Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Klimt in the Garden with Rumi in Hawaii

This month's Rumi quote is about being grounded in the present moment. This month I'm on Summer school holidays. I had 11 nights in Hawaii with my family, so my initial thoughts for inspiration are Hibiscus and Plumeria flowers, pineapples, the beach and colours of turquoise and gold. Let's see what I can gather first - remembering that my base watercolour card is a 5 3/4" square. 
I always start with lots knowing I won't use it all, but now I'm thinking this might be a month where I do a card AND something in my art journal. My fabrics are very cool but Effy used a monochromatic palette and my gatherings are far away from that....
OMG - I just found this piece with Hawaiian holiday flamingoes in my multi-coloured fabrics. I think it might be my backing...
To get started I got some gorgeous inks for Christmas 
so used them (except the white) over gold for the background as I did for the first project card
I started layering using machine stitching in gold thread as a nod to Klimt
and then hand stitching around the Rumi quote and to attach special pieces. I don't think the card is overtly Hawaiian but the rooster will remind me of the chickens we saw roaming around and hibiscus flowers were everywhere
I love the wee button which is from my grandmother's stash and reminds me of the colours and patterning in our hotel in Maui
Other touches of Klimt in the garden = as well as the floral selections, when trying to decide on fabrics I went with the spirals and gold.
This is very much a mixed media piece - the base is watercolour paper, the quote and hibiscus flower printed on recycled book paper, a mix of cotton and sari silk for the fabrics plus various embellishments. 
I'm dating the backs of these cards on the fabric with Micron Pigma pen
I've ended up with Klimt in the garden with Rumi beside the beach in Hawaii ♥ 
Grateful for sunshine, grateful for summer holidays, grateful for memories of happy family times, grateful for being right where I am in this moment.
I decided I liked the fonts/format of the quote I did on my first piece so have printed all of the year's quotes in the same way on some old recycled book paper. I like how the paper tears and it will give an element of continuity to these art cards. Here are my first 2 cards together : 
Read about the beginnings of this project HERE. Find out more about the "A Year with Rumi" class with Effy Wild HEREYou can also enjoy this class by joining Effy's Patreon account and paying monthly.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

First spread in my new altered art journal

I shared my new art journal yesterday and as promised, today I'm sharing my first spread inspired by the Opening Ceremonies lesson from Effy Wild (Book of Days 2019) and my word of the year. I began with a photo taken earlier this month. I chose it because it's not staged, just me enjoying life and how I am as I start the year. I printed it on some nice 'white linen' 160gsm card through my printer - I like the texture better than plain printer paper. I didn't start with a colour scheme in mind but LOVE this pink tapa tape so began with that
and then had to choose an envelope to fit in the gap - nice textured creamy white and I'm heading for a very pretty colour scheme. Problem - the narrow pink washi is very sticky and keeps tearing...use your good stuff before it starts not working properly! I managed to tape where I needed to on the envelope, and all the bits I had to tear off I just popped in the background - they'll give texture and show through subsequent layers - or not - doesn't really matter cos they might as well be there as in the bin!
And when I closed the photo flap I decided I just have to keep those words ♥
I put some clear gesso over those and then started with my paint. Trying a different colour scheme....Design Seeds is great for new colour combination inspirations
Although the white tapa stencil improves this I am really not loving it so far...at least it's a nice light background. Let's see if my lovely new stencil can improve things
Yep - instant improvement! Contrast of darker colour as well as loving the patterning
- more to be done yet though. I decided I'd tidy my table while I thought about next steps and realised that I can't see any of that gorgeous tapa tape here. Once that vibrant colour was added back I started to love this and decided to add some simple stitching to the flap for some added texture. Feeling very happy about the direction of this spread now....
You can click on any photo to see it larger. White dots add light (SHINE) and make me happy
If you read my post about my word, you'll know that I'm keeping with Shine (this is my third year) with an emphasis on Ease. Inside my envelope I've tucked a printable of my SHINE focus words and how I will invite in Ease this year (taken from my blog post) : 
Found words appear often in my work - these are from a large print dictionary
I love the dark print on white background and I'm pleased to share my finished spread
A different colour scheme for me, and a lovely way to start my new journal and my year.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

My Word for 2019 and introducing my new art journal

While I've followed the practice of choosing a word of the year for about 10 years now, I wasn't looking for a new word this year. I've had SHINE for the last 2 years and I think it's with me for life ♥ but while watching Effy Wild's first live broadcast for 2019, she mentioned the word EASE and my heart answered. This year I am looking for lightness, self-care and compassion. I want to slow down and practice gratitude for what I already have. I love Kiala Givehand's recent blogpost where she explains about a Depth year for 2019 - going Deeper, not Wider. It really resonates with me and supports my intention of inviting Ease. You can read it HERE
In my past practice I've focused on a word for each letter of Shine and this year I'm really excited by my change of focus words
My Word for 2019 is SHINE with a focus on EASE
S = Self-care 
Stitch and make Art - do what recharges me
Develop relationships - support others and accept support 
Believe in myself
Share - I'm an extrovert so this also recharges me
H = Healthy
Good eating + Gym habit = Energised
Be mindful
Reflection = improvements to habits
Nurture body and Soul
I = Inner Work
Self-care and self-compassion
Continue to explore my intuition and inner wisdom via Tarot and Oracle cards
N = Notice
Embrace joy - seek it out - sit with it
Practice gratitude and love
Be mindful
E = Ease
A gentle approach - self-compassion
Following the path that feels good for me
Letting go of the unrealistic expectations I wouldn't hold for others
Making space for silence 
Going deeper, not wider - finding value in what I already have 

And the day after I'd decided all that, Victoria Erickson (huge fan here) posted this poem ♥

I began the year with gratitude and ease - read about my family holiday in Hawaii HERE. Now I'm ready to begin 2019 with a new art journal. I loved working in my previous altered book so much, I decided to go with another recycled old book. Trying to use what I already have, I looked in my stash and had 2 choices 
love the cover design of the Girls' Treasury without alteration but it's just too small for me this year. The book that I've chosen is still quite a bit smaller than my previous journal but it's good to be stretched in different ways, and if I do as many stitching projects as I intend to this year, it will be great to spend less time filling smaller pages in my art journal! 
The new pages measure 7 1/4" x 9 3/4" (18.5cm x 24.5cm) and they are old-fashioned thick ♥
Given my previous journal ended up bulging, I've already taken out some signatures. There's a mix of glue and stitched signatures. In places, I clipped the stitching and lifted a folio of 3 folded sheets out before taping over the seam left
I have pulled out 6 signatures of 3 folios each = a total of 72 pages. In my book I still have 82 pages so I've removed about half. 
That stack of signatures is ready to be turned into another journal in the future ♥
I have left the damaged top of the spine at this stage (you can see the exposed glued signatures) in case I need to split the spine and rebind as I did in my last journal
I usually save doing my cover art until I complete the journal. See details of my previous journal cover completed HERE
My new journal will contain my art from Effy's Book of Days 2019 (which is a collaborative this year) and may contain some interpretations also from Year of Rumi, although I have a different project in mind for that class : Klimt in the Garden with Rumi. Despite my initial trepidation about beginning a new journal of such different dimensions, after preparing it all I couldn't wait to get started. 
My first art journal spread is inspired by the Opening Ceremonies lesson from Effy Wild focused on our word of the year. This post would be huge if I went on to share the full story of my first spread so check back for that tomorrow...
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