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I have been neglecting this blog for far too long, mainly because I have been concentrating on the story cloth quilt I am creating/obsessing on, apologies.

However, I didn’t realise it had been so long since I had posted here – well slap my wrists!

So, what have I been doing?

Firstly there is this:

A page for a friend’ s Travelling Colour Journal.  I chose green….this was way back in February.

Spread for Elizabeths journal

For this two page spread we were instructed to photocopy at least three of our journal spreads and pick out our favourite bits to re-use here.   I knew which bits I wanted to use in the main, but decided to use all of the photocopied pages.  I tore out the images I wanted to keep whole, the stencil figure, the face and the tree and glued them in place.  I then ripped up the rest into smallish pieces which I glued to the pages, sanded and then painted with a yellow wash which came out green – I did this a couple of times to get some depth to the colour.  I added the quote, which comes from a traditional women’s circle song, in between the washes.  I am happy with the finished effect.

Left:

Right:

In case you cannot see it the quote reads:

“Be careful what you lean on

It may not hold you up

Or lean freely

And be prepared to make an art of falling”

This month’s theme was slash n’ burn.  Now I would assume that there is a particular technique to this but I am ignorant of it so what I did was to make a piece, using the journal techniques in the sectionals then slashed ’em and burned some of the threads and fabric and quite a bit more actually – I used a heat gun, not a craft one and mistakenly put it on the highest setting so a lot more got burned than I intended, plus I set off the smoke alarms which I couldn’t switch off because of the probs with my arms lol – so all in all quite an adventure.  Some of us should not be left on our own too long ;).   Anyhow, once I had gathered all the bits up I stitched them together again with different placement.    This would be the result:

Moving on from the last post I decided to use the same sort of techniques on fabric, replacing paper collage pieces with fabric scraps to make up the background – just for fun and experimentation.  This is the first section I have embellished with stitch – I have a sneaking suspicion that I shall return to work more on this piece.  I have ended up with 16 postcard size pieces ………. I may be gone a while ;).

This is the name for a workshop by Juliana Coles .  Juliana is the developer of what she calls Extreme Visual Journaling.  I have started playing around with this form..it suits me well I think.  For years I have used various written and visual forms of, what I would call, self-therapy/exploration.  However for some time now, firstly because I used to earn a living selling my own batiks, latterly because I have focused on trades and round robins with other artists I have moved away from that form of exploring inner landscape/s to a large extent.  Although, having said that, a lot of my creative work is a very definite expression of self.     Since being slowed down because of ill health and spurred on very much so by my involvement with Soul Food I have decided to return to those explorations, using journaling as my medium.    Juliana encourages folk to work quickly, without thinking too much, really engaging with the process and letting whatever emerges happen.  It is all about communing/communicating  with self/selves rather than producing ‘pretty’ – an idea I can definitely relate to.

So…here is my first sectional – some of the days have been worked and will probably be worked on more and more, most have not been touched yet…just the bases done.   The beauty of this way of working is that you can return again and again to the same pages and see more in them, hear more from them and go deeper and deeper.

‘Flags’ 1 & 2, June 08.

‘Flags’ 3 & 4 June 08.

‘Flags’ 5 & 6 June 08.

This card was done for the journal project of a friend, Linda, on the Yahoo Group, Travelling Journals.  The remit was to make a prompt card on the theme of Myths, Legends, Fairy tales – these could be established or ones’ own creation.  I decided to try my hand at my own creation.  Whilst on one of those boring long bus rides I saw a coffee shop called Cottos – the name struck and Mr Cotto was born.

On the front is his image:

and on the reverse I have started the story:

This story starts as any good tale of this ilk does, with ‘Once upon a time……….’ there was a man named Mr. Cotto, a very ordinary little man who could be seen daily in the depths of the heart of the City of London.  On passing him you would pay no attention, such was his ordinariness.  If you were to look straight at him as you passed, moments later you would be hard pressed to describe the man you had just seen.  It has to be said though, that if you really looked at him there was ‘something’…..not anything that could be defined, but a sense of something more.

Now, if you come across Mr. Cotto whilst wandering through the streets of London, as you pass by squint, squint really hard, no! harder than that.  Really screw those eyes up tight ….. it is well worth the effort I assure you.  If you do this and you do this right you will see that this ordinary grey little man has the most wonderfully colourful, dancing shadow.

Mr. Cotto has a secret………………………”

Number four in the series, this one was made specifically for a dear friend for her birthday.  The quote I know is a favourite of hers and reads: “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail”.  This is very apt for her, she is definitely walking her own talk.  The colouration was also done with her likes in mind.

Number three in the series.  This one was inspired by the moon and my fondness for her, pure and simple.

This is number 2 in the series and was inspired by this quote from Matisse:

“All your life you must see with a child’s eyes”.

It was made for a dear friend’s birthday.

A mixed- media collage on canvas-board. I found the above quote in an advert, snipped it and created the collage/painting around it. This is number one in a series of four similarly created pieces. The backgrounds are all created in the same way. With a specific colourway in mind, I tore small pieces from thick pages of magazines…the paper has to be fairly heavy-duty as it has to withstand sanding. The torn pieces are applied in strips, patterned to achieve the required effect. The whole is then sanded and then over-painted. The building-up of the collage can then be done once the background is completely dry. The face on this one was also sanded and lightly painted as I wanted to achieve an opaque feel. This one was the first I created and I liked it so much it is on my wall!