Tag Archives: AlyZen Moonshadow

Mother’s Day 2015

Happy Mother’s Day to those countries celebrating it on Sunday 10th May 2015. Happy Mother’s Day to my own Mum. And to my 2 grandmothers, both sadly departed, and to my Mother-in-Law, also sadly departed.

I’ve curated some Mother’s Day quotes from good ole Google Images, just to share them here with you. No soppy roses and run-of-the-mill off-the-shelf sentiments here, but a deeper understanding of what it means to be a Mother.

I’m off to celebrate with The Kid today, by Abandoning some handmade bookmarks on the foreshore, and having a look at Rockingham’s “Castaways” sculpture on the beach exhibition. Followed by lunch at the Hog’s Breath Cafe at noon, with a complimentary Mother’s Day slice of Mississippi Mudcake that I’ll let him have. So that is why today’s post is extra early, in the morning instead of after 3pm.

I can’t believe my Jack is turning 13 this Halloween. He is the reason I get to celebrate Mother’s Day, without him there would be no cause for me. In fact, come to think of it, every day is Mother’s Day for me, as we are best friends and confidantes, and we go to the cinema together and have lunch or dinner dates. Or go cycling around town and chill at Baskin-Robbins, eating ice cream. In summertime, we hang out in our swimming pool, diving for rings and doing flips and just chatting. I drag him along to Art Abandonment drop-offs, to ComicCon and SupaNova “geek” conventions. I take him along to my favourite Malaysian restaurant in the city, Papparich, even though he doesn’t like spicy food (he has chicken nuggets and chips there, while I enjoy my chicken curry and beef rendang with rice). We tackle the dreaded Homework together, as if we’re playing the arcade game “Whack-A-Mole”. I listen to his grumbles and emphatise with his various complaints about bullies at school. I fix the squeaks and creaks in his bike…when you can’t find the WD40, dishwashing liquid works just as well. I nag him to tidy up his room (still working on that winning formula). He fills my life with all the little extra chores that I would normally not have to do, that eat away at my “me” time.

I would not have it any other way. Being Jack’ Mother enriches my life. Being a full-time Mother is the hardest job ever, and I haven’t a clue what I’m doing or even if I’m doing it right, I just make it up as we go along. You don’t get paid a single cent in money, the salary is zero. But you get paid with lots of Love instead. And lots of hugs and kisses. And giggles and laughter, as well as tears and tantrums. I love it!

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T2-inspired “WOW-MOM” Gelli Prints : Part 3 Assembling the Juicy Journal

Here we are, following on from yesterday’s post. What have we got? A bunch of Gelli Plate printed papers, printed on both sides and torn by hand into equal, smaller pieces, ready to be made into Juicy Journals.

Now to assemble the Juicy Journal. Hmmm…how shall I stitch this one? I have some ideas for new stitches, let’s see if it works.

First, get your gear together:
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Twine, scissors, pen, measuring tape (I can’t find my ruler!), knitting needles (my awl), drawing pin (my other awl for making pilot holes), stack of paper. These are the papers that I “juiced up” earlier in my last post. I have grouped them in couplets i.e 2 pages to a signature…so in that stack are 6 signature couplets.

Here are the 6 signatures, on end. Just to show you how vibrant and colourful they are.

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I marked 4 holes in each of the signatures’ spine. And used the drawing pin to make pilot holes, which I then enlarge using my knitting needle. I’m high tech, like that LOL.
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Now that all 6 signatures have 4 holes, it’s time to bind them together. Remember, it’s all an experiment…and I have no idea how it will turn out. Here goes!

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I’ve decided to bind 2 signatures together, side by side. That will make 3 couplets when the whole journal is assembled.

imageOne couplet done.

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Now to bind all of these together.

image I used black twine for the middle, to join up all the signatures and ensure the top and bottom bindings do not get undone easily.

Here are some close-ups showing the bindings.
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Quite pleased with this, the brown twine knots gives it a rustic look, but I’d rather have a stronger stitch down the middle, not just one on its own.

T2-inspired “WOW-MOM” Gelli Prints: Part 2 The Prints with Paint and Inks

Following on from yesterday’s post, here are some of the results of my Gelli Printing, using only a colour palette of shades of pinks, reds, oranges and yellow.

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Previously, I would use all the acrylic paint colours I had, when Gelli Plate printing. I like my colours to sing, like those raucous flocks of cockatoos that fly over my house in the mornings and evenings. My aim when Gelli printing, is to fill every surface of my paper with paint and interesting shapes by using stencils and texture mats. Then the fun really starts, when I pull out my Dylusions Ink Sprays and Tim Holtz’s Ranger Distress Inkpads, and go to town with them.

