Saturday, January 31, 2015

DLP Week 4: How a Page Can Take Over...

This week on Art to the 5th's Documented Life Project, the Art Challenge was 'Writing' and the journal Prompt was 'Words with Friends'. I always start my spread by setting up the journalling boxes along the right side of the spread so that I can 'document' my life for the week even as I work through the process of creating the art on the rest of the page. That way there is no pressure to hurry the art along and theoretically even if I don't finish it during the week I can always come back to it without falling behind on the actually recording of my dailies.
Because of the challenges, I pulled out washi tape that was postage related or 'writing like' and then put some actual postage stamps to use.

I have several stamps that contain various kinds of scripts so I were used to get me started filling the blank white pages.
Using two different blues and a purple pen-all I wrote 'letters' to friends, family and even myself in the spaces left by the stamps. I quickly began to overlap the script areas and stamped script in all different directions.
 I then adhered some bits of collected paper: part of an envelope in which a letter was sent to me by a friend, a little gift card envelope and a beautiful little tree. The diamond shapes were cut from a paper napkin (I take the layers apart and only use the top, printed layer).
A bit of black was added in the form of some bold black circles. These were inspired by some art I saw in a display window of a clothing store in a mall.

At this stage I started adding layers of paint, doodles and collaged elements and words. It's during this process that the page kind of took over and went from being all about letters to being more about books and words.

Because of one of my dailies, in which I wrote about the 'puppy pants'* I made using a pattern I found on this wonderful site called Mimi & Tara: Dog Clothes Patterns, I made a tag that includes a couple of pictures of Yoshi modelling her fancy pants. The tag is tucked into the little gift card envelope.
*(Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides breeds their own puppies, and since the females in Yoshi's litter are being considered for the breeding program, they are all being kept in tact until after they are brought back to the training school. As such, she may go into heat while she is still with me.) 


Thursday, January 22, 2015

DLP Week 3: My Favourite So Far!


The Documented Life Project challenge for this week is to use the colour wheel and a particular quote of Georgia O'Keeffe.

I decided to use some acrylic ink since I only had the three primary colours and I wanted to restrict myself to those and let them mix to create other colours. I liberally painted them onto the spread with a brush.



Then I covered the page with plastic kitchen wrap and allowed it to dry for a while.

Ironically, while I was waiting for it to dry I decided to watch the the most recent episode of DMTV with Laura and Linda Kemshall. Linda was working on a journal page and I couldn't believe it, but she was using this kitchen wrap technique! Great minds!!! Having said that, she was doing some really incredible work with leaves from her garden...something I'll certainly play with at some point!
Anyway, back to my piece. Once the plastic wrap is removed you're left with a really wonderful random texture of wrinkle lines!

I added additional layers using various sizes of bubble wrap and white gesso. I seem to go back to this a lot...it's so easy and gives you those wonderful circles...definitely one of my 'go to' techniques for adding layers and texture.
I pulled out some of my Gelli print papers and made the flowers. The stems were drawn in using my white Signo pen and a permanent black pen.

Using a Terri Stegmiller stencil I added the grid lines for the quote. To soften the lines, I doodled little circles using the white pen, rather than drawing solid lines.
The text was added with a black pen, following the shapes of the grid lines and then highlighted with the white pen.

And here's the finished page:



Tuesday, January 20, 2015

DLP Week 1 1/2: Laying Down the Layers

It turns out the post for the first week of DLP was intended for the first 10 days of the year. They knew we'd be anxious to get started on January 1st but didn't post again until the 10th. Well, the way I organized my journal, I've got a week in between because I started my first week with only three days, so here is my Week 1 1/2 as it develops, layer by layer:










Tuesday, January 13, 2015

DLP Week 2 Is Finished...

The art challenge for week two of DLP was to use gesso and the journal prompt was the quote "The beginning is always today" by Mary Shelley.

As is so often the case, I got busy having fun and forgot that I wanted to capture pictures of the process for those of you who requested seeing them.  This first image has several layers of found papers, pretty napkins (serviettes...or whatever you call them), and paint, applied with my fingers.

I then used a fun spiral stencil and dabbed on white gesso with a make-up sponge.





More paint was added to soften the contrast and then I added some subtle finger painted circles.

 Using a couple of different sizes of paint brushes I added more circles. I also traced along some of those wonderful spiral shapes with a black marker and added black dots to create a bit of a swirly border for the page.
More circles...
Haha...more circles in the form of bubble wrap...
And finally, some big bold text.  I chose to use a different quote with a similar theme.

I added some more white, using my favourite white pen (Signo) to highlight the text and I'm calling it done.

