Monday, April 30, 2012

Time stops for no one!

The part 2 for the Altered Book tutorial is due today and I am less than ready.  Elizabeth, who is An Altered Book Lover, has been sharing a lot of info on the design principles.  I will definitely be revisiting these as there is much to learn and it is incredibly fascinating.

This spread is not finished.  My theme is leaves so this is a large landscape.  A hand with a magnifying glass is highlighting a leaf.  I am wanting to convey motion, but subtle motion.  Hopefully the eye is focused on the magnifying glass which should be showing dominance but is also subtle.  Then by just looking down, one sees a man who is using a team of oxen to skid tree trunks. They just enter the next page which is an opening into a courtyard. This should move the eye through the arch to circle back into the landscape which is trees that grow on open soil.  And that is where the magnifying glass is positioned. A circle conveys the idea of motion.  Repetition is achieved by colours and outdoor elements.

Leaves are affected by the seasons and I want a tip in page for summer.
This old musician appealed and his shoe pom poms are repeated in the roses and then again in the magazine page that features flowered wallpaper and a large dimensional pom pom flower as wall art.  One great thing about posting these pages is viewing them from a different perspective.  The wall paper flowered section is actually positioned behind the musician's section but that isn't what I'm a seeing here.  So...

 I tweaked things a bit with a colour which was to age things and it is appropriate because the musician is an old painting.  But the wall paper didn't recede enough.

I drew in some leaves and repositioned the clock.

There is also a bit of contrast with the modern wall paper in the upper left and the renaissance feel to the lower right.  I suppose the restrictions of time are contrary to the dreaminess.
And now it is time to look to the next lesson.

Friday, April 27, 2012


"Dominance through emphasis of one or more particular elements creates a focal point in your design. It’s where most people will instinctively go when first looking at your work. Dominance will create an entry point on the page from which you can lead the viewer to other parts of the page."

It turns out I'm  not quite finished with CONTRAST because it plays a big part in Dominance.

"Dominance relies on contrast, since without contrast everything would be the same. You might even think of dominance as contrast in extreme, though it doesn’t have to be."

I found great info over here.  I think it is really helpful to try and learn these principles from various sources because it really enhances our creativity.

One thing dominating my thoughts is the challenge fabric.

This did NOT work.  I tried oil paint sticks over a rubbing and I need to do a little more research on the technique!   There has to be a recognizable amount of the challenge fabric visible so I'll need to keep this in mind.  This is VERY definitely a work in progress and a lot of what NOT to do!  . 

And dominating a corner of the barn is my 'new to me' work counter.  I had rejected it as not working here in the house but when I saw all the shelves on the open side I thought about it a little harder.  Then I realized  I could use it in the workroom.  It wasdelivered tonight.  Now I just have to get the room built up around it.  whoo hoo!
But I won't be letting any projects dominate my weekend as the Rooster and I are off to fluff our feathers in an whole different coop.  But it would be nice if a few contrasting ideas arrived in my nest box while I was away to help solve my challenge dilemma. lol

The grand kiddies will be in my playroom while I'm gone.  I hope I'll be able to find things when I get back.  That could really be a challenge!  ;^)

Thursday, April 26, 2012


My Gulliver's Travels altered book is getting lots of technique pages.  Contrast fits the theme of the book just fine.  He is a giant among Lilliputians and then just the opposite, minuscule,  when he finds himself in the land of Brobdingnag.  I do find the research for design elements way more fascinating than this 'classic'.

Contrast is "the difference in visual properties that makes an object (or its representation of an image) distinguishable from other objects." 
It is the root of pretty much everything!

I've had an aha! moment in altered book making. :)   I've had an aha! moment in beading/jewelry making  .:)
I have NOT had an aha! in fibre arts.  :( 
The contrast is very evident. My challenge is now even MORE challenging.  YUK!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wow what a lot of ...

The deadline for the quilt show has me spreading a few things on my work table.

