Saturday, May 30, 2015

Week 21 : DLP 2015

Here's a sneaky peek at my challenge this week. 
Information about the FREE weekly Documented Life Project is HERE
Once again, I had used the texture material for this challenge in my last week's challenge! I just love scrim (muslin) - otherwise known as cotton gauze or cheesecloth. I did a post with a variety of ideas for using this lovely fibre in 2013 - you can also click HERE to see all my projects where I've used scrim (muslin) in art.
This week I sat down to my blank pages, feeling a bit cold with grey skies outside... winter is definitely making its presence felt. My eyes lit up at the sight of my roll of paper towels that I've been using recently to soak up excess sprays. The colours were so warmly joyful that I separated the paper towels to be one layer, and glued them into my journal for my base.
I ruled up my weekly journaling section to get a sense of my design space, and then added some cheesecloth as per the art challenge - I chose some pieces to add texture and blend with the colours in the background. Some of the splashes of colour were already suggesting flowers to me, so I started doodling them as well.
Click on any photo to make it larger.
I wasn't sure how I was going to add the "say cheese" part of the challenge, but it was obvious it was going to be something about smiling. I was flicking through a book about being creative and found the following : 
It fits very well with most aspects of this page and the last point led perfectly to stamping the quote :-) Here's a couple of floral detail shots 
I'm also enjoying the texture of the paper towel.
And here's my completed spread for this week
Click on the photo to enjoy it larger or see it in the Flickr album I've created for all my Documented Life 2015 spreads HERE. You can see all my posts about this project HERE.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Week 20 : DLP 2015

Information about the FREE Documented Life Project is HERE
Each week I seem to be anticipating the following week's challenge. The challenge for week 19 was stitch and I used modelling paste in my background. Turns out that is our texture challenge for Week 20 (last week) - I'm catching up...

I love using it - click HERE to see all my posts where I've used modeling paste. I started this challenge last Wednesday (during the correct week) by scraping modeling paste through a paper cut scrapbook page as a stencil
Delicious. Click on any photo to see it larger
Then I got completely distracted by thinking about and researching a new sewing machine (see my previous post) and didn't get back to this until yesterday. As is pretty much always the case, I had no idea where I was headed, but thought I would use the same elements that I used in this book cover which I ♥.
First to add more texture to my modeling paste base : torn serviette, some Tim Holtz tissue, scrim (muslin), and drywall joint tape :
Then some colour was needed. My first thought was purples, but I liked the grey that had come off the dirty stencil onto the modeling paste, and also the grey tonings in the serviette. Started with greyed purple spray, and thought some shimmer would be nice so added twinkling H2O in soft purple as well. 
Liked the shimmer so continued to add some more pearlescent paint in purple and soft green, then highlighted with silver iridescent
Here's how the page looked with my daily journaling slots added to the side
I was going to leave it there, but then decided I could add a word to my butterfly element - the journal prompt this week was "Rising to the occasion"
I used my black marks-all pencil and then smudged it with a blending stump to make it a bit grungy. And here's the completed page :
Click on the photo to enjoy it larger or see it in the Flickr album I've created for all my Documented Life 2015 spreads HERE. You can see all my posts about this project HERE.

Monday, May 25, 2015

I ♥...a variety of things

I love this new blog - only started September last year. A group of VERY talented women sharing their delicious stitchy experiments and creations : 
And other stitching ♥ : I always delight in seeing Frances Pickering's work.
She recently took a workshop to the Halifax Embroiderers Guild - click HERE to see beautiful work from that day, and some lovely bloggers have shared their experiences in more detail...this is by Anne Brooke - see more at her blog post
and this by Rachael Singleton - more at her blog post.
New Art Journal artist discovery :
Take a look inside via Amazon HERE.
I borrowed this book from our local public library. Nichole Rae has a fresh approach to art journaling - she uses lists, and her pages are simple but appealing. I ♥ her use of words.
Get a feel for her work via quite a long list of projects which she has shared at the Creative Mixed Media site- including some of the projects from the book. And she also has a YouTube video where she demonstrates and talks about her process with her book editor. I enjoyed her list approach, and starting journaling with phrases like "I carry" and "I am" can yield a variety of responses.
I can recommend this DVD - humour and some wonderful truths within.
Here are a couple of examples of Hector's list for happiness :
**Making comparisons can spoil your happiness
**Happiness is being loved for who you are
I'll let you discover the rest yourself :-)
And I especially ♥ that today I got a new sewing machine! 
It's my birthday next month, and there are great specials on Janome sewing machines in New Zealand until the end of June. I have long loved my Janome Memory Craft 4000 (seen HERE), but have had it for at least 16 years and it is tired. I will still be using it for stitching of inky paper, books and cards, but my new Janome 8200 QC is a quilting machine. Here's a photo of it with my 4000 in behind
You can see what a wonderfully large quilting space it has compared to what I've been used to. More to follow as I test it out and hopefully make lots of lovely quilts. Can't wait for this weekend - a long Queen's Birthday weekend with time to stitch and play.
I've been thinking about quilts and sewing machines, researching sewing machines, dreaming about a new sewing machine over the last couple of weeks so have got a little behind in my art journaling! Wanting to remedy that very soon and hope to share more later in the week. But first I'm off to watch the instructional DVD for my new machine :-)
Hope you've got things making you happy this week.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

