Saturday 30 July 2011

Process of Creating a Journal - Peekaboo Stylie

This week I have been rather ill which has meant I’ve not made a great deal of things except a few journals for my shop and thought I would share the process through photos (which may mean this become a very long post lol – but you know 1 picture v 1000 words and all that).  Every time I make a journal however the process is a little different as sometimes I start with a particular piece of broken jewellery I may want to use, other times fabric, or may be some vintage ephemera, this time however it was a cardboard box:

Told you, a cardboard box, I hate throwing anything away, even into the recycling when I know I can create something from it.  Due to the length of the box I had two choices, one really long skinny journal, or two smaller journals:

Needless to say which I went for, they ended up measuring 4 x5” with a 1” spine.  I then covered the journals, one in grey leather and the other in a scrap fabric swatch of a birdie tree:

Next I picked the technique I wanted to use for the binding, which I found in Alisa Golden’s Making Handmade Books (which is not the best book on bookbinding I have come across, as the majority of it is made up of cards and a huge amount of accordion card/books, that are NOT bookbinding techniques at all – but it’s good if you’re just starting making books and as I’ve got the book there are a couple of techniques I’m going to try):

I didn’t stick exactly to the book with the preparing over the covers or button closure they use, I just used the bookbinding technique itself.   So I cut holes in the covers, and lined them with paper:

Then I cut the paper to size (If you try using a cardboard box as the cover make sure you measure the spine to see how many signatures should be included):

Then I chose the vintage ephemera (as I always include for interest):

Prepared the signatures:

And bound them into the covers with waxed linen bookbinding thread:

Then I added embellishments & closure systems, I think the cut out spine looks really nice with the ephemera cover signatures peeking through:

Here are some other journals I have previously made using the ‘cardboard box for covers technique’ to give you some idea of different bindings:

Finally here's a peek of the other journals I have made over the last few days, all are/will be available in my shop:

See told you it would be a long post lol hope you enjoyed and have a good week :)

Monday 25 July 2011

Totally Divided

Ever feel like there is more than one person inside you? Battling for your time and attention to be spent on them? I’m not talking about roles, ie friend, lover, carer, these are external and need another to exist. I’m talking of internal, people who you are, want to be and will be with effort.  I have been going through this this week, all of those I have been battling with have been creative, just creative in different forms.   Yesterday the ones that reined where the art journaler:

And bookbinder:

The journals are available in my shop and here is a video I made for my YouTube subscribers on the art journal process:

Today it is the designer and inventor that has triumphed:

Doodles of new things I want to make include jewellery, fabric things and different bookbinding techniques I have created for particular journals I want to make:

All these people battling for my attention are still in the same creative vein though, it is more the other creative people inside me I am worried do not get a look in.  Perhaps I shall have to create a timetable to divide my creative time equally – much like the revision timetables you would create for school examinations.  The only trouble is I would spend hours creating the perfect & even easy to accomplish timetables but never, not even once, did I stick to them.  I have a feeling this would be very similar, for that was academic and I couldn’t do it so is it even possible to programme a creative schedule?  ‘Creative’ and ‘Schedule’ seem naturally juxtaposing to me, but I believe it takes every part of you to be somewhat happy for overall fulfilment to be achieved, so I shall just have to give it a go.
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Friday 22 July 2011

Illustration Friday - Perennial

This weeks Illustration Friday is ‘Perennial’ and rather than picking an old tree or something else natural to draw in my art journal I felt like creating a mythical creature.

Okay so I know a phoenix is a cliché but I wanted to raid my pastel and random paints draw and thought the cheap oil pastels would work well for mixing quick merky flames for the 20 minutes I made her in. 

I knew the flames/wings would look as they do, as this is the only technique I can master with oil pastels – smudginess. I’m not great with oils, I can never tell when to make it thinner or put linseed oil in and my lack of talent of the medium spreads to oil pastels also, but I’m determined to get better.  So yesterday I splashed and brought some Sennelier Oil Pastels to see if it is my cheap £5 box of pastels is just making my grip of them even harder – but I have a feeling it is as much my perfectionist state wanting all the colours to merge and be uniform that is my downfall. 

I still do not know why I have this regimented side of my art brain when my favourite artists are among the Impressionists – their bold brushstrokes and colours I bask in, admiring their freedom – so why I cannot allow the same of my own hands I’ve no idea.  I’m hoping the Sennelier Oil Pastels and a self-imposed strangulation of my naughty sided art brain will help induce my freedom.

