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Friday, September 25, 2015

Looking forward

It's been raining and quite cold at times this week - but today it feels more like Spring isn't so far away. I've got a bit of a head cold, but 2 weeks of school holidays start NOW - I am looking forward to the start of daylight savings on Sunday, some holiday relaxing, time putting the garden in order, stitching a quilt top together, and hopefully swapping out all my merino and winter layers for spring colour in my wardrobe as warmer weather arrives...
I've been making a few more greeting cards recently from scrap card that I used to collect excess paint and printing. I cut the A4 card into smaller pieces and sewed them onto card bases before adding various serviette additions. 
Simple but pretty
Expecting that the holiday rest will also inspire me to make more art - Tam (creator of Life Book) recently released another free time-lapse video of her process making this lovely piece :
 See other views and the video by Tam HERE
The combined annual Manawatu/Wanganui/Taranaki Regional Embroiderer's guild exhibition is currently on display here in Palmerston North. There is a huge variety, and very high standard of work and I encourage you to get to Te Manawa to see it if you here any time from now until 11 October. Here are a few of my favourite pieces from that exhibition by Jenny Hunter - I've shared her quilts from another show HERE.
Click on any photo to see it larger. Her work is beautiful - these pieces reminded me of a gorgeous book I have in my collection by Jan Messent - have a peak inside via Amazon HERE
I also loved the humour and the technical loveliness of this version of "The Walrus and the carpenter" illustrated by Judith Balchin, one of our talented locals :
AND I ♥ this quote (found on Hanna's blog)
You don’t need endless time and perfect conditions. Do it now. Do it today. Do it for twenty minutes and watch your heart start beating.  Barbara Sher
Wishing you a happy and creative weekend and looking forward to sharing with you again soon.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Week 37 : DLP 2015

Information about the FREE weekly Documented Life project is HERE. Last week's challenge was :
The main focus of this challenge was on using various software apps to manipulate photos with different effects and digital design. The featured artist was Susan Tuttle who creates beautiful effects - that link is worth checking if you are interested in having a play with that idea. At present my use of digital design is merely in having my images on my computer to be able to print in different formats...I enjoyed the transparencies I used for last week's challenge (see my previous post) and was inspired by the "what makes your heart sing?" part of the challenge so went ahead and printed off some transparent images. The first thing that comes to mind when I think of what makes my heart sing is the beach, so this was the first photo I printed :
Art makes my heart sing, Klimt being one of my favourite artists, and a great deal of my own art includes butterflies. I started by layering the transparencies over each other, but nothing was clicking, so I turned to creating with other things that make my heart sing : stencils and swirls - inspired by the beach photo above
Loving that and immediately inspired to add my 2 other transparency images and my weekly journaling block with gold pen (click on any photo to see it larger)
I also love layering - serviettes and paint in Klimt-inspired shapes came next
followed by tape and ribbon
Texture makes my heart sing, and doodles add more layers and pull the Klimt inspiration right across the spread
And now I've created an art journal spread that makes my heart sing with happiness when I look at it - challenge answered :-)
Click on the photo to enjoy it larger or see it in the Flickr album I've created for all my Documented Life 2015 spreads HERE. You can see all my posts about this project HERE.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Week 36 : DLP 2015

Information about the FREE weekly Documented Life project is HERE. Welcoming September with a new challenge for the month :
and the first week's challenge :
Spring is a time for me to get back on track in a number of ways. I've been thinking a lot about my health and well-being. Yesterday I decided to make myself a checklist of things I need to do to get back to where I was at the beginning of the year. I included images from some work I did last year :
So this art journal spread followed with my mind on making healthier choices, getting back to running on alternate days to the gym, and looking forward to Summer sun. I started, therefore, with a mix of orange and yellow paint applied with a wet wipe, then added white through one of my favourite stencils.
I've tried a few different methods of transfers in my time - most successfully. Click HERE to see all my blog entries on that subject. This time I wanted to just use what I had on hand, so that was my inkjet printer and transparencies. I successfully printed some photos onto my inkjet transparencies
I reversed the printing of words, but as I applied my first image to the background and went to check if it was transferring, the gel medium just started to tear my background :-(
Not sure if it was the cheap gel medium, or my surface - I had a bit more success transferring using mod podge onto an inky paper, but didn't want to risk further in my journal, so I just went ahead and glued the transparencies down, adding some tape as well for interest.
I wanted my other quote to stand out against the background, so drew on the back of the transparency with a black permanent marker to enhance the yellow letters
The photo of me is from January - a few kgs lighter than now - that's the "here to there" part of the prompt - my aim over the next few months is to get back to there on the scales (hopefully even lower if I can manage that), and I'm looking forward to sunshine there in my days as well.
I loved how much the white looked against the orange, so completed the page simply with favourite white pen doodles
And here's the spread all finished
Click on the photo to enjoy it larger or see it in the Flickr album I've created for all my Documented Life 2015 spreads HERE. You can see all my posts about this project HERE.  And I'm pleased to say that also brings me back on track with being up-to-date with Documented Life - this coming week I'll be working on this week's challenge! Hope you get some creative play this week and that the sun shines where you are.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Week 35 : DLP 2015

