Wednesday, 30 November 2016

WOYWW #391: Paint on fabric

Hello on the coldest morning in the UK this year! Brrrr, it's so chilly out there! There's frost everywhere I can see. On days like this, I'm so glad I don't have to go out to work, and I'm not even going to feel guilty about it. I used to dread having to scrape ice off the car and then stop every 50 meters because the windows kept misting up. I really don't miss that! I'm actually quite busy today with housework, and a Tesco delivery and an appointment at the opticians, which makes me wonder when on earth did I have the opportunity to do all these things when I worked full time? I certainly couldn't have taken part in WOYWW, as I am today! So let's get down to business, shall we?

The photo of my desk was taken a couple of days ago, while I was working on a super fun Wanderlust assignment. I posted the finished project last night, which you can find here. It's an art journal made from recycled greeting cards - there's even a video flip-through of it! I LOVE how it turned out!

Today, however, I want to share another project with you, that was inspired by Roxanne Padgett. She works on large pieces of fabric instead of paper with lots of layers of paint - exactly the kind of thing that appeals to me. I even bought her book, which is full of great ideas. Here's what I did on a piece of medium weight calico fabric. It's about 12" X 16" - large enough to make a pencil case out of it with some material still left over for other things.

I also bought an advent calendar for Oreo. We can open the first window tomorrow!

Here he is, in his new favourite place - on the top shelf in the airing cupboard. No, he didn't get up there by himself - I had to lift him up because he was dying to explore it - but he did come down on his own!

Thanks to everyone who visited today.
I always return visits to my blog if you leave a message and your WOYWW number!

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Wanderlust week #48: Art journal from recycled cards

We had an amazing Wanderlust lesson this week by Joanna Grant. Joanna showed us numerous ways to make our own art journals. My favourite was when she used recycled greetings cards to make a colourful journal with flip-out pages. What a great way to use up all those old cards! All you need is 4-5 cards, loads of paint along with a few stencils and some decorative duct tape. The duct tape is crucial for holding the cards together as it is incredibly strong.  I happened to have a roll, so I had no excuses but to go ahead and try this technique. I really love what I managed to create!

Here are some photos of the pages and the bound journal. It's all very bright and colourful. It will be my happy journal! (Scroll down to the bottom of the post for a video flip-through!)

4 cards of various sizes painted and stencilled on both sides
One of the pages close-up - I kept the same style throughout

The bound journal - I used some sari ribbon for closure
Some of the pages inside

The flip-out page (my favourite!)
Flip-out page folded

Flip-out page close-up
Another close-up
The journal stands on its side

It's very tactile and I can't stop stroking it!

Here's a short video flip-through to show you the journal in action:

I thoroughly enjoyed this lesson. In fact, I haven't had this much fun since I made my cardboard journal a year ago. There's something inspiring about working on more than one pages at the same time. Joanna shared lots of other ideas with us, including a journal made out of a recycled calendar. I will be very busy in the next few weeks, I expect! 

Sunday, 27 November 2016

LifeBook Week48: Window to my soul

Renata Loree's bonus LifeBook lesson this week involved an intuitive process of finding elements in a random background and developing them into an imagery and theme for the page. We did this with a circular "window" frame cut-out to spot interesting areas. Mine is not entirely intuitive, as I merely developed a flower shape I spotted in one of my collage pieces, though it was still a random occurrence that evolved into my imagery in the form of a mandala-type flower.

The page contains inks, paints, stencilling, collage papers and doodling with a white paint pen. The background itself also went through a process of evolution and looked something like this at an earlier stage:

The top layer collage paper is actually a photo of one of my batik fabrics - printed on a laser printer. Using this technique makes your stash go further! You can scan in your favourite patterned papers and ephemera as well, so you will have an endless supply of them. Some people might argue that this is against copyrights, but we do need to draw the line somewhere, otherwise we wouldn't be allowed to use anything for our collages. As long as it's for your own personal use, I don't see anything wrong with it.

You can see my final page below. I really liked how that initial little flower evolved into a larger mandala inside and outside my window (the black circle).  I do believe that we all need to evolve constantly to make the best of our current situation and circumstances, rather than stubbornly stick to our old goals and ideals that may no longer serve our purposes and interests. In fact, I like this word so much that I'm thinking of adopting it as my guiding word for next year. 

Thanks so much for popping in today.
I hope your Sunday is filled with peace and creativity!

