Saturday, February 28, 2015

3 Quilts for 5 Days

I've agreed to participate in a Facebook Quilt Challenge to post 3 of my quilts each day for 5 days and thought it would be fun to share them with you as well. Started yesterday, so you get to see 6 quilts in this post.
Day one : Baby quilts - these 3 were made and gifted in 2012. Click on any photo to see it larger. 
Emma's quilt originally blogged HERE - my own design.
Pukeko quilt for Liam. The central pattern square was originally designed by Jenny Hunter (more details HERE) but the setting is my own. 
Hunter's quilt (originally blogged HERE) - pattern by Oh, Fransson
Day two : these are the 3 quilts I've made for my boys. The top two were made for my sons in 2007 and are my own designs. 
This guitar quilt, a Robbi Joy Eklow pattern, was made for my husband for his 40th.

FREE strathmore workshops

As with previous years, Strathmore have FREE online art classes in 2015. This coming week the first class begins and it's with Traci Bautista again :-)
I love Traci's work - see other blog posts from me being inspired by her HERE, including information about her latest book :
See details of this workshop at her blog HERE : "Taking inspiration from her latest book "Printmaking unleashed", dive into the journey of expressive mark-making" 

Traci last taught a Strathmore workshop in 2012 - this will be worth checking out.
Find information about other Strathmore workshops for 2015 HERE and there is also a youtube channel with some of their previous workshops still available HERE.
You can always find links to this and other cheap and FREE workshops in the sidebar up on the right.
Hope you are getting some time to be creative this weekend. Talk to you again in March!

Friday, February 27, 2015

LB2015 : Jar of favourite favourites

This next Life Book project was created by Lynn Whipple
It was a joy from start to finish and no progress photos apart from this first one because I was having so much fun!! First we laid down delicious watercolour
Then I sketched on my jar shape and started writing down all of my favourite favourite things :-)
and it was fun to add favourite symbols 
as well as stitch of course
It makes me feel so happy whenever I look at it and think of all my favourite favourites :-)
click on the jar to see it larger
You can see all my posts about Life Book HERE and I've created a Flickr album for all my Life Book projects HERE. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Week 8 : DLP 2015

Information about the FREE Documented Life Project is HERE.
A few weeks ago the challenge was to use under paper. You may remember that I was taken with a page where I could immediately see a house with a heart inside. Since part of this week's challenge is "It's worth repeating" I thought I would repeat the idea of using under paper to kick-start my page. Here it is glued into position.
The very first thing I did was to add some red paint to some fine corrugated card and used that to stamp in the roof shape of the house. 
Then I added some green swirls on the right with that lovely roller I used for water in my last post, and repeated it as well on the left of the page. It's nice to start with something you know you will like! I have a really cool Teresa Collins stencil which I bought on holiday last year. I used that to add the people (altered to get our 2 boys with their different heights) and the word family. Then I wanted to add more blue around the page for balance, so I added the heart on the roof, and then applied it through a chicken-wire shaped stencil on the left. Used up some green paint to repeat that stencil design and pick up the green colour a bit more.
You may remember that in my last spread in this journal, I machine stitched the journaling section - you can see that original stitching quite clearly showing beneath the glued under paper when I first started here :
The blue and green paint additions were a little dark for journaling, so I applied a bit of gesso and wiped it over with a damp baby wipe. Then I wanted to enhance my journaling sections so I rubbed over the stitch with a neocolor crayon - I like the effect that gave. 
You might also notice that I applied some of that neocolor in the sky area, and on the right hand side. It's good to repeat colours across your page as well as repeating shapes. I had made some cards where I had stamped some flowers onto book paper. I had a couple left of those and they worked well as a repeating element for clouds. 
I know I want to add more at this point, but want to keep it fairly simple and keep the focus on the family. Also thinking I might try leaving that white space - something I am not known for!! 
Wine corks are fun to use - it worked well to add some extra interest to the sky. I like that they stamp unevenly. 
click on any photo to see it larger
One of my regularly repeated elements in my art is butterflies, so one also had to appear here.
To head up the journaling space, I wrote the words with neocolor crayon, and then went over them with a water brush to blend.
I added some stamped swirls to the sides of my house, and then wanted to attend to that gap on the right. I have enjoyed adding 1/2 circle borders to my work as I did here. It was a simple matter to repeat that idea with neocolor crayons. 
You don't need to get too complicated when you are adding finishing touches
You can see all my posts about this project HERE and I've created a Flickr album for all my Documented Life 2015 spreads HERE.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

