Tuesday, 31 May 2011


I hadn't gone anywhere but my camera had decided to have a funny 5 minutes and pictures weren't uploading from camera to PC. I've fiddled about and reloaded the software, but it still wasn't working, though after some days I eventually managed upload these direct from within Photoshop Elements.

I had the most brilliant day on Saturday - went to my first ever art journalling class at Art from the Heart (what a FABULOUS place) for a session on mini art journals with Kate Crane. We did all sorts of backgrounds and techniques, and I worked well out of my comfort zone - which was exactly what I wanted. I'd begun to feel as if my pages were getting a bit "samey" and wanted to be jolted out of my rut. All of the pages are about 6 x 4, so much smaller than my usual A5, and they are all done on a gesso base with acrylic paint. Now I don't normally like paint very much - it dries to a chalky finish which makes my teeth itch, but I got around this by giving them a coat of matt acrylic varnish when I got home.
The first challenge for me was using more than one colour!! I'm terrible like that, if I start with a blue I keep reaching for other blues, I'm a bit of a monochrome girl ... But look, not only more than one colour but two completely CLASHING colours, pink and orange, which it turns out I absolutely love, but would never have put together left to myself. These are the only pages which have any writing on at present.
We used masks and stamps, and techniques like using the edge of a credit card to add white or dark grey lines, or a bottle cap to add circles. All this was completely uncharted territory for me. Those who had a look at my journal exclaimed over how neat it all was, and I had to say "yes but I'm trying NOT to be"!!
This last is the one page I don't like very much - at least, the background is OK but I'm not a bit happy with that awful picture which looks a bit like that Beckham person don't you think?? And will I use all the new techniques I've learned from now on, or go back to my old ways. Not sure ... watch this space!!

Monday, 23 May 2011


You may detect a modicum of self-pity creeping into this journal page .... OK I admit it, I was wallowing a bit! Am being determinedly Pollyanna-ish now however, and resolutely upbeat. Unfortunately I made this on a day when I was feeling a bit blue, which might be why I picked these papers with their cool blue/green colours. The figure is a stamp by Paula Best that I watercoloured - I use this image a lot - and the script is torn tissue paper.
Then I found the words "blue moon" in a magazine I was cutting up, so that was when I added the moon face as well. What can I say, sometimes you can only journal the mood you're in, and I suppose I will look back at these early weeks in our new home and smile when I read these words. I was rather helped by reading somewhere the question "will any of this matter in a year's time, and if not why are you worrying about it?" That put everything into perspective!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011


You probably already guessed what was going on here ... and you'd be right. It was one of those days when only chocolate will do, except that we didn't have any. Then himself remembered the box he'd won on the tombola, which were milk not plain, so not his kind of thing at all. Needless to say I did a pretty good job of polishing them off (therapeutically necessary) and for some bizarre reason kept all the little labels off their wrappings. And that's what led to this page, made up of paper scraps onto which said labels could be stuck. I really like cutting up paper to make borders and so on, which also had the double advantages of a) being ecologically sound and b) using up some of the scraps I tend to shove into boxes rather than waste them.
Anyway, this turned into a sort of confessional about the chocolate, which may or may not have also been therapeutic. I didn't actually feel guilty about it even if I should have! So please tell me you do this too, or I shall begin to question my sanity. If God hadn't meant us to eat chocolate in desperate handfuls when the going gets tough, well she shouldn't have invented it. Right?

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Rosie's Roses

This is just a quick post as I believe Blogger has been misbehaving and eating all sorts of posts - it has certainly gobbled up some of my comments on the last post, but I thank you for them whoever you are/were.

I was feeling particularly grateful for Himself the other day when I made this .... no of course its not always like that, but often enough for me to feel like a very fortunate woman. Some days of course he is a total pain in the rear end, but I'm used to him so will be keeping him. I couldn't break a new one in now. Obviously I never annoy him or anything like that. Actually, sometimes I tell porky pies .....

