Double Take #2

Last week we saw the unveiling of Double take #1 where Tammy and I created pages with the same ephemera and art supplies that she sent.  This week we are showing the pages using the ephemera that I sent.  To see the package I sent, the gorgeous and much better organised Tammy has taken a photo, that you can see on her post here where she is unveiling her pages.

Last week, the best part of this for me was seeing what Tammy did.  INCREDIBLE.  It felt like magic, and was so amazing to me that from the same products you can produce such different pages.  This was one of the objectives of the exercise, but the magic of seeing it, was really exciting, and I am really looking forward to seeing Tammy’s pages this week.

Last year I was going through my art journal pages and realised I did not use a lot of “earthy colours”, which was something I wanted to challenge myself to use more.  I tend to turquoise and teal, magenta and reds, bold jewel tones and then the contemplative payne’s gray and nickle azo gold.  But no earth tones really. After I assembled my little package for this project I realised there were very earthy colours in the mix, which was not my intention at the outset.  I was going to change the package contents, because I know that Tammy does not tend to the earthy colour palette either, but I decided to stick with my first choice.

I also added in a few self-adhesive jewels that matched the pink in the scrapbooking paper, because I have had them for ages, and never used them.  I thought it would be interesting to see how each of us integrated those into a page.  I didn’t hear any screeching from the other side of the world, or get any emails asking me what on earth I was thinking, so I assume Tammy was okay with the unintentional challenge within the challenge.  :)

Double Take #2I began by drawing some lines with my Neocolors, and then collaged on strips of book text and some scrapbooking paper.  I added in a bit of paint.  But still wasn’t really sure where I was going.  I had included some coffee dyed muslin in the package, and while I was playing with it I discovered the threads could be manipulated a lot, so I played with it a bit and created some gaps before I glued it down.

As I was considering what to do with the saintly women, I saw them in a rough temple like structure, standing guard over our souls, so I added that. I then saw a bird carrying the other birds so  I added a cage over two of the birds. Then the journaling.  This page had no clear direction as I was doing it, but I love the way it came out in the end.  I really, really like the graphite lines.  After a bit of white paint splatter the page felt finished.

I was clearly in a very reflective mood when I was journaling :) It reads:

Sometimes I just want to stop aspiring to be worthy and just be me, to let go and trust that another will be there so I don’t fall too far or hard.  Sometimes I am not worthy.

So that is my Chapter 18.  I am looking forward to seeing Tammy’s page!!!  Check it out here.

Also…I don’t want to speak out of turn, but I feel that there is a very good likelihood that this challenge is going to repeated!  :)


Book Review: Collage Playground: A Fresh Approach to Creating Mixed-Media Art

Collage Playground: A Fresh Approach to Creating Mixed-Media Art
by Kimberly Santiago

This is a good introduction to collage. I may have found it more useful if I came from a scrapbook background, but I am primarily a painter and so that has influenced how I viewed the book.

Kimberly‘s writing style is friendly and conversational and really easy to read. I liked her emphasis on playing. Which was evident throughout the book. Having fun, trying new things. There is a good basic introduction to art supplies that would be helpful in collage. Then Kimberly went through some projects to create collage elements. There were a couple of sections I found interesting in here. Particularly the weaving sparked a few ideas for me.

Kimberly then takes you through numerous projects, illustrating different ideas that she is highlighting. While there are some other media, the primary media is collage, which I guess is only natural in a collage book. Some examples were stepped through, and some weren’t, but all the explanations were clear. Most of her examples were geared towards finished works and canvases, but there was plenty I saw that could be translated to an art journal. Her use of fusible webbing as an adhesive is genius!

I wonder if it is my particular painter-bias, but I did feel that many of the projects felt a bit busy and paint by numbers (and there is nothing at all wrong with that, if that is what you are looking for), and I didn’t get a clear sense of story telling through the works created (which is something I was looking for). I was left thinking that I would have taken things further and the projects felt a bit unfinished to me.

I do want to stress that I felt there was a strong scrapbooking/craft influence and I think it will be wonderful for you if that is your style or preference.

Rocking my world this week….

RYWI am once again signing up to Virginia‘s “Rocking your World Friday“.  It has been a while and I feel a little bit sheepish about coming back after my long absence but here I am!  :)

There are a lot of things rocking my world this week!

