Welcome to my creative online journal

Friday, 29 June 2012

Camping this Weekend!

...Must be mad!  The weather has been absolutely dreadful here since I made those shadow photos last Sunday.  When I say dreadful, I mean Sun, Rain, Sun, Rain, changing every few hours - still, I shouldn't complain, areas of this country have suffered terrible flooding and I know there are parts of America that have horrific fire storms.



We go every year camping at this time, a group of about five families and we make the best of it whatever the weather!  This time we are only half an hour away from home, so we can come back easily enough if it is too bad.  

Whilst I'm on, here are my catch up posts from my online courses:



and

Best get on, need to pack all our umbrellas and wellies for this camping trip.
Have a great weekend,
Nicky

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Three generations of Hands


This is an additional post today.  I have been thinking that all I have shown you recently are the creations I have been making for my online courses and some of you might not be all that interested in it (?!)  It does take a lot of commitment doing a course that you have to create something every day for and once you start....

Anyway, what I have got which is different today is this picture I took 9 years ago when on a family holiday at Center Parcs, Nottingham.

The reason for showing this picture is that I am taking part in the Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery again this week and it is on the subject of Hands. 

When I saw the subject matter, I remembered this and thought how appropriate it was.  It is lovely to see all the various different sizes of hands and Grandad's were SO much bigger than little Josh - who was one at the time and is now 10.  Ryan was 3 and is now aged 12.  

It is a shame that the background isn't better (I might be able to alter it using Photoshop?) but it came from this book:
 (which was meant for kids but who's telling?!)

The pages were a bit thin which is why you can see the picture that was on the previous page.

Seeing this picture again after all this time (its been hidden on a bookshelf) also reminds me of what a great time we had at Center Parcs, I loved that place and wouldn't hesitate to go again.  It was so  green and clean, like a little Utopia in England, of what it could be like (sigh!...)

I love these photo challenges of Tara's and must remember to take part more often, they are fun!

Thanks for looking today and for any comments,
Nicky

Monday, 25 June 2012

Shadows, Lots of Shadows

One of the mini projects we were given to do as part of Natalie Malik's excellent 'In the Sun' course, was to make ourselves (& take photos of) some shadows.  This proved to be quite difficult for me here in the UK, because the sun doesn't like to 'put it's hat on' very often! 

I did manage it by running in and out of doors everytime the sun came out!

Here are the black clouds taking over the blue!

Even when I was out there, it would suddenly cloud over, leaving me patiently waiting for the sun to make a reappearance. I had to be very quick with my camera.

I got my boys to help at first and they posed with some accessories on for some shadow shots:
..and then we started looking for interesting objects that would make good shadows:
This one is of course, a cullender.
..and a tennis-type of bat.

Rain stopped play for a while and then I found some more objects:
(Lace from Gauche Alchemy)
(The material known in the US as Burlap, I think)
Even the grass itself gave an interesting, simple shadow

All in all, despite the hiccups, it was a fun little project for a sunny day.

A couple more pages of my journal for 'In the Sun'
We were shown a video of 'Holiday' by Vampire Weekend and asked to do a page on the design elements we got from it.  I was going to choose something about someone from a different area coming into an environment that was totally alien to them - like 'Crocodile Dundee' - but couldn't find suitable pictures so I used this graphic element instead.  

Finally today, another page we were asked to do was to list our daily routine:
The background suggested was to cut magazine strips out and add washi tape inbetween, which is what I have done.  The blue is blue sky and appropriately for me, the grey is a photo of a wet surface.  Just like the Summer we are having at the moment, blue, grey, blue, grey...

I have written my routine on here but its not for prying eyes (its also a bit dull, must put MORE art in, lol)

Right, after that mammoth post, I need to get on with my dull routine creating lots of exciting art!

Thanks for looking and for any comments,
Nicky

Sunday, 24 June 2012

In the Sun & ICAD Catch-up

Oops, I forgot to update my latest activities here. I have been posting them to flickr on each of the group sets and forgetting this poor old blog.  Must remedy that immediately!

I have 2 index cards from ICAD to show you (and I've still got another 2-3 outstanding, must get on with those!)..

 This one (above) was created by cutting up an old accounts exercise book that I did at school over 30 years ago (we didn't have to write our exercises like that, I just chose to).  I also didn't make all those ink splat messes then, I added them when I made this card.  A few added magazine pictures of coins and a distressed edge with a red ink pad completed the effect.
For this one I used a single piece of coloured lined paper and ripped it up.  I stuck down the pieces and folded back the ripped line.  A black ink pad was smeared over the top randomly and also some white tippex in places was added to tone down the black.  To finish off I ripped a bit more to show previous layers with my nails whilst it was drying.  (This one does have quite a lot of depth but the scanner has flattened them). 

