't go on forever could it...? And anyway I have it on good authority that there are going to be some amazing new features on Ciara McGuire Designs in 2014 so don't worry. In the meantime sit back (ideally with a Peppermint Hot Chocolate) and feast your eyes on.

You can find all you need to know about this treasury here 

Everything in that treasury looks like something I could just eat!!! Probably not a good idea I know but just look at those earrings. They look like they have been taken straight out of their wrapping and attached to an earring. Amazing! 

Tune back in later for the last day of The Twelve Makes of Christmas. The last day I can't believe it!


Wednesday, 11 December 2013

The Twelve Makes of Christmas Day 11 - Peppermint Hot Chocolate

I can't believe it is day 11 already, only 1 more day left in The Twelve Makes of Christmas! I hope you have been enjoying them as much as I have. Speaking of which, today's tutorial is for Peppermint Hot Chocolate. Do I not have the best job ever? 


3-4 teaspoons of hot chocolate powder (I used Cadburys)
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup water
1 and 1/2 cups of milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 peppermint candy canes

Into a small saucepan add the water, hot chocolate powder, cinnamon, and salt and warm over a medium heat for 5 minutes until everything is combined. 

With a wooden spoon or rolling pin, crush one of the candy canes into a fine powder and add to the saucepan. Stir until dissolved.

Pour in the milk and reduce the heat to a simmer for 5 minutes. Add the vanilla extract. Whisk the hot chocolate until frothy. 

Pour into a festive mug, add the other candy cane and enjoy!

Among all the craziness that the run up to Christmas can bring - the shopping, the wrapping, the cooking etc it is important to take some time out for yourself and enjoy a little treat. 

But's back to work for me.

See you again tomorrow for the last day in The Twelve Makes of Christmas. You can see the rest here:

Take care

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

The Twelve Makes of Christmas Day 10 - Crochet Snowflake

I got into crocheting a couple of years ago and it is my go-to winter craft while sitting by the fire watching tv. These crochet snowflakes are quite popular on the net lately and so I couldn't resist giving them a go!


Yarn in a colour of your choice
Crochet hook (4mm, 4.5mm or 5mm)

Chain 5 and join to form a ring. You will work the first round out of this ring.

Round 1
Chain 1 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc, then chain 3 (above picture)

*2dc , chain 3* (above picture)

Repeat the *2dc, chain 3* four more times, creating little points. Slip stitch into initial chain 1 to join. You can now see the six chain loops you've made, you will be working the next round out of these.

Round 2
Slip stitch into the first chain loop. In the first chain loop, chain 1 (counts as 1 dc), 1dc, chain 3, 2dc (above picture)

In the second chain loop, work the following

*2dc, chain 3, 2dc*

Repeat four times, working into the four remaining chain loops.
Slip stitch into chain to join.

Round 3
Slip stitch into the first chain loop. Now, work the following into the first loop

*1dc, chain 3, 1dc, chain 5, 1dc, chain 3, 1dc, chain 2*

Repeat five times, working into the five remaining chain loops.

You should have ended the round with a chain 2. Slip stitch into the first dc to join the round.

Fasten off and in the ends.

How cute would these be joined together to create a blanket?! Did someone say new winter project?

Take care


Monday, 9 December 2013

The Twelve Makes of Christmas Day 9 - Artsy Christmas Cards

Today is a very short post I'm afraid seen as I have spent most of the day on the couch with a cold :( Anyway, tomorrow is another day. 
I hate waste and I try to think up ways to eliminate it while I work as much as possible. I love to recreate art from scraps and leftovers, making something beautiful from waste. So, when considering what to use to make my Christmas cards this year, I turned to the paper I use to cover my work desk with. I use it to clean off my paintbrushes, try out pens, clean stamps etc 

This being the result after a few days:
Pretty! Grungy, artsy paper to use for all sorts of projects, in this case, Christmas cards ;)

Take care
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