Art Journal, cont.

Back in November I mentioned my burgeoning 2D art skills, and the Monthly Notebook group on Reddit.

Since then I’ve done a lot more art, and I’m going to share some of my drawings with you in a few days.  But first, I wanted to share these Imgur albums with you.

The first is the completed “Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost” notebook.  All 166 pages of work that I’m proud of, and work that I’d rather pretend never happened.

That book was 166 A4 pages and took me four months to complete.  While I was working on that book I was fairly sure that I was doing a lot of rainbows, and a lot of unicorns.  But when I’d finished the book and I was flipping through it at New Year I did a count, and there wasn’t nearly as many as I’d thought.  So for January I decided that I needed a book that was entirely unicorns and/or rainbows.

It’s only a small book, but every single one of the 38 pages has either a unicorn or a rainbow.  Most pages have both.

I’ve been enjoying my foray into the art world.  I’ve found myself reaching for a sketchbook more than anything else these days.  A lot of the pieces in these journals I plan on scanning or replicating, some for display and some for sale.

 

Random Craft Quiz – Part 4

Good news!  It hasn’t been a year between installments this time 🙂

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31) Where do you store your WIPs?

All over the place – by my armchair, under my sewing desk, by my bed.  Wherever I put it down last, really.  I have a lot of WIPs.

32) What was the last project you had to frog?  Why?

I’ve been working on various versions of a scarf using this amazing yarn called Mini Mochi (it’s discontinued now unfortunately) except that I kept changing what I want it to look like – and what amount of yarn I have available for it.  So I kept frogging it back.  Unfortunately it’s very fine, and made mostly of wool, so it does not frog well – it kinda melts to itself and you end up with lots of knots and tears.  Which is why, in my current version some of the colour fades don’t look quite right.

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33) What is the most frustrating experience you’ve had with a project?

The scarf above I think.  But it’s finished now, and it’s gorgeous!

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34) Have you ever sold your work?

I have!  I sell all sorts of random bits of pieces, all of which you can find by clicking the SHOP link at the top of the page, or by clicking HERE.

35) Have you ever finished a full sized blanket?

I have finished several.  My first ever knitted project…

family loom - all complete

(forgive the horrible photograph).  This is called The Loom, because my baby sister who was quite young at the time couldn’t pronounce “heirloom” which I told her it was going to be.

I’ve also made a VERY large blanket for my other sister and her husband as a wedding present, which wasn’t quite finished in time and ended up being a Christmas present.

 

I’ve made a rainbow crochet square quilt…

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and a Tunisian crochet quilt.

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I’m also working on several others.  I am a little addicted.

36) Have you ever had an interesting interaction with a stranger for crafting in public?

The occasional conversation with someone on the bus when I’m knitting.  Nothing worth talking about really.

37) Have you ever had a household member complain about the size of your yarn stash?

Nope.  One of the advantages of being single and living alone.

38) Have you ever been to a crocheting/knitting circle or club?

Absolutely.  My friend and I started a Stitch & Bitch at our university way back in 2007, but it didn’t last long after we left.  And there was a group at my local library I used to go to.

39) Have you ever written a pattern to share with others?

The first iteration of my store, many many years ago was a store on Etsy called Celeena Cree Creations where I sold crochet, knitting, cross stitch and blackwork patterns.  Those patterns will be going up on this store at some point in the future.

40) Have you ever purchased yarn only to decide you hated it?

By the time I was finished making the Loom, I was really REALLY sick of that yarn.  I can’t recall what it was though.

When Craftiness Meets Nerdiness

Now that I’ve gotten over my initial issues with polymer clay, and done a bit more experimenting, I had a specific project in mind that I wanted to do.  I’m a nerd.  I have not hidden this fact.  I am working on some nerdy products for the store.  I am a nerd.

One of my nerdy tendencies is Dungeons & Dragons. I haven’t been playing it for more than a couple of years, but I love it and I love my current character, Arimorel.  When you’re making a character one of the things that they get is a randomised trinket from a list in the Players Manual.  I ended up with “a multicoloured stone disk” and I knew right away that I wanted to find an actual multicoloured stone disk as a prop.

I searched a lot on eBay and places for something that might do, but nothing seemed quite right.  And then I realised that I could use one of my crafts to make it.  And so I did.

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I rolled small balls of each colour and flattened them roughly.

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I stacked them, and smushed them, and cut the result in half.

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I stacked and smushed and cut and repeat until I had something semi-resembling stone, but with all the colours still in.

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Then I cut out the shape I wanted and baked it.

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I threaded it on some cord, tied a sliding knot and voila!  Craftiness meets nerdiness.

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Why It’s Been Six Months Since My Last Post

There are many crafts I like to do.  I find it easier to tell new people that if I don’t already do a craft, then it’s probably on my list of crafts to try.  And I do have other hobbies.  I have some experience in creative writing, I love movies, I like to read, I like to bake occasionally.  Unfortunately I also have depression.  Along with the depression I have lots of other associated issues like anxiety and some compulsive disorders.

