Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Giveaway time!

Yes, it's time for another giveaway!

When it looked like my follower count was going to close on 200 I knew I wanted to do a giveaway journal  for the occasion, but I just didn't have the time to put one together. But last week as I put in so much studio time I also finished up a simple journal and put together a pack of goodies to go with it.

I'm sure you're all jumping up and down in anticipation, so let's get going and check out what you'll get.

Oooh, it's a pretty envelope (how exciting, haha)! On this will be written the address of the winner of course.

And here's all the packages that are inside!

First of all there's a handmade journal. It is a one signature book with 60 pages measuring 17x26 cm. (6.5x10 inches)

The book is filled with different sized papers. Some are leftovers from my two atlas journals.

And the others are Fabriano artist's paper (200gsm). A wonderful quality paper that will take a lot of media.

The journal is very simple and unadorned. That's because I want you to make it your own.

You can of course always cover the maps and lettering with gesso, paint or collage if you please.

The cover has some of my photographs on it and is protected by sticky back plastic.

But the journal for me was not enough. I wanted to give you stuff to play with right away. So in a way this is a bit of a journaling kit! It was so much fun putting this together and I have so much stuff that I won't even miss what's in here. So it's not like I went shopping for you all! ;-) Let me show you what else you get!

Two zip baggies filled with ribbons, some fabric, tags, punchanella, and five little Vlieland photographs by me.

An envelope full of pretty papers and some stickers.

A selection of washi and paper tape on a piece of acetate.

And yes, the back of that piece is filled too!

A little handmade card by yours truly. There will be a personal note on the back of course.

And finally four tombow dual brush markers so you can doodle!

The brush markers are brand new by the way. The thing is I had some double because the company that sold the sets to me didn't have the smaller sets and then sent me the bigger ones instead (with no extra charge) and those overlap, so I had a lot of extra's. And why not share those? I love those markers.

Well, that's it, my giveaway in all it's scrumptious goodness. I hope you like it and I hope you would like to receive it.

The rules are simple as always:
  1. Leave a comment. That's it. Of course if you have the need to be wordy about it I would love to know what you intend to do with all this stuff, because I'm always curious about that. You can leave a comment until Monday October 8. 
  2. Somewhere on October 8 I will let fate decide who is the winner, so bribery or especially inventive answers will be much appreciated, but not affect the outcome in any way. ;-)
  3. Check back in the week of the 8th of October to see if you've won. Please don't apply if you will not come back to check, because nothing is more frustrating than having to hunt down a giveaway winner. I will try to contact the winner, but that's not always possible. If the winner does not contact me within a week I will do a second drawing.
Good luck!

And that leaves me with the announcement that I will be absent until the drawing day of October 8. One more day of work and then ten days of freedom, because I have another vacation coming on. Yay! I will be offline most of the time taking a break from blogs, facebook, mail and groups. It's refreshing to do that every now and then. Of course when I come back I will give you a full report of my vacation with pictures and all. Maybe I will even have done something artsy!

Until then I wish all of you a wonderful and artsy time! See ya in October!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Work in progress

I've been putting in many hours in my studio last week (and outside of it too), working on different projects and fascinated by different things. When you spread your time over different projects you don't get to finish it all at once, but it sure makes life interesting. So here's some things that I've been working on.

I've been working in the journal of course. Always the journal, no matter what.

I've been making backgrounds for a series of atc's. This will become a step by step for you all.

I've been welcoming autumn with my camera.

I have plans for making a coloring book zine, these are my first tries for pages for it.

I've started a large size drawing after a magazine picture. This will be colored in with gouache.

I've been working on a giveaway journal! Yay! Come back on Wednesday for the full reveal!

And I spend hours being fascinated by the shape of branches against the sky. These would make interesting drawings.

I won't have much time this week to work on any project. I'm part of a book club and I have to finish this book first before anything else. I love reading, but sometimes it's like a chore when the timing's just wrong and you have to finish a book within a certain amount of time.  And since I have a vacation coming up next week I want to finish it before then.

In any case when the above projects are finished I'll be sure to show them to you in all their glory (or failure, whichever will apply by the time they're done). Let's hope I will still have some time to play left the coming days. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy week!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Photography Friday

Foliage and branches against a cloudy sky.

Close up of chopped in tree (why?). I love textures, patterns and structure close ups.

Trees looking slim and tall making me feel small.

Pretty grass plumes (or whatever you call that in English).

A very windy beach. Always make sure to have the wind in your back or you'll be sand blasted.

Sea plant life washed ashore making art in the sand.

And a dam makes for a  wonderful abstract sculpture.

A shell declaring it's love.

A little break during a long walk. Sitting on a dam, staring into the endless view. Could sit there for hours.

Things that wash ashore, rusty old barrel anyone? I always worry a little about what was in it.

Wide beach, impressive sky, some leftover tourists (yay, the busy season's over!).

Photography interrupted. ;-)

People declaring their love on the beach ( I have no idea who Felice is, but she's a lucky girl).

The marina, slowly getting less busy too.

The ferry leaving for the main land. But I think I'll stay here just a little while longer.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

More from the Moon Journal

Here's some more spreads from the Moon Journal, my ongoing altered atlas that serves as my daily journal.

