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Saturday, June 28, 2014

What I Have Been Up To

I seem to add "what I've learned" as a tag to almost every post, but that is because I've been learning a lot over the last few months.

First a health update. I still have days when I need lots of recliner time so I can rest, and even lots of naps (sometimes more than one a day) but I am also getting stronger all the time. I now can walk up a flight of 8 or 9 steps with the help of a banister and a cane. Down too. Down is sometimes harder. I've begun to stop avoiding curbs as well, although I'm not as steady with those. I can go into a store and use a cart for support instead of using the store's scooter. The scooters made it possible to shop, but shopping is totally different if you are using a cart. There are parts of the store you just can't get to in a scooter.

So things are going pretty well around here, and I'm still feeling so happy most of the time that I bubble. Can't help enjoying the bubbling.

 I've been reorganizing the studio. I took a bookcase that has been in the garage for almost 10 years and brought it inside. I had to put a small file cabinet into the garage, because there no longer is room for it.

Basically I've run out of room in the bookcases that were already in the room, even with heavy culling.

 This is what the bookcase wall looked like the day the new bookcase came in. It doesn't look this way anymore, and it won't look like this when it is all finished. I'm going to get two additional shelves for the new bookcase, and I'm still deciding what is going where, and I've done even more culling of books that I've had for years, even decades, and which no longer are the kinds of things I'm interested in.

I also have a new toy. This is a Silhouette Cameo cutting machine. I wasn't doing paper crafts when the machines like the Sizzix came out, and I was seriously considering getting a die cutting machine. That was the one I was looking at, but I realized that the one thing I truly wanted to do was to make stencils, and a Sizzix doesn't do that. The Cameo does.

I have now cut 6 stencils. Two in card stock and four in plastic. Since the first two were the first things I ever cut doing them in card stock made sense.

It is interesting just how much one learns if one suddenly has a bunch of stencils, and if one is actually cutting them oneself. The designs I used mainly came from the Silhouette store. Some came from free cutting files on the Internet. None of them were intended to be stencils, and I've had to begun to manipulate the software that came with the Silhouette so I could actually make stencils out of the file. I'm a Geek, so playing with software comes naturally. And with so many YouTube videos, I'm learning fast.

When I'm not playing with the new machine, or trying to make order out of chaos in the Studio, I'm doing some Art Journaling.

I did this page last month, knew that it really wasn't finished and promised to show it again if I made changes. The changes are the lettering. I have never used stickers before, and it was interesting doing that on this page where the ones I had bought a couple of months ago were a reasonable size for the page. The page is in the small journal, so the fact that these stickers are pretty small is not a problem.
There is a woman on YouTube who sells what she calls an inspiration deck of cards with technique prompts on them. Her prompts wouldn't work for me. I don't have some of the supplies she takes for granted, so I started a deck of my own, on index cards on a ring. This was the first page I ever did using cards from that home made deck.

Frankly it is quite different from anything I normally would have done. I like it, I think. But I'm not sure.


The next three photos are from the Junque Journal. The one I made from a church magazine. It was intended to be a place where I experimented with stuff I'd never done before.

The profile of the lady is from one of the cardboard stencils I made. The successful one. I like her a lot. The unsuccessful one is in the background of the other page. The experiment there was doing all kinds of doodles that I'm not done before. I'm learning how to doodle. I'm pretty happy with both pages which are not a two page spread although that was the original intent.

The experiment here was doing a collage with papers I had made from doodle and scribble pages done with a very cheap oil pastel. These are actually Crayola oil pastels which cost under $6 for the box. Unlike most of the oil pastels art journaler's use these are not water soluble. But they really blend very well, and were fun to use. They were not fun to work over however, and the black at least turned out to be more water soluble than expected. The black smudged badly. I put a border around it with marker. My black Sharpie marker looked brown on top of the oil pastels. A function of the oil pastels and not of the marker I believe.

I added circles cut out of deli paper that I had printed on the Gelli plate, marked around them and then painted around them with black paint. The oil pastels were not happy with the paint either. And I added white dots and tried to splatter the pages. I don't splatter well. I don't splatter well at all. I just don't understand how to splatter.

But I will figure it out!

Finally one last spread done on the small journal I made myself out of really bad Gelli printed pages.

The first thing I did was use some of the colors from one page onto the other, in both directions. That unified the backgrounds. It was a technique I saw on one of the YouTube videos I watched, but I have no idea who's technique it was. Then ephemera from the Internet printed on my Epson printer which does not smudge. I tried stenciling on the borders of the square drawing, but I'm not sure I liked that.

This journal is also intended for experiments I don't seem to be comfortable doing on the "real" journals, although the layout isn't too different from some I've done in those books.

So that is what I've been doing. I've got a load of organizing to do because I've recognized that I won't be able to use the new bookcase for the art supplies. I moved some and have moved them back. The old bookcase wall is going to have to be where the art supplies go. I won't be able to truly organize things for another week because I won't have all my shelves in place until my handyman comes back. I've bought some organizing plastic, but I'm not sure if it is the right stuff or not. Etc. I'm in a waiting game right now, but I've got to get all this stuff off the floor because it is driving me crazy!

Take care all.

1 comment:

  1. You've been doing lots of fun stuff. Love your journals, even the experimental ones.