Amanda’s Secrets (For Chewie and Artoo.)

Lots of patterns here on top od Promarkers for the background and then a range of finer pens for the details. The dots on the frame are sparkly but it doesn't show very well.

Earth was bored. She didn’t have any friends, except Moon, whose real name was Luna, which sounds prettier than Earth. That didn’t seem fair. Luna was white and gray and lumpy looking. She only looked good because Sun shone on her and made her bright. Sun was a bit too far away to be a friend and too hot to get close to but even he had another name – Sol, which was more than she had.

Earth was pretty, she knew she was. She was all colours and looked good even in the dark because the people who lived on her had strung lights everywhere to decorate her. Maybe they were her friends too. Her seas were the brightest, coolest shades of blue. Her mountains weren’t just gray lumps, they were green or brown, gray rocks or white with snow. She had golden deserts and shimmering snow fields and pastures of vivid green and miles of golden wheat. She had vibrant, rich, colourful jungles and tumbling blue and silver streams that became wide brown rivers that poured joyfully into the seas.

I used Promarker pens to colour in the landscape first and then patterned it with Pigma Micron 1 and some odd bits with Gelly Roll pens.

Mostly, the people who lived on Earth spent a lot of time keeping her healthy and beautiful, but not always. Sometimes people, greedy to take whatever she had to give them, burned down the beautiful forests that had taken so long to grow. They dug huge gaping scars in the surface to use the stone for building or making roads. They took oil from beneath the surface and then burned it, leaving trails of black smoke across her skies.

It hurt her when they did these things but all she could do was try to mend the damage by helping things to grow back as quickly as possible. Earth didn’t know if that was enough but it was all she could do. If she had a prettier name, perhaps the people would love her more.

She didn’t have another name but she did have a secret, buried deep inside, that had lain there for millions of years. The people lived mainly on her skin and rarely dug down really deep below the surface, where her secret lay. But down in the dark layers beneath the soil and seas were the bones of all the creatures that had gone before.

I decided to use the earth's strata as my basis and then tried to choose patterns appropriately, so we have Fescu for the growing things, Yuma for all the seeds under the surface, DL Sunray to look like caves, Sandswirl for all the ammonites buried in teh ground, Featherfal for the many fossils there are and Dugwud for the coal deposits. And, of course Ing for the fault.

There were creatures from the sea and land and all the margins in between. There were flying things and the trees they lived in. There were enormous dinosaurs and tiny insects locked in amber. There were fish and eggs and small scaly things with no name. All these creatures had lived on Earth’s surface and died there without ever doing her any harm. Why couldn’t people be the same?

Sometimes, when Earth moved a little in her sleep, these things had been thrown up onto the surface and the people were amazed. Some of the people, who called themselves paleontologists, studied them and searched for more, longing to know more about Earth and her history. But what they saw and what they knew was only the tiniest part of Earth’s secret and they knew it.

Some people realised that their way of life was hurting Earth and tried to stop the damage. They chose a day, to be Earth Day, when all the people would be reminded of what they owed her and shown how they could live without doing her harm.  Every year, on Earth Day, people told  those who didn’t know, how much harm was being caused and people tried to be less selfish and destructive and greedy.

And, in the far North, there lived two boys, one who wanted to be a paleontologist and one who agreed with Earth, that her name wasn’t pretty enough. He chose another name, Amanda. For him and his family and their friends, it was Amanda Day. And so Earth tried the name on and smiled. Amanda, yes, she liked it. It made her feel young again. She did have friends after all. One day, perhaps, when the boys were grown, she would let them in a little to her secrets. Amanda’s secrets.

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Reconnecting

Hello world, I hope your week has been as much fun as mine.  It didn’t start well but it improved no end. At College, way back in the mists of prehistory, I had a friend called Eddie, who was an extremely talented musician and I have been expecing to see his name in lights ever since we all went our separate ways. We didn’t keep in touch but I was sure I would be saying, “Oh yes, I used to know him before he was famous.” It never happened and one day last week, a propos nothing in particular, I mentioned this to the loved one, who suggested I google the name, which I did and, to my delight, I found him straight away, only to discover that the article I was looking at was his obituary. As I said, it didn’t start well. Continue reading “Reconnecting”

Spring is sprung. Possibly.

