Saturday, 31 January 2015

week 4 documented life project (24th January 2015)

I confess, I am posting another not quite finished page and I know I said I will make more of an effort to finish my projects.  However, I have a very good reason.  I will explain later why it is unfinished.

Ok so Week 4 of the documented life project gives the art challenge of writing with the journal prompt of "words with friends"

This weeks challenge, I struggled with.  I simply did not get inspired, until today.  I had put gesso on my double page the beginning of the week even though I had no idea what I was going to do as I thought it would be a good place to start, I get fed up having an idea and not being able to get on with it for waiting on the gesso to dry.  It seemed sensible to prepare the journal for when inspiration struck, but it didn't for ages.  I had decided I was going to just skip a page and go back to it if the inspiration ever actually came. That was until today.  I came across a friendship quote which I liked on facebook.  It was in a Graphic design as many images of quotes are.  That together with a YouTube tutorial for beginners on watercolour crayons by JournalArtista I had watched a few days ago, the inspiration came.  It is funny at the time I watched the video there was no spark.  It was when I had thought, hmmm there are so many friendship quotes that I could not choose one.  It was this "could not" thought that turned into, why do I have to choose one.  The technique I had watched earlier in the week could provide some frames for a number of different quotes and I could choose my favourites.  So an idea was born

I started by painting with acrylics a background, using blue, red and white.  I have limited colours in my acrylics. 

I then took some postits and placed them on the page.  I watered down some gesso and gave the page a wash.  I then used a big music stamp and a branch stamp and stamped randomly across the page over the postit notes too.  Two of which were heart shaped.  When I lifted the postits, what was underneath was protected and left this effect - see picture below.

I wanted the shapes to be frames so I needed to define them a little more so used cray-pas oil pastels.  The white, two shades of blue a lighter and darker and red. 

To define the frames even more I used the black oil pastel to darken some of the areas I thought would be in shadow.

Finally, I wrote the journal prompt in the top middle heart and in the boxes my favourite quotes, minus one.  The bottom left heart I have put the definition of Friend.  The box that is blank.  I have a quote in mind but as I have exhausted the writing I know so far.  I have decided to leave the third quote for now until I am inspired with a different way to use writing, after all this is about a journey of discovery so no point in using the same old techniques I already know. One last thought to leave you with.  Despite researching lots of quotes I ended up deciding on three quotes that have special meaning and not just ones I like.  Believe me there are many I like.  One quote I have given to someone in a pocket card form and the other, along with the missing one, I have received from friends.  One on a plaque on my wall and one a fridge magnet:) I will keep it to myself which one is which, for a bit of mystery lol

So that's my page, the page I thought I would have to miss out.  Just shows you, inspiration can come at any time.  Now, I will go have a look at week 5s challenge and see where my imagination takes me to this time. I really could do with new colours though, mixing my acrylics, I have found, seems to result in rather mucky looking colours.  Thank you for stopping by T

Friday, 30 January 2015

experimental art journal page

This page is not a documented life page.  I have decided to use a old note book and upcycle it as an art journal book so I can use some of my art stuff and experiment with techniques and discover what works and what doesn't work with the cheap stuff I have bought. I do not have a step by step photo shoot with this page.  But what I cant tell you is I used pva glue to stick two pages together to thicken the page then used Gesso to undercoat the pages and then used watercolour pencils for the background.  I tried the cheap oil pastels I bought and also used mod podge to attach the paper hearts to see if it is as rubbish as I have been reading lately.  I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.  It has dried ok and not left a sticky coat.  So perhaps I didn't layer it on too much or it has dried well enough.  I then used my promarker pens to highlight the stuck on hearts.  I do not use these pens enough. I certainly paid enough for them so really need to use them more.

My fingers are in the bottom left side as I had to keep the book open, this book has a tendency to want to close itself lol Its a little pink and girlie for my specific tastes but that is ok, I was pushing myself out of my comfort zone with this.  The word Love was written with the square side to the promarker pen but the other writing was a sharpie pen. 

