#ICAD2016 – Week 2

#ICAD2016 - Week 2

CLICK HERE to discover more about the ICAD challenge where I introduced it during Week 1 and showed my first week’s art cards.

CLICK HERE to look at all 61 cards that I made last time I took part, in 2014.

Here are my art cards for #ICAD2016 – Week 2:

(all cards start out as 6 x 4 inch plain white Exacompta index cards)

#ICAD2016 - Week 2

Day 8: My own hand-carved peacock and arches stamps, handwritten words and Caran D’Ache Neocolor II crayons applied with a waterbrush.

#ICAD2016 - Week 2

Day 9: Zendoodle and words drawn with a black Pilot Permaball pen. Colour added with Neocolors and waterbrush.

#ICAD2016 - Week 2

Day 10 and my favourite so far! Leaves drawn in black Permaball pen, colour added with orange Uni Posca acrylic paint pen. This card borrows parts of a repeating pattern I made some time ago which you can see the original version of in my Instagram post here:

Working on some hand-drawn repeating patterns. #art #doodles

A photo posted by Zoe Ford (@topfloortreasures) on

and a slightly different digital version I made for this Instagram post here: 

Happy 182nd Birthday to William Morris, textile designer and painter . 

A photo posted by Zoe Ford (@topfloortreasures) on

But back to the ICADs!

#ICAD2016 - Week 2

Day 11: Bubbles drawn with the Permaball, colour added with Neocolors and a waterbrush.

#ICAD2016 - Week 2

Day 12 and another favourite! As with my card for day 10, the design is drawn with a black Permaball and coloured with a yellow Uni Posca.

#ICAD2016 - Week 2

Day 13: Something a bit different… I randomly stamped prints onto this card using a 3 x 5 inch Gelli Plate and Golden Artist acrylic paints, then added the pink and blue with Uni Posca pens and doodled with a trusty Permaball.

#ICAD2016 - Week 2

And finally… Day 14: I cheated and made this one at the same time as the previous card and it was done in the same way with the same supplies 😉

Don’t forget to check out my year 2014 ICADS here and my #ICAD2016 – Week 1 here!

So, that’s #ICAD2016 – Week 2, what do you think? Come back next week for the next seven cards in the series!

Thanks for visiting!

Zoe's signature photo◄◄ P.S. I really don’t look like this any more. I should get around to updating my sign-off pic!

#ICAD2016 – Week 1


ICAD is back!

Back in 2014 I took part in Daisy Yellow‘s Index-Card-A-Day challenge and I thought I’d join in again for the 2016 session. The point of the challenge is to make some kind of art on an index card each day throughout June and July (61 days). The art you make doesn’t have to be a masterpiece, or even ‘good’ (define ‘good’!) It’s about having fun! There are prompts which are completely optional, which are good if you need a creative kick-start. I tend to do a mix of using the prompts and freestyling it. Go on any of the big social media sites and search #ICAD2016 or #DYICAD2016 to see index card art from all around the world.

Click here to see my ICAD2014 cards

Here are my #ICAD2016 cards for week 1:

I’m using 6 x 4 inch, plain white, Exacompta index cards.

#ICAD2016 title card

Title Card: many layers of Golden Artist acrylics with stamped letters and numbers, plus ink outlining and doodling.

#ICAD2016 Day 1

Day 1: Golden Artist acrylic paints in various yellows, with a zendoodle drawn with my trusty Pilot Permaball pen. The blues and greens were added last with Caran D’Ache Neocolor II crayons and a waterbrush.

#ICAD2016 Day 2

Day 2: Again, Golden Artist acrylic paints for the background in Quinacridone Magenta and Hansa Yellow. Pyramids cut from a lined index card and collaged onto the card, outlined with a black Stabilo All pencil and waterbrush. Quote handwritten on the back of an old envelope using a Pilot Permaball pen and a white Uni Posca acrylic paint pen, cut out and collaged onto the card.

#ICAD2016 Day 3

Day 3: Inspired by a drawing class I took online with Lisa Congdon, I decided to draw lots of dogs (although some might be cats!) with my Pilot Permaball pen. The green is a Neocolor II crayon with waterbrush.

#ICAD2016 Day 4

Day 4: Phrase with typewriter-style stamps, cut and collaged onto a card I had been using to wipe excess paint onto, outlined in black ink.

#ICAD2016 Day 5

Day 5: Acrylic painted and stenciled background with butterfly washi tape border and acrylic and ink clouds. Houses painted with Neocolors and a Stabilo All pencil and waterbrush onto a separate card, cut out and collaged in place.

#ICAD2016 Day 6

Day 6: A zendoodle that was originally just a basic line drawing of something else. I added colour with Neocolors and waterbrush, then added a top ten of things I like in pen.

#ICAD2016 Day 7

Day 7: A black Pilot Permaball zendoodle.

Are you doing #ICAD2016? Feel free to leave a link to where I can see your cards in the comments!


What Selling Art Means To Me

what selling means to me

This morning I woke up to those wonderful Etsy cash register ‘cha-ching!’ chimes going off on my phone, letting me know I’d sold two paintings.

Having grown up being told not to be an artist because artists don’t make any money, it’s a great feeling.

