Friday, September 28, 2012

Bead Journal Project: September

Don't you just love the colour palette Vicki came up with this month?!  I found it really easy to get inspired to work on my BJP piece for September because these colours are right up my ally.
 The 'journal' aspect of the piece was calling out  loud and clear to me this month as well.  September is about new starts for those of us in teaching, but for me, since I'm still not back to work it's a struggle between accepting me as I currently am and fighting with the knowledge that the summer is over and I 'should' be back at work.

I know I'm supposed to avoid the 'should' word, but I find myself going around in circles, trying to come to grips with accepting myself and at the same time working to heal. Big circles, little circles, randomly scattered all over...sigh...

Below you can see the entire year to date.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Text on Quilts: Techniques for Adding Words on Quilts

I'm excited to announce that my piece, Play, is in Interweave's book Text on Quilts: Techniques for Adding Words to Quilts.  The best news is that it's on sale for only $6.96 and available for immediate download!

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Beauty of Aging...

I had a lot of fun creating this digital journal page.  I tried something different with one of Kim Klassen's textures.  Instead of just using it over the photo images to enhance them (which I did by using 2 layers on each image, the first at soft light 100% and the second at screen 25%), I also decided to use it as my background 'page' for the collage.  The texture, called Autumn Burst, was the perfect choice because of the journal page holes along the left edge.  It also had the perfect colour for the warm Autumn look I was going for.

The three images were all taken in my garden last fall. I love the look of the black 'balls' left after the Black Eyed Susan's loose their petals and find them especially attractive poking out of the snow during the winter.

My favourite shot is of the wonderful skeletonized (new word?) Chinese Lantern.  It's incredible to see that perfectly round orange berry encased inside the delicate cage left after the orange skin comes off of the lantern.

I also really like the shape shape of the seed pods left after the Columbine flowers have died away.  Again, they add some interesting interest when poking out of the snow in the winter.  In the background of this last shot you can see the beautiful deep pink of our Sedum.  The Columbine's self seed very effectively and seem to pop up in the most unusual places, like right in the middle of other plants.  This can result in some confusion for folks who are not familiar with gardening since you get Columbine flowers blooming out of some odd foliage.  LOL

This photo is being linked to Photo Show OffTexture TuesdaySweet Shot TuesdayOur World TuesdayThis or That ThursdaysPhoto Art FridayShoot, Edit, SubmitFabulous FridayFlower Art Friday and Photo Friday Link Party.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

An Up and Coming Photographer

 I have a young 15 year old friend who is becoming quite a photographer.  His name is Jake Woodill, and he has an incredible eye for composition, as well as the patience that a good wildlife photographer needs.

Jake loves the outdoors and he will spend hours out in a kayak with his little point and shoot camera, waiting for the opportunity to shoot the perfect image of a mink along the shore, a beaver up on top of it's lodge, or these beautiful dragonflies.  It would be interesting to see what this young man could do with some sophisticated camera equipment!

I have begun a tradition of making a hardcover photo book of all of the images I have taken at the cottage for the season and I am thrilled that this year I will be able to include a page of some of Jake's work in the 2012 edition!

Thanks Jake for sharing your talent and wonderful images with me!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Acceptance in Seven Words

Bonnie at Pixel Dust Photo Art posed a fun challenge for Photo Art Friday this week:

this week you can use the prompt to compose a seven word sentence that describes your life or experience or process as an artist (be it a photographer, painter, mixed media artist, digital artist, whatever...) and marry your sentence to a piece of photo art that somehow illustrates your sentence.

This photo collage is being linked to Photo Show OffTexture TuesdaySweet Shot TuesdayOur World TuesdayThis or That ThursdaysPhoto Art Friday, Shoot, Edit, SubmitFabulous Friday and Photo Friday Link Party.

Seven Word Sentences...

Bonnie at Pixel Dust Photo Art posed a fun challenge for Photo Art Friday this week:

this week you can use the prompt to compose a seven word sentence that describes your life or experience or process as an artist (be it a photographer, painter, mixed media artist, digital artist, whatever...) and marry your sentence to a piece of photo art that somehow illustrates your sentence.

I've used part of that challenge to play with a photo that was emailed to me yesterday.  Unfortunately, I don't know who took this wonderful shot (as is so often the case with the photos that get emailed around), but I just had to share it with you.

I am working on completing her challenge in its true spirit, but that's not finished yet. I'll share it when it's done...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

More Faux Tie-dye and Journals

Sadly some sort of a computer glitch has caused all of the images in this post to disappear, and I am unable to correct the problem.  Sorry!
The other day I shared a fun little tutorial about faux tie-dying and I showed you some of the journals I made using my little 'masterpieces'.  Well, yesterday I got the Sharpies out again and I did some more tie-dye circles.  This time I tried using various two and three colour spirals and some other shape and design ideas.  As I suggested in the other post, I recommend that you just experiment and have fun.  I was quite surprised by some of the results.

