Saturday, November 25, 2017

Projects for December!

By this time next week, December will be here! Have you got time for some creative projects now? If you can squeeze something into the end of the year, I highly recommend some kind of December Daily project. I've done a couple in the past : see my posts about my Stitched Paper Journal HERE
my December Daily from 2013 HERE
and from 2009 HERE
Susannah Conway has just released her FREE December reflections prompts. They would be fun to use for a December Daily. 
Find the daily prompts (a list of things to photograph and ponder) HEREShe is currently working on her annual FREE offerings by email : "Unravel Your Year workbook" and "Find your Word" - sign up to her email list to get these as soon as they're released HERE
If you decide on a word for 2018, Ali Edwards releases her One Little Word course sign-ups in December.
I'll be making Bookmarks for my librarians again this year - see how I made them last year HERE
and every year I make Christmas cards : 2016 are HERE
Online at Balzer Designs : #CARVEDDECEMBER2017 is coming
See all Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's  stamp carving posts HERE
I had decided I don't need to sign up for any more new classes BUT.....Tam has just released this
It's gorgeous faces, it's flowers, it's luscious inks and sprays, it starts Dec 1st and a class is released every week through to mid-January = my Summer holidays when I always have a huge burst of time and creativity = I already have the supplies, it's 7 full lessons + 3 bonus time-lapse and I know the quality of Tam's teaching - videos - PDFs means this will be great value for the money, it's on early bird pricing until Dec 1st....can you tell I am about to push the registration button HERE?! It's not technically registering for a new class in 2018 ♥
And from previous years, still available and FREE : 
Alisa Burke's Holiday Play HERE.
and Five Golden Letterings with Joanne Sharp HERE.
If you need other inspiration, scroll through ALL of my blog posts about Christmas HERE
We have just finished supporting our eldest son through his big exams for the year. Next up are our school break-ups and various night celebrations. I am so lucky that my work year finishes 15th December and I am looking forward to long hot Summer hols. Almost time to make Merry ♥

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Daily Journaling Week 47

I'm following the prompts of the original Documented Life 2014Week 47 : add a map of your town or country And from the blog for Life Documented 2017 HERE : 
Prompt: A doodle week in colour incorporating a tip in and tag.
Technique: Use any pens of your choice
Straight away I loved the idea of adding a map, so I began with that before thinking of what next....I have a really cool old book of NZ maps and I'm feeling the need to create a face this week so purposely positioned the Palmerston North (my home town), and on the opposite page chose a map that had pretty colours - part of that page had a chart that was very cool in its patterning, so that went on as well
I added a layer of clear gesso so that I could start my face with coloured pencils and then move to pens. I did my face very quickly using polychromos colouring pencils and a blending stump. 
LOVE her and decided I'm not touching her again....Now to consider how to tackle my other page and thought I'd treat it completely separately and go with pen fun. Started by laying down colour with lovely Tombows blended with water. 
Then time to doodle - I mostly used my moonlight pens for this since they are so bright and gorgeous. I'm dreaming of Summer SHINE ♥ 
Doodles inspired by what's on the paper collage and my own loopy lettering
So ended up with 2 separate pages to meet the challenges this week.
Happy with life and my creative energy....only 5 weeks of challenges for this year to go! You can see all my posts about this project HERE and my Flickr album HERE.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Pretty Decorated Jars

Recently I did a post thinking about what to sign up for in 2018 and came to the conclusion that I have signed up for sooooo many things in the past that I haven't finished (or sometimes started!) that I don't need to add much new to my list for next year. One idea I like is to have 2 Inspiration Jars which I can dip into when I can't decide which project to do next. One will be a jar that is fabric and fibre focused (including quilts, embroidery, mixed media fabric art, bags) and the other which is paint and paper focused (art journaling, canvas, lettering, wood, book making, cards). I bought 2 cheap apothecary-style food storage jars from The Warehouse - with a wide neck so I can get my hand in easily.
Then I wrapped them with suitable materials so they won't need labels. I used some of my Great Grandmother's lace for the fabric and fibre jar
The leaf pattern looks quite modern to me. And for the paint and paper jar I used a piece of tracing paper with alcohol ink pattern from a play day last year
It still has a lovely transparent look on the jar. I just used double-sided tape to attach everything. These are a fun idea for an easy present - decorate your jar and fill it with lovely baked goodies or special ribbons/washi tapes/crafty goods. 
Glass jars like these could also hold a candle. 
My pretty project jars are sitting on the shelf above my computer to inspire me to create instead of sit looking at others' creations! 
And if that idea doesn't work, they can be gifted or used for crafty storage ♥ 
Hope this post inspires you to go and create something this weekend.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Daily Journaling Week 46

