Saturday, 31 August 2013

Day 31 - Goodbye Winter...

I made it, 21 posts out of 31, so I missed a few here and there. 
I've really enjoyed this blogalong with Effy, getting to know some more about my blogging friends and challenging myself to blog consistently. I used to blog regularly but found it somewhat overwhelming trying to get around to visit everyone else's blog and leave comments, thinking of things to blog about, and thinking my posts had to be a. funny, b.witty, c.thought provoking or d. spectacular and blingy. It all got a bit too much and i left blogging for a while. When Effy put up this challenge I had second thoughts but decided that I would blog this time because I wanted to, not worried about how many people read it, not writing it to get more followers, not writing it to please someone else, just thoughts for my own memory keeping and if it started a dialogue with others that would be a lovely bonus. What I found was that I was able to write my posts a lot easier than before. The words seemed to flow out of me, no pressure to "perform". My thanks go to Effy for hosting the blogalong and to all those that participated. Even though I haven't visited everyone's blogs yet I will get there. There is just so much goodness to see.

The art journal spread today is another out of my Book of Days and the prompt this week was to use tags. 
This first picture is with the tags closed

This picture is with the tags open and journaled on.

Today is the last day of Winter and the weather is gloriously sunny and mild for a change. I have made no secret of the fact that this winter has really been a struggle for me. I struggle without my daily dose of sunshine, so I sat outside today, listening to the birds, basking in the suns' rays and doodling and writing in my art journal.
Goodbye Winter and hello Spring....


Day 30 - Gratefulness

I try to remember to take a moment each day to recognise what I am grateful for. Each day I try to recognise something that I haven't during that week. Gratefulness is an integral part of my life. For me it is the difference between the glass being half full or half empty. With a daily practice of gratitude, the glass is always half full. Whenever I am faced with a challenge I always look for a positive, no matter how small. It may be that the positive thing out of a situation is that I have learned a valuable lesson. It may be a wonderful new, although scary opportunity opening up. It may be recognising and acknowledging a relationship that soothes my soul.

I have many mantras that I say to myself in any given situation so when people ask for a favourite it is hard for me to pick one. One of my all time favourites is
"When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change" 
This phrase opens up possibilities, it helps me take stock and reframe how I am looking at the situation, how I can turn it into a positive, how i can make something even more. Effy wrote about reframing a while ago. If I can locate it I will update this with a link.

I'll start today with being grateful for belonging to such a great art community, on and offline, for being able to interact with so many wonderful, inspirational people that may never have crossed my path if not for this community and my passion for the creative. They inspire me everyday.

Friendship seems to be the recurring theme of my posts this month.

 Apart from my family, my friends are my lifeblood, they are the rocks in my hard places, they are the glue that binds my worlds together, they are the paint on my page, they are the words in my books I read. They are there in my times of need and they are there for a laugh and a nice relaxing cuppa. They "get" me and they don't judge me. They accept me for me and I am eternally grateful for their presence. I only hope that I am as good a friend to them as they are to me.

Each day, take time to recognise all that you have to be grateful for in that moment. Start with the obvious but try to go a bit deeper, look for things that you hadn't noticed before. See the little things that mean so much, from the clean air that we breathe, to the fresh water coming out of the tap.  Be grateful for the mundane, the routine, the normal. Be grateful for each and every experience you have because they are all a part of the beautiful mosaic that you are.


Friday, 30 August 2013

Day 29 - a recipe and a journal page

Here is the recipe for the Cinnamon Maple Cake that I was talking about yesterday. 

It is a modified version of a recipe that I shared on my Facebook page a couple of weeks ago. Apart from the amazing taste, I love it because it is Gluten Free, Dairy Free, low sugar and low in carbs. Now how can you go past that one?

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, low carb, low sugar Cinnamon Maple Cake 
(makes 9-12 servings)

2 1/2 cups almond meal
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped 
1/2 cup chopped merjool dates
1/4 cup coconut oil or butter , melted ( i find the coconut oil helps keep the slice moist and together more than using butter, and the taste is soooo good)
1/4 cup maple syrup - I used Greens brand as it is the lowest in sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

3 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
3 Tbsp. coconut oil or butter , melted
6 Tbsp. maple syrup
1/2 cup  chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 160deg C fan forced. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish or pan with butter and lightly dust with almond meal.

