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Everything posted by daisywreath

  1. I hadn't done any sewing for a long time before I got the machine out to make masks. I was doing that thing where I felt like I couldn't sew anything else until I got this old project I'd stalled out on finished. After the masks were done, I remembered I'd been wanting to make something to replace those disposable cotton rounds (like these). At one point I had gotten as far as digging up fabric for it, a knit shirt that never did fit properly and some flannelette, but then I never actually started. Once the machine was out for something else, I figured I might as well have a go at it. I cut apart the shirt, layered a chunk of it with the flannelette and cut it into strips, then cut the strips into smaller rectangles and zig-zagged the edges. I tried using a microtex needle at first, figuring the flannelette would make the t-shirt material act right, but I was getting a lot of skipped stitches. I switched to a jersey needle and flipped them over so the knit was on top while sewing, and things went much better after that. I made just six to start with a while back in case I hated them, then made a bunch more last weekend. I love these things. They're nicer than cotton rounds and don't leave bits of lint on my face - woo! They're not pretty, the edges are a bit wonky, but they're very usable. I have a little plastic container that I drop the used ones into, and I wash the lot of them when I'm starting to run out.
  2. Thank you, everyone! I didn't think I'd be away for so long - long story short, I've been having what were probably vestibular migraines (migraines plus bonus vertigo and motion sickness) which were kind of interfering with life a lot. I finally found some exercises for the vertigo part of things and for about two weeks now I haven't had a migraine *or* an episode of vertigo. And I can wear my glasses again without feeling like I've been trying to read in the car! 😄 So I think I'm back in a place where I'm able to pick this back up again - yay! I haven't made much art in months due to my brain behaving badly - and then having to convert my desk to working at home. I've had a laptop, dock, two monitors, two monitor stands, and possibly a partridge in a pear tree monopolizing my desk since March, but I'm going to try shoving everything off to one side at some point this weekend and make some prints. I'm really excited about this - I really, really missed making things.
  3. I'm sorry for the disappearing act! I thought I had already come by and left a note, but it looks like I didn't. I've been sick - nothing major, more a series of unfortunate events (multiple colds punctuated by a series of migraines). I'm feeling super run down and low on energy, but I'll be back as soon as I'm able to.
  4. Prompt: This is more of a doing prompt than a thinking/writing one: Try repurposing something you made that you didn't like into your journal. Cut up some collage paper you hated, use bits of fabric or yarn from a project that didn't work out -- see if you can bring something out of the ashes. (I have some really dreadful monoprints of the type that video #2 will be about that might find a home here!) Videos: This "week" will probably once again be more like two weeks long. The whole week concept has kind of gone off the rails a bit 😄 There are probably going to be 3 separate technique videos. The first is about making dendritic prints - this is a fun way to dip into monoprinting and is an easy win. This requires two pieces of glass (mine are from a couple of cheap picture frames), some kind of acrylic paint and a paintbrush. (And paper.) You can also use plexiglas -- I've read that the result might be slightly different but the basic principle should still work. The second will cover monoprinting with a glass or plexiglas plate. You can use anything with a smooth, non-porous surface, really. I've seen it suggested to use a cookie sheet covered with foil for young kids. I'll be using glass and acrylic paint. People do this process with other materials like watercolor paint or block printing ink, but from what I gather both of those methods require wet paper to pull the ink of the plate, so acrylic is a simpler way to go. And the third will cover printing on a gel plate. There are links in the supply list to recipes for creating one out of gelatin. Mine is a storebought one made by Gelli Arts. Gel Press also sells them and were slightly cheaper last time I looked. Here's the first video:
  5. I finally have the third video from week uploaded! Part of why this took so long (and why I ended up with twice as much video as previous weeks) was the combination of stenciling and doodling that I did. Both can be a little time-consuming. Both tend to be kind of meditative for me, though, so I had no idea how much time I'd spent at it until I started looking over the video. Over the next week we'll look at a couple of methods of monoprinting. Printing with a gel plate is another great way to use stencils, and it's really gratifying how much cool imagery you can create in a relatively short amount of time as compared with applying paint directly through a stencil.
  6. Hey all - I'm breaking the second video into two parts because it was long. In this first one I was making collage paper to use for my journal spread:
  7. I've been sort of off the grid a lot this week due to a combination of family issues and something that might have been food poisoning. (I feel much better now.) This has made week three sort of drag out to more like a couple of weeks 😄 I'm finishing up what was supposed to be last week's journal spread today & will be posting it once I get the video finished up.
  8. The stencil video is up. This is kind of a long one -- I've been trying to keep the tools/technique videos short, but apparently I had lots to say 😄 One of the manila folder stencils in the title card to the video (the one with the big circles) isn't actually in this video. I made it while I was working on my journal spread today -- it's a piece of manila folder that I punched with a one-inch hole punch. (I also made another one at the same time with a regular-size hole punch. I meant to do it during this video but totally forgot.) The Tyvek pouch I showed in this video was made with instructions from Maya Donenfeld's Upcycled Pouch Creativebug class. (In the video I said it was from her book Reinvention, which I couldn't remember the name of at the time, but the hand-sewn version that I made is from the class. There's a very similar project in the book with instructions for machine sewing.)
  9. Hello! Week 3 Prompt: What patterns do you find repeating themselves in the things you make? In the things that bring you joy? In the things that undermine your creativity? Videos This week's technique video is on stencils, focusing mainly on improvised and hand-cut stencils. Nothing too scary -- I made one from paper (folded and cut with scissors), a couple cut from a manila folder, and one from a piece of Tyvek envelope. PS: Just a heads up in case you want to get supplies -- for week 4 I'll be doing monoprinting. I'll be demoing two methods, one using glass/plexiglas (a piece from a picture frame would work, and if you have two pieces there's a fun trick that makes really cool prints) and one using a gel plate. There are some links in the supply list on how to make a plate out of actual gelatin, which is a cheap way to try it out to see if you enjoy it.) A brayer is optional with the glass method (you can apply paint with a brush) but it's tough to use a gel plate without a brayer. A soft rubber brayer works best for this purpose.
  10. The video is finally done and uploaded! When I started working on my journal spread last weekend, there were people moving into the apartment next door, which was pretty loud. I thought, "No problem! I'll do a voiceover later!" (This was easier said than done, it turns out.) I also had major difficulties getting the video uploaded - it uploaded to Youtube okay but got stuck at 0% processing for what felt like weeks. Anyway! I have the technique video for week 3 shot and just need to edit and post it, so it should be going up tomorrow. I'll be doing my next journal spread tomorrow, but since I'm only just getting last week's video up I'll probably wait until at least mid-week to post it.
  11. Quick non-update: I had an audio issue that I need to fix before the next video goes up, so "Monday or Tuesday" is turning out to be closer to Friday.
  12. @Kuchylm I love this - thank you for posting it! I've actually been re-watching Daria lately and that quote so completely resonated with me. I didn't manage to end up in an actual career as opposed to a for-now job until I was past 40, and I'm so glad of that because I really like my job and there's no way I would have been where I am now if I'd picked something at random when I was too young to have any idea what I wanted out of life.
  13. I thought a place for recommended books, web sites, and so on might be good. If you have any suggestions, please post them! Books Creating Art at the Speed of Life (Pam Carriker) This is the book that got me to try art journaling. Until I broke my wrist (about 6 years ago, I think) I had been getting back into drawing after not doing much of it since I was a teenager. After the broken wrist, I had lost a lot of muscle mass and was having a really hard time drawing. I had been attracted to mixed media art for a while but didn't know where to start, and this book was a really great jumping off point and broke me out of my inertia. Pedagogical Sketchbook (Paul Klee) This one is public domain and can be found all over the web. It's brief, only about 50 or so pages, and is based on Klee's lecture notes for one of his classes at the Bauhaus school. The Art of Expressive Collage (Crystal Neubauer) Great overview of collage materials, techniques, composition, etc. I love her work. Gelli Plate Printing: Mixed-Media Monoprinting Without a Press (Joan Bess) Tons of demos of various gel printing techniques. Doodles Unleashed (Traci Bautista) Terrific resource for mark-making ideas and techniques. Reinvention: Sewing with Rescued Materials (Maya Donenfeld) Ideas for making stuff out of reclaimed materials (including Tyvek - there's a machine-sewn version of the Tyvek pouch I showed in the week 3 video on stencils in this book. The hand-sewn version I made was done following her Creativebug class Web Sites & Videos & Such Carolyn Dube's thoughts on the OOPS Coptic Binding - Jody Alexander (Creativebug class) This class is where I learned how to do Coptic binding, which is my favorite kind of binding. It opens and lies completely flat, which is ideal for working in a journal, and it's a fun technique. There are a lot of Coptic binding tutorials online, but hers is a little bit different and I love the way it looks. Her Anatomy of a Book class is also on Creativebug -- it's a quick one that gives a grounding in the techniques/materials used for bookbinding. Julie Fei-Fan Balzer: Blog / Youtube Julie's blog and Youtube channel are a huge trove of information on pretty much everything to do with mixed media. Upcycled Pouch - Maya Donenfeld (Creativebug class) This is where I got the instructions for the hand-sewn Tyvek zippered pouch I mentioned in the week 3 stencils video. (It's super easy, all running stitch and was a pretty quick project. In the video I said I'd gotten the instructions from her book, but it turns out the version in the book is machine-stitched.)
