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‘I like’ Friday the Art Challenge Edition.

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There are so many daily challenges around you could chuck a stick and hit a handful.  Challenges which last a week, a month, 100 days or a year are abound, you just need a fleeting glance at Instagram and the Interwebs to find the one for you.

The first daily challenge I found and did for 2 or 3 years was Fat Mum Slim‘s Photo-A-Day challenge which is still going strong and I would like to say that it was one of the first daily prompt based challenges.  Take a photo a day using prompts suggested by the blog and post them to Instagram. Simples.

I started to see more of these challenges as I started to do them, I am sure they have always been around, it is just I wasn’t looking. Isn’t it always the way, you see what you are looking for.

Challenges for hand lettering, painting, sketching, taking photos, taking photos of only one colour, sketching with a specific material, art journaling, they are all out there and I have done lots of them including ‘do what you want’ challenges like The 100 Day Project.

I have found that with help of ‘daily challenges’ I have managed to fit in some creativity every day, usually a piece of art of some description which makes me very happy because I have always thought that I didn’t have the time and why bother anyway. I can now affirm that bothering to make art or take a photo or whatever you decide to do every day is well worth it because you improve and create your own style just by doing it. Coming back day after day, even with prompts from other people, you will always bring a little bit of yourself and end up with new techniques, new experiences a gorgeous style and if you are lucky some new friends and be part of a creative online community.

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Some challenges I have completed are –

Creative Bug draw a day.  This is a monthly challenge which I have not done every month but I have completed some of them and they are very fun, great prompts with a mini video to accompany each day.  Each month is driven by a different artist and every month there is something to learn.

Tinkersketch is a prompt driven monthly sketch/paint/collage challenge hosted by the fabulous Tinkerlab blog. I have completed some months and started some for this challenge! In February I finished a Tinkersketch month in an altered book which was a really interesting way for me to work through the month following the prompts in my book. The Tinkersketch challenge is usually three or four months of the year and I recommend keeping an eye on their blog to see when the next one is.

Get Messy is an art journaling community and they work in seasons of prompts which are revealed each week for a ‘season’ of six weeks. Get Messians are encouraged to complete at least one art journal page per week and share with the community.  This commitment is enough for me to work on pages each week in my art journal. I only joined Get Messy in January of this year and I had never previously worked in an art journal and I love the learning process and the creativity along the way.

One of my favorite daily challenges has to be The 100 day Project which I completed last year when I did 100 Mandalas.  This year I looked forward to the project again and I altered 100 vintage playing cards.  What I love about this project is the sheer body of work by the end of the 100 days.

August Break is a photo challenge hosted by Susannah Conway and it is a nice creative challenge for the summer.

A new one I am going to try in October is INKtober which has been running for a few years and I have seen it before but I have never been confident enough with drawing to join in previously.  This year I am ready to give it a go!  There are  official prompts for INKtober and this year Jar of Salt has also provided some prompts which will help with the days of indecision.

Do you partake in any daily challenges?  Any to recommend?

Happy Friday x

Persimmon predictions

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I learnt two new things this week, that there is a persimmon tree in the woods (I am sure there are many, but I only know of the one) and the seeds from the ripe persimmon fruit can predict the future.

Only the immediate winter future, the weather to be specific.  Sorry, it is not a request service, open a persimmon seed and see what you will be having for dinner type thing.

I must admit that I thought persimmons were a tropical fruit, so that shows what I know. Ain’t nothing tropical about our local woods!

I read about it here and decided to have a go at checking for myself. So I gathered a few persimmon fruits from the woodland floor and brought them home for dissection.

The seed are small and slimey little buggers as to be expected I suppose from a plum like fruit which got so ripe it hurled itself from the tree to the ground. I managed to wash some  seeds off and cut them in half and nothing, just a white inside, no cutlery in sight. Transpires I was cutting them the wrong way….

They have to be sliced longways which is not an easy process, slippy seeds are not simple to chop in half especially along their skinny side. I fired a few across the kitchen floor and ended up with a couple in half and all fingers intact.

I saw spoons.  See in the photo above – spoons.

A spoon shape predicts a snowy winter whereas if you see a knife  that indicates an icy winter and a fork means it will be mild.

Better get the winter boots out and the sledge dusted off and I have seen the most gorgeous scarf to knit, so I had better get busy!

It is the Autumn Equinox today on this side of the world and Mama Nature somehow missed the memo as it is 91 degrees today and the same is predicted tomorrow.

Oh well at least now I know what sort of winter to expect…..

Happy Thursday x

The ‘Artist’ Zine.

I have never collaborated in making a zine before, in fact I have only ever seen a zine on the inter webs, never in real life.

I was thrilled when I was asked to join in with a zine being made by the Zine Squad who are a group of art journaling ninjas who leap over the rooftops in the dead of night to gather ideas and techniques for their next zine.  So to be included in this group was a real pleasure, even if I need to work on my ninja moves!

What I really enjoyed about the zine was that it came to me from Vanessa and Julia who had already worked on some pages.  The idea is to make some new pages or work with other peoples pages while leaving room for the next artist to work her magic.

