“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ....Oscar Wilde

Thursday 5 July 2012

Artist Play Room...Canada

Phewph....Can you believe it? I've actually managed to paint for this week's Artist's Playroom challenge.
I KNOW! I can't believe it either...
The theme was anything Canadian due to our lovely host Jenn being extremely patriotic and the fact that it was Canada's birthday on 1st July.  
I really wanted to pay my own little tribute to Canada ~ it's a special place for me personally, so had to knuckle down and come up with something appropriate. 
Jenn mentioned the theme could be red and white (the Canadian flag colours) but when I think of red and white, I immediately think of my boys football team (soccer) I won't mention who they are as it might alienate some of my readers...but here's a clue...we do originate from the North-West of the UK! ;D
 So after spending numerous days coming up with all sorts of ideas for my entry...
I finally decided on our favourite...Maple Syrup!
 We use quite a lot of maple syrup and honey in our house especially when there's crêpes on the go.
But please keep in mind the term 'artistic licence' when viewing my entry, plus it's the first time I've used the Derwent Intense Pencils....whooooo....and let me tell you, it was scary!
I've got such a lot to learn but at least I've started. I think I'll be looking for online tutorials to help
....something I've never done before (not for any particular reason.....it's just this old bird didn't even know such things existed until a few weeks ago!)
Not only does Jenn host the brilliantly inspiring Artist Playroom where people/artist come together to have fun, challenge themselves, aspire or be inspired weekly, she is also an Angel....yep...not everyone knows that, but she is...and a clever one at that!
I had mentioned that I'd been working through one of her previous posts on cool tools for your blog (which as the title states is cool, really cool, especially a real eye opener for this techy challenged numpty) but I had difficulty. I wanted to try and have a signature at the end of my blogs. Simple I can hear some of you say...but hey...techy t'internetty thingymebobs sometimes take me to the brink!
I've seen other blogs with their signature and I can't help myself...I wanted one too, but then couldn't get it to display properly! 
Then just a day ago Jenn sent me an email, out of the blue with all the links and lingo for my signature. She'd even been into my blog to get an idea for the design and which colours would best compliment my posts. 
Also written explict detailed instruction for a dozy dollie like me to be able to follow and finally get a brilliant result ;D
Now I have to say quickly here that it's no good you all swamping Jenn with requests for her talents....she is a very busy lady and I'm special (some say 'very special' meaning I'm not all there with my cough-drops)
But take a look at her blog and check out the tools link and maybe you'll be able to be a clever bunny too!
So there's my entry for this week APR...but please don't just look at mine because you really should see the other entrants work...you'll see some amazing talent....
Only one more thing to say before I go...
I hope everyone had a Happy Canada Day 
(and also Happy Independence Day to our American friends!)

Check out that snazzy signature....not bad en?


  1. Hi Nessie

    I love your drawing - its so fun! Your colouring looks fabulous!

    Sarah x

    1. Hi Sarah,
      It was a real challenge for me because I haven't done any painting for about 12 years!
      I'm hoping I'll get to know the pencils intimately in the coming months, but that's what the Artist Playroom is all about...
      It's pushing me and keeping Mr Mojo focussed! ;D

  2. Ooo, I had a look at Jenns 101 for the signature and it looked too hard. May have to have another look, yours is fab. Love your yummy maple syrup pic. The pencils do give an intense gorgeous colour, I've never tried them but they look really great. By the way, the only football team worth watching wears blue (Chelsea), he he.
    Von :)

    1. Hi Von,
      Well I actually created the signature myself but then it all went pair shaped! I couldn't get it to post.
      Oh and I had such trouble with the pencils too. I know I really have to practice (A LOT) but entering the Playroom is challenging and taking me out of my comfort zone...which is good but very scary.

      AND NOW ONTO SERIOUS STUFF....I need to have a serious talk with you and your misconception that Chelsea is the only team worth watching! :$
      You're at risk of being crossed off my Christmas card list! It's such a shame because I've only just started to get to know you and I did like you. ;D

  3. LOOOOOOVE the maple leaf syrup jar! How clever! I'm going to go check out the tools... Your signature is very snazzy!! Warmly, Tracy (APR #12)

    1. Hehe...thanks Tracy,
      I'm such a numpty though because I've just realise that I posted the wrong photo of the jar!
      The perspective looks all wrong and not like the original...oh well..."Sa la vie"!
      I'll be popping over to your place soon :D

  4. thats a very familiar bottle, we have one on our counter just like it!!!
    Beautifully done!!

