Yupo Fun and ‘Believe’

Wow, lookit me go!  It’s still January and here’s another post!  I hope it won’t be too much of a shock for you.

I’ve been pottering, and the silver lining to the no-show summer is (Ta-da!!) the tiny house has now been entirely decluttered.  I mean ENTIRELY!  There is nothing in this house now that is not useful or beautiful and probably both.  The laundry was the last space holding onto ‘someday’ things.  The last drawer has been sorted and tidied and there is nothing left to do now but keep it all ticking over nicely.  Can you see my halo, isn’t it bright and sparkly  ……..

I rocked up to my local stationers a couple of days ago and had them scan all twenty of the pieces in the art journal I worked on for the last three months of 2016.  Plus print out copies of all the yupo paper/alcohol ink pages I had made.  I’d decided to copy the ink spreads and then doodle so that I have lots of options to play.

Did those last two sentences sound like a foreign language to you? Read on my friend, read on.

Yupo paper isn’t paper, it’s a synthetic, a plastic pretending to be paper. It is therefore classed as a non-porous surface and things can be done to this stuff that can’t be done on paper, no matter how many gsm’s it is.

It’s also, at this end of the world, horribly expensive and something I intend to try only once in this life.   Hence the photocopying before doodling remark.  I treated myself to fifteen sheets and waved a fond farewell to $25.00.

One of the really fun things we can play with is alcohol inks, dripping drops of different colours onto the page and watching what happens. The ink spreads out and ‘blooms’, changing colour somewhat at the edges, more with some colours than others.  Mixing different colours together results in different spreadings, different blooms, and sometimes even no blooms.  It’s like taking part in some mysterious class  in alchemy and is totally fascinating to observe.

When the dripping and watching and wondering is done and the inks are dry (which doesn’t take long at all provided you don’t over drop in the first place) you doodle.  Doodling is also fun!  It can be done in front of the TV if you are so inclined, or can just be a quiet, meditative activity that steals hours from your life  🙂

Here’s some examples of the ink drops

Here’s one I have started to doodle on

And here is the only spread that is finished so far.

And here is that last spread cut into four pieces and note cards made using different coloured card and with writing paper inserts.  The following two photos taken at the desk, under lamp light, in the middle of a dreary, wet day:

Notecards 1

Notecards 1

Notecards 2

Notecards 2

I’m not complaining though, we had three lovely sunny, warm days on the trot.  It was quite exciting!

I have to say I really like these notecards, and in the interests of encouraging the renewed interest in letter writing, I’m going to package some up and put them in my shop.  And do a giveaway.  Stay tuned for that.

‘Believe’ is finished.

believe-c

This is a texture rich piece and there’s also a ton of gold metallic paint in there so it looks entirely different in different lights.  This is a slightly skewed scan, which is entirely unexciting as far as mood lighting goes.  You must therefore use your imagination to see all the gold glimmery bits.  Sorry about that.

I’m quite pleased with this one.

I hope you like it too.

So what do you think, are you tempted to play with yupo paper and alcohol inks?  Have you done so already?  How did it go for you?  And what do you think of those notecards?

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!

 

 

 

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I Wonder Where Summer Went?

She was here for a couple of days earlier in the month, Lady Summer, but seems to have given way to a resurgent and surly Winter who still has something to say.

I used to call the city where I live ‘The Riviera of Antarctica’.  I had good reason for doing so, low rainfall in the extremes of the year and high sunshine hours too.    Lately though it seems we have been upgraded and now reside as the Capital of Antarctica.

There were, I was told a couple of days ago, four cruise ships coming into harbour to dispel their thousands of well-heeled patrons into our fair city to enjoy a day or two of Southern Hospitality.  (Please bear in mind I don’t read the papers or listen to the radio so all my gossipy news is picked up at the dog park, where I loiter around with a mismatch of folk while our pets chase each other round in ever decreasing circles in an attempt to keep warm.  So I may get actual facts slightly wrong.)   Anyway, they picked the wrong day to arrive.  For a ‘Weather Bomb’ also chose this time to put in an appearance.

