#30dayjournal Harvest

Harvest

The very last challenge for the #30journal challenge, Lisa Sonora asked us to ‘harvest’ the best ideas and discoveries from the month long journaling process.

#30dayjournal - Day 31: Extra Task

#30dayjournal – Day 31: Extra Task ‘Harvest’

 

Finding Inspiration

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#30dayjournal – Day 17: When Sparks Fly sketchbook journal page

As mentioned in my ‘Week 3’ post this page was heavily inspired by the wonderful work of Ingrid Dijkers, Teesha Moore and Jenndalyn.  By creating this page I have discovered new opportunities with my own journal page making.  It helped me to established what I liked and valued within my own work and that I realised I prefer using hand drawn imagery instead of found images.

The Rabbit and the Hare

#30dayjournal - Day 19

#30dayjournal – Day 19: Use Whatever You Have Got

A couple of years ago I created a random doodle of the half human half rabbit character that found its way onto the page above.  This is a character I had always intended to come back to, particularly for for my cloth doll making.

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#30dayjournal – Day 22 ‘Love the Moment (Right Now)

I had recently made a decision to revisit some other old work inspired by Spring and now that I was reacquainted with this character, it made sense to change the rabbit into a hare.

#30dayjournal - Day 23

#30dayjournal – Day 23: Accessing Your Genius

After a bit of research, I realised that the hare is a fascinating creature that has been highly regarded in many cultures.  Not only is the hare a symbol of rebirth and fertility but it also has strong connections to creativity, fire and the circle.  As a hoop dancer, who has dabble with a bit of fire dancing too, this seemed like a coincidence not to miss.

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#30dayjournal – Day 25: Dare to be Powerful

Since then, I have become a little obsessed and excited by using this incredible animal as a muse.

Artistic Mantra

#30dayjournal - Day 27

#30dayjournal – Day 27: Make Your Own Mantra

This journal prompt has helped to remind me that nothing is set in stone and that I am not committed to anything when making art.  Of course have an aim, but remember to keep an open mind and resist the temptation to become cross or angry if things do not go to plan.

#30dayjournal - Day 27

#30dayjournal Challenge Week 4

I finally completed the #30dayjournal Challenge set by Lisa Sonora.  And although I didn’t quite manage to journal everyday, I still found this process enjoyable and hugely beneficial to my artistic practise.  I have rediscovered some of the ideas and techniques I used to play around with on my textiles degree (oh so many years ago now!) and I feel that I have most certainly reconnected with a type of art that I used to create and feel most at home producing.

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#30dayjournal – Day 22: ‘Love the Moment (Right Now)

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#30dayjournal – Day 23: Accessing Your Genius

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#30dayjournal – Day 24: Is Your Life shrinking or Expanding?

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#30dayjournal – Day 25: Dare to be Powerful

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#30dayjournal – Day 26: Focus on What Excites You

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#30dayjournal – Day 27: Make Your Own Mantra

#30dayjournal - Day 28

#30dayjournal – Day 28: Warrior Training: Focus to See the Light

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#30dayjournal – Day 29: Passing the Torch

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#30dayjournal – Day 30: Remember How the Sun Does it

#30dayjournal - Day 17

#30dayjournal Challenge Week 3

As I have progressed with this challenge (which I am now utterly behind on!).  I feel that these prompts have really helped me to identify and develop the visual language that I want to express as the Vaudeville Hippie aesthetic.  Now I am not sure whether this is because I am more regularly creating pages, and therefore I am becoming more confident with my journal page making, or if these prompts have tapped into the necessary part of my subconscious to allow me to express my ideas.  I think only time will tell.

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#30dayjournal – Day 15: The Art of Resting

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#30dayjournal – Day 16: If You Are Going Through Hell

#30dayjournal - Day 17

#30dayjournal – Day 17: When Sparks Fly

The page above ‘When Sparks Fly’ was a real turning point in my #30dayjournal challenge journey, because the the prompt asked ‘who rekindles my creative spark?’.  As mentioned in the #30dayjournal Challenge Week 1 post, I have been really inspired by the journal pages of Ingrid Dijkers, Teesha Moore and since then I have also fallen in love with Jenndalyn‘s pages, who I discovered on Pinterest. What most inspires me about all three of these artists is their use of pattern, and I therefore used pattern as my starting point. The pink background was most definitely influenced by Teesha Moore’s vibrant use of colour.

