I know that heading is a little alarming – but it needs to be. I help to moderate the fabulous mixed media yahoo group called Paper Traders & every year since our inception, we have had a Round Robin Journal Project & I have hosted the project for the last 3 years. For the uninitiated, basically – 12 people (our limit) make a journal, decide on a topic, then send their journal of on a travelling adventure around the world. The journals rotate monthly, and each artist makes a page in everyone's journal until they finally recieve their own back. Each time we have done it, there have been glitches along the way & sadly, we have people who have not honoured their commitments and literally just not sent journals back to their owners – but what happened this last month has taken the cake! This month it appears that a international, priority paid, tracked & insured parcel has been very carefully opened (SO CAREFULLY – I can't see how it's been done) and looked through the 3 journals & the other contents of the box – and decided to keep one of the journals and the extra bits & bobs sent to me by the previous artist – and carefully seal the box back up.
The box left USA weighing 5lbs 8.5oz and arrived to me in Oz weighing barely 4lb. Despite there being no signs what so ever of tampering, the box was crushed down one side where the journal and other things 'had been' and now the two remaining journals moved around in the box. That's where the fun began – despite having all of the safeguards in place, no one could tell us (person who sent parcel, me as recipient or the missing journals' owner) at what point the weight of the parcel changed. A claim has been put in for insurance, which is SOMETHING at least for the trouble, but I am sure that we'd all just prefer to be able to post our art and know it's safe. I have to say, I have posted things all around the continent & the world for years, and for the most part, I haven't had a problem. THIS ONE takes the cake though! I would caution anyone reading this to think carefully about what you write as the 'contents' of a parcel sent. You need to use words that are 'honest' for security reasons – but not descriptive enough to raise the interest of any 'would-be' thief. Perhaps words like: book, paperwork, printed matter, if anyone has any others, it'd be good to hear them.
As host, I felt just terrible about this happening – especially as the pics I had seen of the original journal showed that it was fabulous (no wonder 'peeping thomas/thomasina' decided to steal it!). The subject was 'The White Rabbit' and being a big Alice fan, I had things on hand that I thought I would be able to use to restore the journal. It's not perfect, but it is better than getting nothing back. So here's some pics of the a couple of pages & the cover of the new journal, including a couple of litho etchings I did as my own contribution to the journal.
Although the scan of this page looks a little simple, I have layered watercolour, acrylic & oil pastel to create the ‘frame’ for this piece which has quite a bit of dimension in the flesh. The MOST exiting thing for me is that I have used my hand cut stamps for the first time in artwork. They look at home there, & I am happy with how they came out. I had intented to use real lace dipped in texture paste of some sort to give some dimension to the lace down her dress, however I didn’t have a piece that worked, I remembered my hand cut ‘pattern’ stamp & it worked a treat.
This is the story of the Ephemeral Moment, which I have written up on a lovely little tag:
I had the MOST delightful thing happen recently when our little Princess was over………….the night before I got a splinter up under my nail (very ouch) & I just couldn’t get it out despite blood, a tiny cut & MUCH prodding…..I plastered it in Rawleighs ointment (age old cure all) & wrapped it up in a band aid. At some point during the afternoon Ellie (now 21 months old) holds my hand & saw or felt the bandaid on my finger…….she looked up at me with furrowed brows & said ‘Nonna hurt; ouch’…….& I agreed ‘hurt’ (what we call injuries with her) & she turned around with a big smile & said ‘KI’ (which is Kiss without the ‘Sss’ which she yet to master) & took my finger & kissed it……it was priceless….