I wanted to create a contrast, and using the same colour palette with my inks as with the paint would not work. This is where I diverged from my original plan..hey, I’m Divergent! Cool! :-)

So, goodbye WOW-MOM idea, here comes AlyZen’s colourful take! Here’s a photo of the ink sprays and inkpads I used – in shades of blue, green and purple. I also used some shimmery ink sprays, as I like a bit of bling on my artwork.

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I wasn’t sure how this experiment would turn out, but it turned out amazingly good, if I say so myself. I am turning these into another Juicy Journal, so in preparation, I’ve torn my A3 papers into smaller sheets and folded them, before inking over them. I do the preparation and tearing first, so my torn deckled edges get inked too.

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Ok, next up – handbinding these papers into another Juicy Journal. I have thought up a stitch I want to try out, so in my next post you can see how that goes.

T2inspired “WOW-MOM” Gelli Prints: Part 1 The Inspiration

I came across T2‘s online advertisement for Mother’s Day, which was a GIF that slowly transformed the word WOW into MOM, over a background of abstract shapes. The colours used for the background were restricted to varying shades of pink, red, orange and yellow.

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I decided I would try creating some Gelli Prints using only those similar colours. Using my newest homewares-sources texture mats. And then, for contrast, using inks from the blue spectrum to fill in the spaces in-between.

So, here are my latest finds from the homewares aisle of local shops, which will create the marks for my Gelli plate prints. These are silicone trivets, a pencil case (yes, really),  felt placemats and a plastic/raffia round placemat.

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And here’s my restricted palette of colours to be used:

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As you can see, I get my acrylic paints from various sources. I like them runny and squeezy, as they’re easier to apply to my Gelli Plate that way. I find the paint in tubes a little too dry and hard to brayer on the Gelli Plate. These tubes are cheap, costing me only around $2-5 each.

Tomorrow I will show the results of this WOW-MOM Gelli Plate Printing experiment.

4 more Juicy Journals – Pamphlet Stitch

I got such a great response from my latest Art Abandonment exercise, that I was prompted to go make some more of my Juicy Journals Journals. Some members of the Art Abandonment Group on Facebook wanted to buy my Juicy Journals. I haven’t made enough to warrant selling them just yet, but I offered to send one to the first 3 people to Private Message me their address. I got 5 within just a few minutes, so I decided to honour all 5.

So, after doing my Art Abandonment exercise on May 1st, I popped 5 more of my Juicy Journals into envelopes and posted them off to the lucky 5. 2 to USA, 1 to Canada and 2 within Australia.

And now, finding myself low on Juicy Journals, I’ve just made 4 more. This time with a simple pamphlet stitch. Simply put, this stitch works over 3 holes in the spine of the journal. (These have 4 pages, folded in half, so you get 8 pages in all). To make the stitch, I simply passed a length of coloured hemp (great stuff, that), into the spine at the holes on both ends of the journal. Then I poked each end through the hole in the middle. Then I simply made sure each end was on either side of the stitch in the middle of the spine, and tied them together in a shoelace knot.

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And here are some details of the pages within these Juicy Journals:
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For my next experiments, I’m going to try using a limited colour palette, for the Gelli Printing. On top of which I will use inks of contrasting colours. This advertisement that I saw recently on T2 (below) will be my guide. Stay tuned!

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Artist Inspiration : Su Blackwell

Su Blackwell makes paper sculptures out of books. Amazing! I’ve heard of book art, and then there’s book art a la Su Blackwell. I’d give it a try myself, but I can’t bring myself to cut up books, I love them too much, and besides, I really hate getting paper cuts.

Here’s what Su says about herself, on her website:

”I often work within the realm of fairy-tales and folk-lore. I began making a series of book-sculpture, cutting-out images from old books to create three-dimensional diorama’s, and displaying them inside wooden boxes”.

”For the cut-out illustrations, I tend to lean towards young-girl characters, placing them in haunting, fragile settings, expressing the vulnerability of childhood, while also conveying a sense of childhood anxiety and wonder. There is a quiet melancholy in the work, depicted in the material used, and choice of subtle colour.”

Paper has been used for communication since its invention; either between humans or in an attempt to communicate with the spirit world. I employ this delicate, accessible medium and use irreversible, destructive processes to reflect on the precariousness of the world we inhabit and the fragility of our life, dreams and ambitions.
Su Blackwell, 2007

Su Blackwell Studio Ltd. was set up in 2011 to work on a variety of projects, commissions and collaborations. The studio comprises of Su (director) and her assistant ‘Emma’.

