Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Top Three Posts

Blogger counts each time a post has been viewed and of my 80 posts, the Eco Bundling - OMG post has received the most by far - 102 views and climbing. This post has been viewed almost every day since I posted it! My post Papermaking Adventures: Water Retting is second with 87 views and Experimental Printmaking I (carving into Masonite) is third with 81 views. In general, most other posts get anywhere from 6 to 35 views. I suppose these three topics have very little written about them although India Flint and her eco-bundling technique is getting more popular every day. She has spent much time traveling and conducting workshops and posts on her blog regularly. The popularity of the technique has folks searching for more, I suppose.

To those who have searched for information on these topics, please leave a comment and let me know if you found what I wrote to be helpful and share something about your own experiments and experiences. Thanks!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

An Attitude of Gratitude Journal - Music

Continuing along with the month long Attitude of Gratitude Journal challenge, here is Day 15:

 Oh, I love music!! It is a great passion! It is a huge part of my life and something I am drawn to and soothed and encouraged by as much as I am by nature and the natural world. I was raised on music and listen to it very often still today. When I was a teenager I wanted to be a rock star, but the fact that I could not carry a tune, play an instrument or feel comfortable in the limelight stood in the way! I still play air guitar and sing into my fist microphone when alone and enjoy my imaginary audience!

Yes, Music is today's theme. The technique challenge is to use a sheet of music on the journal page. Here is what I did.

                                                     Music was my first love
                                                     and it will be my last.
                                                     Music of the future
                                                     and music of the past.
                                                     To live without my music
                                                     would be impossible to do.
                                                     Because in this world of troubles
                                                     My Music pulls me through.
                                                                      John Miles, 1976

This song captivated me when I was 15 years old. The words spoke to my heart and they still do today. I'm sure they will another 36 years from now. I believe it is the first time I heard a combination of rock and classical music together. I love this combination and is one big reason I am a huge fan of the Trans Siberian Orchestra.

 Here is a wonderful live performance of the song:  Music by John Miles

And for fun:
God Gave Rock and Roll To You by Kiss

I Love Music by the O'Jays

Monday, November 26, 2012

An Attitude of Gratitude Journal - Childhood and Memories

Continuing along with the month long Attitude of Gratitude Journal challenge, here are Days 13 and 18:

Days 13 and 18 are similar. Childhood and Memories. Both ask which memories are you most thankful for. Day 18, Memories asks what your earliest memory is. Mine is visiting the 1964/1965 New York Worlds Fair in Flushing Meadow Park. I was either 3 or 4 years old then.

 The technique challenge for Day 13 is to use a tag. A few months ago I came across this photo of me, my brother John and my Grandmother at Rockaway Beach. It was the first day of autumn in 1970 and the weather was forecasted to be in the 90s. My mother said it would be too beautiful a day to be in school and that the only place to be was at the beach. Rockaway was a short drive from our home in Howard Beach. My mom took the photo. My brother Pete is missing. I can't recall if he was in the water or if he decided he wanted to go to school anyway. I printed the photo onto cardstock, cut it into a tag shape, colored loose leaf reinforcements and put over a punched hole. Added some fabric yarn.


The technique challenge for Day 18 is to use packaging in a creative way. I cut strips of a used tyvek envelope which I had colored with various paints, adhered these to the page and wrote on them.

The background was created using some new art supplies: Derwent Inktense color blocks and Niji water brushes. I had fun with these and will be using them OFTEN in all my mixed media work!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Holiday Bazaar in Guilford, CT

I will have packages of handmade paper, journals, small and medium sized framed and unframed prints and collages for sale. Please come by!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

An Attitude of Gratitude Journal - Books, Education and Things I've Learned

Continuing along with the month long Attitude of Gratitude Journal challenge, here are Days 11, 14 and 19:

As I read each day's prompts, I make notes of what comes to mind, then work them out in the journal. Working on a few pages a week, I have the advantage of seeing what themes and technique challenges are coming up. I have noticed that my thoughts for one day can also be applied to another day in a few instances. Because of this, I have decided to combine some days. Here are Days 11, 14 and 19 - Things I've Learned, Education and Books.

The technique challenges for each day are: use the Vaseline resist method; use the liquid pearls technique; and use a book page. I do not currently have Vaseline in the house, so was not able to try this technique. I did watch the video and it looks really cool. I will try it on a future page.

For the page on the left, I added book pages from a tree identification key guide, wrote the scripture and journaled my answers to the questions. I noticed that the blank areas formed triangles. I thought that the black & white checkered tissue paper I have would look good there. I looked for it but could only find a piece that has a thin coat of gesso applied to it. This wasn't bold enough so I drew in the triangles and checker squares and colored them.

