Nov 30, 2010

Christmas-y Things I Want To Do: List It Tuesday

I've been intending to take part in Aimee's fun List It Tuesday for a while but I never seem to get around to writing a list by hand, photographing it, uploading, editing... and then posting here.
So I decided to make a list in Windows Paint today instead.  It's a real bugger to work with so it helps me to relax, knowing that my drawings will look amateur no matter what I do :-)  Somehow that stops me from being too perfectionist.

Here's my list of Christmas-y things I'd like to do:

Nov 25, 2010

Hand Stamped Wrapping Paper

I had so much fun decorating the wrapping paper for this gift and wanted to share a picture with you of the final result.
I'm normally too much of a perfectionist and it gets in the way of me enjoying some artsy/craftsy things.  This time I somehow turned off the inner critic and just had fun!  Nothing is really even, the wrapping job is a bit lumpy... and I don't care LOL!

The stamps: the star stamp was hand-carved from an eraser.  The rest were store bought from Michaels.
The ink: inexpensive dye-based stamp pads - also from Michaels.  The silver dots on the trees were added by hand with a new gel pen I am loving.
The paper: I have supplements shipped to me by mail and I always save the packing paper to re-use.  It is not very strong so I doubled it up to make sure it wouldn't rip when the gift was handled.

Nov 22, 2010

I Love Paper Weaving!

I spent almost the entire weekend with the computer turned off and was impressed with (but not surprised by) just how much more time it felt like I had.

I recently read about using a paper shredder to make paper strips for crafts instead of having to cut them all by hand... what an awesome thing!  So many types of paper (please see disclaimer at bottom of post) can be fodder for the shredder - magazine pages, the cool patterns on the inside of security envelopes, sturdier wrapping paper, paper bags, drawings, paintings, colouring and art journal pages you don't need any more, coloured envelopes you receive in the mail, construction paper, sheet music (which you can photocopy if you want to keep the original - thank you S. for that awesome idea and for sending me sheet music in the mail! :)

The strips of paper can be used for many different crafts but my favourite is paper weaving.  If you have a paper shredder and think you may like paper weaving, I encourage you to try it out!
I tried coating them in glue afterward and the one that used about 50% construction paper did very well and stayed flat.  The one made entirely with thinner paper warped but I will try putting it under some heavy books to see if it will flatten out.

Here are some photos:
Christmas-y colours.  I will likely cut this piece up to decorate cards or make ornaments with.  This is the piece that had construction paper and survived the glue very well.

Music weaving start.

Music weaving finished.

I found it a bit boring all white and black and decided to try stamping on top of it... not very happy with the results but I find it interesting enough that I will try this method again :-)

An abstract watercolour painting on paper was the source for this weaving.

If you experiment with paper weaving and post online, I'd love if you'd include a link in the comments section!  I love seeing other people's experiments :-)

*disclaimer and warning*
I have no idea if any of the paper suggestions could jam your paper shredder... please proceed with caution! :-)  With the shredder I used, the super thin, flexible papers ended up shredding in a slight curve and were not straight-edged.

Nov 19, 2010

BlueBird of Happiness - detail from art journal page

This small piece is one of my favourite parts from a larger art journal spread that I've been puttering with over the months.

You can click on the image to see a larger version (hopefully it works - this blogger feature has been causing me some problems lately).

I find art journalling so healing and therapeutic.  I often begin by laying down a background of words or images that express a difficult emotion I am processing, then when I have kind of 'gotten it out' I continue adding layers and transform the 'negative' into a viewpoint I'd like to have that is more positive.  It's rare that I art journal without realising something very important about myself.

The nice thing is that when I go back months later and look at a page, I usually can't recall the angst that began the page - I only recall the positive message/learning that came out of it!

Tip: the lid from an old toothpaste tube can be repurposed into a fun stamp that makes two circle sizes depending on which end you use.  I like the frilly edges it makes.  The border around the bird's 'nest' is made with a hand carved eraser stamp.

Nov 15, 2010

New Camera Excitement!

I am so excited!
I have a new camera... finally!
The Fujifilm Finepix S1800 which has a clever enough Auto Mode that I can take nice pictures easily and flexible enough manual settings that if I ever learn more and want to adjust them on my own, I won't feel trapped by too simple of a camera.

My favourite part is that the Macro function is easy to use (simply press one button) and it works.  Pictures are actually in focus - something that has been an issue with the macro function on all of my previous cameras.
Equally exciting is that fact that it has a Super Macro function (simply press the button twice)... I didn't even know about this before purchasing so it was a lovely surprise.  The Super Macro function can take pictures as close as 2cm or around 0.8 inches!  So awesome :-)
Come spring and summer, you will likely see many flower, plant and hopefully bug close ups here on the blog.

What I find very interesting is how much more aware I am of nuances in my surroundings now that my creative mind is looking for 'photo-worthy' images.

Batteries are charging as I type this and I will be posting photos soon!

(the camera takes 4 AA batteries which is another thing I love about it - I use rechargeable NiMH batteries and they have saved me so much money over the years as well as being more environmentally friendly.)

Nov 3, 2010

Lovely Autumn Shadows

On sunny mornings lately I have been loving the shadows on my dining room wall.
They are created by the sun shining through dried up flowers outside my patio door window... and also a few butterfly 'window clings' I have on the glass.

I still don't have a camera so these are taken with a video camera that has just one quality setting: 'sure-to-make-you-wish-you-had-a-real-camera!'.  That's not the official name of course... but it should be LOL!

Here's the view looking out the window showing what's creating those shadows (in the background you can see the pink sweet peas that have only succumbed to cold weather in the last couple of days!):

I also enjoy these shadows created by brass bells amidst leftover morning glory vines.  I played around a bit in my photo editor to give it an antique look.  Sometimes it doesn't look like shadows on a wall at all to me but rather objects seen through heavy fog:

One of my cats likes to 'help' with the photos  >^..^<

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