LB2015 : Treasure Seeking

This Life Book project was created by Mati Rose McDonough and involved incorporating gold or silver leaf into your project. My last couple of projects (Life Book and Documented Life) involved moments and layers where I didn't know which direction to take, or things took a bad turn, and although I ended up loving them in the end, this piece came together quickly and easily which made it an especially joyful experience. Most of my Life Book pieces are being worked on watercolour paper. Because that is quite expensive, I use alternatives when the watercolour surface isn't used. This time I used a piece of cardboard packaging. Mati Rose's sample was a simple sail boat and after some consideration of another subject, I decided I would keep it simple too. 
First layer was acrylic paints. There are two dark blues in the background - the first added with a credit card scraping, and the other to fill in gaps with a paintbrush. Then I added some pattern for the sea using bubble wrap and that lovely swirly roller. I had decided I would  make a night sky so I could add more metallic ideas - here I've painted in a simple moon shape as well.
I wanted some movement in the sky so sprayed and dripped some starburst spray - this is delphinium turquoise. They have a divine shimmer. 
When I turned it the right way I had a lovely wispy cloud-like pattern. 
 Then I needed stars and glitter to create a night sky.
I have had some metallic flakes for quite a few years in my cupboard. Put them in a plastic jar to store but never really used them because I wasn't sure how.
The instructions say to use a special metal adhesive, but I didn't have that and didn't want to stop creating to buy something new! So I just used a heavy gloss medium and applied gold flakes to the moon (as seen in the photo above), and the various colours for the boat.
Not sure if it would have been more even/flatter effect if I'd used the correct adhesive but I like the effect I got. I am really happy that I purchased the rainbow flakes. The purple is glitter that I sprinkled to fill in the gaps. For the rest of the boat I used fabric for the sails and machine stitch to put the boat together.
I used gold metallic thread in the top and plain black cotton in the bobbin. I increased my stitch length and stitched a bit slower than normal and had no problem stitching through the thicker cardboard. This was a fun lesson and something I wouldn't have done without this class :-)
You can see all my posts about Life Book HERE and I've created a Flickr album for all my Life Book projects HERE. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Week 7 : DLP 2015

Information about the FREE Documented Life Project is HERE.
Art Challenge : cover up good stuff
Journal prompt : Going undercover
The challenges this month are all about layers and I was especially inspired by these steps in the artists' processes this week : guest artist Jane Keeling used fibres and stitch, Roben-Marie Smith used stitching and black, Rae Missigman covered up a layer using a gelli plate, and Lorraine Bell started with a layer of writing with a waterproof pen... So with those inspirations in my head, here's what happened on my spread :
I didn't really have much to write about so just wrote down all the things I am grateful for, then scraped the green interference paint over with an old credit card, and used a brush to fill a different green over the gaps
I had this idea that I would use black with a stencil over some bright colours, so next step was the brights randomly through some stencils
click on any photo to see it larger
- loving this, but time to cover it up
LOVING this. Not sure what to do next though, so used stitch to create my journaling block - the purple is fabric
Bit of maneuvering to get this under the machine, but it worked.
Stitch shows through on the other side of course - not sure if that will be covered up by paper next week or will show for my journal block. Will have to see what the next challenge is.
I then had an idea that it might look ethereal with white paint as another layer over the black. Started that, but didn't like it when I lifted to check
Decided to try and remove it with a wet wipe - which made it a bit shady but okay...should have tried to wipe just where I'd made the oops but went too far and wiped over the whole spread {sigh} It's okay but not as in love as I was before. Now what to do?
I decided it needed brightening up a bit again so added that original iridescent green paint through a leaf stencil and also on a large flower stamp around the border. Thinking I might need a quote, so began to create a tag that might work for that.
It's okay but I'm not really feeling it....have been thinking about night garden and fairies in the garden, but I can't draw fairies. However, I might manage a face :
I put some flesh-coloured paint on the bit in the middle that I hadn't stencilled/stamped over
and gradually her face emerged and the spread was done.
I would never have had the confidence to attempt this before I did that first Life Book Lesson. But now I've proved to myself that covering up what you love can actually lead to something you love even more! And I'm happy that I've fulfilled the "going under cover" part of the challenge as well.
You can see all my posts about this project HERE and I've created a Flickr album for all my Documented Life 2015 spreads HERE.
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