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

WOYWW #390: Yet another altered box

Hello lovely people of  WOYWW. Another Wednesday, another desk tour to find out what other crafters and artists have been busy doing in the past week. This shot of my desk was taken a few days ago. Since then I have finished altering that box you can see there, which is what I'm going to show you today. I tested the process on a notebook cover, so now I have a matching journal to go with my box!

Originally, the box came filled with goodies from CraftBox. Some of you might be familiar with this service - you can either subscribe or buy the boxes individually. I don't think I will subscribe, but I'm sure I will buy again occasionally. It's a good way to expand your stash and treat yourself from time to time. The box was screaming out to be altered, so this is what I did with it:

First, I covered it with thin dictionary paper, so it would take the paint better.

Then I stuck some die-cut shapes on it, cut from textured cardstock and covered it entirely with gesso, followed by a layer of blue acrylics. 

Finally, I added a layer of raw umber and partially removed it with a wet wipe before it was completely dry, which resulted in an aged, distressed look. I like how the brown paint emphasizes the die-cut shapes on the surface of the box. The only problem is that the magnetic closure has stopped working under the layers of paper and paint, but I think I can add some magnets to solve this.

Here's the notebook I practiced on. It matches the box nicely. 

I will close this post with a photo of Oreo that I took exactly a year ago - a few days after we got him when he was just 8 weeks old. He was a scruffy little thing back then and it amazes me how much he has grown, though he's remained just as silly and playful!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
Wishing you a wonderful week filled with creativity!

Saturday, 19 November 2016

LifeBook Week47: Inspiration Bundles

I've skipped a few recent LifeBook lessons as I had lots of other projects going on. I may or may not do them at a later date - I like to leave my options open without committing myself. However, for this week, I did not one but two pages! The lesson was taught by Tracy Verdugo - whose intuitive style I have always adored but still can't replicate. Anyway, the aim of this lesson wasn't to replicate her project, but to find inspiration in various imagery. Tracy calls these "inspiration bundles". Mine came from a Vogue magazine, but you can use any images that you find inspiring. It can be just one image or a whole bunch of them.

Here are the pages I created and the inspiration bundles they stemmed from. My first page also had a dictionary page in its bundle, which I physically incorporated in the painting, but forgot to take a photo of.  It was a page with the word and image of  a 'keystone' on it, which became the theme for my picture. A 'keystone' is both "a central stone at the summit of an arch" and - figuratively speaking -  "a central principle on which all else depends". I like the symbolic nature of this. You could argue that your basic principles can make you blind to see anything else around you, which is what my page is trying to depict. I fingerpainted the deep violet flowers and used the graffiti image as inspiration for the stencilling. I planned to use the same colours (pink, red, orange) over the white letters and numbers, but in the end I preferred to leave them white.

My second page is less philosophical. It was inspired by the clean lines and colours of an advert and a woman's silhouette, which I used as a stencil (or rather the negative shape of it). The duct tape came into the picture at a later stage when I was looking for something to emanate the geometrical nature of the black and white lines. I used a permanent Sharpie pen to introduce the red colour. The bright green is an oil pastel.

Creating with these inspiration bundles was a real eye-opener for me. I like how these seemingly unrelated visuals can come together on a single page and create meaning or an atmosphere. I will definitely remember to use this technique in my journalling when I need inspiration.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

WOYWW #389: Painted leaves, a journal page and pet shaming

Good morning deskers! Boy, hasn't the past week gone fast! In some respects it did - in other respects, it's gone very slowly. I find it hard to believe, it's only been a week since the US election shock results - perhaps because there's so much going on in the news and on the net - it makes time seem go slower. But let's get away from all that carry-on, shall we, and visit some arty-crafty desks around the world courtesy of WOYWW.

Here's my desk a few days ago. I was working on  a LifeBook bonus lesson painting leaves. It's quite fun - try it! If you look close enough, perhaps you'll spot Oreo with his white whiskers overseeing the proceedings. He just has to be in the middle of the action all the time.

Here are some of the leaves I created:

I also have a quick journal page to share. This was a prompt for my Wanderlust book: if you could be an animal, what animal would you like to be? The obvious answer would have been a cat (lazy, selfish, independent LOL), but I went for something more deserving: an elephant for his strength, wisdom and loyalty. (But between you and me, I would really just want to be a spoilt cat!)

Talking of cats, have you ever seen those pet shaming photos on the internet? All you need is a mug shot of your pet and a written confession. We decided to do our own version and didn't have to wait too long for the photo op to present itself. Oreo is looking suitably sheepish, LOL! The photo credits go to my son. 

Thanks a bunch for visiting! 
Hope you're having a good week!