Wednesday, 31 August 2011


OK stand well back - because I was flipping STEAMING when I made this page! I've been getting increasingly cross with articles in magazines or items on TV suggesting that we should all be waxing or otherwise depilating practically every hair on our bodies. Add this to the nasty concept of submitting to surgery just to force our bodies into some kind of "ideal" standard, and I finally went off like a volcano. You just can't keep a good old fashioned feminist down!

So I began with this drawing of my entirely normal size 14 (UK) 56 year old body. I'm not ashamed of it, even though I have made it crinkly with over-use! I will not be bullied by body facism into feeling that normal is not acceptable. We come in all shapes and sizes and should be celebrating that, right?
You can see for yourself my thoughts on the subject, but I will apologise in advance to anyone who had to have a caesarian section for my comment "no need for surgery" because its in no way intended as any kind of criticism. It is meant to indicate that the wide pelvis which goes with my pear shape means that giving birth actually comes relatively easy to me, which is definitely something to celebrate right??
And then it was down to adding colour with the trusty Promarkers. I didn't go in for a lot of fancy decoration here because I wanted the message in sharp, clear focus. I do seem to be doing a lot of ranting lately, but I feel so strongly that our young women and girls are being given all the wrong messages, and we HAVE to counteract it.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Comfort Eating ...

This is a bit like "True Confessions". My name is Rosie and I'm a comfort eater ... even losing 4 stone with Weightwatchers hasn't cured me. I keep telling myself that food doesn't change anything, but inside I still think it at least makes me feel better! I began by feeling disgusted with myself over an encounter with the Ben & Jerry's the night before, and it all went from there ...
The blue background is painted and then I added colourful strips from a collage sheet, can't remember whose. The word "why" is a real cry from the heart - I'd really like to understand this trigger in my brain so that I could learn to fight against it! I drew the cake onto a separate piece of paper, coloured it using my Promarkers, then cut it out to stick down. Just looking at that cherry on the top made me smile and lick my lips ...
Maybe it is just greed - I grew up in a house where the food was dreadful, so once I discovered just how delicious it could be I was a convert .... and somewhere at the back of my head must be this fear that the good times might not last? One thing I did discover during my Weightwatchers time was that I have a low point at about 4.00 pm every day, and have learned to eat something then to boost my flagging energy. It seems to stave off getting the munchies later. Maybe I eat because I'm bored? Wish there was an easy answer. My beloved is a person who can have just one square of chocolate, but I say what's the flippin good of that? It's stuffing a huge chunk in that fills my mouth which does it for me, followed by another, and then you might as well finish the bar to get rid of the temptation for tomorrow when you plan to start over again? Aha, I see you recognise the scenario!
In the process of trying to work out the psychology behind it all, I sat down to draw my tub of Ben & Jerry's chocolate fudge brownie (my favourite) and so enjoyed doing it that I managed to talk myself out of seeing its consumption as a bad thing, and ended up hailing ice cream as the solution to all the problems of the universe!! By then I was feeling much better and a lot less guilty about my guilty pleasures ... so what the heck!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011


Resting is something I have to do a lot of - very often when I'd rather be busy and active and "out there" instead of stuck in here .... Hey ho. When I made this page I was trying not to mind that it was the result of having overdone it a few days earlier but on something I hadn't much wanted to do anyway! I mean, you'd feel differently if you'd thoroughly enjoyed yourself or danced all night wouldn't you? Anyway I was trying to think calm, accepting thoughts and I made these layers of blue and green, one of my favourite colour combinations, using my trusty Caran d'Ache watersoluble crayons.
Then I laid down some writing, doodling and a bit of collage - which is mostly how all my pages develop. I think I just love fiddling about, colouring, drawing and doodling ... and I certainly do find that very restful. I seem to go off to this place inside my head where my creative self lives, and whenever I've spent time there I feel so much better. I hope you know what I'm rambling on about?
On this occasion the process proved very good for my soul, and I hope this isn't too whining or self pitying. I was pleased that I hadn't attempted to fill every last inch with stuff - the page feels more elegant and understated, which sort of fits with the subject matter. These are the pages I like the best - which don't begin with any very definite ideas and just grow and develop as I go along. The final statement feels powerful and affirming - that even though I do have to rest a lot, I'm still making that time fruitful. That's good to remember on days when I feel life is passing me by ...

