Sunday, 23 February 2014


I'm very enthusiastic about food - definitely not one of those people who say things like "oh I couldn't possibly eat all that" or "just a sliver for me".  Unfortunately this means that from time to time my naturally pear shaped figure spreads alarmingly, and it becomes necessary to take action in the form of a diet before the day comes when most of my clothes don't fit any more.  This is known in our house as The Punishment Block, and I won't attempt to dignify it with any claims that I am "fasting" for any religious purpose.  However,  I take the view that I would rather eat well most of the time and diet occasionally, than live on lettuce all the time! 

As Christmas approached I found myself looking forward to all the delicious treats we had planned almost as much as I was anticipating the arrival of our daughters.  This demonstrated to me that my priorities might be slightly off kilter ... and that was the genesis of this page!

It began with a Neocolour crayons background and a picture found in a magazine.  After gazing at this vision of loveliness the words "forgive me" seemed entirely appropriate!  Its very odd, I never really had a sweet tooth until I hit the menopause, but ever since I've craved all kinds of sweet stuff.  What can I say, its not greed its my hormones (or lack of them)??
Once again a picture to show the difference between my basic lettering, and what it looks like when I've thickened it up and embellished it a bit.  If I can ever summon up the energy I might try and put a simple lettering tutorial together - if there's enough interest?
So there you go ... I confess that I'm just a greedy girl.  Its no good me promising God that I will stop because there's absolutely no chance of my sticking to it.  Anyway, I do believe that possibly life's greatest pleasure is sitting down at table to enjoy good for and good company with people you love.
When the current diet ends I'm sure I will simply joyfully reaquaint myself with all the food I've been doing without, and gradually put back the pounds I gained.  Then I will have to lose those before we go on holiday and indulge in all sorts of good things .... are you sensing a pattern here??  Damn right you are, and I DON'T CARE!

Saturday, 15 February 2014


Hot off the press this one, only finished yesterday!  So there I was on Valentine's Day with two flowers cut out of a magazine, and well, one thing led to another.  What you see below is one of my painted backgrounds - aren't I branching out?  I used to hate paint but am learning to love it.
Then I added some random borders in colours I liked, and of course the flowers - I knew at this stage that I wanted a valentiney theme, but not how the page would develop.  Its fun to work that way and just let it grow ....
Not much difference between these two pictures but I wanted to show you how I used crayons and a black line to emphasise the edges, which I thought looked a bit indistinct above.
Then I just wrote what was on my heart.  Himself and me have been together a long time, and it has been a Great Love for both of us.  We're so lucky to still be as dotty about each other as we ever were, which sounds a bit sickly to say but is simply true.  He drives me utterly crazy as well of course, as I do him.  Maddening and marvellous, both of us, and both at the same time.
And then lots of doodly dots and a small heart stamp to finish it all off, plus a bit of pink posca paint pen on the lower rose.  I'm pleased with how it came together - and I like the fact that (to me at any rate) it has an almost vintage look?
I'd been watching videos of the wonderful Teesha Moore on the Artstronauts Club, and been inspired by her techniques - which is what got me cutting out roses from a magazine.  In the end though, however much you might borrow ideas from other people, for me at least they always have to find a place within your own style.  I'll never journal the way she does, and actually I don't want/need to because I have a different style, but that doesn't mean I don't LOVE her work, and draw all kinds of inspirational ideas from it.  The other art journallers I particularly love are Ingrid Djikers and Tracy Bunkers - have a look at their work and you'll probably see why!

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Feeling like a DRONE ....

I think the text is probably self-explanatory here!  It really was one of those days when I felt like a person who was putting nothing in, and just taking from the rest of the world.  I get like that sometimes, I guess a lot of us do?  Anyway, my way of dealing with such moments is to journal about it and try to work through it.

But it should be obvious why I began by laying down a dull shade of flat beige paint, and adding even more around the edges in the form of washi tape - these are Tim Holtz I think?  I do actually like these colours that I think of as "vintage", and it was an interesting exercise to work in such a monochrome palette.
I really love this stamp of a rather glum looking person, I've had it for ages but she comes out regularly.   I think its by Teesha Moore, and of course she was perfect to encapsulate the negative mood I was in!  The black edge really seemed to add something at this stage, and was achieved by simply dragging the thick end of a promarker fairly roughly around the borders of the tape, with no attempt at my usual tidiness.
This page is in two halves I suppose - you can see the first half below, where I simply put down the way I was feeling.  Just stating how you feel is therapeutic in itself - recognition and acknowledgement of what's actually going on inside you is powerful, and the first step to challenging negative emotions and asking yourself what the truth is.  We all make statements about ourselves (I'm useless, nobody will ever love me, I'm not good at that, etc etc) which simply may not be true and should be challenged.  A psychologist I once worked with used to ask me "where is the EVIDENCE for that"?  In other words, what can you bring to validate your assertion that you're useless waste of space or a drone?  Very often there actually isn't any.
So that's where the second half of the exercise came in - recognising that there actually wasn't a lot of evidence for this assertion.  In fact it became clear as I thought about how I spend my time that, even though I may not leave the house as much as other people, nonetheless I'm not sitting here doing nothing ... but actually striving in my own way to make a difference and share the things I learn.
And then it turned out that I WAS making a real contribution (OK maybe not with the singing) and that the world might even be a better place because of things I do?  Well, I'd like to think so, and it IS what I aim for ... with varying degrees of success.

The lettering as always is done by starting with a simple shape, as you can see in picture 3, and then gradually adding thickness and curving edges.  The white makes quite a strong addition too, and like I say I do actually rather like this (admittedly dull) palette of colours.  And I felt a whole lot pinker when I'd done this .... which is after all the whole point of the exercise!

If you have days like this - give it a try?  You might even end up feeling better, and even if you don't you'll have got something off your chest!