To make the cake:

Combine the almond flour, salt, baking soda, pecans and dates in a large bowl.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter , maple syrup, eggs and vanilla.  Make a well inside the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the well.  Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until thoroughly combined, the batter will be very thick.  Scrape the batter into the prepared baking dish. Using a spatula, gently push the batter into place making it as level as possible.

To make the topping:

Combine cinnamon, butter, maple syrup and pecans or almonds in a bowl.  Spread the topping over the cake batter. 

Bake for 25-35 minutes, until a toothpick  inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 1 hour on a wire rack.  Slice cake into squares and drizzle with Maple Frosting before serving.

This cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for several days.  Once you drizzle it, store it in the fridge.

Maple Drizzle:

3/4 cup coconut butter - see below on how to make coconut butter

1/4 cup maple syrup (or more to taste)

1/4-1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, almond milk, or coconut milk - i used almond milk because I have it in the fridge anyway.

pinch of salt

In a small saucepan, heat all ingredients over medium-low heat, stir until well combined.  Consistency should be thin enough to drizzle over the coffee cake.

***If you eat dairy and prefer a maple cream cheese drizzle…substitute 4 ounces softened cream cheese for the coconut butter and reduce the heavy cream to 2 Tbsp.-1/4 cup and blend in a small bowl with a hand mixer until smooth.  Again the consistency should be thin enough to drizzle**

Coconut butter

to make coconut butter place 2 1/2 cups of unsweetened shredded coconut(not desiccated) into a food processor. process for about 10-20 minutes stopping now and again to scrape the coconut down into the bowl. after a while it will turn to liquid and will set upon cooling. this quantity makes just over 3/4 cup of coconut butter. 

I'm catching up on my memory keeping in my Book of Days so this is acutally for a couple of weeks ago. It is all about the week that I had no voice. i used Dylusions sprays, paints, crafters workshop stencils, and new foam stamps from Scrap Fx
The week that I was ordered by the doctor to have complete silence started out as a real challenge and a difficult and frustrating week. As the week wore on though, I really started to connect fully with my inner voice. It's funny the different things you notice when you lose one of your major communication tools. It was almost like other things were amplified.
It gave me a good understanding why silent retreats are so popular and it is something that I wouldn't mind repeating on a smaller scale.


Thursday, 29 August 2013

Day 28 - Cinnamon maple slice, dry shampoo and books

Some ramblings today about my favourite things. What do cinnamon date and pecan slice, dry shampoo and books have in common, you ask? Well here is a recap of my thought process that brought me here.
I was enjoying another batch of Cinnamon, maple slice that I have been making lately(I'll share the recipe with you tomorrow), while catching up with friends on Facebook.

I came across a post by Mollie talking about dry shampoo.

 Have you tried it? I was given a can a couple of months ago to try, and let me tell you it was a game changer. I love it. I was a bit hesitant, I mean where does the oil go? How does your hair suddenly look and feel shiny and clean when a minute ago it needed a wash? Well this little miracle in a spray can works. You must give it a go!

This post by Mollie and the conversation that went on in the post, reminded me why I adore Mollie.
Now how did I meet Mollie?
Through the world of books.

As well as my passion for art, I am an avid reader, a collector of books. I have a large collection of books both in hard copy and ebook formats, fiction and non-fiction. Some call it an addiction but I like to think of it as expansion of the mind and senses. Years ago when I thought about buying an ereader, I was in a book rut and I was a bit hesitant. I thought, oh no, I cannot go against tradition and buy a book that's not a 'real' book. Well pooh, pooh, to that, how my thoughts have changed. As soon as I had finished my first ebook I was hooked, I was hungry for more.
Through google, facebook and blogs, I discovered the world of indie authors, ie self published, independent authors, book review bloggers and a whole world of ebooks that are not in print form. 
Through this new world of social connection, I was able to interact with people that loved the same books as I did, talk to them about the books, get valued opinions on said books and then share my opinions through online book reviewing.