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#30dayjournal – Day 18: Don’t Give Up

#30dayjournal - Day 19

#30dayjournal – Day 19: Use Whatever You Have Got

#30dayjournal - Day 20

#30dayjournal – Day 20: What’s Right With You?

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#30dayjournal – Day 21: – Find your Higher Purpose

My favourite page has most definitely has to be this one above; ‘Find Your Higher Purpose’.   I wanted to explore the journaling process, to help with the development of my cloth doll making.  This page really reflects where I am at and where I would like to explore next.  I have always been fascinated by the concept of ‘Goddess’ and the feminine devine.  This is a topic which I have come back to over the years and this is probably why I am so drawn to Tribal Fusion Belly and Hoop Dance, which both seem to fit effortlessly into this area too.

With Spring just around the corner, I really like the idea of embodying the story of Spring into my next cloth doll.  I will be sharing this new journey on this blog.

 

#30dayjournal - Day 14

#30dayjournal Challenge Week 2

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#30dayjournal – Day 8: Dare to Live Your Dream

 

So here are my visual journal prompt responses for days eight to fourteen from Lisa Sonora’s #30dayjournal challenge.

I have delayed posting this set of journal pages because I have still been working on some of them.  Part of the journaling process is about artistic self discovery  and working at your own pace.  Therefore, I made a decision not to put myself under pressure or to rush myself, but to simply enjoy the experience, with a greater emphasis on learning about my own art practise.  This, I am sure, is Lisa Sonora’s intention for her challenge.

#30dayjournal - Day 9

#30dayjournal – Day 9: Brave Enough (The Ultimate Piece of Art is You)

#30dayjournal - Day 10

#30dayjournal – Day 10: In Which We Have a Group Hug with Uncertantity

 

#30dayjournal - Day 11

#30dayjournal – Day 11: Daring to be Yourself

 

#30dayjournal - Day 12

#30dayjournal – Day 12: Difficulty as a Wayfinding Tool

#30dayjournal - Day 13

#30dayjournal – Day 13: On Fire From Within

#30dayjournal - Day 14

#30dayjournal – Day 14: An Unexpected Doorway to the Warrior’s World

#30dayjournal - Day 3: Daring Trumps Discipline

#30DayJournal Challenge – Week 1

I have had a keen fascination with the art of sketch book journaling since buying Lisa Sonora’s book ‘The Creative Entrepreneur’,  but I have only just recently, really fully engaged with the potential of this very personal and creative discipline.

My interest was re-ignited by the discovery of Ingrid Dijkers and watching one of her Youtube uploads ‘Journalfest Notebook’.  I really loved the diversity and creativity of this book that is inspired by woodlands, but was also intrigued by JournalFest, which, with a little bit of further investigation, led me to Teesha Moore’s website and her wonderfully intricate and colourful journal pages.

Since then I have been pinning like mad.  Whilst in this pinning craze, I remembered Lisa Sonora’s work and revisited her website that happened to be promoting the #30dayjournal challenge.  As with all new challenges, I spent time deliberating whether to sign up or not.  I am glad I did, because the theme for this year is ‘Fire’ and each daily prompt encourages participants to look deep within and face up to the daily fears of being a creative person and the challenges that accompany the prospect of putting your creative work out there, self and peer assessment, being daring, the art of courage and other similar themes.

Due to other commitments I have not always been able to journal everyday, but I have tried to commit to journal on those days where I have time, so I am sharing the results from week one.

#30dayjournal - Day 1

#30dayjournal – Day 1: Daring to Begin

 

#30dayjournal - Day 2

#30dayjournal – Day 2: Find Your People (set your life on fire)

 

#30dayjournal - Day 3: Daring Trumps Discipline

#30dayjournal – Day 3: Daring Trumps Discipline (I am daring to…)

 

#30dayjournal - Day 4

#30dayjournal – Day 4: The Cost of Perfection

 

#30dayjournal - Day 5

#30dayjournal – Day 5: What to do When Problems Overwhelm?

