Sunday, March 25, 2012

Another lucky market find

Another shopping morning at the iconic Camberwell market in Melbourne with my vintage obsessed 15 yr old daughter. So much groovy clothing, most of which she is a bit young for and a whole heap of junk (to put it bluntly). I kept thinking, give me someone selling paper or something I can use. There were lots of old sewing pattern packs but I have a few which will last me a while.
All of a sudden, I see a middle aged man selling girly junky toys and stationery items, many with a printed vintage paper doll design. Notebooks, bookmarks, pencil cases etc. I got the distinct impression that he didn't really understand what he was selling ;)
My daughter bought a mouse-pad and the man gave her a bonus bookmark (I think he thought she was cute).
Anyway, among all that, a treasure for me! Woohoo!

Apologies for the quality of the photo (taken with my mobile phone).
I didn't bother asking the man if they were new (look pretty good condition) If anyone knows anything about these ie. are they just antique-style???, I would love some info.
It wasn't much cheaper than I would find at a scrapbooking store but it looks old...and I liked the font...and I don't have a lower case small alphabet set. I'm happy :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Postcards are ready to go!

Well my postcards for iHanna's DIY Postcard Swap are ready to be mailed tomorrow. I am sending cards to Canada, Slovenia, UK, Sweden and USA. Very exciting. Looking forward to checking my mailbox in the next week or so and to see what I get.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Postcard Swap

I am thrilled to have taken the plunge to participate in iHanna's Postcard Swap We were to make 10 postcards in any style to send to 10 people around the world. I am so excited to have finished my cards this afternoon! Now just waiting for my addresses.
I haven't blogged about my process until I finished and could show the steps I took to get to the end. So ...I started with hand-cutting hearts from my art paper (papers painted with any left over paint I have on my paint pallet, usually spread with a credit card) 

This is the first art swap I have participated in and feeling sentimental as I started thinking of the creative women around the world that I would be exchanging with, I felt that I wanted to send a message of love. I had a vague idea of using a heart as a focal image and putting it on a shabby chic style background.
 Here just loosely threw them on to see the proportion to the card and to work out the positioning of the hearts.
 Collaged backgrounds with book pages, music paper, sewing paper tissue and serviettes.
 Then I gave them a peach-coloured wash.
 At this stage, I dry brushed some white paint to blend the background in further and stencilled a lace pattern...with...wait for it.....decorative cupcake wraps! My friend brought me a few from a wedding she attended knowing enough of my mixed-media "madness" to realise how much I would appreciate it ;) Then glued on the hearts.
 I then flicked some cream acrylic paint from a paint-brush. Loved the effect, even if it looked a bit like snow :)
 My finished cards! To finish off, I doodled around the hearts, put my favourite quote on and shaded around it with pencil.
Here are some close ups:

Finally I stuck on some postcard backs that iHanna provided for us. Even though I will be sending them in envelopes to protect them, I glued on some used stamps for that authentic postal look and to give a symbolic gift of my country. There will also be a personal message on each card.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

52 Playdates: week 1

As part of my commitment to myself to make time for art this year, I have joined year-long art play at Jan is guiding the group with weekly prompts and techniques. I am really behind but will soldier on! This is my exercise from week 1: Blending technique for collage. I loved this technique. Got to use pastels for the first time. They were surprisingly fun to use and using them with gesso in this way I did not find them to be messy at all. Didn't even need to use the sealing spray that I bought.

I have dedicated my long-desired treasure to this project - my first Moleskine (watercolour) that my hubby gave me for my recent birthday. Still not sure how far I will go beyond the technique of the week ie. whether to keep it to the technique only or complete a journal page with the weekly technique as a foundation....Yes I think too much ;) Promised myself I will go with the flow and not set any rigid rules.
For this week's exercise, I was focused on picking a magazine image of a suitable size (big enough to be a focal point on an A4 page) and for it to be suitable for extending the background. Having found an image, I was looking through my file of magazine words, with no clue as to what 'she' was going to be about. Again, I was mainly looking for colour and font style. Lo and behold! Art journal magic, yet again. Perfect words for the situation. A new start, an opportunity for play for a new year.
I did some light journalling to complete the page, not wanting to obscure the technique for myself. The answer to the question above re: how far to take the page? For this week, it's somewhere in between ;)

A Birthday Canvas

Well it seems I'm quite obsessed with Canvasses lately. Have been doing very little art since the start of the year and choosing canvases rather than art journalling when I do. The only time my 2 current art journals have been getting attention is when I have laid down some background colour from anything I have remaining on the pallet from painting canvases ;)

It was my little sister's birthday recently so I decided to make a personal gift from the heart rather than buying yet more 'stuff'. We have had many deep conversations lately which reminded me of the how special our relationship is. Even though we have 10 years' age difference, we are very close spiritually and for all our differences, understand each other like no-one else can. I had a strong need to give a message of love to her.

A very interesting thing happened....because she is a red/pink person and I am so not (I relate to a cool colour scheme of purple/green/blue the most) and because it was an intimate gift from the heart, I got a creative block! It took me weeks to complete. I knew I wanted to do a red/turquoise combo and for it to have a strong modern look. It started out as a faded vintage canvas with turquiose dominant. It kept evolving. I ended up giving it a red wash at the end which unified the patchy look that I wasn't happy with and turned it into a very strong red canvas. I am very happy with the hand-torn flowers which I made out of my own 'art paper'. I glued them in the middle only for a dimensional look.

The thing that made me most happy was that after I finished it, I noticed a typical art-journalling serendipity (art-journal magic moment which happens so often) The semi-hidden circle in the top right corner is of a similar style to my flowers (which I 'invented' on the spot ie. had no idea how they would turn out and certainly did not plan for the little sticker centres which ended up matching the scrap-booking paper I used in the background scraps) Gotta love that! :)