Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Practising Free Motion Stitching

I'm reading Joanne Sharpe's most recent book, The Art of Whimsical Stitching.  She recommends that you first practice free motion stitching with a pen and your sketchbook.  Drawing continuous patterns, without lifting your pen, is a good way to "build muscle memory that will kick in when you move to the sewing machine."  This advice worked for me, but I need to do more.  I found that I enjoyed it too - there was something about not lifting the pen that made it more enjoyable than other doodling.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Both Wild and Cultivated

Both wild nature (buttercups) and cultivated nature (pots of petunias) are found in my back yard.


Monday, June 27, 2016

In Disbelief....

I'm not sure exactly how this happened, but apparently I won an award in the Flower City Fukushima Etegami Contest!     This link is the only English site that I can find describing the contest; Debbie runs the Facebook group where I learned about the contest.  She lives in Japan and made it possible for the members of the Etegami Fun Club to enter, by completing the necessary entry forms (in Japanese, of course), and sending our entries in for us.

Debbie posted a photo of my entries on her mail art blog here.  I'm not sure how many entries there were in total, but in 2014 there were 904.  Perhaps when I receive the award from Debbie I'll know more about the award and which entry won.

For the Love of Green

Stamp by Magenta

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Kickstarting the Nature Journaling

The warmer weather and Jan Blencowe have kickstarted my nature journal again.  Jan has recently been writing about the basics of nature journaling - the reasons to keep a nature journal and how to start.
I love her idea that your back yard, balcony, or local park is the best place to begin.  Having somewhere close that you will keep coming to is the most important part.  Not fancy supplies, but a place to return where you can sit and enjoy nature. 

Developing a curiosity about nature is a big part of my nature journaling.  Here you can see that I am determined to figure out what kind of nut tree we have in our yard.  The squirrels love it!  I have discovered that it is a hazelnut, and once the nuts are developed I can determine exactly what kind. 

Friday, June 24, 2016

Magic Stamp

A few weeks ago I was reminiscing with my sister, Dianne, about Penscore, which has now been renamed Magic Stamp.  Does anyone remember this stuff?  You heat it up (with a heat gun or light bulb) and then press it against textures to create your own stamps.  Reheat it and the impression disappears and you can start over.  I made the impression above with a hemlock cutting.
Not content to stop there, I wanted to make a longer, rectangular stamp, but didn't have a piece of Magic Stamp the right size or shape.  Hmmm, this stuff feels like what?  Floatie board!  You know, those kick boards you buy at the dollar store.  Well, I just happen to have one that I had been cutting up to use as ink daubers, so I tried that:

This impression was made by heating the floatie board and pressing it into a "molding mat".
What a fun trip down memory lane that was!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Using Up Scrapbook Paper

There are many reasons why I'm motivated to keep up The Bookmark Project.  One of them is that it is a great way to use up scrapbook paper and card stock.  I don't scrapbook, and I bought more than I can ever use on greeting cards for friends and family.  I've thought about taking it all to the local Artist Trading Card group and giving it away, but I still like using it occasionally, and I do have a passion for paper, right?

Monday, June 20, 2016

Birds of a Feather and Mainstreet

Alcohol Inks
Stamp by "Time to Stamp"
Stamp by Frog's Whiskers Ink
Community seems to be a common theme today.  You can read more about it on my other blog.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Madly Making Bookmarks

Stamp by Eureka
Pencil Crayons
Soon I'll be putting them in the books on the shelf of my local library....

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Friday, June 17, 2016

Update on the Bookmark Project

The Bookmark Project is humming along as I originally started it.  I've given away all of the bookmarks that I made back in March, and I'm beginning to make some more.
Each bookmark is signed on the back with the email address:  Earlier this week I received my first email; it was very encouraging.
I had a few other ideas when I started this project, including a new blog:  I'm a bit unsure about the need for a second (or third) blog, so if you have any thoughts about this, please let me know!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Love One Another

"A new command I give you:  Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another".  - John 13:34
Like most, I've been pondering the horrific hatred demonstrated in Orlando this week.  This passage is the answer God gave me when I asked Him, "What can I do?"
A few minutes later He led me here.  Laure has it right, I think.  "Maybe, just maybe, if we fill the world with kindness, we'll begin to crowd out the hate that drives someone to harm others."  I encourage you to check out Laure's project and spread the love!
Yesterday, I made bookmarks for The Bookmark Project.  That's one of the ways that I can fill the world with kindness.  My commitment to this project has been renewed.  I'll post an update about this project separately.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Birthday Cards

I made these recent calligraphy pieces into birthday cards for friends at church.  I think that the quotations made apt greetings, don't you? 

