Wild Journaling

Hiya folks!

Continuing on from my previous blog post, I would like to show you a piece of work I have made to help ensure that my Wild project remains at the forefront of my mind.IMG_1350

I was itching to display the word in my art journal somehow and Anna Brim’s Patreon tutorial on painting a monochrome giraffe inspired me to get out my watercolours and paint a giraffe pattern background. Here is Anna’s stunning giraffe:Screen Shot 2018-01-13 at 21.33.25

I like the way that my word stands out because of the clean white outlines that are just like the clean white spaces between the brown patches.
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I also love the many different shades of brown and the occasional hint of sparkle created by a bit of fun I had with my Kuretake Gansai Tambi Starry Color paints.IMG_1348IMG_1347

My landscape art journal was perfect for this double page spread where I have demonstrated the importance of Wild by the amount of space it takes up. My intention is set and I am really looking forward to the next stage in this project.IMG_1340

Thanks for reading. Until next time,

Steph x x x

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How I discerned my one word for 2018

I want to tell you a story. It moves me and I’m hoping it will mean something to some of you. It is the true story of how it was meant to be that the word Wild has become my one word for 2018. In subsequent posts I will talk more about how I will make my word visible in order to reflect upon it and use it creatively throughout the year.

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Waiting for the bus to the library early on Saturday, the penultimate day of the year, I heard a goose call nearby, and the sound stirred my soul. It is not usual to hear geese in my village. I am not saying it is unheard of but they are a rare sight to me. The calls were followed by the sound of wings flapping and then I had the privilege to see a flock of a dozen geese silhouetted against the dark wintry morning sky. They were heading north. I had to smile – the birds had reminded me of a favourite poem of mine by Mary Oliver and I yearned to read her life affirming words again. Rather than find it on my phone on the bus or on a computer at work I noted in my planner to read the poem in my book at home upon my return. I did not think about this again while at the library.

I did, however, ponder on ideas for my word of the year. My word for 2017 was Thrifty. It did not really go anywhere for me. I had excellent reasons for choosing the word and perhaps I could have made it work if I had not been so focussed on being more creative and sociable, which were goals that really took hold and made a difference in my life. This time I wanted to choose a word to aspire to but that already represented me. A word that will enable greater knowledge of myself and the confidence to be more myself than ever!

I looked up synonyms for the word Nature. I can never get enough of going into nature as this activity does wonders for my mental health, allows me to bond with loved ones and it inspires much of my artwork so I was keen to tap into that for this project, but none of the words, including Nature itself were quite what I had in mind. It’s funny because it was really nagging at me that what I was searching for was related to Nature but it wasn’t coming to me, neither in my mind nor in the thesaurus! I decided to start jotting things down, any words that came to me throughout the morning, in my planner and on my hand, just in case they stuck.

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I was liking Wild, Wild was becoming my favourite and connected to nature of course. And then later on that day while walking past a building with a boarded up doorway I saw a photograph pinned there. It was such an odd place to pin an unframed photo which made me look and depicted there was a flock of birds flying in a sky filled landscape.

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And I had to smile. Straight away I was back to thinking of Mary Oliver’s poem for the second time that day and I knew that Wild must be my word for 2018 because the poem is called Wild Geese…  Back at home I documented in my traveller’s notebook all the words that had nearly made it along with the one that has:

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And finally I ran up the stairs to the bookcase on my landing and pulled out a poetry anthology, sat right there on the top stair, leafed through the pages to that familiar place and savoured every syllable of Wild Geese by Mary Oliver:

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting—
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Reflecting on my Very Creative 2017

Happy New Year folks!

The past year has been my most creative yet. As you will know if you read my previous blog post, I began my Instagram feed at the beginning of last year. I was itching to journal creatively and make more art, to follow people whose work I admired and have constant access to crafty inspiration in this wonderful creative community. And, who knows? I might end up inspiring others… I like to think I have.

IMG_4822Some (but definitely not all) of my favourite projects have been the a vase of flowers I exhibited at Nottingham Central Library made entirely out of paper, Geraldine Jayne‘s art journal workshop at Cambs Planner Con and the Kerry May Makes Junk Journal Challenge.

