simply creating

I’ve been creating but not blogging. I must have a fear of blogging—putting thoughts on paper. Well, here I am. I do have to keep in mind not to make this complicated or over-think my blogs. Simply show up just like when I create stuff.

So here I am. One of the many things I’ve been doing are mixed media postcards and tags. They’re fun to do, messy and so liberating. Then I thought why not make up a Christmas postcards (in the same manner) to send out to family and friends (and that’s what I am doing at this time as well as a few other things).

Mixed media tags

Mixed media tags

By on November 21, 2014 in Art, creative journey, Handmade, mixed media postcards/tags, Mixed-media

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A road paved with good intentions…

yes, well, I did and I still do. It’s been 5 months since I last posted and I can come up with many reasons and excuses but let’s not go there. I will move on and just post this beautiful sunrise over Victoria.

good morning beautiful

good morning beautiful

Thank you for stopping by.

By on September 10, 2014 in Art, Daily Living, Photographs

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Bookbinding journey and my DLP planner

My DLP planner has gotten fat!  It never occurred to me that it would get this big so fast. So I looked around the internet and found a bookbinding tutorial by Lee at Crafty Loops. Her tutorial is detailed and easy to follow.

My bookbinding journey is based on her awesome tutorial. However I need to be really clear–any mistakes, errors, omissions, shortcuts, substitutions or other deviations are wholly mine and mine aloneThis is going to take some time, so get your drink of choice, sit back, read and scroll.

Once upon a time (in January) I joined The Documented Life Project Group on Facebook and I am happy to be part of this awesome group (see my previous blog). The main criteria is to purchase a Moleskine Planner (which I did) or some type of journal, and add in extra pages (called tip-ins). Below is my DLP planner in January after I put all my tip-ins in! I suspected I would need to do something about it (see photo).

DLP Planner in January 2014

DLP Planner in January 2014

Now it’s time for a bookbinding surgery! This is my planner at Week 15 before I made my first cut.

DLP planner Week 15

DLP planner Week 15

another view before 1st cut!

another view before 1st cut!

WARNING:  This is not a tutorial!

I cut the outside of the leather spine with a very sharp scissor (yikes!) and then with an equally sharp Xacto knife, sliced the binding and stitches!

cutting into the leather spine

cutting into the leather spine

using the Xacto knife

using the Xacto knife

cutting...

cutting…

Oh before I got to the stitches…I, uh, pulled off the front and back leather covers. OMGoodness! Yes I did, that’s me pulling it off.

pulling off the leather cover

pulling off the leather cover

still pulling...

still pulling…

Now for the stitches. Please be aware that when I cut into the original binding…uhm…I was well, perturbed! I knew it wasn’t going to be easy but really, Moleskine was not going to make it easy at all (they have a very special method of sewing their signatures together). So with a deep breath I cut, taped and sewed 8 signatures.

still cutting or slicing...

still cutting or slicing…

pulling signatures apart...

pulling signatures apart…

taken apart

taken apart

Bookbinding involves sewing. The method I used is called a coptic binding stitch. I have to say this…I HAVE NEVER DONE THIS BEFORE! As you can see my stitching is a bit wonky and the ribbons are from a stash I’ve got around here. I figured I’ll use what I can, when I can and I’m okay with that.

8 signatures are taped and ready to be sewn

8 signatures are taped and ready to be sewn

coptic binding stitch done!

coptic binding stitch done!

Next step I needed to glue the stitching and the ribbon (now called the spine) to protect it. I cut a piece of primed canvas to the size of the spine and glued it on.

primed canvas glued on spine

primed canvas glued on spine

another view

another view

By this time, I had a thought maybe I should not have torn off those leather covers because I’m thinking I need to reinforce the front and back pages because now they’re too thin to glue on to the book cover! Soooo…I used collaged cardstock and cut 2 to size to be the inside covers for the front and back and glued them on.

a view of inside cover and planner before gluing

a view of inside cover and planner before gluing

gluing...

gluing…

still gluing

still gluing

After I glued the inside front and back covers I took some rubber bands to hold it together and let it dry overnight.

finished gluing, rubber bands put on to keep together overnight

finished gluing, rubber bands put on to keep together overnight

Before I started this bookbinding journey, I decided on a hardcover for my planner. I guess I don’t do stuff the simple way. To make the hardcover I measured the new spine and the planner taking into account my tabs on top and tabs on the side and added it up. I cut 3 pieces of cardboard, and a primed canvas to cover; then glued the cardboard and the primed canvas.

hardbook cover

hardbook cover

A couple of days later…actually I did this final piece last Saturday while we on a mini-holiday weekend. I just had to finish my bookbinding.

