Misty Mawn's Open Studio Workshop doesn't officially open until January 9, but she gave us a few preliminary things to do to get acquainted. One was to write a poem, of sorts, titled "I Am Here". This is my effort. The lines are not in any particular order, but in the order they came to me.
I'm a little nervous about sharing it, because some of it I've never shared with anyone, plus the fact that I'm not a poet. But for some reason, I want to share it. I hope you can make sense out of it. :)
I AM HERE
By SP Pope
I AM HERE
Still By some miracle By the grace of God
Despite childhood illnesses and accidents Despite polio’s paralyzing attack Despite being an only child Despite the mistakes of my youth Despite close calls with divorce Despite being childless Despite the pain of an adoption falling through Despite suffering many losses Despite being paralyzed by grief, trauma, and fear sometimes Despite menopause Despite many disappointments, heartbreaks, and heartaches Despite life lessons learned the hard way Despite bouts of anger and depression with suicidal thoughts Despite not getting to spread my wings beyond my home town Despite the guilt that my parents had no grandchildren Despite a job I was unhappy doing Despite all of my weaknesses Despite rejections Despite loneliness at times Despite being made fun of in school for walking with a limp and having a weak bladder Despite feelings of being totally overwhelmed at times Despite the adjustments of retirement and hubby and I learning to live together 24/7 Despite the aches and pains of aging Despite waning eyesight and memory lapses I am here
Because of loving and caring parents Because I survived polio to walk, run, and dance Because of amazing friends and family Because of wonderful grandparents Because of having loved and been loved Because of rejection Because of the encouragement of teachers Because of bosses who believed in me Because of three best friends, who, since childhood, have stood by me through thick, thin, and weirdness Because of all the wonderful pets I’ve been privileged to have in my life, who loved me unconditionally Because of all the happy times Because of a mother who loved me enough to encourage, and sometimes push, me to live life Because of my strengths Because of being an only child Because of my imaginary friends Because there are many sides to me Because of accepting God as my personal savior long ago Because of my husband of almost forty-two years Because of the love of learning Because I enjoy solitude Because of my passion for art, writing, music, and reading Because of finally finding peace within Because I’m learning to live in the present Because of life’s lessons learned through the people and experiences I’ve crossed paths with I am here
Today I am loving retirement Today I am enjoying my husband, despite the occasional disagreement Today I am battling type 2 diabetes Today I am ecstatic with my creative endeavors Today I am still learning new things daily Today I feel vibrant and alive
Today I don't have to be busy every second Today I love my own company Today I have gray in my hair and I am overweight Today my body is all soft and mushy, the way grandchildren would have loved it Today I am more concerned with inner beauty than makeup and fashion Today I let things go that “should be” done, in order to enjoy the things and people I love Today I am still making mistakes and learning from them Today I am living one minute at a time Today I still grieve and feel overwhelmed sometimes Today I still live in the small town where I was born Today I love and am loved Today I still have my mom and my husband Today I am still an only child, but with many “adopted” siblings in the form of friends and cousins Today I still have a home and I am able to live in it Today I can still take care of myself Today I still have my old friends, and I continue to make new ones Today I’m having adventures and looking for the everyday miracles and magic Today I am on my computer discovering all the wonderful things that the web has to offer Today I am older, wiser... and a little more forgetful Today I am content on my little patch of earth Today I am learning how better to cope with life and all its ups and downs, now that its winding down, but I am here
I am who I am
I AM HERE Still By some miracle By the mercy and grace of God And I am grateful
I've been really busy for a few days, as most everyone else has, and haven't worked on a project in a couple of days, but thought I'd share another duck tape journal that I made out of the cardboard from a box I recived in the mail the other day.
I used turquoise duck tape, added a little washi tape, and a couple of stenciled animals, then added some old book pages that I had played with acrylic inks on, plus a little tissue paper, then held them in place with a beaded raffia bookmark tied around the middle. FUN! :)
And look! I found pink zebra duck tape at JoAnn's Fabrics/Crafts! I couldn't wait to use it, so I cut the covers from a piece of heavy textured scrapbooking paper, applied it to the covers, and stenciled two crows on the front. This one is still a work in progress.
LOVE the pink zebra tape! The only thing is, it's on a tape dispenser and is not as heavy as regular duck tape. It's more like packing tape, more transparent, so I used a double layer for the spine. I'm just wishing I had splurged for the blue tie-dyed roll as well. Oh well, next time! :)
Would love to show you the progress on the large painted canvas headboard I'm working on, but the pics are on my camera, and I don't have time to upload them right now. I'm hoping to work on it a lot more today. I'm really liking it so far.
If I don't have time to post again before CHRISTmas, I hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend and New Year. Thanks for visiting! :)
Another duck tape journal. I used half a sheet of watercolor paper that I had used up excess paint on, put it together with cheetah duck tape, stamped all over it, folded parchment paper in the center, punched three holes through the center of the signature and tape binding, and hand stitched it together with hemp cord. Then I attached a piece of raffia with a bead on it to the binding top...because it was laying handy and I liked it. ;)
Claire used several signatures of paper and some kind of string to hold hers in place, instead of a rubber band. I think she also used a laundry detergent box to cut the cover from.
I used the covers off an old paperback dream dictionary and zebra duck tape for my covers. I used gel medium to stick the cat rubbings on to the covers to cover up price stickers and the front graphics, and also because they were laying within arms reach and I like them. Once they were dry, I brushed gel glass medium over the page part. The scanner didn't pick it up good, but it looks shiny and sparkly and dreamy in reality.
I used pastel parchment paper for my three signatures. Each signature consists of four sheets folded in half, so it has twenty-four pages in all. I cut three lengths of chenille yarn over twice as long as the book, and I used this because, you guessed it, it was within arm's length. lol It's a little too stretchy, but it works for now. Each length wraps around the center of each signature and the outer spine, and I tied a knot at the top. When I was finished I had six strings knotted at the top and hanging down the spine. I thought about leaving them that way, or adding beads, or making a tassel, but opted to follow Claire's example and plait them together. I like it! :)
The back cover...
You only learn by actually doing the thing you want to learn, and I'm having so much fun learning and doing all these great projects. I'm thankful and grateful to all the wonderful creative people who so generously share their knowledge, so that I can learn, and that includes Diana and Claire!
Now I'm off to see what I can do about those painted angel wings on my headboard. This is the second largest of three large paintings that I've ever done and my first in acrylics. The first and largest to date is a door, and the other is a window mural in a tiny bathroom with no real window, both in oils. This one is on unstretched canvas almost the width of a king sized bed, and it's almost ready to actually try over the bed. Right now, it's attached to a large piece of cardboard on an easel in my tiny dining room, making the traffic area a bit precarious. :/
I'll show you soon. In the meantime, I'm also working on smaller projects that I'll share as I finish them. Keep smiling! :)
I had a few minutes to kill before I left for a Dr.'s appointment yesterday, so I made a quick little Duck Tape journal that I had seen earlier in a video by Diana Trout here http://sketchbookchallenge.blogspot.com/.
I wanted to make a sample, so I tore the covers (4 1/2 x 5 1/2") from a sheet of cardstock that I had been using up excess paint on. I happened to have turquoise duct tape, which I tore off too much of and wound up having a double layer on the outside, but that's ok. It just made the binding a little stiffer. I added a piece of washi tape, just for fun, and this is the front.
The back and you can see the black rubber band holding the folded signature inside the book. I just folded some old bills and scrap paper for the inside pages. Diana's is much prettier, but mine is just a sample. Besides, I can always change the papers if I want. I'm thinking I could also use fabric. All sorts of possibilities are possible! Thanks, Diana, for sharing this! Love it! :)
This little fellow is a baby penguin that I sketched from a colored photo on Pinterest. He was so adorable that I couldn't resist. :) He's in my Moleskine journal, and the original is much better, but I like him and he was fun to sketch.
Haven't had time to paint on my large fearless painting for a couple of days. When I set it up, I intended to start it and finish it in one day, but that didn't happen. Too many interruptions. Maybe today...
My dad was taken from us in Nov 2004, and I still miss him every day, so the first prayer flag I finished is for him. At least, it's finished if I don't decide to add something else to it.
Daddy loved blue and purple, so I cut the flag out of the sleeve of a blue oxford shirt (5x11"), and since my sewing machine happend to have purple thread already on it, I practiced some of the machine stitches on the edges. Then I basically used what was within reach on my work table to finish it. The butterfly was cut from a piece of fabric and I found a strip of purple velveteen fabric and a purple placket with buttons on a knit blouse to add. The yellow stitching is with crochet thread and the word Daddy is purple hemp cord. Three inches was folded over at the top and stitched down to run a cord or something through to hang the flag with. I just didn't have time to find something this morning.
