Thursday, December 4, 2014

Things that make me truly happy by Sharon

When it comes right down to it there are a million and one things that make me truly happy. Most of them are little things like the first time I uncap a new tube of paint or smell fresh hot cinnamon doughnuts. I love watching fireworks and fireflies. 
 love new places and revisiting old favourites. I'm really happy on a quiet stretch of beach amongst the seaweed or the deep green depths of a rainforest.  

So what on earth should I choose for this journal?  It's not easy to choose just one thing. 

Eventually I decided that it is a process not a thing that makes me happy and content. It is the process of learning. 
I realised that I love to understand what is going on around me. The process of seeing something and going back home to research further. To google, to read and digest so that next time, even if I don't remember the specifics, I will understand the generalities of what I'm seeing. 

My post is headed observation and understanding. I'm have layered up a loose seascape using inktense blocks then added a couple of stamps to represent memories of places and things I have discovered. Then I used images and some text from a 100 year old text book that I bought from a monastic town I stayed at several years ago. 
Here is the combination of childlike wonder with the more logical and science based adult looking at the world through the eyes of an artist. Hope you like it. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Jan works in Grimoire

This was such a lovely journal to receive and I chose Angel Blessings for my dream catcher!! I felt i needed it at the time (arm broke an' all!) So thank you very much Monica.

I also mostly did this with the left hand so it was kept fairly simple. A friend gave me a helpful book and so I chose to interpret that and just copied the principles.

The shroud covering the journal was lovely. Unfortunately I was not able at the time to sew, however I signed it and added a few stamps.
It was a pleasure to work in this inspiring journal. 

Jan has Laughter in Spite of Pain

Well this was truly a pertinent time to have this journal! Having fallen off my bike and broken my right arm! Anyway! All good and getting on the mend now. My pages in the journal were done mostly with the left hand and the KISS principle. But I enjoyed doing them and reading the other entries in the journal.
I got a neat Seth Apter stencil and that was great to work with.
I added a glow in the dark sheep to the other great and colourful things on the spine!! You can see her at the top of this page. A journal to treasure.!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Art of Transformation Comes to WA

I have journeyed further than I possibly should have this time.  Have I strayed off track you ask but to my mind my entry fits the bill well.  My spread is called "Ancestor Guardians". It is based on my journey to Borneo a few years ago. This small island has affected me deeply. I was so impressed with the reverence the people have for nature and the way art is deeply embedded into their culture.

Ancestor guardians combines two of my photos: the tree of life of the orang ulu or mountain people and the two guardian figurines that protect the longhouses of the Iban. These wooden effigies -one male and the other female stand at the entrance to the grounds surrounding the longhouse and protect the inhabitants. Each one is created when the long houses are built and are often dressed in clothes but left out in the weather to rot in the elements until they are barely recognisable.

But how does this fit into the Art of Transformation?   The transformation that I looked at was that of former  head hunters into a deeply religious people who revere the plants and animals around them and their strongly superstitious beliefs regarding their ancestors and evil spirits. This is easily discernible by looking at their wooden statues and the tattoos on the elders of the tribes.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this slightly off track entry...Sharon

The Music is You

This page is based on the many happy camping trips in have this year.  When I began to think about music types and what would I put in the journal that represented me, I stumbled for a while. Then I realised that since the kids have left home, live music or recorded music hasn't featured strongly in my life and I missed it.
But then I realised that I am surrounded by music every day, that of the bush.  Every morning I hear the morning chorus and each night I can hear the birds singing in the wetland behind our house.  
then I found an article in the Smithsonian about some studies from Cornell University  that piqued my interest.

Apparently there are a lot of simarlarities between human and bird song.  Some birds choose to sing in tune!  they are even fussy about what scale type they sing in. 
Anyway it just seemed like something interesting to put in the background. There isn't a lot of it visible in the finished piece. It's hidden, just like the birds that sing such wonderful songs, hidden from casual view but definitely there if you bother to look with care. 

