Sunday, September 15, 2019

A Year of Rumi : fan your flame

Last weekend I had a wonderful Girls' gathering away at the beach sandwiched between 2 extra busy weeks at work. Finally I've had time to complete another art journal spread. It's been almost a month since I shared my previous page in my altered art journal, repeating a prompt from Effy's A Year of Rumi online class. Our Rumi quote for July inspired a fan shape in Effy's original art page and in my own art card HERE
I loved the fan and decided it would be lovely to have one also in my art journal along with a face. I was also inspired to use Turquoise and Red together again and thus my background began : 
She has really taken her time in emerging in sometimes difficult ways....
Red glaze finally made me happy with the fan
But that was a much easier fix than her her eye position far too low to begin with but didn't realise until I stepped back to work out why she didn't feel right {a lot of courage to share this!}
Quite a lot of reworking to get the eye to here....but she still doesn't have the right expression for the fan - not flirtatious enough 
I lowered her upper lid and added the extra white pen details. Also had to rework her hairline a little bit before I was happy
Finally I'm calling her done
Find out more about the "A Year with Rumi" class with Effy Wild HEREYou can also enjoy this class by joining Effy's Patreon account and paying monthly. 

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Inspired by....

Online art classes for 2020 have begun to be advertised. I always feel a bit overwhelmed trying to decide if I want to do none or all of them! If you want to get a taste for what Life Book 2020 is all about, you can join the FREE Creativity and Wellbeing summit which this year runs 16-30 September. Sign up HERE
Enjoy Free Access to 30 Inspiring Interviews and 30 Art + Wellness activities!
Learn how creativity can support your wellness and happiness in life!
I've never done "Let's Face It" but it looks really good - read all about it HERE.
Registrations open 14 October, and REALLY Early Bird special of US$99 ends November 30. If you follow that link you can also go on a blog hop to win a free place.
Alisa Burke also has a new online Art Journal class which begins September 23rd. I am ALWAYS inspired by her work.
Find out more HERE - early bird registration US$35 until it launches. 
What's inspiring you? Any FREE classes you know about that I might not? Please share!

Monday, September 2, 2019

August to September in New Zealand

Spring is coming. It felt like it suddenly arrived yesterday (the 1st) with a stunning day of sunshine but the official date for Equinox is 23 September so it may continue to be a bit unsettled with some wintery reminders until then... My magnolia tree is in full bloom ready for the winds that always come to spread the petals around! I love the colours and the abundance. I am grateful for this sign of warmer seasonal change as I navigate the challenges of change in my own life cycle whilst also doing my best to support others my family love in their own times of change and personal need. I'm still present over here, doing something creative most days, although scarce on the blog these past couple of weeks cos of *reasons*. 
The photo above is of the art I completed in August. I am feeling happy that I am creating pieces I love at a pace that fits with my other priorities. I haven't shared the cards yet on the blog, but you can see the process photos of the art journal spreads HERE and HEREI still take #arteveryday photos - the desire to keep up that ritual reminds me to try to create a little every day....sometimes the photos are ''every couple of days" and when I look at what else I do in my week, that's perfectly okay. I did quite well last week : Monday - Sunday
I continue to take a neonatal quilt making elective at school - as you can see above that takes up quite a bit of time at home helping them by preparing their next steps. 
I also taught a 2-hour class on Art Journal construction at the beginning of the month. I am really proud of that class. I did lots of preparation and I've shared a very detailed blog post with a ton of links from that class HERE. It's a wonderful resource of all sorts of ways to create different book forms. 
New supplies this month : I was very blessed that a friend from my quilt group was having a clean out and gifted me these! 
I have owned and loved lumiere paints for a while now, but have never owned soft pastels. I need to do some research about how to use them - they are chalky. Apart from knowing they will need to be sealed with workable fixative, I need some time to play and experiment so any tips you can give and links to tutorials would be great. Do you think I could find info on pan pastels and use them similarly? Look forward to reading your comments.
As suspected, I have finished my Inner Work Journal to coincide with the end of the month.
August was much more focused on intentions of being present and thinking about "what really matters?" instead of having a check list of things to achieve. I think I will continue that focus for September. I'll be preparing a new journal for my writing practice for the new month ahead. I purchased a plain blue book this time and picked up a lovely mandala stencil at the same time...I'll share how they combine
I was VERY disappointed that Tam's new book didn't arrive for me in August - preordered so something's gone wrong. Hopefully can share with you in September. 
In other news for September, I am starting with a VERY social week (2 x dinners and 2 x afternoon coffee with close friends) and this will culminate in traveling away on Friday to our annual "Girls' Weekend" - 8 women at Raumati beach - we shop, eat, drink, laugh, share and relax. Most of us had our first babies together 19 years ago!
I ♥ stencils and I'll be sharing techniques next week in a 2-hour class - of course I'll share useful links with you again after the event as I always do when I teach
Really happy that I was able to complete a piece of art yesterday 
- great start to the month and I am looking forward to finishing this work in progress very soon : 
I also made these card bases during the last month so hope can make something of them 
I love Spring and am looking forward to hopefully warmer temperatures and some switching out in my wardrobe from merino and jerseys to lighter pretty tops and sneakers. Also looking forward to sharing art and other inspirations with you this month. Talk again soon. 

