Thursday, March 18, 2010

My Creative Space

I love looking at everyone's creative spaces each Wednesday and I've been meaning to join in for ages. This is my first go. I've got lots of reading to do today - some research and some for my Indie Biz course, and lots of brainstorming and ideas to come up with so this is where I'll be most of the morning!

Thanks to ninianlif for the free photoshop overlay I used in playing with the photo.

Check out other creative spaces at kootoyoo

Monday, March 15, 2010

Saturday, March 13, 2010

EDM Challenge #262 & #263

It's been years it seems since I posted any EDM sketch challenges here. Firstly, here is my shower. It's amazing how something you look at every day just isn't 'seen'! I am definitely moving on getting that new shower rail after this!
This one is 'draw your favourite cleaning product'. Favourite cleaning product? Well, as much as I hate cleaning I must admit I do have a favourite 'product'. Because I hate all products (they make me sneeze and the skin on my hands peel off, I make my own which is not only Jan friendly but environmentally friendly too. I've been using this for a decade or more now. What more recommendation could it need?
I'm wondering what others 'like' to clean with now actually. Do you go for 'smells nice' or 'cleans like paint stripper'? Or do you make your own?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Let's talk about inspiration..

Sometimes I can be as empty of inspiration as this patch of wall in my studio. Luckily it doesn't happen very often. The subject of inspiration has come up in my Indie Biz course, of course! The suggestion is to make an 'inspiration board' to pin up images and things that inspire and, with luck on your side, the juxtaposition will spark off some new ideas.

Great! I've been meaning to do this for ages, however, the last thing I need is yet another 'thing' in my tiny studio. Space is my biggest issue these days and I was reluctant to even think about another object vying for wall space. Luckily I have one wall which is almost entirely pinboard! I chose that section of it which is now near my 2nd desk (is it any wonder I have no space!) to turn into my inspiration board. A Poscar pen and a bit of acrylic paint and I now have... ta da!

An inspiration board!!

I wrote "dream a little dream"; I was thinking "dream a little dream of me"; I often think I 'need' to dream big; encouragement to dream little is what I need right now (while I'm dreaming big in my Indie Biz course, of course!) And here it is now - completely filled to overflowing!

Inspired? Show me your inspiration board, please!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Customising a folder - Indie Biz 2.0 style!

I'm quite excited to be starting the Indie Biz course tomorrow. The precourse work has been fun! I thought I'd show you my folder customisation following the instructions from Frecklednest but changing it a bit to suit me!

I bought an inexpensive A4 folder. I chose it because I didn't hate it. Really, what are they thinking when they make those hideous folders!?

I really like the inside though and think it will be fun to work in such close relation to pattern.

The supplies needed for this customisation include scrapbook card so off to the scrapbook shop I went. I've never done scrapbooking but visit the shop occasionally for supplies. This time I found these foam alphabet stamps on the clearance rack!

Flying in the face of the direct instruction NOT to customise the cover of your folder if it was shiny I moved over to my messy table and mixed a little acrylic with medium on my paper palette pad, brushing it out thinly and as evenly as I could.

Testing... Not too bad. I quite like the transparent look too. I learned the hard way years ago with lettering to always start with whichever letter needs to be in exactly the right place and work backwards from there.

Lettering on the cover is finished. Back to my paper/fabric table.

I'm not into measuring much so I used a divider I had on hand to be my guide when cutting the scrapbook card to size on my paper cutter.

Here are my 5 chosen papers trimmed to suitable A4 divider size.

Punch a couple of holes in them and they are ready for the next step. Tabs!

I decided to use the offcuts from the scrapbook card as it is double sided and I can mix them up a bit.

I cut some small rectangles, (approx 7cm x 5.5cm) one of each card, folded them in half and round corner punched the folded edge.

At the scrapbook shop I discovered they keep really good double sided tape in about 10 different widths. This is the widest one they had, just less than 2cm. Add some to both sides of the tabs.

Position the tabs as needed for your dividers.

Voila! I used white gel pen and brown ink pen to write the labels.

Time for the front pocket. I cut some card I had left over from another project to the size of the pocket I wanted plus 2cm fold on 3 sides. Cut the bottom corners diagonally and add some of that super sturdy double sided tape.

Now it's ready to add to the inside cover of the folder.

