Sunday, 29 August 2010


If you're getting the impression that I haven't done anything except art journal stuff lately, then you'd be almost right! To be fair I have done some scrapping, and even managed to work on some swaps, finish Chapter 6 and make a start on Chapter 7, before "allowing" myself to get back to the journal.

Above and below are some blank pages I made. I never thought I'd want to do this unless I had a specific theme in mind, but it's wonderfully liberating to just tackle a page with an "anything goes" attitude, and sometimes surprising what comes out. The vintage page is a combination of Distress Inks and water soluble crayons, and the one below is watercolour - just a cheap set I've had for years, with a touch of doodling/colouring by way of a border. I find that latter activity so totally restful, and my brain just drifts off and does its own thing ....
And here's a page I finished yesterday, which is a Distress Ink background literally just rubbed over the watercolour paper - gives an interesting texture. Then I started to add a bit of detail with soluble wax crayons in circles, which then turned into flowers and stuff. I was sort of doing this as part of an online journalling class, but ended up departing from the brief. If nothing else it got me trying some stuff I wouldn't usually, which can only be good! Also I was talking myself out of a low grumpy mood, so this is my Pollyanna page ...

Friday, 27 August 2010


This is a page made with a watercolour background (which sadly made the not very thick watercolour paper go wrinkly). I drew a border for the page and doodled/coloured it, the little bits of faces are from a Paula Best stamp. The wording records something quite profound even if I'm not sure that I've said what I mean - but it has something to do with all of us playing our part in a great piece of music ...

This page was me in much more melancholy mood - just how I was feeling. I do spend the greater part of my time here in the window working away at something or other, and sometimes it does feel like life is passing me by. In reality I am doing a lot of necessary resting in order to be able to do the things I really want to do, but occasional bouts of self-pity overtake me!! I think this might have been one of them!
Sorry about Wednesday and my missing desk - I .... um, forgot! Ooops ...

Saturday, 21 August 2010


Thought I would share two of the journal pages I've made lately (some of them are a bit private for sharing but these aren't). I was preparing this page just as a blank to use later and when I came across the Artchix muse among my collage sheets with her "spoil me" logo I started to think about that as a theme. So this is a useful information page for my nearest and dearest in case they ever want to make me really happy or cheer me up on a bad day, because it contains ideas they might like to use ... OK OK I know I'm dreaming!!

This second page was something I really wanted to SAY, but I'm not sure I like how I've done it! I'm cross with myself that it has turned out all straight lines for starters, but it isn't nearly "arty" enough to fit the theme. Never mind, its done now and there is already another page on the back which I don't want to waste and this one isn't that bad is it? (if it is then TELL me)!!

Wednesday, 18 August 2010


Not wonderful because anything particular has happened, but the sun is having a go at shining and I've got a clear day ahead of me in which anything might happen, including a trip to Ikea! On my workdesk is one of three "artist sketchbooks" bought on special offer from Sainsburys. You won't be remotely surprised to learn that these will become art journals, and I've been decorating the cover of one - they come with a blank, white gessoed cover with that express purpose. I gave this one a coat of paint and collaged it until it looked done, which it just about is.
Here's a close-up view - I should add that the pages are about A5. I've enjoyed my A4 pages but found them just a touch big (and therefore intimidating) where my original ones were a bit small. Am therefore hoping that this size will be (as Goldilocks said) "just right". The initiated among you will notice a number of Artchix images on the cover ....
And here it is, open at a blank page, inviting me to fill it up. Think I will do the first one as a title (have decided all my journals will have one) and this will be called "talking to myself". Maybe later I'll get a chance to prep some pages and play about with inks and crayons and stuff ..... I'll be back to look at some desks then!

Several people have left messages asking questions - if you do so via the email in my profile I'll do my best to respond, but if you only comment and don't have an email in your profile then it gets a bit complicated!!

Friday, 13 August 2010


It's been interesting to me that my first experiments in art journalling have generally been very bold and bright - yet my number one favourite style has always been vintage/shabby chic. What I've never understood is why my efforts in this direction nearly always end up brown (I'm just naturally attracted to Sepia?) and I struggle to use a wider colour palette? I loved making this page but it's taught me two things - 1. when I try to do vintage I should try harder to break out of brown and 2. I have a tendency to write straight across the page, so need to think outside the box more and write in circles or whatever. Never mind, so much art to explore and so little time .....

Wednesday, 11 August 2010


If it's Wednesday again, it must be time to reveal what I'm working on through the contents of my desk. If this means nothing to you then go to Julia's place and find out. So anyway, there's my trusty pink spotty mug - which I think gets into my desk picture just about every week. My new pink mat (now becoming increasingly grubby) is in full view, and so are my trusty basics - chalk inks, gel pens, Tim Holtz scissor and fine tip bottle of PVA. Oh, and glasses of course ... you squint a lot more as you age I've found!