One such person who has changed the way I look at books and book reviews is Mollie Harper at Tough Critic Book Reviews. She is one of my favourite reviewers, someone I look for when I need an honest reaction to a book that I am looking to read. She does not shy away from telling it like it is with a bit or a lot of humour and fun thrown in to her reviews. Through Mollie, I have been introduced to books that have pushed all my emotional buttons, books that take me out of my comfort zone, and books that I can really 'feel'.

The books that I read may not be your cup of tea but this isn't about that, it is about finding those nuggets of gold and having someone like Mollie to point those nuggets out. Thank you Mollie Harper.

Well, I'm off to make another batch of that yummy slice, because I just have to test it out one more time so I know that the recipe I will be giving you tomorrow is right.


Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Day 27 - Another art supply you must have, seriously!

 An arty post today about gelli printing

 A link to a you tube video was posted in one of my facebook groups about making your own gelli printing plate. There is one here and here.  It only had 3 ingredients so I thought, well why not give it a go. So I did.
The basic recipe as given by The Frugal Crafter(the first video) is
1 1/2 cups of cold water
1 1/2 cups of glycerine
 6 tablespoons of gelatine
mix together and warm gently in a saucepan till the gelatine is dissolved. At this stage mine still looked cloudy but I didn't want it to harden or go gluggy so I poured it into the tray and skimmed off any air bubbles or white filmy stuff. I just bought a cheap container from the $2 shop that had a lid on it for storing. Just remember to leave it to set with NO lid on or you will get condensation on the top and it will not then be flat to print on. Also, it is winter here so I let it set out of the fridge and it was fine. It easily pops out when set.
As it set it became transparent.Apparently the glycerine stops the mix from going mouldy so it should last a long time.

 I love this part, lifting up the cardstock to reveal what is underneath
 I can see so much potential here
 Look at all those lovely patterns and colours

  I still have to get the right amount of paint on the gelli plate but each print got better and better.

 I can see background papers for art journal spreads, patterned papers for use in cards and bookmarks, great backgrounds for doodles, the list is endless

 these almost look like batik

While it won't replace my usual background making in my journal, I will be playing with this again and using it to compliment my backgrounds. It is so quick and easy that it is a great addition to my art supplies.


Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Day 26 - Relationships that make you feel good down to your bones...

Last post I spoke briefly about my friendships and I said that I don't go for the number of friends but the quality. I will always choose to have a small group of good friends rather than a whole plethora of acquaintances. Some of my friendships are with people half a world away that I have only formed through Facebook and blogging, some are right here in my backyard. I am shy when making new friends, worried as to whether they don't want the friendship as much as I do, I loose confidence in myself and get scared of the rejection, that usually never comes, by the way. Sometimes I forget things and I feel that I'm not being a good friend, I sometimes analyse whether I am doing things that a friend "should" but I read a great line in Effy's blog post today - "The thing is that your people will love you. Period.There's no scrambling to be good enough required. There's no need to bend and shape yourself into an acceptable configuration. You can be you, and they will just love you." I think I will type this out and stick it on my mirrors, my fridge and anywhere that will be in my face in times of doubt. 

Today my Book Of Days spread is about family. A few weeks ago we travelled up to my Mum and Dad's place to throw Dad a surprise 80th birthday party. My sister and her family travelled down from northern NSW and we travelled up from Melbourne to meet in the middle. It was the first time all the cousins had been together for a number of years and I wish it had been longer, but you take what you can get. As well as my friends, my family accept who I am - well they can't really get rid of me :) Even though we are thousands of km's apart we never loose sight of what is important.  For Dad's party we gathered close friends and family and, for a man who doesn't like normally like the fuss of party's, particularly for himself, he thoroughly enjoyed it. 

Spread was made with
napkins, paint, manilla tags and coin envelopes, black aqualip pens and white signo pen

Far too often we let this crazy pace of life get in the way of connecting with those close to us. It's time's like these that we are reminded that we have to make the time, even if only for a short message or text to say hello, or an hour long phone call to catch up. Life's too short.

