Saturday, 29 January 2011


You know, I didn't think of myself as an inflexible person, or particularly set in my ways (although my daughters will tell you that I absolutely HAVE to sit in 'my' chair in the living room, and get quite uncomfortable if I can't)!! On the other hand, our forthcoming move has jolted me in all sorts of unexpected ways, leaving me with mixed feelings about what is, on the whole, a really positive relocation back north for us as a family. Obviously, these feelings are finding their way into my journalling, as I try to figure out where this sense of resistance is coming from.

This page started with a wash of dilute acrylic paint, after which I squirted some inky sprays at the page. I discovered quite by accident that this works best if you let the page background dry first - why did nobody mention that? Anyway, I really like the effects that this gives. Then I laid down my title and my first few thoughts on the subject. I can't remember why I felt moved to add some blotches of greenish paint, I just sort of did ...
I got a bit stuck once I'd finished the writing; I knew it needed something but couldn't figure out what. For once I didn't want to do lots more journalling and fill up every corner! Somehow this was all I wanted/needed to say. Anyhow, there I was searching through my stamp catalogue - which sounds rather grand but is only a ring binder with a sample of each of my stamps - when I came across these seed head stamps, and in a flash of light I saw that they were exactly what would complete the page .
This was relatively quick and easy to put together - I did it all in one afternoon - and yet I'm really pleased with it because it captures exactly the feelings I needed to set down. Reflecting on it now, I'm reminded of that old saying "do not adjust your set, there is a fault in reality"! The problem seems to be that I need to adjust my attitudes and really get my head around living a new life in a new place. Wish me luck with that ....

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

IT WASN'T ME .... well it was really!

If you're not a comfort eater then stop reading right here because this will make no sense to you whatsoever! Confession time, when I'm stressed I tend to hit the biscuits (that's cookies to you transatlantic sisters) and just one simply won't do - it has to be half a packet, a seriously major sugar hit. It feels good at the time but of course there's the inevitable disgust at what a pig I've just been. I like to tackle my failings head on so I thought a journal page was called for. Background is Basic Gray paper, and I had some fun making a border out of scraps and bits.
Drawing the biscuits was fun (Promarkers came in handy there) I started with acrylic paint and added detail gradually. If you're interested (and you are aren't you?) the biscuits in question were those ones from the Co-op in a black box, triple chocolate cookies. They're not bad but the hazelnut ones from the same range are even better. Anyway, I ate rather a lot of these but was in denial on the whole subject ...
Anyway, eventually I faced my demons and beat them down, and like I said - there are worse things to do when stressed aren't there? I could have been unkind to people I love, or kicked the cat, or drowned myself in alcohol ... but all I did was scoff cookies like a famine was about to start. Who cares anyway?

And did it help at all? Well no, apart from a momentary distraction and an energy rush from the sugar, not at all really. Will I do it again? Oh yes, almost certainly .... wouldn't you?

Saturday, 22 January 2011


Having (for once) some spare time from curtain making and move planning, I decided to get out some stuff I hadn't had a chance to play with .... namely the new spray inks I got for Christmas and some masks I'd had in the bottom of a box since Adam was a lad! This latter was partly prompted by my resolution not to pack or move anything I don't use ... which means I have to play with stuff to establish whether I really want it or not. Hmmm, think the jury may still be out on this one....
It's dead easy to do of course - just stick the masks anywhere you fancy, protect the surrounding area, get out the sprays and let rip! I do quite like the effect once I peeled off the masks but can't say that it exactly blew me away. Maybe I have to try journalling over the results to see what I really think?
Anyway, thought I'd share these early experiments in case there's somebody out there who, like me, hasn't explored the possibilities of these yet? Like I say, I'm unconvinced right now but will suspend judgement until I've played a bit more .... so watch this space.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011


Sorry, I haven't been AWOL or anything just kinda busy doing an online course from The Brave Girls Club called Soul Restoration, and am I ever loving it! Talk about the right thing at the right time; I spent an unexpected gift of money on it and I'm SO glad that I made the investment in myself. Of course it has meant that I've somewhat neglected my art journal, but this is journalling of a kind anyway. This is the book which I got as part of the course kit, suitably embellished by me ...
We are getting into some deep places so I don't want to share all the pages but am happy to let you see these ... one of the key aspects of the course is the idea of a Truthteller (God basically) and certain truths which always hold good, but we lose sight of sometimes. The course materials include several lists of "truths" and we were encouraged to choose those which 'spoke' to us and make a page using them.
Here they are in close up - there's a particular reason for the bird because throughout the course it represents the Truthteller, which is why I chose to add feathers and nests to continue the theme. Whenever I see a bird's nest it somehow represents a place of safety where you can snuggle up out of sight ... OK, just me then is it?
These pages have deep meaning for me, particularly the Permission Slip which isn't from the course materials but something I encountered the other day and thought was powerful (thanks Ruth)! I think other permission slips may find their way into future journal pages, but for now I am busy with this book, which is a record of the journey us brave girls are making together ....

