Friday 24 February 2017

Wanderlust Week05: Love Letter

I'm running a bit behind with this month's lessons. This one was in week five for Wanderlust with Amanda Grace. This page took me a lot longer to put together than I anticipated. I normally finish each lesson in the same sitting, but in this case I got stuck after the first few layers on my background and I couldn't proceed until I had broken through my barriers, which took me over a week! When I decided that it didn't matter what it looked like, the page just fell together.

The lesson included an image transfer with cellotape, which - although it was successful - didn't really work with my background, so in the end I just used some black and white printouts that were lying around. These were actually some failed prints - our printer is a bit temperamental and doesn't always print properly, but for some reason I felt these imperfect prints worked with the page.

I'll show you how my background developed through four stages:

I became a little too attached to stage three of the background and I couldn't proceed until I messed it up! After that I found it very quick and easy to arrange my photos, collage pieces and journalling. Almost like I was in a completely different mind set! It literally took me just 15 minutes compared to the week long struggle beforehand! This is how my page ended up:

I used the scribble type journalling, which is illegible. It does contain my deepest thoughts though but it is the only kind of journalling I feel comfortable with at the moment. It was meant to express my innermost feelings towards my husband and son. I would have felt constricted if I had had to use my normal handwriting. Illegible journalling is better than no journalling at all. Maybe one day I will feel more comfortable using my regular handwriting, but I'm not pushing myself towards that goal on purpose. I just let things evolve of their own accord and in their own time.

Wednesday 22 February 2017

WOYWW #403: Mini buckets, tapes and snowdrops

It's Wednesday again, so time for a quick round of WOYWW. There's not much on my desk at the moment artwise, but don't worry, there's still plenty of clutter I can show you. I've been slacking this past week because of the school holidays and I'm finding it hard to get back into the swing of things. Here's my desk this morning - it's not very interesting, I'm afraid.

That's the altered book I'm using for Wanderlust. I've just gessoed the back of my new page to make it lie flat for the photos. I find this helps a lot. On the right is a butterfly book that Tam recommended for collage purposes. I picked this up for just 1p on Amazon, plus postage, obviously. Other than that, there are a few cheap purchases from The Works. I first saw those spotty tapes on Christine's blog, I think, and went looking for them. £2 for 10 tapes is pretty good value! Those mini buckets came from The Works too, waiting to be altered. Here's a closer look at them:

I finished the page I showed you last week, but I haven't blogged it yet. All I can show you at the moment is the additional layers on the background. Remember the one I didn't want to ruin? Well, I did just that! Not "ruin" it exactly, but managed to obliterate most of it. This is what it looked like at stage two. After this I found it much easier to progress and will post the finished spread later this week.

I've got no pictures of Oreo this week, but I do have a photo to show you that I took while we were on a day trip to Burford, Oxfordshire. Not much to see there, other than a pretty church and some quaint buildings. Next time we'll try to make it to Oxford, which should be more exciting! I took this photo in the church yard. I don't think I'd ever seen this many snowdrops in one place before!

Before I go, I just want to give UK folks a heads-up about a great offer I came across yesterday. It's £15 off £29 spend at GreatArt with the code AMAZING. This includes free delivery and a free gift as well! I ordered some EcoLine liquid watercolours, which I'd coveted for a while now. I carefully stayed around the £30 range, so it's practically half price! Enjoy and please don't blame me for any unexpected expenditure! This offer runs until the end of March. One order per customer only. (I'm not affiliated with this company, by the way - I'm just spreading the good news!)

Happy WOYWW! 

Wednesday 15 February 2017

WOYWW #402: Digitally altered gelli prints

Another Wednesday, another WOYWW. I remembered it was #402 without having to check! Take a photo of your desk, stick it on your blog and head over to the Stamping Ground to share it with the whole wide world! My photo was taken a few days ago while I was working on a LifeBook page. I have since finished it and posted it here. Oreo was taking charge of the proceedings, as you can see. Look at his smug little face lying right on top of my scissors! Captions anyone?

I've also been working on a Wanderlust lesson in my altered book, but I've only got as far as the background. I guess I can show you a quick peek. I kinda like it so now I'm afraid to mess it up. Yes, it still happens!

Finally, I've got some gelli prints to show you. I made these a while ago but never shared them. Now is the best opportunity before I forget! I road tested the stencil that Lynette sent me from New Zealand. I experimented with different colours and then digitally altered the images to enhance them. Here are some of the results.

And here's a GIF I created with a single print by changing the colours digitally:


Thanks so much for visiting! I hope I didn't hold you up too long! 
There's a fine balance between keeping it short and sweet, but still interesting.
I usually have to sacrifice the short and sweet part! 

Tuesday 14 February 2017

LifeBook week06: The song of me

I'm running slightly behind with my LifeBook lessons. This one was from last week - one of Tam's offerings again, as usual for the first lesson each month. It was well within my comfort zone as I'm quite familiar with Tam's process by now.

This page was meant to be a dream board similar to what we did last year but I concentrated on just one aspect of my life that I find crucial to my happiness: tranquillity. As I get older, I'm getting increasingly less tolerant of stressful situations and try to avoid them as much as possible. Some things that were exciting for me when I was younger, I just find plain stressful these days. I want to attract more tranquillity into my life, as that's when I feel truly happy. I used a quote from Cicero to express my sentiment.