Thursday, 12 May 2011


Don't just sit there ... was one of those times when I needed to send a message to myself! These journal pages are always about talking to myself, or talking myself into (or indeed out of) something - I get a lot out of the reflective process that journalling involves. Anyway, on that particular day I was conscious that an unhealthy degree of self-pity was going on, so I was doing a "pull yourself together" sort of exercise. This page began with a sheet of paper which I think looks like a cracked paving slab or something. Being grey and cracked it spoke to my low mood, but I immediately attempted to counter this by sticking down a big red spotty heart, to brighten up the page (and me)!
Then I gave myself a good ticking off, as above, to the effect that it was necessary to put yourself out there if you wanted to make friends and get to know the new area. Sitting inside, even in my lovely pink studio, wasn't going to make any of this happen! Nor were interesting, creative and largely available people going to beat a path to my door (and even if they did the doorbell is too quiet and I can't hear it). It was up to met to get the ball rolling ...
Then I cut these big red letters out of paper and outlined them in black. I wanted them to say DO SOMETHING, but as you can see there wasn't room, so I settled for "take action" which took up less space. Then in my usual fashion I fiddled about and filled up all the gaps with more writing, arrows etc and a few pictures which seemed to fit. The page complete, lecture to self delivered, and thus fired up,I knew what I needed to do - get out there, meet people, join something etc etc. DO SOMETHING!

And do you know what .....? It was raining out there and I couldn't be ar**ed, so I continued to sit inside feeling quite sorry for myself, and of course nothing changed. You just can't help some people can you?? Naturally, all charming and interesting arty people who come to my door and invite me to be their friend will be made very welcome. Just don't expect me to get out there and go looking ... or at least not until it stops raining!!

Friday, 6 May 2011


... well as you know, some things just make you mad - right? I made this swooshy background some time ago, and you could tell I was feeling a bit thunderous by the way I added (using Promarkers) a deep purply border and some doodling.
One thing led to another and (having tried to put a more positive spin on things) I decided to simply record how cross I was feeling. A journal has to be an honest reflection of your life doesn't it, and while I hesitate to reveal myself as a cranky old bat, what the hell I thought!! Can't be all sweetness and light the whole time, or even most of the time ...
To cut a long story short, visiting daughter had rather taken us for granted which seriously brassed me off at the time (it seems utterly unimportant now).
Anyways, as you can see, I got some negative emotions off my chest, and it did indeed make me feel a lot better. Said daughter is a delightful, funny, talented young woman whom I love dearly and am very proud of, but she's not perfect. On the other hand, neither is her mother.
Does you get to get your bad temper down on paper doesn't it? I'm already looking back at this page and feeling more inclined to laugh at myself than anything else ...

Sunday, 1 May 2011


As it says ... I do love a good wedding, and you must admit that it was! Not a dry eye in the house. Us Girls watched it from 8.00 am wearing our plastic tiaras, waving our flags, in a room decorated with bunting and paper chains. Later Himself made us a gorgeous lunch of salmon and strawberries, and we drank Bucks Fizz! A good time was had by all, and so in thoroughly patriotic mode I set off to make a journal entry ...

I found the bunting (ie triangular Union Jacks) online - if you don't already use Google Images do try it, you'll discover everything you ever needed there, and more besides! Incidentally that was where I also found delicious details like the bit about sprigs of myrtle in the bride's bouquet, and what Prince Harry said to Wills when Kate came up the aisle. The page started with a sheet of red paper (well the backside of some that I was never going to use) and went from there.
It just seemed a very happy and positive thing to record - I still remember what we did for the wedding of Charles and Di! Often my entries are about things I'm uncertain or unhappy about, so its good to be writing about something cheerful ... and one day, when the grandchildren inherit the journals, they'll be glad I did! I may be taking too much for granted here?

So here is the record of the day in all its glory. Us Brits don't often go into full patriotic mode, but we do big posh Royal ceremonial terribly well, don't you think? Hope you had as nice a day as we did. Himself was in Bah Humbug mode throughout, so was perfectly happy to be relegated to the kitchen, and attacked some of our brambles during the afternoon. But bless him, he then manfully sat through the evening TV programme which was a re-run of the whole event, and managed to stay awake too!