Thanks for stopping by

Thursday, 29 January 2015

documented life challenge week 3

Finally, at last, I have finished my week 3 journal page. I have definitely thought too much about this page it has taken me almost 2 weeks to do.  It has gone so well, compared to my other pages, that I found myself worrying about ruining it. So here is a run down of how I did it.  The art challenge - colour wheel.  Journal Prompt " I found I can say things with colour and shape I couldn't say any other way"- Georgia O-Keef.

I have just discovered that I have not taken photos of the start of this page but started half way through, oh well, you will get the idea.  First I started by covering the entire page with Gesso.  Then on the left side I used acrylic paints and painted using black and white paint to establish a grey and colourless storm background.  Then on the right side I used blue acrylic to make a more colourful storm/rain scene.  I also added a little bit of dylusions ink spray in turquoise to represent the dripping water and stickles turquoise to make it reflective.   I then bled some of the colour onto the left side.  This part of my thought process was inspired by Lorraine Bell .   The pictures start where I decided to draw my dancer freehand on a separate bit of paper cut her out and stick her down on the colour side


 Once stuck down, I coloured in my dancer.  As I wanted to use colour I used my favourite colour RED, it made sense its the most contrast  colour to Blue I had and I wanted my dancer to stand out.

I then spent a long long long time wondering, pondering, hemming and hawing as to what I was going to do with the Quote I had in mind for this page.  It has taken me longer to decide than it took me to get my page to this stage.  I finally decided I just have to go for it and get on with it. 
The word life proved a little problematic lol I was inspired to do this quote by watching a YouTube tutorial by Einat Kessler I liked her idea of using white oil pastel.  However, I did not have any.  I decided to buy some cheap ones and also bought cheap pastels too.  The white pastel rather than the oil was much better at being white on the page, however the pastel was rubbing off :( I wondered about fixing it but did not have anything to fix it with.  I had read about hairspray as well as purpose fixative and also heard about steam fixing but decided, oooh I know I will try using glossy accent as this will give it some texture too.  Alas it did not work as well as I had planned.  It dulled the white to a grey.  So As I had bought an ink paint pen on the same day as the pastels I thought aha I will use that to outline it, it kinda worked but it just wasn't standing out like I wanted it to.  I had also bought another type of white pen so drew round the letters again edging the white ink pen.  This again kinda worked so I had to think of something else. So I used stickles crystal to add a little more sparkle in only specific areas.  I then left if there before I just made a huge mess lol
I was about to leave the page for a spell, again, while I decided how to proceed with the rest of the lettering.  However, I then gave myself a good shake and went for it and finished the rest using sharpie pens black and red and the white ink paint pen and what you see below is the finished results

So there you have it, the chaos that is my creative process.  I have to say I am rather pleased with this page.  It makes a nice change.  I am slowly learning to let go my idea that my page has to be professional looking.  I just need to let go and enjoy.  I am not saying I will be able to do that right away as it is hard to let go my need for a pleasing looking finished article but I will let go more often until I am more comfortable with this process.

Thank you for reading this post.  I hope it has been of interest and help to someone. It has certainly helped me :)


Tuesday, 27 January 2015

original documented life project week one 1st January 2015

I mentioned and showed the unfinished first page in my previous post (it is still unfinished), however I did not really show how it came from a blank page to what it is now.  So I thought that I would post a few more pictures of the process to go along with the explanation. I have also been going off on a few tangents, again, so I needed to get back in some sort of order.  Therefore it made sense to start at the beginning and go from there.

ok so the documented life project week 1 The theme of January is about the blank page and how to deal with it.  I am particularly bad at staring at a blank page and being afraid to do anything, so this month is a very good start for me, especially as I am relatively new to art journaling.  I am certainly new to this project and excited about developing my artistic skills again.  As much as I enjoy using my craft skills and being creative with it I have neglected my painting and drawing skills. so..........