 I again used some of the circles I made, along with my hand-dyed fabrics to make some more journals.  On this one I used a piece of green ribbon to create a line and then decided to add some thread sketching to turn the circle into a flower.
This journal has wide strips of hand-dyed cheese cloth woven loosely over a plain blue background.  I love how the cheese cloth allows you to see through to the other colour.  Three random tie-dye circles were stitched over top to add a bit more interest.
On this journal I used a piece of accent fabric that I created while doing some surface design (click here to see that post).  I used a couple of pieces of coordinating ribbon and then had fun with some free motion quilting using variegated thread.  I used narrow horizontal zigzag quilting along the right side of the journal cover and then switched to a much longer vertical zigzag to cover the rest of the journal cover, front and back.  I had planned to add a tie-dye circle somewhere on this journal, but once I had this much done I decided to leave it as it was.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Sharpie Faux Tie-dye Tutorial and More Journal Covers

Sadly some sort of a computer glitch has caused all of the images in this post to disappear, and I am unable to correct the problem.  Sorry!

I'd like to share with you a fun faux tie-dying tutorial using Sharpie markers.  You can use this method with t-shirts as indicated on the Sharpie website, but today I'd like to show you another fun use of this method, using cotton fabric (rather than t-shirt jersey).

You'll also need a drinking glass and a straw or eye-dropper.

Step 1:  Cut the cotton up into small squares, slightly larger than the opening of your drinking glass.

Step 2:  Lay a piece of the cotton onto the top of the glass.  You can secure this with an elastic band if you wish, but it's not necessary.

Step 3:  Using a Sharpie marker, draw a few dots in a circular pattern (see first left photo below).

Step 4:  Using another colour of marker, add dots between the first (as illustrated, these can be outside the original circle)

Step 5:  Using the straw or eye-dropper, slowly drip rubbing alcohol, one drop at a time, into the centre of your dots (see photos 2-4 above).  As the alcohol spreads, it causes the marker to bleed and spread.  Stop once you have the look and size you like.

Below I have used a secondary circle of dots outside of the first.  As you can see, once the alcohol reaches this secondary series of dots they too start to bleed and add to the design.

Have fun experimenting with a variety of colour combinations and be ready for some interesting surprises.  The purple in these photos was actually made with the black marker!  Keep in mind that you don't have to limit yourself to circles.  Play and see what happens!
After letting them air dry, I cut the circles out using scissors.  I don't worry about perfectly round circles...I like the more organic look I get when they're a little 'wonky'.

Once I had all of my circles ready, I pulled out some of my hand-dyed fabrics, including cheese cloth, and I made some more journal covers.  

On this journal, I've played with various decorative stitches that my sewing machine is capable of, creating a bit of a grid pattern.

For this one, I started by echo quilting around the 'tie-dyed' circles.  After a few rounds of that, I switched to straight lines of stitches, going horizontally on the bottom half of the journal cover and then doing vertical lines on the top half.

I used hand-dyed cheese cloth on this cover, securing it with a zigzag stitch.  I then added more zigzag stitches to create the subtle lines that echo the shape of the orange cheese cloth.  The circles are secured using more zigzag stitching.

And here's the collection of all three of the new journals.  Thanks so much for visiting today!  If you try this, I'd love to see your creations.  Leave a comment with a link to your blog or Flicker photos so I can see what you come up with!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

My Friend Jack

I'd like to introduce you to my little buddy, 'Outback Jack'.  He got his name because he lives outback, behind the cottage. :o)  I have been feeding Jack peanuts all summer, and unlike Tim, the timid chipmunk (naming these little guys is a little obvious LOL), Jack has become very comfortable about sitting on my lap and visiting.  He allows me to stroke him while he takes peanuts from my hand, and sometimes he lingers and just enjoys the attention.

Yesterday while sitting out on the deck Jack, came for a visit.  Unfortunately, I had no peanuts left, but I did have my iPhone so while Jack enjoyed a back rub, I decided to catch the moment on film. 
 I hope you enjoy this short video clip of Jack getting his back rub!

Today's post is being linked to Photo Show OffTexture TuesdaySweet Shot TuesdayOur World TuesdayThis or That Thursdays, Shoot, Edit, SubmitFabulous Friday and Photo Friday Link Party.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Bead Journal Project: Update of Progress to Date

I'm home this evening, getting ready to help our son move into his apartment tomorrow.  He's starting graduate school in the law program at University of Toronto next week.  I can't believe he's already finished his undergraduate degree!  Where does the time go?

He's busy with his last minute packing, so, as promised I'm back to show you the July and August pieces, properly photographed on the black background and then again with the rest of the pieces done so far, so that you can see how the year long project is progressing.

January - August
  I can't believe how the time has flown.  Only four months left to go!

Bead Journal Project: August

I'm happy to say that I'm all caught up.  I finished my August bead journal project piece last night and I'm ready to jump into September!

Here's the August colour palette that Vicki created:

And here is my BJP piece:

And here's the growing spiral: