Practicing some new techniques

I’ve been inspired by Dina Wakley’s art lately and have been working through her tutorials in Somerset Workshop magazine. I enjoy the way she uses layers in her work, her handmade stencils, and the cheery colours. I’ve made these three 6×6″ canvases to brighten up my work space. Now I need to start incorporating her techniques into my own art practice so it becomes part of what I do, not a copy of her style. I really like that finding her blog, then an article or two in Somerset magazines, has given me some more tools and techniques to use.

Wrist-deep in paper scraps

Today the sun came out – kind of – so I zoomed through some housework, put the bread maker on, and hauled out my scrapbooking supplies. I always do a little scrapbooking but I haven’t spent a whole day scattering paper and glue to the four winds for ages. It was such fun! For one terrible moment I thought I was about to run out of Henzo photo splits but then I had a brain wave and, sure enough, there are 3 more packets of 500 in my supply bag! Mind you, I could always ring Mary and David at Craft House (KiwiScraps) and order more in; they’re such lovely people to deal with.

I have a huge stockpile of old family photos but am beginning to run out of new photos, so it’s obviously time I sent an order to SnapFish. As much as I love all the old photos, I wouldn’t want to do nothing but heritage pages because I enjoy the modern colours too much. Anyway, here are just a few of the layouts I did today. These are terrible photos of them, but my scanner isn’t big enough to take 12×12″ – I promise all the photos are actually square etc.

Arting out my feelings

I got a bunch of new art mags from the USA last week, and an article by Dina Wakley really got my attention. Her use of layering and colours spoke to my heart, which has been a bit bruised lately. Having finished my new office/art room, I knew what I really needed was to get my hands dirty. So this afternoon I hauled out some supplies, including my new Michelle Ward stencils, and some heavy watercolor paper. This is the first of three pages I started this afternoon, all documenting the changes in our lives that are coming as a result of Mum going into the rest home. Pouring it out in art is good for my soul.

New home office / art room

I am determined that some good things are going to come out of Mum going into the home. One easy win is moving my home office / art room into her old bedroom – it’s a much lighter, warmer space, and larger too. (I do still have my outside art studio, but it has “issues”)

Tony and I have spent most of the weekend sorting, moving, hanging artwork etc. We’re both tired, but the final result is excellent. I have a light bright clean and tidy space, with a lazyboy chair in the corner so Tony can sit and read while I do whatever. One of the things I love is that some of my favorite artworks are now on the wall where I spend most of my home time. There’s a piece from Legato by Sophia Elise (it has Dad’s name on it, and my ‘2nd Dad’ Jack as well), 3 stripe paintings by Tanya Dann, a large fluro blue butterfly Tony bought me in Christchurch, the piece I did about our trip to Rome and 5 ACEOs by Martha Marshall.

I really like the inspiration of having favored pieces around me, and also having a clean well organised space. I can’t wait to get creating in it. I feel so fortunate.

Mail Art Swap

I’ve been making and/or decorating a few envelopes recently and then last night, trawling friend’s craft blogs, I noticed a mail art swap and thought “why not?”. So here goes, my first mail art swap. I’ve kept it small and simple for this first try. If you’re not sure what mail art is, go to Google Images and search ‘mail art envelopes’. Want to join in? The rules are pretty simple:

  1. Email me at by the 16th June, saying you’d like to participate.
  2. Send me 6 mail art envelopes (fairly standard sizes please) by July 16th. Include your name and postal address so I can send work back to you.
  3. Only send work you would be happy to receive.
  4. No ‘sticker slap’ please! Stickers, rubber stamps etc are fine, but please create, not just stick.
  5. People will be using your mail art, so nothing too lumpy or with nowhere to write an address.

Once I have everyone’s mail art in, I’ll send each participant a fabulous set of mail art to enjoy and use. This swap is suitable for beginners, and anyone arty/crafty – why not give it a go?

Got stencils?

As many of you will know, I have participated in Michelle Ward’s Crusades over the last few years. Michelle’s taking a break from the Crusades but her presence in the art community remains strong. I have long admired her stamps, and own quite a few; recently she bought out stencils. So cool! With all the recent upheavals in our life, I needed a bit of cheering up, and what better way than with new art supplies? (chocolate would have worked too of course)

You can a blogpost about see her stencils here. My stencils have arrived from the USA and they’re even more awesome than I imagined. I’ve had a quick play with them and, as if often the case, my first attempts turned out nothing like what was in my head. I need to puddle round a bit before I get comfy with new supplies. I think tomorrow might be a spray paint day 🙂