Monday, September 26, 2011

Two posts in one day??

I know! it's not like me at all.  Just call me super blogger!

So - this is a highly unusual (for me) art journal page.  None of my usual collaging over bright acrylic painted backgrounds.  Instead I thought I would have a first (and quite possibly last :) ) attempt at actually painting something half recognisable with watercolours.

I'm not entirely sure I was successful at that!  But never mind, it was fun to work on in front of the telly for a couple of evenings.

Here it is before I added the journalling:

Once again, it has been a shameful length of time since I last worked in this journal, 5 weeks in fact.  And once again I have the fantastic A Year In The Life Of An Art Journal blog to thank for spurring me into action.

Their current prompt is:

THE PROMPT: Memory Lane
THE SONG: You're Gonna Miss This by Trace Adkins
Written lyrics HERE
PRODUCT/TECHNIQUE: photo of a road

I ended up pretty much ignoring the song, which was nice enough but didn't really resonate with me, and I painted my road instead of using a photo - but I did journal about my "memory lane"

You probably can't read what I wrote, I wrote it tiny for a reason - but the jist is that I'd rather not reminisce down Memory Lane, as there's a lot down there I'd prefer not to remember - but instead I'm concentrating on the road ahead, the path not yet trodden, and trying to build up a new store of good memories to cancel out the not-so-great ones.

AJED : 99/365

R-r-r-r-r-rock and r-r-r-r-r-ollllll!!!!

So here we go again - it's new Circle Journal time.

This journal - well, really it's more of a box-with-stuff-in-it - is for a new CJ starting next month, with a rock music theme.

My own subtheme is about album cover art.  What I want the other participants to do is to choose a rock album that they LOVE, but where they DON'T love the existing cover artwork.  I then want them to design a new cover for the album, that they think does it more justice....

I haven't completed my own entry for this one yet - I haven't even decided which album I'm going to re-cover.  Any suggestions??

But everything else is finished.... I made the box lid from scratch from cardboard, spray paint and hockey tape (there's not an awful lot you can't do with those essential ingredients!) - and then decorated it with painted textured cardstock, a metal embellishment cut from a No Fear energy drink can and then stylus-embossed, the other half of that piece of record-shaped junk mail that I used for the Poly Styrene layout last week, some purple gem brads and some letter stickers.

Inside, each participant has a little album cover to decorate, made from plain white card, and inside each cover is a little "record", which will be their sign in tag.

I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with for this one :)


Saturday, September 24, 2011

100% Germ Free

Here is my latest entry for the Project Runway CJ.

Ever since fellow CJer Jaine first claimed the "recycled materials" challenge as the inspiration for her journal, I've been waiting for her book to come around, as I knew exactly what I was going to do for this one.

X Ray Spex were one of my favourite bands growing up - my sister bought me the Germ Free Adolescents album when I was 11 years old, and that was the start of my lifelong love affair with punk rock.

So I was saddened earlier this year to hear that the band's lead singer, the wonderfully eccentric Poly Styrene, had lost her battle with cancer :(

This page, then, is my tribute.  For the recycling journal - a portrait of Poly Styrene, made from polystyrene, what else?

I used this wonderful photo as inspiration, from back in the band's 1970s heyday, I hope I captured the jist of it:

Everything on the page is recycled.

The background is made from tissue paper from a pair of Duffs trainers

The image of a vinyl record is from some junk mail from Orange Mobile

The metal in the goggles is aluminium from a drinks can, inside out

And everything else is polystyrene from various bits of food packaging

This turned out pretty much exactly how I have pictured it for the last few months, while waiting for my turn in this book.

I like it when that happens :)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A commission

It's a long time since I've made any chain maille jewellery, but the other week, I was in a meeting at work and one of my colleagues noticed the bracelets I was wearing.

He asked where I'd got them from and I explained I had made them myself.

Within 5 minutes I'd got myself an order for one Jens Pind Linkage bracelet and one Byzantine bracelet, both in copper, and he had paid me in full up front.

