Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Something Fun

Sometimes, it's fun to resurrect a new interest in something you haven't done in awhile.  A free class recently on Altered Books was just the thing on a snowy day to sit and play with nothing on the agenda other than have fun.

For some reason, every time I schedule something that requires me to drive north for an event, this happens.

The weather forecast for my area included maybe a little mix of snow and rain, maybe less than an inch of snow.  Nothing to be concerned about at all.  So, imagine my surprise to find five inches of snow when I got up that morning.  Luckily, the roads were not a problem and I made it to my destination just fine.

I went to Gaye's first, then we drove to southern Indiana where our altered book class was taught by the engaging Ehren Reed, recently moved to the area from San Francisco (click on her name to see her portfolio of altered books).  This is her sample book, with long evening wear gloves used as the book closure (snaps hold them closed).  I should have taken more pictures, because she made good use of zippers, transfers, and other techniques.
One of the techniques we were encouraged to use was to cut a niche in the pages.  This book belongs to one of the students in class, where the opening was cut through the pages and the cover, with figures glued in.
Ehren had a lot of books for us to choose from to work in, as well as a lot of collage material.  I picked a book called The Journals of Eleanor Druse, thinking along the theme of journals.  When I started looking through the book, however, it was more about a mental institution and had a fairly dark theme.  So I started cutting out words and photos from old magazines to go with my insane asylym.  I got a lot of pages started, but eventually got to a point where the pages needed to dry before I could proceed. 

I have a lot of things at home to add, including chart paper (for pretend brain scan results), lots of stamps, etc. 

At the end of the day, as we walked to the car, I noticed this building at the other side of the parking lot.  Great way to put up your address!!

Over the last few days, I have been re-visiting altered books that I had worked on years ago.  I decided I should play in them some more as I get time.
I have one book with drawers and a zipper in it, and also a book by Einstein.  It was fun to look through them again and think about more things to do with them!  

Hope you are all doing something fun!!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Making progress slowly

So, about my Documented Life journal... there aren't any pictures here of my journal pages other than that first post.  Oh, I've started pages and sketched ideas, and made notes.  But I can't seem to commit myself to finishing my pages.

Then, an amazing thing happened.  A few days ago the prompt for week 3 was posted online.  The journal prompt quote for this week is:
"I found I could say things with color and shapes
that I couldn't say any other way."
by Georgia O'Keefe

I almost fell out of my chair.  In my hallway, there is a calligraphy piece I did many years ago (unfortunately, I didn't date it, but I think it was late 1990's).  Here's what it looks like (try to ignore the fact that I didn't spell O'Keefe correctly).

I took the piece off the wall and out of the frame.  I took pictures of it and also made quick copies on the copier so I could cut apart the words and decide how to put them on the page in my journal.  I had planned to cut up the original when it comes time to put the words on the page, but I'm already having second thoughts about that part.

Since the copies I made included the boxes of watercolor, I might incorporate those into the journal page too.

But that wasn't the only coincidence for this week's assignment.  The Art Challenge part is "the color wheel".  As it happens, I had also recently bought two color wheel stencils (Pam Carriker designs from Stencil Girl.)  I have played with them a little already, but I think I will make a journal page background using parts of the stencils.

I still don't have this assignment completed, but I did have a burst of inspiration, plus I have been playing a lot.  Also, part of my goals for this year are to use things I have and to try to incorporate hand lettering more in my work.  So I'm headed in the right direction.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Back on the Grid

For several years, I have kept a "writing" journal (no art) in books with graph paper.  I found one on a sale table once, and now whenever I see one on sale, I grab it.  Last year, I experimented with adding dates and stenciling to the covers of past years' journals.  I also started adding little bits of art amongst the writing in the 2014 journal.   Many times, it was just creative ways of dating the page or designating the names of the months, or adding border art. 
I have one more of the books left, and now that we are on the 10th day of the month, I opened it to the first page and stenciled in the year 2015.  I thought I was going to be done after just sponging on some ink, maybe stamp a couple of things on the page.  But then I started stamping things inside the numbers themselves.  I had lots of fun in a short amount of time.  Now, time to catch up the past 10 days and try to keep up with the days as they speed by.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Making a Commitment

I am being very ambitious this year.  I have signed up for the Documented Life Project 2015 online journal class.  I watched last year's results as people posted their work online and decided to jump in this year.

The first order of business was to get the recommended journal they are using (which is optional, but I had been wanting to try out this journal anyway).

The theme for January is addressing the blank page.  Before I got to the assignment, I painted the first couple of pages and added a calendar for January.  The calendar is a free printable calendar, and I printed mine on tan grid paper.  They had lots of calendars to choose from, but I just printed the first one I found that was in the right orientation and would fit my page.
The first assignment is to cover up that blank page with other paper.  I used all kinds of papers including security envelopes.  I always feel great when using up things in my stash, and in fact that is one of my goals this year, to Use all that stuff!
Instead of using acrylic paints to cover the papers, I am trying out acrylic inks.  I have no idea if I'll be able to write on it, but I have some scraps I also painted to test out pens.
I still have things to add to all my pages.  We can add goals for the year if we wish.  I think I am going to put a small envelope on the page for Small Goals, and a larger envelope for Big Goals.   I may also add some of these items below... more from the stash.  The photos are printed on fabric and are left over from a project from last year where I printed off some of friend Gaye's art. I also have a pad of "list" papers that I got off a sale table of Smash book products. 
So, I still have a few things to do this week to finish up the first assignment.  I am having fun with it so far.  But one of my goals will definitely be to follow through.  I have a really bad habit of starting things like this and not finishing them to completion.  Gaye is taking the class too, so I know that will help inspire me to keep going!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

New Goals

Word to the wise... If on the first day of the new year, you make a smart alec statement about how you haven't screwed up the year yet, it stands to reason that karma will bite you in the rear and knock you flat on you back on the second day of the new year!

Yesterday, I stumbled on the one and only step going from my kitchen to the garage.  I have stepped down that step a million times before.  But this time I turned my ankle and fell hard on the concrete.  I ended up twisting both ankles, both knees, and hit my back hard on the edge of the step.  Thank goodness nothing was broken, just terribly sore now.  I somehow got one leg tangled in the cord of the shop vac and felt like a trussed up Thanksgiving turkey for a little while before I got untangled.  Believe me, it was hilarious (if you weren't me). 

I don't usually set resolutions for the new year, but I have decided to keep a running list of goals.  This is what I have so far:

Have a good new year.. and watch your step!!!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Clean Slate

Don't you just love the first day of a brand new  year?  You have a clean slate.  I love it because I haven't screwed up anything yet this year.  I haven't tried and failed yet.  The world is wide open for anything at this point (until I need a nap....)

I already have something fun to try.  A friend passed along this tip for keeping your bottles of glue free-flowing.  The video can be found Here.

I admit I haven't tried it with the glue bottles yet, but my mind did race ahead and wonder why you can't do the same thing with bottles of acrylic paint.  So I bought baby bottle nipples (silicon only, newborn size), and followed the instructions in the video for putting foam tape and the nipple on the bottle.
I still need some practice with writing with these bottles of paint, but I can see a lot of potential with random writing on art projects.

Happy New Year to all...  so far, I have made a blog post every day this year..hee hee...  (All kidding aside, I do plan to resume more regular posts in this shining new year!)