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Klimt in the garden with Rumi : August art card

Ready to share my next art card inspired by Effy's A Year of Rumi online class. These art cards present special challenges to me since they are only 5 3/4" square. Always start with gatherings - I know I'm going to use a candle to symbolise the light and I already have all my quotes printed in the same font
I love stenciling and am teaching a class in this next week - I'm also very inspired by turquoise at the moment and I think it will make a lovely night time suggestion without being too dark
Next I decided to add some pretty washi tape for more subtle background interest and trial positioning my candle and quote
Before I stitch anything down I check and see I've got Klimt covered with my patterned fabric and the gold (+ I always use metallic thread) but what am I going to have for my in the garden element? Having sorted that, the machine stitching with gold metallic thread begins
Once I've finished stitching down all my elements, I always find a suitable fabric to put over the back and machine stitch right around the edge. 
This is my completed card for August. 
Find out more about the "A Year with Rumi" class with Effy Wild HERE. Check out the rest of my art card series HERE.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

A Year of Rumi : Your heart knows the way

I've been making a series of art cards called "Klimt in the garden with Rumi" inspired by Effy's A Year of Rumi online class. This is my collection so far this year
My art cards are inspired by the quotes and completely different from Effy's lessons. I've always had the thought I'd go back and do some pages my art journal inspired by her art. I did both a card and a journal page for the February lesson : 
I always learn something from the lessons I take with Effy, and since I couldn't decide which lesson to pick next for my art journal, I decided to go back to the first from the year. This is my original art card
This is Effy's art (advertised on Patreon HERE)
And what follows are the steps in my interpretation of her lesson and techniques in my journal. I had cleaned off my stencils from my previous project on the next pages, so this was my base to begin : 
A layer of gold and delicious acrylic inks
Gathering possible collage elements - great thing is I had all this inky goodness in my stash ♥
Auditioning - I really feel drawn to using the tags....
and then decided that machine stitching them together would be great for added texture before gluing them down
The quote and a few more highlights completed the spread
Find out more about the "A Year with Rumi" class with Effy Wild HEREYou can also enjoy this class by joining Effy's Patreon account and paying monthly. 

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Art journal construction ideas

I love handmade books and art journal construction was the topic we covered in my monthly Art Journal class on Wednesday night. Thought I'd bring the book forms discussed here in one place for inspiration for next time you bind an art journal. 
Simple binding of papers into a cover  : we talked about the 3-hole pamphlet stitch (easily modified to 5) = if you start inside you finish inside, if you start outside you can leave longer tails and decorate. 
As I was starting to gather my ideas for this class, Marit shared her first post for Quirky Dutch Summer : Journal with a canvas cover. It utilises this simple stitched technique (instructions HERE) and includes a nice idea for using canvas. 
My fabric book wrap had pages included using this method. This one I finished to the outside so that I could add beading to the spine.
And I couldn't show this one in class because it's been gifted away but you can enjoy it HERE (same pamphlet stitch, multiple signatures) : 
You can make this simple signature stitch look more complicated with a double cover
This book I finished with a simple knot inside the signature.
It's also easy to stitch pages in with your machine. I stitched messy lines in the centre of this canvas cover, and then stitched through pages that began as manila folders. Just lengthen your stitch length and stitch slowly
We talked about creating a journal from one piece of paper
My pansy book used the single piece of paper technique above and the simple pamphlet stitch.
We also discussed ideas for binding journal pages you’ve created on separate sheets of paper. Altering recycled ring-binders as covers is fun 
and then you can hole punch your art pages, or stick/stitch your pages onto base pages with punched holes. I don't have an example of my own, so this is a photo from Tam at Willowing using this method. 
You can also create full spreads on watercolour paper and then sew them together after. This was the method I used for binding the lessons from Tam's She Blooms in ink Class. 
You could also use the above technique to stitch art to base pages for binding. You can also create individual pages that are the same size and then bind them using a concertina paper hinge technique that you'll find HERE. 
You can tie pages into a cover - we thought this would be a good idea for saving special occasion cards.
Then we moved to the challenges of repurposing/strengthening old books for use as journals. This is where I introduced my current recycled art journal. You can remove pages before you start – use masking tape for reinforcing joins or to mend tears. 
Or just let your journal bloom and rebind if necessary. I use Bear tape – also could be called Duck tape.  Needs to be strong and wide and sticky. 
I mostly I leave altering my covers until the end. I love to start with a base of gold and then add layers including stencils and serviettes as 2 of my favourite recurring elements. The cover above ended up like THIS
Another fun thing is to replace a cover - when I made my watercolour journal in 2014, it had a spiral binding which meant I was easily able to make a new front cover with Pelmet Vilene
There are lots of fun methods of making holders for individual pages. This is a stitched envelope
and I made this lap top cover  (also gifted away) which could just as easily contain art journal pages : 
This is my Klimt in the Garden box
Also fun are Continuous pages like my cotton reel book : 
and simple concertina books like that made for me by Zsuzsa of our combined art projects
I love my Canvas book which has a variation on folding to make its cover
My Garden accordion book holds tags 
And this tag book is one of my favourite projects 
Birgit Koopsen also has a great method for making tag books. Find her instructions on Youtube HERE
I finished by sharing my Butterfly Star Book : you can find instructions to make this form HERE.
Loved gathering all these methods for class and this post. I am amazed at how many different book forms I have made so far. Hope you find time to create this week.
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