Thursday, September 30, 2010

Step Thirty Six: Minimalist collage and the timing disaster

Dear Fi,

As you probably already have noticed I have huge issues with timing lately. Somehow my life has too many deadlines at the same time... and the changes I am undergoing right now are more stressful than I could have predicted. But I already whined to you in my countless e-mails, so I won’t repeat myself here again.

I’m so glad that you are back. I love your Zentangle!!! At first I thought that you cut them out of paper. That would be great! For me they look more like very cool and freehanded prints rather then just scribbling and doodling on paper. Totally bold! So, maybe we should switch to Weekly Zentangle ha, ha. Although, knowing me and my timing it probably wouldn't be weekly...  ha, ha. 

So the story for this step goes like this:

I think that if I had enough time to think about what I wanted to do (pre-planning ha, ha) for my 36th step I would have had more success with posting on Tuesday. However, on Tuesday I found myself undecided, tired, stressed, and totally empty. 

I tried to sketch something. I had a totally different idea for this post. I was fascinated by falling leaves. I took many pictures of golden leaves lying on the grass, on the asphalt, dancing in the air, and resting in my hand. These pictures were the inspiration for my project. I imagined how I will combine them with my post etc. and that was all I could do on Tuesday. 

Yesterday I decided to do something, anything, whatever... I just wanted to “have it done”. I painted a page in my Moleskine watercolour sketchbook in ivory. I thought about using only white, ivory, and cream colours, papers, paints and ribbons. However, while searching for materials, I found the leftovers from the tiny cabinet project I did and because it was just easier and faster to use what I already had I changed my mind about using the monochromatic palette. I’m actually happy that I changed the original idea because later on when I scanned the image I found out that it will probably be impossible to see the different shades of white, ivory and cream very well. Even this piece is failing to show that distinction :( Maybe a camera would record it better? Too late to check it now ha, ha ;)

So, I finished my collage yesterday, but when I thought about writing a post I just knew it won’t happen. I didn’t feel good about it, but I needed to use my resources wisely. Since I started to work I just don’t have the same time and energy to stay up late at night. Besides Tuesdays are actually the most stressful days for me. So, Thursday it is, and I’m finally posting...

Hope you will forgive me (AGAIN!!!) and hope you feel much much better right now My Dear :*

I’m sending you lots of love and the healing vibrations :*


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Step Thirty Six: Zentangle Mania

Dearest Sylwi,

Hellooooooooo! :-) It was so lovely to come back and see your posts! I love them (particularly your anniversary one! Happy Anniversary!) and I love the idea of Zentangle.

I'm sitting here today with an absolutely stinking cold... I've just said goodbye to one set of guests and another lot arrived today, so my head is in a spin. I couldn't think of one thing to do for today's post as my head almost feels liquid, I'm so full of the cold... so I decided to copy you! :-)

Inspired by your zentangle post, I tried some of my own. I'm not sure I've entirely got the hang of the technique, as there was nothing much zen about my experience! :-)

I cut out a square of paper, drew a few squiggles on it and then began to doodle around them. The more I doodled, the more stressed I got that I didn't like the outcome... I know, I know, it's supposed to be meditative and calming, but for some reason, I had preconceived ideas about how mine 'should' look.

By the end of the first one, I wondered if my efforts were rubbish and by the end of the second square that I tried, I was convinced they were! ;-))))

So, against (probably) all Zentangle rules, I took a pair of scissors and chopped each square into two halves... and then I started to like them more! :-)

In fact, I started to enjoy myself so much, that I found myself putting off jobs that needed done (the guests will have to help me make the beds later!) :-) so that I could create more squares to chop in half! :-)

... and I still couldn't get enough of Zentangles. I was getting quite addicted. Here, I drew a hot air balloon... and then doodled all around it.

... and then, my guests arrived early :-( so I had to put down my pen reluctantly and stop acting like a crazy person!

