Thursday, July 30, 2015

Week 30 : DLP 2015

Information about the FREE weekly Documented Life Project is HERE. If you've been following my weekly take on these challenges, you may have noticed that I've missed last week (29)...for the first time all year I just wasn't inspired to do the last journal page challenge. I think it was partly because I thought I'd already "done" the Photographs and Memories with "all that I have to remember you" in my week 27 challenge HERE. Also I've just been having a bit of down time this month, as explained HERE
So I went ahead, turned the page and just did my journaling for last week before I started this week's challenge
July 25 (Week 30)
Art Challenge: Real Life
Journal Prompt:  At this Moment
I began by writing my thoughts "at this moment" and remembered towards the end that the focus for the month is ephemera
Decided I would like more ephemera, so added some pieces of wrapping paper and some torn pieces of scrap that I glue onto and occasionally wipe paint off stencils
I liked this as a background and went on to apply various paints through one of my lovely new stencils (see my previous post)
The above photo was taken at night to show the dirty stencil next to the page - it's even more delicious once dry the next morning. This shows the proper colours much better :
I then wanted to use my other new stencils since they are most in my mind "at this moment".
The stencil I used above and the feather below are both by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer - the feather can, of course, be used layered, but I just had the feeling I wanted to use it like this for simplicity on this page. The popppy fragment is by Rhonda Palazzari
I don't want to do much more to the page, so I decided to add words to my main feather - click on the photo to see the words more clearly
"In this moment", in "my real life", it is enough for me to create just this. I love the colours, the layers, the stencils, and the lettering. I have neither the time or inclination to do something more complex or BETTER - what does that even mean?!
My reality at the moment is being busy, but still finding time to create. It is enough.
Click on the photo to enjoy the complete spread 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.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Wellington Quilt Show

More quilt inspiration with a day out to Wellington today. With my current quilt top nearing completion, it doesn't hurt to add some more ideas to my list of candidates for "what will I make next?"... This time I attended the Wellington Coast to Coast day out for quilters. There was shopping, and coffee, a guest speaker, a show of quilts and the company of a lovely friend. The sun shone as well - all in all a good day out. I arrived early enough to check out the shopping first and immediately spied some new stencils that had to come home with me
and happily, I also got a couple of extra pieces of fabric that will make my last few blocks a little more special.
The bottom left square is my base feature fabric. Also found a lovely variegated thread that might be useful in the quilting. 
The quilt show and tell section was not large, but I still found quilts to inspire. Unfortunately I haven't been able to credit the makers of these - and some are just tops so even if you click on the photo to see them larger, you won't get to see quilting details. Hope you enjoy seeing these : 
Above : this quilt is not my colours, but I liked the simple block construction and they are big enough pieces to feature lovely fabrics. Would also be interesting to try this block without the sashing....
Below : an old blanket with recycled wool fabrics appliqued on top. A lovely simple idea that looked so effective and snuggly.
Above : the crosses are made of liberty fabrics. Interesting mix with the fabrics she chose for the backgrounds. This would be sweet set on point as kisses x.
Below : a really fun abstract block challenge quilt made by a group. I've also added a detail of this one
Above : another cross quilt with a completely different feeling. Funky gift for a teenager.
Below : lovely masculine graphic quilt - I think designed and made by a man (quilted by his wife)
Above : a simple traditional pattern made special I think by adding blocks in a different scale.
Hope there's something there to inspire you...I am hoping for quilt stitching time tomorrow. How about you?