Tam titled this lesson 'The Song of Me' because we started out with our own photo. As usual, I managed to make mine look completely different - though I tried to leave the middle of my eyes untouched so it's still me peeking through somewhere in there. You'll find a giphy at the bottom of this post to show you how the layers built up.

Here's the whole process. There a big jump between the last frame and the previous one. It's because I couldn't take any photos in the dark, but I think it's still interesting to see how my face changed beyond recognition. This paint over collage is so much fun! I doubt I'll ever get tired of this - it's so interesting to see what comes out of it in the end! 


Wednesday 8 February 2017

WOYWW #401: Bits 'n Pieces

Hello again for another round of WOYWW, #401 to be exact! It will be easy to remember the sequence for a while now. I haven't got much sitting on my desk at the moment other than Oreo, but I do have some bits 'n pieces of art to show you further down this post. Keeping to the rules though, here's a shot of my desk shown from a different angle than usual. I remembered that I took a similar shot when I first introduced Oreo back in November 2015 - here are the two photos side by side.

Art-wise, I have three projects to share with you today. Remember this stencilled piece of fabric I did a while ago? 

I decided to turn it into a pencil pouch. I didn't bother with a zip - I just stitched down the sides and made a fold-over flap. It was done in a messy fashion. I could say I made it messy on purpose, but the truth is, that's the only way I can sew, LOL! This is what it looks like, front, back and inside:

I've also got this "accidental" landscape which was cut from a piece of cardboard I used as my underlay to protect my work surface. It's tiny though- only about 2" X 2". I only realized it looked a bit like a landscape after I'd cut it. I would never be able to paint something like this on purpose! 

And finally, let me show you my "erosion bundles". I came across this concept on Evelyn Flint's blog and was captivated immediately! This is how it works: you collect some pieces of paper, fabric, ribbon, lace or any other bits and bobs you want to distress in a bundle and put them out in your garden to weather for a few months. It helps if you include tea bags, coffee, paints, rusty metal or anything else to facilitate the process. I've made three small bundles and hung them on a tree at the bottom of our garden. I'll check them in a couple of months to see how they're shaping up. 

Thank you for visiting today! Don't forget to send healing thoughts and prayers to Shoshi, who's still in hospital recovering from major emergency surgery. Get well soon Shoshi! And of course Shaz too, who's in a similar situation! Hope you're both back on your feet again soon ladies - we're missing you!

Friday 3 February 2017

LifeBook Week05: Abstract painting and doodling

Week 05 of LifeBook brought us a fun lesson by Wendy Brightbill. I've found it very freeing and relaxing. This was a true "mixed media" project, as it contained all sorts of media from watercolours, inks and paints to all sorts of pens, pencils and crayons. The challenge was to paint your intentions this year. I included my word 'evolve' (see if you can spot it!) along with my symbol of the circles and triangles. This page has really evolved on its own accord and I got completely lost in my thoughts while working on it. It was a very meditative and intuitive process.

I liked this process so much, I'm thinking of doing another version with different colours and perhaps some metallics added. I like how we are exposed to completely different styles and ideas in these lessons to inspire us!

Wednesday 1 February 2017

WOYWW #400: Happy 400th!

I was determined not to miss #400 of What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday, having missed #300 in March 2015.  I first took part in #276 as a newbie blogger back in September 2014 and I'm still here! I've met so many lovely people through this fantastic blog hop and I would like to thank Julia, the birth mother of WOYWW, for making it possible! I hope WOYWW will continue to see many more fat round numbers in years to come!

So, onto my desk, as that's what it's all about! I've been working on a number small projects this past week and I also have some new stash to show you.

Remember all my struggles with painterly portraits last week? I still haven't given up hope that one day I might get it! I had a print-out of my own photo sitting on my desk, destined for the bin and I absentmindedly started painting over it, just for practice. I knew the paper would wrinkle, being only plain old copy paper. I just kept painting not worrying about the outcome, working fast and without thinking much. Even though it's quite sketchy - or perhaps because of it - I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome! Of course, it doesn't look anything like me, but that wasn't my intention - I just wanted to achieve that painterly look. I quite liked how it turned out, so  I decided to glue it in my journal - the photo above was taken while it was drying. Here's a closer look:

You can also spot a couple of boxes in the dark background that I'm going to alter and a pack of oracle cards that my NZ friend, Lynette, recommended. They're wonderful! I don't particularly believe in fortune telling, but I think these cards can help you be more reflective, introspective and intuitive. Each card has a vintage photomontage on it, and the deck comes with a booklet as well, to help you interpret the meaning of the cards. This is a deck I'm not going to alter in any way, because it's perfect as it is. I might take photos of the images and use them as collage material in my projects. You can find these cards on Amazon here. (The Book Depository had the best price of the market sellers at the moment.)

I took a photo of some of my favourite cards to give you an idea. There's a total of 52 of them.

Well, I was planning to share a few other projects with you today, but I don't want to stretch this post too long, so I'll keep them until next week! 
Thanks for stopping by! 
Happy 400th!