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Friday, June 10, 2016

Thirty Days of Biblical Lettering

This is the front cover of the journal for the #30daysofbiblicallettering project that I recently completed.  The cover is a gelli print.  The rock that I used here as a paperweight is from the shores of the Sea of Galilee.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Songs In My Head

Do you ever have songs that you keep singing in your head?  I often have praise and worship songs lodge themselves in my brain on Sunday.  They stay until they are replaced by a new one the following week.
I thought that if I used the songs as calligraphy pieces, that they might go away.  It didn't work LOL.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Delight Yourself in the Lord

I enjoyed the #30daysofbiblicallettering project so much that I couldn't stop!  And I do have all of those backgrounds that I made.  They are, of course, still on my desk.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Your Kindness is Much Appreciated

Stamp by All Night Media
These cards were inspired by my sister, Dianne, who makes lovely stamped cards.  She does projects that take hours of painting or coloring; I like quick stamping.  I also put my own twist on her design by doing some calligraphy.

Stamp by Magenta
These cards measure 5 1/2" x 4 1/4".  I did the lettering first, on 5 1/2" x 4 1/4" card stock pieces (1/4 letter size).  After lettering, I cut them down to 5" x 3 3/4".  This way, I was able to center the lettering by cutting the sides with excess white space.
After cutting, I stamped around the edges, and using my Perfect Layers tool I added a 1/8"mat.  Then I mounted them on the cards.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Thirty Days of Biblical Lettering

The last day of the #30daysofbiblicallettering project deserved something strong and courageous.
I broke away from the journal, and made a few backgrounds using a very simple technique that I recently discovered again, originally blogged about here.
The only supplies you need are card stock, plastic wrap (Saran or other) and water soluble markers.  I tried a few different kinds of markers; one isn't better than another, but if they are juicy and have a fat tip it helps.  Here are the steps:
  1. Cut a piece of plastic wrap a little larger than your card stock.
  2. Crumple the plastic wrap into a ball.  Uncrumple it and smooth it flat on your table.
  3. Scribble on the wrap with 3-4 colors of markers.  You don't need a lot of coverage.
  4. Fold the wrap in half to mix the colors.  Unfold.
  5. Spray the wrap lightly with water.
  6. Gently place your card stock on top of the wrap and press it flat to allow the color mixture to transfer to the paper.
  7. Peel the card stock off.
  8. Repeat with more color if needed and let dry.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Friday, June 3, 2016

Thirty Days of Bible Lettering Project

The last few days of the #30daysofbiblelettering project brought a flurry of supply experiments with them.  Here is the last page in the journal I made for the project, done with Twinkling H20's.  It is Weaver Writing, and I added a shadow with a pencil.
So the journal was finished, but the project still had a few more days to go.  This is purple gouache with white added so that it pops on the black paper.

Next, I tried out some Daniel Smith watercolors.  I only have three colors, but with the three primaries you can mix anything!  I was trying to convince myself that I didn't need the new set of Artist Loft watercolors that I had seen in this video.
I was using a new brush, a Pentel Aquash brush that I have been eyeing for months and is also used in the video .
I weakened, and bought the watercolors.  I tried them out in this final piece.  And yes, I love them for lettering.  Having all of those yummy colors already mixed is perfect for a quick quote.  It doesn't make sense to spend more time mixing than lettering. LOL 

There was one more day left in the project, but that day brought a jazzy background worth its own blog entry, so stay tuned.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Butterfly Meadow

These Artist Trading Cards were quick and fun to do.  Using a stamp by Crafty Individuals, I stamped using Versamark, and then applied Pan Pastels.  And then I experimented with all kinds of color combinations!