Apparently old man Winter was really p***ed off about something and he hurled a few icicles our way along with torrential rain and winds that drove the rain horizontally against the landscape.   I spent yesterday with the heating on, tucked in a blanket watching the one hundred videos saved to my ‘watch later’ tab on You Tube and pretending I lived in the far north of Canada where I was enjoying a really pleasantly mild winter.

I have no idea what happened to the hundreds of well-heeled tourists, but I imagine they retreated back to their cruise liners and waited patiently to be taken to a more salubrious part of the world.  I did hear that one of the ships, an especially large one which sometimes has trouble making port due to time and tides and its immense size, nearly keeled over in the wind, but that might just be an unfounded rumour.

Just bear all this in mind if you ever meet somebody who says they went to New Zealand one summer, had a cold and miserable time and the hurricane level winds almost caused their gigantic ship to capsize. They were probably on that particular liner.

Any way, with all this inclement summer weather I’ve spent a deal of time playing about in the art room and trying to find my painting mojo again.

I made cards.  I cleaned up and cleared out THE STASH….  We crafters never throw anything away because it  can be used on something, somewhere, one day.  I have stuff I’ve kept for ten years or more and, as I’ve cleared out everything else in my tiny house, it’s now time to clear out some of the ‘someday stuff’ that makes up a lot of THE STASH.  I figure that if I live to be 100 and make a card every day, I still won’t have used up all the stuff lurking about in that pile of ‘someday I might be just what you are looking for’  stuff.  So, I used a lot teeny bit of that stuff on the cards I made, which slowed me down no end and made me realise why I’d never actually used it up before.   I’d spend so much time sifting through piles of stuff I’d forget what I wanted it for by the time I found it.

To be honest, I was also prevaricating.  Delaying the actual moment when I would start work on an actual canvas…….  it’s always so terrifying for me – I wonder if it is so for every other person who paints.

Any -hoo, back to the cards, here’s a selection of cards ready for next Christmas  – made using the same embossing folder and different paper remnants, some worked, some didn’t……

Hisilicon K3

Hisilicon K3

Hisilicon K3

The onto the stash scraps and bits and pieces.  Small note cards to start

Hisilicon K3

Large greeting cards, all made using my hand made papers and various ‘stash’ items

Hisilicon K3

Hisilicon K3

Hisilicon K3

Hisilicon K3

In between card making I spent some time acting as Chief Consultant and Shopping Assistant to my daughter, the Official Photographer who is doing up her new flat and who had decided she wanted a ‘pinkish’ bedroom.

We made the headboard and used that as the jumping off point for what ever came next.  While we were busily attending to the fiddly bits, young Sidd-Arthur was also busy making sure the bed was nice and comfortable for her…… that’s his rear end you are looking at

siddy-nesting-1

Furiously digging his way through duvet, sheets and pillows

siddy-nesting-2

Thoroughly rumpled and immensely satisfied

siddy-nesting-4

Sigh!  So funny!  Pure gorgeous furriness!

I managed some sketching.  The last two while I was keeping warm and indulging in that ‘Watch Later’ channel on You Tube I mentioned earlier

Hisilicon K3

Hisilicon K3

The birds got doodled in when I tired of sketching in wrinkles…..

And finally – I have to tell you – finally, I did some work on canvas…….. it’s not finished yet, but it’s a good start.  Oh the relief!!

Unfinished 'Believe'

Unfinished ‘Believe’

So, that’s January up to date.  How’s your January going?

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!

 

 

 

 

 

The Books Piled Beside the Bed: Pt 3

Christmas always brings me a new range of books courtesy of my dear eldest daughter, The BookRep.  This past Christmas was no exception, despite the fact that we had all agreed  ‘We Aren’t Doing Christmas This Year!’.  She sends me enough reading matter to get me through to Mother’s Day, I think it’s the second Sunday in May here.  Then I take delivery of a few more books to get me through to my birthday in early September, which in turn stocks me up til the following Christmas.

Aren’t you envious?  I LOVE my regular restocking of the pile of books beside the bed.  It is an eclectic and enjoyable pile – books I’ve never heard of, books I want to read, books of fiction, fact, good literature, old literature, poems, essays, short stories; books instructional and uplifting, books containing new thoughts and information, books by loved authors and books by new authors.

