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 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.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Stitch*Bookery : book 5

I've been waiting for an opportunity to make another book inspired by the wonderful online Stitch*Bookery class with Mary Ann Moss. I just love the projects I've made so far but I gifted my first three of them away. I've been sharing this project in stages as part of my #100daysofstitch project. This is the whole story....I had an old wooden cotton reel that measures 4 1/2" inside the round which I think is a nice width to show off some pretty papers. I began by gathering some inky papers and old gelli prints
and cutting a strip of "ugly" fabric to 4" - I will stitch on the patterned side so you won't see that, and some of the papers can overlap a bit
Then I began with the initial stitching - have a colour-scheme in mind and I like the black thread so the stitching shows up
Thought I might like to add some fabric with the paper = more is more! ♥
Because I used fabric on the back, I was able to add hand stitching which made for more interesting texture
My friend had the great idea that I should include some of my own art printed small - I printed on a recycled book page
Strip progress - another print of my work with stars in the backgound, and drawing on the inside of business envelopes from 2013 (You just never know when you'll use things!)
Lovely to see how adding hand stitching and button embellishments change the page
I love adding words - browsed some magazines and these all seemed to work well together for the feeling of this piece
I decided to add some other embellishments in the form of various brads I've had in my stash for a while and I used blue staples for attaching a couple of feathers - hard and soft together
I love looking at each section and seeing the different machine stitching (fancy and plain stitches),
hand stitching, 
and the addition of other fun embellisments
Using the fabric was a good idea for a base to add hand stitching, but the back wasn't looking very attractive (I knew it would be covered later so was a bit lazy with how the stitching traveled on the back)
I glued down gorgeous paper serviettes and love how this looks - because they are so transparent when dry you see a hint of the fabric design and the stitching still shows
Decided to use lovely sari ribbon to close
and a button from my stash with a shank on it so I can wind the sari ribbon around to close the book
I had left the other end unfinished and used gel medium to glue the paper to the serviette side so it stays wrapped around the reel (I hope that makes sense!)
This handmade book was another lovely project from beginnings to end ♥ 
Here it is on the shelf with the other one that still lives at my house.
Go HERE to see all my posts about books made from this class.
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