Thursday, June 21, 2018

Still Stitching : quilt progress

I've accumulated a lot of fabric over the years and decided it's time to get stuck in and make some stash-busting quilts. I LOVE this selection of Poppy Fabrics 
and I also love this pattern by Valori Wells which shows off the fabrics.
You can find the link to get your copy of this free pattern HERE.
This quilt began because of my #100daysofstitch project. And I was inspired again recently by this article - better to leave completed quilts than fabrics ♥ The goal is to leave gifts for future family and for those in need - to leave completed treasures for my quilting friends - to leave proof of my creativity, passion, ingenuity and persistence. I'm not planning on leaving any time soon, but I've got a large stash to get through..... 
This project was last seen here before I decided to concentrate on one stitch project at a time. I finished cutting my fabrics last week
It was a bit more challenging than it might have been since I'm using fabric from my stash rather than purchasing the right amounts of fabrics. I've had to change some of the block sizes and block arrangements but it's looking good as I begin to put it together
I look forward to sharing more progress soon. I'm also very lucky that at work I'm able to lead weekly craft club sessions this term. The girls are making excellent progress on their quilts and are very excited that they are starting to stitch now. 
So rewarding to share this joy which will hopefully become a life-long love of stitching for some of them.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Book of Days : Magic

In my last art journal post my page started with one of Effy's lesson backgrounds and then evolved into something else. I was still keen to try her tilted head and flower lesson, but I know from experience that as I build luscious backgrounds with colour I just can't bring myself to glaze over them. This time I decided to start instead with black and white and just a couple of my iridescent colours
When I stopped to photograph my progress I could already see her head shape and knew I'd be doing a tree instead of a flower.
The darker shapes above her head invited words - gold and shine ♥
You can sign up for classes with Effy Wild HERE. See my Flickr album of all art work inspired by Effy's classes HERE.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Book of Days : Dream

I decided to simplify my creative intentions for June and since I want to increase my art journaling practice, I decided to focus on work in my art journal weekly. This week I wanted to do a catch-up lesson from Session 1 of Book of Days featuring my gorgeous iridescent paints
First lovely sprays
and then iridescent colours with a bit of black and white stenciling
I really can't capture the gorgeous shimmer in a photograph. 
Trust me - it's beautiful ♥ Love working in my altered book since the words add an extra layer of interest in the background. I add some masking tape to the centre join so I don't get any bleeding through to other pages. Next was to add a figure and a flower and since I'd like to include a quote, I went looking for that first. I love Mary Oliver's poems, so googled her name with "Winter" (our current season in NZ) and this took my breath away : 
Context : my lovely Dad died in February, and these past few days I've been hit with fresh waves of grief. Our theme for June in Effy's other year-long class, Moonshine, is to frolic. Those stanzas are from Mary Oliver's poem "Starlings in Winter" which you can read complete HERE
I only spotted the word 'grief' in the background right near finishing this page.
My page didn't turn out anything like Effy's lesson, but it's mine and it means a lot.
You can sign up for this and other classes by Effy Wild HERE. See my Flickr album of all art work inspired by Effy's classes HERE.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Watching and Reading

I've started June with A LOT of basketball watching - my eldest son was in the Under 19 Nationals Tournament representing Manawatu (in green) and they got Silver medals - there were lots of proud moments ♥
Since I've not had time this past week to make art, I thought I'd share a couple of lovely books I've recently had out of the library. Even if you can't get your hands on the books, I've provided lots of links so you can explore virtually ♥
Take a peek inside via Amazon HERE and read an interview and see more lovely photos from the book in an interview HERE. This book is a delight to look at - beautifully photographed and put together, with inspiring projects included. There's even 12 months of online lessons for purchase HERE. The book evolved from a class - see how it came about HERE in an interview with them both.There are a few projects I'd like to try, and it was also fun to remind me of the mandala project which I did with Faith Evans-Sills in Life Book 2016 HERE.
Check out the blogs of Faith Evans-Sills HERE and Mati Rose HERE. They continue to do lots of collaborative work.
Another very inspiring art book : 
Take a peek inside via Amazon HERE. You can see all Stephanie's blog posts about bible journaling HERE. The faith journaling part doesn't inspire me, but the lettering, doodling and stamp carving do. This book is worth checking out for the way she approaches art journaling generally. 
Check out other arty books I've shared on my blog HERE. I'd love if you shared some good arty book recommendations with me in the comments.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Looking back....looking forward to June