I say this here on my crafting blog, attached to my fledgling store, instead of on my personal blog, because I want to explain why sometimes I go so very long without posting.  I’m not going to go into details.  They can be very unpleasant and I’d like to keep this a happy space.  I just want to say that my issues can leave me with very little energy or motivation to do anything.  On days when I can barely get out of bed, I still have the oomph to reach out and grab a crafting project from my bedside table.  Nothing complicated necessarily, nothing more than maybe a simple crochet stitch. But craft is always there.

One of the things I don’t often have the motivation or energy to do is to actually get out the computer, compile my thoughts, get together photographs and write a blog post.  I have so many ideas for them.  My brain never stops – even when I want it to – and the ideas are constant.  I often find myself taking photographs of the different steps of projects with the full intention of writing a blog post at some point.  It’s just that “at some point” can take a very long time to come around.

I can’t promise that I won’t have another six month gap, but I can promise that I will try.  While I’m feeling relatively normal I will write and schedule as many posts as I can.  And I will chase up the few guest bloggers I have lined up.

Venturing Into Watercolour Art

For my birthday a few weeks ago my best friend bought me this lovely set of watercolour pencils…

…which was extremely exciting for me. As previously mentioned in my art journal blog, I’ve been getting more and more into 2D art. I’ve been doing lots of sketching and drawing and getting these pencils was the inspiration I needed to take the next step.

Pinterest, of course, was an invaluable source of ideas. One particular image had been lurking in my “make me!” folder for months.

So, after a quick trip into town to buy a pad of watercolour paper I had a go. I started by drawing the outline.

I was worried that it didn’t look like what it was supposed to be, but everyone I showed it to knew what it was.

Next step was to add some colour. I didn’t go with the blue from the Pinterest post but with one of my favourite colours.

I was really nervous for the next step. I didn’t want to mess it up. Adding too much water or not enough could ruin it – or so I assumed. I didn’t (and still don’t) have much knowledge of practice with watercolours, pencil or otherwise.

So I went slowly and gently, and I’m really happy with what came out.

That particular page went into my art journal, but I’m tempted to do another piece for my wall.

Iris Folding

The other day I wrote about being intrigued by two new crafts recently.  That post was about the first, and this post is about the second.  Iris Folding.

While searching Pinterest for ideas for my art journals I found this image:

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That led me to this page, where the author introduced me to Iris Folding.  Which led me to several hours on YouTube and Pinterest and Google Image Search.

Iris Folding begins with a pattern, like this one:

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In the tutorial I originally found she made her piece right on the template (without sticking it to the template), and then created an aperture for it.  Most of the other tutorials online begin with cutting your aperture from card stock, then taping it (with temporary tape like washi tape or masking tape) down over the template.

Then you lay strips of paper over the piece in line with each of the numbers on the template, using little bits of tape to keep them in place.

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When you’re finished, peel up the masking tape and flip your piece over.

With the triangle piece there, I made a few errors.  I had the pencil marks on my black card facing out instead of in…

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… and there were lots of gaps where I’d been paying attention to the lines on the template and not on the width of my paper strips.  So I had another go…

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…in which the pattern itself looked great but my horrendously cut aperture ruined the effect.  So I went again.

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This one I’m really pleased with.  It isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty.

Those three pieces are made with strips of paper originally intended for making lucky stars, like this.

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…so the edges are nice and neat.  Many tutorials say to use folded paper strips so that you have a nice edge.  And this does work well, but there’s an issue with it.

My first attempt at Iris Folding was actually the C at the top of this image…

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…(That’s a page from my art journal by the way) but for some reason I didn’t take photos of it.  So to demonstrate the issue with folded paper (and because I really enjoy the technique) I made another one.

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I’m really really happy with this one.  I took lots of photos doing the steps so I might post a tutorial some time soon.  But the problem with using folded paper is this..

It doubles the thickness of the piece.  It’s not so bad with large images like this.  In the original C I did it was quite small, so I was essentially layering each piece directly on top of another, meaning I ended up with almost a stack of paper.

I enjoy the process, and it makes such a pretty result.  I’m definitely going to be doing more, including experimenting with ribbon and washi tapes.

Stick Weaving

I do a lot of crafts.  A lot.  When people ask me what crafts I do I find it easier to say that if I don’t already do it, it’s probably on my list of crafts to try.  So when a craft crops up that I don’t know about I get very excited.  In the last few weeks there have been two!

The first is Stick Weaving.

My friend Cayden, who you may have seen me mention on here before, came to my house for a gaming session one weekend wielding something like this:

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(That’s not his work, it’s a picture from Pinterest).

It looked relatively simple, and as weaving in general was something I’d like to try one day I did a little bit of investigation.  Well, I tried.  There isn’t all that much information online to be honest, but I found a simple tutorial on YouTube….

And I found the same sticks set that Cayden has on Amazon.  I used a ball of leftover yarn so what I made isn’t very long, but it’s a very satisfying fabric.

 

As I said, there isn’t all that much info available online about stick weaving, but a Pinterest search brings up lots of pretty ideas.

 

And then there’s this image, also found on Pinterest.

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Just looking at that image makes my mind boggle.  I might have to make a few pretty scarves before I tackle something like that.