Nurture those relationships that feed your soul, that make you feel good right down to your bones.


Monday, 26 August 2013

Day 25 - inspiration, sharing and gratefulness

I teach art journal classes once a month at a local scrapbook shop. I teach because I love sharing, I teach because I want everyone to experience the joy I feel when I art journal. I teach because I love the people I meet. I teach because it's fun. If there is one thing that I strive for when I teach an art journal or art class, it is that I want to inspire people. I want to inspire them to try something new, I want to inspire them to spend time in their art space, I want to inspire them to express themselves more fully through art in all its forms. The greatest joy for me, when teaching, is seeing that smile on a students face when they realise they can do something they thought previously out of reach, that blissful smile when they finish an art journal spread or painting and they are thoroughly happy with, that smile when a breakthrough happens, when confidence grows, when senses are awakened.

Yesterday I was guest speaker at a local art society and I was invited to share my thoughts, knowledge and passion for art journaling. I was speaking to a group that 98% had never heard of or tried art journaling. They were so open to new possibilities that the 1 1/2 hours flew by. At the beginning (while I was setting up my display of my art journals and things I have made with art journaling, like cards, bookmarks, etc), during and at the end of my talk I had such positive feedback that I was smiling from ear to ear. I was ecstatic to see sparks of creativity igniting. To be told that I was an inspiration was so gratifying.
I am humbled.

So, in the tradition of paying it forward, backwards and upside down, I'd like to share with you my greatest inspirations over the last few years as I ventured into art journaling and the evolving of my paintings.

Kerryanne English from Shabby Art Boutique - A good friend of mine introduced me to Kerryanne via the blog world and told me of an online intro to art journal class that Kerryanne was running. We signed up, not knowing what this art form was but it sounded like fun. After the first lesson I was hooked. I loved Kerryannes approach to making it simple, creative and fun. I loved the way she taught me that you only need 15minutes to art journal, if that is all the time you have. 

 Paula Philips aka Journal Artista - Paula was one of the first art journalers that I found on you tube and I fast became a fan of her videos and her blog. I love Paula's approach, the fun that she has with her art journaling and the grungy style of her pages. When I was able I loved connecting with Paula via her online streaming. Alas now the time zones don't coincide so I have to be content with replays.

Effy Wild and the Glitterhood - I've taken a number of classes with Effy and am currently enjoying the Book of Days. I love Effy's no nonsense approach, her honesty, her forthrightness and fearlessness she brings to every page. Effy has taught me to embrace me own inner turtle, which I frequently have to do with my work/family/art balance constantly being tested. I have learned so much from Effy about how to dig real deep in an art journal spread and create beautiful works of art that are intimate to me yet able to be share. Effy's strength of character is a constant source of inspiration to me when i am overwhelmed.

Tracy Verdugo- I took a workshop with Tracy last year and it changed my whole view of my art. It changed the way i approached the canvas, it changed the way I approached the whole creative process. I finally feel as if I have developed my own style of painting that is me, expressed on a canvas. Tracy's style of teaching is so encouraging, confidence building and nurturing and I hope to be attending Tracey's workshop in Melbourne next year. Tracy gave me the confidence to truly express 'me' on the canvas.

Tamara LaPorte - my first class on faces was with Tam. The way that Tam talks to you, steers you in the right direction while encouraging your own style to come through in your faces is fantastic.

My tribes, my friends, my art class buddies - I am not one to have a many friends on Facebook just for the number on my screen. I have always been a close circle of friends kind of girl and I am forever grateful to those that I am lucky enough to call my friends in my art circles. They are a constant source of encouragement, support, fun and inspiration to me.

