Sunday, 29 June 2014

THINK POSITIVE - well you've got to really!

I was looking through recent pages to select something to blog today, when my eyes lit on this one.  I was impressed that I'd manage to write in the vertical for a change, and loved the colours.  Then I read what I'd put and realised it was a perfect fit for how I am feeling today ... forgive me if I tend to revisit the same themes over and over, but then again my life is a bit like going around in an endless hamster wheel at the moment!!

Anyway if it also seems odd that I hardly remember a page made recently - its because the condition I have also affects memory and concentration.  Which is difficult, and I have to ask people not to tell me things later in the day when I will instantly forget them, or fend off furious friends and relatives who are saying "but I TOLD you" ... yes well you probably did, but I am capable of forgetting almost anything!  Its a bit of a trial really.  Anyway this page was made (I now see) when the grandchildren had just been to visit, and I was suffering the after-effects.  They also came last weekend.  Nuff said.

The page below is an experiment with water colours - which I do love but have always seen as a bit wishy washy for journalling, when I get more intense vivid shades with acrylics.  Feel free to disagree. Everyone has different art materials which just work for them - I do myself!
Pretty much the first thing I did was add in this picture of a rabbit (hare?) person - what it stands for is that feeling of pretty much being brought to your knees, and only managing to get along by crawling.  That (I now recall) is how it felt that day, and I'm not far off the same place today.  So I began on the far left, writing down how tired and sad I was feeling etc etc., but didn't get very far before I had to shout "stop" in my own ear and try to talk myself out of it.  Well it doesn't do to wallow does it?
So then the page sprouted this flower as a positive symbol, and I began the necessary process of persuading myself that things aren't so bad, and you just have to keep on keeping on.  Like you do.
Anyway after (yet another) positive lecture to myself the page was finished, and while I don't particularly recall if this exercise worked on that particular day, it has today.  I've said and written a lot about positive thinking, but I genuinely believe in it.  You can be in exactly the same place but feel very differently about where you are through exercising the choice to be half full rather than half empty!  Call me Pollyanna playing the Glad Game if you like, but it works for me when not a lot else does ...
One thing I particularly like about journalling is how getting feelings down on a page is really helpful and therapeutic, healing almost.  Then going back and looking at a page again can bring back the thought processes you went through at the time - a useful aide-memoire for someone like me who is VERY good at forgetting stuff!

Friday, 20 June 2014


I made this page when I realised an appalling truth - having made one of those "young man" speeches to a hapless youth in a shop.  That's right, the look on his face said it all, I AM officially an "Old Bat".

Never mind, it was probably inevitable, and as you know all of life is grist to my journalling mill, so I set to making a page about this painful realisation.
The background is Neocolour II crayons by Caran D'Ache, and I should add that since I made this page I've discovered that they work even better over gesso.  The colours seem to become even more intense, though sometimes a soft look is what you're after.
The face is a favourite stamp of mine, by Daniel Torrente for Stampotique.  I often use it to represent myself, having hair broadly similar to this depiction.  Its the slightly sick expression I love though, one which unfortunately crosses my face regularly.
And then I just let rip with the doodling and drawing bats.  Sorry this is a short post - I have sciatica at the moment and sitting down for any length of time isn't working for me ......

Friday, 6 June 2014



I'm struck how very differently this page ended up from its early beginnings - I do love it when that happens and you end up not going in the direction you thought you might!  In fact I was having a conversation with my other half on quite a serious subject in the middle of this, which might account for a swerve going on in my mind?

Anyway, thought I would show more of my process with this.  The blue background is acrylic paint on top of gesso, which I then splodged with a baby wipe to give this textured look.  I'm moving away from using collage sheets and enjoying using (free!) bits and pieces cut from magazines, found circulars etc.  What I don't like is shiny paper, and I rarely use the stuff - but then again my heroine Teesha Moore uses lots of it, although I think she gives her work a coat of gel medium when its finished so that its kind of shiny anyway.

My prejudice against shiny paper means that I am always searching for matte images - and more and more circulars (and even some magazines) seem to be going in that direction.  This was a Fairtrade flyer which I'd finished with, and I liked the simple teardrop shapes and wanted to use them.  I save stuff like this in my collage box.
Then I got out a stencil to make the background more interesting - and this is what I use, a sponge dabber which goes on your finger and a water based ink pad.  It works for me, and I never had a lot of luck with paint and stencils, it always bleeds and makes a mess!
I knew when I started that what I wanted to do was some zentangle style doodling on the teardrop shapes, which as you can see below worked out well.  I also added some stamps and the headline cut from another flyer (local estate agents paper).  The message to wake up originally concerned a completely different subject, but my conversation with the old man send me in another direction.  (He came and peered over my shoulder at about this point).
And this is how it all ended up, a result I'm pleased with because once again I've stretched myself and tried something new.  I like it.  You can see from the pictures above and below that I outlined the teardrops using my Posca paint pens and added more pink to balance the page out.  My preferred pen for the doodling is a Pigma Micron, which I have in a number of thicknesses.
Only just noticed that I've virtually obliterated the stencilling, but I never worry about that, putting down different layers and then covering them up is all part of the process!