It felt like I could very easily ruin the whole darn thing which took me a few days to get over.  I mean this zine was heading off for other people to work in and I really really didn’t want to mess it up.

I spent some time working on my ideas and once I had harvested a few I got going very happily.

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I added a few marks to the page on the left which I think was started by Julia, kind of dipping my toes into the water.

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I enjoyed adding to the page on the right so much, the colour splash was already across the page and I added the trees/mountains and the sun peeking over the top.

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This spread was completely blank so I made the background for Katie to work with.

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Vanessa had worked her magic on the right hand page and I wanted to reflect a little of what she had done, so I made a background for myself then added the lady and some doodles to the left page.

When I had finished I mailed it onto Katie to add her gorgeous to the zine.

The zine’s final destination was the fabulous Misty Granade.

Thanks to the Zine Squad for including me. Be sure to pop over to their blogs to see their pages and processes.

Vanessa – Dans Mon Crane

Julia – Jules Tea

Katie – Punk Projects

I hope I get to participate in more zines, I may even make some myself!

Happy Tuesday x

 

Weekly Photos 37/52

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1. Flowers on the table.  Brought by our lovely neighbors who we shared some tomatoes with.

2. Shells from our holiday in Cape Cod.

3. I made some peanut butter chocolate chip cookies this weekend.

4.  A hole in a rotting log full of water.  I think I see an angry face, I am always seeing faces in tree bark, maybe I am a crazy person!

5. Lots of fungi on fallen tree trunks.  They look like a flock of tiny birds.

6.  These mystery blue arrows have appeared on the trail, I wonder what they are for?

7. Sunset over a local building.

Happy Monday x

‘I Like’ Friday -the art supplies edition

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Art supplies how I love them! This week I have been using all kinds of things and I thought I would share my favorites with you.  Hopefully you can share some of your favorites or coveted supplies (I have plenty of ‘wish list’ stuff myself).

Paints – I often start with a background using acrylic paints in my art journal which is a good and a bad thing. Good because I don’t have a scary white page glaring at me, and I have something to work with and on. Bad because if I want to sketch something on the page, there is no erasing, no going back.  Of course there is more paint to go over a mistake if necessary!

I bought a set of pearlescent watercolors this week and I like the subdued colours and the gentle sparkle. Kind of what I aim for in life – subdued colours and a gentle sparkle!  Now I am after some metallic watercolors which look fabulous.

Journals – I always have more than one sketchbook on the go, one to work in, another to work in while the first page/background dries, a small one for toting around for sketching on the go and big ones for lots of splashing about and getting messy. My favorites at the moment are Dylusions Creative Journal in big, small and square and Moleskine Art Plus small sketchbook which has nice thick paper. The Dylusions journal has super thick and smooth paper and a handy dandy envelope inside the front cover to store those important collage papers and ephemra.

I recently made a couple of sketchbooks which are super fun to use as well as to make in the first place as you chose what paper goes into them.

Pens – I never draw in pencil first because I don’t like the look of the pencil as a main drawing tool or under paint. So I dive in with a pen or paint.  This sounds like a foolish method, but it certainly makes me think about what I am drawing and where the next line or brushstroke is going. It usually works for me, if I make a mistake I can always turn the page and go again.

Sometimes I will outline with pen and fill in with a brush pen like a Koi Brush Marker or a Tombow brush pen. Sometimes I will use paint first or brush marker first to get the shape, then I will draw in a fine pen to add detail.  For the outline I will usually use Micron pens because they are waterproof and won’t run or smudge when I add wet paint or a brush marker for colour.

Index cards – Index cards come in a variety of sizes and they are so easy to work on with almost no pressure.  They are very satisfying to draw onto because you get a big pile of finished cards in no time, especially if you are using them to develop pattern or doodle ideas.  They can also be all laid out together so that you can see where you are heading and pick out some favorites to work on further. Also, they are cheap as chips!

Books – As well as all of the supplies, I really like a good art technique/idea book. I love books which have lots of inspiration and ideas, almost more than the ‘how-to’ aspect. A couple of the best books I have seen lately are –  Brave, Intuitive Painting by Flora Bowley, 20 Ways to Draw Everything by Lisa Congdon, Julia Kuo and Eloise Renouf.

‘Brave, Intuitive Painting’ just makes you want to grab colours and canvases and paint and paint and paint! I must admit that I really only paint in my sketchbooks and journals, maybe I should have a go on a canvas. Would the pressure be too much? Maybe I should try and see…. Watch this space.

’20 Ways to Draw Everything’ makes you want to fill sketchbooks and really examine the natural world around us. It is not strictly ‘draw everything’, just everything nature. No cars, trucks, household objects or people in here, you just have to figure them out for yourself!!

Go to your library and see what ace books you can find!

Happy Happy Friday x

Taking Stock September 2016

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I like to do a stock take every so often, see what is going on, how it is all going.  If you fancy  having a stock take too, I have added a blank list at the end of this post.  Thanks to Pip at Meet Me At Mikes for this Taking Stock list.

