A recent craft magazine article showed some Artist Trading Cards (ATCs, 2½” x 3½”) made of clear acrylic sheet. By decorating the front and back, there was depth added to the whole image. I loved the idea, so got hold of some pre-cut acrylic ATCs from That’s Crafty. All being well, I’ll be cutting my own soon enough on one of my aforementioned machines.
Anyhoo, the makers of the Pick A Stick Challenge FB group (for art journalers) have come up with a new challenge – the Pick A Stick ATC Challenge. Instead of ten prompts, ATC Challenge has just three, but they still have to be done in order. This month, the steps are:
Add tissue tape or masking tape
Use something transparent
What a chance to use a transparent ATC! But that was the last step… what to do? Work out a new technique of course! Continue reading →
Every other Saturday on the Wanderlust 2016 art journaling journey, we are given a prompt for a page in our ‘Wanderlust Book’. This week the prompt was ‘What I really want is…’, and this is my response to it. I thought it would be fun to do a time lapse video of me creating the page, showing the layers and techniques I have used. It’s been a while since I have painted the lettering on a page, and the DecoArt Fluid Acrylic Primary Yellow was a doddle to use, flowing well off the brush and absolutely opaque on application. I think I may have mentioned before how I won’t be working in a wire-o journal again… I need to replan pages to avoid my focal point being in the centre.
On a recent trip to Norfolk, I was lucky enough to get to a very reputable cigar and pipe shop and bought my first Meerschaum pipe. For those not in the know, these are carved from a white mineral, and naturally colour as they bake with successive smokes. They’re not cheap, and to keep them safe, they come in bespoke cases. They’re particularly handy for smoking outdoors as they don’t burn through like wooden ones can when wind keeps the embers constantly alight. Imagine then my horror when on first smoke there was a sudden crack noise, and the bowl left the stem.
It seems that every now and then, there are flaws in the mineral that aren’t obvious, and being quite thin walled, the pipe just gave out. The dealer replaced it with absolutely no fuss and I’m pleased to say the replacement pipe is giving me a great deal of pleasure as I have my downtime.
Long story cut short – I now had a pipe case with no pipe. It was too nice to throw away, but not easy to find another use for. I remember seeing Magritte’s ‘Treachery of Images’ and loving the surrealist observation decided to make my homage. Thanks to a friend who is considerably more knowledgeable about French than I am, I was able to add my own tagline: ‘This is not a pipe either’. I plan to send the canvas to the great guys who dealt with me so helpfully, and hope they (and their customers) enjoy the joke.
[Acrylic on canvas, Liquid Pearls Onyx, found object. 20cm x 20cm]
In fear of being hoist by my own petard, I set to this morning to tackle something that has been building up for quite a while… I’d made a comment yesterday on the Craftwork Cards Fan Page in response to a post about hoarding craft materials: that it was only hoarding if you hadn’t actually used them. And then realised my collection of rubber stamps that hadn’t seen an ink pad was quite extensive #neverbeenused #nbu. So I laid them all out to start planning on using them all at least once… it might take a while: Continue reading →
There seems to be one common theme amongst those attending my art journaling session each month – they don’t like their own handwriting. Or don’t think they can do hand lettering on their pages. Well, they’re in for a shock in September’s session… this is the project! Starting on an acrylic paint background (it wipes clean!) I’ve gridded off the page, free-drawn my letters and then gone mad with the paint and black and white pens. It’s an exercise in drawing and embellishing, and hopefully will give my class a little more confidence to do their own thing on their pages. Or put them off completely. I’ll let you know.
For those that don’t know, I have recurrent depression, with relatively frequent episodes of lows and pretty good recovery in between. You may correctly guess I’m struggling at the moment, based on my art journal reflections today (which are based on my ruminations in the shower this morning). Now, I don’t normally share autobiographical stuff, but the topic of depression is being discussed elsewhere in the crafting world and I felt moved to share my own experiences of this mental (absence of) health issue – the more we talk about mental illness, the less threatening it might be for someone else.
What’s in a word? Recurrent – it’s a cruel word. You don’t hear of people being recurrently happy. Or recurrent joy. Those too can be ‘unending’ but recurrent has it’s root in the Latin to ‘turn back’. And with recurrent depression, it’s like that – only a passive result of chemicals misbehaving rather than a conscious turning from ‘health’. It’s especially cruel, I think, as recovery between makes the downs even more difficult to deal with. Though medication is helping, and next week I’m going to be discussing throwing a mood stabiliser into the mix as well, there’s not a lot I can do to stop an episode occurring. Or recurring. Resilience disappears out of the window in the middle of an episode, and everything is an effort. I am lucky enough to be aware enough not to curl up in a ball, and capable enough to at least do some of my normal activities – even if they take up twice as much time and energy as they otherwise would. I am lucky enough to still have hope – I know at some point the bleakness will lift. It’s the not knowing exactly when, or how long for that’s the killer. And on that topic, I’m also blessed not to have suicidal thoughts or ideas that often accompany depression – but I so understand where they come from. I am supported by an extremely understanding wife and a close group of church friends, and indeed customers, who cope with me whatever state I happen to be in – and that’s worth keeping going for.
Back to business: background is acrylic paints in teal/brown/black – I think they were part brayered on, part swiped. Main word is stamped in Hickory Smoke Distress Paint. Rest of text in Sharpies.