There is also a added extra. I did a quick extra spread in a spot everyone was avoiding. There was an empty spread where one signature finished and there is a gap between the start of the next signature. It screamed out for a simple entry.  Rhapsody in Blue has long been one of my favourite pieces of music. So here is a little entry inspired by that piece of music and the colours of the ocean over Summe r

Oriental by Sharon

When I was a child, Nanna used to save up very hard and go on cruises.  She saw the orient from the huge cruise liners of the 60's and 70's. It was a big thing in our family. We would drive her to Fremantle to embark on her journeys.  We threw streamers and watched as she sailed away.  When she returned we would all gather again to hear of her escapades and watch as she unpacked her suitcase. Out of that case came all manner of wonders.  There would be clothes for captains dinners and shift dresses for day tripping and souvenirs form exotic lands.
I still have many of those treasures.  International dolls, kimonos from Japan
and most treasured of all, one of her travel diaries.  It's filled with tales of the food she ate and some of the folk tales from the lands she visited.  
My page is dedicated to her amazing life of travels and the huge amount of love and creativity she showered on me. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The man with the hollow tooth: Mon's entry in Nicole's "Out of the Box"

Nicole's journal was so freeing and "out of the box" for me that it took me a while to find what I'd be doing as my entry. Normally when working to a theme I try to push the boundaries and think outside the box.

With the theme of "Out of the box" it was more the opposite for me: a working "into a box" if that makes any sense.

I based my entry on a story my Grandpa used to tell me when I was little. It is one of those never ending  stories that loop. The sparse reference i could find on the net implied it was a Swiss story as it was apparently not known in Germany. The story goes like this (translated from Swissgerman:)

There once was a man who had a hollow tooth,
inside the tooth was a little box,
inside the little box was a letter,
inside the letter was written:
There once was a man who had a hollow tooth,
inside the tooth was a little box,
inside the little box was a letter,
inside the letter was written:
etc. etc.  you get the idea.

Somehow as a kid I could not get enough of this story and I must have driven my ever patient Grandpa nuts with urging him to go on and on and on.
In my mind I could see it clearly; the man with the hollow tooth who's tooth housed increasingly smaller versions of himself and at the same time I was still curious as to what the next "little box" might contain. But of course it always was another letter with the same story in the box but that did not dim my fascination with it.

It was a bit like holding both mirrored bathroom cabinet doors to my face and seeing an infinite and ever smaller version of myself. Or like going for a walk not knowing what the next bend in the path might reveal.

My entry in Nicole's "journal" (it is a box not a journal) became itself a little box as this is a hollow double layer about 1cm thick. Inside the hollow tooth sits a little box with a wee letter stuck in it and with a wee drop of sealing wax which landed partially on my finger. I have a blister to prove it. (Note to self: When working with sealing wax on tiny areas it is safer to use a toothpick or similar to hold down the piece.)

On the back I wrote the story as many times as would fit onto the paper and then used an aqua brush to paint a man's face with water and the soluble ink from my writing pen as the only paint.

I enjoyed working in this box of a journal and it brought back many memories from my childhood.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Natura - Louise's pages

What a beautiful journal with a glorious theme for Spring.
I am a keen gardener and I get that thing every spring
 where I need to get seeds into the ground, 
Spring Fever so my page was inspired by wonderful seeds. 

I have been playing around with seed themed elements
 for a while now, and they fascinate me.

Deb's journal is just gorgeous,
 I love her cover with its combination of painted papers
 and sewn fabrics, it is adorable.

I always admire sewing in a journal, 
it is something beyond me so I am always taken
 by its tactile and rhythmic qualities. 

This journal has so many sweet pages 
and this lovely girl being swept along 
by a leaf in the breeze is Debs entry. 

Sharon takes us right into her neighborhood
 and shares the gorgeous nature all around her.

Danielle has us pondering over a magical dandelion.

Nicoles beautiful pages really pop and I can almost smell that flower,

Jan brings in some texture and
 transports us across the world on her travels,

I love the roots growing down through the ancient bricks.

Roz's beautiful pages
 continue with wonderful texture and details.

This cute little owl  caught my eye.

Janene has bought her lovely layered texture into her pages.

I decided to do 2 pages as one page just wasn't enough
 and there were plenty of pages to play with
 and it is Spring after all !

All of that wonderful texture 
in the pages I had to add some as well.

