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! 

Monday, 4 August 2014

August ready and Etsy stamps

Get me, it's only the 4th of August, and I'm up to date! Whilst browsing on Pinterest a while ago, I saw some carved stamps that were like little picture frames. I thought that they would make great frames for my monthly diary page, so I made some from foam and here is my August page. This month we are taking the children to London for a few days, and planning on hitting a few galleries, so this seemed appropriate. (They think that we are doing the dinosaurs again, but I really hope that we can move on from that...)

I have also been busy making some things for my Etsy shop , a cute birdie two step stamp made from rubber and foam, and here it is all packaged and ready to go:
And then there's Wol, a little character I started hand drawing a while ago, and has featured on a few journal pages. One of my regular journal ladies loved him so much that I carved one for her a while ago, and then I thought I would add a friend or two of his to my Etsy page. Is he an owl, is he a bear? The truth is, he is loosely based on a pair of mittens one of the children at work was wearing last year!
Hope you are all enjoying the fabulous weather, it's marvellous, isn't it? And unusual!

Monday, 14 July 2014

July Journal Page and 'leTour de Yorkshire'

the Yorkshire flag, proudly flying
What a busy few weeks it has been. Unless you have been in away from the media, you can't help but know that the Tour de France has been to Yorkshire this month. It was an amazing experience, and I think that the general consensus has been that we 'have done ourselves reet proud!'

All around our area, yellow bicycles, bunting in the colours of the 'maillot' or jerseys of the various race leaders appeared, our local market town even made national news, because of the bunting made from little woollen jumpers, knitted by the willing public. Some local politics and some ridiculous health and safety - the bunting had to be removed from the lamp posts, in case they bent when the jerseys got wet!

all these little sweaters are hand knitted by people from all over Yorkshire!
hastily made bunting on our house!
'The Black Prince' in Leeds City Sq
The actual day dawned bright and sunny, despite heavy rain overnight, and in true British spirit, we settled down to wait, by playing games of charades, drinking wine and waving giddily with excitement, every time a policeman or a promotional vehicle came past.
playing welly cricket in the middle of what is normally a fast, busy road!
the peloton finally arrives!

close up to some of the toughest athletes in the world!

So, it seemed only fitting to include some wheels and bunting in my July journal page. Some of the stamps I used in this page are ones I made myself, and after some of my regular monthly journal clubbers asked to make them some, I decided to open an Etsy shop and sets are available to purchase here 

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

June journal page at the ready!

I've been playing with my  new Dina Wakley paints on this page. I have been very restrained and only bought a couple of colours. I have to confess to being a bit of a paint tart - I love them all, for different reasons - I love the colour range of Golden, I love the consistency of Amsterdam, I love Jo Sonja's for the combination of colour and texture, but the Dina paints, by Ranger, are yummy too! They spread beautifully, the colour density is fantastic, and as you'd expect from the journaling goddess herself, they are the perfect texture for writing over. Having used such strong colours, I felt I needed a stronger script for the month than usual, so June is written in white pen onto black card. Right, just need to catch up with filling in the days now!

Monday, 2 June 2014

In a groove

Something has happened to me recently- in a good way. I have been creating with a regularity that hasn't happened to me in ages. After starting the Carla Sondheim exercise of drawing using ink in a eye dropper, I have been scribbling and scratching faces all over the place. It takes a lot (well, it takes me, anyway) to commit to drawing straight onto the page, but I have been using my big wallpaper sample journal with some very loose, quick backgrounds on as a starting point, then drawing on with a Stabilo All pencil. That way, I don't feel I have invested too much time and energy into a page if it all goes horribly wrong!
This one didn't quite go to plan - I've practised on the proportions of the human face, but not the body, as you can see. But, it doesn't matter, I think drawing is a bit like a musical instrument, it gets better with practice.
Back to my more usual style of journaling, I did this page in my mini moleskine. The digital images came from my stash. The honeycomb stencil is by Tim Holtz and the wire stamp is by Pam Carriker. Right, off to finish getting my June journal page ready.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Faces and Gelli fun!

The other day, I found myself home with nothing to do - the washing was up to date, the house was relatively tidy (a tidy house is the sign of a wasted life, after all), so I sat down at my desk and decided to do one of the exercises from Carla Sondheim's 'Drawing Lab'. In this exercise you have to draw a face using an ink dropper. I found it really liberating once I let myself go! Having done a couple that actually resembled humans, I photocopied them and used one in a journal page.
Bluey-purple colours and journaling are NOT my thing, as anyone who has ever done a class with me will know. (I never realised this about myself until someone in a class asked why I had NO purple paint or ink in my supplies - it had never occurred to me!), but seeing as drawing faces is way out of my comfort zone as it is, why not really put myself out there!
Today the weather has been utterly foul, so all plans of riding my horse and doing outside jobs have gone out of the window, and I got down to some paperwork. Once I had got that out of the way, I felt I was due some messy time! So, I got out my gelli plate and made a cover for my mini moleskine journal using sticky back plastic, paint and perfect pearls. So, from boring brown to sparkly pink and orange! Ta daaah!


Monday, 12 May 2014

Calendar on track

Some times, when life gets so busy that the art side of my life takes a back seat, the calendar challenge is the one thing that draws me back my desk. I hope I'm not the only one who finds inspiration hard to come by sometimes when my head I'd full of other stuff! Now that the triathlon season has started again, I am spending a lot of time sitting and waiting for my children at training sessions, so it is an ideal time to catch up on keeping my diary pages up to date!

It has been a hectic few days and so I have given myself a day off today, so all I am going to do is journal - pure pleasure!