Thursday, August 30, 2012

Joy Journal Project - Assignment 3

For the last several months, I have been participating in The Joy Journal Project. August has been a hard month for me -- physically, emotionally, spiritually . . . so I wasn't sure I would get this entry done. However, after a good chat with my husband about why I need to create art (with him giving me the reasons, me questioning the value at this point in my life!), I used a free afternoon to do this spread, which was to include the use of a silhouette. I started the spread without any clear direction because the assignment was to reflect on myself as a child and myself now, and I just didn't know where to go with that. As I was creating random layers (starting with maps of places I have lived over the years), I heard a lyric in a song, "the girl with the dream in her eyes." That reminded me of something one of my teachers had inscribed in a book he'd given me at the end of the school year: "To Paula, with the sunshine of hope in her eyes." (I found the book on my shelf just to make sure I remembered correctly!)  The recollection actually made me cry in light of how desperately I've been hanging onto Hope this past year, and how people have commented on how my hopeful spirit has blessed them. It was humbling and encouraging and altogether uplifting to know that the Sonshine of Hope can still be seen in my eyes. 

So my teacher's words directed the rest of my spread. The profile picture was taken just after my cancer diagnosis last fall, and the picture from which I cropped my eyes was taken the same day. A wee bit of photo editing gave me the variations in the eye images. I think they're kinda cool. The unedited ones in the top left corner remind me of my eyes as a child when I see them without my face. (Funny that ;)

The gold-glittered silhouette, I decided, represents my spirit. I didn't plan it that way -- but that's how it turned out in my mind. (The word in the black box that I squared off from the text papers I used says "resurrection"! ;)

I chose to also include the profile from which the silhouette was made (I just traced around it), but I wanted to use a mix of the plain photograph (back of my head, earring, left shoulder) with a painted picture (below), so I just painted the rest of the photo with acrylics. (Doing that makes me feel like a skilled artist cuz that's pretty much what I looked like when the photo was taken ;) 

Butterflies make me think of new life and hope, so they seemed like appropriate embellishments to finish the spread (along with some black splatter to tie everything together ;)

I think this is one of my favourite journal spreads so far. I was slow getting started with it because I wasn't sure what to do, but once I got started, things began to fall together and I really enjoyed the process, though it really did tucker me out! LOL (I like to work start to finish in one sitting as much as possible.) 

Now for next month's challenge, which will be posted on Sunday. If you think you'd like to join in, don't hesitate to jump in! (At my rate, I likely won't have it done until it's almost October! But it doesn't matter, does it?!)

Word Art Wednesdays - From Mid-August

Alas, I have been riding the roller coaster of life of late, and as a result have done very little art. Earlier in the month, though, I did do a couple of Word Art Wednesday pieces, but I didn't get around to blogging about them. I think I will simply post them together now, since the challenges are long over:

Here are the verses should you wish to download them and use them in your own art:

Thank you for your continued prayers for my health!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Last of the Art Swap Pages

I finally finished the last of the six art swap pages -- just in the nick of time!

 Do you see the little birdie hiding there?

The little lady bug is tissue paper on vellum-like tracing paper. The "hello" is a scrap of fabric.

I can't wait to receive the pages that will be sent to me through this exchange! 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Word Art Wednesday - July 25, 2012

Once again, the word art for this week's challenge is very relevant to my life! I found out that I am no longer a candidate  for a stem cell transplant because my PET scan showed a mixed response to the latest chemo: some tumours got smaller, but others grew. When you confront obstacles like that, it's sometimes tempting to throw in the towel and just give up. But that's not a healthy response! We should "never, never, never give up!" Here is my art to convey that sentiment:

Feel free to download and use the word art in your own work:

If you'd like to share your inspirational art at Word Art Wednesday, you could win an adorable antique floral frog from Karen Letchworth from My Cup Runneth Over

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

More Art Swap Pages

I have completed two more pages for the Art is . . . You Swap. This little birdie is made from a couple of swatches of upholstery fabric. The cool stitching around the border is a bit obscured by the layers of pastel I added, but it's more visible in real life. And you can't see it, but behind the letter stickers there's a piece of paper that has the title of a vintage book about nests and birds :)

The colours aren't as true in the picture below, but you can see the effect of the ribbon better:

The other page I created was inspired by Christy Tomlinson's She Art girls. I haven't taken any of Christy's classes, but I've watched a few of her online videos and I like her whimsical girls.

