Sometime last fall, I was inspired to create the "BeYou-tiful" sign, above. It's not a completely original idea, as I saw the word spelled this way and being sold as a wall plaque in a catalog, but it was all written in plain black text. Around the same time, I saw a birthday card with the word YOU on the cover, decorated and adorned with other descriptive words as it is here. I decided to combine the two into an inspirational message for my daughters. I think the bathroom might be a good place to hang it, but I'll have to find a place where it will stay dry! I originally used colored fabric markers to write the words inside the word YOU, but then went back and stitched them all by hand. It took a little longer, but I think it was worth the trouble. Here is a close up so you can see a little more detail:
It turns out that exploring the use of text in my art was one of my goals for 2013, so I managed to achieve that one just in time!
Continuing along those lines, I also made the wooden plaque, below. If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know that this summer, we reclaimed some wasted space in the backyard and created a lovely shade garden. I've seen plaques like this on the web and in catalogs, but when I wanted to buy one, I couldn't find one I liked. Since I'd been thinking about getting a wood-burning tool, I decided to pick one up and make my own garden sign. This tool is made by Walnut Hollow and comes with many different tips for creating all kinds of burned wood art. Of course, it takes practice, and practice takes time (which I never seem to have enough of) so I don't know if I'll ever get good at it, but at least I can do rudimentary projects like this. I need to coat it with some kind of preservative before I place it somewhere in the new garden, probably where it can be seen from one of the seats.
As we end the old year and begin the new, it's time to think about the direction we're headed. Among my Christmas gifts this year were some books on art journaling. In the first one, Art Journaling for Beginners by Rachel Ramey, she defines an art journal as "a journal that incorporates both words (journaling, writing) and images." Since that's something I've been wanting to do more of, maybe practicing in a personal journal is the way to start. I can make all the mistakes I want, and I don't have to share it with anyone! For the last two days, I've doodled a little in the journal in the photo, using my new Inkjoy pens. I'm not used to having a journal with me all the time and one of my excuses for not journaling has been that it's downstairs while I'm upstairs or vice versa. Maybe I'll have two or three of them - upstairs, downstairs, and one in the car for waiting at appointments! Now I just have to work it into my schedule somewhere (first thing in the morning? last thing before bed?). After I get warmed up bit and begin making it a habit, I hope to try some of the ideas in Pam Carriker's Creating Art at the Speed of Life, the other book I got.
Have a safe and happy New Year's Eve!