Thursday, 28 April 2011


Well I'd woken up this morning feeling a bit sorry for myself - making friends in a new place is slow and our new life not yet established. Then I look at these pages made just a few days ago and am reminded that this is nothing worse than a down sort of day, and that actually I am .... as the page says, very lucky! That's Pollyanna's thought for the day then. This page started with a sheet of Basic Grey paper - I love these backgrounds they do, just perfect for journalling on. I use papers some of the time to strengthen the pages of this book, which aren't that strong even with two sheets stuck together. Then I set to with another of the gorgeous Artchix collage sheets Helga sent me - love those vibrant pinks and the leopard skin I'm always threatening to take to wearing (daughters would disown me)!! At this stage I genuinely had no idea what I was going to write about, but then I put the words "I'm so lucky" on the big house shape, and I was off!
And then (as you can see) I just sort of wandered all over the page doing what comes naturally ... which is why I tend not to prepare pages ahead, that doesn't really seem to work for me at all in what is a truly organic process. More often than not I don't know what I'm going to say when I begin a page, say how can I know what images will work?
And then when I've said everything ... I fill up the gaps (can't seem to allow blank spaces anywhere - is that a character defect??) with doodling. Its just so relaxing doing that - I let my mind drift off, usually on the subject I've been writing about. That's why I love art journalling so much - for me its such a reflective process.
But the truth is that I'm wishing I could recapture the spirit of thankfulness in which this page was made just a few days ago. Now I seem to be cranky and out of sorts. Maybe I'm a bit tired, it certainly can't be the weather which is gorgeous and sunny, if a bit nippy out. Actually I do know what it is - I need friends to ring up or press my doorbell and for weeks now almost nobody has (except for church business anyway). We do have plans for tomorrow's Royal Wedding and I've got all sorts of secret bunting, flags to wave and plastic tiaras to wear stashed away for a surprise. But the truth is that spending the day with two old ladies isn't quite how I'd imagined it ....

OH STOP IT! Pull yourself together Rosie, STOPPIT with the self pity, and remember how very VERY lucky you really are ....

Sunday, 24 April 2011


I love the images by Artchix and use them a lot in my journal pages, and Helga was kind enough to send me a parcel of goodies from the shop to play with! You can imagine how thrilled I was when this package of loveliness arrived ...

I particularly like the eco products, so set to work on an Eco Shrine (see below) as an Easter gift for a very dear friend. There are three in a package, and Helga sent me other sizes, so expect to see more of these! This one is approximately 5.5" square, so just a nice size to sit on your desk or a windowsill.
Anyway, I was in full "vintage" mode - although I do love colour, sometimes these shades of browns and blacks just speak to me, and when you add the GOLD of the German scrap, it really zings!
The central image is one I particularly like - someone took the face from the Turin shroud and gave it colour and life, which makes it even more powerful. It really speaks to me, and I find it rather special and somehow moving. Its the absolute serenity of it I think? I do know of course that we can't know what Jesus looks like but .... this is NOT a graven image or anything!
And of course, I had to decorate the back as well - just very simply to keep things neat! How do you like my new stamp?? My friend should have received it now, so I hope she likes it. A very joyful Easter to all my readers!

Wednesday, 20 April 2011


I have been doing parts of the online course "21 Secrets", although I admit to not being entirely thrilled by the workshops I've done so far. Anyway this particular one "Me and My Shadow" attracted me because it got you to think about your public face and your private darkness. So for the first time I set out to make a double spread in my journal on that theme. I began by doing some stamping on the page - one side flowing and lovely and the other sort of spiky and difficult! You can see where I was coming from ....
Then I added some colour using Distress Inks as a wash, then a bit more stamping and some doodling as the fancy took me. The next stage was to produce two images to represent me ... which I found a bit of a challenge! My approach was to draw two heads side by side on watercolour paper, and then to make subtle changes between the two ... not sure how successful I've been, but gave it my best shot! I used my Promarkers for this part and haven't quite got the hang of shading with these - must try and find a tutorial on this, because my methods are distinctly hit and miss (these are actually the second attempt)!
At this point I left the pages for a day or two, before I began writing, but eventually it flowed. The funny thing is that what I've produced doesn't quite feel like me - doing them as part of a workshop and "to order" has meant that they're mine but .....
Darn it I'm not sure what I mean really - but I don't think left to myself that these pages are really my style, they feel a bit forced rather than natural. Hey ho, you live and learn.

