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Friday, 28 September 2012

Mixed Media Dolls

Hi Everyone
Weather is lovely today. Bright sun but cool.
I've lots of volunteer work on today so not much time for work. I need to make up the work time later in the day. I plan to do another layer on the book cover (priority job).
I managed to get the 12 Dolls photographed. Each doll represents a month and reviewing all together, there is quite a job in order to finish the collection. Each painting represents a new technique. Some techniques are minimal within the piece and form part of the development of the painting. I will provide a commentary for each, describing the process and how to practice and apply it. I think this is part of the personal journey to finding an individual style ( as well as my own development journey).
I'm showing the collection here, I start with Jan and move down each line ending in Dec.

Although there is still lots of work to do, I'm relatively pleased with my progress. There is a story behind each painting and each character within the Papersac village idea. I will be revealing these stories over the next few weeks. All in preparation for the FROM SCRATCH book.
Just noticed something on this blog Elsie Larson which reminded me of me yesterday. I wore some sandals - I felt OK but lots of people had boots on !!! I will go with sandals again today - unless it's very wet !! I'm hanging on to the last stages of Summer as long as possible.
In the end, I'm wearing these very old and scuffed ballet pumps ( the front sole is actually flapping ! - every time I wear them, I'm anxious that my foot will go straight through).

I often look in on this blog Take a look here . I've mentioned the artist (Katherine Quinn) a number of times and have posted some of her pictures too. I also have a button on the site called Sleep and her Sisters. This is a lovely big example of her work with a sort of doll. I see a Miss Mitchell or one of her friends in this style of painting.

I love this mixed media piece, lots of layers but simple too.
Bye for now, have a great weekend.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

A very BIG job

Hi Everyone
Weather today looks good - bit cloudy and certainly Autumn but dry. After all the rain and flooding in our town, what a relief !!
I'm looking to re do my working spaces today - I'm convinced my environment is restricting my work progress. Not looking forward to all the re organisation and the subsequent mess ! But it's got to happen.
I will try and do my photographs from last nights 'to do' list before I start. This is a good example of what I'm talking about - its my latest attempt to get my ART on track. I was full of good intentions re the photos and I ended up wasting time looking for stuff !!
I do endless reviews of my work and am learning that I need to be focused and organised. I think the key to this is making my work spaces help. Not sure what this means in practical terms. I hope the process of throwing rubbish out and looking at essential kit/storage will help me decide. I see all this stuff as part of FROM SCRATCH, therefore I plan to record the activity and the outcomes for my book.
On a lighter note, the postman has just brought some fantastic bubble die cuts. I must have a go and will post the outcomes here before my photo session and then the BIG job of the moment must begin.

This is a small selection of the bubble cuts, there are about 18/20 different dies in this pack - some are very small but the speech bubbles shown here are destined for some of my paintings. I hope they will be integrated into various scenes in number of pictures. Also great inspiration for lots of new ideas.
On another lighter note, while browsing this morning I came across this lovely item. I've seen it before but I like it even more now :

I love this cape (I like the socks as well ) and am very tempted to send for the book. It's on offer from Mollie Makes issue 18, the book is called Learn To Knit, Love To Knit by Anna Wilkinson. My only reservation is the time it would take for me to knit such an item. I'm not a brilliant knitter, so it could end up one of those projects which just sit somewhere !!! Not sure. Will report my decision tomorrow.
Bye for now.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Creative Opportunity Here !

Hi Everyone
Weather improved on yesterday but still light rain around. The floods have subsided but lots of folk are now out of their homes for some time. We are very lucky and are fine.
I've not achieved my usual work day today, I'm busy with school volunteer stuff and have lost my way with my own work. I have done a little on my small handmade journal :

I have some more 'playing ' to do. But I quite like the look.
Later, I hope to get all the photos of my 12 dolls project together. This is on the list for this week and is a straight forward job but for some reason has not happened. Some of the paintings are not complete so will get some form of plan together.
I also came across some old frames in my garage( during a clear out) - they look usable and I will give this some thought.
I will share the photos when I get them organised. I do have lots of paintings which need to be paired with a frame. The old frames can all have a makeover of some sort. I will enjoy being creative with them. Here they are :

Not sure what I can do but I will definitely do something. It's not possible for me to throw such things away !!!

