Wednesday, 21 June 2017

WOYWW #420: Heatwave!!!

I'm taking part in WOYWW three times in a row this month! And let me tell you, it is HOT in the UK right now - well, by British standards, anyway. I took this photo of my temporary desk in the garden on Monday working on a LifeBook lesson, but after that I had to move indoors as it was unbearably hot out there, even in the shade. If you want to see the finished project, you can find it here.

Other than that, I have a couple of pages in my new organizer to show you. They look very similar as I used the same paints and imagery, but they are supposed to be separate pages. The left hand side is the inside cover of my organizer. 

I took this photo while we were on a family outing in Evesham, Worcestershire. There's a possibility we might move there, so we looked around the town. This is the local museum and dates back to the 14th century!  

Could anyone identify this feather for me? I found it on my walk around the countryside. I'm hoping it's an owl feather, or something equally cool, like a hawk or a falcon. It would be good to know! It has the patterns of a tawny owl feather, but it's more pointed than the ones I saw online. 

Here's Oreo keeping cool on the roof over the garage last night. Now that we have to keep all windows open, he can get out there. He likes to observe the other cats from a safe vantage point. 

Happy Summer Solstice - enjoy the longest day of the year! 

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

LifeBook Week24: Self-respect

I hate to admit it, but my last LifeBook post was nine weeks ago! This was last week's lesson, by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, titled Fertilizer for your Creativity. I'm somewhat familiar with Julie's work as she was one of the first artists that I came across on my mixed-media journey, so I was happy to see her name pop up on the teacher list this year.

Julie's lesson included an exercise to transform negative words into something beautiful, so we started out with some nasty messages from our inner critic - and let me tell you - I didn't hold back! These words were written in large block letters all over the page, which were then transformed into abstract shapes and flowers. Mine are probably more abstract than necessary - it looks more like a flow-chart LOL!

I used my Inktense blocks to colour them. Julie used gouache paints, which I haven't got. I've ordered a cheap set to try them but it hasn't arrived yet. I think I managed to achieve similar results with the Inktense. Some outlining and doodling completed the process and voila, my negative opinion about myself were transformed into some funky, VERY abstract flowers. Here are three stages of the process: (I'm deliberately not showing the original words - too embarrassing!)

I added the word 'self-respect' as an afterthought as it seemed like a fitting title for my page. If you have self-respect, you don't continually slag yourself off, like I do sometimes.

I really enjoyed this lesson - it brought me back to my doodling roots. I'm easing myself back into a more regular blogging routine and hopefully I will be able to catch up with some of the other lessons that I missed. However, I do not intend to do all of them this year. At least I'll have something to work on next year without having to spend more money on courses. I think I have enough unfinished classes to last me a couple of years! 

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

WOYWW #419: A cheap organizer

Hello peeps! I'm here again for another round of WOYWW - the second week in a row, which is an achievement in itself. I managed to do some arting yesterday - here's the obligatory desk shot:

I was working (playing!) in a cheap organizer I'd picked up from The Works at the weekend for just £2! It's got lots of pockets, which is what attracted me to it in the first place. I'm not an organizer sort of person, so I'll just use it as an art journal and fill the pockets with tags and cards and such. I've already done a couple of pages, just randomly playing with paint. Not all pages need to have a "story" - sometimes it's just about the play. I'll have fun altering the cover later. It's nice and sturdy, so I'm thinking of a Finnabair-type collage for the cover. 

The £2 organizer!

First two pages

Detail shot
Detail shot
I've also found a great way to display my printed feathers from last week. Remember those mini buckets I altered a while ago? They're perfect for holding my feathers! I just stuck a bit of aluminium foil in them to hold the feathers in place - almost like a bunch of flowers. I need to paint some more feathers so I can fill all three of my buckets.

We've had some lovely sunny weather over the last few days. I just hope it won't get too hot. Any hotter and I start suffering. Here's Oreo enjoying a bit of sunbathing, making sure the rays reach all parts of his tummy, not worrying about his modesty. How does he not get overheated with all that fur?

Thanks for popping in!
Hope your day is filled with sunshine too! 