 

#30dayjournal - Day 6

#30dayjournal – Day 6: The Enemy of All Art (self-consciousness)

 

#30dayjournal - Day 7

#30dayjournal – Day 7: If You Struggle With Being Seen (courage)

Handmade OOAK Elizabeth Cloth Doll by Vaudeville Hippie

A Cloth Doll for my Auntie Carole: Elizabeth

Introducing Elizabeth, a cloth doll for my auntie, Carole (Pitt) and author of the DI Elizabeth Jewell  murder mystery series.  She is named after Carole’s main character and is the reason she is sat on a note pad!

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Elizabeth is based the Anastasia pattern by Jan Horrox, which I dressed and adorned in a completely different way to the original.  Elizabeth is an independent, professional  woman who likes to wear simple, but smart clothes and therefore is dressed in slim fitting jeans, a black polo top and a fitted tweed jacket.

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Layered hair and fringe, wrapped in a gingham scarf complete her smart, casual look.

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I adapted the jacket pattern from Patti Medaris Culea’s Helen doll in the Creative Cloth Doll Collection book.  This was by far the most fiddly item to make out of the whole project, even more so than turning the fingers.  It was awkward to attach the sleeves to the main part of the jacket.  The instructions suggested using the sewing machine, but lack of experience and not having the correct sewing machine foot meant that it was easier to sew it by hand.

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I really enjoyed the new challenges that Elizabeth created and have already started on the next project!

My Cloth Doll Making History So Far

I first tried cloth doll making about three years ago when I made a friend a cat doll based on one of her favourite youtube animations Meow it was incredibly fiddly but I enjoyed the process none the less.  This initial success, was followed by a miniature dachshund for Steve’s parents one Christmas and a circus cat for a friend who was moving away.

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We therefore discussed the idea of designing and making dolls, which would have printed versions that could be applied to shirts etc as apart of the Vaudeville Hippie brand.

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I attempted the doll above about a year later, however I just felt frustrated that although I could make the dolls, it was a struggle and I felt that I was not quite doing it correctly so the idea was put on hold.

Gladly things have changed and as I mentioned in my previous post ‘2015 the Year of Transformations’ I bought a couple of  doll making books: ‘An Introduction to Making Cloth Dolls’ by Jan Horrox, ‘Creative Cloth Doll Collective’  by Patti Medaris Culea and ‘Designing the Doll: From Concept to Construction’ by Susanna Oroyan.

I have made two dolls from my Jan Horrox book.  The first doll shown below is based on the doll pattern called Miranda.  This is the most simple doll to make in her introductory book and teaches key methods in how to create and attach a basic head, body and limbs, with some ideas of dressing and adding detail.

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My version is very different to Jan’s, this is for two reasons: one; I did not have the colours that she used and two; I wanted to keep within a more vaudeville style.

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I also happened to have a lot of red, black and white striped and black fabric leftover from previous projects.

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Despite already having a little bit of experience, I was still really pleased with the outcome and now I completely hooked, once I realised that I was capable of creating a quality cloth doll.

The second doll, Anastasia, is much closer to the original by Jan Horrox.  I  wanted to try out some of the more advanced textile techniques used to create this doll. Plus really I loved the charming elf and fairy like character of this doll, which fits in with my other hippie theme.  She also reminds me of a Cirque Du Soleil character,

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By creating this doll, I was able to re-try some forgotten textile techniques; a simple cold wash dye for the body and clothing detail and free machine embroidery on the arms and leaf details.  I even managed to find some old curtain material that had a batik effect and fitted perfectly with the colour scheme for the legs.

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It was interesting to try out other methods of creating the hair, other than just making hair piece out of lengths of wool.

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Whilst making these dolls, it has allowed me to think about how I might go about developing my own designs and characters.  I already have some ideas and I am looking forward to revisiting drawings that can be transformed into three-dimensional cloth dolls.

Please feel free to share your love of cloth dolls below!

2015 The Year of Transformations

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January seemed to come and go without even noticing and as we are stepped well and truly into February I have taken an opportunity to reflect how the first month and a half of 2015 has gone compared to how I imagined it.

Now I am not one for massively making resolutions, however, at the turn of the new year Steve and I really got into yoga and started a 30 day challenge set by Adriene on YouTube. Sadly, once I returned to work after the Christmas period, life got in the way and I only managed a couple of weeks. But I will return to it, because I would be crazy not to.

