Sunday, June 28, 2015

Birthday cards

A few more cards to share. The first started as a piece of gelli-printed cardstock. 
I glued on some pieces of serviettes, some found words, and then machine stitched that to the card base. 
The next was for a friend who loves red. I like to use serviettes and thought a flower would be nice so this one fit the bill 
The yellow stencil design in the background was chosen for a bit of sunshine on a very wet day, and because that stencil was still out from my last project...Sometimes decisions simply arise from what's easily to hand :-)
Favourite additions of sari ribbon, machine stitching and a butterfly stamp and this one was complete
Don't feel despair if you make a stitching mistake.....I decided I needed another line of stitching on the sari ribbon, but on the second go forgot to open the card! Redeemed by unpicking, restitching, and then disguising the holes inside the card with some other decorative stitch so that will be a feature when she opens the card and reads the message. If you click on the photo you'll see the holes still there from the mistaken stitching, but I don't think she'll notice.
While my machine and supplies were out, I decided to add to my stash of cards. Now that my new machine is up in pride of place on the big table in the middle of my studio to use every day, I do my journal work on the narrower table in the window. 
My old machine rests underneath on the floor, and is portable enough to just pop up when I need to add stitching. I love that I don't need to worry about whether I am stitching through paper, or if the glue is quite never lets me down.
When I use serviettes in my art, I pull off the bottom 2 layers. When I made the red card above,  I noticed that the middle layer had quite a definite, though softer, print from the top layer, so thought I might be able to use that too :
I liked it so much that I used both layers of a flower on a 3rd card :
and here they are now :
Just need to finish that left one. Once I know what the occasion will be, I will add some nice found words.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Week 25 : DLP 2015

Information about the FREE weekly Documented Life Project is HERE. We're almost half way through the year! I have been enjoying it all but this week was a bit stuck for creative inspiration.
I sort of felt like I'd done this one last week with my NZ Don't leave home til you've seen the country. Upon closer consideration I realised it was more about my town, so I duly gathered some possible photos, but it wasn't until Wednesday that I made some progress. That's the day the coffee truck comes to work, and this week he had especially lovely cups.
You need to take inspiration where you find it....while my spread bears no resemblance to this, it got me started with the idea of painting a simple landscape for my background
One of the nice things about living in Palmerston North is that it's easy to get around (only takes 10-15 minutes in the car from my door to most of my daily destinations of school, work, gym, sports practices). It's also only 30 minutes or up to 2 hours to get to my favourite places for inspirational relaxation or a weekend get-away so thought I would pop down some arrows to handy destinations
I love our view of the windmills and the photo fit in well here so I decided to add some of the others. 
Time to add some painty layers with stencils and stamps
and some grungy pencil
In the photos above are the private school I work at as school librarian, the city library which gets at least weekly visits from me, and my happiest at home loves - my boys and the door to my studio.
Then the page felt like it needed some touches with crayon - they are water soluble, but I just blended them with my finger
After that I left the page for a day, but wasn't moved to add anything else, so here it is called done
...not my favourite page, but given the busy and cold week it's been, I'm happy that I didn't take it easy and just make 2 daily journal spots on next week's challenge ;-) Click on the photo to enjoy it larger or see it in the Flickr album I've created for all my Documented Life 2015 spreads HERE. You can see all my posts about this project HERE.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

