Wednesday, November 30, 2016

December Inspirations

It's December tomorrow! Have you got yourself some Christmas projects? I've had such a crazy busy November that December is going to be finish the madness at work and then organise what's happening for Christmas holidays at my house with hopefully time to catch up on some creative projects I've wanted to explore but not had time to do. If you have more time than me, I highly recommend some kind of December Daily project. I've done a couple in the past. See my posts about my Stitched Paper Journal HERE
and my December Daily from 2013 HERE.
If you are wanting to try something new, here are some more recent inspirations :
Felted wool ornaments by Judy Coates Perez - full instructions HERE.
Balzer Designs : #Carve December 2016 is coming

See all her stamp carving posts HERE.
Andrea Gomoll is creating an Artsy Advent Calendar in December and posting every day
Plus there's a giveaway as well - find out all the details HERE.
And from previous years, still available and also free : 
Alisa Burke's Holiday Play HERE.
and Five Golden Letterings with Joanne Sharp HERE.
If you need other inspiration, scroll through ALL of my blog posts about Christmas HEREMerry Merry ♥

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Craft club : Christmas decorations

I work part-time as a school librarian. My love for quilting and mixed media projects has become known and as a result I was asked to teach a craft club lunchtime session this term. 
Every Wednesday lunchtime for 45 minutes in Weeks 2-7, the children learned how to make felt Christmas tree ornaments - deciding on the pattern shape and colours, then cutting them out and learning how to hand stitch and add other embellishments. 
We had a mix of boys and girls in the class, and ages were 9-12 years. I promised at the beginning that I would make a quilt for them to hang their decorations on so they would be displayed in the library for the last 2 weeks of the term.
The quilt is a simple tree shape - the children decided on the fabrics for border and the top Santa. I showed them at several stages of the process how the quilt was progressing - with and without the quilting
They all finished at least one felt decoration
and it was exciting for them to add their buttons to the tree ready for hanging their completed ornaments
So proud of their efforts. Presented at assembly on Friday to lots of gasps of appreciation ♥ 
Now hanging on display in the library. We will keep the quilt for craft club in term 4 again next year, and they can decide if their ornaments remain with the quilt or go home. All their names are on a label on the back so they will always be remembered.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Teaching Star books

I taught my last class for the year yesterday - Star Books.
I made notes for class handouts and here I am all packed and ready to share supplies and inspiration
It sure spreads out on a table
and soon becomes messy ;-)
These were my samples for inspiration for the day
The students fully embraced the mess and sharing nature of such a project
As a bonus I taught them how to make lovely crusty tyvek beads
They'll look great attached to their tie closures - just got a photo of one completed :-)
After a couple of hours of making pages, they were ready to put their books together
Don't they look awesome? (click on any photo to see it larger)
All different in colours - all so lovely. View from the top shows their star shape a bit.
It was a VERY fun day for everyone concerned. 
Everyone was talking about the next one they're going to make and I'm happy to say they've said they want me back to teach something else next year ♥

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

5 Creative Things

Various circumstances have meant that I haven't been completing art journal pages at my usual rate lately, but that doesn't mean there's no creative fun happening in my world. These are all in progress :: 
#1 I was asked to run craft club this term at my school. I've been teaching them how to hand stitch felt ornaments - they've all done so well and we're presenting to our Friday school assembly. I've been making a quilt for the ornaments to hang on. Nothing like a deadline to get things finished!
#2 I've also been taking various supplies and teaching mixed media skills to the Year 8 class - they are making "Jolly Postman" inspired Christmas banners
#3 I'm teaching again on Saturday so I'm preparing notes and gathering supplies to teach this star book
#4 I made some more card bases 
and finished one for a friend's special party
#5 I'm still art journaling faces. This one is {obviously} still in progress
Already ♥ her and she is far from done.
Today my eldest had his last NCEA exam so that is big cause for celebration. And although it's going to be intensely busy until then, my job at school finishes for the year on 9th December so I'm starting to think about lots of lovely creativity for Summer hols. Hoping to share more with you very soon.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Sharing some love

Currently in New Zealand we are being rocked by earthquakes and hit by unseasonal storms - on the news we see people stranded, homeless, worried....We have a son currently involved with NCEA exams and that is a stressful time - but in the scheme of things, it's not life and death so I am trying to keep a broader perspective. I am also so very sad to see what is happening in America with regards to some people's behaviour towards each other following the outcome of the election....I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. 
Overall my own wee world is so lovely - I am blessed with people who love me and I am so grateful for my life. What did I do to get so lucky? I am finding it hard to articulate the roller coaster of my feelings at the moment. What can I do? I can make sure those around me feel my love and support, and I'm sharing some love here on the blog.
As you may know, I've been taking a couple of classes lately with Effy Wild. Today she has generously shared on her blog a FREE LESSON from Facing Forward II. I haven't done this lesson yet, but I can't wait. 
Effy says : Today, I'm showing up with something I filmed for Facing Forward II. I am posting it here with no need for you to opt in or sign up or do anything except enjoy it. It is not a transaction. It's a gift.  I'm sharing it because, as one of my students put it, "sometimes a pretty face just will not do." So, I offer this because I have it to offer.  I hope you enjoy it. If you are interested in seeing what else is on offer in that class, you can find my posts about what I've done so far HERE
I have also been inspired by this blog post from Alisa Burke about the Artists for Love movement. Below is Alisa's art, but if you click on that post link there is work from other artists there as well. Or check #artistsforlove on FB
Alisa also has a new Grateful HeART journal class - just launched online and on special this week for US$20 or you can try your luck at her giveaway HERE.
Please take care of you. Sending love and I hope to see you again soon 
I made this art journal page from a Life Book lesson earlier this year. Click on the photo to see it larger and see the original post HERE.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Mixed Media Fabric Banner Day Class

I've not been able to finish as many art journal pages lately, and one of the reasons is that I'm teaching 3 classes this month! I shared my "From Past to Present Artfully" collage class HERE. In November last year I spoke to the Feilding Kowhai Quilters group about my quilts and mixed media work, and as a result, I taught my fabric banner class to them on Saturday. This is the sample :
See my original blog post with details and closer photos about this project HERE.
Here I am all packed and ready to go - class notes at the ready and lots of lovely inks and fibres to share and inspire with
It was a great day - all the students came armed with supplies, questions, and open to new ideas. I ended up taking 3 different project samples 
and laid out my supplies
First I demonstrated dying our lovely fabric serviettes with a mix of distress inks, reinkers and sprays
Then they had a go - lots of different colour combos
We tried simple silk paper making with gummy silk cocoons
Mine included colour because I just can't help myself - theirs were lovely with the natural fibres - some will add colour later
You can see a lot of paper serviettes embedded above - I also demonstrated a trick for paper serviette tearing and attaching directly to the background fabric
and was lucky that they shared some of their serviettes with me 
We talked about 'found words', stamping and stenciling, painted fusible, and making lovely cords
We had a play with a heat tool and made lovely crusty tyvek beads
Then they started to put everything they'd learned into practice. Click on any photo to see it larger.  Below is a lovely combination of serviette, found words, stamping, silk paper and beads
Our tables were covered with all the demonstrations and play
And it was fun to see layouts evolving
At the end of the day here's a sample of where they got to - all so lovely and so different ♥
It was a happy day for all of us
Still to come, Star books on Saturday 26th for the Marton Quilt club. 
If it goes as well as the other 2 classes have I'll be a happy woman :-)
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