Finishing off my tea and home mini journal

Tea bags with white acrylic paint ready for stamping

Trial stamping of my cup and saucer stamps

Added the poem

I decided to add teacups to the two blank pages.

When the glue has dry- fold the joints and glue the two strips together only attaching the first and last panels. I use gel medium.

When storing you will need to add grease proof paper between layers. For some reason the gel medium stays slightly sticky on tea bags.

Tea and home

Tea is an important drink for me. I have been using it in my art . Last year I had a spate of dipping paper in tea to add layers. So using bags as a substrate seemed an easy step. I have been making collaborative tea bag chains with my friend Fran in California.

Where we sewed old dried bags together and then decorated them sending them back and forth to each other adding layers.

I am laid up at the moment with a sore knee and needed a project that would be a bit fiddly and keep me sitting still ….. I decided to have a go at repeating the zine fold mini journal – but by sewing old teabags together.

I used my hand carved rubber stamps of doors to decorate this one – keeping within my current theme of ‘home’

Preparing the tea bags is a bit time consuming. Fran in California can let them dry out side full of tea leaves. In Scotland I have to empty the leaves whilst damp, which means they can rip a bit , let them dry, and then remove the last dregs of leaves. (Jon is being very patient.)

When the bags are dry I sew 4 together using blanket stitch.

I found that I need 8 – 4 for each side of the mini journal and to give the opening of the ‘zine fold’ and strength to the design

I am having fun messing around adding my normal layers

These above are doodled on and then stencilled White acrylic

Below – I doodled with a water soluble purple pen and spritzed

The I added the white acrylic and spritzed orange ink through a stencil

The next stage is a layer of gel medium so that the seams and any ripped bags are reinforced.

Then I add a white rectangle of white acrylic to each bag/ page – I tried stamping on the teabag itself but my inks were lost on my mad backgrounds.

I decided to write a poem about my relationship with tea and Jon, I don’t know why it always tastes better when he makes it.

Tea and home

He brings me one in the dark

6am

Sometimes I am not ready

For the perfect cup

The correct heat

The right strength and amount of milk

It sits cooling as I check my social media

At other times I sip the almost scalding liquid

As it hits the right spot

Sigh -(exhale make the right noise)

‘That’s the best cup I have ever tasted’

It feels like home.

I thought I would add the poem to a tea based mini journal.

I hand carved a few tea cup rubber stamps to use as decoration.

I have given up trying to be too neat and tidy. Carving so small with my tiny v blade seems to create simple almost naive shapes that I quite like.

Simple colour/ emotion exercise (art journalling for self care)

I did a simple exercise today with a group today – it was surprisingly successful . There were some very powerful emotions evoked

so I thought I would share. There are no pictures I am afraid because it was so personal

Materials and kit

I provided packs of single coloured papers- filled with magazine pages, printed paper and coloured papers. Glue stick , scissors , words. Free publicity postcards

I invited the group to choose a colour and decoupage / cover a post card with different bits of paper as they wished, they could have scissors or rip the paper . It was attached with a glue stick.

As they worked I asked them to be mindful and think about what emotions were coming up for them.

I also provided of words used to describe emotions and a pack of words that describe emotions cut out from a novel.

After 20 mins , they had talk to the person sitting next to them about the process and then say something to the group.

Here are the words if any one wants to reproduce the exercise. (Taken from a hand written poster design on the wall where I was facilitating )

Emotions

joyful excited sexy playful creative aware daring fascinating stimulating amused extravagant delightful

Powerful proud respected appreciated hopeful important faithful confident intelligent worthwhile valuable satisfied cheerful

Peaceful content thoughtful intimate loving trusting nurturing

Pensive relaxed responsive serene sentimental thankful

Sad guilty ashamed lonely bored sleepy bashful stupid miserable inadequate inferior apathetic

Mad angry hostile hurt jealous selfish frustrated rage hateful critical furious irritated skeptical

Scared rejected confused helpless submissive insecure anxious bewildered discouraged insignificant weak foolish embarrassed

Home

In 2013 Jon and I were both writing about what ‘home’ meant to us after we moved up from Oxfordshire to Edinburgh after 25 years in the same house.

We merged our writing and added some photos because Jon had been asked to write an article

We are now going to deliver a paper at a conference …… I decided it would be interesting to look at what ‘Home’ meant now in 2018.

I have been enjoying making zine fold mini art journals and thought it would be fun to make a ‘Home now’ series

I am very influenced by the Georgian architecture of Edinburgh’s New town where we have a lower ground and basement flat.

This is the view out of my kitchen window – through white pained windows, the railings onto the street opposite

As you know I draw mandalas all the time so I decided to use these as a basis for my ideas. They have become a part of my daily practice on Edinburgh. At the moment I am still using water soluble ink and sprays to release the inks afterwards

The other day I made a series of notes to print out and use as text about what ‘home’ means at this present time.

‘Feeling torn watching the common wealth games – wanting Scotland to win

Diagonal crossing at junctions as a pedestrian

Walking up Dundas st to George st

Looking at the world from my lower ground and basement

The weather

Edinburgh airport

The grey sofa

The sound of a bus

Variety of independent coffee shops

Smell of coffee’

I have also been playing with layering handwriting, asemic writing

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asemic_writing

And street maps

http://www.old-map.com/Edinburgh.htm

I also made a couple of carved rubber stamps of Georgian doors ( they are not fine enough to be used on their own but are ok as another layer)

I had fun cutting out the doors so that they opened and then I made a whole street

My latest few are a bit more abstract and reflect the light and the frames of the windows/ railings l. I used a geometric stencil and white paint

A few more designs with Maps and text

I need to get cutting and folding these ……

Group work training

I ran an art journalling session for group workers that I belong to. The members attended my initial session which introduced art journalling for self care back in May.

