Sunday, January 27, 2013

Project Life: Week 4 and another insert!

Hi everyone :)

Well my last week of holidays has been another busy one.  As you probably know I spent several days working on my canvas which I really love.  Krystal came home for a visit on Thursday and she had BIG plans so it turned into a pretty busy day!

I met up with Mum yesterday and had a really enjoyable day shopping for clothes and craft supplies and today I decided to spend some quality time with Toby.  We got so busy playing that I actually didn’t get my photos printed but not to worry… I made a template in Photoshop minus the rounded corners so it’s just as good as the real thing :)

Here’s an overview of my week:full_1

Apart from my date pockets I decided to put the steps of making my canvas through the smaller pockets in the pages.  It was quite amazing watching the canvas develop across the page.

I spent quite a bit of time working on some cards for Dad and making covers for my teacher planner this week and I’m thrilled to bits with both projects.

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I’ve been continuing to make some ‘good choices’ about my cooking.  On Monday I made a chicken, bacon and chorizo dish along with pasta and some of the fresh avocados that Katey gave me last weekend.

Nina came by for a visit the other day as well.  She’s been learning how to use Photoshop and is going really well.  She’s jumped straight in the deep end and is doing Project Life as well as an online class by Cathy Zielske.  The really great thing is that she’s learnt heaps of new skills and she’s practicing them lots so that she can remember how to do everything.

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We had a Kauri Team meeting at school on Friday and it went really well.  I’ve decided to be a lot more organised with my paperwork this year so I’ve got a clear file all ready to go with all the bits of paper I have to file from Friday’s meeting.

At the beginning of the holidays I had it in the back of my mind that I’d get my gardens done these holidays… but actually I’ve been so busy doing other things that I never put it on the list of priorities.  We had a ‘little’ bit of blackberry that has really taken off in this hot weather so I’ve decided to enjoy the berries before cutting it all back… and they’re super delicious after they’ve been warmed up by the sun all day!

Yesterday I bought a couple of new white tops for school as well as a patterned tunic and some grey pants.  I’m all set to start school again now.  We’ve got Teacher Only Day on Tuesday and then the kids start on Wednesday so I’m sure next weeks pages will have lots of school things in them.

On Thursday, Krystal came home for a visit.  She arrived bright and early and talked me into going out for breakfast which was well worth it.  The view from the cafe window was outstanding and the eggs benedict was absolutely delicious!

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Krystal wanted to go and visit her former work mates at Spotlight and then we spotted a gorgeous idea in a florist so I had to buy one just to work out how they did it.

Check out this super cute idea:IMG_5975_1

Basically they took a cupcake case… those heavy ones you have to assemble yourself… and then they added some oasis and moss before sticking in just a couple of flowers.  They had them with all different kinds of cupcake cases and flowers.  You have to spritz them with water every day to keep them fresh but they are super cute!

After we’d been in town we went home to get Toby and then we took him for a LONG walk through the Redwoods.  He absolutely loved it and it was lovely and cool under the trees.

After our walk we went down to Palmers Garden Centre because I’d heard that you can take your dog there.  Sure enough they are welcome so long as you clean up after them and keep them on a lead at all times.

Toby was on his absolute best behaviour and we decided to stay and have lunch while we were there.  The outdoor area where you can have your dogs with you is beautiful and I’m sure we’ll head back that way again :)

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After lunch it was time for the ‘real reason’ Krystal came home for a visit!  After having her learners licence for over four years she’s finally decided that she actually wants to learn to drive.  She did some driving practice before we went out to the Redwoods and then after lunch she did some more.  All up she spent over two hours in the drivers seat and she’s making really good progress!

Of course tomorrow is Auckland Anniversary day so I’m planning on getting all those last minute things done (and getting my photos printed off!) before heading back to school on Tuesday.

I hope you all have a great week and I’ll catch up with you again soon xx

Friday, January 25, 2013

Feel Good Fridays: Week 4

Hi everyone :)

Well it’s Friday again!  The week sure has gone fast!  Today marks an ending for me… the end of my summer holidays!  It’s ok though because quite honestly I think I’m ready to head back to school… although, ask me in a weeks time and I’ll probably tell you different!

Today I have my first ‘Teacher Day’ meeting with the senior team for our first planning meeting of the year.  I’ve done the things I’m supposed to do so it will be good to see what is next on the agenda.

In preparation for today I’ve spent quite a bit of time on the telephone… either talking or texting and it made me think back to when I was a little girl growing up on the farm.

Back then we were on a ‘party line’ which meant that several people all used the same telephone.  You certainly didn’t have ‘private’ conversations on the phone because you could never be sure who else was listening. 

When you think of how caught up everyone is with the ‘privacy laws’ it’s hard to believe that party lines ever existed!

This week I’m dedicating my layout to the humble telephone… what would we do without them?