Su is represented by Long and Ryle Gallery, London.

For more information about Sue, including her biography, and enquiries about commissions etc, please contact Su directly through her website.

Meanwhile, just sit back and enjoy these examples of Su’s superbly creative book sculptures or book carvings (courtesy of Su’s website and Google):

su-blackwell-treasure-island-600x301  6a01157258054a970b0133f294657b970b  Book-Carving-Art-Su-Blackwell-Britain-05  Sue-Blackwell  snow_queen_with_wires_copy2  Unknown1  6818390680_e5ed8380d6  DSC_1440  Unknown  forest_1452521i  snow_queen_with_wires_copy2  spooky-forest_1452518i  city-portrait_1452500i

Art Quotes

Last week I posted on Facebook’s “Art Abandonment” Group Wall about my handmade Juicy Journals that I was abandoning. I thought I might get a dozen or so people commenting on it. Imagine my surprise when I received over 400 “likes”, and several dozen compliments about my Juicy Journals. That’s way more than my usual Facebook Wall posts ever get. Really chuffed and greatly encouraged by my fellow Art Abandoneers, thank you folks! :-)

I had several enquiries about whether I would be selling any of my Juicy Journals. I haven’t made enough to warrant selling them on my Etsy store yet…but you never know. Money is not my motivation for creating Art…but it does come in handy to buy more paints, inks and paper.

In addition to the 10 Juicy Journals that I abandoned in my town, I posted off a further 5 Juicy Journals to people who had expressed an interest in getting one. One of the 5 is a teacher in America, who intends to use my Juicy Journal as an end-of-term Art project for her class. Honoured, I am!

All this got me to thinking: “What does Art mean to me?” And so I did my usual modus operandi and looked up Art quotes on Google Images. I found several that resonated with me, so I’ll share them with you here:

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I also found one that describes me. I realise I am an Artist who also creates handmade/handbound books, marrying my passion for Gelli Plate printing with the same for making one-off Juicy Journals.
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Just A Lazy Sunday…

…after The Kid brought home not 1 but 5(!!!) Homework assignments on Friday, and after tackling them head-on with him all Saturday, it’s time for a breather, I think.

So, today’s post is just a few of my favourite images, curated from Pinterest. Of you need more details, the links can be found on my Pinterest boards.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

image These just tickle my fancy. I think it’s the pastel shades, and the simple naive shapes. They look Scandinavian, with a twist of Japanese Zakka. I especially like the Ursa Minor bear.

image I like this, it has a Klimt-like touch to it. Would you call this Abstract or Figurative, as it’s both?

image Doesn’t it look like God’s Hand is about to pull the gravestone from the ground? I like to think that when the person was buried, they planted a tree on his/her grave, and now the essence of that person lives on in the tree.

image “I mustache you something”. I love animals with unusual, quirky markings.

image Art made using old computer floppy disks. My 12-year-old son asked me what a Floppy Disk looked like, and I couldn’t find any in the house to shpw him. These are the sturdy plastic type…does anyone even remember the “real” floppy disks, that were black with a hole in their middle?

image I love water lilies and lotuses. I read in the paper recently that in the Kimberley region of Australia, some botanists, headed by a world expert on water lilies, Carlos Magdalena, stumbled across 2 billabongs filled with a new species of water lily. It’s blue, and looks like a peony and smells like apricots and freesia. They’re calling it “Peony Flora”. Here’s an article about the find. And here’s a snapshot of the article in the paper that I read:
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image This to me is such a poignant photo. The white of the dog contrasts wonderfully with the dark tones of the walls and door. And the shaft of light coming in…amazing feeling.

image Gorgeous colours and layering. Zentangle meets ink and watercolour. There’s depth and light to this artwork that’s hard to create. Hats off to this fine artist!

image I’m in love with Mexican Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) items at the moment. This black skull clutch purse, with black onyx beading, appeals to me.

image …and finally, if anyone needs me, I’ll be in my studio working. Lol…my “studio” is my kitchen table and worktop, a space of around 20 square feet, or 4 x 5 feet. I would love to be able to sprawl out like this artist, and create gigantic pieces of Art. But then again, when I think of the cost of posting large items via Australia Post, I’m thankful for small mercies :-).

