PERFECTLY IMPERFECT-I may not be the best at what I do, but Nobody has MORE fun trying than I do! :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

AEDM Day 29-Another Christmas Card Attempt

Another failed attempt at a Christmas card. After cutting the angel and layers and layers of stenciling, writing, and paint I gave up on this one too. :(

I like it in reality; not so much scanned to print. I'm going to have to think of something else, so it's back to the drawing board...again!

Only one day left in art every day month for this year. I missed maybe 3-4 days posting out of a month, so I consider myself successful. :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

AEDM Day 28-Christmas Card Prototype

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!

The card covers opened up...

The card closed, front ...

Now, back to the drawing board! :)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

AEDM 27-Friends R Family Journal Page

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! :)

Friday, November 25, 2011

AEDM Day 25-Mixed Media journal page

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!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

AEDM Day 22-Journals or Notepads & Happy T'giving!

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. :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

AEDM Day 18 & 19-Japanese Stab Punch Journals

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! :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

AEDM Day 17-Another Journal Made!

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 . 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!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

AEDM Days 15 & 16-Paint Blots, a Handmade Journal, and a great Tool

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!

Monday, November 14, 2011

AEDM Day 14-Background Pages

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...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

AEDM Day 13- What I'm Working On Today-Prayer Flags

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. :)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

AEDM Day 12-Altered Record Album Back Cover Plus

I put my creative efforts today into the following three projects.

 I hand cut a couple of butterflies out of an old devotional book and dripped inks on them, then pasted them to the back of the altered album cover. The word GRATITUDE is across the top in gold metallic gelly pen. Washi tape was added to the spine and overlapped on both sides of the album. I have worked on this, adding and subtracting stuff, until I'm just frazzled, so I don't know if I'm calling it finished or not. Anyway, this is how it is right now. Except for maybe some tweaking here and there, I'm thinking my album file folder may be done. It's been a lot of work, but it's worth it. I like it!

I think I also finished this page today. It's one I had started during Katie's workshop. It started out as a self portrait in an outdoor setting and morphed into this, which looks absolutely nothing like me, but that's ok. It was a fun experiment, and I like her. Notice the pair of eyes looking over her? Her dress started out as a painted tee shirt, but I took an old embroidered scarf (I love the coarse material and crooked stitches) that I got at a yard sale, cut her a dress top, and used x heavy gel medium to paste it down. The blue between the eyes and the bow at her neck are a different fabric. Fun stuff!

Oh, yeah! There will be words on this one. I just haven't decided which ones yet. :)

This gallery canvas is in no way finished. I've had it started for a long time, but, for some reason, decided to play with it today while waiting for some gesso to dry. This started as one of my quirky doodle drawings and has already morphed a couple of times. It will probably morph a few more times before I quit on it. :) The middle heart has gold metallic strings like a harp/guitar, kind of, which she is plucking. I have no idea where it's going from here, but this is the way she is for now...

It's been a fun day of playing, but I'm tired and hungry, so I'm calling it a day. Have fun with your creative efforts!

Hope something on here made you smile. :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

AEDM Day 10 & 11-Altered Record Album Front Cover & Doodle

I worked on the album cover yesterday and today, and this is where it's at for now. I'm not completely happy with it, but I'm calling it done (unless I figure out what needs tweaking) and moving on.

I wish the copper metallic paint on the cross, the door knob, and the cat's eyes showed up better. It looks much better in reality, especially when the light hits it.

I also added some color to one of my left-handed character pages with with some water soluable oil pastels and crayons, quickly and loosely, for a base page.

Several of you have commented on the record album idea. I put it on a couple of other posts of the album, but, in case you missed it, mine was inspired by a project in the Layered Impressions workshop with Katie Kendrick, which I took online during October. So, even though it's not the same as hers, I got the idea from her. :)

I still lack the back cover, and it will be done, but I'm feeling the itch to do something else for a day or two, so we'll see how that goes. Either way, I'll be enjoying it! :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

AEDM Day 9-Left Handed Characters

I was hoping to finish the front cover of the record album today, but I way over slept this morning and haven't had time to work on it yet. I did, however, do some quick sketches in an old book with my non-dominant hand and a magic marker for practice and to loosen up. Besides that, they're fun!