book paper is my challenge and so I covered the double page with different types of paper I could find that was close enough to being book paper as I did not have any books handy I could use pages from.  So the closest things I could find were scrapbook paper that had lovely writing effect, a printed page of music I had from choir practise, a page from an old diary and a page out of a note book I had scribbled dance moves on and a couple of envelopes, one of which came all the way from Germany from Valerie when we did an artist trading card swap back in the days when we there was a gang of us active on the docrafts forum  You can find her fantastic blog here , where you will find some fantastic art journaling inspiration. 
Next I used Gesso and covered the paper, over the top of that I painted burnt umber and wiped off and spread about with a babywipe to give the distressed antique look to the page
Next I used acrylic paint to put on some colour, unfortunately my mixing did not really go according to plan, I think the undercoat mixed with the colour and made it a little muddy looking, rather than the colours I was going for, but that's ok I went with it anyway.  I think used my one and only stencil and dylusions ink spray (turquoise) to put some patterns onto the page.  there were a couple of accidental splashes so I used the other end of my paintbrush and dragged it through the ink to make a pattern rather than leaving the splosh.  I am not completely happy with my page so far but that is ok, it is all learning and I have learned a few things that I will hopefully not repeat. As you can see from the picture below I added some sprays from a brush with white acrylic paint, using my finger to flick the paint onto the page.     
The page is not complete as the prompt is "be your own goal keeper".  I have not put on my goals but they will be added at a later stage when I am inspired as to know what technique to put my goals on with.  The quote that came to me from the prompt is -  " In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves.  The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility" - Eleanor Roosevelt.  Of course a couple of my goals will have to be to not leave projects unfinished and be more organised lol
I hope you have enjoyed reading my basic tutorial on how I did my first art journaling page for the documented life project.  Hope you come back for my next instalment.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Finished Journal page

This is not the first page in the documented life project but it is the first page completed.  I have the first challenge background done but it is not finished.  I am over thinking things so decided to leave it and complete the second challenge.  So here it is.  It is a little basic but I was just playing around with techniques to be honest.  I am not completely happy with the finished result but that is ok, I have learned a few things along with way.  Week 2 of the documented life project - The art challenge part was Gesso and the journal prompt was "the beginning is always today"- Mary Shelley  So for the Gesso part of the challenge I had been looking at the ways a lot of people use Gesso and one was to create resistance so you could have a pattern revealed after wiping off paint or ink.  So I used the Gesso to create patterns on the paper.  I used the one and only stencil I have to put pattern down on the page in several areas, there are small flowers in the pattern so I then created bigger flowers using the Gesso and put on the blue and red colour with Acrylic paint.  The swirls were also done using Gesso and wiping away method.  I am not completely happy with the swirls they could have looked better but again, I am not worrying over it as I was experimenting with the Gesso.  This is all very new to me.  I have done painting and I have used oil pastels and I have done scrapbook art journal pages in the 52 week challenge but I have not really done mixed media art journaling until now. 

I am not sure when I will finish the first challenge page so I have decided last minute to share it with you today, unfinished.

 Week 1 documented life project - The art challenge for this page was book paper, so I used a variety of book paper including a printed paper designed for scrapbooking as it had lovely colours and text, to cover the pages.  I then put on an edging of burnt umber and wiped off using a baby wipe to give the antique look then I added colour once the page had dried, the colour seems to have gotten a little lost.  I then used dylusion spray ink (turquoise) and my newly acquired stencil.  I accidentally dropped some ink off the stencil as I was taking it off the page.  As I did not want the big blob of ink on the page I decided to run the end of a brush through it to give it more pattern to it.  I was definitely happier with the pattern than the blob of ink lol so I added a little more ink to the page to even it up a little.  I have just lost the inspiration as to what I am doing with the prompt element of it which is "be your own goal keeper"  I do have a quote in mind to use and will be adding my goals for the year however it is the technique of how to apply them I am unsure about.  So I decided to leave it for now and go back to it later, I find this helps to clear my mind and give me an inspiration moment.  I am currently working on the third challenge which I was inspired by two different pages.  When I share my own page I will share who inspired me.  So for now I will say thank you for reading my post.  Watch this space for new posts, I plan to post once a week on a specific day, which I will announce when I decide, what is the best schedule. 