I admit it, I didn't take this picture but it is exactly what it looked like on the day, deer and all.
I admit it, I didn’t take this picture but it is exactly what it looked like on the day, deer and all.
chatsworthpark
The river Ben didn’t fall in.

Having had a glorious Easter break, with sunshine and everything, I’m feeling a bit shell shocked. Generally, Easter in the UK is a bit chill and Bank Holidays are notorious for attracting bad weather, so to have been able to play out on the garden with Ben and go for walks in Derbyshire has been a real treat. Ben managed to avoid falling in the river and was rewarded with an ice cream that dwarfed him, leaving him so sticky that falling in the river started to look like a good option. The pleasure of his visit was not unalloyed, as, on the first morning, he decided to climb into bed with Grandad at 4.30 a.m. The first thing Grandad was aware of was when Ben sneezed violently onto his (Grandad’s) neck and then, while he (Grandad) was still fighting off cardiac arrest, wriggled his frozen toes into Grandad’s lower back.  I told the loved one I would willingly have swapped places but I don’t think he was convinced.

Continue reading “Spring is sprung. Possibly.”

Oh Bliss! Oh Ecstasy! Oh poop poop!

After adding patterns and a little shading. Less than perfect but I did it on the plane. (That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!)
After adding patterns and a little shading. Less than perfect but I did it on the plane. (That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!)
This one is coloured using a dauber and ink pad and ready to add patterns.
This one is coloured using a dauber and ink pad and ready to add patterns.

For those of you who haven’t read “Wind in the Willows”, these are the words of Toad on first seeing a motor car and becoming enamoured of cars and sports cars in particular. (The poop poop bit is in reference to the car horn, I feel I should add, for those of you wondering if I am of a scatological turn of mind.)  My college friend Sue and I used to use it on sighting a particularly attractive member of the opposite sex. (It’s been a while…)

Anyway, Why, I hear you ask, why, Maggibee are you in such raptures? Well I’ll tell you. (Was there any doubt?) I received a parcel today from an organisation called Woodware, who make excellent acrylic stamps for cardmaking and journalling and the like. That’s not all they sell by a long way but it’s what I knew them for and I have to say their stamps are excellent. (They are wholesalers, so you don’t buy direct from them but loads of places stock their stuff.) BUT, do you remember I met up with a “blogfriend” from The USA a few weeks ago?  Lynell Harlow, Well, she is/was the owner of Dreamweaver Stencils, who have just sold out to Woodware and, as a result of that meeting and some exceptionally generous behaviour on her part and  theirs, I am now the proud possessor of a set of Dreamweaver stencils.

Again, just daubed with lilac ink and ready to fill in.
Again, just daubed with lilac ink and ready to fill in. I’ve deliberately made the inner paler to see what the effect will be.
Trying for white on black. I don't know if this will work because the white ink I've used here is pearly and my pens might not write on it. We'll see.
Trying for white on black. I don’t know if this will work because the white ink I’ve used here is pearly and my pens might not write on it. We’ll see.

I am, therefore, giddy as a loon and, in spite of the fact that I’m supposed to be packing to go away tomorrow to Tenerife, I’m in my craftroom instead, stencilling away like nobody’s business. I’ve used either stamp pads or Promarker pens on the stencils to create backgrounds and/or strings for tangling and I’m taking them with me to sit and play in the sun. You can see one of them at the top of the page  in a sort of Before And After arrangement, and another two a little lower down, just coloured and ready for patterns. There are more but I haven’t had time to use them yet.

Oh bliss! Oh ecstasy! Oh poop poop!

LATER

So now we’re at the airport watching the news about a plane crash over France. I’m torn between sympathy for the people who died and their poor families and a strong desire to avoid flying at all costs. There’s a bank of cloud drifting across the runway as I write and it all looks a bit Stephen King. Will feel a lot happier when we get to Tenerife. It’s a five hour flight so I might do some tangling on the plane. However, having been up since 03.15, I may just sleep. Who knows?