  14. I'm also going to start adding any links, books, etc. that I mention in the videos to a resources thread in the supply list/resources section. If anyone has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them!
  15. Hey all! This week's prompt: Order vs Chaos For week 2, I was thinking about the continuum of order vs chaos in life and where along the line I feel most comfortable. How do you prefer things: Orderly, neat, planned-out? Or unplanned and more chaotic? Do you ever feel conflicted between the two? Videos This week's technique/tools video goes over using improvised materials for stamping and making simple foam stamps. I have this one finished and will post it below. In my journal spread video, I used the couple of stamps I made as well as some bubble wrap and styrofoam to do some stamping on pieces of deli paper, then collaged them into my journal. The journal spread video should go up on either Monday or Tuesday.
  16. Just a quick note - I'm going to move the weekly topic into the discussion forum area. Initially I thought it would be better to have separate sections for each week, but I think it'll get unwieldy and would be simpler to have the threads all in one area.
  17. So many posts in a row! The video finally processed. A couple of oops moments in the video - I initially was removing the audio from the sped-up segments but forgot to later (thankfully the audio isn't super loud in those segments) and one brief segment is upside-down. Another thing I mentioned in the video that I would post is a tutorial from the Gelli Arts blog on making this cool rays-of-sun effect with fan-folded paper on a gel plate.
  18. In the (still-uploading!) video, at one point I was talking about working in layers and being afraid of continuing working when what you're doing seems unfinished but you're afraid of messing it up if you keep on. For me there's usually a point where I think "oh, if I cover that up I'll be really sorry" or "wow, I wish I hadn't done that", and sure, sometimes I don't love the final result, but more often than not it comes out all right in the end. I mentioned one piece I worked on a year or two ago where I had a big freak-out halfway through and said I'd dig up the photos and post them. I wish I had taken a photo of the truly awful in-between stage where I was sure I'd ruined everything. The first photo is shortly before the point where I almost stopped working on it (after finishing the stems/branches that weren't painted in in the photo) because I was okay with it and was worried about losing the background and the coloration in the leaves. I kept on and had some trouble where the background turned all blah and sad and smeary-looking and I wasn't happy about what was happening in the leaves, but after tampering with it a little more it got to a place where I was happy I hadn't stopped earlier, and I loved the end result. Relevant link: Carolyn Dube's thoughts on the OOPS
  19. Any photos of your work? (Feel free to blur out any writing if you feel weird about sharing that part!) Thoughts/ideas/feedback? I wanted to start a post as a point of discussion and sharing, but absolutely feel free to start threads/post wherever. I'm kind of feeling my way through this since I've never led a group thing like this before. To start things off - this is what I made in the video that's in the middle of uploading/processing to Youtube. I did a little bit of writing on the top layer (about terror of and fascination with beginnings) instead of burying the writing underneath everything else, which I don't do often but felt inspired.
  20. I spent Sunday and Monday having an Asthma Adventure 😛 but saw the doctor yesterday and am much better now, and I finished learning how to cut bits of video together and speed up the boring parts and a bunch of other things. I also learned where not to place the microphone - unfortunately I'm a bit muffled, and you can hear the highway outside more than I would've liked. (There's also a bird chirping happily for a minute or two somewhere along the way, which was a happy surprise that I didn't notice at the time.) Anyway! The video is uploading to Youtube now and will take a while to generate the HD version after it's uploaded, so I'll pop back in later tonight or tomorrow before work if possible and post it here. I made my journal spread for the week and went into it basically thinking "okay, I want a spiral" and just kind of wandered around from there. Stuff I messed around with in the video: Water-soluble pencil & pastel Applying a thin layer of paint over another layer Stamping with plastic canvas for texture Rubber stamping (which I later hid because I wasn't thrilled with how things were turning out after this and an unfortunate color choice in the next step) Sponging layers of paint Collaging with torn bits of tissue paper (which hid the part I didn't like) Recovering from unfortunate decisions It is definitely not the best thing I've ever done, but I'm reasonably happy. I ended up doing some writing around the nautilus-shell-esque thing in the middle of the page.