On the right I added another book page, from an old Peterson Guide to Birds book I bought at a library book sale. I added the piece of checkered tissue paper to tie it in with the other page. I don't own Liquid Pearls but I do have pearlescent paints, so used this instead. I scraped it over a stencil as demonstrated in the video. I chose to add texture by blotting the paint while wet with a sheet of paper. On this page I wrote about my favorite books and made a list of places where I have taken classes.

I love books and I love learning! Thank you Lord for these treasures.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

An Attitude of Gratitude - My Neighborhood

 Continuing along with the month long Attitude of Gratitude Journal challenge, here is Day 12:

Today's topic is My Neighborhood - what sort of neighborhood it is and what I am most thankful for. The technique challenge was to use or draw a map of my neighborhood. Since I had used a map for Day 2, I chose to use a photo and stencil my zip code. The photo was taken in the Fall of 2010 on a  particularly foggy morning. I tweaked the contrast of the colors a little, the yellows really were like that! I printed it onto store bought mulberry paper, sprayed it with fixative and glued it into the journal.

Here is what I wrote:  Though my zip code would be identified as a suburban neighborhood, my particular area is a little treasure. Thirteen family-owned acres that contain woods, meadows and wetlands, it is such a blessing to live here. So much beauty every day.  I am captivated every morning, noon and night. I am also thankful that several of my husband's relatives are our neighbors.

An Attitude of Gratitude Journal - Emotions

 Continuing along with the month long Attitude of Gratitude Journal challenge, here is Day 10:

Today's theme is emotions. One of the questions: are you an emotional person? Oh, yeah!!!!

I really like the quote for today: "Feelings are much like waves, we can't stop them from coming but we can choose which ones to surf." - Jonatan Martensson

Isn't that so true?! I don't usually interpret quotes literally, but when I read this, I saw the words and emotions following the curves of the waves, so had to put this to paper.

The prompt says we should concentrate on our positive emotions: love, compassion, enthusiasm, joy, happiness, desire, wonder. I had not considered wonder to be an emotion. I always thought it was a quality or character trait. I am often filled with wonder and awe at the natural world and how things in life work out - the connections are so often uncanny and even mind-boggling! For instance, I read this just this past Sunday and it fits so well with today's theme and prompts:

"The loss of mystery has led to the loss of majesty. The more we know, the less we believe.  No wonder there is no wonder. We think we've figured it all out. Strange, don't you think? Knowledge of the workings shouldn't negate wonder. Who has more reason to worship than the astronomer who has seen the stars? Then the surgeon who has held a heart? Than the oceanographer who has pondered the depths?" - Max Lucado, In The Grip of Grace

Here's a peak at my work area. I like the paper that is developing underneath as I use up the excess paint each day. Can you tell I'm left-handed?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

An Attitude of Gratitude Journal - Strengths

Continuing along with the month long Attitude of Gratitude Journal challenge, here is Day 9:

Today's theme is strengths. Questions to answer are:
What do other people think are your strengths?
Do you agree with them?
Which of your strengths are you most thankful for?

The technique challenge is to incorporate fabric on the journal page.

This page was created by writing on a sheet of my handmade marigold dyed cotton paper to which I had embedded, at the sheet-forming stage, three pieces of eco-bundled fabric. I attached it to the journal page with double sided tape.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

An Attitude of Gratitude Journal - Self

Continuing along with the month long Attitude of Gratitude Journal challenge, here is Day 8:

Today's theme is Self. What a huge topic!! I could do a whole journal on what I think of my self - well that is what most of my written journals discuss, isn't it?

The technique challenge was to draw a self portrait or use a photo of yourself on the page and to cut out words from magazines that describe you in positive terms. This part was fun, as it was serendipitous! I went through a garden design and two home decorating magazines and these are the words I found that I thought described me positively. I like the variation of the size and style of fonts.  The self portrait is a painting I created for a Painting I class at Southern CT State University in Fall 2010.