Why “One More Line” is like Real Life

The Kid and I came across the computer game “One More Line” at Comic Con in Perth last month. It was rigged up like an arcade game, with just a simple monitor and a rotating ball button control. The premise is deceptively simple: get the highest score you can. You pilot a half-circle object which trails 3 coloured lines, up, around and past coloured obstacles of different sizes. Each obstacle is a similar, circular shape, and they all spin around with varying speeds, the bigger ones tend to spin more sluggishly than the little ones, and the closer you swing to them, the faster. There is only one control function – tap and hold to grab and spin around an obstacle i.e grapple, or let go to move on with a straight trajectory. Two lines, on on either side of your “runway” serve as barriers or walls – if you’re grappling an obstacle i.e holding on and swinging around it, your Pilot may pass through the walls safely. But if you’re in freefall mode i.e not tapping and holding the screen, you will crash and smash into smithereens if you hit the wall on either side, or if you crash into one of the obstacles.

“One More Line” is by the developers SMG and is available on both iOS and Android. They also have other games available, so if you like “One More Line”, you might like the others just as much.

Watch this video on how to play “One More Line”. It will give you a good idea just how addictive this game is. Oh, and if you don’t want a musical earwig (where you can’t sleep because the theme tune from some movie or App is playing on a loop through your brain), I’d play this game with the volume off.

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Sounds easy peasy, right? Wrong. The more I play “One More Line”, the more I’m thinking that it has a lot of similarities to Real Life. Here’s why:

1. In Life, the path is never straightforward, but goes round and about and is often full of obstacles.

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2. Some obstacles are tiny, others are huge. The Path you take and the decisions you make determine whether you come across the big ones or the little ones.

3. Some obstacles may be circumvented or bypassed by making clever or wise decisions. Others are too big to slide past or ignore, and must be tackled head on. Be careful that your decisions don’t lead you straight into another obstacle. Or worse, into a brick wall.

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4. You mustn’t get too cocky with your success, because pride always goes before a fall. The higher up you go, the more humble you must become. Control those impulses too! Don’t get too carried away because accidents happen when you’re taking too many risks.

5. You only have 1 Life. Crash, and it’s over. So, be careful with your actions and decisions, and always look where you’re heading. Be prepared to take last minute evasive action or change your direction. Sometimes, even an about turn may be called for.

6. If you tried and failed, try again. Try harder, fail better, and then succeed. Learn from your mistakes, and try not to repeat them.

7. In Life, we are all monkeys swinging from one branch to another. So keep practising those monkey swings, and let’s see how far you can go!

Art Abandonment Rockingham : Juicy Journals

This year, my first Art Abandonment exercise was back in January, on Australia Day, when The Kid and I ventured to the Rockingham Foreshore to Abandon several books wrapped up with brown paper, and tied to some Lenormand divination card decks that I’d created and had printed.

We did another Abandonment in February, but that time The Kid and I cycled around Rockingham and posted some of my Inspiration Deck cards through people’s letterboxes in their gardens…so it was more of a choreographed affair, and not as random. I had an interesting discussion about the legalities of this with the Art Abandonment crowd on Facebook. Many of the members, being Americans, advised that it is actually against US law to just pop something into someone’s post box if it hasn’t gone through the Postal system. Luckily, I was able to ascertain that this isn’t the case in Australia. Hence the inordinate amount of junk mail we get over here…hmmm.

I’ve decided it’s high time I did another Art Abandonment. I’ve decided that my earliest Juicy Journals would make the best candidates. I reckon about 10 of them should do it.

So, these fellas:
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I’m going to do the Abandonment on May 1st, traditionally Labour Day. Oh, don’t mind me, I just like picking days that stick out…and oh my, I’ve just realised that nearly half the year is gone already??! Tempus Fugit!

I’d better get cracking finding some envelopes to put these babies into, and printing out some Art Abandonment labels.

I stamped the backs and some fronts of the journals, with a Chinese “Happiness” stamp that I’d had for many years. I felt this was appropriate, in keeping with the Art Abandonment philosophy of spreading Happiness the world over through Art.

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The smaller Juicy Journals will go into these button-string envelopes that I’ve stuck an Art Abandonment tag on. The bigger ones will go into envelopes or ziploc bags.

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Like so! All done, and ready to rock and roll. I think this time I’ll hit the cafe strip and discreetly leave my gifts at empty tables, where customers will find them.
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Update: 10am West Australian time. 1st May 2015. DONE!

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The next 2 photos show an elderly couple after finding one of my gifts on a park bench by the beach. And a young couple with 2 kids in a stroller after picking up another of my journals.

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Mission accomplished! :-)