#ShowYourWork

IMG_0219After almost a whole week of digital creativity in trying to get the new website set up (and making many, many a mistake!) I needed to get my hands dirty this evening. Loving the air drying clay. Love is like a butterfly! These are going to be little plates for keeping trinkets in. Keep a look out for the big website launch in the next few days. There’s sure to be a giveaway! Night night!

Featured Artist: Dizzydollylou

lou's felt

Dizzydollylou is a local artist who hails from Cambridgeshire. I met her about a year ago and loved her immediately because she was wearing my favourite shade of green and had also dressed her angelic daughter in the same colour. No, it’s not a sound method for scouting out new friends and acquaintances but this time it worked like a charm. So she’s my featured artist for this week.

Dizzydollylou works in wool and in silver. Getting to know her felted work has been a huge lesson in texture and colour. Her felted pictures are best described as sumptuous. Exquisitely composed, they draw the eye deeper into the story she is telling in her wool. The processes of felting intrigues me. It’s spectacular to be able to take sheep fluff and craft it into something so full of personality. She’s handy with the needlefelting, but for me her wet-felting is just out of this world.

lou sheep

It’s hard to pick my favourite, but perhaps it’s these sheep. I love the way the two on the left are cuddled together. I can hear them baaaing gently to one another.

 

 

lou dove

Although there’s this dove sitting among the blossoms. Can’t you hear her cooing? That’s my favourite too.  And the one with the poppies which takes me away to Flanders … And the one with the sand-dollar … And the one with the rain over the fields which isn’t quite finished yet. They’re all my favourite.

And then, just when you think she couldn’t get any more talented, you find out Dizzydollylou also works in silver. And not your run of the mill, spoldge-your-fingerprint-here-that-will-be-seventy-quid-please silver, either. Her silver work is quirky and unusual (not unlike the lady herself!). And she does capture fingerprints, don’t get me wrong. It’s just that she does it with an elegance that I haven’t seen from other fingerprinting outfits. I’ve even overcome my personal dislike of silver jewellery and am all set to order the finger prints of my own little cherubs as a keepsake.

lou physalis

But where her work really comes into its own is when she lets her imagination run free. lou toadstoolUnique is not even the word. From the delicate filigree of a silver physalis seed pod to the humour and merriment of her little whimsical creatures, I find her creations captivating. And in a market that is saturated, it’s refreshing to come across an artist who isn’t afraid to step away from the typical and share her tiny silver fantasies with the world.

lou bird

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#ShowYourWork

wpid-20140404-210245.jpg

I’m not getting along terribly well with this young lady. Something about the cream paper that means her skin is sallow. Usually I would use white paper to draw a face. I’ve not practised getting skin tone right on a coloured background. I’ve gone off her entirely. Looking forward to tomorrow’s class though. Better get back to making goody bags!

#ShowYourWork

 

traveller journal

 

Made from a lovely soft piece of leather I found for 20p in a recycle shop, lined with quilting fabric and fastened with a leather thong. This is my prototype re-fillable journal. I plan to make many! And then to design beautiful notebooks, diaries, calendars and pages to fill them. I’m happy with:

  • the colour scheme
  • the fold-over function to protect the page edge
  • the macrame knotted accents

I’m unhappy with:

  • the stability of the lining – it will need additional stitching
  • the thickness of the thongs which close the journal – it’s too fiddly
  • the corners of the leather – need to be rounded to look more “finished”
  • the length of the second inner thong  - it needs to be wider in order to hole a second signature

Additionally I’d like to add some or all of the following features:

  • inner pen or brush holder
  • inner pocket
  • book mark
  • spine adornments – charms or some such

Let me know what you think!

#ShowYourWork

Fabrics that will melt nicely. Sandwiched together with Bonda-web. Covered with a layer of chiffon. Awaiting some serious stitchery before I take a soldering iron to it. Hopefully a project for the Easter hols, when it can be done outdoors in the spring sunshine without causing asphyxia to my nearest and dearest.

Many thanks to Susan Lenz for her wonderful tutorial

Journal Charms

 

For the last week I’ve been working on a collection of gorgeous charms to add splendour to art journals, scrapbooks and cards. Made from paper clay, they are light and will withstand a fair beating. With a diameter of 3cm,  they will look stunning on the spine of any journal whilst being whimsical enough to be incorporated into a personal journal spread, greetings card or scrapbook layout.