Thursday, 15 January 2015

It has Arrived :)) WHOOOOHOOOOO!!!!!!!!!

I was tidying away my art and craft supplies and was cleaning my livingroom (my craft stuff was taking over the livingroom lol) When there was a buzz at the was a parcel for me :)

So here it is my dylusions Art Journal.  I am not even sure where to start lol Mmmmmmm well the beginning would be a good start lol.  Must find some old book paper for my first challenge and prompt. Oh dear.... I am actually in the middle of tidying up too lol oh well, life is far too short for housework anyway lol Actually I am not even sure where I will find book paper :( All my books are good and not for dismantling, hmmmm some thought is required I think. Maybe if I continue to tidy I will find some book paper :) 
Watch this space for my first two journal challenges ........................  

Art practice, experiementation? or is it just simply artistic flow???

My Dylusions Art journal has not arrived yet.  It is due to arrive between 20th Jan and 9th February,......well it is coming from USA apparently so I guess I cannot be too impatient lol.  As a result I have been unable to start my documented life project  This, however, is not a negative thing.  It is giving me a chance to practice.  Here is my first attempt at using acrylic paints to do a background and a face.  I was not really sure where this work was going, perhaps that is what made it so difficult, I was thinking about it too much and not just letting my creativity flow.  I did not use a prompt. I had been watching a shed load of youtube videos on painting techniques and I just wanted to try some out.  I took the advice of everyone and just put paint on the page so I wasn't staring at a blank page.  On hind sight I could have taken a few more photos at the beginning of my work so the progress could be shown.  Having said that, I was enjoying living in the moment and just being present, I suspect taking loads of photos would have detracted from that.  So here are the photos I have taken in order of first to last photo.

This first photo shows the difficulty I was having with trying to get the black hair to cover the background.  For some reason I could not cover the light colour.  Which has confused me as its a light background ?????? I used gesso which was recommended to help the colour go further and be brighter. I wonder if the acrylic paint (even though unopened till now) has been sitting for too long.  I bought it a couple of years ago hmmmmmmm Oh well, I will try something different next time.  After all this is practice and experimentation :) As the saying goes "Art is what happens when plans go astray" I have absolutely no idea if anyone ever said that but I believe John Lennon  said "life is what happens when you are busy making other plans"

The Final photo shown here is not intended to be the finish product.  Though I am now at a point where I am afraid to do any more to it just in case I ruin my efforts so far.  I do realise that there are no mistakes in art, just a move in a different direction.  I will, of course, get over my freeze at some point but for now I will leave well alone.  Even if I don't do any more to it. The idea behind it was to practice not to make a master piece.   
Thanks for stopping by and reading the latest post T 

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Still not focused but getting there..........

Hi Folks

I have changed my mind about using the folder and individual pages to do the original documented life project I am making an attempt at creating my first page and I feel the page is not really big enough.  This page is still in progress but already I am not keen on the smaller A5 size.  As I was working on the page I realise it is not really big enough to fit what I imagined the page to look like.

