Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Stitched Cards

One of the things I love about blogging is that it captures my process for later inspiration. I wanted to make some more cards that included paper and stitch, and serendipitously came across this post from last year
I've been able to use the tag stitching ideas to inspire my next batch of cards. Assorted papers with a focal image
and decorative stitching
Some of my art included
And although they don't look anything like the inspiration I began with
that's the fun of creating small pieces like this. I am very happy that I now have a stash for all occasions ♥

Friday, July 13, 2018

Celebrating my 8th Bloggiversary!

I did my first blog post on 13th July 2010 and this is post #1020! I'm really happy to be still blogging in a way that supports my ongoing learning and shares my creative joy. 
I was thinking about a blog break since I've not been so productive lately, but you don't seem to be a critical audience so I'm just going to be happy to share when I've completed a project or got special inspirations like free online class info or lovely new arty book discoveries. My life is full and happy right now, and creativity plays a huge part in it. If I share a completed project along with the honest struggles of my process here and that inspires you in some way, I am doubly satisfied. Icing on the cake = when you take time to write your lovely comments - thank you ♥
A blog post from me always has to include photos, so here's a pictorial review of my main projects this year so far. Click on the titles to link with the particular projects :
I began the year with lessons from Tam's She Blooms in Ink class : 
Love the lessons I've done so far and have plans to do more this holidays so stay tuned....I began a project I called #52stamps which I did until April and may (or may not) return to later in the year. I carved 21 stamps
I've been participating in Effy Wild's 2 year-long classes (Book of Days and Moonshine) These are a couple of favourite pages inspired by these classes : 
I also embarked on the100DayProject - my version was #100daysofstitch and it certainly got me back stitching. I first completed a small hand-stitched applique 
and then another small book project (inspired by Mary Ann Moss's class)
I am happy to say I am making good progress on my poppy quilt and today finished stitching the initial rectangle units. I've had a little fiddle with layout so will live with this for a day and then start stitching together to make the quilt top.
So here's to me and here's to you {clinks glasses or coffee mugs as you prefer} and our continued creative journeys into the second half of the year with many more blog posts to come. Thanks for being here with me💖

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Altered Binder Journal Cover

Hi everyone - I'm in first week of school holidays. Feeling winter's blast and the frustration of not ticking enough things off my list! I just wanted to send a bit of encouragement in case you need it too. Things don't always go to plan - but out of frustration and chaos, you can end up with something unexpected and lovely. 
I started this altered binder project last week, and am so happy it's finally done. I've been participating in Effy Wild's Moonshine class this year, and while I haven't produced as many art journal pages as I may have liked, there is a lot of written material which I read every month and learn a great deal from. I altered this folder at the beginning of the year, and use it to store all my class notes as well as other useful related info. I've reached the point where I need another folder....
I love altering book covers, so launched in with enthusiasm, beginning the same way as last time with collage, paint, stencils 
modeling paste, serviettes
but it all became too much! I love some of the details
but you have to isolate bits for it to not be too overwhelming. I was paralysed with not knowing how to take any steps to fix it. I knew I needed to cover up some stuff, but that's really hard for me. It took me several days feeling stumped and frustrated before I decided to go back to treating it as a folder instead of a journal spread. This made it much more managable to tackle in smaller sections. Began with the back cover since I figured I won't look at that much anyway if I completely mess up! Love that white modeling paste above, so went with adding more white paint through a couple of lovely stencils
- feels magical enough for a back cover so I decided to move to the spine and be inspired by what I did on my first binder
I decided to add the same printed heading but cut the rest of the date off since this is my part 2 folder. And then I realised I needed some of those butterflies too (they are paper serviettes)
And now it seems obvious that what I need on the front is more contrast of dark and light 
On the original folder I got that from using my Pebeo iridescent blue black and touches of gold. I ended up using the blue black (which actually looks more like a purple) around the entire border of my folder and I like the modeling paste much better gold than pink ♥
I used my cool stencil from StrumpetStencils 
to add words
and the moon and some stars - highlighted with gold pen and white dots for extra sparkle and shine
and this is the cover spread complete. Click on any photo to see it larger.
My life right now is a bit chaotic, a bit crazy, but always full of colour and I try to inject SHINE wherever I can, so I guess this is art representing life ♥ 
To see all the altered book cover ideas I've shared with you on the blog click HERE.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Altered Book : Kindle holder

Recently one of my clever friends decided she'd make a cover for her kindle by cutting and gluing pages together in a recycled book - very cool I think.
Then she said she'd really like some of my art every time she opened it. She loves dragonflies and autumn colours and provided me with a couple of things to include. 
Needs to be flat so cover will close, so I knew stencils would be lovely and I'd recently shown my 2017 daily art journal to a friend so those covers became my inspiration :
I started with a layer of gold again to make it glow, and used a few of my metallic paints with various stencils, serviettes and stamping
and a piece of ribbon so she can pop the kindle out easily
I could have left it there, but I knew it needed some more dark to make it come to life so next morning I added more serviettes - I have a really lovely botanical one
and I had another dragonfly
I often use butterflies in my work, so couldn't help including just one
It was a lovely project to do and so awesome to be asked. So glad she loves it ♥ 
Click on any photo to enjoy it larger.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

June review and looking towards July

I've been finding monthly reviews useful to focus where I'm headed and celebrate what I've done when I feel like I haven't done much. We are half way through the year and Winter is really here. June was Birthday month - for the Queen, for me, and for my younger son ♥ 
I simplified my creative intentions for June and wanted to keep stitching and try working on one art journal page every week. I created a check box to help my focus : 
As you can see, it worked! Although I posted less in June, I completed more art journal pages than in recent months as well as another project which I can't share until later this week....I've continued to write, muse and save helpful wisdom in my Inner Work journal
I LOVED the book "Lost for words" - it put me in mind of "Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine" which I have recommended here. And am currently enjoying "The lustre of lost things". Broadchurch series 1 & 2 became a bit of a binge watch - excellent viewing. 
My most recent art journal page included an exercise in writing down what I'm proud of about myself. 
The things that impact my creative life are : 
So proud that I keep going and don't give up - I am still SHINING - I am still writing in my Inner Work journal and the benefits from that continue - I am continuing my creative practice - I am loving the art I am producing - I am more realistic about what I can achieve in a day - proud of the work I do at school both with how they are excited about the library and the extras I do with craft club - proud that I am still stitching but have let go of other projects like stamp carving until the time is right - proud that I am still blogging but not making it a stick to beat myself if I'm not posting
Creativity appeared a lot in my list and I am grateful for its central place in my life. I have been blogging for 8 years on 13th July! I'm really happy to be still doing that in a way that supports me and that it changes over time. 
July brings 2 weeks of school holidays - usually a more productive time for me in terms of creative projects. They are my reward for the time needed to catch up on some necessary evils like cleaning the oven! It's also time to prune roses and hopefully there'll be some days without rain so I can do my final weed in the garden until Spring. Here's my list of intentions for July :
It's more detailed than June because of those school holidays. The column on the right contains holiday jobs and I hope to do those in the morning and have creative fun in the afternoon. One more week of school to go. Wishing you a happy and creative July.
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