If only money was always so easy to earn!  (Not that I earned much in the end as I had seriously underestimated the cost of the raw materials - who knew copper had gone up so much in price in the last couple of years??!! - but never mind he is a lovely chap, and I enjoyed making them anyway :) )

I will have to make some more, as I do really enjoy making maille, it's almost meditative

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

An unusual CJ

I'm currently taking part in a circle journal called "Artistic Licence" - the overall theme is art, and each participant has chosen either a work of art, a particular artist, or a general artistic style for the rest of us to take our inspiration from

(you may remember that I chose the genre of wildstyle graffiti for my own book)

Above is my entry for the next CJ in this circle, which is based on a 1919 painting called Cosmic Composition, by Swiss artist Paul Klee

Here's the original painting:

I can't believe this is almost 100 years old, it looks so modern and fresh!

Usually, I'm used to CJs where a theme is given, but you have the creative freedom to do whatever you like for your own page, but this one is very different.

The CJ owner has divided the painting into 9 sections, and has allocated us each a section to reproduce, in any technique we like, as faithfully as possible.  I got given the bottom central section.

At first that felt like all my creative freedom had been removed, as I hate to copy.  But in the end I enjoyed working on my little embroidered quilt, I love to sew by hand, it's relaxing....

I hope I got it close enough to the original:

I first hand painted the cotton material (the colours look very different here under the flash, but in daylight it's a much better match) to mimic the colour blocked background of my allotted piece, and then embroidered in all the detail with a variegated thread through a thin layer of batting, before mounting the quilt to the piece of mountboard provided.

Here's the full painting with my bit in place (again, honestly, my colours do match better than that IRL :) )

Only the three sections in the middle have been "arted up" so far - my fellow participants will be recreating the remaining 6 sections.

I can't wait to see what other techniques everyone chooses - and how the complete piece turns out

Friday, September 09, 2011

Fun and frolics in and around Blackpool

We're not long back from a week's holiday in Blackpool, where much fun was had by all, and much art journalling was done by me :)

Without further ado, here are the pages I pulled together while we were away (plus a couple I finished up back at home)

Arrival day - the highlight for Reece and I was the TERRIFYING but brilliant live action ghost train down by the Pleasure Beach:

The following day we headed to Camelot theme park, around an hour's drive away from the 'pool:

This was the day that a young lad there at the park fell 80 feet out of a ride and injured himself badly, you might have seen it on the news.  We were just heading over to that exact ride when it happened!  Hope the poor young lad is recovering well.  Almost feel guilty to admit that we had a brilliant day there!

After a non journalled day (it rained a lot and the kids went swimming, not much else to say about that one), we headed to the world famous Pleasure Beach.  I truly believe that some of the rides here, especially the Big One, my favourite ride in all the world, are unrivalled anywhere on the planet.  Plus we were blessed with, for the majority of the day, great weather and short queues.  Thank you Flying Spaghetti Monster!

Next up, a brilliant day trip to Yorkshire.  We went down into the White Scar show caves (spectacular!), and then after that we went up onto the Dales, and into another, much smaller, cave to find a geocache.  

The day after that was another Blackpool day - first we went to the circus in the Tower, and then we took a tram (squeee! my  first time!) back down to the Pleasure Beach end, where we all played adventure golf, and then went to check out the Ripley's Believe It Or Not museum, which the boys loved.

And finally, on the last day of our (too short!) holiday, we headed down into Merseyside.  To Southport first to go on the rides at Pleasureland, and do a bit of caching.  And then on to Crosby Beach to see the Antony Gormley installation 'Another Place':

Th-th-that's all folks!

AJED : 97/365

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Please excuse the truly awful photo.... is my latest offering towards the Project Runway CJ.

This cool paper bag journal presents us with the regular PR challenge, to use items purchased in a grocery store.

It was harder than you'd think!  But I got there in the end.

The big "R" and all the silver trim come from a couple of cans of Relentless energy drink, the gravestones are made from lasagne, and the ghosts were cut from a scarf I got in Poundland (I hope that still counts as 'store bought', as I think anything not specifically intended for craft was fair game)

It proved impossible to photograph with flash or a lamp, due to the shimmer in the background paint and the shine of the aluminium metal making up the borders, hence this rather shaky picture which doesn't show the true colours at all.

Never mind, please use your imagination....