Also a special message to Val I have not used the envelope of yours I found on this page as I had already started it when I came across the envelope.  I will use it in my big art journal (when it arrives) which I bought it from here    I know many people prefer to start off small but for some reason I am much better with a bigger page first then go on to do smaller pages.  It was the same when I started out scrapbooking, I got on much better on a 12x12 page than a smaller page.  It was not until I had become more comfortable with what I was doing I moved on to smaller 6x6 pages.  (thought for today - "I have not created a scrapbook page for a while hmmmmm NO!!!!!! I have got to stay focused lol I will do another scrapbook page, just not right now.  I have an art journal to begin............mmmmm I might even try smashbooking.......ooops there I go again off on a tangent, does anyone else do this? lol............ besides, I also have a printer to fix before I can print out my photos again).  Anyway I digress as usual lol.  Plus, the more I watched the progress of the artists who are setting the challenge, the more I wanted to use the same size book they were.  So long story short I have decided to carry on altering the folder but use it for something else.   *light bulb moment* perhaps I could try using it for a smashbook or go back to my original idea of a planner (though in hindsight I think I would prefer a smaller, fit in my bag, size :).  My other thought for this morning - "I wonder if I can get my grandkids into art journaling".  I am sure they will love the freedom of expression.  Now I know what to get them all for the birthdays and christmas for years to come lol Well, on that fantastic note I am away to research what is the best and safest art supplies for children as well as the best art journaling book for them to do art journaling :) oh I am going to have sooooooo much fun with my grandchildren this year ;), oh, I better invest in a huge protector cover for the floor under the table :) tee hee

thanks for stopping by

Friday, 9 January 2015

new schedule

ok folks here is yet another twist to my plan to schedule more.  After reading an inspirational post I have decided to use an art journal to focus my efforts more.  It was the idea of a planner that resulted in me heading to the high street to have a look for a nice journal to alter.  However, I got a little frustrated that I could not find what I really wanted so I decided to buy raw material to make what I wanted.  So here is the beginning of my journal. The folder pictured is an A5 size so not a bad size to make an art journal

 I will alter and add to it as time goes on :) and will get inspiration from the original documented life life project.  I have made a start on the book paper page :) Of course this now means I will have to search through all the boxes I packed of my craft stash and look out more supplies to continue making my own art journal :) This Art Journal, when complete, will be a years compilation of proof life is awesome which ties in with my new year plan for 2015 So far my posts have been random and I have posted when I felt like it. I plan to put some scheduling in so my posts are a bit more evenly spaced and more routine in an effort to stop my life being quite so chaotic lol  Of course I will have to learn how to do that again lol, it has been a while I also hope to evolve my blogging to make my posts a little more exciting to read

Thank you for stopping by T

Thursday, 8 January 2015

my next piano installement and pondering session.

As I continue to attempt to learn to play the piano, it becomes very clear that I cannot do too many things at once.  This month has been about trying to identify what is important to me in my life and to be honest I think I have been trying to do too much in the month of January.  I am learning the piano, knitting socks for the homeless and sewing a kids quilt for charity to name but a few.  Now as much as these are all fun things to do, it is hard to get the time to do all three, particularly with working full time too.  I find if I do the sewing or knitting my piano playing goes back a step.  If I do my piano practice I feel bad I am not working on the charity quilt I promised myself I would get finished this month (it is still winter and it would be helpful for someone in the winter more than in the summer) On top of all this I have some work to do to my house I am selling in the highlands.  So I have discovered, focus is the most important to me in my life right now.  Well, this is an answer to my what's important to me? I did not expect.  I thought it would be family or something similar.  Having said that,  I have always known family is important to me so it is not something I needed to figure out right enough lol So how do I get more focus in my life?  Well, I am going to try scheduling a little better so I do not over stretch myself with all the things I am doing this month. setting times for each task and sticking to them.  I will also have to schedule in some running or similar or I will become unfit again ooops lol oh and of course I need to schedule in time to type posts for my blog :)
here are the socks I have already finished and I am working on a second pair, hope to be finished soon.


I best get on with formulating a decent schedule :)

bye for now thanks for stopping by


Sunday, 4 January 2015

New Year. New Plan.

Wow already 4 days into the New Year and I still have not actually formulated a plan.  I had better get my backside into gear.  I need a plan.  I  already made a start in December doing things I have put off until now, so that is a good start :) After much deliberation and asking google lol I have decided that my plan is going to be answering a question per month.   The month of January will be exploring what is important to me?  If you would like to join in, spend the next month figuring out what is important to you.

Here are a few examples of what I have already started :)

I've started learning to play the piano

Here my first ever full size quilt :) A Christmas quilt that was gratefully received by my daughter :)
Watch this space for more updates :)