Jun 24, 2010

New Hard Drive... and a minor earthquake!

Sorry to have been incommunicado for a while.  My hard drive died.
I have a new one now and have finally worked out all of the tech issues (I hope!).
Soon I will have my photos back on here and can share some of what I've been up to creatively :-)

My little bit of 'excitement' recently:
I experienced an earthquake yesterday!  Well... just the mild tremors of the aftershock :-)
There was a mild, 5.0 earthquake centered in Quebec and it could be felt up to 500km away.  Yesterday afternoon I suddenly felt the house shaking and things on top of the fridge began to rattle.  In passing I mildly thought, "Maybe it's an earthquake... nah, just a big truck somewhere nearby."  But later found out there had, indeed, been an earthquake.  Not a common occurrence here at all.  I think the last one was over 10 years ago.  Of course this can really only be 'exciting' if no one gets hurt - which no one did from what I could tell.

I'll leave you with a photo from a few summers ago of where I'm daydreaming of being (instead of in the hot, humid, icky weather at home):

Bruce Peninsula National Park, Ontario, Canada.

Wild, breathtakingly beautiful, freezing cold water even in August (which never, no never, stops me from swimming :).

If you're somewhere hot, what do you do to keep cool?

Jun 15, 2010

Creatively Processing 'Darker' Emotions

I am a person with tendencies towards deep depression at times and have found creativity to be one of the few things that can help get me through those times.
Sometimes the 'darker' emotions are strong enough that I feel stuck creatively.
Those are times when I pull out magazines and go through them to find material for collages or art 'journal' pages (a bit of a misnomer since there is often very little journalling... but I'm not sure what else to call them).

Often, the images I will be drawn to cut out reflect my emotional state.
By the time I have cut out images for a while, I've been brought more into the present moment and reconnected with my creative juice - and am then able to collage or art journal.
Sometimes, this process actually lifts me out of the difficult emotions.  It feels healthy and healing - like the emotions are actually being processed, not ignored or shoved inside to hurt me.

Here are a few pages I did a while ago - adding to them each time I was in a dark place.  Sometimes these pages get journalled on later.

I give  myself permission to be messy :-)
In the above page, the background was done, in part, using this technique I came up with to create a  random/chaotic look on thin papers that would warp with wet mediums.

In the above piece, I wanted a messy stamp and didn't have one so I carved one from an eraser (stamp carving is another thing that can totally absorb me and bring me into the moment).

Are there certain creative things that can help you when you feel sad, angry or down?

Jun 11, 2010

Finding Beauty In Everyday Things

I try to notice the beautiful in everyday things - pleasing colours, shapes, textures and light.
Here are some pictures of things that have made me smile recently (apologies for the poor photo quality - neither my camera or editing program are great):

Vibrant pollen on Jacob's Ladder stamens - these smell divine!

Variegated yellow corn on the cob dripping with butter looked so wonderful against the blues of this awesome plate my mom made (she's a potter)

Both of the cats fit together on the tiny stool!  Which is more impressive if you know how... erm... wide the cat on the left actually is :-)   The cats love open windows.

I loved the contrast of the purple and green on this spring violet.

Luscious buttercup soaking up the sun.

I couldn't resist another photo of this amazing plate.  It is the most perfect toast plate ever!  I eat some pretty curious food - that's gluten-free toast and sunflower seed 'butter' with stevia sprinkled on top (to make it sweet) and sliced organic banana on the sides.

Jun 9, 2010

Tutorial: Making Colourful Backgrounds That Won't Warp Thin Papers

I finally created a photo tutorial for the art journal backgrounds I've been talking about.
The technique can also be used in card and tag making, bookmarks, collage, ATC's, handmade wrapping paper or anything you can think of!
I'd love if you shared your ideas in the comments area :-)

This is mostly a 'dry' technique meaning that it won't cause thin paper to warp or buckle when applied.
I do also include a variation of this technique that is 'wet' for those who don't mind buckling or who use thicker paper.  The wet version has some really awesome effects like these (and even more fun ones if you colour-mix):

I confess that I hate typing so I've written the directions right in the photos.  If anyone has trouble reading my messy printing, please let me know and I will type out the directions below each photo.
Also, if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask them in the comments area.  I've turned off that pesky comment security device so you don't have to type in any characters before commenting :).

Okay... here we go!

I should have specified NON permanent markers :-)

*other types of plastic may give different effects - experiment if you like!

Eventually I will post a video showing just how quickly this is actually done :-)  The faster, the better.

WET Technique:




If you try any of this out and post somewhere online, please share in the comments area!  I love seeing what others do :-)
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