This is not going as fast as I'd hoped.

The challenge fabric for this year's show is the fuchsia.  I had thought convergence and actually made two other sets to converge with this set but yuk!  Not going to work. I unearthed it because a challenge is a challenge even if I've now made it more challenging. :(  So this is back on the table for review and inspiration. HMMMM???

There is a good chance I could have this MQ'd for the show.  Nothing fancy but I like it.  I just have to get inspired for the final border.

I'm really enjoying the AB class.  This is a work page on motion as a design element.  I often think of a strong wind as motion.  Because we are also considering contrast I realized the soft fall of snow is just as much motion as gusts of leaves are. The travel path of a beam of light, the unfolding of a paint fan deck.   Most interesting!!!  hmm, I need a chunk of a map because if that doesn't speak movement, what does!  lol

So my link to The Needle & Thread Network shows a lot of different things and all I can say is my worktable is messy!  But I have a map of all the things I need to take on this day's travels.  I'll be checking on my fellow traveler's journeys.  Ticket's please.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


And we are indeed jumping!  By the time we got all the charms on, the jump rings attached and the head pins figured we were ecstatic.  Now we just need to finetune our abilities.

We started out kinda shaky.

Then we figured out the best way to open and close these jump rings.  A twist away to open and then a twist towards to close.  Easy Peasey.  

Its all in the wrist!  LOL

             Now the first ones are not as well done as the last but we are just tickled that we actually have                                                                   a charm bracelet. 

We did add a bit of ribbon to the polymer clay pendant.  Our assistant attached the teeny little clasps.  We should look for bigger ones but this is a bit more elegant than a big knot.

We are now understanding better what we are doing. LOL  It has taken a few lessons that involved flying by the seat of our pants.  We will be looking for supplies and 'goodies' now that we have this better understanding.  It'll be up, up, and away from here on.  8^)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Its a Monday

The weekend is over and most of the toys are put away.  Mind you, they do seem to like my playroom and my toys more than theirs.   lol

I did get a bit of time to glue and stamp in my journal.  This present AB class is continuing the design elements.

I tried to illustrate Rhythm which is repeating patterns.  So one side is obvious pattern of the square shape with a few colours.  The right side pattern is time which definitely has a rhythm to it.

This is movement which isn't just swirls. Motion is shown in a couple dancing,  music,  a stairway, or a scene that carries the eye about the page or canvas.  I want to explore this more this week.

But then I headed back to Rhythm and pattern. Really fascinating!

And speaking of...        I better get ready for beading!

Friday, April 20, 2012

A good week

 It looked like a warmer day and I planned to head into the barn to see about reclaiming my corner for a workroom.  These lambs are already a couple of weeks old. 

I seriously underestimated my math skills and spent most of yesterday with the pencil behind my ear and my fingers on the cutter and in the arranger mode.  I wish I'd not added so much of the aqua.  I've now learned that I am a low contrast type of gal but then this isn't for me so it is okay.  I think this plan will work out best.  Now to keep the pieces in place til I can get them sewn.

This calendar page is kinda small but it has been a good thing.  They are fast and help keep me in the creative mode and my mind fixed on The Plan.

I have the grand kiddies for the weekend and they can chase lambs while I chase ideas and throw stuff around in the barn.  This lamb is ready to go outside with its mother and mix with the rest of the new lambs .

I got the initial sweeping done.  The 2 stainless counters are for the Rooster's summer kitchen which will be on the other side of the aisle.  Under the tarp at mid left is an industrial sewing machine which was given to me.  This was a hog barn with cement floors and cement up part of the wall. The windows were covered over. The cement partitions were removed a number of years ago and this barn was mostly for storage with lambing in the back half.  I will be opening up the old windows to let light in.  The white on the far wall was a puzzler until  I remembered last falls paint projects and the spray chamber. :)  I think I'll be spraying my new work room a grey white so it is good to have the peek preview.  The room will be 13 feet wide and I'm going to ask for 26 feet of length.  I'm hoping this won't set the Rooster to crowing!  LOL

Thursday, April 19, 2012


While I believe everyone is creative, we can't do it all. The time it would take me to learn and produce a portrait would not be the best use of my time.  I not even sure I would want to.  The time it takes to sketch just the right motif on a journal page could kill the impetuous of the creative flurry on a page that is evolving faster than the pen can move.  lol

So- Enter stamps

Not my own but not exactly copyrighted. 

