Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Doing what I don't usually do, and kind of liking it

Even though I don't really do art journals, I have greatly enjoyed Tammy's recent posts at Daisy yellow, particularly her video Pastel Chaos in the Exacompta in which we see her create a double page spread and give her thoughts on the process. I love her emphasis on freeing oneself from artificially imposed rules, and focusing instead on an intuitive, playful approach to paints, ink and the blank page. Right away, you can see she's not scared of a blank page - making you realize that you don't need to be, either.

Another recent post, Art Journaling 101 for kids, teens and beginners  is a terrific introduction to useful materials and techniques without bogging the reader down with too much information or the need to go crazy shopping for every art material under the sun. If the bright images don't inspire you to start splashing paint around, then her contagious enthusiasm and encouragement will (and vice versa). All through her posts, you get the feeling that she just wants you to really be immersed in the process of creating something meaningful to you, something you can see and touch and feel on a physical page; something you made with your own hands. And that's important, in a world where an increasing proportion of images and text are ephemeral and electronic and created by someone else.

Art journaling may not be everyone's process but it's worth trying at least once, or twice, or any time the feeling hits. Most of us have the basics lying around the house anyway (particularly if, like me, you have accumulated an entire cupboard of art and craft materials). It's worth taking them out and taking the time to play.

And, see? even if I don't usually do the art journal thing, she made me want to try it again. So, I did.

summer's end

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Bright and bulletproof: blues and browns

The Lamy Safari (and its clear demonstrator version, the Vista) is just about my favorite pen for everyday use. It's neither sleek, nor stylish, but it's cheerfully hardy, and I never freak out if it should fall on the floor (I once sent one skittering down a considerable length of linoleum in a school hallway) or worry if it might be getting scratched by my keys in the bag. So I am pretty much have one in use at all times.
Lamy often comes out with Limited Edition colours and this years LE was Aquamarine. Since everyone in my house uses a fountain pen, I thought it just made sense to make sure we had enough around the house - you know, near the phone, in the kitchen for grocery lists, and wouldn't this one make a nice addition? That's my story and I'm sticking to it.


It turns out that the pen colour is really hard to get right in camera, or at least, get right while also trying to get the ink colour right. This is Noodler's Bulletproof #41 Brown - possibly the best behaved bulletproof Noodlers ink I've tried, excepting the original Bulletproof Black. My only quibble is the tendency for ink to creep onto the nib. Otherwise, it's chocolatey good in this pen, and glides wonderfully out of the fine nib onto the paper. The first picture shows the pen a little too dark, but the ink colour is about right - a rich neutral brown. The second picture shows the ink more red than in real life, but the colour is much more true for the pen - bright, happy, almost turquoise. This is my current everyday carry to take to school/work. It cheers me up just to look at it. And with the lazy days of summer coming quickly to an end, we'll take as much school and work cheer as we can get!

aquamarine safari

Friday, August 26, 2011

Blueberry swirl

At last, helped along by several episodes of the British comedy Vicar of Dibley, I have finished and cast off this two-tone Shetland triangle wrap.
It still has to be blocked, but I always like the rippled look it has fresh off the needles.

This has been hanging out in my knitting bag for several months now, so I promised myself I'd finish it before starting a new project with the beautiful Madeline Tosh DK I got from my SIL Julie at Valley Yarn. Still looking for the right pattern, but I'm looking forward to a new project with new yarn.

blueberry swirl

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