Monday, August 1, 2011

My Mojo Monthly August - Muse & Use it!


Hello and welcome to another My Mojo Monthly! A place for inspiration, you and your art. Firstly, thank you for being here and all the tremendous support and enthusiasm. It's just brilliant to have so many people calling by, joining the inspiration challenge and sharing their art. Are you ready for another Mojo pick-me-up? Great because creativity is an action and I've got lots for you to read, see and try. Remember I'm here all month - take your time! Whatever your creative passion, I hope to get you thinking, discovering, sharing and enjoying!

I love listening to artists I admire and I’m very proud to introduce My Featured Artist Kim Dellow

I discovered Kim's amazing work through a fab flower tutorial and I really love her eclectic and unique style.

Creative, colourful, textured imagery - it's all happening when Kim is around!

I'm so glad Kim was willing to share some of her thoughts and art with us.

Read on and enjoy...
Who is Kim Dellow in five words?
Inquisitive. Imaginative. Messy. Divergent. Flawed.

Where are you right now as an artist?
Very much at the beginning of my journey! I'm feeling my way inch by inch! I am very new to the field of creative work and have been reading around the subject; it gives me heart to know that just as with anything else, creative work actually comes down to putting in the work and having the drive to do it. 
A lot of us, I know always believed this. Feel that you need to have some amazing talent. Of course it will help if you do have an inclination to the work, but take any of your favourite artists/crafters and know that they started somewhere and they can produce beautiful pieces of work seemingly effortlessly because they have put in the hours and worked hard to get where they are. You learn a lot by absorbing the work that has gone before and it takes time to develop your own voice. I have not found my own voice yet, I hope that one day I can look at the piece I have just finished and be able to say this is who I am.

Which of your creations is closest to your heart?
Usually whatever I am working, I usually go through a few love/hate cycles on my latest projects! Perhaps one of my favourite completed makes at the moment is my poppy made from sweet wrappers. 
I love stitching and paper together and I love manipulating unusual materials, turning them into things you would not expect.

Where do you find inspiration when feeling Mojoless?
Tough one! I would like to say that I spend the first few minutes of everyday working in my journal and I do that from time to time. 
This is an action I really want to make into a habit. I'm working on it. But another thing I like to do is return to my books, read about other artists experiences, there is a comfort in numbers and knowing that you are not alone!

You are going back-packing in the Himalayas for a year and may only take 3 crafting items. Which - and why?
A sketch book, a good pencil, a travel watercolour set (is that a cheat?). I would really love to learn how to draw. I think this would make me do it. The surroundings would be too beautiful not to! If I could sneak in some fabric, thread and a needle... I would love to learn some local embroidery skills as well!
See Kim in Septembers Craft Stamper and Papercraft Essentials UK. Her blog can be found here. Do take a look!

Back at HQ...
Thanks so much Kim! That was a honest and great encouragement to us all. This month I have a bit of a "Muse & Use it!" theme going on. I want to encourage you to be personally inspired not overwhelmed by the creativity out there and see the potential in everyday materials to create usable, touchable and original art. How many of us spend hours creating precious work which ends up in the cupboard? You become attached to your creations, worry they'll be mistreated, caress your last favourite paper, can't sell it (How much? Do you know how long that took me?) But you want to share and give too. So I added my own twist to basic ideas and created three good to go projects with envelopes. 
This is a journal made from envelopes for a young girl. Now I love making those mega gatefold, quadruple layered, 90 page, rear parking albums as much as anybody. But in all honesty both my ethos and time tells me a teenager needs a revamped version. I can put this together in an afternoon, I'm happy to let it go, even if it will be tossed around the bedroom! Use it! The cover is just two large envelopes stuck together. The front is painted with gesso, stencilled with Distress ink, decorated with sewing scraps and paper flowers inspired by Kim's fab tutorial.
On the inside I've used a selection of envelopes just folded or glued on to one another, all layered up in a fun way, stitching them into place. I cut the envelope bottoms off to create a pocket at both ends. I have lined the inside of the flaps for a bit of contrast but further more it's a blank canvas for youthful doodling and girly secrets. Might last 6 months but used and hopefully well-loved! Just thinking... you could also make a very colourful grown-up version too!

The flowers are made from scrap DP and book pages with trimmed upholstery studs for centres. All the machine sewing is decorative. It's all held together with red line tape so you can easily skip the sewing or add fake stitches with a pokey tool and pen. I picked up all the odd envelopes very cheaply from various shops for under £2! Stationers, corner shops, post offices, supermarkets - envelopes galore...if you paint or cover them then just reuse old ones!

Here is card made from a large office envelope. I placed a vintage image behind the window which slightly faded the photo adding to the vintage appeal. Isn't she just stunning? But it would be even more wonderful if it was your own mum for example! I trimmed the envelope to get the right proportions and then stitched,  but again tape and faux stitching would work too...
Minimal decoration as she is the star. A lace scrap, crochet trim and buttons, finished off with a single stamp. I'm a vintage lover and could look at her all day. Just thinking... you could do a really modern version with other images and official envelopes - especially when they have PRIVATE printed at the side! How fun would that be? Looking forward to seeing what you put in them...
Here's a five minute job. The blue spotty paper is the inside of another envelope. I stamped onto it and placed it inside an office envelope. I removed the cellophane window panel this time and again trimmed the card edges. A Wendy Vecchi butterfly, a bit of corner stitching all set onto a card base. Job done!  You can of course use these ideas in many other projects. A hanging, mini book cover, would be just fab in an Art Journal.

