Thursday, September 30, 2010

Snapshots of Yesterday

I really like the idea of the project that Ali Edwards has done the past few years where you capture "A Week in the Life" of you - you consciously take photos of your ordinary experiences so you can look back and remember the usual stuff, instead of just the 'occasions' that we tend to photograph. With that in mind, I decided to take some pics of our yesterday to share with you : The remains of building a hut in the loungeMorning snacksTulips in our garden (some raindrops on them today after the sunshine-filled day yesterday)Screen time - we have limits on screens - one hour after school during school weekdays, and 2 hours weekends/hols (depending on the weather). This can be allocated as they choose on the TV, computer or X-Box. They can earn more screen time by reading or by really good behaviour."Bad Jelly" on CD is a firm fav.I am onto book 3, "Lake in the Clouds" of Sara Donati's Wilderness series.Getting another applique block together while boys are otherwise occupied.
The Trampoline- the best present we bought for Xmas a few years ago now.Twilight cricket - this was taken at 7.15pm. I love daylight savings.And thought I would photograph the rest of our family : Penny - she is almost 18 years old now - quite an old lady. Baxter - almost 3 years old - still puppy-ish in some ways. I am not a dog person but the kids love him.
I completed the BlackCurrants applique block once the boys were in bed.
And now I have a memory of a typical ordinary day in the hols which I can look back on in 6 months or 12 months or 6 years :-)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New Fabric and Journalling

Hi everyone - school holidays for us in NZ, and we have had lovely sunshine in Palmy North for the past 2 days - my cheeks are pink from the sun, and I was wearing a t-shirt and baring my legs today! Summer is on its way....
Last night it was our Rose City Quilters meeting - and I got a wee prize for my merit award for my guitars quilt. A moda tin and a pattern :Inside the tin - lovely fabric - 40 strips on each side of the tin, all measuring 2 1/2" x 5". The pattern included uses 2 1/2" strips. Happily for me - the fabric is right up my alley....I already have this other moda (and similar) fabric in my stashThe new tin of pieces will hopefully inspire me to make a quilt from these very this space (but it is the school hols, so don't expect anything in the next 2 weeks!)
I have also been thinking about doing some more art journalling - so I managed a page today.One of the great things about blogging is that, for me at least, it inspires me to create so that I have stuff to post! Will be working on my next applique block tonight.
Talk to you again soon.....

Friday, September 24, 2010

More Cards and Friday Inspirations

This week - another applique block fused - plums this time. This brings the count up to 6 done - 3 to go. And I finished 10 more heart & butterfly cards. These are blanks ready for 'found' words as per my last post. Onto what I've been reading. I first read Lionel Shriver some months ago. "We need to talk about Kevin" is sensitively written - I found the characters interesting, and the story told in flashbacks compelling. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get into others she's written. I didn't make it past the first 50 pages of "Game Control". And I've been trying to read "So Much for That" this week, and have got through the first 100 pages. The subject of the book should have been interesting, but there was too much political soap-boxing for me. I suspect that I won't make it much further, and instead these will become my focus this weekend : I have just started re-reading this series by Sara Donati. The first is "Into the Wilderness". I have read the first 3 books before, but it is now a complete series of 6. It has been awhile since I read the first ones, so it is a pleasure to rediscover characters and plots, knowing I will enjoy it, but not remembering exactly what comes next. I love Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" series, and this is a similar pleasure - historically accurate setting and events, strong and sympathtic characters, and interesting plot.
Some good blog inspiration this week:
Patti Van Dorin's blog often inspires, and this week she has been sharing old journal pages.
Carole Brungar is a fellow Palmerston North blogger - she shared a tutorial on making quick and easy journal/book covers - her examples are colourful and inspiring.
I suspect I will be getting back into Art Journalling again very soon - this link will take you to a page of quick tutorials/ideas from Debbie Hodge to get you, as well as me :-), inspired again.
And for a more general dose of arty inspiration, go to this Cloth Paper Scissors blogpost with 14 days of Art Prompts plus lots more in the comments made by other readers.
Happy weekend - and Happy holidays if you are in NZ with school-age kids :-)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Hearts and Butterflies

I have been meaning to make some cards for a while now. My favourite things to use in my art work are hearts, butterflies, swirls, music, and texts. This week I had 2 birthdays and a graduation to celebrate, so I sat down one afternoon and created these. The above 2 are the birthday cards, and below are the graduation card on the left, and my 'spare' on the right.I am so pleased with the way these turned out that I am going to create a series of blanks like my 'spare' in a variety of colours and variations on the design, and add the words later as occasions arise. I love using found text - I bought a couple of old large print books (romances I think so good 'feelings' words) at the last library book sale, and now have a great stash of meaningful words which I can apply. You can create poetry or phrases with them. These are the insides of the current cards. I will share more as I create them.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Tissue Fabric and Friday Inspirations

