Archive | creative journey

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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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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day 29…of 30 day challenge!

My intent and purpose…

I started a blog in 2007 with the intent of sharing and making a connection with like-minded people and develop a relationship with them. Initially I thought I would blog and do it regularly (I had good intentions) but time passed and now it’s 2013. On reflection, there were many reasons for not blogging regularly. Perhaps I wasn’t ready and  it was not the right time in my life.

I needed the time to gain confidence, to grow, to learn about myself–who I am and how I fit in this world. I needed to know what I am about, what is most important in my life. I needed to see myself without the rose-coloured glasses. I needed to be brave. It’s taken me quite a number of years to get to here and I needed those years. It’s all about the experiences in our life–learning and growing.

art journal page

art journal page

Art matters, and has helped me and is helping me continue to grow in so many ways. When I needed it most, art saved me (sounds kinda cliché but true) because what I am about comes from deep within my soul (my family and friends who know me–will likely agree).

Before going to art school, I was working in an office and thinking daily over and over again “is this all there is”? I knew I needed to do something; I thought long and hard what I really wanted out of my life and what matters most to me. That was when I decided to go to art school to pursue what I loved but had ignored until then. It was a lifesaver and food for my soul. I graduated from art school but did not pursue an “art career” however I happily created art in my spare time (and worked as a secretary).

The next time art saved me was during a dark time in my life. I didn’t realize I had let my art slide while I was putting all my energy towards my husband and daughter. In essence I was ignoring a part of my soul and my well-being. Art became my therapy and it is what helped me through those dark days.

art journal page

art journal page

And now it is my time, and I am ready to share with you my art–that is my intent and purpose.

By on November 29, 2013 in 30 day challenge Nov. 2013!, Art, Art Journals, creative journey

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day 28…of 30 day challenge!

I do my art journaling whenever I feel the need or just to have a little colour in my day. It is a space where I can pour my heart and soul into by many layers of paint, collage, drawing, text, etc. later on everything settles, and I am calmer. These pages are a repository of my hopes, dreams, and most of everything in my life (good and bad). This is my therapy.

art journal pages

art journal pages
art journal pages

art journal pages

By on November 28, 2013 in 30 day challenge Nov. 2013!, Art Journals, creative journey, Mixed-media

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day 26…

This has been a very long day on the computer, but I am finally registered on Etsy!

"do what you love", mixed-media painting, 12" x 9" panel board

“do what you love”, mixed-media painting, 12″ x 9″ panel board

Hurray for me. My first art work online for purchase. Feeling so relieved, excited and exhausted. So I think I will post today with a photo of my painting that is in my Etsy shop.

“do what you love”, this painting says it for me and I do what I love–it makes me happy. Love it!

By on November 26, 2013 in 30 day challenge Nov. 2013!, Art, creative journey, Mixed-media painting, Paintings, Photographs

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day 25…

example of student floorcloth

example of student floorcloth

example of student floorcloth

example of student floorcloth

example of student floorcloth

example of student floorcloth

example of student floorcloth

example of student floorcloth

Next up is Floorcloth–I thought I would continue with the same theme from the 2 previous blogs.

A number of years ago I had floorcloth classes and my thought was to have a finished product at the end of the day–something colourful and unique to take home. I encouraged each one to bring an image to the class to work on; I recall that  everyone were eager, enthusiastic and had so much fun creating and painting.

I am not changing much for these classes and will follow my previous principles. The size of the floorcloth is 2’x3′ primed canvas ready to draw and paint (all supplies are included). The class usually starts at 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

I found these in one of my photo albums from photos I took of some students’ floorcloth at the time.

It was so good and such fun teaching and guiding all these eager souls. It is sooo good for my soul and I am looking forward to doing it again.

By on November 25, 2013 in 30 day challenge Nov. 2013!, Art, creative journey

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day 24…

I am continuing yesterday’s post about my classes.

Mixed media art journal–I made this video in September presenting the upcycled art journal I made (please be patient as I am new at video recording and it’s another 1st–uploaded my first video in youtube). 

