International Post card swap part 2

Hooray – my 10 postcards have arrived. If you haven’t seen the first 3, have a look here. The last 7 have arrived over the last week or so and I am completely amazed by the creativity and thought that has gone into them.

Take a peek…

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Altered books

I love books! I love reading them, looking at them, altering them, making them. There is a little part of me that wishes we didn’t have “book technology” (you know ibooks, kindle books etc etc) but it’s not the part that is grateful that people are sending their preloved books to the charity shops for a quick declutter. Continue reading

Artwork update

My artwork update involves something that has been on my heart for some time and allowed me to celebrate my passion for art. Recently I was given an amazing opportunity to paint in a very unusual situation.

Refresh

Refresh

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International Post Card Swap and sunshine!

After a flurry of creative activity throughout the summer holidays things have slowed down considerably. My creativity has needed to be focussed on school lessons.  It’s not bad just a different creative. I do really enjoy planning and preparing lessons – dreaming up arty possibilities for my students. The best thing is though, I began some creative pursuits that have followed me into the new year without too much effort.

One of those is the International Post Card Swap version 5 .

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Creative adventures – Documented life project

This is home

Another creative adventure I have been on this summer holidays is the Documented life project. I found out about it through following the blog of one of the ladies who has started this project. It captured my attention because it … Continue reading

Creative adventures – post card swaps

In my series for the summer holidays I have been talking about my creative adventures. It seems as though school broke up and my creativity broke free. It has been so good to make things, explore ideas, share creativity and be relaxed about it. I have even fitted in some planning for the school year.

But my creative adventure of this post is all about Post card swaps. Oh I do love a good post card swap. I have missed a couple recently, which I was disappointed about but at the same time was really busy so perhaps I couldn’t have fitted them in. The mixed media postcards I have made this time are for the International Post Card swap version 5.0 over at Musings on Realities. 

Postcard Swap 5

Why do I do these swaps? Because I love to make art, in particular mixed media art. Because I love receiving art and snail mail. And because I really love the idea that perhaps my postcards might bring a smile to someone’s face as their art has brought to mine.

I have made my cards mostly all the same this year but each of them have a different word written on the front. My hope is that the word might mean something for the person who receives it. The colours I chose because they are my favourite and I have included flowers on them because flowers make me smile.

Here’s a little sample of them.

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I started with a watercolour paper postcard and pasted down some geli plate printed deli paper. Over that I painted layers of paint and gesso, using stencils and brushes. I then drew a flower in sharpie marker, some with pattern and some decorated with gold sharpie. I really wanted to stitch on the postcards so I stuck down some lovely flower stickers and free hand stitched over them. The aim was to be a bit free and loose. The pink dots are stamped on using bubble wrap – it is so handy that bubble wrap. I sewed on a backing which I had loosely sprayed with green ink. The backing is a free printable designed by iHanna, who also does a post card swap a couple of times a year. In the negative space on each card I wrote the word with sharpie marker.

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If you have ever thought of being involved in some kind of mail art swap and haven’t done it, please do. It does require a little bit of work – after all you’ll want to make something that you would want to receive. And there is a small financial outlay but it’s not too much. I am hoping that as I do more of these swaps I will make connections with people from around the world that might grow and be encouraging. I also just love looking through cards I have received amazed that someone would part with their art for me. That’s a pretty cool creative adventure. JP

Creative adventures – art journals

Just before New Years I decided I needed a new journal for the new year. As I love booking making and all things artist’s books I decided I would make my journal for 2014. There was also no way I was going to the shops between Christmas and New Year’s Eve so I really had to make my own. (I love a sale as much as the next girl but we kind of decided we needed family time with no shopping and no crowds). This is my journal that is a bit like a diary where I document thoughts and prayers throughout the year. As opposed to an art journal or the Documented Life project (coming soon).

I have books on book making and there are many tutorials on YouTube about book making and after a little browse through them I start on my journal. I folded 10 pieces of A4 cartridge in half and sewed them on my machine down the centre.

Folded and sewn pages

Then I went to work on the cover. It is made from two recycled manilla folders. I really like using these as they are a lovely base colour to work with. Two glued together makes the cover stronger.

The cover

My daughter drew the 2014 with gold sharpie and I thought it looked beautiful on the cover, along with some paper cloth I made last year.
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The rest of the cover was a mixed media journey using stencils, spray ink, bituminous paint and gesso. There is always a point at which I think uh oh, I’ve wrecked it…but the key is to keep going, try something else, cover it with collage or gesso.

Stencil cirlces

Bituminous paint

Reomving gesso with baby wipes

I bound the pages using thin leather strapping, tying each signature individually. This left a decorative feature along the spine.Binding

Completed binding on spine

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I am really thrilled with the finished product. I have used it everyday so far and it’s really nice to use too. Have you got your 2014 journals ready? Was that part of your creative adventure this year? Love to hear! JP

Creative adventures – Christmas decorations

I don’t know about you but I love the times of the year when we can make things to represent and brighten up those things we celebrate. In our family, Christmas is one of those times. In my next Creative adventures post I want to tell you about Creative adventures 2, 3, 4 and 5 as they all revolve around Christmas celebrations.

