Friday, 28 June 2013

Joining the dots

A little while ago I joined in the Happy Mail Swap on Artists in Blogland. About a week ago I received a lovely parcel of bits and pieces from Katie Romo. The background for this page contains lots of fragments from that package. 

I found myself drawn to circles again - it just sort of happens :) This led to thinking about joining the dots. How do I join the dots in my life, the different things that I do? How do they fit together as a whole? How can I be everything I'm supposed to be and use all the gifts and skills I've been given to the best end?

Still pondering...

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Summer of Colour Week 3

This week's yummy combination is purple and lime green! To join in the fun and see what everyone else has created in this colour scheme, click the Summer of Colour 3 button in the sidebar. 

I had a bunch of gelli prints in the right colours so I cut them into bricks and built a wall on the page. That set me thinking about building and how we need to build on a solid foundation. I have recently revisited Marcus Buckingham's The Truth About You which talks about building on your strengths rather than concentrating on improving in your areas of weakness. 

It makes sense. 

You don't erect a building on shifting sand - you find the solid rock to give you a firm foundation. The wise man builds his house on the rock. It's the same with life. We need to build on those areas that are strong. Our strengths are the gifts we've been given to to contribute to the world. 

What are yours? And what are you doing about building on them?

Monday, 24 June 2013

Journal Fodder 365 - Prompt #5

This week's prompt was 'Random Words'. The idea was to pick a word at random from a dictionary (or any book, really) and then journal it. 

As you can see, my word was scarab. It seemed to go well with the splotched background that happened to be on the next page of my Journal Fodder journal. I enjoyed using a little gold foil to bring out the shininess that beetles sometimes have. 

The different colours within the title were completely by accident. I was using an acrylic ink and the way it reacted with the paper made the different shades. At first it was an 'oops' but in the end I liked the effect. 

The scarab beetle is a type of dung beetle. And  yet it was also used in jewellery by the Egyptians. Some species are particularly beautiful with incredibly shiny carapaces. 

Sometimes being forced to use a random word can make you think differently about how you put pages together. Give it a try!

Friday, 21 June 2013

A busy week

It's been a busy week with lots of exciting new things going on - 50 hand-made invitations with moving parts, preparation for a women's retreat tomorrow, entering a poetry competition, and writing an expression of interest for an art competition using retired library books. 

And then there was this:

This was what my floor looked like on Monday morning. Have I caved in and spent an exorbitant amount on having a Gelli-plate shipped in from the United States? 
No. I made my own!

I've done printing on a gelatine plate before but they only last for a few days and have to be kept in the fridge. But on my trawling trip through some journal page videos I found a blog post on how to make your own gelli-plate with chemicals you can buy at the pharmacy. 

Well, of course, I had to try it out. And it's simple and works beautifully! If the surface becomes damaged you can even melt it back down and re-pour. So thank you, frugal crafter

Here's the recipe:
Mix 250ml rubbing alcohol with 125ml glycerin.
Add 6tbsp powdered gelatine and stir.
Add 375ml boiling water and stir well. 
Pour into a shallow pan and leave to set.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Summer of Colour Week 2

I've had a lovely (and exhausting!) time visiting everyone who joined in with Summer of Colour last week. Wasn't able to comment on every post, but be assured I did come to visit. If you want to join in the fun, click on the Summer of Colour 3 button in the sidebar.

This week the yummy colour scheme is hot pink and orange, which immediately took me back to the seventies, my pre-teenage years. The word that popped into my head was 'groovy' which immediately took me to the Simon and Garfunkel song. As I was taken to a song last week, too, I thought I'd keep up with the emerging theme. We'll see if it holds up next week...

Anyway, here's a close-up of the spray work, done with a spray diffuser. It can leave you a little light-headed if you're too enthusiastic :)

After chewing over the problem with the upside-down video last week, entertaining various Heath Robinson contraptions using plumber's pipe, chemistry set retort-stands, and the like, my husband came up with the simple solution of a microphone stand. Perfect! So here is video for this week. Next time I'll lift the camera a little to bring in the very edges of the page. Eventually I'll get there.