Sunday, 17 April 2011


I made this stripy page some time ago using my water-soluble crayons but then didn't do anything with it for a while, until I encountered this quote in a newspaper and just had to journal about it.
I find that extra-fine Sharpie pens (among others) write really well over the crayon layers, and the bits at the top were just crying out for a bit of doodling, while I thought about what else I wanted to say. I love doing pages like this with the layers of colour - it practically invites you write on them and to build up layers of meaning as you do so.
The stripes and colours here really feel like me, and so does the doodling. I always wish I could do pages which are loose and free, all spattered with paint and layers of paper etc., but that doesn't seem to come naturally to me at all. You might guess that I'm kind of tidy and organised, a bit of a neat freak if I'm honest. Sorry. However, since it's my journal and I get to pick what goes in it (and what I show of it) I shall carry on regardless in unrepentant fashion!
By the way .... Happy Palm Sunday. We had a donkey at church, but it firmly declined to come in even though we wanted it to. Hey ho, the kids all had rides afterwards, which was FUN.

Monday, 11 April 2011


I can finally say that I'm settled into the new Studio - a real labour of love, long planned, and now it finally feels like home and the sanctuary I need it to be. This first picture shows you my working space, with a splendid view of the garage!! However you can't have everything, and anyway I plan to be way too busy for much gazing out of the window .... I've got pictures of my lovely daughters, my box of Truth Cards, and all my essentials close to hand, not to mention the restorative coffee in the pink spotty mug! The furniture is all Ikea - two Vika tables - the longest ones available) and a variety of chests to fit underneath.
If I turn to my right this is the view of the door end of the room, where you can see that I've even managed to fit in a small table and an extra chair (also basic Ikea), just in case I can persuade anyone to come and play (working on that already)! Notice the gas fire (result!!) which sits right behind me - the days of freezing in the winter months may actually be over ... You also get a glimpse of the pink bunting I made, thinking the massive expanse of white ceiling needed one final cheering touch. Almost everything is stored in Really Useful Boxes collected over a number of years. Its on the open shelving I inherited with the room, which wouldn't have been my first choice (it means you can actually see just how much stuff you've accumulated, never a good plan) but you have to work with what you've got don't you? One day I've promised myself that I'll have an American style Studio all fitted out with kitchen units so I can hide it all away and make like I've hardly got anything and really need more stuff .... he he he ... good plan eh?
The pink spotty curtains are another cheerful note in the white room - after all to paint the walls pink would have been overkill, right? Yes, that's what I thought too. The light is pretty good in here, the room having 3 windows (even if the main one faces north) and I'll be able to have my daylight lamp up too, whenever I discover the safe place in which I put the clamp which holds it to the desk. Duh, so safe I haven't found it yet.

Over the fire I've hung my noticeboards, one filled with little gifts and reminders of dear friends, and one soon to have parish rotas, lists of churchwardens, and other necessary stuff on it. Below is a picture of my other desk - with the computer and other business-like essentials, and my trusty sewing machine. The first shelf above the desk is dedicated to sermon writing and other churchy stuff, but all my sewing essentials are above, though unfortunately I need steps to get to the highest ones. Hey ho, nuthen's perfect.
In the corner there's a meter cupboard which I'm stuck with, but since its pretty sturdy I put it to good use and hung Ikea bygel rails on it to hold my collection of punches. I confess to actually needing a couple more rails to house them all, but these are essential tools aren't they, and you can never have too many, right? The pink buckets above my desk are Ikea and since this photo was taken I've actually hung them from the window ledge, which helps to keep the worktop clear. At the moment I have my SU inkpad collection in a CD unit to the left of my desk, but am hoping to invest in a purpose built wall hung unit soon.
The Vika drawers on the right of my workdesk (the wide shallow ones) are where I keep my wood mounted stamps - its perfect as I slide out the drawer and can see exactly what I have. They're arranged by theme - people, nature, words, and shapes. My clear stamps are in the A5 ring binders on the Expedit unit to the right, with my papers in the slim 12 x 12 boxes above. In the A4 ring binders I keep collage sheets and my catalogue of stamps - vital if I'm to find anything! The left hand set of drawers contains (going down from top) 1. Distress inks and small items such as eyelets etc. 2. Other ink pads and my collection of acrylic blocks. 3. Tools such as heat gun, cropodile and stamp wheels. 4. Yet more punches, ribbons and tapes, eg adhesive and foam. 5. The bottom drawer contains all the little mini books and albums I've made, such as the Christmas albums I make each year from the Shimelle class.