  21. @Alice Creason Thanks - I'm glad it was helpful!
  22. And week 1 is partially up! I was dithering about whether to post everything in the general discussion area or make separate sections for this week and decided to go with separate sections. The first bits of week 1 are posted right here. If anyone has any requests/suggestions, please let me know!
  23. And here's a quick summary of the video: Adhesives (clockwise from the left in the photo below): Clockwise from the left: Mod Podge: I've had bad experiences with using Mod Podge in a book. Even the matte version is a lot stickier than a gel or fluid matte medium, and I've had pages tear where I used it. I'd recommend avoiding it for this type of project. Golden gel medium: I've used a few of Golden's gel mediums. I currently have their soft gel medium in gloss (bought by accident, is a disaster in a book due to pages sticking) and matte, which I like a lot. I've used their regular gel medium before, which is a step heavier. It's a bit more paste-like, and I found it sometimes got a little cloudy. It's very possible that I was using too much of it, but I find the soft gel easier to use. Liquitex fluid matte medium: I love this stuff. I use it more than the soft gel medium because I find it easier and faster to apply. It can wrinkle the paper a bit more, though. Glue sticks: Great for papers that aren't too heavy, especially if you want to write on the paper easily. It's a lot less likely to wrinkle the paper. But it's not good for very thin papers (like tissue paper or napkins) since you rub it on rather than brushing it and it can lead to tearing. Tape runner: If you need to stick down something small without gluing it to yourself in the process, this stuff is great. If you use a lot of it, you can get a big tape gun version of this stuff, which is refillable. The ones I have are disposable and don't have any kind of recycling code on them, which I'm not thrilled with. (I bought a 3-pack a while back but probably won't buy more, at least not this brand, due to not being able to recycle it.) Gesso: I've only used cheap gesso. Previously, I was using the Artist's Loft brand that Michael's sells (in the US, probably also in Canada). I discovered this week that my old, mostly empty tub of Artist's Loft gesso had gotten mildewy (eew) and picked up a brand I wasn't familiar with previously (Art Alternatives). After the video was done and the pages I added gesso to dried, I realized that I like this stuff a lot better than the Artist's Loft version - it dried smoother with very little brush texture (despite my using the same old, ragged glue brush I usually use with gesso.) I also showed in the video two pages where I used white acrylic paint instead of gesso (after discovering the old tub had gone rogue on me) and it covered less well, but good enough. I've seen terrible reviews of the Artist's Loft gesso from folks who tried using it on canvas and had an awful experience, but I've always had a decent enough experience using it on watercolor paper.
  24. This week's prompt: Beginnings It being the beginning of the year, I figured that beginnings would be a good topic for the week. How do you feel about starting a new project, a new year, a new phase in life? Is it exciting or problematic (or both)? Whether or not to write in the journal: Whether or not to write in your journal is a personal decision. Some folks do a ton of writing along with the art, some little or none. I tend to do relatively little writing -- instead I use the time I'm spending in the journal to think things over. Sometimes I do write, and often when I do the words are buried under layers of art. I know it's there, but the words themselves are obscured or reduced to texture. Videos I'm planning on doing a couple of videos a week, one or two quickies talking about a technique or two and a longer one while I work on my journal. If there are any requests for specific topics/techniques to cover, please let me know. I'm behind schedule right now -- I had planned to have all of this week's videos done by yesterday, but then I came down with some kind of respiratory plague. I seem to have my voice back now and am on the mend (and thankfully due to my current much-better health insurance I've been on a controller inhaler for my asthma for several months - which is probably the reason why this is the first respiratory virus I've had in years that didn't almost immediately turn into severe bronchitis or pneumonia.) For today I have a quick video about adhesives and gesso, and tomorrow I plan to shoot a longer video. Some caveats about this video: I've mostly only used this camera for still photos before, and the video aspect is definitely a learning experience for me. This video is kind of plagued by the autofocus going crazy, especially later in the video. I eventually turned the autofocus off, and tonight I plan to play around with getting a decent manual focus set before starting. In case the autofocus is making anyone dizzy, I have a written summary that I'll post below. More tomorrow! 😄
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