That's about it for today.

Bye for now

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

The result of a mistake !

Hi Everyone
Wow ! Here in Morpeth, we are facing more floods. The town had a severe flood 4 years ago and now it seems we are in for another today. Our home is fine (we live on a hill) a little way out of the centre of town. Some of the schools are closed and there is major disruption. So, my weather report is RAIN - no need for more.
Inside, we are warm and dry and I'm hoping to catch up with my FROM SCRATCH cover and my card order. If I manage that, all will be well. This is where I am at the moment. Miss Mitchell looks at bit dirty !

I had a short play with some stamps and a handmade journal last night - these pages were a series of mistakes in my cats and dogs journal. I love this cover :

More to fiddle with here- lots of fun trying to make some interesting picture out of a mistake.

Must go, bye for now

Monday, 24 September 2012

Fashion Drawings from the Sixties and other stuff !

Hi Everyone
Had a great weekend - lovely friends and family time and great weather. However, weather today is dreadful, raining and windy and quite like 'winter' - so cold and unpleasant I've not ventured out much !!!
Workwise, it's been a bit slow today. I've tweaked a few projects and I have a card order for a wedding. I used to do loads of card orders but try not to do many these days. They take too long, generally and I've not got the time. However, this is for a friend and I have a design. I just need to get some ribbon and an hour or so will do it. Will post it here when it's complete. I have done a very similar version before. Here it a prototype former version for reference :

I made this up for a friends wedding anniversary. My new version will have another colour scheme but will follow the design.
I've also made a little envelope for my little boy ( he's not so little now but he's the smallest - so gets the ' little ' tag). It's a slightly grown up version of a tooth fairy envelope. I always used to make these when the kids were much younger.

I've put a silver coin in the envelope and will hide it under his pillow.

Our friends (from the weekend) reminded me that I had a wonderful box of drawing and other memorabilia, left to me by an aunt. One of the girls from the family is currently studying fashion and my box contains lots of stuff, produced by my aunt as a fashion student in the sixties. I have spent time looking through the collection several times but it's so inspiring to see it again. The fashion student was very interested in the sample she saw, so I've taken a few snaps to share and give an idea of the drawings. There's lots of magazines as well as original drawings and I feel I must do something with them (other than just sharing on here). Not sure what I can do with the collection at this stage ? Love the whole feel of the images and clothes, they wouldn't look out of place at the moment.
This is a very small sample of the work - just as it is in the sketch books.

Picture 3 is my favourite of this bunch.

That's it for today.

Bye for now.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Room Art - book news

Hi Everyone
Weather report is difficult to make this morning - some rain and clouds but sunshine too ? Not sure how it will go. It is cold - definitely !
It's warm in here - I've put the heating on ! Just for an hour. I've got lots on today, one of my friends needs some help with designing and producing 'labels' for a jewellery range she is launching. So, I've got a few ideas to help. Will get her stuff on here when it's ready to go.

Also need to move on the book cover ( read back for book info). I got Miss Mitchell on the front. Lots of more work needed to integrate but it's OK so far

I will add more paint and try and find some ideas about integrating close up images of Miss Mitchell eg her eyes and other signature elements of my dolls. Not sure exactly how this will go but that's my idea.

Also managed a little work on a new piece :

This is a very early stage in the development of the piece which will appear in the ROOM ART book - this book has been on hold for a while but is underway again. The book will be in the same format as FROM SCRATCH. I hope using the same format will help with production processes ? Who knows ?

This is a recycled project using an old piece of wood panel. I have left the grooves and holes etc and will use them/highlight them in the design. The wood is very rough cut at the ends and I especially like the effect. The picture on the wood is a transfer image on cotton fabric. The fabric is recycled from an old curtain lining and the image came from a furniture leaflet which landed through the letterbox of our home.

The recycle element is important, as is the colour,feel etc and will be designed and produced for display in a specific location. This link with the 'end location' and the recycle element is the point of the project which will appear in the book. I'm excited about this book and have high hopes. Will post some more news in the next few weeks on this idea.