Victoria has moved up a reading group and now has pages of words, which is exciting, though the books now take a whole lot longer to read.

Miss 5 has moved up a reading group. There is a whole lot more words in this book!

This is contrasted with her last weeks maths test, where she was so excited by writing a “grown up” date for the first time, have to rewrite it until it was perfect that she only answered 11 out of 60 questions! Though she did get all those 11 right. She came skipping out of class, waving her book in the air so proud of that date. This week she doubled her score so things are going in the right direction!! :)

The first time she wrote a "grown-up" date, which brought her a whole lot of excitement and joy.

I have walked nearly 30kms in the last 5 days and my bottom feels it (I wish it showed it as well!), and I am feeling very happy with myself. :)

The children’s school had a picnic dinner invitation/meet the teacher and other family evening this week. I was not sure about going, but it was a really good evening and I am glad we made the effort.

I have just discovered this website, Ephemeral Gecko (I adore the name!!), and the work is INCREDIBLE! I was completely inspired and in love. Amazing.

Last year I signed up to Connie Hozvicka‘s Deep workshop, and for numerous reasons it did not end up finishing and was rescheduled for this year. I was grateful because I was not in the headspace for it at the time and felt so disconnected. It has just started back up and there is so much energy in the class and a new format because after this it will go to a self-study course and I am really excited about it. I have repurposed two old canvases that I am going to use, and am completely inspired.

Tammy (from Daisy Yellow) and I worked on a collaborative project where we each sent some ephemera, and then using that ephemera and the same supplies we both created separate journal pages. My first one is here, and Tammy’s is here, and it is absolutely magical to me how different the pages are despite using the same ephemera and materials. I LOVE that.

Last weekend I was on Seth‘s page over here. I completely forgot, and it was so long ago now. I am pleased I said something that I still agree with!! :)

Yesterday somebody told me that my videos on altering a book had helped inspire them to make one for her parents, which was especially precious now that her mother had being diagnosed with a terminal illness.  I have never felt more honoured than I did right then.  She gave me such a gift, and I will remember it always.


Last year’s summer rained a lot! A LOT. You make do I think, but there were times I felt like Summer had passed us by. This year is completely making up for it. There has been so much sun and warmth, I can’t remember a better Summer. This morning was a bit drizzly (very light), but I can’t remember the last day we had rain. We have spent so much time at the beach, reading, swimming and snorkelling (Father Christmas bought snorkelling gear for the children and Sebastian has fallen in love, Victoria is still getting used to her mask and snorkel). These holidays have been magical.

Just to note it down before I forget (and writing about Father Christmas just made me remember!), after Christmas Victoria pointed out to us how lucky we were to have Father Christmas in our lives, because he saved us so much money by buying them stuff. I stopped myself rolling on the ground guffawing and demurely stated how lucky we were!

I have read some really good art books lately that have really inspired me, which is fantastic. There were a few I got that I was a little disappointed by last year, so I have been making more using of the library and suggesting purchases to them (AND THEY SAY YES A LOT!!!!), and I have been really pleasantly surprised. Some of them have even gone on my wishlist because I want my own copy!!

I have also read two of Brené Brown’s books this year and really got a lot out of them and resolved some old stuff and had some epiphanies.

I feel really excited by life and the potential of my life at the moment. Filled with energy and happiness, and I am so, so grateful. The only thing that would make my life more complete right now would be if the laundry fairy could stop off at my house on her way home!! :)

Double Take #1

Last year Tammy and I discussed doing a collaborative challenge of some sort with our art journals and we tossed some ideas around over the email waves.  We decided on each of us sending a little package of goodies and the challenge would be to utilise everything or something of everything that was sent.

It will be exciting on this big reveal to see how we each used the same supplies.  Tammy’s page is here.

I was so excited when I got my package that I did not take photos of what she had sent me.  Thankfully Tammy did which you can see here.

I loved, loved, loved what Tammy sent.  The colours were beautiful, and the images were easy to fit into a theme as well.

Double take #1

I began by layering down some of the ephemera, and then I smooshed some paint around.  I did a few lines with my neocolors, still not sure where I was going and then I saw a face.  So I sketched that out with the neocolours and began painting her in. I tried to paint lightly so you could still see the paper, but some inevitably gets covered up.  (I did go to the effort (!!) of scanning the image so you could see better the layers and the bits of paper showing through.

