Life, Mixed media, Taking Stock

Taking Stock – November 2016

I follow a pretty clever cookie online by the name of Pip Lincoln. Her blog, Meet Me at Mikes is one I love to read, it’s kinda like catching up with an old friend. I know a lot about Pip from reading her books and her blog and it seems like we are friends, if only the virtual kind! Although, I did get to meet her ages ago when she popped up to Brisbane to speak at a BrisStyle event, which was very cool!

Anyway, Pip has this fabulous way of stopping and checking in about where she is at in life, so I thought I’d take a cue from her and take stock at the beginning of November 2016. The last few months have been crazy busy, the kind of busy where you don’t quite get to catch your breath but I wouldn’t change a minute of them! But I don’t think I’ll plan two big, European holidays in the space of four months again.

Just in case you are interested, Pip has a fabulously awesome online blogging course and at the moment you can get two courses bundled at a super cheap discount – she is diving into writing a new book soon so these classes will be retired so this is the last chance to join in if you are so inclined. Her courses come with a wonderfully supportive Facebook group as well.

So, let’s take stock for November –

A girl from the art journal started in Italy
A girl from the art journal started in Italy

Making : finishing pages in my Italy retreat journal

Drinking : endless cups of Madura tea

Reading : A new one by my favourite author – Nora Roberts. Stars of Fortune is the first novel in her new Guardians trilogy.

Wanting : nothing at all! It’s almost Christmas & I’ve had two overseas holidays in the past few months so I think I’m sorted.

Playing : constant games of ball with Zed

Deciding : on a word for 2017.

Enjoying : lunch with my bestie for her birthday

Waiting : for Summer to be over already

Liking : my new short haircut!

Loving : my family

Robyn Wood Purple Salt www.purplesalt.net
Can’t wait to see Sydney Harbour again!

Pondering : a list of sights to see when Chris and I travel to Sydney at the end of November

Considering : my word for 2017.  Adventure has worked pretty well for me this year

Watching : catch up episodes of the TV I missed while in Italy

Hoping : that Summer isn’t too hot

Marveling : at the changes Summer is bringing to our local area

Needing : a good sleep

Smelling : the changes of Spring to Summer

Feeling : sad. My father-in-law passed away last week

Thinking : of a life well lived. Noel lived life to the full, travelled the world with his family and pursued his passions of work, family and the church. Taken too soon but I don’t think he wasted a second of life.

Admiring : the beautiful horses in the Melbourne Cup

Pelican - Minnippi Parklands
Pelican – Minnippi Parklands

Sorting : the 512 photos I took at the Canon photo session at Minnippi Parklands. It was so good to have a camera in my hand while watching the world pass by for an afternoon. This gorgeous pelican had a particular charm as he sauntered around, hoping for food.

Buying : plane tickets to Sydney

Getting : organized for the next few months of classes and card kits

Disliking : the heat

Opening : the mail. Urgh…only bills this week!

Our beautiful girl Paige
Our beautiful girl Paige

Giggling : at the crazy ways a whippet can be comfortable

Snacking : on potato chips

Coveting : new craft supplies

Wishing : I get selected for the new design team with Jane Davenport – talk about dream come true!

Hearing : the new Passenger album

Art Journal, Supplies & Tools

Five Favourites – Black Pens for Mixed Media

As a mixed media artist I have a bunch of favourite pens, well more than a bunch really, but I thought it would be good to share my favourite five with you. Actually I had a lot of problems narrowing it down to just five….

5 fav Black pens - Robyn Wood - Purple Salt.jpg

 

this might give you an idea why……

If you have followed me for a while you will know that I like a challenge. I rarely follow through right to the end, but there is something about the whole idea of joining in a challenge, often with others around the world that gets inspiration pumping.

It doesn’t particularly worry me that I don’t finish – the whole idea of joining in in the first place is to be involved, try new things and hope for that spark that leads to a set of new ideas, skills, friends or opportunities.

Last year, I attended the ProBlogger conference on the Gold Coast and found it an enormous boost to my knowledge about blogging and provided a bit of a kickstarter to getting this blog moving. The boost lasted while I moved to the blog being self-hosted and redesigned the look and feel, but in the busyness of everyday life and taking an overseas holiday, somehow the groove got lost …. almost obliterated really.