Information about the FREE weekly Documented Life Project is HERE
Since this next challenge was to do a self-portrait, I was tempted to skip it! Then I realised that I could use my handmade stencil of my face again. 
First made and used in Week 2, I re-used it in Week 13 to different effect. Let's see what I make of it this time...
First I wanted to have a quick and easy background, so glued down Tim Holtz tissue : 
I love butterflies, music, and wanted to talk about memories in my journaling so this fitted my page well. Normally I wouldn't lay this down for my entire background, but worked for me this week since I am behind yet again {sigh}.
Then I obviously needed colour - used twinkling H2Os, and then painted clear gesso over the top so that I would have that layer protected for whatever I decided to do next. Click on any photo to see it larger.
Next was the stencil - I wanted to keep it ethereal to start with, so painted some more twinkling H2O to just give the shape of the face
I added lead pencil next to give definition to the features and curl to the hair.
Also some red to the lips, and decided to add purple acrylic paint to the body as a journaling area. I knew I had quite a gap to fill on the other side of the page. First I added some white gesso to tone down where my daily journaling block would be
then I found this tag that I had originally created as a possible addition to Week 7
I added some blue twinkling H2O to blend it with my new background, and the purple fabric and stamped flower bring that colour across my spread
Her face was looking a bit blue, so I added some pink acrylic and pen detailing to her features
This face evolved from the stencil that I made and I do like the effect of the tissue elements still being visible, and the placment of the butterfly. Although I haven't ended up with self portrait, with my journal prompt complete, I'm happy to call this spread done
Click on the photo to enjoy it larger or see it in the Flickr album I've created for all my Documented Life 2015 spreads HERE. You can see all my posts about this project HERE.
And that's the end of the August Face challenges - will try and get September's first challenge done in the next few days so I'm up to date again. Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Spring Inspirations

The 1st of September has been and gone, and although we started with rain and cool temperatures, it IS starting to warm up during the day. I've taken the winter duvet off our bed, and I am dying to swap out my winter wardrobe for lighter summery colours and bare legs, but based on past years' experience I think I'll have to wait for the Spring equinox as the turning point for spring weather : roll on 23rd September.
I love Spring - it's full of new hope, it's warming up, we are moving towards more daylight hours.
2 weeks of school holidays for us at the end of September. Looking forward to a lovely family adventure in Rotorua...this will be our view {sighs happily in anticipation}
- we went last October with friends, and now we're taking the boys. 
Daylight Savings will begin at the end of this month - YAY. More daylight hours = more fun outside and in the studio.
Hopefully as the weather warms up we'll also spend more time here :
I often have a bit of a down time artistically in winter, and Spring is a time of renewed enthusiasm and a push to complete projects - there's still plenty of this year left....
I need to get onto this quilt top
 - maybe that's a spring holdiay project. 
I'm quite excited that I've been asked to teach an art class at our public library's Local History Week! This month I'm working on a project that will be called Bringing History Alive Artfully and I'll share my sample soon. Hopefully get enough interest to run this in November...
If you're looking for fresh online class inspiration for your Spring or Autumn/Fall - these are new offerings ::
Brave Girl University is a new initiative from the Brave Girls Club
- doors opened 1st September 2015, and they offer a wide variety of teachers and workshops for US$24.95 per month. Read more about the offerings HERE
The next FREE Strathmore Workshop started today. This one's about hand lettering and calligraphy - get all the info HERE.
You can join and participate in this workshop until Dec 31, 2015.
Also today - announcements about new Life Book 2016!!
I'm still loving Life Book 2015, even though I haven't had a chance to keep up with the lessons this past month or so. You can save all the videos and PDFs for later reference, and seeing the new offerings every week keeps creativity central to my life. There are many new teachers for Life Book 2016 - just reading the list provides plenty of new inspiration - I'm discoving artists I didn't know! There are going to be lots of opportunities to win a space by commenting on the blog hop, and there is also the chance to apply for a scholarship! Read all about it HERE.
Hope the sun is shining and you're getting time to create where you are.
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