Petr and his dreams…

Do you think polar bears dream? What do they dream about, I wonder… Could it be big, juicy salmon or the thrill of a chase? Or maybe they dream of finding a mate? Dreams are doorways into our subconscious, are they not?

The image is a transfer from a National Geographic magazine, into the dreaded Khadi-paper journal! I used 2 shades of Inktense pencils to colour the background, scrubbed with water and brush (or blended, if you prefer, though it was a lot quicker and less technical than that!!); I had to dry the page with my heat gun as I intended to write on it…

However, having taken a liking to hybrid art and being very protective of my transfers and backgrounds, I decided to scan it into Photoshop and play with Kim Klassen’s textures and layers, which I have just learnt to do!

I used Ugg love – changed the colour to blue to suit my palette – and the painted music texture from the Textures in Ten Class. Thank you so much Kim – you have opened my eyes and taught me to play again! ♥

For The Three Muses – Doorways – this week. And for Petr, and all the other polar bears out there, looking for love…


Word Art…

More from Lessons in the Raw Art Journalling Class/Workshop from Quinn MacDonald. I chose to draw/illustrate “empty” and “shallow” this morning. It was such a strong urge, I had the images of both words in my mind, so I got them drawn straight into the Fabriano journal, where most of my faces are born. I roughed them out and went ahead and posted them to the RAJ gallery.

I’ve had a little time since breakfast to work them a bit more:

Nick and Team ROW are coming back to the UK today, hopefully crossing from France before the high winds really hit hard and prevent the ferry sailings. They’ll stay in Dover overnight to rest and then head home tomorow. Yay! I shall once again be whole… 😉

I do realise that given the date today and the significance to those who suffered losses on this day in 2001, my hope and happiness may seem shallow in comparison, but I have just read a really moving post by Quinn which is so profound. I’m sharing it all over and you can read it HERE.


I’m taking Quinn MacDonald’s Raw Art Journalling Class and discovering strange things about me, myself and I! Hopefully I am not turning into a stalker, but I have been visiting Quinn’s blog (and a couple of others) very regularly lately. For instance, yesterday I linked to the paper-weaving tutorial Quinn had posted.

Maybe I have been a bit cynical, but I never realised how cool the simple acts can be… I cut up 2 backgrounds I had made – one from the last time I was carving erasers, so on thin foolscap paper; the other was a Fabriano watercolour card that had printed out wrong and thus been used in an experiment with 3D paint -writing (don’t ask!). So, different texture and weights of papers became this:

I didn’t think it’d work at first as the colours are a bit similar, but I swapped them around a bit and taped down the heavier watercolour strips first. They aren’t even, although I did cut them out with scissors, I just didn’t do it too precisely! I then took strips of the lighter-weight paper and wove them through the downward strips.

Of course, having discovered that I have a control-freak gremlin – came as a bit of a shock, actually – I couldn’t just be happy with the weaving, no! I got the black and white pens out and started to doodle… But, I think the weaving is now much better and more appropriate for inclusion in (one of) my art journal(s)!

In my jobs and in my home, I know that I am a bit of a perfectionist. I may not be “Mrs. Tidy”, but I am clean, and fairly well organised; I do tend to be a bit impatient – hate waiting for ‘other people’ to do stuff, when I know that secretly I could do it faster/better myself… so I guess I do have gremlins after all. 😉


Following my BBF Barbara’s advice, I spent some time cutting up collage sheets from Summer Camp yesterday (yes, resting the foot!), and on the doll sheet was a row of Babushkas. That of course reminded me of that iconic Kate Bush song, and the page was created for Take a Word.

I haven’t put a collage together with paper and glue, for a while, so I turned to my big art journal with the funky backgrounds in (yellow and pink food dyes – what was I thinking???) and decided to incorporate those shapes into the collage. It became a riotous explosion of colours and doodling, but I did also write the following:

“Babooshkas hide lots of secrets of ever-decreasing sizes, from big, dramatic, show-stopping, terrible, skeleton-in-the-closet ones, to small, silly ones. But they can also hold treasures.”

When I had pretty much finished doodling, I was struck by the fact that the babushkas only had one arm… so I wrote –

“All these babooshkas look like one-armed bandits…”

The cutting out of all the elements was therapeutic indeed, Barbara. Whether it’ll improve my drawing or not, I can’t be sure, but hope springs eternal! There are no rubber stamps at all on the page, it’s all slow, painstaking little doodles with black and white markers – plus the yummy orange and purple Sharpies.

Another interesting discovery I made is that although the food dyes disappear from fabric, they remained steadfast on the paper, despite the coloured markers (some of which are non-permanent), I used over them. I’ll have to try watercolours with them and see what happens – the water may dilute them, it may not. Watch this space!! 😉

Broken – kiss it better!

Remember when we were little? I do. When I hurt myself, my Mum would kiss it better… all those scrapes and grazes. So, this doll is broken…

For AYITLOAAJ: Musical Musings – July 15th (I really didn’t like the song at all.)

THE SONG: Mama’s Arms by Joshua Kadison
Written Lyrics HERE

Wednesday Stamper closes its doors…

I think this is so sad as I’ve been a participant on and off for the last 3 years or so. But, everything comes to an end and new challenge blogs emerge and life goes on as people get busier, etc. In honour of their closure, I wrote haikus and created this page:

“We flocked to their blog

and we created with joy:

every week was new.