* * * * *

I have three pages from 'In the Sun' to show you but there is another one awaiting scanning.
This was the one that I did my image transfer.  The suggestion was to use a black and white picture but when I looked I didn't find any suitable images.  Luckily this blue toned one worked just as well.  I followed the instructions I gave you in my previous post and it took quite a while to do as it was a big image.  

(Technique note:  When the image transfer dries, you will probably find it has still left a white layer on the image, for this you need to get some more water on your finger and rub again. (And keep doing this, every time it dries with white on.  Try not to rip the paper).

Point of Interest Note:  That advert for the Mars chocolate was a copy from a book dated from the 1940s, wartime.  The small print says,  "Zoning now restricts Mars to the Southern counties.  So here's hoping for quick victory  - and plenty of Mars for everyone - everywhere."

* * *

For this second one we were asked what we wanted to achieve by the end of Summer.  Rather than list everything individually, I put it all in one sentence:

Lastly, a slightly silly one:
(click to enlarge)
(Picture is of me at a stall at the Peace Festival)

Hope you are enjoying your weekend.
Thanks for looking and for any comments,
Nicky

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Another go at Image transfer

It's time to show you the last four cards from my ICAD course.

Two of them were Peace Festival themed, which made sense as the cards represent those days.

The first one is this:
Which was created by photocopying a book cover about festivals and painting over the top of the feet with inks and paints.  I also hand drew the Peace symbol.  A colourful piece of washi tape for the date  matched its 'hippy' theme. 

 The second was this:
A simple photo of some earrings that were for sale.  I'm wishing that I'd bought some of these too (sigh!) ...
One of the ICAD optional themes was Swirls so these fitted it perfectly.

Getting back to Friday, my card was this:
Yet another optional theme was to doodle our name.  For this doodle I used Red & Black Sharpies and some see-through graph washi tape.  I do so love grids! 

The last card to show you was yesterdays:
..and this is the one I used an Image Transfer technique on.  Our brief for Natalie Malik's 'In the Sun' journalling course was to do an image transfer so I thought I'd  use my ICAD to do a practice one first.  I followed Natty's instructions and it worked well on this glossy Vogue picture.  The hand coloured effect was also part of  the brief and Marilyn was coloured in using a red Sharpie, a blue felt tip and a yellow Artbar. 

This was it in progress:
Rub, rub, rub....and rub some more.
(I used Golden's gloss gel medium)
Note: I dried mine quicker using a heat gun and found it worked well.


Whilst waiting for the other one to dry I decided to try another image transfer technique  This one kind of went wrong:
(But I like it!)

I was going to try using Cellulose thinners (outside of course) as my transfer chemical but when I put it on the magazine picture it dissolved and spread the ink.  This is the result - a happy accident! Yay! 

I made another transfer for my 'In the Sun' page but as I have shown you more than enough today I'll go ahead and show you that .....tomorrow!

Thanks for looking and for any comments,
Nicky

Monday, 18 June 2012

Fun at the Festival

Have I mentioned it rained at the Peace Festival last weekend?  Yes, I thought I had, in fact it was:
But there was a good spirit around, people making the best of it regardless of the weather. 

As usual, there was plenty to see and do and the best thing about it?  It is free to attend! Apparently it is one of the only free festivals left in the Country.   This is a yearly event and has stalls of many kinds, local schools, charities, healing, yoga, green causes, cafes,... as well as stalls selling these kind of things:
 I was tempted by the mosaic bowl (2nd picture) as it was only £12.95 - but resisted  (seemed too cheap for the amount of work involved)

There were also lots of clothing stalls with lots of bright colours and patterns:
and general fun stuff:
There was also lots of live music playing throughout the weekend, of varying quality (each to their own) 
(Small sample of lots of groups/singers)
..and you can watch dancers or join in yourself...or not!  

This is a very mini clip of a group I did like, must find out their name:
video

(I also wished I'd recorded more of them)

..and finally for these photos, a selection of people that caught my eye:
But whatever clothes you were wearing, wellies were the essential item of the weekend!

Thanks for stopping by today, I've been crafting quite a bit today so have a few things to show you tomorrow.
Enjoy your day,
Nicky


Sunday, 17 June 2012

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

As predicted the weather was blooming awful for our weekend at the Leamington Peace Festival.  Yesterday in particular, it chucked it down almost all day!  The grass was very close to looking like those famous Glastonbury mud newspaper photos you may remember from previous years.

Today we still had rain, but not as much and it was a teeny bit warmer.  I took quite a few photos which I will show you tomorrow.  Festivals are great for photography because they are so full of colour, patterns and interesting looking people who dare to wear creative styles of clothing and bright colours in their hair. 

