Sunday, 29 March 2009

A Secret...

I am taking part in my Soul Journal Yahoo groups Mandala ATC swap. For those (like me) who have no idea what ATC means, I have finally discovered it means Artists Trading Card. This means I have to produce 20+ cards, either copies or originals. As it is sometime before everyone will receive their cards, i don't want to post pictures of the cards or certain details... I wil later, but not now...

So here it is...

I began with three sheets of white card upon which I marked the cards out. I then gesso'd with a mix of clear gesso and acrylics in colour one. i used a glue spreader so the mix gave a nice texture with little ridges and different thicknesses of colour. I then used scissors to scrap some chalk off a stick onto the wet gesso mix. The chalk was in colour two and once dry I brushed it so it gave a softer look in places. I then splatterd some ink on in colour three.

I then began work on the mandala itself by cutting out circles of sugar paper in colour one. I then used oil pastels in colour three to draw round the edge of the circles and then smudged the colour inwards. Onto this i stuck six shapes in a darker shade of colour one and into the centre of these, a smaller shape in colour two.

So now I have to choose my affirmation and copy them onto each card. I would also like to pretty up the back of the cards a little, if I have time!

One thing I love about the cards is that every one is different. The balance of the three elements of the background varies. The way I cut the shapes and glued them on varies to. Every one is unique!

I also love the fact that the cards suit Eostre and also fit Project Spectrum! Bonus!

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Mandala for a Teenage Girl 2

And the second mandala... using much the same tools as the first.

I added some spray fix to both mandalas to try and give the glitter a bit more staying power...


This image was completed early last week.

I started with red and orange marker pen scribbles, then I added pink and red ink marks. Over this I added red paint. I then spoldged on white paint and spread it using a kids texturing tool. I then cut out some flamey shapes from some irridescent cellophane. The words are in gold stickers and although it has been cut off a little, due to the size of the book, reads ' How bright do I burn?'.

Mandala for a Teenage Girl

Just because I have been busy at work with overtime and very quiet on this blog, doesn't mean I haven't been creating! I have a lot of things complete or near complete it seems...

This mandala sits on one side of a spread in my niece's book. There will be a second mandala on the other page of the spread but that is still at pencil mark stage. They each sit in the middle of a near A4 page for her to journal around. I haven't included affirmations as I don't want to inflict my views on her, I just want to create a pretty place she can share her own.

This one was made with silver and lilac embossing powders and a glue pen; pink, purple and silver metallic paints; purple and silver crayola markers; silver fine line pen and silver and purple glitters. The page is gesso with white acrylic over the top.

I found this hard to get a good image of because of the sparkliness of the mandala. Some of the detail with the fine silver pen is lost as well in this picture. Some of the images appeared in silver all over!

I was inspired to include some mandals in my nieces book by the prompt from the Soul Journal group I belong to. They have a yahoo group here and a blog here. This month includes an ATC swap and a mandala competition.

Friday, 27 March 2009

Kenny's Page

Collaged with yellow magazine pages. clear gesso. Paint 'Black Dog' large with black acrylics.

Wrote a selection of the names we used for him in red gel pen round the outside of the page as a border. Wrote in orange gel pen around the page some of the things he used to do.

Used acrylic washes to create 5 'frames' getting smaller as they went in the page. lemon yellow for the outer one and cadmium red for the inner one with gradations in between.

Discovered what to do with my autumn blending chalk pack and used the yellow, red and prange chalks to make the colours radiate from the middle. (wish I had scanned it at this stage as it was pretty!)

Mixed my copper and gold metallic acrylics to give a more appropriate shade and then spread lightly over the top of the page with heavier dollups in the middle.


It has been over two weeks since I wrote about this page first and it has taken me this long to be able to finish as I find it a very moving page and finishing it has made me feel very sad.

I used the images from a lovely sympathy card as a template. Kenny was a black dog and his earthly body was done using black sparkle embossing powder and his spirit in snowflake tinsel embossing powder.

