Monday, January 27, 2020

Journal 52 : Week 4

Journal 52 is a weekly prompt from Effy Wild that I'm creating on a deck of jumbo playing cards. Each card will include stitch, a found word, and be inspired by the project I've been working on that week or what's lying leftover on my work table. See the original post HERE.
#4 : Attend. Inspired by my Pohutukuawa in my Year of Rumi spread (see previous post), some yummy new art supplies, and Effy's PDF about paying attention to the things that matter to me. Art is helping me navigate some difficult territory this month. I find that the process of art journaling engages my brain in a way that takes me out of my day and provides stress relief, new discoveries, escape, and joy. The trick (for me) is to just start with no expectations - to just try and enjoy the process for its own sake, and suddenly I'm in the zone. The card already had gesso applied before a layer of new lovely Magical colour sprinkled with salt for texture whilst still wet
Machine stitched flower and hand stitched beads. I definitely needed the extra card glued on the back to cover up the stitching this week ♥ 
Find all my Journal 52 posts HERE 

Thursday, January 23, 2020

A Year of Rumi : January

Last year I did Effy's A Year of Rumi art journal class. I used it in a different way from others and created a series of mixed media art cards. Check out all those posts HERE.
My art cards were inspired by the Rumi quotes but completely different from Effy's lessons. I'd always had the thought I'd go back and repeat them in my art journal more closely inspired by her art. 
We started in December 2018 with a lesson for the cover (the intention of the class is to make a calendar by the end of year so 13 pieces of art) This is Effy's (advertised on Patreon HERE)
You can find details of my art card below for this prompt HERE. I did use her techniques in my journal in August - sort of ♥
January's quote : ''The source of now is here.'' The lesson is about celebrating being in the present moment and working with a monochromatic colour scheme. This journal spread will be completely different from my art card last year which colourfully celebrated our holiday in Hawaii! Effy chose a Lotus for her focal - I've chosen the lovely Pohutukawa flower since that is all around us in New Zealand currently. Now the challenge of the monochromatic colour scheme with Red. Happily I was able to make use of a gift card from Warehouse Stationery on the weekend some of which has inspired my direction for this spread - gorgeous new pastel acrylics ♥
I have a lovely pohutukawa stencil that I applied with red first, then gold to the tips and flower base
and later the leaves. Also added tapa stencils to the background. I know this needs more dark but isn't it pretty already?
I decided to use a technique I haven't used for a while to place the quote before I did more. Type your quote into a Word document and choose a font you like - I chose Curlz MT. Print a black and white copy to see you like the font size (mine is 48). Then space the words on your page so you have room to cut them out. Get an old calendar page and hold up your test page so you can see where the position of the words will fall.
Adjust as needed, trim calendar page to fit your A4 printer. Print. Wait to dry and then I zapped with workable fixative just to be safe (since my calendar is glossy paper) before I cut and placed them. 
Decided they were softer trimmed to a curve with my dancing vellum pohutukawas from my inspiration pack above.
And now I have the colours I need to pull the rest of the spread together. Brown Faber Castell Pitt Pen can be smudged/blended with your finger when first applied and is a softer option than black. Flowers finished with gold Sakura Gelly roll metallic pen. See more detail by clicking on the photo to see it larger.
Next day I decided that all the spread needed was some gold dots to complete. It's not quite monochromatic but I am very happy with this. 
I already did both a card and a journal page for the February lesson last year : 
Not sure if I'll be inspired to repeat this lesson or if you'll have to wait until March for the next one. Find out more about A Year of Rumi with Effy Wild HERE. All the lessons are available for instant access in the classroom. There's also a very supportive and inspiring FB group. See all my posts about this class HERE.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Journal 52 : Week 3

Journal 52 is a weekly prompt from Effy Wild that I'm creating on a deck of jumbo playing cards. Each card will include stitch, a found word, and I will be inspired by the project I've been working on that week or what's lying leftover on my work table. See the original post HERE.
#3 : Integrate. Inspired by my Garden of Intention journal spread. Working through new things coming up this month and how I can incorporate that and keep balance.
Step 1 : Colour block 
Step 2 : machine free-motion machine stitch the flower (I glue another card on the back at the end to hide the stitching)
Step 3 : glaze
Step 4 : Doodle with white pen
Step 5 : Add the words. 
Loving how I can make these small spaces meaningful. Find all my Journal 52 posts HERE

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Any occasion cards

Time to create another batch of cards to personalise and send as any occasion arises. I decided that I would feature some of my art on the cards and then embellish them with stitched elements.
Step 1 : Copy art to a Word document and re-size to get at least 4 images on an A4 page. Print on sheets of special paper (I used photo paper but have also used 160gsm textured card in the past). Trim and place on card fronts. Don't worry if some don't look great at this stage. Some will already be lovely and may be added to your stash immediately because they probably just need words to finish but I can never resist adding some kind of stitched element.
Step 2 : Add stitch and sari ribbon
Step 3 : Add found words and other stitched elements appropriate to the occasions as they arise. These ones are finished : 
You can see the previous batch using similar techniques HERE.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Book of Days : January with Effy Wild