This exercise was also inspired by Katie Kendrick in her Layered Impressions workshop. I can use these as bases for journal pages, collage, or whatever else I can think of. In fact, every page of the altered record album started out as a character sketched just this way, the whole page glued to the base with gel medium, and layers of "stuff" added to them.

These are going right into my box of handmade backgrounds and collage pieces for future mixed-media use! Not perfect, but quirkey and interesting, I think! :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

AEDM Day 8-Altered Record Album Cover

In case I don't get anything else done creatively today, I'm posting what I have done this morning. The cover of my front record album cover has gone from this...

to this. The cross, which is a paper cutting, isn't showing up, but it now has a layer of metallic copper on it. I'm liking the whole thing better already, but I'm not finished yet. Who knows what will evolve in the next session? Not me! :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

AEDM Day 7-Altered record album

This is the inside front cover of my altered record album, inspired by Katie in her Layered Impressions workshop, and I have worked on it some for three days now. I wish I had thought to photograph it at the end of each session and post it, but I didn't. It's gone through a lot of transformations and layers over the past three days. Somehow, the Amish looking women I started out with (see day 1) transformed into burlesque looking women, who morphed into puppets, of a sort. The buttons and lace are glitter glue if you can't tell.

It's wonky and quirkey and I like it! lol

Hope it made you smile too! :)

Friday, November 4, 2011

AEDM day 4-Altered record album

I worked on the front side of the middle pocket of the album today. I was listening to my mp3 player and John Mayer happened to come on singing "Say What You Want To Say". I love the song and it seemed to fit the page, so I "borrowed" the words.

If you look back at the whole album on day one, the pink rabbit is now white. There are multiple layers of images and paint in the background with lots of stuff going on. So I now have half the album sides done. I was hoping to get the other inside cover done today, but it didn't happen. Maybe tomorrow!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

AEDM Days 2 & 3-Altered Record Album File

I've been working on two facing pages of the altered record album I shared on day one. My file pockets are on the sides, but it could also be altered to have them at the top. I'm thinking I could write a story to go with each page and file it in the pockets if I wanted to.

I had the bird page so dark and brown that I wasn't sure I could pull anything out of it, but I managed to keep adding and subtracting until I did. Titanium Buff is my new favorite color. I stenciled the morning glories and checks on using the TB, then when it dried I used charcoal pencils to add a touch of color. I tried to crackle the flower pot, but wasn't happy with it. This morning it came to me to add a door and windows. The writing up the side says, "So my tail is a little crooked. Nobody's perfect!" I'm thinking I may be done with this page, and it's what I worked on for day 2 and a little bit this morning (day 3). I like it!

The rabbit page has been my project for today. The rabbit turned from blue to pink today. Right now, I like it like it is, but in the morning I may add some tweaking or something. Anyway, this is how it looks for now. I also added a strip of artist tape with a strip of washi tape on top to reinforce the glued in middle sheet on both sides. Now that I'm looking at it, the first B in rabbit looks a little pale and washed out. I'll have to do something about that. But probably not tonight. :)

Looking forward to doing more tomorrow! Hoping something made you smile. :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

AEDM Day 1- WIP Altered Record Album File

Today is the first day of art every day month, hosted by Leah Kolidas @ Creative Every Day. This is a work in progress that I started in Katie Kendrick's workshop. I didn't have one of those nice 78 record album covers with several sleeves in it, so I improvised by taking a regular double record album cover that I had on hand and gluing a sleeve in the middle.

The cat is the front cover and the tulip is the back cover. I took some of the paint off the front cover today. All of the sides are comprised of layers of paint, altered magazine images, journaling, drawing, stenciling, cut papers, stamping, and whatever else strikes my fancy. The images may look nothing like these when they are finished. I just add and subtract until I get the image I like, and most of the time the finished piece looks nothing like the started one. I love the element of surprise at how they turn out and how much I can relate to them. I guess that's where my intuition and wonkiness comes in. :)

Inside the front cover and front side of the sleeve. I did some more collaging and drawing on both. Some of the drawings were done with my non-dominant hand, adding to the wonkiness.

Back side of sleeve and inside back cover where I did some more collaging today. I also sprayed espresso ink on the sleeve and re-drew the bird, because I hated the colors I had on the background. Now I have it too dark and brown to suit me, but I'm learning and having fun. All six sides still need a lot of work,  but when it's finished I'll have a file with three large pockets to hold my treasures.

So that's my art effort for today! Looking forward to playing all month with you all! :)