Thursday 30 January 2014

A Bible Study Journal

Identity: A Study in Ephesians
On Monday we will be beginning our study on Identity.  But before we delve into the study I thought I would show you how I have made my journal.  I used the idea shown in my Creative Responses post, using the Teesha Moore instructions.

I had torn my paper into 3 pieces and folded them.

I decided I wanted to be able to keep my journaling notebook inside the finished art journal so made the sheet that had folds at both ends smaller.  I kept the small fold on the right and made the whole page on the left smaller.

I used the piece I had torn off to make a large letter I and then drew it on the paper that will be the cover.

It is easier to start the backgrounds of the pages before you assemble it whether you are sewing or gluing - or as in this case - both!  The other thing about putting some colour on the paper is that it takes away the fear of the blank page each time you come to work on it.

I put 4 colours of water-based inks onto my glass mat and sprayed them with water.  Don't copy this idea because what I ended up with was a deep orange!

Back to the drawing board!  I decided to do each colour separately.  I chose 5 colours and added them to the plate individually, sprayed with water and then wiped my paper through the ink.  You could do this with watered-down acrylic paints or with watercolour paints.   I 'dipped' both sides.

By randomly dipping the papers but keeping to the same colours I ended up with a set of papers that go together.  If you don't have paints and inks you could get a similar effect with water soluble colour crayons.  Scribble randomly on your paper and then use a very wet brush with clean water.  You can see below the difference between the scribble and the wet washed colour.

Here's my journal as the pages unfold.

The Exercise Book has too many pages in it.  When I get to the end of my journaling for session 4 I shall remove the middle pages.  At the end I shall cover my book.

I shall make a pocket with the small fold so that the book sits inside it.  To strengthen my journal I am going to glue in the middle piece of paper that folds round the book.  I shall sew in the other folded page.  I shall do that at the end of the study as it will be easier to work on individual pages if they are not stitched or glued in.

If you try this make sure the paper is totally dry before you start to write or do anything else with it.  It's also a good idea to go back to the folds and press them again with a bone fold or the handle of your scissors to make sure the folds are totally creased.

I look forward to seeing what you decide to do for your creative response to the study.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday 29 January 2014

Plans and Planners

It's nearly the end of January.  Can you believe it?  I have no idea where the month has gone.

We went away for 3 days to the New Forest (Hampshire) to celebrate Roger's birthday.  We had vouchers for a half price 2 night stay in a hotel!  We managed to dodge the showers on the whole and visited places we had never been to before as well as going on a couple of walks.   We saw some New Forest ponies at the side of the road.

The view on our walk.

A BIG Thank you
When we got back I wrote about my One Little Word: Participate.   I would like to thank those who read to the end and to Danielle, Sandie, Pam, Catalina, Beverly, Lynne, Kate, Missus Wookie, Rinda and Valerie for leaving such encouraging comments.  I really appreciate that you took the time to write.  I have been back to read the comments several times.

I have continued to participate in my life and have found more joy.  I have kept my word in front of me and have kept fairly up to date with my planner.  I haven't been following all of the challenges set by the team but I am really happy with how my book is looking.  I am including a study of Psalms although I have yet to actually do the journaling to go with it!

In between I have been working on the new 'challenge' blog that started on Monday: Identity: A study in Ephesians.  It is slightly out of my comfort zone as I have never done a purely Christian challenge.

And having accepted the challenge to PARTICIPATE in my life this year, I am excited that I have been invited to be one of the teachers for an online class coming later this year.  And of course I said yes to participating in that!

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday 25 January 2014

Make It Personal

During 2014 I am taking a workshop called Make It Personal, taught by Hilary Beattie.  It is great because it uses lots of the techniques I already use in my art but with fabric as well as paper.  Plus it's great to work with a textile artist who see things from a different perspective.  I worked with Hilary last year on a 2 day Masterclass at the Festival of Quilts.

The workshop is 12 days long spread out over the year as 2 days every other month and last week was session 1: Stamps, Stencils and Printing Blocks.  It has been put on again as it was so popular.

On Thursday morning we stencilled with manufactured stencils using fabric paint on white cotton, patterned fabric and all sorts of different papers.  We were encouraged to play rather than think.  When the fabric paint was dry we flooded the paper and fabric with dye.

 Here are some of the papers I made

 And here are some of the fabrics

On Thursday afternoon we looked at our source material and made a stencil.  I used this photo as inspiration.

It is a closeup of this fountain in Sydney, Australia.  I love it because it reminds me of an Agapanthus.

On Friday morning Hilary showed us how to use our papers and fabrics in our sketchbooks and then we played at tearing and sticking!  Then we looked at a variety of ways to make stamps and made our own, yet again based on our source material.

Each time we made something new I worked back into the pages in my sketchbook.  On these pages there are torn papers and fabrics, stencilling with my own stencil (the black lines), drawing with Neocolor 1 crayons, stamping with two of the stamps I made plus the white rectangle which is one of Hilary's stamps stamped on Repair Tissure and stuck onto the page.

Monday 20 January 2014

A new adventure

I have been running various art challenge blogs for a while now.  These blogs are still live and people are very welcome to work through them at their own pace.  I wrote about them all here.   There was also An Attitude of Gratitude 2013.  Each of these followed a similar format - a quote, a bible verse, a video for inspiration,  journal prompts and an art technique challenge.

