Monday, July 7, 2014

A new direction

Hello there readers! It's been quite a while between posts. I've been going through one 
of those transitional periods in life, and didn't have much to share here. Those of you 
who've been following my blog for a while might remember I took a break back in 2012
 when my beloved mum died. 2013 was a good year for me personally and creatively
 as I got back on my feet. This year was getting off to a good start when my dear old dad's
 health took a turn for the worse. He passed away in late February. 

We never know how grief will affect us until it happens. This time around I had some insight
 into it all and which coping mechanisms work best for me. I cut back on all work and design
 commitments and focused on just taking care of myself and my family. I thought about what
 activities brought me the most comfort and remembered how much I enjoyed the embroidery
 in the Brave Girls Club "Soul Comfort" online course I took last year. I grabbed my supplies, 
found some patterns, put a DVD on, made some tea and  got comfy in my favourite chair. 

As you can see by the following images, I got a bit carried away! One thing I have noticed about
grief is that it doesn't necessarily stop my creativity, but changes it. I'm inspired by different things
now. I'm feeling very drawn to bright colours and patterns of different cultures: mandalas, 
calavera skulls, paisley designs, prayer flags, achitecture... It's fun and exciting to be doing
something new and different. I honestly have not felt the urge to do any scrapbooking or even
art journaling for almost six months now. It might come back, it might not and that's ok. I 
think the best approach is to see where my inspiration takes me and not try to force anything. 

In my next post, I'll talk about a bit more about embroidery and my thoughts 
on the changing nature of creativity. I have a couple of works in progress I
will share better photos of when they're finished. The ones above are just snaps
 from my iPhone. Thanks so much for stopping by! 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Three New Green Tara Layouts

I think the style and colours of these three layouts reflect the 
happy mood I've been in lately. Life is never dull with my sweet 
little girl around! She is such a character. Holly was my inspiration 
for my three new pages for Green Tara for February. 

For close ups and product listings, head over to the Green Tara blog 
and make sure you check out some of the other creations of the 
design team if you haven't already. Thanks for stopping by! 

Friday, January 31, 2014

The Documented Life Project: I Am In Love!

A few weeks ago I was absent mindedly scrolling through my Instagram
feed when an image caught my eye. It was what looked like an art journal
with different washi tape strips down the sides of the pages. I read the caption
and discovered that the owner, Melita Bloomer, was taking part in something
really cool called The Documented Life Project. I Googled it, read a bit about
it and decided it was definitely something I wanted to be a part of!

What it is, is basically a cross between a planner, diary and an art journal. 
I'm a shocker for using a yearly planner until about March when it gets put
away somewhere and neglected for the rest of the year. Planners can seem
so boring but this idea is a great way to make them fun. I'm kind of sporadic
with my art journaling and the idea of a weekly challenge appealed to me as
I knew it would get me creating pages on a regular basis.

I ordered a Moleskine soft covered weekly planner/notebook and waited 
patiently (well sort of) for it to arrive. As soon as it was here I grabbed my 
ever growing washi stash and set to work adding all the "tip ins" to prepare
it for some arty goodness. I also decorated my cover and got started on the
 weekly challenges. This is what it looks like: 

I found some canvas printed with book text in my stash to use 
on my cover. I decorated it with stencils, mists, stamps and pen, 
then attached it with extra strong tape and my sewing machine. 

Here are some of my challenge pages: 

I'm really loving it and look forward to the new challenges coming out
every weekend. If you're interested it certainly isn't too late to start! 
The great thing about this project is there are no rules as such. You 
can make it whatever you want it to be. Some of the participants are
using a different kind of planner or a folder. You could even just play
along with the challenges each week and put them in a regular art journal
or sketch book. There is a really inspirational Facebook group set up for
this project with members at all different stages of their artistic journeys. 

If you'd like to find out more, start here at Art To The 5th. There you will find 
all the details of how the concept works, plus a link to a mini class by Lorraine 
Bell on how to alter a Moleskine journal the way I did. I've introduced a few of
my local arty friends to this project and we are planning a meet up soon to work
on our journals together. I hope you love this idea as much as we do. If you join
in or are already working on The Documented Life Project, please leave me a 
link in the comments so I can check out your work. I'd love to see it!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

My First Green Tara and Inspired Blueprints Layouts for The Year

Here we go with my first two layouts for Green Tara for 2014. I was very
 lucky to have this due date coincide with my latest sketch assignment for
Inspired Blueprints  so I was able to combine the two in my first layout. 
I went for a summery feel for summer photos. My goodness it's been hot 
down here in Australia! We've had temperatures up to 40C (105F) where
we live in recent weeks. New Year's Day was quite hot so we waited until
dusk for our annual DIY family photo shoot. It was lovely to have new photos
to use on these layouts. For close ups, product details and a mini tutorial on
 how to make the washi tape feathers visit the Green Tara blog

We usually feature three layouts for each post we do as design team members at Green Tara.
 Two must be new and the third can one that we have previously shared elsewhere. My third 
layout this month is this one  from my last blog post. Thanks so much for stopping by today. 
I'm excited to have today at home with my little girl and we can't wait to make some pretty things! 

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My Scrap Around The World Entry for December 2013

I've wanted to try a Scrap Around The World  challenge since they started
 earlier this year. Life has been busy though as I've adjusted to being the working 
mother of a school kid. When I saw the December mood board  I was so
 inspired and realised I'd have the time to complete it so I jumped in!

 Here is the mood board: 

Gorgeous! I was inspired by the colours, the patterns and what I interpreted as a 
"vintage bohemian" feel which is very appealing to me. I also used the sketch to 
create my layout, just flipping it to suit my photo. I used some 7 Dots Studio papers, 
2 Crafty and other chipboard and of course Green Tara flowers (camellia, damask,
gardenia, petals and flower spray) and lace. I had so much fun trying out some new
techniques on the chipboard! I've altered the flowers with mist, gesso and Distress Markers.
 As a continuation of the paper design, I added some layers with texture paste, gesso,
masking, petals, lace and muslin. 

The journaling says: 

"Anne and I are cousins. We are very proud of our
 Finnish heritage and love to talk about our ancestors. 
We are so alike we think of ourselves as sisters".

 We are actually second cousins. Anne's father and my mum's father were brothers
 and migrated from Finland to Australia in the early 1900's. I was literally inspired by 
"Scrap Around The World" to create a layout with the title in Finnish and journaling
 in English. "Sielunsisko" means "soul sisters". I think I'd like to learn how to speak
 Finnish now. It's my dream to travel there one day. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

My Green Tara Layouts for December

Phew! The silly season is well and truly under way. This week is a blur of busyness at my job, end of school year stuff and Christmas preparations. I'm just stopping in quickly to share my latest creations for Green Tara. This month I have two new layouts to reveal plus a Christmas banner I made and taught as a class at work. All the details including product listings can be found on the Green Tara blog.

Thanks so much for stopping by!