Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Mamhead Album and WOYWW 391

For the first time for goodness knows how long, I managed to spend a couple of hours in my studio yesterday evening. I took the photos for WOYWW then, because I shall be busy today and might not get time.

I have been getting increasingly frustrated at not having any time or energy to use my beautiful room so grabbed the opportunity after we’d had an early supper as my hubby was going out.

I am continuing work on the two identical mini-albums I started some time ago, after we went with some friends to the beautiful Mamhead Woods near Exeter. Tonight I assembled most of the pages with photos on them.

The first picture shows one of the Zentangle tracing pages being made. I had to think long and hard about how to do this – there is a photo overlaid with a piece of parchment paper on which I have traced the outlines and filled them with Zentangles, so that the photo shows through. I thought that if I bound these layers as separate pages in the binding, it would be much more difficult to line up the tracing exactly over the photo, so I decided to make the layers up as a single page, but then the join would show, as I am going to use a concealed binding system. In the end, I used a very narrow strip of extra-sticky double sided tape to attach the parchment paper to the photo beneath, and I think the result is satisfactory.

13 Making the Traced Pages

As you can see, I was working on my light panel. This enabled me to line everything up accurately, and also to stick the photos to the cardstock which forms the base of each page. On top of the light panel I have got a translucent cutting mat which is ideal for this sort of thing.

I assembled all the pages by running my ATG glue gun around the edges of each cardstock page, and then placing the untrimmed photo face down on the light panel, and lowering the glued page down onto it, carefully lining it up with the edges of the photo. The light shining through from below made this much easier. I then turned the whole thing over and trimmed off the excess with a knife and ruler, and again, the light panel enabled me to see the edge of the page through the photograph so that I could cut it accurately – this was much more clean and tidy than trying to trim off the excess with scissors.

Here are the small photos, trimmed to size. I had printed them out several to a single sheet of paper, sizing and arranging them with my desktop publishing software (Serif PagePlus).

14 Small Photos Trimmed to Size

They will be stuck down onto some sort of background sheet adhered to the page base.

Here are the completed photo pages, including a map of the woods. There is room on some of these for text or mixed media to be added.

15 Photo Pages Made

The traced pages. All the photos were manipulated in some way – posterised, desaturated, made into negatives, sepia-coloured, etc. – using my photo editing software (Serif PhotoPlus).

16 Traced Pages Made

On the traced ones on the right (not the Zentangle ones on the left) I shall probably add some paint – maybe a little colour, or some metallic paints.

Here are the two Zentangle pages.

17 First Zentangle Page

18 Second Zentangle Page

I selected some backgrounds from my backgrounds folder which I thought I might use in this project. Plenty to choose from, and I’m not sure what I shall use yet.

19 A Selection of Backgrounds

My 12 x 12 “mask-and-spray” sheets done with my Infusions paints, and the leaves and flowers that were created during the masking process. I shall definitely be using some of these. I had thought of using some of these papers as end-papers in the albums but have yet to decide.

20 Infusions Backgrounds and Cut-Outs

Finally, a selection of texture-makers – a Fiskar’s Texture Plate, a Tim Holtz embossing folder and a baking texture maker, all in woodgrain or leaf patterns – the Fiskar’s one has a woodgrain pattern on the reverse. I might create some backgrounds using these, or strips of card to embellish various pages.

21 A Selection of Texture Makers

Lots of planning to do, but once I’ve got the pages sorted, I can begin to think how the albums will come together. I have downloaded some lovely quotes from the Internet about trees and woods which I shall incorporate.

One exciting piece of news – I have been approached by one of the people who run the Inspire health forum which I belong to, who wants to do something to feature the artists among their many hundreds of members. The whole forum is vast, with boards relating to pretty well every medical condition under the sun, and quite a few members belong to several boards, as do I (stomas, general cancer, colo-rectal cancer, cardiac, M.E., and gastro-intestinal – although these days I’m really only active on the stoma and cancer boards). Some time ago a group of us were asking if we could have a board dedicated to art because of its tremendous therapeutic value in a number of medical conditions but our request fell on deaf ears, but now something seems to be happening, and it’s rather exciting. Tomorrow I am going to Skype the lady who has approached me (she is in the USA) so that we can chat a bit about why my art is important to me, and to discuss one or two pieces that I have done that have had particular significance for me. This will be a lot easier to do now I’ve got the iPad Pro (I set up Skype on it yesterday) – lugging a laptop around the studio wouldn’t be much fun! As we are Skyping, I will be able to show her my studio “live” and some of my work. This was a great incentive for me to tidy it up a bit yesterday!

