Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Field Journalling Page

 The Life Book 2015 lesson for this week was by Alisa Burke and it was all about field journalling. Alas, the weather both yesterday and today were about as unsuitable for field journalling as was possible (rain, snow, wind, hail, you name it and we had it!), but fortunately I already had a large collection of feathers in the studio as I'm in inveterate collector and both birds and chickens in our garden provide me with plenty of them. So they were the models for the page. No mention of techniques as this is a paid-for class but I did vary it slightly by using watercolours with sparkle (sadly not visible on the picture).
The stamping with a vintage French text stamp was also my idea as well as adding that gorgeous butterfly postage stamp. I feel a visit to the postage stamp shop in Edinburgh coming up as I'm running out of those wonderful butterfly ones from the Republic of Guinea. I probably won't find the exact same ones again but there will be other treasures, I just know it!
 I also need to be on the lookout for new permanent markers. I used a black Scarlet Lime one but sadly they are no longer being made so the hunt for an alternative is on.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Follow Your Spirit Page

It is still March (and there was snow on the ground this morning to prove it!) and that means that the theme for The Documented Life Project is still Doodles and Mark Making. The Art Challenge for this week is to: make a custom element, and the Journal Prompt: Ride the energy of your own unique spirit (Gabrielle Roth).
I started by grabbing a gelli plate printed paper, cut it to size to fit my planner (7.1/4" x 8") and then stamped the spiral shapes on it using my first custom element, a home made stamp that I produced using foam shapes. The next element I made or rather cut out from a magazine is the hand shape which was then adhered to the page with temporary adhesive so I could use it as a mask while I painted the rest of the page with a purple glaze. I was really pleased with how that worked!
Mark making and doodling was added with white and black markers, putting lines into the spirals, outlining the hand and shapes and adding little circular doodles as shown.
The spirit element came in the shape of an image I found in a magazine showing a lighted candle in a container and I positioned that so that it looked like the hand was holding it. Finally I glued on the vintage text that read: Follow Your Spirit.

Sunday, 29 March 2015


It was slightly overwhelming yesterday to receive not one but two publications in which my work is featured. I knew they would be coming but it was still a lovely surprise to have them arrive on the same day!

The first one is an article I wrote about the 52 Journals exhibition for the magazine Fabrications, Quilting for you, May/June 2015 issue . And to my great delight all 52 Journal Quilts are featured. I had left the option of which ones to choose to illustrate the article to Sally Stevens, the editor of Fabrications, and she managed to squeeze them all in over 6 pages, starting on page 84. If you are interested in buying a copy you can find it on newsagents' shelves here in the UK but you can also buy a copy here where ever you live. As you can see above one journal quilt even made it to the cover (bottom right)

The other publication that landed on my doorstep is the book 1000 Quilt Inspirations; Colorful and Creative Designs for Traditional, Modern and Art Quilts, by Sandra Sider.

It features two of my 52 Journal Quilts as well as 2 other journal quilts made in 2013 inspired by themes on The Sketchbook Challenge site. This is indeed a very colourful publication, simply featuring the most stunning array of small quilts. There is mention of the techniques used in the Image Directory in the back but mainly it's simply eye candy. I'm so pleased to be part of it. You can obtain this from Amazon UK here.

As you can see above one of my JQs even gets an entire page to itself! I had a little party all by myself in the studio yesterday in celebration. It's not often days like that come around!


Saturday, 28 March 2015

The 100 Fiber Fundraiser Piece

You may remember that back in February I participated in a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society organized by the American artist Virginia Spiegel. At that time I showed you the piece I made for this event. That winged it's way to The  States to one of the $100 donors.

I also participated in another way by donating $100 myself and today I'm showing you the beautiful art piece I received made by Ann Flaherty and that now hangs in my studio as you can see above. It looks even more fabulous in real life than on the online pictures Ann posted and I will treasure it.

Most of today will be spend in that studio as the weather can only be called grim! And I feel a spot of painting coming on.

Friday, 27 March 2015

She Shareth her Joys

This week's class for Life Book 2015 was by Juliette Crane and was titled: Painting from the Heart. I thoroughly enjoyed it and specially the first part of her video which demonstrated how with a few simple marks you could make a character come to life.
I followed along with her and then started to invent some characters of my own of which the one above was my favourite. She sort of encapsulates some greyhound traits such as the ears and the tail but unlike the greyhound also has wings. Juliette then went on to paint an owl but I used my little character. I also loved painting with my fingers as the class suggested but then again this is something I do quite a lot already, specially if there are no brushes nearby. After all our hands are our tools!
 So the entire background is hand painted and I also used quite a bit of glitter dropped into the wet paint which sadly is lost on camera. The texture you see is from bleeding tissue paper as well as scratching into the wet paint with the back of a brush.
I wish in hindsight that I had tilted the face a bit more like in my original drawing but it is what it is and I had a joyful time making this page, which is what it is all about as far as I'm concerned. I love looking at all the pages I have already made for the Life Book 2015 classes and that will all be put together into one large book at the end of the year.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Not Sew Good

Years ago when we first moved here I was in the habit of visiting auctions (very dangerous!) and whenever an old Singer came up for sale and no one bought i,t I felt morally obliged to put in a bit for these old, sturdy machines. In the case of this one the actual sewing machine was long gone and only the hull and table left. I think I paid about a fiver. Of course we didn't have room to put them all inside the house and in fact quite a few were passed on to other deserving owners but this one ended up outside in the courtyard and serves as a plant stand in the summer.
Wind and weather have taken their toll and it's anyone's guess how long this will remain upright but it seemed a good subject for the Derelict Thursday challenge on the Blipfoto site.

There is good news (at least that seems to be the general consensus) on the Blipfoto saga as the site has been bought out of liquidation by two American venture capitalists, also involved with Polaroid. It means that the site will continue although there will undoubtedly be changes of which so far we know nothing. I have said, and continue to say, that while the site is up and running I will continue to post my daily photograph there but have to admit that my blip mojo is in hiding. Whereas in the past I went out on regular photo expeditions with no other purpose than to find that daily picture I now simply carry a camera whenever I go out somewhere and try and capture something, which is not the same thing. But it might be the same situation as when my art mojo disappears. That always returns very quickly and for no apparent reason other than that I keep on arting regardless, so I will continue to photograph in the hope that too will bring back my enthousiasm for taking pictures.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Endings and Beginnings

A beautiful day in which it was easy to believe that soon we will be wearing our summer clothes and sitting in the sunshine. Yes there was a cold wind and snow is in the forecast for tomorrow but looking out at the moment I can imagine what our garden will soon look like even though there is an immense lot of clearing up to be done. Some things are reaching their end,  such as this little rose hip but it makes a beautiful silhouette against the blue.
 Other flowers are getting into their stride such as the hellebores.
And finally at long last the prayer flags have started to get that distressed look I was after! It's time to get some new ones to put through the same process of weathering and these will be taken down, washed and put to use! But in the meantime they do brighten up the view from the studio.


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