Friday, January 19, 2018

Gratitude journal pages

One of the things I want to do this year is work on uncompleted classes I've purchased previously.  One of these is the Grateful HeART Journal with Alisa Burke.
While I don't want to create another journal this year, one of my supporting words for SHINE is gratitude
I thought it would be cool to do some pages in my Inner Work Journal inspired by some of the class prompts. Grateful Heart Journal is structured in 30 small but inspiring posts. The concept is that you have one simple idea, prompt, inspiration, technique to work through each day for 30 days
The first demo was of a heart and I decided to do that in my large journal as it also fit the prompt for Week 1 : Journal52. You can see that post HERE.
The next prompt was done in my Inner work journal - thinking about what I was grateful for that day and creating a word mandala - note I included my magic stamp
It inspired quite a lot of written journaling as a result which was also helpful.
Then I needed the space of my large journal again. I was feeling a bit down and found it really calming and positive to lay down lovely colours to lift my spirits
Next up some mark making with black and white, and purple seemed a wise choice ♥ It was a meditative process
Then I added my inspirational quote with co-ordinating butterfly = LOVE 
Another simple prompt but the effect of the process helped me change my feelings. 
I am finding this class wonderful - prompts that are easy to respond to and get me creating at times when I don't feel like I have it in me. I am grateful I haven't used this class until now. I need it now more than I did at the time of purchase... You can still purchase the Grateful HeART Journal class HERE. Keep an eye out for when she offers classes on special. 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Journal 52 : Calm

I'm not expecting that I'll respond to the Journal 52 prompts every week, but I'm happy when inspiration strikes and time allows. Effy Wild is so articulate in her writings and this week's prompt got me thinking about what makes me feel calm. Whatever the season, I need Water. I have talked here often about the Beach and how it is my place to re-charge, a place where I find bliss and Shine, where my soul feels rejuvenated. 
The photo above is from my vision board about SHINE last year ♥ Below is a tag from an old journal page which highlighted my love and the effects of being at the beach
We are enjoying Summer holidays in New Zealand - temperatures are high and I am drinking lots more water and swimming in it as well. Rain has arrived at times when we've needed it and it is refreshing and sometimes stirring when accompanied by thunder and lightning storms passing through....In the winter the rain can get me down, but water can still sooth in the form of a hot bath and lovely drinks of strong black coffee in the morning and herbal tea in the evening before bed.
I began with a soothing watery background. Be inspired by Kate Crane's Faux watercolour technique using a gelli plate HERE. Since I'm loving exploring faces at the moment, I decided to have a go at the face shape from the last lesson we've had from Tam in She Blooms. I haven't successfully done a face before which is tilted up looking calm and happy.
Shaded carefully so that you can see her face but with a glazed effect so she's not too separate from the water
LOVE how you can see the elements from the previous layers behind her. Then needed to add words of course
And here she is finished - and I adore her. Art gives me that feeling of bliss and calm too ♥
If you want to join in, find the information about Journal 52 HERE.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

#52stamps : Week 2

My first post about this challenge is HERE. I hope to share at least one new stamp made by me weekly from now on. My word of the year is SHINE and I am hoping to create some Magic this year : 
Things learned this week 
* the blade I used in week one was a little wide, narrower is easier
* I need to SLOW DOWN - when I rush that makes for cuts in the wrong places
* I could keep 'fixing' these but I am embracing the imperfect look 
I free-styled my lettering for Magic (and transferred it by rubbing to transfer pencil to the eraser) but used this stencil for SHINE
It's useful for tracing through since you can reverse the lettering easily. 
I've added a blade to my tool kit - it's useful for cutting ends off that are not needed (utilise for smaller stamps later) and for carving off large bits. I'm also wondering if it might be easier for some carving applications since it is a flat blade...I'll let you know.
I am far from expert but practice = improvement and I am having fun so that's a win. Hoping my imperfection inspires you to have a go at this. My first every post about stamp carving HERE has some useful links and inspiration.
You can see all my posts about #52stamps HERE or you can join in on Instagram. Let me know if you're doing that - would be great to inspire each other ♥ 