I wish I could hang around our blog more today and chat with you - I'm desperate to hear your stories - about your practicum, about your Flickrgetogether, about life in general... but I have to go.

I'm away for a couple of days tomorrow and there's so much to get done first... but all I want to do is go to bed and sleep off this cold! :-)

Hopefully, there will be more time next week to concentrate on my 37th step. Gosh, are there really only 15 left?! :-(

Can't wait to see what your step will be this week. Hope you're ok. Will be in touch as soon as I get back.

Lots and lots and lots of love (I Misssssed You!)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Step Thirty Five: Sweet love... sweet souls...

Dear Fi,

It is not the same without you :( 

Posting alone feels weird. 

Come back!!! I really miss you :*


I wrote about the special meeting in Coleman but then something happened and I couldn’t post it... 

So instead of the detailed rapport on this amazing encounter I will leave you with a short description of today’s artwork.

It is hard to believe but today is the eighth anniversary of my marriage. So it seemed only right to do something to mark this passage. You might remember the picture of us from last year I posted in our flickr pool while doing my 365: self-portrait. I considered taking another, more recent, photo; but I really like that one I used because it speaks volumes about our relationship.

So, eight years.


Still together. 
Still in love. 
Still happy. 

In awe.


I could write the whole “love story” and list all the great, wonderful, amazing things I know about my husband, but somehow I don’t feel like I want to share all of this on our blog... I am not comfortable with doing this. So, I won’t ha, ha. Besides, I think you already know the story anyway ;)


The change happened Dear Fi. I experienced some kind of shift. The last experiment with Zentangle and the previous one with spontaneous drawing brought me back to the “old times”. I feel like something opened inside my compressed (and maybe broken from all that social conditioning and self-judgment) soul and I can finally feel the freedom. She is coming out, calling me, and dancing through this little crack I’ve created with these 35 steps so far.

I am drawn to the simplicity of black and white now, and to the effortless, playful lines, circles and dots forming the new worlds on paper. I am grateful for discovering the lost pleasures anew again. I wish I could find the right words to better explain it to you...

One day maybe... when we finally meet I will try ;)



My Dear, I cannot wait for you to came back and play with me again next week. I hope you will bring lots of pictures and stories to share, and tones of new fancy French inspirations ;)

Love :*

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Step Thirty Four: Zentangle

Dear Fi,

As you are relaxing in France I’m sitting at my overcrowded chiropractor’s office waiting for my turn and writing this letter/post to you. No I didn’t forget to post yesterday. I was actually very proud of myself because despite of my first day at work, and despite of having sick children I was able to create something for my thirty fourth step. 

However, after finishing my tangled sign, and before writing my post I went to bed with my sick children and fell asleep with them. I woke up this morning and there was no time to post before leaving for work, so here I am... late.

Did you hear about zentangle yet? 

I found this book a few months ago, and was curious what was inside. However, for some unknown reason it was really hard to order the book (which made me want it even more!) Finally last week the book arrived. Zentangle reminds me of doodles, only I think that the purpose of tangle is to repeat them as a pattern or to create tangled clusters. 

{Do you think my Dear Fi that I really know what I’m talking about?}

Anyway, it turned out that playing with Zentangle was fun and relaxing. Since my goal was to try it out for the first time, and I didn’t have much time I decided to fill the letters with tanglo-doodles (ha, ha - yes, I’m creating new words). I actually had an idea of designing a bigger project but it was impossible to fit it into yesterday ;) So, instead I decided to mark that first day of unpaid work (meaning: practicum) hence my Zentangled DAY 1...

Zentangle is simple, creative, fun and relaxing... So my Dear Fi, you might even try it right now on your French paper napkin while you are sitting in some nice cafe waiting for your tasty crunchy yummy chocolate croissant to arrive... {me? jealous???}



I hope you are having fun in France so far :*

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Step Thirty Three: Spontaneous drawing...