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

WOYWW #418: Gelli printed feathers

Has it really been 4 weeks since my last post? I'm checking in with a quick project and update for WOYWW.  We have finally sold our house, just before pulling it off the market. The problem is that we still haven't found anywhere to buy, so it might all fall apart, but we'll keep looking. The good news is, that I can bring my stuff out now and start creating again - as I don't need to keep the house pristine clean and tidy, ready for viewings. So I wasted no time to get messy and got my gelli plate out yesterday to print on some feathers. I was inspired by this video on YT. This is what my desk looked like during the proceedings:

You can spot a stack of white feathers that I got on eBay. They came from China and were very cheap. I used my 8X8 inch gelli plate with a variety of acrylic paints to colour the feathers and then I stamped and stencilled on top of them with white paint. This is what I ended up with:

I've also got some nice prints from the gelli plate:

The feathers are very pretty to look at. I might used them in projects, or just put them in a jar for decoration. This was just a quick project to jumpstart my creativity. It's hard to get back on the bandwagon once you've fallen off, but I intend to return at full steam- sometime soon!

We went on a short mini-holiday last week during the half term break. I'll post some photos - see if you can tell where we were. Hint: I expect Angela (@Felix the Crafty Cat) will recognize this place immediately. 

We were away only for one night and decided to leave Oreo in the house instead of putting him in a cattery. I'm sure he preferred it this way too. We left him with plenty of food/water and he had the view of the garden, all his toys and several places to sleep to while away the hours. He was fine when we returned and he didn't seem to have missed us at all.  

I've missed this years ATC swap, but I'm looking forward to seeing 
all your wonderful creations as I do my rounds. 
Happy W8YWW! 

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

WOYWW #414: Quick Update

Hello deskers on this bright, sunny morning! I can't believe it's May already! I haven't been around much lately, but I thought I'd check in with a quick update to let you know what's been happening around here. I've been pretty preoccupied with house hunting and didn't get much chance to create anything. We're ready to throw in the towel and stay where we are for now. Both my husband's job and our son's school tie us to this area and we just can't find what we want around here. We'll continue to look but will take our house off the market until we find something suitable.

However, I'm not here to moan about our housing situation, but to show you my desk for WOYWW. As I haven't made any new art, I'll just show you some things I've bought recently. Two art books to add to my collection, a battery operated pencil sharpener and a couple of fabric tapes from The Works. The pencil sharpener is especially useful, as it has two different sized holes and it can handle my chunky charcoal pencils as well. I've also found that it's good for sharpening soft pencils, which tend to break in a manual sharpener.

The following photos show some highlights of my family life since I last participated in WOYWW about a month ago. We went to the Haynes Motor Museum during the school holidays and got to sit this 1935 car. 

We had several outings nearby enjoying the Spring weather. This photo was taken in Dyrham Park, near Bath.

This one's on Selsley Common near Stroud. I love this landscape!

Closer to home is Cam Peak with bluebells in full bloom.

And even closer to home, just down the road from us, is this lovely deer park. That's the River Severn in the background. 

Oreo news: he's enjoying spending more time outdoors now that the weather has turned mild and dry. The other day he caught a mouse in the garden. Luckily, I had the patio door closed, otherwise he would have brought it in. Here he is, playing with the poor little fella. It was already dead when I saw it - otherwise I wouldn't have let him play with it. Ruthless killer! Afterwards, he pretended nothing had happened - he showed no remorse at all. It could have been Mr. Jingles!

Thanks for stopping by today!
I hope I will be able to show you some new art next week.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Be the best version of yourself

It's been ages since I did a journal page just for the heck of it - something that wasn't a challenge or an assignment. While I enjoy taking classes, I think it's important to stay in touch with your own creativity and find inspiration all around you. I was watching an interview with a young tennis player the other day and she said something that stuck in my mind. She said she wanted to be the best version of herself and I immediately thought this would make a great journal spread!

I didn't plan this page, but I expect it was inadvertently influenced by a lesson I completed earlier this week on LifeBook.  Again, I took one of those half-finished backgrounds in my altered book and it evolved from there. I added stamping and collage pieces to the background before playing with some colours on top of all that, followed by some white stamping, lettering and doodling. You can follow the evolution of this page below:

Random painted background

collaged tissue paper and stamping

Fluid acrylics blended 

Detail of coloured background

Detail of coloured background

Stamping and circles added

White lettering and doodling added

Details of final page

Details of final page

Details of final page

Final page from a perspective view

I hope you like the evolution of my page and feel inspired to become the best version of yourself!