    1. Hehe...please don't compare them too much Laurie,
      I've made so many mistakes with it...for a start you'll notice the label isn't black because I wrote the words first then realised I couldn't fill it in! I'm such a numpty!
      But then I shouldn't tell you all these things because you may not have noticed! Again such a numpty!!!! xox

  5. I love both your maple syrup bottle illustration and your signature. I am going to have to check the tools on Jenn's blog to see about designing my own signature. Blessings!

    1. Thanks Arnoldo,
      You'll probably walk the instructions without any trouble.
      I'll look out for your signature next time I visit! :D
      Have fun!

  6. Great idea and execution! I love my inktense pencils and then blending them with my waterbrush for that yummy watercolor look. It looks to me like you did it very well.

    1. Oh I love them too Terrie...it's just that I don't really know them yet...we're only just getting acquainted. I think I've still got a lot to learn.
      Take for instance when I wanted to paint the label (it should have been black) but I knew I need it to be lighter because I'd made an error with the writing, so I used the pencil on another piece of paper then added a little water from my paintbrush and took the colour from there and transferred it to my painting. Brilliant :D
      Thanks for you encouraging comment ~ I appreciate it.
      Have a fantastic Friday and enjoy the weekend.

  7. Hi Neesie, I love it! And not just because I am a Canadian too, but it looks so real, you have got the colouring just right in my opinion with just the right amount of shine on the bottle - well done you!! Now about that football team, I live in the NW of England but our colours are blue and white - but I won't hold it against your family - lol! Seriously though, love the bottle and the signature. Guess where I am going next? Crafty hugs, Anne x

    1. Hi Anne,
      Oh bless you for your encouragement. I pushed myself to enter the challenge and wasn't comfortable with the result but then that's what challenges are about aren't they? It's just that everyone gets to see your trials and tribulations ~ which is a little scary!
      Now about this football team...blue and white!!! Hmm...and I thought I liked you Anne! lol ;D
      Have a fantastic Friday and a wonderful weekend. xox

  8. Lo-o-ove the picture! We love maple syrup in this house so restrict the buying of it because it gets scoffed so very quickly, hehe ;)
    Signature is very snazzy, yes ;)

    1. Maybe I should do that too, but me thinks there would be a revolt from the lord of the manor!
      It's the honey that just seems to disappear by some mysterious force...I seem to have to buy a bottle every couple of days!
      Snazzy signature indeed...I like that ~ thanks ;D
      Have a fantastic Friday and thanks for popping by.

  9. Great Canadian Picture...EH!!! I love anything Canadian, I was born that way....LOL....
    I am going to have to google what these "Derwent Intense Pencils" are....

    Happy Creating!


    1. Well Cindy, if you find out how to use the pencils properly can you let me know ;D
      I'm just winging it as they say at the moment.
      It's great to have you stop by ~ have a fabulous Friday
      Ciao for now ♥

  10. OH I love it! Your sketch, maple syrup and honey too! I think we need to get together for tea and crepes. Too bad we live on different continents:-) OK, so what are Derwent Intense Pencils...? I know I can probably "google" it, but tell me why you got it and why you like it? I thought this piece was watercolor! SO they must be mighty special pencils...

    1. Oh that's sounds wonderful to me Min...but it is quite a trek to your place from here.
      So I'm probably not the best person to answer the pencil question...but I'll try! I googled (;D) and this is what it said...
      Pen and ink offers strong, intense colour combined with a translucent effect. Now you can enjoy these distinctive qualities in an easy to use pencil. Inktense has a highly blendable texture and comes in a range of 71 jewel-like colours, plus a non-soluble outliner which allows you to draw outlines that are permanent, even when water is applied. Apply pure, vibrant dry colour then wash the pigment out completely to leave an ink-like effect. Once dry, the colour is permanent and can be worked over with other media. The possibilities are endless, the results stunning.
      Inktense pencils can be used on fabric to create interesting silk paintings and unique quilting projects.

