Wednesday 27 December 2023

WOYWW #760: December 2023 Review

Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas! It's time for my monthly review, so here I am sharing some creative highlights from the past month, starting with a desk shot taken last night. It's a little bit staged as I finally managed to tidy up my desk (sort of), which badly needed doing! 

In the middle of the shot is my Care December journal, which ran for two weeks and filled my book halfway - the rest of the journal morphed seamlessly into the 5-minute challenge by The Ugly Art Club, which is running until January the 3rd. These 5-minute pages are my favourite way to journal - stress free and an added bonus is that it uses up my scraps! Also in the shot: (1) red book cover cut in half prepped for Junk Journal January (2) the crystals that came out of my advent calendar and (3) a new date stamp as the old one is now out of date - I bought it back in 2014 when I started art journalling almost ten years ago! Little did I know that I was hooked for life! 

That's the blurb out of the way - now I'll just show you some of my pages so far: 

And finally, here's Oreo with his iconic mono-brow wishing everyone a very happy New Year! 


Wednesday 29 November 2023

WOYWW #756: November Round-Up

Hello Deskers - is it really the end of November already? It's time for my monthly round up of various projects. I haven't been as productive as in October, but I still managed to keep myself busy. I'll cut to the chase and show you what I have been working on this past month:

The November project in Roben-Marie Smith's membership programme was a patchwork collage that we turned into little notebooks. I really enjoyed working on these and they're very useful as well for taking notes. I use them to take notes while watching video tutorials.  Here are a few of them:

I scanned the collage sheet before turning it into book covers, so I can still use bits of it in other projects. Even the back looked pretty cool, although I had no control over the outcome. Here's an example of front and back:

I printed some of my scans and the colours turned out quite a bit different, but I don't mind. Here's a comparison:

Inspired by someone in the Roben's Nest FB group, I played with alcohol inks on sellotape and ended up with these strips that I can use like washi tapes:

Talking of washi tapes - I've filled my advent calendar that I made a few years ago with washi tapes from Amazon without looking at them, so I don't know what's in each drawer. I can't wait to start opening them later this week! I've also got a crystal advent calendar which will add to the excitement! 

I'm thinking of doing Care December - it is still available to sign up if anyone's interested. The theme this year will be the colour blue - which happens to be my favourite colour. I've already prepped an old book cover and of course, it's blue - like most of my previous ones! I altered it with some gilding wax. I chose Kasia's simple ribbon binding method, which allows for the signatures to be removed, kind of like a traveller's journal. This is useful if you want to do some stitching on the pages. Here are a couple of photos: 

I'll finish with this picture of Oreo - he's been noticeably more needy and clingy since my son started university in Bristol - I think he misses his best friend, but not to worry, they see each other every weekend! 

That's it for now - hope you all have a good Christmas in less than 4 weeks' time! xx

Tuesday 31 October 2023

WOYWW #752: October Round-Up

I'm writing this blog post on Tuesday night, the last day of October, just so I could stick to my blogging schedule of one post per month. I'll link up with the WOYWW crowd on Wednesday morning - I'm saying "crowd" but it's really just a cosy gathering of a few crafty friends these days. 

I've been super productive throughout October, participating in tasters, challenges, Facebook groups and working on various self-imposed, ad-hoc projects. I'll just cycle through some of the highlights quickly:

First off, there was the LifeBook Taster sessions, which I participate in every year. This one was my favourite lesson in this year's line-up by Angela Murray. I used a clever app to see what it would look like on the wall as a large canvas - the actual painting is on an A3 sheet of watercolour paper.

Next, there were several sessions of gelli printing - and it's not like I haven't got enough gelli prints already! Here are the results with some bright paints in the first photo and some alcohol inks in the second:

I've also made some eco-prints with autumn leaves - there's a good tutorial here if anyone's interested.

I've rusted some fabric and turned it into a journal cover. This was for the October project within Roben-Marie Smith's membership programme 'The Nest' (fun fact: I bumped into  Mary-Anne in the FB group!) 

Apart from this Nest Journal, I've made two other smaller ones, also with fabric covers and yummy coffee dyed papers inside: (perhaps you recognise my elephant fabric from years ago - finally I had a chance to use it!) 

Here's a side view of all three journals:

and that's in addition to the 'Transitions Journal' made with an old book cover following Roben-Marie's tutorial, which is available free on her website here.