Dear Fi,

I started to work on my step around lunch. I was actually quite happy with what I did. No, not because I like the effect but because I felt like I regained an ability I once lost.  I drew spontaneously without judgment and finished my drawing in a few minutes. This is how I worked before with freedom and curiosity, without great expectations, just for the pure joy of scribbling on paper. Drawing and painting this way usually started with one dot or a circle or a line without any concept of what might have happen or where it will lead me. It usually ended with something totally unexpected created on paper, almost as if I wasn't the person who drew but a medium through which the drawing came. This is why these quotes from Piet Mondrian "The position of the artist is humble. He is essentially a channel" and "Intellect confuses intuition" were for so many years appealing to me. 

Anyway, this is today's story. 

Pure happiness! Except... the fact that after drawing my piece I became busy with my life and went to pick up my son from school, shopping, then had my hair done, come back home, put my children to bed and fell asleep with them. I woke up after 11PM and scanned my drawing and started to write this post. My plan for today was to scan the drawing and then paint the original and a few printed copies with different colours. However, since it is so late I don't think I will be able to paint more than one tonight. Also, as I'm writing these words right now in the blogger, I see the message below "Post was not saved due to form errors" so I'm not even sure if I can post it right now? I will try and see what happens, and I will update my post when I finish painting.

I cannot believe I will be here alone for the next two weeks...

I hope you will enjoy your vacation and come back happy and ready to play with me again. I wish you could join us for our unravellers meeting this year, but I know that we will meet (sooner or later) anyway. As you know I've recently met one pretty amazing soul from our tribe and I cannot wait to meet others soon, and I cannot wait to meet you in person too :)

Love :* 



Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Step Thirty Five: More recycled envelope adventures!

Dearest Sylwi,

Today's project was inspired by a couple of things; the journal I made using security envelopes for Step Three (probably my favourite step, so far!) and this paper party hat that I made last year, for my dog's 3rd birthday! *<:-)

The hat has been sitting on my desk for almost a year and I can't bring myself to throw it out. I think it's way too cute for the bin ...(man!) heh heh! 

...on a side note - I did, however, finally throw out the top hat I made for last year's Secret Santa draw!

I've been clinging onto it, desperately trying to think of another use for it. There was none. Other than as a dust collector. So, it went in the bin yesterday :-( Here's hoping I don't suddenly need a top hat for any reason in the next few months (ha ha! as if?!), or it will be back to the drawing (painting, cutting and gluing) board again! ;-) 

Curious to try some more envelope projects, I've been hoarding a stack of those wonderful, security envelopes in my recycled paper pile again!

I know pennant banners are "sooooo last year" :-) but I never actually got around to making any and decided that those little security patterns would be perfect for flags. I also tried one set of bunting with old newspaper.

They look a lot larger in this picture below than they actually are. They're very dinky. I think these would be really cute wound round and round a wrapped gift...

Whilst I was gluing these pennant banners, I thought the idea would transfer well onto a gift tag. So, I went on to try that idea out.

It was a bit fiddly and took way more time than I thought :-) but I eventually worked out an easier way of sewing the individual pennants on - by temporarily securing them in place with masking tape...

Once sewn on, I then glued each little flag shut and ...ta-dah - a bunting gift tag!

I really liked how it turned out, but once it was finished, I started wondering if I'd seen this somewhere before?! Often when I'm free-stylin' with ideas, I start to panic that I'm just recreating something I've already seen on someone's blog... but, I'm not sure! I did a search for bunting gift tags made from old security envelopes, but couldn't find any online... 

Hopefully, I haven't subconsciously pinched someone elses' idea! :-/

I went one step further and added the little left over hearts to the tag...

... and now don't know if I over did it?! :-) Ah well! It was fun to play with! 

I'm on holiday for 2 weeks now, but I'm looking forward to getting back already (how sad?!) :-) to see what you've been up to in the blog house whilst I'm away! 

Have a fantastic weekend with the Flickr girls. Talk lots, hug lots, laugh lots and photo/video it ALL, of course! :-) I'll be thinking of you! 

Lots and lots of love