Again some of these ideas originated from wandering around Pinterest. Sometimes the ideas work, sometimes they don’t – I think I had a good degree of success with my Pinterest ideas this summer.

Creative adventure number 2 involved a wooden ladder my Dad gave me. It had been sitting in our garage calling out to be something interesting. When I saw this idea on Pinterest I knew what my ladder was destined to be. A quick coat of paint and a sort through decorations to find the ones that would look best was all it took. In then end I used my special glass baubles and it looked gorgeous. I didn’t really want to put it away at New Years.

Ladder tree

Glass bauble chandelier

As for Creative adventure number 3, I was invited to a Cookie swap. And was so excited. How cool to share my love of baking with others. And receive cookies in return. 5 Ladies and I got together at a friends place and chatted and swapped cookies. We each made 4 dozen of our chosen cookies. Brilliant. I decided to make Red velvet crinkle cookies because they seemed Christmassy and were very yummy! They have become the new family favourite.

Red velvet crinkle cookies

Creative adventure number 4: This is my Christmas wreath and table centre piece made from cuttings from a tree in our garden and dried orange pieces. I tied the bits of tree onto a foam ring with ribbon and strips of hessian. It was pretty makeshift but made us smile each time we came through the front door. Wreath

Wreath with oranges

My next little Creative adventures adventure (no. 5)  involved a pre christmas celebration with friend. My daughter and I spied these jars at our local $2 store and thought they would be fun for drinks at our get together. And they were. All it took was a hole drilled in the lid, some string and a label.

Mason jar drinks

As you can see it’s been quite a creative Christmas season. It has been great to get the family involved in my creative adventures. And wonderful to have you along for the journey too. What creative adventures have you been on lately? JP

 

 

Creative adventures – 2013 Art journals

My aim this year was to use up all the pages in my art journal. And I just about made it. I think there are 2 pages left. That’s a pretty good effort I reckon.

Here’s few snapshots of some favourite pages from the year:

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There is a bit of a theme – circles and bright colours. Random scribbling and exploring creativity. I’m thinking this year I will explore text and lettering a bit and continue to develop my face drawing abilities. What will you be working on in 2014? Love to hear. JP

 

Creative adventures – Wax luminaries

I saw this idea on Pinterest. I am usually only on Pinterest during holidays – it’s a relaxing thing to do. But this last term I used it to source out a number of ideas for our School activities week at the end of the year. I came across this idea and thought “that looks amazing, I wonder if I could do it?” So I had to have a go.

Photo courtesy of my friend Melissa

Photo courtesy of my friend Melissa

First things first. Supplies. I ended up purchasing high melt paraffin wax and battery operated tea lights from my school supplier. I am sure they could be purchased a little more cost effectively but using this contact made it super easy to get what I needed when life was so busy. I then racked my brains as to the best way to melt the wax. Fortunately the website has links to a company where the idea originally came from. There are great tips and hints for all things candles. I would strongly recommend a visit to the site before you begin. The tips there made doing this creative adventure much easier.

It was suggested that electric heat was better for the wax melting process, as was using a double boiler. As I didn’t want to use any of my kitchen implements I hopped off to the local charity stores and discovered some great metal pots and a small electric saucepan – one of which I had never seen before. Now, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend buying an electric object from an op shop, as you never know if it’s just quite right, but my Dad being an electrician, tested it out for me and said it was fine. Besides it cost only $8 so it was either going to be a bargain or a gift to charity. Win win either way, I reckon.

Equipment for wax melting

The larger of the two pots was a great size for dunking the water filled balloon into and the smaller was perfect for holding chopped up pieces of wax that needed to be ready to throw into melted wax as I used it.

Here’s my garage set up. I didn’t want to risk doing it inside. At least if the wax spilt or caught on fire it could be contained to an area of the house that wasn’t lived in all the time. I used the rectangle electric fry pan for smoothing off the top edges when the luminary was set.

My garage set up

The basic process involves filling a small balloon with warm water, leaving a gap with air in it at the top. It has to be warm water, not hot as the layers of wax won’t set. Tie a knot and use the knot to hold the balloon as it is dunked in the wax. I just used normal sized balloons. There is a bit of an art to getting the knot at the top and base in just the right place but an off kilter bowl looked quite nice too.

Number one done

Then the luminary is made by dunking the balloon in the wax multiple times. In the end I timed each dunk – about 15 seconds between layers for the first 6-8 minutes, then 30 seconds up until between 12 -15 minutes. At the bgeginnng the wax itself takes about 40 minutes to melt and come to the correct temperature. It is a process that requires evaluation as you go along and does require some patience, but the end result is quite satisfactory.

Two little ones

I gave these away as Christmas gifts with a battery operated tea light and instructions has to how to use a normal tea light if desired. A normal tea light will melt the luminary if care is not taken. The battery operated tea lights that flicker are actually quite realistic and do look quite good. I think I will always use them for this purpose.

Complete with candle

It really was a great creative adventure amongst my creative adventures of the summer. Do have a look at the links and feel free to ask any questions. It’s a great process and I love the outcome. Have fun. JP