I am loving all the offerings for January in Book of Days 2020. This next journal page is inspired by Effy's lovely Bloom Lesson (top left)
I don't usually work much with watercolours, but I have worked using them over watercolour ground on my last 3 out of 4 pages in my altered art journal! It started with my whimsical mermaids, then there was my guardian angel in brighter colours and most recently my wish feathers and art cardI really wanted to try out Effy's lesson but last time I tried this technique I borrowed metallic watercolours to go over the black gesso. I want to feel more bright than moody at present, so I've covered my spread with Goldens watercolour ground which goes on white so has the advantage of lightening my page but not fully disguising the background text and I love both of those things.
I used watercolours and then gorgeous iridescent pebeo paints - they are divine. These are just 4 of them, I think I have most of their colours. (purchased in New Zealand at Gordon Harris - just looked up for that link and they are currently on sale....Effy uses these so I think they are also readily available in Northern hemisphere)
Created my blooms and glazed the background
This is my garden of intention so wanted to add some found words.
White doodles change the look of the flowers entirely ♥

I try and use my word of the year often in the art I create at the beginning of the year to really embed it in my consciousness. Here's my Bloom spread complete
Find out more about the collaborative year-long class Book of Days 2020 and join us HERETHIS LINK will take you to all the work I've ever done inspired by Book of Days through the years (I began when I won 6 months of this class in 2016

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Journal 52 : A SMALL weekly project

I always take on a lot in January creatively and wonder what will fall off as the year progresses. I am hoping this isn't one of them since even though I am coming to it a week behind, I have long had the desire to do this.....last year I LOVED my Klimt in the garden with Rumi project. It was small and challenging but oh so rewarding at the end with 15 art cards. I've shared the photo a lot recently, but if you're a new visitor, click HERE.
Effy Wild is once again offering Journal 52 prompts FREE through her Wilderhood FB group and over on her Patreon ($2 a month for this and other content). I have a jumbo deck of playing cards from the $2 shop that have been waiting for this opportunity. They measure 3.5'' x 4.75'' (8.5 x 12 cm) which is larger than a normal Artist Trading card but significantly smaller than my Klimt art cards. 
My friend inspired me with her handmade oracle cards a couple of years ago - they are paper collaged and she glued 2 cards together so they feel wonderfully chunky
If I keep my expectations limited about how much time I spend each week, I should manage this. Each card will include stitch, a found word, and I will try and be inspired by the project I've been working on that week or what's lying leftover on my work table. Since the cards are plastic coated, I will need to apply some kind of ground to them first. And I bought another set so that once each is completed, I can stick a back on for extra chunkiness and to hide any stitching. These are the first 2 prompts for the year (released on a Friday so waiting for me every Saturday).
#1 : Heart. Inspired by my word{s} of the year : Shine with Intention and the colours of green and turquoise. Created on a piece of previously stenciled cardstock which I then sewed to the playing card by machine. This one is finished with a spray gloss varnish because I wanted the Shine and to seal in the black stabilo grungy pencil marks.
#2 : Calm. Inspired by a Book of Days lesson with Rachel Kentish this week. I shared wish feathers inspired by her teaching in my previous post and she provided a bonus lesson which I used for the card inspiration. Began by coating my new card with white gesso and then the watercolour ground...You need to let this dry completely - maybe longer than you think it needs - (ask me how I know!) before applying your watercolour layers. The gold is the Uniball Signo brand. Sprayed with workable fixative since not waterproof. Finished this one by hand-couching pretty thread.
This is really fun seeing 2 done already. Hoping I can share these cards weekly and by the end of the year have 52 in my organza bag ♥

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Book of Days : January with Sal Scheibe and Rachel Kentish

I've joined Book of Days 2020 as the only online year-long art journal class I'm doing. I am always inspired by Effy's lessons and I love that this is a collaborative platform now with lessons presented from 24 artists over the course of the coming year. This is a sneak peek of our offerings for January - amazing right?
I wasn't really sure where to start but the next spread in my journal already had paint on it and I thought I could manage Sal Scheibe's lesson (bottom middle) about words for the year over the top of it. 
Sal used watercolours for her face base. I needed to use acrylic to cover some of my background. I suppose I could have used my watercolour ground. Maybe next time. I love that these words appeared at the very beginning. I used a black posca pen 0.7mm to outline the lower ones and bracket the ones at her eye so I don't paint over them later by mistake. I like the idea of "shoulder friends" but am not at all confident drawing animals. Trying out a bird sticker instead. 
Painted hair and coloured pencils are currently my favourite method for face shading. 
I actually think her face is done - I like the suggestion of the background text and don't mind the previous layers of colour beneath. Click on any photo to see it in larger detail.
I really love using stencils in the hair area. I was going to just use the rose, but then looked below it and decided she could feature all those lovely hearts and just before I did that I decided that's going to be where my words go. I also used the little dot pattern to add light to the darker area on the opposite page for what I want to add next.
Quite early on in the piece, I realised that there's a lot of space to fill on the left, and I decided that adding Rachel Kentish's wish feathers lesson would be a magical way to finish my spread. I want my background to be more unified = a glaze. My go-to is to use Goldens Hi Flow transparent paint with some extra glazing medium added. 
First I put in the feather shapes using a stencil and my watercolour ground. Then I added the glaze across the remaining background. 
You can now see why I added those white dots - wish I'd done more of that but I can add some extra elements on top if I feel they are needed at the end. I don't mind that the bird is obviously collaged but I like that the glaze helps to soften the white edges. Little bit nervous about using the watercolours to create the feathers, but Rachel's teaching is so good that I adored every step.
Layer 1 wet with salt sprinkles
Layer 1 dry
Layer 2
Layer 3 = feathers complete ♥
And then it was time for just a few more finishing touches across the page - gold dots help unite the page and disguise some of the background text a bit more. 
Find out more about the collaborative year-long class Book of Days 2020 and join us HERE. THIS LINK will take you to all the work I've ever done inspired by Book of Days through the years (I began when I won 6 months of this class in 2016
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