Monday, 17 June 2013

Journal Fodder 365 - Prompt #4

One month in - prompt #4 is 'Personal Mythologies'

The idea is to think about what stories you tell yourself again and again, whether true or not. The self-talk that we all have going on in our head. 

After I'd thought about this for a while I found myself thinking about a lie I believed about myself for a long time - I always felt that I was anti-social until I read a book about introverts. Now I know that it isn't that I'm anti-social, just that socialising is a draining activity for me. As a child I always felt different because I didn't like parties. In fact, when I was made to go to parties I would sit on the stairs and read a book while the other children played party games. 

Now I know more about my temperament I can uproot what grew from those lies. New growth is coming from the truth.

Friday, 14 June 2013


Isn't it amazing how, once a decision is made, your mind suddenly becomes clearer? 
From all the chaotic thoughts order and peace emerge. 
You can see a way forward. 

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Summer of Colour Week 1

The Summer of Colour is back! (See the button in the sidebar under I link up at...) The colour prompt for this week is turquoise and citron green. Hop on over there to join in the fun.

I'm doubly excited because my husband bought a new toy which he has let me play with. Here it is:

This is a time-lapse camera, so if all goes well, there will be a little video below of how I made this page to answer the prompt.

Once I'd put the colours on the page they looked like grass and sky and just reminded me of the summer (although summer here tends to be more brown than green, but my English roots still tell me that green is a summer colour :))

And here are some close-ups of the sunflower stamp which I had made from my own drawing:

And here's the time-lapse video. Next time I'll remember to turn the page round at the end!

Monday, 10 June 2013

Journal Fodder 365 - prompt #3

Prompt #3 is Roads Taken and Not Taken

As I worked at this I found a disinclination to think about the roads I didn't take. Not really that I didn't want to contemplate them, but that I feel it is a complete waste of time to think of 'might-have-beens'. I would rather spend the time deciding which path I need to take next and putting the energy into making the right decision. 

Of course, when I look back I can see places where major decisions were made such as getting married, my husband going forward for the priesthood, moving to the other side of the world. They all contribute to the person I have become and I wouldn't make any changes. 

What's the point in dreaming about the past, which can't be changed, when you can dream about the future and then make it so?

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Bookbinding without stitching

I thought today I'd share a new technique I learned for making a book swiftly and without stitching. It's called crown binding and I found out about it in 100+ Bindings by Alisa Golden. 
I'm aware there are a lot of photos here but I wanted to catalogue each step.

First of all, cut a piece of thick paper or thin card 20cm x 19cm. Orient it so that that the width is 20cm.

Fold it in half and open out again.

Fold in the edges to the centre fold and open out again.

Fold each section in half again so that you have an accordion with eight sections.

Fold the accordion up and fold the corners of the single layer on the top down to the fold to make triangles.

Open out the first layer and fold the next double layer down at the ends to make triangles. Fold them back the other way as well. 

Do the same for each layer and then open out. There will be triangles of folds top and bottom.

  Push each of the triangles back so that it folds down away from you. Do the same top and bottom.

Fold the whole piece back into the accordion.

Open out the first 'page' and fold in the top and bottom triangles.

Turn the page and fold in the triangles top and bottom. Repeat for each page.

Now you have a spine for the book. 

To place the pages (they need to be 13.8cm x twice the width of page you require), open the first section of the spine and open out the triangles. Align the fold in the page with the fold in the spine. 

Fold the triangles back down to hold the page in place. Do the same for each of the pages. This number of folds in the accordion will hold four folded pages. 

And there is your finished book!

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Art Journal Journey - Home

Art Journal Journey's theme for this month is Home. (Click the button in the sidebar to see how everyone else has translated this theme)

For me, home is more about a feeling than an actual place.

It is the place of refuge from the world.
The place of comfort.
The place where my heart is.
The place of safety.
The place of warmth.
The place where my loved ones are.

Home is in my heart.