With a glass of wine (for courage), glue, bookcover and planner I put it all together. I put glue on the inside front and back cover (NO glue on the spine), and made sure the glue adhered to both the hardcover and the inside covers. The rubber bands were used to keep it together overnight.

planner and bookcover ready to be glued

planner and bookcover ready to be glued

glued on!

glued on!

planner and hardcover held together with rubber bands

planner and hardcover held together with rubber bands

The next day I took the rubber bands off and my DLP planner is done.

DLP planner with its new cover and room to grow

DLP planner with its new cover and room to grow

Finished.

Finished.

Oh but wait a minute. Did I say it’s done? Not really because now I get to do the really FUN stuff…paint my cover! Did I happen to mention I sometimes do things backwards. 🙂

A few more words. This was a learning experience and I enjoyed it–mistakes and all. I will definitely do more bookbinding sometime in the future. I want to thank Lee from Crafty Loops for a great and awesome tutorial. And a thank you to Nellie for taking those extra pictures (and sharing the bookbinding journey with me).

Thanks for stopping by.

 

By on April 23, 2014 in Art, Art Journals, creative journey, Handmade, The Documented Life Project

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A Documented Life Project…

In January I joined the Documented Life Project (“DLP”) on Facebook run by five fabulous women of Art to the 5th (Lorraine Bell, Sandi Keene, Rae Missigman, Barbara Moore and Roben-Marie Smith).  I’ve been following Roben-Marie for almost a year (I think…) and fell in love with her–blog, creativity and generosity.  It did take me until the end of January to join the group but I am so glad I did.

What is the Documented Life Project?  Well, it’s part planner, part art journal and add in a weekly challenge makes a delightful and creative way to document your whole year!   It is a great group to connect with and participate in each weekly challenge (specially on the days when I am stuck in an artistic rut).  It`s fun, challenging and it has given me a lifeline to making new friends, learning new stuff, sharing, getting tips and so much more.  How fun is that!  I am now almost finished week 12 challenge (cut up a magazine and add it) which I have been working on.

I have found that this isn`t any different from what I do in my art journal.  The bonus for me is the connection with like-minded people and I love that.  Creating here in my studio is a lonely endeavour and having this makes it so much more…more!  So…I have my DLP week 1 to week 11 finished and photos to share with you.  Enjoy the eye candy as I enjoyed creating them.

DLP Week 11 challenge was to draw, photograph or collage a bird unto my page.  Presenting my doodled bird!

DLP week 11 (add a bird)
DLP week 11 (add a bird)
DLP week 11 inside flap

DLP week 11 inside flap

And this is the other side with a red cardinal which I had cut out of a magazine sometime ago.  I had to put this one in because I just love his colour!

DLP week 11 other side

DLP week 11 other side

DLP Week 10 – Make a list of the things that make me ME!  I tore a page from a book and wrote words on top to describe me.

DLP wk 10 detail_RS

DLP week 10 – detail

DLP wk 10 - 01_RS

DLP week 10 – upon opening the first page in this week.

DLP wk 10 - 03 RS

DLP week 10 – open the flap

DLP wk 10 - 02b RS

DLP week 10 – extra flaps open to more! 🙂

 

DLP Week 9 – Collage something I recycled.

DLP week 9 - recycled stuff...

DLP week 9 – recycled stuff…

DLP wekk 9 - open flap

DLP week 9 – open flap

DLP week 9 - open the next flap

DLP week 9 – open the next flap (centre from the left)

DLP week 9 - detail tea bag attached with happy mail return addresses inserted. So love this. :)

DLP week 9 – detail tea bag stitched and happy mail return addresses inserted.  So love this. 🙂

DLP Week 8 – Add a flap to your flap.  By the time I made this I received happy mail and I happily added the envelope as my flap!