I haven't done any hand stitching in years, so I'm very rusty, but it's ok if these look a little messy and hand made. They're made to hang outside so the breeze can take the prayers contained on the flag wherever it goes. Final size, with top folded over, is 5x8". I like the way this one looks, crooked stitches and all. :)
Now, on to the next one! These are so much fun to make!
I have so many projects going that I've lost track. There are so many things on the web that I want to learn and there's so little time! I just started a very large, for me, fearless painting in acrylics. If I like it when it's finished it will become the headboard for my king size bed, after eleven years of not having one. I'm also planning to take the five week Misty Mawn Workshop in January. It sounds awesome!
Now I understand how peoples' homes get so cluttered and overwhelming to them. I'm getting old, and I don't feel like cleaning anymore. I just want to make things! I'm a baaaaaaaad girl, I am! :)
My creative endeavor for this morning has been painting a sheet of gray cardstock with fluid acrylics and inks, adding writing, and cutting paper to glue on top. The original has bright colors and I like it a lot, but when I scanned and printed a couple of sheets the colors weren't near as vibrant and the writing looked sloppy.
I haven't made cards in a few years, but I'm inspired to do so again this year, and this was my first idea. I was going to add glitter and some other touches to the prints and hand write the verse on the inside, but I don't see that happening now, and since I'm not going to use this one, I thought I'd go ahead and share it. So here tis!
Another journal page made of scraps picked up off my workspace with some paint, watersoluable crayons, pens, stamping, and embossing. The cats are stamped from a rubber molding mat. I was experimenting and stamped them twice. Parts didn't stamp off, so I tossed them aside, and a few days later here they are on a journal page. The background paper under them is part of a small Cracker Barrel paper bag glued on to painted cardstock with some crumpled up paper, and the word card is from a birthday card sent to me by one of my best friends since we were 8 yrs old, Nina, who is very much a part of our family.
The verse says, "Many friends touch our lives, But only a special few become like family in our hearts."
The Washi tape isn't really this bright. It's actually a very pale yellow with pink stripes. Unfortunately, the scanner didn't see it that way.
I was in the company of four delightful little girls over the last few days. I watched them play with child like abandon, and that's how I approached this page, not thinking about the rules, just playing! :)
I actually made this page yesterday, but haven't had a chance to post it until today. It's made of layers of scrap paper and post cards that were laying around on my table that needed cleaning up. I've added paint, writing, a little glitter, pencil, some embossing, etc to the papers glued to the cardstock in kind of a helter skelter way, which was a lot of fun quickly, and I like it. So here tis!
"Journaling does a body good" is the gist of this page and is scribbled on the page a couple of times. It also does a mind good!
Hope you're having a wonderful holiday weekend! Keep exercising your creative powers!
I haven't had time to post for a couple of days, but I've been creating something every day, although some days it's been very little.
Sunday I glued fabric over the spine of my cardboard book to hide my wonky binding stitches. I also worked on one of the pages inside, but I haven't made pictures yet. I also bought and downloaded cds by Dana Fuchs and the old original Footloose soundtrack (don't like the new one :/)
Yesterday I had to go out of town for the day, so I quickly painted the bunny that I drew on a practice journal magenta (below). If you remember he was frustrated because I messed up, thus the exasperated look on his face.
This morning I decided to take the strips that I cut off the pages to make the journals last week and bind them into long journals or notepads. I used textured papers for the covers cut to size and the papers inside are varigated parchment paper, cardstock, and pastel paper strips. I bound them, using the Japanese stab punch stitch, with waxed linen thread in purple and pink. I glued a scrap paper to the front just for fun.
The brown one is 6x12" and the blue one is 6x 5 1/2". Both are pretty thick.
The little journal over the bunny is 6x51/2" and is filled with pink parchment paper. The bunny is a doodle on the front of a piece of cardstock folded to learn the stitch on. These were fun to make, plus I used up a lot of scrap paper. Even after I've made lists on them, or whatever, I can use them for collage, etc. How fun! :)
The next few days will be busy, as we have out of town company coming in, and we are going to our niece's house for Thanksgiving dinner with hubby's family, so even if I get anything created I doubt that I'll get it posted for a couple of days.
In case I don't get to post again, I hope those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving have a safe and happy holiday weekend. :)
I was out of town yesterday, so didn't get my creative attempt posted. I'm posting it in with today's. Yesterday I decided to study a video on a Japanese stab punch journal binding before leaving for the day. I watched the video, then folded a scrap piece of orange cardstock, punched five holes, and gave the stitching a try. Not as easy as it looked! :o I wound up with a double black stitch on the front and one on the back. Not the way it should have been. So I doodled a disgruntled rabbit and layed it aside.
