Saturday, 27 April 2013

Gelli Play

 I got to play with a Gelli Plate today :)

I have to say that I hadn't been tempted by one in the slightest...until this week!  I signed up for the '21 Secrets Art Journaling Workshop' a while ago and recently watched Roben-Marie Smith using a Gelli Plate in her journal....and LoVeD it!

 Sue and I had planned a playday today (we've not had one for aaaaaaaaages!) and Sue suggested we play with her Gelli Plate :)  I now need to purchase my own lol

 We spent a couple of hours making papers and printing pages in our journals, stopped for lunch then did some creating with our papers.

[I also got to play with some of Sue's stamps and stencils :)]

I love the textures you can create with the gelli plate.  All I added to this envelope was the flower, the tiny stamped circles and three green paint circles (using the pritt stick lid) and the words 'native graciousness'.

Glassine envelopes are FaB to work with in conjunction with the Gelli Plate :)

 Finally, this envelope came about because Sue found an ant stamp which was just too fun not to use!!

Sunday, 21 April 2013

a fabric art journal (edited for PDCC entry)

 The plan this weekend was to get a shed-load of school prep done.  It didn't happen!  My sewing machine was calling me far too intently.  I'm not sure why as I have new Dylusions inks and a new stencil waiting to be played with.

 The wonderful Sue Roddis of the 'Jabberwocky' has been on a roll making duct tape journals and I decided to make a fabric version!  When journaling with fabric I start in a similar way to my regular journals, by picking my colours and supplies.

I love the edge of cotton fabric where they put the pattern number and the colours used in the print and that ended up being my starting point, along with the feeling that it was a yellow day!

 I stitched strips of fabric next to each other before adding some blocks and finally the flower.

 On the canvas that formed the back cover I added some tiny flowers which were so small I had to hand sew the weeny scraps on.

I then cut a strip of furnishing fabric (only because I liked the feel of it and the colour!) and used it to join the front and back covers together.  The grey strip of fabric with the words on was going to go across the spine and onto the back cover, but I forgot to hold it straight when I was stitching so it went a bit wonky.  I wasn't about to unpick it all (one of the very many reasons I'm not applying for The Great British Sewing Bee!!!) and instead just adapted the design a little, trimming it down then highlighting the word 'creative'.

I love Sue's idea of putting her pages in her duct tape journals with elastic bands so she can easily take them out to work on them.  Elastic bands don't really work on fabric so I've pinned my pages.  

I've used a mixture of materials, including acetate and paper alongside fabric.

EDIT:  I hadn't realised but the colours I used for my journal are near enough those of this week's Play Date Cafe, so I was encouraged to enter!

I did have some exciting PDCC news this week ..

I was awarded the cup of the week and won a $25 gift certificate for Jenni Bowlin Studios - so exciting!!

Sunday, 14 April 2013

a gallery crawl (no pubs involved, unfortunately ;) )

 I took my daughter (nearly sixteen) and my two nieces (nearly fifteen, and ten) on a bit of a gallery crawl the other day.  We started off at Unit Twelve Gallery near Stafford, run by the very talented Jennifer Collier.  The current exhibition is called 'Traditional Twisted' and features work by one of mine and Sophie's (Grammar?) favourite artists, Alix Swan as well as work by someone we know from our home town, Leah Fletcher.

Alix's work is based on traditional tales and I have a couple of her tiny books.  For this exhibition she had created wooden boxes containing elements from the stories, with a handle on the side to turn (which played music) and a book tucked in the back with a padded label stating 'pull me'.

 I love the way she reduces the stories to single words or snippets of sentences.

 And that long, thin book for 'Rapunzel' is just fab!  Sophie and I are already booked on her two day workshop at the end of May where we'll spend a whole weekend making a little hard back book and, I assume, putting some content in it.

 I'm struggling to decide which story, if any, to do as 'The Elves and the Shoemaker' is my very, very favourite, alongside 'The Three Billy Goats Gruff'!  But Sophie is doing 'Little Red Riding Hood' for her GCSE project and I'm loving the references to trees, the snippets of red for the girl and grey for the wolf; plus 'The Princess and the Pea' would give great castle imagery and snippets of fabric for the mattresses, and would really suit a long thin book. Hmmm.

 Other work in the exhibition included these lovely paper/cloth quilts by Maria Thomas.  Look carefully and you can see regular packaging for biscuits and cakes and other sweet goodies.

Leah Fletcher's work is a beautiful combination of vintage fabric, memories and porcelain.

From Unit Twelve Gallery we travelled West, just a few minutes down the road to Stafford where we saw the 'Mad Dogs and Englishmen' exhibition by Lauren Van Helmond at the Shire Hall Gallery (Sue, you'd love this!)

Lauren creates amazing metal sculptures of dogs and combines them with blokes!

I love how, with a simple bit of carving, wooden spoons can have such character!

