Tuesday, February 28, 2017

SHINE : Share

Last night I shone - in the sense of the word of my year Shine : 
S stands for SHARE 
Engage meaningfully with others
Develop relationships
Teach more mixed media classes
Shine so others believe they can too
I spoke at our club night to over 100 members about my mixed media work since 2010. Not only did I share some of my favourite projects
Read more about my banner HERE and this Indian-inspired wall-hanging HERE
 I also talked about how I fit art into my day - and how giving myself time for creativity is a big part of my self-care practice. I challenged them to think about the choices they make in their day, and whether they could find time to create more art. 
I have had lots of very positive feedback about my talk - very happy to say many were inspired and it sounds like I will have more opportunities to teach locally as a result of this ♥ And I received a lovely mixed media card made by our club president (Chrissy Sheed) - you know that's going to be showing up in one of my art journals very soon :-)
I've decided to finish this post with my words and slides from the last part of my talk about finding time and making creativity a priority for your well-being : 
I’m often asked how I create as much as I do – at the end of the day I think there are a few simple things that are the secret of my success and you could do them too. I do have a studio where I can leave things set up – that is awesome – if you can’t manage a room, try and manage a corner of a room – a table – a tray…
1. I make sure ART (quilting, art journaling, card making, whatever) is given priority in my day – I think about when I’m going to have time to art, and sometimes other things (housework) don’t happen! I HAVE to create – it’s part of my self-care and makes me a nicer person to live with!
2. Get off screens. I don’t watch much TV and I try and minimize my time looking at FB and blogs. I have a Pinterest account but I barely use it. Set a timer – do your online jobs or have a limited time to search for inspiration  – get off when the timer tells you to and make your own art instead of looking at someone elses!
3. Micro-movements – create daily, but you don’t have to create all day (although if you can manage it sometimes that’s bliss!) This idea comes from SARK and is explained in my original blogpost about finding time to create HEREMicro-movements is about utilizing 5 minutes where you can. So at night – choose your project - next day gather your fabrics/art supplies - thread up your machine when you get home/lay down a first layer of paint - drop the kids at practice, get home – sew a seam/add another layer of paint or collage – Put the potatoes on to boil, and then go sew another seam/add another layer. Of course – I have to use the timer to make sure the potatoes don’t boil dry as well! 
That's how every art journal page happens - a bit at a time. Set a manageable goal every day. I decided I would sew one of those triangle spiked borders a day – that meant in 7 days I almost had 2 blocks made! And that inspired me to make more…That’s how I got my Wild Women quilt done. Even if you only find 5 minutes in a day = over half an hour in a week. And often we can find 2 or 3 segments of 5 minutes. Another effect is that if I don’t really feel motivated I can trick myself into thinking I’ll only do 5 minutes and then I’m hooked….
4.   Find a project that makes you want to show up – do something you love – not because you should. Choose a project by writing down your options on pieces of paper and draw one out of the bowl – if you are disappointed with what comes out, you know what you were hoping for – do that! Get organised in the evening so you know what you’re going to do the next day.
Don’t be scared about creating – try a new project. If you try mixed media, nothing is un-usable – layer layer layer – think about your mixed media language and you will start to create pieces that look like you – you will develop your own style over time (colours you use over and over, symbols – mine include hearts/butterflies – my mixed media language includes using found text/stitch/ stencils)
5. I know I am VERY lucky in my situation - I am supported by my husband and boys to be able to take classes and spend time in my studio, and I have some disposable time in my days. But we all have choices about how we spend our time. I could have a perfect weed-free garden and a spotless house...but I don't choose that. I want to challenge you to think : What choices are you willing to make so you can create more art? 

Saturday, February 25, 2017

One Little Word 2017 : February Practice

I'm taking Ali Edwards' One Little Word OLW workshop again this year. The monthly prompts encourage you to connect with your word throughout the year and I'm excited to see what happens with SHINE in 2017. February is a "daily practice" prompt - we did this last year and it's a great idea inspired by Elise Blaha Cripe
I read Gretchen Rubin's book last year and had several light-bulb moments. Her book supports the premise that "We manage what we monitor" : Self-measurement brings self-awareness, and self-awareness strengthens our self-control. 
Although I'm "better than before" I read this book, I know I need to work on this and I re-read some sections before I started February's prompt. I'm an abstainer, so I need to have tough limits, and this tick list daily will help. In her book (p. 143) she says "the less we indulge in something, the less we want it. Cravings are more provoked by possibility than by denial. Changing a habit may be simple, but it's not easy, and the more tools used, the better". I found her Habits Manifesto really helpful - find all her Habits downloads HERE.
While SHINE is a word that for me mostly means "more of", my wording for my daily practice in February was "Cut down on sugar and increase "green" foods. Say no to takeaways". My daily practice ties in with these parts of my word : 
Good eating + Gym habit = Energised
Be mindful
Reflect on daily activities and make improvements (good habits = easier to shine without effort) 
In a lovely synergy - our focus for Book of Days this month has been Self Love. Taking care of yourself first means you can then take proper care of others. 
Last year I wrote "I am finding it motivating, encouraging, and helpful to be concentrating on just one practice for the month" and the same is true now. Although it seems like I'm trying to do 3 things, they're all connected and I wanted to be specific rather than just saying "eat more healthily". This year I'm also enjoying being able to explore more about this prompt in my Inner Work Journal. I started by spraying through a stencil for a slightly glittery background
Last month, printing the digital cards onto old calendar pages worked so well I did that again
I want to have a habit of saying no to sweet treats (biscuits, cakes, lollies, desserts, and {sigh} white chocolate) and takeaway foods and keeping an eye on packaged foods so I'll buy the product with less added sugar. I'll focus on eating fresh and green as much as possible. Every time I was successful, I was able to add a star to my chart.
Almost through the month and I'm well on the way with this -  I am so much more aware of what I am reaching for, and the aim is progress not perfection - I'm definitely doing that :-) Also as a nice bonus it is helping my energy so supporting my gym habit and I am going more regularly, and also drinking more water - all winning ♥
I decided to add some extra words to my page through a stencil - and after I did that I realised they read well together as "you can choose yes" 
Here's my complete spread within my Inner Work journal.
Of course this kind of practice of working on changing one habit could happen every month...let me know if it works for you. See all my posts about OLW 2017 HERE, and my Flickr album which includes any art featuring my word as well as the class prompts HERE.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Daily Journaling Week 8