We stopped at Hobby Lobby for a few minutes, where I carried around a stamp and some papers off the clearance shelf until I got so overwhelmed by all the mixed media elements that I wanted, that I put back what I had, and left the store without buying anything. That's a first! I was inspired by some things, however, that I came home and sketched out to try later, so that was some creative inspiration.
This morning I got up, folded another scrap of orange cardstock, punched five holes, and did the stitching with a scrap of yellow waxed linen thread. I love using up scraps, don't you? This time the stitching went without a hitch, except the thread is a little loose in a place or two.
I proceeded to cut two 6x12" pieces of textured asian scrapbook paper for covers, and I found a pack of variegated pastel papers that I've had for years, which I cut the same size, arranging them in the order that I liked them. I punched five holes in the covers and 23 sheets of paper (text block) and got them ready to stitch in a hurry.
One of the videos showed a small journal stitched with a ribbon, and I loved it. After much looking, I finally located the ribbon you see here, threaded my needle, and put it through the first hole (actually the second hole, but the first to stitch). It went through like a charm, and I was off and running. Not!
RULE #1 in bookbinding: Make sure the holes are large enough for what you are going to stitch with.
When I started back through the hole with the needle and double ribbon through all those pages, it was a struggle. Since the ribbon has to go through every hole about three times, and I had used an awl to punch the holes, instead of a hole punch, it took me hours, instead of minutes to finish the binding, and I have the blisters on my thumb and forefinger to prove it. I was exhausted to boot.
A sane person would have probably backed up at the first hole and re-punched the holes, but I didn't listen to that little inner voice to do so and trudged on ahead. lol I do love the ribbon binding though, despite some of the stitches being a little loose. It takes practice, and I learned a valuable lesson the hard way.
I liked the 6x12" journal, so I cut two 5x5" covers from a scrap of textured paper, plus about a dozen sheets of pastel pink and green parchment paper and made a small journal stitched in black, which I am happy to say did only take a few minutes, and, as far as I can tell, is stitched without a bobble. I am so proud of myself and what I learned, and that was my adventure for today! :)
Daphne, I think, is the name of the woman I learned coptic stitching from and her video is easy to see and follow. This is the link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXdK74_SCZQ&feature=related . The first few seconds are a little wacky, but the instruction is good, and she lets you know that she's just learned this herself from another utube video.
Okay, those of you who saw my first attempt at doing the coptic stitching on the journal I shared in yesterday's post, who are familiar with this stitching, saw a glaring mistake. I knew I made boo boos, but didn't catch this one until this morning. There aren't supposed to be any long stitches on the cover. :o Luckily I had run out of thread in the middle of the first signature (last one sewed in) and had to splice it. So I took the stitching out that far back and fixed the mistake. I like the black stitching on the cover, but, unfortunately, the way I had it wasn't holding the cover securely to the signatures. It's good now. I'm learning. :)
I made another journal 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" this morning, after watching the end of the video again. I used the bristol board covers that I messed up yesterday and salvaged enough for the covers for this one. This time I cut up a sheet of watercolor paper that I had been swiping excess paint on and glued the pieces onto the covers instead of painting them. I used yellow ochre waxed linen thread for the stitching, I left the threads hanging out for a purpose, and here is the final book, ready to play in.
There are five signatures, with five sheets each folded, in this book. The middle signature is off white cardstock, and the other four are pastel colored parchment paper.
First page, ready to write or draw on. Plus, I had scraps of the painted watercolor paper to make two bookmarks to match the covers.
Both journals, with the stitching corrected on the larger one. See? No long black stitches on the cover! I got distracted just as I was finishing up yesterday, but that's no biggie. It was easily fixed. I LOVE making these and can see all sorts of possibilities.
I want to make a few more of these, then I want to try the Japanese stab binding. A whole new adventure!
I tried a few more pages of ink blot background pages in my Moleskine, only this time I remembered to gesso the pages with clear gesso first and I used fluid acrylics instead of ink. I did these plus I added some random stuff to pages in another journal yesterday, despite being sick. I didn't feel like posting last night.
These were fun. I need more practrice, but I can see images in all of them to build on when I take the notion.
I've been wanting to make a journal with coptic stitch binding for a long time, and I decided that today was the day. I followed a Utube video tutorial, and I'm sorry, I don't remember the lady's name, but it was very easy to follow her. I made lots of boo boos, but I was learning the process, so I'm pleased with the outcome.
