Thursday, June 2, 2011

Je t'adore

You might have noticed I've been missing for a few months here in Blogland. I've had some personal things to deal with, and these left me (in my mind) no room to scrap or blog. For a while there I was totally numb. At one point, I feared I would never be able to get back into my scrapping, but gradually, the longing for scrapping came back, and I'm hoping it's back to stay. I would like to thank Shazza, my "ARTastic design team Boss" for her patience and understanding. I don't know many people who would have reacted like you did, you're a sweetheart Shazza!!!

Speaking of ARTastic, our new challenge is up, and as always I'm hoping to see some familiar friendly faces between the participants! The inspiration for this month's challenge is the beautiful Edouard Manet painting "Argenteuil". The critiria are:
* Two people in the picture
* Used striped pp
* Use a boat somewhere on the LO

For my DT submission, I knew immidiately which picture I wanted to use ... one of my two oldest children with my daughter giving her older brother a look of total adoration. I've been in love with this picture forever and always will be.

Isn't that look something? Mind you, they were 4 and 5 years old in that picture ... now, almost 7 years later, we hardly see that look on either one of their faces anymore. But ooh, sweet memories :-)

The use of striped pp had me worried there for a while. I'm not used to using striped pp and I hardly have any in my stash. But once I had decided to not use it as a background but use it to create some feature elements, in this case the hearts, it all came together beautifully.

I actually used real sand on this LO, but later covered most of it with my papers. Still, the effect in real life hasn't been lost, it looks kinda neat! The background has been painted in different shades of blue and I added some tissue papers to create some texture as well. My main concern was to keep the focus on the picture, which is why I used a light music sheet paper as the background for the pic. Still, I couldn't resist adding a bold red title and some other fun elements. I'm quite happy with the result though.


I never posted last month's ARTastic challenge, nor did I post the LO I made for that challenge yet. This one is very dear to me, it features my grandmother who died about 3 weeks after this picture of her holding my youngest daughter Christina was taken.

My mom and I believe she held on just long enough to see the baby. Though she hadn't been sick and her death came as a surprise, we later on discovered she had lost the will to live after my granddad had died a year earlier. Seeing Christina seemed to have been the only thing she found worthwile enough to hang on just that little bit longer.

This was the firsts LO I made after my absence, and I kept it fairly simple to get the hang of it again. Still, it turned out just the way I wanted it to.


Since I'm back into my scrapping, it won't be long till I start visiting your blogs again. I've actually started reading some of my friends' blogs, but I'm sure you can imagine I have a lot of catching up to do! It's worth it though, I've missed reading all of your stories and seeing your beautitul work.
So, I'll be seeing you soon!

xxx Peggy

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I'm so behind!!! I still need to show you this month's challenge over at Artastic, and it's a beauty!!!! I picked out the painting myself, and of course I had to choose one of our very own Belgian painter, born right here in Antwerp, Pieter Paulus Rubens.

The criteria this month are:
The LO must be about you.
Add wings somewhere on the LO.
Use a mirror image or use the same image of you multiple times.

For my submission I made a double LO, mostly because I had all these beautiful Graphic45 papers I so wanted to use!

I've spent the last month or so trying to sort out and scanning old pictures of my childhood, an absurd number of pictures which will keep me busy for many months to come!!! Anyway, looking at these pictures reminded me once again I'm not getting any younger and more and more I find myself thinking back to those younger days. Like my journaling says, which on both pages are lyrics of the song "It's five o'clock" by Demis Roussos, I feel that time has passed me by to quickly. When did I lose track?? Sometimes I look in the mirror and still expect a young girl to stare back at me ... gives me quite a scare sometimes when my actual reflection appears LOL. The black and white picture is me when I was 16 years old, the other pics were taken a few months ago. I thought the contrast in pics would be a good way to remind myself I'm as young/old as I feel, not as I look.

I've actually been working in my art journal as well, but I'll keep that for my next post. In the meantime, I hope you'll all find some time to join are Artastic challenge, I would love to see you participate!

xxx Peggy

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all my blogging friends! May all of your wishes and hopes come true!
I started out the new year by scrapping. Next week hubby will be home, so I won't have much time to scrap then as we're planning to take out the kids and do some fun stuff. So, to make up for next week in advance, I've pretty much done nothing in the house these last few days but scrap LOL.

