So I did not seem to get too much done this week. I ended up spending one entire evening helping my son with his algebra homework, and I also battled the Evil Fairy that says what in the hell are you thinking, why are you bothering, how can you think this is contributing anything positive, and furthermore you are Wasting Your Time and should be doing Something Else.
Towards the end of the week, in preparation for a birthday lunch for a good friend, I did get inspired to make this bookmark. In doing so, I remembered how much I truly love stitching on paper. I hope to explore that a little more in the next few months. It is time-consuming . . . but what a sense of accomplishment!
|Detail of center of bookmark
In making this, I used an ornare stencil I had gotten in England a few years ago. I poked the design using my parchment craft tools into a strip of sticky-back canvas, and after doing so realized I could see the design only on the back and not through the canvas. Oh well, it was still enough to do the job; I just had to make sure that I went up through the new hole on the wrong side and went back in through the previous stitch on the canvas side. (Before doing the stitching, I had sprayed the canvas with Stamp Zia spray watercolors & heat-set them with a heat gun.) When I was done, it was difficult to remove the backing, as expected. I ended up cutting away the backing with small scissors, and that seemed to do the trick.
|Detail of bottom of bookmark
I layered the canvas onto green Colorbok pearlescent paper, then onto a special glittery paper (again acquired in England a few years ago) that picked up the glitter in the embroidery thread I’d used, and finally onto another piece of Colorbok pearlescent paper that I’d punched the corners with the Deco punch from We R Memory Keepers.
I enjoyed doing the stitching and found that as I went along I was more willing to poke my needle in the right place to achieve the look I wanted rather than sticking to the pre-poked holes. That was kind of new for me, and it produced a surprising confidence. I liked that.
Now the picture to the left is where my week 3 of the Traci Bautista Strathmore course is at the moment. I tell you what, in my crunchy town of Austin, it is impossible to find a plastic vegetable basket anywhere! The only place I haven’t checked is Fiesta, but everywhere else has had their produce department scrutinized by me in the last week. I ended up acquiring some new stencils from the wall stenciling section at Michael’s, and I am pretty happy with them. The next step with this is to add a head + shoulders, and I think I need to practice that a bit before doing anything I am committed to here. Plus I noticed in the video that Traci used the Low Viscosity Gesso by Matisse Derivan, which I am sure is available at my local Jerry’s Artarama, and so now course I feel I must have that or nothing else will do. Part of Traci’s entire theme was that you use what’s at hand, but I am afraid that just goes in one ear and out the other with me. The materials you use make a difference to the outcome of the finished product–and I learned that the hard way.
Something I did today on a lovely but kind of cool Sunday afternoon was to try some journaling lines out of Quinn MacDonald’s book Raw Art Journaling. First I did them in the Long Tall Sally book that I made from Julie Prichard’s Super Nova Art Journaling online class. I decided that I did not like the thickness of the marker tip I had used, I did not like the way some of my lines had too much amplitude, and I also did not like the way the GellyRoll and Souffle pens worked over the paint and the marker.
Moving on, I used a different–thinner–pen and did lines on only part of a spread out of another journal made from the Super Nova Art Journaling class. I liked these a lot better. Next time I would do the “confetti” at the line intersections with brighter colors, I think but this has its own subdued beauty.
So . . . what am I doing to do in the coming week? I have a couple of days that are busy with things, so I won’t have too much extended free time then, plus our housekeeper comes another day and I try to stay out of her way (plus I am kind of uncomfortable working with anyone else around).
But I think one of my highest priorities is completing the damn caterpillar stitch that I avoided last week and also finish my Traci piece. Strathmore starts up the next workshop in March, so I need to get this one under my belt before the next one commences. I loved Traci’s videos and advice and workshop, because it was simply not possible to recreate what she did–you *had* to do your own thing. No one else has done that as effectively as she did.
Finally, I need to start planning and executing my travel journal for our Presidents’ Day ski trip. It’s not very far away, and I would really like to do something special this year.
So it’s good to have documented what I did this week and also put down my starting thoughts for the upcoming week. It helps me get focused once the morning responsibilities are taken care of (kids off to school and myself fed and coffee-d), and it sure helps me get going. One of the hardest things to do is not check on blogs or news sites, and having a clear objective makes that a lot easier to put off until lunchtime/breaktime/etc.