Wednesday, 29 September 2010


I've been absent without leave for a few weeks from Whats On Your Workdesk Wednesday (WOYWW) but am pleased to report that I managed to remember to organise myself this week (I usually remember on Thursdays) ... and took a picture of the desk on Tuesday! So here it is, and no surprises to find that the desk contains evidence of the art journalling which has now taken over my life! You can also see my Cath Kidston pink spotty mug (present from DD1), my brilliant Tim Holtz scissors which make it possible to cut out with my arthriticky hands, and the fine glue bottle with which I do nearly everything.
And here's a close-up of the page I was working on, and I changed to working in landscape rather than portrait to further illustrate my message about changing your point of view .... subtle stuff eh? There is of course a story behind this page, but let's just say that I learned the hard way ...

And below is the finished page, snapped first thing this morning. If you are also of a nosey disposition and love seeing other people's work spaces, then get on over to Julia's place to see hundreds more ...

Saturday, 25 September 2010


It's that time of the week when I get my scissors out and do some snipping of the magazines and papers from the last few days. As you know that's been a fertile ground for journal prompts to share with you, and some of them make me laugh so much even if I never actually use them - although you might?

Here's what this morning's scissor-happy exercise produced ...

Find a world
Hidden fees
Loving life
May jump out
Stuff in your garage
No-one will hear
True to Life
Crazed Mishmash
Just what the shrink ordered
Feast your eyes
Dreams of seeing
Getting some answers

So lots there to get your brain cells whirling with activity!! I'd love to know if any of these spark something for you, so do please share any pages that result.
Speaking of which ... I found one which said "get out more" and this was the page which came out of that. It's a subject I often ponder because, being disabled, it's just easier to stay home most of the time where everything is organised the way I can handle it. If I go out I'm immediately reminded of my problems and difficulties, so often I simply stay home. I don't drive any more and just the thought of getting on a bus wears me out! While I do love messing about in my Studio I also know that it's really good for me to get out sometimes and challenge myself physically and mentally.

It might interest you to know that those little houses are stamps by Invoke Arts, and are possibly my favourite set of all time. This page isn't an original in that it was heavily borrowed from one I saw in Craft Stamper which inspired me. I changed it a bit of course so it's mine now innit?

Thursday, 23 September 2010


This is me in light-hearted journalling mode! I've recorded all manner of deep stuff, but sometimes you just want to write about a small things which happen to be making you smile. I got a new cardigan for my birthday and I LOVE it, so decided to write about it - one day maybe I'll read back and think "oh yes, I remember that cardi" .... just me that has favourite pieces of clothing then?? Started in the way which is becoming usual for me with my water soluble crayons and a drawing of said gorgeous garment.
It isn't one of my more ambitious pages so I didn't bother to record the stages, but here is the finished item. It includes some stamping but not much more than the lettering - perhaps because there didn't seem to be more to say really? You're bound to ask so I'll tell you - my happy cardigan came from Marks and Sparks, and I'm convinced it has magic powers to make the wearer feel happy. It DOES, honest!!

Saturday, 18 September 2010


I've been threatening to clear out cupboards in the studio for ages, so today I'm pleased to report that one of them is done and the charity shop has benefited from the process. Still found time to journal of course, and this was one of the backgrounds made from scrapbook paper - where I needed to strengthen a page. I just added a bit of brown around the edges, and then started doodling (can you tell I LOVE doing that) ....?
The clock just seemed to belong and the stripes sort of grew. I didn't actually know what the page was going to be about until I wrote the word sanctuary, and then all the ideas and feelings exploded! Such an emotive word, with layers of meaning connected to safety, needing to retreat, having a space which is just mine etc.
Until quite recently I'd forgotten I could draw, and now it's a joy to be doing more of it. I suppose you can figure out that this little house in a tree is all about a safe sanctuary? Not sure why its in a tree but have to trust my own instinct, and at least I could draw up the rope ladder if I needed to be alone? The way it looks is a bit Hobbit-ish isn't it, but I think if I could design a house of my own that's the sort of thing I would build, with round doorways and windows, and lots of curves instead of straight lines. Did you ever see Ben Law's house on Grand Designs - I really really wanted to live there ...
And this is the finished page - another one I'm really pleased with (I still dislike some that I make). The satisfaction has to do with feeling that I've put down something I really wanted to communicate, and I like the way it looks too. It makes me happy. Like I said, I think I've found my "one thing".