It actually took me twice to get the covers cut. I cut them out of bristol board and my rotary cutter blade is dull, plus I can't measure for nothing. :/ I totally ruined the first set. These are a little wonky still, but I decided they'd work. I made a paper template for the holes and punched them with an awl, then used spray ink on the covers and added some faint stenciling with lace and a doily. I'll add a drawing or something when I actually start using it later on.
I found two packs of different colored cardstock that I'd forgotten about, so the pages are varigated. Each section (signature) has eight doubled pages of cardstock, and I put five signatures in to the book. If I had it to do over, I would use thinner paper for the first time to learn on though. I love cardstock, but the stiffness of it made it a little difficult to handle while sewing. I used waxed linen black thread also, and this is how I layed the sections, after punching the holes (5 in each section), to sew them.
Then I followed the tutorial, pausing when I needed to, and sewed the sections and covers together. This is the finished book. There are things I know to do differently on the next one, such as the hole spacing should have been a little further apart, and the cover didn't want to lay flat, because I didn't get the paper folds creased flat enough, but this one will work, and I learned. That's what mistakes are for! :)
One Christmas several years ago I asked for tools, because between my husband and my dad I could never find what I needed. I got tools, and my dad also got me this little anvil. I laughed and asked what was I going to do with it at the time, but it has been one of the handiest creative tools I have, plus I think of daddy every time I use it. Here it's pressing my book into submission. It's also good for a lot of other things. One day I'll do a post about it. :)
So these are my creative efforts for the day. You can click on the AEDM 2011 badge on my sidebar and see what all the other players are sharing. Some amazing things everyone is doing!
Today I'm working on some background pages in my Moleskine journal, because I can't get to the supplies I need in order to work on what I really want to work on without having to dig through a huge pile of stuff. :/ But all is not lost. I've been having fun experimenting in my journal, and that is never a waste of time. :) So here's what I've done so far today...
These are just starting points for when I have time to journal and draw or add other stuff to the pages. The last three are ink blot practice. I need a lot more practice, but I can see definite possibilities. Leah, who hosts AEDM, has a tutorial on her blog for ink blots to start pages.
It's taken me a while to post these, so I'm off to get something to eat and take a nap now. Then who knows what I'll get in to afterwards. Perhaps some organizing in my workspace, so that I can find the materials I need to learn to do a coptic stitch bookbinding...
Sorry about the picture quality, but this is what I'm working on today. I decided to switch up and do something a little different today. These are practice runs for prayer flags, which I learned about from Jane LaFazio on her blog Janeville a while back. She participated in the Prayer Flag Project and she also has a tutorial on her blog.
The blue ones are cut from the sleeves of an old oxford cloth shirt, and I practiced different machine stitching on the edges, then left them for a while. The purple thread was already on the machine, so I just left it, because I didn't want to change it, and these were practice pieces, so, there you are! I can be slightly lazy. :/
Today I found some purple velveteen fabric and cut a strip, and I also cut a butterfly out of a purple batik like print. I tried laying them different ways til I found one that I could live with. Basically, I sat down at my workspace and used whatever what was in arm's reach. My needle was too big, but I used it and yellow crochet thread anyway to hand stitch the velveteen and the butterfly down. It's been a long time since I did any hand stitching, so I'm waaaaaay out of practice, but I didn't worry about the stitching changing during mid butterfly or being crooked or inconsistant. I just had fun with it. There will be word/words and some more embellishing. The other flag has a strip of purple knit with bronze like buttons on it laying on it for now. I'm just trying it out.
The white flag was cut this morning from an old embroidered scarf that I got in a basket full of stuff at a yard sale a few years ago. I used part of the scarf for a book binding. I've often wondered about the lady who did the work and her story. Anyway I'm living with the flag til I find the right embellishments for now.
Jane has the purpose of the flags on her blog, but the gist of it is that you embelllish them and write or stitch names or words as a prayer on them, hang them with a heavy thread, ribbon, etc outside, and when the breeze touches the flags it will carry the prayer with it wherever it goes. Isn't that a lovely thought?
These started out in size as 11x8 inches and when you fold 3 inches over for the hanger to go through, the flag is 5x8 inches. Mine are very much a work in progress and practice pieces right now. If you want to see some awesome flags go to the links at the beginning of the post. You will see how the flags are really supposed to look and different ways they're used.
Anyway, I have lots of ideas for embellishing more flags, and hopefully I'll do a better job. Just wanted to share what's in my workspace today. :)