It's hard to tell, but my girl is wearing a bun ;) And that flower in the middle is supposed to be the sun! :)

I'm lacking inspiration for my last two pages, though . . .

Homemade Stencils/Stamps

The other day I saw the idea of making homemade stencils with hot glue on Traci Bautista's blog.  Well, I have a hot glue gun and I'd like to try playing with some stencils -- so I thought I'd give it a whirl. I used waxed paper, which didn't release the stencils very well, but it wasn't hard to peel the paper off. If I do it again, I'll use parchment paper as Traci suggests. 

Here is my little collection of hot glue stencils:

Pretty cool, eh? I think this technique could be used to make some kinda cool embellishments, too -- though it would be nice if I could think of a way to colour them.

 I didn't have any paint mists, so I watched a bunch of youtube videos and made my own with some water, a smackerel of ModPodge, metallic paint, and folk art paint. Then I played with my stencils! 

After I sprayed with the glitter mist, I flipped the stencil over and used it like a stamp:

Fun stuff!

Do you have any other ideas for making homemade stencils?

Any thoughts on how to colour the glue?

Word Art Wednesday - July 18, 2012

The text for this week's Word Art Wednesday Challenge is from a hymn I remember from my childhood:

It's a good reminder, isn't it? A comforting thought. Feel free to download and use the text in your own art if you'd like.

For my collage, I used two texted papers and some vintage bird graphics from The Graphics Fairy -- a wonderful resource for vintage pictures, blog backgrounds, and project ideas. I don't know that those little birds are sparrows -- but you get the idea ;) 

If you'd like to join us in the WAW challenge, be sure to link up so you can have a chance to win a little something from Detailed 4 U Collections. And don't forget to read the featured bio on the WAW page -- it's about me! :) 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Work in Progress - Art Swap

I recently decided that I'd like to participate in the Art Is . . . You  Art Swap.  The theme is Weird Wild Wonderful. I have been itching to get started, and yesterday afternoon I found the body power to begin, as long as I remained sitting. 

Oh, what fun I had! Outside of a run-in with the sewing machine (I wailed in frustration, unaware that in my efforts,  I cut my hand on the balance wheel and got a blister  -- not such a good thing when my immune system is so compromised. Turns out it wasn't just my chemo-compromised muscles -- DH had to get a wrench to loosen it!), I spent several blissful hours playing and creating. 

I decided I want to have a theme for each page with just a word or two to indicate that theme. The first was "Joy" -- epitomized by my happy little masking tape girl. (I kinda wish it was more obvious what she's made of.)  The perfectionist in me says she's too juvenile. But I am getting better and better at silencing the inner critic and embracing whatever shows up on my pages!

I might replace that little bird with one that stands out more, but other than that I think I'll call it done for now.

On my second page, I decided to try a technique I've seen a few places online -- painting over a magazine face. (Here is a cool example. I put a light coat of gesso on the image, so I had no trouble with the paint adhering -- though I was using acrylics and not water colours. ) 

I like my little lovely and will definitely be trying this technique again. 

Have you ever participated in an art swap? I encourage you to try it. You're "better" at art than you think! (I wrote about my first swap here. Looking back now I can see how I've "grown" as an artist -- even in less than a year! That's cool:)

Life Lists - Art Journal Spread

As you may know, art journaling is my latest creative passion. So when I saw Laura Grace Weldon's post about Life Lists, I was inspired to make a journal page about life lists. It's simple -- but it was fun and relaxing to create it. Now, if I'm ever stumped about what to journal about, I have a list. In fact, the lists could become a theme for a whole journal! 

Are there any other life lists you could add to mine? 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Word Art Wednesday - July 11, 2012

It's amazing what one can accomplish from the couch! I've been feeling pretty yucky the last couple of days after my last round of chemo, but sooooooo desirous of being creative. I'm in art journal mode these days, so this piece has a very journally feel to it. 

I started by just doing a bit of photo editing, resulting in this picture:

Then I just started doodling with gel pens on the printed copy! A bit of collage, gesso, and bling -- and voila!

I like the verse for this week:

While it is our responsibility to train our children in the ways of the Lord, in this verse, the onus is on God! He will teach our children! And with that teaching will come peace! Isn't that a wonderful promise?! I also appreciated the context of this verse -- promises to the barren woman! As an adoptive mama, it speaks volumes to my heart!

Have you considered participating in this week's Word Art Wednesday Challenge? If you link up, you might just win a little treasure from Whimsy Stamps!

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