I loved this idea because not only can you recycle these horrid polystyrene containers, but the process is really simple.  You could even use tracing paper and trace your design so you don't even need to be able to draw.  You could make a whole series of cards like this or just a colorful print to hang on your wall and cheer up the place.

Materials needed:

Foam or polystyrene container
paint or ink
small roller

1. Cut a large section of foam from your container. 

2. Draw or trace your design and press down with your pencil.  Not too hard but also not to lightly.  You need to make an impression without going all the way through.

3. Roller your design with paint or ink.

4.  Lay your paper or card on top of your paint covered foam and press lightly with the back of your hand all over.

5.  Gently peel away your paper or card to reveal your design.  Hey presto!

Happy printing!

Original image courtesy of themetapicture

Article courtesy of Karen Ruffles

I was inspired to write this after talking to a friend who was having some issues with a dream she had. I draw demons, which often come to me in nightmares and I usually find that once they are down on paper, they become much more manageable. Usually :) I finished up by joking that this is why I'm approaching an agent with them soon- if they are going to keep me up all night, the least they can do is buy me a drink!

Early sketch of  'Her Ladyship'




This got me thinking about the relationship between creating and money. There are some obvious issues- do you purely do your own thing and hope it sells? Do you -can you- work to ideas someone else has presented, such as work on a book cover perhaps? Is it a hobby, something you just relax with that pays for itself all being well? Or are you like many of us, looking for a way of working that pays for you to do what you love, so you can continue doing it?


That's the tricky part.


Or is it? I often get frustrated with lack of inspiration, ideas are like birds- you can't make them appear, you just have to watch and wait. You sit there and nine times out of ten, it's a sparrow, or a starling- very nice, but nothing to get that excited about. If you're lucky though, every once in a while, you spot a 'What the holy cr*p was that? I've never seen one of those before- careful, it might bite' idea.


I'm just finishing a second work on just such an idea- can't share him with you yet but he's a good one:) I'm very excited about the whole project and think it's some of my best work. I have to say though, it's exhausting! Asides from the mental strain of working on something so important, a thing like that requires an awful lot of research. To make him as real to everyone else as he is to me, I've had to learn a lot about anatomy of more than one species, find a whole bunch of reference photos and then using my artistic know how, allow for differences in lighting, perspective etc to put them together in one coherent image.


Charcoal drawing of physalis


Which is why I'm starting to think I'm actually getting about as many of those as I can handle. Not just for the sake of my sanity, such as it is, but because of the technical skills I've had to learn to make these things happen. I've had to spend a lot of years drawing, say, fruit, to get my understanding of how different surface textures reflect light.


I'm not going to wander off into a lot of technical waffle, I just want to leave you with the thought that there is always something to be learnt, whether you are sketching, collecting, taking photos or just testing new materials. You never know when that little bit of knowledge might come in handy. It's all important.


Oh, and don't let your feet hang off the end of the bed- I know what's under there :)


More of Karen Ruffles' work can be found here

I'm delighted to featured this very talented jewelry designer. Huiyi Tan was born in China, was partly educated in the UK, lived some time in the US but is now in Cornwall, UK working on her collections.



Huiyi is an GIA Accredited Jewelry Professional. She was first trained to be an interior designer at college in China, and gained her MA in jewelry design at the School of Jewelry, Birmingham Institute of Art & Design in the UK. After graduation, she lived in America for about 4 years and traveled to the U.K. from time to time. Since June 2010, she has been active in the artisan market as an independent jewelry designer and maker.




Some of the work Huiyi does is research work. She says:


" Because of the open visible space, I chose the ring as my practice and research object. There are three relationships that make these pieces attractive: the relationship between the hand and the form; between the hand and the fluidity; and between the form and the fluidity. They support one another."




You can find more of Huiyi's work here

Welcome to the world of Bonnie Bruno.


She borrows her inspiration from the colors and textures found in nature. Her abstracts begin with an original nature photo which she digitally manipulates, adds texture, and paints with a Wacom Intuos pen tablet. She uses a professional lab for printing on high-quality archival papers.




Bonnie has been prolific in uploading her beautiful photography here on TAS. I always look forward to seeing her work and she surprises me with her creativity and her perspective. Please take a look at her profile here because I know you'll find it a joy.




Bonnie is also a writer of children's books and greeting cards.


Bonnie says: "One of the realities of a writer’s life is that our books don’t last forever. It has been said that the average shelf life of a book is around two years, so it’s every writer’s challenge to keep coming up with new ideas and to not waste time lamenting past projects that are no longer in print. I’ve written devotionals for families; teacher’s object talk books; a family guide to computing back in the early days of the Internet; a Bible study guide that was a finalist for the Gold Medallion Book Award; and a series of historical fiction for middlers. Each has been unique and special, and a joy to write."



You can get more information about Bonnie here