For today I've got 3 days of the 'In the Sun' art journalling course I'm doing to show you.  One of which, has a couple of pictures from the Peace Festival:

My husband took the picture at the top and I did ask him to get a good reflection but oops, that didn't happen but the glasses are interesting enough.  The goggle type sunglasses were for sale on a stall, spot all the raindrops!

This second page was listing what was unique to me about this Summer:
The speech bubbles were from a free magazine about books.  It was for children to write their opinion on what they thought of a particular book.  My white Signo pen wouldn't work on the green so I tried a correction pen but it wasn't all that successful.

Finally, we were asked to do a 'Motif' for Summer, a summary of it.  This is what I'm thinking is mine for this year:
But I would love to be proved wrong!  The background was one of my watercolour and iron spray experiments from last week and the picture of the umbrella was taken at the Peace Festival.  I added the rain, thunder and lettering using PicMonkey.

Thanks for looking today and for any comments,
Nicky

Friday, 15 June 2012

Quick, rush outside, the sun is shining!

For some of today, the sky was a glorious blue so I wasted no time in taking advantage of it and went out and about with my camera on a mammoth tour of my local town, Royal Leamington Spa (no less!)  I didn't intend to walk quite as much as I did but there were so many exciting things to photograph and, well, we don't get the sun every day! 

Here are some of the pictures I took of some of the 'posh' buildings:

And they are posh...One of the houses on the bottom right photo (I think) is used as the outdoor set for filming the tv series, 'Upstairs, Downstairs'. 

There's some lovely architectural details on these buildings and many have fabulously ornate wrought iron balconies.   

This collage is of some of the little details I spotted on my travels:
I thoroughly enjoyed myself, hunting out all these interesting details and will definately be doing lots more of this kind of thing when the weather starts behaving itself for more than half a day! 

It is true what they say though, you don't need to go far to find inspiration, just take a look in your local town, city or village -  you'll be surprised at what you can find!  

* * * * *

To finish off today's post, I have a couple of Index Cards of the Day to show you from earlier this week:
 and
 One of our optional themes was 'Chaos'.  The quote in the centre is from the scientific book on Chaos by James Gillick.

The background was created by painting a layer of gesso and then 'swooshing' it around with a textured sponge.  It was then dried with a heat gun and rubbed over the top with assorted colours of Artbars.

* * * * * * *

I'm off to the local Peace Festival tomorrow,  loads of things to photograph there too, weather permitting!

Thanks for looking and for any comments.
Have a great weekend,
Nicky

In the Sun (I wish!)

Continuing with one of the other online courses I am doing, today's 'show and tell' is my Day 3 of Natalie Malik's 'In the Sun' journaling course. 

The prompt today was about writing down your list of what you need to do this Summer.  Once written down, we were to hide it - in a magazine illustration - for example.   Do you like the picture I have chosen for my 'To Do' list?  lol.  I have actually got quite a long list of things I want to do this Summer and this is where I've hidden my list:

The circle is actually a notebook which I have made into a secret compartment by making a hinge out of washi tape.  I have 4 pages altogether to write on, these two above which you can open again:

..and this is my list so far.  I have a pen with a diddy nib so can write lots and lots of things I want to do this Summer.  

As you can see by this list of 'Planned Events', one of them is the Leamington Spa Peace Festival, you may remember me showing you pictures of that in previous years?  Well it is this weekend, yay!...but Boo! The weather is due to be pants!  

Which reminds me, someone sent me this on Facebook:
..and that just about sums it up!

Thanks for looking today and for any comments,
Nicky

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Marit's Quirky Dutch Summer #1

I love the journalling work of the Dutch blogger, Marit, of Marit's Paperworld Blog.  It appealed to me so much that I did an online Summer course with her last year, purely on the strength of my liking her journal pages.  I saw them and decided there and then to go for it, about a week before it started.  I have since been an avid follower and always come away impressed by her creativity.  

This year she is offering a free mini course, held each Tuesday, called 'Quirky Dutch Summer' (link in my sidebar).

It started this week and the first assignment we have, with step-by-step instructions, was about 'tackling the blank page'.

Those that have been following me for a while may remember an altered book I started a while back called 'New to You' as in different techniques to have a go at.  It is also loosely based on religion and as such I have been adding hymns and carols I like to wail to, so with that in mind, I made myself a CHRISTMAS page! (sorry those of you of a nervous disposition, mentioning that word in June!)

There are lots of pictures to show you of how I made it, so without further ado, step 1 (click to enlarge):





If you are looking for something to kickstart your mojo, join in with us, everyone is welcome! 

* * * * *

Finally today, yesterdays ICAD was this:
I remember this saying from when I was younger, strangely enough we were never warned about the sharks! 

Thanks for looking today and for any comments,
Nicky 
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