I'll start off by showing you my DT submission for this month's challenge over at Artastic. The inspiration came from Renoir's "Luncheon of the Boating Party".

I didn't follow the painting this month, just the criteria, which are:
  1. Scrap a celebration
  2. Three or more people in the layout
  3. Food somewhere in the layout
I decided to scrap a celebration of meeting/making new friends. Last summer, I got to meet my sweet online friends Jenneke and Jeanet, and we had a wonderful day shopping for scrap supplies, talking, laughing and just getting to know each other. I so enjoyed meeting them, and I wanted my page to reflect that happy feeling. So, I chose happy colours and a happy design.

My "happy" design turned out a bit childish ... Christina, my youngest daughter, who normally adores just about everything I make, asked if it was finished already LOL. She thought it to be "empty" and not exactly "true to my own style". She might be right, but I really do love it more and more each time I look at it. This page takes me back to a wonderful day and makes me smile ... and isn't that really all it's supposed to do?

It looks like a simple page, but it actually took quite some work. I outlined every little thing with my black marker, even my hambly embellies (flowers and butterflies), and in fact they do look rather pretty outlined like that. The white scallops took 3 coats of paint (!!!) before having the desired effect. The title was hand drawn and coloured in with regular markers. Still, all worth the effort to me.

Onto something else ... one of my favorite bloggers of all time is Julie Fei-Fan Balzer. Not only do I love her work, her blog is interesting to read as well and she often shares step by step instructions, which is always fun to watch. Last month, she wrote a few posts about art journaling in which she called out for people to join her in her resolution to "art journal every day". Now I thought long and hard about joining, because I've made resolutions to art journal before, and I always fail to keep it up. Still, I had decided for myself to start art journaling again in 2011, but what really persuaded me was her concept. You don't have to finish a page a day, it really doesn't matter how many pages a year you finish ... all Julie's suggesting is working in your art journal for 10 minutes a day. Start on a page, and add a little something every day... I like that idea! Over 200 people have signed up already, if you want to join as well, you can do so here.

Yesterday I started and completed my cover page. I'm using one of my children's old story books, just because I liked the size of it and it saved me a trip to the shops and kept my money in my pocket :-). The pages are kinda shiny, which worried me a bit, but once I gessoed over them, it worked like a charm! For my cover page, I was inspired by Marit and Lena. Both women are masters in collaging, something which doesn't come easy for me. I've tried before but all my attempts ended up in the bin. Yesterday, I tried again ... here's the result:

I so love the result! I decided not to try too hard, which seemed to have done the trick to finally be able to complete a page like this! I started out modestly ... the head and body don't belong to each other, but they easily could, which they are not supposed to I think. The collage isn't all that obvious, which is why I drew her legs, because even the legs I chose matched the rest of the girl perfectly LOL. I'm sure I'll get better at it if I keep trying, and I will, because it's just so much fun! Obviously this took me more than 10 minutes, but that's okay too. I'll just work in this journal whenever I feel like it, whenever I have some spare time. I'll be fun trying out new techniques in this book without being afraid if it will "match" the rest of the page. This book will be just for me and me only. Can you tell I'm excited about this??

I chose Ralph Waldo Emerson's quote to start off the new year: "To be yourself in world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment". I guess you could say this is my new year's resolution: to try and stay true to myself, but also trying to be the best version of myself. This could possibly include quitting smoking, losing weight, exercising more and so on, but not necessarily. I've tried all of those things before, without result, and I don't feel like setting myself up for failure this year round. I just want to do the best I can, to be the best version possible of who I am right now. That shouldn't be too hard now should it LOL.

I actually started working in this book last year, but I only made one spread about the first week of september (told you I never keep up with these things!!!). But, keeping in the spirit of this book being just for me and for trying out new things, I also did a page prompted by a challenge over at GPP Street Team. The prompt was to make a page just by using a credit card or something to smear out paint, no brushes allowed. I was so surprised by the result, it actually turned out pretty nice:

Haha, I don't know if you can tell, but I tried to make flowers in the foreground and a sky and two trees in the background. And I didn't decide on that untill after quite a few layers ... So this is just layer over layer over layer smeared out paint with an old credit card. Pretty amazing that you can actually make something recognizable that way, isn't it? I'm just leaving it like this in my journal, I don't feel the need to journal over it. I thought about it, which is why I hadn't posted it yet, but decided against it.

