Friday, August 29, 2008

ACEO Article

I wrote this long article about ACEO makers that live in the UK for here. It was edited because it was very long lol but it needed to be edited I just wasn't sure what to keep and what to take out. Please go have a look at the blog where the article is :D

Here is the article as a whole :) (I did warn you it was long :p)

Snow Leopard Eye Copyright Jennifer Rose Phillip

There are a lot of ACEO artist that live and create in the UK. ACEO stands for Art card, editions and originals and are on the whole sold in either fairs, galleries, or shops. ATCs are Artist Trading Cards and are traded back and forth. Its a nice way to start an art collection and even better if you don't have lots of room to hang art on your walls.

There are so many ways a person can make an ACEO and as long as it is 2.5 inches by 3.5 inches there are no rules as to what they are made of.

I have picked 3 Etsy store owners to ask them questions on how and why they have decided to work so small.

Up first it is Tina Mammoser at thecyclingartist. “Original abstract seascape paintings and drawings inspired by the English Coast” quote taken from her Etsy store. Her work is gorgeous so go check it out (I have a really nice piece of her work that sits proudly on my shelf :) )

For Sale here (thecyclingartist)

What materials do yo use to create your ACEOs ?
All of my paintings are acrylic and for my ACEOs I work on commercial canvasboard that I cut down to size. I sell original works so my ACEOs are all one-of-a-kind paintings too!

Why did you decide to make ACEOs?
I resisted ACEOs for quite a while but then did some as an experiment with the ACEO and 'painting a day' movements on eBay. While they weren't big sellers I decided I really enjoyed making them in order to explore colour combinations. So for me personally they've actually become quite an integral part of my studio practice - they are small studies done in the process of preparing for my larger gallery work.

When did you first hear about them? (if you remember)
I wish I could remember! They seemed to grow out of the 'painting a day' movement to me, although I know they've been around longer. I've been creating them for about 3 years now.

Favorite ACEO that you have made?
My very favourite ACEO has always been this one, with very dark wispy waves against a pale pink sky. (Image below)

Any advice to people wanting to start working small?
My advice is to do what suits you. Find an aspect of the smallness that appeals to you in a creative way, don't work small just to follow a trend. Also I greatly prefer buying originals works personally so I like to seeing artists creating ACEOs as original works rather than just printing other images to suit the size.

For Sale here (Grooveycrafts)

Next we have Grooveycrafts. She makes great ACEOs that use a lot of embellishments that make the cards 3D. She shows that not all ACEOs need to be flat! :D And she has a great tip for people just starting to make ACEOs.

What materials do you use to create your ACEOs ?
I have started off with some of my aceos using poker cards as I like the rounded edge but I also have some pre-cut card in a variety of colours so its always quite a task deciding which colour I want to use. I then select which image I'm going to use and work around that... so it could be buttons, ribbons, distress ink, rubber stamps, brads, paper etc.... so as you can see I use a variety of material. It all depends on the image and what inspiration I get from it.

Why did you decide to make ACEOs?
I decided to make ACEOs as I saw people wanted to genuinely buy them. With not swapping any more I thought I'd make them and the person who appreciated what I'd created would buy it.

When did you first hear about them? (if you remember)
I started off in yahoo groups and a friend on mine was in to ATCs, I always found that they weren't such a popular sign up so would partner myself with this friend... otherwise I would probably have never tried it but it is quite amazing how much you can get out of such a small space. I actually left yahoo groups over a year ago but still had all my supplies, when I came across Etsy and read through the forum I saw ACEO mentioned and realised they were the same as ATCs so started making them to sell.

Favourite ACEO that you have made?
That is quite hard to choose but I'm choosing this one to show you since it fit in well with Autumn coming up :).
Any advice to people wanting to start working small?
If your just testing the waters to see if ACEOs are for you I wouldn't recommend going out and buying all the supplies you feel you need as I can tell you it is so easy to do as you feel you need everything and everything looks great.

I would recommended buying a pack of playing cards, they only cost about 50p a pack and are the right size for ACEOs. In places like Tescos, Morrisons etc... they have packs of small cut paper at about A6 size with about 5 or 6 varieties of colours, designs etc..., you should get quite a few ACEOs using those papers. The other thing you can use is newspapers and magazines for the writing but be careful as some let ink off.

