Well, by chance, the art journal I grabbed to bring with me to Columbus, Ohio, as part of my travelling stash is the one we got at that workshop and did some experimenting in. It's the Ranger/Dylusions small journal, 8x5 inches.
While I was playing in it today, I thought I might as well grab some photos of some of the exploring we did over that weekend, so this post has more of what happened when butterfly met Papillon (which is French for butterfly, in case you didn't realise!). I like some results better than others...
France explained how she often uses her journals just to find out how products will work together, so the early pages were our chance to mess around with some of the sprays and pastes and other toys she'd brought for us to play with.
(The trouble with sharing this now, of course, is that it's making me crave access to the many and varied products I have at home, whereas I've got to make do with my limited Ohio craft kit!)
There's more shimmer around than I'm used to working with, but it made such sense to play in this way - trying out some of my favourite colour combinations but in three different colour mediums over one page spread, and with different finishes.
Whilst I like the mysterious look of some of that shimmer over black gesso, especially with the added texture, it doesn't feel very me.
I'm an occasional user of black gesso, for sure, but in limited amounts, and it usually vanishes under layers and layers of other stuff.
This page spread feels a bit more like a butterfly one - from grass to sky, texture, crackle and text...
This was a chance to create with the products or effects we'd enjoyed the most so far, and I leapt at my often-favoured blue/greens (second only to the blue/browns here at Words and Pictures).
I enjoyed "messing up" the clean edges of the harlequin crackle texture - I think I was going off-piste with that, as is my wont in classes.
I really love the script stencil - might have to track that down and put it on the Christmas wishlist, I think. And the spattery water droplets in the background do make me very happy.
I find myself quite taken with the level of shimmer here - as you know I love things that catch the light... I'm just not used to so much mica.
I was in two minds about whether to share this next page - it took me a long way out of my comfort zone and I remain pretty ambivalent about the results.
France set up the process deliberately to take away our control. On each table of crafters, we had to take it in turns to say what would be the next element added to the page, whether that was to use a specific colour, technique, or even a particular stamp.
As I've just mentioned, I really don't go for black in my crafting very much (it's even rare for me to stamp in black), so I was very resistant when somebody required the addition of the black stencilling. I do like the spatter though.
We happened to have the lovely Magda Polakow at our table and this little Nina figure had just been released by Stampotique as part of her range of stamp designs.
It's not an image I would usually go for and again I was aware of a crunch of resistance in my spine, but what's a workshop for if not to try new things? And I do now think she's pretty cute - if still not very me!
Orange is, if anything, even rarer than black here, and I nearly went nuts when I was only allowed to add my fabric texture to one side of the spread, which upsets my sense of balance. So overall, this page feels a long way off from conventional "butterfly" creativity. I don't know... what do you think?
Actually the quote on this page is very apt because, in being made to do this, I learned a lot about myself as a crafter. My heart spoke loudly throughout, and I took good note of its protests for future reference!!
For the next page, France herself called out the stages. She kept it much vaguer - add texture, add colour with sprays, add some stamping - so it was possible to be both out of control of the process but also make it feel like one's own work.
Given I'm known also as butterfly, and given the workshop was being run by France Papillon, it seemed only right that they should be my featured theme on these pages.
Lots of my other usual suspects are here too - lots of texture, as well as lots of text...
...tissue wrap, lovely inky blues and greens...
(I love these Stampotique hearts, which I do actually own, but they're only rarely inked up - time to change that when I get home eventually.)
... some metal and some book page scraps...
And the tiny bright red heart is a deliberate homage to France's own work - she very often uses one as an accent in her beautiful journalling.
Sadly my train home was booked at a time which meant I had to leave before the very last exercise of the day, in which France was making the group create to classical music without any chatting at all - something I'd have loved to do... though, of course, to be honest, it's how I create almost all the time, so it would hardly have been new to me!!
It was an absolute joy to meet France Papillon in person. She's been a huge inspiration to me online, and the chance to take part in a whole weekend of playing with her was fantastic.
There are some (as yet unfinished) ATCs hanging around somewhere in my craft room from the same workshop. If I ever get them done, I'll share those too!
Thanks so much for stopping by today. I'll be back in a few days with the new page spread I've just been working on in this same art journal, and then at some point I hope to catch you up with some more of my real-life travels. Shanghai (from back in February this year - I'm a long way behind!) should be our next port of call for that, so I'll hope to see you again soon.
The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.