Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Framed Lace

In October I showed you the birthday present which I made for my brother
I mentioned that I might have to copy this idea for myself, but this time it's my Mum's & Aunty's turn. It's their birthdays this week and this is their Grandmother's lace. This time I used coffee to stain some watercolour paper, then tore it to size and hand stitched a piece each
These frames again have a spacer to the glass so the lace isn't squashed, but they measure 12 inches square within the frame and the cardboard mount wasn't the same quality as when I did the original project, so this time I mounted them on scrapbook paper. Here they are finished - I like how the paper in the background gives them an added vintagy feel. Click on the photo for a larger view.

Monday, December 11, 2017

One Little Word : December and into 2018

I've been taking Ali Edwards' One Little Word workshop this year. The monthly prompts encourage you to connect with your word throughout the year and I've been enjoying how SHINE has been part of my world in 2017. This month was a time to look back and fill in a worksheet to note down Facts & Feelings and What I want to remember.
I think some of my facts are feelings, but it was valuable to reflect on changes I've made and I'm really pleased to see that when I look back, I have made progress on many of the goals I set in January
While this is the time many are thinking of a new word for the new year, I've decided I'm going to keep going with SHINE with a slight change of emphasis when I explore my word monthly to focus a bit more on being Healthy.
My Word for 2018 is SHINE
S = Share
H = Healthy
I = Inner Work
N = Notice
E = Enjoy

Engage meaningfully with others
Develop relationships
Continue to blog/share on Flickr and my Artist FB page/investigate Insta
Contribute thoughtfully to online class groups
Shine so others believe they can too
BE the light - be the agent of illumination in dark situations
Good eating + Gym habit = Energised
Be mindful
Self-care and self-compassion
Explore intuition and inner wisdom via Tarot and Oracle cards
Build inner strength/belief in myself
Lighten up - try not to sweat the small stuff
Practice gratitude
Reflect on daily activities and make improvements (good habits = easier to shine without effort)
Pay attention to what I will accept (eg. let other people's negativity slide off)  
Practice gratitude (this bears repeating ♥)
Regularly spend time doing what I love : 
- creating
being with my family
meeting regularly with friends
walking on the beach
- lighting more candles
- wearing sparkles when I dress
- reading good books 
- watching good movies and TV series
- listening to good music
Supporting words are Sparkle, Light, Ignite, Glow, Bright, Luminous and Embrace. I had Nourish in 2015 and Transform in 2016. They are great support words as I enter 2018.
Marianne Williamson : 
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.  We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?  Actually, who are you not to be?  You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.  There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.  We are all meant to shine, as children do.  We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.  It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.  And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. 

Now available on an early-bird price of US$26 until Dec 31 - sign up for Ali Edwards' One Little Word 2018 class HERE. Get a feel for this class by seeing what I did with the prompts this year HERE, and my Flickr album which includes any art featuring my word as well as the class prompts HERE.
Susannah Conway has also released her annual end-of-year FREE offerings. Go HERE for Unravel your Year and you can sign up to find your word for 2018 HERE - 5 inspiring emails over 5 days

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Daily Journaling Week 49

Almost at the end of this project. This week I've done a different take on the prompt from the blog for Life Documented 2017 HERE : 
Prompt: Make an envelope or envelopes
Technique: Print on them, gelli them, collage them, paint them 
and combined it with a response to a lesson by Effy Wild
Rather than make an envelope, I've made use of an envelope! I am always looking for ways to include more stitch in my work, so decided to stitch some small leaves with my machine - I have gone over the lines twice and tried out a couple of different designs.
Then I roughly tore around them. This is fairly easy to do since the stitching perforates the paper. The enclosed leaves worked much better than the swirls.
Effy had a tutorial recently about using photos to focus on what feeds your Soul to get you through her Northern Hemisphere Winter, or my Long Hot Summer. She started with a black background and used black and white photos. If you've seen my spreads in this journal lately, you'll know I'm all about colour!  I wanted to start with a base colour with enough depth to add gold highlights later, and to complement the colours in my photographs. Summer holidays are on their way - my boys have finished school this week and I only have another 5 days to go. Can't wait! 
I need the following to make my Summer holidays perfect : Water - drink lots of it, swim in it, walk beside it to recharge
Holidays means I have time to create - and I make sure I do that A LOT
Connection - I love to share my creativity with you here on the blog and in my various class FB groups
I want to have lots of outings with both friends and family - dinners, barbecues, wine, just hanging out together
but alone time is also important to me 
In my previous post, I shared links for finding a Word of the Year. I don't think I'm done with SHINE yet - all of these things enable me to do that
I am really happy with my completed spread. The lesson was a fun reflection on what makes me happy in Summer ♥
You can see all my posts about this project HERE and my Flickr album HERE.

Friday, December 8, 2017

FREE online art classes and inspiration

How's December going for you? Thought I'd share some Free stuff in case you need a bit of creative escape time - I know I do!!
Jen Morris has shared some prompts with the specific intention of savouring December instead of rushing forward to the new year: "to take some time each day to slow down, be present and feel grateful for the things around you. It’s to really sink into the moment, to find the stillness and savour what is left of the year."
Read more about her wonderful idea HERE.
Effy Wild has generously created a FREE workshop for members of her network "To see us through" : comfort and support over the long winter months (if you live in the Northern Hemisphere) or something to do indoors and out of the blazing heat (if you live in the Southern Hemisphere).
Sign up HERE. This will give you a taste of Effy's style of teaching - includes a couple of tutorials "Book of Days" style, as well as prompts for December and looking forward to 2018.
Susannah Conway has released her annual end-of-year FREE offerings : Go HERE for Unravel your Year
and you can sign up to find your word for 2018 HERE - 5 inspiring emails over 5 days
Not free, but on early-bird price of US$26 until Dec 31 - sign up for Ali Edwards' One Little Word 2018 class HERE. Get a feel for this class by seeing what I did with the prompts this year HERE.
I also did a post last month about projects for December which included some other FREE ideas HERE.
This time of year can be overwhelming, but it can also be special and exciting as we look forward to a holiday break and a chance to think about new possibilities. I hope you find lots to be joyful about this month xo