I realize that I have not written about this painting, so am taking the opportunity to do so here. I chose to model my self portrait after the style of the Nabis, a group of French post-Impressionist painters from the turn of the nineteenth century, a topic I was studying at the time in an Art History course. I also chose to incorporate symbolism in the portrait. The print on the wall behind me is my creation, "The Tree of Life". I posted on my blog about creating this print. The first of  3 posts can be found here. The print itself is symbolic, representing a starting point in time and representing nature and the natural world which are very important to me. The pattern to the right of the print is from a silk scarf that belonged to my grandmother. I was struggling with family issues concerning her, and felt strongly that I wanted to represent her, and as an extension, my maternal family, in this painting. The Brugsmansia plant is a composite of one I had growing outdoors. My printmaking professor had given me a cutting of it the winter before. I planted it and it grew to six feet tall and finally bloomed in splendor that autumn. This was included in the painting because I was fascinated with the plant, but it also represented the natural world. I placed it in a pot which I am holding in my hands. This is a representation of receiving a gift, but also of offering a gift. I want to share my love of nature with others through my art, offering them a view from my perspective.

Attitude of Gratitude Journal - Encouragement

Continuing along with the month long Attitude of Gratitude Journal challenge, here is Day 7:

Today's topic is Encouragement and who has and does encourage me. I chose to use a scripture different than the one in this prompt.

The technique challenge was to create and use your own stencil. In June, I had made a stencil from a design on a scrapbook page. (I don't "scrapbook" but I absolutely love many of the papers and packs available, so have a stash!)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude Journal - Social Media and Technology

Continuing along with the month long Attitude of Gratitude Journal challenge, here are Days 5 and 6:

Social Media and Technology are related topics for me so I combined the two themes. Once I read the themes, I knew I wanted to incorporate some of the ephemera related to technology that I have. The technology illustrated in these book pages and postage stamps are antiques to us today. At one time it was the latest technology. It makes me wonder what unknown technology will exist in another 50 to 100 years.

The techniques involved using specific products which I do not own. They are essentially water removable inks in a spray bottle and a water brush. I tried the technique using diluted watercolor paints. Once dry, the paint did not want to lift off the paper. I used the left over paint to dye tissue papers. When these are dry, I will use them on a future journal page.

The book pages, if glued directly to the journal pages, would not have left much room to write. I glued them on to double sided scrapbook paper and then adhered these into the journal as separate pages.

Monday, November 12, 2012

An Attitude of Gratitude Journal Day 4 - Time

Continuing along with the month long Attitude of Gratitude Journal challenge, here is Day 4:

Everything on earth has its own time and its own season. Ecclesiastes 3:1

The prompt was about how we spend our time. The technique challenge was to use a stamp. I used a dried oak leaf.

 Fast or slow, thank you Lord, for allowing me to learn and grow at my own pace.

Friday, November 9, 2012

An Attitude of Gratitude Journal - Creativity

Continuing along with the month long Attitude of Gratitude Journal challenge, here is Day 3:

Today's challenge was to draw freehand with the media of choice. I had some Honesty seedpods on the table, so drew them.

Lunaria annua seedpods

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

An Attitude of Gratitude Journal - Today

Continuing along with the month long Attitude of Gratitude Journal challenge, here is Day 2:

Today's challenge was to use either circles or squares in the design. I love these shapes, so this technique challenge was easy. The daily scripture was more challenging, whoever. Usually one of my favorites:

"This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24

 Why challenging? Because of the aftermath of  Hurricane Sandy. I was thankful to have our electricity restored after being without it for only 2 days and having minimum damage done to our home. But once I watched the tv reports about what happened in the area, my heart sank. How can I rejoice when there is so much devastation? That was the challenge I needed to work out. Having a week to process the reality of this and seeing how well people are coping and how others are volunteering, really encouraged me. I am planning to help out on Sunday and my church is providing needed supplies. So, these are things to rejoice about!


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

An Attitude of Gratitude Journal - Day 1 - Wholeheartedness

Continuing along with the month long Attitude of Gratitude Journal challenge, here is Day 1:

This challenge called for using a color that you don't like. I don't like pink when it is shouting out loud! I do like it in flowers and in a sunset. To tone it down, I added a bit of green with a stencil design and added some hydrangea flowers in the corner. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

An Attitude of Gratitude Journal

On November 1st, I read a post on one of the blogs I follow that Bernice Hopper started An Attitude of Gratitude journal for the month of November. She is blogging about it and has invited others to participate and share their pages as well. I thought this was a great idea! I have planned to get back to working on my visual journals (I have five or so in various stages) and thought participating in this would be a good way to ease back in. Bernice provides the daily prompts, scriptures and quotes, along with a technique video. Those participating interpret the prompts however they like and post the results on their blogs. A Facebook group has also been set up for those participating. I'm not going to get this done in one month's time, but will see it through to completion!

Title Page

I chose to use the birds silhouette for their symbolism. Most recently, I sold three pieces of art which featured this print. For that I am very thankful. 
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