In the lead up to the next ProBlogger conference, I’m joining in the challenge run by Darren Rouse of ProBlogger aimed at getting us into our blogging groove again. The challenge started last week and involves a daily podcast from Darren with the issue of a different blogging challenge and ways we can accomplish it through posting to our blog along with lots of helpful info or the technical or creative side. Darren is in touch with a large variety of bloggers from all over the world and he is able to present these challenges with real examples of how others have created posts and the problems they may face.

The challenge for day one is to create a ‘list post’ – simple, straightforward and one that I can use to share my love of black pens with you.

5 favs - black pens Robyn Wood Purple Salt

 

The quest to find the perfect black pen has led me on an almost magical, mystery tour of stationary stores, online shops, blogs, Instagram, online classes and diving into the rabbit hole of Pinterest. It seems that everyone has a favourite (or three) about which they wax lyrical and long, but as I’ve found, that doesn’t necessarily mean you will also like their choice.

Carbon Platinum ‘Epic’ Pen – This fountain pen is manufactured by Platinium Pen Co in Japan and comes with cartridges full of permanent black ink. Being a fountain pen you can also switch out the cartridge for a refillable insert and use whatever ink you like.

A fountain pen might seem an odd choice for mixed media but this pen gives a wonderful, fine line over pretty much any surface and the ink dries so fast. I need to credit my teacher Jane Davenport for introducing this Epic Pen to me during classes – I don’t think I’ve ever regretted buying something on her recommendation and this pen is no different. In fact I have a few – one for my desk, one for my travel sketch pouch, another as a back up and yet another just because 🙂

I recently found that you can also get them in a slightly wider nib, giving a more robust line and I think I will enjoy playing with it as well.

The Carbon Platinium pen can be a little hard to source but you will find it in the Jane Davenport store here, Jane calls it the Epic Pen as it really is EPIC! Don’t forget to check out her online classes while you are there as she has lots to inspire you.

Pentel Rollerball – I think of this one as the 4WD of my black pens. It will write on any surface, regardless of how shiny, bumpy, scratchy it is and never give up. If you now of the Scarlet Lime pen from Christy Tomlinson then this is the same one, Christy found out they were being discontinued so bought the whole stock off Pentel and got the barrels branded.

This is another one that can be hard to find so when you do – buy a box full!

Posca – my go-to pen for beginners. Filled with quick drying, acrylic paint Posca pens come in a wide range of colours and nib widths. They have an affordable price point and easy availability, you will find them everywhere from the local stationary shop to fine art store. I like that they give a solid line but hate that I have to shake them so often (before each use and during use).

Pitt Artist Pen – these high quality pens from Faber-Castell are full of India ink so they dry fast and are totally permanent & lightfast. There is a range of nib widths and also have an option with a brush tip. Being a Faber-Castell product they also come in a range of colours with the same type of ink and the colours co-ordinate with the rest of their product range. It makes it so easy to create something using pens, pastels, pencils that will all play nicely colour-wise.

Uni-ball Micro Deluxe – This is an old favourite and one that I have been using for many years for my paid work in quality assurance, I was so pleased when I discovered it was also perfect for mixed media. Manufactured by Mitsubshi Pencil Co in Japan, it carries the wonderful Japanese quality and usability.

I love how it feels in my hand and that the ink seems to last forever. I’ve never had one gum up, despite carrying them with me on interstate & international flights and on camping trips in horrid weather.

I’d love to hear about your favourites – why not leave me a comment with your top five?

Robyn Wood, Purple Salt, www.purplesalt.net
Art Journal, Bella Paperie

Fly – an art journal page

I have long been fascinated by all things flight related – quotes, images, birds, butterflies, balloons, dragonflies, moths & anything insect with wings. I love that whoosh of excitement as a jet plane gets ready for takeoff, going so fast that you think it might run out of runway, only to lift impossibly off the ground and take to the air. It is probably no surprise that such imagery often pops up in my art and this page is no exception.

Robyn Wood, Purple Salt, www.purplesalt.net

I’ll be teaching how to create it this Sunday at Bella Paperie and I’d love you to join me. Last month we explored backgrounds and texture, this month we will focus on adding stamped images to a page using a variety of techniques.

