Monday, May 30, 2011

I've been playing with the fab new ATC frames from Retro Café Art

And they are so much fun!

I've waxed lyrical in the past about stencils from a great company called Coffee Break Designs, now they have released a cool range of laser cut frames designed to fit ATCs.

You can see the whole range here, so many possibilities, huh?

And the really cool thing is you can order them in stencil board, so you can use them over and over again as stencils too - I've got extras of the spotty one and the starburst one for just that reason.

I was lucky that my frames arrived this weekend, just in time for me to enter this competition, fingers crossed!!

I'm not sure what to do with these ATCs now I've made them (I don't need to send the originals off for the competition) ....if anyone wants to trade, leave a comment or drop me an email.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Abnormal and unhealthy? moi???

A quick just-for-fun journal page pulled together tonight while waiting for my hair to dry so I can go to bed.

I had the stencilled skull lying around already, as it was a by product of a quick test of the Copic airbrush system that I got for my birthday, and I'd already laid down some nice jewel toned paints on the page courtesy of an overloaded brush or two from another project.

So all I had to add tonight was the diamond pattern (a 2 second job with copper spraypaint), some sandpaper scratches, the crow in her little tailored jacket, and all the writing.

The page is about the fact that, throughout my life, so many people have called me "morbid", just because I like graveyards, and pet rats, and halloween, and horror movies, and all things dark and creepy.

But looking at the definition of morbid, that's not me at all - nothing abnormal and unhealthy going on - I just listened to too much Sisters of Mercy in my formative years, that's all :)

AJED : 78 / 365

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A little love for my poor neglected art journal

I just checked, and the last page I completed in this little journal was dated April 22nd.  That's a whole month ago, so much for Art Journal Every Day :(

I have been doing other creative stuff near enough every day (like the new CJ I blogged about yesterday), but not working in this little book - sorry little book!

This page is in response to this prompt from the girls over at A Year In The Life Of An Art Journal:

The Prompt: Busy!
The song: Manic Monday by the Bangles
Written Lyrics HERE
Product/technique: Lace/trim

Ironically this prompt is a couple of weeks old, but I have been too busy to work with it until now!

I didn't use the lace or trim in the end, as I preferred the page without it.  

It's all about how I sometimes get so overwhelmed by the amount of things I have to do - that I try to juggle them all together and end up messing them all up.  I need to learn to calm down, and concentrate on doing the highest priority tasks WELL, rather than trying to do absolutely everything and achieving absolutely nothing.

My favourite part of this page is the background which I made with spray paint over those black plastic things which hold the twist ties into toy packaging.  I'm really in love with spray paint at the moment.

AJED : 77 / 365 

(I'm not sure why I'm continuing with this counter given that it's obvious I won't be anywhere near 365 by the end of the year - I've failed rather dismally with the whole Art Journal Every Day thing - but it will still be nice at the end of the year to see how many days I did manage to just play, just for me.  Hopefully it will be at least 100, maybe more)


Make It Work! .... the birth of a new Circle Journal

 Anyone who knows me well, knows that I don't watch a ton of TV, but there are a select few programmes that I am nothing short of fanatical about:
  • Fringe
  • The IT Crowd
  • Doctor Who
  • Father Ted
  • Glee (for my sins)
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Yes, I know it's an odd show for me to get hooked on, I'm not desperately interested in the world of high fashion.  But I DO love to see the way the contestants respond to all the fantastic challenges they get set - like "make a dress out of chocolate wrappers", "take a hideous old bridesmaid dress apart and make something modern and fabulous from it", "make a three piece outfit inspired by a billboard ad", etc etc etc.  I just enjoy watching creative people being forced to think outside the box, and seeing what clever things they come up with.

And I got to thinking, in that respect the Project Runway challenges are very similar to the Take Ten CJ I just finished working on - where we had prompts like "make a page inspired by a postage stamp", " a Guns n Roses song", " a layout sketch", " shades of one colour only"....

So the idea started brewing in my head....what about a Project Runway themed circle where everyone picks one of the actual Project Runway challenges from a past episode of the show - and instead of applying the prompts to designing clothing, we can apply them to producing pages for each others journals!

I suggested the potential theme over at UKScrappers, and in no time at all I had 9 other sign-ups - enough for a 10-person circle, and we were on our way!

The challenge I chose was from Season 8, Episode 5 - where the contestants had to choose one "concept" and one "material" from two lists provided, and somehow combine them into a garment.