One of the fabulous parts of seeing lots of people’s homes as you appraise, design & carry out renovations is that you get to see an amazing array of art. Yesterday was a particularly good ‘find’. I have discovered by accident that I love patternation. As I have been assembling my Project 365 pics for this month, I have realized how many of them are occurances of regular or irregular patterning or (of course) my other love – colour…..Whether in nature or designed by mankind, I am always arrested by colour. Most of these pics are too……here are some of my discoveries
I think the text on the page says it all – DEFINITELY an ephemeral moment – pulling back the covers to get into a bed covered with luscious, new, crisp white cotton
sheets…..YUM! Only 2 more sleeps till we are off to the Land of the Kiwi….. where I will be experiencing all kinds of sheets & beds – always a concern for travellers – an uncomfortable bed. It is only when you are travelling 5 star all the way that you can be pretty confident that your bed will be ok and your sheets will be fresh. At home we have a fabulous bed & lovely sheets – an indulgence to help with my sleep problems & I always miss it when we go away. My tradition, last thing before we go away anywhere is to change our bed & put fresh sheets on it to come home. The first night back at home with fresh sheets is something we fantasize about when we are on our way home!
I have been blessed with the same award several times this week, which is both an honour & a priviledge. I never quite know what to say – I am glad that you appreciate my art, however it is somewhat self serving in that I do it as much for my own health & wellbeing as any of the lovely responses from you guys. (Obviously, your kind words are appreciated though) I now need to nominate 10 other people who make my day – an easy task to be sure – there are SUCH fabulous artists & artwork around in blogland it is more difficult to restrict it to 10. These people would be all of my special friends listed in my side bar – I can’t pick & choose between them, they all are skillful artists with special talents. Debbi does lovely compositions; Anne, Kelly Rae & Gaby all have a fabulous sense of colour & drama; Jo’s beautiful work always has an element of sparkle & mischief about it, I ALWAYS learn something deep & meaningful from Kelsey & her art using quotes……..Cynthia’s artwork amazes me – seconded only by Abby & Jenene (who don’t have blogs right now) – I am happy & contented in the knowledge that in a busy throw away world the ethos of art for art sake flourishes & is alive & well.
I have moved from birds to other winged things in this new page in my Ephemeral Moments Journal. This page is called The Presence of Angels. I have included it because we are sometimes touched by angels & it is only in retrospect that we realize that it happened. A protector, a helper, an unusual visitor, only later we wonder……….. It is such a triumph to have this page done, as it is one that has been worked & worked & left me completely stumped for ages. Sometimes I really struggle to get back to things once I have hit a wall with them. This double spread page in portrait format is 16 inches high & 8 inches wide. There is heaps of metallic, rust & moon glow on the page & the images which makes it all shimmer & glow. The angel images are gold leaved & rusted & the text is from a vintage hymn book. Must away – a busy day – today is little Toby Caleb’s dedication at church. It will be a special family time for us all.
I have lots to share however not much time to write just now………’tis early morning & must away to work. Spent some time over the weekend taking luscious pics of tiny sprigs of spring emerging, which I hope to share with you later this week. Our son & DIL & darling Toby Caleb are preparing to move into their first house, so I am busy helping them with plans, colour schemes, carpets, etc (my day job is as an interior designer), also – finally captured this moment in art………..I have used Basic Grey FUSION range of papers & ‘dirtied’ them up with Golden Fluid Acrylics and delicious Vertigris antiquing wax. Of course the ribbons are the beautiful ones Gisele just sent me. The ‘Newspaper’ is made using the link down on the LHS in resources & the hands on the front of the envelope came from my special art friends Janet & Nadine at Scrapbook Scene. They are only little………..I’d love to see them in a bigger scale, but it’s what I had to work with. I have used a ‘soot technique’ to make the ‘mirror’ I will post about this later……but for now I am off to work……..here is the text from the card (it is about A5 size)
I made this precious discovery totally unexpectedly one morning while I was in the shower. Starting the day like any other…… first to my computer then to my studio……..then, reluctantly to the shower to get ready for work. I looked across at the vanity mirror while showering to see priceless tiny handprints impressions in the steam from where Ellie had been ‘patting’ the mirror a couple of nights before. I am not sure what bought me more joy, the special moment of being there as she discovered herself in the mirror – with glee patting her reflection……. or the treasure that remained….. the handprints that only showed up for a few moments in the steam of the shower a few days later…….& then were gone. More whisps of life………
Here is my newest journal page…….titled My Muse….the text reads
‘My muse traverses many doors & windows in my soul in the journey to birth a new creation.’ Keron Lee 2007
this is a very complex piece of work that took hours of layering & drying & waiting. There is layer after layer of embossing inks & powders, pearl finishes (moonglow, pearl-ex, lumiers) on top of oils & waxes, stamping inks, gel transfers & a selection of text, music & scrapbooking papers. (I am not sure WHAT I am going to do when my fav. Basic Grey paper finally runs out, I use it ALL the time, I just love it – I noticed that it’s not on the BG website anymore as being for sale….. sob, wimper)….. it is a fabulous background paper.