His name was printed from my PC and I cut the letters out to make a template and I had put some irridescent cellophane underneath. I used the template to sponge on black paint which I overlaid with PVA glue and then pasted the cellophane letters on top. Finally I added some sparkly stick on heart shaped stones.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Book Making 2

I managed to part F from an old light blue shirt and cut a large rectangle out that was enough to cover the book completely. I then took my silk paints and started to paint the cotton. It became obvious painting was not going to do it so I just dropped it on using three colours, azure and navy blues and purple. I then sprinkled it with enough water to make it damp and scrunched it in my hands to allow the water to spread and the dye with it.

I scanned the material several times and above shows one of these although there is a bit more purple in real life. I then added some metallic inks with a sponge - do this after you have put the cloth onto the book as the glue made this a little messy as the ink ran. The silk paints were fine because I had ironed them to set them.

The photo below shows the board covers laid on the cloth. I cut the board near the holes to make strips. The cloth will act as a hinge between these two bits of board so the book can still be opened once it is bound.

I then taped the board across the middle to hold it the distance apart I wanted it and to hold all the pieces tsraight relative to each other. Make sure you allow a little extra spine width to allow for the thickness of the board - I didn't and had to rip a few pages out. Then glue the outside of the board covers and stick down onto the cloth. Stroke the cloth outwards to remove any bubbles and wrinkles and to ensure it is taut.

The masking tape across the middle is no longer required so can be removed. Fold the fabric across the corners and glue it so that wherever fabric touches fabric or card with the fold it will stick. I then ironed the corners to ensure the material was smooth and well folded. I then glued all the fabric flaps, ensuring there was glue right up by the cover and folded the material over, ensuring that I smoothed it to make sure it was taut. I then removed any excess glue that had come through the cloth and secured with masking tape as it dries.

This next part is hard to photograph... I then took some black cotton and took it through one of the board holes through the cloth into the inside of the book. I then threaded all the pages and took the cotton through the hole in the other cover and through the cloth. I then took the thread through the second set of holes, then the third and fourth and then back down. I did this alot of times!

Make sure all tail ends are at the same place and sew them through so they are between the first / last page and the cover. Knot them together and then slide them under the sewn down spine, near the holes. Then put glue along the spine to stop them escaping and coming loose. Press down the spine so any escess glue comes out and wipe away.

Of course it isn't finished yet! I need to make or find some preety paper to glue across the first page and front cover and also the last page and back cover. This will hide the edges of the fabric and the board on the inside and ensure the book is fully joined together. Now I have lots of lovely interiors to make for my Neice!

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Book Making Part 1

I started to make my first book tonight.

I haven't done much. I took 24 sheets of A4 paper from a folder which had 4 holes punched. I then punched four holes in each of two pieces of A4 board for the covers. I then took 23 further of the pages and sliced them so I was left with a thin strip of paper with the four holes. The slices will sit in between each full sheet to make the book fatter so there is a little more room to accommodate collage and paint.

Next I need to find an old shirt of F's....

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Things I Want...

I popped into the big Tesco on my way to work this morning and discovered there had been a switch around in their stationery aisle and new lovely things had been added. They have increased their supplies for scrapbookers and card makers with more stamps, stickers, die cuts and pretty papers.

Some of these things are worth buying but others feel a little pricey. One thing I intend to look at again is their new lacey tapes and I may be tempted by their stamps but the real temptation lay further along the aisle...

In the childrens craft section they have added new tools for painting. They have shaped sponges and sponge stamps and sponge rollers and a lovely little pack of tools with foam tipped widgets and sponge tipped widgets and other lovely things for adding texture...

I am slowly learning that for my preferred style of journaling, tools are much much more preferable than pretty ready made things. I love combining different media and exploring this side of things which is why soul journaling appeals. I admire the other side of scrapbooking but it is very un-me.

I look forward to new purchases with new pay packet.... Unfortunately time is going to be limited shortly as there will be some long, long shifts at work for stock take.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

From the bottom of my heart...

I worked on this spread today and it represents my feelings of grief as I lost my dog this weekend. I started working on a second spread to celebrate him but it as yet, unfinished.

I began with a light blue gel pen in which I wrote a list of many of the things that bring home my loss. Then in a green gel pen I made larger emotional letters repeated three times on top of each other representing some of the things i am feeling.

