Saturday, 31 July 2010


... OK I'm completely HOOKED on this art journal thing! Why didn't I discover it before, where has it been all this time?? Waiting for me of course, I've finally found the one thing I really REALLY want to do (well apart from sewing, scrapbooking, making ATCs and writing obviously). This is my latest page - and if you've read previous posts you may know that I'm in kind of a rough patch lately: I'm not usually this negative, honest! But making this page helped a lot - I hated it at first but it sort of grew on me as I went along. It feels finished and I'm trying to resist the temptation to fill in the empty spaces just because I can ... well because there are empty spaces in me too right now. I need to explore other ways of making backgrounds because the Distress Ink ones are feeling a bit samey, but my experiment with paint didn't please me at all. Think I need some of those water soluble pastels or whatever they're called? Somebody please tell me what they are called so I can google them and buy some??

So many people advised me to try A4, and I was a little frustrated with the 6 x 4" that I'd been doing, so this is the second of my A4 pages and I do love the freedom of it. I also made myself my first ever journal - only simple, some covers made from recycled odds and ends, and book rings hold it together for now. Eventually it will be spiral bound, but not until I decide its "full".

Wednesday, 28 July 2010


Well better late than never (it's 3pm) here's my desk - and I've taken the picture from a distance so that you can appreciate how spread out I am. That's my paper scraps box in the foreground, which is getting a lot more use made of it since I took up journal making. Under the desk you can just see my two bins - recycling and rubbish.
Here's a close up of the actual work in progress - a nearly finished page for my new (bigger) journal. If you've seen the other pages you'll know they are pretty small, so I've been busily making myself a set of covers for A4 watercolour papers. Having said that, when I actually sat down with a sheet of paper that size I was pretty intimidated, and felt at first like I was just making everything bigger to fill up the page. It turned out OK in the end I think.
And here's a quick swing to the left to show the little journal, my binder of collage sheets, the book on fancy lettering I've just bought, and under the binder a quick glimpse of the new journal covers. That's my Wednesday contribution - now off to visit some other desks for a good ole nosey about. If you'd like to do the same, get on over to Julia's where a feast of nosiness awaits!!

Saturday, 24 July 2010


I'm pleased to report that this page was made LAST week ... and that I'm a lot less cross than I was, but did it ever do me good to get this lot off my chest! Sounds odd to say that I enjoyed making it, but I sort of did and I know that it was extremely therapeutic. Journalling has been such a brilliant way to work through a difficult time ...

Thursday, 22 July 2010


Oh I DID laugh this morning when this arrived from Linda! Just look what she did with my collage images and Photoshop! Made me smile so much, before grinding my teeth with envy because I wouldn't know how to start to do this .... she's the Photoshop queen these days!!

Wednesday, 21 July 2010


Welcome WOYWWERS (that's Whats On Your Workdesk Wednesday over at Julia's! It's time to reveal the contents of my desk again, and this time it's something a bit different. As you know I've been bitten by the art journalling bug, in the course of which I've hankered after some different kinds of collage sheets, rather than the vintage photos which form the greater part of my collection - although I have a few Teesha Moore sheets too. In the end it occurred to me to make my own, so this is my first attempt at doing so ... haven't a clue how I ought to be doing it, or even whether to photograph the result or scan it or what, so any hints gratefully received. My journal is also open on the desk to give me inspiration for the kinds of elements I wanted to produce.

A lot of collage sheets are simply beautiful but are already complete works of art in their own right. I don't want to just cut something out and stick it down, I'd rather have distinct elements that I can use, or cut up if the fancy takes me, so that was my guiding principle.

And it wouldn't be fair not to show you the completed effort, so yer tis. Some things are coloured but I've deliberately left others black and white so they can be coloured at need. Every element is an original drawn by me, so that I can't infringe anyone's copyright. Feedback much appreciated - negative or otherwise - and I hope to make this available as a freebie when I've figured out the best way to reproduce it ...