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Week 28 : DLP 2015

Information about the FREE weekly Documented Life Project is HERE
Because this month's theme is ephemera, I thought I'd start by gluing down some large dictionary pages for my background. Wanting them to remain as a visible layer on these pages - and just for fun, picked one page featuring the word "layer" and one featuring "focus"
I knew my focal point this week would be a face - just felt like I needed to get back to that practice. Recently Tam had an amazing special on her Fabulous Faces class. I have loved her lessons in Life Book and thought this would also be a good one to have in my repertoire. Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to work through it all yet! But this week, I decided to watch the beginning of her first lesson to get me started. I painted the page with white gesso first in the area I thought the face would be so the pencil lines would appear clearly :
In that online class, the first portrait lesson is just with pencil and learning about shading, but I wanted to add colour. I decided to have a flick through Jane Davenport's book since she uses wonderful colour in her art portraits. One of her techniques suggested blending water-soluble markers with a milky wash created by gesso and matte medium. I just used the supplies I have :
Here is the "before" shot of colour added to hair with watersoluble crayons
and here's the "after" shot of the face with colour in progress
Haven't tried using just the gel medium to blend and make watersoluble mediums permanent yet, but went on to use this technique for my background layer right across the spread and enjoying the pastel look this week. Click on any photo to see it larger.
Was starting to think about the "time keeps on ticking" prompt : the daffodils are a paper serviette and I added a stamp of a clock - was thinking about how we are getting through July and that brings us closer to Spring. The other part of the art challenge is layering and I did this in a few ways. You can see the face has developed with layers of colour. My next step was to gather more ephemera
and create a layered tag look, attaching elements with stitch
Layering also happened on the background with additions of acrylic colour through stencils, and that cool tape with the months on it fitted well with the time prompt.
I changed the word at the top of the dictionary page to read "Layer" (instead of Law) and layered the tag on top of the background
Then I added writing around my face focal - it reads : "There will always be 'have to' in your day...make sure there is always time to do something that makes you feel JOY and be grateful for today. Time passes quickly and you don't know when your time will be up"
I'm really happy with how the completed spread looks, and I feel like I did well with including the different aspects of the challenge and prompt 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. Again this is last week's challenge...I had to make quilting progress. Am going to try and complete this week's challenge within this week!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Spiked-Border-A-Day challenge progress

You may remember that a month ago I shared my idea for making progress with a quilt. I challenged myself to make one spiked border a day towards my "Wild Women don't get the blues" quilt. When I first thought of the challenge I had made 4 blocks :
In the first week, I'd made my 7 borders, so was motivated to find the time to complete 1 more border so I could finish 2 more blocks.
When I did my mid-year review of projects a week later, I was on track :
Then I got to school holidays. I was dragging my feet a bit not feeling as enthusiastic about my colours. Then I wondered if I was being too "matchy" with my block construction and I looked again at photos I'd taken of Karen Stone's original quilt in class :
Sure enough, I was right. I immediately took the block I was working on
and swapped out a couple of the borders to make it more interesting
Loving that and loving that top fabric so I wanted to use it immediately in another block
Really excited about these looking so good and I kept stitching more than a border a day in my second week of school hols....The momentum gathered, and I decided to added a few fat eights to increase my palette of oranges - those smaller cuts work well for variety without costing a whole lot
These led to another afternoon of stitching blocks. Here are a couple including the new fabrics - don't they look cool?
and because I have been making such great progress, that engenders more enthusiasm. I now have completed {drum roll} 
19 Blocks!
My original post estimate was that I would have 25 blocks all finished ready to put together by 5th September. Tomorrow we're back to usual term routines, but if I go back to my original plan of one border a day, my past history indicates I'll actually complete 8 borders and finish 2 blocks per week.  I should be ready to assemble the quilt top 9th August! Will share again when my quilt top is complete - excited!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Week 27 : DLP 2015

Information about the FREE weekly Documented Life Project is HERE. We're up to a new month and a new focus :
Got a week behind while I've been chilling out in the school holidays. Was also getting distracted by thinking about a number of projects I want to do. At last I realised I needed to just pick one and create.
In my chilling out post above, I looked back at this time in previous years, and wrote about grieving for my grandmother a couple of years ago. She left me her silver thimble which had also belonged to her mother. This "Life with a history" prompt got me thinking about those women who have gone before me, who also shared my love of stitch, music and roses. I printed black and white photos of me, my mother, my grandmother, and my great-grandmother, and then gathered some ephemera  
Top left is some paper that my grandmother had used to replace a cover on some sheet music, and the writing is a copy of hers from a contents page she'd created for a music collection. The bottom pieces are rub-ons with sewing, faith and endurance sentiments, I stamped simple roses on sheet music, and also gathered some lace and old stamps.
Begun my background by gluing down some sheet music and book pages
Then wanted to add colour and had the brainwave of doilies being lacey and appropriate for the time
I added a light watercolour wash and some rub-ons to define my journaling area
and now I have some lovely coloured doilies to add to my collection of ephemera and photos 
Time to start layering
And I eventually ended up with this as my finished spread : 
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.
Now I'm off to have a look at this week's challenge...
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