Saturday, December 26, 2009

studio time

It is cold outside, and warm and bright in my studio. I made some presents this month: scarves amongst them: stitched scraps in various whites with black velvet on the backs.
And a crocheted ruffle scarf. (Easy: working the long way, stitch up and down the length a few times and then do a couple more rows increasing at the rate of 2 new stitches for every 1 stitch in the row below, or 3:2. Automatic Ruffle.)I also made a Christmas journal in November to use in December with Dawn Sokol and loved it. This process of using any old papers, of all different sizes, painting some, collaging others, doodling, writing sideways - and finally I am beginning to loosen up. The payoff to that un-lock is that I really journaled this past month. Not just daily planner stuff in longhand (which has its place - that Edwardian Lady Gardener), not just ranting and raving (which is important I think, especially in the privacy of one's own journal), but actually trying on thoughts and then the paint and collage work, maybe, allowing enough breathing time to listen to the answers from the Universe.
Here is the end product:
-ribbons sticking out from the tags I put into the collaged pockets - I even did an embroidery on felt (it was a prayer one day when I was desperate) and because it had come out of the writing I wanted to add it into the journal so I stitched it into the seam of the next page. It came out lovely, and thick, and rich.

So I decided to make a new journal, sort-of like the last, to take me into 2010. Here is the cover. Hmm ... that looks a little bland. Dawn encouraged us to draw on our covers... Later.
The construction was crazy - different from my Christmas journal: I machine sewed 5 signatures about 1cm apart onto a double layer of cotton cloth. Then I zig-zag stitched the cardboard covers to the fabric, here. Slowly, gently, my machine agreed to all of it. I painted some canvas for the outer cover. See the pocket of brown paper bag that I glued under the canvas? That will be for medallions or components that I have yet to collage into place.
And then for pages I used papers that I have in an I-don't-know-what-to-do-with-you box. Some are experiments like this orange monoprint I drew on freezer paper and then printed onto drawing paper. Some are old tourist maps from various places in Maine. (Next to a not very successful, uh, I don't know what orange page.)

A short fold of a calendar photo page on the left, between my fingers, and a Traci Bautista idea from her book, Collage Unleashed, on the right. (Dyed paper towel brayered, with wrinkles, onto drawing paper.)

A page of old photos I got at a yard sale 20 years ago that I sewed in upside down!! Which is getting ready for some gesso - I will just paint over that.
And an acrylic painted page, complete with sprays of red, watered acrylic.
So, I am off and running. I have lots more pages to gesso and paint. Then collage, draw and write on. God is in Her heaven, and the voice of the artist is heard in her journal. This is fun.