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Layout Share – Remember

Back with another 2017 USA trip story.

Remember

Here’s the story –

I want to remember this place. I want to remember the heat, that Gav and I headed straight for into the shade on the steps. I want to remember that pool didn’t have water in it last time we were here. I want to remember the crowds and the buzzing of it all. I want to remember the reason for this amazing memorial how Americans celebrate their history. I’ll always remember.

Something I have learned from Ali Edwards is using the prompt ‘I want to remember….’ as a jumping off point for story telling. I loved that my niece was taking photos of us on the steps while I was taking photos of them. That in itself is a story but I decided to focus more on the feelings of this place. We have been here three times now and I simply love this memorial. Glad it features in this album.

The 100 Day Project 2019 – 100 Experiments in Art – 25 Days Down

As always I am loving this project. So far I have enjoyed trying various media, styles and concepts. It’s making me think which is good because I can easily get stuck in a rut and churn out the same sort of thing over and over. I don’t want to fall into that trap. My whole ‘brief’ for this years project was to play and try things, to hone in on my arty style.

I thought it would be good to dissect some of my pieces so far to help focus my mind as I go onward to the next 75 days. Here are 15 of the first 25 with some notes and thoughts.

 

Above we have day 21 on the left and day 1 on the right.

Let’s talk about day 1 first. This is probably the most ‘free’ I have been. I had looked at my Pinterest board and seen something I liked and tried it out. My version wasn’t anything like the inspiration. To me it is a total mess. Splotches of colour with no real composition but I will always remember I just went for it and although I may not like it it isn’t completely bad. HA!

Day 21 was marker pens and inspired by more on Pinterest. I like the floral pattern but when I stepped back and looked at it I realised that my smaller filler shapes were all very similar in size. To create a pleasing composition a variation of sizes would have helped here.

For day 5 I used layers of acrylic paint. I was finding no success using a brush so resorted to a technique I have used many times before when playing with paint – the hotel key card! Dab on some paint and drag it ‘smooth’ with the edge of the card. If there are layers of paint underneath some of those will show through depending on the pressure you use while dragging the card. I had the layers of blue underneath this one and used white over the top. The black was an afterthought but totally transforms this piece. By complete chance I made them look like buildings and their reflections (well that’s what I’m telling myself!)

Day 10 is a wet on wet technique using watercolour. I made the daisy shapes by leaving some of the white paper dry, a negative shape if you will. Again more thought would have helped this one but wet on wet is a bit of a panicky technique. Having the colour washes mixed and ready to go helps and also a plan of where the paint is going…..

Day 13 is a combination of wet on wet and wet on dry with watercolour again. I love this one and that it looks like a waterfall. Definitely want to try and recreate this idea to intentionally make it more waterfall like.

Day 16 is a flower inspired by the work of Lisa Congdon. Black brush marker with white gel pen. I took a class from Lisa last year on the Creative Bug platform and loved her style and work.

Day 22 was an attempt to copy an image I saw on the NASA Instagram feed. It was a photo from way above Earth of a snowy mountain scene that had bright blue rivers snaking through the peaks. My first attempt was cast aside as I had tried and failed, to copy the scene. Far too technical for me so I went abstract instead. I love these colours and the overall piece.

A pretty village made from marker pens for day 8 . More Lisa Congdon here and inspired by a drawing she did in the same class from Creative Bug. Adore this one. Adore!

Day 19 I went subtle. More of the scraping away technique. I used a star mask to create that background with acrylic paint.

Micron pen and flower shapes for day 14. Again inspired by Pinterest. Not keen on this one. I think my poppy type shapes and not quite right.

 

A cute rainbow with collaged paper for Day 11. Inspired by Kelly Rae Roberts. A background of gouache with a layer of white acrylic over the top. I will try this technique again as it was fun and looks so adorable. I could see it living in my great nieces room!

Day 23 I used a black painted background and a white marker sized paint pen. Another inspired by pinterest. My intention had been a circle shape but that went wrong so I made it more into an oval design and just added shapes and lines till I was happy with it.

Day 3 is gouache again. This was done using a big flat brush with a less is more idea. Something I need to try more often! I liked the colour combination, yellow is not my go to choice but I really like it here. Good to remember to try different things.