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I hope you all have a fantastic Friday and a wonderful weekend xx

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

My canvas is finished :)

Hi everyone :)

Well it’s been a real journey of art, mistakes, learning and experiencing… but my canvas is actually finished!  I’ve often admired mixed media artwork… and I love the look of art journals… but I’ve never been able to recreate the ‘look’ and I just figured that it wasn’t really ‘my thing’… but I’ve totally changed my mind and I’m so pleased that I listened to that quote Mikayla showed me yesterday and just went for it!

I spent most of last night in front of the TV working on the next stage of the canvas… and Mum is going to have kittens when she sees it… but basically it was gesso time again!  I left it to dry overnight and this is what it looked like this morning:

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I actually quite liked the ‘soft’ look of this with lots of white but it wasn’t what I was planning so the first thing I did this morning was get out the test pot of ‘Terrible Billy’ and paint around the sides of the canvas and slightly onto the top just to ‘frame’ it.

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Then I needed to decide which sorts of inks and sprays I was going to use… and I got a really big surprise!  I have been a BIG fan of distress inks for a long time… but since this project was all about doing something different I decided that I wasn’t going to use them.

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I do have a three glimmer mists that I thought would come in handy along with some chalkboard spray but the glimmer mist was a total let down… the colours were really washed out and didn’t want to stick to the gesso.

Then I remembered that I had my Adirondack colour wash sprays.  To be honest I haven’t used them in a LONG time… but I did have them in both full strength and half strength containers so I figured I’d try them… and guess what…they TOTALLY ROCK!   The colours stuck to the gesso beautifully and were rich and vibrant… plus they mixed well together without going horrible and ‘muddy’!

I started off with espresso around the edges and took a photo:

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Then I added some butterscotch in a couple of places and took some more photos:

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And then… I got totally into the flow and was enjoying myself so much that I forgot all about the camera until I got to this point:

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I had baby wipes lifting up excess ink… both the half and full strength bottles going and the heat gun drying out colours in between!

After I took that photo I carried on for a bit more until I was completely happy with the canvas and this is what I ended up with:

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I know it’s really hard to see the details in the full size photo so here’s a few close ups.

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I really love the top edge of the canvas!  That vintage lace come up so well!  The cluster of clocks in the top right corner looks amazing in real life too.  When I got to the light bulb I decided to see if I could get the gesso off the light part and with a bit of gentle persuasion I managed it.  Since the light bulb was stuck directly to the white canvas the white kind of shines through the bulb which looks awesome.

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One of my favourite parts of this section is the ‘brick wall’ with the cord… I’m really loving that lighter area because it looks so soft and pretty against the dark border to the left of it. 

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My two favourite parts at the bottom would have to be the ‘2013’ which I used a baby wipe on once all the spraying was done.  I took it back to the gesso but left the edges intact so it looks quite grungy.  I also love the resin angel by the quote.  The ink has gone into the recessed parts and I used a baby wipe over the higher parts so it looks really antiqued!

Once I was finished I took a photo of the ink sprays to remind myself that these were the ones that worked the best.

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I don’t often do this but I do have six of the colours available in the online shop so if you want to get some I can personally vouch for the amazing colours.  There are twelve colours in total and I used all of them on my canvas! 

The canvas is still drying… I’m guessing it will take most of the afternoon or even overnight but I am resisting the urge to ink any more because I know I’m pretty close to doing ‘too much’ to it!  But I can tell you that I am in a very happy place and I have the inky fingers to prove it!

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So that’s it from me… I’m so pleased I gave mixed media a go and you can bet I’ll be doing more of it in the future!

I hope you’re all having a great Wednesday xx

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

An update on the canvas–LOTS of photos!

Hi everyone :)

Well my hands are a bit grubby… but it was oh so worth it!  After doing so much digital stuff lately it was a total ‘feel good’ to be in the craft room with tangible things to work with. 

I’ve painted… I’ve glued… I’ve arranged… I’ve changed my mind… and I’ve had an absolute blast!  I’ve also learned a couple of lessons along the way that I’ll share with you just in case you decide to try a canvas for yourself.

This morning Mum had a look at my blog and she was pleased to see a bit of colour appearing on the canvas.  I wouldn’t tell her what my next step was… but Mum you NEED to SIT DOWN for the next bit!

My first step this morning was to take my canvas from this:

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To this:

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Sorry Mum… but I did warn you!  Yes I painted the entire thing with white gesso.  Which brings me to my first ‘lesson’ of the day!

When I opened my gesso this morning it was THICK!  Really thick… whipped cream thick!  So… I added a little bit of water… and it looked better… so I added a little bit more water… and it looked better again… so I figured that just a little bit more water couldn’t hurt right??? WRONG!  Just so you know… if you add too much water then it won’t cover what you’re trying to cover!