Then on to Embellishment, its now time to go through your wardrobe... yes I sound crazy I know! See what you really don't want anymore, what your partner doesn't need or your kids have grown out of and cut the buttons, ribbons, flowers etc... off and work with those.

For images you can get some very nice ones off Etsy from people who will e-mail you them. I haven't bought from anyone yet to be able to recommended any one.

Now your ready to start creating. For sticking down items I use double sided tape, pritt stick (pritt stick and uhu glue sticks are the best for sticking) and glue dots

If you decide that ACEOs are for you then you can splash out on supplies but if you decide they aren't for you, you won't have spent more then £10 so you don't need to worry.

For Sale here (nuvonova)

And your going to need something to put all your pretty cards in and nuvonova has just the thing. She makes ACEO albums that she can customize for you, and some gorgeous ACEOs to put in her albums.

What materials do yo use to create your ACEOs and books?
I like to use silver pearlescent card as the front and back cover for the album, and grey, black or white (or all together) as the body of the book... this is so that the book acts like a blank wall as if you were in a gallery, and the ACEO's are like the paintings! The book is bound with satin ribbon and the front cover has a custom title. I name mine 'The Little Book of Art'. I have my ACEOs professionally printed onto archival paper so they last many many years and then I mount them onto pearlescent card to make them nice and sturdy!

Why did you decide to make ACEOs and your albums?
I loved the concept when I first found out about it and as I was already in the Art/Design/Fashion field, I had a lot of my own illustrations that I wanted to turn into mini pieces of art... and for people to hopefully buy them, which they do, so yay!
Not only did I make ACEOs, but I bought them too, like crazy. I like to have empty walls and I get bored very quickly, so keeping them in albums makes them fresh to my eyes each time I look at them... so I made my own to store them in as I didn't like the typical 3x3 plastic slots you get to put in folders as it looked too cluttered.

For Sale here

When did you first hear about them?
Around October 2007.

Favorite ACEO that you have made?
My favourite fashion illustration that I turned into an ACEO is 'Twilight IV'. It's one of my most favourite drawings which I have turned into my own little little mascot and actually, the original is in my fashion portfolio and everytime I go on fashion job interviews, that one always gets the 'Oohs'.

Any advice to people wanting to start working small?
Maybe patience, but they're so fun to do!

So great advice from everyone. I encourage everyone to try doing a few ACEOs of their own, but be aware. They can get addicting to make. Of course you could just buy from the lovely people here and support the artists on Etsy. Lots of different types of cards being made and all at different prices.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Ghost Dragon

More dahlias! Most of them are this bright pink colour but a few look like they will be purple.

I had a bit of a problem making the one dragon into a zombie, so he ended up as a ghost instead lol Still needs a few more layers of pencil but I want to keep the dragon having a faded effect. I think the only way I was going to make the dragon look like a zombie was to draw maggots on it. And I am not going to do that. I will try to draw anything but refuse to draw maggots *shudder*

And wave goodbye to Mr.Fuzzy's long hair. Going to get it cut tomorrow *cries* :p

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Happy Birthday to My Blog!!

Cake all around! :D I am actually shocked that I have found enough to write about for so long lol

Did I ever mention on here that I got my ILR? I might have I'm not sure. Its a huge weight off of both of our backs (and not a waste of £750 yes you read that right, not a cheap thing to get and even more money to get a British passport (£600 donations please jk ;) ) if we choose to do that. Which would make sense to get as then we both could live anywhere in the EU )

So started on the pumpkins on the Halloween picture. I might do them all different shades of orange. I will just have to see if the whole piece needs the warm colours to it or if the pumpkins might be the focal point when I want the cauldron to be what a person's eyes rest at.

I want to do the dragon leaning over the pumpkins various red shades but than I have to be careful no to make it too bright. I am not really worried about using red pencils and having them fade as this isn't intended to be sold, but made into prints and cards. Of course if someone offered to buy it I wouldn't object :p I will be using fixative on this so it helps protect the colours from fading.

The flying witch dragon (under the paper) will be green of course lol Not sure what I colour I will make the dragon by the cauldron. If the cauldron is going to be purple/black the dragon will have to stand out. Can't use yellow or orange because of the pumpkins, light blue might work. Could try to make it a zombie dragon :p

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Bounce! Bounce!

Luka in Lake Erie. For the longest time he was terrified to get in the lake. Couldn't get him to even walk across the little stream down by the dock.

