Friday, April 25, 2014

Surgery and Creative Recovery

I had a little surgery this week.  A Proactive Laproscopic Hysterectomy.  Not really my First choice of activity after another successful Tax Season.  But quite productive, seemingly no cancer involved and no more scary readings on this or that, at least in that area. :-)

Since I usually go to an art retreat right after tax season, and this year I didn't have one to go to since two Art & Souls happened just Before my tax season deadline, I decided to set aside some recovery days (whether needed or not!....and seemingly not.  All went Wonderfully, no pain, no meds needed, just a few slower days) to work on some art projects!  A little At Home art retreat for Myself. ;-)

As usual after tax season, I have a hard time figure out What to do with myself since I'm not working continually on tax returns.  And after the surgery, I didn't know what recovery to expect.  So the first morning after, I parused my bookshelf of handmade journals and found this little mini paste paper book I had made last June in Oregon in a class from Albie Smith.  I had never bound it.  So.....First project!  I bound my little book.  The stitch was Meant to be coptic stitch, which I've done a Lot through the years.  Maybe a side effect of the surgery, but for the Life of me, I couldn't remember how to do the stitch.  I kept coming out on the wrong side of the signatures.  So.....this is my adaptation of the coptic stitch.  Not perfect, but it is a cute bound little book. :-)

Next Journal I picked up was a Recipe book started last October while visiting friends in Wisconsin.  We had our own small Wisconsin Art Retreat for the 3rd year.  This year we focused on technique background pages, which we could later bind into a book.  We had talked in previous years about sharing recipes so we all brought recipes to share and I want to make mine into a recipe book.  We did many, many different backgrounds: Glimmer mists with saran wrap, acrylic paint, leaf print backgrounds, embossed metal with alcohol ink backgrounds, we used Stencils, Thermofax Screens and Gelli plates, we painted yupo paper with alcohol inks.  I'm sure there are more that I have forgotten now.  I found all of the pages worked wonderfully together to make a very different type of book.  I have my pages all matched up, I found some small dividers which I used for different types of food & labelled them with one of my large collection of vintage Dymo labellers, and I started adding some of the recipes to the pages. I have 2 canvas boards for covers that I have not yet painted.  And I am stumped now as to How to bind it as it is 3 1/2 inches thick now and I don't want to remove any of the pages.  Possible I will use Large rings and just punch 3 holes.  This will be a journal I will add to through the yeas as we all get together and share more recipes.  Our next art camp is October, 2014! Here are just a few of the pages.

Those were my projects the day after surgery.  Yesterday was day 2.  I again had a hard time figuring out What to work on.  I remembered a couple of weeks ago, I had an idea for a journal.  I am Horrible at drawing & painting faces, and I would Love to be able to do that.  I started cutting out faces from magazines, etc, and attaching them to a page in a long ago journal I had made but never used.  This is the first page and my start.  Interestingly, the early drawing looks more like a man than the woman pictured.  And I've never tried to draw a man before.  I think I am going to Learn from this process!

I finished her and am not Unhappy with her.  At Least she doesn't look like Every Single Face I have Ever drawn!  I tried the eyes again and think the floating eyes are better than in the picture.  I have space to try more eyes & lips.  The next page however, she looks Similar to my Always face.  I am Seeing things in the face by doing this.  I can see my lips are similar to hers, but mine are more harsh.  Hers are softer.  And I think on only the 2nd attempt, I have pinpointed a Big problem I have.  The Nose!!!  My noses are too long!  I might need a page with just Noses & work work work on that!  It's a Fun project though.  I'm excited at the prospect of getting a little better at drawing faces!

Today is day 3 of recovery.  From the minute I got up & went home, I've been feeling Fine!  I had high expectations of an easy recovery, but honestly, this has Amazed even Me.  I'm a little sore.  That's it.  No pain, just a little discomfort and I'm a little tired.  Since I Never slow down, I'm having Fun Using this as a forced art and reading week!  Today, I'm working on "Articulated Dolls" ATC's for a monthly swap due next week.  And planning to do some free style sewing on some of my DJ book pages. :-)

Monday, March 3, 2014

3 day class with D J Pettitt

It has been a Long time since I've added anything to my blog.  But last week, through the weekend, I took a 3 day class at Artful Journey in Los Gatos, with DJ Pettitt.  This is the 5th or 6th time I've taken classes from DJ and every time I learn something new!  And This time, for the First time, I actually got my journal bound!  I have 3 other journals yet to work on, but this time, I Finally got away from my accountant's mentality of having to line everything up & be sure it is straight & equal.  And just got going with paints, and the sewing machine and actually got some free stitching done.  I want to do a Lot More and try for stitching images on my old unfinished journals.  I haven't added any journalling or images yet to this journal, but the journal itself is painted and bound and ready to go.

I have tried for nearly an hour to rotate the 3 pictures below.  They are not in this format in my saved images.  But they upload to my blog this way. :-(  Now I remember Why I stopped posting to my blog!  When it works, it's great.  Then it takes Way too much time trying to figure out how to do something simple like rotate a picture! :-(  If anyone knows how to do that, I'd appreciate the help.

The picture below is the back cover.  I did paint over an image and it looked ok.  But there was a ridge around the picture and I couldn't get rid of it.  So I am regessoing it and might use some moulding paste to smooth that out.  Then repaint.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Orca's Island Travel Journal August 2013

We've been back from Orca's Island for a couple of weeks now.  This was our 10th year we celebrated our anniversary on Orca's Island.  This year was our 30th. :-)

I've been sick this past week, with not much energy, but I wanted to use the time for something productive so I pulled out the journal I barely started working on when we were on Orca's, and started adding pictures, receipts, maps, etc. to it each day.  By yesterday afternoon I had all pages ready to go. Then realized they were all 1 page, not folded pages for a signature, so I googled bindings and found the coptic stitch could be done with single pages.  Although I used Stonehenge paper which is fairly strong, I decided on 3 rows of binding and then added 3 (sometimes 2) eyelets to each page as well as the covers.  This morning I Actually Bound the book! This is a FIRST! :-) I'm Happy.

Although I started adding washi tape, outlines, etc. to the pages, I have not yet journalled on any of the pages.  I hope to start that this afternoon and maybe continue while watching the first season Football games, out in the yard tomorrow as the weather is absolutely Gorgeous today and through tomorrow. 

My next goal with travel journals will be using acrylic paints & a somewhat heavy wash to create pages ready to start adding to on my next trip or trips. I think binding this way was very Easy and it allows me to work on 1 page at a time, rather than working in a bound book.  If I want to use watercolor paper & can be bound in easily with all the other pages.  And I'm not limited to a certain number of pages.  This journal got Quite Thick, but it's fun to hold & flip through.  It lays flat so I can easily add to it.  I Hope I'm on my way to Always having journal pages with me, glue stick, tape, journalling pens, washi paper and my pogo printer and try each day to just add stuff to pages.  I can work further on them when I get home. 

Although, being sick allowed me the time for this.  I'd prefer to Not be sick. LOL  But hopefully I'll Make time to work on more travel journals. :-)