Monday, June 27, 2011

Bugs, a video.

Last week I did a video sitting at my desk. I did all that needs to be done: converting into a format Youtube likes, editing, finding music that fits the video, and then saving it to my computer... that last bit did not work. At all. It would take 300 minutes, Windows Movie Maker said. Oh no wait, it would take 599 minutes. Or 780.

It was music I had already used on a previous video, I didn't do anything different, but WMM just flat out refused to work. After several attempts a couple of days in a row, I just gave up. I might upload the video as a silent one, or talk over it or something, but with the music it's just not going to work.

So today, I tried again, with different footage and different music, but from the same source I always use, And guess what.. it worked! The video saved to my computer in less than a minute, and Youtube took no time at all to post the video:

I have no idea what I did wrong with the last video, but hey, it's working now so I'm not complaining!

Some pictures of the bugs up close:

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Gesso, or: The Science Project

I've never done a science project for school. No mouldy bread in my fridge (at least not for that purpose) or vulcanoes being created on my dining room table, nothing exciting like that. But then I opened my gesso today, and...
What the hell is that? Gesso is not supposed to be orange!
Or crusty...

And that crust is not supposed to burst like a marshmellow that's been on roasting above the BBQ for just a few minutes...

Is it bad that I want to keep it to see how much worse it will get?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Art Journal flip-through

About 1/3 into my current Art Journal I realised that there is tons of pages in this one and it would take me a good while to fill them all. So now, half way through, I decided to do a flip-through video.

In this Art Journal you will see a lot of test-pages. I'm testing out glazes, mixing my WC crayons with graphite and gesso, and trying out my Pearlescents in my mad scientist kind of way, lots of journaling, you'll see how I store my DIY tape, the piece of sheet I nearly emptied one of my pots of Pearlescents over, one of Keeshe's teeth (and I did not punch the puppy in order to get that tooth!), lots of photo's, daily emphemera, paintings, drawings...
And I'm only half way through yet!

Thank you for the music Big Man

I wonder how many blogposts, tweets and articlces yesterday and today have mentioned the following line:

when the change was made uptown, and the Big Man joined the band

It seems like such a small line in a song, but it changed Springsteen's music forever. And now that Clarence Clemons is gone, it will never be the same.

Here he is, doing the Jungleland solo in Stockholm in 2009:

Paradise by the C in 1988:

I'll wait for you, if I should fall behind, wait for me:

Thank you for the music, Clarence Clemons. You were well and truly a Big Man.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Arting in the park

A month ago, I took my water colour set to the local park and had a blast. My video editor program however decided that the video I took of me using my water colours only had the sound but not the picture. Great! So all you could hear was kids screaming and wind blowing and me mini misting my water colours but you couldn't see anything. Hmpf.

And then our laptop refused service, and we had to reset it to factory settings. As bad as that was, it somehow made the video editor program think that hey, there's picture here too!

So here it is, arting in the park, using my Cotman studio set, Pitt pens and a BIC pen in my Moleskine Sketchbook:

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Keesha the water dog

Keesha will be 6 months old on Sunday, and here she is splashing around in the puddle left after heavy rain this morning.

But of course it's much more fun to see her in action, esp. when you know the song I got from is called 'Fluffing a duck':

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Cult of Stuff, a page

Remember when I last talked about the Cult of Stuff, and the workshop Less Herger is hosting on Artjournaling dot ning dot com (oh yes, I said it again!)?

For last week, we were challenged into using 'personal ephemera'. Now, when I first moved to the UK and started all this creative madness, I would read the word 'ephemera' and have no idea how to pronounce it. Then I'd hear it on Youtube and still have no idea what was meant. I threw that on Twitter not that long ago and guess what, I'm not the only one! It's not a 'ohyousillyforeignerdon'tyouknowwhatthatmeans' situation at all! I was so relieved!

If you look it up, emphemera means 'Items of collectible memorabilia, typically written or printed ones, that were originally expected to have only short-term usefulness or popularity'. So basically, anything you can stick into your journal, paper, pictures, collage materials, etc. etc. etc. 'Personal ephemera' would then mean that it's stuff you did not buy in a shop, but things like receipts and shopping lists, photo's from your daily life, junk mail you cut up and stick in your journal, the stamps from a letter you received..

Last week, me and Tye went to the cinema and then out for dinner. Here's what I did with the stuff I collected during that day, including the little flags holding our Nando's chicken burger in place.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Index Card A Day

I think it was about two weeks ago when I did my usual round of creative blog favourites and stumbled across the lovely Tammy's Daisy Yellow (I highly recommend this blog if you've never been there, if only for the yummy pictures not to mention all the great ideas and inspiration you'll find there), and noticed she was about to start another project.

Index Card A Day: doodle, paint, write, collage, stamp, stitch, whateverrrrr you can think of, one index card per day for June, July and August (you get to have one ICAD-free day per week!). Start any time before the 15th of June, there's no need to 'catch up' (but of course I already decided to do just that), just start!

While I know I said 'Daily don't work for me', I think one index card per day sounds very doable. And if I don't do one every day I can do two every two days, or three every... well, you get the picture.

Now who knew it was so difficult to get your hands on simple index cards? I had to go to three stores to finally find some, and then they turned out to be smaller than the regular ones. But oh well, I've bought them and I will use them!