Whilst practising yoga on daily basis, I noticed an increased level of motivation to return to my art and craft (as an art teacher I am normally so worn out nurturing other people’s creativity, that I have nothing left for myself!).  Yoga is beneficial for both mind and body and I think you have to maintain a regular practise to really feel the long term benefits because I could also feel changes happening on the inside.  On several occasions I envisaged myself transforming and therefore I decided that 2015 would be the year of personal transformation.  Yoga to transform the mind (and hopefully tone up the body) and a new lease of life when comes to creating my own work.

Despite easing off the yoga, which was definitely doing me good on so many levels.  I have maintained enthusiasm to work on my own creative projects.  For a long time, I thought that designing and making various bags was the one thing that I wanted to peruse and sell at craft stalls and online.  This notion has drastically changed since buying a couple of books about making cloth OOAK dolls with some Christmas money I had.

I plan to blog about the process I have gone through so far.  But I am addicted and have thoroughly enjoyed what I have created so far.  Making these dolls has already got me thinking about how I can develop them into my own style using drawings I have created over the last couple of years.

So thank you yoga and here’s to the year of transformation!

I would love to hear about any transformations you have experienced.

Sketch Book Journaling

I really enjoy looking at and searching for the many diverse examples of sketch book journal pages that are currently out there on the world wide web!  I love the freedom and self expression contained in each page, as if it had its own mini story to tell.  I admire the way each artist uses a combination of the basic elements of art including colour, shape, pattern and texture that have been carefully (and sometimes accidentally) arranged and created by layering and reworking to create a rich and dynamic surface to work upon.  These pieces have then been lovingly developed with additional imagery that has either been hand drawn or found combined with text, which has been handwritten or pre-printed fonts.


Sketch book journal page by Journal Girl

I particularly like the work of Samantha Kira Harding aka Journal Girl who I discovered on YouTube a couple of years ago.  What I admire the most about Samie is her openness about living with her chronic illness and how art is helping her to get through it.  Not only does Samie create beautifully vibrant journal pages, she has uploaded over one hundred detailed video tutorials that provide useful information about suppliers, techniques and processes.  I picked up a useful tip recently when I watched this video below and discovered that to achieve the depth of shadow around key images, Samie uses a black watercolour pencil.  This seems so obvious now, but it just had not occurred to me to do that.  So I am very much looking forward to using my newly gained knowledge.

Up until about four years ago I was not even really aware of the concept of journaling until I came across some books by accident through Amazon’s ‘frequently bought together’ option where I was presented with Cory Moorgat’s ‘Art of Personal Imgery’ and Lisa Sonora Beam‘s ‘The Creative Entrepreneur’.  I was intrigued and captivated by this new and freer way of working.  (Although admittedly it has taken me all this time to actually start to explore this process for myself).

The Creative Entrepreneur Lisa Sonora Beam
The Art of Personal Imagery Cory Moorgat

I mostly use Pinterest to discover new examples of journal art and it seems to be quite a popular topic for a pin board.  My favourite pin is this one below.  I love the use of stitched line, simplified dragon fly, magenta circles and textured surface on the left hand side.

Sketchbook journal example

My Own Work

These are still very much work in progress.  I have yet to achieve the level of depth and detail. I would like to develop my own visual style a little more but I am happy that I have a starting point to work with. I have been inspired by Steampunk, Masquerade Ball, Circus and Alice Wonderland (Queen of Hearts and the White Rabbit).

Sketch book journal pages Vaudeville Hippie

Hidden Gems and Buried Treasure

Hidden Gems and Buried Treasure!

There are many beautiful gems out there and sometimes it takes someone to put together a treasury so we can discover these visual delights for ourselves.

I am delighted to share with you these two beautiful treasuries that we have been featured in this week.

First up ‘I Have My Eye on You!’ by Charlotte Horton from BazaarCharlotte.
I have my eye on you

Not only is this a beautiful collection of which I love the colours but it also features our black tweed newsboy hat modelled by Steve from Vaudeville Hippie.  Check out our previous post, which features his tutorial on how to plan and make your very own newsboy hat.
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Pink, soft and elegant are all words that can be used to describe the next treasury created by Jody Lee from Putterpaws.  ‘Creations From The Heart‘ features a number of items that reminds of the things I use to dream about when I was a little girl.
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We would like to thank to Jody for including our up-cycled wooden necklaceIMG_4852

Keep on digging and you never know what you may find!