Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Changing an Art Journal Background You Don't Like


Several weeks ago we tried a new background technique in my art journaling class. You glue down newsprint and then wash with colour. I wasn't very excited by what I ended up with. No matter, that is the thing with art journaling, you just keep going and see what turns up.
I have been wanting some flexible alphabet stencils for ages, because unlike the thickish plastic ones you can use them with paint. The thicker stiff ones only seem to work with pens. With the help of a student, I found them at the local newsagent last week. 

I covered the left page with gesso and then started painted on a gesso resist design with my new stencil on the right page. (If you want to know what a gesso resist technique is, go here.)

I really should have waited until the gesso dried and then moved the stencil closer on the 8's and 9's but I couldn't be bothered.
Then I covered in a wash of manganese blue hue. Was still a bit boring so I finished with some lemon yellow in places.
I am happy with this as an art journal background.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Finished my First Alabama Chanin Bolero - a Refashion Post

I finished my first Alabama Chanin inspired bolero - didn't I already say that in the title?


Alabama Chanin is a very fashion line that is completely hand stitched by women who are paid a living wage! All fantastic, but even cooler in my book is that she sells books telling you how to make her designs yourself. The bolero is in Alabama Studio Sewing and Design.

I am interested in trying new creative stuff, and this is partly where my refashioning is taking me as I prefer sewing by hand than by machine.
I am showing you the back first because it is where everything is happening.
I cut it out of a t-shirt that a friend gave to my husband while we were in the States. I managed to talk him out of it, obviously. Red doesn't suit him anyway.
Not a lot happening in the front, which I kind of like. It is a bit small and I will go up to large next time. I want to make one with sleeves. 

Here is my next Alabama project. I am making a t-shirt out of a t-shirt, haha. Another shirt stolen from my husband. I have to retrain my friends to give me the cool men's t-shirts.
I am having a lot of challenges with this one. Did I mention that I don't know what I am doing? 

I decided to put this super cool graphic on the back. And I tried to cut it so I could keep the double-hem. I don't know if it is going to line up.

This is in a large size which seems like it could fit ( I am usually a small or medium on top.)
I have pinned the shoulders so I can get an idea how it might look. I am thinking of making the neckline lower - I hate to cut into the design, but I don't think I will like it this high. And maybe cap sleeves. What do you think?    
(I didn't fold the cloth when I was cutting it out, and I began cutting down the middle. Fortunately I realised what I was doing before I got any further.)
Oh, I don't think I showed you these. I put them on Facebook. I love wearing them but when my daughter-in-law complimented me on my 'pajamas' I decided not to wear them out.

I thrifted the basic long shorts (or are they pyjamas?) and added the ruffles on the legs and a patch to cover a small hole.



Thursday, 7 February 2013

How to Finish an Art Journal Page


More truthfully, one way to finish an art journal page (because however you do it is the right way.)

I am near the end of my small A5 art journal. I am kind of tired of it and more interested in working in the new square one. All the pages have backgrounds, some with a few bits of collage. Do I just leave them and consider it 'done'?

Well that is always an option. But it would also be a wasted opportunity. As with ugly backgrounds, there is a freedom in not caring. I had considered just leaving these pages unfinished, so now I have permission to try whatever. And as I do, I find to my surprise my interest returning. 

The spread above had the pink background and the 2's, the left two with writing inside. I went into my images and pulled out ones that appealed. The timeface is part of a watch (remember you can always use pieces of images rather than the whole thing), and the flower came with the butterflies. I left the white around the flower because it was easier to cut out, and it echoed the white-edged two. Then came some writing that was meaningful to me.

Sometimes my students have trouble with knowing 'what to write'. Write anything you want - just write and see what comes out. I have written to do lists, why not? It is all play. Thoughts that happen to be running through my head. Rarely I use quotes, but sometimes I will save them in a spread. I would say use up to 20% quotes, have the rest be your words. It is your art journal.