I’m already thinking ahead to Father’s Day and I have used a Stampendous stamp to create a very simple card. The background is Dylusions sprays on glossy card, with water spritzed and dribbled on top to create a splashed look. (The less absorbent the cardstock, the more the droplets show.) I stamped the image onto glossy card and coloured it with Distress markers. And that’s pretty much it – super simple, the detail is all in the stamp.
When Design Team member, Miranda, created her beautiful henna hand piece of artwork with the Indian themed stamps, I immediately wanted to create something with the theme of hands myself.
I have always loved the theme of hands in art and I have used the theme in my journaling classes before. So I asked the rest of the Design Team if they would be interested in doing a little hand challenge and those that had the time gladly joined in. No rules other than the theme of hands, the artwork could take any form. We agreed not to share until we were all done and it might be something to do with the theme, but three of us chose to do journal pages – they are all very different.
I have taught a few journaling classes over the years and I have often used a guided writing exercise that features hands. I ask my students to close their eyes and think about what hands mean to them. I toss out some common phrases that involve hands in some way and ask them to think about what those phrases mean to them – helping hands, hand of friendship, open handed/tight fisted, hand on heart, hand over, hands across the water, healing hands, etc. Then I ask them to think about the hands of people they know or remember and what those hands mean to them. Finally I ask them to think about how they would describe their own hands and who their hands have nurtured or helped in any way.
I then ask them to open their eyes and start writing. The aim of the exercise is to write fairly quickly without stopping for about 3-5 minutes (longer if everyone is in full flow). It’s a kind of verbal blurt, just writing anything that comes to mind without overthinking or correcting.
It can be a very emotional exercise so I don’t ask anyone to share their writing unless they want to. I’ve done the exercise myself before, but not for a very long time, so I decided that I would do this exercise for my hand challenge. As I didn’t have a clone of myself on hand to be the ‘guide’, I scanned through magazines looking for images and words while quietly thinking thoughts of hands.
The collaged words describe how I feel about my own hands and the rest of the writing comes straight from the heart. If you click on the image above, you should find you can read the larger version. I used a Zig calligraphy marker to write with which I love, but I’m not sure how legible it is!
The background is Distress paints and stencils, with some stamping coloured with pencils.
There’s more hand challenge artwork coming up from the DT girls who took part and you can see it on our Ning community site here. Plus we have thrown open the challenge for everyone to take part – there are no rules about what form your artwork takes, the only common theme is hands and you can interpret that any way you like. This is an open challenge with no specific deadline, so if you find the theme inspiring, why not pop over to the site and have a go – click here to visit the specific hand challenge discussion. (If you’re not a member it is completely free to join and absolutely stuffed full of Chocolate Baroque inspiration.)
I do hope you’ll take on the challenge and have a go, I’d love to see what you come up with.
This was one of the first cards I made with the Indian stamps. The black background was a test print with the Gelli Arts gel printing plate and the colour is from Dylusions sprayed card. The stamping is all embossed with white embossing powder and I finished it with a few coloured metallic stickers.
I’ve made some changes to the blog layout – nothing too radical, but I felt the sidebars were getting too cluttered, so I’ve tried to simplify things a bit. Some of the side bar content is now down at the very bottom of the screen. One thing I haven’t figured out yet is how to move the number of comments down to below the post instead of above, but if you click on comments they still appear below the post. Anyway, hope you like the changes.
Watch out tomorrow on the website – first of the month means new Chocolate Baroque stamps. All I’ll say is they’re a little punky!
I made this card for my Mum’s birthday recently. I used the Fragrant Honeysuckle stamp which I have coloured with Inktense pencils. It’s layered onto soft watercolour paper which has been embossed with Flora M-Bossabilities and coloured with PanPastels. The backing paper is from the discontinued Songbird pad from Prima.
Here’s the colouring in close up.
Hmm, need to take my camera to a good camera shop. Can you see the grey spots on the photo above – that’s dirt inside the lens where I can’t get to it. I’m getting the same spots showing up on all my photos now, but normally I remember to photoshop them out.
I have always loved this proverb. It speaks to me of mindfulness – living fully in this moment right now, not dwelling on the past or having regrets, not fretting about imaginary futures, but savouring the moment.
I’m pretty good at letting go of the past, I’ve had my share of dramas and traumas and I’ve let go and moved on. But if I get tired or burnt out, I do have a tendency to play out ‘what if scenarios’ like movies in my head. All of them stem from some fear or anxiety, but if I’m not careful, my fertile imagination starts to flesh out all the gory details. If Steven Spielberg or Danny Boyle could get inside my head, I’d have a whole new career as a scriptwriter I’m sure.
So this lovely Sanskrit proverb is a reminder to still the mind and calm the thoughts. Press the pause button and stop my mind from contingency planning every single path of possibility, back to the current moment where I can just breathe and relax and be.
Repetitive stamping is great for focusing the mind on the here and now. It’s soothing to have a simple repetitive act with nothing more complex than choosing a stamp or a colour. Repeat stamping was the focus of a new weekly inspirational email I started doing a couple of weeks ago called Mojo Monday Magic – if you need some tips, why not sign up and you will get access to the archives.
If you’re in need of a stress buster, I can highly recommend it.