Friday, 16 July 2010


Making this art journal is not only pressing every creative button I have but proving to be deeply therapeutic. It's quite new to me but seems to bring together all the elements I most enjoy about making art - painting/colouring, collage, doodling and most of all writing and recording. I'm still learning of course, and can't wait to work on a larger page, but for now this small size will do to explore the possibilities, and is getting me through a dark time in my life.

I made the background on watercolour paper with Distress Inks, Victorian Velvet and Rose and added a framework of strips cut from patterned paper scraps. Doodled and coloured my way around the edges, added the girl and gradually worked my way through the writing, filling in the gaps with more doodling.

And for those who care to know .... things already look better.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010


YEE HAW I'm back! Don't ask about last week I really don't want to go through that again. Anyway here I am with the WOYWW inspired by the wondrous Julia and on my desk this week is my gorgeous new pink mat, which sort of fell into my trolley when I went to the Range to buy PVA glue. In my defence I have to say that it lifts my spirits summat wonderful, so was a complete snip at the price. You may notice a slight fondness for pink here and there if you look around ...

And having taken to art journalling like a duck to water, as you can see I was working on another entry here - but it can't be revealed because it's not finished. Don't know if I've ever mentioned that the "hutch" at the back of my desk is an Ikea CD shelf which I turned upside down, so that it gives me a shelf and those little cubby holes. Works for me and is great for ink storage, although this is far from being my entire ink pad collection, just my most used.
Anyway, thought I'd do a bit of a swing for you this week, so this is the left side of my bay window desk, which offers a view of my Homebase cake stand, sprayed pink by me. I really really wanted one of these, but since I've had it am not sure if I've found the perfect use for it yet. I do keep my Distress ink knobs (applicators) in the top, but otherwise it's a bit of a dumping ground. Suggestions for using the lower portions welcome!

And last of all, here is another journal layout - don't read it if you are of a nervous disposition, it wasn't a good day. Am happy to report that a more positive one followed ... Distress ink background, some bits punched out of scrap paper, a stamped face (I forget whose) and LOTS of doodling, which is my favourite bit.
Will be back to look at other desks later - I never get to all of them and have stopped even trying, I just dip in and out at random because that's the best I can do. Sorry if that bugs you.

Sunday, 11 July 2010


Decided I didn't like the journal cover made from fabric - and anyway bits had dropped off it - so set to making another. I wanted a loose leaf format (not sure why) so this is the result, made in my new favourite duck-egg blue colour (the bathroom is gonna get the same treatment shortly)! These papers are from Basic Grey's Marrakesh range - absolutely delicious. I added metal corners and one of the Tim Holtz frames I've been saving for something special ... well they're too expensive to just waste aren't they??

And this is the inside with my first page in place - working on another one now, which I will be putting up soon. I still like this one and feel I've discovered something really important in my new enthusiasm for keeping an art journal ... have already decided that the next one will be BIGGER! At 4.5 x 6" these pages are already feeling much too small.

I made the book below as a gift for our American friends who were our hosts for part of our trip to Virginia in May. I had a lot of fun making it, and it celebrates their ancient links with the "mother country" and its aristocracy, and has all sorts of Royal paraphernalia inside ... hence the brass crown on the front which I antiqued with chalk inks, and the key which got the treatment with mixed metallic embossing powders.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010


I'm back from Italy and this is what's on my desk today ... inspired by this blog, I've been planning to start an art journal for some time. Something is going on in my life which got me starting work on it, because there was something I really wanted to say. I've used this cover that I made some time ago to hold loose leaf water-colour papers, which is a sewn project of fabric around pelmet stiffener.

I've admired Kate's work for some time, and hope my page is only inspired by and not copied from her ideas. Working on watercolour paper I coloured it with Distress Inks and then added some spray inks, collage items, the heading, and the stamped Madonna. The pages are only 4 1/2 by 6" so its a relatively small space to work in.

This is the finished page - a combination 0f doodling, collage and stamping - all the elements I love. It's very personal, but I guess that's how it should be ... I wouldn't share it if I didn't want to.

If you want to see other (even more interesting) desks, which are boldly displayed every Wednesday, get on over to the WOYWW Queen Julia to find out more ...