So I spend about half a day yesterday hole punching them, adding reinforcers on all said holes and pre-gessoing one month's worth of index cards. The rings I wanted to bind them with were too small for all three months' worth of cards to fit, so I'm binding them per month.

Here are the cover for June and my first few cards:
Kraft tape and Sharpie, can't be more simple!

I named this one 'Sleep'.

Derwent Inktense and Pastell pencils and Pitt pen.

Derwent Inktense pencils, ink, hand painted Micropore tape and postage stamps.

Derwent Inktense pencils, ink, hand painted Micropore tape and postage stamps.

Ink and Derwent Inktense pencils.

I don't particularly think that all of these cards are Masterpieces, but my view on these is that it's not so much about the individual card as it is about the collection I'll have when I finish this challenge.

Over the next few months I will be posting regular updates on these Index Card A Day cards, and I'll be Tweeting about it using '#icad'. I hope you'll join in on the fun! Oh, and there's a Flickr group too so you can show off your work! And if you're stuck on ideas, go to Daisy Yellow for weekly prompts!

What do you call your Art Journal?

I just discovered that I call my Art Journal different things.

When on Twitter, depending on how many characters I still have left, I call it my Art Journal or my AJ. Usually my AJ. And consequently I call working in my Art Journaling 'AJ-ing' on Twitter. I thought I'd clear that up for those of you who were wondering, although I suspect that most of you who are reading this blog and/or my Twitter feed are interested in Art Journals anyway and had already figured that one out.

Here on this blog, I always call it Art Journaling. With a capital A and J. Because it's important to me, I guess that's why I do it. It's not something I've given a lot of thought to. It just looks weird without the capitals.

When talking to my niece who is very interested in all my creative stuff, I call it 'my journal', even though she gets confused sometimes because she sort of keeps a written journal and this is completely different.

I tried 'Visual Journal', which I suppose my Travel Journal (see, capitals!) is more than an Art Journal, but it didn't sound right for some reason...

When out and about though, I call it 'My Book'. Tye over the years has become quite used to me collecting things 'for My Book'. Even the other day when we were at Nando's I asked for his little flag that was holding his burger together, so I could 'stick it in My Book'.

What do you call your Art Journal?

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Travel Journal

For our holiday, I made a travel journal, of course.

For the cover, I used a punctured air bed, thanks to our friend's dog...

and for the pages I used cardstock and patterned paper. The patterned paper was too big, so I folded it over to create pockets, which came in handy for maps and tickets and receipts.

I then inked all the pages, put some white paint over the patterned pages that otherwise were a bit too bright for my taste, and stamped my handcarved stamps all over the pages. I also added a lot of my hand decorated tape, this time using Micropore tape to give it more of a washi tape feel.

Here are some pictures:

But better than that, here's the video of me flipping through the Travel Journal.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Mad scientist

OK, OK, so I know I haven't blogged in a while. Life takes over sometimes and you end up with lots to say, but nothing you'd want to throw out on The Internet. It happens.

So let's just pretend these last couple of weeks, months, didn't happen and go right back to Art Journaling, how's that?

My dear friend Leslie Herger from Comfortable Shoes Studio posted a series of rants on her blog, about what she calls 'The Cult of Stuff'. It's about how we all get talked into buying 'the right tools' for art journaling and other creative outlets, and end up not using it at all. And yet you still go back to the store for more stuff. Go over to Leslie's blog to read her posts, they are so dead on!

Annyyywayyy... That series of blogposts inspired her to start a workshop over on (Oh yes, I said it!) where in turn she inspires us to look at all those supplies and tools we've got in our drawers and in our stash that we don't use or maybe don't even like using, and actually try them out in your journal. She calls it 'be a mad scientist in your art journal', and she encourages everyone who's taking part in this workshop to give it a go.

So here's what I've done:
I've had my Pearlescent paint set for about two years now, and I hardly touched them. They are too glittery for my taste, and I've only used them for accents, and only sparingly. So what could I do to change things?

What if I mixed it with gesso?
It of course became a bit more pastel, and more opaque, which is great for this journal I am currently using, a ruled and squared notebook. Also, the glitter completely disappeared. Great news!

What if I mixed it with charcoal?
I put down a lot of charcoal, and then added the paint. The glitter was still there, but it was a nicely grunged up and I absolutely loved the effect!

Let's keep going.
What if I mixed it with charcoal and gel medium?
I put down a lot of charcoal, then a thick layer of gel medium, and then the paint. Oh yes, I love that! The paint is not as fluent anymore, and you can really see the brush strokes. Nice!

What if I add water or alcohol drops?
The water made the already fluent paint run even further. The alcohol drops did not do all that much, but then maybe I should have first put down a different coat of paint of maybe gesso. After it dried, I doodled a bit, answering another question: yes, you can write on top of Pearlescent paints.

What if I stamp with it?
Two layers of gesso and then stamped on it. What I like about it is that you can use two or more colours with this method, but the paint is probably a little too thin for stamping.

And then....

I forgot that I was sitting on my bed and I knocked over one of the bottles. It went all over my duvet cover:

Nope, that's not art, but I'm sure that stain will somehow end up in my journal.... It's all about recording your life, right?

If you want to join the fun, and I really hope you do, please sign up for the Cult of Stuff workshop over on The ning site is free to join, and the workshop is donation based. If you like it, we'd appreciate the donation to keep the Ning-site going. Hope to see you there!