I'm following the prompts of the original Documented Life 2014Week 46 : Incorporate fabric into your pageAnd from the blog for Life Documented 2017 HERE : 
Prompt:  Changing colours
Technique:  Exploring the colour wheel
Quote: You are allowed to change ~ anonymous
I thought I'd start with the colour wheel, and I'm trying a multi-day spread with the page divided as learned in some Book of Days lessons this past year. It's a great way to build up a page over time and is how I mostly work (micro-movements = a little and often)
DAY1 : a butterfly at the centre - she needs to be from all around the colour wheel and then I'm going to explore a part of the wheel for each section. And of course she needs a touch of gold ♥ This will remind me that I did face painting for children at our school Gala on Saturday 
Then I added base colours for each section of the colour wheel - keeping to lighter so easier to build up layers on top. No idea where it will go next but hopefully something will come to me tomorrow...
DAY 2 : pink suggests roses to me and we had a major clean up day in the garden on Sunday. Used lovely tombows - colour then spray with water and blend with a brush for lovely soft watercolour effects
The leaves are bronze because that fits this section of the colour wheel - I did my best to disguise the pink background. When dry the colour faded right off - I think probably because applied over acrylic rather than watercolour paper. That's not my usual experience with these pens.
DAY 3 : lots of coffee dates organised to catch up with lovely friends this week. Searched for an appropriate simple clip art mug with heart and transferred outline by tracing over graphite paper. I will add their names as we meet up
This was quick and the rose from yesterday is too insipid for my liking - added more colour with distress paint and then glazes - I ♥ what glazes can do
DAY 4 - incorporate fabric - temperatures are warming up. Summer is on its way - I wanted to use this lovely bathing beauty and the brighter blue background looks far better than the lavender did.
DAY 5. Last week I did a post about Thinking what to sign up for in 2018. The words are what I need to hear often - and I'd used the right colour in my post so just copied and pasted and printed on a word document to include here. When unsure what to do, I am led by my heart ♥ And even though the green I began with now looks yellow, it serves the other prompts! Changing colours and You are allowed to change 
Really happy with how the completed spread looks. 
You can see all my posts about this project HERE and my Flickr album HERE.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

One Little Word : November - write a love letter to yourself

I've been responding to most of Ali Edwards' "One Little Word" monthly prompts this year. They encourage you to connect with your word throughout the year and I've been enjoying how SHINE has developed in 2017. This month was to write yourself a love letter. It's such a great exercise in self-love and kindness - how do you treat yourself? Do you tell yourself things that you'd say to others?
I used a technique I've used a few times for this project which is to trim an old calendar page to fit my printer - it gives a lovely background without any work from me! I added the purple stars as a reference to my tattoo - read more about that and turning 50 HERE. Here's the scan of my letter (click on it if you'd like to read it larger)
Try writing yourself a letter and be loving, encouraging and kind ♥ Of course not everything about my life is perfect! But this celebrates progress not perfection.
See all my posts about OLW 2017 HERERegistration for OLW 2018 will start in December

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Thinking about what to sign up for in 2018?