Robyn Wood - Fly page.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We will be working in an A4 sized journal and here is a basic list of what we will be using in class so please bring what you have available – dye based markers in butterfly colours, permanent stamping ink in black & dark blue (Archival brand), Liquitex white gesso, Liquitex matt medium, texture paste, palette knife, approx. 1” wide brush, variety of smaller brushes, scissors, pencil, rubber, black permanent pen, white Sharpie paint pen, 2–3 matt acrylic paints in warm & cool colours (Distress & Dylusions paints are perfect), small sponges for paint, collage material if you have it, spray bottle, non–stick craft mat, baby wipes, paper towel, container for water.

Bella Paperie is located at Shop 33, 302 South Pine Road, Brendale. Phone 3205 5911. Why not join us on Facebook?

Filename, Robyn Wood, Purple Salt
Bella Paperie, Card making

A Seahorse Tag for Bella Style Wednesday

Check out the sweet tag that I will Filename, Robyn Wood, Purple Saltbe teaching tomorrow at Bella Paperie!

Join me tomorrow for this weeks Bella Style Wednesday Project. It is a sweet tag inspired by the ocean using stamps by Darkroom Door and beautiful papers from Blue Fern Studios.

This class is run as a drop in arrangement – arrive any time 9am – 11.30am and you can create my project for $5. No need to book!

Please bring your basic cardmaking tool kit plus sponges and a  distress tool. I will be using Distress inks in Peacock Feathers, Salty Ocean & Frayed Burlap so bring them along to save waiting.
Bella Paperie is located at Shop 33, 302 South Pine Road, Brendale. Phone 3205 5911.

 

Card making, Inspiration, Mixed media

Couture Creations 2016/17 Design Team Audition

Today I’d like to share with you a few projects selected for the Couture Creations/Ultimate Crafts Design Team call. I’ve been creating with these wonderful products over the past twelve months as part of their in-house creative team and it has been awesome to work with brand new products before they are released to the public.

Robyn Wood, Purple Salt, www.purplesalt.net

First up I have a sweet box created for my first class at Bella Paperie. It was fun to pair Debra’s beautiful hand dyed lace with pretty papers and die cuts.

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I think the use of embossing folders on an art journal page is a little unusual – I happened on the idea of using an embossing folder to impress into wet texture paste to give an extra layer of pattern.

Robyn Wood Purple Salt www.purplesalt.net
Can you see the hexagon pattern? It is a little subtle in some spots.

I’ll actually be teaching how to create this page next weekend for Bella Paperie – check out all the details within the May class listings here!

Robyn Wood - Fairy

Fairies…what little girl can’t live without fairies in her life? I still love the whimsical nature of this stamp and can’t bear to part with it.

Filename, Robyn Wood, Purple Salt

I’ll be teaching how to create this tag soon for Bella Paperie – keep an eye on their Facebook page for details.

Robyn Wood - Happy Birthday

I like to use a bit of contrast in my cards and what better one than black and white?

Robyn Wood - hello

Well hello…the perfect type of card for any occasion!

Robyn Wood - thank you

Over the years my favourite dies have morphed from filagree frame types such as the fairy card above, to diecut geometrics such as this one. They are so versatile for cards, scrapbooking and also as a texture feature in art journaling.

I hope you have enjoyed this look through some of my creations – wish me luck!!

Stitch, Robyn Wood, Purple Salt
Card making, Darkroom Door

A Stitchy Happy Birthday

This textured card was great for using up lots of the bits and bobs that seem to hang around my craft room. I hate throwing away scraps of paper or fabric but I never quite know what to do with them so this card seemed a good solution.

Stitch, Robyn Wood, Purple Salt

It was fun to gather a bunch of bits & pieces to add to the card, it looked quite a mess until the end!

This card has been shared on the Darkroom Door blog and you can find details of how it was made and others using the same stamp here.

Art Journal Challenge, Darkroom Door, Mixed media, Quotes, Tutorials

Spread Your Wings…

Until you spread your wings,
you’ll never know how far you can fly.

Wings - Robyn Wood - Purple Salt 4.jpg

The last few months seem to have been full of activity in our house so I’ve been sharing bits & pieces on my Instagram feed. If you aren’t sure where to find me – look here. I’d love you to pop by and say hello.

