Saturday, 5 December 2009


We know this will make a lot of you sad but, after a year, Linda and I have decided not to continue with the Awfully Big Art Adventure. A lot has changed for each of us in that time, and these days we are both teaching craft classes and generally stretching our wings in new directions. The truth is that ABAA is no longer something which is a joy to do, but has become something we feel we ought to do in order not to let people down. It all takes up a surprising amount of time and we both feel that we need a break from it. We'll be leaving the blog up as inspiration, at least for the time being, and if anyone feels they could take over and run with it then please do get in touch.

So a huge thank you to all of you who've taken part in our challenges, and generally loved, encouraged, supported (and challenged) us! It's been an amazing journey and we've loved seeing what you do and learning just how much talent there is out there in blogland.

Our very best wishes to you all, and keep right on altering ....

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Twinkling Twinchies!

Its nearly that time of year.......time to start thinking about glitter and glitz and twinkly things!!
Well this month we challenge you to make a 'Twinkling Twinchie' could put it on a festive card if you want to.
I'm sure you know that Twinchies are little works of art just 2" x 2". You could make it in any medium; fabric, paper, metal, paperclay....just make sure its got sparkle and shine!
Here are my efforts: the example above is an old Christmas stamp I bought in a set from ebay...... I stitched onto glittery Angelina film and fibres with a background of hand-made felt.

This heart has been stitched onto sparkly fabric and then purple velvet (why does it skid around so much?!!) I love the word whisper...... it just makes me want to walk on tiptoe; all hushed and peaceful.

I used the first Twinchie to make a Christmas card. I do like art to be used in some way ..... if at all possible.

And finally here is a set of lovely blue twinchies made by Rosie. Its a great size to work with, I hope you agree.

So......get twinchin'!!!!!! And make them glitzy - I can't wait to see what you create!!!!!
Love Linda

Monday, 19 October 2009


We just HAD to share this inspirational theatre work from Betty which we hope will give you even more ideas on how to complete our challenge! As you can see she has made a theatre within a theatre - so clever! Remember that it doesn't have to be a large piece of work - you could even make one in a matchbox or shrine ... so go on, what are you waiting for??

Friday, 9 October 2009


Theatrical! Lori so impressed us with the theatres she made for some of our preceding challenges that we asked her to be our Guest Designer for this month. She's provided several views of her fabulous piece so you can see it from all angles - and it was built on a 6" square unfinished wooden craft box with sliding doors made from the lid, available at any number of craft stores.

Lori says she loves paper dolls and all things Gothic, and with Halloween approaching wanted to create something in a darker mood. She searched out artist papers and images, attaching them with spray adhesive (brayer the image to remove air bubbles). Once all the surfaces were covered she glued the removeable doors to the side of the box to create the "wings". She then added trim to represent footlights and her paper dolls have a support behind them.

So there you have your fabulous inspiration for our theatre theme!! Maybe you will want to have a go at making a theatre, large or small, of your own, or adapt the theme in some way? Whatever you do we want to see it!! Can't wait to see what you come up with ....


Showcase Time!

Its time to display some of your fabulous pieces of art from the last few challenges........ if you want to know a specific artists name please email me (Linda).

Story in a Box ChallengeLinda.........Tammara




Thank you to everyone who joined in!!!

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Bird Challenge




Anni.......Lay Hoon


All absolutely fabulous....what a talented lot you are!!!

Saturday, 19 September 2009


Patty emailed me to say .. did we realise that it's the Art Adventure's first birthday today? Well, no we didn't and we're both amazed to find that a year has gone by already! It seems to have been a success as well as an adventure - I don't think there are many challenge blogs as specific to altered art as ours? If there are others please tell us about them!

So Happy Birthday to us and to all of you who've made this journey with us! We hope that you've grown with and through the art you make, and like us learned something about yourself in the process.

Here's to our next year!! ... and no that's not me and Linda up there, but I like the idea!!

Friday, 11 September 2009


There seems to be something special about keys for me, since they turn up in so many of the projects I make! This little ATC tin, my transformation of a box file, and my Harry Potter(ish) book box.

It's such a potent symbol when you think about it - the revelation of secrets, the hiddenness of others; being able to hide or discover something. And then there's that thing about opening up too, sometimes needing great care in case it is a Pandora's Box? Perhaps it's also about safety and keeping our deepest things safely locked away?

So our challenge this month is to use a key or keys in your art, with extra "smarty points" if you make the key yourself. The keys on the purple book and the little tin are both made using a mould and Delight paperclay, a really brilliant medium. The key on the pink box file is Tim Holtz grunge board, another excellent material you can do so much with.

As ever, it will be so exciting for us to see the wonderful and fantastic ways in which you respond - can't wait!!


Tuesday, 1 September 2009


Just look what fun Katrina had with our latest challenge! What a clever take on the whole idea of a "story in a box" - I love the paper dolls and the story. It makes you want to play with it doesn't it?

Keep your lovely entries coming, we do enjoy seeing what you get up to!

Friday, 14 August 2009

A Story in a Box

I really hope you decide to have a go at this months challenge ...... you are such a talented gang; this could prove to be VERY interesting!
We would like you to tell us a story in a box. It could be one made up by you .... or you could do what I've done and use a ready-made story.
You could use any kind of box/container and materials. My box is 4" x 4".