Thursday, 16 September 2010


Thought I would show you the gestation of another journal page. Because the pages in my chosen book aren't that heavy I've been gluing them together, and often I add some scrapbook paper for extra strength. As you can see that's how the background of this page was made - perhaps its not strictly legitimate, as its kind of ready-made, but since I have a LOT of paper scraps I see it as a great way to use them up. The thrifty scrapper strikes again.
I'd had this idea that I wanted to journal about some of my favourite things - you never know, one day my daughters or posterity might be interested? Yes, well. Anyway I had a particular poem by Maya Angelou in mind about a caged bird, and just happened to have some birdcage stamps! I think they're Basic Gray but didn't keep the packaging. Anyway, that was the next stage in decorating this page.
Then I added some soluble crayon and began to write about what the poem meant to me. And finally (below) is the finished page. I like the organic process of just allowing a page to grow like this, and the only part I'm uncertain about is the verse at the bottom where I wish the paper wasn't quite so white. Perhaps I should have used ivory or something? Hey ho, it's done now.
But before I go .... I came up with a brilliant wheeze!! I've never yet used any magazine images etc in a journal page but since they're free(ish) was determined to give this a go. I was cutting up an old copy of the mag Simple Scrapbooks - didn't find much in the way of images but cut out LOADS of titles which prompt all manner of ideas for pages .... eg
Feed your passion
I've seen this before
Try something different
Lose the Mess
Normal behaviour
It's Simple
Dark Horses
Breathing Underwater
Hidden Stories

Does this sound fun or what - try it and see why don't you??

Sunday, 12 September 2010


This post is about how an art journal page is made. Now to me that title feels totally presumptious, since I'm just feeling my way at this and it's quite new to me. But so many people have asked me about it that I thought I'd try to take a series of pictures of the development of a page, or at least mine anyway. One of the things which has helped me a lot is being liberated from the feeling that I have to sit down and finish one whole page all at once, and now I'm more comfortable with just adding a bit here and there until it seems "finished" or I can't fit any more stuff on!! The above page was inspired by seeing something that was made up in similar layers or waves, like strata in a rock, so I used my watersoluble crayons to set down the basic layers.
Then this is what happens when you add water - brilliant isn't it?? I love the transformation from rubbed-on crayon to deep, intense colour!
So then this is the page after I'd added water to all the layers. As a bit of a perfectionist it's been quite hard for me to work from the bottom up in this way, and to take my time about finishing it. The original vision had been about weaving writing and black lines into the layers.
So I got out my black acrylics and added some new black strata, and I really liked the way this gave definition. Bear in mind always that the gestation of this page was over several days, and I kept returning to it and adding a bit more ... yes OK if you like "fiddling" about with it.
Then I got down the basic theme of what I wanted to write about. At this stage I thought there wouldn't be any more writing and just began to doodle in the spaces.
But I turned out to have more things to say, and I added some more circles of soluble crayon to intensify areas of colour I could draw around. I'm not sure I understand why but I seem to have this need to fill up most of the space, and I've found the artist pages I seem to really respond to are those which are full and busy. Funny, because it's not as if I'm scared of space or silence, perhaps I'm just somebody with a lot I'm bursting to say?
And this is the final result - which does actually feel "finished" rather than my just having filled up the space! I really loved making this page and its one of the ones I'm most pleased with so far. Perhaps I've been using too much scrapbook paper in my pages, but then again I like doing that too. I think I like this one so much because of the layers and strata which touches something deep in me, as indeed the whole art journalling thing does. I guess this is how I truly am, a person with lots of layers and strata, some deep and wise, some colourful, some dark, some which are just splashes of colour or doodles, and it gives me great pleasure to have managed to communicate that.

But most of all it seems that, for the first time, my art and SOUL seem to be coming together, and it's a wonderful feeling. I hardly dare to say this but I think I've found my niche at last ....REJOICE, let joy be unconfined!

Sunday, 5 September 2010


Went to the local car boot sale last week and found all sorts of great stuff to alter, including this Beach Hut which has a flip-top lid so is very useful storage. I have another one almost identical which is pale blue, but this one had been well loved and was a little bit beaten up, so cried out for "the treatment"!
So .... I took the hinges off so I could paint it, what other colour except pink using a Dulux matchpot, and made the roof black. The whole thing then got a coat of Mod Podge to protect it. I then raided my scrapbook paper offcuts for anything pink - found one or two bits - and set to layering these across the front. More Mod Podge sealed these.

And this is the result! A Thing of beauty and a Joy Forever eh? Haven't decided what to keep in it yet but am sure to think of something! Not bad for a 50p car boot sale find!!