Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Artfully Abstracted

Next up for me in Joanne Sharpe's Letter Love course has been Lesson 11 : Artfully Abstracted.
Started with a cursive writing of our name
Here it is with the doodling, artful abstractions, and the start of colour
Joanne demonstrated her watercolour techniques on 2 different kinds of paper. I decided I should do a little test page in my journal to see how that paper takes the different kinds of watercolours that I have (unfortunately got a bit messy when I added sprays)
Will add to this - would like to try some watercolour pencils and have heard good things about Derwent Inktense Pencils. I have a birthday coming up - if you like these ones or can recommend other watersoluble pencils you use and like please comment.
Decided for this project I most liked my Twinkling H2Os (I have a small set of 6 colours and may need more!) and my koh-i-noor palette set. Loving the outcome
If you click on the picture to see it larger you should be able to pick out some shimmery parts that were done with the H2Os. No prizes for guessing what technique I'm using for my June calendar challenge on Friday!
Still thinking about registering for Alisa Burke's new Doodle Delight online course. This post (video included) has me thinking I must!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Back to Letter Love

Very excited to be back doing the Letter Love workshop with Joanne Sharpe. I started this course in February, but only got as far as Lesson 10. This is where I left Letter Love in March before 30 Days of Lists completely took over!
Decided it would be good for me to restart where I left off with another go at Lesson 10 : Delightfully Doodled Alphas 
Now I'm looking forward to more experimenting and learning as I move through lessons 11 to 29.
Joanne Sharpe has a DVD coming out soon - check it out here.
And if you want to get your doodle on, Alisa Burke has a new online class called Doodle Delight. Very tempted by this one....usually US$40, on special for US$30 May 28-June 3. Might see you there!!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Tape book

One of the challenges I set myself this year was to create a book a month. Managed that for January and February. March was spent filling the book I created in February. April was school holidays, moving the studio, and preparing for the Tote & Gloat display. But I have managed to create a book this month.
I've had fun making my own "washi" tapes in the past and recently I was reinspired by Jennibellie to make more tape AND a book to hold it in.
These are the new tapes I made - coloured some with sprays and some with watercolours. All stamped designs this time - border stamps are brilliant for this kind of project
And they end up being stored inside the book like this.
My book started out as this box - great to recycle. 
Covered inside & out with papers. This is the inside before adding the pages
Here it is with pages inside
View of the spine showing binding
And wrapped to close.
Really enjoyed this project - fun to do and a useful end result.
A big thanks to Jennibellie who has so many inspiring ideas and is so generous in sharing her techniques.
Check out this post from Chykalophia for some ways to use washi tape that you maybe haven't thought of.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Play time

Went to my friend's yesterday for a play day. I'm wanting to do an indian-themed piece so with that in my head, we tried out a few new techniques that have left us all inspired & wanting to try more.
Had to use melted beeswax again - it smells so lovely and gives a special look to papers.
I rubbed metallic paint through a sweet wee henna hand stencil onto some Trade Aid Handmade paper, and the other is a piece of serviette glued to a tag.
This is the cool henna hands stencil from Crafters Workshop designed by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer that my friend has. Used it for the next experiment too.
I've always wanted to try pushing modeling paste through a stencil:
Like this look, LOVE the next one
-- the texture is yummy. The modeling paste needs to be painted and I'll show you where this piece ends up.
Maggie Grey is hugely talented and experimental. This book has the added bonus of free online classes if you buy the book!
One of those classes guided us through our last experiments of the day. We started with paper castings - another Maggie Grey technique which I shared with you here - which we glued to pelmet vilene.
Then we added gesso and sprinkled salt onto that
Followed by a slightly watered down mix of Quink Ink, and finally highlighted with metallic rub-ons
Very interesting that we used 2 different brands of modeling paste, and one yielded a bluer tone than the other. Check out another example of Maggie Grey's using quink ink over white emulsion paint here. Cool huh?
What have you been experimenting with lately?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Bits and pieces

Been wanting to get back to the inky file folder goodness of the online Mixed Media Mayhem workshop which I began last year. During the week I managed to pull out the folders I've created so far
re-watched an online lesson or 2 - cos you have access to the class forever :-) - and glued some of my underpapers onto the back of one of the folders to complete another side
Loving the serendipitous nature of the papers created. They create themselves by having newsprint under and around your art as you spray, and by pressing the leftover ink from stencils onto them as well.
This week I've been inspired in the bloggy world by ::
Jacqui's gorgeous junk journal
Elvie's tutorial on making paper flowers (out of wee hearts - sweet)
Paisley Fever from Jane LaFazio

Lovely to see progress with Jude's Magic Feather Project - she has a couple from me.
And I've newly discovered the blog of Helen Lehndorf - I know her in person, but didn't know about her blog. She writes wonderful poetry - check out her book here
Her blog is a wonderful mix of articulate writing, gardening, photographs, creative goodness, op-shoppy finds and textiles. I'm now totally inspired by Mattresses in Second Hand Shops and this fair looks great.
Hopefully there's something in this post to inspire you...have a creative weekend.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Lovely books

I don't often buy books - working at the library gives me easy access to a fantastic variety, but lately I've had to succumb to some purchases.
This first is to feed my lettering habit.
Get a preview of what's inside here. As well as lettering it has great ideas for doodles including borders, flowers and other simple patterning ideas. It's good for me as a beginner doodler! Check out some of Joanne Fink's work here. She also has some great free video lessons and step by step drawing instructions here
This other purchase is going to be hugely useful for me
Here's a sneak preview inside at a couple of pages.
As you can see, many applications for quilting designs, stamp carving, doodling... you get the idea.
Highly recommended.
And my most recent fiction read was lovely - check it out at your library :-) 

Friday, May 11, 2012


Made with love by me for special people
Love this quote from the book "When God was a Rabbit" by Sarah Winman.
She'd made the card herself, something she always did because she was keen on crafts, and whenever she came to school with glue or glitter in her hair everyone knew she'd been making something - birthday cards or Christmas cards - and everyone secretly hoped to be the lucky recipient of those laughed-at creative efforts because they were good and they spoke loud, for they said "You are special. I have chosen you."

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sari ribbon slow cloth

At last my hand stitched sari ribbon piece is complete
See how it started here. Got a bit stuck with it 1/2 way through so took a photo of it, and printed it out in black and white. Then doodled on it one night with a pen repeating ideas of stitching and that became my pattern. (if you click on the pic below you can properly see the pen ideas drawn on the photocopy)
Will use this idea again if I become stuck.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Tote and Gloat

On Saturday our local Quilt Club (Rose City Quilters) had its annual show and tell event. There is a big morning session of showing quilts which are then displayed, and we have a guest speaker, shops and guest exhibitors.
This year my friend Katherine and I were asked to exhibit some of our mixed media fibre art. This is what our display looked like.
There's always plenty of inspiration to be had at these shows. There's  a quilt challenge set for club members....remember this piece of floral fabric when I showed you round my studio?
Unfortunately it hung on my design wall for inspiration but never got made into anything...others made lovely quilts with it. These are my 4 fav ones.
by Anne Adams
by Sonja Revell
by Dianne Southey
by Caroline Noaro
So talented - you won't be surprised to learn that all of the above won prizes.
And of course I had to make a few wee purchases.
I'm looking for a new hand stitching project and am thinking these will be lovely together
I'm also keen on doing something Indian-inspired in the future, so these threads will be perfect.
Next time I'll show you my woven sari ribbon piece finally finished.
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