More good news – I weigh myself on Tuesdays, and I can now celebrate having lost 3 stone (42 pounds) since I started the 5:2 diet 2 1/2 years ago. I have really lost this weight in 18 months, because I don’t really count the whole of last year, when I was advised to stop dieting while my cancer was being dealt with – I worked it out recently and I only lost 1 lb last year! Still, I suppose it was a step in the right direction!

Wishing all my fellow WOYWW-ers a happy WOYWW and a creative and productive week ahead.


  1. Beautiful detail in those zentangle pictures and backgrounds. All the best with the art therapy discussion sounds like a wonderful idea that more people should get involved in for the amazing benefits.
    sandra de @24

  2. Hi Shoshi, love all the photographs, and the zentangling on them is gorgeous.Great news on the weight loss, well done. The art project sounds a brilliant idea. glad you are well. Hugs, Shaz xxx

  3. Gosh, that looks like a big project, Shoshi! To zentangle each and every photo like that must take ages, but of course well worth the effort! That green/brown background with the leaves immediately jumped out at me. Love it! Can't wait to see your finished album - I admire your patience. I usually can't wait to finish each project so I can move on to the next - this makes me take short cuts and perhaps I don't spend as much time on each as they would deserve.
    Wonderful idea to set up an art board in your medical community. This would surely inspire other people who otherwise wouldn't have even considered taking up a creative hobby and we all know how therapeutic they can be! Hope your Skype meeting goes well and you can get the ball rolling on this. If anyone can, you can! Happy WOYWW!

  4. Oh my goodness, you have a lot going on! I have always wanted to carve out an hour or two somewhere to try the zentangle doodling. Happy Wednesday. Sandy Leigh #38

  5. well, you have been busy - you seem to have got loads done! the photos are fantastic, and will look forward to the album. Good luck with the art forum. Helen #1

  6. I LOVE what you did with your photographs. It is definitely on my to try list for next year. I can't believe just how fantastic they are. Congrats on your art board idea. Such a good one. Art can be so therapeutic. Sadly when my Mum was ill she really didn't feel like doing much of anything. She tried finishing some knitting but she had little/no concentration and ended up having to unpick everything. Mum had a scan yesterday so fingers crossed that all is okay. She won't find out for a couple of weeks. It's always a tense time, as you know.

    Hope your Skype meeting goes well. Please let us know.

    Sharon K #33

  7. Great post Shoshi, loving the papers and the Zentangle pages are awesome! Thanks for the visit to mine, have a great woyww and happy crafting, Angela X 17

  8. wow! you have been busy!
    April #30

  9. Happy Belated WOYWW. It is definitely very late for me to be on my laptop now, but had another busy day. Time for bed very shortly. You know I love your tangles - and I am very inspired to try tracing over a photo myself. Fibro Flare magazine has an arts section and I wrote about how important crafting is to me. Not heard of that health forum - will investigate tomorrow. Ali x #29

  10. Wow, the mini album is looking fantastic so far - the pages you have done with the tracing and the zentangles are amazing, I really love the whole idea.
    Congratulations on your weight loss, and also well-done on helping to initiate this art board. I'm sure there isn't a more perfect person to ask for input with it, what with your artistic abilities, wide range of skills and sheer enthusiasm - good luck with it.
    Thank you so much for stopping by my blog earlier, and for your kind comments, I hope you have a good week,
    Diana x

  11. Hi Shoshi!! This post was so cool I am going to have to come back and take notes!!Have a great week! Ginny#45 WOYWW

  12. Oooh - fun! I'm not sure I'd have the patience to zentangle over the top of photos on an overlay like that, but I also love looking at photos for their own sake so it's probably not me at all! I love how we all have different things we love...

    Glad you're keeping well...

    Morti @35


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