Friday, May 14, 2010

I've been rejuvenated in my Hands AB

I've been plodding away at my Hands AB off and on for the last several months. I had gotten to that point when making any long term project, I get tired and want if finished. At that same point, I don't really care how it gets finished, or what the pages look like, so long as I can finish it and get on to my next AB project. It doesn't matter that I have tons of hours of good art invested in the book, so long as I can finish it with whatever s(crap) I choose to throw into or at it.

For those of you viewing my blog for the first time, I can start multiple projects, but no TWO the same at the same time. By that I mean I can work in only ONE altered book until it is finished, although other, unrelated projects can come and go with ease. I have no idea why that is, it's just me.

Awhile back I reached that I-don't-give-a-s(crap)-point in my Hands AB. I'd been collecting hand images for years and years, and still had many, many images from magazines, junk mail, wherever, that still sat begging to be used. I thought I might make a few tags, but truth be told, I'm not very good with tags. I just don't seem to make them look artsy, no matter how much s(crap) I throw at or on them. So, when I got the idea to make Halle's birthday gift, I got discouraged because I made the original pieces too large. As a diversion, I picked up my still bulging box of hand images, and set out to put myself back on track. I feel like I have accomplished four things.

1) I rejuvenated my interest in my Hands AB.

2) I am able to use many disparate scrap images together.

3) I now know what direction I want to take in Halle's journal, which is entirely different from the direction I am taking my Hands AB.

4) I have jump started a new direction in my art.

So here we go!! Please remember this 8.5 X 11 sheet will turn into FOUR A5 (5.5 X8.5) layouts.

On the left, I cut to size and sewed hand gestures from a pocket type book of the same name to the blue background paper. I printed and cut out the title.

On the right, I cut out three disparate and unrelated magazine images and sewed them to the background. This was the side I made first.

Tip: When sewing on both sides of a page, sew the side that has the most elements on it first.

Tip: Keep your images and sewing away from the edges as much as possible on this side.

For the second side, I made it an inside folio. On the left is a magazine image and a printed title sewn to the blue paper background. I added the flower, held together by a brad, before I sewed the image to the background. Note how I have now covered most of the sewing mechanics of the other side and provided a border for the other side. I also stamped a portion of a UM stamp Dana loaned me and rubbed the product label from a rub-on sheet onto the left side.

For those of you who don't want to stand on your heads to see the image, here it is at a 90 degree rotation.

Tip: For this side, use images and spreads that will cover a good portion of the page.

Tip: When adding your images, stay as close to the edges and as far away from unsewn areas from the opposite side as possible.

Today's blog owner came by way of WOYWW. I feel a real connection to Crafty Dawn. I enjoy her comments and really appreciate her posts. Dawn lives in Cheshire (not the cat) in the UK. Today's blog is not the typical blog I normally hype. It is however, one I really enjoy.

I can relate to Dawn's plight. She thinks she is in one of those places we all face, where our artistic voice has taken a well deserved break. I was there a few days ago. But I like the direction my AB pages are heading right now. I'm not sure that's the case elsewhere, but at least I've defined a technique that inspires me and gives me many ideas. Dawn will find her inspiration soon, too, although I somehow doubt Dawn is at a loss for projects and inspiration.

Here are some things I do when I feel my art isn't working for me.
1) I organize. I get the satisfaction of sorting and finding creative spots for my various media, and I love how it looks when it's all clean and organized.
2) I pick up things I'm sorting to see if anything jump starts an idea. Sometimes just holding a piece I picked up months or years before will bring that much needed inspiration for a new piece of art.
3) I check out art blogs that make similar things I make. I look at product galleries, whether I own the product or not.
4)I try a new technique.

I hope everyone goes to Dawn's blog. Let her know you have been there and take a look around. Her art is incredibly stunning and fun. BTW, if you think Dawn has really lost her mojo, just scroll down the first page and take a look at all the lovely art she has made recently. I'd say she's an altered artist supreme and one whose art I admire tremendously.

12 thoughtful remarks:

Brian K said...

Hmmm I am really liking your hands AB! It will be amazing when it is finished!!! Curious How many more pages to go? Maybe alter the page type, for example, flip out pages, pages with cut outs, pages with pockets!!!

Stephanie Mealor Corder said...

Oh thank you so much for all the eye candy! I LOVE the direction your AB is going- wonderful....I'd say, all those years of holding onto the hand images is REALLY paying off for you ;)
I'm off to check out Dawn's blog. I think any artist can relate to the "muse in absentia" issue...

Halle said...

Love the sewn pages. I need to get brave with my machine....

Julia Dunnit said...

Isn't the beauty of this stuff that it can sit and patiently wait for the muse to return - and it's ourselves that feel a ridiculous pressure. I totally understand how you are about the need to finish once you get past a certain point...I hope the Hands AB 'sucks' you back in and you don't rush to finish! Am also completely with you about Dawn and her blog..hasn't WOYWW turned up some gems!

~*~Patty Szymkowicz said...

Love the direction your art and hand book are going, stitching is a great design element!
Dawn is a sweet and talented gal, you gave some good tips ... every muse needs a rest now and then. I think people forget to give credit to all of the ways we are creative each and every day in our lives ... not all of it ends up as an item!
Happy Friday!

Terri Kahrs said...

This is an amazing AB, Elizabeth! Sometimes putting a project away for a bit then dragging it out again gives you a whole new perspective. BTW - you've inspired me with your stitching. I just may have to drag out my old Singer! Have a super weekend! Hugs, Terri xoxo

Marie S said...

I went and looked at your studio Elizabeth. I hadn't been in there before. I love it. What a wonderful space to create. I love how you have everything so organised and tucked away.
I bet in the summer it is divine.
I am so liking your hands AB. Our hands are so descriptive and they speak many languages. I think they dance and I love to watch peoples hands when they are talking, like accents on the words they speak.
I am so glad the muse is stirring your brain cells up!
Have a great weekend.

Dawn said...

Oooh what things are a stiring in this AB so cool and moving along nicely I love your tips for the return of the 'ol' Mojo. I agree with so many of the comments posted here puttting stuff away and coming back is good and the Fact that we create so many things that don't turn into an item Such lovely comments on here but then your such a lovely person yourself who can help but say wonderful things and thank you every one for your lovely word your all SO SWEET!!!

Love Dawn xx

Chris said...

Well just look at all of those wonderful pictures... amazing talent you have hun.

I'm a 'start a million projects and finish them as and when' kinda girl too so I know where you're coming from. My pals laugh at me cos I can start half a dozen projects in half an hour and then just put them away till later... ha ha ha... they just don't get it. Glad you are a likeminded soul... don't feel so bad now :D

Have a fab weekend
Chris xx

Liverpool Lou (Anne) said...

I love these pages Elizabeth thanks for all the useful tips and huge thanks for being really thoughtful and turning that page round for us LOL
So glad you've found new direction
Anne xx

Marlynn said...

Love the pages you have shown and I see a very different art work evolving then those I saw early on and I like it. These are outstanding! I will head over and visit Dawn. You are such a fine and wise and wonderful friend to many, Elizabeth! Hugs,

Cindy McMath said...

this is great Elizabeth - I really like your sewn pages, and the sewing coming through from the other side adds a lot of interest. Great image with the multi-coloured nails too!

Cindy :)

PS - wish I had your discipline to work on one thing at a time (or at least one thing of a certain type) - maybe I'd actually get something done if I did that - LOL

Cindy :)