We are having a wet spring - lots of time for reading/crafting/watching - the garden is way too soggy to work in, and I don't fancy doing too much walking in the rain. Was sunny this morning to walk to the boys to school, but the predicted storm has started so it will be pickup in the car.
I am inspired by Rebekah Meier's techniques and was very happy to get her book for my birthday. It has sat on my bookshelf for a while, but at last I have tried one of the techniques in there - it is called Tissue Fabric, and she has photos of some pieces on her blog and here. These are my steps so far : First the torn tissues sandwiched between 2 layers of fusible - I have peeled back the top release paper here.
Top release paper removed. The top is sticky enough to add things like foil or angelina fibres if you wish.
I then painted it with watered-down blue acrylic paint, and then added some green-gold metallic paint for sparkle - not sure that I need to add any foil now. This has been ironed to cotton fabric which has now become the base. The result is stitchable, and is much softer than fabric paper. I will continue to experiment with this.Onto what I'm watching - Craig and I love this series and have been watching the old seasons from the library. We are about 1/2 way through season 3.
My brother was lovely and came to look after the kids so that we finally got to see this movie. Still thinking about it - lots in it.Scored well at a sale at the DVD shop the other day - we have plenty to watch for a wet weekend (or 3!!) Enjoying reading this - an old man reminiscing about his days working in a circus
And Katherine loaned me this wonderful book. It is now on my Xmas list! Click on the cover to go to a view of the pages within on Amazon .
Blog love this week :
Divine combination of Ruth Rae and e.e.cummings here
Take a look at a couple of free 10 min shows presented by Linda Kemshall - I found her talking about where she finds and captures inspiration for projects particularly inspiring.
Angie Hughes continues to inspire with this new work.
Hope you have time to create this weekend.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Distress Inks and Embossing

Lucky me - my lovely friend Katherine and I had a Play day yesterday. These are what I made.The velvet samples are embossed velvet using the techniques shared by Jacinta Leishman on her blog in this post. We followed her instructions and created some lovely samples.
The only thing we found that differed from her advice was that we tried indian woodblocks with great success! (see the spirally one above) A fabulous technique to try again - click here for her follow-up post where she shares her BEAUTIFUL embossed velvet book.
For the rest of the day, we were exploring some of the techniques from this book by Tim Holtz.Distress Ink Pads are a Ranger product - more info here - they are lovely to work with since they blend really well, and stay wet a bit longer so you can create interesting effects. The colours are also very yummy. First experiment was water stamping - basically you ink the card, put an embossing stamp pad onto a stamp and then mist it with water. Once you stamp it on the inked background you dry it with a heat gun and the image fades like bleach. I should note here that I used watercolour paper which meant the ink didn't blend as well. Katherine's background is much more subtle, and I learned that lesson and used smoother paper for the rest of the experiments.Next was inking the paper followed by stamping an image with Embossing ink and applying clear embossing powder. Once this was heated and cooled, we re-inked over the top with a different colour. Then ironed it with newsprint so it stopped being shiny. Mine turned out really well because there was good contrast between my first and second ink colours. It is yummy in person.We tried applying acrylic paint to a stamp next, and then inked over so that acted as a resist. Didn't really think that was anything different from similar 'resist' techniques we've tried, but a good reminder of a nice effect.
Using Distress Embossing Powder was the last technique. You stamp the image with embossing ink, and then use the Distress Embossing Powder as usual, followed by inking with the Distress Ink. These turned out fabulously.
I wondered what the difference really was between distress embossing powder and others, and did a test with some silver....I really like the distress embossing powder because it is not shiny. Nice to have different options for different effects.
If you like these techniques, also click here to get to the Tutorials on the Ranger site for making cards - some of the projects there use distress inks and embossing powders.
Have fun :-)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Lutradur Gift Box

Inspired once more by Ineke Berlyn's book This lutradur sample layered with fusible web (from this post)became this gift boxSmall metal butterflies complete the sides. Looking down on the topIt stands 14 cm high, and the base edges are 7 cm. This was so much fun to make - lutradur doesn't fray so it was just a matter of fusing 2 layers together to get the right weight, and then embellishing with the fusible web and decorative stitching with metallic thread. The cords are several strands of fibres zigzagged over with the same metallic thread.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

This Week's Inspiration

Another busy week - Craig & Jacob (husband and 10-yr-old) have gone to Taupo for a rugby weekend representing Kia Toa Club under-10s. We have everything crossed for them. They have trained and fund-raised really hard so deserve to come home with some success.
I am almost completely through my training at the library. It is great to be reunited with the staff, the members of the public, and the skills that seem to be coming back to my finger-tips.
Got some lovely mail from Martha Brown this week - gorgeous tag and handmade card. I have made some wonderful friends through blogging :-)A couple of good reads this week. "The Glass Castle" is a novel written with sensitivity about a childhood of poverty. I really enjoyed it despite the sad subject matter - some of the actions of her parents are just maddening, but the writer didn't give up on her parents as early as I did!
I so enjoyed Kelly Corrigan's book "The Middle Place" that I was excited to read "Lift" - a memoir for her children. It is a short book, and once again, well-written. Not as wonderful as her first, but if you are a mother, there is lots in here that will speak to you (and the cover is just wonderful - have I mentioned I love butterflies?!)
Onto some blog love for the week :
Priscilla Jones was a new discovery for me this week - she produces simply beautiful contemporary mixed media stitched pieces. Click here for her flickr photostream.
Very cool art on a board from Martha Lever this week.
Temptation in the form of a new dvd by Angie Hughes about her beautiful techniques with velvet - YouTube preview available Source for this DVD with lots of other temptations there....and their blog looks to have lots of inspiration too. Hope you have an inspiration-filled weekend. Talk to you again soon.
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