      Now I didn't know that last bit!!! I'm finding them a challenge because I tend to use them as a pencil and then make them into paint...definitely going to read more before I try them again!
      So now you can rest easy and sleep well tonight!
      Have a fantastic Friday and a wonderful weekend :D

  11. I love your new signature, Nessie and your Maple syrup bottle is superb! Nice pencil work, too Really nice maple color. Aside from pancakes and waffles, I use maple syrup in baked beans instead of brown sugar. I also boil it with butter to make sticky syrup to put on popped corn for homemade "carmel" corn. YUM!

    1. I was wondering whether to do the maple syrup design in red and white for the challenge, but thought it might look a little weird.
      Mmmm...I like the sound of the sticky syrup pop corn ~ yum indeed!
      I better get some more bottles lined up if my boys see this comment.

      Thanks for popping by and leaving a lovely comment.

      Have a fantastic Friday and enjoy the weekend ;D

  12. Jenn is a treasure isn't she and the signature is indeed snazzy and your first try at inktense!!!!! you lie... this looks great... I find them insanely frustrating... not sure why and everyone I know who uses them loves them but I struggle... maybe I have to pull them out and have another go... and I was thinking of doing maple syrup as well... great minds and all that!!!

    1. I promise I'm not lying Trace...I'm hopeless at it anyway because I always blush and give myself away :$
      It really was my first attempt and I'm not too happy about the result really, but I'll keep chipping away.
      I was interested to hear your opinion though...they are definitely different than anything I've ever done before. I'm a little nervous I might frighten Mr Mojo away if I struggle with them.
      Great minds hehe...of course! ;D
      Have a fabulous Friday and have fun this weekend!

  13. Hi Neesie,
    first, you're so sweet for the shout out about the signature, it looks great! Second, I LOVE your maple syrup bottle, you did a spectacular job. Bottles are really difficult, I so wish I handled them as well as Tracey (FK) does, but then that's what happens when you have a wonderful education added to incredible natural talent. She seems to be able to draw/paint anything.

    Oh, and if you want to actually take an online course, Dion Dior gives a watercolor course. I've never taken it but I am just doing her silks (acrylic paint) course and she's brilliant. Her blog is http://diondior.blogspot.ca/ and here's the link to the actual course... http://www.joggles.com/store/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=75_1231&products_id=23442

    It started a little bit ago but since it's downloads etc. then you just do that and go through the course at your own speed.

    1. Well I was thinking of pretending that I'd done it but then I'm not that kinda gal...I just wouldn't be able to carry it off! It was such a caring unselfish act that surprised me so much, so you deserve the shout out...it was the least I could do ;D
      I now know bottles are unbelievable tricky and don't want to play at all...but why didn't I think of that before I decided what to enter ~ I'm such a numpty!
      Anyway it's good to challenge yourself...and boy did this entry do that on more than one level. I agree Tracey has incredible talent and I'm in awe of her work.
      Courses online...now I'm beginning to get serious! I hope I don't frighten Mr Mojo away...I'll need to do some 'tangles in the middle just to keep it light and fun!
      Thanks for all the links ~ I have no excuse now ;D
      I hope you have a wonderful weekend Jenn, enjoy and have lots of fun...by the way keep an eye out for your postie xoxo

  14. Firstly, I think you've done a fantastic job with those Inktense pencils, Neesie! I have them too and love using them. Great idea for the challenge! Hmmmmmm....as for the soccer team....could it be Manchester United?? My Dad and my brothers have always been big Man-U supporters.

    1. NO ABSOLUTELY NOT! My reaction to that statement might actually give it away...Man U phewph!!!
      Tell your Dad and brothers they are old enough to know better! ;D (lol)
      Better move on quickly...thanks for saying I've done a fantastic job ~ you're very kind because I feel so out of my comfort zone and know like with anything you do for the first time...it can only get better. Well I'm hoping so :$
      Have a wonderful weekend ~ enjoy!

  15. neesie - i love your signature! it looks great :) and your maple syrup looks wonderful :) the lettering would have given me fits! don't you love the derwent pencils? i have a tutorial for them in my pinterest boards, i'll try to find the link and send it to you. (although you did a great job :))

    thanks for your comment on my deer and gardens. don't worry about the names of the tangle patterns, just have fun with them. i'm going to their certified trainer class in august - to get certified to teach - and i'm trying to learn as many tangle patterns as i can before i get there, this just helps me to remember. have a great weekend!

