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Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Layers of Your Heart

Our latest lesson for Life Book 2015 was called Layers of the Heart and it's by the organizer of Life Book herself: Tamara Laporte. It involved making 7 separate hearts and decorating them in various ways, putting them together using a brad so that they can fan out together.
And then to make a page with a pocket to fit them in. You can see my hearts spread out above. I added beloved quotations on most of my hearts as a way to have them all in one place. All the pages we are making for Life Book 2015 will be put together into one Life Book at the end of the year.
The heart top right was entirely decotated with washi tape, and what you can see here was originally the back of the heart, while the front was simply straight lines of washi tape. But when it was done I loved the back a lot better so it was promoted!
I used my own handwriting on all the hearts as well as on the pocket as I need to get over my aversion of doing so. Like most people I'm not mad about how my handwriting looks but I'm working on it. I used another quotation at the top of the pocket. It's a Zen saying and reads: " If you do the work that you do from a loving heart, then you will always be able to make something beautiful".

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Not a Good Time

The crown imperial didn't chose a great time to make it's appearance this year. As you can see the ground is covered in snow, and it's freezing. Fortunately the council gritter was better organized, coming by just before I needed to leave to go to Peebles. Perfect timing!

Monday, 2 March 2015

High Five Page

Weatherwise this is a very strange kind of day. We woke to a couple of centimetres of snow.  There has also been wonderful sunshine but mixed in with sudden intense snow showers. After an outing to Penicuik I'm back in the studio and it's time to show you the weekly page made for The Documented Life Project 2015 (DLP15). We are still working February's theme of: Layers You will Love, as posting our weekly tasks happens on Saturday and last Saturday was the last day of the month. Our art challenge was: Use at least 5 layers, and the Journal Prompt: Give me a High Five.
I started by putting gesso on my page (sized to fit into my planner at 7 x 8.1/4") and then added colour with a variety of paints using my 8" round gelli plate and a Stencilgirl stencil. Five vintage papers were adhered on and more paint was scraped over the page. I added imagery using an art stamp from Stampers Anonymous, and then dripped some yellow ink over the page.
 I glued on 3 pieces of torn underpaper (the blue and pink bits), added black and white dots using sequin waste, added 3 pieces of washi tape and finally I added the number FIVE top right (it did say High Five!) using another Stencilgirl stencil, this time only available in the Stencilgirl Club. It was December's offering.

The butterfly transparency was glued on and the final step was to outline everything using white and black markers as well as water-soluble oil pastels. The edge of the page was outlined with a black stamp pad. So I think I definitely did at least 5 layers and it was in fact about 10 or more.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

La Vie en Rose Journal Quilt

Another month brings with it another word for the journal quilt project I'm doing with the Contemporary Quilt Group. The group set the size for the challenge (6 x 12"), and the choice of whether to go horizontal or vertical was up to us. As I had already decided to use words as my own theme I went for horizontal. My word for March is La Vie en Rose. The weather conditions sadly don't reflect this at the moment as we are suffering gale force winds and lots of rain, with snow also forecasted for later on.
So it's quite good to be able to seek refuge into a rose-tinted world. Usually La Vie en Rose is translated into English as: "Seeing life through rose-tinted spectacles". A bit cumbersome and not at all romantic sounding, in my opinion though, unlike the French version! "In the pink" is also a suggestion. My own interpretation leans to: feeling like you are enveloped in rose petals" and that's the way I went with this journal quilt. The most famous interpretation of the words was of course in the song by Edith Piaf. You might want to listen to it as you watch these pictures.
I used a wide variety of rose themed fabrics and raw edge appliqué done by hand,  to make the background which I then hand stitched using running stitch as you can see quite clearly in the detailed pictures shown. The next step was to cut the letters from another rose fabric using the Brother Scan'nCut machine and machine appliqué them on. The fabrics have to be bondawebbed in order to use the machine so that helps with the appliqué! Little red size 15 seed beads were sewn onto the letters and size 11 ones around the binding.
I like how the letters sort of merge with the background and you have to pay attention in order to read the text. I found some yummy rose beads in my stash and they were sewn on as the finishing touch.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Amalarian in Tuscany Book