The gallery shop is fabulous, full of way too many goodies.  There's a cafe too but we didn't have time for cake unfortunately!

Off on the road again we headed for the market town of Eccleshall, where a group of artists have got together and run a gallery called 'gallery at 12'.

It's a proper English town and the photo really doesn't do the main street justice, but how fab is that old fire station!

It was great to see work by Jo Hill in particular as I love her textile designs.

A quick trip to the old fashioned sweet shop completed our trip as my youngest niece had to get back to go bowling with a friend.  Cake would have been nice, but never mind, and there are lots of little boutique shops in Eccleshall which looked fabulous through the windows.

Friday, 12 April 2013

21 secrets goes pearshaped

 My good friend Chris, from Pearshaped Crafting, came over this morning to do a bit of journaling.  After a bit of umming and ahhing I'd signed up to the '21 Secrets' series of art journaling workshops and we decided to do one this morning.  To choose which one, Chris picked a random number out of her head - 10 - and we counted along to find the tenth workshop which was Kate Crane's!

Funnily enough we've taken a class with Kate together before!

Chris' page started with reds and greens.  I decided to go for browns and greens, but discovered that Mushroom Adirondack spray is nearer a grey when sprayed over gesso!

I didn't have any acrylic ink to hand so used a couple of pipettes to add inky circles with ink taken from my Adirondack spray bottles.

Chris used her Neocolour water soluble crayons to add her circles.  Much more subtle!

I had been saying that I was resisting the current journal trend of painting faces (actually, I don't have to resist hard as faces aren't really 'my thing') but looking at my 'blobs' they seemed to be crying out for facial features.  Sue's funny bird doodles came to mind, as did Dr Seuss and Carla Sonheim's imaginary creatures!!!

I intended to make a couple of the 'blobs' into flowers, but forgot - or maybe they just didn't want to be flowers!!

The blob at the base of the 'elephant' looked so like a little snail without a shell I just had to doodle him in, despite it looking a bit odd, but then, the whole page is odd!

I just added eyes to each blob and went from there!

"Be who you are"
Dr Seuss

EDIT:  Chris has blogged her page so head on over to her blog HERE to see how differently the pages turned out!

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

a journal page at The Play Date Cafe

 When I saw this week's Play Date Cafe Colours I knew I had to play along!

It was tempting to use a manilla tag as a base but I decided to challenge myself and do a journal page with the colours instead.  They are  Cappuccino...Slate...Burlap

One of the pages had a burgundy overspill from the previous page so I started by sponging a dark brown acrylic paint around the edge of the page and went from there!

My grey spray ink was a little darker than I remembered (it's an 'altered original' by Dyan Reaveley, pre-Ranger) but it all works so ...

Whilst away on holiday I discovered the 'panorama' option on my iphone and had a go using it to take the whole double page spread - it's easier to take a photo and crop it, this image is a little wonky!

Note to self - use this colour combo again :)  There's loads of gorgeous inspiration with these colours over at The Play Date Cafe if you fancy heading over there, they're a fab design team and this week are joined by the DT from the Jenni Bowlin Studio.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Art Journal Freedom by Dina Wakley

A couple of years or so ago now I took a class at Art from the Heart with Dina Wakely.  When I make cards I love a lot of white space on them and I particularly wanted to transfer this to my journaling.  Dina's new book, 'Art Journal Freedom',  has a whole chapter on 'white space' and was a great reminder of her workshop.

It really is a fabulous book, and quite different to the other journaling books on the market, teaching about composition and colour theory - knowing the rules means you can break them if you like!

I used Dina's 'circle' page design, creating a swirl of watercolour before adding some texture to some of the lines with a pecil crayon then adding circles through a large piece of 'sequin waste'.  I stamped a couple of the flowers then drew the other two before adding the words from a Stampotique stamp.  Dina's challenge is to create a second page using the same elements but in different quantities.  I've not done that yet.  I did, however, NoT do a double page spread, which is my usual way of working!!!  Quite a breakthrough for me!  I just felt that the page was too long and thin, as a double page spread, to carry this composition.

My 'low cloud' page did work well this size though.  On the first day of our ski-ing holiday my youngest son questioned whether we could refer to 'low cloud' whilst up in the mountains as, surely, it was just that we were high up and maybe we should call it 'high people' instead!  This really tickled me so I carved a couple of stamps - one of a tree, the other with the word 'cloud' - and made a journal page.

I used Tim's umbrella man and put him at the top of the mountain because I really did meet a lady with an umbrella whilst walking at the top of 'Saulire' between two ski lifts!  It was snowing.  

I made the mountains from a piste map and added the true names and heights of a couple of the mountains I went to the top of using my pedestrian ski lift pass.

Coming 'down' is a bit scary!  But the lift attendants were all lovely, and often slowed the lift down at the end to help me get off!!

And it was definitely worth it for the views!


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