Must go. Bye for now.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Miss Mitchell's Journey

Hi Everyone
Weather report today is a tad disappointing - its 'drizzling' rather than raining but ? - very dull and the forecast is poor !
My run is on schedule - I usually wait until the kids have arrived at
school so I have about 1/2 hour. Feeling good and have high hopes for a gradual recovery from my leg injury.
Today, I need to get some time in with work. I managed a little painting on the book cover I'm making ( included in my FROM SCRATCH book). I have documented the process and it's turning into a project. Here is a photo of the progress to date.

This is the outside of the cover,the first layer of acrylic.

The next photo shows the flaps for slipping onto the book ( to be covered).

The third photo is the cover, as it will be (when in use).
I will aim to get Miss Mitchell on today.
I've also managed to get the photo shoot complete. Ive talked about this for several days and its been in my work journal (as a job) for some time.So, I'm thrilled to announce, I now have 20 images for inclusion in my book (to date) - this is,of course, the first draft. Things will change !!! - many times. For now, it's a good thing.

These images show the range of Miss Mitchell's - each has a specific role in explaining aspects of her development.
Will show the original and the cover (when ready) - quite a journey for her and for me !
Must get going.
Bye for now.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Inspiration - from everywhere !

Hi Everyone
Weather wonderful again - bright sunshine but a little 'chilly'.Bright blue sky is so inspiring for me.
Managed to get my run in yesterday - great feeling to be running again. Today, I am a little tight on my right side but still good for my rehab
On another subject, I've not been scanning my daily blog list for ages - much too busy ! However, a quick scan this morning has thrown this up

It's a new book (mentioned on the Elsie Flannigan blog) I was drawn to a picture from the book

How fab is this ! Beautiful. Birds attached to an indoor tree ,it seems it's a project in the book. Apparently the book is not out yet - must buy it ASAP. I will share when the time comes.

Yesterday, I made great strides in my photo shoot - almost there with material for a new print run. I will put the groups together and share when ready. I'm using an app called snapseed , it has great potential for using in combination with my original art. I have so many new ideas after the shoot. Must keep on track - very difficult when I'm bursting with new ideas !!!
I didn't manage to try out my new stamps from yesterday - so today I will give them a go.
Am also having coffee with a friend this morning. Must go and get organised.
Work will have to wait for a few hours.

Bye for now

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Can LIFE be integrated ?

Hi Everyone
Fantastic sunshine today - makes such a difference to 'living', doors open etc. Good start to my day. However, my run today is on hold while I wait for a new microwave delivery !! No time for delivery, so just waiting. The run would have improved things even more. Still, can't have everything.

On a more interesting tack - am going to get all my current works photographed and organised for a print job as well as proofs for the book (FROM SCRATCH) - I'm in danger of boring people to death with ' the book'. Need to take a deep breath and shut up.
My aim today is : work on the book cover and a little more work on my mini handmade book. Some lovely little stamps arrived this morning. I had them in mind to use on the handmade book so will give that a go. Here they are :

I love these border stamps and have high hopes for the handmade book cover ! Will share when I've done some experimenting.

I spoke about the Stitched Postcard yesterday and my swap partner, Meredith. It's such a great thing to make connections with other people working in 'Art'. I'm going to look for other joint projects. I had a lovely email from Meredith - thanks again for your card. Here it is again

Not sure what else is going on ? (just thinking out loud there). My photo session today will 'move on' work preparation for the shops. I must not ignore the stock. Both shops are empty at the moment. This part of my work is also part of FROM SCRATCH so I'm integrated in my thinking. Trying to be anyway. Life isn't always so organised but I try to put up a good front !!!

Must get on
Bye for now

Monday, 17 September 2012

Project 'From Scratch'

Hi Everyone
Weather report is a bit mixed today, it could rain,very cloudy and slightly cool. Is Summer gone completely ?
Had a great weekend, family time and relaxed. Had another good run on Sunday - my rehab is working ! I have a constant worry about getting injured again, it will be a week or so before I feel confident about recovery.
Today, work has been slow. I've managed a little progress but need to work this evening. Here is an update on the book cover FROM SCRATCH :

I've painted Miss Mitchell with her first layer. I want to add to the background before getting her onto the cover. Hope to do this later.

I've also made and stuck the extra papercloth onto my mini book - its drying and awaiting the sewing phase.