I'm sorry about the glare in some of these pictures, the lighting circumstances were horrible today. I hope you enjoy this peek in my journal anyway.

You may recognize the second and third spread from some step by step posts I did a short while ago, only difference being that now they are written on, and as you know I write A Lot. ;-)

Hope you are all having a wonderful and artsy Wednesday!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Book review - Dreaming from the journal page / Melanie Testa

Title: Dreaming from the journal page - transforming the sketchbook to art
Author: Melanie Testa
Info: 128 p. - 2012
Rating: 7.5 / 10

I already have an enormous amount of books on art journaling, but I keep on buying more as long as the publishers keep on supplying more. Not all of them are of equal quality and not all of them bring something new to the table. Still I keep buying them, because I love art journaling and any new work will still inspire me even if maybe the content does not always offer new information. I guess you could say I'm an art journal book collector and I'm not ashamed to say I will probably be buying many more.

All that said it is always pleasant to see something new in a book on art journaling and I think if there is one real positive thing I'd like to state about Melanie Testa's Dreaming from the journal page it's that she shows some techniques and ideas I'd never seen in other journaling books. I'd say that's a big plus for the book to begin with. Examples of techniques I'd not seen before: soy wax resists, working with a ruling pen or how about information on dyeing fabric. In a journaling book! I think that's pretty cool.

Testa's book can best be viewed as a treasure trove of techniques that we as journalers can use to our heart's content. She gives examples of the single techniques and later on in the book also examples of how to combine two or more techniques into an interesting journal page. And her pages certainly are interesting, or should I say dreamy? I think Melanie Testa may make some of the most beautiful journal spreads I've ever seen.

This however does lead me to some ... no not negative...some lesser points. You can read this book front to back, but you still will not really know how Testa comes to her own beautiful journal pages. I think this is a missed opportunity. She does quickly show several spreads and talks of the techniques used, but it's like a shorthand style of explaining without real show and tell. I would have loved to see more of how her  pages come together, how the layering really works.

Also, and this is not really a critique but simply something you might want to know, this book is not really aimed at people who are looking for the more psychological therapeutic part of journaling. This is a very much materials and experiment oriented book, not so much about expressing ones feelings or working through emotions or with prompts and stuff like that. I don't mind that at all and the techniques certainly can be used for the more emotional part of journaling, but keep in mind that Testa uses her journal mostly as an instrument for her art. It's very much an artist's journal, with the emphasis on the development of art more than on 'real' journaling.

I think to appreciate this book you must see it as a toolbox where you get to sample materials and techniques and see some beautiful examples of how Testa herself uses them. Nothing more, nothing less and quite well executed, and with some techniques I have not seen in other journaling books. All in all I liked it a lot.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Step by step mixed media spread

This will be a long post, because of the many many pictures. I promised you this mixed media step by step ages ago, but the weather kept intervening by making my studio just too hot to work in. But now it's all done and I hope you like it. It was done in my Studio Book which measures about 10x10 inches which is 25x25 cm.  You will see I use a truckload of different materials for this one, but that's why it's mixed media, right?

Of course I started with blanc pages, but I took no picture of that, you've probably seen white pages before. ;-)
Let's get to work!

I put some Derwent aquatone pencils on the pages and diluted the marks with gesso instead of water.

Then (after drying) I wrote over the surface with a graphite pencil. The same words over and over again, like a charm.

I cut circles from decorative papers and pasted them on with gel medium.

I drew circles around the paper circles with paint markers.

I stamped a pattern with bubble wrap and gesso.

I stamped some bigger circles with light blue acrylic and a foam stamp.

More circles were added with another foam stamp and turquoise acrylic.

Of the next step I didn't take a picture, because it was invisible on camera. I took some sticky back plastic and made masks by cutting different size circles and sticking them to the  (dry) surface.

I went over the surface with watersoluble pastels (neocolor II). You can see the masks clearly now.

I diluted these pastel marks also with gesso.

I stamped a new pattern with gesso and another foam stamp.

A diamond patterned foam stamp and a darker turquoise paint.

And again circles, now with orange acrylic. There's lots of circles on this spread!

After drying I removed the masks, revealing the first layers underneath.

With paint markers I turned these revealed circles into flowers by drawing leaves around the edge.

I outlined the flower leaves with a black glaze pen.

I added swirls over the circles inside the flowers, again with a black glaze pen.

Of course I just had to ad my signature dashed line around the borders of the spread. ;-)

I took an orange glaze pen and added swirls to the orange circles to give them a little more oomph.

Then I got my label maker and started adding text. I wanted words that expressed abundance.

I still felt something was missing so I got out a box of little trinkets.

I decided to add some metal butterflies to complete the spread.

And with that I considered the spread finished. Here's just a few more close ups.

I like the 3D effect of the butterflies and the glaze pen and the label words. It gives the pages just that little extra.

So for this page I used:
- aquatone pencils
- gesso
- graphite pencil
- decorative papers
- gel medium
- paint markers
- foam stamps
- acrylic paints
- sticky back plastic
- bubble wrap
- watersoluble crayons/pastels
- glaze pens
- a label maker
- metal butterflies

I hope this spread inspires you to mix and match your materials and try some new combinations. I also hope you enjoyed this step by step explanation of how this spread came together.

If you have any questions, please ask them in the comment section so others can profit from them too.

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy weekend!