What else? Oh yeah, I've done some fabric bleaching as well (these were some failed, dull eco-prints to start with and I turned them around by stamping some bleach on them):

And then there were some tags and journal pages - see some samples below:

Most recently, I had a go at Francisca Nunes Wanderlust 2024 Taster lesson of sketchy watercolour flowers, which you can find on YouTube here.  In a crazy moment, I signed up for Wanderlust 2024 - and in the meanwhile I also found all my downloads of the lessons from 2016-2018 that I never completed - so I'll be a busy bunny next year for sure! 

So there you go - lots of photos but not that many words. I hope you enjoyed your visit and I look forward to visiting you in return! Happy November! xx

Tuesday 26 September 2023

WOYWW #747: I'm back!

What better day to return to WOYWW than #747 - jumbo jet day! I've been gone for so long (8 months, in fact!) - it wasn't intentional - it just happened. During this time I didn't really do anything creative, though I kept myself very busy doing other things. This had happened before, so I wasn't afraid of losing my mojo - I knew it would come back with a vengeance and that's exactly what happened! 

Anyways, long story short, here I am again to share my desk with you and catch up on the current creative affairs of other desks! I'll just do a quick recap of my recent projects -

There were several challenges and free events that reignited my creative spark in September. The first one was #findyourjoy which was all about abstracts - definitely something I want to explore more! 

Using my sewing machine as an easel here!

Then there was Laly Mille's annual #paintwithlaly retreat, where we also created some mini abstracts:

I've also made an ad-hoc art journal out of a couple of used envelopes - here are a few sample pages - it's about half full now. I just leave it on my desk and randomly stick a few bits and bobs in it whenever I feel like it. 

I signed up for Wanderlust 2024 on a whim (just couldn't resist the early bird offer!) and #therobensnest, which is an online subscription community of Roben-Marie Smith, whom I've been following for years. More about these in subsequent blog posts. That's my creative news in a nutshell! 

In other news: my son has recently turned 19 and Oreo is at the grand old age of 8 years! It's easy to remember because my son was 11 when we first got him (the cat, not my son LOL!). He's now off to uni (UWE in Bristol, where my husband works, which is a handy safety net!) - it's all very exciting and nerve-wrecking in equal measure. I made this fun cushion for him to brighten up his student digs and to remind him of Oreo. 

Speaking of Oreo, here's a picture of him lounging with me in the Summer House earlier this month when it got really hot, if you still remember that far back. It seems ages ago to me! It's the best place to hang out on a hot summer's night and we didn't get many of those this year, did we? I'm not complaining, by the way - I love a cool summer!

And that wraps it up for today! There's a lot more stuff on my Instagram. I can't wait to find out what y'all been up to - I will be visiting soon - if not today then during the course of the week! See you then! xx

Wednesday 25 January 2023

WOYWW #712: Hello 2023!

Although it seems ages since new year's eve, it's my first blog post this year, so happy new year, everyone. Here's what I've been up to in January so far: 

I finished my December Care Journal with some additional pages from the Ugly Art Club challenge. Here it is on my desk and a few of my favourite pages inside:

Currently I'm working on JJJ (Junk Journal January) in another journal but I'm only doing some selected prompts. This was the "barcode" prompt:

I've also finished my second quilt! This was made with the same strip piecing method as my first one, using Moda's scrap bags, just a bit bigger. I'm testing my boundaries size-wise and this is pretty much bordering the upper limits of what I can squeeze under a regular sewing machine while quilting. Maybe I can go just a little bigger!  I got into a bit of a pickle with the layers shifting during quilting, even with the walking foot, but got some good advice online about how to reduce the puckering. It turned out ok in the end! 

I've already started working on a new quilt, but it's a year-long project: it's a temperature quilt! It involves plotting the maximum and minimum temperatures for each day working with half square triangles. I assigned cool colours to the lower temps and warm colours to the higher temps. By the end of the year, I will have a very colourful quilt top! It's too early to show you the process, but I can show you the colours I'm using: 

Update (September 2023): I had to give up on this project. Although I continued logging the daily temps all the way through till the end of August, I came to the realisation that there hasn't been enough variation this year to make this project interesting, and I would have had to buy a bunch more fabric in the greens and yellows without using any of the lovely magentas. The only time I wouldn't have complained about the heat, we ended up with a cool summer! Perhaps I'll have another go next year.

I've been using lots of the coolest colours this week! It's been frosty most mornings! 

When I spotted this fox on the front lawn, I quickly checked that Oreo was in the house! Thank goodness, he was safely snoozing in the airing cupboard. He doesn't go out much in this cold. 

Happy #712!