Please go and show my friends some love and see why they are such an inspiration to me


Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Day 20 - the changing face of art groups

Firstly, thanks to everyone who has taken the time to read my posts, I really appreciate it.
Last weekend my art society had their AGM and, as we have done over the past couple of years, we discussed how to entice people to join and stay members, as well as where the past members have gone. It was pretty clear that the face of art groups and how they come together and interact and ultimately stay together, has changed. It hasn't happened overnight, it is part of the whole changing face of social interaction in society as a whole.
As we sat there all warm inside but listening to and watching the cold, wet, blustery, unpleasant day outside, we all agreed that to survive we have to really look outside our normal box of what to offer our members and then keep them.
Remember when we all would go to our weekly class and get together for whatever craft you do? It was really a social as well as hands on experience, forming new friendships, sharing a cuppa, sharing ideas and techniques, learning new skills - having face to face time. 
For whatever reason, and there are plenty of them, times change, peoples' wants change, and either we don't have the ability to make these classes, meetings, workshops because of the our financial situations, or because a lot more mums work now, or we have found a different way to satisfy our creative passion like online classes and you tube videos, which are convenient and cost effective. It is a real struggle nowadays to get volunteers for the committee, a struggle to get bums on seats at workshops and conventions.
I am the first to put up my hand as a student of online classes, and I love them. I've learned so many things that I would not have had the opportunity to learn purely because of these online classes, but I think you also need to factor in creative time, face to face interaction and connection into your schedule as well. In the end I think there is room for it all.
I'd be interested to know how many people now only do online classes, face to face classes or a mix of both.
I have met some wonderful people online, a lot that I will never have the opportunity to meet in person, but their words of wisdom, compassion, and friendship have a special place in my heart. We still have to have that personal contact though, it feeds our soul on a different level, and I'm all for feeding my soul what my soul needs, desires and wishes for.

In other words I want both. Is that greedy?
I call it being well rounded :)



Sunday, 18 August 2013

Day 17 - Trust

I'd like to share my latest Book of Days spread today. It was all about trust - trust in yourself, trust in the universe.  It is so easy to get caught up in the negativity of a situation. In the end, what is important is not what happened but your reaction to it. I trust that everything in this universe happens for a reason, even if at the time, that reason is not clear. I trust that in time it will be revealed, I trust that i am never given anything I cannot handle, and I trust that the universe always has my back. Whether it is a simple physical setback or something else, I try to see them all the same and find the solution, the positive, the lesson. 

This week has had a couple of challenges. 
When I sat down to record them in my Book of Days, I realised that the common thread of these challenges was that they required trust.
This technique, Effy called a pulled face because the background is done first, totally intuitive, with no outcome in mind. Then you find faces in the page and go with however they present themselves. This was sort of like a meditation when this face appeared. I didn't know how I was going to write about this week until the face appeared. I love this style of painting, like automatic writing, like meditations.


Saturday, 17 August 2013

Day 16 - shopping, cleaning, baking, eating

Yesterday was my artists date as Effy talked about in this blog post and as written about by Julia Cameron in the Artists Way. It is a day to yourself that you spend doing something related to art.
My artist date was to one of my favourite art store Artshed. I wandered around here for ages and this is only half of the shop.

It is huge and full of so many, many things that I love. I do a fair bit of online shopping for art supplies but nothing beats going and seeing, touching, smelling, feeling art supplies. Well that sounds a little creepy but my art friends will vouch for this fixation and addiction to art supplies. I already have so many brushes as seen here in a recent blog post but a girl can never ever have TOO many can she? 

 Apart from paint, I think my favourite art supplies that I just keep buying are brushes, canvases, and pencils of all sorts. What are your favourite art supplies that you cannot resist buying even though you have a healthy stash at home already?

Due to my shopping trip and a bit of housework that needed to be done I didn't put brush to canvas.
Although I may not have put paint to canvas yesterday but , I did pick up a lot of canvases, quite a few new paintbrushes, cans of picture varnish and fixative and some charcoal pencils, and a few other little bits and pieces, all essential to my creative pursuit.