Tuesday 19 July 2011

Illustration Friday (on Tuesday) - Gesture

Hi guys

Hope everyone’s having a good week, I decided to start Illustration Friday with this week’s prompt being ‘Gesture’ (link on left hand side if you want to visit the website).  This is my version:

I have to admit I’m not really fussed with her, nor while I was painting her - as you can probably tell if you watch the video of the piece being created below.  It’s not very often that it happens to me but I just wasn’t in ‘the zone’ and hence didn’t like the results.  However one of the most vital things I have learnt is that it is as important to appreciate what you don’t like as much as what you do, as it is still part of your creative journey (same can be said of life hey?) and still producing something when not in the zone is a lot better than being in the zone and producing nothing I say.  Here is speed video of the process:

Finally I just want to thank everyone for such nice comments, you have made my integration into the blogosphere fun and encouraging as opposed the big scary monster I thought it would be so big hugs to you, I really appreciate it.

Friday 15 July 2011

Creating Creative Time

So this past week has been yet another struggle for creativity to get through.  I won’t bore you with the details but I’m sure everyone creative has felt that pull of restlessness when you don’t have the time to do it.  But then I realised it is not about ‘finding’ time, because if you are busy you never will, it is about ‘creating’ time.  So I managed to make a couple of journals out of these treasure items I found last week:

I found all these antique and vintage postcards and metal findings at various car boots, and here is what I made them into:

This is obviously a journal with a slightly scrubbed up brass plate/stamp, which I turned into the closure system and below are field sketchbooks created with two kinds of Fabriano paper, so artists can pick their media.

All journals/sketchbooks are available in my shop

It is still not as productive as a usual week, but it is a start. One particular project, the daily challenge I set myself for the month of July, (this started last month when I challenged myself to hand make a journal everyday throughout the entire month of June – please check out the video here - it is titled 'Journal a Day June') that has not really even got off the ground.  July’s challenge is nothing to do with making journals but again is to do with journaling and I have so far managed to do 5 out of 70! 5????? Out of 70??? Yes, pathetic isn’t it?  And it’s already mid July! Yes, I feel screwed.  My initial plan was to do 140! I have come to terms that that is not going to happen, but I haven’t given up on the 70 yet.  This will happen – it is just all about the ‘creating’ of my creative time.  I will let you know how I get on.

Finally one time I do not regret not being able to create was yesterday afternoon.  My best friend happened to be in town so we set out on one of our glamorous afternoons, which this time consisted of a Frankie and Benny’s long lunch, a walk around a huge DIY store then wrapped up with us buying (and not looking particularly attractive while carrying) a ton of cat litter.  However, while at the DIY store I managed to find a seat for my outside studio – I have been searching ages for a chair for the small space that was comfortable enough to spend hours in and was so happy when I stumbled across this outdoor beanbag chair:

Here is Natasha modelling it in it’s new home. There was a time when our glamorous trips were all about trying on slinky dresses, going out to bars, shopping for lingerie, make up & shoes and being the ladies that lunch in cafes for the entire day. Now it consists of messy wrap dinners in diners, cat litter shopping and stuffing oversized beanbags into tiny cars haha still the time transitions but the fun doesn’t, and that’s all that matters (well that and the fact I am, right now, sat on the beanbag and it IS damn comfy :) ).

Tuesday 12 July 2011

Brand Spanking New Blog

Hi all

This is my brand-spanking new blog, it is going to be a creative artsy kinda blog. I will post about my art, journaling, creating and basically the making of anything and everything that passes through my studio.

I’ve got to be honest I’ve avoided blogging like the plague as I’m not very savvy with the computer - so to me they always looked such a scary thing to even contemplate. They still do, I just grew a pair, and thankfully I know good people who’ve helped me loads with all the ‘techy’ stuff – so big kisses to them, as well as to you for dropping by - mwaaaaah!

This week has been hectic with ‘stuff’ (you know those things that are so important at the time it’s life or death they get done but when someone asks what you’ve been up to you respond ‘oh nothing’? ) so I thought it would be a nice introduction to this blog and who I am just to take an hour out and create something - so I created a video of me just playing around with paints and pens in one of my art journals:

Oh and I have completed all of the other pages on my lovely new blog so be sure to check out my studio, my shop and my video pages at the top.
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