You can do ANYTHING, 
but you can't do EVERYTHING!
I ♥ being creative and I try and do something every day - as I've said over and over here on my blog, it's an essential part of my self care that helps me to SHINE and I also want to encourage others to add this joy to their days. 
I've had people ask me what I'm signing up for in 2018, and what I recommend. Often you need to sign up before the end of December to get good discounts. So I've been thinking a lot this week about what I'm doing currently, and what I want to continue with next year. In January I shared my creative dreams for this year - let's get an overview of how I've done : 
Effy Wild's Book of Days 
I find her style of teaching inspiring, and I adored her Facing Forward II class (which you'll get FREE If you join Life Book 2018!)  While I haven't arted along with every lesson, I've watched Effy's weekly class vlog (bedhead diary), watched her full-length video lessons and added my own notes on her PDFs - they are lifelong access so I can go back at any time - used her monthly prompts, increased my written journaling practice, improved my self-care practice, and been part of a wonderful online community. 
+ Documenting Life - I've been following the prompts of the original Documented Life 2014 AND the blog prompts for Life Documented 2017 HEREYou can see all my posts about this project HERE. My journal now looks like this : 
it makes me incredibly happy to see that, but I WILL NOT be continuing with this project next year since I've found it increasingly something I "must" do so I can complete the journal this year. Luckily I have been 'making it work' by including other class prompts in here. It's my own pressure, but it's a lot to respond to weekly prompts for a whole 52 weeks!
 + My Word of the year is SHINE and I've been doing Ali Edwards' One Little Word monthly prompts to keep me on track. I've found it really worthwhile this year. She'll have sign ups for 2018 in December.
I HAVE finished a quilt this year, and I HAVE done number of lovely mixed media fabric projects (which I'll share in my traditional end-of-year Ta Da list - this was 2016I've also LOVED (and am continuing with) Mary Ann Moss's Stitch*Bookery class - and that wasn't even available when I did my original list in January 2017!
BUT I HAVE NOT done any work on Spirit Wings by Kelly Rae Roberts NOR Grateful HeART journal by Alisa Burke NOR Sue Spargo's embroidery class on Craftsy....Not because I didn't want to -  I still have them on my "want to do" list....but because You can do ANYTHING, but you can't do EVERYTHING! 
S0 - 2018. If you're new to art journaling, I'd recommend investigating Life Book 2018
I did Life book in 2015 and 2016 and really enjoyed the teachers and lessons in there. Really great value for money when you calculate what you get weekly, and a wonderful opportunity to sample a range of teaching and art styles. I am so grateful for online learning!
I keep a list of cheap and FREE online art classes in the top right column of my blog. Let me know if I need to make additions or changes there.
Please check my left column of labels and you'll see just how many courses I've done over the years. Please message me if you have specific questions about any of them and I'll answer you honestly. 
There are lots of classes I've never finished (some don't even appear on the list on the left cos I've done so little!) so I am only enrolling for Effy Wild's discounted bundle of her year-long offerings for 2018 : Book of Days and Moonshine.
I have a great affinity with Effy's art and teaching style and her building of community suits me very well. As you saw with my comments about my experience with BOD 2017, it's more than just creating pretty pages! In addition, next year I want to make even more mixed media projects WITH STITCH and I have a "jar of projects" idea which I'll share more about when I've sorted the details.
What are you thinking about doing in 2018? 
I'd love to know (and I may be tempted to join you!)

Monday, November 6, 2017

Daily Journaling Week 45

I've been following the prompts of the original Documented Life 2014Week 45 : add a tab And from the blog for Life Documented 2017 HERE : 
Prompt:       Start with a black background
Technique:  Using Black Gesso on white card stock
Quote:         “Friends are Flowers In the Garden of Life” Mary Engelbreit
My spread this week came together from a number of inspirations....first what I'm NOT doing : not adding a tab from 2014 prompt - my journal now looks like this and I'm not wanting to add too much more bulk in case I can't close it by the end of the year! 
I'm not using black gesso either - don't own any and have plenty of black paint.
Inspirations : my roses are all blooming - they are just gorgeous. I did a good job of pruning this year
and I am also enjoying a lovely variety on my table inside
As I was considering the prompt, Effy Wild posted a link to her Patreon account of a black and white page which inspired me to use a photo of myself.
Go view her time-lapsed video on YouTube HERE. So here's how I started with my black background : Dina's paint colour is called "Night" and it's got a deep purple feel which I LOVE
I was inspired by my yellow roses for my doodles 
and used a favourite gold Sakura gelly roll pen for added SHINE ♥  
Repeating shapes
Just having fun with doodles until I was completely surrounded by a gorgeous spread of Flowers
Wishing you a wonderful week. You can see all my posts about this project HERE and my Flickr album HERE.
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