And it’s not just books supplied by the BookRep in that pile – oh no! Sometimes I even purchase a book or two myself, sometimes I am gifted books by other kind folk – the pile is a never ending, always changing heap of anticipation and delight.

Delicious!!

Surveying the new pile brought me up with  jolt as I realised I still hadn’t completed intended reviews of books that were once in the pile but which have now been removed to the ‘read’ shelves in the living room.

My blog posts slowed down considerably last year, did you notice?  I was busy organising myself and apparently can no longer multi-task.  So, here I am to celebrate kicking off 2017, let’s take a look at a second novel from a fellow blogger:

My Father and Other Liars by Geoff Le Pard

my-father-and-other-liars

In my last book post I reviewed Geoff’s first book ‘Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle’ which, despite the title was a great read and, maybe because of the title, is a comedy waiting to be made.   So I was looking forward to settling in to read his next one.

‘My Father and Other Liars’ is very different.  I should have known by the cover, which had always quite puzzled my eye and scrambled my brain in some odd manner…….  This is a complex, multi-charactered look at a complex, multi-layered issue of today.  Complex family relationships, particularly father and child, are interwoven with a dramatic, fast paced story (so fast paced, I sometimes had to back track to sort out who did what) and the interweaving of religion and science.

The main characters, Maurice (Mo) Oldham and Lori-Ann Beaumont knock into each other at a Pro-Life Rally.  He is looking for a story to impress his absent father and she needs rescuing from a group of interrogative journalists grilling her about her father’s church.  They think never to see each other again, but some months later Lori-Ann turns up on Mo’s doorstep, bruised, destitute and desperate to track down her missing boy-friend.

Moving between the US, the UK and Nicaragua, the novel introduces us to the Church of Science and Development, one where religion and science unite with embryonic research at the core.   Throw in political investigations, mysteries from the past and a few dead bodies and the result is a fast paced (did I say that already?) thriller dealing with complex issues of ethics in scientific research, family secrets, personal and religious beliefs, and political interests with their own agendas.  And just in case you are wondering, there’s a quiet, slow blooming of a little romance as well.

When I finished this book I was struck by how well the characters were developed.  Despite my own personal views, I felt for those protagonists whose actions and beliefs were so very different to mine.  Geoff Le Pard has a real gift in presenting characters as human beings one can empathise with despite their behaviours or different beliefs.  Life is rarely black and white, and perhaps ultimately this book reveals the layers of grey that make up our relationships, our history, our beliefs, our actions and our world.

The thing I most delight in with Geoff’s writing is his ability to switch genres at the drop of a hat.  The inside of his head must be a maze of ideas and words and pictures running the gamut of all possible genres and then some.  To have a look at what I mean visit his blog TanGental and read some of his short stories or accompany Geoff and Dog on one of their meanders about the streets and parks and sights of London, I’m sure you’ll find something to delight you.

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Regular readers of my blog know we lost a great poet a few weeks ago. I always intended to write a review for Cynthia of her book.  But, alas, I waited too long.  She knew what I would say though, so here I write it just for you:

A Certain Age, Poems by Cynthia Jobin

a-certain-age-cover

I’m no poetry maven, I’m just a person who knows what she likes.  My friend Cynthia passed away on 13th December last year.  Her collection of poems has sat beside my bed, or on the arm of my chair for the past couple of years.  Her ability with and knowledge of poetic forms was vast.  She wrote poems that tore at the gut, making me wonder what it had cost her to go so deep and express so eloquently.  She wrote poems that caused a gurgle of laughter to erupt, a sigh of empathy to escape, a moment of silence to linger on.  She wrote words that made me look anew at nature, at my actions and even at my thoughts.  She was a woman who had grown through pain and loss into extraordinary kindness and appreciation of the simple things in life.

I read her poems again now, with an even greater appreciation for her ability.  Bennison Books is working with John Looker to publish a second collected works of Cynthia Jobin, in the meantime we have ‘A Certain Age’ to enjoy again and again and again.

So, two writers who come much recommended by me for your new year reading lists.  I hope you will meander through their blogs and find something to enjoy.

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!