With the access paint of this page, I smeared paint all over the next page, just randomly, and yesterday I added a yellow surface. So now the page looks a little like this:

Not impressed??? Well neither am I at this point. But this is the background of my new art journal page. I have absolutely no idea what I'll be doing with it next, but I'm excited to find out LOL!

Have a wonderful first week of the New Year my friends!

xxx Peggy

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Don't mess around with me

The december challenge over at From Screen to Scrap was a beauty!! This month's inspiration came from the poster "The Nightmare before Christmas", and I was able to cover all 7 criteria yeah me!!

This is my youngest daughter Christina, showing me some attitude... I thought these pictures were just perfect for this challenge. I drew and painted most of the criteria, like the melon, the swirls, my Jack and the "scary" tree (which turned out more huggable than scary LOL). The fence was something I kept from a birthday cake (nothing's save from a scrapper!!!) and the web is stitched.

I've spent ages thinking about a suitable title. Whenever I looked at her expression, this Elvis song "Trouble" (out of the King Creole movie) came into my head. So finally I decided to use a line from this song: "Don't mess around with me". I've included the video for those of you who don't know the song ... this is the period in his life where he was rather yummy to look at, just saying...

I started this LO the moment it was posted on the FSTS site, and my embellies were drawn and painted and papers were chosen in a nick of time ... still, I was only able to finish the page yesterday! December has been hectic!!!! I'm just one of those people who need a lot of time to scrap in peace...

Today however I took the day off and scrapped and listened to music all day long!!! My friend Marit is having an everyday post this week filled with Top 2000 related layouts/art journal pages, and I decided to play along. There's still two days left, so if you feel like playing along, just visit her blog for the details and to look at the submissions up till now, they're all so gorgeous! I'll post mine tomorrow, when I have some daylight to take a pic.

So, untill tomorrow

xxx Peggy

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Artastic December Challenge

Another month has gone by ... I can't believe it's december already ... Christmas is just a few weeks away. Time sure flies! Another month, another challenge over at the Artastic blog, and this one sure is a challenge!!! I struggled with it a bit at first. We were to draw inspiration from Botticelli painting "The Mystical Nativity".

I know, it's a tough one!!! And if this wasn't hard enough, here are the criteria which you should try to work into your LO:

  • A stable (1 point)
  • Angel(s) (2 points)
  • Gold embossing (3 points)
It took me quite some time to get a clear image in my head of what I wanted to do, but once I did, it came together beautifully (whole page of the sneak peeks I showed you earlier)

The picture shows my 1 month old son (picture taken 11 years ago) and our German Shepherd Jenny, who passed away several years ago. She was extremely protective of my kids, and this picture means a lot to me. It really shows her wonderful and kind nature.

I painted a "brick structure" - which represents the stable - as the background. I first drew the outlines of the wall, covered the inside with gel medium, and put ordinary sand over it. After letting it dry completely, I painted over it with acrylic paints. The sand really gives it a "bricklike" texture. Here's a close up:

I copied the angel from an image by a very talented artist named DJ, you can find her blog here and here's the work I copied the angel from:

Isn't that just gorgeous!???!!! Thank you so much DJ for letting me use your image, I appreciate it.

The texture of the wings (and also the hair) was once again done with mere gel medium and a palette knife. I just smeared a lot of gel medium inside the drawn lines, and used the palette knife to create some distinct lines. Once it was dry, I gave it a ground colour and later on dry brushed over it with white acrylic paint. Because of the "lines", only the top is covered completely with white, still showing the underlying colour. This really is a wonderful technique to add some texture to a page, it looks fantastic, it really does, and it's so easy!!

And I used stamps on my LO!!! Yeah me!!! Those of you who have been reading my blog, know that although I love the look of stamps on a page, I myself am terrified of stamping. And stamping now reminded me of why again. The first stamp I used was the one on the left hand/bottom side of my picture. I placed it too much over the photo and it turned out too dark!! After my heart stopped racing at 200 beats a minute, I frantically began to dry brush gesso over it, to tone it down a bit. Thankfully, it kind of worked, though I'm still not too happy with the result. As if I hadn't done enough damage, I decided to use my new stamp (oh yes, I don't let my fear of stamps stop me from buying them LOL) on the right hand side of the picture. I inked up my stamp, more or less tried to position it where I wanted it to be, and ... it fell out of my hand, ink faced down!!!!!! Hence the smears on the top of my pic. Now my heart stopped beating alltogether!! After settling down from the shock, I gave it another try though, and I'm quite happy with that attempt. Will I be stamping again any time soon ... I think so, I'm kind of a stubborn girl :-)))
All in all, no matter how hard a challenge might seem at first, if you set your mind to it, you might just create something you really love. So why not give it a try??!! We all have some angels to scrap, don't we? I look forward to seeing you try... Be sure to visit the Artastic blog to see my fellow DT members' take on this challenge!