It’s true that I don’t make much money as an artist but making money was never the prime motivator for me. Painting and creating is just something I have an overwhelming need to do. And when someone likes what I paint enough to buy it, it’s a happy bonus. The money I make goes into replenishing art supplies*, buying something The Teen needs, or towards household bills.


With almost 200 Etsy sales + 60 Folksy sales before I opened a shop on Etsy + offline sales, I think I’m doing pretty OK at this being-an-artist thing.

There can sometimes be a long gap between sales and occasionally that can make me feel that no one wants to buy what I paint, leading to a ‘slump’ in creativity. The truth of the matter is actually that the person who will buy just hasn’t seen my work yet.

When the sales do come, they bring renewed motivation, inspiration and positivity. They make me get up early and get to work on whatever’s coming next. They give me a sense of purpose.


I currently have four paintings in progress, three of which will be floral because that’s my ‘thing’, and one of which is a huge leap outside of my comfort zone, which is taking a while because *perfectionist*. I’m looking forward to finishing that one in particular because it’s so different from anything I’ve attempted before – different subject, different style.

Do you sell your creative work? What does it mean to you?

*Affiliate link

Zoe's signature photo

Sorry for any inconvenience…

If you saw me freaking out on Facebook or Twitter today, you’ll know I had a major problem with my blog. Basically, it broke. And not just a little bit. It broke A LOT.


On the front end (the parts you can see), blog posts had shifted over to the right and were overlapping the sidebar. It looked a MESS! But it looked a whole lot worse from the back end (the parts you can’t see).


The issue was caused by a few factors: An updated version of wordpress, an outdated plugin, a piece of code missing from a .PHP file (no, I don’t know what that is either!) and then… I still don’t fully know what. I just know that I ended up spending almost 7 hours tinkering and tweaking and refreshing and wanting to rip off my own face in frustration. And then I did some more tinkering and it was all back to normal.

I got there in the end. As I always do.

Someone once told me that I’m like a dog with a bone, that I just won’t let go, and they used it as an insult. I think they were right though, and not in an insulting way. When there’s a problem I will keep at it until it’s fixed. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, I do not give up.

don't give up gif

Apologies if this problem affected you in any way.


Zoe's signature photo


{Guest Post} The Earth without Art is… Lonely

Today I have my fourth guest post in a series of six by Carolyn Schofield (post #1post #2, post #3). Carolyn is using her blog posts here to talk about using art therapeutically and about encouraging people of all ages to use arts and crafts to express themselves. Over to you Carolyn…


Joys Green Art Group

When I moved here just over 5 years ago, I soon learned there was an art group meeting in the Community Centre nearby. As it was run by my friend Peggy, I used to hear bits and pieces about what they were doing. When the Community Centre closed, the art group moved to the village hall in a place with the wonderful name of The Pludds. I recently went to visit them to see exactly what goes on there.

The group has been running for around 12 years now, and started when funding was gained to provide creative activities for people in rural villages. An artist-led charity in our region, Artspace Cinderford, sent out one of their tutors to meet community leaders locally to see if there was any interest. She met Peggy, who thought it would be a good way for older or less able people in our area to meet others.

The group functions independently from Artspace. Peggy handles the finances, books the tutors, hires the room, and enjoys taking part herself. Due to funding from local organisations, the classes are free for two terms, with a small fee the other weeks. Artspace helps by publicising the classes, which are open to anyone. They usually attract 8 – 10 people each week.

art group 2a

Over the years the group have tackled a variety of projects, including painting, pottery and spent several years doing some very innovative textile work, using recycled materials. Some of the work is done as a group project, and when the group met in the community centre the hangings they produced decorated the main meeting room there. The culmination of these projects involved producing a thirty foot string of bunting, which is now owned by Artspace.

There is a very friendly atmosphere: it’s clear that it’s a social occasion as much as an art group, but exercising one’s individual creativity is at the heart of what they do. While assessment is kept to a minimum, the tutor, Diana, has to produce lesson plans and there are progress reviews and learning logs to record the students’ progress. Also, at regular intervals the work produced is exhibited at Artspace. When I went to visit the most recent exhibition I was impressed by how beautifully the paintings were mounted and displayed.

art group 1a

I enjoyed seeing the students work on their most recent topic, entitled ‘Through a Window’. I spoke to Sylvia who said (as she wrangled with a complex scene that was not going well) that she thought doing art was good for your patience. I asked her what experience of art she had had in the past; she said she wasn’t taught anything at school, so she felt she had to start from scratch. Recently widowed, she particularly valued the socialising.

art group 3a

Recently some members of the group were thrilled to be contacted by Artspace, asking for their permission to turn some of their art work into cards, including both Peggy and Sylvia, who are very modest about their own ability. It is clear that this initiative has really enabled the participants to connect with their inner creativity in a safe and enjoyable environment, in which they have achieved far more than they would have ever done on their own.

We all have the ability to create wonderful things, if we are given the necessary encouragement and a supportive environment.

Thanks for reading.

carolyn 2Carolyn Schofield has an enduring love of craft activities of all sorts, including art journaling which she discovered this summer. She never quite gives up on any crafts, as her spare room and cupboards – packed with needlecraft and papercraft equipment, and half-finished projects – can testify.
Find Carolyn on Pinterest and Instagram.