Friday, 31 August 2012

A digital dalliance

Having been so busy for so many weeks, I decided to indulge myself with a little 'digital dalliance' these last few days. Followers of Quilliance will know that I enjoy playing about with digital art almost as much as I love quilling (note: I did say "almost"!), so I found it quite relaxing to return to the challenge of combining the two once again.

Those of you who were 'with' me here in blogland at the beginning of July may recall that I had a phase of trying to create digital 'background paper' images for my quilled cards - and there was one design left over that I did not get time to use. So here it is: a textured paper image embellished with medallion shapes and a few additional Photoshop 'brushes' that somehow reminds me of art from the ancient world. All I've done is decorate it with some VERY simple solid coil quilling, using metallic-edged strips ... but I like the end result!

And then ... I was completely beguiled by some copyright-free 'retro' digital backgrounds that I found on the excellent Photoshop Roadmap Facebook page.  So I started doing some crafty 'layering' of  different 'papers', and these two cards are the result. (OK, I KNOW the second one doesn't have any quilling in it, but please humour me here - I was having fun playing, and centred the design on an extracted photographic image of a daisy flower!)

I absolutely love these crazy patterns!

So, as you can see, the creative juices are definitely flowing once again ... and who knows what next week is going to bring? Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Back to normal ... at last!!

Well, it's taken a while - but I think I've finally caught up with myself at last!  I've finished the competition entries that I'll be taking to the Quilling Guild's annual display in two weeks' time; I've replenished my stock of quilled items for the market; I've made real progress with the features I'm currently writing for the Quillers Today and Quill America Guild members' magazines ... and I've had a blissfully quiet couple of days to myself, in which I've been able to start working on some new card ideas once again.

I needed a new anniversary card design. Some of you may recognise the two daisies in the background picture which I've used before in the form of a photograph - but, this time, I've processed the image using some of my favourite Photoshop filters to produce an effect which looks as though it has been painted. OK, it's a bit of digital trickery - but I think it's a very exciting one!

I created the butterfly in the old Victorian way, using open ring coils that I made by winding strips around different sized dowels and then gently pinching them into shape. I filled the wings with short lengths of strip which have been 'twisted' at intervals using a slotted tool - a technique which many quillers are now calling 'beehive'. The end result reminds me very much of the network of veins that can be seen when you look closely at a real butterfly's wings.

Without giving too much away, the purple 'beehive' sections were pieces I had left over from one of my Quilling Guild competition entries, made using 3mm purple strips which are edged with copper - one of my favourite colour combinations.

Now that the competition date is almost upon us (15th September ... not long to go now!), it will only be a few more weeks before I can reveal all the special projects that I've been working on this year - some dating all the way back to the middle of last winter. Some of these pieces have already travelled to North America and back for this year's NAQGCON event - and soon they'll be posted here on Quilliance for everyone to see. I'm so looking forward to sharing them with you.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Exciting times

Well, the truth is, my friends, that I've been struggling to keep up!  Since my last post, I had a very successful day at our village art show (can it really be two weeks ago...?), after which I spent several days quilling at high speed to try and replace all the cards and earrings I had sold!

It's high summer here in the UK, with some hot sunny weather at long last - so I've also been enjoying several days out and a relaxing weekend away in the country with friends.

I'm still experimenting with digital art whenever I get a chance - here's another of my cards which combine a simple flourish of quilling with a photographic image that I've processed in Photoshop. This one was a special order, made recently for a friend.

PLUS, I'm working hard in my new role as a member of the Quilling Guild committee, trying to spread the word about the benefits of membership ... you'll be reading LOTS more about this in the weeks and months to come.

Meanwhile, I'm also putting the finishing touches to my competition entries which I'll be taking to the Guild's annual Meeting and Display of Work in four weeks' time.

So, these are exciting times indeed!  One day soon, I hope to get back into my normal routine of trying out new ideas with experimental quilling, and posting them regularly on my blog.  But it isn't going to happen for a few more weeks.

I'll leave you with another picture, which was taken at the recent quilling workshop that I gave at a local care home for the elderly (that's my mother in the picture, by the way!)  Doing that workshop was a challenging experience, to say the least - but it was rewarding, too, and I hope to do some more quilling with the residents there later in the year.

So you haven't heard the last of me just yet!!

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Still here!!

I can't believe it ... ten days have gone by, and I'm in yet another of those 'long time, no post' situations! What's my excuse? Well, I've just done a quilling demonstration in an elderly care home (more of that in a future post); I've been helping to publicise The Quilling Guild's forthcoming annual display of quilling (the highlight of my calendar!); I'm preparing work to display at our village art show on Sunday - and I've been restocking with cards and earrings for my regular Friday market, where sales have been quite healthy of late.

Also, I've been delving deeper into the fascinating world of Photoshop, having a go a creating a hand painted, 'watercolour'  look for some of my photographic cards. I start with one of my own photographs, and apply various filters to generate an artistic appearance - it's absolutely magical! And, needless to say, the end result provides a brilliant background for some quilling.  Let me show you what I mean:

You'll be seeing plenty more of these in future posts, I'm sure. Meanwhile, it's busy, busy ... I really must get back to mounting some quilled earrings that I've just finished making!!


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