Saturday, April 27, 2024

Affirmation Necklace


About two years ago I took some leftover stenciled paper that I had created using my own designs in pastel colors and punched circles out of it. On the back I wrote affirmations. I poked holes in them and hung them on my bedpost, reading them aloud each evening. It was a difficult time in my life because my husband had recently died and I was processing a lot of sadness, grief, and anger. Amid the sorrow was the "salt in the wound": I suddenly went from a two income family to a widow with half the income. So one of my first affirmations was: "I have a creative, lucrative part-time job."

This set of affirmation discs was made with stenciled paper, beads, a handmade tassel, and stamped shrinky-dink charms.

I looked at the old affirmation discs about a week ago, and flipped over each one to read what I had written. They had all come true. Yup, the perfect part-time job came to me. My health improved. My panic-disorder receded. 

What manifested was not exactly as I had imagined it, but the five things I wanted and needed had come into being. I realized that manifesting does work, and decided to create some new circles using the one of the latest stamp sets, EGL40, designed by Gwen Lafluer for PaperArtsy.

I stamped all of the new designs on circles of hot press watercolor paper, then added color with ShinHan watercolors, brush tipped markers, and posca pens

Next, I selected five of the 10 new affirmation discs and sorted through my stash of beads and decorative doodads looking for just the right pieces to construct the affirmation necklace. (Although I call it a necklace, I will hang it off my bedpost rather than wearing it as a piece of jewelry.)

Here's the "how-to" photos:

Using a punch, I made a hole near the top edge of each circle.

I used grommets with a grommet setting tool to reinforce each hole.

A metal ring was threaded through each grommet.

10 circles with grommets

All 10 circles with the metal loop inserted

"Auditioning" beads and baubles to go between each of the circles. I threaded all the pieces onto thin ball-chain for added strength.

Here's a close-up of three of the affirmation discs that I used for the project:

If you are interested in how to write an affirmation, here's an article that explains the process.

Monday, January 22, 2024

Yoni Girl

A few nights ago, I couldn't sleep and was up late watching YouTube music videos. I realized that there were so many songs I loved, and jotted their names down with plans to download them. The next day, as I was checking titles against my existing music list, making notes, and listening to snippets of songs, I traced the shape of my iPhone and doodled inside it. 

I took a look later at the doodle and wondered if it was symbolic, so I asked in my women's spirituality group if anyone had any insight on it. Moments later I realized it looked like a Yoni, an ancient symbol of female divinity and fertility. 

This is a close-up of the symbol doodled in my journal. 

I decided I would incorporate the design into a portrait, and use the symbols on the neck, as I had done on my old "Broken Chakra Girl" artwork from around 2006. 

The Broken Chakra Girl design was done on white cotton using fabric markers.

The Broken Chakra Girl was scanned, combined with several of my fabric designs, printed on cotton, and stitched for this art quilt. It was included in the 2008 book 1000 Artist Journal Pages by Dawn  DeVries Sokol.

I set to work tracing the doodle and transferring it to a piece of primed chipboard that had some pretty splashes of pink and yellow.

The doodle was traced, then transferred onto the neck of the sketched figure.

The painting went through a lot of phases. I couldn't get the doodle symbol to look right, and kept painting, then painting over what I had already painted, until I finally realized it was too hard-edged. I softened the symbol and lightened the color, making it much more subtle and feminine, and it finally came together.

The last things I added were stenciled leaf shapes with one of my favorite old stencils from my first StencilGirl collection, and a Rumi quote that popped into my head as I was painting. I had scribbled the quote on the back of the painting so that I wouldn't forget. I handwrote the words with a gray posca pen to keep the soft, feminine mood rather than grabbing a harsh black sharpie.

Here's some photos of my process:

The painted chipboard and my journal with the Yoni symbol.

The design was transferred and outlined with black sharpie.

The symbol was too harsh, so I painted gesso over most of the design.

Even after layers of paint and gesso, the sharpie lines kept showing through.

I decided she needed a heart; it's color and wholeness are in sharp contrast to the broken heart on the figure from 18 years earlier.

I added strong brushstrokes of thick white acrylic and finally covered up the sharpie lines.

The painting seemed incomplete without adding one of my own stencils, so I used my Lemurian Leaf to hint at wings and give her a goddess feeling.

Above is the almost finished painting, before a favorite Rumi quote, "The wound is the place where the light enters you," was added.

Monday, October 23, 2023

Stenciled "Zine" Challenge: Reiki Daily Prayer

I always love Tina Walker's art challenges, and I joined her "Zine" challenge without knowing what a Zine was. It turns out that it is a special way of folding a sheet of paper into 8 parts, cutting the paper partially in the middle, and then folding it so you have 4 back to back pages.

I took some lightweight paper (mine was 14" x 20" but you can use any size) and stenciled all over with an assortment of my own stencils in pastel colors. Here's my process:

I started with my Tossed Poppies stencil and light aqua paint

I added stencils from my Wyatt ATC Mix Up stencil in a variety of pastel shades.

Once I had the background done and the book folded and glued, I had a 5" x 7" book with 8 pages. 

I was ready for the next stage. I decided to stencil images that would illustrate the Reiki Daily Prayer. I used a Versamark stamp pad with gold embossing powder on tissue paper, then cut the excess blank paper from the images, and glued them to the pages.

I chose the Crown Chakra stencil by Kathryn Costa for my cover. You can find all the other stencils I used on the StencilGirl website.

After all the tissue paper images with gold embossing were glued, I printed the Reiki Daily Prayer on thin tracing paper from my laser printer, carefully cut the words, and glued them in place.

Here's how the finished pages look next to each other:

Front cover (right) and back cover (left)

And here's how the book looks when you open it up:

Reiki is an energy healing method, and is not associated with any religion.

Here is the Reiki Daily Prayer I used in my book:

Just for today, I will let go of anger.

Just for today, I will let go of worry.

Today, I will count my many blessings.

Today, I will do my work honestly.

Today, I will be kind to every living creature.