Every year I start with great plans for participating in various challenges and online classes only to peter off after a few weeks/months. I decided to be a bit gentler on myself this year – I will intend to participate but if it doesn’t happen then all is good & I’ll go back to them if/when I can or feel like it.

Robyn Wood Purple Salt www.purplesalt.net

Today I’d like to share a page I did for week 12 of the LuLu Art Colour Me Positive challenge. I’ve loved watching this challenge group evolve and grow, there is currently over 2500 positive art journalers in the Facebook group – isn’t that fabulous? I am sure it will grow from strength to strength.

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This time around the extra journaling prompt was to add wings so that is where I started – butterfly wings and a corset from Darkroom Door stamps. Of course you can’t have a torso without a skirt of some kind, so I created a textured & collaged one using dictionary paper, handmade paper and a paper doyley. Layers of colour and texture gave it some form.

I wish I had photographed the background before I started but it was one of those pages that I use for scrapes of left over paint and spray. I’d kept them to greens and blues so that the page would match the opposite side. I added some stencilling and collage (Kaisercraft have some great collage papers!) before I started so that the page had an interesting base.

Wings - Robyn Wood - Purple Salt 2.jpg

The corset and wings were fun to layer with some pretty lace – it was well stuck down with gel medium! Once everything was stuck down and coloured with the new Ranger Distress Crayons, I painted just the wings with some clear crackle paste. I decided to experiment with colour a little and dripped Dylusions spray ink over the wings to give a mottled effect. It was so hard to just let it dry so I could check how well the effect worked.

Wings - Robyn Wood - Purple Salt 1JPG.jpg

While that was drying I carefully added some gold touches with gold Texture paste – I love to smear this stuff around a page a little to give a swipe of gold.

Wings - Robyn Wood - Purple Salt quote.jpg

As a final step I added the quote, gradually thickening the lettering until I was happy with how it stood out from the background.

Wings - Robyn Wood - Purple Salt 5.jpg

A flutter of sequins finished off the page and added a nice touch of bling to the skirt.

Supplies:

  • Darkroom Door stamps – Collage Butterfly, Corsetry set
  • Stencil Girl stencils – Rembrant’s words, Honeycomb, Transform
  • Ranger Distress Crayons
  • Dina Wakley paints – Ocean, Lemon, Turquoise
  • Golden Gel Medium
  • Faber Castel – Whipped Spackle, Texture Luxe gold
  • Prima Crackle Paste – clear
  • Ranger Dylusions spray – Pink Bubblegum
  • Ranger Liquid Pearls
  • Kaisercraft paper
  • Black permanent pen
  • Sequins, lace, dictionary paper, handmade paper, paper doyley

Robyn Wood Purple Salt www.purplesalt.net

One tip that I’d like to share is about texture paste – too much of it will weigh a page down but I have found that if you use the Faber Castell Whipped Spackle there isn’t a lot of extra weight. Which means I can stencil away with texture to my hearts content! Don’t forget to clean the texture paste out of your stencils right away – it can set hard and ruin them if you aren’t careful.

Have you been playing along with the challenge? I’d love to see if you would like to post me a link in the comments.

Wilderness Wandering, Robyn Wood, Purple Salt
Card making, Darkroom Door

Wilderness Wandering

Come wandering in the wilderness with me?

Did you know that Australia has many wonderful wilderness areas? As a family we have been lucky to have visited some on the East coast but there are so many to explore. The Wilderness themed collection of products from Darkroom Door seeks to capture some of our wild places and recently I was given the Wilderness Word Block stamp to use in some projects.

Wilderness Wandering, Robyn Wood, Purple Salt

The first project I created for this stamp was a watery watercolour one using an embossed image of the stamp as a resist. It was fun to splash watercolour around while making this one!

Wilderness Wandering, Robyn Wood, Purple Salt

You can see my full card plus details on how it was made on the Darkroom Door blog.

 

Discover Colour - Life Book week 1 - Robyn Wood
Art Journal, Mixed media, Online classes

Discover Colour

The first week of Life Book has come and gone and I’ve put the final touches to the first art journal & drawing lesson from Tamara Laporte. Tam themed the lesson around the idea of creating a Happy Traveller, a protective character that leads the way into the new year along with a soul animal or two.