Here goes, digital biro at the ready….

Making : I am still crocheting my blanket, it may be done by 2020!

Cooking : Burgers and coleslaw for dinner.

Drinking : Lots of tea.

Reading: I have just started The Girl Who Slept with God by Val Brelinski and I am liking it so far.  My library website recommends books based on what else you have searched and this came up when I ordered The Girls by Emma Cline and there is a very long line for it, so I thought I would give The Girl Who Slept with God a go and I am pleased I did. Hurrah for libraries!

Wanting: The weather to cool down, I am done with hot and humid. Done Done Done.

Looking: At an empty plate which just had a yummy slice of Malt Loaf on it.

Playing: Pokemon Go!  My tween has it logged on my phone so I can walk his eggs. Honest, it isn’t mine.

Deciding: Which non fiction book to read next as part of #10pagesaday, I decided to read non fiction because I always borrow the books but I never read them.  I have just finished Lisa Congdon’s Art Inc and now I need to decide between You are a Badass by Jen Sincero and Wired to Create by Scott Barry Kaufman and Carolyn Gregoire. Have you read either of these? Any recommendations?

Wishing: For all of the ideas, for painting and art journaling and sketching.

Enjoying: Painting, art journaling and sketching!

Waiting: For the burgers to defrost for dinner.

Liking: The cool evenings and nights and looking forward to more.

Wondering: If it is going to rain?

Loving: Pilates.  I am sure it has made a difference to my body shape, I don’t seem to have lost much weight, but I feel less wobbly!

Pondering: Colours, I love to choose colours of paint to use.

Considering: What to paint in my sketchbook, I try and make some art every day and I have not done anything today yet.

Buying: A ‘gooseneck’ phone holder/stand which hopefully will allow me to make videos from overhead.  Can’t wait to play!

Watching: ‘Very British Problems’ on Netflix, it cracks me up!

Hoping: My fridge gets fixed soon, we are using a little tiny fridge at the minute which is better than nothing, but I am looking forward to chilling things with abandon!

Marvelling: At people who run in hot weather. It is all I can do to walk the dog without complaining, then I see someone running along like it is 50 degrees.

Cringing: At the presidential race.

Needing: A plan, I feel like I am getting all the ideas and I can’t form them into a plan.

Questioning: How four caterpillars appeared in the parsley patch seemingly from nowhere. #parsleysacrifice

Smelling: The tomato plants when I pick them every day, I just love the smell of tomato plants, it reminds me of my grandad’s greenhouse.

Wearing: Shorts and top.  This is the first summer in the States I have worn shorts, I always used to wear capris and skirts, not wanting the legs out!  This year the legs are out and I have been noticeably cooler.  It only took me 13 years to embrace summer shorts!!

Following: Instagram stories and liking everyones little moments.

Noticing: Lots of butterflies swooping around.

Knowing: Project Runway season 15 starts this week! Yay.

Thinking: How noisy hummingbirds are for such tiny creatures, they buzz and squeak around my head when I am sitting on the porch.

Admiring: Anyone who is organized.

Sorting: Through photos to print and put in albums.

Getting: The winter clothes up from the basement, sorting and donating any I no longer want.

Bookmarking: Blogs to read.

Coveting: New boots for the winter.

Disliking: Computer games.

Opening: Magazines – Flow, Click, Vogue, Art Journaling.

Giggling: At the jokes one of the librarians tells me whenever I see him!

Feeling: Tired.

Snacking: On malt loaf and blackberries.

Helping: Myself to an ice cream!

Hearing: Computer games.

A list for you!

Making :

Cooking :

Drinking :

Reading:

Wanting:

Looking:

Playing:

Deciding:

Wishing:

Enjoying:

Waiting:

Liking:

Wondering:

Loving:

Pondering:

Considering:

Buying:

Watching:

Hoping:

Marvelling:

Cringing:

Needing:

Questioning:

Smelling:

Wearing:

Following:

Noticing:

Knowing:

Thinking:

Admiring:

Sorting:

Getting:

Bookmarking:

Coveting:

Disliking:

Opening:

Giggling:

Feeling:

Snacking:

Helping:

Hearing:

Happy Wednesday x

Weekly Photos 36/52

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1-3. We visited Sandy Creek Covered Bridge State Park on Monday last week as it was Labor Day here and everyone was off school and work in our house. It was an impressive bridge over a creek where kids can paddle and look for rocks and arrow heads.

4. Near the park was The Old Curiosity Shop which sadly was closed as it was a Monday. I wonder what treasure is in there!

5. We spotted this old sign in a field so of course I had to snap a photo.

6. Lunch at Fozzies,  a local sandwich shop with a trailer along with the raised beds and vegetables and herbs.

7-12. On Saturday I was up with the lark (and the dog) to go to Mount Pleasant Winery for a fundraiser for Pedal the Cause hosted by Core 3 Fitness.  I took photos for the event and I got to visit the wine cellars which were amazing. The cellars sounded like crickets and smelt like well, wine. I got to explore the winery and take a yoga class, a great morning!

I hope you have a lovely week!

Happy Monday x