A thrift shop treasure box!  I shall share. One for the grand kiddies and one for Gram'elle, one for the grand kiddies and one for...

The book is full of great ideas for stamps and stamping.  These can be my own. The fact that I can do this just makes me stamp my feet and clap my hands with joy!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wow, some progress

It is taking a bit to get back up to speed making the parts of this block.  I definitely need to spray starch the fabric before I rotary cut the shapes.  

Then I need to pay attention to what I'm doing.  See, a mistake already!

That is much better!


And before I get too carried away I need to do some math to see how much fabric I actually have and how I'm going to slip in those close matches.  I did notice another colour option for the last round but I'm ignoring it.  LOL  Hopefully I have a completed top by next Wednesday's The Needle and Thread Network link up!

edit:  I was getting confused with counting and figuring so I cut off the messy edge,  made another photo copy that is included in the booklet and remade the edge.  I coloured, counted and measured fabric.  I am only short about 8 units and I should be able to move forward with confidence. Here's hoping!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The best of times/the worst of times

It was one of those days!

I couldn't let the state of the basement remain chaotic any longer.  I had  managed to clear a path through the basement to the laundry area.  I was making piles of keep, don't keep, eliminate and recycle.  I had already washed son #3's wallet.  The various aspects of it had been hung to dry.   8{  I was down investigating the depths of the grey water barrel when my young beader cheerfully announced her arrival a few feet behind me.  :o  It is perhaps good that I already have no colour left in my hair!  It is also good to accelerate the heart every once in a while.  That now done we proceeded to have tea and discuss our beading options.

This charm bracelet has us a bit intimidated! 

So we glazed the polymer clay for this pendant necklace.

My good friend Sherry, who blogs over at Createology has sent us amateur beaders a new book and Jenn happily turned pages and added even more to our wish list.  Some of this stuff looks good enough to eat!  ;^)

Monday, April 16, 2012

altering books Lesson Five

Elizabeth has packed lots of design principles into this lesson.  I'm going to be hard pressed to come up with classy pages! 

She is right.  There is much to learn about the various aspects of design and various schools of thought.

This lesson focuses on HUB and Ps.

Harmony, Unity, Balance with  Proportion and emphasiS

With harmony everything should get along:

With unity all should at least be marching in step.

Balance keeps the main character form tipping over and off the page.

Proportion seems harder to define but emphasis means focal point to my way of thinking.

This is my Harmony exercise.

I was really on a roll with Unity and it was my AHA moment. 

 Balance was pretty much a copy from a google search.  I prefer asymmetrical balance so that takes a bit more understanding.

Proportion  is also defined with the Fibonacci Ratio which intrigues me.  I was fortunate to be on an appropriate part of Gulliver's Travels in my technique book which is where I am doing my exercises before trying them in my theme book.

Emphasis is fairly easy to my way of thinking.

Hopefully this has H U B and Ps  (harmony, unity, balance and some proportion and emphasis)

My theme book is trees/leaves and is a Snoopy and the gang  thin encyclopedia:



Balance on the left and then Proportion top and emphasis bottom.

I don't quite consider these finished as obviously we have only begun the lessons so I'm anticipating coming back and revisiting these as my capabilities increase.  I also counted future  lessons and available pages and I'll be returning to some of these and combining a few lessons.  This has been such a great learning class.  Much thanks to Elizabeth.  I'll be linking up to some other student's work.