Wednesday, July 30, 2014


Small Butterfly mask from Balzer Bits, some spray and other fun bits
Click on the photo to see it larger

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Me Time Messages 2

Last week I shared my cover and envelope #1 from the 6-week workshop on the blog of Miscanthus Craft
Go HERE for the instructions for envelope #2 - here's how mine developed
click on any photo to see it larger
This layer of red paint is a bit messy, but I'm okay with that. Love what the black stamped design layer adds - this is more my style.
Then we had to add a large stamp using paint. On my first side I had too much paint on the stamp, but I like this look
I pressed the wet painted flowers down on a blank journal page to transfer some of the paint that was too blobby - a nice start to another calendar journal page
On the other side of the envelope I used less paint on the stamp = more defined flowers
Then it was time to add some words and images. My focus for my "me time message" inside this envelope was on trying to make healthier food choices and to get back to running as well as the gym (which I have managed to get back to this week). I know I was happier with myself and more energised a month ago before I got sick and my good habits lapsed. Here are the 2 sides of the envelope completed
Looking forward to doing envelope #3 - I haven't looked at the instruction video yet, but the blogpost says "get out your masks and inks" so that sounds very me :-)
Hope you fit some creativity into your week.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Watercolour Calendar Journaling

This calendar spread continued my birthday week theme with more celebrations (the butterfly was a label on one of my gifts) and I got my creative mojo back. This time I sprayed through a stencil for lovely background colour and used another fav technique of found words from a large print book. 
click on any photo to see it larger
This was the stencil and spray that I used - it's actually just some diecut paper but holding up quite well so far.
I used the same technique as I did HERE of spraying through the stencil for the left hand page, and then pressing the right hand page over so you get a print from the remaining ink. No proper photo sorry because I didn't expect to be blogging about it :-)
Sam's birthday is a week after mine
I'm enjoying including photos in the journal, and also included a blank party invitation to journal about his friends' party. 
I love this entire spread, due in no small part to all the colour...

You can see all my calendar journal pages in my flickr set HERE. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Star Books

In May, I had a weekend away with some girlfriends. We shopped and shared and laughed, and I taught them how to make star books. I took a completed book to show them what they were going to end up with.
This was our lovely messy creative table :-)
My pages are the butterfly ones in progress on the left. That book will be finished when I have another creative session with my quilt group in a month or so. 
When my son saw the sample, he said he would love one. He turned 10 in June - so here is his, made with photos instead of my usual 'creative bits'
For other photos of star books my friend and I have made go here and this link leads you to instructions by Lynn Davis to make your own star book.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Me Time Messages

One of the free online classes I mentioned in the last post was Me Time Messages at Miscanthus Crafts. Clare Lloyd has created a series of instructional videos for a large envelope cover and smaller envelopes that fit inside. These contain your own messages and the envelopes are done using techniques for mixed media art journaling. I had some time last week, so thought I would have a go. All the instructions are posted HERE. For the big cover, I decided I would use a file folder turned into an envelope so that I could include stitch. Started by covering the folder and first envelope together with masking tape and a layer of gesso, then I made the large cover envelope first.
First layers of paint and stamping.
The white is paint on various circular objects and a stamp. The black is staz-on ink. Then added tapes and gold paint through a stencil
The butterfly is my own hand-carved stamp and this gold stamp pad works brilliantly ;-)
Some more white details added with my awesome white sharpie pen - highly recommended
Photo and found words heading added - folder ready for stitching
click on any photo to  see it larger
Machine stitched details added - some subtle in purple, some bolder in black
Folder stitched up the sides to become envelope - back view
Envelope front complete
Then it was onto making the first envelope. Here's the message being tucked inside before I seal it and start decorating
I blended the leftover paint from the file folder cover with some blue, and added the white circles straight away as well because I liked them on the cover
Then I got my instructions round the wrong way and I did modeling paste before spray - turns out that worked well for me. I mixed some of the purple paint from the cover into the modeling paste and added some glitter. Instead of carving into it, I pressed a stamp into the wet paste mix to leave a lovely impression
Then I stamped onto the back of the envelope with the wet paste that had transferred to the stamp. There wasn't enough glitter showing on either, so I added an extra sprinkle to the top of the paste patterns before they dried
Once dry they were quite dark, so I was happy to then add some starburst spray (in the instructions this step came before the modeling paste) - this spray adds a gorgeous shimmer to the work.
The instructions suggested addding an ink pad to the edges and raised surface of your work, but I wanted to add metallic rub-ons. I have 2 sets 
You just apply them with your finger, and look at the effect

