Saturday, April 30, 2011

New Naturalist Notebooks

Here are a couple of new notebooks I created

They are soft covered, and have images from my photos on the front.

Inside the pages are all decorated, but there is room for taking notes or writing quotes or poems.

I call them naturalist notebooks as they are books that look like they have been out in the weather - and they have enjoyed it.

Here is the last page and the back cover.

Here you can see both the front and back cover of this one.

The inside cover and messy decorated pages.....

Many decorated pages .... just waiting to be written in. What shall I write?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Folder for a Friend

I made this folder for a creative friend that has the same problem that I have... That is difficulty in drawing in a book, or painting on a large piece of paper - the fear of "wrecking it" makes it difficult or even impossible to be free to create and enjoy.

And so I created this folder (decorated with stitching!) for her...

Inside is small pieces of different weights of paper - to be drawn on or painted on whenever she wishes. And if she doesn't like what she has done, it can be thrown away, or kept in this folder -only sharing it if she wants. There is no fear of "wrecking" something, and drawings or paintings can be kept in the folder, or even glued into a book if wanted. It makes creating more safe - no worries - keep it or not, share it or not it is her choice.

Here is my folder with a few pen drawn images that have stayed in my folder.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Teabag Art Cards

Oh what fun I have had the past couple of days! I should be doing some housekeeping, but I haven't.....perhaps on Monday.

My supply of cards to give people was low and old, and I decided it was time to make some new ones.

So I got out my favourite art supply - used, dried and emptied tea bags.

I added some stamps, inks and paint and glued them to some cards.....
I now have some lovely cards to choose from.

All of the cards above are from stamps that I have purchased. I think my favourite card is the bluish card with three bare trees on it (1st picture with 3 cards in it)

But these will also be favourites because I made them using my hand carved stamps.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

I love making onion skin dyed Easter eggs, so I thought I would share with you how to make them.

You need a pile of onion skins, some raw eggs and an old pair of nylons

I keep a plastic bag in my onion bin, and safe the skins all year long - but you can also ask at theproduce section in your supermarket and get some there.

wrap the egg in layers of onion skin so none of the egg is showing....

with the skins held tightly around the egg, put it into the leg of the nylon, and pull
it tightly so the onion skins are held in place on the egg. Tie a knot in the nylon to keep the egg in place.

do this until your nylon is full, or you have used up all the eggs or onion skins.

THe eggs are now ready to be cooked!

gently add the eggs to a pot of hot water - bring to a boil and cover and let cook for 20 minutes.

When cooked, drain the lovely golden brown water off the eggs, and rinse with cold water.

When the eggs are cool enough, cut them open, peel the onion peels away...

and enjoy the beautiful eggs!

It is like unwrapping a treasure.... each one beautiful and unique.

I then rub them with a tiny bit of vegetable oil.

We sometimes have a hard time eating them as they are so pretty!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Drawing with Stitches

I love the look of machine stitching that stitches a loose looking drawing. I have an old sewing machine that my mom sewed my clothes on many years ago. It is heavy and can stitch through many layers of paper. (just what I need!) I am lucky to have it. One thing it can't do, is attach a free motion foot to it to do the fancy sewing that I would like to do.... or so I thought. But a few days ago I decided to give "drawing" with my old straight sewing machine (with no fancy foot) a try....

and below is what I came up with.

They are all sewed on paper that I had decorated and was laying around the studio.

It was lots of fun, and even though I can't do tight smooth curves (circles are really hard), I am thrilled how these turned out.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Trust our Own Choice

"we have to trust our own choice after all, and end with the simple belief that what pleases us is beautiful. indeed, no other rule is of any use to us, and if we do but honestly please ourselves, and make forms which genuinely give us pleasure, we shall find ourselves credited with the power of designing beautiful things." - richard hatton

I found these lovely words on this blog. It was at a time that I needed them. I followed my muse when making this - and I like it, but wondered if others would. After reading this, I realized it didn't really matter. Some people may like it, others of course may not, but that is okay.

I wanted to use some fabric, and I love the look of mixing thread work (I wouldn't call it embroidery, as I can't really do that, and was looking for a rustic look) with paper and images. I wanted to stay away from throwing more paint and muck at it as I usually do, but rather trying for a cleaner, somewhat neater look - something I don't usually do....... and in the end, I like it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Carving Stamps Again!

I get inspiration from many blogs, and I was really inspired to try my hand at carving face stamps from Lynne Hoppe. Her stamps are much different (and oh so lovely) than mine, but I am happy with how mine turned out.

I haven't carved too many stamps before.... but here was the first face I attempted.
I stamped it onto random pieces of paper and fabric,

and decided to carve another one.

here you can see my original drawing - the carved stamp and some prints I made.

I don't know what was more fun - carving the stamps or playing with them after they were carved.
I would have carved more, but ran out of time.... I do hope to have some more play time soon!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Commisioned Book - Finally Finished!

A while ago I posted about a book I am making for a friend that was causing me difficulties. Well I am happy to say I have completed it to my satisfaction, and now I hope it is what he is wanting.

(And thank you for the suggestions on how I could fix it! Greatly appreciated!)

It is a soft covered book that has the look (and feel) that it has been tossed around for years. Well loved and often carried into the field.

The inside cover ...

and all the pages are decorated (?) to look worn and used, and often stamped with items that relate to the natural world or finding our way in the natural world.

While I was at it, I decided to make another book in the same style but in a slightly different colour.

I like the shabby grunchyness of the wrinkled pages and the feel of the soft yet sturdy cover. I may just have to make more......