Today is our art society's AGM so no painting until tomorrow but I did do a bit of baking this morning and just have to share this recipe. Those close to me know that I have cut out sugar in my diet over the past 18 months and have been gluten intolerant for the past 8 years so it is always a bit of a challenge to find something tasty for afternoon tea. Usually when you go gluten free you find that all the products available substitute sugar for the gluten so you end up giving up one thing and eating too much of something else that is bad for you. 
I recently came across this recipe and I recommend it to anyone. I replaced the raisins for dates and will be making it regularly. I also used "fake" maple syrup as it has 1/2 the sugar of real maple syrup - go figure! I have decided that I will be cutting it up and freezing it so I don't eat it all in one go. Even though it is low carb, low sugar, gluten and lactose free it is still a treat.
Here is the recipe from the Simply Living Healthy Blog and here is how mine turned out. 

My drizzle isn't as white but it tastes fantastic. I even made my own coconut butter to use in the drizzle, which was easier that I thought too. You can find those instructions here.

Have a yummy weekend everyone. Hope you are spending it with friends and loved ones


Friday, 16 August 2013

Day 15 - the evolution of a painting

I spoke in an earlier post of taking progression photos of my art. I love to capture each stage and I love looking back to see how it all came to be. I love to see the way a painting evolves, changing with each layer, becoming more unique with each brush stroke, each splash of ink or paint, each wash of colour, each highlight and shadow. 

I particularly love this style of painting, which I learned from the amazing Tracy Verdugo, and I would recommend that if you ever have a chance to paint with Tracy you do it. 

I love the whole process. For me, these paintings are totally intuitive and, while I may have an idea of the colours I would like to use or if have inspiration from a photo I have taken, I still never know exactly what the finished painting will look like till the end. I don't have a recipe for mixing colours that I use. Most of the time they are mixed on the canvas as I use them.
This is a 1.5m x 0.6m painting that I have just finished this week for a dear friend.

the first layers
  some serious drippage

 The finished painting
All it needs is a few coats of varnish and it's ready to hang.


Thursday, 15 August 2013

Day 14 - embracing the season

Embracing each season is my wish today. My quest is to find the beauty in winter and embrace it.
This seasonal 'down-ness' every year cannot continue, I've decided so time to do something about it. 
Hopefully doing this will get me out of my 'stuckness'.

To that end, I took these photos today just outside my office at work and made a decision to be conscious of finding the light in the dark of this time of year. You know what else I noticed, the birds are singing. Now that is a sure sign spring is on it's way.
Look at all the texture and patterns in those leaves, the bright happy yellow of the wattle flowers, the combination of the cycle of the seasons

Still a bit of time till the end of winter but this just popped into my head. I'm no poet, just random thoughts about this season and reframing what it means to me.

Winter's end
wind and rain
washing clean
mind and soul

ready for renewal
ready for new growth
ready for living outside
ready for life


Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Day 13 - busy means you're alive, right?

Are you busy all the time or do you have spare time to just sit and 'be'?

Do you multi task or do you do one task at a time?

Me? I seem to be busy all the time, I often multi-task. Often words like 'not enough hours in the day' fall from my lips, run around in my head and invade my quiet time. It's not that I don't enjoy sitting and just relaxing, I just can't seem to say no to adding things to my to-do list or finding something to occupy my time. I like my art time, although I never seem to get to my studio as often as I would like. I like my time to read although the list of books in my tbr list is growing by the day. I enjoy my meditation time but always seem to be squeezing it in to my day. I like being busy, it makes me feel alive, useful and like I'm not wasting time, because you only live once, right?

 We all search for that elusive 'balance' , the work-life, social balance, the productive time vs relaxation time balance. We spend so much time working out how to get the balance that we are back at square one with no time to spare. The mind gets overloaded and you end up doing nothing.

When did you just do one thing at a time? My mornings before work involve reading while eating my breakfast, planning my shopping list, reviewing my diary for the week ahead. The other night I was having my nightly cuppa while catching up on my art video watching, reading a novel, watching tv. Now how can you really take all that in the way it is supposed to be experienced? Not very well, let me tell you. 

Time to choose consciously how I spend my time.

Speaking of time; it is time, in my mind, for this winter to end. I've had enough of the cold, the rain and the wind keeping me awake at night. Bring on spring, the renewal season, the season of growth, the glorious colours of flowers blooming and the sounds of life all around us.



Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Day 12 - Find Your Voice

A few days behind, but better late than never, I say..