PS. I have a link to a list of Cheap and Free online art classes top right of my blog (or just go HERE) which I will be updating again in January. Please let me know if there is anything that you know of that I might need to add to that.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Making bookmarks again

During term time I'm a part-time school librarian, and I have wonderful students who help me at break times. Bookmarks seem a fitting end-of-year thank you gift. For the last couple of years I've done them on watercolour paper - it gives them a good weight and they last very well. 2015
This year I decided to start with Dylusions sprays through stencils : 
Then I cut them up to decide what each needed in the way of stamps or serviette images - most of my librarians are girls, but I need to leave some more graphic for boys as well
I sprayed them all with workable fixative to seal the sprays since they continue to be watersoluble long after being dry....hope they don't put them to the test of getting them wet! Then I punched holes in the end and added lovely fibres. Here's a selection of the main themes. Click on the photo to see them larger.
And here they are all together. 
Was so fun to see all their happy faces as they received them ♥

Monday, December 4, 2017

Book of Days : Iconic portrait

We are coming to the end of the year for BOD2017 and one of our last lessons is an iconic portrait based on the theme of Persephone's descent into the underworld. Because I'm in the Southern hemisphere, the idea of 'descent into darkness' doesn't fit with my feelings of the season, so I decided to focus on her return to earth. She is often represented by symbols associated with the coming of Spring, including a wreath of flowers in her hair, torch, reeds, waterfalls, rivers and springs. Plants associated with her include Pomegranate, maidenhair fern, lily, daisy lavender. And so I began with turquoise, Iridescent blue green, Iridescent Green Gold and Gold paint scraped with credit card - delicious ♥
I didn't have a suitable all-over stencil for the next part, so decided to use one of my favourites on repeat
I drew in her face outline and halo, and then decided to add a different stencil into her hair - this will tone with the pomegranate colours as suggested by Effy. 
Isn't it wonderful how serendipitous things can be? I was this far in my portrait before I went away last weekend, and when I got there I was served pomegranate! 
Here's my pomegranate halo - I realise now that the hair needs to be darker
Love how her face turned out and I sat for a while with the background because I wasn't sure what I wanted to add. I was thinking affirmations and then I decided to add words that resonate with me at this time. Click on any photo to see it larger.
I am really happy with how this spread turned out.
See my Flickr album for all my art from classes with Effy HERESign up to Book of Days or other classes with Effy Wild HERE. Now available : Book of Days 2018 AND Moonshine 2018 - both discounted until Dec 31st and even further if you purchase as a package.
Read all about Moonshine in detail HERE and Book of Days 2018 HERE. Effy explains the differences in focus : For those who are seeking a more ‘secular’ experience that focuses on meeting ourselves as we are on the page, self-care, and regular creative practice, Book Of Days 2018 may be a better choice for you. For those of you looking to create or enhance your own spiritual practice, learn how to use art as a tool for transformation on a spiritual level, commune with the divine through effort as offering, or track the phases of the moon & seasons of the year through art, Moonshine 2018  is definitely for you.
If you join either of these you also get this Persephone lesson as a bonus ♥

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Easy Cards

Today I needed to spend some creative time on something easy and fun. Something that didn't require too much thought with the added bonus that I could tick something off my list. I have a few special people with birthdays in December and January so I cut apart some watercolour paper I used in a class recently to demonstrate stencils. I looked through my stash of pretty serviettes and found some appropriate colours. Then I stitched the watercolour pieces to blank card fronts - some with a single line of machine stitching
some framed with a double edge 
I quite like the messy look and I want to add stitch to many more of my projects in 2018. I did add words to one of the cards, but the rest will wait to have their additions when I decide which card will be used for a future occasion
Very happy with how these all turned out 

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Daily Journaling Week 48

I'm following the prompts of the original Documented Life 2014Week 48 : depict gratitude in a creative way And from the blog for Life Documented 2017 HERE : 
Prompt: To create an abstract piece
Technique: To apply the colour wheel and freedom!
I have just had a wonderful creative weekend away with a friend (see my last post). It made me think about all the things I am grateful for : 
My friendships, and that I live within half an hour of the beach
for roses - their colour and their perfume
for the gift of creativity, for my gorgeous family, for sunshine and the coming Summer holidays and for online community sharing like this Life Documented project ♥ I decided to use that list to depict gratitude in a creative way in my abstract spread. Here's how that happened. 
Gorgeous hot colour sprayed freely through stencils (apply the colour wheel and freedom). I am grateful for the love of my family and friends : 
I am grateful for roses - I love the depth of colour of this (below) and part of the quote from my weekend where we saw abundant roses and enjoyed their fragrance in the sunshine
I am grateful for the beach, and for sunshine and the coming Summer 
I am grateful for the gift of creativity and the inspiration of the Documented Life project over the years and the supportive online community - the butterfly is a recurring symbol in my art. I am grateful for my artistic growth.
I know I have a few elements that are not strictly "abstract" but the finished spread makes me very happy. 
You can see all my posts about this project HERE and my Flickr album HERE. See you in December!
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