Wednesday, February 27, 2013

More patterns


First of all, no wet evening yesterday.

I'm still collecting patterns, and even have tried to make some of my own. Nothing successful yet, but I think it's just a matter of practicing.
This flower is amongst the finest so far, I kind of like the transparency. To give the in between spaces a hint of a black edge makes a huge difference, like the flower does change into something else.
My friend celebrated her birthday yesterday and she liked the cats. Several days ago I asked her to have a look and she was thrilled, so now they live with her. She told me she is going to frame them and make something special out of the frame. I'm looking forward to see what she come up with.
Another month gone, where does time fly? Around new year everybody talked about the long month of January and now the second one is over too.
One of the teachers in school always talked about how fast time went, let me put it this way, I now understand what he meant 45 years ago. Slow learner, me?? Pfffft........
First flowers in our garden have shown up, yay! The eranthis, small yellow balls.
Have a creative day! 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Morning red.


I just have to share this with you.

We had the most beautiful sunrise today. Still dark outside with that skyline, not often as beautiful as this. There is an old saying here which tells us how the day will end with such beautiful sunrises.
Morning red gives evening wet! My translation, I tried to use google translator and had a huge laugh. Oh boy, what a great start of the day. Google told me this: Tomorrow evening red and bloody. I typed the Norwegian saying as it goes. Still laughing. It's our appletrees in the foreground.
It continued like this and ended up to guild the mountain. How lucky I am to awake this early. If I loved sleeping, I wouldn't have seen this. This photo is taken from our second floor, to avoid the appletrees.
I wish you a beautiful day too!

Monday, February 25, 2013

A Russian again


 Do you remember my russian dolls?

This is a new but different one. I really like to play using this shape, and while doing this one, several new ideas popped up. The clue is that the outer lines makes the shape of a russian doll. To make it look a bit more like a human being I have given her shoes/feet instead of the usual stand, the original shape is still there though. A fun thing with this one is that I can't stop wondering how she looks in front. I have no intention to turn her around, but still, I feel drawn to do it.
As you see I'm still into patterns trying out how they can be used. Learning still.
What kind of attitude do you think this one have? The complete image I mean.
I'm so sick and tired of all the focus on a slim body, and that everyone needs to lose weight. There is not a single photo in any magazine that tells the truth. Why do we let us fool like this? The industry want us to believe in something un natural. If one have a health problem, I do understand the necessity of losing weight, but for all the rest......... 
I think my girl today shows a healthy attitude, almost like saying, I love my body and I'm proud of it. In my head she's on her way to go shoping, probably some more fancy clothes.
Beautiful, sunny weather here the last couple of days and I love it.

Friday, February 22, 2013

In the dark.....


In the dark all cats are grey.

An old saying around here, and I'm sure you have something similar where you come from.
I found it was time to do something else than gathering patterns, why not start using them. I made these two cats. Not sure they have the best shape in the world, but I thought they were sitting with front front and acting like the rulers of the dark. Showing the rest of the world they are certainly not grey even in the dark.
The dark area needed something to brighten it up a bit, and I used some leaf gold for that purpose. If you have ever used leaf gold you know it's not the easiest thing to work with. In my head it was meant to be stars, here without star shape. I glued it down using matte medium and a soft dry brush to add the gold.
I have a friend which have her birthday soon, I'm planning this as a gift for her if she would like to have it. She does have cats but I'm not quite sure she would have some hanging on her wall.
What you can't see is that the twinks have been used on this one. There is a beautiful shine beneath the patterns, and then the gold. If she don't want it, I'll gladly hang it on my wall.
My photo is a bit blurry, sorry for that. In person it's not and all the patterns make it quite interesting.
I still have alot to learn, I'm searching for different patterns that act in a way I want them to. I want some that cover much and others that are light as air. How cool it would be to use patterns as shadowing. Think of a face shadowed using different patterns. I have seen complete faces made in writing and it's an amazing sight.
Enjoy your weekend!  

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The never ending stor(e)y.


I have been reading about illusions.

If we start using our brains outside the box, there are alot to be invented yet. Because some shapes are well known to us, we search to see them and are, now and again, being tricked.
I'm quite sure you have already seen the shapes below, but aren't they twisting your brains too? 

This is the book I have been reading, and I find it very intriguing. Besides the tricky shapes, the book point at some interesting artists. At least I've found it interesting and have to look up an artist named M. C. Escher. He was the one that introduced these tricky shapes. The book is written by a person called Edi Lanners back in 1973. I own my copy, but it might be possible to find it in a library.

The last shape I'll show you is a fantastic invention. Have a look at this staircase, I would love to have one of these to my training. If I got tired going up, I could turn and go down. I think this is one of the best tricks I have ever seen. Remember the name, Escher!

What's on your desk today?