Their challenge awoke

sparks of creativity

In all who took part… “

So farewell to WS and I wish you all joy and peace and creativity…

I am adding this to Theme Thursday’s “Wings” theme, which inspired the page originally! The stamps are a combination of handcarved and commercial. 🙂

Running up that hill

“And if I only could, I’d make a deal with God

And I’d get Him to swap our places…”


The Prompt: What’s the deal?
The Song: Running Up That Hill by Placebo (or Kate Bush)
Written Lyrics HERE
Product/Technique: Playing Cards

I fell in love with the lyrics to this song, written by Kate Bush in the 1980s and vaguely remembered the tune. Now of course, I can’t get it out of my head! Like many of her songs, there’s a lilting, haunted recurring theme, that takes you deep down inside yourself and I love the choreography on the video too…

Here’s my take on the challenge where I’ve endeavoured to interpret the words and how they make me feel.

I forgot all about the playing cards aspect, and look at those hearts floating around!! So much on my mind lately too! My subconscious has a mind of its own, obviously… 😉

The stamps (except the heart), are handcarved. Size – 8″x8″ (20x20cm) To see more examples, please click on A Year in the Life of an Art Journal!!!

Trust your Spin Doctor…

For AYITLOAAJ – Musical Musings – 15th June

THE SONG: Right Round Ft. Kesha
Written Lyrics HERE

I like the song but I don’t really like or ‘get’ all the lyrics… However, like many people, all the changes that are happening here in the UK and all the political unrest and the effect it’s having on people close to me, makes my head spin. It’s a very worrying time for everyone I think. This is quite a satirical, sinister page, belied by the bold colours. You can probably feel my unease without me writing reams on here…

Take this any way you like! Thanks for looking!! The image is courtesy of a college prospectus and his hat is a reversed casserole dish, flipped upside down! The circle border is one of my handcarved stamps. 🙂

What a day, a week, a laugh it is…

Can you put your hands in your head? Oh no… Remember Roger Hodgson – Supertramp? Dreamer was his first hit song and probably why I became a fan. I have never ever forgotten the song or the lyrics, or his amazing voice. Luckily, there’s a fairly reasonable video on Youtube that you can watch:

I post this because I have had another weird week (and it’s only Wednesday!). I don’t know if there’s something in the air or a bug going round, but I am exhausted. I have been working on this Project Denim – maybe that has drained me more than I thought, because I don’t normally work in one medium for a prolonged length of time. Could my creative battery cells need recharging? Whatever…

Today I found myself yet again in a waiting area, with pencils and the old Moon Diary from 2007. I had the notion that I’d practice doodling – like “real” doodling, as in zentangles. I’ve tangled before and I refreshed my eyes with a few tangles hoping they’d inspire me. Disappointingly, this is all that happened:

Hmmm, apart from the 2nd section – the “ribbons” – I’m not keen on any of those! When I showed my friend what I’d written round the edges, she said that was better than the doodling! I wrote:

“This is why I have trouble with zentangles. I can’t seem to follow a repetitive pattern. Does this mean I have a very disorganised mind or I am merely undisciplined? Perhaps I should try mandalas…”

But, I doodled a bit more on the following page and Nefertiti-Cupcake (/Jellymould) was born, mainly through my inability to draw hair (and maybe ears too!):

Now she’s simply a pencil sketch, but I like her! Then I decided to try a mandala. I vaguely remember that you start in the centre and work outwards. I don’t really know what I’m doing and I was getting grumpy by now, (45 minutes after the DD had gone to sit her exam), so maybe that explains the pointy/spikey bits!

However, I think the outer circle looks very much like people (possibly young ones), holding hands in a circle, so maybe I had mellowed by then. I did enjoy that one more than the doodles, so perhaps I should take more notice of my BBFF Barbara and get stuck into mandalas… 😉

Kids’ speak…

I was waiting for DD whilst she took an exam yesterday (Maths!). I had the very colourful fabric journal with me, a big old pencil case and a little ziplock bag with Neos, rubbers and a few more pens in it! (No wonder my bag is always so heavy!)

The composition is mine, but the layout is pure Kelly Kilmer! The writing says…

“The language that kids today use, is as colourful as my pages… They can be so abusive without at all meaning to be rude or give offence. I love talking to kids I don’t know, because we listen to each other & engage, with no preconceived ideas or opinions about each other. It’s merely the subject of our conversation that unites us briefly. Share a thought with a young person TODAY.”

Listen to Who I Am – Hear ME ….. Look Beyond My Attitude…. See Me

I got a few curious looks (as usual), as I sat there writing, drawing, pens in mouth, waterpen dribbling into my top!! But hey, I was in the “zone” and I stopped when I felt I was finished – about 15 minutes before DD!

In explanation of the above, DD took her exam outside school, in a Skills Centre where they run full-time and part-time educational courses for kids who don’t fit the “norm”. Listening to them, we got chatting, briefly, before they all went off to class, and I found it so interesting. So enlightening… and I listened to them and saw who they are – briefly.

Maybe one day I’ll be in a position to work alongside kids like those teens… who knows? 🙂