When I first joined the Blipfoto site back in November 2010, one of the first journals I started to follow was that of Amalarian. The first attraction was that this blipper lived in Tuscany and featured many delightful pictures of the countryside and flowers in the area near Lucca. But very soon I realized that she was also a very thoughtful and kind person who was very supportive of me and my photographs, always leaving considerate and insightful comments. Her real name was Molly and we somehow seemed to click even though we never met in person.. My first visit when checking out the site every day was to her journal.

It was therefore such a shock to learn that Molly had died on the 9th May 2011. It seemed beyond belief that someone who was so full of the joy of life was no longer with us. Fortunately her photographs remain on the Blipfoto site as a fitting tribute to her and I have returned to them often over the intervening years.
And that goes specially for the very last picture she ever posted, of Luigi, her dog, as seen above. I don't think I have ever looked at it without crying.

It was therefore wonderful to discover via a fellow blipper that the book,Amalarian in Tuscany, is now available filled to the brim with her stunning pictures and also her beautiful written words, published in her memory by her husband. You can see it at the top of the page. Amalarian was Molly's username on Blipfoto. ,Again I must admit that I have not yet managed to look at it without welling up and I know that I will return to this book time and again.

I have all the necessary information about how to buy this book and if you are interested simply e-mail me using the e-mail address in the sidebar of this blog.

Friday, 27 February 2015

Jar of Favourites

I'm keeping up to date with Life Book 2015 as I've just finished our lesson for this week which was by Lynn Whipple and called: "Jar of Special Favorites". I stuck pretty close to the lesson so no instructions here. You can still sign up for Life Book 2015 yourself if you are interested. All videos from that can be downloaded and saved so you can start at any time.

I had been looking through the pages I have done so far and one very noticeable thing was that almost  all the pages feature my favourite warm colours (surprise, surprise!) so for this one I started with the cool ones. But then couldn't resist making the surrounding area pink!
We were told to write words representing our favourite things in the jar and I really went to town with that, using a variety of markers in black, white, gold, blue and green as well as pink.
Sadly no deep blue sea for me today but somewhere in the jar it also says "snow" and that we do have! About 1 inch fell overnight but I suspect it will be gone by the end of the day as it is quite mild. "Studio" is also one of my jar words and today will be spend in there! I am on the cusp of finishing a quilt but am giving myself a break from it to gain some distance in order to tell if it is truly done before I put a sleeve on it. That means I can play today! Vintage books, paints, markers, washi tape etc., here I come!

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Unstable Grave Monuments in Penicuik


Time has not been kind to Penicuik Graveyard and as you can tell I took my life into my hands when I ventured in. Fortunately the unstable graveyard memorials didn't get me! I shared the graveyard only with a rabbit but the signs of human disrespect were everywhere, in the form of discarded beer bottles, cans, crisp packages and more disturbing remnants. I had come in search of dereliction (for the DerelictThursday challenge on the Blipfoto site) and oh boy, did I find it!
It hasn't even been that long since I was last in this graveyard as I tend to go in every time I go to the dentist but today is the worst I have ever seen the place. Although it has to be said that there were still a few uplifting signs such as the snowdrops in flower.
Since my last visit chain fencing has been erected around some of the little mausoleum buildings and the photographs were taken sticking my lens through the fencing. As you can see there are some important grave monuments in this graveyard (this is probably part of the family vault of the Dalyell family although I'm not  100% about that!) but it won't be long now before they too fall down and are lost forever. Is it only me that thinks that the way we look after our past says a lot about who we are at present? I found it all deeply depressing whereas I used to find visiting this particular graveyard with it's fascinating stones quite uplifting.
For my blip today I will use one of these pictures translated into black and white which emphasizes the dereliction even more.



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