In real life the pages are rich & really textural, which you don’t get the full sense of from a scan. New tip for gluing down acetate……. dimensional magic…… seems to do the trick! (thanks Lynne)
I made this folded card as an insert for my ‘Whisps of Life’ page in my Ephemeral Moments Journal. I realise that to make it a small enough file for you to be able to open it in any reasonable time, it is probably not going to be a good enough resolution to read…..so here is the story behind Whisps of Life…….. One night when I was babysitting Eleanor Grace, (aka Princess ‘L’) she picked up this piece of disgarded acetate from my studio floor. She carried it around with her for ages like a precious treasure. Later in the evening we were playing her favourite game of me pouncing after her on the modular couch & she kept stopping, holding this out to me, then taking her hand away just as I was about to take it from her. She laughed & laughed. It is a precious memory how something so simple, something disgarded, something ephemeral – bought such joy to us both. It is a reminder to me to know there is joy to be had in the simplest of things. (the text under the piece of acetate reads – a souvenir from an ephemeral moment – June 16th 2007)
PS the ‘scalloped’ boarder is a FABULOUS idea I borrowed from Sally Jane Alexander in her book ‘Pretty Little Things’ I made it out of pages from an old medical text book in various paint colours, using a palette of my fav. soft duck egg blues, white & aged with a bit of the old burnt umber.
This is the first part of a new spread in my journal. I have altered some photographs of Princess L in photoshop using the sketch with Charcoal & Chalk filters & then created gel transfers from the printouts. The text reads. Whisps of Life. JOY only eludes us when we look for it in hours rather than moments. PEACE settles when you are still. In a rush you don’t notice the brush of angel’s wings & the heartbeat of tranquility. HOPE can always be found in the things that endure the weathering of time. BEAUTY glows from a life that exudes the wealth gained from both mossy & shiny places – treasure nurtured in shadow & in sunlight. LOVE arrives, when you least expect it & strokes your soul with tenderness. Keron Lee 2007. I hope you are blessed by my writing. I feel more ‘wordy’ than usual at the moment………hence the compositions. I am still making Part 2, which is a little ‘inclusion’ for this page, which has the relating story. I hope to have that finished tomorrow night.
Here is another Ephemeral Moments spread………. about dreams. The quote is from Yeats & reads… ‘I have spread my dreams under your feet. Tread softly because you tread on my dreams’…….. so here before you I lay my own dreams……. of colours & design – of symmetry & curves & buildings, windows & doors, flowers & birds..of poppy fields in Tuscany….of times past & in the future, of nonsensical creatures…… of flight & travel…….Rome & Florence…….. Venice, Paris & New York…..Of beautiful handwritten letters & taking Time to smell the roses….. Dreams of God & heaven & the touch of angels wings. Of love & the smells of babies & of fresh ground coffee…….of social justice & AMAZING Grace, of beautiful music, of sunsets & the sea……… someone commented that their dreams are not usually as ‘ordered’ as I have presented these……. it’s true, dreams are not ordered…….they are ‘an impression visited lightly on the soul’. Each of these little squares is merely a glimpse of a whole picture, a ‘whisp of life’……