Friday, 14 January 2011


I can now reveal the secret I've had to keep since before Christmas ... which is that we are moving north, back home in fact in March. Any of you in the Preston area please make yourself known because that's where I'll be and will be needing all the new (and old) friends I can get! Which is where the scary part comes in. When we moved here I was at a crossroads in my life and worked hard to make friends and get involved in activities which would fill the void my job used to occupy ... and I've come to have a host of crafty friends, run a scrapbook crop and card classes etc etc, but now have to leave them all.

So, while I'm excited about the future, a large part of me is very scared ... and that's what this journal page is all about. What did I do for therapy before this - just worked things out round and round in my head I suppose.
So as you can see, on a background of scrapbook paper (I love this texture from Basic Gray) I added a border at the bottom and the word "different", before getting down on paper the basic statement uppermost in my mind ... which is that change is scaring me!
Then I added a scary person (probably me, my friends tell me I do scare people) but the main thing is that I tried to counter my fear with my usual method ... which is look at it square on and face up to it. Nearly every time you find that what you're scared of is not so big or bad as you've been imagining, and sometimes we are just resisting change because we're comfortable! That little arch picture is supposed to be a house, and represent my feelings about home, and as you can see below I added a few more housey images (stamps from Invoke) because I was thinking about old home/new home.
And to finish the job off I added some more journalling in the spaces left over and admitted to the questions which keep me awake at night, and it does work! Once you are able to look at your fears square on it does become easier to deal with them, it really does! Not for nothing am I a member of the Brave Girls Club - courage to me means not so much as absence of fear as a willingness to embrace my fear and do it anyway!!

Saturday, 8 January 2011


Well it's what you do at the beginning of a New Year isn't it? Even though I don't make resolutions there's something about starting over in January that makes you believe that, somehow, this year can be different ...

This page began with a leftover piece of scrapbook paper (I have to use them up somehow!) which is also the source of the stripy border. Like I say, I don't make resolutions, but I started to think about getting to the end of the year, and the things I hope for in the months to come. More like setting hopeful goals if you see what I mean?
I had a lot of fun doodling and generally messing about with this, but its only now that I realise I've done it again - why do I (nearly) always write across the page in straight lines? I could write sideways, or in circles, anything I like, but give me a blank page and I'll automatically work in tidy lines from left to right. Maybe I should add that to my list as a goal - to train myself to think outside the box, and to write in all kinds of different ways? You may have to remind me ....

Wednesday, 5 January 2011


I was determined to join in with Kate Crane's calendar project this year, so got myself organised for January in good time! This will be the first time I've done a double page in my journal, and I sneakily made these several pages in - that way if I fail in my good intentions and don't complete the full calendar, I can just pretend these were random pages! Method in my madness you see ...

Lots of lovely Distress Inks on this - mainly Stormy Sky and a touch of Peeled Paint I think, then when it was dry I splodged some water about. The funny little houses are unmounted stamps by Invoke Arts and for the days themselves I just raided my scraps box for suitable colours, and pressed my square punch into use.
And so far I've managed an entry every day, although I have reluctantly concluded that my life is pretty boring as there never seems to be anything particularly exciting to record!

Sunday, 2 January 2011


OK, I admit it, that's not strictly true ... as I did start my new book on 19th December, but the principle is there! And it is my first posting of a New Year isn't it? Near enough. The background is Distress Inks just smudged around in my usual fashion and then splattered with water, and because this is page one I started writing about what these journals mean to me ...
And then you can sort of see how it grew, as the conversation with myself sort of wandered along. This process is all very unplanned with me, sometimes I do a whole page in an afternoon or sometimes I make a start and come back to it days or even weeks later.
On this occasion I finished this page over a couple of days, and as usual I felt I HAD to fill all the available space! Some of it is blocks of colour and pattern from collage sheets (I was in very pink mode that day, which usually means that I'm happy). It's also pleasing to see that although I'm still writing in straight lines, I have varied things by writing sideways and in blocks - otherwise I tend to just scrawl my way across the page left to right, just because that's what I'm used to! How set in my ways am I getting, its embarrassing!