For day 24 I layered more gouache as a background. I tried to add a different colour by using the purple and then went with random daisy shapes. As an afterthought I outlined the flowers with black micron and liked that better.

Day 25 was the quickest one yet! Micron line drawing. Simple and not at all bad.

I think my favourite so far has to be the village of brightly coloured buildings. I just love this.

As you can see I have tried lots of styles been inspired by the work of artists I like and played a lot. I am learning that making is art is hard! But I don’t want that to put me off. Even though I have dabbled in painting and mixed media for many years I am still discovering, the hard way, that practice and patience are some of an artists key personality requirements. I am also learning about composition, mixing paints and making shapes. And I need to be conscious of less copying and more being inspired then going my own way when I look at all my pinned ideas.

But overall so far so good. Plenty still to learn as we go forward into the next 75 days!

Layout Share – Best Time

I interrupt the usual layout posts to share one that is NOT from our 2017 USA holiday! I made this layout as part of the Hello Story 2 class over at Ali Edwards last month.

I love this photo and happily scrapped it with sort of list based journalling. The class was split into three ‘themes’. Lists, colour and grids.

You can’t really tell from the picture but I was riding a bike! Yes very dangerously taking a selfie…

Loved using the acrylic words from some sale story kits I bought a couple of years ago as well as other Ali Edwards embellishments with those circle cork pieces and word stickers. Simple fun story and a layout design I can see myself over using!

Photo a Day – Week One and Two

Here we go again!

Nothing like a beautiful blue sky and contrails to start the week!

Daffodils on our walk. Couldn’t resist that light.

Found this wonderful new installation! Never seen one this side of the pond before! How adorable is that?

If you’ve been here a while you know how I love to look out of my craft room window at the garden. And a little doggie was out there enjoying the warm spell.

Local florist potted plant display. See that little bench? I’ve got Gav on the case to make some! So cute.

More daffs. This time in our garden. I think this is the variety Rip van Winkle.

Can’t remember if I mentioned that a Poplar tree blew down into the wood at the back of our garden. Anyway the owner doesn’t want the wood so Gav and our neighbour are in full log production. We both have log burning stoves so this is a true gift. Using local wood that might just have rotted away. As you can see our neighbour has some serious log splitting kit!

Yes the daffs were in full swing this particular week. I think this one is Minnow.

Out for breakfast with my great niece.

Another pretty sky.

And more walking with that pooch.

Lunch with friends. That salad was delicious.

A photo I love to take. Evidence that our niece was here…..

Breakfast ‘tacos’.

And there we go.

Looking forward to Flowers

Just popping in quickly today with some photos I found from last year. Thought I’d share them to cheer us all up on this Monday and get us all looking forward to the summer. I know it’s a way off but still…..

The macro lens is still a challenge for me but I keep picking it up and giving it another go.

And it always helps to have good light.

Enjoy your week!

Bloom 2019 – Planning and Seed Sowing

The planning began a while ago. That photo above was taken on a Sunday morning in January when I was addicted to that cereal and had the beginnings of big plans for my cutting garden.

I still have big plans it just took a couple of months for me to decide what seeds I wanted to try this year.

I’m trying some new plants as well as some old favourites. And as well as seed from Sarah Raven I am giving Chilterns Seeds a go. They have an incredible array of seeds to choose from. Very unusual varieties and very ordinary ones too.

Below are some of the new seeds I’m trying.

Here is a list of what I hope to be growing –

  • Calendula Indian Prince
  • Ammi visnaga
  • Ammi majus
  • Ridolfia
  • Salvia
  • Orlaya
  • Scabious stellata
  • Scabious – a perennial form
  • Helianthus various
  • Phlox
  • Nicotiana
  • Centaurea
  • Cosmos
  • Nigella
  • Sweet Peas

They are magical things these seeds!

I had already sown some Helianthus seeds and they popped up last week with the help of a new heated bench Gav built.

It feels like we are up and running now. Looking forward to this growing season.

