Saturday, 21 February 2015

I am the Queen of Procrastination

It has been half term with us this week. I had so many plans of things I would achieve and nice outings I would take with the kids. However, a combination of nursing a painful shoulder, and having two children who are now at that age where they organise their own activities, has meant that I achieved a grand total of nothing. There a few areas of my life which seem to be hanging in limbo at the moment, and rather than capitalise on this and forging forward with other things, I just can't motivate myself to do anything, other than lounging about, reading trashy novels, oh, and doing the usual washing, cooking, cleaning, ironing, shopping, that is. And is it just me, but boy do we get through some food when the kids are home!

Anyway, I did finally stir myself to do this journal page. My daughter has had to do some portrait work for her art homework, so we had been researching some different drawing styles, and I fanned a tiny flicker of motivation into this page. I debated colouring the face, but decided that the grey pencil kind of summed up my mood at the moment and that the colourful hair could be all the ideas that are there, in my head, but I just haven't found the oomph to let them out yet.

In the mean time, I am writing lists. Loads of them. Lists of all the things that I am going to do, when I do find my oomph again. As we all know, you can't beat a good list - it's the grown up version of a revision timetable!

Monday, 2 February 2015

Stampotique Design Challenge

The challenge at the moment on the Stampotique Design Challenge blog is to create something on a painted background. I have been wanting to do a journal page using this quotation for a while, after I heard Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory use it, and it struck me that the quirky attitude of this Daniel Torrente character was perfect for such a phrase. I love that this is such a bolshy response to someone, it's such a long way from the "shall we agree to disagree?" or "well, we are all entitled to our own opinion" stance that we usually feel we should take! I have yet to have the opportunity to use it real life, but I am saving it up for the right moment!

The background is a mixture of hand carved rubber and foam stamps, with a little collage, washi tape and doodling thrown in, the sentiment I typed out on my vintage typewriter. At the moment I am using almost exclusively the Amsterdam acrylic paints,  I love their vibrant, unctuous gorgeousness!

Thursday, 29 January 2015

A wealth of possibilities

These days, finding time to journal is one thing, I seem to find a moment to doodle, splodge, finger paint without too much trouble, but finding time to photograph it, blog it or add it to various social media sites just seems impossible. I have spent ages this afternoon (and if I wasn't on my own, several thousand pounds worth of contributions to the swear box!) scanning in and printing some documents, so it seemed an ideal opportunity to do the same with some artwork.
I don't do new year's resolutions (far too little self control!), so I set myself goals to achieve throughout the year. This year, however, I did promise myself that I would keep my diary journal up to date, and so far so good! I first did one of these journal pages in December 2009, so I am now starting my SIXTH year of this challenge. I find the secret to keeping it up to date is having it next to the couch in the lounge, so whenever I sit down to watch the television in the evening, it is there, with a pen and my Pitt felt tips to complete the square for the day. I'm feeling quite smug, but I have yet to start my February page..

January is always a time of change and new starts, and this year, this is especially true for our family. Mr H has started a new job, which will make our family life so much better, which inspired the page above. There have been times over the past few years, when it felt like we were pedalling like crazy, just trying to maintain a semblance of family life, so the idea that we might start having more of him, and a better all around quality of life has been a really positive way to start the year.

This page was a finger painted background with doodles, a few collage elements and a bit of tissue tape.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

doodles and image transfers

As promised last time, here is my finished journal page which started with an image transfer from a photo of my Gran. I had kept the background quite plain to make sure that I had a flat surface to put the image on to, so all my texture was added by hand, by means of doodling in black and white permanent pens and paint pens.
And here is my October journal page. The background is painted, and the tree detail is made by simply using a piece of card dipped in black paint and scraped to make it look a bit like the bark on a silver birch tree. Growing up, we had lots of these trees in our garden, and I love the texture of the silvery, papery bark to this day. The leaves are handcut from various background papers that I have made whilst demonstrating during classes - I never throw anything away! The grasses stamp at the bottom is one that I have carved myself, and you will find on my etsy shop very soon.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Image transfer experiments and September page

My monthly journaling club have set me a challenge to help them to include photos into their journal pages. This is something I have dabbled in from time to time, but never really devoted too much time to. As some of the pictures they wanted to use were old family photos, that were precious, I decided that we should experiment with the technique of image transfers. My first experiment above, was just a picture of a chair cut out from a magazine in the holiday cottage we were staying in this summer. I simply cut the image out of the magazine, gel mediumed it to the page, and LEFT IT TO DRY! This is the key to a decent image transfer, it would appear. If you are impatient like me, your image will end up a bit holey, fine if you want a slightly shabby look, but not so if you want a good crisp image. Once it is dry, you just spritz a little water over the image and gently rub to remove the backing paper, leaving the ink from the original image behind.