As you see the cover now fits much better. I think the extra bit makes the cover look as if it fits the pages. I now need to add some extra paint layers to the cover.
I also have a little more exciting news. My swap partner from the 'Stitched Postcard Project', Meredith, has sent me her stitched card swap. It's lovely. Thank you Meredith. Ive been watching the post every day for the package. Here it is :

I have the card on display and everyone who comes in can admire it.

That's it for today.

Friday, 14 September 2012

FROM SCRATCH - book cover in progress

Hi Everyone

Weather great today - sunny and a little windy but lovely.
Regular readers of this blog will have heard my odd chats about running and I'm going to blog my running development alongside the weather each week day. Just to set the scene : I've had a range of injuries - my last problem seems to be caused by a long standing issue which I would need a book to explain, so I will simply say, I had a severe knee problem. The first signs of this last problem came around the beginning of July. Over the next few weeks I found myself having to stop running and applying ice just to keep going with my general business.
However, I've made huge positive progress with my knee issues - I've had deep muscle manipulation along the full extent of my right leg and it's wond erful. My running started again last Monday and after being very careful with stretching and ice, I do believe, I'm on my way. My programme is a 5k/10k run plan which I use on my iPod . I run with Coldplay - which is great running music (for me). I do like Coldplay generally but especially when I'm running. The run today felt brilliant. My stats are very poor at the moment but when they get better I will be happy with myself. Loads of hard work required.When I'm fit my work will get better - I believe the two are so closely linked.
Talking about work, I'm on schedule. My initial task is to make the new cover for the new book FROM SCRATCH. The cover will be a project in the book and also act as the real cover for print. I wanted the colours and images on the cover to start and end with Miss Mitchell (an early and trade mark painting of mine) somehow ? My progress to date is good - I made some new paper cloth and did a drawing yesterday. Today, I want to paint . Here are a few pictures to share what I've done :

1)This is the initial paper cloth development with the structure of the cover.

2)A sketch of the new Miss Mitchell - based on the original.

3)After, adding a little colour with wax pencils.

4)Miss Mitchell - the original.

5)The cover structure made. Ready to slip onto a book and stitched to fit. The new Miss Mitchell - in progress.

Have a great weekend, back on Monday.

Bye for now

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Mini Book From Scratch

Hi Everyone
The weather is mixed today - one minute sunny the next showers or almost showers. Generally, it feels like Autumn is near. Bit of a shock. I do like the Summer and living outside.
However, life is good. My work is going OK and I'm on track so far this week and it's Thursday (minor miracle !) I've made some work goals which include a mini handmade book project. I thought I would share the process.

Here it is, so far.
I've used the leftover paper cloth from my stitched postcard project along with a sheet of heavy watercolour paper and some waxed cotton cord.
He are a few pictures of the development phases.

This picture gives an idea of the technique I used to stitch the pages and the book together. I took some time thinking through this one and I was unsure of which approach to take. I think this one works to a point. The card with holes and lines in the centre is a template for making and aligning the holes and the paper cloth piece is placed at the back of the book to give it a little more strength.I made the holes with a Clikit tool. I love this tool and use it often.

This is the tool. Very simple but effective and makes a great,neat finish to lots of materials. I use is often.

The next picture shows more clearly the position of the paper cloth piece at the back of the book.

I threaded the waxed cord through the holes and into the back of the book. The waxed cotton has been left long and I will add something to weight it - I see this being used as a bookmark and an additional style element.

As the pages are quite thick, I scored each page to give a form of spine.
Having 'built' the book - its a little too thick. I used A3 size paper, folded/ torn to fit my cover.The size was dictated by the piece of paper cloth ! Perhaps, this is not entirely the most efficient way of working but it appeals to me ie using up leftovers is in my blood ! As the pages are bulky, they tend to creep out of the cover. I've decided to make some more paper cloth to add an extra few cms. , I think I will sew the extra piece onto the cover by machine.
The book cover needs more 'art' - this is the best bit. Not sure how to continue but will share when I have something.
At the moment, the new paper cloth is being processed - its in the drying phase ( this will take overnight).

Here is a look at the development. This is the construction of the material and the next picture is the completed papercloth piece (while drying)

That's it for today.
Bye for now.