However, the next one is different.  It is a study of Identity through the book of Ephesians.  And you can find out more about it here.

Do check it out and I would love you to join in.

Saturday 18 January 2014

One Little Word

I don't tend to share particularly private thoughts and feelings on my blog.  I'm not too keen on showing any sign of vulnerability.  However I am going to write a bit about what has been going on so that you understand why I chose my One Little Word for this year.
One Little Word is a course run by Ali Edwards.   It has been part of Big Picture Classes but is now run by Ali on her own website.  There are other One Word sites: My One Word and One Word 365.

The idea is that you choose one word to focus on during the year.  Something that you want to see more of in your life.

I signed up for the OLW online course and completed 2011 with RESTORE.  In 2012 I got as far as April with FOCUS.   I planned for 2013 to be PRESENT however my father was taken into hospital in mid January and died at the beginning of February. OLW went out the window.

So I thought it would be great to sign up for this year - I particularly like the new format on Ali's website - and started thinking about a word.  I had a long shortlist of words: released, wholehearted, unconfined, trust, forward, confidence, embrace, overcome and was fairly taken with EMBRACE.

In the Autumn of last year a class was offered by Oprah working through the book 'The Gifts of Imperfection' with the author Brené Brown.

I worked my way through a section on numbing in the Gifts Of Imperfection class and realised that I had 'closed down' since September 2012.  This was the time that my father was taken seriously ill from a longstanding condition and meant that Roger and I were living partly at home and partly in Pembrokeshire, 200 miles away.   In February 2013 my father died and we still continued to be living here and there whilst we cleared out his house.  Doing all the official bits and clearing the house kept me really busy and so I could get away with not thinking about deep stuff.  Those that know me, know that I think a lot - some would say too much!  I tend to think about stuff rather than share it with people - after all other people have far worse problems than I have!

Brené spoke about numbing as closing down those emotions you don't want to experience by using something else.  It could be food, alcohol, drugs, shopping or in my case - too much time on Facebook.

She also mentioned that you can't choose which emotions to ignore - it's all or nothing.  So in blocking out the negative emotions you also block out the positive ones like joy.

I had realised before the Brené Brown course that I was suffering from depression.  Not the 'I'm a bit down, well a lot down', but the real thing - I have suffered from clinical depression before and have usually noticed if it was creeping up on me again and taken avoiding action.  But this time it settled on me and I struggled to take part in anything, especially my own life!

As I worked through the stuff on numbing I realised that the closing down began in 2006 when I didn't deal with the empty nest syndrome or the death of my mother in 2007.  One of the things that Brené mentioned was that grief was the absence of normal.   Since January 2006 various things have happened - some sad, some happy - but each of them has changed my normal.  Roger retired in February 2012 and another season of our lives started.  What I hadn't recognised was that each time my 'normal' had changed I hadn't acknowledged it and so by last September all the changes that I hadn't dealt with hit me.

And that's when the a-ha moment dawned and my word for 2014 came to me. PARTICIPATE.  I am going to participate in life and although the things that I want to bring into my life are the same things I was trying to RESTORE in 2011, I feel more hopeful of success.

Just as I found my word I found the Documented Life Project and thought that would be just the thing to record my participation in life.  So I am amalgamating my One Little Word journaling with my Documented Life Planner.

I also found a free study of Psalms through the year which I am also including in the planner.

And this page ready for the week just gone.

I am making more effort to get out of the house, to connect with people in real life as well as online.  To be able to keep this journal going I have to actually live and take notice of the living.  And so far I am doing well.  There are far less down times than there were before Christmas.  And I am recognising again when the down time is coming so that I can take appropriate action.  I have learned not to commit myself to things that will cause me stress until such time as I feel strong again.

And during all this time I have had the support of a wonderful husband, fabulous family and great friends.  Thanks to you all.

Thanks for reading through to the end.

Monday 13 January 2014

Mapping 2014 Artfully

I love maps.  Jill Berry put a call out for arty cartophiles to take part in a blog hop and how could I not take part.

At the time I was thinking about choosing my one word for 2014 which as you know is PARTICIPATE.  So of course I'm going to map my 2014 and participate in the blog hop.

First of all, I taped down some lining wallpaper and used gesso, grunge paste and puff paint through various map stencils.

I used diluted PaperArtsy Fresco Finish acrylic paint in two colours over the stencilling.

When they were dry I cut them up.

This year I am doing a couple of quilting courses and knew that I wanted to piece the stencilled pieces together and add some stitching or faux stitching.   I had a canvas that I had used on a course a few years ago which I have never liked and decided I would use this as the base for my map.

I glued an old map onto the canvas.  I glued down the stencilled pieces and various images to do with the creative courses I am signed up for in 2014, plus the challenge blog I will be running.

I added some tissue tape months of the year and some other washi tape.  I stamped the date, the paint brushes and the compass with Archival Ink.

I added the word Participate.  At this point it still looked like a collage rather than a map.  I asked for some advice from Carolyn and Mary.

I used 2 different narrow washi tapes around the edge of the canvas to look like the edges of a map.  I added some faux cross stitch and some faux double running stitch to look like tracks.  I stamped words on to identify the areas I will be travelling to.

To see how other people interpreted the challenge go to the master list and hop from there.

Thank you for stopping by