He hated to have a bath (what dog likes to have a bath? :P), and would start shaking as soon as we finally managed to get him in the tub. And by the time we moved away, trying to lift a 100 pound plus dog into a tub was no easy feat.

Big chicken dog lol was sad but funny at the same time. Funny that this dog that people ultimately assume is mean, is shaking in fear of getting wet, but he is a big softie. We never could figure out why he was so scared of water.

But that was until I got in the water. I honestly wanted to try to show him that is wasn't a scary thing and he slowly swam out to me.

And then he wouldn't get out lol He started bouncing around in the water and chasing the splashes. I wish that the sun wasn't going down and that we thought about taking video. Would be great to have more pictures.

Dad still takes him down to the water, and lets him run around. He loves it and like most dogs, as soon as you mention walk or in this case beach he never leaves Dad's side until they go :)

*art soonish lol* finger painting? ;)

Saturday, August 23, 2008


So we got home tonight after being away for about 2 hours to come home to a flood.
ok not that bad, but there was a puddle on the kitchen floor by the fridge :/ It started defrosting which is really annoying but hopefully it was just because one of us didn't close the door properly. *crosses fingers* or I am going to be cooking a lot of food tonight :p

So the above photo is a little stream down where I use to live. I don't actually think this stream is there anymore. I know the wood fences and gardens down there were wrecked when a dam burst near by. Lots of damage and lots of dead fish. Glad I wasn't there for that :p Lots of people had damage to their property and from what I am told its still being cleaned up.

This is down by the dock (which not sure how wrecked it got in the flood). Nice quiet place to either read or go fishing.

Mr.Fuzzy being a fisherman :D The fish was good and thankfully no one fell in the water :p

And this is winter :) Me by the dock in my fuzzy wool coat (I love this but it is huge now on me lol) There was a lot of ice that year. Was really nice to look at but dangerous to walk on. Dad and Mr.Fuzzy walked on the lake but I was too chicken to lol

The light house and the mountain of ice on the lake. They blew it up lol Didn't go see it, but wish I had of. It was blown up to stop people from climbing on it (the little black specks are people)

And it wasn't that year but the next when I got a call at work saying Dad hit a plow. I guess the look on my face said it all as the customer I was helping was really concerned. And then honestly I laughed. Shock? Probably, and thinking about it now it was a little funny. Dangerous but not something that wasn't uncommon at the house.

Ok people were not hitting plows every time they left the house, but something usually happened to make the day more interesting

The truck was totaled. The body was all twisted and the door wouldn't close or open. The big hole above the wheel was were the tip of the plow blade went in. Not fixable because trust me if its fixable Dad can fix it.

So a quick trip down memory lane :D

Friday, August 22, 2008

Death by Knitting

Originally uploaded by fuzzydragons

I really can't seem to get the hang of knitting. Figured out how to cast on by myself and I know how to make a simple stitch. I just have the stitches too tight and end up with a row that you can't even move on the needle. :/

I think it is because when I made friendship bracelets and made a bunch of different macramé knots they had to be as tight as possible. I knew how to make the really fancy looking friendship bracelets, and loved having dozens of colours on my wrists.

I would love to make a really long colourful knitted scarf. I think at this rate it would be faster if I made one with a bunch of friendship bracelets crochet together :p

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Did Someone Kill all the Spiders?

Halloween 2008 Copyright Jennifer Rose Phillip
For Sale Here

Its been raining all day. And not a typical summer shower. Full blown drown in the gutters rain. The only thing that I can think of that would make it rain so much is that someone killed all the spiders in the area. Poor Fred.

I really hate when it rains, its so grey all I want to do is sleep. I am just glad that my MS isn't effected by the weather (but its messing with my head (the MS, not the weather). I keep forgetting simple words :/ ), or I would be spending all day in bed and not liking it. :p

The flowers and lawn are loving all the rain though. Some are dieing from too much rain but at least the front lawn is green and not a lovely shade of brown. More colourful dahlias :D They are so gorgeous and the water drops make for some interesting close up that just call to be coloured.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Ugly Stage

ACEO Copyright Jennifer Rose Phillip

I think most coloured pencil artists (not all) have a stage in their artwork that is called "the ugly stage" by a lot of them. Its the steps were colour has just been laid down, where the blending effect hasn't happened, where a piece lacks any kind of tonal value, looks really flat. In short it looks like crap :p