My last page is inspired by Gaia
I used John Seed's Invocation from Deep Ecology
Council of All Beings
"We ask for the presence of the spirit of Gaia and pray that the breath of life continues to caress this planet home.
"May we grow into true understanding — a deep understanding that inspires us to protect the tree on which we bloom, and the water, soil, and atmosphere without which we have no existence.
"May we turn inward and stumble upon our true roots in the intertwining biology of this exquisite planet. May nourishment and power pulse through these roots, and fierce determination to continue the billion-year dance.
"May love well up and burst forth from our hearts.
"May there be a new dispensation of pure and powerful consciousness and the charter to witness and facilitate the healing of the tattered biosphere.
"We ask for the presence of the spirit of Gaia to be with us here. To reveal to us all that we need to see, for our own highest good and for the highest good of all.
"We call upon the spirit of evolution, the miraculous force that inspires rocks and dust to weave themselves into biology. You have stood by us for millions and billions of years — do not forsake us now. Empower us and awaken in us pure and dazzling creativity. You that can turn scales into feathers, seawater to blood, caterpillars to butterflies — metamorphose our species, awaken in us the powers that we need to survive the present crisis and evolve into more eons of our solar journey.
"Awaken in us a sense of who we truly are: tiny ephemeral blossoms on the Tree of Life. Make the purpose and destiny of that tree our own purpose and destiny.
"Fill each of us with love for our true Self, which includes all of the creatures and plants and landscapes of the world. Fill us with a powerful urge for the well-being and continual unfolding of this Self.
"May we speak in all human councils on behalf of the animals and plants and landscapes of the Earth.
"May we shine with a pure inner passion that will spread rapidly through these leaden times.
"May we all awaken to our true and only nature — none other than the nature of Gaia, this living planet Earth.
"We call upon the power that sustains the planets in their orbits, that wheels our Milky Way in its 200-million-year spiral, to imbue our personalities and our relationships with harmony, endurance, and joy. Fill us with a sense of immense time so that our brief, flickering lives may truly reflect the work of vast ages past and also the million of years of evolution whose potential lies in our trembling hands.
"O stars, lend us your burning passion.
"O silence, give weight to our voice.
"We ask for the presence of the spirit of Gaia.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

A Touch of Alice -

When Sharon's gorgeous travelling art journal arrived I could not wait to see what was inside this beautifully created book case. It was like a birthday present.

It opens right up to reveal a beautiful art journal, wont you come for a wander through the woods with Alice to see all the beautiful pages created so far.

This is Sharons cover, a lovely mixed media page using some papers I have in my own stash and they never look so good when I play with them.

Sharon has obviously lavished love and attention onto her gorgeous journal and included beautiful gifts for us all - this is her front page, I covered up her details with a dragonfly for the picture.

Sharon also did this first spread and it has an extra surprise in that cuppa, 

and with the mad hatters tea party a scene from Alice we have lots of  tea taking pride of place in Danielle's spread.

I have fallen in love with Nicoles distinctive quirky style and her page is adorable. 

Jan takes us back to the tea party with this gorgeous stack of cups and so many Alice inspired details and layers.

Roz's page actually inspired me to read Alice and Mr11 and I also watched the Alice movies one weekend. I dont think I had ever read it before. 

Janene's pages are so lovely and whimsical and textured. I love the variety of interpretations and styles we are collecting in our journals.

These are my pages I wanted to play with the woods and the checkerboard landscape.

I even gave Alice a themed package to wing her way off to Reniet and there is my handy dragonfly to cover up another address.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

My spread for Memento Mori

I had originally intended to use some photos of a cemetery in a bushland setting in Victoria. I took these photos about 6 years ago and I coudn't find them on my old hard drive. So I had to come up with something different~!
I found the skull image online and coloured it with prismacolour pencils.Tha background id stenciled and stamped. The texture paste is homemade with black gesso,bi-carb,cornflour and some gold glitter. The stamping is done with versafine Ink.

The second page had already been done with a layer of gesso so I used some homemade spray ink and some dylusions ink and some fabric spray ink for colour to tie in with the previous page. Once again I added some stamping and texturising with an old make up sponge. The quote I printed out from the internet.

The girl from the book was just visible so I used  an 'ALL' pencil to make her slightly more prominent. For those who don't know this journal is a re-purposed picture book about Hiroshima. I didn't want to obliterate the girl so she is now part of this spread.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Deb's "Natura"

I have been very remiss and not had this finished and posted weeks ago.  Last night I was in the zone and the page came together and just flowed out of me.  Mind you I didn't get to bed until after 1 am!! But I was on a high and had to finish the page.  Now it is winging it's way to Louise for her entry in the journal.

I admit that sometimes I am at a loss as to what to put on a page that has a particular theme, and I guess I had lost a bit of mojo.  BUT it is back and I had soooo much fun creating this page!  I really believe that nature is one of God's special gifts to us.  I know when I feel sad I seek nature even if it is just my back yard, and seeing the birds and the beautiful flowers can give you such a sense of peace.

Here is my entry for "Natura"

Now with Mojo back where it belongs...bring on the next journal lol!!


Janene :-)