ICAD : Spiked-Border-A-Day challenge

Index-Card-A-Day (ICAD) is an annual creative challenge facilitated by DaisyYellow and now in it's 5th Year. You can read about it HEREStarting June 1, Create something on a 3x5" index card every day for 61 days. On the back of each card, add a number to keep track of your progress. ICAD #1, #2, etc. Whatever day you start, it is your own official ICAD #1. Motto: You do not need to catch up, just start.
It looks like fun, and this challenge has inspired me for a couple of different reasons.
First, I love creations that combine paper, fabric and stitch. There are a couple of bloggers from Denmark who are doing this beautifully. Be inspired by the work of Anni and Tina Jensen.
Second, the philosophy of creating a little and often fits right into how I find time to create. This challenge has got me thinking about applying the "A-Day" idea to a project of mine that hasn't been moving forward. You might remember that in January I did a couple of day classes with Karen K. Stone. One was called "Wild Women Don't Get the Blues" - read about that HERE. By the end of the day I had completed 8 borders. Here they are lying on the feature fabric 2nd February.
I really do want to make this entire quilt. I needed more blue fabric in my stash, and when I went to a couple of quilt shows, I managed to find some nice additions (did you know that blue is a very hard colour to match?) I cut my feature fabric centres and stitched those edges on, and made a little progress. When I went looking for the last progress photo I shared, I was shocked that it was back in April - last school holidays! 
I hadn't done much more since. On Monday of this week, ICAD properly penetrated my consciousness, and as I was driving home in the dark after dropping my son off at 6.15am for basketball training (good thinking time) I decided that I could do my own project : "Spiked-Border-A-Day".... I have 21 blocks left to make = 84 borders. If I divide that by 7 days in a week, that's 12 weeks. So if I only make one border a day (with hopefully some time on weekends for attaching them to centres) I will have my 25 blocks made ready to assemble the quilt top by 5th September. That seems a while, but better than getting to the end of the year and wishing I'd done more!
So I set myself up and got started. 
My new machine now has centre stage on the large table in the middle of my studio. Every time I walk into the room and see it I am reminded that I want to make good use of it and make quilts :-) At the end of my first week of effort I had a whole new block + 3 borders completed. 
Each spiked border takes me less than 15 minutes, so I decided I could find some extra time and now I have 2 whole blocks completed
Sharing this feels very encouraging! Looking forward to sharing an update with lots more progress soon....
Have you set yourself any art challenges lately? I'd love to hear what you're up to.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Week 24 : DLP 2015

Information about the FREE weekly Documented Life Project is HERE. We're still on Travel journaling and this was this week's challenge : 
This page started when I used modeling paste through one of my new favourite stencils (see my last post) and I decided to use up the leftover paste on my next spread in my Documented Life journal. Click on the photo to enjoy the delicious texture and pattern.
This stencil reminds me of lovely tapa patterns which meant that I was headed for creating another spread celebrating my lovely holiday times in New Zealand. I started tentatively with some serviettes and a bit of pacifica turquoise colour
Wasn't really sure where I was going, but I pulled out some old postage stamps, some tape, a map of New Zealand printed on a plastic bag, some ribbon, my {silver} fern stencil, and started to layer.
In the 1980s, there was a New Zealand domestic tourism campaign called "Don't leave home 'til you've seen the country"
I have never been able to get this out of my head. As the spread developed, I was remembering all my childhood family holidays in our caravan all over the country
and as an adult, although I haven't been to Paris, or London, or Italy (that last one is on my bucket list though), I've taken the road [perhaps less travelled?] and I have been to most places in New Zealand, and now we are trying to share all of it with our children.
In the above photo, the swirls are on ribbon, the black and white tapa pattern is tape, the ferns serviette, and the New Zealand is cut from a plastic shopping bag and glued down. Here's my finished spread :
I've enjoyed recording my memories in this way. Click on the photo to enjoy it larger or see it in the Flickr album I've created for all my Documented Life 2015 spreads HERE. You can see all my posts about this project HERE. Hope you have a creative and happy weekend.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

LB2015 : Here's looking at you kid / Unravelling through mark making

At last I have another Life Book project to share - 2 lessons combined in fact! I started with Kristin Van Valkenburgh - creator of Summer of Color 2015. She encouraged us to bring out our "inner child" and play with our art supplies right here in the moment. First we had to write a letter from the perspective of our "little" selves to remind our current "grown" selves about why we create : 
Then we created our first layer on watercolour paper with all the names and nice nicknames we were called as a child
Just to be clear, there's only me and my brother, so "favourite daughter" is all good ;-)
Then we painted using a spatula and 'neutral' palette...given the photo I chose that will also be included, I just HAD to add the neon pink!
You can see in the photo above that we cut a door shape. This was covered with papery bits (I included serviette and washi tape additions)
And then it was time to add some modeling paste. I decided that I would like some modeling paste wings, so I masked underneath where my photo would be, and then used a heart shape to mask off the stencil before applying the paste with a spatula
Here's how it looked after all that was removed
and here's the page with the rest of the modeling paste/stencil additions
Then it was time to add the photo and I decided my page needed stitch all around the edge
Liking my wings, and couldn't resist a stamped heart on my arm.
There needed to be some spontaneous and fun expression behind the door. We had another lesson from Jenny Doh, which came in a later week, but I guess that is one advantage of going back to complete lessons. Her lesson was called "Unravelling through mark making" and was a very spontaneous approach. I wasn't going to do that lesson, but this presented me with an opportunity. I started by scraping colour
Then drippage from ink and I moved it around with the end of a paintbrush
I had a bit much, so printed off onto another piece of card
Once dry, I did some fun - silly - playful doodling. I haven't done anything like these creatures before.
These projects were all about being present, letting go, and allowing your inner child to PLAY! I really had fun.
Click on any photo 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
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