Welcome to the land of Shiny

The home of exuberant amateurism.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Blog award from Kimmie

The lovely Kimmie gave me this award and I'm chuffed to bits.
You can find her fabulous life and words blog here
and her art blog here

I have found that life is so much easier to get through if you can look at it from an angle.
You just tilt your body a little bit, until your start laughing.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Bubbly Fun Challenge #5. From your garden. The Roly Poly Bird goes a Courting.

I saw on Karen's blog that she was hosting this challenge for Bubbly Scrumptious Blog/website and I love the little nesting bird she made for her entry, it is here

As I had been wanting to make a Roly Poly Bird for ages I thought he could try and win her heart and entry to her nest with a little bit of helpful Shiny magic.

The Roly Poly Bird is the hero from the book "The Twits" by Roald Dahl and in my copy Quentin Blake illustrates him like this:

I thought he would look great transformed into colour using some pretty papers.
Here he is bearing his courting gift. (Click on him to make him bigger.)

So has he got what it takes?

1. Does he have Good looks?

Well, Roald Dahl describes him as "a truly magnificent bird... with marvellous coloured feathers".
In his present incarnation he has plumage made of the DCWV Pocket full of Posies outstanding paper collection. So I think he's looking good, but will she think so too....

2. Does he have a worthy enough character to get a foot in the nest?

Well, in the book he has plenty of heroic characteristics. He found the key to let the monkeys free and worked to the point of exhaustion "he was so tired he could hardly flap his wings" in order for the monkeys and birds to have revenge on Mr and Mrs Twit. He saved the day again and again by his actions. So he's definitely not all talk and no feathers.
Then he offered to fly all the monkeys back home to Africa one by one on his back. He did all this while he was on holiday by Jove.

So we know what a loyal and honourable bird he is. He is physically strong and generous. He can be relied upon and is a steadfast bird. He has oodles of common sense and is intelligent. he's also well educated as he knows all the Latin names of his garden gifts. I think we can safely say that he would go to the ends of the earth to ensure his wife's happiness.

(So far he's shaping up as a stud muffin with heart don't you think?)

3. Can he sing?

Oh yes, in the book he writes and sings his own songs.
He sang to keep the birds from landing on the big dead tree and the monkeys cage.
He's planning to sing "Islands in the Stream" for his lady love.
He's pitch perfect don't cha know.

(He's a rock star in the birdie world.)

4.Can he deliver the goods?

Well in his basket from the garden he's got a Pheasant Berry bract (Leycesteria), Royal Purple Smoke bush leaves (Cotinus), Lady's Mantle flowers (Alchemilla mollis), a Tree Mallow flower (Lavatera), Weigela leaves, Clematis seed heads, Rosemary, Lavender, moss, twigs, pebble and the last two raspberries left in the garden!

If this little lot doesn't win her heart I don't know what will!

Who can resist the heroic Roly Poly Bird shaking his tale feathers and bearing gifts.
So Karen, what does she say, does he cut the mustard?

I thought it would be so nice for me and my boys to go collecting in the garden together, a little mission and bit of family fun.
So far it sounds like an idyllic "family" thing to do?
Yes, well, this is how it played out for me.

Oldest son: "Do I have to? Can't I stay inside?"

Me. "Oh come on, what can we find in the garden that one bird could give to another bird who is nest building. You know, what sort of presents can we find?"

Youngest son: "How about some cheese?"

The wonders of real family life...

If you were wondering, Spanky wants to do the ABAA Challenge - Bird in Hand - on her own.
Who am I to stand in the way of a professional Diva. :)

Sunday, 12 July 2009

ABAA Dragonfly Challenge July 2009. Drag Dragonfly ATC Series

My heart sank this month with dragonflies being the theme, they really give me the Heebee Geebees, what with their googily compound eyes, segmented bodies and strange bums...

So I thought I need to use artistic licence (which I think is still available from the Post Office) and get rid of some of the bugginess in them.

Seeing as I'm no good at small pictures (but I want to be), I thought I'd try some ATC's because they really are a challenge for me. Based on photos of Emperor Dragonflies which have very nice wing shapes, I made an ATC sized template designed to be used with brads so the wings are moveable. I got rid of its head just like the Queen of Hearts said, and gave it a round one.
I had to widen the body to accommodate the wings and brads. I used the smallest brads I could find called mini circle brads. I drew a heart shape for it's bum (You can't beat a little bit of lovey dovey donuts unless it's shiny lovey dovey donuts).
But it still wasn't enough, I thought these need to be comedy ATC's to finally banish the bug.
Sorry to anyone out there who loves proper dragonflies......... look away now!

So here are my

Drag Dragonflies ATC's, a series of seven. I'm sorry but the photos I've taken do not do justice to their shinyness... click on them to show them bigger.

1. Albert Einstein contemplates the shape of Dragonflies bums and just how they fit into life, the universe and everything.

2. Terry Thomas is a magnificent man in his flying machine.

3. Captain Mainwaring gets blustery in florals.

4. Darth Vader
"You don't know the power of the dragonfly."

5. Ferdinand
shows us his shiny bits.

6. Marc Bolan
is the Dragonfly King.
(This one is for my husband)

7. Kate Bush
- Babooshka "To see if he, would fall for her incognito."

I had a brain fart making this one and put the top set of wings on upside down - duh!

I sooo wanted this outfit when I was a teenager................

I've done a template, all you need to do is left click it to make it bigger then right click it, save it to your computer using "save as" and print it out at A4. It hopefully will print the right size, at least it did for me when I tried it.
I suggest you print it onto card, cut the shapes out and use those as templates. Remember to cut inside the black lines so the pieces don't keep getting bigger and bigger.

Go on, you know you want to...

Please let me see what you come up with :)