DLP week 8

DLP week 8

DLP week 8 - after the first flap, add the next flap! :)

DLP week 8 – after the first flap, is the 2nd flap! with a pocket to add stuff 🙂

DLP week 8 - and the last flap for this week

DLP week 8 – and the other side of the flap for this week

DLP Week 7 – Draw one shape, repeat, add colour.

DLP week 7 - simply quadrangle

DLP week 7 – simply quadrangle

DLP week 7 - simply quadrangle

DLP week 7 – simply quadrangle detail

DLP Week 6 – Open your Pinterest board and be inspired.  This challenge was not up my alley.  I don’t use nor frequent Pinterest at this time so I decided to do something completely me…with colour of course.

DLP week 6

DLP Week 5 – Add a doodle border.

DLP week 5 - I got carried away with the doodle border (sigh...).

DLP week 5 – I got carried away with the doodle border (sigh…).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DLP Week 4 – Write a secret message then paint over all but for one key word.

DLP week 4 - my secret word is JOY.  So fun to do this.

DLP week 4 – my keyword is JOY. So fun to do this.

 

DLP Week 3 – Add an envelope from your mailbox.  Well, as you can see I don’t get much in the mail except for bills!!!  But this has changed since because now I also get “happy mail” thanks to some of the people from the DLP group.  (I will blog about happy mail sometime in the future with photos of course.)

DLP week 3 - I painted and doodled envelope because this was not exciting mail to received.

DLP week 3 – I painted and doodled this envelope–this was not an exciting mail to receive.

 

DLP Week 2 – take a selfie.  To keep it simple I used black and white washi tapes and my selfie.  Then added some journaling.

DLP week 2 - selfie...I don't usually do selfies but I think this turned out pretty good.

DLP week 2 – selfie…I don’t usually do selfies but I think this turned out pretty good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DLP Week 1 – Photograph, sketch, paint or incorporate your front door.

DLP week 1 - a drawing of our front door with text above it, used watercolourk, stamps and acrylic paint.

DLP week 1 – a drawing of our front door with text above it; used watercolour, stamps and acrylic paint.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I will try really hard to post my weekly challenges regularly from now on.  Really I will!  So there I’ve put it out there and therefore I am committed.  Thank you for joining me and I hope you enjoyed the visit.  🙂

By on March 23, 2014 in Art, Art Journals, creative journey, Mixed-media, The Documented Life Project

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blog about handmade rubber stamps

So I’m determined to post this today. No waiting or procrastinating…you know, waiting for that perfect moment, content, photo…and so on. For now I’ll just ramble along. Well maybe not, but I do have many projects on the go and I do have photos (which I have cropped and resized) and I think “oh I can blog about this or that”. But I get another thought and another and so on clamoring for my attention. Then I think, “Is this good enough”? I over think everything (does anyone out there have the same problem?) and I do this so often it hampers execution! Yep it stops me (I have to change that and I’m doing that right now!).

Enough already with the excuses or whatever else comes up inside my brain. Today I’m going to blog about stamps!

I’ve been making my own handmade rubber stamps for almost 2 weeks. I think (see there I go again with that word!) it was like an obsession and I was intense and focused on making a few of them. Hurrah for me!

stamps

I start with my handwritten text on a small art journal. I do this many times until I see one I like.

stamps 00 (800x533)

Then with a pencil I draw the outline on tracing paper which I then reverse and retrace the outline with the same tracing paper on to the rubber block.

stamps 005_edited-1

stamps 004_edited-1

stamps 003_edited-1

art+soul

I enjoyed creating and making them and I have used them on various projects on my table. They are fun and easy to do. (Did I mention I did these in the evening while I was watching TV with my family.) 🙂

By on March 6, 2014 in Art, Handmade

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i do art journal

AJP - paint, glue & doodleThis is how I  art journal.

I doodle, write about my day or plans, paint, collage and play or make a mess.

When I start…either a blank page or a page can have notes, journaling with colour, doodles, mixed media. It all depends on what is around my studio or what I write/draw on a page.  It can be anything I need it to be…ideaAJP - Christmas 2013 detail, travel, play and so on. Art journaling has no rules.

These 2 pages were done after Christmas with wrapping paper, ephemera, paint and text.