So my voice came back last week, finally. It's all about listening to your body and doing what it is asking, isn't it. All week I have been mediating daily, and concentrating on relaxing my throat, speaking my true voice and being present. When you lose your voice in a literal sense, and then get it back again, you also work out what you really need to say and what is just unnecessary gap-filling chatter. Better to try to be present in all that you say.

On Saturday I taught my art journal class and we were playing with gel medium transfers, and using gel medium as a resist. For the resist layer, I doodled on a background layer with the gel medium in a little squeeze bottle that has a tip on it to write with. The transferred image was the second or third to last layer.
I have the original sample page and the two pages I taught in each class, hence the 3 variations here of the same class. Here is the original sample page.

 I must say that I've had mixed results with this in the past so I was prepared for unpredictable and varying results. I don't have a laser printer at hand so have really wanted to find a way to use ink jet prints in this technique and I think I've found a way that works for me. This is not a new technique, it has been all over the internet for a while now, but it takes a bit of practice.  Of course, everyone still has different outcomes depending on the brand medium you use, the amount of medium you use, how much water you use and the amount of pressure you use when rubbing off the paper. 

This is the result from the morning class..
I'm happy to say that it worked really well and particularly for first timers, my students came away with really lovely results. I found that the balance between the amount of water you use when soaking the dried image, preparing for the removal of the paper; and the amount of pressure you use when rubbing the paper, was the key. Too much water and you end up rubbing off the whole image, too little and it doesn't rub off the white layer of paper. Too much pressure and you rub holes in the image, too little and it will take ages. 

 This is the page from the afternoon class.

Supplies used-
Atelier Regular Gel medium Gloss
Jo Sonja paints in Brown Madder, Permanent Alizarin, Yellow Oxide, Titanium White
Various Kaisercraft background stamps - Dictionary meaning, Flourish, Distress

It's all in the touch. 

I use my fingers a lot in my art journal pages. I like the feel of what the paint is doing and I really get a true idea of the readiness of the page for more layers or ability to keep blending and working the paint. It connects me with the page. It is me being present and fully in the process. It doesn't have to be a lot of finger painting, so try it. While it gives wonderfully different textural results, see how much more connected you feel with your page.


Friday, 9 August 2013

Day 8 - A dare taken up

I missed yesterday but I am embracing my inner turtle and doing what I can when I can so here is day 8.

Yesterday Rene dared us to show our studios as they really are so for Day 8 that's what I'm doing. I finally have my voice back, which is a big YAY! so I thought I would do a short video. This is my first video upload so I hope it works. It's warts and all, messy, cluttered but it's all mine and mine alone. It is my little sanctuary where I can create till my heart is content.
It's blowing a gale outside today so it's a good day to stay inside. 
I'm off to play with gel transfers today. catch you tomorrow


Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Day 6 - Inspiration in nature

 I see texture and patterns in everything. It inspires me.
 Apart from capturing family and friends and important life happenings, it is a big reason why I rush to get out my phone to snap another photo. I do get some weird looks when I am honing in on a pattern that no one else has noticed and I just have to commit it to memory. I am often heard saying "oooh that would look fantastic as a background" "that would make a great painting" "hang on I just have to get a photo of that to use later on"  When you express yourself visually as in art, photography, etc I think you just see the world through different eyes and my favourite place to find inspiration is the beach. 

 All the texture of the water, the sand, the shells and the way that it changes from minute to minute, day to day. I could walk along here every day and find something different to inspire me.

  The beach is so calming to me but also it really focuses all your attention on mother nature and how grand and beautiful she is

 To be there absorbing the energy of gaia, mother earth; to breathe in the fresh clean air; to touch and feel the earth in it's untouched state - to me there is nothing better. It is refreshing, cleansing, grounding and so, so peaceful, yet so exhilarating.  
 Luckily my relatives all live near beautiful beaches and each year we take the caravan down to Anglesea, my favourite getaway place close to home. The call of the beach has always been with me. it is my favourite place to visit.
I love the beach, plain and simple, no if's or but's. I dream of living by the beach.

What do you prefer? The beach or inland?

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