Friday, February 28, 2014

Farewell February and a new stencil

I'm not finishing much to post lately except calendar journaling least I am managing 10 minutes art a day. I am stitching as well - just not quite ready to show you that. I bought the large 12 x 12 peacock feather crafters workshop stencil last February and love and have used it often ::
Gelli plate printing
Art journal page
Gelli printed tapes
Last weekend I went to the Craft Fair here in Palmerston North, and found the 6 x 6 version of that stencil. This was a thrifty purchase - not very expensive, and justified because I know it will get lots of use. I came home and used it straight away in my journal with watercolour pencils. 

Started with my inktense pencils and then added some of the graphitint as well - both are watersoluble.
Then removed the stencil and added water for a soft look.
I then used the pencils again to colour the Friday heading and add journal circles. I really like this start to the page. I already had the stitching from the previous page (check out my previous post) and wanted to add more framed journaling spots
so added some stamps
I've been using my sakura metallic pens lately, and had neglected to use my glaze pens. This week I remedied that - the shot above shows their lovely dimension - especially if you click on the photo to enlarge it. Check out these 2 great posts by A Penchant for Paper and Daisy Yellow for more information about the lovely sakura range of pens.
I used them as a rainbow for the Tuesday heading as well, but the purple pen I used here is from Smiggle. Used the peacock feather stencil in yet another way : 
Here's the end of the week, and since today is the end of the month, I finished by journaling onto the next page.  
See you again in March :-)
You can see all my calendar journaling pages in my flickr set HERE

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Watercolour calendar journaling

Last week's calendar journaling started when I sprayed the background for this piece
Once I sprayed over the stencil there was lots of ink remaining on the top.
I pressed this watercolour page over the top of it and this was the lovely effect
I've been wary of sprays bleeding through on the pages, but this didn't, I think because it was a pressing down to catch a bit of colour instead of a spray to really wet the page.
I took a lot of process photos this week so if you are doing a similar project there are some ideas for you - and also a good capturing of ideas for me for future pages.
Started the first day base with watercolour crayons again, this time to make the journaling lines.
Did some gardening on Sunday before it got too hot, so glued down some dried hydrangea petals.
I like to vary how I frame the days and do the headings - these star stickers and lettering stencil help to add variety
I outlined bits of the background sprayed stencil to highlight the pattern as a more obvious element on the page
We have been swimming a lot this week and I wanted to capture some words about that. First made some squares with Twinkling H2Os
then wrote words on the squares using different styles of lettering. I also found the wing in the pool!
This week I finished reading this book
Some great quotes can be found there so I wrote one in the journal, and outlined it with hand stitching. It's a bit hard to read the metallic pen in the photo :: "Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure"
Also been to see "Saving Mr Banks" - a must-see movie. Made me want to research PL Travers life in more detail and re-read the Mary Poppins books :-) Having the photo of the characters will remind me of the movie the minute I open to this page without having to read the diary entry.
A busy week and love the variety of the entire spread. You can seen the making of the left hand page here, and click on any photo to see the images larger.
You can see all my calendar journaling pages in my flickr set HERE.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Trying to get to where I want to be

Very hot summer days here this week and averaging 30 degrees celsius temperatures at my house mean everyone is very hot and sticky and it's hard to do anything when we get home except jump in the pool!
I am now working permanent part-time hours and trying to establish new routines. I'm starting to get there, but there's a major habit I need to change. It's the one where I grab a coffee {or ice block!} and think "I'll just check my email and a few blogs" hour {or sometimes more - let's be honest!} later and sometimes I'm inspired, but more often than not I'm feeling sorry I didn't use that time to do some creating of my own.
I really want to stop doing this, so now when I sit down at my computer I'm faced with this sign prominently on the desk in front of me
It's not pretty, but it reminds me to focus on what I HAVE to do on the computer briefly - even question whether I really want to sit there at all - and then to move on out to my studio 
and re-focus on how I really want to be spending my time. 
What are you going to be doing this weekend?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Watercolour Calendar Journaling

My new watercolour journal has quite large pages (9 x 12 inches) and I've decided I'd rather show them to you individually from now on instead of as a spread. My next page started with some of my gorgeous watersoluble crayons scribbled on the page and then blended with a water brush to lay down some colour. Nothing fancy, but a nice soft background for my daily entries.
Last week included Valentine's day, and although we don't celebrate that personally, it was a thrill for me to arrive at my new work and find some cellophaned heart chocolates with a heart tag that said "Thank you for being a brilliant librarian. Happy Valentines. With love..."  I had to include a photo of this in my journal and used the opportunity to add stitch (see my last post) around the printed photo to attach it to a background piece of paper. 
I'm using my journal to record my days, but also to capture general things I enjoy - it might be a quote, or a book I'm reading, or in this case just capturing a print of a stamp I enjoy using a lot. 
Even when I'm busy, I can usually fit some calendar journaling into my day.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Always Add Stitch

I love to stitch both by hand and with my machine, and while I enjoy creating with fabric, there's a different kind of joy about adding stitch to paper.
I love the texture it gives
- the extra dimension that you can touch
- the difference between machine and hand stitching
- the elements of extra pattern and colour you can add
- and the extra fun of adding layers of fabric to this process.
And while I'm no stranger to combining paper with stitch, and have made this resolution in the past....
somehow I keep forgetting. I've recently made a new sign for my studio desk to remind me - click on the photo to see the stitched details larger
...and it's been working. My last journal page included stitch
there was the Valentines card in the last post, and then I created this tag and added hand stitching before I glued it to the background page in my Full Tilt Boogie journal.
Looking forward to asking the question every time I create a piece of art : How can I include stitch?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Thursday, February 13, 2014

2 Prompts 1 Page

explained last month how I want to complete the remaining pages in my Full Tilt Boogie Journal using the FREE weekly prompts from Journal 52 and The Documented Life Project.
I've been showing you a few pages created from the prompts of Journal 52 but haven't really made a start on the Documented Life Project apart from thinking and printing out a couple of photos for challenges 1 and 2. Happily, this next journal page covers a prompt from each of the challenges!
The prompt for week 5 of Journal 52 was Abstract Art Inspiration and for week 7 of Documented Life Project : Draw one shape - repeat - add colour.
My circles were cut, then layered, before being machine stitched with green thread in a spiral to hold them together and tie them in with the background. They were glued to the background after the stitching.
It's not my usual kind of journal page, but that's what challenges are all about right? I like that I've been able to include different kinds of text and love that it's got me stitching on paper again. More of that soon. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Watercolour Calendar Journaling

The spreads in my new watercolour journal are much larger than my previous journal so I've fitted 10 days onto this one. I'm trying to think of different watercolour techniques to try and add artful touches to the pages.
These flowers were stamped by spritzing a foam stamp with water, then applying neocolor crayons. I stamped with 2 different colours and the image is nice and soft. Enjoying different ways of lettering too. I started my new job last week, and am feeling very happy about the new challenges. The boys are both enjoying school too so at the moment I'm a
Here's the left hand page of the spread. Click on any photo to see it larger.
On the second page I tried the technique of stamping with gel medium to act as a resist and then applying watercolour over the top - in this case I used gelatos.
Loving this effect so much I think I will try it again in future pages. I also like the look of grungy imperfect spray next to the line of pretty tape
I had a wee gap at the bottom of this page, so rather than add another day, I stamped a couple of hibiscus flowers and then outlined and filled them in with a bit of watercolour.
Go & read this post from Daisy Yellow called "Good Enough"
She sums up why I do this daily journaling - in fact, all my creative endeavours - because my life is happier with art in my days :-)
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