Monday, February 18, 2013

A little Sunday experiment.


With this spread, I wanted to test nature itself. 

The center of the circle was supposed to peak up, that wasn't as successful as I had hoped for. I do see what I was trying to make, but it seems to be hard for others to see it. ( have been testing some friends) Also, on purpose, I wanted to make the flower hang an inch or so abowe the spread. You remember some of the previous spreads I made, had that effect. To gain a result as close to nature as possible I did a tiny experiment.
With the flower done and cut out, I put it on top of a cake dish with the light coming from top right corner. That gave me the chance to see excactly how the shadow would appear. I did make a test with the center too, cut a cross and rolled each "triangle" back. With that in front of me, I drew what I saw. It's pretty cool experimenting like this, in addition I learn  things too. Below is how it looked like on the cake dish. 
The final result is good, but I'm not quite sure that the shadow do the job alone. On a previous spread, without me thinking of it, the flower popped off  by itself. This time I consciously avoid using glittering paint in the background. Earlier I've noticed that glittering paint tend to have an" uplifting" effect, and here I aimed to see if nature would do it alone. What do you think?
Do you clearly see the opened center with the flips curled back?

What did I learn from this? I learnt that by copying nature one will lose some of the magic happening during the process of making. One will get a close to nature product, but some of the excitement is gone. The result can be planned though, which isn't the same when things just happens.

I could of course have done alot more to the background, but after having a party here Saturday night, my head was empty. I might add something later though. It's much fun making these little things and discover new ways of seeing/thinking. On Sunday I also fell into reading about illusions, and I might want to show you some pretty cool things.
Have fun! 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

A super exciting collaboration.


I had a special coworker when I did this spread.

After making the ballet dancers I had no idea what to make next. I was pleased with these patterns but couldn't decide what to do. As I often do, I spoke out loud to myself something like : Well Laila what to do with these ones? I also answered the question myself, cut them apart and make some bumblebees. I and myself did collaborate during the whole process, I asking questions and the inner me answering. Weird? For any outsider it probably sounds weird, especially since I was talking out loud with no other person present, but isn't that what we do all the time each one of us? Discussing with ourselves, loud or not?

This time I kept noticing the feedback and did what I was "told". Outer me even almost ended up arguing because of a color choice. The pale yellow part of the bee, I have never seen anything like it but inner me insisted. After all it dosen't matter, but my logical approach tend to lead a bit too often. I did search the internett and found a bumblebee like this. Overwhelming, nothing less!  Below you see who probably was my coworker in this project. And I have to say, she was a stubborn one. It was a very special experience to do it like this, I never did it before. I think it's all about listening, ask a question and the inner self/child will answer.

And below is what we did create together. It was so much fun to play this way, I would like to challenge you to explore it yourself. It's so much fun, I promise.
As you see there are two photos showing my work, the one below was shot late night with my worklight as light source, and the bottom one with pure daylight. The truth lies somewhere between the two. Which one do you prefere?

I always ment to tell you from where I picked my patterns, I just forgot it till now. Mainly I have used two sites to pick from, here and here. Some patterns are combinations and others were just there from way back, and obviously, I can't tell where they came from.

The upper wing on the lower left bee, do you see peaks or hallways? I see hallways, but handyman sees peaks.
I had no idea this project would be so much fun, I even had no idea it should become a project. And playing with my inner self/child topped it all. The whole spread might be a bit too busy in my opinion, but I didn't decide it all by myself. Life never stops surprising me.
Go for it!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Ballet dancers.


Meet the girls.

This spread was created with alot of mixed feelings. At one point I was sure I had to paint over the whole spread. You know, at that stage when things change from good to not good at all. Instead of reacting instantly, I put it aside  and did other stuff instead. Many times I did that. And now I'm pleased with how it came out 
I think it was a fun way of doing it this time, I cut the flower in two and made these little girls. Notice how they look right at you, and what a difference their hairstyles make. I love doing 3-D patterns, and the blue eyed girl has a pattern on her dress that is amazing. Even in person it's hard to believe that it's a flat sheet of paper. It's lots of fun to explore patterns like that.
I also forgot myself and added the red dots on one pattern, that wasn't ment to be. I used a marker which will bleed through the gesso if I paint over it so I chose to let it be. 
I made the all over pattern on this spread because I love that pattern and also because it need more space than a petal. Left side almost ruined it all. Far too much going on there, but it's a good excample on what not to do.
The fact that the flowers (girls on this spread) seem to hang abowe the background is something that happens during the photographing process. In person it's not like that at all. It does make the process even more intriguing though, I always ask myself how it  will be at the end.
I still love to play in this journal, but I'm a bit concerned about the binding of the book. I didn't make the spine wide enough when I created the book, and now that I'm adding to it......... perhaps I'll have a rescue job in my hands soon. That will be a new experience as well.