I find this is usually the stage where newcomers to CP get really discouraged. Most people that have never used CPs don't realize how long it can sometimes take to get the same effect that can take minutes when using paint. Its hard when you look at such a piece to keep going; more so when people tell you just "keep at it", Rome wasn't built in a day yada yada. I never wanted to build Rome, just wanted to be able to make Lassie look more like a dog than a rat with dreadlocks :p (and that still happens)

When people ask me for advice on using CPs, I ask them if they have a lot of patience? Do they mind making lots of mistakes until they find out the best way for them to use coloured pencils? Do you like having pretty much nothing to clean up? (big selling point for me and really who loves cleaning? ;) I am sure leaving oil paints and turpentine in my bedroom closet did wonders for my head :p though that might explain a few things lol).

Honestly I wish I had a magic wand to help newcomers to CP to not get discouraged (and to wish for Gerard Butler). I can suggest so many things to help a person, but that person has to want to take the time to learn. Don't think your first piece will be a masterpiece and all past CP work worldwide will cower in comparison. Some people are naturally good at CPs (hmm wheres my wand when I need it? ;) My first CP piece will never be seen. Possibly tossed out, or burned :p ). For others it takes time.

Posting art when it is at this stage can be hard sometimes. Sometimes reading what others think can be a little hard to deal with; or you mess up the piece and never finish and don't want people to see the failure. Posting art though can be so helpful in so many ways. Always good to get another set of eyes to see the piece (and family doesn't count ;) ) Colours can be suggested and different supports can be talked about (paper, board, canvas to name a few).

I guess is what this post is trying to say is that to get past the crap stage takes time and effort and sometimes outside help. Ask a lot of questions as there are a lot of people that are more than willing to help. Actually try to listen to the answers you get, instead of asking again until you get the answer you want. (hmm this sounds like the end of an after school special)

So my questions for readers are:
1) Best advice you have ever been given about CPs (or your favorite medium)
2) Any advice you can giver other CP artists? (not just in getting past the crap stage)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Is it Halloween yet?

Started colouring my Halloween picture for this year. Still needs a lot of work on the gravestone. Definitely need to make the letters more readable, right now you can read them but I want to make them easier to read. Need to add more purples and blues to the grey so it doesn't look so flat.

I still haven't decided on what colours to do the dragons. Orange is out, as there are so many pumpkins that it would be an orange overload. Some of the pumpkins will probably not be orange, all pumpkins are not orange. Colour suggestions?

Another dahlia in the in laws front yard has opened. The tall plant that is 2 feet tall hasn't flowered yet but there are a lot of buds that are going to soon.

And my lilies have finally flowered :D I love how pink they are, going to have to either put them in the ground or in a bigger pot next year.

And Mr.Fuzzy hit himself in the head when we were trying to hang up a cupboard door and has a cut under his ear now :/ Glued shut by the nurse, and the door can wait until tomorrow to be put up :p

Scottish Word of the Week:

1) mochie

Answer to last weeks word:

1. spaewife is a fortune teller

Friday, August 15, 2008


So the plan today was to finish the front lawn, but it rained again :/ So we decided to see how sour we could make these cookies. :) They are sour but nowhere near as sour as I thought they would be. And we used probably about 6 tablespoons of fresh lime juice over the 2 that the recipe says to use :p The flat still smells like limes lol

At least this time though we didn't double the recipe and end up with 100 cookies. Last time we did that we ended up with 3 lime pies. And while they were really really good that was a lot of pie :p

Art post tomorrow and the Scottish word of the week.

*off to eat another cookie*

I'm so behind on reading blogs. I really need to try to catch up this weekend

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

RIP Killer Squash of Doom

So the killer squash of doom is dead. For such a tall plant we only got 7 squash off of it. Need to dry them out, and after that I have no idea what I am going to do with them. Shame they are not edible as I am sure someone would have eaten them.

I could try to make rattles out of them, but not sure if that would work (I could drive people insane with all the rattling :D ). Could always draw them I guess :)

hmmm spot the mistake. Now I know that mistakes are made, but one would think that a person would proof read something that was going to be hung up around the store. :/

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Finished FlatVideo

So 2 videos of the flat. The first a walk through once all the wallpaper was taken off and the second the flat finished. (yeah as usual I swear like a pirate, ok not that bad but it slips out a few times. I should probably be worried professionaly about posting video where I swear, so apologies. It just slips out and I don't have any audio editing programs :/)

Kinda cool seeing how different it looks now compared to how it looked when we got the keys.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Eagle has Landed!