Saturday, 20 August 2011


I must have been feeling a bit lonely when I made this page ... which was only partly tongue in cheek! As you can see below, it began once again with my efforts to draw/write first and add colour after. It still feels slightly odd, but is definitely an interesting way to work - although "colouring" feels a bit like something I should be doing with children!!
Sometimes I draw a bit then colour a bit, and so on, but here I did draw the whole thing out in black and white before I added any colour (except for the picture in the centre). A major advantage of working this way is using white space, which can be very creative, and is something I've not really thought about before. From the point of view of travel journalling this technique would work really well, as you could do all the drawing and writing on-site then add colour when you got home, which would save carrying anything beyond a simple kit.
Its also provided an opportunity to further explore the possibilities of my Promarkers - all the colour here has been done this way. I am now a serious fan of these (as you may have noticed). There doesn't seem to be much difference between Promarkers and Copics, so I went for Promarkers because they British - it seemed right to support the home market in these tough times.
You might also be glad to know that, around about the time I made this page, I was developing a relationship with a local lady which has already blossomed into something special. Making this page prompted a decision, and I sent her a jokey email requesting her friendship - done like a job advert as here, but carrying warnings she might like to take into account! To my great pleasure she responded positively ... although I keep telling her that she doesn't strictly meet the criteria as she doesn't drive! I can but don't any more for health reasons, which leaves us reliant on other people for transport. Am sure we'll work something out - we can always get on the bus which stops right outside my door! As for lunches and craft shopping expeditions these have already taken place ....!!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011


I've recently been rather taken with journallers who draw little pictures of objects from their daily life. Well my phone was on the desk, and I couldn't help noticing (again) how pretty it is, and so I drew its picture .... see below. Also had a chance to play with my new typewriter letter stamps. The statement speaks for itself - from the heart, sad but true.
The page ended up being quite different to my normal style with these big blocks of colour (using my Promarkers), but I rather like how crisp and relatively simple it is. Makes a change anyway from the busy busy pages I usually do!
And even though I added a few twiddly doodles, I didn't go overboard (unless you think I did)!
I don't use it all that much - but that's increasing, and since I bought the new pink and white floral (kind of Japanese blossom) glossy hard case, its more beautiful than ever. OK I admit it, I don't know how to use half the things it does, but I don't care. It works for me. It gives me joy every time I pick it up, and it was a present. What's not to like???

Saturday, 13 August 2011


For once I responded to a challenge with this page - over on the Stampotique Designers Blog - to alter a book page, with the option of using a Stampotique image. Well I love this scribbly face by Daniel Torrente, she looks so fierce and cross and I use her a lot. Hmmm maybe that says something about me? So I pasted a page from the old hardback I use for such purposes onto a journal page and set to work ... completely forgetting to take my usual stage pictures.

But you can probably see why ... this subject is something which has been on my mind for some time. I can't understand why any woman would describe herself as "not a feminist". All it means is "pro-woman", and my Other Half describes himself as one too! I fought a lot of battles against sexism and patriarchal attitudes in my younger days, and sad to say I still see a lot of things which need to change. So rude words to the whole concept of post-feminism - if we girls can't stand up for one another who will? And I want things to be better for my girls and my grand-daughters ...

Oh yes, and how do you like the brilliant ink pad rack my nephew made for me? Super innit? I couldn't find anything (affordable) to house these larger ink pads and we did a spot of bartering - I made him a scrapbook album of family history, and he made me this. Result!