I don't like lime green too much and I have a bottle of metallic lime green. It is quite thin cheap paint and I used this to cover the whole page. I then blobbed on yellow and blue acrylic and closed my journal. I removed excess paint by blotting with spare paper.

One top of this I stamped the final letters with black acrylic. I then highlighted parts of each letter with gold metallic paint and smeared some on the page too. I then wrote some other words in a glue pen and added gold embossing powder.

I like this page and how it shows the layers of my emotions. The colours are ones which make me a little uncomfortable to use but added together they create a nice effect. Grief is not an ugly thing in and of itself so I would not have wanted it to have been an ugly page in the end.

Thursday, 5 March 2009


I am at the time of preparation again after my splurge of page producing last weekend. Last night I collaged scraps of paper as a base on two new spreads. I hope to do more tonight and then I need to start gessoing sometime soon.

I bought a pot of clear gesso which I can tint with acrylics last weekend. I have discovered that this has a very different texture than my home made pva coloured with acrylic. It is much more chalky and transparent than the pva. I have used it on a few bare pages but discovered it doesn't have the omph to cover over the lines.

Last weekend I started creating some other pages with out collaging to begin with. These have some way to go! I cut a hole in two pages and sandwiched some clear cellophane in between. I then stuck newsprint around the frame. It provides a window between two spreads one is silver tissue paper and blue gesso and the other is metal tape and reddy gesso. I need to build up the layers and the art on these pages....

I also hope to start making the journal for my neice soon. I realised I have binders full of high quality paper punched already with four holes. These would make a good basis for a book for her... I just need to find some large thick card for the cover now I think. I know F has some old cotton shirts I can nab to cover the board and if I punch holes in the board I can use the existing four holes in the paper to bind it all together... I think...

I also discovered that my supermarket had some lovely tissue papers in their card section for wrapping presents. There is an irridescent one, pink and blue gingham, lilac, turquoise, white with silver stars and butterflies... A lot of them were reduced and I really look forward to playing with them!

I read somewhere (Kelly Kilmer I think) that some people prepare whole journals before starting the more fun parts. I read somewhere else (Quinceberry) that some people have multiple journals on the go... I need to look into this!

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Daisy Chain

I have to say that this photo is sadly the best of a bad bunch and this little necklace is now on the next stage of it's journey to it's owner. I found it very hard to photograph these little translucent beads as they have a shiny and slightly irridescent coating. There are three colours of bead - blue, pink and clear with each daisy having a bead of another colour at it's centre.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

I bought some new paint today. Tesco have a craft section in their bigger stores and their range changes. They sell kids paints of readymix which are an awful lot cheaper than my tiny tubes of acrylic and perfect for journaling. Today they had new bottles of black, white, pink and purple readymix but even better they have new bottles of metallic ready mix in gold, copper and silver.

Unfortunately I still have my dull daisychain necklace to finish and so I am going to resist the pull of paint and mess and magic and pick up my beading needle and continue making daisies. *sigh*

I promise to take a photo before it goes to it's new home.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Earth Part Three

This part of the collage is now done I think. I will add all four collages to a large sheet of card board I think and papier mache and embellish a frame for them later on.

Soul Journal

These are the pictures from yesterday with a few extra things done to finish off each spread.

Spread 1

This is my least favourite because of the muddy, dark quality of the brown. I am not sure it is finished. If it is, it is because I have given up on a bad job! *laugh*

Spread 2

I love this one. A friend of my Dad's recently died of a heart attack and he was only 46. When the numbers reached 46 over the top of the butterfly style squished paints it just spoke to me of living life to the full because we only have short lives really, like flowers and butterflies. The black hand outlines are embossed in sparkly black. 46 is the last number and it sits to the bottom right under all the flowers.... I don't think death should be seen as something gloomy because I have beliefs to help me believe the dead go on. Death is hardest for the living but then so is life....

Spread 3

This is a very gentle, subtle spread with the colours all being quite similar. The silhouette was done in glue pen and then lilac embossing powders used. The wings and outline were highlighted in copper with lilac ink added to the wings and white acrylic to the head. Even so it is hard to see the detail here and not much easier in real life.

I would love to hear what they say to you!