Tuesday 27 November 2018

Just figured this out!

Hello, yes, it's me again,

I wanted to share something that may be of interest to you if you are arty - or even if you are not.

I was on Paperless Post sending a couple of cards to friends the other day when I discovered something that I didn't know could be done.

I can actually use my own artwork to make a virtual custom card to send. What fun! I can now send virtual cards with my own designs. I'm just a bit excited by that ! Could you tell?  Here is one of mine with my fox illustration.

PP give you guidelines for the image sizes, so make sure to follow them. You can then add text, choose a background image,  add an envelope style and liner and even a virtual stamp.

To send a card with your own image just go to Paperless Post and search for custom.  Of course you could use photographs if you don't draw or paint so that you can really personalise your card. They give you a few different options for the shape of the card and then you can create your own masterpiece with your own message.

It really adds a special touch when you send a card with your own artwork and also gives you an idea how it might work as an actual greetings card. Now I know that you can do this, I'm going to be on there even more! It's a great way to send a card.

Have fun.

Hello, remember me?

I know, I know. I'm a pathetic blogger these days. I agree! I've been pretty busy, but I usually just put what I am doing on my Instagram account these days and I forget to update the blog.

So what have I done since I was last on here? The course I was on at the beginning of the year really helped me to focus my ideas and see what it is that I want to do, so that has helped me to set myself various projects which I am working away on. It is good to have goals.

I've been working on a collection of watercolour mushroom among other things. I've been editing a collection of my dad's poetry that he wants to give to each of the family. I've also been renovating furniture, looking after my family doing all the usual things one has to do. I don't know really...time flies past.

Well, I have a long to do list for the day, so I better get on with it.
Have a lovely day.

Sunday 25 March 2018

Make Art That Sells - MATS

I am currently in the third month of a five month long course call MATS Bootcamp. It is designed to get those creative juices flowing and help you put together 5 pieces of work suitable for an illustration portfolio. I have to say I am loving getting back to my art. It has been far too long.

Above is my portrait of Belva Lockwood, a famous American suffragist. I have discovered in doing this that I really enjoy researching for an artwork. She is quite a character.

Last month we designed a journal cover. Mine was based on Tea Leaves.

And then in January we designed a non-fiction childrens book cover based on a celebrity chosen for us. Mine was Tina Fey, who in fact I had never heard of, so it was a good challenge. It certainly took me out of my comfort zone. However, I think the biggest benefit so far from the course is that it has got me back to creating art when for so long it had been put on the back burner. I have loads and loads of ideas now of things I want to paint and make and I am just itching to do them. I can't wait to see what our next topic is going to be.

Until next time...

Monday 26 February 2018

Paperless Post

"Paperless Post. What on earth is that ?"  I hear you ask.

As you probably know I have made one or two paper cards in my time, and I am a keen papercrafter.  I mean, who doesn't love paper?....what's that? You don't? And I thought we were friends!

Anyhow, you might be wondering why on earth I would want to use Paperless Post when I love paper so much. What is Paperless Post?  It is an e-card website where you can customise their vast range of cards and then email them to whoever you wish.

Does it cost? Yes, but not too much, and it's certainly way less than  using snail mail.

It's not that I am against snail mail, I am most definitely for it, but there are those times when you hear of a friend needing a word of encouragement, or a birthday that you almost forgot, or you  just want to send a little message to a friend for whatever reason , and you can't get out to the Post Office. Then Paperless Post is perfect for these times.

As it happens, where I live, I don't have a Post Office I can walk to , and so Paperless post is perfect for me. Especially for sending notes to friends and family overseas.

They have a really huge selection of cards. This isn't your average e-card kind of set up. They have a wonderful range of card designers and artists to choose from. They are very tasteful.

You can send cards or invitations , or little notes, and you can customize everything from the envelope to the backdrop to the fonts to the stamp to the colour to the....yeah, ok, you get the idea.

When the recipient opens your e-card, they get a lovely animated virtual card with an opening envelope and then the front and inside of your card. It really is the most tasteful e-card available out there for sending.

You can save all your addresses for sending out more cards another time. I love it!

When your card is sent, you get an email notification, and then you also have notification of when your card has been opened.

So, if you have never tried it, go on..Go to Paperless Post now and give it a shot.

Well, I'm off to send a card to a friend now.

Have a lovely day.

Saturday 24 February 2018

TV cabinet from an old sideboard

I realised that I never posted this little upcycle I did a few months ago. I purchased a really solid good quality but rather dull sideboard  from a local lady who runs a junk business. I get the goodies delivered to my door, so what could be better. That's the way to furniture shop!

I'm afraid I didn't get a chance to stage the cupboard prettily for a photo shoot before it came into use as our TV cabinet, but you get the idea.
This is  what it looked like before...
As you can see, solid, but not very interesting. I gave it a sand, refinished the top with Polyvine wax finish varnish, and the base with Sarah Jayne Chalk paint and affixed new handles to it, which gave it a much classier look. It's not that I didn't like the handles that were on the drawers, I'll save them for another project. I just wanted a change of look. Plus, the doors didn't have handles and I thought it would look better with.

I love to paint my own artwork, but I also enjoy using vintage graphics, especially on furniture. This design is from the Graphics Fairy. There are tons to choose from on her site, and even more if you go for a paid membership.

I traced the design onto the doors using carbon paper, I then hand painted it using a mix of chalk paint colours to make this soft grey.

I'm rather pleased with it!

Lots of other projects waiting to be done still...as always!

If you want to check what I am up to at the moment follow me on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/dodasmith/

Have a lovely day

Sunday 4 February 2018

A Fox on a Box

If you know me, then you know that I have a bit of a thing for making and decorating pretty little boxes , often  using antique Natural History illustrations.

I am currently taking an online course to get back to my painting and illustrating and I have long been intending to create my own images to decoupage. So I gave myself a bit of a push and went for it. I created the fox illustrations with watercolour and coloured pencil.

For the body of the box I have used some Sarah Jayne chalk paint which I was sent at the end of last year to try out. This is me getting around to it now ! Too many things on my list!

These are the little project pots, they will keep me going for ages.

It went on smoothly and easily, and I love how there are no nasty fumes.
I used Royal Navy for the outside of the box, which is a gorgeous lapiz lazuli shade.

Inside and underneath I painted the box in Stardust, which I have to say I am really impressed with. It has a highly metallic sheen and I will be using this for more boxes. (This started as one of those little papier mache box blanks that you can buy, and I have added the cute wooden feet.)

On top of the Royal Navy I have splattered Stardust and a small amount of Mercury. The fox is standing on some silver snow which is Nuvo gilding flakes from Tonic Studios.

It turned out quite cute I think. There may be more foxes on boxes in the future. This one is going to be a gift, but I think now I had better make something foxy to go inside of it! An empty box might be a bit of a disappointment.

Have a lovely day.