For the next attempt, I made some toner copies of some old photos, and went through the same process. This picture is of my Gran. This time, I left the image to dry overnight, and the result was much better. I really like the translucent quality you get from this process. Just need to finish the page now!

Finally, I tried tape transfers. Quick, not so messy, and creates cute little stickers that still have that translucent quality.

You just cut an image out of a magazine, or here I used a digital download, burnish the tape well to the image, and then soak in warm water. You then rub off the paper, and a translucent image remains adhered to the tape, and leaves you with a removable sticker that you can use in your journal pages, and layer up, doodle under, whatever you want!

And finally, my September journal page, it isn't quite finished, I'm going to doodle around the squares a bit, but if I don't post it now, who knows when I'll get around to it! I have been watching Kate Crane's Journal Soup 2 tutorials, and thought I would use my diary page to try out some of the techniques she suggests.


Monday, 25 August 2014

Art doodle fun

Well, we've been away, and although we haven't been as far afield as we might normally go, space is still at a premium when you are travelling with two kids, food, kit and bikes and all the associated paraphenalia  required for a family of four. Given that we were holidaying in the Lake District, which whilst beautiful, is, shall we say, a little unpredictable, weatherwise, we needed to take some 'indoor day' stuff with us. Journaling without that nagging feeling that you should be doing something else, like washing, ironing, hoovering or cleaning is a total joy, and one of the best things about being on holiday. How do you decide what stuff to take with you though? I have it down to a fine art these days; I pack my satchel with a pencil case and my 'Art Doodle Love' book in for 'on the go' stuff, and a bigger, holdall type bag for indoor stuff ( although I have been known to stuff my husband's ski boots with art supplies on occasions). The 'indoor' bag has paint, stencils, gesso, gel medium, a small selection of handmade stamps in and a craft mat or two, and anything else, I just have to improvise with what I can find. Its quite a good exercise in paring down the clutter in your creative space actually, and means that if I ever had to grab a few things to save in the event of a fire, I'd be pretty sure where to start grabbing!

Anyway, whilst the kids were busy canoeing, or mountain biking, or righting rigged tups (putting sheep that have got stuck on their backs back on their feet, for those not in the know), I could happily sit and doodle away. Sometimes the doodles end up being  inspiration for other things, like the bunny in the picture above. He made it onto a journal page all of his own, below:

Sometimes, the doodles end up as stamp designs, or ideas for borders that I can cut out of scrapbook paper. Sometimes, its just an opportunity to practice a new technique that I am messing with, like faces, here:

Still so much space to fill, so off to doodle a bit more!

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Summer holiday fun

Well, its the summer holidays here and because the weather has been so amazing, that I have started to get up early to get out before the it gets too hot, so getting out at 7am to either ride or run means that I am home for 9.30, which means only one thing - more time for arting about! This page started ages ago, following a mini tutorial on Susana Tavares blog. I have had lots of inspiration for stamp carving, and I have used quite a few of them that are now in my Etsy shop, in this page. As for completing a page, I have struggled. However, we had a great opportunity last week, when a friend of mine who works in the theatre business invited us to the opening night of the national tour of Shrek the Musical, in Leeds. It was a fantastic night, the show was amazing,  and the party afterwards was a real treat, as my kids got to meet all the cast and got their programmes signed by ALL the cast. Princess Fiona is also the girlfriend of Gareth Gates (winner of the first series of the XFactor for those non Brit readers), so the kids were pretty impressed to meet them both up close and personal!
One of the great songs of the show is 'let your freak flag fly', so I decided, whilst practising some faces, to make my character a little 'Fiona-like'. Below is the real Fiona (without the green makeup!).

We all looked a little Shrek-like in the green hue of this prop!