I've been finding these posts where I summarise the past month useful as a record of what I've been busying myself with, and then I take some time to look forward so I can set my creative direction for the month to come. I hope you find something useful in these posts too.
I am continuing to write and memory-keep in my Inner Work Journal. This is now an {almost} daily practice for me. I no longer need it as a reminder on my to-do list ♥
It includes journaling about my days 
and responses to almost-daily drawing of Tarot cards - my friend loaned me her Stretch Tarot deck and I am very tempted to buy my own since as well as the lovely mixed media art it includes one-word guidance about what the card means at the top - useful for traveling when I don't have my books to look up.
I use Tarot as a mirror - so I draw the card, look up its meaning, and then see what resonates with what's going on in my world and write about it. It's very useful to dig deeper and be present to what's going on in your life. And writing things down often helps find a way forward. I am new to Tarot (only started exploring last year) and find these books really helpful.
You can also get Theresa Read's "Tarot Card by Card" manual as a free download if you join her email list. Each card has keywords, general meanings, an affirmation, a theme song, a journaling prompt, and a rap....so fun ♥ I've printed and put mine in a binder. I particularly love how the affirmations positively frame some of the "harder" cards
This is my monthly review of what I read and watched 
Still really excited that we got to see Imagine Dragons in Wellington last week - they were so fantastic to see live. Awesome sound, great visually, and so much energy. My friend took this photo from where she was seated above us - we were standing right under the balloons ♥
Also last week we celebrated Book Week at my school. It's always a really fun but exhausting week because of the all the organisation - book character dress-up day is always a highlight me hearties - aaaargh!
I've also explored Bullet Journaling a bit this month. You can get lost down a rabbit hole with Boho Berry HERE and Julie Fei-Fan Balzer HERE! I've decided to adopt the symbols for checking off lists - love how it's neater than crossing out and I can see easily what's been achieved - using it everywhere, not just this journal.... at work, on shopping lists.... how did I not discover this sooner?!
I began my #100daysofstitch project in April. Last week's email from the organisers of #the100dayproject included this : 
You may have read that I'm still doing weekly-review stitch posts but I've stopped counting days. It's interesting to see how long ago my stitch habit was re-ignited. I will continue to add stitch projects to my to-do list. Last week I finished another paper/stitch project - my cotton reel book which you can read all about HERE
Also at school I'm taking craft club once a week - we are making neonatal quilts to gift to our hospital and they are so enthusiastic it is a joy. I am very lucky to have 2 adult helpers - we are almost finished cutting out and I will share more as the quilt tops come together. 
I had a break from #52stamps in April and am not feeling the need to go back yet. A challenge is only good if it's inspiring you isn't it? 
I can tick most things off my list of creative intentions for May so it does seem that if something makes it to the list it gets my attention. I'm attempting this month to have less on my "to do" list!  CREATIVE INTENTIONS FOR JUNE : 
  • to work in my art journal WEEKLY (I have a variety of lessons to choose from)
  • To continue to stitch regularly - I have quilt fabric and a pattern ready to go
  • to continue my healthy body focus supported by my journal
What are your creative intentions for June? If you are looking for some cheap/free online offerings, these are current : 
Roben-Marie Smith is retiring some of her classes and the links are available HERE at half price until June 10th (access to classes continue they just won't be available for sale any more)
Tammy's 8th Index Card a Day (ICAD) challenge runs in June and July 2018. 
Also check out my list of cheap and FREE online offerings HERE. I keep that updated but last did that properly in January so please let me know if you have seen new offerings I could add there. Wishing you a creative and joyful June. 

Monday, May 28, 2018

Book of Days : Limited Palette Portrait

Session 2 of Book of Days began in May. We get a full lesson in BOD every fortnight and I started this month with the intention to keep up this time, and also hopeful that I'll be able to catch up the couple of lessons I missed from Session 1 on the alternating fortnight. By Saturday it hadn't happened and I was wasting even more time trying to decide which lesson to do so I had to speak sternly to myself! I always learn something with every lesson I do, so I'm just starting at session 2, week 1, and I'll circle back if time allows....This lesson combines 3/4 profile portraits, working with charcoal, and limited palettes. Began with the charcoal outline - you can see I'm not working on a clean page in my altered book so this may well help me make decisions about my limited palette! Turquoise is a favourite of mine, but I didn't end up going that way....
Next up was blending - I was needing a new blending stump and found this great set at Gordon Harris with various sizes. The photo also shows my charcoal pencil
Once blended, she's ready for a spray of workable fixative and then a layer of clear gesso so I can add other coloured media without disturbing the charcoal
Added some blended pencil to her face, and then decided I might fill in base layers of dress, hair, background. Decided I'd like a night sky - dripped a bit of water by accident on the black gesso so added more of that....purple is my main colour for limited palette and I used an iridescent for her hair
And then I worked on her, adding layers
until I finally decided she is done
I didn't love using the charcoal, but I was reminded of how much I enjoy the technique of using pencils blended over clear gesso and the gold touches ♥ I just love the process of making art - it makes me feel calm and happy. 
You can sign up for this and other classes by Effy Wild HERE. See my Flickr album of all art work inspired by Effy's classes HERE.
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