Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Solitude Journal Quilt

It was a real autumn morning covered in cobwebs and mist. A new month has begun as has a new season. And it's also time to share my new journal quilt for September. These monthly journal quilts are part of a challenge set by the Contemporary Quilt Group. They also dictated the size as 6 x 12". I choose to use the horizontal orientation and to dedicate all my journal quilts this year to words.

As you can see I have left the word (Solitude) smaller than on my other journal quilts so far, because I liked my background so much that I didn't want to cover most of it up. This background was made using the smallest size gelli plate (3 x 5") as a stamp to get the different coloured areas while at the same time using wooden carved blocks (from Textile Traders) in the paint first.

Afterwards I stamped on the trees (also from a wooden carved stamp). The piece was then extensively hand quilted using running and back stitch as well as embellished with seed and bugle beads as well as sequins. The binding fabric was painted on the gelli plate too.

The word SOLITUDE was stamped onto a separate piece of fabric and hand appliquéd on. I'm now thinking about my next word!


Monday, 31 August 2015

Mirror, Mirror

Already it is the last day of August (we're still waiting for summer!) and we are staying with our theme of Faces, the Human Form & Characters on The Documented Life Project 2015. Out art challenge this week is Self-Portrait and the journalling prompt Mirror, Mirror. I somehow felt that self portraits were coming when the announcement came on Saturday and it was in a way well-timed as that was by pure chance also my birthday. Just the right moment, you might say, but it also meant I had little time to work on this spread so instead of drawing I choose to use my favourite medium of photography and played with a variety of filters in Photoshop Elements till I came up with a version of myself that I was happy with.
Before I adhered it to the pages I worked on the background that started with gesso and then layers of Inktense Blocks in reds and blues, activated with water. Once dry the colour becomes permanent. I added collage,so overpainted eventually that you can hardly see it but there is a glimpse on the picture below, bottom left. Then I added wave like imagery (using Stencilgirl's Ripple Effect stencil) and added a rose image too (Little Eddy Rose stencil, also by Stencilgirl)
 I found a mirror in my stash of cut out magazine images and miracle of miracle in one of the Sunday paper supplements the words Mirror, Mirror appeared, to assist me (wonderful synchronicity)
Then I discovered that I had a Donna Downey text stencil that said exactly what I wanted to say about myself and added this as shown, using black. I then outlined the letters with a white marker. Some fabric tape was added too. As per usual I finished with postage stamps and they too add meaning to my self-portrait. To finish I wrote along the side of my head: "age is a work of art". You can find the full quotation on Saturday's post. 

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Reading Fairy Tales

 Someday you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.
C. S. Lewis

Conveniently I have never stopped!
hanging basket

echinops with visitors

red poppies


Youth is the gift of nature, but age is a work of art.
Stanislaw Jerzy Lec

Not feeling like a work of art just yet!

Friday, 28 August 2015

I am not who I was

It's a real pleasure to be back as a Guest Designer for Stencilgirl Products. I love making up these spreads in my Dylusions art journal as it helps give me an inside into my own working practices because I need to stop and take the step by step pictures. You can find these in the full tutorial about this spread on the Stencilgirl Talk website here. Normally I'm so involved with keeping going on the page that even I find it hard to recontruct what exactly I did in all the various steps. Having the stepped out pictures is very useful!
The black leafs came from a Designer Guild Kashima wall paper sample book I picked up somewhere. I can never resist such offerings and as you can see it comes in handy although it also adds to the clutter! One day I will have to start downsizing my stash of all kinds of everything!
The vintage bird image came from a old children's year book (another of those treasured finds) and he just seemed to want to be on this page as he fitted so seamlessly with the black leaves. It is surprising to see how much more realistic life was portrayed in those old books. Much of the content would never have made it into a children's book today. I do love that look on his face though. He has something to say for himself. Perhaps that he too is not who he was yesterday.
All my spreads take me back immediately to the day I made them which in this case was a gloriously sunny one back in June. The pages were done on a table outside and that influenced the colour scheme.

For all the detailed information about the stencils I used as well as the stamps etc. you can go here.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

To Be Alive

 I have been doing the Woman Unleashed online retreat over the last few weeks. It's organized by Amber Kuileimailani Bonnici and consisted of a series of videos  by different tutors on a wide variety of subjects. One of my favourites was Lesley Riley's one on quotations and it inspired me to make this page (9 x 12") on heavy duty watercolour paper. I illustrated a quote by Haruki Murakami. I've used only part of it. The full quotation reads as follows:

Lost opportunities, lost possibilities, feelings we can never get back. That's part of what it means to be alive. But inside our heads - at least that's where I imagine it - there's a little room where we store those memories. A room like the stacks in this library. And to understand the workings of our own heart we have to keep on making new reference cards. We have to dust things off every once in awhile, let in fresh air, change the water in the flower vases. In other words, you'll live forever in your own private library.

You might have noticed it in the sidebar of this blog some weeks ago. I left it up there for ages as there is so much to think about in it.  Part of it (Store Those Memories) was added to my latest spread for The Documented Life Project 2015 as you can see here
The page started with a background of paint and stencilling (using Circles, Circles stancil as well as Picasso's Words one by Stencilgirl). I added collage with vintage images and paper napkins. I then stamped on the ART word (using a stamp from ARTspecially). It's a way to remember this quotation which at first reading seems quite negative but is in fact spurring us on to make sure we treasure our memories, good or bad. Of course there had to be a postage stamp too. That has almost become a signature for my art journalling pages.
I keep a lot of my memories not just in my heart but also on my camera card and external hard drive,  and I wanted to post these pictures from the garden even though they were taken a few days ago when the sun was out. Every moment is so fleeting and I wander around the garden daily trying to capture each new development.

ligularia with campanula in the background


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