 

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Planner and craft events were rife in 2017. I had already been to Cambs Mini Planner Con and The Big Meet in 2016 so I knew how inspiring they could be and I was hungry for more. I attended Pamper & Plan (Newcastle in March), Cambs Planner Con (St. Neots in April)), Leanne’s Planner Clan (Kirkby in Ashfield in May), South West Planner Meet (Bristol in August)), Lilac & Dot Mini Meet (Manchester in October), Sweet P Planner Event (Hartshill, Nuneaton in November) and The Christmas Jingle & Mingle (St. Neots in December)! What can I say? I love spending time and making friends with like minded crafty folk and getting a chance to do what we love in a friendly and accepting environment. I look forward to seeing some of you at similar events in the near future.

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I had also begun making journals and notebooks again. I did my first bookbinding college course at Leicester College in 2001 but I never took up the hobby at home as I had none of the equipment available in the college’s workshop. But I later learned techniques that required no more than a few simple tools and now I am never happier than when I am working on a book. I shared some of my makes at Cambs Planner Con and was encouraged to work towards opening an online shop selling my unique handmade sketchbooks. I have been working on this project ever since and Scurry & Peck is now open for business on Etsy!!

Additionally, I took on exciting crafty responsibilities like joining Anna Brim’s merry band of Patreon ambassadors, holding Scurry & Peck stalls at a couple of the aforementioned events and teaching paper craft and origami workshops at events such as Wollaton Arts Festival in Nottingham.

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I intend to keep the momentum going over the next 12 months. I have more teaching workshops lined up, more events, more Brimbles love, more challenge participation and more sharing of my arty crafty projects on Instagram, in Facebook groups and on this blog.

Thanks for reading

See you again soon, Steph x

 

Instagram Art Journal Giveaway

Hiya folks

It’s giveaway time!! I began my creative Instagram feed 365 days ago with two goals in mind:
1) Be consistently more creative
2) Share this creativity in at least 365 posts during 2017
Well I am proud to say that I have met both goals and I have had so much creative fun over the past year.
To celebrate this achievement and to say thanks to all of my Instagram followers for sharing in this first year of my journey I would like to give away one of my handmade sketchbooks and a set of creamy Poundworld watercolour paints. I’ll throw in some brushes and journaling ephemera bits too. If you would like to be the winner of this prize you need only do two things. To find out what they are, visit @stephanie.haze and find the picture below where you will find more details.

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This giveaway will stay open for a month and I will draw a random winner on 31st January. Good luck to all entrants and Happy New Year to all my followers. Here’s to smashing our goals in an even more creative 2018.

Thanks for reading, until next time.

Bye, Steph x x x

Pages in my December Journal

Happy Christmas folks!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… mostly because I am joining in with much of the creative community who are documenting daily during the festive season. And even better, I get access to Anna Brim’s fantastic printable collage elements to help decorate and embellish my journal pages!img_0899.jpg

Some days I fail to take any meaningful pictures, but I am not sad about it because I am keeping up with journaling every day, which is the most important thing, and I have beautiful seasonal resources from Anna’s Patreon such as these at my fingertips:IMG_0917.JPG

I was lucky enough to attend the Mrs Brimbles Christmas Jingle & Mingle event on 2nd December where Anna delivered an inspiring workshop at which I began making my junk style December Journal. It’s not a traveller’s notebook insert but the pages are standard size because it suits me so much. It has four signatures of mixed papers and card and has been bound with a long stitch. I finished stitching it together at home the next day.IMG_0896

One of the collage sheets depicts an array of snuggly Christmas hygge essentials. On day eight I worked a ten hour shift and came home to a home cooked meal that we ate on the sofa while we watched a favourite TV show by the light of the twinkling Christmas tree. It doesn’t get more hygge than that so, with a lack of photographs, I picked out my favourites to remember the snuggly feelings of that evening. I might colour them in, I might not. I like the way they look with the poinsettia pattern in the background and with the little spot of journaling on the ticket shaped die cut (to tie in with the cinema entry on day seven) I am happy with the page.IMG_0883

