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Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

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Today a book review with a difference. I wanted a book to inspire me, to lift me through strife n stress and perhaps help me to view the world in a different, less negative way. A book to inspire me to create art and heal my heart. This one is working.

365 Tao; Daily Meditations

365 Tao; Daily Meditations

  • Title: 365 Tai; Daily Meditations
  • Author: Deng Ming-Dao
  • Publisher: Harper Collins
  • ISBN: 978-0-06-250223-0

My Reason for Buying

Do you ever feel like the world spins to fast, do you ever fall off. However fast you go the world just gets faster and its harder and harder to keep up. As I said at the start I wanted a ‘thought for the day’ kind of book, one to inspire me to create and the feel differently about the day to day stresses that I struggle to cope with. I tell you this as often a review is based on how well the book lived up to the expectations of its reader, for their purpose ;)

Content

Each day there is a ‘word for the day’ It has an accompanying poem and explanation along with an ideogram a nice calligraphic touch.

Pros/Cons

Pros

  • Love the short nature of each page, but there is plenty to contemplate by the words and meanings inferred in each entry.
  • I found the words both supporting and thought provoking
  • Available in Kindle or Paperback so you can choose your format.
  • Easier to understand than some books I’ve looked at on the subject

Cons

Not really a con, just be aware  that if at first you don’t understand the explanation, re read the page a few times during the day. It can feel like a chat with Yoda (No offence meant) and you can be left thinking ‘Whats that about'; but when you mull it over more it sinks in better. Its rather nice that you can take your own inference to what is being said rather than being ‘told’ to do or think a particular way so I very much enjoyed this book.

Value for Money

Excellent

Would I buy it Again?

Yes, I’m finding the print a little small and fine for my dyslexia and I can see me buying this on the Kindle format as well.

Summing up

Highly recommend this book, it is everything I hoped it would be and more. If you are struggling with the modern world, sometimes what you need is not to run harder and faster but to stop and listen. Make a cup of tea etc sit down quietly and read a page a day. If you are stressed out, searching but you know not what for, then this book is for you. I can see this book inspiring art work in the future but for right now I’m enjoying the peace each page is bringing by allowing me to find a different meaning to day to day feelings and circumstances.

De-stress and inspire a new way to look at the world with this book.

Links

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Today a review of; Yoga for the Brain Zentangle cards original Edition. I liked the relaxation mentioned about Zentangle but the book I had just wasn’t fun, nor inspiring. I’d seen these cards on TV so thought I’d try them instead. If you want to learn to Zentangle but don’t have a lot of time and space, these cards might be for you. Here is how I got on with them.

Yoga for your brain, Zentangle cards

Yoga for your brain, Zentangle cards

Product Details

  • Yoga for your Brain Original Edition Tangle Cards
  • Manufacturer/Brand; Design Originals
  • Item number: No 3479. ISBN: 978-1-57421-356-0
  • RRP at time of writing: £7.99

Pros/Cons

Pros

  • Compact and portable.
  • I like the size; 6.3 cm W x 8.8 H
  • Self storing within the box
  • I like each design has its own card
  • There is space for you to add a number or letter to the design so you can organize them in a way to suit your needs
  • The design desire is a personal thing, but I really liked the designs on these cards

Cons

  • Haven’t really got any, a niggle perhaps; see Build quality below

Build Quality

The box is superb, sturdy card and glossy. It would last well if you were carrying it around with your or giving it to younger members of the family for them to try Zentangle. The cards are also printed on a sturdy cardstock, I’d have liked rounded corners to be kinder on hands but that’s being picky.

As has been mentioned in reviews on Amazon the cards are not laminated or glazed. This reduces eye strain but given they are a deck of cards, they don’t easily slide over each other like decks of cards usually do. Making them a little tricky to get hold of, but my dexterity isn’t great.

Value for Money

Good. You get 40 designs to copy around the same as in books, there is a book of the same title but I haven’t seen it to say if the content is the same or different. There are about 9 cards at the front with some tips for basic steps for how to Zentangle but nothing too heavy that would put you off.

Would I buy it Again?

Yes, I really like the card deck layout for patterns and would favour collecting designs this way rather than a book.

Summing up

These really worked for me. They are catchy, addictive, portable and the sort of size you could have next to you as you copied the design. I liked them a lot. After my experience with another Zentangle book, I had thought it wasn’t for me, yes the creation of the patterns was very relaxing but I wasn’t in love with any of the designs in the OTHER book and it put me off a bit.

The patterns in this deck I liked, which got me hooked and I can see why people get so excited about it. It IS very relaxing and meditative to create the patterns. If you don’t enjoy the whole ‘card has to be x size, draw dots in each corner, doodle a line then fill in with a different pattern in each section’ rules n regulations that Zentangle has around it, then these cards liberate you from that.

Life’s too short for too many rules, just grab a notebook and copy the patterns on these cards, in a comfy chair with some relaxing music on and you will be a chilled happy bunny in no time. Its engaging enough to stop your mind being distracted by stress and worry and repetitive enough that you quickly get in to the swing of the pattern and just draw. Several of these designs would make great boarders or for bookmarks not just all over page designs.