The 100 Day Project 2019 – 100 Experiments in Art

Here we are again. My third year embarking on this project and I am just as excited to get going as in previous years, although I’ll say it right here, right now I don’t think I can ever top last years 100 hearts on fabric for sheer joy and fun every day. (And yes, one day I will finish the quilt).

But onward.

For 2019 I’m going to make 100 pieces of artwork. Here are three reasons I felt pulled towards this idea.

  • I follow lots of artists and makers over on Instagram and feel inspired by them.
  • I have tried my hand at many different arty crafts over the years but flit on to something else.
  • I constantly find myself uttering the words I could do that!

I know I already have a challenge of making going on (my plan to open an etsy shop for macrame and weaving!) but this is different. This is going to be paint, pens, pencils, collage on paper.

My overall aim is to focus my arty voice. I want to experiment with different techniques and I’ve been pinning ideas over here for reference.

I hope that by giving myself 100 days to play I will be able to hone in on what I most like to make. You can see from the Pinterest board that it’s mainly abstract with some graphic line art thrown in.

After pondering how to approach this I eventually decided that I’m going to start with a pile of 100 pieces of mixed media paper cut to A5 size. I may go smaller depending on the idea that day. When I was discussing this idea with Gav he asked me how I intend finish a piece of art every day. It is a concern but I’ve made a deal with myself.  I’m going to be okay not completing every piece. My intention is to finish each day but if I don’t as long as I have something to share over on Instagram that will be fine. I can go back and finish off later, or not!

I know that the idea of a stack of blank paper may scare some but I’m looking forward to seeing that pile of potential, what will I try today? Oh yes I’m ready to go!

Layout Share – Every Picture Tells a Story

More form the 2017 trip.

Every Picture Tells a Story

And the story is my face…. Yes my eyes are tightly closed and they stayed that way the whole way round. It was my first time on a ‘roller coaster’ for many years and I don’t know why I booked myself on it with the fastpass. But I did it. And even did it again with Gav. Woot!

Oh dear what a wuss I am. This ride was the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Walt Disney World and as far as roller coasters go it’s tame. But they are not my thing at all. You probably can’t see my face, I’m on the second row next to my niece and I laughed so hard when I got this photo from the photo pass photographers. A page had to made to tell this silly story. Good times.

Photo a Day – Week Fifty One and Fifty Two

And here we are with the final two weeks of this year in photos.

Pancake day in the UK. We had eaten them all but I think she was going back to get more syrup off the plate!

The blue spruce I bought in December is sprouting new shoots.

A lovely sunny day and a close up teasel.

Chickpea salad for lunch.

We had a very crazy weather week and this was the result. A poplar tree in a neighbours garden cam down!

And then snow….

I mean really. Someone has even covered him up!

Out for treats with my Mum and sister.

Caught making my birthday cake!

A couple of nights away and of course we went to our favourite bookshop.

A different family portrait as we came down for breakfast. Lovely hotel.

And more snow. Could not believe it when I opened the curtains and saw it.

No snow back in Leeds though. But lots of sunshine again and we got started on sowing seeds for the veg and flower areas.

And there we go another 52 weeks of photos in the books.

The Click Tick List – Photograph Duddo Five Stones

I love it when something on my list gets done so easily! When I updated my list last year I added a visit to this stone circle into the mix because I adore an ancient monument and it’s in Northumberland where we visit often, so I figured it would be easy to do. And it was!

We spent my birthday in a lovely country hotel near Alnwick and took a drive to find this 4,000 year old ring of stones.

And although it was very windy the sky was a bright and a beautiful blue with lots of sunshine making the taking of photos a dream.

The position of this circle is up on a high ground so it gives you a wonderful view of the surrounding landscape. To the south are the Cheviot Hills.

The stones are sandstone which has become eroded by the weather over the years leaving the deep cut channels.

There were originally seven stones and you can see the gap to the west of the circle where the two missing stones would have stood.

Oh yes a little dog in the photo too. Gav was hiding behind that large stone because I asked him to get out of my shot but the pooch crept back in….

And of course it wouldn’t be right to leave this place without a self timed photo.

It was only a quick visit but this reminded me of how much I love to do this kind of thing. As long as the walk from the car isn’t too long. We used to trek about all over looking at monuments. Really glad I added this to my list and now crossed it off!