It's pretty busy, but I love all the layers.

Friday, January 9, 2015

A Rough Drawing Becomes An Incredible Piece...

A while back, in this post, among other things I shared some rough drawings I did for an idea I had for a piece of furniture that would help me get a little more organized.

The idea was to have a "puppy unit" that would hold all of the things I need close at hand for my Dog Guide foster puppies.

My husband, a retired elementary school principal, is a self taught and very talented woodworker. You can see some of his work here and here. Bill likes to have a winter project, so I gave him my drawings and asked if he might be interested in making it for me over the next few months. He asked me to draw some more detailed scale drawings and then he was off and running. But instead of taking his time, he was determined to finish it in time for Christmas!

Yoshi and her sister Yona (visiting for a few weeks) are sitting pretty, showing off the new unit!



Obviously I need to reorganize this drawer, but I just quickly shoved everything in because my whole family was coming over for our traditional Christmas Eve festivities (a German tradition) in about an hour when this was put into place in the kitchen!

It's hard to see in the photo, but the red food bin is on a sliding shelf so that it can be pulled out for easy access. On the shelf above I keep the extra treats, clean, dry dog towels, etc.

And of course all of the toys are contained in the open bin which is easily accessible to the puppies so they can help themselves.

On the side of the unit is a towel bar to hang a wet towel after it's been used to dry off a wet dog or wipe paws.






Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Inside Cover...Done!

Just a very quick post today...

I just want to show you the inside cover I've done for my Documented Life Project art journal for this year.  The beautiful dragonflies were given to me by my friend Sandra Spagnuolo and I've been hanging on to them for way too long...it was time to use them in a way that would allow me to see them and enjoy them!


Saturday, January 3, 2015

DLP 2015...The Fun Has Begun!

As you know, I don't seem to be in the right mind set these days for my fibre art, but I have been looking forward to the New Year and the start of the Art to the 5th Academy's Documented Life Project 2015!

I have done various forms of art journalling and calendars over the years, and I really like the idea of journalling about the highlights of my day. Whether big or small, I find there is always something good on which to focus.  For example, although yesterday I was feeling terrible and spend the day on the couch due to a nasty cold and sore throat, Yoshi and Yona, my foster pup and her sister, kept coming to check on me and make sure I was okay. They knew something was off and stayed close all day!  

Since I keep my planner on my iPhone in the form of the calendar there which gives me reminders, etc. to keep me organized, this journal will be more of a diary of sorts.

It's not too late to join the fun, and best of all it's FREE!

This week's challenge was to use book paper, so after sectioning off my weekly calendar area with washi tape, on the right, I started gluing down book paper, paper bag bits, a piece of altered sheet music and even the yellow tissue hat out of a Christmas cracker.





Then I got carried away with acrylic paint, scraping it on with an old credit card, using netting and bubble wrap to print, making swirls with a paint pen and even using a small paint brush (I know...how crazy is that!).








I love that the book paper and sheet music still shows through the paint, adding to the wonderful layers.











Next, I pulled out my white pen and started doodling to add some detail to the big flower petals and other areas on the page.
I thought I was done, but after letting it sit for a day I decided to add a quote using more book paper and some rub on letters I had in my stash.  I did have to add a few letters with a black marker because some of the most often used letters were all gone from the sheet.









The best things
in life aren't things









And here's the finished page:





Sunday, December 28, 2014

Free or Inexpensive Online Classes...

As the year draws to a close, I've been reflecting on the wonderfully full and very busy life that I am enjoying! Family life is fabulous, and my volunteer work with my future dog guide foster puppies is always a source of fun and fulfillment.

Before I share some images you may enjoy, I want to bring your attention to a list of inexpensive, or better yet, free online classes that a fellow blogger, Lynette Collis, has on her blog. Some require registration by December 31st, so don't delay in checking it out!

But, before you go, here are a couple of adorable pictures I took recently of Yoshi and some of her future dog guide puppy friends:

(bottom - top) Rondi, 8 wks; Pallas, 9 wks; Kermit, 4.5 mths; and Yoshi 7.5 mths.

Mom, PLLLEEEEAAAAAASSSSSSSSEEEEEE can I keep them?



Monday, December 22, 2014

Festive Fun...

I've been purging extra 'stuff' in my studio and I came across these little tags I made months ago...little extras that came out of something else I was working on...so I decided to put little bits of decorative yarn on them and write a quick little holiday greeting on the back.

I've had a lot of fun handing them to random strangers as I've been out and about with Yoshi, running errands.








Yoshi and I wish you happy holidays during this wonderfully festive time of year. 

Be good to yourself and thanks for taking the time to pop in!

Hugs,