To finish, I stamped my words onto inky newsprint, tore and glued down. This is the back finished.
For the front, I decided to add another photograph of me. Once printed onto photographic paper, I distressed it with some sandpaper, followed by rubbing some copper metallic rub-on into the marks. Love the grungy look of that. I had also printed the quote onto photo paper. When I stuck it down I was worried they were a bit white, but thought I could live with it. Happily, I decided to add some gel medium over the top, and that picked up some of the colour from the spray which is water-soluble. So my words blend more with the background now and I love the finished result. 
So that's my cover and envelope #1 finished.
This project is fun. An absolute beginner gets full guidance from the videos, but I enjoyed adding my own touches - the colours, swirls, stitching, butterflies, and old book text are all things that you'll find recurring in my art. Looking forward to envelope #2.
PS I added a label below to search for this as a Handmade book - you could use these techniques on an envelope book like this tutorial or this one

Friday, July 18, 2014

Inspiration and more free classes discovered

It is winter here in New Zealand, and some days you just need to take some time to cosy up and be inspired online ::
Traci Bautista has brought out a new book about Printmaking. Read about it on her blog HERE and have a peek inside via Amazon HERE. Very tempted to use some of my birthday money on this one!
She's got lots on her blog to inspire you, and for July she has 31 days of inspiration prompts : go HERE for the list and her photo posts of days 1-7. This is a preview of the course she is offering in conjunction with the book. Register HERE (it's not going on the free list though!) - fabulous ideas ::

Also she has just brought out a line of stencils with Stencil Girl - go HERE to see her post about them and links to the blog hop. This promo video again has lots of awesome ideas for using stencils

Go HERE if you want to see all the posts where Traci has shared a video.
Donna Downey stopped doing her Inspiration Wednesdays, Effy Wild decided she'd do her own series. It's called Wildly Inspired Wednesday and it's free to join, but you need to sign up.

There's a free video demonstrating her process every week sharing total freedom in her art journal and creating with wild abandon. She started these in Feb 2014, and as I write this post, there are 11 episodes up, all of which you can view at any time.
A new follower alerted me to a free 6-week workshop called Me Time Messages which began earlier in July. Read the first post HERE
The first week there are 4 videos, but after that one goes up weekly. Get everything she's posted HERE.
I've shared the link to the Artstronauts Club before because it is such a good price!
Read all about it at Teesha's blog HERE. In my holidays I decided to try it for one month, and I can now share first hand that if you love Teesha's work and funky and colourful ideas, you will love this site and get MORE than your money's worth. There are free printables, loads of videos, inspirational photos and articles. It covers all sorts of journaling, lettering, doodling, as I would have expected, but also a lot of other art forms eg. glass/clay/wood burning/fabric arts and general ideas to kickstart your creativity.....AND it's not just the work of Tracy and Teesha. Their goal is "to have this meeting place that consistently has new sources of inspiration in the form of video workshops, interesting ideas, relevant articles and how-to’s, downloadable art and art supplies (like collage sheets, patterns, etc.), tips on new art supplies and books, random quirky stuff and a forum to share ideas and your own art. We want to have a smorgasbord of stuff that enhances your creative life." They have succeeded. I could spend hours there!
Hope you find something there to inspire a creative weekend.
I have updated my list of cheap and FREE online artful classes with this information - you can always get to that list in my right side bar.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Watercolour Calendar Journaling

I wanted to inject some more background colour into my calendar journaling, so started my next spread by spraying ink through some lace. A small thing, but I love that effect
then I used a piece of background paper that I'd created with a gesso resist as my first day section - the journaling shows I'm trying to get to where I want to be
I cheated a little with this page, and went back to complete Thursday and Friday after my birthday on Saturday which is when I was given this wonderful book
Have a peak inside via Amazon
Although I've done some of Joanne's classes online, and some of the letter love ideas appear in this book, it is a wonderful reference, and there are different examples included than seen in the online classes. If you were wondering if you need this book, I would say yes! Here's my Thursday title inspired by the book
And here's that page complete
Click on any photo to see it larger
Then I had to devote an entire page to what happened on my birthday because it was so wonderful :-)
The page includes wrapping paper flowers, example of the pack of serviettes given for use in art, and photos of the day (some of which are under a flip out).
My Fabric banner project from my last post started that day.
You can see all my calendar journal pages in my flickr set HERE. 
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