Happy Valentines Day Folks!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Art pieces in the mail

It's fun trading with  fellow bloggers.

I just did some trading and had the pleasure to find some exciting envelopes in my mailbox the other day.  Three years ago, I would never have thought of this to happen. I just wanted to see if I could run a blog of my own, and it should be written in English. English because I wanted to use and hopefully improve my vocabulary.
If someone had told me back then that I would get in contact with people all over the world, I wouldn't have believed them. To me it's still strange to know that I, sitting on the outer edge of the world so to speak, in fact have had contact with people in each continent because of this blog. The world has changed and the possebillities have become endless.

I've often wondered what my grandmother would have thought, she saw the cars and aeroplanes coming into the world. Now, we go even faster.

Well, enough of that and back to the tradings.

Both Janet and Lee were kind enough to be willing to trade with me, and here is what I found in my mailbox.
Below is what came from Janet, three ATCs. Two of them I chose myself and the third one came as a bonus, together with a beautiful handwritten card. Thanks Janet, I couldn't be more happy!

And this is what came from Lee, handmade and handwritten card and the ATC. Thanks Lee, I love them both!

The ATC below was one I mailed for this trading, and today I'll put up the link on how to do it.

You can see it here.  Easy to make, and I used my ordinary kitchen aluminum instead of tape. Tools I used was things I found around the house. I didn't have any special tools as seen in the link. ENJOY!

That's all for now, I'll have to get the fire going it's freezing cold here today.

Monday, February 11, 2013

My own pattern journal.


Journals dosen't always turn out as we think.

Once in 2010 I made a journal and I didn't use it for anything specific. Now, on the other hand, I found it suitable to hold my pattern library.
There's a strange thing about journals, some becomes favorites and others dont. Why is that? My very first art journal was a good friend and very good working in. It measured 8 x 11 inches. My present art journal measures 9.5 x 12 inches and is far from as good as my first one. When I was about to start working in it, I thought it would be even better than my first one but I was wrong. I really don't understand why.
Back to the journal from 2010, at my first attempt I felt how good it was to work in. This journal measures 6.25 x 9.25 inches. I always thought, the bigger the better but that isn't true. What kind of experience do you have with your journals?
Below you see my second pattern flower, glued into the journal. I soon understood I had to add colors, otherwise it all looked dull. Now, it's a pleasure to open it and search for patterns.
I made the flower on a fairly thick watercolor paper, so I had to make a solid mark to get it well folded. I used the papercutter, not with the knife but another more rounded tool. I used Matt medium to glue it down, and it sits well.
For awhile I thought of coloring the flower itself, but decided on leaving it white. I think it will be easier to clearly see the patterns this way.
The decorations are made by using acrylics, twinks and different markers. I'm so surprised to notice how good this journal is to work in. It might very soon become my favorite journal. I almost can't wait to start my next flower and work in the journal again, just to see if it still feels good.

That's all for now, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Sunday, February 10, 2013



I did something relaxing yesterday.

After some days reading and trying to understand  stuff that really dosen't interest me, it was wonderful to just sit down and draw some patterns. For a long time I have thought of making my own pattern library, and this could be a fun way of doing it.
Flowers with different patterns on each petal instead of just a pattern sample square. I might cut it out and glue it into a sampler book.  How cool it would be to have filled a book with patterned flowers, and how easy to choose when in need of a nice pattern.
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Do you find it relaxing to make patterns too?
See, I've left my mark on the photo, not the best placement perhaps but I didn't want to ruin the  patterns for you? Finally I understood something, and now, after nearly three years of blogging I do it completely the other way around. I think I'll allow myself a couple of days break from reading and just enjoy drawing patterns. It's much more fun and creative. Yesterday I also remembered to buy myself a good crafting knife, which I have thought of for yrars. I have been using my  leather knife, but it's a bit too large in some cases.
Thanks alot for visiting and for leaving a comment, It's much appreciated!

Friday, February 8, 2013

My art journal again.


I made this spread using some outcuts from the newspaper.

How much easier it is to do things the right way. Now, that I've filed all my photos, everything fell into place. Thanks heaven I'm a stayer, otherwise I wouldn't have learned all this.
I had much fun making this spread, the birds are so beautiful with the wings spread out. Originally they were sitting on each end of a fallen branch, but I couldn't help wanting to manipulate the situation.
The Jaybird looking a bit "headless" just flying and singing and dosen't notice any danger.
What do you think? Was it a bit too cruel of me?
I did some new things on this spread. I used my water soluble crayons and painted them out using gesso instead of water. Great way of doing it and the black pen had no trouble writing on top at the end.Good idea I think! The only thing to concider is the hue of the color, the gesso will lighten it.The background forest is done using acrylic paint.
 And in this very moment of writing I think, why not use Matte medium instead of gesso? Smart, I'll have to try. That means the color won't change, and the black pen still will work well on top.
Beautiful sunshine here today. 
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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Hey, how could I know.


