Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Wishing you an evening of happy hauntings!
Micron pens, Derwent watercolor pencils, Loew Cornell oil pastels
Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Papercrafter for Hire!

A woman from another state reached out to me recently after seeing the library card pockets I posted on my blog back in 2012.  She asked if I could make 100 pockets to serve as place cards for her daughter's bat mitzvah, to match the girl's book donation service project. 

How could I resist!
I have had an opportunity over the past month to work with this woman and her party planner to select colors and patterns that coordinate with the event's place settings, and we upped the number to 110 just to be on the safe side. 
The party planning company will create library cards for the pockets with each guest's name, along with their table number, written in the form of the Dewey Decimal System.  How clever is that?!
I'll be heading to the post office tomorrow to get the order shipped out to her.  I am hoping that the library card pockets offer a welcome handmade touch to her daughter's special day!
I am thinking that Papercrafter for Hire might be just the role for me.  So many of the things I enjoy creating are suitable for gifts, favors, party accompaniments and desk accessories, that it makes sense to connect my passion for paper with other folks' desire for handmade components for their events.

A business is born?

Friday, October 10, 2014

Collage for a Cause

My friend Sue volunteers in the Handwork Group of the Hagley Museum in Delaware.  As a member of this group, she uses donated materials to create items to sell at their October Craft Fair.  She asked me to make some framed collages using donated Christmas cards, which could be sold at the fair. 
All earnings are given back to the museum for scholarships that allow students to experience Hagley's programming when they would not otherwise be able to afford to participate. 
I've been working on the collages over the past month, digging into the bag of Christmas cards and stack of frames that Sue dropped off at Studio 791.  My finished work is pictured here. 
I'll tell you, though, it's not easy to photograph framed artwork behind glass.  Please bear with me when it comes to strange flash reflections!
So, as the leaves outside are turning the loveliest autumn shades, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here!
For more ideas of how to re-use your holiday cards, check out this post from January of last year:

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

More Scripture Journaling

I discovered a method for introducing visual images into my Bible study last year around this time, and my version of "Scripture Journaling" was born.  As I mentioned in my original post, I use some of the structure and symbols from Sketchnotes to organize my thoughts about the Bible passages I am reading. 

Recently, I began reading through the Bible along with Courtney over at Women Living Well.  We started in the Book of Esther in September, then jumped into some letters from Peter and John in the New Testament.  When she headed into Genesis in October, I decided to pause and go back to Peter and John's letters, taking some time to re-read them and "scripture journal" about them.

I started with this:
I use the New International Version as my preferred translation.
Then I moved on to this:
I use the SOAP method to write out notes during my Bible study.
And then I come out with this:
A finished page in my visual scripture journal
I enjoy the final result of my scripture journaling efforts; simply put, the pages look neat!  But the real value in putting them together is in looking closely at the Bible passage and determining how the ideas relate and how they can be represented both visually and with words.  Then, when I go back and read the Bible chapter again, looking at my journal alongside it, I can better understand the scripture and what it is saying to me.
A closer look at part of a page about 1 Peter 1
Still in 1 Peter 1, verses 10 through 14
As I've delved more deeply into the idea of scripture journaling, and added more and more pins to my Scripture Journaling Pinterest board, I have discovered that I am far from alone in introducing symbols and images into my Bible study.  There is even a Facebook community for our Journaling Bible Community, which I am just beginning to explore.
The whole journal page for 1 Peter 1:10-22
The whole journal page for 1 Peter 1:24-2:7
Here are some additional sites that I have discovered where people are putting their own twist on scripture journaling:

Not Just Any Bee:  Doodle Art Blog
Scripture Art Journal:
Stephanie Ackerman Designs:
The Red-Headed Hostess:

I'll share some other links in future posts on this subject!
1 Peter 2:5 is the source of the name of my women's ministry group:  Living Stones!
My scripture journals use very simple pictures to make their point!
To see all the posts I've written on the subject (only four total, so far), please click here.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Zentangle Inspiration from the Library

I have to give a shout-out to the Delaware County Library System.  I am so lucky to have a network of 29 libraries where I can search out books on so many different topics.  I can check out books at any of the 29 locations with my library card, return a book to any one of the sites I want even if it's not where the book originated, and request books to be sent to the library nearest to me for pick-up.  How awesome is that?  Since I discovered how amazing our system is, and how many books are available to me, my Amazon book bill has decreased unbelievably. 

Having said all that, I wanted to show you the books I checked out last week from our Media-Upper Providence branch
I think I counted a total of five Zentangle books, so once I have squeezed all the goodness out of the two at the bottom of this stack, I'll be heading back for the rest!
Right now I am focusing on The Art of Zentangle: 50 Inspiring Drawings, Designs, and Ideas for the Meditative Artist.  I didn't realize until just now that there is no author listed on the cover or title page, but four artists are highlighted on the back page: Margaret Bremmer, Norma Burnell, Penny Raile, and Lara Williams.
At first glance, I would not be very impressed with this book because so much of the inside space is given over to empty pages where the reader is supposed to "try out" the designs and ideas presented on the previous pages.  I would immediately have the idea that the publisher is just padding the book and wasting space.  But I have to say, the designs and ideas that are presented are really phenomenal.  As much as I've enjoyed other Zentangle books that I have purchased, I'm not sure I've spent as much time with any of them as I have spent in the last week with this book.  (Except maybe Totally Tangled, the first Zentangle book I got and an on-going favorite.)
My tangled sketchbook page, completed while reading The Art of Zentangle
Instead of creating traditional Zentangle tiles with the hot-pressed watercolor paper, the border, the string, and the tangles occupying their designated spaces within the segments created by the string, I like to start a page in my sketchbook with some of the tangles I want to try out.  Then I come back over the course of several days, whenever I have a spare moment, and add to the page, until it is packed to overflowing with tangle patterns.
I've just been meandering through the book, trying out the tangle patterns that catch my eye.  I absolutely love how this one, called Dragonair, came out:
Dragonair, tangle designed by Norma J. Burnell
The curves really have so much dimension, and I love the effect of the stippled dots.  The book provides some awesome variations of Dragonair, in order to create designs that look like suns, leaves, and seed pods.  I have not finished playing around with this one!
I like this next little corner of the sketchbook page, because after I drew the stem and leaf design presented in the book, Katy saw the Poppet design I had drawn somewhere else on the page and suggested that I should use it to complete my flower.  I always like teaming up with my creative daughter!
Poppet (top), tangle designed by Lara Williams
Another new-to-me tangle design that I really like is Pokeleaf:
Pokeleaf, tangle designed by Norma J. Burnell
It looks dimensional when you first draw it, but also really benefits from shading.  I'm not a huge fan of shading--first, because I've never mastered it, and second, because it tends to make my page smudgy and dark, rather than a crisp black-and-white contrast that I enjoy.  But sometimes shading does add a really wonderful look to the tangle designs.
I really love how Candent looks on the page:
Cadent, tangle designed by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas
I'm pretty sure I tried this one before, and really made a mess of it, but it came out really nicely on this page, and I plan to use it again.  It is based on a grid, and is really surprisingly simple to do.  It's one of those patterns that proves true the Zentangle slogan that anything is possible one stroke at a time!
Here are a couple more views of the tangled sketchbook page I've been working on in bits and pieces over the past week.  You will see tangle designs including Flux, Hollibaugh, Roxi, Printemps, and Shing, as well as doodly patterns that don't come (as far as I know) with official names.
There are a number of project ideas in The Art of Zentangle that I haven't even delved into yet.  I'm pretty sure I'll be renewing this book when its due date rolls around!