Christina scrapped!!!

I'll leave you with a LO my youngest daughter Christina made. She wanted to document her comfort blanket from when she was a toddler and how she used to be a thumbsucker...

She managed to use just about all of the bling I own on one single page LOL. As is typical for Christina, she asked me what I would do, and then did the entire thing her own way LOL. However, she did it all on her own, didn't ask for help once, and I think it turned out great! Not bad for an 8 year old, right???

Talk to you later
xxx Peggy

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sometimes it just "clicks"

In my last post I showed you some pics of when I met some of my online friends. My favourite pics of that day would have to be the ones of Marit and me. I liked her the minute she started waving at me, still sitting in the car but recognizing me instantly. She got out of the car, gave me a big kiss, told me she first had to do something and shoved her bag in my hands and told me to hang on to it until she got back LOL. I guess that's the moment I fell in love ,-) It all felt so natural ... she didn't feel like someone I had just met, she felt like some long lost friend I finally got to meet again. And to me, the pictures that Jenneke took of us while we were standing outside having a smoke really show how well we connected. As soon as I saw these pictures, my hands started itching to make a LO. I don't think I've ever scrapped pictures this fast. I normally wait at least a few months, because I find that after some time, the pics that seemed great to me at first, aren't always the same pics I want to use to tell a story. I hope you like it Marit!

It's a simple LO, I know! I could have finished this one in half an hour if I hadn't stared at it all afternoon thinking I really should add some kind of technique, some kind of feature item to make it somewhat "special". However, my best friend Vicky, who spent the afternoon scrapping with me, told me not all LO's have to be difficult, and I guess she's right. So Marit, because it's a LO of you, I wanted to honour you and make it more of an artsy LO, but ... fate decided otherwise. I told you all once before that once I start scrapping, the outcome of the LO seems out of my control, and this one was no different.

I used Picknik to edit my pictures and give it this green/yellowish look which I totally love ... thanks Jenneke for recommending it, it's so easy to use and the results are stunning! I guess it's because the pics turned out so vibrant that I didn't feel like adding too much colour anymore.

Now, you might not see the resemblance right away, but I started out from this sketch for the Artful Delight November challenge:

Once I started playing with all of the different elements, they all changed place a bit, but they are still there. I used three photo's in stead of 6 blocks, placed the paper originally at the bottom on the left hand side, and used the shape of the round flower to make my title (which says "Sometimes it just clicks" btw - and oops, for the dutchies: I just noticed I miss a 't' ... ah well, too late to do anything about that now!!). I haven't worked with sketches all that much, so I don't know of this is "allowed" or not, but it seemed rather funny to me how you can start from one point and head over in an entire different direction. Still, the sketch really helped me create my take on the design, and I think I will begin to use sketches more often from now on.

Off to make another LO ... so glad my will to create is back again!!!

xxx Peggy

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A sneak peek and some fun pics...

Hi ladies,
I don't have anything new to show you yet. I did just finish my december LO for the new Artastic Challenge, but you'll have to wait another week or so to see that one. I'll show you just a little peek...

I used some cool techniques on this LO, so be sure to keep an eye out for my next post ;-)))

And just a little reminder, you still have some days left to enter our Artastic November Challenge, which you can find here. It's an easy one so why not give it a shot?!!!

Last Sunday, Marit, Jenneke, Vicky, Petra and I all met in Heesch for a fun day of shopping, talking, laughing, ... I wanted to share some pics with you.

Marit, me, Petra and Jenneke (pic taken by Vicky)

Marit and I shared quite a few laughs ... she's such a sweetheart!! (pics taken by Jenneke)

All of us, including my best friend Vicky, at the Chinese restaurant, the end of a perfect day!

Thanks ladies, I so enjoyed that day and I loved meeting all of you. I'm already looking forward to our next meeting!

xxx Peggy