A Visit From The Ancestors
This page in my art journal was made using scrapbook papers, fabrics, chalk, paper lace, and a metal embellishment.
A while ago I was given some quilt fabrics. There were several black pieces with designs of silver stars and swirls, and were perfect for including in this project.
The All Hallow’s Eve scrapbook paper is from Graphic 45’s Time to Flourish collection.
The ancestor pictures are from Kaisercraft’s Betsy’s Couture collection.
The picture of the haunted house is from The Graphics Fairy, which is a great resource for free vintage images, crafting ideas and tutorials.
I love that in my art journal I can tell a story in pictures rather than words.
Recently my dear Aunty Jo passed away, aged 80 years old. She was a very close member of our family and is dearly missed by us all.
Very skilled at handcrafts, she was seldom seen without her knitting at her side. When we were little, she would knit us beautiful cardigans and jerseys, and make lovely clothes for our dolls. She embroidered tablecloths, and stitched tapestries that adorned the walls of her home. In later years she learned to quilt and made each of us beautiful patchwork quilts for our beds. It was she who inspired me to take up quilting, a hobby I quickly became hooked on. Right up until the last few months of her life, Josephine was knitting clothes for the prem babies at our local hospital, and blankets for the orphans in Romania.
I wanted to honour Aunty Jo’s memory by creating pages that reflected her love of crafts. I used vintage doilies, lace, and buttons that once belonged to her. The photographs are layered with patchwork fabrics, and the page borders hand stitched with embroidery floss from her stash of cottons. The little purple rings holding the inchies to the photographs are stitch markers used in knitting.
I love seeing her in the old, black and white photographs showing the styles of the times.
Her warm personality and sense of humour clearly shine through.
At the beginning of this year, I started a new art journal. I’m using a sketchbook that I bought last year—I just love the cover!
Inside, I created a title page. I painted the background and stamped on random shapes using bubble wrap, corrugated cardboard and a cardboard tube. Then I glued down pictures cut from scrapbook cardstock and cards.
I journaled my goals for the year—nothing too adventurous, just simple things like gardening, writing and crafts. Oh, and most importantly, adopt a dog! Then, throughout the year, I am going to journal about the things that make me happy, the things that make up my everyday life. It might be places that I visit, things I’ve seen, a book I’ve enjoyed, or flowers that are blooming in my garden.
By the end of the year my journal will be filled with thoughts and imaginings, photographs, drawings, clippings, stickers, and anything else I might want to put in there. It will be like a scrapbook, a way for me to creatively document my year, and at the end of the year I will have a colourful journal of memories.
This is a scrappy collage page I made of our recent visit to Wellington. Although we were only there a couple of days, we tried to fit in as much as we could. We went to the Andy Warhol exhibition at Te Papa, and to the Gregory Crewdson exhibition at the City Gallery, which included photographs from his Beneath the Roses series portraying the dark heart of contemporary Americana, as well as photos from his Sanctuary and Fireflies works. We visited our favourite bookshops and art & craft shops, went for a morning stroll along Queen’s Wharf, and had dinner at our favourite waterfront restaurant.
This is one of my favourite photos of Cody, full of the joys of autumn, running through fallen leaves.
A while ago when my mother was having a clear-out, she gave me an old flower press and some pressed flowers that she had pressed many years ago, some of which still lay between the pages of old telephone books. She knew that I could find a use for them in my craft projects. They are great for making cards and bookmarks, for embellishing scrapbook pages, and for using in mixed media art.
I decided to paint the top of the flower press to add a bit of colour.
I have been experimenting with flowers from my garden, learning which ones press well and which ones keep their colour. I’ve found that oranges and yellows seem to hold their colour well, as do mauves and violets, but pinks will often fade to nothing, and reds will sometimes change to a brown colour. When I go for walks, I collect interesting ferns, grasses and leaves that I think will press well. Below is a variety of flowers and foliage picked from my garden.
I placed the flowers and leaves between sheets of blotting paper, building up layers. It’s a good idea to label them as you go, as it is easy to forget what they are when you go back to them several weeks later. They should be left for at least two weeks, although thicker plants may take up to six weeks. Of course, you don’t have to use a flower press. Placing the flowers between sheets of blotting paper, then putting them between the pages of a book with something heavy on top, such as a pile of books, will work just as well.
The calendula and lobelia held their colour well as you can see from this bookmark. The cute little feverfew flowers added some nice texture.
My grandmother always loved flowers and gardening, and all the homes she lived in had beautiful gardens. She did the flowers for her church for many years, providing flowers from her own garden, and also ran the flower stall at the church fairs. The pressed flowers that I used on this scrapbook page are ones that my mother pressed more than twenty years ago. Amazingly they have held their colour for all those years, and made a wonderful embellishment for my grandmother’s page.