Saturday, January 13, 2018

She Blooms in Ink : limited palette

Just completed the lesson for Week 4 of Tam's She Blooms in Ink online class - creating a portrait in a limited colour palette and working in a bit looser inkier way with higher contrast shading. There's a LOT in this lesson and I LOVED this style. As always, began with pencil sketch
And then I started to loosely add inks
Love her already, and she suddenly comes to life with a bit of pen work
I kept the background flowers much simpler this time and am enjoying the white space
and the star on her cheek references my word SHINE without being so explicit this time
I may have to repeat this lesson at some stage - really like how she turned out
This class has been live between Dec 1st 2017 - 12th January 2018 and now reverts to self study. Life long access. Lovely FB group at present. You can register HERE. See all my posts about this class HERE

Friday, January 12, 2018

Journal 52 : Heart

Not expecting I'll complete these prompts every week, but was inspired by a prompt from the Grateful Heart Journal online class with Alisa Burke. Her prompt to create a gratitude heart fit well with the theme for Week 1 of Journal52. This was a simple page creatively but a joyful experience. Brayering down lovely colour - yellow, orange, pink, gold
New stencil ♥
Then I masked my heart shape, added my "found words"
and then wrote everything I'm grateful for right now.
Go HERE for info about Journal 52 in 2018.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

She Blooms in Ink : side profile flower girl

Next challenge in Tam's She Blooms online class is a side profile portrait. I don't use the word challenge lightly! After a some sketching and un-sketching I ended up with this 
Began to add colour and OMG! It's all too strong and I really don't like it but I know hope this is my ugly stage and it will be better by the end....{everything crossed at this point!}
Worked on my face next 
and now I feel like the rest of it is worth further work to make it pretty. Very inspired by my word of the year. I fiddled for quite a while - pen work with the nib end of tombows helped her hair, and doodled details are both fun and unifying
Brayered some white to unify and tone down the background 
and gold in places for extra SHINE
White pen dots for light
Another learning experience for sure - and while frustrated at times, I love the process of working through challenges, trying new options, learning how to "fix" things and finally feeling happy with my finished portrait. 
This class is live between Dec 1st 2017 - 12th January 2018 and then reverts to self study. Life long access. You can register HERE. See all my posts about this class HERE.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

#52stamps : Week 1

"Stamp carving is one of those things I always love to do but don't always prioritise time for." I wrote that to start this blog post and immediately a little voice in my head said "Would it really be that hard to create one new stamp a week?"....I thought about whether this was unrealistic and I decided I will give it a go. It would be so cool to have 52 more stamps to use by the end of the year. When will I do it? It's very portable - as long as the design has been transferred to the stamp (easily done at night) I can carve in the car while waiting for boys + I have a quilt group that meets weekly during term time on a Monday night and I'm always looking at things to do there so that's two easy options. I'll share weekly - hopefully you'll see at least one new one every week. It doesn't have to be expensive once you have the tools : this is mine
and I bought erasers from The Warehouse very cheaply : the pack of 6 small cost $1.50 and the 2-pack was $1 each. Keep an eye out in Dollar stores too to pick up larger erasers
See the end of this post for useful tutorials and inspiration.
As you do with a new project, I started off enthusiastically this week by carving more than one stamp. Because I'm taking Moonshine with Effy Wild I thought it would be really fun to carve some Moon Phase Stamps - inspired by this tutorial
Not perfect but cute right?....from the top : new moon, quarter moon, full moon, another quarter moon (I was trying to improve so tried design again - didn't need to!), one that totally didn't work so carved over it to create a pattern ♥, and a loose star. 6 stamps out of 3 blocks because you can carve both sides. Am inspired by some class mates so hopeful that next week you'll see the words SHINE and Magic.
I'm no expert, but if I keep carving #52stamps I might be better by the end of the year!
My favourite inspirations for stamp carving are Julie Fei-Fan Balzer and Geninne D Zlatkis. Julie's just finished posts about her Carved December challenge and you can see all her stamp carving posts HERE. She's published a book and has online classes on this subject but I can't comment on their content. Geninne published this fab book (see my review HERE
and has a really useful section on her blog with stamp carving tutorials HERE. Please share in the comments if you have other artists that inspire your carving.
You can follow me on Instagram HERE and join in too. Let me know if you're doing that - would be great to inspire each other ♥ See my other posts about stamp carving HERE and my first ever post where I share some other inspiration HERE.
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