You will correctly deduce that I'm working on another journal page - just one of the small ones this time, and this is going to be the final page in the process of working through something difficult. As you can see I'm about to "let it go" and move on ... You will also see scraps of patterned paper. Now I've got a lot of these because I'm also a scrapbooker, and have finally found a brilliant use for them now that I've taken up art journalling!
Thought I'd go in for another swing - the right this time, and show you the slim boxes in which I keep paper. Originally I stored all my paper by colour group, but gradually learned to buy papers not one sheet at a time but several from a particular range. Now I mainly file my purchases in scrap kits which I make up, and anything else goes in these boxes, mostly by manufacturer or range, and the last few still by colour. Specialised is reserved for holiday type papers such as Christmas, or baby boy/girl and so on.
My current storage obsession is how to make a home for my growing family of promarkers? If you have any interesting solutions I'd be glad to hear about them!

Monday, 9 August 2010


You'd think I was obsessed or something .... made this page to go in the front of my A4 journal. Funny thing is, even though the first journal quickly seemed way too small, A4 still feels a bit big. I've actually bought some books from Sainsburys (3 for £10!) which are A5 and think this might turn out to be the right size for me ...

And no, I'm not actually spending every waking minute making this journal ... although I will admit that progress in other areas has been a little, .. ahem, shall we say slow? Did manage to finish chapter 5 yesterday though!

Saturday, 7 August 2010


I've been playing with that journal again ... and (sorry about that first bit, blogger is having a hissy fit again) this is the result. I like putting a border around pages - well some of them anyway - and have used an assortment of collage sheets and bits of this and that, plus a couple of houses from a Dyan Reaveley sheet. The arch house is a Paper Artsy stamp. I still seem to feel an overwhelming urge to fill every inch of each page, but I'm working on it ...

Haven't forgotten my promise to make this collage sheet available as a freebie. I've saved it as a JPEG file, which I hope everyone who wants it will be able to save to their own computers and print. I'd be very interested to have feedback on how you get on, and whether you'd prefer a PDF file or whatever ... not least because I've made a couple more!!

Thursday, 5 August 2010


In pursuit of my new found love of art journalling I bought a basic box of Caran d'ache water soluble wax crayons, which a lot of people seemed to recommend, and thought I would record my experiments with them for posterity! You can see above what happened when I rubbed them sideways against textured watercolour paper.
And this is what happens when you add water with a wet paintbrush - FAB isn't it?? The colours just sort of melt and mingle, and you can have so much fun just swooshing them about!
Then I stamped over the corners with a check pattern - not an original idea, I'd seen it somewhere and now can't remember where.
Then following the same inspiration source I made a panel for journalling in the centre. The good news for me is that in the process I discovered that:-
a) you can stamp over the crayon with water based inks
b) most pens don't seem to mind the surface either - though some are a bit resistant
c) my marker pens work on the surface as well!
So that's a thumbs up from me, and I'll definitely be exploring this technique for backgrounds some more. I can't get on with paint - the chalky result I got using my acrylics made my teeth itch!! Yeuck!

Wednesday, 4 August 2010


Good Morning WOYWWers (and if you aren't familiar with this concept, get on over to Julia's place where all will be revealed). It's a bit dark out there today because although the sun was shining, it's now black as a bat and raining like mad - it must have known I wanted to go out ... Anyway, this is me desk today, as I left it last night after what seemed like a marathon battle to design a card. Ever had one of those days when everything you do just looks pants? Well that's what it was, but I sort of got there in the end (I think). The desk tells it's own tale of the mountains of stuff I got out in the attempt to create - looks like a bomb has hit it. Better draw a veil over that, so instead I draw your attention to my budget bargain paint storage system!
I've got quite a lot of acrylic paint but like to keep a few standard colours close at hand (rather than on the other side of the room in the cupboard). Found this wooden CD rack in a bargain store for £5.99, and it works brilliantly, not to mention using a dead space next to the curtains. As you can probably see it even came with nifty brackets to hang it on the wall.

Off out to dodge raindrops now, but back later to investigate a selection of your desks ..... but can I just put in a plea? I hate it when I get to someone's blog to be blasted by music - I don't want it, don't often like it, so please ... don't impose it on us. I never linger and I don't comment, just get out of there asap!

Monday, 2 August 2010


Yes I am officially an art journaller ... not least because I don't seem to want to do anything else at the moment (even Chapter 5 is suffering from neglect)! This is a page from my little journal made a couple of weeks ago when things were looking pretty bleak. The background is Distress inks plus some bits of collage and doodling. Nothing fancy or complicated, but it helped me through a difficult day ....