Purple Salt, Robyn Wood, art journal, mixed media
Discover Colour – Life Book week 1

Mine turned out a little differently, as I want to make my online class practices more ‘me’ and less of the teachers this year. My soul animal was meant to be a fox but I guess I was meant to have the cat I ended up with! Never mind, first time drawing an animal like this from scratch so not so worried.

Purple Salt, Robyn Wood, art journal, mixed media

My focus for this year is adventure. Adventures in art making, meeting up with my art sistas, travelling and an all round seeking of new paths. One of these will be learning more about art – so ‘Discover Colour’ seemed to be appropriate for this girl!

Purple Salt, Robyn Wood, art journal, mixed media

I love how she came together, especially the strings of doodles that hang from her hair. Those are pure Tam but I think you will be seeing more in future girls.

Purple Salt, Robyn Wood, art journal, mixed media

Below is a list of the basic supplies I used in creating her, one of the more unique ones is this rubbon – I’ve had it for ages so it was nice to finally give it a home. Leave me a comment if you would like to know what I used in more detail and I’ll try to help. I’d love to know which soul animal you have chosen for this year.

Supplies:

  • Neocolor II crayons
  • Ceramcoat acrylic paint in skin colours
  • Prismacolour pencils
  • Ranger Distress paints
  • Letraset Aquamarkers & Tombow markers
  • Sharpie fine white paint pen
  • Collage paper & rubbon
  • Stabilo All pencil
  • The Crafters Workshop stencils

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The Life Book 2016 year is still in the early weeks, if you are interested in learning from Tam and a great group of artists you can sign up here.

Art Journal, Art Journal Challenge, Darkroom Door, Mixed media, Quotes

Today is the Day!

Hi, Happy New Year! I hope the year has started well for you. Today I’m sharing an art journal page as part of the new  Colour Me Positive art journal challenge run by LuLu Art. The theme for the first week of the year is gratitude and I’ve created this page while reflecting on and celebrating the things I’m grateful for.

Robyn Wood Purple Salt www.purplesalt.net

There is something about the first week of the year. A chance to start fresh, a time to get started on that project, plan a holiday, tackle the completion of a long overdue assignment and any number of things. Don’t waste that time, those minutes of each new day, as you never get ‘today’ back!

Robyn Wood Purple Salt www.purplesalt.net

For me this time is a chance to celebrate my multiple sclerosis diagnosis. Time to reflect on the changes and blessings that came into my life 11 years ago which culminated in a dreaded, life changing diagnosis, one that forever altered the path of my family and I. It is a time for celebration because having MS has meant staying at home with my sons instead of returning to full time work. I’ve continued to volunteer in my community and participate in all types of groups and events and I firmly believe that my life is better for it. So far I’ve been lucky – only a few minor issues and one pretty major attack 18 months ago that I’m mostly recovered from. I realise that could change any day, I could wake up tomorrow and some part of my body might not work quite as well as today.

Long ago, an MS researcher mentioned that studies were showing that each year that passed without significant disability could mean another two of the same. If that holds, and so far it has, then I might get to the magic ‘three score & ten’ without a lot of neurological damage or noticeable disability. Here is hoping anyway!

A few years ago, increasing fatigue meant reducing my part time working hours. But having MS meant that I had to go searching for something else to give me a challenge, to help my brain retain some level of neuroplasticity. This is the magical bit of our brains that helps us grow new thinking pathways – important when you have a disease that affects cognitive function! I am a long time paper crafter, creating cards, scrapbooking, bookmaking and such but I needed something a little ‘more’. Thankfully I discovered the world of mixed media. It was pretty new and there was a whole gamut of new techniques to discover, learn and practice. Many years later, I’m still firmly in the grip of this wonderful form of art and I couldn’t be happier!

Robyn Wood Purple Salt www.purplesalt.net

Today is the Day!

Supplies:

  • Darkroom Door stamps – Poppies & Butterflies sets, French Script Texture, Bingo Numbers Eclectic, French Script Background
  • Dina Wakley stencils – Essentials, Halves, Spinners
  • Faber-Castell Whipped Spackle
  • Acrylic paint, paper napkin, washi tape, tissue paper
  • Liquitex – matte medium, gesso
  • Words – Ali Edwards Old + New Story Kit

Edited to add: if you wish to read another perspective on living with a chronic illness, check out my friend Bree Hogan and her article ‘Who knew I would ever feel grateful for having a chronic illness