    1. Do you know Alice, I just wrote the writing without too much thought and then it dawned on my I should have been more precise!
      I only started drawing for the challenge on Thursday so the pressure was on a little.
      I'm not loving the pencils yet I have to say and feel slightly uncomfortable using them, but I know with time and practice I'll get there.
      Then hopefully I'll love them too.

      Wow...good luck with the trainer classes. I had no idea there was so much 'tangling stuff out there.
      I just did a few patterns and then someone told me I was zentangling!
      You'll be fine I'm sure because you definitely sound an expert to me!

      Have a wonderful weekend ~ enjoy! Smile

    2. Do you know Alice I just wrote the writing without too much thought and then it dawned on my I should have been more precise!
      I only started drawing for the challenge on Thursday so the pressure was on a little.
      I'm not loving the pencils yet I have to say and feel slightly uncomfortable using them, but I know with time and practice I'll get there. Then hopefully I'll love them too.
      Wow...good luck with the trainer classes. I had no idea there was so much 'tangling stuff out there. I just did a few patterns and then someone told me I was zentangling!
      You'll be fine I'm sure because you definitely sound an expert to me!
      Have a wonderful weekend ~ enjoy! :D

  16. Oh wow! Your lovely maple syrup painting reminded me that a friend brought me a bottle very similar to that from Canada, too. What a lovely way to pay tribute to Jenn's challenge this week.

    1. Hello Elizabeth,
      The bottles are very distinctive aren't they...we bought quite a few back from Canada, but alas they didn't last long. I also bought the mini one's as presents for family and friends just so that they could taste the difference. Thankfully they didn't break in my case, but it sure weighed heavy...all worthwhile though. ;D
      Next time I visit I'm definitely going to visit a 'sugar shack' although that sounds kinda dodgy...I better say it's where they produce the syrup ~ just in case anyone's in doubt!
      I saw that you were having trouble with your puter, so never visited but I'll try again now that you're up and running ;D
      Have a great weekend!

  17. Love your bottle/challenge drawing. Those inktense pencils are great aren't they? I love them when using large motif in machine embroidery.I'll see if I can remember where I found a video on this technique.Thanks for your nice comment on my blog.

    1. My pleasure Judy, it really was a challenge but I hope they get easier each time ;D
      I really haven't got used to the pencils yet, but I've been given lots of encouragement and youtube links to help.
      If it's not too much trouble and you remember where the video is I'd really be interested to see it.
      I hope your weekend went well and you're ready to have a creative crafty week! :D
      Have fun and thanks for popping over here xox

    2. Judy - I'd be interested in that, too!


  18. What a gorgeous drawing, Neesie. Love the maple-leaf shaped bottle! Nobody would believe you are a beginner with Inktense pencils looking at that. They are absolutely great, aren't they. My hubby gave me mine for my birthday at the end of May and I'm having such fun with them. They are great for zentangles or anything small because you can work quite fine with them and then blend with water. I use a water brush (hollow handle filled with water) so I can do it on the recliner without having to worry about spilling jars of painting water!

    Thanks for your comment on my blog - I shall be interested to see how you get on with Etsy. I expect it's OK once you get known on there, but for now I'd rather keep everything on my blog and see how it goes - I don't anticipate vast numbers of sales or setting myself up in business so I think I'll cope with it OK!!


    1. Oh you're too kind Shoshi ;D
      I really can't believe the way the angle of the photo has made the bottle top look all squiffy. It's really not like that...but then that's why I need to buy a scanner next!
      I need to spend some quality time with the pencils to get to know them and I did intend to do that just that today...but the day has just disappeared.
      The water brush sounds fantastic...I'll have to peek in my art suppliers to check them out :D Any excuse to visit (hehe)
      I think the Etsy needs some homework too because there are lots of things that can raise your profile etc but again it's getting the time to read up. I seriously could do without sleeping!!! :$
      Have a great crafty week ~ enjoy creating!

  19. I'm way behind reading posts but wanted tos ay I think you did a wonderful job with the Derwents.


    1. Aww thanks Darla, I had a play with the pencils again yesterday and will be posting the outcome later today.
      I'm getting to know them a little better but think I'm still on the first date...each time I use them I learn more. It's all very exciting!
      Have fun this weekend ;D


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