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Thursday, 26 January 2012

Landscape Quilt - Final

Well, after almost 7 months of work the Landscape Quilt is done and ready to hang. I've titled it Spring Garden and will hang it when the spring gardens begin to bloom. After having added details like branches and stems, veins in some of the leaves with thread and yarn and placed my little robins and toad and butterflies and quilted the whole thing, I was satisfied that it was done. Adding borders and a hanging sleeve to the back, it is now ready for display and will replace the winter quilt that hangs currently.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Glimpses of Spring on a Wintery Day

Usually in January and February, I have had enough of winter, this winter being the exception due to there being no snow and temperatures being warmer than seasonal (however, as I post this, it is snowing to beat the band outside....finally). But during the January/February winter blahs, I go to the photographs I took in the summer for inspiration.
My neighbour and I have a few Peony bushes and I had photographed them when they were in bloom. I love the shape and delicate nature and colour of Peonies and have always wanted to paint them. I think the flower lends itself to watercolour as a medium which is light and transparent.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Miniature Vacation Journal

I'm planning on going on a short canoe trip this summer and I wanted to be able to write my observations, sketch and put down my memories into something that wouldn't take up too much room. I made myself a miniature journal and thought I'd share it as an idea that could be used for any vacation.
The materials you need are:
watercolour paper
acrylic paint (diluted with water)
permanent fine tipped marker

1) Cut a strip of watercolour paper, 4 inches wide by the length of the watercolour sheet. (4"X30")

2) Loosely sketch a scene on one side which corresponds to trip you'll be taking
    just randomly paint colour along the whole length of the paper with the diluted acrylic paint.

3) Wet the whole strip of watercolour and drop or brush paint colours onto the wet paper. The paint will spread and mingle on the paper.
If painting a scene, wet only sections at a time and paint them letting each section dry before moving on to the next section to minimize the colours bleeding into each other. Let this side dry.

4) Because this will be a double-sided journal, once the first side is dry, flip it over and wet the whole back side and repeat with colours of your choice. NOTE: Because you will be writing or sketching in this journal, make sure your colours are light, unless you will be using a silver ink pen then you can make your journal darker in colour which might also have a nice effect.

Front side of journal. Note that I have left enough open spaces for writing or futher sketching.

Back side of journal

5) When you've finished painting the back side of the journal, flip it over and wet the front side with plain water (because you've used acrylic paint, there will be no bleeding or removing of paint as with watercolour), place the whole thing, while still damp between paper towels and under heavy books to dry and flatten.

6) Once dry and flattened, fold the strip in half and then fold each flap in half again. Continue folding until you have made an accordion of your strip.


7) Your journal should be approximately 4" X 4". Cut or tear 2 pieces of watercolour paper to a size of 4" X 4". These will be your front and back covers.

8) Draw a design of your choice on the front of the covers and paint the design OR glue magazine pictures, photos or even fabric to them. Add embellishments like beads, shells, sequins, glitter etc. Write a title on the front cover. (I have decided that I will embellish my journal with things I collect on my canoe trip so I will be embellishing my journal when I return)

9) Glue the book covers to the front and back pages of your journal. Place a heavy book on it while the glue dries. I also included a piece of cord which I sandwiched between the cover and the first page when gluing them together so I can tie my journal closed.
Now your journal is ready to take on your trip to fill with ideas, feelings, quotes, pictures, sketches, pieces of nature, descriptions of weather, the place, the people, bits of found items, ticket stubs, candy wrappers, whatever will give you wonderful memories.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Back at Work in the Studio

Well, I have stopped procrastinating. I told you I was going to do some sketches to get the creative juices flowing again. I bought an amarylis bulb this year and if you've ever had one, you know that it changes noticibly daily. I thought it might be interesting to draw and paint it with watercolour for 4 days in a row to show how much it changes in that time. It was really fun to do and good practice. Although they are just sketches, I can use them for other projects in the future.