Saturday, 23 March 2013

Just a Wee Break

It's Spring Break and I'm busy as a bee. 
I won't be blogging this week, but will be back after the Easter weekend on April 3rd 2013. 

See you then!

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

My Pregnancy Journal - Everything I Love!

I'm eight weeks pregnant. Shhhhh. I'm supposed to be keeping it a secret. 

But alas, there's no way I can do that! My husband and I have been trying for 20 months! Almost two years! Finally a couple of weeks ago, a blood test confirmed that indeed, we are expecting.

And gosh, I just couldn't be happier! 

In honour of my first (and possibly only) pregnancy, I decided to document everything.
From vitamins and morning sickness to strollers and bumper pads, 
EVERYTHING is going into this new journal. 

The best part? I made it.  
The cover is probably my favourite part.
It's impossible for me to feel scared, nervous or cranky when I see it.
I used a few different fabrics plus some decorative trim.
I embellished all of the swatches with different stitches.
The blue heart at the top is a nice, soft felt.
The textures are really fantastic!

I decided on a button closure, as I wanted to be able to bring this with me in my purse without worrying about the pages getting folded or dog-eared.
I chose my fattest wooden button and fastened a hair elastic to the back cover = instant closure. 

I stitched in the three signatures using a pamphlet stitch.
Again, very simple, yet strong and nice to look at.
I like the bold lines of the threads against the wavy trim that I used on the spine of the journal. 
Here's a close-up of that heart.
See how my stitches are all messy?
That's what makes this journal perfect for me.
It's not prissy or fancy or too good to use. 

Here is the back cover of the journal.
You can see the black stitching where I attached that hair elastic for the front closure.
You can also see the wavy trim that is on the spine.
I created the entire cover as one solid piece. 
A little blurry, but here is the inside cover.
You can see the reverse side of the front cover where I used a decorative leaf/vine stitch.
I used a soft suede for the inside covers, mostly for its softness.

On the inside front cover, I had threads showing from where I fastened the button (for the closure).
In hindsight  I should have done the button before adding the suede to the inside.
I didn't really mind having the threads showing, but I DID have this ridiculously cute robot patch that was begging to be used somewhere on this project.
Now he has a home, and he is seen every time I open the journal!
Ahhhhh the pages.
I selected some favourites from my stash,
AND went out and bought some specifically for this journal.
The result is a collection of awesome papers that definitely inspire me!
You can see that on the second page, I've used a white gel pen to write with.
I have a few different pens that I am carrying with this journal and I'm finding that the white pen is PERFECT for using on the darker-coloured pages. 

The page on the right was one that I bought. It's an old, weathered fence that I instantly loved!

In all, this journal was made straight from my heart.

My goal is to write in it every day,
and to not beat myself up if my writing isn't neat,
or if I miss a day for some reason.

I created it to have a document that I could look back to remember my feelings, excitements and fears.

I am absolutely in LOVE with the finished product :)

Monday, 18 March 2013

Art Journal Play

I REALLY wish that I had taken process photos of this page. There are literally 5-6 layers on this page - paints, stencils, fixative, white gel pen, more paint...

I was inspired by a recent collaborative piece by Melissa Peacock and Nolwenn Petitbois, however, this piece is ALL ME :)

 You can see the layers and layers of paints here. The flower was one of the many stencils that I used for this busy background. I outlined its form (roughly) with white gel pen.

I must admit that it was hard to cover the majority of the page with white paint. I chose the honeycomb spaces carefully, looking for the spaces with the most diversity of colours.

This style of painting was (I believe) made famous by Tracy Verdugo. She paints the most exquisitely chaotic backgrounds, then blocks out shapes and images to finish off her paintings. Very cool!

Friday, 15 March 2013

Art Journal Exploration

An art journal is meant to be a place to try out new techniques, new materials, and explore new ideas.

This is very unlike most of my work to date, so it is truly an art journal page in the more literal sense.

I tested out some new sprays, letting them drip in two directions. I've seen this done often, but have never done it myself!

I tried out a stencil from my new art friend, Nolwenn Petitbois. My stencil collection can be accounted for on one hand. Nolwenn's stencil collection would stretch around the planet if placed edge to edge.

My next step will be to write on this page in differing colours: white ink on the dark colours, and dark ink on the lighter colours. I can write about what I like and don't like about these experiments.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Art Inspiration from Anywhere!

I just HAD to post this - a light switch plate that I came across in my travels last week. 

This just happened to be at the RubyDog pop-up shop on Main Street.

Adorable! Makes me want to start collecting random pins and brooches to make my own!

Imagine having great little artsy niches all over the house...

Monday, 11 March 2013

New Journal Covers

I have made up another batch of my Ready-to-go Art Journals

These really are the BEST sellers in my etsy shop. You can view the listing here. 

In the meantime, feast your eyes on some new spreads and covers!!

Same durable binding, different cover stock. This is a Kraft-coloured mat board. Ultra strong and earthy, too!