More quilts on show

On Sunday, our quilt club ran a bus trip to the Kapiti Quilters exhibition. As always, it wasn't that I would love to produce all the quilts exactly as I photographed them, but that there were techniques/colours/ideas to fuel my next projects. This first quilt won Best Use Of Colour. It is stunning and I especially love the use of variegated fabrics to add even more interest to the applique. 
"Magnum Opus" by Margaret Jones.
Click on the photos to see them larger.
Here's a close up of this one :
Some of the more traditional amongst you might like this applique quilt
"Faded roses" by Sheryl Meech
Sheryl won ribbons for both Merit Domestic Quilting and Best Applique - Machine. Here's a couple of close-ups so you can better see her work
I looked at this next one for a while before I realised that it is made up of star blocks
"Dotty flowers" by Barbara Parker
Another simple block setting to make the most of a lovely fabric collection
"Arizona blooms" by Carol Pedersen
Clever couched rose detail on this red quilt
"Roses are red" by Robin Goring
This quilt won Best Domestic Quilting : 
"Wild flowers" by Bobby Duncan
Here's a better photo of her quilting
This small quilt won Best Contemporary Quilt :
"Sustainable development" by Sara Boland
I am keen to make some kind of abstract quilt in my future - this one reminds me that hand quilting as an element in strip piecing is lovely.
This abstract quilt series representing the 4 elements of life also caught my eye :
"Fire, Earth, Air and Water" by Sandra Killin
Great movement and lovely use of colour.
And finally there was a display of Jenny Hunter's work - she is a familiar name in NZ. 
It was great to see so many of her quilts together.
I {heart} fantails so would love to make my own version of this some day
And I love both the simplicity and the stunning use of colour in her harakeke and kowhai quilts
Which quilt is your favourite from this collection?

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Week 19 : DLP 2015

Information about the FREE Documented Life Project is HERE
Really happy to see this week's challenge - I LOVE to combine paper and stitch in my art journal as you will know if you're at all familiar with my blog. In fact, I have a label so you can see all the posts that I've combined Paper and Stitch.
This week's guest artist is Ruth Rae - her page for this challenge is very cool. I have been a fan since I discovered her, I own both her books, and have made a few projects inspired by her work. One of the techniques I've used in the past is that of stitching organza over paper, and thought that would be fun to do again. Started with no idea of what my page would be, but decided flowers would be a great start :
If you click on the photo you can better see the gleam of the organza. I also wanted to try Linda Vincent's technique for making "shabby leaves". Started with a piece of inky newsprint
Free motion stitched leaves upon it
Then you tear them out - I did some double stitching over a couple thinking that might be less rough, but in the end they all came out ragged and imperfect and I LOVE them like this! Will definitely be trying to remember to use this technique again.
Now for the background. A family member visited the other day and asked me what my favourite mixed media piece was that I've made in recent times. It's a hard choice, but I really love this envelope that I did in August last year
It combines most of the elements I love - molding paste, stencils, spray, found text, stitch, paper serviettes, combining fabric/paper/stitch together. I used this piece as inspiration for my background for my journal page
I used dylusions sprays over the modeling paste. Delicious. Then it was just a matter of arranging my elements on the page, and as I wrote the word "Laugh", the rest of the words came to me. They make perfect sense on the page and they make me smile ;-)
Click on the photo to enjoy it larger or see it in the Flickr album I've created for all my Documented Life 2015 spreads HERE
Here's a close-up so you can better see the scrummy texture
You can see all my posts about this project HERE.
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