Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Work Diary : back to school

This week it's the official end of Summer School Holidays for us. I am sooo lucky to work at a school library which means I get holidays off with my boys. I'm back on Thursday with my first Teacher Only Day when I organise the library and update the computer system ready for busy-ness to resume Day 1 of the term. Each year I like to personalise my work diary. This post has links to each diary below.
This year I started with a hot pink base which was fun, and I decided to add a piece of my art to the cover as I have the last couple of years. This is one of my favourites created this month : 
I adjusted the colour just a little to highlight the pink already on her face, and printed it on photo paper. Needed to add elements of SHINE as well ♥
I love using tape - the bottom piece was made on a gelli plate - see how HERE. Store on baking paper and it lasts with some of the sticky until you need it. I do use gel medium to attach though to make sure it stays stuck. I also love adding tape to the edges of pages - I tape around the weeks of school holidays to separate the terms
Very simple this year, but it helps to add some art joy at work ♥

Sunday, January 28, 2018

#52stamps : Week 4

The challenge = to share at least one new stamp made by me weekly in 2018. I've been using some of my new stamps on journal pages. This is my open heart and SHINE on the page I shared yesterday
I recently created this page in my journal and enjoyed all the different kinds of mark making, including stamping
I used my "oops" stamp from week 1 in the background here
This week I've been thinking about what I'd like as additional background stamps and what I've already got in my collection that might inspire more ideas. I love these 3 stamps I made and use them regularly 
Also as I rummaged through my hand-carved stamps I found a few that haven't been carved on the back...so now I have plenty of food for inspiration for continuing on into Feb as well. First I rescued one that had 'gone wrong' - uneven crosses will be cool in a background, and then I most wanted a larger curvy border stamp (I just need to make sure to ink this one up properly) : 
These are very imperfect. I am reminding myself that I am aiming for this! Hopefully appearing in an art journal page soon ♥
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 27, 2018

Book of Days : MDS

This page was created over several days and is thus called a multi-day spread (MDS). As you will know if you've been reading my blog, I've had a tough couple of weeks with my Dad's cancer becoming active. He was hospitalised last week with general unwellness, but we celebrated him going home again on Thursday. There are different feelings expressed in each section. My word is SHINE and I will continue to do that however I can, whatever this year may bring. I began with a couple of my newly created hand carved stamps : SHINE and open heart
And my first section was about being strong together - my heart stamp represents courage and strength in love. 
Then I moved to playing with watercolours. Water is really important to me so that influenced my colours. It was fun to add doodles inspired by how the colours had moved
and then to add additional fun with extra doodles and touches of white and gold, as well as a couple of key words for this section
We are going in our pool pretty much every day (often more than once) at the moment, and I swear that every day I see a Monarch butterfly ♥
Next section was honouring a day when my emotions spilled over - tears can be a release and are to be expected in times of high stress. I love how she turned out
And love even more that when I blocked in colour for the last section it looks like her garment
This last section is for hope - lovely stars seemed fitting symbols and tie back nicely to my word SHINE.
Here's my completed MDS - really happy with how it turned out and that it looks artful while also being a personal reflection of my past week.
You can sign up for this and other classes by Effy Wild HERE. See my Flickr album of all art work inspired by Effy's classes HERE.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Grateful for family

This was another prompt from the Grateful HeART Journal online class with Alisa Burke. I shared my initial pages inspired by this class HEREThe pages I am sharing in this post are in my Inner Work journal rather than my art journal. This is a place where I do a lot of personal written journaling, and these prompts are very personal rather than artistic. I am sharing these pages for inspiration. We are on a journey with my father as he deals with cancer and I decided to honour him in my first attempt at this prompt. This photo is from his birthday last January
It was really lovely to think of all the wonderful words I can use to describe my Dad ♥ 
I really enjoyed the effect of using white pen over black paint so did another page to celebrate my family of boys using a favourite photo taken last year at my 50th birthday.
I am so grateful for the relationships I have with my lovely family. Counting my blessings, it occurs to me I could probably do a whole journal like this including other members of my family circle and my supportive friends. My husband and I celebrate 26 years of marriage today. He is my partner and my best friend, and I don't know what I did to deserve him but I am so grateful he is beside me every step of the way. Think about who you are grateful for today and then go and tell them ♥
You can still purchase the Grateful HeART Journal class HERE

Sunday, January 21, 2018

#52stamps : Week 3

The challenge = to share at least one new stamp made by me weekly in 2018. This week has been a tough one. We are supporting my father as he enters the next stage of his journey with cancer. There are many unknowns, we are taking it one day at a time, and I am so happy I have art as a regular practice of self-care, sometimes a meditative exercise, as a way to feel calm, and as a lovely escape. With all this in mind, I decided what I needed to make was an open heart that represents courage and strength. Often in my art, I draw a heart like this : 
I love including the spiral - the koru shape represents new life, growth, strength and peace. So this is my stamp for Week 3 : open heart - enfolding - courage - LOVE
Embracing my naiive imperfect style ♥ Take that, inner critic! 
While I have a number of heart stamps in my collection, this is a lovely new addition. And I didn't carve off the edges because I can carve on the back at some stage.
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. 

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 ♥ 
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