You may already know that I have a passion for Pre-Raphaelite paintings and so decided to choose one of my favourites as a basis for a story. The painting is 'Pia De' Tolomei' by Rossetti. (The model was William Morris's wife Jane - who Rossetti was in love with at the time.)
The story originates from Dante Alighieri's 'The Divine Comedy' in which he descrives his journey through Hell, Purgatory and Paradise - see here for more info. In the 'Purgatory' section Dante describes his meeting with Pia de' Tolomei who had been imprisoned in a fortress in Maremma (Tuscany). Its a very sad story!
Ghino has fallen in love with Pia, wife of his cousin Nello. When she refuses his love, in revenge Ghino informs Nello that he has discovered a secret message proving that Pia is having an adulterous relationship. This is untrue but Nello imprisons his wife and leaves her to die.

In the painting Pia is toying with her wedding ring...once a joy and now a mockery. She is surrounded by ivy - representative of clinging memory. A rosary rests on a book of prayers beneath which can be seen old love letters from her husband.
Pia has a very sad and wistful expression.
I have tried to use these symbols in my work. The outside of the box is covered in torn text representing the love letters. I used a smaller box lid inside and cut the picture to raise the area where her head is. I found a rosary in my treasure box and used an old bronze brooch at the top.

(Click on picture.)
You can make your piece as simple or as complicated as you like....I can't wait to see your stories!
Linda x

Friday, 7 August 2009

'What a Hoot'.......and a Dragonfly Showcase

Just wondered if you'd all seen Christen's wonderful owl she made for our bird challenge......isn't he gorgeous?!! We'll be showcasing all your beautiful birds in the middle of next week, just before our new challenge which will be on Friday 14th August.
Here are your dragonflies from last month, in all their glory....a wonderful mix of digital art, fabric, collage, charms and altered art. Thank you everyone who contributed - you always amaze and inspire us!




Genie .............................. Jean


The Gypsy.....................Rein
If I have got any names wrong, or missed anyone out, please let me know.
Linda x

Friday, 17 July 2009


Our challenge this month is to use a bird theme - it can be anything you like from ATC to three dimensional piece, or digital, as long as there's a bird in there somewhere!

I've had this birdcage a LONG time, waiting for inspiration to strike. I bought it in a hardware store sale, and it was verdigris green at the time, but not a pleasing effect. I spray painted it cream and antiqued it a little, adding a perch for my bird to sit on. The ivy leaves are individually cut out and glued in place.

But don't limit yourself - you could make a bird like this lovely felt one Linda made for me - the choice of materials is yours and the result only limited by your imagination! We can't wait to see what you come up with!

Friday, 10 July 2009


Well it's nearly time for a new challenge - look out for it on the 17th. I must apologise that my own dragonfly never appeared to complement Linda's beautiful effort. Sad to say I was working on a metal piece, but when it was done I HATED it, so it might have to go in the bin ... I tell you this as reassurance that we can make rubbish art as skilfully as the next person. But isn't it wonderful when it all goes right ....?

Anyway, I wanted to highlight these two dragonflies, not least because they're so different from each other!

Jan's tiny gold backed piece is a wonderful example of shimmery, vivid colours which she's achieved with shrink plastic and mica paint, sealed with Diamond Glaze. Lynn has taken a completely different approach to her 6" canvas, using natural colours and textures, but I love this too. Each in their own way is a striking example of the diverse ways you can approach a theme, and I only wish my piece had been half as good ....

It's not too late to enter, you still have a week or so!!


Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Digital Art

I've never thought much about digital art until recently.
But we seem to have had more and more contributions from digital artists over the last few challenges........and now I am being converted. We've already had some beautiful ATCs, tags and collages from you for the dragonfly challenge (you still have 2 weeks to join in), but I wanted to give these two pieces a particular mention.
The first is by Lori at ....... absolutely stunning.
The second is by Lumilyon ........ totally enchanting.I hope you agree.
Now I want to learn how to do it!!

Linda x

Thursday, 18 June 2009


........... is what we'd love to see from you this month.
Dragonflies are such beautiful creatures, its such a shame they only live for a few weeks. But fortunately your art can give pleasure for much longer than that, so we challenge you to use the image in your artwork........... ATCs, fabric, jewellery, inchies, twinchies, metal.....the choice is yours!
I've made a mixed-media piece using fabric, Angelina fibres, a Crafty Individuals stamp, rusty leaves from Retro Cafe Art, Angelina film, text and gems.
The words are from a poem by Dante Gabriel Rossetti:
Deep in the sun-searched growths the dragonfly
Hangs like a blue thread loosened from the sky.........

Come back next week to see an example from Rosie.

Have fun!

Love Linda x

Shell Challenge Showcase

What a great challenge this has been.......such a wonderful variety of work to behold!!
Thank you all so much for taking the time to join in; your artwork is amazing...........


Patty (Magpie's Nest)

Pattie (The Joy of Nesting)




Lynn Stevens

Lynn (Her Creative Spirit)

Lynn (Its A July Thing)



Lay Hoon




The Gypsy




We'd especially like to thank those of you who take the time to visit all these blogs and comment on people's work. (Blog links in comments box)
Come back later for a new challenge!!