"Untitled" Copyright Jennifer Rose Phillip
12 by 8.75 Inches
Coloured Pencils and Neocolour II on Rising Stonehenge
Original for sale

*Dances* I really like how this turned out. Love the bright colours of the background. I will definitely be doing more pieces like this. Match the background colours to either the birds plumage or to the birds natural environment.

I think I will do an owl next. Not sure exactly what type of owl. Probably a Snowy Owl as they are my favorite owls. So will probably use a lot of blues and purples on the background for that.

Anyone have a title suggestion. I was going to just title this Rainbow Bird #1, but it doesn't really suit the artwork.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

this is... a work in progress

So at three buttons there is a meme that people can participate in and this week it is "This is... a work in progress" chosen by debbiehill.

So I was going to take a picture of a drawing that I am working on but took a picture of this bag I have been working on for a long time. Moving had made me put this away before I could get it finished. I still need to sew the bags flap together and the zipper needs to be added to the bag. I than have to make or find some kind of strap to attach to the sides.

Its not a huge bag but its not that small either. I prefer bags big enough to keep everything I need in them. You never know when you might need something.

I really wish I had of bought more of this fabric (I only have a yard of it, or had a yard of it :p), but it wasn't that cheap. I love when there are fabric sales, there need to be more of them :p

I'm having the hardest time finding light blue or light purple buttons. One would think it would be easy to find buttons. Probably just going to use the white ones I have if I can't find any right away. oh or moon and star buttons! They would look cool! :D And I think I saw them at the fabric store.

Saturday, August 09, 2008


A few red flowers were starting to grow where the purple Anemones were, but it rained so hard that it destroyed the petals :/ There is one little red flower that is holding on but with the rain we just had, I don't think it survived. You could almost go water skiing on the side of the road there was so much water :p

Hopefully tomorrow we will have uploaded the video of the flat that we took :)

And the Scottish word of the week (day late, sorry):

1. spaewife

Answer to last weeks word:

1) scuddie is when you are naked. Comes in handy if you know a lot of people that are nudist or mow the lawn naked.

Flat when we moved in

Mr Fuzzy here
here are some shots of what the flat looked like when we moved in....yeah someone had taste issues, apologies to anyone who actually has wallpaper like this and likes it....but Mrs.Fuzzy and I both hated this stuff with a passion.

Mrs.Fuzzy will be back tomorrow to reply to comments etc she has a migraine :(

Hmm choc brown paint doorframe and half painted door....stylish :P

If smoking does this to a ceiling, imagine what it does to your lungs....yuck (the white part isnt painted, it was wiped with a bleach soaked mop.....)

Hmm what lurks in the sea of grass.....O.o

Arr mateys I thinks I spots a drying green o'er yonder....maybe :-S
Mr.Fuzzy and family members :-) with the ugly living room wall paper (grandmother, me, brother and his fiancée)

Carpet that would have been considered gaudy in the 70's

Wouldn't using real varnish have been easier than using this varnish effect crap? (Would have been easier to remove than this junk too :| )
Bathroom with stained floor...ick, and peeling plastic wall coverings

bathroom windowsill falling off......urgh

Kitchen with cabinets that a chimp could have assembled better :(

Ahh the bedroom.....mauve paint with what turned out to be the first of 5 different wallpapers underneath...stuck on with what appeared to be industrial grade super glue. Had these people never heard of the concept of stripping wallpaper???

hmmm did these people have no taste???
no no no....take off the paper then paint.....geez louise!!
I think this is the wall paper which was originally put up when the first person moved in during the 1960's...blast from the past indeed
And the "lovely" walls, stained with pattern from the wall paper in the photo above (there really isn't any paper on the wall there, [ack my head hurts] >> Mrs.Fuzzy)...I have NEVER seen wall paper that well adhesed.....3 days to get it off....even irked my grandad who is a master plasterer (recently retired) and he has stripped more wall paper in his time than most people have hot dinners. Water, soapy water, scoring...nothing worked apart from lots and lots of scraping......thank ye gods we got to this stage. between if we can find the photos, or the finished article if we cant.

(I know...lots of photos :P )