While I was painting her face I saw the fish, and I did my best to ignore it, because I was wanting to show off more of the papers, and under that fish is music text and some of the other papers.

Then I stalled and didn’t know what to do next and so decided to sketch in the fish and see how it looked.  Clearly it looked okay to me because it got filled in!  :)

I did add some more music to the fin though, and you can just make out the notes behind the fish.  Above that is the most amazing tissue paper in the world that I love.  I was also a little sad that got covered up, but in real life you can see it a lot more.

What I love is the map under her face.  I was really careful to keep swiping paint off it so it would come through.  The mapping out of dreams and new pathways seemed very apt for where I was right then.  At the time I was going through a lot of personal reflection and I think you can see that in the image.

I have never used washi tape before.  There was a big part of me that thought kind of it was a waste of money.  Just paint some masking tape.  But Tammy included it, and OH MY GOSH.  It is such a good adhesive and I love the translucency, and strength of it.  I have even begun looking online at the different patterns.  I loved it.  So much more than I though.  I think I could easily become addicted to washi tape.

Tammy also included fabric tape and I love how easy that was to write on.  I then stamped on the stickers and put those little dream butterflies on the side to signify new dreams as she was reflecting on lost dreams.  I also loved how the stamps fell into the theme of lost dreams and mermaids as well.

It is such a storytelling page to me, despite the lack of words.  It may be one of my favourite pages I have done.  Having the challenge of having to fit bits in made me more conscious of what I was doing than I normally am when working in my journal.  I can hardly wait to see what Tammy has done!  :)

You asked for gaudy??

Every gaudy color is a bit of truth.

Nathalia Crane

Cue stripper music….

Too much??

Tammy over at Daisy Yellow is having a gaudy party…with prizes which you can check out over here.  There is still time to get your glad rags on.

This is my contribution.  My daughter (who is a magpie and we suspect was a gypsy in a past life) thinks this may be the best spread I have ever done, though she did tell me off for using too much of her glitter.  So maybe it is too much!  :)


The Mini Sock Knitting Pattern!

Day one: write Father Christmas a letter. I love the way this advent calendar looks on the wall and I can hardly wait for the children to see what activity they are doing each day!!
A little while ago I had a comment asking for the pattern for the mini socks I made for my advent calendar (see here).  The asker was a very close real life friend of mine and I thought she was making fun of me.  Because I am not a knitter.  Not by any stretch of the imagination.  My dear friend however is an absolutely amazing knitter and crocheter. She is incredible!!  Her work is amazing.  She was the one who bought me sock knitting needles and then talked me away from the edge of the cliff when I would have a melt down.

I LOVE granny squares, especially crochet ones, (I have seen a cardigan top made with them and it is amazing), but crochet is beyond me.  I just can’t do it, but my amazingly talented friend made me a tea cosy with felted crochet granny squares (!!) that pleases me greatly, even if my big tea pot is now broken and so I can’t use it at the moment.  The woman is amazing.

All this to say that when she asked for the pattern, I thought she was simply taking the piss.  She makes up her own patterns all the time, she is an intimidatingly expert yarn artist (and I am truly not).

Then the dear heart left another comment (with a tone I also want to add! :)), and so I asked her if she was actually been serious or was she just making fun of me, and it turns out she was been serious.

I have finally finished angsting (because I am not an expert) and the pattern is ready.

I really want to preface this by saying that I made 5 different sock patterns during the initial making of the socks.  I hated one of them, but I ended up with a slightly modified pattern of the others where I liked the shape.  Which is the one I used for the other 19.

I didn’t use a pattern in the end, I had some rough notes jotted down, and by the end I had it memorised. I am not a pattern writer.  I didn’t count rows either, you will see in the pattern that twice I say do 15 rows, and actually I sighted it.  If it looked about right then I went on to the next stage of my pattern, but it was about 15 – 16 rows generally for the look I wanted.

All this babbling because I am remarkably nervous about this because I fear people are going to ask what on earth I am doing giving a pattern, when I know next to nothing about knitting.

But I was asked and here it is!

Mini socks knitting pattern

Our countdown wall, the advent activity calendar with my knitted mini socks and my beloved's birthday countdown.

If there are any problems then please let me know.  :)  I am sure at least one person won’t hesitate!!