The upcycled art journals are made of not-so-new acrylic paintings on canvas, used watercolour and printmaking papers. I have had all these materials with me for 20+ years and I couldn’t throw them or burn them. The paper where artworks I created with watercolour and acrylic paints with calligraphic brush strokes. A small number were sold at the time and the rest I have stashed. Surfing the net gave me an idea to repurpose these materials into art journals. I watched Teesha Moore, France Papillon, Donna Downey and Lee of CrafyLoops for inspiration on making art journals.

transformed paper stash

transformed paper stash

I have A LOT of paper and my intention is to make art journals to sell at a reasonable price until all this paper is gone. I suppose you can say they’re a limited edition. I’m trying to clean up and make these until all my stash is gone (did I mention I have A LOT!). The art journals are in two sizes, 8″x5″ and 9″x6″, 10 folio in 1 signature. At the moment the cover is gessoed canvas but that can change depending on what I have on hand. The watercolour and printmaking papers are porous and need to be primed using gesso prior to use of any medium. Thereafter you can do anything on them.

I love the fact that I am able to reuse all this beautiful paper!

art journal page in my upcycled art journal

art journal page in my upcycled art journal

By on November 24, 2013 in 30 day challenge Nov. 2013!, Art, Art Journals, creative journey

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day 23…

Thinking of what to write and it’s not easy at all, so this will be a ramble again. I must say–what came up as I sit here–is banners (can also be referred as prayer flags) and the classes I will be teaching in the new year.

So a couple of days ago I sent out an email inviting friends to choose a class. But first here are the classes and descriptions (please note that these type of classes will be put in my website in the future).

Floorcloth:  You will create a one-of-a-kind floor cloth (28”x32”). It will be sealed, able to withstand a lot of traffic and easy to clean. Bring yourself, a vision or image you want to create plus a good dose of enthusiasm for this one day, 6 hour class! Offering a Saturday or Sunday, $50 covers all expenses and supplies. Bring a packed lunch–coffee and tea provided.

Mixed media techniques in your art journal:  We start with a handmade “upcycled art journal” for you to keep. You will learn 3 or more mixed-media techniques and some cool stuff about art journaling. Come and be inspired in this 3 hour class. Offered in the evening, $25 covers all expenses and supplies.

Banners (aka prayer flags on string):  Do you have spare fabric remnants just waiting for that perfect project–this is it! With this class I will guide you in creating your very own unique banner. This class is free and your commitment is a must. There will be 4 weeknights of 3 hrs each with homework. (Further instructions will be sent when you sign up).

So happy to see the response from everyone. I love to share what I know. Anyway I received a query from someone wanting to know what a prayer flag is. They’re rectangular shape cloths with text or symbols strung together high in the mountains. There are many examples and information on the internet as I am not an expert on this. What I did do is use the concept, and I have seen many different variations on the internet. So I did the same.

About a year and a half ago my girlfriend and I got together and did our very own banners together. We had so much fun making them and the results were fabulous. Then just last winter we got together again with another girlfriend and we each made one. It was a fun project and loved spending the time together.

banner on the beach - celebrating Tiana's Birthday

banner on the beach – celebrating Tiana’s Birthday

detail of one piece

detail of one piece

The banners we made have traveled from my home to theirs and back again and to campsites too. They’ve been used inside our homes and outside. They bring so many memories and colour to every event. They’re a beautiful thing crafted together with beautiful friends.

By on November 23, 2013 in 30 day challenge Nov. 2013!, Art, creative journey

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day 21…

Nine days left of my 30 day challenge.

What have I learned so far? Well, writing is a challenge and finding my voice is not easy. For instance when I have drafted couple of paragraphs I instantly go back and start editing—a lot! Just doing this simple paragraph is…difficult.

I sit here typing this out and think, should I just throw caution to the wind and let go? Will it work? Dare I try it out for the next nine days? Maybe so, I think I will, so here goes. It’s already started with this 2nd paragraph.

As I blog every day, I found there were some days I was really keen and then others not so much. Then I ask myself, who is this for? With my blinking cursor in front of me, I say—ME and perhaps someone out there who is willing to hear my voice. Do what I need to say relevant? Will anyone listen? I must say, I do have a lot of questions because I’m kind of a thinker and my mind meanders in every direction. I am so tempted to delete this paragraph while I ramble on. I am definitely rambling now—thoughts spoken aloud. I do this in my mind. So I stop and think. How much of me go on here? My blog, my way is it that simple?

Well I’ll try it this way then until the last day and I will see what comes of it. Yes, this will be published as is. If anyone out there has read this to here my thanks to you for listening.

JBY

By on November 21, 2013 in 30 day challenge Nov. 2013!, Art, creative journey, Paintings

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