AJP - Christmas 2013
AJP - Christmas 2013 detail 2

By on February 1, 2014 in Art, Art Journals

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my messy studio

my messy studio

my messy studio

I’ve started cleaning up my messy studio because I can’t find stuff and it is a new year after all. It’s a good time to do a clean up and put stuff in the right place.

This is my work table (would you believe I have started tidying up at this point).studio - view 3

studio - view #2

A shelf for stuff.

studio shelf - Jan.2014And another table. I do need a lot of work surfaces—at times I use the floor too.

studio view 4 Jan.2014

My tray of stamps I’ve made. I tend to keep most of my tools out. Sometimes if I don’t see what I’ve got I forget about them.

studio - Jan.2014

Also have some classes starting in a few days (am so happy about that!) and it’s the real reason I am cleaning up!

And from my art journal…

art journal pages

art journal pages

Have a good week.

By on January 13, 2014 in Art

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Hello 2014!!!

It has been a very busy time as usual during the holiday season. I had good intentions to blog but did not; now I am back and ready to take on this New Year.

Last Month

All three of our Christmas celebrations went off quite nicely (I thought). As I mentioned in a previous blog, the menu for the first two parties was a Filipino theme. It consisted of Lumpia (fried egg roll), Chicken Adobo, Pork Satays, Pancit (noodles with meat and vegetables) and rice. And for Christmas dinner, I served a roast turkey and all the trimmings. The guests all had a good time including the kids and the food was enjoyed by all. I had a good time even though I was busy throughout the whole of it. Sadly I only have a few photos to share (hosting took up most of my time), next time I will assign someone to take pictures. Here are a few I managed to take.

gingerbread cookies

gingerbread cookies for the kids to decorate

I got this idea from Kay at White Gunpowder where she prepped gingerbread houses for a party (thank you Kay!). So I baked the gingerbread cookies and made the icing (recipes from Canadian Living Magazine) and bought the candies.

all ready to decorate!!!

all ready to decorate!!!

The kids were entertained by decorating their own gingerbread cookies and made for nice goodies to take home after the party. It was a fun time for the kids.

quite the get up

loaded with goodies!

DSC_0104 (800x530)

tasty bite

I even had time to try out a cranberry sauce recipe from Kay of White Gunpowder.

cranberries, sugar, orange zest

cranberries, sugar, orange zest

added orange segments and pears

added orange segments and pears

It was delicious although it didn’t look as pretty as Kay’s.

My Word for 2014

I believe words have power and when I choose a word to write or insert in my art journal it is loaded with meaning special to and for me. Some words take on a life of their own and become a guide, signpost or an affirmation. Choosing a word is not done lightly and it was surprising when I chose my word for 2014–I think it chose me.

choices my word for 2014

choices my word for 2014

Yeah, when choices popped up I could not believe it. I was thinking of something more profound but up until then all the words (i.e. intention, brave, purpose, etc.) I had listed did not sit well within my soul.

Choices…an ordinary word but it’s meaning when put into action takes you on a journey. Once chosen I became aware of the choices I make–it’s that sensation of being present and fully conscious

So for the year 2014 I am looking forward to making choices in my life journey.

and a little get away

a morning bath (background Land's End, Cabo San Lucas)

a morning bath (background Land’s End, Cabo San Lucas)

We flew down to Cabo San Lucas over New Year’s to relax, rejuvenate, reconnect and met up with my sister Suzanne and her family. We enjoyed every minute of it and looking forward to the next one.

So, I’m posting this now since I am over due!

Have an awesome New Year.

 

By on January 10, 2014 in Art

4

to do for the week of December 9th

Christmas is almost here and I have so much to do! We (my husband and I) finished painting our Great Room and Kitchen last Saturday. Now I am in the midst of putting up our Christmas decorations and planning menus for 3 parties in our home! Craziness!

I think of how I got here–it kind of just happened. It’s all okay. I’ve been planning my menus, when and how to execute everything for the 21st, 24th and 25th. We decided to have a Filipino inspired food for 2 parties and a turkey dinner for Christmas day. I will try to remember to take photos of the prep and food and am hoping to post it all. I do enjoy entertaining and I have not done much of it for the past few years. I guess one can say I am catching up for past years.

I will do what I can and it will all work out. Keep calm, just do it and have fun!

art journal page

art journal page

By on December 9, 2013 in Art Journals, Daily Living

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