Friday, September 30, 2011

Little Drawings and Paintings

I have just finished making a couple more small folders (about 6"x 5").....

they are deocrated with layers of paint and ink

and my hand carved stamps.

When you open them, they are full of various weights of small pieces of paper just waiting to be drawn or painted onto.

I am often afraid to draw or paint in my journals, as I am afraid I will make a mess of it, or draw something I don't like. This way if I like it I keep it in the folder, and if I really don't like it, I can throw it away.

This one I made for myself some time ago.... it is beginning to have a number of drawings and paintings in, and I find it so nice to use.... never worrying about messing up!

and here are the two most recent paintings.... as you can see by the dates I don't manage to use it often, but when I do, I enjoy it a lot.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Soft Covered Handmade Books

Growing up I always loved books - whether that was a book to read or one to write or draw in (although I didn't draw because I didn't think I could) I especially loved hard covered books, and when I first started making books I loved making hard covered books.... but times change and lately I have really enjoyed making soft covered books.

This soft covered book was made as a 'thank you' gift

The covers are made from material and paper and layers of paint, and ink with a final layer of wax. The feel of the cover is hard to describe, but I love the feel of them.

This is a thicker book that I made as a gift for a friend.

It has so many different layers of paint, and took a long time to get to a stage that I was happy with.

BUT FINALLY I finished the cover... here is the inside cover before I added the pages.

and here is the finished book - outside....

and inside.

And the final book I have to share today is one that I hope to be selling. Here you can see the inside of the cover and the pages that will go inside the book.

- the inside of the front cover with many layers of paint.

- and a close up of the outside front cover

and the book as it is now - finished front view

- finished back view

and finished inside view..... which includes sewn together recycled poster pages (my favourites).

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Then and Now

It was almost five years ago when I decided I wanted to learn how to draw.

and I believe this is the first face I drew. Soon after I drew this I got a "Learn to Draw" book from the library

and I drew this. This drawing was an exercise in upside down drawing. Where you take the image you are going to draw and turn it upside down

and rather than drawing an arm or a sleeve, you draw the lines as you see them, a curved one here, a darker one there until you finish drawing all of the lines. It is always amazing when you turn the picture around to see what it looks like.

From there I worked on sketching the outline of faces, as faces was what I really wanted to learn how to draw.

I continued to practice and practice and a couple of years ago I took a great online course from Misty Mawn (an amazing artist that draws and paints beautifully). One of the exercises she got us to do was draw a self portrait, and I drew this one of myself and my younger daughter.

DOes it look like us? well not completely, but I was happy with it (I didn't draw all of my wrinkles). I continue to enjoy to draw, and learn from it every time I do it.

Here is the drawing I have worked on over the past few days. It takes me about 4 hours to draw a picture like this, so I don't do it often. (big chunks of creative time is rare for me, and I hate to stop a drawing once I have started one) I continue to see areas that need improving, but I also see improvements in my drawing skills every time I draw, and I love to challenge myself with different angles and shading all of the time.

My word for 2011 was BELIEVE, and I believe I can learn to draw, and will continue to work on it over the next many years to come.

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Day to Play

It is a very rare day that I don't feel like creating things. Today was one of those days, and yet I had the whole day off work, as well as only a few family obligations. I wondered why I didn't want to create.... I ALWAYS want to create things. After thinking about it for a few minutes I realized that I didn't want to work on what I was supposed to be doing - sewing luminaries.... I wanted to work on something that I haven't worked on for a long time. And so I gave myself a 'Day to Play' on something different. And what I chose was some jewelry.

This is a picture of a piece of metal strapping that I found in the recycle bin at work a few months ago. When I found it I thought it would be perfect for making some jewelry, and so it came home with me.

I cut and filed various bits and sizes of the strapping, and was thinking about how I was going to use them and wasn't paying attention to what I was doing and ended up with a big cut on my finger that sent me to the health centre (no doctors or hospital here) to get it fixed up.

And so this project was put on hold for the past 6- 8 weeks, and I picked it up today.

and I created this necklace.

The metal piece (from the strapping) is covered with a piece of paper from an old book that I stamped onto, and covered with resin and then wax. I mounted it on the metal, wrapped a piece of black cord around it, and attached a connecting ring to it. The cord I have it on is wrapped with black cord to give it a bit more interest.

At this point I debated whether I should add more to the necklace, and so I did and now I am not sure which I like better. I would appreciate your thoughts on which one you prefer. The simple version above.....

or this messier one with a number of things hanging beside the bird covered metal.

Because it is a bit hard to see how it hangs when it was laying on my table, I took a picture with me modeling it (even though it doesn't have a clasp yet)

I would love to hear your thoughts about the necklaces and remind you it is so important to give yourself a day to play every now and then.

Friday, September 16, 2011

How To Use 140 Tea Bags

I have been busy with mounds of tea bags, bits of plants, ink, material and glue.

and have the beginnings of many new Tea Bag Luminaries.

From here

I take them to my lovely old sewing machine, to add the stitching.

I then add a layer of wax, and join the ends together and add a tea light and it is finished and ready to enjoy.

This one uses the leaves I got from The Great Leaf Project last spring. I love how the light shines through the decaying leaf.

Last week I had offered up two luminaries to give away. I want to say Thank You to everyone that left a comment. They all made me smile!

The winner of the one pictured above is.....

and the winner of this one is....

Thanks again for all of the comments, and I will contact the winners by e-mail to get their mailing addresses.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

New Carved Stamps

I love carving new stamps that I can use on various projects I am working on, and because I only had a little time to create this week, I thought it was a good time to make some new stamps.... little projects that take little bits of time.
So I carved a branch that can be used by itself, or as a repeated stamp to make a larger messy style branch.

I then carved some seed pod like things....

and finished up with some leaves and little berries.

and then I decided I should have a little book that I could stamp the carved stamps in.... just for fun. So I got some heavy brown paper that was sitting around the studio, ripped it into strips and sewed them together into a little book.

I painted the pages....

and then used my new stamps to decorate the pages

I plan to write a bit on each of the pages, but so far have only written on the first page.

the next pages are painted on

and stamped onto

but no words yet....

but they will come, as will more painted pages and more new handcarved stamps as I have time. I am looking forward to using these new stamps on handmade books and cards.

If you want to be entered into the giveaway in the previous post please leave a comment on the post below (Luminary Give Away) by Friday!