Wednesday, 10 August 2011


Unreliable brain cells were the subject of this page - I'm sure you know the ones, which refuse to release info you know is in there, or absorb new stuff that you need to remember ...? Yes I thought you would. The basic outline below isn't an original idea, but one I saw somewhere (probably in the Stampington art journalling magazine) and rather liked. I actually drew it on the page some time ago, but had quite a long wait before inspiration struck.
I drew the black flames (well that's what I thought they were) with a Promarker pen, but the rest of the colour was added with Caran d'ache watersoluble crayons. I make no apology for the colour scheme - I LIKE pink, and my hand just automatically reaches for it ...

And that was the point at which I wrote the large white words on the "flames" ... probably because I'd been going to write about something else, but forgotten what it was before I could do so. Yes, you know that feeling too, right? Anyway, I was thinking about cogs slipping and whathaveyou, wondering why my mental gears were always crashing (for those of you who drive automatic cars, that's to do with using a manual gearbox, when the gears don't mesh and you get the most awful crunching sound).
And so it went on, with me whinging away in similar vein, although I would really REALLY like to know the answers to these questions. I used to be quite clever (honest, I was) but a combination of menopausal brain death and Fibromyalgia fog have reduced me to the mental capacity of a gnat ...
Still it made a nice page didn't it, and I got it off my chest!
By the way, I bought some Pilot drawing pens for journalling that I'm really pleased with - right from a very fine 01 to a nice wide 08, and of course the white pen is the superb Uniball Signo, the best I've found. The pilot pens don't blur or run whatever you throw at them, including Promarkers, and seem to suit me better than the Letraset ones.

Persons with similarly recalcitrant brain cells that won't remember mobile phone numbers or the names of the persons standing right in front of you (even if they are related to you) may now leave sympathetic messages ..... We're all in this together sisters!

Saturday, 6 August 2011


For various reasons (I think my Dad was ill at the time) I did some pages where I didn't manage to do my usual stage photos, but thought I'd put them on my blog anyway. The one above started as one of my attempts to do more with paint, and even has a gesso base!! If I sound a bit unconvinced its because I think I am, but am willing to persevere. I can't now remember exactly what sparked this, but have a vague idea that it was a close friend putting herself down that made me cross and set off this train of thought. I told her not to do it, pointing out that there are always plenty of people willing to do so for us! With her I think its one of those make fun of myself before someone does it to me things .... and I wouldn't mind but she's a brave, strong and talented woman, if also a fragile and vulnerable one at the same time.
This page began because my beloved brought me a bunch of rosebuds (from Aldi) which are mainly white but have this incredible edge of vivid pink on the petals. "I saw these and thought of you" he told me. Now he's not normally a very demonstrative man, he'll never surprise me by whisking me off to Paris or a posh restaurant, but he has always brought me whatever flowers he could afford ... I think that makes me lucky after 30+ years, and I wanted to celebrate that. It isn't one of my best, arty pages, but its about something real which makes me feel warm inside.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011


This was a very heartfelt page made after my beloved had had to cut up my food for me! I admit it, I panicked a bit ....! It's hard not to mind about increasingly losing your independence, but I managed to laugh about it eventually, and making this helped. I'm rather pleased with it as another step in my progress as a Promarker user, as I learn how to combine colours and do shading.
But it started like this - inspired by some work I saw in Stampington's Art Journalling magazine. As before, the work is prepared in black and white and only then is colour added. It's something that doesn't quite come naturally, but I have been pleased with the experiments I've undertaken so far. As you can see below, I didn't complete the whole page without colour, but added it here and there as I went along.
Its funny but colouring around the journalling and drawn shapes is actually easier, so this might be the way I'm going to go. Working like this and developing my drawing skills seems to be pressing my buttons anyway, and I'm thoroughly enjoying it!
And this is the finished result - it seems to work really well leaving some white space around things, which is just as well because the pens do bleed somewhat on this watercolour paper. They come through to the other side as well, but that's OK because I always glue two sheets together to make a thicker base to work on. Even then it can still come through a bit, but I've learned the hard way what techniques will and won't work on the reverse of one of these.
I'm looking forward to doing more pages like this anyway. Does anybody know of any Promarker tutorials or classes you can go to - there must be so much I need to learn about these.