I've used the same lists that the PR designers had to choose from:

My fellow circle-journallers will need to choose one item from each box, and then construct a 2-page spread in my book, on any subject (it doesn't have to be anything to do with fashion or clothing....), featuring their chosen concept and material prominently.

I decided to call my journal Mix and Match - which takes me back to my cover....did you wonder why there was that second helping of coil binding on the front of the book?

So my model could mix and match her outfits, of course!

I made nine separate flaps and dressed her head and shoulders, torso, and legs in a number of outfits based on some of the options in my "Concepts" and "Materials" lists.

For example, above you see Menswear For Women on the top, Tartan in the middle and Minimalist on the legs.

The initial shot of the book, at the top of this post, shows Military with Futuristic and Gothic

And here's Menswear For Women again with Animal Prints and Gold.

Each look is labelled on the back.

I had a lot of fun making this book (out of old Easter Egg boxes covered with painted and stencilled watercolour paper) - and hopefully my fellow CJ participants will have fun playing with it also.

The other main parts of the book, are my sign in pages:

I liked the idea of using little free hanging tags, like clothing tags, in keeping with the overall fashion theme.  And "auf wiedersehen", German for goodbye, is of course the catchphrase of show host Heidi Klum, so it seemed appropriate to put it at the back of the book :)

And also, for completeness, here is the back cover, where you can get a clearer view of the painted and stencilled papers I made and used throughout the book's construction:

Sorry, this is turning into a super long blog post, almost as bad as one of my geocaching write-ups!  (the current one of which I am currently in the process of writing, and it is already up to 5,600 words!  that's longer than the essays we had to write at school, ridiculous)

Just one more thing to show you, and that's my own layout in the Mix and Match journal.

I chose Tartan from the materials list, and Futuristic from the concepts.  And this is where I ended up (please excuse poor photo, this page is super shiny and reflective):

I had stupid amounts of fun making this - who could resist a couple of super cute tartan robots?

The background was spraypainted in silver onto black glossy card, using a very cool stencil of a circuit board that I got from ebay recently

And the bots were cut out freehand from tartan print and gold card, and jazzed up with the addition of a few eyelets.

I was going to add some terribly witty writing to the page, but I couldn't think of anything terribly witty.  So I'm going to leave the robots to talk for themselves (which could be a bit of a challenge for the one without a mouth!)

So that's my journal all finished and ready to go.  First posting date is June 6th.  I'm looking forward to getting the circle moving and getting my creative teeth stuck in to some of those other challenges!

Monday, May 09, 2011

CJs are like buses....

....none for ages, and then two come along at once!

So here's my Take Ten CJ home safe and sound, and full to bursting with great work!

This one started life like this back in July last year, and it's filled out some since then :)

Without further ado, here is what everybody did, and as with the last CJ's photo shoot, please excuse my messy, paint table!

In each case, the stamp that the person chose to use as their inspiration is pictured on the left, and their artwork is on the right (click on the individual pics for a closer look):

This was a really fun circle journal to be a part of - thank you to all the Take Ten ladies.  Let's do it again sometime :)

Monday, May 02, 2011

Hooray, it's HOME!....UK Stampers CJ

Actually it's been home for a couple of weeks, but it has taken me a while to get it fixed up, rebound and photographed. 

But all that aside, here it is - the CJ that I sent out on its little journey way back in November 2009 - it hit a few delays along the way but it finally came back to me last month. 

I'm really chuffed that the covers have survived 12 postings so well - I was a bit worried all that crackle paste might flake off - but it's still solid as a rock (and all the little pebbles held on too, god bless gorilla glue!)

Looks great inside, huh?
You can see my own page on the original post (linked up there as 'November 2009') - and here are the rest (sorry about my painty old table in the background):

"Shrink Me" by Tasha (Chicken Licken)
"the gate to another dimension" by Sid (Harpie)
"when one door closes" by Linda E
"Dante's Inferno" by Claireabelle
"Look Inside" by 3D Jean
"Boo!" by Efemera
My bestest pal Alison G spoilt me with a double set of gorgeous hand-watercoloured pages
"Alice's Garden" by Moira (Happy Daze)
Another take on "one door opens..." - there was no sign in tag for this one, but by a process of elimination, it must be by T Ann
"Keys" by Fiona (Magickdiva)
 and last but CERTAINLY not least, a masking masterpiece!

"hell of a good universe next door" by Diane (Morti)
Thanks so much to everyone who worked in the journal - I'm glad you all had fun with the door stamps.

It now has pride of place on my CJ bookshelf :)