On the evening of the ninth day my Dad and I had a wonderful time at a local carol concert. Anna’s artwork is prevalent on this spread as the background on the left page is made up of her stamped mixed media work that I have gessoed lightly so allow her lovely robin to stand out and to allow me to journal over the top. The ‘Yule Blessings’ wreath is Anna’s as is the plate of mince pies from her hygge inspired page. I have also cut out one of the trees from an excess piece of the stamped mixed media. Once stuck down, I outlined the tree with green ink from a Jane Davenport mermaid marker and smudged it to add to the mixed media effect. I will be adding my journaling and my ticket for the carol concert too. The few other elements used on these pages are from collections by Paperchase, Prima, American Crafts and Carta Bella.IMG_0860IMG_0862IMG_0898

I awoke to the sight of snow falling and settling on day ten. I was particularly happy because I knew I was going to spend the day crafting and journaling and not going outside. Here you can see a few of my photos but I was inspired to use Anna’s antlered wintery woman and another of her wreaths, to frame the number ten, along side them. As you can see, I am obsessed with using tags and making them stick out from the edge of the page. I made this blue one with die cut snowflakes at a workshop last Christmas. IMG_0880IMG_0870

I also amused myself by merging two college elements to form a framed santa selfie to add a bit of silliness and tie in with Tom’s snow selfie on the right.IMG_0897

Thanks for reading folks. I hope you will join me on Instagram to see more pages from my December journal and other creative projects.

I hope you have a magical Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year.

Bye for now, Steph x x x

Autumnal Traveller’s Notebook Insert

Hiya folks!

At the end of September I was full of determination to take part in October Daily and journal regularly in a special traveller’s notebook insert to celebrate the change in season. Unfortunately I was not able to do the project justice and failed to keep up with writing every day, as October became an extremely busy month for me. One of the reasons for distraction was a wonderful holiday to New York that I took with my fella, the documentation of which has its very own journal that I will be showing you folks at some point soon. However, I did bind together a fun insert and I am excited to show you some of it today. The cover is made from some autumnal scrapbook paper that I have been hanging on to for absolutely ages decorated with Anna’s watercolour fox from her October Patreon collection of collage elements that are still available to you should you sign up now – how great is that?!

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I fell in love with Anna’s inviting mug of hot tea as soon as I saw it and it was a given that it would take pride of place at the beginning of the journal. But by the time I had all my craft supplies out for the task I had had a supersonic idea! I decided to create the tag for the teabag, that until now was drawn on but lost when I cut out the cup from the page, and turn it into a bookmark for the journal. In fact I made two.IMG_0082IMG_0079I backed the mug on some lovely blue card stock and used a bookbinding awl to make a precise hole in the teabag drawing. I threaded two different coloured threads through that hole and tied knots to secure them and taped them in place. To hide this I then stuck the cover of the journal in place, causing the image to be on the inside front cover of the insert.  At the other ends of the threads I tied a knot and fixed some grid washi tape.IMG_0080Throughout the journal I have used autumnal papers and colours, including bits and bobs from Anna such as these adorable acorns, pumpkin and watercolour owl journal spots.IMG_0078IMG_0077IMG_0084

Thanks, as ever, for reading. Until next time.

Steph x x x

Painting a Fantastic Fox

IMG_9912Hiya folks! Just a quick one for you this time to show how I got on painting a fox under the instruction of one of Anna’s Patreon videos for October. It all started out really well and I used some watercolour paints to create the basic shape of my fox’s head.

IMG_9890Once the paint was dry I went  in with some ink to draw in the eyes – well this was a big mistake. The ink was water soluble and not waterproof and it ran wildly all over the fox’s face and stained my picture. To rescue my picture, I ended up covering up all the paint with ink in different colours and, although it is not what I was aiming for, it is not too bad for a practice fox. I’m particularly loving the turquoise acrylic paint I used to make the background.

img_9915.jpgI worked on another with the determination to make a mixed media journal page with a mostly watercolour fox. This time I was careful to use a waterproof pen to draw the whiskers and mouth and pencil crayons to do the eyes and other details. Additionally, Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl was a great favourite of mine when growing up so I thought I would use a quote from that book to complete the page. It really sums up the life affirming quality of the story and it gives me a lovely warm feeling inside.  Here is the outcome of my efforts and I am tremendously happy with it.