I started the session with a selection of journals that I have worked on collaboratively with friends from Instagram and FB. After talking to the group work facilitator she and I felt that collaborative work would be a key part of our art work with clients.

I introduced the idea of collaboration by getting the group to work on an A4 sheet of circular stickers – it got them looking at all the different materials and was a safe way of collaborating by not working on top of other people’s art making if they chose not to

I showed the group how to make a couple of journals using different folding techniques – a Zine format and a concertina fold. The concertina fold proved problematic for some. So I might not use it in a class where I didn’t know the clients very well. We noticed that the folding and handling the paper was relaxing in its self. Below are a couple examples of the two different folds that I demonstrated

http://www.rookiemag.com/2012/05/how-to-make-a-zine/

The concertina uses a series of preliminary origami shapes glued together with the folds all going in the same direction

We decided that we wouldn’t work further with the concertina folding because it was quite problematic learning the folds ( I do a lot of origami….)

I asked the group to work in pairs and come up with ways that they could use the Zine journals in a group work

Situation.

We chose to look at making a sample journal that the participants could use as a teaching tool . We initially decided to explore how colour could be interpreted.

I provided a range of materials and equipment

Magazines

Pastels

Colouring pencils

Paint / brushes

Glue sticks

PVA

Scissors

Washi tape

Paper sample bag – printed matter/Photos/ coloured paper/

As we worked the group decided that they wanted to keep working on this aspect during the rest of the time allocated. We discussed the work in progress in pairs and as a whole group

I am new group work so to I tried to let the group work in a self directed way as much possible. I am not sure how successful I was. I tried to make my comments related to art techniques and encouraging members to stick to the task we had agreed upon …….

‘Synesthesia’ workshop on music and poetry

CCRI (sea cry)university of Edinburgh is running some workshops under the name ‘Synesthesia’ they are using different modalities to inspire writing. There are five in all unfortunately I can only attend 2. Yesterday was all about using Music to write poems.

We listened to a variety of pieces including some Bach and a Gaelic song.

The workshop was led by Lindy Barbour a lecturer and poet. We were encouraged to write about the music in three ways – free writing whilst listening to the music, then to make ‘cluster’ images which are very similar to mind maps. Lastly to write continuously for 5mins. After we had repeated this exercise several times and discussed our thoughts. Lindy asked us to choose some writing to use as the basis of a poem. We had to produce 5 couplets.

The first piece of music was for a string orchestra written by Bach in A minor. I was immediately taken back to my childhood. My sister and I used to attend a music school where we went to Saturday morning lessons for choir, and quartet practice – I played the viola and she plays the violin. Then Wednesday after school we had orchestra practise-in a gym.

This is my free writing to the music seasons I haven’t edited anything rain pouring hitting leaves, waves,dancing, fabric twirling, dancing , harmony

beats underneath, layers, repetition, winding up like a spool, stomach tightening, Saint Seans- children playing, wind blowing, piped music , garden centres.

Continual writing -I am taken back, to childhood string orchestras and violin lessons. Sitting in a gym playing my viola. The beats and harmonies whilst the violins twirl and dance above us, the cellos below. My sister playing, sight reading, fluently, jealousy at her fluidity. The wind blows dancing leaves and the rain batters the window.

Still she plays the tension winding me up like a spool. A minor key. Her fingers fly, my beat plods. With hindsight it’s a necessary layer holding and giving space to the fluidity that soars above. At the time not good enough, not skilled enough pounds in my head.

Taken back to childhood jealousy’s to Jon and her singing at the weekend, my tantrum as I refuse to play along with their harmonies.

The fabrics are twirling on the dance floor, the bows and fingers, feet in time, out of time. Dipping in and out of emotion. Winding that bobbin up and then throwing it out into the wind. The thread loose to catch on twigs and leaves in a park

And then my 5 couplets

Sitting in a sun lit gym playing harmonies

Whilst violins trill and float above me

My sister sight reads with a fluency

The wind catches leaves, the rain batters the window

And still she plays

Strings wound tightly

My beat a necessary layer, holding the ground

So her fingers can dance

Stretched thin by emotion

In time, out of time, in a minor key.

Image blender

I haven’t been making digital images as much recently. I woke up this morning with a series of images in my head that illustrated a poem I have written about playing my viola as a child.

I had a image of playing in an orchestra practice in a school gym

Wind and rain through a window

Violin playing

Very annoyingly I forgot to keep track of what I searched for to find image references – if you know please tag me

http://www.violinist.com/blog/laurie/201512/17240/

And an orchestra of children

I layered these in the Images in the blender App trying to evoke the feeling of my poem:

‘Sitting in a sun lit gym playing harmonies

Whilst violins trill and float above me

My sister sight reads with a fluency

The wind catches leaves, the rain batters the window

Andstill she plays

Strings wound tightly

My beat a necessary layer, holding the ground

So her fingers can dance

Stretched thin by emotion

In time, out of time, in a minor key’

In the Blender App you choose 2 images and then filter them choosing a filter and the % of images on a sliding scale. When you Save you can choose to flatten the image and then layer this image with another – building up translucent overlays.

First go- with an orchestra added

Violin added

I messed about with the colour balance and filters and added the hand with vibrato

Final image cropped to add a more abstract feel