I'm following the prompts of the original Documented Life 2014Week 8 : add a flap to your flap and that wasn't quite enough to inspire so I also looked at Life Documented 2017 and week 8 there was : Prompt : Use scrap paper or under paper. I enjoy using underpaper as a start - I often have newsprint out under my work and clean paint off onto it. I started by adding a flap (to have another flap to add to!) and then covered my surfaces with an initial layer of under paper.
 Once trimmed I added paint through a mask
and then some doodles
I've had a good bargain shopping week. First the art supplies from Gordon Harris 20% off (see my previous post) then bought some lovely clothes on special which have nice tags - I thought I might use one as my 'add a flap to your flap'
It's been a busy week and I've been frustrated not to get this spread finished sooner, but obviously I was waiting for these wonderful finds at the library book sale today - 20 magazines for $2 (not a typo!!!)
 - great quality paper and fabulous text that inspired me to finish at last
Here's the spread open with my tag down
And here's the spread with the flap closed
You don't usually get to see my journaling - it's not so pretty as some weeks, but you can see more lovely magazine quotes from those bargain magazines to the left and right, and I like to include some photos if I can.
If you are interested in other weekly prompts see the blog for Life Documented 2017 HEREYou can see all my posts about this project HERE and my Flickr album HERE

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Quilt and Paint inspirations

I'll be back soon with my Daily journaling post for this week, but I had to share these first. I had a fabulous weekend away in Wellington with a friend - a lot of SHINE involved ♥ - sharing creativity to inspire others - eating healthily - enjoying happy times with a great friend and being inspired by lovely quilts and art supplies. On Sunday we went to a quilt show by a group called the Towrags
It was at Old St Paul's Church in Wellington and EVERY pew was covered in quilts - it was a fabulous show.
And this was the gorgeous raffle quilt - drawn today and sadly I didn't get a call to say it's mine...
After all that gorgeousness I wanted to go home and quilt immediately! But I am truly a mixed media girl and after that we went to Gordon Harris Art supply store and I was inspired just as much by painty art books and supplies that I had long lusted after and were 20% off on the day....meant to be! First the arty books :
A book by Chris Cozen I seem to have missed
Go and have a peek via Amazon HERE - glorious colour - I've only had a flip through but this is going on my birthday wishlist. I already own and love the one she published with Julie Prichard 
Again peek inside via Amazon HERE. Check out Chris Cozen's blog HEREThe other book I saw that I was interested in was this : 
A peek inside via Amazon HERE. She's also a newly discovered artist to me - check out Staci's blog HERE
And the supplies - I've been wanting some Goldens fluid acrylic transparent paints, plus a red Tombow and blender pen to try, and couldn't resist adding to my iridescent paints. I shared a video from Joggles HERE about colour mixing with these. Although I can add iridescent medium to most colours, this is a gorgeous shade (Bleu Noir Iridescent) which I don't think I could consistently mix for myself.
Gordon Harris are online as well as having stores throughout New Zealand. Check out their site HERE. So that's what took my time this weekend...hopefully some art to show from it all soon.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Sharing some of my Inner Work Journal

I first shared about my new Inner Work Journal HERE. It's my self-discovery journal inspired by the concept of a "Sweet Trash Journal" a la Effy Wild. It's a place where you can capture ALL the stuff, and although it's more private than the art journal you share with friends or online, I thought you might be inspired by some of my pages. 
My word for 2017 is SHINE, and many of the intentions align so well with this journal - especially the "I - Inner Work" . So here's some of what's in there : 
My art - present and past - I re-discovered this manifesto from daily journaling last year and it is just as relevant today ♥ This art was a Book of Days lesson HERE. Click on the photo to see it larger.
I can print out inspiring emails
Write responses to the daily prompts from Book of Days
Remember what I've been reading/watching/listening to during the month
Print off inspiring things like this
and I've been enjoying drawing some tarot and oracle cards - as a mirror/tool to explore what's going on inside.  I have these 3 decks
I don't like the guide book that comes with the Morgan-Greer, so I turn instead to learntarot.com and pyschic revelation when I want a bit more useful insight to help me interpret what the card might be telling me. And I like thinking about my responses to cards drawn and how I can use them to develop myself
You can see I've covered some of my thoughts above with a card that is for the One Little Word workshop  - my most recent spread in this journal is a background for my February prompt for that class.
So some of it's pretty, and much of it's not - and mostly it's not of interest or relevance to anyone else, but the main thing is that I'm getting my thoughts onto the page and it's helping me write out frustrations, discover more about myself, grapple with problems in a different way, and capture joys. So even when I'm not posting completed projects on my blog, know that I am still keeping up with a daily creative practice.
This journal's getting fuller, and I've only been doing it for a month - loving it. Have you started a new creative practice this year?
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