So that's the full 360 degree tour for you! As you can see the Studio is stuffed to the gunwales with the embarrassingly large amount of stuff I've collected - although in my defence I should point out that it has been the work of many years to accumulate all this. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!! Please tell me if you like my room - I'm rather proud (oh sinfulness) of how it has all turned out, and just dying to have somebody to admire ... ooops I mean SHARE it with!!

Am editing to answer some questions people have asked ... the floor isn't hardwood but is in fact a rather brilliant vinyl which is doing a seriously good imitation of wide oak boards. Nobody seems able to tell that its not what it is pretending to be, and I love the ease with which I can clean up. I did buy a clear floor mat from Ikea just in case the wheels of my chair damaged it, but it doesn't seem to be a problem so far. The lighting is another Ikea fixture with 4 spotlights, of which three are directed towards my workspace (or creation station as my man calls it) and the other onto my computer/sewing desk. Will have to wait and see if this is adequate in the darker winter months, in which case I may replace it with a fluorescent tube - less attractive but more practical. If you have any other questions I'll try to answer them.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011


Well the new Studio looked like this at one stage in the move - and I thought that wasn't too bad at the time. Unfortunately it got worse before it got better, and I haven't got pictures of the stage when you could hardly get in the room, let alone see the floor - I didn't have the heart to take any! I could have cried to be honest, thinking I'd never get it all sorted out, but that was tiredness.

And it did get worse before it got better (of course) when I had stuff everywhere and couldn't seem to find a home for most of it .... which was the point at which I concluded I might (just possibly) have enough stuff! OK I know that's not actually possible, so let's just say enough to fill my Studio and then some! By the time I took this picture below, the dog could see the rabbit, but I was still struggling to see how it would all fit in. It has of course, but that's a story for another day, when I take the pictures of it all finished and lovely (which it nearly is).
But I did manage to clear enough desk space for a bit more journalling - this is a quote (possibly biblical?) that I came across and it really spoke to me. I'd made a background with offcuts of scrapbook papers, with a patchwork border, and I just got a big brown pen and wrote it in the centre of the page.
It didn't seem to jump off the page quite the way I wanted it to, so I began to outline the letters with a black pen. You can see what a difference that made, although I did get fed up because it took ages to do and I got cramp in my arthrickety hand!!
Anyway, there wasn't much space to add more, which was OK because that seemed like all I wanted to say - its a question I can't answer yet. So this is the finished page and I'm quite pleased with it. I added Bette Davis because the expression on her face reflects exactly how I feel - a bit stunned and confused, but overall doing as well as can be expected .....

Saturday, 2 April 2011


It's not just me - my other half says he feels the same - we're in a funny sort of limbo and its not a very comfortable place to be. We've survived moving in and after ten days are pretty much unpacked and straight (apart from some unaccountably missing stuff), but it doesn't feel like home yet. The nearest I can get to it is that its like being in a holiday cottage, where you settle in and get your stuff around you, enjoy the novelty, but at the end of the week you go back to your real life! Anyway, the time finally came when I could sit down at my (new) desk and journal about it, and this is what I wrote ...
Himself came in with a cup of coffee (he's good like that), looked over my shoulder and chuckled, saying that he felt exactly the same. Even though the pressure of emptying boxes and long exhausting days is now past, I think tiredness must be a factor because somewhere along the line I mislaid my sense of excitement about this move. Maybe I just lost sight of why we've done it for a while, but if anyone happens across my enthusiasm would they send it back please, because adjusting is kind of hard work without it ....
On a positive note, I met two lovely (crafty) ladies today, the cats have settled down beautifully and even seem to prefer it here, the Spring weather is just lovely, and we've discovered this totally brilliant ice cream parlour! The Studio is taking shape nicely and I'll have pictures to show you very soon ... when I've finally managed to stuff everything in!