I highly recommend these cards, even and especially if other Zentangle products haven’t done it for you. Great for long car journeys or while waiting in a waiting room etc or on holiday when  you don’t want to be carrying too much stuff but want to create.

The only other thing you need is a 0.1 micron pen and some decent paper, but if you haven’t got that a decent fine-liner and a notebook and you are away. For younger kids I’d use a regular pen as the 0.1 pen is so fine they are likely to snap it off with too much hand pressure. If you get into it, add a soft lead pencil and paper stump to add more dimension to your designs with shading.

Links

Yoga for your Brain Amazon UK great price as ever.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

Today I’d like to share an altered box art project.

Altered art: stamped box

Altered art: stamped box

DH was going to put this in the bin when it was a plain cardboard box. I rescued it and altered it using The Birdsong Collection of stamps from Clear Impressions that were on Creative Stamping magazine.

  • Paints: were W&N Galeria in powder blue
  • Inks: Tsukeniko Versafine in Smokey Grey, Vintage sepia and Black

To tone down the stamping and help it fade into the background I went over it with watered down gesso.

Here is the inside of the box

Altered art: stamped box- the inside

Altered art: stamped box- the inside

Hope you like it as much as I do, it looks very pretty on the desk, waiting to be filled with inspirational quotes or ATCs.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Here is a picture of a recent Zentangle I drew.

Getting Tangled with Zentangle

Getting Tangled with Zentangle

I’m learning to Zentangle to help me relax and the principle of doing something repetitively and with no pressure works. The book I’m using is;

One Zentangle a Day book.

One Zentangle a Day book.

Not getting along overly well with it, there are a lot of tangles in it and it has more wording than I’ve seen on previews of other Zentanlge books on Amazon preview, but I’m not sure how and when to turn the card, so kinda winging it. I also get the feeling that the style show in the way it is in the book puts pressure on and leads you to over think things a bit.

I have really enjoyed Tiffany’s tutorials on Zentangle on You Tube as you see the tangle created and are then able to use the design show in a more freestyle way. Have to say I’m on the fence about Zentangle, the relaxation part works but as yet haven’t created something that I ‘love’ at the other end. Maybe because I’m still learning. There seem to be a lot of ‘rules’ about Zentangle which to me flies in the face of it being a calming thing. But hey, I guess The Tea ceremony and calligraphy are also zen like activites and they too have a set way of doing things, so maybe it isn’t so strange.

Do you tangle? Would love to see what you have drawn, there seems to be a wide range of ways people use this art form. If you have found any great tutorial sites do let me know and I’ll try and add them to the Art tab at the top of the blog.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Would you like to see where I create? I’m everso nosey and love a look round the internet to see how others organize their creative spaces, so today I’ll share a picture of my studio. Its during a project so there’s STUFF everywhere ;)

In the studio; my work desk, paint everywhere hehe

In the studio; my work desk, paint everywhere hehe

To the right of this is, more cupboard space and what was drying area..before I covered it in other stuff oops

In the studio; the right hand side of the room

In the studio; the right hand side of the room

Its no good I refuse to show you the other side of the room, its a mess! Yup worse than these two sides. Its an orgazined mess, in that there are things I’ve made, and stuff for making things, mostly in boxes but it looks like a horders dumping ground (which it kinda is) but I’m too ashamed to put that pic out there {blushes}

Instead a close up of the ATC project I was working on at the time I took these pictures, check out my ‘new to me’ paint colours, pastel! Yes I’m still in shock too, they are very nice but I’m still getting used to what to do with them and what colours they will play nicely with.

In the studio: A close up of the creative space

In the studio: A close up of the creative space

Hope you have enjoyed a look round my studio, maybe I’ll post some more pics soon of after the tidy up ;) Holler if you want to see the ‘after’ pictures hehe.

Where do you create? Love a nosey round studios online, go on show us your studio pics and maybe we can have our own little blog hop, post your craft room pics in a blog post and link up in your comments below.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

 

 

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I started a new mixed media painting recently, here is how it looks so far.

Mixed media painting

Mixed media painting

Not sure what to do next, I’m thinking more texture and some darker tones in there, but I’m liking the tranquil colours that are already there. I want to add some thing to the left, perhaps a longer written quote. I’ve set it aside for now to see if a quote comes to me that I want to add.

Any advice for where to go next with this, play nice, don’t want to hear bin it thank you ;)

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

In this weeks class I’ll show a simple way to turn your favourite acrylic colours metallic with just a few new additions to your palette.

Make your Palette metallic with Winsor & Newton Galeria; Metallic colours

Make your Palette metallic with Winsor & Newton Galeria; Metallic colours

Links

Mixed Media Workshop: Lesson 9 Make your Palette Metallic.

Now you know how, what will you create with your new extended palette? Hope you are enjoying this series, do let me know in your comments.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

 

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