I wonder why I developed to be so unknowing/uninterested in tecknical stuff.

Today I made a big step forward when talking of Picasa. How could I know I had to download the latest version of that program?? Well, at last I understood and there it was, all the stuff I had seen before. I was so happy I made two collages promptly.
Now I have a big reading job ahead, but that counts as peanuts compared to all the braintwisting I did today. Before downloading that is.
Since I filed all my photos, it was easy to pick a file and choose the ones to collage. Nothing new, I'm afraid but it was done in pure happiness. Here they are, my paainted faces once again.

So are the Russian dolls
I hope you will excuse my impulsiveness, I couldn't help making them. From now on I'll file the ones I make.
I hope you'll have as much luck as I had today.
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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A new background


I started a new background in my journal today.

Just some paint on the spread before I used some bubble wrap on top in the wet paint. After drying I usd a stensil and sprayed a whitewash on top again.
What happened was that the bubbles became whitewashed too, and it became quite interesting. Left side. I used a WS crayon to emphasize some of the flowers from the stencil.

The right side has just the bubbles in this photo, but I have added the stencil on this page too. The circles are cutouts from a papertowel. I still don't know what to do on this spread, perhaps I'll enjoy the result for awhile.

At the moment there are alot of things I want to try, but can't get started with anything.
Otherwise I've been asked to teach a course in art journaling but I do hesitate. I don't know if I could do it. I've tought many courses earlier, but never in art journaling. If I was to do it, I need to make a good program to ensure myself that the participants really got paid for their money.

I'll have to think a bit more over it.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Big job done.

Finally I took the time to organize all my photos.

I absolutely should have done that job in Picasa too, but can't figure out how it works. One day I will though. It's so good to have done it on my computer, now it's just to go to the actual catalogue and find the photo I'm looking for. That is, I don't have to search through the whole lot to find a certain photo.
To start with I have organized them in catalogues like watercolors, garden, knitting and so on. Later I intend to divide them into actual years, if it's nessesary.
While doing the job, I found these pictures showing our Lilac tree blooming. Aren't they beautiful? Can yoy smell them?

They are quite a sight when blooming each year. Looking forward to the spring now with all the lovely happenings in the garden.

I remember when I first discovered Picasa, not knowing what it was. I did understand it had something to do with me, because alot of my photos were there. But, why so many of the same and why so messy? I did a huge cleanup, and returned to a blog almost emptied for pictures. That experience thought me to be a bit careful, to first understand and then go to action. We have an extra hard disk for backups and that helps alot. I can always replace them if I should push the wrong button.

I hope you have interesting days too.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

A treat.

Today Sandra and I paid the artshop a visit.

I was out of some supplies and had to stock. I brought my camera to photograph a little. Astrid, who was there was kind enough to allow me to. Astrid is an artist which paint the most amazing paintings. I asked for her web address and she told me. If you want to have a look, this is where you'll find more of her work. She is from up north, and that shows in her paintings.

Both paintings abowe are made by her, and especially the lower one shows the nature as it is up north. It's almost as one can smell the ocean.

The green painting attracted me too, can't excactly say what it is, but I like it. And have a look at the one below, large shiny "stones" glued onto it and that gave an impression of being out in space. Cool work.

Last thing I want to show you is these two ols school chairs. Look what have been done to them. I fell for the chairs instantly. ARGH......... I had axcess to several such chairs a couple of years ago.

The reason I needed the camera today, was that Handyman bought me a new computer yesterday and I had to try it out. This is the first post I.m writing on it. There has been some arghs and  uuuups, but isn't it always like that with new stuff.....

It's not quite as easy to find my way in here, but in a week or two we'll be the best of friends.
Take care!

Friday, February 1, 2013

The victory dance


I've had a new session of victory dancing, yay!

Today I finally figured out how to make my gallery page. Easy enough to write, but how on earth to add the photos already used on this blog????
I did it I did it I did it........... what a reliefe! I know it could be done even better, but this is how far I can do right now. Hopefully I can do better as time goes by.
I feel paralysed each time I'm thinking of doing some "tecknical" stuff, I know it sits between my ears and the only way to deal with it is to try which I did today.

I was so happy after doing this that I had to paint a funny person. It could have been me daancing but it's not. :)

The one below was made last year and I can't remember in which occation.

Go have a look in the gallery and please tell me what you think. Is it ok, did you enjoy seeing it, should I add more text and so on. Let me know your thoughts.
Another beautiful day here, lots of sun and lots of frost too.

Enjoy your weekend!