Muse Moment...
My dance background, especially choreography, has taught me that good composition is a partnership between substance and skill. Basically the what and why, and the how. It's not how much you know but how you use it that counts. Whether it's a simple or complex project.  If you can only play three chords on the guitar, you can make beautiful music if you choose the right song.
It is so easy to want to impress and put all you know and feel into one piece. Take some quality time to look at your own work and reflect on that of others too. You'll find the pieces that resonate with you are those that are balanced, sincere and creative. A hundred brilliant techniques on one canvas can be impressive but soulless. An overload of badly stamped images all fighting for your attention mean you miss their beauty. Your techniques should support your work not carry it. My stumbling block is wanting to cram in too much. Impressing not personalising. No matter how good they seem, some ideas just need to sit for a while. Everyday I'm learning to come back to myself. To trust my convictions, dare to mess up, make it mine and embrace what I do know...

Challenge, Nice Stuff and Info...
So that's me done. Phew! Where are you at, what moved you this week, what's your take on these ideas...? Which thoughts and creations would you like to share? Remember My Mojo Monthly is about the why and the what! Dare to share your art and inspiration!

I'll be checking in regularly to take a look at your work. Huge congratulations to July's winner Elizabeth for her wonderful anniversary creation. This months Giveaway is a fabulous set of stamps from 7 Gypsies and next month we'll be talking to Jo Firth-Young!

So now it's over to you...!!!

A few guidelines on submitting your work:

- In the spirit of MMM please write a few lines in your post about your creativity and why you want to share your work.
- You are very welcome to share challenge pieces- just tell me a bit about your inspiration.
- Please link directly to your post and not your blog so I can find you.
- Please add a link in your post to My Mojo Monthly - thanks!
- Feel free to take the MMM button for your blog - please do!
- Multiple challenge photos without description will be removed.

I had great fun doing this and really hope you can find something to play with. I'd love to hear back from you and look forward to seeing you and your Mojo in action!

Are you still here? Off you go...there's art to me made!


Kim Dellow said...

WOW Sarah, you have out done yourself! I just love your pieces, stunning! Your work always inspires me :) Thanks for having me along for the ride :) Kimx

Craft Addicts - Tracy Evans said...

I really enjoyed reading about Kim and Kim's pieces ate very inspiring. Love your pieces Satah, really highlights that you can make use of most items to create something unique. Your pieces are so so creative. Thank you. Tracy x

Elizabeth said...

Great post again Sarah, loved the interview...I dashed over to take a peek at Kim's blog, of course, very inspirational. Love your projects, brilliant suggestions for using envelopes in our projects. I particularly love the vintage piece - simple and yet effective. Got to agree with you about fighting the temptation to put too much into a piece - it's so, so easy to go down that path sometimes but I'm working on leaving things out instead. Many thanks for choosing my Industrial Card as the winner for July - I'm so pleased, especially as everyone's work is so beautiful. Sharon Soneff's book might just get me started on the one I've had lying about for eons :) Thanks again, Elizabeth x

Suze Bain said...

Wow Sarah, not only do you create beautiful artwork but you have a beautiful way with words too! Your blog is such an enjoyable read - I'm off now to rummage for envelopes and take a peek at Kim's blog! xx

Kate said...

Great to see Kim here :0) And fab makes Sarah. I love what you have done ....i have millions of evelopes i bought to make books my mojo has been lacking lately i think i might just give it a go now thanks.
Kate x

Dolly Daydreams said...

I love Kim's work and have been following her for a while but it was nice to find a little more about her. Sarah your pieces are inspirational especially the envelope book just perfect. Thanks for an informative and interesting post and can feel a little tingle in the mojo department.


craftytrog said...

A wonderful read Sarah, have you ever thought about writing a book? Your envelope art is very inspiring. Great interview with Kim too, another very talented lady! x

Chris Arlington said...

Very inspiring post! I will try to be more creative and make something to post you.

peggy aplSEEDS said...

well said! this is such a great post, Sarah! i love that envelope project and the inspiration your post provides!

Gini said...

Hi Sarah, I found your blog a couple of days ago and what a wonderful blog experience it is, your work and written style is fabulous, I especially love your Clean and simple cards.
My mojo monthly is such a brilliant invention and a lovely twist on the whole challenge participation. Congratulations on such a wonderful idea and so beautifully executed. Love love love the interviews!
I hope I've entered in the spirit you intended (please do let me know if I've got it wrong though).

donnalouiserodgers said...

righto - will do skipper, I have a crammed schedule, but am determined to be a participant - will linkup a why and what, may not be the mangled moggie though......


Jenny said...

That journal is awesome! I do love a bit of recycling! Such a great idea!

Sandie said...

My mojo is somewhat tired and lagging behind right now, but loving what you do again and hope to make an envelope album. I'm in awe of the one you show here - I love pockets and using the everyday in new ways. I hope to get cracking and blog my efforts soon! Thanks for the inspiration - just what I needed to get me going.

Debbie said...

Awesome art Sarah! Love them all! Fabulous ideas.

Spyder said...

Fabulous Art, love it

Linda Coughlin, the funkie junkie said...

Super mojo starter again this month, Sarah. I love the idea of making usable art - too much of mine just sits around, not earning it's keep. Terrific inspiration here from Kim and from you. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction!


Ohhh Snap said...

Woot! I actually got it posted this month :D. Great interview! And I love the Muse It or Lose It theme.

Elizabeth said...

Hi Sarah, made it, just! It's not that I wasn't inspired by MMM this month, just finding the time was difficult as my DH is none too well and I've been plittering around with other projects. Love the interview with Kim and thought your pieces were just gorgeous. I was chuffed to bits to receive the blue butterfly card along with the book, my winnings from last month. It's now on my display whatnot for me to enjoy. Looking forward to tomorrow to see what you have in store for us. Elizabeth x

Michelle Gregory said...

i love the envelope book. great inspiration.

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