I brought my circle maker too in the hope of doing a Zendala or two. Doesn’t get much more exciting than that, does it?

 

This gives a lovely soft tone to the white "shading", whereas the pens are distinct and better for lines and patterns.
This gives a lovely soft tone to the white “shading”, whereas the pens are distinct and better for lines and patterns.

 

But it does. I was looking on Lynell’s blog (Dream it Up) and there was a piece on her blog drawn by me! It was drawn using mainly the pattern Athizi, which I found weirdly versatile, and I’d given it to her when we met. On the blog was a request for a reminder of what I had used to make it. It looked way better than I remembered but that’s almost certainly because I saw something similar on Youtube or Pinterest and “borrowed” the idea! It was done with Pigma Micron pen, white water colour pencil, a Mitsubishi white pen, sanguine pencil and a Zenstone from the Zentangle people.

 

I like this one better, i think.
I like this one better, i think.
This one is coloured with Promarkers, ready to tangle.
This one is coloured with Promarkers, ready to tangle.

I tried another way with the owl stencil, using Promarker pens to set up background colour and then patterns using Pigma Microns (01 and 005) then finished it off with Gelly Roll pens and water colour pencils. again, here are Before and After pictures. And, as a result of being away and the vagaries of foreign wifi, I haven’t done the Diva Challenge this week. I saw it and I will do it because it’s to use a pattern I want to try, but I’m waiting until next Monday and I’ll catch up then. This week’s Challenge, is to use the “official ” tangle, Flux and, as I was already doing another of the Dreamweaver owls this week, I’m using both versions of Flux for his feathers.

LATER STILL

Well, we’re home, having spent ten days in the sun, walking, well, let’s be truthful; strolling, for miles along the sea front from Costa Adeje to La Caleta and back; swimming in the sea – not as warm as it looked – and dipping in and out of the pool; eating out every day and drinking too much of the local beverages and , of course, doing a bit of Zentangle.

Helix angle and circle tool On the five hour flight out there, I did a sort of zendala, although it’s ended up a bit wobbly in places. I used a Helix angle and circle maker to do the circles – they don’t approve of sharp objects at airport security, so it’s an absolute godsend. An American friend from one of the FB sites sent it to me because, although it’s a British company, you can’t buy them in the U.K. There’s logic for you. So, thanks again, Rae McCurdy and this is how it’s used. I’ll get better, I promise!

The usual pens, 5HB pencil and some red water colour pencil.
The usual pens, 5HB pencil and some red water colour pencil.

 

 

 

I also used one of the stencils from Dreamweaver to do a front for a birthday card and I rather like the finished product.

Using one of the stencils from Dreamweaver. I daubed this with three pale silver, gold and bronze stamp pads, then patterned it with a white Mitsubishi pen.
Using one of the stencils from Dreamweaver. I daubed this with three pale silver, gold and bronze stamp pads, then patterned it with a white Mitsubishi pen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So the last thing I did while we were away was a stylised picture of the island of La Gomera, across the bay from our hotel. I don’t suppose it’s recognisable but I quite like the finished product.

Lots of patterns here on top od Promarkers for the background and then a range of finer pens for the details. The dots on the frame are sparkly but it doesn't show very well.
Lots of patterns here on top of Promarkers for the background and then a range of finer pens for the details. The dots on the frame are sparkly but it doesn’t show very well.

So, soon it will be Diva Day and then I’ll post for two weeks. My daughter and grandson are coming up for a few days and things might be a bit busy, so I’m hoping the challenge is not too challenging this week, concentration will be at a premium!

DC 212 fanzSo the diva challenge is here and she has asked us to use Fanz as a focus pattern this week. It’s a simple but very adaptable pattern, so I decided to have lots of little Fanz bursting out of a big one. It seems to work OK. While I was doing it, Ben came in and offered to help and, since I was drinking tea at the time (When am I not?) he drew me a tangled teapot. So here it is.Ben's Teapot

Bye world, see you next week…