I decided to whip down to Bunnings and buy another pot of gesso… and guess what… it’s thick!  Not as thick as mine started out this morning… but more like it was when I added the first little bit of water!

I decided to take a photo to remind myself to LEAVE THE WATER ALONE!  The top of the canvas was done with my watered down gesso and the bottom was done with my new gesso:

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The photo is a bit crappy because of the lighting at the time but you get the picture.  Once I’d been over the entire canvas it looked pretty darn good.  Here’s a few more photos:

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After I’d done the gesso I left the canvas to completely dry.  I’m loving this hot weather because it’s means that I can carry on with the canvas on the same day instead of having to leave it overnight.

By this afternoon I was ready to start ‘embellishing it’.  My first idea was to keep it relatively simple by adding a few things that mean a lot either to myself or the girls.

Here’s a few close up shots of the various sections":IMG_5878

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And here’s the overall look:

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It wasn’t quite grabbing me and I couldn’t figure out why not so I went back to my ‘idea folder’ and had another look at the projects that inspired this idea in the first place and straight away I knew what was wrong. 

It needed ‘something’… actually it needed a lot of ‘something’!  As I thought about it and wondered if I’d actually have the courage to do it Mikayla walked into the craft room to show me a ‘cool quote’… and it was the ‘push’ I needed to give it a go!

Here’s the quote:

I have gotten to that age where my brain has gone from 'you probably shouldn't do that'... to... 'what the hell, see what happens'

Well this is what happened:

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Here’s some close up’s so you can see what I did:

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Am I happy with it?  YOU BET I AM!

I’m certainly not finished yet but I’m not going to be adding any more embellishments!  Which brings me to my second lesson of the day… hot glue on metal embellishments is HOT!!  I’ve burnt several of my fingers today!

There is a real story to the embellishments that I have used though… I’m sure Mum and the girls will pick up on lots of them.

So tonight I’m going to sit in front of the TV and do the next step which I suspect is going to involve several hours… but I’ve got a vision in my head of how this is going to look so I’ve got to give it a try!

So that’s my day… and I’m in a very happy creative place right now :)

Happy Tuesday xx

More work on the canvas–LOTS of photos!

Hi everyone :)

Last night I spent several happy hours working on my canvas while I watched TV.  I’m not usually much of a TV viewer but since I had something to work on I was quite happy… and the time flew by!  I vaguely remember Mikayla coming home from work and going to bed and before I knew it the time said 11pm!

I’m taking lots of ‘progress’ photos  because this is the first time I’ve done a canvas like this and I’m sure if I don’t take photos I’ll never be able to remember the steps that I did!

Yesterday I mentioned that I thought I might put some muslin around Mikayla to soften up that area and so that’s where I started from.

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Then I decided that I might as well put some around the quote as well… actually I just love the muslin and the effect it gives!

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I made sure to bring the muslin over the edges as well.

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You’ll have to excuse the quality of the photos… the curtains were drawn and the lights were going so that photos aren’t the best.

Here’s one of the canvas with all the muslin attached.

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I let that all dry while I had dinner… see Mum I DID remember to have some food!!  Actually I cooked myself a really healthy pasta dinner with chorizo, bacon and chicken.

After dinner I decided to add some thick cord that I’d had stashed away… I can’t actually remember what I was going to do with it originally but it was perfect for this project.  I dunked the whole length into the pot of mod podge and then pulled it out and adhered it randomly around the canvas.

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As the cord was drying I kept pushing it down in place just to make sure it was really stuck and it seemed to work well!

Since I’m after lots of texture for this canvas I went through my stash of ribbons and lace and found some cool stuff to use.

This lace was left over from when I did a layout about my parents wedding day.  It’s pretty expensive at $15/metre but I figure that I might as well use it since that was all I had left!

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I curled the top of the lace over to the edge and it looks pretty neat that way too.

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I’m sure you’ve noticed the little bit of red/burgundy on the canvas… that’s some really heavy brocade trim that I totally love and the pattern is gorgeous so I decided to add some bits of the canvas.

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As you can see I also added some ‘cobweb’ lace too… that stuff has great texture.

I also added some lace around the bricks to kind of make a window effect and there is some other ruched ribbon and laces added too.  By the time I’d done all that it was way past my bedtime so I left the canvas overnight to dry.  I wasn’t sure if I’d stuck everything down well enough… but considering how much mod podge I went through it should have been enough!

This morning I checked out the fully dried canvas and it’s FANTASTIC!  I really wanted to show you how it looks before I head onto the next step so I took the canvas outside and the early morning light wasn’t too bad… so here’s my canvas at 6.30am

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So now it’s ready for the next step… not going to tell you what that is but if you check back later on today I’m sure I’ll be able to show you :)

Happy Tuesday everyone xx