This is a sample spread from on the journals that I made: a craft book page, a wallpaper swatch (the wood-grain), a folded piece of heavy scrapbook paper, and a cottage image in behind. Lots of inspiration!
 You can gesso over the images, saving some bits for your own collage work and journalling, 
or you can journal around them 
(this is what I do and I find it is the easiest way to journal since you do not have start with an empty page!)

Another sample spread: an embroidery pattern, a striped heavy scrapbook page (I love writing along the lines on this particular paper!), and a photograph from a book that I bought (and immediately upcycled) called LOVE. 

A third sample spread: this one shows a boho-style girl on the left side -
TONS of inspiration and space for journalling!
 - and a triad of different papers on the right side.
The large dot is actually a long swatch of paper that has three dots total and is folded so that there is a little flap (for secret messages!)

Next on my list of journal batches is this same style of journal but in an 8.5 x 5.5 inch size!
Half the size and twice the portability!

I am now carrying a journal of that size in my purse with me everywhere and I just LOVE it! It is large enough to make something substantial, yet small enough to carry in my purse!

There is DEFINITELY a lack of cute 8.5 x 5.5 journals in the world, and I vow to change that!! :D

Friday, 8 March 2013

Another Soft-Cover Loteria Journal

I have created another soft-cover Loteria journal. 

You might remember this one that I made awhile back in brown and pink!

This one is ever BETTER since it is in my favourite colour scheme: blue and green!
...and it has a tree on it! 

Just like the other journal, hand-embroidered edging over bias tape. Also, note the lime green rick rack! Yum!

Lime green embroidery floss holds the signatures in place. 

The inside cover is a nice, rich chocolate brown. 

Here is a close-up of the inside binding. Cute and tidy!

Available here in my etsy shop :)

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Pinterest: Love or Hate?

You may have noticed this logo (much smaller, of course) 
on some of your favourite websites, blogs and blog posts. 

It's the Pinterest Logo. 

Pinterest is becoming my go-to source for project ideas, art inspiration, decorating tips, even sugar-free dessert recipes. 

Here's the low-down on why I love Pinterest, 
and why you shouldn't be afraid of 
registering on (yet another!) social media website. 

It's marketed as a photo-sharing, social networking site. 
I see it more as a place to gather collections pertaining to one idea or another.

For example, I have a "board" completely dedicated to craft/decor/art projects that I want to try, another just for a collection of photos that I've found on upcycling Altoid Tins, and another for all of the Vintage Kitchen images that I come across searching for Pyrex, vintage decors, etc. 

It's a time-consuming task in the sense that once you start browsing  you'll keep finding more and more things that you want to look at!

Another thing that I like about Pinterest is that you can "follow" the "pins" of your friends (or of artists that you admire!) For example, I love Pam Garrison lately, so I am "following" her "pins," which means that when she adds a picture to one of her "boards," that action shows up in my main feed and I can see what she finds interesting lately. I particularly like her "board" on Art Journals and Journalling.  I *think* that if you click on those links, you'll be able to see what I'm talking about regardless of whether or not you are a registered Pinterest user. 

Some artists have "boards" that contain 600+ photos! 

Can you imagine needing some art inspiration and being able to browse through 
600 photos of a style of art that you already love?

I can!

(By the way, I have not yet received any spam or email from Pinterest, so there is no badgering or setting your email settings, etc. When you want to look at stuff, you go look at stuff. No one is reminding you to look. I like this, as I despise spammy emails cluttering up my inbox.)

If you haven't already, go check it out!
Give yourself 30 minutes to see if it is something that might interest you. 

Monday, 4 March 2013

A New Inspiration Deck

I'm loving card decks, lately. I love having 52 pieces of art as one tight little package.

I Gesso'd and then watercoloured one side of my latest deck. Aren't the colours magical?!

I'm working on inspirational sayings using watercolour outlined with pen. Here are a few that I've come up with so far. I wanted to highlight the first letters on each one, as I'm doing an alphabet sub-theme.

I challenge you to make your own deck of 52 little pieces of art.
You can look at Jessica Brogan's In Search Of Dessert if you would like some inspiration. Jessica and her swap are what motivated me to begin exploring card deck in the first place!

I'm not sure that this deck will be entered into the swap; I kind of like it in its entirety so far. 
More pics to come as the cards become more developed!

Friday, 1 March 2013

I'm Most Proud Of...

A few images of some art that I've made over the last while - and still love!

Top Left: Inspired by Teesha Moore and her 16-Page Journal

Top Center: A close-up of one of the postcards I made for the International Mixed Media Postcard Swap V.1.

Top Right: A large mixed-media piece that I did with a western theme. It hung above our fireplace for quite a while.

Middle Left: A journal page that I did for my good friend MaryAnn using paint, ink and magazine images.

Middle Center: My favourite mixed media fabric piece to date: the cover for last year's Daytimer! Check out the entire front and back cover here.

Middle Right: Part of a spread from my BEST Journal that I made using fused plastic bags.

Bottom: The pretty beaded binding of a hardcover book that I made while at a workshop given by the fabulous Wendy Schwartz at Stampadoodle in Bellingham.