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Thanks for reading. Until next time…

Steph x x x

Colourful Cosmic Crafting

Hiya folks!

Can you believe we are half way through September already? Just six days and it will be autumn! I am so busy doing all sorts of creative projects  these days that the time has flown by so quickly and deadlines are looming. One of those deadlines is this blog post for dear Anna (oh no!) and another is a paper crafting workshop that I must plan for next month.

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All of my problems dissolved when I saw Anna’s September collage sheets on her Patreon. Check out this Mrs Brimbles video if you want to see the cute critters and gorgeous abstractness. I love that there is an autumnal theme with some of the elements but that there are some pieces that are not specific to a season, and it was to those that I turned for my project this month.

Much of my workshop planning has consisted of basically making different paper flowers over and over again. Oh what a chore – said no crafter ever. For the early makes I used paper from my stash with one colour, pretty but plain.  During this process I narrowed it down to two possible projects, a rose and a pinwheel. Then I began to make some with the collage sheets and I absolutely love how scrumptious they look.

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Anna painted a beautiful painting on canvas recently that was snapped up as soon as it was listed it in her shop. How lucky are we that we get to print out the image  of that very piece of art work, cut it up and use it?  The other designs are dreamy too.

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For the pinwheels I like the idea of sticking fun things in the centre like buttons and die cut circles from a map or newspaper. Instead though, I have cut circles from one of my watercolour paintings and a bit of scrapbook paper.

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However, I have toyed with the idea of using these fun die cut pieces I have been hoarding from the March 2017 Brimbles Box. That shooting star! Love it 🙂

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I am quite sure these examples will inspire folk at my workshop just as much as the collage sheets are inspiring me.

Thanks for reading. Until next time…

Steph x x x

PS. I will be completing the project by making the flowers into brooches. Keep an eye on my Instagram for a selfie of me wearing one.

Colourful Cosmic Crafting

Hiya folks!

Can you believe we are half way through September already? Just six days and it will be autumn! I am so busy doing all sorts of creative projects these days that the time has flown by so quickly and deadlines are looming. One of those deadlines is this blog post for dear Anna (oh no!) and another is a paper crafting workshop that I must plan for next month.

IMG_8841

All of my problems dissolved when I saw Anna’s September collage sheets on her Patreon. Check out this Mrs Brimbles video if you want to see the cute critters and gorgeous abstractness. I love that there is an autumnal theme with some of the elements but that there are some pieces that are not specific to a season, and it was to those that I turned for my project this month.

Much of my workshop planning has consisted of basically making different paper flowers over and over again. Oh what a chore – said no crafter ever. For the early makes I used paper from my stash with one colour, pretty but plain. During this process I narrowed it down to two possible projects, a rose and a pinwheel. Then I began to make some with the collage sheets and I absolutely love how scrumptious they look.

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Anna painted a beautiful painting on canvas recently that was snapped up as soon as it was listed in her shop. How lucky are we that we get to print out the image of that very piece of art work, cut it up and use it? The other designs are dreamy too.

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For the pinwheels I like the idea of sticking fun things in the centre like buttons and die cut circles from a map or newspaper. Instead though, I have cut circles from one of my watercolour paintings and a bit of scrapbook paper.

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However, I have toyed with the idea of using these fun die cut pieces I have been hoarding from the March 2017 Brimbles Box. That shooting star! Love it 🙂

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I am quite sure these examples will inspire folk at my workshop just as much as the collage sheets are inspiring me.

Thanks for reading. Until next time…

Steph x x x

PS. I will be completing the project by making the flowers into brooches. Keep an eye on my Instagram for a selfie of me wearing one.

Kerry May Makes a Mess Junk Journal Challenge

Hiya folks!

It’s messy and wonky with smudges and tears but I love it. I am super proud of my newly completed junk journal and I thought I would share a flick through on YouTube. I’d love to know what you think. Also, please get in touch if you have made a junk journal or are thinking about making one.

Thank you for your time.

Until later…

Steph x x x