Friday, September 30, 2016

Art Journals

Some weeks ago, one of my stitching friends led me to a blog called Balzer Designs. After browsing around for a while,  I came across a page about art journaling. What was art journaling ? So I started reading and researching and got inspired.

From what I understand , an art journal can be anything you want it to be. A place to sketch, paint, paste, colour, draw, write, in fact anything creative on paper.

I have been working on visual diaries now for some years, and have quite a few. So how is an art journal different from a visual diary? In fact, I think my pile of visual diaries meet the description of an art journal. I have drawn, pasted, written, and in a few cases coloured. These diaries are my inspiration now for all my stitching.

Possibly the difference between an art journal and my visual diaries might be the 'artistic view'. My visual diaries are quick sketches of things that inspire me, with simple notes written with arrows to help explain what I mean. Sometimes there may be pages from magazines stuck in, which could be anything that may inspire me. It could be a photograph from a travel magazine, a cut section from an advertising leaflet, a cut section from a textile magazine. I even have visual diaries now for specific things. I have one especially for lace, one for drawn thread work, and one especially for any kind of machine sewing, like possible applique or garment construction. My visual diaries may not be pretty to look at, and my not have pages that could be hung on a wall, but they are full of inspiration.

In my reading over the last few days, one of the things I found was that starting was the biggest issue, and staring at that blank white page becomes intimidating. It sure does, but looking around at our surroundings or thinking about our day and what we have done gives us plenty of inspiration. We just have to make a mark on paper. How many times have I been told that over the years?

So why start an art journal rather than a visual diary? In my case I want to explore my creative talent in a different form. I am so comfortable with playing with fabric, needles and thread, now I am going to see how far I can go into the paper/ art world, and yes it is uncomfortable. Sure, I have played with paper and paint before, but I always come back to textiles. It is after all in my blood.

I invite you all to follow me in this journey to see how far I go. At the moment I am just playing with a black ball point pen and white paper. Hopefully I may get the courage to delve deeper with paint, other papers and colour in it's many forms. The above pic is page one of my new art journal. let's see how many more I can create and how I grow.

Friday, September 02, 2016

A Fill In Bookmark

I have been working on another major project lately which requires twelve  little finished pieces, so I have been using up my linen scraps. Sorry, you will all have to wait a while to see that project. One of the scraps was big enough to get two of my finished pieces, but not four. I could have got three, but that would have left me with one tiny scrap of linen left which would not have been much good for anything. So I decided to work  two, and use the bigger scrap left to make a bookmark.

A book mark , well then I had to make some decisions as to how to work the book mark, what colour, etc etc. What better way than to Google some bookmarks to get some inspiration. I did think of some blackwork patterns, but worked in colour of course, but decided on a Hardanger one instead. Then it was a look in my stash of threads to see what colours I had that I could use.

The dark green was my first pick, a Perle 8, then I found the variegated one , also a Perle 8, but I needed a Perle 12 to do the eyelets and needle weaving. I found some leftover in a smokey blue that I had hand dyed, and previously used with this same variegated one. All set, I was ready to stitch.

All was going well, but as the base fabric linen was white, it needed to be toned down. so I decided to fill in the background. I tried a four sided stitch over four threads, but quickly pulled that out. Then I tried a four sided stitch over two threads. Still not real happy, but I left it there. Possibly would have been better with something diagonal. It certainly toned down the white. I worked this background in a pale green stranded thread. I used the same green to work the eyelets.

Then we came to the needle weaving. I worked two bars in that smokey blue before I quickly pulled it out. It was way to dark and heavy, and looked all wrong. I thought a yellow would be nice, but me have yellow in the house? A yellow Perle 12 thread as well? Not likely! I didn't even have much in the way of yellow stranded thread, nothing suitable any way.

In the end I just used the same pale green stranded thread I used in the background to work the needle weaving and Dove's Eyes filling. Stranded thread is a **** to use for needle weaving, but I did manage it and it looks OK. A tassel in the same dark green that I used for the hem, just finished it.

It may not win any prizes, but I have used up some scraps, entertained my self for a while, and now have something that I can use.