Each charm has at least 4 layers of paint and/or distress ink  to build up a patina of rich colour and deep iridescence. They look opulent, aged and antique. In the future I anticipate that there will be a greater range of shapes, colours and expressions. I may even have time to do a few custom made ones, if the interest is there. For now, there are 4 sets to collect each with an expression and an image:

FLY & Butterfly

GROW & Flower

BE & Matryoshka

LOVE & Heart

As an added bonus, each packet has a digital print of a Moon Munkie journaling card – currently the young lady alongside the charms is known as Hazel – I hope to make a new card for each new series of charms.

So… if you like them, they’ll be on sale in my online shop which should be coming soon. Although if you’re desperate, drop me an email and I’ll see what I can do. They will be available at Moon Munkie workshops – and participants may be finding a free one in their goody bags over the next month. I’ll also be giving away 1 of each set over at Facebook in the next day or so. So go over and hit like in order to be kept up to date with that.

IMG_0125 IMG_0127

New process, making progress

Age 16 I was sitting trying to paint a lovely rock I’d found on the beach. It was a really unusual rock in the shape of a tear drop with purple and grey colouring and a bump on the top where (I imagined) a shell had made its home once before. I’d never painted still life before. As I sat there pondering how to create a picture that showed the true beauty of my new treasure a well-meaning person wandered by and asked what I was up to. When I said I was trying to draw and then paint the rock, the person commented that if I was going to ‘be able to draw’ then I would have discovered that skill already. Oh, I thought. What a shame. I put down my brush and that was the end of me trying to paint or draw for the next 20 years!

Then in September last year I came across a group of artists who didn’t seem to believe that the ability to draw and paint are given to the fortunate few at birth.  A group of people who see making art as much about the learning process as about the finished piece. Who try new techniques and share their successes AND their failings as a way of encouraging others to grow too. And they welcomed me as a fellow artist. Me! Who had not been blessed with the ability to draw or paint, but was sort of ok with a sewing machine or a needle. In fact, they resisted all my attempts to explain that I’m not an artist, that I can’t draw, that I’m just playing at making art for fun. Apparently, this is what an artist does! And it’s a lifelong process of making progress. There are no barriers to what I can learn to do. A couple of artists in the group were especially encouraging so I’m going to try to write about them over the next few posts.

12squarecreationsRuth Hinman is a mixed media artist in Montana. She keeps several daily art journals, writes at least 3 blogs, supports artists through the Artist Trading Card group on Facebook and somehow manages to fit in working a real job, managing her home, a functional relationship with “honey” and an online gaming presence, too. She refuses to accept that  there are not enough hours in the day to do everything that she wants to do. Her energy is an inspiration and her art work is just to die for. I find myself thinking, “I wish I thought of that!” with almost everything she creates. I like that she will share work that she made that she doesn’t necessarily love. And will regularly explain a technique she used that didn’t go quite the way she thought it would. She also vents really well!  I found this rant on art and art journalling particularly liberating. I’m going to ask her to do a guest blog over here at Moon Munkie … but she’s starting a new job at the moment so that may need to wait a while.

So as a result of all of this positive input, I’ve really been working hard to improve my drawing / painting skills. I’ve started to keep an art journal myself and I’m also running some workshops locally to encourage others to do the same. My skills are coming along nicely. (If you’ve not read ‘Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain‘ by Betty Edwards and you think you can’t draw, then get a copy immediately. It’s incredible how fast I improved once I learned to look and see properly.) There are still loads of things I want to learn: shadows, perspective, colour, blending, shading, proportion, composition … everything, really! But the big change is that I know that with practice it will come.

I’m so glad I kept that rock.

And, we’re back!

So. Between depression, a difficult pregnancy and a sparkly New Baby Munkie to care for, the last 18 months have been a bit of a write off as far as blogging has been concerned. But we are still here! My little Moon Munkie is so grown up now and doing all of the amazing things that you’d expect from a big Sister Munkie.

Moon Munkie as a business is undergoing some changes. I’ll still be here on WordPress. The Etsy shop will be closing in favour of a new shop front, which will be revealed soon! The facebook page is moving to Moon Munkie Makes and I’ll be trying to post more regularly there. Go over and hit like so you can keep an eye out for some giveaways and tutorials coming your way.