And here it is, all finished. Well, at this stage I thought it was finished. Here is a quick tour of my folder.

All very gorgeous but I decided to add a bit of light blue Poscar pen to the lettering on the cover.

I put in the pages from my Indie Business workbook. This is all I am going to show you because the rest is shhhh secret squirrel! It's not too late though if you want to join the class, if you do it right now!

A bit of white gel pen to the lettering too - I've never really known when to stop when it comes to things like that!

I wanted a front pocket I could put some extra stuff in because the first pocket would only hold a few sheets of paper so back to the cutting board. This time I cut the card to size plus 3cm fold on 3 sides. I made this one shorter than the first too. Score lines on the 3cm, 2.5cm and 2cm marks. Fold each fold the opposite way (mountain, valley, mountain) to create a concertina sided pocket. Add the double sided tape again.

Position the second pocket on top of the first. Ah! Now that's storage!!!

Don't forget it's not too late to join the class but it does start tomorrow so you'll need to be quick. I hope to see you 'in class'. It looks like it will be lots of fun and there is a great bunch of people I've met already.

Friday, March 05, 2010

3 reasons you should invest in an artwork (and whose)

1. It will improve your life.
Usually we are told that art is a good investment because it will increase in value (sometimes enormously) over time. This is true for artists who gain the right attention, hang in the right galleries and, dare I say it, know the right people. If you are looking for that kind of investment this is not the blog to advise you.

However, a small investment in art will improve your life. Art elevates us, speaks to us in nonverbal ways of things we never thought but always yearned to, it moves us. You can have this everyday simply by placing a work of art in your room where you work, in your home, wherever.

2. Buying art will help save the world.
Usually we are told that donating to various charities will help save the world. I don’t want to suggest that this is not true or that you shouldn’t make donations, but please consider the plight of the artist.

When we look at history we look at its art. Artists today reside in a place in society far from the traditional one with its studio spaces in shabby but trendy parts of Paris or Greenwich Village and its patrons who could be relied upon to emerge from the shadows at an exhibition and buy just enough works to keep the artist going until next time. There are no cheap studios today and no patrons. That means we are all needed to step up to play patron on occasions or artists will go the way of the recently extinct Thylacine. How will the history we are making today look without the diversity of vision artists bring?

3. Art is better than sex.
In researching this article I googled the phrase “art is better than sex” and apparently I am the first to claim this. I’m not surprised. It is really the new taboo in our society.

A statistic commonly bandied about by art-loving bureaucrats is that more people visit art galleries each year than go to sporting events. While this gives me a warm fuzzy, what does it indicate on the ‘sex’ front? We all know we would prefer to have sex than sit and watch some stuffy sport program, so the obvious conclusion is that art is better than sex.

Now that I have you convinced, whose art should you buy? I could suggest many artists but I will give you three that I myself have invested in (yep, I am the lucky owner of these 3 artworks) and have consequently found my life vastly improved - James P Gilmour, Emma Kidd and Annie Matheson (in order of appearance). Actually, I'm going to put in a plug for my etsy shop here too, if you don't mind.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Ten Things Thursday

Here are a few of my favourite studio tools at the moment.

1. Angled brushes

2. I've added a small metal sieve to my pot of oil painting medium. It's a brilliant idea. It's a little like this one. Link

3. My circle cutter. Link
4. My Lamy Joy - a great recommendation from Liz Steel. It has great balance in your hand. Thanks Liz! Link

5. My stash of stamp carving blocks. Link
6. My trusty knife. I am constantly amazed how much I use it! Link

7. I had no idea I needed one of these until I got one. I'm just about to buy my third one! Did you know the better quality the cutting mat, the longer your knife lasts? Link

8. My favourite glue is Henkle brand and I get it from here. I couldn't find a picture of it by itself so that's it nestled in the middle of all the lovely bookbinding equipment.

9. Which makes me realise I should mention my bone folder for which I have found a myriad of uses. It is also in the picture above and I bought it from the same shop (along with that lovely thread and twine).

10. With my recent return to oil painting I needed to avoid the toxic chemicals which gave me health problems in the past. This is my new best friend. Not so much a tool as a supply, but I didn't think you'd mind. Link
What are your favourite tools at the moment in your studio or craft room?